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Comments

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Talking To the Public: the Biggest Enemy To Reducing Greenhouse Emissions

fructose Money (324 comments)

It seems it also has a lot more to do with money. When disarmament is discussed, everyone can agree that it's a good thing (even if it doesn't affect them personally). Companies agree with the politicians and see an opportunity to bid on contracts to help dismantle and dispose of nuclear weapons and eventually make a lot of money. But climate change solutions mean that many industries will have to make significant changes to their business. The coal industry could stand to loose significantly if they are forced to make truly 'clean' coal. They also have the possibility of being shut down completely. These companies respond with 'outraged opposition' to prevent either of the two. If there was no money in things like coal produced electricity, climate change solutions would probably happen much like disarmament did.

about 5 months ago
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The Rescue Plan That Could Have Saved Space Shuttle Columbia

fructose Re:Other options? (247 comments)

The tiles on the leading edge of the wing aren't foam, they are a ceramic material and each tile is designed for a specific location on the wing. Cover the hole up? Not likely with the materials they had. It's not like they have extra leading edge tiles laying around anyway. The only real option would be to get them on another shuttle since the ISS was not accessible.

about 7 months ago
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Roadable, Vertical-Takeoff Aircraft Is Eager To Hit the Battlefield

fructose Actually looks feasable (87 comments)

This is the first roadable aircraft that looks like it could work. No fancy linkages to have one motor run it all, or spiffy folding wings or anything that hasn't been created yet. This actually has demonstrated technologies behind it and looks like it's much further along that a pretty 3D rendering. Even if the UAV portion doesn't work, this application could be useful in more than just the battlefield. This could be used for civilian medivac or other urgent situation where a suitable landing location is easily accessible.

about 8 months ago
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Canadian Hotel Sues Guest For $95K Over Bad Review, Bed Bugs

fructose How can you win over facts? (432 comments)

Assuming that the story the guest told was true (and it seems it was, based on the hotel admitting it), how can the hotel possibly win when the reviewer is stating facts? If the review was completely made up, I would assume libel laws would side with the hotel. But when the whole situation is based on facts, and the reviewer is merely passing those facts on to the public, how can the hotel even expect to win?

The article is right, the hotel should have helped him out more from the get go instead of trying to do damage control.

1 year,29 days
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On Daylight Savings Time:

fructose Re:Oh I just love (475 comments)

It takes two weeks to adjust your clock one hour? Wow. Visiting another state for a couple days must be hell. Most people get over it in a day.

about 2 years ago
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Sally Ride Takes Her Final Flight

fructose Re:Safe trip? (251 comments)

Original story submitter, here. I am an atheist, but I don't believe that death=nonexistence. Her accomplishments, her impacts, and her memories will continue to affect others for a long time. In a way she is still with us, especially to those whom she was closest to. Her final flight is in to our collective memories and our history.

more than 2 years ago
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Iranian TV Shows Downed US Drone

fructose Re:It sounds feasible (612 comments)

Early command and control systems were considered secure through obscurity and lack of technical ability. Obviously, that isn't the case anymore. I don't know how old the drone design it, but considering that the US is saying all the technology on it is obsolete, then it's probably more than just a year or two old and could be controlled though the 'old school' technique. Now days, command links are encrypted to prevent the bad guys from even eaves dropping on the intel that comes down.

Spy satellites and spy planes don't have 24 hour coverage of the whole world, so they don't spend any time looking for something that they already control. Once they lost control, they no longer had a solid fix on its position. While I'm sure they would have scrambled to find it, finding a moving target of that size would be difficult at best and would take considerable time.

For things to go the way Iran suggests, the US would have had to have been flying over Iran for a long enough time for them to 1) intercept the command and control transmissions, 2) decipher the signals to determine what everything means, 3) design and build a system capable of mimicking the commands and displaying the correct return information, and 4) fielding the system to snatch the plane. The lack of any appreciable damage means they did an awesome job landing the plane, which would be VERY impressive from an untrained pilot. While not impossible, it would display a level of techincal capability that Iran doesn't seem to have.

Based on my experience, I think the most likely scenario is that the pilots lost contact with the plane after it had a serious malfunction. Then the plane wandered off is planned flight path, or even the emergency return path, and ended up crashing in Iran. It happens occasionally; the plane breaks hard and goes dumb. I suspect some sort of misinformation from the Iranians because I doubt they could have taken control of the plane and snatched it. I'd buy them disrupting the command and control links easily, but taking control is a couple orders of magnitude harder.

more than 2 years ago
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FAA Taking a Look At News Corp's Use of Drone

fructose It's not a toy (252 comments)

As a drone pilot, I feel the scare factor of drones are way over rated. Yes, there are issues, but nothing that can't be handled with the proper procedures. People don't bat an eye at flying in clouds with other planes, but put a plane without a person on it in the sky and all of a sudden we have a flight risk. But scary is what sells on the news (and in APOA).

This little thing is the same thing as a hobby RC plane. I doubt any pilot out there is seriously concerned about RC planes, and this fits in that scale. The problem is this is used for commercial purposes, so it falls under different rules. News Corp fell into the trap that may other commercial entities fall into. They think it's just a big toy, so as long as they follow the RC planes rules, they are fine. The FAA treats commercial flying differently from noncommercial flying, and the hobbyist who suggested this idea to management probably didn't know that. This isn't a precedent, its just par for the course right now.

The FAA is very interested in including drones in their big plan to restructure their systems, and I think in the near future we may see things like this happening legally. But for now, The Daily's is probably going to be grounded.

more than 3 years ago
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Percentage of New Years resolutions I have kept:

fructose way back in '91... (177 comments)

I resolved to never make another resolution. I can say with certainty that I'll never break that resolution.

more than 3 years ago
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Survey Shows That Fox News Makes You Less Informed

fructose Surprised? (1352 comments)

FOX also makes sure to point out any 'controversy' in science stories.

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/12/fox_news_bureau_chief_told_staff_to_cast_doubt_on_climate_change.php?ref=fpb

This is just the result of their policies. They probably designed it this way to make people want to watch/read more FOX news. If you are unsure about something going on today you try to learn more, and you learn what's going on in the world by watching the news, right?

more than 3 years ago
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Why Special Effects No Longer Impress

fructose Bound to happen (532 comments)

With the proflieration of computers into everyday life, and the never ending advancement of realism in computer animation, it was bound to happen that special effects are taken for granted. The other night, my wife had asked me if I thought the cliff they were driving next to in the last Indiana Jones movie was real or removed by computer. You almost couldn't tell. We are at the point where we expect special effects to give us the movie we want. We expect them to be so seamless that you aren't sure they are computer effects or not.

20 years ago, we clamored for the special effect that 'looked so real' in Terminator 2, but now if we saw a movie with those effects we would be unimpressed because so many people think someone with a camcorder and a computer could whip that up at home. While it may or may not be possible is another matter, but the perception is there and that drives expectations. I think the special effects in Inception were top notch exactly becasue I didn't notice any 'edge' of where the effect starts and where it stops. If I see a movie where I can spot the special effect, I refer to it as 'second rate.' But that's because I know they can do better.

more than 3 years ago
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Emergency Broadcast System Coming To Cell Phones

fructose Re:defeated by DOT plans to jam cell signals? (256 comments)

That's just while driving, at which time it would be covered by the radio. Now they can alert you to a tornado, or tsunami, or other horrible event while you are shopping, or at the beach, or anywhere else where you don't have a radio/TV. Sounds like a great idea to me.

more than 3 years ago
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Aerial Drone To Hunt For Life On Mars

fructose Any time soon? (152 comments)

Not likely. This project has been around for several years now. Here's a story where they hope to get DARPA to pay for it. And it's was already around for years before that. The problem with it? Real time control. The plane would have to be able to direct it's own flight and research with minimal input from Earth becasue of the time lag in commands. Controlling a Global Hawk or Predator from half way around the world isn't tough. Flying a UAV on another planet? That's tough. Look what happened to poor Spirit.

more than 3 years ago
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Minutes I spend on the phone, on a typical day:

fructose Re:Logarithmic scale? (264 comments)

So, you suggest we just use random numbers? That's what the poll suggested. Except for Exponential, nothing else stood out as a 'preferred' scale.

Well, Celebrity numbers (i, e, pi, etc.) did, but I don't think we measure the time we spend on the phone with values like that. I know Verizon doesn't.

more than 3 years ago
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GM Criticized Over Chevy Volt's Hybrid Similarities

fructose Po-TAY-to vs. Po-TAH-to (657 comments)

Its a car that primarily electric driven and uses the gas engine when the batteries/motor can't cut it. Is it really that important what it's called? It's a car designed to be 'green' and that's what it's being sold as. The only thing that GM should be criticized for is the over estimation of the range you can expect. What we call is it pretty moot.

more than 3 years ago
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FAA Adds a Study On Adding Drones To Commercial Aviation

fructose Re:Why? (215 comments)

Planes do more than just carry people around. FedEX, UPS, DHL, and a host of other smaller carriers are proof of that. And don't forget search and rescue, border protection, fire fighting, police surveillance (helicopters), wildlife surverys, oceananic and atmospheric research, etc. And you are right, this is all about saving money. Only it's not for passenger airplanes.

more than 4 years ago
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FAA Adds a Study On Adding Drones To Commercial Aviation

fructose Re:Drones in US airspace? (215 comments)

Honestly, that's highly unlikely. First of all, you have to get past the feeling that we need a person up front to make sure everything works right. After all, what if the plane has a malfunction, the computer can't correct it right, a human knows how to solve it, but the communication link is down? All those events have happened, but not necessiarly together, and admittedly the chance of that happening is so slim you may have a better chance of winning the lottery. But you know what? People still win the lottery, and that situation will eventually happen. Would you be willing to risk 200 people just to save a little money? The airlines may try it, but Ford was accused of something a little similar and it didn't go well.

Second, you already have a plane full of people. You'd save very little weight by taking one person off a plane. Also, you still give people that warm fuzzy that someone is up front minding the shop even if all he does is press "go" and "stop."

If we eventually get AI to the point that people accept them as capable as a human, then you might get the pilot off the plane, but even then I doubt it.

Now cargo planes... That's another story. I see FedEx and UPS going pilotless in the not to distant future.

more than 4 years ago
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Demand For Unmanned Aircraft Outstripping Their Capabilities

fructose Re:Pay Through The Frontal Lobe (325 comments)

I can tell you the answer to that. They are facing stresses that a normal soldier isn't facing. A Predator pilot in Las Vegas has to fight a war for 10 hours a day and deal with all the stress that comes with that, AND THEN go home and deal with all the stress of family life. When deployed you 'turn off' after you fly and recover. Flying from home means you have to constantly deal with much more stress than normal. And you have to separate your military life from your family life even more. You can't talk about the problems you deal with at work with your wife because missions are classified. And you can't talk about your kid failing a math test because you are busy tracking a high priority target. No down time means no recovery. And add all to that this problems mentioned in the article above. Then to top it all off, good luck getting out of an unmanned plane. Without enough training, assignments are lasting much longer than normal. Pilots are getting called back from manned planes to fly drones. It's a no win situation for those who need a break.I did it for a while, and life is rough,

I was a Predator pilot in the AF for 5 years, and I can tell you it's not a pretty picture.

more than 4 years ago
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Privacy With a 4096 Bit RSA Key — Offline, On Paper

fructose Re:What Happens When ... (232 comments)

Why would yo fold it? Put it in your filing cabinet and maybe put a copy in a firesafe. Plus, one fold isn't going to tear a paper. I've got lots of papers that are folded that aren't torn. Sure some copies will tear, but some passwords get forgotten too. It's not a perfect solution, but it is another option for those who want a fairly high level of security.

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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Nest Halts Sales of Nest Protect After Discovering Dangerous Flaw

fructose fructose writes  |  about 6 months ago

fructose (948996) writes "It seems that the Nest Protect has a flaw in it's software that, under the right circumstances, could disable the alarm and not notify the owners of a fire. To remedy this flaw, they are disabling the Nest Wave feature through automatic updates. Owners who don't have their Nest Protects connected to their WiFi net or don't have a Nest account are suggested to either update the device manually or return it to Nest for a full refund. While they work out the problem, all sales are being halted to prevent unsafe units from being sold. There have been no reported incidents resulting from this flaw, but they aren't taking any chances. Considering the potential danger involved, I'd say this is a pretty safe move."
Link to Original Source
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Tesla can no longer sell card in NJ starting April 1st

fructose fructose writes  |  about 6 months ago

fructose (948996) writes "It looks like the automobile dealerships convinced the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to approve a new rule requiring auto retailers to have a franchise agreement with an auto manufacturer in order to sell cars in New Jersey. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Tesla only got wind of a special meeting to determine new rules withing 72 hours of the scheduled time. Tesla now needs to get a law change to be able to sell cars directly to consumers there. Chalk up another win for old fashioned business models being threatened by new ideas."
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Sally Ride takes her final flight

fructose fructose writes  |  more than 2 years ago

fructose writes "Sally Ride, America's first woman in space died today at age 61. She succumbed to pancreatic cancer according to her office in San Diego. Here's to wishing her a safe trip on her final journey."
Link to Original Source
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ABL Completes 1st Airborne Test Against Missile

fructose fructose writes  |  more than 5 years ago

fructose writes "The Airborne Laser managed to acquire, track, and illuminate a test missile yesterday. According to the press release, the Boeing team...

"used its infrared sensors to find a target missile launched from San Nicolas Island, Calif...issued engagement and target location instructions to the beam control/fire control system...fired its two solid-state illuminator lasers to track the target and...fired a surrogate high-energy laser at the target, simulating a missile intercept."

The sensors on board the missile confirmed the 'hit.' The next steps will be to test the high power laser at full power in flight and do a complete system test later this year. Looks like the Real Genius fans out there are finally living the dream."
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New Class of Galaxy Discovered

fructose fructose writes  |  more than 5 years ago

fructose writes "According to Space Daily, "A team of astronomers has discovered a group of rare galaxies called the "Green Peas" with the help of citizen scientists working through an online project called Galaxy Zoo. The finding could lend unique insights into how galaxies form stars in the early universe."

Of the 1 million galaxies in Galaxy Zoo's image bank, only about 250 are in the new "Green Pea" type. Galaxy Zoo is claiming this as a success of the "citizen scientist" effort that they spearheaded."

Link to Original Source
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Plagiarism and the real world

fructose fructose writes  |  more than 5 years ago

fructose writes "In high school and college, I was taught never to plagiarize. Now that I'm out in the real world, I've found that plagiarism is pretty much the way of life for many things. Need to write a new procedure? Plagiarize an old one! Need to write a report? Use this old one as a guide. Do we every include a 'references' or a 'contributions' page? Never. And let's be honest, when coding it's much easier to plagiarize old code (especially your own) when you are re-implementing something from a previous work. So I ask, how much do you plagiarize? And what is REAL plagiarism, and what is academic plagiarism?"
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SkySails Trial Reduces Fuel Use By 20%

fructose fructose writes  |  more than 6 years ago

fructose writes "By using old technology to save money, SkySails has managed to use 20% less fuel on a two month trial cruise by using their test sail. Acording to the atricle, "that's 2.5 tons of fuel, or $1,000 a day, in operating costs." SkySails claims that fuel costs can be reduced by 10-35% annually. If this technology was put to use, that could work out to a significant savings to any shipping fleet."
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Bulletproof Backpacks are now for sale

fructose fructose writes  |  more than 7 years ago

fructose writes "Weired has a blog about a company that is now selling bulletproof backpacks. The company's product page states "Since 1999 over 328 incidents have occurred, leaving 229 dead and 422 injured in school violence alone." But the Wired article points out that there were "838 deaths caused by falling out of bed in 2003 alone." Do kids really need bulletproof protection when they are more at risk of dying from falling out of bed? You can look at the National Safety Council has the odds of dying for 2003 online."
Link to Original Source

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