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FAA Pressures Coldwell, Other Realtors To Stop Using Drone Footage 199

Posted by timothy
from the only-criminals-will-have-commercial-drones dept.
mpicpp (3454017) writes For months, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been investigating realtors who use drones to film their properties. Now, Forbes has learned that the FAA's investigations have succeeded in intimidating NRT —the nation's largest residential real estate brokerage company — into advising their members to not only cease flying drones as part of their work, but to also cease using drone footage. This is a troubling development in an ongoing saga over the FAA's rules which punish the safe commercial use of drones. Currently, the FAA does not prohibit the use of drones for a hobby — flying over your home and taking pictures of it for fun is allowed, but because real estate drones take pictures for a commercial purpose, the FAA prohibits their use.

Comment: Re:Sounds like a problem... (Score 1) 507

by tomthepom (#45276221) Attached to: How Big Data Is Destroying the US Healthcare System

If by 'full capitalist' you mean 'free market', how does that fit in with getting rid of insurance? There will always be a demand for health insurance of some kind to pool risk, simply because on an individual basis it's impossible to financially plan in advance for risks of accidents and random illness. And even if you're lucky enough to have a long, healthy life, there's still no way to know if at the end you're going to be taken out quickly (and cheaply) by a stroke or heart attack, or die slowly and expensively of cancer, dementia etc.

Comment: Re:Sounds like a problem... (Score 1) 507

by tomthepom (#45276055) Attached to: How Big Data Is Destroying the US Healthcare System

That would be fraud, which is in the purview of the government to prosecute. Prevention of such a calamity is in the purview of the private sector, where private ratings agencies would conduct audits on the financial solvency of insurance companies.

If we replace the term 'private insurance companies' with 'banks' we can see just how disastrously naive that notion can be.


Green Meteorite Found In Morocco May Be From Mercury 89

Posted by samzenpus
from the hot-rock dept.
An anonymous reader writes in with news that a meteorite found in Morocco might be from Mercury. "The green rock found in Morocco last year may be the first known visitor from the solar system's innermost planet, according to meteorite scientist Anthony Irving, who unveiled the new findings this month at the 44th annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in The Woodlands, Texas. The study suggests that a space rock called NWA 7325 came from Mercury, and not an asteroid or Mars."

Comment: Re:Careful you don't run afoul (Score 2) 299

by tomthepom (#42191627) Attached to: Murder Is Like a Disease (No, Really)

what obscenely high murder rates? your popular perception has little to do with reality. rates are down, and have been going down for years. crime, including homicide, in the US is at quite possibly the lowest point in the country's entire history.

Nearly but not quite - according to FBI uniform crime reporting data, the preliminary figures for 2012 homicides are around 4.2 per 100,000, which almost matches the lowest figures recorded - 4.0 in the late 1950's. While definitely trending in the right direction, it is still "obscenely" high compared to other comparable western democracies - which vary around 1 per 100,000.
Just as an example, the last time the UK homicide rate was as high as it is currently in the USA was at the end of the 17th century.

Comment: Re:Damn those redditors are stupid (Score 1) 205

by tomthepom (#42121003) Attached to: US Congressman Wants To Ban New Internet Laws

They cry about their precious "Net Neutrality" even as this bill unconditionally outlaws...

1) Data retention mandates.
2) New surveillance powers, claims, etc.
3) Any new intelligence community moves into further "securing the net" (think about that recent controversy over the NSA secretly claiming to "invade private networks")
4) New powers to seize domain names or any thing else Hollywood wants

Yeah, what a trade off. Give me some of that DoJDHSDoD Internet love any day so long as Verizon has to be 100% "fair and neutral..."

How does it outlaw these things? Except maybe for 1) above, these are precisely the activities that various federal agencies have carried out without seeking legislative approval (NSA wiretaps, FBI domain seizures....)

Comment: Where went wrong? (Score 5, Insightful) 395

by tomthepom (#39841867) Attached to: Surface-To-Air Missiles At London Olympics

I thought that we invaded Iraq to make us safer. I thought the war in Afghanistan would make us safer. They told us that all this war, imprisonment without trial, assassination, torture, mass surveillance, nude scans and enhanced pat downs would make us safer.
And yet now, after more than ten years of this, we've reached the stage that we're considering placing surface to fucking air missiles on top of people's houses in the middle of London.
What the hell happened? Are we losing this 'war on terror'?

Comment: Is this real? (Score 2) 234

by tomthepom (#39695693) Attached to: When Big Brother Watches IT

'That the "enemy within" is the biggest threat to an enterprise is nothing new...'
dossier's of 'suspect behaviour'
"It has gotten to the point where we have to monitor everything everybody does, especially those working with sensitive data like the IT staff,"

WTF? In my years in IT I've never experienced this sort of paranoid 'treat your employees like potential threats' attitude. But then I've never worked in the US. Is treating your people like humans, keeping them invested and paying them fairly just an outdated, naive notion over there?

Comment: Re:So, protect you from *yourself*?? (Score 1) 1069

by tomthepom (#39590833) Attached to: EA Defends Itself Against Thousands of Anti-Gay Letters

As well as this. Well, this one makes sense, as long as you define reality as what you believe to be true; thus, anyone who thinks differently is denying reality.

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." Philip K. Dick

I'm not sure many religions would pass that test.

Comment: Not going far enough. (Score 2) 260

'We know from lots of studies and lots of data now that violent criminals very often begin their careers as nonviolent criminals. And the earlier you can get a nonviolent criminal's DNA in the data bank, the higher your chances are of apprehending the right person.'"

We also know that violent criminals very often start their lives as children. The earlier we get every child's DNA into a data bank the higher our chances of living in a crime free paradise.

Comment: Re:How else they gonna do it? (Score 1) 461

by tomthepom (#39105295) Attached to: Nuclear Truckers Haul Warheads Across US

I would think the exact opposite. Someone stealing one of your nukes and taking it back home somewhere abroad is 'unfortunate'. Having a hostile player steal one of your nukes with no intention of taking it anywhere is terrifying.

If it does get detonated, sure the damage on your soil would be unfortunate.

Dr. Strangelove, is that you?

Comment: Re:wow (Score 2) 649

by tomthepom (#38761406) Attached to: Anonymous Takes Down DOJ, RIAA, MPA and Universal Music

No. The purpose of extradition treaties is to prevent fugitives from escaping justice by leaving the country where they committed a crime, but there are obvious issues of sovereignty and jurisdiction. Extradition treaties will always include requirements that;

- The country asking for extradition has to have some claim of jurisdiction over where the crime happened.
- The crime must be a crime in both countries and with similar punishments.

So no, if New Zealand didn't have a copyright law they would absolutely not extradite one of their citizens to a country that did. New Zealand citizens living in New Zealand are not subject to US law. And even New Zealand citizens that break US law while in the US wouldn't be extradited unless there was a similar law on the books in New Zealand.

Comment: Re:Jeff Goldblum (Score 1) 368

by tomthepom (#38526492) Attached to: Insects Rapidly Becoming Resistant To GM Corn

My money's on that they weren't black (cause primates have white skin), but it could very well depend on the exact timing of the split).

Then you've lost your money. Primate skin, especially parts exposed to the sun, is rarely 'white'. Chimpanzees, our closest relatives, have faces ranging from pink to black. Our common african ancestors almost certainly had dark skin pigmentation - lighter skin is a relatively recent mutation.

Professional wrestling: ballet for the common man.