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Noah Friedman
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Noah Friedman

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I like him when he gets angry. Where's this guy been for the past 7 years?
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Absolutely.
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So much for the claim that copyright promotes creativity.

This is only going to get worse after TPP is signed.  You know it's going to pass no matter how fucking loudly we object to it.  That's why everyone negotiating it, including Obama, are so desperate to keep the details a secret until it's fait accompli.

On a related note, I'll throw in a plug for http://questioncopyright.org/ .
 
Boo. Just...Boo.
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If false notices could plausibly result in prosecution or even civil liability, there would be far fewer of them, leading to a system not outrageously tilted toward the legal representatives of people who claim to be rightsholders. Oh, wait. You're right.
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I am so not buying any car with keyless entry or usb/computer anything interface for the foreseeable future.  I still think I want my next car to be a late 60s MG-B.  Even if someone breaks into it to try to steal it, chances are good it wouldn't even start.  :-P
 
So +Toyota USA, what's the fix for this?
Last week, New York Times tech/style columnist Nick Bilton told the tale of two teens breaking into his Toyota Prius with a mysterious black box . Now we might know what it is, and you can get one for as little as $17.
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I like daytime running lights but hate automatic headlights and automatic wipers. Heated seats are sweeet.
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This is making the rounds again, but I think it's still hilarious.
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I don't see anything that could go wrong here.
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Bummer.
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Another recent cleaning project. Elgin lever set full plate movement from 1909.

The dial is a bit stressed but I think it gives it character. One of the dial feet is filed off and another was soldered back on but the solder didn't hold. I left the loose foot in the movement so it wouldn't get lost, since I don't have any silver solder tools.

Speaking of solder, someone in the past added weight to the balance by adding little bits of solder to the rim. It doesn't look like the same amount on both sides but I didn't check for poise because if it's unbalanced now there's nothing I can do about it. The weight was also added to the open end of the rim meaning it probably has thrown off the balance's temperature compensation. All in all a bad way to adjust timing. The right way to do this would have been to adjust the active length of the hairspring (hard, and only if it's long enough) or add tiny washers of a known weight beneath some of the balance screws. This "repair" is basically undoable.

That's the only thing marring this watch, though. It's still keeping decent time.
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+Miles Bader​ It's silver solder, which I don't have the right tools to remove (I only have a lead/tin soldering iron) but even if I tried, it would probably be impossible to get all of it; it would never be exactly right again.

Since it's working well enough as-is, the best thing to do is leave it alone.  I was just making the observation that this is definitely the wrong way to go about adjusting the balance timing, because it's too difficult to readjust later.
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Noah Friedman

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Please donate if you can afford to.

Perhaps you won't be eaten by a grue.
 
Mike Berlyn, creator of Infocom games including Infidel, Cutthroats and Suspended, needs money to pay for cancer treatment.
Have you ever had a potential employer that hired you when there were lots of other people to choose from? How about a business mentor that helped your career and turned into a great friend? Maybe just someone that inspired you to take a chance and do something you could only imagine? Well I’v...
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I wonder if my friend +andrew kaluzniacki knows him.
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This convertible movement is missing some parts and I'm debating whether to fix the balance staff until I can find those other parts, but I was very interested to see that this movement is stamped "15 jewels" when it isn't. It's only 11 jewels. The Elgin serial number database identifies it correctly. All the plates are numbered and they match, so it's not a substitution from another movement.

Was this mislabeled at the factory? Did someone else add the false number later? Who knows?
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The more I think about it the more it does look like someone else must have done it.  For one it was clearly stamped, not engraved, although that's more obvious in certain lighting.  And as Jeff points out everything else about it are things Elgin never did—not on any other movements I've seen, anyway.  It's probably not even a period typeface.

I wonder what possessed someone to do that.
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Via +Yonatan Zunger:

Ignition!: An Informal History of Rocket Propellants.
http://library.sciencemadness.org/library/books/ignition.pdf
(out of print apparently)

Yonatan summarizes: "in no small part a large manual of things that people have tried which didn't work. Sometimes spectacularly. His description of chlorine trifluoride alone is worth the book."
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Allegedly there was also a classified version of this work. The stuff in the unclassified version is so terrifying that I can't imagine what the classified stuff was like...
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I figured he already had one.
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I love our IRL Iron Man.
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I found this movement at a local monthly antiques fair for $30 in a box of what was otherwise junk. It was completely gummed up such that the balance wouldn't turn even with gentle pressure,  but it looked intact so I bought it. Other than the setting lever return spring being rusted through and broken, it's working quite well now. There are some other small spots of rust I'm not sure how best to remove, but they are just cosmetic.  The biggest concern with rust (other than springs breaking) is in the pinions or pivots causing extra friction or even binding the gears.  But the pinions in this case looked pretty clean.

Elgin didn't make a huge number of these, although I wouldn't call them rare. A convertible movement lets you switch the position of the stem between the 12 o'clock and 3 o'clock position somewhat easily. I can't imagine people wanted to do this terribly often once they bought a case for their watch, which is probably why Elgin stopped making them.  (At the time, movements and cases were made separately and the customer paired whichever ones they wanted when they bought a watch.)  But they are neat and slightly unusual. I left it in the 3 o'clock position because I hope to find a period hunting case for it.

16 size, 15 jewels, lever set, c. 1884.
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+VM Brasseur - +Noah Friedman is correct, the orientation of the 12:00 is really just a convention, particularly with wristwatches (early wristwatches are often different). 12 tends to be set up to be "up" when reading the watch. The difference between a hunter movement and an open face movement has nothing to do with the orientation of the numbers on the dial though - which can be any which way. A hunter movement has the 4th wheel (the second hand) 90 degrees from the stem. An open face movement has the 4th wheel 180 degrees from the stem.

If the dial is normal, it always puts 12:00 180 degrees from the seconds hand, so on a hunter watch the stem is thus at the three, and at the 12 on an open face movement, with a normal dial. What type of case the resulting dial/movement combination gets put in is also mix and match. A "side-winder" is a hunter movement, with a dial normal for a hunter case, in an open face case.

More examples here:
http://elgintime.blogspot.com/search/label/Side-Winder

It is suspected that what case was selected when a watch was purchased probably had to do with price and availability, what the shop had on hand, as much as anything. Although many buyers preferred the more rugged, durable and generally masculine open face styles of cases and deliberately selected those, hence all the "side-winders".
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Just like dad!
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Yeah, I loved them too.  Parents were horrified.  They were also horrified that I loved playing with my toy rifle and toy pistols.  Never any explanation about just who gave me candy cigarettes and toy guns: THIS is why I BELIEVE  IN SANTA CLAUS!!!
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specialist in these kinds of things
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Yak shaving.
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Call me Fishmeal.
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There are times I find myself suspecting that there is some cruel cosmic deception being perpetrated against me by something akin to descartes' evil genius.   But then I remind myself not to put descartes before the hoax.
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My father was a mathematician and he played the fiddle, so my childhood was full of sets and violins.
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