86: Madeupical Word

Erin McKean (@emckean) is a lexicographer, programmer, and start-up founder.  We spoke to her about Wordnik (the online uber dictionary), Reverb (smarter recommendations), and her many books.



Erin has written many books, some about words, one about dresses (The Hundred Dresses), and one fiction novel about The Secret Lives of Dresses. She has also given two TED talks.

Watson on Jeopardy

Brian Garner talks about skunked words in his book  Modern American Usage

Five Intriguing Things via Tiny Letter

Elecia's Wordy project if fully documented over on Hackaday

Reaction Housing is hiring!

85: Stalked by Hoopers and Engineers

Scott Miller built a hula hoop with Bluetooth, an inertial measurement unit, a 32-bit processor, an 8-bit processor, and a slew of individually addressable LEDs. It makes wild patterns when you move.

Scott's "normal" company, with all of its ham radio equipment, is Argent Data Systems. The hula hoops are Hyperion Hoops

You can buy a hoop. They are also on Facebook or you can watch the mesmerizing lightshow on YouTube (also here and here). 

Yes, the hula hoop does speak DMX512, doesn't everybody?

Reaction Housing is hiring!

84: You Can't Make Money Taking Tests

The founders of Bluestamp Engineering spoke with us about running a hands-on summer engineering program for high school students (while keeping their day jobs).

Bluestamp website, Twitter (@BlueStampEng), YouTube channel full of student projects and Facebook page

Dave Young (@daveyoungEE) is also the principal engineer at Young Circuit Design.

Robin Mansukhani is also CEO of AlzecaRobin also gave a TED talk about learning by doing.

83: The First Time I Was Electrocuted

Raman Pi creator Mark Johnson (@flatCat_) spoke with us about spectrometers, 3D printing, and competing in the Hackaday Prize. 

Raman Pi project on Hackaday.io

Hackaday prize semi-finalist video

Mike Szczys' Fl@c@ bio on Hackaday.com

Open Source Fusor Research Consortium

Wikipedia: spectrometerRaman spectroscopy, fusors, and optical coherence tomography

Weird Stuff is a Bay area electronics surplus store

Raman Pi also has its own website

82: I Was a Chewbacca Person

Jen, Chris, and Elecia talk about the movies that influenced them to go into engineering.

Real Genius (imdb, Amazon)

Star Wars (imdb, Amazon)

Choose Your Own Adventure books (Amazon, wiki)

Wargames (imdb, Amazon)

Ghostbusters (imdb, Amazon)

Star Trek: The Next Generation (imdb, Amazon)

321 Contact, show and magazine (imdb (tv))

The Muppets Show (imdb, Amazon)

Sneakers (imdb, Amazon)

Phineas and Ferb (imdb, Amazon)

Sisterhood of Spies (Amazon)

Crytonomicon (Amazon)

81: Two of Those People Can’t Be Ducks

Chris and Elecia babble up a show about gifts, conferences, and makers.

Embedded Systems Conference is put on by UBM. The conference is in Boston May 6-7, 2015, Santa Clara July 20-22, and Minneapolis November 4-5. The Santa Clara proposal deadline is January 9th.

O'Reilly's Solid Conference is June 22-25 in San Francisco. Proposals are due January 12th.

Fitbit Surge (Amazon)

Kerbal Space Program and some controllers and telemetry boards from other people

CrossyRoad is on iOS and Android (This is bad, do not start. Also unihorse is the best!)

Elecia's Wordy project on Hackaday

Magnetoception in humans is controversial (wiki) but the magnetometer/motor anklet is neat.

80: Most of Us Are Human Beings

Bill Winterberg (@BillWinterberg) chatted with Elecia about leaving embedded engineering to become a financial planner then to being a technology adviser to other financial planners. 

Bill's company is FPPad. You can subscribe to his newsletter and watch Bits and Bytes, his video blog (or read it).

Bill and Elecia met at LeapFrog. Bill was instrumental in making the original LeapPad Learning System.

When Elecia mentioned Domini Social Investments, Bill mentioned Vanguard Total Stock Market.

Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance In Your Twenties and Thirties

Financial adviser networks:

Robo-advisor (automated investment management)

Bill says: "It shouldn't be this hard for smart engineers."

78: Happy Cows

Chris Svec (@christophersvec) has an idea about adding empathy to software development. It is a good idea.

His blog is Said Svec. He works for iRobot and they are hiring. (Chris' email is given toward the end of the show but if you hit the contact link here, we'll pass along info to him.) 

Obligatory cat video

Embedded has an episode devoted to impostor syndrome

O'Reilly's Head First book series is pretty awesome.

Elecia is still talking about Thinking, Fast and Slow as a great way to understand brains. Chris Svec also recommends Make It Stick.

The Richard Hamming quote came from his address to the Naval Postgraduate School. The whole lecture is available on YouTube.

75: End up in a Puppy Fight

Glenn Scott and Nacho Solis spoke with Elecia about content-centric networking, being research scientists, and working at PARC.

[Note: Elecia was the recording engineer and her inexperience showed by not hitting that other little button on the software. Nacho's mic ended up bad but Chris mostly fixed it... the sound gets better after the first five minutes.]

Twitter: Nacho (@isolis), CCN (@projectccnx), and PARC (@PARCInc

CCNX website (includes contact link)

CCN enabled Riot OS

73: That's a Waste of Bits

Christopher and Elecia look through listener email, check in on what past guests are up to, and consider the best and worst of science in recent fiction. 

Hackaday Prize Finalists (and the 50 Semiinalists)

Saleae Logic Pro 16 (related: Drive the Boat with a Wii Mote)

Darma Kickstarter (related: Resonant Frequency of My Butt)

Peep sign up to be notified of their Kickstarter (related: Vision for Simple Minds)

EMSL Halloween round up and open house on Nov 13 (related: Mwahahaha Session)

Silicon Chef Hackathon results (related: Dancing with Hundreds of Women)

Pan-CJK fonts (related: The Tofu Problem)

The Martian (Amazon) (There is a tiny spoiler, one Elecia doesn't think merits the warning but Christopher says to skip 55:00 to 01:02:55 if you want to read the book cold.)

Don's I Snooze Remote

71: Dirty Your Mindscape

Intellectual property attorney Judith Szepesi (@Judith_IP) discusses what Elecia (and startups) need to know about patenting.

Judith is a founding partner at HIPLegal, LLP. They will soon have a guide to addressing patent trolls (link to be added when available).

Ask Patents - a Stack Exchange site to discuss patents (and patent trolls) 

Judith and Elecia both recommend the Patent It Yourself book from NOLO Press (always get the latest of this). Even if you seek legal counsel, you'll have a better idea of what should happen through the process. [Note: we got to talking after the show and Judith reminded me that if you do research for other people's patents, you should track that because you have an obligation to tell the patent office about whatever you are aware of that is relevant. -El]

69: Look at This Entire Aisle of Standoffs

Mike Szczys (@Szczys) discusses @Hackaday, the SPACE! prize, being a professional musician, and visiting Silicon Valley.

Hackaday.com blog including Mike's post about Why Open Design is the way forward 

Hackaday.io project site

Hackaday Prize

Supply Frame FindChips and (upcoming) Parts.io

In response to a listener question, Elecia wrote a blog post about things to do in Silicon Valley. When Mike visited for the first time, he caught many highlights: he went to HSC/Halted, enjoying how organized it is, woke up early for the De Anza electronics flea market, and had a ball at the Computer History Museum

Mike's Science Friday segment

68: Dancing with Hundreds of Women

Angie Chang (@thisgirlangie) joined us to talk about the coding bootcamp Hackbright Academy, their upcoming hardware hackathon, Girl Geek Dinners, and the extreme awkwardness of networking.

Sign up to be a hackathon mentor (not gender limited) or to be on the waitlist to attend (women only). Get your team together on Hackathon IO.

Sign up to be a Hackbright Academy mentor.

Oh look! Elecia signed up to speak on Sunday!

Grace Hopper Conference

The article on Peter Thiel and women founders by Kate Losse that Chris referenced toward the end of the show.

67: Software for Things that Can Kill People

In front of a live audience, Chris and Elecia talk about their experiences with FAA and FDA.

This show was recorded live in front of the Silicon Valley Automotive Open Source meetup group at Hacker Dojo

The Wikipedia article on DO-178B is a good place to get an overview of the FAA process (even for other levels of concern).

For FDA, their guidance is the best place to start. Also see their 510k information. Finally, note that all class III (3, very high risk) require the more difficult Premarket Approval (PMA) process.

Everything we know about car safety certification, we learned by reading Wikipedia's ISO-26262, including Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL).

Jack Ganssle's Embedded.fm episode was Being a Grownup Engineer.

Photo by Alison Chaiken

Photo by Alison Chaiken