Hackaday links: April 10, 2022
A funny thing happened on the way to the delta. The one on the Jezero crater on Mars, i.e. like the Perseverance The rover may have captured a glimpse of the parachute that helped deliver it to the Red Planet just over a year ago. Getting the rover safely to the Martian surface was an incredibly complex undertaking, made all the more impressive by the fact that it was completely autonomous. The parachute, which slowed the descent vehicle holding the rover, was dropped long before the “Sky Crane” deployed to lower the rover to the surface. The parachute surfaced just over a kilometer from the landing zone. NASA has not confirmed that what is seen in the raw images is the chute; in fact, they didn’t even recognize the big white thing which is obviously not a rock at all in the photo. Perhaps they reserve their final judgment until they are overflown by the Ingenuity helicopter, which is currently landed not far from where the descent stage crashed. We would like to see pictures of this wreck.
We recently had a 3D Printing Metal Hack Chat where Agustin Cruz came to talk about his attempt to build an affordable electron beam sintering printer. The chat was great, and now Agustin has made a bunch of progress that’s worth watching. The idea behind electron beam sintering is simple – it’s basically a pumped up version of the electron gun and deflection coils on the back of a CRT, which explodes on a bed of metal powder. fine to sinter it together, layer by layer. The details, however, like vacuum working, precise deposition of a new layer of powder and precise control of beam power and position, are not trivial. Check out Agustin’s progress on his Hackaday.io project.
Do you consider yourself a boring person? Chances are it doesn’t – it seems like being boring is like having bad breath, in that it’s hard to tell if you have it. But according to a new study, annoying people aren’t just quantifiable, but the stereotypes about them are all roughly true — or at least consistent. The methodology seems a bit subjective, however – participants were asked to provide a brief description of a boring person, which hilariously included former US Vice President Al Gore for his “really monotonous speech” and “no emotion”. They then dreamed up personality characteristics, hobbies and occupations for these stereotypical bores, coming up with things like endless stories, geocaching and bookkeeping. Feeling personally attacked by this point, we don’t read any further, but the take-home message seems to be that while everyone is boring to someone, you really have to work at it to be boring to everyone else.
If you listen to the Hackaday podcast, which of course immediately disqualifies you from the cohort of boring people, you’ll know all about the “What’s That Sound?” segment, where a short snippet of a tech-relevant sound is played, and if you can identify it, wealth and fame await. Well, if you can’t get enough of that stuff, head to the Museum of Disappearing Sounds, which seeks to preserve our hearing heritage before it’s gone. So far, the site only has a handful of sounds, including AIM message alert, old Nokia ringtone, Windows 95 startup, floppy drive searching for tracks, and sound of a cartridge inserted into a Nintendo NES, with the obligatory blow on the connector. We can think of thousands more sounds worth preserving, and while we can’t see any way to contribute sounds, it might be worth pinging the owner if you can think of anything.
And finally, I share with you the following photo, sent by my son, currently a student at the University of Idaho, taken moments before his abduction attempt:
Fortunately, he managed to avoid the slow swarm and escape. I count thirteen of these Starship delivery robots in the photo, doing who the hell knows what. Are they returning to base for the night? On the way to a general meeting? Or maybe they are on strike and working the picket line? Hard to say, but it’s interesting behavior for these things.