The Mechanical Transmission of Power

As I read through part one and then, later, parts two and three of Kris De Decker’s interesting series on mechanical power transmission, I knew I had read other articles from the Low-Tech Magazine before. A quick check through my archive proved me right: for those looking for other interesting reads on low-tech solutions to hard problems, check out How Sustainable is a Solar Powered Website? and How to Build a Low-tech Internet, too, or any of The Low-Tech Magazine’s other fascinating work.

In a similar vein, check out 507 Movements for — get this — 507 different mechanical mechanisms. When I run into a novel engineering challenge, I always try to solve it in a simple mechanical way first. Computers are great, but there is a certain elegance to simple machinery for which I have great appreciation.

Persuading David Simon

While I don’t agree with many of the author’s points, nor do I agree with her overarching theme, she did, however, say a number of interesting things throughout the piece. I tried, for the most part, to stay away from articles written on this topic, but this one is well worth the read.

“The security state operates as a ratchet. Once you click in a new level of surveillance or intrusiveness, it becomes the new baseline. What was unthinkable yesterday becomes permissible in exceptional cases today, and routine tomorrow.”

App Segmentation

In my previous article I talked about how I have begun to use my iPad increasingly often as a device to not only consume content, but also to generate it. I mentioned that I read almost every article in Instapaper and that I use Simplenote to write, but I did not delve any deeper into my iPad setup, nor did I go into too much detail in explaining the toolset I employ increasingly infrequently on my computer in the colophon. Taking after John Gruber and Shawn Blanc, these are the tools I use. First, on my iOS devices, as these are the computers I use most often these days. Not necessarily in any particular order,