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Comment: Re:Doesn't matter if it gets funded. (Score 1) 157

by craighansen (#46750511) Attached to: Will This Flying Car Get Crowdfunded?

"Imagine, stalking elk past department store windows and stinking racks of beautiful rotting dresses and tuxedos on hangers; you'll wear leather clothes that will last you the rest of your life, and you'll climb the wrist-thick kudzu vines that wrap the Sears Tower. Jack and the beanstalk, you'll climb up through the dripping forest canopy and the air will be so clean you'll see tiny figures pounding corn and laying strips of venison to dry in the empty car pool lane of an abandoned superhighway stretching eight-lanes-wide and August-hot for a thousand miles."

Fight Club - yeah, I'm talking 'bout it. Whatchu gotta rule or sompthin'?

Comment: Re:Parking fees. (Score 1) 163

by craighansen (#46749323) Attached to: The Best Parking Apps You've Never Heard Of and Why You Haven't

...and the guy with the $15 lot doesn't have to work so hard for their money. In theory, the operator could stay in bed until he gets a wake-up call from the guy with the $5 lot, who he could pay $5 for the call. The $5 guy would have every incentive to call just when his lot is filling up, so he could go home. Now consider this (It'll blow your mind for sure...), the $5 guy and the $15 guy could be the same f**king guy! We've just invented variable pricing!

Comment: Re:Ummm, what about the delivery drones? (Score 1) 214

by craighansen (#46737325) Attached to: FAA Shuts Down Search-and-Rescue Drones

Yep - that's about the logic I was expecting - if he was flying just for "hobby and recreation" it would be OK, but because he's doing it for a beneficial purpose, it doesn't qualify for that automatic exemption. I noticed that the FAA letter said it didn't matter whether he was flying line-of-sight or not.

Comment: Re:Ummm, what about the delivery drones? (Score 3, Interesting) 214

by craighansen (#46734967) Attached to: FAA Shuts Down Search-and-Rescue Drones

Under the regulations (or lack of regulations) under which this guy is being shut down, drone package delivery would certainly be considered a commercial activity and ruled to be illegal. Amazon's drone program is clearly dependent upon a change of regulation to be viable.

I'm not at all clear how this is to be considered a commercial activity. It isn't commerce in the sense of money changing hands between the service provider and the beneficial recepient. It isn't commerce in the sense of operating for profit. The only basis I can imagine is that it's because it has a _purpose_, it's not just flying around for the f**k of it. Consequently, if it has a beneficial purpose, it has a reason to be allowed, and therefore it needs to be ruled illegal, so that it won't get in the way of having the FAA make whatever regulations they please. It's my tax dollars being wasted in the worst way.

Comment: Dirt Simple (Score 1) 273

by craighansen (#46662683) Attached to: Algorithm Challenge: Burning Man Vehicle Exodus

A five hour wait to exit is not the problem. The problem is a five hour traffic scrum, with cars inching forward and jockeying for position all the time. The "solution" is to bring the scrum to a control point that oscillates between open and closed with a large period, so that traffic comes to a complete stop and people can relax for while, shut off engines, take a pee break, switch cars with a friend, and so forth. Then open the control point, everyone gets back in the cars and the scrum resumes. Since the exit is 1000 cars per hour, it's sufficient to have an oscillating control point that can pass 2000 cars per hour with a 50% duty cycle - or 4000 cars per hour with a 25% duty cycle.

I've not been to BM, but I ski, and this is what naturally happens on Highway 80 when there's heavy snow and multiple spin-outs.

Comment: XKB Specification is the problem!? (Score 1) 266

by craighansen (#46608201) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Handle Unfixed Linux Accessibility Bugs?

Reading the bug report commentary, it appears there's an error in the specification: that Peter Hutterer propagated into the code. The specification should be fixed as well as the code. Peter's comments about the change also discuss a null-pointer dereference problem - I'm not clear how that is related to the change - and therefore whether reverting the change is the complete solution.

The specification appears to be dated 1997-12-15, so all this is blowback from 16-year-old specification error.

Having seen plenty of serious bugs sitting unfixed in bug reports for years and years, I don't think the problem of enormous bugfix latency is particularly related to or limited to acccessibility issues.

Comment: Re:Link to Detailed Account: Anyone Know Air Route (Score 1) 227

by craighansen (#46554547) Attached to: New Information May Narrow Down Malaysian Jet's Path

Bzzt. does not show the factual location of the pings. Read the caption. It shows "Examples" of pings that could have given the tracks that the NTSB released. The actual location of the pings has not been publicly released, even though the ping data must have strongly influenced the NTSB tracks that have been published. This image from was drawn by Scott Henderson, who has explained that the pings shown in the diagram were drawn to illustrate the process that the NTSB presumably employed. This artifice got some strong negative reactions, such as

Knowing the actual ping locations, particularly the 3:11 and 4:11 pings, could help clarify when the turn to the south took place and better pin down the complete track.

Comment: Relative Ease compared to What? (Score 3, Informative) 150

by craighansen (#46551557) Attached to: WPA2 Wireless Security Crackable WIth "Relative Ease"

TFAbstract says that WPA2 can be cracked with brute force search, and that long passwords are more secure than short ones. Looking up the home pages of these internationally renowned researchers reveals that these three claim no other security-focused publications. But perhaps I'm too quick to judge. Somebody pay the man and read their paper. Or is this the two-step get-rich-quick scheme?: - (1) Publish Paywalled Article Exposing Security Holes in Commonly-Used Security Protocol (2) Profit! (PPAESHiCUSP-P)

Comment: Re:Very like the plane hijacking in the 1937 film, (Score 1) 227

by craighansen (#46551139) Attached to: New Information May Narrow Down Malaysian Jet's Path

You might as well consider the similarities to Oceanic 815 - though that flight was Australia to US, apparently ending up at Wallis Island - or not. Unfortunately for your fantastic theory, the current SAR effort is focused on the southern Indian ocean, not Himilaya. While the 8:11 angle estimate has a northern segment, all attention is leading toward the southern segment, at the extremum of the supposed fuel range of the plane.

Comment: Map not factual (Score 4, Informative) 227

by craighansen (#46550989) Attached to: New Information May Narrow Down Malaysian Jet's Path

Unfortunately, this map has non-factual locations for the circles other than 8:11. The angle information for the earlier pings has not been released, but artwork was drawn up that estimated these earlier pings from the reported estimated tracks attributed to the NTSB. This artwork, drawn by Scott Henderson, was likely the source for the map on's site. See for details.

Inmarsat has been coy about the exact value of the ping angles. They issued a press release that said that the information had been given to the Malaysian government, and that anyone who wanted details should contact Malaysia. See IMHO, they have been doing this because the earlier ping data may make clearer that the aircraft track takes it over Malaysia, where the lack of detection may be a source of official embarrassment.

The earlier ping data may also indicate whether MH370 overflew Indonesia, or whether it flew west to avoid Indonesia, and that has an effect on the plane's remaining range and the estimate of the flight's bearing when it presumably turned southward toward the 90E/45S region where the SAR operations have been focused lately. It would appear that this data was factored into the NTSB track estimates, but the lack of an official release of the angle data has hampered the armchair/amateur speculation about the location. IMHO, if MH370 avoided overflying Indonesia, it may have been a deliberate attempt to lay a false track in a west or northwest direction.

Comment: Slanted beyond all comprehension (Score 5, Informative) 258

by craighansen (#46385503) Attached to: Inventor Has Waited 43 Years For Patent Approval

Article seems to be talking about patent application 05/302771, and the status of the case is miles away from the way it's described in the article. This patent has been through several levels of non-final and final rejections, appeals, and court actions. Through the USPTO's public PAIR (Patent Application Information Retrieval) system, you can access hundreds of pages of information and history on the case, including what are now several hundred pending claims. Even if the application itself hasn't been published, the file history is ripe with lots of information. You can see the patent examiners' rejections and there's a 494-page appeal brief filed on behalf of the Applicant, from which you can see many of the pending claims. The patent office rejections appear mainly under section 112 on the basis that the claims aren't adequately supported by the patent disclosure. It's not as if he just applied for the patent and waited 43 years - he's been trying hard not to take NO for the answer.

In addition, there appear to be about 150 additional patent cases filed as continuations on dates between 1977 and 1995 - some still pending and some abandoned. Most of them aren't accessible under the public PAIR system because of the pre-1995 filing dates. Presumably there's no continuations filed after 1995 because under the post-1995 rules, the application would expire 20 years from the earliest filing date, so they'd expire before granting. If many of these continuations have hundreds of claims like the parent case, there could be tens of thousands of claims that he's trying to get granted.

Never appeal to a man's "better nature." He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage. -- Lazarus Long