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Submission + - Google now forcing Google+ on YouTube users

NewtonsLaw writes: Google have started rolling out their plan to force all non-passive YouTube users to join their GooglePlus service.

As of last night I noticed that I can no longer access the comments on my videos via their dedicated comments page and attempts to respond to comments posted by others simply by clicking on the "to reply, click here" link in the advisory email fail to show the comment concerned. This forces me to go to the actual video page each time and manually locate the comment within the hundreds that may be there.

For weeks, Google has been in nag-mode, constantly trying to coerce YouTube account holders link their channels to a G+ identity and now that this strategy has failed, they're basically saying that unless you do as they say, no more easy access to the comments on your videos. In fact they say this quite literally in a big red banner at the top of the screen when you log on which proclaims " Connect to Google+ to maintain access to new comments".

As an early adopter of YouTube and many other Google services I now find myself with a real mess on my hands. Most of my Google service accounts have different email addresses, therefore are different identities. To comply with Google's diktat, I will have to create several G+ accounts, meaning more logins, more passwords, more complexity!

I am not alone in this — users all over the Net (and on YouTube) are really annoyed that the "do no evil" company is forcing them to sign up to services they do not want and breaking stuff in the process.

The reason for YouTube's success is that it's relatively simple to use and focused. YouTube makes it easy to post videos and comment on them — full stop! If they start messing with that formula by adding the complexity and "features" of G+ then I fear they will pay a price.

In the past, one of the biggest benfits of Google was that it wasn't Facebook. It seems that is no longer the case (especially in light of their recent "we'll use your face and comments to promote products" initiative).

It would appear that Google is about to turn a silk purse into a sow's ear.


Comment Re:I am a pilot... (Score 2) 195

400 feet is *not* high, you need to get some telemetry on your models.

Whenever I've flown a telemetry equipped model and shown other RC fliers just how low 400 feet AGL is, they are surprised.

Given the low cost of telemetry these days, every club should have a model they can use to demonstrate how low 400ft AGL really is and that can be done by investing in a stand-alone system like this Wireless Copilot or adding an altitude sensor to any RC gear (such as Hitec, FrSky, JR, etc) that has inbuilt support for such.

As for the FAA's assertion that earning a single red cent from flying a model turns that model into an "unmanned aerial system" equivalent to a predator drone... well here's all I have to say about that: Trappy vs FAA (Youtube vid with ads I'm afraid).

Submission + - Drone flier cops $10K fine from FAA

NewtonsLaw writes: Raphael Pirker, otherwise known as "Trappy" is the guy who flew his RC model plane over the Statue of Liberty and parts of NYC a little while back and got a lot of media attention in the process.

Trappy has travelled the world with his FPV RC models, getting some stunning footage that has been posted to his YouTube channel.

On occasion, he has been commissioned to make specific flights and take aerial video of particular locations — professionally but this is something that the FAA considers to be involation of their policies (note: policies — NOT the law). After a recent commissioned flight around the University of Virginia, the FAA hit Trappy with a $10K fine, alleging that he was operating a UAS without the necessary authority and had been reckless in his actions, creating danger to person and property.

More background and info on this can be found in this Wired.com story and this sUAS News report which lists the exact charges.

While it could be argued that Trappy's flying may have been a little reckless, the defense from his lawyer is that no LAWS were broken — because there are no laws pertaining to these craft.

I posted a YT video-rant about how the FAA (and other airspace administrators around the world) are failing to do their jobs and have instigated "policies" rather than create proper laws in respect to this new technology. I also argue the point that it's ridiculous that, in the eyes of the FAA, a small RC plane suddenly becomes a UAS and is treated as being the same as a Predator drone in respect to its potential as a threat to public safety. I won't post a link to the video (don't want to be a whore) but I'm sure folk can find it if they're interested.

The bottom line is that in equating a small RC flying wing made of foam with an evil baby-killing Predator drone, the FAA is way, way out of touch with reality and way-behind the game in respect to making reasonable and effective laws in this area. Also, by relying on "policy", they are allowed to play judge and jury so can apply unfettered bias and prejudice in their actions with impunity.

Comment Re:Oblig (Score 0) 214

What we have here as far as I can see is two incidents caused by human error in which there were no serious consequences. What's the news, that humans make mistakes? If people can make stupid mistakes in a nuclear power station and not cause any serious problems it just shows that the systems and procedures in place are well designed and managed.

Comment So? (Score 5, Insightful) 388

Of course a gasoline-powered car has *never* caught on fire after a crash [/sarc]

No matter what mechanism we use for storing large amounts of energy in a small package, there is *always* the risk that it will be subject to an uncontrolled release if it suffers a physical insult.

Call me when a Tesla spontaneously explodes in flames... then it's time to get worried.

Comment Re:Working on it (Score 1) 148

I don't want to take investors on at this stage because the "cost" of that money would be too high.

As someone who's successfully been through the process many times, I know that the cost of investment capital falls significantly as you move towards commercialisation. Besides, I don't need money -- all I need are a bunch of idiot bureaucrats to admit that there is *no* real difference between flying an RC plane over a grassy field in the country and flying the same an RC plane with a 250g payload over the same grassy field.

Simply classifying something as "commercial" does not increase the level of risk to anyone and, as I've already stated, many hundreds of people all over this country fly their RC models over grassy fields (and even in busy city parks within controlled airspace) every weekend -- without the need for a pilot's license and other bureaucratic nonsense.

And yes, I *do* understand how GA works. Been working around aircraft for a long time and have had a workshop at the local airfield for over 10 years.

Why do people presume so much when they know so little?

Comment Re:Working on it (Score 1) 148

Sorry, but you are wrong on just about every point.

And, as I've always claimed, intelligence is inversely proportional to one's propensity to engage in profanity.

I guess you're also talking about all the other people who fly RC models all around the world -- since that's *exactly* what I'm trying to do here.

And, for the record, I've been involved in aviation for decades. I spent many year servicing avionics and provide consulting services to several local aviation companies.

You should check your facts before embarrassing yourself.

Comment Re:To Hell With You Types (Score 1) 148

The rules sir, are an ass.

Please explain how the fact that their *might* be a commercial result to my flying an RC model should somehow make the risks associated with that flying so great as to require a full-sized pilot's license and a raft of other compliance hurdles to be negotiated -- while at the same time people with far less skill/experience are crashing their RC models in parks all over the country on a weekend?

Did you even read what I posted?

Unless your children are tresspassing and illegally standing in a privately owned grassy field miles from anywhere in the middle of the countryside (which is where I would be flying my 900g RC model), how would I be flying over them? Do your children regularly tresspass onto private property? You need to teach them about property rights.

They are far more likely to be hit by some novice RC flier trying to control their much bigger and more powerful RC helicopter or plane down at the local park.

And remember -- we're not talking about a "drone" here, we're talking about an RC plane that weighs 900g, is made of foam and is simply a vehicle for carrying a few bits of electronics into the air to collect some data. You do know the difference between a foam RC plane and a Predator don't you?

So yes, I guess (even if only because I read what others have written), I guess I *am* smarter than some -- well smarter than *you* anyway. :-)

Comment Re:Working on it (Score 1) 148

Yes, I have spent a lot of time around these sort of systems.

Testing on a bike is fine -- in a 2D environment and a degree of that testing has already been done -- to verify the concept and the first-level implementation.

What's needed now is some real-world testing in a 3D environment so that the firmware can be refined to provide the desired level of performance and its effectiveness can be validated.

Obviously I'm not giving the full story as to the mechanisms involved but suffice to say that the system presently meets all the expectations had for it - but the firmware requires quite a bit of refinement. To undertake that refinement I need to collect some real-world datasets and that involves flying the system while logging the data collected from the sense elements.

Unfortunately, since I only have around 50 years of RC flying experience and am considered by many to be something of an "expert" in the field, I'm apparently wildly unqualified to strap 250g of electronics to the side of a small foam model and fly it around for a few minutes over a remote grassy field so as to collect this data.

Comment Re:Working on it (Score 1) 148

The problem is gaining patent protection in all the key markets.

Sure, it's easy enough to file for a provisional patent in NZ - but then there's Australia, the UK, USA and many other countries that would also require the same process so as to ensure the IP was adequately protected.

Right now, my best protection is to keep the system in-house for as long as is possible and I don't need any additional funding to continue the work so why sell-down at such an early stage when the ony real hurdle is a bunch of stuffy bureaucracts?

Comment Re:Working on it (Score 1) 148

I have a strong record of successful innovation in the tech field.

One of my very successful tech ventures was actually showcased by the NZ government at an international meeting of APEC leaders back in 1999. They used it as a shining example to the world of how this country was boxing above its weight in the burgeoning "Knowledge Economy".

I was also building "drones" and their guidance systems over a decade ago -- long before they became fashionable.

Comment Re:Working on it (Score 1) 148

Yeah, the interesting thing was that I was seriously considering making this an open-source project, or at least releasing it to the public domain so that no commercial interest could "own" it and use that ownership to extort the marketplace.

However, with CAA unilaterally declaring it to be a "commercial activity" -- even though I have not accepted *any* investment or funding and have not made *any* plans to commercialise the project, I think it's time to take a stand against this example of bureaucracy gone mad.

Comment Re:Working on it (Score 2) 148

Geez, given the sentiments expressed in your comment, I'm surprised you actually have a computer.

You do realise that computers are used to spy on citizens and design all sorts of weapons don't you?


Nah... surely not :-)

The reality is that SAA is a *safety* techology.

Every year, a good number of people are killed because sometimes (due to a lack of this technology), aircraft crash into each other (go check out the Wikipedia article on mid-air collisions).

This technology would make *all* aviation safer.

Do you have something against a technology that saves lives? Shame on you!

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