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Submission + - MH370: Found Airplane Debris is believed to be from missing Malaysian 777->

McGruber writes: Air crash investigators have 'a high degree of confidence' that a piece of wreckage found on the Indian Ocean island of La Reunion is from a Boeing 777 — the same model as the doomed MH370 which disappeared in March 2014. Investigators will need to examine closely the wreckage to link it to MH370, but MH370 was the only Boeing 777 over lost over water.

NOTE: The Daily Mail article I'm submitting has the best pictures of the debris that I've been able to find.

Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Right to Privacy in One's Backyard? (Score 1) 1039 1039

Can you provide a citation for the quote you provided?

Helicopters are allowed to fly below 500 ft, per the following:

91.119 Minimum safe altitudes: General.

Except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate an aircraft below the following altitudes:

a. Anywhere. An altitude allowing, if a power unit fails, an emergency landing without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.

b. Over congested areas. Over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement, or over any open air assembly of persons, an altitude of 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet of the aircraft.

c. Over other than congested areas. An altitude of 500 feet above the surface, except over open water or sparsely populated areas. In those cases, the aircraft may not be operated closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure.

d. Helicopters. Helicopters may be operated at less than the minimums prescribed in paragraph B or C of this section if the operation is conducted without hazard to persons or property on the surface.

Comment Right to Privacy in One's Backyard? (Score 5, Informative) 1039 1039

Here's a key detail from the article:

Merideth's neighbors saw it too. "It was just hovering above our house and it stayed for a few moments and then she finally waved and it took off," said neighbor Kim VanMeter. VanMeter has a 16-year-old daughter who lays out at their pool. She says a drone hovering with a camera is creepy and weird. "I just think you should have privacy in your own backyard," she said.

Submission + - Kentucky Man shoots drone that was hovering over sunbathing 16-year old girl->

McGruber writes: Hillview, Kentucky resident William H. Merideth describes his Sunday afternoon: "Sunday afternoon, the kids – my girls – were out on the back deck, and the neighbors were out in their yard," Merideth said. "And they come in and said, 'Dad, there’s a drone out here, flying over everybody’s yard.'"

Merideth's neighbors saw it too. "It was just hovering above our house and it stayed for a few moments and then she finally waved and it took off," said neighbor Kim VanMeter. VanMeter has a 16-year-old daughter who lays out at their pool. She says a drone hovering with a camera is creepy and weird. "I just think you should have privacy in your own backyard," she said.

Merideth agrees and said he had to go see for himself. “Well, I came out and it was down by the neighbor’s house, about 10 feet off the ground, looking under their canopy that they’ve got under their back yard," Merideth said. "I went and got my shotgun and I said, ‘I’m not going to do anything unless it’s directly over my property.’"

That moment soon arrived, he said. "Within a minute or so, here it came," he said. "It was hovering over top of my property, and I shot it out of the sky. I didn't shoot across the road, I didn't shoot across my neighbor's fences, I shot directly into the air."

It wasn't long before the drone's owners appeared. "Four guys came over to confront me about it, and I happened to be armed, so that changed their minds," Merideth said. "They asked me, 'Are you the S-O-B that shot my drone?' and I said, 'Yes I am,'" he said. "I had my 40mm Glock on me and they started toward me and I told them, 'If you cross my sidewalk, there's gonna be another shooting.'"

A short time later, Merideth said the police arrived. "There were some words exchanged there about my weapon, and I was open carry – it was completely legal," he said. "Long story short, after that, they took me to jail for wanton endangerment first degree and criminal mischief...because I fired the shotgun into the air."

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Senator Ted Cruz believes that Kirk is a Republican while Picard is a Democrat-> 1 1

McGruber writes: Republican presidential candidate and Trekker Ted Cruz claimed in an interview with The New York Times Magazine that "It is quite likely that Kirk is a Republican and Picard is a Democrat.”

Cruz also stated a strong preference for Kirk: "Let me do a little psychoanalysis. If you look at ‘‘Star Trek: The Next Generation,’’ it basically split James T. Kirk into two people. Picard was Kirk’s rational side, and William Riker was his passionate side. I prefer a complete captain. To be effective, you need both heart and mind."

William Shanter responded via Twitter: "Star Trek wasn't political. I'm not political; I can't even vote in the US. So to put a geocentric label on interstellar characters is silly"

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Comment Re:I was really excited about this (Score 1, Interesting) 134 134

I'd been waiting for this and following New Horizons so obviously it's great to see, but what slightly tainted the coverage for me was all the freaking USA flag-wavin'. Do you guys really always have to do that?

We American Scientists do things like that because the number of politicians and voters who are for nationaldickwaving is much larger than the number of politicians and voters who are for science. We don't like the national dickwaving, but sometimes we just have to take one for the team.

Obama called it "American leadership".

If Obama had not said something along those lines, the American news media's coverage would have been dominated by Republican Presidential candidates attacking Obama's lack of patriotism.

At one point a NASA guy said it was "all about America" in a room full of US flags. Funny, I thought it was all about Pluto.

By uttering those three simple words, the NASA guy did his part to ensure that the US Congress would continue to fund NASA. Thank you, NASA guy, for taking one for the team.

Can't it just be a victory for human ingenuity and curiosity?

I wish it could be that, but the US Congress rarely provides funds for the victories of human ingenuity and curiosity.

Comment Re:Opening themselves up to liability? (Score 1) 87 87

Will taxpayers really get $6M of value out of the fleet?

One of the articles claims that the drones are intended to eventually replace helicopters. If the drones do actually replace helicopters, then I can see taxpayers getting $6M value from the fleet.

Back in 2012, two Atlanta police officers were killed when their police helicopter crashed; they had been flying very low while looking for a lost child. The subsequent NTSB investigation determined that the crash was caused by “the pilot’s failure to maintain sufficient altitude during maneuvering flight, which resulted in his failure to see and avoid a power pole and wires.”

I suspect that one accident will end up costing more than Macon's drone fleet. Several lawsuits have been filed.

Submission + - Macon-Bibb County government wants $5.7 million drone fleet for emergencies->

McGruber writes: Macon-Bibb County, Georgia ( is considering a $5.7 million project with manufacturer Olaeris ( for 15 to 17 drone aircraft. ( The aircraft, each bigger than a king-sized bed, would operate out of individual hangars strategically placed across the county.

The drones would be able to get to most places in the county within 90 seconds to several minutes. They would be available to the county’s Emergency Management Agency, sheriff’s office and fire department. “It’s highly technical, and having the ability to be the first with Silicon Valley-type technology is unique,” said Don Druitt, director of the Macon-Bibb County Emergency Management Agency.

Olaeris claims that for every $1 spent on their drones, a government will save $6 to $8 of manpower. “Ninety-five percent of all fire alarms are false, but fire departments have no choice to go, and you may have 15 (firefighters) responding,” Olaeris CEO Ted Lindsley said. “In most cases the drone can see if there is a heat signature or flames. Maybe you send one vehicle to monitor it and can send the other (firefighters) to a major wreck on a highway.”

Lindsley also promises to will work with local organizations to address any privacy concerns from residents. People will be able to track online the aircraft whenever they’re used to learn where and why they were deployed. “It gives a level of transparency so we as a public know what’s going on,” Lindsley said.

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Comment Re:Capped cable? (Score 1, Informative) 173 173

I've noticed that AT&T has started capping their DSL service. The bastards have very misleading advertising -- their tv advertisements say things like connect your mobile devices to DSL at home to "Save on Mobile Data".... but then the same advertisement says, in very fine print, that "Data overage and other charges apply".

Comment Re:Never heard that one before (Score 4, Informative) 504 504

I have never heard of anyone who thought Jar Jar Binks reminded them of black characterisations. Nor has that ever occurred to me.

The racist nature of the Jar Jar character was a big story back in 1999, when the movie came out. Here's an opinion piece from the late Baltimore Sun columnist Gregory Kane, that was published back then: Seeing racism in Jar Jar is seeing phantom menace, June 5, 1999

Comment Re:Cry More (Score 4, Interesting) 139 139

What news agency is willing to be the first to fork over the money just to have the means to recoup the funds pulled out from under them? I think this idea is brilliant if you want to curb the FOIA requests you receive.

The real danger to news agencies is that The Daily Show, National Public Radio's On the Media program and other media critics will be able to see all the documents that the reporters were given, but did not report on.... so, IMHO, this new FOIA policy will really help to expose the biases of many mainstream news agencies.

Comment NewYorkCountryLawyer (Score 3, Insightful) 99 99

I can probably afford some advice from a lawyer, and may very well go that route,

I've never worked with him, but I suggest you start with NewYorkCountryLawyer. Ray's contact information is on his website, Beckerman Legal.

but I sincerely doubt I could afford defend myself against an actual lawsuit.

That's all the more reason to consult an attorney now!

Submission + - Police Bomb Squad in Hapeville, Georgia Raids Teenaged Hobbyist's Chemistry Set-> 1 1

McGruber writes: On Wednesday, authorities in the south Fulton County, Georgia town of Hapeville shut down a street for hours and used their bomb squad to search a home. According to the suspect's father, the bomb scare started after his 18-year-old son was arrested for trespassing, entering an abandoned warehouse and salvaging mercury switches, which can be used to detonate explosives.

When police searched the teen’s home on Virginia Avenue at Rainey Avenue in Hapeville, they said they found chemicals inside. "He's not building bombs. He does do a lot of experiments. A lot of them I don't fully understand, but I'm certain he's not making bombs," said the suspect’s father, Allen Mason. Mason says chemistry is his son's hobby and he wants to be a chemical engineer. Mason also said police told him what they found is not illegal to own.

One neighbor, who couldn't return home for hours, said he didn't feel the teen was a threat. "I don't see a problem with this, but you have to trust the authorities in they're doing what they think is best,” said Curtis Ray.

In February 2015, Hapeville authorities evacuated businesses and called out the bomb squad to investigate a pinhole camera that was part of a Georgia University Art Project (

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Real programmers don't bring brown-bag lunches. If the vending machine doesn't sell it, they don't eat it. Vending machines don't sell quiche.