jm + quality   8

LiV Pi
Air quality sensor board for Raspberry Pis, with a good quality self-calibrating NDIR CO2 sensor
co2  air  quality  monitoring  metrics  health  home  raspberry-pi  hardware  to-get 
25 days ago by jm
Where your "full Irish" really comes from
This is really disappointing; many meats labelled as "Irish" are anything but. The only trustworthy mark is the Bord Bia "Origin Ireland" stamp -- I'll be avoiding any products without this in future.
Under European labelling law, country of origin is mandatory for beef, fish, olive oil, honey and fresh fruit and vegetables. Next month the EU will make it law to specify country of origin for the meat of pigs, chicken, sheep and goats, with a lead-in time of anywhere up to three years for food companies to comply.
The pork rule, however, will only apply to fresh pork and not to processed meat, so consumers still won’t get a country-of-origin label on rashers, sausages or ham. In the meantime, the Bord Bia Origin-Ireland stamp is a guarantee that your Irish breakfast ingredients are indeed Irish.
bord-bia  labelling  eu  country-of-origin  meat  pork  food  quality 
november 2013 by jm
Herbal supplements are often 'rice and weeds'
DNA tests show that many pills labeled as healing herbs are little more than powdered rice and weeds. [...] Among their findings were bottles of echinacea supplements, used by millions of Americans to prevent and treat colds, that contained ground up bitter weed, Parthenium hysterophorus, an invasive plant found in India and Australia that has been linked to rashes, nausea and flatulence.
herbal-remedies  scams  quality  medicine  dna  testing  fillers  allergies  st-johns-wort  echinacea 
november 2013 by jm
Toyota's killer firmware: Bad design and its consequences
This is exactly what you do NOT want to read about embedded systems controlling acceleration in your car:

The Camry electronic throttle control system code was found to have 11,000 global variables. Barr described the code as “spaghetti.” Using the Cyclomatic Complexity metric, 67 functions were rated untestable (meaning they scored more than 50). The throttle angle function scored more than 100 (unmaintainable).
Toyota loosely followed the widely adopted MISRA-C coding rules but Barr’s group found 80,000 rule violations. Toyota's own internal standards make use of only 11 MISRA-C rules, and five of those were violated in the actual code. MISRA-C:1998, in effect when the code was originally written, has 93 required and 34 advisory rules. Toyota nailed six of them. Barr also discovered inadequate and untracked peer code reviews and the absence of any bug-tracking system at Toyota.


On top of this, there was no error-correcting RAM in use; stack-killing recursive code; a quoted 94% stack usage; risks of unintentional RTOS task shutdown; buffer overflows; unsafe casting; race conditions; unchecked error code return values; and a trivial watchdog timer check. Crappy, unsafe coding.
firmware  horror  embedded-systems  toyota  camry  safety  acceleration  misra-c  coding  code-verification  spaghetti-code  cyclomatic-complexity  realtime  rtos  c  code-reviews  bug-tracking  quality 
october 2013 by jm
Rusty's API Design Manifesto
This classic came up in discussions yesterday...

In the Linux Kernel community Rusty Russell came up with a API rating scheme to help us determine if our API is sensible, or not.  It's a rating from -10 to 10, where 10 is perfect is -10 is hell. Unfortunately there are too many examples at the wrong end of the scale.
rusty-russell  quality  coding  kernel  linux  apis  design  code-reviews  code 
may 2013 by jm
You probably shouldn’t use a spreadsheet for important work
Daniel Lemire comments on the recent cases of bugs in spreadsheets causing major impact:
There are several critical problems with a tool like Excel that need to be widely known:

* Spreadsheets do not support testing. For anything that matters, you should validate and test your code automatically and systematically;

* Spreadsheets make code reviews impractical. To visually inspect the code, you need to click and each and every cell. In practice, this means that you cannot reasonably ask someone to read over your formulas to make sure that there is no mistake;

* Spreadsheets encourage redundancies. Spreadsheets encourage copy-and-paste. Though copying and pasting is sometimes the right tool, it also creates redundancies. These redundancies make it very difficult to update a spreadsheet: are you absolutely sure that you have changed the formula throughout?


Agreed on all three, particularly on the impossibility of testing. IMO, everyone who may be in a job where automation via spreadsheet is likely, needs training in SDE fundamentals: unit testing, the important of open source and open data for reproducibility, version control, and code review. We are all computer scientists now.
spreadsheets  excel  coding  errors  bugs  testability  unit-testing  testing  quality  sde  sde-fundamentals  dry 
april 2013 by jm
Ubuntu's cron package silently ignores files
Ubuntu have hack-patched Vixie Cron to silently ignore cron files which contain a ".". omgwtf
omgwtfbbq  broken  ubuntu  patching  quality  bugs  software  stupid  packaging  from delicious
september 2010 by jm
SEO Is Mostly Quack Science
'There is no hypothesis being tested here. It's just graphs, and misleading graphs at that. The sad part is, SEOMoz is as close as the SEO industry comes to real science. They may be presenting specious results in hopes of looking like they know what they're talking about, but at least they are collecting some sort of data. Everything else in the field is either anecdotal hocus-pocus or a decree from Matt Cutts. When you hire an SEO consultant, what you are really paying for is domain experience in the not-failing-at-web-design field.'
seo  ted-dziuba  rants  science  seomoz  quality  correlation  statistics  google  from delicious
june 2010 by jm

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