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Comment: Re:Why is the hardware so complex/expensive? (Score 2) 64

I can't see why. You can get an ATMEL microcontroller at least as powerful (or more) than that one for $3 to $7 (depending on how capable you want it to be) in small quantities (qty 10). That's the SAM D21 CPUs ($3) and the SAM 3N or SAM 3S for $7.

I have to imagine the enclosure and such is more expensive than they thought.

The hardware seems pretty basic. I could make a prototype version from the CPU I just bought in a week. Yes, that includes sound triggering, opto triggering, etc.

Their AUX port seems HORRIBLY designed. They say it is powered, but you also can input signals? How? It's an RCA crown. It either can provide voltage and ground and look for a low resistance (short) across it, or it can receive voltages on it. If you really want to run active circuitry off it and receive a signal, you should use a 1/8" stereo jack and output power and ground and receive a signal in return. Then if you want to just use a short (like dry contacts) to trigger, you can ignore the power output, but if you want active circuitry you can do that too. Using the ADC to trigger is weird, even the $3 chip above has an analog comparator that interrupts you when a signal rises or falls and it can reference to things other than the 1.1V bandgap.

I just get the feeling they weren't nearly as good as they thought as what they are doing.


Human DNA Enlarges Mouse Brains 193

Posted by timothy
from the what-about-vice-versa dept.
sciencehabit writes Researchers have increased the size of mouse brains by giving the rodents a piece of human DNA that controls gene activity. The work provides some of the strongest genetic evidence yet for how the human intellect surpassed those of all other apes. The human gene causes cells that are destined to become nerve cells to divide more frequently, thereby providing a larger of pool of cells that become part of the cortex. As a result, the embryos carrying human HARE5 have brains that are 12% larger than the brains of mice carrying the chimp version of the enhancer. The team is currently testing these mice to see if the bigger brains made them any smarter.

Comment: they're doing the same thing as Apple (Score 1) 69

by YesIAmAScript (#49085413) Attached to: Will Every Xbox Be a Dev Kit?

Why does anyone find it surprising?

If you register for a developer program you'll be able to (for a fee) compile and develop apps and sign them for your device. If you want others to be able to run them you'll submit them to MS' store and they'll approve them or not.

And yes, just like for iOS you'll be able to do development and testing on the device.

It's been done before by Apple and by MS (for Windows and Windows Phone). I'm not sure what is the shock that it's going to happen again.

They're going to be Windows apps and they'll likely run in the Xbox dashboard, not "beside it" like the disc-base games do. Snap-ins, etc.


Oregon Residents Riled Over Virtually Staff-free Data Centers Getting Tax-breaks 158

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-about-the-benjamins dept.
An anonymous reader writes: The population of Hillsboro, Oregon is becoming vocal about the state's enterprise zone program offering enormous tax concessions to companies setting up data centers in the region — even though the five-year deals on offer only require data center operators to employ one person. That's exactly as many people as one DC plant, Infomart Portland, employs full-time, yet it gets more tax relief than highly-staffed enterprise zone neighbor Solarworld. The current influx of data centers to Hillsboro have only generated seven jobs to date. More installations are coming, and all Hillsboro residents are seeing is space taken up that might have gone to businesses that give something of benefit to the community.

Comment: iBeacon isn't a privacy issue alone (Score 1) 61

by YesIAmAScript (#48672789) Attached to: How Target's Mobile App Uses Location Tech To Track You

iBeacon helps your phone find itself and thus you. It doesn't let others map your phone.

A merchant could make a system which finds you using iBeacon by self reporting. That is your phone finds itself and then an app on your phone tells the merchant. So if you want to find yourself, you can using iBeacon. If you don't want to, you don't. If you want the retailer to know where you are, you run their app which reports your location using iBeacon. If you don't want to, you don't.

The other kinds of systems which track your WiFi signal around the store, where you are tracked without opting in, those are more likely to create privacy issues. Target already uses these kinds of systems.

Comment: Re:TFA Misunderstands the History (Score 2) 103

by YesIAmAScript (#48543025) Attached to: Neglecting the Lessons of Cypherpunk History

"when it was revealed that the NSA had actually, and pretty amazingly, undermined hardware random number generators on widely available chips"

Such a thing was never revealed.


"I have no idea if the NSA convinced Intel to do this with the hardware random number generator it embedded into its CPU chips, but I do know that it could." (could meaning it is conceivable here, he doesn't investigate anything about feasibility)

No one ever showed that the NSA did this. No one even tried.

It's really frustrating to see speculation reported as truth from a person who seems very careful to try to be sensible and not just ring alarm bells to get notice.

Comment: Macintosh 100? Terrible article. (Score 2) 296

by YesIAmAScript (#48218039) Attached to: How Sony, Intel, and Unix Made Apple's Mac a PC Competitor

There's no Macintosh 100.

There were two Mac Portables before the MacBook 100/140/170 came out.

Indeed both were enormous, each even had a lead-acid battery! The first one didn't even have a backlight.

The Sony-designed MacBook 100 was actually designed to just be a smaller version of the original Macintosh Portables, which is why it also was based upon the much slower 68000 processor (the 140/170 used 68030 processors).

The Powerbook 100 was well designed and small, but it wasn't really a big seller. The PowerBook 140 and PowerBook 170 took most of the sales. The later Powerbooks (145b, 160, 180, etc.) were all nearly identical to the 140/170 and not Sony's 100. This seemed to show that Apple didn't really take all that much from Sony's PowerBook 100.

Comment: claimed threat (Score 1, Flamebait) 289

by YesIAmAScript (#48216457) Attached to: Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems

Under a claimed threat of extradition to the US.

There's no actual evidence of it and in fact extradition from Sweden is harder than from the UK.

Let's not forget that Assange is where he is by choice. He says he fears extradition to the US, but there's a lot of other possibilities too. He may just simply fear conviction.

Comment: Re:DOCSYS? (Score 3, Insightful) 291

by YesIAmAScript (#48210145) Attached to: Will Fiber-To-the-Home Create a New Digital Divide?

That is not at all true. A single fiber cannot handle the world's internet bandwidth. And the PON systems used for homes don't even dedicate 1Gbit to each termination (house). You don't have a dedicated connection to a chassis with 2,000 other customers, you are PON split from a single fiber with a lot of other houses, then that goes to a chassis.

"It doesn't matter how it is shared as long as there is no congestion." is a useless truism. It's true for copper too.

I think it's hilarious that you think that your ISP is only oversubscribing their links 2x (2,000 1Gb connections to 1Tb backhaul). That's fantasyland at the prices that residential customers pay.


An Algorithm to End the Lines for Ice at Burning Man 342

Posted by timothy
from the that-trick's-not-so-weird dept.
Any gathering of 65,000 people in the desert is going to require some major infrastructure to maintain health and sanity. At Burning Man, some of that infrastructure is devoted to a supply chain for ice. Writes Bennett Haselton, The lines for ice bags at Burning Man could be cut from an hour long at peak times, to about five minutes, by making one small... Well, read the description below of how they do things now, and see if the same suggested change occurs to you. I'm curious whether it's the kind of idea that is more obvious to students of computer science who think algorithmically, or if it's something that could occur to anyone. Read on for the rest; Bennett's idea for better triage may bring to mind a lot of other queuing situations and ways that time spent waiting in line could be more efficiently employed.

Comment: your washer has a cycle time? (Score 4, Interesting) 602

by YesIAmAScript (#48002841) Attached to: The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

This is crazy. Just because the service tech told you something doesn't make it true.

I have an HE washer/dryer that predates yours. I got it them 10 years ago and they're still going strong. It was the Maytag Neptune, which was the first HE washer on the US market. There was a flaw in the door latch on the first year or two model but I was lucky to avoid that, mine is from just after that.

The washer works fine, although it is nice if you leave the door open for a day once in a while to dry it out in there otherwise, since the door is sealed, any moisture left in the drum after a cycle just sits there until next time you use it. It doesn't have anything to do with hot water, hot water only stays hot for a short time and hot water doesn't kill mildew anyway, if it did you wouldn't need to scrub or bleach the grout in your shower! Later models from Samsung and LG don't have this problem.

The dryer doesn't even have cycle times. It just runs until the clothes are dry. It does this using a dryness sensor, the same type which has been around since 1980 or so. If you do run it on a timed cycle, you can adjust the time it runs in one minute increments. So I have no idea what your tech was telling you about mandating short cycle times or burners that aren't hot enough.

Comment: it's simple math, similar triangles (Score 4, Insightful) 425

by YesIAmAScript (#47921979) Attached to: Apple Edits iPhone 6's Protruding Camera Out of Official Photos

On the smaller phone (iPhone 6) the lens is 50mm from the far (button) edge of the phone and protrudes 0.8mm. The phone is 7mm thick.

Thus there is a triangle formed on the top of the phone which is 0.8mm tall and 50mm base. Now, if you make the triangle 7.8mm tall you form a triangle with the front plane of the phone, a triangle with a base (7.8/0.8)*50 of 487mm.

So if you take the picture from less than 487mm away (half a meter) you can take a picture which doesn't show the camera and doesn't show the face of the phone (thus is "edge on") without using any photoshop trickery. The phone body will simply block the camera from view.

And that's surely what Apple did. It's not hard to do.

Also note: you don't have one, troll. It doesn't come out for a couple more days.

Comment: same junk as last time (Score 5, Insightful) 444

You cannot base any real analysis on figures take by looking at an artists rendering of the site.

The article says that they will have 85 windmills because there are 85 windmills in the picture. This is garbage. It is an artists rendering!

If you want to have a serious discussion, you have to wait until there is some actual real info to discuss.

Note that net metering is not running your plant completely off renewables. It's running it off renewables some of the time.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.