Posts

Engineering a Google Pixel Phone

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The battery on this Pixel 3 phone has swollen badly. What are the factors that led to a bad phone in less than 12 months? * Structurally deficient plastic? * Adhesive deterioration? * Poor energy management subsystem? * Cradle for overnight charging, while the phone keeps networking? * Substandard component heat characteristics? * Not accounting for battery aging? None of them, well all of them, but none of them. Design choices today are a combination of engineers making bad choices, and management pursuing short term financial goals. How does an organization fix this? There is only one way. Having a company proclaim clear, public, values about each of their products. Abstract values? Values that please the board of directors? No. Values an average consumer can read, understand and be happy about.

Industrial maternalism

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I completed today a purchase of one more piece of Silicon Valley history, the EIMAC 100TH   Transmitting Triode Radio Vacuum Tube. For $22 I will receive a working triode, with the birght prosepct of lighting its filaments again perhaps not to transmit but at least to show its colors on the oscilloscope. EIMAC operated in nearby San Bruno this was not an accident, as the San Francisco Bay Area was an early center of ham radio with about 10% of the operators in the United States in the early 30's. Incidentally in a new sense San Bruno is still a ham radio hub today. Except the radio has been replaced by the internet, and the communications device is YouTube, based in San Bruno. There's are some more interesting technical bits. The EITEL company was a spin-off from Heintz & Kaufman with the purpose to produce tubes that worked on lower voltages than those available to the amateur market at the time. In 1932 two radio amateurs, Jack McCullough (W6CHE) and Bill Eitel (W

Hiring

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Production Pro is hiring. We are always on the lookout for smart engineers. Apprentice Systems Engineer Transform the way film, theatre and television are created.  We’re looking for a systems engineer with experience designing software systems and algorithms to join our small and mighty team. Click here to watch ProductionPro shake up Silicon Valley for the arts! What we do: Films and plays are complex, creative endeavors, with hundreds of people working together on something that often changes daily. ProductionPro visually assembles all of a production's moving parts into one, dynamic platform – opening the door for a multitude of potential applications in the future. Why we do it: The entertainment industry has been underserved by tech for decades.  ProductionPro exists to help visual storytellers focus on doing what they do best – creating what the world watches. Who we are: Our collaborative team is a medley of experienced software engineers, fi

On Computer Security in the Mobile Age

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I was looking over a stack of old conference papers and found this review of the paper written by myself in collaboration with Lucijan Carić, which we presented in 1996 at the Virus Bulletin Conference in Brighton, UK. "After a welcome coffee break, Joe Wells (IBM) presented a paper on the PC-virus ‘hot zones’, after which Lucijan Caric and Boris Debic provided a timely reminder of the implications of an Internet-enabled world: if malware is able to send data silently to remote sites, then the problems, unfortunately, are all too clear." The presentation was immediately following Joe Wells'. This was quite a recognition at the time, as Joe is and was back then widely regarded as one of the  foremost  experts in understanding security threats in the wild.  The paper had a couple of highlights. It was the first to establish a new class of threats. A category where threats would take advantage of the Internet, not only as a propagation medium as was alr

What's in a month? (As far as email goes).

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Just in the past month @Google.(4/13-5/13/2013). And that's a bit lower than usual as I took a one day vacation and was two days on an offsite and a week in NYC (note the flatter second week on the sent side). Information overload? The good news is we have great internal systems that help us cope with information. So in actuality this doesn't feel much more different than my private Gmail account which sees only moderate usage (now that I have moved many of the conversations to G+).

Flektoprime One Live on YouTube

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A combination of video and textual blogging? I completed setting up the Flektoprime Channel on YouTube while at the same time testing the integration with the new redesign of YouTube One Channel UI changes. This thus far worked extremelly well. The visual appearance on different devices is consistent and the design ismuch better than before. Kudos on this one to the Kennedy team (the internal code name for Google's new generation UX). I am going to creat a new tag on this blog for video related material. I may expand sometimes details in a blog post rather than in the video comments section. At least until the two converge a bit more. Stay tuned to Flektoprime One . FAQ. Q: Why Flektoprime One? A: The main - prime lens - on the D7 I mostly use for video these days is based on the Karl Zeiss Jena design called a Flektogon. A breakthrough lens in many ways.

Today Was a Good Day for Surgery

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I have this beautiful great sounding Kurzweil K2600X. Loaded with all the extra ROMs available; Orchestral, Contemporary, Triple strike piano, Vintage keyboards. Its a great instrument and its been part of our family for a long time now. Here's Filip at the time not quite 4 yet, composing on the imposing machine . Well a couple of months ago I spotted on eBay a SCSI memory card interface which fits the Kurzweil. I bought it a couple of weeks ago and decided that today was a good day to perform the surgery. Out with the 1.44 Mb floppy and in with the CF reader and an 8 Gb CF card. The card is partitoned into 4 x 2 Gb partitions. Two of them are loaded with samples, programs and setups. Expanding even more the machine's already impressive sound producing capabilities. A photo album illustrates part of the process . Dr. Kurzweil recently joined Google, where he is working on transforming search . His latest book How to Create a Mind is a very insightful work. I rec