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Comment Re:The cost of doing business (Score 1) 267

is there any OTHER reason to be a slumlord with dangerous buildings & offering disingenuous accommodations to customers who you are legally & commercially responsible for?

Yes. You are an evil greedy bastard who cares more about lining your own pockets than the welfare of your fellow humans. There are plenty of people like that in the world.

Comment Re:The cost of doing business (Score 1) 267

And some people design businesses around breaking laws with penalties low enough that the endeavor is still profitable - and the laws keep out "honest" competitors. And some of these sorts of businesses get big enough and profitable enough that they can keep politicians from enacting laws with real teeth.

Comment Re:The cost of doing business (Score 2) 267

"Better" for the owner, not necessarily better for society at large.

Some people see breaking the law as inherently bad and avoid doing it on principle. Some see the penalties involved as a tax, on the off-chance you get caught.

Do you always drive the speed limit? 5 over? 10 over? 20 over? At some threshold - assuming there are police around to catch you - driving over the speed limit becomes more expensive than it is worth, below that threshold, most people speed. Same applies to business. Many business owners (some may call them unscrupulous, or criminals) will break whatever laws they want as long as the reward for doing so is greater than the penalty for being caught. Others may call them shrewd businesspeople.

Comment The cost of doing business (Score 3, Insightful) 267

The fines were $1000 per incident. Let's assume each unit rents for $1000/wk. And since there are multiple units in these buildings, a single ad could cover several units. I'll make a giant assumption of 10 units per building, and an occupancy rate of 50%.
(10x52x1000)/2 = $260,000. A $17,000 fine may cut into profits a bit, but it is hardly punitive. At $5,000 a pop, that starts to be enough to discourage the behavior. But even then the venture appears, if not wildly profitable, still better than having the units sit empty.

Comment See auto manufacturers and racing (Score 5, Interesting) 293

Porsche, Audi, Mercedes, BMW, etc. don't make race cars and compete in things like 24 Hours of LeMans, WRC, etc. because those cars and those events make them money. They do it because 1) It provides a venue to show off cool new technology 2) It provides them marketing cachet, name recognition, and bragging rights.

Apple has lost sight of this. Apple is happily making Corollas & Caravans - which sell large volumes and make a profit. But it has forgotten the high-performance end of the bell curve where the bragging rights are earned and new tech is shown off.

Comment Deflection (Score 5, Insightful) 756

"Earlier today, the US government removed any reasonable doubt that the Kremlin has weaponized WikiLeaks to meddle in our election and benefit Donald Trump's candidacy," said Clinton campaign spokesperson Glen Caplin. "We are not going to confirm the authenticity of stolen documents released by Julian Assange who has made no secret of his desire to damage Hillary Clinton."

Interpretation: It's all true, but the people revealing it are mean and want to hurt us so you should ignore whatever it is they've revealed. See ad hominem attack.

Comment Insurance Liability (Score 1) 135

The insurance liability for something like this would be astronomical. We already have roads and understand and accept the risks associated with them. With this you have the risk of running into buildings, trees, power lines, etc. Roads are at least well-defined travel ways, the sky not so much. Then you have the risks of falling out of the sky & damaging things below - and the occupants are pretty well dead, so add a few million for them.

Even if fuel & vehicle costs were negligible I could easily see $5 million liability insurance being reasonable for each flight.

Comment Re:How does this work? (Score 1) 170

(Replying to my own question.)

The k2radio article describes how this works. The drone control app on iOS talks to a remote server for mapping info. The Feds feed geofence info into the control app servers and that gets delivered to the pilots & their drones.

"AirMap and Skyward now obtain wildfire information directly from Interiorâ(TM)s Integrated Reporting Wildland-Fire Information (IRWIN) program, and immediately transmit it to drone pilots through AirMapâ(TM)s iOS and web apps, AirMapâ(TM)s API, and the GEO geofencing system included in the DJI GO flight control app."

I'm going to make the giant assumption that enough drones operate in this manner to make this worthwhile.

Comment How does this work? (Score 1) 170

Drones, aka radio controlled aircraft, communicate with the operator over radio waves. Those signals carry commands, video, and other stuff. My understanding is that these are point-to-point communications.

How then does "software" get in the middle of this point-to-point communication and inform the pilot to go away? Are they setting up hardware with antennas & software that transmits on some common frequency & protocol that drones use?

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