EPIC is pretty cool and can shoot huge resolutions for a pretty small camera. The real cost is time and logistics. Real helicopters are fairly "crashy" and sensitive, smaller remote copters even more so. I've been on sets with remote copters that crashed twice and once where they scrapped the flight after several hours. Adding the word "copter" to any production day adds at least 6 hours. Regardless of rental price that time is very costly.
There have been remote coptercams for for at least 20 years. But a camera that can record 2k images with nice fast lenses is still around 10lbs bare minimum. A copter that can carry that with any stability is still kinda big and very loud. There have been some advances in drone tech but nothing that makes a real dent in noise, safety, logistics or cost. It's still a toy pulled out only when really necessary.
Out of the handful or so options, where's the fuzz???
Ralph Spoilsport writes: One of the recurring fears in a digitally linked global economy is the scenario where there is an electronic "run on the bank", a scenario that would make the run on banks of the early 1930s look like a pocketful of change. Even Bill Maher in his broadcast of 20.FEB.09 mused to the effect of "What would happen if the Chinese took all their money out?" Well it seems that Doomsday Scenario passed already, on 15.SEP.09. It seems that in a period of minutes, $550 billion dollars disappeared electronically from the Federal Reserve System in the form of liquidated money market funds. This story was told by Rep. Kanjorski (D-PA). Now, whether this was the Chinese doing a panic withdrawal or the major banks pulling out all stops to cover their bad debts is unknown at this time, but it does show one important thing: technology permitted a panic sell-off of unprecedented proportions that could have been completely catastrophic. What is also distressing is that there has been ZERO media coverage on this.
Hugh Pickens writes: "IBM will lead a US government-funded collaboration to make a "cognitive computer" that can mimic the brain to be used for large-scale data analysis, decision making and image recognition. The project will have an ultimate goal of creating a system with the level of complexity of a cat's brain but "even a computer with the ability of a rat brain would be a success," says Dharmendra Modha, the IBM scientist who is heading the collaboration. The problem is not in the organization of existing neuron-like circuitry, but in the adaptability of the brain to tune synapses, the connections between the neurons. Synaptic connections form, break, and are strengthened or weakened depending on the signals that pass through them and making a nano-scale material that can fit that description is one of the major goals of the project. "The brain is much less a neural network than a synaptic network," Modha says. The fundamental shift toward putting the problem-solving before the problem makes the potential applications for such devices practically limitless. "We are attempting a 180 degree shift in perspective: seeking an algorithm first, problems second. We are investigating core micro- and macro-circuits of the brain that can be used for a wide variety of functionalities.""
Anonymous Coward writes: "Fewer than 1% of airline passengers singled out at airports for the much vaunted "suspicious behavior detection techniques are arrested, Transportation Security Administration figures show. The TSA program, launched in early 2006, looks for terrorists using a controversial surveillance method based on behavior detection and has led to more than 160,000 people in airports receiving scrutiny, such as a pat-down search or a brief interview. That has resulted in only 1,266 arrests, often on charges of carrying drugs or fake IDs, the TSA said. The TSA has not publicly said whether it has caught a terrorist through the program."
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An anonymous reader writes "Phoronix has a new article out on Wayland: A New X Server For Linux. One of Red Hat's engineers has started writing a new X11 server around today's needs and to eliminate the cruft that has been in this critical piece of free software for more than a decade. This new server is called Wayland and it is designed with newer hardware features like kernel mode-setting and a kernel memory manager for graphics. Wayland is also dramatically simpler to target for in development. A compositing manager is embedded into the Wayland server and ensures 'every frame is perfect' according to the project's leader."
ocularb0b writes: "Cray has announced the CX1 desktop supercomputer. Cray teamed with Microsoft and Intel to build the new machine that supports up to 8 nodes, a total of 64 cores and 64Gb of memory per node. CX1 can be ordered online with starting prices of $25k, and a choice of Linux or Windows HPC. This should be a pretty big deal for smaller schools and scientists waiting in line for time on the worlds big computing centers, as well as 3d and VFX shops. Computerworld Blogs has an article."
Mike writes "The title says it all — The EFF is suing to have the unconstitutional telecom immunity overturned. 'In a brief filed in the US District Court [PDF] in San Francisco, the EFF argues that the flawed FISA Amendments Act (FAA) violates the federal government's separation of powers as established in the Constitution and robs innocent telecom customers of their rights without due process of law. [...] "We have overwhelming record evidence that the domestic spying program is operating far outside the bounds of the law," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl. "Intelligence agencies, telecoms, and the Administration want to sweep this case under the rug, but the Constitution won't permit it."'"
According to a study to be published in The Journal of Political Psychology, you can tell someone's political affiliation by looking at the condition of their offices and bedrooms. Conservatives tend to be neat and liberals love a mess. Researchers found that the bedrooms and offices of liberals tend to be colorful and full of books about travel, ethnicity, feminism and music, along with music CDs covering folk, classic and modern rock, as well as art supplies, movie tickets and travel memorabilia. Their conservative contemporaries, on the other hand, tend to surround themselves with calendars, postage stamps, laundry baskets, irons and sewing materials. Their bedrooms and offices are well lit and decorated with sports paraphernalia and flags — especially American ones. Sam Gosling, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, says these room cues are "behavioral residue." The findings are just the latest in a series of recent attempts to unearth politics in personality, the brain and DNA. I, for one, support a woman's right to clean.
bigwophh writes "Google has been very vocal on its stance for net neutrality. Now, Richard Whitt — Senior Policy Director for Google — announces that Google will take an even more active role in the debate by arming consumers with the tools to determine first-hand if their broadband connections are being monkeyed with by their ISPs."
FiReaNGeL writes to tell us scientists have confirmed that the components of genetic material could have originated in a place other than Earth. A recently published report explains how uracil and xanthine, two basic biological compounds, were found within a meteorite that landed in Australia. From Imperial College London: "They tested the meteorite material to determine whether the molecules came from the solar system or were a result of contamination when the meteorite landed on Earth. The analysis shows that the nucleobases contain a heavy form of carbon which could only have been formed in space. Materials formed on Earth consist of a lighter variety of carbon."
An anonymous reader writes: Linux-powered robots are flocking to Atlanta this week to compete in the Robocup scientific competition. The eleventh annual event has attracted at least two Linux-based designs aiming to replace Sony's Aibo as the de facto hardware platform for standard Robocup league play. Robocup organizers say that in more than a decade, robotic soccer has evolved considerably. Players reportedly now move quickly, have little difficulty finding and shooting the ball, and can even show signs of teamwork. Quite a few scientific teams competing in Robocup have traditionally built their robots on top of Sony's AIBO (artificial intelligence bot) platform, a canid design with an open API (application programming interface). However, Sony announced in January of 2006 that it would discontinue AIBO, as well as QRIO, its humanoid design. As a result, at least two companies at this year's Robocup are billing their entries as AIBO replacements.
sjvn writes: "Guess who's talking partnership deals with Microsoft now? The answer: Red Hat. Red Hat and Microsoft both confirmed that they're talking about talking about making a technology deal according to Peter Galli in eWEEK (http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2154521,00.
a sp). Red Hat doesn't want a patent deal, but Microsoft wants some kind of IP protection. so the two are trying to edge around their differences to make a deal. And, why is Red Hat, formerly the loudest of Linux companies when it comes to objecting to making deals with MS doing this? Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols proposes in eWEEK sister publication Linux-Watch, that it's really very simple (http://www.linux-watch.com/news/NS5620044582.htm l ), it makes good business sense even if will make some Linux fans see red... and we're not talking about the color of hats here either."
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