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Comment: Re:Probably Not (Score 1) 523

by Rob Riggs (#48221929) Attached to: FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

Two years ago I had no clue that counterfeit chips existed. All I would have known is that there is a chip marked FTDI on the board and the serial drivers worked. What more QC is expected from a board supplier who may be producing a few hundred boards for a niche market and making a few thousand dollars per run?

Comment: Probably Not (Score 1) 523

by Rob Riggs (#48220315) Attached to: FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips
As a "maker" who sells small runs of boards that I have manufactured in China by an assembly house, I trust that they will build the board to spec. But I do not have the wherewithal to manage and secure my supply chain from start to finish. If I specify a part, I trust that the assembly house uses genuine parts. If they do not, I don't know what sort of recourse I have if, two years, later, all of my parts start being bricked. But I certainly see it from FTDI's perspective (and Prolific, another serial chip manufacturer with the same problem). It's a really tough problem. I don't know what the right answer is. Maybe create a standard for USB serial interfaces that everyone can use? I think that already exists (the CDC).

Comment: Re:On the other hand... (Score 1) 688

by Rob Riggs (#48212467) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

Fake chips are a problem. Bricking equipment that includes fake chips is also a problem.

Companies are responsible for protecting their trademark. This is trademark protection, pure and simple. It's the cyber-equivalent of a Cease & Desist, where the companies have the power to enforce the C&D on their own.

One of the things that they are going to get out of this is the names of all the big products that use counterfeit chips. The makers of those products are going to be responsible for fixing the problem.

My guess is that many of these are going to just trace back to PCB manufacturers in China that were buying fake chips to cut costs and boost profit. The product manufacturer may have specified legitimate parts, but fakes were substituted by the contract manufacturer. If that is the case, it will be interesting to see how the Chinese deal with this.

Comment: Re: How many really make $140k ? (Score 1) 196

by Rob Riggs (#48188303) Attached to: Developers, IT Still Racking Up (Mostly) High Salaries
You can made decent money outside the big tech areas, in the smaller cities where quality of life tends to be higher. The trade-off is that you have to be willing to uproot and move to a completely different small city to chase other job opportunities. The demand for tech workers (and the commensurate pay) exists -- they just are not concentrated in a small area. But if you are unwilling to move (and your potential employer knows this), then they have a huge advantage when its comes to negotiating salary.

Comment: I agree!! (Score 1) 240

by Rob Riggs (#48140365) Attached to: Fighting the Culture of 'Worse Is Better'

All of my competitors should adopt the author's philosophy of software development immediately. His ivory tower FP idealism is worthy of emulation by all.

I will keep muddling through based on years of experience, leveraging existing code and know-how, maintaining backwards compatibility, planning long-term changes that sometimes take years to complete, deprecating unneeded features in as non-disruptive a manner as possible. And then, when the opportunity arises to do something radically different (like with the C++ "auto" keyword), make it happen. We're called pragmatic programmers. We are clearly losers. Do not emulate what we do.

Comment: Re:Malware (Score 0) 103

by Rob Riggs (#48102289) Attached to: The Malware of the Future May Come Bearing Real Gifts

It's already here. They're called smartphone apps.

Exactly. If the ${INSERT_SPY_ORG_HERE} wants to know what you are doing, you will only be presented with a notice that one of your apps has been updated. The government with the most influence over the companies that control the app stores wins the spy war. There are three majors. They are all multinationals based in the U.S.

When any one of these companies stops playing ball with the U.S., their IRS tax bill will come due. That's your clue to how well they are protecting your privacy.

Comment: Re:How do we know life can't adapt to it? (Score 1) 80

by Rob Riggs (#47967473) Attached to: Astrophysicists Identify the Habitable Regions of the Entire Universe

To get a sense of the energies involved: if you're a light-year way from a supernova, the neutrinos will kill you, even though they barely interact with matter at all.

Complete and utter bullshit. You are pulling numbers out of your ass. I give you the truth. I stopped reading your post after that sentence.

The study of non-linear physics is like the study of non-elephant biology.