Robots and Horseless Carriages

Self-Driving Cars Get Closer to Human Drivers, but in a Good Way

by Jim Turley

“If I get killed here, will my life insurance cough up money?” – A. J. Baime

This is a story about Thanksgiving. Skip ahead if you’ve had enough.

In every science fiction robot movie, there’s always a scene where our hero has to learn to trust the robot. He’s initially skeptical, of course, and probably has been bad-mouthing said robot throughout the first half of the film. But at some critical juncture, usually in a time of peril, our biological protagonist puts his fate in the hands (end effectors?) of his cybernetic sidekick. The robot comes through like a champ and in the process becomes a little more “human.” Roll credits.


The Industrial Internet Reference Architecture

The IIC Tries to Think of Everything

by Bryon Moyer

Deep in the heart of Portland or Austin or Minneapolis or any of dozens of towns across the nation and the world, Makers are busily building components for the Internet of Things (IoT). Long dismissed as hobbyists unworthy of sales attention, many of these skilled designers are where the IoT rubber hits the road.

Way on the other end of abstraction, folks in the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) have been expending much effort trying to lay out an IoT framework that might promote interoperability and numerous other desirable traits. Many of these abstract characteristics may, at some point, be implemented in a concrete fashion by one of those engineers.


Avast! Cyber Pirates!

EDA, Piracy, and the Stormy Seas Ahead

by Amelia Dalton

Their bow shreds the digital waves like a knife. They will take no prisoners. It’s the thrill of the kill they seek and they will stop at nothing until the software is theirs. In this week’s Fish Fry, we are thwarting those dastardly cyber pirates with a mighty sword - a SmartFlow sword. Ted Miracco, CEO of SmartFlow Compliance Solutions, joins Fish Fry and we’re diving into the deep murky waters of cyber security in high tech. (I also ask him what’s it’s like to play football with Alec Baldwin!) Also this week, we check out a new retro DIY gaming system on Kickstarter called Tiny Arcade.


Wind River Sets Rocket RTOS On Free Trajectory

Company Gives Away the Software; Charges for the Cloud

by Jim Turley

It’s a business model as old as time. Give away the product but charge for the service. It works for razors and blades. It works for bands who give away their music but make it up on tour revenues and merch. It works for a lot of software companies, especially in mobile gaming. It even works for drug dealers: The first fix is free, but after that it’ll cost you.

So in a way it’s no surprise that embedded software giant Wind River Systems is giving away one of its real-time operating systems. Indeed, the biggest surprise for most potential customers is that Wind River even had an RTOS to give away. What do you call that thing again?


Marketing Math 201

Up to 5x More Compelling

by Kevin Morris

Hello students, please take a seat. I’d like to welcome you to Marketing Mathematics 201. That’s right, compared with other “intro” classes, we have almost 2X the oomph, giving you an estimated 120% more learning with 3/7ths less homework energy expenditure.

If you’ll please look at your syllabus (which, by the way, is 28% shorter than last year’s, while packing in up to 500% more aggregated knowledge) you’ll see that we will have only four effective exams in the course this term (distributed across five discrete tests), reducing exam stress by an estimated 72 thermal units, while simultaneously increasing the accuracy of accomplishment measurement by a staggering 12 effective resolution bits.

Now, just a note before we begin. If any of you are on the “future FPGA marketing” career path, you’re in the wrong room. You’ll need to attend “Advanced Xtreme Marketing Mathematics 767+” on the top floor of the tower in the administrative building.


Synopsys Hacked

No Apparent Loss, But What Does It Mean?

by Bryon Moyer

Synopsys has joined an illustrious list of high-value names that are members of a growing club: companies that have been hacked.

This week they announced an unauthorized breach in their “EDA, IP and optical products and product license files through its customer-facing license and product delivery system.” They were careful to note that “no customer project or design data in this system was accessed, and there is no indication that this incident affected any other Synopsys systems.” And, critically, “The license and product delivery system does not store personally identifiable information (PII) or payment card information (PCI).” And that they’ve closed the means of access that was used.

I was able to chat with Synopsys’s Dave DeMaria to get a better understanding of what happened. So let’s start by laying out the situation.

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