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Comment Re:What could go wrong (Score 4, Interesting) 407

Any given winter will have 50-100 freeze thaw cycles. Once you suggested air blower fails all of the nooks and crannies will get filled with snow and then the freeze/melt expansion/contraction cycle of water will destroy the piece of equipment. I have yet to see a piece of equipment that can stand up to repeated freeze/thaw cycles from a New England winter.

Next up: Snow plows and everything the snow plow pushes in-front of it. A snow plow lumbering along at 20 miles per hour can clear a path 15' wide and a foot deep (often more if it is the truck at the end of plow gang). Any odd ball things in the path of the plow get thrown aside - car parts, baby carriages, clothing, building supplies, will all be thrown aside.

Any portion of the solar panel that doesn't give a clean path to the plow will be destroyed. Any thing dragged along by the snow plow will leave tracks until it is thrown away. "Textured" glass designed to give better traction will get chewed on by the snow plows. If the snow plows leave chips, cracks or divots in the glass: the freeze/thaw cycle of water will attack those imperfections and widen them over the course of a winter.

Until someone demonstrated the ability of those things to survive several seasons of snow plows and freeze/thaw cycles I don't expect to see them where I live. Roadways are designed to be robust and not need a lot of maintenance (exceptions for specific specialty items are to be expected- bridges and tunnels come to mind).

Comment Re:Too ambitious (Score 1) 75

3D printing for individual parts is to the point where the 3D printers can manufacture useful parts. Most major car manufacturers have a 3D printer farm hidden away somewhere for rapid prototyping (it reduces the the turn around time from going to a machine shop).

The issue is the 3D printers can't manufacture parts fast enough to keep up with demand of a production floor. To produce one part at the volumes needed the car manufacturer would need a huge farm of 3D printers and technicians to keep the printers running 24/7. The advantage of this system is the part could be fabricated on site reducing the supply chain for that part. If there is one thing manufacturers hate it is complex supply chains and multiple suppliers of parts, both of which are outside the control of the manufacturer.

If a manufacturer could bring parts back under its own roof (or the next building over) and the revision period for a part could be reduced from weeks to hours, they would do it in a heart beat. It's all a question of being able to do it at a scale that is sustainable for the manufacturer (and cheaper).

Comment Security is only as strong as its weakest door (Score 4, Insightful) 246

It doesn't matter if the wall you build is thirty feet high and six men can walk abreast if you can kick in a door. The weakest part of a wall is always the gates and these kinds of bills are trying to require extra doors with standardized locks are used. No way this can be abused.

Comment Insurance Companies (Score 2) 235

I expect that hacking a car's vehicular AI will change its insurance rates. Insurance companies charge insurance based upon known risk. A vehicular AI that has been rated by an independent rating agency (UL, etc) is a known quantity and an insurance company will be willing to insure it.

A home spun vehicular AI will be considered an unknown risk and will be treated as such by the insurance companies. If you want to roll your own vehicular AI, feel free but you'll be responsible for having the AI rated and certified. Otherwise the vehicular AI will be treated as a "High Risk" AI and your insurance will reflect that.

Comment PE is not used in automotive field. (Score 1) 139

To my understanding PE stamps are not normally used for machinery design or automotive design. Those designs go through a huge number of regulatory hurdles and certification processes (crash test, MPG, fire control, UI layout, handling and roll over, electrical breakers, etc etc etc) that take the place of the PE stamp. If you were going to require PE stamps for an automotive design you would end up with thirty or forty stamps for each part of the design - engine, transmission, suspension, drive train below the transmission, electrical, outer shell, interior layout, crash management, pollution control, specialty sub systems within each of the primary systems. The company that is designing, assembling and selling the finished product is liable for all of the certifications and regulations that are required to put a car on the road.

The reason why there are so many certifications and regulations around a mass manufactured item (cars, toys, appliances, garden tools) is the sheer number of them put on the market. Because someone is producing 500,000 units of a given thing means that more oversight is required because more people could be injured if there is a mistake or oversight in design.

Most cases I see where a stamp is required: The item being designed is a one-off or custom job. You need someone who has the authority to make the call that something is safe and will perform as advertised.

Hell, my PE application (still applying, not approved to take the exam yet) doesn't list Automotive as an option. Maybe you could file care design as an Industrial PE item. Everything else doesn't fit (Civil, Nuclear, Aero, Mining, Architecture, Chemical, Petroleum, Fire Protection, Electrical, Metaullurgy, HVAC, or Naval).

Comment Not dangerous? (Score 5, Insightful) 546

Cases of arson, lynching, beatings, killings, cross burnings and voter suppression in an organized manner against a specific segment of the population? These activities have been ongoing for over a hundred years in a systematic manner? The frequency is down but it still occurs or is overlooked. I would call that terrorism at the very least.

Comment Re:Snap Tight vs Glue vs Mortise/tenon (Score 1) 127

I have heard of traditional post and beam. I haven't built any buildings with it. The discussion was about how different building systems become outmoded by newer systems that get the job done faster or cheaper (all other things being equal).

Post and Beam is a mature building system that has been in many cases outmoded by a faster, cheaper alternatives (in field stick building or in factory module construction). You can find "traditional" post and beam builders out there but they cost more than 2x4 construction. I expect they are doing everything they can to stay cost competitive with the cheaper alternatives. I wouldn't be surprised at all if they are using CAD/CAM/CNC to cut all of their joints and reduce man power. Even so they fall into the high end market for housing construction. Its basically a niche product that you have to seek out and be willing to spend extra to get.

Furniture and joinery is an art I will never have the time to practice to a fine level of precision. I am glad that people still practice it.

Comment Re:Snap-tite isn't new (Score 1) 127

Yes, that is all locked in in PDF or an approved format that cannot be edited after the fact.
I have seen some sleazy attempts by architects and engineers to slide things in under radar. Undocumented changes between Bid sets and contract sets for instance. Luckily I was only the commissioning agent on that. You can bet there was a lawsuit over that little stunt when it got caught.

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