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Hardware Hacking

Desktop Turing-Welchman Bombe Build 66

An anonymous reader writes: I completed a months long project to build my own version of the Turing-Welchman Bombe. My machine uses a Raspberry Pi2 and an Arduino to drive stepper motors to turn the three output indicator drums and to drive an LCD display, to work like the indicator unit on the real Bombe. Everything was custom made by me at home. The unit is built to reflect the style of the real Bombe at Bletchley Park and to run in a similar way but as a portable, desktop sized unit. To demonstrate it I use the same Weather Report Menu as used at BP to demonstrate their real Bombe. The entire build was painstakingly documented over many months but the link given shows an overview and a film of the completed machine in action.

Comment Re:Might not need? (Score 1) 153

"Might not need vs does not have is a stretch."

Exactly, and a very large stretch at that. The article doesn't even offer a guess as to what these "sensors that a noncheating car might not need" are. Steering angle sensor - used for stability control. Individual wheel speed - used for ABS. Throttle position - used for drive by wire. What else is needed to tell that the car is being run on a dyno and not the road? EGR control is a common part of diesel emissions controls.

The author stated "I mention hardware because it widens the scope of the Volkswagen conspiracy." No, it doesn't, not unless you can point to specific hardware which would otherwise not exist.

Apparently, Physics Today doesn't require actual knowledge.

Comment Re:Article is FUD (Score 1) 133

You make no sense. The summary says "Samsung has decided to patch only for recent devices running Android Lollipop, but not Jelly Bean or KitKat" and the article says "Samsung just confirmed to us that the JB and KK families will not be patched and that the vulnerabilities are only patched on the LL family."

So, explain how "an official (pushed OTA) update to Jelly Bean" fixes things.

Ask Slashdot: Is the Gap Between Data Access Speeds Widening Or Narrowing? 91

New submitter DidgetMaster writes: Everyone knows that CPU registers are much faster than level1, level2, and level3 caches. Likewise, those caches are much faster than RAM; and RAM in turn is much faster than disk (even SSD). But the past 30 years have seen tremendous improvements in data access speeds at all these levels. RAM today is much, much faster than RAM 10, 20, or 30 years ago. Disk accesses are also tremendously faster than previously as steady improvements in hard drive technology and the even more impressive gains in flash memory have occurred. Is the 'gap' between the fastest RAM and the fastest disks bigger or smaller now than the gap was 10 or 20 years ago? Are the gaps between all the various levels getting bigger or smaller? Anyone know of a definitive source that tracks these gaps over time?

Comment Re:Break The NDA (Score 1) 366

"Not all contracts can be enforced. The court system can deem a contract or portions of a contract as invalid or unreasonable."

Whoosh. Have ADHD and forget to take your meds? All you had to do was read to the end of a sentence - NDAs are perfectly reasonable and legally valid.

Comment Re:Break The NDA (Score 1) 366

"I think that Apple may be breaking the law by banning their app over this (freedom of speech)"

Huh? The government can't sensor (most) speech. A company can certainly contractually bind someone to not disclose secrets which are disclosed to them. iFixIt didn't buy an Apple TV off the shelf, Apple provided a "developer" unit to them under the terms of a non-disclosure agreement.

Comment Re:How gracefully does it fail? (Score 1) 146

If only one could look at a wire and easily say "if I touch that, x watts of power will go into me." By far, the most common situation is that you have a good idea of the voltage, and the conductivity of humans is consistent enough to make that a reasonable measure of the potential threat.

Comment Re:How gracefully does it fail? (Score 1) 146

"But current kills, not voltage"

That's a vast oversimplification. For the same resistance, more voltage results in more current.

Static discharge is only safe because there's very little energy involved - it lasts a very short time and there's not a lot of stored energy behind it, but there's still a lot of current flowing. Take an old TV with a CRT, turn it on, then unplug it. Now try to remove the anode connection to the CRT by hand (not to be tried by those who value their health). The voltage is similar to that of a static spark (around 25,000 volts), but you'll get a really good jolt out of it. There's much more stored energy behind it.

Compare that to grabbing the posts on your car battery, which can put out hundreds of amps for relatively long times. Nothing happens, because of the low voltage. Now compare to getting hit with lightning.

Voltage can be dangerous.

Comment Re:Well, now we know she h8s the US Constitution (Score -1, Redundant) 488

Those are not computers, whether you use the modern definition, or what they were called at the time.

One can argue semantics forever, and try to claim that an accountant in the 17th century was a "computer," but that's not what the word currently means. It's also not what anything IBM built through WWII was called. The fact remains that IBM did not sell computers to NAZI Germany.