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Comment: Re:My sockets are made of high quality steel (Score 1) 140

by Rei (#48651377) Attached to: NASA 'Emails' a Socket Wrench To the ISS

The difference with a 3d moulder being that, instead of taking a couple hours to 3d print a mould, then stop your production line and manually install the new mould in place of the old, then start it back up again you could effectively instantly form 3d mould (via microactuators or whatnot), do a 15 minute production run and make a couple hundred parts, then move on to mass producing the next part you need with no break in-between. Your "factory" could be in full production mode nonstop yet have a single line produce many dozens of different types of parts over the course of a day.

When one thinks of space colony applications, it quickly becomes clear how essential such a thing will be. Even if you try to simplify, you're still going to have tends to hundreds of thousands of types of parts that will wear out with time. Let's say 100k unique types of of parts with a mean lifespan of 3 years - that's probably pretty realistic for a colony. That means you'll have to produce a new type of part every 15 minutes nonstop - with quantities varying from one-offs to the tens of thousands, depending on the part. Now think of how big your typical production line is and how much mass that means transporting from earth. Clearly, rapid production flexibility is critical! (same applies to all steps of the chain, including robotic assembly)

(and yes, I know a single moulder or whatnot cannot achieve all possible production jobs, real production lines involve many types of materials and many processes... it's just an example of a common production mechanism :) )

(as another side note, it should even be possible to make 3d moulds for metals. Carbon fiber cloth - or better, graphite fiber cloth - can tolerate temperatures hotter than many metals, but still has stretch and could be shaped with an array of actuators).

Comment: Re:and they make big bonfires, too (Score 1) 190

by drinkypoo (#48651221) Attached to: The Magic of Pallets

Many nails are made from steel with too high of carbon content, and are not magnetic.

Steel with too high a carbon content to be magnetic is called stainless, unless it's over 4% and then it's called hypereutectic and it's very difficult to produce and nobody is making nails out of it, just like they aren't making nails out of stainless — especially not for pallets.

Comment: Re:and they make big bonfires, too (Score 1) 190

by drinkypoo (#48651215) Attached to: The Magic of Pallets

Then burn them and drag a magnet through the ashes to collect the nails. Why go through all the effort of removing the nails when you're about to remove the wood?

Of course given the number or lazy, irresponsible assholes in the world

...someone might actually try to carry out your plan, and then destroy their lungs with zinc from galvanized pallet nails from china.

Comment: Re: Multi touch while driving? (Score 1) 95

by drinkypoo (#48651167) Attached to: "Infrared Curtain" Brings Touchscreen Technology To Cheap Cars

Right. You do NOT fiddle with it while driving. However, the same can be said of regular car buttons.

No, it cannot. Regular buttons stay in the same place all the time, and you can feel for them while not looking at them. You can't feel for touch controls.

Fact is, the tesla controls are LESS bothersome to me than the old buttons.

Fact is, that's only true if you take your eyes off the road, and keep them that way until you're done.

Comment: Re:several search engines were important earlier (Score 1) 71

by drinkypoo (#48651161) Attached to: Librarians: The Google Before Google

Hotbot was the best. I still miss it, because Google sucks.

If you still miss it, you stopped using it because it became useless. And that's what happened to it before it was shut down, because it had no meaningful concept of relevance. It just searched for your terms and produced whatever were the first results. It didn't try to do anything clever on your behalf, which is now necessary due to the size of the interwebs. It just returned pages and pages of too-similar results.

Comment: Re:Stamps? (Score 1) 71

by drinkypoo (#48651159) Attached to: Librarians: The Google Before Google

But then the question just becomes "where can I buy a vernier caliper?". It's not like they had either, and I doubt it was in the Sears & Roebuck catalog.

It was in the Sears & Roebuck catalog. The fashion today is to underestimate just how great S&R was back in the day, because Sears is so godawful terrible today, but you really could get pretty much anything from S&R. You could get a doorknob, for example, and a house to go with it.

Comment: Re:Library Science was and is a true profession (Score 3, Insightful) 71

by drinkypoo (#48651147) Attached to: Librarians: The Google Before Google

So is Hotel Management, now sometimes known as Hospitality and Hotel Management.

Hotels are older than schools. Maybe the hoteliers should teach the schools a thing or two, such as how to run within budget. Hint: reduce administrative staff, everyone needs to do actual work

"Why should we subsidize intellectual curiosity?" -Ronald Reagan