Mathematics with Pi – and earth measurement with network requests

In Ian Stewart’s book, Professor Stewart’s Casbook of Mathematical Mysteries, he writes about an easy way one might prove that the earth is not flat. His “easy” proof can be done by booking some flights and timing them… or, simply looking up actual flights from certain cities to other cities. If it is much much shorter for a certain flight from A to D while A to B to C to D in a nearly straight line is much longer, it’s effectively a proof you can go around the world without falling off…

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Google breaks all Google calendars for the public (Update: Fixed!)

As you may have noticed if you have Google Calendar anywhere on a public website, recently these went down – and are still down, for the general public. View a page with a Google calendar embed while logged out of Google (or try any other browser that is not logged in), and you will get a blank page. This has been reported with dozens of “me too” upvotes.

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Speech recognition made easy

There are numerous howtos for Raspberry Pi and other portable computer voice applications, like this one, but generally they are using Google’s voice api. This may work… when the wifi or network is working, but not only is this sending your voice to google, it requires payment for usage over a certain amount. Users of your robotic application may be not so thrilled when they see it is sending audio samples to Google, and that it does not even work if there is a wifi hiccup! Instead, let’s go through a simple on-device installation that works fairly accurately with no external dependencies!

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Laravel deployment on your server, step-by-step

Laravel is a widely used, useful web app framework to use, but one thing you may notice is it can be a bit complex to set up on production server. I recently set up a small webapp I had been working on for Amateur radio operators (hearham.com), and there are several steps that are not so well documented. If you self host or host on Amazon or Digital Ocean these steps should help you to also get a simple webapp up and running:

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