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Comment While they're at it... (Score 2) 111

Can they mandate that all of the services their departments offer for employees for work play nice with the latest version of Java within X number of days after a new Java release? Can they mandate that their training stuff not use Flash, Silverlight, or some other non-standard garbage that causes issues for non-Windows users? Dumping Oracle Forms for a bunch of their purchasing systems would be swell, too. Switching VPN providers three times in two years, as well as a revolving door of AV clients is also kind of a drag, as is having several pieces of tech ram-rodded down our throats in emergency fashion, but never used again...The digital signature pad comes to mind.


One very annoyed Federal "IT Specialist"

Comment Re:LOL ... (Score 1) 826

The problem with stuff like systemd is the creeping changes it's going to force on other stuff like FreeBSD down the road. Now you've got this monolithic init setup that also rolls in device abstraction and lots of other fun stuff that were traditionally not the domain of an init system. Eventually application authors may start depending on those functions as they are supplied by systemd, and at that point this all becomes a FreeBSD problem, too. Usually the Linux guys can keep their kids in their own pool, and by extension keep the pee out of ours, but this systemd fiasco may be a real problem down the road.

Comment Re:Use confiscated drugs (Score 1) 483

This. I don't understand why this quest to find the most polite way to kill someone isn't over already. Controlled-atmosphere asphyxiation is the way to go. Every year, people accidentally die in low-oxygen environments where the oxygen level is offset by nitrogen, helium, or some other (usually inert) gas. Safe, easy, pretty low skill level for the people conducting the execution and wouldn't require much more than a full-face mask and a tank of gas, which you could probably pick up at the local welding supply joint.

Submission + - FDA Orders 23andMe to Cease Genetic Testing (

HEMI426 writes: 23andMe is a service that provides inexpensive genetic testing for common health conditions, ancestry and other gene-related information. Apparently the FDA believes that 23andMe's Personal Genome Service is 'a device within the meaning of section 201(h) of the FD&C Act, 21 U.S.C. 321(h), because it is intended for use in the diagnosis of disease or other conditions or in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or is intended to affect the structure or function of the body.' The FDA has ordered 23andMe to immediately cease marketing their Saliva Collection Kit and Personal Genome Testing until they get proper approval. This brings up interesting privacy questions, like can the FDA deny you access to your own genetic information without regard to treatment?

Comment Re:EMC2 (Score 1) 166

Well, everyone does things differently. I used hat pegs for the mug racks; the "flare" at the end holds the mugs on better. Those pegs didn't hold well in a vise...So printing an insert worked really well and made drilling pilot holes for the screws that passed through the slats of the racks trivial. See if you want to see what I'm talking about...That was the first one I built, before I printed the vise insert.

Drill templates...Mine seem to be durable enough for it. In fact, I've printed off a few that the local high-school shop classes have been using for a few semesters now with no breakage.

Maybe this guy's printer wasn't set up right.

Comment Re:EMC2 (Score 1) 166

Eh, mine has practical uses, at least for me. I use it mostly to facilitate other projects...Need an odd-shaped vise insert? Just design and print! I did that with mug-rack pegs. Need a re-usable layout template for drilling holes? Just design and print! I did that for the rear shackle mounts when I wanted to design casters to carry the back of the car when there was no suspension mounted.

There's lots of uses for them...But yeah, a lot of it is printing out parts for other printers---my RepRap's plastic bits came from my friend's printer---or toys and such. If you're not a handy person...Then yes, you'll probably just print toys with it. :)

Comment I'll tell ya... (Score 2) 348

You know what's holding 3D printing back? As someone that's fighting with one, I've got a few thoughts.

I'm building a Prusa Mendel, with hardware mostly donated by a friend that also has a Prusa Mendel. It *should* be straightforward. It's not. At all. My friend and I got the frame built, but I brought everything else home to finish on my own.

I managed to get the mechanical end sorted out fairly well, to the point where I need the entire printer to run right to get the rest of it dialed in. I managed to get the software side sorted pretty easily, too. The electronics, however, are proving to be a major pain.

The machine has a few problems that I can not seem to sort out. The hot end temps vary wildly, in about a thirty-degree Celsius range...However, it's all built "right." At this point I'm going to build a second heatcore and replace the thermistor attached to the nozzle with a new one (that I had to order from somewhere else) in hopes that something is wrong with either of these two items.

I am proficient with electronics assembly and repair, to the point where I build my own pedals to use with my bass, repair my own bass gear, repair other folks' pedals and gear, etc. I do computer software troubleshooting and programming for work, so I'm fairly proficient with that. I'm also a hard-core gearhead; I've been playing with mechanical things from guns to cars to motorcycles to machine tools and just about everything in between for as long as I can remember...But I'm having a hell of a time sorting out a *basic* 3D printer. I've spent the past three weeks of weeknights and weekends working on the thing and, honestly, I'm about ready to throw the whole pile in the trash and forget the whole thing.

It doesn't help that no one local to me has any more experience with building these things than I do, and all the people that have pre-built 3D printers are also hating them right now...My old employer has a MakerBox Replicator 2X that they can not get to run right. It seems like the vendors themselves don't really know what's going on, either...The vendor I got the hot end parts kit from seems to supply wire that I would consider wholly inadequate for moving 12V@5A around, but apparently it works.

The guy that supplied the parts for me to build my Prusa Mendel purchased a Rostock kit for no small amount of money...And is having all kinds of trouble getting it working right, too.

What's holding back 3D printing? The fact that even people with higher-than-average technical proficiency in all the areas required to make a 3D printer run well are having problems with their 3D printers indicates that they are in no way ready for mainstream use.

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The trouble with opportunity is that it always comes disguised as hard work. -- Herbert V. Prochnow