jm + hardware   87

Here’s Why Juicero’s Press is So Expensive – Bolt Blog
Our usual advice to hardware founders is to focus on getting a product to market to test the core assumptions on actual target customers, and then iterate. Instead, Juicero spent $120M over two years to build a complex supply chain and perfectly engineered product that is too expensive for their target demographic.

Imagine a world where Juicero raised only $10M and built a product subject to significant constraints. Maybe the Press wouldn’t be so perfectly engineered but it might have a fewer features and cost a fraction of the original $699. Or maybe with a more iterative approach, they would have quickly found that customers vary greatly in their juice consumption patterns, and would have chosen a per-pack pricing model rather than one-size-fits-all $35/week subscription. Suddenly Juicero is incredibly compelling as a product offering, at least to this consumer.
juicero  design  electronics  hardware  products  startups  engineering  teardowns 
2 days ago by jm
A server with 24 years of uptime
wow. Stratus fault-tolerant systems ftw.

'This is a fault tolerant server, which means that hardware components are redundant. Over the years, disk drives, power supplies and some other components have been replaced but Hogan estimates that close to 80% of the system is original.'

(via internetofshit, which this isn't)
stratus  fault-tolerance  hardware  uptime  records  ops 
12 weeks ago by jm
4 Wi-Fi Tips from Former Apple Wi-Fi Engineer
Good tips: use the same SSID for all radios; deal with congestion with more APs using less power; don't use "Wide" channels on 2.4Ghz; and place antennae perpendicular to each other.
wifi  2.4ghz  5ghz  networking  hardware  macs  apple  tips 
december 2016 by jm
HiFime Sabre 9018 USB DAC
USB DAC strongly recommended by Soren Ragsdale -- EUR66
usb  dac  music  audio  hardware  recommendations  tips  toget 
november 2016 by jm
Stealth Cell Tower
'an antagonistic GSM base station [disguised] in the form of an innocuous office printer. It brings the covert design practice of disguising cellular infrastructure as other things - like trees and lamp-posts - indoors, while mimicking technology used by police and intelligence agencies to surveil mobile phone users.'
gsm  hardware  art  privacy  surveillance  hacks  printers  mobile-phones 
november 2016 by jm
Total Nightmare: USB-C and Thunderbolt 3
the coming incompatibility nightmare of USB-C cabling
usb  usb-c  thunderbolt  apple  cables  hardware  confusion 
november 2016 by jm
What $50 buys you at Huaqiangbei, the world’s most fascinating electronics market
This is amazing -- what a wonderland! For instance:
Six dollars for: a GSM chipset, a CPU, an LCD screen, a battery, a PCB, a metal housing, a molded silicone watch band, a MicroUSB cable, and a box. And the labor to assemble and test all of that.
gadgets  crap  shenzen  huaqiangbei  shopping  hardware  china 
october 2016 by jm
A Loud Sound Just Shut Down a Bank's Data Center for 10 Hours | Motherboard
The purpose of the drill was to see how the data center's fire suppression system worked. Data centers typically rely on inert gas to protect the equipment in the event of a fire, as the substance does not chemically damage electronics, and the gas only slightly decreases the temperature within the data center.

The gas is stored in cylinders, and is released at high velocity out of nozzles uniformly spread across the data center. According to people familiar with the system, the pressure at ING Bank's data center was higher than expected, and produced a loud sound when rapidly expelled through tiny holes (think about the noise a steam engine releases). The bank monitored the sound and it was very loud, a source familiar with the system told us. “It was as high as their equipment could monitor, over 130dB”.

Sound means vibration, and this is what damaged the hard drives. The HDD cases started to vibrate, and the vibration was transmitted to the read/write heads, causing them to go off the data tracks. “The inert gas deployment procedure has severely and surprisingly affected several servers and our storage equipment,” ING said in a press release.
ing  hardware  outages  hard-drives  fire  fire-suppression  vibration  data-centers  storage 
september 2016 by jm
Kerbal Control Panel
A beautiful piece of faux-industrial design for a Kerbal Space Program control panel. I particularly like the "NASA-approved" three-step arm-and-execute switches
hardware  switches  gadgets  builds  ksc  kerbal  hacks 
august 2016 by jm
_Could a Neuroscientist Understand a Microprocessor?_
'There is a popular belief in neuroscience that we are primarily data limited, that producing large, multimodal, and complex datasets will, enabled by data analysis algorithms, lead to fundamental insights into the way the brain processes information. Microprocessors are among those artificial information processing systems that are both complex and that we understand at all levels, from the overall logical flow, via logical gates, to the dynamics of transistors. Here we take a simulated classical microprocessor as a model organism, and use our ability to perform arbitrary experiments on it to see if popular data analysis methods from neuroscience can elucidate the way it processes information. We show that the approaches reveal interesting structure in the data but do not meaningfully describe the hierarchy of information processing in the processor. This suggests that current approaches in neuroscience may fall short of producing meaningful models of the brain.'

via Bryan O'Sullivan.
via:bos  neuroscience  microprocessors  6502  computers  hardware  wetware  brain  biology  neural-systems 
june 2016 by jm
iPhone, iPad, Mac Buyer's Guide: Know When to Buy
sync up with the Apple product cycle when you're buying new hardware
hardware  devices  apple  shopping  mac  ios  iphone  ipad  releases  schedule  gadgets 
february 2016 by jm
How a criminal ring defeated the secure chip-and-PIN credit cards | Ars Technica
Ingenious --
The stolen cards were still considered evidence, so the researchers couldn’t do a full tear-down or run any tests that would alter the data on the card, so they used X-ray scans to look at where the chip cards had been tampered with. They also analyzed the way the chips distributed electricity when in use and used read-only programs to see what information the cards sent to a Point of Sale (POS) terminal.

According to the paper, the fraudsters were able to perform a man-in-the-middle attack by programming a second hobbyist chip called a FUN card to accept any PIN entry, and soldering that chip onto the card’s original chip. This increased the thickness of the chip from 0.4mm to 0.7mm, "making insertion into a PoS somewhat uneasy but perfectly feasible,” the researchers write. [....]

The researchers explain that a typical EMV transaction involves three steps: card authentication, cardholder verification, and then transaction authorization. During a transaction using one of the altered cards, the original chip was allowed to respond with the card authentication as normal. Then, during card holder authentication, the POS system would ask for a user’s PIN, the thief would respond with any PIN, and the FUN card would step in and send the POS the code indicating that it was ok to proceed with the transaction because the PIN checked out. During the final transaction authentication phase, the FUN card would relay the transaction data between the POS and the original chip, sending the issuing bank an authorization request cryptogram which the card issuer uses to tell the POS system whether to accept the transaction or not.
security  chip-and-pin  hacking  pos  emv  transactions  credit-cards  debit-cards  hardware  chips  pin  fun-cards  smartcards 
october 2015 by jm
Nelson recommends Ubiquiti
'The key thing about Ubiquiti gear is the high quality radios and antennas. It just seems much more reliable than most consumer WiFi gear. Their airOS firmware is good too, it’s a bit complicated to set up but very capable and flexible. And in addition to normal 802.11n or 802.11ac they also have an optional proprietary TDMA protocol called airMax that’s designed for serving several long haul links from a single basestation. They’re mostly marketing to business customers but the equipment is sold retail and well documented for ordinary nerds to figure out.'
ubiquiti  wifi  wireless  802.11  via:nelson  ethernet  networking  prosumer  hardware  wan 
september 2015 by jm
Intel speeds up etcd throughput using ADR Xeon-only hardware feature
To reduce the latency impact of storing to disk, Weaver’s team looked to buffering as a means to absorb the writes and sync them to disk periodically, rather than for each entry. Tradeoffs? They knew memory buffers would help, but there would be potential difficulties with smaller clusters if they violated the stable storage requirement.

Instead, they turned to Intel’s silicon architects about features available in the Xeon line. After describing the core problem, they found out this had been solved in other areas with ADR. After some work to prove out a Linux OS supported use for this, they were confident they had a best-of-both-worlds angle. And it worked. As Weaver detailed in his CoreOS Fest discussion, the response time proved stable. ADR can grab a section of memory, persist it to disk and power it back. It can return entries back to disk and restore back to the buffer. ADR provides the ability to make small (<100MB) segments of memory “stable” enough for Raft log entries. It means it does not need battery-backed memory. It can be orchestrated using Linux or Windows OS libraries. ADR allows the capability to define target memory and determine where to recover. It can also be exposed directly into libs for runtimes like Golang. And it uses silicon features that are accessible on current Intel servers.
kubernetes  coreos  adr  performance  intel  raft  etcd  hardware  linux  persistence  disk  storage  xeon 
may 2015 by jm
BENCHMARKING THE RASPBERRY PI 2
Retro console emulation! Mario Kart and Ocarina of Time and Conker’s Bad Fur Day! Nobody actually builds stuff with the Raspberry Pi, it’s just an odd form of nostalgic consumerism wrapped up in a faddish ‘making’ trend! The original Raspberry Pi saw a lot of emulator use, but it was limited: the Pi 1 could handle the NES, SNES, Genesis/Mega Drive, and other earlier consoles with ease. Emulator performance for N64 and original Playstation games was just barely unplayable. Now, the Raspi 2 can easily handle N64 and PSX games. [HoZyVN] tried out N64’s Mario Kart and PSX’s Spyro the Dragon. They’re playable, and an entire generation rushed out to Microcenter to relive their glory days of sitting with their faces embedded in a console television drinking Sunny D all day.
raspberry-pi  emulation  n64  playstation  gaming  hardware  benchmarks 
february 2015 by jm
ODROID-C1 - Multicore credit card computer
Pretty amazing specs for a 33 quid SBC.
Amlogic ARM® Cortex®-A5(ARMv7) 1.5Ghz quad core CPUs 

* Mali™-450 MP2 GPU (OpenGL ES 2.0/1.1 enabled for Linux and Android)

* 1Gbyte DDR3 SDRAM

* Gigabit Ethernet

* 40pin GPIOs

* eMMC4.5 HS200 Flash Storage slot / UHS-1 SDR50 MicroSD Card slot

* USB 2.0 Host x 4, USB OTG x 1,

* Infrared(IR) Receiver

* Uses Ubuntu 14.04 or Android KitKat operating systems


Includes HDMI out. (via Conor O'Neill)
via:conoro  uk  sbc  hacking  linux  hardware  odroid  gadgets 
january 2015 by jm
Are you better off running your big-data batch system off your laptop?
Heh, nice trolling.
Here are two helpful guidelines (for largely disjoint populations):

If you are going to use a big data system for yourself, see if it is faster than your laptop.
If you are going to build a big data system for others, see that it is faster than my laptop. [...]

We think everyone should have to do this, because it leads to better systems and better research.
graph  coding  hadoop  spark  giraph  graph-processing  hardware  scalability  big-data  batch  algorithms  pagerank 
january 2015 by jm
Following Fire Phone Flop, Big Changes At Amazon’s Lab126 | Fast Company | Business + Innovation
as one insider told me, it feels like "Lab126 is in the doghouse" and that "Jeff is taking out his frustration with the failure of the Fire Phone" on upper management.
lab126  amazon  fire-phone  phones  hardware  tech 
january 2015 by jm
littleBits Synth Kit
Wow, this looks cool. $159
littleBits and Korg have demystified a traditional analog synthesizer, making it super easy for novices and experts alike to create music.
connects to speakers, computers and headphones.
can be used to make your own instruments.
fits into the littleBits modular system for infinite combos of audio, visual and sensory experiences
diy  hardware  music  littlebits  gadgets  make  analog  synths 
december 2014 by jm
Asus trackpad driver sets the CPU speed to maximum during scrolling
LOL, hardware people writing drivers. Good reason not to buy Asus, I guess
asus  fail  hardware  drivers  throttling  cpu  touchpad  trackpad  scrolling  laptops 
november 2014 by jm
Cloudwash – Creating the Technical Prototype
This is a lovely demo of integrating modern IoT connectivity functionality (remote app control, etc.) with a washing machine using Bergcloud's hardware and backend, and a little logic-analyzer reverse engineering.
arduino  diy  washing-machines  iot  bergcloud  hacking  reversing  logic-analyzers  hardware 
august 2014 by jm
Arduino Tutorial
Ladyada's intro to electronics and microcontrollers using Arduino. Some day I'll get around to refreshing my memory, it's been years since I fiddled with a resistor ;)
electronics  arduino  hardware  gadgets  learning  tutorial  microcontrollers  embedded-systems  ladyada 
july 2014 by jm
Keyes New Starter Kit for Arduino Fans
$53 for a reasonable-looking Arduino starter kit, from DealExtreme. cheap cheap! In the inimitable DX style:
Keyes new beginner starter kit, pay more attention to beginners learning. Users can get rid of the difficult technological learning, from module used to quick start production.
learning  arduino  hardware  hacking  robotics  toys  dealextreme  tobuy 
july 2014 by jm
Two traps in iostat: %util and svctm
Marc Brooker:
As a measure of general IO busyness %util is fairly handy, but as an indication of how much the system is doing compared to what it can do, it's terrible. Iostat's svctm has even fewer redeeming strengths. It's just extremely misleading for most modern storage systems and workloads. Both of these fields are likely to mislead more than inform on modern SSD-based storage systems, and their use should be treated with extreme care.
ioutil  iostat  svctm  ops  ssd  disks  hardware  metrics  stats  linux 
july 2014 by jm
Sandymount Repair Cafe
'A repair café brings together people with things that need fixin' with people who have the skills to fix them in a social cafe style environment. It is an effort to move away from the throwaway culture that prevailed at the end of the twentieth century and move towards a more sustainable and enlightened approach to our relationship with consumer goods. Repair cafes are self organising events at a community level run by local volunteers with the support of local community groups, local agencies and other interested organisations. They are not-for-profit but not anti-profit and an important part of their goal is to promote local repair businesses and initiatives. www.repaircafe.ie is the online hub of a network of repair cafés across Ireland.'

Sounds interesting: https://twitter.com/DubCityCouncil/status/481777655445204992 says they'll be doing it tomorrow from 2-5pm in Sandymount in Dublin.
dublin  sandymount  repair  fixing  diy  frugality  repaircafe  hardware 
june 2014 by jm
Google forced to e-forget a company worldwide
Here we go.... Canadian company wins case to censor search results for its competitors.
When Google argued that Canadian law couldn't be applied to the entire world, the court responded by citing British Columbia's Law and Equity Act, which grants broad power for a court to issue injunctions when it's "just or convenient that the order should be made."

Google also tried to argue against the injunction on the basis of it amounting to censorship. The court responded that there are already entire categories of content that get censored, such as child abuse imagery.

Will this be the first of a new wave of requests for company website take-downs?


Via stx.
canada  via:stx  censorship  google  search  takedowns  datalink  equustek  gw1000  hardware 
june 2014 by jm
SSD shadiness: Kingston and PNY caught bait-and-switching cheaper components after good reviews | ExtremeTech
Imagine buying a high-end Core i7 or AMD CPU, opening the box, and finding a midrange part sitting there with an asterisk and the label “Performs Just Like Our High End CPU In Single-Threaded SuperPi!”
ssd  storage  hardware  sketchy  kingston  pny  bait-and-switch  components  vendors  via:hn 
june 2014 by jm
Coding For Life (Battery Life, That Is)
great presentation on Android mobile battery life, and what to avoid
presentations  via:sergio  android  mobile  battery  battery-life  3g  wifi  gprs  hardware 
may 2014 by jm
Projectors on The Wirecutter
I'm going to need this pretty soon -- lots of white spots showing up with the current BenQ :(
projectors  video  home  hardware  reviews 
february 2014 by jm
Backblaze Blog » What Hard Drive Should I Buy?
Because Backblaze has a history of openness, many readers expected more details in my previous posts. They asked what drive models work best and which last the longest. Given our experience with over 25,000 drives, they asked which ones are good enough that we would buy them again. In this post, I’ll answer those questions.
backblaze  backup  hardware  hdds  storage  disks  ops  via:fanf 
january 2014 by jm
"Understanding the Robustness of SSDs under Power Fault", FAST '13 [paper]
Horrific. SSDs (including "enterprise-class storage") storing sync'd writes in volatile RAM while claiming they were synced; one device losing 72.6GB, 30% of its data, after 8 injected power faults; and all SSDs tested displayed serious errors including random bit errors, metadata corruption, serialization errors and shorn writes. Don't trust lone unreplicated, unbacked-up SSDs!
pdf  papers  ssd  storage  reliability  safety  hardware  ops  usenix  serialization  shorn-writes  bit-errors  corruption  fsync 
january 2014 by jm
On Hacking MicroSD Cards
incredible stuff from Bunnie Huang:
Today at the Chaos Computer Congress (30C3), xobs and I disclosed a finding that some SD cards contain vulnerabilities that allow arbitrary code execution — on the memory card itself. On the dark side, code execution on the memory card enables a class of MITM (man-in-the-middle) attacks, where the card seems to be behaving one way, but in fact it does something else. On the light side, it also enables the possibility for hardware enthusiasts to gain access to a very cheap and ubiquitous source of microcontrollers.
security  memory  hacking  hardware  ccc  sd-cards  memory-cards 
december 2013 by jm
Rasmus' home NAS design
I'm trying to avoid doing this in order to avoid more power consumption and unpopular hardware in the house -- but if necessary, this is a good up-to-date homebuild design
nas  hardware  home  storage  ops  disks 
november 2013 by jm
Backblaze Blog » How long do disk drives last?
According to Backblaze's data, 80% of drives last 4 years, and the median lifespan is projected to be 6 years
backblaze  storage  disk  ops  mtbf  hardware  failure  lifespan 
november 2013 by jm
14 Apple hacks from sugru
I like the impromptu docking station hack
apple  sugru  hacks  hardware  fixing  repair  diy 
october 2013 by jm
Basho and Seagate partner to deliver scale-out cloud storage breakthrough
Ha, cool. Skip the OS, write the Riak store natively to the drive. This sounds frankly terrifying ;)
The Seagate Kinetic Open Storage platform eliminates the storage server tier of traditional data center architectures by enabling applications to speak directly to the storage system, thereby reducing expenses associated with the acquisition, deployment, and support of hyperscale storage infrastructures. The platform leverages Seagate’s expertise in hardware and software storage systems integrating an open source API and Ethernet connectivity with Seagate hard drive technology.
seagate  basho  riak  storage  hardware  drivers  os  ops 
october 2013 by jm
When 'Smart Homes' Get Hacked: I Haunted A Complete Stranger's House Via The Internet - Forbes
Hardware designers do their usual trick -- omit the whole security part:
[Trustwave's Crowley] found security flaws that would allow a digital intruder to take control of a number of sensitive devices beyond the Insteon systems, from the Belkin WeMo Switch to the Satis Smart Toilet. Yes, they found that a toilet was hackable. You only have to have the Android app for the $5,000 toilet on your phone and be close enough to the toilet to communicate with it. “It connects through Bluetooth, with no username or password using the pin ‘0000’,” said Crowley. “So anyone who has the application on their phone and was connected to the network could control anyone else’s toilet. You could turn the bidet on while someone’s in there.”
home  automation  insteon  security  hardware  fail  attacks  bluetooth  han  trustwave  belkin  satis 
july 2013 by jm
A Tour Inside CloudFlare's Latest Generation Servers
great transparency from CloudFront! Looking at their current 4th-gen rackmount server buildout -- now with HP after Dell and ZT. Shitloads of SSDs for lower power and greater predictability in failure rates. 128GB RAM. consistent hashing to address stores instead of RAID. Sandybridge chipset. Solarflare SFC9020 10Gbps network cards. This is really impressive openness for a high-scale custom datacenter server platform...
datacenter  cloudflare  hardware  rackmount  ssds  intel 
july 2013 by jm
Breakthrough silicon scanning discovers backdoor in military chip [PDF]
Wow, I'd missed this:

This paper is a short summary of the first real world detection of a backdoor in a military grade FPGA. Using an innovative patented technique we were able to detect and analyse in the first documented case of its kind, a backdoor inserted into the Actel/Microsemi ProASIC3 chips for accessing FPGA configuration. The backdoor was
found amongst additional JTAG functionality and exists on the silicon itself, it was not present in any firmware loaded onto the chip. Using Pipeline Emission Analysis (PEA), our pioneered technique, we were able to extract the secret key to activate the backdoor, as well as other security keys such as the AES and the Passkey. This way an attacker can extract all the configuration data from the chip, reprogram crypto and access keys, modify low-level silicon features, access unencrypted configuration bitstream or permanently damage the device. Clearly this
means the device is wide open to intellectual property (IP) theft, fraud, re-programming as well as reverse engineering of the design which allows the introduction of a new backdoor or Trojan. Most concerning, it is
not possible to patch the backdoor in chips already deployed, meaning those using this family of chips have to accept the fact they can be easily compromised or will have to be physically replaced after a redesign of the silicon itself.
chips  hardware  backdoors  security  scanning  pea  jtag  actel  microsemi  silicon  fpga  trojans 
july 2013 by jm
'Mythbusting Modern Hardware to gain "Mechanical Sympathy"' [slides]
Martin Thompson's latest talk -- taking a few common concepts about modern hardware performance and debunking/confirming them, mythbusters-style
mythbusters  hardware  mechanical-sympathy  martin-thompson  java  performance  cpu  disks  ssd 
may 2013 by jm
The $12 Gongkai Phone
Welcome to the Galapagos of Chinese “open” source. I call it “gongkai” (公开). Gongkai is the transliteration of “open” as applied to “open source”. I feel it deserves a term of its own, as the phenomenon has grown beyond the so-called “shanzhai” (山寨) and is becoming a self-sustaining innovation ecosystem of its own.

Just as the Galapagos Islands is a unique biological ecosystem evolved in the absence of continental species, gongkai is a unique innovation ecosystem evolved with little western influence, thanks to political, language, and cultural isolation.

Of course, just as the Galapagos was seeded by hardy species that found their way to the islands, gongkai was also seeded by hardy ideas that came from the west. These ideas fell on the fertile minds of the Pearl River delta, took root, and are evolving. Significantly, gongkai isn’t a totally lawless free-for-all. It’s a network of ideas, spread peer-to-peer, with certain rules to enforce sharing and to prevent leeching. It’s very different from Western IP concepts, but I’m trying to have an open mind about it.
gongkai  bunnie-huang  china  phone  mobile  hardware  devices  open-source 
may 2013 by jm
AWS forum post on interpreting iostat output for EBS
Great post from AndrewC@EBS on interpreting iostat output on EBS volumes -- from 2009, but still looks reasonable enough
iostat  ebs  disks  hardware  aws  ops 
may 2013 by jm
Martin Thompson, Luke "Snabb Switch" Gorrie etc. review the C10M presentation from Schmoocon
on the mechanical-sympathy mailing list. Some really interesting discussion on handling insane quantities of TCP connections using low volumes of hardware:
This talk has some good points and I think the subject is really interesting.  I would take the suggested approach with serious caution.  For starters the Linux kernel is nowhere near as bad as it made out.  Last year I worked with a client and we scaled a single server to 1 million concurrent connections with async programming in Java and some sensible kernel tuning.  I've heard they have since taken this to over 5 million concurrent connections.

BTW Open Onload is an open source implementation.  Writing a network stack is a serious undertaking.  In a previous life I wrote a network probe and had to reassemble TCP streams and kept getting tripped up by edge cases.  It is a great exercise in data structures and lock-free programming.  If you need very high-end performance I'd talk to the Solarflare or Mellanox guys before writing my own.

There are some errors and omissions in this talk.  For example, his range of ephemeral ports is not quite right, and atomic operations are only 15 cycles on Sandy Bridge when hitting local cache.  A big issue for me is when he defined C10M he did not mention the TIME_WAIT issue with closing connections.  Creating and destroying 1 million connections per second is a major issue.  A protocol like HTTP is very broken in that the server closes the socket and therefore has to retain the TCB until the specified timeout occurs to ensure no older packet is delivered to a new socket connection.
mechanical-sympathy  hardware  scaling  c10m  tcp  http  scalability  snabb-switch  martin-thompson 
may 2013 by jm
First 5 Minutes Troubleshooting A Server
quite a good checklist of first steps for troubleshooting. Worth bookmarking for "dstat --top-io --top-bio" alone, which is an absolutely excellent tool and new to me
dstat  server  io  disks  hardware  performance  linux  sysadmin  ops  troubleshooting  checklists  root-cause 
march 2013 by jm
Bunnie Huang's "Hacking the Xbox" now available as a free PDF
'No Starch Press and I have decided to release this free ebook version of Hacking the Xbox in honor of Aaron Swartz. As you read this book, I hope that you’ll be reminded of how important freedom is to the hacking community and that you’ll be inclined to support the causes that Aaron believed in.

I agreed to release this book for free in part because Aaron’s treatment by MIT is not unfamiliar to me. In this book, you will find the story of when I was an MIT graduate student, extracting security keys from the original Microsoft Xbox. You’ll also read about the crushing disappointment of receiving a letter from MIT legal repudiating any association with my work, effectively leaving me on my own to face Microsoft.

The difference was that the faculty of my lab, the AI laboratory, were outraged by this treatment. They openly defied MIT legal and vowed to publish my work as an official “AI Lab Memo,” thereby granting me greater negotiating leverage with Microsoft. Microsoft, mindful of the potential backlash from the court of public opinion over suing a legitimate academic researcher, came to a civil understanding with me over the issue.'

This is a classic text on hardware reverse-engineering and the freedom to tinker -- strongly recommended.
hacking  bunnie-huang  xbox  free  hardware  drm  freedom-to-tinker  books  reading  mit  microsoft  history 
march 2013 by jm
don't order a Raspberry Pi from RS
I've been waiting 24 days for mine so far. Frankly amazing they are so apparently inept, particularly since it seems in breach of EU distance selling regulation if they go beyond 30 days without an update. They've just posted this:
Quick update- we received our delivery of raspberry pi’s last week and as of Friday we had shipped up to order reference 1010239854. We will continue daily to get your orders shipped out as quickly as we possibly can; so that you will all receive your raspberry pi’s shortly. Many thanks everyone for your patience and again apologies for the delay in the dispatch update message on the Pi Store which I know has caused some confusion.
rs  raspberry-pi  inept  etailers  uk  e-commerce  shopping  hardware 
february 2013 by jm
IPMI: Freight Train To Hell
'Intel's Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI), which is implemented and added onto by all server vendors, grant system administrators with a means to manage their hardware in an Out of Band (OOB) or Lights Out Management (LOM) fashion. However there are a series of design, utilization, and vendor issues that cause complex, pervasive, and serious security infrastructure problems.

The BMC is an embedded computer on the motherboard that implements IPMI; it enjoys an asymmetrical relationship with its host, with the BMC able to gain full control of memory and I/O, while the server is both blind and impotent against the BMC. Compromised servers have full access to the private IPMI network

The BMC uses reusable passwords that are infrequently changed, widely shared among servers, and stored in clear text in its storage. The passwords may be disclosed with an attack on the server, over the network network against the BMC, or with a physical attack against the motherboard (including after the server has been decommissioned.)

IT's reliance on IPMI to reduce costs, the near-complete lack of research, 3rd party products, or vendor documentation on IPMI and the BMC security, and the permanent nature of the BMC on the motherboard make it currently very difficult to defend, fix or remediate against these issues.'

(via Tony Finch)
via:fanf  security  ipmi  power-management  hardware  intel  passwords  bios 
february 2013 by jm
CES: Worse Products Through Software
'The companies out there that know how to make decent software have been steadily eating their way into and through markets previously dominated by the hardware guys. Apple with music players, TiVo with video recording, even Microsoft with its decade-old Xbox Live service, which continues to embarrass the far weaker offerings from Sony and Nintendo. (And, yes, iOS is embarrassing all three console makers.)'

See also Mat Honan's article at http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/12/internet-tv-sucks/ : 'Smart TVs are just too complicated. They have terrible user interfaces that differ wildly from device to device. It’s not always clear what content is even available — for example, after more than two years on the market, you still can’t watch Hulu Plus on your Google TV. [...] They give us too many options for apps most people will never use, and they do so at the expense of making it simple to find the shows and movies we want to watch, no matter where they are, be it online or on the air. As NPD puts it in the conclusion to its report, “OEMs and retailers need to focus less on new innovation in this space and more on simplification of the user experience and messaging if they want to drive additional, and new, behaviors on the TV.” Which is a more polite way of saying, clean up your horrible interface, Samsung.'

(via Craig)
via:craig  design  ui  tv  hardware  television  sony  ces  software 
january 2013 by jm
Bunnie Huang is building a once-off custom laptop design
As one commenter says, "it's like watching a Jedi construct his own light-saber.” Quad-core ARM chips, on-board FPGA (!), and lots of other amazing hacker-friendly features; sounds like a one-of-a-kind device
laptop  hardware  bunnie-huang  arm  fpga  hackers 
december 2012 by jm
Memory Barriers/Fences
Martin Thompson with a good description of the x86 memory barrier model and how it interacts with Java's JSR-133 memory model
architecture  hardware  programming  java  concurrency  volatile  jsr-133 
november 2012 by jm
AnandTech - The Intel SSD DC S3700: Intel's 3rd Generation Controller Analyzed
Interesting trend; Intel moved from a btree to an array-based data structure for their logical-block address indirection map, in order to reduce worst-case latencies (via Martin Thompson)
latency  intel  via:martin-thompson  optimization  speed  p99  data-structures  arrays  btrees  ssd  hardware 
november 2012 by jm
Raspberry Pi gets open-source video drivers
'As of right now, all of the VideoCore driver code which runs on the ARM is available under a FOSS license (3-Clause BSD to be precise). If you’re not familiar with the status of open source drivers on ARM SoCs this announcement may not seem like such a big deal, but it does actually mean that the BCM2835 used in the Raspberry Pi is the first ARM-based multimedia SoC with fully-functional, vendor-provided (as opposed to partial, reverse engineered) fully open-source drivers, and that Broadcom is the first vendor to open their mobile GPU drivers up in this way.'

This is a great result -- congrats to the Raspberry Pi team for getting this to happen.
raspberry-pi  open-source  hardware  drivers  gpu  graphics  embedded-linux  linux  broadcom  bsd  bcm2835 
october 2012 by jm
Coding Horror: Revisiting the Home Theater PC
Jeff Atwood pimps the latest HTPC SBC with onboard GPU, to support 1080p painlessly. comments are good too (via Nelson)
htpc  hardware  tv  home  1080p  from delicious
march 2011 by jm
Amazon.com: ASUS RT-N16 Wireless-N Gigabit Router: Electronics: Reviews, Prices & more
tipped as the next generation of hackable router; 128MB RAM, 533MHz CPU, supports 802.11N and 1000Base-T, and runs Tomato firmware. pity I just bought another WRT54GL a couple of months back
hackable  devices  hardware  asus  rt-n16  tomato  firmware  open  802.11n  wifi  from delicious
october 2010 by jm
Conall's Blog » DIY Multimedia Centre
good data on a reasonably-priced 1080p setup. I'm struggling through this right now, particularly on attempting to reuse an old laptop which can't play 720p output reliably, let alone 1080p. But EUR799 for a new Mac Mini seems steep
1080p  720p  hdmi  display  tv  hardware  home  from delicious
october 2010 by jm
XBMC & Broadcom Bring 1080p Decode Upgrade to ill-equipped netbooks, nettops, Apple TVs
drat, my old Dell laptop I'm using as a Boxee platform (which can't keep up with 720p) doesn't have a mini-PCIe slot either :(
video  hd  720p  1080p  mini-pcie  broadcom  hardware  boxee  xbmc  from delicious
october 2010 by jm
Bunnie Huang on the simulated 6502
'It makes my head spin to think that the CPU from the first real computer I used, the Apple II, is now simulateable at the mask level as a browser plug-in. Nothing to install, and it’s Open-licensed. How far we have come…a little more than a decade ago, completing a project like this would have resulted in a couple PhDs being awarded, or regarded as trade secret by some big EDA vendor. This is just unreal…but very cool!'
simulation  bunnie-huang  6502  cpu  chips  emulation  hardware  from delicious
september 2010 by jm
The Reverse Geocache Puzzle Box
this is fantastic -- a (physical) puzzle, which must be brought to a specific location on the planet to be opened
geocaching  cool  electronics  geolocation  gps  hardware  puzzles  arduino  from delicious
september 2010 by jm
Misco.ie
another PC component vendor in Ireland, recently came up on ILUG
shopping  components  hardware  ireland  from delicious
june 2010 by jm
build a Yagi-Uda wifi booster from styrofoam and copper wire
nifty link from Heise; works for 802.11b and 11g. Unfortunately I think my own wifi issues are to do with dying AP hardware
wifi  802.11g  802.11b  wireless  yagi  antennas  diy  hacking  hardware  from delicious
june 2010 by jm
Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1900 Hybrid TV (1179) - dabs.com
Back looking at these again, as Padraig noted the SundTek drivers are closed source; at least pvrusb2 is OSS
hauppauge  drivers  hardware  linux  tv  tuners  os  from delicious
june 2010 by jm
SundTek MythTV analog setup
'Analog TV is working again with MythTV which comes with the final Ubuntu 10.04 release' -- MythTV support is officially tested by SundTek support staff! I think we have a clear winner
sundtek  tv  usb  hardware  linux  mythtv  from delicious
june 2010 by jm
Sundtek MediaTV Pro (TV Cards) - Ubuntu Linux Hardware Compatibility List
'I can recommend that USB device, I never had a device which has such an easy installation under linux.'
sundtek  tv  usb  hardware  linux  mythtv  from delicious
june 2010 by jm
SundTek Media TV Pro Linux install docs
official, and pretty voluminous. looks good
sundtek  tv  usb  hardware  linux  mythtv  from delicious
june 2010 by jm
pvrusb2 Linux drivers for the Hauppauge product line
Jesus Christ Hauppauge. get a clue already, why are you making it so hard for Linux users to buy your bloody hardware?!
htpc  linux  pvr  mythtv  usb  hauppauge  pvrusb2  drivers  hardware  from delicious
june 2010 by jm
the world’s largest DVR
SnapStream's 100TB rack which records 50 analog TV channels simultaneously
snapstream  video  tv  storage  hardware  analog  television  from delicious
may 2010 by jm
RFID "zapper" constructed from disposable camera
also, an RFID "jammer" to block reads of RFID chips within range. related: the Israeli govt is considering voting cards with RFID chips, apparently
rfid  via:risks  security  hardware  rf  radio  jamming  israel  from delicious
april 2010 by jm
The New Data Center Rack From … IKEA?
the LACKRack -- IKEA's "LACK" side tables have exactly 19 inches of space, perfect for rackmounted hardware with a little hacking
lack  ikea  funny  furniture  hardware  datacenter  rackmount  from delicious
january 2010 by jm
Hudson Nabaztag Plugin
get a glowing rabbit to semaphore latest C-I build status
nabaztag  hudson  gadgets  silly  hardware  c-i  builds  from delicious
september 2009 by jm
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