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Comment: Re: Drop your weapon... (Score 1) 318

Doesn't matter. What matters is why the officers understand they've been dispatched to the scene, and what they believe they're seeing when they arrive.

Obviously you're able to tell a real gun from a replica at a distance while someone waving it around, but most people can't, including cops, until they have it in hand, personally. You might be comfortable risking other people's lives by making them assume that all guns are toys until they've been shot at, but people who actually do have, as a feature of their daily job, other people assaulting and trying to kill them, probably wouldn't want you armchairing on their behalf.

The solution? Actual thinking parents not sending their kid out into public to act stupid with a replica gun. To teach a kid that when they see a cop car rolling up, to perhaps consider not looking crazy and waiving said replica gun around. This is a 100% lapse on the part of parents and a completely crappy position for the cops to have been put in. I know that you would be safe, because you would omnipotent and know, from a distance, that the replica gun wasn't real, and that if it was real, the universe's special karma system would protect you from the laws of physics because you are A Better Person Than Cops Are, and bullets wouldn't be able to hurt you.

Comment: Re:Drop your weapon... (Score 2, Insightful) 318

If you're that unable to grasp the difference between the possibility that someone might be carrying a weapon (say, in a violin case), and cops responding to someone's alarmed call about a guy brandishing a gun in public, and having that gun waved at them as they arrive on the scene, then you are completely out of touch with reality. Cops get killed, more often than you seem to know (or perhaps not as often as you'd like?) for misjudging the risk to their lives as they come upon such scenes or make a traffic stop. If you did that all day, every day, and some of your colleagues died doing what you have to do for your job, you might look at it a little differently. You're probably thinking that the police should have just hidden behind their magic bullet-proof cruiser doors like in the movies, right? Yeah. That kid shouldn't be dead. I blame his parents, 100%.

Comment: Re:Clearly these hackers just need jobs!!! (Score 1) 86

by ScentCone (#49104441) Attached to: US State Department Can't Get Rid of Email Hackers

People generally don't know they are ignorant until AFTER they are educated. You think those in the middle ages knew they were ignorant while they were doing medieval things?

Which has what to do with Islamist groups that seek out and destroy schools and educators because they are schools and educators? If your point is that they can't help themselves because they are ignorant, then you're indirectly also saying that they must be forced to overcome that ignorance (since they act, aggressively, to destroy the institutions that would gladly educate them if they showed up wanting an education). And forcing them to be educated means ... using force. It means physically protecting schools, teachers, and students with rough men willing to use violence to beat back the school destroying people and organizations.

In the meantime, other cultures seem to have nicely figured out how to avoid embracing medieval sensibilities. They used to be anti-education theocracies, too. But they're not, now. What changed? Why can't these Islamist groups and their millions of Muslim apologists and funding sources do the same?

Comment: Re:Clearly these hackers just need jobs!!! (Score 5, Insightful) 86

by ScentCone (#49098131) Attached to: US State Department Can't Get Rid of Email Hackers

Mr. Laden didn't carry out the attacks himself: he got grunts to it.

Yeah, he conned a bunch of uneducated, down-on-their-luck grunts into abandoning their personal sense of decency and agreeing to kill thousands of people - not because their religious convictions told them it was the right thing to do, but because ... they just couldn't find work?

That must have been the case with "grunts" like Mohamed Atta, right? Totally uneducated. Well, except for going to college to study architecture, and spending time at the Technical University of Hamburg. You know where he met with other poor grunts who could only afford to do things like fly back and forth between Germany and various middle eastern destinations, spend time training in Afghanistan, and so on. He traveled to Spain for some meetings, then - the poor, uneducated, desperate guy! - flew to Maryland, where he met up with fellow grunt Hani Hanjour, then off to other destinations where the fellow grunts were living in various states of perfectly comfortable. They didn't just round up some scruffy guys from some poverty-stricken village in the desert and talk them into this because they had no options. These were people who were dedicated to the world view preached by Bin Laden and their intellectual fellows in the Taliban. Focusing on the leaders IS important, because it's what they say and stand for that thousands and thousands of their compatriots - including those living comfortably in western nations, where they've been educated and employed - find agreeable enough to follow.

This whole notion that the guys running, say, the media production facilities, newsletter operations, and logistics for groups like ISIS as they line up insufficiently hardline Muslims and of course western hostages out of whom they can't squeeze enough cash, and lop off their heads or burn them alive ... that the guys doing that are doing so because they're not happy with the local employment prospects ... that would be really funny if it weren't so dark and just plain evil. Not enough schools? Of course not! These are the people who are dragging the teachers out into the street and shooting them in the head before they burn down the schools. The problem isn't lack of foreign investment, it's cultural rot in the form of their local religion crashing headlong into the rest of the world's more contemporary ways of life. These guys don't want modern jobs, they want medieval jobs.

Comment: Santa Claus (Score 0) 121

by ScentCone (#49093403) Attached to: The Science of a Bottomless Pit
If this were late December, this would be an article about the physics of Santa Claus having to travel to so many households per second that he'd be essentially a ball of flaming plasma. Which is to say, a singularly pointless thought experiment. But apparently it's not singular. We've gone past the pointlessness singularity. Paging Mr. Kurzweil!

Comment: Re:really? (Score 1) 129

by ScentCone (#49090033) Attached to: Delivery Drones: More Feasible If They Come By Truck
Most high-end apartments and office buildings (the sort of places where you'd find enough clients to make this sort of delivery interesting) don't have their rooftops (or, their entire rooftops) open to the public. Otherwise you'd have the public messing with their HVAC, dishes, and everything else). And it should be trivial, using bluetooth or another close proximity protocol, to have the drone ring the doorbell with a pre-assigned key. I can see this being useful for document tubes being delivered (instead of having a guy on a bicycle race through the ground traffic doing the usual gotta-have-this-delivered-RIGHT-NOW courier thing), and other specialty tasks.

Comment: Re:really? (Score 1) 129

by ScentCone (#49089081) Attached to: Delivery Drones: More Feasible If They Come By Truck
The thinking is that a truck could roll into a defined area with, say, a dozen small packages to deliver, and have drones fan out to several places at once (presumably, destinations that routinely take such deliveries, and are well suited to it). That's a driver/truck magnifier.

I can see some businesses installing what amounts to a drone delivery doggie-door/coal-chute on their roof tops, possibly with coded locks, that allow stuff to be dropped off with a straight shot down to a mail room or catch bin in a loading dock area. If you have a dozen business tenants in a small building like that, you know that Amazon (for example) is going to be delivering small boxes with things like phones, batteries, disk drives, ink carts, etc., on a daily basis.

Comment: Re:everyones out of a job! (Score 1) 389

by ScentCone (#49073949) Attached to: What To Do After Robots Take Your Job

What good are robots if no one has a job earning money to buy the products made by the robots?

It's OK, the left has a plan for that. Just raise taxes on the remaining people who have jobs, and give that money to everyone else. This is always plan A (and plan B, and plan C). Ideally, there would only be one single productive person, to cut down on the paperwork.

Comment: Re:What is different? (Score 1) 119

by ScentCone (#49069911) Attached to: FAA Proposes Rules To Limit Commercial Drone Use
So you're saying that even though the roofing guy has every last skill he needs to in order to fly a plastic toy multirotor a couple dozen feet in the air to help reduce the risks and costs in his business, you're suggesting that he constantly arrange for a third party with a pilot's license to show up and bill him to do that exact same three minute task. You're so busy calling someone else a moron that you can't see how transparently you're trying to set up rent-seeking protection for pilots who will expect each of those visits (to where the roofing guy is already traveling anyway!) to fetch him hundreds of dollars. At which point the roofer would be better off hiring day labor to do a multi-man ladder setup for each sales pitch, which completely defeats the purpose of using readily available technology to speed business and make a given single person more productive. I suppose you're also going to suggest that he hire a full-time FCC-approved HAM to follow him around and make sure he's using his mobile phone, truck CB, and any other emitting devices according to regs, right? I mean, there are plenty of professionals skilled in the use of radio communication devices, so it's crazy for the roofer to even OWN a cell phone when he could hire a professional with a HAM license to do all his on site communications, right? And YOU'RE the one saying that someone else is like a "creationist?"

Do you have any idea how ridiculous it is (of course you do) to make thousands of contractors run out and spend hundreds or thousands a week to bring in hired pilots to fly 4-pound plastic toy RC copters 30 feet off the ground for them? Do you understand how absurd that is, or how absurd you come across for suggesting that's better than them doing it for themselves? Of course you do, and you're just trolling. Why, is the question. You must be a licensed pilot who's worried about losing some old-school AP business, huh?

Comment: Re:What is different? (Score 1) 119

by ScentCone (#49068955) Attached to: FAA Proposes Rules To Limit Commercial Drone Use

people motivated by money will go a lot further than people motivated by leisure

You mean, like those guys who video themselves on motorcycles weaving through traffic at 120mph, compared to professional drivers? Or (more topically) the guys who fly RC machines beyond LOS in the clouds or around national monuments or through moving traffic 10' off the ground, or who (like Pirker) buzz pedestrians, buzz police cars, etc., all to stir up YouTube traffic for fun? Compared to, say, a farmer who wants to look for crop damage, a local volunteer who wants to support LEOs in a rural search and rescue, or a tower maintenance climber who wants to reduce his chances of dying in the course of pursuing very dangerous work (compared to, say, un-paid people who BASE jump off of structures, frequently killing themselves)?

Recreational jackasses do dangerous stuff all the time. Almost every example of someone flying an RC machine in a stupid manner is an example of a (usually noob) hobbyist being clueless, not a working person with their business on the line being carefully about what they're doing.

If the rules had been more lax back when congress passed a law saying the FAA needed to make it so, you'd see a country (just like countries all around the world who aren't paralyzed by the need to spend years hand-wringing over thousands of new regulations every year) where the average person would already have seen their local landscapers, construction contractors, S&R teams, artists, realtors, and farmers making regular use of this incredibly useful technology. Instead, we get what we have now - uninformed fools who can't make the distinction between a quad for bridge inspection and a predator drone. Who think that someone with an ultra-wide angle lens mounted on a tiny sensor is going to be able to read their bank web site password while stealthily hovering outside their kitchen window, but haven't thought about what someone on the ground with a $100 spotting scope can see while leaning over a fence.

Every year the administration breaks the law by deliberately dragging this process out past their legal deadlines, they're making it harder, not easier, to make this all work sensibly. The administration should be out showing off these business opportunities - which require no poorly assigned tax dollars, unlike the billions that have been poured into failed warm-and-fuzzy initiatives like bankrupt solar companies, which the administration has repeatedly fallen all over themselves to quickly finance, and to exempt, with lighting speed, from any number of the sort of regulatory burdens they're just shrugging about in this sector.

Comment: Re:Headline 100% Wrong (Score 1) 119

by ScentCone (#49068847) Attached to: FAA Proposes Rules To Limit Commercial Drone Use

Note, this is not a discussion about the relative risk of a 2kg UAV being flown for money.

OK then, talk about that, instead.

Two guys standing right next to each other, each flying their 4-pound micro quad up to the top of the same 25' chimney to see if there's raccoon damage to the metal mesh at the top. They each do the same pre-flight checks, operate according to exactly the same safety standards, control people in the area the same way, handle their identical rigs in the same way, complete their 30' flights in a minute and a half, and land right back at their feet. One of them has been offered $20, and other is doing it out of interest. Can you tell which one it is, and therefore which one should be fined $10,000?

... though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"