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Comment: Re:well (Score 1) 200

I think there are a lot of missing caveats here since if your statement is taken literally, then you are not allowed to take a picture from the sidewalk of me standing in my front yard which is on my private property. It would also make a lot of the Google StreetView a crime.

...which is why it's a general rule of thumb. And Google Street View would be required to obtain a model release before publishing a photo with you in it, if you can be recognized in that photo. Also, while they could conceivably publish that photo, they could NOT publish a photo of you standing inside your house, because that would be an intrusion on your seclusion.

There's also a new anti-paparazzi law coming onto the books in California, meant to strengthen the one passed a few years ago by including celebrities' children under its umbrella. Whether it passes Constitutional muster remains to be tested in court.

Comment: Re:Redundant laws weaken the system (Score 1) 200

Then why don't the paparazzi get convicted when they take long range shots of people on their own property? I see little legal difference between a drone hovering off property and a person climbing a tree or standing on a hill off property. Just look at the number of helicopters around celebrity weddings. What is the difference between a drone and a helicopter except size and placement of a pilot. Those helicopter shots are not illegal; why should similar drone shots be illegal?

One question: are any complaints being filed against the helicopter pilot?

Comment: Re:well (Score 5, Informative) 200

Do people legally have privacy in an uncovered yard? I don't think they do. I'm talk about legal, not rudeness.

In the book The Law (In Plain English) For Photographers (ISBN 978-1-58115-712-3), attorney Tad Williams discusses the right of privacy as it applies to photographers. Two cases in point are mentioned: Dietemann v. Time, Inc. (284 F. Supp. 925, 1968) and Galella v. Onassis (487 F.2d 986, 1973). Those are the two cases most often cited as examples of the tort of "intrusion on one's seclusion", and are the basis of the doctrine of "reasonable expectation of privacy on one's own property". (I leave the review of those cases as an exercise for the student.)

The general rule of thumb for photographers is that if it can be seen from a public place, it can be photographed from a public place, UNLESS the subject being photographed is on their private property. Keeping in mind that anyone can be sued for anything at any time, it's best that a quadcopter operator err on the side of caution and make sure to NOT fly their aircraft in a manner that could be construed as attempting to make photographs of persons on private property without consent.

Of course, it may require a few people having their expensive quadcopters blown out of the air by a well-placed shotgun round to get that message across.

DISCLAIMER: I am not an attorney and am not qualified to give legal advice. Consult a licensed attorney with experience in the subject matter for definitive legal advice regarding a particular situation. I am, however, a photographer, and make it a point to keep up with laws and ordinances that affect my enjoyment of the hobby of photography.

Comment: Redundant laws weaken the system (Score 2) 200

It's already an accepted standard of law that people have a "reasonable expectation of privacy" when on their own property, including in their vehicles. Thus, photographing them by ANY means (my emphasis) is already illegal unless supported by a lawfully-obtained surveillance or search warrant. To single out "drones" as a means of obtaining photos or video is knee-jerk at best, and arguably could lead to severe restrictions on photography in general.

It's sad that there are some (for lack of a better term coming to mind) quadrotor-cowboys that are more interested in whether they CAN obtain footage using their newfangled toys than stopping to think about whether they SHOULD. Those are the ones that will poison the well for legitimate experimentation and application, such as search and rescue, crop monitoring, etc. Before the dust has settled, the moneyed interests will make sure that the only players allowed to take to the air are Department Of Defense contractors, and if people aren't careful, even the radio-controlled-model industry will find itself under the heavy end of the regulatory hammer, even more so than when the FAA issued its "interpretation of the special rule for model aircraft" in July. That "interpretation" alone could, IMO, completely destroy the first-person-view mode of operation if followed to the letter.

Just my 2p worth...save up the change for a spool of Cat6 or something.

Comment: Re:Simple solution (Score 1) 90

What's the cost of the tradeoff between saving money and risking security? That's the first question you need to be asking.

Everyone's excited about IF they can put something on the Internet, and no one's stopping to think if they SHOULD.

John Barnes, author of several programming texts, clearly outlines the concepts of "safe" and "secure" software. For software to be considered "safe", it must not harm the world, and for software to be "secure", the world must not harm it. Given the tacit invitation for attack which is issued any time anything is connected to the Internet, such control systems MUST be developed with those two concepts not only in mind, but integrated into the core design.

I invite dissenting commentary.

Comment: Simple solution (Score 3, Insightful) 90

Why not just keep the management system OFF the network? Make it local-only?

Just because something CAN be hooked to the Internet, it doesn't necessarily follow that it SHOULD be hooked to the Internet.

Just my 2p worth. Save up the change for a cup of coffee or something.

Comment: Re:How about (Score 1) 231

by TVmisGuided (#46913045) Attached to: How To Prevent the Next Heartbleed

Adacore has a perfectly good implementation of a high-security Ada compiler, which produces executables for multiple platforms. There's nothing difficult about finding such tools. What's difficult is finding programmers and developers who are willing to take the time to actually develop their code to take advantage of the strict typing which is one of Ada's strengths.

John Barnes, author of one of the most-used Ada texts, outlined the meanings of "safe" and "secure" software in a very straightforward manner:

If software is "safe", it cannot harm the world

If software is "secure", the world cannot harm it.

From what I've seen, C and its derivatives do not have the intrinsic mechanisms to make software developed with that language either "safe" or "secure". It's too easy to break both safety and security using C and its derivatives, because a programmer can cast between types, auto-promote from one type to another, and similar logical faux pas, and the compiler will very happily allow such to take place, which means most bugs are able to hide until run time. Not so with Ada; because of strict type checking, casting must be explicit, and an attempt to auto-promote will be met with a CONSTRAINT_ERROR at compile time.

As the poster on my wall says, "[i]f builders built buildings the way programmers write programs, the first woodpecker to come along would destroy civilization."

Comment: Three problems (Score 1) 876

by TVmisGuided (#46196569) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Are We Still Writing Text-Based Code?

I see three problems with automatically presuming that any meaningful code for a compiled program will include a graphical interface.

  • Adding code to produce a graphical interface immediately quadruples the amount of code required for a given program, and at least triples the size of the executable.
  • Trying to design a usable and logical graphical interface for a program is frequently more complicated than devising the base program itself.
  • Ask any two programmers to choose a standard library for developing a graphical interface, and you'll likely get three answers.

That said, programs that I write for my workplace perform 100% in the background, and do all their work on large data files. What needs to be graphical about that? Would it really be that useful to quadruple the size of the code base for a program just to add selector boxes for input and output files, and a status bar?

That's as far as I go.

Comment: Re:Whatever happened (Score 1) 383

by TVmisGuided (#45703269) Attached to: NSA Has No Clue As To Scope of Snowden's Data Trove

The Principle of Least Privilege is also one of the core emphases in the Department of Defense's security-clearance program. This appears, to me, to be yet another case of one hand not knowing what the other is doing...or, possibly worse, not caring.

With that said, I see no reason to live in fear. If others choose to do so, it's their choice, and I have no say over their choices; only over my own.

People are always available for work in the past tense.

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