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Comment Re:I hope he wins in court (Score 1) 1033 1033

Discharging a weapon in a populated area is unsafe in nearly every circumstance.

Except in this case he managed to check off a number of 'safe' boxes. The described fence would stop the ammunition of choice from the weapon, and the ammunition fired at a relatively high angle would come down safely as well.

That being said, I don't want regular gunfire just because of the noise.

I would have told the drone owners that they can take their broken drone or they can press charges for destruction of property in exchange for the homeowner pressing trespassing/peeping charges on them.

Comment Re:Right to Privacy in One's Backyard? (Score 1) 1033 1033

You know, I generally don't agree with open carry ... most of the world cringes at that, and it's something Americans cherish.

But if your drone was hovering in my backyard looking at my teenage daughters for no good reason, and if I'd shot it down and you were about to come onto my property in a threatening manner without explanation, I can see the point.

Do you really need an explanation, considering you just shot down their drone?

Comment Shooting down drones (Score 1) 1033 1033

This reminds me of the last drone I read about being taken out by gunfire. It was some PETA people using a quadracoptor to harass some hunters - it was really an obscenely loud whiny thing, and their goal was to scare game and such.

They complained to the cops that had shown up that their drone had been shot. The cops looked at them like 'so what'?

The PETA types tried 'but that was dangerous!' Keep in mind that, unlike this case, said hunters were in an area where firearm use was legal.

Comment Re:Not quite that trivial. (Score 1) 1033 1033

You don't think that, in a neighborhood, someone would know who has a drone like this?

Given that the drone operator was there to 'photograph a friend's house', I'm taking it as that he's not local. I could park a van a block or so away, launch the drone from the roof, and never be seen in person operating it.

Comment Re:"...the same as trespassing." (Score 1) 1033 1033

Except, they guy said he shot it while it was hovering IN his back yard. Not high overhead, not even high. "IN" his back yard.

Hint: also illegal to operate in close proximity to people, especially people who are on their own property, and don't want it there...)

Actually no, no it's not. Toy model aircraft aren't subject to any such law, FAA-wise. Yet, at least. If anything, we're talking about good old fashioned reckless endangerment, which has nothing to do with model aircraft in particular, but could be a charge in such a case (just like it would be if they were throwing lawn darts over the fence, or hit somebody in the head with a stray baseball).

The FAA has guidance about such matters. But flying a toy around like that has absolutely zero FAA restrictions in and of itself, with regard to people on the ground. It's likely to be a different story when such a machine is used commercially, but again, zero relevance in this case.

Comment Re:Or... just hear me out here... (Score 1) 1033 1033

but I think a BB would.

And you're ignoring all the personal experiences posted in this thread by people who have actually been peppered by falling shot why? You even acknowledge that people 'felt it' but our sense of touch is sensitive - I can feel a sheet of paper falling onto me, it's going to take quite a bit more force to actually hurt me.

Now, it's certainly not identical, but I'm reminded of the Mythbuster's 'penny off the Empire State Building' where they determined that a falling penny from that height(assuming it didn't get blown back onto the building like most do), would only sting a bit when it hits.

And a penny is less aerodynamic but much more massive than a birdshot BB. A number of the finer grades look almost like sand.

And a source on the differences between rifle rounds and birdshot.
AK round: 124 grains, TV 265 fps, 23 ft-lbs of force
5.56 round: 62 grains, 245fps, 8 ft-lbs
9mm: 115 gr, 195 fps, 10 ftlbs
00 buck: 54 grains, 130fps, 2 ft-lbs (it's TV is much lower than the rifle round because a sphere is less aerodynamic than the cone of a bullet)
#8 birdshot: 1.3gr, 76 fps, 1 ft-lb (Too low for writer's ballistic calculator).

Comment Re:Right to Privacy in One's Backyard? (Score 3, Insightful) 1033 1033

That's with the more aerodynamic spin stabilized projectiles fired from rifled barrels(even handguns today are rifled). Unless he was stupid enough to shoot the drone with a slug or buckshot, the projectiles reach terminal velocity very rapidly compared to a rifle and *fall* at a velocity that will limit damage.

If he fired it at an angle much above 30 degrees the pellets are only dangerous on the upward part of the parabola.

Even buckshot is only dangerous a bit further, and slugs have the longest range but are still relatively short-ranged compared to a rifle round.

Comment Re:REALLY? (Score 1) 597 597

Ha!

I started in mainframe days when SO MANY PROGRAMMERS I KNEW TYPED IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE THAT WAS THE ONLY THING THE COMPILER UNDERSTOOD.

And then those people tried to use email, and thought that it was perfectly fine to write all non-programming correspondence that way. Including my brother-in-law... and you can't tell your BiL he's an idiot. Not if you want your sister to keep talking to you.

Comment Re:Third Dimension (Score 1) 1033 1033

A good starting point would be to recognize the airspace above private property as part of the property, up to the level allowed to commercial aircraft. That would mean that drones could only fly above designated land surfaces.

Except there is ample precedent for that NOT being the case. Has nothing to do with neighbors flying toy copters around, or someone flying a Cessna at 500'.

Comment Re:"...the same as trespassing." (Score 1) 1033 1033

If a drone is hovering "in" your suburban back yard, then shooting it with a shotgun is wildly inappropriate, because you're shooting at an angle barely above the horizontal. We also have no idea if the guy's toy copter was hovering "over" his yard, or just near it. It's much more difficult than most people think to gauge a small quadcopter's actual position over objects on the ground. I've yet to meet anyone who hasn't personally operated a given machine for many, many hours who was ever correct about that sort of thing.

Submission + - Why do we still have caps lock prominently on keyboards?

Esther Schindler writes: The developers at .io are into tracking things, I guess. In any case, a few weeks back they decided to track team performance in terms of keyboard and mouse activity during the working day. They installed a simple Chrome plugin on every macbook and collected some statistics. For instance, developers have fewer keypresses than editors and managers—around 4k every day. Managers type more than 23k characters per day. And so on. Some pretty neat statistics.

But the piece that jumped out at me was this:

What’s curious—the least popular keys are Capslock and Right Mouse Button. Somewhere around 0.1% of all keypresses together. It’s time to make some changes to keyboards.

I've been whining about this for years. Why is it that the least-used key on my keyboard not just in a prominent position, but also bigger than most other keys? I can I invest in a real alternate keyboard with a different layout (my husband's a big fan of the Kinesis keyboards, initially to cope with carpal tunnel). But surely it's time to re-visit the standard key layout?

Comment Re:"...the same as trespassing." (Score 0) 1033 1033

Nonsense. I've been hit in the face by #8 birdshot used by a gunner over 200 yards away. If I didn't have field glasses on, I'd have lost an eye.

We'd have to see a lot more detail about where the copter actually was, the angle at which Dad shot it, etc. My observation, as someone who flies drones of several sizes and who has also shot many things out of the air using a variety of shotguns and loads, is that there's essentially no safe way to do what this idiot did.

Separately from that: the FAA is quite clear that shooting at ANY aircraft is a crime. Big time.

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