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Oct 04 2017
07 March 2018 - 20:35

They are sooooo entertaining.

One of my many specialized jobs was, years ago in WV, working as a Fire Extinguisher Tech. Was quite a fun experience. Definitely educational.

Did refurbs on the buggers, generally dry powder ABC units which were 5, 10 or 20 pound units. Also took them to another company that was in the gas (compressed gas like welding gas's, nitrogen, helium and so forth) that had a pressure testing room where at regular times in their life compressed gas cylinders have to be tested to make sure that they will not rupture when filled. Most extinguishers don't require this because they are too low a pressure but halon and CO2 extinguishers are high pressure and need tested and we sold all the usual gas's anyway as it was primarily a welding supply shop (bought my supplies there and the owner was another black powder nut as were the people that did the testing for the other company).

Simple test. bury the buggers in a cement pit filled with sand after attaching the hoses to them and then pressure them to 150% of rated capacity. They rarely blow up. They also have a EOL date that varies depending on the type of tank after which they must no longer be used at all.

So today I got a kick out of this article
https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/kzpjzv/one-republicans-plan-to-stop-mass-shootings-fire-extinguishers-vgtrn

He has a point. Kind of.

Few foam extinguishers are ABC which is required for places that have electricity and that you may spray live current with as most of the foams are conductive.

You really don't want to be breathing the powders. They are generally not toxic but filling your lungs with baking soda is not a good idea and that goes for the powders used in fire extinguishers too.

Halon is not a good thing for a school setting.

This leaves CO2. Great extinguishers. FUN extinguishers. Also great for rapidly cooling canned beverages (not at all recommended and rather expensive).

Wikipedia has this observation
CO2, a clean gaseous agent which displaces oxygen. Highest rating for 20 lb (9.1 kg) portable CO2 extinguishers is 10B:C. Not intended for class A fires, as the high-pressure cloud of gas can scatter burning materials. CO2 is not suitable for use on fires containing their own oxygen source, metals or cooking media. Although it can be rather successful on a person on fire, its use should be avoided where possible as it can cause frostbite and suffocation.

Frost bite my ass. Damned things will freeze a finger in seconds to the point you can simply snap it off. Would work well against an attacker but you would need to be pretty close (3 - 4 feet). Would definitely stop the bugger and be pretty hard on anyone around the attacker.

They are no used in schools because they are an "attractive nuisance" (primarily for people that want to cool canned beverages in a very cool way or just watch the "fog" generated that will fill the hall of the school to about a depth of 1 to 1.5 feet). And they do displace oxygen so they are kind of dangerous.

I refilled the buggers. You have to discharge them before testing so that if they blow up they don't kill people in the room by removing the oxygen. Fun to do. Fog all over the place. Feet get pretty cold doing this.

Also filled standard coolers with dry ice by simply discharging high pressure CO2 into them through a cone to direct the flow. That is done between 12 and 1500 lb pressure. And you definitely need to wear gloves or loose fingers.

I am not sure about the picture at the top of the article. Shows an extinguisher being discharged. Doesn't look like a powder to me and most powders are yellow. Looks like a gas nozzle like you find on a CO2 unit. Gas looks like CO2 but is drifting a good bit. Could be a nearly empty CO2 unit.

Other 2 are water units. I think this was a training demonstration. Water is rarely used as it is only good on solids and not some of those. Dangerous on any liquid like oils or other liquid fuels. But cheap and a good training tool to teach people to shoot at the bottom of the fire instead of the top which seems to be the thing most people think they should do for some reason.

I think the best part of this guys idea is getting the fire extinguisher in the first place as that will send out a summons for the Fire Dept who could deal with the shooter with a fire hose I would think. Also should put a 10 pound cylinder in the hands of who ever got it. That would be good applied to the back of the attackers head I suppose.

One helpful hint for anyone buying an extinguisher is to NOT buy ANY extinguisher with a plastic valve. Kidde extinguishers are almost always plastic valved, unreliable over time and are not rechargeable. They are crap.

A 2 pound extinguisher is about useless. Get at least a 5 pound one. Always locate the extinguisher very close to an exit. Like right next to the door. If you have a fire grab the thing on the way OUT. Then take a look back and determine if it is safe to go back and attempt to fight the fire. ALWAYS make sure your exit is secure BEFORE attempting to fight a fire. Your life is more valuable than whatever is burning.

A fire extinguisher could be used against an attacker. I wouldn't recommend it against an attacker with a firearm.

09 March 2018 - 22:03

What a poor boy.

I he had picked peoples pockets for a few thousand dollars he would be facing considerably more time. And in considerably less pleasant surroundings that he will end up in.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/martin-shkreli-weeps-before-being-sentenced-to-7-years-i-took-down-myself?ref=home

But he was doing it for fun. Unlike people that are at the bottom and start stealing shit to get by. They are professionals and he is merely a hobbyist so he deserves more leniency.

Obviously.

10 March 2018 - 03:40

Too bad but he did great work.
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-43349774

Insanity
https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/03/09/bitcoin-mining-energy-prices-smalltown-feature-217230

It is however silly to say such "currency" is not based on anything. It is based on the value of the energy sector. This, while different, is as logical as basing currency on GDP which we supposedly do all over the world now.

Any kind of money is simply a convenience that takes the place of having to carry chickens around with you for barter. Quieter and much easier to carry and can be kept under your mattress which is really hard on a chicken and really uncomfortable if you try it with a hog or cow. Or a few hundred pounds of wheat. Value is actually what ever society is willing to value it at.

16 March 2018 - 22:43

Got a big kick out of this guy. Have to feed the buggers anyway so you may as well enjoy it.
https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/3k7x35/farmer-derek-cow-space-art-tesla-spacex

Shocking!!!! Damned Canadians.
https://outabouter.com/2018/03/15/world-reels-as-it-considers-the-possibility-trump-may-just-be-making-shit-up/

Read several articles laughing at the poor guy. Liked this one the best.
https://www.theonion.com/elon-musk-embarrassed-after-realizing-he-proposing-idea-1823804914

I have actually thought about the staff going through emails, written correspondence and financial records and felt quite sorry for them.
https://politics.theonion.com/exhausted-mueller-trying-to-find-trump-organization-rus-1823814584

17 March 2018 - 21:03

This is a great example of why this grumpy geezer has never had an FB, Google or any other of the big buggers accounts. Yes I have an Android phone with no gugle account.

That phone worries me none the less. I have gps disabled but have no idea what inertial info is being sent back to Verison or Gugle.

Have no idea what so ever as to why those things don't worry people. If you have inertial data for a while for a user you really should be able to tell how tall they are, length of stride, length of arm, probable weight and sex. This is none of their damned business.

This sort of thing has bothered me from the first month in 98 when we bought our first box and I started really looking into the implications of using the thing.

This sort of "big data" has actually been used for decades in politics. It was used, however, on only large groups of people because you just couldn't get near enough information on individuals and even if you could it would have taken too long to do any sort of personal analysis.
https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/mg9vvn/how-our-likes-helped-trump-win

22 March 2018 - 18:07

Let's all do this!!!!!!!!!
https://www.abcactionnews.com/news/national/people-are-using-heavy-duty-bug-sprays-to-get-high-and-it-is-really-dangerous

Suggested that to my wife. She thinks it is a great idea but only if you eat Tide Pods first.

22 March 2018 - 18:27

I just look at that site for the gun tutorials.

Just like everyone just reads Playboy for the articles.
https://www.dailydot.com/upstream/inrangetv-pornhub-youtube/

Pretty hilarious. I really liked the last line in that article.

30 March 2018 - 20:01

This guy has got it about right.
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/03/30/something_for_the_weekend/

Problem with all the people jabbering about autonomous vehicles is that they don't look into the earliest research projects actually trying to use this kind of technology. Those lines of research go back nearly to the beginning of use of GPS.

Pretty slow vehicles that move between 5 and 15 mph. Low end of that is by far the most common. Called tractors. Been working on getting them to do field work in rectangular fields for a long time now and they are getting to the point that, if all conditions are right, they are somewhat reliable.

Gps powered mapping to control ag tools for things like fertilizer actually work really well as long as they are being powered by a tractor that is driven by a person. You can get the right amount of fertilizer to the different parts of the field by varying the amount delivered in a pretty finely tuned manner. Really a very, very boring job of driving the damned tractor up and down the field though. All you are doing is going up and down the field and making sure that you are running the tool parallel to the last pass at the correct spacing.

Pretty simple. Most farm kids can do this about in their sleep by age 12 or 13.

Autonomous driving tractors can do it in some limited conditions. Perfectly rectangular fields. Head lands (where you turn around to go the other direction) done with a person driving. Just about perfectly flat ground. Few fields meet those specs.

Doing the head lands requires some backing and filling which is one thing that, if you follow the progress of autonomous driving semi tractors on roads, is something that really hasn't been worked out at all.

But the fact remains that we really don't have a tractor that can pull a fertilizer up and down a field with a defined pair of headlands in a reliable fashion at the target speeds of 5 to 10 mph where you are not at all concerned with traffic or with moving obstacles like pedestrians or bike riders. The assumption is that any wild life is going to get out of the way on their own and any "traffic" will be someone in a pickup truck that has a remote to stop the tractor so they can drop off a driver to finish the job or simply to take the tractor and equipment back to head quarters.

Work has also been done extensively with trial usage of very large (open pit mining) trucks. There are very few jobs that those can do in a very well defined, controlled environment either in a reliable manner.

The only places that are really targeted for autonomous vehicles are places with paved roads where you can have built in "spots" where on board sensors can detect and interpret them correctly. That depends on a damned lot of luck, good weather and the related easy visibility of things defined as those "spots".

I am sure that will come to be. Don't hold your breath though.

When farming and mining get this stuff to work it will be ready for actual reliable use. But not before then. Not sure which of those classes of use will be first to get it reliable but I suspect on the farm. Mining requires more ability to determine things like traffic hazards and is going to be a harder nut to crack.

Can't really see any real possibility of that for another decade at least. They are going to have to have all the equipment, manned or not, having some sort of communication between them.

Have come a long ways really toward that goal but now we are past the "assisted parking" type problems and into the hard stuff.

I would look for strings of semi truck/trailers following a human driven unit going coast to coast before any massive use of autonomous passenger type cars takes place by several years.

12 April 2018 - 16:04

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/04/11/el_reg_to_build_automated_beer_transporter/

It is great to see that some folks have their sight set on the important research projects that will be of the most benefit to humanity.