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Comment: Re:From Jack Brennan's response (Score 1) 772

by laird (#48625281) Attached to: CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

So are you arguing that the US is less secure now than it was in 1774? Back when we had almost nothing, fighting the globe-spanning England, we rejected torture as being against our principles. Now that we're the richest, most powerful country on the planet, "threatened" by terrorists (i.e. fighters without even the backing of a country) we're willing to give up our principles?

Comment: Re:There's only one image organizing program (Score 1) 259

by Ford Prefect (#48597889) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Software For Image Organization?

Adobe for reasons only known to itself absolutely refuses to support case-sensitive file systems for Mac OS X.

I've heard of various other software breaking when used with case-sensitive filesystems on OS X - not making an excuse for that software, but what is the benefit of running with such a filesystem anyway? I'm genuinely interested.

(I've been running with the default case-preserving, case-insensitive filesystems for a decade or more, and not hit any problems.)

Comment: Re:Sounds like they should ban the cabbies (Score 3, Informative) 295

by jcr (#48596967) Attached to: French Cabbies Say They'll Block Paris Roads On Monday Over Uber

That's what they would do if they had a functioning police department or legal system in France, but they haven't had that for many years. You might remember that they had a plague of thugs setting cars on fire a year or so ago, and the cops didn't even try to arrest any of them.


Comment: Re:Won't be printing at home that soon (Score 1) 173

by laird (#48596157) Attached to: 3D Printer?

It's still a maturing industry, like 2D printing back when those printers were hundreds to thousands of dollars. But it's rapidly transitioning to a consumer-friendly technology. Every generation is better than the previous one, and the rate of advance is impressive. For example, the auto-leveling printers eliminate the primary cause of print failures. And the software is better and easier every year. Of course, it requires training and skill to design 3d objects, but that's true of good 2d products as well. The answer in 3D, just as it was in 2D, was for skilled people to create templates, so that novices could tweak and personalize even if they can't (or don't want to) do a ground-up design.

Comment: Re:Missing option: CNC Router (Score 1) 173

by laird (#48596119) Attached to: 3D Printer?

I think you got PLA and ABS backwards. PLA as a wide range of "glass transition" that starts to turn soft at 60c but melts around 160 c, ABS has a much narrower glass transition range (and the same melting temp) so it can take much higher temperatures without getting soft. Nylon can take higher temperatures, and Polycarbonate even higher.

Comment: Re:Currently 3D printing my own 3D printer (Score 1) 173

by laird (#48596063) Attached to: 3D Printer?

The goal of RepRap is to make manufacturing (with plastic) cheap and universally available. You still need some non-plastic parts, like the hot end, electronics, and stepper motors. But they've got the electronics in 3D printers down to commodity stuff that's relatively cheaply available, so you can make a 3D printer for $200 or so of electronics, plus getting a friend to print a set of the printable parts.

It'll be a while until you can 3D print 100% of the device - it's hard to imagine being able to 3D print a controller, for example. But since they're dirt cheap, that's not a huge issue.

Comment: Re:Durable parts. (Score 1) 173

by laird (#48596019) Attached to: 3D Printer?

The most useful part I've printed is probably a repair part for a dishwasher. It was a plastic clip, and the manufacturer only wanted to sell the complete drawer assembly for $400 per drawer, so a little measuring and CAD saved me $800.

Whoever's saying that 3D printed parts can't be durable is out of date. Old-school PLA was pretty fragile, but modern PLA is much more durable, ABS is quite durable, and Nylon is effectively indestructible. Of course, bonded layers won't be as strong as injection molding, or CNC milling from a solid piece, but these days 3D printed parts from consumer printers are highly usable. Within the realm of what can be done with extruded plastic, of course. Some things you need to CNC mill from steel. That's fun, too.

Comment: Re:Time to openly admit... (Score 1) 187

by laird (#48595165) Attached to: Last Three Years the Quietest For Tornadoes Ever

If you observe a several hundred year trend in global climate, which has dips up and down for years and even decades, a few years of a dip doesn't disprove the long-term trend.

Let's compare it to the stock market. It's been going up as a general trend for decades, making stocks a generally very good investment with great long-term returns. There were certainly years where stocks went down, and certainly many individual stocks that collapsed, but that doesn't mean that stocks don't go up, or won't go up, just that some years and specific stocks deviated from the long-term trend.

Comment: Re:Where are hurricanes? The other side of the wor (Score 1) 187

by laird (#48595101) Attached to: Last Three Years the Quietest For Tornadoes Ever

You're missing the point, perhaps intentionally.

Global Climate Change is a change in the global climate, with is a broad, long-term change. The impact on a specific region or time period isn't global climate, it's regional weather, which is only very loosely correlated to the global climate.

Arguing that the weather recently in the east coast of the US is fine, so you don't care about global climate change, is like arguing that your chair is comfortable so you don't care that the house is on fire. Sure, you're fine right now where you are, but it's not going to stay that way forever. And ignoring what's going on around you is a bad long-term plan.

Comment: That has always been the case. (Score 1) 465

by jcr (#48590173) Attached to: Peru Indignant After Greenpeace Damages Ancient Nazca Site

Greenpeace is not, and has NEVER been an environmental organization. From the very beginning, they have been a marketing organization abusing the public's sympathy to environmental concerns to suck up contributions that would otherwise have gone to people doing real work to improve the environment.

If you care about pollution, deforestation, preserving wildlife, etc, contribute to Ducks Unlimited, the Nature Conservancy, the Audubon Society, and your local environmental organizations.


Comment: Watch it with the broad brush there.. (Score 1) 465

by jcr (#48590149) Attached to: Peru Indignant After Greenpeace Damages Ancient Nazca Site

At the most, some dozen people or so were involved in this latest Greenpeace vandalism stunt, and you're using that to blame tens of millions of people. There have been obnoxious people in every generation since mankind evolved, and they have always been vastly outnumbered by decent people.


1 Sagan = Billions & Billions