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Comment: How about a more realistic list (Score 2) 213

by DanDD (#49066893) Attached to: Oxford University Researchers List 12 Global Risks To Human Civilization

The only ones on the list that have any factual basis:

1. Major asteroid impact
2. Super volcano
3. Ecological catastrophe

The others in the list seem to be the result fanciful imaginations or anti-science fear mongering. So, I'd like to add two more item to the list:

4. Failure to understand history/philosophy/science (aversion to rational thought)
5. Poisoned minds, poisoned cultures

Comment: Re:Mathematics is to universial to turn nationalis (Score 1) 187

Nations are never great. Societies and cultures that choose to be free - free to think, free to choose, free to express, free to travel and study anything - are what history has shown to be great.

Any country that allows it's people to be truly free will eventually be great, and will be remembered as great. Sometimes people forget who and why a group of people came to be known as great, but as we forget and repeat history, we will re-learn.

Comment: Umm, no. (Score 0, Flamebait) 187

An Indian website hosts an article about an Indian mathematician who asks, "Did India discover Pythagoras theorem? A top mathematician answers" Gee, I wonder what his conclusion will be?

It seems the cradle of western civilization isn't close enough to India's back yard for most Indian's tastes. Given the opportunity, they'd re-write history. Anti-American sentiment, along with anti-western sentiment, runs deep, and maybe for good reason. But whatever that reason, Indian's perpetual desire to re-write history ad nauseam is growing a bit old. What next, an article about how an Indian, not a Greek documented and used calculus in the 3rd century BC, long before Newton?

It would be delightful if India could point to an original Indian version of Euclid's Elements, the oldest continuously used textbook in history. Such books shape minds for, well, eons, by teaching logical & rational thought. Seemed to work well for Abraham Lincoln, he carried around a copy in his saddle bag and studied it while traveling.

Instead of self-glorifying episodic re-writes, how about discussing continuous, progressive and well reasoned contributions to culture and civilization?

Comment: Re:"Still a youngster" is an invalid option. (Score 1) 286

by DanDD (#48653029) Attached to: At 40, a person is ...

The evolutionary perspective that holds post-menopausal women as a dead end is not a very well developed perspective.

Please go back and refresh your readings on sociobiology, cultural evolution, and game theory. And next time you get bit by an ant or stung by a bee, realize that mother nature begs to differ as well.

In short, for a male human the cost of creating an embryo is virtually nothing - a few beers, the possibility of rejection, etc. For a female human, the cost is huge. It takes a well developed social structure to support a gestating female and see her offspring through development, regardless of how developed (or not) her society is. Post-menopausal woman are an important and interesting part of this support structure. Cookies and quilts are more than just quaint - a lack of Grandmas is a disadvantage for any human offspring. One of mine taught me how to shoot a firearm accurately and kill, clean and cook chickens.

Comment: Re:For safe integration with existing air traffic (Score 1) 129

by DanDD (#48570403) Attached to: Report: Big Issues Remain Before Drones Can Safely Access National Airspace

An aircraft can be equipped with any manner of cameras, sensors and antennas and still be operated as a non-commercial flight.

What is more interesting is the manner in which this equipment is added to an aircraft. Modifying an aircraft without some engineering oversight is generally a bad idea - people die from the unintended consequences of things coming lose, falling off, or by simply being a distraction in the cockpit.

Even 'experimental' aircraft must go through a well defined FAA certification program to make sure reasonable safety precautions are taken. Expect the same for drones that fly beyond visible range of the operator and that mix with other aircraft, manned or unmanned.

Comment: Re:For safe integration with existing air traffic (Score 1) 129

by DanDD (#48570381) Attached to: Report: Big Issues Remain Before Drones Can Safely Access National Airspace

This list is my stab at things that might be essential to keep drones and airplanes from crashing into each other by allowing safe separation and accurate position reporting. If it's ridiculous, then please come up with a better list.

Of note, I did exclude an image sensor, which all manned aircraft currently have in the form of Mark I eyeballs. Perhaps drones should include a vision system of some kind as well.

Comment: Re:For safe integration with existing air traffic (Score 2) 129

by DanDD (#48570357) Attached to: Report: Big Issues Remain Before Drones Can Safely Access National Airspace

I failed to address lots of specifics - specifics which need to be addressed to keep from risking lives.

Crop dusters fly around at low altitudes all over this country, as do many other GA and commercial aircraft, and they are all within their legal right to do so. A few weeks ago I encountered a couple of NASA aircraft operating around 200 AGL while taking air samples. One of those aircraft was a P3 Orion.

Few people realize what a complex task it is to integrate into the nations existing aviation infrastructure. It is a complex engineered system and it needs to be dealt with carefully.

Comment: Re:So what you mean is... (Score 2) 129

by DanDD (#48570335) Attached to: Report: Big Issues Remain Before Drones Can Safely Access National Airspace

Lose a friend or a family member in an airplane crash and you'll be a dick too.

The point isn't to 'own' the skies - it's to share as broadly and as safely as possible.

Just because you can afford to buy or operate some new tech toy doesn't mean you automatically have the right to go barging in to a complex engineered system without training and some reasonable adherence to regulations.

Comment: Re:For safe integration with existing air traffic (Score 1) 129

by DanDD (#48569853) Attached to: Report: Big Issues Remain Before Drones Can Safely Access National Airspace

As for being a licensed drone pilot being a different class - agreed. Vertigo isn't likely to be a factor!

Ideally there would be 'drone recovery areas' where an autopilot would fly to automatically in the event of lost communications. There are lots of little details like this to work out. The big unanswered questions are those dealing with how to integrate safely with existing traffic. I'm not at all convinced that the FAA has a clear answer.

Comment: Re:So what you mean is... (Score 1) 129

by DanDD (#48569811) Attached to: Report: Big Issues Remain Before Drones Can Safely Access National Airspace

I have no concern for greasing bureaucrats palms - my concern is for my own life and the lives of those I share the skies with - as both a passenger and a pilot.

I've invested heavily in my flight training and I take the safety of myself, my passengers, and those I share the sky with very seriously.

Drone operators will take the safety of the entire aviation system seriously as well - either by will or by enforced regulation.

Comment: For safe integration with existing air traffic (Score 2, Interesting) 129

by DanDD (#48569745) Attached to: Report: Big Issues Remain Before Drones Can Safely Access National Airspace

At the minimum, these are the requirements for somewhat safe integration into the existing airspace. Anything less is asking for big troubles for any private and commercial air traffic that shares the sky with these things:

1. Mode S Transponder
2. ADSB In & Out
3. Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS)
4. May only operate in areas with active radar coverage under IFR flight plan (some legal airplanes do not have a transponder!)
4. Operators must be in constant contact and control of the drone and must be licensed pilots
5. altitude & airspace restrictions ( right of way: licensed drone rotorcraft fixed-wing airship )

Otherwise, they can keep below 300 AGL and in line of sight with their operators.

Anything less and drones will be a threat to anyone that flies on any airplane, anywhere.

Comment: Lead by example (Score 1) 584

by DanDD (#48520399) Attached to: Programmer Father Asks: What Gets Little Girls Interested In Science?

The only role model that such a young girl needs are her parents. Be the change you want to see in the world.

Read stories to her that paint women in a different light. Here are some suggestions:

1. The story of Gorgo, queen of Sparta and wife of Leonidas. Gorgo was probably the first documented woman cryptanalyst in the history of western civilization. Reference: Codebreakers.

2. A beautiful and educated woman named Hedy Lamarr invented spread-spectrum technology. We can thank her for modern wifi and cell phones. Reference: Spread Spectrum: Hedy Lamarr and the mobile phone

3. Amelia Earhart, a famous aviatrix and record setter: Who Was Amelia Earhart?

4. Jerri Mock, the first woman to fly solo around the world, . She did this in a single engine Cessna 180. Her autobiography has been recently re-released: Three-Eight Charlie: 1st Woman to Fly Solo Around the World

Read to her. Daily. Schedule at least 6 hours per week.

Limit her exposure to television. When she does watch television, explain to her that much of what is on television is sexist, unenlightened and designed to extract money from the mindless consumer masses. Be thankful that as a girl she isn't likely to descent into the life-sucking hell of video games, but limit (eliminate?) exposure to gaming anyway, for everyone in your house, parents and kids alike. Children cannot grow and flourish if a majority of their free time is spent manipulating pixels in synthetic worlds.

Have her choose a musical instrument. Buy a quality instrument that produces nice sounds. Hire a tutor. Take lessons with her if you don't already play an instrument.

As she gets a little older, buy educational toys for her, such as an electronics kit. You'll probably have to play with her yourself with such toys as other kids her age might not be interested.

Be the change you want to see in the world.

"Text processing has made it possible to right-justify any idea, even one which cannot be justified on any other grounds." -- J. Finnegan, USC.