Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Last Chance - Get 15% off sitewide on Slashdot Deals with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" (some exclusions apply)". ×

Comment USB is a support nightmare (Score 4, Interesting) 243

Unlike ethernet, which is pretty much standard from platform to platform and basically trivial to support, USB code is completely different between linux, OS X, and Windows, and is a mess, API-wise.

I write software defined radio stuff, and after one incredible nightmare getting a USB SDR to work on all three platforms using conditional compilation (I did succeed), I swore off. No more. If it doesn't have an ethernet interface, or a USB-to-ethernet server app compatible with the standard SDR protocols that makes it appear to me as an ethernet SDR, it's not happening.

Luckily, some of the best SDR manufacturers out there have done it right. Andrus, AFDRI, and RFSPACE. And there are some servers that have been built to hide the abortion of USB, but so far they are very much platform-specific, for the very reason I described above.

USB. Ugh.

Comment Re:Be sure they really are cheaper (Score 4, Informative) 281

I second using a site like pcpartspicker. It can help you avoid some petty technical mistakes, like buying an under capacity CPU cooler, or a power supply without enough of the correct connectors and voltages for your cards.

One thing I've noticed about homebuilt rigs is that they are occasionally louder than normal. I think a lot of builders don't think about noise or airflow, and a lot of the cabinetmakers just provide a bunch of fan mounting points but they can't really consider the cooling needs of the particular motherboard and CPU you're dealing with. If noise is important (perhaps you're going to use it as a media PC in a home theater, too) then you can factor that in as well, or consider options like liquid cooling solutions.

Comment Re:This is *SO* unethical ! (Score 1) 244

Butte is a union town where the union's demands killed the economy. There's probably more to this than meets the eye... I haven't kept track of Butte politics in a long time, but would guess there's been anonymous pressure in directions that didn't suit whatever's left of TPTB.

But yeah, it does break the implied contract with existing commenters, and which of my real names would you prefer?? there's no law that I have to use the one on my birth certificate; so long as I have no intent to defraud I can call myself anything I like. I'd suggest a spate of posts by ... oh, say, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson.

Comment Re:Allow me to predict the comments (Score 1) 230

Part of it is simply a matter of dongle-count. Yes, ethernet is absolutely needed; yes, the connector should be right there, physically secure. No, USB dongles to provide ethernet won't ever be on my list of things I'm excited to do.

It would be better - a lot better - if there was actual, reliable ethernet hardware on there, and I'd be more than happy to pay a few bucks for it.

The ethernet on the other PI's is not particularly reliable, and that, in my case, is the downfall of the whole enterprise. I have four pis. They all drop their ethernet connections from time to time. It's beyond annoying.

Comment Re:Holy crap ... (Score 1) 67

The security difference between chip-and-signature and chip-and-PIN matters in only one case, and that is if your physical card is stolen from your wallet. Skimmers, data breaches, shoulder-surfing, all the hacking attacks won't yield the secret key inside the chip, preventing it from being counterfeited. If you don't like the security of your chip-and-signature card because you're afraid your card might be stolen, ask your bank to issue you a chip-and-PIN card instead. If your bank won't, there are plenty of other banks who will, and who will be grateful for your business.

Visa and the retailers originally figured U.S. customers would prefer chip-and-signature because it makes selling things "easy". But that's a pretty stupid attitude, because lots of people (including you and me) are wary about identity theft. Customers need to complain to their banks so that they learn we'd rather have PINs than signatures.

Overall credit card security will still remain terrible for a long time to come because static mag stripes still exist, and online card-not-present transactions still use static authentication data like CVV2 codes. What really needs to happen to actually improve security is that mag stripes and static numbers like CVV2 need to be flat-out outlawed. The recent "liability shift" is the opening salvo in the conversion, but we're probably still a decade away from actual security.

Comment Re:anti-business liberal scoring points (Score 0) 345

My answer to this is very simple actually, if there is no business case to go to Mars I don't want any government stealing money from people to go to Mars because at that point it is all it is: theft.

Eventually a business case for Mars may become real and then businesses will find a way to get there. Today it is likely not the case at all that there is any sort of ROI on going to Mars except for raising spirits of those, who want to see it happen.

Well, if the people who WANT to see it happen actually PAY for it by BUYING bonds that would pay for it, then a private business can do it without government! That's because a private business can print bonds that can be sold (tentatively) to people and if enough money is raised then actually collect the money and start building.

To do it otherwise is to steal, but that's nothing new, that's what all governments always do.

In 1750 Issac Newton became discouraged when he fell up a flight of stairs.