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Comment: Seriously? (Score 4, Insightful) 178

Who the hell is going to sit down and scan a few million lines of source code with Microsoft looking over your shoulder and hope to spot a backdoor or two in the process?

Even then, how can you be sure that the source code they show you is the stuff you're actually running?

What a PR stunt this is!

Comment: The most fun you can have with one of these (Score 1) 30

by NewtonsLaw (#47218903) Attached to: A Quadcopter Development Platform (Video)

Forget about aerial video and photography with these "drones" -- the most fun you can have with one of these multi-rotor craft is this:

FPV racing

These are tiny multirotor craft fitted with FPV (first person view) video gear and flown around a course (which can be as simple as a few trees in a field).

Stunningly good fun and a real adrenaline buzz -- without all the privacy and safety issues that "droners" create with their DJI Phantoms and other consumer-grade multirotors.

Just Google/Youtube for "mini H quad" and you'll find much more

Comment: Re:Wait. Drone diy kits will be banned (Score 1) 30

by NewtonsLaw (#47218829) Attached to: A Quadcopter Development Platform (Video)

Actually, they are *not* regulated -- and that's the big problem right now.

From the FAA's perspective, there are no regulations pertaining to RC model aircraft -- only guidlines.

This is why the courts overturned a $10,000 fine levied against Raphael Pirker by the FAA -- because there are no regulations to back up that penalty.

The FAA are scrambling to come up with some regulations but, until then, they are hoist by their own petard (or lack of work in this area).

Comment: Me163 Komet... what the? (Score 2) 209

by NewtonsLaw (#47071619) Attached to: The World's Worst Planes: Aircraft Designs That Failed

How dare they include the Me163 Komet in a list of "worst planes" -- it was a groundbreaking craft (in more ways than one -- get the pun?) which highlighted the innovation (and desperation) of the Germans near the end of WW2.

Yes, the choice of fuel components made it horrendously dangerous and the limited flight-times did reduce its utility but it was undoubtedly *the* fasted aircraft of WW2.

Comment: Make it impossible for the burglar to stay (Score 4, Informative) 408

Alarms simply tell you you've been robbed.

A far more effective strategy is to ensure that anyone entering your house uninvited will find it impossible to stay long enough to steal your stuff.

To do this, you want lots of *internal* sirens that run at 120dB+.

If the intruders ears start bleeding as soon as they enter the building, they will retreat at a very hasty pace.

That's how my alarms are configured. They ring me over the cellular network and generate an internal sould level that is intollerably loud (as I have discovered on the two occasions I forgot to disarm the system myself) :-)

If he's going to get your iPad he might as well take some life-long hearing damage with him :-)

Comment: Re:Not Illogical (Score 1, Insightful) 92

by NewtonsLaw (#46987215) Attached to: New Zealand Spy Agency To Vet Network Builds, Provider Staff

I believe NZ is currently rated the least corrupt country on Earth.

Don't believe it... just understand that in NZ, the authorities are much better at hiding it.

Corruption, hypocrisy and graft remains rife in this country it's just that we're a nation of 4.4 million sheeple who really don't give a damn.

The great Kiwi saying "she'll be right" is killing this nation because nobody is prepared to stand up and speak out when they see people in power doing bad things and abusing that power.

Comment: I loved the ads (Score 3, Interesting) 285

by NewtonsLaw (#46775725) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Good Print Media Is Left?

Why is it that the ads in mags like Byte were a key part of the reason I bought the magazine -- but banners and online ads have become little more than annoyance and irritation?

The old print-media ads were informative and didn't slow down my reading in anyway so I guess they were excellent "secondary" content.

There's no way I'll patronize any site that uses full-page interstitial advertising -- yet the full-page ads in Byte and other printed mags were things I often read from start to finish.

Is it just me or have others had the same experience?

Comment: What BS (Score 4, Insightful) 178

Modern 2.4GHz RC gear requires a significant level of tech-expertise to "hijack" in the manner suggested.

Occam's Razor has the answer...

Simple mechanical, electrical or operator failure -- nothing more, nothing less.

Too many would-be "drone" operators have scant understanding of the need for a maintenance schedule and proper planning before deploying even the smallest and most lightweight of craft.

The problem is that far to many people buy these things and then treat them as if they'll just keep working forever -- simply charge the battery and fly!

Unfortunately, props fatigue, motor bearings wear, ESCs can overheat and flight controllers can fail.

There's a hell of a lot more to safely deploying one of these craft than flipping a few switches and wiggling some sticks.

I'm not a commercial operator -- I fly for fun but even *I* am very much aware of the importance of good housekeeping and planning when it comes to using these things safely.

Comment: Re:Um. WRONG. (Score 1) 323

Go buy yourself a Raspbery Pi, download the boot-image for Rasbmc, boot it up, go have a coffee and a sandwich.

When you get back -- you'll have all the TV and movies you could want -- for the cost of your monthly internet connection.

If Netflix was available here, I'd pay for it -- but since it's not (legally) available to NZers, I figure that the movie/TV producers don't want my money and use XBMC instead. I'm not going to force them to take my cash if they don't want it -- but they better not complain about the fact that I'm watching their stuff for free in the meantime.

Comment: Not just a US problem (Score 1) 473

by NewtonsLaw (#46215007) Attached to: Ugly Trends Threaten Aviation Industry

This isn't a problem that is limited to the USA.

I live in New Zealand and have a workshop on the local airfield.

Of the 9 hangars at the airfield, only two now have airworthy aircraft in them -- and most of those are home-built or microlite types rather than GA craft (like Cessnas).

Just about the only (semi) regular users of the runway are flight schools which train pilots for overseas airlines such as EasyJeet and JetStar.

The skyrocketing cost of maintaining a PPL combined with hikes in just about every other cost associated with flying has really seen the amount of activity plummet.

Even the local CAA (our equivalent of the FAA) field officer told me he's not going to renew his pilot's license because of the costs.

On the up-side.... the whole issue of drones being integrated into the national airspace may soon be made a lot easier -- since there'll be far fewer full-sized craft in that airspace anyway :-)

There's got to be more to life than compile-and-go.

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