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Comment: Re:Actual PhD students getting slandered? (Score 2) 448

by FryingLizard (#47315681) Attached to: $500k "Energy-Harvesting" Kickstarter Scam Unfolding Right Now

Did he say if he'd seen a working device, or confirm anything other than that it was him that appears on the KS page? Verifiable details from the creators are exceedingly thin on the ground. If you'd like to screencap your email and post a link to the image, that would be great. Thanks.

Comment: Re:Actual PhD students getting slandered? (Score 1) 448

by FryingLizard (#47310835) Attached to: $500k "Energy-Harvesting" Kickstarter Scam Unfolding Right Now

Wotao popped up (long ago) on the KS comments thread and basically said "I'm an investor but I can't really talk about anything". He also replied to direct emails to his uni email, confirming his involvement. One person who contacted him, reported him (not seen the email) as admitting he's not yet seen a working device.

I think he probably got pulled in as an investor (and to add credibility) and probably now rues the day he said yes. We'll see. Either way, at this point Google searches won't forget his involvement.

Comment: Re:Thanks for the tip! (Score 1) 448

by FryingLizard (#47310593) Attached to: $500k "Energy-Harvesting" Kickstarter Scam Unfolding Right Now

The thing also needs (most of its) power to run a Bluetooth receiver (+accelerometer), which typically uses 10-15ma @ 2V (=20-30mw) when in _receive_ mode. The duty cycle is short but waking up every 5 seconds to see if the tag is being pinged isn't typically something you'd power with leprechauns (unless they were made of lithium).

Comment: Re:This fake too? (Score 1) 448

by FryingLizard (#47310469) Attached to: $500k "Energy-Harvesting" Kickstarter Scam Unfolding Right Now

err... whose claims are unverifiable?

Wetag's? Sure, they're pretty sketchy. Practically no hard info except two wack pseudo-science documents and some nice photoshop work. No pics, no demo, no nothing (so far).

Mine? Errr... well, there's a ton of links to source material throughout, there's links to other people who think the same way (and did the math also), there's facts, figures, references, etc.
If you didn't click any of the links, do any Google searches, look at the iFind site or pay attention in math or physics class in highschool, then.. yes I suppose you find them unverifiable. Tell you what, I promise, cross my heart, it's all true. Does that work?

Comment: Re:Thanks for the tip! (Score 1) 448

by FryingLizard (#47309557) Attached to: $500k "Energy-Harvesting" Kickstarter Scam Unfolding Right Now

What you say is not plausible; how do you think any radio-activated device receives the "I lost you" signal? In practice it's far from "dormant 24/7"; it's completely deaf to any signal until it turns on its high gain radio which takes typically 10-15ma. The tag must be constantly waking up and consuming power (even if, as with BTLE, it's possible to set the gaps to e.g. 5-10seconds and the "on" time is very short).

Without trying to be unduly rude, you're 25% informed yet 75% confident in your knowledge, which I suspect comprises large portion of backers of this project.

Either do a little research (e.g. look up the math and/or read the datasheets for BTLE chips - all provided in the RTFA's google doc) or... go order a pack of 10 iFinds. . :-)

+ - $500k "Energy-Harvesting" Kickstarter scam unfolding right now.->

Submitted by FryingLizard
FryingLizard (512858) writes "For a while I've been following the saga of the Kickstarter "iFind" Bluetooth 4.0 tracking tag. Nothing new about such tags (there are many crowdfunded examples; some have delivered, some have disappointed), but this one claims it doesn't require any batteries — it harvests its energy from electromagnetic emissions (wifi, cell towers, TV signals, etc). The creators have posted no evidence other than some slick photoshop work, an obviously faked video, and some easily disproven data and classic bad science.
So far they've picked up half a million in pledges. With six days to go until they walk off with the money, skeptics abound (10min in) including some excellent dissections of their claims. The creators have yet to post even a single photo of the magical device, instead posting empty platitudes and claims that such secrecy is necessary to protect their IP.

Using just their published figures, their claims are readily refuted, yet still backers flock in. Kickstarter appear uninterested in what can only be described as a slow-motion bank robbery, despite their basic requirement to demonstrate a prototype.
It seems self-evident that such scams should not be allowed to propagate on Kickstarter, for the good of other genuine projects and the community at large.
Skeptics are maintaining a google doc with many of the highlights of the action.

Bring your own popcorn and enjoy the show."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Speed is NOT the primary reason for native code (Score 1) 230

by FryingLizard (#47180407) Attached to: Intel Confronts a Big Mobile Challenge: Native Compatibility

It's not (just) for speed, if at all, it's BECAUSE YOU HAVE PORTABILITY WITH iOS (and other platforms)
If you use Java you're hosed. If you use regular C you can compile on both platforms, with a shim to interface to either iOS or Android as required.
The GLES code can easily be compatible. The UI stuff not so much but (high end) games generally implement their own UI in GL for specifically this reason.

It's not pretty but it's what most pro game developers have been doing since at least 2010, and it's a _hell_ of a lot better than having to totally rewrite your Java app in ObjectiveC or vice versa.

The extra performance is sometimes useful in some places but it's almost always about compatibility with iOS or (more rarely) with existing C libraries e.g. video encoding or whatever.

Comment: Quad 1080p ftw (Score 1) 520

by FryingLizard (#45924817) Attached to: 4K Is For Programmers

You people are weird, I've been on 4x 1920x1200 monitors for years now (2x portrait, 2x landscape; It's fucking marvellous). I have a fifth but no desk space (or interest in turning head to view) so it's a spare.
This cost... I dunno, peanuts, even a few years back.
Super strongly recommend at _least_ a pair of portrait monitors plus at least one landscape. It's practically impossible to go back.

Comment: Yes! Plus - Make your own signal generator for $18 (Score 1) 215

by FryingLizard (#45478285) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's On Your Hardware Lab Bench?

My scope HELL yes I use it! It's crappy - analog, 30Mhz(!!) and it cost about $60 on ebay but it's still very useful for all sorts of "WTF is going on". Wouldn't be without a scope for anything.

** Dual-output bench DC PSU (Instek) - can't BELIEVE I ever lived without one - what was I thinking? Ass-saving to have current display & esp current limiter(!) **

Logic Analyzer is an Intronix Logicport which does up to 500Mhz and has adjustable threshold voltage which is required for 3v3 / 1v2 designs; I have a Saleae16 but it's much less useful IMO; recommend to everyone to get a Logicport as well.

Fluke287 multimeter which is expensive for a multimeter but does microamp current measurements which you need for modern battery powered stuff (just don't blow the fu$e$ cos they ain't cheap)

Signal/protocol generator - I made my own! (a $12 Cypress FX2 board plus $6 AD9850 clock generator = output any protocol you can imagine on up to 16 channels @ 0-25Mhz with 0.001hz programmable clock resolution, super fucking handy)

Beagle USB protocol analyzer (although software-only ones are useful too)

Cheap chinese iron+hot-air combo (Kendal 852D) which is great

Love my FTDI quad-UART boards! - many things have multiple CPUs to keep track of nowadays. FTDI FTW. ..and whatever programmer/JTAG/etc the current CPU needs.

I find it very useful to run the logic analyzer and other USB tools on a separate PC & monitor to my "work" PC rig; makes them more like standalone tools.

One of the most overlooked advantages to computers is... If they do foul up, there's no law against whacking them around a little. -- Joe Martin