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Comment More than just two sides to this issue- (Score 1) 370

NOTE: The term 'drone' is being mis-applied here, just as 'hacker' is mis-used by the general public to mean a bad thing.

  As a rural landowner who also flies Radio-Controlled aircraft and UAVs, I see this issue from several angles.

  - Hunters and fisherman who conduct themselves ethically and within the law deserve to not be disturbed or have their 'prey' scared off.
  - Despite earlier remarks that hunters 'have the right' to hunt/fish unmonitored- this is obviously untrue since game-wardens exist.
  - Simply flying an RC Airplane or AUV with a video downlink does not constitute monitoring or invasion of privacy any more than your next-door neighbor kid in his treehouse. The fact that he may be able to see into your yard or back windows does not give you the right to shoot him dead.
  - UAVs are noisy- too noisy to sneak up on people, but they sure can spook wildlife...
  - This issue is being blown completely out of proportion. Nearly all UAVs are flown for recreational purposes, there are very -very- few UAVs being used anywhere for this or any other surveillance purpose.
  - The odds of ever encountering one of these outside of town is amazingly tiny- the odds that one is being used to monitor your hunting/fishing is orders of magnitude smaller than than your chance of winning the PowerBall lottery.
  - It is foolhardy to use any method (e.g., noisy car stereo, UAV or otherwise) to harass anybody.
  - Although I do not agree with many of the extreme views and methods of PETA, I do feel the use of game-cameras, UAVs, and other methods to substantiate/verify reports of abuse or illegal activity by hunters or polluters is valid and beneficial.
  - Some of my neighbors own small aircraft and have full visibility of my place, they even sometimes do touch-and-go landings on my RC airstrip. Does this bother me? No, its good, friendly fun- we just wave and smile and often take pictures of them (they love the copies! ). If UAVs bother you so much, you can always 'moon' them. ;)
  - This is being used as a diversionary issue for simpletons to get themselves all worked-up over, yet it really has no impact on their lives. It is being used to distract your attention from other more important things. Please pay attention to the man behind the curtains instead...
  - Not all uses of UAVs are so controversial- my neighbors benefit from aerial photos showing which parts of their cotton fields need special attention (insect infestation, weeds, erosion, dry spots, inundation).



Pope's Astronomer Would Love To Baptize an Alien 308

Ponca City, We Love You writes "The Guardian reports that Guy Consolmagno, curator of the pope's meteorite collection and a trained astronomer and planetary scientist, says he would be 'delighted' if intelligent life was found among the stars. 'But the odds of us finding it, of it being intelligent and us being able to communicate with it — when you add them up it's probably not a practical question.' Consolmagno adds that the traditional definition of a soul was to have intelligence, free will, freedom to love and freedom to make decisions. 'Any entity — no matter how many tentacles it has — has a soul.' Would he baptize an alien? 'Only if they asked.' Consolmagno dismisses the ideas of intelligent design as a pseudo-scientific version of creationism. 'The word has been hijacked by a narrow group of creationist fundamentalists in America to mean something it didn't originally mean at all. It's another form of the God of the gaps. It's bad theology in that it turns God once again into the pagan god of thunder and lightning.'"

The Race To Beer With 50% Alcohol By Volume 297

ElectricSteve writes "Most of the world's beer has between 4% and 6% alcohol by volume (ABV). The strength of beer achieved by traditional fermentation brewing methods has limits, but a well-crafted beer that is repeatedly 'freeze distilled' can achieve exquisite qualities and much higher alcohol concentrations. An escalation in the use of this relatively new methodology over the last 12 months has seen man's favorite beverage suddenly move into the 40+% ABV realm of spirits such as gin, rum, brandy, whiskey, and vodka, creating a new category of extreme beer. The world's strongest beer was 27% ABV, but amidst an informal contest to claim the title of the world's strongest beer, the top beer has jumped in strength dramatically. This week Gizmag spoke to the brewers at the center of the escalating competition. New contestants are gathering, and the race is now on to break 50% alcohol by volume."

Mars Images Reveal Evidence of Ancient Lakes 128

Matt_dk writes "Spectacular satellite images suggest that Mars was warm enough to sustain lakes three billion years ago, a period that was previously thought to be too cold and arid to sustain water on the surface, according to research published today in the journal Geology. Earlier research had suggested that Mars had a warm and wet early history but that between 4 billion and 3.8 billion years ago, before the Hesperian Epoch, the planet lost most of its atmosphere and became cold and dry. In the new study, the researchers analysed detailed images from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is currently circling the red planet, and concluded that there were later episodes where Mars experienced warm and wet periods."

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