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Posted 2012.08.09 21.09 in Computers/Internet/Technology by Stephanie

So last night I heard about this new social networking startup. It’s going to be API-based, with strong focus and support for developers and the users. And there won’t be any ads.

This is one thing that has kept me away from these social things – everything was ‘free’, and when you don’t pay for a service, then you’re the actual product that’s being sold. Or put it another way, if you don’t pay for it, and they change it and screw it all up so it sucks, then your only recourse is basically to stop using it.

Ok admittedly I did start using twitter about a year ago, but I don’t use it very much, and I’m pretty sure I’m doing it wrong. But even in the short time that I’ve been using it, I’ve seen them do stuff that seems backwards to me. Anti-user. Anti-developer. Basically they’ve got to make their customers happy, and their customers are the advertisers.

Anyhow, back on track. Join.App.Net is the new thing and the way they’re doing it is upfront, they are charging for the service. You pay them to be a customer or a developer, and you are the customer.

The thing is, it’s not live yet. Well, they have an alpha that’s up and running and open to backers.

They know that to be viable as a business and as a service, they need to reach a critical mass of people and funds. So they’ve set up a Kickstarter-esque program with a target and a deadline.

The deadline is only 4 days away. They haven’t reached their goal yet.

If you like the idea of being able to connect with people, friends, and so on, and you like the idea of doing it without ads being shoved in  your face, and you like the idea of being a customer and not a product, then please go and check them out.

It’s only $50 to support them. If they don’t reach their target, then you don’t pay a cent. If they do reach their target, then you’ll be a part of something new, right at the beginning.

I’m in, and I think it’s exciting.

Slow Progress

Posted 2011.06.19 20.36 in Computers/Internet/Technology by Stephanie

I’ve been working now and then on my Next Project. It’s slow going but there is progress happening.

This weekend I added a power supply (boring) and a radiation sensor (interesting). The radiation sensor is basically a geiger-muller tube detector. Instead of making audible tick sounds, I modified it to flash a blue LED whenevever it detects ionizing radiation. The counts are tabulated by the MCP’s microcontroller and available as a cumulative counts per day or current counts per minute.

What else can it do?

  • It is a remote display and remote control for my Thermostat.
  • It controls the lights in my aquariums.
  • It monitors the temperature in my aquariums.
  • It controls my Game of Life display.
  • It monitors and displays outdoor weather conditions.
  • It notifies me of activity on my home file server.
  • And now it monitors ionizing radiation.
  • It allows me access to all of this information and all of these controls both in-person and via network.

So I can monitor and control any of this stuff from my iPhone, iPad, at home or at the office, or anywhere.

The main board is an Arduino Mega. It’s using an Ethernet shield and an XBee shield. The radiation sensor is next to the Arduino. The display is a ks0108 glcd. More geeky goodness will be coming next week.

Rage Against the Wireless Machine

Posted 2010.07.14 12.11 in Computers/Internet/Technology by Stephanie

So this is my latest masterpiece, right?

I call it “Rage Against the Wireless Machine”. See, it’s supposed to symbolize the eternal struggle between network admins and the machines they must work with every day.

Rage Against the Wireless Machine - Click for Full Size

This particular piece is mixed-media, comprised primarily of fibreglass, copper, and plastic. Inspiration came to the artist during a discrepancy over IP addresses. The artist’s vision was realized through the expert use of a 16oz claw hammer. Size, approx. 6″ x 4″, excluding antenna. Currently on exhibition in an IT environment, where it may serve as an inspiration to staff, and a warning to equipment.