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Comment: Re:We live in the future (Score 1) 26

Too bad the post office isn't as efficient as the weather service.

Actually, the post office is remarkably efficient, given the volumes of mail they carry. USPS alone, in one day carries more than FedEx annually, and in 3, more than UPS. (Take that, late Christmas 2013 presents).

They have to be efficient otherwise the whole system breaks down in short order. And by law of big numbers, of course, they'll run into problems. It ain't nice when it happens via the mail, but FedEx and UPS can be completely hopeless when it's their package. (You'd think with all that tracking information they could easily find a missing or lost package, but no. If a package gets scanned out but not scanned in, you're SOL).

Comment: Re:Not a rule - Not just the FAA (Score 1) 159

The problem with the approach the FAA has been taking on this issue is that the deciding factor is whether money changes hands. If an activity is safe for a hobbyist to perform, why is it suddenly dangerous and in need of regulation when a professional does it? If anything, commercially operated remote controlled planes/helicopters would be safer in a given situation, as the parent company is going to have real liability insurance, and the insurer is going to have all sorts of maintenance and training requirements.

Because once money changes hands, well, they want to make sure you have SUFFICIENT liability insurance, and that your equipment is well maintained.

A realtor probably only has their malpractice insurance - if they crash into a neighbours house, that insurance may not be sufficient, or even covered. The realtor would just close their business, while the neighbour is stuck suing a bankrupt company (they're all "independent franchises").

So the FAA would like to make sure you accidentally kill someone, they can be adequately taken care of.

The other reason is well, drones are getting REALLY popular. The problem with this is how well qualified are these people flying them? A hobbyist probably knows the rules of t heir hobby and is conscious enough to fly it properly.

Some guy with a rich parent buying their kid a drone flying it into traffic and causing accidents? Imagine all those people who can't figure out where the "any" key is flying those things everywhere.

The other issue is well, what jurisdiction is it when clashes happen? If you're flying a drone taking photos of a house, what's to differentiate it from taking photos of hunters, taking photos of nude people on a beach, taking photos of you in your backyard?

Plus, it's easier to go after people with money and regulate that first. Because they're using it to make money, it's easier to go after them for commercial activity than someone who wants to take a neat photo of their kid in their backyard.

It's really only a matter of time before some idiot with a drone goes and misuses it. The FAA is really trying to warn them to not even try so the activity can progress by those who know what they're doing. Want some crazy legislation? Watch it when a bunch of lawmakers get their panties in a knot. It's what led to the awful legislation that banned scanners from receiving cell-band (800 MHz) signals.

They're getting cheaper, better, and are available to anyone with a credit card. And everyone knows there are lot of rich idiots out there who will ruin it for everyone. Especially since the FAA is still trying to come up with reasonable rules that take into account everyone - pilots, law enforcement, commercial interests, the public, etc. Take an idiot with a drone who crashes it into a busy intersection, and you'll have lawmakers screaming "something must be done" and enacting all sorts of overbroad legislation ahead of the FAA.

Comment: Re:Racist science (Score 0) 99

by shutdown -p now (#47441213) Attached to: Chimpanzee Intelligence Largely Determined By Genetics

Are you basically saying that science is a bad thing because it sometimes gives answers which are objectively valid, but which go against your core set of beliefs?

The funny thing with beliefs is that when they do not correspond to reality, they always lose in long term, every single time. If you pretend that gravity doesn't exist, it'll "work" right until the point you walk over the next pothole, while those who stick to objective view will just walk around. Science, in that sense, is a "religion" of objectivity, taking the world as it is rather than pretending that it is what you want it do be. That's what distinguishes it from any other belief system - the only belief inherent in it is that the world is objective and can be studied.

Comment: Re:Intelligence isn't always advantageous (Score 1) 99

by shutdown -p now (#47441199) Attached to: Chimpanzee Intelligence Largely Determined By Genetics

You missed the important part in GP's claim: "past some baseline number".

And that may actually well be true. There's one interesting tidbit that came out of anthropological studies: apparently, earliest homo sapiens sapiens had a better developed brain than we do. This implies, at least indirectly, that they were better at core cognitive tasks (such as pattern matching) that seem to be underlying what we think of as "intelligence". In other words, if you took such an early human and put him in a modern world, with proper nutrition, education etc, he'd likely beat most of the kids in the class.

But then it shrunk. And the reason why is, indeed, that brains are very expensive energy-wise. That's why few other species get it even remotely close to what we have - you basically need to have a very specific set of environmental conditions and random inherited traits to coincide to produce an environment which would cause natural selection for intelligence to that extent in the first place. On the other hand, once it gets a significant starting push, the benefits that it yields long-term are such that it becomes the single most important trait (as you rightly note, there are more humans in the world than bears - indeed, more humans than any other mammals). But there is still an upper cap defined by energy requirements, and apparently we have actually hit that cap thousands of years ago already, and then bounced back slightly.

Regarding passing on genes, it actually doesn't even require having any children to pass on genes. Another way is to ensure the survival and the passing of genes of your relatives - sure, they don't share 100% of them with you, but if they share 50%, and with your support they can have 5 kids where otherwise they'd have 2 and you'd have 2, you (or rather your genes) are statistically better off.

Comment: Re:Why is the FCC involved? (Score 1) 50

by tlhIngan (#47436913) Attached to: FCC Approves Plan To Spend $5B Over Next Five Years On School Wi-Fi

Building wide WiFi is not something the FCC really regulates. They put some standards on manufacturers to comply with but beyond that there is no interaction at the user level.

Because they manage the fees paid for telecommunication services to be provided to areas where it's less profitable but necessary.

The thing is, the Internet is real. And the modern day student NEEDS access to the internet. But an alarming number of them only get access to it via the "free" hotspots at McDonalds and such - and kids needing to do homework, that's an issue. I mean, you'd think they'd go to the library to do their work and use their wifi, but no, they close at 6pm, so they move to the local McD's because they have WiFi for free.

The parents can afford a computer (they're not THAT expensive these days). but can't afford internet access, so instead of kids having to trudge through the city seeking free internet, why not provide funding for schools and libraries to offer it up so kids can use it.

Sure, it works fine in the city, but when you're out in the boonies, well, wifi may be least of a town's concern and the kids just have to find a local hotspot. Having it be their library and school, can only help matters

Comment: Re:We are winning! (Score 4, Insightful) 168

by shutdown -p now (#47435135) Attached to: DARPA Successfully Demonstrates Self-Guiding Bullets

If you Americans simply had taken out the bad apples and left, this would have been a minimal affair. Instead the Gleichgeschaltete Propaganda of the American Imperium told people that "now we have to build schools, and hospitals and and and".

If you don't build schools, the "bad apples" will be back in less than a generation. In a society that's so fucked up, people will inevitably turn to radical ideologies that blame all their troubles on external enemies.

Comment: Re:Alternate use for this technology (Score 1) 168

by shutdown -p now (#47435111) Attached to: DARPA Successfully Demonstrates Self-Guiding Bullets

I don't know about US, but some other countries have noticed the pattern and revived some old designs. For example, apparently, turboprop bomber/assault aircraft are nearly perfect for "anti-insurgency" type of combat missions as seen in Iraq and Afghanistan - cheap, rugged, easy to operate, can take off and land from small and poorly maintained airstrips... and still more than capable of delivering death in droves from the sky while remaining effectively untouched.

US itself has AC-130, which, I suppose, kinda fits that role as well, even if it wasn't originally designed for it.

Comment: Re:Hi speed chase, hum? (Score 1) 411

by tlhIngan (#47434595) Attached to: The First Person Ever To Die In a Tesla Is a Guy Who Stole One

Minor collision? The BusinessInsider source claims the pursuing officers had to be hospitalized. That doesn't sound "minor" to me.

Or, basically if you're going 100mph, sideswiping the median, while normally a recoverable incident, becomes one where you can get hurt. Physics! (Remember, the energy in an object increases by the square of the velocity - go twice as fast, energy in the system quadruples).

Comment: Re:Unsafe at any speed (above 100 MPH)... (Score 1) 411

by tlhIngan (#47433833) Attached to: The First Person Ever To Die In a Tesla Is a Guy Who Stole One

I get what you're saying, but if the "high speeds" were "nearly" 100MPH it's not unreasonable to wonder just how the car got literally ripped in half. I do wonder about the safety of a car like that. A lot of the US's top Interstate speed limits are between 70-80MPH. You're not talking a huge difference in speed at that point, so it's not unreasonable to at least question the safeness of the car and ask for some additional testing/data.>blockquote>

The problem is energy. It increases with the square of velocity. (you know, (1/2)*m*v^2).

The survivability of a crash drops greatly going from 35mph to 50mph, going to 70mph drops it even more. Plus, given it's a city street not designed for such speeds, the chances of surviving go lower still.

Next, he was ejected from the car - usually because he wasn't wearing his seatbelt. Seeing as the car split behind the front seats, that would indicate he was an idiot, and people can die at 35mph being ejected. I don't think it's even survivable at 100mph when the fundamental safety system in a vehicle isn't used (all the others, airbags, etc., derive their benefits only when seatbelts are worn).

Hell, cars split in two all the time, usually going no faster than 55 or less.

Comment: Re:And how does it get these domains? (Score 1) 49

by tlhIngan (#47433715) Attached to: Gameover ZeuS Re-Emerges As Fast-Fluxing Botnet

They just need to register ONE of them to reestablish contact. They might even be able to use "domain tasting" to register a bunch and then cancel within 5 days.

Domain tasting is no longer possible - ICANN started charging 25 cents per domain registration years ago to counteract domain squatting where they'd register a bunch of domains, see if they make money, and return them if they don't.

By charging 25 cents always, it seems to have cut down the practice immensely because you need to register thousands of domains at a time, and that costs real scratch.

Comment: Re:Good. Let's go. (Score 1) 175

It may well be the case, but that's precisely why it makes sense to let private companies hash it out. If it's not just magical thinking, and they succeed, then everyone benefits from the development of the technology necessary to do it. If it is, then, well, a private company goes bankrupt.

Anything free is worth what you pay for it.