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Welcome to the fiftieth installment of Your Comments. Here are our favorites from the past week, from Makezine, our Facebook page, and Twitter.

 Your Comments
In response to MAKE it in China: How to Spot a Good Factory, David Lang says:

This is SO great Lisa. Thanks for posting this.

On the surface, I can see why many of the comments are jumping to the conclusion that manufacturing in China is unethical. However, as someone who’s actually had to make a lot of something, I know how complex the problems and solutions can be.

For those who don’t have an extensive background in manufacturing, I suggest starting here: Why Amazon Can’t Make A Kindle in the USA – http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2011/08/17/why-amazon-cant-make-a-kindle-in-the-usa/

For Lisa and Nomiku, it’s the same issue. They’re not exploiting people. They’re working within the environmental conditions that exist. In fact, they are doing a HUGE service to other makers, by explaining this confusing and intimidating process.

AND they’re being very transparent about how their products are made. Kudos to them. I’m excited to read more!

In the piece How to Hack an Election: A Cautionary Tale, Tommy Phillips remarks:

As enlightening as this is concerning the lack of security thinking among voting machine manufacturers, I think a lot more damage is done to democracy (by both Red and Blue political machines) by demogoguery, distortion, and misdirection in political campaigns.

I do find it interesting that both comments that mention one party over another assume that Republicans would be responsible for any tampering. Does this reflect a prevailing presumption in the maker community, or just random chance?

In the article Working Paper M1911 .45 Pistol, Facebook user Alejandro Erickson says:

the scary part is that it can pass metal detectors, and presumably you can fire it once.

Twitter user Scott Abel remarks:

Last week I visited @MakeMagazine headquarters and saw a slew of 3D printers being tested. #cool Today I dreamed of 3D printing. #weird

In the article Tool Review: DT-2234C+ Digital Laser Tachometer, Lindsay Wilson writes:

I’ve got one of these and they’re great little tools. Use it a lot for the lathe and mill to set/measure speed. Sometimes a little tricky to get a reliable signal – mine seems to like about a 50% black/white ratio in the signal, so make sure to cover sufficient area with the tape. The supplied tape is kinda diffusely reflecting so alignment isn’t as critical. I’ve found that sticking a small lens on the front allows you to measure a much smaller area since it focuses the laser spot.

These are cheap enough that I’ve seen people cannibalise them and mount them permanently to a mill or lathe spindle. I opened mine up once – if I remember, it was a single large micro (possibly an ATMega) doing everything.

In the article MAKE Asks: Most Grandiose Projects, user Tom Bales writes:

I’m helping students build the world’s largest telescope. It’s a global array of cosmic-ray detectors in classrooms and museums, all connected together to our central database. Construction of the instruments and most of the project’s administrative work is done by students. Instruments are being supplied to schools around the world, currently at no cost, and we have over a hundred detectors out in the field. We’re working on an open-source, Arduino-based next-generation instrument that will cost much less to build than our custom-designed timestamper-internet interface box, so we can greatly expand the network. Our goal is a thousand instruments. You can see how it works at http://www.ergotelescope.org. Facebook page is ERGO – Energetic Ray Global Observatory. It started out as a hobby and got out of hand.

Like these comments? Be sure to sound off in the comments! You could be in next week’s column.

Michael Colombo

In addition to being an online editor for MAKE Magazine, Michael Colombo works in fabrication, electronics, sound design, music production and performance (Yes. All that.) In the past he has also been a childrens’ educator and entertainer, and holds a Masters degree from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.


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