“Right to Repair” – Who can fix your software-infested product?

“Following on from his earlier article on US farmers hacking their tractors with Ukrainian pirated software (previously), Jason Koebler has teamed up with Lara Heintz to make a short documentary for Motherboard about some of the people involved: farmers, tractor repairers as well as the politician who introduced a “right to repair bill” (previously).”

Read the full article and the comments at www.metafilter.com.

Steel Armor — The Technology of Another Time

“Nothing remains of the Royal Armor Workshops at Greenwich. What does remain are many of the great masterpieces of the Greenwich armorers, which allow us to stand in the presence of great princes and knights long dead. For those who take the time to look, they live on in ways their makers could never have imagined.” -Tobias Capwell

This Metafilter page includes a link to an interesting hour-long BBC video.

 

Fort Collins couple builds Train Alert system to help reduce traffic backups

Read the full article here: www.reporterherald.com. Excerpted below.

A camera mounted on the side of their house and a homemade computer program are the nuts and bolts behind the service, called Train Alert, which launched its first version Dec. 8.

Train Alert automatically sends out tweets and web alerts to subscribers with estimated times an oncoming train will arrive at major street crossings in Loveland and Fort Collins.

All elements of the Train Alert system are homemade and low-cost, the couple said. Keeping the cost low was “a fun challenge,” Kathy Haselmaier said.

Jim Haselmaier, who has some background in engineering and software development, used open-source image analysis software and a program he wrote himself in the programming language Python to create the train monitor. The image analysis “routines,” which he obtained from an online library called Open CV, do “some basic but astonishingly cool tasks,” Haselmaier said.