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Comment: Re:diluting the market (Score 4, Interesting) 247 247

Huh. My 2000 GMC 3/4 ton pickup would like to run you over. Still runs fine, only mild rust despite spending 14 years in a 'precipitating marine environment. Yep, it's had various bits replaced but that's how a piece of equipment runs for 20 years.

Comment: Re:Running around naked (Score 2) 103 103

At least in the US, public nudity should be considered a violation of the Geneva Convention, the Smoot-Hawley Act, general concepts of decency and a Crime Against Nature.

There is a reason that cultures uniformly (pun intended, I suppose) develop social norms that include clothing.

Comment: Re:Weight Ratio (Score 2) 268 268

This might not have been a 'five pound drone'. The most annoying part of the reporting on this incident has been a lack of clear description of what sort of device it actually was. According to the Ars article it was flying 800+ feet above ground at an altitude of 11,000 feet above sea level. That implies a class of UAV more sophisticated that the $1000 Phantoms. TFA implied that this was a professional class drone which could have weighed in the 10 kg range.

That sort of object hurts when you ingest them.

Comment: Re:Why fight forest fires with airplanes? (Score 1) 268 268

Except that most of the forest fires happen on Federal land. Especially in the western US, the Federal government owns huge tracts of land. If you don't do anything then you are liable for damages when problems on your property start interfering with others. The government does have some immunity to suits like this but has been successfully sued for damages caused by forest fires.

People are starting to think along your lines but old bad habits die hard, especially when you have to pay for them yourself.

Comment: Re:Emergency services? (Score 1) 118 118

(Flooded area...Jetpack Guy flies in near house with a family of 4 on top of it, as the flood waters rise...)

Jetpack guy sees problem, calls in real helicopter.....

All of your scenarios imply that Mr. Jetpack has to save the day by him / her self. Real rescues are a team sport.

That said, it isn't a compelling sort of thing to own. Expensive, likely cranky of maintenance and training. Limited range. More useful to get a bunch of cheap drones and running around looking for people to help.

Comment: Re:obvious solution (Score 3, Interesting) 175 175

But you aren't going to get anywhere near a forest fire in a little battery powered drone. Watch the big heavy helicopters bounce around over the flames. A drone is going to go tits up rapidly in any updraft. After you lose your thousand dollar toy you might think of a less expensive stupid hobby next time - like buying a boat.

A drone sitting over the firefighters or behind them is going to be completely out of the flight line. No danger to anybody since all of the firefighters are wearing hard hats anyway.

And hopefully, the pros with the $20 000 drones that have the range and altitude to get in the way are smart enough to read the NOTAMs and have some common sense. Yes, there will be exceptions, but you can't make stupid illegal. Adding more anti stupid regulations is rarely successful.

If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts. -- Albert Einstein

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