Some Tesla EV’s Control Screens Went Dark as Excessive Logging killed the eMMC Flash

Tesla eMMC Flash

Despite wear-leveling techniques, eMMC flash memories tend to wear out over time as they have limited write cycles. So we’ve seen in the past the importance of wear estimation in eMMC flash chips, and methods to limit write operation such as disabling logging when possible or write the log to RAM with log2ram in order to extend the life of flash-based storage devices. My Xiaomi A1 smartphone basically became unusable after a little over a year due to eMMC flash issues, but that was not that big of an issue since I could just get another phone and the most important data is saved in the cloud nowadays. That’s one thing when it happens to a phone, and another when it happens to your car, as some Tesla S & X owners realized when they lost access to the control screen in the car because the eMMC flash was worn out. You’d think this should not stop people from driving, …

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PIS2 DIY Handheld PS2 Game Console Uses Raspberry Pi 2 SBC as SMB Server

It’s a Handheld PS2 Game Console The PIS2 is a handheld PS2 game console that has the chopped-up insides of PS2 game system stuffed into a small console, along with a display, controllers and a Raspberry Pi 2 to access the games from the Ethernet to load directly to the hardware.  Sony has officially discontinued all handheld PSs as of March 2019, so these DIY consoles are popping up regularly. This one is quite an accomplishment. It Took a Long Time The creator of the PIS2, a hacker named Darkwing, started work on the unit in 2013. He stopped for some time, then started documenting his work on the system in 2017.  The ambitious first design specs looked like this PS2 scph-79002 5.6″ Dalian Good Display and VGA chip Genius MaxFire Blaze 2 controller 11.1V 6200mAh made of 6 ncr18650a cells Texas instrument ptn78020 switching regulator IBM Lenovo 05K5494 Laptop Fans + heatsink Optical drive with extension for audio a …

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GameShell Kit Review – Part 2: An Hackable Retro Gaming Console

Gameshell Review

ClockworkPi GameShell is an hackable retro gaming console combining Arm Linux and Arduino boards that happens to come in kit form, and that’s lot of fun to assemble as we’ve seen in the first part of the review of ClockworkPi GameShell. Since then I’ve had time to have more fun, play some games, and experiment with the device, so I’ll report my experience and point out the good parts, as well as some of the shortcomings I came across. We can press the power button to start it up, and after a few seconds we get to the main menu with several icons including… the self-describing Settings, Retro Games with MAME, MGBA, NESTOPIA, and PCxs emulators that require your own ROMs/BIOS, as well as Indie Games with ready to play games like OpenTyrian spaceship shooting game, or NyanCat. Moving on to the right of the menu we’ve got the famous RetroArch emulator that allows you to easily download cores, Cave …

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FOSDEM 2019 Open Source Developers Meeting Schedule

FOSDEM 2019

FOSDEM – which stands for Free and Open Source Software Developers’ European Meeting – is a free-to-participate event where developers meet on the first week-end of February to discuss open source software & hardware projects. FOSDEM 2019 will take place on February 2 & 3, and the schedule has already been published with 671 speakers scheduled to speak in 711 events themselves sorted in 62 tracks. Like every year, I’ll create a virtual schedule based on some of the sessions most relevant to this blog in tracks such as  open hardware, open media, RISC-V, and hardware enablement tracks. February 2 10:30 – 10:55 – VkRunner: a Vulkan shader test tool by Neil Roberts A presentation of VkRunner which is a tool to help test the compiler in your Vulkan driver using simple high-level scripts. Perhaps the largest part of developing a modern graphics driver revolves around getting the compiler to generate the correct code. In order to achieve this, extensive …

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Amazon Echo Look Camera Goes for $50 with Intel Atom x5, RealSense Camera SR300

Echo Look

Amazon Echo Look is a smart camera with Alexa Assistant that was launched about 2 years ago for $200, and designed to help you decide if your outfit is a good match, beside taking photo and video selfies with voice commands. Sales may not have matched Amazon expectations (unsurprisingly), and the product is now offered for just $49.99. What may be interesting for CNX Software readers is that Echo Look appears to be a consumer version of AWS DeepLens deep learning video camera for developers ($249), plus some cost savings as well, so there may be some hacking potential here. A teardown video – embedded below – reveals some interesting specifications: SoC – Intel Atom x5-Z8350 quad core Cherry Trail processor @ up to 1.44 GHz System Memory – 1 GB LPDDR3 Storage – 8GB eMMC flash, 16 Mbit SPI flash Camera – Intel RealSense SR300 depth sensing camera + Amazon’s own camera module Audio – Microphone array Connectivity – …

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Sony PlayStation Classic Teardown Reveals MediaTek MT8167A Processor

Sony PlayStation Classic Main Board

Miniature versions of popular game consoles from earlier decades have been all the rage recently, but they all have one thing in common: the inability to add games by default. But eventually, people find ways. For example, when it was found Nintendo NES Classic Mini was found to be powered by an Allwinner R16 processor, enthusiasts found ways to run RetroArch on the device with some efforts. One of the latest announcement was Sony PlayStation Classic, and as reviewers got hold of early sample of the miniature gaming console, it  got torn down by HDBlog Italia. That means we now have a good idea of the technical specifications of the console: SoC – MediaTek MT8167A quad core Arm Cortex-A35 processor @ 1.5 GHz with PowerVR GE8300 GPU System Memory – 1GB DDR3-1866 (Samsung K4B4G1646E-BYMA) Storage – 16GB eMMC 5.1 flash (Samsung KLMAG1JETD-B041) Video Output – HDMI port up to 720p resolution Audio – MediaTek MT6392A audio codec USB – 2x …

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USB Charging Actually Poses Security Risks – Hacking a Laptop via a USB-C Adapter

Hacked USB type-C Charger

Smartphones have been charged over USB for many years, but with the advance of USB type-C now even laptops may be charged over USB, instead of the typical DC power barrel jack. Why am I writing about that? That’s because charging over a DC jack is normally safe, but after reading an article on BBC website, I’ve just realized when you charge over USB you also give access to the data connection, and security researcher (MG) has found a way to hack the USB-C charger of an Apple laptop and show a login prompt to steal credentials (username / password). The full details of the hack are no public, but it does require altering the hardware of the charger. So as long as you use the charger sold with your laptop, you should be safe. However, there’s always a risk if you charge from public places, or buy  a charger from a third party. It’s a limited risk, but still …

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YouTube Streams 1 & 2 Update, Plus Quick Fix for Uneven X Gantry

3D-Printer-X-Gantry-Fix

Hey Karl here with an update on the YouTube Live streams from last week. Live Streams Update The 1st stream went about as well as I expected….Not very well. I was really nervous and I broke the live link that was posted on here at the last minute. My whole reasoning for the Livestream was to show the processes in real time and not do too much footwork ahead of time. On the first one I was planning on migrating from Marlin 1.1.6 to Marlin 1.1.8 but I had already done lol… So I ended up migrating to the bugfix branch which presented additional challenges. Overall it was successful and I hope I conveyed the process. I was able to get it to print but I ended up going back to 1.1.8 due to some error in the bugfix branch that caused weird jittery movement. I will in the future prepare more. 😀 Second was better but not without glitches. …

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