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Comment: Re:Transformative Platforms! (Score 2) 182

by LoRdTAW (#47909095) Attached to: Oculus Rift CEO Says Classrooms of the Future Will Be In VR Goggles

If you really look at how schools piss money away on tech gadgets only to let them collect dust you will find incredible waste. For as long as I can remember, the AV equipment at the various schools I attended sat unused for 99.99% of the time. For an hour session there simply wasn't time to get the cart, set it up, show a video and break it down for the next class. Most schools don't have a dedicated AV department unless they specialize in AV production. So the teachers are left to retrieve and set up the systems and most of them can't even change a lightbulb.

In a high school shop class we has a pretty fancy and expensive AV cart with a pro level Sony Trinitron Monitor and VCR. It just sat in the tool cage year round collecting dust. One day another shop teacher wanted to use the cart to show a video to his class. Turns out some knucklehead destroyed the cart by cutting wires and jamming a metal rod into the VCR destroying the tape load mechanism. There was a huge shit storm and our class was blamed. And rightfully so because we had a surplus of knuckleheads. The quoted cost of that AV cart? $5000. And I believe it seeing how the equipment was top of the line Sony stuff. And this wasn't the only AV cart in the school, we had about a dozen of them. They did nothing year round until some teacher worked a video into a lesson. In fact the only time I ever watched a video in my four years of high school was in health class and English where we watched a film of The Tragedy of Macbeth.

And I not even going to get into the $250,000 robotics system that sat unused for years until my electrical installation shop teacher convinced the school to give us the system instead of the snobby ET department who didn't care if it was sold for scrap. I headed up that project and it was a wonderful experience working with that system.

Comment: Need harsher penalties. (Score 1) 364

by LoRdTAW (#47871083) Attached to: Text While Driving In Long Island and Have Your Phone Disabled

Way too often do I see someone swerving around the Southern State Parkway playing with their little phone and trying to steer straight. I see at least one or two people per week doing their little "oh shit" swerve when they realize they are about to side swipe someone or run off the road. I say this is just as dangerous as drunk driving. Anyone caught swerving and texting should be arrested, car towed and impounded, and license suspended for no less than 6 months. Severe punishment but necessary to stop these jerks. But as with drunk driving, gook just catching them. So it's more of a gesture than actually solving anything.

The absolute worst driver I ever saw was so bad I almost popped a blood vessel with rage. This piece of shit prick was in the left lane swerving around to the point where he came close to side swiping three other cars. He kept clipping the curb that divides the pavement from the grassy shoulder and bouncing/swerving back to his lane, or the middle lane. At one point everyone around him stayed back and he happily swerved from the left lane to the middle lane and back again as if he were the only person on the road. He even rode the line for a few minutes blocking both lanes. It was such a gross demonstration of a complete disregard for others that I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Mind boggling. And it's not like this happened a few times. This went on continually for MILES. He didn't drive normally once from the time he got in front of me until he got off. I can't believe a state cop didn't see him as they are very thirsty on the SSP in Nassau County.

And this isn't the first time I have seen people swerve between two lanes while texting. I also saw the same thing in NJ coming back from Atlantic City. I was behind him and driving a van. I could clearly see him leaning over, looking down and tapping away while swerving around. His girlfriend appeared to yell at him but it didn't appear to do anything. He almost side swiped a pickup who then hung back not wanting to pass him. Someone behind me started beeping and he just stuck out his middle finger. I wanted to cut it off and feed it to him along with the phone. Talk about rage inducing behaviour.

I keep thinking I should buy a dash cam, record these knuckleheads and then post shame videos on youtube.

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) 217

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) 465

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.

If you aren't rich you should always look useful. -- Louis-Ferdinand Celine