Ransom Stephens

's profile
image
Writer

Ransom Stephens is a technologist (ransomsnotes.com), science writer (ransomstephens.com), novelist (novels.ransomstephens.com), and Raiders fan.


Ransom Stephens

's contributions
  • 11.17.2016
  • ESC Silicon Valley: Be creative by goofing off
  • Absolutely, the benefits of experience and expertise are unassailable! But that's obvious, we know that. In writing _The Left Brain Speaks The Right Brain Laughs_ I was kinda shocked to discover that expertise can have a down side that I'd never thought of. When we're at the edge of our expertise, not in the heart of it, when we're innovating, working on things that we've never done (and for most of you that means things that no one has ever done) we can cultivate better solution by dialing back our own opinions, our own arrogance--not that anyone would think that engineers have a greater tendency toward arrogance than any other species, of course ;)
  • 05.27.2016
  • Don’t confuse PAM4 SER and BER
  • You should be troubled. The specifications--at least the last ones that I saw--restrict the allowed timing nonlinearity so that a common time-delay reference *can* work. But the specs do not require that you, the designer, use a common time-delay reference. I suspect that the first generation of PAM4 equipment will use common timing. but will move to three independent slicers on lines that operate at 100+Gb/s. I've heard a lot about using an ADC instead of a slicer and that opens design options, too but at the cost of power, heating, geography---the usual suspects.
  • 04.01.2016
  • You can't think out of a box built of TLAs
  • Didn't mean to push your buttons, Bob, but if you don't know the acronym you're not thinking in useful directions. I'll write some more on the neuroscience of innovation, but the key is to open up understanding and TLAs shut it down. Say Al Einstein comes into your lab. He can't help you solve your problems if he doesn't know what they are and if you speak in jargon, he won't. So do you prefer that people sit quietly and pretend they know what you're talking about? Or would you rather they ask? I think you'd rather they ask. ( I also prefer bull twanky to pucky :)
  • 10.24.2014
  • Simulated Education: STEM must change!
  • Of course they're both problem solving, the simulation technique can be applied to any reasonably understood system, ANY! But plug and chug only works for a tiny fraction of the problems scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians encounter.
  • 10.24.2014
  • Simulated Education: STEM must change!
  • I could convince Bob I'm right in a heartbeat. If the results are false then, indeed something's wrong with the model and the student has the honor and receives the education of fixing it. I agree that play time is important, but 10 weeks off? Come on.
  • 09.15.2014
  • 10 Things I saw at IDF2014
  • My first IDF in 2004 had all the negative components of a trade show with none of the buzz. Instead of showcasing new technologies from the EE physical layer all the way to the gee whiz gadgets, it was more like a plugfest centered on what vendors could do with Intel products and none of the vendors expected to generate sales leads, so they weren't very enthusiastic. While parts of IDF14 were kind of silly in their attempts to mimic an Apple product release, they also had some fun with the Makers and Arduino apps along with a nice spectrum of tech from active optical cables to 100 GbE to cutting edge dozen+ core server blades (which didn't make my top 10 because I couldn't get a good photo). Plus, the swag. At IDF04 I think they gave out pens, this year I got a killer one-arm backpack. And the food. Oysters in 2014, I don't think they even had donuts back in 2004.
  • 08.06.2013
  • The science and technology of Sensory Deception
  • Thought I'd mention... The Sensory Deception is a "Big Deal" on Kindle, which means it's cheap: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009R2WK82/ref=s9_hps_bw_g351_i17/192-9093052-3358250?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=merchandised-search-10&pf_rd_r=0K2FP9PZSNKWB825ZJ24&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1876970902&pf_rd_i=6180870011