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Comment Re:option for surrender (Score 3, Insightful) 983

Note: I'm not defending the use of lethal force in this case, I'm really fucking uncomfortable with that as well. Whether they could keep him bottled up until he gave out is a good question and not one that I can answer.

However, if this is a bomb disposal robot, it is likely that the explosive that the police put onto the robot is one that it is designed to carry and initiate. One way bomb squads dispose of suspected bombs is to detonate them at a time of their choosing using a charge placed by the bomb squad robot. I don't know, but think it's pretty likely that the bomb squad robot doesn't have a general purpose 'pull pin on grenade' option to where it could be used with various grenade type objects, but instead that it only works with the specific charges it is designed for.

I'd maybe be even a bit more concerned if the bot could use 'any grenade type object', rather than something specifically made for EOD, because we'd probably see more of this kind of thing. But of course, now that someone has done it (1) more police departments are going to start thinking of this as a valid method and (2) we probably will see the rise of bots that have more general purpose munitions.

Comment Re:option for surrender (Score 1) 983

My guess is that this is the type of charge that is used to 'safely' detonate suspected explosive devices. One way to approach a suspected bomb is quite simply to trigger it at a known time, when the area is clear. The way to do this is generally to have a 'small' explosive charge on the bomb disposal robot, which can be attached to the suspected bomb, and blown up. This either detonates or rapidly disassembles the (suspected) bomb at a time when everyone is safely back and behind cover.

This is also why they probably couldn't use a flashbang or gas grenade on the bot, I have no idea how the bot initiates the charge it is designed to use, but I doubt that it has a servo to pull the pin on a grenade-type device. Most likely the charge is one that has an initiator specific to the robot.

That's my (uninformed) guess as to why (1) the police had a bomb and (2) the police didn't use a flashbang/gas/etc instead.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 596

If I hear the engine start to growl or feel any form of torque upon depressing a pedal, I know what just happened. The accelerator is also a much lower-force pedal than the brake. There is so much instant feedback telling me what I just did I'd have to have part of my brain physically removed to not know wtf just happened. I'm pretty sure my autonomous nervous system reacts before my prefrontal cortex processes the information, too.

But it's a Tesla, so there won't be an engine growl, and there may not be any feeling of spooling up torque. Electric motors are quiet and go from zero to Holy Shit in no time. It's entirely possible the driver began depressing the 'brake' (actually accelerator), had time to notice not slowing down, and in a panic pressed harder and put it to the floor.

I can't assert that's what happened of course, but it happens /all the time/ in cars that make more noise when accelerating, don't accelerate as fast, and have less power. There was a hole in the front of my gym from someone doing it this last winter, and it was the second time that person had done it!

Comment Re:One time pad (Score 2) 128

OTPs are great. On the other hand, you have to use each pad only once. Ever. So to encrypt 1GB of data, you need 1GB of cryptographically random pad. Which you can never use again. And must be a secret with regards to the rest of the world. And must be present on both the sending and receiving end of the communication.

If I knew how to get 1GB of unique data (be in OTP pad or the real data) from the sender to the receiver in secrecy I wouldn't need encryption in the first place.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Can some of us get together and rebuild this community? 21

wbr1 writes: It seems abundantly clear now that Dice and the SlashBeta designers do not care one whit about the community here. They do not care about rolling in crapware into sourceforge installers. In short, the only thing that talks to them is money and stupid ideas.

Granted, it takes cash to run sites like these, but they were fine before. The question is, do some of you here want to band together, get whatever is available of slashcode and rebuild this community somewhere else? We can try to make it as it once was, a haven of geeky knowledge and frosty piss, delivered free of charge in a clean community moderated format.

Comment Re:How fast was that galaxy moving? (Score 1) 196

And what really makes my head spin: If this galaxy is moving away from us at the speed of light, and has been doing so for almost the entire age of the universe, doesn't that mean that it (and all observable universe) started out from "our" position, even though the big bang should NOT be considered to extend from a central position?

Yes, in that the universe was a point at the beginning, therefore 'our position' was at the center of it, as was the position of everything else in the universe. It might be more accurate to say that instead of this galaxy moving away from us, the space between our galaxies is expanding. All of space is expanding, with gravity keeping structures at the galaxy/local group level close enough together that they do not expand themselves.

By the time our universe is 20 billion years old, that galaxy will be 19.4 billion light years away. The above math would then result in the galaxy moving away at a speed greater than the speed of light. I guess we'll see time moving backwards?

Nope, actually we won't see anything at all, as the light emitted by this galaxy will never be able to reach us. The light from this galaxy will redshift to a greater degree until no more information reaches us.

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