Hackaday Links: March 7, 2021

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It’s March, which means Keysight is back in the business of giving away a ton of test gear. Keysight University Live starts on March 15, with daily events the first week followed by a string of weekly live events through April. We always enjoy these Keysight events; sure, they’re clearly intended to sell more gear, but the demos and tutorials are great, and we always learn a lot. There’s also a feeling of community that feels similar to the Hackaday community; just a bunch of electronics nerds getting together to learn and share. If you’re interested in that community, or even if you’re just looking for a chance to win something from the $300,000 pile of goodies, you’ll need to register.

There’s another event coming up that you’ll want to know about: the 2021 Open Hardware Summit. Because 2021 is the new 2020, the summit is being held virtually again, this year on April 9. Tickets are on sale now, and we’re told there are still plenty of Ada Lovelace Fellowships available to those who consider themselves to be a minority in tech. The Fellowship covers the full cost of a ticket; it usually covers travels costs too, but sadly we’re still not there yet.

Once we do start traveling again, you might need to plan more carefully if cities start following the lead of Petaluma, California and start banning the construction of gas stations. The city, about 40 miles (64 km) north of San Francisco, is believed to be the first city in the United States to ban new gas station construction. The city council’s decision also prevents gas station owners from expanding, reconstructing, or relocating existing gas stations. The idea is to create incentives to move toward non-fossil fuel stations, like electric vehicle charging stations and hydrogen fueling. Time will tell how well that works out.

Go home Roomba — you’re drunk. That could be what Roomba owners are saying after an update semi-bricked certain models of the robotic vacuum cleaners. Owners noted a variety of behaviors, like wandering around in circles, bumping into furniture, and inability to make its way back to base for charging. There’s even a timelapse on reddit of a Roomba flailing about pathetically in a suspiciously large and empty room. The drunken analogy only goes so far, though, since we haven’t seen any reports of a Roomba barfing up the contents of its dust bin. But we’re still holding out hope.

And finally, if you’re not exactly astronaut material but still covet a trip to space, you might luck out courtesy of Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa. He’s offering to pay the way for eight people from around the world on a planned flight to the Moon and back in 2023. Apparently, Maezawa bought up all the seats for the flight back in 2018 with the intention of flying a group of artists to space. His thinking has changed, though, and now he’s opening up the chance to serve as ballast join the crew to pretty much any rando on the planet. Giving away rides on Starship might be a harder sell after this week’s test, but we’re sure he’ll find plenty of takers. And to be honest, we wish the effort well — the age of routine civilian space travel can’t come soon enough for us.

13 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: March 7, 2021

  1. “Once we do start traveling again, you might need to plan more carefully if cities start following the lead of Petaluma, California and start banning the construction of gas stations. ”

    So, queues form at gas stations, 50 cars tailed back and gridlocking the streets, engines uselessly idling. More CO2 emitted, then prices go up, because gas is getting relatively rarer in that city, so everyone starts driving to the next town over to fill up, yet more CO2 emitted. Awesome, great way to save the planet, buttholes.

      1. Heh yeah, my city all “Making a commitment to provide higher density affordable housing…”… meanwhile zoning committee all “minimum setbacks increased to 20m, minimum 4m greenspace buffer between parking lot and street, minimum parking spaces per unit of 1.5 with one allocated per unit and extras for shared guest parking” etc etc etc until it turns out you could build 20 2000sqft townhouses with garages on the land needed for 15 800sqft bachelor/studios in a low rise.

    1. A lot ofthe gas stations here have disappeared in fifty years. Nothing deliberate or sinister, they”ve just closed. May e they stopped being profitable, or maybe tye price of the land was too tempting. I can think of only one nearby, when there used to be at least three. Nothing came in to replace them.

      So I assume, I don’t drive, that getting gas has moved to being something you have to travel to.

    2. In my growing city, the past 15 years 1 gas station was closed and only 2 were opened. Both of those in industrial areas.
      It’s not as bad as you may think. Despite the growing city, the current existing gas stations are perfectly able to serve everyone. Even without the two new ones capacity wouldn’t be a problem.

    3. If there is anything people in Petaluma have in common, it is daily commuting to Santa Rosa or San Francisco or the East Bay or further. They will just fill-up at the other end. The residents elected the city council and the region suffers from terminal progressiveness and geriatric New Age enthusiasts who believe in magic. They must want this shift of business to outside the city.

  2. ” looking for a chance to win something from the $300,000 pile of goodies”

    If I won the $30,000 scope I’d have to sell it to cover the taxes. With what was left over I’d probably buy a clapped out mill, lathe, tig setup, and plasma cutter.

    1. Heh, yeah I was looking and thinking I’d use the hell out of second prize, but be intimidated sorta, or feel like it was a “waste” turning it on for the suuuper scopes.

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