Showing posts from 2015

Captains log: Maiden solo flight

I've bought "my son" a Bixler from Hobby King recently. (Don't buy from Hobby King without reading reviews about them... I was forced to pay double for the kit with post purchase shipping and then customs fees.)

It's a beautiful and BIG aeroplane.
It *just* fits snugly on the back seat of a BMW.

Building it was not trivial for someone with zero RC experience, but I got there in the end. I really enjoyed the challenge. And after building it, I could not wait patiently to first do this with someone experienced, so early morning, as the sun rose and the mist was just lifting over the field nearby, I had my first maiden solo flight.

You will not be surprised to hear that it was a beautiful and frantic few seconds of flying, before I have an EPO cartwheeling over the field, ending up with the nose of the plane firmly planted in a heap of doggy doo.
And the elevator broke off. Doh! 
I can see it would be relatively easy to fix, but I am conscious that my planned fix, …

Connecting the brain to the person: part 2

Part one started, for me, about 4 years ago, when I was invited to interview Captain Cyborg (or Prof Kevin Warwick) at Reading University. It was a fascinating day, and I saw and heard about how he connected probes to mice and men to measure and synthesise brain impulses.

Today I saw part two of the story: Two guys from Backyard Brains build cheap tools to play with neuroscience (yes, play... also for kids!) and this TED video shows, in 5 minutes, what can be done.

If you don't yet have someone in your life that control your every movement, now is your chance!

ssh_forget_host is keygen for Chrome OS in crosh

As I've spent too much time searching for this... I want to quickly capture this for the world (and myself) for future reference.

SSH allows you to connect to a remote machine (e.g. a Raspberry Pi that does not have it's own screen or keyboard connected).
On the first connection, your operating system will store a signature of the remote machine that you presumably trust, and then on subsequent connections, the signature is checked to ensure you are not subject to a man-in-the-middle attack.

If, like me, your Pi is rebuilt or cloned, then you will see a warning, something to the tune of "WARNING: REMOTE HOST IDENTIFICATION HAS CHANGED!"

On a Mac you can issue the ssh-keygen -R command, but what do you do on a Chromebox (or Chromebook) in the terminal (or crosh) command?

The answer is simple:
ssh_forget_host Enjoy.

Addressing BIG audiences - inside secrets

The title was just crafted for click bait... there are no great secrets in here. But I will share some of the things I consider valuable when presenting to large audiences.

Presenting is a personal thing. You have to find your own style that you feel comfortable with and that works for your audience. So, there are no "answers" or silver bullets, but I'll share with you what works for me.

First, it's worth sharing my freshest thoughts. I had the privilege to present to a very large audience last week... my biggest audience to date by thousands, and it was live streamed too... so it was a significant stretch for me. Here are some observations from that event:

Thousands in the audience is not harder than a hundred I guess it was a bit more stressful, but such a big audience justified more preparation, which reduced the stress for me, so it really was not more painful or difficult just due to the sheer number. Other factors made it a bit more challenging, though.

Notes on BMJ presentation by Googler Alfred Biehler

Thank you to the BMJ for the wonderful opportunity to present the keynote #qfk4 at the International Forum for Quality and Safety in Healthcare #quality2015.
It was a real privilege and honour to share the stage with HRH The Royal Princess and other distinguished presenters and experts.

The content below is intended to provide links for further reading to support the presentation I delivered yesterday at Excel, London.
Part 1: recent changes in technology that opens up new opportunities With the story of Mihir Garimella and his cheap quadcopter, I highlighted four huge shifts in technology: Smallercheapermore connected and smarter (using data and processing power to become more relevant, proactive and our of the way) This change was mostly driven by the growth of mobile phones.
As examples, I discussed Google IrisGoogle Nanoparticle platform (and especially this)Google Flu trends (and how you can do this yourself) and this Jawbone Napa Valley quake story.Google Loon to provide internet a…

If your wifi seems more like why?Fi? on your Raspberry Pi with RaLink adapter...

I've been banging my head against this one: My v2 home grown home automation system is running on a few Raspberry Pi A+, and some of them are running the RaLink R... wifi USB units.

Networking seemed flaky. From the Raspberry Pi, everything works as it should, but incoming requests are frequently dropped or terribly slow as described here.

The solution for me seems to be to turn off the power saving feature of the USB wifi dongle, and I managed to do it with the advice from here:

Add the following line below the wpa_conf line in the /etc/network/interfaces file:
wireless-power off

For the moment, I think my problems have disappeared like mist before the sun :)