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Comment Re:Numerous bits of ignorance. (Score 3, Interesting) 343

Iridium has 66 sats in low polar orbits, giving them 100% coverage of the Earth's surface, Inmarsat used geostationary orbits and has coverage of most of the Earth within ~80 degrees of the equator. In the MH370 case, the last communications received were from the Inmarsat terminal on the plane. The problem is that the signals didn't have location data, and the services that would provide locations were disabled.

As most countries migrate to ADS-B, there will be more planes regularly transmitting their current location. There is also an ongoing effort to add ADS-B reception to the Iridium network so they don't have to rely on ground stations.

The only real changes that are needed now is to make sure transponders can't be turned off in flight.

Comment Re:$1000 Flashlights? (Score 1) 191

It could be that the "radar evading" camo net system was acquired because that's what was available for camo netting. Also, while I was in the Army all of our nets had small metal rings in them to scatter the return for ground surveillance radars, thus making the net with a couple trucks under it indistinguishable from the surrounding terrain.

They most likely just wanted some camo nets (they make a great sunshade) and all that was available were the "radar evading" type.

Comment Re:Touchscreens... (Score 2) 398

Most of these machines are close to a decade old, so they do use older designs that were new at the time. And it seems so me that making it strikingly clear which option was selected would be common sense, but then again people have been having problems with paper ballots for decades as well.

For the ATM, is it possible that the screen was re-calibrated each time they restocked the cash?

Comment Why trust touchscreens? (Score 2) 398

As soon as I read the title, I knew this had something to do with touchscreens. My question is, or something as important as voting in an election, why would anyone trust something as inaccurate as a touchscreen? Wouldn't it make more sense to just list the names with a physical button next to each, similar to what you'd see on many ATM's?

As for many people here saying they never need to re-calibrate their modern phones and tablets, is it possible that they do some type of self-calibration upon startup? I have an old, old Nexus One and on occasion the touchscreen will begin behaving erratically. Simply pressing the power button to lock the screen, then unlocking again resolves the issue.

Comment Re:Ha ha ha... (Score 2) 105

From what I hear, unless you add a "liked" page to an interest list, it won't show up in the main feed. Unless they pay to promote a post. I just happened to catch this one in that little side stalker feed that shows people's comments and likes as they happen. It's a result of FB's efforts to "clean up" the main news feed by only showing you the stuff you don't care about, but FB thinks you should see.

Comment Re:Odd... (Score 2) 308

By your logic, if someone has a public conversation in Chinese, it should be illegal to listen to them since proficiency in the Chinese language is "special knowledge".

If you chose to send your personal information via Wi-Fi, cell phone, or other radio signal, you are sending that information as far as the signal will carry it to whomever is in range. If you were having a loud argument in your apartment, would you expect your neighbors to not listen in? If you send your personal information through someone else's private domain, or through the public domain (whether it is via sound wave, electromagnetic wave, or whatever), you have no reasonable expectation that people within range to receive that information aren't listening to it.

Hardline telephones are completely different as the lines themselves belong to the telecoms. If someone taps a phone line, they are tapping the phone company's private property. If you decide to broadcast to everyone in range, that's your problem.

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