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Comment: Re:Wooden bikes are cool (Score 1) 71

by SuperBanana (#48414931) Attached to: Collin Graver and his Wooden Bicycle (Video)

"They're much like normal biles otherwise and I presume exactly as comfortable."

Comfort comes almost entirely from the tire size and pressure relative to rider weight and road conditions. The frame is largely irrelevant, at least for anything made in the last few decades by any half-competent company.

"Getting the bearings and power transmission were apparently the harddest bits."

Getting alignment on these items is the hardest bit. Bicycles require an incredible degree of proper alignment of a couple of key components in order for things to work right, mostly shifting, but also handling-wise.

Comment: Irrelevant (Score 1) 71

by SuperBanana (#48414919) Attached to: Collin Graver and his Wooden Bicycle (Video)

"I'd guess that yet another disadvantage of a wooden bicycle, at least when sharing the road with motor vehicles, is that it's impossible to trigger a green traffic signal without enough metal surface to disturb the flux in the induction loop beneath the approach to the intersection."

1)Inductive loop sensors are much better than they used to be, and many can detect aluminum bike frames, metal in the wheels (almost all spokes are metal - carbon fiber spokes are very rare; many rims are still aluminum), or the metal in the drivetrain (chain, cables, derailleurs.)

2)A large percentage of bicycle frames are made from carbon fiber; even many wheels these days. No different from wood.

3)Many traffic lights now use camera-bases systems. They're cheaper and easier to set up/maintain, and can quantify the number of vehicles for better decisions regarding prioritization, etc. I think some can detect emergency vehicles, provide traffic statistics, and record video if there's a crash.

Some, but not all states, allow cyclists to go through a light if it doesn't change for them after X minutes. Idaho allows cyclists to treat red lights as stop signs, a law groups are trying to get passed here.

Comment: Boneshakers did not have pneumatic tires (Score 1) 71

by SuperBanana (#48414839) Attached to: Collin Graver and his Wooden Bicycle (Video)

They were boneshakers because they didn't have pneumatic tires. This is not true of a modern bicycle, and we also have far more understanding of mechanical systems and materials, including wood, now.

It is a widely perpetuated myth, mostly by bicycle frame makers who are attempting to get you to spend gobs of money on special designs, frame materials, etc that are "vertically stiff and horizontally compliant" (this phrase is now such marketing cliche it's mocked a lot)...that road bicycle suspension happens in the frame. It doesn't/shouldn't. It happens almost entirely in the tire/tube; when you go over a bump, the rest of the tube+tire stretches slightly to absorb the impact, and then contracts back. Some suspension also happens in the wheel; a wheel is quite strong in part because the spokes and rim both have some give to them.

Just as with cars, the most effective suspension is the one that has the least unsprung weight. So for example, high performance cars often have suspension and brake components made out of high-strength-for-weight materials, but in general, car manufacturers try to keep the weight of the suspension down.

On a bicycle with a properly sized and inflated tire for the rider's weight and road conditions, there is very little unsprung mass

Comment: Why are you a corporate shill? (Score 5, Interesting) 111

by SuperBanana (#48412401) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Malcolm Gladwell a Question

http://shameproject.com/report...

Why did you, after college, attend the National Journalism Center, a corporate-funded program created to counter the mediaâ(TM)s alleged âoeanti-business biasâ?

Why, as someone who is half-Jamaican, have you repeatedly associated yourself (and apparently continue to do so) with the white supremacist organization EPPC, which fights activists for economic justice?

Why did you write for American Spectator, which churned out anti-Clinton conspiracy theories?

Why did you recycle tobacco industry propaganda and quote lobbyists for Washington Post articles you "wrote"? Why did Phillip Morris consider you, according to their internal documents, to be a "friend" who could be counted on for pro-tobacco-industry stories?

Why did you clearly promote drugs for treating ADHD in kids, in which you heavily quoted researchers who were paid heavily by the pharma industry?

Why did you cite a pharma-industry cited study and defend the industry when it was attacked for high drug costs?

Why did you blame the victims in the Enron collapse, defending executives who committed gross fraud?

Comment: Wikipedia the vector (Score 1) 61

by Bruce Perens (#48386659) Attached to: Researchers Forecast the Spread of Diseases Using Wikipedia

Like others I found the headline confusing. I read it as "Researchers are predicting the use of Wikipedia as a vector for the spread of disease". This may mean that:

  • Disinformation and ignorance are diseases.
  • Memes and computer viruses are diseases.
  • Wilipedia contains information that leads to depression.
  • Instructions on Wikipedia lead to substance abuse.
  • This is getting entertaining, fill in your own reason here.
Sci-Fi

Michelle Sleeper Creates 'Gaming, Comics, and Pop Culture Based Props' 35

Posted by Roblimo
from the add-one-part-3-d-printing-to-three-parts-imagination-and-you're-good-to-go dept.
If you go to a sci-fi or gaming convention you'll see people in exotic "character" costumes, often holding exotic props, with some of the most popular being futuristic firearm mockups of one sort or another. Who makes all these cool fannish items? A whole bunch of artists and artisans, including Michelle Sleeper (who says she got tired of jokes about her name many years ago). She's not only one of these artisans, but is also a committed 3-D printer user, since 3-D printing is how she forms a high percentage of her props (with the word "props" being used here in the theatrical rather than the nautical sense). To keep up with what Michelle is making, you should check her blog. One of her most interesting posts, titled Atlanta Mini Maker Faire: On missing deadlines, failure, and triage, is about preparing for the event where Timothy Lord met and interviewed Michelle.

Even if gamer gatherings and SF conventions aren't your thing, the interview (along with the links above) gives a nice glimpse into the life of an independent artisan who uses technology to create a lot of her art. (Alternate Video Link)

Comment: Re:Not a good week... (Score 1) 445

by Bruce Perens (#48298059) Attached to: Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Crashes

One of the definitions I found was:

One who makes great sacrifices or suffers much in order to further a belief, cause, or principle.

I am sure that fits. While SpaceShip II is mainly intended for a non-exploration purpose, the program has resulted in some significant advances in rocketry and White Knight II has significant non-tourism use. These pilots have been involved in other space efforts, I remember the one who was injured from the Rotary Rocket test flights. There are lots of safer ways for these folks to make as much money as a test pilot is paid. They do what they do to advance our progress in aeronautics and space.

Comment: Re:I never ever commented on the SCO issue in any (Score 1) 187

We knew what was going on when you ran your anti-IBM campaign, sometimes even positioning yourself as arguing on behalf of our community. It was a way to lend credence to IBM and MS arguments during the SCO issue. To state otherwise is deceptive, perhaps even self-deceptive.

Florian, you would not be devoting all of this text to explaining yourself if you didn't feel the need to paint your actions in a positive light. That comes from guilt, whether you admit it to yourself or not.

Go write your app, and if you actually get to make any money with it you can give thanks, because it will happen despite what you worked for previously. Keep a low profile otherwise because your credibility is well and truly blown and you can only make things worse. And maybe someday you can really move past this part of your life. But I am not holding out much hope.

Comment: Re:Bruce, I know why u r disappointed. Let me expl (Score 1) 187

So, I see this as rationalization.

The fact is, you took a leadership position, and later turned your coat for reasons that perhaps made sense to you. But they don't really make sense to anyone else. So, yes, everyone who supported you then is going to feel burned.

You also made yourself a paid voice that was often hostile to Free Software, all the way back to the SCO issue. Anyone could have told you that was bound to be a losing side and you would be forever tarred with their brush.

So nobody is going to believe you had any reason but cash, whatever rationalization you cook up after the fact. So, the bottom line is that you joined a list of people who we're never going to be able to trust or put the slightest amount of credibility in.

And ultimately it was for nothing. I've consistently tried to take the high road and it's led to a pretty good income, I would hazard a guess better than yours, not just being able to feel good about myself.

Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them. -- Bill Vaughn

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