Archive for the Rant Category

BAN GOOGLE IN AUSTRALIA!

Posted in Rant on April 19, 2019 by asteriondaedalus

What a crock of shit!

Australia has a trade embargo placed upon it by Google on AI technology for edge computing.

This despite Australia and US having trade agreements.

This despite Australia and US DOD and US defence arrangements.

We need a class action against Google for going against trade agreements. Are Google going to cut Australia off from cloud based AI engines? I suspect so, you can’t account for emargos on edge computing if you don’t restrict the capability entirely. OR, its just a grubby means to push the price up to Australia, again, even though the difference should only be in shipping costs and not in technology costs.

For that matter don’t buy Sparkfun or Seeed Studio for the duration, since they harbour Google technology.

Interestingly there is evidence of US suing other countries for access to commodities. If AI is to be ubiquitous then it needs to be a commodity. Then the slimy US corporate giant is trying to have it both ways.

The dopeyist thing about this, you can’t buy a Google Coral USB from Seeed Studio, because you are Australian, but China is on list of countries you can’t sell Google Coral to. Seeed Studio is Chinese. So, dopey thing is you can’t buy from the US Seeed Studio office, if you are on the list of embargoed countries, so why is Seeed Studio even allowed to sell any Google Coral USB? Yes, business names and franchises etc. So what is really the point of the franchise? They are NOT worth the reputational points if they cannot carry the stock over the borders. They are a farce.

Psyched!

Posted in Rant, The downside of Opensource on March 20, 2019 by asteriondaedalus

So, OpenMV M7 from ebay.  Watchout!

The price compared well with the OpenMV store, which reported out of stock on M7.

So, I bought of ebay.

The problem, it appears there is a need to register the boards with OpenMV to get access to the OpenMV IDE. 

The board from ebay is registerable BUT it costs $15 per board, in addition to the purchase price, if it doesn’t come registered via OpenMV.

I otherwise assume that the boards from OpenMV come pre-registered, since the registration make sense.  It makes sense because open hardware is a way to no make money, since you give up your IP and it then gets copied.  Adding board registration, though not really open sourcy, seems like a good way to make sure the software side stays viable. 

Sure, copy and sell the boards.  You don’t have to pay a licence BUT the user buying your board does.  So, why charge the same as a registered board from OpenMV?

Rip off?

Not really, the OpenMV M7 is USD$65, I paid AUD$61 then AUD$21 to register so that’s AUD$82 which is AUD$10 cheaper than the USD$65.

The scary part being what, if like FDTI chips, you couldn’t register clones. Now that would be saucy.

What a lemon

Posted in Rant on November 30, 2018 by asteriondaedalus

Samsung J5 Pro.

Had it a couple of months.

Had a thick Gorilla glass added.

Had a thick carbon fibre case.

Dropped a few 10s of centimeters to land flat on screen.  So actually buffeted by both rim of case and protected by G-G.

Even with the reduced jarring the LCD failed.  Phone is kaput.

In fact no visible physical damage externally.  Just a bleeding LCD internally.

I took it back to Optus store, too bad it is “physical” damage.  They recommended going to Samsung store.  I went to Samsung store and the young guy shrugged.  He, the Samsung rep, recommended that he would not recommend the J-series phones to anyone.

The phone cost $300.  I would cost most of that to repair.

It is a $300 dollar disposable phone.

Now there is talk in Australia about the need to bring in Lemon Laws for cars.

Why stop there.  Stop telcos selling lemons as phones. 

As an Engineer I have to say that I was disgusted with how little kinetic energy was required to frag the phone.

Crap!

Posted in Rant, The downside of Opensource on November 11, 2018 by asteriondaedalus

So, found I couldn’t run tensorflow on my laptop as the older i5 I am running is missing an instruction extension to support vectorisations.

I thought then to try to get cuda toolkit up so I could use pyCuda or Cuda accelerated pyTorch.

I got the nvidia driver installed for the GeForce GT 420M my laptop was running. Tricky since I am running Debian 9 Stretch and nvidia is anti-Debian.

Tried unsuccessfully to get pyCuda to talk to cuda toolkit.

There is no official support for the kit on Debian so I had to rely upon vain attempts by others.

I eventually found a good blurb on the problem, but my machine started blurting out app crash reports from the desktop. They kept coming through as often as I closed them. I decided to reboot.

DOH!

Laptop came up without desktop running.

A little poking round and I worked out that sddm was not running and would not run. So, no sddm, no x-windows, no desktop. Kulprit appeared to be the nvidia supplied driver for the 420M.

I tried uninstalling the nvidia driver but the driver uninstall defaults to not recovering your x-windows setup. Unfortunately, I must have twitched on the enter key so nvidia uninstall wiped itself clean, except for the x-windows config.

I poked around and found one config file that needed to have nvidia changed to nouveau BUT there was no information on the extent of mods to files required to manually backout of the nvidia driver callouts in the x-windows.

I was stuck with no desktop.

I also found I was now also sans wifi and likely few other things so I elected to rebuild the laptop (again). That is the standard approach to dealing with linux is it not. If only that was not such a drag.

SHOW ME THE MONEY!

Posted in Rant on October 13, 2018 by asteriondaedalus

So, if it turns out that 60,000 Microsoft patents have gone opensource (whatever that means), I am expecting my Samsung phones, and anything else that incurred a licence cost, to cost less et cetera et cetera.

Cynically, that sort of boon does not get to the back to the users.  The vendors will absorb it as profit.

The question no-one is asking is how many other relevant patents does Microsoft still have?

What, indeed, have they kept up their sleeves?

True they have given up billions in licence fees but they have as likely milked those licences dry.

How many patents covered technology that is still seen to be integral to where software is going?

How many patents were really due for lapsing?

Do I still need pay a licence for XORing pixels for when my cursor passes across my screen?

 

Turing is dead, long live Turing!

Posted in Rant on June 17, 2017 by asteriondaedalus

God!  It had to happen.  Life becomes Science (as opposed to Art).

An Israeli mob is working with AI to provide a coding assistant that does more than complete function names – it is to scan Stack Overflow for code snippet suggestions!

I wonder if they are going to have it write sardonic blog entries as it discovers, over and over again, that the code examples at Stack Overflow do not work for the most part.  Or at least they are so narrow a “solution” they cannot be generalised.

What, by the way, does the AI do in my situation where perfectly good init.d script runs in console, does not run in service startup, and there is no solution provided (currently) on the Internet?

Sort of also reminds me of the AI goons who, at a party (and in a very Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy kind of way), connected two AI conversation agents together.  The AI agents had been “trained” by hooking them into social websites (twitter, facebook et cetera) – to “train” them on human conversational style.  Within 5 minutes there was a tirade of abuse going both ways.  The AI scientists had “trained” Trolls.

Now, here comes the deep and philosophical.

The trend to “free” software has incurred a huge technical debt through the utter lack of software quality attributes.  I am, for example with the problems setting up my OPiZ for node-red and emqttd, suffering at the hands of lack of portability, usability and a smidgen of functionality.

What I am going through is old skool Through Life Blues.

The cost of Through Life aspects of software systems is about 80% of the full life cycle cost.  That is we spend 20% on development then a shit load more on keeping it going.

Much of that cost comes from un-codified knowledge.

So, the propensity to write code, comments are a “code smell”, produce no documentation, all of that increases the cost of Through Life Support.  Though the cost is in time an efficiency for me, it must be burning someone’s bottom line in the commercial sectors.

So, since there is no code comments, design documents or useful manuals the question begged is should there be?  The AI push for recovery of codified knowledge says yes since we are not denying its necessity.   However, we still feel the generation of the technical debt incurred by developers, but repaid by everyone downstream, is acceptable – somehow.

The problem is, of course, a quality attribute Adoptability (not in the ISO standard).  Adoptability is not to be confused with Attractiveness.  Adoptability might the decision point, based on the aggregation of all the facets of the software quality.

So, where is the benefit of AI trawling the coffers of sloppy code?

Where is the cost trade off against the waste going on versus the relatively small number of successes in the scheme of things?

Soooooooooooo…

Posted in Linux, Orange Pi, Rant, The Downside of software development on June 15, 2017 by asteriondaedalus

…weird!

So, story up to this point was again I added the expansion board to my OPiZ.  That fragged the board somehow so that it had the weird side effect of not booting orangepi.org version of Debian server but happily still booted armbian.ord distro of Debian server.

Weird because orange.pi Debian server is derived (I think) from armbian.org’s distro (at some point).

Weird because orangepi.org distro booted happily before fragging by inserting expansion board.  Weird because even if you took the expansion board out orange.pi distro would not boot from OPiZ any more.

Weider again was that once the expansion board fragged the baseboard, the armbian.org distro could not be set with a static IP via nmtui on the OPiZ.  That was because, after fragging, nmtui would hang the armbian.org distro whenever you tried going to the connections page.

Weird because you could happily set the hostname using nmtui??!!

So, go figure.  I thought to try nmcli.

From examples on internet it should have gone something like (for my setup at least):

root@house:~# nmcli con edit 'Wired connection 1'
nmcli> set ipv4.method manual
nmcli> set ipv4.addresses 192.169.0.100/24
nmcli> set ipv4.gateway 192.168.0.1
nmcli> set ipv4.dns 61.9.226.33 61.9.226.1 8.8.8.8 8.8.8.4
nmcli> save
nmcli> quit
root@house:~#

However, quirk of Armbian is that there is no ipv4.gateway property.  Without it I had set up a static IP but could not get out to internet (no gateway).

I came across a probable back door route with the following;

root@house:~# nano /etc/network/if-up.d/gwconfig
#!/bin/sh

if [ "$IFACE" = "eth0" ]; then
 route add default gw 192.168.0.1
fi
root@house:~# chmod a+x /etc/network/if-up.d/gwconfig

You can then just reboot and then every time you boot “route add default” sets your gateway.

Except in Armbian, of course, that route command does not work with those parameters!

DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooohhhh!

However, while the help file never said “gateway” there was some discussion in the help for nmcli on “addresses”, and in other places, that talked about “hops”.

So, AH HA moment (reaching back to that neuron containing networking 101).

So it turned out the fix was not obvious but is:

root@house:~# nmcli con edit 'Wired connection 1'
nmcli> set ipv4.method manual
nmcli> set ipv4.addresses 192.168.0.100/24 192.168.0.1
nmcli> set ipv4.dns 61.9.226.33 61.9.226.1 8.8.8.8 8.8.8.4
nmcli> save
nmcli> quit
root@house:~#

Notice the gateway is set in address now after the static IP for the OPiZ.

To check this you can use with “route -n”, you should see something like:

route-n

The garbage preceding it is the node-red shutdown down – sweet.

So, now I have static IP setup on my OPiZ – not the happiest route … ha ha … get it?

Now all I have to do is sort the stupid node-red and emqttd problem where, despite quite straight forward steps, neither will start for me as services.  That is the next step as discussed I want the OPiZ to start up with things a blazing.  Although, there might be a backdoor route through startup scripts.