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Comment: Re:Why do people listen to her? (Score 1) 577

by ceoyoyo (#46749459) Attached to: Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

Our society recognizes that some people are in trusted positions and need to be held to a higher level of responsibility for their actions as a result. Physicians are sued all the time for giving bad medical advice. That's why they have malpractice insurance. Businessmen, researchers, lawyers, etc, who knowingly lie or are negligent in their professional capacity can also be held responsible. Celebrities who are trusted by a large number of people and insist on giving potentially dangerous advice are no different.

Comment: Re:Appeal to authority is not good enough (Score 4, Insightful) 577

by ceoyoyo (#46747225) Attached to: Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

Yes. You should appeal to scientific evidence. Which is entirely on the side of vaccines. While the precise benefit of things like the flu vaccine in non-vulnerable populations isn't always entirely clear, the risks and benefits of standard childhood vaccines are well studied and well known.

No, you shouldn't trust random doctors, whether they're on Oprah or not. And you certainly shouldn't trust random Playboy bunnies, whether they're on Oprah or not.

McCarthy's most important flaws are that she feels the need to give medical advice to millions of people based on absolutely nothing but her own prejudices, which she clings to in the face of overwhelming evidence.

Comment: Re:Why do people listen to her? (Score 3, Insightful) 577

by ceoyoyo (#46747113) Attached to: Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

She has made specific claims about vaccines being unsafe. These claims are wrong, yet she's stuck to them. She's also given medical advice to millions of parents based on these demonstrably wrong claims. Regardless of what she claims her philosophical stance is, she's guilty of gross and willful negligence causing multiple deaths.

Comment: Re:Why do people listen to her? (Score 4, Interesting) 577

by ceoyoyo (#46747087) Attached to: Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

Peer review isn't meant to assure accuracy. It's a filter to stem the tide of obvious crap. Scientific journals started as letters that scientists wrote to each other. They're the same thing now, except the letters get published centrally. An article in a scientific journal is "hey, look, we did this, and this is what we found."

Wakefield's paper itself seems to be the honest report of a valid experiment. Since he found something that would have important consequences, it was subsequently examined in depth. Nobody could replicate his results. That can happen, because statistical false positives and honest mistakes happen all the time, but further investigation revealed that Wakefield experimented without ethics approval on his son's friends, cherry picked data, purposely misrepresented data, and had a serious undisclosed conflict of interest in owning a share in and consulting for an alternative vaccine company.

The Wakefield thing is how science is supposed to work. The public needs to learn that single articles published in scientific journals aren't necessarily correct. In fact, analysis suggests that most of them are not correct.

Comment: Re:Not just an RC Plane (Score 1) 214

by fyngyrz (#46738471) Attached to: FAA Shuts Down Search-and-Rescue Drones

How's your quad record?

Not nearly as good (or nearly as long.) No dead kids. One live and very stupid adult (ten hours), a lost cow. about 15 minutes, poor thing was stuck in a mudhole --- getting it out was a lot more challenging than finding it, and two dogs, one of which was seriously snakebit and down hard, but survived. They were both pretty hard to find. Size matters. And yes, this is all pretty new to me. Which is not to say it's not worthy. It's rewarding as all get out.

Quad's do not have the range, period.

You can cover a square km -- which is a *lot* of area -- perfectly with a pair of quads in rotation, regardless of terrain, with 99% uptime and plenty of reserves using some very simple procedures. Move 1km, repeat. It's reasonably efficient, and the search is much more fine grained -- it's almost impossible to miss something of reasonable size, those dogs notwithstanding. More below; see the other replies. I don't feel like explaining all this twice.

It is common sense, called glide.

You know what glide is? It's continuous motion, which loses detail, requires faster cameras for the same quality image (higher shutter speed, higher ISO), and raises the noise level in lower light. You know what glide requires? Height. You know what too much height does? Reduces detail. And that's not even all of the issues. You see, it's not that obvious after all. The task is to find, not just to fly long distances. When distance methodologies compromise seeing, as they tend to do, other options offer useful compromises.

You'd be a lot better off asking questions than you are pooh-poohing without knowing what you're talking about. Of course, this *is* slashdot, sigh.

Comment: Re:Not just an RC Plane (Score 1) 214

by fyngyrz (#46738385) Attached to: FAA Shuts Down Search-and-Rescue Drones

They are only popular because they are mechanically simple WITH MODERN ELECTRONICS. You can not fly a quad without computer augmentation.

Yes, and? I didn't suggest attempting this with obsolete, unstable old hardware. I really don't see your point. Quads with camera mounts and "modern electronics" (meaning GPS, compass, active pitch control/tilt sensors, altimeter, rock solid XYZ hover with no control input, auto-return) start at about $470. They get even better from there. A trunk full of them is within the budget of almost any S/R group with the willingness to stand in intersections for a day or so with hats and signboards out. Or courtesy of one or two kind benefactors. First thing I did after flying my first one was pull my jaw off the ground and go right back and buy the rest they had in stock. Had to be done, really.

I can take one up, hover it, take a stable high resolution image, move it, take another stable high resolution image, etc. This means even when it's getting dark, I have better detail -- and lower noise -- because I don't have to have such fast exposures. Bring it back (no landing strip required), swap quads and go back out on the next radial, while the crew pops a new battery into the just-returned unit, repeat every ten-fifteen minutes or so, and keep doing that while the images are checked over carefully. Out on one radial, in on the next. Full circle till you repo to the next GPS indexed location. Works great.

Gimbals... the quad can spin in place. While hovering in an extremely stable manner, for that matter, or spinning/panning while working through any set of heights I choose. Be nice to just have a tilt control. More weight. It's really not seriously limiting, nothing like that yet. Should try it though. Tilting the quad itself isn't really possible without it moving, or at least, not the ones I'm using.

While the range/duration would be wonderful, fixed wing requires far too much for this area -- your seaplane is great in some ways, but there's no body of water around here worth talking about for the vast majority of the area. There's nowhere to land. Nowhere to take off. "Wet grass takeoff"? Grass? How about rocks and cactus and nasty, sticky sand? Kind of puts a crimp in fixed wing efforts. Quad simply doesn't care. Put it down (on a rock, on your 4x4 or snowmobile, or just open your hand), up it goes, and you're off and hunting.

Then there are the badlands. Even worse. Not only is there no water, nowhere to take off, nowhere to land, the bloody ground wants to break you -- it's unstable everywhere, either collapsing under you or falling on top of you. Which is part of why people get stuck out there in the first place (wish to heck they just wouldn't go.) With a FW, how do you work down a twisty arroyo that's too complex to follow at speed, and too deep to get a camera angle into because you can't stay over it long enough to make it count? I can just go there and drop right into it and work it right along at whatever rate is convenient. Success? Pop-up and strobe. Awesome.

Battery reload is not the critical issue when you can see better, navigate better, have a more stable platform, get looks into places like arroyos and caves and under-hangs and under trees and bushes that would otherwise completely block your view, and remain on station instead of having to fly by repeatedly when it's called for. You can hover and think instead of getting further from a point of interest with every moment. Battery reload is nothing. You bring em back, instantly take another one off, while that one is reloaded, charge packs as required, no problem. Preparation is key, of course -- but it certainly isn't a problem or even a challenge. You still get essentially 99% active search time without overlap -- or underlap. I throw a trunk in, grab my crew, and go.

Aerobatics... that's an interesting undertaking, but not relevant for my use. Although I've seen people do some crazy things with quads, my own interest is strictly useful camera work. I have shots you simply can't get from a FW platform. Impossible. Quads are *wonderful* already. And of course, like everything else, they keep getting better. And with practice, so does the pilot, although they are about a zillion times easier to fly right out of the box than FW r/c aircraft, or at least any FW r/c aircraft I've ever had the pleasure of flying.

Best of luck in your endeavors. Don't rule out quads!

Comment: Re:Not just an RC Plane (Score 1) 214

by fyngyrz (#46736085) Attached to: FAA Shuts Down Search-and-Rescue Drones

Nonsense. Quads are ideal for turning one person into a center of a decent radius search at a rate much higher than can be done alone. Duration is as long as you have a pocket full of batteries and a vehicle (anything... a 4x4 or a dirt bike will do) available to charge them, which could be days at a time. My quad can hit just under a hundred, so it's way faster than it needs to be for any sensible perception of what you (or it) is looking at. You have no idea what you're talking about. I've been out on hunts for people many times here in Montana, and I can tell you if I'd had the quad then, I'd have a much better idea of what was around me, a lot sooner. Many searches are of relatively small areas, and often by small groups. Anything that helps... helps!

Comment: Re:Seems fishy (Score 1) 136

by ceoyoyo (#46735955) Attached to: Crowd Wisdom Better At Predictions Than Top CIA Analysts

You're still making conclusions that aren't based on the data. There's nothing in their project that identifies why individuals, or the group, might be better than the experts, and my question is about whether the individuals they've identified ARE even better than the experts or if they've simply discovered the right side of a Bell curve (a la Niven).

There have been studies that have shown that crowds, under certain circumstances, can be somewhat resistant to bias. In other circumstances this is obviously not the case. Examples include antivaxers, the number of Americans who believe the moon landings were hoaxes and anything featured on Oprah, Dr Oz or Dr Phil. "The wisdom of crowds" is a catchy name for a special case of the observation that the signal to noise ratio increases by the square root of the number of measurements that are averaged. It doesn't have anything to do with bias.

Comment: Arrest is just the start (Score 1) 214

by fyngyrz (#46735845) Attached to: FAA Shuts Down Search-and-Rescue Drones

Would you really, though? You want to lose your home, your job, perhaps your family, your freedom, your ability to be further employed, have your credit rating destroyed, end up on various lists like no fly, felon, etc... do you really?

It's pretty easy to be upset about this, but the reality of putting your head into the gears of legal process -- even when you demonstrably and obviously on the side of sanity and righteousness -- is that your head gets squashed and the gears are only further lubricated by your juices. I speak from experience.

If you'd really sacrifice pretty much everything on such matters of principle, my hat is off to you. Truly. But when people go in all bright eyed and bushy tailed to do battle with the abject moron we collectively call the justice system, they invariably come out much sadder, wiser, poorer, lower class, jobless, and without having accomplished a damn thing WRT their original intent. So you might want to give that another serious think. You can do more good out here, with resources intact, than you can speaking to a lawyer through bars and learning that your "way out" is, at best, a plea bargain that compromises you for the rest of your life. Even if they promise you it won't.

Comment: Finding it hard to grasp (Score 1) 214

by fyngyrz (#46735779) Attached to: FAA Shuts Down Search-and-Rescue Drones

Because it's fucking stupid. And harmful. And inflexible. And consequently puts people at risk. Because it looks exactly like rules for the wrong reason, inability to deal with what the world actually is, entrenched reasoning for circumstances no longer extant...

You know, things like that. Stupid shite.

No hardware designer should be allowed to produce any piece of hardware until three software guys have signed off for it. -- Andy Tanenbaum