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Comment: Re:This might have been incompetence, not malice (Score 1) 700

by danceswithtrees (#48207567) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

What they should have done is just set the PID to some generic USB CDC serial port so that the counterfeit chips would no longer use the FTDI driver and would no longer show ups as FTDI chips to the OS.

If after upgrading your drivers, your device no longer works, I don't think most users would make the distinction between PID set to 0 vs set to something else. Not working, bricking, de-functionalized, unrecognized by the driver, etc are rather fine distinctions. It either works the way it did or it doesn't.

Comment: Re:Summary (Score 1) 60

Question: Are current FPGAs faster than 10-15 year old CPUs?

Umm, I think you have things backwards. For certain tasks, FPGAs are phenomenally faster than any general purpose CPU. The correct question should be:

Are current FPGAs faster than CPUs 10-15 years from now?

Comment: Re:Summary is completely misleading (Score 1) 60

Yes, I guess there is a spectrum of implementations of retina-like processing. On one side, there is the retina and on the other side, a digital camera followed by Photoshop. This is being done algorithmically in FPGA so is closer to the Photoshop end of the spectrum.

There are silicon models of retinal processing. See
And there is a book by Carver Mead (I think he was the thesis advisor for above dissertation) called "Analog VLSI and Neural Systems" with a chapter on in silico retinal processing. This is what I would call an artificial retina.

What they made at CERN would more honestly be called a real-time FPGA implementation of retina-like processing. The length of the wires have little to do with it.

Comment: Summary is completely misleading (Score 2) 60

Reading the abstract, it is clear that what they did was to do image analysis using an algorithm (albeit in FPGA) modeled on what happens in the retina. Other than the speed advantage, there is nothing special about this that makes it an artificial retina. If you take a picture with a cellphone and do edge detection using software, is that an artificial retina? I would argue no more or less than what is described here.

TFS makes it sound like the image detectors are actually doing edge detection like the retina. The image sensors (CCD or CMOS or whatever) is doing no such thing. The image sensors are providing raw images that are being analyzed using edge detection algorithms using an FPGA.

There are VLSI implementations of retina-like processing, i.e. center excite, surround inhibit, that can do edge detection/enhancement, but this ain't it.

Comment: Re:Dear Lord, what has happened to Slashdot?! (Score 2) 41

Jame's Clerk Maxwell (yes, the same one with the equations) figured out that the ring's of saturn must be made up of small particles. He came to this conclusion because a solid ring would have an unstable orbit and any disturbance would cause it to crash into Saturn. A fluid ring would form blobs and waves. Since neither of these happened, Maxwell concluded that the rings must be made up of small particles in orbit around Saturn. Bonus, he figured this out in 1856!

Sort of amazing what the human mind is capable of. On the other hand, we have the kind that make the comments seen above.

Frist post (that has anything relevant)

Comment: Re:Big deal (Score 1) 448

After enough scams like this, "kickstarter" might become the punchline to a joke. Sort of like April fools, but good year round.

Dude1: Buy my foldable 400MPH 400 miles to the gallon car which folds up into a suitcase, only $1K.
Dude2: Wow, that sounds great. I could totally use that. Take my money!
Dude1: Kickstarter!
Dude2: You (**%$)hole.

Comment: XMEGA Xprotolab (Score 1) 172

by danceswithtrees (#47225263) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: PC-Based Oscilloscopes On a Microbudget?

Somewhat surprised no one has mentioned Xprotolab yet.

8 channel logic analyzer at 2MSPS (3.3V)
2 channel analog at 2MSPS, 200kHz analog bandwidth, -14 to +20V inputs
Small OLED display
1.6" x 1"
As an extra bonus prize, arbitrary waveform generator!!

Never tried one personally-- tempted but I think my Tek would get jealous.

Comment: Re:Getting extremely sick of this. (Score 4, Insightful) 174

by danceswithtrees (#47196463) Attached to: Greenland Is Getting Darker

It's as if the earth never has experienced higher temperatures before and survived.

I don't think any scientist, or thoughtful person for that matter, questions whether the Earth will survive. Of course it will. Their real question is whether the changes will cause a great die off in humans and animals. Some animals will undoubtedly thrive in the new environment but humans, probably not so much.

What the world *really* needs is a good Automatic Bicycle Sharpener.