top Report: Big Issues Remain Before Drones Can Safely Access National Airspace
The whole deal with CAA restricting your work is BS. You are free to fly what you like just by flying out of a farmers field more than 4km from a airfield. Does your system even compare to ADS-B? Small Linux computers can easily be used to receive ADS-B, and I expect they will be built into Quads and other hooby size aircraft soon. This way they will be able to avoid traffic long before it gets within 1.5km.
I am confident that CAA understand the issues. They have just released draft legislation which you obviously have not read yet, because if you had you would know that they are introducing a way of applying for permission to operate UAVs outside the hobby provisions. They are also going to remove the hobby references. I suggest you look it up and have a read. What this new legislation will not do is integrate UAVs into normal airspace, and frankly until there is a reliable sense and avoid this is a position I support. Too many idiots out there who have little or no training flying Quads into controlled airspace. There needs to be real, reliable solutions for sense and avoid and technical enforcement of airspace before we open the integration door. Frankly your hostile morally superior approach is not helping. The CAA has been very interested in an open conversation, and has listened to the community to come up with some regulations which are moving in the right direction. They have not addressed how to integrate airspace at this point, but they are not at all unreasonable. They are tasked with keeping the flying public safe, that must be the first priority. I will be working on a proof of concept system which uses passive ADS-B for sense and avoid. This can detect aircraft potentially hundreds of kilometers away with precision. I also plan to extend the geo-fence system to ensure UAVs stays outside of controlled airspace and clear of terrain. about a month and a half ago
top The Problem With Positive Thinking
There is a strange middle ground of a sort. I am not invested too much in the outcome. Some people shrink from the fight because victory is impossible. This is the 'pragmitist' who evaluates the probability of success and decides the low chance of success means the goal itself isn't worth the effort. Then there are the optimists who fool themselves that the goal is easier than it is, or who believe that the good guy always wins. This is delusional.
Then there are people who accept the reality: they know the road will be hard, and long, involve personal sacrifice and perhaps suffering. They will not fool themselves about the ease of the goal or the probability of success. In fact in many ways the success or failure is deeply irrelevant because as I said above all we have is our intentions and actions. Do or do not, that is our choice. The outcome is up to fate and should not concern us.
This is what Stockdale meant; that we should not fool ourselves about the ease of the goal; that we should face up to grim reality and conduct ourselves in a way that best reflects on us. Because nothing else matters.
It is this attitude that drove my involvement in the campaign against Software Patents in New Zealand. A campaign that was always one breath away from failure. A campaign that many concluded was doomed to fail. A campaign that despite being passed into law may be swept away by the TPP. But these threats do not worry me because so long as I am prepared to stand up and work for the common good I honour myself regardless of the outcome.
top The Problem With Positive Thinking
I think you have discovered for yourself the way to being content then is not to judge. The control I am talking about is the ability to do as you suggest; to not hold expectations or judgements. The externals are indifferent to you because you have no control over them. The only thing you have control over is your intentions and actions. Therefore the only thing you should be concerned about is how you honour yourself through your actions.
I did not mean control over your physical body; health or the lack of it, while somewhat able to be influenced, is also largely outside you control and ultimately futile. The only thing that can truely be said as your own is your thoughts and actions.
top The Problem With Positive Thinking
'Positive thinking' is essentially the vein hope that the current situation you judge as undesirable will change to something desirable just because you desire it. It fails to recognise that being happy and content can be achieved simply by changing your judgement. You can decide to be content with your life. The truth is that those external things; wealth, health, power and fame, are all fleeting. The only thing you really have control over is you. The solution isn't hoping that things will get better, it is accepting that they won't and pleasantly surprised if they do.
top Could We Abort a Manned Mission To Mars?
There is at root no rational reason to do anything. The 'decision' to live is either no decision at all, simply the default for someone already alive with a brain hard wired to survive, or a active decision to live knowing that doing so is fundamentally irrational, but that's okay. Exploration to satiate our desire to know more about the universe, and perhaps more importantly experience more, is perfectly acceptable. Every day we do things that are irrational in that they have no meaning beyond our subjective experience of them. Perhaps only once we have left Earth will we really begin to appreciate how special it is. I believe we have an opportunity to be more; to become citizens of the galaxy. To explore the multitude of worlds our galaxy has to offer.
top Hacker Disrupts New Zealand Election Campaign
Nice way of trying to turn this around. What this has done is expose how these National politicians have gone beyond the normal politics in New Zealand to actually support muck raking and character assasination. It is the kind of politics New Zealanders hate. You see while it isn't perfect we still have a functional democracy, unlike the United States. This 'attack' would have had no impact if the Government had not done anything wrong, but clearly they have. There is now clear evidence of a corporation buying off favour to slander a senior investigator with the cooperation of a senior Minister. The senior Minister appears to have oiled the wheels to get previously restricted information released under the Official Information Act in order to harm a political opponent. Reminds me of the saying - live by the sword, die by the sword.
top Ask Slashdot: Is Running Mission-Critical Servers Without a Firewall Common?
The article talks about this being a small local area network. No discussion about it being connected to the Internet. This is the best firewall of all - a physical air gap between you and the rest of the universe. In many respects this is the best security. So what do local firewalls on each box achieve? In this context virtually nothing except CPU overhead. The database server shouldn't be exposing anything but the database port anyway. The client need not expose any endpoint at all. Configure it this way and there is little opportunity for compromise.
Now as a way to protect your internal lan from the evils of the Internet a firewall is a great idea on the edge, but again they provide very little protection running on the internal servers. You can't just sprinkle firewalls over your network and assume security. They are a tool to limit a specific kinds of attack; to insulate your internal network from external bad actors. If you have a office and servers put the servers behind their own firewall.
top That Toy Is Now a Drone
I'm just waiting for someone to get hold of one of those lethal lead projectile machines and use it to kill someone. Oh wait - that happens tens of thousands of times every year in the US. Guns are designed only to kill things, yet are given away when you open a new bank account*, no problem there. But if there is even a potential for the possibility of harm - in complete absence of any real actual harm - and we are outright banning it?
Oh - I'm a big fan of responsible use and using technology to ensure that these things don't enter restricted airspace. Most Quads have GPS these days, and it would be mind blowingly easy to program them with TMA airspace so that they simply cannot be flown into controlled airspace.
top Emails Show Feds Asking Florida Cops To Deceive Judges About Surveillance Tech
Isn't this kinda like....um.... perjury? I'm pretty sure that kind of thing isn't taken lightly by the judiciary. Furthermore, isn't it law enforcement meant to be role models for following the law?
top Daniel Ellsberg: Snowden Would Not Get a Fair Trial – and Kerry Is Wrong
He could have simply shut up and lived the good life while being complicit in the spying machine that has rendered the freedoms of the US a joke. The real criminals have got away without a scratch and the spying continues without restriction or modification. Obama has betrayed the spirit and law of the Constitution, as did Bush. Unlimited power corrupts.
top How the Internet Is Taking Away America's Religion
This is perhaps a great time to address the charitable status of religion. A new Kickstarter project has just begun to produce a full length documentary on the tax benefits that religions receive. It is called 'Pennies from Heaven'. This is a professional production that we hope will receive airtime on public television as well as on the net. A trailer for the documentary can be found below:
top Your Next Car's Electronics Will Likely Be Connected By Ethernet
News flash; we are coming to the end of the petrochemical age. We are very much at peak oil, and the way down will only see rising fuel costs. Buying a Hybrid may be more economic and efficient, but ultimately our whole way of life will be challenged. Get used to the idea that soon we will not have the pervasive availability of cheap fuel. Get on your bike.
top Supreme Court Ruling Relaxes Warrant Requirements For Home Searches
getting close.... ahh, isn't it cute how the Americans think they still have rights.
top Sochi Drones Are Shooting the Olympics, Not Terrorists
Perhaps the biggest reasons quadcopters will not be used by terrorists relates to the fact they are TERRIBLE weapon delivery systems. They have virtually no payload capability, meaning you would be lucky to get a hand grenade on them. A person with a backpack can carry far more and gain entry to places where attacks could occur. A mid range car could carry a far larger device, and is faster,
No doubt Quadcopters will be employed for evil at some point, just like cars are, but we should not allow irrational fear to override the larger good they could do. What we do need is sensible regulation and new technology to ensure separation between air traffic.
top Ask Slashdot: Should Developers Fix Bugs They Cause On Their Own Time?
Building something to a existing design is a reasonably mechanical process. There is the issue of workmanship, but assuming it is a quality builder the building will be completed and stand correctly. If however a building was not designed correctly and collapsed due to a design failure you would not blame the builder. Designers make their 'mistakes' while designing. It is a process of exploration.
Software development is not at all like the mechanical construction according to an existing design. It IS design. You are bound to go down false paths and blind allys. The design process is one that involved exploration through the space I call 'AppLand' - the state space that is represented by all possible computer programs. Computer programming is about navigating through this space. Sometimes you make a wrong turn and end up on the bank of a river. You need to build a bridge or walk downstream a little to find one.
However, there is a matter of quality; that you should implement quality assurance based on unit tests, code review, functional testing and stringent disciplines to ensure that released software is fit for purpose. You can't avoid making mistakes and rework in the development process, you are exploring the state space; but you can make sure you don't end up in the brambles and thorns; that is finding yourself somewhere where the program just doesn't work.
I've been writing my book "Exploring Appland" for about ten year now...
top Apple Denies Helping NSA Subvert iPhone
The problem with these denials is that they would say the same thing regardless of whether or not they have collaborated. There is no way to verify the truth. What we do know is that the Government is capable and willing to force these companies to lie or face criminal prosecution. They are intimidating people into immoral treasonous behaviour or face prison. It isn't Apples fault that they are put in this situation; they are in the same boat as all the other US companies.
Of course, the US is far from the only country with intel programs. They are however in the best position to do so, and have budgets that are more than the GDP of small countries (perhaps not so small). Considering the staggering cost of the NSA and its woeful record in terms of actionable intel it may have possibly, maybe, been a better idea to spend it on say space exploration that would get us off this rock.
It is hard to believe the reputation of the US could get lower than under Bush... but it seems I underestimated the ability of the US Administration to stuff up. Good ole United States, has the best politicians money can buy. So you want 'Change'? Who you gonna vote for now?
top How Perl and R Reveal the United States' Isolation In the TPP Negotiations
It isn't like its the wild west out there; we already have strong copyright legislation. What the TPPA is seeking is corporate control over the ability to exclude people from the internet at will, with no judicial oversight. To a large extent it already does; I dared to critique the Business Software Allience on YouTube and my account was closed. No comeback here - to challenge it I would need to agree to defending myself in California. Unless you are a U.S citizen there is no fair use or free speech on YouTube, Facebook, Google, Yahoo etc. You are there at their pleasure, and easily ejected.
The TPPA seeks to extend this power to your local ISP; to actually cut you off from the net totally if you are saying things they don't like.
It isn't about protecting works, it is about controlling the channel. The Internet was a danger to corporate control of how people got their entertainment and information. They are now getting the people back under control, subservient to their masters like they should be. The thing is that most are happy with having their entertainment and information fed to them, told what they should be angry about.
The risk to Hollywood isn't that we will steal their content - it is that we will discover their content is gilt covered crap, and that we can beginb to express ourselves without getting one hundred million dollars from a VC. What the RIAA and MPAA care about is making sue that they control the music we listen to and the movies we watch.
That is the focus of the TPPA. Control.
top Ask Slashdot: Communication Skills For Programmers?
I think you have to first ask what is required here; whether it is simply the quantity of communication, or rather the quality. The team and communication skills of developers are more correlated with success than technical skills. Communication means being able to effectively transmit what you are thinking and understand what others are saying. Perhaps you should ask your co-workers what aspects of your communication they have difficulty with. Is it that you are unclear, or do you not communicate with those you should? Are you really listening to people; by which I mean actually taking onboard what people say? The "needless communication" phrase indicates a certain degree of hostility towards communication. Obviously you should not have 'needless' communications, but clearly your workmates believe there are issues impacting your effectiveness.
top Larry Page and Sergey Brin Are Lousy Coders
How about this for a reason to write easy to understand code: Its faster. Writing easy to understand code means - get this - its easy to understand it. This means that defects become more obvious and easier to fix. Highly coupled monolithic balls of mud written by developers with an inflated opinion of their own skills are usually the source of intractible defects. Easy to understand code is the sign of an organised mind.
top Larry Page and Sergey Brin Are Lousy Coders
What is it with the Uber Coder mythology? The developer community has its own values. Each profession has certain ideas about what is valuable. Many people value money - that when someone asks how much you make this is a proxy for making a personal judgement. Coders generally don't judge based on money. They judge based on intellect. Not real intellect - that is far too difficult to determine, but rather perceived intellect.
As a result we see a number of interesting effects. The first is the prima donna whose code is impossible to read and proud of it. If anyone questions it they usually reply that if you can't read it it is because you are not as skilled or intelligent as they are. Another effect is that overt technical skills are valued above soft skills. This means that becoming a manager or team leader is seen as almost selling out and becoming the Pointy Hair Boss.
This fails to understand that success in software is not highly correlated with these 'geniuses' who refuse to play nice or refuse to manage teams. Success is correlated to effective teams who actually work at their communications and team development disciplines. The success stories we hear about may or may not be highly skilled; this is not a differntiator. What is key is the ability to develop and maintain effective development teams, and to manage them in a way that gives them the autonomy to be creative but the dicipline to ensure the deliver value.
The skills Larry Page and Sergey Brin brought to the table that allowed them to succeed were not coding skills, and I think that the implicit critique of their technical skill devalues the real reasons they made it.
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