Qualification to hold public office
As others have said: 'The desire to hold public office, when coming from already privileged classes, should preclude those from holding it'.
166 posts • joined 27 Jan 2012
Totally agree. Running machine control hardware, but with a flashy GUI and machine vision etc. usually requires a P.C AND a motion controller / PLC (maybe with FPGA in) to deal with the hard real time processing (100uS servo loop processing etc.). But even when shown the hardware, most softies cannot grasp the concept that code is being executed asynchronously and in parallel on both the P.C and the PLC, sometimes using the same inputs. Quite often there is a choice on where to run a given algorithm, and quite often the wrong decision is made because there is no appreciation of the 'best' or 'fastest' hardware to execute the algorithm you are trying to code. Much more needs to be done in these days of OpenCL and even 'just' multi cored processors to educate, it's a massive untapped resource.
People need to look up the form, fit, function rule which is considered best practice for all engineering change control. If one part of an assembly breaks its internal interfaces (i.e. between two software blobs, two mechanical parts, an electrical plug pinout), then that part needs to be given a new 'part' number, not just up-revised. As the mating part will have to fundamentally change too (the electrical socket needs to mate with the new plug pinout), and will not be backwards compatible, then that will need a new part number as well. The parent assembly (firmware + driver) will definitely need to be up-revised as its child parts have changed, but may need a new 'part' number if, due to the internal changes of the 'parts', its interface to the outside world changes. In this case, it makes absolute sense to always supply firmware and driver as a controlled 'assembly' of parts rather than independent parts.
Manufacturing standards are aligning throughout the World these days, and those countries, geographic areas etc. who don't have their own usually specify either EU or American (UL) standards. See UL 61010-1 as an example of the yanks adopting BS EN IEC 61010-1 (measurement and process control electrical safety) so that it becomes a truly harmonised worldwide standard.
As I've said before on El Reg, European Standards such as EN 62061, 61508 etc. do attempt to formalize the requirements for safety critical software, but there has to be a realization within the software industry in general that what they code (whether that be IoT based remote control stuff or not) may have a real world hazardous effect, and therefore these standards have to be applied. I have worked in the industrial control industry for over 20 years and it really scares me that layers of abstraction between P.C side code (GUI, Vision processing etc.), and the lower level real time systems for controlling motion or I/O, keep the average coder completely ignorant of how a given system works. Yes, abstraction, libraries etc. etc. are vital, but the coder MUST understand at least in some detail, how a control stack works, when the end result of moving a slider GUI element could result in a toaster going into meltdown, be that toaster in the kitchen local to you, or on the other side of the world.
I can't claim credit for this one, that honour lies with a certain landlord of westcountry pubs I know (and rugby player), but I cannot but bow to the incredible talent which invented...
To describe those ladies, who for whatever reason, have blurred the physical boundary between their tummies and what lies beneath, into one amorphous blob.
The brevity and yet extreme adjectivity(?) of this four letter word has left many a seasoned drinker, rugby player, bon viveur etc. stunned by its elegance. Hats off to you Mr G.
Was gonna call my band 'bollard' years ago. Nice word.
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