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Comment: Very funny (Score 1) 97

by formfeed (#47290435) Attached to: When Drones Fall From the Sky

Big deal. I'm sure the ones soon to be used by businesses and local law enforcement will be much more safe & reliable, because they will be produced in a competitive market environment (instead of by government contract) by 3D printers.

Oh gosh, it took me a second to detect the sarcasm in that statement. At first I thought, "no way - local law enforcement and safe. - LAPD drones???" But then there was that bold marker for pure sarcasm: competitive market environment hehehehe

Comment: or... (Score 1) 97

by formfeed (#47290405) Attached to: When Drones Fall From the Sky

They either need to be designed to not fail (triple redundant, etc) or designed so that when they fail that they are not a hazard to innocent bystanders.

Or when they fail, they could access a map of insurgents living close by.

Drone engine failure, crashing in 2 minutes, list of possible crash sites:
playground: -100
unoccupied garage of elderly lady: 0
vegetable garden: -10
guy who posted anti-NSA stuff on slashdot: +20

Comment: Re:Kind of see their point... (Score 1) 207

by formfeed (#47249627) Attached to: Ikea Sends IkeaHackers Blog a C&D Order

In what way was it "wrong?" The C&D likely came from a legal firm hired to police their trademarks, without any prior knowledge of IKEA.



Large corporation that still thinks that the press office does press releases, the ad agency makes your brand popular, and you let lawyers run after everyone else. Guess what? No.

Comment: oh dang! (Score 1) 260

by formfeed (#47185287) Attached to: Virginia DMV Cracks Down On Uber, Lyft

With the evil govu'ment cracking down on Uber, I now won't even have to try my newest idea:

If you have a screw driver and a wire cutter in your car you can register online and if you are near someone who needs an electrician you can fix it for them.
I was gonna call it Park'n'Spark but I'm sure the gavu'ment would find some weasel regulatory claim to kill it.

Comment: Re:What he's really saying is (Score 1) 422

by formfeed (#47105013) Attached to: Why You Shouldn't Use Spreadsheets For Important Work

"I don't know how to use spread sheets properly."

No. He doesn't:

I will happily use a spreadsheet to compute the grades of my students, to estimate my retirement savings, to compute how much tax I paid last year but I will not use Microsoft Excel to run a bank or to compute the trajectory of the space shuttle.

What he is saying is: It is fine to use spreadsheets as spreadsheets.
But there are people who can't use statistical analysis tools who use spreadsheets instead.
People who can't program who use spreadsheets filled with little code snippets to do what a program should do.
And in general people who make a mess with spreadsheets getting results that are hard to audit.

In short, business majors should take statistics classes and learn mathlab, or opt out of it by signing a form promising never to publish any paper that deals with statistical analysis of market factors.

Comment: Re:Not their fault - oh yes!! (Score 1) 259

by formfeed (#46850041) Attached to: Hulu Blocks VPN Users

Oh I'm sure they think it's just as senseless, but if they don't restrict it, then Hollywood won't let them use their IP as cheaply as otherwise

No. Hulu is Hollywood. Fox, NBC, Disney (a.k.a.NewsCorp, Comcast, ABC, MSNBC,..)

They are a resale platform for slightly used content:
1. Let people re-watch recent shows. (Probably to create additional ad-revenue, stop downloads, and competition.)
2. Create an on-line show/movie portal to stop independent offers (Netflix, and Blockbuster in the past).
3. Find new income sources. (Older episodes only on Hulu plus. Media centers, android, or anything convenient only on Hulu plus.)

Not their fault? These are the people responsible for DVD regions. Think Murdoch wants to lose markets? To maximize profits, it is essentially to restrict the usage of media (and information in general) to localized markets. You don't want a movie to hit the regional market before the population is hyped for it and your merchandise is ready. And in order to control the pundit circuit and the news "outlets", you don't want a significant percentage of the population access outside sources.

Comment: Re:Didn't you get the memo? Drones are for killing (Score 2) 218

by formfeed (#46735087) Attached to: FAA Shuts Down Search-and-Rescue Drones

The government wants to be the only group with drones and they like to use them for spying and killing rather than saving lives.

That might actually work.
Instead of calling it a "Search and Rescue Drone" call it an unmanned aerial surveillance vehicle that could be used by small units to safely scan unaccessible terrain. Then tell your local senator that you are a small start-up military contractor who needs help cutting some federal red tape to do real life testing of your beta model by using it in cooperation with local law enforcement.

(Be sure to pronounce "vehicle" as Vee-Hee-Kal and the word "federal" always with some disgust in your voice.)

"Someone's been mean to you! Tell me who it is, so I can punch him tastefully." -- Ralph Bakshi's Mighty Mouse