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Our blog focuses on sharing our experience and knowledge across a wide range of technologies and industries including hardware and software design, audio, video, internet of things, mobile application and signal processing technologies.

Howdy Pierce My Threads Question If we interview you here at Cardinal Peak, we’re going to assume you’re competent to use Google, and we’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that you can look up answers to weird corner cases. What we really want to know is how deeply you understand how a computer works. Details
Howdy Pierce I Want Widgets that Come With an API Aside from the glut of “UltraHD” televisions at CES this year, I saw two other trends that seem noteworthy to me but that have not been highly reported in the tech press: There is a huge number of Internet-connected home sensors of all kinds, and also a much large concentration of smart or connected fitness… View Article Details
Cardinal Peak Develops Blockbuster App I’m proud to announce the release of the Blockbuster app for Android, developed by Cardinal Peak. The app launched this week in the Google Play store. It allows subscribers to manage their Blockbuster By Mail queue as well as find nearby stores, check a title’s availability in a store, and more. Check it out! Details
Howdy Pierce Computing Primes in Python and C++ I recently had the opportunity to implement a Python program to compute prime numbers. After I was done, I wondered how the Python implementation compared to doing the same exact thing in C++, so I decided to do a comparison. First, the Python program. I computed prime numbers using the Sieve of Eratosthenes. (No, I… View Article Details
Howdy Pierce Keep That Product Simple! When it comes to bringing a brand new product to market, keep it simple. The important thing is to get to market quickly, with low development costs, and get feedback from your customers about how to make the product better. Details
Mike Perkins How Robust Is Audio Perception in the Face of Deliberate Magnitude and Phase Distortions? (Part 3) In the first post of this three-part series, I listed four points that I hope my readers will agree with at the end of this series. The second post addressed the first two points of the four. In this post, Part Three of the series, I will demonstrate the final two points: Phase distortions generally… View Article Details
Mike Perkins How Robust Is Audio Perception in the Face of Deliberate Magnitude and Phase Distortions? (Part 2) In this post I will demonstrate that dramatically different time domain waveforms can lead to virtually the same audio perception, and two waveforms with identical spectrograms can sound quite different. Details
Mike Perkins Spectral Analysis with the DFT You may have encountered spectral analysis. The basic idea is to take a waveform, in our case an audio clip, and determine which frequency components are in it. This post provides a very brief overview of the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT), spectrograms and DFT spectral analysis. Details
Howdy Pierce How to Measure the Bitrate of a Video Stream Occasionally we need to measure the bitrate of a particular video stream on the network. In this example I will show how to measure the data rate of a video streamed from Amazon.com. Details
Howdy Pierce The Future of Clutter If you’re looking to predict what technologies will be obsolete soon, visiting the Kodak booth at CES is not a bad place to start. I came to this realization as I was watching a demo from one of Kodak’s partners, Unibind. Unibind is demonstrating a new machine at CES that allows retailers to create a… View Article Details
Howdy Pierce We’ve Moved I’m a little late in posting this here, but it’s been a busy couple of months. As has already been reported in the local press, Cardinal Peak moved in late September. We’ve been adding some folks in the past year, and we had outgrown our previous location. But we also had a couple of other… View Article Details
Howdy Pierce Using Lossy Video Compression in the Courtroom I’m at the DSI conference in Las Vegas today, presenting a primer for law enforcement investigators on how video compression works and trying to answer the question of why “lossy” compression should be considered reliable for use in courtrooms. The lack of trust in digital media compression in a forensic setting is primarily a PR issue for the media compression industry — if such an industry can be said to exist. We use terms like “lossy compression” and “predicted blocks” — terms that have relatively precise technical meaning. But these terms also have a slightly different meaning to laymen, and that everyday meaning isn’t exactly reassuring if you’re a judge relying on testimony compressed using a lossy compression algorithm. Details
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