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Comment Re:Sounds like a problem with flight planning (Score 1) 239

It could be everything too.

flight planning and flight following is one system, typically, but then there is crew and maintenance. So it becomes a huge data sync problem. Start moving planes, and you need to know where the crew is, or where they will spend the night, so they can be where they need to be the next day. Same with maintenance. If a plane has a C or D check tonight, the plane needs to be where the mechanics are, or the plane may not be able to fly tomorrow (except as a ferry flight).

Start moving one cog, and the all the gears need to mesh, or the whole thing will get really expensive.

Comment Why Drone Delivery to Your House Won't Work (Score 1) 44

Bushes, trees, Halloween decorations, spiderwebs, rain, sleet, snow, dogs, cats, raccoons.

Delivery drivers are extremely flexible, they can walk around bushes and other obstacles near your door. They pet or feed dogs that appear near the package. What happens to the drone attacked by the dog (or that slices into the family pet who happens to attack the drone).

If you want a special delivery spot on your roof, then should Amazon be sue'd be everyone who falls off the roof trying to retrieve a package.

If things are mapped out well, and the drone can navigate through the bushes and trees near the door, for Halloween someone puts up a skeleton, or ghosty thing that the drone can get all wrapped up in.

Some snowy day, you are out of Popsicles, but don't want to drive because you can't see the end of the driveway. Make your order and expect the popsicles to show up in 30minutes, well the drone gets lost too, and crashes in the neighbors house. Who collects the bounty? The crashed drone might be wanted by the delivery company, but more likely finders keepers takes over. The neighbor is mad about the chip in the side of his house, so he keeps the popsicles too.

All aircraft have limitations in wind. Too windy and they don't fly. Same with small multicopters. Probably 20-30mph will be a limit. No deliveries on windy days.

I could see distribution center to distribution center the drones could work. Will the payload capacity make it financially viable? Probably not for toothpaste, but maybe high end watches and other smaller high value items

Comment Who Ever Was To Replace Clarkson was Screwed (Score 1) 251

It didn't matter who they picked to replace Clarkson, they were gonna suck. Maybe there were some good choices out there to host the show, all the smart ones said "No" because they would be judged as; Not Clarkson.

No one ever heard of Chris, at least in the US, but now they have. He may have more opportunities now. He may have less who knows. It was a gamble for him, certainly, and I don't blame him for trying.

Matt LeBlanc sort of pulls off a Hammond imitation. I don't think he could be the main host like Mr Clarkson was. If Matt was offered the main host position, he was smart to not take it.

Comment So many things are dumb about this (Score 2) 59

1. Little wizzy blades are not efficient. Helicopters are more efficient, and fixed wing aircraft are even more efficient.
2. 23 minute flight time, but what is the recharge time? Certainly longer than getting another victim^H^H^H^H^H^Hpassenger in.
3. What is plan B when something goes wrong. I've flown quads, and sometimes the processor does something unplanned.
4. wizzy blades near the ground, how long before someone gets hurt by these blades?
5. Prototype aircraft usually gain 20-100% weight by the time all the required stuff goes in, performance goes down.

Many times you see quad copter fliers get the idea the scaling them up is a good idea. The reality is, that the economics don't work, they aren't efficient.

Comment Re:Android? (Score 1) 96

It won't matter.

They will only put the "Nokia" name on someone's hardware, as if customers will be confused and think they are buying a rock-solid nearly indestructible device.

To build an app eco-system, and all the infrastructure needed to make meego or something else non-iOS or non-Android would be a fools game.

Comment It is hard to change peoples opinion (Score 0) 176

There are people who believe the government shouldn't regulate anything.

There are those people who fly aircraft, and don't want to be taken down by more crap in the air.

The study says a drone operating continuously for 187 million years. That is just absurd, they wear out way before then. A quicker way to get to the injury is to launch 187 million drones, then you should get an accident every year! Even at the 187 million year statistic, you never know if the year will this year or next, or the 187 millionth.

You read stories about once a month about people getting injured by quad copters at ski hills, marathons, and out in the park. They can be hard to fly, and are subject to all kinds of disturbances (IE weather). They crash all the time in racing.

Quad copters are not the most efficient devices out there, and their controls aren't 100% reliable. Sometimes they will do something unexpected and undesirable.

Comment Why does this product exist? (Score 1) 215

OBD products are everywhere, I am surprised they don't make OBD hubs like USB hubs.

After seeing the ads for HUM, I just shake my head. Where does Verizon (a carrier) benefit from this product. They get data, I suppose they can sell the data, but other than that, no.

For the consumer, there are so many really useful OBD apps out there, and they don't require anyone to send data to Verizon or any other carrier.

I am guessing they HUM product is advertised more than the OBD other products out there.

Comment Bill wasn't as inflammatory as the summary (Score 2) 387

Wow!

There are already racing series that encourage fuel efficiency. Formula E is all electric, and is growing in popularity. It has HUGE sponsors.

http://www.fiaformulae.com/

A mix of fuel efficient and aviation could be some flavor of aircraft racing. Aircraft can actually be fuel efficient. Quickie aircraft will get about 80MPG while going over 150MHP.

http://www.aviastar.org/air/us...

Two seaters can get 45 MPG (or go 180mph):

http://www.planeandpilotmag.co...

This guy tweaked his airplane to get 100mpg

http://blog.aopa.org/blog/?p=7...

There are *LOTS* of aircraft that will get these fuel efficiencies.

If you count seat miles per gallon, most modern jet liners will get about 100mpg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

Comment The only trouble is, Plan B (Score 2) 91

I guess these could get up to the 150th floor to offer some assistance. If the building is on fire, there will be all kinds of up and down drafts happening, the turbulence will be a huge challenge. There will be soot and ash to plug up air filters.

Imagine being up 1500ft, when the engine suddenly is at 30% power. The air filter sucked in a pound of ash, and now you are heading down. The vehicle will be dropping maybe as slow as 40mph, but that is still gonna hurt when you hit the ground. They have ballistic parachutes, and they probably will open when deployed above 1000ft, but where will you end up? The turbulence around the building may suck you into the fire or may prevent the parachute from opening. I am guessing if the engine lost power gradually, the person driving would hesitate, try to troubleshoot the problem, and then pull the 'chute a lot below the 1000ft level.

These are fun but dangerous toys. I don't seem them as being tools.

Comment SW Episodes 4-6 rock! (Score 1) 363

I'd vote for Star Wars if they didn't release episodes 1-3. (And for the record, I think Disney will ruin 7 and all subsequent episodes)

Star Trek kills episodes 1-3 (well "Manos: The Hand Of Fate" kill's episode 1-3).

Comment It just doesn't make sense (Score 1) 403

So say the citizens of the world all have the NSA approved encryption with back doors that are super secret and the NSA is the only ones in through them.

Then along comes Dr. Evil and his group. They decide to use some non-NSA approved encryption, maybe something they made up. No back doors, and super long keys.

The NSA gets to look at our communications until the cows com home, but the bad guys still have encrypted stuff that no one can break for a hundred years.

How does having NSA approved encryption help?

Comment The article is confusing as the summary. (Score 1) 345

The article talks about the "round dials", as if the 747's are all steam gauges. The 747-400 has a glass cockpit, and they even talk about the 747-400 simulator. The 747-8 is a modern jet, built about the same time as the 787.

Pilots say "scarebus" sometimes, and there is a rivalry between Ford and GM, like Boeing and Airbus.

The 787 may seem more economical, being a twin, vs the 4 engines, but it is complicated. See: http://flyingandtechnology.blo...

More people fit on the 747 than on a 787, so it takes fewer trips to haul the same number of people. The 747 makes a better cargo aircraft for large items. It is complicated. They will continue to fly for the rest of my lifetime I am sure.

Comment Re:The relevant regulation (Score 1) 176

As a pilot, I don't want to bump into a drone of any kind. The actual damage/result is unpredictable. Will the drone hang on to something, will the drone cause damage to my aircraft. Where will the drone end up when the impact occurs? Will the guts end up in the air intake, causing my engine to quit? Will the drone crack a light, will the drone go through the window? F=MA and you can't change that, I am flying at 150mhp, your 5lb drone can do serious damage, bend metal, break plastic, or more.

Even if it doesn't cause a crash, it will likely cause damage to the aircraft. Think of you car being hit by a golf ball. It may break a window, or put a dent in the hood, causing the owner/insurance company to pay $$ for something that the driver was innocent of.

Imagine doing your job, and someone is throwing rocks and your have to go through the area. Sure the person throwing rocks isn't doing anything illegal, but they may damage you.

Fire fighting is dangerous. Firefighting in an aircraft is dangerous. Throwing extra objects in the air near the firefighting aircraft makes the firefighting even more dangerous.

The golden rule needs to apply to the drone operator and the firefighters.

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