UPDATED 20160227: The California DMV did what?

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A while ago I did the usual song-and-dance with the California DMV to renew the registration of my vehicle, as one does periodically. Due to the fact that I live in a fairly high-infrastructure area (not quite New York City, but certainly not as underdeveloped as Pittsburgh or the part of the DC metropolitan complex I used to reside in are in this respect) it's actually kind of rare that I need to actually drive anywhere. If I can't walk to it in half an hour or therabouts I can take BART and not think much of it (usually because …

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DefCon 23: Presentation notes

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Here and behind the cut are the notes I took at DefCon 23. They are necessarily incomplete because they're notes, and I refer you to the speakers' presentations and eventually video recordings for the whole story.

Applied Intelligence: Using Information That's Not There - Michael Schrenk

  • Knowing your operations and resources
  • More effective and efficient
  • Competitive intelligence
  • What's happening outside of your business
  • Know your competitors and markets
  • Collect, analyze, and apply external data
  • There is a professional association of people who do competitive intelligence
  • Applied intelligence is actionable and changes what you do
  • Most is useless unless you develop it …
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3D printed jet engines, prosthetic limbs, and car engines.

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The state of the art of personal 3D printing is still in a state of flux. Mostly, we're still limited to variants of low-melting point plastics and we're still figuring out new and creative ways of making more complex shapes that are self-supporting to some extent. What isn't getting a whole lot of press right now are some industrial applications of this technology, some of which date back a good decade.

For example, a research team consisting of personnel from Monash University in Australia, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, and Deakin University recently unveiled the world's first 3D …

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Just when you thought your morning commute couldn't get any worse.

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In the DC metroplex it isn't uncommon for people to drive to a Metrorail station (which aren't always just down the block), grab a space somewhere in the daily parking lot, and then walk inside to catch the subway. The down side of this is that you have to leave your car sitting unattended and unmonitored for something like ten hours out of the day... as a few people have recently discovered one's catalytic converter, which contains non-trivial amounts of rhodium¸ platinum, or sometimes palladium (which is why they're so damned expensive to replace) are being stolen right out from …

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EDIT: FIXED - I took to the skies once again, and found myself in a strange, wonderous land.

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A land in which traffic in the heart of the city is sparse at high noon, there are restaurants on nearly every corner (woe to my waistline and coronary arteries), and the temperature plummeted from 85 degrees Fahrenheit yesterday to a chilly 55 degrees Fahrenheit by the time C- (cow-orker and metalhead extrodinaire) and I left the site and headed for the hotel.

Yes, this is the Doctor again, writing to you from the outskirts of St. Louis, Missouri. The company I work for has sent me abroad once again on assignment, this time for two weeks straight in the …

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An open letter to the NASCAR-wannabes of Washington, DC.

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Dear jackasses drag racing on the highway a fraction of a block away from my hotel:

Please stop driving like you're trying out for NASCAR. Yes, you've probably sunk a couple of thousand dollars American into your cars. The rest of us don't care. You don't seem to understand that the purpose of a muffler on a vehicle's exhaust system is to quiet the noise that your vehicle's engine makes. Your cars don't sound more powerful, they sound like they need a trip to the garage because they're malfunctioning. If you continue weaving in and out of traffic like you're …

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It isn't so much what you sell as where you sell it.

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Grassroots lobbying groups and a relatively small number of politicians have been pushing the US government for more environmentally friendly measures to be put in place, particularly in the field of automotive travel. Vehicles in the US just aren't all that efficient, energy-wise, and on top of that, the most popular vehicles are SUVs and consumer Humvees that can be measured in dinosaurs per mile, and not miles per gallon. The hell of it is, there are much more efficient vehicles in use in Europe that get between 40 and 80 miles per gallon of fuel (averaged between city and …

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