The US government recently revealed its investigations into 12,000 encounters with UFOs spanning between 1947-1969.
Microfilms of these cases, collectively known as Project Blue Book, have become available for anyone to view online. Now some of the strangest from the collection have been highlighted, revealing the mysterious objects in the sky that left UFO hunters baffled. One of the most famous is the Lubbock Lights incident, which was reported on August 30, 1951 in Texas by three professors, according to a report by¬†Joe Tonelli onDigg. One of the professors said the objects ‘appeared to be about the size of a dinner plate and they were greenish-blue, slightly fluorescent in colour. Kenneth Arnold saw nine UFOs over Mount Rainier, on 24 June 1947 and the US government agencies took an interest in reports.
Project Blue Book was the name for a project that investigated UFO reports between 1947 and 1969. The aim was to determine if UFOs were a threat to national security, and to scientifically analyse UFO-related data.
The extra-terrestrial files reveal how the phenomenon was discussed at the highest level of government and by security services worldwide, including at the United Nations, and the US Central Intelligence Agency. The 35 files which are free to view online for the next month contain 8,500 pages of UFO sightings and reports, colour photographs and drawings, RAF investigations, unusual radar detections and - for the first time - documents on the Government's policy on UFOs. In one of the documents a man said he believed he had been "abducted" by aliens in October 1998 after seeing an unidentified craft hover over his London home and finding he had gained an hour of time in the process. The MoD wrote to the man informing him that the object was probably an airship, adding that the time he had gained was probably the result of the clocks being put back one hour on the night of his close encounter. Another document describes an incident that was treated as a real alien invasion of the UK. Four police forces, bomb disposal units, the army and the MoD's intelligence branch were all mobilised before it emerged the saucers were a hoax by engineering students from Farnborough Technical College. Between 1959 and 2007, Britain's Defence Intelligence branch has logged more than 11,000 UFO reports. In January 1979 - during the peak of the "Winter of Discontent"- in addition to discussions on trade union strikes, the House of Lords held a debate of the subject of UFOs – the only full debate on UFOs ever held in British Parliament.
They also reveal that in December 1977 the government used its influence to talk down a call by Grenada president, Sir Eric Gairy, for a UN agency to conduct research into UFO sightings.
I was very impressed with the reviews of the DebugClip kickstarter, in fact it sounded to good to be true. You can optionally power the Raspberry Pi directly from USB connection, just set the jumper to closed. You will notice that the clip appears to be 'floating' about the GPIO pins, the early Pis had larger pins and although I could squish it down it would be a pain to remove it again. The second best thing about the clip is that you do not need to install anything, on either the Pi or the host Linux machine. The LEDs are a great addition and show when the serial modem is sending and receiving data.
There is a dirty little secret with the Raspberry Pi models 2 and 3 but luckily most users will never come across it. Quick side note, the rainbow screen is in fact just four pixels scaled up by the processor. Last week the fitting company noted that based on the data and photos we had sent the charger may have to be 'slow' requiring 6 not 3 hours for a full charge. For the Raspberry Pi 3 build I had only a 4GB micro SD card and the standard Raspbian image will not fit on it.
It was a little bit busy and for 6 hours straight I had queues of kids wanting to have a go with the robot and the last hour still had at least one child trying to have "another" go. Bottom line was everyone had fun and the organisers have invited us back, we also got a lot of positive feedback from the parents. I bought a number of other cheap bits like a Drum Hat, Cambridge Edu Kit 3 (robotics) and a couple of the new MagPi books. This is because we are not using the default of the HDMI audio output but the 3.5mm audio jack to old PC speakers. I managed to nab a couple on Dell 2009WT 20" monitors from work that were on their way to the tip for the boys to replace the CRTs that currently heat their rooms. But it seemed what ever I did they would not generate a display from the Raspberry Pi using a VGA->HDMI converter.
I also managed to get another couple of "items" that would have otherwise gone to the tip, very heavy items that I will have to investigate the worth of in the future.
FYI two separate companies have donated games for use on the Raspberry Pi and I now need to try them out, for the boys, you understand.
I then found a pending pull-request from a user trying to identify firmware issues so had a go at running that. Pimoroni emailed me the firmware and it was easy to unpack and run a Python script that fixed the SkyWriter Hat.
I asked why this was not available in the GitHub repository and if a lot of people were affected. As it is a Hat and comes pre-assembled all you have to do is connect it and fits perfectly on a Raspberry Pi 2 and download the code.
I have edited the massive output to highlight instances of "presses", "flicks" and "airwheels"(rotating your finger as if stirring the SkyWriter Hat, but not touching it).
I like to use my linux machine running X with the Pi not running X but having GUI apps available with no connected display(i.e. I have my old colleagues asking me what its like in my new role and I just explain it is exactly the same as before except I have more power! When I was Senior Dev I tried to make thing better, post build scripts, continuous integration, build quality etc as well as the day to day coding.
I always think that I do *nothing* then I do my end of year review and find I have done quite a bit.
Since introducing a spell checker into the flog process I was surprised to find so many mistakes. One of the things I bought last year was an LCD 16x2 screen that I never got around to hooking up. It would seem that not all LCD 16x2 screens are exactly alike but are so mostly alike that anyone of the many many tutorials are viable. What really makes it for me in this video is that graphics showing which pin goes where and the fact it is all done Live. Once I had soldered the header pins on and the wired it to the Pi and the LCD was displaying a line of filled squares the software was a little more time consuming. The pin changes in the video were still valid, excluding the last one that was noted to not being used.
The commands to set the LCD line are not required when using the lcd_string method and the second parameter in the video is now the line(address) not the justification. Now I can pass the line as 1 or 2 and the justification as 0 for left justified, 1 for entered and 2 for right justified, or default to left aligned. I did not try the AdaFruit libraries and numerous posts had mentioned problems with it and I did not need any of its extra abilities. The camera path is just a bezier circle to be the camera track and set it as the camera's parent. I was waiting at a swimming pool and found myself staring at the waves and how they distorted the black lines on the bottom of the pool.
The following is very simplified version of why I have not blogged recently, it is for me, not you, enjoy! I unlock the front door and then break the sliding bolt to find her sprawled at the bottom of the stairs still crying in pain.
Ten mins later no sign of anyone, Sarah is still making a lot of noise and the kids are now very upset.
I am hoping about in and out of the house in hope of hearing a siren, they keep coming in the distance but never seem to get any closer. 30 minutes from first 999 call and a siren is getting louder but it still takes ages before we see the blue lights reflecting off distant houses. 30 minutes with the ambulance crew and they have to call for a doctor to give a specific injection.
Another 30 minutes and the doctor has arrived given the injection and they are trying to get her moved. Slowly we get in to the ambulance and we all go to the hospital arriving just over an 1 hour and half from the original call.
The next few weeks a complete blur with parents and parents-in-law helping out, working from home and Sarah living downstairs.
I while back I managed to uninstall python which is critical for building packages on Gentoo.
To be fair the emerge -a --depclean did say it was going to remove one version of gcc and preserve the other. I needed the ssvncviewer to start automatically on boot and that meant either disabling the VNC server password or passing the password into ssvncviewer.
The documentation says to use vncpasswd to generate a password file but I could not get vncpasswd installed. OK so in the last post we got the new Raspberry Pi 7" Touch screen working in Raspbian Jessie. Hang on, its only showing the top left 800x600 pixels of the Windows machine, where is the scaling options? The ssvncviewer man page and help screen both say you can "auto" scale and "fit" to screen but each time I tried I got scaling not supported. Somebody wanted to mirror their Windows desktop in a read-only manor as simple calendar display for another room. The main screen instructions and information are here and the stand was from ModMyPi with details on their blog. The ModMyPi display case was easy to put together and I loved that it came with so many extra bits including a completely clear front option vs the black acrylic. Although I had no intention of using the USB ports I found I had to swap the Wifi dongle(had to borrow one before the official one came into stock) and a USB keyboard and mouse. I saw a great straight forward Blender Lattice tutorial over on the awesome Blender Nation and knew I would have to try it out. After following this guide I failed to get Eclipse to install the Android tools, appears the version available in the bog-standard Gentoo is 5 years old.


We had a Minecraft party for one of the kids and although I stole a lot of ideas from the internet a couple of original games and activities made it ours. I had a Raspberry Pi and I expected to install Kodi(which is the new name for RASPMC) and then stream on to our Humax box. The kids went absolutely nuts over the very simple water bottles that we had wrapped "Healing potion" labels around. I had bought these two Minecraft paper kits to simply decorate the rooms, but there were so many bits to make we did not even open the big one until the party. I have always wanted to try the Mentos and Diet Coke fountains and one of these party blogs mentioned marking the bottles as TNT.
Before we got to the food Sarah had suggested we get a movie to let the kids calm down and as the party was for four hours I had gone and bought the latest kids DVD Shawn the sheep. Finally the cake was just a sponge square with green pre-made icing and some black squares to make a Creeper face. All in all everyone was very happy, Sarah and I were completely knackered and all the kids not only got a party bag but a Minecraft pixel mask and a few paper cubes. FYI I had all the above links open in my browser for the week after the party in the vague hope I would write this blog post, and at least one of them used up serious amounts of CPU and memory. The development team at work wanted an easy way of visualising the number of issues in various queues.
The development team was very happy, but not so the design team that got distracted every time the sign flashed and blinked as it scrolled. Skip forward a few months, the Raspberry Pi was released and my bosses boss got two and the budget for a couple of HDMI TVs with wall mounting brackets.
Originally the Raspberry Pi running Chromium was the preferred way of running a GeckoBoard but the single core 256mb machines(these were very early Pis) could not cut it and kept just dying, requiring a power cycle.
Fast forward to present day, I requested and was surprised to receive a Raspberry Pi 2 4 core 1GB ram. Works well with the GeckoBoard JavaScript that tripped up all the other non Chrome browsers.
Sends to the F11 command as if you had typed it and if Iceweasel is the in-focus application then it switches to full screen! I then commented out the lines that run the screen saver and desktop and added in xset calls that stop the automatic screen blanking and a call to shell script to run Iceweasel and my python code(more on that later). The script file was necessary as systemd makes it impossible(or at least very difficult) to till when things are ready.
Rebooting now meant the Pi came up then ran Iceweasel with the dashboard page and then 15 seconds later switched to full screen.
This was great but I need to get the IP address that the Pi would use at work from the WiFi network. I rebuilt the linux kernel and everything went fine, rebooted and tried to follow my "post kernel install steps", which are basically just install a matching GFX card driver.
It was giving an error every time I ran it "Segmentation Fault", which is as generic as you can get on Linux. In the mean time I had been reading MANY posts from Gentoo users over the last 3 months about problems installing the latest ATI drivers with 4.0 kernel. A web page available on my local network that and browser can visit see and toggle the status. Number two sounds too time consuming for value I would get from it, Number one sounds the simplest but I can never get switches to work with the GPIO pins so there would be a lot of research, though I have the Pis for it.
I struggled for a long time with the last Pi cam, so I wanted to take a completely different approach. PIR (Passive Infrared Sensor) are simple and cheap, detecting the movement of objects giving of Infrared radiation e.g. This would involve electronics (which I am not very good at) but should result in a simple setup. You can clearly see when the sensor was tripped "+" and then when the sensor thought nothing else was going to happen "=" and finally nothing has changed from the last state "_".
I then added in some simple camera commands and it would take pictures and save them to the PI when activity was sensed. If the "capturing" flag is set then increase the frame counter, get a new file name and the correct folder name for the day. It has been running for 10 days with no issue other than my free DropBox account ran out of space.
I need to setup a Pi with wifi and looked over my old notes and groaned, why does it need to be so complicated? I seem to be constantly being attacked by shiny things that distract me from what I need to complete!
This is mainly so I can remember the steps to add textures in both Blender Internal and Cycles rendering engines.
Needless to say rather than using the paint mode in the Blender UV editor you can just save the image file and work on it in something like GIMP. As gift from my family for reaching a mile stone age I got to pre-order the Pebble Time smart watch from Kickstarter. It arrived last Friday and I am pleased to say that the battery has not needed recharging once(though it is now at 10%).
Choice of watch faces: I was blown away at the news that Apple would not support different faces on their much more expensive device.
I have been telling people for years that I do not need a watch, but I am really loving this. I forgot to note my favourite command for monitoring the failed connections through the kidsspot proxy. I managed to nab some out-of-date laptops from work that were destined for the skip, with the proviso that I remove the hard disks for destruction. Children should be chaperoned while on the internet at all times rather than being restricted. At this point you can connect to your hot-spot and get an IP address and have full access to the internet!
If you need to bypass the proxy you can add an exclusion based on IP address, or just plugin an ethernet cable. Although I have not tried it you can set rules based on times, so the kids can not surf at midnight.
It's the simplicity that makes this game, along with the perfect balance of power at any time. Ejecting mass can; leave food pellets to entice an enemy where you want, to make your self lighter, or simply cause a diversion. If you can get a mass of a few hundred you understand the basics, get over a thousand and you are a contender and may appear on the top 10 leader board, get up to 10,000 and you consider yourself the winner(though nothing changes you just cannot get any bigger). As you get bigger you find your food needs change as over time you lose mass and you slow down.
I cannot help but waste mass on virus feeding, this means I rarely get into the top 10 but I do live for a reasonable amount of time. Finally, you can select any name you like(or none) including the names of other players and a set of special names such as "earth, moon, mars, nasa, poland and reddit" which give you unique skins.
I wanted to do source control on my local machine and move away from folders called "Projectx good on 20140321_backup3" but at the same time I did not want to install a server or make everything public on GitHub.
The one exception was the official documentation, and only after I had given up looking for blogs discussing this did I reluctantly try the this tome. That will initialise the git repository, which is the hidden folder .git, then add all the files to be commit queue, check the status, are these the files you want added? After five years of a rolling disclosure programme, the contents of Britain's "UFO files" are no longer a secret.
I do tend to think that after 60 years of so they would tend to have more conclusive evidence.
I disagree - of course they know - heck the MOD instillations are always getting 'buzzed' by the little devils! No it isn't, none of these cases were Top Secret, the question should be asked, when will the other cases be released?
Most were eyewitness reports and drawings, its the drawings that were very cool, some bizarre stuff their I admit.
The Above Top Secret Web site is a wholly owned social content community of The Above Network, LLC. Thousands of UFOs have been spotted around the UK over the past 20 years, according to newly released reports.
The reports contain more than 6,000 pages describing people's strange sightings and eerie experiences with extra-terrestrial activity. They include photographs, drawings and film footage of unidentified flying objects, like this one. These pictures are sketches drawn on behalf of witnesses to show their interpretation of what they saw. The witness in this case said the UFO was flying at around 15 miles per hour, 100ft in the air. Loads of the UFOs described in more recent reports show the aircraft as big, black and triangular, with lights along the edges.
Back in the 1940s and '50s, most of the UFOs were said to be disc-shaped, which is why they've come to be known as flying saucers. Some experts reckon the reason they change shape through the ages is just because of what we watch on TV and in the cinema. The reports have all been released by the Ministry of Defence and they've been given to the National Archive so everyone can see them.
In order to deliver a personalised, responsive service and to improve the site, we remember and store information about how you use it. The RAF received a number of calls reporting six flying saucers in a perfect line across southern England from the Isle of Sheppey to the Bristol Channel. The National Archive note that investigations found "ordinary explanations" for most UFO reports but it allowed the existence of "some cases on record where no common explanation can be found.
I did not investigate connecting it to Windows or Mac machines but I can see plenty of people have. Because their CPUs are ARM7 and not ARM6 like their predecessors, you cannot use a SD card setup for ARM6 on the an ARM7. To be more precise the HDMI output was stuck at the rainbow and the SD green LED was flashing four times slowly and four times fast, which apparently is flashing 8 times.


Which would have been fine for my mini commute, but apparently our setup cannot even manage that. As Lego towers featured heavily a Raspberry Pi just showing my screen saver of falling blocks that pile up was ideal.
Especially liked the workshop format; Basic intro, "what is this wire for", sense hat workshop walk through, followed by "select the worksheet you are interested in". We also won a Pibrella board and the foundation gave everyone another copy (latest version) of "Adventures in Raspberry Pi". So by starting the app and the using my real mouse to select the menu I could move up and down and on to sub-menus and even execute programs by floating over the SkyWriter! The hardware in the video has an inbuilt resistor but all the other tutorials I could find said use the pot and tweak it to set the brightness. But I was annoyed that the camera tracked the centre of the block instead of focusing on each end. The Empty does not render so I created a UV Sphere withe Wire-Frame modifier to as a stand in. This does not render with no depth so I extruded it and created a tapered cube to show where the camera was.
Reluctantly I do so and they go through all the same questions and can not tell when the ambulance will get there. They wanted to buy a cheap PC and monitor but I steered them to a Raspberry Pi 7" Touch screen. The build was a little nerve racking, what with all the bare circuit boards, wires and ribbon cables.
As with any small touch screen the control is quite hit and miss with my giant fingers, but that was never the intention.
This presented quite a challenge as the case makes the available finger space very tight and when I added the micro SD card it took multiple tries. The easiest way of visualising the result is a Lattice in the shape or an hour glass on its side. This one is from 2014 when I was interested in creating an Android app and I guess I was expecting to expand on it before posting. But there's a catch the country shapes change size based on the map projection, so things shrink around the equator and grow huge at the poles. 18 Edible gems that was expensive for what it was but of course the kids loved the novelty, they tasted of nothing and had a funny rubbery texture, I really expected boiled sweets not jellies. I got a couple of big foam backing boards from Hobbycraft and a load of coloured paper and then spent some hours measuring and cutting to make sure everyone would be able to make an 8x8 mask.
Not one child complained that only water was on offer and many came back for multiple bottles during the day.
Simple printed out six Minecraft block patterns with the names and thumb tacked them to six parts of the fence around the garden. We used 500ml Diet Pepsi bottles with 3 mentos per child, this made a rather unimpressive 10-15cm burst and I thought the experiment was a bust. This film is quite slow and before 30mins half the kids had started an impromptu football match and I do not think anyone survived to the end. So that was scrapped, which was extra annoying as I had already built a basic bitmap library to display arbitrary images. He based this purchase arrangement on a service called GeckoBoard which shows custom dashboards.
I did try setting up the watchdog as well as scheduled daily reboots but they got worse and worse until GeckoBoard stopped supporting them.
After the success with DropBox and Python on a previous Pi project I copied that code and added the value for the IP address.
Deciding that right then and there I did not need 3D and that slow screen switching was acceptable, I left it as a job to do later. At work I had come across talk of the strace command that logs system calls in Linux programs.
Number three fits with other projects and I know I could get node to do the necessary work. If no variables are included with the Python command then no output is made during the scripts operation. Waits a hundredth of a second to make sure we are not hammering the poor little Pi then checks the PIR status and sets a flag to say if we should be taking photos or not.
Then set a black background for the photo text annotation and set the text of the annotation to be a time stamp. There are hundreds of completely free faces from analogue to digital to fire to Batman to weather to just about anything you can think of. And on top of that, they offer a full free online IDE to develop in that includes emulators of all Pebble devices links to Github and a deploy to device option. Any kick back from the kids regarding whats available can be met with "it's better than nothing", which they seem happy with. The Pi will push all the traffic requests through a filter, so only what is allowed gets access to the internets[sic]. The opinions of our members are not those of site ownership who maintains strict editorial agnosticism and simply provides a collaborative venue for free expression. Which is great because the old style kept getting bumped, ejecting the card but so subtly that I would not notice and then spend ages trying to understand why it did work and now it does not. I was also demoing First Lego League using Lego mindstorms robots with kids to complete challenges, so I had another Raspberry Pi running omxplayer in a loop with videos about the First Lego League.
I could not open or unlock the back door, Sarah had left her key in the door after locking it (again). Apart from one step implying the ribbon cable should be in further than it can go, it was straight forward. As the vertices approach they are concentrated more and more at the "waist" of the hour glass and then expanded as the leave the other end. Then it was just a simple matter of moving head to below the lattice and adding a key frame at position 0 and then moving above it and setting a key frame at 250, Blender does the rest.
27 Pin the tail on the [insert Minecraft creature], they suggest Pig we wanted Ender Dragon, but ran out of time. After reading in a blog that the language can be questionable I pre-screened all the videos and edited out the odd naughty bits. I was quite surprised how much the collection of 8-9 year old boys liked this activity with only one choosing not to take part and that may have been just because the room was so crowded. Then with everybody in the middle rolled one of the Minecraft paper blocks that had written the name of the element, Gold, Iron, Stone, Creeper et.
Eventually I managed to build the nice command line tool that would update the sign in multi-colours with the correct information.
Running this produced thousands of lines that made little or no sense and just ended with the SIGSEGV signal. These watch faces and apps can be developed in C or JavaScript, but I have found the JS support lacking as it is still in Beta. This is all done via an app that is free to install from Pebble that connects via Bluetooth. One is the simple, invisible edge of the world that can be great place to hide or get trapped. I asked around at it seemed to be common knowledge that git(not github) would work locally without a server!!
My common additional step is add a .gitignore file to avoid checking in all the backup files the editors create, I was also able to avoid checking in the node_modules folder that was dynamically generated.
These cookies are completely safe and secure and will never contain any sensitive information.
Worst instance of that was at work, where the Pi worked at my desk but in the process of mounting it behind a TV the card got ejected. As I try to talk to her, I realise she really can not move and I suggest breaking the front door. It is not perfect, the real lattice has internal vertices and the cube only shows the outer ones on the "skin". But the video quality was terrible, even though this was a Raspberry Pi 2 B with four processors and 1GB ram. Firstly the sign was pretty cheap and could only be programmed via a serial cable from Windows XP.
Incoming calls can easily be dismissed without retrieving your phone and SMS's can be replied to via the voice to text, template or smilie options. Simply put, a proxy that operates on the clients behalf without the clients having to know about it(zero setup). As you get bigger eating the food you stay nimble but gradually you become snack size and other larger blogs may target you. Second is the viruses, green and spiky and as long as you are smaller than a virus they are like sea anemones you can hide in. This can be a great strategy and causing a new virus to split into a super-massive blob can be a great victory.
Finally I rendered four movies from different view points, added four planes and set the texture to be the animations. I thought this would be so easy that I left it until the day of the party and then found all sorts of problems. I thought about buying a codec pack but then I remembered the Omxplayer can run the full screen MP4s. Strangely some kids found the waiting in line to shoot the guns to much and went off to make more blocks. This got more involvement than any other activity and although we had only planned on one game the kids organised it to have extras, even though there was only ever one prize. But that all changes if you are bigger than a virus then they pop you causing your mass to become multiple smaller blobs. Once and enemy blob is split it can cause a feeding frenzy changing the balance of power in an instant. These are simple text files which sit on your computer, and are only used by us and our trusted partners.



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