>Is a regular, run of the mill R/C toy that is flown within line of sight of its operator at all times considered a "drone?"
No, but RC aircraft are also banned in DC, since they can be weaponized nearly as well as a drone can.
You are mistaken. According to the FAA, any unmanned aircraft is under the jurisdiction of the FAA. The new registrations rules only apply to aircraft over 0.55 lbs. I can't find details about the DC "No Drone Zone," but I assume the same criteria applies even though the FAA's website says, "all unmanned aircraft."
As you can see by the crazy stuff that gets posted here, and worse at political sites, we have a lot of dangerously stupid, deeply-misinformed people running around.
Is a regular, run of the mill R/C toy that is flown within line of sight of its operator at all times considered a "drone?"
According to the FAA, yes. The FAA believes it has authority over ANY rc aircraft, including paper airplanes, though the FAA has so far only sought to apply regulation to aircraft over 0.55 lbs.
Families were separated. Vendors were barred from returning to their booths. People stood outside in a rainy 40-degrees for hours only to be turned away. Traffic was backed up for hours due to inadequate parking. People were packed into an event hall like cattle, with little room to move or maneuver, and countless photo ops that people paid for were left unfulfilled.
Some people on Facebook describe the conditions inside the convention center as unsafe. RICC has responded to some of the comments, saying, "There was no mess up. This happens a lot at large events. It is very difficult to predict the turnover flow of patrons. Sometimes, for the safety of all, we need to halt entry to let the crowd thin out." RICC Organizer Steven Perry of Altered Reality Entertainment has been unreachable by media and disgruntled fans.
People are being very supportive of the Fire Marshals who handled the mess. One Facebook user writes, "Fire marshal #9 guarding the Omni North Garage was awesome. Delt with an angry mob through the whole 4 hours." I personally witnessed that marshal do a really great job with a really bad situation. Rhode Island is the site of the worst nightclub fire in US history, and Rhode Islanders understand that the Fire Marshal was acting with restraint and responsibly.
I have not heard about the conditions at the convention center today. They have apparently already sold to capacity but are still selling tickets online.
The arguments in favor of R boil down to this: R is more widely used by statisticians and has a much larger library of statistical packages. But R is not a very good programming language, is difficult to learn, and is not well suited to integrate with or be used for more general purpose programming tasks.
Python, on the other hand, has a vast library of packages but does not yet have nearly as many packages specialized for the statistical computing domain. The arguments in favor of Python are, in essence, that it's very easy to learn and easy to use and easy to integrate with other general purpose programming tasks. Python is also gaining a lot of momentum in the scientific computing community. For many statistical analysis applications (most?), the packages that do exist for Python are more than adequate. Some folks even suggest that R's lead over Python is evaporating fast.
Technology is dominated by those who manage what they do not understand.