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Comments

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Why Apple Should Open-Source Swift -- But Won't

LoRdTAW Re:What for? (182 comments)

I see. I am not a mobile developer nor a professional developer so I was curious how that worked.

about a week ago
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Why Apple Should Open-Source Swift -- But Won't

LoRdTAW Re:What for? (182 comments)

I am a bit curious. How is the objective-c compiled and ran on Dalvik? Are you doing: objective-c -> LLVM -> dalvik bytecode?

Is the project you speak of Apportable?

about a week ago
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Oculus Rift CEO Says Classrooms of the Future Will Be In VR Goggles

LoRdTAW Re:Transformative Platforms! (182 comments)

If you really look at how schools piss money away on tech gadgets only to let them collect dust you will find incredible waste. For as long as I can remember, the AV equipment at the various schools I attended sat unused for 99.99% of the time. For an hour session there simply wasn't time to get the cart, set it up, show a video and break it down for the next class. Most schools don't have a dedicated AV department unless they specialize in AV production. So the teachers are left to retrieve and set up the systems and most of them can't even change a lightbulb.

In a high school shop class we has a pretty fancy and expensive AV cart with a pro level Sony Trinitron Monitor and VCR. It just sat in the tool cage year round collecting dust. One day another shop teacher wanted to use the cart to show a video to his class. Turns out some knucklehead destroyed the cart by cutting wires and jamming a metal rod into the VCR destroying the tape load mechanism. There was a huge shit storm and our class was blamed. And rightfully so because we had a surplus of knuckleheads. The quoted cost of that AV cart? $5000. And I believe it seeing how the equipment was top of the line Sony stuff. And this wasn't the only AV cart in the school, we had about a dozen of them. They did nothing year round until some teacher worked a video into a lesson. In fact the only time I ever watched a video in my four years of high school was in health class and English where we watched a film of The Tragedy of Macbeth.

And I not even going to get into the $250,000 robotics system that sat unused for years until my electrical installation shop teacher convinced the school to give us the system instead of the snobby ET department who didn't care if it was sold for scrap. I headed up that project and it was a wonderful experience working with that system.

about a week ago
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Comcast Allegedly Asking Customers to Stop Using Tor

LoRdTAW Re:This may be the way to escape from Comcast (418 comments)

The point he was trying to make is they charge you for a service call when the problem is with faulty equipment they own. It is then their responsibility to eat the labor and fuel costs to fix their problem.

about a week ago
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Text While Driving In Long Island and Have Your Phone Disabled

LoRdTAW Need harsher penalties. (364 comments)

Way too often do I see someone swerving around the Southern State Parkway playing with their little phone and trying to steer straight. I see at least one or two people per week doing their little "oh shit" swerve when they realize they are about to side swipe someone or run off the road. I say this is just as dangerous as drunk driving. Anyone caught swerving and texting should be arrested, car towed and impounded, and license suspended for no less than 6 months. Severe punishment but necessary to stop these jerks. But as with drunk driving, gook just catching them. So it's more of a gesture than actually solving anything.

The absolute worst driver I ever saw was so bad I almost popped a blood vessel with rage. This piece of shit prick was in the left lane swerving around to the point where he came close to side swiping three other cars. He kept clipping the curb that divides the pavement from the grassy shoulder and bouncing/swerving back to his lane, or the middle lane. At one point everyone around him stayed back and he happily swerved from the left lane to the middle lane and back again as if he were the only person on the road. He even rode the line for a few minutes blocking both lanes. It was such a gross demonstration of a complete disregard for others that I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Mind boggling. And it's not like this happened a few times. This went on continually for MILES. He didn't drive normally once from the time he got in front of me until he got off. I can't believe a state cop didn't see him as they are very thirsty on the SSP in Nassau County.

And this isn't the first time I have seen people swerve between two lanes while texting. I also saw the same thing in NJ coming back from Atlantic City. I was behind him and driving a van. I could clearly see him leaning over, looking down and tapping away while swerving around. His girlfriend appeared to yell at him but it didn't appear to do anything. He almost side swiped a pickup who then hung back not wanting to pass him. Someone behind me started beeping and he just stuck out his middle finger. I wanted to cut it off and feed it to him along with the phone. Talk about rage inducing behaviour.

I keep thinking I should buy a dash cam, record these knuckleheads and then post shame videos on youtube.

about two weeks ago
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Intel Releases SD-Card-Sized PC, Unveils Next 14nm Chip

LoRdTAW Re:These things used to be big as houses (47 comments)

It's smaller than the 40 pin DIP package of the original 8086. As someone who first used an Apple II clone (Franklin Ace 1200) and then an 8086, I can still appreciate how far we have come.

about two weeks ago
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Changing the Rules of a 15-Year-Old Game: Quake Live Update Causes Controversy

LoRdTAW Re:It ain't no Team Fortress Classic (170 comments)

Oh man, WFA. Those were the days. From there it was off to TFC and then CS beta 2/3.

about three weeks ago
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Update: Raspberry Pi-Compatible Development Board Cancelled

LoRdTAW Re: Broadcom... (165 comments)

As good as the BBB is, the layout sucks. My beef is the micro HDMI port is so close to the only USB port that thumb drives or fat USB plus interfere with the HDMI plug. If you have a previous gen BBB with the 2GB eMMC, the new Debian distro leaves you with 60 MB free space. The Angstrom distro is dead. So you have to boot from the SD card.

But the biggest benefit is the external memory bus for FPGA connectivity. But that disables the HDMI port as the ports are shared on the SoC.

I wish they would add more USB ports, move the HDMI port and if possible, move to an SoC that does not sacrifice the HDMI for the external memory bus. Overall it blows away the RPI.

about three weeks ago
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States Allowing Medical Marijuana Have Fewer Painkiller Deaths

LoRdTAW Re:Congressional Pharmaceutical Complex (217 comments)

" There seems to be this attitude out there that pot is harmless, and that's just not the case in my experience. In moderation, it's probably safe. But chronic use- long term use at high doses- seems to really fuck people up."

Replace pot with Alcohol, cigarettes, HFC's, video games, etc. and its pretty much the same thing. How far can it swing in the other direction? You mentioned alcohol has bad long term effects. But despite this people still drink themselves to death, drive drunk and kill others or get killed, or become a raging ass holes causing mayhem. People still smoke cigarettes despite the exorbitant cost and adverse health effects including cancer. People still drink gallons of soda and sugar crap until their pancreas packs it in and shuts down. People play video games until they loose their jobs, wives, kids and home or in some cases, until they drop dead. There is nothing the government can do at that point other than prohibit it these things and we all know how that works out. It's either all with some restrictions (don't drive and you must be 18 years old).

The people have to be the ones to use judgement. If someone smokes so much weed and they fry their brains then that is their fault. Just like the old 65yo blue collar retiree who spends every night at the bar downing 6+ pints until his liver fails (know a guy who this just happened to. sad). People have to be educated and they have to be smart.

Oh and I can counter your burn out pot head story with an anecdote of my own: I have a friend who at one point worked two jobs and got a degree at the same time. I asked him how he did it his answer was "Copious amounts of marijuana bro." He smokes in the morning, on his way to work while at work and at home. He is very energetic, driven and lively. Quite the opposite of your theory. So it of course depends on the person.

I have also known people who smoked a lot and were fucked up because they were fucked up to begin with. You just always assumed they were messed up because of the pot but meanwhile you never really knew them well enough and they were messed up in the head to begin with. I worked with a kid who would go berserk is he didn't smoke and he smoked all the time. If he drank he was VIOLENT. A night out with him meant he was going to get into a fight and usually win because he was a hulk of a man. Turns out his father was exposed to chemical warfare agents while in nam and had a lot of mental issues including PTSD. His father ambushed him and his mother with a knife thinking they were Vietcong which promptly ended that marriage. He also had a very dysfunctional life and had a lot of really fucked up friends (I mean what friend tells you to fuck their own mother because she thinks your cute and lets you actually follow through? Yea, those were his friends. They gave me the heebie jeebies). The smoking was probably medicating him.

In the end legalizing it will create new problems but they will be far more petty than what we have today. We can rid ourselves of a large amount of violent crime, people in jail and money spent on ruining lives while fattening the wallets of war machine peddlers. I'd rather live in a world full of cheery burnouts than drug gangs chopping peoples heads off with box cutters and chain saws, prisons bursting at the seams with inmates who just become more angry and make plenty of angry new friends they can do business with once they get out and government paramilitary goons wielding surplus military hardware shooting first and asking questions later (oops! no drugs here. Sorry for shooting your dog and father, kids. Have a nice life!). Legalize it, please.

about three weeks ago
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MIPS Tempts Hackers With Raspbery Pi-like Dev Board

LoRdTAW Re:no price? (88 comments)

It doesn't always have to boil down to price. This is the same argument over and over again from some maker/hacker types who want to turn platforms into religions.

The Raspberry Pi is a lackluster board with a crummy SoC and limited I/O and no FPU. Not to say that the Raspberry Pi is total crap, it does its intended job very well and there is a lot of community support. Plus where else can you buy a $35 board that runs Linux and X with HDMI USB and Audio?

But it falls flat in a few areas that is frustrating. First off it has *ONE* PWM output. Anyone looking to use this for motor control has to add an external PWM chip. Not a big deal but an annoying one. Next problem is there is the Ethernet is a USB-Ethernet chip on board, there is no hardware Ethernet NIC on the SoC which robs the CPU of cycles. Next up, and this is my gripe with many boards: no high speed interface. There is so much more these boards could do if we could attach an FPGA to them. Sure there is SPI but it simply isn't fast enough for certain things. The only board that can do this is the Beagle Bone which gives you an external bus interface but that disables the HDMI as the pins are shardes on the SoC. So its a trade off.

What I want to see in a dev board: dual core SoC w/FPU, 1GB RAM+, GPU, HDMI, SD card, SPI, I2C, 6-8 channels of 16 bit PWM, 8 channels of Analog 12bit-16bit, hardware 10/100 or gbit, 4xUSB host, *external bus interface not shared with I/O*. That's it. Just let me plug an FPGA daughter card that gives me the option to load bit files from the CPU and we are golden. Then we can do what ever crazy thing we want: more custom PWM (e.g. directly drive 3 phase bridges), quadrature encoders, faster ADC's, delta-sigma DAC's, high speed I/O, custom bus interfaces, etc. And make it cost $75. We are close to having a board like this, we just need the interest and the right SoC.

about three weeks ago
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This 'SimCity 4' Region With 107 Million People Took Eight Months of Planning

LoRdTAW Grid city (103 comments)

Building using a grid layout never changes. Back when I first played sim city on the Super Nintendo, the strategy to build megalopolis (population 500k+) was building on a grid. You build using 3x3 clusters of R, C or I but left the center of the 3x3 open. Instead you put special buildings and police/fire buildings in the center of the 3x3. To reduce pollution you built rail instead of roads. Fun game for its time and a friend and I came close to a megalopolis on stock maps without beating the scenarios, alien invasion and getting the water free map. I think we had 480-490k people.

about three weeks ago
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33 Months In Prison For Recording a Movie In a Theater

LoRdTAW Re: The real crime here (465 comments)

It's really torture. You are torturing a person for close to 3 years by locking them in a cage with violent criminals. I have heard jail stories from dudes who did time for various crimes. Bottom line: you don't ever want to be in jail, even for a day of you aren't street hardened and can't fight.

about 1 month ago
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Wheel Damage Adding Up Quickly For Mars Rover Curiosity

LoRdTAW Re:Odd material selection (162 comments)

Plastics don't do very well in a vacuum like atmosphere full of radiation with wide temperature swings in the long term. Plus the low average surface temperature of -82F/-63C makes plastics less malleable and in many cases, brittle.

In the low atmosphere they can become brittle from outgassing and are susceptible to cracking and can simply shatter like glass. Nylon wire ties in a vacuum chamber simply fall apart after a few months. Though the 6 mbar (4.5 Torr) Atmospheric pressure of Mars isn't a hard vacuum, it is still 0.6% That of Earth's average sea level pressure.

Then you have radiation degrading the plastics which again makes them brittle. A friend worked on RHIC out in Brookhaven National Labs and since he was small and skinny he was tasked with changing out a lot of the sensor cables on the ring. The insulation simply disintegrated from radiation. There was nothing they could do about it save for bulky shielding which would have made servicing impossible.

In the end, metals are simply more suited to the task.

about a month ago
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Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

LoRdTAW Re:Surprise? (579 comments)

You would be surprised but there are a lot of AutoCAD people coming out of schools who get heavily discounted student versions. Plus there are a bunch of smaller less known CAD programs out there. I happen to like Ashlar Vellum Graphite for 2D/3D drafting. It can be buggy but it is very easy to use for a CAD n00b.

Not to be a jerk but what does a PCB CAD program which is an EDA tool have to do with a 2D drafting or 3D solid modelling? Eagle is not used to design buildings or automobiles. It is a bad example.

about a month ago
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Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

LoRdTAW Re:Surprise? (579 comments)

"Reading comprehension fail?"

Apparently the mods were also full of reading comprehension fail.

about a month ago
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Robotic Suit Gives Shipyard Workers Super Strength

LoRdTAW Re:Only geeks... (125 comments)

Yup. I know that on Long Island in Suffolk counties town of Babylon anything with a footprint bigger than 10x10 feet is needs a concrete foundation. That concrete foundation is now a permanent structure which requires a permit and tax revaluation. So keep it small and you won't be bothered. That or live in NYC where most people don't give a damn and build whatever. Let the next homeowner worry who is probably a developer looking to knock it down and put in a 6 family with no parking anyway.

about a month and a half ago
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Planes Can Be Hacked Via Inflight Wi-fi, Says Researcher

LoRdTAW Re:No they cant. (151 comments)

Here here:
In theory, a hacker could use a plane's onboard WiFi signal or inflight entertainment system to hack into its avionics equipment, potentially disrupting or modifying satellite communications, which could interfere with the aircraft's navigation and safety systems, Santamarta said.

So it stands that there really isnt much of a threat here. Either the journalist is confused or purposefully crafted the article so as to imply that a hacker with a wifi device can disable a planes navigation system or do worse. My money is on the latter. The reason I say that is because the two systems are indeed separate and not connected. This is why a Cobham rep said a hacker would need physical access to the planes avionics system. They (Cobham) made that distinction but the author never makes that clear.

And I remember a similar article on /. a while back about an airline entertainment system being vulnerable. I thought it was jetblue but I can't find the article at the moment. It was the same "alarming" report that turned out to be a flaw in the TV or entertainment system. The worst was people couldn't watch TV on their 6+ hour flight.

about a month and a half ago
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Animal Behaviour Specialists Map Out the Social Networks of Cows

LoRdTAW Re:I object. (66 comments)

" and generally taste worse than beef does."

Small sample:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/29/what-does-human-taste-like_n_5233724.html
http://www.theguardian.com/science/the-lay-scientist/2010/sep/05/human-meat-taste-cannibal

So the general consensus is either pork or veal. Properly prepared pork is very tasty but I would say that beef can beat it out depending on the cut. Especially the tender and fatty skirt steak, better than filet mignon IMHO. Diet, gender, age and lifestyle could also affect taste. Perhaps a young fit female vegan would be the tastiest while an overweight 50y/o male alcoholic smoker would taste awful.

about a month and a half ago
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Free Copy of the Sims 2 Contains SecuROM

LoRdTAW Re:Anybody know? (234 comments)

I remember when Crysis came out it was secured with SuckROM. The idea was you inserted the DVD and SuckROM would verify the DVD was in the drive and the game would start, most of the time.

During the process of running crysis.exe securom would start and your mouse cursor would have this colorful CD icon attached to it. If securom failed to work properly (crash) which was every 1 in 3 or 4 times, the mouse cursor would stay a disco ball looking CD and your CD/DVD drive was rendered inoperable. A reboot was the only solution to solving it.

After a week of that I downloaded a cracked exe for a game I legally bought with my hard earned cash. And you wonder why the consumer hates DRM. That is part of the reason intrusive, rootkit like DRM needs to die in a fire.

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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