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Comment: How to detect a bricked chip (Score 1) 572

by n2hightech (#48220795) Attached to: FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips
Seems like FTDI has admitted they were bricking counterfeit parts on purpose. How would someone go about determining if their device quit working because it was bricked by FTDIs bricking driver? Is there a lawyer out there who would want to do a class action against FTDI for damaging peoples equipment? Also I do not see why FTDI would take this approach I would think they would stand to make a lot of money and gain some good will if instead they had their driver pop up a message to the user that his device had a counterfeit FTDI chip in it and offer the owner the option to join a class action suite against the equipment manufacturer by entering certain info (name address equipment make model and manufacturer ) and in return they would allow their driver to work with the counterfeit chip and share in a settlement over the counterfeit parts or they could purchase a right to use their driver for a fee equal to the chip cost ($2-$10 depending on chip) or they could choose to do neither in which case the driver would no longer work with the counterfeit chip. This strategy would help them eliminate counterfeiters or at least pay them for the right to use their software.

Comment: Re:And it looks abysmal too (Score 1) 132

by n2hightech (#47906691) Attached to: 3D-Printed Car Takes Its First Test Drive
It does look bad, However, it is not possible to make an injection molded car body in far less time when you consider the cost and time of the tooling required. Tooling design and manufacture for a car body this size would take on the order of 12 months. The machines required to manufacture a tool this size are many millions of dollars as well as the cost of the molding machine required to mold a part that size. Once you have the tools you can spit out many high quality parts very quickly at a low price per piece. However each part is exactly the same. The real beauty of 3D printing is not the quality of the final parts its the flexibility of what you can produce. With injection molds you spend lots of money and time before you get the first part. With 3D printing you get the part immediately. You can tweak the design between each print. Or you can print something different each time. There is value in flexibility. The big challenge to making 3D printing competitive as a high volume production system is getting a high quality surface finish without increasing print time.

Comment: These guys know nothing about 3Dprinting (Score 1) 490

If you watch the video you will notice they printed the barrel with a rectangular fill density of about .2. In other words the barrel was mostly air! Anyone printing for strength would use a density of 1 (solid) and a contour following fill pattern. In other words a continuous series of strong rings. Of course they may be trying to fool bad guys into not trying this. However it does understate the performance capability of 3D printed weapons.

Comment: How do they know man's actions cause this? (Score -1, Redundant) 36

by n2hightech (#47004075) Attached to: Humans Causing California's Mountains To Grow
So what data are they using to compare to the current data to determine this is caused by man's actions? The data they have is only a few years worth hardly enough to draw conclusions about effects that happen on a geologic time frame. They even state that the snow pack pushes the mountains down in winter and then as it melts it rises up again. Sounds natural to me and absolutely nothing to do with mans actions.. The other trend is a general uplift thats out pacing the seasonal variations. They say it tracks water withdraw "in their model". This is another example of a model that is unpublished and therefore untestable being used to draw conclusions. The article does say that tecktonic forces may be involved and it is controversial.

Comment: Form1, DeltaMaker,Robo3D (Score 1) 251

by n2hightech (#46573683) Attached to: 3D Printing: Have You Taken the Plunge Yet? Planning To?
I went a little crazy and got 3 through Kickstarter. I use them mostly as a hobby and as a tool to create prototypes of my ideas. Currently almost done printing new Tiki Torches. The bamboo ones are falling apart however the electronic solar powered LEDs still work. By designing my own I was able to add features to keep the wasps from building nests in them. One thing the bamboo torches seemed to attract. The cost will actually be less in materials than buying new ones. Considering my time the cost is way more however its been a fun and useful project that I can show off to others. There are many future project I plan to use them for. With the 3D printers now it is possible to realize my ideas with little out of pocket expense. I plan on using them to keep me busy after retirement.

Comment: Why would someone want a passenger plane? (Score 1) 436

by n2hightech (#46495369) Attached to: Malaysian Flight Disappearance 'Deliberate'
The plane was stolen not hijacked or used to commit suicide . If it was hijacked someone would be making demands for the safe return of the passengers. If it was used to commit suicide it would have been crashed and we would have found wreckage. Neither of these have occurred so the only other possibility is someone wanted the plane intact for some purpose. Who would need a plane that size with that range? Who has used planes as weapons? My guess is that the plane was taken by Al Qaeda and flown to Pakistan. It is being loaded with a nuclear bomb from Pakistan, North Korea or a dirty bomb with Soviet nuclear material. There are factions in Pakistan that are still very angry about us taking out Osama bin Laden and would cooperate in striking the US. North Korea recently detonated a test bomb so they have the technology. There is a risk that Soviet nuclear materials have made it onto the black market. The plane has a range of 8861 miles which puts London, New York or DC well within range from Pakistan. All they would need to do is shadow a commercial flight right into the target area. If I lived in any of the possible target cities I would take a vacation.

Comment: Just another linear line to the end of the world (Score 1) 545

by n2hightech (#46445043) Attached to: Meat Makes Our Planet Thirsty
Population is growing too fast millions will starve. The world is getting colder we'll all freeze. We will use up all the oil and civilization will crash. Drug resistant germs will wipe us out. Global warming will melt the ice caps and flood the coasts. This is all crap. The world is more prosperous and healthy and clean today than 100 years ago. These doom and gloom predictions are a result of linear status quo thinking. We live in a nonlinear world full of innovation. When a problem presents itself and begins to have economic and social impact we find a solution and fix the problem. The energy problem will eventually be solved by solar and renewables (Cyanobacteria). The water problem will be solved through desalination perhaps using graphene membranes. Life will be extended and diseases will be conquered. We will move out into space. Our children will live longer in a better world than we have. They will face challenges however they are so interconnected so smart with the knowledge of the world at their fingertips they will survive and prosper.

Comment: We don't need no stinking space elevator! (Score 2) 374

by n2hightech (#46346603) Attached to: Report: Space Elevators Are Feasible
At one time I believed that the space elevator was the only way we would ever be able to move into space on an economic basis. All rocket based methods were just too expensive. That was until I read what Elon Musk had to say about it http://www.spacex.com/news/201.... The real reason that space exploration is expensive is that we throw away the spacecraft after a single use not the fuel used to get there. Space elevators are very energy efficient and would have great longevity, however, the practical and economic problems of building a 30,000 mile long cable is vastly larger than the problems of solving reusability of spacecraft. SpaceX is well on the way to solving the reusability problem. They have a practical road map and are executing it in spectacular fashion. They have already tested and proven vertical rocket powered landing technology and on their next Space Station resupply mission they will be testing booster landing leg deployment and engine restart to try and achieve a soft splashdown in the ocean. There last attempt of restart was successful however the descent became unstable and they had to abort. It is believed that the landing legs will provide extra aerodynamic stability allowing for a successful soft splashdown. I believe it is only a matter of a few years until they have a fully reusable system. This innovation will drive down the cost of space travel by a factor of 100. In 10 years the average upper middle class American will be able to afford a vacation in space. Travel to Mars will still be expensive but not unattainable for many.

Comment: Internet spreading wealth to the world (Score 1) 674

by n2hightech (#45887513) Attached to: The Internet's Network Efficiencies Are Destroying the Middle Class
What the internet did is move wealth around the whole world. The US is still a very wealthy nation. Our poor are middle class compared to much of the rest of the world. Look at the TED talk on demographics and you see the standard of living around the world is improving. One of the big drivers of that is the ability to shift work to where labor is least expensive. That drives up wages in those areas and increases demand for more products many of which we make and ship around the world. Yes some in the US have suffered because instead of competing with local talent they have to compete with the world. Humanity as a whole has the highest standard of living it has ever had and that cannot be a bad thing. The internet has had some little part in helping this happen. As for wealth concentration I believe that is also a good thing. Individuals with massive wealth can create amazing things that just would never happen if wealth is widely distributed. When wealth is politically controlled it is wasted. In a free market to stay wealthy one must serve to benefit their customers. The internet is the biggest most open market for ideas ever devised. If you have a good idea it can be spread to the whole world in hours or days in the past good ideas took lifetimes to spread.

Comment: The tool is being blamed again (Score 2) 550

Better plastic guns can be built from blocks of plastic and hand tools then can be built using 3D printers. Why are they not freaking out about that. All these laws do is trip up good people exploring the capabilities of new technology. They do not address the issue of people wanting to use guns on others. We need to be addressing the issue of hate not method of gun construction.

Comment: Resistance not a serious Problem (Score 1) 340

by n2hightech (#45347911) Attached to: Global Biological Experiment Generates Exciting New Results
All this scary doom and gloom talk about the end of the world due to antibiotic resistance. Its the same old story, somebody sees a problem they assume static conditions (ie no new antibiotics will be developed) against escalating problem (microbes are developing resistance to antibiotics) and presto draw the conclusion that we are all doomed. Has not happened will not happen. Recent research shows many new antibiotics are beginning to come out of the lab that directly attack the most drug resistant strains. The method used to develop them is amazingly targeted so they will be like the fabled magic bullet that kills just the bad germs. They are not broad spectrum however they do not need to be. Too much talk about restricting use of current antibiotics to maintain their effectiveness. Bad policy. We should instead work on creating great tools for identifying causative agents virus vs bacteria and type quickly so we know what to use when. It would save money and improve peoples health. Now its oh you have an infection here's some pills. If you don't get better call me. Instead it should be here let me take a sample and put it in the Germ Ident 1000. Ah here is shows you have virus 2187 no antibiotic needed. Just take this decongestant, fever reducer and anti nausea pills stay home for 4 days and you will be fine.

Comment: 3d Printers are not only tools that can make guns (Score 1) 279

I do not understand this hysteria over 3d Printers and Guns. You can make a plastic gun using other tools too like a drill press, milling machine and lathe. The quality of guns built that way would be much much higher than 3D printed guns. With a little effort someone could use modeling clay silicon rubber and polyester resin to make a plastic gun. If you added some fiber reinforcing it would probably hold up very well. Much better than 3Dprinted guns.

Comment: Interesting (Score 2) 1160

If we could just figure out how to execute murderers humanely using imported water, beer and wine we could fix our balance of trade without any tariffs. http://pierstransportation.wordpress.com/2013/05/14/top-u-s-imports-exports-with-europe/ Car parts would work too but its hard to figure out how we could do that humanely.

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