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Comment Arduino + Fritzing (Score 5, Informative) 228

No question in my mind, an Arduino for the microcontroller platform, and Fritzing to do the design.


Arduino: community, quite simply, it has the critical mass of community behind it so you have a real source of knowledge (and existing code) to draw from. It's like the hardware analog of PHP, sure it's not necessarily the best, but the sheer amount of resources out there means you will have an easier time getting it to do what you want.

Eventually your projects might extend from running on top of an actual Arduino form board (I like the Diavolino board/kit from Evil Mad Science, mainly because it looks cool, but also because you can set it up with the minimum of components to suit you), to you incorporating the AVR onto your own PCB design but still using the Arduino bootloader/environment, to you incorporating a bare AVR on the board and moving away from the Arduino environment. So you have a clear progression of learning.

Fritzing: open source, simple, and a GOOD interface for HOBBY users. No it's not a replacement for Eagle, or Altium or DesignSpark... but a hobbiest working on small things just doesn't need the power of those, they want a nice easy system which they doesn't have a steep learning curve, and can help them draw the schematic, breadboard it, and design a pcb. There are other open source packages, such as KiCad but universally, I found, that the interfaces just suck, hugely, unless you really invest the time to become familiar with them, and then they still suck but you can live with it. Fritzing is far FAR more intuitive, if less professional.

Comment Re:Deletion of duplicate files (Score 1) 314

The only way user A and user B could have intermingling files in the first place was if all the data (source AND key) was completely identical to begin with.


Posters previously were suggesting the mega client may hash the file before encryption, and submit that along with the encrypted file. If you hash the same unencrypted data twice, you get the same hash so you can identify the duplicate files without knowing the contents.

But I pointed out in the post you replied to, that it doesn't mean you can just ditch one of the encrypted files and substitute the other, because the encrypted files are, as you correctly understand, absolutely dependant on the key, which only one of the parties will have.

So, in other words, the de-duping, either doesn't happen (lawyer insertion into the terms by mistake), or it's only to cater for a VERY limited circumstance where somebody encrypts/uploads the same file, with the same key, which, is extraordinarily unlikely --- unless the two uploaders have previously exchanged the key(s) between themselves.

Or maybe a mega developer just didn't quite think his plan through far enough ;-)

Comment old 2d printers become 3d things (Score 1) 91

I've been buying old inkjet multifunction printers and tearing them down for the useful parts, mainly motors, steel rods, gears, wheels, encoders, glass, axels, mechanical switches, tubes, opto-switches.... lots of stuff in them, for virtually free. The gutted out printer shells themselves though are a problem, so mostly I've just cut them into relatively flat sections (with an angle grinder cut-off saw) and stacked them in a corner hoping that one day I might have something like a filabot that I can feed them into, turning 2d printers into filament which can make new 3d things.

Comment Re:Deletion of duplicate files (Score 2, Informative) 314

Nope, doesn't work, think it though

User A uploads file encrypted with his keys, and hash of unencrypted file
User B uploads same file encrypted with his keys, and same hash of unencrypted file

Mega sees hash are same and deletes User B's file, linking to User A's
... time passes ...
User B downloads the file.... now what? User B doesn't have A's keys, he can't decrypt it. Mega doesn't have A's keys, they can't decrypt it for him. There is no way for B to get the decrypt the file.

I would say that particular item in the terms and conditions is either;
1. a mistake, added in by a lawyer copy-pasting
2. referring to duplicate encrypted files, if somehow the same file is encrypted with the same keys, by 2 people who both upload it (or 1 person gives the pre-encrypted file to another and they both upload it), then that's possible.

Comment Re:Does not support PHP (Score 1) 118

I was thinking the same. That, and Perl. To be fair, PHP is unbelievably god-awful, so good for them.

Some would say the same about Perl. 99% of the time, it's not the language but the fellow using it that makes it bad. (Admittedly, even I get annoyed at some PHP peculiarities from time to time, then I remember, it's what keeps me fed, and move on.)

Comment Not A Secret Base (Score 1) 257

Ok, lets be rational, look at things in a very slightly wider context...,76.060066&spn=0.227835,0.445976&num=1&t=h&z=12&1

If you switch to Map view it becomes even clearer

As you can see, this place is only a matter of 10 or 15 kilometers from a large densely populated town, it's only a couple of kilometers from a reasonably large airport, there are a lot of smaller farms and a few larger ones, the road G314 looks like it would overlook the "facility" as it runs up to Kuqiwan. It is at most a hundred kilometers from the Kyrgz border

In short, this doesn't really seem like somewhere you'd build your newest top secret facility.

It looks like a big project, I'm sure most people living in Kashgar know about it, if somebody was really interested, I'm sure they could find somebody who spoke english living in Kashgar and give them a ring... "Hi, I'm from the west, we wondered what that big-ass building project you have out there is?"

Comment Thunderbird (Score 5, Informative) 464

Thunderbird does a perfectly fine job of handling email for most users. It handles a decade or more of email for me, in a number of imap accounts for different addresses, totalling perhaps 6 to 7 gig of mail, without any problem at all.

What exactly is it about TB that is not capable of handling your need?

If an email client already does what you need, is complaint about slower development valid, or is it just wanting change for change sake.

Comment Downsides outweigh Upsides (Score 5, Interesting) 421

The simple fact is that there are just not enough reasons that makes one want to be an airline pilot.

Some of the downsides are:
    Expensive outlay in initial training through to Commercial Pilot Licence level.
    Huge time investment in hour building after that, flying usually as an instructor, hacking about with students doing their best to kill you, for nowhere near enough money to live on without a second job or two.
    Even more expense to get multi engine rating, turbine rating...
    Then you get to sit your ATPL.
    Then if you're lucky you might get offered a job as first officer (copilot)
    Then you have to do a rating on the aircraft you're going to be flying, which you'll have to pay for, and is generally stupendously expensive, or your employer pays for your rating but you are then indentured to the employer for years. All the time earning diddly-squat.
    Ascending to captains chair, or onto larger types, is usually seniority based, and if you want to move to a new employer, you go back to the bottom of the ladder.

Most of the upsides are:
    You get to fly planes for a living.
    You get to wear a pilot hat and put bars on your sleeves.

It's just not an attractive job any more. It's not even an "impressive" job any more, once upon a time, pilots were seen as near enough to gods, today, they are barely a step above your local bus driver.

For some, getting to fly panes for a living is enough,they just love flying *that much*. But there are not enough of those people to meet the demand.

Comment Re:It's 2012 (Score 1) 64

"Uh, you DO realize that there is *infinite* knowledge right?"

Hmmm. I wonder if that is the case actually. Seriously, IS the conjecture that there is infinite knowledge provable, or is it possible there is a finite but very large amount of potential knowable things.

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