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Comment Re:There we go again (Score 1) 132 132

I'd be good with that. Give everyone an incentive to never go to web sites again, or at least stop browsing mindlessly and instead pay attention to what they are doing. Not a bad thing. Society has functioned without web sites, and it will again (and pretty soon too as it's all moving to phones/tablets now anyway).

Yet you visited Slashdot long enough to not only click through to this article, but also post 7 comments.

For someone so keen on seeing the death of the web, you sure use it alot. Or when you said "Give everyone..." did you just mean "everyone else", because your rules don't apply to yourself?

Society has functioned without web sites, and it will again (and pretty soon too as it's all moving to phones/tablets now anyway

In what way do you envision phones and tablets making the web go away? I browse the web on my tablet and phone much more than on my computer.

Comment Re:Page loading has always been far slower with ad (Score 1) 132 132

I think the advertisers are stuck between a rock and a hard place. The metrics show that their ads have lousy response rates, so they make them more obtrusive, which increases their click-through rates, yes. But then those buying the advertising eventually look at 'completion rates', and find that the obtrusive ads have lower completion rates - IE somebody actually buying the product/service, signing up, whatever. Most of the increase is from a higher mis-click rate where the user is hitting close or back as quickly as they can.

While it's true that I tend to click on the obtrusive ads much more than the low-key unobtrusive ones, that's only because I'm trying to click on the f'ing tiny little close button (which is even harder to hit on a tablet or phone). Then when I click on the add because I missed the close button by a pixel or two and the advertiser's page loads, I'm pissed off at whatever they are advertising, so I can't imagine that my click was worth paying for.

Comment Re:There we go again (Score 1) 132 132

Imagine if all the effort and resources put into advertising were instead redirected to productive purposes.

You mean more productive like popups from every website saying "Support our site! Now that all internet Advertising has been banned, you have to pay us 17 cents for every page you view".

Comment Re: Now I won't feel guilty about using Adblock (Score 2) 132 132

Jesus Christ don't use AdBlock Pro. They do some pretty shifty shit to try and get paid to let ads around their filters on default configuration.

Use uBlock. Also use https everywhere. Fuck downgrade attacks.

You mean shifty shit like say right on their home page:

Unobtrusive ads aren't being blocked in order to support websites

And they also provide a checkbox right on the main options page that controls whether to Allow some non-intrusive advertising.

Comment Re:If there was a criteria for safe unlocking (Score 1) 36 36

If there was a criteria for safe unlocking of the hinged tail section then why wasn't it interlocked until the criteria was satisfied?

A bigger error here is reliance on operator training. It's the least reliable form of ensuring a certain outcome.

From TFA:

Those ships will include an extra mechanical device to prevent pilots from inadvertently unlocking the tail sections, known as “the feather” early, Virgin Galactic wrote in a report obtained by Discovery News.

Comment Re:Great (Score 1) 69 69

It can happen at home too.
My house burned down, and the fire started in a battery pack.
I suspect that there have been many house fires caused by these things.
Don't leave them charging overnight or when you are not at home.
They are like a bomb waiting to go off.
Your smartphone can do a lot, but there is no smoke detector app.

Yes there is. Though I don't need a smoke detector app on my phone to hear the smoke detector in my bedroom go off if my phone catches on fire at night.

And it can't put out a fire.

Depends on the size of the fire. My phone could put out a match.

Comment Re:Opening themselves up to liability? (Score 1) 87 87

A drone the size of a king-sized bed probably has a payload in the ballpark of maybe 20 kilos - the weight of a refrigerator**. We're not talking about a little kitchen fire extinguisher here. You could haul around a 120psi hose system powerful enough to break windows with that kind of payload.

20kg is around 5 gallons of fire supression - even a home sprinkler head will discharge around 20 gpm, and you'll have more than one in a typical room. Set off a pair of those for 15 minutes and you've already got 600 gallons of water in the house.

"thousands of gallons of water to suppress it"? Given that those are the sort of quantities planes drop on wildfires (per run) over several acres per run in order to suppress them, you're thinking too big.

A 1.5" handline can supply up to 200 gpm, so I figured it'd take at least 5 or 10 minutes to knock down the fire. This house fire took 75,000 gallons of water. When a nearby house was on fire, I saw 3 pairs firefighters each with a line (2 looked like maybe 1.5", the one they were spraying up through the roof was larger, maybe 2 or 2.5") spraying a constant stream of water for at least 10 minutes to douse the fire.

** - I'd call this the size of 2 or 3 king-sized beds and it carries a freaking person ;)

An 18 rotor aircraft designed to carry a person for up to 20 minutes is not really comparable with a 3 fan long endurance surveillance drone.

Comment Re:Opening themselves up to liability? (Score 4, Insightful) 87 87

I'm pretty willing to believe what they say about heat signatures. Hot air has a way of escaping. A couple minutes after an alarm goes off, there's got to be heat showing SOMEwhere, even if there's not necessarily a lot of smoke yet.

911: what's your emergency?
Homeowner: I called 30 minutes ago for a firetruck because of an electrical fire in my basement, where are they!?
911: Oh, we sent a drone to look at your house, it didn't see any fire from the air.
Homeowner: Well my basement is still full of smoke, and I can hear electrical arcing
911: Can you see smoke or flames from the outside of your house?
Homeowner: No, just the basement
911: Wait until the flames have burnt through the roof or walls of the house then give us a call and we'll send another drone. If we see a fire at that time, we'll refund the $99.99 "false alarm" fee from the first drone. Please make sure that you really see flames this time, as you only 3 false alarms before we stop sending out the drone. Those things are expensive to operate, you know.... maybe go down and try fanning the flames to see if you can really get the fire going you call us again.

If the experts say you can affirm where there's a fire or not the vast majority of the time, I'm inclined to take their word for it, especially if (going back to triage) there's more fires than manpower at the moment and the opportunity cost of making sure is measured in lives lost at another call.

Have any fire fighting experts claimed that you can reliably detect an early stage house fire with a drone? Will you be as inclined to take their word for it if you call in a fire, and the fire department says they couldn't see it from the air, so you must be lying about it?

Comment Re:Opening themselves up to liability? (Score 1) 87 87

If the drone is the size of a king sized bed, I don't see why they couldn't outright include some degree of fire suppression hardware - not enough to put out a major building fire, but a couple dozen kilos of fire suppression system rapidly deployed to a fire would certainly not go awry until ground crews can get there.

Assuming you're talking about a house fire, unless the fire has burned through the roof, all a couple of kilos of fire suppression chemicals is going to do is stain the roof. And if the fire *has* burned through the roof, all it's going to do is piss off the fire -- it'll take thousands of gallons of water to suppress it at that point.

Comment Opening themselves up to liability? (Score 5, Insightful) 87 87

“Ninety-five percent of all fire alarms are false, but fire departments have no choice to go, and you may have 15 (firefighters) responding,” Lindsley said. “In most cases the drone can see if there is a heat signature or flames. Maybe you send one vehicle to monitor it and can send the other (firefighters) to a major wreck on a highway.”

If someone calls in a fire or accident and the first department sends a drone first to see if the caller is lying, I forsee some big liability lawsuits if someone dies because the fire department was delayed by the time it takes to get a drone in the air and verify the fire. Or worse, if the drone flies out, doesn't detect the fire in the basement, and the call is cancelled as a false alarm.

Will taxpayers really get $6M of value out of the fleet?

Comment Re:Was planning on building something similar myse (Score 1) 138 138

Last crap (read: expensive) hotel I was in offered internet access at $15 per device per day and free service in the lobby. Bought a Nanostation with the hopes that next time it might extend service from whatever room I end up in into the lobby. But if it doesn't, my plan was to use my phone to buy access, clone the mac to the Nanostation, set it up in station mode, and connect the Nanostation to an OpenWRT access point configured to put all traffic through a VPN before sending it out the WAN port to the Nanostation. Thus avoiding the issue of the more intelligent operators looking for access point "leakage" and letting me connect more than one device. If the hotel actively tries to shut down ANY access points that aren't theirs, I'd turn off the radio and use the LAN ports.

Since the FCC has declared that Wifi blocking is illegal, why not just use your phone as a hotspot and then you don't need to carry around a network closet's worth of wifi equipment with you? Worst case, get a USB cellular modem and plug it straight into your laptop.

Yeah, I guess that makes me a scumbag too. I figure at $15+ a day for almost no service, I'm in good company. :P

Replace the network cable with two Nanostations bridging the connection and you've got this same item (the locoM9 does 900 Mhz, if that's what is wanted). I'm not really sure it's all that genius, to be honest.

Doing all of that just to get "free" wifi doesn't make you a scumbag, it makes you a geek.

Comment Encryption across radio waves is illegal? (Score 5, Informative) 138 138

It is a violation of the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act, and using encryption over radio violates FCC regulations.

I think they mean that encryption on licensed Ham bands is illegal, since encryption over radio is perfectly legal (otherwise both Bluetooth and Wifi would be illegal).

Comment Re:No jobs though (Score 1) 57 57

Or, instead of being the perpetual pessimist about it, one could argue that it frees up resources to work on other projects which can herald new jobs.

Everyone always gets all down and out about things moving into cloud architectures but despite their bad reputation, there are some moments where it can be a good thing. Of course, this all depends on each team making use of such moves and how they're managed.

Oh don't get me wrong, I love cloud computing, and I spend most of my day managing cloud infrastructure, which is much better than when I used to manage physical datacenters.

But still, it's lamentable that rural communities have so little to gain from a multi billion dollar datacenter in their back yard.

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