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Comment Keeps the annoying part, loses the useful parts! (Score 1) 91

As far as I could tell, the main reason people were annoyed about Google Glass (besides the ostentatious bragging of wearing $1500 glasses) was that somebody wearing them could be taking your picture at any time, without obviously holding up a camera or a phone or wearing a lapel-pin camera or having a pen-sized camera in their shirt pocket or something clipped to their backpack straps or whatever else. These glasses still do that, just not as well as a cheap camera or phone.

But the display inside the glasses, which made Google Glass more useful than a camera thing, isn't in these, and it's also missing the potential Google functionality of doing face recognition and telling you the name of the person you're looking at, which you forgot. Sure, somebody wearing Google Glasses could look like they're looking at you but really be watching cat videos or talking to somebody else, but cellphone headsets had given us those a decade earlier, and now there's Pokemon Go or whatever follows it.

Also, social views of always-connected cameras are changing, as a result of Black Lives Matter and other episodes of people recording cops behaving badly and the near-ubiquity of cellphone video. Yes, there are privacy tradeoffs we need to figure out (e.g. secure recording for your pictures doesn't have to also mean that Google or Apple iCloud has access to your data.)

Comment Obama Should But Won't - Will Merkel/EU/others? (Score 1) 341

Of course Obama should pardon Snowden, but we all know that ain't gonna happen. The real question is whether some EU country like Germany or some other country besides Russia will offer Snowden asylum. So far, none of them have had the guts, even Ecuador which is giving Julian Assange some slack, though most Latin American governments are too tightly tied to the US to offer protection against kidnapping as well as against official extradition or look-the-other-way rendition.

Russia's currently some protection for Snowden, but only while he's politically useful to Putin, and Putin's still in power. If anything happens to Putin, or to Snowden's usefulness (e.g. Putin wants to do a favor for President Trump), he's in trouble.

Comment Re:Look a bit higher (Score 1) 245

The over .55, under 55 pound RC aircraft must carry a registration number in plain site.

Nope. It just has to be easily accessible. It can be inside a battery door if the cover doesn't screw on.

If you own four of them, all four must carry that number.

Yes. Which drives home the point that this is not a registration number for your model aircraft, but for the operator.

Comment Re:No they aren't denying it (Score 4, Interesting) 299

Climate Change is not a religious issue for those who "deny" it. (The other side, arguably yes...) You're confusing it with Evolution.

But interestingly, the "reasoning" and rhetoric of global warming denial is almost identical to that of evolution denial.

E.g., both promote the notion that they are up against a global conspiracy of scientists.

Comment Re: Yup (Score 1) 245

Unless you own the land outside the city you plan to fly on I wouldn't suggest that either.

Some of us live in areas with substantial public lands which are not wildlife preserves. Now, to be fair, my local BLM land is also a MOA, and in theory people aren't supposed to fly model aircraft in special operational areas. But on the flip side...

There is a reason there are rc clubs with private airstrips and tracks.

...a famous rc club strip in the Mojave is also in a MOA. And aircraft are allowed to use MOAs without permission at their own risk, so it seems like so long as I obey all the usual restrictions (max 400' AGL, LoS or in communication with a spotter with LoS) that's not a problem.

I could also just go fly at Highland Springs reservoir, which (like my house) is within the 5 mile circle around the local airport, if I just notify them ahead of time. One is not required to ask permission either, although they'd surely let me know if there were going to be firefighting aircraft in the area, at which point I wouldn't be permitted to fly. The only place around an airport where you're really not allowed to fly is within a certain relatively short distance around the air strips of controlled airports themselves. You can fly RC around private airstrips (as in, for real aviation) with permission, but you are required to keep a certain distance from actual aircraft in operation.

Comment Re: Look a bit higher (Score 1) 245

Oh, for pete's sake you can't shoot people for trespassing on your property either, but that doesn't mean your property is fair game for anyone who wants to tramp around on it.

That's a pretty great analogy, though. I wouldn't argue that invading someone's privacy or even just noise polluting their airspace isn't being a dickhead. I'd only argue that shooting down a drone with a shotgun when you could start a fire is being a stupid dickhead. It's also unnecessary. Odds are someone is just GPS drifting. If you think otherwise, gather some evidence like an adult. Nine times out of ten, the drone pilot is your neighbor, not a bunch of houses over. The further you get away from home around other people's houses and thus potential sources of interference with both your TX signal and with GPS, the greater the chance you're going to wind up leaving it in their yard or on their roof.

Comment Re:This is stupid (Score 1) 250

For one thing, I think you're taking quite a lot of advantages in your own background for granted that are not likely typical for immigrants from many African or Asian countries.

People who are raised to expect things to be handed to them are at a disadvantage in the real world where you have to go get things. So yeah, what you're saying is absolutely true on one hand, and yet not the whole story on the other. Also, the advantages that we enjoy from our own backgrounds aren't necessarily the types that get you a job. They can help keep you out of prison, and don't think for a second that I want to diminish the value of that, but it's not exactly the same as helping you succeed. Once you're successful, it is pretty much exactly the same, because the goal then is to hang on to what you've earned.

Immigrants have access to programs designed specifically to help them. Locals (of the "proper" color) are not subjected to abuse to which others are. Those things lead to different ends.

Comment Re:Look a bit higher (Score 1) 245

This is already the law, if the machine is over .55 pounds. So even small toys must be registered.

No, you are not even close. You have the number right, but none of the other facts. The drone operator must be registered, and he puts his UAS number on all of his remotely controlled flying machines over .55lb. Over 55lb, models require FAA registration just like an airplane, with a tail number and everything.

The FAA has just recently set up the guidelines for becoming a commercial drone pilot; prior to this if you wanted to engage in commercial activities with a drone, you were legally obligated to get a N-number just like a real airplane and put it on there in such a way that it was legible from the ground and all that jazz. Now that obligation has been relaxed in favor of a testing, registration, and background check process which appears to be heavily slanted towards the operation of fixed-wing drones and helicopters (as in, with a swashplate, not just any unicopter) as the test covers a lot of material that's quite irrelevant to operators of multicopters. There's only one type of registration and it covers you for anything you might want to fly. I believe (I'm a bit shaky on this news stuff) that within the size range, you only have to put your UAS label on the model, and you don't need a tail number.

Also, you are I hope aware that there are now FPV drones under .55lb?

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