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Comment Re:Not replaced: serial and parallel ports. (Score 2) 253

Some USB to serial adapters are better than others. I've found that the real FDT-based ones tend to be the best. USB to parallel adapters tend to have problems. For example, I have some label printers and cannot talk to them with the USB to parallel adapters but they work fine with a real parallel adapter or a parallel network print server. They also don't work well for bit banging and have a high latency if they can work at all.

Comment Re:Not replaced: serial and parallel ports. (Score 1) 253

It's actually a lot easier. In our case our eval boards normally came with multiple serial ports. All we had to do was put on a FDT quad USB to RS232 chip. No custom UID required. With Linux it's just plug and play, plug it in and you've got your serial console, plus we can reliably run it at much higher baud rates up to 10Mbps.

Comment Re:Quicker (Score 1) 488

It's partly their fault, especially Saudi Arabia for pushing their puritanical form of Islam with all their money. In fact, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar are actively funding ISIS and al-Qauda.

It's not surprising most of the hijackers of 9/11 were from Saudi Arabia. They've also screwed up places by building madrases to help push their fundamentalist puritanical version of Islam. Boys who go to these madrases for their education learn little except the Saudi brand of Islam along with hate for the west.

Just google ISIS funding.

Ever since 9/11 I've done whatever I can to stop supporting middle eastern countries and wean myself off of using oil. The fact that most of the 9/11 hijackers and their ringleader came from Saudi Arabia made me realize I don't want any of my money to go to fund these countries that promote terrorism.

Comment Re:Let the Public Decide (Score 1) 439

The problem comes when dealerships use maintenance as a cash cow. Most dealerships make very little money selling cars. Most of their income comes from financing and service.

I bought my Tesla online without going through a dealership. I was able to specify exactly what I wanted in the car. Furthermore, their goal is to not make a profit off of service. I have no complaints about the service I've had, it's far better than what I've experienced with dealerships.

Granted, I can't negotiate down the price of the car. Then again, when I bought my Prius years ago and that car was in high demand it was impossible to negotiate down the price and in fact many dealerships were charging a premium. It took me 6 months of waiting to eventually get my Prius with the options I wanted. It was my 3rd choice for color. I could have gotten one much sooner as long as it was white or possibly black.

I also waited about 6 months for my Tesla, but unlike my Prius, I got exactly what I wanted.

I don't miss the Toyota dealership frequently trying to push unnecessary service or raping me over the coals for flaws in my original vehicle. For example, the HID headlights burned out just after 3 years and though I had a 7 year warranty they wanted to charge me $340 per headlight to change it, charging $200 per-bulb despite the fact that I could buy the same brand-new bulb on Ebay for $50. It was a known flaw in the bulbs. Some customers got screwed further when the dealership charged to replace the inverters as well (which were not the problem).

Then there's the center console going out. The dealership charges at least $2000 in labor to replace it. I just watched a Youtube video on how to replace it and it takes roughly 20 minutes to do it yourself.

Comment Re:Guns scapegoat for education / socioeconomics (Score 1) 822

Your example of Switzerland is flawed. While guns are ubiquitous in Switzerland, ammunition is not, especially for the government issued guns. For target practice with the government issues guns, one picks up the ammunition at the gun range and it is accounted for.

Surprisingly, the percentage of people killed by guns in Mexico is only slightly higher than it is in the US. Mexico has 11.17 gun deaths per 100,000 people, the US has 10.64, and that's with all the drug cartels fighting it out in Mexico.

Comment Re:This is what routers and switches are for (Score 1) 55

Higher-end routers have hardware dedicated to doing things like deep packet inspection and modification with less software overhead. For example, I work at Cavium and the CPUs I work with have a lot of dedicated packet processing hardware designed to offload much of that processing to the hardware which has many dedicated engines.

Comment Re:This is what routers and switches are for (Score 4, Interesting) 55

I work at Cavium on the SDK team (I do all the bootloader stuff for their MIPS chips). The Ubiquiti Edgerouter Lite uses one of our old (2nd gen CN5020) low-end dual core chips and is able to handle 1M packets/second by running the packet processing on a dedicated core and Linux on the other core. Our current generation (4th gen) is far faster. I work with chips from 4 up to 48x2 cores (48 cores, 2 chips running in NUMA). There's a lot of support for offloading packet processing in our chips, for example, directing packet flows to different groups of CPU cores. There's also various engines built-in to the chips for things like compression, pattern matching, deep packet inspection, encryption, RAID calculations and more. We also are selling NIC cards (Liquid I/O) which can run Linux on the NIC card as well as dedicated software that can offload a lot. For example, it can perform all the SSL, VPN and firewall stuff on the NIC. I'm working on some of the new ones now. I'd love to see some inexpensive eval boards available, especially with our CN73XX or even CN70xx chip. Even our low-end quad core CN71xx can handle 10Gbps of traffic.

Comment My company addresses this (Score 4, Interesting) 55

My employer deals with this on their multi-core MIPS processors. What we do is we can run Linux on one set of cores and dedicated applications on other cores. These applications offload most of the TCP/IP stack and only pass the relevant traffic to the kernel. The Ubiquiti EdgeRouter Lite uses one of our lowest-end chips and handles 1M packets/second. Our higher-end chips can easily handle far more packets. Then again, the dedicated cores are also able to take much better advantage of the hardware offload support for forwarding and filtering. Even without using the dedicated special application we can handle 40Gbps or more of traffic on the high-end chips. We can also handle stuff like IPSec at these rates due to built-in encryption and hashing instructions if coded properly.

Having the right NIC card can also help since some NIC cards can offload things like TCP/IP segmentation and reassembly. I've also dealt with small gigabit switch chips that can offload stuff like NAT but Linux can't really take advantage of that as-is.

There's a lot of room for improvement. Some years ago I was doing performance analysis for Atheros with respect to CPU cache utilization. The biggest bottleneck was the fact that the transmit path in the Linux networking stack would only pass a single packet at a time. Batch processing of packets for WiFi makes a HUGE difference since groups of packets need to be aggregated for 802.11N. It also would allow for more efficient packet processing for non-wireless as well. There are a lot of other areas that also could be improved.

Comment Re:Gun-free zone? (Score 1) 1165

The city I live in has a very low gun crime rate (and overall a low crime rate) as well and I suspect that the level of gun ownership is fairly low. From the crime reports I read, most of the crime is caused by people from other cities, especially Oakland. We also have a good police force, who unlike many other forces isn't afraid to leave their jurisdiction to arrest people in other cities like Oakland who commit crimes here.

Radioactive cats have 18 half-lives.