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Comment: Yeah... right! (Score 1) 82

by NewtonsLaw (#48267481) Attached to: "Ambulance Drone" Prototype Unveiled In Holland

Given the huge hurdles that airspace administrators are presently placing in the way of *any* non-recreational use of drones (witness the way the FAA has repeatedly tried to shut down those being used for search-and-rescue activities), can you possibly imagine the red-tape involved in getting clearance to launch one of these life-saving drones?

By the time the paperwork was done, the corpse would have already rotted away to just bones and parchment-like skin.

Governments talk about the "huge potential" of drones -- but the regulators say "no, no... you can't do that".

Crazy, crazy, crazy!

Comment: Why? (Score 4, Insightful) 95

by NewtonsLaw (#48267475) Attached to: Secret Policy Allows GCHQ Bulk Access To NSA Data

Can someone remind me why it is that we, the people who elect and pay the wages of the politicians and public servants who seek to destroy our right to privacy in this way, continue to allow such outrageous behavior to continue?

Has the concept of a democracy been replaced by one of serial fascism where voters are lulled into a false sense of empowerment by governments which collude with the *real* power-brokers to simply look after their own best interests and for who "voters" are synonymous with taxpayers -- a necessary evil required to keep the oily wheels of government turning?

They say we get the governments we deserve -- if that's true, we must be truly evil bastards!

Comment: Re:Oh yeah, that guy (Score 5, Interesting) 289

by NewtonsLaw (#48216245) Attached to: Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems

Well if you'd been holed-up in a small room for years under the threat of extradition (ulitmately) to some US holiday camp where waterboarding is considered a social activity, wouldn't your outlooks and perceptions have been somewhat altered by the experience?

Let's not forget that Assange, through his Wikileaks disclosures, has done a hell of a lot to wake the people of the world up to the nastiness of those who forget they are in the public service and instead believe they are rulers and demigods by right.

While Assange is open to criticism on many fronts, never forget that he *has* done a lot to help preserve what few freedoms we still have.

I more strongly criticise those who see the wrongs that have been done and do nothing to right them. That's the *vast* majority of the great unwashed out there.

Comment: Re:Crash Test? (Score 2) 203

by NewtonsLaw (#48080233) Attached to: A Production-Ready Flying Car Is Coming This Month

What a load of BS. Moller's "flying car" is a joke -- a bit like Stan Meyer's water-powered car was. It's always easy to create a conspiracy to cover up a complete lack of substance when you're busy trying to milk gullible investors!

As for the flying car referenced in this article/video -- it's just like all the others and will never "fly" from a commercial perspective because:

  - it's a crappy car (too many compromises in order to make it fly)
  - it's a crappy plane (too many compromises in order to make it drive)
  - it's a death-trap (because of the two points listed above)
  - it's probably going to be *way* overpriced -- such that you could buy both a *good* car and a *good* plane for less money and without the compromises.

Comment: Re:C=128 (Score 2) 167

by NewtonsLaw (#48011147) Attached to: Why the Z-80's Data Pins Are Scrambled

The problem with the 6502 was that if you were writing code for someone else's environment then your use of Page 0 (which many of the index-based instructions used intensively) was restricted because the OS often took up most of that space.

If you were writing code that was totally stand-alone (ie: no bios or OS to worry about) then the 6502 environment was *very* nice and could perform incredibly well. However, if you were writing code that sat atop a BIOS/OS layer then the Z80 was just so much simpler and less frustrating to code for.

Speed-wise, the Ohio Superboard (6502) would roundly trounce a TRS80 Model 1 in single-precision floating point math run through the relevant BASIC interpeters and ultimately and tightly coded 6502 code would also trounce the same written for the Z80 -- unless Page0 was already used up on the 6502 system.

Comment: Seriously? (Score 4, Insightful) 178

Who the hell is going to sit down and scan a few million lines of source code with Microsoft looking over your shoulder and hope to spot a backdoor or two in the process?

Even then, how can you be sure that the source code they show you is the stuff you're actually running?

What a PR stunt this is!

Comment: The most fun you can have with one of these (Score 1) 30

by NewtonsLaw (#47218903) Attached to: A Quadcopter Development Platform (Video)

Forget about aerial video and photography with these "drones" -- the most fun you can have with one of these multi-rotor craft is this:

FPV racing

These are tiny multirotor craft fitted with FPV (first person view) video gear and flown around a course (which can be as simple as a few trees in a field).

Stunningly good fun and a real adrenaline buzz -- without all the privacy and safety issues that "droners" create with their DJI Phantoms and other consumer-grade multirotors.

Just Google/Youtube for "mini H quad" and you'll find much more

Comment: Re:Wait. Drone diy kits will be banned (Score 1) 30

by NewtonsLaw (#47218829) Attached to: A Quadcopter Development Platform (Video)

Actually, they are *not* regulated -- and that's the big problem right now.

From the FAA's perspective, there are no regulations pertaining to RC model aircraft -- only guidlines.

This is why the courts overturned a $10,000 fine levied against Raphael Pirker by the FAA -- because there are no regulations to back up that penalty.

The FAA are scrambling to come up with some regulations but, until then, they are hoist by their own petard (or lack of work in this area).

Comment: Me163 Komet... what the? (Score 2) 209

by NewtonsLaw (#47071619) Attached to: The World's Worst Planes: Aircraft Designs That Failed

How dare they include the Me163 Komet in a list of "worst planes" -- it was a groundbreaking craft (in more ways than one -- get the pun?) which highlighted the innovation (and desperation) of the Germans near the end of WW2.

Yes, the choice of fuel components made it horrendously dangerous and the limited flight-times did reduce its utility but it was undoubtedly *the* fasted aircraft of WW2.

Comment: Make it impossible for the burglar to stay (Score 4, Informative) 408

Alarms simply tell you you've been robbed.

A far more effective strategy is to ensure that anyone entering your house uninvited will find it impossible to stay long enough to steal your stuff.

To do this, you want lots of *internal* sirens that run at 120dB+.

If the intruders ears start bleeding as soon as they enter the building, they will retreat at a very hasty pace.

That's how my alarms are configured. They ring me over the cellular network and generate an internal sould level that is intollerably loud (as I have discovered on the two occasions I forgot to disarm the system myself) :-)

If he's going to get your iPad he might as well take some life-long hearing damage with him :-)

"Atomic batteries to power, turbines to speed." -- Robin, The Boy Wonder