Pour kettle and let steep the gods of tea. I built NewsBlur and Turn Touch.
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Turn Touch Wooden Smart Home Remote

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My thanks to Turn Touch for sponsoring this week’s DF RSS feed to promote their beautiful wooden smart home remote. Ever wanted to control Spotify on your phone without looking at your phone? Do you have smart lights like Philips Hue and want a phone-free way to change scenes and colors? Turn Touch is your answer.

Turn Touch is a wooden smart home remote. Forget plastic, this is a remote as stylish as your home. It controls every smart home device that speaks Wi-Fi. You can also use it to control your Mac and iOS devices over Bluetooth. This includes Keynote, iTunes, Quicktime, Spotify, Sonos, and lots more.

Buy a remote for your home or office for only $59 (with free shipping). It’s a great gift for friends or yourself.

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chrisrosa
2 days ago
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Get yourself something nice to hold to control your home. /ref @turntouch
San Francisco, CA
satadru
4 days ago
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My first ad share, for a very nice product.
New York, NY
samuel
4 days ago
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Turn Touch has launched and I’m now shipping them out. I bought an ad on DF and it’s doing pretty well.
The Haight in San Francisco
ptnik
2 days ago
awesome :)
popular
1 day ago
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Supervisors To Consider E-Scooter Ordinance

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Citywide
Bird scooter down on franklin

Photos: Carrie Sisto/Hoodline

Legislation is moving forward that would allow SFMTA to impose permit requirements on companies that have rolled out dockless electric scooters across the city.

As we reported in March, mobility companies Spin, LimeBike and Bird placed an unknown number of e-scooters on city sidewalks. The devices hold significant appeal to some commuters, but many city residents are finding them a nuisance.

Because electric scooters aren't specifically prohibited, there are few restrictions on where they can be stored. Although it's illegal to ride them on sidewalks and users are required to wear helmets, those prohibitions are frequently ignored.

A Bird scooter left at Geary and Hyde.

An ordinance proposed last month sponsored by District 3 Supervisor Aaron Peskin and District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim would impose permitting and enforcement regulations on dockless e-scooters similar to what was adopted for dockless bike share programs, Peskin’s chief of staff Sunny Angulo told Hoodline.

If passed, the new rules would likely result in SFMTA establishing a permitting program for scooter companies that also requires them to provide helmets, she said.

The ordinance would also allow SFMTA to impose administrative penalties if companies violate the permit requirements. The Department of Public Works would be authorized to remove and impound any unpermitted scooters.

A Bird scooter left near a curb ramp.

“State law already requires that these scooter riders wear helmets and stay off the sidewalks, though they are currently permitted to ride in the bike lane,” Angulo said. Riders are also required to have a valid drivers' license and keep their speed below 15 miles per hour, but it’s difficult to enforce those provisions, she added. 

The legislation will be considered by the Board of Supervisor’s Land Use and Transportation meeting on Monday, April 16th at 1:30pm.

Committee members will vote on the ordinance after a public comment period, Angulo said. If it passes, it would go before the full Board of Supervisors for consideration.

Pedestrian and bicycle advocates have expressed mixed feelings about the e-scooter emergence. More mobility options can reduce the number of car trips and reduce traffic and pollution, but some scooters are blocking curb ramps, sidewalks, and crowding bike lanes.

This Bird scooter was left in the middle of the sidewalk on Post Street.

In response, pedestrian advocacy group Walk SF created a Facebook photo album that aggregates photos of scooters strewn on sidewalks.

“San Francisco’s sidewalks must remain a safe, protected space for people to walk,” said Walk SF’s executive director Jodie Medeiros in a press release. “Suddenly, motorized vehicles are zooming along the sidewalks. That’s unsafe, and it’s illegal.” 

Scooter-sharing company Bird yesterday issued a press release stating its opposition to an “impending emergency action by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.” Bird is concerned the supervisors are pushing through a ban on their shared scooters as a knee-jerk reaction to constituent complaints.

A LimeBike scooter outside a Metreon entrance. | Photo: Steve Bracco/Hoodline

Under the city's legislative process, new rules must be held for 30 days before they can be brought to committee to give the public—and city staff—time to review the proposal, Angulo said.

The regulations and rules being proposed "are not bans, they are designed to help manage the myriad of competing interests for use of our public realm," she said.

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samuel
12 days ago
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I rode a Bird yesterday and it was amazing. I would gladly do that again. The scooters are everywhere, cost about the same as a bus. They can cost less, but for a cross town ride like I was doing, it was $2.80.

These things are fun, convenient, and as a regular cyclist I feel perfectly safe on them, if not more so because they are speed limited to well below what I hit on my bike.

I look forward to these e-scooters being in every city. And they will be.
The Haight in San Francisco
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LED Trampoline #3DThursday #3DPrinting

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These NeoPixels makes you wanna jump! Learn how to upgrade a cheap trampoline with interactive NeoPixel LEDs. Use Adafruits ItsyBitsy and a vibration sensor to make a trampoline light up when you jump on it.

Get the full source files, code, and step by step instruction on Adafruit Learn.
https://learn.adafruit.com/led-trampoline/overview

Adafruit ItsyBitsy M0
https://www.adafruit.com/product/3727

NeoPixel LED Strip – 3 Meter
https://www.adafruit.com/product/1376?length=3

Visit the Adafruit shop online – http://www.adafruit.com
Adafruit on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/adafruit


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Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!

Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!

The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!

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samuel
13 days ago
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What a great idea and a nice implementation.
The Haight in San Francisco
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To Ferrule or Not to Ferrule?

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We recently posted about a spectacular 3D-printer fire that was thankfully caught and extinguished before spreading to the hacker’s house or injuring his family. Analyzing the remains of the printer, the hacker determined that the fire was caused when a loose grub screw let the extruder’s heater cartridge fall out and touch the ABS fan shroud. It ran full-on and set things on fire.

A number of us have similar 3D printers, so the comments for this article were understandably lively, but one comment stood out by listing a number of best practices for wiring, including the use of ferrules. In particular, many 3D printers connect the heated bed, which draws a lot of current, with screw terminals to the motherboard. While not the cause of the fire in the original post, melted terminal blocks are a common complaint with many DIY 3D printer kits, and one reason is that simply jamming thick stranded wire into a screw terminal and hoping for the best can result in increased resistance, and heat, at the joint. In such situations, the absolutely right thing to do is to crimp on a ferrule. So let’s talk about that.

 

A Series of Tubes

So what is a ferrule anyway? In general, any kind of band or clamp that’s used to attach, reinforce, or secure objects to each other. That’s a broad definition that covers everything from the aglets applied to shoelace ends to prevent unraveling to the stout metal clamps used to connect wire ropes together. But in the world of electrical wiring, ferrules have a more specific definition, and very different purposes than ferrules used for purely mechanical applications.

An electrical wiring ferrule is a soft metal tube that is crimped onto the end of a stranded wire to improve the wire’s connection characteristics. Most ferrules are made of copper, which is usually plated with tin. The ferrule is sized for a specific gauge of wire, both in terms of its diameter and its length. A ferrule is not just a simple cylinder, though — it has a lip or flare formed into one end that serves to collect and consolidate the individual strands of the wire as they are inserted into the ferruule.

Cross-section of an insulated ferrule installed on stranded wire. Source: Weidmüller Interface GmbH & Co. KG

The flare in most ferrules is not immediately apparent because it’s usually encased in a conical plastic cable entry sleeve. This sleeve acts as a transition between the insulation of the wire and the ferrule itself, and also serves to corral all those loose strands into the lumen of the ferrule. Unlike in more traditional crimp connections, the plastic sleeve of a ferrule is not compressed during installation. It stays intact around the insulation, and provides some measure of strain relief after installation by moving the bend radius of the wire away from the end of the insulation. Most ferrule sleeves are color coded for wire size in the DIN 46228 standard, which confusingly has two different codes, French and German, for the same cross-sectional area in square millimeters.

Making Stranded Wire Solid

If it sounds like ferrules are more a European thing than an American one, that’s with good reason. In order to get CE certification, electrical equipment must terminate stranded wire entering a screw or spring terminal with ferrules. There’s no such regulation in the US, and so it’s not common to see ferrules used in American equipment. But ferrules have specific advantages that are hard to deny, and their adoption appears to be spreading because they make good engineering sense.

To understand the principle, clip a small piece of insulated stranded wire of any gauge. Stranded wire is flexible, which is one of the reasons it’s used rather than solid wire in mobile applications and where vibration can occur. But it’s still somewhat stiff thanks in part to the insulation, which wraps the strands of the conductor, keeps them all in intimate contact, and maintains the twist, or lay, of the separate strands. Now strip off a bit of insulation from one end. You’ll notice that in most cases, the lay of the strands is at least partially disturbed — they untwist a little. Strip off more insulation and the strands get more and more separated. Take off all the insulation and the conductor will lose all structural integrity, falling into individual strands.

This is the essential problem that ferrules solve: they maintain the close association of strands in the conductor after the wire has been stripped and allow the connection to conduct its full rated current. Without ferrules, stripped stranded wires compressed in screw terminals tend to splay apart, reducing the number of individual strands that are in firm contact with the terminal. The resistance of such terminations is much higher than properly ferruled connections.Stranded wires with ferrules perform much better than without them. Source: Weidmüller Interface GmbH & Co. KG

Squeezing Your Problems Away

There’s more to a ferruled connection than reduced resistance, though. Like other crimped connections, the strands inside a properly applied ferrule undergo tremendous pressure, in the process stretching axially and deforming radially. The stretching action tends to disrupt and displace surface oxidation on the strands, while the radial compression tends to remove the air spaces between the strands. These tend to make the crimped connection better at resisting oxidation than uncrimped wire, increasing the longevity of the connection.

So are ferrules the way to go for the home gamer? On the whole, I’d say yes. Ferrules have obvious advantages over plain stranded wire, and in high-current applications, I would insist on using them with screw terminals or anywhere that the strain relief into the shielding is helpful. Plus, they lend a clean, professional look to a project, so even if the application is non-critical, I tend to include them on my stranded wire connections. It’s not without its cost to tool up for ferrules, of course, but at $30 for a kit with an assortment of ferrules and a proper ratcheting crimp tool, it’s not too bad.

Thanks to [NobodyInParticular] for suggesting this story.

[Featued images: KNIPEX, Ferrules Direct]









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samuel
13 days ago
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Ferrules sound like a much better wire to board terminal than either screw terminals or crimped MTA100 connectors, both of which have given much loss of poor connection problems.
The Haight in San Francisco
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“I raised my niece as if she was my own daughter. We were very...

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“I raised my niece as if she was my own daughter. We were very close, but she fell in with a bad crowd and left my home at a young age. She had six children in six years. But then she got very sick with cancer. Right before she died, she asked me to look after her children. At the time I had no income. I’d been retired for years. But I didn’t hesitate because they were my own blood. So now I have six children at home—the oldest one is eight. All of them call me ‘Papa.’ I really love them. I’ve gone back to driving a taxi because there’s nothing else to do. I’m seventy-five but my eyes are still clear. I can work long hours. I don’t need much sleep because I get my strength from the children. If I get tired, what will happen to them? I also have a lot of help from my wife and siblings. If I get too worn down, the children will take a ‘vacation’ at their auntie’s house. But that never lasts long. Because I miss them too much and want them back.”

(Manila, Philippines)

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samuel
20 days ago
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The Haight in San Francisco
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Airplane Noise Can Be Reduced With a Simple Solution

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If you’re one of the many residents of the Boston area who likes to spend rare warm evenings out on the porch, you’re probably familiar with the interruptions that come with it: the scream of an airplane zipping overhead every few minutes, headed to or from Logan International Airport. Thanks to more precise navigation software, airplane noise has become concentrated over several routes like these around the country, with certain neighborhoods seeing plane after plane roar overhead all day.

After studying this problem around Boston, one Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor suggested a simple solution: just slow the planes down.

In a study jointly funded by the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) and MIT, aeronautics professor John Hansman found that slowing the speed of departing aircraft by just 30 knots (about 34 miles per hour) would significantly reduce noise heard below.

A community group mapped Boston Logan Airport flights departing to the northwest from 2013 (in green) and 2015 (in red), after the FAA began using new routes. Precision navigation concentrates planes over certain neighborhoods, creating new noise issues. (Data source: Massport) PHOTO: KENT JOHNSON
Flights departing Boston’s Logan airport from 2013 (green) and in 2015 (red), after the FAA began using new precision navigation software to determine routes. (Data source: Massport) Image Credit: Kent Johnson

For a typical Boeing 737, Hansman estimates the slowdown would add only about 30 seconds to its climb to 3 kilometers (10,000 feet), and burn roughly seven additional gallons of jet fuel.

Community efforts seem to suggest that it would be worth the time and slight increase in expense. Neighborhoods across the country are already fighting the routes brought on by precision software, so much so that Chicago has experimented with rotating runways and Phoenix has sued the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Yet there’s one factor that the MIT study doesn’t seem to have considered: the environment. Air travel is widely cited as one of the biggest contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions. Boston’s Logan airport alone sees an average of 16,500 departing flights monthly; if every plane experienced the same fuel increase Hansman expects for a 737, that would mean an extra 115,500 gallons of jet fuel burned every month. Going by U.S. Energy Information Association (EIA) estimates, that means a over 1100 additional tonnes of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere monthly — from one airport alone.

An FAA working group is currently evaluating the recommendations of the MIT study, and considering slowing departing jets from a speed of 250 to 220 knots (288 to 253 miles per hour). Certainly, there’s no need for millions of people to spend their lives waking up to the deafening roar of passing planes. Yet given that we already know climate change will have an outsize impact on future generations — even making air travel itself more difficult and expensive — here’s hoping aviation experts can find a way to strike a balance between quieter skies and a healthier planet.

The post Airplane Noise Can Be Reduced With a Simple Solution appeared first on Futurism.

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samuel
47 days ago
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That's fascinating, which to choose: less pollution or less pollution?
The Haight in San Francisco
PBones
47 days ago
Worth noting when they say “just one airport”, Logan is incredibly close to Boston. Most cities have an airport farther away from major population centers, and a change would be less helpful there.
satadru
46 days ago
My #1 complaint about this strategy is that highest chance of something going wrong in a flight is during takeoff or landing. The plane isn't high enough to recover if something goes wrong, and so the plane crashes. You want to takeoff at a really high speed because you want that margin in case something goes wrong. Additionally, a plane is heaviest at takeoff, with the most fuel on board it will have. MTOW (Maximum Take Off Weight) is determined by takeoff speed and vehicle weight. Lower takeoff speed and you have to lower the weight, which means fewer passengers or less cargo. I'd also note that modern high bypass jet engines are much much quieter than older jet engines, and that's only going to keep getting better. Oh, lastly, the faster a plane flies up, the quicker it gets through the airspace also occupied by birds. Slow that takeoff down, and you're also going to see more Miracle on the Hudson situations, likely with fewer miracle-esque results, especially in metropolitan areas like Boston where there isn't a nice river just distal to the take-off flight path.
satadru
46 days ago
OK maybe I'm a little bit of a plane nerd.
WorldMaker
45 days ago
It also looks like if Logan added runways in additional directions that would eliminate the main "trunk". It looks from this diagram that all of Logan's runways face the same direction. That seems like a simple solution to me, though I'm guessing there are reasons about the current orientations (trying to avoid takeoffs over water?).
jlvanderzwan
34 days ago
@satadru: well, this kind of debate needs plane nerds so your thoughts are appreciated!
chrisamico
24 days ago
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Boston, MA
rachel
44 days ago
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cambridge, ma
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