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Comment: Re:Can someone explainn (Score 1) 156

by ScentCone (#48934533) Attached to: Drone Maker Enforces No-Fly Zone Over DC, Hijacking Malware Demonstrated
The problem is that if the airframe is moving directly at the White House from, say, New York Ave, it could do so at ten feet above the ground. Would still clear the fence, but anybody on the roof of the White House opening up with any sort of AA or even conventional small arms fire would be, essentially, shooting right at hundreds of people, cars, trucks, and office buildings. NOT an easy problem to solve.

Comment: Re:Seems a bit unfair (Score 2) 156

by ScentCone (#48934445) Attached to: Drone Maker Enforces No-Fly Zone Over DC, Hijacking Malware Demonstrated

I think you mean to say, "If drones are illegal, only criminals will have drones".

Yes. And drones don't kill people, people kill people. It's actually kinda funny to watch a lot of normally "progressive" types who've always reflexively ridiculed the sport shooting types for their defensive postures regarding irrational gun laws ... suddenly find themselves in exactly the same predicament. "But I just want to do some fine art landscape photography from 50' feet up!" Uh huh, and I just want to break some clay pigeons. But we're BOTH evil now! How's it feel buddy!

Comment: Re:Can someone explainn (Score 1) 156

by ScentCone (#48934173) Attached to: Drone Maker Enforces No-Fly Zone Over DC, Hijacking Malware Demonstrated

And you think that's going to get by undetected?

Scenario: pop away some sort of cover on a flatbed truck a couple of blocks from the White House. Fire up a very un-sexy, easy to build hexa than can easy lift a few pounds. It could quickly self-navigate straight up to a couple hundred or more feet (these things can climb like rockets), above any local building tops, and then move horizontally towards the White House at the better part of 50mph. Who CARES if it can be detected? If there are people on the White House lawn doing some sort of camera op or press conference, that bird would be right over them in the blink of an eye, and could drop something nasty with shocking accuracy, within a meter of a typical presser podium. It would happen so fast that being detected or not doesn't really matter.

I love these machines. They're great for all sorts of fun and creative uses. But a smart, determined bad guy really could put them to some very evil, if innovative, use. And that's the point. New government limits on their use make the bad guys just laugh!

Comment: Re:Can someone explainn (Score 1) 156

by ScentCone (#48934101) Attached to: Drone Maker Enforces No-Fly Zone Over DC, Hijacking Malware Demonstrated

the payload of the DJI Phantom line is measured in low-double-digit grams

I have a pimped out Phantom. The extra payload it carries:

1) GCU
2) Gimbal
3) GoPro with Battery
4) Video Downlink TX with cloverleaf antenna
5) iOSD
6) Various related cables, mounting hardware

Which all adds up to almost 340g - and it still maneuvers like crazy, and stays up for an easy 15 minutes.

No, it's not a lot. But it's lot more than low-double-digits. My bigger rig can easily carry 8 or 9 pounds while climbing to hundreds of feet faster than you'd believe. And it can go horizontally at a pretty frightening speed.

Comment: Re:Can someone explainn (Score 3, Informative) 156

by ScentCone (#48930757) Attached to: Drone Maker Enforces No-Fly Zone Over DC, Hijacking Malware Demonstrated

What is the security risk posed by small drones? In your explanation please include "Drones are better than mortars at delivering explosives because..."

Because a drone can autonomously delivery a brick of C4 to within a meter of where you want it to go on your first try. And you can be miles away while it does that. "Miles away" is also handy if you're using it to deliver an aerosoled nerve agent or some bio-nasty substance over, say, a presidential press conference in the Rose Garden, or a speech on the steps of the Capital.

Comment: Re:kinda illegal already, by a rule referring to a (Score 1) 156

by ScentCone (#48930733) Attached to: Drone Maker Enforces No-Fly Zone Over DC, Hijacking Malware Demonstrated

Is it a law that they have to do it?

No, this is them annoying some of their customers (people who want to fly illegally in the DC no-fly zone) in an attempt to preempt knee-jerk over compensating by federal authorities. The feds would rather just ban the devices entirely, period.

Comment: Re:Seems a bit unfair (Score 4, Insightful) 156

by ScentCone (#48930729) Attached to: Drone Maker Enforces No-Fly Zone Over DC, Hijacking Malware Demonstrated
In the Washington DC area, flights of any kind are and have been for many years very severely controlled. The DC Flight Restriction Zone (the "DC FRZ") is a 30-mile-wide circle in side of which it is illegal to fly any sort of remote control device of any kind at any altitude. So, yes, it sucks to be in the suburbs, seemingly a long way away from the sensitive downtown areas that include the White House, the Capital, Reagan Airport, the CIA campus, and all of those other high-profile places and people ... but, too bad! Federal offense with stiff fines and possible jail time if you're caught. That includes kids with $20 bought-it-at-the-mall 6" pink plastic helicopters playing around in their back yard. Yes, it's ridiculous. On the other hand, it's a rare week when a trio of big helicopters doing runs like the one between the White House and Camp David don't go thundering over the tree tops of suburban Maryland. You can hear them coming quite a ways out, and if you were prepared, you could easily have a modest quadcopter or more substantial hexa up to over 1000' feet and be at the same altitiude as (or above) Marine One by the time it and its decoy siblings flew directly over your house on the way to a routine presidential golf outing. That's the sort of thing that has had the DoD, Secret Service, HSA, and FAA all uptight. Mind you, a person flying a more or less radar-invisible foam and plastic RC plane could have done that many years ago, too.

And so we have a 700 square mile area where flying a 3-pound DJI quadcopter is very, very illegal, and has been for years. That DJI is updating their GPS-aware flight control firmware to make it impossible to fly their devices in that area is a sign that they don't want their products to be simply banned outright. We are not at the sweet spot of rational rules and implementation on this one, not even close. And of course someone with true mal intent isn't going to be bothered by the rules or the firmware limitations anyway.

Comment: Re:A! SS! HO! LE! (Score 1) 234

by ScentCone (#48919125) Attached to: White House Drone Incident Exposes Key Security Gap

I've heard those things and they often sound like a pissed off weedeater.

You have no idea what you're talking about. A passing car is louder than a small, well-tuned quad with quality balanced rotors at ground level. 30' in the air? Barely audible. There are noisier ones. I work with a 25-pound octo that sounds completely horrifying, and I know when and where to operate it. But thanks for speaking out of ignorance - it helps to put all of this stuff in perspective.

Comment: Re:Accidental bugs? (Score 2) 209

by ScentCone (#48917929) Attached to: Serious Network Function Vulnerability Found In Glibc

There must be agencies seeding these projects, commercial and open source, with toxic contributors injected there to deliberately contaminate the code with such bugs. The further fact that one never sees responsible persons identified, removed and blacklisted suggests that contamination is top down.

Or, you are yourself a toxic seed planted by The Man in order to foment FUD and make good people not want to be part of these projects. Or something like that. Give it a rest with the absurd conspiracy crap.

Comment: Re:Why fly at 3AM? (Score 1) 234

by ScentCone (#48917113) Attached to: White House Drone Incident Exposes Key Security Gap
I've flown that exact same piece of equipment at 3:00 AM, just for fun. Not on Pennsylvania Ave in downtown DC, of course. But if the guy's a hobby flier up late on a weekend night playing with this quad copter, maybe trying to get a couple of cool scenic night time shots, is that so hard to believe? Or is your tinfoil hat so tight that you're also going to assume I can't possibly have been up late updating firmware, swapping some motors around, and then stepped outside in the low-traffic, peaceful night time hours to test my handiwork? Can't be! I must be an FBI stooge! Please.

Comment: Re:Frickin' Lasers! (Score 1) 234

by ScentCone (#48917073) Attached to: White House Drone Incident Exposes Key Security Gap

the Navy *does* have some recently-deployed point defense laser technology designed to shoot down incoming cruise missiles

The problem is that the incoming drone could easily be flying below tree-top height. Like, 20 feet off the ground. Laser counter measures would be shooting at a target that would have large office buildings and other structures directly behind it.

Comment: Re:Where Does He Stand On the Issues? (Score 1) 120

by ScentCone (#48912667) Attached to: Fark's Drew Curtis Running For Governor of Kentucky

Either way - in the absence of authority, there is no reason to fear the abuse of authority.

That's not really a system of thought, though, because it doesn't define a system. It describes the way that some people may, out of pure irrationality, imagine the world to work in their childish fantasies. When you get a bunch of people together and decide (look, a group decision!) that there will be no group decisions (?) forming any sort of authority or formal structure governing how they all interact, you're basically walking away from civilization. At best, you're setting up for medieval feudalism. True, you don't have to fear abuse from an authority you establish ... instead, you have to fear abuse from anyone who feels like using force to abuse you, and you've got no recourse because you've already decided that recourse beyond your own ability to withstand the use of force against by one or a thousand or a million other people is too organized and authoritative for your taste. By not establishing authority, one cedes authority to anyone else who feels like claiming it. So, people espousing that point of view are basically twits.

Comment: Re:Where Does He Stand On the Issues? (Score 1) 120

by ScentCone (#48909141) Attached to: Fark's Drew Curtis Running For Governor of Kentucky

So even if you get 90% of the people to vote that all gays should be put to death on a funeral pyre the law STILL wouldn't pass because the 10% voting against it would include the gay people and because they are only ones affected, and the way they are affected is so extreme

Really? So, you'd be in favor of the government making sure they know who is and who isn't gay in order properly run skewed elections and referenda? How about simply having a clause in your constitution that says (as ours does) that everyone is treated equally under the law? Isn't that simpler than getting the government involved in keeping lists of who is on which part of a given spectrum of sexual orientation or skin color, etc?

Comment: Re:Where Does He Stand On the Issues? (Score 1) 120

by ScentCone (#48902267) Attached to: Fark's Drew Curtis Running For Governor of Kentucky

You want to know who also agrees with you, terrorists agree with you, which is why they use terror to force people to do things that the terrorists want them to do.

Really? You equate our constitutional system of checks and balances to terrorism? Terrorism is the simple majority deciding that they can tell you what to do. Are you OK with 51% of the population deciding that you no longer get to speak freely, because they don't like what you have to say? That's democracy. A constitutional republic (which we are, that's not really open for debate, even when you confuse it with something else, like a monarchy - and you're very confused, here) has tools in place to prevent people like you from rallying 51% of the people who vote to do things like have the other 49% enslaved, or killed, or whatever you'd like to see done in the name of your having the majority of simple votes on the matter.

Democracy ie representing the majority

The majority is not always right, and the people who wrote our constitution knew that. It's why the country isn't run like one bit PTA meeting or a dog club. We have three branches of government, and the legislative branch is broken up in to two houses specifically to blunt the tyranny of the majority. You either haven't ever studied the basics of how the constitution is structured, or you have, and your pretending you haven't so that you can make your really bad analogies. Please try to get it straight.

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