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Ben Martin: First alloy on the 3040 cnc (with 2.2kw spindle)

Tue, 2016-12-27 19:56
There are times when words are not needed. When you see a 3040 or 6040 cnc without any enclosure there is a good chance that the machine doesn't see heavy alloy cutting. It only takes a few videos to see how chips are thrown around when a 24krpm bit touches a block of alloy. As a prelude to any alloy being cut I enclosed the 3040 in a "terrarium". This was itself an interesting build and as usual I overdid the design. The top and bottom box frames are made of 5cm square timber with a fairly solid base panel. The back is just light junk with plywood bolted to tabs on each side so I can replace things as I feel. The door opens beyond 90 degrees to get right out of the way and closes to rest on the base 5cm timber at the front of the enclosure.

For anybody reading this I have one word of advice, any gaps in the first 50cm from the machine base will have chips thrown at them. So make sure that the angles the chips might come from near the spindle have been accounted for with your air venting that allows some cooling into the mix. The sides of this case are more than 80cm in height.

The next modification is a mister to help clear local chips and bring some light amount of cutting fluid into the cut zone. The first runs were just using a light spray of CDT over the cut zone before job start.

The very end of one of the first runs is shown in the below video.

The parts being cut are wheel mount crossover plates to allow an outdoor robot to have larger wheels attached. The wheels want M8 bolts, the motor mount is an actobotics pattern, so an M4 hole was a good fit there. Because it's CNC the part itself was cut with many splines to include material where it could do structural good and exclude it otherwise.

I found it useful to cut templates in MDF to test the fit before a final run. This fed into part 3 which includes mounting holes for all 4 bolts of the hub mount. The alloy version 4 also has rounded ends and is shown attached to the wheel. This will let some cheap $10 wheels which are 12 inch across mount to an actobotics based robot.

I'll have video of the "houndbot" in action using these mounts next time.

Simon Lyall: Donations 2016

Tue, 2016-12-27 13:02

Like last year I am doing all my charity donations at once and blogging about it. The theory with doing it all at once is that is it more efficient and less impulsive, while blogging about it might encourage others to do similarly. Note that all amounts are in $US

I found one downside of doing it all at once (especially around midnight) is that my bank suspended my card for suspicious activity. All sorted out with a quick phone call though.

Once more this year I gave the majority of my money to those charities recommended by Givewell. This year instead of spreading my donation evenly among the top charities I followed their recommendations ( See right sidebar on the link above ).

Next were a series of Open Source projects, trying to concentrate on software I use:

And some tech content or advocacy groups

Additionally I gave some money to MSF via a campaign by Zeynep Tufekci highlighting Yemen

Hoping to do the same again next year, feel free to recommend other organizations you think might be a good place for me to donate towards. I’m thinking about


Francois Marier: Using iptables with NetworkManager

Tue, 2016-12-27 09:02

I used to rely on ifupdown to bring up my iptables firewall automatically using a config like this in /etc/network/interfaces:

allow-hotplug eth0 iface eth0 inet dhcp pre-up /sbin/iptables-restore /etc/network/iptables.up.rules pre-up /sbin/ip6tables-restore /etc/network/ip6tables.up.rules allow-hotplug wlan0 iface wlan0 inet dhcp pre-up /sbin/iptables-restore /etc/network/iptables.up.rules pre-up /sbin/ip6tables-restore /etc/network/ip6tables.up.rules

but that doesn't seem to work very well in the brave new NetworkManager world.

What does work reliably is a "pre-up" NetworkManager script, something that gets run before a network interface is brought up. However, despite what the documentation says, a dispatcher script in /etc/NetworkManager/dispatched.d/ won't work on my Debian and Ubuntu machines. Instead, I had to create a new iptables script in /etc/NetworkManager/dispatcher.d/pre-up.d/:

#!/bin/sh LOGFILE=/var/log/iptables.log if [ "$1" = lo ]; then echo "$0: ignoring $1 for \`$2'" >> $LOGFILE exit 0 fi case "$2" in pre-up) echo "$0: restoring iptables rules for $1" >> $LOGFILE /sbin/iptables-restore /etc/network/iptables.up.rules >> $LOGFILE 2>&1 /sbin/ip6tables-restore /etc/network/ip6tables.up.rules >> $LOGFILE 2>&1 ;; *) echo "$0: nothing to do with $1 for \`$2'" >> $LOGFILE ;; esac exit 0

and then make that script executable:

chmod a+x /etc/NetworkManager/dispatcher.d/pre-up.d/iptables

With this in place, I can put my iptables rules in the usual place (/etc/network/iptables.up.rules and /etc/network/ip6tables.up.rules) and use the handy iptables-apply and ip6tables-apply commands to test any changes to my firewall rules.

Binh Nguyen: Explaining Prophets? Fake News, and More

Mon, 2016-12-26 22:51
As I stated previously there are a lot of explanations for some of what is experienced by prophets, seers, etc... Am going to take the positive position (basically because it's more interesting even if it is unlikely) and assume that prophets and schizophrenics are somehow related (because I've been looking through history and see that hearing of voices and miracles often overlap): http://

Russell Coker: Video Mode and KVM

Sat, 2016-12-24 23:02

I recently changed my KVM servers to use the kernel command-line parameter nomodeset for the virtual machine kernels so that they don’t try to go into graphics mode. I do this because I don’t have X11 or VNC enabled and I want a text console to use with the -curses option of KVM. Without the nomodeset KVM just says that it’s in 1024*768 graphics mode and doesn’t display the text.

Now my KVM server running Debian/Unstable has had it’s virtual machines start going into graphics mode in spite of nomodeset parameter. It seems that an update to QEMU has added a new virtual display driver which recent kernels from Debian/Unstable support with the bochs_drm driver, and that driver apparently doesn’t respect nomodeset.

The solution is to create a file named /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf with the contents “blacklist bochs_drm” and now my virtual machines have a usable plain-text console again! This blacklist method works for all video drivers, you can blacklist similar modules for the other virtual display hardware. But it would be nice if the one kernel option would cover them all.

Related posts:

  1. ATI ES1000 Video on Debian/Squeeze The Problem I’ve just upgraded my Dell PowerEdge T105 [1]...
  2. SAK, ctrl-alt-del, and Linux keyboard mapping A common problem with Linux systems is when Windows users...
  3. Ext4 and Debian/Lenny I want to use the Ext4 filesystem on Xen DomUs....

Maxim Zakharov: Tango magic exists!

Fri, 2016-12-23 23:05

Those were my happiest seconds of 2016. It took me almost 4 years to get from an absolute beginner never danced before to the first public performance.

Just thank you so much Sophia de Lautour, Paul Wagner and Paul Warren for your lessons and passion and patience in explaining tango magic!

If you are pondering to take tango class, think no further, the next beginners course at So-Tango starts in the beginning of February. Sophia and Paul would be happy to lead and follow you from the first basic steps in the class into privy ulterior though warm and friendly life of Sydney milongas.

See details on the poster below or click on it to go to the So-Tango web-site.

Matthew Oliver: Swift Container sharding – locked db POC – Benchmarking observations

Fri, 2016-12-23 11:04

The latest POC is at the benchmarking stage, and in the most part it’s going well. I have set up 2 clusters in the cloud, not huge, but 2 proxies and 4 storage nodes each. A benchmarking run involves pointing an ssbench master at each cluster and putting each cluster under load. In both cases we only use 1 container, and on one cluster this container will have sharding turned on.

So far it’s looking pretty good. I’ve done many runs, and usually find a bug at scale.. but as of recently I’ve done two runs of the latest revision alternating the sharded cluster (the cluster that will be benchmarking with the container with sharding on). Below shows the grafana statsd output of the second run. Note that cluster 2 is the sharded cluster in this run:

Looking at the picture there are a few observations we can make, the peaks in the ‘Container PUT Latency – Cluster 2’ correspond when a container is sharded (in this case, the one container and then shards sharding).

As I mentioned earlier ssbench is running the benchmark and the benchmark is very write (PUT) heavy. Here is the sharding scenario file:

{ "name": "Sharding scenario", "sizes": [{ "name": "zero", "size_min": 0, "size_max": 0 }], "initial_files": { "zero": 100 }, "run_seconds": 86400, "crud_profile": [200, 50, 0, 5], "user_count": 2, "container_base": "shardme", "container_count": 1, "container_concurrency": 1, "container_put_headers": { "X-Container-Sharding": "on" } }

The only difference with this and non-sharding one is not setting the X-Container-Sharding meta on the initial container PUT. The crud profile shows that we are heady on PUTs and GETs. But because jobs are randomised, I don’t expect the exact the same numbers when it comes to object count on the servers however there is a rather large discrepancy with the object counts on both servers:

Cluster 1:

HTTP/1.1 204 No Content Content-Length: 0 X-Container-Object-Count: 11291190 Accept-Ranges: bytes X-Storage-Policy: gold X-Container-Bytes-Used: 0 X-Timestamp: 1482290574.52856 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8 X-Trans-Id: tx9dd499df28304b2d920aa-00585b2d3e Date: Thu, 22 Dec 2016 01:32:46 GMT

Cluster 2:

Content-Length: 0 X-Container-Object-Count: 6909895 X-Container-Sharding: True X-Storage-Policy: gold X-Container-Bytes-Used: 0 X-Timestamp: 1482290575.94012 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8 Accept-Ranges: bytes X-Trans-Id: txba7b23743e0d45a68edb8-00585b2d61 Date: Thu, 22 Dec 2016 01:33:27 GMT

So cluster 1 has about 11 million objects and cluster 2 about 7 million. That quite a difference. Which gets me wondering what’s causing such a large difference in PUT through put?

The only real difference in the proxy object PUT when comparing sharded to unsharded is the finding of the shard container the object server will need to update, in which case another request is made to the root container asking for the pivot (if there is one). Is this extra request really causing an issue? I do note the object-updater (last graph in the image) is also working harder, as the number of successes during the benchmarks are much higher, meaning there are more requests falling into async pendings.

Maybe the extra updater work is because of the extra load on the container server (this additional request)?

To test this theory, I can push the sharder harder and force container updates into the root container. This would stop the extra request.. but force more traffic to the root container (which we are kinda doing anyway). We should still see benefits as root container would be much smaller (because it’s sharded) then the non sharded counter part. And this will allow us to see if this is causing the slower through put.

Update: I’m currently running a new scenario which is all PUTs so lets see how that fairs. Will keep you posted.

Michael Still: A Walk in the Woods

Sun, 2016-12-18 19:00

ISBN: 9780307279460
I found this tale of Bill Bryson walking the Appalachian Trail (rather incompetently I must say) immensely entertaining. Well written, interesting, generally exaggerated, and leaving me with a desire to get out somewhere and walk some more. I'd strongly recommend this book to people who already care about bush walking, but have found other pursuits to occupy most of their spare time.

Tags for this post: book bill_bryson travel america bush walking
Related posts: Exploring for a navex; Where did SUVs come from?; In A Sunburned Country; Richistan; Why American tech companies seem to get new technology better than Australian ones...; I should try to make it to then 911 exhibit Comment Recommend a book

Linux Australia News: Linux Australia makes $10k donation to Software Freedom Conservancy

Sun, 2016-12-18 17:01

We'd like to keep you briefed on a major donation Linux Australia has
recently made to the Software Freedom Conservancy.

At 2016 in Geelong, Council resolved to donate to
Conservancy to enable them to continue the excellent work they do;

"Software Freedom Conservancy, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit
organization incorporated in New York. Software Freedom Conservancy
helps promote, improve, develop, and defend Free, Libre, and Open Source
Software (FLOSS) projects. Conservancy provides a non-profit home and
infrastructure for FLOSS projects. This allows FLOSS developers to focus
on what they do best — writing and improving FLOSS for the general
public — while Conservancy takes care of the projects' needs that do not
relate directly to software development and documentation" (from
Software Freedom Conservancy's website)

We've recently completed a donation of around $10k $AUD. This is in line
with our 2016-2017 budget.

We'd like to especially thank Karen Sandler, Bradley M. Kuhn and Brett
Smith of the Software Freedom Conservancy for being so patient on this
piece - while we committed at to donate, we've
deliberately held off to see if the $AUD would rise against the $USD -
it hasn't, and is unlikely to in the near future.

Find out more about Software Freedom Conservancy at

Pia Waugh: How we got here, Chapter 1: Clever Monkeys

Sun, 2016-12-18 09:01

This is a book I am working on, hopefully due for completion by early 2017. The purpose of the book is to explore where we are at, where we are going, and how we can get there, in the broadest possible sense.  It is in “stream of consciousness” phase so your comments, feedback and constructive criticism are welcome! The final text of the book will be freely available under a Creative Commons By Attribution license. A book version will be sent to nominated world leaders, to hopefully encourage the necessary questioning of the status quo and smarter decisions into the future. Additional elements like references, graphs, images and other materials will be available in the final digital and book versions and draft content will be published weekly. Please subscribe to the blog posts by RSS and/or join the mailing list for updates.

Back to the book overview or table of contents for the full picture.

If we look back at our earliest roots, humans have some pretty special characteristics that define and drive us, even today, and have made us arguably the most successful species in the world. We have populated every continent, developed complex social structures and specialisation of labour, shaped the environment around us, even traveled to the moon. The rate of human change, progress and indeed, evolution, is only getting faster over time. Though there are certainly issues around the sustainability of how we currently live, we have also come to an age of greater self awareness as a species of our impact, capabilities and responsibilities and can develop new ways to live more sustainably.

By understanding the basic but persistent characteristics of our collective psyche, we can better understand what will drive our decisions and trends of our future.The core human characteristics that collectively differentiate us from other animals are language and symbology, collaboration and specialisation, cumulative learning, curiosity and our thirst for fun.

Language and symbology has given us the ability to both communicate and record ideas, but also to`explore and express abstract concepts. Because we are a highly social and collaborative animal, we also have the ability to share the workload and specialise, such that individuals can become highly skilled at a subset of the skills needed for the group survival and prosperity. This in turn makes us more interdependent on the rest of the group, as highly specialised individuals are necessarily without all the skills needed to prosper. This is no less the case today than it was in ancient hunter and gather communities, though the necessary interdependence of individuals is often forgotten amidst  modern ideologies of liberalism and individual rights. The individual needs the collective to share the load of survival in order to have the comfort, time and space to thrive, otherwise that individual little time to think or develop skills beyond the next meal or shelter. As such, the good of the collective is necessary for the good of the individual. One of the interesting things about our social structures, work specialisation and necessary interdependence is that it fosters some element of stability and predictability in life, which we also are taught to pursue. Stability and predictability have historically made it easier to survive and thrive however, this was easier when the rate of change was slower. In any case, stability and predictability when combined with basic needs being met also creates opportunity for growth and advancement.

The characteristics that most significantly contributed to the rise and rise of homo sapiens is our capacity for cumulative learning and cooperative competition. Individuals inherit knowledge, and then build upon that foundation to develop new knowledge, continually passing exchange, enhancing and improving. As very early humans started to travel and trade, knowledge was increasingly exchanged between different groups creating an increased rate of development. The introduction of modern and instantaneous global communications pushed that capacity even further with cumulative learning – and the progress of invention and ideas – becoming faster than ever, with more people than ever able to contribute to and derive from a collective knowledge commons. The fact that the Internet also harbours unprecedented amounts of entertainment with which individuals could simply spend their life creating nothing of substance does not take away from the fact that same individual, if motivated, could educate themselves on almost anything to contribute to making a better world. With so many people so immediately and easily connected around the world, we also have new means of cooperating and competing. Even when our basic needs are met, we still have an inherent instinct to work with others to improve things. Often cooperation and competition are presented as zero sum game principles however, historically, it is by both cooperating and competing that we have flourished. Cooperating on the common, and competing on the distinct. Both are built into everyday life, from sharing cookies with schoolmates at an athletics competition, to sharing workspaces of competing startups in business incubators. In an era of surplus, many of us aren’t competing for resources at the cost of others, but rather are competing with ideas, beliefs and a changing perspectives of success. All competition naturally builds on the back of cooperation as the best of the best will stand on the shoulders of giants who have come before. Similarly, all cooperation is built on a little competition as the people involved in any venture will try harder with their peers watching, and will strive to be the best they can.

Finally, our natural curiosity and fun seeking natures continually compel us to explore the world around us and improve our lives. Curiosity is certainly not unique to humans however, our constant thirst for knowledge, for ever more shiny distractions and entertainment, for invention and fun, can help in predicting how we may behave in future. Once something, anything, becomes uninteresting or onerous, people tend to look elsewhere. Whatever people find interesting (or can be convinced to be interested in) becomes the basis for new markets, entertainment, memes, finances, invention and development. We like to play. In every form of human society throughout time we have made time to have fun, even when our basic needs aren’t met. We have made play such an important part of our lives that we have created entire areas of specialisation that appear to serve no purpose apart from pleasure, though often contain the ingredients for developing skills, building social cohesion and sharing knowledge. Play is a critical part of human development and life, and we tend to work hard to improve our lives specifically to make space and time for fun.

Although we have developed many complicated systems for how we survive and thrive, we are in fact fairly predictable in our basic desires and motivations. We crave shiny things, new knowledge, social acceptance and control over our lives. We aim to make our lives easier so we can have more time to play. We arm ourselves with the tools required to satisfy our desires (whether innate or influenced) and can build on the efforts and knowledge of those who have come before to constantly innovate and improve, working cooperatively and competitively with others around us. We try to avoid what we aren’t naturally motivated to do, and we like to explore and enjoy the world around us, seeking ever new and exciting experiences. Regardless of how complicated a system we build, these traits have endured and apply to us at both a macro and micro level. For instance, an organisation or body of people is no more likely to do something not in its best interest as an individual, and are just as likely to react badly to existential threats. This should shape how we design and deliver public policy, laws, services, regulation and other broad programs but we often build new systems without taking a pragmatically empathetic view to those affected.

These basic characteristics have brought us here and continue to underpin our lives, so they can tell us something about the fundamental trajectory of human development over time and into the future. They also demonstrate clearly the opportunity to thrive when basic needs are met.

References to include research papers on psychology, rate of evolution, anthropological and historical references to growth and changes in human society including emergence of highly interdependent specialisation, research on human motivations and thrive vs survive reactions.

Back to the book overview or table of contents for the full picture.

Linux Users of Victoria (LUV) Announce: LUV Beginners December Meeting: Internet Governance Forum report

Wed, 2016-12-14 23:03
Start: Dec 17 2016 12:30 End: Dec 17 2016 16:30 Start: Dec 17 2016 12:30 End: Dec 17 2016 16:30 Location: 

Infoxchange, 33 Elizabeth St. Richmond


Internet Governance Forum report

Andrew Pam has just returned from the week-long 2016 Internet Governance Forum in Guadalajara Mexico and will report on the issues and topics discussed at this year's Forum, including economic, social and cultural rights, sustainable development, universal access, surveillance, encryption, privacy, security and more.

The meeting will be held at Infoxchange, 33 Elizabeth St. Richmond 3121 (enter via the garage on Jonas St.)

Late arrivals, please call (0421) 775 358 for access to the venue.

LUV would like to acknowledge Infoxchange for the venue.

Linux Users of Victoria Inc., is an incorporated association, registration number A0040056C.

December 17, 2016 - 12:30

read more

Ben Martin: 3040/24,000 CNC first dry run in place

Mon, 2016-12-12 13:44
The progression has finally reached an upgraded CNC with high power spindle. Things still move around fine to the eye, the next step is likely to do some test drills at known distances to see if the additional weight has had an impact on the steppers that can't be easily seen.

A few interesting times when spinning up to 24,000. At around 320hz there was a new loud rattle. I think this turned out to be resonance with either something that was on the cutting plate or the washers on the toggle clamps.

There is going to be video once this machine starts eating alloy. The CNC needs to be lowered into an enclosure (the easier part) so that chips and the like go into a known location. The enclosure itself needs to be made first ;)

Ironically a future goal is to be going smaller. Seeing if twice the number of microsteps can be pulled off in order to get better precision and cut QFN landing zones on PCBs.

Michael Still: Leviathan Wakes

Sun, 2016-12-11 17:00

ISBN: 9780316129084
I read this book based on the recommendation of Richard Jones, and its really really good. A little sci-fi, a little film noir, and very engaging. I also like that bad things happen to good people in the story -- its gritty and unclean enough to be believable.

I don't want to ruin the book for anyone, but I really enjoyed this and have already ordered the sequels. Oh, and there's a Netflix series based off these books that I'll now have to watch too.

Tags for this post: book james_sa_corey colonization space_travel mystery aliens first_contact
Related posts: Marsbound; Downbelow Station; The Martian; The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress; Starbound; Rendezvous With Rama Comment Recommend a book

Pia Waugh: Choose Your Own Adventure, Please!

Sat, 2016-12-10 15:01

This is a book I am working on, hopefully due for completion by early 2017. The purpose of the book is to explore where we are at, where we are going, and how we can get there, in the broadest possible sense.  Your comments, feedback and constructive criticism are welcome! The final text of the book will be freely available under a Creative Commons By Attribution license. A book version will be sent to nominated world leaders, to hopefully encourage the necessary questioning of the status quo and smarter decisions into the future. Additional elements like references, graphs, images and other materials will be available in the final digital and book versions and draft content will be published weekly. Please subscribe to the blog posts by the RSS category and/or join the mailing list for updates.


Where are we going and how do we get there? An optimistic book about our future as a species that shows how our global society is changing, what opportunities lie ahead, and what we need to collectively address if we are to create the kind of life we all want to lead. It challenges individuals, governments and corporations to critically assess the status quo, to embrace the opportunities of the new world, and to make intelligent choices for a better future.

We have seen a fundamental shift of several paradigms that underpinned the foundations of our society, but now hold us back. Like a rusty anchor that provided stability in high tide, we are now bound to a dangerous reef as the water lowers. We have seen a shift from central to distributed, from scarcity to surplus and from closed to open systems, wherein the latter of each is proving significantly more successful in the modern context. And yet, many of our assumptions are based on the default idea that centricity, scarcity and closed are the desired state. Are they?

There are many books that talk about technology and the impact it has had on our lives, but technology is only part of the story. The immense philosophical shift, particularly over the past 250 years, has created a modern perspective that all people can be influential, successful and mighty, certainly compared to our peasant ancestors who had very little control over their destinies. People — normal people — are more individually powerful than ever in the history of our species and this has enormous consequences for where we are heading and the opportunities ahead. This distribution of power started with the novel idea that individuals might have inalienable rights, and has been realised through the dramatic transformation of the Internet and wide spread access to modern technologies and communications.

How can we use this power to build a better world? Are we capable of identifying, challenging and ultimately changing the existing ideologies and systems that act to maintain a status quo established in the dark ages? We have come to a fascinating fork in our collective road where we can choose to either maintain a world that relies upon outdated models of scarcity that rely upon inequality, or we can explore new models of surplus and opportunity to see where we go next, together.

This book is in three parts and will include case studies, research and references and questions about the status quo:

  • How we got here – looking at the history of modern society including our strengths, weaknesses and major turning points in getting where we are today, including the massive distribution of power from the centre to the periphery over recent centuries and decades. It will also consider the combination of human traits that have served us so well including communication, shared cumulative learning, curiosity, cooperation and competition, experimentation and a constant quest for new forms of stimulation.
  • Where we are going – human nature itself hasn’t changed fundamentally and we can look at trends over time and our basic desire for ever more shiny to make some predictions about where we are heading in the short and longer term. It will also consider what great opportunities lie ahead of us such as nanotech and 3D printing to address poverty and hunger, the possibilities of human augmentation given the brain’s capability to adapt to genuinely foreign inputs, the inevitable shift from the Olympics to the Paralympics, and the shift from nationalism to transnationalism, with significant implications for politics and other traditional geopolitically defined power structures.
  • How do we get there – the final part of the book will look at the artificial systems, thinking and structures we have put in place that will continue to hold us back from our potential until we address them, systemically. It will cover how the law is always behind reality, how a variety of entrenched systems of thinking present the next major philosophical hurdles to progress, how centrist competitive models are failing against distributed cooperative models, and how our ability to move forward relies on being able to let go of the past. This chapter will cover traditional thinking about property, copyright and law, capitalism and zero sum thinking, traditional belief systems, globalism and digital literacy issues.

Below is a more detailed index of draft chapters which will be linked as they are written on this blog for your interest and feedback. Many thanks to everyone who has encouraged me in doing this, and I hope to make you all proud Enjoy!

Table of Contents

Foreword & Introduction

Book 1: Where did we come from

The skills, attributes and context that brought us to where we are.

  1. Clever monkeys – key traits that brought us to where we are
  2. Many hands make light work – the growth of communities and diversification of skills
  3. From gods to people – emergence of rationalism, science and democracy
  4. Emancipation or individualism – human rights, suffrage movements and liberalism
  5. Kings in castles to nodes in networks – the shift from centralised to distributed power
  6. Scarcity to surplus – prosperity and surplus changes how we behave and evolve
  7. The global village – coming into the 21st century, we are increasingly connected

Book 2: Where we are going

Some predictions, opportunities and analysis of where we are likely to go, based on trends and the consistent predictable human attributes explored in Book 1.

  1. Massive distribution of everything – things will only get further distributed, so what does this mean for how powerful individuals could become?
  2. Augmented humanism – wearable and embedded tech is just the first step, so what does it means to be human and how far could we go? Why limit ourselves to replicating human limitations in technology when we could dramatically enhance our selves?
  3. Restoring cooperative competition – models of cooperative competitive are clearly succeeding but how far can it go, what is the role of traditional power structures (like government) and how can we enable people rather than things?
  4. Challenging the bell curve – “normal” was broadly popularised and promoted with mass media (radio and television) but the Internet has laid bare our immense variety. Perhaps there is no norm in the future?
  5. The ghost in the machine – automation, robotics, AI and how we blend the best  of technology and humans for a symbiotic future without outsourcing what makes us human. How does this change us, our lives and work as we know it?
  6. Competitive citizenships – companies already jurisdiction shop for the most beneficial environment, and citizens have started doing the same. With the reducing cost of travel and access to global work opportunities, nations will have to start properly competing to attract and retain citizens.
  7. Distributed democracy – how can our lives be more broadly represented in a transnational sense when national institutions are limited to national interests?

Book 3: How do we get there

What are the key things we need to question moving forward and make conscious decisions about if we are to fully explore new possibilities for the future.

  1. Open society, open future
  2. Property and commons
  3. Overcoming collective amnesia, tribalism and othering
  4. Competition and cooperation
  5. Religion and reality
  6. Economy vs society
  7. Nationalism vs transnationalism

Conclusion and call to action

Individuals, governments, corporations and all other human created entities, what roles, responsibilities and rights should you have into the future? What sort of future do you want for your children? What can you do about it today?

Note: the index will change over time, as the book develops

Ben Martin: 3040 spindle upgrade: the one day crossover plate

Fri, 2016-12-09 19:38
Shown below is the spindle that came with my 3040 "engraving" cnc next to the 2.2kw water cooled monster that I am upgrading to. See my previous blog post for videos of the electronics and spindle test on the bench.

The crossover plate which I thought was going to be the most difficult part was completed in a day. I had some high torsion M6 nuts floating around with one additional great feature, the bolt head is nut shaped giving a low clearance compared to some bolts like socket heads. The crossover is shown from the top in the below image. I first cut down the original spindle mount and sanded it flat to make the "bearing mount" as I called it. Then the crossover attaches to that and the spindle mount attaches to the crossover.

Notice the bolts coming through to the bearing mount. The low profile bolt head just fits on each side of the round 80mm diameter spindle mount. I did have to do a little dremeling out of the bearing mount to fit the nuts on the other side. This was a trade off, I wanted those bolts as far out from the centre line as possible to maximize the possibility that the spindle mount would bolt on flat without interfering with the bolts that attach the crossover to the bearing mount.

A more side profile is shown below. The threaded rod is missing for the z-axis in the picture. It is just a test fit. I may end up putting the spindle in and doing some "dry runs" to make sure that the steppers are happy to move the right distances with the additional weight of the spindle. I did a test run on the z-axis before I started, just resting the spindle on the old spindle and moving the z up and down.

I need to drop out a cabinet of sorts for the cnc before getting into cutting alloy. The last thing I want is alloy chips and drill spirals floating around on the floor and getting trecked into other rooms.

Ben Martin: 3040 for alloy

Thu, 2016-12-08 20:02
I have finally fired up a 2.4kw 24,000 rpm spindle on the test bench. This has water cooling and is VFD controlled. The spindle runs on 3 phase AC power.

One thing that is not mentioned much is that the spindle itself and bracket runs to around 6-7kg. Below is the spindle hitting 24,000 rpm for the first time.

With this and some other bits a 3040 should be able to machine alloy.

Lev Lafayette: High Performance Computing in Europe : A Selection

Wed, 2016-12-07 11:04

For about two weeks prior and a week after presenting at the OpenStack Summit in Barcelona I had the opportunity to visit several of Europe's major high performance computing facilities, giving each a bit of a standard pitch for the HPC-Cloud hybrid system we had developed at the University of Melbourne.

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