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Comment "Keeping people alive" (Score 1) 55

...isn't just about not falling out of the air.

It includes all sorts of things, from seats to air conditioning. Flying at lower altitudes keeps you from needing pressurization, but there's still all of those pesky "doors" and "instruments" and the like. With 30 hour flight times, you also need things like extra crew members and toilets and such.

Leaving humans out of the equation will save tens of tons on this sort of aircraft...

Comment Re:So it's dumb cause regulation? (Score 3, Informative) 55

They save a ton of fuel by flying higher at higher speeds - compared to how fast they're flying. They can actually save some money by flying slower, but people don't like taking too long to fly cross-country.

Jet engines also get higher thermal efficiency by flying higher, in colder air, but you can get better efficiency by using things like turboprops or propfans at lower altitudes and lower speeds. Up to about 500 mph, turboprops beat high-bypass jet engines by a wide margin in efficiency, and at lower speeds (200 mph), are almost 50% more efficient.

One of the problems with propfans is higher cabin noise, but an unmanned plane skips that issue.

The Natilus website shows regular old jet engines, but I bet that changes...

Comment Re:Hmm (Score 5, Insightful) 389

...and with a few moments of searching the web, they could have a nice handy thumb drive full of images they would "detect" on some guy's computer, and get a nice little bonus from the FBI...

"Yeeeah, I found another one this week. Yup, it's surprising how many of these weirdos have computer problems and show up at my store. How soon does my check get here?"

Comment Re:This could be fun (Score 1) 333

ABC News and Rathergate. Fake news, through and through. Dan Rather still claims the story is true, even though everyone knows it's a fraud.

Dateline NBC and the exploding truck. They couldn't get the supposedly dangerous truck to catch fire, so they rigged it with an igniter for the camera. Yeah.

NBC News and George Zimmerman. They took his 911 call and edited it to make him sound like a bigot, when it showed nothing of the sort. Read up on it, and wonder how much of what you "know" about that case is actually true.

When the Ferguson shooting happened, a common slogan was created because Michael Brown supposedly said "hands up, don't shoot." The trouble is that only one person claimed to have heard him say that - his accomplice. The many actual witnesses heard nothing of the sort. Yet the mainstream news organizations ran with it, and the (much later) retractions have been, to say the least, understated.

There are dozens and dozens of such stories, with the big difference being that they're held up as "journalism" by millions, while the fake news you get from Facebook is usually only seen by thousands at most, and almost always has someone pointing out that it's faked in real time.

Comment This could be fun (Score 2, Insightful) 333

Most of the people whining about this seem to have no idea that the "fake news" they know about is only a fraction of the problem.

What's really funny is that about 90% of the things they like would fall under this umbrella, including a lot of content from the "real" media.

The "Russians Hacked the Election" story, for example...

The actual story is "the Russians hacked a couple of people at the Democratic Party (maybe) and embarrassed the hell out of them" - but the way it's being told, most of the Democrats you meet think there was actual nationwide vote tampering by Russian hacking. So far, the only vote tampering found was in Detroit, and it was done by hand, not by computer. Not to mention who won overwhelmingly in those precincts...

Comment Re:In other words... (Score 2, Interesting) 821

This is hilarious.

Two decades after the Democrats got caught taking money from the Chinese, and 32 years after Ted Kennedy BEGGED the Soviets to intervene in the 1984 election, NOW you're worried about a foreign country "trying to influence US Elections?"

Heh.

Obama's response today is funny, too. Just close a couple of known spy stations and kick a few people out of the country (when the hacking was supposed to have come from Europe), who will be replaced within the week. Yeah, that'll work.

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