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Comment: It's called Rocket Science for a reason ... (Score 4, Insightful) 316 316

Bummer to see this happen - was really hoping they could "stick the landing" on the 3rd try ... but obviously never got the chance.

SpaceX has been very forthcoming with their telemetry data and analysis, so hopefully we'll hear what happened soon.

Comment: Re:The problem is that landfills are too cheap (Score 2) 371 371

Glass - rarely cost effective because it requires more energy to recycle than create new. It's also great in a landfill because its inert. Quit wasting energy trying to recycle it.

[citation needed]. I'd always understood (from watching programs where glass was recycled) that it was much less energy to melt existing glass and re-form than it was to combine new ingredients, which requires a higher temperature. Wikipedia agrees: "The processing and use of recycled glass in manufacturing conserves raw materials, reduces energy consumption, and reduces the volume of waste sent to landfill." I assume you're talking about total process energy consumption, but yeah I'd like to see evidence. (You also seem to assume that reducing the waste load on landfills isn't a benefit in and of itself.)

I'd always understood that some plastics were recyclable as well, but generally "downgraded" - a soda bottle becoming polyester fabric, etc.

Comment: Re:Less suspect than the others (Score 1) 78 78

Just to concur, I also work at Google and the security is pretty incredible. They baked it into the RPC system (predating but similar to the publicly-available gRPC) so you don't even have to think about it - it just happens automatically and still doesn't get in the way (which is a remarkable achievement). I work pretty closely with one of the teams responsible for most of the user traffic, and they did some pretty heroic stuff to secure their part (which was some huge percentage of "all of it") in like a week.

Internally the sentiment in response to seeing our golden geese on the NSA slides was pretty much outrage and "explod[ing] in profanity" just about covers it. I think the higher ups were pretty outraged and frankly felt betrayed by their country, as Google's always cooperated with lawful, reasonable, and limited-in-scope requests, so to have them breaking in to dark fiber is pretty treacherous. I know I felt betrayed. (Some sense of the outrage can be seen in David Drummond's statement)

Google's actually pretty admirable from the inside. I wish we could publish more of what we do to protect user data, as without knowing it it's easy to be cynical. This video is worth watching, as far as legal requests go.

Comment: The worst reviews on Amazon (Score 5, Insightful) 116 116

"I have to give this book one star because I ordered it and it never arrived on time even though Amazon said it left the facility six days before it was supposed to get here!"

"This book is typical LIBTARD crap and if you buy it you're a stupid egghead."

"I haven't read a book in five years so when this book came out I decided to buy it. This isn't the book I thought I was ordering, this is crap written by a different guy with a similar name! Buyer beware!"

Is it really that hard to get a computer to pick these out?

Comment: Re:Royalty tax on ALL blank hard drives?! (Score 1) 301 301

It's quite illegal. In farm country (the only place it's readily available) they do random roadside stops and check to see if your tank has ever had red gas in it (since it was thoroughly washed out, or many many tanks). They can detect it to quite low PPM values and the fine is quite high - deliberately high enough that it's really not worth the risk as getting caught is all the "savings" and more out the window.

Comment: Re:Read the bill (Score 1) 164 164

Because the US Congress, presumably with their interstate commerce powers, passed a law establishing the FAA:

The United States Government has exclusive sovereignty of airspace of the United States.

-- 49 USC 40.103a1

You could attempt to have that law declared unconstitutional, but it would be a hard row to hoe.

True, this applies to "navigable airspace", which the FAA interprets to mean:
- any altitude an emergency landing won't endanger people on the ground (general rule)
- any altitude if near an airport ("except when necessary for takeoff or landing")
- any altitude if a helicopter or powered-parachute or weight-shift control aircraft
- above 1000 feet over "congested areas"
- above 500 feet over "other than congested areas" but not "sparsely populated areas" or open water
- for these, anywhere other than within 500 feet "to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure".

Ignoring the existence proof that they're not, do you think the drone operators are really going to keep these rules in mind? A great place for flying a drone (large open fields and such) will often be classifiable as a "sparsely populated area" and if there's 500 feet between you and the plane, it is perfectly legal for them to be flying 50 feet above the ground. So your "couple hundred feet" is completely irrelevant - the FAA regulates all airspace in the country.

There's a long history of the FAA guidelines for model aircraft operators. The AM(odel)A has worked productively with the FAA and has - for decades - had an agreement ("advisory circular") that is fairly low-maintenance and non-onerous for both sides. But building and learning to fly a model airplane is much harder and much more community oriented than going to Walmart and buying a Phantom and taking it out back, so they kept each other pretty reasonable (not to mention there were far fewer of them). But the drone idiots are screwing it up by going to check out the jets landing at Newark or the police helicopter, and forcing the FAA to make actual rules now. The federal rulemaking process is a pain in the ass, and again we have an existence proof that they were very happy to not have to do that when they didn't feel like they had to - they've been just fine with the not-strictly-binding advisory circular until the drones showed up.

Before you say it, there's no such thing as "air rights". In general you are allowed to use the air above your property to the extent that it can be reasonably used in connection with the property underneath - including things like tall antennas, at least in most places away from airports (but you have to put a light on them and tell them so they can chart it, which seems reasonable). IIRC there is jurisprudence that says that you can't just build a tall "spite pole" to keep planes away since it's not reasonably connected to the use of the land underneath.

Look, I'm a nerd and I think drones are cool. Really cool. But I'm also a pilot and the thought of something metal coming through my windshield at 140MPH scares the bejeezus out of me. Birds are bad enough. And there are tons of stories and videos of people flying drones deliberately near planes. It's hard for me to see them as different from the idiot kids throwing rocks off the overpass.

Comment: Re:Two questions need to be asked (Score 1) 546 546

Because he is the one that arrogantly ignored the democratic process, stole a massive store of intelligence documents, incompetently encrypted them, and made them available for friend and foe alike, and then fled to be among Americas adversaries. Surely you must see some room for assigning culpability to him?

Our own government "ignored the democratic process". Even the author of the Patriot Act says the NSA is abusing the law by collecting (i.e. stealing) such a large amount of their citizens' private information.

The NSA didn't make the documents available to China and Russia. Snowden did.

You're overlooking the fact that the NSA and its allies are the ones who made Snowden available to Russia in the first place.

You mean the copies of the phone records of many, but not all, Americans? That was repeatedly authorized, including by courts.

Once again, I refer you to the author of the Patriot Act, who says: "No public court has ever upheld document collection that is remotely close to the dragnet at issue. . . . The administration therefore admits that its bulk collection is unprecedented."

CONGRESS. Snowden could have gone to CONGRESS. He didn't.

If he was that naive, he'd be spending the rest of his life in solitary confinement, and we'd still be in the dark.

Why did the Roman Empire collapse? What is the Latin for office automation?