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Comment: Re: Good for greece (Score 1) 1215 1215

So you are saying Greece lied, therefore the fault isn't with Greece, it's with the other EU countries? You're making my head hurt.

There's a difference, and an important one, between 'fault' in the moral, blame-attached-for-wrongdoing sense and 'fault' in the 'error, mistake, deviation from correct operation' sense.

You know the saying "If I owe you $1000, I have a problem. If I owe you $1,000,000, you have a problem."? It's not that Greece's government is somehow the morally blameless party; but it's the eurozone who is revealed, by Greece's failure, as having been...'optimistic'...about its due diligence in the past; and apparently without a coherent plan for what to do if that comes back to bite them.

It's not entirely unlike the US mortgage fuckup: sure, you can scold the irresponsible borrowers, taking out those loans they can't afford; but it's the lenders who have a giant pile of bad loans on their books, a strong suspicion of insufficient scrutiny in their past dealings; and no terribly coherent plan to do anything about it. Greece is unlikely to enjoy the experience; but countries defaulting is a thing that happens from time to time. For the euro, though, this is new territory; and potentially not the last country they'll have to do some variant of this to. So far, they aren't showing all that much promise.

Comment: About three days work, but PITA (Score 1) 372 372

Basically an loading tool with a bug I knew from testing, you could set it correctly once in production but if you set it twice every user was f*cked up and could only be fixed from the web interface by about 5 clicks per user, no programmatic solution. And of course we had an error in the production setup, I altered that part - which I could - but forgot to take out the "you can run this only once" settings. Hundreds of users borked and the vendor support would take forever or claim there's no other way, what do?

This was a consulting company, trying to bill this would look bad on both our vendor and ourselves and it pretty much broke everything so we gave a benched consultant the assignment from hell. Click here, here, browse, pick, save in this somewhat less than instant web interface. Now do that all day, every day for all users until you're done. Personally I'd be ready to jump off the roof after an hour, but apparently she stuck to it for three days and finished. I don't think we won any popularity points with her though.

Comment: Re:Well... (Score 1) 372 372

Or pulling the network cable. You have to plan for idiots, because there will be idiots. And odds are, they will outrank you.

Since this was a server unless he was at the console copying it off to a USB stick he'd probably hook the server back up to the network so he could copy it to his client.

Comment: Re:EVs are a PITA (Score 1) 646 646

The problem is that the overall experience is more of a PITA than just shoving fuel in the tank. Obviously this assumes you ignore externalities, but that's the norm so it's a safe assumption. Once more of these issues are ironed out then there will be less anxiety and more purchases.

He's got so many problems in that video that it's probably staged for click bait, so it can be linked to by EV opponents. Like the cable, that's staged. Every charger map has a filter and you only need to set it right once. I don't know anyone else who hasn't been able to pay for power, usually they have all the ordinary credit/debit/cell phone payment options in addition to the EV-specific cards. With broken chargers and drive problems, well that's bad luck on top of everything else. Not to mention he's trying for something the car's not planned for at all.

First of all, it has a 74 mile range and he's planning a 350 mile drive. The last 20% is really slow, so in practice the fill-ups will be 60 miles max so he'll need at least five full recharges even assuming they're perfectly spaced and he'll run close to zero range. If you want a 5 mile margin and estimating that the chargers are 5 miles from where you'd like them to be 50 miles is more realistic. That's six 80% recharges in a day, at least half an hour each so three hours total. Any sane person would say let's not do that, just rent a Tesla/ICE or take the plane or whatever.

He's abusing the range extender to carry on, but I like the basic idea that if there's a screw-up you can solve it with a little gas instead of being stranded or stuck on a slow charger. Like big boats also have small rescue boats, you know in case of emergency. Hopefully more EVs will come with that option.

Comment: Umm, yeah? (Score 1) 143 143

Surely there would already be a long list of people who have died while watching TV, playing videogames, or putzing around on the phone while sitting on the couch; at least if such incidents weren't(while individually tragic), so boring that nobody has bothered to compile a list?

This is not to say that highly immersive simulations are riskless; I'd personally want to be either sitting down, or in a decent sized room with no sharp-edge furniture and ideally a cushy carpet if I were going to play some VR horror sim that is likely to cause me to jump wildly and potentially fall over; but that's basically the same precaution I would apply to playing some Wii kiddie game that involves flailing around wildly so the accelerometers pick up my input.

Given that you are, effectively, blindfolded; and being fed spurious(relative to the room you are actually in) visual stimuli; VR gaming is going to require more caution than flat screen gaming, especially if standing up and moving around are involved; but "VR: It's So Scary You'll Die in Real Life!!!" doesn't seem like a major issue.

Comment: Re:I'm all for recreational drone use but... (Score 1) 72 72

I can't comment on operator demographics; but it's worth noting that even the fairly small drones(if the propellors are unshrouded or improperly shrouded) can fuck you up surprisingly well.

I imagine that one or two of us here may have had the misfortune of accidentally sticking a finger into an active case/CPU fan at some point. The zestier 80mm, and most of the 120s, will draw blood and possibly take a nail off without much trouble(though they might throw a blade doing so, and then tear their bearings apart, which can be fun to watch). Observe that those sorts of fans are too feeble to lift off. The same is not true of drone propellors. They can, and will, give you a pretty decent slashing.

Barring substantial bad luck, it'll mostly be surface soft tissue damage, lots of blood and maybe a little scarring but no serious long-term effects; but still not what you want to have happen.

Comment: Re:Umm, who are these guys? (Score 1) 92 92

I don't know if there are other sources or not. The concept of non-crystalline metal alloys is not itself patented; but the problem with them has historically been that they can only be fabricated by cooling the metal at truly heroic rates(achievable with hair-thin samples that are just large enough to poke at in the lab; but anything of actually useful size would partially or wholly crystalize during cooling). The 'Liquid Metal' guys originate from some Caltech research that identified alloys that remain amorphous during processing that is actually practical for parts of moderate size.

They certainly hold all the patents that they can surrounding that; but if somebody else has a sufficiently distinct alloy that also doesn't crystalize during cooling, they just need to avoid stepping on any trademarks.

Comment: Re:Hillary Clinton says: (Score 3, Interesting) 267 267

Then you lack a moral compass and need t get some help. I'm suggesting that when you know the fucker is guilty, you put his ass in jail, not defend him.

If your defense lawyer won't offer competent counsel it won't ever be a fair trial. Everybody speculates, even defense lawyers. The prosecutor, the judge, the jury members, the journalists, everyone on the peanut gallery got a personal opinion. You can pick one from the lynch mob as judge, jury and executioner and you got the court of personal opinion instead of the court of public opinion, it's still a shitty system.

That's why we have a system built on evidence. The prosecutor lays out the evidence in favor, the defense lawyer the evidence against, the judge is the referee and the jury decides if it's proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Now certainly there's a lot of subjective evaluation on what testimony is credible, evidence is reliable, theories are plausible and so on.

It's not supposed to be gut feel speculation based on superficial appearance and behavior, maybe you get an impression he's creepy and sleazy "hood rat" but that doesn't make him more guilty.than a slick smooth talker in a suit. At least it's not supposed to, but that's what personal opinion often is - how well the person in front of us matches the mental image we have of "that kind" of person.

Comment: Umm, who are these guys? (Score 1) 92 92

This product doesn't appear to be outside of the realm of the possible; bulk metallic glasses are a real thing (and apparently not excessively expensive for consumer electronics, a number of Sandisk's adequate-but-cheap-and-wholly-unexciting MP3 players used them as chassis materials); and the rest of the specs are on the high side; but available.

However, there appears to be almost nothing about this 'Turing Robotic Industries' except a couple of sites with the same 3d renders and vague puffery. Is 'cryptic' just what all the cool kids are doing these days, or is this the ever delightful scent of vaporware?

Comment: Re:This makes complete sense (Score 1) 44 44

Yeah, you put it way more concisely than I managed to.

I suppose you could also swap out an entire crew at a time; but I suspect that that plan wouldn't work as well in practice. You will need some alternative to just having the crew assembled for the duration of the operation; and then resting or replacing it when you return to port; whatever seems best.

Comment: Re:Please stop (Score 1) 72 72

Aren't all sports classified as 'games'?

It's certainly true that the impact of playing a field game vs. playing a computer game is likely to be different for the player(whether it will actually be healthier depends on how brutally the field sport chews up the human resources vs. how badly inactivity and carpal tunnel syndrome get you); but from the perspective of the audience there isn't much difference.

It's not as though watching intense phsyical exertion gives you exercise by osmosis; so while I'd tend to agree that gamers are not 'athletes', I have little time for the people who are sitting on the couch with a beer and a bowl of chips, decrying the physical passivity of the gamer geeks.

Comment: Re:eSports commentary is already superior (Score 1) 72 72

Aren't "analytics", at least at a fairly rudimentary level, something that was already present in most RTSes, long before it became a buzzword among online advertisers?

I'm not even terribly serious, and I remember most multiplayer or skirmish matches having an end-of-match display of CPM, units built/lost, structures built/lost, resources gathered/spent, graphs of all these variables over time, and so on.

Nobody even bothers to call that 'analytics'; it's just a summary of the salient aspects of the game. If you happen to have a second, 3rd, or nth screen available I don't see why you wouldn't want to be able to see those variables in real time; but the idea that 'analytics' is somehow novel or revolutionary is just nonsense.

Comment: Re:This makes complete sense (Score 1) 44 44

I didn't mean to imply that the crew were expendable; but to respond to the grandparent post's note that technology that enables very long deployments isn't going to stop the people from burning out after a while.

My intended point was that, while people do react increasingly poorly to very long deployments, that is a comparatively predictable problem, which can be combated by a moving people in and out of active duty to control the length of active service; which is something that militaries have done for quite some time. If some fancy ultra-long-endurance technology allows you to send a ship out for X years, determining how you'll rotate crew in and out to keep each sailor within acceptable limits is going to be more complex than it is in lower endurance ships were the endurance of the crew is equal to or greater than that of the ship, so everyone leaves and comes back at the same time; but steadily rotating part of the manpower of a relatively large ship, base, etc. in order to compromise between cohesion and length of active service isn't a fundamentally novel problem.

Comment: Re:This makes complete sense (Score 1) 44 44

On the plus side, unless WWIII is breaking out(in which case the personnel getting burned out is likely to be a trickier problem; but also one you'd encounter regardless of spare parts), you can probably swap out crew more easily than you can parts(especially the larger ones, or the more sensitive ones that you can't just put in checked baggage); unless the ship is in the midst of active hostility, in which case the crew would be pretty dumb to sabotage equipment that increases their odds of making it home alive.

With humans, you have some uncertainty(accidents, unusual medical issues, the occasional psych freakout or disciplinary problem); but the approximate rate at which you need to rotate people to keep them from burning out is comparatively predictable. With spare parts, there are some you know you'll need; but an impractically bulky number of ones you might need; but can't say for sure about. Much easier to ferry out a fresh batch of crew every X months than it is to guess, sufficiently far in advance, what parts to put on the next supply boat.

Comment: Re:I can see it now (Score 1) 44 44

It's true that 3d printing isn't going to solve all your problems; but some are likely to prove hairier than others:

Microchips are a pretty nasty case. Between long development cycles and the demand for mil/aero rated and otherwise hardened versions, military gear is quite likely to be riddled with already-obsolete parts by the time it is formally declared 'finished', much less when the Block N variant is still in use 30 years later. Unfortunately, fully accurate emulation of even relatively feeble digital ICs can be fairly tricky(just look at how much effort it takes to get a 100% binary compatible emulation of the NES' less-than-heroic 1.8MHz 6502; never mind newer stuff or analog/mixed signal); and even painfully obsolete IC fab processes are orders of magnitude smaller than alternate fabrication technologies are good for.

Boards and wiring harnesses are also less likely to be amenable to 'just press print and away you go'; but unless you've destroyed the schematics and for some reason can't tell your multimeter minions to trace it out; such relatively large assemblies should be easier to reverse engineer if necessary and rebuild as well or better with modern parts.

Parts, depending on their size, may or may not be amenable to direct 3d printing: if you go with the really fancy processes, smallish parts with comparatively obnoxious-to-machine properties might actually be easier to print than to produce by the original methods. In other cases, you might not 3d print the parts directly; but you could use 3d printing to greatly speed up the re-creation of tooling necessary to fabricate parts(sintered copper, say, is not terribly useful as an aerospace material; but if you need some tooling in stainless steel or another material that's a pain in the ass to machine precisely, being able to sinter copper to your preference, and then do sinker EDM could save you a great deal of time.)

I suspect that some older designs, unless we consider them worth a fully reverse-engineering, are now too ill-documented to be revived; but given that any current design(and probably some moderately old ones) do have CAD representations produced during design and construction, suitably robust printing technology, in combination with some other techniques, we aren't going to just nanofab them all in one piece), does hold promise.

Except for ICs, not sure what is to be done about those. Given economies of scale in the IC market; it might actually be easiest just to adopt the brute-force-and-ignorance approach and order 100x or even 1000x as many as you need, when constructing a system approved for service, just in case it ends up lasting a long time. Yeah, it will look wasteful, and some of the time it will be a waste; but economies of scale will soften the blow a bit; and you'll be saved having to source second or third hand ICs scavenged out of e-waste by the Chinese and fraudulently re-marked as new old stock; which is probably a good thing for system reliability.

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