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Comment: Utilities use Aluminum (Score 1) 288 288

Tin, nickel, gold, copper, steel... what haven't I seen used for connectors? Aluminum, that's about it. I think we all know why, but the sparks that shot out of the outlets in the mobile home in which I spent many of my formative years due to oxidation of the aluminum wiring are a big clue if anyone doesn't

Electric Power Utilities are heavy users of tin-plated aluminum connectors. They are normally used with aluminum cable, so you don't have fewer issues with thermal expansion, etc.

Using aluminum cable with copper connectors will generally result in cold-flow degradation of the connection, leading to overheating and fire.

Comment: Re:The content of this article was lost in the noi (Score 1) 422 422

What technical reason would cause photographes to prefer mirror slap over the near-silent operation of a mirrorless?

My DSLR's are very well developed for very fast focus in very low light ( Nikon D700, D800). The optical viewfinder has zero lag, and works under all light conditions.

My mirrorless cameras (Nikon V1, Sony A6000) have electronic viewfinders (EVF) that have a lot of lag in dark conditions, making the camera almost useless at times. The Nikon V1 has the best on-sensor AF I've seen, and is the closest to a DSLR of any mirrorless camera. But it and the Sony A6000 simply struggle under low light conditions.

EVF's are fantastic for video, and (with "focus peaking") great for use with manual focus lenses. DSLR optical viewfinders are blind when shooting video. But EVFs are not up to the level of a DSLR for stills. That's why I shoot both.

Comment: DOF is optical, has nothing to do with sensor size (Score 1) 422 422

Your forgetting that DOF is dependent not only on the lens, but also sensor size

This is not correct. DOF is dependent on the optics, and has nothing to do with sensor size.

The source of this commonly shared myth is the association of smaller sensors with shorter focal length lenses. It is the shorter lens that increases DOF, not the sensor.

Comment: Thanks, but please improve future audio (Score 1, Informative) 38 38

I appreciate the effort, but rule #1 for video is to get the audio right. You can watch a bad video, but bad sound can make an otherwise good video nearly unwatchable. The interviewer's use of an iPhone headset is far from optimum.

Comment: Re:Or just make the A-pillar narrower. (Score 1) 191 191

You can't reasonably do that, the A-pillars have grown to meet the engineering demands of modern rollover safety standards.

I agree a narrower width has to be compensated for, but there's plenty of room for that if you increase the depth. It may require a special structural component to be placed there, but this is within the realm of what can be done, I'm sure.

But you may have knowledge that i lack, and there may be something I've overlooked. Please share if you have more details.

Comment: Re:That's not the problem; the rearview mirror is (Score 1) 191 191

Why doesn't anyone make a rear-view mirror where you don't have to be 5'2" or shorter for it not to block your vision?

I have this same issue. Generally, I can invert the mirror to get it higher, as most have mounts on the top of the mirror.

Comment: Or just make the A-pillar narrower. (Score 3, Informative) 191 191

Here's a better idea - make the A-pillar (as viewed from the drivers position) no wider than the distance between the center of your eyes. This prevents the pillar from blocking your vision, and no electronics are needed.

Comment: Re:Where will decent software come from? Here's 4 (Score 4, Informative) 111 111

I'm also a Solidworks user. I think you overlooked a few.

GeoMagic Design Elements US$1300.
McNeel Rhino US$ 995
Cubify Design US$ 199
Cubify Invent US$ 49

I used a trial of GeoMagic Design, and almost purchased it. I think it was Alibre Design, so it somewhat of a Solidworks clone, and is far better than I expected. But my clients use Solidworks, so.....

I also use Rhino, and it does stuff Solidworks can only dream of. It lack full parametrics and a history tree, but has fantastic surface modeling. If you do complex surfaces, this is the one to get.

Cubify Design and Invent - have not tried them, but they likely fit what most people want to do - make simple parts.

Disclosure: I have been a customer for each of these companies, and know people at all three. I used to be a dealer for Solidworks and Rhino 14 years ago, and wish I didn't have to pay full retail today.

Comment: BS - what they want is problem solving skills (Score 1) 553 553

In school, I was a "problem" because I was a critical thinker. I've also been fired for trying to prevent product failure ("how dare you suggest we test what the salesman said!") - one that failed exactly the way I predicted.

I've seen the same message is most workplaces: Follow our dogma or be punished.

On the other hand, I went to the (now gone) us steel institute for problem solving, and it changed my life. This is a skill that companies seek. In a nutshell, if a company (well, boss) thinks they know how to do something, you better do it their way else. But if they don't know how to do it, then you are allowed much more freedom.

An interesting article on the poor leadership in the US offered this theory. 1) Parents see more presidents come from Ivy League universities. 2) Parent pushes kids to get good grades, etc. needed for acceptance. 3) Schools demand conformity, student complies. 4) Leadership positions are filled with "leaders" who have been trained to conform. 5) New events occur, and the "leaders" are lost without a framework to fit the new events.

Examples: Music and movie downloads. Newpapers vs. web. Putin saying "those aren't Russian troops". Apple seeing "professional management", firing non-conforming Steve Jobs, then bringing him back after the professionals nearly destroyed the company.

Comment: Why a GUI? Well, back in the day.... (Score 4, Informative) 347 347

That's one thing I never understood, why Microsoft went GUI with the servers like they did, other than to know that they sold a lot of server OSes to people that had no business running servers in the first place...

Simple. Most business people had been exposed to DOS, then moved to Windows and found it much easier to use and understand. The Novell guy comes in and tries to sell a Netware server. Yep - looks like DOS. I came in with a Windows server. Looks just like his PC. He sees File Manager, drive letters, Notepad, Paint, and suddenly he feels like this is the more advanced system, and he is far more comfortable with it.

A lot of the Netware guys around my area were extremely arrogant, and treated their customers like crap. Once they got a server installed, the customer was clueless and the vendor would abuse that. Our business model was to be open with the system and point out that we can easily be replaced, keeping us focused on their satisfaction. With NT Advanced Server (the correct name), the business owner could actually watch us and understand what we were doing with his system. We replaced a fair amount of Netware servers in those days. And you can see who won.

Comment: Re:A closed-loop feedback diet system (Score 1) 588 588

Just to clarify, the goal was not to seek ways to control blood sugar levels. The goal was to eliminate "trigger foods" that threw the body's systems out of whack.

My personal feeling is trying to control BLS via not-diet-related activities is masking the real problem - a person's sensitivity to certain foods. We were simply trying to see what would happen if we simply stopped eating our trigger food - and the results have been positive. We have an insignificant sample size, so I'm only reporting this in case others want to experiment.

Thanks for the link, BTW.

Comment: A closed-loop feedback diet system (Score 3, Interesting) 588 588

I also lost about 30 lbs, with no exercise, by changing my diet to a low-carb diet. But I used a closed-loop feedback for food selection for less than US$20.

I (and several others) purchased a blood sugar meter. Basically, we would check our blood sugar levels (BSL) at 1 and 2 hours after eating. We all found that some foods would take us up to 120 (the upper limit for our experiment), but some foods blasted BSL up to 200. Avoiding foods that triggered high levels caused us all to lose weight, feel less hungry, and we snacked less or not at all. All of us saw significant-to-radical improvements in our health. The real surprise is how many foods affected some of us, but not others. The more we compared notes on food, the more we realized it to be dependent on the person's response. Foods that affected all of us tended to have wheat, corn and related by-products.

I share this, hoping others will give it a try and report back.

The idea of a one-size-fits-all diet makes as much sense as a one-size-fits-all shoes and clothing. I'm convinced we need to take advantage of the feedback tools available and customize your own diet, based on your body's reactions.

Comment: Re:This helmet scares me. (Score 2) 126 126

You really should learn a bit about polycarbonate - better known as Lexan (that's the Sabic trademark for PC). It's extremely durable, very shatter resistant, highly UV resistant,

Yes, I should. I've only used it since the mid 1980's - back when it was "GE Lexan". ;D But I won't claim to be an expert in PC.

Help me understand. You say "highly RV resistant", but the Wikipedia article you reference says RV resistance is "fair".

And from here:
"Crazing occurs mostly in amorphous, brittle polymers like polystyrene (PS), acrylic (PMMA), and polycarbonate; it is typified by a whitening of the crazed region."

So I will admit to a lack of expertise with PC, but what I've cited agrees with my own experience. I'd certainly appreciate more data, if this is your field.

There's a whole WORLD in a mud puddle! -- Doug Clifford