Build Your Own Drone

Elizabeth Case is back for the holidays to talk about how she went about building a custom drone for her graduate work, the lessons she learn, and the problems she encountered. She and David Bryant have a great dialog about tools, 3D printing, software, controller types, and other drone-related issues. Elizabeth is now an FAA-licensed drone pilot and talks about interesting uses for drones in science. If you’re at all interested in building your own drone, give us a listen. […]

Our Holiday Wishlist of Unicorns

This is totally not a holiday gift guide. Some of these things exist now, some will exist in the near future, and some may never exist. It’s really a wish list of tech we’d like to see, and soon… and have! Think of this as our “if wishes were ponies” episode about what we’d really like to see come down the pipe soon. Our list ranges far and wide, including PC processors, automobiles, smart cameras, and more. Tools Listener Ryan […]

My Next PC May Not Run on Intel

Last week, AMD partially unveiled its upcoming Ryzen processor, aka Summit Ridge. AMD only demonstrated the high-end model running at an estimated base clock frequency of 3.4GHz. AMD CEO Lisa Su compared its high-end Ryzen to Intel’s Core-i7 6900K. It’s clear from the demos that Ryzen isn’t quite fully baked yet. The company hasn’t enabled boost clocks, hasn’t fully settled on the 3.4GHz base clock, and didn’t disclose pricing. AMD’s new progeny runs on the existing socket AM4 platform, although […]

Whose Future Is It?

Who will shape the tech future? Which companies, NGOs, governmental organization, and other entities will shape how we use tech, view tech, and consume tech. The biggest impacts on daily lives may lie behind the scenes, not in our daily interactions. Eric and I have a spirited discussion about who will control and define the future of tech. Will it be old school companies like Microsoft and Apple, the new generation of Internet giants such as Google and Facebook, or […]

Meet the New Dog, Not the Same as the Old Dog

Pets ingratiate themselves into your life in funny ways. About fourteen years ago, an 11-year old Elizabeth Case and I trekked to Sacramento to look at some Corgi pups. The breeder brought out the Corgi’s, who looked pretty bland and sort of lay there looking at us. Neither my daughter nor I were particularly impressed. After several minutes, a tiny double-dapple shorthair miniature dachshund pup trotted out, hopped into Elizabeth’s lap and into our lives. We named her Jania. We […]

Can Open Source Processors Thrive?

I recently attended part of the RISC-V workshop at the Google campus. RISC-V is a fully open source CPU instruction set developed at UC Berkeley developed by Krste Asanovic, Andrew Waterman, and Yunsup Lee. An academic instruction set is all well and good, but the RISC-V spawned SiFive, which plans on building commercial processors using RISC-V. Can RISC-V and SiFive compete against ARM? More appropriately, can SiFive compete against smaller, agile proprietary players like Andes Technology, Synopsys, and Cortus? Unlike […]

Strategic Asymmetry in Board Games

I recently wrote about what I called fully asymmetric board games. Fully asymmetric games can be great fun, but design challenges abound. A vast amount of playtesting needs to be done to balance the factions; otherwise you end up with a game that’s “solved” pretty quickly by playing one particular faction. Games with limited asymmetry are much more common — I like to call this “strategic asymmetry” because the choice of faction or initial player setup tends to direct the […]