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Comment: Not a reasonable complaint (Score 1) 718

by AlecC (#48633609) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

I am afraid that, as I use the language, deniers are skeptics. Illogical or irrational skeptics, maybe, compared to the rational skeptics that the complainants would like to reserve the word for. Denying the evidence of your eyes is both skeptical and sometimes foolish.

Comment: Not getting overexcited (Score 1) 202

by AlecC (#48385533) Attached to: Department of Justice Harvests Cell Phone Data Using Planes

I don't get overexcited by this. It is just observing stuff in a public place. We don't get upset by policemen looking at the faces of all passers by, when searching for a miscreant. If you want to use the cellphone system you are going to broadcast and anybody, good or bad, can pick up your transmissions. It is a downside of a technology we didn't have thirty years ago, and a technology with a lot of advantages.You similarly "broadcast" your car's registration number all the time.

My problem, so far as it goes, is with the various authorities secrecy about it. I think the police should be "keeping an eye" on the neighbourhood - and they should be open about it. If what they are doing it, they should be open about it. If it needs to be hidden, they shouldn't be doing it - in broad principle, if not the details. The police should not have dirty secrets (applies less to counter-intelligence agencies). If they are ashamed of this program, they should not be doing it. If they are not ashamed, tell us what it does.

Comment: Re:That gigantic sucking sound... (Score 0) 89

by AlecC (#48360671) Attached to: Google To Lease and Refurbish Naval Air Base For Space Exploration

So why are you not complaining about Google Maps, the self driving cars, attempting to digitise all books ever etc.? They do a lot of things that are about wild new ideas, or just raising the brand identity. You sound very confident of your own knowledge - if you cant thing of a good use for it, there cannot be one, Nice to be omniscient.

Comment: Re:Let lawyers do it free, in exchange for % damag (Score 3, Insightful) 268

by AlecC (#48359331) Attached to: GNOME Project Seeks Donations For Trademark Battle With Groupon

It may seem clear cut to you, but it does not seem so to me nor several other contributors.

A Trademark does not provide a universal protection for the word, only within a limited, named, commercial field. Sun Oil and Sun Computers co-existed using the name Sun. Gnome has trademarked the word for software and seoftware related services. Groupon's tablet is not software. No overlap.

Comment: Re:How much? (Score 1) 92

by AlecC (#48002559) Attached to: DHL Goes Live With 'Parcelcopter' Drone Delivery Service

And are such things, with autonomous capability including docking, available now, as autonomous quadcopters are? The point is that this is not a research exercise, this is going into day by day carrying parcels people urgently need delivered safely. If the sphereboat is available off the shelf (and as well as being unsinkable can also not be wrecked on the shore or washed out to the open ocean)), it might make a good alternative.

Of course, this is also a tryout for more generalised future delivery systems which, being overland, would not be appropriate for a boat.

The first time, it's a KLUDGE! The second, a trick. Later, it's a well-established technique! -- Mike Broido, Intermetrics

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