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Comments

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Linux 3.15 Will Suspend & Resume Much Faster

lkcl Re:parallelism (117 comments)

You're assuming a lot there. How would you know if osx or windows NT kernels are 'fully parallelized'? Have you seen the source?

someone else answered about OSX. NT, based on the MACH kernel, has been fully re-entrant and multi-threaded for a looong time. also, given that the service control manager (which is a parallelised start/stop daemon service) is fully parallelised i'd be incredibly surprised if the same attention to detail wasn't also carried through on device-driver initialisation as well. although.... the only evidence against that is the "Debug Startup" mode, which initialises drivers in sequence (and shows you the sequence), but that could well be due to the request for "Debug Mode" rather than an underlying design. honest answer: don't know.

yesterday
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Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

lkcl bowling for columbine (1570 comments)

wasn't it some guy michael who did that documentary, showing that there are an average of THIRTY FIREARMS PER PERSON in Canada, yet there were only two gun-related murders in the entire country that year. by contrast, i remember the camera man showing the city of detroit and this guy michael saying that there had been tens of thousands of gun-related murders in just that one city of the united states, alone.

no: if canada's population can be sensible about guns, then gun "control" in america is not the answer. basically we may reasonably deduce that there's something terribly wrong with american society, resulting in many individuals placing little value on another person's life and them being sufficiently stressed or pathologically outright insane as to be capable of killing. passing laws to remove the guns *will not stop that*. it is simply not connected.

if [sensible] citizens are not permitted to defend themselves from their own government, what we then have is a situation where the Oligarchy of the United States (see http://politics.slashdot.org/s... ) could basically murder those people who see it as their duty to protect their fellow cizitens from tyranny.

hmmm... where have we seen that happen before? and before anyone *outside* of the united states imagines this to be a "local problem", remember that the united states has been doing things like bombing other countries and cutting off communications (cutting underwater mediterranean cables for example) of any country that attempts to e.g. start selling oil *not* on the $USD standard. so basically if the united states ends up in chaos it means the rest of the world ends up in chaos as well.

sensible U.S. Citizens: please make your voices heard. loudly.

2 days ago
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The Case For a Safer Smartphone

lkcl "Airplane" mode, "Driver" mode (184 comments)

we have the concept of "airplane" mode. what's so hard about coding up a "driver" mode? oh wait... it's illegal to use a phone whilst driving, so "driver" mode would basically be synonymous with the "off" button.... :)

about a week ago
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Linux 3.15 Will Suspend & Resume Much Faster

lkcl parallelism (117 comments)

.... um, it's 2014, the linux kernel is a critical part of the planet's internet infrastructure, is used in TVs, routers and phones all over the world, and you're *seriously* telling me that its internals aren't fully parallelised? i thought the linux kernel was supposed to be a leading example of modern operating system design and engineering.

about a week ago
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Australia May 'Pause' Trades To Tackle High-Frequency Trading

lkcl serious problems with networking equipment in HFT (342 comments)

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04...

this article explains in depth what the problem is. the SEC has now been alerted to the problem, and is investigating. the people who found the issue believed originally that this was deliberate, but it actually just turned out to be a systemic problem of the speed differentials between different routes that high-frequency trades come in at.

what they originally discovered was that they could see a price on a screen, but the moment that they put in the bid to a number of brokers, the price would DISAPPEAR. they thought that this was deliberate, that someone was scamming them: it turned out that this wasn't true, but it took a couple of years of investigation to find out. what they did was they put in *individual* bids *directly*, and found that they were accepted. they then investigated various combinations, introducing delays into the bids, and found, amazingly, that it was down to the *time of arrival at the exchange* of their bids as they were sent via numerous brokers.

so it was only when they invented a tool (which they called "Troy") that *deliberately* introduced networking delays, such that the bids would (as best they could manage) arrive within milliseconds of each other at the exchange, that they managed to trade successfully.

if however any one of those bids happened to go via a different ISP, or a different router, or any other random combination, then the bids would *FAIL*.

the problem it turns out is that these delay effects are well-known. most of the money in high-frequency trading is therefore made by seeing a slightly slower broker's prices, then putting in an undercutting bid *knowing full well* that the other broker has a slower network. and this aspect of high-frequency trading is what is currently under investigation by the SEC.

*this is why the introduction of networking delays is so absolutely important*.

the people who discovered this phenomenon basically had to set up their own independent exchange in order to solve the problem. they needed to introduce a delay of 350ms as a way to make things fair for everyone. they did this by basically putting in 38 miles of fibre-optic cable in a shoe-box in the basement of the server farm that they leased.

it turns out that once investors discovered this, they began *specifically demanding* that their trades *exclusively* be brokered through this new exchange that had this 350ms shoe-box delay. it actually caused a lot of embarrassment for a number of brokers and trading houses because the brokers were explicitly disobeying their client's instructions, because the brokers didn't understand how important this really is.

anyway: you really have to read that article (or the book) fully because it's quite complex, and it's basically an inherent flaw down to the fact that the internet (TCP/IP) is routed randomly, thus introducing gross unfairness that has become the subject of intense investigation, very recently.

so yes, *all* trading should be done with at least a 350ms delay.

about two weeks ago
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Why Are We Made of Matter?

lkcl left-handed and right-handed knots (393 comments)

in the studies that i've been doing for the past four months the best explanation i've encountered is one where particles are actually photons obeying maxwell's equations *to the absolute* letter, on some form of circular (or knotted, or hubius helical) path, where the epicentre creates a synchtronic electro-magnetic field that it in symbiotic support of the epicentre. there is actually a lot of research recently into optics which shows that it *is* actually possible to create phased laser beams that will literally bend in a semi-circle.

with that description in mind, the definition of a "particle" is therefore that the phase of the photon at the centre rotates in one direction.... and that for an anti-particle it rotates in the opposite direction. the string theorists / knot physics people have this down as "the knot being tied left-handed or right-handed".

it's really that simple... but it requires a bit of explanation otherwise it makes no sense. why did the universe choose one in priority over the other? who knows: who cares. the choice has been made.

about two weeks ago
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Was Eich a Threat To Mozilla's $1B Google "Trust Fund"?

lkcl Re:The new Hitlers (564 comments)

Divorce laws can be changed to recognize civil unions so those wishing protection without getting married can be afforded it. Many insurance companies and private businesses already allow for 'domestic partners' when it comes to insurance, I don't see any requirement there that those partners be having sex.

que?? since when did married people have sex??

about two weeks ago
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Was Eich a Threat To Mozilla's $1B Google "Trust Fund"?

lkcl Re:i don't understand (564 comments)

ok. i understand. there are personal views and there is a naive belief that his personal views will somehow interfere with his legal obligation to enact the articles of incorporation as a Director of a Corporation. to imply that someone is unfit to distinguish between personal and professional (legal obligations) is actually a very very serious accusation to level at someone, for which he could probably demand significant compensation, as well as initiate libel lawsuits against those people making such defamatory remarks. as he has faithfully been the CTO as well as a loyal person within the Mozilla organisation for such a long time i think he would stand an extremely good chance of winning.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: User-Friendly Firewall For a Brand-New Linux User?

lkcl fwbuilder (186 comments)

i have a bit of a problem comprehending firewall rules (and deploying them). i asked around (just as you did) and got the advice "use fwbuilder". i liked it so much that i ended up writing a python script that parsed its xml files and generated HTML output so that i could clearly see what it was doing.

but, despite admitting that i am not a firewall rules expert, i do have to say that nothing substitutes for actually studying what firewall rules are and understanding them properly. i say that from the position of being a person who, whenever they need firewall rules, does an internet search and cuts/pastes the results successfully into an amalgam that "does the job", but it "does the job" with the concern always being in the back of my mind that i probably completely messed it up...

about two weeks ago
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Was Eich a Threat To Mozilla's $1B Google "Trust Fund"?

lkcl i don't understand (564 comments)

i'm sorry but i genuinely fail to see the importance of any of this "personal view" stuff. a technically-competent person who has been with it almost since the beginning: they were the CEO of Mozilla for about a week. someone as technically competent as brendan should have absolutely no difficulty firewalling personal from professional: why do we have to have idiots believe otherwise? could someone therefore please explain to me in simple language what's really going on?

about two weeks ago
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Should Patients Have the Option To Not Know Their DNA?

lkcl stress-related illness (157 comments)

the effects of stress in exacerbating and causing physical ailments is one that is well understood. many people naively believe that genes are the sole exclusive means by which illness may occur, despite there being innumerable counter-examples clearly demonstrating that this is false. that does not prevent people from *believing* that genetics is the sole exclusive cause of one particular illness or another, and *for such people*, that belief, when they are presented with such "quotes truth quotes", is quite likely to result in their death, due, ironically, to stress *triggering* the very illness that is merely latent rather than active within their genes.

here on slashdot we have people who, by and large, are capable of logical and rational thought. when presented with scientific issues, they apply rational bullshit filters on the topic of for example genetics. many of the opinions marked "insightful" on this article are a clear demonstration of that. however the general population has little understanding of genetics, and many many people simply do not think "rationally".

on the whole then, if it became a *legal requirement* to *force* people to listen to a doctor telling them words which, when that person heard them, were translated in their own minds due to their lack of knowledge and self-belief, that "they were basically dead already because of their genes", i would consider such people who pushed such laws through as being severely mentally ill as well as their actions being morally reprehensible.

answer: no. it is highly irresponsible to force absolutely everyone to listen to something that they are not fully equipped to comprehend.

about two weeks ago
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Overuse of Bioengineered Corn Gives Rise To Resistant Pests

lkcl Re:O RLY (259 comments)

YA RLY
And the corporations selling this stuff cannot care less about it, all they care about is that we transition to patented and sterile seeds so we perpetually depend on them.

my biggest concern is that they start creating what can only be described as "generation time-bomb crops", in a pathologically-insane effort to further save money. "time-bomb crops" would be those which you plant once, they grow, seed, plant twice, they grow, place a third time and they FAIL.

now imagine such insanely-dangerous crops pollenating and cross-pollenating world-wide and it's not so hard to imagine a scenario in which world famine occurs within a five to eight year period in which all food crops world-wide completely fail.

i was actually pretty shocked when i first heard of sterile seeds that even have a *single* generation planting. there's no guarantee that nature will not, through its own process of DNA evolution, *accidentally* come up with generation time-bomb crops.

i've said it once and i'll say it again: genetic modifications to crops are so insanely dangerous that i'm beyond understanding why people do not understand this. if there was even the *slightest* risk of killing 7 billion people *why would you even contemplate it*?

about 1 month ago
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Google To Replace GTK+ With Its Own Aura In Chrome

lkcl Re:directfb-lite and other webkit ports (240 comments)

ls -altr /usr/local/lib/*lite*
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root staff 16 Dec 7 2010 /usr/local/lib/liblite.so.3 -> liblite.so.3.0.5
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root staff 16 Dec 7 2010 /usr/local/lib/liblite.so -> liblite.so.3.0.5
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root staff 928 Dec 7 2010 /usr/local/lib/liblite.la
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root staff 48848 May 3 2011 /usr/local/lib/liblite.so.3.0.5

i'm sorry - that's 48k not 86k!! liblite is *tiny*.

about a month ago
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Google To Replace GTK+ With Its Own Aura In Chrome

lkcl Re:directfb-lite and other webkit ports (240 comments)

Which version of Qt did you use? There were a few releases that focused on load-time speedups.
Have you tried it against Qt5? It should be 99% identical

it was qt4.3 or thereabouts. the problem is that qt does far too much. when you think that lite 1.2 is around an 86k binary and qt4 and qt5 are several tens of *megabytes* you start to understand the extent of the problem. libQtCore is 3mbytes. libQtGui is 11mbytes.

now bear in mind that when you're doing something like a web browser, all you really need is a font and pixel drawing system (cairo, pango), an input box (liblite), a way to read the keyboard and mouse, and err... it really ain't that complicated, then you start to understand why GTK and QT are complete overkill. only when you need to do things like open a new popup window or open a new browser window that you need something more complex, and heck, those can be done with a bit of X11 or Win32/GDI message handling for goodness sake. in cases where you're doing direct framebuffer writes (such as in chrome os, android, b2g, DirectFB applications and more) then you don't even need _that_, in many cases.

so in effect it doesn't matter how good Qt4, Qt5 or GTK2 or GTK3 are, the fact remains that even the initialisation of the sub-systems that aren't going to be used are all simply too much. the only reason for maintaining those ports (of webkit) is to make it easy for people who wish to integrate webkit into *their* applications that are written in those frameworks.

so the difference is: under the circumstances where you don't need the infrastructure of those frameworks, because you're doing a stand-alone web browser, these heavy-weight frameworks like Qt and Gtk are an exceptionally bad idea.

about a month ago
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Google To Replace GTK+ With Its Own Aura In Chrome

lkcl directfb-lite and other webkit ports (240 comments)

i've worked with webkit a *lot*. for example, i helped denis with the port of webkit to directfb. in doing the python-webkit (direct) bindings http://www.gnu.org/software/py... i covered a *lot* of different ports of webkit. here's the summary:

* when compiling the standard webkit to run on a 400mhz ARM9, the gtk port started up in around... i think it was somewhere around 8 seconds. this was tolerable. it used about 130mb of memory to load a single basic page.

* when compiling the DirectFB port to run on the same system, it started up in about 3 to 4 seconds, and used about 1 or 2mb less memory. this was great!

* when compiling the Qt4 port to run on the same system, it took NINETY SECONDS to start up, consumed DOUBLE the amount of memory, and was basically completely intolerable.

the directfb port basically used an older (revision 1.2) version of the lite toolkit. to say it's light-weight would be an understatement: it's absolutely awesome. qt4 has unfortunately turned into a bit of a monster. gtk by comparison has remained reasonably level-headed, and when it (finally!) has the equivalence of COM's co-classes added to the gobject introspection layer gtk will become highly significant, strategically.

the only thing that the directfb-lite port lacked (at the time i was involved) was a window manager. this basically meant that you could only have one browser window open, and you had a callback for dealing with console alerts, which you had to then deal with yourself. i _thought_ about doing the same trick that mozilla does (which is most clearly demonstrated in b2g) - namely to implement the windowing system *in* webkit itself, in a high-level language: that would be cool. not many people are aware that firefox's menus including the toolbars and tabs are actually implemented *in javascript* (!), and the main browser "window" is merely a (secure) frame. b2g is an extension of that.

so anyway, the point is: there are lots of ways this can be achieved. you can implement the window manager externally and treat the browser as an isolated "component". you can go the other route and implement the window manager *using* the browser engine. but the main point is that either way, gtk and qt4 are to be honest complete overkill. it's only when you have things like co-classes built-in to the underlying infrastructure (like COM has) that you get any _real_ flexible benefit from the widget set, and as neither gtk nor qt4 have those, there's honestly really no point having them around.

about a month ago
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Mathematicians Are Chronically Lost and Confused

lkcl "on a roll" (114 comments)

i had to be woken up at around 9:20am for a 3 hour A-Level Maths exam that had started at 9am and was to end at 12. starting at around 9:25 on the first question, after around 25 minutes i gave up and went onto the 2nd question. this one i did in around 15 minutes. from there i accelerated, completed *every* question, returned to the first and completed it in a few minutes. i then sat back for a while, then got some coloured pens and coloured in one of the graphs. i might even have been bold enough to have left 10 or 15 minute early.

when the results were in i learned i'd got an A. on an exam that was supposed to be 3 hours and i'd completed every question in a little over 2. that was 1987 and i've never forgotten what happened. the point is: i know that once you get started, and get into the mindset, anything is possible: questions you couldn't answer suddenly become easy.

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Software Can You Not Live Without?

lkcl goodbyemicrosoft.com (531 comments)

yeah if it's a windows computer, the only piece of software i need is the one which was formerly available under the domain name goodbyemicrosoft.com. now it's available directly from the debian.org web site.

about a month and a half ago
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Tesla Used A Third of All Electric-Car Batteries Last Year

lkcl severe materials shortage (236 comments)

what's the material that's used in batteries? lithium. how much lithium is there on the planet? not enough. this is the problem that's being swept under the carpet. we already have high prices on copper, as it's already in short supply due to its prevalence in electronics. the quantities required of neodymium (for the magnets in the motors), copper (for the moving coils in the motors) and lithium (for the batteries) to push around 2 tonnes of metal is basically... insane. there's not enough available on the planet. something has to give.

about 2 months ago
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The Higgs Boson Re-Explained By the Mick Jagger of Physics

lkcl ultra-heavy proton (94 comments)

ok, for what it's worth, my take on what the higgs is, is that it's a [virtual] ultra-heavy proton, made up of the same [previously undiscovered] ultra-heavy quarks that make up the [virtual] W and Z Bosons. it takes a bit of explaining, but i've been looking into this... a lot.... and i surmise that the W and Z Bosons are just flavours of pions (2-quark particles) whilst the Higgs is just a flavour of the proton (3 quark particles). they don't appear "in the wild" so to speak because a) they're incredibly large b) they're hugely unstable, *but* in "virtual" form they're actually very easy to create (universe-speaking)

what's interesting is that there _should_ also be a "neutral" Higgs as well - based on an ultra-heavy neutron. hey look! there's two mass figures for the Higgs, and one of them was gamma ray decay particles only! and what's the difference between the 126.0 / 125.3 and mass of neutron divided by mass of proton? exactly the same to within 0.05%. funny that. .... the only problem is: i now need about 10 years worth of full-time maths training in order to catch up with the level of mathematics that's gone into QED in order to *prove* the above to the satisfaction of the rest of the particle physics community.... and that, essentially, is the whole problem with particle physics. the direction it's taken is so immensely complex that the number of people who can contribute successfully is vastly limited: thus, progress in this field isn't limited by computers or people's enthusiasm for the subject but by the direction that it's taken.

from a software engineering and reverse-engineering perspective, pure maths like this simply doesn't have the kind of "rapid prototyping" loop that allows progress to be efficiently made. each mathematical construct is an "ivory tower", where the smallest theoretical modification or tweak can require the entire edifice to be redesigned from the ground up (taking man-decades of intense thought in the process).

so - think of this: considered as a computer program, how could anyone "debug" the process by which particle physics has evolved?

about 2 months ago
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NSA and GHCQ Employing Shills To Poison Web Forum Discourse

lkcl examples (347 comments)

well. that would explain why maharishi mahesh yogi was accused of all sorts of things. and why various scientists get "discredited". it would be interesting to consider how best to counteract these measures, although Mr Maharishi Bounces-on-the-Mattress Mahesh Yogi had a tactic that seemed to work: ignore them....

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Power-loss-protected SSDs tested: only Intel S3500 passes

lkcl lkcl writes  |  about 4 months ago

lkcl (517947) writes "After the reports on SSD reliability and after experiencing a costly 50% failure rate on over 200 remote-deployed OCZ Vertex SSDs, a degree of paranoia set in where I work. I was asked to carry out SSD analysis with some very specific criteria: budget below £100, size greater than 16Gbytes and Power-loss protection mandatory. This was almost an impossible task: after months of searching the shortlist was very short indeed. There was only one drive that survived the torturing: the Intel S3500. After more than 6,500 power-cycles over several days of heavy sustained random writes, not a single byte of data was lost. Crucial M4: fail. Toshiba THNSNH060GCS: fail. Innodisk 3MP SATA Slim: fail. OCZ: epic fail. Only the end-of-lifed Intel 320 and its newer replacement the S3500 survived unscathed. The conclusion: if you care about data even when power could be unreliable, only buy Intel SSDs."
Link to Original Source
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QiMod / Rhombus Tech A10 EOMA-68 CPU Card running Debian 7 (armhf)

lkcl lkcl writes  |  about a year ago

lkcl (517947) writes "With much appreciated community assistance, the first EOMA-68 CPU Card in the series, based on an Allwinner A10 processor, is now running Debian 7 (armhf variant). Two demo videos have been made. Included in the two demos: fvwm2, midori web browser, a patched version of VLC running full-screen 1080p, HDMI output, powering and booting from Micro-HDMI, and connecting to a 4-port USB Hub. Also shown is the 1st revision PCB for the upcoming KDE Flying Squirrel 7in tablet.

The next phase is to get the next iteration of test / engineering samples out to interested free software developers, as well as large clients, which puts the goal of having Free Software Engineers involved with the development of mass-volume products within reach."

Link to Original Source
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Rhombus Tech 2nd revision A10 EOMA68 Card working samples

lkcl lkcl writes  |  1 year,6 days

lkcl (517947) writes "Rhombus Tech and QiMod have working samples of the first EOMA-68 CPU Card, featuring 1GByte of RAM, an A10 processor and stand-alone (USB-OTG-powered with HDMI output) operation. Upgrades will include the new Dual-Core ARM Cortex A7, the pin-compatible A20. This is the first CPU Card in the EOMA-68 range: there are others in the pipeline (A31, iMX6, jz4760 and a recent discovery of the Realtek RTD1186 is also being investigated).

The first product in the EOMA-68 family, also nearing a critical phase in its development, will be the KDE Flying Squirrel, a 7in user-upgradeable tablet featuring the KDE Plasma Active Operating System. Laptops, Desktops, Games Consoles, user-upgradeable LCD Monitors and other products are to follow. And every CPU that goes into the products will be pre-vetted for full GPL compliance, with software releases even before the product goes out the door. That's what we've promised to do: to provide Free Software Developers with the opportunity to be involved with mass-volume product development every step of the way. We're also on the look-out for an FSF-Endorseable processor which also meets mass-volume criteria which is proving... challenging."

Link to Original Source
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Rhombus Tech 2nd revision A10 EOMA68 Card

lkcl lkcl writes  |  1 year,18 days

lkcl writes "The 2nd revision of the A10 EOMA-68 CPU Card is complete and samples are due soon: one sample is due back with a Dual-Core Allwinner A20. This will match up with the new revision of the Vivaldi Spark Tablet, codenamed the Flying Squirrel. Also in the pipeline is an iMX6 CPU Card, and the search is also on for a decent FSF-Endorseable option. The Ingenic jz4760 has been temporarily chosen. Once these products are out, progress becomes extremely rapid."
Link to Original Source
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Rhombus Tech AM389x/DM816x EOMA-68 CPU Card started

lkcl lkcl writes  |  about a year and a half ago

lkcl writes "The Rhombus Tech Project is pleased to announce the beginning of a Texas Instruments AM389x/DM816x EOMA-68 CPU Card: thanks to earlier work on the A10 CPU Card and thanks to Spectrum Digital, work on the schematics is progressing rapidly. With access to more powerful SoCs such as the OMAP5 and Exynos5 being definitely desirable but challenging at this early phase of the Rhombus Tech initiative, the AM3892 is powerful enough (SATA-II, up to 1600mhz DDR3 RAM, Gigabit Ethernet) to still take seriously even though it is a 1.2ghz ARM Cortex A8. With no AM3892 beagleboard clone available for sale, input is welcomed as to features people would like on the card. The key advantage of an AM3892 EOMA-68 CPU Card though: it's FSF Hardware-endorseable, opening up the possibility — at last — for the FSF to have an ARM-based tablet or smartbook to recommend. Preorders for the AM3892 CPU Card are open."
Link to Original Source
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Rhombus Tech A10 EOMA-68 CPU Card schematics completed

lkcl lkcl writes  |  about a year and a half ago

lkcl writes "Rhombus Tech's first CPU Card is nearing completion and availability: the schematics have been completed by Wits-Tech. Although it appears strange to be using a 1ghz Cortex A8 for the first CPU Card, not only is the mass-volume price of the A10 lower than other offerings; not only does the A10 classify as "good enough" (in combination with 1gb of RAM); but Allwinner Tech is one of the very rare China-based SoC companies willing to collaborate with Software (Libre) developers without an enforced (GPL-violating) NDA in place. Overall, it's the very first step in the right direction for collaboration between Software (Libre) developers and mass-volume PRC Factories. There will be more (faster, better) EOMA-68 CPU Cards: this one is just the first."
Link to Original Source
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Google+ Identity Fraud

lkcl lkcl writes  |  about a year and a half ago

lkcl writes "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nymwars outlines the problem with Google+ as an "identity" service, but nowhere does this page discuss any compelling down-sides for Google themselves. One is the risk of lawsuits where people *relied * on Google+, were lulled into a false sense of security by Google+, failed to follow standard well-established online internet identity precautions, and were defrauded as a *direct* result of Google's claims of "safety". Another is the legal cost of involvement in, and the burden of proof that would fall onto Google in identity-fraud-related cases of online stalking, internet date rape and murder. Can anyone think of some other serious disadvantages that would compel google to rethink its google+ identity policy? I would really like to use Google Hangouts, but I'll be damned if i'll use it under anything other than under my 25-year-established pseudonym, "lkcl". What's been your experience with applying for an "unreal" identity?"
Link to Original Source
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Pyjamas pyjs.org Domain hijacked

lkcl lkcl writes  |  about 2 years ago

lkcl writes "The domain name for the pyjamas project, pyjs.org, was hijacked today by some of its users. The reasons: objections over the project leader's long-term goal to have pyjamas development be self-hosting (git browsing, wiki, bugtracker etc. all as Free Software Licensed pyjamas applications). Normally if there is disagreement, a Free Software Project is forked: a new name is chosen and the parting-of-the-ways is done if not amicably but at least publicly. Pyjamas however now appears to have made Free Software history by being the first project to have its domain actually hijacked. rather embarrassingly, in the middle of a publicly-announced release cycle. Has anything like this ever happened before?"
Link to Original Source
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B2G's Store and Security Model

lkcl lkcl writes  |  about 2 years ago

lkcl writes "Boot to Gecko is a full and complete stand-alone Operating System that is to use Gecko as both its Window Manager and Applications UI. Primarily targetted at smartphones, security and the distribution of applications are both facing interesting challenges: scaling to mass-volume proportions (100 million+ units). The resources behind Google's app store (effectively unlimited cloud computing) are not necessarily guaranteed to be available to Telcos that wish to set up a B2G store. Although B2G began from Android, Mozilla's primary expertise in the development of Gecko and in the use of SSL is second to none. There is howevera risk that the B2G Team will rely solely on userspace security enforcement (in a single executable) and to try inappropriate use of CSP, Certificate pinning and other SSL techniques for app distribution, resulting in some quite harmful consequences that will impact B2G's viability. The question is, therefore: what security infrastructure surrounding the stores themselves as well as in the full B2G OS itself would actually be truly effective in the large-scale distribution of B2G applications, whilst also retaining flexibility and ease of development that would attract and retain app writers?"
Link to Original Source
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EOMA-PCMCIA modular computer aiming for $15 and Fr

lkcl lkcl writes  |  more than 2 years ago

lkcl writes "An initiative by a CIC company Rhombus Tech aims to provide Software (Libre) Developers with a PCMCIA-sized modular computer that could end up in mass-volume products. The Reference Design mass-volume pricing guide from the SoC manufacturer, for a device with similar capability to the raspberrypi, is around $15: 40% less than the $25 rbpi but for a device with an ARM Cortex A8 CPU 3x times faster than the 700mhz ARM11 used in the rbpi. GPL Kernel source code is available. A page for community ideas for motherboard designs has also been created. The overall goal is to bring more mass-volume products to market which Software (Libre) Developers have actually been involved in, reversing the trend of endemic GPL violations surrounding ARM-based mass-produced hardware. The Preorder pledge registration is now open (account creation required)."
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Where are the Ultra-efficient production Hybrid EV

lkcl lkcl writes  |  more than 2 years ago

lkcl writes "Has anyone else wondered why ultra-efficient hybrid vehicles have to look like this, why the Twizy doesn't have doors as standard and has leased batteries, or why the Volkswagen XL1 does 313mpg but only seats 2 people and isn't yet in production? Why were both Toyota's RAV4-EV as well as GM's EV1 not just discontinued but destroyed? Against this background, what makes this 3-seat Hybrid EV design different, and what could make it successful? Although this article on hybridcar.com outlines the problem, the solution isn't clear-cut, so how can ultra-efficient affordable hybrids actually end up on the road?"
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An accidental Free Software Accelerated 3D GPU

lkcl lkcl writes  |  more than 2 years ago

lkcl writes "In evaluating the Xilinx Xilinx Zynq-7000 for use in a FSF Hardware-endorsed Laptop and possible OpenPandora v2.0, a series of Free Software projects were accidentally linked together — Gallium3D and LLVM 2.7's MicroBlaze FPGA Target. The combination is the startling possibility that the Xilinx Zynq-7000 may turn out to be the perfect platform for a Free Software 3D GPU, for use in Tablets, Laptops, and the OpenGraphics Project. entirely by accident."
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RISC Notebooks: does 28nm make all the difference?

lkcl lkcl writes  |  more than 3 years ago

lkcl writes "Predictions have been made for quite some time that ARM or MIPS notebooks and servers will be here. Failed prototypes date back over two years, with the Pegatron Netbook never finding a home; the $175 Next Surfer Pro being frantically withdrawn last week, the Lenovo Skylight being pulled weeks before it was to launch, and a rash of devices successfully making it to market with long-term unusable 1024x600 LCD panels and a maximum of 512mb RAM being the only real rare (and often expensive) option. The Toshiba AC100 and the HP/Compaq Airlife 100 are classic examples.

So the key question is: what, exactly is holding things back? With the MIPS 1074k architecture, a Quad-Core 1.5ghz CPU at 40nm would only consume 1.3 watts, and 28nm could easily exceed 2.0ghz and use 30% less power. The MIPS GS464V, designed by China's ICT, has such high SIMD Vector performance that it will be capable of 100fps 1080p at 1ghz on a single core, and has hardware assisted accelerated emulation of over 200 x86 instructions. A Dual-Core Cortex A9 consumes 0.5 watts at 800mhz and 1.9 watts at 2ghz: 28nm would mean a whopping 3ghz could potentially be achieved. And Gaisler have a SPARC-compatible core, the LEON4, which can be configured in anything up to 8 cores, and run at up to 1.5ghz in 30nm, giving an impressive 1.7DMIPS/Mhz performance per core that matches that of both the MIPS 1074k and the ARM Cortex A9 designs.

Due to the incredibly small size, significantly-mass-volume SoC processors based around these cores could conceivably be around an estimated $12 for Quad-Core 28nm MIPS1074k and $15 for Dual-Core 28nm Cortex A9s, bringing the price of an impressive desktop system easily down to $80 retail and a decent laptop to $150.

So why, if this is what's possible, providing such fantastic performance at incredible prices, are we still seeing "demo" products like the OMAP4 TI Smartphone, are still waiting for the Samsung Enyxos 4210, and for Nusmart's 2ghz 2816? Why are we not seeing any products with decent screens and memory from mainstream companies like Dell, IBM and HP, but are instead seeing a rash of low-performance low-quality GPL-violating Chinese-made Android-based knock-offs, touted as "web-ready", with webcams and microphones that don't even work?

What's it going to take for these alternative processors to hit mainstream? Do we really have to wait for 24nm or less, where it would be possible to run these RISC cores at ungodly 4ghz speeds or above, when 20,000 tiny RISC cores could fit on a single wafer resulting in prices of $4 to $5 per CPU? Or, with the rise of Android and GNU/Linux Operating Systems, would a lowly 28nm multi-core RISC-based System-on-a-Chip be enough for most peoples' needs?"

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ARM or MIPS Notebooks: does 28nm make a difference

lkcl lkcl writes  |  more than 3 years ago

lkcl writes "Predictions have been made for quite some time that ARM or MIPS notebooks and servers will be here. Failed prototypes date back over two years, with the Pegatron Netbook never finding a home; the $175 Next Surfer Pro being frantically withdrawn last week, the Lenovo Skylight being pulled weeks before it was to launch, and a rash of devices successfully making it to market with long-term unusable 1024x600 LCD panels and a maximum of 512mb RAM being the only real rare (and often expensive) option.

So the key question is: what, exactly is holding things back? With the MIPS 1074k architecture, a Quad-Core 1.5ghz CPU at 40nm would only consume 1.3 watts, and 28nm could easily exceed 2.0ghz and use 30% less power. A Dual-Core Cortex A9 consumes 0.5 watts at 800mhz and 1.9 watts at 2ghz: 28nm would mean a whopping 3ghz could potentially be achieved. Due to the incredibly small size, significantly-mass-volume SoC processors based around these cores could conceivably be around $12 for Quad-Core 28nm MIPS1074k and $15 for Dual-Core 28nm Cortex A9s.

So why, if this is what's possible, providing such fantastic performance at incredible prices, are we still seeing "demo" products like the OMAP4 TI Smartphone, are still waiting for the Samsung Enyxos 4210 and for Nusmart's 2ghz 2816?"

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FreedomBox Foundation hits target in 5 days

lkcl lkcl writes  |  more than 3 years ago

lkcl writes "The FreedomBox Foundation hit its minimum target of $60,000 in just 5 days, thanks to KickStarter Pledges, and seeks further contributions to ensure that the Project is long-term viable. Curiously but crucially, the FreedomBox fund is for Software only, yet neither suitable low-cost $30 ARM or MIPS "plug computers", envisaged by Eben Moglen as the ideal target platform, nor mid-to-high-end ARM or MIPS low-cost developer-suitable laptops actually exist. What do slashdot readers envisage to be the way forward, here, given that the goals of the FreedomBox are so at odds with mass-market Corporate-driven hardware design decisions?"
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Toshiba AC100 Linux 2.6.29 Kernel Source available

lkcl lkcl writes  |  more than 3 years ago

lkcl (517947) writes "Toshiba Digital Media Group, Japan, kindly responded to a request for all GPL source code and supplied it on CD. The kernel source has been uploaded to the arm-netbook alioth git repository (branch ac100/2.6.29/lkcl). The AC100 has already been hacked, rooted and sadly ubuntu'd as noted on debian-arm. Availability of the "official" kernel source should make getting WIFI etc. somewhat easier. Two key questions remain, though: why does such a fantastic machine with a top-end dual core ARM Cortex A9 CPU only come with 512mb of RAM, and why supply only the truly dreadful and unusable 1024x600 resolution LCD when it is known to be the cause of so many negative reviews?"
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Open University Linux Course Irony

lkcl lkcl writes  |  more than 4 years ago

lkcl (517947) writes "A new Open University course, Linux T155 aims to teach the benefits of Linux and Free Software, including the philosophy and history as well as the practical benefits of being virus-free and being able to prolong the working life of hardware. Unfortunately, in a delicious piece of irony, potential Tutors who stand by Free Software principles and thus are best suited to apply for a teaching post must violate the very principles they are expected to instil, by filling in a Microsoft Word formatted application form. An article on the Advogato Free Software Advocacy site describes the ways in which changing the "accidental" policy of using Proprietary File formats has succeeded and where it has failed."
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python converted to javascript: executed in-browse

lkcl lkcl writes  |  more than 4 years ago

lkcl writes "Two independent projects Skulpt and Pyjamas are working to bring python to the web browser (and the javascript command-line) the hard way: as javascript. Skulpt already has a cool python prompt demo on its homepage; Pyjamas has a gwtcanvas demo port and a GChart 2.6 demo port. Using the 64-bit version of google v8 and PyV8, Pyjamas has just recently successfully run its python regression tests, converted to javascript, at the command-line. (Note: don't try any of the above SVG demos with FF2 or IE6: they will suck.)"
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Python version of GWT spawns port of GChart

lkcl lkcl writes  |  more than 4 years ago

lkcl writes "GChart is a sophisticated graph and charting library, written in java for the popular Google Web Toolkit framework. Using a semi-automated java to python conversion tool a reasonably useable but not entirely bug-free version of GChart's 19,000 lines of code has been ported, in under three days, to the Pyjamas Desktop/Web Widget Set. Whilst development is primarily taking place using Pyjamas-Desktop, an online demo of the javascript compiled version can be seen here (note: reduce performance expectations accordingly, if using IE6 or FF2)."
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Nerd Needs Help With Webkit Python Fiasco

lkcl lkcl writes  |  more than 4 years ago

lkcl writes "I'm in need of slashdot advice and help, as I recognise that I'm taking the wrong approach. Background: I'm a free software developer and, to put it charitably, "I don't get out much" (i.e. I don't see why people have difficulty with what I do). As a result, I've been banned from about five major free software projects mailing lists, and blamed for causing problems (but often I then see reports months later, of other people encountering the same thing with the same team!). I decided a year ago to put python on a par with javascript when it comes to DOM bindings, and have ported pyjamas to XULrunner, webkit, and recently IE's MSHTML. The trouble I'm having is with webkit (webkit doesn't have DOM python bindings, but IE and XULRunner do). At around 300 comments, we've got past the roaring bun-fight stage, and just got to the point where things were finally moving along, when one of the webkit maintainers decided to engineer an excuse to disable my bugs.webkit.org account. Ordinarily, I'd leave this alone, but I feel that this complex project — of making python truly the equal of javascript when it comes to web application development — is too important to just let it go. So — seriously: I'm not messing about, here; I'm not looking for an excuse to whinge; I truly need some advice and help because i am absolutely not going to quit on this one. What do you feel needs to be done, to get Webkit its free software python bindings?"

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