Friday, March 20, 2015

Milling Machine Project Update.

The milling machine project is still coming along.  

Previous design was not rigid enough.  A shop I started using for other parts is making a mini mill of their own.

This one looks pretty nice.  

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Light powered by salt

I was in a shop the other day and saw this project by the shop owner.

The prototype parts are 3D printed.

Very interesting device.

Add 1 glass of water and 2 tablespoons of salt, use the lamp for 8 hours.
Cost Effective

Secure Comms





LookingGlass is high security email you control, served up simple to use

LookingGlass is an email security appliance.
LookingGlass attempts to automate the heavy lifting of forward secrecy, end-to-end authentication, online pseudonymity, with a distributed architecture.
  • Forward secrecy means that email is now burn-on-decrypt, and no password is ever reused between messages. No single message compromise can lead to any other. (Learn more)
  • Authenticated means that you can be assured that you are talking to who you think you are talking to, and that there is no one sitting in the middle of your communications. (Learn more)
  • Pseudonymity means that your identity is protected. If you are careful to not link your LookingGlass covername (explained later) to your real world identity, there should be no trace who wrote or read your LookingGlass emails. (Learn more)
  • Distributed (peer-to-peer) means that your email only ever exists in one of two places - on your LookingGlass server, or on the recipient's server. There is no third party that stores email, encryption states, or routes messages. (Learn more)
LookingGlass is free, it is Open Source, and it was made with <3

Ways to get started

  • LookingGlass was originally designed to be run on a Raspberry Pi, and you are encouraged to use this method - here are the steps involved in that.
  • LookingGlass has also been released as a VMDK disk image, for use with virtualization software such as Virtualbox. The getting started guide for that method is here.


  1. Once you have finished setting up using one of the methods above, the final step will be logging into the setup wizard in a web browser, being asked to choose a passphrase for the drive encryption, to choose a covername, and a passphrase for your email encryption.
    Please use incognito or private browsing mode to access your LookingGlass. This will keep your browser from helpfully saving your passphrases. DO NOT SAVE YOUR PASSPHRASES TO YOUR COMPUTER.
    The passphrases can be changed but you CANNOT change your covername once set, without resetting the device to defaults and losing all of your settings.
    The passphrases are meant to be hand written out and kept somewhere safe. Do NOT save them to your computer.
  2. After accepting the above, please be patient while drive encryption is finalized and other housekeeping completes. You should be ready to go within 5 minutes. Stop hitting refresh, you're not helping anything.
  3. The navigation bar of joy should become visible at the top of the screen.

Email quick start

  1. Exchange covernames through some channel OTHER than online.
    By phone, by face to face meeting, carrier pigeon, by letter, by one-time pad, by coded eye blinks, by signal lamp...
    If this is not possible, you will need advanced instruction. For maximum security, this step should be as firewalled from your online activity as you can manage.
  2. Under the Contacts tab, type their covername into the Add contact box. Autocomplete should find the covername (it will appear in the pulldown box in all caps). Click the covename and then the + (plus) symbol just to the left of the Add contact box.
    • An invalid covername will never be allowed into the address book.
    • If you misspell the covername it will be added to the address book, but then fail to return valid information. The security progress bar will go to zero and deleting the contact will be the only option.
  3. You should recieve a prompt that LG is doing the necessary lookups.
    LG will now download the other user's public key and network information.
  4. Within a few minutes, you should see the contact's security progress bar advance - one hundred percent is the highest level of security that LookingGlass can provide - authenticated and forward-secret email.
    To view information about the contact, click the gear button to the right of the progress bar on the Contacts page.
    If action is required to advance the contact's progress, you will see prompts here. There will also be brief information about the contact's current state.
    If your contact is also online and logged into their device, LG will automatically attempt to negotiate forward-secret email and advance security levels. If not, handshaking will queue into the background and advance at the next opportunity.

Tips & Misc

  • Leave your LG device online as much as possible.
    If someone wants to send you email, it will fail to get through if you are offline for too long. By eliminating as much as possible a pattern for when your device is online, you lower the amount of metadata you emit.
  • To log out, close your browser rather than select LOCKDOWN.
    Select LOCKDOWN only when you need to go offline or are feeling paranoid. When a LG device is locked down, it cannot process email.
  • Log into your LG device every so often.
    Your email password automatically gets wiped during periods of inactivity, so your contacts will not be able to advance their security state without logging in once in awhile.
  • Join the chat room, and ask for help if you are having problems.
    Be polite, and someone should eventually be able to assist you. We want your experience to not suck.
  • Run your browser in 'private' or 'incognito' mode.
    This will lower the amount of incriminating data cached on the device you use to browse LG.
  • The best way to power down the LG device is to put it into LOCKDOWN mode, or turn it off during a requested reboot cycle.
    This will make sure the device is synchronized before shutting it down.
    There is a Reboot button under Settings -> System administration.
  • You can bookmark the LOCKDOWN button, and use it without even logging in.
    You can also have someone on your network really annoy you by continually hitting this address, locking you out of the device.
    This was a design decision to fail-safe and allow someone in a panic to encrypt the device quickly.
  • You cannot have an unencrypted conversation with LookingGlass.
    Note however, that subject lines are not encrypted.
  • Adding contacts automatically adds you to the recipient's address book.
    When one person (Alice) successfully adds the other (Bob) as a contact, Bob will have Alice in his addressbook automatically during the handshaking process. You do not both have to add each other - the discovery mechanism takes care of that.
  • Keep your LG device behind a firewall or router.
    Exposing your device directly to the Internet is an unnecessary risk, and will allow anyone on the internet access to the web interface. This is nonoptimal.
  • Use SSL to browse your LG instance.
    Using HTTPS instead of HTTP will secure your local communications.
    Optional Install the SSL certificate for LG in your browser, to shut up the certificate warnings.

More info

The latest documentation is first published to Tor. Try there first if you can. :)

Technical Brief

This Document

Selling our inheritance

Look at all these buildings.  Empty factories now or places for 'tourists' to visit.  They tell us that tourism which creates no value is more important than creating real things with real value.

 When I was growing up in the US, the teachers indoctrinated us with the idea that college was the only way you would be successful. Get a office job they said.

The industrial arts program in the school was very good then, yet the other staff would
denigrate learning those skills.

The attitude was "losers take shop class"

The children of people who built things, and grew food were taught that such work was beneath them. Never mind that a skilled welder with 2 years tech school can make more than a office worker, and that the welder will create more value over a career than the office worker will.

Our parents generation built John Deere tractors, their farms produced oceans of milk and mountains of food, they fished in the rivers and brought in truckloads of fish.

Now the farmers import illegal Mexicans and sell our inheritance in exchange for pleasing the gods of debt.  They tell us living beyond our means is a good thing.

The factories are staffed by selfish people demanding money for value not created. 

The things people use are made in China paid for with borrowed money from banks that create money from thin air with debt to be repaid by unborn people with no say in the matter.

The city government has allowed and promoted houses of gambling where the old ladies can waste away their children s inheritance.

The schools are now places where children judge their self worth, not by what they can create, rather how well they can get laid.

Years ago, a man popped up on the internet for a brief time.  He claimed to be from the future.  2036 to be exact.  He distilled it succinctly when he said "In the future my generation does not like yours very much" While I do not know if he really was from the future, He certainly has that correct.  Cause I really dislike my parents generation for what they have left me.

In the new America: Children go to state-controlled schools seldom learning any real skills about business or finance. And they're specifically discouraged from questioning authority or the world around them.
Instead they learn to be good little citizens and subordinate themselves to the state... to follow the rules and happily comply when government bureaucrats regulate every aspect of our lives.
This system further pushes young people to indebt themselves to the tune of $100,000 or more for a university piece of paper that will take them up to 25 YEARS of indentured servitude to pay off.
You'll then spend your entire working life toiling away in a declining economy paying increasing taxes into a system that won't be there when it comes time for you to collect.

-Simon Black

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

3D Printer Update March

Production here got a little behind schedule the last few weeks.

I planned on 2 weeks to get this thing out. However my engineer had other ideas.  What was supposed to be some minor changes turned into 96 billable hours of engineering time.

A couple mods meant that a couple parts I had in stock will not work, so I have to order from China.

Another engineer I collaborate with, was going to Shanghai last week to buy parts... coincidently the very parts I use anyways. So I hurriedly emailed a shopping list to him.

We had some debate whether to build one printer and then ten or 11 at once.  The build one and then ten 3D printers won out the day.

I am having a hell of a time getting machining work done lately.  Had my usual shop (over priced) turn down the order after sitting on it for awhile.  I was asking for a discount cause they charged me $50 for a part that China makes for $15.  

Not to mention the China shop is more modern, cleaner and their employees actually wear shoes.  I have a hard time paying premium prices to a guy who does not wear shoes while working in a machine shop.  Sandals are not shoes.

However I really do not like buying from China any more than I have to, so I put put the call in social media looking for a machinist. Found one yesterday. A 2 man CNC shop running from his house in the Philippines. Apparently we have a lot of mutual friends in the knife, and shooting world.

The heated print beds are in.  I ditched the REPRAP standard and what everyone else uses, going with an industrial heater instead.  500 watts of power at 220 and 250 at 110.  All my machines are dual voltage.

Tomorrow the first batch of frames and parts arrive from laser and water jet. Then I run some water jet parts down to the machinist for finishing.

I rough cut some parts on water jet first before machining to save time and money.  

I have one of the prototype machines going out to customer Monday.  It was a pretty messed up deal there.  I had a partner last year, he took the order, never filled the order and declared it was not his problem.  

We kicked out the partner, and basically had to re-start from the very beginning with R&D.  We lost a boatload of cash with that guy last year.  

The prototype machine is pretty much identical to the production machine except where the electronics are placed and no LCD screen.  It has been run maybe 15 hours of testing time.  

All my printers are run thru their paces before going out with at least 10 hours printing.

I am working on the color scheme this week.  This is pretty close to what it will be. Some of the gantry parts will be black color as well.  I am unable to get the print bed made with the pretty lettering right now.  I will have to wait until I get a CNC router of my own in.

I was going to powder cost and laser it, but turns out powder coating will not last long at the print bed temps.

Regarding build area I'm pushing 14x16 inches on the X,Y axis and 12 on he Z axis.

It is turning into a beast of a machine.

We will be doing a live webcast with the product announcement as soon as it is done.