Video Encoding for the Web in 2016

Understanding the tools and technology related to video encoding is like trying to hit a moving target — every few years the scene changes entirely and you have to learn all the latest best practices over again. I recently spent more time than I should have preparing a video of some tanks rolling down the street near […]

Publishing static sites with Pelican

There’s a lot of buzz from the hipsters about static site generation using Python and Ruby tools. A few that I just overheard while standing in line at Starbucks: Pelican Octopress – “A blogging framework for hackers” Jekyll Tinkerer – “Blogging for Pythonistas” nanoc Despite being popular almost exclusively with hipsters, I can see the […]

Alan opts out of TSA scan at Portland PDX

I flew from Portland (PDX) -> San Diego (SAN) this week. I was greeted by one of the controversial full-body millimeter wave scanners. Unsure of the privacy and health implications of the scanners, I decided to opt out, and get a manual pat down instead. I was somewhat surprised when my mom whipped out her […]

Mjanja build server 2.0

Last year I set out to build a powerful server for my personal use at home; compiling kernels, hacking on CyanogenMod, and for use as a media server hooked up to my TV. I bought most of the parts in Kenya, just to prove it could be done. It wasn’t cheap, but it was way […]

Fun with optics and microscopy

Marc Dusseiller from was in Nairobi for a conference on point-of-care diagnostics, demonstrating some of his cool low-tech biohacking devices. I spent some time with him after the conference, showing him around Nairobi, as well as taking him over to the iHub to see if we could meet up with any other hackers/makers. He […]