Personal Experience with the Real Blockchain

“The Blockchain” has become a real buzzword in computing these days, but often without a coherent justification. I think it’s because there are a lot of venture capitalists and entrepreneurs who are trying to remain really tuned in to the “next big thing” in technology. I personally cringe every time I hear business people talking about “the blockchain”, because it was never supposed to a tool to make money, or even be a part of... Read more...
23 August 2020

Star Trek

Star Trek is a world renowned television series and media franchise that’s been running for over fifty years. It has one of the largest, most widespread and most passionate fan bases of any obsession in the world. Certainly one of the largest for a television show, with dedicated websites, forums, communities, fan fiction, and even entire conventions. Consuming the entire corpora of Star Trek is essentially a rite of passage for geeks in the English... Read more...
27 June 2020

Chipotherm, A DIY Electronic Internet Thermostat

Around last year, we started encountering a frequent problem at XION. The winters can get somewhat chilly in San Francisco, and thanks to “Karl The Fog”, it can be pretty chilly during the summer as well. Fortunately, we have a heater installed at the arcade, but it suffers from a lot of the same problems Internet-connected thermostats promised to solve. Notably, the ability to start heating up the space before arrival. Although the problem I... Read more...
09 February 2020

Consumer Electronics Show 2020

Last month I attended my eleventh annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. I’ve been going to CES every year since my first year of college, in 2009. In fact, it was the first reason I ever left my home state! The show is free to attend, but only for “industry affiliates”. Fortunately, the requirement for being an “industry affiliate” is pretty loose, which means I’ve been able to attend under the company I... Read more...
08 February 2020

My Top 10 Favorite Movie Hackers

I am deeply obsessed with hacker culture. In my movie watching preferences, this obsession manifests as a deep affinity for hacker movies. Some of my favorite movies of all time are directly influenced by hacker culture such as The Matrix (1999) or Hackers (1995). In the 1990’s and early 2000’s, there seemed to be a great trend in Hollywood of depicting hacker characters, even in movies that weren’t strictly technology or cyberpunk themed. I absolutely... Read more...
26 March 2019

Writing a Custom Screen Locker Using XSecureLock

Moments before the protagonists from the movie Hackers work together to overload the Gibson–after rollerblading through New York City via an undisturbed route of compromised traffic signals–each one of them rolls into a phone booth in Grand Central Station and boots up their laptop. During this scene, the camera pans across the laptop screens of each respective hacker as their computer plays a special, customized animation. Ever since I saw this scene I wanted to... Read more...
31 January 2019