The LA Times put out a really fun Powerball Simulator.
The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292,201,338. But someone has to win, right? We decided to put that idea to the test.
This game starts with $100 to play against multiple lottery drawings. Pick your numbers and watch the money disappear. Based on the odds, you’re likely to hit numbers that pay out smaller prizes.
So, I played some of my favorite numbers (backwards, because the powerball has to be between 1 and 26). I didn’t do so well, even after throwing $10,100 at the problem:
You’ve played the lottery 5,516 times over about 53 years and spent $11,032, but won $932. You’re in the hole $10,100. So why not throw some more money at that problem?
(Side note: people have actually won playing those numbers)
This site only has you use your “favorite” set of numbers once per drawing - it doesn’t take show you the changes in odds if you were to do 10 quick-picks per lotto drawing, for example.
The MagSpoof is a very cool little device that can emulate a credit card swipe by manipulating an electromagnetic field near a card reader - because of how card readers read cards, the MagSpoof can do this wirelessly on non-wireless card readers.
While the device is cool, the most interesting part of the article was the explanation of how magnetic stripes on credit cards work, and the fact that you can see the data by coating the stripe with a little black iron oxide (as seen in the gif above).
Thanks to a tweet by John Siracusa, I noticed something I’ve had enabled on my computer for months and never noticed (but now can’t unsee): automatically marked prompt lines in Terminal:
Notice the square brackets around the executed command on the first line?
[jared@Jared-MBP:~$ ll A* ]
According to this answer on an Ask Different question, every time you press return on the keyboard, the line is ‘marked’, and you can use cmd+up and cmd+down to jump back and forth between marked lines.
Now that this has been pointed out to me, I’ve started playing with it, and it seems like a really nice feature I’m going to get used to really quick.
My brother pointed out to me that Windows detects the Apple Watch charging cable when you plug it in. Of course, I was curious, so I used USBView to take a look at the device. Apple apparently has a PCI Vendor ID of
[0x05AC] (Apple Computer), which is pretty cool!
Complete output from USBView:
Device Descriptor: bcdUSB: 0x0200 bDeviceClass: 0x00 bDeviceSubClass: 0x00 bDeviceProtocol: 0x00 bMaxPacketSize0: 0x40 (64) idVendor: 0x05AC (Apple Computer) idProduct: 0x1392 bcdDevice: 0x0200 iManufacturer: 0x01 0x0409: "Apple Inc." iProduct: 0x02 0x0409: "Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Cable" iSerialNumber: 0x03 0x0409: "DLC5357021XGTCMAH" bNumConfigurations: 0x01 ConnectionStatus: DeviceConnected Current Config Value: 0x01 Device Bus Speed: Full Device Address: 0x06 Open Pipes: 1 Endpoint Descriptor: bEndpointAddress: 0x81 IN Transfer Type: Interrupt wMaxPacketSize: 0x0040 (64) bInterval: 0x32 Configuration Descriptor: wTotalLength: 0x0022 bNumInterfaces: 0x01 bConfigurationValue: 0x01 iConfiguration: 0x00 bmAttributes: 0x80 (Bus Powered ) MaxPower: 0xFA (500 Ma) Interface Descriptor: bInterfaceNumber: 0x00 bAlternateSetting: 0x00 bNumEndpoints: 0x01 bInterfaceClass: 0x03 (HID) bInterfaceSubClass: 0x00 bInterfaceProtocol: 0x00 iInterface: 0x05 0x0409: "HID Interface" HID Descriptor: bcdHID: 0x0111 bCountryCode: 0x00 bNumDescriptors: 0x01 bDescriptorType: 0x22 wDescriptorLength: 0x0021 Endpoint Descriptor: bEndpointAddress: 0x81 IN Transfer Type: Interrupt wMaxPacketSize: 0x0040 (64) bInterval: 0x32
Light travels at around 300,000 km per second. Why not faster? Why not slower?
Aeon.co has an excellent article on the science behind light. Gives you a lot to think about.
There’s something very intriguing about how tightly constructed the laws of our own Universe appear to be.