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Comment: We have been using robots on farms for years (Score 1) 73

by thogard (#49498929) Attached to: Drought and Desertification: How Robots Might Help

The best modern farm equipment can grow alternate crops in alternate rows. It can be done in a way that is sort of mix between what had historically been done by using seasonal crop rotation and planting trees as wind breaks.

The system works by using a high precision DGPS system so the tractor wheels are in the same spot every year so the rows stay in the same places. The hills can also be mapped so that the side of a hill may get processed first or last in a season and the amount of fertilizer or planting depths of crops can be adjusted for optimum yield or land protection.

Many of the California farming areas were settled after people left the mid-west dust bowl. Most of the dust bowl problems were a result of not using the best farming techniques when a drought worsened and it took lots of time to rebuild those areas. Those areas also get massive amounts of rain from time to time from hurricanes hitting the Gulf of Mexico. California doesn't have that advantage.

Another odd thing is there seems to be some connection between early crop failures in the midwest that predate the dust bowl and those crop failures started screwing with the futures markets which some have claimed was the start of the stock market crash and great depression.

Comment: Re:I guess he crossed the wrong people (Score 3, Insightful) 146

by reboot246 (#49498055) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal
I don't question the science of GMO foods. I question the safety of GMO foods. I just don't want to eat a food that manufactures its own pesticide. You do?

I also know that genes don't stay put in one plant - that's science, too. We are already seeing Round-Up resistant weeds. I have enough weeds on my property, thank you.

Comment: Re:which one? (Score 1) 139

Well, the standing hypothesis for domestication is that it wasn't really conscious, it just happened to be beneficial for both species - but for wolves first. Presumably they started by scavenging on edible remains left in the vicinity of human camps. The wolves that were less shy (so they approached the camps more) and exhibited less aggressiveness (so they would be chased away less) had an evolutionary advantage in that population, and so they bred for those traits. At some point that could have produced a wolf tame enough for people to take notice and try to consciously domesticate and breed them from there, presumably as hunting companions initially (or maybe even that was originally just a natural symbiosis).

Comment: Re:Awkwardly enough... (Score 2) 209

by Shakrai (#49496895) Attached to: Gyrocopter Pilot Appears In Court; Judge Bans Him From D.C.

If TFA is to be believed, his craft wouldn't meet the requirements of an ultralight aircraft:

103.1 Applicability.

This part prescribes rules governing the operation of ultralight vehicles in the United States. For the purposes of this part, an ultralight vehicle is a vehicle that:


(e) If powered:


(2) Has a fuel capacity not exceeding 5 U.S. gallons;

From TFA: According to court documents, Hughes rented a car and towed his gyrocopter from Florida to an airfield in Gettysburg, Pa. He chose the location for its proximity to the Capitol -- about an hour away and reachable on the aircraft's 10-gallon fuel tank -- and the fact that it was an uncontrolled airport, according to a criminal complaint.

Comment: Re:Awkwardly enough... (Score 1) 209

by Shakrai (#49496875) Attached to: Gyrocopter Pilot Appears In Court; Judge Bans Him From D.C.

You do realize the link you offered lists about twenty things that he did wrong? Here's the big one:

103.19 Operations in prohibited or restricted areas.

No person may operate an ultralight vehicle in prohibited or restricted areas unless that person has permission from the using or controlling agency, as appropriate.

Comment: Re:Another load of Federal B.S. (Score 2) 209

by Shakrai (#49496763) Attached to: Gyrocopter Pilot Appears In Court; Judge Bans Him From D.C.

But banning him from setting foot in the District of Columbia and talking about YEARS of prison time?

The banishment is part of his conditions of release and will expire whenever the criminal case is concluded. Nothing to see there. As far as "YEARS," well, the Federal Sentencing Guidelines don't have a specific section for this offense, so it falls under the other felony offenses section, which says that 18 U.S. Code 3553 is controlling.

Assuming he has no criminal record, my educated guess would be he stands a decent chance of doing no time. If he gets a prison sentence it will be 366 days, which is SOP is the Federal system because it gives the defendant a chance to earn early release. He'll also be required to forfeit the gyro-copter and any other property used in the commission of the offense, pay court costs, and possibly a fine.

Make sure your code does nothing gracefully.