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September 2nd, 2006 - Adventures in Engineering
The wanderings of a modern ronin.

Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2006-09-02 01:21
  Subject:   Wireless tire pressure monitoring? Hey, that sounds familiar...
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According to FCC records, Bridgestone is close to releasing their wireless tire pressure monitoring system. The system uses sensors embedded just under the tire rim to send tire pressure and temperature to a handheld device. A 1.5 second alarm is sounded if the pressure is too high or too low.

http://www.tgdaily.com/2006/08/31/bridgestone_wirelesssensor/

I was bound by an NDA, but since the company that I signed that NDA with has gone out of business, I think I can get away with this now...

This tire pressure system may be the same one I worked on when I was at CrossLink. We had a tire pressure monitoring system we were making for Bridgestone. Ours was for giant mining trucks, and the readout was on a panel in the cab, but this looks very similiar otherwise.

Neat tech. Feels cool to say I built something useful once upon a time, as opposed to what I was doing at SignalSoft. :P
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Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2006-09-02 19:49
  Subject:   [/.] Raquel Welch bombarded by molecules!, or, The Biology of B-Movie Monsters
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  Music:Giant Mutant Mollusk - Fatal Subdural Hematoma
Another giant bug movie is worthy of note. Them! (1954) opens in New Mexico with a house trailer that has been ripped open by some unknown agent; the only survivor among the occupants is a six-year-old girl so traumatized that she can give no clue as to what transpired. Soon we discover that the trailer was attacked by ants, but they're not the ants that usually visit you at a picnic. These ants stand 12 feet high, swollen to giant size by the effects of the radiation from the Trinity atomic bomb tests in 1945.

These giant bugs have a problem, and I can think of only one way out for them. Their joints must be made of some very hard material (to minimize wear) with excellent mechanical properties (to withstand the immense stresses involved), and only one material will fit the bill - diamond. You scoff? Diamond is only carbon, and living things have a lot of experience in manipulating carbon. So why didn't the characters in Them! notice that the giant insects had diamond-lined joints? In Them!, you'll remember, the giant ants are finally defeated by burning out their nest with flamethrowers. As I said, diamond is just a form of carbon, and like the more prosaic forms will burn quite nicely. The evidence literally went up in smoke.


http://fathom.lib.uchicago.edu/2/21701757/

This article also includes giant squids, attacking the Golden Gate bridge, and suffering massive subdural hematomas as a result.
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