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Comment: Re:Just wondering (Score 1) 145

by Chas (#49795621) Attached to: Why Detecting Drones Is a Tough Gig

They are controlled by radio which can be detected.

Yes and no.

Some higher end models and drones allow you to record and re-execute a series of maneuvers. That pretty much destroys any possibility of interference with a remote controller.

So, you get measurements of the area you're going to attack.

Head out to a field and mark off a route.

Get a viable flight pattern down and record it.

Go out, setup, let the drone loose.

Execute the arranged flight flight path.

Walk away.

Comment: Re:Heh. (Score 4, Insightful) 215

True, though it sadly proves P.T. Barnum's maxim, and says more about a gullible public, the lack of peer review in the field of nutrition (and worse, the sheer incompetence of so-called 'nutrition journalists' and 'specialists'), than it does about a science journal's shady/sloppy practices.

Long story short, it exposes a hell of a lot more than just what the scientist initially wanted exposed.

Maybe someone could do and publish a sociology study from it?
(/me ducks and runs like hell...)

Comment: Existing infrastructure vs no batteries installed (Score 1) 470

by Chas (#49791395) Attached to: How Tesla Batteries Will Force Home Wiring To Go Low Voltage

Ah. I kinda don't see this happening anytime soon.

There are millions (perhaps tens of millions) of buildings across the country. All running AC.

Tesla's batteries are somewhat attractive, but still a *VERY* niche product.

I really don't see them gaining a realistically large enough foothold to force this sort of transition and the type of power system infrastructure changes it would require.

Comment: This has been played out before... (Score 3, Informative) 470

by Penguinisto (#49790943) Attached to: How Tesla Batteries Will Force Home Wiring To Go Low Voltage

...albeit this has already happened on a smaller scale before. All you need to do is ask anyone who owns or has owned an RV or Camping trailer.

I dealt with it myself when I had an RV: a bank of huge batteries, an inverter, and a generator. In Tesla's instance, you replace "generator" with "local power grid", but otherwise it's the same routine: Your lights and similar are low-voltage (just like most RVs), but you use an inverter for any general consumer item (TV, computer/laptop, hair dryer, whatever).

I think the only diff would be in the appliances... most RV appliances (e.g. the refrigerator, furnace blower, AC units) are made to run off of 12v DC, but most RV appliances are pretty small when compared to their house-made counterparts.

Maybe ask folks who do the hardcore solar/wind thing?

Comment: Maybe a definition is need here... (Score 1) 316

by Penguinisto (#49790765) Attached to: The Tricky Road Ahead For Android Gets Even Trickier

I agree with your post mostly, but what exactly constitutes a "power user"?

Yeah, I root my phone, parked Cyanogen on it, and spent time modding my UI to fit my needs and tastes, but I consider myself to be someone who tinkers with the thing (as part of an old sysadmin's habit), and not a 'power user'. I fully understand what goes on with the OS, and have tinkered with mobile OSes before even Familiar Linux came out, and even wrote (okay, adapted) a quickie printer driver once, long, long ago... but I'm not a 'power user'.

IMO (and little more), I've always considered a 'power user' to be someone who has an above-average grasp of the item (phone, application, etc), and has very successfully integrated it into their life's workflow, and in turn the item has boosted their productivity, entertainment, etc. in very apparent ways. However, on a technical level such folks only know enough at best to be *very* dangerous - they can follow directions on a website to root their phone w/o blowing it up, but they don't understand *how* it works.

Dunno... what do you think? I just seem slightly fuzzed when it comes to assuming what a 'power user' actually is in the mobile realm.

Comment: Re:Switching?? (Score 1) 316

by Penguinisto (#49790631) Attached to: The Tricky Road Ahead For Android Gets Even Trickier

What if a significant number of the people who adopted Android as their first smartphone move on to a platformed more refined to their now acute sense of needs and ease of use.

Thing is, this works both ways. I've puttered around with my wife's iPhone, and iPad, etc. (it's the same UI/OS/etc).

But... I'll stick with Android. Mind you, my primary personal machine is a MacBook Pro, and will continue to be so. My house is blissfully windows-free. However, for my sense of needs and ease-of-use? I don't need/want iTunes to manage or transfer my music. I want an obscene amount of storage plus the ability to expand it as desired, and don't want to pay arm+leg to get that storage (a 64GB SD chip is way cheaper than a 64GB phone). I don't want to pay $800+ for an unlocked phone with a really big screen on it. I want to mod the actual user interface and look/feel to make the phone work the way *I* want to use it

- but yeah - that's my sense of needs and ease of use. It's different from yours, and others will have theirs different from ours. This is why I really don't see it as much of a threat, really. Folks will bounce around back and forth, there will be churn, and unless a better challenger arises***, Apple and Google will happily occupy their dominant roles and cash their checks.

*** mind you, this does not mean Microsoft or Blackberry for the foreseeable future.

Comment: Re:iPhone switchers (Score 1) 316

by Penguinisto (#49790475) Attached to: The Tricky Road Ahead For Android Gets Even Trickier

...and then there's those of us who never switched, and have no intention to.

My house is almost an Apple Store in miniature now - my MBP, my wife's iPad, her iPhone... but then there's my Android phone. I even have a new phone on the way via FedEx (I always buy unlocked), and it runs Android. But then, I prefer to have root on every device I own, even my phone. Keeps the bloatware to a minimum.

As for TFA, meh... if Android wasn't there, something else would be there instead (anyone else remember Palm?)

On the plus side, Android and iOS have chastened Microsoft hard enough that they're forced to play nice now... which IMHO is pretty awesome.

Comment: Ad blocking (Score 2) 304

by Chas (#49786195) Attached to: Adblock Plus Victorious Again In Court

Blocking of ad content on the internet is a problem that the internet advertising community brought upon itself.

Huge, messy, obnoxious high bandwidth, sometimes even dangerous ads.

If the entire playing field of internet advertising wasn't as toxic as it is, we'd see a wider array of people running without adblockers.

Comment: Re:And what about the infrastructure issues? (Score 1) 286

by Penguinisto (#49777907) Attached to: Amtrak Installing Cameras To Watch Train Engineers

Question... was it an actual cut in current baseline funding, or a "cut" insofar as "we wanted $10 zillion extra for next year's budget, but those bastards in Congress only want to give us $9 zillion extra!" ?

If it's the former, I'd love to see proof. If it's the latter, then kindly take that partisan sound-bite-mimicking bullshit elsewhere.

Comment: Re:It only increases accountability (Score 4, Insightful) 286

by Penguinisto (#49777851) Attached to: Amtrak Installing Cameras To Watch Train Engineers

Dunno - it's pretty hard to account for why the dude was doing 100+ mph on a 50mph curve.

Not saying it's his fault, but at least the camera would have absolved/proven any culpability on his part almost immediately.

Now normally, cameras would be a bad idea IMHO, but this is a public service operated by public funds.

Good day to avoid cops. Crawl to work.