Sunday, May 29, 2016

When is it time to say 'No' designing a pain giving device?

I just came across the Pavlok a device that by design is to cause pain; Reference: Pavlov's Dogs.

I realize the debate about designing weapons that kill people have been going on forever and we are not likely to have answers to that debate here.

What happens when the software in the device or its control app have bugs? What are the security of the device being 'hacked' or used by the mysterious evil 'Them' (fill in your choice of conspiracy group)?

The one that really puts it over the top for me is linking this pain giving device to Smart Meters. Set your thermostat to high you get Zapped. Is this really the world we want to be creating with the Internet of Things (IoT)?
'Road to hell'

...Prof Alan Woodward, a cybersecurity expert from Surrey University, said the more connections which are made between devices, the greater the risk of a security weakness.

"Having a convoluted interaction between systems is almost inevitably going to lead to unintended security flaws," he said.

"I know this type of technology is developed with the best of intentions but the road to hell is paved with them."

"Just because you can connect devices en masse doesn't necessarily mean you should." --

Having watched my late wife suffer from Chronic Pain for years I will refuse to be involved with any device that causes someone to experience any level of pain. Karen's Journal is required reading at Duke School of Medicine.
Karen's first-hand account of her illness gave an honest, heart-wrenching depiction of what it is like to live with debilitating pain day-to-day. -- The Derrick Newspaper, Sept 8th 2014.

The late Karen Shettler Paddock on cover of the local newspaper.

NTP Study shows Cell Phones cause brain cancer. 50 Hz causes heart tumors.

The National Toxicology Program (NTP) animal study started in 1999 released summary of their findings this week. Cell Phones cause brain cancer. 50 Hz, the power line frequency used in Europe, causes heart tumors.

The cell phone "radiofrequency radiation (RFR)" study is led by the NTP, headquartered at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The NTP has posted their report of the study’s findings: Report of Partial findings from the National Toxicology Program Carcinogenesis Studies of Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation in Hsd: Sprague Dawley® SD rats (Whole Body Exposure). Note the comments about the study. Some are insightful for future studies most are just the usual fear mongering.

Length report that can be summed up this way:

"Importantly, the exposed rats were found to have higher rates of two types of cancers: glioma, a tumor of the glial cells in the brain, and malignant schwannoma of the heart, a very rare tumor. None of the unexposed control rats developed either type of tumor."

See also:

Cellphone Towers Amplify Pain in Amputees:

Anthropogenic Radio-Frequency Electromagnetic Fields Elicit Neuropathic Pain in an Amputation Model:

Cell Phone Convenience or 21st Century Plague?
Compiled by Dr. Nick Begich and the late James Roderick.

If you are at all interested in this stuff a book you MUST read is The Body Electric by the late Dr Robert Becker (Not Bob Beck).

There also lots of scam devices out there that sell you something to reduce cell phone radiation then show before and after thermal graphs. I want to see a thermal graphs of an empty cell phone case held to the head. I expect it will give the same thermal graph.

If such a device worked there will be a noticeable decrees in battery life. If the 'radiation' is reduced the cell tower would get a weaker signal and the range would be less. The transmit power level of a cell phone is controlled dynamically which is why when it places with poor cell phone reception the battery drains faster due to the phone using a higher transmit power. If such a device worked it will drain the battery faster even with no connection to the battery.

A simple way to reduce exposure is use wired ear buds. They still don't bring the risk to zero. Bluetooth Handsfree headsets are not improvement. Bluetooh operates at 2.6 GHz. The same frequency as your microwave oven and WiFi. I'm not putting a tiny microwave oven next to my head...

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Visit to Large Scale Systems Museum in New Kensington Pennsylvania

Yesterday [ January 30th 2016 ] I paid a visit to the Large Scale Systems Museum (LSSM), Dave McGuire President/Curator, in New Kensington Pennsylvania.

The audio makes it sound like a very noise place, really it is not, just the microphone picking up the background cooling fans.

Currently the Museum is open only by appointment.  It is expanding to two floors soon and will then be open to the public.

Still pictures of the machines both insides and out are found on my site.

The machine labelled "ML AI" is the actual machine that The Scheme Programming Language was created on.


Saturday, January 16, 2016

Maxim make the best parts that no one can ever get. Are you a "stale_member" too?

I was telling someone about the Maxim Integrated  
 MAXREFDES73# reference design a wearable, mobile galvanic skin response (GSR) system.

We were hoping to get a few of them for some parapsychology experiments. When my client asked how much it cost, I tried to log into my Maxim account, established years ago. 

All in all the experience matched that of Maxim's reputation for delivery, that is it won't. :-( 

Says it does not know my email address. When I try to register it (I've had account there for years) it says my email address is already registered and I'm a "stale_member".

Password reset generated a SQL error. So does it know my email address or not?

This is just as bad as the Maxim factory dude walking in to our meeting and saying "I don't make it out here to the Rust Belt very often...", not realizing how insulting that is to those in the area. 

They seem to make the best parts that no one can ever get... :-(  What has been your Maxim experience?

I wonder if that is why TI and Analog Device both just passed on buying them?

Maybe they are up For Sale because ignoring the markets delivery concerns has finally caught up with them?

Even this distributors in the Pittsburgh/Cleveland Market area try to get you to not buy Maxim parts from them, they don't want to hear the delivery complaints...

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Dr Richard Stallman to present at Kent State Saturday Oct. 17th

Kent, Ohio – Northeast ACM and the ACM Distinguished Speaker Program in partnership with the Kent State ComputerScience Department will present Richard Stallman Talks, taking place at Kent State University's Kiva Auditorium on Saturday October 17th 2015 featuring Dr. Richard Stallman.

NEOACM and Kent State Computer Science Department are proud to bring Dr. Richard Stallman to Kent State University for the first time. Dr. Stallman's will present his non- technical speech, A Free Digital Society, that addresses the many threats to freedom in our digital society, focusing on issues of proprietary software that controls users, digital handcuffs, massive surveillance, and censorship that undermine the foundations of democracy. Dr. Stallman is a software freedom activist and the main author of the GNU General Public License, the most widely used free software license.

Stallman developed the GNU operating system along with a number of widely used software components including the GNU compiler collection, symbolic debugger, and Emacs installed on millions of computers today. He is also the founder and president of the Free Software Foundation. Following the speech, there will be a Q & A session with Dr. Stallman and attendees will be able to purchase his books and essays.

This event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited. This event will be held in the Kiva Auditorium on Kent State Campus 800 E Summit St, Kent, Ohio.
"If in my lifetime the problem of non-free software is solved, I could perhaps relax and write software again. But I might instead try to help deal with the world's larger problems. Standing up to an evil system is exhilarating, and now I have a taste for it." - RMS
For more information, please visit or
Copyright © 2015 Northeast Ohio ACM (A non-profit organization)

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Analog Circuit Design Three Volume Collection. 40% off until May 17th less after.

If you do Analog Circuit Design then the three volume set Analog Circuit Design from Linear Technology must be on your bookshelf.

This week Linear Tech released Volume-III of the series Analog Circuit Design, Volume 3 - Design Note Collection. Edited by Bob Dobkin and John Hamburger.

Analog Circuit Design, Volume 3, Design Note Collection is the first effort to bring Linear Technology's Design Notes into one volume. Design Notes were first published over 25 years ago, and after producing more than 500 notes, the genre is still going strong. The teaching designs in this Design Note Collection help bring new designers up to speed and give experienced designers a starting point for even more sophisticated designs. This book has two purposes: to speed designs by presenting finished examples, as well as providing a teaching resource for designers.

The Design Note Collection is a comprehensive volume of applied circuit design solutions, providing refined and practical design techniques. The book includes an extensive power management section, covering switching regulator design, linear regulator design, microprocessor power design, battery management, powering LED lighting, automotive and industrial power design. Other sections span a range of analog design topics, including data conversion, data acquisition, communications interface design, operational amplifier design techniques, filter design, wireless/RF communications and network design.

If purchased from Elsevier, enter discount code ANACIR at checkout for 30% off each of the three volumes and save 40% when you buy the three volumes together. Promotion applies to print and electronic.

Unitl May 17th 2015, Elsevier, has an other discount to save up to 40% when you buy Science and Technology eBooks.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Richard Stallman Coming to Northeast Ohio Oct 17th

Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation (FSF) will be speaking Saturday October 17th 2015 at the Kiva Auditorium of Kent State University, in Northeast Ohio.

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a nonprofit with a worldwide mission to promote computer user freedom and to defend the rights of all free software users.
Stallman is frequently mistaken as a supporter of Open Source software, which he is not: Why Open Source misses the point of Free Software.

Stallman has been involved with the computer industry since the last 60's. A must read book for all involved in computers and embedded systems is Hackers - Heroes of the Computer Revolution by Steve Levy.
  • Richard Stallman Talk
  • Saturday, October 17, 2015
  • 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
  • Kiva Auditorium
  • 800 E Summit Street
  • Kent, OH
Sponsored by the Northeast Ohio Chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Solving pressure and condensation build up in your Embedded System.

Have you ever had a problem with pressure build up or condensation in one of your embedded devices? Gore-Tex Vents are a good solution today, but I thought you might find The Rest Of The Story interesting. What follows is slightly edited version of a message exchange of mine from the gEDA-User mailing list.

> Dave McGuire wrote:
> > Bob Paddock wrote:
> > I'd put them in a sealed box, with a Gore-Tex Vent so that the
> > enclosure can 'breath' but not pass water.
> This is an interesting idea. Can Gore-Tex be found in small
> squares for this type of application, or would one be stuck
> destroying an expensive jacket to get some?

Salvation Army or Good Will would be a good place to look if you want to go the clothing route, but there is more to the story.

The whole story goes like this: Gore-Tex was invented ~1978, used in clothing as everyone knows, and didn't really find many other uses then. Jump forward to 1982. I was designing a hand held control to run some 50 Ton Coal Mining Equipment. The control was a sealed box with a membrane switch on the front. We very shortly ran into problems. Taking it down into the Mine would cause a pressure reduction that would suck the switches in, activating the switches. Having a stuck switch on a 50 Ton machine with sharp cutting bits is *bad*. Very **bad**. Also found that taking it up in a plane, as non-pressurized luggage, would deform the switch by causing it to balloon out to about four times what it should be. From flat to nice dome. You then had worthless junk, it did not recover.

I had recently read about the properties of Gore-Tex, tracked down one of the engineers in the factory and asked him if he thought it would make a good vent for such an application. He said he had no idea, but he would send me several different types of the stuff to try out. Which he did.

Putting cloth over a whole in mining equipment would last a few minutes, on on optimistic day. So a colleague of mine, Don F., came up with this labyrinth sandwich to put the Gore-Tex between.

Take two flat disks, we used thick fiberglass, each about 1/4" thick. Mill out a pocket in both disks, place them face to face, then drill a hole through both disks at one of the ends of the milled circle. Now rotate a single disk 180 degrees. Put the Gore-Tex between the disks and epoxy. If you try to stick your Sharp Pointy Coal Mining Implement into the hole you hit the fiberglass and not the Gore-Tex. The assembly was then held in the box by a screw in the four corners. Pressure problem was solved.

Went back to the fellow at Gore-Tex to get more material, which he supplied. Thought our idea was a good one and filed for the patent. So he got it and Don and I did not.

Today you can buy Gore-Tex pressure relief vent off-the-shelf. Most a screw in type plug, but they come in all kinds of sizes.