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Comment: Re:Apt quote (Score 1) 229

by westlake (#46835959) Attached to: Consumers Not Impressed With 3D Printing

"If I'd asked my customers what they wanted, they'd have said a faster horse." --- Henry Ford

The quote is bogus.

Something to be trotted out whenever the entrepreneur of the 1950s has a product that wasn't selling worth spit.

Ford was raised on a farm. The horse and carriage was an endless care and expense. The Ford car tireless and uncomplaining. You could make good time on a hard surfaced road --- few and far between in the beginning.

Comment: Re:Kinko's (Score 1) 229

by westlake (#46835689) Attached to: Consumers Not Impressed With 3D Printing

When I can pick up a dishwasher replacement part printed out by Whirlpool at my local kinko's and it costs less and is just as good as a cast one then 3D printing will have arrived.

This assumes you have correctly identified the problem and have the time, the tools and the skills needed to disassemble a home appliance and replace a part.

I suspect that 3D printing will lead to more sophisticated and customized appliances that will be a beast to repair.

Comment: In your face. (Score 2, Insightful) 56

by westlake (#46834339) Attached to: DIY Wearable Pi With Near-Eye Video Glasses

If you're just objecting to someone having a video display on their face, then you're simply being a Luddite, and this isn't the place for you.

I object to having a conversation with someone who hasn't the courtesy to maintain eye contact and to focus on what is being said but rather with what is on screen.

The screen is "in my face" never just "on his face."

I object to tech that encourages its users to become more insular and self-absorbed. If that makes me a Luddite so be it.

Comment: Re:Airchat, or as I like to call it, CB Radio (Score 2) 153

CB Radio === Total waste of a good ham band.

CB radio at 27 MHz has been around since 1958. The radios were cheap --- remain cheap --- and have significant usable range without the use of repeaters.

CB radio survives because the cell phone isn't the answer to every problem.

Comment: Out of gas. (Score 1) 388

by westlake (#46829635) Attached to: F.C.C., In Net Neutrality Turnaround, Plans To Allow Fast Lane

Only one reasonable response: Drop all your paid over-the-interent content subscriptions, and start pirating everything. Burn the media industry to the ground.

The geek has been telling anyone willing to listen that piracy isn't hurting big media --- and now he expects to use piracy to destroy the big media?

The licensed Netflix stream represented fully half of all prime time Internet traffic in the states before Netflix offered a streaming only service, before Netflix began offering high definition video, theater sound, closed captioning....

Tablets. Smart phones. The smart TV. The WiFi Internet radio.

Streaming media is available everywhere. In your home. In your car. No computer required. No P2P clients. I wasted endless hours in my own brief flirtation with P2P trying to find an uncorrupted file of reasonable quality. Never again.

Paying retail list would have been a better use of my time.

Comment: Re:How many? (Score 1) 334

by westlake (#46827067) Attached to: Aereo To SCOTUS: Shut Us Down and You Shut Down Cloud Storage

People never wanted buggy whips. People wanted transport. Buggy whips were just a means to that end.

There were 13,000 businesses in the wagon and carriage industry in 1890. A company survived not by conceiving of itself as being in the ''personal transportation'' business, but by commanding technological expertise relevant to the automobile. The people who made the most successful transition were not the carriage makers, but the carriage parts makers, some of whom are still in business.

One is the giant Timken Company, whose signature products, roller bearings, were first used in wagon wheels in the 1890s. They easily adapted to the automobile because they could be applied ''to nearly anything that moved.''

Failing Like a Buggy Whip Maker? Better Check Your Simile [2010

Comment: Re:Getting attention at the expense of 3D printing (Score 1) 207

by westlake (#46802519) Attached to: Cody Wilson Interview at Reason: Happiness Is a 3D Printed Gun

Like the original Liberator pistol that the US dropped all over France, etc.,

The FP-45 was a crude, single-shot pistol designed to be cheaply and quickly mass-produced. It had just 23 largely stamped and turned steel parts that were cheap and easy to manufacture. It fired a .45 caliber pistol cartridge from an unrifled barrel. Due to this limitation, it was intended for very close-in use, 1--4 yards (0--5 m). Its maximum effective range was only about 25 feet (7.6 m). At longer range, the bullet would begin to tumble and stray off course. As a result of its low quality, it was nicknamed the "Woolworth gun."

General Dwight D. Eisenhower's staff never saw the practicality in mass dropping the Liberator over occupied Europe, and authorized distribution of fewer than 25,000 of the half million FP-45 pistols shipped to Great Britain for the French resistance. Generals Joseph Stillwell and Douglas MacArthur were similarly unenthusiastic about the other half of the pistols scheduled for shipment to the Pacific. The Army then turned 450,000 Liberators over to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), which preferred to supply Resistance fighters in both theatres with more effective weapons whenever possible.

FP-45 Liberator

The Liberator shipped with a wooden dowel to remove the empty cartridge case. Fail to hit your mark with your first shot and you were as good as dead.

Comment: The stand-alone world processor is long dead. (Score 3, Interesting) 285

by westlake (#46779749) Attached to: Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?

I wonder how many government offices -- the U.S. Federal government has long been Microsoft's biggest customer -- couldn't get along just fine with an open source word processor, even considering all the proprietary-format documents they're stuck with for now.

Microsoft positions MS Office as part of an integrated solution for clerical work that scales to an enterprise of any size.

Microsoft Office 365 for Health Organizations

Microsoft has entered into a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with Texas, a pact that carries much more weight these days after the HIPAA omnibus rule was released in January.

Implementing Office 365 for such a large network should serve as a sign that the state is comfortable enough with cloud computing that 100,000 employees, including the state Health and Human Services System, will be using the services.

What will Texas Office 365 deal mean for healthcare security? [Feb 2013]

Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft ... and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor. -- Wernher von Braun