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Shawn Willden

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The DoJ has settled with Defense Distributed over their unconstitutional attempt to suppress the distribution of 3D printable gun designs. IMO, it was a clear violation of both the first and second amendments, which they attempted to justify on "national security" grounds... yeah, I'm sure ISIS wants to print up some plastic single-shot pistols rather than use the millions of cheap AK-47s that are readily available around the world, and then use them to invade the US.

It's a little bit disappointing that they chose to settle rather than fight, since I'd rather have a court ruling on their ridiculous claim. But given that they're taking the very unusual step of paying part of DD's legal fees, there is clear evidence that they know they were seriously in the wrong.

Anyway, it's a good outcome for both freedom of speech and the right to keep and bear arms, and it bodes well for gun rights in the future -- at some point 3D printers will be good enough to produce guns that you will want to shoot.

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Happy Birthday Aislynn!

We love you. We miss you.

And thanks, +Courtney Hammond (Willden!), for making this video. I love it.
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Propagandoff! North Korean State TV vs Fox.

This is hilarious. And kinda sad. Of course it's a little unfair; Fox isn't really as bad as the NK state news, I'm sure. But the fact that a little cherry-picking produces something this close should give everyone cause for concern.
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I'm voting straight-ticket Democrat this year

I'm not sure I've ever voted for any Democrat before. It's possible I have in some local election where party affiliation really doesn't matter much. I'm not a Republican, but I have mostly voted Republican because their ideals have been closer to mine.

But, this time, I think I need to send the strongest anti-Trump message I possibly can, and the best way I can think to do that is to vote straight-ticket Democrat. This has been brewing for a while, but the last straw was the policy of separating families at the border. No, it doesn't matter to me that Trump rescinds it. That doesn't change the fact that he thought -- and thinks -- it's a good idea.

I will regret giving the impression of support for progressive ideas that I disagree with, but any damage done there can be fixed once we've returned to decency and rationality. Right now, it's most important to limit Trump's ability to grind my country's ideals into the mud.

I encourage all Republicans who love the Rule of Law, want transparent government, believe in human rights, or just in basic human decency, to join me.
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This is spot on.

Essentially, Trump is saying "We've tried being the good guys, and it didn't work, so we're going to stop." Except that the "niceness" he's throwing away is actually the core set of ideals that make America what it is, and, actually, he's dead wrong when he says that it hasn't worked. Those high ideals, imperfect as we've always been in their execution, are what made America great. The world trusted us to be reasonable (mostly) and responsible (mostly) and beneficent (mostly) precisely because at some level they recognized we actually believed in our ideals.

Other countries often rolled their eyes at us, not completely believing that we really intended to behave as we claimed everyone should, and pointed out our frequent failures as proof that we didn't really mean it. But they actually did trust us to do what we said most of the time, because we did, most of the time. The American Empire was built on and by that trust.

Assuming Trump doesn't manage to completely dismantle American greatness by the time he leaves office, it's anybody's guess whether or not we can recover that trust. Perhaps the American Empire was coming to an end anyway, and Trump is just hastening the inevitable. Whatever the case, he is taking America's core values, labeling them as leftist (they're not) and flushing them down the toilet. And since those values are inextricably tied to American greatness, it's going too.

It's a sad time to be an American, and an awful time to be a Republican, even if 85% of Republican voters don't yet recognize the fact.
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This is bizarre.

My first thought while reading it is that I'll bet a computer could reassemble those fragments much more quickly, accurately and cheaply. Scan all the pieces and let algorithms put 'em back together.

My second thought was to wonder if anyone is doing the reassembly job now that people who were doing it have been canned. I suppose it's probably just as good to stuff the day's paper shreds into a box and date it. They can always be reassembled later.
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This explains so much! Guns do kill people!

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It'll be interesting to see if this generates any controversy.
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OpenEVSE problem

My OpenEVSE works great with my Nissan LEAF, but I noticed an oddity when charging my Tesla: The charging runs at full speed (40A) for a while then dips down to half speed (20A) then back up. I didn't think much of this at first; I figured the car was doing it to optimize battery charging, to prevent the battery from getting hot. Then I realized that it doesn't do that on the Supercharger, which is a lot faster (equivalent to over 400A). Instead, what it does on the supercharger is that the battery cooling system starts running at high speed (sounds a little like a jet engine).

Looking closer, I realized that it's my OpenEVSE which is getting hot and damping the power flow to protect itself. That's reasonable, but a little disappointing. Being a computer guy not an electrician, I thought "Air flow! We need air flow!". I figured if I cut some ventilation holes so the OpenEVSE could be kept cool, it would work better. As-built, the unit is airtight. Not great for cooling. Not being a complete idiot, though, I decided to ask before modifying my OpenEVSE box.

Good thing.

The designer of the OpenEVSE quickly responded to my question on the forum and said (a) your unit should not get hot enough to throttle unless outside temps are in excess of 110F and (b) the design has no ventilation holes for a very good reason: they would be a safety hazard.

Regarding (b), the idea is that since the box is airtight, in the event of any fire the available oxygen would be exhausted before much damage could be done. Ventilation holes would provide plenty of oxygen to burn up the unit and then start the surroundings on fire.

Regarding (a), we think the problem may be that my kit arrived without some lugs that normally go between the relay terminal screws and the wires, which have ferrules which fit over the lugs. Lacking the lugs I cut the ferules off, stripped the wires and wrapped them around the screws. The theory is this doesn't provide as much contact area as the lugs and ferrules, causing more resistance, causing heat to be generated by current flowing through a smaller contact area.

They're going to send me lugs and new wires, and I'll rewire the internals and see if that fixes it. Actually, I just finished assembling my second OpenEVSE (with lugs/ferrules) so I'll give that one a try first.

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I agree with this.

I have plenty of beefs with the current administration, and I'm skeptical that enforcing federal laws on gun possession in cases where there was clearly no intent to commit other crimes will actually reduce gun violence, but laws on the books should be enforced. Not only gun laws, but all laws. Where the laws are bad, we should repeal or modify them so they're not bad, not just choose not to enforce them.
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