Tech Enthusiast Weekly (Issue 256): The coolest LEGO creations

Here is a record of the technology content worth sharing every week, released on Friday.

This journal is open source and contributions are welcome. There is also a “Who’s Recruiting” service, which publishes programmer recruitment information. For cooperation, please email ([email protected]).

cover picture

On the day of “520”, a giant 3D printed rose with a diameter of 2.4 meters appeared in the green space of Xihu District, Hangzhou. ( via )

Coolest LEGO creations

Lego, as everyone knows, is a world-renowned toy company that mainly produces plastic building blocks.

You buy a pack of plastic parts, you can assemble it according to the drawings, or you can build it into the shape you want.

A few days ago, foreign netizens used Lego to build something you never thought of: a gear reducer .

I think it’s so cool, I’m sharing it with you today.

It is powered by an electric motor that rotates 375 times per minute.

Then, through a series of gear reductions, it will eventually drive a plastic doll.

The coolest part is that its deceleration effect has reached an unbelievable 10^100 : 1!

That is to say, the doll will only turn 1 turn when the motor turns 10^100 times. This number is really too big. It is said that the sum of all atoms in the universe is only 10^80. This means that, until the end of the universe, the doll may not have turned a single position.

The principle of such a magical “gear reduction” is very simple, that is, the small gear drives the large gear.

In the picture above, an 8-tooth pinion drives a 24-tooth gear. Since the latter is 3 times larger than the former, the rotation speed will slow down by 3 times.

Next, an 8-tooth pinion is fixed on the large gear to drive a larger 40-tooth gear.

Therefore, the third gear spins 5 times slower (40 / 8) than the second gear, which is 15 times slower than the first gear (3 x 5).

Keep repeating this practice, the speed will become slower and slower.

The author even uses a 168-tooth super gear.

And some other combinations of reduction gears.

The final reduction ratio has reached an astonishing 10^100:1.

I never thought that Lego bricks can reach the order of magnitude of the universe, which is really amazing.

Tencent PAG

Last week, I met a friend from Tencent.

He said that Tencent has a very important technology product that many people don’t know about, and it’s worth knowing about it.

I asked what it was, and the answer was PAG animation components .

My first reaction is, is an animation tool worth knowing? But after looking at it, it is really not simple.

On the surface, its biggest feature is cross-platform, as long as you do an animation once, it can be used on all platforms (mobile phone, Web, applet, Windows, Linux, Mac…). The name of PAG is “cross-platform animation” (Portable Animated Graphics).

But, how can it be done, all platforms render the same animation effect for the same animation file?

The answer is that Tencent wrote a graphics rendering library in C++ and made an adaptation layer for each platform.

Therefore, PAG is different from other animation tools. It does not rely on the graphics rendering that comes with the platform. It is essentially an independent graphics rendering solution .

Due to its own graphics rendering, it does not need to consider the adaptation of each platform, so PAG has many advantages that other solutions do not have.

(1) Low development cost. Once implemented, it can be used on all platforms, and the effect is guaranteed to be consistent.

(2) Simplify the development process. In the past, animation was a cumbersome and expensive thing to deliver. The designer completes the design in After Effects, and then exports it to the programmer to let the latter realize it. Generally, it needs to communicate and modify many times before it can be completed.

Now it is simple: the programmer is responsible for accessing the PAG SDK in the application; the designer installs an After Effects plug-in, directly exports the PAG file, puts it in the application, and can go online by himself. The two parties can not meet at all.

(3) Support all AE features. PAG can restore the effect that After Effects can achieve.

(4) Less resources are occupied. PAG files are binary, smaller in size and shorter in parsing time than the SVG files of Lottie, another famous animation tool. A lot of complex motion effects, only about 2 KB. Because it is a binary file, pictures, audio, and video can be packaged and released as one file.

(5) Comes with the development tool PAG Viewer . It can preview, replace and adjust the pictures and text in the binary package, which is used for effect confirmation before going online, and it is also convenient for reusing dynamic effect resources.

It has been 6 years since Tencent started developing such a useful tool in 2017. It has launched thousands of products on all major business lines of Tencent, and WeChat, QQ, Glory of Kings, Xiaohongshu, Zhihu, etc. are all using it. The special effects of various gifts in the WeChat live broadcast room and the special effects of the battle report of the glory of the king are realized with it.

The case gallery on the official website and the material library website ” Dongchi ” have a large number of works on display, you can go and have a look.

Last year, Tencent open- sourced PAG. For detailed documents, you can go to GitHub to search for libpag. There is also a source code warehouse , which has more than 3,000 stars. You can also go to the official website pag.art for more product-related information.

If you are interested in motion effects, or have product needs in this area, you might as well give PAG a try.

Technology dynamics

An American start-up company has released a wearable voice-activated device that it claims can replace mobile phones.

Its biggest feature is that there is no screen, and the projection is operated on the palm (or other surface). Because it is voice-activated, it does not require a very complicated operation interface.

It is said that it also has an unexpected benefit, which is to solve the mobile phone addiction.

An American cartoonist used an AI model to generate a comic book, which has been put on sale.

The cartoonist said that the biggest difficulty in this matter is that it is difficult for AI to maintain a unified style of painting. In order to make the protagonist look the same before and after, he had to input the appearance of the protagonist (the square in the middle of the picture below) into the model first.

Even so, the pictures generated by the model cannot be used directly. For example, the character in the above picture lacks a right leg, and the cartoonist must manually modify it.

Still, the final product turned out pretty well.

The entire comic book took a month to make, and it is currently on sale at the Amazon online bookstore, and it is quite popular. Some or all of future literary and artistic works may be provided to us by AI.

The city of Los Angeles announced with great fanfare that it has introduced a new bus shelter that can provide shade and serve as a street light at night.

The problem is, it’s only good enough for one person, and it’s not enough shade or light enough, which is pretty dumbfounding.

The media was in an uproar, questioning the use of this shelter. And, it costs \$10,000 each.

In fact, the bus shelters in Los Angeles are normal big shelters (pictured below), but they are often abused and occupied by homeless people.

The municipal government came up with the idea of ​​building this kind of simple bus shelter in small stations in the suburbs. It’s just that the design is too crude, it’s better to build a street light directly.

Aircraft that take off and land vertically generally have propeller blades, such as helicopters. However, an American company has developed a bladeless vertical take-off and landing aircraft.

Its principle is similar to that of a bladeless fan, using compressed air to generate thrust. It has two square boxes at the top that emit gas. However, the power is relatively small, and it can only be used for small unmanned aircraft at present.

article

1. Why are AI models named after alpacas (Chinese)

The names of those open source AI models are often related to the artiodactyl alpaca, which is why.

In the last century, “Flying Saucer Exploration” used to be one of the popular science magazines with the largest circulation in China. This article reviews the history of its rise and fall, and the subsidence of “flying saucer fever” is also a manifestation of the improvement of Chinese people’s scientific quality.

3. An Alipay vulnerability I found (Chinese)

The author first shopped at “Xianyu”, and then paid at Alipay, but was cheated. He found that the scammer took advantage of the loophole and made the transaction automatically confirm “receipt” through the code. (Contributed by @childrentime )

4. My online case filing experience (Chinese)

The author had a dispute with the bank and was going to apply to the court online to file a case, but the court’s case filing system was very difficult to use, and he did not succeed after operating it four times in a row. (Contributed by @dingjs )

5. Intel released a new architecture x86S (Chinese)

Intel released a new CPU instruction set x86S, which only supports 64-bit mode, which can simplify the design of CPU.

6. Security concerns of zip domain names (English)

Both .zip and .mov are now TLDs open for registration. setup.zip is not only a file, but an accessible domain name. This might be a bit of a security risk.

7. Mouse Without Borders (English)

Microsoft has released a new feature “Mouse Without Borders” (Mouse Without Borders), Windows directly supports one mouse to operate four computers in a LAN.

8. Stop talking about C/C++ (English)

Many people think that C and C++ are two very similar languages, the former being a subset of the latter. It’s not right to make that point of view in this article, they are very different. (Contributed by @wrenashe )

Data Warehouse ByConity Open Source + Recruitment

Students who are interested in data processing and databases come here.

There is a big news this week. ByConity, the most advanced and self-developed cloud-native data warehouse in China, is officially open-sourced (see the official article for details).

Everyone should know that for enterprise-level, large-scale data analysis and processing, it is generally not recommended to use databases, but to use data warehouses.

Byte’s data platform team, based on the internationally renowned data warehouse software ClickHouse, carried out a large-scale transformation according to the actual situation in China and its own needs, and it took several years to create ByConity .

They have released the commercial version of ByteHouse earlier, this time the code is completely open sourced to the community , and everyone can freely use this key underlying software that invests heavily in bytes.

It has the characteristics of read-write separation, elastic expansion and contraction, tenant resource isolation, and strong consistency of data reading and writing. It is very suitable for data analysis and cloud data computing of large enterprises.

As far as I know, the development team once wanted to merge the self-developed part back into ClickHouse. However, after the other party read the code, he said that there were too many modifications and a lot of functions were added, so he suggested starting another independent project.

Welcome to ByConity official website to learn more and try this product.

In addition, the byte data platform team is still growing and is recruiting OLAP engine engineers and data warehouse engineers. Interested parties can contact their HR (email: [email protected]).

tool

1. Convoy

The open source Webhooks gateway has its own management background, and has a lot of functions such as retry, rate limit, static IP, and circuit breaker.

A tool to modify Windows 11 configuration. The feature is that you can download the corresponding configuration file from its website according to the usage scenario, and then run the file to complete the configuration.

3. RunApi

A cross-platform desktop software developed by a domestic company for API interface development and testing, similar to Postman. (Contributed by @star7th )

4. Shaku

An enhanced rendering tool for Markdown pages, which can render the code into a specified style based on the comments in the code block (above), see the introduction article for details. (Contributed by @DongHY1 )

An ESLint plugin that checks filenames for specified rules. (Contributed by @DukeLuo )

Just execute a command on the command line, you can build your own Git server, easy to use, but without a web interface.

A browser extension that specifies which browser APIs you want to turn off, mainly to prevent being tracked.

8. Tails

An operating system that combines Debian and Tor, put it in a USB flash drive, and it can be used by plugging it into the USB port, which can protect privacy well.

9. Just

A command runner, similar to Make, but without build capabilities.

It allows all command line commands of a project to be written in a file, and can specify dependencies between commands, and can also be used across platforms.

10. Dora.ai

An AI tool developed by the Chinese can generate a web page by giving a text description, and can also add 3D interaction. Currently in the testing phase, you need to queue up to register for internal testing qualifications.

In the voting of Product Hunt , it is temporarily ranked first, and the author went to the weekly discussion area to ask for votes. (Contributed by @CharlesLiuyx )

Rare Earth Developer Conference

Some students used to ask me how to build industry contacts?

If you do an open source project for a long time, or write a technology blog for a long time, you will know a lot of people, the premise is that you have to persist for a long time.

There is also a faster way, which is to participate in more offline technical conferences , chat more with participants and lecturers, listen to them talk about their projects, and you also talk about your projects, and everyone will become friends.

Otherwise, why do you say that everyone is willing to fly around on weekends to attend technical meetings? What can’t be done online, isn’t it just to meet people offline? Many partners of start-up companies met at technology conferences.

I am talking about this topic today to announce a news. Weekly is very honored to be one of the co-organizers of this year’s “Rare Earth Developers Conference” . The conference will be held soon, from June 30th to July 1st, everyone is welcome to attend.

The organizer of this conference is the Rare Earth Nuggets Community , one of the largest technical communities in China. During the epidemic period in the past few years, although it was very difficult, the conference has been held, and many speakers from large companies have been invited every time.

This year is even more grand, with more than a dozen forums and many dry speeches, covering almost all current development hotspots.

The package tickets for the conference are already on sale, and student tickets are only 99 yuan now . In my impression, this is the cheapest domestic technology conference, almost the price of a movie ticket, but you can participate in all activities for two days and communicate with the lecturer offline.

The student ticket does not include meals, and there is also a set ticket including meals. You can use the exclusive discount code “ruanyifeng” to buy a full ticket for the conference for 799 yuan, which is suitable for companies to purchase for engineers.

The venue of the meeting is Crowne Plaza New Yunnan near Wangjing, Beijing. The hotel has limited seats. If you want to go, it is recommended to buy tickets as soon as possible to avoid the seats being sold out. Visit the link on the official website of the conference , or scan the QR code above to learn more about the schedule and register for tickets.

resource

English e-book, introduces the usage of these two important AI open source projects, it is very helpful for setting up AI models by yourself, free to read.

Netizens provided data captured from Bing Wallpaper. (Contributed by @mouday )

The special website created by Saito Yasuhiro, the best-selling author of AI in Japan, for his series of deep learning books has recently launched a Chinese version, which can be used to check for gaps in reinforcement learning knowledge. (Contributed by @RiverTwilight )

The router Openwrt system custom website developed by netizens, the code is open source .

picture

There is a trend of “fictitious history” on Tiktok abroad. Many accounts publish pictures and videos of fictional history generated by AI, attracting many viewers.

A very popular topic is “What if India ruled Britain?” The AI ​​model gave a picture of a British policeman riding a camel on the road.

Other topics include “What if Mexico won the Mexican-American War of 1848?”, “What if the Inca Empire survives to this day?”.

As AI gets more powerful, there will likely be more and more of this fictional history.

A 3D printing enthusiast, it is very intuitive to print out the topographic maps of various countries and regions in 3D.

Thailand

California

Spain

abstract

German philosophers once proposed that all propositions proved by mathematics and logic cannot be absolute truth.

Or, conversely, absolute truth cannot be proved by mathematics and logic.

The reason is that an argument must have premises that can be relied upon if truth is to be proved. However, whether the premise is correct also needs to be demonstrated, so in the end there are only three possibilities.

• Circular Argument: Argument and evidence support each other.
• Infinite regress: There is no end to the premises of an argument.
• Arbitrary termination: An argument terminates on a widely accepted premise and no further argument is made on that premise.

These three possibilities are not ideal, so it is called “Münchhausen Trilemma”.

Baron Münchhausen is a fictional character in German folk tales. When stuck in a swamp, he once escaped by pulling his hair out of the swamp. It is often used as a metaphor for the impossible.

This tells us that mathematics and logic are limited, and they must be based on some unprovable, generally accepted axioms.

remarks

1,

One advantage of the American economy is that it is easy to start a business in the United States, and it is also easy to fire employees and go bankrupt, which greatly facilitates the rapid reorganization of resources.

2,

Work is never ending, so learn to love work, enjoy work, be addicted to work, otherwise life will be too painful.

3.

People think of Google as a collective of great teams of researchers, engineers, product managers, QA, project managers, management. no.

While there are plenty of brilliant engineers, some world-class researchers, and the occasional enthusiastic product manager, Google is, by and large, just a big conglomerate, no different than a large government organization except for the money. Inefficiency is a side effect when companies scale.

4.

Once your phone starts connecting with cell towers, you have no privacy.

this week in history

What a Programmer Is (2022 #209)

Annual Salary for Game Developers (2021 #159)

The Value of Podcasting (2020 #109)

thank you

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