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Comment: Re:I'm always a lil amused .... (Score 1) 1128

by jbeaupre (#48457065) Attached to: Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

No, you are confusing two kinds of juries. A grand jury is more informal (jury members can ask questions, etc), one sided, and secret. Defense is not presented. The prosecutor is trying to get a group of people to agree that a crime was committed and that there is evidence for a conviction. The prosecutor can skip this step or ignore the grand jury, but it's a kind test trial. If you can't win a one sided case, you're unlikely to win in a regular trial.

If the grand jury hands down an indictment, then there is the regular jury trial you are familiar with from the movies (though much more boring and procedural).

Comment: Generation and distribution (Score 5, Insightful) 517

by jbeaupre (#48008427) Attached to: Utilities Should Worry; Rooftop Solar Could Soon Cut Their Profit

Utilities actually have two businesses: Generation and distribution. We pay one bill and conflate the two. Solar just makes it clear they are different.

With home solar increasing, utilities will just invest less and less in generation. The transition is pretty gradual, so they can adapt just fine. Profits from generation will decline ... life will go on. But only if we accept that distribution also needs to be paid for.

If and until home power storage also becomes economical, homes are still going to need to connect to the grid. That infrastructure will need to be paid for. It's going to be tacked onto the utility bill. In the past, we subsidized small users by paying by the kwh. Now we have to decide if connection fees are more appropriate. That's what the debate is going to turn into.

Comment: Re:Not just iPhone (Score 1) 421

by jbeaupre (#47983267) Attached to: Users Report Warping of Apple's iPhone 6 Plus

Some more engineering thoughts:

Stiffness for a solid rectangular bar is h^3*w. The 5s is 7.6 mm thick, the 6 is 6.9, the 6+ is 7.1. Ignoring width and internals, this would mean the 6 and 6+ are 75% and 82% as stiff as the 5s.

But hold on, the length of of a beam also greatly affects the bending moment. Deflection for a cantilever beam is a cube function on length.

Together, the 6 and 6+ will be much more flexible than the 5s.

Stresses causing yielding will be a bit less extreme. And exact type of stress matters. But being longer and thinner is (duh) going to make it weaker.

Comment: Re:They want it but don't understand it. (Score 3, Interesting) 408

by jbeaupre (#47956343) Attached to: Why You Can't Manufacture Like Apple

Careful with that word "we." I'm an engineer, but put a huge emphasis on industrial design. The form of my designs are integral to the function. They don't just hold the electro-mechanicals I'm designing (which is my specialty), they are the interface with my users.

So I fuss for days sometimes to get the right distances and sizes to fit 95% asian woman and 95% western men. Tweaking the curvature transition of complex surfaces to feel natural, give tactile feedback, and be able to be injection molded from a single pull mold (yeah, I do preliminary mold design too). While still containing and constraining internal mechanisms (which I also design). Choosing textures and colors that build on that base. And so on. Often I have people with industrial design or fine arts degrees consulting on the designs.

It's not rocket science, but you are right: it shouldn't just be slapped together at the last minute.

Bevels and rounded corners? Easy stuff. There's an optimum, but not a huge sensitivity. Where Apple and others excel is under the skin, as well as fit and finish.

"Being against torture ought to be sort of a bipartisan thing." -- Karl Lehenbauer