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Comment: Re:Some details about the 3D printer (Score 1) 98

by DerekLyons (#47959791) Attached to: SpaceX Launches Supplies to ISS, Including Its First 3D Printer

3D printing is one of those things that will be pretty much essential for successful manned missions farther away than the moon.

Once 3D printing develops from it's current "stone knives and bearskins" stage of development and reaches the 21st century, sure. But even once the far off day arrives where we can print in a wide variety of materials (I.E. those suited to the task of the parts being replaced) and assuming it reaches the stage where the printed parts don't require substantial hand finishing for precision... it's highly unlikely to be able to print electrical and electronic components, particularly the IC's that will represent a very large component of the failed parts.

Being unable to fix broken things will be fatal if the nearest spare parts are nine months away, and a 3D printer or two can, conceivably, replace a great many individual spare parts....

That's why you carry spare parts with you. And why you "design for maintenance". And why you do extensive development and testing beforehand to figure out what parts are most likely to break. And design parts to be reliable. And reinforce the parts where you can. And... well, there's a vast amount of and dedicated sub fields of engineering dedicated to this kind of thing. No professional goes off the beaten path with the attitude of "oh well, I'm just gonna die if something breaks". There's a reason why "lack of spares" pretty much has never come up in any serious discussion of lunar colonies or missions to Mars. (Not until the amateurs, being largely blithely unaware of how the world works, started playing around with 3D printing.)
Disclaimer: In addition to years of actually seriously studying the space program... I've lived where high reliability could mean the difference between life and death and spares were limited to what was on hand as there was no parts place up on the main road or next day mail. (I.E. a crewman on an SSBN.)

Comment: Re:Memory doesn't cost that much. (Score 1) 231

by DerekLyons (#47956503) Attached to: Why the iPhone 6 Has the Same Base Memory As the iPhone 5

And if you're away for an extended period and want to take a lot of photos or video? That 32GB may not be enough

On my 16gig 4S I had a ton of apps, nine gig of music, and over 400 pictures - and room to spare. If the 32gig isn't big enough, the problem is more likely self control than anything else.

the ability to buy a few SD cards and swap them out as you fill them up sure would be useful. If that's not a use case you'll ever encounter, then great, you're all set, but that doesn't mean it's not a use case that exists.

If you've reached that point (exceeding 32 gig) in taking pictures you're either a) a pro who should be using a more appropriate tool in the first place.... or b) taking a ton of pictures you'll never look at again. I'm not arguing it's not a use case, I'm arguing that it's a use case out on the edge of the bell curve. Android is merely pandering by supporting it, and it gives them a sales point over Apple. Meanwhile, 16 gig phones account for half of all iPhones.

Comment: Re:It costs power (Score 1) 231

by DerekLyons (#47956465) Attached to: Why the iPhone 6 Has the Same Base Memory As the iPhone 5

Movies are irrelevant, as they weren't the topic of conversation. And your comment about music is bilge - 9 gigs (my current collection) is over a thousand songs. If you can't find an "appropriate" (whatever the heck you mean by that) selection in there, the problem isn't lack of memory on your phone.

Seriously, like several commenters on this subthread, you're way the heck out on the end of the bell curve - but blithely unaware of it.

Comment: Re:It costs power (Score 2) 231

by DerekLyons (#47955111) Attached to: Why the iPhone 6 Has the Same Base Memory As the iPhone 5

Streaming stuff is fine in urban areas, but if you travel outside of urban areas with little phone service regularly, and you don't want to carry another device, it's pretty irritating to be significantly limited in the amount to music you can carry.

Jesus H. Christ on a pogo stick - just how much music do you need? On my (recently replaced with a 32gb 5S*) 16gb 4S I could have a ton of apps, several hundred photos, and still have room for six days (continuous play, no repeat) worth of tunes.

As the grandparent said, this isn't some sneaky marketing plan... I suspect16gb really is enough for most common usage.

*Pretty much just because I could.

Comment: Re:Memory doesn't cost that much. (Score 1) 231

by DerekLyons (#47955065) Attached to: Why the iPhone 6 Has the Same Base Memory As the iPhone 5

You are missing the point. All of my Android phones include the ability to add a MicroSD card. I don't care how much memory is on the phone, my data (pictures etc) doesn't reside there. Apple's continued refusal to add a MicroSD slot is just more of their way of ripping off their customers.

I don't need to put an SD card in my iPhone - I have the proper cable and 3tb of HDD capacity. The 32gig of memory on my phone is just short term storage for anything I want to keep.

Comment: Re:Why do this? (Score 2) 277

by DerekLyons (#47946523) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: What's In Your Home Datacenter?

Why go the opposite direction, even if for some reason you really do have the need for those particular properties?

Because for any given hobby... there's always going to be someone out at the end of the bell curve. The photographer with $190k worth of gear who drives a $500 car and lives in a $5k house. The model train enthusiast who builds a 2500sqft house around his 1800sqft train layout. The IT geek with enough horsepower in his basement to run a decent sized ISP.. They're all birds of a feather.

(Disclaimer: Yes, I actually know the first two examples personally.)

Comment: Re:...the best photographers were older people... (Score 1) 97

by DerekLyons (#47933773) Attached to: How Flickr Is Courting the Next Generation of Photographers

Which is still the truth, in general. Photography on a cell phone does not equate to photography with a digital camera -- knowing what f-stop is, or shutter speed, or focal length, or a LOT of the other of the fine-grain minutiae that comes from a lot of time spent with film and digital cameras taking hundreds, if not thousands, of photographs.

No, photography on a cell phone does not equate to photography that deals with fine grained minutiae. But, so what? Technical minutiae isn't art. It's what geeks and wannabees toss around in order to puff themselves up and make themselves feel important.

Comment: Re:...the best photographers were older people... (Score 1) 97

by DerekLyons (#47933743) Attached to: How Flickr Is Courting the Next Generation of Photographers

All that experience can be accumulated hundreds of times faster in digital where you can see immediate results.

I'm gonna have to go ahead and disagree with you on that for the vast majority. Why worry about composition, aperture, exposure, and white balance when one can burn through dozens upon dozens of photos, previewing the results immediately waiting for something worthwhile to show up, and sort/crop/align later.

You aren't disagreeing with the grandparent, you're talking about apples while he's talking oranges. And in reality, you're both correct.
He's correct in that by speeding up the loop (from taking the picture to reviewing the finished product) it's possible to learn photography much faster today than in the film era. You're correct that it's possible to produce a good image by sheer luck and Photoshop.

I've seen this first hand with my daughters and their friends. The shotgun approach may produce the occasional interesting photos but does not lead to refined skills required to produce stunning images.

But here's where you go off the rails into apple territory - your daughter and her friends are not all photographers. And just because they aren't interested in actually learning photography, that doesn't preclude those that are interested from taking advantage of the faster loop to learn from doing so.

Comment: Re:Blastoff From the Past (Score 2) 19

by DerekLyons (#47933683) Attached to: ULA and Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin Announce Rocket Engine Partnership

Looking at Bezos's New Shepherd Vertical Takeoff Vertical Landing vehicle you might think that somewhere along the line Jeff caught a glimpse of Boeing's old design.

Maybe, maybe not. The same basic design was proposed as a reusable first stage for the Space Shuttle (in it's first incarnation as a crew taxi) by (IIRC) McDonnell Douglas back in the early/mid 1960's.

Comment: Re:Take the long view (Score 1) 490

by DerekLyons (#47927437) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

Charlie Stross recently posted a very good take on this: This is a permanent change. Whatever happens during the first few years is basically irrelevant, compared to the long-term results. Did Norway separating from Sweden cause short-term economic upheaval? Does that matter at all a century later?

Yes it matters a century later - because what happens in those first few years sets the stage for what happens a century later. Historical events don't 'just happen' and then toddle off into the history books without leaving long term effects, real and "imaginary" (psychological).

Physician: One upon whom we set our hopes when ill and our dogs when well. -- Ambrose Bierce