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Comment "Just" A Patent Application? (Score 4, Informative) 52

In this context, you can be sure there is more. The patent laws of the US and other countries require that the application (and consequently, any issued patent) describe the invention in sufficient detail so that someone of ordinary skill in the art area to which the invention most nearly pertains can make and use the invention. You don't have to build one, but you do have to provide enough detail so that someone else could build one.

Comment Incredible... (Score 1) 367

... or rather, incredibly condescending. Given my occupation (and prior occupation in law enforcement), I am a huge advocate for catching criminals. I am also a huge advocate for the rule of law and respecting rights of people under law. By saying that the Bureau is collecting information so we can have an "adult" conversation, the clear implication is that those on the other side of the conversation from the Bureau have been having conversations that are immature or child-like. The tone of those comments is like that of a parent telling a child that it is time for the child to grow up. It indicates a lack of respect for the opposing views. The Bureau isn't doing itself any favors with that kind of approach.

Comment Not an Agency (Score 1) 154

The Copyright Office is part of the Library of Congress and as such is part of the legislative branch of the US Government and ultimately reports to Congress. The federal agencies that most people think of and interact with, such as the Patent and Trademark Office or the Veterans Administration, are part of the executive branch which ultimately reports to the President. The PTO specifically is an office within the Department of Commerce. I suspect the inability to use is due to this separation.

Comment There Goes The Neighborhood (Score 1) 164

Certain items are classified as "dual use" for US export control laws because they have 2 major use classifications - military and non-military. The only way to ensure that goods sold for non-military purposes are not later used for military purposes is by monitoring and controlling.

We all know how effective the US's monitor and control systems worked in Iran.

Comment What's New About This? (Score 1) 378

There are thousands of jet aircraft in the air above the U.S. at any given time. There are satellites taking pictures of my house, cameras on many stoplights, in every police car and on everyone's phone. Dozens of planes overfly my house daily on takeoff or landing approaches. I don't see that delivery drones erode my privacy any more.

As for the capability, I bet it could use some refining, but in our lifetimes we're going to see automated flying become more prevalent. Already pilots of modern planes going to/from large airports don't *have* to do much. They can punch a few buttons, turn a few dials and the computer can perform takeoff, level flight, maneuvering and landing all automatically, and more smoothly than most pilots. If you have a bumpy landing it's probably because the first officer wanted some practice. I figure increasingly the pilot will be there just to make the passengers feel good, and in 10-20 more years you can put a flight attendant there instead and save some money on the pilot training. I don't know how long it will take for people to knowingly and willingly ride drones, though.

Hmm, I'm losing my steam and getting distracted. Point is, stop freaking out over delivery drones. They won't be 100% everywhere all at once, and fuck yeah I'd take a pizza from one.

Comment Re:tragic lack of prevention (Score 1) 923

Ah, some of the stuff is coming back to me now. I audited declarations and filled out Form 390 Part A'a and Part B's and ensured dangerous goods were loaded safely. For example, you can't put too much dry ice on a plane lest it suffocate the pilots, and really we kept it out of the main cabin, anyway. Some classes of goods couldn't be placed near others, and there were limits on amounts per vehicle.

It seems like there were three Radioactive classifications, and we didn't transport the most intense one. I don't think it was required to keep the radioactive stuff away from the pilots, but we did it anyway because pilots are whiny pansies. Same with infectious agents.

It's all in Title 49 CFR for U.S. domestic transport, and IATA publishes international regulations.

But that was over 20 years ago I did this stuff.

Comment Re:tragic lack of prevention (Score 1) 923

USDOT requires hazardous materials being transported to be marked. One of many reasons is that if there is an accident first responders are alerted to the presences of hazardous material and can take the correct action. For example, you don't want to hose down a shipment of alkali metals with water if the container catches fire. I used to audit hazmat paperwork for aircraft and trucks. I don't recall the amounts, but radioactive materials had to be declared, and there were handling restrictions and limits on the amounts.

I find it somewhat unlikely that there are trucks full of radioactive stuff secretly roving unmarked about the U.S. streets.

OTOH, I know nothing about Mexico's hazmat regulations.

Comment A Different Angle... (Score 1) 625

Suppose automation brings manufacturing back to the U.S. What happens to all the Asian manufacturing countries who can't employ their people? I think the U.S. has a lot of figuring out to do to figure out how people can get along without jobs if automation can handle most of the labor, but I think the vacuum left in the export countries would be a more immediate problem.

Not that I'm against it. I've always thought robots doing all our work for us would be fabulous. I don't need a job to fulfill myself, but as of this moment I need one to feed, house and dress myself for about the next 10 years or so.

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