Hackaday Links: March 17, 2019

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There’s now an official Raspberry Pi keyboard and mouse. The mouse is a mouse clad in pink and white plastic, but the Pi keyboard has some stuff going for it. It’s small, which is what you want for a Pi keyboard, and it has a built-in USB hub. Even Apple got that idea right with the first iMac keyboard. The keyboard and mouse combo are available for £22.00

A new Raspberry Pi keyboard and a commemorative 50p coin from the Royal Mint featuring the works of Stephen Hawking? Wow, Britain is tearing up the headlines recently.

Just because, here’s a Power Wheels Barbie Jeep with a 55 HP motor. Interesting things to note here is how simple this build actually is. If you look at some of the Power Wheels Racing cars, they have actual diffs on the rear axle. This build gets a ton of points for the suspension, though. Somewhere out there on the Internet, there is the concept of the perfect Power Wheels conversion. There might be a drive shaft instead of a drive chain, there might be an electrical system, and someone might have figured out how someone over the age of 12 can fit comfortably in a Power Wheels Jeep. No one has done it yet.

AI is taking away our free speech! Free speech, as you’re all aware, applies to all speech in all forms, in all venues. Except you specifically can’t yell fire in a movie theater, that’s the one exception. Now AI researchers are treading on your right to free speech, an affront to the Gadsden flag flying over our compound and the ‘no step on snek’ patch on our tactical balaclava, with a Chrome plugin. This plugin filter’s ‘toxic’ comments with AI, but there’s an unintended consequence: people want need to read what I have to say, and this will filter it out! The good news is that it doesn’t work on Hackaday because our commenting system is terrible.

This week was the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web, first proposed on March 11, 1989 by Tim Berners-Lee. The web, and to a greater extent, the Internet, is the single most impactful invention of the last five hundred years; your overly simplistic view of world history can trace modern western hegemony and the reconnaissance to Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press, and so it will be true with the Internet. Tim’s NeXT cube, in a case behind glass at CERN, will be viewed with the same reverence as Gutenberg’s first printing press (if it had survived, but you get where I’m going with this). Five hundred years from now, the major historical artifact from the 20th century will be a NeXT cube, that was, coincidentally, made by Steve Jobs. If you want to get your hands on a NEXT cube, be prepared to pony up, but Adafruit has a great authorial for running Openstep on a virtual machine. If you want the real experience, you can pick up a NeXT keyboard and mouse relatively cheaply.

Sometimes you need an RCL box, so here’s one on Kickstarter. Yeah, it’s kind of expensive. Have you ever bought every value of inductor?

35 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: March 17, 2019

  1. Technology has changed the game. What worth is free speech if you end up homeless, jobless, and marked forever by exercising an unpopular opinion? True, you may not end up in a concrete dungeon immediately, but your dire situation will more than likely lead you there by some course of consequence.

    1. Disagree. Using such terms is bad, but it should be solved by societal pressures to alter the moral acceptance of such words. Top down prohibition of certain terms doesn’t solve the core issue, it masks the symptoms while creating resistance to improve the moral. Also, censuring words because they make people feel bad is a very subjective and therefor bad measure. ‘Fascist’ is not nice either…

    2. Gotta take exception to your shades there, Gray. You can/should tolerate an ‘*ist’, maybe, but you would have to be a moron to tolerate an opposing ‘*ism’. All isms are ultimately exclusive. As for group politicing, when I get called an American b******, I never much care about the descriptor. It is usually literally true however unkindly meant. The operative part is the b******, which or what identifier is hardly ever the point. It can hardly be construed as progress to ban the ‘American’, but tolerate the b******. I reckon most folks think free speech doesn’t cost anything, in reality it is quite expensive and often considered an unnecessary extravagance when the bill comes due. There is an unavoidable antagonism built in and people are emotional: invective happens.

    3. “What worth is free speech if you end up homeless, jobless, and marked forever by exercising an unpopular opinion?”

      Free speech is always worth your freedom and no one ever said free speech means free from consequences. There have always been consequences for many different kinds of speech but what the concept of free speech is that the government cannot limit anything that you say. The worth of free speech comes when you are homeless and jobless and you are not in a re-education center run by a fascist government that is cracking down on dissidents. Trying to rationalize the giving up of free speech due to one of the possible outcomes is how we lose the concept of free speech, if you really want to understand the value of free speech then go an talk to a slave (yes they still exist today).

  2. That xkcd was made in a different era. I think that now, the threat to free speech is much more credible. Do you really think we should be giving companies, COMPANIES of all things, the ability to automatically filter speech?

  3. Yeah man… I used to have Gadsden flag license plates too. I got rid of them because the association has been far too cringe for far too long. If you go on any ostensibly lolbertarian page on facebook, they’re now about 10% people that want a smaller government and 90% young white male edge lords posting nazi/ goy memes that maybe want a smaller government. Time to let it go my friend, there’s better symbols to be had.

  4. “If you’re yelled at, boycotted, have your show cancelled, or get banned from an internet community, your free speech rights aren’t being violated. It’s just that the people listening think you’re an asshole….”

    Are you specifically talking about the US? or do you think that all people in all countries who have had shows cancelled, or have been banned from internet communities for whatever reason are assholes?

  5. Hmm.. a link to, and quotation from, the XKCD ‘public service announcement about free speech’ was deleted. Possibly someone found the language or sentiment offensive.


    1. Whenever that comic (an atypically political one for xkcd, BTW) is brought up, I like to link to explain xkcd, which has some rebuttals in the discussion section: https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/1357:_Free_Speech

      Rebuttals, not censorship of opinions the majority dislikes, are the best way to get everyone on the same page and moving forward, rather than mad at each other. Whatever happened to rbutr?

      My go-to rebuttal of that particular anti-free speech argument is a turnaround of “that it’s not literally illegal to say is not a very good defense of your opinions” (as in the title text of the comic): “that it’s not literally illegal to do (because you aren’t the government) is not a very good defense of your censorship”.

      1. By rebuttals above, I mean back-and-forth rebuttals, from both sides of any given issue (yes, including the side I don’t like), forming a healthy debate. That was the point of rbutr, which I haven’t heard anything from in years. When one side just gets censored (such as some websites recently banning conspiracy theory or anti-vaccine groups), that risks causing those people to think “we must be right, because why would they have to resort to censoring us otherwise?” and just worsens the divide. A healthy debate provides an opportunity to change the minds of those people who think rationally, and then those who don’t will follow after they see prominent members of their community changing their minds.

  6. “trace modern western hegemony and the reconnaissance to Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press”

    Uh, the reconnaissance? Is that supposed to be the Renaissance?

  7. A plugin that filters out things is not an attack on free speech. First off, Free Speech only applies to -governmental- actions (IE the government can’t prevent you from voicing your opinion), private companies don’t owe you a damn thing (If anything, their only obligation is to the safety of their user/customers). Second, other people choosing not to hear what you say is not violating your right to say it.

    1. No. The *US Constitutional right to free speech* applies only to *US Governmental* actions. The concept of free speech in general exists outside of any law. It is a valuable thing to have—that’s why it was enshrined in that country’s constitution. While it is not illegal (in the US at least) for private companies to censor people on their platforms, it being legal is not a great defense of the practice. (Protecting other interests such as safety or topicality can be a more valid defense.) You might say “but you can just speak your mind elsewhere”, but that’s not always an effective alternative due to network effects. I do agree with your last sentence, and I think that’s what really applies in this case, because it’s other people themselves who are choosing to install a browser extension that hides certain content from them.

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