Test Information Space

Journal of Tech, Testing and Trends

Posts Tagged ‘computer’


Posted by cadsmith on February 28, 2011

Intel has BIOS implementation test suite. YouEye performs eye-tracking during tests. Aspiritech testers apply Asperger’s. Microsoft uses controlled experiments for business. Landing page tests listed.

Interactive Fabrication does realtime 3D. Hololabs has a 3D augmented reality editor. NMQ has 3D radar mosaic.

Robot subs used for longer term periods. Demolition robot slices concrete. Self-aware robot models body, thoughts and theory of mind. Stochastic robots put themselves together and take others apart. Cheetah-Bot made for pursuit. Robot marathon completed. Segway solowheel is self-balancing. Snakebot reaches heart.

Atomic antennae do quantum transmission on chip. Organic microprocessor announced. Phononic produces advanced thermoelectric devices. Millimeter-scale computer chips are prototyped.

OpenMesh provides internet-less routing. Brain-computer interface does multi-tasking. Swype eases mobile text input. OnSwipe self-publishes for tablets. HelloFax does transmits online. Batteries do self-repair. Solar caps put on landfills.

CapLinked has private investing platform. Seismic Warning Systems alert before earthquakes. Disaster relief model handles chaos. Video monitor automatically detects life jackets.

Book Reviews:

The End of Discovery, Russell Stannard, 2010

This book is about philosophy of science. The argument is that basic science has found things that are fundamentally unknowable. The description of the state-of-the-art is accompanied by questions that show the current limits. The nature of consciousness and free will is brought up initially. Others deal with what things are, their causes, proof, measurement, observations, past occurrences, and how to select between theories. Figures are used to understandably illustrate complex propositions and a few equations. There are thirteen chapters.

The End of the Long Summer, Dianne Dumanoski, 2009

This is a lyrical treatment of many environmental ideas. The basic thesis is that a future based on climate change and global warming cannot be avoided. The ozone hole was a demonstration of industrial civilization’s side-effects and the fact that nature is unpredictable. Humans have learned to dance to the music, however business cannot proceed as usual. Shift is volatile and rapid. The destiny is not set since there are choices. Technofix is a temptation, for example geoengineering, but the proper values include life, resiliency, diversity and survivability in contrast to survivalism. There can be overconnectedness as in hypercoherence. Humanities’ place is on Earth. Conservationists hope that people will be able to still enjoy animals several millennia from now. The best statement may be Carson’s Silent Spring. This is a Massachusetts author. There are nine chapters.

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Pathos Least

Posted by cadsmith on October 31, 2010


The internet adds Everest and loses Tehran as US boosts broadband. WiFi direct protocol groups devices. Cell doubles as remote. Semantic web publishes R2RML and MathML 3. China boasts supercomputer lead. Computers used for emotion meter. Intel has press site. HealthTap individualizes care. Knight funds media contest. Security weaves code and judges cyberwar while Iranian hackers trade botnets. No math word problems, but some tips on stories versus statistics. Google does spreadsheet visualization and random street view. AutoBot links car to web. Traffic lights save gas. Digital museums open to public and print 3D. Nook adds color reader. NASA introduces A-Train and tests flight deck. Robots plug into brain and use beanbag hands.

Book reviews:

User Stories Applied, Mike Cohn, 2004

This approach is from Agile User-Centered Design. Stories can also be added to Scrum. Extreme programming, XP, centers on testing, automated and acceptance. The testing is for usability, performance and stress rather than code coverage. There are various techniques used for developing the stories. They are modular for estimation and testability. A case is shown for a workshop having user role cards and story cards. A story card is a reminder of features to discuss. Each bug report is considered its own story. The planning game customer prioritizes their user story cards for the next iteration after developers have indicated the effort estimations for each. Tests are prepared prior to the code. Stories are grouped. A paper prototype is created and refined before programming begins. The UI is postponed for as long as possible. User goals can be listed from which stories will be derived. Burndown charts are used to track iteration hours. Another measure of momentum is the number of story points over time where each is an estimate for an ideal workday. The term smells is used for problems between participants, e.g. customer won’t do the stories, for which solutions are proposed. There are four parts beside an appendix on extreme programming. Each has a chapter summary, responsibilities of the developer and customer, and questions.

Previous links (of about thirty-four):


The Poetry of Science: Richard Dawkins and Neil deGrasse Tyson – K21st Essential 21st Century Knowledge
YouTube – R.A. Mashelkar: Breakthrough designs for ultra-low-cost products
The Future of Money on Vimeo
Digg – Deadly Memory Card Testing: Overkill Edition [Video]

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Ghost Parking

Posted by cadsmith on October 24, 2010


Time to put those campfire stories to good use. If you’ve ever wondered what it all may lead to, see Cast Shadow.

Book reviews:

Design Informed: Driving Innovation with Evidence-Based Design, Brandt and others, 2010

This book is about architectural research methods which seek evidence to answer specific questions about cause-effect. In a series of a couple of dozen case studies and interviews, it characterizes the six quality attributes of hypothesis, epistemology, metrics, strength of evidence, external validation and transparency. It discusses the 2005 Latrobe hypothesis which has three parts for collaboration between architect and clients, use of both empiricism and induction, and metrics. A process of prototyping and testing is used to make buildings. Software is used for analysis and prediction. Computer models are used to find and demonstrate solutions. Compelling measurements from the realworld support the conclusions. The computer is then used to include these types of measurements in architectural designs. Actual designs are made which use the newer solution approaches. There are seven chapters.

The Artificial Ape: How Technology Changed the Course of Human Evolution, Timothy Taylor, 2010

The author questions how humans became intelligent and whether tools and therefore technology predated humans. He proposes a set of three levels, system 3, flint tool or artificial tech arising after system 1 inanimate natural pebble, and system 2 natural biological mollusk. His style mixes data and personal anecdotes from in the field. He updates the arguments of initially proposed by Darwin regarding trial and error with newer findings and inductive reasoning to demonstrate that technology enabled human biological evolution. The human brain is three to four times larger in size than a primate’s, but smaller than it was 150k years ago. The chart spans ten million years and shows an average increase and several dips. Much of the content has been externalized by technology so the modern head may be more efficient in the social context. This is similar to body mass and coordination which used to be required to get food. Civilizations may succumb to environmental disasters since some tend to worsen due to social practice. Competition between humans was a significant selector and technological advantage allowed symbolic development. Skeuomorphs mimic previous designs using new materials. Anti-science creationism may be an artifact of human models that led to questions of causality for the artists. Infant slings were an initial tool used upon walking upright and which also encouraged brain size. Groups have their own techno-culture and their tools may seem alien to others. This included cooking bowls which led to different diets and centralized preparation like the later fast foods. The first chipped stone tool found preceded homo sapiens by almost 200,000 years. Chimps, who probably were derived from the same ape as humans about seven million years ago, also use these types, as did Tasmanian aborigines isolated from the mainland. Otzi the ice man, from 5000 years ago on the high Alps, had more complex ones like from an early assembly line.

Telling Stories: A Short Path to Writing Better Software Requirements, Ben Rinzler, 2009

The thesis is that there is an analogy between writing requirements and a story. The book is concise and readable and formalizes a requirements method. The instructions show how to illustrate dataflow and UML. There are outlines and a document template. The outline formats differentiate an Agile version from more robust. Scenarios are used to show the success and exception results of each application process. The latter word is used in several contexts such as for the requirements themselves, for the system, and for the software elements. It assumes that the review considers feasibility.

This title is a happy medium as an anecdote, however the full length treatment is full of caveats. A story is a narrative, where the requirements are more of an agreement. There are a lot of differences. The audience of designers, for example, will have an expectation that there is enough detail for them to do specifications. System analysts and testers will seek to itemize features and constraints so that they can be tracked throughout the development and validation processes. Perhaps the story explains the why’s, the requirements the what’s, and the designs do the how’s. It does list usability testing and brings up availability, for example.

In summary, marketing presentations might lean more heavily on the story side, and software on objectives. Other approaches along these lines have included object-oriented parsing of text to objects. Scenarios and scenes are also used in test descriptions, e.g. use cases. Analogies are used in technical documentation. Complementary approaches might also include user actions as problem-solving or decision trees.

Recent links (about thirty-six):


Diminished Reality: Impressive Video Manipulation In Real-Time (Video)
YouTube – O’Reilly Webcast: The Myths of Innovation – Remixed and Remastered
YouTube – Heribert Watzke: The brain in your gut

ai Intellitar

browser First Alpha Of Opera 11 Released, Developers Can Now Build Extensions


Blotting Out Sun May Soon Be Banned : Discovery News
Flower Power: Genetic Modification Could Amply Boost Plants’ Carbon-Capture and Bioenergy Capacity: Scientific American

computer Researchers one step closer to ‘bootless’ computer – Computerworld

digital-libraries Technology Review: Blogs: Mims’s Bits: Why There Can Never Be A Competitor to Google Books


Layer 8: IBM says software helps predict natural disasters | Network World
Building a Giant Lab to Test Disasters – WSJ.com

ebooks eBook price comparisons for iBooks, Kindle and Nook – Leatherbound

holography This Rocking Lead Singer is a 3D Hologram (video) | Singularity Hub

journalism WikiLeaks Founder on the Run, Chased by Turmoil – NYTimes.com

mathematics Dr Dobbs – Linear Equation Breakthrough


Glasses With HUDs Just Became A Little More Affordable | Techi.com
What is Mobile Virtualization and Why is it Important? – ReadWriteCloud
picplz for iPhone & Android – See what’s happening now
Mitek Systems

music Google India Blog: Introducing Google Music Search (India) at Labs

payments Citibank First to Test Revolutionary Credit Card System, Card 2.0

physics Technology Review: Blogs: arXiv blog: Mass Can Be ‘Created’ Inside Graphene, Say Physicists

privacy Every email and website to be stored – Telegraph


BattleBricks: MakerLegoBot: The Lego Mindstorms NXT 3D Lego Printer
Buzzll.com: Singing Humanoids
IEEE Spectrum: Japanese Snake Robot Goes Where Humans Can’t


First All-Digital Science Textbook Will Be Free | Wired Science | Wired.com
publicscience.ca – Science that Protects You
E. O. Wilson, Harrison Ford Ask You to Give a Damn About Biodiversity

security Coder for CIA: Drone Targeting Software “Far From Ready”


NIST Lays Out Spec to Turn Power Grid to Network Grid | ITworld


Record-breaking galaxy found at the edge of the Universe | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine
NASA Ames’ Worden reveals DARPA-funded “Hundred Year Starship” program | KurzweilAI

spacecraft International Docking Standard

telescope Technology Review: Blogs: Mims’s Bits: How To Handle The World’s Largest Digital Images

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Big Project

Posted by cadsmith on September 4, 2010


The border between environment and society is blurring. Natural scarcity may not be reflected in prices because of temporary subsidies, but economics is adjusting to new equations based on population, climate and urbanization. Science is directed to reveal all of the parameters and relationships. Development looks at reuse and hazard reduction. Biotech has a global market base. Computation puts the expanding data into perspective. Technological determinism adds network archaeology. Society learns how to respond constructively to challenging events.

Recent links (about 30):

academic Welcome | MIT150 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology 150th anniversary

biotech The BioBricks Foundation


The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing, Evan Marshall, 2001

Writing the Blockbuster Novel, Albert Zuckerman, 1994

Dynamic Characters, Nancy Kress, 1998

climate Climate Change: A Software Grand Challenge | Serendipity

computer Dr Dobbs – IBM Claims World’s Fastest Microprocessor

disaster World Natural Hazards Website | Natural Disaster Management | Disaster Agency Hawaii – PDC


Technology Review: Robotic Storm Tracker Gets a Big Test with Earl

Weather conditions tie fires in Russia to floods in Pakistan | Environment & Development | Deutsche Welle | 01.09.2010

The Deepening Crisis: Scientific American

Hurricane Earl Weakens to Category 3 Storm – WSJ.com

Environmental Hazards: Assessing Risk and Reducing Disaster, Keith Smith, 2004

YouTube – Johan Rockstrom: Let the environment guide our development

mathematics Impossible Soccer Kick Leads to New Physics Equation | Playbook

mobile Mobile App Helps Emergency Crews Assess Damage During Disasters

network Technology Review: Blogs: arXiv blog: The New Science of Network Archaeology


Subutai Corporation

Moving Tales – Bringing Stories to Life on your iPad


IEEE Spectrum: NASA Ready to Send Humanoid Robot to Space

Technology Review: Blogs: TR Editors’ blog: Robots Take Out the Trash

science ScienceDirect – Home

semantic The Semantic Puzzle | Why SKOS thesauri matter – the next generation of semantic technologies

sports IBM at the US Open – Analyzing Every Volley, Serve and Overhead Smash – ReadWriteCloud

statistics The Big Data Explosion and the Demand for the Statistical Tools to Analyze It – ReadWriteCloud

telepresence IEEE Spectrum: Telepresence: A Manifesto


How Can Los Angeles Adapt to Coming Climate Change?: Scientific American

Augmented Reality Coming to DC Bus Stops Today (Photo)

video New Microscope Enables Real-Time 3-D Movies of Developing Embryos [Slide Show]: Scientific American

Book review:

Biology Is Technology, Robert H. Carlson, 2010

This is a study of the economics of biology. It reviews the trajectory of technology, biotech, genetic engineering and industrial projections. Gene-sequencing already has international sites and a critical mass is evolving for a growth in synthetic parts exchange. Opensource is creating a participative market. Current applications include biobricks, iGEM, biofuels, and instant vaccines among many others. The turning point is that the human has become a product which redefines the producers and consumers themselves and increases the complexity of behaviors. Limits on innovation concerning rights and patents are discussed. There are risks of runaway effects which need to be better understood and monitored where possible. The opening questions about what biology is, and what biological engineering will be, are ongoing. Readers interested in bioinformatics would need additional sources.

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