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Comment Re:Fat Cats in the Countryside (Score 2) 154

Secondly, you assert that pretty much everything I consume is heavily subsidized. To the point where I am getting a heck of a deal, receiving goods and services that exceed in value and cost what I pay for them. As I am an average joe, most of the country must be getting the same benefit. My question is, where the hell is all the money coming from to pay the difference?

He's right, you are getting a heck of a deal. As to the question of where the money is coming from: We're borrowing the money. Same as we have been for the past 20 years.

At some point, it will be time to pay the piper. The sooner we face the reality, the easier it will be. If we wait for the next financial crisis, it could be Greece all over again.

Comment Re:This is not new- same thing happened in 2007 (Score 1) 146

Ah, but can you prove that any individual in the class was affected? No? No standing.

Individually: No. As a logical statement, you can assert that someone in the population belongs to the class that does. You could make the legal argument that it is then the responsibility of the defendant to eliminate people from the class, as the plaintiff has already established that the class exists and has standing. The way that the agencies could establish the individuals do not belong to the class is quite clear. either prove that any given individual is not part of the class (was not spied upon), or has no standing (The spying was properly warranted). Either way, the argument should be that the plaintiff can prove the class exists, but has no way of proving who is is or is not in class, and can prove that the class has had its constitutional rights violated. The plaintiff is dependant on the defendant as the only entity that knows the specific individuals rights have been violated. The plaintiff has made the claim that all Americans are part of the class. Given that only the defendant has the ability to prove true or false, the bench should exercise their authority to force that information out from the defendant. This must be done because the bench has to recognize that this is the only viable option for preventing violations of the constitution, and doing anything other than forcing these agencies to properly defend themselves renders the constitution unenforceable.

Comment Re:oh, you know thought RPi was designed as OEM pa (Score 1) 57

Regardless of what they are intended to be, the Raspberry Pi and Beaglebone *are* commodity OEM parts and are being used in mass production systems. That is the entire impetus behind the compute module. The BBB is a better option as it is an open board. Our BBB supply house has 4 major customer who between them use more than 100K units per month, and they are just one supply house. Element14 is rumoured to be selling over 1M units per month now. Our designs are made to be flexible, and we can use either the Pi, the compute or the BBB. In the event that someone decides to stop making the RPI, we can switch to the BBB. The BBB already has 3rd party manufacturers who make the system specifically for the OEM market. Even the RPI guys *want* people to buy the RPIs for OEM use because they make money on them, and the more they sell, the better their margins get. Simply put, there is no compelling reason to spin your own processor board unless you need to fit mechanical constraints that the PI / BBB cant meet. Unless you are making 10M+ units per year, you wont be able to be cost competitive with those parts.

Comment Re:No thanks, don't need to keep rebuilding each t (Score 1) 57

And "I already have the Arduino DMX controller in the drawer"

That is the worst possible reason for selecting components unless you are a hobbyist with no real prospects for commercial application of your project. The proper way to select parts is to do a complete cost benefit analysis of a couple of different options to determine which one will have the overall best ROI. The company I work for has several products where the analysis was not done, and the engineer simply went with what they were familiar with in the face of overwhelming disadvantages. That one decision has cost our company over half a million dollars a year in excess unit costs. It is so large that we have hired two more engineers just to redo all of the designs that he had done. (When they found out how much money he had cost the company, he was let go).

If you are trying to make a commercially viable product, and you don't do the analysis, it can mean the difference between life and death for a startup. I can understand the use of the arduino possibly, if time to market is critical and all you know is the arduino. Even then, it might be in your best interest to bring in someone who is capable to do your engineering work, as doing it yourself could very well ensure failure...

Comment Re:No thanks, don't need to keep rebuilding each t (Score 1) 57

And "I already have the Arduino DMX controller in the drawer" means the unit cost is zero. The development cost of doing real time on a Pi is quite a bit higher than zero. Therefore, it makes sense to use the zero cost option (attach the Arduino you already have) rather than the higher cost, higher complexity option (use the Pi as a DMX controller along with everything else it's doing).

Unit cost doesn't mean what your post indicates you think it means.

Comment Re:not about pin count. See pci, pci-e, isa (Score 1) 57

(and why wouldn't you just drive the 4+ synced steppers from the raspi? RT is hard. nobody has gotten it to work well on it. you can do a concept printer but they're just that, concepts barely functioning(when compared to a friggin atmel ran bot). there's a kickstarter thats supposedly shipping now..)

I agree, a dedicated microcontroller is the right ticket for that application, but The arduino isn't it. The arduino system is not well suited to fine grained real time control. What you want is the PSOC I mentioned. It has built in hardware for precise control of the printer. Given the PSOCs capabilities, you can get faster 3D printer performance and better precision that the arduino will ever be capable of handling, and the PSOC costs less, communicating between the PSOC and the PI will be simpler, as the PSOC can do USB, or even ethernet (with the right PHY).

Comment Re:No thanks, don't need to keep rebuilding each t (Score 1) 57

> if its simple enough for an arduino, but you need the OS / USB / ethernet of the Pi, just skip the arduino and use a Pi by itself. Which is the same as saying: > if one part simple enough for a microcontroller, but you need the OS / USB / ethernet of a computer, just skip the microcontroller and use a PC by itself.

The two two are not identical. The difference is immediately obvious to a professional embedded system engineer. Cost. For an engineer, cost is the second and third most important factors. Second is unit cost, and third is development cost. Replacing a Pi with a PC fails the unit cost test, and using an arduino and Pi together when only one is necessary fails both tests. The key difference between an amateur designer and a professional engineer, is that typically the amateur is on a constrained budget which dictates that development cost is paramount. For an engineer, the equation is a lot more complex, which is why an engineer can justify spending $1,500 for an anual Orcad license, and an amateur can't.

Which means no add-in cards or USB peripherals, ever. After all, your Core i5 COULD be used to bit-bang ethernet. Therefore it should, right - no use case for an ethernet controller.

Full speed ethernet can't be bit-banged. There are too many timing related issues that would make a bit-banged solution unreliable. Audio on the other hand can and is done by bit banging with a little DMA. That is why CPU based "sound cards" are a thing. Ethernet and USB by contrast use different voltages from CPU core voltage requiring external hardware anyway. In modern PCs, this hardware also handles the protocol, so there is no cost advantage to using a phy only chipset and bit-banging USB.

As another example, the Pi can connect directly to a wifi chip, so it would be stupid use a separate wifi module like the wipi, right? You'd never do that, because you COULD skip module and integrate everything onto one board.

Depends on the unit cost vs engineering cost. If the total cost of development of the chip version is $X, and the unit cost difference $Y times the total estimated unit sales Z is less than $X, then there is no point in using the chip version, the USB wifi has the greater ROI, and should be selected.

I could continue, but apparently /. doesn't like long posts anymore...

Comment Re:not about pin count. See pci, pci-e, isa (Score 1) 57

An Arduino makes a good DMX controller. If you want to run DMX under Linux, it makes sense to connect a DMX controller (Arduino) to your Linux system (Pi). It's not about pin count, it's about building and connecting components that each do something. Just like you'd use PCI to connect a board (with a micro) to a PC running Linux or Windows.

Its funny you should mention DMX, we use DMX extensively where I work, and we actually built an ethernet/wifi to DMX bridge. Its an RPI, a wipi and the associated connectors. no need for an arduino.

There isn't any use case where a PI+arduino makes any sense. Even for the hobbyist, if its simple enough for an arduino, but you need the OS / USB / ethernet of the Pi, just skip the arduino and use a Pi by itself. No problem. If it is complicated enough to need more than the Pi alone can handle, then the arduino is most likely NOT what you want. You would be better served with one of the PSOCs I mentioned. its cheaper, and far more versatile. The arduinos day has come and gone. The Pi and beaglebone fill that need far better than the arduino ever did. If you need more, use the PSOC+ Pi / beaglebone.

Trust me, I do this for a living. what the arduino brings in terms of simplicity is decimated when you have to connect it to a Pi. at that point, get a real embedded SOC, and at least you have the peace of mind that your system has the horsepower you will need for your project.

Comment Re:general purpose io, for motors and stuff (Score 1) 57

You'd use it to connect your Raspberry Pi to an Arduino

The idea of connecting an RPI to an arduino is just bafflingly dumb. If you need raw pincount that bad, just use a beaglebone. The arduino simply adds another unnecessary layer of complexity. For almost every *normal* I2C use case, The RPI I2C works just fine. I2C was never intended for connecting two micro controllers together, so no one should be surprised when it doesn’t work well. Connecting two micro controllers together is going to be trouble whenever one is significantly faster than the other. SPI is better suited for that, but you'd better have DMA to handle the incoming data. The arduino just isn't going to cut it. At the end of the day if you're trying to do anything more complex than turning a light on and off, the arduino isn't the right tool for the job.

If you really want pincount, get one of these They are vastly more capable than the arduino and can connect to the RPI by USB. These are fully featured micro-controllers with on board everything. They might even be fast enough for you to skip the PI...

Comment Re:Linux is great! (Score 1) 393

It really is awesome. I suck at using it though, but I have a blast learning the ins and outs of a new system. I would be rightly pissed if someone plopped a new linux system in place of my current windows work mess without training.

I have recently embarked on a retraining mission to replace the existing PCs at work with Linux machines. I really turned some heads when I started replacing the work cell machines with RPI2s running xubuntu. I spend about 5 minutes with each employee showing them how to use openoffice to open the excel spreadsheets they need, and how to use the new file manager to connect to the remote servers.

At first the IT guys were dead set opposed to it, as they didn't want to support yet another platform in the mix, but when the head of IT realised my approach saves him $10,000 annually in PC replacement costs, he got on board fast. We got an SDcard duplicator and just keep a pile of boot images laying around. If someone gets one of the shop floor machines fouled up, we pop a new SDcard in it, and re-image the old one for future use. If they truly bork the machine, were out $35 for a new Pi. It beats blowing up $500 PCs all the time. Even the techs have come around now, since most shop floor service calls are 5 minutes in and out. They don't even bother to trouble shoot. Just put a new SDcard in and boot. If it comes up, done. If not, swap the Pi and done.

The workers on the shop floor haven’t even really noticed the difference. A few of them have asked about playing around with the machines because they want to learn about linux. Given how easy they are to fix when broken, we let them do pretty much as they please with them, with the understanding that if they hose the thing, were not going to troubleshoot it, just wipe it and start over.

Submission + - Google ordered to remove links to stories about Google removing links to stories->

vivaoporto writes: Ars Technica UK reports that the UK's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has ordered Google to remove links from its search results that point to news stories reporting on earlier removals of links from its search results. The nine further results that must be removed point to Web pages with details about the links relating to a criminal offence that were removed by Google following a request from the individual concerned.

The Web pages involved in the latest ICO order repeated details of the original criminal offence, which were then included in the results displayed when searching for the complainant’s name on Google. Toe company has 35 days to comply with the enforcement notice. If it does not, it faces financial sanctions, which can be significant.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - San Jose May Put License Plate Scanners On Garbage Trucks->

An anonymous reader writes: It's bad enough that some places have outfitted their police vehicles with automated license plate scanners, but now the city of San Jose may take that one step further. They're considering a proposal to install the plate readers on their fleet of garbage trucks. This would give them the ability to blanket virtually every street in the city with scans once a week. San Jose officials made this proposal ostensibly to fight car theft, but privacy activists have been quick to point out the unintended consequences. ACLU attorney Chris Conley said, "If it's collected repeatedly over a long period of time, it can reveal intimate data about you like attending a religious service or a gay bar. People have a right to live their lives without constantly being monitored by the government." City councilman Johnny Khamis said, "This is a public street. You're not expecting privacy on a public street."
Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Software error ... (Score 2) 234

delete or delete [] every time you allocate, or for that matter initialize a bunch of variables to 0 manually every single time?

It's really not that difficult unless you are not very clear on how your memory is being used and how the algorithms around it perform. With a clear understanding of the system being designed, cleaning up your memory allocation is a no brainer. The only time it presents anything remotely complicated is when the programmer doesn't understand the system they are working on. Under those circumstances, I would posit that the programmer should probably not be programming that particular project. I am well ware that stringent guidelines to that effect would knock 50% or more of the programmers out of the pool, and I am OK with that. Anyone with any sense at all should be OK with that, especially for safety critical systems.

Comment Re:old clunky junk (Score 1) 170

Ok, I will bite. I am an Arduino enthusiast. While I know there are lots of microcontrollers out there, are there any platforms out there that allows a hobbyist to quicjly build a few circuits because the infrastructure around the controller chip is very easy and foolproof to us.

Try the PSOC line of SOC systems. You can buy an eval kit that has the processor and labelled breakouts for all the pins. It also has the programmer built right into the board (usb connector on one end). The dev environment is very good, and the chips are awesome (think MCU, FPGA and programmable analog all in one package). They have tons of sample projects, and the whole thing is very easy to use.

You can get them here. If you're willing to bargain hunt, you can get them from a bunch of different places. You can even get them direct from cypress.

Comment Re:old clunky junk (Score 2) 170

Plenty of microcontroller programmers allow for active debugging in an IDE. Off the top of my head, a PICKIT2 for PICs or any of the Cypress PSOC kits. A lot of older microcontrollers required an expensive debugger, but now some of these are quite cheap, for example the SWD debugger on a $10 PSOC5LP board.

While I agree that Cypress has some excelent tools, debugging firmware is bitchy hard whether you have good tools or not. You can't use SWD to effectively debug interrupt handlers, and if you're writing firmware without using *lots* of interrupt handlers, you're doing it wrong.

Debugging firmware is still one of the black arts. It requires patience, creativity and more than a little tolerance for blowing up a part and having to solder a new one on. On the up side at least we're pretty much out of the bad old days of needing a bus analyser to follow execution control since the advent of JTAG and SWD, but these are not the solution to everything.

"Sometimes insanity is the only alternative" -- button at a Science Fiction convention.