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Comment Re:This is going to be interesting (Score 1) 430

Came here to to say this. When self-driving trucks start rolling out (har har) en masse, we're going to need to find new jobs for a LOT of people. A large percentage of the 1.3 million truck drivers will need to find new jobs or else. What they'll do, I just don't know.

Funny how the map of the most common job per state looks similar to the map of the 2016 presidential election results when you compare "Truck Driver" states and red states. I wonder if this will play out during Trump's presidency or his successor's and how they'll handle it..

Comment Loopholes (Score 1) 310

Talking about this law, my friend said that he'll just change the wording of his listing to the effect of, "I'm renting this apartment, except for the closet. I reserve the right to enter the apartment and sleep in the closet. Please note that I have never actually done this."

I don't know enough about the new law to know if this is a viable loophole, but I'm sure there are plenty of other good ideas.

Comment Re:Why should commercial be different from private (Score 5, Interesting) 239

The FAA's stance on commercial operations long predates drones. I, as a non-commercial pilot, am prohibited from accepting compensation for flying people or cargo and the FAA has a very wide view of what constitutes "compensation". The theory is that if I am being paid, that might impact my decision-making process and change (for example) "it's too windy to fly today" to "I can probably land safely in this wind". To get a commercial pilot's license I would need to 1) accrue more flight hours 2) pass a harder written test and 3) pass a more strict practical (skills) test. More experience and training translates to better decision making and increased safety.

This rationale holds true for drone flights, with perhaps a decreased risk factor. A hobbyist might look at the weather and say "I don't want to fly in this wind, my expensive toy could end up in the neighbor's tree" when someone being paid could say "I have insurance". Multiply that by the number of expected drones in the next few years and it becomes a rather large problem.

Personally, I have no problem with the way the FAA is handling the situation. They're putting safety first, as they have always done and being professional by putting a lot of thought into their new regulations rather than hastily pushing a poorly-written, loophole-ridden set of regs that need revision every 2 months. Imagine the confusion among drone pilots whether the new maximum altitude was 300' or 400' this month, and imagine the nightmare of writing, rewriting, and deploying new regulation-compliance software for the drones if the rules kept changing.

Comment Linux and Windows (Score 2) 599

Which one is my main computer?
I'm on my work computer 8+ hours/day; it runs Linux (Ubuntu) natively and Windows 7 in a VM.
My home PC runs Windows 7 and Ubuntu in a dual boot configuration, but I'm usually in Windows because games. Counting evening games/browsing and off-hours/moonlighting work, it's probably a close 2nd to my work computer in terms of hours of use.
My personal web server/NAS/SSH computer runs Ubuntu, behind a BSD firewall. I can get to this machine from anywhere I have internet access, including from my phone...
My phone runs Android. I have it by my side near 24/7, but I'm not using it all that time.

Comment Re:Complete overreaction, TSA style (Score 1) 170

I'm a glider pilot too, and I think the FAA & DoI are being completely reasonable. The margin of error for these fire fighting aircraft is very small; they do their drops at 140kts and 300' (source). How much time do you think the pilots have to see and avoid something the size of a drone at those speeds? Even if they decided to hit it, it's still an unnecessary distraction from them doing their job.

Comment Re:Pointless law (Score 1) 293

I have never said I do it all the time, just that, like you, I have.

I used to be a field technician and would use my phone while driving every day.

I could, but I don't.

Sounds like a regular and ongoing thing to me.
Here's a tip: people on the internet don't know you, they only know what you post and most don't read very carefully. Speak plainly and stick to the point. Use paragraphs when appropriate.

And regardless of the problem, the fact remains that these laws simply make it worse not better; which was my entire point.

If personal responsibility was no issue, I might be inclined to agree with you. As it is, you sound like you're trying to assign blame to someone else; in this case "it's not my fault that I am distracted in the car, the government shouldn't have MADE me look in my lap." I claim that the irresponsible drivers aren't being MADE to do anything, they either think they're not doing anything dangerous, they don't care, or they're just not thinking about the danger they're putting other people in. The fact is that we're simply not good at multitasking, and the comparison between texting while driving and drunk driving is well-earned.

Now I'm no expert, so I did a quick search. It looks like this was probably the earliest study into this issue, which supports your claim. There is more discussion about that study though, and a later study seems to contradict it.

Now that you've managed to have your little emotional outburst to my admission I have texted and drive before, perhaps you can argue on that point, or do you have nothing to offer other than anecdotes and hyperbole?

First you offered anecdotes about how your own driving changed after the passing of this law, expressed anger at the size of the fine, and suggested applying existing laws about careless driving; all without any comment regarding the actual danger of distracted driving. Your entire first post comes off as an indignant rant about a law you disagree with.

Then you blithely admitted that you continue to drive in a dangerous (your word, not mine) manner. You claimed "Everyone is still doing this. Everyone."

Now you claim the problem is with irresponsible drivers and hint that you're not part of the problem, and you try to shift the burden of proof to me, when you've given no arguments of substance yourself.

I'm touchy on this issue because it's personal to me. I'm not upset at you for your "admission [you] have texted and drive before"; I'm upset because you switched to a "much more dangerous" activity and made no indication that you are give a damn about the people you are putting in very real danger. As long as motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of death, some kind of effort must be made to improve the situation; people must be held accountable for their actions; ergo, punish those who needlessly endanger others. If you have some better solution please present it, the world will thank you.

Comment Re:Pointless law (Score 1) 293

I could, but I don't. I suspect in reality you've been guilty of this before as well (since nearly everyone has), I just have the courage to admit it. It's ok, anonymous coward, we understand. Everyone is still doing this. Everyone. Look at your own stats. Your stupid law has done nothing for this problem other than make it worse. Crotch watching is far more dangerous than using your phone freely. So the next time you get the urge to meet reality with an idiotic emotional response and pointless law, try critical thought... It might just work out better. And please, pass it along.

OK, I'll post as something other than AC. You're wrong saying "Everyone is still doing this."

I've texted while driving before, but it was never a routine thing. I stopped completely after my cousin was killed by some asshat who didn't see the red light. It's been more than 5 years since I, or anyone in immediate family, texted while driving.

In a different incident, my dad's friend and colleague spent a full year in the hospital because another asshat ran a stop sign while texting.

Now I find myself trying to very discreetly answer something important in a way that requires my eyes to be off the road. Much more dangerous.

Yet you continue to do what, by your own admission, is dangerous.

I have lots of choice words for you that I'll keep to myself, because they won't sink in. Let me say this instead: I sincerely hope you never have to get the call my cousin's parents got, or the visit from police with their heads lowered that his wife got. I also hope that you are never the person who drifts out of your lane, fails to see the red light, or the bicycle on the shoulder, or the pedestrian stepping out from behind cars.

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