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Comment Re:Lock-Out Tag-Out (Score 3, Insightful) 407

Lock-Out Tag-Out is a good practice in many cases.

It isn't always possible, however.

Note this portion of the description from the summary:

routinely inspected and adjusted processes

- there are many times when the design of the machine is such that adjusting and calibrating requires the machine to be energized; and sometimes safety interlocks must be disabled (generally with vendor provided tools) in order to make those adjustments.

An injury or death (sadly more specifically the high dollar value lawsuit following it) may provide sufficient incentive for the vendor to redesign the machine to allow for routine adjustments in a safer manner.

Even though plenty of people will dismiss this as a matter of a careless worker (which it might or might not be true in the specific instance), the fact is that some jobs are dangerous but necessary. Personally, I won't take a dangerous job; but I know that a modern lifestyle requires that someone does dangerous jobs. Workers, managements and equipment vendors all must work together to minimize the number of injuries and deaths involved with doing dangerous work. Ideally robotics are able to reduce the number of workers exposed to 'dangerous but necessary' conditions; but until we have robots that are able to fully adjust and repair other robots people will be involved in this kind of work.

Comment Re:At least it's good to know FB has priorities (Score 1) 293

Why is that hypocritical?

Is it impossible for anyone to see a situation that they believe causes problems (for example - too many humans consuming resources on the planet) and promote both a reduction in the current size of the problem (reducing the number of humans living - aka promoting killing people) and in the future size of the problem (reducing the number of humans born - aka discouraging sex)?

I'm not saying this is my approach, I'm just not sure it's as hypocritical as you seem to think it is.

Comment Re:Private Company (Score 1) 293

You may find the wikipedia article on Jounalistic Objectivity to be interesting reading.

I suspect (but don't and can't know) that your perception of "since the 80's" is more about the timeline of your own awareness of reporting than it is about any broad change in what is being written.

Journalistic Objectivity was created in the early 1800s so that the Associated Press could sell the same product (news) to all their customers (newspapers) because they didn't feel it was economically viable to produce a product that was individualized for each customer.

That origin doesn't mean that there is no value to 'just the facts' news from the point of view of the consumer of news - but do understand that what you 'always thought' is a standard that is impossible to actually reach for a practical news stream.

Comment Re:no process (Score 1) 314

As far as I can see, English is a 'bastardised half-breed language'; in some cases speakers of English are proud of this fact, in other cases they are embarrassed of it and in yet other cases they are ignorant of it.

If you wish to argue that 'American' (USian?) is a distinct language from English (even though speakers of 'American' when asked what language they speak will say 'English' - the simple solution to this of course is to say that the American word for American is 'English' and that American's don't know the word for what the rest of the world refers to as English), then who are you to say that the American idiom 'I could care less' is not the correct translation of the English phrase 'I couldn't care less'? Note the distinction between idiom and phrase.

Comment Re:Understanding (Score 1) 207


I am willing to bet that most (not all) people that complain that "people today don't know how to fix a faucet" haven't spent hours under a sink, trying to wrestle the stupid plastic (why plastic, since that means it will deform under the least misalignment) nut that's corroded (yeah, neither the plastic nor the brass significantly corroded in the years it's been there, but gunk has migrated into those threads) into place up inside a space you can barely see, using a crappy-ass specialty tool which keeps pinching your fingers better than said corroded slippery worn plastic nut. Have I mentioned the under-sink cabinet space is not nearly big enough to fit your body comfortably into? Have I mentioned that the edge of the cabinet is digging into your kidney or rib the whole time? And did i forget the drip drip of water and sweat and grime making the whole thing even more of a pain in the ass? Oh, and the space you have to work with? Take a look at your kitchen sink. Eyeball the distance between the back of the sink-well and the wall behind it. Notice how deep the sink-well is. Guess what, there is no magic cavern inside - you have to get your hand, tool, light and vision up inside that space to reach the nut. The task itself is simple - "unscrew these two plastic nuts". If it was on my workbench, it would be a 5 second task. Where it is, it's a multiple hour struggle with horribly awkward angles and mystery filth dripping in your eyes.

For those that think I must be incompetent, I'll have you know it took a matter of minutes to put the NEW faucet & nuts in place once I had the old one out and it works like a charm.

It's no wonder people hire someone else. It isn't because we don't know HOW to turn a wrench. It's because getting the job done is a pain in the ass and it is worth the cost to avoid it. If I did the task all the time, I'd work out the little tricks to make it go smoother, and I'd just learn to get used to the filth of it. In the end, I respect the plumbers that do the work, and I say "better them than me".

Comment Re:Cars??? (Score 1) 444

You have this backwards, it's much easier to discard waste heat in a car than it is in space. Consider - you have a multi-year mission, surrounded by an insulator that does not allow convective or conductive cooling. In fact, the only practical cooling methods are A.) heating part of your mass and shedding it, and B.) radiating it (as signal or as noise) at some EM frequency.

Comment Firefox on OpenSolaris/Linux/Windows (Score 2, Informative) 493

I recently went through a round of attempting to use OpenSolaris on my work laptop (damn I want that ZFS juju)... and there were a couple of things that drove me back to Debian - one of them was the horrible performance of Firefox under OpenSolaris. Under VirtualBox on OpenSolaris host, Firefox was faster on either a Debian or a WinXP guest than it was on the host... the difference between usable and not. The specific application that really showed this was Zimbra (pretty heavily AJAXy). In trying to track this issue down, the general feedback on OpenSolaris forums was "Firefox on OpenSolaris kinda sucks, sorry". My personal experience with Firefox is that under Linux or Windows it's subjectively close enough not to worry about (on a variety of hardware, not just the laptop that I tested OpenSolaris on).

Comment Re:And tonight's top story.... (Score 1) 414

Assuming you aren't a felon, you CAN purchase them. Full auto. Machine guns. The real deal. All it will cost you is a $200 tax stamp and (usually) a background check (which entails a delay of variable length). Well, and the cost of the gun itself.

Mind you, nobody (at all) can MAKE new ones for ownership by the general public in the US - but that isn't what you asked about. Because nobody can make new ones (this has been the case since 1986), the existing ones are getting more and more expensive - in fact, the $200 tax stamp is chump change compared to the cost of the gun itself - it's not uncommon to see cheap nasty full auto guns (that are in the $500 or less range w/o the full auto serial number) go for $5,000 or more.

Your state may limit things above and beyond this - but since you mentioned Second Amendment, I'm limiting my comment to the Federal situation.

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