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Humans Are Taking Jobs From Robots In Japan

WillAdams Long-term view on things (80 comments)

The Japanese government actually contracts for the production of certain handmade saw blades which couldn't be sold profitably so as to ensure that the skills for producing the saws will be taught and passed down to succeeding generations of saw makers.

3 days ago

Online Skim Reading Is Taking Over the Human Brain

WillAdams Re:It's making following instructions more difficu (224 comments)

How perfect --- the quote of the day:

Order and simplification are the first steps toward mastery of a subject -- the actual enemy is the unknown. -- Thomas Mann

about two weeks ago

Online Skim Reading Is Taking Over the Human Brain

WillAdams It's making following instructions more difficult (224 comments)

I wrote up the instructions for assembling the Shapeoko (an open source / hardware CNC machine) and a recurring theme on the forums is people suggesting that such-and-such a hint / suggestion should be added to the text instructions --- and said text was already there:


I did make the diagrams interactive, which at least cut eliminated the complaints that ``there are supposed to be 2 of part X in assembly Y, but only 1 is shown'':


about two weeks ago

Why There Are So Few ISP Start-Ups In the U.S.

WillAdams Re:What about cable company saturation? (223 comments)

The problem w/ DSL is that it has a limited reach --- I tried to get it, but it wouldn't work (and Verizon doesn't have a good mechanism for handling that and rolling one over to FIOS) 'cause, while I was w/in reach physically, electronically the connection wasn't good enough --- so one has a limited potential market.

about two weeks ago

Fifty Years Ago IBM 'Bet the Company' On the 360 Series Mainframe

WillAdams Re:Not really all that important in the big pictur (169 comments)

Because of course, no iPhone, MacBook or iPad ever connects to a website which has its database running on a mainframe.

about two weeks ago

Department of Transportation Makes Rear View Cameras Mandatory

WillAdams Re:Backup cameras are nice but (518 comments)

God no. Why make even more noise pollution?


1) Drivers should walk around a vehicle before getting in and verify the condition of the vehicle and that it will be safe to move it

2) Drivers should back up slowly and carefully using their mirrors and should not drive vehicles which they're not competent to handle.

about two weeks ago

3D Printing: Have You Taken the Plunge Yet? Planning To?

WillAdams Re:Car parts (251 comments)

Try OpenSCAD --- it's 3D modelling for programmers and there've already been a fair number of car parts designed in it.

about three weeks ago

3D Printing: Have You Taken the Plunge Yet? Planning To?

WillAdams Re:Most models look and feel cheap (251 comments)

I'm looking forward to trying ``Laywoo-D3'':


essentially it's PLA w/ sawdust, but the possibility of controlling the colour using temperature looks to afford some interesting possibilities.

about three weeks ago

3D Printing: Have You Taken the Plunge Yet? Planning To?

WillAdams Re:3D printing (251 comments)

If you want parametric, an elegant solution is OpenSCAD (or the even cooler ImplicitCAD).

about three weeks ago

3D Printing: Have You Taken the Plunge Yet? Planning To?

WillAdams Re:Its about material as well as cost. (251 comments)

You can mill a circuit board now w/ a hobby-level router --- the ShapeOko 2, full kit is $649 ($685 for the 220 version).

about three weeks ago

3D Printing: Have You Taken the Plunge Yet? Planning To?

WillAdams Re:How many unhatched chickens? So many. (251 comments)

One doesn't even need a 3D printer w/ support for directly printing metal --- just print in PLA at a size which takes into account shrinkage from casting and use the traditional ``cire perdue'' (lost-wax casting) to cast in whatever material you're able to melt (I've known people who do aluminum and cast iron in their backyards).

about three weeks ago

3D Printing: Have You Taken the Plunge Yet? Planning To?

WillAdams Still trying to convert a CNC mill/router (251 comments)

Wound up w/ a second ShapeOko (a 2, which I got so that I could write the instructions at http://docs.shapeoko.com/ ), so have been planning to turn it into a 3D printer.

The initial (naïve) plan was to just mount an extruder I'd bought, source a hot-end, connect it to a spare stepper driver on my AtomCNC board, reflash w/ Teacup or Marlin and print --- anyone who knows anything about 3D printers can quit laughing now.

The current plan is:

  - mount an extruder (a Wade's reloaded)
  - wire up a hot-end (a J-Head Mk V or so w/ 0.35mm orifice for 1.75mm filament)
  - source a new Arduino (an Uno w/ just a 328p won't cut it)
  - source a stepper shield which has 4 stepper drivers (one for each axis, one more for the extruder, plus electronics support for powering the hot-end and monitoring its temperature)

Still haven't decided if I'm going to buy a heated bed or no --- hoping to manage w/o one ---you 3D guys may quietly laugh again now.

Unfortunately, there wasn't as much in the way of documentation on the RepRap wiki as I'd hoped for: http://reprap.org/wiki/Categor...

So I'm documenting things here: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/i...

about three weeks ago

Microsoft Releases Free Edition of OneNote

WillAdams Originally it was an app for the Tablet PC (208 comments)

And still has some nifty features to support pen computing.

Other apps in the space:

Xournal --- more like Microsoft Journal as the name implies (OneNote has more organizational features such as tabs &c.) (see also Jarnal)
Flash --- in its rôle as the tool which succeeds the the pen drawing tool FutureWave SmartSketch ---
Mage Software's InkBook --- (Mac OS X)
Treenote, if I'm remembering correctly was quite interesting, but there's a placeholder page for now.
sBook --- (Mac OS X) --- nifty A.I. driven freeform address book which can be used as a general-purpose notetaking tool --- I'm still bummed the Windows version crashed when one tried to write into it on a Tablet PC and wish it had better support for graphics --- opensource: http://simson.net/ref/sbook5/

The odd thing is, I loved Millenium Software's Notebook.app on NeXTstep, but haven't found occasion to buy Circus Ponies' Notebook

Mostly though, I just use Macromedia FreeHand for drawings and am trying InkSeine for notes on a ThinkPad X61 Tablet: http://research.microsoft.com/...

about 1 month ago

White House: Get ACA Insurance Coverage, Launch Start-Ups

WillAdams Re:Here in the U.S. (was Re:Here in Europe) (578 comments)

Moreover, the money that an employee pays into the unemployment system is not used to fund payments, but purely to cover administrative overhead. Companies have to pay for unemployment based on a weird formula for how many people they let go under what circumstances.

about a month ago

White House: Get ACA Insurance Coverage, Launch Start-Ups

WillAdams Here in the U.S. (was Re:Here in Europe) (578 comments)

In the U.S., if you're working independently, or even trying to, you're not eligible for unemployment.

There's a lot of push-back against people ``double-dipping'' by both drawing un-employment and working independently --- actually, it's considered fraud. I've always been somewhat offended by Judy Chicago having at least one of her ``workers'' working on the ``The Dinner Party'' while he was on unemployment (and she couldn't even see the need to have him teach others how to do what he was doing).

The big difference is the U.S. tax rate is about a quarter of the G.D.P., while in Europe it's over a third, but the number of government checks in the U.S. is going up as noted in a recent story.

about a month ago

70% of U.S. Government Spending Is Writing Checks To Individuals

WillAdams We were warned about this (676 comments)

not by Alexis de Tocqueville though:

``The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.''


earliest known occurrence is as an unsourced attribution to Tytler in "This is the Hard Core of Freedom" by Elmer T. Peterson in The Daily Oklahoman (9 December 1951): "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy."

about a month ago



Trimble Software follows Adobe's subscription-only licensing lead

WillAdams WillAdams writes  |  about a year ago

WillAdams (45638) writes "From the license for the new SketchUp Make (which replaces Google's free version and complements the paid version) Trimble Navigation Limited ... gives you a ... license to use the ... Software for non-commercial use only. Non-commercial use means: you may not sell, rent, lease or lend the output of the Software or the Services. If you are ... engaged in commercial activity; therefore, in order to use the Software and Services, you must purchase a SketchUp Pro license. In addition to the basic $495 licensing fee, one must pay an annual $95 fee for maintenance & support."

Elon Musk wants to send 80,000 people to live on Mars

WillAdams WillAdams writes  |  about a year ago

WillAdams (45638) writes "SpaceX founder Elon Musk wants to create a colony on Mars consisting of a population of 80,000, ferried to the planet in a reusable rocket. For the initial trip, the rocket would contain fewer than 10 humans, and enough equipment to found a colony ready for the other 79,990."
Link to Original Source

MLA updates references, web default, but no URL

WillAdams WillAdams writes  |  about 5 years ago

WillAdams writes "Inside Higher Ed as reported the new seventh edition of the _MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers_ makes web references the default, but doesn't require a URL, operating under the assumption that readers will be able to find the referenced work using a search engine http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/03/11/mla — an assumption which doesn't take into consideration Google bombs &c. Ars discusses it here: http://arstechnica.com/media/news/2009/04/sign-of-the-times-print-no-longer-default-mla-citation-style.ars"
Link to Original Source


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