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Inexpensive Digital Calipers

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I don’t know how I went so long without digital calipers, but I finally got them a few years ago. This cheap set of digital calipers can measure inside diameters, outside diameters, and depths of things up to 6 inches. The display is digital and you can choose between inches and millimeters.

This tool was recommended by John Park on the Cool Tools podcast. Listen to the full podcast here.

-- John Edgar Park

Electronix Express 0604CAL6++ LCD Digital Caliper with Extra Battery and Case, 6″

Available from Amazon

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rraszews
23 days ago
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Got a pair of these. Their only drawback is that there's no auto-off so I often take them out and find that I bumped the button putting them away and now the battery is dead.
Columbia, MD

A Matrix Resurrections Star Confirms Who They're Really Playing

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Teddy Ruxpin wants to claw his way back to movie and TV stardom. Keira Knightley is hosting a Christmas party at the end of the world in a new look at Silent Night. Disney’s Willow show finds itself a composer. Plus, what’s to come on American Horror Story, Evil, What We Do in the Shadows, and more. Spoilers, away!

Read more...

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rraszews
47 days ago
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There is an AMAZING third-act twist in the original Teddy Ruxpin animated series where about 5 episodes before the end, the main antagonist decides to just give up evil and become a surfer.
Columbia, MD

Boeing 747-400 planes use floppy disks for major software updates #VintageComputing #Aviation

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Interesting Engineering reported last year that the 747 uses floppy drives as a navigation database loader and planes require an update every 28 days, according to Gizmodo. This means there exists an engineer who makes monthly visits to every 747-400 — flopping floppy disk in hand — and manually deliver every update, personally.

Additionally, the majority of Boeing 737’s are also updated with floppy disks, reports The Verge. Operators of these planes carry binders stuffed with floppy disks for “all the avionics that they may need,” according to a 2014 Aviation Today report. This means important information about runways, flight paths, airports, and waypoints pilots need to write flight plans.

This has been widely-known since 2014, which raises the question: why hasn’t anyone brought the aviation industry up to speed with the 21st century? An Aviation Today report noted that even now a “significant number of airlines are still using floppy disks for software parts loading.”

Of course, we should say that the 747-400 is an aging plane — its first flight happened 32 years ago, when floppy disks were cutting-edge, in 1988. Now they simply maintain commercial and industrial legacy systems — economic sectors built to last and not adapt to changing standards of computing technology.

You can see the article here and a DefCon video tour of the aircraft

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rraszews
51 days ago
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I assume the answer is "Because no one wants to be the guy who introduced a serious bug by messing with a system that has been working for decades"
Columbia, MD

Body Language

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hey cool body

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rraszews
93 days ago
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This seems like the perfect moment for a "Homoeroticism, yay" joke.
Columbia, MD

Excessive Coffee Drinking Linked to Dementia

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A massive study found a startling link between heavy coffee drinking and an increased risk of dementia and other brain diseases.

Bad news for the caffeine-crazed among us. A massive new study linked excessive coffee drinking — and we’re talking excessive — to a considerably greater risk of developing dementia later in life.

After probing the medical records of 17,702 volunteers in the UK Biobank database, a team of scientists from the University of South Australia found a startling correlation between drinking lots of coffee — seven or more cups per day — and a 53 percent increase in their dementia risk.

And it’s not just dementia. The study, which the team published last month in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience, also shows a link between heavy coffee drinking and a greater prevalence of physical changes in the brain and other neurological diseases. All in all, it’s a shocking revelation about the dangerous side of what’s by far one of the most popular recreational drugs around the world.

“Accounting for all possible permutations, we consistently found that higher coffee consumption was significantly associated with reduced brain volume,” lead study author and University of South Australia neuroscientist Kitty Pham said in a university press release. “Essentially, drinking more than six cups of coffee a day may be putting you at risk of brain diseases such as dementia and stroke.”

Coffee is one of those things that, alongside wine and chocolate, seems to be stuck in a never-ending back and forth of research studies saying it’ll either improve or ruin your health. The fact is that nutritional research is extremely difficult, so different studies tend to point in different directions. But the sheer scale of this new study, coupled with the extremely high coffee intake it examined, grants it extra credibility.

The researchers say that they’re not yet sure why drinking so much coffee is correlated with an increased risk of stroke or dementia. But either way, they added that you probably don’t need to abstain from your daily pick-me-up.

“Typical daily coffee consumption is somewhere between one and two standard cups of coffee,” senior study author Elina Hyppönen said in the release. “Of course, while unit measures can vary, a couple of cups of coffee a day is generally fine. However, if you’re finding that your coffee consumption is heading up toward more than six cups a day, it’s about time you rethink your next drink.”

The post Excessive Coffee Drinking Linked to Dementia appeared first on Futurism.

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rraszews
97 days ago
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I hate when articles like this fail to question which direction the causal arrow goes: does excess coffee consumption INCREASE the risk, or does increased risk prompt increased consumption? I could EASILY imagine that one of the precursors to dementia is "frequently feeling like you could use the kind of boost caffeine gives you"
Columbia, MD

Floppinux – An Embedded Linux on a Single Floppy #Linux @w84death

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Krzysztof Krystian Jankowski has created an embedded Linux distribution from scratch. It fits on a single floppy diskette. At the time of writing, it uses ~1MB of storage. This gives ~400KB free space to use for other software.

This distribution can boot on 486DX PC with 24 MB of ram (did not boot with less using QEMU). On an emulator it boots almost instantly. On bare metal modern hardware, the only thing that prevent those speeds is the actual speed of a floppy drive.

I’m using the latest revision. It’s a feat of it’s own that connects old and new technologies together. At the moment it is Kernel 5.13.0-rc2.

It can also be used in kiosk mode.

See the distro description page for more information.

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rraszews
153 days ago
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24MB of ram is far more than most 486es would've been equipped with.
Columbia, MD
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