We seem to be approaching a time when it would at least be possible to have an app on your phone that would allow you to transfer money (in the form of bitcoins or other blockchain-based currency) directly to your phone. There it would serve as a wallet, allowing you to make direct purchases. I wonder if such a plan is being considered?
Just out of curiousity, where did you find an APM 2.6 flight controller with GPS module for $50?
That's a very of odd definition of fluency. I could be unfamiliar with the concept of intransitive verbs or genitive case and still be considered fluent in my native language. Not knowing whether to use 'there', 'their' or 'they're' in a given sentence has little to do with your knowledge of grammar and basic linguistics. If you have to analyze a sentence grammatically to correctly use 'their' in "She went to their house", you almost certainly are not a native speaker of English.
I suspect that many people develop a greater understanding of their own language, and languages in general, by studying a second language. I still remember the "Ah ha!" moment I had in junior high school when it dawned upon me the doing word for word translation of English to French was almost never going to produce the correct result. My world grew much larger that day.
But my fluency in English was unchanged.
I buy tech books often to teach myself about things I think will be useful at work. I do not read them cover to cover - I study the portions I'm interested in, those that may solve a perticular problem. I may return to them later to study another aspect that I need to know. I consider the money well spent if I'm able to learn what I need when I need to learn it. That's what I consider a valuable resource.
I've used several MOOCs in the same way. I've worked my way through the bulk of them without difficulty. But I never bothered to complete them. I learned what I needed to know and moved on. I consider these courses to be tremendously valuable resources. I just don't use them the way the designers expected me to.
That doesn't make them a failure. It just means that if you provide a great source of information for free to the net, people are going to use them in ways that make sense to them.
The nice thing about a person's actual fingerprints is that they don't change over time. As one poster pointed out, oscillators do drift over time. I can't help but think that the components they're trying to measure also will change in the tested characteristics as they age. If a digital fingerprint doesn't stay constant over the life of the device, is it really of any value?
NOAA uses manned airplanes now. So do a lot of people. The advantage of drones is that they are significantly cheaper than manned aircraft. So Texas is basically killing innovation and new business models before they ever get started.
In most states, it's already illegal to take pictures that invade privacy. It doesn't matter if the picture of you and your wife making love in your bedroom is taken by a drone or by the guy next door sitting on his roof using his camera and telephoto lens. Both are already illegal.
This isn't about privacy.
I'm surprised at the numbers. Out of curiosity, what are you folks who don't have Java installed using for a word processor?
Too late? Really? I think not.
Maybe you've read about those red-light cameras that were all the rage a while back. I've never seen one, and it wouldn't matter if I did - I don't run red lights, so it's not an issue. If you really followed those stories, you also read about the large number of communities where the citizens got pissed off and decided to have them removed. So the towns did. Not everywhere, certainly, but in enough places to convince me that after they were put up, it wasn't "too late".
The cameras will stay so long as they don't cause issues. When they do, they'll be removed - perhaps by popular vote, perhaps by "citizen justice". But they'll go if they're causing problems for people who are just going about their lives. Don't misunderstand - if enough people think, "I don't like being watched", that's causing problems. If no one cares, they'll stay.
If they aren't causing problems, what's the issue?
"Conversion, fastidious Goddess, loves blood better than brick, and feasts most subtly on the human will." -- Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway"