Category Archives: Miscellaneous

“Etch-A-Snap,” a Raspberry Pi-powered Etch A Sketch camera


As PetaPixel explains,

The camera is powered by Raspberry Pi Zero. After a digital photo is captured, they’re processed down to a 240×144 pixel 1-bit black-and-white line drawing using Pillow and OpenCV. The drawing is then translated into plotter commands by creating a network graph representation with NetworkX. Those plotter commands are carried out by physically moving the Etch A Sketch wheels using two 5V stepper motors built into a custom 3D-printed frame Fitzpatrick created.


The world’s largest airplane takes off

They finally made it! This 500,000-lb. beast is designed to carry rockets to 35,000ft., then drop-launch them into orbit.

In partnership with Scaled Composites, Stratolaunch successfully completed the first flight of the Stratolaunch aircraft. As part of this initial flight of the world’s largest aircraft, the pilots evaluated aircraft performance and handling qualities of the all-composite, duel-fuselage design. The airplane took off at 0658 PDT on April 13, 2019, from the Mojave Air & Space Port, and flew for 2.5 hours, achieving a maximum speed of 189 miles per hour and reaching altitudes of up to 17,000 feet. The plane landed safely amid cheers from the team that designed and built the plane.


Google Wing begins drone deliveries in Australia

So, do falling burritos corkscrew to earth counterclockwise down there…? (Either way, I’m in.)

The team writes,

Today, we are excited to be launching our first air delivery service in North Canberra. Our service allows customers to order a range of items such as fresh food, hot coffee or over-the-counter chemist items on our mobile app, and have them delivered directly to their homes by drone in minutes.

The delivery service will initially be available to a limited set of eligible homes in the suburbs of Crace, Palmerston and Franklin. We expect to gradually expand to more customers in Harrison and Gungahlin in the coming weeks and months.



How Google Earth builds 3D worlds (now including Sydney)

“Mowing your lawn with a plane” sounds like “Hunting geese with a rake” (I see you, weird old David Crosby!), but it’s a good metaphor for how aircraft traverse a region to generate data for Google Earth. I enjoyed this short peek behind the scenes:

Now Earth has added 3D imagery of Sydney, so I can fly the kids around where Margot & climbed the Harbour Bridge & ate kangaroo pizza (not simultaneously, I’m slightly sad to admit).

Coincidentally: The Daily Overview features a nice shot of Sydney.


“What Good Design Sounds Like”

If voice-driven interfaces are up your alley, you too might enjoy this discussion that Adobe hosted recently:

We first dug into some early examples of voice-enabled human-computer interaction, unearthing clips of some fascinating precursors to today’s voice assistants. That was followed by a live discussion with two guests who are working at the forefront of voice interaction design: Katie Briggs, product designer at NPR, and Will Hall, chief creative officer at RAIN, an agency focused on voice.

Bonus: Here’s the ancient, groundbreaking IBM Shoebox prototype referenced in the talk:


Operation Disgruntled Leprechaun

Oh man, we’ve all been there: You’re psyched up to bite into a delicious chocolate chip cookie, only to discover—raisins!! It’s not that they’re objectively bad, just that they’re not what was promised. Our expressive son Henry does not take such things lightly—to say the least. Behold, below… The Taste of BETRAYAL! 😝☘️ (Happily he recovered quickly. Happy St. Pat’s to you & yours!)

Saturday, March 16, 2019