Go Canada!

Connie Kuhns’s spotlight on revolutionary female musicians who creates Vancouver’s underground music scene was a National Magazine Award finalist.

via Strange Women: Vancouver’s Female Punk Visionaries — Longreads

New SSD format showing promise

MyDigitalSSD shows Boost and claims it as the world’s fastest portable SSD. The drive ships with two Samsung mSATA SSDs in RAID 0 and delivers a fast, flash-based backup destination for any USB-enabled device.

via Meet Boost, MyDigitalSSD’s Fastest Portable SSD From CES 2017 — News Tom’s Hardware

I’m seeing a trend now that started back in June with my last trip to Japan. I visited a number of “camera stores” in Kyoto and Tokyo. I was interested in see what was the state of the art in USB removable flash storage. That’s where I saw the Samsung USB 3.1a high speed interface T3 flash drive. I had for the first time realized that some manufacturers were even making “native” interfaces using Thunderbolt/DisplayPort connectors in order to get past the limits of USB3 interfaces. When I read the packaging (which was impossible because I don’t read/speak Japanese at all) as near as I could tell speeds were touted as ~2X faster than USB3. Which made me begin to think this drive was faster than most people’s internal hard drives (unless they had an SSD already installed). An external drive faster than the typical internal hard drive, puts us into a new era. I say that also because just a month after coming back from Japan this announcement from Samsung:


The UFS card format is brand new and a higher speed competitor to micro SDHC. To date there are a number of technical classifications for speeds of micro SDHC UHS cards used for video capture. Video camera owners are big on expecting flawless data rates and video capture at high rez without any losses. The UHS classification helped buyers compare/contrast guaranteed throughput versus cost and choose accordingly. The new UFS format cards change the interface/transfer speeds enough that you are seeing not only really large capacities (256GB for a start, the size of an internal hdd) and very high speeds. I vaguely remember ~300MB/sec. for the UFS cards. That is as fast as a SATA SSD! Between the Samsung T3 and Samsung UFS memory card format from this Summer 2016, the peripheral memory formats are now faster than the old HDD or SATA HDD drives people are buying today. The add-ons you would buy to help migrate documents/music/photos off of one computer to another is higher performing/maybe even bigger in rare cases than the main storage of your laptop or desktop computer.

I want to know what happens if someone actually designs a computer “around” these new peripheral storage devices? What if your computer didn’t come with a hard drive? What if you used a single storage device over and over again as you move from computer to computer? Better yet what if you did a Windows-to-Go style format on your storage device so that it carried Windows10 on it, along with all your apps and all your storage. All you do is just keep moving up the food chain of desktop/laptop/tablet or whatever. Just keep moving the storage. That’s a bit of a shift and makes you feel, really feel your data, your OS your computer IS the storage and your data is YOURs. It doesn’t belong to whomever has your computer, or who you donated it to, because your computer is the OS, apps, data all on the removable memory storage you choose to buy. This makes me look at computers (and what I would call a computer) differently.

Educational Research in the real world

Paul A. Kirschner & Mirjam Neelen The book “Urban Myths about Learning and Education” by Pedro de Bruyckere, Paul A. Kirschner, and Casper Hulshof ends with a section on why myths in education are so pervasive and stubborn. One of the most remarkable examples was drawn from Farhad Manjoo’s book True enough: Learning to live […]

via Will the educational sciences ever grow up? —

I like the theme here of devaluing all evidence in order to pick/choose the evidence that supports your ideas. It’s absolutely true what we see in the public sphere has been taking place for quite some time in the Academic Sphere (though thankfully not across the board). I read an article about a month ago maybe on this same blog about statistical methods. It all hinged on use of “discipline specific” ways of analyzing data that was for most intents and purposes ALL qualitative. Which begs the question, what effect is being measured?

Apple’s first original documentary ‘808: The Movie’ now available for Apple Music subscribers — From: 9to5Mac

The original documentary ‘808: The Movie’ which covers the history and broad influence of Roland’s TR-808 drum machine is now available for Apple Music subscribers. more…Filed under: Apple

via Apple’s first original documentary ‘808: The Movie’ now available for Apple Music subscribers — 9to5Mac

Excellent News! I had heard this documentary was coming for a while. And I had recently watched a PBS series called “Soundbreaking” which devoted a segment to the Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer. Looks like it’s now finished and ready for viewing.

Microsoft and Qualcomm Collaborate to Bring Windows 10 & x86 Emulation to Snapdragon Processors

Source: Microsoft and Qualcomm Collaborate to Bring Windows 10 & x86 Emulation to Snapdragon Processors

This is a more interesting story than the previous one re: Qualcomm’s server chips running Windows 10. No instead, this article from Anandtech goes into back story, history leading up to today’s announcement. In particular I enjoyed very much the explanation of the migration from Win7->Win10 leading to the “onecore” architecture.

Anyone who has worked with windows os images can plainly see there’s a vast difference in the size of the .wim file from a base level Win7 image to a Win10 image. I’m not joking. My base level smallest Win7 is about 2-2.5 times bigger than the the “install.wim” that comes on a Win10 setup .iso file. And it all has in part to due with the refactoring and re-engineering that went into Win8 to get it to run on ARM cpus (in the form of WindowsRT). Go from Win 8.1, the demise of WindowsRT (with the first gen Surface tablets) and the first, second, third releases of Win10 (now vers. 1607-Anniversary Update Edition) and things have gotten smoother and better I on Intel certainly. I use it in a VM on Oracle VirtualBox, on a 7 year old Dell Laptop, it runs well, smooth, no hitches.

As I was reading this and learning Microsoft had enough flexibility and capability in the onecore architecture of Win10 to allow a port over to ARM with the intent of running x86 (32bit) legacy apps? That I find pretty amazing. I’m very curious to observe which direction things go (Qualcomm’s targeting 2H of 2017 for it’s product launch). We won’t see anything for 6 months at least, but I’ll be keeping an eye out for more announcements.

From Tom’s Hardware:Qualcomm Debuts 10nm FinFET Centriq 2400 Processor With 48 Cores

Qualcomm announced today that it has already begun sampling of its first 10nm 48-core server processor.

Source: Qualcomm Debuts 10nm FinFET Centriq 2400 Processor With 48 Cores

Very interesting announcement from mobile phone cpu designer Qualcomm. They’ve been a licensee of ARM designs for quite some time. I didn’t know they had server CPUs in development. So this by itself was a discovery and revelation. But to find out they are working on a 10nm 48 core chip is quite something indeed. Given it’s architecture, I’m guessing it’s target at Linux based OSes primarily and rack servers particularly. The kind that would fill acres and acres of space at Facebook or Google.com. It will intresting to see any customers for this pop-up now that its available. No doubt sample chips are out in all the data center R&D lab facilities at the again, places like Facebook and Google.com

From Alan Levine: You(Tubers) Dissin’ My Dead Drops?

Drawing conclusions about human nature based upon a small spike in YouTube comments is maybe as questionable as predicting election results based on polls. But hey, this is my data! For a likely in…

Source: You(Tubers) Dissin’ My Dead Drops?

I like Alan’s projects no matter what form they take. And unlike the bozos commenting on his YouTube clips highlighting dead drops, I don’t want him to install a USB Killer. That’s like someone saying, why don’t you install a Claymore Mine that goes off the moment someone attaches their device to the USB. I don’t wish strangers ill will, I don’t take advantage of people’s trust or their generosity. Playing a dirty trick on an unsuspecting fellow human is not entertaining in the least. And I think it’s that lack of xenophobia that always makes me surprised at the kind of snide comments and suggestions people put in YouTube comments.

I documented a home made paint stripper patterned after a project a fellow posted up on the Internet. It wasn’t highlighted in Hackaday or on Gizmodo or any of those sites, I just did a Google search on Infrared Paint Strippers and found the guy’s site. He had hacked the heating element out of a space heater that used quartz tubes, just like your Panasonic toaster oven. He had bought a used one for $50 and deconstructed it. He then made a holder for the tubes out of aluminum bar stock, put a handle on it, wired it all up and put a 20amp fuse on it to keep it from getting dangerously hot. I more or less copied his pattern and posted the videos of me testing it and using it. I had one comment immediately about how unsafe lead fumes are, another about how unsafe this thing was to use because wasn’t UL tested and branded. All these things, and I would respond, and like Alan saw with the comments relating to putting a USB Killer into a Dead Drop, no one would answer in rare instances would take 2 months to ever come back and see I had responded.

The casual anonymity of YouTube comments just makes them kind of worthless for anything other than a sort of drive by graffiti. Those are not words, those are tags, proving by dint of their existence that the person that typed them exists. And that’s about it, the full extent of their commitment or engagement with the thing they commented on.

Will China Grab ARM Servers? | EE Times

China’s data center giants have become the next big hope to give traction to ARM’s server initiative.

Source: Will China Grab ARM Servers? | EE Times

Very interesting article mentioning some shifts in the market for Chinese data center giants. The U.S. heavy weights have tried but did not buy substantial amount of the 32 or 64bit ARM cpus intended to provide a sea of cores running at low power for all their workloads. Small niche applications were found as basic storage node type cpus instead of compute node cpus. This article even makes mention of one company I was following (Calxeda) who were attempting to break into market of ARM-based data center compute nodes.

Now it seems Chinese data center architects and accounting types want to revisit the ARM 64bit cpu and see if it might apply to the new data centers they’re building en masse. It will be interesting to see if they find the killer app for ARMx64. I know that Intel is happy to continue flogging x86 at all price levels and performance classes. And they can make it really hard for an upstart like ARM to enter the market. The biggest barrier as near as I can tell is the different architecture of the CPU and the instruction sets. It is a non-trivial task to redo/recompile/migrate to the new CPU when you have a lot of moving parts that may also be on a continuous development and deployment cycle.

Apple shares new trailer for Apple Music exclusive documentary ‘808’, releasing Dec. 9th — 9to5Mac

Ahead of the Apple Music exclusive stream of the documentary ‘808’ set for Dec. 9, Apple has tweeted a new trailer for the film that focuses on Roland’s iconic TR-808 drum machine. ‘808’ was originally shown at the 2015 SXSW Film Festival and is just shy of 7/10 stars on IMDb as of this writing. Atlantic Records…

via Apple shares new trailer for Apple Music exclusive documentary ‘808’, releasing Dec. 9th  — 9to5Mac

I got to watch a series recently on PBS broadcast TV called Soundbreaking. It was a really interesting survey of pop music since WW2 with more interviews and details from contemporary and current music producers. It was sponsored by George Martin (the music producer par excellence) or I should say his philanthropic organization to celebrate all the hard work people do at the studio, behind the mixing consoles to make the works that get sold and now downloaded afterward. One segment of Soundbreaking focused in on the Roland RS-808 Rhythm Machine and how it was adopted by independent musicians to make sounds nobody had heard before. The company had intended it to be for independent musicians to create rhythm tracks for demos they would record and present to execs at publishing outfits. Just goes to show you how an unintended consequence can be a beautiful thing. I’m really looking forward to this documentary and hope it’s as good as the Soundbreakering series on PBS.

About the Series


This just in,… Formatting a removable USB drive with 2 partitions — Keith’s Consulting Blog

TL;DR – Starting with Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14965, you can format any “Removable” USB Flash Drive with more than one partition. Perfect for installation of large (over 4GB) WIM files on UEFI machines! Hey all, back from a week at the Microsoft MVP summit, a Week in the UK, and a week […]

via Formatting a removable USB drive with 2 partitions — Keith’s Consulting Blog

Back in 2013 I attempted to put a Patriot 64GB USB thumb drive through the paces as a Universal WinPE (BIOS and UEFI 64bit). But Win7 Diskpart couldn’t do it, couldn’t back a primary and a primary part. I read up on some tricks to perform a forced firmware update, trying to “flip bits” on the firmware to get it to look like a fixed disk instead of a removable USB thumb drive. None of the tricks worked. So I gave up on it. In the time that’s passed, I did move from a Patriot to a SanDisk Extreme 64GB and it looks like for all intents and purposes I might be able to get THAT thumb drive partitioned up as a universal WinPE with 2 partitions (one Fat-32 the other NTFS).

To date my workaround was to just do a WinPE 32bit/BIOS only flavor. That allowed me to use an NTFS partition and flat-boot the whole thing in one big 64GB partition on the thumb drive. This worked on the Patriot and the SanDisk equally well. It works on smaller older thumb drives too. One partition does all the heavy lifting, no dual partitions required. But still I knew in time this would need to be migrated forward to get on board with Win10 and UEFI/GPT format computers.

Reading this article just now gives me hope for the production release of the next Diskpart that finally sheds the limits of USB drives and gives them the benefit of the doubt, letting them masquerade as fixed disks with multiple partitions. Now we can get a universal WinPE that boots 64bit UEFI or 64bit BIOS machines and can lay down images on either. Now THAT, is a change I can believe in. And I will now pursue getting onboard the UEFI/GPT bandwagon along with Win10.