Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Re:Still Catching Up (Score 1) 43

You're assuming this is a problem with the IC. It could be a flaw in the PCB layout or a firmware bug. The two parts probably have different layout requirements and external components, and aren't drop in replacements of each other - it is very possible there is a problem with the PCB layout using the Intel part. For example, the antenna trace may take a slightly different path that causes an impedance mismatch or coupling of switching noise from a nearby circuit.

Actually, assuming both parts have similar specs, I think such a large and sudden drop off in performance is indicative of a design flaw somewhere, but it'll take more testing to know the cause. In my experience though, it's almost always the PCB's fault; it's such a significant and sudden drop in performance that I would think Intel would have caught it in their reference designs and fixed before mass production. Or maybe not and Intel really fucked up.

Also note that Intel isn't new to making radios and have been producing digital RF comm parts for quite a while. They may not be Qualcomm, but I see no reason they shouldn't be able to produce a properly functioning modem.

Comment Re: Drake Equation == 1 (Score 1) 258

By 'warping' spacetime obviously. Not only does general relativity say FTL is possible, how do you think all those other galaxies got further away from us than light has had time to travel? If the universe was expanding slower than the speed of light, we would be able to see everything instead of just the tiny, *shrinking* horizon we have. Based on our current understanding of the universe, warp drive is possible, the math supports it, and it would take a feasible amount of mass-energy to pull it off. Of course, our current understanding of physics is still quite lacking so only time will tell.

Comment Re: Don't most games do this... (Score 2) 170

This is what is called 'weak AI' - what you're referring to is 'strong AI', and we're no where near that point yet. Yes, they probably had to hardcode the objective of the game and some core rules, otherwise it would have no idea what to do. But even natural intelligence has this, we usually call it instinct. The point though is that it can actually learn how to play from there and adapt to improve its performance. Also understand that there's probably an ton of computation to do this, so the reaction time probably isn't as fast as you'd think, and I'd imagine a well trained weak AI could beat any human player even if it's reaction time was handicapped. It may not be as complicated as the AI in a fully autonomous car, but it's still impressive.

The real problem will be this will make detecting cheats even harder. You could run the game in a VM or a dedicated machine and have your AI play for you using a virtual frame buffer and input devices - the game will have no idea the OS isn't displaying it to a real display and being driven by a real mouse/keyboard. You could do the same thing with a console by feeding the HDMI into a capture card and hacking a controller to be controlled by your AI computer.

Comment Re: Floppy drive (Score 1) 290

Just to clarify, my point was that it couldn't be both sealed (via encapsulating in epoxy) and inefficient. Since it is sealed and has a limited capacity to continually dissipate heat, it must be somewhat efficient. The claim was that it's only 20 to 25% efficient, which means that at the maximum output on the 5V rail, the brick is dissipating over 100w. There is no fracking way that brick can dissipate anywhere near that much power - even at half of its rated output power, the brick would quickly become hot enough to melt plastic and burn flesh.

I guess I'm just being pedantic - as a guy who designs boxes and the PCBs that go in them, how much power I waste vs how I get that wasted power out of the box is a major part of any design.

Comment Re: Floppy drive (Score 1) 290

You typically can't have inefficient and sealed/unvented in the same design - that (usually) results in overheating and other such problems. Of course there are ways to pull heat out of a sealed product, but that's not the case with the C64.

Anyway, electrolytic capacitors always had a limited life span since the electrolyte in them doesn't last forever. I think the problem we see today is more the result of miniaturization - the energy density of capacitors has increased significantly and designers are building circuits with capacitances closer to design minimums to save space. This usually means fewer parallel capacitors in a design, each taking more abuse, and since many products ship with circuit capacitances already at design minimums, any capacitance losses due to degradation or environmental conditions quickly result in unstable circuits. This is especially true in power supplies which depend on high capacity and low ESR capacitors to ensure stability - this is best done with multiple large caps in parallel, but everyone wants their power bricks small, light, and cheap so corners are often cut.

(This is especially true on consumer grade kit where cheap and pretty are always more important than function and reliability).

Comment Re: With all due respect to Mr. Hawking and us... (Score 1) 280

Yes, FTL is 'possible', maybe - we have observed other galaxies moving away from us FTL, although this is because spacetime is expanding FTL. Theoretically one could locally distort spacetime to allow them to travel multiple times the speed of light without actually accelerating - aka warp drive. This is mathematically *possible* given our current understanding of physics, but it would require an extremely large amount of mass-energy, to the point where our models and understandings might break down. So, it might be possible, we just don't know enough about the universe to know for sure.

Comment Re: Government? Is that really the issue? (Score 5, Insightful) 55

I really don't understand your logic. Unlike the government, private corporations can't kick in my door in the middle of the night, shoot my dog, and throw me in a jail cell because they don't like something in my email. If the government fucks up and causes me injury because of gross negligence, I can't sue them or otherwise hold them liable. And if the government commits a blatant crime, they get to decide if they're guilty or not. Sure, plenty of corporations have done terrible things, and sometimes they get away with it, but no truly private corporation has ever come close to the level of abuse of human rights as the US government - just think how many millions of Americans have been imprisoned for non-violent crimes, think of the 500,000+ people murdered in the middle east in the past decade alone, think of the trillions of dollars that have been forcibly taken from us and squandered on useless crap to further line the pockets of the elite.

How can you possibly defend such a terrible organization? Because they throw you some table scraps?

I think of the government we have today as just a corporation with a monopoly on the use of force and violence. The worst part is their services are openly for sale to any other corporation that needs them.

No, I don't trust Google or Facebook anymore than I do the government, but at least I'm not forced at the end of a gun to buy their products and follow their rules.

Comment Re: Is this Hyperloop or "Hyperloop"? (Score 1) 125

Sigh - this video is an embarrassment to Thunderf00t's typical level of intellectual quality and I lost a great deal of respect for him because of it. I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt and blame this abortion on him being a scientist and not an engineer, but I can't help but think it's just half-assed click bait and he's sold out his integrity for views.

So first the whole tube thing - I guess he didn't know we have thousands of miles of natural gas pipelines that operate from 200psi to 1500psi and have a lot of the same design concerns. Obviously the Hyperloop will take a bit of tweaking from what we're doing now, but the ground work is already there and well within our capabilities.

Next are the fears of capsule depressurization - this can be easily worked around with a number of fail safes like self-sealing bulkheads, emergency tube repressurization, etc. It would take a massive rupture of the capsule to depressurize quickly enough to be a concern, and even then it'd be vastly easier to deal with than a loss of cabin pressure at 35,000ft. He also complains about the dangers of an extremely rapid and violent repressurization of the tube, which would take an act of terrorism and a good amount of ordinance to actually happen - this could be resolved by creating a system to rapidly and evenly repressurize the tube in the event of an emergency (look at the text he quotes in the video, it explains just how this would work, yet he totally ignores it and pretends like it's not there). I will admit there are some safety concerns, but the actual risks are much less than driving a car, and probably less than air travel. The extremely risk averse can stay at home I suppose, but I'd feel a lot safer on a Hyperloop than an interstate.

Then we get to the grand daddy of them all and it becomes abundantly clear he didn't even read the Wikipedia article, much less the actual white paper - he claims it's propelled by a turbine and explains everything wrong with that idea. Obviously propelling something in a near vacuum with a turbine is fucking stupid - that's why the proposal is to use linear magnetic propulsion like a maglev. There is a compressor system that reduces the air pressure at the front of the capsule and uses it to produce an air bearing between the capsule and the tube like an air hockey table (although magnetic levitation may be used instead). This is to prevent the capsule from compressing the air in front of it as it moves at high speed and has nothing to do with propulsion. This setup will result in extremely high efficiencies as friction is minimized and very little kinetic energy is lost to heat. If the magnetic propulsion system also employs regenitive breaking, a majority of the energy used to initially accelerate the capsule can be captured at the end. I lost a lot of respect for Thunderf00t over this glaring error in his analysis, and while I hope he just misread, I can't help but wonder if he was intentionally trying to mislead his audience.

Anyway, I only spent a couple minutes coming up with solutions to these 'issues', I'm sure with some more thought much more elegant solutions can be devised. Yes, taking Hyperloop from a concept to a safe and functional product will take some R&D, but it very reasonably could transport people and cargo faster than sound while consuming only a handful of joules per passenger.

Before he posted this video I was a regular viewer and greatly enjoyed his scientific analysis and regular debunking of physically impossible products. This video only touches on engineering problems, not actual science problems, and engineers have solved much greater challenges in the past. I hope we as a society don't fall into this trap of not trying something worthwhile because it's hard.

Comment Re: One can only hope (Score 5, Insightful) 217

This is only because of prohibition, prices are artificially inflated because of artificial scarcity and risk. Even without insurance, one can buy a supply of hydromorphone at a pharmacy for far less than one can buy heroin on the street - even though the hydromorphone is higher quality, much more potent, and overall safer than street heroin. Millions of Americans walk around hopped up on legally prescribed opiates and amphetamines and don't suffer from any of these apparent evils that we hear about in the endless government propaganda. Fuck, do you have any idea how many elderly people walk around with a morphine pump keeping them doped to high heaven 24/7? And when was the last time grandpa robbed you to pay for a refill? Oh, and most illegal drug addicts would suffer withdrawal before robbing someone, because they're not shit bags - some shit bags are drug addicts but by no means are all drug addicts shit bags. Drug use and a lack of decency are totally unrelated. And yeah, fuck us white libertarians who hate a system that disproportionately cages minorities, while destroying families and creating poverty. If you seriously think locking someone up for nothing other than using drugs is OK, you're a fucking twat that lacks any human decency or morality.

Comment Re: Cheap, Plentiful, Available -- Choose 2 (Score 1) 142

There's nothing capitalistic about the American cellular market - it is so heavily regulated there is effectively no real competition like you'd see in a real free market. Of course these 'regulations' are nothing more than protectionist schemes bought and paid for. This chronyism is not capitalism in anyway way, shape, or form but rather some classical conservative feudalism and neoliberal socialism bastard child.

Comment Re: truth is... (Score 1) 93

If PWM isn't a true 'analog' output, what is? I can think of no better or simpler way to implement a DAC - with a lower level of error and greater precision - than PWM through a low pass filter. Or does this board simply hide those details from you - I admittedly am not up to date with these hobbyist boards.

Comment Re:Guilty (Score 2) 102

[Citation Needed]

Outside of government propaganda, I haven't seen much supporting the case that drugs like cocaine have a higher rate of abuse than alcohol. Furthermore, alcohol is the only drug that I'm aware of with withdrawal symptoms that includes death.

At the end of the day, violently throwing people in cages at gun point for getting high on substances you don't approve of is far more harmful to both the drug user and society as a whole. This whole argument of which drug is more or less dangerous is stupid because the drug prohibition has done far more damage to our society than recreational drug use.

Comment Re:Well there ya go (Score 2) 496

Actually, it is very much so about the First Amendment. The whole purpose of DD publishing these designs was to not just make a statement, but a very political statement. They couldn't have nearly as effectively made their statement without releasing these designs, making it critical to their political speech and thus deserving of highest level of protection. Given this, I fail to see how the ITAR or any similar law would mean shit in a court challenge - remember the constitution trumps any lowly piece of legislation or treaty. IOW, the ITAR can go fuck itself.

PS - Censorship doesn't work on the internet

Comment Re: Or... (Score 3, Interesting) 318

There is nothing wasteful or unusual about Android's file system, it is perfectly normal for an embedded system like a phone. The objective is to make the device as durable as possible, immune to improper shutdown, negligent users, and other such things. For this purpose the core bits are on a partition mounted RO, with the user data stored on a separate partition. Generally the way you'd update such systems is to replace the entire RFS, but since that would require the OEMs efforts, Android uses the system it does. Maybe it's not ideal, but we can update a good amount of functionality without having to worry about battery pulls bricking the phone. Complaining that your old, early generation phone doesn't support the newest software is ridiculous. We are with mobile devices where we we with PCs 15+ years ago. You are running a 486 in an age of Pentiums. Not only does the Nexus One lack storage, it has a slow SoC and only 512 MB of memory. And, IMHO, it was the biggest pile of dog shit to wear the Nexus title (yes I've owned one).

Comment Re:What about GPL? (Score 1) 190

It's not, it's Apache. Plus, even if you release your code under a GPL, you are under no obligation to only release future version under the same license. Heck, you can release the same version under different licenses if you wanted, ala Qt. If you own the code, you dictate the license, not the other way around.

Now, they would need to release some GPL'd code that's not theirs, namely the Linux kernel and some utilities, but the bulk of it can be closed forever.

Slashdot Top Deals

I am a computer. I am dumber than any human and smarter than any administrator.