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posted by janrinok on Tuesday January 13 2015, @06:45PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the save-the-brown-ones-for-me dept.

And now a story for those who, like myself, enjoy using Raspberry Pis and Arduinos although the origin of the task has a more practical purpose:

Canoe Tech reports that M&M sorting machines are a popular project for people who like combining electronics, programming and machine building. Most of them send a single M&M down a chute to a simple color sensor where the color sensor will then take a second or two to figure out the color. A servo motor will then rotate a chute that will direct the M&M into the correct pot. But a new project created by the nameless blogger behind the reviewmylife blog, that uses an iPhone 5s as its brain is capable of sensing different colors and so can "sort" the M&Ms as they fall past. The iPhone communicates the information via Bluetooth to an Arduino board, which in turn fires off the correct electro magnet controlled gate. One practical application of the sorter could be creating a bowl of M&Ms - with all the brown ones removed. According to Dan and Chip Heath, that's just what rock band Van Halen demand in one of the riders to their standard contract. The band’s “M&M clause” was written into its contract to serve a very specific purpose. It was called Article 126, and it read as follows: “There will be no brown M&M’s in the backstage area, upon pain of forfeiture of the show, with full compensation.” The article was buried in the middle of countless technical specifications. When David Lee Roth would arrive at a new venue, he’d immediately walk backstage and glance at the M&M bowl. If he saw a brown M&M, he’d demand a line check of the entire production. “Guaranteed you’re going to arrive at a technical error,” said Roth. “They didn’t read the contract. Sometimes it would threaten to just destroy the whole show.”

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  • (Score: 2) by opinionated_science on Tuesday January 13 2015, @07:22PM

    by opinionated_science (4031) on Tuesday January 13 2015, @07:22PM (#134495)

    did DLR invent the EULA?

    • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Tuesday January 13 2015, @07:31PM

      by Thexalon (636) on Tuesday January 13 2015, @07:31PM (#134498)

      Well, yes, but it wasn't what you think of now, just an Eddie Underwear Laundering Agreement.

      --
      The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
      • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Tuesday January 13 2015, @07:53PM

        by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Tuesday January 13 2015, @07:53PM (#134508) Homepage

        Even Van Halen were aware of the dangers posed by the Brown Menace* back then. If the Brown Menace was present in the candy-dish, the stage was most likely unsafe and did not satisfy the weight or power requirements and/or other corners were cut resulting in an unsafe environment for the band and stage crew, maybe even the audience.

        Do not let the Brown Menace into your candy-dish -- your life may depend on it!

        * which is kinda ironic because Eddie's guitar tone was commonly referred to as the "brown sound"

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 14 2015, @03:04AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 14 2015, @03:04AM (#134623)

          The first thing I thought when I read such a thing is maybe the band had a mascot rabbit, and had a previous experience of ingesting a rabbit excreta they thought was candy.

    • (Score: 2) by ikanreed on Tuesday January 13 2015, @07:48PM

      by ikanreed (3164) on Tuesday January 13 2015, @07:48PM (#134506) Journal

      Bullshit in contracts has always existed.

      The difference the EULA brought was there are so many that you could never reasonably read them all [boingboing.net]

      • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Tuesday January 13 2015, @09:51PM

        by Thexalon (636) on Tuesday January 13 2015, @09:51PM (#134548)

        In this case, the issue was that Van Halen had detailed technical requirements to make sure that their equipment wouldn't damage the venue, the musicians, or the audience. And they expected the venue to follow those technical requirements to the letter, because failing to do so had caused serious problems in the past (stages collapsing under the weight of the amp stacks, things catching on fire that weren't supposed to, etc). The brown M&Ms would be best described as a canary, an indication of whether DLR was likely to end up under a pile of subwoofers. Also known as part of the "verify" step of "trust but verify".

        --
        The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 14 2015, @02:59AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 14 2015, @02:59AM (#134621)

        There seems to be a simple solution to this one...

        Law already exists claiming children are too ignorant of legal meanderings to be subject to contracts.

        Extend that law so that people not trained in legalese are not bound by contracts exceeding 100 words in length.

        If legal assistance is needed, cost goes to seller.

        An example contract would then read "You agree to pay for thing in 12 months. If you do not pay, we will ding your credit score."

        If you could not pay immediately and your credit score was no good to begin with, they have no business giving you the thing.

  • (Score: 2, Funny) by j-stroy on Tuesday January 13 2015, @07:33PM

    by j-stroy (761) on Tuesday January 13 2015, @07:33PM (#134499)

    A brown Eminem?

    • (Score: 1) by j-stroy on Tuesday January 13 2015, @07:39PM

      by j-stroy (761) on Tuesday January 13 2015, @07:39PM (#134503)

      To be clear, Operations decisions on his tour lead to the entire tour being put on hold for 2 weeks due to a series of cascading failures arising from it's opening night in Seattle, leading to show critical gear being damaged in a truck crash weeks later .. Gotta like it! A self cancelling show ;) possible proof of sentience?

  • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday January 13 2015, @08:05PM

    by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 13 2015, @08:05PM (#134514)

    which in turn fires off the correct electro magnet controlled gate

    During development, when the sorter occasionally malfunctioned, an apple spokesman explained away the problem with a "you're holding it wrong"

  • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Wednesday January 14 2015, @01:26AM

    by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday January 14 2015, @01:26AM (#134603)

    Cool geek tinkering: Automated equipment uses standard wireless protocol in the control loop, and runs on commercial ARM processor.

    Clickbait: "uses APPLE BRAIN !!!!"

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 14 2015, @06:40AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 14 2015, @06:40AM (#134648)

      Clickbait: "uses APPLE BRAIN !!!!"

      In other news, "Steve Jobs invents candy sorting machine"