Archive for September, 2016

Droids make great beacons.

Saturday, September 17th, 2016

I wrote this neat little program for my phone that uses bluetooth discovery to look for stationary devices. The idea is that when my phone detects one of these devices it can do something. I.E. it is location aware. When I go to my car, my phone can react to it, when I go home, my phone can react to that.

Works great. Or at least it used to.
See google is smarter than the rest of us, and they know better, so as a result, they improved their latest version of android (5.0) by changing the bluetooth settings so that it can no longer be set to broadcast its name all the time.

I have one moto-g that refuses to upgrade to 5.0 and works great, I go near it and my phone recognizes it. But alas I have another moto-g that updated itself and now it no longer works. I googled and googled, and that’s just how it is. I tried writing a program to just turn on bluetooth discovery all the time, but it causes a popup to display saying “xyz application wants to enable bluetooth visibility, ok?” which defeats the purpose, since I’m not going to be there to press OK.

It happens, however, that I have an old droid 1 lying around. These are really great machines. Actually the droid 3 is probably the best machine ever made, but the droid 1 isn’t too shabby either.
It requires little power, boots immediately when it detects power even from a dead battery (if say it’s been sitting in my car for a week). Some phones require the battery to charge for 5-10 minutes before it will boot, not this puppy.
It boots quickly, and best of all, it can be set to have the bluetooth discovery enabled all the time and never shut off.
And it will never get upgraded.

In short, the droid 1 can be had on ebay for about $10, and it makes a great bluetooth beacon.

A silly solution to the middle east problem.

Friday, September 2nd, 2016

Over the years I’ve had a number of silly ideas about how to solve the middle east problem, or various little bits of it. Surely none would work, but they were amusing to think about.

I was re-reading this article I wrote….

Transitioning to no money.

and I was reminded of one of them, speaking as I was of buying land.

For years and years lots of people have been upset with the idea of israel. They just don’t want it to exist or something. I’m not an expert in the field, I only remember dribbles of what I read and hear, but I know part of the problem is that lots of people┬ábelieve that┬áthe land that israel inhabits is more special than other bits of land around it.

So there have been wars and terrorist attacks and other venting-of-anger activities.

What I don’t get is: Why, if so many people are so interested in owning the land israel occupies, they don’t just buy it.

Save up your money, don’t spend it on guns and military training, put it in a high yield investment of some kind, or start a crowdfunding venture called “Buy israel” and when you have enough money to buy some…. Buy it. Just like in the game monopoly.

Over enough time, if you buy more and more of it, you’ll eventually have the whole thing, and don’t worry, there is no plop of land so valuable that somebody isn’t willing to give it up for enough money.


In a barely related note, after the 1979 oil crisis (the fist one I remember) I had another idea how to solve another little part of the middle east problem.

Oil oil oil everybody wants oil. OPEC carries whims of the world on its finger based on what price they choose to sell oil at. Or at least they used to, to some degree.

For all the years I can remember, the effort was always ‘rely less on oil’ and ‘make cars more efficient’ and ‘do whatever you can to become less dependent on oil from the middle east’. As a long term solution that’s going to be a reality one way or another, but there’s a much more productive short term solution.

Use up all the oil as fast as you can. Buy that gas guzzler, keep the heat way up and turn on the air conditioning to compensate, get rid of those LED lights and get more manly incandescents.

The middle east countries that use oil as a bargaining chip can only bargain with it, if they have any left. If we use it all up, no more bargaining, no more chip, no more problem.

Of course it would get expensive near the end which would most certainly spur Mr. Science to come up with a solution to the lack of fuel for energy problem, but that’s going to happen anyway. With this simple technique we can rid the world of all those pesky people who fund themselves with oil money.

But the americans came along with their technology and fracked it all up. So that plan can’t work anymore. But maybe if we started doing it in the 70’s we’d have solved that problem by now, and could move on to new problems like self tying shoelaces.