It was involved in at least six accidents between 1985 and 1987, in which patients were given massive overdoses of radiation. Field-light” mode, which allowed the is there any small, transportable mining hardware able to profit? to be correctly positioned by illuminating the treatment area with visible light. The six documented accidents occurred when the high-current electron beam generated in X-ray mode was delivered directly to patients.
Two software faults were to blame: One, when the operator incorrectly selected X-ray mode before quickly changing to electron mode, allowed the electron beam to be set for X-ray mode without the X-ray target being in place. Previous models had hardware interlocks to prevent such faults, but the Therac-25 had removed them, depending instead on software checks for safety. The high-current electron beam struck the patients with approximately 100 times the intended dose of radiation, and over a narrower area, delivering a potentially lethal dose of beta radiation. The feeling was described by patient Ray Cox as “an intense electric shock”, causing him to scream and run out of the treatment room.
In particular, the software was designed so that it was realistically impossible to test it in a clean automated way. Researchers who investigated the accidents found several contributing causes. AECL did not have the software code independently reviewed. AECL did not consider the design of the software during its assessment of how the machine might produce the desired results and what failure modes existed. These form parts of the general techniques known as reliability modeling and risk management.
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The system noticed that something was wrong and halted the X-ray beam, but merely displayed the word “MALFUNCTION” followed by a number from 1 to 64. AECL personnel, as well as machine operators, initially did not believe complaints. This was likely due to overconfidence. AECL had never tested the Therac-25 with the combination of software and hardware until it was assembled at the hospital. 25 MeV Electron mode, then “Enter”, all within eight seconds. The design did not have any hardware interlocks to prevent the electron-beam from operating in its high-energy mode without the target in place.
The engineer had reused software from older models. Such methods manifest in so called cargo cult programming where there is blind reliance on previously created code that is poorly understood and may or may not be applicable. These models had hardware interlocks that masked their software defects. The equipment control task did not properly synchronize with the operator interface task, so that race conditions occurred if the operator changed the setup too quickly. The software set a flag variable by incrementing it, rather than by setting it to a fixed non-zero value. Occasionally an arithmetic overflow occurred, causing the flag to return to zero and the software to bypass safety checks. The software was written in assembly language that might require more attention for testing and good design.
However the choice of language by itself is not listed as a primary cause in the report. The machine also used its own operating system. Leveson notes that a lesson to be drawn from the incident is to not assume that reused software is safe: “A naive assumption is often made that reusing software or using commercial off-the-shelf software will increase safety because the software will have been exercised extensively. Update of the 1993 IEEE Computer article ed. Developing Medical Device Software to IEC 62304”. MDDI – Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry. Archived from the original on 2007-12-12.
Of late, I have been getting an increasing number of folks asking for my opinion on cryptocurrencies. Polar bears know more about astrophysics than I know about cryptocurrencies. They probably know more about cryptocurrencies, too. As luck would have it, the most recent person to ask about this is my pal Lucas. He reached out a couple of weeks ago and, after I suggested he’d get a more useful response from a polar bear, he began to share a bit about what he had learned and what he was doing. I know Lucas as the website manager who keeps jlcollinsnh. So I asked him to write this guest post.
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I could tell he knew his cryptocurrency stuff. What I didn’t know was, could he write? 1017 USD on the recommendation of our lead developer at the web firm where I worked. At least, that’s what I wish I could tell you about the first time I heard about Bitcoin. The truth is the same as thousands of other techno geeks. I heard about Bitcoin in 2011, thought it was a cool idea that appealed to my libertarian tendencies and then promptly did nothing about it for 6 years.
You may have been hearing about Bitcoin a lot lately. If you haven’t you will soon. 10,000 per Bitcoin for the first time. New Crypto-Millionaires are being minted every day. Before we start, lets be crystal clear on this: This is the riskiest investment you will ever make. Malware on your computer steals your coins. Am I qualified to give this investing advice?
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That said, I have spent several hundred hours studying this space and I’m happy to share what I have learned. I’ll also provide a bunch of links to better resources at the end, all written by people much more knowledgeable than I. Why cryptocurrencies are the future of money and the internet 3. Who should consider speculating on Bitcoin?
Who should not invest in cryptocurrencies? If this money you are considering betting means ANYTHING to you walk away now. If you have any debt, forget about it. Only slightly more so than credit default swaps, leveraged high frequency bot trading, and russian roulette. Will this keep you up at night? Is the IRS ok with this? Is the SEC ok with this?
Warren Buffett said Bitcoin is a pyramid scheme. He might be right, you should listen to him. Just because we are speculating on Cryptocurrency doesn’t mean we are not still jlcollinnhistas at heart. Those 3 companies have captured a huge percentage of the value created by the internet world and will continue to for years. A small investment then, if held until 2017, would have comfortably made you a multi-millionaire. You have a chance right now to buy an extremely early, out-sized, chunk of the future economy. To me, that is worth a small bet.
Why this is a really stupid idea. The risk of course is that you went back in time and bought stock in Pets. We have absolutely no guarantee that is not exactly what we are doing here. There is no doubt in my mind, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are going to change the world as dramatically as the internet has but we have no idea which ones will win yet. If you really want to invest in cryptocurrencies please make this article your STARTING point.
Do your own research, read about the underlying technologies and truly understand them. Make no mistake, if you jump in head first just to get in on the mania you WILL be the guy at the poker table who doesn’t know he is the one getting taken. Think of Coinbase as the E-trade of Cryptocurrency. They will take your dollars and give you cryptocurrency. They are extremely user friendly but you do pay fees for that convenience. They are the most reputable exchange available to US citizens. You will need to take several identity verification steps before you can fund your account.
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ACH transfer for a more reasonable but still high 1. 10 sign-up bonus when you fund your account. No Bitcoins are infinitely divisible, you can buy any fractional amount you want. I thought Bitcoin was totally decentralized, why do I have to trust Coinbase? It is, once your are IN the ecosystem you need never touch another bank or exchange again if you don’t want to. But before that, you have to find someone or some company willing to take your USD and give you Bitcoins in return. What are Ethereum and Litecoin, and why didn’t you even mention those?
I meant it when I said do your own research. Isn’t this plan counter to everything jlcollins has taught us about investing? Do I have to pay taxes on my gains? Learn about storing your own coins.
A centralized exchange like Coinbase is just another third party that Bitcoin is supposed to do away with. Note: This space is moving so fast this chart was outdated the day it was published. 2 to make the Blockchain possible. After you’ve groked those, this is the best article I’ve found so far that explains how Bitcoin works from first principles.
List of Work By Each Student:
If those make your head spin and your eyes glaze over, you might be a little early for your investing adventure in cryptocurrencies. It is the wild, wild west. As always, I’ll let VTSAX do the heavy lifting in keeping and building my wealth. But I might, just maybe, free up a few dollars and give this a shot. If I do, I’ll immediately treat that money as already lost. Lucas has graciously agreed to field your cryptocurrency comments and questions.
It will go to whomever writes the most interesting, insightful and entertaining comment on this post. Lucas is the judge and, reading his post, my bet is humor will help. Over the past couple of years several of my favorite bloggers have come out with T-Shirts. Some are pretty cool and I own a couple myself.
More and more I’ve been encouraged to create and offer a jlcollinsnh version. I’ve resisted mainly because I haven’t any compelling ideas for one and my blog doesn’t have an interesting name or logo that would lend itself to coming up with one. The Simple Path to Wealth jlcollinsnh. Do you have a cool idea for a jlcollinsnh.
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If it comes to pass, you’ll get one free. With great visuals you can track your net worth, asset allocation, and portfolio performance, including costs. It is also a great tool for reaching short-term savings goals. We talk whenever can and for however long we please. My RW Review tells you how. Needle helps me sleep at night.
While they no longer have an affiliate program, they are still a very cool company with a great product. And they are now a sponsor on this site. Please click on their ad at the top of the page for more info. These are affiliate links and should you chose to do business with them, this blog will earn a small commission. Next, I get an email from the grandmaster of simple investing with a subject line that seems like Bitcoin clickbait. All kidding aside, this is a great guest post and the only question I have is: will I be able to pay for the new jlcollinsnh t-shirts in Bitcoin?
We’ll see if jlcollins weighs in here with his thoughts, but I’d be happy to help him set that up. Bitcoin is exciting as a speculating opportunity, but to me it is even more exciting as a decentralized, world-wide currency that allows everyone to participate in a financial system not controlled by a single central government. Heck, you can have the shirt off my back for a Bitcoin. Bitcoin sounds like fun to me. You can accept Bitcoin with a Stripe account.
When I saw this post pop up, I thought it was a joke. I’d need to do about 400 more hours of research myself before considering investing. I hope my snake oil sales of Bitcoin haven’t tarnished the impeccable index investing reputation of Mr. Think you should consider couple important points about Bitcoin. The most important is that a currency is generally tied to some form of value based on productivity. In the case of bitcoin it produces nothing.
In the words of Benjamin Graham there are two types participants in the stock market: speculators and investors. In regards to IRS they have set precedent tax treatment for Bitcoin. They are treating bitcoin trades, sales, exchanges for products etc under capital gain rules. That is a capital gain short term or long term is applied to each sale based on your acquiring cost against the transaction of selling or exchanging the bitcoin for a product or service. At this point it is absolutely speculating and I tried my best to make that clear in the article.