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Comment: Hard to tell if it's working. (Score 1) 53

by Animats (#47438917) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

Here's the promotional video from Rafael, the system's maker. If the Iron Dome launchers are in a position to hit incoming rockets when they're still in boost phase, they're clearly effective. When they hit, the ascending rocket's flare disappears. Israel has Iron Dome launchers both forward postioned near Gaza, for boost phase defense, and near cities, for terminal defense. For terminal defense, it's harder to tell if they worked. The incoming rockets are just falling at that point, and success requires blowing up their warhead, not their rocket engine.

Videos show the missile's warhead exploding. That's triggered by a proximity fuse. There's a spray of shrapnel from the warhead; it doesn't have to be a direct hit. Whether that sets off the incoming rocket's warhead isn't visible from the videos of terminal defense.The Patriot missiles used in the Gulf war were able to hit incoming Scud missiles, but often didn't detonate the warhead.

Comment: Re:Movies (Score 1) 110

by vux984 (#47438741) Attached to: FAA Pressures Coldwell, Other Realtors To Stop Using Drone Footage

There are huge tax advantages for income properties, in terms of you can take losses against capital gains on them, but you can't on a property you used as a residence? Why?

"Under 26 U.S.C. 121 an individual can exclude, from his or her gross income, up to $250,000 ($500,000 for a married couple filing jointly) of capital gains on the sale of real property if the owner used it as primary residence for two of the five years before the date of sale."

You can't claim take losses because you have this massive exemption on gains on your primary residence. In the vast majority of cases that's a much better deal for tax payers.

Comment: Re:Movies (Score 1) 110

by ScentCone (#47438373) Attached to: FAA Pressures Coldwell, Other Realtors To Stop Using Drone Footage

But one could describe yours as being backwards just as easily as mine. It's simply a matter of perspective.

If by that you mean that clearly written words in the English language have no actual meaning, then sure, I guess. If you mean that the Constitution, and the countless supporting documents and correspondence written to, between and about its authors and the large groups of representatives that agreed on its purpose and amendments to it were just setting us with something that had no actual meaning, then sure. But that's BS, and you know it.

No, I never said "every" anything. I said drones. Period.

The Constitution makes no such distinctions between one tool and the next. But of course the people who wrote it were very clear that there were some tools that some people would - given a period of power in the congress - try to deny to the public, and so they added amendment that explicitly reminded the government that it cannot act in those areas. The Constitution is built around the concept that the government's powers over what you may or may not do it inherently limited to the things that are enumerated therein, and generally prohibited otherwise, with the states having all such other authority. This isn't a matter of "perspective," and it isn't true for certain tools, and false for other tools. If you think that "drones" (but not, say, chain saws) should be singled out for capricious bans by the federal government despite laws recently passed by the congress explicitly to the contrary, then you're completely missing the point.

Personally I'd say they were flying model aircraft not drones.

Semantic games like that show how completely unserious you are.

... using a car to take people where they ask. If you are doing it for free, or nothing more than fuel cost split, no problem. If you are doing it commercially then you tend to require a permit.

A matter decided upon, legislatively. at the municipal, county, and (rarely) state level. Not by capricious extra-legal, counter-constitutional fiat from a political appointee of the White House, as in the case at hand.

Comment: Re:Can someone explain how... (Score 1) 110

by ScentCone (#47438239) Attached to: FAA Pressures Coldwell, Other Realtors To Stop Using Drone Footage
Because the FAA, by federal statute (passed by congress, which is made up of representatives of all of the states), is granted that regulatory authority. There is legal precedence for their authority over everything that flies in the air, right down to an inch above the ground. Which doesn't mean that their position on this stuff isn't incredibly absurd. But it's their turf.

Comment: Re:The FAA needs to follow the law. (Score 1) 110

by ScentCone (#47438225) Attached to: FAA Pressures Coldwell, Other Realtors To Stop Using Drone Footage

so the FAA either is or soon will be operating in direct contradiction to the law passed by congress

Why should the FAA, which is part of the Obama administration, feel any urge whatsoever to enforce or obey laws passed by congress? We have ample precedent of him using the pen and phone about which he so regularly boasts to simply do what he wants anyway, even in direct contradiction of plain language in the laws he swore to uphold. Any expectation that the chief executive of the administration will be asking his immediate (appointed, by him) subordinate (the Secretary of Transportation) to instruct HIS subordinate (Huerta, the director of the FAA) to actually comply with the law, is laughable. The administration takes laws (like their own favorite, the ACA), and completely ignores hard-wired dates and other requirements as it suits them for political leverage with the portion of the voters to whom they pander. Happily, that particular instance is about to be challenged in a civil suit coming out of congress - that's very good news.

We just need another suit, along the same lines, requiring the administration's law breaking at the agency level in the FAA to be discussed in the bright sunshine of court. Something you'd think that the "most transparent administration in history" would applaud, right? Yeah.

Comment: Re:Movies (Score 1) 110

by ScentCone (#47438193) Attached to: FAA Pressures Coldwell, Other Realtors To Stop Using Drone Footage

This is the way it SHOULD happen. An overall prohibition on drones then specific exceptions for uses where the benefits to society are seen to outweigh the costs

You have your entire concept of liberty, and of the constitution, exactly backwards.

Should every new concept, innovation, invention, tool, technique, strategy, and technology be prohibited by default? What the hell is wrong with you? If I come up with a clever new way of slicing deli meat, should I be prohibited from using it or showing someone else how to use it until I've sufficiently begged an un-elected, un-accountable agency bureaucrat to allow me to use it?

And in the case at hand, picture two people standing right next to each other. Each has their hands on the controls of a 4-pound plastic quadcopter carrying a GoPro. Each takes off, sends the little machine up to 45 feet above the same house. Each of them use the device to record the condition of the houses's gutters, sparing somebody a couple hours of putting up a dangerous extension ladder a dozen times. Each of them get the job done in minutes, and land their little quad back down in the driveway right next to each other. You think that one of those two people should be banned from what the both just did, but the other should not. Why? Be very specific.

Comment: Re:Creepy (Score 1) 163

by budgenator (#47437679) Attached to: DARPA Successfully Demonstrates Self-Guiding Bullets

What I've pieced together is it's a 50 cal smooth-bore discarding sabot system, the round is aerodynamically stable with the center of gravity ahead of the aerodynamic center and is fin stabilized. The round has no inertial guidance so I assume that it wouldn't be able to use nutating scanning techniques and any spin would be unnecessary complication.
Cryptographic modulation, more likely none in the first interation, then a very profitable MWO to add a simple coherency signal adapted by reading a barcode on the round as it's loaded.

Comment: Re:Creepy (Score 1) 163

by budgenator (#47437595) Attached to: DARPA Successfully Demonstrates Self-Guiding Bullets

An obvious countermeasure would be to have the laser turn on only when the trigger is pulled. With a velocity of about a km per sec, the bullet won't give you much time to "remove yourself from the area".

So it'll be easy to recognise the important bad-guy because he'll be the one wearing the MILES gear, a second doesn't give you enough time to vacate the area, but you only have to move farther that the bullet has time to correct.

The likely target of this weapon is going to be some impoverished kid wiring up a dud mortar round as an IED by the side of the road.

Yeah right, the chain of command is going to authorize shooting a $50K bullet at a kid; also if somebody has to paint the target, then only a few dollars more gets you a live video feed so command can watch and control any engagements. I see this as being a replacement for the AGM-114, Hellfire missile on Predator and Reaper drones against soft, point targets. One problem we're having now is the bad-guys is using tactics that maximise collateral damage. these bullets will counter those tactics and give our drones he ability to engage many more targets.

Comment: Re:Seriously, an iphone? (Score 1, Offtopic) 127

by cold fjord (#47436847) Attached to: Chinese State Media Declares iPhone a Threat To National Security

You don't seem to be acquainted with the concept of sovereignty. Law contains rights and responsibilities, but in general any body of law is limited to the territory of the sovereign government that created the law. American law governs America. Canadian law governs Canada. Finnish law governs Finland. Canadian law doesn't govern Finland, Germany, or America. Finnish law doesn't govern Italy or Cuba. The law of the sea is a special case. (I wouldn't be surprised if you are a pirate even if you don't sail the seas looking for mischief.)

If the legal protections of your country apply to Americans, why aren't lawyers from your embassy assisting Americans accused of crimes? Where are the social welfare payments? Do you suppose it is possible that the rights of citizens or residents of your nation don't apply to Americans in America?

If America truly does threaten your freedoms I assume you must be doing something unsavory and special.

+ - In New Zealand The Right To Silence And Presumption Of Innocence Are In Danger->

Submitted by cold fjord
cold fjord (826450) writes "The New Zealand Herald reports, "Fundamental pillars of the criminal justice system may be eroded whichever party wins the election this year, as both National's and Labour's proposals would look into changing the right to silence or the presumption of innocence in rape cases. Both major parties claim the current system is not upholding justice for victims, and are looking at changes that would effectively make it easier for prosecutors to obtain convictions. National wants to explore allowing a judge or jury to see an accused's refusal to give evidence in a negative light, while Labour wants to shift the burden of proof of consent from the alleged victim to the accused.""
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