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Comment Re:See the end of her blog post.... (Score 1) 927

Posting to undo accidental down-moderation. You have a great point, which I was trying to reward with an "insightful" mod. As a litigation attorney, I deal with nothing but high-stakes contentious situations. Most often, the people (both lawyers and litigants) who complain the most about their adversaries are actually the most unnecessarily aggressive and unpleasant participants. It seems to be a form of psychological projection. "You're totally unreasonable! You're acting in bad faith and obstructing the case! No we won't give you any documents, and we won't settle! We want sanctions, and we won't participate in mediation!"

Comment Re:Concorde didn't fail because of tech (Score 1) 221

It failed because the cost of tickets was unsustainable...

The Concorde failed because a tire exploded, it streaked terrifyingly across the Paris sky trailing hundreds of feet of fire, and crashed in a giant fireball, killing everyone. And then the fleet was instantly and irrevocably grounded. The program had its economic issues over the years, but was still in operation nonetheless - until the disaster.

Comment Re:yoda head makers (Score 1) 130

OOh so in your world, you can only be a real maker or a true scotsman if you work with metal or wood.

And why is that exactly? Is there another reason other than wanting to feel superior?

But in most cases you don't need a 3D printer that oozes soft plastic crap.

Most 3D printers will happily print ABS, which is one of the most commonly used plastics.

You can only be a "true maker" if you have the capability of working with a variety of materials to suit the needs of the part, just like you can only be a "true maker" if you have some ability to work with electronics, plumbing/hydraulics, and mechanics, and if you can make parts using a variety of different fabrication methods depending on what suits the conditions. Choosing appropriate materials is a critical part of making something. "Soft plastic crap" presumably refers to PVA, which is mechanically unsuitable for most applications. ABS is more usable, but still not a reasonable engineering material for a lot of uses. Wood isn't either. It's pretty fair to say that someone is not a "true maker" unless they can select between materials and fabrication methods that are reasonable for a variety of different engineering needs, and that necessarily includes subtractive manufacturing of metals - the #1 most common method of making strong mechanical parts.

Comment Re:And your favorite, hobby laser cutter is... (Score 2) 28

I have a £550 Ebay 50W laser which can cut 6mm acrylic well (though with bevelled edges currently - I'm hoping to be able to do something about this though with some better set up). I've done 6mm ply but it all came out rather burnt. Again, I'm hoping to do better once I find the ideal settings. Overall I've been impressed with what it can do for the price.

A compressed air jet can greatly improve performance on thick material. If your edge quality issues are a result of melting in the heat-affected zone, that would be a major improvement. If it's a beam diameter problem, then a longer focal length lens will help. It's also good to make sure your focal point is inside the workpiece, not on the surface, if you are seeing a wider kerf on the bottom than the top.

Comment Re:And your favorite, hobby laser cutter is... (Score 4, Informative) 28

Yeah I wish he went more into details on this.. he mentions a 60w laser at one point. Watts, wavelength, thickness, inches per second would have been nice.

All commercial CO2 lasers for cutting use are the same wavelength, 10,600nm. Conveniently, that wavelength is completely blocked by almost everything except air - including glass, plastics, and water. This makes it comparatively safe to work with, as high power invisible lasers go. Standard shop safety goggles provide complete eye protection, and a direct beam to the eye is necessary to cause injury since the light cannot penetrate the cornea to focus on the retina like most laser beams. But I digress... The power needed to cut a material depends on the thickness, edge quality required, and speed required. Like welding, there are no clear rules, only general guidelines based on experience. 60W is not much power for laser cutting, and would be unlikely to make a clean edge on 1/4" plastic at any reasonable speed, or to give an acceptable cut on 3/8" material at all unless assisted by a compressed gas jet, which cheap and low-powered laser cutters do not use.

Comment Re:Whoah, Delrin? (Score 1) 28

I happen to need some weird Delrin parts for a 1960s oscilloscope. My parts have cracks and Delrin is almost impossible to glue unless the surface is chemically prepared.

I wonder if Joshua can tell us if there's a way to prepare the surface correctly at home? And what specific adhesive works?

Nothing sticks WELL to Delrin/acetal. Epoxies can be used to bond it, but it's not recommended at all if any other means of connection is feasible. Its non-reactive and low-friction properties are directly related to its very low surface energy, which makes bonding work poorly. Acrylic is much better if you need to glue, since superglue (cyanoacrylate) bonds extremely well and matches its mechanical properties fairly well. Polycarbonate is also good.

Comment Depends on what you mean by "camping", and where (Score 4, Interesting) 146

I have an off-grid cabin on a mountaintop in the middle of nowhere. It's not a survival campsite, but it's quite remote. I can work from there if I need to, and I sometimes do. I have rainwater collection, solar power with plenty of storage, and line of sight to a cell tower on another peak several miles away. Full 4G data from all providers - but only once you're up on the peak, not on the way in. This is a reliable and comfortable way to work from a wilderness location. But this kind of system does not work for survival camping, especially moving between locations. Reliability requires a fixed location with line of sight data service, and a fixed solar installation. If your priority is primitive camping, I don't think this can be achieved effectively. But if your priority is to experience isolated wilderness while definitely staying connected, a small cabin (even a primitively constructed shelter) at a carefully chosen location can work just fine.

Comment Re:Did NOT rule the program constitutional. (Score 1) 151

What happened to the legal standard that new laws cannot be applied ex post facto?

I don't understand how that relates to this situation. A prohibited ex post facto law is one which criminalizes or imposes a penalty for an act which occurred before the law was enacted. For example, a new law which raises your taxes for last year and makes you pay the difference now. Or a law which makes it a crime to have previously consumed alcohol before the law was passed. This does not seem related to the case at hand.

Comment Re:Did NOT rule the program constitutional. (Score 1) 151


Per the decision:

The preliminary injunction entered by the district court is hereby vacated and the case remanded for such further proceedings as may be appropriate.

It doesn't overturn the previous finding that the program is unconstitutional - it makes it like that finding never existed in the first place.

That's not what that means. The appellate court vacated the preliminary injunction, they did not reverse a legal determination on constitutionality. As one of the other commenters noted, I actually oversimplified the ruling - they didn't even determine that the plaintiff definitely can't pursue the case, they just determined that he can't get a preliminary injunction because there aren't enough facts to support his standing yet.

Comment Re:Did NOT rule the program constitutional. (Score 1) 151

"The appellate court explicitly did NOT "overturn" the district court's substantive finding that the program is unconstitutional. This ruling is procedural, and unrelated to the merits of the legal arguments about constitutionality of the NSA program."

+1 for that part of your comment.

"The court instead found that this particular plaintiff does not have standing to challenge the program in court."

-1 for that part of your comment. They didn't rule that he didn't have standing (well, 1 of the 3 judges did, but the majority did not), or that the trial can't proceed. They simply said that there's not enough evidence of standing shown in the pre-trial phase for an preliminary injunction (which they say requires a higher bar than the standing requirement needed to proceed with the trial). The trial can proceed, where more evidence can be obtained and presented.

BTW - the latest empytwheel.net post highlights some brand new evidence showing that the plaintiff has standing.

You're right. I oversimplified it. They found that, based on the record as it stands currently, there is not adequate evidence to show standing - but there might be later after more discovery. The case is not dismissed, the preliminary injunction is just denied.

Comment Did NOT rule the program constitutional. (Score 4, Informative) 151

The appellate court explicitly did NOT "overturn" the district court's substantive finding that the program is unconstitutional. This ruling is procedural, and unrelated to the merits of the legal arguments about constitutionality of the NSA program. The court instead found that this particular plaintiff does not have standing to challenge the program in court. It's a very problematic ruling, raises a lot of issues, and in my opinion should be reversed - but it certainly does not overturn the lower court's finding that the program is unconstitutional as a matter of law.

Comment Re:Yeah we'll just do that in software? (Score 1) 86

"web-scale data centers are designed to cope with hardware failures". So.... it's OK if you use my motherboard design and they randomly fail, because you should just make up for that in software or hardware redundancy? Um, no.

That's exactly what it means, and how it works. When you have tens of thousands of nodes, some of them WILL eventually fail during operation, no matter how good the hardware is. Thus, the software must be designed to accommodate hardware failures and seamlessly continue operation without interruption or data loss. If you already have to design the software to handle that anyway, then there is not much incentive to go to great lengths to improve hardware reliability. Whether the failure rate is 1:100000 or 1:1000 annually, the result is the same on the software side. But if the less reliable hardware is dramatically cheaper (which it is), then it makes more sense to use the cheap hardware and replace it more often.

Comment Legal failure; politically misguided. (Score 4, Insightful) 69

This lawsuit is a legal mess, destined to fail. In fact, it already did fail and they're just trying futilely to revive it. All applicable statutes of limitations passed years ago. You can't wait decades to file a lawsuit. Equally as importantly, "The Marshall Islands" as a political subdivision does not have standing to sue for injuries that occurred to specific people and property there. Those people and property owners would have to sue, not their regional government. Finally, the decisions which were made and the actions taken were political decisions made by the United States in exercise of its sovereign authority - and you can't sue for that. It seems that the plaintiffs know this, which is why they are now trying to frame the lawsuit as a claim to enforce the NPT. The problem with that is, yet again, a lack of standing on several levels, and an inaccurate interpretation of the treaty itself. First, there is no cause of action through which any individual or entity can force the government to comply with or enforce a treaty. International relations are solely the sovereign domain of the federal government, and they can decide to abide by (or disregard) treaties as our elected officials see fit. Second, the treaty is not being violated. It does not require disarmament, nor is there a mandatory timeline for any particular disarmament-related activity. It says the signatories will negotiate towards an agreement regarding disarmament. That's not an enforceable mandate in any meaningful sense. Why? Because the signatories never actually had any intention of disarming, so they made an agreement that didn't require them to disarm. A third party can't come in and force them to abide by a deal they didn't make in the first place. Look, the Marshallese got screwed. There was a discriminatory component to that. It wouldn't happen the same way today. But the bottom line is that we needed a place to test weapons of mass destruction, and the Marshall Islands were the best choice available. So the US did what they had to do to make the program work. They should have provided market-based compensation for the taking of land, and they should have relocated everyone out of the zone of danger, turning the entire area into a restricted military installation before blowing it up repeatedly. There should have been no injuries and no uncompensated loss of property. But the reasonable conclusion to take away from those events is not that nuclear weapons should be eliminated, or that the tests shouldn't have been conducted at that location. They served a critical purpose for national security, and anyone who says otherwise is a revisionist with an agenda.

You are in a maze of UUCP connections, all alike.