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Comment Whoopie Do (Score 1) 117

Being able to 3D scan something from your phone would be neat, if a bit niche, but the printer will not be mobile, and just like the current desktop scanners, your highly precise model will only be of the visible OUTSIDE of the object. That might be fine if you just want a cheap plastic replica of that sculpture, but pretty much useless if you wanted a replacement for anything but the crudest of mechanical parts.

Comment Re:The bttn (Score 1) 327

Cheaper again, ESP8266 wifi board, the NodeMCU firmware is very easy to program with, write a script that on wakeup it connects to wifi and makes a http request to your alerting system, or sends an email, or whatever, then shuts it down to 'deep sleep until reset' wire the big button to the reset line. costs just a few quid, its being hardware reset to wake it up so less chance of it failing, and should run off batteries for months if not years.

Comment Re:yeah... (Score 4, Interesting) 208

Go look at the source code to one of the open source projects like OpenPilot,
they integrate accelerometers, gyros, magnetometers, barometric altimeter and GPS for their navigation system,
modern GPS chips also have anti-hijacking/jamming, eg SiRFstarIV GSD4t consumer device chipset,
and the off the shelf radio control kit can do encrypted spread-spectrum comms.

It is not trivial to stop one by jamming, a shotgun up close is way more effective

Comment Found this by accident a few months ago (Score 2) 71

Well that explains a lot, a few months ago I discovered that my laptop had started to trip the mains when i took it into the office which had a more modern fuse box than at home. Figured out through trial and error that it was the cable from the wall to the psu, and application of a multimeter showed a measurably small resistance between live and earth when the cable was disconnected. I put it down to wear and tear, chucked it away and bought a replacement. Sounds like i was lucky to spot it early before it caused a fire, as that cable was usually left plugged in at home.

Comment Re:Useless Elements and Padding. (Score 3, Insightful) 250

Because -clutter-. I never maximise any windows, thats such a huge waste of screen space, even on a smaller laptop screen i still have some shells open in the background with logs and chat sessions etc in them. the main working window takes maybe 70% of the screen, and everything not in use right now, like email clients, browser, etc are minimised so they dont produce visual clutter.

Submission + - Questionable Patents From MakerBot (openbeamusa.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: OpenBeam USA is a Kickstarted company that builds open source aluminum construction systems (think erector sets). One of the main uses for the system is building 3D printers, and creator Terence Tam is heavily involved in the 3D-printing community. He's now put up a blog post about some disturbing patents filed by MakerBot. In particular, he notes a patent for auto-levelling on a 3D printer. Not only is this an important upcoming technology for 3D printers, the restriction of which would be a huge blow to progress, it seems the patent was filed just a few short weeks after Steve Graber posted a video demonstrating such auto-levelling. There had also been a Kickstarter campaign for similar tech a few months earlier. Tam gives this warning: 'Considering the Stratasys — Afinia lawsuit, and the fact that Makerbot is now a subsidiary of Stratasys, it's not a stretch to imagine Makerbot coming after other open source 3D manufacturers that threaten their sales. After all, nobody acquires a patent warchest just to invite their competitors to sit around the campfire to sing Kumbaya. It is therefore vitally important that community developed improvements do not fall under Makerbot's (or any other company's) patent portfolio to be used at a later date to clobber the little guys.'

Comment Combined it with the network of lockers (Score 1) 243

If this was combined with amazons network of lockers, they could pre-ship items they anticipate to sell into some of the lockers in that area, then when someone orders an item you can offer them immediate delivery if they are willing to go collect it from a nearby locker.

You would need some pretty accurate algorithms to make this work, as the space available in any given set of lockers is very small, but you dont have to be quite as accurate as per-customer, just down to the set of customers in the vicinity of the locker, and/or have used that locker in the past.

Comment Re:Unrealistic? (Score 1) 247

I worked for NTL briefly over a decade ago, just when they were first trialling cable modems, there was talk then of the possibility of offering Ethernet to the Premises, but it it didnt and couldnt happen because of the infrastructure costs.

Those little cabinets at the end of each street, where the fibre optic network terminates, were made to fit exactly all the equipment needed at the time, there is no expansion room at all to add ethernet switches, or fibre switches, or well anything.

So they would have to rip out and replace all the cabinets on every street across the country in order to offer any terribly new or exciting services to the masses, something i dont see them doing anytime soon, if ever.

Comment Re:Flash Player video performance vs. VLC (Score 1) 409

all video codecs decode to YUV data, as a result pretty much every GPU for over a decade has included hardware acceleration for handling that.

any sane person wanting to modify or overlay on that data would do so in YUV space, but not adobe, flash goes and hauls the entire frame over into RGB space, a big cpu hit in itself, then does its overlays, then expects the video hardware to help it with this rgb mode video it has, fail.

i dont care how much legacy code there is in flash expecting rgb mode, converting all you drawing operations to yuv (on the fly if necessary) and thus keeping the video data in yuv has got to be way way faster.

not doing this right is just plain laziness on adobes part, as has been pointed out.

Comment Re:Interesting. (Score 1) 174

Question 1:

Your phone can do "multitasking" -- explain to me what the advantage to this is? I mean, the advantage over the iPhone, that is - since the iPhone is obviously multitasking as it will play music, check your email, run a phone conversation, and allow you to launch any 3rd-party app, all at the same time. I suppose my question is, what real-world advantages have you seen with this "multitasking"

Heres a really simple example for you: MyTracks, a pretty easy to use GPS track log program you can get free off the market, i can run it, start it logging, and then do something else whilst it continues to run in the background.

Its not an application that needs my interaction other than to start and stop it, and i dont want to lock my entire device up doing that simple task all on its own.

Comment Re:Tux is the perfect face (Score 1) 459

I think its almost on the right lines, but the tux part is too much.

What you want is one of those trendy lifestyle type adverts, show a young trendy person going about their daily trendy lifestyle, interacting with various things along the way, phone, laptop, ATM, etc etc. Then go back and point out that every single thing they used was running Linux.

There are a number of successful brand advertisments like this already, that in essence are telling you "you too can have a cool life like this, and product/company $foo is what makes it happen"

Bell Labs Unix -- Reach out and grep someone.