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Comment Though I completely support the idea in principal (Score 5, Insightful) 245

...what really will happen is that in a few years the advertisements will be full of religious propaganda and proselytizing. Allowing _one_ advertisement is fine, but it opens the door to a whole slew of continually-worsening ads. And being "protected religious speech" they will contain other messages, such as anti-Israel, pro-Sharia, neo-Nazi, and anti-Muslim messages. The competition will be fierce!

Of course, the same could be said about any type of advertising. But by experience the religious nutcases' ads will be far worse than the for-profit corporations' ads.

Comment Re:Mars isn't going anywhere. (Score 1) 173

Neither place is going to provide a solution to Earth's population problems and environmental problems.

You are right, for the reasons that you mention. But "Backup Earth" is not the only reason to go out colonizing.

Humankind must get it's addiction to population increase under control.

Right, so long as its not my offspring that you are willing to sacrifice. And everybody has this same viewpoint for his own value of "my".

Comment Time constraints (Score 1) 21

Is the ability to practice on a particular patient really necessary? It seems like the time it would take to do a dry-run is the time that the surgeon could be performing another surgery. If individual patients' vascular systems so different that they cause problems for surgeons, then sure this development is great. But are they all really so different as to justify an expensive and time-consuming test dry run before each operation?

Comment Re:As a quadcopter pilot... (Score 1) 192

So can baseballs. I'd insult your general attitude, but you're going to find out that regulation will mean that your days of calling yourself a "pilot" outside of your living room will soon be over.

If a sudden surge of people throwing hundreds of thousands of baseballs, constantly, in major cities were to happen then in fact I would expect the government to regulate baseballs. And that is exactly what is happening with autonomous flying craft.

Now replace baseballs with stones. In your city, what would the police do to people who throw stones at other people constantly?

Comment Re:As a quadcopter pilot... (Score 1) 192

I can't understand why people think autonomous operating modes are the problem aside from people just assume the publicized crashes must involved that mode.

Because with autonomous mode the quad can navigate beyond line of sight. Stupid rises exponentially with distance.

Additionally, RC pilots know their skill level, and have experience battling winds, updrafts, etc. You and I know the limits of the craft, or at least, when they are approaching the limits and in what weather not to launch. Drone users get right up against the limits of the vehicle's capability then crash, with no warning to either the standers-by nor the "operator". They have no idea that the wind at 100 meters is different from the wind at ground level, furthermore, even if they read that the wind is different they don't know how to identify it from the ground, before launch.

In short, autonomous mode lowers the bar of entry to using a dangerous device.

Comment As a quadcopter pilot... (Score 2, Interesting) 192

...this is a good thing. Non-drone quads, like all RC craft, require skill to do something stupid that will hurt more than your neighbours or your wallet. Autonomous, self-piloting, drones can be more dangerous than a car if flown improperly. Regulate them, just as cars and other aircraft are regulated.

Comment Re:usenet lists (Score 4, Insightful) 167

The complaints remind me of the old usenet groups, especially C and perl programming.

Even worse than that, one would expect the author's examples to actually illustrate his point, but the examples given are terrible questions that should in fact be closed by any objective measure. The problem is that the author wants to use emotion ("it's _my_ question") to keep his dupes open.

For example, his "Does Stack Overflow have any way of preventing vote trolls" question was marked as a dupe of "How to react to unfair downvotes". Though superficially a related but distinct question, in fact his question is a request for clarification about the general case discussed in the question his was marked as a dupe of. People who engineer objective code will see this, people who copy and paste but do not understand why things work the way they do just won't see it, it's a left-brain vs. right-brain issue. So the system is self-filtering, that's fine.

I remember how hard it was to get rep on ServerFault, the SO site for server admins. Any question that I asked I felt was downvoted or closed. Now that I understand the concepts, I understand why. And not understanding why but getting frustrated with the SF community helped me formulate better questions and propelled my knowledge. And when I do turn to SF now, I'm glad that newbies like I was are kept at bay and there is room for the real admins to discuss real admin problems.

"If I do not want others to quote me, I do not speak." -- Phil Wayne