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C.H.I.P. vs Pi Zero: Which Sub-$10 Computer Is Better? (makezine.com) 19

Make Magazine weighs in on a issue that's suddenly relevant in a world where less thn $10 can buy a new, (nominally) complete computer. Which one makes most sense? Both the $9 C.H.I.P and the newest, stripped-down Raspberry Pi model have plusses and minuses, but to make either one actually useful takes some additional hardware; at their low prices, it's not surprising that neither one comes with so much as a case. The two make different trade-offs, despite being just a few dollars apart in ticket price. C.H.I.P. comes with built-in storage that rPi lacks, for instance, but the newest Pi, like it's forebears, has built in HDMI output. Make's upshot? The cost of owning either a C.H.I.P. or a Pi is a bit more money than the retail cost of the boards. Peripherals such as a power cable, keyboard, mouse, and monitor are necessary to accomplish any computer task on either of the devices. But it turns out the $5 Raspberry Pi Zero costs significantly more to operate than the Next Thing Co. C.H.I.P.

Comment Re:If we're going systemd, we should go full throt (Score 4, Interesting) 712

If the community get's behind systemd, it works and is/becomes usable and apps start relying on it being there - so what?

by taking over and forcing out all other options, it becomes a monoculture. and that, as we know from decades of experience where monoculture OSes have created cartels and monopolies, is incredibly dangerous.

i dedicated three years of my life - without proper financial recognition - to breaking the NT Domains monopoly, saving companies world-wide billions of dollars in the process. it is also not very well-known that i dedicated another year reverse-engineering the Exchange 5.5 protocol.

this dedication gave people a choice: they could choose to remain on monoculture monopolistic insecure proprietary and expensive per-seat-licensed servers, or they could choose to move over to software libre on any number of POSIX-compliant OSes including HPUX, AIX, Solaris, BSDs and GNU/Linux OSes - the *exact* opposite of a monopolistic monoculture. they could also choose to move to any number of proprietary solutions from companies such as Tarantella, Honeywell, Network Appliances and many more - all companies who got together because i pioneered the reverse-engineering (and wasn't murdered for doing so) which forced Microsoft to start doing proper documentation, and to sponsor CIFS conferences.

now i am witnessing a process by which everyone in the GNU/Linux community, by working in a totally dedicated way in "their corner" that has to be respected precisely *because* it is so dedicated, yet as a whole *all* of us have gone "hmmm, i'm working in my corner, the global problem isn't my problem: i'm making local decisions, here, which make my life easy and i'm doing what i think is best", totally forgetting that the overall consequences are like a shoal of fish: EVERYBODY has "flipped" - all at once - and the direction is a dangerous one that no one person has any responsibility or control over, because we are *not* a company, we do *not* have a "Board of Directors who can give us orders that we are required to follow or be fired", we are a bazaar - a self-organised group of self-organised individuals with independent free will and highly-focussed responsibilities.

the "flip" is to a dangerous monoculture position with, as we are now witnessing, absolutely zero choice (bad choices are no choice at all) - which i've warned about well over a year ago, and was told, basically, to "fuck off". well... now we begin to see the consequences.

i am running fvwm2 - i have been for 20 years - and i am using angband.pl's recompiled versions of critical dependencies (udevd and others) all of which have "--no-systemd" in the configure.ac files. so i will not be concerned about trojans that attack vulnerabilities in systemd, exploiting the new features such as allowing the firewall to be disabled and much, much more. but you - all you who trust the systemd authors and the desktop environments that now operate exclusively on systemd? you should be concerned.

The Courts

Insurer Refuses To Cover Cox In Massive Piracy Lawsuit (torrentfreak.com) 100

An anonymous reader writes with news that Cox Communications' insurer, Lloyds Of London underwriter Beazley, is refusing to cover legal costs and any liabilities from the case brought against it by BMG and Round Hill Music. TorrentFreak reports: "Trouble continues for one of the largest Internet providers in the United States, with a Lloyds underwriter now suing Cox Communications over an insurance dispute. The insurer is refusing to cover legal fees and potential piracy damages in Cox's case against BMG Rights Management and Round Hill Music. Following a ruling from a Virginia federal court that Cox is not protected by the safe-harbor provisions of the DMCA, the Internet provider must now deal with another setback. Following a ruling from a Virginia federal court that Cox is not protected by the safe-harbor provisions of the DMCA, the Internet provider must now deal with another setback."

Comment thinkpenguin, librem and eoma68 laptops (Score 4, Insightful) 91

... y'know... it has to be said, this is precisely why thinkpenguin (and other FSF-Endorsed hardware) do wipe-it-down-to-the-bedrock products, even to the extent of replacing the standard BIOS with coreboot, and why the purism librem laptop exists (and was successfully funded last year). but even there, the problem is that for the past 15 years all intel processors have to have an RSA-signed bootloader that goes into EEPROM on-board the processor, where there's absolutely no chance of obtaining the source code for that proprietary firmware blob. you have absolutely no idea what goes into that bootloader, but it's already been demonstrated that your laptop - and your desktop - can be woken up by external network signals - without your consent or knowledge - *even when you powered them down*.

the only possible solution here is... to not use intel (or AMD) processors. and that opens up a whole can of worms, which is why i've been sponsored to make an upgradeable laptop. if any one CPU is ever found to have problems, the whole CPU Card can be popped out and replaced... *without* having to throw away the entire laptop.

designing a laptop from the ground up so that its main CPU module can be replaced... only two years ago that could have been said to be "total paranoia". now we have the kinds of stunts being pulled by Dell, Lenovo and the NSA which were only previously believed to *potentially* be carried out...

Comment terrorists celebrating the additional publicity (Score 1) 274

wow, man. terrorists love the chaos and publicity that they receive. they love the reactions, the outrage, the responses that they get, because they don't need to do anything other than kill a few people, and the rest of the damage people - and governments - do *to themselves*. trying to "crack down" on anonymous payments all in the name of "terrorism"... it's amazing. i look forward to a time when people - and governments - understand that terrorising *ourselves* with the knee-jerk after-reactions often does far more lasting damage than the actual atrocities carried out by the killers.

Comment Re:forbs (Score 1) 103

man that is one F'ed up site that i can not get past the ADVERTISING 3 second countdown

  that is royally F'ED UP

you get an advertising countdown? all i get is a redirect to a URL with the word "welcome"... that's then completely blank. this isn't the first time it's happened, either. y'know what? i'm going to resurrect a tag that i haven't seen used in a looong time - i'm going to mark this artlcle as "slashdotted". yes, in 2015, that's an indictment of a site as big as forbes. in 1997 it used to be fine (and funny) that the 15 minutes of fame from a slashdot focus would overwhelm a web site link.


Averaging Inanimate Objects Together Produces a Very Human Face 103

StartsWithABang writes: It's well known that by aligning and averaging a wide variety of human faces together, an eerie "average" human face can be arrived at. But we see faces in things all the time, from natural scenes like terrain to artificial ones like cars, coffeemakers and combination locks. For the first time, someone averaged together a large number of images of objects appearing to have faces, and the result, strikingly, was an eerily human face. You'd think this might say more about the algorithm than the images themselves, but when noise was used, no human face emerged at all.

Comment Re:SDR Hardware (Score 4, Interesting) 42

yeah i got something similar, i researched the chipset a bit in advance, to see what frequencies it could do. i found one that could go from i think it was... like... 100 mhz through to almost 1900mhz, with a bandwidth of something like... 2.8m-samples/sec. it only had an 8-bit ADC resolution but that was ok. i then used it with some software i was working with, at the time (passive GSM scanning software), and actually managed to find a couple of frequencies, which was amazing.

going beyond that would have been tricky, because at the limit of 2.8 million samples per second of I and Q data @ 8 bit, it was pushing the limit of what the hardware could actually do: there were quite a few drop-outs. i'm sure the proprietary driver could handle that data rate, but the reverse-engineered gnu/linux one simply couldn't.

anyway yes absolutely! $12 plus shipping for something that will handle a huge range of frequencies, FM radio, TV frequencies, GPS satellites, GSM 850 and 900mhz, and even some of the higher-end GSM frequencies @ 1800mhz... maan, what more could you ask for? :)


Celebrate the 200th Birthday of George Boole With Logic (i-programmer.info) 63

mikejuk writes: November 2nd 2015 is the bicentenary of George Boole, dubbed the forefather of modern information technology. To mark the event 55,000 school students globally will be learning about Boolean Logic. Free lesson plans, puzzles and worksheets have been made available in English, Irish and Mandarin and schools in over 30 countries have signed up. According to the George Boole 200 website set up by University College Cork (UCC), the Irish university where he was the first Professor of Mathematics in the mid-19th century, Boole is an unsung hero of the digital age who deserves to be recognized as the forefather of the Information Age. An hour-long documentary, The Genius of George Boole, will be released on November 2 and available to view online until November 16. Although Boole did briefly encounter Charles Babbage during his lifetime he wasn't responsible for bringing together binary arithmetic and what we now call Boolean logic. That achievement is down to Claude Shannon who recognised the relevance for engineering of Boole's symbolic logic. As a result of Shannon's work Boole's thinking became the practical foundation of digital circuit design and the theoretical grounding of the the digital age.

Comment Re:lesson learned? (Score 1) 183

Red herring. Efast didn't arrive to people's computers via official channels. Linux is just as vulnerable to malware when stuff is being installed via unofficial channels.

... which means that you didn't read the full contents of what i wrote before posting. in paragraph (5) i made this exact point. so you not only didn't read what i wrote, but you then detracted from the *actual* point being made, by criticising what was written without proper thought and consideration on your part.

you then go on to conclude that i must be on a "high horse", but at the point at which you clearly didn't read each and every paragraph, i lost interest in reading further because you clearly demonstrated that it was more important to you promote *yourself* (by way of denigrating others) than to actually provide a service to readers of the article.

please be more careful next time, eh?

Comment Re:lesson learned? (Score 1) 183

Last time I installed Chrome (not Chromium, but actual Chrome) on Ubuntu I still had to download it from Google trusting Google's process rather than Canonical's. So no, it didn't go through some encryption protected carefully managed central repo. And, obviously, if someone can install software from Google via downloads, they can install other software via downloads, including malware.

... and you end up being tracked, and have advertising pushed at you, and your privacy is invaded through data sharing - yes, we know. that's why the Debian GNU/Linux team took the (libre-licensed) source code for the chrome browser, did a full source code audit, *REMOVED* all of the spy-tracking, *REMOVED* all of the privacy-violating code, compiled that and released it through the standard Debian packaging system [which includes the audit trail]

if the ubuntu team are actually bothering to properly follow this process, then you should be able to [use synaptics if you are not comfortable with command-line] just do "apt-get install chromium-browser". you will get *exactly* the same source code, minus the privacy-violating code, with the added guarantee that there is, as i described in the post, the audit trail that is near-impossible to violate.

Comment !education (Score -1, Troll) 93

i note that this post has been tagged "education". can someone please explain how it is "education" that teachers - and students - must *pay* to have boards *designed for them*, using a processor which you *still* cannot view videos without paying for proprietary CODECs [1] and you *still* cannot boot it without a proprietary bootloader.

i remain deeply unimpressed that people have had the wool pulled over their eyes by the "low, low price" of $25.

[1] don't tell me that it's patented. enshrined into patent law is the right for inventors to create an implementation of absolutely any patent, as a means to *EDUCATE* themselves about making further improvements to the original work.


Official, Customized Raspberry Pi Versions Coming Soon (linuxgizmos.com) 93

DeviceGuru writes: The immensely popular Raspberry Pi will soon be offered in customized versions, through an exclusive arrangement between Raspberry Pi Trading and Element14. According to the companies' announcement, Element14 will provide design and manufacturing services to OEM customers to create 'bespoke designs' based upon the Raspberry Pi technology platform. That's weird U.K. English for saying that contracts for creating customized Raspberry Pi SBCs will entail substantial NRE fees and 3,000 to 5,000 unit orders, depending on the nature of the customization. The tweaked Pi's are likely to have revised board layouts, additional or alternative functions, interfaces, connectors, and memory configurations, and more. A handful of unsanctioned Raspberry Pi knock-offs have already appeared over the past couple of years, including various Orange Pi and Banana Pi flavors, which certainly didn't involve any 'bespeaking.' More info is at Element14's CustomPi page.

Comment *cough* (Score 1) 236

well i'd _like_ to tell you but it would be unwise of me to describe the setup in a public forum. but i can say that the only reason i have a TV is because i am in a rented apartment which is set up nominally as a "B and B", and that i love tennis and you really have to have like Eurosport to get it. i did have USB-TV dongles as an experiment (an SDR one) but they're a bit of a pain.

It is your destiny. - Darth Vader