Hackaday Links: January 7, 2018

Whelp, Spectre and Meltdown are the tech news du jour right now, and everyone is wondering: what is the effect of this problem on real hardware in real server rooms? Epic Games patched their machines and found something shocking. The CPU utilization for one of their online services increased about 100%. We don’t know what this server is doing, or what this process is, but the Spectre and Meltdown patches will increase CPU load depending on the actual code running. This is bad for Epic — they now have to buy an entirely new server farm. This is doubly bad for Intel, and there is speculation of a class action suit floating around the darker corners of the Interwebs.

It is with a heavy heart that I must report the passing of John Young, the only person to have commanded four different classes of spacecraft (five if you include the lunar rover), including the first launch of the Space Shuttle. He was, simply, the most badass astronaut to ever live. Need proof of that? His heart rate during the launch of a Saturn V was seventy.

By the time this post is published, you’ll have less than twenty-four hours to submit your project to the Coin Cell Challenge. Get to it!

A short reminder that Shmoocon is a mere two weeks away. What is Shmoocon? A totally chill cyber/sec/hacker con at the Washington D.C. Hilton (yes, where Reagan was shot). We’ll be there, and we’re looking for some like-minded Hackaday peeps to chill out with. Want a meetup? Reply in the comments.

A few years ago, the ESP8266 appeared out of the blue in a few Chinese reseller’s web shops, and everything has been gravy since. Now there’s a new magic do-everything chip appearing on AliExpress and Taobao. It’s the RDA5981, a chip with an ARM Cortex M4 core, 32Mbit of Flash, 192k or user RAM, b/g/n WiFi, I2S, and enough peripherals to be useful. Given the support for a MIC, line in, MP3, WAV, WMA and AAC, it appears this is an all-in-one chip designed for Bluetooth speakers or some other audio application. You can find modules on Alibaba and a few breakout boards on Taobao.

According to my sources (the press releases that somehow slipped through the ‘CES’ filter on my email), the world’s fastest, smallest, biggest, least expensive, and newest drone is set to be unveiled at CES in Vegas this week.

23 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: January 7, 2018

    1. A bigger question is are there any tools for it?
      RDA is well known for having zero public datasheets.
      Only datasheets you find are leaked one’s with “Confidential” all over them, not that anyone cares about that.
      Second thing is that finding software and code to run the peripherals is likely hard.
      And even if you find some cod for it, what license is it under?
      Can you re-use it in your own design and release it under BSD, MIT or gplv2?

      Just look at the lengths folks had to go with Fernvale that used Mediatek MT6260.

      1. It just exactly the same with ESP8266 in early days. No proper datasheets, no app notes, I don’t even know how to build the sample code. I gave up and back to it after several weeks, only to find some rubbish chinese datasheets. The community work very hard to contact espressif.

        I think this is the downside of chinese chips, they’re cheap but have zero docs.

  1. ” This is bad for Epic — they now have to buy an entirely new server farm. ”

    And sell the old one off to some third-world country, kind of like old telecom equipment. Their new one can be a bunch of Raspberry Pis wired together into a cluster.

  2. I met one of the hackaday editors at shmoocon last year and look forward to seeing you this year :D If you want to meet up, provide a time and location for a meet and greet. I’ll probably be doing shmooganography and some CTFs this year. If you have a 3d printer maybe we can try to replicate a shmoocon lanyard badge.

  3. What is the main basis for choosing the packaging of resistors and capacitors when designing high-speed multi-layer PCB?

    0402 is the common use of mobile phones;

    0603 is the common high speed signal module commonly used;
    http://www.pcbindex.com
    It is based on the smaller package,the smaller parasitic parameters.

    The different manufacturers of the same package have a great difference in the high frequency performance. It is recommended that you use high-frequency components in the key position.

  4. There being a boom in the overall PCB industry in China

    The hot August has witnessed an extraordinary boom in the PCB market of China.
    With half a year gone, there is appearing a wave in the PCB industry to show their own performance report. According to The Sixteenth Ranking List of the PCB industry released by CPCA which can be called a list of weight, among which 137 PCB enterprises, 12 copper-clad enterprises, 15 material for special use enterprises, 9 special chemicals enterprises, 9 facility and instrument enterprises for PCB special use and 4 environmental protection and cleaning enterprises were enlisted with an honor of enterprise with over RMB 1000 million. As You Li, the president of CPCA, said, the year 2016 was a year full of challenges as well as pains for the manufacturing industry in China. Faced with the complex and varied economic conditions, people in the PCB industry fought their way and made great achievements. The total business revenue of the PCB industry in the list amounts to RMB 164.216 billion, an increase of 2.76% compared with that of 2015, among which domestic-funded enterprises maintain a high increase rate of double digits. Of all enterprises on the list, 94 enterprises maintain a positive growth rate and 67 enterprises are domestic-funded ones, and many star-level quality PCB enterprises are at the top of the list.
    Nevertheless, achievement is only a matter of the past and many domestic enterprises are actively adjusting transformation and improving themselves. It is firmly believed that the overall industry will turn over a new leaf in a couple of years. It’s no exaggerating to say that this July is destined to be a month of “burning hot”.
    A wave of cooperation is blowing in China in terms of both domestic cooperation and cooperation with overseas enterprises. There is no doubt that these newly built factories are not a matter of copying the old ones but is an upgrading and improvement of technology and equipment. Faced with new challenges, enterprises need new ways to cope with them. They are trying to get rid of the traditional path of “investment – expanding production – growth – investment” and break through the old thinking patterns to rebuild the business pattern and pursue a road of growth with innovation and great inner strength.
    As the old saying goes, one will rise abruptly based on its accumulated strength. In 2016, the PCB industry in China has made the best achievement among the overall global PCB industry with not only the largest scale but also good economic efficiency, and the overall industry chain is making fundamental changes. As long as grasping the opportunity of industrial upgrading well, in the future, China’s PCB industry is certain to enjoy a stable and rapid development and actively expand the market under the driving force of the overall industry. http://www.pcbindex.com

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