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Comment: Re:Hot Glue Guns (Score 1) 173

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) 173

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) 173

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: San Francisco already did this (Score 5, Interesting) 178

by Animats (#48567503) Attached to: LA Mayor Proposes Earthquake Retrofits On Thousands of Buildings

San Francisco already did this. Almost all the masonry buildings in SF have been reinforced since the 1989 quake, and now the rules are being tighened on wood buldings. If you've been in an older building in SF, you've probably seen huge diagonal steel braces. That's what it looks like.

All new big buildings meet very tough earthquake standards. The bridges and freeways have been beefed up in recent years. Overpass pillars are about three times as big as they used to be. Two elevated freeways were torn down after one in Oakland failed in the 1989 quake. The entire eastern span of the Bay Bridge was replaced with a new suspension bridge. The western span was strengthened, and there are now sliding joints, huge plates of stainless steel, between the roadway and the towers.

Comment: The corporate AI (Score 4, Insightful) 417

by Animats (#48566135) Attached to: AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us

What I'm worried about is when AIs start doing better at corporate management than humans. If AIs do better at running companies than humans, they have to be put in charge for companies to remain competitive. That's maximizing shareholder value, which is what capitalism is all about.

Once AIs get good enough to manage at all, they should be good at it. Computers can handle more detail than humans. They communicate better and faster than humans. Meetings will take seconds, not hours. AI-run businesses will react faster.

Then AI-run businesses will start deailng with other AI-run businesses. Human-run businesses will be too slow at replying to keep up. The pressure to put an AI in charge will increase.

We'll probably see this first in the finanical sector. Many funds are already run mostly by computers. There's even a fund which formally has a program on their board of directors.

The concept of the corporation having no social responsibiilty gives us enough trouble. Wait until the AIs are in charge.

Comment: Re:Of course... (Score 2) 698

by Animats (#48549251) Attached to: French Publishers Prepare Lawsuit Against Adblock Plus

It has apparently never occurred to publishers to band together and fund the creation of a system for buying content at dirt cheap prices using something like ACH transfers to keep the transaction costs low. How about a one-click purchase model where you pay $0.50/article or $3 for all content published that day?

It's been tried. Nobody bought. Except for the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, no news outlet adds enough value that people will pay for it.

Comment: Re:Great story of unintended consequences (Score 1) 118

>After half a century of unpredicted swings of boom and bust the fishery managers are gradually moving toward restoration of something that resembles, at least faintly, the original lake trout and perch ecosystem.

Which will also be subject to unpredicted swings of boom and bust.

The idea that there's ever a balance of nature where the populations are stable is a complete fantasy, unpredictable swings are the norm. Ecologies are virtually always chaotic systems.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

Comment: Re:All the cost, none of the benefits: Thanks US G (Score 1) 238

by Animats (#48524939) Attached to: The Cost of the "S" In HTTPS

Mod parent up.

"HTTPS Everywhere" is security theater. Most stuff doesn't need to be encrypted. Worse, as the parent post points out, it causes the creation of security holes. This weakens security for the few things that need to be encrypted.

We don't need "value added services" in the middle of the network. Not for secure content, anyway. Perhaps some content should be signed, but not encrypted, so it can be cached, but not modified. Cloudflare, which decrypts everything that goes through it, is a huge security hole.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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