National Drinking Straw Day Shortbread

By the way, can any gerbils vouch for a particular model of reusable drinking straw?

PC hardware and computing

  1. Wooting One analog keyboard review @ PC Perspective
  2. Asus ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming review @ bit-tech
  3. Intel i7-7700K Revisit: benchmark vs. 9700K, 2700, 9900K, & more @ Gamers Nexus
  4. Seasonic FOCUS SGX-450 450W SFX-L PSU review @ HardOCP
  5. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme review @ Hexus
  6. Crucial P1 1000GB NVMe SSD review @ KitGuru
  7. Team Group MP32 PCIe SSD 512 GB review @ TechPowerUp

Games, culture, and VR

  1. Mickey Mouse will be public domain soon—here’s what that means @ Ars Technica
  2. DMCA notice freezes Star Control Origins in carbonite @ Blue's News
  3. Oregon unconstitutionally fined a man $500 for saying 'I am an engineer,' federal judge rules @ Slashdot

Hacks, gadgets and crypto-jinks

  1. High-speed camera plus lawnmower equals destructive fun @ HackADay
  2. Designing tiny motors right into the robot’s circuit board @ HackADay
  3. Raspberry Pi raccoon-proof cat feeder @ HackADay

Science, technology, and space news

  1. Hybrid rice engineered with CRISPR can clone its seeds @ Slashdot
  2. Science says your cat’s tongue is ideally suited for grooming fur @ Ars Technica
  3. New Horizons has a successful flyby of the Kuiper Belt’s bowling pin @ Ars Technica
  4. Blast offs and bubbly: the year in space, 2018 @ New Atlas (a good summary, but they missed TESS, just like my nephew and I did when we flew down to see it in April and the launch was scrubbed just before we were about to leave for the viewing platform)

Cheese, memes, and shiny things

  1. Startup turns cheese waste into vodka-like Wheyward Spirit @ forbes.com (whey cool!)
Colton Westrate

I post Shortbread, I host BBQs, I tell stories, and I strive to keep folks happy.

Comments closed
    • anotherengineer
    • 10 months ago

    Just get some NSF rated HDPE tubing and toss it in the recycle bin once it wears out/stinks/whatever, or don’t even use straws.

    • Shouefref
    • 10 months ago

    Mickey Mouse will be public domain soon—here’s what that means @ Ars Technica

    Now I understand why Disney is so desperate to build Star Wars into a big thing with several movies a year.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 10 months ago

      Like many Ars headlines, this one is misleading. The text of the article talks about Steamboat Willie, sure, will wind up in the public domain. But modern-day Mickey Mouse is likely different enough that Disney still hold a grip on the mouse with no blouse.

    • CScottG
    • 10 months ago

    Borosilicate/”Pyrex” glass straws..

    a modest review grouping here:

    [url<]https://urbanvegan.net/glass-straws/[/url<]

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 10 months ago

      I logged in just to give you this down vote. Happy New year, bro.

        • Shobai
        • 10 months ago

        Me too!

        (Why are we down voting?)

          • Srsly_Bro
          • 10 months ago

          I’M A TITANIUM FAN BOI!

            • CScottG
            • 10 months ago

            ..are you saying I’m a “pane in the glass”?

        • derFunkenstein
        • 10 months ago

        same but I gave mine to you instead of him.

          • Srsly_Bro
          • 10 months ago

          The season of giving continues.

          Thanks, bro.

      • drfish
      • 10 months ago

      Thanks, I’ve added a set of those to my list to try out.

    • UberGerbil
    • 10 months ago

    That high-speed-camera-on-a-mower video is great. Nice bit of basic physics and problem solving during the build, some great metal-fab porn, and fun results.

    Also, bonus long-haired tuxedo cat at around the 10:00 and 14:00 marks.

    • sweatshopking
    • 10 months ago

    Traveling overseas I’ve used lifestraws for years and I think they’re great.

    • NovusBogus
    • 10 months ago

    [quote<]Oregon unconstitutionally fined a man $500 for saying 'I am an engineer,' federal judge rules @ Slashdot[/quote<] The [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principles_and_Practice_of_Engineering_Examination<]Professional Engineer[/url<] club isn't going to like that.

      • nanoflower
      • 10 months ago

      They shouldn’t have a problem with that. Anyone with an engineering degree such as a EE is an engineer. What they aren’t is a Professional Engineer as that is an entirely different thing that takes more time and effort after getting that engineering degree. It also comes with potential legal penalties that someone with just an engineering degree doesn’t typically have to worry about.

        • touchandgo
        • 10 months ago

        In Ontario, Canada, you can say that you have been trained as an Engineer, based on your degrees from accredited institutions, but you cannot have Engineer in your job title unless you have a P. Eng.

          • NovusBogus
          • 10 months ago

          Not sure on job titles, but there are many places in America where you can’t have Engineer or Engineering in your company name if you’re not PE. At least until enough case law builds up to make such word games no longer enforceable…

            • CScottG
            • 10 months ago

            That’s reasonable. (..relating to Co’s.)

            1. it’s a reserved name given by the State (for economic advantage/to do business).

            2. as a Co. – it’s specifically doing it to gain economic advantage: the name itself is actually advertising.

            For an individual though the whole point is absurd, it’s not about the title.. and tacking “pro” or “professional” – which is such a common and misused word that it’s pointless.

            Instead it should be about the intent or reasonably inferred intent of seeking economic advantage (..ie. being paid by a client).

            What should really be noted is that these organizations are semi-gov’t in nature, and specifically have all sorts of laws on very similar (if not the exact same) issue crafted by the State for their benefit and presumably the public’s. The thing is 1. they typically have to many over-laping laws, and 2. the ones they know are legal (that are written in a way that isn’t unconstitutional/aren’t over-broad) more than cover what is needed for protecting the public interest, those that are NOT: are there to protect the professional organization itself and like the case seen here, have specific harassment value.

            It’s an issue that’s ripe for change, but often effects the public (in total) so little in a meaningful manner that it probably won’t be for a long time.

            (..I’ve some personal experience with this in my own profession, and can’t stand the “boys club” setup that cares little for protecting the public in a truly effective manner, and everything about how to maintain its own existence: a classic Gov’t situation.)

            • Srsly_Bro
            • 10 months ago

            AICPA professional code of conduct has rules for using “CPA” in a company’s name when all members are not CPAs. Many accountants are just public accountants and don’t have the additional education and also haven’t taken and passed the 4 exams needed to become a certified public accountant.

            If you don’t meet the requirements for a title, a person shouldn’t list that as a title. Although, engineer seems to be used as a generic title for many things. If PE is the requirement to have engineer listed as a title, the person, if possessing a BS or higher in an engineering field, ought to have known that.

            • willmore
            • 10 months ago

            P.E. != Engineer

            They like to think that and they try to control the term Engineer because it suits their interests, but that doesn’t make it true nor a good thing. A P.E. cert only makes sense in a few very restricted areas of engineering. For example, I’m a computer engineer, getting a P.E. cert would be silly for me. All the questions on the exams are about building and construction. What would that ever do for me as a computer engineer?

            The problem here is that P.E.s seem to think that they are the only real engineers and that the term Engineer should be reserved for them and them alone. I fail to see how co-opting a commonly used work benefits the public. If they want a term, just keep using “professional engineer” or “licensed engineer” as that’s what they really are.

            But to tell someone who worked through an engineering degree that they’re not an engineer? No, get bent.

            • anotherengineer
            • 10 months ago

            Unfortunately that’s the way it’s going.

            You can call yourself an EIT (engineer-in-training), but now it’s as if the Professional Engineering body has restricted the use of the word ‘engineer’ to licensed professional engineers.

            [url<]http://www.peo.on.ca/index.php?ci_id=2075&la_id=1#aftergrad[/url<] I suppose it varies province to province and state to state?? My old school neighbor now retired was an aeronautical engineer, he didn't really believe in paying the Peng dues and all that stuff, and wasn't impressed with it either, but it is what it is. And I don't think it's the PE's per se, but the governing body/legal institution. edit - The test up here is law and ethics. The technical exam is waved if you have graduated from an accredited program and school, if not, then both are required.

            • touchandgo
            • 9 months ago

            The aerospace industry in Canada is an oddball in terms of licensing. Since it is regulated by Transport Canada, there is no requirement to be a P. Eng.

            • anotherengineer
            • 9 months ago

            No idea about that, interesting though. My neighbor was a mechanical that went onto aerospace eng after that, but never really used it. Mainly did mech and project work in mining, but has been retired now 10+ years.

            • touchandgo
            • 9 months ago

            I am in the industry and, with TC oversight, I do not have to bother with dealing with the PEO.

            What peeved me about the PEO was that they introduced the law and ethics exam in the year I graduated, 1982. So, not only did I have to pay the application fee, I was also required to pay a fee to take a law course, if it was not part of my curriculum, which it was not at U of T at that time, and write those stupid exams. Every P. Eng prior to 1982 was exempt. Complete total bullcrap and a money grab.

            • Srsly_Bro
            • 10 months ago

            Interesting explanation. I agree with you. It reminds me how many in the public see MDs as real doctors and other people with doctorates as not doctors although different thing entirely.

            Thanks for the response.

            • willmore
            • 9 months ago

            Well, if I want a ‘doctor’, I probably do mean an MD. Otherwise I’d just ask my spouse. But a PhD ChemE isn’t going to help much with a sprain. Especially when they were the one with the sprain. *facepalm*

            But you don’t see the AMA trying to ban other PhDs from being refered to as ‘doctor’, do you? Time to take back Engineer. 🙂

            • CScottG
            • 10 months ago

            Yeah, that’s one of those “added” laws that is constitutional. If the CPA’s are NOT all CPA’s it gives a false impression. Same thing in law, medicine, etc. (..if it’s even allowed for that entity to do so at all).

            Now the “C” in CPA is actually a more specific (better) designation: Certification. That’s something that still has meaning in society as being beyond something generic. In a quasi-gov’t capacity though REGISTERED is a far better designation (IMO), in that it specifically relates to being authorized by the State for that particular activity. ..and like Willmore’s argument, it’s better to be CERTIFIED within a narrow discipline (rather than some pointless over-arching minimum examination):

            ex. Registered Certified Tax Accountant.

            That should actually tell the public that the person is not only authorized by the State to provide service for compensation in that field, but that the person has met a minimum standard for that somewhat more specific field of accounting (..though of course there are layers of different specialties within tax accounting).

          • cynan
          • 9 months ago

          And in Quebec, Canada, you need all of that, and also to be able to speak french.

            • touchandgo
            • 9 months ago

            That is correct.

            From my earlier comment about the aerospace industry, transfers from my company’s Toronto office to Montreal (guess who I work for!) are seemless by mutual agreement between the PEO, OIQ and TC so the working French requirement is waived.

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 10 months ago

      Was that guy working on Intel’s 10nm failure in Hillsboro? I can see why they didn’t believe him if that’s true.

      • davidbowser
      • 10 months ago

      For those that don’t have engineering backgrounds, and thus might not know, the “Professional Engineer” designation is a TINY subset of the total population of engineers. The designation serves a significant purpose to certify for technical/legal requirements, but it is still a narrow subset.

      For instance, it is rare to find Chemical, Electrical, Computer, (or in my case) Materials Engineers that also get certified as PEs. It is mostly Mechanical and Industrial Engineers, and even then, only a percentage of Mechanical and Industrial Engineers need to bother with getting the PE certification for their jobs.

        • Mr Bill
        • 10 months ago

        Yeah, this says it all, really. [quote<]The judge wrote: "The statutes prohibit truthfully describing oneself as an 'engineer,' in any context. This restriction clearly controls and suppresses protected speech, and enforcement of the statute against protected speech is not a hypothetical threat. The term 'engineer,' standing alone, is neither actually nor inherently misleading. Courts have long recognized that the term 'engineer' has a generic meaning separate from 'professional engineer' and that the term has enjoyed 'widespread usage in job titles in our society to describe positions which require no professional training.'" [/quote<] It is true of geologists also. You can get certified as a "Professional Geologist" in some states and then you get to brag that title. But you can always say you are a geologist if you have the degree.

        • touchandgo
        • 9 months ago

        In Ontario and, likely, the rest of Canada, I believe that all Engineering disciplines require certification.

      • RickyTick
      • 9 months ago

      Maybe the guy “identifies” as an engineer. That seems to be a thing these days.

      • cynan
      • 9 months ago

      He must have been a wrecker. And should consider himself lucky. $500 is a push-over sentence for wrecking. Almost certainly deserved a tenner.

    • davidbowser
    • 10 months ago

    I have used titanium drinking straws for years. I got them originally for camping (along with titanium sporks!), but have since bought a bunch and the kids use them now too. I prefer titanium over stainless because of my well water. I know stainless is fine, but I do get mineral deposits and then occasional corrosion on my stainless utensils.

    TiTo is the brand I have the most of:
    [url<]https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B071WRCWMC[/url<] I got my first stuff from thinkgeek, but they don't sell them anymore.

      • drfish
      • 10 months ago

      Heh, I’m sure I have the exact same ThinkGeek straw and spork. There’s something off-putting about using them though, like the texture is not smooth enough and it’s kind grippy.

      Now I’m looking at these:
      [url<]https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CNQRXTK/?coliid=I1K48OHM4ZBOY6&colid=2OFPABUS5H6MQ&th=1[/url<] [url<]https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N1ZKZE4/?coliid=I3D0UX37YZYPD3&colid=2OFPABUS5H6MQ&th=1[/url<]

        • davidbowser
        • 10 months ago

        The silicone ones are intriguing. If they are of good quality, you can actually bake them when they get smelly. The description lists them up to 500F, so that looks good.

        For reference:
        [url<]https://thewirecutter.com/blog/how-to-get-smells-out-of-silicone-kitchenware/[/url<]

          • Ummagumma
          • 9 months ago

          I think 500F is way beyond “looks good”.

          3rd or 4th degree burns to the interior of you mouth might be closer to the truth.

    • gmskking
    • 10 months ago

    The head cow is always grazing.

      • Neutronbeam
      • 10 months ago

      Spock: “Intriguing…apparently a simple, yet complex, observation of nature and interpretation of the nature of leaders. Not unlike ‘Only Nixon could go to China’ or ‘An empty sky is always full’.”

    • superjawes
    • 10 months ago

    In the spirit of today’s “holiday”, check out some [url=https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0743THXWD/ref=sspa_dk_detail_0?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B0743THXWD&pd_rd_w=duF21&pf_rd_p=f0dedbe2-13c8-4136-a746-4398ed93cf0f&pd_rd_wg=celUU&pf_rd_r=MK5XN286DG3ZTV8YYN0A&pd_rd_r=d9738dda-0fa5-11e9-8c82-c3dc9d8d345f<]copper drinking straws[/url<]. They're reusable, functional, and they look cool.

      • DPete27
      • 10 months ago

      Also in the spirit of today:
      [url<]https://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2019/01/03/customer-attacks-mcdonalds-employee-llr-orig.cnn[/url<]

        • tay
        • 10 months ago

        I really enjoyed the employee attacking back. I shouldn’t have.

          • Godel
          • 10 months ago

          (customer attacks McDonald’s staff) He looked to be throwing a punch at a young kid who was probably on the minimum wage or below, so not so much.

            • nanoflower
            • 10 months ago

            He’ll get some time to reconsider his actions since he got arrested.

    • blastdoor
    • 10 months ago

    In other news, Apple is doomed [url<]https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2019/01/03/investing/stock-market-today-apple-dow-jones/index.html[/url<]

      • chuckula
      • 10 months ago

      Buy buy buy!!

      • NovusBogus
      • 10 months ago

      As noted in the forums, smartphones have been ‘good enough’ for quite a while so it is/was just a matter of time before Apple saturated the market and really hits a wall on sales. Is that time now? Maybe. One should never underestimate the power of Apple’s marketing machine, but it’s also been a while since Steve Jobs was running things so the RDF might not be as strong as it once was. Time will tell.

        • blastdoor
        • 10 months ago

        I think there’s still room to meaningfully improve mobile phones for many users but that Apple has made some mistakes with the X, XS,, XR phones. It seems that Apple has invested their resources in:

        1. AR capabilities — a gimmick on phones, but potentially huge when AR glasses become a thing
        2. OLED screens — nice, but probably not worth the extra cost for many users
        3. general purpose, single threaded CPU performance — would be awesome in a laptop; mostly wasted on a phone
        4. faceid (and related hardware) — nice, but touchID was working fine thanks

        Meanwhile, I think the most important feature on most high-end phones for most people is the camera, and in that department Apple is good, but not the best. For the prices they charge, they need to have the undisputed best camera on the market, and they just don’t.

        And finally…. the key to Apple’s success is getting people strongly attached to the ecosystem. I don’t know this for sure, but I suspect that the device that has the strongest attachment is the Mac. Apple has been shortchanging the Mac for years, mostly in the pace at which they update the hardware. Also, I suspect that China has one of the lowest Mac market shares of any major market. Maybe I’m just projecting, but I really think Apple’s problems fundamentally tie back to a lack of Mac advancement.

        • nanoflower
        • 10 months ago

        Hasn’t the market been saturated in the Western world for quite some time? That’s why everyone has been pushing the Chinese and Indian markets. Huge potential but now with the trade war going on between the US and China that has to be hurting Apple’s bottom line and may allow the Android competitors too much of a market share for Apple to fight back if the trade war goes on too long.

        Also isn’t there at least one non-Android/Apple competitor in the Chinese marketplace?

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