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Comment Re:Best Quote(paraphrase): (Score 1) 28

There's a lot of skill involved in making good orthotics, and I'd expect the same to hold true with prosthetics in general.

My wife has spina bifida, and needs custom-fitted braces. Most of the formerly-independent manufacturers in Austin (which we just moved from) have been bought out by a company that does consistently shoddy work, making one pair after another that was painful to use. Here in Chicago, she went to the place recommended by a research clinic in town that has a focus on adult spina bifida patients (one of seven in the country). I was expecting the orthoptist they recommended to be doing something cutting-edge -- 3D printing off of a scan, or such -- but the process was the traditional way, and matched what had been used to make her last good pair of braces over a decade ago -- traditional casting, a whole lot of experimentation and detailed questions about how things worked for her, and production with a plastic malleable enough to allow adjustments to be made after-the-fact.

If this ends up as a science, rather than an art, I could see it becoming a fully automated process that folks could do at home. As it is, though, there's a big difference between having orthotics made by someone who has a knack for it and someone who just learned the rote steps to go through... and, by their nature, anything a computer can do is going to be rote.

Comment Re:Except, of course, they have to prove you can (Score 2) 560

If they're professional forensic analysts, pretty near 100%. I've torn a prosecutor's case to pieces (well, provided an expert report used to do so) for relying on analysis by folks who weren't forensic professionals (school district IT staff), and that was a decade ago. I'm sure that any defense attorney worth their salt knows folks like me, and any crime lab is prepared.

Comment Re:In other news (Score 1) 358

It really is simple. Safety IS top priority handling a ton of steel at 60 mph. So, you keep your hands at 10 and 2 at all times? You never adjust your radio or ventilation while moving, right? You've probably mastered using only your peripheral vision to check your instrument panel so you never look away from the road for even a split second. After all, it's a ton of steel at 60 mph.

You assume that the parent drives a car. That's not necessarily a safe assumption. (Myself, I live in downtown Chicago. Driving a car here would be bloody stupid -- I'd be paying $30k for a parking space, plus $90/mo in HOA fees on that parking space, and who-knows-how-much for parking where I'm trying to get to... when I can just walk to my destination or get on the L).

Comment Re:No, you don't have "chronic Lyme disease" (Score 1) 30

Gluten intolerance you're pretty much on the nose about. Honest gluten allergies are a very real thing; it's the non-Celaic's variant (which as far as I know isn't generally described as an allergy) that evidence points to not actually existing. Which is really unfortunate for people with actual Celiac's, because products meant for the fad-hanger-on people are often not put through the same level of quality control and cross-contamination avoidance care, so they often get sick eating modern "gluten-free" products that folks without the actual disease, of course, notice nothing at all wrong with.

Comment Re:seems bulky (Score 1) 86

Dunno 'bout you, but I'm on a bike to get somewhere. Getting there safely -- which paying some costs in weight for better lighting, thicker rims, and a frame built of high-grade steel (with its far safer failure modes than aluminum or carbon fiber) supports -- is more important than a few extra seconds that will probably be spent waiting at a stop light anyhow (and yes, I do put my foot down at stop lights, because my priority is safety, not shaving off seconds). Sure, I'm carrying a little more weight and fighting a little more rolling resistance -- but since I'm riding for utility rather than sport, the point A I'm departing from and the point B I'm going to are fixed... so that just means slightly more exercise in between, which means I'm taking pounds off of me, not off my bike.

Comment Re:350mm (18inch) wafer (Score 1) 267

We've got techniques for developing software that parallelizes well -- software transactional memory lets you try things and throw them away if another core stomps on your result rather than needing to sit around and wait for locks. There are some damned good (functional) languages with brilliant shared-structure primitives (R.I.P. Phil Bagwell) and STM -- use those and you can scale up to large number of cores beautifully. It's not waiting on the hardware. It's not waiting on the languages. It's waiting on the programmers to actually learn and use the languages, instead of sitting around and waiting for magic to make their crappy mutable-state tooling faster.

Comment Re:Be reasonable... (Score 1) 152

I wouldn't expect this bike to be good for that, no. Some electric bikes can be, though. I used to own an Optibike with a Rohloff on it. Their design puts the motor in the bottom bracket, so both the motor's 700W effective output and my own ~200W were going through the 11-speed internally geared hub... that thing could climb.

Comment Re:Value added? (Score 4, Interesting) 304

The only thing stopping Google from abandoning Microsoft's patents is that the end result would be worse than all the cheap Chinese rip-off tablets and phones.

That's only potentially true when the patents are disclosed. It's fashionable to not disclose what the specific patents argued to be infringed actually are (or the mechanics of how they're infringed) when trying to license a portfolio.

Can't work around a patent when you don't know what it is.

Comment Need something with MORE surface area, not less. (Score 1) 86

My wife has spina bifida -- as one of the effects, she doesn't sweat. At all.

This has the effect that when living somewhere where outside temperatures go above mid-90s, she's under doctor's orders to never be away from air conditioning, ever.

A personal, portable climate control device would be great... if it were more than just illusion. I imagine something peltier-effect based with a backpack -- perhaps with the actual heat-transfer region on the other side of a heat pipe, and thus able to be located under clothing. Sure, they're energy-inefficient, so even a Li-Co battery of reasonable weight wouldn't last that long, but being able to be outside for 30 minutes instead of 2 without getting heat stroke would be a big improvement.

Not that the tech will be personally relevant for long -- we're moving to Chicago in the spring.

Comment Re:Yup, and it doesn't matter. (Score 1) 722

It's pretty simple: As a cyclist on a general road, make yourself as little nuisance as possible, so hug the right side of the road. If you need to overtake someone, see a pothole or need to take a left turn, look back, and if it's fairly clear, claim your place closer to the middle of the lane.

I suggest taking a class before you try riding in the US like that. The League of American Bicyclists -- formerly, the League of American Wheelmen -- has a great one; first day is nothing but classroom theory, talking accident statistics, lane positioning, etc.

Among the outcomes from those statistics? Hugging the shoulder is absolutely the wrong thing to do; it makes it look like you're safe to pass in the same lane even when you aren't. It doesn't kill as many people as riding on the wrong side of the road, riding at night without lights, or riding at speed on the sidewalk (which, yes, are the three biggest causes of cyclist-at-fault accidents; riding on the sidewalk means folks pulling in and out of driveways can't see you).

Much, much safer to actually take the lane. You're highly visible there; your location communicates to other road users that you're traveling straight ahead; and folks who need to pass you are encouraged to change to the next lane over rather than trying to pass too close within the existing lane.

Now, if you're on a one-lane road, things get hairy -- but even then, the best practice is to have a good rear-view mirror and yield to passing traffic whenever possible. If your default position is in the far right, you don't have anywhere to swerve if there's a hazard in your way; if your default position is middle-of-the-lane, you have options -- one of those being to pull over to the side when you've observed that it's safe to do so.

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