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Window Washing a Skyscraper Is Beyond a Robot's Reach

AlecC Re:Roomba for skyscrapers (203 comments)

And how will such a Roomba avoid the problem described in TFA, the grimy bits in the corner?

about a week ago
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Window Washing a Skyscraper Is Beyond a Robot's Reach

AlecC Re:Of course you can have self cleaning windows! (203 comments)

Which, as detailed in TFA, is exactly what has been tried. And those rotating thingies leave grimy patches in the corner. That idea doesn't work: a better one is needed - and not yet available.

about a week ago
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Department of Justice Harvests Cell Phone Data Using Planes

AlecC Not getting overexcited (201 comments)

I don't get overexcited by this. It is just observing stuff in a public place. We don't get upset by policemen looking at the faces of all passers by, when searching for a miscreant. If you want to use the cellphone system you are going to broadcast and anybody, good or bad, can pick up your transmissions. It is a downside of a technology we didn't have thirty years ago, and a technology with a lot of advantages.You similarly "broadcast" your car's registration number all the time.

My problem, so far as it goes, is with the various authorities secrecy about it. I think the police should be "keeping an eye" on the neighbourhood - and they should be open about it. If what they are doing it, they should be open about it. If it needs to be hidden, they shouldn't be doing it - in broad principle, if not the details. The police should not have dirty secrets (applies less to counter-intelligence agencies). If they are ashamed of this program, they should not be doing it. If they are not ashamed, tell us what it does.

about two weeks ago
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Google To Lease and Refurbish Naval Air Base For Space Exploration

AlecC Re:That gigantic sucking sound... (89 comments)

So why are you not complaining about Google Maps, the self driving cars, attempting to digitise all books ever etc.? They do a lot of things that are about wild new ideas, or just raising the brand identity. You sound very confident of your own knowledge - if you cant thing of a good use for it, there cannot be one, Nice to be omniscient.

about two weeks ago
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GNOME Project Seeks Donations For Trademark Battle With Groupon

AlecC Re:Let lawyers do it free, in exchange for % damag (268 comments)

It may seem clear cut to you, but it does not seem so to me nor several other contributors.

A Trademark does not provide a universal protection for the word, only within a limited, named, commercial field. Sun Oil and Sun Computers co-existed using the name Sun. Gnome has trademarked the word for software and seoftware related services. Groupon's tablet is not software. No overlap.

about two weeks ago
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SpaceShipTwo's Rocket Engine Did Not Cause Fatal Crash

AlecC Re:Foldable tail? (150 comments)

Because the foldable tail puts into a very stable configuration, removing the need for attitudinal jets, because reasonable sized flaps would not work in the very thin atmosphere.

about three weeks ago
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DHL Goes Live With 'Parcelcopter' Drone Delivery Service

AlecC Re:How much? (92 comments)

And are such things, with autonomous capability including docking, available now, as autonomous quadcopters are? The point is that this is not a research exercise, this is going into day by day carrying parcels people urgently need delivered safely. If the sphereboat is available off the shelf (and as well as being unsinkable can also not be wrecked on the shore or washed out to the open ocean)), it might make a good alternative.

Of course, this is also a tryout for more generalised future delivery systems which, being overland, would not be appropriate for a boat.

about 2 months ago
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DHL Goes Live With 'Parcelcopter' Drone Delivery Service

AlecC Re:How much? (92 comments)

Certainly German police would take a much stricter view than US police, and random people are much less likely to have guns within grabbing distance.

about 2 months ago
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DHL Goes Live With 'Parcelcopter' Drone Delivery Service

AlecC Re:How much? (92 comments)

Standing in the sea? People on boats tend, usually, to be a little more responsible. Ad at below 50m, they will either have to be expecting it or be pretty fast at grabbing their guns - I doubt it will be in sight for more than perhaps 10 secs.

about 2 months ago
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DHL Goes Live With 'Parcelcopter' Drone Delivery Service

AlecC Re:How much? (92 comments)

According to TFA,, it is specifically intended for times when the sea prohibits the normal boats; there is no reason to believe an RC boat would me more seaworthy.

about 2 months ago
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DHL Goes Live With 'Parcelcopter' Drone Delivery Service

AlecC Re:How much? (92 comments)

According to TFA, it is continually monitored, if not actually flown, so they already have a human in the loop.

about 2 months ago
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Emma Watson Leaked Photo Threat Was a Plot To Attack 4chan

AlecC Re:Emma Watson is full of it (590 comments)

Only if there were positive discrimination. If there is no discrimination, employers would hire, or not hire, unqualified men in the same proportion as unqualified women,

about 2 months ago
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Emma Watson Leaked Photo Threat Was a Plot To Attack 4chan

AlecC Re:Emma Watson is full of it (590 comments)

Which would go the other way: of only the most determined stick to the workplace, they should be the best. That pressure would weed out underachievers, leaving a biased population of high achievers to be compared to men.

about 2 months ago
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Emma Watson Leaked Photo Threat Was a Plot To Attack 4chan

AlecC Re:Emma Watson is full of it (590 comments)

My point is that studies have allowed for this pressure, and have been conducted only amongst women who have not disqualified themselves. If you compare only women without children to men, men still get paid more for the same jobs.

about 2 months ago
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Emma Watson Leaked Photo Threat Was a Plot To Attack 4chan

AlecC Re:Emma Watson is full of it (590 comments)

This has been allowed for in the various studies of the subject. Even among childless women there is a significant discrepancy in salaries for similar jobs. Thoug, from one article in the Economist, the discrepancy almost disappears for childless women not in any relationship.

This, as has been pointed out, the discrepancy never flips the other way, as would be the case in a truly fair environment, In such an environment, necessarily finite studies should show results randomly either side of equality.

about 2 months ago
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UK Ham Radio Reg Plans To Drop 15 min Callsign Interval and Allow Encryption

AlecC Re:Special pleading (104 comments)

Which shows that the word is undefined. But I would expect, whatever the actual details, "hardcore" means unsuitable for broadcast TV. I would agree that GoT might be defined as porn, but is being broadcastable automatically makes it not hardcore. My definitions would not include anything transparently consensual as hardcore, but explicit portrayal of sex is porn. But the "hard" in "hardcore" implies some level of violence or coercion.

Anyway, I introduced the word into the conversation, and what I means was the sort of non-consensual violent porn which I think would be damaging to children. Whatever the words used, there are some extreme images which are capable of damaging children. While I accept that consenting adults should be able to access such stuff via moderately protected channels on the internet or similar, they should not, as the OP suggested, be transmitted free to air on any wavelengths the transmitter chooses, including those already in use for domestic TV. There is a need for a regulator of some sort - though the rulebook for that regulator is not obvious.

about 2 months ago
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UK Ham Radio Reg Plans To Drop 15 min Callsign Interval and Allow Encryption

AlecC Re:Efficient modulation (104 comments)

Of course. But the OP was suggesting people should be free to do whatever they wanted - which would include using bandwidth wastefully and overwhelmingly (i.e. at high power). Hence the need for some form of regulator to enforce the use of efficient modes, and power levels no more than necessary, not as the OP implied at complete liberty.

I agree that modern technology makes possible a greater variety and greater number of uses of the available bandwidth. All the more reason for a good regulator to share it efficiently

about 2 months ago
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UK Ham Radio Reg Plans To Drop 15 min Callsign Interval and Allow Encryption

AlecC Re:Special pleading (104 comments)

No, I would not describe reasonably consensual sex of the sort required to make children as /hardcore/ porn. Hardcore porn probably requires strange ustensils, use of bodily orifices in ways that do not lead to reproduction, often blood, pain or simulated pain, obvious coercion.

Children, not having yet developed the sexual drive, do not understand the motivation for sex. However, I do not think that seeing normal consensual sex, which I would describe a porn but not hardcore porn, would be seriously damaging to children. But the violence, simulated or real, common in hardcore porn is very frightening for children who do not understand the world but know that they are weak, uninformed and defenceless. I would ezpect it to be seriously traumatising for a majority of pre-pubescent children,

about 2 months ago
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UK Ham Radio Reg Plans To Drop 15 min Callsign Interval and Allow Encryption

AlecC Re:Scrap all the rules (104 comments)

I never claimed more moral authority. I claimed my right to express my opinion on /. I also suggested that I am probably in the majority. That is not a moral statement, it is a personal view. No, I think the OP is a short sighted selfish git, but I do not see it as a political statement, just an ignorant one. That, also, is a personal opinion not a claim of moral superiority,

about 2 months ago
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UK Ham Radio Reg Plans To Drop 15 min Callsign Interval and Allow Encryption

AlecC Re:Scrap all the rules (104 comments)

In, I don't need evidence for "Think if the children". As a parent, I think if the children. A purely emotional response, but one that I share with most of the human race. Which is how we got here - species that don't think of their children tend to go extinct, at least at our scale (insects etc do fine on lay 'em and leave 'em). It is one of my fundamental values, along with free speech and not being eaten.

And I think expecting small children to work out what is happening and take appropriate action when Bugs Bunny is sudsenly replace by sado-masochistic sex is to have totally a unreasonable understanding of what children can and cannot do, and betrays someone who, so far as children are concerned, does not know what they are talking about.

about 2 months ago

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