Your Tax Dollars At Work: Laser Guided Bullets

Sandia labs Laser Guided Bullett
Sandia labs Laser Guided Bullett
The four-inch-long bullet has actuators that steer tiny fins that guide it to its target. Photo by Randy Montoya from Sandia Labs

Sandia Labs scientists had developed laser guided bullets. Really they are mini guided missals.

Sandia’s design for the four-inch-long bullet includes an optical sensor in the nose to detect a laser beam on a target. The sensor sends information to guidance and control electronics that use an algorithm in an eight-bit central processing unit to command electromagnetic actuators. These actuators steer tiny fins that guide the bullet to the target.


Motorola's 52nd Street Plant Still A Superfund Site

My parents didn’t work at the 52nd street Motorola plant (now a superfund site), built in 1956 near 48th Street and McDowell Road in Pheonix, Az but I think my Grandfather did. The EPA is still testing near the site nearly 30 year later.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials told about 15 residents at a community meeting Wednesday that their preliminary test results from some spots in the Lindon Park neighborhood, near 48th Street and McDowell Road, show some soil samples had unsafe levels of two industrial cleaning chemicals.

The chemicals were used at the former Motorola plant years ago to clean machinery and other equipment.

EPA scientists said the risk to residents’ health probably was small, but they believe they need to test for chemicals inside some homes to be sure.

“The kinds of soil vapor or the soil gas concentrations that we’re seeing do not lead us to believe that you would have the kinds of levels or exposure that would cause extreme health effects,” said Gerald Hiatt, an EPA toxicologist. “We may have some exposures inside homes that are high enough to create a (health) risk over long-term exposure, but I would be very, very surprised if we saw exposures that would create acute health effects.”

The neighborhood is the focus of an EPA Superfund monitoring and cleanup effort that has been under way for more than 20 years.

Apparently there was chemical tank that leaked into the soil in the 1980. It doesn’t surprise me from what I heard from my parents and what I saw working at electronic companies in the early 1990’s in Arizona. Companies were not that concerned about such safety issues.

Motorola's 52nd Street PlantThe factory is now owned by On Semiconductor. It’s been remodeled and I couldn’t find any pictures of what the factory originally looked like except one on the semiconductor Museum’s page.

How To Fix The Sony “for use with compatible battery only” Error

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I bought 4 extra batteries for my Sony DSC-HX5. After a while when I would power on the camera with of the batteries the camera would give me an error “for use with compatible battery only” and then the camera would shut down. I didn’t think this was a problem with the camera since 4 of the 5 batteries (including the one that came with the battery) would work without error.

I did a google search for the error “for use with compatible battery only” and found lots of people with the problem but not very many solutions. It took some searching through the pages and I found that if the center pin is shorted by the other two pins it would reset the battery.

for use with compatible battery only

First I fully charged the battery. Then pressed a piece of aluminum foil over all three contacts at the same time to short the center contact. It took a few tries but I knew the reset took when I put the battery into the camera and it wouldn’t start up. I put the battery back into the charger. The camera charged for about 5 minutes, I then put the battery back into the camera and it started up without error.

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