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Old 10-22-2012, 01:53 AM
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Default Blame the engineer.

Didn't wanna hijack the gay to straight thread.

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Originally Posted by Theorist View Post
Well according to the NSPE, engineers are subject to some ethical responsibility regarding how their product is used after it hits the markets. It's like if a company makes a killing off of selling lock picks that will unlock your car in case you lock your keys inside, but it won't set off the car alarm so people don't feel like an idiot for locking their keys in the car. If a company sold a product like that, it can clearly be misused. And if A company did do such a thing, and car break in rates rose, people would be pretty pisssed at the company.
Yes, people would be upset, by why should they be pissed at the company? Because they invented something that has it's good uses but people misuse it? It's not the companies fault there are criminals in the world.

Criminals will be criminals, and I'm not saying that break in rates wouldn't increase. But a tool making break ins easier doesn't make criminals. Just like although guns make it easy to kill people, doesn't mean everyone goes around killing people. Only criminals do that.

Most misuse is in the person, not the product. How often do good people look at a product and immediatly think how it can be misused to do bad.

The engineer/inventor creates something to make life easier, or better and because it has a potential to be harmful through misuse, shouldn't change whether or not it should be available to the public.
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:06 AM
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It's a hard topic to discuss at times, and I suppose each person might have a different answer.
For me, I think it's a matter of accountability, and a desire for risk reduction and a reduction in compensation/negative publicity.

For example, there are usually always stringent guidelines in human services about making sure that personal details of clients aren't discussed outside of the workplace, preferably not with anyone who isn't directly involved with the client. It's to prevent any possible damage to the client as well as maintaining their dignity. If a client was damaged by the release of sensitive information, they could take the organisation to court and demand financial compensation.

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Originally Posted by Fighter-of-Wars View Post

Yes, people would be upset, by why should they be pissed at the company? Because they invented something that has it's good uses but people misuse it? It's not the companies fault there are criminals in the world.
I think it's because the company has the responsibility to ensure that their products are used for its intended purpose and not to be misused. Usually companies can get around this a bit through having disclaimers and conditions on the warrenty of their products...
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Last edited by Pa'li Makto; 10-22-2012 at 04:17 AM.
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Old 10-23-2012, 03:34 AM
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Quote:
Well according to the NSPE, engineers are subject to some ethical responsibility regarding how their product is used after it hits the markets. It's like if a company makes a killing off of selling lock picks that will unlock your car in case you lock your keys inside, but it won't set off the car alarm so people don't feel like an idiot for locking their keys in the car. If a company sold a product like that, it can clearly be misused. And if A company did do such a thing, and car break in rates rose, people would be pretty pisssed at the company.
Cars are amazingly easy to break into; they only use wafer locks. In terms of sophistication, these are comparable to the locks in cheap filing cabinets, just slightly more rugged and with more wafers in them - still subpar compared to even a cheap pin tumbler. You can already buy picks for wafer locks that even decode the lock so you get a code you can use to produce a working key - although honestly, you don't need them as you can do it with a piece of wood in many cases.





Skip to 03:16 or use http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...aXBKNY8#t=196s . It's an interesting video throughout, but that is the critical part for my point here.

I'm not even going to go into car alarms, but I'll say that they aren't something you should trust your security too either even before pointing out the human factor - nobody thinks "That car is being broken into!"; they think "I wish that idiot would get their stupid car alarm fixed".

The responsibility is on people selling a system as secure. The truth is that with how the world works, a lot of people think that any system that seems secure is. Exploring vulnerabilities and pointing them out is a time-honoured tradition, going back hundreds of years in the case of locks. In a more general sense, all the person providing the ability needs to do is to advise someone to use it responsibly. If they do something stupid with it - if they go around breaking into random cars and getting arrested, if they shoot themselves in the face with a gun, if they crash a car into a bridge support, it's not the manufacturer's fault. The product works as intended, and they can't be expected to police usage cases. In the case of something with less in the way of legitimate use or that can be considered dangerous enough, such as guns or cars, if there is a need for control, it happens at a regulatory level, not the manufacturer policing by making sure that every last customer is not an idiot, which would require exhaustive and intrusive checks, not to mention the potential mess they would land themselves in when they eventually missed someone who subsequently did do something stupid.
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Old 10-23-2012, 07:14 PM
Tsamsiyu
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I'll find some stuff from my textbook in a couple days, right now I got some essays to finish, but for now here's a brief scenario to consider.

When three wheeled ATVs came out, the engineers had thought them to be single person vehicles. But, the dealers who sold them advertised them as being safe for kids, such as riding double, or riding smaller three wheelers. Initially the 3-wheelers didn't have warning labels and such on them.

Do the engineers then have a responsibility to tell the dealers "Hey, you guys shouldn't advertise these to people as family friendly, we didn't intend them to work this way."

You have to remember that the dealer thought they were family safe, when in reality they were not.

Over the 7-year life of the vehicle, 1/3 riders would experience a life altering injury or death.

Do the engineers have a responsibility to tell the dealers "hey these weren't made for kids"
and do the engineers have some responsibility to say "hey, these are awfully high injury rates, maybe we should reconsider how these are being used?"

note: it was demonstrated by a customer that going a rather slow 18mph over a small bum caused the bike to flip forward and land on the rider. Maybe the engineers intended them to be ridden at speeds below 15mph, but then why make them capable of 45?

A lot is up in the air. There were clearly some design problems, and some misuse problems, but who is to blame?

Solely the rider for trusting the dealer?
Solely the dealer for misunderstanding the product?
Solely the engineer for a faulty design?

Probably a bit of all 3.
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Old 10-27-2012, 03:29 AM
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There isn't anything inherently wrong with the 3-wheeler. It was a well built product that is versitile, fun, and when handled properly, safe.

People didn't use sense when operating them. If someone told you that an airplane is something safe for a child to operate, even though they were designed not to be. Would you let your child fly one without proper training? Of course not, you have the sense to understand what it is capable of.

Many people in the world, getting more so as we progress, don't stop to think of what they are doing, how they are doing it, or whether the way they are doing it is safe or not.

I have two of these infamous dangerous 3-wheeled death traps and haven't had an accident on one yet. Been riding them for years. All that is required to operate it safely while still having fun is proper riding technique, a strong sense of what all is going on with the machine, with where you are driving and many other factors.

People saw it as a toy you can just jump on and ride without care. It's not, just as driving a car isn't, just as flying a plane isn't.

I saw the video of the trike flipping on the rider going over the berm. If you notice the rider's posture. He is just sitting there, not properly moving forward or backward on the machine to correct the balance of the machine while going over the berm or in the air.

It's things like this is why I believe that engineers catch to much flak for their products. It's why I think most disclaimers are really dumb. The one that gets me the most. On mower decks telling you not to stick your hand under the deck when the blades or turning. Who was born without enough sense to understand that? It's harsh to say that but have people really degraded to the level where they need disclaimers on anything and everything?

There was a time when common sense was there to make someone think about what they were doing. And mistakes that can be easily prevented and avoided happen everyday.

I guess you see my opinion on the matter.

It's the riders responsibility to not operate the machine on terrain, at speeds, or in situations that exceed their skill level or ability to perform safely.
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Old 10-28-2012, 12:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fighter-of-Wars View Post
People didn't use sense when operating them. If someone told you that an airplane is something safe for a child to operate, even though they were designed not to be. Would you let your child fly one without proper training? Of course not, you have the sense to understand what it is capable of.
Because it's so trivial to understand in all cases that everyone effectively has a degree in mechanical engineering...

Some of these machines in question are very complex, dangerous, and not necessarily predictable, so making sure the user is aware of what the machine will do under given circumstances is very important. If they already know, great - tell them again, just to make sure! The case mentioned above of the advertisers and the engineers have different ideas of what the machine can do is a recipe for literal disaster.

And if the users don't know, and the advertisers aren't reliable, who's left to educate the users other than the engineers?
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Old 10-28-2012, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarke View Post

And if the users don't know, and the advertisers aren't reliable, who's left to educate the users other than the engineers?
The user themself. If you want to operate something safely, learn to use it correctly.

At the time and today there are courses around that gave instruction on proper operation of ATV's, again it is the users responsibility to know whether or not they can safely operate the machine, and if they can't seek further instruciton.
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Old 10-28-2012, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fighter-of-Wars View Post
The user themself. If you want to operate something safely, learn to use it correctly.

At the time and today there are courses around that gave instruction on proper operation of ATV's, again it is the users responsibility to know whether or not they can safely operate the machine, and if they can't seek further instruciton.
The thing is, originally the machine was being advertised as family safe.

Here's another example though. Batteries. Think of a company that makes batteries, and says their batteries are environmentally friendly. That is, they are environmentally friendly if they are taken to a battery disposing plant, and disposed of properly. But, if they're thrown away in the trash with everything else, they're fairly toxic.

Now, the engineers know that a very small percentage of people will dispose of their batteries properly.

Can they really then say their product is environmentally safe, when in reality it is having a bad effect on the environment, because in reality it's not being disposed of that way, and the engineers know that.

It's kinda like if a company lists their car at 40mpg, but test it under perfect conditions (not downhill, but about as perfect as possible, perfect gear shifts, perfect rev-range from a professional driver) is that really fair?
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It seems like everybody is moving forward. As if there is some final goal they can achieve and get to. I don't get it though. When I look around, it seems like I'm already there, and there is nothing left to do.

"You think you're so clever and classless and free, but you're still ****ing peasants as far as I can see."

I wish I could take just one hour of what I experience out in nature, wrap it in a box, put a bow on it, and start handing out to people

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Old 11-02-2012, 08:21 PM
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The responsibility still exists for them to give appropriate instructions for disposal. If people ignore them, that's a regulatory issue, not a manufacturer issue.

In the car case, there are specific courses on economical driving. Even modern standard driving tests will fault you for driving inefficiently. Generally, quoted MPG is legally regulated, much like quoted broadband speeds in ISP advertising, so even if it isn't as good as some people's use case, it's a consistent comparison across competitors. This is how any measurement system works - water only boils at 100.00 degrees C at standard temperature and pressure and if pure.
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:44 PM
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Well, I'm a Engineer and there's always someone who finds a way to misuse something, even if the instructions are written in a way that even a child would understand unambiguously. You are, probably, familiar with Murphy's Law and that's exactly what happens during the development of an idea and, usually, it is because of those fails that Engineers learn how the device can be used in a wrong way and a substantial stage of development is dedicated to prevent such anomalous issues. Though, given how competitive the World is, most products are not being tested as they should and computer simulations are used to determine the behavior of a device. Simulations are very limited in replicating real world conditions and it only takes a naive human to make a wonderful device a catastrophe.
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
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Even modern standard driving tests will fault you for driving inefficiently.
That would not fly in America Nobody would be driving.
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Old 11-09-2012, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by applejuice View Post
Well, I'm a Engineer and there's always someone who finds a way to misuse something, even if the instructions are written in a way that even a child would understand unambiguously. You are, probably, familiar with Murphy's Law and that's exactly what happens during the development of an idea and, usually, it is because of those fails that Engineers learn how the device can be used in a wrong way and a substantial stage of development is dedicated to prevent such anomalous issues. Though, given how competitive the World is, most products are not being tested as they should and computer simulations are used to determine the behavior of a device. Simulations are very limited in replicating real world conditions and it only takes a naive human to make a wonderful device a catastrophe.
Engineering as social experimentation
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"Pardon me, I wanna live in a fantasy"

"I wish I was a sacrifice but somehow still lived on"

It seems like everybody is moving forward. As if there is some final goal they can achieve and get to. I don't get it though. When I look around, it seems like I'm already there, and there is nothing left to do.

"You think you're so clever and classless and free, but you're still ****ing peasants as far as I can see."

I wish I could take just one hour of what I experience out in nature, wrap it in a box, put a bow on it, and start handing out to people

Nature has its own religion; gospel from the land

I know I was born and I know that I'll die; The in between is mine."
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:01 PM
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Haha!

Should we compile a list of misused devices???

Here my two cents:
Electrical extensions/cords
Duck tape
Polyethylene tie strips
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:33 AM
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It's probably quicker to compile a list of non-misused devices. It would be a very short list.
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Old 11-16-2012, 05:40 AM
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True. Sad but true.
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