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Comment Re:Unicomp Keyboard (Score 1) 452

Glued together?
I have a few spacesavers and a classic. The classic had its usb cable replaced due to flakeyness in that cable and the spacesaver had one cleaning cycle (remove keys for washing, vacuum and clean baseplate).

Disassembly was easy. No glue anywhere, unless you mean the plastic rivets that bond the baseplate to the foil and keys?


An anonymous reader writes: Many individuals may have been left susceptible to online
hackers while surfing the web on The apple company and Search engines devices,
thanks to a newly discovered protection defect known as “FREAK.”

Submission + - FCC Chairman Defends Net Neutrality At The Biggest Carrier Event

dkatana writes: At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler defended the recent FCC decision to support net neutrality by reclassifying Internet service providers under Title II of the Federal Communications Act.

According to Wheeler, the only “NO" for carriers under the new rules is no blocking, throttling or paid prioritization. The regulation has many more “NOs” for the agency, he said, listing bans on regulation of the internet, utility-style regulation, rate regulation, tariffing, network unbundling, regulation of technical operating requirements, new taxes or fees.

Submission + - Heartbleed Still Prevalent Year After Discovery

stephendavion writes: Flaw in SSL security layer persists almost a year on. The Heartbleed bug is still prevalent among appliances and devices that rely on SSL despite almost a year passing since it was discovered, according to data collected by the security vendor Qualys. An analysis of the most common vulnerabilities between November and January showed that SSL bugs accounted for four out of the top ten, with Heartbleed claiming last place despite the huge publicity around the bug. Wolfgang Kandek, CTO at Qualys said that device vendors may still be selling products vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug because the products had been shrink wrapped before the flaw was discovered, and not since patched. He also noted that such items often did not have the automatic patching common to consumer products like smartphones, which was something the vendors should look into implementing.

Submission + - NASA scientists reproduce uracil, cytosine, and thymine non-biologically in lab (

hypnosec writes: Scientists over at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California have reproduced non-biologically the three basic components of life found in both DNA and RAN — uracil, cytosine, and thymine — in lab. For their experiment scientists deposited an ice sample containing pyrimidine — a ring-shaped molecule made up of carbon and nitrogen — on a cold substrate in a chamber with space-like conditions such as very high vacuum, extremely low temperatures, and harsh radiation and irradiated the sample with high-energy ultraviolet (UV) photons from a hydrogen lamp. Researchers discovered that such an arrangement produces these essential ingredients of life including uracil, cytosine, and thymine.

Submission + - French nuclear industry in turmoil as manufacturer buckles (

mdsolar writes: France's nuclear industry is in turmoil after the country's main reactor manufacturer, Areva, reported a loss for 2014 of 4.8 billion euros ($5.3 billion) — more than its entire market value.

The government of France, the world's most nuclear dependent country, has a 29% stake in Areva, which is among the biggest global nuclear technology companies. The loss puts its future — and that of France as a leader in nuclear technology — at risk.

Energy and Environment Minister Segolene Royal said Wednesday she asked Areva and utility giant Electricite de France to work together on finding solutions, amid reports of a possible merger or other link-up.

The government said in a statement that it's working closely with Areva to restructure and secure financing, and would "take its responsibility as a shareholder" in future decisions about its direction.

Areva reported Wednesday 1 billion euros in losses on three major nuclear projects in Finland and France, among other hits.

Areva has lost money for years, in part linked to delays on those projects and to a global pullback from nuclear energy since the 2011 Fukushima accident.

Comment Re:Tit for tat (Score 2) 197

Exactly, but a lot of older measurement equipment is repairable. I cant imagine a person with very little electronics engineering knowledge repairing current electronics. SMT components everywhere and no tools available at a hobby shop to service them (hot air soldering station, precision tweezers). Having schematics at the inside would like in the old television sets would be a great help (plus board layouts), but this is never going to happen.

But most of the modern equipment that fails, it is usually the power supply that breaks. Either bad capacitors with too high ESR or fried switching transistors.

You use a 547? How do you deal with the HV transformer rot that happens to a lot of post 1960 500 series oscilloscope? I have the single timebase variant of the 547, the 544 that I use for measurements that are too dangerous for my digital or analog scope, but I cant use it longer then two hours before the HV stops working and the screen goes.

Surplus russian tunnel diodes? Where do you get these?

Comment Re:NeoCad + DIY FPGA (Score 1) 108

I have been thinking about the same thing as of lately. Creating an open source FPGA with full tools: Synthesis, Place and Route, low level FPGA editor and more.

I was thinking as a start to make something similar to the old Spartan-1 type fpga in a newer process. The marked targeted would be in between the CPLD and the smallish fpga's. (100 luts to 1000 luts)

The reason for this is that CPLD's are simple to integrate on board (no non volatile storage, only one supply voltage) but for small fpga's you already need a seperate configuration device, 3 voltage outputs more stringent decoupling. CPLD's only have maximum of 256 3-lut capacity before they are not cost effective anymore.

What I am missing is a small simple FPGA that does not have all the features of the more modern devices but with a spartan-1 level device you can still build some pretty impressive stuff. The device has 4 global clocks, 4 input luts that are configurable as 1x16 SRAM (you could opt for 6 input lut's these days). No multipliers, ram blocks, clock managers. This would be more targeted as a microcontroller replacement if made sufficiently low power and made running with a wide voltage range. I would still opt for an external flash storage device to reduce the FPGA price and complexity but using a standard serial flash chip.

Reverse engineering FPGA's seems like a time consuming and error prone job to do and you would always be a few generations behind. Not really an option.

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