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Comment: Re:Funny how this works ... (Score 1) 50

by bill_mcgonigle (#47975149) Attached to: Netflix Rejects Canadian Regulator Jurisdiction Over Online Video

Really? A radio and TV communications commission can block legal credit card transactions?

Presumably they simply rule the product as being 'illegal' and then the transactions also become such and there are extant mechanisms for interfering with those.

And, yes, political regulators have the ability to find a way to destroy ANY business - that seems to be what most voters want. The current system is based on silent consent - those not loudly objecting are considered to be supporting.
It's a stupid framework, but that's how it is.

Comment: Re:Does it matter? (Score 2) 31

by bill_mcgonigle (#47975005) Attached to: Google Quietly Nixes Mandatory G+ Integration With Gmail

I fail to understand how they don't just have a Google account and then you go into some kind of 'setup' or 'preferences' panel and check/uncheck boxes for 'enable: Picassa, YouTube, GMail, Plus, Reader (oops), Wallet', etc. If that's too complex it can be automatically enabled if you go to the relevant service and try to use it (upload a picture, post an update, etc.).

I don't believe that Google is irrational, but by making their services as hard to use as possible (I know, don't read the YouTube commments...) they limit page views to some extent, which much affect their advertising stream - but I haven't seen the wisdom of why they want to do that.

Is it just that disk space is expensive and the consumption stream size's increase is only proportional to the creation stream's size on a diminishing returns scale? I could possibly buy that - I have a hundred videos in my Watch Later queue on YouTube, so they won't make any more money on my views than they would if they made it easier to upload, edit, and share videos.

Comment: Re:So in the future ... (Score 1) 139

by Rei (#47974841) Attached to: The UPS Store Will 3-D Print Stuff For You

Really, shipping bulk raw materials is equivalent to shipping finished goods, in your world? Finished goods are usually predominantly waste space, are full of packaging, have to be handled gingerly, and need to be distributed to individuals in different locations. Raw materials are packed together as densely as possible, little to no packaging, can be thrown around, and go straight to just a couple manufacturers. And when import taxes come into play, it's even more extreme, since those are generally based on the price of what you're importing.

Comment: Re: So in the future ... (Score 1) 139

by Rei (#47974671) Attached to: The UPS Store Will 3-D Print Stuff For You

You know, I was just thinking, wouldn't it be possible to make a rapid 3d *moulder*, for those bulk parts that you don't require as much precision on (aka, chair)? Picture a stretchable half-mould surface, on a large bed (maybe 50x100cm for a home edition, larger for a workshop) with a grid of little pistons on it that can change it's shape (nothing too high res, maybe one every square centimeter). Picture a second half-mould positioned just opposite, such that the two elements can close off off a 3d space. Such a system could virtually instantly form whatever shape you want, spray the inside with release agent, pipe in a thermoplastic or thermoset resin or wax (for lost wax casting) or confectionary or whatnot, let it set / cure it, and then open up. The pistons could then reshape to ready for whatever shape you want next. If such a moulder would you mess with the two halves individually after they've formed their shapes, you could use it as a composite layup, too. Disposable liners for the mould could be used if sticking / damaging the adjustable mould surface would be a problem.

Wouldn't that be getting awfully close to the potential that mass manufacture currently has? Casting as many times as you want and only having to wait for the product to set? Sure, you'd be limited to relatively simple geometries, but if you need anything more complex, that's what regular 3d printing is for. Hollow shapes could be handled in a two-stage process, first printing out the inner, releasing it, securing it in place, respraying both it and the mould with release agent, then printing out the desired part. I'd think a well-designed moulder could handle that without human intervention.

Hmm, come to think of it, it might even be possible to make a direct metal casting moulder. I know there are high temperature flexible fabrics that can withstand the temperature of most molten metals (various ceramic fiber ones), although I'm not sure whether there are any with sufficient flex for such a role. Oh, hey, carbon fiber and graphite felt are used as a flexible insulating material , that'd probably do the trick.

Comment: Re:Competitive pricing? Depends... (Score 1) 139

by Rei (#47974313) Attached to: The UPS Store Will 3-D Print Stuff For You

Come to think of it, this has to be a godsend for Hollywood. They've got the budgets, and you can use the same model for both CG special effects and printing for camera work (whether we're talking about printing for miniatures, animatronics, prosthetics, molds for prosthetics, gadgets or other small objects, etc). No need to have both your 3d artist and a physical artist create the same thing.

Comment: Re:Because... (Score 1) 193

by swillden (#47973909) Attached to: Do Specs Matter Anymore For the Average Smartphone User?

I'm not sure about the Android or Windows Phone situation though.

The Nexus 5 32GB is £249. Officially, Google only guarantees to continue supporting and upgrading devices for 18 months, which would give an at-release "rental" price of £166. However, Google seems to have quietly abandoned the 18-month limit, given that the Nexus 4 is supposed to be receiving Android L, which means it will be supported through the end of 2015 at which point it will be three years old. If we assume the year-old Nexus 5 will follow the same course there's two years of support left, making the Nexus 5 "rental", £125 per year if you buy it right now, or £83 if you bought it when it came out.

Of course, since Nexus devices are unlocked it's pretty easy for users to continue upgrading them even after Google stops releasing updates. So assuming you're willing to type a few commands from time to time, the per-year price can be very low. My son is still using my Galaxy Nexus and there's no reason it won't continue being a very usable phone for another 2-3 years, always on the latest OS (I flashed a development version of L to a Galaxy Nexus a couple of weeks ago and it ran quite well). If we can assume that the Nexus 5 is good for five years, the at-release annual "rental" price is £50.

Comment: Re:Not ad hominem (Score 1) 142

by Firethorn (#47973891) Attached to: Anonymous Peer-review Comments May Spark Legal Battle

I expect that this is why he got into trouble - a relevant expert from the hiring university would be able to easily evaluate the merits of the comments.

That was what I figured as well. Whenever somebody sues because of some anonymous comments on a website my default assumption is that it only 'caused harm' because the comments were true, or at least accurate enough.

However, in the USA this is the equivalent of throwing a hissy fit because truth is actually a protection under US law. I know that over in England the rules are somewhat different, truth is not an absolute defense.

For that matter, in many cases the harm has to be deliberate - IE they had to post it KNOWING that it was going to hurt, as opposed to the ultimate purpose of a peer review being to improve your paper.
"Oh crud, a citation for that data got dropped" would probably be a better response than a hissy fit.

Comment: Re:Good. IndieGoGo should do it too (Score 1) 192

by Firethorn (#47973727) Attached to: Kickstarter Lays Down New Rules For When a Project Fails

What decade are you from, out of curiosity?

I span many decades, though I wonder if you're from the future, seeing as how you present figures that are around double that of current mainstream stuff.

Currently, we're pushing ~40% in top end photovoltaics ~35% in midrange/prosumer, lowly consumer stuff bought off Alibaba easily reaches 25%

Let's see:
2014 review says 15% for consumer grade panels.
44.7% is the world record. However, these cells are disallowed because they're all concentrator types - they're designed for use with mirrors and such to feed them 100X+ concentrated sunlight.
21.5% is the world record for consumer grade panels.

After that we had to adjust because they'd be non-optimally placed(flat vs angled, under shade, etc...), where the light has to penetrate through thick and fairly dirty glass*, etc...

blue is far more efficient than red in terms of input power/output

Huh, looks like red LEDs are still more efficient than blue. The reason we use blue LEDs(well, ultraviolet ones), is that you can change blue to red(and the other colors) with a simple phosphor, but not vice versa.

Oh, and Monochromatic efficiencies are more in the 1/3rd range, not 70%. You also have to account for the power conditioning electronics to buffer output between the solar panels(or nighttime power transmission) and the LEDs. They can be highly efficient as well(90%+), but it's still there.

Your math is about 40 years behind.

I'll give you 1. Which was when we examined the issue.

*They found that their 'traction surface' dropped power production by about 15% compared to the bare panel. That would drop a 21.5% efficient panel to 18.3%.

Comment: Re:DAESH, not ISIL (Score 5, Insightful) 250

by professionalfurryele (#47973507) Attached to: US Strikes ISIL Targets In Syria

The KKK are Christian. They aren't exactly representative of modern Christianity (or of Christianity back when the KKK was more substantial), although there was a big subset of the South who were sympathetic to them. The comparison is actually very apt. IS or Daesh or whatever you want to call them (I'd prefer Daesh as it is what the locals call them when they aren't pointing guns at them), is Islamic. It isn't representative of modern Islam, or even of Islam in the region. Thier theology is also a pretty piss poor interpretation of the source text of Islam, an argument you would be right to make, just like the KKK bastardised the Bible (note, I don't like the Quran and think it has some horrid ideas but it is pretty fucking clear that many of Daesh actions are reprehensible). But you cant ignore the fact that they appear to be sincere a fair chunk of the time when they say part of their motivation is religious.

Comment: Re:Add 3D scanner service to offer 3D copies (Score 1) 139

by Rei (#47972591) Attached to: The UPS Store Will 3-D Print Stuff For You

For this to be more than just a gimmick, UPS needs to offer a 3D scanning service as well.

Which is why I really hope to see Project Tango in the future connect direct with 3d printing.

Scan your scene with your phone, click to print, pick the article in question out of the scene (with simple cutting tools and smart select), assign a material to it (with the app doing its best to choose defaults), possibly apply some filters (welding broken pieces together, for example) or stretch it a bit in different directions to meet your needs if you choose, pick your printing service, pick any other details such as surface treatments and the like, and it gets uploaded, you get billed, and your print arrives in the mail when it's ready.

Comment: Re:So in the future ... (Score 1) 139

by Rei (#47972503) Attached to: The UPS Store Will 3-D Print Stuff For You

While I agree with you, I think it's important not to overgeneralize today's methods of 3d printing with being the only methods possible.

  For example, I've often speculated a lot about the prospect of using thermal spraying as a printing method. That is, you have any sort of powder or other fine material, fed into a chamber with the Venturi effect. Therein a custom mix of air and fuel is injected at specifically chosen partial pressures. Consequently, depending on what material you're using, you can choose the impact speed and temperature of the particles, anywhere from "cold" to thousands of degrees and anywhere from less than 1 meter per second up to a thousand or more. The size of the nozzle determines flow rate, so you could swap between different print heads for bulk vs. fine detail. You're essentially unlimited in what materials you can use. You could, for example, print isotropic fiberglass composites by alternately spraying fine chopped fibers and a resin. You could even do so by spraying simple quartz sand at high enough temperatures, fast moving molten sand in the air forms fiberglass. Your resin could be a thermoset powder heated during travel, an epoxy that reacts after being mixed on impact, or a wide variety of other possibilities. High velocity spraying of metal powders produces metal structures stronger than simple casting. You could spray at low velocity chemicals for the filling of things like capacitors or resistors. Thermal spraying is often as it stands used to apply durable clear coatings to materials to protect them, so clearly transparency is no problem. And any printer built around the principle of launching varied small particles at high speeds could polish, sandblast, coat, engrave, paint, or do whatever other surface treatments you wanted. It could build scaffoldings and then obliterate them afterwards. And on and on down the line.

It still wouldn't let you do fine detail, though (if anything you'd struggle to get as high detail as with conventional 3d printers). For detail work you'd have to add in a lithography setup. Some types of feed inputs would require refrigeration to remain as dusts. And of course some things would still be easiest assembled with literal assembly, aka, a robotic arm or two would be quite useful. So we're getting more and more complicated here.

Do I think such a thing is right around the corner? Of course not. Could my conception turn out to not work well at all as a 3d printer? Quite possibly - as far as I know, nobody's ever tried. But I'm just pointing out, when talking about future tech, you shouldn't evaluate it based on how today's tech works.

Comment: Re:So in the future ... (Score 1) 139

by Rei (#47972399) Attached to: The UPS Store Will 3-D Print Stuff For You

Problem will be printing small things, atomic scale assembly, not just squirting some plastic parts

And yet you want to 3d print a fuel cell for a car? How do you plan to 3d print a PEM?

At least 3d printing a battery might be plausible if you have a 3d printer that can take an extremely wide range of materials (not a li-ion battery, though, you run into the same sort of membrane problems.. I really doubt there's any technology that will allow you to just jet down a membrane material and have it allow through your specific desired ions, at a sufficient flow rate, without leaks)

And where on earth are you getting that printed titanium parts are cheaper than non-printed? Have you ever priced titanium printing? iMaterialise, for example, offers it. A 2x2x4 cm bounding box with a mere 1 gram of titanium (picture how little that is that is compared to a plane) costs a staggering $124. Titanium laser sintering printers are slow energy hogs that cost a king's ransom and even titanium powder itself is absurdly priced compared to bulk titanium. And no, the stats aren't better, they're slightly worse for the exact same shaped part. Maybe you can make a more optimally shaped part and that'll allow you to get better performance, but in terms of raw material properties, it's unimpressive.

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