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Submission + - Backers Accuse 3D Printer Kickstarter of Faking Prints 3

PrintBetter writes: With just 3 days to go, backers are pulling out of Next Dynamics' NexD1 Kickstarter amidst fears the creator exaggerated progress on their prototype and tried to pass off prints purchased from Shapeways as their own.

Billed as the "first Multimaterial & Electronics 3D Printer" the Berlin company's campaign was a darling of Kickstarter, carrying their "Projects We Love" endorsement and receiving praise from publications like TechCrunch, and Make magazine for its purported ability to mix up to six plastic and conductive resins in a single print.

But as pledges grew to over half a million euros, backers started to sense things didn't add up. Kevin Holmes comments "Wow, I'm stunned — I cancelled my pledge already ... Did they really buy parts from Shapeways and pass them off as their own?" while Anthony Webb remarks "I've backed over 100 projects on Kickstarter ... but this one takes the cake for a complete scam."

The company was a no-show at events it scheduled this week, including a demonstration yesterday and a live stream today.

Comment would be cool if it stayed on MY machine (Score 1) 40

When I dreamed of having an intelligent computer a decade or two ago, I never dreamed that it could only be accomplished by sending queries to some big corporate-controlled cluster and getting responses back. I don't want to use Siri or Echo, because of this spying which is so far inherent to AI, and because Amazon and Google exist mainly to sell us stuff, to exploit us and get us to buy more of something. When open-source AI is capable of doing something useful, then I will run it on my own machine.

But can we ever expect an AI to get anything done without communicating? A lower standard: can we expect it to communicate to the extent necessary to get something done, but still respect our privacy? To have a positive answer requires an AI with ethics. It's probably more work for the AI to understand what is necessary to respect the user's privacy (like a good friend would do) than to answer the questions we ask of it.

Comment burning platform (Score 1) 67

So it's literally a burning platform.

I think it will blow over. But I'm bummed because I wanted to buy one; guess I'd better wait until they have solved it in production rather than by recalling or by just hoping for the best. OTOH it's not "open" enough is it... Sony is trying to get their stuff supported in mainline Linux, so is a Sony phone my best chance of both having "flagship" specs AND running a real convergence-oriented Linux OS on it in the future? It's just a matter of time until Ubuntu and Plasma Mobile will be able to move on from that libybris on top of Android hackery... I hope. I want modern Wayland, modern Qt, the ability to plug into a monitor, and total freedom with software.

I'm getting by with my original Note for now; there's still nothing much wrong with it, other than being slow, not lasting as long as I'd like every day, and needing the occasional reboot. I had to replace the board with the micro-USB connector once; it got too loose and wasn't making good enough contact to charge reliably.

Now if they had just made the new Note with a replaceable battery like my old one, that would make it much easier for anyone who already bought it and doesn't want it igniting in his pocket.

Why aren't the batteries standardized by now anyway? EU should have tried to make that happen, right after the micro-usb charging standard. They could keep growing in capacity, but keep using a few standard sizes. I don't care if the phone ends up a mm or two thicker because of that.

Comment cross-platform remapping (Score 1) 698

I actually use Linux, OS X and occasionally Windows at work. (I work on Qt, so I need to be able to test bugs and features on every supported platform.) I use the same keyboard for all of them, on a KVM. It's not so hard to get capslock to be the control key on all of them. (On Linux though, that means remapping it on both the console and in X11 and Wayland globally, not just in some desktop environment's control panel.) But then after using OS X I have grown to like the idea of keeping control (as used on the terminal) separate from command (as used to copy and paste text and other such things, even in the terminal window). I'd like to find a way to make that consistent everywhere. I think I will find a way on Linux. But first I want to have an ergo keyboard with a real command key. (Thus the ergodox, with its customizable firmware.)

For now though, on a regular ergo keyboard, capslock is control, and control is also control on Linux and Windows, whereas on OS X I map capslock to control and control to command and the windows key to command, so that I can develop portable muscle-memory: I use the same key for control-C or command-C regardless of OS when I want to copy text, and the same capslock key for control-C to stop a running program, for example. And the windows key is closer to where the command key is on a MacBook Pro, so if I hit that one by accident it still works, whereas the windows key has no other use on OS X.

It IMO doesn't make as much sense to remap the windows key, because it has its own uses in various Linux desktops and window managers now. So, the more bucky keys, the better; it seems I actually use 5 of them now: control, command, alt, window and compose. Oh, and shift, of course. The window key is still the least useful though. Can't decide whether I prefer using window-mouse-drag or alt-mouse-drag for moving windows around. There is some inconsistency about that between openbox, awesome and weston.

I was using a model-M at home, with no Windows key, but my wife complained that she couldn't sleep, so that's the trouble with that. But then I had to try to use the two alt keys more effectively. The right one has to be compose if you need compose, whereas if you also have a menu key, you could use that for compose. I live in Norway now, and don't want to get used to Norwegian keyboards because they are too different (lots of odd and unnecessary changes), because I don't actually write much in the Norwegian language, and because I will never be able to switch completely due to having lots of old hardware. So I use compose for writing the 3 extra characters ø å and æ. I think it's an intuitive and extensible way to handle all the accented characters, and everyone should have a convenient way of typing them, even if they are only needed in rare cases.

After I switch to ergodox, I wonder if it's going to get really hard to use other keyboards though.

Comment ErgoDox might be the future (Score 2) 698

I have ordered a couple variants of these; haven't received either of them yet. But it sounds good in theory. And there are no IP issues: it's an open-source design, with open-source firmware, completely programmable so that each user can customize his own layout. (For the first time I'll have a keyboard I really "own".) The keyboard can still be made flat (although usually the two halves are positioned independently), so any laptop manufacturer could even start shipping with this kind of layout. I hope that will happen at some point.

The main points are that the two halves are rotated to a better angle to reduce strain, and also that the thumbs are able to operate several keys each, not just the spacebar.

What to do with capslock is such a minor issue compared to everything else that's wrong with QWERTY. This is why, despite being quite a fast typist, and not suffering particularly much wrist pain, I nevertheless feel that it's time to try something more efficient. I do have some shoulder pain sometimes, so figured maybe that's from having to hold my hands too close together in front of me. It's worse when I use a laptop too much, whereas at work I've been using an old Microsoft 4000 ergo keyboard for years.

Now if they would just ship... ;-)

An similar alternative is From one side, I wish I'd waited for their crowdfunding campaign to get started, because it's gorgeous, and I love the wooden-case idea. From another side, I think theirs is going to be less customizable: every key has a different shape, so you can't have printed rearrangeable keycaps, e.g. if you want to try colemak you have to ignore the legends on the keys, or get keys without legends. And they are definitely not going to ship until the middle of next year, either.

Comment install development tools on the embedded system (Score 1) 257

See also the story about the Amiga HVAC controller which someone else already linked to...

If the system is expected to run for 25 years, then it should still be able to run its own compiler in 25 years too. As long as it's not underpowered, it should be able to build its own software. So do the development that way too. Although I do wonder if flash storage is up to a 25-year lifespan.

Comment arduino (Score 1) 608

But on the flip side, it amazes me that some not-so-geeky people manage to make use of Arduinos. The whole package is a not-so-thick veneer over plain Atmel C programming, and yet it opened up the chance for many times more people than would have ever managed with the Atmel-provided IDE. And then there's Processing for an even less-geeky approach.

Web technology is just stupid... all the usual languages are bad ones, and even if you manage to find a cool language to develop in, you still have to use it to translate everything to XML and Javascript at the end. Web 3.0 will hopefully happen eventually. The language of the future should be declarative and imperative at the same time, extensible at the metalanguage level so that it can be adapted for every task on both client and server, and with elegant syntax too. I don't enjoy web programming as much as writing applications and frameworks, not because I couldn't learn enough about the technology but because it's kindof disgusting. And now it's hard to switch away from "the browser" to something else, because the replacement would have to be more compelling on so many levels that people would actually use it, and avoid getting corrupted too early with commercials and spying and malware and crap. It should be clean and elegant and there should be some kind of self-enforcing social contract that keeps it that way. I suppose that part is impossible though...

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