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Comment Re:But Seriously... (Score 1) 387

On the other hand, we do think that the laws of the universe should be based on the same principles at all levels, so the fact that General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics do not mesh well is a problem we need to solve. If some physics people want to look for other ways to solve the problem fine

Yes, and one of the people in question has done precisely that ("loop quantum gravity").

Likewise, general relativity is only now getting empirical evidence that supports it as the most likely out of competing theories. We must recall that the impetus of general relativity was a lack of symmetry in the mathematics of Maxwell laws, having to do with identical magnets moving with respect to one another.

General relativity, or special relativity?

Comment Re:Compiling toothbrush code with GCC (Score 1) 348

Is that toothbrush on the internet of silly things?

Depending on the definition of "internet", this toothbrush might be. (It might not use the Internet Protocol running atop Bluetooth, but it does connect to a machine that probably is connected to the Internet.)

I like the idea of hacking someone's toothbrush.

That might be difficult if, as per the All About Circuits posting I referred to in a followup, there's a "code protection feature" in the microcontroller that makes it difficult if not impossible to overwrite the code. You might still be able to overflow a buffer and cause a return to code you supply, for example - if the microcontroller isn't a Harvard-architecture processor only capable of running code from code memory.

Comment Compiling toothbrush code with GCC (Score 4, Informative) 348

Here's a electric toothbrush reference design from Texas Instruments.

Here's the MSP430G22x0 microcontroller used in the design.

Here's a list of software tools for that microcontroller. The list includes something called "GCC", which they say is an "Open Source Compiler for MSP Microcontrollers".

Here's a page from Renesas about electric toothbrush designs.

Here's a list of software tools for Renesas processors; they list C compilers for the R8C and RL78 microcontrollers, as mentioned in the previous page.

So don't assume all the code in your toothbrush was written in assembler language; some of it may have been written in C, although some of the low-level library routines might be written in assembler (or an asm in the C code).

Comment Re:meta discussion who is responsible for hacks? (Score 1, Insightful) 73

(and modded -5 in 5.. 4... 3... 2... 1... see ya!)

Posted at 1:48 PM Pacific Daylight Time; it is now 2:21 PM Pacific Daylight time, and its current score is 2.

So either it was modded -5 and then un-modded, or it wasn't modded -5 at all.

Comment Re:Do Processing unit makers build alikes? (Score 1) 127

Integrated circuits weren't invented until the late 1960's

That's not really true, the AGC was using IC gates around 1962 already.

Perhaps they're thinking of MSI, which first showed up in the late 1960's; SSI predated that.

Although this video doesn't mention it the Megaprocessor is actually a clone of the 6502, based on the reverse engineering of that chip which was done by the visual6502 people. Actual discrete transistor designs were a bit more streamlined to reduce the discrete component count.

Which is peculiar because the 6502 should have not nearly as many as 40k transistors.

And, in fact, the 6502 had more like 3.5k transistors; the MOnSter 6502, which is what the "clome of the 6502" person was actually thinking of, has about 4300 transistors.

Comment Re:Do Processing unit makers build alikes? (Score 2) 127

Although this video doesn't mention it the Megaprocessor is actually a clone of the 6502, based on the reverse engineering of that chip which was done by the visual6502 people.

No, you're thinking of the MOnSter 6502. The Megaprocessor has its own instruction set, with 4 (semi-)general purpose registers (some load and store instructions can only use R0 or R1 as the register source/destination and R2 or R3 as an index register).

Comment Re:Goodbye Subscription Windows..... (Score 1) 285

You could always use OSX. However I don't trust that one day Apple won't start verifying the hardware is genuine and your install stops working.

Yes, there's no guarantee that any version of Mac OS X^W^W^WOS X^W^WmacOS will run, or that it will continue to run, or that the next release after it will run, on a Hackintosh.

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