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InitialsDiceBear„Initials” ( by „DiceBear”, licensed under „CC0 1.0” (
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Lawyers for ‘Rust’ armourer move to get case dismissed after Baldwin trial collapses
  • 20+ years as a technical director at a theater where among many other things I’ve had to deal with the safety aspects of:

    • Prop firearms
    • prop knives & swords
    • stage combat
    • fire & smoke effects
    • objects like hammers, bricks, rocks, etc. thrown or swung at actors
    • Bricks and other objects falling onto actors from heights up to 15 feet
    • Sparks & other electrical effects
    • collapsing sets, sometimes with actors on/under them
    • falls through trap doors
    • glass bottles, ceramic vases, etc. broken over actors heads

    Through a number of these I’ve also consulted with film & theater safety experts, fire departments, building/electrical inspectors, etc.

  • Lawyers for ‘Rust’ armourer move to get case dismissed after Baldwin trial collapses
  • Really, these guidelines would have prevented the use of real bullets allegedly mixed in by the prop supplier?

    Yes, really. Among other things the guidelines prohibit any real live ammunition on the set. There should be an armorer on-set whose sole responsibility is checking guns in/out and ensuring they are unloaded, or properly loaded with blanks only when absolutely necessary. Only people who have been trained in the safety guidelines should ever handle them. Each person who handles a gun, right down to the actors, should also inspect it, and treat it as loaded even when it isn’t.

    You cannot reasonably argue that it's safer that an actor should read and learn what 40 years of experience and numerous accidents have taught an expert

    I never said they did. It’s the responsibility of the producer(s) to ensure all regulations are followed. So they should have made sure the armorer did. It’s the job of the armorer to know the OSHA and other regulations involving firearms on-set, and adhering to them. The armorer should be instructing both the relevant cast & crew on established safety procedures. That should include how to safely check if a gun appears to be loaded, and if not 10000% sure, to check back with the armorer. Not with a random crew person but the person directly responsible for their safe use.

  • Lawyers for ‘Rust’ armourer move to get case dismissed after Baldwin trial collapses
  • Obviously a prop weapon shouldn't even be able to shoot real bullets.

    I know a guy who teaches stage combat for live theater and have seen him on more than one occasion talk directors out of using prop firearms that fire blanks (think something akin to a starters pistol). These guns have filled barrels, etc. so there’s no way they could ever fire an actual projectile.

    One of the huge problems with these sorts of guns is that they’re very prone to misfiring. For whatever reason the manufacturing quality of both starter guns and the blanks they use just isn’t as good as real firearms. The last thing you want in live theater (which I’ve seen more than once) is for an actor to pull the trigger and hear a click instead of a bang.

    Granted they could just re-shoot a movie scene if this happens, but that costs time & money, which they absolutely hate wasting.

    Your idea of using smaller caliber bores, etc. likely wouldn’t prevent this sort of thing because either the quality would again suffer due to the lack of demand, or some idiot would still produce real ammo for it, or at least a projectile firing blank.

    Movies like Rust use revolvers because that’s what cowboys would have used. They want the guns to look real, which means the cylinder should look like it has real bullets in them and not blanks, especially in close-up shots where you can clearly see a gun. That’s ultimately what killed Brandon Lee on his movie set. The special effects team botched rigging the bullets so they wouldn’t fire. They removed the powder but didn’t remove the primer cap, and at close range that was still enough to cause trauma when Lee was shot.

    I also know a guy with 40+ years in the movie special effects industry who actually writes OSHA safety regulations for the industry. They’re “written in blood” due to events like Brandon Lees death, and when followed properly everybody is safe. He wasn’t involved in any way with the Rust production, but he was extremely pissed when he started hearing what’s been reported. He said it sounds like pretty much everybody involved from the producer on down ignored those regulations, and he had no problem with folks like Baldwin facing charges as a result.

  • The NSA Has a Long-Lost Lecture by Adm. Grace Hopper
  • Redaction means it’s still classified for some reason. Makes me wonder what they think might still be sensitive on a 40+ year old lecture like this, when DOJ guidelines call for automatic declassification of “records having permanent historical value” after only 25 years unless they fall into a handful of very specific categories, like divulging the identity of an active agent.

  • South Korea to mass produce lasers that can take out drones at $1.50 a hit
  • GPS wouldn’t be effective at all for drones dropping munitions on infantry moving around on the battlefield, nor on FPV drones trying to fly into moving tanks or other vehicles.

    And how do you turn a drone away from an infrared beam of light that would damage the drones optics almost instantly? You’d have to spot the laser system from hundreds of yards away, recognize it’s aimed at your drone, and turn away before the laser is fired. And then what? Just avoid turning your drone back the way you want to go, hoping another strategically positioned laser you didn’t see doesnt fire from a different direction?

  • German Navy to replace aging 8-inch floppy drives with an emulated solution for its anti-submarine frigates
  • I graduated college in 1990 and one of the places I interviewed for a job was with the Electric Boat division of General Dynamics. They build the submarines for the US Navy.

    During my interview they told me that the computers on the current generation of subs were programmed by punch card. The punch cards were sent to the one contractor that had the ability to convert them to the magnetic tape actually used to load them onto the subs systems.

    Perhaps by now they have indeed upgraded from punch cards & mag tape to floppy disks of some sort…

  • Tesla’s Share of U.S. Electric Car Market Falls Below 50%
  • Yup, the Supercharger network is great. Last year my wife and I did a road trip up a down the east coast in our Model Y, and thanks to the superchargers and their integration with the Tesla navigation system we never had any issues.

    Having said that, I’m hoping that the rollout of other NACS networks picks up steam. 5 or so years from now when I start thinking about a new car I’ll be taking a hard look at non-Tesla options for both vehicles as well as charging.

  • I hate Clouds - a personal perspective on why I think Clouds suck
  • We did that (with Rackspace) for years before migrating to AWS. AWS is still far better from a service & flexibility perspective.

    My employers website has certain times of the year where we see a huge increase in web traffic. When we had a hosted solution it took weeks of preparation to provision additional web servers to handle that load. We had to submit formal requests for additional servers, document how to wire them into our network & required firewall rules, etc. Then we had to wait an arbitrary number of days for them to do the work. And then we had to repeat that whole process when we no longer needed the additional capacity.

    With AWS we just define an auto scaling group and additional web servers are spun up automatically when demand is high, and frees them up again when no longer needed. Even if we didn’t use auto scaling we could easily automate this sort of thing via terraform or other tools and spin up additional instances in minutes instead of days.

  • I hate Clouds - a personal perspective on why I think Clouds suck
  • Having done everything from building my own servers 30 years ago to managing hundreds of servers in data centers to now managing hundreds of instances and other services in AWS, I’ll gladly stick with AWS. The hardware management alone makes it well worth the overhead.

    25 or so years ago I had to troubleshoot a hardware issue in a SCSI-based server with 6 hard drives in it. A drive appeared to be failing so I replaced it and immediately another drive failed, then another, and so on. After almost a full day of troubleshooting later and we realized the power supply was actually the culprit and could no longer provide sufficient power to the full set of hard drives.

    20 years ago while managing 700+ servers in a datacenter we had to manage a recall of about 400 of them thanks to the Capacitor plague that caused a handful of our servers to literally burst into flames.

    Hardware failures like the above and dozens of others were mitigated in most cases thanks to redundancies in the software we wrote. But dealing with hardware failures and the resulting software recovery was a real PITA.

    With AWS I may occasionally have a Linux instance lock up due to a hardware failure but it’s usually fairly easy to reboot the instance and have it migrate to new hardware. It’s also trivial to migrate a server to run on more (or less) number of CPU’s, RAM, etc. with only a couple of minutes of downtime.

    The more advanced services AWS offers like object storage, queues, databases, etc. are even more resilient. We occasionally get notified that a replica for one of these services had failed or was determined to be on hardware that was failing, and it was automatically replaced with a new replica.

    I’d much rather work this way than the way I did 20+ years ago.

  • Uber and Lyft now required to pay Massachusetts rideshare drivers $32 an hour
  • My wife recently reconnected with a friend from college (20+ years ago) who is legally blind & living in MA. And I recently worked with a MA resident that is legally handicapped. Both of them have, through some state service, access to some number of free Uber rides each month. I know in the Boston area there is/was a state run car service for the handicapped, but using Uber apparently provides much more coverage & flexibility.

    As long as the Uber drivers are being paid appropriately for this service I see it as a great service for the handicapped. I’d hate to see them lose it…

  • US Navy nuclear ballistic missile submarine surfaces off Norway in unusual flex as 'Doomsday' plane flies overhead
  • Sending messages like this isn’t uncommon.

    Back in the early 1960’s my dad had a high level security clearance at a defense contractor. He was one of a handful of people who knew the full details of a project to “identify, track, and destroy a hostile satellite”. This was in direct response to the Soviet Union launching Sputnik. The President of the US was another one of the handful that knew the full details of the project.

    After a lot of R&D work a test was performed. A rocket was launched from somewhere in the South Pacific. It tracked a derelict satellite used as a target, closed on it, and disabled it. At that point my dad’s involvement on the project ended.

    A few months later while at home he & my mom were listening to a speech by the President. In the middle of the speech he announced to the American public that the USA now had the ability to identify, track, and destroy hostile satellites. My mom says all the color drained from his face but she had no idea why since the entire project was still highly classified. In fact when my dad got to work the next day there was a memo waiting on his desk telling him that he was not to confirm, deny, or even discuss anything he may have heard on the radio or tv the previous night.

    The President didn’t make that announcement for the benefit of the American people. He was sending a very public message to the leadership of the USSR.

    (And my dad never told this story until well after the 25 year time frame established for routine declassification of such materials.)

  • Cloudflare is bad. Youre right.
  • I don’t understand why Cloudflare gets bashed so much over this… EVERY CDN out there does exactly the same thing. It’s how CDN’s work. Whether it’s Akamai, AWS, Google Cloud CDN, Fastly, Microsoft Azure CDN, or some other provider, they all do the same thing. In order to operate properly they need access to unencrypted content so that they can determine how to cache it properly and serve it from those caches instead of always going back to your origin server.

    My employer uses both Akamai and AWS, and we’re well aware of this fact and what it means.

  • What's the funniest/strangest thing you have seen out your office/apartment window?

    This just popped into my head after a similar question came up with a coworker…

    Back a few decades ago I worked in Kendall Square in Cambridge, MA. My office window looked out towards another building about 15 feet away, and for some reason our floors were about 8 feet higher than the other building. So we could look down into the offices across the way.

    The person in the office I could see into had his desk set up so that his back was to the window and he faced his office door. This gave me and my coworkers a clear view of his computer screen over his shoulder. He played Microsoft solitaire constantly, except when somebody walked in. He would very quickly close it so he wouldn’t get caught.

    My coworkers and I actually tried to figure out his phone number, but never did. We wanted to call him up and tell him he should have played the red 9 on the black 10…