CBC Spark with Nora Young

Really upset to recently learn that Spark with Nora Young has been cancelled by the CBC, ending in June 2024. (Announcement episode)

One of the most intelligent, progressive technology-in-society news shows in Canada or anywhere for that matter.
Perhaps that it’s medium is radio and CBC execs are coached that they should lean elsewhere but this really stings to someone that promoted the values of this public resource. A real loss for Candians and the CBC.

I’m sure there may be some analytics of podcast downloads or something to back the end of this smart, timely subject matter but what effort was ever used to promote it?

The content is timeless and I hope it remains available for years to come because of the amazing guest interviews, Thank you and all the best in the future Nora.

Categorized as Radio

Matter as a Smart home standard

Matter is the name of the smart home standard that promises to bridge IOT devices and different home eco-systems. Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple Homekit, Samsung SmartThings, etc.

To prevent 6+ flavours of smart lightbulbs working with 6+ different apps, a standard needed to be found.

When I first heard about the Matter standard I thought it made sense and decided to test it out. In January 2024 Arduino announced a partnership with SiLabs to produce a Matter enabled board. It uses the same chip as Sparkfun’s Thing Plus Matter – MGM240P – Consider me “on-board”. I bought the Sparkfun board.

Sparkfun's Thing Plus Matter - MGM240P

I <3 Sparkfun and their documentation and videos are excellent. However what followed was all new experiences for me, including using SiLabs IDE to Flash and program the device. What, no Arduino or MicroPython? (Turns out there is now an Arduino example.) I eventually kind-of figured out the SiLabs “Simplicy Studio 5” development environment. https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/connecting-thing-plus-matter-to-google-nest-hub

My idea was that Matter was an open standard and works across home ecosystems. However what followed was Vendor IDs and Product IDs authentication, command line conjuring, and QR code scanning.

In the end my oringinal Google Home is not a Thread Border Router and not capable of the example. oof.
However the board is listed as being able to run CircuitPython.
Most of the time this involves clicking a button twice quickly and dragging over a .UF2 file. Not so on the MGM240P
This article helped me out https://community.silabs.com/s/share/a5U8Y000001a2QoUAI/introducing-circuitpython-support-for-silabs-xg24-boards?language=en_US
Back to SiLabs Simplicity Studio to install Simplicy Commander Tool, flash the .BIN.
And after all that, it still does not simply show as a mounted drive like almost all CircuitPython boards. It requires the PIP installed ampy to run .py programs.

As someone who usually feels quite comfortable with embedded systems, this felt confusing.

Looks like it will take some time for Matter development to be easier.

As for now…

Adafruit CircuitPython 9.0.3 on 2024-04-04; Sparkfun Thing Plus MGM240P with MGM240PB32VNA

Hummingbird at the feeder

With a recent blast of winter I noticed a few hummingbirds already here so I put up the feeder.
Not 30 seconds later, this fella showed up.

Familiar Lines of Nostalgic Proportions

A mixed tape was once a personal show of expression. An arrangement of songs purposefully set to invoke an emotion. Happy, sad, psych-up workouts, breakups, love making… all depends.

Spending time to record a deliberate mix of songs in order for someone else was devotion.

When you’ve heard a specific mixed tape enough you anticipate the next song. Almost like the PBS TV ads promoting Country Music anthologies. One song blends into the next after hearing it so many times you string the next song into the last by memory. (eg. Sixteen tons to Blueberry Hill)

One mixed tape I made, a Maxell Metal 90, for a 90’s cross-country roadtrip journey was burned into my mind. A mix of 60’s to 70’s Neil Young, Led Zeppelin, Canned Heat, etc. and other “hippy” stuff.

I never noticed it went missing but one day, 10+ years later, I was near the Blackcomb Daylodge Rental shop when I heard the transition of one song to the other. I predicted the order of the next three songs, seemingly psychic, only to discover I made the mix a decade before.

Never did I think I was creating something. Not my own.
Curating or ordering something was not creating but yet personal preference. Still an art.

In this Apple Music/Google Play/Spotify generation I suspect there will be a hint of nostalgia in playing certain songs together.

A Side / B Side – I wonder if “flipping” media at any specifc point should result in different results.

People not algorithms will ultimately create the most personal selection.
AI/ML will still take your job. Rock on!

Categorized as AI/ML, Music