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Comment Re:I always thought that shooting down drones was (Score 1) 60

The way things are going, people will want to shoot down drones for all sorts of reasons. Some due to adverts which will float around their person and follow them until they say whether they are interested or not (just you wait and see), others because peeping toms were trying to get some nudie shots of them/their loved ones. And people who just don't like being spied upon in some dystopian society. Not sure what the solution is. Banning drones won't work, restricting them will not work due to it being hard to enforce (short of having no-go zones like airports, which are easy to control), and allowing people to take them down themselves will just result in drones being taken down all the time, for a range of reasons as varied as the people taking action against them.

Comment Re:A REAL digital native (Score 1) 553

What's wrong with using freeDOS? http://www.freedos.org/

I used it to replace old failing machines before, with no problems running the original DOS programs. Plus you can boot it from a CD, which are a lot more common than floppy drives/disks nowadays (still have a usb 3.5 floppy drive if I ever need it though).

Comment Re:I tried to raise this issue before... (Score 1) 292

" I love the car overall, so I'll keep it until such time as I get the first mailed speeding ticket based upon my car's GPS location and internal speed telemetry."

By which point you may no longer have a choice. This stuff tends to get rolled out slowly. First the water is tested by a new model, usually a special or exclusive one, then if there isn't a backlash, it trickles down the market, until all cars end up having it.

By the time it is decided by the powers at be to enable the "tickets via telemetry" or "Your 24/7 spy informer to the NSA/FBI/Whoever", probably the majority of cars will have the technology. They are not silly to enable these kinds of features while people still have alternatives. Not to mention self-driving cars, or cars which can override the occupants decisions on speed, direction and route. Sounds like a dystopian nightmare in a vehicular package to me.

And as the electronics get more integrated into cars, not only does it make it harder to rip it out and install your own, but it makes it harder to repair, potentially killing off the second hand market.

I've only ever dealt with and ran second hand cars, and one thing that you notice is that a cars electrics tend to go bad long before mechanical/engine wear becomes a problem. The more electrics a car has when new, the more there is to go wrong 10 years down the line (and the harder it is to debug). Cars that are all electric, or heavily computerised, will pretty much kill the second hand market IMO,

If the EFF wins, and people are allowed to hack/modify and replace the electronic systems within the cars, then things may turn out better than expected, but the automakers will lose lots of potential revenue. Not just from people buying second hand rather than new, but in certified garage/maintenance fees/licencing. I suspect they will fight the EFF tooth and nail over this.

Comment Re:Google on the way down? (Score 2) 149

You could have argued that they may have existed in the beginning, but once Google did an IPO, that was the end of it.

Then again, if I remember correctly, Google never said their official motto was "Do no evil", but that was more like a goal they aspire to.

Amazing how an IPO can make all such aspirations vanish overnight, eh? :-)

Comment Re:Is it just me? (Score 1) 330

Porsche 944 (although the 914 family is also good, you can fit 911 engines in those).

Because they are front engined and watercooled, purists don't see them as "pure Porsche's", so they don't have a huge markup like the classic 911's.

Still plenty fast though, derived from the 924GTP Lemans racer, so a good base to improve from, if tuning is your thing.

They were the most popular Porsche of the 80's. Hundreds of thousands were made, so to this day there are parts all over the place. Plus as they are heavily tuned and raced, all sorts of third-party performance parts suppliers are available.

Comment Re:Is it just me? (Score 1) 330

Well, why don't you buy a 20-30 year old car then? I mean, I fully agree with you on all counts, as a software/computer guy, I know that there are some places where shoving in a computer is not a solution (I find people who don't fully understand computers, and see them as magical black boxes, are mostly guilty of this).

As such, I went out and got myself a car from 1982. Simple, fast enough to be fun (due to being really light compared to modern cars, it actually ends up being faster then them, despite being low in the power department) and really easy to fix.

I mean, seriously simple to maintain. As it was built mostly by people rather than robots, it was designed to be easy for a human to take apart and put together. Also, second hand parts are really cheap. Additionally, I can see that within 5-10 years, most of the parts (apart from the drive train) could be made on a decent spec 3D printer. I find 30 years is roughly the gap between what is "state of the art" and what can be done by an enthusiast in his shed.

There is one piece of computing in it though, which is the ECU, but being 30+ years old, and based on the 8051 uC, it has been reverse engineered multiple times, and could probably be reimplemented on a raspberry pi if push came to shove.

Comment Re: You know, im fine with a car that doesnt have (Score 1) 83

Not originally. Originally ABS was all mechanical. Nowadays they have a ECU fo do a "better job" at it (things like detecting slippage/lock on a per wheel basis).

And even then, if the ABS electrics fail, you still have full brake power, just no anti-lock. So even then, there is no "CPU between the brake pedal and the brakes". At least on every car pre 2005 (I stay away from any car that is newer, so I don't know about new ones, but I would be amazed if the brakes are fly-by-wire even now)

Comment Re:MSFT ON BSD! (Score 1) 175

Paaah, real nerds didn't get invited to parties :-) We just hung out on online chat for our entire lives, arguing! :-P

Well, the result of this particular multi-year long argument was that "GNU" was dropped, and everyone (bar RMS) called it "Linux".

I was always in the "GNU/Linux" camp, because the two projects, while complimentary, were not bound for eternity. You could just as easily have GNU/Hurd or GNU/kBSD, or as we have now, "Android/Linux".

It is funny that it has taken this many years for the lack of distinction of what exactly people think "Linux" is to rear its head. The main argument of the opposing camp was that "Everyone knows what Linux is, no need to make it longer with GNU in front".

As for Picard vs Kirk, I think resurrecting one ancient flamewar is enough for today :-)

Comment Re:MSFT ON BSD! (Score 2, Informative) 175

If you really want to be pedantic. Android is Linux, but it isn't GNU/Linux. Android uses the Linux kernel, but had its own userspace structure on top of it, which is not compatible with GNU/Linux (hence you have to specifically (re)write apps to run on Android).

I guess it should be called Android/Linux, and the "normal" Linux we know on our PC's is GNU/Linux. The one time where there is a real-world reason for having these things spelt out in full (there used to be a large argument about naming conventions of Linux a few years ago. Whether it was important to have the "GNU" bit at the front).

Comment Re:Can someone explainn (Score 3, Interesting) 165

Ok, I'll give it a go:

Drones are better than high power telescopes because... you don't need line of sight. A Drone can go over hedges/bushes/walls, or round corners. Things that would render a telescope useless. Drones can also theoretically go inside buildings.

Also, if you spot someone watching you with the telescope, you can see who is doing it (just look back at them with your own optics). The drone operator could be inside a building, or someone over the internet. You could not easily work out who was the operator just by looking at the drone itself.

(on the flip side, people are less likely to notice someone 500m away with a telescope than a drone buzzing above you).

Drones are not better than mortars, but they make for very good artillery spotters, giving you GPS co-ords to calculate trajectory for your target, again without the target risking finding out who is behind it.

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