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Comment: Re:Incredibally useful (Score 1) 25

by WillAdams (#47575413) Attached to: NASA's JPL Develops Multi-Metal 3D Printing Process

Classic old saw is that the only tool in a workshop which can duplicate itself is a lathe --- hence the Gingery books starting w/ making a lathe using investment castings:

(Book 1 is how to set up a charcoal foundry)

Had a copy of Book 2 a long while ago and gave it away --- always rather regretted that.

Comment: Identifiers (Score 2) 84

by msobkow (#47573349) Attached to: Countries Don't Own Their Internet Domains, ICANN Says

Until this nonsense about keyword TLDs, TLDs were just identifiers, not property as ICANN noted. But this custom TLD nonsense is going to throw a wrench into that.

I could see seizing the domain registrars, but as they say, how do you seize an identifier? That's like saying I "own" the variable "x", and that all graphics programmers now need to pay me to lease use of that variable name.

Comment: Re:Only a part of production (Score 1) 43

by WillAdams (#47568595) Attached to: A Look At the Firepick Delta Circuit Board Assembler (Video)

The Shapeoko 2 works well for milling circuit boards (esp. if one upgrades the spindle):

Precisely adding solder paste should just be a variation on an extruder:

and here's one example of using the machine for pick and place: (using an aquarium pump for vacuum).

Comment: Re:I find it interesting (Score 1) 834

by msobkow (#47561093) Attached to: Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

Not at all. At this point the Israelis have killed well over 1000 civilians (roughly 80% of the total dead.)

Even if they have hundreds of launchers, Israel has bombed well over 2000 sites. It does take some time to move a rocket launcher, so I'd have thought most of them to be destroyed by now if Israel were truly bombing launch sites.

Add in the fact that no independent observers of any kind have verified the presence of Hamas munitions or launches at any of the sites Israel has attacked, and it stinks as bad as the US claims of WMD against Iraq. (We have tubes! Aluminum tubes!)

Comment: Erlang is a tough chew (Score 3, Informative) 309

by msobkow (#47560839) Attached to: Programming Languages You'll Need Next Year (and Beyond)

I spent over two years working every day with Erlang on a project, and I still don't consider myself to be anywhere near an "expert" at the language. It's just too weird and special case for a lot of the functionality I was trying to code, so while certain tasks were easier than they would have been in Java or another procedural-object language, others were damned near impossible and took obscene amounts of time to get working at all -- never mind working efficiently.

Personally I'd avoid it like the plague unless you have some special case need for it's features. Even with regards to concurrency, it's not really any better than any other language's concurrency features. They aren't really baked into the language as the summary suggests, but provided by frameworks in the API libraries, much as they are by other languages.

The main difference with Erlang concurrency is that the concurrent models are the "normal" way to program Erlang, so you're likely to find a lot of good examples of how to do it. I've found the documentation for other language's concurrency features to be somewhat limited in comparison, and less "real world" in their examples.

The main thing that I found neat about the Erlang framework was the ability to specify auto-restarts of failed threads. It takes all of about 4 lines of configuration to get a thread to be persistent/self-starting. That's the densest code I've ever seen for achieving such a task.

The big downside to Erlang is that it's almost as bad as LISP -- everything is a list. Even "structures" are just lists of objects with tags that identify the list indices for accessing the members. Be prepared for a nightmare of tail recursion if you get into this field of programming.

That said, it can be a fun and entertaining language to work with. For the things it is good at, it can be a joy to use. Much as with any language.

Comment: I find it interesting (Score 2, Interesting) 834

by msobkow (#47558857) Attached to: Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

I find it interesting that pretty much all posts in support of the Gazans have been moderated down, yet there seem to be an awful lot of such posts. There's nothing like censorship by the mods to ensure that all viewpoints aren't heard equally. So with the expectation of being moderated down...

Israel likes to claim they're targetting Hamas installations. Yet if that's the case, each of those installations they've targetted has only launched an average of less than two rockets at Israel, when you consider the number of rockets Israel claims have been launched vs. the number of sites they've targetted.

It seems to me rather highly unlikely that Hamas has actually got *that* many rocket launchers, considering they have to be smuggled in.

Another common thread is the "terror tunnels." Don't forget that Gaza is isolated and has to smuggle in supplies. There is no way to tell whether a tunnel was being used for smuggling goods in or attackers out, but given that there have only been *two* reports of Hamas sending attackers through the tunnels, I think it's safe to say that those tunnels were being used primarily to smuggle in goods.

Well over a 1000 Gazans have been killed, the vast majority civilians. In the meantime, only 3 Israeli civilians have been killed. As to the soldiers on both sides, I *expect* them to die -- they're in battle. I've no sympathy for dead soldiers on either side.

I don't see how anyone can take a "moderate" stance on the issue. Israel invaded Palestine. Israel destroys Gazan homes to make room for settlements in violation of the Geneva conventions. Israel targets civilian infrastructure. Israel has tanks, planes, missiles, and gun emplacements; the Gazans have some pretty-much-useless rocket launchers that don't do any damage to Israeli infrastructure.

The Gazans are walled in, have no where to escape to, and are, for the most part, just civilians trying to survive. Bleat as they will about "self defence", I don't buy the Israeli arguments for this violent and genocidal assault on the civilians of Gaza. Not one bit.

May the bluebird of happiness twiddle your bits.