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Comment: Not new, not news. (Score 2) 180

by fyngyrz (#46813345) Attached to: The Ethical Dilemmas Today's Programmers Face

Making a sword or shield? What if it breaks in battle? Making a wagon wheel? What if it breaks down in the middle of nowhere? Making a horse harness? What if it fails pulling a carriage uphill? Making a chair? What if it fails when some person sits on it? Making a steak? What if it has a sharp bone sliver in it? Writing a control system? What if you miss something? THEN YOU FIX IT, that's all. Be as careful as you can of those things you can think of; ask for help so you have a chance to get more than a narrow view. But when something goes wrong, the "I should be totally safe, and I'm gunna sue ya" thing is a sickness, not a feature of a well functioning society.

All this "total safety, all the time" hysteria is really wearing. It's hurting us more than it's helping us.

A well lived life will entail risk, and probably lots of it. Not to mention non-optimum choices made for reasons you'll look back upon with utter confusion later. Or, you can live in a pillow-sided room eating only gruel that was sterilized by gamma rays. I know what I choose. Do your best, learn from your mistakes, remediate any that you can, and move on. If some crap you bought breaks, throw it out and replace it. If you got hurt, try to heal. End of story. The ethics are obvious. The smothering is insidious. But I think it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better. There's far too much money in finger pointing. And we're just too stupid, collectively, to do anything about it.

Comment: Re:Does the math work out? (Score 1) 192

by orasio (#46804307) Attached to: Why Tesla Really Needs a Gigafactory

I live in Uruguay.
We export lots of soy and wheat.
In the most productive lands, Cargill sells seeds, finances, rents machinery, and buys the result. Of course, farmers are independent, but Cargil controls the price, and what they grow. From the outside, it's as if they _are_ the producer.
Something very similar happens in parts of Argentina.

Monsanto has a large presence here, also.

It's not a long shot to think that they might end up managing all our crops, if they tried really hard.

Comment: Using DD-WRT (Kong latest "old" driver version) (Score 1) 104

by aussersterne (#46782987) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Which Router Firmware For Bandwidth Management?

on a Netgear R6300 and it has been very fast, great with signal quality, and the QoS features are working as expected.

Both the R6250 and R6300 have a dual-core 800MHz CPU, so they have the power to handle a decent QoS requirement without bogging down potential throughput too much. I'm satisfied, and it wasn't that expensive. If your situation isn't too terribly complex (many dozens of users and extensive QoS rules) then it might be a good choice.

The R7000 is even faster and supports external antennas, so I second that suggestion, but it's also twice the price of the 6250/3000, which can be found on sale from $100-$125 brand new if you're a good comparison shopper and/or patient.

Comment: Another way to look at "rich" (Score 1) 817

by fyngyrz (#46770359) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

This study defines "rich people" as those making around $146000/year.

If you think about it, there's no control for expenses there, so it's not a very effective definition (I'm always kind of a amazed at the mindset in the US that tries to simplify things by drawing a numeric line in the sand, as if there were no other issues. And people put up with it. We need better schools.

I define "rich" as: wealthy enough to be living in a manner comfortable in every material way to the individual or family, and able to survive indefinitely in that state, or in an increasingly wealthy state without relying on income from, or charity of, others. Regardless of if one actually chooses to exist in that state, or not.

Not trying to force that definition on anyone else, but that's how I see it personally.

Comment: TFS (and perhaps TFA) has it wrong (Score 1) 817

by fyngyrz (#46770173) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

The transition was from a flawed, but still readily identifiable constitutional republic (not a democracy), to a corporate oligarchy.

This has never been a democracy, and furthermore, the constitution insists that the federal government guarantee each state a republican form of government, as in, a republic -- not a democracy. That's in article 4, section 4.

This is why representatives decide the actual matters, and voters don't, in the basic design.

Of course, now even the representatives don't decide -- nor judges -- if the legislation deals in any significant way with business interests. The only way the old system still operates even remotely the way it was designed to is when the issue(s) at hand a purely social ones. Even then, the bill of rights seems to be at the very bottom of any legislator's or judge's list of concerns.

Can't see any of this changing, though. The public is too uninformed, and short of completely revamping the school curriculums, they're going to remain that way.

Comment: Re:Not just an RC Plane (Score 1) 218

by fyngyrz (#46738471) Attached to: FAA Shuts Down Search-and-Rescue Drones

How's your quad record?

Not nearly as good (or nearly as long.) No dead kids. One live and very stupid adult (ten hours), a lost cow. about 15 minutes, poor thing was stuck in a mudhole --- getting it out was a lot more challenging than finding it, and two dogs, one of which was seriously snakebit and down hard, but survived. They were both pretty hard to find. Size matters. And yes, this is all pretty new to me. Which is not to say it's not worthy. It's rewarding as all get out.

Quad's do not have the range, period.

You can cover a square km -- which is a *lot* of area -- perfectly with a pair of quads in rotation, regardless of terrain, with 99% uptime and plenty of reserves using some very simple procedures. Move 1km, repeat. It's reasonably efficient, and the search is much more fine grained -- it's almost impossible to miss something of reasonable size, those dogs notwithstanding. More below; see the other replies. I don't feel like explaining all this twice.

It is common sense, called glide.

You know what glide is? It's continuous motion, which loses detail, requires faster cameras for the same quality image (higher shutter speed, higher ISO), and raises the noise level in lower light. You know what glide requires? Height. You know what too much height does? Reduces detail. And that's not even all of the issues. You see, it's not that obvious after all. The task is to find, not just to fly long distances. When distance methodologies compromise seeing, as they tend to do, other options offer useful compromises.

You'd be a lot better off asking questions than you are pooh-poohing without knowing what you're talking about. Of course, this *is* slashdot, sigh.

Comment: I think you're missing the point (your "not into (Score 0) 245

by aussersterne (#46738441) Attached to: PC Gaming Alive and Dominant

FPS" comment at the end is evidence of this).

In the PC gaming world, getting it to run at the highest settings *is* the game. It's like the "bouncing ball" graphics demos on 8-bit systems in the 1980s. The actual software isn't useful or meant to occupy the user's attention for long. The challenge is in *getting it to run* and the joy is in *seeing what my super-cool computer is capable of* in processing and graphics rendering terms.

Running on last year's card/settings? Sorry, you don't get the game.

This is why I stopped being a PC gamer in the late '90s. All I wanted was a better Tetris. What I got was a better bouncing ball demo.

Comment: Re:Not just an RC Plane (Score 1) 218

by fyngyrz (#46738385) Attached to: FAA Shuts Down Search-and-Rescue Drones

They are only popular because they are mechanically simple WITH MODERN ELECTRONICS. You can not fly a quad without computer augmentation.

Yes, and? I didn't suggest attempting this with obsolete, unstable old hardware. I really don't see your point. Quads with camera mounts and "modern electronics" (meaning GPS, compass, active pitch control/tilt sensors, altimeter, rock solid XYZ hover with no control input, auto-return) start at about $470. They get even better from there. A trunk full of them is within the budget of almost any S/R group with the willingness to stand in intersections for a day or so with hats and signboards out. Or courtesy of one or two kind benefactors. First thing I did after flying my first one was pull my jaw off the ground and go right back and buy the rest they had in stock. Had to be done, really.

I can take one up, hover it, take a stable high resolution image, move it, take another stable high resolution image, etc. This means even when it's getting dark, I have better detail -- and lower noise -- because I don't have to have such fast exposures. Bring it back (no landing strip required), swap quads and go back out on the next radial, while the crew pops a new battery into the just-returned unit, repeat every ten-fifteen minutes or so, and keep doing that while the images are checked over carefully. Out on one radial, in on the next. Full circle till you repo to the next GPS indexed location. Works great.

Gimbals... the quad can spin in place. While hovering in an extremely stable manner, for that matter, or spinning/panning while working through any set of heights I choose. Be nice to just have a tilt control. More weight. It's really not seriously limiting, nothing like that yet. Should try it though. Tilting the quad itself isn't really possible without it moving, or at least, not the ones I'm using.

While the range/duration would be wonderful, fixed wing requires far too much for this area -- your seaplane is great in some ways, but there's no body of water around here worth talking about for the vast majority of the area. There's nowhere to land. Nowhere to take off. "Wet grass takeoff"? Grass? How about rocks and cactus and nasty, sticky sand? Kind of puts a crimp in fixed wing efforts. Quad simply doesn't care. Put it down (on a rock, on your 4x4 or snowmobile, or just open your hand), up it goes, and you're off and hunting.

Then there are the badlands. Even worse. Not only is there no water, nowhere to take off, nowhere to land, the bloody ground wants to break you -- it's unstable everywhere, either collapsing under you or falling on top of you. Which is part of why people get stuck out there in the first place (wish to heck they just wouldn't go.) With a FW, how do you work down a twisty arroyo that's too complex to follow at speed, and too deep to get a camera angle into because you can't stay over it long enough to make it count? I can just go there and drop right into it and work it right along at whatever rate is convenient. Success? Pop-up and strobe. Awesome.

Battery reload is not the critical issue when you can see better, navigate better, have a more stable platform, get looks into places like arroyos and caves and under-hangs and under trees and bushes that would otherwise completely block your view, and remain on station instead of having to fly by repeatedly when it's called for. You can hover and think instead of getting further from a point of interest with every moment. Battery reload is nothing. You bring em back, instantly take another one off, while that one is reloaded, charge packs as required, no problem. Preparation is key, of course -- but it certainly isn't a problem or even a challenge. You still get essentially 99% active search time without overlap -- or underlap. I throw a trunk in, grab my crew, and go.

Aerobatics... that's an interesting undertaking, but not relevant for my use. Although I've seen people do some crazy things with quads, my own interest is strictly useful camera work. I have shots you simply can't get from a FW platform. Impossible. Quads are *wonderful* already. And of course, like everything else, they keep getting better. And with practice, so does the pilot, although they are about a zillion times easier to fly right out of the box than FW r/c aircraft, or at least any FW r/c aircraft I've ever had the pleasure of flying.

Best of luck in your endeavors. Don't rule out quads!

Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft ... and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor. -- Wernher von Braun