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Comment I keep a list :) (Score 1) 175

I try to update this regularly.

* The Hyperion series by Dan Simmons is AMAZING. I think my favorite.
* The Martian by Andy Wier. MacGyver on Mars. What's not to love? Actually pretty technically accurate, near-future Mars mission goes bad, one crew member is left for dead and stranded.
* Peter Watts writes some good hard scifi...the Rifters series is pretty awesome, dealing with psychologically damaged people whose trauma makes them adapted for deep-sea work, and Blindsight, which has a crew led by a genetically resurrected vampire on a spacecraft off to visit a recently detected distant object. I wasn’t so much a fan of the follow-up to Blindsight though (Echopraxia).
* Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan is some great cyberpunk noir. There are two more books with the same main character (Broken Angels and Woken Furies) but I think the first one is the best.
* The Laundry Files series by Charles Stross. British humor/Lovecraftian horror. The main character is a systems administrator/necromancer for a secret British government agency that deals with the nightmares beyond reality.
* Singularity Sky and Iron Sunrise, also by Charles Stross, but these are hard scifi rather than comedy/horror.
* Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. Not scifi, urban fantasy, but fun reads.
* William Gibson pretty much defines cyberpunk...Neuromancer, and the Sprawl trilogy are pretty much required reading.
* Then if William Gibson didn't take himself so seriously, you would get Snowcrash by Neal Stephenson. The main character is named Hiro Protagonist...yeah, it gets sillier from there. But it's a fantastic read, one of my favorites. Also: Diamond Age (nanotechnology future), Cryptonomicon (contemporary treasure hunt/crypto/startup), Seveneves (near future apocalypse)
* Mira Grant's Feed series, because who doesn't love zombies. Avoid the Parasitology series though, gargantuan plot holes I couldn’t get past.
* The Zones of Thought books by Vernor Vinge are darn good. A Deepness in the Sky, and A Fire Upon the Deep. Same universe, different storylines and characters though.
* Eon by Greg Bear is good. Starts out vaguely Rama-esque, but changes up quite a bit shortly in.
* Foundation series by Asimov, classics. Also I, Robot (just pretend the movie didn’t happen)
* Little Brother by Cory Doctorow is a subversive YA novel that I couldn't tear myself away from and read in a single sitting. Also see the sequel, Homeland.
* Along the subversive vein, Daemon and Freedom(TM) by Daniel Suarez.
* Pretty much anything from Philip K. Dick. He wrote about insanity quite well, because he himself was crazy.
* Peter F. Hamilton writes some pretty fluffy space opera stuff, it's fun if you don't look at it too deeply.
* Space Eldritch and Space Eldritch II are collections of short Lovecraftian scifi horror stories. Some GREAT stuff in there. I wish a few of them were fleshed out into full novels or series.
* Signal To Noise and A Signal Shattered by Eric S. Nylund, nice hard scifi.
* Kiln People by David Brin, interesting thoughts about continuity of self by copying your consciousness into 24-hour expiring clay golems and downloading their memories back to your real body after.
* Dune (Frank Herbert). Far-future scifi wrapped around a deep core of political intrigue.
* The Expanse series (James S.A. Corey), some good conspiracy-driven space opera that actually mostly pays attention to physics.

Comment How many GigE ports on the SoC? (Score 1) 85

I'm curious how the GigE ports are arranged...a common configuration is for the system-on-chip (processor, RAM, etc all in one package) to only have one or two GigE ports, and either have one LAN and one WAN (with the LAN ports broken out via an onboard switch) or only one port connected to an onboard switch with VLAN tagging to separate the WAN and LAN ports. If there aren't enough real interfaces off the SoC, link aggregation is going to be useless when routing between the wired and wireless networks (wireless interfaces are probably PCIe).

Comment Very much not new (Score 3, Informative) 27

Take a look back to Zac Franken's talk at Defcon 15 (August 2007), where he introduced the same types of tools:
tl;dr you clip into the data lines of an RFID card reader and record the (plaintext) transactions, then you can later play them back directly over the same bus so the access control system sees what it thinks is a card read from the reader.
Mitigation? Keep your access control readers behind an RF-transparent barrier (glass works, as long as it's not metallic-particle tinted).

Comment Clevo P650SE (Score 1) 558

I have a Clevo P650SE laptop (rebranded as the Eurocom M5 Pro, also available as the Sager NP8651 though the Sager variant has no TPM). 15.6" 1920x1080 IPS panel (opted for standard HD instead of 3k/4k due to problems with mixing high/low DPI displays, and I plug in an external 1920x1200 display sometimes), 2.6GHz quad-core i7, nVidia GTX 970M, 512GB SSD for OS/applications, 500GB spinning disk for media (though I'd like to unify those into a single large SSD in the future, moving parts are no fun) and I've boosted it to 32GB of RAM because RAM is cheap and I run multiple VMs sometimes. It's fairly light and portable, extremely powerful, and even under full load the fans don't get terribly loud. Only downside is that it was bloody expensive. I expect to run it for 5 years though.

Comment Re:rpi comparison (Score 3, Interesting) 41

ARM has two general series of processors, the A series, or application processors, and the M series, or microcontrollers. Microcontrollers (such as the STM32F4 in the Armstrap boards) are designed for low-power embedded device use, you *might* run a specialized RTOS on one, but usually it's just your code, running bare-metal. An application processor, such as what you have in your smartphone or in the Pi, is a more general purpose computing core, running faster, taking more power, and using a full OS for resource management and process scheduling. Also, generally, microcontrollers have their own built-in RAM and Flash, while application processors use external RAM and storage (the Pi looks like the RAM and CPU are one, but in reality they're two separate dies, stacked up within the same package, while micros have everything on the same die).

Comment Comparison to STM32F4 Discovery boards? (Score 2) 41

ST makes several ARM M4F based dev/eval boards with built-in JTAG and a few additional chips thrown in to play with (I think accelerometers and MEMS microphones are common). They cost around $15-$20... go to and check the box for STM32F4 under Supported Devices.
So, with what I suspect is the benefit of manufacturer loss-leader subsidies on the Discovery boards, why would I spend $40-$60 more on a dev board?

Comment Tools for modifying open hardware designs (Score 3, Interesting) 78

OSHW has a bit of a difficulty associated with it, and that's the tools used to view/edit the designs. Many proprietary PCB CAD packages are offered in free-as-in-beer versions for boards up to a certain size or pin count, but then you're locked into that package. If you want to take that design and expand it beyond those constraints then you're stuck buying into the next step up of the software, or you have to fully re-design (schematic capture and layout) in another tool. Fortunately KiCAD ( seems to be picking up a bit of steam, but for those already using other tools, unless they're deep believers in the full open toolchain philosophy, what incentive do they have to switch packages (and re-implement their existing designs in that new package)?

Comment Comparison chart (Score 4, Informative) 81

I was actually looking at several of these boards recently, trying to find all the multi-core options at/below about $100. I put together a Google Docs spreadsheet comparing various specs (#/type/speed of cores, RAM, Flash, network, SATA, USB, RTC), I've got 18 on the list so far. Looks like I have a few more to add...

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