Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:why does the CRTC need this list? (Score 4, Insightful) 288

by Dixie_Flatline (#47948821) Attached to: Canadian Regulator Threatens To Impose New Netflix Regulation

I'm not sure if anyone commenting on this story is actually Canadian, but the Canadian Content mandate has existed for years. It's not about favouring Canadian production companies so much as encouraging Canadian content for cultural reasons. Being so close to the USA leaves us vulnerable to sort of being swamped, culturally.

Radio stations are required to play a certain amount of Canadian music as well. It's not really anything new.

Personally, I like the idea of that. It encourages and funds a lot of Canadian artists that might otherwise get swamped out of the market by monied American interests.

Comment: Re:Don't Miss The Point (Score 2) 103

by Rei (#47946717) Attached to: Dremel Releases 3D Printer

Services like that exist online, and they're excellent, albeit rather slow. I personally use iMaterialize because they have such a wide range of material options (everything from rubber to titanium) and finishes (for example, 4 different options for silver), but there's lots of others out there, and some are cheaper.

If you've ever played around with 3d modelling, I definitely recommend giving 3d printing a try, even if just a little test piece. :) Note that plastics are a lot cheaper than metals, although metals look the coolest.

Comment: Re:Novelty (Score 1) 103

by Rei (#47946611) Attached to: Dremel Releases 3D Printer

What sort of 3d prints are you looking at?

Perhaps my expectations of 3d printers are too high because I buy from professional 3d printing services rather than using a low-end home 3d printer. They use high end products and sometimes do post-printing finishing work. But the quality of the stuff you can get is truly excellent, and out of a very wide range of materials.

Comment: Re:This is so 2012. (Score 1) 103

by Rei (#47946585) Attached to: Dremel Releases 3D Printer

Isn't that now the limiting factor?

So we have 3d printers in stores. Now we need all of the home devices that could potentially need spare parts printed to be available online, preferably in a unified database. You need manufacturer buy-in. Maybe some sort of certification mark that manufacturers can stick on their devices to show that printable replacement part models are freely available. I could use a new cheese compartment door in my fridge right now, for example. And I live in Iceland where shipping times are long and shipping costs / import duties high, so it'd make time and economic sense to print, too. But while having a 3d printer would be great, if the model isn't available, how does that help me?

Of course some companies, like iRobot, rely on profiting off of selling their spare parts.

Comment: Re:Wrong type of machine for Dremel (Score 1) 103

by Rei (#47946453) Attached to: Dremel Releases 3D Printer

It does seem rather weird to treat it as an intractable problem. Are we really talking about something that's AI-Complete here, like natural language understanding? Something not succeptible to a combination of chained rules, physics calculations, and statistical analysis? I seriously doubt it. So different machines can act differently due to wear, etc? Gee, people have never written programs to deal with that before, heavens no. So some things may require a decision from the operator, like whether to restart a defective piece or try to salvage it? Gee, I've never heard of a program asking the user a question during operation before! A piece of "printing" hardware experiencing a jam of some kind and needing manual intervention? Gee, nobody has ever experienced that one before!

I'm not saying that CNC machines and 3d printers are equivalent and that you can just swap a CNC machine in to the sort of role 3d printers are intended for. Of course the task of gouging out steel with power tools is a more intensive one than writing out plastic in layers with a slightly more advanced version of a hot glue gun. But we're not talking about creating superintelligent cyborgs here, we're talking about analyzing physical processes, including their various failure modes, and when a decision or action is required, presenting the user with the information needed to do that.

Comment: Re:Everyone loses (Score 5, Interesting) 415

by jc42 (#47946373) Attached to: Scotland Votes No To Independence

Actually, there's quite a lot of history in various parts of the world when parts of a political entity split off. Sometimes this is done peacefully, sometimes it involves serious fighting and wars. An interesting recent case was in Switzerland, where in 1978 the Canton of Bern split, with the northern part forming the new Canton of Jura. You can read a lot about it online, including a couple of wikipedia articles. It's fairly well encoded in Swiss law, where similar votes happen every few years, typically involving a municipality with a large population that wants to secede from its canton and join another. The typical reason for such splits is as in Scotland, where the people in an area feel poorly served by the government, and think they can do better as part of a different county/state/whatever, or perhaps as an independent unit as Jura did.

Here in the US, we had a similar vote in 1863, which resulted in the new state of West Virginia being formed. This is often presented as part of the Civil War split off of the Confederacy. Historians tend to interpret it as more of a case of the western population feeling poorly treated by the remote state government in Richmond, which collect taxes in the mountains, but provided few government services in return. West Virginia did apply to the federal government for statehood, which was ratified after a few years. Unlike the Southern secession, this was done without (further) warfare. A funny aspect of the story is that now, several counties in the northeast of West Virginia have openly discussed seceding and joining either Virginia or Maryland, for pretty much the same reasons. Unlike Switzerland, though, the US doesn't have much in the way of official laws that deal with such political reorganization and redrawing of political boundaries.

The story in Scotland may work out as it often does in Switzerland, where many of the votes for secession fail. The reason is that the referendum functions as a "wake-up call" to the government. It's typical for a lot of public discussion to happen, and the government(s) make promises to fix the problems that triggered the referendum. Sometimes, as people have suggested here, the government reneges on its promises. This will be followed by another vote a few years later, which will often succeed. Or the government may fix many of the problems, which will satisfy the voters and repeated votes will fail.

The Scots would probably do well to continue discussing the issues publicly, and keep the London government aware that they can't continue to get away with everything without repercussions.

Comment: Re:Shetland and Orkney (Score 1) 190

by jc42 (#47945257) Attached to: On Independence for Scotland:

Yes, this is correct, and my bad for perpetuating the myth. I read once that Shetland was closer to Oslo than Edinburgh, but that's also blatantly false. ...

More accurately, I've seen it stated as "closer to Bergen than Edinburgh". Or course, some people might not know where Bergen is. In any case, Shetland historically has always been rather remote from either "mainland", and they've pretty much been on their own all along. If they have problems in the middle of their winter, they can't much rely on help from anyone in the rest of the world.

Comment: Re:Probably a bad idea, but... (Score 1) 190

by jc42 (#47945063) Attached to: On Independence for Scotland:

Well, I've always sorta liked the Scottish historians' observation that, strictly speaking, it was Scotland that took over England, not the other way around. That was after the first Queen Liz died, back in 1703. The new king was the fellow who was already King James VI of Scotland, and became King James I of the United Kingdom of Scotland and England; uh, I mean of England and Scotland.

Of course, a more accurate description wouldn't interpret this as either country taking over the other. It was really more a case of the inbred population of royalty, who were really neither Scottish nor English, agreeing among themselves who should be the next monarch over both of those populations, and giving both jobs to the same fellow. He then spent much of the rest of his life trying to merge them into a single "nation" -- and not succeeding all that well. But this wasn't any real benefit to the majority of either the Scottish or English populations. Or the Welsh or Irish or Manx or Cornish or Shetlanders or ..., for that matter. Or those Colonials over across the Pond.

Comment: Re:Not True, I Saw It Online: (Score 3, Interesting) 80

by jc42 (#47944757) Attached to: Europeans Came From Three Ancestry Groupings

There's no measurable genetic differences. There's only one race: the human race, and that's all that ever was and ever will be.

It's not an all-or-nothing situation. There are statistical genetic differences between various groups of people (though superficial features like skin color are often not closely related to ancestral groupings). One of my favorite such statistics was the calculation that some time in the late 1980s, the US population passed the mixing point where more than 50% of Americans now have sub-Saharan African ancestors. Most such people look "white", of course, since they have only a small fraction of African genes.

I recently read that the accumulated DNA data shows that between 20% and 25% of the US population has "Native American" genes, though again in most of that population is primarily "white". I'm part of that population, with an Ojibwa great-grandmother, though nobody would ever guess by looking at me that I'm not of pure European ancestry.

One thing I've found difficult to discover is what fraction of the US is purely European. If you try googling the topic, it mostly teaches you one thing: Most people don't understand even such simple statistics. You find lots of matches for the part of the population that's "white" or "of European ancestry", but the phrasing implies that they're talking about people who are predominantly European. There's data on the small populations that are purely African or purely Asian or whatever, but it's hard to find any information on the (probably small) population that's purely European.

Of course, for most purposes this all qualifies as idle curiosity. But there are at least a few medical reasons for studying it, in addition to general curiosity about where we all came from.

Comment: Re:Finnish (Score 2) 80

by jc42 (#47944573) Attached to: Europeans Came From Three Ancestry Groupings

You don't need to learn languages to do linguistics. You need to learn about languages.

While working on a linguistics minor for my CS degree, I heard a number of versions of the quip that a linguist is someone who knows 100 words in each of 100 different languages. Of course, this should be followed with the observation that the main focus of linguistics is understanding the structures of languages, and vocabulary is interesting only in that it shows relations between languages. This doesn't generally require having a large enough vocabulary to be fluent. Most of the actual linguists I've met are fluent in only a few languages. These are often languages that are radically different from each other, though, since radical differences in how to express something would be interesting to a linguist.

Comment: Re:This is so 2012. (Score 1) 103

by Rei (#47944167) Attached to: Dremel Releases 3D Printer

Oh, and in #2, sound insulation would also be very important, both for the compressor (if compressed air is used, rather than bottled oxygen) and for the jet itself (which is basically like a tiny rocket engine). And I guess the filter isn't just about removing any incomplete combustion products from the exhaust, but also any dust or the like.

Even if it ultimately isn't suited for, say, a quiet home office, 3d printing isn't really an home office task, we're more talking about a "garage workshop" sort of thing. I'm just curious whether anyone has pursued such an approach, because at a glance it sure looks to have potential for making a very broadly capable product. I mean, such a system should even be capable of printing electronics, including resistors, capacitors, etc, maybe even some types of batteries (not anything requiring extreme precision, like a CPU, and li-ion batteries would be right out due to the thin, sensitive and rather complex membrane needed, there's no way you could just deposit that, but still..).

Never trust a computer you can't repair yourself.

Working...