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Comment: Re:Getting attention at the expense of 3D printing (Score 1) 121

by AmiMoJo (#46800561) Attached to: Cody Wilson Interview at Reason: Happiness Is a 3D Printed Gun

To print anything more complex than a spoon, you have to get a significant degree of expertise with the systems.

For now, but high end 3D printers can already produce complex moving machines that don't even need assembly at the push of a button. As the technology improves and prices come down it won't be long until even entry level models can do that.

Comment: Re:this is why I leased my Leaf (Score 1) 137

by AmiMoJo (#46800313) Attached to: Why Tesla Really Needs a Gigafactory

Tesla rate their battery pack lifetime at 250,000 miles, similar to a petrol engine, and the warranty is 8 years unlimited mileage. Even when you get 250,000 miles in say 15 years time chances are you will be able to sell the battery pack for recycling since much of it will be perfectly good. It's made up of over 7000 cells, and considered "dead" when down to 80% capacity, so many of the individual cells will be fine for use in other devices. Solar smoothing and whole-house UPS, for example, and of course re-conditioned packs for people wanting a lost cost replacement option.

Having said that a lot of people would be fine with a Model S and 80% or even 30% remaining range. 30% is 100 miles, equivalent to many EVs on the road today, and fine for many people's daily commute. Unlike most old cars with high mileage a Model S shouldn't need much maintenance either.

Comment: Re:Don't be ridiculous (Score 0) 121

by AmiMoJo (#46800223) Attached to: Cody Wilson Interview at Reason: Happiness Is a 3D Printed Gun

They seem to be enforced in the many countries with a fairly high degree of success. Most criminals in the UK don't come armed with guns. They could probably get one if they put in some real effort and cash, but most don't bother. Aside from anything else there is little point, since most of the non-criminal population isn't armed either. A knife works almost as well, or better still just going undetected.

Think about it for a moment. If controls were completely unenforceable in the US criminals would be able to import more powerful weapons. Grenades, C4, RPGs etc. Those things exist in the US, but are not widely stolen or imported by criminals for some reason.

The reason gun control is impossible in the US is that it's an arms race. Law abiding people won't give up their guns because criminals have them, and criminals want to carry guns because law abiding people have them. The limiting factor is the government, which tries to disarm criminals and limit the guns law abiding citizens can own.

Comment: Re:Getting attention at the expense of 3D printing (Score 1) 121

by AmiMoJo (#46800173) Attached to: Cody Wilson Interview at Reason: Happiness Is a 3D Printed Gun

You can already get 3D printers that use metal instead of plastic. Prices are coming down, quality is going up. It won't be long before more practical weapons are available by pushing ctrl-P.

Some people point out that anyone with basic metalworking tools can make a gun. Sure, but metalworking tools aren't that cheap and they require skill and knowledge to operate.

Comment: Re:THROUGH North Korea?! (Score 1) 213

by AmiMoJo (#46798527) Attached to: Russia Writes Off 90 Percent of North Korea Debt

It's an act. It's obvious because on some fronts they act very differently. In the last few years a lot of progress has been made on the issue of the historic abduction of Japanese citizens, for example. NK has been trying to open up to foreigners more, staging international sporting events and the like that were reasonably well attended.

Of course there is still a cult of personality, but if you read unbiased accounts written by people who visited the country you start to realize that it's not completely bat-shit insane after all. What you see on the TV is mostly a mix of propaganda and mockery, but those who actually deal with NK understand that it can be negotiated and reasoned with.

Comment: Re:THROUGH North Korea?! (Score 1) 213

by AmiMoJo (#46798519) Attached to: Russia Writes Off 90 Percent of North Korea Debt

It's not the sovereign debt that is the problem, it's the fact that China is investing in US companies and infrastructure. It's actually far worse in the UK were pretty much everything is foreign owned. Imagine if GM was Indian and Ford was Chinese. That's what we have. Our new nuclear power stations are going to be a Chinese/French venture, and most of our existing energy infrastructure is foreign owned. Most of our banks are foreign.

The only thing that mitigates it slightly for us is that we have so many different foreign owners their conflicting interests kind of cancel each other out a bit. We can't afford to piss off China though, or the investment will dry up and we will be screwed. China has similar political leverage in the US, where too much upset would be a big problem for companies they rely on Chinese investment and imports. Think about how screwed Walmart would be, for example.

Comment: Re:Well considering that.. (Score 2) 346

by AmiMoJo (#46798493) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Hungry Students, How Common?

It's not about amassing wealth, it's about quality of life. Reaching 70 with a half million dollar fortune just means you missed out on those enjoyable things in life that depreciate or have negative ROI, like movies and concerts or eating out or holidays. Exchanging enjoyment and variety in life for a pile of money when you are probably too old to really enjoy it anyway doesn't seem like a good way to live.

Anyway, what happened to the concept of being rewarded for working hard? I thought that was the American Dream, not "do the same low paid job for 40 years and forego all of life's little pleasures". Also, why would a carpenter with three houses work out of a pick-up truck when he can clearly afford some kind of basic workshop that would allow him to grow his business?

Comment: Re:My toilet (Score 1) 673

by AmiMoJo (#46794515) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

I just wish we had continued to develop it like the Japanese have. I can't understand why in the west we don't import that technology. Heated seats, built-in bidet, sound effects to cover up embarrassing noises, in-bowl lighting for when you need to pee at night without waking yourself up too much...

Comment: Re:All publicly funded research needs public relea (Score 1) 339

by AmiMoJo (#46793841) Attached to: VA Supreme Court: Michael Mann Needn't Turn Over All His Email

Computer Engineer

What exactly does this job entail? I mean, do you actually design and build computers, i.e. engineer them? Or is it more of a technician job?

I ask because I see this job title advertised occasionally and the salaries are well below what I would consider engineer level, which is a shame because it could be interesting.

Comment: Re:MacBook Air 13 Inch (Score 1) 673

by AmiMoJo (#46791881) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

Three years ago would make it about the right age to qualify for Apple's recall to fix fault SSDs. It's also about the lifetime of the battery pack; even if you had it plugged in the whole time the Air comes with an underpowered PSU and uses the battery to meet peak loads, and heat slowly kills them off anyway.

Comment: Re:Security compiler? (Score 1) 234

by AmiMoJo (#46791771) Attached to: Bug Bounties Don't Help If Bugs Never Run Out

It is hard to do, and in this case might not even have helped. The problem was a custom implementation of a common memory management library function that behaved differently from more secure variants. The original reason for making the custom version was performance of the some of the standard ones that were more secure.

To even begin to diagnose that kind of problem the compiler would have to know about the target OS, the C library implementation and possibly even the behaviour of other pre-compiled modules linked at run-time. That wouldn't protect you from issues stemming from run-time libraries either, and it's hard to see how a compiler could deal with those.

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