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Comment: Hard to tell if it's working. (Score 2) 134

by Animats (#47438917) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

Here's the promotional video from Rafael, the system's maker. If the Iron Dome launchers are in a position to hit incoming rockets when they're still in boost phase, they're clearly effective. When they hit, the ascending rocket's flare disappears. Israel has Iron Dome launchers both forward postioned near Gaza, for boost phase defense, and near cities, for terminal defense. For terminal defense, it's harder to tell if they worked. The incoming rockets are just falling at that point, and success requires blowing up their warhead, not their rocket engine.

Videos show the missile's warhead exploding. That's triggered by a proximity fuse. There's a spray of shrapnel from the warhead; it doesn't have to be a direct hit. Whether that sets off the incoming rocket's warhead isn't visible from the videos of terminal defense.The Patriot missiles used in the Gulf war were able to hit incoming Scud missiles, but often didn't detonate the warhead.

Comment: Re:that's not the FAA's job (Score 1) 142

by drinkypoo (#47438015) Attached to: FAA Pressures Coldwell, Other Realtors To Stop Using Drone Footage

That means that if you want to shoot down low-flying Amazon delivery drones, you should be able to do that.

Well, no. Not unless you can account for ballistics, and the drop zone for your projectiles. But perhaps you should be permitted to use a tethered net launcher.

Likewise, if you want to fly your own drone to take pictures of your own property, you should be able to do that too as long as you stay below 1000ft.

Or any public property. Whether the restrictions on line-of-sight are reasonable is a whole other discussion (my thought is "maybe") but public lands belong to all of us. As always, the thing must be operated in a manner which does not represent a realistic risk to others.

Comment: Re:Problem traced (Score 4, Informative) 79

by plover (#47437271) Attached to: Chinese Hackers Infiltrate Firms Using Malware-Laden Handheld Scanners

The "scanner" portion of these devices is typically an embedded system that drives a hardware sensor, and speaks USB out the back side. You could probably open one up, solder a cable to the right points on the scanner board, and you'd have exactly the simple and transparent scanner you requested.

But because the business wants a truckload (no pun intended) of functionality out of these scanners, they need it to have more capabilities. First, it needs to be on the network, or it won't give them any benefit. Next, it needs to be multi-tasking so it can display alerts, etc. Its primary task may be to inventory the stuff coming off a truck, its other tasks may include assigning work items to line employees, displaying alerts on the supervisors' screens, punching the timeclock for breaks, and possibly even employee email. To a lot of businesses, a browser based interface lets them run whatever kind of functions they want, without the expense of continually pushing a bunch of apps out to a bunch of random machines. So taking all that together, embedded XP is one (bloated) way of meeting all that.

So while the scanner itself is simple, it's the rest of the hardware in the device that was infested with XP and other malware.

Comment: Re:New York has commissions for everything (Score 1, Offtopic) 80

by drinkypoo (#47437233) Attached to: Lyft's New York Launch Halted By Restraining Order

ahhhh so *thats* why Texans are so fucking fat.

No. No it is not. It's because they have amazing food down there. In California, 9/10ths of all restaurants are total fucking shit food with total fucking shit service. I can outcook them any and every day of the week, and I do, and I have no formal training whatsoever. In Texas, 9/10ths of all restaurants are at least basically competent. I think it's because Texans will tell you just what they think of you, and all the incompetents have fled for California, or committed suicide.

It's also because it's stupid hot, and you can't go outside.

Put the two together and you have a lot of driving from restaurant to restaurant with precious little fat-burning in between. That's what happened to me, anyway. Gained 100 lbs in a year and a half. The weight's off now, but ugh.

If you couldn't step outside without tripping over a chicken fried steak, you'd be fat, too.

Comment: Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (Score 2) 80

by drinkypoo (#47437221) Attached to: Lyft's New York Launch Halted By Restraining Order

1) Do you really want two-ton land missiles driven by desperate people who are driven to cut corners to stay competitive?

You mean like taxicab drivers? No. We should do away with them immediately.

More generally, as you noted, a competitive market is a swim-or-sink situation. That means profit margins will get razor-thin. That sounds awesome until you realize that wages are also a form of profits.

So your argument against permitting people to hire their services is that it will threaten others' wages? Congratulations, you just cast your vote for no progress ever. Please move back into a cave, and give up your PC.

Comment: Re:riders "at risk" with Lyft (Score 2) 80

by drinkypoo (#47437215) Attached to: Lyft's New York Launch Halted By Restraining Order

So your argument for more taxis on the roads is that the current amount of taxis is already dangerous...

No, and only a someone who does not understand English at all could possibly come to that conclusion without being a prevaricating prickwad. They complained about the nature, not the number.

Cabbies drive like fuckheads because they have no competition, because of bullshit protectionist restraint of trade.

Comment: Re:Problem traced (Score 4, Interesting) 79

I wonder what happened to the habit of making embedded systems simple and transparent...

I remember some 20 years ago a friend of mine was telling me that sooner or later, your microwave would have a whole operating system on it, even though it only performed simple tasks. It was already cheaper even then to use a MCU over discrete logic for many devices which were not staggeringly complex. It's about development time. As long as we fail to demand quality, we will continue to get what is convenient to produce in quantity. Pity about quality.

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