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Comment: Re:Unsafe at any speed (above 100 MPH)... (Score 1) 367

by Tablizer (#47434343) Attached to: The First Person Ever To Die In a Tesla Is a Guy Who Stole One

Uh, I don't see a lot of halfies in your link. A front engine block may be preventing an outright split, while in a Tesla the "engines" are more distributed. Whether this means gas cars are "safer" or not in practice is another matter.

Maybe the distributed nature of Tesla's engines means that side impacts are safer at the expense of front impacts.

Comment: It's a tool vendor, not a target, issue. (Score 1) 180

But you see you are in the Windows CE embedded niche. Your vision is clouded.

I'm not in a "windows CE embedded" niche and the grandparent poster is right.

It's not an issue with the target. It's an issue with the platform(s) supported by the development tool vendors and the chip manufacturers.

For instance: With Bluetooth 4.0 / Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), two of the premier system-on-a-chip product families are from Texas Instruments and Nordic Semiconductors.

TI developed their software in IAR's proprietary development environment and only supports that. Their bluetooth stack is only distributed in object form - for IAR's tools - with a "no reverse engineering" and "no linking to open source (which might force disclosure)". IAR, in turn, doesn't support anything but Windows. (You can't even use Wine: The IAR license manager needs real Windows to install, and the CC Debugger dongle, for burning the chip and necessary for hooking the debugger to the hardware debugging module, keeps important parts of its functionality in a closed-source windows driver.) IAR is about $3,000/seat after the one-month free evaluation (though they also allow a perpetual evaluation that is size-crippled, and too small to run the stack.)

The TI system-on-a-chip comes with some very good and very cheap hardware development platforms. (The CC Debugger dongle, the USB/BLE-radio stick, and the Sensor Tag (a battery-powered BLE device with buttons, magnetometer, gyro, barometer, humidity sensor, ambient temp sensor, and IR remote temp sensor), go for $49 for each of the three kits.) Their source code is free-as-in-beer, even when built into a commercial product, and gives you the whole infrastructure on which to build your app. But if you want to program these chips you either do it on Windows with the pricey IAR tools or build your own toolset and program the "bare metal", discarding ALL TI's code and writing a radio stack and OS from scratch.

Nordic is similar: Their license lets you reverse-engineer and modify their code (at your own risk). But their development platforms are built by Segger and the Windows-only development kit comes with TWO licenses. The Segger license (under German law), for the burner dongle and other debug infrastruture, not only has a no-reverse-engineering clause but also an anti-compete: Use their tools (even for comparison while developing your own) and you've signed away your right to EVER develop either anything similar or any product that competes with any of theirs.

So until the chip makers wise up (or are out-competed by ones who have), or some open-source people build something from scratch, with no help from them, to support their products, you're either stuck on Windows or stuck violating contracts and coming afoul of the law.

Comment: 30,000 years? (Score 4, Interesting) 146

by Tablizer (#47429015) Attached to: Hints of Life's Start Found In a Giant Virus

The sample being 30,000 years old doesn't seem significant because it's quite recent relative to the history of life, and even primates. The same kind of virus or a close relative is probably still around and the sample age probably has nothing to do with its size, but rather a happenstance of observation in that we tend to study old things harder than we do current things, and thus notice more.

"Lead us in a few words of silent prayer." -- Bill Peterson, former Houston Oiler football coach