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Messages - Renegade [ switch to compact view ]

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Don't even try to work with PDFs if you can avoid it. You will have nothing but pain. PDF is a one-way thing.

Living Room / Re: Words fail me - you'll have to read this yourself
« on: December 28, 2015, 07:46 PM »
Yeah. I think the term for that is "speechless with rage."  ;) ;D

Hehehe! Yeah, that too. :D

Open source watch? Yep.

Just an example of a nifty project that I tripped across since posting above.

A news reporter able to speak the truth? Shock horror.
Rather clever Jonathan Pie satire.
Reporter gets angry and tells us the REAL news - YouTube

That was really good!  :Thmbsup:

Living Room / Re: Words fail me - you'll have to read this yourself
« on: December 28, 2015, 05:05 PM »
If you take the argument that "stories are just text" to the next level... then text is nothing but words...and words are nothing but letters...and letters nothing but geometric shapes and lines...and as such, have no meaning, or value.

On a certain level, everything becomes meaningless - if you allow yourself to fall for that deconstructionist nonsense. It might make you sound clever in certain faux-intellectual academic circles. But it leaves you with nothing if you embrace it without realizing the intellectual and spiritual cop-out it is.

Funny you mention deconstructionism. I was setting trigger levels on my oscilloscope and that exact parallel came to mind; it's basically the same sort of argument - at some point a signal becomes meaningful.

But really... deconstruction is fun in no small part because it creates cognitive dissonance in people where they simply no longer know what to think or say.

10. A man with hair on his head - 1 hair = a main with hair on his head.
20. Goto 10
30. Catch error(return("MWAHAHAHA!"))

Same deal there from the Megarian school in ancient Greece.

The logic when abstracted out is extremely common. You can see it used just about every day in serious discussions. Pointing it out doesn't help either.

If you're looking to do audio, you'll want something beefy like a Raspberry Pi or BeagleBone. I've not actually checked this, but do see if Bass ( works on one of those distros as it will make your life infinitely easier.

An Arduino or comparable board isn't suitable for audio unless you have very minimal requirements, e.g. play a bell/buzzer or cheesy "tink tink" sounds. I've had my Arduino playing different songs, like the Empire's theme from Star Wars, but it's "tink tink" and every single note has to be programmed. Fun? Sure. Productive? Not so much.

But there are other boards out there that are much beefier than a Pi. They're also more expensive though.

What I'd recommend is having a browse around to see if there are any similar projects for what you want, or anything of comparable magnitude, e.g. CPU requirements, memory, speed, power consumption, etc. That will let you see what others have already done. If they have Youtube videos, all the better as you can then see the performance as well.

Living Room / Re: Peer Review and the Scientific Process
« on: December 26, 2015, 08:26 AM »
Tangentially related and funny:

Living Room / Re: Merry Christmas 2015 (Feliz Navidad 2015)
« on: December 26, 2015, 06:37 AM »
There is nothing like a White Christmas (tm)

Have a fun holiday season everyone.  :)

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For some reason I don't think "White Christmas" was referring to tropical, white yachting. :P

Living Room / Re: John McAfee 2016?!? Yep. :)
« on: December 26, 2015, 06:35 AM »
Yep. Here he comes!


McAfee will run as Libertarian Party candidate for president

More at the link. via

Oh how I hope he gets some press. It will be simply hilarious!

I can just imagine John debating Trump, full of cursing and telling Trump how he doesn't do enough drugs. ;D

Popcorn at the ready! ;D

Star Wars trigger warning with special guest appearance at the end. :)

Living Room / Re: Interesting "stuff"
« on: December 25, 2015, 12:42 AM »
Interesting or silly? Not sure where to post this, but this vlogger uses what you might call a sword to open his mail. :)

Mostly of interest to geeks & nerds.

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Don't click here.

I wish you and your family all the best now and in the New Year!

Edward Snowden:

Imagine if the government went after corruption as hard as it goes after guys who run filesharing sites. Priorities.

Links to Kim Dotcom article.

Living Room / Re: Words fail me - you'll have to read this yourself
« on: December 23, 2015, 11:56 PM »
Oh god... It's even funnier!

You just have to click. Be prepared to piss yourself laughing!  :Thmbsup:  ;D

Living Room / Re: Words fail me - you'll have to read this yourself
« on: December 23, 2015, 11:43 PM »
150,000 people being able to own a tiny bit of a Picasso is just kind of awesome. :D :P  :Thmbsup:

Living Room / Re: Gadget WEEKENDS
« on: December 23, 2015, 11:38 PM »
Easy Butter?

FFS... Honestly, there's just no end to the bottomless fountain of innovation in Japan. I don't know what it is, but gadgets galore.

My favourite guitar pick I bought in Japan. Not sure where it is at the moment though...

This link is dedicated to all our American friends here at DC!  :-*

Well, it's out in theatres now.

Here's an audition for Han Solo by Kurt Russell for the original 1977 film.

He would have been an awesome Han Solo.

Living Room / Re: Does anyone here use Bitcoins?
« on: December 22, 2015, 12:44 PM »
Some Bitcoin jokes:


What’s the difference between an average bitcoin miner and an average plumber?

An average plumber can at least solve a block.


What’s the difference between Bitcoin and NASA?

Bitcoin’s actually going to the moon.


Why won’t the government embrace bitcoin?

They hate the idea of a ‘Proof Of Work’.

How many miners does it take to change a lightbulb?

A million - One to do it and 999,999 to verify that he did.


Knock Knock.

Who’s there?


Satoshi who?



What’s the difference between Mt Gox and marriage?

There’s still hope of recovering some of your coins after Gox


Why won’t the Icelandic government embrace bitcoin?

They don’t trust anything they can’t freeze.


What’s the difference between bitcoin and marriage?

You only lose the house, kids and *half* your wealth when your marriage turns to shit.


I paid a hooker with bitcoins once and asked if I’d ever see her again.

She said sure, next week you’ll find me just a few blocks away.


Why are the Chinese dumping their Bitcoins this week?

Because they were Wong about Wright.


In Bitcoin news the real Satoshi Namakoto was found and arrested this week.

He was charged with indecent exposure for revealing himself to a minor in the pool.

There were concerns that photo evidence in his trial would be deemed too “cryptographic” for public release.

Satoshi’s miraculous escape from his cell moments later was witnessed by at least 200 of his peers…

but is still yet to be confirmed.


What is an Irish cryptocurrency investor most worried about?

“Forking Bitcoin!”


Why is Santa still struggling to get his shit together this year?

His lists are still capped at 1mb!!!

More at the link with some really good ones. Here's just one:

A boy asked his bitcoin-investing father for $10.
Father: $9.82? What do you need $10.08 for?

Here's the same basic issue reflected in electronics:


Consumer groups, repair shops want open book on electronics 

BOSTON -- Makers of electronic devices, from smart phones to coffeemakers, are keeping repair plans secret and limiting access to parts, a veil that forces many small repair shops out of business, consumer advocates say.

Electronics repair business and consumer groups now want lawmakers to intervene, forcing manufacturers such as Hewlett-Packard, Samsung and Apple to openly sell parts and provide diagnostic manuals to independent repair shops.

Limiting access to plans and parts gives manufacturers reign over the secondary repair market, said Gay Gordon-Byrne, executive director of the Digital Right to Repair Coalition, based in New Jersey.

"Repair is a big profit for a lot of companies, and sometimes it's more profitable than selling hardware," he said.

Manufacturers are pushing back against the right-to-repair proposal, arguing that controlling repairs keeps their products working safely. In addition, they note, copyright law lets them protect their intellectual property against unscrupulous operators who might pirate it.

"This is the kind of thing that stifles innovation in the tech sector," said Matt Mincieli, Northeast region executive director for TechNet, which advocates for technology companies. "When you take away the ability of a high-technology company to control their products, you open up trade secrets and intellectual properties to potential infringement."

Mincieli said requiring device-makers to hand over sensitive diagnostic information would hurt Massachusetts' competitiveness at a time when it's compared to Silicon Valley as a hub for high-tech research and development.

"This is being driven by mostly people who want to get into the secondary repair market but don't want to pay the money to become a certified dealer - not consumers who are clamoring to get their devices fixed," he said.

To get certified to work on Apple computers, for example, technicians need to take college-level training courses online, pass several exams and pay a licensing fee of about $150, according to the company's website.

So, Hillary Clinton wants a "Manhattan" project to break encryption?

Hillary Clinton wants “Manhattan-like project” to break encryption
US should be able to bypass encryption—but only for terrorists, candidate says.

Just a snippet:

"I would hope that, given the extraordinary capacities that the tech community has and the legitimate needs and questions from law enforcement, that there could be a Manhattan-like project, something that would bring the government and the tech communities together to see they're not adversaries, they've got to be partners," Clinton continued. "It doesn't do anybody any good if terrorists can move toward encrypted communication that no law enforcement agency can break into before or after. There must be some way. I don't know enough about the technology, Martha, to be able to say what it is, but I have a lot of confidence in our tech experts."

More at the link.

I'm not sure what part of that is the most disturbing.

That she is so fundamentally misinformed that she thinks strong encryption can be broken?

That she has so little value for privacy?

That she's willing to piss away billions chasing rainbow dragons?

Even if quantum computing can break current strong encryption, the research has already been done that shows that quantum encryption is unbreakable by quantum decryption.

There's just so much wrong.

Living Room / Re: Movies you've seen lately
« on: December 21, 2015, 04:34 PM »
And thus an ode to electricity

"In charge" and "shock" ???  I have to cast my volt against that.  :)

Meh. To each their own. Some people get really amped up about it.

But we all know resistance is futile.  :)

But capacitance has potential!

I just hope the discussion doesn't get too polarized.  Mouser will ban us to the basement.

An ode will then be required.
ode?  or oh'd  :-\?

I'm rather shocked that you'd have to ask! :P

Developer's Corner / Re: Why Does Programming Suck?
« on: December 20, 2015, 03:26 PM »
Two of the best things that ever happened to programming are code completion, and the nifty code context help that Microsoft abandoned after Visual Studio 2005. In VS2005 you could simply sit down knowing nearly nothing, start typing, and be productive with a little effort and no external resources needed.

Living Room / Re: Programming/Coder humor
« on: December 20, 2015, 03:24 PM »

Living Room / Re: Gadget WEEKENDS
« on: December 20, 2015, 12:46 AM »
Haven't posted in a while, so here's a bit of catch up for the electronics side of some of what I do...

I picked up 2 Fluke 8050As for $10 each. They're about 36 years old (or the model is), but they work. I only have 1 set up. The second is a spare as they are over 30 years old.


And my $9 soldering iron was worth, um... I had to get a new one. I couldn't find a used one, so I ended up getting a Weller WLC100.

It's the bottom end, but it's a hell of a lot better than what I was using. So far I'm very happy with it.


And I kept running into situations where I needed to know more than my Fluke was telling me. I searched and searched and searched and could not find a used oscilloscope anywhere for a decent price. Ordering from the US was out of the question as I'm not paying $200 shipping for a cheap, old, used scope.

After searching for about 3 months and turning up nothing, I finally broke down and got a low-end oscilloscope the other day.


The reviews for it are all very good, and I'm sure I'll be happy with it if better people than me are.

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