Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:Pointing out the stark, bleeding obvious... (Score 1) 247

by dougmc (#49305445) Attached to: France Decrees New Rooftops Must Be Covered In Plants Or Solar Panels

Batteries aren't really cost effective for storing the amount of energy that we'd need to power the electrical grid from sunset to sunrise.

That said, even if we we ignore the possibility of storing energy or transporting it long distances to handle the moving (east to west) peak sunlight hours ... even if we can can only get half of our energy from the sun, that's still half of our energy that we didn't have to burn fossil fuels for.

We don't need batteries for that to be a false dilemma.

Comment: Re:APD doesn't have the authority to do this ... (Score 1) 46

by dougmc (#49257459) Attached to: Austin Declared a Drone-Free Zone During SXSW

Turns out I was wrong here -- the ordinance does already exist :

13-1-1 - DEFINITIONS. ...
(6) AIRCRAFT means a device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air.

(A) This section does not apply to a person properly assigned to operate an aircraft by military authority.
(B) A person may not operate an aircraft in or over the corporate limits of the city unless:
(1)the person has an airman's certificate issued by the Federal Aviation Administration; and
(2)the aircraft the person is operating has received a certificate of air worthiness from the Federal Aviation Administration.
(C)The operator of an aircraft in the corporate limits of the city shall deliver the operator's airman's certificate and the aircraft's certificate of air worthiness to a police officer or airport official on demand.
Source: 2003 Code Section 13-1-4; 1992 Code Section 17-2-4; Ord. 040729-16.

Of course, that ordinance is so vague that it effectively bans all hobbyist R/C airplanes in the city -- including at the two R/C club fields in town -- all the time, not just just during SXSW. It also bans paper airplanes. And kites. And frisbees too. (Letting your bird fly is OK, however, as birds are not devices.)

And it's been this way since at least 2003, though I don't think anybody really thought that it might apply to all of these things until now. Selective enforcement of the laws is rarely a good thing, and now that the cat is out of the bag it'll be interesting to see how this will be selectively enforced after SXSW is over.

Comment: Re:APD doesn't have the authority to do this ... (Score 1) 46

by dougmc (#49247737) Attached to: Austin Declared a Drone-Free Zone During SXSW

423.003 likely did not apply there, because that's not really private property and I doubt the intent was to "conduct surveillance". (The term has a specific legal definition -- "Observation and collection of data to provide evidence for a purpose" -- and I'm not sure Texas has a more specific definition. Is looking for a cool picture "providing evidence"?)

Also note that APD's supposed ban says nothing of cameras, only of "drones". (No, contrary to what the media may tell us, R/C aircraft do not all have cameras or missiles.)

And of course "Reckless conduct" is vague enough that they could probably apply it to anything.

What probably did apply there is this NOTAM from the FAA which prohibits flying under 3000' over stadiums shortly before, during and shortly after events. State police don't normally enforce FAA regulations, but it's certainly possible.

That won't apply to the city of Austin during SXSW, and 423.003 probably won't apply to public spaces, but certainly, APD could try "reckless conduct" -- and even if the charges were eventually dropped because they don't really apply, that doesn't beat the ride downtown.

Comment: APD doesn't have the authority to do this ... (Score 1) 46

by dougmc (#49246057) Attached to: Austin Declared a Drone-Free Zone During SXSW

The city council could pass an ordinance, which APD could then enforce, but as it stands, unless the ordinance has been passed recently, no such ordinance exists.

That said, the parks and recreation department did recently decide to ban all R/C airplanes in all parks (page 11), with the only current exceptions being the HCAM and ARCA fields. That said, those rules only apply to parks -- if you fly from a street, or your driveway or a school or something, they don't apply.

(Oddly enough, I don't think anybody even knew about the ban. Based on the response I got from the city, I was the only person city wide to comment on it (and no, I was not in favor.)

In any event, if somebody is flying over a crowd, they might be able to find a law to charge somebody with. But if not over people and not over a park, not in a dangerous manner ... I don't see where they'd have any say in the matter.

Comment: Why (Score 5, Insightful) 49

by _Sharp'r_ (#49240915) Attached to: The Role of a Nonprofit In Open Source Development

We also discussed the challenge of recruiting more women to open source projects and women in the KDE community.


How about asking about the challenges of recruiting more GUI designers, or more programmers, or more QA testers, or more of some group KDE specifically needs more of. Why ask about women?

It's almost like there's some sort of additional agenda beyond just interviewing the KDE folks....

Comment: Re:That's Easy, Jomo! (Score 1, Informative) 255

by Bruce Perens (#49230369) Attached to: On Firing Open Source Community Members

Hi AC,

This is sort of self-contradictory, so I don't really need to respond to it directly. I just want to point one thing out. I can't afford to work for any company as less than a C-level employee. It would be a salary cut from my current business.

Not to mention that I'd not like it.

Comment: Re:That's Easy, Jomo! (Score 2, Insightful) 255

by Bruce Perens (#49230275) Attached to: On Firing Open Source Community Members

I can't say I'm happy about what's happened to Debian. Having Ubuntu as a commercial derivative really has been the kiss of death for it, not that there were not other problems. It strikes me that the kernel team has done better for its lack of a constitution and elections, and Linus' ability to tell someone to screw off. I even got to tell him to screw off when he was dumping on 'Tridge over Bitkeeper. Somehow, that stuff works.

IMO, don't create a happy inclusive project team full of respect for each other. Hand-pick the geniuses and let them fight. You get better code in the end.

This actually has something to do with why so many people hate Systemd. It turns out that Systemd is professional-quality work done by competent salaried engineers. Our problem with it is that we're used to beautiful code made by geniuses. Going all of the way back to DMR.

Comment: Re:That's Easy, Jomo! (Score 1) 255

by Bruce Perens (#49230079) Attached to: On Firing Open Source Community Members

It really does look like Jomo did post this article, and it refers to another article of his.

What isn't to like about Ubuntu is that it's a commercial project with a significant unpaid staff. Once in a while I make a point of telling the unpaid staff that there really are better ways that they could be helping Free Software.

Comment: Re:That's Easy, Jomo! (Score 4, Interesting) 255

by Bruce Perens (#49229989) Attached to: On Firing Open Source Community Members

It's just that I object folks who would be good community contributors being lured into being unpaid employees instead.

Say how do feel about idiots working for corporations contractually enmeshed with the US military-industrial-surveillance complex. Why no spittle-laced hate for them?

The GNU Radio project was funded in part by a United States intelligence agency. They paid good money and the result is under GPL. What's not to like?

The beer-cooled computer does not harm the ozone layer. -- John M. Ford, a.k.a. Dr. Mike