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Comment: Re:Good luck with that... (Score 1) 53

by MightyMartian (#48647159) Attached to: US Seeks China's Help Against North Korean Cyberattacks

I don't think NK is a satellite state in the usual sense of the word. China certainly shields NK, but its reasoning isn't always clear. NK does act as a major counterbalance to US interests (Japan, South Kore and Taiwan). At the same time, NK seems extremely suspicious of China and some believe that at least part of the reason for the latest purge was to cut out members of the regime with too close a ties to China.

Comment: Re:Plastic socket wrench? (Score 1) 115

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) 115

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) 115

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:Fundamental failure of process design (Score 3, Interesting) 132

by drinkypoo (#48646081) Attached to: Cyberattack On German Steel Factory Causes 'Massive Damage'

What kind of a plant is designed in a way that a full failure of their control system would result in being unable to shutdown in a controlled manner.

Pretty much all of them. At best, you can lose a batch of something if the process fails in the middle. If Sunsweet loses power in the middle of cooking a batch of fruit paste, the batch not only fails and has to be trashed but cleaning the system is far more difficult than if the batch succeeds. At the point where factories become complex enough to need digital automation, you cannot reasonably create a failsafe mechanism which will prevent an error from losing a batch. The best you can hope for in some situations, probably most, is to create mechanical interlocks which will prevent immediately catastrophic combinations of inputs and outputs.

Comment: Re:Yet another clueless story on automation (Score 1) 496

by TheRaven64 (#48645719) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

Most of the developing world just doesn't have this problem.

Actually that's not true. India and China did very well out of being a cheap place to manufacture things because of the low labour cost. Now, factories that are almost entirely automated are replacing those staffed by unskilled workers. This means that no one is building them in developing countries and creating jobs there. The only reason that companies like Foxconn have for picking places in Africa for manufacturing now is the the lack of environmental regulation: a few politicians get paid off, but the local economy doesn't benefit and the local environment gets polluted. The path Japan took, of cheaply copying things, being a cheap place to build factories, developing local skills, and then competing internationally with original products, doesn't exist anymore.

Comment: Re:It's hard to take this article seriously (Score 1) 496

by TheRaven64 (#48645709) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?
Exactly. Few workers would complain about automation if they owned a share in the company proportionate to their contribution to the profits. If a robot means that the company can produce more without their going to work then their income would go up and so would their leisure time. Instead, they become redundant in a shrinking job market and the owners get richer.

Comment: Re:Why bother? (Score 1) 275

by TheRaven64 (#48645633) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is an Open Source<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.NET Up To the Job?
Java doesn't require you to catch every exception, it requires that, for every exception that cam be generated in a method, you must either catch it or advertise that your method can throw it. This makes static analysis and reasoning about exception much easier, because you know exactly what exceptions a particular method can throw. Handling exceptions at the wrong place is a problem with the programmers, not with the language or VM.

We don't know who it was that discovered water, but we're pretty sure that it wasn't a fish. -- Marshall McLuhan

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