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Comment Re:"...the same as trespassing." (Score 1) 1047 1047

I'm Canadian, and fall about where you would expect on the "right to bear arms" (in general guns are bad because they kill people), but the thought of a drone hovering over my house and yard is highly offensive.

It invades privacy, my sense of well-being, and my gut instinct would be to classify it as a threat towards my children and family.

It's a threat because I don't know the intent behind the drone. Is someone using it to surveille my house or family, take voyeuristic pictures or images of my children, or is it just some idiot who doesn't understand how his or her actions could be interpreted?

Based on the article, I actually have a fair bit of sympathy for Mr. Merideth.at.

Comment Re:Inadequate Buffer (Score 1) 133 133

100 feet of buffer is inadequate. How the hell do you measure your AGL when you're flying? You either use a radar altimeter ($25K installed on an airplane worth $20K) or you use the baro altimeter, which has an acceptable calibration error, plus the local altimeter setting (atmospheric pressure) which has an error band, and there's error because you're not right over the reporting station.

Well, if you had a good GPS receiver and sufficiently detailed topographic maps on board you could also guesstimate AGL that way--but I agree that it's still a dubious and non-robust approach. And your radar altimeter doesn't have to run $25K if it only needs to work up to a few hundred feet and only be "hobbyist" or "drone" rated.

But really, forget measurement--that's probably not even the biggest problem. I suspect that it would be very technically challenging for these craft to physically maintain their permitted altitude. A good gust, an up- or down-draft, and your plus-or-minus 100 feet goes by in no time.

Comment Re:Slashdot summary, as usual, misses the point (Score 1) 117 117

OTOH, my fascist firewall blocks blog posts such as Callaway's, so I really appreciate the hop through an unblocked source. I take it from context that article covers some stuff that isn't in the blog post, as well.

You're thinking of this as an either-or situation, when it really isn't. Hyperlinks are cheap. There's no reason for the summary not to clearly say, e.g."Here is the original blog post in its entirety, and here is an article which discusses some points from the blog post along with some other stuff." If they can't even manage that, then the link should at least clearly indicate that it isn't to the content described in the summary.

Instead, the Slashdot summary fails to link to the original blog post and implies misleadingly that the link in the summary actually does do so.

Comment Slashdot summary, as usual, misses the point (Score 5, Informative) 117 117

If we're going to talk about Callaway's Points of Fail, and create a link in the Slashdot summary that *looks* like it takes you to that list, then perhaps there should actually be a link to the list.

Callaway's original Points of Fail blog post.

You know, instead of the usual Slashdot way of pointing to an article wrapper that talks briefly about some of the points and then eventually links to the real list.

Comment Re:What bothers me (Score 1) 429 429

If Hillary survives to the general election without this snowballing into a legal issue, I really want some brave and fearless soul to stand up in the first televised debate and ask her one question:

"Based on your legal expertise as a former member of the House Judiciary's Impeachment Inquiry staff, and the arguments which led to legal action being proposed against President Nixon, how many email messages would it take to equal 17 minutes of audio tape?"

Comment Re:"Pocket dialed"? (Score 2, Interesting) 179 179

It must happen to people a lot

In New York City in 2012, roughly 40% of 911 calls were apparent butt dials. Their category (calls less than 20 seconds long, no response from the caller) probably includes some other inadvertent calls as well, but the majority are probably phone-in-pocket situations.

Just for NYC, that's more than 10 thousand calls per day, and about 4 million 911 calls per year.

Butts.

Comment Re:Europe has also had wire transfers (Score 1) 294 294

>It's 2015. Why does transferring money in the US take more than a minute and a few cents? I transfer money via ACH all the time for $1 per transaction.

Manual wires are different, and have a lot of costs associated with them. There are people involved, not just data being pushed.

Comment Re:Your biggest screw up (Score 1) 452 452

Reddit was started as an experiment in free speech.

Wait, what?

I recall Alex coming on Slashdot a lot to promote Reddit when he first launched it. "An experiment in free speech" was not anything I recall being discussed. I also remember him posting on Slashdot while still developing reddit.

What I recall, is promotion of a general interest platform that was more open than Slashdot (unlimited moderations for all!) and less susceptible to vote brigading than Digg.

It was while ago, so I may be a bit foggy on the specifics.

Comment Re:Dwindling airable land? (Score 1) 279 279

I think what the Libertarians fail to realize is that farmers, as a general rule, are not smart enough to diversify or maintain course.

First, I think that's a ridiculous assertion. Smart farmers don't diversify because the taxpayers bear the risk of their crop failure, or of crashing prices; they have insufficient incentive to diversify.

Second, if we had a true free market, dumb farmers would go out of business and we would be left with smart farmers allocating resources efficiently. Isn't that the point of economic libertarianism?

Note: I am far from libertarian.

Comment Re:So does this qualify as 'organic'? (Score 1) 279 279

What do you mean by cyclical? Do you mean the livestock/fertilizer/crop/fodder cycle? Do you mean crop rotation? Or something else entirely?

Just curious, since I'm not aware of either cyclical production or crop rotation being a requirement for organic farming (although both are considered best practices).

Comment Online Presence (Score 4, Interesting) 111 111

As visible in your official company FAQ, you had run a ISP as well as other online services (I seem to recall there having been some manner of MOO/MUSH service for running online games), well in advance of most other RPG publishers. Furthermore, you run your own digital store (e23) rather than using through the DriveThruStuff platform used by the rest of the tabletop industry, and made PDF copies of your books available for purchase before the other "major" industry players (Fantasy Flight, Pinnacle, WhiteWolf, and WotC).

How much of this decision was strategic—based on a firm belief this was "The Way of the Future"—and how much was it exploratory / risk-taking? In hindsight, what decisions for your online presence would you have made differently?

Comment Re:This problem needs a technical solution (Score 2) 268 268

That DC10 was designed to hit geese without sustaining damage. You think a 1 kg drone is going to do anything?

Er, no. That's just untrue. See the relevant regulations. Depending on the bird size, the engine has to either not explode or catch fire (for large birds), or continue to operate at 75% power for between 5 and 20 minutes (small and medium birds, flocks of smaller birds) before safe shutdown.

"Doesn't explode or require immediate shutdown" isn't the same as not "sustaining damage". And even though the aircraft would likely survive ingesting a drone doesn't mean it would be good to lose a firefighting aircraft for the time it would take to rebuild or replace the damaged engine.

Comment Re:Local and small (Score 1) 268 268

This is still a terrible measure, because bible-belt Southerners average close to 7%, while New Englanders average under 3% (source [philanthropy.com]).

It's also a terrible measure because giving to a church is not always the same as giving to a charity. Not saying that all churches aren't charities, just that some spend quite a lot less on charitable works than some other charities.

The moon is made of green cheese. -- John Heywood

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