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Comment: Re:What about legitimate uses? (Score 1) 181

by fyngyrz (#48029669) Attached to: CEO of Spyware Maker Arrested For Enabling Stalkers

the current administration has done more than any previous administration to expand it's[sic] intrusive power

No, sorry. Nothing's been done during Obama's terms that even remotely compare with the instantiation of the PATRIOT act and the TSA as far as harmful changes to the previously existing state of affairs by the government.

And then during Obama's terms, we've seen the drug war lighten up on marijuana, we've seen expansions of gay rights, we've seen increased rights and capabilities for consumers and less for credit card companies, access to Cuba has opened up, private sector spaceflight has been encouraged...

Obama's got his warts, all right -- constitutionally speaking, the man seems to be insane -- but on the scale of making life worse for all of us, he's done nothing even close, singly or in aggregate, to measuring up to the Bush/Cheney administration's insults to the body politic.

Comment: Some pi with that? (Score 1) 76

Just wish it had some level of IR control in addition to wifi.

Consider a Raspberry Pi B+. You can add IR (or bluetooth), it's full HD, has four USB so you can add WiFi and other stuff, has a camera interface, there's a media player configuration to fool with right out of the (NOOBS) box, Youtube et al are all available over the web, etc... and it's pretty easy to move, too. HDMI cable, power supply, that's all. Presuming you've an IR or bluetooth remote working with it.

And it's all about as open -- hardware and software -- as most stuff tends to get, which is handy if you want to get all hammer and tongs on it.

Comment: Re:What about legitimate uses? (Score 2) 181

by fyngyrz (#48023753) Attached to: CEO of Spyware Maker Arrested For Enabling Stalkers

in newbamamerica, you have no rights or freedoms.

If you think even for a *second* that this would not have happened during the prior administrations, or that the majority of damage to your freedoms had not already been done prior to Obama's terms, you really should see someone about that brain tumor, because it's made you into a flaming idiot.

Comment: Obvious answer (Score 5, Insightful) 181

by fyngyrz (#48023699) Attached to: CEO of Spyware Maker Arrested For Enabling Stalkers

That'd be the American public you're asking about.

When congress decided to shove the PATRIOT act up everyone's colon, lubricated only by a healthy dose of TSA, all the American public did was enquire how far they should bend over. They're still bent over. The majority likes it that way. Because fear. Unreasonable, agit-prop and ignorance based fear.

Comment: Re:Unreliable sources (Score 1) 115

by fyngyrz (#48015971) Attached to: Yahoo Shuttering Its Web Directory

Google's page rank algorithm goes a long way to mitigate that by tracking how many links refer to a given site

No. Popularity is a horrible indicator of usefulness, and/or accuracy and/or value. A well curated directory, on the other hand, can be all wheat, no chaff. Unfortunately, no well-curated directory exists.

Comment: Re:It seems to me... (Score 2) 427

by fyngyrz (#48015849) Attached to: The Physics of Space Battles

Yes and no. Yes, right now, as far as we know. Hints otherwise, however, do exist. Further, apparently, space -- being nothing -- can expand and contract much faster than the speed of light (see most cosmological theories), and since the distance from here to there in astronomical terms is essentially created by space... it may be that the speed of light is constant, but the space it travels though, isn't.

Also, we may discover something else. I'm perfectly ok with not being certain; I think assigning absolute certainty to things is a losing game, frankly. In the interim, I enjoy a good story. What I think is a good story is, of course, colored by my opinions, just as everyone's is.

Comment: Re: It seems to me... (Score 1) 427

by fyngyrz (#48015811) Attached to: The Physics of Space Battles

The objection is that they would have been picked up while moving under also-moving cover.

Subtractive imaging shows both objects that are gone, and objects that are new. You just use the absolute value of the result.

Essentially, for a thresholded image, it's:

abs(1-0) = 1 // object has moved away between images
abs(0-1) = 1 // object has arrived between images
abs(1-1) = 0 // nothing has changed
abs(0-0) = 0 // nothing has changed

Image polarity, greyscale, color, bilevel and so on make it a little more complex, but only a little.

In English, if you absolute subtract two aligned images of the same region, everything that is the same goes to zero. Anything else shows up as a brighter spot. The bottom line is, you can't hide something moving unless a satellite imaging system can't see it at all. Not the case with large rocks, I'm afraid.

Comment: It seems to me... (Score 5, Interesting) 427

by fyngyrz (#48014809) Attached to: The Physics of Space Battles

If you're going to swallow the idea of FTL drives, tractor beams and shields -- among other things -- then it's not really that much of a stretch to swallow the idea of inertial control, too. Which would make such battles not resemble a game of asteroids at all.

As for sound, presuming your vehicle maintains atmospheric integrity, you'd hear anything that causes the the craft's atmosphere to be jolted into motion. Debris hitting your vehicle, the stress caused by a sealed compartment being ruptured, people screaming when they get fried, crushed or otherwise insulted as a consequence of direct or indirect battle damage or loss of, for instance, inertial damping, equipment failures and power supplies having problems. You would also hear something if a force field of any kind was imposed upon your vehicle in such a way as to deliver any kind of uncompensated-for energy in mechanically coupled framework(s) producing direct or indirect vibrations in the audio range. And furthermore , presuming a ship has sensors to detect things like the energy outputs of other vehicles as they maneuver, seems to me that converting that to audio as a handy sound cue/warning would be hardly any trick at all. Just as one example.

Likewise, perhaps *we* can't focus a laser today, but that's not an inherent limitation of lasers even by today's known physics, that's a limitation of our technology, so that objection is kind of dead on the doorstep, so to speak. Not that a visible future beam weapon is necessarily carrying its punch in the form of light anyway. Could be just a side effect, or an aiming aid. This is the future, we're talking an imaginary scenario resulting from science and technology we don't presently have and so may speculate upon (using current knowledge... pretty boring... we can barely get off the planet's surface, much less engage in space battles... that's why most SF has at least a few pure fantasy elements in it.)

And along the lines of what we accept and what we don't, if you are blase' about the idea of a magic camera floating around your space battle and instantly changing perspective from A to B to C, perhaps it's just a little bit silly to complain about, for instance, a whoosh, or what "lasers" can do. That's entirely outside of what might be realistic in terms of what the movies subjects are up to.

So yeah, it's ok to think, but don't let someone else do your thinking for you. If there are space battles as depicted in most SF(fantasy) movies, the rules as we know them right now have long since been trashed, so there doesn't really seem to be any reason to worry about it.

All of the above is why I can really enjoy Star Wars, Firefly, Trek, etc, btw. Even though I'm fairly well grounded in how we think things work at present.

I have more trouble with obvious errors that don't take into account technologies we already have. For instance, in Red Mars, some of the characters "hide" from satellite surveillance by moving over long distances in a large hollow rock (or perhaps a thing that looks like I rock, I forget), something we would spot in an instant *today* by the simple expedient of image subtraction; Take two shots under the same or similar conditions but separated by time, align them, and subtract them. Everything that's in the same place turns to black; anything that has moved will be bright. This is *trivial* surveillance technology, and has been in use since *at least* the 1970's. And the kicker is this would work even better on Mars than it does here -- thinner atmosphere. Caused me a few snickers, that one did.

In 1869 the waffle iron was invented for people who had wrinkled waffles.