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Comment Re:Nice trollmod, troll (Score 1) 52

Actually no. I went out and engaged in another activity other than sitting in front of my PC all day.

Since you know everything, go ahead and call over to KDEN and let them know that you'll be flying for a few hours near the Mt Elbert shuttle lot. But make sure they know that you're flying as a hobbyist so that it's all OK.

The rules changed last August for everyone, not just commercial guys.

Comment Airspace. (Score 3, Insightful) 52

Last week I passed my "part 107" certification for commercial sUAS pilot. The main driver for me doing this is because I might someday want to fly in airspace that is off limits to a hobbyist pilot. As a hobbyist, you're required to get permission (good luck with that) to fly within 5 miles of any airport (including heliports and grass strips), and forbidden from flying in controlled airspace. With certification you can fly just about anywhere in class G airspace and there's a process (that will soon get much simpler) to get permission to fly in class B, C, D and E airspace. Now if airmen spot an sUAS under them when flying near an airport that might or might not be a problem. As a practical matter, it isn't a good idea to fly just for the heck of it, but there is certainly permitted activity. And almost all activity is well below the hard 400' AGL limit imposed by the FAA anyway, at least for what most of us want to do with drones.

That said, the industry should be doing more to educate pilots, especially now that the FAA has set up rules and fines. Just having an EULA-like "I agree to be a good boy" checkbox isn't enough. And I'm not necessarily in favor of drones being sold in big box retailers either. You won't buy a Cessna like you would an Chevy and you shouldn't buy a drone the same way you'd buy an Xbox. Manufacturers need to be held a little more responsible for their products. These things can potentially do a lot of damage (imagine a 15 lb drone crashing through a roof and then the damaged battery shorting out and catching fire). Most of the people I know think that because they're somewhat easy to fly that means they're not dangerous. When they work, they work great. But there's not too many recoverable failure modes and when something goes wrong, they drop out of the sky like an expensive rock.

Comment Re:Symptoms right, cause seems backwards (Score 4, Informative) 95

This is the problem with big corporations. Small firms and startups can offer a relatively large percentage of the payoff if successful. Google, while able to provide stock options out the wazoo, still can't offer the kind of equity in the company Sergey and Larry have. After all, even acquiring enough stock to offer a 1% payout on success would be next to impossible without either driving up the share price or diluting the pool with new shares to drive the price down. But if you're working for a startup with potential, hey here's 10% of nothing. If it works out, whoopee. If not, well you still have all that "FU money" from your previous employer.

I'm sure the same thing happened at Microsoft when they went public. I heard that people wore buttons that had the letters "FUIFV," which stood for "f*** you, I'm fully vested." I'm sure more than a few people decided to cut and run knowing their retirement, kids' education and possibly home were paid for. Just the right conditions for going out and starting your own company.

Comment Still around today (Score 1) 615

If you get nostalgic for the good old days, get your ham radio license. You'll be transported back to the past by trying to interface your fancy new $kilobuck radio with a modern PC, use software that can't address virtual com ports (meaning you'll have to hope your USB converter can fake being COM 1-4), actually attempt to communicate using only 45, 300, 1200 (but never 9600) baud, and deal with other users who won't let go of 20 year old computers running Windows XP because they're still pissed off they had to learn a new UI after that whole Windows 3.1 to 95 debacle.

Oh and when someone proposes actually doing something that might modernize the hobby, they get shot down in flames.

Comment Too much overlap, not enough coverage (Score 1) 82

Verizon wants to do what AT&T tried to do in the 1990s, become a nationwide wireline provider. Didn't end so well for AT&T (real T, not former Bell South or whatever). Verizon is all about the northeast and mid-atlantic, where Comcast also has a big presence. But the rest of the country is covered by many different cable companies, and also a good bit of geography still has no cable at all. Hard to run national campaigns when most of the people watching aren't able to get your product.

Comment Casio EDIFICE (Score 1) 232

http://edifice.casio.com/

I was all set to pull the trigger on one of these but then went with the Apple Watch on an impulse. Either one is probably more than your budget but I did like the looks of the thing. I own/used its little brother, the STB-1000 and found it functional enough to justify buying a smart watch. Yes, it needs a phone for reminders and such, but it will do much of what a true smart watch will do and still be a pretty good stand alone device. And you're probably going to have your phone with you anyway.

Of course you could go nuts and get an Oceanus...

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