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Multi-Process Comes To Firefox Nightly, 64-bit Firefox For Windows 'Soon'

LoRdTAW Subject need not apply or exist... (181 comments)

I switched to Chrome a while back when it came out. It supported most of the then new HTML5 features, most importantly, playing youtube videos without flash. At first I used chrome sparingly, it took a bit to get used to. Then, after a few vulnerabilities were found in FF which could allow attackers to read the memory of other tabs, I switched. The internet is a dangerous place, multiprocess sandboxing of tabs made perfect sense. I also really liked its UI which was much more simple: tabs, URL bar and a few controls like forward, back and reload along with a settings button.

But it came with a cost. I connected it to my google account and it also integrated with my phone and tablet bringing my bookmarks, passwords and other credentials across all of my devices. So I am hooked on the convenience of Google integration, for better or worse. Worse most likely. Plus logging into sites that use Google is very convenient. I'm addicted.

So going back to FF for me will be difficult.

My only concern with multi process is memory footprint. FF is great for low memory systems like virtual machines and older systems. Chrome is a memory hog and easily uses a gigabyte or more. Right now with 8 tabs open I have 12 chrome processes, two are close to consuming nearly 300 megs each, one nearly 200 and the remaining are anywhere from 12-87 megs. I assume the three large processes are the ones running the show (windows, IPC, etc). The largest being the parent process that spawns the others. The smaller 8 processes are the actual tabs. That is pretty much 1 gig of RAM for 8 tabs. I have computers and VM's with less running various test systems. FF on those machines clocks in at 250-300 megs under heavy use.

about a month ago
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Eben Upton Explains the Raspberry Pi Model A+'s Redesign

LoRdTAW Re:Watch out Pi (107 comments)

Okay, I see you point. Your original statement confused me as you stated "Anyone who really complains about the price of the RPi is expecting it to be something it's not." That made it sound as if the price was the problem, not the performance. Yea, performance wise it does suck but for most basic maker projects it is plenty. Most of those projects turns lights on and off or move an RC servo. Trivial stuff that an old 8051 could handle.

The only device in the price range is the BBB. But it suffers from poor community documentation. There is no decent wiki other than the one on elinux.com. If you ask me the biggest drawback of most of these boards is the laissez-faire attitude of the developers with respect to documentation, library support and finding basic information in general. Just try to find a decent example of programming the BBB in C. There are a few but they only came into being recently and NONE of them are officially from the BBB team. When the BBB was released, you had to post to the mailing list to get help for any other language than JS. Im sorry but that is some real lazy bullshit right there. They made a decent board and ignored the entire documentation part.

If I were developing a board I would ensure:
Tutorial for programming the board in several of the most popular languages: C, C++, Python and Java.
Example code for access each of the I/O features, digital, analog, PWM, I2C, SPI etc.
Thorough documentation on I/O access for writing libraries for other languages e.g. Rust, Haskell, Ada, D, Go, etc.
Arduino C library for ease of application development and porting.
Wiki wrapping all of this together so a user from novice to embedded superstar can waltz in and start writing code after a few minutes of browsing.

The BBB was a great board in many aspects but used JS and Node.js as its development platform of choice. Trying to write C code was a poorly documented black art. Dumb.

about a month ago
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Eben Upton Explains the Raspberry Pi Model A+'s Redesign

LoRdTAW Re:Watch out Pi (107 comments)

It is a shame that the banana Pi uses the same shitty layout of the RPi.

about a month ago
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Eben Upton Explains the Raspberry Pi Model A+'s Redesign

LoRdTAW Re:Watch out Pi (107 comments)

The vast majority of the projects the RPi are being used for could be done by a microcontroller. So when you compare them against other devices used in the same application then for the same cost of an Arduino you get 15x the speed, 100x the RAM, and Ethernet, and OS with a complete TCP/IP stack ready to go.

There certainly are a lot of overpowered Pi projects out there. Though, the biggest benefit is a full Debian Linux OS running on the board. You can easily create a really nice web based interface and run it all from the board using WiFi or Ethernet without cobbling together a bunch of Arduino shields and figuring out how to communicate with them via serial. An HMI plus logic controller plus development environment wrapped up in one unit so to speak. You also don't need a separate PC to develop, just a keyboard, mouse, and monitor.

Anyone who really complains about the price of the RPi is expecting it to be something it's not. There are plenty of boards far more powerful than the RPi for under $100 and they don't sell anywhere near as well, don't have anywhere near the same number of projects being developed for them and don't have even a fraction of the community support.

No one complains about the Pi's price. In fact, it is its greatest selling point. I think my biggest complaint is that the Pi gets the most press and the others are drowned out by the sea of "Pi noise". There are a few other boards out there:
The Beaglebone Black which is another 20 bucks and has a much more powerful CPU, hardware ethernet and better GPIO. Its layout kinda sucks though, the single USB port is too close to the micro HDMI port which means USB connectors physically interfere with the HDMI port. And micro HDMI ports suck. Another problem is it was just announced that TI might not want to continue supplying the SoC for the BBB forcing the manufacturers to switch to a Broadcom SoC. So its future is unknown. Plus they insist on using Node.js as the primary engine for writing code. Dumb.
There is the UDOO. But it is pointless to cram both an Arduino Due (ARM based) and quad core i.MX6 on the same board. It adds a needless layer of complexity abstracting the I/O from the main CPU via a UART and secondary CPU whilst forcing the burden of communicating between the two on the user. A stupid setup.

After those boards there really isn't any decent competition that brings anything new to the table. It's just another i.MX6 or OMap board that doesn't offer anything that compelling. It runs Linux, big whoop. What about I/O? I need PWM, ADC, and GPIO. Not a few GPIO's broken out to a header. Bunny Huang attached an FPGA to an i.MX6 in his open source laptop. That was a brilliant move. But at $500 for the board I can but an ITX board with a PCI slot and pop a PCI FPGA card on it from Mesa Electronics for far less.

The Intel Galileo is another interesting board as it added arduino library and shield compatibility. So you have a board with Ethernet, USB, runs Linux and supports most of the Arduino libraries. So Arduino users can port their code and take advantage of on board ethernet, huge memories, threading and all the goodness that comes with a full blown Linux PC. That was a pretty damn smart move. But it still lacks CPU power, no display or GPU and its I/O is hung off SPI hardware instead of GPIO registers off an internal bus. So for every step forward, we take two backwards.

The Beagleboard-X15 brings a very powerful SoC to the table. My only concern is software support. If we can develop software for the PRU-ICSS as easy as an Arduino then we can really develop some serious applications. This would be a killer robot board. And the DSP should come with OpenCV support and easy to use libraries so we can write DSP code without needing to be a TI engineer or experienced embedded developer. Abstract the complexity using libraries and good documentation and you will cut through the Pi noise.

about a month ago
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Eben Upton Explains the Raspberry Pi Model A+'s Redesign

LoRdTAW Re:Watch out Pi (107 comments)

Yes, I have seen that board before. It is good to see an Open GPU on this board.

The only big drawback to the Beagleborad X15 is the Lack of an open GPU. This is the same crap GPU that made the Intel Atom Cedarview and Pineview based systems utterly useless for running Linux. I still dont get what Imagination needs to keep locked up for their little GPU's. They can go jump off a cliff along with Nvidia. And why do companies insist on using PowerVR when Mali is quite capable, designed by ARM and more end user friendly? Mali is right up there with PowerVR in terms of performance so I don't get it. Cost perhaps? Better IP support?

about a month ago
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Eben Upton Explains the Raspberry Pi Model A+'s Redesign

LoRdTAW Re:Watch out Pi (107 comments)

Perhaps you misunderstand. The Pi is cheap and can cover many basic applications. But it does not fit every niche. And it suffers from very poor performance in areas that some find unacceptable (USB ethernet, slow, inefficient ARM v6, limited GPIO, etc).

Sure people have gotten the board to do basic image processing using OpenCV but imagine the potential power to be unlocked from the two C66x DSP's in the X15 SoC. Nevermind the fact that the A15 is over 3x more powerful than the ageing ARM v6 CPU in the Pi clock-for-clock. Each 1.5GHz core has 4.75x the performance of the Pi. Much more efficient instruction execution. Then toss in 128 bit NEON SIMD. The A15 also supports hardware virtualization. Can your Pi do that?

You might think $150 is too costly. But for a board that is nearly 10x more powerful CPU wise and features dual DSP's, fast modern I/O like Gigabit ethernet, SATA, PCI express and USB 3.0, that $150 is a bargain.

If the Pi fits your needs then buy a Pi. I have two B+ and they do the job very well. Nothing beats the price. But when you hit the performance ceiling, you have to look elsewhere.

about a month ago
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Eben Upton Explains the Raspberry Pi Model A+'s Redesign

LoRdTAW Re:Watch out Pi (107 comments)

Horses for courses. A phone is a crappy choice for a controller because the only I/O it might have is USB OTG. So you still need an Arduino or some type of USB I/O device. And you might wind up having to root the device, install 3rd party images and a whole bunch of other crap. In the end, the phone is a poor choice for more complex applications and is more than likely part of a proprietary walled garden. Plus you are stuck with Android, ick.

Better off selling the phone or giving it away to someone who needs it. Then put that money towards a worthwhile controller.

about a month ago
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Eben Upton Explains the Raspberry Pi Model A+'s Redesign

LoRdTAW Re:Watch out Pi (107 comments)

Also forgot to add dual gigabit Ethernet.

about a month ago
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Eben Upton Explains the Raspberry Pi Model A+'s Redesign

LoRdTAW Watch out Pi (107 comments)

While the Pi is good for most of its intended tasks, it is lacking in many areas. The Beaglebone is a good upgrade but it too has shortcomings. But if you need more power, the Beagle team has another board in the pipeline.

If you want some serious power for an embedded project look no further than the Beagleboard X15. This thing is going to be a beast:
Dual core A15 ARM @ 1.5GHz
2GB DDR3L RAM
Dual core GPU (unfortunately PowerVR SGX, not open source friendly)
2D accelerator and Video accelerator
Dual C66x DSP processors
Dual Cortex M4 Image processors (only one is user programmable)
Dual PRU-ICSS ( programmable cpu accelerator to offload ethernet packet processing for industrial protocols like Ethercat, Profinet, etc.)
eSATA
USB 2.0 and 3.0
Dual PCIe ports, Gen 2, one x1 and one x2 (Yes they will be routed to ports)
Appears to have some type of video in, probably a camera port.
And more...

Rumored to cost about $150. Yes it costs much more than the Pi but you get what you pay for; a boat load of processing power and memory.

about a month ago
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Eben Upton Explains the Raspberry Pi Model A+'s Redesign

LoRdTAW Re:Nice and all (107 comments)

For most tasks, it has more than enough power. The pi isn't for people looking to use it as a PC replacement for productivity. It is a low cost board. The reason the RAM is always fixed at 512MB is because the cheap SoC (system on chip) is a PoP (package on package) design. Inside the chip you see on the Pi lives both the SoC and the RAM. There is no external memory bus so it is impossible to upgrade the RAM without redesigning the silicon and retooling an entire production line. That isn't going to happen because Broadcom isn't interested in upgrading an outdated (which is why it is cheap) chip.

It's best use is an embedded controller that runs Linux. I have used one for a little home brew project and it works perfect. You don't need 700MHz for a control loop to turn relays on and off. But it does come in handy when you want to make a web based controller. I installed node.js and the cloud 9 IDE like the Beaglebone and I had a web page controlling relays in a matter of a few hours. Sure you can make a web based controller in a much smaller device like the Mbed but having Linux makes it much easier as you have a familiar development environment and tools. And you can write the software right on the Pi itself, no need for cross compilers, tool chains or a separate PC. Just a keyboard, mouse and monitor.

about a month ago
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Android 5.0 Makes SD Cards Great Again

LoRdTAW Re: Still a second class citizen (214 comments)

WiFi fixes that problem. That is why most apps hold back uploads until you wander near an AP, connect and boom, everything is uploaded. No overages on your pathetic, overpriced wireless plan.

about a month and a half ago
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Buying Goods To Make Nuclear Weapons On eBay, Alibaba, and Other Platforms

LoRdTAW Yawn (260 comments)

So Chinese manufactures sell materials that could be used to make nuclear bombs and it goes unchecked. Are we supposed to be surprised or scared into giving up more liberties in the name of a false sense of security?

about a month and a half ago
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Smart Meters and New IoT Devices Cause Serious Concern

LoRdTAW Re: Consumer education (168 comments)

You would think that exploiting the security of smart appliances would convince consumers that always connected appliances are bad. Well I think it will only make things worse after a few rounds of TV's hacked to display goatse and possible loss of property or life from hacked gadgets. The consumers will be up in arms and the government will step in and make more draconian laws to stop the hacking. The manufactures will throw around money to railroad those laws so they can keep profiting from private data. And the consumers can rest easy now that their convenience has been restored. Everyone wins!

about a month and a half ago
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Pope Francis Declares Evolution and Big Bang Theory Are Right

LoRdTAW Finally, some rational thought. (669 comments)

Back in 7th grade I was attending Catholic school. We had a teacher who was very, very religious but at the same time a good science teacher. How was this possible? She taught us a few memorable things: first off the creation in genesis took 7 days for god (7 th day was rest, chillin and having a beer hopefully). But who said a day for god is the same for us? In her words she said a day for god could be millions or billions of years to us. That made sense. Another thing that stuck out was that all of the physical processes we see are rules laid out by god. So basically, the laws of physics were created by god. Evolution? A natural process that god created. So here was a very godly woman who also was a firm believer in science because science is a gift from god. So the two can certainly coexist.

A while back I was talking to a religious guy I know from the local dive bar I used to frequent (religious guy at the bar, go figure. a regular hypocrite was more like it). We got in talking about science and during the course, he bought up the opinion that science is against god. But I bought up the counter of, why would god bestow such an awe inspiring field of study only to restrict us from pursuing it? He gave us a giant sandbox to play in and we refuse it? To me it would be rude to declining a gift from god. He started to see my point and said: "you know that makes sense. don't know if I like it but it makes sense". You could see he sorta understood the point.

So you can argue that all of science is merely a creation and gift from god. To deny it is to deny gods gift and possibly, god itself. Though there are some who will refuse any of those beliefs, if they are in a position of power be it a school board, politician or preacher, they have a self interest in that denial (control).

Disclaimer: I am agnostic. I doubt there is a god. Or perhaps there is a god but not in the way we traditionally think, a person. Perhaps the laws behind our universe are god. Or we are a 3d projection of a 2d hologram or inside a giant computer simulation. We don't know and perhaps, we never will know. And if there is a god as we picture, I am sure he/she is not the dick they are made out to be in various man made books. And to be honest, I really don't care either way. I just live my life and enjoy it :-)

about a month and a half ago
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Pope Francis Declares Evolution and Big Bang Theory Are Right

LoRdTAW Re:Tip of the iceberg (669 comments)

* The reasonable recent human races (homo sapiens, neanderthalers, denisovan) might hint to a humanlike race already spreading accross the universe, and colonizing earth with astronauts from various planets.

One argument against this is that why would an advanced civilization land here and instantly forget where they are from? Where did their ship go? I somehow doubt they would erase their past and forget things like language, technology and civilization. That or we can again postulate a silly theory: They bred a group of dummies and dumped them off on earth as a survival experiment. And they are either still monitoring their experiment remotely through an automated system or periodic visits (UFO's).

I would guess that if you took a group of us and dumped us on a planet you can be damn sure we would be rebuilding civilization to the best of our ability. Even if we couldn't replicate the advanced technology of today we could at least work with simple machines and build things like aqueducts. That or we would all kill each other.

about a month and a half ago
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Too Much Privacy: Finnish Police Want Big Euro Notes Taken Out of Circulation

LoRdTAW Re:Not only in Finland. (314 comments)

Are you's implyin that all dis hard earned protection ... er I mean, uh, insurance money aint legit?

about 2 months ago
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Fighting the Culture of 'Worse Is Better'

LoRdTAW About my book.... (240 comments)

So Paul, is this a plug for your book or yet another argument for functional programming?

Not much useful information or examples as to why or where "Worse is better" is harming the world of computing. There is always a better tool to help solve a problem. But for many reasons they may or may not be appropriate. You the programmer should know when and where to use them.

One of my favorite quotes (the bold text at the end is the good part):

Plan 9 failed simply because it fell short of being a compelling enough improvement on Unix to displace its ancestor. Compared to Plan 9, Unix creaks and clanks and has obvious rust spots, but it gets the job done well enough to hold its position. There is a lesson here for ambitious system architects: the most dangerous enemy of a better solution is an existing codebase that is just good enough.

-Eric S. Raymond

That applies to not only Unix and operating systems but any tool that is made to solve a problem. Just replace the word codebase with the tool name of choice.

about 2 months ago
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Netflix To Charge More For 4K Video

LoRdTAW Re:Who cares? Seriously (158 comments)

Now I download my fairy tales through some Swedish website

Bible stories?

about 2 months ago
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Google Rejects 58% of "Right To Be Forgotten" Requests

LoRdTAW Re:Reasonable (144 comments)

So you are saying a person convicted of possessing drugs deserves to keep that criminal status for life? Even for a bit of pot? Absurd thinking.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Linux embedded system needed for a project

LoRdTAW LoRdTAW writes  |  more than 5 years ago

LoRdTAW writes "I am in the process of designing a custom heating control system for my home. Its an older house with steam heat and the heating is very uneven and I believe wasting allot of energy. Instead of spending upward of 30,000 dollars to upgrade (and ripping the house apart) I want to create a system to help me make my house more energy efficient and give me something to brag about. I am a Linux guy and I want a low power Linux powered x86 system with vendor expandable I/O options (Digital I/O, analog I/O, key pad, LCD, 1 wire etc.), removable flash storage (SD/CF) and RS232 / Ethernet interface for PC connection. The hardware needs to be easy for me to work with, I don't want to have to re-invent the wheel trying to get digital/analog I/O and external communications working together. An all in one development kit that includes the hardware, compiler and vendor I/O modules is a must. The local storage is important because I don't want to dedicate a power hungry PC for logging, it must be stored locally and remotely accessible for analysis when needed. Thermostat units are going to be built with the help of my friend who is experienced with PIC micro and the 1 wire bus. As for programming language, C is preferred but any language will do as long as it is flexible enough for my needs. The interface is going to be a small character or graphical lcd with a button pad and some led's."

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