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Comment Re:...uhh (Score 4, Interesting) 177

Every signal that we have sent out requires them to be visually oriented. Do you think the TV signals we beam into space will make any sense to beings that communicate ultrasonically? An encoded 2D image interlaced with alternate lines 30 times a second won't be of much use to intelligent vampire bats.

What about beings from an ice planet that communicate with different temperatures of liquid methane? Or beings that communicate using pheromones? Or interference patterns of UV radiation? Or any other sensory stimuli that we haven't even imagined yet.

We also try sending out mathematical sequences we assume they will recognize, like Pi. Except many mathematicians think Tau is a better constant to broadcast. (Tau is 2 x Pi. Tau fits many mathematical equations much better than Pi.) Pi and Tau are great constants for plane geometry, but what about beings that live in water or other liquid media. Circles are very rare in water. Spheres are much more common and the use of Pi may or may not be instantly recognizable. What about a constant that describes the relationship of the volume of a sphere to its radius/diameter?

There have been many studies that show that one method of communication that covers long distances is artificial gravity waves. Until we can send or receive these signals, we might be looked at like newborns clapping their hands and thinking they are communicating.


Comment Re:Don't fly over people or private property. (Score 3, Informative) 184

Uh, what? That's kind of ridiculous - that's like 20 times the average liability for car insurance. Far more damage is done by a car than a 4-lb quad, and far more frequently.

Actually, it isn't that far off the mark. Any RC hobbyist that joins the AMA does have an impressive insurance coverage.

Member Insurance Benefit

$2.5 Million Liability Umbrella
$25,000 Medical Coverage
$1,000 Fire and Theft Coverage

Comment Re:Why should the FAA allow drones without COAs? (Score 2) 184

Get a grip. We are talking about toy quadcopters, not military-grade autonomous vehicles. A certificate of airworthiness for a six-inch quadcopter? A license to fly an RC toy? I'm sure you're also an advocate for licenses for kite "pilots" too.

Yeah, I can imagine your next argument too. "I mean the six-foot hexapod copters carrying three cameras and FPV downlinks." Your problem there is using the nebulous and incorrect term DRONE to lump everything together. If you have a problem with six-foot professionally manufactured multi-rotor vehicles, THEN SAY SO!!! Don't lump everything from a smartphone controlled toy from Fry's together with a heavy-lift multi-rotor carrying a Sony HD, gimbal mounted camera package.

Most people are familiar enough with cars that they don't get their knickers in a twist about regulating every wheeled vehicle the same way. We don't worry about Tesla cars driving on off-road trails and we don't allow quad utility vehicles on the freeways. To call every multi-rotor air vehicle a Drone is like calling every wheeled vehicle a Horseless carriage. And seeking licenses for every version of multi-rotor vehicles is like requiring a license for roller skates.

If you really want to discuss COA and licenses, then be specific about what class of air vehicles you are talking about. I don't have a problem with licenses and COA for six-foot, eighty pound camera platforms that will be flying over property and people. I understand that if they crash into a crowd then there is a real potential for injury. But a 12-inch, two pound toy with a pin-hole camera making videos for Facebook and YouTube worries me about as much as a badly thrown Frisbee.


Comment Re:Congressionally mandated penalty (Score 2) 184

I wonder if we can do that for ALL of congress and the government. Don't do the job you are mandated? You don't get paid.

I wonder if they will remember that in December when they threaten to shut down the gov't again because they can't agree on a debt ceiling resolution.


Comment Interesting science (Score 5, Interesting) 61

This is a great breakthrough in analyzing ancient human origins. It would be interesting to use this technique to gain more insight on the origins and migration patterns of early north and south american populations. The Bearing Sea land bridge and south american sea voyage origins are still very confusing and incomplete.


Comment Re:(intentionally blank) (Score 3, Informative) 268

True, but if the printer was more accurate on calculating the "empty" state, you would be getting a lower cost per job. Print costs on wide format printers like the 9900 are measured in printed square feet, not pages. Average use on the 9900 is between 1.2-1.5 ml/sqft so the ~120 ml remaining in the cartridge could print another 100 sqft of output.

Any way you calculate it, a waste factor of 20% is a bit high for any print cartridge.


Comment Re:total bullshit? (Score 2) 344

Most people don't like to use several e-mail accounts. It's a pain in the butt. If she was used to using that one and used it as she communicated with the officials that became her superiors and subordinates before becoming Secretary of State while planning the transition, then they were used to contacting here there and she was used to contacting them from there.

"Pain in the butt" is not a justification of using a personal email account for official government business.

Should she have switched to a government-provided e-mail account? Probably. I don't say, "absolutely," specifically because of the high profile leaks that we've seen over the last decade, such that the mail might actually have been safer on that server that no one thought to compromise than on a government one.

The answer should obviously be "absolutely". The law states all official correspondence must be on a government secured system. This assures all email is kept, archived, and secured. She used a personal email system specifically to get around these safeguards, going so far as to warn her people not to use their government accounts to contact her. She knew exactly what she was doing -- keeping her comments and communications out of the government archived system.

Nixon erased 18 minutes of tape - Hillary erased 50% of her emails. Both were trying to hide things.


Comment Re:Wrong people to strip (Score 1) 576

In fact, Mexican workers that are paid "under-the-table" (as in they don't have anything taxes taken out of their paycheck) are relatively rare. Meaning they financially contribute to a system under which they are considered as faceless statistics and under which they have no voice.

Relatively rare? So where do the rest of the illegal aliens send their taxes? Do they fill out a W-4 with a fake SSN? Do they use a fake Tax ID number instead? Since they can't claim any excess taxes because they don't file, do they claim 10 exemptions to minimize the withholding amount?

And what about all the petitioners that are waiting 20+ years for their chance to legally immigrate to the U.S.? Are we to tell them "Sorry, the illegal population is so large that we don't have room for you again this year."?


Comment Re:Time to hold the government accountable (Score 5, Informative) 213

but using a stingray isn't a violation of anyone's rights, so good for them.

Wrong. It is illegal to use a Stingray to capture information without a warrant.

Judge Kendra Ausby ruled last week that the police should not have used a stingray to track Andrews without a search warrant, and she said prosecutors could not use any of the evidence found at the time of his arrest.

In this case the POLICE are the ones violating your rights by employing Stingrays without a warrant and the judges are telling them so. Just because you don't consider it a breach of your privacy doesn't mean the rest of us have to agree with you and give up our rights.


Comment Re: they weren't marines: one USAF, one Oregon NG (Score 1) 468

The Medal of Honor is only awarded for actions involving combat with an enemy of the United States. They might be awarded other medals (and the photo in the story suggests they have been awarded at least one) but not the Medal of Honor.

As Etherwalk suggests, read the history and criteria of the Medal of Honor in the link he provided.


He's dead, Jim.