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Comment Re:Yeah, that's sound about right (Score 1) 228

You can imagine what's inside this FreeFlight ADS-B: a small microprocessor and a transmitter. If the Futaba type companies can't produce that for under $100 they aren't even trying...

Of course they could. But getting it through the FAA certification would cost a fortune and throw us right back into the thousands of dollars range. It's like hearing aids; they cost a fortune, despite the fact that you can buy the same thing in a package which carefully avoids making medical claims for an order of magnitude less money. And to be legal, a drone operator would have to use an FAA-certified one. If you really could get a lightweight and reasonably-priced transponder, I'd agree it would make sense for autonomous drones... but like I said, the FAA has operated completely in bad faith with respect to drones, and I do not believe they will be reasonable in the future.

Yeah, probably a nomenclature issue there. When I say "drone" I mean an autonomous vehicle, thus my comment about the GPS. I recognize there are human directed RC vehicles as well. I don't see them as nearly the problem that the autonomous vehicles are, but they still should have access to the NAS. One question for you is what kind of distances people reasonably want to operate in LoS.

You're missing a category, which I think most using drones for aerial photography fall into -- First Person View flight, where the drone is human directed but flown not by watching it from the ground (where the view may be obstructed or the drone too far away) but from the real-time camera view from the drone.

I also think that featherweight drones (the weight of a small bird like a sparrow) should probably be able to be operated without any required gear below some altitude like 500 feet with some common sense limitations like not right at an airport (but probably even 1/4 mile away from the airport should be okay).

A sparrow weighs about as much as a Hubsan X4, a 4" toy. You're not really offering much here.

So, yeah, in their mind the way to proceed is to not allow the proposed action until it can be researched, tested, run up and down the flagpole several times, and finally promulgated as law.

I'm not going to live that long. Or at least not long enough for a set of regulations that would allow me to fly, assuming they actually ever come about. "Let them eat cake" style regulations that require a team of lawyers, thousands of dollars, and some sort of official notification for every flight do not help me at all. If you start with complete prohibition and then slowly relax things until powerful people stop screaming, you're going to remain pretty darn close to prohibition.

The good part for drone operators is that I actually see that the subject is now being talked about in FAA circles - it's actually being thought about.

it's been talked about because they've already missed congressional deadlines to actually do something. And because they've been coming up with ways to stop people from flying (like threatening those who buy images made with drones). They have shown no interest in allowing a practical way for people to fly drones.

I assume you've already read this FAA web page

Yeah, that's the page that says my non-commercial operations are illegal (thanks partially to the AMA). I fly within 5 miles of an airport (a rule which covers a surprisingly large area, considering all the small airports around) without notifying anyone, and I do not fly "in accordance with a community-based set of safety guidelines and within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization" (because I don't belong to the AMA nor fly on an AMA field.)

In practice the only plausible (and unlikely) danger is to helicopter operators like yourself, because I fly between two ridgelines and not much above the treetops (if at all); if there's an airliner in there it's got bigger problems. A helicopter coming in for a landing on the field I operate on or a nearby field is a possibility (e.g. medevac), but it's not like I won't hear and see the thing coming and land.

I know in practice the FAA has not yet gone after non-commercial operators of non-autonomous drones. But I'm in NJ and the state is full of officious busybodies who might drop a dime on me, and of course I'm violating the letter of the law.

Comment Re: Air safety relies on enforcement of rules (Score 1) 228

It's actually not true that modelers understand and respect the regulations. The AMA has long contended that the 400' ceiling only applies within 3 miles of an airport, and that notification of the airport operator is only necessary if exceeding that ceiling within 3 miles of an airport. The FAAs advisory guidelines (which are not regulations -- AC 91-57 is the document) said the 400' ceiling applies everywhere, and you always have to notify an airport operator if operating within 3 miles of an airport. In practice, there haven't been many (if any) problems from modelers flying over 400' or near an airport

The new rule (Section 335 of PL 112-95) has no ceiling. However, to avoid FAA regulation, you have to give notice to an airport operator within 5 miles, not 3. Also, you're subject to _AMA_ regulation, because one of the rules is 'the aircraft is operated in accordance with a community- based set of safety guidelines and within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization' -- the only such organization is the AMA.

As it happens, the FAA has issued no regulations on model aircraft yet. But they could, and the only way to not be subject to them would be to be the AMAs bitch (the AMA is run by a bunch of old retired dudes who think if you didn't start with a control line plane in 1930, you probably don't deserve to fly. And they mostly hate helis and especially multirotors). You also have to not be within 5 miles of an airport, which is surprisingly difficult. The place I fly is within 5 miles of the county airport. I'm not going to call them up every time I fly.

Comment Re:It's pretty simple, really. (Score 1) 685

Remember, there is NO EVIDENCE to cover-up. No attempt has been made to remove any damning information about the subject because none exists.

"They're not even [within] 100 miles [of Baghdad]. They are not in any place. They hold no place in Iraq. This is an illusion ... they are trying to sell to the others an illusion."

Comment Re:It's pretty simple, really. (Score 1) 685

The Streisand effect happens when someone attempts to hide something that was public, thereby calling attention to it.


In this case, we have an obviously false claim, supported by no evidence, that no one is trying to cover-up. The two are unrelated.

No one was trying to cover-up? Really? What is it you said earlier?

All the major gaming sites almost immediately put rules in place to keep your kind of rhetoric out.

Ah. Right.

Comment Re:Deconstructing diversity in tech (Score 1) 685

If a girl announces in school that she wants to be a hairdresser when she grows up, no real problem. If a boy does, there is going to be a big problem with his peers. That's social inhibition.

Yes. But note in this case it's not coming from the hairdressers; it's not the female and gay male hairdressers who dominate the profession who are driving heterosexual men out, it's the male peers of the boy who presumably have no interest in hairdressing at all.

Same goes for the tech professions at the primary and secondary educational level. Whether or not Linus is an ass (or whether or not I am, for that matter), has absolutely no effect on girls in school who may have an interest in tech. Whether their female peers disapprove has a huge effect.

Comment Re:Yeah, that's sound about right (Score 1) 228

Yes, I do. And, even in the 4,000 pound helicopter I fly, a drone strike will absolutely take it out of the sky.

Did a little looking around and found one case of a 2.4 pound bird taking a helicopter out of the sky. The windshield had been intentionally replaced with a weaker one, and even then the helicopter only crashed because the bird hit the fire extinguisher, which then hit the engine controls. So don't swap out your windshield.

This is just totally made up and wrong. First of all there are battery powered ADS-B-IN systems (I use a Stratus 2 with about 8 hours of battery life while doing ADS-B plus AHRS plus providing a WiFi hotspot plus built in GPS) - an ADS-B system running for the length of a typical drone flight would use very little power.

The Stratus 2S, according to the web page, requires an iPad to work, is 10 oz, costs $900 on its own, and isn't a transponder anyway, so it's completely irrelevant. Their transponder with GPS is $3500, not battery powered, and looks like your average drone won't carry it.

The only reason there aren't battery powered ADS-B-OUT systems is the FAA won't currently allow it

Exactly. And there's no reason to expect the FAA to be any sort of reasonable concerning drones, since they haven't, instead first banning them entirely and now banning them unless you meet a rather ridiculously onerous set of requirements -- including being a certified pilot.

In my opinion, and given that the drone already has a functioning GPS system

Wait, what? Who said it does? A fully-autonomous drone which follows waypoints has to, but a simple camera drone operated FPV or LoS quite likely does not.

And... are you willing to limit drones to a maximum weight of 2.5 pounds or would you like to be able to fly larger ones in the airspace?

I'd certainly like to fly larger ones, but I don't think the same requirements need to apply. If someone builds a drone as big as a Bell 206, certainly regulations similar to those of the helicopter (except those related only to crew and passenger safety) should apply. The kinds of regulations pilots would like to impose on all drones would eliminate small, inexpensive drones entirely, which is likely the point. You want a transponder which is a significant percentage of the weight of the drone, and you want the thing to automatically land when a piloted aircraft is around -- which not only rules out small drones, but means the drones have to be disposable, because much of the time it automatically "lands" it won't be recoverable.

I really disagree with this. We were doing a lot of construction and real estate photography work which went 100% away to drones and no pilot I know ever complained or tried to stop it.

Well, a lot of them DID, and succeeded in getting the FAA to send out a bunch of threatening letters and to stop some real estate sites from accepting pictures taken by drones (I imagine this isn't effective as real estate agents will just omit that fact or lie outright, but it happened anyway).

The pilots I know just want to share the airspace without getting killed by someone with a drone who doesn't know what they're doing. It'll take some time to figure out a good way to coexist, and all pilots want is to avoid loss of life while we're figuring it out.

Right. So initially ban drones, then drag this "figuring it out" process until the heat death of the universe. The FAA appears interested only in setting the barriers for using drones so high that only a multinational could afford to jump through their hoops. And that's probably a compromise; they'd rather just ban them entirely as they did before some recent laws were passed.

If you'd like access to the airspace, I suggest you tone down your attitude and try cooperating with the people who are on the side of drone usage

Except drone pilots and manufacturers, there really aren't any. The multinationals interested in using them are fine with ridiculously difficult procedures, because a high barrier to entry keeps competition out. Pilots don't like them because they're competition for airspace (and there's the elitist thing about not using the airspace unless you're a pilot). The FAA doesn't like them, seeing them as a distraction from their mission of keeping the airspace safe for real pilots. Even the Academy of Model Aeronautics doesn't like them (they only approve of line-of-site flying, and they're still not sure about those new-fangled rotary wing things), though they took the opportunity to figure out a way to become the official body for regulating non-commercial model aircraft operations.

If I want access to the airspace in my lifetime -- hell, if I just want to continue flying my models non-commercially without paying the AMA's Danegeld -- I'm just going to have to disregard the regulations and risk a life-ruining fine. This will likely make things more rather than less dangerous, especially for helicopter pilots, but as the princess said "The more you tighten your grip, the more will slip through your fingers". Asking nicely won't get anywhere. That's been tried and the answer was "Are you a pilot? Do you have a special certificate of airworthiness? Then, no".

Comment Re:Yeah, that's sound about right (Score 1) 228

Surely it's conceivable to manufacture something even lighter and smaller and less expensive when done on a large scale, if the certification requirements were set reasonably enough to make such a unit commercially viable for consumer level "drones."

The FAA has already telegraphed their intentions about being reasonable, by requiring a special airworthiness certificate for drones, and requiring a licensed pilot to fly them. Why would they be any more reasonable about transponders?

Comment Re:Or. you know... we could just fucking stop... (Score 1) 685

Just look at GG, a subset of your side. What happened?

We won.

All the major gaming sites almost immediately put rules in place to keep your kind of rhetoric out.

And so new gaming sites were created.

They've been banned from conventions

Oh, right, you bozos threw a bunch of women out of the Calgary Comic Expo for supporting GamerGate. Hooray for your side... wait, I thought it was GG who was supposed to hate women, not your diverse and inclusive selves? Guess that wasn't true. They're suing now; turns out if you pay money for something you do have some rights.

Of course that was a comic expo. At the E3 GAMING convention, no GGers were thrown out of anything. Gamergate-supported publications showed up. And Anita Sarkeesian made a fool of herself by tsk-tsking the new games, and worse, complaining about violence. You know the gaming industry has a very sensitive spot about that, thanks to Jack Thompson, right?

Even 4chan, the bottom of the internet, has booted them out.

Thus the rise of 8chan. Remember that thing about the Internet interpreting censorship as damage and routing around it? Worked this time.

Where once your ideas were the norm, now their despised.

Our ideas are still the norm. It is your ideas which are despised, your racism and your sexism. That's why you have to lie about what they are most of the time, and pretend you're actually for equality. We're the egalitarians; you're the bigots.

Tell me, does England have a Lord Protector or a Queen today?

Sure, though they have absolutely no power and authority.

For one who talks about history, you sure don't know much about it. England has no Lord Protector today; it does have a Queen. That's because while Charles I found himself on the wrong side of the executioner's axe, it turned out to be the Cromwells who were on the wrong side of history; the monarchy was restored and remains in place today. So much for the inevitable course of history.

Once you've lost the outrage, and no one can stay outraged forever, you'll find yourself hiding your socially unacceptable beliefs far more often from friends, family, work mates, etc. I would be surprised if you don't already closet some of your less-enlightened beliefs already.

No, I speak out against your nonsense. And I take a lot of shit for it from you oh-so-enlightened SJWs. Some of you sometimes try to have me silenced. But when you fail, it emboldens others to speak against you as well. And then the only thing you can do is retreat behind your blockbots.

Your movement is dead, it just doesn't know it yet. Your high water mark was the slandering of Tim Hunt, and that was a desperation move; you'd already lost momentum thanks to Gamergate. You keep banging on tech, but no matter how much banging on it you do, you can't win; at best you can only destroy. And what you destroy will be made anew.

Comment Re:FUCK OFF DICE (Score 1) 685

All these so-called SJW people are trying to do is give a voice to people who don't have much of their own to stop them being so excluded.

No, what SJWs want is to kick out the people who are already IN whatever community they are attempting to take over, and replace them with themselves and their friends. Or at least render the existing memebrs subordinate to the SJWs and their friends.. They call it inclusiveness, but they don't mean it.

Comment Re:Yeah, that's sound about right (Score 1) 228

You know how much damage my 2 lb "drone" will do if it hits your thousand pound helicopter?

That's a trick question, the rotor wash will knock my "drone" out of the air before it even gets close.

As for ADS-B, it apparently costs several thousand for a system (including transponder), there's no battery-powered version (you really want it sucking power from the flight battery?), and it's going to weigh more than the drone.

Comment Re:waitaminnit (Score 1) 228

isn't the FAA ruling on drones less than a year old? Wasn't before this, the drone space pretty much unregulated?

No, drones that didn't qualify as model aircraft (non line of sight or for commercial purposes) were completely forbidden. The current regulation sets up a system by which you can have commercial drones if they have a special experimental airworthiness certficate, transponder, flight plan, the special permission of the FAA, and they're flown by a licensed pilot.

Comment Re:Rules v. consequences (Score 1) 228

Because General Aviation is a lot more than low-flying executives and it's been around and well regulated since the 1930s. Drones and GA can coexist. Why do you argue as if it's an either or situation?

Because GA pilots do. They don't want competition for the few paying jobs there are flying a small plane (including aerial photography), so they push for these crazy rules which mean you need a full airworthiness certificate, a pilot's license, a flight plan, and all those other bits of bureaucratic minutia that keep anyone with low tolerance for bureaucracy from flying a plane... just to fly a 2 pound quadcopter.

Comment Re:Deconstructing diversity in tech (Score 1) 685

You said "In the 80s women made up nearly half [of employed computer systems analysts and computer scientists]". They did not. They made up about 1/3rd. The trend you show is quite weak. BTW, the numbers for 2014 are 511,000 computer systems analysts, 34.2% women, and 29,000 computer and information scientists (no gender data available). If all the computer scientists are men (and I can see three who aren't from where I'm sitting), that's 32.4% women. Right back in the same range as the 1980s.

I'm not sure why those two categories were chosen; I'd think Computer Programmer, Software Developer (Applications) and Software Developer (Systems) would be more relevant. Those categories are more like 20% women right now; I don't know about historically.

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