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SparkFun Works to Build the Edison Ecosystem (Video) 75

Posted by Roblimo
from the more-tiny-electronics-for-makers-and-builders-to-make-and-build-with dept.
Edison is an Intel creation aimed squarely at the maker and prototype markets. It's smaller than an Arduino, has built-in wi-fi, and is designed to be used in embedded applications. SparkFun is "an online retail store that sells the bits and pieces to make your electronics projects possible." They're partnering with Intel to sell the Edison and all kinds of add-ons for it. Open source? Sure. Right down to the schematics. David Stillman, star of today's video, works for SparkFun. He talks about "a gajillion" things you can do with an Edison, up to and including the creation of an image-recognition system for your next homemade drone. (Alternate Video Link)

Comment: Re:Those Who Ship Win (Score 3, Insightful) 298

by Geoffreyerffoeg (#35032062) Attached to: The Abdication of the HTML Standard

ODT is as much of a de facto standard. If you give me an ODT file that conforms to the standard but triggers bugs in, what good is it? I'm not going to spend days setting up an OOo build environment, learning whatever awful framework they use, and bisecting this bug in order to read your few paragraphs.

The problem with .doc is not that it's a de facto standard -- all standards that are worth anything must be de facto at least as much as they are de jure -- but that it's a bad one, because it's hard for any program that doesn't share MS Word's internal data structures and algorithms to implement (because a .doc is, to first order, a memory dump of Word's data). HTML doesn't work like that, and it's hard to make it work like that if you tried.

Comment: Virgin Mobile = $25/month unlimited SSH (Score 2) 359

by Geoffreyerffoeg (#34784244) Attached to: Smartphones For Text SSH Use Re-Revisited

Virgin Mobile has a nice $25/month "Beyond Talk" deal for unlimited data and SMS and 300 minutes/month for voice (with higher priced plans if you use more voice), motto Go crazy on Android. It's prepaid if you want it to be, so it's nice that way. They only sell a single phone, the Samsung Intercept, but I've found it to be really nice for what I do: it's got a slide-out keyboard with a separate number row and with separate buttons per key (no membrane keyboard). I spend lots of time on SSH via ConnectBot and have found it to be pleasant to use.

It's not the most powerful processor and the resolution isn't mindblowing and it's still Android 2.1, but I run my terminal at 80x21 and am quite happy with it, especially for the price.

Comment: Good Workbench, plenty of outlets (Score 1) 174

by swg101 (#34506710) Attached to: Equipping a Small Hackerspace?

You don't say what your budget is, but good, sturdy workbenches (like these) with plenty of outlets for power supplies, scopes, meters, etc. as well as built in drawers and cabinet space.

If you are looking for suggestions on equipment, power supplies like the Topward 6000D series or similar (multiple output, adjustable, current limiting supplies) are invaluable. Good o-scope, handheld multimeter, etc. if you don't already have that stuff.

Comment: Re:Try having an original idea (Score 1) 494

by Geoffreyerffoeg (#34456804) Attached to: Avoiding DMCA Woes As an Indy Game Developer?

There have been attempts at arguing "look and feel" copyrights. It's not clear to me where caselaw stands (see Lotus v. Borland and Apple v. Microsoft, both of which you could read either way in this case) and how the DMCA affects that, but it definitely seems to me that it is not completely obvious that there is no infringement, in which case (IANAL) Namco isn't wrong to file a takedown notice, and certainly isn't doing so in bad faith.

Comment: Re:Also from the article (Score 5, Informative) 402

by Geoffreyerffoeg (#34277618) Attached to: Alternative To the 200-Line Linux Kernel Patch

No, incorrect. This is a modification to your .bashrc, which is (already) run every time you start a bash process, within that process (i.e., not a new process). Nothing needs to be spawned on every single process.

Admittedly the bash script does spawn some processes, but a) that's the way .bashrc works, and you have dozens of those in there, and b) it's only one process, a mkdir. The echo and the conditional run within bash itself.

The way that the configuration works, whether done in the kernel or in your .bashrc, is to associate all processes spawned from a single bash shell with a single new scheduling group. This gets you better performance when you're running processes from terminals, by associating logically-similar groups of processes in the kernel instead of letting it see all the processes as a giant pile.

The intended use case, which is pretty clear from the LKML discussion, is to make performance between something intensive (like a compilation) in a terminal and something non-terminal-associated (like watching a movie) better-balanced.

Comment: Akamai (Score 1) 269

by Geoffreyerffoeg (#32727554) Attached to: 22 Million SSL Certificates In Use Are Invalid

You can explain a good chunk of this as the result of Akamai's world-wide content caching/load balancing solution. The default Akamai plan doesn't get you SSL support, but the thousands and thousands of web servers they have (which host a good 10% of the Internet's web traffic, last I heard) will all reply on the SSL port, and will present a certificate for an Akamai domain name, whether you connect to or or or whatever it may be.

In general, this can also be explained by servers that happen to listen on port 443 but aren't intended to do SSL.

Comment: Re:I sense scaremongering (Score 1) 185

by Geoffreyerffoeg (#32394772) Attached to: Google WebM Calls "Open Source" Into Question

Informative? What the hell? Have you guys ever been to debian-legal? You will never find a more lacking-in-legal-training-whatsoever hive of scum and villainy. This is the place that honestly can't decide if a mere "You can use this code in whatever way you want, as long as you don't try to claim you wrote it." suffices for free software.

Comment: No, this is missing the point (Score 3, Informative) 374

The GPL doesn't require that hardware that has GPL code be modifiable to include updated versions of code. Build systems are a distraction here: a more direct form of the problem is that the GPL code is burned into ROM, and even the GPLv3's Tivoization section (number 6, paragraph starting "If you convey...") explicitly permits that. It would be dumb if it didn't. While it may well be the case that for GPLv3 (and not GPLv2) failing to give you a usable build environment for compiling modifying code so you can run it on your "User Product" is a violation, this is forgetting a large part of the purpose of free software.

The point of free software is that the software, the code, is free for the community to use. Thinking about free software as simply the ability to modify code within its original context causes us to forget opportunities for reusability that benefit the entire free software community, well past the lifetime of this one device, and encourages behavior where modified code isn't usable on other devices or in entirely different contexts. I've written a bit more about this on my blog, with some examples of times when thinking about "free software"/"open source" only within the context of the original product has caused the free software ecosystem as a whole — the thing that's causing large companies to want to embed free software in their hardware devices in the first place — to be left behind.

You will have a head crash on your private pack.