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Comment: Re: Broadcom... (Score 3, Informative) 165

by LoRdTAW (#47796567) Attached to: Update: Raspberry Pi-Compatible Development Board Cancelled

As good as the BBB is, the layout sucks. My beef is the micro HDMI port is so close to the only USB port that thumb drives or fat USB plus interfere with the HDMI plug. If you have a previous gen BBB with the 2GB eMMC, the new Debian distro leaves you with 60 MB free space. The Angstrom distro is dead. So you have to boot from the SD card.

But the biggest benefit is the external memory bus for FPGA connectivity. But that disables the HDMI port as the ports are shared on the SoC.

I wish they would add more USB ports, move the HDMI port and if possible, move to an SoC that does not sacrifice the HDMI for the external memory bus. Overall it blows away the RPI.

Comment: Re:Congressional Pharmaceutical Complex (Score 5, Insightful) 214

by LoRdTAW (#47793723) Attached to: States Allowing Medical Marijuana Have Fewer Painkiller Deaths

" There seems to be this attitude out there that pot is harmless, and that's just not the case in my experience. In moderation, it's probably safe. But chronic use- long term use at high doses- seems to really fuck people up."

Replace pot with Alcohol, cigarettes, HFC's, video games, etc. and its pretty much the same thing. How far can it swing in the other direction? You mentioned alcohol has bad long term effects. But despite this people still drink themselves to death, drive drunk and kill others or get killed, or become a raging ass holes causing mayhem. People still smoke cigarettes despite the exorbitant cost and adverse health effects including cancer. People still drink gallons of soda and sugar crap until their pancreas packs it in and shuts down. People play video games until they loose their jobs, wives, kids and home or in some cases, until they drop dead. There is nothing the government can do at that point other than prohibit it these things and we all know how that works out. It's either all with some restrictions (don't drive and you must be 18 years old).

The people have to be the ones to use judgement. If someone smokes so much weed and they fry their brains then that is their fault. Just like the old 65yo blue collar retiree who spends every night at the bar downing 6+ pints until his liver fails (know a guy who this just happened to. sad). People have to be educated and they have to be smart.

Oh and I can counter your burn out pot head story with an anecdote of my own: I have a friend who at one point worked two jobs and got a degree at the same time. I asked him how he did it his answer was "Copious amounts of marijuana bro." He smokes in the morning, on his way to work while at work and at home. He is very energetic, driven and lively. Quite the opposite of your theory. So it of course depends on the person.

I have also known people who smoked a lot and were fucked up because they were fucked up to begin with. You just always assumed they were messed up because of the pot but meanwhile you never really knew them well enough and they were messed up in the head to begin with. I worked with a kid who would go berserk is he didn't smoke and he smoked all the time. If he drank he was VIOLENT. A night out with him meant he was going to get into a fight and usually win because he was a hulk of a man. Turns out his father was exposed to chemical warfare agents while in nam and had a lot of mental issues including PTSD. His father ambushed him and his mother with a knife thinking they were Vietcong which promptly ended that marriage. He also had a very dysfunctional life and had a lot of really fucked up friends (I mean what friend tells you to fuck their own mother because she thinks your cute and lets you actually follow through? Yea, those were his friends. They gave me the heebie jeebies). The smoking was probably medicating him.

In the end legalizing it will create new problems but they will be far more petty than what we have today. We can rid ourselves of a large amount of violent crime, people in jail and money spent on ruining lives while fattening the wallets of war machine peddlers. I'd rather live in a world full of cheery burnouts than drug gangs chopping peoples heads off with box cutters and chain saws, prisons bursting at the seams with inmates who just become more angry and make plenty of angry new friends they can do business with once they get out and government paramilitary goons wielding surplus military hardware shooting first and asking questions later (oops! no drugs here. Sorry for shooting your dog and father, kids. Have a nice life!). Legalize it, please.

Comment: Re:no price? (Score 3, Interesting) 88

by LoRdTAW (#47790743) Attached to: MIPS Tempts Hackers With Raspbery Pi-like Dev Board

It doesn't always have to boil down to price. This is the same argument over and over again from some maker/hacker types who want to turn platforms into religions.

The Raspberry Pi is a lackluster board with a crummy SoC and limited I/O and no FPU. Not to say that the Raspberry Pi is total crap, it does its intended job very well and there is a lot of community support. Plus where else can you buy a $35 board that runs Linux and X with HDMI USB and Audio?

But it falls flat in a few areas that is frustrating. First off it has *ONE* PWM output. Anyone looking to use this for motor control has to add an external PWM chip. Not a big deal but an annoying one. Next problem is there is the Ethernet is a USB-Ethernet chip on board, there is no hardware Ethernet NIC on the SoC which robs the CPU of cycles. Next up, and this is my gripe with many boards: no high speed interface. There is so much more these boards could do if we could attach an FPGA to them. Sure there is SPI but it simply isn't fast enough for certain things. The only board that can do this is the Beagle Bone which gives you an external bus interface but that disables the HDMI as the pins are shardes on the SoC. So its a trade off.

What I want to see in a dev board: dual core SoC w/FPU, 1GB RAM+, GPU, HDMI, SD card, SPI, I2C, 6-8 channels of 16 bit PWM, 8 channels of Analog 12bit-16bit, hardware 10/100 or gbit, 4xUSB host, *external bus interface not shared with I/O*. That's it. Just let me plug an FPGA daughter card that gives me the option to load bit files from the CPU and we are golden. Then we can do what ever crazy thing we want: more custom PWM (e.g. directly drive 3 phase bridges), quadrature encoders, faster ADC's, delta-sigma DAC's, high speed I/O, custom bus interfaces, etc. And make it cost $75. We are close to having a board like this, we just need the interest and the right SoC.

Comment: Grid city (Score 4, Interesting) 103

Building using a grid layout never changes. Back when I first played sim city on the Super Nintendo, the strategy to build megalopolis (population 500k+) was building on a grid. You build using 3x3 clusters of R, C or I but left the center of the 3x3 open. Instead you put special buildings and police/fire buildings in the center of the 3x3. To reduce pollution you built rail instead of roads. Fun game for its time and a friend and I came close to a megalopolis on stock maps without beating the scenarios, alien invasion and getting the water free map. I think we had 480-490k people.

Comment: Re: The real crime here (Score 1) 463

by LoRdTAW (#47732773) Attached to: 33 Months In Prison For Recording a Movie In a Theater

It's really torture. You are torturing a person for close to 3 years by locking them in a cage with violent criminals. I have heard jail stories from dudes who did time for various crimes. Bottom line: you don't ever want to be in jail, even for a day of you aren't street hardened and can't fight.

Comment: Re:Odd material selection (Score 5, Informative) 162

by LoRdTAW (#47711547) Attached to: Wheel Damage Adding Up Quickly For Mars Rover Curiosity

Plastics don't do very well in a vacuum like atmosphere full of radiation with wide temperature swings in the long term. Plus the low average surface temperature of -82F/-63C makes plastics less malleable and in many cases, brittle.

In the low atmosphere they can become brittle from outgassing and are susceptible to cracking and can simply shatter like glass. Nylon wire ties in a vacuum chamber simply fall apart after a few months. Though the 6 mbar (4.5 Torr) Atmospheric pressure of Mars isn't a hard vacuum, it is still 0.6% That of Earth's average sea level pressure.

Then you have radiation degrading the plastics which again makes them brittle. A friend worked on RHIC out in Brookhaven National Labs and since he was small and skinny he was tasked with changing out a lot of the sensor cables on the ring. The insulation simply disintegrated from radiation. There was nothing they could do about it save for bulky shielding which would have made servicing impossible.

In the end, metals are simply more suited to the task.

Comment: Re:Surprise? (Score 1) 579

by LoRdTAW (#47702259) Attached to: Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

You would be surprised but there are a lot of AutoCAD people coming out of schools who get heavily discounted student versions. Plus there are a bunch of smaller less known CAD programs out there. I happen to like Ashlar Vellum Graphite for 2D/3D drafting. It can be buggy but it is very easy to use for a CAD n00b.

Not to be a jerk but what does a PCB CAD program which is an EDA tool have to do with a 2D drafting or 3D solid modelling? Eagle is not used to design buildings or automobiles. It is a bad example.

Comment: Re:Only geeks... (Score 2) 125

by LoRdTAW (#47603391) Attached to: Robotic Suit Gives Shipyard Workers Super Strength

Yup. I know that on Long Island in Suffolk counties town of Babylon anything with a footprint bigger than 10x10 feet is needs a concrete foundation. That concrete foundation is now a permanent structure which requires a permit and tax revaluation. So keep it small and you won't be bothered. That or live in NYC where most people don't give a damn and build whatever. Let the next homeowner worry who is probably a developer looking to knock it down and put in a 6 family with no parking anyway.

Comment: Re:No they cant. (Score 2) 151

by LoRdTAW (#47602311) Attached to: Planes Can Be Hacked Via Inflight Wi-fi, Says Researcher

Here here:
In theory, a hacker could use a plane's onboard WiFi signal or inflight entertainment system to hack into its avionics equipment, potentially disrupting or modifying satellite communications, which could interfere with the aircraft's navigation and safety systems, Santamarta said.

So it stands that there really isnt much of a threat here. Either the journalist is confused or purposefully crafted the article so as to imply that a hacker with a wifi device can disable a planes navigation system or do worse. My money is on the latter. The reason I say that is because the two systems are indeed separate and not connected. This is why a Cobham rep said a hacker would need physical access to the planes avionics system. They (Cobham) made that distinction but the author never makes that clear.

And I remember a similar article on /. a while back about an airline entertainment system being vulnerable. I thought it was jetblue but I can't find the article at the moment. It was the same "alarming" report that turned out to be a flaw in the TV or entertainment system. The worst was people couldn't watch TV on their 6+ hour flight.

Comment: Re:I object. (Score 3, Informative) 66

by LoRdTAW (#47599401) Attached to: Animal Behaviour Specialists Map Out the Social Networks of Cows

" and generally taste worse than beef does."

Small sample:

So the general consensus is either pork or veal. Properly prepared pork is very tasty but I would say that beef can beat it out depending on the cut. Especially the tender and fatty skirt steak, better than filet mignon IMHO. Diet, gender, age and lifestyle could also affect taste. Perhaps a young fit female vegan would be the tastiest while an overweight 50y/o male alcoholic smoker would taste awful.

Comment: Re:Anybody know? (Score 4, Interesting) 234

by LoRdTAW (#47556207) Attached to: Free Copy of the Sims 2 Contains SecuROM

I remember when Crysis came out it was secured with SuckROM. The idea was you inserted the DVD and SuckROM would verify the DVD was in the drive and the game would start, most of the time.

During the process of running crysis.exe securom would start and your mouse cursor would have this colorful CD icon attached to it. If securom failed to work properly (crash) which was every 1 in 3 or 4 times, the mouse cursor would stay a disco ball looking CD and your CD/DVD drive was rendered inoperable. A reboot was the only solution to solving it.

After a week of that I downloaded a cracked exe for a game I legally bought with my hard earned cash. And you wonder why the consumer hates DRM. That is part of the reason intrusive, rootkit like DRM needs to die in a fire.

Comment: Re:Even my DVDs are streamed (Score 1) 152

by LoRdTAW (#47551985) Attached to: What percentage of your media consumption is streamed?

I think the GP was saying that instead of ripping the DVD themselves, they save time and download a ripped copy. So they have a license for the media in the form of the purchased DVD. They just let someone else do the work for them. That should constitute fair use of the media.

From your post it appears that the ripped copy is considered a reproduction and needs a new license. Or am I confused?

Comment: Re:Hipsterism at its finest (worst?) (Score 1) 288

by LoRdTAW (#47539111) Attached to: Greenpeace: Amazon Fire Burns More Coal and Gas Than It Should

I too thought Apple was "buying" clean energy. But it turns out they have actually built a solar plant at their datacenter along with fuel cell backups.

This article peaked my interest though:

How exactly do they measure energy consumption from a particular power source? If the data center is grid connected the current will flow based on path of least resistance, loads and other factors. How can they be sure a load used 20% coal 30% nuclear and 50% natural gas? Did this information come from the power companies who can estimate the demands and current flows based on grid load? I read the linked Greenpeace report and nothing was made clear about how this was done.

The meta-Turing test counts a thing as intelligent if it seeks to devise and apply Turing tests to objects of its own creation. -- Lew Mammel, Jr.