The Verge Book Club!0 posts
The Verge Book Club!0 posts
Translation: You believe the opinion of random people online that seem to agree with you, but despite a preponderance of verifiable facts laid out supporting the opposite – and realistic – position, you want to hear from “governments or universities or whatever” for an opinion you can bring yourself to trust.
I like internet anonymity so I’m not going to list my credentials. But I’m familiar with this tech at a professional level. You aren’t likely to get a direct response from anyone who knows more than I do in this space… but feel free to await a report from “whatever.”
about 9 hours ago on Homeland Security memo: access to 3D gun plans 'may be impossible' to limit 1 reply 1 recommend
There’s no destruction of my arguments here. I’m not sure you fully understand these technologies. CNC means you start with a block and remove material; 3D printing starts with nothing and builds up layer-by-layer. They’re entirely different.
There are a lot of things CNC machines cannot make but 3D printers can, because you have to make room for the tools to get in and do their work in a CNC machine.
Even if 3D printing with metal could theoretically happen – setting aside the extreme temperature differences, inflexible filaments, and legion other issues – the piecemeal heating/cooling as material gets laid down would probably result in extremely brittle components, prone to shattering. There are very good reasons we don’t work with metal this way, which is what trandingdown was getting at.
In conclusion: “so far fetched as to be considered infeasible for the forseeable future,” not “destroys DarthVarner’s arguments.”
You simply can’t do this with any type of 3D printable plastic. Maybe some really exotic variety in a mold, but we’re talking stuff that has can be heated up to mere hundreds of degrees and pushed out of a nozzle.
Because of the very mechanics of 3D printing, every shot is degrading the firearm by partially melting the barrel. So you cannot ever reliably sight the thing in; it will behave very differently shot to shot.
Given all of that, do you really think a plastic barrel could hit a person-like figure from 10 feet? Reliably? Let’s take a closer look at this problem.
Assuming a 2-foot wide silhouette at 10 feet you are looking for plus or minus arctan(1 / 10) = 5.7 degrees. That’s probably less than you thought. If our hypothetical shooter were off by a mere 6 degrees horizontally due to aim OR the weapon, he missed entirely. There’s a bit more forgiveness vertically, but my point stands; given the inherent problems of a plastic barrel, combined with the fact you can’t reliably sight it in, this is just too much to ask of any plastic 3D printed firearm.
So, yes, I’m confident that isn’t going to happen with a plastic barrel. Ever. Sure, you could get lucky, but reliably – not a chance.
If Selective Laser Sintering became mainstream, things would be different… but that’s probably not realistic.
No, I don’t. There’s a reason Glocks still use steel barrels. There’s a reason every non-muzzleloader is rifled, and has been for over 200 years. 3D printing has loads of rough edges, particularly around edges, which are going to wreck hell on accuracy – particularly in and around the crown. Even if you could get over this, since you can’t repeatedly fire the thing you don’t even have any idea precisely where it’s aimed.
Anyone that’s taken a new rifle to the range and sighted it in knows this can be a challenge… with a rifled steel barrel. With plastic good luck hitting anything outside a couple feet.
Plastic can do a lot of stuff, but there are hard (pun wasn’t originally intended I swear) limitations on how far that can go relating to the underlying chemistry & physics of the material type. Doubly so for the types that can be heated up and squeezed out of a tube.
Now, if Selective Laser Sintering became mainstream as a 3D printing modality then you could turn out some dangerous stuff. But with plastic? Never going to happen.
about 12 hours ago on Homeland Security memo: access to 3D gun plans 'may be impossible' to limit 1 reply 3 recommends
See my post immediately above about inherent inaccuracy in a short, flexible, plastic, unrifled barrel you can’t even sight in.
Yes, I am directly making that comparison. The effective range of these “firearms” is and will remain barely over hand-to-hand distance, by virtue of the physical realities of the barrel. And even then it isn’t guaranteed. In some ways a knife is more dangerous; the blade doesn’t fall off or go dull after the first attempted swipe.
about 12 hours ago on Homeland Security memo: access to 3D gun plans 'may be impossible' to limit 1 reply 2 recommends
I’m not sure you’ve seen the sort of appearance these 3D printed “firearms” have, but I think you’re under the mistaken impression that a 2-3" flexible plastic unrifled tube – which is barely multiple-use, so you can’t even “dial it in” – will direct a bullet as accurately as a sniper rifle. That simply isn’t the case.
You know what hasn’t been shown in any of these demo videos? The other end of the firing range. They probably can’t even find where the bullets ended up. Until you start printing in steel – and even then, until you can rifle the barrel – these are by design hilariously inaccurate.
The point I’m making here, is that the “effective range” of this sort of weapon is incredibly short. Pretty much hand-to-hand distance. That is, if you want to hit anything you think you’re aiming at.
about 12 hours ago on Homeland Security memo: access to 3D gun plans 'may be impossible' to limit 1 reply 3 recommends
That sort of a strawman is disingenuous at best. Atomic weaponry requires enriched versions of specific isotopes of already-rare elements. If you have a device that can take ABS plastic and give you Uranium-235… well, let the DoD or the Nobel committee know. I think they’ll both be interested.
Firearms are really just physics experiments in controlling and transferring force. The source of the force is entirely in the ammunition, as it the object it should be transferred to. The purpose of the firearm is, purely and simply, in directing that energy in a specific direction and in such a way that the user is not harmed. The same can be accomplished with a pipe and a tack.
In that way, this is actually much more difficult and less useful than building an equally-limited “firearm” from hardware store parts.
He also might not have meant holding back humanity == limiting firearms. That can equally be read as “the response could hold back humanity due to unintended consequences from attempting to stop this” – and that sentiment we probably can agree on.
about 12 hours ago on Homeland Security memo: access to 3D gun plans 'may be impossible' to limit 2 replies 4 recommends
Are you equally up in arms about 3D printed knife- or ice-pick-like objects?
Then you are responding disproportionally and emotionally, not out of reason. Do you know how a firearm works? Have you ever used one for target sports? I would wager your answer to these is negative.
And projecting your personal, emotional response onto “most of the world” is a logical fallacy, as is implying that anyone who disagrees with you is insane. You don’t get to do that and have people take your arguments seriously.
about 12 hours ago on Homeland Security memo: access to 3D gun plans 'may be impossible' to limit 3 replies 10 recommends
The darker flip side of Rakeshh’s claim is:
It is now more profitable to root/bot/log keystrokes on systems than it is to create mayhem and annoyance. Rooted/botted systems can sneakily mine BitCoins, contribute to DDoS attacks, send incredible amounts of spam, and parrot back all kinds of personally identifiable info to the attacker for identity theft, etc. It’s very much in the black-hat hacker’s interest to keep this going as long as possible, because your machine (and to a lesser extent, you) are now his resources.
My point is, the goals have changed. Now, most people whose computers are rooted / botted / otherwise compromised have no idea this is the case. That day has passed. With modern multi-core processors, usually these things don’t even noticeably slow things down. Silence does not mean you are unaffected, it may just mean you’re ignorant or haven’t looked.
I entirely agree on the root cause, but let’s set that aside for a moment and consider MPHJ (and subsidiaries/affiliates) behavior.
They bluster and claim infringement they have no basis to support, and threaten suits against thousands of entities unless they settle. Assertions in the notices are factually incorrect, particularly claims about fellow victims like “most people/companies settle.” They deliberately set the cost of settling below the cost of retaining a lawyer long enough to even understand the complaint.
Then they never follow through with a suit. Not even once.
At some point here the line for extortion has to be crossed. If the law/legal system is OK with this behavior, then heck I’d better go buy a few crappy patents and start spamming corporations with “threats” I never intend to follow through with. A one-man operation with zero downside, minimal costs, and significant potential upside? Sign me up!
You’re definitely right in that patent trolling is, at least presently, legal behavior. But in my view, they need to actually put themselves “out there” in court to defend themselves. If they can’t or won’t attempt to defend (never mind vigorously defend) the patents they’re attempting to use to extort $$ from thousands of people, then it’s no different than a phishing email scam; they have all the potential upside and zero potential downside.
In my strong opinion, this behavior must carry strong disincentives. It’s worse than the RIAA because they actually do sue people, though the balance of legal $$ is strongly in their favor, and worse than most patent trolls because they also sue infringing corporations which do not settle. Both are actually attempting to defend their patents, paying legal teams to do so, and exposed to the downsides (invalidation, loss of legal costs) if they fail. In contrast, MPHJ is pure extortion.
1 day ago
I encourage you to do some research into the worst instances of radiation poisoning in history. The victims die in days, not minutes, and absolutely not seconds. I don’t know what you are referencing, but it isn’t the science behind pure radiation exposure.
Also, If the Federation has transwarp beaming for a person, they could just as easily drop thousands of torpedos all over Qo’noS and wipe out all life anytime they like. No need for ships, they can end the way whenever they feel like it.
I enjoyed it, but that didn’t mean the plot-holes and spoilers mentioned above didn’t really bother me. They really, really bothered me.
Here are a few more:
The battle with the dreadnought happened next to the Moon. Both ships appeared to be in some sort of quasi-stable orbit, yet IMMEDIATELY after the torpedos go off on the dreadnought the Enterprise is falling towards Earth instead… and gets there in mere minutes. Gravity alone cannot do this. Remember Apollo 13? They’d have literally days to fix their systems. I’d have been OK with it only if they had already been in an uncontrolled, deteriorating orbit and this was foreshadowed. Instead this was “oh hey contrived reason to make ships crash on Earth.”
Radiation does not kill nearly as fast as Kirk dies.
Apparently, despite all of Khan’s crew being genetically enhanced, he’s the only one with super-regen blood? Bones couldn’t just hop two beds over and grab some from one of the people they cracked out of the torpedoes?
Seriously, who the hell puts their FRIENDS in weapons designed to explode? Also, if Khan had the ability to do this… why didn’t he just wake them up and take over everything back then?
I guess the super-dreadnought had the ability to transport through shields, demonstrated when the Admiral beamed his daughter off the bridge. If you can do that, why bother with weapons at all? Transport one torpedo to the enemy’s warp core and be done with it. Even if you can’t scan through shields, they surely had the plans for the Enterprise. Anywhere in Engineering should do the trick.
Klingon border patrols? What are those? Waltz right in all the way to the homeworld, anyone – really, it’s cool. We’ve never heard of orbital bombardment or anything.
It’s cool, Khan is stunned. We don’t need to do anything, like, maybe, restraining him. Or stunning him again, just to be sure, cause he is a super-genetically-enhanced warrior. Nah, just walk right up within arm’s distance, instead of giving yourself some reaction time/space there, Scotty. Brilliant idea.
Hey, Khan’s genetic enhancements moved his nerve clusters around so he’s immune to Vulcan nerve pinches! That’s cool! Those doctors doing the enhancements sure were bright, seeing as contact with Vulcan hadn’t happened yet when they did it.
Angry Spock vs. Khan looked like a barroom brawl, not two supermen duking it out. They’re both significantly stronger and faster than humans, but that doesn’t mean it balances out to looking like any two angry dudes. Everything should have been subtly faster, and rigs should have been used to make each punch thrown appear to have a larger effect. Somewhere halfway to the Agents in the Matrix would have been appropriate.
I’ll stop there, since writing this keeps retroactively decreasing my opinion of the film.
1 day ago on Damon Lindelof opens up on 'Star Trek,' 'Star Wars,' and 'Tomorrowland' 4 replies 3 recommends
1 day ago
Cuboid is equivalent to rectangular prism, I was going for maximum ridiculousness.
The oft-quoted 90% figure is from a poll right after Sandy Hook. Less than 4 months later, when the Senate was actually deliberating on said bills, the number was a lot different.
Under 50% were in favor of any additional measures for gun control.
See, it really really matters how you word things. Polls are notorious for being able to say whatever you want them to. We already have background checks in place at literally every reasonable point of sale for law-abiding citizens. Cash transactions between consenting adults in the same state are by nature impossible to track or enforce background checks on, except in a surveillance state with universal firearm registration.
In the first poll you quote, the wording was “Are you in favor of background checks for gun purchases?” Even firearm supporters and the NRA are OK with the current system, so you get way inflated Yes responses… as a No response implies you want to eliminate all background checks.
When the more honest poll ran around when the Senate was talking, the wording was “Do you support any additional gun control measures?” and the result was less than 50%, honestly reflecting the opinion of the public for the new, proposed measures thanks to the word “additional”.
In conclusion, stop throwing around the 90% figure. It was deliberately constructed to mislead, and you’ve been taken in by it.
Let’s be real here. Corporations do not pay taxes. Ever. Not one cent, and they never have. Taxes are regarded as a cost of doing business, and they are passed on to the consumer in the form of higher prices.
That revenue you think came got from Big Corp A? It’s really entirely from Big Corp A’s customers paying more than they otherwise should have.
Here’s the problem though. Not every corp is a Big Multinational Corp that can tell governments the world over to stuff it, while they all revenues through subsidiaries in Ireland and the Netherlands, resulting in a tax bill of $0.00. No, a lot of corps are small. These are usually based in one country, have to follow the rules of that country, and they don’t have legions of lawyers to find every loophole.
So these smaller guys have a much higher base cost, since they do have to pay taxes. This means two things: the small corp’s product will be forced to have an artificially higher price, and any large corp could make same thing with an inherently superior margin, since they pay no taxes. Large, entrenched players actually love this as it’s a competitive advantage. It’s unfortunately anathema to an open market. We need to fix this.
The solution is simple, but it isn’t what you’d expect: Eliminate all corporate taxation.
Remember, they never pay it, and even when they do every penny is really from your pocket and mine via higher prices. Attempting to squeeze them further only subsides their legal departments. Instead, replace it with a global sales tax with a pre-rebate (prebate) to everyone equal to expected taxation on poverty-level spending. Instantly every Big Corp moves their HQ here, and the expenditures of highly-paid employees ARE brought in at point of sale.
This is sometimes called the Fair Tax, and it’s one of the only truly non-regressive taxes that actually has a chance of solving this and many other taxation problems we face in the USA. It could replace every form of federal taxation, far more than just corporate taxation, with a roughly 22% sales tax.
4 days ago on Apple denies avoiding taxes, calls for reform in Senate testimony 5 replies 3 recommends
4 days ago
… not this one, apparently? This is just good practice, and depending on jurisdiction may be required by law.
4 days ago
You do know anyone can buy an 80% complete AR-15 lower receiver and all other parts, without any checks, and rent/borrow time from anyone that has a CNC machine to finish the lower, right? Legally. Now. Also, at any time in the past. Despite this, not one of these has ever been used in a mass shooting. If you have some expertise, you can even finish the thing with a manual mill.
There are a lot of CNC machines out there one can easily rent time on, and the result isn’t a one-shot wonder, it’s a fully functional AR-15.
This is not any different.
4 days ago on New 'Lulz Liberator' pistol proves guns can be made on cheap 3D printers 1 reply 10 recommends
Needs more vents.
4 days ago on Sony teases PlayStation 4 hardware ahead of Xbox event, says you'll 'see it first at E3' 1 reply 20 recommends
Gamerectangularprism didn’t make it through focus groups.
4 days ago on Sony teases PlayStation 4 hardware ahead of Xbox event, says you'll 'see it first at E3' 1 reply 13 recommends
Agreed, but no less impressive.
And it has a 4 on it.
They don’t have to be. Rooted kernels with “fast refresh” mode will blow your mind.
An update to a capable pdf reader would give this even more life.
4 days ago on Nook Simple Touch e-readers reportedly adding web browser and email client next week 1 reply 2 recommends
Most of China is hoping to get food on the table for the next meal. In that situation, expressing oneself in creative works is hardly a priority.
To make this case you’d need another country with similar living conditions, etc. in the first world… with copyright law <= 28 years. Good luck finding that.
The first world doesn’t have longer terms because society wants more copyright, or even individual creators want more copyright. The only reason for this is the MAFIAA corporations literally brokered the deals exclusively in their favor. In secret. Against the best interests of society at large. They’re still doing it. In this context, they are objectively enemies of society.
The societal bargain is broken. We give these entities nearly infinite protection in exchange for… having things released to us, again and again, out of the Disney Vault? There’s no give and take. No additional productivity. No expansion of the public domain. You continue to argue it isn’t, but from the standpoint of enhancing culture and the public domain this is broken.
In this context I’m fighting for the ability to remix old works into something new. I didn’t state that explicitly but it is what I meant.
Indie studios, maybe. Big studios, where the lion’s share of the money is going? Not so much.
It would promote the inherent remixing of ideas in human culture. Absolutely.
The whole game could be a fair-use parody and I guarantee you’ll be C&D’d by Nintendo until you either pull it or get financially destroyed. Doesn’t matter if their suit is baseless; they’ll pursue it because they know they can win anyway.
I’m not trying to use those examples for or against copyright. They were used to define innovation. Under the current system these are exceptions.
Ideas aren’t protected? Really? So I can go and make a game about two plumbers colored red and green, jumping on mushrooms, rescuing a damsel in distress… and Nintendo is going to be cool with that?
In theory copyright is more narrowly defined, but in practice you’d be slapped with a C&D probably within hours. Good luck fighting that as an individual with no legal department. Oh, and if you lose, you’re on the hook for 6-8 figures… plus your legal costs… maybe plus their legal costs. Or you could just fold. What do you choose?
So I suppose ideas are not de jure protected, but because of the current system they are de facto protected. That’s partially the justice system’s fault, but moving to a 10 year copyright would outright eliminate most of these cases. It’s easy to look up a game and say “oh, that’s still protected – guess I’ll do something else”… when you have many other earlier options. Right now, every videogame ever made is still locked down.