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Comment: How do you opt out? (Score 1) 168

by RockyMountain (#49038325) Attached to: Aims To Keep the Airspace Above Your Home Drone-Free

I am always suspicious of web sites that present only one interface -- something like "sign up here". No reading what the implications are first. No up-front disclosure of how to terminate the agreement if you change your mind. Basically, no information disclosed until you are already committed.

The web site appears to have a glaring omission. Provides for easy opt-in, but what about opt-out?

Suppose you own a property, and the previous owner was on the list. You buy a drone, and want to fly it on your own property. Oops!

Even if they fix that problem, and provide a way to remove an address from the list, there needs to be a robust way of ensuring that the change propagates quickly to new and existing drones.

Seems very half-baked and gimmicky to me.

Comment: Selection Bias? (Score 1) 197

by RockyMountain (#48860135) Attached to: The Most Popular Passwords Are Still "123456" and "password"

The article is a little light and fluffy. Doesn't say how these passwords were leaked.

Seems likely, though, that the very fact that they were leaked at all might be a form of selection bias. For example if the leakage vector involved some sort of cracking, it is hardly surprising at all that simple passwords dominate the list.

Comment: My opinion as a pilot (Score 5, Informative) 269

I have lost four of my friends to airplane accidents. Two were pilots -- in one case the it clearly his own fault, and in the other it was extremely bad piece of luck. The other two deaths were the direct result of naively trusting the wrong pilot.

I see two flavors of comment so far. Non-pilots saying they think the idea is scary, and pilots saying "aw, pshaw, I am well trained, what is the problem?". Well, I am a pilot myself (commercial pilot and certified flight instructor), yet I strongly agree with the "that's scary" crowd. I've flown many thousands of hours in all sorts of locales, weather, and equipment. I've handled numerous emergencies, with never a scratch. I've taught hundreds of other pilots to fly. But, in all that time, by far the scariest moments I have ever had in the air were occasions where I made the mistake of riding as a passenger with the wrong choice of pilot!

Those who place their faith in the FAA's training standards, simply fail to understand that the ratings indicate compliance with the bare legal minima -- essentially they mean nearly nothing.

Nor does safety correlate with pilot rating. I've met some mere student pilots that I'd sooner trust with my life than many commercial pilots. The variation from one individual pilot to the next, regardless of qualifications, by far exceeds the variations from one rating to another. That variation comes from preparedness, attitude experience and common sense. Bottom line, with the exception of airlines (where I have no choice!) I will NEVER ride with a pilot whose experience, skills, and attitude I do not personally know first hand. And, I'd never advise friends or loved ones to ride with "just any old pilot".

+ - Happy 100th Birthday, Bill Hewlett-> 1

Submitted by RockyMountain
RockyMountain writes: The day seems to be passing without comment in the news, so I figured I should at least point it out to Slashdot readers. Today is the 100th birthday of the late Silicon Valley pioneer William "Bill" Redington Hewlett, co-founder of Hewlett Packard.

Even HP's web site is silent on the event!

Link to Original Source

Comment: More importantly, how many items never received? (Score 1) 217

by RockyMountain (#43741765) Attached to: I typically receive X pieces of misdelivered (postal) mail ...

Very little problem with receiving someone else's mail, so I voted 1-10. Closer to the 1 end of the scale.

But, a bigger problem is items mailed to me that never arrived.

Historically, that number has been zero. But in the last month, I have had three separate items that were sent but never showed up. Mailed about a week apart, from three different senders. Percentage-wise, three missing items is plenty, as my (junk-mail-adjusted) received mail volume probably only amounts to about 10 items per month.

Comment: Re:Anything less than 80% is a waste of money (Score 1) 163

by RockyMountain (#43391947) Attached to: My primary, active (vs. backup) local disk space is ...

I'm not convinced.

IMO, expanding via RAID card is a bad idea. (Unless you need RAID for other legitimate reasons, such as redundancy/reliability, etc., and throw a lot of money at doing it right!)

RAID costs more energy. Say $10/year per SATA-internal disk, regardless of capacity. Assuming 24x7 power applied. Maybe a little lower with spin-down.

That may not sound like much, but it doesn't yet include the biggest cost of that additional energy -- heat. If your PC enclosure is remotely typical, its air circulation around the disk drives is pathetic. Pack two or three close together in most PC enclosures, and they will over-temp in almost any PC enclosure. (Check your SMART data, if you don't believe me.)

I'm not saying that high-density RAID drive cooling and powering is not possible. Indeed, it is. There are plenty of well-engineered commercial RAID storage solutions on the market (and plenty of bad ones too, BTW). They have great cooling and power distribution. But, they are EXPENSIVE! Your $69-versus-$99 disk comparison is a drop in the bucket compared to the costs of doing RAID well!

The Military

+ - US Air Force's 1950s supersonic flying saucer declassified-> 2

Submitted by
MrSeb writes: "Tighten the strap on your tinfoil hat: Recently declassified documents show that the US Air Force was working on, and perhaps had already built, a supersonic flying saucer in 1956. The aircraft, which had the code name Project 1794, was developed by the USAF and Avro Canada in the 1950s. One declassified memo, which seems to be the conclusion of initial research and prototyping, says that Project 1794 is a flying saucer capable of “between Mach 3 and Mach 4,” (2,300-3,000 mph) a service ceiling of over 100,000 feet (30,500m), and a range of around 1,000 nautical miles (1,150mi, 1850km). According to declassified cutaway diagrams, the supersonic flying saucer would propel itself by rotating an outer disk at very high speed, taking advantage of the Coand effect. Maneuvering would be accomplished by using small shutters on the edge of the disc (similar to ailerons on a winged aircraft). Power would be provided by jet turbines. According to the cutaway diagrams, the entire thing would even be capable of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL). The fact that there are no disc-shaped aircraft in the skies today, though, suggests that the USAF's flying saucer efforts probably never got past the prototype stage."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Iceland, Scotland, Ireland, Colorado Trail (Score 1) 240

by RockyMountain (#40911737) Attached to: On my summer vacation, I did / will do / am doing:

A week hiking on the Colorado Trail.
Five days in Iceland (Reykjavik area), including a trip down an extinct volcano core (
A coupla days in and around Edinburgh, Scotland.
Several days hiking on Ireland's Beara Peninsula.
A week-long family reunion in Doolin, County Clare, Ireland. (My family).
24 hours in Boston, Massachusetts, reunion with old friends.
A week-long family reunion in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. (My wife's family).
I checked the "spectacular" box. :-)

(I don't usually get that much time off work, this took some special arrangements!)

Comment: William Heath Robinson (Score 0) 542

by RockyMountain (#40080883) Attached to: Of currently dead inventors, my favorite is ...

Comment: Download Ubuntu, and get tagged a thief! (Score 1) 366

by RockyMountain (#39361145) Attached to: Interview With Suren Ter From 'You Have Downloaded'

Just for the heck of it, I tried searching for downloads of known 100% legal content -- Linux distributions, kernels etc.

Sure enough, there are people (well ok, IP addresses actually) accused of being thieves because they downloaded perfectly legal materials. Nowhere on Ter's web site did I see a single mention of the distinction between merely using file sharing (which is legal) and using it to violate copyright laws (which is not).

This distinction is apparently unknown to Suren Ter, or more likely deliberately ignored. His rhetoric clearly states that if you ever use file sharing, under any circumstances, you are a thief!

What a bozo!



An Animal That Lives Without Oxygen 166

Posted by timothy
from the besides-me dept.
Julie188 writes "Scientists have found the first multicellular animals that apparently live entirely without oxygen. The creatures reside deep in one of the harshest environments on earth: the Mediterranean Ocean's L'Atalante basin, which contains salt brine so dense that it doesn't mix with the oxygen-containing waters above."

Geomagnetic Storm In Progress 110

Posted by Soulskill
from the sky-is-falling dept.
shogun writes "The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports a strong geomagnetic storm is in progress. The shuttle, ISS and GPS systems may be affected." They think this storm was caused by a weak solar flare on April 3rd. As you may expect, this has caused some unusually impressive northern lights since it started. What you may not expect is a photograph from Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi aboard the International Space Station showing the aurora from orbit. He apparently tweets a lot of pictures from space. He and his crewmates have taken over 100,000 pictures since coming aboard the ISS.

Want a Body Piercing With That Server? 19

Posted by samzenpus
from the this-will-only-hurt-for-a-little-while dept.
1sockchuck writes "The web hosting business is known for promotional gimmicks. But here's an unusual one: ServerBeach UK is offering a free body piercing with every new server ordered on April 1st. 'We were tired of the typical boring giveaways that have been done to death' said ServerBeach's Dominic Monkhouse. The stunt revives memories of earlier guerrilla marketing efforts by web hosts, like the 'human billboard' who was paid $7,000 to tattoo a hosting company's logo on the back of his head."

The decision doesn't have to be logical; it was unanimous.