Re: Audiophile porn?
Sounds good. Literally. For me I experienced peak audio BS when a guy at work was talking through his, er, line out port that the gold plated digital cables give one better sound.
623 posts • joined 19 Apr 2017
Pro tip... instead of spending hundred of pounds per meter for monstrous chunks of oxygen-free copper (hand oiled by Tahitian virgins), do what the pros do:
Use ribbon cable. All odd conductors one polarity, even conductors the other. Idea is ot minimizes inductance by getting the area of the Amperian loops as small as possible. Inductance is far lower for a given cost than going with a large pair of conductors. You can run a lot of power over a 50 conductor ribbon, I run 100W avg without hesitation. Heat dissipation works well because of the geometry. Connectors are almost too cheap to meter. AND the darn speaker runs lay flat in cable trays.
When vehicle-mounted whip antenna collides with overhanging tree limbs, overpasses, and whatnot failure is definitely possibility.
I saw an fun test method: a 6x6 oak beam extends between two buildings at a known height. A whip antenna mounted on a HMMWV going at a max speed is crashed into it. One hell of a "whaaaap!" sound is heard! Repeat to failure, record number of cycles, document failure mechanism...
And gotten paid to do so! But it was my duty to do so, of course, all for the sake of making products that are Marine-proof.
Highly Accelerated Life Test / Highly Accelerated Stress Screening... when used properly and in an engineering paradigm that embraces failure is an extremely powerful tool for making products robust. The idea is to drive failures as fast as possible, learn, fix, repeat. Its like fuzz testing, but in the physical domain.
But I will admit its fun to take a one of a kind artifact and simultaneously give it 100g's of vibe on six axes, abuse its power supply input, and repetitively ramp it from -100DegC to 100DegC as fast as liquid nitrogen and cartridge heaters can take it. Parts fly off, smoke erupts, "unbreakable" boxes get a weird rattle to them software locks up. Good times!
Your reward us that you get to see products go from crap to bulletproof very quickly.
"That means academics are on the lookout for cheap, pure sources of the cannabinoids."
If they want the good s--t, they just need to go off campus. What you're looking for is usually behind frat row. Short haircut, souped up Honda product with really nice rims.
Do not under any circumstances do business with a guy in an American car. No matter how chill he looks, he's a cop.
Now for good crank, you gotta stay on campus and go to...
One place I worked in had an extremely nice flex-time policy. Great perk.
Unfortunately the flex time and dealing with civilians in general rubbed our new Great Leader the wrong way. He was a newly retired Marine who seemed to combine the aggressiveness of Chesty Puller with the ego of MacArthur.
So the story (perhaps apocryphal) goes:
GL: "We need some serious discipline here. People wandering in and out whenever they fscking feel like it... That's BS! Everyone will be at their desks at 0800 sharp..."
Deputy: "Sir... you do have the authority to order that. But what's going to happen is that everyone will just stand around the water cooler from 0800-1100 bitching about your policy..."
She told me a case where that happened. In Texas, but I need to ask her where.
Here is the deal: in the US, OB-GYN have a rough go of it because they get sued about once per year. Some of the cases are legit, but mostly its due to reality: birth defects sometimes happen. Its a tragedy for the child and parents but stuff happens. Usually the OB is sued.
One particular lawyer in TX apparently built a lot of his firm around suing OB's specifically. So the OB practices in his town refused to serve his pregnant wife, and she had to seek all pre-natal and delivery services elsewhere. So he sued every doctor. And lost, (Yesss!!!!)
Unless you discriminate against someone who can scream loud and long to the press, you can still refuse service in the US.
"I hope she gets a good long stretch in a regular state prison."
Aye! And we know the probability of that, eh? If she gets sentenced to anything at all, we will probably end up subsidizing a holiday with sewing circles, peloton, and goat cheese pizza
Why we tolerate a justice system where some criminals get absolute shithole cells and others a nice hotel stay is beyond my comprehension. You'd this some "real" prisoners could make a case that they are denied their 14th amendment 'equal protection' protection or something...
"But I still notice that nowhere it is written how much they actually raised and how many people beyond the few famous names fell for the scam."
Fair enough, and I don't think the author of the article or anyone else knows. From here on out its BS all the way down. Defrauded investors are going to inflate their losses to shelter their assets from tax... Insurance firms will try to minimize their loss magnitude, unless they think their subrogation contractors have an easy win. The press will want big, sensational numbers. Former board members will lowball to reduce their apparent culpability.
At the end of the day all that will be left are some very happy lawyers, on all sides. I view lawyers as the friction force on society... in the end that's where all our money gets dissipated. Whatever money got offshored is gone forever, along with depreciation on all the equipment Theranos bought. And the taxpayer will definitely have to pay for justice.
This makes me sad and a little hostile.
Where did the other $8,500,000,000.00 go? Nowhere. Most of it never existed. The $9B figure is a fantasy the street calls "valuation" which is the sum of its capital (~$500M of borrowed cash plus some bits and baubles of lab gear) plus the value of Theranos' patent and other intellectual property.
When it become apparent the firm's intellectual property was a steaming mass of bullshit, its value dropped instantly. And given that the IP was used as collateral to secure loans, a lot of investors got screwed. I'm sure the big ones will be first in line though for whatever comes put of liquidation.
Never underestimate the vapor pressure of hot, fresh bullshit. We just saw about.$8.5B worth evaporate...
Went to school with a gentleman who has become an aero engineer (structures flavor) and a member of NTSB. Early in his career he did a fair amount of crash scene work. Any man willing to wade waist to chest deep in a fetid Florida swamp, surrounded by death, jet fuel, and various reptiles while looking for aircraft crumbs has got balls of stainless steel and truly uncommon dedication. He would acquit himself well on any battlefield, but is also a highly trained aero. One of many.
Read the reports. NTBS works in a perfect storm of conflict - they are caught between the aircraft vendor, engine vendor, FAA, airline company, subsystem vendors, pilot union, meteorological people, and so on. A small organization, they rely on information from all of those warring tribes and somehow manage to arrive at solid, well reasoned, and effective analysis. Note the NTSB doesn't just do aircraft. Go to their website, read the reports, and watch the taped briefings. This is one of the few chunks of the US Govt I don't mind funding at tax time.
Note as well their counterparts in the UK, EU, etc. ... pretty much any ICAO-signatory country... are generally damn good.
Read the reports and watch a little less of the "Air Crash Investigators" TV show.
The industry will definitely be paying attention to this report. The B767 is one of the safest airframes out there measured in fatalities per passenger-mile. Even if one includes three hijackings with fatal outcomes that remains true. So, a little surprising.
I always pay attention to B767 safety, as I nearly had a little problem somewhere around 1986 or so. New aircraft, and the design was still pretty new. I was walking past an entry door that had just been closed and the emergency slide flopped off the door into the little vestibule; had that inflated the flight attendant inches from me and myself would have had one hell of a bonding experience being crushed together. Not significant in the scheme of things but had my attention at the time.
I make sure there is a Software Hardware Integration Task (SHIT) job for someone. Why? It becomes immediately flaming obvious whether anyone bothers to review the artifact. On the rare occasion I get caught off base I pull a innocent, "Oh, damn. Thanks. Don't know where my mind was, after squeezing out several hundred lines of tasks..."
Written in honor of a man I went to basic training with, Mr Richard Holden. I will never forget the look on my DI's face when he realized he now had a recruit he could scream "HOLDEN, DICK...!" to. The possibilities were endless.
My guess is that the code was written in an IBM offshore Site of Excellence by a fairly junior programmer with poor cultural skills. Somewhere with a great deal of racial homogeneity. Bangalore comes to mind. The list was races was probably generated through a Google search for "races in the US", applied uncritically.
In the best tradition of MS, nothing was tested or reviewed.
I've been asked by offshore workers whether "I'm a nigger. You sound different..." I've got the check my outrage at the door as the speaker probably hasn't a clue. Trick then is to gently educate without coming across as a triggered nutjob.
Believe it or not there was a Navy AN/SPY-1A array smack dab in the midwest for years. The navy gave an obsolete radar to NOAA's severe storms lab, which investigated its phased array tech for tornado forecast\ track. I seem to recall the experiment went extremely well, and that NOAA would love to eventually go to something. SPY-1-like.
Their budget is nowhere near adequate though. I think we are still trying to plug holes in WSR-88D coverage, and have been trying to build that system out since the 80's...
Supposedly the average high end car these days has a mile of wire, and that is a pretty humble product compared to a satellite.
For some years I've been expecting vehicle wiring harnesses to shrink dramatically due to use of CAN bus or related tech. Why have a whole bundle of wires going to each brake light assembly when you only need a differential pair for CAN plus power? Ground runs through the chassis. Adds cost and complexity... but with literally pounds of copper in a harness at some point adding the complexity will be a fair trade.
Using CAN or other network to reduce wiring complexity also gives you a much more enjoyable attack surface, but I prefer to call that "job security"
For the space vehicle my suspicion is that the "harness" it is not a wire loom in the car sense but rather a whole series of kapton substrate flexible printed circuit boards bearing connectors. Lighter, easier to debug, vastly easier to install, more reliable, more test points, etc. Just takes more engineering $. I can see racking up the km very quickly when each trace added to a flex backplane adds almost no incremental mass
Adding microcontrollers to a space vehicle design is a lot tougher because doing so causes a lot of financial pain - running a full failure mode effects / criticality analysis every time you add another one hurts.
Sorry about the "head" jargon. No yacht, that's beyond my pay grade. In the military you would either go to the shitter, the can, or (in polite accompany) the head. I'm still wired that way. Maybe we can agree on 'place of solitary contemplation'?
The Chairman was once stuck in a mass of parents at a gymnastics event, waiting for his daughter. The waiting area was near the kid's heads. Inside one was a little girl belting out the "Let it GO!" refrain from the insipid Frozen soundtrack, and a dozen people damn near died laughing.
Expert Systems... that's an unpleasant blast from the past. I remember undergoing "structured interviews" to capture my "expert domain knowledge" as an RF engineer. Wrong on so many levels... whoever decided I'm an expert needs serious help. More troubling was that the interviewers had no discernable knowledge of RF, EE, or any sort of engineering. My colleagues and I proposed questions we thought should have been obvious candidates for any real knowledge base, but were told 'the software will figure it out'. Sure.
I do not think any software was ever squeezed out, and I think I'm content with that outcome.
I concur with the sentiment for renaming AI to ML. But even then, Joe Public will think "gee, I suck at learning, so I will let a machine do it for me. Obviously it will do better.. "
In my org I'm calling the technology a "decision tool" and "research assistant. I do not think the tech is mature enough to independently make important decisions. By calling it a tool we declare it is (potentially) useful if used by a craftsman, but ultimate responsibility for a quality outcome remains with the human in charge.
I want to move from "Gee, COMPAS told me this guy will..." to "Based on all this information I've considered, in my judgment..."
My paranoia and age are growing in tandem. When money is on the line I try to establish four defenses: 1) design freeze for a demo milestone. The demo environment is walled off from both the development and production servers 2) test/demonstration readiness review meeting during which we look back over the numerous ways we've screwed up in the past and discuss what specifically the new design does to avoid a repeat. 3) prepare a video in case all hell breaks loose on the live demo, install and test video on the demo-specific laptop. 4) Full dress rehearsal of the demo system in front of a panel of abusive curmudgeons from unrelated projects.
Once the demo environment is up, one keeps it away from the developers. At all costs.
Still screw up sometimes but at least the screwups are now fairly unique.
Libre/Open's equation editor is outstanding. I'm far more productive in it than MS's, which pretty much requires constantly moving a hand between keyboard and rodent. Not as powerful as LaTeX, but not everything is a thesis.
Second thing is that calc can ingest truly enormous amounts of csv data and still run very fast. Ive thrown hundreds of MB into it, with total confidence. Excel? segfault.
I've found amazing stuff while under the flooring..
...scientific evidence linking dietary habits to developer weight
...personnel files chucked under the floor because the admin couldn't be arsed to file them
...awards, including monetary chits, included in said files
...entire wired and wireless network infrastructure , totally unknown to the IT/IA staff
....and a 3/4 used tube of personal lube. I did a bulletin board announcement asking for someone to claim that.
Appreciate the correction on my Shakespeare reference. To be honest when I wrote that I originally thought to write of myself shifting off a register into the bit bucket. While it doesn't have the brutality of the "take a dirt nap" from my service days it still felt depressing.
Not sure what my endianness is at this point, so not sure which way I will go. Will the most significant or least significant bit be the last to go? Depends on whether you ask the ex...
When my dad passed he was not of sound mind. When I got into all his accounts and books the realization hit that his judgement had actually been degraded for some time, and I had a major forensic accounting task on my hands.
If you've got kids do them a favor while you can still think straight- put them on all your accounts and go over your financial status with them in detail at least once a year. I'm making sure mine have no surprises when I shift off the mortal coil.
Silver paint! I remember those on 74- and 4000-series logic chips and low end op-amps. Especially those sold though Radio Shack and equivalents in the early 80's. Your hair must be gray like mine, right?
Now I've got to rummage in my junk chips drawer, I'm sure I can find one and give it a little acetone. Or in my case these days equal parts acetone, methanol, and kerosene.
Check out: https://www.aeri.com/counterfeit-electronic-component-detection/
Whether you want to call it upcycling, counterfeiting, whatever... the process through which electronic waste gets reprocessed into "new" bogus chips n tat is absolutely filthy. Poor communities in Asia and Africa get poisoned trying to make a few meager bucks off our hazardous waste.
Real people, dying slowly
EU has at least paid some lip service to reducing volumes of electronic waste. US? Not so much.
Easy to spot used chips? Not necessarily. For some packages like ceramic DIP with gold pins used in ZIF sockets, its tough to mitigate scratches on the package and leads. Its very hard to remove solder from gold plated pins without losing the plating. Re-use can be easily detected and hard to mask.
But a plastic package with tinned leads? If the bad guy bead blasts or sands off the top, blacktops, re-etches, straightens and tins the leads... he's good to go for nearly all casual inspections.
Sure, one can do trace metal checks of pins, look at every chip under a microscope for sanding marks, inspect pins under the microscope, scrape and acetone every chip to look for blacktop, and so forth but that takes a lot of time money most firms are totally unwilling to spend... unless one already suspects a problem.
Heck, I'm actually trained in this, slightly paranoid, and anal retentive in my lab habits. Even then I'm maybe 20-50pct effective spotting the known fakes in training when using only basic tools and chemicals.
This is a multi billion dollar problem. If you or your firm are US or Canadian and you've got concerns I strongly recommend you join the Government-Industry Data Exchange Program (GIDEP). Great training, and an even better event and device database.
"I suspect military applications have similar rules." Yes, absolutely. And remember that much of the B-1B traces its heritage back to the 70s. Surely most of the avionics and payload equipment has been upgraded over the years but I'd not be surprised in the least to find cards over a decade old.
Not all counterfeits are easy to detect. Some of these guys will sand off markings, blacktop, then laser etch really good markings. Sometimes the only way to tell is use acoustic microscopes, x-rays, curve tracers, and even decapping to catch a fake. But there is no how, no way you can do that level of effort everywhere.
Keep your friends close, your supply chain closer, and keep a weather eye on the gray market guy who seems to always have a good supply of obsolete chips
@Graham 25 asks if Pai can be sacked as a public servant... it's complicated.
First the typical case: most civil servants work in the Executive Branch, which sits under the President. All of these people serve at his pleasure and can be fired by the chief executive. Congress, a separate and supposedly co-equal branch does not have personnel authority, but it does have the blunt instrument of controlling agency budgets. So if Congress if feeling peeved they can pressure the President by de-funding an agency, but this is a cat fight.
Edge cases: FCC is one of a number of independent agencies. It is funded entirely by fees levied on industry and ultimately passed on to consumers. Board members are appointed the President and confirmed by the Senate. The President appoints one of the Board members as chair. I believe a commissioner's term of office is 5 years. In this construct neither the President nor Congress have direct personnel authority. Theoretically this insulates a regulatory organization from political influence. But given the FCC's third of a billion $ budget is actually paid by industry, Congress has even less power than usual because there are no purse strings they can cut. One could argue a regulator funded by the industry it regulates is inherently weak, and I wouldn't disagree.
What can Congress do? Pass specific legislation to regulate industry. But if the President vetoes the bill, Congress needs a 2/3 majority to override. And this is difficult in a country equally split between parties.
Congress can hold individuals in contempt for refusing documents, refusing to testify, and so forth. There are civil and criminal sanctions available but lawmakers rarely invoke this power.
Interestingly its the Judiciary that decided the Congress needed extraordinary powers to hold persons in contempt, largely through a ruling in the early 19th century:
Hardware limitations are not an excuse for lack of crypto. I've gotten AES-128 running rather well on PIC and AVR micros. Even the venerable 8051 can have a go. For an efficient implementation there is no need for the performance of an ARM.
Please visit: https://cr.yp.to/mac/8051.html
...of the process.
Suppose you're wrongly accused of a heinous crime and lack the resources to hire competent counsel. In the US the court appoints a public defender, generally a newly minted lawyer with no staff and very little time. I don't know how this works in the UK, but here its a disaster.
If you're poor and subject to a "wrong man" child abuse complaint, you're screwed.
Extreme case: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/01/31/us/public-defender-case-loads.html
My church and family work with many homeless people and lack of access to effective legal services is a big reason many are homeless. The stereotype of homeless being lazy substance abusers is just that... I'm as likely to see a guy with a laptop bag living rough as I am a man with a dime bag.
Nor would I expect one to read all libraries' docs.
What I meant by my comment is that I believe I can reasonably expect someone calling themself a "computer scientist" to at least keep abreast of news and events in IT/IA/CS and actively seek to expand their knowledge l. Given events over the last 15-20 years, I believe I can expect any CS working for me to understand the fundamentals of buffer overflow and know why strcpy() is deprecated and what they need to look for in a replacement.
Sometimes things don't work out and that's ok - its why we have management reserve, testing, etc. When I get angry is when we repeat mistakes - ours or other's
I've seen this at close range for years, but in the other direction as well: stepdad is a PhD physicist and my mom worked for surgeons. In formal social settings I notice the MDs will refer to my stepdad as "doctor" but surgeons almost never do. MDs or surgeons who also have PhD will refer to anyone else with PhD as "doctor". So ... surgeons.
That being said, I want my surgeons to be highly confident people (but hopefully not cocky) and I suppose some ego is to be expected.
Me? I will answer to damn near anything, especially if you are offering a pint. I will gladly offer an MD their title of "doctor" out of sincere respect for their skills and responsibilities.
Yoda say, "Petty BS this is"
@JohnFen, I think eventually it matured into a reasonable language. But DoD was shoving this on programs when it was - at best - half baked.
One of my first exposures to adult level work was a hard realtime system implemented in assembler and a customized C language that was already well into EMD ... when the witless wonders in OSD forced a switch to Ada. For want of an optimizing compiler the hardware architecture had to be respun, going from 2 to 5 microprocessors. In compact, power constrained flight hardware. Reliability and every other -ility crashed hard. Large contributor to project failure.
But I don't blame the language so much as the stupidity on high and the lack of cojones on the PM ... sometimes you've got to say "Hell, no, it won't go."
Great example with the strncpy() updates. What I have seen in my org though are people too lazy or unskilled to understand why strcpy() is an issue. So they just cargo cult code with strcpy()
compile it, and run. They're not thinking or even bothering to read the literature in their own field.
Obviously these need to be educated if possible and encouraged to succeed elsewhere when it is not. Any tool in the hands of a cargo cultist is dangerous, I don't think there is anything we can do with tools and architecture to mitigate incompetence.
I like hard science research because I can ask a tightly defined question and address it with an elegant investigation.
Research such as the 'least buggy lingo' strikes me as a fool's errand. There are vast numbers of confounding factors one must account for, and I haven't a clue what they all are or how to control them. Just off the top of my head, I think you need to adjust for:
Experience level of developers in a given language, developer team cohesiveness, team size, development methodology, team morale, quality of dev environment, lack of PHB questioning every decision, availability of automated quality assurance, testing or lack thereof, quality of requirements, stability of requirements, quality of req to function allocation, availability of good libraries, quality CM systems... I could go on for hours; been doing this for decades and literally everything I've listed just now has a tale of woe to match. I've never seen a project fail because the language was "wrong"
When I think of all the absolutely essential crap in the systems engineering vee above and to the left of coding ... and the V&V activities above and to the right ... you'd have to work really hard to convince me language quirks dominate quality.
I trust my experts to choose an appropriate tool for a job. I grew up dealing with DoD's "Ada is the answer" abortion and would not wish that attitude on anyone.
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