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Comment: Re:Not a problem for MGP (Score 1) 316

by Animats (#46797717) Attached to: Beer Price Crisis On the Horizon

Here's Frank-Lin's list of products. It's alcohol, deionized water, and flavoring. That's what Frank-Lin does. These are just the brands Frank-Lin owns. They also do contract bottling for another 2,000 products. "With an annual production capability of 15 million cases and on-premise tank storage capacity in excess of 1,500,000 gallons, Frank-Lin has the facilities and expertise to efficiently handle any project".

Frank-Lin is noted for having one of the most flexible automated packaging lines in the world. They can switch from one bottle/ingredients combo to another without stopping the production line. Every product can have a unique bottle. They're next door to the bottle factory. This is what the booze industry is really like, minus the advertising hype.

  Brandy - American
        A R Morrow, Lejon, Potter's Finest Brand, Montanac Brandy

Calvados
        Busnel Calvados - www.halbymarketing.com
        Menorval - www.halbymarketing.com

Cognac
        1st Cru Collection
        Francious Voyer Napoleon - www.1stcru.com
        Maison Prunier
        Marthe Sepia - www.1stcru.com
        Menuet - www.1stcru.com
        Aubade & Cie.
        Francois De Lyon
        Jules Domet
        Maison Prunier

Condiments
        Frank-Lin Farms

Cordials
        Cafe Del Amor, Curacao Liqueur, Destinee Liqueur, Gran Citron, Grand Marquette, Holly Toddy, Jules Domet Orange Liqueur, Kona Gold Coffee Liqueur, Maraska Cherry & Pear Liqueurs, Potter's, Potter's Long Island Iced Tea, Potter's Sour Splash, Vice Rei - Portugal Passion Fruit

Cream Liqueur
        Duggan's Irish Cream, Laddy's Country Cream

Energy Drinks (Non Alcoholic)
      Tornado

Gin
        Barrett's London Dry, Bellringer (England), Cossack, Martini London Dry, Potter's London Dry

Grappa
        Classik Grappa

Liqueurs - French
        Jules Domet Grand Orange

Liqueurs - Herbal
        Agwa, Arak Razzouk - Anise Liqueur, Par-D-Schatz

Liqueurs - Italian
        Ramazotti - www.hgcimports.com

Liqueurs - Lebanon
        Arak Razzouk - www.hgcimports.com

Mezcal
        Don Antonio Aguilar

Mixes
(Non Alcoholic)
        Jero Cocktail mix, Puerto Vallarta, Vinnie's Bloody Mary Mix

Produce
        Pietra Santa Olive Oil - www.pietrasantawinery.com

RTD
(Ready to Drink)
        Pocket Shots - www.pocketshot.net
        John Daly Cocktails - www.johndalycocktail.com
        Puerto Vallarta Margarita

Rum
        Diamond Head, Hammock Bay, Havana Bay, Moraga Cay
        Potter's Specialty Rums, Potter's West Indies
        Prichard's - www.prichardsdistillery.com
        Tanduay - www.tanduay.net

Sambuca
        Ramazotti

Sauval
Scotch Whiskey - Single Malts
        Glenalmond, Glen Ranoch, Muirheads Speyside

Scotch Whiskey - Pure Malt
        Angus Dundee, Tambowie

Scotch Whisky
        Blackburn's, Duggan's Dew, Lloyd & Haig, Potter's

Slivovitz
        Maraska Kosher, Subovorska

Schnapps
        Defrost Schnapps - http://defrostschnapps.com/

Tequila
        Baja
        Baja Tequila Liqueur
        Don Diego Santa - www.dondiegosanta.com.mx
        El Tirador - www.mexcor.com
        Orendain Ollitas - www.tequila-orendain.com
        Gran Orendain - www.tequila-orendain.com
        Potter's
        Puente Grande Tequila
        Puerto Vallarta - www.puertovallartatequila.com
        Quito
        Señor Rio - www.senorrio.com
        Sol De Mexico - www.uaimports.com

Triple Sec Liqueur
        Potter's, Puerto Vallarta, Jules Perchard

Vodka
        Baronoff
        Beyond - www.beyondvodka.com
        Charodei-Russia
        Cossack
        Crown Czar
        Crown Superior
        Ed Hardy-France - www.edhardyvodka.com
        Haamonii-Schochu
        Maggy-Russsia
        Monnema - www.agjab.com
        Monopolowa
        Monopolowa-Austria
        Potter's
        Purity-Sweden - www.purityvodka.com
        Royal Czar
        Spirit of Santa-Finland - www.atlantico-beverages.com
        Tamiroff
        Vampyre-Transylvania - www.vampire.com
        White Wolf

Whiskey - Bourbon
        Black Saddle
        Bourbon Age - Ky
        Bourbon Club
        Buck Bourbon
        Clyde Mays Conecuh Ridge Whisky - www.crwhiskey.com
        Joshua Brook
        Medley Bros.
        Old Medley
        Potter's
        Wathen's

Whiskey - Blended
        Barret's Blend
        Glenwood Blend
        Potter's

Whiskey - Canadian
        8 Seconds - http://8secondswhisky.com/
        C.E.O.
        Campbell & Cooper
        Canadian Crown
        Potter's Crown

Comment: Re:Call me a rock wielding barbarian (Score 1) 96

by Animats (#46796427) Attached to: Google's New Camera App Simulates Shallow Depth of Field

Some movie directors are still bitching over the disappearance of film grain. There are companies putting unnecessary film grain in digital images.

We need to get to 48FPS or better, so slow pans over detailed backgrounds look right. No more strobing!

(Instead, we're getting 4K resolution, which is only useful if the screen is in front of your face and a meter wide.)

Comment: That's the Chevy Volt. (Score 1) 349

by Animats (#46796229) Attached to: Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"

A pure electric first gear would marry the best torque range of electric motors would free the IC engine of its low end torque requirements. No battery, no regenerative braking or fancy nancy stuff.

That's the Chevy Volt. Modest engine and battery, good electric motor. The Honda FCX has electric drive, a fuel cell, and ultracapacitors for acceleration boost.

A pure electric transmission with an IC engine? That's a Diesel-electric locomotive. Works very well, especially with modern solid-state controls. Overkill for a car, where getting started isn't that hard and clutches are in slip for only a second or two. A huge win for trains, where getting all that mass moving is the hardest part of the job.

Comment: Not a problem for MGP (Score 1) 316

by Animats (#46796143) Attached to: Beer Price Crisis On the Horizon

MGP Ingredients, which produces a sizeable fraction of the distilled spirits in the US, doesn't seem to have a problem with this. They're already running their distillery by-products through a dryer and turning out dried-grain animal feed. MGP, formerly Midwest Grain Products, takes in grain and turns out a broad range of food and beverage products. They're set up to make and ship food-grade products for humans, so complying with the rules for animal feed isn't a big deal for them.

The liquor industry is different than ads indicate. The "secret family recipe" hype is mostly bullshit. Huge plants in the Midwest produce bulk alcohol, which is then shipped by rail, in tank cars, to companies which perform further processing and bottling. The same ethyl alcohol is used for vodka, gin, rum, scotch, bourbon, brandy, tequila, Canadian whiskies, and liqueurs. MGP also sells some ethyl alcohol for fuel use, although for them it's a sideline, not their main business. They make more alcohol than the booze industry can use.

So, for the big plants, this isn't a problem.

Comment: Bullshit (Score 4, Insightful) 316

by Animats (#46795611) Attached to: Beer Price Crisis On the Horizon

Brewers get $30 a ton for the waste from beer manufacturing. Per can/bottle of beer, that's negligible.

Brewers can continue to sell this as animal feed. They just have to follow the same rules as everybody else who sells animal feed, like Purina Chows and Cargill. The big plants will have to do a little more processing and testing. The "craft brewers" don't produce that much waste, and it's biodegradable.

Comment: Overcollection (Score 2) 91

by Animats (#46791557) Attached to: How Nest and FitBit Might Spy On You For Cash

The trouble with these things is that they want to "phone home" too much. For energy conservation, Nest talks to a Nest, Inc. server and tells it too much. The info it needs (outside temp, power grid load status) is freely available from read-only web sites. (Given a ZIP code, the National Weather Service site will return info in XML.) But no, it has to talk to the "cloud" and give out personal information. That's totally unnecessary.

Comment: Teletype machines (Score 4, Interesting) 662

by Animats (#46789303) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

I have several Teletype machines from the 1926 to 1940 period. All are in good working order. They're completely repairable; it's possible to take one apart down to the individual parts and put it back together. But they're high-maintenance. There are several hundred oiling points on a Model 15 Teletype. There are things that have to be adjusted occasionally, and manuals and tools for doing that. Every few years, the entire machine has to be soaked in solvent to clean off excess oil, then relubricated and adjusted. This is the price of building a complex machine good for a century or more.

(The Model 33 of the minicomputer era is not one of the long-lived machines. This was by design. The Model 35 was the equivalent long-lived, high-maintenance product; the 33 required little mainenance but had a llimited life.)

Comment: Eliminating buffer overflows (Score 1) 232

by Animats (#46789181) Attached to: Bug Bounties Don't Help If Bugs Never Run Out

The problem is C. Programs in all the languages that understand array size, (Pascal, Modula, Ada, Go, Erlang, Eiffel, Haskell, and all the scripting languages) don't have buffer overflow problems.

It's not an overhead problem. That was solved decades ago; compilers can optimize out most subscript checks within inner loops.

I've proposed a way to retrofit array size info to C, but it's a big change to sell. There are many C programmers who think they're so good they don't need subscript checks. Experience demonstrates they are wrong.

Comment: Re:Mercedes, BMW engineers are dimwits. (Score 2) 349

by Animats (#46783889) Attached to: Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"

They saw diesel electric locomotives replace steam engines in just one decade in 1950s.

The reason was different. Diesels cost about 3x as much as steam locomotives pre-WWII. But by the 1950s, diesel engine manufacturing was a production line process and the price had come down.

The real advantage of diesel over steam was that steam locomotives are incredible maintenance-intensive. Here's daily maintenance. That's what had to be done every day, by a whole crew. That's just daily. Here's 120,000 mile maintenance, done about once a year for a road locomotive. This isn't an oil change; this is a full teardown, boiler replacement, and rebuild.

Electric cars don't have that big an edge over IC engines at this point.

Comment: Should we say hello? (Score 1) 231

by Animats (#46782353) Attached to: Kepler-186f: Most 'Earth-Like' Alien World Discovered

We could send radio signals that far, with the big dish at Arecibo. If they have intelligence, and radio, we can communicate with a 1000-year round trip time. Maybe we should transmit some of the proposed canned messages to other civilizations every month or so.

If there is other intelligent life out there, it looks like they're a very long way away. Too far to talk to round trip, even at light speed. None of the known extra-solar planets within a few light years look promising.

Comment: Re:Festo has been doing this for years. (Score 1) 36

by Animats (#46781831) Attached to: The Squishy Future of Robotics

Right. Traditional pneumatics is rather dumb - most of the time it's on/off, with air cylinders pushed up against hard limit stops. Positional control of pneumatic cylinders works fine, but it takes proportional valves, feedback sensors, and a fast control system. Until recently, industrial systems tended not to get that fancy.

I was interested in using pneumatics for running robots back in the 1990s, but the available proportional valves back then were big and expensive. One useful model of muscles is two opposed springs, and a double-ended pneumatic cylinder can do just that. You can change both position and stiffness, separately. You can simulate a spring, and recover energy. Someone did that at CWRU a decade ago, but the mechanics were clunky. Festo does that elegantly with their new kangaroo. Very nice mechanical engineering.

Shadow Robotics has a nice pneumatic robot hand. Shadow has been doing pneumatic flexible actuators for many years, but now they have good controllability.

Comment: Festo has been doing this for years. (Score 5, Interesting) 36

by Animats (#46777325) Attached to: The Squishy Future of Robotics

Every year, Festo, the German robotics company, builds an exotic new kind of robot as a demo. Many of their robots have been "soft".

Here's their whole list of experimental projects. They've been doing "soft robots" since 2007. Others were doing "soft robots" before that, but the control usually wasn't that good. Festo builds soft robots with smooth, precise control. Festo's specialty is precise control of pneumatic systems, so they know how to do this.

Comment: E = (T2-T1) / T1 (Score 3, Informative) 173

by Animats (#46773857) Attached to: 'Thermoelectrics' Could One Day Power Cars

E = (T2-T1) / T1

Everyone with an engineering degree knows this. Trying to extract much energy from low-grade heat at the output end of an engine is inefficient. This was figured out a long time ago. Here it is in The Manual of the Steam Engine. It's possible to increase steam engine efficiency by compounding, where the exhaust from each cylinder feeds a larger, lower pressure cylinder. This is cost-effective up to about 3 cylinders ("triple expansion"). Engines up to quintuple-expansion have been built, but the additional power from the last two cylinders in the chain isn't worth the trouble.

Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it.

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