Upgrading My Audio & Video Conferencing Platform

For years I have been at the mercy of whatever audio and video hardware happened to be available in the system I have been running at the time. When I worked on my laptop a lot, I would use the built in mic and the webcam in the display for video calls. Later I decided to use a headset with attached mic which improved the quality a bit, at least as far as audio is concerned.

For the past two decades I have been working remotely, which implies a lot of online audio and video calls. COVID-19 did not help. So I decided I needed an upgrade - especially considering I did not even have a webcam on my Mac Pro (I do have one on my laptop but it is not convenient to switch computers when being called online).

Current Setup
Current Setup
Full Article

AI Content

I was just looking for a small electronic part when I found this web site:


I started reading it but my uncanny valley alarm bells went off. I am 99% sure this has been written by an AI bot... The whole article is completely pointless. I foresee many more such websites popping up and one day we will not know whether a human wrote content or an AI - this will be very scary when it comes to issues of humanity or news.

Top 10 Most Annoying Things In Life

  1. Top 10 lists
  2. Top 9 lists
  3. Top 8 lists
  4. Top 7 lists
  5. Top 6 lists
  6. Top 5 lists
  7. Top 4 lists
  8. Top 3 lists
  9. Top 2 lists
  10. Top 1 lists

Project #13: Pasta Drying Rack

After getting a pasta making machine (basically just a device with some rollers, some cutters and a hand crank that allows you to roll out the pasta dough to a perfectly thin profile, and cut the pasta into linguine or other strip uniformly), I needed a place to allow the home made pasta to dry out. A countertop works, but real estate is at a premium. So I came up with this:

Pasta Drying Rack
Pasta Drying Rack

The piece was made from Maple. The stem is joined to the base via a mortise and tenon joint. The stem is hand planed to an octagonal shape. There are eight dowels made from square stock and various hand planes. The holes were drilled with a brace and bit. Lastly, I finished it with 4 coats of water based Varathane.

Full Article

Online Security & Data Breaches

If you look at the trend of reported data breaches, in 2004 there was one major reported breach by AOL. By 2008 this increased to 21, including companies such as Starbucks, AT&T, Stanford University and T-Mobile. Fast forward to 2020, and I can't be bothered to count them.

Clearly there is a big problem here. I am pretty sure most people will agree that this is disconcerting. These breaches usually meant that some of your confidential information has been stolen by malicious parties without your consent. This may be as benign as an email address, or it could be your social security (insurance) number. It can be as minimally disruptive as getting slightly more spam email than usual, or as bad as getting threatened to be exposed and then committing suicide.

So who is at risk? You might assume only large corporates are targets, and to some degree you are correct. Larger, or more public companies tend to be the focus of specific, targeted attacks more often than smaller, lesser known companies. This is no different from life in general - the more visible somebody is, the more attractive target they will be. The problem for smaller companies is the fact that they are often targeted by automated systems constantly scanning for vulnerable targets, also known as targets of opportunity.

Full Article