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Comment: Re:"Close" Only Counts (Score 1) 340

Yeah, they were 'hands on'

That was a philosophical choice made by NASA: pilots should have as much control as possible over the systems.
Sort of like the design choice made by Boeing to let the pilot override the automated systems and break the airplane if he wants to vs Airbus limiting the max g-forces a pilot can generate.

It didn't hurt that Eisenhower told NASA to only recruit military test pilots for the Mercury program.
While NASA no longer exclusively recruits test pilots, they still make up a large portion of recruits.

Comment: Re:This sh*t again? (Score 2) 245

by TubeSteak (#49476789) Attached to: EU To Hit Google With Antitrust Charges

Antitrust isn't really about consumers (although arguable it is ultimately) but about making sure the free market is both a market and free.

You should have prepended that sentence with the qualifier "American"
In Europe, anti-trust philosophy and regulation is most definitely focused around consumer welfare.

If you re-read the reporting a bit more carefully, the problem with Google's actions is not that it is bad for competition, but that it is bad for consumer welfare.

This is a major difference in thinking between Europe and the USA.
There are other large differences, particularly as a result of the EU's need to integrate markets across its member Countries.
That need to integrate was never a factor during the formation of the USA's anti-trust policies.

Comment: Re:People are tribal even when they don't realize (Score 5, Informative) 245

by TubeSteak (#49476749) Attached to: EU To Hit Google With Antitrust Charges

And if you think that it's wrong of EU to investigate an American company, think about it this way:

Google is a European company.
Actually, many European companies.
http://www.google.com/about/company/facts/locations/

Google's European headquarter is in Ireland... well, actually, it's an Irish company that is headquartered in Bermuda.
Google USA licenses its IP to Google Ireland Holdings (headquartered in Bermuda).
In turn, Google Ireland Holdings sub-licenses the IP to its wholly owned subsidiary in the Netherlands: Google Netherlands Holdings B.V.
Then Google Netherlands Holdings B.V. sub-sub-licenses the IP to another Google Ireland Holdings subsidiary: Google Ireland Ltd.

To coordinate all this, Google has a network of corporations in individual EU States, usually just "sales support" staff who run the ad-sales and ad-placements.

TLDR: The EU can't break up Google USA, but they can force Google Ireland Holdings to GTFO or change the way it offers services in the EU.

Comment: Re:Clickbait-ish Headline (Score 1) 121

by TubeSteak (#49461533) Attached to: Has Google Indexed Your Backup Drive?

If you have no robots.txt telling them what you want them to ignore, they put it all in the index.

A quick search kicks back FTPs with robots.txt in the root directory.
allinurl:ftp:// XXXX robots.txt
User-agent: *
Disallow: /

It doesn't really seem like Google is indexing the FTP.
Instead Google seems to be crawling through and only indexing txt, doc, pdf, html, xls, xml, aspx, rtf, etc.

If Google was indexing ftps, a search like intext:"Up to higher level directory" inurl:ftp:// XXXXXX.net should kick back folder directories, but it doesn't.

Comment: Re:Offsite... (Score 4, Informative) 443

If you plan on having the medium survive your house burning down, it'll either have to be something really exotic(CNCed cuneiform tablets?) or something boring inside a sufficiently fireproof safe (which can get costly; but are a well recognized product category).

Fireproof safes (actually fire resistant) are not what you want to use for storing electronics or cd/dvd/bd media.

You specifically want a fire resistant "media" or "data" safe.

The difference is that "fireproof" safes are intended to prevent paper from charring/burning, so their design allows for internal temperatures that are high enough to cook your electronics. Media/data safes maintain a significantly lower interior temperature (and humidity), which safeguards your relatively fragile electronic hardware.

And it's not just enough to avoid high temperatures, your safe needs to be sealed against gasses.
In a home fire, you have all types of corrosive and unpleasant chemicals that are created from burning plastics, toilet cleaner, etc.
Those chemicals will generally attack any metal and plastic that they come into contact with (YMMV).

TLDR: You get what you pay for, so get the right thing.

Comment: Re:The main challenges... (Score 2) 142

by TubeSteak (#49420369) Attached to: Stanford Develops Fast-Charging, Stable Aluminum Battery

So basically, their only challenges left are making it into a decent battery?

If you RTFA, they mention that it puts out close to 2 volts.
While that's almost perfect as a replacement for lead-acid batteries, it's not enough to replace two AA batteries (2.4v/3v) or one lithium-ion (3.6~3.7v)

Comment: Re:Crossed lines (Score 1) 166

by TubeSteak (#49420231) Attached to: The Arrival of Man-Made Earthquakes

So, if the insurance company can prove the quakes were man-made, they don't have to pay out. But if they can prove it, that goes against claims by many in the state and oil industry. The oil industry would likely try to hound/silence/sue the insurance company.

I'd love to see a fight between Big Oil and Big Insurance, because Big Insurance's profit margins are driven by data and not ideology.
No amount of Oil Industry pressure would let them accept a bad legal precedent which could screw with their long term 12%~15% profit margins.

Not to mention that the insurance industry is a very.... entangled business community.
Almost everyone who issues insurance policies is also hedging their risk by buying a reinsurance policy from one or more (re)insurance companies.
It's never just one insurance company that you're suing.

Comment: Re:April Fool? (Score 2) 289

That's an interesting read. While nothing in the order says criminal penalties it mentions the laws which apparently let one person rule by diktat so I expect that they specify the penalties.

Isn't that the entire point of emergency powers? The order specifically says "national emergency."

Anyways, let's look at the laws that are cited:
Termination of existing declared emergencies: 50 U.S.C. 1601
Unusual and extraordinary threat; declaration of national emergency; exercise of Presidential authorities: 50 U.S.C. 1701
General authorization to delegate functions: Section 301 of Title 3
Inadmissible aliens: 8 U.S.C. 1182(f)

Presidential authorities: 50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(2)
Banning entry to aliens covered by the order: section 1 of Proclamation 8693 of July 24, 2011 [really long name] (PDF)
Critical infrastructure definitions: Presidential Policy Directive 21
Reporting requirements to Congress on spending for emergency orders: 50 U.S.C. 1641(c)
Reporting requirements to Congress in general for emergency orders: 50 U.S.C. 1703(c)

The only ones that I think worth quoting are:

50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(2)
  (b) Exceptions to grant of authority
The authority granted to the President by this section does not include the authority to regulate or prohibit, directly or indirectly--

  • (1) [not what is cited]
  • (2) donations, by persons subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, of articles, such as food, clothing, and medicine, intended to be used to relieve human suffering, except to the extent that the President determines that such donations
  • (A) would seriously impair his ability to deal with any national emergency declared under section 1701 of this title,
    (B) are in response to coercion against the proposed recipient or donor, or
    (C) would endanger Armed Forces of the United States which are engaged in hostilities or are in a situation where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances; or [2]

8 U.S.C. 1182(f)
  (f) Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by President
Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate. Whenever the Attorney General finds that a commercial airline has failed to comply with regulations of the Attorney General relating to requirements of airlines for the detection of fraudulent documents used by passengers traveling to the United States (including the training of personnel in such detection), the Attorney General may suspend the entry of some or all aliens transported to the United States by such airline.

If the war on terror never ends, neither will these emergency powers.

Comment: Re: Security theater (Score 4, Informative) 224

by TubeSteak (#49330397) Attached to: $1B TSA Behavioral Screening Program Slammed As "Junk Science"

The problem here isn't the science, it's the pork.

Pork has nothing to do with it and the science isn't all that bad.
The problem is that SPOT is a diet-version of Israel's behavioral screening program, which is what makes it a waste of money.

SPOT leaves out the naked profiling that Israel uses and it also completely neglects the intrusive (and lengthy) questioning of travelers.
Basically, the two pieces that make it at all effective.

To summarize, the Israeli system could never be fully transplanted into the USA because
1. It profiles based on race, religion, and country of origin
2. It is manpower intensive
3. It puts security before anything, including your family of 5 missing their flight.

Comment: Re:Hasn't been involved with Greenpeace since 1985 (Score 1) 573

by TubeSteak (#49311381) Attached to: Greenpeace Co-Founder Declares Himself a Climate Change Skeptic

So the headline should read, "Oil industry funded think tank announces that a guy who used to belong to Greenpeace is a climate denialist."

Oh come on, give The Heartland Institute some credit.
They were also big players in the "tobacco doesn't give you cancer" and "taxes will give you cancer" movements.

Comment: Re:Internet? (Score 1) 67

Maybe this is for mobile phones, but even then if a mobile phone can get to Facebook then it can obviously get to anywhere else on the internet.

The detail you're missing is "free"
Facebook either pays the mobile operator or creates a (advertising) revenue sharing partnership so that mobile access to Facebook is free to that telecom company's customers.

Pretty much exactly what the concept of Net Neutrality is intended to quash.

Comment: Re:LiDAR solves for vegetation (Score 4, Informative) 31

Which class of laser are they using which can penetrate the canopy of a jungle?

The standard is 1064 nm infrared and 532 nm green (actually 1064nm doubled).
The IR is absorbed by water, hence the inclusion of a 532nm wavelength laser.

With a high enough pulse rate, you can penetrate multiple layers of canopy and get excellent resolution.

Also for the larger areas covered it seems like a fixed wing design might be more appropriate.

Fixed wing solutions are neither better nor worse than any other solution.
Planes need a plane, an airfield, a mechanic, fuel, a pilot, and an operator for the LIDAR system.

The benefit of using an octo-copter is that all you need is electricity to charge it.

Comment: Re:Fossil fuel divestment makes for smart money (Score 1) 190

by TubeSteak (#49264151) Attached to: UN Backs Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign

In the last decade coal consumption has sky rocketed.

Past performance is not an indication of future returns.
China is embarrassed by the choking pollution from its coal plants and is either replacing them with cleaner energy or moving them to the middle of no where.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/05/us-china-parliament-ndrc-idUSKBN0M108V20150305
Mar 5, 2015

The [Chinese] National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in its annual report on Thursday that it would implement policies aimed at reducing coal consumption and controlling the number of energy-intensive projects in polluted regions.

China is trying to strike a balance between improving its environment and restructuring away from an economy dominated by energy intensive industries like steel making and construction towards one focused more on consumption and the service sector.

Which is interesting that China is still pursuing the Nicaraguan canal so it can more easily access South America's resources.
Before the canal, China was considering building a railway across Columbia as an alternative to the Panama Canal choke point.

Comment: Re:LOL damage broadband investment (Score 2) 347

by TubeSteak (#49244143) Attached to: FCC Posts Its 400-Page Net Neutrality Order

Given that they have U-Verse in a lot of places, I believe they've actually been investing quite a bit.

They have been investing a lot, because laying fiber is very expensive.
But U-Verse is not in a lot of places.

If you look at where fiber has been brought to market (not just by AT&T), it's almost exclusively in cherry picked areas that can afford high prices.

"Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company." -- Mark Twain

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