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Comment: Qualcomm must be funding it. (Score 1) 33

by dbc (#47897733) Attached to: Robot Operating System To Officially Support ARM Processors

ROS has had portability issues for a long time, but those issues have been getting a lot of attention for at least a couple of years. The build system is much better, for one thing. It should be acknowledged that a lot of people (hobbyists, mainly) have been putting in signficant effort on making an ARM port possible for some time, Raspian on the RasPi being the main target. So while it is a good thing, on balance, that Qualcomm is putting in some money to make it happen, I'm disappointed that the work already done on an ARM port isn't being recognized.

One interesting question that is always worth asking: Why is Qualcomm putting money in? And why are they putting money in now?

Anyway... it's finally nice to have some news for nerds.

Comment: Re:Everyone uses encryption right now anyway (Score 1) 104

by dbc (#47890543) Attached to: UK Ham Radio Reg Plans To Drop 15 min Callsign Interval and Allow Encryption

Pedantically correct, you are. But... why is a proprietary CODEC allowed in the ham bands? I can't go out and build a D-STAR compatible radio because of that. Proprietary CODECs should not get FCC type acceptance for amateur radio, as it conflicts the the "basis and purpose" wording of the enabling legislation. *grump*

Encryption, OTOH, is kind of a big deal now for emergency communications. In the USA, hospitals have traditionally been both big supporters of and big clients of amateur radio emergency communications groups such as RACES and ARES. HIPAA has put a very large kink in that -- being able to encrypt patient information would make that a non-issue, but as things currently stand HIPAA regulations are a giant trip-wire for anyone passing information in the clear. Amateur radio would benefit greatly from changes to part 97 that allowed health/welfare information to be encrypted for emergency communications.

Comment: Re:RedBot, Elecraft (Score 1) 115

by dbc (#47857295) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Robotics or Electronic Kits For Wounded Veterans?

Well, so there are no jobs in wireless these days? I guess I'll have to tell that to all my friends that do cell tower site planning and engineering, or do tower rigging, or old-fashioned two-way and paging system maintenance. Or all those guys I know with RF design engineer jobs... I guess they are unemeplyed, too.... wonder how they are paying for their Tesla's?

Comment: Hydro is NOT green. (Score 1) 260

by dbc (#47855863) Attached to: Tesla Plans To Power Its Gigafactory With Renewables Alone

Stop saying that. Dams are highly destructive of the environment. Entire fisheries wiped out. Valleys flooded. I just don't get it when bus loads of eco-protesters show up when someone wants to scrape 5 acres of desert for a factory, but flooding 10 of thousands of acres of virgin forest, destroying land and aquatic habitat upstream and downstream of the dam, and they say "Great! Green energy! Let me plug in my electric car!"

Please, please, next time you visit Yosemite, pay a visit to the Hetch Hetchy reservoir. Then tell me how green hydro is.

Comment: Electric fence chargers are great fun... (Score 1) 231

by dbc (#47843945) Attached to: Did you use technology to get into mischief as a child?

I grew up in farm country, so it was fairly common for kids to bring broken fence chagers into the electricity shop or farm shop for a quick repair job. After it was working again, it could often be ... ummm.... tested, yes, that's the word, tested... by hooking it to the metal parts of a chair. Just to make sure it was working.

Comment: Re:Fairly often, but nothing serious: (Score 1) 231

by dbc (#47843933) Attached to: Did you use technology to get into mischief as a child?

Guess what, it happens to pros.... years ago my wife was working at Oracle when they introduced their own email product. Larry Elison, being a strong believer in eating your own dog food, had an early version rolled out campus-wide in one shot replacing their good, old Unix MUA's and MTA's. It was OK, but the out-of-office reply wasn't smart enough to not auto-reply to an auto-reply. It also would auto-replay to the *entire* cc list of the original message, which as it turns out, is a mis-feature. In a campus of 5000 people, there are usually a fair number of people out-of-office, sales folk especially. Anyway, things were looking pretty grim already by 9:30 in the morning, when some well-intentioned person in facilities sent a campus-wide notice about an upcoming parking lot paving project. The result of that was epic.

Comment: Voltage regulator? (Score 2) 102

by dbc (#47843419) Attached to: Some Core I7 5960X + X99 Motherboards Mysteriously Burning Up

From the photos and the write-ups, it looks like a voltage regulator is failing. So, maybe a spec in the data sheet is wrong (for reasons from typo to ooops, we didn't compute that rating correctly...) or maybe a parts vendor for that regulator had a bad-batch day. It happens. Years ago I was involved in one of the latter... "Which date codes do you want us to pull from the parts crib again? I think we have about $2 million of the bad ones...." -- at least that time I was on the customer side, which has much less impact on your sleep schedule.

Comment: Scott Hassan?? Run away!!!!! (Score 1) 62

by dbc (#47843329) Attached to: Willow Garage Founder Scott Hassan Aims To Build a Startup Village

Scott "Bridge Burner" Hassan is a well-known ass-hat in the Sili Valley robotics community. He guided Willow Garage into a controlled cratering, and the spin-out agreements of the companies that have come out of Hassan's previous ventures have contained undigestible poison pills driven by Scott's greed. Hassan has PO'ed enough of the VC's on Sand Hill Road that he is *forced* to go it alone now with strange schemes like this where he can indulge his misguided greed. Scott Hassan is number one on my list of people that I would never, ever, allow to influence a start-up I was involved with.

Given what I know about Hassan, I predict that this is simply a slave camp disguised as a honey pot. Scott will own everything. The slaves will own nothing. Apparently, Hassan is disatisified with the rate at which he is accumulating personal enemies, and now wants to start manufacturing personal enemies by the warehouse-full.

Comment: Re:Hexidecimal (Score 1) 169

by dbc (#47829197) Attached to: Steve Ballmer Authored the Windows 3.1 Ctrl-Alt-Del Screen

???? Well, I guess you are proud to be an uneducated redneck. Just because it is useless to *you*, doesn't mean it is useless to everybody. To some of us, it is essential that the exception code be easily available. If it doesn't appear on the last screen the machine can put up before coming to a complete halt, where would you suggest it go? To a log file, when the file system might not be working? *sheesh*. Really, I'd like to hear where else you think it could be recorded in a manner that is both 100% reliable and easily accessible without specialized diagnostic equipment.

BTW -- 99% of the blue screens were 0E exceptions -- "invalid page fault". In other words, a page fault in the kernel. Page faults are only valid from user space code. In 99% of *those* cases, the cause was a driver bug where an I/O driver should have wired down a page so that it would not get swapped out while it was the I/O source or destination. Microsoft got tired of getting blamed for shitty third party drivers, thus we now have signed driver code.

Let me tell you, if you don't get an error code at a machine halt, the next step is to start hanging logic analyzer probes. Then when your bench tech is done hanging probes you get to come back and spend the next several hours staring at logic analyzer traces. Been there. Done that. Got the tee-shirt -- literally.

Comment: Re:Here's an idea, Tom (Score 3, Informative) 145

by dbc (#47828423) Attached to: FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Says Switching ISPs Is Too Hard

Oh??? So, when the rural broadband act when through, and a rural telco plowed fiber across the meadow in front of my mountain cabin, and paid me for the right-of-way, those were fictitious dollars? So, I'll grant you this... the telco didn't pocket the dollars, they paid a lot of money to plow fiber through hard rock and the Cat operators and I pocketed the dollars. The Telco is pocketing dollars monthly from the communication tower tenants that the fiber serves.

There *were* federal dollars to be captured for doing internet build-out. And dollars were captured. I personally cashed one of the checks. At least in my case, I can say it improved service. I'm not sure the benefits were evenly distributed, though.

An Ada exception is when a routine gets in trouble and says 'Beam me up, Scotty'.