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Comment: Its not a drone (Score 0) 81

It's a unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or unmanned aerial system (UAS).

Drones are either male honeybees or objects used as targets. Drone is what the popular press calls a UAV/UAS and it contributes to "the dumbing of America".

If you think it doesn't matter, go back to watching your "flat screen TV" or put some "shrink wrap" on a wire connection, you ignoramus.

Comment: Too bad it's only for non-commercial use (Score 1) 211

by dubner (#45406259) Attached to: Apple II DOS Source Code Released

From TFA: "... for non-commercial use. This material is Copyright © 1978 Apple Inc., "

That's a shame because someone might like to use it for a commercial product: a modern-day knockoff of the Apple ][.

But that would require a cool name for the project and the good ones were already taken circa-1980: the Japanese implementation (the Japple) and the Korean version (the Krapple).

Comment: Re:Why hold them to higher standard? (Score 1) 238

by dubner (#45220155) Attached to: Nuclear Officers Napped With Blast Door Left Open
> Seriously do these guys get hardship pay or anything? Is it a rotational program where they get to go somewhere better after they do their time in the bunker? Or is this really just the worst assignment in the Air Force?

They collect the pay of a lieutenant or captain, which ain't nothin'.

It's not a bad assignment. They have a lot of free time and can do coursework for a master's degree or catch up on reading or just nap (obviously). While getting paid.

It's the best assignment in the Air Force for an officer who wants operational experience but cannot qualify to fly (or work drones). Not everyone wants to be a maintenance officer, personnel officer, or some kind of REMF: some want to be in Operations.

Comment: APRS for aircraft (Score 1) 27

by dubner (#42486713) Attached to: Visualizing Personal Flight Data With OpenFlights.org

Radio amateurs (hams) have been doing something like this for years with APRS. Aircraft (and ground vehicles, boats, etc.) contain a VHF transmitter (and other equipment) to transmit GPS information to a network of ground stations. The data makes its way to some networked servers on the Internet and a feed can be taken by anyone. A raw feed won't let you visualize but numerous mapping applications are available.

Here's an example of the track of one specific airplane for the past 60 days.

If that site is slashdotted (quite possible) this site will also provide the track of KA1GJU-6 (and all other APRS stations) although visualization and useability for aircraft stations suffers.

Comment: APRS Track of K6RPT-11 (Score 1) 51

by dubner (#38375280) Attached to: Atlantic Crossing By Amateur Radio High Altitude Balloon

At the risk of slashdotting this limited-resource site, I'll submit this aircraft APRS tracking site for a view of the entire track. Scroll down for tabular data showing groundspeed, altitude, etc. The Google map is zoomable and panable in the usual method as well as with a "Zoom" control in the lower left.

Four balloons were actually launched and an additional one crossed the Rockies but only one crossed the Atlantic. APRS tracks for the three other balloons are left as an exercise for the reader. Hint: they're K6RPT-12, -13, and -14.

--
Joe

Comment: Re:APRS (Score 1) 296

by dubner (#38117776) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Inexpensive Anti-Theft Vehicle Tracking System?

It's even easier than that. There are fairly inexpensive turn-key solutions for the "appliance operator" ham.

http://www.byonics.com/mt-rtg

or Duck-Duck-Go the Yaesu VX-8GR radio.

A ham license is a requirement but it can be done by rote learning in one day. There is no Morse code requirement for an entry-level license. It's nothing like old-time ham radio and the typical newbie who gets a license just for APRS can't even tell me his callsign without looking on his paperwork :-(

--
Joe

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