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3rd Jul 2018, 2:52 PM #1
Dodom
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My advice is not to go into this alone: at the slightest sign of paranormal activity, tell EVERYONE. Always steer conversation towards your ghosts. When people stop talking to you, call their home to tell them about the ghosts. They might block your number eventually but it's ok you're friends you know where they live. Tell your boss, coworkers, customers and everyone you meet at work. That's one thing work is good for, networking! Just keep telling everyone, don't worry about annoying them, they're safer too if they're well informed!
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3rd Jul 2018, 1:54 PM #2
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I don't personally feel any need for it right now, but I believe that would be a good thing in general. Fully abled people can use them if they find them handy, but for people with disability, they might represent more autonomy than human helpers can provide.
Hired humans have limited time, they have to sleep and have their own life, so if someone needs one to go about their day, they have to arrange their time around their availability. They can even grow to hate the person they care for, if their personalities clash, abuse by caretakers isn't unheard of! A machine, on the other hand, doesn't get bored and hardly sleeps, and certainly won't be programmed to be able to hate. There's also less issues with privacy if a machine sees your intimate habits than a person.
I'm assuming some of those assistants would be controlling more or less versatile robotic devices so they can physically assist, while others would be in devices like computers and smartphones. The formers' usefulness is obvious. The latter could allow people with moderate mental disabilities to have full independence by guiding them through the stuff they can't master themselves while letting them handle the things they do inderstand, or replace some assistance animals. A guide dog is great, but if a piece of electronics can do the same with almost no maintenance and can be built in any number without having to train each separately, a lot will prefer that. The ones who love dogs can still have them as pets, dogs won't be abolished!
Machines of various primary purposes could also automatically call first responders if the user has a fall, blood sugar outside certain limits, and whatever can threaten them with their specific health status.

tl;dr: Sure it can be handy and I'm cool with people using those for any reason, but I'm more hopeful about the possibilities for disabled or elderly people if such devices become smart enough.
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29th Jun 2018, 6:11 AM #3
Dodom
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Judging from your reply, I must have sounded more dismissive of 3-D printing's future than I intended.
I meant that it's going to be added to available manufacturing methods rather than outright replacing them, not that it won't have a place at all. Some material properties require specific production methods to obtain, and there'll always be an advantage to mass production when it comes to efficiency. So the future will still have factories.
I don't think you're arguing against that, either, so we seem to agree on the main lines, even if we probably have different ideas of the details.
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Result in thread: text does some 3D models
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28th Jun 2018, 4:29 PM #4
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I'm suspicious of Kyo's desire for pine cones. What does he want to do with them? Some form of terrorist activity?

[spoiler]
PINE CONES ARE WEAPONS OF WAR
Image: http://i65.tinypic.com/34gltdt.gif
[/spoiler]
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28th Jun 2018, 2:50 PM #5
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I wasn't replying because the thread on standardised buildings already covered the topic of 3-d printing. But I guess this one is about the effect on manufacturing rather than the specific application in architecture, so it warrants some thoughts.

I think a new manufacturing method will improve industrial possibilities. 3-D printing is excellent for intricate objects that are hard to mold or machine. It can allow more customisation for little extra work, by example someone could order protective equipment for sports fitted to the exact shape of their body, or ergonomic tools with handles that sit perfectly in their hands so working doesn't give them tendinitis, and the production cost wouldn't be more than a standard size. Just the time spent on creating a mold, then it's saved in a computer and doesn't take up room until it's needed again.
It's already used that way for prosthetics, because while we don't yet have the software to do that sort of customisation rapidly, it's an item where a custom fit is important enough for the time spent on fiddling with it.

It will not, however, replace other manufacturing methods for many reason. It's slow, for one thing. There is a solid limit to how much it can be sped up, because the plastic needs to set between layers. While we can argue that we won't want to produce several million plastic water bottles a day in the future (I hope!), we couldn't make that many with 3-D printing. If you need millions of the same simple things, you have better methods already.
No matter the quality of the printing, it'll also have no more than the strength of an uniformous material. And it limits the types of materials you can use too. It's great for thermoplastics, as long as they can handle a quick cooling you can go far with it. But many thermosetting resins start out too liquid to print and take their time to harden. Epoxides might handle it. But there definitely is a limit to the available materials.
Then there's that "uniformous" word I used. Composite materials like fiberglass and kevlar are very strong because they combine the strength of a fiber with the rigidity of a resin. You can't print the fibers. Metals have microscopic structures even if they look like a solid mass. Forging or extruding produce an elongated grain that's stronger lengthwise (sort of like wood) so things like a 12' stepladder can be built light enough to carry around easily. Metals also depend on the proper heat and cooling to have the desired properties. Heat it and cool it quickly, and you have a hard but brittle metal. Heat it and cool it slowly, and it'll be softer and more flexible - and that is so simplified that if someone actually works with metals here they'll be mad at me. So a high temperature printer that prints aluminium would still only be doing the first step in creating an object, unless what you're printing is a knick-knack to keep on a shelf, you'll need a proper heat treatment.


In conclusion: 3-D printing is an improvement to industry because there are some things it does better than previous methods. But it won't be replacing them outright because it doesn't reproduce all the properties one might want out of an object, and some things will still be more efficiently be done via mass production.
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Result in thread: Character Redemption
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27th Jun 2018, 6:13 PM #6
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I personally like when stories dodge the "earn enough Good points to cancel out the Bad and be an official Good guy and everybody forgives soon enough" cliché. Especially if the Good points are earned all at once by saving a protagonist or self-sacrifice, because single actions can easily be driven by immediate emotions and don't tell how committed the former villain is outside of that frame of mind. Furthermore, someone can do some good and still be an asshole in other ways. A burglar could walk in on a man having a heart attack and save his life because he values life over property, that doesn't mean he won't commit more burglaries.
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Result in thread: Diets are phooey
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27th Jun 2018, 5:51 PM #7
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Jessie Blue:
You don't have to buy big fancy equipment, just get one of those door-frame pull-up bars.
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These things are great, not just for pull-ups, but you can do a kind of sit-up hanging from your arms and pulling up your legs that is much less hard on your back. Also great for helping get a good stretch in your arms and shoulders, just sort of grab and hang for as long as you can with your feet tucked up.


It doesn't look screwed in, do they do any kind of damage to the doorframe? I live in an apartment, so it's not just my stuff involved. Though if it does minute things like discolouring the paint, it's ok I can fix that.
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24th Jun 2018, 1:51 PM #8
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I made a full transcript for every page in Fairy Dust, including a description of the action, so all the dialogue would be searchable.
I was also thinking of making a version for the blind, since I deliberately wrote narrator parts too, by writing a script that would generate pages with a few minutes' worth of comic transcript each, but when I ran Windows Text to Speech on my attempts, mostly gibberish came out, it read any page element in any wild order including weird sounds I couldn't associate with any text on the screen and bits of code that weren't displayed but the software read them as if they belonged on screen. Specialised software was probably better (that was a few years ago, software evolves fast) but those cost money, and I didn't find a resource to tell webmasters how to format their text for text-to-speech to at least mumble through in the right order.

I don't think I'll go through all that trouble again with my next comic, as much as searchable dialogue and (attempts at) accessibility have appeal, typing all the words all over again ended up being such a drag that I outright postponed updates not to have to do that. See how Fairy Dust died out in the middle of a scene? I have the rest of that scene drawn and scanned, I just came to hate the uploading step so much that when I didn't like the comic enough to continue, that's where it broke first.
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17th Jun 2018, 4:11 PM #9
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The specifics will obviously have to be tweaked continuously as technology and society progress, but we're probably good with something close to the current approach. How dangerous a substance is VS how the public needs it. Both factors are important to take into account.

There are quite dangerous substances available, but they're useful enough to be considered worth the risk. Fuels are usable as incendiaries and in some explosive devices, as well as often being poisonous, but at the current level of technology, restricting access to fuel would cause more harm than the current rate of misuse. If electric cars come to dominate transportation, then there may be caps to the quantity of fuel one can buy at once without a special licence: there'll still be uses for it, but large quantities will become suspicious.

Strong acids are dangerous, but anyone who has stonework to maintain needs some. Solvents. Resins. Bug spray. Lots of things are dangerous in the wrong hands. The difference between them and plutonium is that nobody really needs plutonium. Some things fall in-between, like asbestos. It is rather useful, and no alternative has exactly all the same properties, but we're coming to a consensus that maybe synthetic glass whool is better than giving the workers cancer.

Other things are already restricted but available if justified. The most obvious example I can think of is medicine. Not just about drugs that can be abused recreationally - and there's a whole other discussion to be had over how far that should be allowed, too - but the ones that require some expertise to use properly.
By example, if you have an infected wound, you don't want to take a guess at which antibiotics you should take. You can't just take a handful of them because they're toxic, you need to know which bacteria are involved, whether they have special resistance, and whether the wound contains necrotic tissue, because if it does, you need surgery, the antibiotics won't work.
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Result in thread: What Language/s you learn?
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16th Jun 2018, 1:24 AM #10
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Good news for everyone who thinks studying a language they're not using was a waste of time: the way the brain is trained to handle switching between two languages or more is good for preventing dementia in old age. While it's possible that other forms of skill learning could have a similar effect, only learning a language could be proven to improve how the brain ages in a clear way.

So even if you decide to learn Klingon and then discover you actually hate trekkies, you're gaining something useful out of it!
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Result in thread: What Language/s you learn?
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14th Jun 2018, 1:26 PM #11
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The problem with school is that it's very vulnerable to the teacher's approach, and if the teacher decides the official approach is coddling the kids and they decide to apply their own pop-psychology inspired educational theories instead, they can make their class less instructive than sitting at home with a textbook.
I was typing an example but it was making a much too long post and deleted it. Anyway I'm sure everyone knew at least one of those teachers.

Anyway, it's at home, watching the Simpsons reruns in English, that I was able to learn English. Sailor Moon helped too, because the slang was different than the Simpsons', it really helps to be familiar with more than one way to speak a given language to pick up on more variants later. That's how I went from being completely ignorant of English to qualifying for taking the English Literature class instead of English Second Language class by the end of high school.

I'm also fluent in Esperanto. For this one, after learning the grammar, syntax and basic vocabulary, I laid in bed reading texts out loud to avoid skipping lines to assimilate it. It is, unfortunately, not very useful in everyday life.

I almost learned Spanish at one point. But lack of practice before that was consolidated means I lost it mostly. It would probably be fairly easy to pick it up again should I find the motivation.

I gave a shot at German too but gave up even sooner. I can say "Ich bin eine Kartoffel" though and that is an important thing to say.

Currently I'm studying Québec Sign Language. One obstacle I'm meeting is the rarity of media in this language. There is a nice online course one can take for free, but I still swear by consuming media in the desired language as ealy practice. Although there is a surprising number of Youtubers who translate pop songs into their country's sign language, that's pretty cool.
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14th Jun 2018, 3:58 AM #12
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I think all of Sunseeker's situations assume a future society where the economic system is up to date with a post-automation mode of production, so technology doesn't result in an unemployment disaster.
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14th Jun 2018, 1:16 AM #13
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Accidents wouldn't happen just when people have the proper tools at hand, so I'd think a method of quick removal would have to be designed in. The default cuts could include a strip of regular fabric in a fairly sheltered spot so it's not taking too much wear and snags.

I also agree with Swamp that the benefits might not be worth the cost, and would have downsides where it limits hobby crafting and/or customisation. Since a lot of clothes already last many years, for most items I'd focus more on making recyclable fibers, so the occasional replacement doesn't have too much ecological impact. Shoes and socks could certainly use being more durable, and since the wear is concentrated in well defined locations, it would be easy to design them with a quick removal "weak spot".

One improvement I'd like to see in textiles is better wearable aerogel. It already exists sort of, but it's still very expensive, it's not flexible enough and gets damaged by movement, and is damaged by water.
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10th Jun 2018, 2:17 AM #14
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I'm going to assume that in each scenario, the limb is sufficiently perfect and integrated in the body for the person to have full natural use of it and no rejection issue, the body not treating the junction between flesh and mechanics as a chronic wound, and no heightened risk of inflammation or infection.

For health reasons, it's probably better if a new limb is the same strength, weight and length as the opposite one. Like a super strong bionic arm might seem convenient, until one tries to use its full strength and pulls their trapezius muscles. If it's too heavy, it'll eventually cause back aches. It could have extra strength but require manually flipping a switch to use it, that way people couldn't do it without at least thinking of taking precautions as required. On the flip side, if a limb is built to match a certain weight and build, and the person starts doing athletics, they'd need to get the bionic limb altered or replaced if they don't want it holding their performance back. It may lack some of the adaptability of natural flesh.
Those concerns would be arguments for a cloned limb, although good design could mitigate them.
On the other hand, a cloned limb will age, assuming technology allows to restore its telomeres in the first place, current technology has the problem of clones starting their life old, on a cellular level. On the other hand, even with short telomeres, part of aging is still reversed, as there won't be any atheroma, glycated proteins, lipochromes, physical wear and scar tissue, so a cloned limb could last its owner's lifespan after all.
Psychologically, some people might not be comfortable with trading part of their body for a machine; they probably would if they had no other choice, but if restoring flesh is an option they's prefer it.
Personally, I'd want to know people's experience with it. How did it serve them in the long run? Which best fit which kinds of bodies and lifestyles?

Finally, some conditions would destroy a new limb as they did with the original, so bionics would be the only option for those cases. Uncontrolled diabetes would destroy the blood vessels and nerves in a cloned foot in a couple years. Arthritis is caused by the immune system, so it's not gone if you just replace a bad joint with a fresh one. Gout is metabolic, the unbearable toe pain would come back. A bionic limb could spare the patient to go through the same all over again. Though I'm not certain, diabetes could make an artificial graft difficult too, the flesh around its attachment point would be weaker and have poor healing, as diabetes does. So maybe it's not a magic solution.
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8th Jun 2018, 5:08 PM #15
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Sounds like fake news to me!
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8th Jun 2018, 6:27 AM #16
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loyaldog:Wait, hold on. Back up. Sorry. In order to process information and consolidate long-term memories, we need to be unconscious for a third of the day?

That sounds made up. Are you sure you weren’t misinformed?


No no I think I said it in an unclear manner. See, this is the old theory. The current theory is that while many other things may be happening while one is unconscious, at the root it happens because one is a jellyfish.

Do you ever feel an urge to gently pulse through sea water and use a violent poison to incapacitate prey? That would be another clue!
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7th Jun 2018, 6:42 PM #17
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It used to be believed that this was a process during which the central nervous system processed information into long term learning, but new findings have been showing that this simply means you are a jellyfish.


Study about needing sleep even when you have no brain.
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Result in thread: Political satire ideas
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7th Jun 2018, 4:42 PM #18
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Your politics would need to be rather extreme not to be acceptable for CF, you can feel safe enough about that point.

I suggest disclosing a little more about your politics. Political cartoons are by nature promoting an agenda, it's not a flaw, it's just what they do, so it's fair for artists to judge whether that's an agenda they want to help promote. I think you'll find volunteers more easily if you're up front with that.
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Result in thread: Censord Block?
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5th Jun 2018, 6:13 AM #19
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If you want nudity, but avoid it being too graphic, you can use objects, camera position and body postures to hide the more sexualised areas.
By example, a naked character's genitals won't be visible if they're sitting with their legs crossed. If they're at home, there can be furniture between them and the viewer. If they're outdoors, they can be behind a bush or a park bench. Or they can be presenting from the side, showing the silhouette of their butt but not the details, without exposing the front either. A raised arm can obscure breasts too.
Now it's not perfect. It's not always going to feel natural, for the reader. They'll know what you're doing there, no matter how hard you try to be subtle. But it should stand out less than straight up censor boxes.
Example pulled from Google (contains nudity, as expected):
[spoiler]
Image: http://i.stack.imgur.com/HSrJJ.jpg
[/spoiler]

What you can show without considering your comic adult also depends a lot on context. Showing a baby's butt (let say the scene is their diaper being changed, nothing weird) is ok with most people. An adult character undressed for a medical procedure is safe enough, it's non-sexual enough.
If the art style is cartoonish, you can get away with more. This character would probably not work in a realistic drawing style:
Image: http://miriamjarablog.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/luci-fernandez.jpg


And finally, you can ask yourself when nudity is really needed. It may be better to let something happen off-camera entirely than show it halfway, if you can write the rest of the scene to let the reader know what is it that's going on.



Edited to put the large image in spoilers.
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3rd Jun 2018, 5:56 AM #20
Dodom
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There is something inevitable about surveillance, in that the means are there and getting more effective and cheap by the day, and the need is there as well, since some infrastructure needs to be protected, and law enforcement can't get enough of it in general.
The question won't be whether surveillance expansion happens, but what policies should guide and limit its use. We'll probably agree that homes should be exempt... but what about the homes of people suffering from dementia? Or just really old people that are at risk of falls? A person suffering from depression might be physically safer if there's a way to send someone at their place immediately if they attempt suicide, but the anxiety from knowing they're being watched certainly won't help their mental condition. People feel safer when they have privacy in general, so letting surveillance means enter too many spaces has a cost.

I think there is a partial answer in the development of artificial intelligence that makes it possible in the first place. A machine trained to discard information could act as a buffer between the subject and the watcher. Lets say a camera monitors a mall's section. What the wall needs monitoring for is theft, vandalism, accidents, or crimes against persons. An AI could be made to look for behaviours and events associated with those things, and only record those, and only show it to a human if a sufficient level of suspicion is reached. That way if you pulled your wedgie out of your butt in front of a security camera, that sequence isn't saved, it's nobody's business, only a machine that doesn't have the ability to judge you will ever see it.
It's not a complete solution, but what is who's business should be worked out as soon as possible.


And to go back on topic: I think how locks should be designed should still depend on how important is the stuff they're guarding. It would be a waste to lock a child's school locker with advanced bioetricks when all it'll hold is a coat and three books. You can get really imaginative with more important stuff, but for many uses, simplicity will remain the best solution.

PS.: I was getting very sleepy by the end of the post, if you see bizarre typoes please don't mind them.
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