Some researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have succeeded in making a rectenna that works at light frequencies:

From Hack-a-Day

Using multiwall carbon nanotubes, researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology have created what they say are the first optical rectennas–antennas with rectifiers that produce DC current. The work could lead to new technology for advanced photodetectors, new ways to convert waste heat to electricity and, possibly, more efficient ways to capture solar energy.

A paper in Nature Nanotechnology describes how light striking the nanotube antennas create a charge that moves through attached rectifiers. Challenges included making the antennas small enough for optical wavelengths, and creating diodes small enough and fast enough to work at the extremely short wavelengths. The rectifiers switch on and off at petahertz speeds (something the Institute says is a record).

It takes billions of rectennas to produce significant current and the efficiency of the devices is less than one percent. However, researchers believe that a rectenna with commercial potential may be available within a year. Given that the devices are made with vapor deposition nanotechnology techniques, they might be hard to make at the local hackerspace. On the other hand, hackers are a resourceful bunch and who knows what we might see in the future?

This has great potential - commercial solar cells hit an efficiency wall at around 23% - if these arrays can be scaled up successfully and cheaply enough, the efficiency could be a lot higher and solar power could become viable without the current huge government subsidies...

Very cool!

Quite the list

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Sean Hannity has compiled a list of laws that Hillary Clinton has potentially violated:

Here’s The List Of The Laws Hillary Has Potentially Violated
As new details about Hillary Clinton’s email servers trickles out, the number of potential criminal violations she has committed continues to pile up.

Former Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani now estimates that Clinton has run afoul of 13-15 federal statutes. The list potentially includes the improper transmission and handling of confidential information, mail fraud statutes, wire fraud statutes, and obstruction of justice.

 “The case is getting so strong now that it’s going to be really hard to have an intellectually honest decision and walk away from it,” the former federal prosecutor claimed on Thursday’s Hannity adding that, “she has also proven that she is completely grossly negligent in the handling of sensitive information, and we want someone like this for President of the United States?”

Sean lists the big four and the penalty: 

Unauthorized Removal And Retention Of Classified Documents Or Material
18 U.S.C. § 1924
Class: A Misdemeanor
Possible Penalty: Imprisonment for 1 year and/or $100,000 fine
Text: “Knowingly removing materials containing classified information of the United States with the intent to retain said info at an unauthorized location without the authority to do so”

Gathering, Transmitting Or Losing Defense Information
18 U.S.C. § 793
Class: Felony
Possible Penalty: Imprisonment for 10 years and/or $250,000 fine
Text: “Allowing [by means of gross negligence] any document relating to the national defense to be removed from its proper place of custody or destroyed –or- willfully retaining unauthorized documents relating to national defense and failing to deliver them to the United States employee entitled to receive them –or- failure to report that unauthorized documents relating to national defense were removed from their proper place of custody or destroyed”

Concealment, Removal, Or Mutilation Generally
18 U.S.C. § 2071
Class: Felony
Possible Penalty: Imprisonment of no more than 3 years, a fine, or both
Text: “Whoever, having the custody of any such record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing, willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same”

Destruction, Alteration, Or Falsification Of Records In Federal Investigations And Bankruptcy
18 U.S.C. § 1519
Class: Felony
Possible Penalty: Imprisonment of no more than 20 years, a fine, or both
Text: “Whoever knowingly alters, destroys, mutilates, conceals, covers up, falsifies, or makes a false entry in any record, document, or tangible object with the intent to impede, obstruct, or influence the investigation or proper administration of any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States”

And, of course if it were one of us, we would be in jail already. If this was a Republican, the media would be up in arms and the lynch mob would be outside their house.

Hillary? Not a peep.

Off for a bit

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Farrier came and went - heading out to pick up pastries for the store and get a mid-afternoon coffee. Check the mailbox too.

Got a couple of steaks thawing for dinner - oven roasted taters and some frozen corn.

A new Coen Brothers film - Hail Caesar

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Looks like a lot of fun:

Nothing much this morning

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Waiting for the farrier to arrive to give Sam and Rocky their mani-pedi.

Got a couple other things I need to get to so wondering when they will arrive. At least the forecast was wrong and it is not raining buckets...

Back from the meeting

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It ran a little long tonight but it was really good - I come away from these with several sheets of stuff to Google and learn and tonight was no exception. Various radio networks, sending digital information over the air, a very cool antenna design, a couple things that FEMA is doing so that various governmental agencies can work with ham radio operators and two pieces of software that look like fun.

Whew! Decompressing with a glass or three of wine and then off to bed. The farrier is coming out tomorrow to take care of Rocky and Sam. Supposed to be raining buckets but we can work in the barn.

RIP - Paul Prudhomme - from the New Orleans, LA Times-Picayune:

Internationally known chef Paul Prudhomme dies at age 75
Paul Prudhomme, the Louisiana chef who ignited a nationwide craze for Creole and Cajun cooking and profoundly influenced American cuisine, died on Thursday (Oct. 8). He was 75.

Mr. Prudhomme, whose fame spread through tours, cookbooks and videos, became nationally prominent shortly after he and K Hinrichs, the woman he would marry, opened their restaurant, K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen, in July 1979 at 416 Chartres St.

At first, it was a neighborhood restaurant, a dim, even cozy spot in an unpretentious brick building, designed for French Quarter residents and their friends. But word of its specialties — redfish Czarina, sweet-potato pecan pie and, of course, blackened redfish — spread, and out-of-town food writers — most notably Craig Claiborne of The New York Times — joined the line outside the door. They came out raving over what they ate inside.

A star was born.

Crap... He will be missed.

Pick and Place

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Electronics geeks have always made their own devices - I have personally designed and etched circuit boards and stuffed them with components and built various devices ranging from audio and electronic music to computer interfaces and some scientific instrumentation./ Fun stuff.

With the advances in electronics, one aspect is that the parts have become much smaller - leading to a situation where some components are physically too small to be placed on a circuit board by hand - not accurate enough. Common components can be as small as 0.4 by 0.2 millimeters. Tiny!

The workaround is called a Pick and Place machine but these have been huge machines ( up to ten foot square) and correspondingly expensive (hundreds of K-bucks). Fortunately, other people have been working on this problem  and here is one solution: LitePlacer From their website:

LitePlacer – The Prototyping Pick and Place Machine
LitePlacer is a pick and place machine aimed for a prototype building stage. LitePlacer:

  • is accurate! – Reliably places 0402 passives
  • is easy to assemble! – No special tools or precision instruments needed
  • has vision! – Two cameras
  • is affordable! – DIY kit is $1299

This is truly a fun time to be alive! There are now Chinese companies who will make good quality printed circuit boards for amazingly cheap. We will now see people setting up board stuffing businesses to take these boards and populate them with the required components and solder them. The Maker movement is solidly underway!

Off to town for the day

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Heading into town in 30 minutes or so - need to return some hardware (already had what I needed) and will be attending an Emergency Communications meeting tonight at the county emergency center. (soooper seeekret location!). Getting a bite to eat in town too. Lulu is making a quiche - not my favorite dish so she can enjoy it while I am out.

The mind boggles

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I was surfing Craigslist this morning and this advertisement caught my eye:


Always wanted to get in on the ground floor of a UNIGUE publication. Especially one with an Internet presense.

I hope they get a decent copy editor - they are clearly not up to the task themselves. Talk about being barely literate...

The proximity of French train hero Alek Skarlatos to the muslim shooter at Umpqua Community College in Oregon was an interesting coincidence.

Now, we have this from California's Sacramento Bee:

French train attack hero Spencer Stone stabbed in midtown Sacramento
French train hero and Sacramento native Spencer Stone was stabbed in midtown Sacramento early Thursday, but police say he was not targeted because of his worldwide notoriety.

Instead, Sacramento police said on Twitter that the incident, which occurred after midnight near a strip of bars, appeared to be alcohol related and was not a terrorist act, the tweet said. Stone was one of the three men from Sacramento who stopped a terrorist attack aboard a train bound for Paris in August.

“Airman 1st Class Stone is in stable condition,” the Air Force said on its Twitter account. “Please keep him and his family in your thoughts.”

And a bit more:

Stone, Alex Skarlatos and Anthony Sadler are three friends who were hailed as international heroes after thwarting a gunman armed with an assault rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in August. They since have visited President Obama in the Oval Office and were honored by a parade in Sacramento.

Probably unrelated but still...

Aaaand that is it for the evening.

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Lulu is running a fever and I am feeling something niggling around my defenses. We both started taking shots of Elderberry tincture today but still...

Nothing more tonight. Heading into town tomorrow to pick up a few things and an emergency communications group meeting later that evening.

Heading out to the radio room to surf the aether for an hour and then to an early bed - been sleeping in too late recently so need to get back on a (what passes for) normal schedule.

Running Windows 7?

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Right click on the desktop, select New. Select Folder.

Your new Folder will appear on the Desktop and it will be named New Folder.

Click once on it with your mouse to select it, hit [F2] to select Rename and give it this name:

(Windows Cut and Paste works wonders here)

The Folder icon will change and it will look like your Control Panel icon.

You can now enter Windows 7 God Mode. (a debugging tool for developers)

You are welcome!

More options from cNet - a lot of this info is five years old but I have never been one to be invited to the cool parties...

Was there a specific target? We know that the shooter had ties to islamic radicals - who could have also been at the school that day?

From Matthew Vadum writing at American Thinker:

Was the Oregon mass shooting an Islamist attempt to assassinate Alek Skarlatos?
Was last week's massacre at Umpqua Community College in Oregon a failed attempt to assassinate a Christian American hero for thwarting a Muslim terrorist train attack this summer in France?

There may simply be a series of unlikely coincidences at play, or there may be circumstantial evidence suggesting that anti-jihadist hero Alek Skarlatos was an intended target of Chris Harper-Mercer, who put several Christians to death in an Umpqua classroom on Thursday, Oct. 1 for being Christian.

Read on and decide for yourself if Harper-Mercer may have wanted to make an example of Skarlatos for the world to see.

And although no evidence revealed thus far directly indicates Harper-Mercer was influenced by Islamic State, plenty of evidence suggests the shooter was acting in furtherance of the Islamic goal of global jihad.  Maybe the massacre was intended as a kind of jihadist payback hit.

Islamic State (a.k.a. ISIS, ISIL, and Daesh) apparently claimed responsibility on Twitter for the killings Harper-Mercer carried out at Umpqua.  The tweet states, "Again #Oregon #USA #WashingtonDC #IslamicState #ISIS #USA[,]" and displays a graphic with the words “Slay Americans” in front of an image of a man in the process of being beheaded.

In August the very high-profile Skarlatos, a devout Christian, helped to disarm Ayoub El-Khazzani, a Moroccan with ties to radical Islam, on a high-speed train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris.  The Islamist was armed with a Kalashnikov rifle, a Luger pistol, and a box cutter.  Skarlatos and his two American friends traveling with him received France's highest honor, the Legion d'Honneur, from French President François Hollande.  Last month they were feted at the White House and the Pentagon.  Skarlatos received the U.S. Army's Soldier's Medal.

Skarlatos has publicly acknowledged that he is currently a student at Umpqua, near Roseburg, Ore., and that he was supposed to be attending classes there on Thursday when Harper-Mercer went on a bloody rampage.

More specifically, Skarlatos said he was supposed to be present that day in Snyder Hall, the same building where Harper-Mercer carried out his massacre.

There is a lot more at the site - Matthew builds a compelling argument.

The shooter was not the conservative that the media make him out to be - his sympathies were aligned with the Irish Republican Army (known to work with PLO and Hezbolah), Hitler's Schultzstaffel (S.S.) and one of his two MySpace links was with Mahmoud Ali Ehsani who hosted a photo album titled, “Classic – The Mujahideen Collection LOL,” featuring Islamic terrorists from several countries, including Palestine, Iran, and Pakistan, among others.

Another pathetic islamofascist nutcase.

Working on a document and heading out to the radio room to browse the aether for an hour or two...

Got some rain scheduled to come in over the next couple of days.

Fun movie inspired by Georges Melies

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Got to get me some of those Acme Helium Pills. Be sure to watch the final couple of minutes when the special effects are revealed. Fun use of forced perspective, stop motion and green screen.

Hat tip to James Gurney for the link.

Hutton’s Unconformity

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One of the most famous geological sites in the world:

It was what convinced Scientist James Hutton that the Earth had to be extremely old.

Hat tip Gerard.

Think twice about tossing your old boarding pass - especially if you fly frequently.

From security expert Brian Krebs:

What’s in a Boarding Pass Barcode? A Lot
The next time you’re thinking of throwing away a used boarding pass with a barcode on it, consider tossing the boarding pass into a document shredder instead. Two-dimensional barcodes and QR codes can hold a great deal of information, and the codes printed on airline boarding passes may allow someone to discover more about you, your future travel plans, and your frequent flyer account.

Earlier this year, I heard from a longtime KrebsOnSecurity reader named Cory who said he began to get curious about the data stored inside a boarding pass barcode after a friend put a picture of his boarding pass up on Facebook. Cory took a screen shot of the boarding pass, enlarged it, and quickly found a site online that could read the data.

“I found a website that could decode the data and instantly had lots of info about his trip,” Cory said, showing this author step-by-step exactly how he was able to find this information. ‘

“Besides his name, frequent flyer number and other [personally identifiable information], I was able to get his record locator (a.k.a. “record key” for the Lufthansa flight he was taking that day,” Cory said. “I then proceeded to Lufthansa’s website and using his last name (which was encoded in the barcode) and the record locator was able to get access to his entire account. Not only could I see this one flight, but I could see ANY future flights that were booked to his frequent flyer number from the Star Alliance.”

This is just surreal - I could see encoding this information if you were flying out of a grass airfield somewhere without internet access but from a major airport?

Much more at the site. Your best bet is to keep it and shred it later.

The middle east 112 years ago

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It is a cess-pit now and it was a cess-pit then. Check this out (click to embiggen):


Judge was a satire magazine of the late 1800s through as late as 1947 when it ceased publication.

Hat tip to The Silicon Graybeard for the link.

Firefighters at risk from chemical

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This story just in from Call The Cops:

Report finds Firefighters at risk due to exposure to the chemical Dihydrogen Monoxide
It seems everyday there is a new risk to being a firefighter. Chemicals found on fire scenes and absorbed into turnout gear have been linked to many illness. Now a chemical found in fire hose is raising an alarm.

Fire Attack - A newly published scientific study in the Journal of Chemical Reaction and Human Hazards in Extreme Workplace Environments, sheds light on this new chemical danger.

According to the study…

Dihydrogen Monoxide is a colorless and odorless chemical compound. At room temperatures it is a non-viscous liquid, but at high temperatures as found in fires it can turn into a vapor.

Inhalation of Dihydrogen Monoxide can cause respiratory distress. Death will result from an excessive amount being inhaled.

Exposure to the vapor from Dihydrogen Monoxide will cause burns. Again death is a possibility with an excessive exposure.

Fire hoses release Dihydrogen Monoxide during normal firefighting operations.

The researchers offered no recommendations on dealing with the dangers of Dihydrogen Monoxide. There have been no long term studies to check the effects Dihydrogen Monoxide contact has with human and the likely hood of it triggering other illnesses.

More studies on the effects of Dihydrogen Monoxide will be needed to find out the full extent of the danger to firefighters.

Please note: Call the Cops is a satire site and Dihydrogen Monoxide is just the scientific name for plain old water.

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