Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:The article should use "ridiculous" 0 times. (Score 1) 281 281

in response to anyone claiming this is "the only way to do it", you need only look at the many other states that provide the entire law in PDF form.

Oregon is a good example of how to do it right. A all of Oregon Revised Statutes published every two years.

Comment Re:Death of drone play (Score 1) 101 101

Yes. There are a couple of operators around here who are skirting the legal issues by selling their time on site and giving away the video files. This works fine for producing armchair tours of ranches, etc, for real estate offices. It can be very hard to arrange an adequate tour of a 640 acre ranch to the busy people who could afford to buy the place.

Comment Re:Death of drone play (Score 0) 101 101

Take your b.s. elsewhere.

A lot of us know our limitations and understand the need to push them back through education and training. My complaint is not about that.

My plaint is that idiots who don't know what they are doing are flying drones where they should not be flown, and causing problems. And the only way to solve those problems is to regulate drone operators so that each one has a minimum level of proficiency. Which means getting into the game is going to cost probably a year of classes at a community college, then licensing fees, then operator's insurance. What might have been a nice hobby is going to be a cash sink instead. No thanks.

I had hoped it would be possible to study at home vs. a certified drone operator school, and get hands-on experience around the fields, forest, and hills of a 160 acre ranch. But now that kind of approach is not going to fly.

Comment Death of drone play (Score 1) 101 101

I had been saving my pennies to buy a drone that would work as a good camera platform, prob'ly around $1100 including the videocam. It would be fun, and could pay for itself if I peddled my services to weddings, real estate offices, etc.

But now I've got to set that aside as an unrealistic fantasy, until the regulations on drones are written up, and I can know what will be allowed.

It is too bad, but a few total assholes are ruining things for all of us who are early adopters, or would like to be early adopters. Too many incidents of drones crashing into buildings, getting in the way of fire fighters, etc-- the need for regulations is now obvious.

Thanks a lot, assholes.

Comment Re:The article should use "ridiculous" 0 times. (Score 2) 281 281

Parent post has veered about 45 degrees off topic.

No one is saying the Georgia laws are under copyright. As with all government publications, those laws are in public domain.

Georgia is saying that a specific set of annotations is under copyright. That may or may not be true-- if the annotations were written by someone who was hired as an agent of Georgia's government, they were produced by that government and there is no copyright. They are public domain. Otherwise there is a copyright, but Georgia does not own it and has no standing to sue for copyright infringement.

However Georgia can file suit even knowing that it cannot win, but with the expectation that the defendant will fold out of court rather deal with the costs of a legal fight. This is an abuse of the courts but it is a very common one and unless some white knight jumps in, Georgia will win by bullying. Or if Georgia politicians get enough flack about this, they might muzzle their legal beagles.

Comment Re:Banks vs Manchester. Law, no. Indexes by publis (Score 4, Insightful) 281 281

My take-away from this is that the indexes and annotations may be subject to copyright by the private party that wrote them-- but from my experience working as a VA employer on policy and procedure manuals, with some indirect experience in handling material that was produced by contract workers, this would depend on the wording of the contract between the government and the private party. In most of those contracts the author is hired as an agent of the government and his relationship to his product is the same as that of any government worker to their assigned tasks, which means he cannot claim copyright and the work is in the public domain. There are major benefits to being an agent of the government and that is usually how this kind of thing is done.

That said, I don't see how Georgia could win this lawsuit, since if the material is copyrightable, the author, and not Georgia, would hold copyright and Georgia would have no standing in the matter. If the author was working as an agent of Georgia, then the work produced is in the public domain, and there is no valid copyright.

In either case the suit seems like a frivolous one, since if there is any copyright involved, Georgia cannot be the party that owns it.

Of course the defending party would be facing legal expenses to just get the case dismissed, and Georgia might be using that as a club to get an early out-of-court settlement. There is a term for legal battery but I don't recall it (coming up on my 10th year of retirement), and that is what Georgia might be attempting with this. Filing suit, even when you know that you cannot win in court but you think you could get an early out of court settlement, should be considered a breach of a lawyer's duty as an officer of the court. Lawyers who do this should be penalized, and in some cases disbarred. But that doesn't happen. That part of the legal system is totally broken.

Comment Re:Intercourse. (Score 1) 97 97

I'm not sure that is the simplest hypothesis. It is based on the rather abstract notion that large populations will expand from one place to another. But the reality during recorded history is that lots of individuals move around a lot, but do so as individuals and not as groups large enough to sustain their own cultures. For every Irish or Scandinavian enclave in the USA, there have been a larger number of earlier individuals who welcomed (or at least accepted) cultural assimilation and contributed more to the mixing of gene pools than did the later Little Italies and other isolated enclaves.

I cannot see any reason to believe that this is a recent phenomenon that has only arisen since the beginning of the historical period. I think it much more likely that this is a species trait that was as strongly present in neolithic times as it is now. I think it likely that the idea of mass migrations is a theoretical construct that makes modelling neolithic times easier, but probably those mental models do not reflect what was really going on.

Comment Re:Intercourse. (Score 1) 97 97

The research done on neolithic naval architecture is totally inadequate. The earliest boats we know of from the SE Pacific are already very sophisticated vessels; there must have been earlier boats that were less sophisticated but had trans-Pacific ranges (by island hopping or following coast lines).

That means that when, exactly, the austral. genetic traits were introduced into the proto Amer. gene pool probably cannot be established. It could have been somewhat later than the first Bering land bridge migrations. I am not saying that there could have been significant migrations by boats. Instead I'm saying there were probably parties of sailors that were too small to establish colonies but who did contribute to the gene pool of distant groups.

By the time of Columbus, there was certainly some small mixture of Viking and Basque genetics into the Amerindian gene pool, and on the Left Coast probably some additions from Polynesia. Humans are very sexy and very adventurist. An exotic adventurer from a distant land is going to leave some trace in the local gene pool.

Comment Re:More by whom (Score 5, Insightful) 368 368

I'm not keen on seeing guys in a helicopter trying to shoot down a drone with a gun. Every card carrying NRA nut knows damwell you should not shoot until you know what is within range behind your target. Shooting drones from a copter puts everyone in danger.

shooting them from the ground is no better. That bullet is going to come down somewhere and will have regained lethal energy in its descent. Even if you hit the drone, as lightweight as those things are you still have a lethal bullet wandering around in the wild blue yonder.

Now if there is a way to deploy some kind of frequency limited EMP or jamming signal that would cause all drones in the area to drop like flies, that would be good. And I think it would be possible. And the way current laws are, I think if the jammer was made reasonably directional, property owners who were getting tired of being buzzed by drones would have a way of exercising their God given property rights.

Yeah, youbetcha. Bring on the jammers!

Comment Re:Futile search? (Score 1) 208 208

$100 million is a small price to pay for the humongous astronomy database that will come of this effort, and the tools to manipulate such a monster database, that we don't have yet.

The chance of them being successful seems pretty small, but this is one of those endeavours where we all win big, even if they lose.

Go for it!

Comment Re:Tards will be Tards (Score 1) 309 309

I think it more likely that Trump discovered "tards will be tards", figured out some ways to capitalize on that, and, since he is clearly without ethical encumbrances, is taking advantage of the Republican idjits to push his own agenda fast, far, and furiously.

He is a masterful tard manipulator. That's dangerous.

"We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company."