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Comment: Re:For what purpose? (Score 1) 143

by KindMind (#46687723) Attached to: A Bid To Take 3D Printing Mainstream

Actually my granddaughter loves legos, and includes things she builds out of legos in her plays. But legos can be clunky and time consuming to put together (especially if you are trying to follow a complicated layout).

I think she would prefer to build it virtually first, and hit a key and have what she built come out.

You are right however - I have no idea about the general public. I do think that if a kid is already into minecraft (and it is pretty popular among my granddaughter's friends), they would be a good candidate for 3d printing from that kind of approach.

Comment: Re:For what purpose? (Score 2) 143

by KindMind (#46687159) Attached to: A Bid To Take 3D Printing Mainstream

I think this is a key question for any 3d printer / software setup. Most of the posts on Slashdot seem to center around "designing something for real" (prototyping, replacing a part, etc.)

But I think a recreational version would take off if done right. For example, my 7 year old granddaughter loves minecraft, and spends hours building things there. I think she would love the ability to print out stuff she has built there. She also likes to make her own videos. She will arrange her dollhouses and stuff animals and make up a story involving them, and record it. I think she would love the ability to design her own dollhouses, sets, etc.

For her, a minecraft approach of dropping and destroying pre-made blocks, etc., would work very well. Especially if she can paint and color her model of whatever after it is printed. She won't care about the exact dimensions, etc., as long as it fits together. Let the software handle that.

So the problem becomes, I think, "know the audience" and design appropriately for that audience.

+ - Exosuit lets divers go 1,000 feet deep->

Submitted by KindMind
KindMind (897865) writes "A new type of diving suit allows divers to go to 1,000 feet deep (at 30 times atmospheric pressure). A picture gallery at CNET has some neat pictures of the so-called Exosuit. According to the blog for the suit: "The first scientific exploration mission utilizing the Exosuit ADS is taking place this summer (2014), approximately 100 miles off of the Rhode Island Coast at a location called the Canyons, while working in the mesopelagic environment (depths of 200 to 1000 feet) ... The expedition's mission is to evaluate methods for improved human presence and scientific interaction at the edge of the mesopelagic realm as applied to the discovery, collection, and imaging of bioluminescent and biofluorescent organisms ...""
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Comment: Re: NOT posted as AC. (Score 1) 603

by KindMind (#45331157) Attached to: TSA Union Calls For Armed Guards At Every Checkpoint

... I am sick and tired of the overreaction to these random events whether it be aircraft crashing into a building, a workplace shooting, a bomb detonation at a public event, etc...

Yeah, me too. To tell the honest truth, when I heard about the shooting at the LA airport my thought was "Oh, this is California, where they shoot at each other on the highway. Sounds like one of those people made it into the airport". While that was probably unjust (sorry, California), the point remains. We have plenty of nuts in America that will do stupid things. Let's not overreact and swat a fly with a Buick, so to speak.

... I do not feel safe with roaming machine-gun-toting police officers or military in any venue ...

Me either, but that's a little extreme. I'm perfectly fine with armed police officers doing crowd control at events, etc. I guess it's a matter of degree of arming for me. When police officers, etc. start carrying RPGs or the like, that's when I start staying home :)

+ - Robert X Cringely: How Big Data is destroying the U.S. healthcare system->

Submitted by KindMind
KindMind (897865) writes "Cringely writes on the idea that technological advances have changed the health care system, and not for the better. The Idea is that companies now rate individuals instead of groups, and so move to a mode of preventing giving policies that might lose money, instead of the traditional way that insurances costs were spread over a group. From the article: "Then in the 1990s something happened: the cost of computing came down to the point where it was cost-effective to calculate likely health outcomes on an individual basis. This moved the health insurance business from being based on setting rates to denying coverage. In the U.S. the health insurance business model switched from covering as many people as possible to covering as few people as possible — selling insurance only to healthy people who didn’t much need the healthcare system.""
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Comment: Re:Pentobarbital (Score 1) 1160

Lethal injection is not humane ...

I don't think it's silly at all that the EU does this ...

On the "humane" aspect, I have been under anesthesia for surgery. I can testify I knew nothing, I felt nothing. If it's a question of administrating it properly, hire a anesthesiologist for the job, instead of ol' Tom down in the prison pharmacy.

To clarify my "silliness" comment, I am not mocking the EU for wanting to not have the death penalty. I have mixed feelings about the death penalty in general - some days I'm for it, some days I'm against it.

I was just commenting on the EU expecting it to matter by passing a magic law that will have no result whatsoever. I just find "make me feel good but do nothing practical" laws in general to be silly.

Comment: Re:Pentobarbital (Score 1) 1160

No. Europe's position is a longstanding one. And as the EU is a larger market than the US, an EU law forbidding a drug company to help with capital punishment carries weight.

In theory, I suppose. To me, this is just more legislative silliness. How are they really going to affect anything? There are still guns/ropes/gas chambers/rabid weasels/etc. The only thing this silliness can do it prevent using a more humane method over possibly a less humane one.

+ - MIT finds way to improve steam turbine generators efficiency->

Submitted by KindMind
KindMind (897865) writes "From the article:

In a power plant, the condenser is attached to the exhaust end of the turbines which drive the generators. The condenser keeps the pressure at its end of the turbine lower than the pressure at the boiler end, meaning that steam blasts through the blades harder and spins the turbine more powerfully, so generating more power. What the MIT boffins have found is a way of getting water droplets to jump off the cold pipes in the condenser and fall into the sump more quickly than they otherwise would, clearing room for new droplets to form. The condenser thus does its job of turning steam to water more efficiently.

The article also mentions that this could also improve helium airships, as a way to improve dynamically condensing water as ballast as fuel is burned off,"

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Comment: Depends on context for me (Score 1) 311

by KindMind (#44907281) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Does Your Work Schedule Make You Unproductive?

For me, it depends on the context of what I'm doing.

If I am doing something very complex, with many pieces that I have to keep in my head at once, I am much more productive if I stay with it and work late, even through the night.

But if I am doing mundane bs stuff, one hour is too long before I start becoming unproductive.

I have found multiple days of late hours will fry me if I do too many back to back. I need a night off somewhere in there or I wind up sitting in my chair just staring and doing nothing.

+ - Stock market crashes and spikes caused by 'predatory' algorithms?->

Submitted by KindMind
KindMind (897865) writes "According to researchers at the University of Miami, "automated 'predatory' robot bankers caused a number of serious glitches that sent the global financial system shuddering to a halt".

According the the researchers, they found that "squadrons of 'ultrafast' and out of control trading algorithms caused major spikes and crashes in the market.", and that "These dramatic events took place in less than 650 milliseconds".

The original article "Abrupt rise of new machine ecology beyond human response time" is found in Nature here."

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+ - Sky Deutschland considering using bone conduction to force ads on train riders-> 1

Submitted by KindMind
KindMind (897865) writes "Sky Deutschland is considering a proposal to use bone conduction to broadcast ads to train riders. The idea is that the riders rest their heads against a part of the train, like the train window, and then bone conduction would broadcast ads directly into their ears."
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Comment: Could be a few advantages (Score 1) 146

by KindMind (#43990251) Attached to: Project Envisions Modular Aircraft That Double as Train Cars

I can think of a few advantages of a modular system like this over standard aircraft.

- Could offer faster plane turnaround. Plane never leaves the runway. Drops off sections onto a track, that takes the sections to the terminals. Plane then immediately picks up new sections and leaves.

- Plane sections could be preloaded without the planes being there. Track moves them out to plane liftoff area.

- One plane could cover multiple destinations. Could have three sections, each going to a different city. Plane flies to A and B. Starts by getting sections for A and B, and flies to A. At A, drops off A sections, and gets more B sections, then flies to B. Passengers wouldn't have to change planes so much perhaps.

- Maybe could have fewer airports. In the state of Missouri, KC and St. Louis are pretty close - about 240 miles, or about 1/2 hour travel time by air. What if instead the passengers get preloaded in both cities, then sent to a central location like Columbia (in the middle of the state). Plane picks up a section from KC and one from St. Louis both going to the same destination. Yes I know you could use a standard train for this, but the idea is that it would be seamless. Check in at KC or St. Louis, then get to destination without having to change seats.

- Maybe more secure. If there's no physical doorway between the plane section and the plane itself, the worst a terrorist could do would be to damage one section; i.e., couldn't hijack the plane.

- Maybe better plane disaster recovery. Don't know if it's possible, but maybe a plane section could be fitted with parachutes, where if a plane is going down, it could "eject" the plane sections to fend for themselves, with maybe a drag chute to slow the plane down, then massive chutes to allow the section to land. In this scenario, the structural integrity of the section would be maintained so it could float in the event of a water landing.

I dunno. Very intriguing idea with some possibilities.

+ - Wiping a smart phone still leaves data behind->

Submitted by KindMind
KindMind (897865) writes "To probably no one's surprise, wiping a smart phone by standard methods doesn't get all the data erased. Wired writes '... Problem is, even if you do everything right, there can still be lots of personal data left behind. Simply restoring a phone to its factory settings won’t completely clear it of data. Even if you use the built-in tools to wipe it, when you go to sell your phone on Craigslist you may be selling all sorts of things along with it that are far more valuable — your name, birth date, Social Security number and home address, for example.'"
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+ - Build a secret compartment, go to jail->

Submitted by KindMind
KindMind (897865) writes "Alfred Anaya was a custom stereo installer who branched out to making secret compartments for valuables, who the DEA sent to prison as a co-conspirator when a drug dealer used his creation to smuggle drugs.

But Wired points out the bigger question: 'The challenge for anyone who creates technology is to guess when they should turn their back on paying customers. Take a manufacturer of robot kits for hobbyists. If someone uses those robots to patrol a smuggling route or help protect a meth lab, how will prosecutors determine whether the company acted criminally?'"

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"Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward" -- William E. Davidsen