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Submission + - Raspberry Pi Zero: the $5 computer

drinkypoo writes: Today Eben Upton and the Raspberry Pi foundation announced the Raspberry Pi Zero, an even tinier Pi with a BCM2835 1GHz ARM11 core allegedly 40% faster than Raspberry Pi 1, 512MB of LPDDR2 SDRAM, micro-SD and an unpopulated 40-pin GPIO header with the classic pinout — priced at just five dollars. In spite of being shrunk to just 65mm x 30mm x 5mm, it retains [mini-]HDMI output (and there is an unpopulated header for composite video output as well.) At this price and size, the Zero competes handily with the $9 C.H.I.P. computer discussed here previously.

Comment Re:Windows 7 (Score 2) 321

Funny, because I had an laptop that came with Vista SP1. Later when I upgraded it to Windows 7, I wondered why I even bothered since it looked and performed exactly the same.

And I had a laptop that came with Vista. It was totally unusable. Then SP1 came out and it became mildly usable. Then I got Windows 7 on it and the difference was like night and day. Boot times were cut by far more than half. Time to usability after login, likewise. Responsiveness increased dramatically. Crashes reduced likewise. Windows 7 in particular uses less memory than Vista; Vista chokes on 2GB systems and doesn't become acceptable until 3 or 4GB, and 7 is acceptable in 512MB and fine in 1GB. This is not a big deal today when RAM is practically free — I have 16GB in my budget desktop, and that only because I like to run virtual machine and keep them running while I run big, memory-hungry apps. At the time, it was a big deal.

Comment Re:Just what I want (Something like it) (Score 1) 321

My sister's new Acer laptop came with a slew of bloatware. I want a program that will remove it all with a couple of clicks

Some Acer factory restore CDs come in two parts and if you skip the second one they don't install the bloatware. I have no idea if yours is one of those. But if you didn't make at least two copies of the factory restore image before doing anything else, fail fail

Note that I have made this mistake before and paid (literally) for it

Comment Re:flawed "research" (Score 1) 198

TFA is a troll, perhaps by a shill. it is a crock of shit, and it stinks.

That's what I would have said before Nest legitimized the assertion by having a PR flack say "when Nest Cam is turned off, it completely stops transmitting video to the cloud, meaning it no longer observes its surroundings". But this is a lie which was spoken in response to this complaint, which tells me that the complaint is dead-nuts accurate.

Comment Re:FUD at least sort of. (Score 1) 198

Even more appropriate might be the hot water recirculating loops you can create with a small pump. The hot water is off, but the pump continuously circulates water through the system so that as soon as you turn the water on, the water out of the tap is hot. It's a convenience for which you pay an energy penalty, and the flip side is almost zero startup time.

That's analogous to power being delivered to the camera, which is always the case. Nobody is switching power off to the module in any context. That would take more hardware that would consume power while the module is active, or which takes up a lot of space. Instead, they are simply telling the driver when to spit out data, and when not to. Nobody is telling the driver to spit out data when they're not using it on a mobile device, because that increases power consumption. I would personally avoid doing it even on a static device because it only increases the chance of exposing some flaw in the driver, but that doesn't mean Nest hasn't done it.

The hot water loops are a good analogy, though; keeping the power on is like having a hot water loop, but water still doesn't come out of the tap unless you actually open it — in this case, by connecting to the driver and retrieving image information from it.

Comment Re:FUD at least sort of. (Score 1) 198

It is good engineering practice that when you "soft" power something down, all unnecessary circuits get switched into low power/standby modes, and you only retain just enough functionality to detect the "power on" signal. It takes some effort to do well but it's not rocket science.

Sounds like they decided their customers would rather have instant on /shrug

Sounds like you don't know what you're talking about. This is not about removing power from the camera. This is about using the functionality built into basically every camera-control IC to turn on a LED when the camera is recording, and turn it off when it isn't. Unless there is something drastically wrong with the camera driver, and that would be their fault since they chose the camera module, that doesn't take any appreciable time. If their customers would like instant on, they can have that and a LED which does what the customer expects at the same time. Your logical fallacy is false dichotomy, but it was probably brought about by ignorance.

Comment Re:video transmission (Score 1) 198

In fairness, the LED may be directly connected to the transmitter, and when the transmitter is on, the LED is on.

If that had been the case they'd have said so, but they didn't. They left us to wonder, which means the truth is uncharitable. People brag on their bragworthy bullet points. We are talking about a PR flack here, they are quoted as a spokesperson. ... correction, she is quoted as "a spokesperson", and in fact is currently a "Senior PR Manager" there. So she's an expert at telling bullshit lies, like "when Nest Cam is turned off, it completely stops transmitting video to the cloud, meaning it no longer observes its surroundings". Well no, that's not that that means, and only an idiot PR flack with no knowledge of the product or even computing in general could believe such idiocy.

The whole argument is that the LED should tell you when the camera has been activated, because an attacker who has compromised your device isn't going to turn the LED on for you when they fire up a program to stream from your camera to their computer. Either she is too stupid to understand that, and should be prevented from making more public statements that demonstrate her stupidity, or she is a lying piece of shit who is deliberately defrauding customers (and others) about the security of the device and the relevance of the LED. Either way, she should be an embarrassment to Nest.

Comment Re:Wonderfully surreal and out-of-the box (Score 1) 18

I'm surprised there isn't more chatter here about this. A good many of these entries are quite clever and creative.

The average slashdotter can't dance and doesn't have a PHd, so it's unclear as to what there is to attract us to this story. This seems like a story for people who claim to love science but can't tell you how the scientific method works.

Why did the Roman Empire collapse? What is the Latin for office automation?