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FBI Studied How Much Drones Impact Your Privacy -- Then Marked It Secret

ScentCone Re:Transparency (106 comments)

Imagine where we'd be if Palin were president.

Yeah, or that shining example of progressive intellectuual integrity, John Edwards.

7 hours ago
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Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

ScentCone Re:why? (392 comments)

Free TV in my country (Denmark) is mostly free of advertising.

Are you one of the people who pays no taxes?

about a week ago
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Australia Repeals Carbon Tax

ScentCone Re:it is the wrong way... (291 comments)

A carbon tax does not affect every business equally.

But it will generally affect competitors equally. Two different taxi companies, or two different electricity generating companies that use coal. Or two different hotels of the same class and size in the same city.

And since competing businesses tend to have to lower prices in order to remain competitive in the same market as they pursue the same prospective customer, the tax burden is going to raise costs (and lower margins) more or less the same for both (or several) parties.

about a week ago
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Australia Repeals Carbon Tax

ScentCone Re:it is the wrong way... (291 comments)

The entire idea is that businesses will strive to become more efficient such that they produce less pollution so that they'll be taxed less.

But because such penalties impact all businesses in whatever country is collecting them, it won't really change things - because all of those businesses will simply pass along the new government-mandated increase in their overhead along in the form of higher prices. To the businesses in question, it just goes in one door and out the other. You want to use the heavy hand of the tax collector to damage people's behavior in a way that makes them go out less, drive less, spend less, do less? Tax citizens directly, with a very special line item they can't miss, that says "carbon tax, because you exist" - and they'll act. Well, mostly they'll act to elect people who will undo that tax, but they'll act.

about a week ago
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FAA Pressures Coldwell, Other Realtors To Stop Using Drone Footage

ScentCone Re:No safe uses (199 comments)

I doubt there are any safe uses for a drone. Do we really want a remotely controlled small aircraft flying around our homes and communities?

You're right. You're definitely on to something there. And while we're making sure that a professional real estate photographer with his reputation on the line is not to be trusted with a three and a half pound quadcopter, we should be even MORE restrictive of the OTHER dangerous stuff that's moving around our homes and communities. Like, pre-occupied 19 year olds driving cars. Like large dogs on cheap leashes. Like idiots on mountain bikes hopping curbs and cutting through read lights. Definitely start with the Evil Drones, but please don't stop there! There are so many dangers! Oh, definitely don't forget steak knives and riding lawnmowers.

about two weeks ago
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FAA Pressures Coldwell, Other Realtors To Stop Using Drone Footage

ScentCone Re:Define "safe commercial use of drones" (199 comments)

How do you know that all those real estate agents are using the drones safely?

Never mind the tiny number of people shooting a few real estate stills from treetop level. How do you know that the many, many thousands of people who are flying around for fun are being safe? But the FAA (so far) is honoring congress's mandate that hobbyists be left alone, even though they just said that hobbyists flying FPV style are no longer allowed. Regardless, the hobby drone market has hundreds of thousands of customers. There might be a few hundred people shooting real estate. Can you explain why you think it's a good thing to hurt them, but not to care about all sorts of reckless hobby newbies (just search on YouTube)? Please be specific.

How do you know that the real estate agent really knows how to fly one of the drones

How do you know that your neighor, who just had a ready-to-fly quad dropped off by UPS and who's in the air 30 minutes later, is safe? Really. How do you know? And why do you think that people who are doing it professionally, with their businesses and reputations on the line, are more dangerous than a 12 year old kid next door who's on his third quad having crashed the first two in spectacular fashion? How do you know? Please be specific. Because the FAA thinkks the 12 year old kid is fine, but the person who takes great care to avoid endangering their real estate business liability coverage while shooting the occasional photo should be stopped. An odd thing for you to support.

about two weeks ago
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FAA Pressures Coldwell, Other Realtors To Stop Using Drone Footage

ScentCone Re:Movies (199 comments)

But one could describe yours as being backwards just as easily as mine. It's simply a matter of perspective.

If by that you mean that clearly written words in the English language have no actual meaning, then sure, I guess. If you mean that the Constitution, and the countless supporting documents and correspondence written to, between and about its authors and the large groups of representatives that agreed on its purpose and amendments to it were just setting us with something that had no actual meaning, then sure. But that's BS, and you know it.

No, I never said "every" anything. I said drones. Period.

The Constitution makes no such distinctions between one tool and the next. But of course the people who wrote it were very clear that there were some tools that some people would - given a period of power in the congress - try to deny to the public, and so they added amendment that explicitly reminded the government that it cannot act in those areas. The Constitution is built around the concept that the government's powers over what you may or may not do it inherently limited to the things that are enumerated therein, and generally prohibited otherwise, with the states having all such other authority. This isn't a matter of "perspective," and it isn't true for certain tools, and false for other tools. If you think that "drones" (but not, say, chain saws) should be singled out for capricious bans by the federal government despite laws recently passed by the congress explicitly to the contrary, then you're completely missing the point.

Personally I'd say they were flying model aircraft not drones.

Semantic games like that show how completely unserious you are.

... using a car to take people where they ask. If you are doing it for free, or nothing more than fuel cost split, no problem. If you are doing it commercially then you tend to require a permit.

A matter decided upon, legislatively. at the municipal, county, and (rarely) state level. Not by capricious extra-legal, counter-constitutional fiat from a political appointee of the White House, as in the case at hand.

about two weeks ago
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FAA Pressures Coldwell, Other Realtors To Stop Using Drone Footage

ScentCone Re:Can someone explain how... (199 comments)

Because the FAA, by federal statute (passed by congress, which is made up of representatives of all of the states), is granted that regulatory authority. There is legal precedence for their authority over everything that flies in the air, right down to an inch above the ground. Which doesn't mean that their position on this stuff isn't incredibly absurd. But it's their turf.

about two weeks ago
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FAA Pressures Coldwell, Other Realtors To Stop Using Drone Footage

ScentCone Re:The FAA needs to follow the law. (199 comments)

so the FAA either is or soon will be operating in direct contradiction to the law passed by congress

Why should the FAA, which is part of the Obama administration, feel any urge whatsoever to enforce or obey laws passed by congress? We have ample precedent of him using the pen and phone about which he so regularly boasts to simply do what he wants anyway, even in direct contradiction of plain language in the laws he swore to uphold. Any expectation that the chief executive of the administration will be asking his immediate (appointed, by him) subordinate (the Secretary of Transportation) to instruct HIS subordinate (Huerta, the director of the FAA) to actually comply with the law, is laughable. The administration takes laws (like their own favorite, the ACA), and completely ignores hard-wired dates and other requirements as it suits them for political leverage with the portion of the voters to whom they pander. Happily, that particular instance is about to be challenged in a civil suit coming out of congress - that's very good news.

We just need another suit, along the same lines, requiring the administration's law breaking at the agency level in the FAA to be discussed in the bright sunshine of court. Something you'd think that the "most transparent administration in history" would applaud, right? Yeah.

about two weeks ago
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FAA Pressures Coldwell, Other Realtors To Stop Using Drone Footage

ScentCone Re:Movies (199 comments)

This is the way it SHOULD happen. An overall prohibition on drones then specific exceptions for uses where the benefits to society are seen to outweigh the costs

You have your entire concept of liberty, and of the constitution, exactly backwards.

Should every new concept, innovation, invention, tool, technique, strategy, and technology be prohibited by default? What the hell is wrong with you? If I come up with a clever new way of slicing deli meat, should I be prohibited from using it or showing someone else how to use it until I've sufficiently begged an un-elected, un-accountable agency bureaucrat to allow me to use it?

And in the case at hand, picture two people standing right next to each other. Each has their hands on the controls of a 4-pound plastic quadcopter carrying a GoPro. Each takes off, sends the little machine up to 45 feet above the same house. Each of them use the device to record the condition of the houses's gutters, sparing somebody a couple hours of putting up a dangerous extension ladder a dozen times. Each of them get the job done in minutes, and land their little quad back down in the driveway right next to each other. You think that one of those two people should be banned from what the both just did, but the other should not. Why? Be very specific.

about two weeks ago
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Amazon Seeks US Exemption To Test Delivery Drones

ScentCone Re:Tell me how this is suppposed to work. (155 comments)

It's difficult to see the market for this service as anything other than single family residence, upper class suburban.

Or to the rooftop mail room chute in a large office building that might contain hundreds of Amazon business customers. If you're picturing suburban doorstep delivery to un-prepared recipients, you're imagining the wrong scenario.

about two weeks ago
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Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis

ScentCone Re:Wait, did $Deity announce a do-over? (389 comments)

We could have spend the amount of money we put into nuclear power into solar power.

Yeah, except that we've been using energy from powerful nuclear generation reactors for decades, and if all of that effort had gone instead into the incredibly inefficient solar technology of the day, we'd have had to burn a huge pile of coal or volume of natural gas to make up for the enormous shortfall. You seem to think that time travel is available, and that somehow even somewhat better, but still very inefficient solar tools available today could have been magically manufactured decades ago, and in enormous grids blanketing (where, exactly?). And of course you're probably also suggesting the use of the same time travel machine to send back the scientists who are only just now - despite the availability of huge amounts of capital, decades more accumulated research, and more - figuring out how to make batteries and other storage devices that kind of, sort of make sense relative to things like powering homes, let alone whole cities.

But you do know that a forrest has no effect on the CO2 level, or not? If it regrows it 'consumes' exactly the amount it yielded when it was burned?

It's a shame that you're wasting all of that energy on such an angry rant when you don't have the patience to educate yourself a bit. The enormous swaths of chopped-down rainforest aren't being allowed to grow back. They're being used to inefficiently provide lumber (once) and then provide development and farming land - activities that in turn also produce more CO2, not that you actually care.

But you do know that China has a single child policy since nearly 40 years, you do or not?

Which has nothing whatsoever to do with the the fact that their enormous and rapidly growing population is completely overtaking their ability to produce energy, clean water, and enough farmable land to keep up. Hence their steady importation of oil and food from everywhere else.

You do know that the population in Africa is constant since decades?

How is it that you think lying is helping whatever point you're trying to make? The UN has recently pointed out that sub-Saharan Africa has an exploding population, and that the population on that continent will likely quadruple before the century is out. Africa's population is the fastest growing in the world. You know this, everyone else knows this. So the fact that you're pretending it's otherwise, and lead your post with "moron" and "racist" ... well, I guess I should know better than to feed an obvious troll. I've always found that the ones who start their posts by screeching "racist!" are themselves the ones with the race problem. You certainly seem that way.

fantasy world

Hilarious. You're the one fantasizing about population trends that are the opposite of what the UN reports, that imagines time-traveling to solve energy issues, and who sees everyone who doesn't play along with your imagined alternate reality to be morons and racists. Print your post out, on paper, and set it aside someplace safe there in your mom's basement. You'll still be there in ten years, so make an appointment with yourself to read it again, and compare it to each of the next ten years' worth of UN population reports. Not that you'll have the intellectual integrity to actually do that.

about two weeks ago
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Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis

ScentCone Re:Wait, did $Deity announce a do-over? (389 comments)

We have officially lost our "shot at preventing devastating climate change".

Nothing we could have done in the last 100 years would have made a bit of difference with respect to what you mention.

Well, except possibly for doing something to reduce eastern population booms by a few billion people. The couple hundred million people in the west with the economic latitude to pursue the type of stuff laid out in TFA won't make a bit of change, relative to four billion people digging coal in China, sprouting up on the subcontinent, overgrazing in Africa, and plowing down rainforest in Central and South America.

You want any of this to change? Stop having so many babies in places that can't afford them.

about two weeks ago
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TSA Prohibits Taking Discharged Electronic Devices Onto Planes

ScentCone Re:Sigh! (702 comments)

Does anyone really believe the next great air-to-ground attack is going to resemble the last one? The assumption that folks of Arabian descent who harbor ill will for the West would use a commercial jet is at best security theatre, and at worst, unimaginable incompetence.

Except they've tried three more times since then, and had either technical problems or had their attempt thwarted at the last moment. It doesn't matter if they also turn their attention to having western-looking jihaddis freshly back from the ISIS Olympics attacking a London shopping mall TOO, they haven't given up on using portable bombs in airplanes to try to knock more out of the sky. Why? Because it plays well for the intended audience, which is NOT the west. It's all about being able to claim, "See? We can still do more such martyrdom operations any time we want, that's how capable we are."

about three weeks ago
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The View From Inside A Fireworks Show

ScentCone Re:Idiotic (200 comments)

You're right. Our entire culture should only be able to be thoughtful about the safety of any one given situation at a time. People who want to fly RC aircraft should shut up and not worry, at all, about how some idiot is generating bad press and given the uninformed silly people media-hyped things to worry about ... they shouldn't even ADDRESS that issue as long as there is even one angry person anywhere roaming the streets ready to kill over an imagined slight. As a nation, we cannot possibly afford to deal with more than one topic at a time. Speaking of which, how do you have time to scold be when there are people with knives near taxis in your area?

about three weeks ago
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The View From Inside A Fireworks Show

ScentCone Re:Idiotic (200 comments)

Flight controller may get confused and attempt to fly the thing

The flight controller is ALWAYS flying the thing. And if you were paying attention (which you weren't), you'd note that I was talking about how the flight controller might handle the presence of debris gumming up a motor and overheating an ESC. It happens all the time - insects, dust, leaves, etc. As I also pointed out, this stuff will seem mysterious to smug people who obviously have no experience with this stuff in the real world.

The Phantom 2 is 1kg

About half again that much by the time you install gimbal, camera, and VTX for downlink. Regardless, shall we do a test where 1300g hits you in the head at 30+mph? No? Huh.

The Phantom 2 does not have carbon fibre blades. This is quite significant because plastic doesn't hurt when you get hit by it (spoken from experience).

Many people retrofit with CF props. Regardless, the stock props are plenty capable of taking out an eye, or laying open the meat on your face.

LiPos aren't bombs

Though you can use the same Google you're talking about to see lovely video of hot, instant fires caused by multirotors hitting the pavement from a long fall/dive and having their onboard LiPo rupture internally. They are very energetic. Just what we need - video of Lithium-fueled fire on someone's July 4 picnic blanket, right where their kid had been sitting in a crowd.

The public couldn't give a shit. They don't care about you, the drone...

Which explains why the FAA gets a steady stream of phoned-in tips from the public, which they use to issue subpoenas and cease & desist letters threatening fines. Or you could read up on the case of the 17 year old out having a nice time flying FPV in a wide-open public area, up until some lady started to quite literally beat him up for doing so. She gave a shit, enough to commit assault over it. Tip of the iceberg.

about three weeks ago
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The View From Inside A Fireworks Show

ScentCone Re:Idiotic (200 comments)

Nobody was in danger except the drone owner's bank account

Spoken like someone who has never actually built and or operated one.

More likely than a direct hit on the drone by a shell (likely to make the drone drop straight out of the sky, probably in multiple pieces) is the prospect of some debris getting into one or more of the brushless motors. This could cause the motor to overheat, or cause the ESC talking to it to get things wrong. The flight controller can get confused by this, and you could end up with a high battery drain, and the machine doing a nice tilt to one side, with the remaining props spinning way up to try to maintain lift ... presto. From a few hundred feet, the drone could go into a high speed dive at an angle that could very quickly close the distance between the fireworks range (over the water) and the people on the ground. How'd you like 1500g of high-speed hardware coming at your head at, say, 35mph, in the dark, complete with high-speed spinning carbon fiber knives and a flammable LiPo battery onboard.

Beyond all of that, this is about public perception. The complete tool who did this is practically begging to have members of the public pile onto the FAA's existing effort to, in practice, shut down this entire hobby and almost every attempt to put these tools to work in research and business. Gee, thanks.

about three weeks ago
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Senate Budgetmakers Move To End US Participation In ITER

ScentCone Re:Disappointing - Potential payoff is enormous... (225 comments)

And why are you singling out a faction of the ruling institutional party?

Because that's the faction that runs the man who runs the US senate and who runs the man who runs the executive branch of the government.

about three weeks ago
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Senate Budgetmakers Move To End US Participation In ITER

ScentCone Re:Disappointing - Potential payoff is enormous... (225 comments)

get shelved by politicians

Get shelved by Democrats, you mean. Ask Harry Reid (who sets the legislative agenda in the Senate) about his priorities, if he can articulate them in a complete, unmuddled sentence that doesn't include assertions about how his party has no rich donors, etc.

If this were the House, the tone of the comments here would be all about specifically named anti-science conservatives, not "politicians." Why aren't we naming the anti-science liberals behind this cut?

about three weeks ago
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Senate Budgetmakers Move To End US Participation In ITER

ScentCone Re:Democrats getting a pass here? (225 comments)

I have a feeling if the story was about the current House of Representatives slashing ITER funding, we'd see a screed about "anti-science Republicans." However, since the Senate is led by Democrats...

That's more than a feeling, that's a fact.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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ELF Knocks Down AM Towers To Save Earth, Intercoms

ScentCone ScentCone writes  |  more than 4 years ago

ScentCone (795499) writes "The ELF (Earth Liberation Front) has claimed responsibility for destroying the primary AM towers used by KRKO in Washington state. From their statement, 'AM radio waves cause adverse health effects including a higher rate of cancer, harm to wildlife, and that the signals have been interfering with home phone and intercom lines.' The poor intercom performance must have been the last straw."
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Three Indicted In Very Big Identity/Data Breach

ScentCone ScentCone writes  |  more than 4 years ago

ScentCone (795499) writes "Three New Jersey-ites have been indicted in a crack/breach caper that netted them 130 million credit/debit card records and other sensitive info. Astonishingly, this was chalked up to SQL injection attacks, with data stolen from Heartland (a large card processing operation), 7-Eleven, and a grocery chain. The man named in the indictment, Albert Gonzalez, is already waiting trial for his alleged involvement in similar attacks on other retailers and restaurant chains in 2008. DoJ says the new data theft is the largest on record. Anybody recently buy a Slurpee with a credit card?"
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Michael Crichton, 66, has died of cancer.

ScentCone ScentCone writes  |  more than 5 years ago

ScentCone (795499) writes "Author Michael Crichton has died of cancer . The guy behind the Adromeda Strain and Jurassic Park, and a deliberate irritant in the global warming debate ("If we put everything in the hands of experts and if we say that as intelligent outsiders, we are not qualified to look over the shoulder of anybody, then we're in some kind of really weird world.") was 66, and has one more novel waiting in the wings."
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China Says It Lacks Skills To Hack US Systems

ScentCone ScentCone writes  |  more than 6 years ago

ScentCone (795499) writes "A spokesman for China's foreign ministry says that — China being the "developing nation" that it is — he doubts that his country has the sophistication to hack foreign systems. This in response to statements by two congressmen regarding apparent probing by China-based crackers into congressional systems for information about communication between US officials and activists in China."
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Mankind damages universe by looking at it.

ScentCone ScentCone writes  |  more than 6 years ago

ScentCone (795499) writes "The Telegraph covers a New Scientist report (subscribers only) about two US comsologists who suggest that, a la Schrodinger's possibly unhappy cat, the act of obvserving certain facets of our universe may have shortened its life . FTA, 'Prof Krauss says that the measurement of the light from supernovae in 1998, which provided evidence of dark energy, may have reset the decay of the void to zero — back to a point when the likelihood of its surviving was falling rapidly.' Warning: if you've read this summary, you may have already changed the article."
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ScentCone ScentCone writes  |  more than 7 years ago

ScentCone (795499) writes "In hopes of disrupting small droplets of water before they are able to form into an approaching storm's fruit-damaging hail, some farmers are spending $50K+ each on sonic cannons. Like most, this New Zealand company's gear uses acetylene gas charges. The technique has a long history, but there is continued debate about its effectiveness. Nissan, though, has got their own version to protect lots full of shiny new cars."
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ScentCone ScentCone writes  |  more than 7 years ago

ScentCone (795499) writes "US District Judge James Roberston has directed the US Treasury to start working on a way for the blind to differentiate between printed denominations. He said that the government is violating the Rehabilitaion Act in discriminating against those with a disability. He cites other countries' use of varying currency sizes as evidence that there are solutions, but does not prescribe a particular approach. Possibilities include raised ink and punched holes. Newer bills already support infrared features for use with readers, but such technology gets some complaints. The vending machine industry, which has participated in previous redesign discussions, may have a lot of work to do."
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ScentCone ScentCone writes  |  more than 7 years ago

ScentCone (795499) writes "New Zealand's Qualification Authority (which sets testing standards for the public schools) is confident that those grading papers will understand the meaning of students' responses, even if they use phone/IM-style text-speak. FTA, "credit will be given if the answer 'clearly shows the required understanding,' even if it contains text-speak." Many teachers are not amused, and critics say that the move will devalue NZ's equivalent of a high school diploma."
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ScentCone ScentCone writes  |  more than 7 years ago

ScentCone (795499) writes "A Florida woman made the (unopposed) case that she was defamed and suffered business damages because of what a Louisiana woman was posting about her online. She has no expectation of collecting the money, but says "People are using the Internet to destroy people they don't like, and you can't do that." Libel is libel, but a libeler now has more/easier reach than before, and things like the Google cache add a new dimension."
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ScentCone ScentCone writes  |  more than 7 years ago

ScentCone (795499) writes "North Korea says that it has conducted its first nuclear weapons test and "brought happiness to its people."

Japan and China earlier issued an unusual joint statement saying that such a test would be "unacceptable."

As of 11:10PM EST, the USGS says that it has not detected any unusual seismic activity on the Korean peninsula in the last 48 hours. Is NK's declaring a successful test with no apparent seismic indicators suggesting that they have actually done so just a more over-the-top-than-usual bit of propoganda?"

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