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Comment: Re:Better to cancel rather than fail. (Score 2) 70

by melstav (#48744929) Attached to: SpaceX Falcon 9 Launch and Historic Landing Aborted

They HAD that ability, but they pissed it away. NASA refused to listen to engineers and the contractors who were telling them that the O-Rings, as designed, had a high risk of failure given the severe cold that day.

One of the o-rings DID fail, but not until the shuttle was already in the air. At that point, it's WAY too late to scrub.

Comment: Re:A more important issue... (Score 2) 246

by melstav (#48641345) Attached to: 65,000 Complaints Later, Microsoft Files Suit Against Tech Support Scammers

Clearly, you never read the EULA, or even the Warranty statement.

Microsoft only promises that it will work as intended for the first 90 days after it's installed. After 90 days, if Microsoft decides to tell you to piss off, you're SOL, because the software is presented to you AS-IS.

During the warranty period, if you have a problem, Microsoft will, AT THEIR SOLE DISCRETION, either refund the money you paid for the software (if you actually paid anything for it. If it came preinstalled on your computer, you paid nothing for the software - the computer maker did. You have to talk to them) or they can choose to fix the problem.

If you're outside of the warranty period and you don't have an active support contract, Microsoft doesn't have to care about your problems at all.


  1. Win 8
  2. Win 7 home premium
  3. Win XP

Comment: Re:Intel (Score 1) 294

by melstav (#47806335) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Linux-Friendly Desktop x86 Motherboard Manufacturers?
Did you know that Intel's chipsets include a very respectable ethernet controller? Have for a long time. Most motherboard manufacturers don't use them, though. For some reason, they'd rather bolt a suck-tastic Realtek controller onto one of the PCIe lanes, instead. Buying Intel-made boards is about the only way to get one that uses the on-chipset controller.... Unless you're going with an AMD CPU.

Comment: Re:and this is news why? (Score 1) 205

by melstav (#47582109) Attached to: "BadUSB" Exploit Makes Devices Turn "Evil"

The way those tools work is that they write a customized firmware image onto the controller. (or an EEPROM, or the start of the flash) This way, if you don't need the thing to impersonate a CDROM, that code doesn't get loaded onto the chip. Specifics about partition sizes, read-only settings, etc, get tacked onto the end of the appropriate image as a data block.

If the chip manufacturer released a firmware update to address a bug in a previous release, the same tools can be used to install the firmware updates. You just have to replace the packaged images.

But you don't HAVE to use the bundled firmware images. A little legwork (or disassembly of the bundled firmwares) will yield all you need to know to write your own firmware for the thing that does whatever you want it to. Frequently, like the MV6208, the controller is built around an 8051-derivative. ( ref: ) knowing that, you can write your own custom firmware that enumerates as a second keyboard to try and run commands. Or whatever else you want to make it do.

Comment: Re:and this is news why? (Score 2) 205

by melstav (#47575819) Attached to: "BadUSB" Exploit Makes Devices Turn "Evil"

A typical USB stick or a webcam don't have hardware to permit firmware upgrades, even though the silicon inside could be theoretically upgradable.

How uninformed you are! is a discussion of "production tools" for USB flash drives.

These tools are specific to the controller in the flashdrive (chipsbank, micov, etc) and allow you to do things like change what size the drive reports itself as, load files onto the thing and make it behave as a read-only flash drive, load files on and make it behave as a USB CD/DVD-ROM drive with a disk preloaded, make it behave as a single flashdrive with multiple partitions, make it come up on the USB bus as a compound device consisting of any combination of the above.

My company uses these sorts of tools to distribute software on read-only flashdrives.

Comment: Re:Price is reasonable - $35, not $90 (Score 1) 54

by melstav (#47550357) Attached to: A Router-Based Dev Board That Isn't a Router

That's why it's important to actually read what they wrote instead of just stopping at the first "red flag" you come to.

Why flexible funding? We choose flexible funding because we want to give people a chance to contribute to the software as early as possible. The hardware part is already done and we have sold units to existing customers who were very happy about it. Specially for this campaign we made a new revision ready for mass production so we can sell it at an even better price than we already had in our shop:

They already have finalized hardware in production. They're not trying to fund hardware development and production. They've already done that. They're using indiegogo as an advertising channel and as a secondary storefront.

Comment: Re:Just 2 models of Audi? (Score 5, Informative) 61

by melstav (#47323577) Attached to: Making an Autonomous Car On a Budget

The steering wheel.

Most vehicles (if not all) being marketed for consumer road use have power steering. The standard (in the USA, if not globally) is to use hydraulics to help you move the wheels back and forth as you steer.

Those two models of Audi use electric motors to provide power assist, instead. That makes it MUCH easier to interface the control system.

Time-sharing is the junk-mail part of the computer business. -- H.R.J. Grosch (attributed)