Feb 052023

The fonts seen with old computer systems such as those from Apple and Commodore, as well as Microsoft Windows 3.1 and older, form an integral part of our interaction with these systems. These days such bitmap fonts are a rarity, with scalable vector-based fonts having taken their place on modern-day systems. This unfortunately also means that these fonts are at major risk of being lost to the sands of time. This is where [Rob Hagemans] seeks to maintain an archive of such bitmap fonts, ranging from Acorn to MSX to Windows.
Many of these fonts are extracted from character ROMs, with a preview of some of these fonts available via the Monobit viewer. The fonts themselves are…

External feed Read More at the Source: https://hackaday.com/2023/02/04/reliving-a-bitmapped-past-with-a-veritable-hoard-of-bitmap-fonts/

 2023-02-05  No Responses »
Feb 052023

Australian pubs are starting to use facial recognition in areas with
gambling machines, to keep people out who have requested not to be
allowed to gamble.

The basic idea sounds harmless in principle. It would seem that if
you have not added yourself to the list of people to exclude, this
system won’t affect you. But is that really true?

I wonder who else will have access to the face scans of people who
visit the club? Will those scans go into a system connected to the

Will state agencies be able to add faces to the list of people to
exclude? Will state agencies be able to collect the face scans of
everyone that enters?

External feed Read More at the Source: https://stallman.org/archives/2022-nov-feb.html#3_February_2023_(aus_pubs_facial_recognition_gambling)

 2023-02-05  No Responses »
Feb 042023

Few things are harder to start than a narrative of the thing you “do” and what all the ramifications of it are. For people who don’t make it the center of their lives, your thing is already hopelessly complicated and gaining enough of a foothold to feign interest is olympic-level effort. For people who do make it the center, your description fills them with a never-abating dread that you’re going to get the explanation “wrong”, or that you’re going to give the Outsiders a bad impression. So let’s begin at the beginning, again. My parents’ divorce, taking place in the realm of the beginning of the 1980s, was not in any way friendly and in fact…

External feed Read More at the Source: http://ascii.textfiles.com/archives/5443

 2023-02-04  No Responses »
Feb 022023

Self-driving cars are causing mayhem on SF streets In letters to the California Public Utilities Commission seeking to curtail their expansion, the city’s Municipal Transportation Agency and County Transportation Authority documented at least 92 incidents between late May and December where self-driving taxis created mayhem on city streets — disrupting traffic, Muni transit and emergency responders. Jan 22: Firefighters were battling a two-alarm apartment blaze on the corner of Hayes and Divisadero streets when a driverless Cruise car entered the active firefighting scene and nearly ran over fire hoses on the street. Firefighters at the scene stood in front of the car to try to get it to stop, but the autonomous vehicle came to…

External feed Read More at the Source: https://www.jwz.org/blog/2023/02/autonomous-murderbots-still-going-great/

 2023-02-02  No Responses »
Feb 022023

What’s being presented by ShotSpotter as good news for people who feel they’ve been wrongly accused, doesn’t actually appear to be all that comforting.
ShotSpotter’s mic tech and AI combine forces to report possible gunshots to law enforcement customers. It’s very hit or miss, he said with all possible puns intended. ShotSpotter says it’s nearly 100% accurate and can play an important part in reducing gun crime.
Actual customers say something else:

A 2013 investigation of the effectiveness of ShotSpotter in Newark, New Jersey revealed that from 2010 to 2013, the system’s sensors alerted police 3,632 times, but only led to 17 actual arrests. According to the investigation, 75% of the gunshot alerts were false alarms.

97% accuracy? Not what…

External feed Read More at the Source: https://www.techdirt.com/2023/02/01/shotspotter-employees-not-only-have-the-power-to-alter-gunshot-reports-but-do-it-nearly-10-of-the-time/

 2023-02-02  No Responses »
Jan 212023

[Bruce Land] of Cornell University will be a familiar name to many Hackaday readers, searching the site for ‘ECE4760′ will bring up many interesting topics around embedded programming. Every year [Bruce] releases yet more of the students’ work out into the wild to our great delight. This RP2040-based project is a bit more abstract than some previous work and shows yet another implementation of an older hack to utilise the DMA hardware of the RP2040 as another CPU core. While the primary focus of the RP2040 DMA subsystem is moving data between memory spaces, with minimal CPU intervention, the DMA control blocks have some fairly complex behaviour. This allows for a Turing-complete CPU to be implemented purely…

External feed Read More at the Source: https://hackaday.com/2023/01/20/help-needed-on-thumb-image-rp2040-dma-hack-makes-another-cpu-core/

 2023-01-21  No Responses »
Dec 272022

Many American teenagers have so little experience of independent activity
that they perceive basic adult activities as risky.

It is plausible that this is a frequent result of treating adolescents
like children, and children like infants.

External feed Read More at the Source: https://stallman.org/archives/2022-sep-dec.html#26_December_2022_(American_teenagers_perceive_basic_adult_activities_as_risky)

 2022-12-27  No Responses »
Dec 272022

There is a PostgreSQL major release every year, and every release has
about 200 changes listed
in the release notes. A handful of those are typically listed at the
top as “major items”, which are highlighted for the benefit of the
public. Sometimes, a feature that was not highlighted as major turns out later
to have a significant impact. Consider these features that flew under
the radar at the time: PostgreSQL 9.4: replication slots This is the one that always comes to my mind when I think back about “hidden gems”. At the time perhaps not fully understood, replication slots are now absolutely essential for any replication setup. PostgreSQL 9.5: pg_rewind pg_rewind existed as an external project outside…

External feed Read More at the Source: https://postgr.es/p/5Aj

 2022-12-27  No Responses »
Dec 262022

Internationally renowned rock musician and political activist Roger Waters has released an extended play recording of six songs from his Pink Floyd and solo catalog that highlight his decades of opposition to imperialist war and the threat of nuclear annihilation.

External feed Read More at the Source: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2022/12/27/nfjw-d27.html

 2022-12-26  No Responses »
Dec 262022

Hopefully, you already know who Tom Lehrer is, and are already familiar with his music, but if you’re somehow in the dark, I suggest you read this excellent profile, or visit his unofficial official YouTube channel. Or, visit his website where you can download everything for free (he even begs you not to send him money).
We’ve written about Lehrer twice before, both regarding his views on effectively releasing his music in the public domain. Back in 2014, we wrote about how a fan had basically put all of his works on YouTube, and then contacted Lehrer to apologize. Lehrer told him there was nothing to apologize for: he was glad the works were out there. The…

External feed Read More at the Source: https://www.techdirt.com/2022/12/26/tom-lehrer-puts-whatever-he-hadnt-already-donated-to-the-public-domain-into-the-public-domain/

 2022-12-26  No Responses »
Dec 262022

EFF and our supporters have fought off numerous wrongheaded attempts by Congress to regulate online speech, including several that we wrote about last December.
The bevy of bad internet regulation proposals coming out of Congress hasn’t stopped. In 2022, the EARN IT Act was re-introduced. This wrongheaded bill would have allowed states to strip away critical legal protections for any websites, apps, or platforms, as long as state lawmakers linked their proposals to child abuse. If passed, the EARN IT Act would encourage censorship and prod companies away from using encryption. 
This bill, which produced massive pushback from EFF supporters, died in the Senate, but not before a committee vote that endorsed the bill.
Meanwhile, two laws that were…

External feed Read More at the Source: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2022/12/2022-battle-online-speech-moved-us-courts

 2022-12-26  No Responses »
Dec 262022

FISHERS, IN—An encouraging scene reportedly unfolded at a local Kroger supermarket Monday morning when a local woman’s existential horror at the wealthy elite selling off humanity’s future was successfully sublimated into yelling at a cashier. Sources confirmed that Teresa Baker showed an astounding capacity for…

Read more…

External feed Read More at the Source: https://www.theonion.com/existential-horror-at-wealthy-elite-selling-off-humanit-1849716566

 2022-12-26  No Responses »
Dec 262022

Socialist New York City councilor Tiffany Cabán recently introduced legislation requiring “just cause” for firing workers. We spoke to a labor law scholar about why scrapping “at-will” employment would bring a major measure of democracy to the workplace.
Under the existing “at-will” employment regime, most workers in the United States could be fired tomorrow for any reason, without explanation. (E. F. Joseph / Anthony Potter Collection / Getty Images) In the United States, we often take for granted the immense power our employers have over us. Consider, for instance, the fact that your boss could fire you tomorrow for absolutely no reason. Didn’t get a hearing to defend yourself? What about…

External feed Read More at the Source: https://jacobin.com/2022/12/at-will-employment-just-cause-nyc-caban/

 2022-12-26  No Responses »
Dec 262022

Input Labs’ mission is to produce open-source hardware and software for creating gaming controllers that can be adapted to anyone. Alpakka is their current take on a generic controller, looking similar to a modern Xbox or PlayStation controller but with quite a few differences. The 3D printed casing has a low-poly count, angular feel to it, but if you don’t like that you can tweak that in blender to just how you want it. Alpakka emulates a standard USB-attached keyboard, mouse, and Xinput gamepad in parallel so should just work out for both Linux and Windows PC platforms. The firmware includes some built-in game profiles, which can be selected on the controller.
No special parts here, just 3D prints, a…

External feed Read More at the Source: https://hackaday.com/2022/12/22/alpakka-a-creative-commons-game-controller/

 2022-12-26  No Responses »
Dec 252022

Generally, when trying to implement some protocol, you are constrained by your hardware and time. But for someone like [EMMIR], that’s not enough. For example, NTSC-CRT is a video signal encoding/decoding simulator with no hardware acceleration, floating point math, or third-party libraries. Just basic C.
While NTSC has officially gone dark in America, people still make their own ATTiny-powered transmitters. NTSC is a bit of a strange standard and is sometimes referred to as never-twice-the-same color, but it does produce a distinct look.
That look is what [EMMIR] was going for. It encodes a message in a ppm format into NTSC and then back in ppm with some configurable noise. It can do this in real-time as an…

External feed Read More at the Source: https://hackaday.com/2022/12/25/encoding-ntsc-with-your-hands-tied/

 2022-12-25  No Responses »
Dec 242022

A startup claims it has launched weather balloons that may have released reflective sulfur particles in the stratosphere, potentially crossing a controversial barrier in the field of solar geoengineering. That refers to deliberate efforts to manipulate the climate by reflecting more sunlight back into space, mimicking a natural process that occurs in the aftermath of large volcanic eruptions. In theory, spraying sulfur and similar particles in sufficient quantities could potentially ease global warming. It’s not technically difficult to release such compounds in the stratosphere. But scientists have mostly refrained from carrying out even small-scale outdoor experiments (though not entirely). And it’s not clear that any have yet injected materials into that specific layer of the atmosphere in the…

External feed Read More at the Source: https://www.technologyreview.com/2022/12/24/1066041/a-startup-says-its-begun-releasing-particles-into-the-atmosphere-in-an-effort-to-tweak-the-climate/

 2022-12-24  No Responses »
Dec 242022

 I picked up a sample of incense from my favourite Indian shop in Southampton the other day –  Shekhar’s Natural Handmade Incense Sticks Nag Champa – and it put me in mind of Ramakrishna’s Natural Handmade Incense, which some people have been recommending to me, and I was curious to compare them, so I decided to explore Ramakrishna’s incense, and have bought a big selection via GoaBay. I’m happy I did – it’s good stuff. It doesn’t quite live up to the hype, but it’s worth getting at a reasonable price. There is little difference between Shekahr and Ramakrishna – the incense is clearly made in the same manner with the same recipes, and packaged in the same way. They…

External feed Read More at the Source: http://incenseinthewind.blogspot.com/2022/12/ramakrishnas-natural-handmade-incense.html

 2022-12-24  No Responses »
Dec 242022

Our Christmas present to you: a long-lost Eugene V. Debs article on the famed 1914 Christmas truce, in which German and British soldiers dropped their weapons for a day and played football together — displaying humanity in the face of barbarity.
An illustration of British and German troops suspending hostilities for Christmas in 1914. (Print Collector / Getty Images) The soldiers engaged in the European slaughter have become entirely too friendly with each other. They have in fact fraternized when they have had a chance instead of fratriciding.
And this has been pronounced a crime and threatened with punishment as the following cablegram explains:
The German army authorities have issued a general order…

External feed Read More at the Source: https://jacobin.com/2022/12/eugene-debs-christmas-day-truce/

 2022-12-24  No Responses »