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Showing posts from January, 2017

Phyton: Episode 4

**Previous Episode or First Episode**
Jeff sat down next to him and pulled out a stack of papers, of course they were all blank to Al, but he saw the glasses peeking out of Jeffs shirt pocket. “Aren’t you worried that even knowing that there is alot more information on this case might bias my ‘expert analysis’?”

“I hadn’t thought of it that way.” Jeff’s realization and maybe a bit of consternation showed. “But surely knowing that you could be biased would cancel that out, right?”

“I’m not a psychologist, but I already suspected that the agency wasn’t sharing all it knew,” Al shrugged, “Seems to be standard practice.”

“This is the first time I’ve been on a case like this. Have you seen it before?”

“Yes, back during the GMO ban, they used the same tech for documents back when I was part of a team investigating the relevance of the ban. They must have squirreled away a warehouse full of that paper so they could go back to after the secure entity tablets were removed from service.”

“Someone had…

Manufacturing Coming to a Place Near You

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It’s old news, 3d-printing, unless you just got a printer for Christmas.


I have been following the advent of consumer 3D-printers for quite a while, and they’ve basically revolutionized how an individual (normal, not owning a fab-factory) can think about custom trinkets or replacement parts.


Other than the price why am I excited to get a 3D-printer? While watching them get better and cheaper, it really has to do with two things: Exposure to the tech at COS and a major failure almost exactly 10 years ago.

First a bit of panic about the fact that it has almost been 10 years since the end of my undergrad degree. I guess I am celebrating by taking two graduate courses: Computer Vision and DB systems… Ten years later. It brings up some interesting memories of how bad a student I was, and how my senior project suffered because I had no clue what I was doing. I needed to design a circuit board, get parts manufactured, and write a program that would all be part of a telescope system. Much too mu…

Phyton: Episode 3

**Previous Episode**

“Good work Field Agent Devney, your new clearance will allow you to access information you will need in California.” Agent Flind pushed a couple of manilla folders across a clear space of desk.

“Sir?” Jeff Devney couldn’t help being excited, but he thought he kept it to himself.

“Well we can’t send out a ‘green’ agent, so you are promoted to a field agent. For now your AO is just for SoCal and surrounding region. There are a few standby teams that will provide back-up.” Flind leaned back in his ancient office chair, “If you need any other agency resources, let me know. And of course if you need any warrants we will have contacts for the appropriate jurisdictions.”

Jeff eyed the stack of folders and then picked it up, pretty weighty, despite the digital paper.

“Nearly four years ago I would have touched a button and cleared you to look at the info without all this paper, my desk was all but clear if you can believe that.” Flind motioned at the desk as though he wanted t…

Rogue One Review

Or bravery for consistency and stupidity for inconsistencies. Spoilers…
I am surprised by this movie, but then it makes sense: They didn’t want to break too much continuity in the Star Wars universe by having heroic characters just disappear into an entire galaxy. Oh wait, they could have just faded into another assignment. So it really was a brave decision to kill all the characters that we got attached to.
Of course we had to have the Disney parent complex, even if her father survives through half of the movie. For some reason, maybe unforeseeable complications, many parents in Disney movies are bumped off rather quickly in the movies. Once we see Jyn and her parents in the opening sequence it is only a matter of time before the parents are no longer alive/around. They even go so far as to kill her mentor, Saw.
Enough teasing Disney for now, just some straight criticism. Although an expected Star Wars standard they skipped the crawl, but without any bad consequences. But then they skip…

Practice Hurts

With my previous post on gaining expertise I still feel overwhelmed with the amount of stuff I need to learn with this new job. I just switched over an application to use a new database instance/schema. Of course in editing the settings I forgot to make sure it was owned by the right entity so we had a bit of an outage, fortunately only on test.

But that isn’t what I mean by the title. It was more of communications with people, with the office and its 20+ designers, developers, and administrators it is very easy for miscommunication to happen. Yesterday during a weekly standup I mentioned that I would move to the new database, but I ended up working on some alignment issues.

Then this morning I get an email about the test server being down and a short thing about when we should push changes to servers. I haven’t pushed changes since last month, lots of improvements, but still a few issues. So I was a bit surprised, and a bit disgruntled to be told about times to update things…

But this a…

Worry About It, Later If Possible

It seems like an age since I wrote one of my last posts while still at COS. In it I mention learning, and I really need a bit of a pick-me-up in that area right now. I am very tired from all the constant learning that I have been doing with the new job and the two courses for my Master’s degree. I think I am a bit mad… although it is doable and I am looking at next semester for something similar I really need a reminder as to why this is so hard.
I just finished listening to Freakonomics podcast “How to Become Great at Just About Anything” (which seems to a duplicate title, must be an important thing) and got to thinking about how much time I have put into coding, programming, thinking, and sometimes dreaming about it. Have I put in 10,000 hours? By school alone I would say that I have put in nearly 800 hours. If I take the last two years of work and figure that I have spent around half of that doing solid work, that’s another 2,000 hours. If I add in the robot challenge that started i…