Boawk (525582) writes "Off and on I've thought about offering a small, workshop-style course on how to use anachronistic tools. The types of tools that immediately come to mind are abacus, slide rule, astrolabe, and sextant. It would be nice to have several of each of these which could be used by students. The course could also include discussions of ancient sites with astronomical significance, such as Stonehenge. What other anachronistic tools, sites, etc. are there that could provide fodder for such a course?" top
Boawk (525582) writes "Can we protect our privacy by flooding the internet with false information about ourselves?
It’s the last approach that really interests me: Pollution. Poisoning the data stream. Putting out enough false information that the real information becomes unreliable. At that point, anyone wishing to know the truth about me has to come to me directly, allowing me to control access. It’s hardly a perfect option — the untrue things can be permanently connected to you, and it does kind of make you hard to trust online — but it’s the one approach to opacity that’s purely social and extremely difficult to stop.
Boawk (525582) writes "Every halloween I put a jack-o-lantern on the porch, typically serving as the head of a pair of stuffed coveralls. And every morning after, I find my pumpkin smashed to pieces on my walk. This year rather than pumpkin guts, I'd like to find evidence that the culprits have wet themselves. What are your ideas for rigging up something in the Halloween spirit which would give these neighborhood kids a good scare when they try to remove the pumpkin?" top
The last time American engineers designed a carrier from scratch, in the 1960s, they drew the ship in ink and built full-scale wooden models to prove their designs. Then, the construction-yard workers had to figure out how to put the ship together. Now, engineers and foremen can wander around a mockup of the ship without wearing helmets or boots. All they have to do is slip on chunky black glasses, stare at a screen and step inside the ship's CAD plan.