On earthquakes, lakes and sensors

I live in Mexico City, one of the largest cities in the world. As all large cities, it has its ghastly demons. I am willing to argue that the one lying below it makes it unique in the world — We live atop what remains of a lake. Of course, it is not visible at plain sight (I would not surround it in this mystery setting otherwise): Our city is not Amsterdam or Venice, embracing the water, but we seem to hide it as if we were ashamed of it — there is a small surviving fraction of the once great Texcoco lake in the city’s South East, in the touristic Xochimilco borough, plus a wider region in the North East that just refused to go away, but has been historically shunned by everybody.

The lake, however invisible, is far from dry: Although it is mostly mud, it does contain some water pockets that are harvested to help our 22 million people have running water. That, of course, together with an impressive set of aqueducts bringing water from over 400Km away.

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FPGA Setup: Interfacing with an External Circuit

The Introduction

For this post I will walk you through a project with a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA), which was interfaced with a hand constructed clock circuit (an astable multivibrator).

FPGA setup

External circuit to be interfaced with Mojo v3 FPGA development board

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Back from the Debian Conference

New blogger in XRDS!

I should introduce myself before jumping in with my first post here in the XRDS blog. I am a long time Free Software enthusiast and developer, and that might be the single item that has most influenced my professional life. I am 41 years old, and have been a systems and network administrator for over half of my life.

As a consequence of my job, I have always been interested in information security. Particularly I’ve interested in the question “how the end user perceives security?” This fragments into more detailed questions such as: How can I implement services securely without it being a major inconvenience for my users? How can I help my users adopt reasonable practices security-wise? How can we as computing professionals influence our societies so that their expectations on security, privacy and reliability are met?

That prompted me into starting a Masters degree on Information Security at ESIME Culhuacán, Instituto Politécnico Nacional. And, in turn, being a graduate student led me to XRDS. So it’s all connected in the end.

Having said that, lets get this blog started!

DebConf: A community-run free software conference

Group photo for the 2017 Debian Conference, held at Montreal, Canada, August 6-13

Fig. 1: Group photo for the 2017 Debian Conference, held at Montreal, Canada, August 6-13

I have recently arrived back home after attending DebConf17 — The Debian Conference, which was held this year in Montreal, Canada. For many of the regulars to DebConf, this is the high point of the year, the two weeks of high bandwidth communications with our online colleagues we eagerly look forward to, and its nearness is easily felt in the different communication channels the project uses for its day-to-day development.

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Traceroute to the Front Door: Trimming Public Net Hops

Hop_0:

Traceroute is a wonderful computer networking diagnostic tool. This article will attempt a traceroute script written in Python, including a customization that can identify just the routers within your private network (from the host up to and including the public/internet gateway). Continue reading

ElectroEuro: A Virtual Coin that Enables the Exchange of Green Energy, Driving a Cleaner and Decarbonized Europe

Team1

In 2017, General Electric (GE), one of the largest American companies that specializes in oil and gas, healthcare, aviation and software development, and Eurelectric, the union of the electric industry in Europe, partnered to create an Ecomagination Challenge hackathon. Ecomagination refers to “GE’s growth strategy to enhance resource productivity and reduce environmental impact at a global scale through commercial solutions for our customers and through our own operations”. The focus was on building digital solutions to help decarbonize energy and transportation in Europe, and the hackathon was held in Berlin between June 12-13, where over 100 participants from around the world came together to compete on solving the two challenges presented: Electrification and Advanced Manufacturing. Continue reading