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{ Category Archives } Innovation and entrepreneurship

What happens when you open-source a soldering iron

The TS100 soldering iron (Amazon) has been getting a lot of buzz. It’s on github and both software and hardware specifications are open. It runs off 12 to 24 volts DC so a battery pack from a power tool or laptop will run it. A laptop power supply is a common resource for it as […]

Dave Jones hosts Shahriar Shahramian and the discussion is something else.

It’s a geekfest. Shahriar Shahramian from The Signal Path met up with Dave Jones of EEVblog and discussion is well worth some time. It’s broken up into three videos each with their own focus. 1. Youtube & Bell Labs 2. Science, Debunking & Education 3. about the millimeter wave electronics and 5th generation RF These two […]

Tech directions: IkaScope

They call it the IkaScope. “Robust and reliable analog front end, Measuring signals with IkaScope is quick, easy and intuitive. Sampling rate 200 MSPS; Bandwidth 25 MHz; Memory 4000 pts; Input range ± 40V; Coupling AC / DC; Refresh rate 200 FPS*.” At this time, it’s a gleam in the designer’s eye so who knows […]

1700’s tech: A piano story

It may not have been crafting nanocircuits on silicon but innovation and craftsmanship have legs in history. Here’s a good story of that: What Does the World Oldest Surviving Piano Sound Like?: Watch Pianist Give a Performance on a 1720 Cristofori Piano. Imagine your favorite works for the piano—the delicate and haunting, the thundering and […]

Seek and ye shall find – that it’s a harder journey than you ever imagined.

Luboš Motl takes off on Nautilus’ disillusioned ex-physicist. “Bob Henderson wrote an autobiography for Nautil.Us” and that provided the ammunition for a rant on Life’s Journey that any college freshman with ambition should read carefully. This is a sketch of the “path towards the deep laws of the Universe” that I already had in mind […]

Federico Faggin on his early work

A YouTube presentation: Federico Faggin at UC Berkeley 2-19-2014 “Microelectronics & Microprocessors: The Early Years” (1:21) This is one of those guys at the very top of the ‘been there, built it’ pyramid telling his story. He was the right engineer in the right place at the right time and the result was the modern microcomputer […]

HRD and Amateur Radio Software Ethos

You’d think Amateur Radio and FOSS devotees would be sympatico but, alas, most hams are appliance operators and this means Windows and commercial software.  That goes back to Bill Gates’ famous letter about piracy of his intellectual property and the evolution about software licensing, ownership, and business models. Ham Radio Deluxe (HRD) just hit a […]

Vox on the lost: by then it is too late.

Chronic unemployment and a life that degrades from something to nothing is a tragedy that is individual and social. It can be top down, as is being shown right now in Venezuela or it can be bottom up as seen in a series of personal essays in Vox Trending Topics. In thinking about these experiences, […]

In the news: FCC vs innovation,

There is sometimes a need to provide a governor on things to keep them from going out of control. Protecting trade secrets has a long history that the patent idea was embedded in law to open this up a bit in a controlled way. Regulation is almost always a limiting control and it is another […]

Paradigm shift: cell phone to PCD (Personal Communications Device)

Gatta’ have those TLA’s (three letter acronyms) so I’m calling the modern smart phone a PCD (personal communications device).  Ye olde flip phone’s external LCD decided that it was going to emulate a modern art postage stamp rather than communicate things such as time or date or ID of incoming calls. That screen was a […]