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Comment Testing and Quality (Score 2) 74

Parts destined for aerospace are subject to rigorous testing and the first dozen or more prototype parts usually are sacrificed for testing. Exact dimensions, strength, creep and fatigue resistance must all be determined and the statistical lower bounds must be established before any part can be certified as airworthy. For wrought alloys this stuff is old hat. Things like welding are more of a problem and fabricated parts have fallen out of favor due to the rigorous QA needed. Look also at the use of as-HIP powder parts for turbine disks, etc. (They aren't.) Additive manufactured parts will have to be tested and qualified. I think those issues have been underestimated so far.

Submission + - PowerPoint 2003 Users Screwed (

steelscalp writes: "Known issues with this security update
Presentations that contain layouts with a background images may cause an error when opened in PowerPoint 2003. A dialog will notify you that some contents (text, images or objects) have corrupted; the specific content lost will be what is specified in the layout, not the actual slide content itself. Items that were removed will display a blank box or a box containing “cleansed”.

Workarounds for this issue:

Remove background images from layouts in presentations that have to be accessed and edited from PowerPoint 2003.
After the error message is displayed, save a copy of the presentation and perform edits on the copy.

Microsoft is researching this problem and will post more information in this article when the information becomes available."

Or more simply, corporate users who are still stuck with Office 2003 in a locked down environment and who have to use presentations that use a corporate background are Sorely Outta Luck.

Comment Re:Alarmist not enough (Score 1) 175

The situation is worse than described. I have had a patent application pending for nearly two years without even a first action. I now must decide whether to allow the PTO to publish the application or else I will have to withdraw the application. Obviously, this decision would be far easier to make if I had even a hint of what the patent examiner has found. Not that the first action is particularly informative; the dance usually goes like this: 1. File application. (Countdown to patent expiration begins.) 2. 16 month wait. 3. First action: rejection based on an automated survey of the Japanese patent office files indicating that about ten filings have been made in Japan on technology that is filed under the same category. 4. Notice of action is received several weeks later with warning that response must be received within 60 days of initial rejection. 5. Procure and get translations of cited interferences; pay large fee to get 30-day extension on response time. 6. File response showing that cited interferences are irrelevent and suggest that examiner actually read application. 7. About 90 days later, get "final rejection of all claims" notice, with new interferences cited. 8. Application gets published - competitors are now given a roadmap to still unprotected invention. 9. Detailed response letter is sent showing why cited prior art is not applicable. Revised patent specification is submitted if needed. 10. Divisional application is filed to cover claims still not accepted by PTO. 11. Patent office finally agrees to approve patent application about 3 years after initial application. 12. Patent fees paid and patent is issued. 13. Wrangling over claims in divisional application continues for 12 to 18 months. 14. Patent office agrees to approve second (divisional) patent and additional fees are paid. 15. Substantial patent maintenence fees are paid several times to keep patent in force. These fees increase each time. 16. Both patents expire 20 years after first application is made. I've done this 6 times and it has only become worse in the past 15 years.

Comment Re:I need to know how fast the sky is falling! (Score 1) 466

You've got to love the innumeracy of the reporter on this article:

by Wednesday, the contamination had jumped to 17,000 parts per liter.

Ah yes, parts per liter. One of those quaint old-fashioned units of concentration, I guess, like horsepower per cubit. I wish someone could remind me how we convert to a more familiar unit like grams per liter, moles per liter, parts per million.

I suspect they mean 17,000 atoms per liter. Since a liter of water has about 3.33*10^23 molecules or 6.66*10^23 hydrogen atoms, That would make the tritium concentration 1 per 3.91*10^19 hydrogen atoms. I wouldn't count on getting rich by collecting the tritium.

Comment Re:the summary is wrong (Score 1) 125

The real advantage of electron microscopy is depth of field. At 1000x magnification or higher, only a very thin layer is in focus. The much shorter wavelength of electrons produces a much greater depth of field, allowing realistic looking 3-dimensional images to be captured. This makes it very useful for failure analysis, where rough surfaces are typical. This product may reduce the capital cost for failure analysis consulting. But you'll still need a decade or more of training and experience.
GNU is Not Unix

GPLv2 Libraries — Is There a Point? 585

PiSkyHi writes "I understand that if I build an application that links with a library that is licensed under GPLv2, I must also make my application GPL2. I can see that value in this for an application. But for a library, what's to stop me separating my program into a GPLv2-compliant client app that talks to the rest of my (choose my own license) application?"

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