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Comment Re: For safe integration with existing air traffic (Score 1) 129

It's actually quite common, even over populated areas. There's a section of the Class B airspace near JFK where general aviation flights are routinely routes at 500 feet along the shoreline to keep them below arrivals and departures at JFK. If you've been on Ling Island beaches you've probably seen such flights passing low along the shorline. Some idiot with a toy on the beach could fly their drone high enough to collide with such a flight.

Comment Many more than a dozen... (Score 1) 346

It's far more than a dozen that simply packed up and left and there's also a whole slew of contributors, columnists, and other's associated with the publication that have quit and/or asked for their names to come off the masthead. Essentially anyone that was anyone has declared they want nothing to do with the publication anymore. Literally overnight a century old establishment is gone and not because it failed but because all the key people associated with it walked out the door. Even if you don't agree with everything said in the publication, it's a very sad day. Those that left are preemptively saying that nobody was against advancing a digital strategy and pushing more content online, but what they are against is largely the incompetence of the new owner and the fact that Hughes seems clueless in understanding what about the publication allowed it to exist for a hundred years when others failed left and right. It's like someone bought the Royal Shakespeare Company and said "Shakespeare is so old and stale, I think we should like make action movies or something..." Only time will tell, but Right now Hughes comes across looking like someone who stumbled into a lot of money by simply being at the right place at the right time with the right people--not because he's actually a skilled businessman. With The New Republic it's as if he thought "oooh, buying publications seems like a popular thing for rich guys to do... yeah let's do that and then do some cool Silicon Valley stuff with it... like I think I know something about that!" His husband's political campaign in New York this fall was equally a disaster. Voters saw through the fluff and saw someone saying "hey my husband has a lot of money and can pay for me to run for office... vote for me, it would be awesome!" Not surprisingly the voters weren't impressed.

Submission + - Facebook founder presents vision for New Republic and (nearly) everyone resigns (

SkiTee94 writes: Chris Hughes, one of the original founders of Facebook, is in damage control mode to save his recently acquired century old publication The New Republic. In response to Hughes' vision to turn the highly respected, and most would say old school, publication into a "digital media company" dozens of senior editors and writers simply quit. As a, likely now former, reader myself it seems Hughes doesn't understand that the publication's edge in the market is precisely that it isn't a fluffy clickbait "digital media company." Is simply Hughes a visionary cleaning out dead wood or a clueless one-hit wonder tech star now leaving destruction in his wake? More from the NY Times:

Comment Re: And In Other News... (Score 1) 329

Its not a million per year, it's a one off when the medallion changes hands. For older medallions that an owner has had for a while this is like an asset to them (like grandpa that lives in a million dollar home but when he bought it it was just a modest property). For newly traded medallions the taxis are usually kept on the road nearly 24/7 by renting then out to multiple drivers in order to generate enough revenue to cover the medallion loan payments (NYC has a whole specialty finance industry just around financing medallions).

Comment Longstanding Flaw in CallerID (Score 1) 159

Unfortunately it's fairly trivial to make the caller ID say just about whatever you want--especially if you are running your own system. There's no form of reverse lookup verification to check if a call is really coming from where it says it's coming from. There are some legit uses for this (eg our office setup always shows the main switchboard as he called ID even if people are calling from a specific line) but it's all to easy to abuse if someone is intent on doing so.

Comment Camera killed it (Score 2) 154

From my observations putting a camera on it was a fatal decision. It really turned people off, myself included. Every time I met a glasshole the whole having a camera lense in your face, even if it wasn't turned on, was really annoying. All the focus on the device turned away from the innovative display and onto the stupid camera. I have hopes for the display technology in an improved form but Google needs to focus on that. Unfortunatly the damage done means it will take a bit until people take wearable computer optical devices seriously again.

Comment Business model impact... (Score 1) 121

The number of dormant accounts isn't terribly surprising to anyone that's run a site with users (although its likely much higher than Twitter would like broadly known). The bigger concern is really how the high number of fake / zombie accounts on Twitter impact's it's business model. Advertisers pay for clicks/follows and in talking to advertisers I hear a frustration with the not insignificant amount of paid 'traffic' coming from bots/fake accounts that simply troll the site clicking links and 'following' people. Twitter needs to get much better at separating the 'real' users from the noise... and there's a LOT of noise. To an advertiser that's like finding out a bunch of those magazines you advertised in based on X number of subscribers were just shipped straight to the landfill...

Comment Liability Also a Massive Assiue (Score 2) 319

In addition to the fact that airbnb hosts are, in many locations, operating illegal hotels (under current law), liability is also a massive concern. Airbnb boasts about their insurance for hosts but if you read the fine print you'll see that when it really matters their insurance is worthless to you. If a guest trashes your place the insurance helps you out... but the real issue a host needs to be worried about is liability. Airbnb's fine print specifically excludes liability coverage. What if a guest is injured or dies on your property. Now you've got serious issues. Most property owners have liability coverage through their homeowners policy (renters can also buy liability coverage). However, if a claim is made the insurance company is going to tell you to take a hike as soon as they find out you were running an illegal hotel and that's the reason the claimant (or the family of the deceased) is suing you.

Submission + - Conde Nast storing passwords in plain text?

SkiTee94 writes: New Yorker subscribers just received e-mails stating in part: "It recently came to our attention that for a period of time others could have seen your password." "we recommend that you consider changing your password to any other site for which you use the same password." and "At this time, we have temporarily disabled the New Yorker Customer Care Web site in order to make further enhancements."

Was Conde Nast IT just exposed for storing subscriber's passwords in plain text?

Comment Hype about Hype (Score 1) 139

There's no question that there's a certain amount of hype around 'big data' / 'data science' at the moment, and with that comes a lot of "me too!" people. If the argument is that there's a lot of people just jumping on the bandwagon saying they can do 'data science' then I'll give the author that... but the suggestion that 'data science is dead' seems a bit hyperbolic to say the least.

I've worked with a lot of top-notch people that would likely be labeled as 'data scientists' and I can tell you that:
1) They can do some amazing things
2) They honestly don't care what you call them ('data scientists' / 'wiz kid' / 'that guy who's Linux box is secretly running our company') and are happy to let other people waste their own time arguing about titles
3) They do generate real value
4) Their employers value them and that's reflected in their pay
5) Their employers typically want more people just like them, but have a hard time finding/recruiting that talent... yes HR likes resume key words so they don't need to do any real work finding people to interview

Comment Re:WTF? (Score 2) 382

The Wireless Emergency Alerts system was intended mostly to be for major emergencies where everyone needs to be notified (e.g. there's a tornado coming your way seek cover). Sending an alert to everyone in the middle of the night to look out for a license plate number is a poor use of the system. The net result is that many people got annoyed and are now deactivating what could be a very important resource in the future. Information such as "look our for a Tan Lexus" is best directed at people in a position to make use of it... e.g., notifying those out on the road via electronic road signs and radio broadcasts. Waking a city of 8 million up to give them information that is totally useless will just annoy people.

Comment Re:Loud? (Score 1) 382

This was sent via the Wireless Emergency Alert and not a text message. It's a special alert that sounds a loud continuous tone (similar to the tone on TV/radio when they test the "Emergency Broadcast System"). It was automatically "installed" on most modern smartphones (at least in the NYC area) earlier this year. The default setting is "on" although users can disable the alerts (which apparently many in NYC are now doing).

Submission + - Apple-Liquidmetal Joint Patent Could Enable Futuristic-Looking Mobile Devices (

MojoKid writes: Apple may be closer than previously thought to using Liquidmetal’s technology to manufacture casings for its mobile devices. In a patent filing, a company called “Crucible Intellectual Properties, LLC” (which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Liquidmetal dedicated to Apple work) laid claim to a manufacturing process for creating “bulk amorphous alloy sheets”, also known as bulk metallic glass (BMG). The process, called “float glass”, involves two layers of molten metal, and the result is a glass-like metal that allegedly would be strong, incredibly lightweight, corrosion-resistant--and low cost. Further, the manufacturing process would ostensibly make it far easier to create specific items, as it removes some of the barriers and issues related to forming and cutting metal, and specifically BMG.

Submission + - Pre-Dawn Wireless Emergency Alert Wakes Up NYC (

SkiTee94 writes: Many people, perhaps millions, in and around NYC were loudly awoken shortly before 4am morning by an activation of the Wireless Emergency Alert system. As the New York Times is reporting, the alert was related to an ongoing search for a missing child. Given that the alert asked people to look out for a "Tan Lexus ES300" with NY Plate "GEX1377" many New Yorkers are questioning the logic of waking up the whole city to ask them to look for a car. Normally such alerts are reserved for road-side signs. While emergency authorities have yet to give a precise reason for why the decision was made to wake up the city, many have taken the step of deactivating these alerts to avoid future jolting mid-slumber alarms (likely not the indented result of last night's exercise).

Feed Google News Sci Tech: Elon Musk Posts Plan to Annouce Hyperloop Transit System - Bloomberg (


Elon Musk Posts Plan to Annouce Hyperloop Transit System
Elon Musk, chief executive officer of electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors Inc., will unveil designs for a solar-powered inter-city passenger transport system by Aug. 12. The technology behind the system will be a “breakthrough” and Musk will be “happy to work...
Elon Musk Will Reveal His High-Speed Hyperloop Transport Design By August 12TechCrunch
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk To Publish Hyperloop Plans In AugustValueWalk
Tesla CEO Elon Musk launches TESLIVESustainable Business Oregon
EV World-CNET (blog)-SlashGear
all 19 news articles

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