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Bob_the_Cannibal

Member Since: December 18, 2009

Country: United States

  • News - Enginursday: Yeah, I foun… | about 2 months ago

    Depending on the weight of the unit, I’d build the RC helicopter/plane/tank of doom. Failing that, I’d probably attempt conversion to {L,C}NG and find the generator head that matches it and have a decent backup power source. (LNG is cheaply delivered in my area.)

    Also, +1 for the safety enclosure. Turbines letting go at 50k RPM have a high likelihood of being lethal or permanently injurious to bystanders. Some of those fragments could have vastly more kinetic energy than a rifle bullet or a machete swung with intent to maim. If the compressor blades are longer than the width of appendages you’re not willing to part with, stick it in a box constructed of a minimum of half-inch thick steel. I’d also recommend carrying a pre-made tourniquet (like the Army’s “Combat Application Tourniquet”) so you can slip it over the stump of your leg/arm and torque it down to keep you from bleeding out if/when your turbine decides to take offense to being poked with a stick. Or the blades decide that they’ve had enough.

  • News - On Breaking Things | about 9 months ago

    What, no development server and database cloned from the current live server+database just for testing? It’s not like you are using someone else’s bleeding-edge software product. Think of it this way: SparkFun Inc. is currently using SparkFun Inc’s Developers AG’s software product. Does this make sense? You’re using an internal product with what appears to be minimal testing. Things under development should never go live as the core of your business model without testing it until you know it’s right and reliable. By having an internal-only beta server that is being actively hacked on, you can do off the wall things like try a different DB, simulate purchases and so on, and do everything that the production server does currently without actually doing it for real. You test it by shadowing the current activities by the main server on the development server. That’s the best test, shadowing live usage and seeing if the results agree. Smaller changes and verification of correctness are important. smaller unit tests of one-shot changes are important. Not testing is nearly unforgivable for a developer. That’s like soldering up a PCB and wiring up a circuit that you know will be plugged into a wall and draw a couple dozen amps without first checking for shorts.

  • News - Your April Caption Contes… | about a year ago

    PattonBot mk1 shot himself with the one and only portable shrink ray prototype. As such, the robotic revolution will be postponed until next Friday.

  • Product COM-11636 | about a year ago

    Fall time checks could also mean the ability to detect captive coins. (thread tied to a small hole in the coin)

  • News - Made in Earth | about 3 years ago

    And what percentage of those products are faulty?
    Very few. The point I was trying to make was not that RoHS is not the way to go (far from it) but that it only takes one high-profile issue to cause backlash from the public. This would be exacerbated by a critical application failure, especially in a health care or other mission-critical context.
    Where the system is mission critical, the use of ‘Fail
    Safe’ PLC’s with double, or triple backed up control
    hardware is the protection mechanism… You think the
    early nuclear plants don’t get hardware failures?
    The point I was making is that the manufacturers of such items don’t, and didn’t, go with leading-edge technology because it needed to mature a little before making its way into those applications.
    The key problem is that they didn’t know how it would age, how it would perform, how reliable it would be, etc. There are regulatory compliance issues and safety certifications in that sector that require knowledge that was, at the time, unavailable.
    Like I said: RoHS is good for the environment, good for the collective health of the public, and the exemptions aren’t going to be there forever, since the body of research on RoHS failure modes is growing daily.

  • News - Made in Earth | about 3 years ago

    Because it’s just that, critical.
    The issue that most have with RoHS is that the technology is unproven, and can be failure prone (for further research: XBox 360 red ring of death). Now, I don’t know about you, but if I go to the hospital, I’d be a lot happier in knowing that the medical devices I’m hooked up to are going to function properly.
    RE: other exemptions: Speaking from experience, military gear is unreliable enough as it is. No need to increase failure rates. C&M hardware: I don’t want the control and monitoring widgets in a nuke plant to be less than 100% reliable. The same for air traffic control, stop lights, and other important areas.
    The point of RoHS is to remove the hazardous heavy metals from products, so that recycling operations and disposal of your electronic devices doesn’t let those same substances (cadmium, arsenic, lead &c. into the ground, air and water. There’s quite a body of research on low-level exposures and health impact to people that suggests that limitations and entire removal are a very good idea for your health. And yes, eventually, RoHS will reduce environmental lead concentration. It’s like cutting off the water shutoff valve at the main when you have a leak. there’s still residual water in the pipes, so it’s going to continue leaking until the water empties from the pipes. Eventually, all of those nice lead and cadmium using devices are not going to exist anymore, and the environmental lead measurements are going to stop increasing, which is the point.
    additionally, once RoHS as a technology is proven and matured, those very same critical industries are going to move to it as well. If you’ve been working with any of those mission critical categories, you’d know that they’re at least a generation behind the bleeding edge in every way, because they know how the old gear works, they know how and when it fails and they don’t get surprised by never-before-seen issues.
    TL;DR: RoHS is good for you (literally), soon there will be no exemptions, and to do nothing, because an environmental miracle won’t happen overnight, is just wrong.

Name Pieces Total
the light of doom
10 62.5