Categories
technology

Threadviewer

Dave Winer just released a new app called Threadviewer. Here’s how it works:

You give it the ID of a tweet that’s at the top of a thread. The app loads all the tweets it can find that are replies to the tweet with that ID, written by the author of the original tweet and shows them inside a box, in chronologic order, as a nice sequence of easy to read paragraphs.

Next, just copy and paste from the Threadviewer.com output and Twitter can be a writing space for posts you want to use in other places on the web.

Here’s an example of a Threadviewer URL.

Categories
download technology

Dell Laser Printer 1100 Driver for macOS Big Sur

With the new MacBook Air comes the need to once again figure out how to get a modern, highly secure, 64-bit operating system to communicate with a device made in the early 2000s. The device in question being a Dell 1100 Laser Printer.

Dell 1100 Laser Printer
The right printer driver for the Dell 1100 Laser Printer on macOS 11.0 is actually the Samsung ML-2160 Series

After some searching online, a little trial and error, some attempts at using an old driver from an old computer (nope) and a little more searching online I finally came up with the solution. I’m posting it here in the hopes that it will help someone else save some trouble and probably for my future self at some point.

Before I even started, I knew I would need a USB-C to USB-A adapter.

The USB-C to USB-A adapter allows one to connect USB-C devices to USB-A peripherals

I’ll save you the trouble of going through all my trial and error and just say that the solution to get Andrea’s MacBook Air (M1, 2020) running Big Sur 11.0 to work with the Dell 1100 Laser Printer was to download this collection of drivers:

https://ftp.hp.com/pub/softlib/software13/printers/SS/Print_Common_SW/Samsung_Mac_10.15_Driver_V3.92.00.dmg

Open it and when it’s done installing head to the System Preferences Printer icon (with the printer plugged in and turned on) and add a new printer.

When selecting software, choose Samsung ML-2160 Series.

Albeit there was an error the first time I printed (or maybe it was just a warning) but then it began its typical whirling sound and out popped the printed page. It continues to work every time without issue.

I’m going to mirror the Samsung drivers for safe keeping.

Categories
ethics technology

Zoom Helped Chinese Surveillance

Should we continue to use — and promote the use of — Zoom at institutions and organizations that stand for liberal democratic values when Zoom has been discovered terminating accounts and disrupting video calls about the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre of pro-democracy activists? Obviously, we should find something else.

From The Washington Post:

Prosecutors said the China-based executive, Xinjiang Jin, worked as Zoom’s primary liaison with Chinese law enforcement and intelligence services, sharing user information and terminating video calls at the Chinese government’s request.

If our organizations believe in free speech then it behooves us to tell our organizations about Zoom.

Zoom continues to fail us and mark my words, this will not be the last time we hear that this corrupt company is in the news.

Categories
technology

Jet Powered VW for Sale

When I was wandering the streets of Salt Lake back in ’99 I came across a fellow by the name of Greg Breedlove1 who was part of the Spirit of America team. He told me about how he had helped on the second version of the jet car and how his dad was the driver that set many land speed records on the Salt Flats near the Great Salt Lake. He offered to send me some photos of the car if I gave him my address which I happily provided.2 I’ve often thought about what it would be like to drive a car that fast.

Driving the Spirit of America might be the impossible dream, but today I came across an ad for a different jet powered car on Craigslist — this one is a Jet Powered VW and though it might not set world records, it’s definitely faster than I would want to go.

The car has two engines: the production gasoline engine in the front, driving the front wheels, and the jet engine in the back. The idea is that you drive around legally on the gasoline engine then, when you want to have some fun, spin up the jet and get on the burner (you can start the jet while driving along on the gasoline engine). I built the car because I wanted the wildest street-legal ride possible. I was able to use some stuff I learned while getting my fancy engineering degree with this project (I have a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University). It was great to design this street-legal jet car without distractions from other people’s projects, solely because no one has done it before. I have no idea how fast the car will go, and probably never will. I built the car in order to thrill me, not kill me. That said, I do enjoy the occasional blast down the highway.

He’s asking $550,000 USD.

1. At least I think his name was Greg, it could’ve been Craig. I have it on a note somewhere but I don’t know where it is.

2. Promises made, promises broken. I never heard from him, but photos are a lot easier to come by nowadays, so it’s no big deal.

Categories
Art psychology technology

Pareidolia on Grains of Sand

I came across a site tonight that hits on a lot of my interests. It’s got a nice mixture of art, technology, with just a hint of psychology.

I’ve been interested in pareidolia since I first learned about it years ago. It is, as wikipedia defines it, “the tendency for incorrect perception of a stimulus as an object, pattern or meaning known to the observer, such as seeing shapes in clouds, seeing faces in inanimate objects or abstract patterns, or hearing hidden messages in music.”

In this particular case, the objects are grains of sand and the incorrect perception is that they look like faces.

In the artwork Pareidolia* facial detection is applied to grains of sand. A fully automated robot search engine examines the grains of sand in situ. When the machine finds a face in one of the grains, the portrait is photographed and displayed on a large screen.

Check out Pareidolia, face detection on grains of sand.

(via Waxy)

Categories
technology

NetNewsWire 5.0

The first stand-alone RSS news feedreader I ever used was NetNewsWire. Soon the name changed to NewsGator and not long after that the original creators were no longer working on the product. Still, it worked like a charm but pretty soon the world moved on to web based readers. After Google Reader came and went I found it difficult to settle on another reader that satisfied me. At least, that was until just a couple of months ago when the original creator of NetNewsWire, Brent Simmons, was able to acquire the rights to the name and released a new open source Mac version of the software. I’ve been loving it but what I’m truly excited for is today’s news that the iOS version of NetNewsWire is about to drop!

It’s free and open source. Even though it’s labeled as 5.0, it’s a brand-new app, a fresh start for an app that originally appeared on the App Store on day one.

The big difference is not the price tag — there have been free versions of NetNewsWire before — and it’s not just that it’s open source. It’s that there’s a great team of volunteers behind it now.

I highly recommend you get your copy of NetNewsWire 5.0 from the App Store — Canadians can get it here.

Categories
podcasting

YouTube Audio to Overcast

Mike Rockwell on how to convert YouTube videos into audio ready for playback on Overcast. Spoiler: He uses a Shortcut.

There’s just so many videos on YouTube that don’t really need the video component. Whether they be information videos or talk shows, often times you can get by without the visuals. For those videos, the YouTube app is a bit heavier than what is necessary for listening. Something like Overcast with its Smart Speed feature, is a much better solution.

[…]

So I put together a shortcut — Push To Overcast — that lets me download a video from YouTube, convert it to an audio file, and then easily upload it to Overcast.

[…]

The shortcut utilizes UPull.me to download the YouTube videos. I don’t know too much about the site or who built it, but it’s the best method I’ve found for downloading videos from YouTube.

You need to have Overcast Premium in order to upload a file via the website but it’s a well-worthwhile purchase even if you don’t use this shortcut.

(via Michael Tsai)

Categories
technology travel

NeverSSL.com

Here’s a great little travel tip from Marco Arment via his podcast ATP. When you don’t have cellular service but need to connect to Wi-Fi and can’t get your phone to get started, trying to connect to a non secure socket layer site will solve the problem. (This happens to me every time I go grocery shopping in the States and want to check with the better half if we need more milk).

Here’s the relevant ATP clip: overcast.fm/+R7DVAsQuw/12:17

And, as Arment points out, a sure address in which to connect that will always use just plain unencrypted http is Neverssl.com.

Categories
biology technology

Meet the Next Generation CRISPR

There’s a new version of CRISPR, the gene editing tool that cuts swaths out of DNA and replaces them with new DNA that, for example, doesn’t contain the code for vulnerabilities to genetically inherited diseases. This version, however, radically improves on the old technology because it can rewrite DNA without actually cutting the DNA (which can damage and introduce errors into the genome). It’s called “prime editing”.

From MIT Technology Review’s article by Antonio Regalado:

Today, in the latest — and possibly most important — of recent improvements to CRISPR technology, Liu is introducing “prime editing,” a molecular gadget he says can rewrite any type of genetic error without actually severing the DNA strand, as CRISPR does.

The new technology uses an engineered protein that, according to a report by Liu and 10 others today in the journal Nature, can transform any single DNA letter into any other, as well as add or delete longer stretches. In fact, Liu claims it’s capable of repairing nearly any of the 75,000 known mutations that cause inherited disease in humans.

From the abstract of the report:

Prime editing substantially expands the scope and capabilities of genome editing, and in principle could correct about 89% of known pathogenic human genetic variants.

Wired, Scientific American, and Nature all have more on this story.

Categories
technology

Moore’s Law graphed vs real CPUs & GPUs 1965 – 2019

Moore’s law is the observation that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles about every two years. The observation is named after Gordon Moore, the co-founder of Fairchild Semiconductor and CEO of Intel, whose 1965 paper described a doubling every year in the number of components per integrated circuit, and projected this rate of growth would continue for at least another decade. How did he do? Well, Reddit user DataGrapha created this beautiful animated graph to demonstrate that Mr. Moore was incredibly prescient and that for the most part the rate of doubling has pretty much matched his prediction.

Moore’s Law graphed vs real CPUs & GPUs 1965 – 2019 [OC] from r/dataisbeautiful