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Comment Re:Try it (Score 1) 91

Odd. I put coordinates into google maps all the time and it works fine if I just put "lat,lon".

And if I put "0,0" -- it takes me to a point in the Atlantic ocean where latitude and longitude are zero, what I'd expect.

Looks like google didn't add a fake island there, however -- but though the ocean does seem to be either less deep or more deep in the general area than the area around it.

Comment Re:18650 is a form factor (Score 2) 138

250 watts is a lot of power.

100 watts is enough to get a typical cyclist to around 15 mph on level ground. (Assuming 100% efficiency, which is overly optimistic, but not too far off for an electric motor.) Going up to 250 watts wouldn't increase your speed by that much -- maybe 23 mph? Mostly the extra power would be useful for hills.

If you keep your speed down to 15 mph (treat it like a bicycle rather than a moped) it would last a good deal longer, and of course by pedalling you can get a lot more distance.

Comment Want to be sure they got it? No iMessage. (Score 1) 157

iMessage *could* be fixed. If Apple would make messages go to every device that's signed on under that account and send it via SMS (and have the system throw out duplicates if needed), it could be decent.

But instead ... it only goes to one device, which may or may not be the one they're using. (Or maybe it won't even go to that one device.)

So ... ultimately, if you want to make sure that they get your message, you need to turn off iMessage, or at least not use anything that uses it.

Personally, I'm surprised that Apple screwed this up so badly and left it that way -- but yet, here we are.

Comment Re:And what's our suggestion to friends and family (Score 1) 79

I'm scared of my mother calling me one day telling me "I've lost every picture from all my life and a guy is asking me $10K to recover them".

Yup, this is a real, justified fear.

It's wise to not attempt to switch her to Linux -- she'd probably fight that (it's too different for most people without any real benefits for what they do), and it's not really a solution to the problem anyways.

Probably the best answer to this is to buy her a big USB hard drive and set up some sort of backup that she can run just by clicking on something, and drill into her head how important it is to 1) do the backup occasionally. and 2) leave the drive off when you're not doing backups.

Ransomware isn't the only concern. Hard drive failure and software crashes that erase the disk are others.

Alas, often it's only an actual loss of files that convinces people to take backups seriously -- and it's unethical at best to *fake* a loss of files (and then recover them all because you got "really lucky") so that's not really an option unless you're dishonest.

If you see her often and she doesn't mind, you could do the backups yourself and keep the drive yourself -- that way, when she calls you, you just say "That sucks! Fortunately, I backed up all your stuff last week ..."

Comment Re:With 32 gig usb sticks so cheap ... (Score 1) 154

I'm not even sure I'd be able to find 4GB or even 8GB drives in stores anymore.

Both are quite easy to find at the store,">even convenience stores like Walgreens.

2 GB ... that's hard to find, and I'd say that 4 GB is on the way out (but still easy to find). 8 GB ... that'll probably be around for a while.

In any event, I've got lots of 4 GB sticks around, and so I do appreciate it when an install image fits on one because I can just put the install image on it, label it ... and then use it as needed. A larger stick, and I might be inclined to erase it when I need to store stuff on it, but 4 GB ... that can remain install media forever and I'll not feel much need to re-use it.

So, when they decide that even 2 GB isn't enough, I hope they'll stop at 4 GB (well, a bit below it) rather than 4.7 GB or so (DVD size).

Comment Re:Peeping toms? No. (Score 1) 101

You know, the article actually explains why they said no laws were violated --

Blanchette said that it's not illegal to fly a drone over someone's property, but once it lands on the ground or the roof, it's considered an invasion of space.

The original article said nothing of "peeping toms" -- that assumption was added later.

In any event, it sounds like the video was showed to them during business hours rather than at 3am.

Also, if they really didn't want to do anything, they wouldn't say this --

Agawam Police said that if something like this does happen again to the DiCioccio family - or anyone else in town - contact them immediately. They don't want anyone to be put in this uncomfortable situation again.

Sounds to me that they'd like to do something. That said, if they were able to investigate while the guy was still flying maybe they could find evidence of "peeping tom" activities, if that was actually happening. (It's unlikely, since this would do such a poor job of it, but it's not entirely impossible.)

In any event, given that it's probably one of their neighbors -- they may seem him flying again and get to ask him about it.

Comment Peeping toms? No. (Score 1) 101

A 19-year-old woman called Massachusetts police about a drone peeking through her second-story window at 3 a.m. -- and was told no laws had been violated.

Um, no.

If you click through the stories, this is the one that's being referred to. There's even a video.

But here's the thing ... all the video shows is a flashing light. You can't even hear it. I imagine her eyes were better than her cell phone camera at night vision and so there was something there, but there's no evidence whatsoever of it "peeking through her window" here. There's not even any evidence that it had a camera.

If that was a quadcopter and it was close -- it was a tiny toy one, and the tiny ones that have cameras have cameras that are even crappier than the one in her phone. So if it was taking pictures -- they're probably just as revealing as the one she took of it, and there's no evidence that pictures were taken at all.

And going even beyond how crappily the cameras work at night, this guy made a video showing how close you have to be to see anything -- and he's doing it with high end gear and it's daytime except when he uses the *really* expensive non-hobbyist multicopter with an IR camera. He has to be really, really close to even recognize somebody with his high end gear -- like ten feet away, close enough that it wouldn't be stealthy at all.

If the police said that no laws were violated, what they probably really said is that "there's no evidence that a law was violated". Simply having it over your yard doesn't break the law, just like a 747 flying over your yard doesn't break the law. Actually doing peeping tom stuff -- *that's actually against the law*, but there's no evidence that happened. Also, the article says nothing of "peeping" -- that was added by the other article, and then it got upgraded to "peeping tom" by the /. story.

I occasionally fly mine at night around my house. Not usually at 3am because I'm asleep by then, but 10pm, sure. Usually it's to test some repairs or something that I did. If it has a camera, there's no point in hooking it up or turning it on because the images will look like the video in the article, and I'm not there to take pictures anyway -- I'm to test something or just toodle around. There's nothing nefarious about it.

But all in all ... I don't see evidence of anybody doing any peeping tom stuff here.

Comment Re:Why conceal it? (Score 1) 740

The advantages of GMO food are usually to the producer or the farmer rather than the final consumer of the food.

That said, there's a few exceptions -- the Arctic Apple that doesn't brown so easily, the reduced carcinogen (all potatoes have acrylamide which is suspected to cause cancer) "Innate" potatoes, Golden Rice that provides vitamin A, etc. Since there's a difference (an advantage) to the end user, these things are indeed labelled voluntarily, because they're believed to be better.

But as for the seed that's sold to the farmer, absolutely, it's labelled. The farmer knows exactly what he's buying, and he knows why he's paying extra for it -- because for his purposes, it's better. (If it wasn't, he wouldn't buy it.)

But the end product, what he sells? It has no practical difference from the non-GMO variety, so there's no reason to label it as different except as a "scarlet letter" to be pushed for by the people who want to make their non-GMO foods look better than the the GMO varieties. Of course, they already have a label for that -- "organic" -- though to be fair, "organic" means more than simply non-GMO. (Though there are some non-GMO labels they can voluntarily use as well if they want.)

In any event, the organic certification allows crops altered with mutagenisis -- where things are treated with radiation or mutation inducing chemicals and they see what happens, and if they like it they keep it -- which always struck me as far more scary than anything involving transgenics which is much more controlled, but hey, our ruby red grapefruit, that's organic, even though it was made with mutagensis and not tested anywhere near as much as something made with transgenics, because of ... reasons.

Comment Re:Why conceal it? (Score 1) 740

Farmers buy seeds from Monsanto and other companies because those seeds provide benefits that are more than worth the cost. Period.

Monsanto may have some unethical business practices (though to be fair -- I've never seen any real evidence of this) but the same can be said of any large corporation. And from what I can tell, Monsanto's most unethical business practice that's actually true (they're accused of a lot of things that aren't true) seems to be that they make seeds and don't give them away for free.

Comment Re:Why conceal it? (Score 1) 740

What are the medical dangers from eating or not eating a kosher or halal diet? None.

If you wanted to bring in an analogy of kosher or halal food, the appropriate analogy would be the people making kosher or halal food pushing for a mandate that all non-kosher/halal food be labeled.

Of course, they aren't doing that, and they aren't telling people (with no scientific evidence) that non-kosher/halal food is untested, dangerous or causes cancer or something either.

Comment Re:Why conceal it? (Score 1, Insightful) 740

This cartoon tells why we shouldn't mandate labeling of them.

*No* dangers have been found. None. And these foods (well, the GMO plants that went into them) are among the most heavily tested on the planet.

Even the nutritional characteristics are the same -- and if they weren't, the FDA would require labeling, because then it would actually be different.

This labeling makes even *less* sense than the Prop 65 warnings in California -- at least there, the chemicals in question really have been found to cause cancer (though in things bearing that ubiquitous warning label usually have the chemicals in question in utterly minuscule amounts that are many orders of magnitude lower than what's been found to cause even the smallest problems, or they're in things that aren't consumed by humans at all. (You wouldn't eat a Disneyland, would you? (Note that I didn't say "eat at Disneyland", but instead "eat Disneyland itself".)

Comment Re:Not Shortwave (Score 1) 291

Absolutely not true.

Um, what's absolutely not true?

It also, however, uses a combination of ticks on certain side bands for every second, changing the format at fixed intervals, as well as sending the timce code on a 100hz tone on the AM signal. It is all there on these frequencies and can be easily decoded.

I never said those signals *can't* be decoded, only that the 60 KHz signal is simpler and easier to decode -- which is true.

If anybody cares, here's the protocol used by WWV.

But, again, for the most part, the "atomic clocks" don't use the 2.5, 5, 10, 15 and 20 MHz signals -- they use the station at 60 KHz -- WWVB, which uses a simpler format.

The 2.5, 5, 10, 15 and 20 MHz signals have some non-voice components (the "tones" I mentioned) to aid mechanical decoding, yes, but most of what's there is for humans. But most radio controlled clocks don't use it -- they use WWVB.

Comment Re:drones evolve faster than birds (Score 1) 176

An autonomous car could deliver a large bomb to a destination.

Better ban autonomous cars. Hell, better ban motor vehicles entirely ... after all, motor vehicles already been (ab)used like this!

Or ... we could consider that bombing things is already illegal, as is shooting down any sort of aircraft in any manner, and for the most part ... people don't break these laws very often. And yet the already existing laws didn't stop McVeigh ...

Banning or heavily restricting model aircraft wouldn't stop them from being abused -- if a criminal really did want to make something to down an aircraft, he'd just do it, (presumably model airplane parts would be easier to get than a RPG or some other sort of hand held, perhaps guided, missile, anyways) and would finally use it when he's ready to commit his crime. He'd have a hard time testing the system before actually using it, but beyond that ... the ban would not stop him.

But it certainly *would* stop all the non-criminals from doing all their non-criminal, non-dangerous things ...

Comment Re:Not Shortwave (Score 2) 291

The "atomic" clocks (really "radio controlled" clocks would be far more accurate) don't usually use the WWV signals -- instead they use the WWVB signal at 60 KHz, aka 0.06 MHz -- which is not shortwave, but instead longwave.

So *that's* how it's not shortwave.

The shortwave signals are AM voice and tones -- for humans to listen to. The 60 KHz signal is far simpler, easy for a clock to use, and it also propagates more consistently due to its lower frequency.

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