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FAA Report Says Near Collisions With Drones On the Rise

BLKMGK Re:*sigh* (115 comments)

I live near an airport and planes pass on approach. I'm interested in quadcopters, I might even graduate to planes someday. The planes that fly over my home are a good ways up, certainly not so close as to cause issues with noise, if I go closer to the airport the planes are still a fair ways up but common sense says yeah I might be interfering if I got stupid.

Where I'm puzzled is just how these "drones" are getting that close to the planes. The quad would have to be a mere dot in the sky to interfere, why would I be flying that high? Quads at least are battery powered, by the time I got far enough up to cause issues I'd be worried about battery and what exactly would I be seeing other than a postage stamp map below me? FPV of a plane going by? Are people simply flying these up high to come close to planes? 2-4K feet? Really? Are there YouTube vids? You know someone would be posting if they did this. Multiple reports in one area back to back seem to make at least that one pretty obvious.

The FAA wants legislation, that much is clear. They've talked about possible interference for awhile, now the possibility has skyrocketed? No reports of collision though right? Certainly not lots of them. Is that simply luck? So is this pilots being paranoid now that the idea of interference has been introduced to them? They seem to provide a great deal of detail about these vehicles despite passing them at high speed. How many of these reports have been validated? Anyone arrested? Is the FAA perhaps trying to make this claim in order to push legislation?

I guess what I'm saying is that I'm skeptical. Dulles airport I'm familiar with, same with National. National you can get VERY close to planes coming in at a nearby park - that is heavily patrolled by police. Dulles is surrounded by trees and while some of the runways parallel major roads they aren't exactly the sort where you could stop and fly something - unless you did it from the Air and Space parking lot like an idiot. Perhaps there's backroad access closer to Dulles but the high level of detail for something passed at a few hundred MPH, the heights involved for a battery powered device, and my familiarity with the area leave me wondering. Am I really that out of touch about the drone community near my hometown?

about three weeks ago
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France Wants To Get Rid of Diesel Fuel

BLKMGK Re:Why (395 comments)

You might want to note which post I was responding to. I was responding to the statement that "The US solved that problem long ago...." regarding the creation of emissions technologies.

My statement is accurate - the best diesels were unable to be imported here for a number of years because the Euro cars with better emissions equipment required low sulfur fuel which we did not offer. The US didn't solve the emissions issues the Europeans did, they were ahead of us. Our domestic manufacturers still seem unwilling to produce a decent diesel if it's not for a truck.

If you cannot manage to understand the posting order and responses, you're gonna have a bad time.

My question still stands - which Domestic US manufacturer has this cutting edge diesel tech that's ahead of the Europeans in production?

about three weeks ago
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France Wants To Get Rid of Diesel Fuel

BLKMGK Re:I call BS, source: compare jetta (395 comments)

Uhh okay - so 3% difference in emissions, this seems to make arguments about awful diesels a bit moot. Now go look at the MPG. While looking at the MPG realize that the diesel ratings are usually inaccurate. Go check out Fuelly for real-world results.

What would be nice is a way to keep diesels in tune more easily. As they age they tend to smoke more and for those that are electronically controlled this should be solvable.

about three weeks ago
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France Wants To Get Rid of Diesel Fuel

BLKMGK Re:Fast, but not Quick (395 comments)

I just got my worst fill up ever - 31MPG. Traffic here is awful with a 12mile commute often taking near an hour. I think they've switched us to winter fuel too. Generally I'm 38 with bumper to bumper traffic and have never been on a highway trip long enough to drain the tank. I regularly get over 50miles on a fill! I'm driving it less with the delta between gas and diesel being as high as it is but I have little doubt that will be changing.

about three weeks ago
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France Wants To Get Rid of Diesel Fuel

BLKMGK Re:Fast, but not Quick (395 comments)

Sure, I had a Chevy Sprint that got as good a mileage as my Jetta. It also was built like a beer can, had no airbags, the AC slowed it on the highways, and it wouldn't come near to passing today's emissions. Apples to Oranges - today's cars weigh tons more than previous generations, have real safety features, and if the same drivetrains were dropped into cars of yesteryear would get mileage ratings that would drop jaws.

about three weeks ago
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France Wants To Get Rid of Diesel Fuel

BLKMGK Re:Why (395 comments)

So which Domestic manufacturer is making cutting edge consumer diesel in the US exactly? If I want to buy a diesel these days it sure as hell won't be from GM, Ford has them in trucks, Mercedes and VW aren't Domestic. Who exactly is ahead?

OP stated we solved this "long ago" and I'd still say that NO the Euro folks beat us to those solutions. We may or may not have surpassed them but if so our domestic market sure doesn't show any sign of it...

about three weeks ago
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France Wants To Get Rid of Diesel Fuel

BLKMGK Re:I call BS, source: compare jetta (395 comments)

He's talking about emissions and you're talking about 0-100KM?

BTW, my TDI VW has yet to get an MPG as *low* as the sticker claimed and it's over 6years old. Fast it's not but it gets moving okay.

about three weeks ago
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France Wants To Get Rid of Diesel Fuel

BLKMGK Re:Why (395 comments)

Lol, ummm NO! The Euro market has been waay ahead of the US in this area for awhile. Hell they couldn't bring over their diesels for the longest time because our fuel was too shitty to run them!

about three weeks ago
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Black IT Pros On (Lack Of) Racial Diversity In Tech

BLKMGK Re:Bah (459 comments)

Wait, is the market tight on jobs or is there not enough candidates? Seems like every other week I hear something different!

about a month and a half ago
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NSA Director Says Agency Shares Most, But Not All, Bugs It Finds

BLKMGK Re:Positive spin (170 comments)

Pieces of various weapons have apparently been found in junkyards around the Middle East (Jordan for one), some with UN tags and some without. A quick Google finds this but there's other information out there including some pictures if memory serves.

http://www.worldtribune.com/wo... A poor citation for sure but there have been others.

Here's a more recent article about weapons being found http://www.nytimes.com/interac...

Another http://cjonline.com/stories/09... Seems a few missles and chemical processing equipment were shipped out. the answer isn't so black and white it seems.

Worth noting is that Iraq DID use chem weapons during the first war, Desert Storm. I know someone who wrote a book about it after extensive research and the Govt. did all they could to shut him up. Look up "Gassed In The Gulf", it's pretty well referenced and many of the things he claimed were slowly proven in the years after.

about a month and a half ago
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BitTorrent Performance Test: Sync Is Faster Than Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox

BLKMGK Re:Is it open source yet? (124 comments)

It doesn't even do anything for me. It was working and then just stopped. No files synch for me and both the handset and the computer it's supposed to synch with are 'net reachable. Nothing changed in the config of the PC so I have no idea what happened. I've tried dorking with settings and updating every time something new comes out - doesn't help...

about 2 months ago
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BitTorrent Performance Test: Sync Is Faster Than Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox

BLKMGK Re:and speed was never the point of dropbox (124 comments)

Actually I'm pretty sure he never carries a cell phone. In the last episode one rings in his pocket, having been planted there, he's surprised, and he ultimately ditches it. One must wonder about his wallet though... Overall Forever hasn't been all that bad. Scorpion has also gotten a little less far-fetched but not much. It's still fun to suspend belief and just watch rather than trying to pick it apart.

about 2 months ago
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Independent Researchers Test Rossi's Alleged Cold Fusion Device For 32 Days

BLKMGK Re:There is no invention (986 comments)

Oddly he has apparently marched into multiple patent offices and been turned down. That you think his reception would be any warmer elsewhere or that someone wouldn't outright steal whatever they could is amusing. Yeah this is pretty fishy but he's at least letting "experts" look at it and so far they've not managed to unravel it.

about 2 months ago
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Independent Researchers Test Rossi's Alleged Cold Fusion Device For 32 Days

BLKMGK Re:Hoax (986 comments)

You do realize that he doesn't claim it makes energy from nothing right? It requires Nickel as a sort of fuel. I'm not claiming it's legit or that it's not just pointing out that this isn't the claim of free power but rather the claim that it runs on something that's apparently more neutral and has fewer downsides. Remains to be seen if it's legit or not but it's looking a little closer to being legit than it had before...

about 2 months ago
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Researcher Fired At NSF After Government Questions Her Role As 1980s Activist

BLKMGK Re:Wrong Title (499 comments)

Yes, they cannot ask questions that might prove someone to be a poor hiring choice. Something tells me you don't do any hiring yourself!

about 3 months ago
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Researcher Fired At NSF After Government Questions Her Role As 1980s Activist

BLKMGK Re:Wrong Title (499 comments)

This is pretty funny. You are apparently advocating the Govt. hire people who have previously belonged to organizations that have expressed themselves as enemies of the same organization that's being asked to hire them? Do you actually hear yourself when you speak or type? That's like asking to be hired as a fireman with a record of arson (lying about it no less!) and then threatening to sue because it's so unfair they don't want you. Duh! The Govt isn't in any way obligated to give jobs and had she been up front about it they might have let it go but instead she lied.

about 3 months ago
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Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

BLKMGK Re: Astronomy, and general poor night-time results (550 comments)

That's very possible. I will admit that once I was able to get my surgery and had it done that I haven't kept up. I knew that they had enlarged the area of the cut for my procedure and I also knew that they had begun mapping. I knew about the cut because a Dr warned me about it after mine had been done and told me that if I had further corrections (I had one correction and a flap lift to clean out dead cells prior) they would likely cut further out. Later I was told about the surface mapping and a Dr even mapped out the one eye I have that's not as good as I might like - my dominant eye no less! However since my vision is so damned much better than it was and I'm not a big fan of taking risks I've held off. I should probably spend some time and learn about the options

to be clear - the option I skipped was the cutting of slits in the lens to adjust vision (how it was described). the option I went with required a cutting of a flap and laser ablation of the material underneath done right after that was approved. I'd consider surface ablation now I think...

about 5 months ago
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Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

BLKMGK Re: Astronomy, and general poor night-time resu (550 comments)

The sad ting is that was a number thrown at me when I was in high school. My eyes continued to change for sometime after that but Drs really didn't seem to want to talk about it when I asked, just assured me that it was correctable. My first real clue was the day they had to special order contacts for me. Then one day I asked if I would be considered legally blind without correction, my Dr burst out a giggle and said of course I would! I have to admit that was pretty damned scary. At least one Dr talked to me about PRK where they could do slits in my lens to try and get it to correct but I was told that it would really ruin my night vision and the thought of someone cutting into my eyes scared the crap out of me! Lasik was on the horizon shortly afterwards and Drs were telling me about it. I was still resistant until I was told I could no longer wear contacts and eye glasses were working out "poorly" to say the least. The surgery really helped out my quality of life for sure. Losing your towel and stuff at the beach because the current pushed you down and you can't see well enough to recognize them without help SUCKS!

about 5 months ago
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Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

BLKMGK Re: Astronomy, and general poor night-time resu (550 comments)

Actually you're right, that was a typo. Try 20:700 20:900!

Without correction I could literally not see any part of the eye chart on the wall. First car at a red light? Without correction I couldn't see the stoplight much less what color it was!

One day my dr told me it would be a week or two before my contacts would be in because they had to manufacture them. Puzzled I asked why and was told that there was little enough demand that they didn't keep any in the shelf. I then asked how much stronger I could go before they didn't make anything stronger. My dr told me they made a few stronger but not to worry because we could switch manufacturers and find some even stronger! That day scared the crap out of me because I realized I might really be getting to a point where correction became very difficult. It was probably an additional 4+ years before LASIK came along, thankfully I never needed a stronger prescription. I'm still supposed to get dilated yearly so they can check inside, a detached retina is apparently a very real possibility since my eye is so "long". They dilate me because otherwise it's like trying to look into a room thru a peephole - their words not mine.

The prospect of losing ones vision is damned scary to say the least :-(

about 5 months ago
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Open-Source Blu-Ray Library Now Supports BD-J Java

BLKMGK Re: this is great news! (94 comments)

Including menus? All of the java? I know VLC will do DVD but BD is what I want although I still want them compressed too. If that's the case I wonder why XBMC has gotten this functionality because it sure would be handy.

about 5 months ago

Submissions

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Unique "Internet ID" for all Americans? It's real!

BLKMGK BLKMGK writes  |  more than 3 years ago

BLKMGK writes "There's not much detail but the idea selling this as "additional security" by reducing the "need to remember dozens of passwords online" smells an awful lot like they want a single ID upon which to track everyone. This is part of a policy dubbed "National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace". Apparently NSA and Homeland Security lost the lottery to run this turkey and the Department of Commerce will get the prize."
Link to Original Source

Journals

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My media center setup

BLKMGK BLKMGK writes  |  more than 2 years ago

I've been asked a few times about my media center setup and I've described it in disparate posts. I'm going to document it here and point folks to it to perhaps save some time and allow a place for comments to occur. I'll break this down into parts and try to put a heading on each - my first Journal entry so we'll see how that goes!

Storage:
I use and advocate unRAID from LimeTechnology. http://lime-technology.com/ My two unRAID servers are for the most part appliances. I do not run extra software on them although it's possible. I use them as NAS and I chose this software for a few reasons. 1) The filesystem on the disk is standard - ReiserFS which is a journaling filesystem. IF I need to recover from a disk issue having a standard filesystem improves my chances! 2) Because unRAID stores it's parity on ONE drive and doesn't span disks drives not being accessed can be spun down - less power, less noise, less heat. 3) The software isn't expensive, is mostly open source, it's fast enough for media serving and backups, and it boots from a USB with no O/S installed to the HDD. 4) I get to use drives of any size so long as they aren't larger than my parity. I can mix SATA, IDE, SCSI, of any size together. I can upgrade disks singly with larger ones. 5) It's fault tolerant. If a single disk fails (been there done that) I lose nothing and my array continues to work. I can pull that disk to recover it or swap in another easily - power cycle required. IF two disks fail I lose both of those disks worth of data and NOT an entire set of data. Remember, parity isn't striped and neither is the data. 6) Pretty hardware agnostic overall. I have upgraded mobo, drives, CPU, memory, it just keeps working. You have to be prudent and careful so far as keeping the setup straight but it's NOT hard.

My two unRAID have a combined capacity of over 19TB (not counting parity). One server is for movies and music exclusively, the other is for TV shows, backups, misc crap, photo backups, blah blah. Both are on GigE but the movie one is only synching 100meg for some odd reason I cannot figure out. Sucks for movie copies, doesn't hurt movie streaming.

Front-ends:
I use XBMC http://xbmc.org/ as my software of choice, yes this is what used to be run on hacked XBOX hardware years ago. It's now 1080P capable, runs on OSX, Windows, Ubuntu, and I believe IOS. It can be run on AppleTV, on the RaspberryPi, on MAC hardware, and on my choice of hardware - Intel ATOM\ION boxes. Prices on these vary, I have Zotac, Asrock, and ASUS prebuilt boxes. I have cheap SSD in some of mine, laptop drives in others. Video acceleration occurs on the video chip so the CPU loafs at maybe 15% total usage (4thread capable). I use a USB MCE remote control that's supported my Lirc. My OS of choice is Ubuntu 10.4 although I have tried several dedicated XBMC distro also. I like the full install mostly because I run code compiled from source. to keep my various box's libraries in synch I have a mySQL instance on my workstation desktop but may move that eventually. My front-ends are using wired ethernet but wireless works on them fine if I wanted. I have even lent spares to friends with a USB hard drive for storage. These connect to my LCD flat panels with HDMI via HDMI switching stereo receivers. I get 5.1 surround no problem! I think it's also possible to get DTS but I don't use it, whatever ALSA or Pulse supports XBMC does too! The AppleTV is probably your cheapest way to have a nice front-end but you have to jailbreak it and I'm not sure the new one is more than 720P capable - the older could do 1080 with a decoder card.

Media:
I use SlySoft AnyDVD-HD for media decryption. I rip DVD to ISO using DVDShrink but do not compress, I remove languages I do not speak. This retains menus and extras. For BluRay it's more complicated. I rip them using eac3to to MKV and raw audio files. I get chapters and subs this way too. I use the GUI front-end in meGUI for controlling eac3to - I've gotten lazy that way. Once ripped I compress using x.264 with either meGUI or HandBrake as my GUI front-end. Lately I've been leaning more towards HB's simpler interface and it's likely best for newbies. Once the video is compressed (it goes from say 20+gig to half or one third that) I mux the audio, video, and chapters with mkvmerge into a single MKV container. I do not downgrade the audio, be aware that lossless DTS audio can be over a gig itself. Subtitles I discard UNLESS there's a "forced" subtitle. For these I use BDsup2Sub to save off JUST the forced titles and to get them into a format that MKV can store. I track what I have in my library using DVDProfiler. Whew, movies done! Oh, note that it can take hours to compress video and I have a pretty damn fast system - it's worth it for the disk savings and no I do NOT notice a quality loss even on a 65inch screen.

TV shows - I download these via torrent, or pull them from my TiVO (I have TiVO HD upgraded with 1TB drives), or I use sabNZB\Sickbeard to pull from usenet. I use the Sickbeard software most often these days as the files are ready to go no muss no fuss and it's automated. But some shows I pull and process from my TiVO using KMTTG http://code.google.com/p/kmttg/ Processing this is just like processing a BluRay using HB except TV shows I knock down to 720P, I compress the audio, I edit out commercials using VideoRedo, and I don't have to mux since it's already all together. For oddball stuff and live TV the TiVO rocks and yes I could cut my cable cord and just download but I don't mind paying for content - I just want the content MY way is all!

Audio - I rip CDs to MP3 or FLAC using ExactAudioCopy. I manage tags and covers using MP3Tag http://www.mp3tag.de/en/ I purchase a great deal of MP3 from Amazon these days now that it's cheap and easy :-)

Some things to note:
XBMC can be controlled with Android and iPhone devices, I have Apple hardware. AirShare works with XBMC, I can watch video, show pictures, or listen to music streamed FROM my iPhone via wireless. It's possible to watch NetFlix, Amazon VOD, and a ton of other streaming sites on XBMC for Linux using a pay package named PlayOn Media Server running on a Windows desktop - my desktop is Win7. I can stream these to my iPhone by poking a hole in my firewall for it too (firewall on an Atom device running Linux too BTW). To manage metadata I use Ember http://ember.purplepig.net/ and I sometimes play with MediaCompanion Gen2 but it seems to choke on the numbers of files I have! :-D XBMC is pretty stable for me and it's been a wonderful software package, I'm a paying supporter.

Things to do:
Get my HDHomerun working with XBMC, I don't know why - maybe so I can try to direct it to my iPhone with PlayOn? Figure out how to setup a MythTV box, again I just want to. Get my DiNovo Mini working with one of my XBMC boxes again, it's a nice remote bluetooth remote. Move my SQL database to either one of my XBMC machines or to some other Atom box in the house - just get it off the hardware I use for gaming. Speaking of gaming, I want to get MaME working on my XBMC machines so I can play games! I've not yet figured out the controller issues, the database issues, or the art issues for doing this - I'm all ears!

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