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Comment: Re:Which CAD software? (Score 1) 251

by smellsofbikes (#46574855) Attached to: 3D Printing: Have You Taken the Plunge Yet? Planning To?

This is currently what I'm struggling to find. The main thing I've established is FreeCAD just isn't ready yet - very buggy and I can not get it to work, but parametric modelling is an interesting concept.

What else are people using for dimensioning parts which need to fit together? (i.e. part design, rather then modelling I guess?)

I've been using freecad, personally. I just did a series of adapters that allow me to attach RC servos to LEGO bricks for some inverse kinematics robots. It worked reasonably well. I've had it crash and do unexpected things, but what I've found is that if I work in the part design toolbar, build sketches that are fully constrained, and then use extrude/pocket operations to build my final parts, it seems pretty robust. Then I can switch to mesh and turn those into exportable meshes individually, and get parts that interact the way I want to. Half the stuff I'm doing I 3d print and the other half I mill on my cnc mill, and when I'm processing stl's I find again that having started from fully constrained sketches means the stl's are more robust and less likely to crash the cam programs I use.

Comment: Re: Ponzi scheme (Score 1) 357

by scubamage (#46566277) Attached to: Cryptocurrency Exchange Vircurex To Freeze Customer Accounts
All currency, whether it's bank notes, hunks of gold, bitcoins, goats, glass beads, or anything else, is a commodity. The only thing that determines price of that commodity is demand and supply. If people think it has utility, it has value. If people stop thinking any of these items have value, then they become worthless. All of these are speculated on as well; that's what foreign exchange markets are, that's what commodities markets are. None of them have intrinsic value until we decide to put a price tag on them in order to exchange them for other things.

Comment: Re:Ponzi scheme (Score 1) 357

by scubamage (#46566233) Attached to: Cryptocurrency Exchange Vircurex To Freeze Customer Accounts
Right now I can name about 4 local vendors who accept bitcoin because they prefer it to the 3% transaction fee charged for credit cards. And they're pulling in still more vendors. They're not involved as speculators, they're involved as people who want to accept it because it makes their cost of doing business lower.

Comment: Re: Ponzi scheme (Score 1) 357

by scubamage (#46566121) Attached to: Cryptocurrency Exchange Vircurex To Freeze Customer Accounts
Exactly. What people are missing is that this is still relatively new technology. With the big boom in mining over the past few months, we can consider this to be the true shakeout period. The exchanges that have problems will fall, and the ones that don't will be the cream rising to the top. This isn't something new. The fact is, a lot of vendors like cryptocurrencies because they don't require processing charges outside the occasional transaction fee when the transaction exceeds a certain size.

+ - Dogecoin Cryptocurrency raises $40,000 to provide fresh water Africa->

Submitted by scubamage
scubamage (727538) writes "TANA, Kenya — March 16, 2014 — Remote villages in Eastern Kenya may not be the first place you think about when it comes to the hot button topic of crypto-currencies but this past week investors and early adopters of Dogecoin used their "magical internet money" to help save lives in an area that suffers from seasonal drought and a lack of clean drinking water.

Over the past week the Dogecoin Foundation, a non-profit organization started by the founders of Dogecoin began accepting and collecting donations for their Doge4Water campaign to coincide with World Water Day on March 22nd. The foundation hoped to raise 40 million Dogecoins (est. $50,000 USD at current exchange rates) to be able to sponsor the Charity:Water initiative of constructing two hand-dug wells to provide access to clean water for the surrounding communities in the Tana River area of Eastern Kenya.

On Friday a generous benefactor who goes by the name of Hood (@savethemhood) helped achieve that goal by making a record tip of 14,000,000 Dogecoins via Twitter. With a tweet berating the wealthy for not doing enough, Hood summed up how he felt with this post, "It is astonishing that we have fellow humans on this planet without water. We have the wealth, but not the will. The greedy do nothing...." Users and foundation members alike were overwhelmed with an outpouring of gratitude on the /r/Dogecoin subreddit.

Since its beginning in early December the Dogecoin community has used their popularity and growing monetary value to help out several causes and charities. Donations from Dogecoin helped the Jamaican bobsled team to travel and compete in this year's Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia as well as fostering a community based not so much on gaining wealth but on giving it away. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Dogecoins are given away through tips each day on Reddit, Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms.

While cryptocurrency has been a high profile topic this past week as to whether it should be regulated, especially due to several well publicized thefts and losses, or as to who the inventor may or may not be, the one coin which seems to take itself a little less seriously than the others firmly made its case that alternative currency can change the world, and for the better.


Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Yeah right (Score 1) 769

by smellsofbikes (#46391739) Attached to: The Next Keurig Will Make Your Coffee With a Dash of "DRM"

My guess RFID. By one regular pod, cut RFID chip out of it, tape to the bottom of subsequent generic pods.

FWIW we tried that with our Stratasys 3d printer. It remembered the RFID number and remembered that the print cartridge was out of print material, so sticking the rfid tag to a new, third-party, 1/4 the price, filled to the brim container of print material did precisely nothing for us. I have no idea if the keurig will do the same. Oh, it was also a pain in the butt because they'd built it into the side of the cartridge, so when we cut it out it wouldn't simply stick on the new cartridge as it had a flat side and the resultant cartridge+rfid tag wouldn't fit in the printer, so we had to bodge something up by putting it on the front where the door closed and hoping it would be detected. It was, but see above.

Comment: Re:flow = pressure/resistance (Score 1) 362

Why not simply lower the water pressure by 10% to curb water usage?

I dunno about everywhere else, but where I live -- next door to the local water tower -- there isn't any sort of water pressure regulation mechanism. You pump water into the water tower, and it flows by gravity to all the houses that are lower than it. And, in the summer, when everyone down in the valley is running their sprinklers, my water pressure is low enough it's difficult to take a shower, so even if you did manage to regulate pressure it would have a disproportionately large effect on some of the people and very little on some others.

Comment: Re:Not plastic, titanium (Score 1) 82

by smellsofbikes (#46288077) Attached to: 3-D Printed Pelvis Holding Up After 3 Years

This is purely anecdotal, but the two indie framemakers I know who have worked with 3d printed lugs have both said the lugs broke very quickly and they only used them for prototypes, didn't consider them safe to ride. One said he thought he could make a 3d printed lug (this was stainless steel, through shapeways, silver-soldered to Reynolds SS tubing) that would be durable but he guessed it would weigh about 4x as much as equivalent forged columbus lugs.

Comment: Re:False choice society (Score 2) 388

by smellsofbikes (#46113137) Attached to: Edward Snowden and the Death of Nuance

It's the same as how Congress's approval rate is extremely low, yet in the last election most seats didn't change hands. In both cases, people are saying "everyone else is the problem, not me!" -- they said "vote out your incumbents" but still voted for their incumbents claiming their incumbent isn't the problem.

What makes this complicated is that I think that's a reflection of America. My congressman _is_ a really good representative for me: he's a smart gay liberal who has started several successful tech companies. I vote for him because he's doing stuff I like. My aunt's congressman is a good representative for her: a pro-life, pro-gun conservative creationist pastor. She votes for him because he's doing stuff she likes.
We'd like to think that there's a logical disconnect between "congress is crazy" and "my congress person is awesome" but that's not necessarily true: we, as a country, have an extremely wide spectrum of opinion. Jim Hightower used to say there's nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos. If congress is a dead armadillo, midway between what I want them to be and my aunt wants them to be, my aunt and I can both be contemptuous of congress while liking our personal representatives, and both of us can be logically consistent in doing so.

Comment: Re:Not found in "humans" in general (Score 5, Informative) 202

by smellsofbikes (#46105153) Attached to: 20% of Neanderthal Genome Survives In Humans

Lactose intolerance is complex. The Tuareg of Saharan Africa have lower lactose intolerance rates than Finnish people, for instance. It mostly has to do with whether a group has spent a long time as nomadic herders or not, and adult persistence of lactase activity appears to be caused by several different mutations, that arose spontaneously. has a nice list of adult lactase activity in different ethnic groups.

UNIX is hot. It's more than hot. It's steaming. It's quicksilver lightning with a laserbeam kicker. -- Michael Jay Tucker