Formula One Engine Noise

A open letter to Jean Todt, president of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA),

Dear Jean,

I have some experience in the world of sound, both as a musician and a record producer. I also have some experience attending Formula 1 races. Regarding the recent criticism of the new rules and lack of loudness of the F1 cars, I applaud the reduction in engine noise levels for this season, and I think Luca Di Montezemolo's analysis that it is the "music of the engine, not the noise" that needs to be addressed is spot on. But louder is not better.

Heartbleed on Tumblr

The surreal world that is the United States Intelligence Community has recently released a statement over the Heartbleed vulnerability as a rebuttal to an article from Bloomberg. The government's statement is as follows:

Reports that NSA or any other part of the government were aware of the so-called Heartbleed vulnerability before April 2014 are wrong. The Federal government was not aware of the recently identified vulnerability in OpenSSL until it was made public in a private sector cybersecurity report.

There are a number of issues I'd like to point out from this (aka the bleedin' obvious)...

How I've been waiting 20-years for the Coupons.com IPO

Tomorrow, March 7th 2014, is the scheduled IPO for Coupons.com, Inc. For those interested (or not), here's my 10 cents on why the SEC filing is a little on the conservative side (they always are). It says Coupons.com, Inc. has never been profitable since they began in 1998. While that's true, it isn't completely true. In another lifetime, Coupons.com was once profitable, under the brand name CouponNet, and I have every confidence that Coupons.com, Inc. will be profitable too.

20 years-ago, I registered a couple of domain names - Coupon.com and Coupons.com. In fact, I had to fight hard to register Coupons.com because, back in 1994, Network Solutions were only registering one domain name per applicant. After carefully explaining that coupons.com was the plural of coupon.com, and that Network Solutions would find themselves with an intellectual property dispute if they registered it to someone else, they reluctantly registered the domain name to me. In December of 1994, I put the first downloadable coupon on the web, which was for a British pub in the Los Angeles area (not exactly a surprise for those of you who know me).

It's time to break up the NSA

Bruce Schneier says that the NSA is too big and powerful and that it's time to break up the agency:

Broadly speaking, three types of NSA surveillance programs were exposed by the documents released by Edward Snowden. And while the media tends to lump them together, understanding their differences is critical to understanding how to divide up the NSA's missions.

http://edition.cnn.com/2014/02/20/opinion/schneier-nsa-too-big/index.ht…

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American Bar Association Wakes Up

In an earlier blog post, I covered the effect of the NSA on the attorney/client relationship. Now the American Bar Association has woken up and is taking the matter seriously. Apparently, it took the revelations that the NSA was spying on an American law firm in order for the ABA to put on their super hero cape and type up a letter.

Airlines & Guitars

Yes. You can fly with your guitar as carry-on. And it's the law. In 2012, President Obama signed into law the ‘‘FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012,’’ which, along with provisions for enhancing runway safety and easing restrictions on transporting lithium batteries, contains the following text:

SEC. 403. MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS.
(a) IN GENERAL—Subchapter I of chapter 417 is amended by adding at the end the following:

‘‘§ 41724. Musical instruments
‘‘(a) IN GENERAL—
‘‘(1) SMALL INSTRUMENTS AS CARRY-ON BAGGAGE.—An air carrier providing air transportation shall permit a passenger to carry a violin, guitar, or other musical instrument in the aircraft cabin, without charging the passenger a fee in addition to any standard fee that carrier may require for comparable carry-on baggage, if—

‘‘(A) the instrument can be stowed safely in a suitable baggage compartment in the aircraft cabin or under a passenger seat, in accordance with the requirements for carriage of carry-on baggage or cargo established by the Administrator; and

‘‘(B) there is space for such stowage at the time the passenger boards the aircraft.

Chaos Computer Club files criminal complaint against German Government

On Monday, the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) and the International League for Human Rights (ILMR), have filed a criminal complaint with the Federal Prosecutor General's office. The complaint is directed against the German federal government, the presidents of the German secret services, namely Bundesnachrichtendienst, Militärischer Abschirmdienst, Bundesamt für Verfassungschutz, and others.

Wattkins Universal PCB

Wattkins.com Universal PCB

The Wattkins Universal PCB is one of the basic building blocks for building a guitar amplifier with up to four vacuum tubes. It supports most amp designs (it started out life as a Fender 5E3 Tweed Deluxe), including support for Paraphase, Cathodyne and Long Tail Pair phase inverter as well as Cathode or Fixed Bias. As well as the more common 12AX7 & EF86 pre-amp tubes, it also supports Russian pre-amp tubes such as 6N2P & 6J32P with the heaters on pins 4 & 5. Output tubes supported include 6V6, 6L6 and 5881.

Your Fridge is Full of SPAM...

How the "Internet of Things" is going to make your life simpler, easier, and more worry-free. I jest, of course... your home appliances will need cyber-security...

Over the December holidays, one of our researchers discovered proof of a much-theorized but we believe never before seen in the wild security breach.