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3D Printer?

AJWM Re:Hot Glue Guns (173 comments)

The "hot glue gun" is just a tiny part, namely the extruder hot end. Add to that a precision (computer-controlled) feed mechanism for the "glue", temperature regulation to work optimally with different feed rates and "glue" types, and a precision, high-speed, XYZ positioning mechanism for that "glue gun" (and optionally, additional "glue guns" so you can switch materials in mid print), together with a computer and firmware to drive all, and you're approaching what even the lowest-end consumer 3D printer does.

"Glorified"? Yes, and it is glorious. Perfect? Of course not, not any more than a cheap consumer Epson or Brother printer is compared to an Espresso Book Machine.

about a week ago
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3D Printer?

AJWM Re:Missing option: CNC Router (173 comments)

If your southern California car dashboard is hitting the 200+ Celsius temperatures needed to melt typical printer filament materials, I'd say you probably have worse things to worry about.

But sure, for some things you need material properties that just don't work well with fused filament deposition.

about a week ago
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3D Printer?

AJWM Re:subtractive technology (173 comments)

The PLA (polylactic acid) filament used in many printers is actually made from cornstarch, not petrochemicals. It prints at a slightly lower temperature and doesn't need a heated bed the way ABS* does.

Of course you could probably make a case about the amount of petrochemicals (fuel, fertilizer, pesticide) typically used in growing the corn in the first place.

*And some of the more exotic (for now) filaments like polycarbonate or nylon, which require even higher temperatures.

about a week ago
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3D Printer?

AJWM Re:Missing Option (173 comments)

My local library system (Arapahoe County, Colorado) has 3D printers in each (or most) of its branch libraries for patron use.

about a week ago
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Fraud Bots Cost Advertisers $6 Billion

AJWM Re:Not sure who to cheer for (190 comments)

Yep, ditto for third-party javascript.

If you simply must have the latest javascript widget on your website, host it on your own damn server, don't link to a third party. I might trust you, but how the hell do I know I can trust them? (noscript ftw).

about two weeks ago
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Fraud Bots Cost Advertisers $6 Billion

AJWM Re:Not sure who to cheer for (190 comments)

So in order for a website to remain free for the users use, they will need to post more advertisements to make up for it.

I think you've got that backwards.

It isn't costing the websites money, it's costing the advertisers who are paying for clicks without any potential sales from those clicks. In theory this just helps the websites.

How the guys running the fraud bots get anything out of the deal is a bit mysterious, unless they're in cahoots with the website owners. But then the mechanics of online advertising is way, way down on my interest list -- most ad-servers resolve to localhost on my system.

about two weeks ago
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FBI Seizes Los Angeles Schools' iPad Documents

AJWM Re:IPad is an insult to technology (229 comments)

An iPad is a more power computer than any I had access to all through school

Yep, if you're talking about the innards.

It's also a more capable general-purpose computer than those Apple II-series computers and early MacOS 6/7/8 machines

Nope.

An iPad is an appliance for running apps, not a general-purpose computer. Go ahead, just try to program on it, or hook it up to manipulate some random gizmo.

Sure, it can be done -- by someone with the right development tools (which wont run on the iPad) and skills. A far cry from what school kids could teach themselves to do with Apple Basic or Hypercard.

about two weeks ago
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Taxi Medallion Prices Plummet Under Pressure From Uber

AJWM Re: And In Other News... (329 comments)

Per year makes no sense. At a million dollars a year, a taxi operating 24/7 (with no breaks for fueling or maintenance) would have to make (above other operating expenses) just over $114.15 per hour just to pay for the medallion.

about three weeks ago
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Behind Apple's Sapphire Screen Debacle

AJWM Re: haven't been following... (189 comments)

Not the same stuff. Carborundum is silicon carbide, corundum is aluminum oxide. They're both of similar hardness and both can be produced artificially, with SiC being produced for over a century.

Things of similar hardness will scratch each other.

about three weeks ago
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Uber's Android App Caught Reporting Data Back Without Permission

AJWM Re:It DOES have permission (234 comments)

Most people can tell that Happy Fluffy Kitty Screensaver doesn't really need to send SMS messages, know your location, or access the Internet.

Why does a phone even need a screensaver?

about three weeks ago
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Uber's Android App Caught Reporting Data Back Without Permission

AJWM Re:So, in essence, Uber's app is malware (234 comments)

This -- although I don't even need your phone.

These days smartphones might as well just be GPS house-arrest bracelets with better PR.

about three weeks ago
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Longtime Debian Developer Tollef Fog Heen Resigns From Systemd Maintainer Team

AJWM Re:Not resigning from Debian (550 comments)

It's Sunday. The usual read-slashdot-at-work crowd is offline.

about a month ago
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The Strangeness of the Mars One Project

AJWM Re:It's a scam (246 comments)

Hi Chuck, long time no see.

Mars does not have a geomagnetic sphere to protect it from solar outbursts. People will die if they are on the surface when one of those things happens

People will die if they're out on the surface of Earth unprotected, for large parts of Earth (deserts, arctic, oceans, etc). We manage ... and sometimes we lose a few.

. It is going to take a good bit of learning, though.

Of course it's going to take a good bit of learning. Fortunately that's something we humans tend to be good at (with a few obvious exceptions). We conquered the deserts, the arctic and the oceans with pretty much neolithic technology, after all.

about a month ago
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The Strangeness of the Mars One Project

AJWM Re: It's a scam (246 comments)

I'm not sure whether it's the coward that's speaking -- you're afraid of space and think everyone else should be, so you'll feel better about yourself -- or that as a Canadian you recognize that you'll probably never have a chance to go to space yourself and it's all just sour grapes.

I'm leaning towards the former, since that's how you sign yourself.

But sure, keep telling yourself that it's everybody else that's crazy, if that's what comforts you.

about a month ago
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The Strangeness of the Mars One Project

AJWM Re:Uh, simple (246 comments)

Why? What do you think is within the reach of human beings in space that is not available on Earth? A reply containing the words "wonder", "exploration" or "adventure" are not acceptable.

Unacceptable to you, perhaps. What a miserable existence you must suffer.

It does, however, explain your failure of imagination.

about a month ago
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The Strangeness of the Mars One Project

AJWM Re:Uh, simple (246 comments)

Its far more likely that we will send people that die early.

Yep. Being a pioneer is all about finding new and interesting ways to die ... or the old ways in new settings.

See for example the first few hundred years (counting from the Vikings) of European colonization attempts of North America. (Probably the same holds true of Asian attempts, but they're a lot further back in the prehistorical record.)

Or more recently, the roughly 10% that died along the Oregon Trail.

As a plaque on some old Conestoga wagon puts it: "The cowards never started. The weak died along the way. Only the strong survived."

That said, only the stupid set out on a trek like that without preparation, and they don't even last as long as the weak. If Mars One has being doing preparation, they haven't been talking about it.

about a month ago
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No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade

AJWM Re:May I suggest (334 comments)

And everyone who has played Counter-Strike knows that the AWP (http://counterstrike.wikia.com/wiki/AWP) is a great Arctic weapon.

No, they know that the game designers thought it was a great Arctic weapon.

Any relationship between what game designers think (or at least, put in their games -- ditto for authors) and the real world is entirely coincidental.

about 2 months ago
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The Physics of Why Cold Fusion Isn't Real

AJWM Re:Why Cold Fusion (or something like it) Is Real (350 comments)

You keep asserting failure to reproduce the results. I can understand that, you're from Caltech.

However, that turns out not to be the case.

I would recommend to you and to everyone here Charles Beuadette's thoroughly researched and easy to read study of the field, including the mistakes, including the shameful errors of scientific protocol, on both sides. (Basically, the hot-fusionistas ignored the excess heat claims and put their hands over their ears chanting "la la la where are the neutrons?"; P&F erred by claiming a mechanism instead of just presenting their excess heat measurements and saying "this is weird, we're highly experienced electrochemists but can't come up with a chemical explanation for this. Any ideas?")

Anyway, the book is Excess Heat: Why Cold Fusion Research Prevailed by Charles G. Beaudette. It's not up on the latest work (copyright 2002 unless there's a later edition) but it's a very worthwhile read -- a lot of the questions raised by various slashdotters are answered here -- and documents well the first few months and years of both the controversy and various lab results.

about 2 months ago
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The Physics of Why Cold Fusion Isn't Real

AJWM Re:Still open (350 comments)

How many attempts did it take to first clone a mammal? How many more attempts did it take before some other lab repeated the process?

Clearly they didn't do good science.

Repeating 19th century experiments with 21st century equipment is pretty easy. Doing 21st century experiments (or, okay, very late 20th century) is hard.

And even at that, back in high school physics when we were replicating Millikan's oil drop experiment (only with latex microspheres rather than oil drops) some people came up with a charge only 1/3 that of what's accepted for the electron. Were all those people who claim you can't have an isolated quark wrong, or is it just a trickier experiment than it sounds from a written description?

Siegel makes the arrogant mistake that all he needs is "the proper equipment" to replicate an experiment. If it's not in a field he has a few thouand hours of experience in -- say, electrochemistry or calorimetry for a high-energy physicist -- he needs more than the proper equipment, he needs somebody skilled in the particular field in question. Put another way, how long would it take a physicist to clone a mammal?

about 2 months ago

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