Blog Index for May 2018

Massive market in China for factory machinery

(May 29, 2018) This massive market in Yiwu City specializes in showcasing factory machines and the associated parts. The video is second in a series looking at the massive scope of China's industry. In both we're looking at the massive industry in China that's making almost everything we buy in stores no matter where we go. The International Production Materials Market has the machines and materials used by factories to make those products.

See this amazing ultra-quiet ultra-powerful custom Intel i7 PC build

(May 28, 2018)

An ultra-powerful PC with high end CPU and high end graphics is supposed to be loud because of the cooling fans, supposedly. In actuality an ingenious air cooling system coupled with low-noise fans can keep even a high-end system cool while making essentially no noise. Watching this makes me think of Apple, whose attempts at low-noise ultra-powerful machines look pale in comparison to the visual esthetics of this computer.

DIY Solar powered Weather Station [WiFi, MQTT, Smart Home, ESP8266]

(May 27, 2018)

Why spend a zillion dollars on a commercial weather station that doesn't do what you want? With some time and ingenuity you can design and build your own weather station.

Peeking inside the dizzying breadth of China's manufacturing prowess

(May 13, 2018) Almost everything is Made In China, with a whole gamut of ramifications. China is receiving all the economic wealth that used to flow to corporations with local manufacturing - every factory that relocates to China gives China more economic power. Shipping products from oversees adds to the environmental burden of those products, because of the dirty diesel fuel burned to transport products across the planet. It is difficult to wrap your head around the extent of the manufacturing in China, until you go there and see it for yourself. The next best thing is watching videos made by people who travel there in our place, to show us actual conditions.

Apple's Mac Mini inexcusably trounced by the Intel NUC

(May 12, 2018)

Apple is losing to Intel in the Mini-versus-NUC battle. Ten+ years ago the Mac Mini was a very interesting machine, small enough to stick in a corner so we could put our computing where we want. But Intel's NUC is a better Mini than the Mini ever was, and Intel is selling a ton of NUC's. Apple should be ashamed of themselves.

Google Duplex, the AI Assistant we should avoid using

(May 9, 2018) Google demo'd a cool "Digital Assistant" that will solve first-world problems like booking restaurant reservations. You will tell the Google service "book an appointment" and it will attempt to do so with an API, or else by placing a phone call and pretending to be a human. That leaves us without the supposed hassle of making the appointment. Sounds cool, eh? And it is an awesome achievement in artificial intelligence, to make something that can mimic humans well enough to handle human tasks. At the same time its best to be very very wary because of the potential for misuse. Google and others are waiving their hands and saying don't worry. I say - we should all worry about this - while Google may be deploying it with safeguards, others will develop a similar thing and not all will enable safeguards.