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Comment: Re:But drones are so kewl (Score 1) 280

by wcrowe (#49139903) Attached to: Drones Cost $28,000 Per Arrest, On Average

Perhaps I am an idiot, but I did read TFA and it stated that the drones only cover a fraction of the border, and are grounded about 80% of the time. That doesn't sound like the drones are very effective.

I don't know if my suggestion would necessarily work any better, but the Border Patrol would know where the blind spots are also and could cover them using other techniques or technology. Actually, it seems like a system that tends to funnel smugglers into perceived blind spots might be effective because you know where they are likely to be.

Comment: But drones are so kewl (Score 4, Interesting) 280

by wcrowe (#49137083) Attached to: Drones Cost $28,000 Per Arrest, On Average

At first glance I was prepared to say, "Expensive compared to what?" I was initially prepared to support the drone program. But when I read TFA and got some details, I think it would be fair to say that this drone program is something of a failure.

The border is always in the same place, and therefore the same areas are being patrolled. You don't need a drone to do that. Couldn't you practically accomplish the same thing with observation blimps at a much lower cost? Sure, it doesn't quite have the same "cool" factor, but I would wager it could get the job done.

Comment: Goodbye college football (Score 4, Interesting) 94

by wcrowe (#48959325) Attached to: What Happens When the "Sharing Economy" Meets Higher Education

Forty years ago there were people out there, sci-fi writers and others, who envisioned that this was how all education would eventually be done, from elementary school all the way through college. They seemed to sense that the television and computer and telephone would somehow be put together to create a learning environment. The entire idea sounded fantastic to me.

When I got out of high school I joined the Navy and went through avionics school. The school was computer-driven and self-paced, and I loved it. For once I didn't have to be held back in classes that had to be taught to the level of the lowest common denominator. I remember thinking that I wish all education was like this.

Now the technology is here to create these kind of learning environments for nearly everyone, and it's affordable. I think that traditional universities, and even high schools and elementary schools, will eventually go away. We're seeing the beginnings of that now.

If I live long enough, I suppose I will miss college football, but in the long run, this is the best thing for education.

Comment: Re:Good example of bad use of touch screens (Score 1) 39

by wcrowe (#48905047) Attached to: Inside Ford's New Silicon Valley Lab

The technology in my Subaru works great, but even though it works reliably, there is a problem with those bits that require the touch screen. First, as you mentioned, you do need to take your eyes off the road. Secondly, even on a relatively smooth road, hitting the correct spot on a touch screen is difficult. OTOH, if you had buttons for everything you wanted to do, there would be too many buttons. The best compromise is to have a unit similar to the screens on the F/A-18 Hornet. The screen shows the information, while the programmable, physical buttons which surround the screen serve different functions depending on the screen. In other words, they are function keys.

Comment: That's a lot of "ifs". (Score 1) 55

by wcrowe (#48856643) Attached to: Researchers Use Siri To Steal Data From iPhones

I suppose this might be interesting to some people, but when it says, "it only works on jailbroken devices and attackers somehow need to be able to intercept the modified Siri traffic", well, that's a lot of "ifs" in there. It's sort of like walking up to someone and saying, "Can you make elephant soup?" And they reply, "Sure I can. First, I need an elephant. Then I need to chop the elephant into small pieces..." I mean, I guess, technically, someone can make elephant soup, but not that easily.

Comment: Martthew 24:10 (Score 5, Interesting) 681

by wcrowe (#48692151) Attached to: Neil DeGrasse Tyson Explains His Christmas Tweet

I'll throw my two cents worth into the noise. I am an Orthodox Christian clergyman, and I think Neil DeGrasse Tyson's tweet is humorous, as well as objectively true. I am at a complete loss why anyone would be angered by it. People are so quick to hate these days, for no reason whatsoever. Truly we are in the end times.

"Right now I feel that I've got my feet on the ground as far as my head is concerned." -- Baseball pitcher Bo Belinsky