Silver Lake by Air

Today was a beautiful autumn Minnesota day. So, it was a perfect opportunity to dust off my DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus quadcopter and shoot some aerial footage of the lake in my backyard, Silver Lake. I’ve compiled the lake tour by air into this video. (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.7&appId=101383699942629"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); Silver Lake By AirAn aerial tour of Silver Lake and the surrounding area.
Read more…

Astrophotography 9/29/2016

It was such a beautiful early fall evening, I decided to head to my dock with my DSLR (Canon T2i) and fast f/1.8 lens to photograph some stars. These photos were taken using a tripod and a 15 to 30 second exposure. My biggest challenge when taking clear photographs of the sky is dealing with light pollution in the Twin Cities metro area. Due to the recent solar storm, I was hoping to observe the Northern Lights, but that was not in the cards tonight.
Read more…

csvkit awesomeness

On one of my recent consulting gigs, I was working with a large multinational client to develop software tools and reports to help continually monitor and improve their Lync videoconferencing installation. As part of this, I’d have to sort through hundreds of thousands of lines of collected data logs containing lots of statistics about all the daily activity on the system. This was truly a “big data” exercise. One set of tools that I found to be incredibly useful in these exercises is called csvkit.
Read more…

App Ideas vs. Execution

Over the many years as an app development consultant, I’ve gotten plenty of requests to implement someone’s “great” app idea for payment of a share of the app’s revenue, often proposed to be 50-50. Furthermore, many times the idea person wants me to sign an NDA and even a non-compete which would prevent working on any app in a related industry. Once I had someone who shared an app idea with me and offered an equity split based on company contribution.
Read more…

DocuMNtary: The Story of Tech in Minnesota

Over the last 22 years since I’ve adopted Minnesota as my home, the tech culture and scene has grown tremendously into a thriving environment for both startup and mature companies, alike. Once people move to Minnesota, many so much love the lifestyle they can lead here that they find it hard to leave. The Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area offers all of the attractions of a large city, combined with the beauty of nature, and a lower cost of living than either of the coasts.
Read more…

Monitoring Air Traffic with SDR

Software-defined radio (SDR) allows you to create radio receivers (and transmitters) with a few simple (and relatively inexpensive) add-on components for your computer: RF tuning card/dongle an antenna The hardware componentry that traditionally was required to tune to a specific frequency and use a particular modulation technique has been moved to a malleable software implmentation. In additon, with the higher bandwidth, you can capture (and tune/demodulate) multiple signals simultaneously with enough computing power.
Read more…

Using APFS in macOS Sierra

CAUTION: APFS support in Sierra is experimental. Do not use for critical data storage. With the arrival of macOS Sierra, a new file system, called the Apple File System or APFS, has been developed by Apple to ultimately replace HFS and HFS Plus, which have been mainstays since 1985. Apple says that APFS will become mainstream within its operating systems (iOS, tvOS, macOS, watchOS) in 2017. For the moment, it’s still in beta (with details and actual disk format subject to change before its release).
Read more…

Parsing the President's Words

Parsing the President’s Words: Dave Winer reads between the lines on Obama’s appearance on Leno. Who can you trust these days? So when President Obama went on Jay Leno last night and said: “We don’t have a domestic spying program. What we do have are some mechanisms where we can track a phone number or an email address that we know is connected to some sort of terrorist threat. And that information is useful.
Read more…

Emoji as a new communication channel...

Japanese teenagers have used Emoji in their text messages for many years, but Emoji’s use in the US (particularly on the iPhone) has gotten traction. It’s interesting that these symbols allow you to express more complex thoughts and emotions, however the nuances around them have not been standardized, between people and definitely between cultures. If I was a linguist, I would be fascinated by their adoption and use, as it’s a quickly evolving written language of its own.
Read more…

Failed Password Attempt Storage

Ref*cktoring highlights an issue that’s bothered me for a long time: what if various websites kept track of your failed password attempts? My moral compass just flips out at the thought of my providers keeping my incorrect login attempts. If you have a handful of passwords that you use between sites, you may be giving your password to another site inadvertently. This probably (I hope!) isn’t a problem with most mainstream sites like Google and Facebook, but could be a bigger issue with some of smaller, less-known sites.
Read more…

Copyright © 2016: All rights reserved by Bill Heyman