Iain Hall's SANDPIT

Home » Posts tagged 'techno toys' (Page 2)

Tag Archives: techno toys

Reasons to be cheerful part seven

Sorry for my rather slim postings of late but I have been quite distracted by a bad trot in the back department,  a problem with my sports car and well just feeling a bit down over all.

To deal with the last first there are times when chronic pain just gets you down and no mater how well you have intellectualised that you have the right stoic attitude so that you can endure and still find purpose and meaning in your life it does not take much to tip you onto the unwelcome slippery slide. this time it was being told that I had to get a pain specialist to give me the tick of approval for the continuing prescription for Norspan patches, so like a good patient I duly contacted the pain clinic and after some weeks I got a letter back telling me that they did not want me to be a patient there. The upside is that  I have discovered that all I need is the approval of a second GP to continue to get the medication. I know very well that there has to be adequate controls on S8 drugs however its not as if I am asking for self injectable morphine here. Worse still though is the feeling of vulnerability you have when it looks like the medication that you need may suddenly become unavailable to you. Simply put its a worry I could well do without. It will probably surprise no one that as a consequence  it feel even more disgust and disdain for recreational users of opiates because its their propensity to lie cheat and steal that have made such control measures  a necessary impedimenta to those who have a real medical need to use this class of drugs.

My sports car  has been running like a total dog lately and it to has been doing my head in. There is a problem with the fuel injection system that means it just refuses to run smoothly and it just keeps cutting out and refusing to run at all  well above idle. I have tried mucking ar0und with the  the throttle position sensor as broken wires (since fixed) caused similar symptoms but  that has not solved the problem. It could be a wiring fault elsewhere but the complexity of the wiring from the donor car is mind bogglingly horrible. After much thought I have decided to seek a rather radical solution by going totally retro in the fuel delivery department which will mean that I can have an amazingly simple wiring loom in the car .  to make this happen I have just bought a Nissan N15 engine (the whole car for $100!) that will mate up to my transmission the same as my N16 motor does but instead of  a computer triggered ignition system it has a camshaft driven distributor  to provide the sparks. on the intake side I am going to completely remove the EFI manifold and replace it with the twin Carbs off a  91 Honda civic this will necessitate me having to make or modify an inlet manifold. My plan is to make a new manifold in steel because I can weld steel and fabricate the whole thing myself without having to shell out hard earned cash  to have it made in aluminium. This should not be that hard to do I will just have to cut two flange plates from 4mm sheet and then cut and shape the four tubes from each port to meet with the two carb throats . Living in Queensland there will be no real need to provide an coolant supply to the manifold and as my braking system is not  boosted I won’t even need to have a vacuum take off for that either will need a vacuum supply to the Trimatic  though and it seems that the wisdom is that there should be  a connection between the two pairs of inlet runners to equalise them .  Though there is a weight penalty for using steel the manifold and carbs air cleaner et al  will undoubtedly weigh less than intake runners and plenum that they will replace and as ditching the EFI for simple carbs will mean that my electrical system can likewise be minimised  I am thinking that I ought to be up to 10kg better off overall.

As for tuning the carbs to the Nissan engine  well I know that they were working fine in my brother’s Honda until it did its timing belt and went bang so I won’t fiddle with them any more than I have to and as the Honda engine is only 1oocc smaller  than my Nissan lump  I doubt that they will be that far off in terms of the jetting.either. The result I am looking for is a car that is much more amenable to user maintenance, that has some weight loss and better usability over all. Now that is not too much to ask now is it?

If all of this works then I will be a some what happier camper but at the moment I am feeling rather, to put it politely hacked off about life in general  there is not much joy when you have everything around you seems to be competing for my attention and requiring me to do so many things at the same time. Oh I will get over this temporary ennui as soon as I have something that is going my way  for a while…. speaking of which my better half has just come to me telling me that the damn washing machine is not doing the  right thing either! Its not my day today …

Wish I could find something to cheer about Comrades

speechless-tinman-rustywizard-animation

Putting your ghost into the machine

slight of hand and illusion

slight of hand and illusion

I came across this today and it tickled my love of the bizarre way that technology tends to follow speculative fiction. In this case its all about the long held wish for a way to have a secular form of eternal life by downloading consciousness into a computer so that the essence of a person can go on long after their body has surrendered to death.

The service has been created out of MIT’s Entrepreneurship Development Program. When users sign up, they will link the service to their various digital streams, such as Facebook, Twitter, emails, photos and geo-location history. Once data is being collected, Ursache says there are two main processes required – “making sense” of it and then using it to “emulate” the user.

“Of course, ‘making sense’ and ’emulating’ are still primitive today,” he acknowledges. “But by periodically interacting with this avatar, you will allow it to make more sense in the next 30-40 years that you still have to live. This way, it becomes more accurate and knows more about you in time.”

The ability of Eterni.me to “make sense” of the data it collects will be key, but is one of the most difficult challenges the company has to tackle. The service will analyze both textual and visual information to choose what information can be used to help an avatar better emulate the user. Direct interactions with the user will help to make the emulation more accurate.

Ursache explains that the end result should be a tool that people can use to find out more about their forbears, such as photos, family events, opinions and hobbies. He likens it to a research tool, such as a search engine or timeline, and is clear that the aim of such technology should be to help people.

“I think technology should make our lives easier, period,” he says. “If technology can help with leaving a legacy, or solving other problems for dead people’s relatives and friends – such as inheritance, access to information and so on – we should find a way to use it, of course without creating additional harms.”

A private beta of Eterni.me is expected in late 2015 with the public launch expected in 2016.

Source: Eterni.me

I don’t know if this is just an example of hubris or just a denial of mortality and I don’t know if it would really provide comfort or the creeps to those we leave behind when we cark it. What I do know is that there are likely to be people who will grab onto this technology in their grief at the loss of a loved one and that it may well even make them unable to move on with their lives. Further lets just imagine that the avatar becomes complex enough to be sentient rather than merely reflexive, will the simulacrum be the person it was derived from or will it be some new kind of monster?      I just don’t know if this is a good or a bad idea so I will just await the wisdom of the Sandpit’s readers on this one.

Cheers Comrades

tumblr_lled9nsu4v1qzis1f

The idea of a personalty downloaded into a machine avatar is central to the cult Anime “Ghost in the shell”

 

Toyota closure and the machine that goes ping

Toyota-Corolla-Sedan-EU-Spec-5.jpg.pagespeed.ce.bjcwqvQdqX

As devastating as it will be for Victoria and south Australia the economic realities of the car industry can no longer be denied by the minions of the left who would have our government pump billions of dollars of borrowed money into keeping the car manufacturing industry alive. The whining from the Labor party about this is as unsurprising as it is self serving. Simply put with the end of car making in this country we will also see significant  decline in one of the countries larger unions, and where the unions decline so too does the power base for the ALP. Likewise the rhetoric from the ALP that the closure is the fault of the current government is sill beyond description if you ask me, its actually a bit like blaming the doctor who turns off life support for a road accident victim  for that persons death.

Not that I think that Australians are going to reject  Toyota cars into the future, many of the best selling models are already fully imported anyway. The thing is after both Ford and General Motors made similar decisions we all knew that Toyota would follow As other far more knowledgeable commentators have pointed out its the scale of our market and our sustained high dollar that has caused this death and there is absolutely nothing that the government could do to change those factors. and that is why we could never compete with the other countries when it comes to making cars. Like that imagined accident victim the time has come to turn off the machine that goes ping, to sing our eulogies and to then move on to the future.

Sad cheers Comrades

bloody-dropping-broken-heart-graphic

Haggis and Daleks

click for source

click for source

Well yesterday we had the announcement of the election for September 7  and for some of us that is the big news item of the week however those of us with a moire fantastical view of the multi-verse the announcement of far more importance is just who will be piloting the Tardis  now that Matt Smith  has decided to pass on the key. With great fanfare and run live on the ABC ( at  4am local time )  we now know that its  going to be Peter Capaldi  and I for one look forward to a Doctor with a bit more “guts” that the rather whimpy Matt Smith . Don’t get me wrong I have enjoyed Smith’s imagining of the character of the doctor his whimsy was the perfect weather change to the the rather tortured Time Lord when David Tennant filled the Doctor’s boots but whimsy can only take you so far before it becomes  quite annoying.

Oh and wouldn’t it be nice if the Doctor retained Capaldi’s  lovely Scottish brogue?

Cheers Comrades

Tardis_animated

Snookered whistleblower

It could be the pain that makes me delight in the travails of those I consider to be politically misguided, or it could just be my perverse sense of humor but I am just loving the fact that would be hero of the left Edward Snowden has manged to snooker himself and to be stuck in the Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport.  Don’t we all just love the fact that without a valid passport he is unable to travel to a country that will offer him asylum, assuming that he can find one that is willing to accept him.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said yesterday Mr Snowden was welcome to stay if he stopped leaking US intelligence reports.

“If he (Snowden) wants to remain here there is one condition: he should stop his work aimed at inflicting damage on our American partners, no matter how strange this may sound coming from me,” Mr Putin told reporters.

After learning of that condition, a Kremlin spokesman said Mr Snowden had withdrawn his request. “He abandoned his intention and his request to receive the chance of staying in Russia,” Mr Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters.

Ecuador, the first place Mr Snowden applied for asylum, had earlier voiced relief at the possibility of Russia taking him.

“My opinion is that the (asylum) request to the Russian government could definitely resolve Mr Snowden’s situation,” President Rafael Correa said. The Moscow dead end could raise pressure on Ecuador, which has hesitated in the face of possible economic sanctions from the US.

source

There is more than a touch  of irony to Snowden’s situation, firstly he set out to betray his country, and break the oaths that he made when he took up the profession of intelligence analysis and then , despite being very clearly in love with all sorts of convoluted conspiracy theories he has been unable to chart a course of action for himself that would have seen him in a place of safety before he outed himself as the source of the damaging leaks. It looks very much like the the folly of the fanatic who believes his own propaganda and I for one shall continue to enjoy the tale of his despair, especially if it is accompanied by the wailing of the Uber left about is martyrdom to the “whistleblowwer” cause.

The just reward for treachery and treason is pain and despair and I for one look forward to Snowden  either spending a very  long time trapped in the Sheremetyevo airport as the world quickly forgets him or him finally deciding that facing up to the consequences of his actions and being welcomed into the comforts of a US federal prison. Either way he has thrown away his liberty for nothing of consequence.

Cheers Comrades.

Biggest Loser Caffe Latte Shake

Waleed Aly and The Game of Drones

Like a lot of minions of the left Waleed Aly has a rather warped view of the morality of war and he is very clearly bemoaning the fact that in the age of the drone the Jihadists really have no where to hide. The sadly amusing part of his argument against drones is that that he whines about the prospect of non combatants being killed when Jihadists are taken out yet he does not say a single word about just why the strikes are both necessary and justified.  Like a lot of people who follow the religion of peace he seems incapable of enunciating any sort of criticism of the Jihadists and their “struggle” with modern secular society.  Without their ever present ideology of death to unbelievers and the establishment of a global caliphate not a single helfire missile would need to be fired from a drone.

Then in his conclusion Waleed gives us the “lack of honour ” argument about the use of drones:

click for source

click for source

Pardon me Waleed but your argument begs the question of the morality of the deliberate  targeting of civilians by the Jihadists that you are implicitly defending here.  They have killed many thousands of civilians in the name of your Prophet and your God  and yet you whine a bout the possibility of a “non combatant” being killed while in the company of a Jihadist? Call me mad if you like but when it comes to the relative virtue of each side in the war against the Jihadists the Americans come out orders of magnitude better. None the less war in all of its guises is a dirty and bloody business where nothing matters if you don’t win.  Its not a game where each side will  respect a set of rules invented by the arm chair moralists its always about that final move that will make your side prevail.

Waleed has obviously been reading too much King Arthur and not enough Game of Thrones if he thinks that you can defeat a dishonourable enemy like the Jihadists by treating war against them like a sporting competition. The currency of the Jihadists is that anything goes against the unbelievers and before the development of the killer drone the only way to destroy them required  many boots on foreign soil, now it doesn’t and I for one fully endorse the use of technology  that makes every big league Jihadist tremble with fear every time he steps out into the open, or drives from one spider hole to the next, The Jihadists started the “war on terror” so its only justice that now they should live in the terror of the unannounced death from above.

Cheers Comrades

sadly too true

Waleed needs to look at the Jihadists before he condemns the use of drones

The million hit Blog

survivor1

If you are reading this it means that the hit counter for the Sandpit has ticked over the one million hits milestone  which is worthy of note in anyone’s  language, more so in the case of this blog because for most of its existence there has been a sustained campaign to harass and denigrate yours truly and the other authors who post here.

breaking_news_animated

I started blogging on a whim mainly because I needed to register with Blogger to comment on an Anti Andrew Bolt  blog, I have  changed the name and the platform on which this blog is published several times until I settled upon the current title and I am  very happy to n0w share this blog with three other regular contributors who ad greatly to the diversity of  the posts published here. The heart of blogging is not so much the posts themselves but rather it is the comment threads that those posts inspire and over the years we have had some very lively discussion threads that have given their participants lots of fun.

tumblr_mcgfy3btH41rsbrcmo1_500

You see fun is what this blog is all about. Even when we have covered the most serious issues I like to think that we can do so with enough levity to keep it friendly.

one.million.hits-animation

So in the style of an awards night I have to offer a very sincere thank you, firstly to my fellow authors Ray Dixon (and his alter ego SockPuppet),  GD and to  Leon Bertrand, further I want to thank our readers for coming back on a regular basis to enjoy the musings on this page especially those of you who disagree with what I and the other authors write because without that disagreement we would not have the lively arguments in the comment threads. I also want to thank my wife and family for putting up with this sometimes grumpy blogger on a daily basis and last but not least I want to thank our family dog Bonnie for reminding me on a regular basis that I am only human and that nothing is more important than “walkies “

Cheers to all of our Comrades

Walkies!!!!

Walkies!!!!

Its not evidence of conservative capture of the ABC

Let me begin by saying that I like the ABC , I would rate its news reporting above all others in the country, some of my favourite entrainment is broadcast by Auntie and better yet they do not carry advertising within the body of their programming, endless promotion for their own programs and products between shows is another issue which niggles rather than making me seethe but I accept it with the knowledge that its  still better than the commercial alternatives. Which brings us to the topic of today’s post namely political bias in its News and current affairs:

click for source

click for source

While I agree that the sample size of the entire survey is too small to draw definitive conclusions about the ABC the vibe that long time conservative viewers like yours truly gets in listening to their radio and watching their TV news reporting suggests that the survey is what I would have expected. One thing that I am sure of though is that those minions of the far  left who have been running the argument that the ABC is now a creature of the coalition are seeing the criticism of the Gillard government entirely the wrong way.  Its not evidence of conservative capture of the ABC its evidence of just how bad the government is when   even the left leaning ABC feel compelled to be openly hostile and overtly critical of our inept, dishonest and morally bankrupt Labor government.

Cheers Comrades

200_breaking-news-animated-bann3

%d bloggers like this: