Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Hot Glue Guns (Score 1) 171

by AJWM (#48589013) Attached to: 3D Printer?

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.

Comment: Re:Missing option: CNC Router (Score 1) 171

by AJWM (#48588943) Attached to: 3D Printer?

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.

Comment: Re:subtractive technology (Score 2) 171

by AJWM (#48588919) Attached to: 3D Printer?

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.

Comment: Re:Not sure who to cheer for (Score 1) 190

by AJWM (#48569383) Attached to: Fraud Bots Cost Advertisers $6 Billion

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.

Comment: Re:IPad is an insult to technology (Score 5, Insightful) 229

by AJWM (#48512095) Attached to: FBI Seizes Los Angeles Schools' iPad Documents

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


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.

Comment: Re:It's a scam (Score 1) 246

by AJWM (#48356977) Attached to: The Strangeness of the Mars One Project

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.

Comment: Re: It's a scam (Score 1) 246

by AJWM (#48356925) Attached to: The Strangeness of the Mars One Project

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.

Comment: Re:Uh, simple (Score 1) 246

by AJWM (#48356885) Attached to: The Strangeness of the Mars One Project

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.

Science and religion are in full accord but science and faith are in complete discord.