Saturday, October 11, 2008


pistalwhipped is right on what Xtree did;
the preview structure was very useful as was the ability to visually review and edit the hex structure. Which still is being used today as a tool in decryption and file corruption management.

Monday, June 23, 2008

We will miss George

Baseball is a nineteenth-century pastoral game.
Football is a twentieth-century technological struggle.

Baseball is played on a diamond, in a park. The baseball park!
Football is played on a GRIDIRON, in a STADIUM, sometimes called SOLDIER FIELD or WAR MEMORIAL STADIUM.

Baseball begins in the spring, the season of new life.
Football begins in the fall, when everything is dying.

In football you wear a helmet
In baseball you wear a cap.

Football is concerned with downs. "What down is it?
Baseball is concerned with ups. "Who's up? Are you up? I'm not up! He's up!"

In football you recieve a penalty.
In baseball you make an error.

In football the specialist comes in to kick.
In baseball the specialist comes in to relieve somebody.

Football has hitting, clipping, spearing, piling on, personal fouls, late hitting, and unnecessary roughness.
Baseball has the sacrifice.

Football is played in any kind of weather: Rain, snow, sleet, hail, fog...can't see the game, don't know if there is a game going on; mud on the field...can't read the uniforms, can't read the yard markers, the struggle will continue!
In baseball if it rains, we don't go out to play. "I can't go out! It's raining out!"

Baseball has the seventh-inning stretch.
Football has the two-minute warning

Baseball has no time limit: "We don't know when it's gonna end!"
Football is rigidly timed, and it will end "even if we have to go to sudden death."

In baseball, during the game, in the stands, there's kind of a picnic feeling. Emotions may run high or low, but there's not that much unpleasantness.
In football, during the game in the stands, you can be sure that at least twenty-seven times you were perfectly capable of taking the life of a fellow human being

And finally, the objectives of the the two games are completely different:

In football, the object is for the quarterback, otherwise known as the field general, to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the defense by hitting his recievers with deadly accuracy in spite of the blitz, even if he has to use the shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs, he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack that punches holes in the forward wall of the enemy's defensive line.
In baseball the object is to go home! And to be safe! "I hope I'll be safe at home!"

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Top Ten Reasons Romney Dropped Out

By Joseph Williams, Globe Staff

WASHINGTON -- Three months after suspending his Republican presidential bid, Mitt Romney returned to the scene of his political Waterloo and delivered a scoop to the Capitol Hill reporters gathered at an annual awards dinner tonight: The real reasons he dropped out.

The former Massachusetts governor, not particularly known for his sense of humor, made a surprise appearance at the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association dinner and delivered a Top Ten list poking fun at himself and his image -- and threw a few barbs at Hillary Clinton and Al Gore in the bargain.

Romney, who has been rumored to be on presumptive GOP nominee John McCain's short list for vice president, said the reasons he dropped out, in reverse order, were:

No. 10: There weren't as many Osmonds as he thought.
No. 9: Got tired of the corkscrew landings of his campaign plane while under fire
No. 8: As a lifelong hunter, I didn't want to miss the start of varmint season.
No. 7: There wasn't room for two Christian leaders in the presidential race
No. 6: I was upset that no one bothered to search my passport files.
No. 5: I'd rather get fat, grow a beard and try for the Nobel prize.
No. 4: Got tired of wearing a dark suit and tie, and I wanted to kick back in a light colored suit and tie.
No. 3: When my wife realized I couldn't win the GOP nomination, my fundraising dried up.
No. 2: I took a bad fall at a campaign rally and broke my hair.
And the No. 1 reason Romney dropped out: His campaign relied on a flawed campaign strategy that as Utah goes, so goes the nation.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

IBM Bigger Faster First

IBM Research Spins 'Racetrack' Nano-Magnetic Memory

The advanced storage technique could eventually replace flash memory and hard drives, IBM scientists believe.

PORTLAND, Ore. — A next-generation nonvolatile memory dubbed "racetrack" is expected to initially replace flash memory and eventually hard-disk drives, according to IBM (NYSE: IBM) Corp. fellow Stuart Parkin of its Almaden Research Center (San Jose, Calif.)

Using spintronics--the storage of bits generated by the magnetic spin of electrons rather than their charge--a proof-of-concept shift register was recently demonstrated by IBM. The prototype encodes bits into the magnetic domain walls along the length of a silicon nanowire, or racetrack. IBM uses "massless motion" to move the magnetic domain walls along the nanowire for the storage and retrieval of information.

"We have now demonstrated a current-controlled, domain-wall, shift register which is the fundamental, underlying technology for racetrack memory," said Parkin. "We use current pulses to move a series of domain walls along a nanowire, which is not possible to do with magnetic fields."

IBM's Stuart Parkin

IBM's goal, based on spintronic patents filed as early as 2004, is to use the same square micron that currently houses a single SRAM memory bit, or 10 flash bits, and drill down into the third dimension to store spin-polarized bits on a sunken racetrack-shaped magnetic nanowire. Using an area of silicon 1 micron wide and 10 microns high, IBM said its first-generation racetrack would store 10 bits compared to one, thereby replacing flash memory. Eventually, it could store 100 bits in the same area, which is dense enough to replace hard-disk drives.

"Racetrack is essentially the third turn of the crank of this new field of engineering called spintronics," said Parkin. "In current solid-state memory devices you store and control the flow of electrical charge. Here, we store and control the flow of the spin of an electron."

Parkin invented a spin valve sensing device in 1989 based on the giant magnetoresistive effect, which was used to increase disk drive capacity 1,000-fold. "Then we invented the use of the magnetic-tunnel junction (MTJ)--a sandwich of two magnetic layers separated by a dielectric--which we used to build the first magnetic random access memories in 1999.

"The third generation is the racetrack, which could replace all nonvolatile memories, including flash memory and hard-disk drives," Parkin claimed.

IBM estimates that an iPod using racetrack memory could store 100 times more information. Unlike flash, the solid-state devices have no components that can wear out.

Racetrack memory injects magnetized domain walls along the length of a high aspect ratio nanowire--only nanometers wide but up to microns long. Spin-polarized current pulses are then used to move the domain walls along the nanowire to store and retrieve bits.

Last year IBM, demonstrated that it could store a magnetic domain on a nanowire, then move it along the wire's length. The new shift register composed of many domain walls can be stored and moved together along the length of the wire. To read-out bits, the device senses a change in resistance in the wire.

The next step is building a fast MTJ read-head at the top of each racetrack, enabling it to quickly read-out any of the up to 100 bits stored on a racetrack.

IBM's current prototype uses a linear racetrack aligned parallel to the surface of a silicon chip. The first racetrack demonstration with MTJ read-heads will use that same approach. Eventually, IBM said it plans to build vertical racetracks by sinking nanowires into silicon. The MTJ read-head would be located at the top of each racetrack.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

This day in history

March 29, 1967 - WCMU TV channel 14 in Mt. Pleasant, MI (PBS) begins broadcasting and my first son was born. Coincidence???

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Is It Good For the Jews?


Lisa Miller

In 1922, Harvard announced a simple way to reduce anti-Semitism on campus: admit fewer Jews.

Jan 14, 2008 Issue

In the 20th Century no group was better at chronicling its own experience than the American Jews. You want self-loathing, assimilation and paranoia? Turn to Philip Roth. You want bright young women resisting and yet conforming to family expectations? Check out Allegra Goodman. You want the passionate rediscovery of Jewish history and values? Turn to Steven Spielberg.

The story of the Yiddish-speaking bubby with the Harvard educated grandson has been told so often—in fiction and in life—it's become an American cliché and a reference point for subsequent generations of immigrants.

American Jews have documented their own journey so thoroughly and in so many brilliant, hilarious and accessible variations, the efforts of a documentary filmmaker to package it all in one television extravaganza is a bit puzzling. Nevertheless, starting this week and unfolding in three weekly, two-hour segments, PBS stations will air "The Jewish Americans," directed by David Grubin. With all the slow-moving self-importance of a Ken Burns documentary, "The Jewish Americans" tries to do too much: it sums up the highs and lows of the Jewish-American story, beginning with the first Jewish immigrants to New York City in the 18th century and ending with a Hasidic rapper, and still it manages to offend no one. Like an evening spent at dinner with one's beloved grandparents, "The Jewish Americans" is a pleasant if old-fashioned encounter with Jewish boosterism.

At its best, the series unearths stories not part of the Jewish folk canon, like that of Judah Benjamin, who was the attorney general for the Confederacy and, when the South lost the Civil War, fled to England and reinvented himself as a barrister. In a lovely aside, one commentator wonders aloud what Passover must have been like in the antebellum South, with Jewish families thanking God for their freedom from slavery while slaves served the Seder meal. In another memorable chapter Harvard president Abbott Lowell announces in 1922 a simple and effective way to reduce anti-Semitism on campus: admit fewer Jews. In a chapter about Jewish contributions to the westward expansion, the example of Anna Solomon, who moved to the Arizona desert, opened a store and then a hotel, and raised a bunch of Jewish kids with no synagogue in sight, is unforgettable.

Too often, though, the documentary functions as a kind of "Jewish Hall of Fame." Featured talking heads include Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sid Caesar and the playwright Tony Kushner. Exemplars of Jewish achievement include Albert Einstein, Hank Greenberg, Irving Berlin and Louis Brandeis. Worthy exemplars all, but in the 21st century, when so many have accomplished so much, and when Jewish identity is frequently a matter of hyphenation—Kushner laughingly calls himself a "gay American Jewish socialist"—this earnest ritual of praising famous Jews feels insufficiently meaningful.

Guardians of Jewish culture mourn the loss of Jewish identity—no one speaks Yiddish anymore, they say, and intermarriage is epidemic—and "The Jewish Americans" is clearly a valentine to a time when despite (or perhaps because of) anti-Semitism, Jews knew who they were. Now, the film rightly points out, the absence of significant antiSemitism in America allows Jews to embrace Judaism on their own terms, a situation that raises questions for which history has no answers. Can good American Jews disapprove of Israel's foreign policies? Does intermarriage mean the end of Judaism or the birth of a new kind of Jew? Can synagogues satisfy American Jewish longings for spiritual connection without sacrificing orthodoxy? "The Jewish Americans" ably reminds us and our children of where we came from, but it fails to address the more challenging question of where we go from here.

© 2008 Newsweek, Inc.