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Comment: Re:Boiled at 90C? (Score 1) 155

by AJWM (#48911461) Attached to: Scientists Determine New Way To Untangle Proteins By Unboiling an Egg

But "0" being "absolute 0" is what sets it apart.

Well, sort of. There's also the Rankine scale. On it, 0 is also the absolute lowest temperature (0K = 0R), but the units are the same size as Fahrenheit degrees.

The only place I've seen it used is in old rocket propulsion texts and similar non-SI thermodynamics stuff.

Comment: code monkeys vs architects (Score 1) 199

by AJWM (#48911309) Attached to: Why Coding Is Not the New Literacy

Sure, (almost) anyone can code, just like (almost) anyone can string words together on a page. That's a bit different from being able to write a readable story (let alone novel), or construct a useful program.

I wouldn't trust an architect who didn't know how to lay bricks, but even less would I trust a bricklayer to design a house.

That said, to paraphrase Heinlein, everyone should know how to lay a brick, hammer a nail, write a paragraph and code a program; specialization is for insects.

Comment: Re:Just hire a CPA (Score 1) 450

by AJWM (#48799441) Attached to: Intuit Charges More For Previously Offered TurboTax Features, Users Livid

Most run of the mill CPA's are pretty much like the H&R Block guy you'll see at Sears this time of year. They take your data and input it into tax software (like TurboTax!), and ask you some very basic questions.

Well no, I'm pretty sure the H&R Block guys are using H&R Block software ... which is available retail and which I switched to years ago. (TurboTax dropped support for whatever OS version I was still running at the time. Win2K I think, on a PC I only ever booted up at tax time.) Never looked back.

Comment: Re:Broadcast TV viewer here (Score 1) 275

by AJWM (#48647163) Attached to: Dish Pulls Fox News, Fox Business Network As Talks Break Down

You've got that backwards (or I'm missing the sarcasm).

Dish has to pay Fox News to retransmit Fox's content (copyrights!), Fox wanted to increase the price and/or require Dish to carry additional Fox-owned channels as part of the same contract.

When Fox (or any other network in negotiations) claims that "Dish pulled the channel", they're stretching the truth. What they really mean is "the contract expired, and Dish cravenly stopped retransmitting our copyrighted content so we couldn't sue them for infringement."

Comment: Re:Hot Glue Guns (Score 1) 175

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) 175

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) 175

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.

When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle. - Edmund Burke