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Comment: Money (Score 2) 324

It seems it also has a lot more to do with money. When disarmament is discussed, everyone can agree that it's a good thing (even if it doesn't affect them personally). Companies agree with the politicians and see an opportunity to bid on contracts to help dismantle and dispose of nuclear weapons and eventually make a lot of money. But climate change solutions mean that many industries will have to make significant changes to their business. The coal industry could stand to loose significantly if they are forced to make truly 'clean' coal. They also have the possibility of being shut down completely. These companies respond with 'outraged opposition' to prevent either of the two. If there was no money in things like coal produced electricity, climate change solutions would probably happen much like disarmament did.

+ - Nest Halts Sales of Nest Protect After Discovering Dangerous Flaw->

Submitted by fructose
fructose (948996) writes "It seems that the Nest Protect has a flaw in it's software that, under the right circumstances, could disable the alarm and not notify the owners of a fire. To remedy this flaw, they are disabling the Nest Wave feature through automatic updates. Owners who don't have their Nest Protects connected to their WiFi net or don't have a Nest account are suggested to either update the device manually or return it to Nest for a full refund. While they work out the problem, all sales are being halted to prevent unsafe units from being sold. There have been no reported incidents resulting from this flaw, but they aren't taking any chances. Considering the potential danger involved, I'd say this is a pretty safe move."
Link to Original Source

+ - Tesla can no longer sell card in NJ starting April 1st 2

Submitted by fructose
fructose (948996) writes "It looks like the automobile dealerships convinced the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to approve a new rule requiring auto retailers to have a franchise agreement with an auto manufacturer in order to sell cars in New Jersey. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Tesla only got wind of a special meeting to determine new rules withing 72 hours of the scheduled time. Tesla now needs to get a law change to be able to sell cars directly to consumers there. Chalk up another win for old fashioned business models being threatened by new ideas."

Comment: Re:Other options? (Score 1) 247

by fructose (#46351817) Attached to: The Rescue Plan That Could Have Saved Space Shuttle <em>Columbia</em>
The tiles on the leading edge of the wing aren't foam, they are a ceramic material and each tile is designed for a specific location on the wing. Cover the hole up? Not likely with the materials they had. It's not like they have extra leading edge tiles laying around anyway. The only real option would be to get them on another shuttle since the ISS was not accessible.

Comment: Actually looks feasable (Score 4, Insightful) 87

by fructose (#45918455) Attached to: Roadable, Vertical-Takeoff Aircraft Is Eager To Hit the Battlefield
This is the first roadable aircraft that looks like it could work. No fancy linkages to have one motor run it all, or spiffy folding wings or anything that hasn't been created yet. This actually has demonstrated technologies behind it and looks like it's much further along that a pretty 3D rendering. Even if the UAV portion doesn't work, this application could be useful in more than just the battlefield. This could be used for civilian medivac or other urgent situation where a suitable landing location is easily accessible.

Comment: How can you win over facts? (Score 4, Insightful) 432

by fructose (#44648461) Attached to: Canadian Hotel Sues Guest For $95K Over Bad Review, Bed Bugs

Assuming that the story the guest told was true (and it seems it was, based on the hotel admitting it), how can the hotel possibly win when the reviewer is stating facts? If the review was completely made up, I would assume libel laws would side with the hotel. But when the whole situation is based on facts, and the reviewer is merely passing those facts on to the public, how can the hotel even expect to win?

The article is right, the hotel should have helped him out more from the get go instead of trying to do damage control.

Comment: Re:Safe trip? (Score 3, Insightful) 251

by fructose (#40745223) Attached to: Sally Ride Takes Her Final Flight
Original story submitter, here. I am an atheist, but I don't believe that death=nonexistence. Her accomplishments, her impacts, and her memories will continue to affect others for a long time. In a way she is still with us, especially to those whom she was closest to. Her final flight is in to our collective memories and our history.

Comment: Re:It sounds feasible (Score 2) 612

by fructose (#38307316) Attached to: Iranian TV Shows Downed US Drone

Early command and control systems were considered secure through obscurity and lack of technical ability. Obviously, that isn't the case anymore. I don't know how old the drone design it, but considering that the US is saying all the technology on it is obsolete, then it's probably more than just a year or two old and could be controlled though the 'old school' technique. Now days, command links are encrypted to prevent the bad guys from even eaves dropping on the intel that comes down.

Spy satellites and spy planes don't have 24 hour coverage of the whole world, so they don't spend any time looking for something that they already control. Once they lost control, they no longer had a solid fix on its position. While I'm sure they would have scrambled to find it, finding a moving target of that size would be difficult at best and would take considerable time.

For things to go the way Iran suggests, the US would have had to have been flying over Iran for a long enough time for them to 1) intercept the command and control transmissions, 2) decipher the signals to determine what everything means, 3) design and build a system capable of mimicking the commands and displaying the correct return information, and 4) fielding the system to snatch the plane. The lack of any appreciable damage means they did an awesome job landing the plane, which would be VERY impressive from an untrained pilot. While not impossible, it would display a level of techincal capability that Iran doesn't seem to have.

Based on my experience, I think the most likely scenario is that the pilots lost contact with the plane after it had a serious malfunction. Then the plane wandered off is planned flight path, or even the emergency return path, and ended up crashing in Iran. It happens occasionally; the plane breaks hard and goes dumb. I suspect some sort of misinformation from the Iranians because I doubt they could have taken control of the plane and snatched it. I'd buy them disrupting the command and control links easily, but taking control is a couple orders of magnitude harder.

Comment: It's not a toy (Score 1) 252

by fructose (#36981194) Attached to: FAA Taking a Look At News Corp's Use of Drone

As a drone pilot, I feel the scare factor of drones are way over rated. Yes, there are issues, but nothing that can't be handled with the proper procedures. People don't bat an eye at flying in clouds with other planes, but put a plane without a person on it in the sky and all of a sudden we have a flight risk. But scary is what sells on the news (and in APOA).

This little thing is the same thing as a hobby RC plane. I doubt any pilot out there is seriously concerned about RC planes, and this fits in that scale. The problem is this is used for commercial purposes, so it falls under different rules. News Corp fell into the trap that may other commercial entities fall into. They think it's just a big toy, so as long as they follow the RC planes rules, they are fine. The FAA treats commercial flying differently from noncommercial flying, and the hobbyist who suggested this idea to management probably didn't know that. This isn't a precedent, its just par for the course right now.

The FAA is very interested in including drones in their big plan to restructure their systems, and I think in the near future we may see things like this happening legally. But for now, The Daily's is probably going to be grounded.

Comment: Surprised? (Score 3, Insightful) 1352

by fructose (#34576306) Attached to: Survey Shows That Fox News Makes You Less Informed

FOX also makes sure to point out any 'controversy' in science stories.

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/12/fox_news_bureau_chief_told_staff_to_cast_doubt_on_climate_change.php?ref=fpb

This is just the result of their policies. They probably designed it this way to make people want to watch/read more FOX news. If you are unsure about something going on today you try to learn more, and you learn what's going on in the world by watching the news, right?

Comment: Bound to happen (Score 1) 532

by fructose (#34551706) Attached to: Why Special Effects No Longer Impress

With the proflieration of computers into everyday life, and the never ending advancement of realism in computer animation, it was bound to happen that special effects are taken for granted. The other night, my wife had asked me if I thought the cliff they were driving next to in the last Indiana Jones movie was real or removed by computer. You almost couldn't tell. We are at the point where we expect special effects to give us the movie we want. We expect them to be so seamless that you aren't sure they are computer effects or not.

20 years ago, we clamored for the special effect that 'looked so real' in Terminator 2, but now if we saw a movie with those effects we would be unimpressed because so many people think someone with a camcorder and a computer could whip that up at home. While it may or may not be possible is another matter, but the perception is there and that drives expectations. I think the special effects in Inception were top notch exactly becasue I didn't notice any 'edge' of where the effect starts and where it stops. If I see a movie where I can spot the special effect, I refer to it as 'second rate.' But that's because I know they can do better.

One good reason why computers can do more work than people is that they never have to stop and answer the phone.

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