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Comment Re: No (Score 2) 278

I've been inside one automated greenhouse that produces potted herbs. there is a machine which fills the pots with compost and adds seeds thats relatively simple. The pots go onto a tray that sits on two tubular rails and they get automatically watered. there is a robot which works beween the rails which lifts up the tray and moves it forward. Essentially pots with seeds at one end and ready to sell herbs at the other . with the robots doing the heavy lifting no need for walkways between the rows so maximizes the use of the space. It tends to be uncomfortably warm and humid in there. I think it was a dutch company that owned the factory which was in south lincolnshire this was around the late 90's. I think the loading and unloading at each end was manual.

A crisp or chip factory has pretty good automation. A trailer loaded with potato's has a small conveyor in the bottom of it. This is plugged in at one end of the line the potatos drop into a flume which is full of water which pumps them through a pipe up to a 3 stage peeler. It is essentially 3 sets of rollers with a coarse medium and fine grit this removes the skins.

Onto the grader halver big potato's get cut in half and then onto an elevator. it carries the potatoes up to the cutters, it has a sensor monitoring the weight and adjusts the feed speed and the overall production rate,

This feeds the cutters these are like a cauldron which spins, potatoes drop in there and the potatoes get sliced with razor blades set in the side. These blades need changing on a regular basis (human needed). There were 3 of them so 1 would get changed while the other 2 keep working.

Next step is a bath which removes starch which is harvested. Then the chips hits the fryer, this is a bus size fryer the chips are kept submerged under the oil and a PID maintains the temperature adjusting the burners that heat the oil. There is like a chain conveyor which keeps them moving along the fryer.

Coming out the oil they go on to a fast moving conveyor, at the end of which there is a small conveyor which the chips jump over. Here there is a camera system which is looking for burnt chips. If it spots any it directs air jets to blast them into the small conveyor, the rest passing through to a bucket elevator. the ones that get diverted onto the cross feed conveyor go through the camera system again because the first pass will take out some good chips as well as burnt ones.

The bucket elevator feeds a storevayor which can hold up to about 10 tons of chips, sensors show were there is space for more chips and the belt feeds out to a system of vibrating stainless steel conveyors which feed the flavor stations.

When the flavor station needs more product they call for more product and a side ways vibration is used to divert to the flavor station. the storevayor gives some flexibility to the system and feeds back to the earlier stages.

flavor stations are fairly simple there is some thing like a galvanized dustbin ,which the chips feed into, on its side which rotates and a screw feed which feeds the flavoring through a small pipe the rotation of the drum mixes the flavor with the chips.

This feeds a check head weigher the chips land on a central cone and around that are little hoppers which weigh the product. each will have some random quantity of product and will release a combination that meets the minimum weight requirement e.g 12g and 13g to make a 25g packet.

The packet is actually a sheet of film which is wrapped into a bag and sealed when the chips start falling there is no bag and its formed as they are falling. the top of one bag when it is sealed makes the bottom of the next. these then hit another small conveyor with a section that weighs the bags any that are out of tolerance get rejected.

The packing in boxes can be manual but there is a robot system which takes a flat box opens it and then a lifter picks up 8 packets it has a sucker for each packet if it doesnt sense a packet it rejects the 7 and has another go it puts 8 in a layer repeats till it has 48 packets and closes and seals the carton which gets stacked onto a pallet. these get shrink wrapped ready for distribution.

Pretty much just 2 people work on the cooker side on the flavor stations there are more operators they load flavors clean down the machines there are either a couple of people mostly packing or a robot doing the job. That robots pretty expensive but it works 24 hours a day.

It is way harder to automate the farms though. Take a potato harvester it does a fairly good job of picking up potatoes but it also picks up mud and rocks there is usually a team of around 4 people riding on the back pulling off mud and rocks to avoid carrying half the field back to the sheds then the crates filled on the field go on to a grader which sizes the potatos and again there is a team of people removing more mud and rocks. you can't automate that.

Even easier crops to harvest automatically can have problems sometimes weeds grow. Very hard for a machine to identify a nettle from a lettuce someones got to pick that out. As my old mam used to say the cheapest robot is the human being.

Comment There will be less jobs (Score 5, Insightful) 540

I've automated a few production lines and the reasons for the automation was to reduce the number of people running the lines. What does happen is a skilled maintenance engineer is required to fix problems on that line and generally a few other similar lines. That can result in the loss of 100 jobs and the creation of 1.

Some processes can result in totally unmanned sites and people only are needed on site when the equipment reports a fault actually often not even then since a backup system tends to come online.

It's not a bad thing to automate jobs but there is a cost to communities when the jobs go.

Comment Re:Desperate users (Score 2) 141

So it seems that the issue in this case was a server with a security vulnerability that the then current version of filezilla wouldn't work with

2solutions

fix the server
use an older version of filezilla

3rd solution make the current version of filezilla compatible with the broken server.
Does it need spelling out why the 3rd solution is not a solution?

Basically the server provider gets complaints that the clients can't connect with the current client builds. Either they are too lazy to fix the server or were unaware of the issue. In the latter case they are now informed in the former case they pretty much have to admit to the client they are too lazy or incompetent to fix the server. The client has the choice to use the old version of filezilla or find a more responsible host. The client may also be unaware of the security issue till filezilla stops working. However they know now.

I am 100% with the developers of filezilla on this one, because getting my site compromised is not acceptable. Especially if I will rebuild and the vulnerability is still there. The only people who should be disappointed by the vulnerability being fixed are the people who wish to exploit it.

Comment Re:Texas (Score 1) 1028

unless you are in Texas or near Texas, which also could be loosely defined as on the same planet as Texas.

In some ways this changes nothing MAD ensures that the launch of the Satan2 would result in a counter strike which even with smaller Warheads would do just as much damage. I won't say harder to defend against because there is no defence, against nuclear weapons only retaliation and the threat of retaliation works.

Maybe Donald Trump might get a clue as to the answer to his question why can't we use nuclear weapons? serously thou the Russans are equally as crazy building this thing as if their existing missiles were not sufficient to effectively end life on this planet anyway.

   

Comment Re:Great (Score 1) 689

I honestly think Trump is backed by Putin just as Farage was and he was successful too, it was very damaging to the UK and also Europe which is just what Putin wanted. Funny isn't it that Farages German wife is apparently from about 20 miles from the former East German Border supported with regular payments and appearances on Russia Today.

A couple of days ago, it was impossible to find an American Politician to back up Trump but you know who did Nigel Farage. Putin won in Europe and it is likely he will win again in the USA.

There are plenty of smart people, who realise how bad Trump is but unfortunately Smart is in the minority and just as in the Uk there will be people voting this year who have never voted before, because Trump says he will make "America Great Again"

There is a war going on, and sadly too few people recognise it.

Comment Re:Seriously...music off YouTube...? (Score 1) 310

It can be of several qualities but once you get to 720p it tends to be reasonable, unfortunately streaming 720p content tends to hit the buffering problem if your connection isn't good so then its better to download and listen and watch later.
It isn't all music either there is useful instructional video's too.

Why rip from youtube anyway? In theory it is there anytime you want it, but the reality is that service quality is intermittent sometimes its fast and reliable other times it glitches like crazy or there is no coverage, so really it is the failure in the infrastructure which is generating the use of these other solutions.

Why do bands make promotional video's anyway? isn't the clue in the name. It's advertising and it isn't particularly effective advertising, bands maybe performing on their video's but where are the interviews, the substance the communication with fans. It is kind of strange really since musicians can be and usually are great communicators, they move people with their music. There could be a dialogue and with it more commercial success.

Comment Re:Seriously...music off YouTube...? (Score 1) 310

Depends but if you don't have ffmpeg avconv is a drop in alternative.

personally I don't like to convert from mp4 to mp3 with a good video with a little tag editing you can get iTunes to put the mp4 of a song in the same album as the audio tracks you can do that with pdf files too.

avconv -i input.avi -threads 2 -vcodec libx264 -crf 25 -crf_max 35 -maxrate 4M -bufsize 2M -acodec aac -strict experimental -ab 192000 -ar 48000 output.mp4

my recipe for video not particularly fast but the video is smooth glitch free in action sequences the audio sounds good. With often a reduction in file size. So far that has varied between 20-66% saving on file size. It is compatible with iTunes and Html5 and works well streaming from my NAS

I quite like iTunes these days, if you generate a playlist you can export the playlist as an m3u file and select all the tracks and drag them onto the android file transfer window with 1 more drop for the m3u file. Google music on android picks up the new files and figures out the m3u (the file location is different). I did try double twist but it eats ram and takes forever to be actually be able to use.

I'm also a fan of musicbrainz picard i use it in 2 ways in first importing i use it to verify and tag files and rename files and move to the automatically add to itunes folder. This frees space on my laptop it can also help with dupes if itunes isn't running as it organizes to artist album and they are easy to spot.

Sometimes itunes can make a mess of things duplicating album tracks a lot of the time with several entries for one physical track. it is often easiest to delete the album and keep the tracks and get picard to move them to the automatically add to itunes folder. Sometimes itunes can be used to do the reimport.

Comment Re:Just don't buy HP (Score 1) 250

ML 2510 here also keeps slogging on, usually the rollers need a wipe with a lens tissue about every 2 years or so. it is bad for the rubber so it doesn't get done unnecessarily.

I really like the cartridge protection on the cartridge. It keeps a count to around 5000 pages before it starts to refuse to print more than 1 page at a time (you have 2 switch it off in between prints).

I found this out when swopping between 2 cartridges, I had refilled one with a bottle of toner that wasn't perfect it puts a line down a page but for print outs it is ok, so I use it when a print doesn't need to be high quality.

But back to the cartridge protection the counter reset is digital with a fuse :)

A new cartridge has a fuse attached to a holder on the back it isn't electrically connected to it.

it's around a 200/400mA fuse TV repair shops keep them for repair jobs.
when a new cartridge goes in it connects to the fuse and blows it

the effect is a digital 1 0 using a bit of foil gets a 1 1 and that will not do the reset.

Taking out and reinsert the cartridge that is a 0 0 so the counter keeps counting which is why it caught me using 2 cartridges, the page count got too high , low on toner just means you have probably printed enough pages to have used most of it. There is no measurement of toner.

But isn't that such cool protection, no chips on the cartridge just a plain old fuse. One of my old canon inkjets shines an led through the cartridge when light gets detected then it is out of ink and needs refilling :)

One of my favorite printers is an epson it can do black & white photo printing with just the black cartridge you need to tell it to print gray scale on plain paper but use photo paper. With a little tweaking usually lightening the image a little you get a really nice print. With the normal method the inkjet mixes magenta and cyan which tends to lead to magenta in the shadows and cyan in the highlights and this degrades over time due to the uv. with the single black it stays true black from start to finish.

I have prints using both techniques and the color ones are a pale miscolored comparison after just a few years where the black ink printed ones are still looking as good as the day i printed them. For something exceptional a silver halide print is still the best.

Comment Re: a win for open source (Score 1) 208

Systemd doesn't seem to differentiate between essential to boot and essential to run some service.
if it started SSH then it wouldn't be that bad, it wouldn't be so bad if it wrote something to one of the log files (in a human readable format ideally).

The problem really is that systemd basically halts the system with no comms. On a previous version of debian i used to run a backup program that would login to my computers on the lan and back them up automatically. If it couldn't do the job it sent me an email. Now thats a useful behavior not this i'm having a bad day i'm going to crawl into this emergency shell and hide from the world.

It's better to let the someone know your having a rough day, rather than waiting for someone to notice you hung yourself.

Comment Re: a win for open source (Score 4, Interesting) 208

Ok I can only comment on systemd has caused problems for me. I have a nas running debian. Because a USB drive wasn't able to be mounted it stopped booting and dropped to an emergency shell. The device was able to be pinged but ssh wasn't running as this is headless with no access other than via ssh I was screwed, I was able to open the drive on another machine but there was no log information to say why it hadn't completed the boot.

Obviously being an Arm build I couldn't boot the drive on an x86 system.

The only thing that got me sorted was in a debian page about openssh in jessie, some kind soul had written that systemd now would drop to an emergency shell if it found something it couldn't mount in fstab.

So I got lucky and was able to fix the problem but no thanks to systemd it was just a data drive not essential to the booting of the os.

Lets say you have a server in a rack somewhere and a hdd dies in the raid rebooting that server remotely would end up in exactly the same situation. So systemd is a success but only when things don;t go wrong.

So what are you supposed to do remove drives that are not essential for your server to start from fstab and manually mount them once the server has booted maybe not init any services that will be using those drives either....

wouldn't it be better if systemd was able to init what it can and finish booting and issue a cry for help once the system was up and running?

If you were running a windows server sure sometimes not all services get started, There is one domain controller which quite often fails to start the mail server. This results in no email for the domain and a remote login to restart the service. not a shutdown of the lan ...

Systemd has potential but I'm not buying it as being ready for deployment when it can wreck your morning if not your entire day because of it;s behavior when there is a problem.

.
   

Comment Re:I hope they put in an external antenna port (Score 1) 124

Ok the 1k zx81 was never that good and the 16k spectrum was pretty good fun the 512k Amiga 500 was much better and the 2 megabyte A1200 was great especially with a 52 MByte quantum fireball hard drive. 68030 cpu in the trapdoor and an additional 4 MB of ram. It got me on the internet and aminet a wonderful archive of amiga software.

guess kids today can't comprehend running a full desktop on so little resources. It is still hard to comprehend why we now need so much.

Comment Re:Privacy? Fuck you. (Score 1) 212

The point of the "vans" isn't to catch people but to intimidate people into getting a license.
The idea that at any moment there could be a knock on the door.... That is what works.

Of course having a database of every dwelling which has had a TV license previously and currently doesn't also helps ensure a brown envelope drops on the right door mats, for years.

I've only once actually come across anybody having an inspector turn up on their doorstep. The fella who answered the door was a Hells Angel and he just told the inspector he didn't have a TV (it was on in the living room behind him).

The inspector looked at curly started to say something, changed his mind and said that's ok then and went away ...

Comment Re: The basest, vilest (Score 1) 1017

On his own money? I think if you dig you will find there is a lot of russian money behind Trump.
After several failed ventures, a lot of what Trump has been doing has been backed by russian investors close to Putin.

Putin has been rather clever, funding and supporting the far right anti Eu parties in Europe. Would you believe Nigel Farage is a great admirer of Putin too.

Perhaps that explains some of his actions such as going into the EU Parliament after Brexit and after saying we must all act like adults launch into a childish attack on EU Parliament members saying things like "you lot have never had a real job in your lives".

It's been over 50 years since russia had burgess philby maclean and blunt is it likely that there hasn't been other recruits put in place since then to do damage to Britain Europe and the USA?

If you look at Trump and Farage (and possibly their wives have you seen where they are from),
Consider their destabilizing influence on Europe and the USA which favours Russia. For example Trump has already said that he wouldn't support NATO members from former soviet block countries if Russia was to invade them.

It isn't easy to provide proof that these Politicians are working for Putin but their actions seem to be firmly in the interests of Russia. Nuclear weapons make a regular war to be out of the question but an Economic War can be played out and Putin seems to be winning it with the use of well placed actors in his enemy's camp.

Is it likely Russia has agents working in the US and Europe? Would it make sense that Trump and Farage are agents? That both are wreaking havoc in Europe and the USA is clear, how they can be stopped is not.

Are we at war and don't even recognise it's taking place?

Submission + - Another SWIFT Robbery nets big bucks by bypassing security.. (nytimes.com)

krakman writes: A commercial bank has been reported to be the victim of another SWIFT attack... No details as of yet on the dollar damage, and who got robbed... The second attack involves a commercial bank that SWIFT declined to identify. But in a letter SWIFT plans to share with its users on Friday, the messaging network warned that the two attacks had numerous similarities and were probably part of a “wider and highly adaptive campaign targeting banks.”

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