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Comment Re:small? (Score 1) 115

The optics, software and servos that make up this kind of system are evolving rapidly- I doubt it is really an adaptation of anything

Sure it is, nobody starts a project like this from scratch. I even recognize the body of the device from infrared cameras from over a decade ago, not identical but very similar.

Comment Re:small? (Score 1) 115

Which has me wondering just how much unpredictable manoeuvring a small autonomous aircraft would have to do to defeat it.

The fine article states that the laser must stay on target for 2 seconds. I don't know if this is to target the plastic (melt, warp, or burn) or the metal (penetrate) components. When targeting mortars the system would heat them until the explosive ignited, when targeting rockets they would be heated until the vehicle failed structurally. I find it hard to believe that these differing applications would all need the same 2 second time period, though.

Notice that the targeted devices in the video seem to have a dangling antenna, it really seems as though that is helping with targeting. Maybe they can't target drones without the antenna!

Comment Re:small? (Score 5, Interesting) 115

it can be transported in a few medium-sized boxes"

How big is a medium-sized box?

Rosanna Arquette or John Edwards

This device seems to be an adaptation of the mostly-failed experiments to knock down mortars and grad-style rockets with lasers. Those systems only worked if the projectile was following a previously-known flight path and the laser was set up to protect that specific path, because they couldn't target fast enough. Real-world mortars are less predicable, but drones are slow enough that the targeting seems to work on them.

It is rather convenient for the researchers that a slower, more media-visible target for their mortar-laser was developed!

Comment Re:Holding the code hostage? (Score 1) 59

I'm not morally offended at his approach, but as a crowd-funding campaign, it does present a risk/reward ratio that I'm not willing to accept.

What would be more acceptable is if he firs developed the software and shows its worth, and then offered to open-source it for some specified amount of money. That eliminates almost all risk related the fact or quality of the delivery.

In open source, the delivery is not the binary but the code itself. I've seen (and written) quite a few applications that run great, don't crash, wow the user, and have horrible code that I was _not_ proud of. I think that Open Office under Sun was a prime example of this. I understand that Photoshop code is a horror, a mess, and that nobody understands the full code base anymore.

Comment Re:New fullscreen application launcher! (Score 4, Insightful) 43

In my opinion, fullscreen application launchers on a multitasking OS are not the ideal solution to presenting the user with a list of applications to run because the idea of fullscreen implies that it is itself another application. Id est, it blocks the currently running application. The 'start menu' type launchers that we are familiar with do not _apparently_ block the running application (even though they often block keyboard input). Thus, the user feels that the menu is part of the environment and not anoth application that has replaced the application that he is running. I accept the premise on my Android phone because on that device I expect to only run a single application at a time. No matter what memory-management does behind the scenes (and I am familiar with onPause() onStart() onRestart() and onResume()) it appears to the user that he is running a single app at a time. Empirically, pick up the average user's phone and look at the running applications. On Android (and iOs, and Windows Phone) people typically return to the Home screen and start another application without ever closing the original applications: that is indicative of the mindset that only one application is ever "in use" at a time.

Comment Re:Thank you Dr. Loubani! (Score 1) 10

You are here now. No one including myself is assigning blame for the annexation of 1948 or the pograms that took place in palestine before the state of israel was created or anything else. Blame blame blame, history has a lot of that because it wasn't us or our parents but our grand and great grand parnts that did this, right?

So again, it is something you could change. It really is. And you are giving the typical israeli answer ignoring the gaza war and the aggression that expanded the partition from a small subset to what israel is today, and ignoring the armed conflict and mass war crimes visited on the internment camps.. i mean 'blockaded areas of terrorists'. you serve in the army. you pay your taxes. you are just as much to blame as everyone else. don't want to be to blame? go live in gaza or leave israel and stop funding the aggression and destruction.

You cherry pick certain historical events and completely ignore their context or other related events. I suspect that you are well-intentioned by ill-informed. That is very common, considering the tactics used by the anti-Jewish community to try to delegitimize the Jewish state in the eyes of people who are not ignorant enough to become anti-semetic themselves, but who have no prior bias in the conflict. Am I wrong in guessing that your opinion is formed due to media exposure?

Atrocities were committed by both Jews and Arabs in the years surrounding the establishment of the state of Israel. Atrocities were committed before, and have been committed after. I won't justify any particular atrocity. I will point out that no single atrocity is justification for continued belligerence for either side.

I'm very glad that you are concerned for the wellbeing of the citizens of Gaza. Really, I am. Now go compare them to the citizens of Syria, or Ukraine, or Saudi Arabia, or Yemen, or DPRC, or Egypt, or Lebanon, or the Palestinians in Jordan and Yarmouk, or the Kurds in Turkey or the Yazidi in Iraq. Do I need to mention the actions of the US in Iraq? The US in Iran? This US in Vietnam? The US in Central America? The US inside its own borders? I can point to nations close or far, peoples small or large, governments supported or opposed by the West and show you worse atrocities than are happening in Gaza. Does that justify what is happening in Gaza? NO! But it does bring to light the disproportionate news reported on the area. Ask your news sources why they report so heavily on the situation in Gaza but fail to report on similar, or worse, happenings in the rest of the world. You will then understand the bias.

Comment Re:Thank you Dr. Loubani! (Score 1) 10

Don't like it? CHANGE YOUR GOVERNMENT(s). Until then, shut your mouth about 'gaza' in a public place and stay humble.

I really wish that my government were the problem: that is something that I _could_ change. You'll notice that I did not assign blame in my entire post.

The Israeli government is an easy target for the naive looking to place blame. So are jihadists, so are settlers, so are angry gods. The real reasons behind both Gaza's suffering and Israel's security concerns are much more complex and no single entity is either responsible or even directly attributable. Many people here, on both sides, still blame the British! Most Gazans blame the Egyptians more than Israel. The situation is Gaza is very different from the West Bank, don't conflate them.

The real solution will come not from changing the Israeli government, or removing Jews from their homes, or from killing Hamas, or from praying at a wall. The real solution will come when both sides teach their children that all humans are equally valuable, that we all pray to the same God even if we believe in different prophets, and that in the end we'll all rot in the ground whether we've made the world better or worse for our children. When the parents of both sides start teaching tolerance rather than teaching hate, we'll then see a generation that has the ability to resolve the issue. No more "I was here fifty years ago!", "I was here seventy years ago!", "I was here 2000 years ago", but rather more "Hey, there's enough water for both of us if we're careful", and more "You grow olives on the right side, I'll grow potatoes on the left side".

No, I don't realistically expect that time to ever come.

Comment Thank you Dr. Loubani! (Score 1) 10

My name is Dotan, from Beer Sheva. I want to say thank you for your work and your dedication to serving the people of Gaza, we both understand how desperate their situation is. I believe that few people care more for the wellbeing of Gaza's citizens than do my fellow Israelis, other than a small vocal and violent percentage which cause harm to both our people. You have the same situation, from what I understand it is the small minority of Palestinians who are violent Jihadists, but you and I suffer from them just the same. Here in Beer Sheva we understand that the only way for Israel, or any other nation, to remain strong is to have strong, proud neighbours. I can think of few exceptions to the fact that nations do best when their neighbouring nations are doing well too.

That said, do not look to Gisha as an impartial bearer of truth. Sitting on one side of the fence it is easy to say "these people support my position, therefore they must be right" but with them in particular there is no doubt that they are the real-world equivalent of trolls. The facts they state may be true, or may be based on truth, but they are manipulative, add opinion and commentary, and seem to exist based on "controversy brings money". In the long run using them as a basis for any assertion makes your entire viewpoint seem weak. I say that as someone who completely supports the Gazan people's dignity!

Again, I thank you for your work. In the reserves I am a combat medic and know what it means to improvise to save a life. I've done it for both sides, as you no doubt are aware we treat civilians of either side as equally valuable. The difference is that I am expected to improvise with little field provisions available. In a hospital it is not only reasonable to expect full medical supplies, rather it is expected. It is horrible to even think that a hospital could be perpetually under-supplied, never mind understaffed or worse. Everyone here realizes what you sacrificed and what you risked coming to Gaza to help. Your resourcefulness and dedication is appreciated not only by the Gazans you treat, but also by the Israelis who await the day when you will visit our markets and we will visit your beaches and Beer Sheva's football team will trounce Gaza's football team in both stadiums!

Comment Re:Rewarded one shilling (Score 5, Informative) 57

The Marine Biological Association in Plymouth should buy a 1904 shilling (on eBay around $13) and send it to the German couple.

You are absolutely not going to believe this, but the fine article has a photograph of the couple who found the bottle posing with the one shilling payment that they received.

UNIX is hot. It's more than hot. It's steaming. It's quicksilver lightning with a laserbeam kicker. -- Michael Jay Tucker