My Thoughts Exactly

On Highest Authority from Soviet Russia: Sundman Novels “not shit Dan Brown”

So, checking my Wetmachine referer logs this morning, I found that this livejournal entry has already sent me 54 visitors. Since the page is what appeared to be (and in fact is) Russian, I turned to Google Translate, which provided this wonderful text:

A good example for the present writer can become a success John Sandmena.

This is a modern writer, he wrote great novels of an action and distributes them for free. About how this is done you can ask from him, look at the website or call in at www.wetmachine.com kickstarter.com.

In place of, say, Lukyanenko, I have started to click links kickstarter.com. Sandmen requested for the next novel 5 000 dollars. Who? Yes to all. “Kick” it just for this purpose and is intended to collect money from the crowds of internet users in all sorts of interesting initiatives.

John had something to show his readers:

novels “Acts of the Apostles” and “Developing Obama”[Ed: ????] is not shit Dan Brown. “If Brown was Sandmenom, according to Jeffrey Zeldman,” he would have realized that this thriller is far from absurd, flat and one-dimensional. “

Credit confidence Sandmenu from the Internet community for the next novel, ”Science works” expressed in the amount of U.S. $ 8 059. Slightly more than requested by the author. And how much money you need to write this novel?

Note — my final Kickstarter tally was not quite as great as the amount pledged — about $900 did not clear when presented to credit cards; plus, Kickstarter.com and clearing house Amazon.com each take cuts (including on that $900, by the way). But still, not half bad. Or as we say in Russian, according to Google Translate, недурно.

Posted in My Thoughts Exactly, Writing | Also tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

A Fatal Exception Has Occured In Your White Spaces Sensing Device

It would be funny were it not so easy for NAB to exploit.

The Microsoft prototype shut itself down last week and would not restart. Users familiar with MS products that are scheduled for release, never mind pre-beta versions, will find this so unremarkable as to wonder at the sensation. It goes up there with “Apple denies latest i-rumor.”

Unsurprisingly however, the folks opposed to the use of white spaces (primarily the broadcasters and the wireless microphone folks, with a dash of the cable folks thrown in for good measure), will spin this as the entire technology for sensing if a channel is occupied as “failing.” This ignores the other prototypes of course (Phillips and Google), and ignores the fact that the failure had nothing to do with the sensing (the thing being tested). Finally, of course, it ignores the fact that this is a proof of concept prototype.

The fact is, that the FCC testing shows that “sensing” as a technology works at levels that easily detect operating television channels and even wireless microphones. In fact, it is too bloody sensitive. In a foolish effort to appease the unappeasable, the companies submitting prototypes keep pushing the level of sensitivity to the point where the biggest problem in recent rounds appears to be “false positives.” i.e., it is treating adjacent channels as “occupied.”

As a proof of concept, that should be a success. The testing demonstrates that you can detect signals well below the threshold needed to protect existing licensees. Logically, the next step would be to determine the appropriate level of sensitivity to accurately protect services, set rules, and move on to actual device certification based on a description of a real device.

But that is not how it works in NAB-spin land. Instead, NAB keeps moving the bar and inventing all sorts of new tests for the devices to “fail.” For example, the initial Public Notice called for prototypes for “laboratory testing.” MS and Phillips submitted prototypes that performed 100% in the lab. But then, the MS people did something very foolish, but very typical — they decided their laboratory device was good enough for field testing. No surprise, it did not work as well in the field as in the lab. As this was a laboratory prototype, the failure to perform flawlessly in the field should have been a shrug — it would have been astounding beyond belief if a prototype designed for the lab had worked perfectly the first time in the field. But the fact that the prototype did not work in the field was widely declared a “failure” by NAB, which unsurprisingly gave itself lots of free advertising time to spin the results this way.

So the FCC went to round two, and again the NAB and white spaces opponents have managed to move the bar so they can again declare a “failure.” Back in 2004, when the FCC first proposed opening the white spaces to unlicensed use, it concluded that operation of white spaces devices would not interfere with licensed wireless microphone users. The FCC has never reversed that determination. Unsurprisingly, businesses developing prototypes according to the FCC’s proposed rules have not taken particular care to address wireless microphones. Because the FCC explicitly said “don’t worry about them.”

But suddenly, if the devices can’t accurately sense and detect wireless microphones, they will be “failures.” It doesn’t matter that the devices have proven they can protect wireless microphones. It doesn’t matter that Google has proposed additional ways of protecting wireless microphones besides sensing. As long as NAB can frame what defines “failure” (rest assured, there will never be any successes of NAB gets to call the tune), and can keep changing that definition at will, the political environment will ensure that the actual engineering is irrelevant.

Which is why the companies need to stop trying to placate the NAB by agreeing to an endless series of tests with ever-shifting criteria. And OET needs to write up a report that does what the initial notices promised to do, use the data collected from prototypes to determine if the concept works and, if so, to set appropriate technical standards. The prototypes have proven they can detect signals with a sensitivity better than an actual digital television set or wireless microphone receiver, so the “proof of concept” aspect stands proven. Rather than buy NAB spin, the next step should be to determine what level of sensitivity to set as the standard.

Hopefully, the Office of Engineering and Technology, which is conducting the tests, will not suffer the fate of the Microsoft prototype and shut down under pressure.

Stay tuned . . . .

Posted in Spectrum, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Inventing the Future

Culture Jamming: Our Dominant Medium

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When making music required a big, heavy and expensive piano and lots of lessons, music was good. Real good. But the electric guitar changed all that! Good thing!

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Posted in Inventing the Future, meta-medium | Also tagged , , | 7 Comments (Comments closed)

General Exception

Home made high-altitude UAV

One of the neat things about the ever-dropping price of technology is how people end up using off-the-shelf parts to create things that just a short time ago were the domain of government-funded organizations or large corporations.

Last year, one such project prompted governments into action as a man in New Zealand started to document his homemade cruise missle project.

A bit more on the benign side of things is this high-altitude unmanned glider project. Capable of being released from the edge of the atmosphere, such a glider could be used for all sorts of research, including a very cheap way of performing aerial surveys of remote areas.

Posted in General Exception, Hardware | Also tagged | 2 Comments (Comments closed)

Inventing the Future

our computer is gross

Our home desktop Windows machine is used only by my wife and two pre-teen girls. We’ve been infected by some crapware lately and I tried to clean it up. In addition to the stuff visible on the hard disk, there’s this thing called the Windows registry. This is is used for all sorts of nefarious purposes, such as boot-time start-up of programs that you never heard of and don’t want running on your machine. I couldn’t believe what I found in there.

I did this:

start->run

(and then type)

regedit

(In the regedit menus do:)

edit->find

(and type)

fuck

(or erotic, or anything else you’d be surprised to find on your computer).

I feel so violated.

Posted in Inventing the Future | Also tagged | 2 Comments (Comments closed)

General Exception

“Patriot” Act used to supress news of lawsuits against it

I hadn’t heard about this when it happened a few days ago (but then, I’m out of touch, so maybe everyone has heard about this). The ACLU filed suit over certain provisions in the Patriot Act, and were slapped with a gag order based on… The Patriot Act itself.

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Posted in General Exception | Also tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments (Comments closed)
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