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SXSW: Imagine a Practical, Low-Cost Circuit Board Assembly System (Video)

Bassman59 Re:Pick-place and solder paste are the issues (60 comments)

I haven't done a board which uses less than four layers in ages, so something that will etch or mill copper to make traces doesn't do much for me. I can wait a couple of days for a proto board house to send me a package.

about a year and a half ago

Emacs 24.1 Released

Bassman59 emacs and the vhdl-mode (161 comments)

I do FPGA design for a living, and I will sing the praises of the vhdl mode, which is the single greatest piece of software for us hardware guys, ever.

more than 2 years ago

SFPD Breathalyzer Mistake Puts Hundreds of DUI Convictions In Doubt

Bassman59 Re:Same thing in the uk. (498 comments)

In the UK, refusing/failing to provide a specimen of blood or breath carries the same punishment as providing a positive sample. This gets around people like you trying to avoid responsibility for their actions.

In the US, our Constitution explicitly says that you do not have to incriminate yourself, and providing a breathalyzer or blood sample does so.

(Some states have gotten around this to some degree by giving you an "administrative" sanction by taking your license if you don't, which is still way better than DWI -- but they can't give you criminal charges for it.)

It's called "implied consent," which means that, as a condition of having a driver's license, you automatically consent to the cop's request for a breathalyzer or other test. A lawyer friend explained it to me like this. Driving is a privilege, not a right (there's no Constitutional right to drive a car). As such, you are bound to follow all of the laws which govern that privilege. One of the laws is implied consent. You are, of course, allowed to refuse to take the breathalyzer test (that is your right), but the law states that refusal to do so results in the severe penalties they enumerate.

more than 2 years ago

Why Distributing Music As 24-bit/192kHz Downloads Is Pointless

Bassman59 Re:Pro recording (841 comments)

I recently remixed a classic recording for sony records. The files where rolled off of tape at 24bit/96k. 48k I can understand but 96k is pointless. WAAAAAAY beyond the range of human hearing. In the old days, things like cymbals and brass could really stick out because the encoders and decoders where just not where they are today.

Anyone that tells you they can hear the difference between 48k and 96k is dreaming. Its the quality of the recording that counts more than anything these days.

The difference is that the antialiasing filters are much simpler and have a gentler roll-off when sampling at 96kHz. The high-order filters necessary to ensure adequate attenuation at Nyquist and above when sampling at the lower rates have this tendency to ring.

more than 2 years ago

Users Spend More Time On Myspace Than Google+

Bassman59 Re:LOL ... (310 comments)

Not to be argumentative, but considering Linux's near ubiquity in embedded devices I suspect Linux has more users than Windows.

Most embedded devices don't run an operating system. Too much overhead.

more than 2 years ago

With Push for OS X Focus, CUPS Printing May Suffer On Other Platforms

Bassman59 Re:OK, whatever. (267 comments)

Oh please, before the App Store there was the option of self-publishing an app for an open OS, this is how most PalmOS apps (and of course many Windows apps) were sold for example, no giving up cuts for the privilege of making an app for some platform and no manufacturer control over which apps can run on a platform. The unnecessary middleman between the developer and the user was being eliminated.

Of course, for OS X, that option still exists.

about 2 years ago

The Unspoken Rules of Open Source Hardware

Bassman59 Re:Self important drivel from a non-contributer (64 comments)

The more I read the claptrap coming out of the Brooklyn "Maker" scene the more I realise what the so called maker movement is all about. I think a few other people have pointed out that the hobby engineering community has been around for a long time. We have been hacking , futzing, inventing and maybe even selling since the industrial revolution, hell, long before that even. The "Maker" revolution is really all about exploiting the hobby engineering market. Make magazine only exists to Make money. It has no other useful purpose. We had mailing lists, web sites, forums and catalogues long before Make existed. Torrone and his ilk are salesmen. They make a tidy profit selling other people's work to the masses. There are no "unspoken rules" in open source. The only rules that are worth anything are ones that can be enforced by law. If that were not the case we wouldn't need the open source license in the first place. Phil should stick to riding Limor's coat tails, coming up with new stickers and badges to hock and re-publishing other people's projects.

Wish I had mod points. +5, "Kick ass."

more than 2 years ago

Samsung Takes the Lead In the Smartphone Market

Bassman59 Re:Holding market share is another thing (406 comments)

samsung also manufacturers the screens and several other components for the IPHONE so if your so worried about there quality you wouldn't by one of them as well.

Except it's the design of the phone that's the failure, not the individual components.

more than 2 years ago

Samsung Takes the Lead In the Smartphone Market

Bassman59 Re:Sheeple? (406 comments)

sheeple is reserved for apple due to the it being created from the word sheep and apple

Wrong, dipshit. sheep and people.

more than 2 years ago

Samsung Takes the Lead In the Smartphone Market

Bassman59 Re:Shipped vs Sold... (406 comments)

How many waited for models of Apple phones are there ... 1, and it's the most expensive and with all possible features

How many new models of Android or even Samsung phones are there... many of all types and prices

Apple starve the market, make them wait, then release, usually with just less than demand, and they all sell, whereas their "rivals" are multiple manufacturers who compete with each other just keep bringing out new models and sell them at a steady rate

Yet, for some reason, Apple's profits are higher than its competitors, as is its stock price. So, what exactly was your point?

more than 2 years ago

Samsung Takes the Lead In the Smartphone Market

Bassman59 Re:Units Shipped != Units Sold (406 comments)

And Apple doesn't like to channel stuff - they drop production as sales drop, and when a new model is being introduced, will often not fulfill orders for the old inventory, rather letting them dry up. It's a rather fragile balancing act - Apple hates shortages (they want everyone who wants one to walk out with one), but also needs to ensure expensive inventory doesn't pile up. And it's even harder when your quantities are in the millions.

And this is the real secret to Apple's success. Their customers are well aware of Apple's typical product-refresh cycles, too, so they'll hold off until after the WWDC or whatever.

The designs make people want the products. But it's the supply-chain management that makes the money.

more than 2 years ago

Samsung Takes the Lead In the Smartphone Market

Bassman59 Re:High-end models? (406 comments)

No phone has 4g, it has some marketing bullshit that doesn't even come close to the spec.

The anonymous coward speaks the truth.

more than 2 years ago

Samsung Takes the Lead In the Smartphone Market

Bassman59 Re:High-end models? (406 comments)

With the 4G on probably less then when he has the 4G off?

Battery life a Samsung phone with 4G on: I'd say poor Battery life a Samsung phone with 4G off: I'd say good to great

Battery life of an iPhone with 4G on: 0, because you aren't allowed to Battery life of an iPhone with 4G off: great

Yeah, that's Apple winning right there. Let me guess when the iPhone 5 comes out with 4G, 4G will then be awesome?

You seem to forget that there's no such thing as 4G.

more than 2 years ago

Samsung Takes the Lead In the Smartphone Market

Bassman59 Re:High-end models? (406 comments)

With Apple, the screen size that Jobs liked is the only choice you have. The screen size is "just right" only if your tastes exactly matched his, or you were convinced by the hype that being trendy was more important than getting the screen size you really wanted.

Having a single screen size certainly makes life easier for developers ...

more than 2 years ago

Prototyping Boards Make It Easier To Find Flaws in Specialized Hardware

Bassman59 Re:No content in TFA (56 comments)

There is no justification in the article for the thesis it states so boldly in its title, ergo, the article is completely worthless. Reads like an advertisement. Slow news day?

Wish I had mod points. I agree.

more than 2 years ago

Prototyping Boards Make It Easier To Find Flaws in Specialized Hardware

Bassman59 Re:Another Arduino story... (56 comments)

Lattice sold their Brevia development board which has an instant on FPGA. It also has an I/O system that is remarkable. If there's a specification it can't do it's most likely obsolete. I've been able to use the free development software to hook it up to a 3.3v I/O source and record the digital signals. I bought it for 29.95. Unfortunately the 3.3v is hard wired and I've not checked if I can power the I/O with different voltages.

FWIW there is an atmega 168 FPGA core but I've not tried to make it work. It comes with Lattice's micro8 core as a demo.

You do realize that Xilinx, Altera and Actel also offer pretty cheap development/starter kits with FPGAs, I/O headers and some peripherals? And they work with the free (as in beer) tools supplied by the vendors? Digilent also make a series of low-cost FPGA kits.

more than 2 years ago

Prototyping Boards Make It Easier To Find Flaws in Specialized Hardware

Bassman59 Re:Arduino deserves the popularity (56 comments)

Firstly, I don't see a huge attempt to reprogram every PLC or FPGA in existence. Secondly, much of said behavior is likely script kiddy level. It is now sexy to start talking about hacking at hardware type things, even if not much comes out of it.

Well, the obvious reason (well, obvious to me, anyway; I'm an EE who does FPGA design for a living) there are very few attempts to reprogram every FPGA in existence is because the FPGAs are always installed on an application-specific circuit board, with application-specific I/O and peripherals. Modifying some product to do something else is a non-starter, simply because of the rework involved.

more than 2 years ago

Pakistan Bans Encryption

Bassman59 Re:Oh dear God I hope so. (351 comments)

Off topic and barely relevant to the improvement of driving safety.

If you want better driving safety, you want better driver training

I agree wholeheartedly with the need for better driver training.

However, the problems remain. For example, there's always going to be some jackass driving like a maniac, weaving in and out of traffic, trying to shave a minute off of his commute. The fact that he's a well-trained jackass is irrelevant if he cuts you off or runs a stoplight.

And no matter how well-trained a driver might be, one cannot discount the problems caused by lack of vehicle maintenance. Just yesterday, I was at a stoplight and I looked at passenger-side rear wheel of the monster truck to my left, and the tire was bald to the point of showing wires. (OK, a well-trained driver would be one who is smart enough to know not to drive on such dangerous tires -- but the argument always presented is, "I can't afford a replacement, and I need my car to get to work ..." The argument is bogus, of course ..)

I'd love to see much more stringent driver training. But between the lack of funding on all levels for such things, and the ridiculous idea that a 16-year-old kid is mature enough to drive a car, unfortunately it won't happen.

Speed limits actually hinder driving safety more often than they help.

Citation, please.

about 3 years ago

HP Spinning Off WebOS and Exiting Hardware Business

Bassman59 Re:Agilent (514 comments)

Along those lines, you have the original AT+T, which included the famed Bell Labs, being split up, and I think that Alcatel ended up with Bell Labs, which was spun out again into Avago (or was that the old HP optoelectronics business?). And one of the Baby Bells that came out of the AT+T split morphed into Cingular, which bought whatever was being called AT+T at the time and then it renamed itself AT+T. It's all perception ....

more than 3 years ago



Bassman59 Bassman59 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Bassman59 writes "This is something I didn't know they could do ... Apparently, border agents can demand that a citizen returning home must allow searches of the contents of their laptop computers. The good news is that the courts are looking at this."
Link to Original Source


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