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Comment Re:Allow me to predict the comments (Score 1) 235

At this size and price, Pi is going to take a serious bite out of the Arduino community.

It will take some, but the AVR (not necessarily Arduino) still has a few distinct advantages for some applications. TheRPi is a 3.3V device and the GPIO pins are NOT 5V tolerant. There's a lot of nice TTL hardware out there that it won't play nice with. Meanwhile, you can get a very small pro-mini clone from China for $2 each. The other area the RPi won't touch is extreme low power. If you remove the regulator and power LED (or on the pro-mini, cut the solder link to them), you can drop to 10s of micro-amps in various sleep modes and wake on pin-change interrupts or the watchdog timer. That makes a big difference if you want to run it on a LiIon battery. If you underclock the AVR (using the clock divider register) it can easily operate reliably down to the low cutoff voltage of the battery.

That's not meant to take anything from the Pi zero. It opens a lot of possibilities where you need more CPU power than the AVR can offer.

Submission + - Professor saves home with smart sprinklers from 3,000km away (

bricko writes: Professor saves home with smart sprinklers from 3,000km away

Deadly bushfires have swept across South Australia this week, destroying countless properties and natural spaces. One ingenious professor was able to save his rural home, however, by remotely activating sprinklers using a smartphone.

Comment Re:Not replaced: serial and parallel ports. (Score 1) 286

That's because most (but not all) USB serial devices use +5/0v rather than +/-12V. Most but unfortunately not all of them are tolerant of +-12V. By the same token, some 12V serial devices will communicate with a TTL serial port and some won't.

Going by spec, it's the TTL level port's fault if they don't communicate, but it's so common these days we might as well consider TTL the standard and 12V operation is a bonus.

The TTL level ports started showing up well before USB was a thing.

Just to make it worse, there are now 3.3V "serial" ports in the wild and some of them do not tolerate TTL levels! That's not good, but at least they are implemented only as header pins on the board and not a 9 pin D.

Comment Re:Not replaced: serial and parallel ports. (Score 1) 286

It may be excessive in some sense, but USB serial has absolutely replaced serial ports on desktop and laptop machines. I can get all the serial ports I want by plugging in inexpensive USB serial devices. The microcontroller in the device may be excessive, but no more so than the glue logic for a PCI device would be just to transmit at 115,200 bpx MAX.

I agree completely on the parallel port. The only remaining use I have for a parallel port is as poor man's GPIO lines. Unfortunately, for reasons that elude me, the standard for USB parallel ports doesn't accommodate that at all.

Comment Re:WD Black the 3rd most broken item (Score 1) 105

That used to be expected in the U.S. as well. Take it back to the store, show that it doesn't work and a receipt to show when you bought it. Leave with a new one.

Really, it makes sense. The store is the one that has a business relationship with the manufacturer. You bought the item from the store.

If the brick and mortar stores in the U.S. hadn't stopped doing that, they might stand a chance against online retailers.

Comment Re:Important to note (Score 1) 443

It's almost as if the antis just wanted to force others to bow to their will and now they're ticked off that there is a solution that invalidates their best "objective" arguments. Thus they must stomp it out so they can go back to demanding that others bow to their will.

If they were actually objectively concerned about people's health or even the costs to society, they'd be dancing in the streets and arranging to get ecig starter kits to all smokers.

Submission + - France using emergency powers to prevent climate change protests (

Bruce66423 writes: Following the Paris massacre, the French government declared a state of emergency. One of the regulations this introduced was control of large scale gatherings, and one of the events that is being caught up in this is planned protests to do with Climate Change conference in Paris next month. This has resulted in some activists being put under house arrest — yet other gathering, such as commercial street markets — are being allowed to go ahead. Funny that; anyone would think that the government is using the opportunity to suppress dissent.

Comment Re:Duh (Score 1) 754

Actually, the degraded option does NOT work for BTRFS or at least hasn't when I've tried it. I still ended up in the shell. I checked the changelog for systemd from present back to the date of that report and there is no mention of it at all. Once in the shell, mount -odegraded / will work just fine. If systemd' wasn't too mind-bogglingly stupid to just try the mount command nobody would have to get out of bed at 3AM just to type that. But if I just rip systemd out and use the supposedly old and broken down sysV init, it works every time. If systemd had a sane configuration, I'd just poke that mount commend in as an explicit action and it would just work, but in all of that tangled spaghetti just below the surface, there appears to be no way to do that.

For md devices, they get around the problem by having a regular old script in the initrd go ahead and assemble the RAID before systemd gets a chance to get the vapors and refuse.

Mainframes certainly DO cost 100x more than (for example), a supermicro server.

Sure, networks do go down, but in those cases, you're either dual homed or no amount of non-stop can help you. Again, take the 90% solution or be prepared to start paying a lot more. I did say it should be in a good datecenter with backup power. If that fails, again, no amount of non-stop can help you.

Yes, we will be going to OSI, Mars, and Pluto, but not necessarily in that order. -- Jeffrey Honig