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Comment: Re:Why bother? (Score 1) 367

many of the engineers I encountered adopted an almost Scandinavian lifestyle of working to live instead of living to work.

What's wrong with that? The vast majority of the planet has a far healthier work-life balance than we here in the US have. Time to take your blinkers off.

Comment: Re:I'm sick of this (Score 1) 96

by bws111 (#48649119) Attached to: Finland Announces an Anti-Laser Campaign For Air Traffic

Do you understand the difference between 'has not happened' and 'can not happen'? There are many instances of accidents caused by things that you would think could not cause an accident.

Is a laser by itself likely to bring down a plane? No. Can a laser be the last straw that causes a crash when the pilots are already dealing with some other problem? Yes.

Look into the history of air crashes and educate yourself. Except for mechanical failures a whole bunch of crashes are caused by multiple small things that individually would not be a problem.

Comment: Re:Why bother? (Score 1) 367

Compiler optimizations don't really help if your code is I/O or input-bound, which accounts for most of the code written today - so users rarely see the benefits. Occasionally you get a situation where one particular code path is CPU-bound and is hit often enough that optimizing it matters, but in that case it's usually still easier to use C++ for that particular bit, and some other high-level language for the rest.

Granted, with all the changes already in C++14, and more good stuff coming in C++17, C++ itself gets more high-level every year. Right now I'd say the problem is really more with the tooling than with the language... debugging C# or Java is still a much more comfortable experience than debugging C++. But it doesn't have to be that way.

Comment: Re:Why bother? (Score 1) 367

Promises and async is indeed a good point. I've been writing async (UI) code in C# for the past two years, and have almost forgotten what a mess it was before tasks and await.

BTW, async/await is also proposed for C++, though it is a much more generalized construct there:

VC++ has a preview of the implementation in the current betas:

Comment: Re:Plastic socket wrench? (Score 1) 139

by Rei (#48646431) Attached to: NASA 'Emails' a Socket Wrench To the ISS

They're saying that it won't break because that's not the purpose here. The description of the experiment is:

In addition to safely integrating into the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG), the 3D Print requirements include the production of a 3D multi-layer object(s) that generate data (operational parameters, dimensional control, mechanical properties) to enhance understanding of the 3D printing process in space. Thus, some of the prints were selected to provide information on the tensile, flexure, compressional, and torque strength of the printed materials and objects. Coupons to demonstrate tensile, flexure, and compressional strength were chosen from the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards. Multiple copies of these coupons are planned for printing to obtain knowledge of strength variance and the implications of feedstock age. Each printed part is compared to a duplicate part printed on Earth. These parts are compared in dimensions, layer thickness, layer adhesion, relative strength, and relative flexibility. Data obtained in the comparison of Earth- and space-based printing are used to refine Earth-based 3D printing technologies for terrestrial and space-based applications.

The description is not "Print out a wrench so that crew members can change a rusty lug bolt". And yes, also from the description page, they include direct metal printing as part of their list of ultimate goals with 3d printing in space research.

Comment: Re:My sockets are made of high quality steel (Score 1) 139

by Rei (#48646403) Attached to: NASA 'Emails' a Socket Wrench To the ISS

Indeed. 3d printing is not going to be suitable for mass production, for keeping a whole colony supplied in bulk components.** But for small specialty parts, it seems like an obvious answer to that piece of the equation. As the tech advances, it's just going to get more and more capable. I'm personally looking much forward to seeing whether a 3d printer that works based on thermal spraying would work out - then your production material choice would be almost limitless, pretty much any powder or small fibers you can think of that can be made to merge with the substrate through any custom combination of either temperature or velocity, and your balance between deposition rate and precision could be chosen just by rotating through nozzles of different sizes, none of the feed mechanism or material storage or anything. Your same printer could even paint, coat, sandblast, or pretty much any other post treatment on its own.

** Concerning not being able to use 3d printing for mass manufacturing: That is, assuming 3d printing as we think of it today, printing a voxel at a time. However, if you made a custom programmable 3d *molder*, where it forms a cavity of a programmable shape, that could be a different story - then you're approaching true mass production potential. Custom programmable stamping tools and other manufacturing processes could also be developed.

Comment: Re:My sockets are made of high quality steel (Score 1) 139

by Rei (#48646363) Attached to: NASA 'Emails' a Socket Wrench To the ISS

A lot of the slashdot crowd still thinks of 3d printers in terms of Makerbots and the like, the low end consumer-level home 3d printers. They really have no clue what professional level hardware can achieve. They'd be singing a different tune had they ever ordered 3d-printed parts from a professional 3d printing service.

Comment: Re:Revolution (Score 1) 561

by shutdown -p now (#48645553) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

But the rich will not recognize that until the mobs with pitchforks are breaking into their gated communities.

It only needs to happen in one place for others to recognize the urgency. Just like the communist revolution in the USSR prompted the rise of the welfare state in the West (and, with the collapse of the USSR, welfare state is also slowly evaporating).

There must be more to life than having everything. -- Maurice Sendak