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Comment Not quite (Score 3, Informative) 156

To be clear, we don't have a computer that can survive on Venus, or anything near that. What the research team made is a ring-buffer, which is a collection of maybe 20-30 transistors arranged in a big circle (with one inverter).

That's a very far cry from even an Intel 8080, which is approximately 4500 transistors. And that's without any RAM, Flash, or anything else. This is an impressive milestone to be sure, but it's nowhere near an Arduino (let alone a full computer).

Comment Re:The futuer of computing: RISC-V (Score 2) 83

They did!

The board uses a Freedom E310 RISC-V microcontroller. The PCB size and connector layout is the same as an Arduino, and also there is some software-compatibility with Arduino's programming environment. But it's definitely not ARM based.

What makes this so interesting is that the instruction-set (RISC-V) is free for anybody to implement, and has growing academic support.

The E310's RTL source-code is also open-source and freely available, which means you could implement your own version on an FPGA or approach a chip-fab if you wanted to build a lot of them.

Comment Another IndieGoGo scam (Score 3, Interesting) 109

It's worth pointing out that Kickstarter would never have allowed this campaign. IndieGoGo is so much scammier that it's ridiculous. I don't think I'd ever 'invest' in a crowdfunding campaign from either site, but if I did it would be Kickstarter because of the following policy differences:

- With IndieGoGo, you get to keep the money even if you don't reach your funding goal.
- With Kickstarter, you can only show actual prototype hardware in your videos/campaign site - no mockups or 3D rendering allowed.

It's pretty easy to see how these differences mean that IndieGoGo is the go-to site for products like:

just to name a few.

Comment Build colonies on Earth (Score 1) 256

It always struck me as kind of crazy that anybody talks about building colonies on Mars, the moon, Venus, or anywhere off-world. I like sci-fi as much as the next guy, but the fact of the matter is that we already have a planet with suitable gravity, and breathable air.

We're not even close to using up all of the available space on this planet. Why would we build on Mars when we have Antarctica? Why build on Venus when we have giant empty deserts in Nevada?

On Earth, a cracked window doesn't mean that everybody will suffocate or be pulled apart by a vacuum. Plus, it comes with plenty of raw materials and suitable gravity.

No matter how bad Earth gets pollution-wise, I just can't see off-world colonies as realistic until we use up the land we already have.

leak in your bio-dome doesn't

Comment Re: Lifestyle (Score 1) 332

Citations? Here're mine:

USA uses about 1500 m3/capita/year, which is similar to New Zealand (1200 m3/capita/year) and Canada (1400 m3/capita/year). Compare with California alone, we're at 178 gallons/capita/day which is 245 m3/capita/year. That's lower than most countries.

I'm (reasonably) sure that number the 178 gallons/person/day figure is the "urban" per-capita, not the per-capita of the entire state.

The state's per-capita water use is more like 1390 gallons/person/day.

Comment Re:Are you patenting software? (Score 2) 224

So you disagree with the patent system, but yet you have some software patents and you want to try to wield them to extract extra money from a potential employer.

It doesn't actually sound like you disagree with the patent system at all.

If you want to do the ethically right thing, don't buy yourself in any deeper. Don't bring them up to your employer, and don't try to charge them extra money when you write code for them that uses the math concepts that you've hoarded for yourself.

Comment Re:Does Minix have much real-time capability? (Score 4, Informative) 93


VxWorks is a great product. It's also waaaayyy outside of the price range of a hobbyist developer. Getting up and running with the VxWorks suite of tools can easily cost 20k (USD), and the recurring license fees are pretty significant as well. I would also bet that auditing the VxWorks source code (or trying to get custom patches in) would cost significantly more.

Comment Does Minix have much real-time capability? (Score 5, Insightful) 93

As an embedded-systems guy, I'd _love_ to have a Unix-like where I could schedule events that were guaranteed-by-design to fire within some deadline of when they were scheduled. Then I could host my once-per-kHz hardware service routines on the same processor that was also running my device's web-server.

Minix's microkernel architecture seems like an ideal fit for that kind of use case. If there are any Minix devs reading this thread, how easy would it be for me to make a system like that using Minix?

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