April 02 2013

Satoshi Nakamoto Sat, 01 Nov 2008 16:16:33 -0700

I've been working on a new electronic cash system that's fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party.

The paper is available at: http://www.bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf

The main properties: Double-spending is prevented with a peer-to-peer network. No mint or other trusted parties. Participants can be anonymous. New coins are made from Hashcash style proof-of-work. The proof-of-work for new coin generation also powers the network to prevent double-spending.

Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System

Abstract. A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without the burdens of going through a financial institution. Digital signatures provide part of the solution, but the main benefits are lost if a trusted party is still required to prevent double-spending. We propose a solution to the double-spending problem using a peer-to-peer network. The network timestamps transactions by hashing them into an ongoing chain of hash-based proof-of-work, forming a record that cannot be changed without redoing the proof-of-work. The longest chain not only serves as proof of the sequence of events witnessed, but proof that it came from the largest pool of CPU power. As long as honest nodes control the most CPU power on the network, they can generate the longest chain and outpace any attackers. The network itself requires minimal structure. Messages are broadcasted on a best effort basis, and nodes can leave and rejoin the network at will, accepting the longest proof-of-work chain as proof of what happened while they were gone.

Full paper at: http://www.bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf

Satoshi Nakamoto

March 02 2013

I was always thinking of coding as wizardry or the closest thing to wizardry that actually exists. In this mindset, pop-culture depiction of wizards almost come across like cargo-cults of the real thing.

The influence of code and algorithms is hard to over-estimate. Still, the code that runs stock exchanges, international banking, logistics and supply chains is not always easy to experience. Controlling a life-size robot arm from code, on the other hand, is very direct and explicit. Explicit and direct is fun and so is the following piece of Python that rotates the end effector by 90 degrees around the tool center point. Most fascinatingly due to the precision of the reverse kinematics this seems to create a virtual hinge point in the air.

I call it the robot mime artist move:

import robot
import transformations as tr
r = robot.Robot(IP='')
quat_down = [0,0,1,0]  # flange pointed down
r.setCartesian([[800,0,1000], quat_down])
q90 = tr.quaternion_about_axis(np.radians(90), [0,1,0])
q = tr.quaternion_multiply(quat_down, q90)
r.setCartesian([[800,0,1000], quat_stuff])
March 01 2013

lasersaur lasersaur

We are approaching the two year mark with the Lasersaur. It has truly been a fascinating ride with many things seen, heard, discovered, and achieved. We now have a laser cutter that cuts 1/2 inch of wood or acrylic quite easily. It also precisely adapts laser power to actual velocity hundreds of times per second and can therefore engrave paper with consistent results.


More importantly we got to know hundreds of people around the world who have either built a Lasersaur or are playing with the idea. And it's not just the Lasersaur project that is picking up speed. Open source hardware is now a thing. The thing seems to be contagious.

See you guys, maybe at Open Hardware Summit 2013 at MIT or MakerFaire Rome.


May 19 2012


March 29 2012

When I was in graduate school, my professors told me that there was no reality outside of language, that the desk where I was sitting, frantically scribbling notes, didn't exist unless I called it a desk, and for quite a while I believed them.

I didn't understand then that theirs was a belief system that, among other things, let us all off the hook. If there were no desks, then certainly there were no polluted rivers; if there were no chairs there was no poverty; if there were no walls and windows, there was no pain or violence in our homes. If the world could only be talked—or written—into being, we would only have to take responsibility for what we said, and never what we did.

March 29 2012
March 29 2012
March 03 2012

alpha romeo carabo

alpha romeo carabo

alpha romeo carabo

February 18 2012

The noun ‘sin’ is feminine in German (die Sünde) but masculine in Russian (rpex). (…)

They investigated 790 paintings of German, French, Italian and Spanish artists that represent a personification of abstract entities such as sin, love, time and justice. Afterwards they compared the personified gender with the grammatical gender of the artist’s mother tongue.

What they found out: Personified gender matched the grammatical gender in 78% of the cases. (…)

It may give answers to German women who always have to wonder why southwestern European men are so much more charming: In Italiy, France and Spain the sin is a man. more: art as grammer

February 18 2012
February 18 2012
February 05 2012

.. and I wonder what it means to want to have your needs anticipated. I think it means: not having to confront him or yourself with the reality that you are a person with needs.

Most of the time, I just work on being invisible with a lie I keep telling myself that maybe one day he will wake up magically enlightened and will consider the fact that what he wants might not be the same as what I want at all.. and so he will ask me and then actually have the energy to carry on with my desires..

but even when I ask, I usually get ignored or questioned... So why bother..

I am really tired. Should go to bed.

  • diary, 2009
February 05 2012

Q: What are some actual examples of the law of unintended consequences in action?

A: American citizens often complain about how high CEO salaries are. The SEC attempted to mitigate this, and required CEO salaries to be publicly disclosed. As a result, they increased approximately three-fold between 1976 and 1993, going from 36 times the average worker pay to 131 times the average worker pay. “It encouraged other CEOs to demand higher pay, since now they had hard data telling them they were underpaid.”

When San Francisco banned giving away toys with happy meals that exceeded a certain percentage of fat, McDonald’s responded by offering the toys with purchase of a happy meal and a 10 cent contribution to charity. They also stopped selling the toys without happy meal purchase, meaning you now have to buy the meal to get the toy.

January 26 2012
January 25 2012

"I've yet to hear a man asked how he's going to combine work & family." - Gloria Steinem, 1972.

2012, still waiting.

January 25 2012

Ask a social scientist about the keys to happiness and you’re likely to hear that it’s better to buy experiences than buy possessions. What you’re unlikely to hear is a good explanation for why experiences make people happier.

Two Cornell psychologists, Emily Rosenzweig and Thomas Gilovich, attempted to answer this question by examining regret rather than satisfaction in the aftermath of a purchase. They theorized that with material purchases the strongest regret stems from action (i.e. buying the wrong thing), whereas with experiential purchases the strongest regret comes from inaction (not having the experience.) The result is that those who make a purchase are more likely to feel regret when buying a material good, and therefore buying a material good leads to comparatively less happiness.

January 12 2012

We've sort of been dropping the ball here on the blog.

We still love it, and we have been working a lot on it (in our minds)

If you want to know what we're up too.. its worth checking out our twitter feed, dropping us an email so we update this more or more interesting is you can always stalk us.. we'll be here for most of January and Feb 2012... Bringing us baked goods is always a nice intro.. don't you think?

January 12 2012
January 12 2012
November 12 2011



It's like that David Foster Wallace thing: If you worship money, you'll always feel poor. If you worship beauty, you'll always feel ugly. If you worship power, you always feel powerless. I worship innovation and I always feel like I'm not doing enough new stuff. That's my impulsiveness.