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Samsung’s next watch could lean on health features and better battery life. Could it also get a new name? …read more
I found a dust-covered, circa-2007 black polycarbonate MacBook, plugged it in and it came right back to life. …read more
In the early 1980s there was growing public awareness that the microcomputer revolution would have a significant effect on everybody’s lives, and there was a brief period in which anything remotely connected with a computer attracted an air of glamour and sophistication. Broadcasters wanted to get in on the act, and produced glowing documentaries on the new technology, enthusiastically crystal-ball-gazing as they did so.
In the UK, the public service BBC broadcaster produced a brace of series’ over the decade probing all corners of the subject as part of the same Computer Literacy Project that gave us Acorn’s BBC Micro, and we are lucky enough that they’ve put them all online so that we can watch them (again, in some cases, if a Hackaday scribe can get away with revealing her age).
You can see famous shows such as the moment when the presenters experienced a live on-air hack while demonstrating an early online service, but most of it is a fascinating contemporary look at the computers we now enthuse over as retro devices. Will the MSX sweep all before it, for example? (It didn’t).
They seem very dated now with their 8-bit micros (if not just for the word “micro”), synth music, and cheesy graphics. But what does come across is the air of optimism, this was the future, and it was packaged not as a threat, but as a good place to be. Take a look, but make sure you have plenty of time. You may spend a while in front of the screen.
We’ve mentioned int he past another spin-off from the Computer Literacy Project, the Domesday Project.
Thanks [Darren Grant] for the tip.
Including DeepMind code, and Donald Duck’s robo-cousin
Roundup Welcome to this week’s AI roundup – a mix of news and links beyond what we’ve already published this week.…
Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) has managed to get Tinder to encrypt the photos sent between its servers and its app. The 69-year-old Senator wrote a letter to Tinder back in February requesting that the company encrypt photos. They apparently already implemented the feature, but “waited to write back to Wyden until it also adjust a separate security feature that makes all swipe data the same size,” reports The Verge. “The size of the swipe data was used by security researchers to differentiate actions from one another. That change wasn’t implemented until June 19th.”
of this story at Slashdot.
Got $4,000 to spend? Even if you don’t, keep reading — especially if you develop with FPGAs. Exostiv’s FPGA debugging setup costs around $4K although if you are in need of debugging a complex FPGA design and your time has any value, that might not be very expensive. Then again, most of us have a lot of trouble justifying a $4,000 piece of test gear. But we wanted to think about what Exostiv is doing and why we don’t see more of it. Traditionally, debugging FPGAs meant using JTAG and possibly some custom blocks that act like a logic analyzer and chew up real estate on your device. Exostiv also uses some of your device, but instead of building a JTAG-communicating logic analyzer it… well, here’s what their website says:
EXOSTIV IP uses the MGTs (Multi-Gigabit Transceivers) to flow captured data out of the FPGA to an external memory. EXOSTIV IP supports repeating captures of up to 32,768 internal nodes simultaneously at the FPGA’s speed of operation (16 data sets x 2,048 bits).
EXOSTIV IP provides dynamic multiplexer controls to capture even more data sets without the need to recompile. Dynamic ON/OFF controls of data sets let you select the data set and preserve the MGT’s bandwidth for when deeper captures of a reduced set of data is required.
In a nutshell, this means they use high-speed communications to send raw data to a box that has memory and connects back to a PC. That means they can store more data, have more data come out of the chip over a certain time frame, and do sophisticated processing. You can see a video about the device below, and there are more detailed videos on their channel, as well.
There are two things you might be wondering. First, why not just send the data to the PC instead of an intermediate box. Notice the box has a USB 3 connection back to the PC. That’s fast, but it isn’t fast enough.
The other thing you might be wondering is why you’ve read this far since your boards don’t have MGTs and you don’t have $4,000 sitting around to buy a debugging tool. But it occurs to us, that while the implementation of this idea is very robust-seeming, there’s no reason we couldn’t adapt it to our FPGA designs. Why haven’t we seen a hacker design that uses a reasonably cheap and fast I/O (maybe LVDS) to pipe data to an Arm board with some memory. In fact, you would think you could separate the modules for the FPGA so you’d have a core and a communication channel that would allow different features.
Of course, open source debug cores are not unheard of, but they tend to work like traditional JTAG debuggers where you essentially build a logic analyzer on the spare parts of your FPGA. We haven’t seen anything like the Exostiv solution. Probably the closest we’ve seen is this device from Cornell, but it displays on a VGA monitor. There’s also …read more