directional antennas



Whatever your interest in the medium, you’ll find a wonderful new work to enjoy at The Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2014, May 10th and 11th, at Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street.

A full run-down of all of the debuting books, including these excellent new releases and many more, can be found on our Debut Books Page!

Our thanks to the authors and publishers who choose to debut their new graphic novels with us!

It just means so much to me that, of the characters that The Force Awakens centres the most as the heroes of the narrative…

their most significant initial character defining moment is that of empathy.

Finn is a Stormtrooper, a soldier, trained from birth to see lives as disposable, to be a cog in the machine, to kill.

And the first real thing he does is to be moved by the death of his comrade. Genuinely moved by it, earth-shatteringly so. To see the pain & suffering of war, the villagers, and to take no part in it. To understand in a single moment of heartbreaking clarity, that innocent life has value, and it is not his to take, just because that is all he was ever told, that is all he knows. 

He is not following orders.

Then Rey. The scavenger, who has been alone for so long. Who rarely ever has had anyone show her kindness, in years. Who lives, barely scraping by, living off scraps & parts, ekeing it out through competition, by being smart, fast, strong. Who has had to fight for everything she had, with no one to help her at it. Starving.

Except. She hears a cry for help, and she goes running. Maybe despite the fact that she knows few would answer, if she ever cried. Maybe because of it.

What she finds is a droid, and they are afraid, they are hurt, they are lost, and the Teedo just sees more scrap. To use, to sell, and she argues with them over it, asserts the droid as something more.

She’s so intent on helping that she even leaves behind the net. Scavengers don’t leave salvage behind. Everything has value in a place like Jakku. Everything has purpose. 

Directions given, antennae fixed, and she pauses to talk to the droid, anyway, ask them about themselves. How they came to such a place, and finds a moment of kinship. She understands secrets. She understands waiting.

The droid stays for the night, even though she doesn’t have to. Because she is lonely, and she’s kind, underneath it all.

Even in the morning, when she’s cheated again, out of what is due to her for her work. Reminded once again that the world is unfair, cruel, there is no one to help her, she should take what she can.

And she’s tempted, just for a moment. But that isn’t who she is. It’s not enough just to survive. She has to be worth it. There has to be something in her that is worth someone coming back for.

Some things don’t have a price.

And it’s not his first action, exactly, but Poe, too, as the third of the trio, shows a lot of that, too. The hesitation he has, leaving Lor San Tekka. The fact that he stays and fights for the villagers, when he might have run & gotten away, too. The kindness & trust he places in Finn, right from the start. Asserting Finn as a human being, someone with personhood, worthy of a name. Making sure he knows he can keep the jacket, telling him he’s a good man, trying to get Finn help to save Rey, even when he knows what the other stakes, are. 

That line of his, the one during the attack on Star-killer, that was just an observation, nothing special, really. But it hit me in the chest like blaster-fire, and more than anything, spoke to the heart & soul of this movie.

“As long as there’s light, we’ve got a chance.”

My current college sublet battlestation: laptop + monitor + phone + long-range, wall-mounted wifi antenna = happy hacking.

  • ASUS N56VZ laptop (i7, GT650m; modified with 120 GB SSD, running Ubuntu, coding with VIM)
  • AOC E2425Swd monitor (24", 1080p)
  • Samsung Galaxy SIII
  • Alfa AWUS036H Wifi Card (1000mW; shopping for a 4W in-line amplifier)
  • TP-Link Omni-Directional Antenna (2.4 GHz, 8dBi)
WiFi Drones Stand Up Network During Emergencies

by Michael Keller

Some of the first responders to enter future disaster zones might be tiny drones equipped with transmitters designed to reestablish WiFi and cellphone communications. 

University of North Texas electrical engineers have unveiled prototypes of the multirotor aerial vehicles that they are designing to fly in pairs after the network goes down. One drone would land in the area–perhaps on a rooftop–and the second would be placed in line of sight of the first up to almost two miles away. 

See the video and read more below.

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