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Submission + - New app turns smartphones into worldwide seismic network

Saeed al-Sahaf writes: UC Berkeley wants your phone to help detect earthquakes. The school has released an Android app, MyShake, that uses your phone's motion sensors to detect the telltale signs of tremors and combine that with the data from every other user. Essentially you become part of a crowdsourced seismic station network. Once enough people are using it and the bugs are worked out, however, UC Berkeley seismologists plan to use the data to warn people miles from ground zero that shaking is rumbling their way. An iPhone app is also planned.

Comment Typical politician... (Score 1) 129

So he was for gravity waves before he was against them. Thank you, Senator Einstein. If you were still alive, it would be fun to watch you debate Bernie Sanders, who has no particular affection for the laws of thermodynamics and other pesky reality-check-type stuff. But the debate would be very colorful, a lot like sitting near a table at an early bird buffet in Florida and listening in. No, wait, I'm thinking of that most recent PBS-hosted debate.

Comment Re:FAA doing it right (Score 1) 72

Really? You don't have room in your head for two concepts?

The FAA can't do it (because of section 336, which is why the administration has tried to weasel it in through the DoT instead) AND the FAA shouldn't do it (because it's not only utterly pointless, it also wastes money and provides a glaring breach of privacy for hobbyists that will become fishing targets for every neighborhood crank and axe-grinding reporter looking for "drone" operators in their ZIP code, much like those that have published interactive maps of where the gun owners are on a given street).

CAN'T is a legal thing, plainly stated in the 2012 FMRA. SHOULDN'T is a common sense thing that is of course being ignored by those who simply like to expand intrusive government into your personal life for the purpose of ... expanding government into your life, period. The only political support for this comes from those pandering to low-information idiots stoked by deliberately misleading media entities and witless social media mavens looking for clicks.

And ... using words with unique definitions? What will I stoop to next? That is really intolerable, isn't it? I presume you'd rather try to praise this DoT action and wish away plain exempting language in an existing law by using ... what, deliberately vague words that have enough different meanings to let off the hook of having to mean what you say and say what you mean? Yeah, there's a lot of that going around.

Comment Re:FAA doing it right (Score 1) 72

We're not talking about what the government CAN do, we're talking about whether or not their absurd toy owner registration system is a valid program (what government SHOULD or SHOULDN'T do). You're calling me names for saying that it is NOT a sensible program, even as you yourself say it's impossible to enforce. And you won't address your own hypocrisy on the matter. Do you really still support an "impossible to enforce" regulatory burden, along with its associated costs and loss of privacy, forcing people flying half-pound RC toys to expose their names and contact information for no useful reason? If you do support it, why aren't you actually addressing the substance of the matter?

As for the new rule being illegal: yes, it's being challenged in court on exactly the grounds that it's not (because it directly violates section 336 in the 2012 FMRA, which you'd know if you bothered to keep up). The administration KNOWS it's illegal if done by the FAA, which is why they went for what they hope will be a hard-to-contest loophole, and decided to make the Department of Transportation force toy owners to pay to register their use of 9-ounce toys. You know, because 13 year olds flying 9 ounce foam toys in their back yard are definitely right up there with interstate trucking and commercial passenger jets when it comes to matters that should be in front of the DoT.

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