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Comment: Re:That's because we have a big US Defense Drones (Score 2) 356

by dzarn (#44873557) Attached to: FEMA Grounds Private Drones That Were Helping To Map Boulder Floods
Are you here, watching the rescue efforts, or are you armchair quarterbacking from 1000 miles away? Right now they have anywhere between 17-21 ANG choppers working over Boulder and Larimer counties. These guys have no flight plans, nothing - they are shuttling in and out to pick people up wherever they see them. They're asking stranded residents to do anything possible to get their attention, including setting fires, because there are houses all over the place. Our governor was taking a flight tour of the area on Sunday and twice was diverted to pick people up. Having a 2' wide R/C aircraft flying around is exactly the kind of thing these choppers should not have to worry about. Manned aircraft are BIG - big enough to show up on radar, and to be visible through a window when you're focusing all your effort on setting down on a mountain road with 15' clearance between your rotors and trees. They absolutely shouldn't have to concern themselves with an R/C aircraft popping out of nowhere and ruining their day. FEMA is just getting going, so I don't know how they'll do. But so far everyone from the local fire & police departments, local/county/state governments, and CO & WY National Guard have done a fucking incredible job of getting people out of there. It's been a fantastic response, with very little of the red-tape or bureaucracy you normally hear about. A 500-year flood doesn't mean it only happens once every 500 years. It means there's a 0.2% chance of it happening any one year. So your rant about it being "twice the age of the USA" has absolutely no bearing on anything. Yes, it's a big flood. Yes, it came out of nowhere and caught everybody off guard. But this is exactly what these folks train for, and they've been amazing. With over 1000 people airlifted out, and a death toll of EIGHT so far, the response is looking beautiful. Note that those 8 all died during the floods - we haven't had anyone sitting on their roof for 3 days watching choppers fly over them and leave them stuck.

Comment: Re:I am all for electronic speed limit signs (Score 1) 137

by dzarn (#28612581) Attached to: New Zealand Creates Safety Billboard That Bleeds When It Rains
They recently put those in along I-70 just west of Denver, and I have never seen them below 65. Even when thick fog makes it suicide to drive faster than about 30, they stay 65. So they don't do much good unless they actually get updated, which is still a manual process.

You can measure a programmer's perspective by noting his attitude on the continuing viability of FORTRAN. -- Alan Perlis