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Submission + - Hot new WIFI microcontroller module under $5 Arduino programmable ( 5

An anonymous reader writes: Vibrant maker community rallies around this new Internet of Things chip and builds a huge collection of resources on the official Community Forum for this IC.

32 bit Xtensa architecture processor
12 I/O pins
modules from 512KB to 4096KB
WIFI b/g/n
Arduino IDE support

What I find truly amazing is when I search SLASHDOT I come up with zero ESP8266 results.... how was this missed???

Comment It's the parents (Score 2, Insightful) 1316

As someone who's watched this generation growing up (I'm 43), and who's friends all have kids, and who has been partnered with someone for several years with kids, I can say the fault lies with how we parent today (we meaning the American middle class). I'm definitely way over on the left and liberal, but am stunned that parents universally no longer punish their children *at all* (can't scar the kids now, can we?). Nor do schools (wouldn't want a lawsuit). No no no - you have to *encourage* them to behave appropriately. Which amounts in effect to beating them with the proverbial Carrot.

It's really a major shift in our culture, and kids now expect to be rewarded for merely appropriate behavior, and have no idea what responsibility even means. I realize I start to sound like a cranky old man, but I don't think this is an age issue - I mean, up until the modern generation, punishment (often physical) was how parents kept kids in line, but we've shifted to a different paradigm, and well, now we have the problems this post is talking about.

The really interesting question is what will happen over the next 30 years, as this same Gen-MEMEME group actually has to suffer through real life, and becomes the leaders and bosses of tomorrow, and whether they'll be psychologically equipped to handle it.

I suppose it's a perfect irony - we trash the planet, then guarantee the generation left to inherit it can't possibly cope.

Stop the world, I want to get off.


Comment Re:Oh, but it gets better (Score 1) 260

True dat. But then, the explosions happen inside a large block of steel designed to confine them (and protect me). So, if we put the whole spaceship inside a VERY large block of steel that was designed to confine its explosions (vs merely *directing* them at a high percentage of c away from me), and then put spacewheels on it, I could safely drive my space car to work on Mars in only 19 days.

But now I'm just being sassy.

Comment Oh, but it gets better (Score 4, Insightful) 260

If you read the proposal, you'll note that the proposed method of working in space seems to be that the rocket engine actually fires in two directions - first, it fires a very high energy plasma beam AT THE SPACESHIP, which, in the vacuum of space, turns the whole assembly into a Gigavolt capacitor. THEN the spaceship fires a GV proton beam back at the rocket. This proton beam then ignites a classic fission explosion (using Deuterium-Tritium), but "very small", and this DT explosion ignites a second, much more explosive Deuterium-only fusion explosion AWAY FROM THE SPACECRAFT. Repeat one million times per second, or as needed.

What could possibly go wrong?

If that's not exciting enough, the whole plasma/proton beam doesn't work on earth, so, hey, we use a disposable argon laser, which can generate a lot of power, but (sadly), is really inefficient. But wait, we can fix that! All you have to do is set off a small hexogene explosion around your rod of solid argon, and the laser will suddenly work at 80% efficiency. Oh, repeat that every microsecond or so.

Honestly though, if you can get past the insane energies involved, he's come up with a rather brilliant way to use readily available fuel (Deuterium, as opposed to Deuterium Tritium, which is hard to come by), and using a whole chain of events, make the process really efficient (i.e. you need a lot less mass to make all this work). And, since your main burn is fusion (which consumes the fission by-products), not a lot of radiation to speak of (oh, well, there are some pesky neutrons, but who doesn't like neutrons?)

Comment Re:So wait a second... (Score 5, Informative) 501

Having *just* installed Hardy Heron, I also note that upon first booting the machine and logging in, an icon shows up next to the "updates available" icon that looks like a little graphics card, and when you click on it, it points out that you have *not* installed the proprietary nvidia driver, but by golly, click here and we'll do it right now! Which I did. Which helped performance. So while it may not be done by default, it's something any user would notice immediately (any user of Ubuntu).

Maybe a new install of Etch + Gnome would exhibit the same behavior, but really, if the OS *tells you* up front that you're missing an important (albeit proprietary) driver specific to your hardware, the likelihood of that driver then being installed is bound to go way up.

I will also say, it's gratifying to have the *option* to install a proprietary driver clearly presented, with a commentary about what "proprietary driver" actually means, and why / why not I should install this driver. Some will choose to use the nvidia driver, and some will not, but educating the end user about what their options are and what they mean is really a great feature in Ubuntu, and I think nicely bridges the gap between "must be free" and "just do it for me".



Portables (Apple)

Submission + - iphone root exploit

capn_nemo writes: "Surprisingly, I haven't seen this on slashdot (yet), but here's a lovely video of Rik Farrow demonstrating how to remotely gain access to his iphone (by clicking on a link to a particular web page). He then demonstrates how to ssh to his phone, start a recording session, then downloads the resulting file and plays it back. Naturally, there are a lot of "yes buts" as to how he does it and how at risk your phone is, but the video is compellingly scary:

gizmodo video

My favorite part about these mobile device exploits is the "even though it looks like it's off" tagline."

Software Bug Halts F-22 Flight 579

mgh02114 writes "The new US stealth fighter, the F-22 Raptor, was deployed for the first time to Asia earlier this month. On Feb. 11, twelve Raptors flying from Hawaii to Japan were forced to turn back when a software glitch crashed all of the F-22s' on-board computers as they crossed the international date line. The delay in arrival in Japan was previously reported, with rumors of problems with the software. CNN television, however, this morning reported that every fighter completely lost all navigation and communications when they crossed the international date line. They reportedly had to turn around and follow their tankers by visual contact back to Hawaii. According to the CNN story, if they had not been with their tankers, or the weather had been bad, this would have been serious. CNN has not put up anything on their website yet." The Peoples Daily of China reported on Feb. 17 that two Raptors had landed on Okinawa.

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