The content of this blog is my personal opinion only. Although I am an employee - currently of Nvidia, in the past of other companies such as Iagination Technologies, MIPS, Intellectual Ventures, Intel, AMD, Motorola, and Gould - I reveal this only so that the reader may account for any possible bias I may have towards my employer's products. The statements I make here in no way represent my employer's position, nor am I authorized to speak on behalf of my employer. In fact, this posting may not even represent my personal opinion, since occasionally I play devil's advocate.

See http://docs.google.com/View?id=dcxddbtr_23cg5thdfj for photo credits.

Monday, August 17, 2020

WANTED: better security => fewer updates => better reliability

 Wasted two hours this morning:  when I started, neither the builtin keyboard nor the trackpad of my Surface Book 3 were working.  Fortunately, the touchscreen was working,  but it is hard  to do real work without a real keyboard.

Fruitless fix recommendations from the web, eventually uninstalled recent  Windows updates,  and after a few reboot cycles keyboard and trackpad were working again.

Most recent updates were four days ago.  I remember wondering if I should delay the update.  but the desire to use recent security fixes won out.

 I do not know  with the certainty that the updates caused my problems this morning.  It might've been a coincidence,  a random disk error. 

But...  I feel pretty much sure that I wouldn't be applying updates anywhere near as frequently  if there were not security issues. Otherwise, why breaks things that are working?    and software updates are one of the biggest causes of computer problems, both for me and for other people.

This is one of the reasons why I work on security technologies like capabilities/checked pointers and  memory tagging:   not just security, but also to increase reliability.

 Of course security and reliability go together. The very concept of a denial of service attack means that security is reducing reliability and availability. But it's not just DOS attacks -  the very act of a software update, for security, reduces reliability.


 Unfortunately, I never really got to see my security projects to completion at Intel: MPX  is a piss poor version of what I wanted to do with respect to capabilities/checked pointers.  

I hope that I can such security technologies become real as part of RISC-V.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Spicy Food Cures Bad Allergy Attack !?!

 BRIEF: multi-day allergy attack seems to have been cured by spicy food !?!

A couple of days ago I went for  a run in the evening (OK,  more like a jog/walk),  and came back with a really horrible allergy attack. My left eye  almost completely swollen shut,  my right eye sore, my nose running. Inhaler helps with wheezing, but not  with the other symptoms.

I had been planning to work later that evening, at least read email, but I lost the rest of that evening, the entire next day, and into the day after that.  Not to mention  losing two nights of sleep,   propped up  for drainage. Using a CPAP is disgusting when the mask fills up with nasal drainage.  (Not mucous - that would be really disgusting - but still.)  Working when your eyes are swollen shut is also a challenge.

Things eased a bit by the second day, but still bad.  I consulted Dr Google. Home remedies recommended included

  1. Flush - e.g,. with a Neti Pot
  2. Spray - e.g. Afrin decongestant spray, or simple saline
  3. Hydrate
  4. Steam
  5. Spice
I did not have a Neti pot, nor distilled water, nor the slt-like packets that Neti pots come with.  I have tried Neti pots in the past, without much success, although many recommend them.

Spray - I used Afron fgrom the beginning.  Helped, but not enough.

Hydrate - here I just was wasn't thinking.  Apparently dehydration is often the cause of such nose/sinus/eye symptoms - "dehydration makes your nose and eyes water?"  At the moment, pretty much all that I drink is water, lemon juice, tea and occasional cola.   Lots of caffeine, especially when I am trying to work while sick.  I was probably making myself worse.

Steam: head over a bowl of hot water under a towel. And.or hot bath/shower.  Helps, but not enough.  (Even pre-covid taking a sauna at the gym with cold-like symptoms is frowned upon.)

But that last suggestion: SPICY HOT FOOD.  That I can do.

So I did: a package of vegetable korma, augmented by sriracha and other hot sauces. And, within an hour or so, I was much, much, better.

Next time, I try the hot sauce as soon as I feel  the allergy attack coming on!  I wish I had not waited so long.



I was desperate enough that I drove to the coast to try to escape the Willamette Valley's cloud of pollen and dist from haying, winnowing, and field burning.  Helped, but not enough.  BTW, it may not have been smart to drive with one eye swollen shut and nose running.  I was desperate!

During the attack one particular place in my nose BURNED - as if I had inhaled a prickle burr and it had stuck.  Even now, days later, I still feel this hot spot.


Posting this

a) As a sad commentary on my current lack of social life.  This is the sort of thing you might mention in the break room at the office.

b) As a reminder to myself for next time

c) In the hopes that it might help someone else...  My blog is unlikely to be high in Google searched by a fellow sufferer.   TBD: find a newsgroup or forum for allergy sufferers.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

ISO bicycle turn signal SYSTEM - wireless controller, pairable with multiple signal lights/colors/

I love bicycles: in my younger days, road bikes, then touring and cargo bikes, now an e-bike

My rides always involve busy roads that have no shoulders, steep hills (coasting speeds > 30mph) , crossing traffic lanes, often only 1 lane in each direction,  and no protected crossings where I need them.  I feel that I need a rearview mirror and turning signals.  This post is mainly about turning signals, although 

While it would be great if the turn signals could connect to the eBike batteries. That's not a requirement. Lights with batteries, or, better, USB rechargeable, would be fine.   

Wireless turn signal controls are all over the web, including Amazon. As far as I can tell, the wireless bicycle turn signals that I have found via Google and Amazon have one controller, and one or two signals.  There is no ability to pair extra signal lights to the same controller.
It seems to me that it should be possible to have a SYSTEM of wireless turn signals for a bicycle.  

A wireless turn control mounted on the handlebars or nearby.

Multiple sets of lights - not just 1 or 2, but

Multiple sets attached at different places on the frame.   
  • E.g. on the rear so that not hidden when I am carrying a full load of cargo; 
  • on the seatpost; 
  • on the handlebar ends; 
  • possibly integrated in rearview mirrors mounted on handlebar ends
  • Less common
    • ?pedals?
    • ?front facing turn signals?
    • sideways -- e.g. wheel lights.
Different colors: amber, red, etc.

Different turn indications: flashing, arrows...  Heck, I would like an "I am slowing down indicator" when I am descending a steep narrow road at speed, with a car right behind me.

Different attachment styles.  E.g. rings suitable for seatposts and handlebars; handle ends; velcro straps for my e-bike, which doesn't have the thicker posts where such lights would need to be.

As with any such battery driven lights, redundancy - two lights, either side, either direction - would be best, for the case where one battery runs out.  Quick release to make it easy to charge them at home or office, plus to protect against the theft of the accessory light, as when parked at grocery store.

Friday, June 05, 2020

If only we could donate platelets every 6 days rather than every 7 days

During COVID I have been trying to donate platelets every  week.   The Red Cross  requires  at least 7 days between donations.

It is a pity that this minimum spacing cannot be every 6 days. I can really only donate on weekends,  Saturday and Sunday.  But if I donate on Sunday  one weekend I cannot donate on Saturday the next week -  too close.   The only way I can  switch back to donating on Saturdays  is to miss a week. 

Does it really make that much of a difference?


Imagine that  on even weeks I can donate on Saturday but on odd weeks I can good donate on Sunday.   With the 7 day rule  the number of donations I can make is reduced by 33%,  compared to being able to donate every week  as would be allowed if the  separation were 6 days.  That's more than the 1/7th  you might  na├»vely expect.

Such phenomena of quantization are common in computers. E.g. on P6 our  4 cycle FP multiplier and 3 cycle FP adder shared a pipeline.  If we had not stretched the latency of the adder  to 5 cycles we would have lost a lot  of compute bandwidth.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Wearable: suggest products: (1) media remote ring, (2) touch to XXX ring

 I just sent the following to Amerteer, from whom I bought a "wireless(BT) Presentation clicker ring"

Amerteer's website  not spelled the same way: http://amteer.com/Empty-contact_us.html

Because I like to see anybody do this .  Amerteer just came to mind because I've already bought 1 of their products. 


I bought your  presentation clicker ring.   it shows promise, although the key bindings you have used are useless for my purpose.

May I suggest that you consider creating a "media remote ring"?  Like the Satechi Media Remote Ring?

Buttons  for each of these following standard PC key codes


Noting that  this media remote has 5 buttons just like your presentation clicker, arranged in the same shape. The only differences that the key codes  sent to the PC are different -  and possibly the  symbols you print on the keys might be different.

I suggest the media remote ring because  it has a  big market comparable to your presentation clicker ring.  Which is more common?  PowerPoint presentations, or playing video? (Or both?)

I have other ideas for such ring devices.

E.g. I would like a push to XXX  button - a button that I can touch lightly.  When I touch, it emits a keycode like Media_Play_Pause DOWN.  When the touch is removed, it emits the keycode Media_Play_Pause DOWN

I.e. separate control for touch/down and release/up.

I am able to do this with the Satechi media remote ring,  and other media remotes.   however, the membrane buttons they are using require too much force me to keep press down, so using them for press to talk or  press to play  is uncomfortable.   therefore I'd like to suggest that you  use either a lighter touch button, or possibly a capacitive sensor  that can just tell when the fingers touching.

 I would prefer  key up/down push to touch  to auto repeat.   I don't know how widespread my need is, although I think it's more common now that touch phones are very common.

BTW:  my application: I use a dictation device  with speech recognition software. I would like to  "press to talk"  when I am dictating/talking to my computer. Faster than having to click a mouse button or the like, since I'm operating totally hands-free.

 I am currently using the Satechi media remote key,  but like I said the button requires too much force and is uncomfortable for push to talk.


Like I said, I have other  ideas for rings/finger worn devices.   as I am sure you  know,  there are many fancy proposals like gesture control and NFC and  Biometrics so on.   Those are great -  but your  presentation clicker and/or a media remote ring  are much simpler, and can be done with what you currently have. Just a slight reprogramming of your existing device.

 In fact, I don't even need all 5  buttons on your current presentation clicker ring device.   I would actually prefer to have only a single button. smaller, etc.