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Comment: Re:Perhaps stupid question (Score 1) 310

Well, after they recognized what it was they knew its approximate size, thus could determine the distance and hence determine that it was dangerously close. This is not in contradiction to them not being aided by air traffic protocol and not being able to gauge the distance before that instant.

Comment: Re: Perhaps stupid question (Score 1) 310

Please notice the qualification "steady flight". Birds are moving. That's how I wanted to avoid this question, but since you asked ...

You can probably recognize a bird as such and thus gauge its size (as it is an object you would expect to encounter), whereas a drone could have any shape or color or may even be made to look like a typical helicopter scaled down. There's no a priori estimate of such an object's size.

Comment: Perhaps stupid question (Score 2) 310

How do these rules deal with the possibility that you cannot gauge the distance? For an object in midair the only available measure of distance is the size of the object. A drone is much smaller than any object you're usually encountering in steady flight (another helicopter, say). Hence you're going to significantly overestimate the distance. Or so would be my thought. Please educate.

Comment: So, for the sake of equality (Score 1) 498

Putin should allow Czechnia, Dagestan and Inguchechia to vote about their independence of Russia. After all, neither of these parts of Russia has more than 4% ethnic Russians (whatever that means, they don't print ethnicities in passports like they did in the Soviet Union, right?).

Comment: Re:Your wrong by an order of magnitude (Score 1) 310

by Bananenrepublik (#46423187) Attached to: Facebook Wants To Block Illegal Gun Sales

Out of the 13000 deaths tallied in that statistic I quoted, 1200 were flagged as suicides. Much too large a number, but not essential to the argument. So we can leave them aside for the sake of the argument. I was talkign order of magnitude, not something accurate to 10%. Nevertheless, you may want to think about whether the gun-owning father whose kid shot himself with the gun did something "wrong" or not (let's put it into moral categories, if you don't like the word "irresponsible").

Ok, so it's 1 in 10000 gun owners per year does something bad, or one in 1000 over the lifetime of a gun (hey, 10 years is a low estimate). I would consider that too high a fraction of the owners of a deadly implement. You disagree, fine. That doesn't take away from my oiginal point, namely that your common-sense argument was based on an estimate of yours that was wrong by several orders of magnitude. As an aside: In order to illustrate why it's the 0.0something% that count and not the 99.9999something%, let me give an example : living next to a volcano that has a 10^-4 probability of erupting the next year is quite different from a volcano that has a 10^-2 probability. Even though the 99.99% probability that all goes well looks very similar to the 99% near the other volcano, I'm fairly sure that you wouldn't build your house next to the 10^-2 volcano.

What this had to do with the lower socio-economic standing of blacks, and the biasedness of the court system against them, completely escapes me. Gun owners are not born with their deadly implements that scare other people (or whatever comparison you're drawing).

Comment: Re:Your wrong by an order of magnitude (Score 1) 310

by Bananenrepublik (#46422123) Attached to: Facebook Wants To Block Illegal Gun Sales

Ahhh. Another person who either failed logic 101 or who likes to skew facts. You assume that all gun deaths = irresponsible gun owners. How about these categories?

That's certainly fine for an estimate of order of magnitude, especially as the statistic I was referring to only counted deaths actually reported in the media, and therefore probably happening in more outrageous circumstances. And yes, I believe that virtually all gun deaths (and injuries inflicted by guns, which are not even tallied in that number) are irresponsible.

Police shootings. Yes, there are some cops who should not have a badge or a gun. But the vast majority of them are responsible public servants. I would say that when a police officer shoots a dangerous criminal it is not irresponsible.

No, but the criminal wielding a gun certainly is.

Similarly, a gun used by a responsible and honest citizen to protect their own life and the lives of their loved ones is hardly an irresponsible use of a gun. To argue otherwise indicates that you value the lives of criminals over that of decent citizens.

Again, probably the criminal was using a gun irresponsibly himself. And no, I don't value the life of a "decent" citizen over that of a criminal. I believe in the right to self-defence, but it's still a tragedy if somebody is hurt in the outcome.

Many gun deaths are suicides. The belief that getting rid of guns would prevent these deaths is naive. I would say that a bottle of whisky and a bottle of sleeping pills are easier to get than a box of bullets. Guns are an effective suicide tool, but are far from the only tool available.

That doesn't change the fact that suicide with a gun requires an irresponsible gun owner -- which is what your number was about.

Also my statistic of 99.999% was a very rough approximation. I have not done the math recently. It may be 99.995%. Even if it is only 99.99%, the point still stands that it makes little sense to restrict the rights of all because a tiny minority abuses it.

As I pointed out, the number is probably closer to 99.8%. Where's the threshold? You said, irresponsible ownership of a gun is very seldom -- hugely underestimating its frequency when you were making that argument. Maybe that's something to think about instead of something to rationalize.

Plus, criminals, by definition, do not obey the law and are happy to purchase guns illegally. Taking away rights only harms the honest people. Need I point out that almost all mass shootings happen in "gun-free" zones?

Right, and criminals don't purchase guns legally. Anyway, that's a discussion that's so old and tiring -- and besides the point, see "suicides" -- that we don't need to have it here, as we're certainly not going to agree.

Comment: Your wrong by an order of magnitude (Score 1) 310

by Bananenrepublik (#46417155) Attached to: Facebook Wants To Block Illegal Gun Sales

You might want to check your percentages:
1) deaths by gunfire in US in 2013: > 12000
2) gun owners: roughly 20% of US population, i.e. roughly 60 Million people

Therefore the fraction of irresponsible gun owners in 2013 is around 12 000 / 60 Mill = 0.02%. This is an order of magnitude more than you claimed. The number is certainly not negligibly small as you seemed to try to suggest.

The number is going to shrink a little if one factors in events were several people were killed, but then 12000 is a lower bound to begin with. Taking into account the duration of gun ownership (it doesn't matter whether the killing happens in the first or the twentieth year of ownership) and non-lethal encounters (also irresponsible), we're almost certain to gain another order of magnitude.

Comment: Re:Selling assult weapons (Score 1) 310

by Bananenrepublik (#46417065) Attached to: Facebook Wants To Block Illegal Gun Sales

restricting the rights of the 99.999% of the people who did nothing wrong.

You might want to check your percentages. More than 12000 people died due to gunfire in 2013. Roughly 20% of americans own guns, i.e. some 60 Million. I.e. the fraction of gun owners abusing their guns: roughly 12000 / 60 Mill = 2e-4 = 0.02%, which is an order of magnitude more than you claimed.

Comment: Re:BS (Score 1) 342

Oh and yeah,we have weak inflation, not full deflation. So prices are rising, but lower than the 2% target inflation rate.

In other words, some prices rise, some fall. For some products it might make (microeconomic) sense to delay buying, leading to the (macroeconomic) reduced overall demand, furthering the deflation problem. It's not like there's a line where the government's averaging method says "zero inflation" and suddenly everything collapses, it's a transition where deflation can at some point become self-reinforcing.

Comment: Re:LLVM didn't start at Apple (Score 1) 1098

by Bananenrepublik (#46066263) Attached to: FSF's Richard Stallman Calls LLVM a 'Terrible Setback'

Can you point me to this offer? I only found this, which is close to what you say, but there's no explicit offer of copyright assignment, only a feeling that the community would go along with it. The thread went nowhere, and I don't see RMS weighing in. Boy, would I have wished for a GPL'ed LLVM!

But as I said: GCC is not inferior to LLVM even after all these years, so I wouldn't exactly call it a loss to GCC. A setback yes, as now Xcode isn't free, Objective C isn't well-supported in gcc anymore, lots of people badmouth GCC (just look at the comments on this story), the resources Apple threw into LLVM are lost for GCC development etc.

Oh, and I see that I made an editing error in my original mail: I somehow dropped the part where I said that the mail by RMS that made this story was actually a response to ESR's factually challenged e-mail.

Comment: LLVM didn't start at Apple (Score 1) 1098

by Bananenrepublik (#46065357) Attached to: FSF's Richard Stallman Calls LLVM a 'Terrible Setback'

Factually incorrect: LLVM was started at the University of Illinois (see wikipedia). Apple essentially bought it when they decided that they didn't want to go GPLv3 (probably out of fear that the patent clauses would make it harder for them to sue Samsung or something, I would really love if someone could explain to me what's wrong about the GPLv3. Tivoization?). Now the biggest company on Earth has been pumping money into it for several years, and GCC is still as good or ahead. Perhaps GCC's structure isn't as bad as people make it out to be ... Imagine if there wouldn't have been LLVM perhaps Xcode would be Free?

Concerning this story it might be worth pointing out that ESR tried to start a flamewar on the GCC lists with a factually incorrect rant (factoids that people around here also seem to believe are true, like "llvm error messages are better" -- gcc did a lot of work in that regard, "GCC doesn't want to be modular" -- actually, they're working on that, "GCC doesn't allow plugins or being plugged in" -- nonsense, anecdotal evidence about better optimization in LLVM etc.)

ESR's two rants can be found here and here (didn't take him too long to use a gun metaphor), replies from the gcc communities are downthread. There you will also find the most common myths about GCC and LLVM disspelled.

A continuing flow of paper is sufficient to continue the flow of paper. -- Dyer