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Comment Re:truth is... (Score 4, Insightful) 93

I won't argue that's a good idea if you don't know some HDL or how to use the tools, or even have a good idea for a project. But there are a few reasons to actually use a real FPGA, and particularly a real toolchain:

- Not all HDL code synthesizes. Great designs get ruined when they meet an actual synthesizer that doesn't understand the construct you are using. This can be heartbreaking sometimes.
- You may want to use tri-state logic internally in your design. Never do this. Even when using tri-state buffer features, use a wrapper module. Xilinx, Altera and various design libraries often do this differently because of the large variety of buffers, most of which aren't interesting to you for the blinky light. Just save yourself some trouble here.
- Complex buffers (DDR, serdes) have a lot of detail that everyone implements a bit differently. You want real hardware to make sure these work properly, and you may need to implement extra circuits to handle the implementation detail. Or, and this is fun, sometimes the vendor has limitations that will break your heart (particularly on low end FPGAs)
- Not all code that simulates well actually runs well. The list of gotchas is near infinite, but ignoring buffer complexity the best ones are reset conditions (xilinx has no POR, it all initializes to 0 unless otherwise specified, and that is fine if you implement a clean reset ckt), setup/hold violations from external interfaces, and everybodies favorite: bus doesn't quite work the way you think it should and the way you coded the BFM.
- You can do squirrely things that you shouldn't really do at all, like double edge triggered flipflops, or latches. Technically this goes in "doesn't synthesize", but sometimes it will and will do funky things that a simulator won't pick up on.

There's value in messing around and $25 is compelling, but don't buy the $600 PCIe kit until you know what you want to do and already have a good design and have done your homework.

Comment Re:Should suprise no one (Score 1) 416

It doesn't surprise me. Apparently there are also people who don't want power windows, power locks, power seats, floormats, CD/Mp3 players or A/C in their car. That there are people who don't want sophisticated electronics comes as absolutely no shock. If I were running a rental agency or owned a fleet of cars for professional services I might also not want some of those things.

Those things that turned out to be useful, which have competed directly against similar features such that their price is reasonable, most of us want. Many built-ins for cars currently suck, are inconsistent, require a full evaluation to comprehend (more than a 15 minute test drive) and often have hidden back end cost (built in nav systems with $500 upgrade fees? Fuck you very much!) I see Apple/Android integration as the next step in getting them to be useful, and to be worth some money, but it's probably still going to be broken. Ultimately I want to plug my tablet into the dash, get power and car sensor information, and maybe control some of the car machinery (ex: a/c, radio, any better antenna based service) but otherwise have nothing from the maker in my way. I can see why makers are not that excited, they are mostly cut out of the money loop. Thus we can see why Google & Apple are rumored to be working on competition. In the very long view, cars are going to drive themselves, we're going to be less interested in the car as a vehicle and more in creature comforts of our transport bubble. Auto-makers are not seeing how to differentiate themselves in that market. As it is they are having a hard time selling to mostly broke, in-debt 20 somethings who can barely afford rent.

Comment Glad they didn't read the books (Score 5, Informative) 194

Pedophilia, incest, multiple non-abrahamic religions, polytheism, zombies, ghouls, various fantasy figures, idol worship, paganism... I mean really I think GRRM went through the list of things that might get a nuns panties in a bunch, and found a way to write them down.

The TV show might in some ways be considered censored for good taste!

Comment Re:So everyone is rude... (Score 4, Insightful) 137

Or we don't approve but don't care enough to stop it. Or, and I think this is the case, are raging hypocrits about our cell phone rage versus our cell phone use.

As long as people are quiet an don't flash too many bright lights, I really couldn't care less what another table does during dinner. What is appropriate at my own table depends very heavily on what is going on. I can't imagine I'd drop a great conversation to check my work email. But I've never been that thoroughly entertained, and some people will go on about things I don't want to talk about (namely other people) and fuck yes, I will send all sorts of messages that I want to move on.

Comment Re:Classic problem of tech culture (Score 2) 95

Fine then, let's *party*

How can you *become* *happy campers* in *pleasant combinations*, without a *picnic* *together*? *silly cows* want *sauce* in *Pretty Space* from *sisters*, who *spread the wax*, are *squishy*, *surprising toys*, *take* *together* in *slippery places*. To *pull* *people energy* of *happy campers*, we must *slide* to *slow time* and *spit* *special things*.

Comment Re:Classic problem of tech culture (Score 5, Funny) 95

How can you maximize the advantages of outcome-based education, without standardized linguistics targeted to areas of core competencies? Hiring managers have expressed interest in consensus oriented, business ready, net native, grey hats, who speak in code and collaborate in dynamic non-traditional employment. To breed a culture of millenial code beasts, we must reach into their social sphere, and peer coach them with best practices.

Comment Re:All we want is email (Score 1) 193

All of my employers have reimbursed wifi on approved business trips. I even had one reimbuse wifi on a cruise because I had to be working with a contractor. I think it depends on exactly what the circumstances are and what you can talk your boss in to. I do at least make good on my use, and keep it for work and get their moneys worth.

Comment Re:Problem with the solution? (Score 4, Informative) 193

Well no, even when travelling on business all my docs are on a web-server, often with images. Also, VNC is an essential part of my job, in that I cannot run the sims on a puny IT issued laptop, and need my desktop or datacenter to see waves and do any form of debug. But wifi as it exists makes this painful.

Certainly youtube/netflix/etc. would be nice, but at this point the I'd consider mail, web and vnc as "essential".

Comment Re:What does Science have to say about this? (Score 5, Funny) 587

Well, if I stand outside in the hot texas sun for over half an hour, I do develop a bad skin rash that burns, itches and stings for a day or so. Sometimes it's also accompanied by nausea and lethargy. I suppose I have EHS!

Of course doctors don't diagnose me properly, instead they ask me to apply this skin lotion before hand, and warn me if I keep going out without it I may get cancer. I have tried to sue the sun, and have asked it to turn itself down, but it never complies for more than 12 hours a time, frequently less.

Comment Teaching Ignorance, And Other Crutches (Score 1) 236

I think if you have to teach that we are ignorant, you are acknowledging that your students are simply not very curious or are regurgitating data to pass the exam, get good GPA, enter workforce to earn money. Which is, in fact, the reality the majority of the time, and that's just fine.

I see no reason to teach people what we don't know, because to quote Rumsfeld about something entirely different: "...as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don't know we don't know..."

How can you teach about ignorance from a stance of known unknowns? You have to rely on the student, at some point, to look critically at something and say "that's bullshit". Science is built on a fairly solid foundation, but it isn't granite. Students should be challenging not only the new stuff, but also the stuff we think we already know, not simply sitting in their seats listening to the Pastor give his Sermon on Physics.

Comment Re:If your job can be described by an algorithm... (Score 2, Insightful) 319

Almost all of them would do that, it costs them nothing and what are they going to do with an extra salad? But no that rarely happens. But brining the high chair for my 3yo without asking, that's bonus points. Bringing extra napkins to a table with two kids. Bringing water as well as any alcoholic beverages, without having to be asked. Refreshing given restaurants "free" items (bread, chips, fries, whatever it is) without having to be asked. Just generally not trying not to see you. Those are all ways to earn extra tip.

Yet still, I deserve all this, and should not have to tip because I'm paying anywhere from 2x to 10x the cost of goods and labor for a meal and their boss really should be paying htem.

Help me, I'm a prisoner in a Fortune cookie file!