Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


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

Comment Re:What I learned from this article (Score 1) 401

just like you'd never learn Python in embedded development.

That is far from the truth. Python is used quite a lot in embedded systems.

People who sneer when we use anything other than C in embedded must be the same ones that sneer when we use C instead of assembler on microcontrollers. These people probably still think we are in the early 1990s regarding prices/performance/compilers. It's funny when someones claims assembly is 20% faster or smaller when the application doesn't need it, or the extra development time is significantly more expensive than using a bigger part that has more resources for 0.10 cents more, or the price the other guy will have to pay to fix your cryptic assembly code in the future. But guess what, most people are not virtuosos, code generated by a compiler is likely faster than most things they could write in assembly.

So yes, Python code, like most languages, can be clean, reliable and made testable and if the performance is more than adequate for a given application, why do people keep bashing what others do?

Oh, [/RANT]

Comment Re: Let's get physical (Score 1) 97

iPhone storage can do 500MB+, a micro SD struggles to do faster than 200kB/s 4k writes.

Are you claiming the iPhone flash can arite 500MB+ at small random writes?

Fast microSD cards in phones are good enough to record and playback pretty much all mobile content availabe, with write speeds passing 100MB/s (yes, capital B). That is plenty fast for auxiliary storage. Small random writes are slow, of course, but they are also slower in the internal storage, in the iPhone they will probably not be much higher than 2MB/s, just like everyone else.

Comment Re:Great firefighters (Score 1) 243

Next you get your meter serviced or calibrated have a look at how its setup. Most apartments have 400V ph-ph (not 415V that's Australia) running through them with each apartment hooked to an alternate phase.

I do know how my house is setup and it's Phase+Neutral+Ground. It sounds like you are talking about split-phase, with Phase1+Neutral+Phase2, which I have never seen in person in Europe (talking about the electric grid, not generators and DC-AC inverters). Where do you live?

Also 120VDC doesn't hurt. Take it from experience.

I won't take it from your "experience", because I know 120VDC can kill you, unless you are an automaton that can control skin moisture or tearproof skin.

Should you approach these cars with care? Yes, they can kill you. But my point is your assertion that these cars are far more dangerous wasn't right.

How is your point, that 120VDC "doesn't hurt", makes an argument for "a 375VDC system is not dangerous when the power supply might have been damaged and can catch fire without prior notice"?

Comment Re:Great firefighters (Score 1) 243

What high voltage DC? The Tesla's battery pack is 375V, lower than the 415V ph-ph supplied to pretty much every apartment in the Netherlands

Are you sure? Voltage here in Europe is usually a single 230V phase pretty much everywhere, unless you are running a small factory or have huge power requirements at home, then you will use 3 phases. Maybe you were talking about the 315V peak to peak, but it will still be less than 375V, anyway, the problem is not just the voltage, it's that the voltage is encased in a metal shell, and if that shell looks broken and poking everywhere, you either proceed very carefully or you are ignorant. The same firefighters would also be very careful about a fuel spill, but there are decades of experience dealing with those, electric cars not so much.

Oh, and it doesn't matter how dry my hands are, I would not touch 120VDC.

Comment Re:All that Tesla has to say back.. (Score 1) 219

I agree, but our cruise controllers don't hold our steering wheels so we can check our phones, like many people are doing. It's also not just Tesla, BMW and Mercedes also have their own system, Citroen had enough sensors in their cars to do this since before 2010, that's why I think there should be no steering wheel control features unless the car was actually self-driving and didn't expect the user to be alert and take control, no level 2 vehicles, using the NHTSA classification. We are already easily distracted, if we add more automation they will relax even more, that's why I think there should be no middle ground, either the car actually drives itself or it needs your input at all times.

Comment Re:All that Tesla has to say back.. (Score 4, Insightful) 219

That was a car without the "pedestrian detection" option... The owner, a bit of a moron, for some reason thought it was a standard feature and decided to test it on a group of volunteer fellow morons...

Regardless of that Volvo spokeperson's intentions, they are right, hinting that you are using an "autopilot" will make idiots do stuff like this:

I don't see a problem equipping cars with the current automatic collision avoidance systems and leaving it at that, but autopilots for cars should be "black and white", either completely self-driving or completely manual, no automatic steering input at all. Period. Tesla's system will make people like that Volvo guy in the previous post do very stupid things, like the Tesla driver in this post.

Comment Re:If I can't fix the FPU in my Pentium III... (Score 1) 381

But in MOST modern cars cars you will not replace, as in my example, an electronic steering column lock with an aftermarket one, you would also have change the keyfob reader, trip computer and ECU (at least in my car). The same way that if you install a properly pre-programmed touch id scanner the phone will work just fine.

My point is that I don't understand why all the hate for the phone to lock when a device that is protecting your data is bypassed. Sure, they are being assholes for not providing a way to unlock the phone, even if it would erase all your data in the process, but it's Apple, they make very cool stuff and are known for locking their stuff up as tightly as possible, that's why it isn't for me. If they decided to lock every component, including LCD, digitizer, speakers, back covers, batteries (they could easily do it), I would agree, but it's probably a critical security component, and after that iCloud shenanigans they are probably a bit paranoid.

I'm not discussing the merits of their HW implementation, and I concede that locking stuff up after the replacements worked fine for several weeks is just wrong, but it's Apple, why the surprise? Consumers have a choice between shiny and locked or a bit less shiny and open, take your pick and don't be surprised if your brand new iPhone comes with proprietary connectors and can't be repaired or if your 50USD smartphone doesn't come with iOS. If you bought a 900USD phone and can't spare 150USD for a repair after the 2 year warranty is over you probably should have bought a cheaper phone in the first place.

Comment Re:If I can't fix the FPU in my Pentium III... (Score 1) 381

Technically they do brick the car, that's why you need the tow truck :D

And you can't take it to any shop, you need to take it to a shop with the correct hardware for your manufacturer, the same with the iPhone (well, I know that with the iPhone you are stuck with the prices of a single chain). I do agree with you that the repair procedure should not be available just to Apple, hence my " the manufacturer should be forced to ship a card with the device HW codes so repair shops can reprogram paired parts". On the other hand, the software apple uses to reprogram those components might allow people to do other stuff they don't want (like unlocking iCloud locked devices). I'm not an Apple customer at the moment, so I don't really care that much about the issue, but after Apple's response to the iPhone 4 antenna problem (essentially "ahahah, deal with it!") I don't expect they will change the "Touch ID scanners need to be replaced by authotized apple technicians" policy.

Comment Re:If I can't fix the FPU in my Pentium III... (Score 1) 381

Well, as far as analogies go, you turned your hyperbole right to 11, didn't you? :D

This is a complicated matter and the apple fingerprint sensor isn't certainly the first to make a compromise between security and repairability, just look at car security devices that are paired to each other like key readers and electronic steering wheel locks.

I don't own an iPhone, but as far as I know, the Touch ID scanner is a security device and, even if it's a low security one, they need some confidence that the sensor was not compromised, so I guess it might be a good idea to refuse non-compliant parts. I concede that completely disabling the phone AFTER it was working fine for a long time with the "fake" button is a total dick move, but if Apple argues that those devices were improperly repaired they are technically correct (still dicks).

Maybe in cases like these the manufacturer should be forced to ship a card with the device HW codes so repair shops can reprogram paired parts, the same way we use our car security code cards provided by the car manufacturer at the time of purchase to program keyfobs in locksmiths that are not affiliated with the manufacturer?

Comment Re:Stray radiation (Score 1) 36

As far as I know, those machines usually use linear accelerators to provide the radiation beams, that means the technicians don't get exposed when they are inside the treatment room when the machine is not operational or being serviced. The dots in the screen look like laser dots to me, they wouldn't have the machine turned on with the door open, and in that picture there are violet dots as well.

Comment Re:Aaaaaaaaannnnnnd (Score 1) 106

But that was not a sensor issue or reliability problem, the sensors work perfectly fine, it is an extra piece of code that does the cheating. Besides, there were all the other articles where Bosch already claimed they alerted VW that the feature in question was to only be used as a test mode during development. I guess we'll wait and see.

Comment Aaaaaaaaannnnnnd (Score 1) 106

Another article without absolutely no additional information regarding either the VW scandal or self-driving cars.

"Sensor manufacturers, for instance, may be untruthful about their abilities or, more likely, reliability." Is the author implying that before VW's scandal everyone trusted their suppliers blindly?

Comment Nothing new on the article (Score 3, Insightful) 153

I think the explanation as to why diesel engines create more nitrogen oxides and how the EGR works was simple and on point, but the conclusion not so much. I drive a diesel myself, but it is a 2006 model, it doesn't have adblue injection, my exhaust system only has a catalytic converter and a particle filter (and an EGR, of course). Even though it is an old model, like most cars since then it has more than enough sensors to do what VW did: individual wheel speeds for the ABS, steering wheel angle for the ESC, multiple sunshine sensors, front and rear suspension angles for the headlight height control, multiple temperature and pressures sensors on both the intake and exhaust, multiple flow rate sensors, mass air flow sensors, multiple sensors in the cooling system etc.

That's why I find the article a bit thin on new information, I'm certain the embedded engineers at Bosch/Delphi/Siemens/etc. could have done that with far less information that a more modern car has.

Did they all knew about it? Probably. Did they made hardware efforts to cheat? I don't believe it yet, that's the point of cheating, "passing" the test without having to add new hardware, there is plenty of data that can tell you if the car is really moving or in a test chamber.

Slashdot Top Deals

I'm still waiting for the advent of the computer science groupie.