What I’ve been Reading in June

Here are the articles, videos, podcasts, and books which have captured my interest in the past month.


Fringing Electric Field Sensors for Anti-Attack at System-Level Protection

A team at Tianjin University outlines a proposal for using fringing electric field sensors (FEF) as a method to detect PCB tampering. As hinted by the name, a FEF sensor uses the principles of fringe capacitance; the electric field which extends slightly beyond two coplanar capacitor plates. FEF sensors have the advantage in that they can perform non-contact measurements as compared to normal parallel plate capacitors. This article caught my interest as I’m currently working on a project involving soil moisture sensors that will make use of fringe capacitance. The water will be the dielectric which will effect the overall capacitance.


A nice re-cap of hashing and how it works. Some notes I made to myself from that article:

  • Whenever two different inputs return the same output that is called collision. A good hash function tries to minimize that.
  • The avalanche effect refers to how many bits in the output get changed when just a single bit in the input changes. A good hash function will have an average avalanche effect of 50%; a single bit changing in the input would result in at least 50% of the output bits flipping.

Code the Shortest Path First

This was a nice little read for anyone on an engineering team who finds themselves in the constant balance of “do I code the right thing, or the just get the job done?” This article advocates that the primary focus should I always be to get a messy, working version done first. But to stress the importance to your product owner that this is not the version that can ship. I like the suggestion to even do this work underneath an opaque “prototyping” bucket.


Dr. Kyle Gillett: Tools for Hormone Optimization in Males

As the name implies, it is all about optimizing hormones in males. The takeaways from this episode:

  • Maintaining a healthy diet, along with exercise, sunlight exposure, vitamin d, and sleep are the best behavior and supplemental tools for most people.
  • Viewing porn daily creates a negative brain wiring, and can potentially lead to libido issues.
  • Every gym session doesn’t have to be full hard-core.
  • Libido and muscle recovery time, and overall energy levels are some indirect markers used to indicate whether a guy might be having issues with their testosterone level.