29 June 2007

Hi, I've accepted a position with a small engineeringfirm in Costa Mesa that does medical devices, etc. They have 6 EEs andI'm the second CS; clearly they are unbalanced. Anyway,if this doesn't work out look me up, if y'all get fundingbefore I get attached.(I hope you don't because then I'll have to make a hardpersonal decision ---but I hope you do because I likedworking there and y'all.)
Just after telling another headhunter to desist, one from the same agency calls with a slew of jobsrelating to DAS etc. I tell her that if Z crashesI'll forward the ref (or if y'all ask me preemptively :-) but won'tcannibalize for her. Other than this indirect ref as a favorto y'all.
Have you ever fed goldfish in a pond? Hungry goldfish?Or sharks? Tossed scraps to seagulls?
I hope its fun at the new place, I was told when interviewing about beingSW lead on an electric knife, but I heard from the headhuntertheir 'urgent fire' is some 'board bringup' which doesn't excite me.Although its for airplane-seatback entertainment computers; if I add a backdoor I'llbe sure to tell you :-)
This new place is very unslick, very crowded, like my garage, but its not the acresof undecorated cubes at Panasonic or Masimo and I like smaller groups and less paperweight-inertia. (Although I've raved to interviewers about how Tom & Mike were the Saviors. Process Uber Alles)
One of the guys who interviewed me at Panasonic recognized my name when he saw I was from UCI. Turned out I taught an assembly language class he took.
That's the second person I taught that I've met in OC. Hilarious.
The month of unanticipated vacation :-) has been used productively, I'veincreased my knowledge of Home Maintainence, debug, and repair considerably.Learned how to use Java Audio to build a sound toy for Isaac (available onrequest --its bad netiquette to forward (executable) JARs without prior notice),wrote a Heartbeat (high availability monitoring) Class after spending a lot of time thinking about medical sensor nets over commercial WiFi.. and an 8.5 hour interview.. and not getting it because I wasn't "systems" enough.. burnt the rest of the tree I chainsawed to pieces because it fell in a spring Santa Ana windstorem..
(re coding) gotta stay in shape.. I wonder how lawyers stay in shape "between projects", do they come up with random lawsuits? [Sometimes, yes, I think is the answer]
I got to use the phrase "a pig with lipstick is still a pig" in an interview, which I heard went very well (albeit its moot now). Some of you will know what lipstickedpig I am talking about. Isaac et al. will wonder what this has to do with Software Engineering which he knows I am. My SW Eng friends will know exactly what pig I am talking about.
The electric knife will be interesting ---in a way more irreversible than a defib,but there may be no monitoring of the physio signals required. If the analogs doit right, the critical path ---surgeon finger to 'blade' latency--- won't evenbe in software. That would make it much easier than the defib project, which was about as complex as it could be --multiple computers, hard real time constraints based on physio (ECG) signals, logging, printing, wow. Just to save a life two (actually three) different computers have to talk to each other. A electrosurgery knife is just a fancy high power CB radio.
Lap surgery may make it more interesting. I can speculate until I start work, I suppose. Also I probably have hit only 20% of the interesting/scary paths.
Fixed the dishwasher myself! I found
and disassembled the float. That didn't help. Then I realized
that in addition to a hardwired pipe --which may be natural
gas-- going in, there is also a hose with a valve. I turned it on,
and now the dishwasher works --it uses clean water. Kinda
gross thinking about when the water was shut off. That
must have been when I fixed the food disposer.

Have to fix a flap valve in a toilet and replace a safe outlet which doesn't stay on.

28 June 2007

So it looks like I will get the turkey knife job, and it will be under 20 mi
away. This is about $4 each way in gas. I'd say it should be illegal to drive more than that, but they're taxed in gastax & car part & labor tax. Many folks
drive 2 hours each way. Via high gas prices --and no government intervention-- this will restructure residences & business. Of course, the government will
intervene. Perhaps that will be stimulus for intervening in govt behavior... but
one suspects not, until the Collapse.

Surfing Moore's law & lap surgery as the new frontier..
I'm pissed off. My GE Potscrubber dishwasher, now 9 years old,
no longer seems to clean. A reverse engineering / disassembly
and dye injection indicates its not pumping new water in. It seems
that its suposed to recirculate during part of its cycle, but it never flushes
with new water.

This will be a few hundred bucks, no doubt.
The Students for Sensible Drug Policy said it was sad that the court thought there should be a drug exception to the First Amendment.


Yep. The supremes should know this --now they are saying that categories
of thought (or ambiguous nonsense) can be limited by the State. Think about where that could go.

In dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens said the ruling "does serious violence to the First Amendment."

Good Justice, bong hits for JP Stevens.

"The message on Frederick's banner is cryptic," Chief Justice John
Roberts said. But the school principal who suspended him "thought the banner would be interpreted by those viewing it as promoting illegal drug use, and that interpretation is plainly a reasonable one," Roberts said in the majority opinion.

Bad Justice, no donut for you, Roberts. Perhaps it is reasonable interpretation, lets say the banner said "illegal drug consumption is fun". What gives the State the right to censor that expression? Or suppose the phrase was "school is dumb". Is that permitted? Please re-read the Bill of Rights.
You see, the State has no right ever to censor; and we the people have the right to any expression we want. Actually, Justice, you should turn in your robes.

27 June 2007

Google, Inc, is in a better position to be what the NSA is chartered
to be. Therefore we can assume that Google is an effector of the NSA; Sergei
needs that green card, baby. (Perhaps not, but you get the idea) Sure, put
your social network, passport-quality-photo on line, and let us all store and index
it for free.

No problem.

So, they seem to like me at the place I last interviewed, which is good
as I'm losing interest in the process and they seem to have an interesting
project to enter from "the ground up".

A friend at my last job advised me to be part of core team, to avoid job fluctuation. He's a young male bachelor who pulls 16 hour shifts often.

Also the new place is entirely engineers, admittedly at a fairly shabby location, but
still under 20 mi away, and probably lots of cool lunch opportunities ---on the way back
from the interview I stopped and got a jap bento, and an extra broiled squid, and an extra sake bottle too. Also lots of dried seaweed paper, the kind you roll sushi in, its a great source of vitamins and very tasty too.

One of the s/w engineers I talked to reminded me of my brother, had he gone into a respectable job instead of finance, complete with hair.

If they appreciate my humor we'll do great.

26 June 2007

Actually I had to unscrew the rotary part of my dishwasher in order to clean it. There was gunk blocking the flow of the jets. Anyway, that's how you do it, you can unscrew that part.

Another thing you need to know is that the little mysterious plug on the sink is how the dishwashing-water gets down the drain. It can get plugged. Twist off the chrome cap then unscrew the plastic.

A needlenose pliers and kabab skewer (or similar long pointy object) are the tools you need.
Stuff done to maintain the house, now about 10 years old.

  • Unplugged the water ports on the rotating dishwasher part (today)
  • Unplugged the food disposer, requiring some nasty fishing under the sink
  • Replaced toilet valve assembly
  • Replaced toilet handle
  • Replaced toilet seat
  • Replaced external AC unit blower motor
  • Ugly fix for upstairs shower splash damage
  • Ugly fix for peeling kitchen linoleum
  • Painted inside of gate


  • Kitchen sink
  • Linoleum replacement

Paid for repairs

  • Garage door repair
  • Downstairs shower faucet
  • A/C

Once I called out a telco guy, because I could debug no further, and it was their fault (so I didn't pay for it).

We have never called an insect exterminator. Though for some visitors, e.g., sleeping (sick) raccoon, possum who set up home in the garage, sick crow, we have called animal control. Once they started giving me a nature lecture on how "they're endigenous", which was stupid, because you don't call the police for nature lessons, and anyway, normal endigenous animals don't sleep in the open in daylight, nor am I as an Irvine homeowner & taxpayer about to extricate a possum if I can get help.

We have, of course, had ants, but you can outwit them, if you try. Also there are poisons.. which I am very careful and frugal with.

Fortunately (and this is how antibiotics, etc work) ant metabolism or nervous system chemistry differs enough from mammals'.

Home Networking


  • A cheap cordless phone
  • x10 camera
  • microwave oven
  • keyfobs
  • garage door opener
  • pager
  • cellphones
  • FSMR walkie-talkies (ie leash for kid when camping)
  • (No GPS yet. No toll-road transceiver, no contactless pay dongles. Don't use WiFi b/g/n/a. No bluetooth devices. Luddite? Cheap? Old-school?)


  • Cox digital phones
  • Cox analog cable TV
  • Cox Docsis2 internet
  • 10 Mbps Cat-5 custom cabling (using built in would be nicer looking but harder to install & maintain) including a hub at the end of a hallway acting as a repeater to a PC downstairs
  • 12V doorbell

25 June 2007

"I cannot open the attachments you sent me. Can you resend it in word."

From a technical head hunter. Nice.

I sent it in RTF format, dude. You can't handle that? Should you even be daring to bother me?
You will die. Likely from plumbing, ie, your heart or the tubes to your brain will give out. You might have an import organ, eg, liver or kidney or lung, crap out.
You have a third of a chance of getting offed by your own cells' desire to replicate regardless of the effect on the host, ie, you, organism, ie cancer.

And if you outlive stroke, and heart attack, and cancer, your brain will sink into dementia, which is much harder on those around you than you realize. I think euthanisia sessions for folks in that spiral is moral, noble, something we can all be proud of. Some will oppose it, but they are medieval.

We do as much, or more, for our suffering companion animals. Should we not do the same for our peers?

Dedicated to Hunter S Thompson, Dr. David Earl Patton, Dr Jack Kevorkian, MD, Saint.

At least those who had terminal diseases could take out a few tax collectors on the way out. See Assasination Politics or just good ole fashioned home justice.

I curse those who oppose dignified dying, with long, excrutiating, embaressing pain. I bless those who help others, within the "law" or not.

Yeah, I take this "life" thing kinda seriously.

Obviously, I'm pro-abortion. Its your life. If you don't want one, don't have one. Leave the rest alone.

What a concept: leave others alone. Protect you only when others bother you and you solicit help. What will all the vice cops do?
Someone was recently discussing terraforming Mars. Lets assume that we've learned all we can from a sterile Mars. (Yes, a hefty supposition!)

I suggest lichens. They should be included in the first "Johnny Appleseed" terraform satellite dispersal package.

Also, obviously, Yellowstone extromophiles and Arctic and Chilean desert stuff.

Manifest destiny be screwed, its just a cool project.
Tornadoes today in western canada. WTF?
A hundred homes toasted in Tahoe. Already (3rd week of June).

Dry weather on top of dry climate can lead to large excusions.

Can't do much about the weather, eh?

A single volcano could reset things. Or perhaps, likely, Gaia will implement a little feedback in the carbon cycle.
WTF? I am aware now of at least 3 "in flight entertainment systems" positions
in the county. Wow.

One of the positions mentioned that hollywood is concerned about folks stealing movies from airplanes, because the planes have the latest spew.
I once read in a Science magazine, written by the director of the AAAS
at the time, in which he wrote that you can no longer get money out
of taxpayers for moon-landing russo-thumpin' machismo, you can get infinite money out of them forever for medicine. That is a brilliant (if obvious in hindsight) observation. Its win-win. And many fundamental branches of Science contribute to medicine, consider chemistry, physics.

(Although that author ignored how a lunatic president can steal an invasion/occupancy's worth of funding, see Early 21st Century American History; Geo W Bush; Collapse of United States Federal Goverment)

Anyway it bodes well for the med device (a subtype of embedded) programmers.

And finally NASA came out and said manned bases anywhere are so far
off the financial radar its not worth pretending any more. Which is good: humans suck, robots rule, in space, the rest is machismo.

And bb guns, diapers, surgical tubes, hammers, and mace.

Aside: The mars rover folks are gods. That skateboard rocks!
All these med companies have patents to protect themselves.

They generate a lot of local business, board & box fab, EMI testing, etc.

Just some observations.
A list of places I've worked, with links

Near the Tustin blimp base

Lake Forest

Lake Forest II


Santa Clara (virtually)

Silly tilted buildings

The emperor's engravers, who turned to woodgrain veneers, then to IC photomasks

A hospital

A university (and caught a boomerang there too)

An institute
Had a good interview today, with a small group of mostly EEs who do device subcontracting, debug, and design, largely (but not entirely) for medical devices. Having worked for a defib company, one gets a big "in" for having experienced the medical device thang.

Unlike a previous 8.5 hour interview (this was only 2.5 hours) I didn't pick up that they were looking for something else ---in that case, it was more "systems" which I think I can design, albeit I'm middleware averse, but I hadn't the experience. I did design & build a distributed heartbeat/watchdog system in Java, for yucks, because I had been thinking about how you build a reliable medical sensor net.

Also interviewed with a ventilator company.

A quick scoop: Ventilators are big because folks are aging, and there are diseases like SARS that will eat up ventilators.

All the med device companies ride Moore's Law: shrinking, faster, cheaper, lower power, more reliable devices. In the defib case, power semiconductors (2000V, 100A) matters too. Also I found out that a pulse oximetry company uses 7 LEDs, so they are riding the LED wave as well. (Old school is just an IR and visible red emitter.) No doubt solid state pressure transducers matter to the ventilator people.

In today's interview, they're staffing up to handle an electric turkey knife.
Forget light sabers, this can split a pig in half. Sweet. If hired I'll push for a Java UI and get an embedded person for the knife control / protocol. The
actual tech-push there is laparoscopic surgery, doing nasty things through small cuts in the skin.

16 June 2007

Inspired by a plot to use dimethylmercury to cull TSA goons,
consider adding it to milk
or releasing it in several eg schools or federal buildings as a vapor.
Or even planes.

A few months later folks get CNS symptoms and die. The delay is useful.
The chemists and carriers also die, but they're martyrs.

Kinda like the KGB's Po-210, also invisible and delayed, though you have to eat (or drink) that one, and you generally need a State with a nuclear reactor to irradiate bismuth (or pull a Marie Curie) to get that material. You can start with ordinary elemental mercury, and go from there. That's freaking me out.

A general synthetic method to diethylmercury is the reaction of mercury chloride with two equivalents of the Grignard reagent, ethylmagnesium bromide, in diethyl ether.[1] Et2Hg is a liquid with density 2.466, and boiling point 57°C at 16 torr. The compound is slightly soluble in ethanol and soluble in ether.

Replace ethyl with methyl.

Mercury oxide enriched in 202Hg was used for the preparation of a solution of 202Hg enriched CH3HgCl. The starting material had previously been employed for the preparation of ERM-AE640; a 202Hg enriched inorganic mercury ICRM. The CH3HgCl was synthesised by reaction with a Grignard reagent and a subsequent comproportionation reaction between (CH3)2Hg and HgCl2.

HgCl2 + RLi / RMgX -> R2Hg

R-Hal + Hg/Na -> R2Hg

Also possibly methylhydrazine with mercury oxide in diethylether.

Thallium (salts of the element) is also a well known delayed poison. Sodium Fluoroacetate is pretty effective, but its too quick. Its used very sparingly as coyote poison.


Turns out others thought of this
Dear Bruce, this is my movie plot for your security contest.

(c) 2007 All rights reserved.

"Please take good care of him" said the little old lady, handing offher caged midsized dog to the baggage handler. "He looks pretty calm"he replied. "Yes, the vet gave me a tranquilizer. Well" she said,laughing at the ambiguity, "he gave me a pill for him. Though my ownphysician also gave me something for the flight, too. I get nervous, youknow. I'll be so happy when we land in Florida, it was so hard tofind a place that will accept dogs, especially of his size, but we'vebeen together for ten years now, and he's my main companion, after myhusband died last year."
"Sorry to hear that, m'am. I'm sure he and you will be fine."
"Oh yes, I think we will. He had a bit of surgery recently, but he'sbeen picking up after that. I think we both have a few years left onus" she said, smiling, and waving at Barney.
She boarded the plane, although she walked through the scanner withher cane, but the TSA folks were friendly enough, it was an obviousenough mistake. The flight attendants let her board early because ofher age.
As the plane rose, the automatic pressurization kicked in, keeping thecabin (and cargo) areas at a simulated 8000 feet. The old woman wassnoring half an hour after takeoff. The lower pressure was a mildstress on her system, but she was robust, and the sedative sufficientfor her to snooze. Detroit to Florida was not so long but the "showup three hours in advance" caveat lengthened the journey, and she was tired.
The dog, also snoring, also did not notice the change inpressurization, though he did release an involuntary fart. In hisbelly, however, a pressure sensor noted the change and began acountdown. Two kilos of brisant explosive sewn into his abdominalcavity detonated ten minutes later. The plane's skin and severalhydraulic lines ruptured, and it fell out of the sky.
It took a while for the investigators to understand how a dog could beso completely decapitated, in fact it was only with Israeli help thatthe involuntary suicide pooch was identified. Thereafter only cargoplanes could take companion animals over 15 lbs, and they had to bex-rayed.
Folks with large scars (as seen on the backscatter machines)had to absorb the (additional) equivalent of a few chest x-rays beforebeing allowed to board. Visbily pregnant women were required to havea doctor's note, and those fetuses unlucky enough to be in anunknowing pregnant woman who also had scars, just had to suck it up.National Security outweighed a few birth defects, most agreed, and acompensation fund was set up.
Narcs nab drug-smuggling puppiesDEA: Dogs' bellies were cut open, heroin was placed insideBy Eliott C. McLaughlinCNNFriday, February 3, 2006; Posted: 10:28 a.m. EST (15:28 GMT)
The DEA says these unlikely drug smugglers were rescued during a 2005raid at a Colombian farm.
(CNN) -- A two-year investigation into a Colombian heroin ring nettedmore than 65 pounds of drugs, resulted in the arrests of more than 20people and saved the lives of some drug-smuggling Labrador retrievers,the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said Wednesday.
Ten wayward pups were found during a raid on a Colombian farm in 2005,and six of them were carrying more than 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds) ofliquid heroin in their stomachs, said DEA spokesman Rusty Payne.
Bruce Schneier is brilliant.
Everyone should read "Secrets and Lies" as well as his cryptogram

I once implemented his pre-AES encryption algorithm, Blowfish, in Verilog.

We were discussing the cost of our cat. He's 17.

I said, ok, 300 days/year x 20 years is 6000, if we spent

$0.50 per day, that's 3 grand.

My wife disagreed, so I fired up calc and did the exact

math, 365 x 17 x 0.50. That gave 3102.5, which is within


As an engineer, I am able to do very quick "back of the envelope" calculations.

The $250 vet treatment he once had is a mere 8% of total cost (not included in above). Since he doesn't use a litter box, we save. Since he has peed on clothes, there are extra washing costs. Since cat food is probably more than $0.50 a day, the actual costs are probably higher. Once we paid a neighbor-kid to take care of him during a vacation, too. Small change compared to cumulative maintenance (food).

He is, of course, worth it.
At ca. 10 lbs, that is $300/lb, or about $19/gram. That's about $1/gram/year.
Oh yeah, he was spayed when he started marking inside a neighbor's apartment. I got him for free though.

Got this:

My name is Carla and I'm an executive recruiter with Solomon-Page. I found your resume on the internet. We are in partnership with Bloomberg, chartered to do the technical hiring for them. They are located in NYC (Mayor Mike Bloomberg owns the company), and make the terminals that provide real-time, around the clock financial news and market data. Plus, they also have a syndicated news service (tv and radio) and publish books and magazines. They have paid us in advance to help them find super sharp C/C++ developers to build real-time applications onsite in Midtown Manhattan. This is a great way to break into the financial industry (if you haven't already) because they prefer to hire really technical people first, then train them in finance.

What fortune says about Bloomberg...

Carla Casamona
Solomon-Page Technology Partners
1140 Ave. of Americas at 44th Street
9th Floor, NYC
212-403-6140 x7157
2nd Largest Executive Search Firm in NY


Well, Carla, let me tell you a few things. First, Bloomberg is a traitorous scum who is not fit to hold office. Just consider his harassment of law-abiding gun dealers in other states. Or his continuing disrespect for the 2nd for the prisoners, er, citizens in his city. Hardly better than el Duce Guilliani. Both deserve the noose.

Next, Carla, NYC is essentially a prison for the clueless. Including those in suits and wingtips. Why anyone except maybe new immigrants lives there is beyond me.

Now then, Bloomberg's service is largely obsolete, you see, Carla, everyone has
an internet news & economics feed now, not just the financial parasites who spend $1500 a month for a status symbol. But you can run on fat and reputation long after you've served your purpose. Just look at DC. Or look around in your wonderful city.

And Carla, what makes you think that the financial biz is interesting? Other than simply making big easy money by skimming the flow of others' earnings, where is the attraction? Life is about more than big bucks --way more. Its about solving interesting, real problems. I doubt your colleages understand this, so its not suprising that you don't. Its mildly loathesome, kind of sad actually.

Finally, NYC is a target, you couldn't pay me enough to live there.
I don't intend to feed the rats and roaches my flattened corpse the way the folks in the Towers did.

Hows that working on the 9th story working out for you?

I'll take LA. At least we are allowed to have cars here, and don't have to take public transportation (can you say "target"? can you say "slime"? I knew you could) everywhere. We have wild parrots here, not pigeons. That's kind of representative of why, well, you should just stay in NYC. Where apparently you belong. Say hi to Mayor Mike for me.

15 June 2007

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. troops would no longer be asked to reveal previous mental health treatment when applying for security clearances under a proposal being considered by the Pentagon.


To buy a gun, which is constitutionally allowed, you must not be
a loon. Yet you can kill for your government. Sweet.

Impeach or frag.

(For youngsters: frag is not a "quake" term, but a vietnam era term.
It also applies if you're not a citizen, but are in the military. (That
in itself is a symptom of the Decay.))
The parrots are squawking outside. These are wild parrots, at least
half a dozen pairs, identified as Amazons by a local prof when I sent
him pix a few years ago. They have been living and breeding in this
area for years. They are very loud, very pretty, and their poop stinks
in a sickly-sweet kind of way. They used to dine on the seeds of a tree
I had, and I had to hose off the patio constantly. Still its pretty cool to open a second-story shade in the morning and be a few meters from crazy birds, hanging upside down, using their tongues and feet to eat (inefficiently; I also had to hose down a lot of dropped seedpods).

14 June 2007

So I'm big into science toys. Got Gallium?

I have a stirling engine from http://www.gyroscopes.com.
Amazing how little a differential it will run on.

Green lasers are amazing. You can (ca 2007) get 100 mWatts.
Maybe some of this is leaked IR, but you can
  • pop a balloon (easiest if proximate as its hard to hold still, and you can't do green balloons)
  • spin a radiometer
  • burn low-melting plastic --theatre gel, keyboard plastic, etc.
  • get reflections off very distant retroreflective street signs

Also have geiger counters, rad sources, some HV stuff, some pyrochem. If its forbidden or dangerous, its cool, face it, and there's no way I can stomache restrictions from the epsilons and gammas that abound. Once made x-rays using ignition coils and vac tubes.

An excellent article on project management:

"Chip away at project management"

It uses poker chips of various colors to represent work-units of various priorities. Also identifies various roles (often not recognized): the doer,
manager, another type of manager, and allocator.

"Good, fast, or cheap: pick two"

At my last company (made storage peripherals) we eventually hired a pair of very experienced tech managers. They stopped the marketeers from swinging by the cubes to ask for features. We made them write up what they wanted, and the engineering group reviewed it before responding with a time/resource estimate. What a concept.

At a previous company, although working on life-critical medical devices, there was more of the bullshit from the supposedly experienced managers, who were in fact just engineers who no longer did actual work. Yep, nothing like rushing a device that can kill if it misbehaves. Especially for schedules that turned out fictitious.

Of course, if a defibrillator doesn't work, the guy is already dead, and no one will know. If it works when it shouldn't, causing fibrillation, well, you just shock the guy again and all's groovy. But with storage, screwing up data (and not letting the user know) is bad. Eventually the storage company started getting serious about QA, but not after releasing some nasties that continue to bite it.
With a med device, you have to write up your test plans, based on the specs.
With the storage startup, the specs were often not stated, because they weren't thought about before they were encountered. Bad.

Most of the complexity of software is handling exceptions, errors. Very true for storage (RAID) and also true for medical devices, where handling errors and notifying humans is a big deal.

In the chip industry I worked in, you just want to make sure the chip doesn't hang, ie get into a state you can't get out of.

Fail early, fail safe.
Larry Agran is another councilcritter. His claim to fame is being a socialist in Orange County, and better, trying to run for president.

See "Rube"
Christina Shea is an Irvine city councilmember. She can't be mayor, though she clearly lusts for the position, because she chewed out the Irvine Police
for busting her (live at home) daughter for methamphetamines.

Naturally she makes her living, besides off the taxpayers, as a real estate
I thought of this bumper sticker: Ron Paul or SOS.
SOS means both Save our Souls (as in, we're screwed) and also Same Ole' Shit (as in, we're screwed). In any case, we're likely screwed, as no one I vote
for wins.
This is pretty funny. The x86 architecture is now platform independent!

This (Rev) Thomas Katt has some serious clarity. He occasionally writes opinion letters to the local weekly. Look in http://www.irvineworldnews.com or http://www.ocregister.com, although google doesn't seem to index their opinion pages well.

13 June 2007

Not wanting to go home after my freshman year, I lied and said I knew Fortran and got a job working for a grad student in a tokamak lab. One of my jobswas to turn a knob if a pulse on a scope shrunk. This was a CO2 laser drivingsome other IR band laser actually used for probing plasmas. The grad warned me that he hadcut the cuff off a denim jacket by being in the wrong place of the primary beam.We didn't wear eye protection though. And once my radiation dosimeter was offscale, butthat was likely due to wearing it in the rain.
During a 'shot' we had to go into another room with a metal door closed.One of the other grad students would always shut his eyes, I noticed.I eventually asked him why. Because of a pulsed ruby laser also used in the experiment.If it went astray, he wanted to have retinas left.
I also froze bits of my lunch in the LN2 that was dripping.
Big science for a young kid from cow & corn country.
"Woman Dies in ER: Calls to 911 from Hospital Lobby Ignored"
At Martin-Luther-King (a known criminal adulter, BTW) hospital.
What a surprise. The 911 operators were both obviously urban

Expecting help from the government --whether medical or police --
is pretty much knocking on Evolution's door, asking them to take you.

Rome didn't fall in a day.
Now that I'm remembering, when I finally stopped living on UC property, I started to pursue an interest in guns. Mostly pistols (ie handguns) at first. Went to ranges with friends, bought a gun on the day California started a ban on >10 capacity magazines.

Used to go to Lytle Creek, back when this was allowed, and shoot up random objects. Old modems, rotary phones. Shot my first large caliber there, a friend's SKS. (I had shot a .22 rifle I think as a kid, but had been uninterested at the time in shooting my dad's revolver.) I still have two shot up 14" disk platters that I harvested from the Comp Sci Dept's trash once. Once my kid got one of them stuck around his neck, but that's another story.

Anyway, I got into black powder (muzzle loading) firearms. They are truly for Hackers ---very hands on, many variables to play with, because you're loading the powder, ball, percussion cap, etc. Very cool, the boom is larger since the mass of the powder is much more than you'd use for modern smokeless (nitrocellulose / nitroglycerin) powders. In fact, you can make great booms with no bullet at all, just a wad of tissue to hold the powder down.
More than once, when shooting BP, I'd set off some yahoo's oversensitive car alarm. That was quite funny.

Of course you can't shoot BP inside (eg in a range) but the most fun is outdoor shooting. Many ranges don't let you draw, or double-tap, either. And I've heard that now you have to take some course to shoot.

But I think BP is much more amenable to hacking, although of course one should be versed in (and own) modern weapons.
Was looking at http://catb.org/~esr/writings/unix-koans/
Eric Raymond's site recently, and reading his gun nut pages was
reminded of the time I shot the SF police simulator with the cypherpunks.
(This would have been 1998-2003 when I flew up to Silly Valley a week per month, and was an active member of the cypherpunks mailing list.) This is a pneumatic gun (with recoil) that works with a large screen video to simulate various shoot / don't shoot situations.

I got a guy who pulls a shotgun from his car during a traffic stop. I got blown away, and also caught the web of my hand between thumb and trigger finger in the gun's action. (In real life) That hurt.

Another fellow had a scenario where you confronted a guy with a knife and a baby. "Drop the baby!" shouted by a grizzled engineer is pretty comical if you're not the one playing cop. It was very engaging when you were doing it.

12 June 2007

So the son of defunct sleazoid politico Dornan
tackles an off-duty cop taking pictures of his daughter.

Methinks that younger Dornan is not as elite as he probably thinks
his mongrel pedigree makes him, and may well get charged with assault.

Photography in a public place is always allowed.

He should have taught his daughter how to close her legs if he's so worried about it.

11 June 2007

Irvine is largely caucasian, with a lot of Taiwanese etc asians too. But there are a lot of Iranians --they prefer to call themselves Persians-- in the area, and last Norooz the local Persians paid $10,000 to put up "Happy Norooz" banners on city poles. This was their new year, and its around the spring equinox.
Kinda surreal with Bush trying to drum the WWIII (or is it IV?) with them at the same time.

If you drive a bit up the 405, you come to the largest concentration of Vietnamese outside Vietnam. Good pho' them. When I taught (computer science) at UC Irvine there were a lot of them. As a descendent of poor immigrants myself, I think this is very cool. Strange language though, and they actually can put punctuation on top of their punctuation.

Over in Turtle Rock, there's a lot of Hebrews, too. But they don't make food as tasty as other ethnicities. Though I am partial to gefilte fish with horseradish.
(But give me sushi any day!)
About 2 years ago, at the Albertson's grocery across the street, a grocery bagger forgot to take his meds and came to work in a trenchcoat, with a sword. Highlander style. He proceded to decapitate a few people until being shot with a rifle down the aisles. When his picture was published, I recognized him, my kid & I have had him bag our groceries. Far out.

I think Albertson's was intentionally hiring mentally ill. Once, there was a young woman who was entirely tattooed, including her (blue) face. She had to wear gloves, no doubt her hands were covered too. When I was in line with the kid, age maybe 4-5, he asked in no whisper why she was painted like that. Decoration, I said, and that worked.

Once we were at Fry's and the kid asked why a guy in the aisle was black. I said, to protect him from the sun, but of course, that oversimplified too much; he was black because his parents were, and they were because their parents were, etc. The reason for that was because their ancestors were in an environment where melanin was sufficiently useful as to be worth the cost of protein synthesis, and some ancestors had come up with those genes. Ie, albinos (and relative albinos like European self) didn't have as many kids.

Of course, when some groups went to less sunny places, it was adventageous to lose the melanin, because you need to get some sunlight eg for vitamin D. There is no absolute "useful" in evolution, its a function of environment.
The first lizard with scales that lifted off looked like a freak to his peers, but he survived the cold better, or survived jumping off a treelimb by gliding better.

Richard Dawkins is God.
Irvine has had its weird moments. Consider Larry C Ford, MD, a mormon gynecologist in Irvine. With ties to South Africa's biological warfare people.
When a business partner survived an attempted assasination in Irvine, the doctor blew his own head off when questioned by Irvine Police. The upstanding LDS physician had high explosives, machine guns, detonators, ammo buried behind in his nice neat little Irvine house, and dangerous pathogens keeping cool in his garage fridge. The police had to evacuate the surrounding houses when they started to dig up his yard.

The Irvine police dropped the ball after Ford offed himself, or perhaps there were "other forces" advising them to stop looking into it.

Bastion of normalcy, epitome of upper middle class suburbia, Irvine is, most of the time.
In Irvine, the city council has this notion of "sister cities" which is basically an excuse for them to vacation at taxpayer expense.

Recently, Irvine sents some folks to China. There, as part of a "sister city" deal, the Irvinoids signed a document saying there is one China, ie, no independent Taiwan (Formosa). This rather pissed off a lot of the Taiwanese inhabitants of Irvine, as well it should.

Amazingly (Mayor Beth) Krom et al were not impeached and there was some backpedalling.

Paris sez, "I used to act dumb. ... "

Why can't the President have the same epiphany?
Sites you need to read daily:



You can read http://www.time.com/time/ or
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032542/site/newsweek/ but only
if you do so as an Analyst, as they are both propoganda, the latter
especially zionist. But its a more pleasant way to see what mainstream
America thinks than actually having to deal with mainstream America.

Remember, half the population is below average.

Yet they can vote.

Gunther von Hagens is a hero. I was reading his
and I began to wonder, will he have himself plastinated? And if so,
in what pose?

One option would be as a "greeter", waving the audience into his
exhibit. But I suspect he will prefer that of the anatomist in
Rembrandt’s painting of the anatomist, Dr. Andreas Tulp,
including his hat.

I took my 5 year old to see his first show. Used a laser pointer to
point things out. The bladder was of particular interest as my
son was learning control of that organ.
From http://fsfe.org/en/fellows/ciaran/ciaran_s_free_software_notes/gplv3_embedded_in_devices
>>Do we have any evidence that current medical devices use tivoisation?
But that's a side point. To answer the question directly, again the device manufacturer can use unmodifiable memory. Memory can be made unmodifiable by putting it into a ROM chip, but for medical devices, there is also the possibility of putting a lock on the box, and/or put the box in an area not accessible to non-certified people. I suspect that this is already the case and that even doctors and hospital IT departments do not have access to the firmware of X-ray machines etc. <<

I agree. I've worked on an ECG monitor / defibrillator / external pacer before. That's a pretty serious machine, 3 CPUs, 2000 volts inside, hard real time, you can kill if you screw up, and you can kill if you don't do the right thing (albeit, if they're fibrillating they are dead (no pulse) anyway (and will be permenantly dead in a few minutes if you don't shock them).

Anyway, there is all kinds of checking going on. The firmware checks its SRAM copy, the FLASH ROM copy it came from, versions of various modules, various magic numbers used during uploading, etc. AND part of the rules for using it are that a qualified tech test it every morning.

That being said, they put a chip into the battery so you had to buy our $200 batteries. Although this is sleazy when eg a printer company does this with ink, for a medical device, its valid, because you have only qualified your device with your own batteries. If you guarantee you can charge to 200 J in 5 seconds with your own battery, that is not the same as guaranteeing you can do that with any knock-off battery.

Also, devices had unique serial numbers added in manufacturing.

But even more, who the hell is going to want to use a grey-market medical device? "Got lawyers?"

But back to GPL licenses and medical. There are plenty of ways to Tivoize (make inoperable if changed) something, I agree. In a medical context, they are related to making sure you're not running corrupted firmware. Cosmic rays DO happen.

BTW, funny that you mention x-ray machines. Look up Therac-25 and software safety. Sometimes mechanical interlocks are better than software.
"An armed society is a polite society." —Robert A. Heinlein

As A.E. Van Vogt wrote in "the Weapon Shops of Isher":
The right to own weapons is the right to be free.

Iran signed the NPT and allows inspectors.

Israel hasn't, doesn't, and has nukes.

Any questions?

10 June 2007

1. Create a new free Kurdistan. Kurds are a distinct ethnic
group and deserve their own land. Screw the colonial British
demarcation of "Iraq"

2. Encourage Sunni/Shiite separation. Possibly give Iran
the Shiite areas. Move the Sunnis to Saudi Arabia.

Then waste the Saudi kings, the US should not encourage

This would have the useful side effect of reducing others'
interests in collapsing the US. Read the Fatwas. Also
leave Israel alone (not likely to happen given the influence
of Zionists in America).

Since this won't happen, keep some KI and prussian blue on hand.
Watching some NASA TV. Gotta love Sunny Williams big hair.
That's what freefall (not "microgravity") will do to you.

My 7 year old is replicating Hans C. Oerstead's famous discovery.
The US is building the largest spybase (er, embassy) in the world
in Iraq. Guess what? They won't be able to leave, and will be a
nice, dense, highly delimited target. Just like a bunch of tanks
waiting for a nuke, old-school. One has to wonder if they have
protection for all against eg a chem attack; though most likely
high angle artillery is preferred. Also, how long can they go
without re-supply? Sure they're along the water, but they
need power (read: petrol) to pump it, clean it, run the

Sic Semper Tyrannis.
1. Seize Mexico, hang its leaders, military, and police

2. Legalize pharmaceuticals of all kinds. Continue to allow
the FDA to legislate language, but not commerce in substances,
so that folks who buy something have fiducial descriptors, but
can still do as they please. What a concept, liberty.

3. Have the agri-immigrants pollinate the flowers that the bees used to.

4. Disallow more than 2 children per breeder

We can "save the planet" after all...
Rice --an example of why black females are no better than any
white male fascist

Gonzales --yet another token evil

Guillani --because Mussolini wasn't so bad, unless he didn't like you

Rumsfeld --clueless but still evil

Bush --need I say anything?
1. Connect with gangs in large cities; they can overwhelm the police,
at least if the populace is unarmed, e.g., NYC.

2. Thalidomide in the water or milk supply.

3. Po210 in the water or milk supply. Only a few pounds is needed
an it is readily shielded.

4. Extremely drug resistant TB travellers.

5. Small planes vs. oil refineries.

6. Airplane bombs in dog or human thoraxes. Smugglers have already
used dogs and humans for this. The TSA goon/idiots have nothing on this.

7. Fires in 2007

8. Slow poisons in the D.C. cocaine supply. Ricin, thallium, Po210 come to mind.

9. Nerve gas, ala Aum.

Or allow Guilliani to be elected. Local threats are much more important
that remote ones.
What to do about Africa?

Some suggestions:

spray with antibodies that make humans sterile

stop funding HIV treatment

do not allow folks to enter the US if they have been to Africa

We jail folks with TB. Why not other diseases? Why
allow Africa, a source of war, plague, and famine, to
continue to suffer, when we know how to fix it?

Oh, politics, right.
Since my 2005 posts I snagged a job at a high tech startup
which, a few weeks ago, ran out of money. Thus I'm looking
for a project and am more inclined to sit in front of a computer than when
I had to 9-10 hours a day.
More on EFPs. If you search, you'll find that the US military establishment
has developed these just like everyone else. They're much like shaped
charges (lined Munroe-effect warheads) only shallower, so you don't
get quite the jetting action, though you still get the ductile formation
of a heavy projectile.

Many rubes think shaped charges/EFPs melt or turn to plasma the
liners; in fact, its ductile shaping.

Many rubes also think DU projectiles are used because U is pyrophoric or for some other idiotic reason. Its because DU is free to government contractors,
and its dense, and density per frontal-surface-area (sectional density) is
what matters.

I own a little scrap of DU for my rad source collection. Its not that hot.

Damn I hate stupid people. Ok, vocal stupid people; quiet ones are benign.
The worse are politicians. One day, political aspirations will be seen as
mental illness and the suffering will be treated, perhaps tattooed, and
banned from public office, of course.

Meantime, we can always look forward to Jim Bell's "Assasination Politics"
to cull the herd.

Or draining, or vitrifying, the swamp known as the District of Columbia,
which like Rome has become the center of active evil in the world.

I've just recently heard about the Free Vermont movement, I love it.

I also recently learned (when a Laotian general in the US was busted for
contemplating overthrowing the Laotian commie govt) that its now
illegal to do this. Funny, folks once volunteered to go fight, eg the Spanish
civil war, bringing their own weapons.

Lincoln: invented income tax, invented the US civil war, deserved that
bullet. Folks have a right to succeed, just like they have a right to divorce,
or terminate any other agreement that relies on mutual association.

It might actually happen after the Collapse. (Read Jared Diamond's book
of the same name, if you haven't; also Johnson's Sorrows of Empire.)

I don't worry about it now ---after a Collapse, the "dark ages" are really
just the lack of big evil empires. Which, being the history writers, tend
to make their own absense sound worse than it was. Of course, the
Catholic church filled the vacuum, which may well have been worse,
but Popes are as immortal as they are infallible :-)
Today Lieberman calls for starting a war with Iran because
they're supposedly killing Americans. Why hasn't Lieberman
registered as a lobbyist for Israel yet?

One can only hope that Amerikans keep on dying in Iraq,
else the Colonialists will not learn their lesson: Rome didn't
make friends. The Iraqis have the moral obligation to kill
the occupiers, much as we Americans would if the situation
were reversed.

Lest you think this cruel towards the pawns (soldiers, centurions)
realize this: they volunteered to be moral zombies, killing because
some distant bureaucrat says to.

It used to be that small arms kept tyrants at bay. Now it seems
you need explosively formed projectiles (EFP) because the
invaders are heavily armored.