Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Awesome! (Score 1) 36

by Rei (#49519659) Attached to: NASA's Rocket Maker To Begin 3D Printing Flight-Ready Components

The first patent (which had no attempt to commercialize) was in 1979. Most early research, with largely failed attempts to come up with a commercially viable product, were in the mid 1980s. The tech has slowly advanced since then, and nowadays is becoming rather mature.

I don't know why this is seen as a way to diss 3d printing. Some people's hatred of makerbots and their ilk is so great that they can't accept that 3d printing broadly has developed into actually useful production processes in some fields. Rocketry is a great example. It's just silly to have to make (and warehouse) moulds or stamps for parts that you only need a couple dozen of and which you may revise after just a couple launches. Now that 3d printing technologies have advanced enough to produce high quality metal parts, it's properly taking of. It even pairs nicely with CNC, there's now hybrid 3d printing / CNC machines out there. CNC gets you the coarse, primary shape and 3d printing adds in the intricate and/or jutting out components.

3d printing is a very useful technology for low volume or rapidly evolving part runs. No need to play it down just because Makerbots exist.

Comment: Re: And GOD said (Score 1) 132

by mark-t (#49519431) Attached to: The Origin of the First Light In the Universe

You seem to me to be saying things about God that my experiences, and my logic, very strongly contradict.

Which part? I didn't really have much to say about God in that post.... In the post to which you responded, I was mostly pointing out that even I myself face the same intellectual challenges with wrapping my mind around the notion that God is not somehow malevolent or cruel as anyone else does. The only difference between myself and people who decide that the so-called loving God must be a fiction because of it is that I've come to the conclusion that my own wisdom isn't really going to be sufficient to explain the true nature of God, and I believe that in time, although probably not before I die, I will finally understand how.

Comment: Re:Found in small town, CA? (Score 3, Interesting) 60

There aren't even any 3G towers that I know of.

Seriously? A good chunk of the existing phone base can't even do 4G - prepaid is still largely 3G-only phones, which are still sold new today. It would be very rare to have 4G-only coverage areas in a town.

However, if you never go anywhere and have really good 4G coverage, setting your phone to 4G-only may well be a good workaround to reduce your chance of an intercept.

Comment: Re:Correction: 4,300 times (Score 1) 60

The article states that the earlier figure was incorrect; the Baltimore police actually used it 4,300 times, not 25,000 times.

It's still a big enough number that they must have full-time staff dedicated to these illegal searches. No wonder B'more has so many problems with dropped calls.

Comment: Do you think that some distant.... (Score 2) 53

by mark-t (#49517021) Attached to: 3.46-Billion-Year-Old 'Fossils' Were Not Created By Life Forms
... future descendant might try and argue, by the same reasoning, that the "people" (as we currently call them) in this time were not really alive either... that all we actually are is a bunch of organic compounds arranged in a pattern that suspiciously behaves like what they consider to be life, but actually isn't.

Comment: Re:Inaccurate headline. (Score 1) 523

by mark-t (#49516999) Attached to: Automakers To Gearheads: Stop Repairing Cars
I read the article... it cites a single example of how someone *COULD* modify the ECU and make the car no longer legally compliant, but again... that's already against the law. The first part of the article itself talkes about using the DMCA to stop people from doing such things, but as I said... there's already a law against making your car unsafe anyways, so if people aren't going to pay attention to that law, why would they pay attention to the DMCA? Particularly when they are just as liable to be caught doing either?

Comment: Re:Inaccurate headline. (Score 4, Insightful) 523

by mark-t (#49514715) Attached to: Automakers To Gearheads: Stop Repairing Cars

And if such changes would cause the vehicle to no longer comply with regional safety standards for vehicles, then the person would be held responsible if or when that modification was discovered. While that may be too late to actually prevent an accident, making it illegal to modify your car under the allegation that you may make it unsafe to drive is like making it illegal for you to drink alcohol if you happen to have a driver's license (ignoring the fact that a driver's license is often used for verifying that one is of legal drinking age in the first place) because you might try drive while drunk. Most of the people who are suspected of drunk driving are unfortunately only found so after they have already caused an accident as well.

My point is that like drunk driving, and laws that prohibit that activity, there are already laws that prohibit making any unsafe modifications to your vehicle... and not realizing that a change would cause a vehicle to not meet the necessary safety requirements is no more of a justification than not realizing that one was over the legal limit for blood alcohol content when getting behind the wheel of a car.

Comment: There's already laws.... (Score 1) 523

by mark-t (#49514573) Attached to: Automakers To Gearheads: Stop Repairing Cars

... that prohibit enthusiasts from making modifications to any vehicle that is to be driven on public roads which make it no longer comply with regional safety regulations.

If manufacturers don't want people tinkering with their systems because they are genuinely concerned about public safety, then it seems to me like they are already covered... there's no need to bring the DMCA into it at all.

Comment: Re:Full of third worlders, no doubt... (Score 1) 489

by mark-t (#49513995) Attached to: George Lucas Building Low-Income Housing Next Door To Millionaires

Because MOST white people don't want to live around non-whites

Citation. I'm betting you can't come up with one that's authoritative.

Oh... and while its almost certainly possible to suggest something even more racist than what you've said here, I expect most educated people would probably have to make a conscious effort to do so.

Comment: Re: Here's a better idea (Score 1) 595

Wannabe central planners think they have all the answers.

Here's a crazy idea - stop artificial price fixing of water and let the stupid uses become unprofitable through millions of decisions by people who know about their own business.

"Oh, no," they say, "we know better. Even though they created this mess with that attitude.

When someone says "I want a programming language in which I need only say what I wish done," give him a lollipop.