Audio Books – A new found excitement

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I have always wished I could find time to read more often than I do.  At night, a time where most can relax for a few moments and get lost in a book, I find my eyes are too tired from staring at a computer screen all day.

I have discovered audio books from Audible, an Amazon company (http://www.audible.com/).  What an amazing product!  The narrator not only makes the words more exciting, I feel it brings the story to life even more so than the internal narrator in my head when I am reading the paper copy.

Now when driving or working out, I find myself wanting to jump right back into my audio book.  If you have never auditioned an audio book before, I highly recommend it!  You will quickly see how convenient they are and how much more free time you will find to continue “reading”.

Tracking airplanes in real time up to 400+ miles, with the use of RTLSDR and Coax Cable

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Here is a fun project that you can do that allows you to track airplanes in real time for less than $50.

Tools needed:

USB RTL-SDR (hardware that can capture radio waves):  http://www.amazon.com/NooElec-RTL-SDR-RTL2832U-Software-Packages/dp/B008S7AVTC

External Antenna Connector (optional as it includes a mini antenna with the above USB device):  http://www.amazon.com/coaxial-cable-female-right-angle/dp/B00CKG6T9I/

Dump 1090 (software that logs the data and shows the planes in realtime on google maps):  https://github.com/antirez/dump1090

10-15 Feet of Coax Cable (any scraps will do).

 

Collinear Antenna build with coax cable (optional):

 

Instructions:

Install your favorite version of Linux, Dump 1090.  Plug in your USB hardware.  Execute the following:

./dump1090 --interactive --net

Finally open the browser and browse to http://localhost:8080 to see live traffic.

RFID and Facebook

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A few years ago, I co-developed the software and hardware setup of a system that tracked walkers in large scale events with the use of RFID technology.  We integrated social media (Facebook) to allow for viral marketing as well as demographic/event tracking of participants in real time.  It was a really fun project that allowed us to work on some very challenging issues.

You can read more about a press article that describes the details here:   http://www.rfidjournal.com/articles/view?9837