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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?

Comment Re:How easy is it to jump to real programming? (Score 1) 73

From http://www.apple.com/swift/pla...:
"Because youâ(TM)re working with real code, you can import and export directly between Swift Playgrounds and Xcode. So you can try out your ideas with the tool pros use to develop iOS and Mac apps."

So it looks like there is a path to a more sophisticated dev environment if you outgrow the iPad sandbox.

Comment Accuracy of other heart rate monitors? (Score 1) 146

How does the FitBits' accuracy compare with the many other consumer-grade heart rate monitors on the market? e.g. The ones with a strap you wear around your chest.

If the FitBits do a bad job of measuring heart rate - to the point of being worthless noise - then I agree they ought to be sued for selling a product that doesn't do what it advertises. But I'd like to see a less biased party - such as a fitness magazine, or Consumer Reports - do the testing rather than a lawyer chasing a paycheck.

Comment Look to homeschooling (Score 1) 143

Homeschoolers have been delivering "personalized education" for many years. Everything from choosing a complete curriculum and allowing the student to proceed at their own pace, to developing a completely custom curriculum from various sources.

My own child participates in a program called "Classical Conversations" which provides a large chunk of the curriculum, and there are weekly sessions with a small group. Math we are doing via an online course.

FWIW, my child is sixth grade aged, and is doing 7th+ grade level work. Is this because my child is inherently intelligent? Because of the one on one teaching? Because the curriculum happens to fit with her learning style? Who knows. But she is excelling and, IMHO, getting a far better education than she ever would in a public school where they spend the vast majority of their effort making sure the lowest performers make it over the bar rather than helping the high achievers reach their potential.

Comment Re:Again... (Score 3, Interesting) 260

It may very well be true that existing laws have been crafted in a way to protect entrenched companies. Nothing new there; happens in other industries, too. That does not negate the fact that the government has an interest in ensuring some level of training, insurance, best practices, etc. from service providers. Just as they do for plumbers, construction contractors, lawyers, dentists, beauticians, etc.

Uber & Lyft don't want any rules to apply to them. That's just as selfish/greedy/evil as protective laws.

Comment Re:Matching requirements (Score 2) 260

And this is exactly the issue. Uber & Lyft offer a service that currently has certain regulations, but they don't want to be bound by the existing regulations because they are "different". Same issue with Homeaway, Airbnb, VRBO, etc.

The government has a interest in assuring that people offering a service meet some level of licensing, in theory proving they have some level of training and standard practices to ensure customers (citizens) are not subject to undue risk. But Uber & Lyft don't want to play by those rules. They feel they vet their drivers well enough and the government can go pound sand.

I think I'll create an app offering tooth extraction services. Use the app and someone will come to your house with a pair of pliers and yank your teeth out. Medical school? Sanitation? Pish-posh. That's old-school, big government think. It's a sharing economy now.

Comment Groovy (Score 1) 358

I've been using Groovy for the past few years. And every where I can I try to use more of it.

http://www.groovy-lang.org/

The syntax is terse (no semi-colons if you don't want them), it adds a lot of nice touches (null is false, ?. operator), easy JSON and XML support, and yet it works seamlessly with the vast number of Java libraries out there.

Pair Groovy up with the Gradle (Groovy-based) build tool and you have a slick package.

I just got done writing a little utility with it. No class declaration or main(), Sql object that makes database interaction dead simple. It's a fairly trivial piece of code, but it looks lean and clean in Groovy.

- Jasen.

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