Are you running out of space on your computer, but don’t want to hurt machine learning performance with a slow drive? Thunderbolt 3 SSDs are the answer.

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All the peripherals used in my testing. Image by author.

I have recently started training models in TensorFlow on some rather large datasets. My already-taxed internal SSD soon ran out of what little space it had left, prompting me to find another solution.

I had an old external SSD lying around, so I tried moving my 20 GB dataset onto that. Unfortunately, training times nearly doubled. Running a quick disk speed test on this drive vs the internal drive in my computer clearly identified the problem.


Want to train machine learning models on your Mac’s integrated AMD GPU or an external graphics card? Look no further than PlaidML.

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MacBook Pro with AMD eGPU. Image by author.

Anyone who has tried to train a neural network with TensorFlow on macOS knows that the process kind of sucks. TensorFlow can only leverage the CPU on Macs, as GPU-accelerated training requires an Nvidia chipset (there is a fork of TensorFlow that can use GPUs on macOS, but it’s still in alpha). Most large models take orders of magnitude more time to train on a CPU than on even a simple GPU.

To make matters worse, many Macs have powerful discreet AMD GPUs that are forced to sit idle while training. TensorFlow only supports Nvidia devices, which are incompatible with…


Flying around you at this very moment are thousands of man-made radio signals. With a $20 USB dongle, you can visualize and decode a large number of them.

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I’m sure you’re aware of humanity’s reliance on radio waves for practically every communications task. After all, how could it get much better? In a tiny fraction of a second, you can send millions of bits of information to another point thousands of feet away, all with very little power.

We also use radio waves for much more than cell-phones and walkie talkies. We use radio to communicate with our deep space…


Misguided caution about the health effects of cellphones and their networks is hindering progress

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Photo: Artur Debat/Getty Images

I am a student at Harvard College studying electrical engineering and am in no way affiliated with telecommunications companies or lobbyist groups seeking to expedite the rollout of 5G or activist groups seeking to halt its rollout.

We are on the verge of a communications revolution. The global rollout of 5G could signal an end to competing wireless networks and provide a unified system to connect power-hungry mobile phones and tiny internet of things sensors alike. As the U.S. and the EU argue over the geopolitical risks of 5G expansion and pressure mounts to install more 5G infrastructure, pushback from…


Meet Mars 2020 — NASA’s newest robotic explorer headed to the Red Planet.

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Artist’s rendering of the Mars 2020 rover. Image: NASA

The Mars 2020 rover is the latest in a long series of vehicles that wheel around the red planet. Mars 2020 inherits much of the same design as NASA’s previous Mars Rover, Curiosity (officially known as Mars Science Laboratory or MSL). The SUV-sized Curiosity rover, which is still operating after more than 7 years on the surface of Mars, served as a testbed for many new technologies. …


But they’re already polluting the sky

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A SpaceX Starlink satellite during deployment. Image: SpaceX

You may have seen one of the countless articles peppering news feeds about satellite constellation-based internet connectivity such as Starlink by SpaceX or OneWeb. A few companies have deployed their first satellites, and many more, such as Amazon, have filed applications with the FCC and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to get permission to develop their constellations. There are even rumors that Apple is working on a cluster of satellites to provide internet connectivity to its devices. The interest in satellite-based internet is high, and there’s plenty of opportunity for financial gain.

Satellite internet already exists, but it’s a different…


We live in an age of unprecedented access to information. While this generally is helpful, it also poses a threat by way of the distribution of misinformation. It’s easier than ever for an individual or even large companies to make up some bogus scientific claims for monetary gain. In this article, we’ll be exploring an example of such a case — a very real company using fake science to sell products — and how you can spot such ruses for yourself.

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Firstly, it’s worth pointing out that many companies peddling pseudoscience on the internet don’t have truly malicious intentions. They…


The Artemis Program is not some startup’s pipe dream or the landing of a minor moon probe; this is the real deal. Humanity is going back to the Moon, and to stay this time.

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NASA’s 21st-century Moon initiative is not new. Work on Space Launch System (SLS), the rocket that NASA plans to use to take humanity to the Moon and Mars, started over a decade ago. Additionally, the Orion capsule, the crewed module that will ferry astronauts to the Moon and back, is already built and flight-tested. The main new item here is the timeline. …


The hobbyist wireless communications space is becoming increasingly crowded with different radios and protocols — this guide will help you choose the right one for your next project!

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TL;DR

If you’re just looking for a recommendation without any information, read this section. I go into much more detail below.

  • I need to transmit a small amount of data a long distance without too much power: LoRA
  • I need to transmit a lot of data back and forth from the internet from a remote device: Cellular
  • I need to transmit a lot of data back and forth from the internet from a…


Back in 2014, NASA awarded aerospace and defense contractor Boeing a $4 billion dollar contract to construct the core rocket designed to ferry NASA astronauts to the moon and Mars for decades to come. Some say that the future of this rocket, dubbed the Space Launch System (SLS), may be in danger.

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(📷: NASA)

While admittedly not as sexy-looking as a Falcon Heavy or Delta IV, SLS promised to be an extremely capable heavy-launch vehicle. …

Alex Wulff

I'm a Harvard student, maker, and radio enthusiast. Check out my book on radio communications at amzn.to/341cywA and my website at www.AlexWulff.com

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