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Comment Re:Missing the point a bit? (Score 1) 120

I'm not really in the target audience; but I know that sage, at least, can optionally use sage as a frontend to mathematica. I don't know how the feature sets compare; but if you are using the sage web interface it is pretty painless to interact with a copy of mathematica installed on the sage server; instead of, or in addition to, the OSS tools that it works with.

It may just be added complexity, there may be something that mathematica handles particularly brilliantly that the parent poster has in mind; but it shouldn't be terribly unpleasant done over the network unless your problem is computationally expensive enough that it would crush the rPi whether done locally or remotely.

Comment Re:The treaty says no such thing. (Score 1) 201

I'm not really sure how much staking-out of high ground is even possible until one gets closer to economic realization. Even if some treaty said that "Any touching of the asteroids is forbidden forever, with utter seriousness", one could safely enough do the R&D necessary to make grabbing them and chopping them up more practical; basically all the capabilities you'd need for asteroid mining can also be used for satellite launch, automation/robotics, improved astronomy and telescopes, and similar warm and fuzzy applications. The astronomy stuff would mostly fall under 'pure science', unless you can convince somebody that it will help detect ICBMs; but launch capabilities and improved robotics and remotely automated process research have a variety of plausible commercial applications even if the asteroids are off the table.

On the other side of the coin, highflown expressions of legal principle are usually given a great deal of latitude until they actually conflict with the interests of the nations that you need to sign and obey them. So long as the prospect is sufficiently science-fiction, anyone willing to spend a lot of time hounding UN delegates is more or less free to write whatever they want. Were somebody to step up to the table with a vaguely plausible plan, however, it's hard to imagine that they'd have much trouble finding a country large enough to be able to ignore the consequences and more than willing to do so in exchange for a cut of the take.

It seems to me that team lawyer wins more or less by default so long as the implementation isn't worked out(both because it won't actually be happening; and because there will be relatively little resistance to opining against it); but team mining will win more or less by default if they can actually make it cost effective; since laws national and international are bent, broken, or rewritten all the time for markedly less profitable(and much more ghastly) ventures.

Until that time, the posturing is symbolic(either banning the practice or laying claim to rocks you aren't already on course to intercept). If the law says nobody can do it; that will change once somebody concludes that they can turn a profit by doing it; and if I get myself crowned God Emperor of the Kupier belt now; I'll still have to get my tech up and running before somebody else does, or the claim will do me little good.

Comment Re:Linux gadget. (Score 1) 120

The answer appears to be no on the rPi. The BCM2835's USB port is OTG-capable, so it isn't master only; but I can find no mention of gadget device configuration actually being available. The CHIP is maybe: apparently OTG support was added in kernel 4.3; don't know how well it works, or whether the CHIP's mini-b port even has its data lines connected.

Comment Re:You better fix your unicode characters (Score 1) 19

What really bothers me is it should only take a few lines of code to replace garbage characters that slashdot shows with an ascii code for that character.

The worst is that it looks fine in preview, but the garbage comes out on the post. It's like they're deliberately trying to run off users.

Comment Re:Is C.H.I.P. really sub-10$? (Score 1) 120

Whether or not they can actually keep the CHIP at $9, if the project does actually get Allwinner SoC support mainline and GPL compliant it would be a fairly big win. All kinds of low cost hardware is built on Allwinner parts; but the software situation is kind of dodgy, since Allwinner doesn't seem to care and the people making hardware cheap enough to use Allwinner SoCs really don't care.

With Rockchip and Mediatek in play, it's not as though they have a whole lot of room for 'mwahaha, loss leader and then suck the captive audience dry!' mustache-twirling, because the audience just isn't that captive and their parts aren't terribly special, though competent enough. It's hard to see any attempt on their part to make them more accessible as a bad thing, whether or not the intro pricing can be sustained.

Comment Re:You better fix your unicode characters (Score 1) 19

It wouldn't matter to me if they were Hindu, Jewish, or atheist. What bugs me is when someone doesn't practice what they preach. But religion should play no part in politics, except that hypocrisy is a no-go for me.

Take gay marriage, for example. Government should have no part whatever in marriage. I should not need a license to get married, and why is it all right to discriminate against single people? Why should a married couple earning $50k pay less than a war widow with a child earning the same amount?

If government had no hand in marriage, the "gay marriage" issue would have never come up.

Comment Missing the point a bit? (Score 4, Insightful) 120

While it is extremely impressive that one could do so(given that such power for such price was unheard of until very recently), it seems rather pointless to compare these two boards on the basis that you are planning on plugging in enough peripherals to use them as your next desktop. Aside from the plummeting cost and wide availability of ludicrously overqualified x86s; the most stripped down ARM SBC is obviously going to require costlier and uglier peripheral tangles than the less stripped down ones(the CHIP has no 'sibling' designs; but is similar to Allwinner-based boards from others; the rPi zero has otherwise-identical models that add the USB hub and ethernet for you, or slightly punchier options).

The only reason to go with either of these is because you have some more constrained purpose for which the low cost and small size make the difference. So, do you want HDMI support; at the cost of bringing your own NIC; or do you want the NIC; but HDMI as an optional extra? Depends on whether you are building a headless project or not.

The other matter is the software support; which is as yet an unknown. The rPi has some Broadcom blobs that are very, very, unlikely to go away; but benefits from a known, solid, supporting ecosystem. The Allwinner A8 is a bit of an unknown quantity: the project claims to be aggressively mainlining everything(which would be extremely attractive); but Allwinner's GPL compliance has best in the past; and the MALI-400 is ARM's toy, not theirs, so they have limited control over that. If the CHIP's aspirations bear out, then it will have the distinct advantage of working with mainline kernel and u-boot. If they don't, or do only in part, then the question becomes one of 'which slightly oddball BSP is better?'

Comment Re:You better fix your unicode characters (Score 1) 19

Just because Trump attends a Presbyterian church doesn't make him Christian, it makes him a wolf in sheep's clothing. Trump worships only two things: Himself, and the ancient Greek god Plutus.

I hate it when someone who seems to always go against Jesus' teachings claims to be a Christian.

That goes for all the Republicans, with the possible exception of Carson and perhaps Rubio. Actually I have my doubts about almost all politicians. You know what Christ said about lawyers and the rich, which almost all of the Senators, Congresspeople, Governors, and President.

The optimal answer is for politics to avoid setting itself in conflict with faith, and there are reasonable compromises to achieve this.

Agreed. Remember the three in the furnace who were to be burned alive for refusing to follow the law and bow to the idol. I'm not Hindu, but I would be aghast if they passed a law making it mandatory to eat beef every Saturday.

As to the unicode, that's slashdot's fuckup.

Comment Re:Hillary has... been opposed to single payer (Score 1) 29

You are pants are on fire?

IMO any of the three Democrats would be a better President than any of the Republicans, although there are two or three Republicans that might not fuck up America too badly.

Perhaps the conspiracy was cooked up by her supporters? The insurance companies are the major reason health care is so expensive and ineffective here.

I'm disgusted by the Republican candidates' cowardice and heartlessness when it comes to refugees, and the fact that none have served in the military but are all for going to war. Back in the Vietnam war days those sorts were called "chicken hawks", and you'll find few veterans who can stomach them.

Unless you're rich and white you'd be a fool to vote for any of them.

Comment Re:End of open and honest? I'll disagree. (Score 1) 246

I'm pretty sure I can post open and honest comments while not being anonymous.

If you're white, middle-class, cisgendered, belong to a mainstream religion, have political views within the mainstream, and live in a cosmopolitan community, yes.

If you're a closeted gay atheist anarcho-communist in a small town in "flyover country", maybe not so much.

A fanatic is a person who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. - Winston Churchill