Random Access Memories

December 27, 2011

On printers and privacy

by @ 2:49 pm. Filed under Personal

So my landlord got a new Dell color laser printer, and I was curious about the “yellow dot tracking” that new printers use. So I printed a page and scanned it at 600dpi.

Ok, nothing crazy going on there, as one would expect, so I looked closer.

Hrrm, look there, I see some yellow dots. Let’s strip away all the colors but blue so they get darker.

Well, will you look at that. Sure enough the page is covered in little dots in a specific pattern.

I guess it’s all totally true, color laser printers are adding information to printed pages to show where they came from.

I can’t say that makes me overly happy.

December 26, 2011

The Razor’s Edge

by @ 1:15 am. Filed under Business, Personal

Recently I caught wind of the “classic” or “retro” shaving movement. For those unaware this is the concept that the evolution of the razor ended with the invention of the “safety razor” in 1880 (Yeah, 130 years ago…) and the invention of it’s replaceable blades in 1901.

Simply put it makes the case that from that point forward companies competed to “buzzword enhance” the razor rather than actually improve it’s practical functioning. (IE. modern fights between Shick and Gilette over who has rights to a 3/4/5 bladed disposable razor are just fluff, and that these devices do not do a better job of shaving than the razors our grandparents shaved with)

Since I despise shaving with an electric razor, and disposable modern razors don’t do much better I figured I would add a badger brush and a safety razor to my Christmas wishlist. Tonight I got around to trying them.

In a phrase? Holy crap.

First there was the old-fashioned thick lather and brush, then the heavy steel razor, the whole process just exuded a feeling of timelessness compared to a can of foam and a plastic razor. On top of that there is a certain comfort to knowing that you can get safety blades almost anywhere in the world and very cheap compared to modern plastic disposable cartridges. Along with that the razor itself will probably outlast me. Also gone was the clogged disposable razor issue that I had come to despise.

The process will take some getting used to, it’s much easier to razor-burn yourself than with a disposable (especially if one rushes), but the shave is much closer as well. I was probably a tad overly cautious, but repeating the process bordered on enjoyable.

In the end it was an excellent example of how the new ways are not always really an improvement over the old.

December 17, 2011

Hoorah, we have ammunition!

by @ 6:54 am. Filed under Personal

Sarah’s mother has gifted us with a ton (38 aluminum and 12 carbon) of arrow shafts. Now, we just need to find a good deal on 50 foam stress balls.

December 13, 2011

The Gold Bubble

by @ 2:54 pm. Filed under Personal

So for awhile now I’ve thought that gold is way overvalued, and is going to have a sharp correcting within he next 5 years.

I’ve talked to other people regarding this, and many agree, but they brush off the risk by saying that it won’t be that bad since the average person is not invested in precious metals.

Yet today what do I see on TV? An ad for a “Gold IRA”. Sure, invest your retirement savings in gold.

How many people will be stupid enough to make this risky a move? Time will tell I suppose.

December 5, 2011

Mendelmax, built and hooked up

by @ 11:57 pm. Filed under Component Electronics, Personal, Technology

Well, got it together. Hopefully it will work.

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