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Comment Re:Noise pollution (Score 1) 256

If you were handy, we'd do a little test. I'll take four different size multi-rotors up to 400' when you're not looking, and then we'll see how well you can tell where they are, which direction they're going, or if you can even hear them at all.

Then, I'll bring one in for a quick vertical landing at the same time a UPS diesel panel truck rolls up next to you to make a delivery, and you can tell me where the drone is, using only your ears.

You're speaking without experience, or deliberately trolling.

Comment Re:Americans...why ? (Score 1) 256

The massive amount of people killed each year

You mean the number that is far lower than the number of people killed through preventable accidents in hospitals? Or in car accidents? That sort of thing? The number that's been going steadily down for 30 years? The number half of which are suicides? The murders that are highly concentrated in just a handful of some sections of some urban areas that also feature high numbers of knifings, beatings, and other kinds of murders? Take those few urban areas (run, every one of them, for decades by progressive lefty legislatures/councils and executives) out of stats, and the murder rate in general (to say nothing of those that happened to involve the use of a firearm) are below 16 other modern western democracies including in Europe. In other words, "Americans" don't want to shoot anything/everything, but there are some urban areas in the US where politcal correctness and lefty politics have cultivated acute local crime problems. These are also the areas with the most draconian gun control laws, of course.

If you think your guns let you defend yourself against the government, you really need some help.

Which comment of mine are you replying to, exactly? Please be specific.

Comment Re:Trees and powerlines? (Score 1) 256

Not counting your airport problem, it's quite possible that properties like yours will simply be on the "Sorry, we can't deliver to your address by this mechanism" list. That's going to be true of millions and millions of residences. Probably MOST residences. This will be more useful for exurbs, and for deliveries to places like corporate office parks, hospitals, or other spots that might need rush deliveries and have more reliably plausible LZs. Logistics are likely to be case by case.

Comment Re:Americans...why ? (Score 1) 256

Because drones flying over your house are an invasion of privacy

Actually no, no they're not. You might have an argument if the machine is being operated literally feet above your house, or below your treetops. But traversing the airspace above your house isn't any more invasion of your property than is driving by it with a car. Do you feel that your privacy is being invaded when a traffic reporting Cessna flies over? No? Why not? Be specific.

Comment Re:Americans...why ? (Score 1) 256

Why do Americans want to shoot anything/everything ?

No, the question is why does everyone else feel the need to keep that meme alive? Is it to make themselves feel better about having given away their own ability to defend themselves? There are plenty of places around the world where people go and spend an hour on the trap and skeet ranges. It's like bowling or golf. Why do all of the Germans, Swedes, French, Italians, Japanese, British, Russian, Brazilian, Spanish, Chinese, Australian, Latvian, and everyone else who do that want to shoot everything? Or is that maybe not really a reasonable characterization, as it turns out?

Comment Re:the main legit use i can see (Score 1) 256

Really? How do you use an airport in a no-fly zone?

Don't be an idiot. You know perfectly well what the GP is referring to. The FAA says no UAS activity within 5 miles of an airport. To the extent that one can make advance arrangements - including special permission, a filed flight plan, etc - per flight, you might be able to get away with that. That completely rules out on-demand delivery services like those being discussed. In every practical sense, that makes the five miles surrounding airports UAS delivery NFZ's. The entire DC metro area and many other spots are also completely, permanently off limits.

Comment Re:converter (Score 2) 376

Yes, and you could buy a floppy disk drive very cheaply too. Nobody uses those anymore either.

What a ridiculous comparison. Floppies were limited in their design capacity, and Apple's decision to start phasing them out in 1998 (I believe) was ALSO premature. Why? Because there wasn't a good alternative on the market yet for those who needed to transfer files. Zipdisks were fine, but they were pricey, buggy, and annoying. CD-ROMs were write-only. CD-RWs were unreliable and often unsupported in some readers. It was really the USB flash drive which finally replaced the floppy, but that didn't come around until 2000. Once they became cheap and popular, most computer companies finally started dropping floppy drives.

On the other hand, lots of people complained about Apple's decision to drop the optical drive on the MacBook Air, but I thought they were behind the times on that one. I've been using laptops (ultraportables) that didn't come with an optical drive since 2005. The reality is if you wanted the lightest, smallest laptop, why would you carry an optical drive around with you?

And yet they are still useful periodically, so when I built my current desktop, obviously I put an optical drive in. The choice is for a specific use case -- you want the lightest thinnest possible thing, why not get rid of something bulky? You could always buy a USB optical drive, which I've been using with every laptop I've had since 2005. For bigger laptops ("desktop replacements"), an optical drive can still be useful depending on what you do.

So digital audio to the speaker is the future, and then it might as well be wireless. Or you'd have to define a new physical connector which supplies power and a digital signal.

What the heck are you talking about? Why do you think you need to replace the physical connector to get the advantages in digital signal you want? You can ALREADY buy a bluetooth headset and use it with current technology. Your argument doesn't make any sense -- "There are some things that you can't do with the analog audio connector, and if you wanted to do them that way, you'd need other complicated things." NO -- if you want those things, you just buy BLUETOOTH now.

The only difference Apple's decision here makes is that we're all forced to buy more expensive tech to do a rather simple task. The vast majority of people don't care about the audio things you're talking about -- they listen on the crappiest set of earbuds they can buy.

Except now you want to force them to bulk UP those crappy earbuds with a battery and a Bluetooth connection.

Frankly, I don't want to have another device with batteries to deal with. It's already enough to worry about to plug in my phone and tablet to charge. Now I need to be ready to replace the battery in my headphones or charge them too?

Sorry, but even if the cost for wireless was similar, that's just too much of a pain for little benefit. To me, it's the same as wireless mice and keyboards. I bought my first wireless mouse in 2005, I think. It was cool for a couple weeks. Then I had to replace the battery. Then I decided it wasn't necessary. I've never bought another wireless mouse or keyboard since. If I had a specific use case where running a wire was annoying (e.g., controlling a TV across the room or whatever), then sure, I'd use one. But I don't need to have a wireless mouse to "declutter my desk." Dealing with batteries is just annoying unless there's a significant tangible advantage.

Same thing with this headphone thing. I'm not going to deal with batteries to power my headphones unless there's a real advantage. I do actually have Bose noise-cancelling headphones, which are awesome for when I use them, and yes they require batteries. But that's for a use case like airplanes where there's a real advantage. On a daily basis if I'm out for a walk or whatever, I don't want to deal with my battery in my earbuds going dead... just so Apple can shave another fraction of a millimeter off the thickness of its devices. (And of course, that's not the real reason -- they want to see you buy some expensive connector or other peripherals.)

Comment Re:Percentages vs raw numbers (Score 1) 197

Suppose there was a just a single serial killer out there that killed one person every year for the past 25 years. Population doubles every 23 years or so. So it looks like he has cut his death rate in half, when it has actually stayed the same.

I'm not sure I understand your point here. In your hypothetical situation where the world only has one serial killer murdering people, suppose there are 1000 people at the beginning. The serial killer is killing 1 person each year, so I have a 0.1% of being murdered this year. There is also 0.1% of the population (the serial killer) which is going around killing other people.

In 25 years, if the population is 2000, now my chances of being murdered by this guy are 0.05%, and only 0.05% of our population is composed of murderous wackos.

How is that NOT an improvement in overall safety of society? Granted, this particular guy hasn't improved in terms of his murderous tendencies, and it's a tragedy that people are still being killed.

But if your goal is to measure the collective safety of a society, wouldn't you rather live in a place where the murder rate was 1 in 2000 vs. 1 in 1000?

I agree that there are times when it's helpful to talk about raw numbers and other times when percentages are better. But isn't "whether the world is a violent place?" one situation where you'd be more interested in percentages, since those reflect the overall tendency of human interactions? Violence is not just the result of one serial killer -- it's often a collective societal thing.

Or, to put it another way, if the population was decreasing steadily (instead of increasing), would you still be telling us we need to look at "raw numbers" instead of percentages? If we had a society of 1 million with 10,000 murders per year (1% -- probably good numbers for medieval society), and the next year due to plague we had a society of 100,000 but still with 10,000 murders per year (10%), wouldn't you be concerned about the increase rather than the fact that the raw number is the same?? ("Oh, I know 1 in 10 of you will be killed by random violence this year, but keep in mind -- our raw numbers are still at pre-plague levels! You're still as safe as houses!")

Comment Re:It just seems bad because of the news cycle. (Score 4, Insightful) 197

I don't blame the news cycle. Do we really needs news headlines like: "People all over the world go about regular business, all goes fine"?

No, we don't need articles like that, which would be pointless.

What we do need (and what I think TFA is arguing for) is perspective. Whether you're talking about overall violent crime rate, child abductions, campus rape, whatever -- the general trend over the past couple decades has been DOWN.

Yes, there are still terrible things happening. And we should work to try to make things better. But there's a difference between focusing on the bad things to make the world better and just being an irrational pessimist with no perspective of history.

I say this as someone who used to be an irrational pessimist. I was the sort of person back in my early 20s who thought, "I can't imagine ever having children -- I mean, who would bring a child into a world that's so terrible?"

I look back at that perspective and realize that my viewpoint was shaped by the news. It was shaped by the continuous clamor of politicians trying to make things sound worse and worse because it was to their advantage in making a case that they were the answer to improvement.

There's more and easier access to information now, and more important stuff is being reported, and that's a good thing. Keep the bad news coming.

Agreed. But maybe -- just maybe -- it might be good to have the news in perspective once in a while. Not "People go about their daily business, and all's fine," but at least an acknowledgement of "Terrible thing X is happening. We still need to improve a lot, but let's just note things have been moving in the right direction on issue X for the past 30 years" or whatever.

All Finagle Laws may be bypassed by learning the simple art of doing without thinking.