Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic

Shouldn't They Just Be "GT"?

Taking a shower this morning, listening to the radio report on the gay pride parade, every other sentence, it seemed, contained at least one if not multiple references to The LGBT Community®. And I thought to myself, are not lesbians gay? And isn't it the gay component of bisexuals the part they are proud to out? So shouldn't we be calling this the GT community?
Just askin'

Woke up at 4 am with a reading of 60. It took 5 scoops of ice cream and almost an hour to recover. Didn't wake up again till 8, wasted too much time online and noticed it was 9:45 and somehow took my meds, packed a snack and got to work 5 minutes before the 10 o'clock meeting. 101 was not as filled with people Driving While Slow as usual. :-)

Today's Facebork reaction to the Hobby Lobby court case is a classic example of what we used to call Chinese Telephone. I guess now it's Asian-American Cell Phone. Or maybe just Innuendo And Out The Other.

I read the 48-page majority decision. In a nutshell it exempts small closely-held companies who have a religious conviction against them, from providing insurance coverage which gives four types of contraceptives FREE (out of the 20 the FDA approves). It does not prohibit anyone from buying them. It doesn't prohibit any entity from giving them away for free.

The four types are all "that may have the effect of preventing an already fertilized egg from developing any further by inhibiting its attachment to the uterus. Religious employers, such as churches, are exempt from this contraceptive mandate."

The whole ruling, including arguments and dissenting opinion is here.

I'm not jazzed by the ruling, but all it does is make people pay for a prescription which they had to pay for before the Affordable Care Act. The way the companies it applies to are defined, chances are that most of the women employed there would be against using these methods for religious reasons themselves.


In other FB news, the Hedy Lamarr Invents Wi-Fi meme is crapping all over some of my FB friends' pages once again. I posted something on my page which makes my disgust with the meme more personal. Because calling Hedy a mathemetician or the inventor of spread spectrum technology is like calling Fred Waring the inventor of the helicopter.

I have worked in the field of Internet video for a long time, and co-workers have asked if I was any relation to *The* Murray Stateman. The first time, I was puzzled by the question because although I knew my dad held 11 patents and at least one was for a basic TV circuit design, none of the work I knew about was in Internet video.

That first engineer said that while doing a search for "prior art" before applying for his video compression patent, he found a 1958 TV circuit patent authored by my dad which the engineer said was referenced in many patents on the subject. He also found a 1984 engineering paper it spawned, co-authored by my father and another guy named Murray. The paper, he said, is considered a seminal work on the subject.

When I asked my dad about it, he shrugged it off as being just some ideas he and a co-worker came up with .

My father had a solid engineering career doing things like predicting the purpose of Soviet satellites from their orbital data and designing guidance systems for missiles. As a Navy fellow during WWII he used the same computer Grace Hopper found the first "bug" in. One of the patents his name is on has the catchy title "Safety device for ballistic missiles".

He didn't see the need to brag about that very early days video patent, or the modern inventions it inspired. But then again, I had to look through his college transcripts to discover that he was once Werner von Braun's TA.

His patent is
2841645 - tv circuit, noise reduction
Filed March 14, 1955
Granted July 1, 1958

Patents citing it as "prior art" include:

US3009016 Nov 14, 1961, Bell Telephone Laboratories Inc
Noise suppressing video circuit

US3155821 Nov 3, 1964, General Electric
Computer method and apparatus

US4107736 Aug 15, 1978, Image Transform, Inc.
Noise reduction system for video signals

US8072539 Dec 6, 2011, Carl J Cooper
Apparatus and method for digital processing of analog television signals

The paper is:
May 31, 1984 - Theoretical Improvement in Signal to Noise Ratio of Television Signals by Equivalent Comb Filter Technique, by Murray J. Stateman and Murray B. Ritterman of Sylvania Electric Products, Inc. (I can't find where it was published, probably in an IEEE journal).

Hedy's patent, US 2292387 A, is referenced by 58 US patents, one Chinese and one Japanese patent. However, only two of those mention spread spectrum, and neither of those have anything to do with wi-fi. The description of the mechanism in the patent of Hedy & George's system will give an idea why it was never adopted:

"Furthermore, we contemplate employing records of the type used for many years in player pianos, and which consist of long rolls of paper having perforations variously positioned in a. plurality of longitudinal rows along the records. In a conventional player piano record there may be 88 rows of perforations, and in our system such a record would permit the use of 88 different carrier frequencies, from one to another of which both the transmitting and receiving station would be changed at intervals."

I seriously doubt your wi-fi signal is controlled with player piano rolls.

Work was boring but it may get more interesting tomorrow because The Guy Who Talks Too Softly To Hear Even When I'm Sitting Next To Him invited me to run a boatload of video quality tests using bleeding edge pre-production board emulators. I used to do this kind of thing many moons ago, but in a much more organized lab with engineering managers who spoke in complete sentences. At Sony, I think.

Lunch was at Togo's because Monday's special is pastrami. And there were two new petite non-banded women there. I had to pretend to watch Germany not doing very well against Algeria to avoid being rude.

Home for a bit, wheeled the garbage bins back to the carport. No deliveries today.

Spent some time with Domino, who has decided the bath tub and the sofa are her new favorite spots. Took one final look at what was supposed to be home made sourdough starter, decided it looked way too much like a bottulism colony, and consigned it to the disposal and the bowl it was in to the dishwasher.

Then to BASFA, which was as sparsely attended as I'd hoped, with the extra attraction of johnnyeponymous presiding. I was on a roll, or two or three, used up my full $1 pre-paid pun tax. And also got some groaners in which were not puns. Came home with a couple of baseball caps (LA tourist and Nike), a glass baking pan exactly the same as the one I broke back in December, and a ceramic casserole which I think wll be the venue for my next attempt at sourdough starter.

Plans for tomorrow:


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