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Comment: Everyone here is embarassing themselves (Score 1) 195

I thought folks around here were supposed to be smart, not knee-jerk paranoids. I've seen very few comments from anyone with anything substantive to add - for the most part, just a bunch of people scoring points with the crowd by talking about "cops are all fuckin' pigs, man".

Has anybody actually listened to the linked recording? Or read the transcript on the Vice thing (the article is a crock of shit but the transcript seems accurate)? It doesn't indicate much of anything regarding the physical movement of the chopper, much less that the police helicopter chased them. The only reference to the position of the helicopter is "We are going to stay here and figure out where he puts it." and directing ground units (you know, police cars) to the place it landed. Much has been made of the "0 to 2000" thing too, which is pretty stupid of the pilot to say - but realize that that's before he thinks it's a drone, he thinks it's some military aircraft much further away. Within 50 feet, a small drone would absolutely look like it came from nowhere and climbed extremely quickly, if you were looking miles out for other aircraft. And if you're flying an aircraft mantaining visual separation, that's exactly what you're doing.

I mean honestly. I know this site's gone downhill recently but this is worse than Reddit. I know there's a lot of people here who are really hot for drones, but I fly in this country's airspace along with about 350,000 other people and I really don't want one of these things blasting through my window, or fucking up my prop, or denting a wing. Birds scare me enough - and I do know people who've had birds come through their windshield and knock them out while flying (both OK, thankfully - they regained consciousness a few seconds later in a slow spiraling descent). These drones are like birds with more metal. I, and every other certificated pilot, spent about 60 hours learning how to fly and a big part of that is all the rules and airspace classifications and so on - how much do you want to bet that these guys knew they'd busted a Bravo airspace and what that means in terms of safety? (Hint: you can't be in a Bravo without a clearance, so there's no surprise encounters at hundreds of knots closing speed - unless some drone shows up in front of you!) Do you think all these guys are mantaining at least 3 mile visibility, and staying 500' below, 1000' above, and 2000' horizontally clear of clouds (Class E VFR minimums)? Do you think they care, or are even curious if there's a cloud clearance requirement, or know anything about the difference between class E and class G airspace and when it starts?

Seriously. I see the same shit on here whenever there's a story about laser pointers and planes. All of you, go to your nearby airport, find a flight school, and do an intro flight. It's like $70, they'll let you fly the plane, it's really cool. But notice that these planes aren't tanks, and there's no failsafe like in your car. You can't just hit the brakes and have a good chance of everything working out alright. If something comes through the window of your car and knocks you out, you'll probably be basically OK - but it's a guaranteed fatality in an airplane. If some idiot blinds you with a laser pointer in your car and you can't see, same thing - just hit the brakes in a car, but also a guaranteed fatality in an airplane.

I mean really. Sorry for the rant but this is just out of hand.

Comment: Re:Jurisdiction (Score 1) 195

It's much easier to estimate altitude. Speed and distance, sure, but if it's at your level (i.e., the horizon - which is what you spend your days looking at if you're flying VFR) it must be approximately at your altitude. Even 100 feet of altitude is enough to make something visibly below or above you. So if the chopper was at 2000 (plausible clearance for that part of the river) and he saw something at his altitude, I'm willing to believe the drone was at 2000. The illusion may be responsible for the "rapid" climb - it's possible it was only a few hundred feet.

I concur with the GP. These idiots were lucky their toy didn't get sucked into a heavy's turbine on approach to LGA. I fly in this area with my Cessna 172 and it wouldn't do my plane any good to hit this thing at 110 knots. Probably go right through the windshield and into my head, or dent a wing or wreck a prop. I'd be pretty pissed if I was in the bravo and some traffic nobody knew about ran into me - that's why I got the Bravo clearance, to avoid that crap!

If I bust a Bravo, I'm in some deep shit. Wonder what the FAA will do to these guys? They don't have any cert to revoke, but I believe the FAA can levy fines...

Comment: Re:Does anyone here REMEMBER K-12 computer science (Score 1) 63

by slimjim8094 (#47386645) Attached to: Does Google Have Too Much Influence Over K-12 CS Education?

Are you sure that was intended to be computer science? Lots of schools basically have a "play with Excel/Word" class, but most don't pretend it's CS. There is such a thing as real HS computer science - such as the AP class listed in the TFS. APCS A was basically "learn Java" with a few sorts (insertion/selection to motivate, and merge to actually use) and (simple) data structures thrown in like a binary search tree - but APCS AB, which is now discontinued unfortunately, had real stuff - heaps, binary trees, maps and sets, some complexity theory, several additional sorts (heap and quick) and if I remember correctly even a few balanced binary trees. Pretty much what I did in my freshman spring "intro to data structures" class.

There's definitely real CS available for those who want it, though if the school doesn't have APCS or has a shitty version of it you may be better off doing your own thing or taking a class at a local college - most HS are actually perfectly happy to accept that for credit (and let you miss part of school to do it), by the way.

Comment: Re:why? (Score 1) 346

by slimjim8094 (#47379065) Attached to: Goldman Sachs Demands Google Unsend One of Its E-mails

FYI, the US post office considers itself the owner of your mailbox. That's why it's a felony to steal somebody's mail - you're stealing from their property. The analogy is actually pretty accurate - the "post office" owns the mailbox and only the recipient can remove stuff from it without a court order.

Citations:;f=107;t=000617;p=0 and Both have a lot of people complaining about it but it seems to be true.

Comment: Re:They where acting like the cable co / CATV (Score 1) 93

by slimjim8094 (#47342127) Attached to: Bye Bye Aereo, For Now

Why don't you try putting up an antenna and reselling the signal to your neighbors for profit. Do you think such behavior would be regarded as legal or acceptable?

It wouldn't be legal, but only because the law that's at issue here was written in order to make that behavior illegal after somebody did precisely that and it was ruled legal by the SCOTUS (in other words, "so we fixed the glitch"). It's all in the decision.

Whether it should be illegal is another question. The law as written leads to absurdities like this Aereo case, but you can think of others. Let's remove the motive of profit here (the law doesn't distinguish anyway). My neighbors were going to put up their own antennas, but we all pooled our money and got a nice one up on the hill behind our lots. Is that illegal? Let's reduce the scope - surely I can put my own antenna on the hill, but I can't put a splitter in it for the one guy next door? I'd do it in my own house for multiple TVs, what makes the property line so different? (The law doesn't have a "households" exception.) Or am I breaking the law by splitting my rooftop antenna among 3 TVs? Are the splitters what makes it illegal? Apparently as they just ruled that Aereo's multiple antenna trick (with no splitters) didn't work.

Basically the law says that putting it on a cable constitutes the creation of a derivative work, but that's just stupid. That's what an antenna *does*.

In any case, Aereo was trying to profit off the work of others

Actually I think they're trying to profit on their own work (transcoding, DVR, storage, streaming, client) but let's move on.

without offering them any sort of consideration in return.

Except further advertising eyeballs? Keep in mind this is stuff the networks are putting a lot of energy into casting as widely as possible, and can be received for free. They're paying for it with advertising, so I'd think more watchers would help them - no? I mean it certainly couldn't hurt; each person using Aereo or whatever could instead just use an antenna and get the same thing, just less convenient. But I'm pretty sure the broadcasters don't call that particular behavior "illegal copyright violation", they call it "marketshare". (Of course without some kind of an agreement, a cableco shouldn't be allowed to substitute their own ads - that would rightly constitute a derivative work)

Comment: Re:They where acting like the cable co / CATV (Score 5, Informative) 93

by slimjim8094 (#47340857) Attached to: Bye Bye Aereo, For Now

Because there's a law that explicitly says "you need a license to retransmit free-to-air TV signals". I think it's bullshit too and it leads to absurdities like this, but the law is extremely clear. In fact, they wrote the damn thing because there was a company with a centrally-located antenna and a lot of people paid to access its signal over wires. Sound familiar?

Comment: Re:Banning Knowledge next? (Score 2) 188

by slimjim8094 (#47277299) Attached to: Chinese Vendor Could Pay $34.9M FCC Fine In Signal-Jammer Sting

It's even easier than that - a spark gap radio transmitter will jam most things.

But you should expect to get your ass handed to you for using them regardless of how you got one. They're an unlicensed radio transmitter transmitting on licensed spectrum. If you piss off the FCC enough to come find you, they won't fuck around - I'd post a citation, but funnily enough there's one at the top of the article.

Comment: Re:I've been under a rock... (Score 1) 1198

by slimjim8094 (#47116533) Attached to: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds

Seriously, you've never seen it? The woman who started the #yesallwomen trend on Twitter had to close her account because of all the rape threats she was getting.

That doesn't surprise me, I'm sorry to say. But I'm given to understand that any high-profile person on Twitter gets all kinds of threats, rape or otherwise. Obviously females are more prone to rape threats than males, but all 4 links (~2 minutes of Google News for "twitter threat") are for males and death threats. It's all the ass-end of the internet and warrants no concern

Not at all. I'm saying it's every geek or nerd's responsibility - along with everyone else's responsibility - to speak up when they see it. *Every* incident? Only if you're personally there for *every* incident, in which case, I'd have to wonder why you're always in the wrong place.

Is it your responsibility to stop *every* fire? No. If you see someone's house on fire, wouldn't it be a good responsible act to call the fire department, rather than just shrugging and walking away? Of course it is. Does it matter that you're not going to stop *every* fire? Of course not.

Fair enough, that's basically what I meant. But it seems like that doesn't really address the problem - you still have little pockets where this BS is tolerated, and I don't know how "nerds" can fix that to the extent that they don't make up those pockets. Seems like a more targeted group term could help.

I thought you said you couldn't think of any instances of harassment, and now you're throwing up specific examples like a Call of Duty server? Which is it?

I don't play Call of Duty, it's just a stereotypical example. I've seen it played a few times, and it seemed like a hell-hole, but there were no women so my statement stands - I've never seen a woman get harassed in an online forum. I've seen places where I suspect a woman likely would get harassed, were one present, but I don't even know what it looks like. Would it really take the form of such cliched, tired kitchen and sandwich jokes? Seems about as scandalous as "ima make u suk my dick fag0t" or a goatse link - what is this, 2002?

It used to be a common word everywhere. Up here in the North where we don't accept that language and speak up when its used, it is not prevalent. As you note, it's southern racists... and apparently no one in their circles is saying "stop using that word".

Precisely, so what's the plan for dealing with those problem circles in particular? (rhetorical question, if I knew I'd be doing it!) Blaming that behavior on "people", even "southern people" isn't very useful for winning allies - but that's essentially what's happening here with "nerds". You (n.b. "people in general") drive a wedge into the community and put people who are otherwise very sympathetic (like me!) on the defensive completely unnecessarily.

Telling people "just grow a thick skin" or "put up with it" is being part of the problem. Sure, you don't harass people... But you're not standing up to those who do, and you're telling their victims to suck it up. That makes you not quite as bad as the harassers, but no where close to being a good person. Ever hear the old poem about "they came for [X group], but I said nothing, because I was not [X]"? It's not supposed to be an endorsement of staying silent.

Here's where you and I disagree. This is a nuanced point for the internet, but basically the world will always be rough regardless of how nice we make people. In my mind, the thick skin is useful for its own sake, and there's obviously diminishing returns in the "how nice we make people" game. We shouldn't stop trying, but in parallel people should develop the ability to tolerate all the shit that the world slings at all of us, since if they don't they'll have a very hard time - even if every person in their life is pleasant as pie! They'll still have friends and family die, they'll still suffer hardships and get divorced and houses foreclosed on and fired from jobs and so on. As Hamlet so aptly described, we need to learn to "suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous Fortune", since being unable to do so means sharing Hamlet's fate.

When I was a kid, I had a pretty rough childhood. It took me a very rough couple of years to learn not to give a shit what anybody else thinks about you - people (family and (real) friends) have to *earn* that privilege of power over you, and they're the only ones that matter. If I didn't learn this lesson, I don't know how I would have made it through. So I see this as a extremely useful - nay, critical - lesson for everybody to learn. In my perfect world, as long as there was equality of opportunity, it wouldn't matter two whits what anybody said to anybody else - nobody would be discouraged by it, because they didn't let themselves be. Obviously the real world doesn't live up to my fantasy, so I agree it's important to cut down on the "softer" forms at discussion here. But this doesn't change the fact that it's important to control your own self-esteem.

Opening an entire other can of worms, I see your argument as very similar to the people who are up in arms any time someone suggests that college students would be less rape-prone if they got less fall-down drunk. It's easy to get mad about that, call it blaming the victim, etc - but the fact of the matter is that a) over-drinking is something we should discourage *everybody* from doing, for its own sake, b) most rapes are crimes of opportunity, so potential victims not becoming opportunities will lead to less of them, and c) it comes down to suggesting ways to protect one's self from crime, which we have no problem doing for car theft, pickpocketing, mugging, etc. None of these suggestions for reducing the risk of a crime are blaming the victim, and none are excusing the perpetrator. But people have agency, and can make things better for themselves - or not. The corollary is that those telling people that they SHOULDN'T take any of these common-sense measures is putting their listeners at risk, just like somebody saying "go ahead and leave your wallet in your back pocket, the police are blaming the victim!"

And so it is with harassment. You can simultaneously decry harassment and act against it - and suggest ways where a potential victim could lessen their risk exposure. To do otherwise is contrary to their well-being.

Of course I am. No one deserves to be sexually assaulted, even if they've been convicted of a crime (not that every prison rape victim is even a convict, rather than in pre-trial detention). Particularly worse is that it's not just jokes, but an implied added threat - "act up, and we throw you in jail where you'll be someone's biatch". That implicitly condones it.

I'm very glad to hear it. It bothers me tremendously that there is not more outrage about this, and instead there's late-night comedy routines. These are people whose responsibility for safety we've assumed, since we were the one who locked them up with their potential rapists.

Comment: Re:No steering wheel? No deal. (Score 1) 583

by slimjim8094 (#47115411) Attached to: Google Unveils Self-Driving Car With No Steering Wheel

No it's not, because that's what "minimums" means. Read The ILS only gets you so far, below that you have to fly the airplane the last 2-100ft (for CAT1/2 systems respectively) since the localizer/glideslope isn't precise enough at such a low altitude. Remember, the localizer/glideslope array isn't on the runway, and you'd really rather not fly into it... Keep in mind that a plane will be many thousands of feet away from the runway threshold at 100 feet (1908 feet, for a standard 3 degree glideslope) - in the plane I fly at the airport I fly from, 100ft has you over a building - you still have a parking lot, road, fence, and ~400ft of grass and maneuvering area before the threshold. Radar altimeter doesn't help you with your touchdown point.

Comment: Re:Ground down (Score 1) 1198

by slimjim8094 (#47115287) Attached to: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds

Fascinating post, thanks for sharing. I'm a man, and I'm really trying to understand and help. It's extremely tiring to be told that that's impossible and that my help is unwanted. Please don't interpret my questions/statements as some sort of an attack as that's not my intention (I don't mean to assume your reaction, but it's a pretty common reaction to any follow-up questions about this kind of thing...).

We live in a world where literally yesterday a woman was stoned to death by her family for failing to live her life they way they wanted. ( .

That's terrible, but bad things happen to people of all stripes all the time for terrible reasons. That sounds incredibly callous, I know, but we live in a world where only 70 years ago 11 million people were killed simply because they had the wrong religion, disability, or ethnicity. My ability to help in any of these cases is very limited, although I do what I can. But the rest of your post is about *our* (I assume you mean Western) culture, so I'm not quite sure what your point is here? There's all sorts of terrible (to us) stuff happening in other cultures, but I'm not sure how any of it is relevant to this discussion - if so, please elaborate. Frankly, stoning a woman to death is pretty tame compared to e.g. everything in North Korea.

Our culture shames a woman for accepting sexual advances and blames her if she rejects them ( There is literally no way to win as a woman.

That link doesn't work for me - I'm not sure which cover you're referring to (the anchor doesn't seem to do anything). I see a whole bunch of recent ones implying that the gunman was crazy ("Childhood snub set me off", "Rage of the virgin", etc). If you meant to link to the former, I'm not sure that I'd equate "a demonstrated madman blamed a woman, among other things, in his ramblings" with "our culture... blames her if she rejects them". Not even the Post (a pretty terrible trash rag) was making that claim. Madman killers claim all kinds of things - the guy who killed John Lennon said he was following Catcher in the Rye. And men are also judged (less harshly, it's true) for being "man whores", at least in adult circles. IME the balance is shifting towards normalization, actually - female promiscuity is becoming relatively less stigmatized, and male promiscuity is becoming relatively more.

Look, guys. Even if you've done a ton of soul searching, and you genuinely believe you're not part of the problem, go to the next step. The women around you are hurting. They're exhausted. They're being gaslighted ( left, right and center. So if you genuinely think you're not making things works, figure out how to make it better. Find a woman to mentor. If you're in a meeting, and a woman's voice isn't getting heard, help her (although, please avoid mansplaining (i.e. "What Jane really means to say is...."). If someone say some bullshit about women in your workplace, call them out on it.

Excellent. I'd love to make things better. But I didn't see any of this stuff in university or at my employer. And I really, really was looking for it - I'd been hearing all through high school about how terrible it was for women, so I knew what to look for. But... all I ever saw was women in the same classes as I was getting the same treatment, with normal variance due to ability (less variance than the men, though there were more men). In fact, as a TA, I noticed that women generally did better, since they tended to come by office hours earlier and more frequently, which kept them off the wrong paths. There were a few women-only engineering organizations (SWE, WICS, etc) at school, and there weren't really any issues that I knew about (I tried to stay fairly plugged-in - like I said, this is something I care about). At my tech job now, which is admittedly notably progressive about this issue compared to the rest of the industry, I haven't seen anything either - the most I saw was someone at a company meeting who said in passing "thanks to all the guys who worked on XYZ" instead of "all the folks" or "all the people", and was ripped to shreds over it.

I have seen women getting ignored or talked over in a meeting, and I do what I do when anybody else gets ignored or talked over (easy to happen when people are passionate about their idea) - I bring it up again in a "John/Jane was saying something about the Foobar module?" way (if I'm not getting talked over or ignored myself!). Nobody ignores anybody on purpose. Nobody spews any sexist bullshit, either. The women we have are respected (at least) as well as all the men - we just don't have many women because there are few women CS grads!

tl;dr For 6-7 years, I've been in an environment where I can't find anything to help with, and constantly being told that I'm (as a male in tech) part of the problem. And any time I try to ask for suggestions, I get shouted down as being blind to all the obvious issues that must be around me, or unable to empathize with fellow humans ("you just don't get it") or something equally offensive. And I wonder how many men are in my situation. I know it's not your job to help me with this, but I'm really stuck here! Your post made a lot more sense to me than a lot of the stuff I read, so I'm hoping you have some insight I've been missing. What can I help with?

Comment: Re:I've been under a rock... (Score 1) 1198

by slimjim8094 (#47114671) Attached to: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds

Actually, I don't know that I've ever seen a woman get harassed in an electronic forum... I took it as a given that I had, but I just tried to identify some and.... no, really can't think of any. Huh. (This isn't relevant to the rest of my response, but I found it interesting)

Anyways, are you seriously saying it's every "geek or nerd"'s responsibility to stop *every* incident of harassment? I think the space is already pretty unwelcoming of harassment, especially those parts outside some Call of Duty server, and with such a broad group it's tantamount to saying that all of society should be stopping it. Well... yeah, in principle, but that's impossible on its face - we can't even get southern racists to stop using the N-word in anger, and we've been trying for >50 years! And, frankly, if I had the kind of power necessary to make things universally socially unacceptable, there's all sorts of things I'd do first (human slavery, etc).

So sure, all geeks/nerds have this obligation, just like all people have this obligation not to harass others and try to censure others who do so, and I think that's actually happening more and more. But at some point, you need to agree (or learn) that the world is a pretty shitty place in all sorts of ways, and people need to develop the tools to deal with it - because if they don't, the world won't be any less shitty. And we're very close to that point already.

(By the way, I trust you're already a crusader against all the "prison rape" jokes that currently get a pass in fairly-polite society?)

Comment: Re:No steering wheel? No deal. (Score 2) 583

by slimjim8094 (#47107843) Attached to: Google Unveils Self-Driving Car With No Steering Wheel

[citation needed]

IAAPilot, though not of the big ones. My understanding is that this is totally false. Autoland (ILS CATIII) requires a specially equipped runway, airplane, and crew (training) and each of these must be kept certified to do it as well. By no means all runways, airports, and crews are certified to do this - in the case of runways, most are not, even of those that the commercial operators fly to.

It's true that many approaches are done automatically, but an approach is most definitely NOT a landing. A dinky little Cessna may have an autopilot sophisticated enough to follow a glideslope down, but it'll disconnect at the DH just like a 787 will (without a CATIII ILS). The last several hundred feet (of altitude) are almost always flown manually, and to be frank, that's the hard part.

Where did this meme come from? Airline pilots most definitely do still fly...

Comment: But people complained about changing it to Drive! (Score 2) 89

It used to be Google Docs, right? Then they decided it was a cloud storage product and renamed the whole thing (including the editors) Drive. This confused a lot of people who didn't understand why you had to download Google Drive to edit a spreadsheet. So now they have seperate products and people are complaining about that too?

I give up. I mean I'm broadly sympathetic to change aversion, but this isn't even that. It's just breaking out functionality into more rational chunks, and people complaining about it.

Comment: Re:how come we never hear (Score 3, Interesting) 302

by slimjim8094 (#46848687) Attached to: Amazon Embodies the Gender Gap in Tech

Are there? I've never heard of any, frankly - that doesn't mean there aren't any, but advocates for more males in education aren't making the rounds of the night shows talking about it. And it's probably more important - there's a substantial body of research showing how important it is for boys to have male role-models.

As a personal anecdote, there were definitely a few male teachers in my elementary school who were driven out by mothers terrified of having a man around their child... I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole.

Comment: Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (Score 1) 182

by slimjim8094 (#46819221) Attached to: GitHub Founder Resigns Following Harassment Investigation

I think everybody's all for more women in the work place, and even tweaking some things to make it a more inviting place (but I'd fall short of "catering to" since I don't like discrimination). Stuff like improved parental (both parents) leave, more flexible hours, better work-life balance, etc that helps everybody, but women tend to value more highly and so it disproportionately keeps them away.

Let's say you're an employer with a mostly-male (at least in a particular section) workforce and you want to improve your gender balance in that particular section. Maybe your interviewers have been unfair, maybe the labor pool has been lacking, maybe your offering is disproportionately unfavored by women, whatever - you want to address it because you're progressive and want to do the right thing.

Now you may have some "male chauvinist pigs" in your workforce. You're fine with firing them - you just don't know who they are yet, since there haven't been any women around. There's a risk that you (or your employee managers!) may be held personally liable if some incident go south, and nobody's thrilled with that, but you institute procedures and brush up on harassment law and train people so you're not too worried about that.

But then you read about bullshit like the Adria Richards case and other horror stories that you hear about all over the place from your business buddies and you realize that you're making yourself pretty vulnerable in a way that you can't really defend against. Even excluding the legal issues (you're being sued by an employee...), there's massive PR issues because the kind of personality that tends toward frivolous or over-blown claims is probably well correlated with the kind of personality that enjoys a large social media reach (my observation - may have selection bias, but not really relevant to my point). And neither the law nor the public opinion will give you the benefit of the doubt.

So I don't think there's any denying that a company exposes itself to greater risk by hiring a woman instead of a man. Frankly, men don't really sue for sexual harassment (they should, though, it's not uncommon for men to be harassed). Your progressive employer who's trying to do the right thing will still have to weigh the costs and benefits and determine that the benefits outweigh the costs, or that the cost is acceptable.

The problem is that this should be a slam dunk win for the company - there should be no risk at all for hiring a woman! More generally, you don't want to make the "backwards" viewpoint supportable at all, or else it'll greatly hamper progress on those issues.

One of the most overlooked advantages to computers is... If they do foul up, there's no law against whacking them around a little. -- Joe Martin