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Comment: Various whatsits (Score 5, Interesting) 266 266

I carry around a pipe caliper that I designed and 3D printed. A scissor-looking device that tells you the size of a pipe (up to 4") based on outside diameter. Useful on the job.

I designed and printed a custom flashlight holder for those cheap LED flashlights.

Custom replacement handle for a triangular file

Set of custom drawer knobs.

Custom hard drive mounting bracket.

Custom battery holder.

Custom shelf bracket.

~Three dozen clothespins.

3-axis tilt camera stand that mounts on top of a tripod. (replaces one that broke).

Custom 80:1 worm gear reduction for a machine I was working on, as well as a few spur gears and light-duty V-belt pulleys for same machine. Custom thrust bearing and ball bearing holders.

A full set of Meta-Chess pieces.

A custom tool for aligning V-belt pulleys using a 3V line laser module and magnetic base.

Currently in progress is a mostly 3D printed racing wheel controller for my PC, which uses the guts from a dual analog game controller. The controller is unusable because the silicone pads for the buttons cracked, but the electronics are still good and with 4x analog axes I can get steering and three pedals plus 16 digital buttons. My hangup is I can't get the "feel" of the buttons right...

If I ever get off my ass and finish building the electric furnace I've been working on, and manage to melt some aluminum with it, I fully intend to try lost-PLA casting some aluminum parts. That's be awesome...

Comment: Re:Still too expensive (Score 1) 249 249

By this logic, nobody would buy a gasoline gar that's over $10K either... yet there aren't many new cars you can buy for $10K.

It's almost like there's more than just sticker price that is of interest to buyers. Things like fit and finish, styling, performance, and maybe even brand.

This is what Tesla realized from the start: It's very hard to make an electric car that's cheap but attractive, and it's a lot easier to make a car more attractive than it is to make it less expensive. So, if you're going to make a $60K+ electric car, make sure it looks, feels and drives like a $60K+ car.

Comment: Re:Incineration (Score 1) 371 371

The data shows that growth has increased despite harvesting has increased or remained virtually the same over the past ~60 years. The overall volume of tree stocks has VERY CLEARLY been growing for both soft and hard woods.

And you still need to substantiate your claim that we'd need to sacrifice food production to grow enough paper.

Comment: Re:Not surprising... (Score 5, Informative) 181 181

The FCC has removed incentives for monopolistic ISPs to increase backbone network capacity since they are not allowed to derive any additional revenue to offset the cost of those investments...

They were NEVER going to do that, ever, until it became absolutely necessary and/or someone else paid for it.

For starters, ISPs do not have anything to do with the backbones - those are owned and operated by other companies that do not sell connections to the end user. The backbone is not the problem - the ISPs which control the "last mile" are.

And there's plenty of bandwidth for the most part. All evidence suggests that the plan was never to increase bandwidth and charge extra for better service - the plan was to throttle and charge extra for normal service.

This is self evident in the fact that the backbone is fine, but traffic is what's being artificially throttled. It's exactly what they were doing and the FCC regulations were put in place to stop it and preserve the internet how it was, not change it.

There's no such thing as a free market when there is a monopoly. Network Neutrality prevents monopolies from harming competition and actually *preserves* what little free market exists on the internet.

Comment: Re:Incineration (Score 1) 371 371

Harvesting the cellulose source is so destructive to the growth matrix that yields per time and yields per acre have been steadily decreasing for the last 500 years

What on earth are you talking about? Stock growth (trees that can be harvested) per acre have been growing for decades.

Further, to grow sufficient volume to supply current paper needs would require a serious imposition on food growing lands

Show your work.

Comment: Re:Incineration (Score 4, Interesting) 371 371

More specifically, burn paper but not the plastic.

Paper is a renewable resource, and it doesn't make as much sense financially or environmentally to recycle it. It's also the major constituent of landfills. Fix up the supply side of the paper industry - switch from wood pulp to some other, easier to grow feedstock (switchgrass, hemp, etc...) - and close the carbon cycle by burning it. You recover the energy and reduce the volume of the remaining waste.

Plastics are harder to justify burning, IMHO. The materials needed aren't entirely renewable and they more often contain additives that don't play nice when incinerated.

Comment: Re:political speech (Score 1) 233 233

People accuse public figures of being Nazis all the time.

Are you referring to fascist dictator "nazi" or literal badge-wearing capital-N Nazi? There's a difference. I'd argue that one is a general coarse criticism while the other is a very specific accusation that might pass judicial muster as defamatory.

One of the defenses in a libel case like that would be the "political hyperbole" defense, that nobody took it seriously.

That's the real crux here. Comments accusing Obama of being socialist/communist/Nazi (fascist or literal) generally are not taken seriously, since anyone with two brain cells to rub together can see these people don't even know what those words mean.

But that does not, IMHO, constitute "political speech." I don't approve of people suing over hurt feelings either, but those kinds of comments don't really deserve 1st amendment protection.

Comment: Re:political speech (Score 1) 233 233

Obviously anybody under a certain age was born after the Nazis and therefore it's actually an accusation that they are a ruthless authoritarian rather than what it might seem on its face to those without a sense of humour.

I think there's room to make a distinction between general insult "nazi" aka fascist as you describe, and actual, literal White supremacist anti-jew swastika-wearing "Hitler did nothing wrong" capital-N Nazi. Those people do exist, you know...

Comment: Re:political speech (Score 4, Insightful) 233 233

Defamation, along with obscenity and inciting panic or violence, have never been free speech. Slander and libel are civil crimes that you can be sued for in court, and it's been that way since day one. To facilitate enforcement of defamation laws, the court has decided it's acceptable to try and de-anonymize the poster in question.

Just because the words are about a political candidate, does not make it political speech. This case is not the same as speaking unpopular political views and opinions - that WOULD be protected speech. It's the difference between supporting Nazi idealism (free speech) and accusing someone of being a Nazi (not free speech).

Comment: Re:Effect of nukes on NEOs (Score 1) 272 272

Roughly 4 out of 5 asteroids are Chondrites - basically giant piles of fused gravel. Nickel-iron asteroids only account for ~5% of known bodies.

Of course, breaking up an asteroid will not help if you don't deflect a significant portion of the mass. 40 million tons of stuff traveling at thousands of kilometers per second carries a certain amount of energy, and that energy isn't going to go away just because you break it up into 40 million 1-ton bits.

Comment: Re:I do not consent (Score 1) 851 851

They keep trying to attract business by being healthy. They put salads on the menu. Fuck that. How about you put a REAL burger on the menu. In and out is doing gang buster business and I think they have a total of 5 things on their menu.

I don't disagree with you, but McD's is a ~$30B/yr corporation. The average McD's franchise makes more sales in a day than the average In-n-Out makes in a whole year.

It's no surprise at all that you can make a superior product, but you can make much more money selling a cheaper product that millions of people still buy. Quality is clearly not the most important factor here.

And yes, it sounds very much like you are more an exception. There is a very sad reality that exists beyond the one you're familiar with, I'm afraid.

Comment: Re:I do not consent (Score 1) 851 851

I've pretty much offered answers to your questions already.

A 35-lbs bottle of Mel-Fry will cost you about $25 if memory serves. That's roughly $0.72/lb. It's a liquid at room temperature meaning it's safe and easy to handle (not handling hot oils). A single load of oil will last at least a week.

A 5-gallon pail of beef tallow - roughly the same amount - will run you at least twice that. It's a solid at room temperature so it needs to be handled hot to drain it. It will last *maybe* a week in a fryer if you use it every day.

This may shock you, but people don't actually want a higher quality product! They might say they do, but they will almost always go for the cheaper product unless it has a really bad reputation. Combine that with corporate profit motive and you get a race to the bottom; provide a product that's just barely good enough to keep customers satisfied and costs to a bare minimum. Yay capitalism!

"Floggings will continue until morale improves." -- anonymous flyer being distributed at Exxon USA