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Comment Sure it can (Score 1) 71

First, Stingray is now a 'generic' term for these sorts of devices. So I'd be careful about claiming they all have the same functionality, or lack of it.

Second, operating as a bridge is actually the primary usage mode when operating in 'active' mode - where it 'forces' phones to connect to it instead of the normal tower.

Third, from what I remember, at least the first ones were built off of standard mobile cell tower systems, just with extra intercepts and data recording equipment.

Comment Re:Wordsmithing - actually important. (Score 1) 161

I wonder if they created this to add another charge because if you blow up an IED (or something else) then they will charge you for any deaths, attempted deaths, and destruction of property.

That's my take on it. I really dislike it because bomb-making is generally illegal anyways, they can hit you sufficiently hard there.

But you get silly things like charging a woman who's bomb-efforts extended to giving a rash to her target with 'making a WMD' because, by golly, she was attempting to make a chemical weapon! if you use the police definition, which waters down the definition to the point that the military would consider it useless. Tank round? WMD Willy Pete grenades used to create smoke screens? WMD Artillery round? WMD. Everything the Air Force fires? WMD. Etc....

Comment Drone use (Score 1) 161

Keep in mind that we're talking about North Dakota here. I lived in Minot for some time - their second largest community. It still wasn't that large.

As such, they're unlikely to exploit the 'less lethal armed drone' legality. Just not enough call, not enough money. You might see a cooperative test project with a manufacturer, but that's about it.

Meanwhile drones are probably more interesting to the counties - where it might be 30 minutes to get a deputy to an accident scene from driving distance alone.

I find the possibility of them being used for S&R purposes to be much more common than law enforcement.

And yes, the legislator is already stating that he'll be pushing to ban non-lethals in 2 years anyways. Knowing that, again, I don't see much beyond 'research deployment' where the developer has to provide the armed drone, for free. Not worth the capital cost otherwise.

Comment Wordsmithing - actually important. (Score 3, Informative) 161

Except that 'Wordsmithing', in most of your examples is actually useful in professional terms. Let me break it down:

Lethal Force - Force that death is a reasonable, even 'usual' result from. Standard firearms, fragmentary explosives, etc...

Nonlethal - The use of this term is actually depreciated in the force-continuum. It's a sad fact that humans can be both incredibly resilient and incredibly fragile. A disabler that works on a guy able to cut his own arm off that's trapped by a boulder and apply a tourniquet before hiking 26 miles to get to medical care is probably going to be lethal to a 90 year old diabetic great-grandmother. Worse, it's not always apparent who's 'fragile' and who's not.

Less-lethal - The replacement term. It's still potentially lethal, so care should be employed in it's deployment, but as long as you follow the directions, your department shouldn't kill anybody with it any given year.

WMD: Weapon of Mass Destruction. Now, I'm old school with this one, and demand that it be NBC - Nuclear, Biological, or Chemical. And the last is iffy as well. In order for me to count it as a WMD, it needs to be able to destroy city blocks of people, or at least kill more people than any individual practical conventional bomb. I dislike calling a pressure cooker bomb a 'WMD'. So I'd say on a 'killzone' requirement to be a WMD: Several blocks radius OR 'significant' primary duration in time. IE, as a direct intended effect from the bomb, it will keep killing people who enter the area for a significant amount of time after deployment, not just from hazards like structurally compromised buildings.

IED: Improvised Explosive Device. As opposed to a non-improvised one. A very important distinction during my time in the military. Standard munitions have standard means of disarming and disposal. EOD(Explosive Ordinance Disposal) rolls up on a Mark 82 500 pound bomb(or it's Russian equivalent), they know how to make it safe. All that goes out the window when it's an IED. Think of it like a paperwork thing - for a car you put make & model. For a bomb you'd do the same, but IED = 'home built'/unknown/unlisted. So your going 'It's a BOMB' is like saying 'It's a CAR' when I say that a Honda Civic was in an accident.

Comment Re:"Less than Lethal"...How Reassuring (Score 1) 161

--does that count as "lethal force"?

Depends on the size of the drone and the vertical distance before impact.

Also, not all police drones will be prop driven. Something like a Global Hawk you'd be able to make a powered impact with.

Then again, in a place like North Dakota, if the local police force is willing to 'use up' an expensive drone that they're not going to automatically get funding to replace, odds are that the target would 'deserve' and 'require' it.

Comment Re:And who was the big believer in carbon credits? (Score 1) 134

The "externals" can't be accurately counted or evaluated. And they don't show up on accounting sheets.

It depends. How accurate do you demand it be?
deaths per TWH by energy source
Health effects

And they show up in accounting sheets - just not those of the originator. They show up in the accounting sheets of healthcare organizations. Life Insurance organizations. Building maintenance(back when acid rain was even dissolving them). Etc...

The term "externals" is what you say when you want something to be more expensive but can't actually cite any of it with any clarity.

No, it's more like I don't want to write a book. I can, using completely open sources, peg an average 'per mWh' external expense to coal. It might not be accurate down to the mill(1/10 of one cent), but I can do it. It's true that you can't really attribute any given death to a specific plant, much less a specific unit of power. But you can certainly do so in the aggregate. If it was any less diffuse people would be able to successfully sue for their illnesses.

It might be somewhat 'unfair', but it does mean that you can 'get it in the ballpark' with regards to internalizing the cost by doing something like charging for the pollution. The USA currently mostly does it by the EPA and fines, but I support a more straight-forward system.

Comment Re:And who was the big believer in carbon credits? (Score 4, Interesting) 134

And how do you know if wind and solar is cheaper?... when china and india prefer it to coal. If they prefer coal... then coal is cheaper. Count on it.

China and India are installing every energy production method going. Coal, Natural Gas, nuclear, hydro, solar, and wind. That's not even a complete list.

Coal is only cheaper if you don't count external costs. Right now China's setting itself up for a healthcare holocaust, especially if you consider it's air pollution. For example, simply breathing Beijing air is equivalent to smoking 21 cigarettes a day.

But right now China is all about economic growth *NOW*. I also wonder if there's a consiparcy theory out there that the pollution is deliberate - aimed at killing off most of their Seniors early before the lack of young people gets them into trouble.

Basically the same 'freakanomics' that showed that smokers were cheaper. At least if they were low/middle educated - on average they'd die shortly after retirement, for not much more in the way of end of life costs. So fewer pension payments and less medical care was required, even if the 'sharp end' came sooner.

For rich/educated types - they tend to not retire at 65, but keep working, so having them live longer was profitable. Ideally you'd get your educated types(doctors, professors, and such) to not smoke, but have all your factory workers do so.

Comment Re:Which shows how much they actually wanted it... (Score 1) 269

I think that the whole "teh bureaucracy is teh worst" excuse was just an angle to make purchasing easier general, not because they are really upset about not keeping this gigantic mound of data, if not for a $50 part.

That's a possibility. The old data not being even worth a $50 upgrade is another.

Lastly, I wonder if it's not so much the drive. The clue is that it's a desktop machine - the crashes described sound to me as more 'access database like behavior'. IE they're not using a 'serious' DB like SQL. As such, replacing the HD with a larger one wouldn't work. So they talk about certification and everything else because they don't want to admit that they bought a horribly programmed non-expandable system.

Comment Re:What does Science have to say about this? (Score 1) 570

The obvious alternative was to tell the greedy litle sod not to nick other people's sandwiches.

The problem with this is that the sensitivity is really quite insane for some with peanut allergies. As somebody mentioned, some of them will go into shock from touching a pencil touched by somebody who had just eaten the sandwich.

Now, one could tell your kid to eat neater as well as have the allergic kid washing everything down first in case of peanut-butter infused crumbs, but we'd really rather not risk potentially deadly symptoms.

Now what's hilarious is when the occasional school tries to say that the epi-pen is a drug and thus, per policy, needs to be kept in the nurse's office, to be administered when the nurse is available only.

Tragically, it's resulted in at least one death. They took the girl's pen away, she latter suffocated during a reaction during class. Normally it just results in an epic stomp by the parents.

Klein bottle for rent -- inquire within.