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Comment: Re:Underspecced? (Score 1) 103

by smellsofbikes (#47949145) Attached to: Dremel Releases 3D Printer

What I tell people who are thinking about 3d printing is: if you have a specific project, that needs 3d printing, for which going through shapeways or something is either uneconomical (because you're going to need six tries to get your widget dimensioned correctly) or too slow (you're going to be making a ton of different prototype widgets) then a home 3d printer may be a good idea for you. Otherwise, you'll get it, print an octopus and a tardis, and then it'll gather dust and you'll kick yourself for having spent the money.
With that said, if you do have a specific project, and you use the printer for that, you will get enough time on it, and more specifically on using the software to make models, that you will have basically mastered the learning curve, and suddenly you'll be printing a lot of other things, that you didn't ever even think about making.
I'm co-owner of a plus-size mendelmax 2. We got it to print prototype circuit board adapters so we could stick x board on y piece of hardware. Once we'd gotten that hammered out, the other guy who owns it has printed a plug for his sewer drain, a rat trap for live-catch, buckets for a tiny pelton wheel generator, and I've printed lathe-holding tools, lcd bezels, automated printed circuit board test fixtures, and most of a fuel injection intake manifold for my car. We use it for everything.
But you need to have that first big complicated project that you have to get finished, to get to the point where it is a reliable tool, rather than a gadget.

With all THAT said, you'll always want a larger printer. But if the printer you have can cover 95% of your jobs, that's a whole lot better than none at all. Based on the stuff I've made, this printer could handle 95% of the demands I have, and there's always shapeways for the other 5%.

Comment: Re:Underspecced? (Score 3, Insightful) 103

by smellsofbikes (#47941117) Attached to: Dremel Releases 3D Printer

Is it me or does it sound a bit underwhelming for $1000? I don't mean the price is non-competitive, it just seems like I'd want something more capable if I was going to take the plunge. Burn $1000 and in a week won't you be hankering for a much more capable machine?

Yes. And spending two months debugging bed/head temperatures, print and extruder speed, and layer thickness, so your prints consistently stay solid and adhered to the bed rather than peeling, will be totally invisible to you because that $1K presumably means someone else already did that. There's a lot of value in getting something that's been debugged, and that's particularly the case for extrusion-based FDM 3d printers. It's okay to be hankering for a better machine, particularly if you're already printing. The best 3d printer is the one that's actually building parts for you.

Comment: Just do it. (Score 5, Interesting) 223

by khasim (#47938175) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Pick Up Astronomy and Physics As an Adult?

I don't expect to be a Carl Sagan or Neil deGrasse Tyson, but I'd love to have enough knowledge in these subjects to research and experiment to the point where I could possibly start contributing back to the field.

Look up "Galaxy Zoo". You can start contributing today.

As for classes, start reading. Find out which books are used for the courses and buy the books and read them even if you cannot take the courses.

Comment: Bullshit. (Score 1) 182

by khasim (#47938071) Attached to: Snowden's Leaks Didn't Help Terrorists

They tried to bomb the World Trade Center in 1993. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1993_World_Trade_Center_bombing

Snowden released the files he had in 2013.

That's TWENTY YEARS where they would be using their old communication methods while we were hunting them. There should not be a terrorist left alive.

The PROBLEM is that we collect too much data. It is impossible to process into useful information. It is a mass of "dots" for 300,000,000 people that increases every single day.

And terrorists are so rare that they (and their communications) vanish into the mass of regular people. If you live in the USofA you are more likely to be killed by someone in your own family than by a terrorist.

+ - Mozilla Labs Closed And Nobody Noticed->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk (1801200) writes "When Google Labs closed there was an outcry. How could an organization just pull the rug from under so many projects?
At least Google announced what it was doing. Mozilla, it seems since there is no official record, just quietly tiptoes away — leaving the lights on since the Mozilla Labs Website is still accessible. It is accessible but when you start to explore the website you notice it is moribund with the last blog post being December 2013 with the penultimate one being September 2013.
The fact that it is gone is confirmed by recent blog posts and by the redeployment of the people who used to run it. The projects that survived have been moved to their own websites. It isn't clear what has happened to the Hatchery -the incubator that invited new ideas from all and sundry.
One of the big advantages of open source is the ease with which a project can be started. One of the big disadvantages of open source is the ease with which projects can be allowed to die — often without any clear cut time of death. It seems Mozilla applies this to groups and initiatives as much as projects. This isn't good."

Link to Original Source

+ - Snowden's Leaks Didn't Help Terrorists 1

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "The Interecept reports that contrary to lurid claims made by U.S. officials, a new independent analysis of Edward Snowden’s revelations on NSA surveillance that examined the frequency of releases and updates of encryption software by jihadi groups has found no correlation in either measure to Snowden’s leaks about the NSA’s surveillance techniques. According to the report "well prior to Edward Snowden, online jihadists were already aware that law enforcement and intelligence agencies were attempting to monitor them (PDF).” In fact, concerns about terrorists' use of sophisticated encryption technology predates even 9/11.

Earlier this month former NSA head Michael Hayden stated, “The changed communications practices and patterns of terrorist groups following the Snowden revelations have impacted our ability to track and monitor these groups”, while Matthew Olsen of the National Counterterrorism Centre would add “Following the disclosure of the stolen NSA documents, terrorists are changing how they communicate to avoid surveillance.” Snowden’s critics have previously accused his actions of contributing from everything from the rise of ISIS to Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine. "This most recent study is the most comprehensive repudiation of these charges to date," says Murtaza Hussain. "Contrary to lurid claims to the contrary, the facts demonstrate that terrorist organizations have not benefited from the NSA revelations, nor have they substantially altered their behavior in response to them.""

+ - Study Finds Link Between Artificial Sweeteners and Glucose Intolerance

Submitted by onproton
onproton (3434437) writes "The journal Nature released a study today that reveals a link between the consumption of artificial sweeteners and the development of glucose intolerance, a leading risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes, citing a critical alteration of intestinal bacteria. Paradoxically, these non-caloric sweeteners, which can be up to 20,000 times sweeter than natural sugars, are often recommended to diabetes patients to control blood glucose levels. Sugar substitutes have come under additional fire lately from studies showing that eating artificially sweetened foods can lead to greater overall calorie consumption and even weight gain. While some, especially food industry officials, remain highly skeptical of such studies, more research still needs to be done to determine the actual risks these substances may pose to health."

Comment: Hmmm. (Score 0) 72

by jd (#47921793) Attached to: Astronomers Find Star-Within-a-Star, 40 Years After First Theorized

If Kip Thorne can win a year's worth of Playboys for his bet that Cygnus X1 was a Black Hole, when current theory from Professor Hawking says Black Holes don't really exist, then can Professor Thorne please give me a year's subscription to the porno of my choice due to the non-existent bet that this wasn't such a star?

Comment: Pedigree and breed vs "big dog". (Score 1) 391

by khasim (#47921449) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

That's wouldn't be "looking for people with liberal arts degrees", that's "looking for people with demonstrable technical experience" and finding that they just happen to have a liberal arts degree.

Yep.

As an analogy I'd point to pedigree and breed in a dog show. Your FORMAL education also has a breed (your major/minor) and a pedigree (which schools you attended).

But when it comes to hiring, I'd be looking for the "big dogs". And while breed and pedigree can be a factor (Chihuahua compared to Sheep Dog) I won't exclude the mutts.

If you have the drive and dedication to complete a formal major in one field while spending your free time becoming competitive in a different field then you are someone I should be interviewing.

Comment: Let's see your portfolio. (Score 3, Insightful) 391

by khasim (#47919065) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

While I'd tend toward Computer Science (since that is what my degree is in) I'd FIRST want to see what they've done already.

Is there anything the Lit major can show that demonstrates his programming skills? Like patches submitted to a FLOSS project? Or a mobile app? Or even a personal website?

It's not that you cannot get a programming job with a Lit degree. It is that the other candidates will probably have more DEMONSTRATED skills in the programming field.

Show me that you CAN program (sufficient to the basic requirements of the project) AND that your Lit degree gives you a different perspective AND how you implement that perspective.

Comment: Re:Then I guess you could say... (Score 1) 219

by kimvette (#47915979) Attached to: Schizophrenia Is Not a Single Disease

> that schizophrenia itself has a bit of a split personality.

Wrong.

Schizophrenia is when you hear "god" telling you to kill that actress.

DID is when at times you really believe you are god, then a moment later you believe you're a receptionist at a law firm, then you believe you're a construction worker - and your personalities may or may not know one another and be friends. It's a really messed up condition - I had a friend with DID once and it was unnerving because I'd wonder who I would be talking to next time I'd see her. More recently I've encountered someone I've been chatting online with who at times insists she is Hathor, the ancient Egyptian goddess, and other times insists she is a different "god" and other times she is just her. Now, she could just be trolling people online but I really do think she genuinely has DID. It's a very strange condition.

+ - Ask Slashdot: What to do after digitizing VHS tapes? 2

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Now that I've spent close to a month digitizing a desk drawer's worth of VHS tapes, deinterlacing and postprocessing the originals to minimize years of tape decay, and compressing everything down to H.264, I've found myself with a hard drive full of loosely organized videos. They'll get picked up by my existing monthly backup, but I feel like I haven't gained much in the way of redundancy, as I thought I would. Instead of having tapes slowly degrade, I'm now open to losing entire movies at once, should both of my drives go bad. Does anyone maintain a library, and if so, what would they recommend? Is having them duplicated on two drives (one of which is spun down for all but one day of the month) a good-enough long term strategy? Should I look into additionally backing up to optical discs or flash drives, building out a better (RAIDed) backup machine, or even keeping the original tapes around despite them having been digitized?"

+ - Comcast Tells Customers to Stop Using Tor Browser->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Comcast agents have reportedly contacted customers who use Tor, a web browser that is designed to protect the user’s privacy while online, and said their service can get terminated if they don’t stop using Tor. According to Deep.Dot.Web, one of those calls included a Comcast customer service agent named Jeremy..."
Link to Original Source

+ - New Details About NSA's Exhaustive Search of Edward Snowden's Emails-> 4

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Vice News reports, "The NSA disclosed these new details about its investigation into Snowden in response to a FOIA lawsuit VICE News filed against the NSA earlier this year seeking copies of emails in which Snowden raised concerns about spy programs he believed were unconstitutional..... As part of this investigation, the Agency collected and searched all of Mr. Snowden's email available on NSA's classified and unclassified system. This included sent, received, and deleted email, both in his inboxes still on the networks and email obtained by restoring back-up tapes from Agency networks. Multiple members of the Associate Directorate for Security and Counterintelligence read all of the collected email. Additionally, given that organizational designators appear for each NSA sender and recipient for email transmitted on NSA's classified and unclassified systems, searches of Mr. Snowden's collected email also were done using the organizational designators for the offices most likely to have been recipients of any email written raising concerns about an NSA signals intelligence program. ... Those offices included the NSA's Office of General Counsel, the Office of the Comptroller, and the Signals Intelligence Directorate Office of Oversight and Compliance. Moreover, Sherman said, the NSA tasked the Office of General Counsel, the Office of Inspector General, and the Office of the Director of Compliance to "search for communications to or from Mr. Snowden in which he may have raised concerns about NSA programs." ..."The search did not identify any email written by Mr. Snowden in which he contacted Agency officials to raise concerns about NSA programs," ...""
Link to Original Source

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