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Comment: Carma is a beautiful thing (Score 3, Insightful) 155

by Dereck1701 (#47913847) Attached to: Court: Car Dealers Can't Stop Tesla From Selling In Massachusetts

The big car manufacturers have been trying to use the dealership laws to prevent a competitor from bring a product to market, dealerships have been trying to use the laws to force Tesla to cut them in on their sales. This court ruling bloodies both of their noses for their foolishness, now if only more courts follow in this ones footsteps. I wonder how these laws even came into being in a society that claims to embrace free market mentality in the first place. I realize that Ford once tried to bypass the franchise model, but if they were able to provide their product to customers cheaper then what was the issue? Replace "car manufacturer" with any number of other products (corn, light bulb, TV, desk) in these laws and it becomes quite clear how foolish the whole thing is.

Comment: Electronics? In a gun? (Score 0) 599

by Dereck1701 (#47902031) Attached to: High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

I don't think this individual has much of any real experience with firearms. I've seen flashlights and lasers, basically a light source with a battery and a switch, literally shake themselves apart after a few dozen rounds. While I am sure that you could harden the electronics to survive the beating, oil, water, etc that your average firearm has to deal with getting all manufacturers to follow the stringent manufacturing levels that would be required is unlikely. That and it would add at least $50, possibly a couple hundred dollars to the price of each gun (tens of millions of dollars per year). All to stop incidents barely show as a rounding error in the overall child mortality statistics (less than 100 accidental child deaths or about 0.3%). When we've fixed all of the other preventable causes of child death that are orders of magnitude more hazardous to their health (falls, pools, buckets, infections, allergic reactions, etc) maybe we can focus on accidental firearms discharge.

Comment: First? (Score 1) 29

by Dereck1701 (#47899765) Attached to: DARPA Funds Harvard's Soft Exoskeletal Suit

They may be the first to actually begin development of such a exosuit but this kind of application has been imagined in multiple fictional accounts(Spriggan movie & Crisis game series off the top of my head). It'll be interesting to see a full fledged pro-type (most of the stuff in the videos looked like non functional demo gear) but last I heard our artificial muscle tech was pretty pitiful. There was a big claim a while back that a breakthrough had been made using modified sewing thread and fishing line that was actually more efficient/powerful than natural muscle but I don't know if anything came of it. Also their designs seem to put the full brunt of the load on a persons own skeletal/joint system, possibly resulting in injury. While I am sure there is a way to add in some kind of exterior joints/"bones" to take some of the load off the wearer that technology and the muscle technology will take a LOT of advanced research to make a reality.

Comment: Written in stone no doubt (Score 1) 213

by Dereck1701 (#47894359) Attached to: Congress Can't Make Asteroid Mining Legal (But It's Trying, Anyway)

And treaties are written in stone? History is repeat with treaties that are no longer enforced or even acknowledged by any current country. The day someone starts shipping down millions of dollars in precious metals from an asteroid is the day that either countries simply start ignoring the Outer Space Treaty en mass or the day it is "reinterpreted" to allow such pursuits.

Comment: Legal basis? (Score 1) 222

by Dereck1701 (#47843417) Attached to: FAA Scans the Internet For Drone Users; Sends Cease and Desist Letters

And what exactly is the legal basis for the FAA's denying commercial operation of "drones"? I don't mean the arbitrarily created regulations that they're quoting but the actual LAW passed by congress and the president? I have a sneaking suspicion that its some vague "ensuring public/air safety" law that they are stretching WAY past its original intent. Something on the order of a hypothetical USDA law to "ensure commercial food safety" being used outlaw all roadside vegetable stands.

Comment: Re:In defense of Patent Trolls (Score 1) 75

by Dereck1701 (#47831789) Attached to: Intellectual Ventures Sheds At Least Part of Its "Patent Troll" Reputation

Theres no one source for the information, but below are a few links to some of it. They have apparently made about $6 Billion in revenue since their inception and in 2010 at least they made $700 Million in licensing fees. I did include their "investments" along with what I could call "licensing fees" because they seem to be effectively the same thing. A good chunk of their revenue is via "Patent Funds" where they offer companies a chance to join in to buy a block of patents, apparently with a thinly veiled threat that if they don't buy in IV will sue them if any of the patents in the block apply to prospective investors.

Comment: Re:In defense of Patent Trolls (Score 1) 75

by Dereck1701 (#47830735) Attached to: Intellectual Ventures Sheds At Least Part of Its "Patent Troll" Reputation

It should be noted that, at least from what I can gather, most of IV's revenue isn't from actual lawsuits. A vast bulk of it is from "license fees" (in the billions of dollars apparently) they grant to companies for using "their technology". Given, they probably illicit those fees via threats of lawsuits. The company had a peak of 700 employees (I think its down into the 500 range now) with revenues close to a $1 Billion a year, and few if any real products to show for it.

Comment: Facebook? (Score 2) 789

Oh my, a member of a recently created government (appointed by coup), who is facing unrest from their own citizens, and is upset about outside assistance by another power (And US, Europe, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel don't?) is posting to his Facebook page that said outside force is planning mass murder. Stop the presses! This "story" has all of the validity of a small time drug dealer scrawling a message on a bathroom wall about the cities drug kingpin planning to release a plague in the city because..... well..... he can?

Comment: Initiated by humans, finished by the birds (Score 1) 108

by Dereck1701 (#47802555) Attached to: The Passenger Pigeon: A Century of Extinction

The species seems to have been susceptible to extinction from the get-go. Its not like humans wiped them out down to a last few flocks. People did over hunt them to be sure, but a species that required flock groups of tens to hundreds of thousands to propagate would seem to me to be living on borrowed time. Attempts to breed them in captivity failed because of the massive numbers that seem to be required. So this effort to reintroduce the population will require quite an effort, they will need a first generation in the tens of thousands at a minimum.

Comment: Re:yet if we did it (Score 1) 463

Your sarcasm tag makes things obvious so don't take this the wrong way, but that is one of the things that general society needs to realize, police work IS NOT very dangerous. There are I believe well over a dozen professions that make police work look safe (farmer, lumberjack, fisherman, etc.). It is a complete fallacy that police officers are in constant danger, most never have to even draw their gun. I think last year there were something like 100 on duty officer fatalities, 47 of those were accidental deaths (car/motorcycle/aircraft accidents, falls, etc).

Comment: Investigateive tool (Score 2) 108

by Dereck1701 (#47791837) Attached to: Judge Allows L.A. Cops To Keep License Plate Reader Data Secret

"its value as an investigative tool would be severely compromised."

I'd be interested to see how these same police departments would respond if identical ALPRs were placed near police stations, government buildings & affluent neighborhoods by private individuals. I imagine it ending quite quickly in threats, arrests & even possibly injuries. Its funny how a surveillance tool is so great until the general public turns it on those in authority (tape recorders, video cameras, cell phone cameras, drones), then it miraculously needs "common sense" restrictions that those in authority are almost always exempt from.

Comment: Re:"Accidentally" (Score 1) 455

by Dereck1701 (#47790591) Attached to: Should police have cameras recording their work at all times?

I'm not suggesting that requiring officers/their vehicles/their guns having cameras is a bad idea, but just because you do it doesn't mean that you've gotten any closer to solving the problem of abuse of authority. Its going to take a whole lot more, streaming offsite backup to an independent party at the very least, probably an entire legal framework as well (or perhaps enforcement of the current framework).

Comment: Re: But is it reaslistic? (Score 4, Insightful) 369

Sadly you're completely right, a bag of flour thrown off a building or put a few Lite-Brite signs out and you throw a city into chaos. All at the cost of a few bucks and one or two nuts willing to do it. You don't have to look far to see how crazy things have gotten, there have been what, two aircraft diverted in the past week because of minor incidents on-board at least one of which "required" a fighter escort because of a few drunk women having a fight? I can't recall where it came from but there is one statement that pretty well sums it up "the terrorists said "boo" and our reaction was to shoot ourselves in the head". We simply can't sustain this idiocy, eventually we'll end up like Russia at the end of the Cold War, throwing so much money into buying bullets (security) that we can't afford bread (the economy).

Comment: Re:"Accidentally" (Score 1, Informative) 455

by Dereck1701 (#47779899) Attached to: Should police have cameras recording their work at all times?

While Texas is the most blatant example it is far from the only one, officers in Hollywood Florida willfully altered footage sent to a defense attorney to remove a plot by officers to frame a woman for vehicular assault of a police officer, no one was charged. CCTV operators in Denver Colorado willfully shifted a CCTV camera away from a police beating, no one charged. Half of the vehicle camera/mic equipment of the LAPD (installed BECAUSE of abuse) was found to be inoperable due to officer sabotage, no one charged. I could go on for quite some time but I trust my point is made.

Comment: Re:"Accidentally" (Score 2) 455

by Dereck1701 (#47771673) Attached to: Should police have cameras recording their work at all times?

"Every officer will be required to explain every missing second of video and audio."

Why? It doesn't happen now. In fact I think in Texas not long ago an appellate court ruled that police could destroy dash cam video footage despite specific requests from the defense that they preserve the footage. I agree wholeheartedly that officers SHOULD have to explain any missing footage, but every instance that I can think of suggests that the current justice system does have any perception that missing footage reflects poorly on law enforcement even when the officers go out of their way to destroy it.

COBOL is for morons. -- E.W. Dijkstra