229: Slinky with a Lot of Math

Nick Kartsioukas (@ExplodingLemur) spoke with us about information security, melting down spectres, lemurs, and sensible resolutions.

Nick recommends Aumasson’s Serious Cryptography (also available from NoStarch) as a good orientation. (Offline, he also recommended Shneier’s Secrets and Lies.)  

When thinking about security, you need to develop your threat model (EFF) and not panic (Mickens). As a user of the internet, there are some getting started guides (Motherboard, EFF, Smart Girl’s Guide to Privacy) along with Nick’s advice of using an antivirus program (comparison), an Adblocker (uBlock), a password manager, and 2-factor authentication. Data backups are also very useful (3-2-1 rule: 3 copies, 2 separate media, 1 offsite). For a professional infosec perspective, the CIS 20 are best practice guidelines for computer security.

For Spectre and Meltdown, the best high-level explanation is in Twitter from @gsuberland though XKCD does its usual good job as well. For more detail, about speculative execution bugs, check out this github readme.

For the history of the Stuxnet, check out Zetter’s Countdown to Zero Day and the Security Now podcast episode 291.

Ham radio Field Days for 2018 are June 23-24

Last but not least: Depression lies so get help and if you want to know how to help someone else, look at MakeItOk.org

228: Pedantic or Andrantic

The Amp Hour and Embedded join up to send a holiday letter to listeners.

Chris G is ever improving Contextual Electronics. Chris W has a new band: 12ax7. Elecia still has a book: Making Embedded Systems.

Amp Hour episodes mentioned in this one:

Embedded episodes mentioned:

We talked about teaching which led to:

Books we are reading!

Elecia got a JTrace Pro Cortex-M for herself for Christmas. Chris W got a Moog Werkstatt and an assortment of Teenage Engineering small synths. Chris G mostly got sweaters because Chicago is very cold.

BMW now sends YouTube ads via snail mail

BMW now sends YouTube ads via snail mail

227: Half of Everything Is Wrong

Anthony Navarro (@avnavarro42) of Udacity (@udacity) spoke with us about learning.

We talked about the Dreyfus model of skill acquisition (an education-oriented technical readiness level) and a little about on trunk skills vs. leaf skills.

Elecia took Udacity’s term 1 of Self-Driving Car Nanodegree and is planning to take the free AI for Robotics course next. Anthony is enjoying soldering lessons via Boldport (hear #171: Perfectly Good Being Square and Green).

Anthony noted there is a free Embedded course on Udacity.

226: Camp AVR Vs. Camp Microchip

Jay Carlson (@jaydcarlson), author of The Amazing $1 Microcontroller, joined us to talk about comparing microcontrollers and determining our biases. This was an in-depth comparison of different micro features.

Jay is an electrical engineer specializing in electronics design and embedded programming (contact). His blog is new and interesting.

We talked to SEGGER’s Dirk Akeman about JLink on #218: Neutron Star of Dev Boards.

Please note that our Patreon model has shifted to monthly instead of per-episode.

225: When Toasters Attack

Maria Gorlatova spoke with us about how the combination of devices and cloud computing will change the world as we know it.

Maria’s bio, blog, and LinkedIn page.

Other topics:

Note: we really should have talked about Amazon and FreeRTOS. I heard another podcast might have mentioned it. We’ll try to get more info soon.

 

124: Please Don't Light Yourself On Fire (Repeat)

Windell Oskay (@Oskay) of Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories (@EMSL) told us about co-authoring a book: The Annotated Build-It-Yourself Science Laboratory.

Some great EMSL links:

The book Chris brought up was Thinking Physics.

Windell is also on Google Plus.

Contest to get Windell's signed book has already ended! 

224: Interrupts to Interrupt Interrupts

Andrei Chichak joins Elecia and Christopher to do a deep dive into the world of interrupts.

Andrei writes on our blog: Embedded Wednesdays. He has written specifically about interrupts in multiple ways: general introduction, buttons and debouncing, peripheral data transfer via DMA, and so on). The knock-knock joke comes from Chris Svec’s Embedded.fm blog post on interrupts.

Jack Ganssle on debouncing buttons

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223: Gregorian Chants and Things

Christopher (@stoneymonster) and Elecia (@logicalelegance) chat about listener questions and things they’ve been up to.

A listener turned Chris on to Ray Wilson and his Music From Outer Space website on DIY analog synths and book Make: Analog Synthesizers. After collecting parts for a total DIY, he found and built a neat kit: Kastle Synth (as heard on the show) and has connected it to his Roland SE-02 Analog Synthesizer (on Amazon). BTW, his ham radio WSPR kit is the Ultimate 3 in case you are behind on hobbies. You can hear more about it in 197: Smell the Transistor.

Elecia has been working through Udacity’s Self-Driving Engineer nanodegree. She completed term 1 with its computer vision and machine learning and is on to term 2 with sensor fusion, localization, and control. She blissfully is unaware of the cost because she got to be an industry expert for the Intro to Self-Driving Cars course.

Listener Simon asked about non-fiction books. Elecia gets many of hers by looking at what is on discount at BookBub’s science section which lead to two books she highly recommends Spirals in Time (snail facts) and Tristan Gooley’s How to Read Water (beach explainer).

Chris has been reading Scott Wolley’s The Network: The Battle for the Airwaves and the Birth of the Communications Age and How Music Works by David Byrne.

Some show-related recommendations include Gretchen Bakke’s The Grid (hear Gretchen on episode 213: Electricity Doesn’t Behave Like an Apple) and Jimmy Soni’s Mind at Play (hear Jimmy on episode 221: Hiding in Plain Sight). She’s reading Tim O’Reilly’s WTF book about the future in anticipation of an upcoming episode. That's a good reminder: we, of course, also recommend Making Embedded Systems.

Zach asked about Michael Barr’s Embedded Software Training in a Box. Apologies if we weren’t specific enough, it would likely make a better blog post.

Also: $1 Microcontrollers! Joby Aviation! And Embedded.fm Patreon!

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222: Virtual Bunnie

Jonathan Beri (@beriberikix) spoke with us about his double life: Particle.io product manager by day, maker by night (and weekends).

Jonathan wrote a chapter about piDuino5 Mobile Robot Platform in JavaScript Robotics.

Product manager resources from product.careers and Ken Norton's Newsletter. For an alternate take, there is good cartoon about effective product management from Henrik Kniberg.

For getting into open source lines, see the guide from Github. Also, there is a newi-sh consortium, the TODO group, with guides and resources about running open source projects.

There is also the often useful Google's developer documentation style guide.

NerdRage’s video on the chemistry of etching

The Essential Guide to Electronics in Shenzhen by Bunnie Huang

Speaking of Robot Operating System (we did, briefly), IEEE Spectrum had a nice history of ROS.

221: Hiding in Plain Sight

Author Jimmy Soni (@jimmyasoni) spoke with us about his biography of Claude Shannon,  founder of information theory and digital circuit theory.

A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age by Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman. For an introduction to the book, read their post 10,000 Hours With Claude Shannon: How A Genius Thinks, Works, and Lives.

Rome's Last Citizen: The Life and Legacy of Cato, Mortal Enemy of Caesar by Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman

The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation by Jon Gertner

Mark Levinson’s Particle Fever is a documentary film about the Large Hadron Collider. He is also directing a film about Claude Shannon

Scientific Aspects of Juggling by Claude Shannon

220: Cascading Waterfall of Lights

Ben Hencke (@im889) spoke with us about OHWS, Tindie, and blinking lights.

Ben sells his Pixelblaze WiFi LED controller on his ElectroMage store on Tindie. It is based on the ESP8266 and uses the DotStar (APA102) lights.

To hear John Leeman’s trip report on the Open Hardware Summit (OHWS), listen to Don’t Panic Geocast, Episode 140 – “Juicero of Tractors”

Ben’s websites are bhencke.com and electromage.com. Go there if you want to see some of Ben’s projects, including Synthia. You can also find Ben on Hackaday, Github, and YouTube.

We talked with Charles Lohr about ESP8266 WiFi controlled lights and ColorChord on Embedded.fm episode 102: The Deadly Fluffy Bunny (With WiFi).

Laser cut mandalas

OSHPark

Small Batch Assembly

More about the 4-bit Radio Shack computer (and an Arduino-based emulator for it!)

Santa Cruz Idea Fab Lab

Talia's nightlight

Talia's nightlight

62: Costs a Penny to Go to the Bathroom (Repeat)

Josh Bleecher Snyder (@offbymany) joined us to talk about PayPal's Beacon, being acquired, the Go programming language, BTLE, computer vision, and working at a large company after founding small ones.

Bluetooth Low Energy: A Developer's Handbook by Robin Heydon

TI CC2540 BTLE module

Learning OpenCV: Computer Vision by Gary Bradski and Adrian Kaehler

Gatt is a Go package for building Bluetooth Low Energy peripherals (video description by Josh from GopherCon 2014)

Card.io

Machine learning's Theano

Eigen Library for matrix math

219: Not Obviously Negligent

Kelly Shortridge (@swagitda_) spoke with us about the intersection of security and behavioral economics. Kelly’s writing and talks are linked from her personal site swagitda.com. Kelly is currently a Product Manager at SecurityScorecard.

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

What Works by Iris Bohnet

Risky Business, a podcast about security

Teen Vogue’s How to Keep Your Internet Browser History Private

Surveillance Self-Defense from EFF, including security for journalists as mentioned in the show

Bloomberg’s Matt Levine

Twitter suggestion @SwiftOnSecurity@thegrugq, and @sawgitda_.

218: Neutron Star of Dev Boards

Dirk Akeman of SEGGER (@SEGGERMicro) joined us to talk about debugger specifics.

We recently did two other shows on debugging: a general intro with Alvaro Prieto and one with a focus on the development-system’s debugger software interface with Pierre-Marie de Rodat.

Herd immunity and find a flu shot

And, yes, we did bleep Dirk's answer for favorite processor because he later reconsidered the idea that he only had one favorite.

217: 10000 Pounds of Pressure

Bob Skala of Interactive Instruments spoke with us about very large servo motors, wind tunnels, and staying current in tech. 

Hydraulic Press YouTube channel (and our favorite video)

The Wright Brothers by David McCullough

Other good tech podcasts included The Amp Hour and HamRadio 360 WorkBench

Chris talked about getting into WSPR in 197: Smell the Transistor but we first talked about it in 76: Entropy is For Wimps. The new WSPR mode he mentioned is called FT8 (google it).

And a note from Bob:

Below is a link to a type of servo system that tries to simplify the interface to be more like a stepper.  It integrates the driver and motor into a single package so you can treat it like a stepper with digital step and direction or serial commands.  You get the smoothness, speed, accuracy and low power (when idle) of a servo but the servo motor, driver, and cabling are integrated into one magic box.  You add a DC supply and simple control signals and you are all set.  They came out with this to replace stepper motors.  I haven’t used one yet but I hope to at some point.

https://www.teknic.com/products/clearpath-brushless-dc-servo-motors/

 

216: Bavarian Folk Metal

Carmen Parisi (@FakeEEQuips) joined us to talk about electronics and podcasts.

Carmen works on switching regulators. If you want to know more, he sent along some very basic application notes: How to Apply DC-DC Step Down Regulators (Analog Devices) and Switching Regulator Fundamentals (TI). The digital communication method with these switchers is the I2C-like PMBus. If all those make sense, dive a little deeper with chapter 9 of the online and free Linear Circuit Design Handbook. Carmen says the whole book is excellent for analog information. Also, the free chapter of the Art of Electronics is on power. If all that still makes sense, you may be Carmen if you can also write an app note like this one: Multiphase Buck Design From Start to Finish (Part 1).

Carmen is a host on The Engineering Commons (@TEC_Podcast). Some episodes you might enjoy are 93: Capacitors with James Lewis of KEMET (aka BaldEngineer) and 77: Remote Host Toast with Elecia White.

Some suggested books from Carmen:

Elecia mentioned How to Diagnose and Fix Everything Electronic by Michael Jay Geier and promised a PID image from her book Making Embedded Systems

215: Heisenbugs

Alvaro Prieto (@alvaroprieto) joined us to talk about the basics of debugging, from software to hardware.

Some of the programmer devices we talked about: SEGGER JLink and Black Magic Probe.

Chris mentioned a visual frontend for gdb called "Vulcan" but which is actually called Voltron. (He's got graphics on the brain).

How did we forget to mention the six stages of debugging?

Alvaro Prieto and Jen Costillo's new podcast on reverse engineering! And on Twitter as @unnamed_show.

Alvaro's Cheese Cave: making cheese and cheese-lapse photography of Brie aging.

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214: Tiny Sensor Problems

Kristen Dorsey explained MEMS sensors: how do they work, how they are made, and what new ones we expect to see in the future.

Kristen’s website is kristendorsey.com. She is a professor of engineering at Smith College and runs the MicroSmithie.

MEMS stands for microelectromechanical systems (Wiki). Used in some sensors, Galistan is a room-temp liquid with interesting properties (Wiki).

A few interesting MEMS applications:

One of Kristen's stretchy strain sensor, not MEMS (so you can see it)

One of Kristen's stretchy strain sensor, not MEMS (so you can see it)

212: You Are in Seaworld

Kwabena Agyeman joined us to talk about making OpenMV (@OpenMVCam), an easy-to-use camera and control module with built-in machine vision functions, all interfaced via MicroPython.

To learn more about computer vision, Kwabena suggested looking at PyImageSearch or reading the April tags code as it is a good introduction to image manipulation and matrix operations.

Some other interesting links: