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Comment: Re:Open FPGA? (Score 2) 136

by SparkEE (#47625883) Attached to: Parallax Completes Open Hardware Vision With Open Source CPU

Only if by "reigns supreme" you mean "is used more" :)

I've gone back and forth between Verilog and VHDL depending on the company I am at throughout my career. Verilog is used more often, but it is absolutely horrible. I know people find the strict typing of VHDL painful, but it really does save a lot of time later during verification. I think people would be surprised at how much VHDL is still used. A large part of Qualcomm uses it still for modem chips and for mobile SOCs.

Comment: Re:Contractor (Score 1) 473

by SparkEE (#44001865) Attached to: The $200,000 Software Developer

Remember to compare that $623/month against what you're currently really paying. Most companies do not provide medical coverage to employees completely free, there is some money taken out of your paycheck pre-tax for your contribution. This can easily be between $200 and $500 depending on the company and your elections.

Comment: Re:but military drones don't use unencrypted signa (Score 1) 214

by SparkEE (#40496063) Attached to: GPS Spoofing Attack Hacks Drones

The problem with the ever-increasing timestamp concept is that it doesn't account for multi-path issues. I thinks the GP's idea of replay is to do it quick enough that it looks like a stronger multi-path version of the signal. However, there are two problems with that I see. 1. Without being able to decrypt the original message and encrypt a new one, I don't see how one would do the replay with any use. 2. Even if you did have the ability to decrypt and encrypt, it would take far too long to do all that an re-transmit in time to fit in the multi-path search window. GP said you could do this without knowing the actual meaning of the signal. I'm not sure what that would accomplish other than either amplifying the signal, or jamming it.

Robotics

Study Shows Babies Think Friendly Robots Are Sentient 159

Posted by samzenpus
from the stupid-babies dept.
seanonymous writes "A study from University of Washington claims that babies think robots are human, so long as the robots are friendly. No word on what evil robots are thought to be. From the article: 'At 18 months old, babies have begun to make conscious delineations between sentient beings and inanimate objects. But as robots get more and more advanced, those decisions may become harder to make. What causes a baby to decide a robot is more than bits of metal? As it turns out, it takes more than humanoid looks — babies rely on social interaction to make that call.'"
Idle

Pope Says Technology Causes Confusion Between Reality and Fiction 779

Posted by samzenpus
from the where's-the-reset-button dept.
Pope Benedict XVI has warned that people are in danger of being unable to discern reality from fiction because of new technologies, and not old books. "New technologies and the progress they bring can make it impossible to distinguish truth from illusion and can lead to confusion between reality and virtual reality. The image can also become independent from reality, it can give birth to a virtual world, with various consequences -- above all the risk of indifference towards real life," he said.
Government

UK Man Prevented From Finding Chipped Pet Under Data Protection Act 340

Posted by samzenpus
from the clause-22 dept.
Dave Moorhouse was elated when he was informed that a microchip provider had information on the whereabouts of his stolen dog. This joy soon faded when the company informed him that it could not divulge the Jack Russell terrier's location because it would breach the Data Protection Act. Last week a court agreed with the chip company and refused Mr Moorhouse's request for a court order compelling them to reveal the name and address of the new owners. Steven Wildridge, managing director of the chip company said: “This is not a choice, it’s an obligation under the Data Protection Act. If the individuals involved do not want us to pass on their details to the original owner then we cannot do so unless compelled to following a criminal or civil proceeding."

Comment: Re:Lets skip to the heart of the matter (Score 1) 260

by SparkEE (#33207058) Attached to: The Shoddy State of Automotive Wireless Security

Not true, the system still notices. The system gets calibrated when the tires are filled up by a competent driver initializing calibration through a simple 22 step process done entirely be a single button and a 2-line dashboard display. It's even written down in the manual that I'm sure every driver reads before operating a vehicle. The proper tire speed to engine speed is then stored in the computer over the next few miles of driving. After that point, any/all tire deflation will be noticed.

Comment: Re:I'm confused... (Score 1) 335

by SparkEE (#33074548) Attached to: Android Data Stealing App Downloaded By Millions

You list what permissions your app will need up front in the manifest. If your app then tries to do something that wasn't in that manifest, it won't be able to, because it doesn't have the permission. If Mr Malwharightar tries to be sneaky and omit a permission to make phone calls, then the code will not be able to make phone calls. I don't see the flaw.

Comment: Re:Swing and a miss... (Score 1) 312

by SparkEE (#32964856) Attached to: Catching Satnav Errors On Google Street View

There's actually nothing wrong with the route google shows there. First, you put the end point there, implying you actually want to get there. Second, there are parked cars in that street view, so apparently you can drive down that road for the purpose of parking (say, like when you tell google that your destination is on that street).

If you move the end point anywhere else, google routes you around that street. Ask it to take you to Oak St east of Octavia Blvd, and google takes you down Laguna St.

Comment: Re:Do you work on weapons? (Score 3, Interesting) 409

by SparkEE (#31986856) Attached to: Obama To Decide On New Weapons

As an EE, I've had a couple jobs where I worked on weapons. In fact, I've worked on the Conventional Trident Modification program referenced by TFA. It can be a bit of a struggle to deal with the fact that you're building a weapon. There's one rational that got tossed around quite a bit:

The weapons will be built by someone. Would you really want the weapon design to fall only to engineers that couldn't get other jobs? Given that I worked on the guidance parts, I could be glad that I was involved in making sure the weapon only went where it was intended to go.

Granted, that first part is a bit of a strawman, but it's based in the reality that not all engineers will ever stop working on weapons.

In the past, I've also worked on a torpedo project. That was a bit easier since torpedos are rarely used against anything other than a naval vessel, especially the MK48. Missiles are definitely more taxing on moral. Also, the fact that you're working on a weapon was always present for me and affected every single design decision. I wish I could say the same seemed true for the management. I'm not sure how many times I said things like "We're building a damn missile here, how about we double check that?"

Image

How To Find Bad Programmers 359

Posted by samzenpus
from the how-little-work-can-you-do-in-a-day dept.
AmberShah writes "The job post is your potential programmer's first impression of your company, so make it count with these offputting features. There are plenty of articles about recruiting great developers, but what if you are only interested in the crappy ones?" I think much of the industry is already following these guidelines.

Comment: Re:Ebooks not the problem, kindle navigation is (Score 1) 492

by SparkEE (#30763702) Attached to: US DOJ Says Kindle In Classroom Hurts Blind Students
However, a Braille book has Braille page numbers in the same spot on every page, so it is actually easier to navigate. There are regulations in place for publishers that make sure text books are available in Braille.

When moving to e-books, there is no guarantee a printed book exists in any form. University are claiming this is okay, citing that printed Braille books are not necessary due to the text-to-speech feature of the Kindle. If it were not for the lack of text-to-speech for navigation, this would be true.

Get hold of portable property. -- Charles Dickens, "Great Expectations"

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