10:29 pm - Sat, Oct 18, 2014
2 notes

About that Ebola outbreak

I’m not going to have much to say about the Ebola outbreak. Public health isn’t my field, and goodness knows there are already more than enough poorly informed people sharing bad information.

But if you want to be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem, you might start by sending a check to Doctors Without Borders. They’ve been on the front lines of this outbreak since it started, and are the best (and often only) source for medical care in many of the most difficult situations in the world. Their doctors and nurses do heroic work under incredibly difficult circumstances, and they could use your help.

11:37 am - Thu, Oct 16, 2014

This appears to be the source article for all the recent interest in Lockheed Martin’s fusion reactor concept. It has lots of technical detail that’s missing from other sources. Yes, it’s an interesting concept, but that’s all it is at this point.

  • They don’t have a working prototype: we’ve seen decades worth of fusion designs that only work on paper.
  • They don’t have a path to production, as they expect building a full-scale working reactor will require additional materials and heat transfer specialists: this translates into not yet knowing whether the plasma will destroy the confinement chamber.
  • And they don’t have the resources to develop any of this in-house.

Check back in five years. That’s their proposed timeline for a working prototype. If they’re able to meet it, then they’ll have something worth getting excited about.

3:01 pm - Wed, Sep 3, 2014
1 note

Quantum computing series is done

I’ve spent the last few months working on a series of articles about quantum computing for Semiconductor Engineering. I wrapped it up about a week ago, so this seemed like a good time for a summary post. Enjoy! 


Blog posts

10:50 am - Wed, Jul 30, 2014
1 note

Good PR agencies exist, but these guys aren’t it

Normally, I just drop spammers into the bit bucket and leave it at that. But these folks are a spammer masquerading as a legitimate PR agency, and specifically preying on crowd-funded startups. Since I have lots of friends in the PR business, and more friends who have funded projects through Kickstarter, I thought a more visible response was called for.

For just under $1000, The CrowdFundMafia will hand craft a press release for you, and send it to over 1000 journalists and media outlets. Sounds like a great deal, right?

Except that they apparently make no attempt to vet the journalists to make sure they might actually be interested in the release, which is a big part of what real PR agencies do. They’ve bombarded me with releases over the last month or so, and not one was even remotely relevant. 

Into the bit bucket they go. 

Don’t waste your hard-earned money with these folks. They’re doing your brand more harm than good. 

Update: In fairness, I did receive a very apologetic email today, assuring me that I have (finally) been removed from their media list. So maybe they’re disorganized but developing a clue. Maybe. 

9:53 am - Sat, Jul 26, 2014
2,716 notes

Happy Caturday

Gratuitous kitten cuteness.


Happy Caturday

Gratuitous kitten cuteness.

(Source: cats4everyone)

9:42 am
1 note

How surprising. It seems it doesn’t matter how effective your “best practice” teaching methods are if you don’t give teachers the training and support they need to understand and use them.

4:55 pm - Thu, Jun 19, 2014
1 note

A big win today, as the Supreme Court says that implementing an un-patentable abstract idea on a computer doesn’t magically render it patentable. This doesn’t kill all software patents, but it definitely weakens the most egregious examples.

10:11 am - Tue, Jun 17, 2014

Very interesting article about how super-accurate, turbine-level forecasts optimize the output of wind farms.

11:56 am - Mon, Jun 16, 2014
1 note

A Public Service Announcement

You may not realize this, but Semicon West is scheduled well in advance. It’s always about the second week in July, and the exact dates are available at least a year in advance. 

Similarly, print publications put their editorial calendars together months in advance. Had you asked, they could have told you their deadlines for Semicon West coverage six months ago. 

Clearly you didn’t ask, or you wouldn’t be calling to ask if I know someone who can turn an opinion piece around in less than a week, or a technical article in two weeks. 

No, I don’t. Everyone who might be able to is already busy, and you don’t want to pay their rush job premium anyway. 

But I promise I won’t start laughing until after I hang up the phone.

10:04 pm - Thu, Jun 12, 2014
8,933 notes



Trinity at .006, .025, 2, 4, and 9 seconds.

c. 1945

"Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds." — The Bhagavad Gita, as quoted by Robert Oppenheimer

(via freshphotons)

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