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Comment Re:Black hole in the astronomical desert (Score 1) 184

OK. Then how does a small black hole become a "super massive black hole?" Did it just come into being when God created the universe 6K years ago? And what's with recent multiple observations of asteroids striking Jupiter? You'd think that our solar system would have settled into stable orbits by now. It's been over 4 billion years after all. Maybe I used the wrong term in "sucking", but you know what I mean. Maybe gravity has something to do with it.

Comment Lead story doesn't understand Moore's Law (Score 4, Insightful) 337

Contrary to popular belief, Moore's Law doesn't say that processors will double in speed every 18~24 months. It says that the number of transistors that can economically be put on a single chip will double every 18~24 months. Up until recently, that has translated into a doubling of speed for two reasons: 1) more transistors can be used to optimize the processing of instructions through a variety of techniques and 2) the distances signals have to travel is lessened as the transistors shrink. More transistors contribute not only to power consumption but also more heat, which is another problem with high performance processors. This was partially dealt with by putting multiple cores on a die running at less than max clock rates, thereby distributing the heat and making it easier to deal with. It still may be economical to put more and more transistors on a die, but maybe we don't want to. More transistors consume more power. What's your priority, raw speed or power consumption. Maybe you can't optimize for both at the same time.

Submission + - Desktop 3D printer integrates CNC for precision parts

wevets writes: A new head-slapper in the 3D printer sphere takes a unique approach that may take desktop 3D printing from a maker of nice toys into the realm of useful precision prototyping. Fused Machines combines 3D printing and milling into a single head. This “allows for machine shop grade results on your desktop, and also produces finished parts in less time than with other high resolution FDM printers.” There’s a nice video of the machine printing and then milling a precision gear.

Comment Re:In other words. (Score 1) 288

A person's ballot is supposed/required to be anonymous to and secret from the people counting the votes or anyone who may ever look at the votes. It is reasonable to assume that regardless of how they are stored, the Kansas voting paper trail upholds that standard. If it is ever possible to tie a specific ballot to an individual person by the methods you propose, then Kansas has a lot to answer for.

Comment Re:Only? (Score 1) 664

I refer you to a wikipedia article on "expectation of privacy" in which appears the following: "In general, one cannot have a reasonable expectation of privacy in things held out to the public. A well-known example is... ...what is observed pursuant to aerial surveillance that is conducted in public navigable airspace not using equipment that unreasonably enhances the surveying government official's vision;[7][8] anything in open fields..." Note that the limitation on "unreasonably enhances the surveying" applies to government, not private, surveying. I think we can both agree that its a good idea to keep the government, with its vast resources, out of close surveillance of citizens without a warrant. The whole article is worth a read. It's worth knowing where you can expect privacy and where you can't. For instance, the article says you can expect privacy IN your home. There was no assertion by the shooter that the drone was hovering outside his window looking into his home, only that it was hovering over his yard. Another point of contention is how high the drone was. The shooter gives what may be a self-serving estimate of 20 feet, although he as no way of measuring accurately. The drone operator says it was much higher, and may actually have more objective info, either from GPS data or an analysis of any video he may have captured. I don't know, and neither do you. But the FAA has recently asserted control over all airspace from the ground up, so that would seem to make all the airspace at least controllable in a public way. One may not like it, but that's the law.

Comment Re:Only? (Score 2) 664

I don't understand why you think the drone operator did anything wrong. Maybe the drone operator was pausing to get his bearings. Maybe he stopped because he was trying to figure out a message his controller was showing him. His camera might not have been on at all. (My son makes and sells an aftermarket device that allows turning on and off a GoPro camera from the user's controller.) If the camera was on, maybe he was just occupying a spot from which he could take a picture of something not on the shooter's property. THE SHOOTER DID NOT KNOW WHAT THE DRONE WAS DOING, BUT SHOT ANYWAY. The fact is, he does not control the airspace over his own property. The FAA has recently asserted control over the airspace from the ground up specifically in response to the drone phenomena. Of course, by law the landowner has control of the airspace at least up to 83' up and, somewhat more murky control up to 500', but that is for building, towers, flag poles, etc, things anchored to the ground. Here in Portland, OR, a major hospital on the hill errected a tram from down by the river up to the hospital. All the home owners under the tram's path objected on privacy grounds. But it was established that one has no expectation of privacy from the air over their own property while outside. Otherwise you could shoot down news helicopters, etc.

Comment Re:Only? (Score 1) 664

Man, you guys are scary. What if I was hovering over my friends yard, which happens to be next door to you, showing it to my friend. The drone's camera is off, but you can't know that. There's a clear view from the drone of your back yard if the camera was on and the view of your back yard not much different than it would be if the drone was 10 feet over and directly over your back yard. Do you shoot? There really are two issues here: 1) privacy, and 2) guns. I understand the concern with privacy. But the problem with the guns is all too often, with the gun culture in this country, guns are a first resort. They should be a last resort. That's why (fact) since 9/11 more people have been killed by guns in the US than by all the islamo/pedophile/ISIS/terrorists in the US and Europe. If you are pro-life, guns and the culture surrounding them are a much bigger problem than terrorism.

Comment Re:Only? (Score 1) 664

Tapping your phone and flying, even hovering, over your property are two different things. Firstly, you don't own nor can you control the airspace over your property. That's the law. (Interesting story, see below.) Secondly, police, news (with cameras), medivac and other helicopters fly over people's property and sometimes hover at low altitude all the time. Gonna shoot at them? Interesting story: The US had the technical means to put a satellite into orbit in 1955, but did not at the president's order because we were afraid that in those cold war times the Soviet Union would claim that we were violating their airspace in international law venues. When, in 1957, the Soviets put up Sputnik which orbited over US airspace, the issue became moot, and we started putting up more satellites, including spy satellites than they ever dreamed of.

Comment Re:Only? (Score 1) 664

So do you shoot at police helicopters who's indicia you maybe can't see when they might be hovering looking for a suspect? Do you shoot down medivac helicopters who might be hovering looking for a place to land? Do you realize you don't own nor can you control the airspace over your property from the ground up? This drone operator had a perfect right to hover over this guy's or your house as long as he doesn't touch ground. By any stand your ground law, if the drone was armed, it could shoot back. Why don't we all just disarm in these kinds of situations before someone gets hurt?

Comment Re:Deliverance? (Score 1, Insightful) 664

Two things: 1. So one could shoot at anything hovering over one's house? A police helicopter looking in backyards for a running suspect? A medivac helicopter hovering while looking for a place to land to rescue someone? Even a drone while it's operator is checking his flight controls? That's an easy way to take up 22 seconds. 2. So I could walk down the street shooting anyone who I even had fantasy about that they might be an pedophile or an ISIS agent? After this guy is a convicted felon, which he should be after this, he won't be able to own guns anymore, and that's probably a good thing for the rest of us.

Comment Re:But but but.. (Score 1) 278

Governments don't do bad things. People do. (Alas, you have to have governments, but not guns, but that's another arugment.) The people who released mining waste in the article you site made a mistake, but they are not the government although they were working for it. Maybe, depending on the actual facts, they should be fired and maybe, again, depending on facts, the government should be liable. (Maybe the mining company booby-trapped the pit the waste was stored in to make sure someone else, not them, solved their waste retention problem for them - neither you not I know.) But there are, or should be, accountability mechanisms for egregious errors committed by government employees. No or few such accountability mechanisms exist in the private sector. Proof: Not one, not one, of the financial executives who engineered the financial collapse in 2008 has gone to jail for all the misery they caused. Most are still employed, have rotated into government or retired with golden parachutes. We need laws to hold malfeasors punishable when it can be shown they acted with intent outside the public interest when they hold positions of trust.

Comment Worthy Bugs (Score 1) 285

I worked with a guy many years ago who coined the term "worthy bugs" that we used when we had a really good one. Two, in particular, I remember decades later. 1. This turned out to be a hardware bug that showed up in our software very intermittently. In the 1980's, National Semiconductor offered the NSC 880, a clone of the 8080: Same instruction set, mostly the same specs. This processor is spec'ed such that on the enable interrupts instruction, interrupts are not actually enabled for one instruction cycle so as to allow for a bit of cleanup (pop or whatever) without interruption. Without this, stacks could become confused, and did. Well, the guys at the fab across the street from where we were doing software development did not implement this one-instruction delay, but kept knowledge of it as a secret errata. When confronted about it after we had traces that proved the error in hardware, their response was "well, we didn't think it would ever come up." Bastards. 2. It turned out that one of the early Intel chipsets implementing PCI would, when doing 64K data transfers that fell exactly on 64K boundaries, deliver the first byte of the the range in place of the last byte. I was working on Ethernet device drivers at the time, so this just looked like data corruption in the driver or the network controller to us. It took a while and many logic analyzer traces to root cause this one to the chip set. Once we knew what was happening, the software work-around was easy, but it did slow down the driver just a bit. At least the chip set guys were unaware of this bug, and it never appeared in the many subsequent chip set implementations of PCI.

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