Wednesday, June 27, 2018

I'm just crushing on Lidar today.

I think it's beautiful.

This Lidar is from Ouster who I'd never heard of before. It is not solid state(doesn't spin), but only has two moving parts? So I guess it's some lidar hybrid. Less moving parts means less expense.

I'm not really sure how the eventual Lidar wars will pan out, but I love this stuff. Photos don't do it justice. Velodyne has a new video out which is amazing. You can skip through the humans and the technical part. Just look at the lidar part.


  1. Oh! You might know this......

    There is a not small market for dog trackers. Units that attach to a pet's collar so you can find them when they get lost. They vary from Bluetooth only, to the hunter's radio frequency units, to cell signal requiring GPS units.

    A casual acquaintance is looking at the Findster (, which got me looking at it. Based on their wording I'm assuming its a radio frequency/BLE combo unit. But they don't specify, and on their FAQ they refer to "MAZE Technology" ( and my googleFu has failed and I cannot find ANYTHING about MAZE communication technology......

    Does that ring any bells AT ALL?

  2. I didnt know the answer, but a have decent Googlefoo. Search for Maze Maps. I would link it but I'm in a conference right now.

    It does look like they could be using BLE

  3. I think they are using the same system as they use on campuses for maps navigation. Called Maze Map It must not be that common yet because I had to search maze map campus to get much information. But this is just a guess. Those beacons have been really slow to take off. I've been hearing about them for years.

  4. thanks! Thats further than I got.

  5. I hope it helped. Sometimes googlefoo just depends on the device you are on. I got better results when I was one my phone. When I got to my laptop I had to search harder.

  6. Capital of Texas RefugeeSaturday, June 30, 2018 1:16:00 PM

    While we're on the subject of Bluetooth beacons ...

    Friends don't let friends "secure" their stuff with Bluetooth beacon-enabled locks.

    It's only like 75% of the Bluetooth locks on the market are vulnerable ... no, really, what are the odds?

    Since the BLE beacons at CES 2016 got hax0r3d, what makes you think that cheap pet beacons won't be?

    If the cell tech version is implemented right, that would be a lot more secure and considerably harder to profile.

    Even dedicated semi-proprietary RF trackers would be a more secure bet, or at least one that's harder to profile.


    Ah, yes, but if someone can get pwn4g3 of your pet's tracker, they can hide a weatherized battery pack and a lower power Raspberry Pi to capture data about when your pet happens to be around. In the spy biz, it's called signals intelligence, or SIGINT, and in this case the captured data would be useful for figuring out when it would be a good time to empty out the contents of your house when you're not around.

    The idea being, of course, that when your pet isn't around, neither are you.

    That to me is the biggest reason why not to put trackers on your pets. They're a proxy for surveillance on you personally.

    BTW, the Raspberry Pi hack is not a theoretical thing -- I have a few custom-built battery pack and Raspberry Pi data collectors that are rigged to detect motion, and they're hidden in a few key spots in my warehouse space. They interface to the world with cheap 3G/4G mobile data USB sticks that are powered up only when there's something to report via SMS, including a periodic phoning in about battery capacity.

    The Raspberry Pi models I'm using are Model As that have been modded to remove components that burn power unnecessarily, and now at least I only have to swap out battery packs every few weeks. It's not an ideal implementation, but maybe I'll get something that can be sold commercially out of this messy hack yet.

    That's why I knew it was time to move warehouse spaces.

    Someone's been trying to mess with the high-security locks on the outside, and they're making enough of an effort that the sensors have picked up the door vibrations.

    I'm guessing nobody told them that Sergeant & Greenleaf locks are the best in the business, and that people buy them for a reason despite their high price, including certain paranoid Texans as well as the NSA ...

    Anyway, enough digression: if you really want to keep tabs on your pets, go with the most secure technology you can find, because the trackers can also be used as a proxy to report on your own activities, not just those of your pets.

    I wouldn't even use BLE to find my most prized writing pen, which once again I've misplaced. :-)

  7. I don't really think bluetooth has a very long range. I don't think that would be ideal for pet tracking anyway.

  8. Capital of Texas RefugeeSaturday, June 30, 2018 11:43:00 PM

    Standard BLE beacons radiate up to 70 meters so they can be picked up with a typical cheap and incredibly inefficient omnidirectional antenna.

    I could crank that up to at least 200 meters (and probably more like 500 meters) with a "cantenna" directional waveguide for Bluetooth, which puts this into the realm of interesting signals intelligence hacks.

    Got a spare wok, a soup can, and some wire hangers? :-)

    The easier answer for Ruth: just stay away from these Bluetooth beacons for pets because the information they leak can be used against you in some very nasty ways.