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To distress my enemies, I'd force on them ...

mako1138 slashdot ads (199 comments)

For awhile I had that "in thanks for your contributions, you can disable ads" checkbox available. I didn't really care since the ads were inobtrusive and I figured supporting the site was a good thing. Then Beta happened, and while that was annoying, I still didn't care about the ads.

But maybe a month ago, /. started having those overlay ads on the bottom of the browser frame. It was time to tick the checkbox. Everything was fine for maybe a week... then bam, ads again.

Short story is, I installed NoScript.

about 6 months ago

Thorium: The Wonder Fuel That Wasn't

mako1138 Re:Real Reasons Thorium is Being Held Up (204 comments)

I also think sub-critical accelerator-driven systems (ADS) are a good way forward, since we have so much darned nuclear waste. Right now, the power level required for economical ADS is still a bit out of reach.

about 7 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Good Print Media Is Left?

mako1138 Re:The New Yorker? (285 comments)

Yeah, I would find it hard to give up the print edition. A physical subscription includes access to the digital archive, which is nice.

about 8 months ago

Student Records Kids Who Bully Him, Then Gets Threatened With Wiretapping Charge

mako1138 Re:Quite logical reaction (798 comments)

A former landlady told me something similar. Her daughter was being harassed at school, and the administration would do nothing. So she tells her daughter to fight back. Pushes the assailant down some stairs (!) and after a brief hue and cry, everyone lives happily ever after.

about 8 months ago

HTML5 App For Panasonic TVs Rejected - JQuery Is a "Hack"

mako1138 Re:Where to go after Slashdot? (573 comments)

I've been reading Hacker News, but the moderation is pretty strict (basically no fun allowed). A lot of the discussion is annoying and there is no easy way to "browse at 4-5".

We might just need to build our own /.

about 10 months ago

Want a FPGA Board For Your Raspberry Pi Or Beagle Bone?

mako1138 Re:toolchain? (66 comments)

>in the past i've had to deal with license servers, multi-thousand dollar licenses,
I've never had a problem with the Webpack edition not activating.

>being locked into windows
Apparently most serious folks run the tools on Linux these days. Works fine on RH.

>having to reverse engineer internal formats because the tools wouldn't work for me
Hasn't happened to me, knock on wood. Hopefully they've worked out more corner cases since your time.

>having day-long synthesis/test cycles because their routing was so abysmal, etc
I think this is a given once you get above x% utilization. Newer FPGAs have more interconnect, though.

By keeping it Spartan (heh) they at least avoid the stupidity in the Zynq tools. What good is a "critical warning" that you're supposed to ignore, Xilinx?

1 year,1 day

Want a FPGA Board For Your Raspberry Pi Or Beagle Bone?

mako1138 Re:Do not buy this (66 comments)

I'm going to have to disagree with you. If somebody already has a RPi or BB, then this board makes a whole lot of sense: it just stacks on top of your existing unit, both physically and logically. In Zynqland it'd take quite some effort to construct the abstraction layers that they seem to be building into this project; you have to do things like rebuild the FSBL and binfile and it gets to be a pain. There's a community of sorts but it's small peanuts compared to the RPi juggernaut.

I agree that the bandwidth between the PS/PL is really awesome and blows away the separate-chip solution. But lets get real: beginners don't need that kind of performance. It's better for them to have something that's encapsulated and somewhat friendly-fied so they can get their feet wet, rather than drowning them in arcana right out the gate.

I also don't think the MicroZed is a good idea for hobbyists, unless playing with Linux is all you're after. Most of the IO is on the high-density Bergstak connectors, which means that you either buy the official (limited) carrier board, or roll your own custom carrier. And since the main attraction of SoC/FPGAs like this is fast I/O and tight coupling, unless you're doing something relatively high-performance and willing to spend money on the requisite hardware development, it doesn't make sense to adopt this platform. I see MicroZed as a vehicle to speed up project development; not so ideal for the hobbyist.

1 year,1 day

Dual-Core Allwinner A20 Powered EOMA-68 Engineering Card Available

mako1138 PCMCIA (98 comments)

You seem to be pushing an awful lot of signals across the PCMCIA connector, with hardly any ground pins. Is signal integrity okay?

1 year,21 days

Interview: Ask Limor Fried About Open-Source Hardware and Adafruit

mako1138 Re:back in 2005... (139 comments)

The Minty MP3 was also a big 'wow' for me. I don't think I've built any Lady(ada)fruit projects, but I've certainly studied a bunch of them over the years.

1 year,29 days

NYC's 250,000 Street Lights To Be Replaced With LEDs By 2017

mako1138 Re:Cue the Unintended Consequences (372 comments)

Our city has LED traffic lights and even moderately strong FM stations disappear completely at intersections.

I very much doubt that LED lights produce output in the 90 - 110 MHz band. Switching supplies are generally 0.1-2 MHz.

But hey, call the FCC. They don't mess around when it comes to interfering devices.

about a year ago

Kickstarter For Open Source GPU

mako1138 Drivers? Resource utilization? (108 comments)

Software drivers are a challenge, and we will work on providing some level of drivers, with the hopes that the community takes them up and pushes them to new levels and provides problem reports to us.

I assume the #9 is not nearly as complex as a modern-day GPU, but this sentence really concerns me. As a hardware guy myself, I'd want some more experienced hands on board for the software side. And a Linux driver needs to be part of the deliverables at least.

Also, what's the resource utilization? If this thing only runs in large Virtex-class chips then it's not terribly useful to the open-source community.

It would be really cool to have a graphics core of this level open-sourced, but I think the audience for this project is kind of small. You could build yourself a PCI graphics card for kicks, I guess, but you'd still need a PCI motherboard. Where it gets more interesting is with the "generic interface" option. Then for example you could use a Xilinx Zynq (which is an FPGA+ARM), implement the GPU in the FPGA, and talk to it on-chip over AXI. However I have a feeling they won't get to the $600000 level needed to make this possible.

about a year ago

The Open Source Laptop and the Golden Age of Open Hardware

mako1138 Re:Who are they targeting? (93 comments)

Bunnie has described this project as a "bespoke oscilloscope", so it's probably going to cost thousands of dollars. If that horrifies you even more, you're probably not the target audience.

All this hype about "the golden age of OSHW" is nonsense though.

about a year ago

EOMA-68 Based KDE Vivaldi Tablet Engineering Boards Ship

mako1138 Re:Wildly confusing subject line (33 comments)

"Boards ship" sounds fine to me, but I'm a hardware guy.

The more serious problem is that EOMA-68 doesn't appear to have anything to with the Vivaldi hardware. I mean, does a tablet with a removable CPU card make any sense whatsoever?

about a year ago

Twitter Co-Founder Biz Stone To Facebook: Start a Premium Subscription Service

mako1138 Re:Facebook verification is already premium (156 comments)

I've tried entering a Google Voice number in that space, but FB wouldn't take it. It's easy to ignore that screen though.

about a year ago

FWD.us Remixes the Statue of Liberty Greeting

mako1138 Re:The added lines (160 comments)

Those dedicated to the doing

How transcendentally awful. Adding lines to a sonnet and not respecting the structure. Was it too much effort to do it in iambic pentameter?

about a year and a half ago

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

mako1138 removing default serial port (142 comments)

The Beaglebone has (had) this weird procedure where you plug it into USB, then "eject" it to activate a different mode. The first time I installed Beaglebone drivers is the only time it went smoothly. Later on different machines, all sorts of odd devices came up. In the end it was just easier to interact with it over SSH, so I can understand the decision to remove the USB-serial interface.

about a year and a half ago

City Councilman: Email Tax Could Discourage Spam, Fund Post Office Functions

mako1138 Re:Berkeley City Council (439 comments)

Having lived most of my life in the Bay Area, including six years in Berkeley, I would agree with your assessment. The City Council attracts some strange characters, and there is a slew of "committees" on topics that range from bleeding heart liberal issues to just plain weirdness. I consider myself fairly left/liberal but sometimes the Berkeley/SF councils seem like they're in a contest for craziness.

about 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Advice For Summer Before Ph.D. Program?

mako1138 get in the mindset (228 comments)

You don't want to pick up new interests unless they directly support your life/sanity as a PhD student. Things like learning to cook or getting into fitness, yes. Things like learning Haskell for a great good, picking up Arduino, not so much. Learning R, okay maybe that'll save you time down the road. You only have so many spare cycles for technical stuff, I've found, and any half-started projects will only linger around frustratingly.

If you have a qualifying exam in your program, find out what's on it and get an idea of how difficult it will be. Start studying; it doesn't have to be every day, but it'll do wonders to go into it with confidence.

about 2 years ago

Toward An FSF-Endorsable Embedded Processor

mako1138 Re:Scientific Computing (258 comments)

Ouch. Yeah, wishful thinking doesn't make for a viable product.

about 2 years ago


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