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August 1st, 2003

Magnetic fields are strange and powerful things, that can have a considerable effect on the physical world - especially when delivered at high powers over a very short time scale. It's relatively easy to pack a lot of energy into a very short burst (which is one of the things I used to model when I used to write electromagnetic design software).

But this is just cool: using EM to crush coins, by a process called "Electromagnetic Forming" or "Magneforming". A capacitor bank is discharged thrugh a coil which contains the item being shrunk.

There's also an interesting discussion that results, trying to model longitudial stresses and forces using Ampere rather than Maxwell...

Radio: The Next Generation

If, like me, you're an early adopter, you'll probably be playing with DAB radio. And you'll probably have hooked either the Psion Wavefinder or the Modular Technology PCI card to one of your PCs. Unfortunately the default software for both these beasties is rather poor, so it's well worth popping along to the DABbar site and downloading its replacement tool.

The DAB radio broadcasters are now transmitting XML programme guides, and the folk at DABbar have recently released EPG Explorer, a tool for taking these broadcasts and displaying the often extrememly detailed information. It can be a little slow while its downloading the files, but it's an interesting look at what the next generation of radio will deliver.

Well worth a play.

Red Dwarf...

...Sunflowers. Spotted this morning on my way back from the opticians. A nice splash of colour on an otherwise dreary day.

Crossing Flat Earths Again

More googling through my old Usenet posts threw up this old poem...

Crossing Flat Earths Again

Flat earths surround us,
the traps that hide
the roads to our dreams.
"Here be Tygers"
and we pause,
afraid.
But the Tyger is burning
and by its bright
we see the paths
and walk.
"Terra Incognito"
the blank on the map,
but -
if no one's drawn here
we are free to make
our mark.

So explore the flat earth
by Tyger light
and draw me new maps
of heavens.

Throwaway Digital Cameras

Cool geek toys: 25 shot disposable digital cameras (NY Times link - may need registration).

I wonder how hackable these are going to be. At $11 a pop it shouldn't be too difficult to find out...

Any one in the US able to send me a couple?

One for swisstone

Fiction meets fact meets fan fiction in this snippet from The Archers mailing list:

Spooks: Michael Cochrane (Oliver Sterling) appears as Ross Vaughn in the MI5 series. BBC 1, Monday 4 Aug, 9.00pm

Deeply scary

This is just sooo wrong on so many levels: an Emacs emulator mode for Vim.

Spotted in NTK

I think we're in the end times, Toto...