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Why the Emoluments Clause Does NOT Apply to Donald Trump...

Boing Boing -

FOLLOW @RubenBolling on the Twitters and a Face Book.

NOW MORE THAN EVER, join Tom the Dancing Bug's subscription club, the Proud & Mighty INNER HIVE, for exclusive early access to comics, extra comics, and much more.

AND FOR NO PARTICULAR REASON, GET Ruben Bolling’s new hit book series for kids, The EMU Club Adventures. (”A book for the curious and adventurous!” -Cory Doctorow) Book One here. Book Two here.

More Tom the Dancing Bug comics on Boing Boing! (more…)

Astronaut: watch YouTube videos with no views

Boing Boing -

Most YouTube videos have at least a few views: the uploader making sure it works and applying basic edits. But zero views? That's a special class of film: automated, forgotten, mistaken, baffling, beautiful. Astronaut will show them to you. [via MeFi]

Today, you are an Astronaut. You are floating in inner space 100 miles above the surface of Earth. You peer through your window and this is what you see. You are people watching. These are fleeting moments.

These videos come from YouTube. They were uploaded in the last week and have titles like DSC 1234 and IMG 4321. They have almost zero previous views. They are unnamed, unedited, and unseen by anyone but YOU.

I can't stop watching. It seems almost too perfect, like a montage in a movie about the wonderful, unbeknownst things humans were doing before the Orange Death held sway.

Caffeine May Counter Age-Related Inflammation, Says Study

Slashdot -

According to a new Stanford study published in the journal Nature Medicine, caffeine may help to counter the inflammatory process that occurs in some older people. The researchers have found a connection between advancing age, systemic inflammation, cardiovascular disease and coffee consumption by analyzing blood samples, survey data and medical and family histories obtained from more than 100 human participants in a multiyear study. Stanford Medical Center Report adds: The study implicates this inflammatory process as a driver of cardiovascular disease and increased rates of mortality overall. Metabolites, or breakdown products, of nucleic acids -- the molecules that serve as building blocks for our genes -- circulating in the blood can trigger this inflammatory process, the study found. The study also provides evidence that caffeine and its own metabolites may counter the action of these circulating nucleic-acid metabolites, possibly explaining why coffee drinkers tend to live longer than abstainers. Notably, this inflammatory mechanism was found to be activated only in some, but not all, of the older study participants. Those in whom it was relatively quiescent tended to drink more caffeinated beverages. Laboratory experiments revealed that the mechanism was directly countered by caffeine and associated compounds. For the new study, the researchers compared blood drawn from older versus younger study participants to see which genes tended to be more highly activated in older people. They zeroed in on two clusters of genes whose activity was associated with the production of a potent circulating inflammatory protein called IL-1-beta. The genes within each cluster appeared to work in coordination with one another. The researchers found that incubating a type of immune cell with two of those nucleic-acid metabolites boosted activity in one of the gene clusters, resulting in increased IL-1-beta production. When injected into mice, the substances triggered massive systemic inflammation, along with high blood pressure. In addition, immune cells infiltrated and clogged the animals' kidneys, increasing renal pressure substantially. Intrigued by the correlation between older participants' health, gene-cluster activation and self-reported rates of caffeine consumption, the researchers followed up and verified that blood from the group with low cluster activity was enriched for caffeine and a number of its metabolites, compared with blood from the group with high cluster activity. (Examples of these metabolites are theophylline, also found in tea, and theobromine, which abounds in chocolate.) Incubating immune cells with caffeine and its breakdown products along with the inflammation-triggering nucleic acid metabolites substantially prevented the latter from exerting their powerful inflammatory effect on the cells.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

A script to log what my GPS tells me

LXer -

I carry a Garmin Etrex 10 when I go bug-collecting. It's a handheld GPS receiver without many frills, and I only use it to record the latitude and longitude of each of my collecting sites as a waypoint.At the start of a field trip I delete all previous waypoints. When I do this, the trip's waypoints are then serially numbered from 001 and stored in the Etrex 10 in a file with a name like Waypoints_14-NOV-16.gpx.When I get home [...] I then use a keyboard shortcut to launch my gpslogger script, which is explained in this article.

Book-wrangling at Wordery with a Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi -

While we mostly deal in pretty technologically advanced stuff here at Pi Towers, we are huge fans of the printed word too. It’s great to hear, then, that the Raspberry Pi has been helping booksellers to keep bibliophiles like us supplied with all the reading matter they could wish for. Jeff Podolski, IT and network technician at Wordery, recently got in touch to tell us just how his company has been using the Pi in their warehouse.

At work in the Wordery warehouse.

Wordery is an online bookshop which offers over 10 million books, including a wide range of Raspberry Pi titles. Jeff tells us that the company has been working on improving their productivity and customer service over the past few years, with a recent drive towards greater automation in our sorting and distribution operation. “We needed to get PCs on the desks used for packing and mailing, so we could track packed items and provide interactive feedback for our staff,” says Jeff. A PC with a screen and barcode scanner on a desk takes up considerable space and power, so the IT team came up with the idea of using Raspberry Pis instead.

After some initial tests using a Pi and a standard PC screen, Jeff and his team streamlined the setup using the official 7” screen and case, along with a USB barcode scanner. This allowed them to have a unit on the desk which took up one fifth of the space a PC would have needed, while using dramatically less power.

The Pi and touchscreen assembly

Jeff’s next challenge was to keep the Raspberry Pi safe from being knocked and bumped by all the items being packed, lest an unsecured Pi become a Pi smashed on the warehouse floor. “We found an excellent tablet mounting arm designed for wheelchairs: we simply clamped that to the table and attached a back-board to the tablet bracket,” Jeff explains. “We were then able to attach the Pi using the rear mounting screw holes”. After a little tidying of cables, Jeff and the team had created a small, low-power, easily movable interactive terminal which can be used by all the staff in the warehouse.

A mobile terminal, thanks to a hacked tablet holder

The project was such a success that over 40 of these terminals have now been installed, and the benefits are already clear to see. “This year we have been able to process record volumes through our warehouse, up 11% on the previous year,” notes Jeff. “The Pis were key to us handling this additional volume, enabling us to increase packing productivity by 30%. The beauty of a project like this is we’re now advocating using these Raspberry Pi terminals elsewhere in the building, further reducing our power consumption and equipment costs”.

We’re really happy to see the success of a project like this: it shows how the Raspberry Pi can make automation much cheaper and more accessible, as well as much more flexible. Jeff’s team did a great job of hacking the tablet arm to make it fit another purpose, too. It also really speaks volumes of the helpfulness and engagement of the Raspberry Pi community. The team at ModMyPi helped with sourcing large amounts of kit and cables, as well as the cases themselves. The Raspberry Pi Thin Client Project worked on making a simple, configurable thin client for Jeff’s team to use. Finally, Martin Kirst, the lead programmer on the open-source project TN525j, helped Jeff and his team to make the terminal emulator screens easily readable and to add new functionality to the units.

Using the Pi enabled Wordery to work more efficiently

Thank you for sharing your work with us, Jeff: it shows what great work you can do with the Raspberry Pi in an industrial setting.

In celebration of the success of this Pi-powered automation project, the nice folks at Wordery are offering a discount on Raspberry Pi titles on Wordery.com until the end of January: use the code “HAPPYREADING” and receive 10% off your second book. Wordery offer free delivery on all orders too.

 

 

The post Book-wrangling at Wordery with a Raspberry Pi appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

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