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Comment What's New About This? (Score 1) 378

There are thousands of jet aircraft in the air above the U.S. at any given time. There are satellites taking pictures of my house, cameras on many stoplights, in every police car and on everyone's phone. Dozens of planes overfly my house daily on takeoff or landing approaches. I don't see that delivery drones erode my privacy any more.

As for the capability, I bet it could use some refining, but in our lifetimes we're going to see automated flying become more prevalent. Already pilots of modern planes going to/from large airports don't *have* to do much. They can punch a few buttons, turn a few dials and the computer can perform takeoff, level flight, maneuvering and landing all automatically, and more smoothly than most pilots. If you have a bumpy landing it's probably because the first officer wanted some practice. I figure increasingly the pilot will be there just to make the passengers feel good, and in 10-20 more years you can put a flight attendant there instead and save some money on the pilot training. I don't know how long it will take for people to knowingly and willingly ride drones, though.

Hmm, I'm losing my steam and getting distracted. Point is, stop freaking out over delivery drones. They won't be 100% everywhere all at once, and fuck yeah I'd take a pizza from one.

Comment Re:tragic lack of prevention (Score 1) 923

Ah, some of the stuff is coming back to me now. I audited declarations and filled out Form 390 Part A'a and Part B's and ensured dangerous goods were loaded safely. For example, you can't put too much dry ice on a plane lest it suffocate the pilots, and really we kept it out of the main cabin, anyway. Some classes of goods couldn't be placed near others, and there were limits on amounts per vehicle.

It seems like there were three Radioactive classifications, and we didn't transport the most intense one. I don't think it was required to keep the radioactive stuff away from the pilots, but we did it anyway because pilots are whiny pansies. Same with infectious agents.

It's all in Title 49 CFR for U.S. domestic transport, and IATA publishes international regulations.

But that was over 20 years ago I did this stuff.

Comment Re:tragic lack of prevention (Score 1) 923

USDOT requires hazardous materials being transported to be marked. One of many reasons is that if there is an accident first responders are alerted to the presences of hazardous material and can take the correct action. For example, you don't want to hose down a shipment of alkali metals with water if the container catches fire. I used to audit hazmat paperwork for aircraft and trucks. I don't recall the amounts, but radioactive materials had to be declared, and there were handling restrictions and limits on the amounts.

I find it somewhat unlikely that there are trucks full of radioactive stuff secretly roving unmarked about the U.S. streets.

OTOH, I know nothing about Mexico's hazmat regulations.

Comment A Different Angle... (Score 1) 625

Suppose automation brings manufacturing back to the U.S. What happens to all the Asian manufacturing countries who can't employ their people? I think the U.S. has a lot of figuring out to do to figure out how people can get along without jobs if automation can handle most of the labor, but I think the vacuum left in the export countries would be a more immediate problem.

Not that I'm against it. I've always thought robots doing all our work for us would be fabulous. I don't need a job to fulfill myself, but as of this moment I need one to feed, house and dress myself for about the next 10 years or so.

Comment Re:I can see it (Score 1) 625

Technology companies like Google and Facebook already give us things for free. I imagine that some day maybe they'll do the same with tangible things like food or an apartment.

Goddammit! You mean they're going to start changing the interface to my meals and home, too? Shit shit shit shit shit! I'll come home one day and find the door on the roof and ice cream with sprinkles in a taco shell. Damn these companies and their free products!

Comment Re:"letting you play previously purchased games." (Score 1) 158

You CAN run the games if Steam goes away. They have promised to release patches to remove DRM if they ever go out of business.
Please inform yourself of the facts before you spread your gut feeling as the truth.

Let me run a thought experiment. Valve files for chapter 7 or 11 bankruptcy. The trustee will do which of the following?

A. Release the patch so all customers can play their games for free.
B. See control of the DRM as an asset to be sold to pay off creditors.

Comment Re:Great (Score 1) 287

Of course, this study didn't find out what types of soda the children had consumed.

Another study finds that living children are 100% more likely to "destroy things belonging to others, get into fights, and physically attack people" than dead children..

My study shows that kids and parents who lie about their soda consumption also lie about their destructive and aggressive behavior.

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