A Little Info on Using SSL in Your Web Site

I recently made a rash Tweet saying that if you don’t have SSL (Secure SocketsLayer; what HTTPS uses) your WordPress site will be hacked. That’s an overstatement. I’ve known people who’ve run WP sites without SSL with no problems.

So here’s a little web SSL orientation for people who have better things to do than learn the details of computer security.

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Cutting and Tuning Robotic Glockenspiel Chimes

After a few weeks of experimentation, I think I can now write sensible notes on how to cut and tune the chimes for a glockenspiel (metal xylophone) out of metal conduit. This is the first step of my Robotic Glockenspiel project, which I hope to end with a network-connected, Arduino-controlled set of chimes that can play Christmas carols.

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Nerd Christmas Tree

I’ve successfully assembled my second soldering kit: The Velleman MK130 ‘3D’ Christmas Tree.  It’s a set of blinking LEDs that sit atop a 9V battery… or you can add some long wires and hang it as a Christmas ornament.

At any rate, it was good practice for soldering, and the result is kinda cute.  See my YouTube Video of the Kit for the whole experience.

I figure I’m ready to build an Arduino proto Shield next!

The Definitive Mad Science

My definition of Mad Science:

  1. It must be based on actual technology, vs. pseudo science.
  2. It must be provocative, causing an initial reaction of horror or revulsion.
  3. The horror or revulsion must be based on the concept rather than being simply disgusting.
  4. It must have an artistic element, vs. being just science.

An April IEEE Spectrum story covers a work that wins on all counts: Dr. Hirotaka Osawa’s Wearable Eyes, designed to let you look like you care when you are phoning it in or even asleep!

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The Co-Presidents in Britain

In the fall of 2000, the co-presidents spent a month in Wales and England. For Linda it was a research trip into English king Edward’s medieval castles (built to crush the Welsh), and into various Victorian museums covering everything from candy to coal. For Brad, it was time to be a tourist: once every seven years at Intel, you get a block of 8 weeks off to reacquaint yourself with the world, so Brad spent half of his 8 weeks on tour.

Here’s a very brief look at the places we visited, culled from our 2,400 photos made possible by Brad’s then-fancy digital camera and Linda’s laptop. Each night, Brad would download the hundred-or-so photos from the camera to the laptop, freeing the camera to take another couple hundred photos the next day. We have research photos of portcullis slots, murder holes, stairways, hallways, garderobes, merlons, embrasures, and many other details of the castles and houses we visited.

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