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Comment Democratic temperature election (Score 1) 354

Give everyone in the office a vote every 30 minutes. The unused votes accumulate up to a months worth. The election determines if and how the temperature changes during that period. Add a time window during which there aren't normally workers in the office and set a baseline temp based on energy conservation, if there are any votes during that period the baseline is overruled and reverts to the last temp of "in office" hours for maybe 4 periods to be extended with any additional periods with votes.

The theromostat automatically drifts to the most stable temperature range everyone is good with and both accounts for empty offices and people working late. This minimizes people with big thermal swings causing big swings in office temp so there is no need for dummy thermostats.

Comment 75 seems pretty reasonable (Score 1) 354

It's a nice comfortable temperature for the house in summer. As for winter, wear a coat during the trips to and from the car and wear summer like clothes underneath. Drop the requirements for formal wear from the office dress code altogether. In most cases, drop the requirement to go to the office altogether.

Comment Re:Peh (Score 0) 354

"Those men can not remove clothes to become cooler without incurring the wrath of HR (quite rightly)."

They can't remove clothes but there is nothing right about dressing cooler being something that incurs the wrath of HR. We could as a society get rid of the suits and antiquated formal wear that men are expected to wear in the office. Seems preferable to contributing to global warming.

Comment Re:Another kook (Score 1) 511

Note, the ATF (and I guess now ITAR) is who determines if what you are doing constitutes "for personal use" on a case-by-case basis.

Basically, you run in to the problem as a drug user who stocks up to minimize his risk. If you have too much they could decide it automatically proves your intention to distribute with no additional evidence.

Comment Re:Another kook (Score 1) 511

"However, I have added scopes to a number of rifles that did not come with them. I wonder what the take is on add-on laser scopes? How about if you have rails and attach a scope? Is a pointing device a scope?"

You are probably fine. You can still "manufacture" by yourself for personal use. In practice this mostly impacts those with an FFL who do what was "gunsmithing" but is now called "gun manufacturing". Most FFL 01's are individuals without shops who just source from wholesalers and can legally receive transfers for people shopping online. Maybe you clean it up to get shavings out and check it over. Possibly do some minor trigger cleanup and that kind of thing. The FFL isn't what makes you subject to the requirement but it is what makes you easy to find.

At first people jumped to the FFL 07 which is double the cost but covers "manufacturing". Plus they could pick up a couple hundred bucks here and there drilling out an AR lower, stamping with a serial (logging of course) and building a custom rifle out of it for someone. Then ITAR starting cracking down on people with the 07 who weren't registered with them. As far as I know this is the only place it's been enforced so far.

It would legally kick in if you helped a buddy who was just getting in to shooting put on a quad rail, drill out an AR lower, or even install a scope.

Comment Re:50m 200ft (Score 1) 511

You are naming off a few very specific circumstance exceptions. These won't even necessarily be the same in two different counties let alone two different states. They wouldn't apply pretty much anywhere if a tag where put on the car, a "I'll be back for this stuff later" uttered, or any form of meeting of minds regarding the safe return of property entrusted to the friend.

The point is not whether there are circumstances under which you can dispose of someones property when it's on your property. The point is that something being on your property does not automatically entitle you to do what you wish with it by virtue of that fact alone. Even when you do have the right to dispose of the property, doing so in a way that intentionally reduces it's value can incur civil damages that can be recouped in small claims court.

A toy RC copter being interactively and legally flown in air space that happens to be over your property is definitely not abandoned or entrusted without contract. You aren't entitled to cause several hundred dollars in property damage to it for shits and giggles.

Comment Re: 20% slowdown isn't that bad... (Score 0) 124

No, most of vistas problems were due to drm. With the release version of vistas playing a music file would reduce reduce network bandwidth by like 80%. This was fixed in a SP but it was available weeks after 7 launched and there was no reason to run vistas.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 511

"Drone props are either hard plastic (ABS) or carbon fiber."

Carbon fiber exist but they don't actually help that much. Smacking a steel ball at high rpm carbon fiber might be worse.

"I've seen people push around drones with their hands and the drone didn't fuck up and explode."

The BODY of a drone sure, but not the high rpm rotor. If you touch the rotor at full blast then ouch. And yes, you are pretty much guaranteed to bend the rotor. On the ground your drone might still fly and a good pilot might be able to compensate and keep flying even but at 200ft a newbie pilot would have no chance to recover from a rotor being anything but perfect. Steel shot of any size is going to be a much harder impact than your soft hand.

"Drones don't tend to explode when they land, but clay pigeons do."

You are acting as if I was referring to the actual structural integrity of the body of the drone vs the clay. A clay doesn't have fragile rotors and a motor which supplies far in excess of the energy required to break those rotors. If you are landing a drone on purpose the ground isn't crashing into the rotors blasting at full rpm. If your drone hits the ground otherwise it may not explode but it definitely breaks. A 200 ft drop would likely be enough to crack the body, especially since the quad likely wouldn't have simply fallen but propelled itself at full speed into the ground.

With a small drone at low rpm you might just bend a rotor and be able to compensate and fly it a bit more around your living room or yard. You don't reach full rpm in these places because they are too small. At high rpm, 200ft in even the most still of outside conditions your rotor touching a little steel ball is end game for certain.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 511

"So switch to bird shot. Figure just over 1.5 oz of lead bb shot in a 12 gauge 3" shell, that's ~80 pellets. Significantly more likely to hit, but at 200 feet, the .56 grams of a pellet is moving at roughly 600 fps between air resistance and gravity, which is just over 9 newtons (2 pounds) of kinetic energy hitting the drone."

This would be my choice for drone dropping. The shot does not need to have any kinetic energy, all the energy required comes from the high rpm rotor (think rpm of a cpu cooler fan but reduce the weight of the plastic to that of a 40mm fan then stretch out the blades several inches). An example of an item that successfully breaks this type of rotor if it makes contact is a a dry leaf. The slower the pellet is traveling when it reaches the elevation of the drone the more likely it is that contact will occur and therefore the drone will go down.

The "hover" on something as light as one of these quads is about a 10ft sphere in still air as the drone is constantly adjusting trying to hold position, over compensating, correcting again etc. The movement in that area would be so rapid and erratic than you can essentially think of the target in this case not as 20" but a 10ft sphere. And honestly, that is giving a first time pilot too much credit.

"Yeah, commercial drones are wimpy, but not /that/ wimpy."

Yes, actually they are. You literally can drop one flicking it with your finger. It isn't uncommon at all for a new pilot to have destroyed his new drone on the first flight. They generally come with your first set of replacement rotors and you quickly learn to keep a stock of them. The rest of the drone is usually a bit more durable. But if you break a rotor at 200ft the crash will destroy the rest of the drone.

Comment Re: Really? (Score 1) 511

It's 200ft not 200 yards. The power to damage the quad comes from the rotor motor and the momentum of the high rpm they spin at not the shot. Think of a computer fan but with longer, thinner, and cheaper blades that are just as hard and therefore brittle. Provided you can get the shot to the quad the 200 ft is only relevant in terms of spread.

It doesn't even have to break the brittle plastic rotors, bending one is enough to crash the quad and a 200ft drop will do a fine job of smashing up a quad.

Comment Re:Another kook (Score 1) 511

It is perfectly logical allow. No nation has ever become a democracy in an environment where the few did not need to fear the many. There is absolutely no reason to believe a democracy can remain free while the few do not fear the many. And with our laws as they stand the few most definitely do not fear the many.

First of all, something like surface to air missiles of any notable power and sophistication are outside the reach of most if totally legalized. Only the wealthy who can have whatever they want now and large groups could get them even all the red tape were dropped. Even if people had them 99.999% of people would never use them because they aren't looking to kill someone. If you are mentally ill you can easily cobble together an explosive and a surface to air missile isn't exactly impossible to make.

But I think most people don't understand the state we are in with regard to the second amendment. Fully automatic and explosive devices aren't illegal but they do require federal licensing, and that is expensive. Most people think fully automatic means machine guns and all military rifles (except sniper rifles) qualify as fully automatic. But that isn't true. You can actually modify a civilian arm to fire rapidly like a machine gun trivially without qualifying as a fully automatic weapon.

The ATF rules are actually written in such a way that you can't design any kind of gun that doesn't work the way guns did 100 years ago. A rail gun? That isn't a gun. Make an electronic gun. Not a gun or qualifies as fully automatic. Any of these thing would fall under far more restrictive a classification or be completely outlawed per ATF regulations.

But more recently a number of executive orders have resulted in the ATF reclassifying just about everything one does with an existing gun as no longer being considered "gunsmithing" but now being classified as gun manufacturing. For example, if one puts a scope on an existing rifle that has already been legally manufactured with a serial number according to ATF regulations, that used to be "gunsmithing" which was already silly since it's external but now is manufacturing. Never mind that you started with an existing gun and ended with only one gun and didn't even so much as modify that gun.

This ties together which a second tactic used by the administration. ITAR is a government organization for regulating international military exports and imports. The President was empowered to keep the list of military articles covered and delegated to secretary of state (Hillary Clinton). Military articles specifically excludes items in common civilian use or manufactured for civilian use. Hillary ignored this restriction and updated the list to include shotguns and small rifles and handguns under .50 caliber so the list now effectively includes every firearm. Note the military does not typically use semi-automatic weapons and by far the largest use of arms under .50 caliber is by civilians. All rifles, shotguns, and handguns are considered small arms by the military. Every "gun manufacturer" (anyone who slides on a scope) must now register with ITAR, pay several thousand dollars, and comply with regulations intended for manufacturers contracting with the US Military and building missiles. That is, assuming ITAR would ever approve that registration.

What does all that amount to? It restricts all gun manufacturing and gunsmithing to a few massive manufacturers who contract with the military and can easily be monitored with their sales and inventory tracked electronically. Manufacturers who can be effectively federally regulated by the executive via threats to their lucrative military contracts.

Either that or you have to do it one off by yourself... but nobody is allowed to let you use their tools or help you either.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 511

Agreed. There should be damages. If someone leaves their car on your property and you destroy you are liable for civil damages. You don't have the right to destroy other people's things just because they are in your home or on your land. At least not in any jurisdiction I'm aware of. This is hardly a criminal matter unless he violated some ordinance against discharging a firearm in city limits.

That said, the claim that your property doesn't extend up is ridiculous. The one world trade center is 541m tall. If you can legally build a 541m tall structure on your property (albeit with permits and appropriate lights to signal aircraft at night I'm sure) then you most certainly should be considered to own everything at least 541m up whether you've opted to put something there yet or not.

And provided one has put the same indicator lights on it as a radio tower one should be able to fly something in that air as well. Which isn't what is being debated here but I've been working on a personal project where that could be a relevant factor.

"In the face of entropy and nothingness, you kind of have to pretend it's not there if you want to keep writing good code." -- Karl Lehenbauer