Replied to a post by Barnaby WaltersBarnaby Walters (
I tried to plug in this LED strip I bought but nothing happens. 5400 LEDs but none of them turn on?! and when I tried to peel the backing off to stick it to something, all the LEDs fell out D: 0/10 would not buy again
I can’t quite tell completely based on the photo but those don’t look like LEDs one would “plug in”. It’s been a few years since I’ve dealt with LEDs that look roughly like the ones you got in that reel, but in my experience those need to be reflow soldered to metallic plugs with special pads for attaching wiring to them to power them. Trying to manually solder wiring to them to get them to work is not a simple process, can often cause them to short circuit, and not taking the appropriate care can ruin them.

Generally that type also burn so hot, that they need a custom metal slug as a heat sink to help cool them and redistribute the heat. Without the thermal help, they often melt/burn out almost immediately. Another issue that some don’t always realize or remember, depending on your electrical background, is that those types of LEDs have a polarity and need to be connected in the correct orientation or current won’t flow across them, thus making them appear not to work.

Of course, if you’ve done all this and they still don’t work…

Devastating News: Sol Golomb has apparently passed away on Sunday

I was getting concerned that I hadn’t heard back from Sol for a while, particularly after emailing him late last week, and then I ran across this notice through ITSOC & the IEEE:

Solomon W. Golomb (May 30, 1932 – May 1, 2016)

Shannon Award winner and long-time ITSOC member Solomon W. Golomb passed away on May 1, 2016.
Solomon W. Golomb was the Andrew Viterbi Chair in Electrical Engineering at the University of Southern California (USC) and was at USC since 1963, rising to the rank of University and Distinguished Professor. He was a member of the National Academies of Engineering and Science, and was awarded the National Medal of Science, the Shannon Award, the Hamming Medal, and numerous other accolades. As USC Dean Yiannis C. Yortsos wrote, “With unparalleled scholarly contributions and distinction to the field of engineering and mathematics, Sol’s impact has been extraordinary, transformative and impossible to measure. His academic and scholarly work on the theory of communications built the pillars upon which our modern technological life rests.”

In addition to his many contributions to coding and information theory, Professor Golomb was one of the great innovators in recreational mathematics, contributing many articles to Scientific American and other publications. More recent Information Theory Society members may be most familiar with his mathematics puzzles that appeared in the Society Newsletter, which will publish a full remembrance later.

A quick search a moment later revealed this sad confirmation along with some great photos from an award Sol received just a week ago:

As is common in academia, I’m sure it will take a few days for the news to drip out, but the world has certainly lost one of its greatest thinkers, and many of us have lost a dear friend, colleague, and mentor.

I’ll try touch base with his family and pass along what information sniff I can. I’ll post forthcoming obituaries as I see them, and will surely post some additional thoughts and reminiscences of my own in the coming days.

Golomb and national medal of science
President Barack Obama presents Solomon Golomb with the National Medal of Science at an awards ceremony held at the White House in 2013.