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Comment Re:Software solutions (Score 1) 356

There are authorities that are relevant for automotive embedded software safety. Groups such as the UK's MIRA have a working group, MISRA (Motor Industry Software Reliability Association) which define a safe subset of C that is workable for embedded systems.

Specifically, undefined, unspecified and implementation-dependent behaviour of the C standard is identified, and the unsafe aspects are prohibited as part of the MISRA-C subset.

Alongside this, embedded system vendors in the automotive industry have serious validation requirements both from clients, and from internal compliance processes - the SEI's CMMI and ISO 26262 are a couple of standards that come to mind.

Keep in mind, this may be a little out of date - it's been a few years since I worked in automotive, but the people working in the industry do take it very, very seriously.

Comment "No fair"? (Score 5, Insightful) 329

I think we can safely assume that Blackberry is about as secure as a wet paper bag in countries where the device has become "commercially successful" and the government is less than interested in maintaining privacy.

Mentioining "national security" at the end of the video is a clear sign that RIM has well and truly given in on their claims of absolute security for the sake of maintaining a moderately-successful business.

Never trust the security of communications where the keys are being handled by someone outside your organisation.

Comment I'd be fine with this, as long as... (Score 5, Interesting) 337

I'd be fine with this, as long as the beancounters are forced to personally visit every single trucker in person, and attempt to extract their fees.

I'd imagine they'd soon have a 'close encounter of the truckstop kind'... perfect sort of punishment for this level of arrogance. Next they'll be demanding fees for listening to the radio while driving to work. The publishing industry will stop at nothing to fraudulently demand fees for others' works.

Comment Re:IPAD vs Laptop (Score 1) 115

The restriction on civilian GPS receivers is that the receiver should be able to show a position higher than 11mi, or a velocity greater than 515m/s, but not both simultaneously. A number of GPS manufacturers, however, have implemented this in a somewhat slack fashion and used || instead of &&.

Submission + - Canon releases EOS 50D successor, the 60D (

NeuralAbyss writes: Canon today released their successor to the above-bottom-of-the-line range of digital SLRs, the 60D. It sports a newer 18MP APS-C sensor, a 3" LCD as per the 550D, and video mode like the 7D.

Unfortunately, it eschews the CompactFlash storage slot used by previous models in the 50/60D range and higher-end cameras, in favour of SDXC.


A How-To Website For Australian Voters 158

Twisted64 writes "If you're interested in voting below the line in the upcoming federal election in Australia, but don't want to waste time in the booth individually ranking up to 76 candidates (for the unfortunates in New South Wales), then Cameron McCormack's website may have what you need. The website allows voters to set their preferences beforehand, dragging and dropping Stephen Conroy at the bottom of the barrel and thrusting the Sex Party into pole position (as an utterly random example). Once preferences are set, the site can generate a PDF to be printed and taken to the booth." (More, below.)

Comment All of this is missing one fundamental flaw.. (Score 1) 355

The flaw that most articles on biometric identification, be they fingerprints, retinal scans or other, is that you only have a limited number of immutable keys to choose from. While it may not be an issue in a school setting, if anyone is able to reconstruct the fingerprint or retina picture from the stored data, or at least a fake fingerprint/picture that is functionally equivalent to the real one, it's game over. You only have two eyeballs, and ten fingerprints.

I'd rather a system that allows me to change the key once in a while.


Slackware 13.1 Released 155

Several readers made sure we are aware that Slackware 13.1 release is out. Here's the list of mirrors. "Slackware 13.1 brings many updates and enhancements, among which you'll find two of the most advanced desktop environments available today: Xfce 4.6.1, a fast and lightweight but visually appealing and easy-to-use desktop environment, and KDE 4.4.3, a recent stable release of the new 4.4.x series of the award-winning KDE desktop environment."

Comment Theory is important.. (Score 2, Interesting) 301

I'd strongly suggest that you do at least a basic level of looking into theory while you're creating "practical circuits" - it's quite helpful when you're debugging to know at least roughly what's meant to happen.

One source I can recommend is the MIT Open Courseware resources - the 6.002 course on Circuits and Electronics is a good place to start; I'm an embedded software engineer who's started to push into the hardware side of things, and that set of lectures helped me turn my vague understanding of electronics (being able to read a circuit and understand what's going on) into something practical (being able to design a circuit).

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