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A Makerbot In Every Classroom

Tweezak Re:As a mechanical engineer... (152 comments)

Exactly my thoughts. I was so envious of my brother who went through school years ahead of me. He was able to take metal shop, learn to run a mill, lathe and to weld. By the time I got to high school the metal shop had been shuttered. I was still able to take auto mechanics for a couple semesters and got good at fixing cars. But I'd really love to learn how to weld properly. Yeah...a 3D printer will allow you to build plastic crap that will break and you'll have to make a new one - which fits our disposable mentality these days - but machining and welding allow you to make something robust that will last for years and can be repaired if it breaks.

Quality is dead. Disposable is king.

about 10 months ago
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Boston Dynamics Wildcat Can Gallop — No Strings Attached

Tweezak Re:Boston Dynamics is a typical example of... (257 comments)

I did mention it was fiction, btw. I never said that governments or individuals would feel bound by any of those in real life. I totally agree with your analysis - greed and the lust for power trumps decency every time.

about a year ago
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Boston Dynamics Wildcat Can Gallop — No Strings Attached

Tweezak Re:Boston Dynamics is a typical example of... (257 comments)

Science fiction...

1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

about a year ago
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Area 51 No Longer (Officially) a Secret

Tweezak Re:False documents (115 comments)

I was always amazed that the evasive maneuver employed by the SR-71 in the event of a ground-air missile launch was to simply accelerate away. That is seriously badass. Granted, if you are at 80k feet you will have some time before said missile even gets close.

1 year,16 days
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Several Western Govts. Ban Lenovo Equipment From Sensitive Networks

Tweezak Re:Their loss (410 comments)

That too is entirely possible. As always, our conclusions from reading an article depend on our personal biases. That's what leads to healthy debate.

about a year ago
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Judge Rules In Favor of Volkswagen and Silences Scientist

Tweezak Re:When will Volkswagon fix the issue? (254 comments)

VW owns among others:

Volkswagen
Porsche
Skoda
Audi
Bentley
Bugatti
Lamborghini

Some of these are not cheap cars. Not necessarily all use the same system but if so there's reasonable incentive for building this device if the plans are available.

about a year ago
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Several Western Govts. Ban Lenovo Equipment From Sensitive Networks

Tweezak Re:Their loss (410 comments)

Not quite.
From the article they did say the modifications were "malicious" which implies that they felt they were deliberate. I didn't actually notice that there was reference to a suspected Chinese Govt. tie-in.

I think (I do not know) they decided to not announce the vulnerabilities because they could be exploited by other parties. This is common with software vulnerabilities where they are not announced but are rather provided to the software company to patch before becoming a problem. This wouldn't generally be as simple with a hardware hole. Besides...they could also be reasonably sure that if the hole was only known by themselves and the entity that created it...any future attack could only come from limited sources which could be valuable intelligence.

Also, if they announced it and someone did utilize it for nefarious means then they would be potentially liable for damages. Not to mention that Lenovo would not be happy about the accusations - I have no idea what recourse they might have though. We may see soon.

Finally...do I "believe that leaving people's computers vulnerable to mass Chinese attack is better than warning people; allowing them to take countermeasures and having some inevitable exploits by individual hackers?" I would say no. Nowhere in my comments did I intend to imply that I was in agreement with the decision to keep it quiet. It's kind of like the NSA...I understand why they record everything...even though I'm not okay with it.

about a year ago
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Several Western Govts. Ban Lenovo Equipment From Sensitive Networks

Tweezak Re:Their loss (410 comments)

If you read the ORIGINAL article from Financial Review you may note this:

"Members of the British and Australian defence and intelligence communities say that malicious modifications to Lenovo’s circuitry – beyond more typical vulnerabilities or “zero-days” in its software – were discovered that could allow people to remotely access devices without the users’ knowledge. The alleged presence of these hardware “back doors” remains highly classified."

So, they found hardware vulnerabilities but they aren't stating what they are. Probably because they know that people would start exploiting them immediately. There's a reason this stuff stays quiet. Also note that the ban started in 2006. This is pretty old...it only getting reported now.

about a year ago
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Mozilla Labs Experiment Distills Your History Into Interests

Tweezak We are not the target audience (158 comments)

/. readers are not who they are trying to "help."

We all know many people who don't know the first thing about where to go to find what they are looking for. They don't even use google...they are generally using their ISPs homepage because that's what was set up when they got interweb. To these folks, the site with the biggest flashing ad claiming to have what they are after must be okay...right?

If this was an option in the browser that you had to opt-in to, fine. I certainly don't want it but it might help people who struggle to find their way around.

about a year ago
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Tesla Motors May Be Having an iPhone Moment

Tweezak Re:MSRP of $62,400 Though? (452 comments)

Wait...does this mean that the Tesla will be subsidized by the power company so I can buy it for $25k? Of course I'll have to sign a 10 year contract with them before I'll be eligible for an upgrade.

about a year ago
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UCSD Lecturer Releases Geotagging Application For "Dangerous Guns and Owners"

Tweezak Re:1 2 3 4 I declare flame war (976 comments)

I firmly believe that if you are carrying a weapon you have a responsibility to NOT escalate a situation if you can help it. If you can walk away and drop it, then do it. If you just throw fuel on the fire and make it worse and end up shooting the other person then expect to be reamed in court.

I guess the bottom line for me is that a gun should never be used in anger. Defense, yes...anger, no. It's a way to save your life, not settle an argument.

about a year ago
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Video Gamers See the World Differently

Tweezak Re:chicken or egg (160 comments)

Well, I know I suck at those types of rapid decisions and end up usually paralyzed by indecision and getting a bullet as a result. For that reason I get frustrated by games where I just die repeatedly and make slow, if any, progress.

Subsequently I play games that I enjoy that involve more problem solving (Portal) or have more options for freedom of movement and exploration (Skyrim, Far Cry 3). Unfair weapons (ie: one-shot-one-kill silenced 50cal sniper rifle) also make the game more enjoyable by tipping the balance in my favor.

It's no coincidence my PS tag line is: "I'll let you win."

about a year ago
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Video Gamers See the World Differently

Tweezak chicken or egg (160 comments)

Does gaming make you better at these tests or is it just that people that have these particular skills tend to gravitate to action video games?

about a year ago
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XP's End Will Do More For PC Sales Than Win 8, Says HP Exec

Tweezak Re:Wishful thinking ... (438 comments)

They do: http://h17007.www1.hp.com/us/en/whatsnew/040511-1.aspx

Install tipping point appliances and run whatever you want behind it. Our manufacturing floor has been doing this for years in order to continue running legacy operating systems that cannot be upgraded because they are tool controllers. Sure...these aren't cheap but it's a damn sight less costly than upgrading every PC in your company with one that meets Win7 requirements.

about a year ago
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New All-Solid Sulfur Based Battery Outperforms Lithium Ion

Tweezak Re:Use for waste sulfur (322 comments)

You can think about it just like diesel and propane. Both were waste by products of petroleum production and used to just be burned off until someone figured out a use for them. Now they are both more expensive than gasoline.

Expect the oil companies to start gouging us for sulfur too.

Not to mention all the new sulfur mines that will be opened up to meet world demand for batteries.

about a year ago
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GMO Wheat Found Growing Wild In Oregon, Japan Suspends Import From U.S.

Tweezak Re:Postapocoliptic Nightmare (679 comments)

And then there's the whole using this shit as food aid and expecting starving farmers in Africa to not keep seeds for next year because of the license agreement they know nothing about.

Except that most of the seeds that monsanto's Roundup-Ready crops yield are sterile and will not germinate for subsequent generations forcing farmers to buy new seed for every planting. It appears this mechanism did not work in the wheat found in Oregon because this stuff clearly re-grows year after year (probably the reason it was never marketed). Problem is...it's franken-wheat that we can't kill - not with Roundup at least. Maybe crossbow or some other toxic defoliant. Odds are good the cure will be worse than the disease.

about a year ago
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New Smart Gun Company Hopes To Begin Production This Summer

Tweezak Target Audience (pun intended) (632 comments)

The logic is flawed right out of the gate even before you consider any of the logistical issues with a shooter = owner confirmation scheme.

Here's the deal. A parent who lets their kid get hold of their gun or a gun owner who doesn't lock up their weapons and they are stolen and used in a crime have at least one thing in common: neither of them thought they had a problem to begin with.

My question then is: why does this company think anyone is going to buy one of these if their intended customer already doesn't think they are at risk?

I'll stick with my Glocks with NO safety. One of the primary reasons I chose them was because of that. I've read that many police officers have been shot because they forgot to switch off the safety on their duty pistol. Many other people have been shot accidentally because they relied on the safety which either wasn't activated or failed. Either way - it's misplaced trust in an imperfect safety device. The proposed system will obviously be many times more complex and subsequently even less reliable.

Maybe people will choose these guns because if given the choice between one that might not function in the wrong hands and one that will fire every time they feel better with the extra measure of control. I fear, however, that it will just be another cause of people getting complacent and lazy about proper training and handling. They will assume that the gun will not go off so they let their six year old play with it. Trust me...it will happen.

about a year ago

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