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Comment Re:Cherry MX switches (Score 1) 452

Noise was one of his concerns, so I'd avoid the Cherry Blues and the Model-M. I use the Logitech G710+. It might be a bit too "flashy" (white LED backlit), but I love the action. It uses Cherry MX Brown, for a tactile but light feel. It also includes O-Rings on all the keys, so it doesn't bottom out plastic to plastic. It's a tiny bit louder than a standard membrane keyboard, but has an amazing feel. You can get a refurb for $85. It also includes media controls (volume, etc) and some programmable macro keys. It's built like a tank. I like it so much I bought a second one to have at work.

Comment Re:Amazon doens't charge the same price to everybo (Score 1) 287

They do, however, change their prices rather rapidly. I usually leave things in my wishlist and see the price change regularly. So this can cause confusion if a retailer wants to verify the price.

Slightly related, I had a keyboard on my wishlist, set at $50, it recently went up to $70-75, and is now on their black friday sales listed as $60 (What a deal!). All within 3-4 weeks.

Comment Re:They're not autonomous. Who talks to ATC? (Score 1) 77

As someone in the hobby, technically, any unmanned aerial vehicle is a drone. Yes, for some, that word means "weaponized", but it's obvious that your park flyers aren't weaponized. It's a good opportunity to inform the public about the hobby, safety, and different characteristics of drones (even RC drones).

Additionally, flying a multi-rotor without some level of autonomy can be quite dangerous. Most models have sophisticated controllers that will maintain altitude and position with no input from the pilot. I would consider this autonomous assistance. It takes a LOT of skill to hover (with no controller), so some level of autonomy is required for safety.

Also, I would not fly one of these without the safety measure of Return To Launch (or Home). RTL will put the multi-rotor into a fully autonomous mode if 1) your transmitter signal degrades or gets cut, or 2) you get lost or loose orientation (which is quite easy with these). RTL will bring the multi-rotor to a set altitude, fly directly back to it's launch location and autonomously land. Your most common DJI Phantom models all have this built in and (normally) require GPS lock before taking off.

I would ADVERTISE that it has an autonomous mode, for the safety of the pilot and spectators.

Comment Documentary (Score 4, Informative) 102

I think this information is generally well known in law enforcement by now (at least, I hope so). I saw a news documentary on it and it's surprising how poor an eyewitness account can be, especially if handled incorrectly.

Keep spreading awareness:
Documentary Part 1:
Documentary Part 2:

Comment Re:Issues with smartwatches (Score 1) 87

I agree with your points. I think what would work a bit more seamlessly is the Motorola Hint (also announced today). It's a tiny bluetooth device that sits in your ear. Much more discreet than a traditional bluetooth, with a fair bit more functionality.

I think this is (currently) a better solution than a smartwatch.

Comment Re:Non transferable to another game, (Score 1) 146

How is it different than baseball? hitting a fast moving ball with a bat is useless in real life. Both are forms of entertainment or recreation, one being physical, the other being mental. I'm sure there are plenty skills from video games that can be used in real life (information processing, team work, decision making, etc).

I understand you never said sports weren't a waste of time and energy, it just begs the question...

Comment Re:We're Sorry (Score 1) 160

This reminds me of this one time, as a kid, I threw a rock at someone really far away. I didn't actually want to hit them, and never thought I would. The rock nailed them square in the back... It was a really weird apology. "Um... yes, I was aiming for you, but I never thought I'd hit you! Sorry!"

Comment Re:no (Score 1) 437

I would anticipate that emergency responders would be able to close a road or cause an automatic detour with special (secure) commands sent to the automated cars. Of course, this "backdoor" would have to be limited in use, as we wouldn't want rouge cops or those with access to those commands using them for nefarious purposes. Maybe the passenger has to confirm the detour.

Comment Re:flying drones is a hobby? (Score 1) 297

You would be surprised at the capability of small RC aircraft today. For ~$100 you can retrofit just about any RC aircraft to be fully autonomous. Drones (unmanned aircraft) will just keep getting smaller and smaller. Not to mention there are RC enthusiasts that fly scale airplanes of that size, they cost thousands of dollars though.

Source: RC pilot.

Comment Re:"Drones" vs "RC aircraft" (Score 2) 297

a. an unmanned aircraft or ship that can navigate autonomously, without human control or beyond line of sight: the GPS of a U.S. spy drone.
b. (loosely) any unmanned aircraft or ship that is guided remotely: a radio-controlled drone.

I'm an RC hobbyist myself. I don't do anything with multirotors, but I know many that do. Most of them have a control board that includes a "return to home" feature, so if they lose sight of the model (wind, equipment failure, etc), or even just lose visual orientation of the model, they can flip a switch and the multirotor will automatically rise to a pre-defined altitude, and return to the launch site, with no intervention. These systems are available for ~$100 and can fit on any size model. It can also be used for planes. I consider the use of these tools to be a safety feature and am very glad people use them. Also very helpful for FPV (first person view) flying, which can go well beyond line of sight.

Regardless, it's pedantic to distinguish between the RC aircraft and drones. What is important is regulating the capability and who gets to use them. Obviously weaponizing is a big no-no, and being used by the government for spy or surveillance operations must have some additional oversight (say, a court issued warrant).

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