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Comment Re:Normally I'm pro regulation (Score 1) 146

I wonder how you react when it's a poor black man getting walk instead of a Job Creator, Peace Be Upon Them? At one point in its history, the FDA routinely jailed CEOs for violations by their firms. After all, that's why they make the big bucks, right? They have so much more to risk than an average worker!

Comment Re:Sign 'I don't agree' on all HR paperwork (Score 1) 223

Allow me to repeat: trying to play lawyer without a law degree rarely ends well. And I think I am correct in assuming you don't have one, as 90% of the attorneys I know would not be nearly so flip and the other ten percent could probably successfully get their clients sentenced to death for a parking offense.

Comment Re:Sign 'I don't agree' on all HR paperwork (Score 1) 223

That's all well and good, but how are you going to do when you are served with a summons? Are you going to try to represent yourself? Remember, if you just ignore it, they're going to get a default judgement against you and at that point all of the various forms of collection, up to and including wage garnishment are on the table. Trying to play lawyer without a law degree rarely ends well.

Comment Strange swarm behavior (Score 2) 220

We've seen strange swarm behavior here in Southern California the past two years. Anecdotes follow:

Last year, we had a swarm that probably lost its Queen (or didn't have one to begin with). They maintained a big ball in the tree for nearly four months, gradually all dying off. They made no honeycomb, just a few weird strands of propolis. In the past, when swarms failed to form a new hive, they didn't continue to go and harvest pollen and function like a hive, but all died off much more rapidly.

This year, we had a swarm ball up in a tree mid-afternoon. They hadn't found a hive by the next morning. By the next evening, they were all falling to the ground and writhing as if poisoned or something. By the second day, there were just heaps of dead bees all around the garden.

I don't claim to be any expert (although my Dad kept several hives when I was a kid). Still, I haven't seen this before. I don't know the cause of either phenomenon.

Comment Re:Let me be the first to say. (Score 1) 117

When I first saw the pictures (and didn't know who was piloting) I was not surprised. A lot of weekends that (or another similar) yellow PT-22 has been hotdogging over Mar Vista - flying too low and being overly exuberant with wing waggles.

I'm in the Mar Vista "return path" area south of KSMO, and about a year ago, I tried phoning the FAA when he (or a similar PT-22) flew at about half the altitude that the normal traffic uses. Engine was backfiring and really making a hell of a noise. Not surprisingly, FAA wasn't interested. After all, I'm just estimating elevation (true), I'm not a professional pilot (true), and there are a lot of spurious complaints (not true in this case).

Apropos Surfridge ... good luck clearing West Los Angeles. I don't have major objections to the air traffic, but when someone flies low enough to shake my house on the turn-around, it makes me want to join one of the anti groups.

Comment Re:More ambiguous cruft (Score 1) 514

Yeah, as I understood it, the objection is that it forces farmers to buy seeds yearly. That's fine in a first world economy, but subsistence farmers need to be able to re-seed with their own crop yield. Many of them may never see enough cash to buy seeds in the first place, but there was concern about "first crop is free!" type promotions.

I don't know how realistic the concerns were in this particular case, but the history of companies like Nestle and their milk formula scheme is enough to give pause to a lot of people.

Comment Awwwww crap (Score 1) 211

This has me more concerned than some of the other recent bugs, primarily because it's so easy to exploit by script kiddies.

Plus, there are huge, vast, barely conceivable numbers of network-attached embedded devices that use the gethostbyname() call. What percentage of these are remotely update-able? What percentage of these will have their firmware re-flashed?

This one seems like it gives black-hats the ideal way to get a swarm army of (relatively) weak and/or dumb devices. Yet even these weak, dumb devices should be sufficient to set up warrens of ssh tunnels, nodes for DDoS attacks, etc.


Comment Re:360K already double-sided (Score 1) 173

No, I had a Teac DSDD drive on my TRS-80 Model I. I had to build a custom disk controller to support it though. This was in '80, so it predated the IBM PC by about a year and a half. Also, the PC used soft sectors, didn't it? The TRS-80 drive controllers were all hard sector.

I also had a Shugart 35-track SSDD drive, if I remember correctly.

It's obviously been a while, but I remember 35 track hard sector SSSD, 40 track hard sector SSSD, 40 track hard sector SSDD, and the brilliant Holy Grail of 40 track DSDD.

Comment Re:Missing option: CNC Router (Score 1) 175

ABS melts at around 200F, not 200C. But even at 100F you'll find that a lot of plastic structures lose their integrity. And it they're load bearing in any way, they're goners. PLA has a higher melt temperature, and Nylon higher still. You might be able to get away with those.

Still, aluminum! brass! wood! soap! er ... wax! ... er ... well, I dunno. I just like the idea of a diversity of material to work with. If I had more cash, I'd have both a 3D printer *and* a CNC router. And if I had even more? A full on 4+ axis CNC mill!

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