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Man Walks Past Security Screening Staring At iPad, Causing Airport Evacuation

Dereck1701 Headlines wrong (208 comments)

"Security overreaction/faulty airport exit/wholly inadequate security measure causes Airport evacuation" would be a far more accurate headline.

yesterday
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Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

Dereck1701 Some limits are understandable, but... (450 comments)

I can understand some limits, home/business owners back feeding power onto the power grid could under limited circumstances cause some issues and where they are allowed to back feed forcing utilities to pay more than they would for wholesale electricity sounds a bit much. But complaining that people aren't using enough electricity is ludicrous, the strain on utilities during the mid-day was one of the pushes for peak metering. One of the biggest causes of those higher loads are AC systems, which are used most heavily at the same time where solar is at its peak. Now utilities are arguing the opposite, that they need to up rates because people are drawing less power during those peak hours? Hopefully the technology/economics will develop to a point where completely off grid systems are feasible, at that point we can just let the market figure figure things out

yesterday
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Scientists Seen As Competent But Not Trusted By Americans

Dereck1701 Re:Americans are smart. (445 comments)

I imagine it differs from state to state at least somewhat, but here in Michigan I think you can go about 3 years without paying your taxes, maybe 4 or 5 if you pay parts of them, before your property has a "Sheriffs Deed" recorded on it effectively making it property of the State/County/City/Village government. Then said municipality can auction it off, keep it for public use or sell it to someone specific. If you're living on the property at the time the Sheriffs deed is filed what happens varies from municipality to municipality, mine for example just auctions the property off a few months later whether or not the previous owners are still occupying it. It is up to anyone who purchases it at auction what to do about any inhabitants (rent, evict, etc). Its not a perfect process to be sure, but people get multiple warnings (mailed, newspaper, posted & signage) & years of leeway so it seems to be pretty reasonable.

yesterday
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Scientists Seen As Competent But Not Trusted By Americans

Dereck1701 Who cares about "warm"? (445 comments)

I don't care how warm and friendly a scientist is, I just want them to not form/publish erroneous theories. I realize the scientific process isn't perfect, but these days its getting so bad in some areas (especially medicine related) that half of the published papers are disproven a few years later because of egregious mistakes our outright falsified data.

yesterday
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The Physics of Space Battles

Dereck1701 Where humans go, so does war (442 comments)

Unfortunately space combat is all but inevitable, humans are a long way (probably thousands or hundreds of thousands of years) from outgrowing our stupidity as the events of the last few decades make quite clear. It definitely won't be anything like Star Trek/Star Wars but some form of combat is likely, either that or we're going to become extinct on this planet. A few shows/Anime have tried to imagine what space combat would be like (Babylon 5, Starship Operators, Planetes, etc), but most forsake some level of reality for story telling (sound effects for example). As with most things it will probably vary with the technology & tactics of the time. At times it will probably be stand off battles with groups of large ships pecking away at each other from a distance with railguns/energy weapons. A few decades later it might be stealth battles with smaller individual ships sneaking around trying to locate the opposing ships or decimating the other sides resources. A few decades later it might be long range missiles. Each side will come up with a weapon and the other will counter it and vice versa.

2 days ago
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World's Smallest 3G Module Will Connect Everything To the Internet

Dereck1701 Maybe in some places (117 comments)

I can definitely see the applications for some stuff. Such as dog tracking collars, remote weather stations, stolen item tracking, etc. But I don't want my fridge, HVAC, TV, stove or any other major appliances connected to a mobile network. I like my stove to just heat/cook my food, I don't want to risk it catching a virus so the hacker can either extort money from me to use it again or try to use it to burn my house down for lulz (unlikely I know, but I'm sure some would try).

2 days ago
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Sierra Nevada Corp. Files Legal Challenge Against NASA Commercial Contracts

Dereck1701 Re:It was NASA's only option (125 comments)

And what exactly were these "milestones"? The only one that I can really confirm is the Critical Design Review, which Boeing only recently completed (no word on how close SpaceX is). Even if they aren't neck and neck with Boeing on their paperwork they should get some points owing to the fact that they're actually flying at least a version of their hardware (ISS Resupply) when Boeing is just testing out components.

3 days ago
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Nearly 2,000 Chicago Flights Canceled After Worker Sets Fire At Radar Center

Dereck1701 Re:Backups? (221 comments)

Real world situations are rarely so cut and dry as "we can't handle the entire load, so we can't handle any of it". Being able to at least transfer the communications/information to another center(s) would allow for directing of a portion of the flights. A very similar thing happens every day with inclement weather, with flights being slowed, redirected or delayed.

3 days ago
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Sierra Nevada Corp. Files Legal Challenge Against NASA Commercial Contracts

Dereck1701 It was NASA's only option (125 comments)

NASA didn't really have any other choice. They couldn't give the entire contract to Boeing without risking falling into the same defense contractor cost plus revolving door situation that has held back our space program for decades. They couldn't give the entire contract to SpaceX without causing an uproar in the "space belt" congressmen/women that could possibly scuttle the entire CCtCap/CCDev/CCDev2 program (which they've been trying to do anyway). So they took a middle of the road approach, with both SpaceX and Boeing providing launch services they keep enough political support to keep the program afloat but down the road having the two compared side by side either encourages Boeing to keep its prices reasonable to stay in the game or gives NASA the evidence to say "hey, we've got two proven launch systems and one is costing us a whole lot more than the other, why are we still using them" in a public congressional budget hearing. SNC just had the position of being the lesser of the two second chair choices, not saying its right but that's politics unfortunately.

3 days ago
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Nearly 2,000 Chicago Flights Canceled After Worker Sets Fire At Radar Center

Dereck1701 Re:Backups? (221 comments)

Giving people a reasonable sense of job security is definitely a step in the right direction, but you still have to be ready for the rare nut-job (employee or otherwise). While that includes onsite backup equipment (which they apparently had) it must also include off site backup facilities. I work with my local PD a bit and from what I understand even they have contingency plans for if the 911 dispatch center is evacuated/destroyed. If something happens the entire call load for the county can be redirected to one of several other sites in a few minutes. If a mid sized county (less than 100,000) can manage that kind of capability you would think a multimillion dollar air traffic control facility would be able to.

4 days ago
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Nearly 2,000 Chicago Flights Canceled After Worker Sets Fire At Radar Center

Dereck1701 Backups? (221 comments)

Aren't these kinds of critical systems supposed to have backups? I see DHS/TSA is too busy strip searching children/grandmas, securing chicken farms & writing up justifications for their abuse of authority to bother with the "unimportant" things like securing/fortifying the transportation infrastructure.

4 days ago
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Court: Car Dealers Can't Stop Tesla From Selling In Massachusetts

Dereck1701 Carma is a beautiful thing (155 comments)

The big car manufacturers have been trying to use the dealership laws to prevent a competitor from bring a product to market, dealerships have been trying to use the laws to force Tesla to cut them in on their sales. This court ruling bloodies both of their noses for their foolishness, now if only more courts follow in this ones footsteps. I wonder how these laws even came into being in a society that claims to embrace free market mentality in the first place. I realize that Ford once tried to bypass the franchise model, but if they were able to provide their product to customers cheaper then what was the issue? Replace "car manufacturer" with any number of other products (corn, light bulb, TV, desk) in these laws and it becomes quite clear how foolish the whole thing is.

about two weeks ago
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High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

Dereck1701 Electronics? In a gun? (600 comments)

I don't think this individual has much of any real experience with firearms. I've seen flashlights and lasers, basically a light source with a battery and a switch, literally shake themselves apart after a few dozen rounds. While I am sure that you could harden the electronics to survive the beating, oil, water, etc that your average firearm has to deal with getting all manufacturers to follow the stringent manufacturing levels that would be required is unlikely. That and it would add at least $50, possibly a couple hundred dollars to the price of each gun (tens of millions of dollars per year). All to stop incidents barely show as a rounding error in the overall child mortality statistics (less than 100 accidental child deaths or about 0.3%). When we've fixed all of the other preventable causes of child death that are orders of magnitude more hazardous to their health (falls, pools, buckets, infections, allergic reactions, etc) maybe we can focus on accidental firearms discharge.

about two weeks ago
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DARPA Funds Harvard's Soft Exoskeletal Suit

Dereck1701 First? (29 comments)

They may be the first to actually begin development of such a exosuit but this kind of application has been imagined in multiple fictional accounts(Spriggan movie & Crisis game series off the top of my head). It'll be interesting to see a full fledged pro-type (most of the stuff in the videos looked like non functional demo gear) but last I heard our artificial muscle tech was pretty pitiful. There was a big claim a while back that a breakthrough had been made using modified sewing thread and fishing line that was actually more efficient/powerful than natural muscle but I don't know if anything came of it. Also their designs seem to put the full brunt of the load on a persons own skeletal/joint system, possibly resulting in injury. While I am sure there is a way to add in some kind of exterior joints/"bones" to take some of the load off the wearer that technology and the muscle technology will take a LOT of advanced research to make a reality.

about two weeks ago
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Congress Can't Make Asteroid Mining Legal (But It's Trying, Anyway)

Dereck1701 Written in stone no doubt (213 comments)

And treaties are written in stone? History is repeat with treaties that are no longer enforced or even acknowledged by any current country. The day someone starts shipping down millions of dollars in precious metals from an asteroid is the day that either countries simply start ignoring the Outer Space Treaty en mass or the day it is "reinterpreted" to allow such pursuits.

about three weeks ago
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FAA Scans the Internet For Drone Users; Sends Cease and Desist Letters

Dereck1701 Legal basis? (222 comments)

And what exactly is the legal basis for the FAA's denying commercial operation of "drones"? I don't mean the arbitrarily created regulations that they're quoting but the actual LAW passed by congress and the president? I have a sneaking suspicion that its some vague "ensuring public/air safety" law that they are stretching WAY past its original intent. Something on the order of a hypothetical USDA law to "ensure commercial food safety" being used outlaw all roadside vegetable stands.

about three weeks ago
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Intellectual Ventures Sheds At Least Part of Its "Patent Troll" Reputation

Dereck1701 Re:In defense of Patent Trolls (75 comments)

Theres no one source for the information, but below are a few links to some of it. They have apparently made about $6 Billion in revenue since their inception and in 2010 at least they made $700 Million in licensing fees. I did include their "investments" along with what I could call "licensing fees" because they seem to be effectively the same thing. A good chunk of their revenue is via "Patent Funds" where they offer companies a chance to join in to buy a block of patents, apparently with a thinly veiled threat that if they don't buy in IV will sue them if any of the patents in the block apply to prospective investors.

http://www.businessinsider.com...
http://www.businessweek.com/ar...
http://www.cnet.com/news/insid...
https://news.yahoo.com/exclusi...

about a month ago
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Intellectual Ventures Sheds At Least Part of Its "Patent Troll" Reputation

Dereck1701 Re:In defense of Patent Trolls (75 comments)

It should be noted that, at least from what I can gather, most of IV's revenue isn't from actual lawsuits. A vast bulk of it is from "license fees" (in the billions of dollars apparently) they grant to companies for using "their technology". Given, they probably illicit those fees via threats of lawsuits. The company had a peak of 700 employees (I think its down into the 500 range now) with revenues close to a $1 Billion a year, and few if any real products to show for it.

about a month ago
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Invasion of Ukraine Continues As Russia Begins Nuclear Weapons Sabre Rattling

Dereck1701 Facebook? (789 comments)

Oh my, a member of a recently created government (appointed by coup), who is facing unrest from their own citizens, and is upset about outside assistance by another power (And US, Europe, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel don't?) is posting to his Facebook page that said outside force is planning mass murder. Stop the presses! This "story" has all of the validity of a small time drug dealer scrawling a message on a bathroom wall about the cities drug kingpin planning to release a plague in the city because..... well..... he can?

about a month ago
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The Passenger Pigeon: A Century of Extinction

Dereck1701 Initiated by humans, finished by the birds (108 comments)

The species seems to have been susceptible to extinction from the get-go. Its not like humans wiped them out down to a last few flocks. People did over hunt them to be sure, but a species that required flock groups of tens to hundreds of thousands to propagate would seem to me to be living on borrowed time. Attempts to breed them in captivity failed because of the massive numbers that seem to be required. So this effort to reintroduce the population will require quite an effort, they will need a first generation in the tens of thousands at a minimum.

about a month ago

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