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Comments

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BeagleBone Black Released With 1GHz Cortex-A8 For Only $45

Malvineous Re:BUT WILL IT DRIVE CENTRONICS EQUIPMENT ?? (142 comments)

Just FYI some of the USB-Parallel adapters (e.g. those using the PL2305 chipset) have a separate mode they can be switched to which allows you access to all the control pins like a classic PC parallel port does.

about a year ago
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Canadian ISP Fights Back Against Copyright Trolls

Malvineous Re:Here's an ISP that seems to know what an IP is (66 comments)

I don't think anyone could argue that much if they did go to court and searched all the residents/users of the IP. The complaints stem from the fact that they assume the owner of the IP is to blame. Like just jailing everyone on Main Street instead of bothering with that investigation.

about a year and a half ago
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Canadian ISP Fights Back Against Copyright Trolls

Malvineous Re:Here's an ISP that seems to know what an IP is (66 comments)

not once have I seen an ISP actually explain what an IP is with layman-friendly clarity and how fickle a method of identifying a user it is

I agree - we often hear what it isn't, but never what it is. How about this? An IP address is like a street name. Just because someone on Main Street has done something suspicious, it doesn't mean everyone on Main Street is to blame.

about a year and a half ago
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Fully Open A13-OLinuXino Single-Board Linux Computer

Malvineous Re:not however the gpu. (111 comments)

These are all similar problems that existed in the early days of software development. It was very tedious to write on punch cards, it could take days before your program was run and all you got out of it was an error, the equipment needed was prohibitively expensive for all but the largest organisations, debugging required dozens of manuals, etc, etc.

All these issues have been solved for software, and the open hardware movement is starting to help with these issues for hardware. Give it time, and running off a new hardware revision won't be much more effort than compiling the latest revision of your software code.

about 2 years ago
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Homeland Security Mining Social Media For Signs of Bio Attacks

Malvineous Re:Good but why so expensive? (96 comments)

Would you read people's tweets for anything less??

about 2 years ago
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Why You Can't Build Your Own Smartphone: Patents

Malvineous Re:Use software radio (SDR) (179 comments)

But do you really need that much additional hardware? Ok, so you need some hardware LNAs, filters and ADC/DACs, but none of these are specific to phones. I was assuming the patents on these types of devices were much simpler (on account of them being used all over the place) so you could avoid the more complicated patents specific to mobile phones.

Anyway, my point was that selling a device that can be entirely reconfigured with a simple download is one way to get around unfriendly patents. And as a computer programmer I have never forgotten there's an electrical engineer that made all this possible, I just wish I had the skills to be one of them :-)

about 2 years ago
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Why You Can't Build Your Own Smartphone: Patents

Malvineous Use software radio (SDR) (179 comments)

Just make a device that has a software-defined radio in it capable of transmitting and receiving on what ever band you need, and release it without any software on it. Since it doesn't work as a phone, it's not violating any patents. Then have an unrelated group (i.e. the open source community) spring up and release unofficial firmware that turns the SDR device into a fully functional open source phone.

They can't sue you for making the hardware if it's not actually a phone, and some people beyond your control are hacking your device to turn it into one...

about 2 years ago
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NASA Pondering L2 Outpost, Return To Moon

Malvineous Re:reason for going to the moon... (122 comments)

The problem is, the type of person who thinks going to the moon is pointless also thinks telescopes are pointless too, along with most scientific progress. So your argument unfortunately wouldn't convince anyone who didn't already agree with you.

about 2 years ago
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DARPA Funds a $300 Software-Defined Radio For Hackers

Malvineous Re:What? no HF/Shortwave (94 comments)

Why is it junk without HF? I thought the primary purpose of SDR was to deal with wide(er) band digital signals, and most of them are well above HF. If you really need HF, there are plenty of upconverters that bring HF up to 100MHz+ so most SDR devices can receive the signals. (I don't think any of the current crop let you transmit though, since none of the current cheap SDR devices can transmit.)

Also SSB is done in software, so any SDR can do SSB on any frequency.

about a year ago
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DARPA Funds a $300 Software-Defined Radio For Hackers

Malvineous Re:Different HW Needed? (94 comments)

You do realise that the $11 USB DVB-T dongles do about 75% of what you want? Sure the software still needs a bit of work, but the hardware is already able to receive many of these signals, and if you're willing to use a different program for each signal type, many of them can already be decoded. Sure you can't transmit anything yet in this price range, but there's a lot of stuff to listen to.

Funnily enough right now I'm half way through planning a Wireshark style program very similar to what you describe... I'm hoping to leverage the GPU to perform as much of the signal processing as possible, since this is typically the bottleneck with SDR. (Many people are surprised to find it takes a significant chunk of CPU power just to listen to one FM radio station.)

about a year ago
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Vast Bulk of BitCoins Are Hoarded, Not Used

Malvineous Re:Some are also destroyed/lost (438 comments)

Most flash chips have a JTAG interface. You can just connect a couple of wires and wait a few hours for the flash contents to be dumped to an image file (it's not fast.) I've used this in reverse to recover a failed flash on a WRT54G, by reflashing it via the JTAG interface. You only need a few dollars worth of parts.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Richard Dawkins About Evolution, Religion, and Science Education

Malvineous Re:If God were real would you want to believe in H (1142 comments)

Of course. Most atheists (such as myself) aren't true atheists, because we'll never be 100% certain that there is no God (or equivalent.) But for us, the majority of the evidence points towards atheism being correct, so that's what we label ourselves. But as most of us believe in truth, if anyone were to provide indisputable evidence that a given religion was correct, then yes, most of us would switch. (There are a few atheists who would refuse to of course, because we're only human.) But, like a scientific theory which has been proven incorrect, the vast majority of atheists would follow the truth, whatever it may be.

I think many religious people mistakenly assume atheists hate God, or have some inability to believe, when really, we just want to know the truth. Unfortunately religion doesn't provide us the answers we need or the type of evidence we require, but science and atheism does.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Richard Dawkins About Evolution, Religion, and Science Education

Malvineous Is atheism dangerous? (1142 comments)

In my opinion, religion evolved as a method of control. Those in power promoted it, to keep their subjects under control. Poor people were given a religion to believe in, so they wouldn't rebel when they missed out. This way the leaders of the time could have all the luxury they wanted, and the people who missed out would stay in line because they too would live like kings in the afterlife, and they'd better not do anything in this life to jeopardise that!

To a certain extent, religion today still serves this purpose, keeping those less fortunate playing by the rules. Do you think it could be dangerous if these people were to become atheists? They would realise that what they have now is all there is. What would happen if so many people suddenly realised they had nothing to lose?

about 2 years ago
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Why Ultrabooks Are Falling Well Short of Intel's Targets

Malvineous Re:It's the price, stupid (513 comments)

Which is why I don't mind Dell for PC purchases. If you want a tech to come out and replace any broken parts, you can choose to pay an extra ~$400 up front when you buy something, and they'll honour it for four years. If you don't want to pay the extra, then you don't have to. Best of both worlds.

about 2 years ago
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KDE Multi-Monitor Control Getting An Overhaul

Malvineous Re:Win 7 (144 comments)

Well it's certainly true that things change often under Linux, but most of the time the progress is good so it's worth learning something new. Like I said before, if you have to "fight" to learn it, then I would say you're not really part of Linux's target audience. Most people who enjoy using Linux find that sort of thing generally takes little effort, so it's not really much of a problem. Personally I would rather have things change and improve until they're really good, even if it means I have to learn something new myself. Learning is good.

As a side note, I know it was only an example but I'm not really sure what you mean by the xorg.conf issues. I am still using a custom xorg conf today with the latest version of Xorg. Perhaps the distribution you chose decided to do things differently? You can't really blame Linux for something your chosen distribution did differently to others.

And it goes both ways too. Since Windows 7 I can't find anything in Control Panel any more (where has "Add/remove programs" gone?), my DOS games no longer work, Internet Explorer and Windows Explorer lost half their features when the menu bars were removed, etc. Apparently Windows 8 changes even more. I still can't find half the functionality since it was obscured by the Office "ribbon." You might complain about Linux changing, but believe me, as someone who has to "fight" to learn how to do things in a GUI, Windows changes just as much.

about 2 years ago
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KDE Multi-Monitor Control Getting An Overhaul

Malvineous Re:Win 7 (144 comments)

It's not really about being elitist. It's about excluding those people who can't be bothered to try, but expect you to put in as much effort as it takes so they don't have to. Most people in general are willing to help someone who is trying, but very few people like freeloaders. This is no different. If you could somehow exclude the types of people who aren't prepared to put in any effort, and only have a community of people who are willing to help each other, that community would be a great place. Because it takes some amount of effort to use Linux (albeit not very much) it automatically excludes a lot of those type of undesirable, demanding people.

about 2 years ago
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KDE Multi-Monitor Control Getting An Overhaul

Malvineous Re:Win 7 (144 comments)

So why do people still cook their own food when you can just buy ready made meals? Lots of people enjoy the process as much as the end product, and Linux users are no different.

Besides, Linux has never been about "free" in cost or time. It has been "free" as in the freedom to use it how you see fit. If you don't like the time it takes, you're free not to use it. Nobody said it was easy. But just because it doesn't work for you, it doesn't mean it's useless for everybody.

about 2 years ago
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KDE Multi-Monitor Control Getting An Overhaul

Malvineous Re:Win 7 (144 comments)

Case in point - those who get tired of the config files and other differences move on. Those who are left behind, continue to enjoy the config files. I would put the case forward though that anyone who finds it time consuming or doesn't enjoy it, was never really suited to Linux in the first place. Those of us who can't live without the control that an open source OS like Linux provides could never settle for anything else, and for us, we're so familiar with it that we can do things faster than with other OSes (so I too "have more important things to spend my time on" which for me means I use Linux rather than Mac or Windows, both of which I find infuriatingly limited.)

But really, it's no different to anything else - some people like to design their own circuits and solder the components on themselves, others prefer to buy ready-made devices. Some people like to cook, others like to buy ready-made meals. Each to their own.

I would also say (in reference to the computer license) that even though you use a Mac now, your years on Linux would still make you an excellent problem solver, even under MacOS.

about 2 years ago
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KDE Multi-Monitor Control Getting An Overhaul

Malvineous Re:Win 7 (144 comments)

I'm using Linux with four monitors at four different resolutions, and they all line up seamlessly, even at different vertical elevations. Linux is able to do this just as well as Windows (in fact I would say better than Windows, if you have to download a third party program like Ultramon to get it to work properly), the only difference is that Windows/Ultramon gives you a GUI, while most Linux users are satisfied with editing configuration files, because that's what they're used to and comfortable with.

It always makes me laugh when people say Linux will never make it on the desktop because it's too hard, yet being hard is one of Linux's strong points. Windows is supposed to be easy, but have you seen the quality of the average post in a Windows support forum? Giving Linux a high barrier to entry automatically excludes so many of those people, avoiding the forums getting clogged up with so many simple requests people could easily solve themselves.

It's like requiring a degree when you apply for a job. You might never need to use the degree itself in your work, but having one generally implies you have a certain set of basic skills.

I have often heard it said that there should be some kind of license you need before you're allowed to use a computer. Well there's your license - the ability to use Linux.

about 2 years ago
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Order Limit On Raspberry Pi Lifted

Malvineous Re:$35 or $25 for a locked down board! (204 comments)

I agree that it's bad having the hardware locked down, but remember that the code you write runs under Linux, so unless you're doing something very specific for the hardware (which you shouldn't be because there's no documentation for it) then there's no problems transferring your code to any other Linux device/PC and running it there.

Basically the only thing that's locked down is access to the specific hardware used in the Pi, which if you used it, would mean your code would be locked down to that device anyway...

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Software-defined radio for US$11

Malvineous Malvineous writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Malvineous (1459757) writes "Don't have $1500 to drop on a USRP? A Linux kernel developer has discovered that a Realtek digital TV tuner chip has an undocumented mode that turns it into a software-defined radio, with a frequency range of 64-1700MHz. The going rate for one of these USB devices can be as low as US$11.

If you're unfamiliar with software-defined radio and have 20 minutes to spare, Balint Seeber has a great video introduction."

Link to Original Source
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Aussies to tell US gov't: Wikileaks != terrorists

Malvineous Malvineous writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Malvineous (1459757) writes "Australian political activist group GetUp, unhappy with the Prime Minister of Australia labelling Wikileaks founder and Australian citizen Julian Assange "illegal", has decided to step up and tell the US government what they feel the Australian government has not:

Australia and the United States are the strongest of allies. Our soldiers serve side by side and we’ve experienced, and condemned, the consequences of terrorism together. To label Wikileaks a terrorist organisation is an insult to those Australians and Americans who have lost their lives to acts of terrorism and to terrorist forces.

They are calling for donations to run advertisements with this message in the Washington Times and the New York Times. If you support the work of Wikileaks, you can help fund the ads."
Link to Original Source

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Is this a way around the GPL?

Malvineous Malvineous writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Malvineous (1459757) writes "I have two devices, from two different companies (who shall remain nameless, but both are very large and well known) which run Linux-based firmware. The companies release all their source code to comply with the GPL, however neither of them include a build environment or firmware utilities with the code. This means that if you want to alter the free software on the device, you can't — there is no way to build a firmware image or install it on the devices in question, effectively rendering the source code useless.

I have approached the companies directly and while one of them acknowledges that they are not fully GPL compliant, due to other license restrictions they cannot make their build environment public, and they do not have the resources to rewrite it. I have approached the FSF but their limited resources are tied up pursuing more blatant violations (where no code at all is being released.)

Meanwhile I am stuck with two devices that only work with Internet Explorer, and although I have the skills to rewrite each web interface, I have no way of getting my code running on the devices themselves.

Have these companies found a convenient way to use GPL code, whilst preventing their customers from doing the same?"
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NASA releases half-hour video tour of the ISS

Malvineous Malvineous writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Malvineous (1459757) writes "Expedition 18 Commander Mike Fincke has recently filmed a high-definition 35-minute video tour aboard the International Space Station. For those who missed the HD broadcast on NASA TV, the video is available (albeit not in HD) on YouTube."

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