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Comment Re:This is as ignorant as they come. (Score 1) 164

Multi-rotors are Helicopters by definition. The point stands though that a similarly sized traditional single-rotor RC helicopter is going to do a fair bit more damage if it hit someone than a multi-rotor - there is a bit more momentum in that blade. Furthermore "drone" is a colloquialism.

Neither term indicates the vehicle is A) autonomous or remotely-piloted, and B) armed/combative or unarmed

As you elude to, the media and politicians have no respect for the distinction, so what hope does the average punter have to understand.

Comment Re:Does it really cost $100k? (Score 5, Informative) 461

I disagree,

Maintenance schedules are already extremely tight, and there is a great deal of engineering change procedures that would need to go into fitting something like this to ensure it actually works without making the aircraft fall out of the sky (would kind of make the device redundant). Mods are made, but not without extensive rigour and testing.

(And yes, I have worked in an aircraft through-life support industry)

Comment Re:How common is cheating with VAC? (Score 1) 511

I am a senior game admin for a relatively large gaming network.

I tend to find VAC is delayed by a couple of months. Every once and a while a new edition of a cheat will come out and we see an influx and peak of reports and first-hand cases. Some people are really stupid (spinbots, snap-happy, etc). Others are more cunning (trigger-bots, wall-watching). Eventually that edition is detected by VAC and the problem mostly goes away until the next revision is released.

Similar to what KermodeBear described, there is a fairly rigorous review process for demo's before we place a ban. We ensure that it is beyond reasonable doubt - covering off other 'indicators' like game sounds, radar, good tactical awareness, deaths of other players, etc. It can be difficult at times and we err on the side of caution (we would rather a cheater or two go free than ban an innocent player). As KermodeBear eludes to, sometimes the easiest way to initially spot a cheater is when the server suddenly starts sending data about an opposing player as they come within range, and the waller involuntary reacts to the new information. Think when you are playing a game legitimately and a enemy player walks around a corner in front of you - you react automatically in-game by stopping, shifting your aim, shooting, maybe moving to cover. Wallers do this when they suddenly see people though textures, and they react in a similar manner. It sticks out like a sore toe, and definitely prompts us to look for more evidence.

I know that for some games (BF series and an old CSS mod come to mind) there are cheat predictors which capture such events and provide a cheating probability. They can work quite accurately, but we don't use them to 'convict' someone.

Most cheaters actually play very poorly from a tactical and strategic point of view, and can often have very average scores as a result (unless they are aimbotting, which is pretty obvious). And they all get caught eventually, few of them are terribly bright when it comes to taking best advantage of the hacks. Some even forget to turn off the automatic say spam that the cheat sends. It may as well say "BAN ME NOW".

(Actually, the biggest reason for bans on our servers at the moment is derogatory, racist or abusive language. We can't and don't tolerate it much at all. I have no idea why some players cannot go 10 seconds without calling someone else a part of the female anatomy)

Comment Re:Not a bad run, so far.. (Score 1) 55

I will start having faith in the human race when we start recognising the efforts of scientists, engineers, health professionals, volunteers and educators at the same level as sportspersons, politicians, pop-singers and actors. Seriously, what do most celebrities contribute to the betterment of the species?

Sorry, I'm in a cynical mode at the moment.

Comment Re:Murder (Score 3, Insightful) 608

I don't know about anyone else, but I found it very disturbing when police shoot an unarmed woman with child (okay, you could consider she was armed with her car) and the response of the people who run the country is to applaud and congratulate them on the outcome. I personally cannot think of any situation in which someone shoots and kills someone else in which applause is an appropriate response. Recognition of duty, and perhaps somber soul-searching as to why it could happen is warranted, but applauding the unfortunate outcome is not.

Comment Dial-up EFB (Score 4, Interesting) 410

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology still uses a dial-up modem for its Electronic Field Book (EFB) to supply the daily observations. I think it uses something like Kermit or XMODEM to transfer a series of data files containing observation results generated by a program running in DOS on a laptop. Its antiquated, but it works. I've asked some of their software guys if they would consider a web-based submission tool, but there isn't a perceived need nor resources to implement it. We use it twice a day at the marine rescue base I volunteer at.

Comment Re:Consumers need to do some research too ... (Score 1) 197

The new iPad supports 700 Mhz and 2100 Mhz.

Telstra "4G" is 1800 Mhz 3GPP LTE, so no love there. Telstra is shutting down its 2100 Mhz UMTS network in favour of its 850 Mhz UMTS/HSPA "NextG" network.

Optus has 'successfully' trialled a 700 Mhz 3GPP LTE network in Bendigo, Victoria, which the new iPad could theoretically connect on. The 4G network which Optus is trialling around Port Stephens, Newcastle and Lake Mac is 1800 Mhz. Optus however does own 2100 Mhz spectrum for UMTS and HSPA.

Australia's mobile carriers are basically waiting for the 700 Mhz spectrum that has been used to analogue TV transmission to date to be freed up and auctioned off.

I don't know why I bother, I can only get EDGE at work anyway :( Something about working at a steel mill seems to degrade the signal.

Comment Re:Bluetooth... (Score 1) 474

Back at uni a group of us BEng undergrads were sitting eating lunch one day when a BA student that associated with us asked us what was Bluetooth. We explained it was like Black Eye, only a little lower. No one appreciates engineer humour.

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