Hackaday Links: December 5, 2021

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Sad news from Germany, with the recent passing of a legend in the crypto community: Mr. Goxx, the crypto-trading hamster. The rodent rose to fame in the crypto community for his trades, which were generated at random during his daily exercise routines — his exercise wheel being used like a roulette wheel to choose a currency, and a pair of tunnels determined whether the transaction would be a buy or sell. His trading career was short, having only started this past June, but he was up 20% over that time — that’s nothing to sneeze at. Our condolences to Mr. Goxx’s owners, and to the community which sprung up around the animal’s antics.

It might seem a little early to start planning which conferences you’d like to hit in 2022, but some require a little more lead time than others. One that you might not have heard of is DINACON, the Digital Naturalism Conference, which explores the intersection of technology and the natural world. The con is set for the entire month of July 2022 and will be held in Sri Lanka. It has a different structure than most cons, in that participants attend for a week or so on a rotating basis, much like a biology field station summer session. It sounds like a lot of fun, and the setting couldn’t be more idyllic.

If you haven’t already killed your holiday gift budget buying NFTs, here’s something you might want to consider: the Arduino Uno Mini Limited Edition. What makes it a Limited Edition, you ask? Practically, it’s the small footprint compared to the original Uno and the castellated edges, but there are a bunch of other extras. Each elegant black PCB with gold silk screening is individually numbered and comes in presentation-quality packaging. But the pièce de résistance, or perhaps we should say the cavallo di battaglia, is that each one comes with a hand-signed letter from the Arduino founders. They honestly look pretty sharp, and at $45, it’s really not a bad collector’s piece.

And finally, the YouTube algorithm giveth again, when this infrastructure gem popped up in our feed. You wouldn’t think there’d be much of interest to see in a water main repair, but you’d be wrong, especially when that main is 50′ (15 m) below the surface, and the repair location is 600′ (183 m) from the access hatch. Oh yeah, and the pipe is only 42″ (1 m) in diameter, and runs underneath a river. There’s just so much nope in this one, especially since the diver has to swim into a special turning elbow just to get pointed in the right direction; how he turns around to swim out is not worth thinking about. Fascinating tidbits include being able to see the gravel used to protect the pipe in the riverbed through the crack in the pipe, and learning that big water mains are not completely filled, at least judging by the small air space visible at the top of the pipe. Those with claustrophobia are probably best advised to avoid this one, but it’s still amazing to see how stuff like this is done.

15 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: December 5, 2021

      1. Hhahaha thank you for clarifying Emuboy! I get this a lot.

        Naturalists are another word for people who study natural history, or sometimes people call them ecologists or ethologists (if they are more interested in studying behavior).

        Naturists like to walk around naked!

        I hope somebody also starts a “Digital Naturism” conference sometime, but ours is more about field biology :)

  1. Regarding the water mains repair.
    I don’t believe that there are air pockets in such pipes during normal use. My guess is that this pipe was partially evacuated to facilitate the repair. At normal pressure the divers would need to go through a compression chamber to enter. Don’t know why they would not fully evacuate it for such a repair…

    1. The split was under a river, trying to pump all the water out would likely pull in dirt and a flood of dirty water, contaminating the water supply. It would be harder for the repairman to get to the damage site because he’d have to crawl on hands and knees. It would be harder to fit the 150 pound plates into position without the buoyancy tubes to float them. He’d be exposed to welding fumes and would still need a full helmet and remote air supply. Despite being under ground, he could still get hot, especially with the welding. He’s wearing a drysuit so he stays dry yet the water keeps him from getting overheated from exertion.

      1. This makes a lot of sense. I would add that (hopefully) the pipe was flushed after the repair to remove whatever the grinding and soldering left in the water. Fascinating video but yeah, you better not be claustrophobic!

    2. Isn’t that the air that he’s brought in and exhaled? He had ten minutes of travel time and the work took quite a while. It looked like the water level dropped throughout the process.

  2. Fascinating video on the water pipe repair.
    I had no idea drinking water was traveling over so much grime and corrosion and sediment before filling my glass. I had some ideal vision of it all being smooth and spotless inert plastic. Still better than the lead there was in parts of my first house.

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