Archive for ‘Technology’

January 2, 2021

Rocking Chair

Michael Thonet

rocking chair or rocker is a type of chair with two curved bands (also known as rockers) attached to the bottom of the legs, connecting the legs on each side to each other. The rockers contact the floor at only two points, giving the occupant the ability to rock back and forth by shifting their weight or pushing lightly with their feet. Rocking chairs are most commonly made of wood. Some rocking chairs can fold.

Rocking cradles long predate rocking chairs; an example exists from antiquity, found in the ruins of Herculaneum. Michael Thonet, a German craftsman, created the first bentwood rocking chair in 1860. This design is distinguished by its graceful shape and its light weight. These rocking chairs were influenced by Greek and Roman designs as well as Renaissance and colonial era artistry.

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December 22, 2020

Cozy Bear

Cozy Bear

Cozy Bear, classified by the U.S. as advanced persistent threat APT29, is a Russian hacker group believed to be associated with one or more intelligence agencies of Russia.

In June 2016, Cozy Bear was implicated alongside the hacker group Fancy Bear in the Democratic National Committee cyber attacks. While the two groups were both present in the DNC’s servers at the same time, they appeared to be unaware of the other, each independently stealing the same passwords and otherwise duplicating their efforts. A CrowdStrike forensic team determined that while Cozy Bear had been on the DNC’s network for over a year, Fancy Bear had only been there a few weeks. Cozy Bear’s more sophisticated tradecraft and interest in traditional long-term espionage suggest that the group originates from a separate Russian intelligence agency.

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December 21, 2020

Dogecoin

Doge

Dogecoin [dowzh-coin] (Ð) is a cryptocurrency featuring a likeness of the Shiba Inu dog from the ‘Doge’ Internet meme as its logo. Introduced as a ‘joke currency’ in 2013, Dogecoin quickly developed its own online community and reached a capitalization of $60 million within months.

It’s market capitalization peaked in 2018 at $2b; today it is pegged at $600m. In July 2020 the price of Dogecoin spiked following a TikTok trend aiming to get the coin’s price to $1.

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October 13, 2020

Citation Needed

xkcd

Citation needed is a tag added by Wikipedia editors to unsourced statements in articles requesting citations to be added. The phrase is reflective of the policies of verifiability and no original research in Wikipedia and has become a general Internet meme.

By Wikipedia policy, editors should add citations for content, to ensure accuracy and neutrality, and to avoid original research. In June 2005, Chris Sherlock, a Wikipedia editor with the username Ta bu shi da yu, created the ‘citation needed’ template, to be added to statements without a citation that needed verification. 413,038 articles in the English Wikipedia are currently marked with the template.

October 9, 2020

Quality Bicycle Products

Surly Bikes

Quality Bicycle Products (QBP) is the largest distributor of bicycle parts and accessories in the bicycle industry. The Minnestota-based company owns nineteen brands including Salsa, Surly, and All-City. QBP is also the exclusive U.S. distributor of Lazer Helmets, a Belgian manufacturer of high performance bicycle and snow helmets, and through its Q-Active division, the company distributes products to independent ski, run and outdoor retailers.

Founded by Steve Flagg and Mary Henrickson in 1981, QBP operated from a small office in St. Paul and got its start in mountain bikes. QBP also specialized in importing hard-to-find mountain-bike parts from suppliers in Japan.

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October 7, 2020

Speedwell Ironworks

Alfred Vail

Speedwell Ironworks was an ironworks in Speedwell Village, on Speedwell Avenue (part of U.S. Route 202), just north of downtown Morristown, in Morris County, New Jersey where Alfred Vail and Samuel Morse first demonstrated their electric telegraph.

Speedwell Ironworks also provided most of the machinery for the SS Savannah, the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean. The site is still open to the public, and has seven buildings on display. The site, now named Historical Speedwell, is a historic site of the Morris County Park Commission and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1974, preserving seven buildings

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September 14, 2020

Brushing

Fake reviews

Brushing is a type of fraud used in e-commerce that boosts a seller’s ratings by sending unsolicited products to individuals to raise order counts and substantiate fake reviews.

A seller can engage in brushing by paying someone a small amount to place a fake order, or just using another person’s information to place an order themselves. Because a shipment usually has to take place for an order to be considered valid by the e-commerce site, the seller will frequently ship an empty box or some cheap item. These fake orders, if unnoticed, can boost the seller’s rating, which can make it more likely that their items will appear at the top of search results on e-commerce sites.

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July 22, 2020

Art Car

Department of Mutant Vehicles

An art car is a vehicle that has had its appearance modified as an act of personal artistic expression. Art cars are often driven and owned by their creators, who are sometimes referred to as ‘Cartists.’

Most car artists are ordinary people with no artistic training. Artists are largely self-taught and self funded, though some mainstream trained artists have also worked in the art car medium. Artists like Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and others have designed BMW Art Cars, a project introduced by French racecar driver and auctioneer Hervé Poulain In 1975, and their work has been reflected in racing cars like the BMW V12 LMR.

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July 20, 2020

Low-background Steel

Background radiation

Low-background steel is any steel produced prior to the detonation of the first nuclear bombs in the 1940s and 1950s. With the Trinity test and the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, and then subsequent nuclear weapons testing during the early years of the Cold War, background radiation levels increased across the world.

Modern steel is contaminated with radionuclides because its production uses atmospheric air. Low-background steel is so-called because it does not suffer from such nuclear contamination. This steel is used in devices that require the highest sensitivity for detecting radionuclides. The primary source of low-background steel is sunken ships that were constructed before the Trinity test, most famously the scuttled German World War I warships in Scapa Flow.

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May 17, 2020

Boardwalk

Steel Pier

boardwalk is an elevated footpath, walkway, or causeway built with wooden planks that enables pedestrians to cross wet, fragile, or marshy land. They are also in effect a low type of bridge. Such timber trackways have existed since at least Neolithic times (12,000 years ago).

An early example is the ‘Sweet Track’ that Neolithic people built in the Somerset levels, England, around 6,000 years ago. This track consisted mainly of planks of oak laid end-to-end, supported by crossed pegs of ash, oak, and lime, driven into the underlying peat (partially decayed vegetation).

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May 4, 2020

George Barris

Batmobile

George Barris (1925 – 2015) was an American designer and builder of many famous Hollywood custom cars, most notably the Munster Koach and 1966 Batmobile.

George and his brother Sam were born in Chicago in the 1920s. Barris was three years old when their father, a Greek immigrant from Chios, sent the brothers to live with an uncle and his wife in Roseville, California, following the death of their mother. By age 7, Barris was making models of cars employing balsa wood and modifying their design and appearance with careful attention to details so his entries won contests sponsored by hobby shops.

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April 26, 2020

Zombie Satellite

LES-5

zombie satellite is a satellite that is no longer under human control due to an extended malfunction. At the end of their service life, the majority of satellites suffer from orbital decay and are destroyed by the heat of atmospheric entry. Zombie satellites, however, maintain a stable orbit but are either partially or completely inoperable, preventing operators from communicating with them.

One of the oldest known zombie satellites is Transit 5B-5, which was launched in 1965 as part of the Transit system. Also known as NAVSAT or NNSS (for Navy Navigation Satellite System), it is one of the first satellite navigation systems (or satnav). Transit 5B-5 is nuclear powered and still in a stable polar orbit, though operators are unable to control it.

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