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Comment Re:Who first used a Robot for Murder? (Score 1) 983

I always thought it should be feasible to get "dead or alive" warrants by bench-trial-in-absentia in the time it took SWAT to kit up, in order to provide legal oversight of such decisions. I'm disappointed that nobody with power shares my idea.

Still, any and every time SWAT is brought in to neutralize a threat before bystanders get dead, that's exactly what police have been asked to do. The only difference is that this time an improvised guided missile was used, instead of a hit-squad with submachine guns and hollowpoint bullets.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 983

Strictly speaking, it will probably end up more accurately described as a guided missile strike - they probably need a new robot now.

As for tomorrow, I suspect the future includes anti-personnel guided missiles - the moral equivalent of an offensive hand grenade or breaching charge, delivered from up to 2 km away. Alternately, they could be purely kinetic energy weapons like the EXACTO laser-guided .50 bullet. Consider a thermos full of cement hitting someone faster than a .45 ACP slug - there will be quite a mess.

http://www.designation-systems.net/dusrm/app4/spike.html

http://www.raytheon.com/capabilities/products/pike/

http://defense-update.com/photos/mini_spike.html

Such mini-missiles are designed for operating in urban terrain with minimal collateral damage, and low prices - the DRS Spike is designed to cost only $4000 a missile and $6000 for the command launch unit. Other missiles in the class are designed to be extremely inexpensive, as well.

I can practically guarantee these will make their way to future war-zone hellholes because the price is right, but I’ll be pleasantly surprised to see these stay out of SWAT arsenals until they have a legitimate need to crack open combat cyborgs. I'd be shocked if police snipers didn't end up using EXACTO bullets, though - it's a lot like what they already do, but more precise.

Comment Re:Removable storage that never gets removed (Score 1) 221

I know, right? That constant cavalcade of intractable security breaches requiring the replacement of perfectly good hardware, since either it’s a hardware bug (cough Qualcom cough) or just because promised software updates to patch things like Heartbleed never materialize, and with, at last estimate, thousands of malicious Google Play apps spreading rootkits, I can see how easy it is to get raped. I mean, if my alternative is paying $2/GB for flash memory, well, it’s cheaper than even the least expensive of identity fraud.

Hang on, you were talking about getting raped by Apple.

Comment Re: If this is correct it should be easy to chec (Score 1) 299

In a nuclear rocket, the fuel and the reaction mass are two different components, and the fuel is likely to outlast the reaction mass by a massive margin, due to the nature of criticality - without enough fuel, the engine won’t work at all, so we tend to massively overfuel nuclear anything compared to the mission’s actual energy needs.

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