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Submission + - Open Hardware Team successfully replicating Tesla inventions (

lkcl writes: A small team has successfully overcome the usual barrier to replicating one of Tesla's inventions (death threats and intimidation) by following Open Hardware development practices, encouraging other teams world-wide to replicate their work. Their FAQ and several other reports help explain that the key is Schumann resonance: "tuning" the device to the earth's own EM field and harvesting it as useful electricity. Whilst it looks like it's going mainstream, the real question is: why has it taken this long, and why has an Open Hardware approach succeeded where other efforts have not?

Submission + - Power-loss-protected SSDs tested: only Intel S3500 passes (

lkcl writes: After the reports on SSD reliability and after experiencing a costly 50% failure rate on over 200 remote-deployed OCZ Vertex SSDs, a degree of paranoia set in where I work. I was asked to carry out SSD analysis with some very specific criteria: budget below £100, size greater than 16Gbytes and Power-loss protection mandatory. This was almost an impossible task: after months of searching the shortlist was very short indeed. There was only one drive that survived the torturing: the Intel S3500. After more than 6,500 power-cycles over several days of heavy sustained random writes, not a single byte of data was lost. Crucial M4: fail. Toshiba THNSNH060GCS: fail. Innodisk 3MP SATA Slim: fail. OCZ: epic fail. Only the end-of-lifed Intel 320 and its newer replacement the S3500 survived unscathed. The conclusion: if you care about data even when power could be unreliable, only buy Intel SSDs.

Submission + - Amazon causes much concern for Goodreads users after acquisition (

pinkushun writes: Goodreads announced at the end of March Amazon's acquisition of the social network for book lovers and reviewer. This raised major concern with Goodreads users, as is evident by the 50-page comments of the announcement thread, which is still going. From first post the users are worried about ownership of their comments, particularly in the way Amazon deleted user reviews, and how authors can't review other books within the same genre. As user Chris commented:

"After all the hours put in by librarians and staff to cut the database sourcing with Amazon, now they'll own it again? Does that mean that all our work will go away and then Amazon info will be downloaded back to GR?"

Goodreads addressed these concerns in this FAQ which leaves you unsatisfied.

Submission + - QiMod / Rhombus Tech A10 EOMA-68 CPU Card running Debian 7 (armhf) (

lkcl writes: With much appreciated community assistance, the first EOMA-68 CPU Card in the series, based on an Allwinner A10 processor, is now running Debian 7 (armhf variant). Two demo videos have been made. Included in the two demos: fvwm2, midori web browser, a patched version of VLC running full-screen 1080p, HDMI output, powering and booting from Micro-HDMI, and connecting to a 4-port USB Hub. Also shown is the 1st revision PCB for the upcoming KDE Flying Squirrel 7in tablet.

The next phase is to get the next iteration of test / engineering samples out to interested free software developers, as well as large clients, which puts the goal of having Free Software Engineers involved with the development of mass-volume products within reach.

Submission + - Rhombus Tech 2nd revision A10 EOMA68 Card working samples (

lkcl writes: Rhombus Tech and QiMod have working samples of the first EOMA-68 CPU Card, featuring 1GByte of RAM, an A10 processor and stand-alone (USB-OTG-powered with HDMI output) operation. Upgrades will include the new Dual-Core ARM Cortex A7, the pin-compatible A20. This is the first CPU Card in the EOMA-68 range: there are others in the pipeline (A31, iMX6, jz4760 and a recent discovery of the Realtek RTD1186 is also being investigated).

The first product in the EOMA-68 family, also nearing a critical phase in its development, will be the KDE Flying Squirrel, a 7in user-upgradeable tablet featuring the KDE Plasma Active Operating System. Laptops, Desktops, Games Consoles, user-upgradeable LCD Monitors and other products are to follow. And every CPU that goes into the products will be pre-vetted for full GPL compliance, with software releases even before the product goes out the door. That's what we've promised to do: to provide Free Software Developers with the opportunity to be involved with mass-volume product development every step of the way. We're also on the look-out for an FSF-Endorseable processor which also meets mass-volume criteria which is proving... challenging.

GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - Rhombus Tech 2nd revision A10 EOMA68 Card ( 1

lkcl writes: "The 2nd revision of the A10 EOMA-68 CPU Card is complete and samples are due soon: one sample is due back with a Dual-Core Allwinner A20. This will match up with the new revision of the Vivaldi Spark Tablet, codenamed the Flying Squirrel. Also in the pipeline is an iMX6 CPU Card, and the search is also on for a decent FSF-Endorseable option. The Ingenic jz4760 has been temporarily chosen. Once these products are out, progress becomes extremely rapid."

Submission + - Internet hubs running on generator power (

dcblogs writes: Two monolithic buildings in lower Manhattan that serve as major network hubs for the U.S. are operating on generator power, thanks to Hurricane Sandy. The buildings, known as carrier hotels, are a 2.9 million square foot structure at 111 8th Ave., and a 1.8 million square foot facility at 60 Hudson St. Telecom companies use carrier hotels to interconnect networks to allow data sharing and users of one network to connect with those of another. The two buildings are critical to the nation's infrastructure. In 2002, Richard Clarke, then special advisor to the president for cyberspace security, described their importance in a speech. "Transatlantic fiber lands at about 10 different places in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Long Island and New Jersey that, after having landed, it all goes to one of two facilities — 60 Hudson St. or 111 8th Ave in lower Manhattan. If that's true, that would seem to be a problem." Michael Levy, an analyst at Datacenters Tier1 Research, a division of 451 Research, said that "111 8th Ave. and 60 Hudson are two of the most carrier dense buildings in the world." Google owns 111 8th Ave., but isn't commenting on its storm prep for the building.

Submission + - ECB Releases Report on Virtual Currencies (

hypnosec writes: The European Central Bank (ECB) has released a 55-page report detailing what virtual currencies are, how are they being currently used on the Internet and what these currencies are able to do.
The motivation behind the report titled "Virtual Currency Scheme", seems to be the rise of Bitcoin in recent years and the popularity it has managed to gain within a short period. The ECB has acknowledged in it's report that virtual currencies "resemble money" and that these currencies have their dedicated "retail payment systems".


Submission + - ARM Announces 64-Bit Cortex-A50 Architecture (

MojoKid writes: "ARM debuted its new 64-bit microarchitecture today and announced the upcoming launch of a new set of Cortex processors, due in 2014. The two new chip architectures, dubbed the Cortex-A53 and Cortex-A57, are the most advanced CPUs the British company has ever built, and are integral to AMD's plans to drive dense server applications beginning in 2014. The new ARMv8 architecture adds 64-bit memory addressing, increases the number of general purpose registers to 30, and increases the size of the vector registers for NEON/SIMD operations. The Cortex-A57 and A-53 are both aimed at the mobile market. Partners that've already signed on to build ARMv8-based hardware include Samsung, AMD, Broadcom, Calxeda, and STMicro."

Submission + - The space sim isn't dead after all! (

cwebster writes: Chris Roberts' (creator of the wing commander series) new foray into PC games is officially a "go". The new game, Star Citizen, is slated to be what anyone who has played wing commander or privateer dreams it could be. Best of all, Chris cut out the publishers (EA owns the rights to WC) and is self funding this project. There are 20 days left in the funding campaign to meet the ambitious stretch goals. Contribute at kickstarter or the main site for the game.

Submission + - Funding models for a free e-book? (

danspalding writes: "I'm an adult education teacher in SF who wrote an e-book about how to teach adults, called "How to Teach Adults." It will be available to download for free in January 2013. I Kickstarted enough money for editing, design and publicity, but not enough to pay me anything up front. I'm considering making a $1, $10 and $25 version available from Amazon as a way for folks to donate money to me, as well as a straight up PayPal link on my site. (Although I hate PayPal.) Is it possible to produce quality material for teachers to download for free in a way that's economically sustainable? Might readers accidentally pay for a copy without realizing there's a free download and get pissed off? And where should I host the free-to-download version?"

Submission + - IBM Reports Carbon Nanotube Chip Breakthrough (

yawaramin writes: IBM has apparently made a breakthrough in arranging carbon nanotubes into the logic gates necessary to make a chip. This should help miniaturise and speed up processors beyond what today's silicon-based technologies are capable of. The article notes though that perfecting the carbon nanotube technology could take up the rest of this decade.
GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - Rhombus Tech AM389x/DM816x EOMA-68 CPU Card started (

lkcl writes: "The Rhombus Tech Project is pleased to announce the beginning of a Texas Instruments AM389x/DM816x EOMA-68 CPU Card: thanks to earlier work on the A10 CPU Card and thanks to Spectrum Digital, work on the schematics is progressing rapidly. With access to more powerful SoCs such as the OMAP5 and Exynos5 being definitely desirable but challenging at this early phase of the Rhombus Tech initiative, the AM3892 is powerful enough (SATA-II, up to 1600mhz DDR3 RAM, Gigabit Ethernet) to still take seriously even though it is a 1.2ghz ARM Cortex A8. With no AM3892 beagleboard clone available for sale, input is welcomed as to features people would like on the card. The key advantage of an AM3892 EOMA-68 CPU Card though: it's FSF Hardware-endorseable, opening up the possibility — at last — for the FSF to have an ARM-based tablet or smartbook to recommend. Preorders for the AM3892 CPU Card are open."

Submission + - Parallella Open Parallel Hardware Platform Gets Kickstart Funding 1

ygslash writes: Adapteva has achieved Kickstarter funding for their Parallella "supercomputing for everyone" project. The stated goal of the Parallella project is to provide a totally open highly parallel hardware platform, with a full set of publicly available NDA-free specs and documentation, for under $100 US. They claim that a credit-card sized Parallella CPU board based on their Epiphany 64-core accelerator will provide 90 gflops while consuming only 5 watts (but I wonder if the under $100 version might only include their 16-core version). On their Kickstarter page, Adapteva promises that "all architecture and SDK documents will be published on the web as soon as the Kickstarter project is funded." Still looking for the link...

Submission + - Rhombus Tech A10 EOMA-68 CPU Card schematics completed (

lkcl writes: "Rhombus Tech's first CPU Card is nearing completion and availability: the schematics have been completed by Wits-Tech. Although it appears strange to be using a 1ghz Cortex A8 for the first CPU Card, not only is the mass-volume price of the A10 lower than other offerings; not only does the A10 classify as "good enough" (in combination with 1gb of RAM); but Allwinner Tech is one of the very rare China-based SoC companies willing to collaborate with Software (Libre) developers without an enforced (GPL-violating) NDA in place. Overall, it's the very first step in the right direction for collaboration between Software (Libre) developers and mass-volume PRC Factories. There will be more (faster, better) EOMA-68 CPU Cards: this one is just the first."

"All the people are so happy now, their heads are caving in. I'm glad they are a snowman with protective rubber skin" -- They Might Be Giants