Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Trinity Test - 70 Years Ago on July 16th

I meant to get this post out 10 days ago because it still stands as the greatest scientific achievement of all time - The Trinity Test of the Manhattan Project.

Below is from

"Statues of two men, the founding fathers of Los Alamos, stand in the center of town outside the historic lodge where the scientists used to gather. One depicts J. Robert Oppenheimer, the brilliant physicist tapped to lead the laboratory. The other shows Brig. Gen. Leslie Groves, the Army’s commander for the Manhattan Project.

In 1942, they wanted to find a remote location for a secret laboratory. Oppenheimer loved the New Mexico desert and led Groves to Los Alamos, the site of a boys’ ranch. Los Alamos sits at an elevation of 7,300 feet on a finger mesa extending from mountains that frame an ancient caldera. The site was just 35 miles from Santa Fe but could be reached only by an unpaved, boulder-strewn road that repeatedly threatened to pitch cars and trucks into a chasm below."

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

We Became Memex Inc. Today

BURLINGTON, ON--(Marketwired - July 21, 2015) - Astrix Networks Inc. (TSX VENTURE: OEE), operating under the trade name Memex Automation, announces that it has officially changed its name to Memex Inc.

The name change will be effective for trading purposes on the TSXV commencing at the opening of trading on July 22, 2015. The common shares of the company will continue to trade under the operating symbol "OEE" following the name change. The existing share certificates issued under the former name of Astrix Networks Inc. will continue to represent common shares of the company under the new name, Memex Inc., and there is no need for shareholders to exchange their share certificates. However, if any shareholder wishes to exchange their share certificates for new share certificates issued under the new name Memex Inc., they can do so by contacting the company's transfer agent Computershare Trust Company of Canada.

"Changing Astrix's name to Memex was something that we had wanted to do for a while," says David McPhail, President and CEO of Memex Inc. "Astrix has done business as Memex Automation for years and we are well known for that. We felt that the name 'Memex Automation' no longer fit quite right with the direction our business has been going in so we wanted a fresh start. Sticking with the Memex theme seemed only natural as most of our customers and prospects know and refer to us as Memex."

"Brand awareness is very important. With over 12,000 electronic circuits boards installed in machines in various customer sites, all with the Memex name on it, we know the service people see this and they call Memex," said John Rattray, VP Sales & Marketing. "Our products and names must be consistent."

Memex Inc.'s flagship software product, MERLIN, is an industrial-strength shop floor communications platform that delivers Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) metrics in real-time. MERLIN enables data-driven manufacturers to enhance productivity on any machine, typically 10% to 50%, and increase profit from operations.

About Memex Inc.

Memex Inc. is a leading Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology platform provider that connects to any machine and delivers real-time manufacturing productivity metrics. Industrial strength MERLIN software provides Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) efficiency metrics in real time, from shop floor to top floor. MERLIN connects to any machine, old or new, utilizing MTConnect, other protocols or hardware adapters. The MERLIN magic delivers a 10% to 50% average productivity increase so that any manufacturer can achieve world-class standards of excellence. Based on just a 10% increase in OEE, customers see profit improvements of 20%-plus and payback in less than four months. For more information, please visit:

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation services provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Media Contacts
Memex Inc.
Leanne Rattray
Communications Specialist
Phone: 905-635-1540 ext. 103

David McPhail
Phone: 519-993-1114

Tesla's New "Ludicrous Mode" 0 to 60 in 2.8 Seconds

I read Ashlee Vance's book on Elon Musk, I have visited SpaceX and I test drove a Tesla Model S P85 a few years ago.  I am a big Elon Musk fan.  This new option of "Ludicrous Mode" 0 to 60 in 2.8 seconds is absolutely amazing!

Below is snippet from an article by the Washington Post's Brian Fung:

"You may have heard about Tesla's "insane mode," which accelerates a sedan from 0 to 60 mph in a mindboggling 3.2 seconds. But Tesla is already moving ahead with something even better: A "ludicrous mode" that sends you from 0 to 60 in 2.8 seconds.
Shaving off half a second may not sound like much. But the $10,000 option on the Model S shows off some of the advances in battery technology that Tesla is building into its newer cars. Under ludicrous speed, said Musk, the car will accelerate at 1.1 times the force of gravity.

"It's faster than falling," said Musk."

After I buy my 2016 Corvette Stingray in a couple of weeks, a fully loaded Tesla might have to replace my Nissan Quest :-)

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Important and Interesting Facts on the Vietnam Memorial Wall

My father, two tours of duty in Vietnam sent this to me and I thought it as extremely interesting.

        Vietnam Memorial Wall

Things you may not have known or forgotten
"The Wall " 
A little history most people will never know.
Interesting Veterans Statistics off the Vietnam Memorial Wall
There are 58,267 names now listed on that polished black wall, including those added in 2010.

The names are arranged in the order in which they were taken from us by date and within each
date the names are alphabetized. It is hard to believe it is 36 years since the last casualties.

The first known casualty was Richard B. Fitzgibbon, of North Weymouth , Mass. Listed by the
U.S. Department of Defense as having been killed on June 8, 1956. His name is listed on the Wall with that of his son, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Richard B. Fitzgibbon III, who was killed on Sept. 7, 1965.
There are three sets of fathers and sons on the Wall.
39,996 on the Wall were just 22 or younger.
8,283 were just 19 years old.

The largest age group, 33,103 were 18 years old.  
12 soldiers on the Wall were 17 years old.

5 soldiers on the Wall were 16 years old.

One soldier, PFC Dan Bullock was 15 years old.

997 soldiers were killed on their first day in Vietnam ..

1,448 soldiers were killed on their last day in Vietnam ..

31 sets of brothers are on the Wall.
Thirty one sets of parents lost two of their sons.

54 soldiers attended Thomas Edison High School in Philadelphia . I wonder why so many
from one school?

8 Women are on the Wall. Nursing the wounded.

244 soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War; 153 of them are on the Wall.

Beallsville, Ohio with a population of 475 lost 6 of her sons.

West Virginia had the highest casualty rate per capita in the nation. There are 711 West Virginians
on the Wall.

The Marines of Morenci - They led some of the scrappiest high school football and basketball teams
that the little Arizona copper town of Morenci (pop. 5,058) had ever known and cheered. They
enjoyed roaring beer busts. In quieter moments, they rode horses along the Coronado Trail, stalked
deer in the Apache National Forest. And in the patriotic camaraderie typical of Morenci's mining
families, the nine graduates of Morenci High enlisted as a group in the Marine Corps. Their service
began on Independence Day, 1966. Only 3 returned home.
The Buddies of Midvale - LeRoy Tafoya, Jimmy Martinez, Tom Gonzales were all boyhood friends
and lived on three consecutive streets in Midvale, Utah on Fifth, Sixth and Seventh avenues. They
lived only a few yards apart. They played ball at the adjacent sandlot ball field. And they all went to
Vietnam. In a span of 16 dark days in late 1967, all three would be killed. LeRoy was killed on
Wednesday, Nov. 22, the fourth anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination. Jimmy died less
than 24 hours later on Thanksgiving Day. Tom was shot dead assaulting the enemy on Dec. 7, Pearl
Harbor Remembrance Day.

The most casualty deaths for a single day was on January 31, 1968 ~ 245 deaths.

The most casualty deaths for a single month was May 1968 - 2,415 casualties were incurred.

For most Americans who read this they will only see the numbers that the Vietnam War created.
To those of us who survived the war, and to the families of those who did not, we see the faces,
we feel the pain that these numbers created. We are, until we too pass away, haunted with these
numbers, because they were our friends, fathers, husbands, wives, sons and daughters. There are
no noble wars, just noble warriors.


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Nice Article on Mazak in Control Design for Machine Builders

Michael Bacidore, Chief Editor for Control Design for Machine Builders wrote a very nice article titled:

Mazak improves OEE with MTConnect

 Below are some very interesting snippets from Mr. Bacidore's article:


"Mazak provides MTConnect solutions for standardizing device data on the manufacturing floor to its customers, said Rowland, who’s been with Mazak about 20 years. “We wanted to really know what was going on with our machines," he explained. "Our goal was to improve our OEE using the MTConnect technology. We wanted to see what stopped the machines on the production floor. We evaluated six monitoring software packages and selected Memex Automation. We wanted something simple that could monitor all of the NC signals and a reporting feature that was easy to use for the supervisors and operators, too.”

What kind of data can be monitored out of the Mazak CNC? Programs, CNC status, axis loads, spindle rpm, temperature, overrides. What kind of ROI can be expected? “Anywhere between 3% and 15%, depending on how efficient your operation currently is,” explained Rowland. In September 2013, Mazak implemented a test cell with 12 machines."

The Poor State of Computer Security in our Federal Government

When I was listening to an interview of Katherine Archuleta, director of the federal Office of Personnel Management, and she stumbled in her answer on whether or not the social security numbers were encrypted I was absolutely furious!

How in the hell can our social security numbers NOT be encrypted in 2015 - especially those individuals with clearances?

As CNN reported and I could not agree more with House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, Chairman Chaffetz who said to Archuleta "you failed, you failed utterly and totally," when she would not say why the hacked data was not encrypted.

Here is a nice article by Andrea Peterson on the sorry shape of computer security titled:

It’s not just OPM: Cybersecurity across the federal government is pretty awful