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Comment: Re:Shrug. (Score 1) 155

by Zenin (#47434887) Attached to: Amazon Seeks US Exemption To Test Delivery Drones

Sure, but it's a much, much easier problem to solve.

For starters, flying is analogous to driving only if every road had 1,000 lanes and there were such 1,000 road lanes leading directly in any direction from any point.

Or in other words, it's not at all analogous to "traffic" as folks typically think of it. A GPS module, a few cheap sonic sensors and/or slightly more expensive transponders, with basic collision avoidance software would easily solve the problem entirely. All of which I must add, are already on board any and all drones for the simple fact you can't navigate autonomously (more or less the definition of a "drone") without it. Anything less and you have a traditional R/C model aircraft, not a drone.

Comment: Re:Why in America? (Score 1) 155

by Zenin (#47434771) Attached to: Amazon Seeks US Exemption To Test Delivery Drones

And you would be completely correct....except for SEC. 336. SPECIAL RULE FOR MODEL AIRCRAFT, which effectively exempts the FAA from almost any authority over anything that could legitimately be called a model aircraft used in a legitimate way. Effectively it puts the AMA in charge of regulating model aircraft, just as the organization has done with astounding success and safety for the better part of a century.

Comment: Re:Murphy says no. (Score 3, Insightful) 265

by Zenin (#47434227) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Unattended Maintenance Windows?

In general, don't do anything that isn't your core business. Or another way of saying it, Do What Only You Can Do.

If you are an insurance company, is building and maintaining hardware your business? No, not in the slightest. You have no more business maintaining computer hardware as you have maintaining printing presses to print your own claims forms.

Maintaining hardware and the rest of the infrastructure stack however, is the business of Amazon AWS, Windows Azure, etc. The "fantasy" you're referring to is the crazy idea that you, as some kind of God SysAdmin, can out-perform the world's top infrastructure providers at maintaining infrastructure. Even if you were the best SysAdmin alive on the planet, you can't scale very far.

Sure, any of those providers can (and do, frequently) fail. Still, they are better than you can ever hope to be, especially once you scale past a handful of servers. If you are concerned that they still fail, that's good, yet it's still a problem worst addressed by taking the hardware in house. A much better solution is to build your deployments to be cloud vendor agnostic: Be able to run on AWS or Azure (or both, and maybe a few other friends too) either all the time by default or at the flip of a (frequently tested) switch.

Even building in multi-cloud redundancy is far easier, cheaper, and more reliable than you could ever hope to build from scratch on your own. That's just the reality of modern computing.

There are reasons to build on premises still, but they are few and far between. Especially now that cloud providers are becoming PCI, SOX, and even HIPAA capable and certified.

Comment: Re:Murphy says no. (Score 1) 265

by Zenin (#47434093) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Unattended Maintenance Windows?

Or it's not at all dependent on those factors.

It's much more a matter of how much someone cares to put redundancy in place. Doing it right affects the entire stack: Code architecture, deployment tooling, infrastructure architecture and costing.

It's a large reason why PaaS is gaining momentum: This is all assumed and it ends up being easier to do it the right way (that includes all this) from the start than doing it any other way, given that most all of the boiler plate aspects are already built.

If you're building services that still require "regular maintenance windows" in 2014, you're doing it wrong.

Comment: Re:What with all the other debris? (Score 1) 200

by Zenin (#47391839) Attached to: The View From Inside A Fireworks Show

Extremely unlikely bordering on impossible.

Nearly every possible failure condition would result in the quad-copter falling more or less straight down and into the water.

These things do not glide. Even a partial motor failure would send it tumbling end over end...more or less straight down. When they fail they fall out of the sky like a rock.

Comment: Re:Not surprised, mixed feelings (Score 1) 268

by Zenin (#47380443) Attached to: That Toy Is Now a Drone

We may need to see something similar.


The current issue is that the FAA has decided to "interpret" that section by more or less pretending it does not exist or apply to them:

The FAA isn't interested in the law. They consider themselves to be a country unto themselves, consisting of all a space greater then 12" above the land.

Comment: Re:detroit vs SV? (Score 2) 236

by Zenin (#47351571) Attached to: Google, Detroit Split On Autonomous Cars

There are plenty of cars now with thermostats. And they suck big, fat donkey balls.

Give me old fashioned fan speed and air temp knobs any day.

The issue is that the environment instead a car just isn't stable enough for a simple thermostat to be effective. The small size and large number of strong temperature influencing features (windows, hot seats, your body, external air every time a door or window opens) mean that maintaining a single temperature throughout is incredibly impractical. To do so would require a massive amount of over-engineering (far more insulation than a car typically receives and a massively larger heating/cooling system to counter the still large external temperature influences).

And then why is 76 degrees or whatever "comfortable"? If I'm getting into a car after being under a bright sun and 100 degree heat, nothing short of 50 degree air blowing powerfully on me is going to be comfortable. Yet, that won't be the case three minutes later where I'll want it to ease up. That is...unless I'm doing a bunch of errands and so I'm frequently going back out into that 100 degree heat.

Car environment systems have completely different problems to deal with and needs to satisfy than building environment systems.

Comment: Re:Figures... (Score 2) 108

by Zenin (#47140139) Attached to: LAPD Gets Some Hand-Me-Down Drones From Seattle, Promises Discretion

Yes, and precisely because it's so large.

The larger the organization the more and larger nooks and crannies to hide in and the greater the resources to "defend" (cover up) incidents. Far more ability/resources to do harm, far more opportunities to do harm, far more reward from doing harm, far more ability to get lost in the woodwork and get away with it. The PD isn't unique; the rest of Los Angeles's governmental departments are much the same. From the school district, to the building codes, to street maintenance, to parks and rec.

The economics of scale are never more apparent than when it comes to corruption.

Comment: Re:Wow! (Score 2) 111

by Zenin (#47029969) Attached to: The Big Biz of Spying On Little Kids

Thank you for bringing up issues like healthcare: Today's "socialist" ObamaCare plan was yesterday's fringe extremist right-wing health plan when it was proposed as an alternative to (center-left) HillaryCare. It's a fantastic example of just how far the "center line" of politics in the US has been pushed far, FAR to the right.

On the whole your essay either oversimplifies the (lack of) distinctions to the point of being invalid, or just gets the points wrong on all counts.

With a few notable social issue exceptions (that honestly don't really matter, but have been great for riling up "the base" on both sides), the debate has marched fast and steadily to the right for decades. Largely not by arguing for right-wing ideas and winning, but rather by cunningly moving the center line allowing them to argue what had been solidly "center" for the better part of a century was now "left wing extremism". The reframe was clever, undeniable, and incredibly effective. It's even snowed you.

Comment: Re:Wow! (Score 1) 111

by Zenin (#47029913) Attached to: The Big Biz of Spying On Little Kids

It's...not easy to follow.

"Liberal" is a pejorative in the US, typically thrown at folks who are anywhere slightly left of the far right-wing that drives much of US politics. In reality what is "left" or "liberal" in the US would be center-right or even hard-right anywhere else on the globe. In the US the "center line" between left and right isn't anywhere near where you'd expect it to logically be.

That said... "Libertarian" in the US is the polar opposite of "Liberal" and generally means the far right fringe of the batshit crazy extremist right wing. All the policies of pure anarchy, yet refuse to accept the title.

ALL debate in the US spans a range that the rest of the world would consider center-right (Democrats) through far right (Republicans) and extremist right-wing separatists (Tea Party, Libertarians). There are left-wing groups in the US (the Green Party, Socialists, etc), but they get absolutely zero air time and are effectively a non-entity in our politics (although they get a nod in San Francisco every once in a while).

Comment: Re:Wow! (Score 2) 111

by Zenin (#47028063) Attached to: The Big Biz of Spying On Little Kids

Ya know, it's kinda funny.

When you ask the American people, "Do you want more government or less", they answer less on the whole.

When you ask them about specifics however, ask them about actual issues. On healthcare, safety standards, environmental protection, education, labor rights, military, taxes, etc, etc, etc, etc... They come out overwhelmingly progressive.

The right can't win on the issues, and they know it. Their playbook has remained unchanged for decades if not centuries: Obscure, reframe, redirect, deceive. They rarely if ever speak out their motives or ideology in plain language, because when they do they get absolutely flayed by the regular public and abandoned by their cohorts.

Comment: Re:Wow! (Score 1) 111

by Zenin (#47027967) Attached to: The Big Biz of Spying On Little Kids

The Tea Party started a bunch of regular people who just wanted change.

You've been had. That was a great marketing back story, but it was always a work of pure fiction.

The Tea Party was created from whole cloth by the Citizens for a Sound Economy, itself a creation from whole cloth (and cash) by the Koch Brothers. It has never been "regular people", other than the regular people TTP has been able to con into declaring allegiance.

Although it's true The Tea Party and the Republican Party "joined forces", a product of common goals (takith from the poor and givith to the rich), and common tactics (lie and deceive "regular people" into rising up against their own self-interests), and frankly gullible constitutes (ignorant enough, unintelligent enough, or crazy enough to swallow the bullshit the Parties spoon out to them). The Republicans are political pragmatists however, and know not to feed their sheep too much bullshit at once else they risk it upchucking back in their faces (as it has in recent years). The Koch Brothers aren't so pragmatic however, which is why the two are now at odds: TTP overplayed and overextended the con.

The truth is "The Tea Party" has always existed. It's always been that extreme fringe element of the right that proper society never took seriously. What made TTP finally take root in the national conversation was a combination of great marketing powered by massive funding by the likes of the Koch Brothers. And that's it. This "grassroots" back story is no less bullshit than the rest of TTP propaganda.

"Let every man teach his son, teach his daughter, that labor is honorable." -- Robert G. Ingersoll