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Comment: Re:Also available for UK, Canada, France ... (Score 3, Insightful) 75

by Guppy06 (#47448331) Attached to: Bot Tweets Anonymous Wikipedia Edits From Capitol Hill

One thing to remember here is that most of these edits are probably made by junior IT staff rather than elected representatives

I can't speak for the others you've listed, but these Capitol Hill edits almost exclusively affect articles on sitting members and those on politically contentious topics. If it really is by "junior IT staff," then it's more likely that they're doing it under orders from their higher-ups rather than wasting office hours on topics they're personally interested in.

Comment: Celebration writ large (Score 1) 206

by Guppy06 (#47442379) Attached to: Geographic Segregation By Education

If you've fallen in love with the Walt Disney World experience, you now have the option to live in a town designed by Disney itself: Celebration, Florida. Resembling "Main Street, USA" and the "EPCOT World Showcase" writ large, Celebration helps blur the distinction between between Disney and real life, effectively letting you live in a theme park.

Know who doesn't live in Celebration, Florida and its mean income over $75k/yr? The people who work in Celebration, Florida.

It's not hard to find new developments across the US where you see new apartments and condominiums built alongside or even on top of faux city shops (complete with acres of parking) to give the residents the "gentrified neighborhood" experience. But you can bet that the folks who actually work in Whole Foods or PF Chang's don't actually live there. And the folks that work there can't afford to shop there.

Comment: Re:No surprise (Score 2) 206

by Guppy06 (#47442309) Attached to: Geographic Segregation By Education

What the summary fails to point out, of course, is that the growth of all the extra facilities - bars, restaurants, dry cleaners etc. - also ensure the job market grows in non-graduate jobs too, so it's win-win for everyone that lives in the lucky city

Prices in cities are targeted at those high-earning college graduates. There may be greater need for bartenders, waitstaff, etc, but those low-wage workers can't afford to actually live in the city themselves, which necessitates long commutes, which eats up even more of their meager pay, which ensures that the lower class stays lower class.

Comment: Want and Have (Score 4, Interesting) 364

by CrankyFool (#47440111) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Do You Want a Smart Watch?

I have a Pebble -- until recently, a Kickstarter-edition one, though it malfunctioned and the company quite helpfully replaced it.

I originally got it as a geek toy, a whim, but it turned out to be hugely useful for me, given my constraints and work circumstances. Largely, this came down to three factors:

I manage people, and at least at my current company that means that the vast majority of my time is spent in meetings. Having a Pebble on which to see what messages I'm receiving (just for text messages, not FB or email) means I can know when someone's texted me (a rare, but potentially important, occasion) and be able to see what I got without having to reach for my phone in my pocket; it also means that because being able to see the message doesn't necessitate using the tool with which I respond, that I'm less likely to respond immediately, which makes the process less disruptive to the people I'm in meetings with;

I used to miss meetings often because I'd get in the middle of something (or another meeting) and forget to check where I next need to go. My phone quickly vibrating in my pocket was easy to miss. But my watch vibrating? For me, it's unmissable, and it makes me much more aware of where I need to go next.

The other factor that's made a huge difference is not work-related. Being able to control music on my phone via my watch is a trivial improvement when I work out, but it's made another issue basically go away: The "What the hell did I do with my phone?" problem. If I can't find my phone these days, calling it doesn't necessarily work -- it's typically in quiet mode -- but using my Pebble to get some music playing on it, and increasing the volume, is usually immediately helpful in figuring out where the phone is.

You could, of course, argue that these three factors are not, or should not, be relevant to the average geek -- maybe you don't have as many meetings, or are more disciplined about checking your calendar. And God knows we all found our phones before we could remotely start them playing music. But it's been very helpful to me.

Comment: Re:No safe uses (Score 1) 191

by ScentCone (#47439777) Attached to: FAA Pressures Coldwell, Other Realtors To Stop Using Drone Footage

I doubt there are any safe uses for a drone. Do we really want a remotely controlled small aircraft flying around our homes and communities?

You're right. You're definitely on to something there. And while we're making sure that a professional real estate photographer with his reputation on the line is not to be trusted with a three and a half pound quadcopter, we should be even MORE restrictive of the OTHER dangerous stuff that's moving around our homes and communities. Like, pre-occupied 19 year olds driving cars. Like large dogs on cheap leashes. Like idiots on mountain bikes hopping curbs and cutting through read lights. Definitely start with the Evil Drones, but please don't stop there! There are so many dangers! Oh, definitely don't forget steak knives and riding lawnmowers.

Comment: Re:Define "safe commercial use of drones" (Score 1) 191

by ScentCone (#47439755) Attached to: FAA Pressures Coldwell, Other Realtors To Stop Using Drone Footage

How do you know that all those real estate agents are using the drones safely?

Never mind the tiny number of people shooting a few real estate stills from treetop level. How do you know that the many, many thousands of people who are flying around for fun are being safe? But the FAA (so far) is honoring congress's mandate that hobbyists be left alone, even though they just said that hobbyists flying FPV style are no longer allowed. Regardless, the hobby drone market has hundreds of thousands of customers. There might be a few hundred people shooting real estate. Can you explain why you think it's a good thing to hurt them, but not to care about all sorts of reckless hobby newbies (just search on YouTube)? Please be specific.

How do you know that the real estate agent really knows how to fly one of the drones

How do you know that your neighor, who just had a ready-to-fly quad dropped off by UPS and who's in the air 30 minutes later, is safe? Really. How do you know? And why do you think that people who are doing it professionally, with their businesses and reputations on the line, are more dangerous than a 12 year old kid next door who's on his third quad having crashed the first two in spectacular fashion? How do you know? Please be specific. Because the FAA thinkks the 12 year old kid is fine, but the person who takes great care to avoid endangering their real estate business liability coverage while shooting the occasional photo should be stopped. An odd thing for you to support.

Comment: Re:Movies (Score 1) 191

by ScentCone (#47438373) Attached to: FAA Pressures Coldwell, Other Realtors To Stop Using Drone Footage

But one could describe yours as being backwards just as easily as mine. It's simply a matter of perspective.

If by that you mean that clearly written words in the English language have no actual meaning, then sure, I guess. If you mean that the Constitution, and the countless supporting documents and correspondence written to, between and about its authors and the large groups of representatives that agreed on its purpose and amendments to it were just setting us with something that had no actual meaning, then sure. But that's BS, and you know it.

No, I never said "every" anything. I said drones. Period.

The Constitution makes no such distinctions between one tool and the next. But of course the people who wrote it were very clear that there were some tools that some people would - given a period of power in the congress - try to deny to the public, and so they added amendment that explicitly reminded the government that it cannot act in those areas. The Constitution is built around the concept that the government's powers over what you may or may not do it inherently limited to the things that are enumerated therein, and generally prohibited otherwise, with the states having all such other authority. This isn't a matter of "perspective," and it isn't true for certain tools, and false for other tools. If you think that "drones" (but not, say, chain saws) should be singled out for capricious bans by the federal government despite laws recently passed by the congress explicitly to the contrary, then you're completely missing the point.

Personally I'd say they were flying model aircraft not drones.

Semantic games like that show how completely unserious you are.

... using a car to take people where they ask. If you are doing it for free, or nothing more than fuel cost split, no problem. If you are doing it commercially then you tend to require a permit.

A matter decided upon, legislatively. at the municipal, county, and (rarely) state level. Not by capricious extra-legal, counter-constitutional fiat from a political appointee of the White House, as in the case at hand.

Comment: Re:Can someone explain how... (Score 1) 191

by ScentCone (#47438239) Attached to: FAA Pressures Coldwell, Other Realtors To Stop Using Drone Footage
Because the FAA, by federal statute (passed by congress, which is made up of representatives of all of the states), is granted that regulatory authority. There is legal precedence for their authority over everything that flies in the air, right down to an inch above the ground. Which doesn't mean that their position on this stuff isn't incredibly absurd. But it's their turf.

Comment: Re:The FAA needs to follow the law. (Score 1) 191

by ScentCone (#47438225) Attached to: FAA Pressures Coldwell, Other Realtors To Stop Using Drone Footage

so the FAA either is or soon will be operating in direct contradiction to the law passed by congress

Why should the FAA, which is part of the Obama administration, feel any urge whatsoever to enforce or obey laws passed by congress? We have ample precedent of him using the pen and phone about which he so regularly boasts to simply do what he wants anyway, even in direct contradiction of plain language in the laws he swore to uphold. Any expectation that the chief executive of the administration will be asking his immediate (appointed, by him) subordinate (the Secretary of Transportation) to instruct HIS subordinate (Huerta, the director of the FAA) to actually comply with the law, is laughable. The administration takes laws (like their own favorite, the ACA), and completely ignores hard-wired dates and other requirements as it suits them for political leverage with the portion of the voters to whom they pander. Happily, that particular instance is about to be challenged in a civil suit coming out of congress - that's very good news.

We just need another suit, along the same lines, requiring the administration's law breaking at the agency level in the FAA to be discussed in the bright sunshine of court. Something you'd think that the "most transparent administration in history" would applaud, right? Yeah.

Comment: Re:Movies (Score 1) 191

by ScentCone (#47438193) Attached to: FAA Pressures Coldwell, Other Realtors To Stop Using Drone Footage

This is the way it SHOULD happen. An overall prohibition on drones then specific exceptions for uses where the benefits to society are seen to outweigh the costs

You have your entire concept of liberty, and of the constitution, exactly backwards.

Should every new concept, innovation, invention, tool, technique, strategy, and technology be prohibited by default? What the hell is wrong with you? If I come up with a clever new way of slicing deli meat, should I be prohibited from using it or showing someone else how to use it until I've sufficiently begged an un-elected, un-accountable agency bureaucrat to allow me to use it?

And in the case at hand, picture two people standing right next to each other. Each has their hands on the controls of a 4-pound plastic quadcopter carrying a GoPro. Each takes off, sends the little machine up to 45 feet above the same house. Each of them use the device to record the condition of the houses's gutters, sparing somebody a couple hours of putting up a dangerous extension ladder a dozen times. Each of them get the job done in minutes, and land their little quad back down in the driveway right next to each other. You think that one of those two people should be banned from what the both just did, but the other should not. Why? Be very specific.

Comment: Re:Tell me how this is suppposed to work. (Score 1) 153

by ScentCone (#47433853) Attached to: Amazon Seeks US Exemption To Test Delivery Drones

It's difficult to see the market for this service as anything other than single family residence, upper class suburban.

Or to the rooftop mail room chute in a large office building that might contain hundreds of Amazon business customers. If you're picturing suburban doorstep delivery to un-prepared recipients, you're imagining the wrong scenario.

Comment: Re:USB DACs (Score 2) 491

There's no need to spend that much. A lot of motherboards have S/PDIF outputs, and with a good coax/TOSLINK DAC (like the ~$40 FiiO D3), pristine noise-free stereo sound is both easier and cheaper than buying an expensive sound card.

Or even with a cheap shitty coax cable like the one that you got for free in your wheaties 20 years ago to connect your VCR to your TV. Its a digital signal after all - communication either works or it doesn't.

A large number of installed systems work by fiat. That is, they work by being declared to work. -- Anatol Holt

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