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Comment: Re:Viewing Launches (Score 1) 21

by Bruce Perens (#49166815) Attached to: SpaceX Falcon 9 Launches Dual Satellite Mission

With luck, they'll start incorporating our radio transceivers. I hear that SpaceX flies with several USRPs now, so that's not completely unrealistic. That might be as close as I can get. Anyone who can get me a base invitation, though, would be greatly appreciated and I'd be happy to do some entertaining speeches while there. I need a base invite for Vandenberg, too. I got in to the official viewing site for the first try of the last launch (and that scrubbed too), but this next one is on Pad 6.

Comment: Re:Boston tried it (Score 1) 75

by Registered Coward v2 (#49166643) Attached to: World's First Lagoon Power Plants Unveiled In UK

The Boston & Roxbury Mill Dam did this back in the early 1800's. It failed, in part because of "stagnant and foul water".

I say go for it. That failed project result din the Boston Back Bay, one of the priciest pieces of real estate in the US. Scotland, Wales and the rest of England could get new Londons sprouting up in a few years.

Comment: Re:A giant lagoon dam (Score 1) 75

by Registered Coward v2 (#49166583) Attached to: World's First Lagoon Power Plants Unveiled In UK

screamingly obvious answers to non-problems.

The problem with screamingly obvious answers is the may be obvious but wrong. Wire mesh over turbines are nice, but what do you do if sea life grows on them blocking intakes? Chlorine shock the water to kill growth? Any solution has pluses and minuses and to minimize the negative is a long run mistake.

Comment: Viewing Launches (Score 3, Interesting) 21

by Bruce Perens (#49164783) Attached to: SpaceX Falcon 9 Launches Dual Satellite Mission

I was in Florida to speak at Orlando Hamcation and went to see the DISCOVR launch at Kennedy Space Center. I paid $50 to be at LC-39 for the launch, an observation tower made from a disused gantry on the Nasa Causeway between the pads and the Vehicle Assembly Building. A crawler was parked next door! A hot sandwich buffet, chips, and sodas were served. It was cold and windy! I watched for a few hours and unfortunately the launch scrubbed due to high stratospheric winds.

The next day, Delaware North Corporation, which operates tourism at KSC, decided not to open LC-39 or the Saturn 5 center for the launch. This was the third launch attempt and I guess they decided most people had left. I was annoyed.

The closest beach was going to be closed in the evening, it's a sensitive ecological area. I ended up seeing the launch from Jetty Park. This turned out not to be such a great location, the tower wasn't visible at all and the first 10 seconds of the rocket in flight were obscured before we saw it over a hill.

What's a better viewing location?

Comment: Re:Just damn (Score 2) 407

by Registered Coward v2 (#49149539) Attached to: Leonard Nimoy Dies At 83

I loved his acting as much as anyone, but I disagree that it was necessarily a sad day. He was, after all, 83 years old. He beat the average life expectancy in this country by a wide margin. He made an impact on a huge number of people, as well. He was ready to check out and move on. Really, what could you reasonably expect an 83 year old man to do beyond this point anyways? I'm happy for him and all he's done.

Yes, he truly lived long and prospered...

Comment: Re:GNUradio? (Score 1) 131

Test equipment is allowed to transmit and receive on those frequencies. If it looks like a radio, it can't. I have a number of cellular testers hanging around here that can act like base stations, mostly because I buy them used as spectrum analyzers and never use the (obsolete) cellular facilities. Government has different rules regarding what it can and can't do in the name of law enforcement, although FCC has been very reluctant to allow them to use cellular jammers.

If you can afford it, something from Ettus would better suit your application.

Comment: Re:Predicting the future is hard (Score 1) 347

by Registered Coward v2 (#49143869) Attached to: The Programmers Who Want To Get Rid of Software Estimates

Joel Spolsky has a take on this problem, called Evidence-Based Scheduling, which tracks past estimates against their deliveries, and uses that to improve future estimates.

That is a good idea, but you have to be careful how you track work. We used to do estimates based on hours worked and thus come up with a price. Since the work was fixed price the actual hours were irrelevant to the customer's cost; but very relevant to our team. Going over was bad; and going under yielded us no benefits other than having to explain low utilization; even if we had huge profit margins. As a result, our total hours billed to a project always exactly matched the estimate. One word of caution, never let the sales person estimate the cost or duration; they are rewarded on sales and so have an incentive to underbid to get work and let the team try to deliver.

Comment: Re:Simple methodology (Score 2) 347

by Registered Coward v2 (#49143811) Attached to: The Programmers Who Want To Get Rid of Software Estimates

A well defined project can be estimated. Change Orders estimating needs to be done properly and BILLED - the cost of re-analyzing is a real cost and the business needs to see it. Once you get that across the number of change requests decreases dramatically.

Software engineering is Engineering... some of the costs are inverted, but otherwise it's the same project management as other engineering projects.

Correct. Our rule was "Give away the initial project because we'll retire on the change orders..."

Comment: Re:Schneier's opinion isn't what it once was (Score 1) 114

This isn't like a door lock where its possible to overcome them and we can't stop them from being overcome, so we take advantage of locksmiths when we screw up. Locks can not be 100% secure, encrypted data can be effectively 100% secure and thats a different environment.

While I agree with most of your points there is no such things as 100% secure data; some is only harder to get than others. It only take step right approach to get it.

Comment: Re:"Proprietary So I Get Paid", from Bruce Perens? (Score 1) 131

Hi AC,

Matt Ettus has a story about a Chinese cloner of the USRP. The guy tells Chinese customers that it is illegal for them to buy from Ettus, they must buy from the cloner instead. Then, when they have problems and require serivce, he tells them to get it from Ettus. Who of course made nothing from their device sales and can not afford to service them.

This is not following the rules of Open anything. It's counterfeiting.

So, sometimes it is necessary to change the license a little so that you will not be a chump. I discussed the fact that the hardware is fully disclosed but not Open Hardware licensed with RMS, the software is 100% Free Software, and there is a regulatory chip you can't write. We can go for Respects Your Freedom certification that way..

I've paid my dues as far as "Open" is concerned, and Chris has too. This is all we can give you this time.

Comment: Re:Why custom punched end panels ? (Score 1) 131

The case selection was so that we'd have at least one case that would work. We did not take much time on it. We'd be happy to have other people designing and selling cases.

The version after this one requires cases that look like real radios. That is going to be a bigger problem. We don't yet have a mold-design partner, etc.

Comment: Re:GNUradio? (Score 2) 131

We implement it as a chip that intercepts the serial bus to the VFO chip, and disallows certain frequencies. On FCC-certified equipment we might have to make that chip and the VFO chip physically difficult to get at by potting them or something. This first unit is test-equipment and does not have the limitation.

I am more bored than you could ever possibly be. Go back to work.