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Comment Re:quads brought noobs. (Score 1) 192

The government should be looking at regulating assisted flight like GPS and autonomous type of models and not regular RC airplanes and helicopters. As you mentioned... They are the source of the problems when it comes to the public. Anyone can buy one and fly it wherever without any experience. Joe public can't just go buy a normal RC airplane or helicopter (without GPS) and go fly it over a public gathering. They would crash it before it even got off the ground without a lot of practice or help from others more experienced which might introduce them to the AMA.

Comment Drone definition definitely needs to be redifined (Score 1) 92

Drones should be defined as devices that can act autonomously or be guided remotely through a live video stream all of which done without line of sight flying. I can certainly see the risks with these devices. Model aircraft should be defined as radio control aircraft that does not have autonomous or first person view features and is flown line of sight. The risks with "model aircraft" are much lower than "Drones" as defined above. The model aircraft hobbyist that have been flying for many decades safely should not be clumped in with drones when it comes to regulations. There are already regulations for "Model aircraft" defined by the FAA which AMA helps to define for hobbyists. With that said there still should be a minimum drone size that would not be regulated. A $15 drone that you can buy at walmwart and only fly within about 100 feet before going out of range and not have GPS should not be burdened with registration or any such restrictions. LA county just passed a low restricting flying to 400 feet in that city for all unmanned aircraft clumping in "model aircraft" that the RC hobbyist use including sailplanes that do not have motors. That pretty much kills the sailplane hobby where you fly a non motorized aircraft and try to find thermals to climb up higher. The launch heights are around 500 to 600 feet when launched by a winch from the ground. They wouldn't even be able to launch their model aircraft. I mainly fly Discus Hand Launch Gilders (DLG) that do not have motors to propel them. You spin around while grabbing the wing and release it like a discus which launches the aircraft to around 130 to 280 feet. Once gravity kicks in you flatten out and then search for thermals to take you higher. The thermals are just forming around that height and require flying to around 500 to 800 feet to get to the best air for thermals. Keep in mind DLGs do not have motors so we completely depend on the air heating up and going up taking our glider with it. We always have line of sight when flying and there are no special electronics on them. No GPS, etc. There are dozens of competitions every year in the US (f3k) and it would be very sad for us to lose the hobby because of these new "Drones" that are becoming popular that have GPS and autonomous features. My fear is that by clumping all the hobby aircraft like sailplanes into the "Drone" definition they will be restricted too and ruin this great hobby.

Comment What if it were not digital? (Score 1) 261

So what would happen if this happened without digital means? What would happen if a boy at age 14 for instance exposed himself to a girl that was 14. What would happen if a girl exposed herself to a boy that was 14. What would happen if the same sex exposed themself to the same sex? What would happen if they both did it at the same time (boy/girl boy/boy girl/girl)? Normally I would think this would be a family issue where the two families would deal with it privately. If there is some conflict and it can not get worked out then the law should be involved.

Whatever the answer is to that it should be the same thing regardless of the medium that it was done.

Comment Trimensional app also an interesting 3d scanner (Score 1) 48

There is a similar app on iOS that I have played with. It does work a little differently though. I takes 4 pictures of an object up close to the camera by moving a white light around the edges of the screen (while the camera stays in one place) in a dark room and uses the shadows to map the 3d object. Seems to work ok but does require a dark room and the object to be very close to the camera. This one works entirely on the phone and doesn't involve a cloud.

Comment Most RC model aircraft are not drones (Score 1) 142

A drone is supposed to be an unmanned aircraft that can fly autonomously. RC model airplanes/helicopters can be designed or equipment added to make them fit that description but most RC model aircraft do not fit that description at all and are not drones. RC Model aircraft tend to be flown within the visual line of sight and always actively controlled the entire time by the RC pilot while watching the airspace around them. Drones on the other hand have features that allow the drone to take over controls at times and some can be flown out of the controllers sight either by GPS waypoints or FPV.

People flying RC model aircraft can see a big patch of sky at once when higher up. We can hear commercial airplanes or helicopters and see them coming even at 5000 feet and above (I have never flown more than 2500 feet) so even if we were to be close to their path we can easily move away from their path in plenty of time to avoid any issues. It is really a non-issue unless someone deliberately wanted to cause problems (which legislation couldn't stop anyway). I have been flying RC since 1992 even around my home up to 2400 feet and have never been anywhere near the path of a commercial helicopter or airplane and I live near the city. I never fly when I hear an aircraft approaching. If you are up flying then any low (300 to 800 feet) commercial aircraft you can hear way ahead of time and bring it down or move it far away from them before they get close. Most other airplanes are in the 5000 feet range where I live. I tend to fly my motorless Discus Hand Launch Glider (DLG) usually around 150 to 1500 feet (when I catch thermals). At that altitude you can see and still hear airplanes approach miles away and easily not be anywhere near them when they approach overhead just in case they are around your RC model's altitude.

I have been flying RC model aircraft since 1992 and the biggest trouble spot that I can think of is drones (or RC model aircraft) that are flown via first person view (FPV) far away from the viewer or up high. People looking at a video monitor or video goggles have a much harder time seeing other objects around them. People tend to fly them much further away too (some are flying them miles away). While a few more expensive models have a VR type control to move your head left/right/up/down to look around while flying, that still is not as good as viewing from the ground and always keeping the model within eye sight from the ground so that you (or a friend) can look out for other air traffic. Some are only flown within line of sight so it shouldn't be a problem but for those flying further away it can be an issue.

Comment Motorless gliders can be thrown higher than 200` (Score 1) 142

While RC gliders are not drones I am concerned that they be clumped into these drone restrictions. DLG RC gliders are 1.5m sailplanes without motors. They are thrown like a discus with a peg in the wing to hold onto for the spin and release. They do have servos to control the surfaces but they do not have a motor to propel them. Once they are thrown you must search for thermals to keep them up and go higher. Top DLG RC pilots can throw them 240 to 280 feet right from the ground which is already over their highly restrictive limit. It is ridiculous that some commercial company comes by and tries to dictate that we now must fly below 200 feet so that they can use the space above that for their commercial drone use.

Comment Already being done (cloud seeding) (Score 1) 367

Countries (including US) are actively doing things to adjust the climate already. The sad part is we are already doing things to influence the climate that we have no clue how we are affecting things in the long term. We can't even come to a real conclusion on global warming and what is causing it... let alone figuring out what would happen if we try to correct it or adjust it purposefully. Even if we could adjust the climate temperature it could just be building us up for a much bigger natural adjustment to compensate.

Comment Re:All cloud services story needs this in the head (Score 1) 145

That is correct. There are things that I deem not important but nice to have with an unlimited plan. Car DVR recordings (I never even look at them honestly), some movie backups (I can recreate them if i had to), full system backups (encrypted of course and financial stuff not stored in them) older than 2 years, etc. If the storage is unlimited I was just going to always store everything I have had.

Comment Re:All cloud services story needs this in the head (Score 1) 145

Unlimited... "for now" Take bitcasa as an example. I bought the unlimited plan a few years ago and just renewed a month ago at $99 a year. They just sent an email that I have until around mid November to get all my data out by around mid November or the data will be deleted unless I subscribe to the new 10 TB plan for $99 a month. There is no chance I could afford that so I am forced to remove my data. Luckily I had most of it already local otherwise it would take a long time to download all of my data from the cloud. I have decided not to be suckered into this one either. I have a feeling Microsoft is just trying to sway people to their online storage and Office suite. Give it 4 or 5 years and I wonder if they might do the same thing (remove unlimited).

Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most vicious animal on earth.