"The company's policy was that staffers couldn't hang up unless the caller was abusive"
Called customer an idoit. Customer got abuse. Can now hang up. Problem solved.
86 posts • joined 17 Aug 2011
There are a few cheap options for FPGA. The Lattice iCEstick combined with the open source IceStorm tool-chain seems popular amongst hobbyists. Not tried it myself though.
Personally, I've gone with the MiniZed Zynq SoC board (ARM A9 + FPGA) alongside an Arty S7 that someone kindly gave me. I'm also planning to play at the very low end with Xilinx CPLDs for when simple and easily solderable (i.e. QFP not BGA) are more important than power.
If it helps, this is the advice I got when I asked how to get into programmable logic.
I'm just getting into FPGAs and they're a fun way of "coding" something very different. If you imagine writing C where every line of code runs at the same time then you're getting some of the way there (although this is of course a huge oversimplification).
Anything PCIe connected seems to be ridiculously priced. Actually, I suppose as it's aimed at enterprise customers it's not really. I've just got my head in the sub-£100 hobbyist end.
The reason I like coding on microcontrollers now is it give you that same sort of "I know about every byte in memory" sort of experience that I remember from the BBC Micro. Although even near the lower end of the microcontroller spectrum you may find higher specs that we were used to back in the 80s.
"After decades of dominance through proprietary lock-in and anti-trust-busted software bundling, the monster lurking in web developer nightmares will no longer be the default browser for Windows."
"Regrettably, since Apple doesn't allow other browser rendering engines in the App Store there will never be any real competition there."
And yet Apple don't have to face any anti-trust action. Odd.
As always, XKCD says is best. https://xkcd.com/1118/
Myself and some friends created the first ever social network here in the UK back in 2000 - the long-gone everyonesconected.com. Before we admitted defeat (by the US-based friendster, myspace, facebook. etc.) and we pulled the plug it was overrun by Christians. Some of them weirdly decided that it was a Christian site and would start telling other users what they should and shouldn't post. At least this one actually is.
They're too powerful to be safe and not powerful enough to be useful, so no great loss. I'll stick with my 40W CO2 laser, thanks. A bit less portable I admit, but at least it will actually cut through stuff. Not tried it on the neighbourhood cats that crap on my lawn, but very tempted...
Let me adjust that rather click-bait headline for you. "Police robot looks for man in house after he'd left"
I was expecting to hear the (slightly heroic) tale of how a man with a knife defeated a gun-wielding robot like the script of some bad action movie. That wasn't really what happened.
Personally, I feel this is a feature rather than a security defect. I like the fact that the hardware is yours to own and hack if you want to. Devices need to be firmware upgradable and to be honest if someone has got into your house and has time to attach a USB stick to your Nest then you've vulnerable anyway. I can easily hack your PC if given time with it and a bootable DVD or USB stick.
What would improve things is making sure the end user is aware of this feature and perhaps having a way to disable it - or perhaps enable it if disabled by default.
I'm not a Nest owner by the way, I'm very happy with my Tado. Incidentally they can be upgraded remotely as I discovered when they fixed a bug I found that stopped it working with Sky Broadband.
Well the .NET Micro Framework started out on those SPOT watches many years ago. It would seem likely that this would be what they'd use as there seems to be renewed effort heading that way recently. It'd be nice to see it come full circle.
The .NET Micro Framework was open sourced by the way, once the watches were abandoned. Isn't is strange how Apple is now the locked down corporate monster and Microsoft is (relatively) open these days?
It should be possible to have an Oyster app for any NFC enabled phone. However I believe that the PAYG Oyster balance is stored on the card for speed of retrieval (despite what this article suggests). It's pure speculation on my part, but I suspect that an app on the phone might be more susceptible to reverse engineering or hacking than when embedded on an Oyster card.
@WonkTheSane - You're right that this requires NFC and excludes Apple, but so does this payment system. NFC underpins how both Oyster and contactless bank payments work. It'll all be OK in a year's time when the innovative geniuses at Apple "invent" NFC.
My thoughts exactly. Surely a device with restricted functionality and a very basic UI shouldn't be running a desktop OS, or even something like XP Embedded. I'd have though something like an ARM microcontroller coded directly in C be up to the job? It'd be far less vulnerable to attack and probably cheaper too.
I recently switched from Sky to BT and whilst it's a definite improvement I've also had an unexpected disconnection. Rather than send me my first bill (or any warning that they were due a payment) BT very helpfully just cut off my broadband. Nice.
Also the "engineer" who installed it left with the broadband partially working and no phone. "Not my area of expertise. Maybe it'll work better tomorrow."
I can thoroughly recommend the Tado. It was a easy to install and works very well. They're currently offering a free visit for installation but you probably won't need it.
The beta version I got had issues with Sky broadband (and of course Sky won't let you change their awful router or DNS servers). Once we'd identified the problem a Tado engineer and new firmware written and remotely deployed within a day. Great service.
You may not believe Jake, but I did have that about 20 years ago - initially misdiagnosed as ME. It's nowhere nears as nice as it sounds. It wasn't like being drunk all the time but more like permanently coping with a hangover. An anti yeast treatment sorted me out and I was so happy that it did.
I think Bebo was an excellent example of how the UK is not the place for social networking. I'll give you a short history lesson of social networking...
Many years ago (early 2001) some friends and I started the first ever social networking site - the long forgotten EveryonesConnected.com - well before MySpace, Friendster, Bebo, etc. Being based in the UK we found that UK venture capital was too sensible and cautious to invest. The term social networking wasn't even being used and they couldn't see any exit strategy. [Sidenote: Is there one?] Anyone in the US couldn't see past their shores and weren't interested in anything that wasn't physically US-based.
Shortly afterwards the Birches (who ran Birthday Alarm) started Ringo, which I also believe was UK-based. I can't find anything to confirm this so I'm relying on my memory, but I remember that the Birches shut up Ringo, moved to the US and started Bebo. They seemed to immediately get investment and interest. That kind of supported my suspicion that being US-based was essential if you were going to make a financial success of it.
I've been a fan of smart watches for a while - had one of the Sony MBW-150s and a TI Chronos (true geek dev watch rather than smart watch). I've been following many of the ones you mentioned with interest. I'm really keen on being able to create apps ON the watch rather than just sending alerts to it. The MSP430-based Metawatch had promise but was really buggy early on. The Pebble is definitely interesting but not what I wanted.
I have to say the Agent ticked all the boxes for me so I backed it straight away. I've just switch to WP8 (previously very happy on Android) so support for that is a big plus, as is wireless charging. Being able to dev (and even debug I believe) on the watch using Visual Studio is huge. I'm familiar with the Netduino so am confident the guys will deliver what they promised. I know Eadon will troll away, but the .NET microframework should be able to deliver a high quality dev environment for writing phone apps. It should the first really good smart watch - as opposed to just a notification system on your wrist.
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