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Comment: Enough with "drones." R/C planes and copters. (Score -1) 123

by glrotate (#47437947) Attached to: FAA Pressures Coldwell, Other Realtors To Stop Using Drone Footage

I agree with the FAA. Given the current state of cheap R/C copters with zip-tied Herocams, I don't think the operators should be given carte blanche to do as they please. The FAA needs to start rule-making process that involves all interested parties. But, until such rules are promulgated, I think prohibiting commercial operation is a sensible temporary position. Congress has the ultimate power here, but generally, the less they're involved - the better.

Comment: Re:Government control of our lives... (Score 1) 150

by mi (#47432447) Attached to: Amazon Seeks US Exemption To Test Delivery Drones

1850, say, when personal happiness was a Natural Right?

Happiness was never a right. Pursuit of it was.

As long as you were legally a person and didn't need to ask your owner's or husband's permission?

Yes, as long as you were legally a person.

That a personhood was unjustly denied to some was a travesty, but it has nothing to do with my argument.

Comment: Re:Government control of our lives... (Score 1) 150

by mi (#47432421) Attached to: Amazon Seeks US Exemption To Test Delivery Drones

you being an idiot and driving your car over a pedestrian infringes on their right to the pursuit of happiness

Sure. And any such idiots ought to be punished — and have their right to drive a car suspended. But this has nothing to do with the preventive prohibition — which is what the license requirement amounts to.

You see, when it comes to behaviors that put others at significant risk

Risky driving — or drone-flying — can be prohibited. People engaging in it may lose their right to drive (or fly drones) at all — or be punished otherwise — that's fine and normal. What I do not approve of, however, is the preemptive requirement to have a government's permission to do anything.

why only punish the ones who were unlucky enough to have the negative outcome actually happen

Because determining, what's really risky and what is not, is only a little bit easier, than detecting a murderer before he kills...

Similarly, Amazon flying drones over residential neighborhoods sounds pretty risky to me

It does, huh? You don't mind the thousands-pounds piloted aircraft flying above your all day, you don't mind the trucks driving around all day (delivering the same stuff), it is the light drones, that keep you awake at night?

not sure this ban is such a bad thing until we can prove suitable precautions are being taken

That, right there, is the key to our disagreement. You want everybody, who wish to fly a drone, to prove, they've "taken precautions". I don't believe, you ought to have the power to impose such a requirement. The burden of proof ought to be on you.

Now, that was philosophical. Now comes the more practical. Amazon being the 800-pound gorilla, can afford to argue with the government — they can not be ignored. They even managed to get the USPS to offer Sunday delivery — though now it seems available to all.

But the FAA simply killed other attempts to use drones — such as for the delivery of flowers. The barrier to entry — to start competing with the incumbent behemoths — was upped, and we the consumers are losing. No wonder, Amazon aren't suing to overturn the FAA's decision — any favorable overcome would apply to all. They are merely asking for exception — for themselves. Crony capitalism much?

+ - Arecibo radio telescope has confirmed the existence of fast radio pulses->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "The Arecibo radio telescope has confirmed the existence of fast radio pulses.

Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are bright flashes of radio waves that last only a few thousandths of a second. Scientists using the Parkes Observatory in Australia have recorded such events for the first time, but the lack of any similar findings by other facilities led to speculation that the Australian instrument might have been picking up signals originating from sources on or near Earth. The discovery at Arecibo is the first detection of a fast radio burst using an instrument other than the Parkes radio telescope. The position of the radio burst is in the direction of the constellation Auriga in the Northern sky.

“Our result is important because it eliminates any doubt that these radio bursts are truly of cosmic origin,” continues Victoria Kaspi, an astrophysics professor at McGill University in Montreal and Principal Investigator for the pulsar-survey project that detected this fast radio burst. “The radio waves show every sign of having come from far outside our galaxy – a really exciting prospect.”

Exactly what may be causing such radio bursts represents a major new enigma for astrophysicists. Possibilities include a range of exotic astrophysical objects, such as evaporating black holes, mergers of neutron stars, or flares from magnetars — a type of neutron star with extremely powerful magnetic fields.

Be warned: All of the above theories could also be wrong. These fast radio flashes could just as easily turn out to be something entirely unpredicted."
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Comment: Government control of our lives... (Score 4, Insightful) 150

by mi (#47431769) Attached to: Amazon Seeks US Exemption To Test Delivery Drones

They need to ask permission because the FAA specifically banned such behavior last month.

Gone are the days, when pursuit of happiness was understood as a natural right granted to each human being not by their government, but by the Creator.

Today one must get a permission to drive a car, carry a weapon, perform in costume, or, indeed, to fly a drone.

And this prohibition does not even come from Congress directly — having usurped so much control over our lives over the last century, they are simply unable to deal with the minutiae and are forced to delegate more and more of the rule-making to the Executive-run agencies — such as the FAA.

Comment: Re:Bullshit (Score 1) 106

by mi (#47431311) Attached to: Google's Experimental Newsroom Avoids Negative Headlines

You're just like Fox News now.

Sure. Because the honest and straight-shooting New York Times and MSNBC would publish — indeed, revel in — every piece of bad news...

As long a Republican can be blamed for it — justly or otherwise — of course...

Iraq, for example, was a "quagmire" in 2003 — when the enemy was defeated and on the run. And so it was in 2006, when only minor insurrections remained. But it is not a quagmire today — with the enemy having recaptured vast swaths of the country — the same sophisticated publication is advising us on how to avoid the disaster, not admitting, is has already happened — with the Nobel Peace Prize winner at the helm and a direct result of his decisions and orders.

Comment: Re:Bad programming (Score 1) 111

"Probably the best solution would be for the company to split up. The people who make the Xbox are probably weighed down by the rest of the company's ineptitude. I'd like to see those guys go their own way"

XBOX is running a version of Windows, which, is in many ways better than Linux. What's up for debate is its openness or lack thereof, but featureswise, Windows has lead Unix in a lot of ways.

Even Windows 3.1 had a better device independent rendering model than did the X terminals it competed against. And, ever since Windows NT, Windows has always had better APIs for threading while all many Unix's had (except for Solaris), was fork. DirectX is generally better than OpenGL. COM has its faults but in the long run proved to be the only binary object model that ever got used, and even the Windows desktop and shell has vastly better basic things like file dialogs than does Linux.

Visual Studio is still arguably the best IDE around and has been ever since Microsoft bought the Delphi guy over to write C#, and speaking of which, C# is a way better language than Java. Microsoft Office is still better than Open Office.

It's not that Microsoft has really sucked at the desktop, ever. They've just won so completely at it that they don't know how to do anything else right, although, I do think my Windows 8.1 phone is better than my iPhone 5s in some ways.

Comment: Re:How much is Google paying for these promotions? (Score 1) 33

by mi (#47428345) Attached to: On the Significance of Google's New Cardboard (Video)

Right, cause cheap/free VR certainly isn't of interest to the slashdot crowd.

Are you saying, VR pr0n is already available? Nope, not yet...

Seriously, though, it may be "of interest", but not so much interest, that it merits a mention every two weeks. Hardly news — neither for nerds nor for others.

+ - Alleged Hooker and Heroin Kill a Key Google exec on his Yacht in Santa Cruz->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Authorities allege model, makeup artist, and self-described "hustler" Alix Catherine Tichelman initially met 51-year-old Google executive Forrest Hayes of Santa Cruz and other Silicon Valley executives at for sexual encounters that fetched $1,000 or more. Last November 22, Tichelman met Hayes in-person on his white, 50-foot yacht, "Escape," in the Santa Cruz Small Craft Harbor. She brought heroin and needles into the yacht's cabin where she injected Hayes, causing him to overdose, said Santa Cruz Deputy Police Chief Steve Clark.

It has recently become known that a security camera in the cabin showed her pack drugs and syringes into her purse, clean off a table and draw a window blind. When she stepped over Hayes' lifeless body to drink from a glass of wine, she left behind a fingerprint on the glass, which helped investigators to identify her, Clark said. The yacht's captain found Hayes dead the next morning.

Santa Cruz police said they continued to probe Tichelman's possible involvement in another suspicious death out of state, but they declined to elaborate.

Hayes joined Apple in 2005 and worked there for several years, according to a brief profile on the business networking website LinkedIn. He started working for Mountain View-based Google about a year ago and joined its secretive "X" division, which is responsible for what the company likes to call "moon shot" projects including self-driving cars and the computer headset known as Glass.

"Seeking Arrangement," is a website that aims to connect "sugar daddies" and "sugar babies." suggesting, "Financial Stability: Unpaid bills no longer have to be a concern.""

Link to Original Source

+ - Warrant issued to force teen to pose nude for cops-> 1

Submitted by GatorSnake
GatorSnake (1978412) writes "A Manassas City teenager accused of “sexting” a video to his girlfriend is now facing a search warrant in which Manassas City police and Prince William County prosecutors want to take a photo of his erect penis, possibly forcing the teen to become erect by taking him to a hospital and giving him an injection, the teen’s lawyers said."
Link to Original Source

If a camel is a horse designed by a committee, then a consensus forecast is a camel's behind. -- Edgar R. Fiedler