Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Counterpoint (Score 0) 2058

Based on information found in the '09 county census (http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/47/47131.html) if you were this man's neighbor your house would statistically be almost 700' away from his. Granted, if the fire spreads beyond the man's property it then becomes a county/municipality issue and the fire dept has an obligation to commit resources to prevent its spread, however most rural areas I've lived in have municipal codes requiring fire breaks around houses for this specific reason. The county doesn't care so much if a county wildfire takes your home out with it, what they don't want is your home fire turning into a county wildfire.

As far as public emergency services go, currently most of America uses privatized fire protection and EMT services, the municipalities I've worked with are often firm in their beliefs that these privatized services save their tax payers money (http://reason.org/files/c2bbfe415eccfdff424a2bf7c8a20585.pdf). But this is the result, they cost less money because they make the hard choices the county itself, for a multitude of reasons, can't make. No Fire, EMT, or police service could ever guarantee their services, by necessity they operate like an insurance program; everyone pays in with a very small minority on any particular day actually needing the service. If conditions occur outside of this model such as large wide-scale emergencies that exceed the capabilities of the local fire, EMT, and police departments we have another layer of insurance, local emergency planning and coordination committees and inter-district aid agreements commit the resources of neighboring counties/states, and beyond that the national guard and the red cross can provide relief efforts to stressed local emergency services.

Here is the kicker though, all these layers of protection, all these buffers against worst case scenarios cost money. As far as I can tell good intentions don't pay for the upkeep, overhead, and salaries of emergency services. If you don't agree with how things are run or you know of a better way to do things then the proper answer is not to refuse to pay your bill, but to become active in the local community and actually change things. It's not particularly difficult, few care enough to actually commit their time so competition generally isn't a factor.

This fire department likely performed a cost-benefit analysis at some point and determined which areas were high-hazard areas for the spread of house fires and which areas were low-hazard areas for the spread of house fires, and it sounds to me like this guy lives in the low-hazard area. When we as the tax paying general public want to pay lower taxes then cost cutting measures like this are the result. Granted I'm biased, I don't have a problem paying my county fees and taxes but truthfully I don't see anything wrong with refusing service to people that refuse to pay for it. It's not the fire department's fault when you lose your house and dogs to the fire you allowed your grandson to start right next to your house when you hadn't paid your taxes. This isn't just some random event, a is the conclusion of a series of poor decisions by the home owner which led him to his current circumstances, he has no one to blame but himself.

Comment Prior Art? (Score 0) 434

I think everyone is missing the point; there is plenty of prior art on racketeering, why the hell does Google get to patent it? Maybe a patent for a system that involves me parking a tank outside Google headquarters and charging a fee through a macro payment system the AC_FillThisSackWithCashBitches system for maintaining the tank in a non-firing manner is in order.

Comment Re:Perch? (Score 1, Informative) 192

Why don't you just saunter on down to Cambridge, MA and let everyone in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory know that in 5 minutes you've figured out what they have been working on for months and that additionally, their doing it wrong.
Let me know how that goes for ya.

Also, this article isn't about planes that charge on power lines, its about some students that figured out how to automate the landing/perching maneuver on a small foam ultra light-weight rc unpowered glider.

The glider has no means of propulsion what-so-ever;
it has only 1 control surface, the elevator;
it has a tiny battery just large enough to run the servo and radio receiver;
it can't land in wind, rain, snow, or other real world conditions; AND
all of the sensing and control electronics (high speed motion detection cameras and Matlab running on a laptop) are mounted off-plane.

The reason landing a UAV on powerlines is hard isn't because the powerline are particularly difficult to hit, its because you have to design the landing system to work in real world weather conditions AND you can't have 20 some high speed motion capture cameras already at the landing site AND the thing still has to have all the normal electronics on board to fly after landing AND you have to cram on the large heavy (from a small UAV perspective) battery charging equipment as well.

For anyone interested the ACTUAL website for the ACTUAL study can be found here: http://groups.csail.mit.edu/locomotion/perching.html
First Person Shooters (Games)

Submission + - Having a hard time with halo 3? Why not sue Bungie (tgdaily.com)

drukawski writes: Gamer, distraught over repeated tea bagings, has decided to sue Microsoft and Bungie. His claim is that Halo 3 isn't compatible with the X-box 360. No word yet on if his blanket wrapped 360 kept in an unventilated closet has anything to do with the issue.

Comment Re:And in future news... (Score 0) 429

As an avid hunter and fisherman (for meat not sport), your opinion, that it's "ghoulish to find nourishment in the chard flesh and dead animals," seems ignorant and small minded to me. Granted, the industrialization of America's meat farming has resulted in practices that skirt the edge of my own personal set of morals. But disapproving of specific high yield farming techniques due to the lack of respect the animals are given is a far cry from out and out lambasting meat consumption entirely. I teach my kids how to fish and hunt specifically because it teaches them death is not only natural but that its part of a bigger picture. I want them to know that taking the life of an animal should never be taken lightly, that we should have reverence not only for our food sources but for the environment that supports them and by extension, us. Like it or not, we depend on every aspect of our environment and unless we manage it in a sustainable way we will just erode the foundation of what makes our country so beautiful.

Teaching people to eat nothing but beans may fill their stomaches and teaching them to make their clothes from from hemp may warm their skin, but neither of these fill their hearts with respect for the animals and environment on which they depend. Disassociating your fate from meat creates a disassociation between you and animals it comes from. I totally agree with your assessment that making things painless makes them easier to do, but I think the bigger worry isn't making it easy to kill cows, but making it easy to ignore our dependence on other animals. A person that in their own mind doesn't depend on that wild life refuge down the street sees it being converted into a housing development or country club very differently than someone that knows the reason they can fill their freezer with dinner every autumn is thanks to the pressure free areas game flow out of.

Comment Re:I think this could be potentially good. (Score 0) 153


a Belarusian textile company has developed a special school uniform that protects kids from... electromagnetic radiation emanating from their cellphones!

-And translated from the original article in Russian-

Let us recall, WHO (World Health Organization) extended information about the unfavorable consequences of the action of the electromagnetic radiations of cell phone on the children and adolescents. Foreign, including Russian, studies prove, that the use by the rising generation of such apparatuses is dangerous for the health. Electromagnetic radiations most strongly act on the central nervous and immune systems of organism.

The uniforms even come with a free tinfoil lined hoodie

Comment You would think gamers would know better... (Score 0) 60

Bad move Ottumwa, once you've mined up a little ore you don't use it to build a hall of fame, your gonna need vespene gas for that. No, what you do is you use the ore to build more workers, that way you can mine ore faster. Otherwise how are you going to defend against the initial zerg rush?

Comment Re:Assure vs Insure vs Ensure... (Score 0) 287

I was debating delving into a multi-point counter argument picking apart your grammatical fanaticism; however, I suspect that would only "delight" you further.
Yet one point stands above all else; for all intents and purposes neither you nor I know where the parent hails from. Whose to say where he/she lives there aren't different grammar rules than what you personally have determined in your head to be the be-all and end-all of grammar? Surely you aren't suggesting that the poster, I, or anyone else for that matter, engaged in a conversation, should always and forever use grammar that you personally like just in case you were to stumble across the conversation without regard towards the grammar that may be "correct" in our respective locals?

Your feelings of entitlement towards reading everything in a way thats most comfortable for you are unjustified and to be honest, excessive. Now, I'm sure theres a word for that; something that means "making unjustified or excessive claims or expressing an exaggerated worth or importance." Oh wait, here it is: pretentious

Comment Re:Assure vs Insure vs Ensure... (Score 0) 287

1.) I used parent's language to better convey my idea to parent because it occurred to me that simply launching into a dissertation of proper grammar and spelling rather than arguing the merits of his, or her, post might make me appear pretentious and kind of an asshole. If you found ambiguity in my post, might I suggest you read the thread in it's entirety before commenting on something you had a hard time understanding?

2.) On a more personal note I would like to suggest you reexamine your personal feelings about linguistic evolution. Should you still feel the same, please feel free to simply write in Latin from now on... though I suppose Egyptian, Sumerian, or Cuneiform would also probably be acceptable alternatives.

Slashdot Top Deals

The only perfect science is hind-sight.