Ad Hoc Engineering

Virtual Team Designs and Builds Their Own Hyperloop Passenger Pod

by Jim Turley

“Hey, kids, let’s put on a show in my uncle’s barn!” That cliché, which traces its origins to a string of Mickey Rooney movies, pretty well sums up the rLoop team: an ad hoc group of engineers who decided one day that they’d take up the Hyperloop Challenge. Because, hey, 700-MPH trains don’t just build themselves.

Playing the role of Judy Garland is Tom Lambot, the Belgian-born technical lead for the 100-person team. Together, they’re designing – and building – a prototype passenger pod for Elon Musk’s proposed Hyperloop high-speed train system.


Software is Hard

And We’re Still Not Very Good At It

by Kevin Morris

Let me first make one thing perfectly clear: I’m proud to be a software engineer. For the first twenty years plus after I graduated from engineering school, I worked as a software engineer and managed teams of software engineers. We did good work, and I took pride in our accomplishments. I worked with some of the brightest, most innovative, hardest-working engineers I have ever met, and we built some amazing technology.

During the time I was in software, the art of software engineering evolved and matured dramatically. The languages, methods, paradigms and best practices underwent spectacular change. Since then, software engineering has evolved even more. This change is a good thing, because, as an engineering discipline, software engineering - what’s the technical term? Oh, yeah. “Sucks.”


SiTime Mauls Quartz

Elite Platform Targets Higher Precision

by Bryon Moyer

You know, SiTime really seems to have it in for quartz. I talked with them last month about their new Elite family, and, reviewing my notes and their presentation, it’s just slam after slam.

Not that this is inconsistent – SiTime has been working its way up the timing precision path, gradually providing MEMS alternatives to venerable quartz crystals. But, with the Elite family, they’ve entered the realm of super-precise, claiming to conquer all but the uppermost peak of clock offerings (and with an eye to taking that down as well).


IoT Lock and Key

The Recent DDoS Attacks and IoT Security Today

by Amelia Dalton

In this week's episode of Fish Fry, we tackle the issues surrounding the recent DDoS attacks with Barr Group CEO Andrew Girson. We investigate the systemic security issues facing IoT designs today, the security challenges posed by legacy IoT devices, and the steps we need to take to create a more efficient development process for secure embedded systems. Also this week, we chat with Keith Reed (COO - DevicePilot) about the details of DevicePilot's cloud-based IoT management software.


Cyberwarfare and Cyber Whack-a-Mole

Are the Aggressors Going to Win, and Who Wears the White Hat?

by Dick Selwood

Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz, the Prussian general who also was a theoretical thinker, wrote, "War is a mere continuation of politics by other means." What exactly he meant by this is the subject of serious debate. Today, however, we are seeing another "continuation of politics by other means", as cyber attacks are moving from data gathering and financial fraud and theft by criminals to attacks on physical systems, including elements of national infrastructures by nation states or organisations closely linked to nation states – in short, cyberwarfare


Being and Nothingness

ARM’s Cortex-M23 and -M33 Battle Intel’s E3900 for IoT Supremacy

by Jim Turley

The two companies could not be more different, nor their announcements more similar.

On the same day, Intel and ARM both announced new processors for IoT applications. In Barcelona, the California-based chip giant took the wraps off of the new Intel Atom E3900 microprocessor chip, while halfway around the world in Santa Clara, British-based ARM rolled out its new Cortex-M23 and -M33 designs.

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