Are the Glory Days of Analog Engineering Over?
If you do analog chip design - you are the highest paid guy in the building - period.That has been true for the nearly 20 years I've been in chip design and I don't see it changing anytime soon.
FWD.us: GOP Voters To Be Targeted By Data Scientists
Why don't these guys simply pay attention to a scientific poll that was already run in Eric Cantor's district to see how successful this idea is!
First time in history that Majority leader of the House has lost his seat- all because he supported some form of immigration reform.
That worked well for him didn't it.
US Should Use Trampolines To Get Astronauts To the ISS Suggests Russian Official
According to an article in last weeks Aviation Week and Space Technology - you are ignorant.
The value of commercial experimentation on the ISS has taken an unforseen upswing. Real companies are paying Real money to put experiments of different varieties on the ISS.There is a back-log of customers.
I'm thinking the Dragon from Space-X is a nice answer to the Russian suggestion. I also think their minister needs some remedial science classes to learn about the law of gravitiy.... you can't possibly reach escape velocity with a trampoline ;-)
What Are the Weirdest Places You've Spotted Linux?
I have a Fedora login prompt on channel 1000 (The Comcast test channel) on my home TV.
The problem is - I can't find the keyboard anywhere near by to try and log in!?!
Do Hypersonic Missiles Make Defense Systems Obsolete?
First there are really two types of missile defense systems. Those that worry about ICBMs, and those that are "theater" defense.
The US Missile defense system that is costing so much money worries about the first class, i.e. missiles coming from thousands of miles away that are ballistic in nature. We have a limited number of shots for such a defense - and really we're worrying about bad actors like North Korea or perhaps Iran. These guys are going to have a limited capability to throw things at us. So a small number of shots is about right.
These systems can NOT defend against Russia - who can throw several hundred missiles our way.
The theater defense systems are things like the Patriot or the SM3 (I think) that the Navy carries. These have some ballistic defense roll - but their main job is to worry about shorter distance ballistic missiles or air-breathers like the Exocet that was used in the Falklands war. A Hypersonic missile is going to fall into this class and indeed I believe such systems would be out-classed by a Hypersonic weapon today.
Perhaps with the next generation Laser weapons there might be a chance to defend against multiple salvos - but those aren't fielded yet.
Three Videos On Codec2 and Open Hardware
I've used codec2 daily in the ghpsdr-alex branch for controlling SDR over Linux remotely.
It is deployed on the Android App glSDR that you can find in the Android Market.
The app provides a GUI with spectrum & waterfall along with Audio from the radio being controlled. Codec2 is used to provide a low-overhead transport that survives the Internet quite nicely.
I've used the app with my 4G phone quite successfully.
Now to the question of latency. When I connect to my own radio with a real-time playback PLUS the codec playback running at the same time, there is a fraction of a second delay - perhaps 100ms-200ms at a guess.
So bottom line is there are real applications for Ham Radio already deploying this technology.
If UNIX Were a Religion
How does this whole thing about LInux be a religion set with the "Cathedral and the Bazaar?" Now I'm confused. How can Linux be a religion when it was developed in a Bazaar?
I don't get it?
If UNIX Were a Religion
Shouldn't this more appropriately be "RTMP" or Read the Man Page?
'Morris Worm' Turns 25: Watch How TV Covered It Then
Date: Tue, 8 Nov 88 21:40:00 PST
From: ge...@fernwood.mpk.ca.us (the tty of Geoff Goodfellow)
Subject: NYT/Markoff: The Computer Jam -- How it came about
THE COMPUTER JAM: HOW IT CAME ABOUT
By JOHN MARKOFF
c.1988 N.Y. Times News Service, 8-Nov-88
Computer scientists who have studied the rogue program that crashed through
many of the nation's computer networks last week say the invader actually
represents a new type of helpful software designed for computer networks.
The same class of software could be used to harness computers spread aroun
the world and put them to work simultaneously.
It could also diagnose malfunctions in a network, execute large computations
on many machines at once and act as a speedy messenger.
But it is this same capability that caused thousands of computers in
universities, military installations and corporate research centers to stall
and shut down the Defense Department's Arpanet system when an illicit version
of the program began interacting in an unexpected way.
``It is a very powerful tool for solving problems,'' said John F. Shoch, a
computer expert who has studied the programs. ``Like most tools it can be
misued, and I think we have an example here of someone who misused and abused
The program, written as a ``clever hack'' by Robert Tappan Morris, a
23-year-old Cornell University computer science graduate student, was
originally meant to be harmless. It was supposed to copy itself from computer
to computer via Arpanet and merely hide itself in the computers. The purpose?
Simply to prove that it could be done.
But by a quirk, the program instead reproduced itself so frequently that the
computers on the network quickly became jammed.
Interviews with computer scientists who studied the network shutdown and
with friends of Morris have disclosed the manner in which the events unfolded.
The program was introduced last Wednesday evening at a computer in the
artificial intelligence laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology. Morris was seated at his terminal at Cornell in Ithaca, N.Y., but
he signed onto the machine at MIT. Both his terminal and the MIT machine were
attached to Arpanet, a computer network that connects research centers,
universities and military bases.
Using a feature of Arpanet, called Sendmail, to exchange messages among
computer users, he inserted his rogue program. It immediately exploited a
loophole in Sendmail at several computers on Arpanet.
Typically, Sendmail is used to transfer electronic messages from machine to
machine throughout the network, placing the messages in personal files.
However, the programmer who originally wrote Sendmail three years ago had
left a secret ``backdoor'' in the program to make it easier for his work. It
permitted any program written in the computer language known as C to be mailed
like any other message.
So instead of a program being sent only to someone's personal files, it
could also be sent to a computer's internal control programs, which would start
the new program. Only a small group of computer experts _ among them Morris _
knew of the backdoor.
As they dissected Morris's program later, computer experts found that it
elegantly exploited the Sendmail backdoor in several ways, copying itself from
computer to computer and tapping two additional security provisions to enter
The invader first began its journey as a program written in the C language.
But it also included two ``object'' or ``binary'' files -- programs that could
be run directly on Sun Microsystems machines or Digital Equipment VAX computers
without any additional translation, making it even easier to infect a computer.
One of these binary files had the capability of guessing the passwords of
users on the newly infected computer. This permits wider dispersion of the
To guess the password, the program first read the list of users on the
target computer and then systematically tried using their names, permutations
of their names or a list of commonly used passwords. When successful in
guessing one, the program then signed on to the computer and used the
privileges involved to gain access to additonal computers in the Arpanet
Morris's program was also written to exploit another loophole. A program on
Arpanet called Finger lets users on a remote computer know the last time that a
user on another network machine had signed on. Because of a bug, or error, in
Finger, Morris was able to use the program as a crowbar to further pry his way
through computer security.
The defect in Finger, which was widely known, gives a user access to a
computer's central control programs if an excessively long message is sent to
Finger. So by sending such a message, Morris's program gained access to these
control programs, thus allowing the further spread of the rogue.
The rogue program did other things as well. For example, each copy
frequently signaled its location back through the network to a computer at the
University of California at Berkeley. A friend of Morris said that this was
intended to fool computer researchers into thinking that the rogue had
originated at Berkeley.
The program contained another signaling mechanism that became its Achilles'
heel and led to its discovery. It would signal a new computer to learn whether
it had been invaded. If not, the program would copy itself into that computer.
But Morris reasoned that another expert could defeat his program by sending
the correct answering signal back to the rogue. To parry this, Morris
programmed his invader so that once every 10 times it sent the query signal it
would copy itself into the new machine regardless of the answer.
The choice of 1 in 10 proved disastrous because it was far too frequent. It
should have been one in 1,000 or even one in 10,000 for the invader to escape
But because the speed of communications on Arpanet is so fast, Morris's
illicit program echoed back and forth through the network in minutes, copying
and recopying itself hundreds or thousands of times on each machine, eventually
stalling the computers and then jamming the entire network.
After introducing his program Wednesday night, Morris left his terminal for
an hour. When he returned, the nationwide jamming of Arpanet was well under
way, and he could immediately see the chaos he had started. Within a few hours,
it was clear to computer system managers that something was seriously wrong
By Thursday morning, many knew what had happened, were busy ridding their
systems of the invader and were warning colleagues to unhook from the network.
They were also modifying Sendmail and making other changes to their internal
software to thwart another invader.
The software invader did not threaten all computers in the network. It was
aimed only at the Sun and Digital Equipment computers running a version of the
Unix operating system written at the University of California at Berkeley.
Other Arpanet computers using different operating systems escaped.
These rogue programs have in the past been referred to as worms or, when
they are malicious, viruses. Computer science folklore has it that the first
worms written were deployed on the Arpanet in the early 1970s.
Researchers tell of a worm called ``creeper,'' whose sole purpose was to
copy itself from machine to machine, much the way Morris's program did last
week. When it reached each new computer it would display the message: ``I'm the
creeper. Catch me if you can!''
As legend has it, a second programmer wrote another worm program that was
designed to crawl through the Arpanet, killing creepers.
Several years later, computer researchers at the Xerox Corp.'s Palo Alto
Research Center developed more advanced worm programs. Shoch and Jon Hupp
developed ``town crier'' worm programs that acted as messengers and
``diagnostic'' worms that patrolled the network looking for malfunctioning
They even described a ``vampire'' worm program. It was designed to run very
complex programs late at night while the computer's human users slept. When the
humans returned in the morning, the vampire program would go to sleep, waiting
to return to work the next evening.
[Please keep any responses short and to the point. PGN]
Silicon Valley Stays Quiet As Washington Implodes
A few points.
1) It was written 15 years ago. Since then we've had 9/11, the Patriot Act, Wikileaks and the NSA invasion of privacy just to mention a few interesting events. So many actors have changed their stripes (Google seems to be a prime example) since this was written. Yet his points are still relevant! If we had paid attention to Dr. Rodgers points then maybe we wouldn't be in the mess we are today.
2) It IS a valley idiot. I stand outside and see two mountain ranges, one on either side... a valley!
3) Since the 1960s this place has been the center of the Semiconductor industry. In the last decade the place has lost most of its manufacturing. Yet calling Silicon Valley 15 years ago was an accurate portrayal.
Shuttleworth: Apple Will Merge Mac and iPhone
I believe you are in the wrong place - this is NOT the Microsoft lover's website, but rather the Microsoft Haters website. You must have entered a wrong door some place? Please exit immediately before serious flame damage occurs.
Also note that the tiled interface on Windows 8 is the perfect explanation as to WHY a merging of a desktop and phone environment is stupid. Phones have enough screen room for 1 application, while desktops have screen room for multiple windows. Going to a single window model for desktops is STUPID. Microsoft had an "epic fail" with the Windows 8 tiled interface on the desktop. For that matter it is pretty much an epic fail in the phone marketplace too for the simple fact that it blows chunks!
Whoops - see - you weren't quick enough to avoid flame damage!
Tesla Model S Catches Fire: Is This Tesla's 'Toyota' Moment?
Seems to me that Elon Musk may have some egg on his face since he so boldly offered to help out Boeing redesign their battery system on the 787 not to long ago. It seems that Tesla's Li-ion batteries are just as likely to catch on fire! Now - admittedly it took a head-on collision to do that while the Boeing aircraft was just sitting there, but it seems that the Tesla has the same Achilles heal!
Ministry of Sound Suing Spotify Over User Playlists
I think this very much depends on where the trial happens, UK or US. IANAL - but my understanding of US copyright law - you generally can't copyright lists of things like facts. For instance - from a lawsuit a very long time ago - you can't copyright the information in a phone book. So - if you can get away with the argument that a compilation is merely a list of songs - that is a winning argument for Spotify. I have no idea what the take on this is in the UK - so your mileage may vary considerably.
Neil deGrasse Tyson Says Private Business Will Not Open the Space Frontier
Yep - if you can't figure out that Pluto is a PLANET - then why should we listen to any of his other opinions?
Silicon Valley's Loony Cheerleading Culture Is Out of Control
Being a 30+year observer/survivor of Silicon Valley (and having gone through 3 start-ups) I have to ask - how is this any worse than now that it was during the Dot Com silliness?
For every roughly 10 companies started in the valley - 9 fail. Nothing new about that! It was that way before I got here!
New ideas are vital to the success of the place. Often they are bone-headed ideas? (How do you make money by giving things away for free - the common denominator in the Dot-Com era - as an example!) Others are obvious business models - Gee I think I'll build an on-line auction site (Ebay!) All have been tried - some failed and some soared.
Point is - this is just the normal rough-and-tumbel of Silicon Valley. The author needs to get over himself!
Turning Santa Cruz Into a Haven For Hackers, Makers & Startups
" Plantronics, Borland Software, SCO, Seagate Technologies, and Netflix"
Of these - Borland & Seagate were both located in Scotts Valley NOT Santa Cruz (the city). Scotts Valley is in Santa Cruz County but those are two entirely different entities/locations. Looking at the Netflix website - their Corp HQ is now in Los Gatos on the right side of the Hwy 17 hump!
Collision Between Water and Energy Is Underway, and Worsening
What is even more ridiculous is the 40% number. Come ON! What about Agriculture. In CA something like 90% or our H2O usage goes to growing things. The power generation is tiny. Then there is the little detail that many of our power plants use ocean water!
I'm calling BS on that number.
Tesla Motors May Be Having an iPhone Moment
But Darth - the question still stands - are you all liberal idiots? It seems to me that you've self identified by responding to this quip. ;-)
New Thermocell Could Turn 'Waste Heat' Into Electricity
How do you keep the other side of the item cool? The waste heat goes somewhere?
How Did You Learn How To Program?
And that is ANOTHER bit of my history. Singer-Librascope was headquartered in my hometown of Glendale, CA. I got a summer internship there in 1978, well after the LGP30 days. At that point, Singer-Librascope was entirely devoted to building systems for various military programs. I worked in the R&D lab and picked up a huge amount of experience in a short 3 months. Got to work riding 10 blocks down the hill from home on my moped! To tie this post back into the thread - I got to do some Motorola 6800 programming. Met my first Exorciser development system in the process.
Librascope was going to bid on a device that was to be a submarine released aerial land-mine. They were bidding on delivering the canister that would hold the small missile. They needed to gather data on the characteristics of the canister as it floated up to the surface from the submarine. They wanted to graph depth versus time as the canister rose to the top. Initially we looked at different chart recorders. They were to big/bulky/expensive. Eventually they decided to do a custom 6800 chassis based on what I think was the Exorbus at the time (later to evolve into the VME bus during the 68K era). They plugged a 6800 board from Mot in the chassis along with a pressure transducer board and 32k of RAM. They put a set of switches on the box so the software could read about what it should be doing, and a large battery. The whole assembly fit into the cannister tube. They would pull it down several hundred feet in a lake they had access to and let it float to the top.
When they got it to the top, a program I wrote would play the pressure readings stored in memory out to the cassette port. They would record this onto a cassette for later data reduction. It was a real neat 1 off development effort done in a couple weeks. Lots of fun!
Memorial Day 2005
I haven't posted in this journal for around a year. It's memorial day 2005 and that effects me quite emotionally. I've seen a couple of poignant reports on ABC. The first was about a small town in Vermont that has sent a large number of their sons/dads/daughters to Iraq through their commitment to the National Guard. They are representative of the 0.5 percent of our population that steps forward to stand on that wall and protect our freedoms. They leave loved ones, jobs, and daily responsibilities to do their part in what their nation has decided is it's proper course.
You can disagree with whether we should be in Iraq, whether Mr. Bush has been a wise leader, or any other such doubts - but PLEASE don't dishonor these brave people who are willing to give their lives in defense of the rest of us. They are merely going where they have been told to by their Commander and Chief.
These people ARE dying for you. Do you understand what that means? They aren't just signing up anymore for a better college education or some way to get a few more dollars in their paycheck at the end of the month. They are honoring the other side of that coin, i.e. leaving home and hearth to go where they have been told and do their assigned duties. Are you willing to do this? Every day we loose 2 to 3 of these brave souls. They no this yet they continue on. They aren't running away from their commitment, but rather shouldering it with determination and celebrating the idea that is America!
At the same time these are the same people you see all around you, they are citizen soldiers. They are the guy pumping gas, or the gal serving you breakfast, or a member of the local volunteer fire department, or sales clerk, or the teacher, or the... Yeah - just about anyone. Yet they aren't just anyone. These are people who have made an extra commitment to our way of life, they have said "I believe in our nation, and I'm willing to die for you so you can live your life in safety."
Have no doubt that there are people who want to deny you of your freedoms and of your very life. Al Qaeda comes immediately to mind. These guys don't care whether you are black, white or green! They see anyone that doesn't believe as they do as an infidel and want to see you dead. It is as simple as that.
Who stands between their determination to end your existence and your peaceful life style? Why those same people I've already mentioned, ,i.e. our soldiers, sailors, airman, marines, and coast guardsmen.
Thanks to all of them!
It's been many months since I put anything in here. I just re-read some of my original posts that were concurrent with the Iraqi war.
As we sit here today - we caught Saddam about two weeks ago, and that turned out to be an intelligence bonanza. There have been tons of raids and we've apparently rounded up a goodly number of the top portion of the Iraqi resistance. (This doesn't account for the Al Qaeda types..) The numbers I here are that the attacks have dropped from 40 odd a day to 13-15 a day. That's a 60%+ reduction, but is it reported in the media - NOPE.
I also spend a fair amount of time reading various Iraqi bloggers. You get a much different point of view for these folks. They tend to be educated, and more aware of the outside world. Some are friendly to our efforts, others are hostile, but even they seem to look forward to a free Iraq.
Things haven't gone as well in Iraq as I'd hoped due to the constant harrassment, but it seems like the capture of Sadam was a turning point in many ways. I think things are going to get better faster there now.
Finally, we have the Al Qaeda threat. We are at "high" alert now. There are reports of aircraft not making the journey from either Europe or Mexico almost daily right now. Al Qaeda has threatened to strike the US before February. I've also heard that some attmpts have already been snuffed that the public just isn't aware of yet.
This casts an interesting light on the Iraq situation. One group that is still causing the harassment are Al Qaeda simpathizers (if not Al Qaeda themselves..) At least they are THERE picking on Americans with guns that know how to use them! They are not HERE.
The Democrats are going to try "Are you safer today than on 9/10/2001?" as a campaign pillar. Well, we haven't been attacked, and we ARE on the watch for something nasty. By that example - yes we are!
The Pres says - We win
Yesterday the President visited Santa Clara CA and gave a speech at United Defense (they built the Bradley Fighting Vehicle..) a day after giving a "We win" speach on board the Lincoln (talk about photo Ops!)
All I can say is that I am SO PROUD of the guys and gals in uniform for the job they did. They are awesome!
It's April 13 - we own most of iraq except for part of Tikrit. There is a general problem with looting - this to shall pass. The French, Russians, and Germans held a shadow-summit this week, and proclaim that the UN (Read them) should have the paramount position in determining Iraq's fait. I don't think so. You didn't help solve the problem, you don't have anything worth contributing to establishing the peace! I'm getting REALLY tired of France's attitude!
Then there is the little thing being reported in the UK about the Russians having supplied Saddam with intel - and other things - talk about using both sides of your mouth! I have LOTS of friends that are russian -they all were troubled by the war, yet their own government seems to be at odds with the truth.
Finally - there was the fall of the statue, and all the Al Jazeera watchers found out that that news network lies! What a concept! Imagine that. The embeds were all telling the facts as they occured after all! NBC seems to have also had a bit of a change of heart AFTER Baghdad fell - they seem to be all patriotic now - wonder if it took poor David Bloom passing to bring home what was going on over there?
Yet ABC's coverage seems to have gotten worse?!?
Now we have to work doubly hard to bring a lasting peace to the people of Iraq - one where they run their own affairs -yet don't threaten any of their neighbors.
Times are indeed interesting.
It's been a few days since the last entry.
We just took the airport - it's now Baghdad international, not Saddam International. Yet the Iraqi Information Minister doesn't even admit we're siting on that real estate. Amazying.
I pray that our troops come home safe. They are our best and bravest!
Well - we've been at war for a couple weeks - and it's been interesting to see the nation's reaction. We have a basic division of the populace who support or are against the war. The numbers are about 3 to 1 in favor at this point.
I'd also observe that the anti-war crowd look an awful lot like the anti-war crowd of the 60's. (I was alive then - unlike most of the /. bunch) and have a good memory of sit-ins/anti-war rallies, etc. But there is a couple of significant differences between then and now.
First, and perhaps most significant is the presence of the internet. These groups are organizing themselves on the net. It's also a fact that the groups who are the basis of this movement are actually communist. Those use to be fighting words - this is simply a fact! These groups like Red China, and think that Stalin was a great man?!? Amazing isn't it?!? Yet the Hollywood types go right along with these people and lend their celebrity to their message.
Another BIG difference between this war and Vietnam is that we know why we're there, and have a crystal clear objective. Back in the days of the Vietnam war - we just flailed about military without defining what would constitute victory. We also had the Presidenet and Secretary of Defense micro-managing the war. You don't see either of these issues present this time. We know why we're there (not for oil - go get an education if you think that is the case), what constitutes victory is well defined, and the President is leaving the war fighting to the generals. These are BIG differences.
Finally - I'm really getting SICK of the general lack of support of the military effort by the general press - with perhaps NBC being the worst.
Peter Arnett is a great example. The man should be tried for treason (go look at the constitution - he qualified!) Further, you always see the negative slant on the reports, operational pauses, repetition of the crap coming out of Baghdad, Highlighting mistakes, but ignoring the overwelming successes!
Back to my cave now...
Well - I don't REALLY live in Pleasant Valley - though I'm near Pleasanton. Does that count?
This is the first weekend I've had off in like three weeks. I'm enjoying it a bunch! Saturday was kind of slow. Wife had to work from 10AM to 2pm, then we just piddled around the house. Doug was playing video games on the puter while I did some work - sorta. It isn't as bad when you can work from home instead of having to drive in and sit at work. I also worked on getting tax paper work in shape.
Sunday has been very different. We went out to a coffee shop for breakfast. This is a new "tradition" for the family that we started about three weeks ago. There is a community farmer's market down the street so we've gone to that the last few weekends, but today we tried something a little different again. There are three different coffee shops in our immediate area - so we tried a different one today. It was pretty pleasant. Next we took a trip down to Fry's (a Silicon Valley fixture) and walked around for 45 minutes. Finally we went and looked at some new houses. My wife fell in love with one place that I hated - now THAT is a problem ;-)
Well - you gotta start some where. Today they were talking about Battlestar Galactica being remade - and not to close to the orginal image either. That sucks.
I went to HS with Maren Jensen - and like seeing her every weekend on the original series. That was cool. We had pizza parties out in Los Osos (went to Cal Poly) and watched BG and played Star Wars video games. One of my buddies had gone dumpster diving behind Apple and got an Apple two board that only needed a couple etches fixed. He populated the board and walla - Apple II and the price was right;-) Those were the days...and the pizza was great too!