SawStop?

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On Tue, 14 Dec 2004 15:28:00 -0500, Hank Gillette

In a manner of speaking.
GE was using PCBs in the first place as a safety measure. They were used in electrical equipment such are large transformers and capacitors as a fire retardant. In fact they were considered such an essential safety measure that there was no market for products that didn't contain PCBs. (The modern replacements are inferior.)
Nor were PCBs generally considered a dangerous contaminant during almost all the period GE was discharging wash water with PCBs as an accidential contaminant. (AFIK there was no deliberate dumping of quantities of PCBs. At least I can't find any reference to it in a quick search of the literature.)
You're badly overstating your case.
--RC
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And until it was mandated, the chances of getting seat belts on an entry level car was pretty much nil.
This is not a perfect analogy, because the SawStop technology is a much higher percentage of the price of the product than seat belts or airbags. But I remember that one of the arguments against airbags was that the cost would be prohibitive. Putting them in every car lowered the unit cost considerably. It's reasonable to assume that the same thing would happen with the SawStop.
--
Hank Gillette

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Hank Gillette responds:

And Ford had lap belts in '57, as an option. No one wanted them.

You paid for it without it being hidden in the overall vehicle pricing, though you had to buy a Ford to get it. And memory doesn't serve well enough for me to recall whether or not it was an "entry level" car or not.
By the way, WTF is an entry level car?
Charlie Self "He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire." Sir Winston Churchill
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On 14 Dec 2004 18:10:36 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme (Charlie Self) wrote:

Actually it was 1956 http://www.lovefords.org/56ford/options.htm
Sales weren't good but this was in large part due to marketing and pricing issues.
--RC
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rcook5 writes:

Hey, what the hell. Fading memories and abyssmal luck with Fords all add up, don't they?
Charlie Self "He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire." Sir Winston Churchill
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Hank Gillette wrote:

The chance of getting seat belts on just about any American car from 1960 or so on was almost 100%, _if_ you ordered them or asked the dealer to install them. All of them that I remember had the hard points in place.

Or not as the case may be.
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--John
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Was it? My dad put seatbelts in the back of our 1964 Ford Falcon, maybe the fronts too. Just because it doesn't ship with them doesn't mean you can't install them properly and safely.

Lets let 'em get a working model first. Demo units do not equal a product.
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I don't disagree with that. I'd like to see some production models and statistics before I'd be in favor of it being required equipment.
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I'd like to see some production models and statistics before they should even bring up it being mandatory. "You must use this crap that doesn't work!" isn't a good way to build a userbase.
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On Tue, 14 Dec 2004 12:14:45 -0500, Hank Gillette

Actually no. Seat belts were widely available in the aftermarket and were beginning to appear in all kinds of cars. The process was in the early stages so naturally OEM seat belts were more readily available in higher end cars. But they were easy to install as an accessory.
I don't know if you're aware of it, but you're repeating a piece of Naderite propaganda that was concocted out of the experience Ford had in 1956 when it offered seat belts and better door locks as part of a very expensive 'safety package' on its cars. Ford advertised the features heavily, but its pricing was so far out of line that the features didn't sell well. Nader and his ilk jumped on the situation and proclaimed that "safety doesn't sell" and that car makers wouldn't make safer cars

Well, not exactly. What really lowered the cost was the development of a new kind of sensor which was much, much cheaper.
And air bags are NOT cheap. Try repairing a car after the air bags deploy and you'll see what I mean. What air bags are is subject to jiggered economics that let the manufacturer push most of the cost off onto the customer who needs one replaced.
You would never get away with desiging an engine the way air bags are designed.
Nor are air bags as effective as seat belts. The whole rationale behind air bags was that they would protect the people who were too stupid to wear seat belts.

Which doesn't change the fact that SawStop is a kluge. There are undoubtedly better ways to do the same thing -- ways that don't destroy the saw blade for example. But if the government mandates SawStop, those methods will never be developed.
(And don't kid yourself about how the specification will be drawn. It may not say 'SawStop' but it will be written so only SawStop technology can meet it -- no matter how superior other approaches may be.)
--RC
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snipped-for-privacy@TAKEOUTmindspring.com wrote:

Ignoring for the moment that there's not a chance in hell that the Bush administration is going to make it a requirement, why do you believe that the regulation would be written so that only SawStop would meet the requirements? As far as I know, they don't have any friends in high places.
There may indeed be better ways to do the same thing (although stopping a 10 inch saw blade running at full speed within a fraction of a second without damaging seems to me to be a non-trivial problem), but I don't see any sign that anyone else is working on or even interested in doing it.
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Because the draft proposal was clearly written so that it matched the SawStop patents. We believe it because we saw it with our own eyes. No one is making that stuff up.
-j
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On Tue, 14 Dec 2004 21:59:07 -0500, Hank Gillette

Experience with the way government regulations are written makes me believe that. This is reinforced by the fact that the guys running SawStop are lawyers, which means they know how to influence the process -- or enough to hire lawyers who know how to influence the process.

Presumably that would be somewhat different if there was a chance the regulation would be adopted. However this isn't a matter of bribery -- exactly.
Jiggering the rules for your benefit is a complex, sophisticated process but it's a well known art. In part it depends on defining the problem to the regulators, in part it depends on the fact that the people writing the draft rules are usually surprisingly ignorant of the details of the industries they are regulating, and in part it depends on hiring the right people to argue your case for you. You can take it as given that anyone with enough sophistication to get something to the stage of drafting a proposed rule knows how to play the system like a pinball machine.
I could write a long dissertation on how it's done, based on how I've seen it done at both the state and federal level, but for now let's leave it at that.

It is a _very_ non-trivial problem. Which is why it hasn't been done before.

Because one thing SawStop is very good at is getting publicity. Things like capacitance switches and fast machine brakes aren't exactly new technology.
--RC
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Their petititon requested that the regulation be written in such a manner.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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Do you really think that SawStop's patent lawyers didn't think of that?

There could be at least 3 reasons for that. Think hard.
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On Tue, 14 Dec 2004 23:32:16 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@TAKEOUTmindspring.com

Absolutely wrong. Airbags are a _supplimental_ restraint. They are only effective if you're in the position you're expected to be in, and if you're not wearing seatbelts, you won't be. You'll either be too close and get a very in-your-face airbag experience, or you'll be half-way out the window when you roll the car or whatever. The airbag is to cushion the impact for a passenger who is in the expected location, and if you're elsewhere, it won't work well for you. It has never been advertised as a replacement for seatbelts, nor is it effective as such.

The thing is, if it can stop a blade that fast, that's an _awful_ lot of energy getting dissipated into something, very fast. Heat will build up somewhere, and sharpened steel things sometimes don't like heat. I'm not sure if that's avoidable.
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that they would protect people not wearing seat belts. However it was a major rationale for air bags in the debate about them. And, rather surprisingly, it is still commonly used.
(And, BTW, since 1997 you are not allowed to use alternative passive restraint devices.)

All absolutely true.

Uh, wrong. That was one of the major rationales for requiring air bags, at least in the public discussion of the time. Now if you read carefully you could find people who put the argument correctly, but the overall tone of the pro-airbag people was that airbags would handle the problem of people who wouldn't fasten their seatbelts.
In fact this is still used as an argument for air bags by NHTSA, at least by implication. Take a look at: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/airbags/factsheets/numbers.html
Especially the stuff at the bottom. If you don't read carefully you come away from this page with the notion that air bags are more effective than seatbelts. Nowhere on this page of stuff does the NHTSA actually come out and say that air bags are designed to be used in conjunction with seat belts.
Now look at the this from one of the 'public interest' groups that pushed so hard and spread so much misinformation in an effort to get air bags mandated.
http://www.citizen.org/autosafety/Air_Bags/articles.cfm?ID `07
Notice especially the claim: Protection of Unbelted Occupants Original purpose of air bags
Progressive Insurance is much more honest in its page on seat belts and air bags. http://www.progressive.com/RC/DSafety/rc_airbags.asp But of course an auto insurance company has a major interest in preventing injuries and deaths in auto accidents. Unlike a government agency whose main interest is likely to be in defending a bureaucratic decision.

that air bags are much less effective than seat belts in saving lives. See for example, this one by the Canadian equivalent of DOT: http://www.tc.gc.ca/roadsafety/tp2436/rs200103/menu.htm
Now, ask 100 people on the street if they think air bags are safer than seat belts. The misinformation persists.
Seat belts would have come into use without government regulation. Air bags are a much less likely proposition because they are so much less effective.
In fact even if you completely buy the arguments for air bags it is now obvious that they were rushed into production by government mandate far too soon and quite a number of people have died or been injured because of that. (Including my mother in law, who had the skin ripped off her face by an air bag -- and yes, she was wearing a seat belt.) The main problem was that the government rules set the deployment forces too low.
http://www.ajph.org/cgi/content/abstract/90/10/1575

The energy involved is indeed a consideration. But there should be ways to handle that that are less destructive than SawStop's approach. But if SawStop had been mandated into law, we probably never would have found out.
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On Thu, 16 Dec 2004 03:53:58 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@TAKEOUTmindspring.com wrote:

The "whole" rationale for refusing auto makers to back off on the firing force of the air bags was to protect people not wearing seat belts and several gov't people refused to back off on that in spite of the fact that children were being killed by it.
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On Tue, 14 Dec 2004 23:32:16 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@TAKEOUTmindspring.com wrote:

Sawstop should not be mandated, but the argument that "there are undoubtedly better ways to do the same thing" is irrelevant, since millions of table saws have been built, all without undoubtedly better ways to do the same thing.
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Hank Gillette wrote:

They tried to push it to the FAA but the FAA didn't bite. It's amazing that they were successful with Congress. However even there, airbags are not mandatory--it's a "supplemental restraint system" and airbags are apparently just the easiest way to do it.
As for seat belts, the public didn't want seat belts. Ford tried them and people perceived that Fords must be dangerous if they need seat belts so sales went down. So Ford stopped making them standard. Later when they were mandated it put all the manufacturers on an equal footing, which was the main benefit of the legislation. But still, a lot of people resented the government intruding into their lives to that extent.

Probably about as much as there is. What specifically is (a) there because the government has mandated it and (b) wouldn't be there regardless and (c) actually improves safety?
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--John
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