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Man Booted From Southwest Flight and Threatened With Arrest After Critical Tweet

iksbob Re: name and location tweeted... (891 comments)

That was my knee-jerk reaction as well. Thinking it though, SouthWest must have a group dedicated to monitoring social media postings in order to respond that quickly. Surely this group is familiar with the Streisand Effect, and would not take such action against the passenger. Rather, I suspect the punitive action came from the same gate attendant that the passenger complained about.
Gate attendant gets pissy with passenger -> passenger posts complaint -> SW social media group reads complaint -> SW calls gate attendant and tells her to fix it (i.e. apologize) or it will come up at her performance review -> pissy gate attendant calls passenger back to the gate and threatens him.

about a week ago

US Government Introduces Pollinator Action Plan To Save Honey Bees

iksbob Re:For a First Step (143 comments)

That would make sense. This however, stinks of lobbyist action.

about a month ago

France Cries Foul At World Cup "Spy Drone"

iksbob Re:what could he possibly have seen? (138 comments)

Perhaps when it comes to simple ball handling and player-on-player action, that's true. However, like all team sports, strategy can be applied with respect to general placement of players, passing and the like. Ideally, these strategies should leverage each player's individual strengths, thus making them unique to a given team. Opposing teams could extract much of this strategy from existing game footage, but not newly developed strategies (such as those designed to counter a specific opposing team) or tactics that are being kept 'up their sleeve' to be used in a pinch.

about a month and a half ago

Oklahoma Botched an Execution With Untested Lethal Injection Drugs

iksbob Re:Punishment fits the crime (1198 comments)

"An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind."

about 3 months ago

More Troubles For Authors of Controversial Acid-Bath Stem Cell Articles

iksbob Re:Fraud? Try Idiot. (99 comments)

Which makes it all the stranger. High-profile area of research, likely to be checked, major journal... It's like a checklist of ways to get caught. The tinfoil hat region of my brain makes me wonder if the research is genuine, but other researchers are refuting it out of fear that the funding for their own research will be cut. After all, who needs an expensive, complex (and patented) method of creating stem cells when a cheap and easy solution produces similar (or superior) results?

about 4 months ago

MIT Develops Inexpensive Transparent Display Using Nanoparticles

iksbob Re:Blue screen of death (87 comments)

That came to mind for me. The "display" they appear to be demonstrating uses a projector to illuminate desired areas of nanoparticles. The new technology here is that the particles respond to a specific bandwidth of light, letting others through. If one had a bright light of that specific bandwidth (say, a deliberately de-focused laser), he/she could illuminate the screen from another location, blinding the driver if the screen covered a large enough area of the windshield.

about 6 months ago

Many Mac OS Users Not Getting Security Updates

iksbob Re:Does it matter? (380 comments)

Putting aside the ranking of Jobs' achievements, convincing the world of the non-PCness of Macs pales in comparison to Gates' achievement: Convincing the world that all PCs run Windows.

about 7 months ago

NSA Says It Foiled Plot To Destroy US Economy Through Malware

iksbob Re:NSA failed to halt subprime lending, though. (698 comments)

In all seriousness, I was thinking the exact same thing.
As others here have pointed out, the premise of a BIOS-flashing piece of malware seems tenuous, and even laughable to those familiar with the subject. So why would the NSA make such a claim? One strong possibility in my mind is that they really have produced such a piece of malware (keylogger, packet sniffer, whatever) and are afraid of the public backlash and/or damage claims (my motherboard failed! it must be the NSA!) that would arise when its existence is made clear by a Snowden release. As such, they are desperately trying to spin it off on China before said release can be made.

about 7 months ago

How long do your computer mice last?

iksbob Re:Who uses mice? (361 comments)

I've been using Kensington trackballs since the early '90s. I actually prefer the old mechanical Turbo Mouse line over the current optical Expert Mouse design. The Turbo's large stainless steel rollers didn't collect nearly as much gunk as the little plastic beads in the Expert Mouse.

about 8 months ago

Feds Confiscate Investigative Reporter's Confidential Files During Raid

iksbob Re:I donâ(TM)t suppose... (622 comments)

While I generally agree with your statements, the article is discussing the authorities' abuse of power. Pointing to the victim's lack of preparation for such abuse as some form of wrong-doing in the context of discussing the abuse itself is pretty solidly an ad hominem attack.

about 9 months ago

Fusion Reactor Breaks Even

iksbob Re:Helium? (429 comments)

Provided they settle on a deuterium/tritium fuel mix, yes.

about 10 months ago

US Intelligence Chief Defends Attempts To Break Tor

iksbob Re:I feel safer... (411 comments)

The trouble is that the greatest damage done by rape is often a matter of emotional trauma. As people grow and develop at different paces (physically, intellectually and emotionally), one can't point to a particular age and claim adulthood once it has been exceeded. There may be individuals capable of making a sound decision and coping with the results at age 12, and those that can't at age 35. Thus, the "age of consent" laws may seem rather contrived at times.

about 10 months ago

Man Killed By His Own Radio-Controlled Helicopter In Brooklyn

iksbob Re:OUCH (479 comments)

So bother to read the article ... where it stated ... clearly ... the aircraft was a gas turbine.

Where is that? Which of the two articles, and in what paragraph? I see no reference to gas turbines what so ever. In fact, the WSJ article has quoted the deceased's post that he was "breaking in some new packs i just got", referring to LiPo main battery packs.

about a year ago

Man Killed By His Own Radio-Controlled Helicopter In Brooklyn

iksbob Re:OUCH (479 comments)

That's interesting. I wonder if it has something to do with CA air quality regulations or perhaps economic demographic? I have seen a grand total of two turbine engines at our club's airfield (very likely the location of the DE event mentioned in the article), one of which was in a heli (at said event no less).

about a year ago

Man Killed By His Own Radio-Controlled Helicopter In Brooklyn

iksbob Re:OUCH (479 comments)

As much a tragedy as it was, he was asking for it. None of the heli fliers in our club (likely the one that hosted the DE event mentioned in the article) take those sorts of risks with personal safety. Risk the heli? Sure... You need to push yourself in order to improve, and it gives the crowd a thrill. However, the thrills and entertainment come to a screeching halt when someone gets hurt.
My best guess is this kid was a budding adrenaline junky, and got his jollies by putting himself in harm's way. Unfortunately, it seems the overstepping of his limits overlapped with his adrenaline habit.

about a year ago

Man Killed By His Own Radio-Controlled Helicopter In Brooklyn

iksbob Re:OUCH (479 comments)

They weigh roughly 10-12lbs, this one was a gas turbine, so it likely weighed a little more

I highly doubt that. Gas turbine engines are very rare in the RC hobby, and quite expensive. The cost of such an engine would exceed the media's quoted price tag of the entire helicopter. Given the expense and typical time invested by the hobbyist, gas turbine helis almost never see 3D flight (acrobatic flight, as the articles describe).
The most common power system in modern high performance helis is the brushless electric motor, powered by a high-discharge rate 6-10 cell lithium polymer battery pack (30-40 VDC and up to around 300 A). After that, it's 2-stroke piston engines running on glow/nitro fuel (a mixture of methanol, nitromethane and lubricating oil).

about a year ago

Repurposed: Ground Circuit Board Waste Can Clean Up Toxic Metals

iksbob Re:Lead free solder? (33 comments)

Not even reading the summary, now? It says right there "the nonmetallic fraction of waste circuit boards". So were talking about a ground-up mixture of fiberglas and epoxy resin here.

about a year ago

Apple-Liquidmetal Joint Patent Could Enable Futuristic-Looking Mobile Devices

iksbob Re:Judgement day is coming! (102 comments)

Interesting. Good call.

1 year,13 days

Apple-Liquidmetal Joint Patent Could Enable Futuristic-Looking Mobile Devices

iksbob Re:Judgement day is coming! (102 comments)

Yes, it probably does have a melting point. However, this amorphous alloy's melting point is apparently below room temperature.
Similarly, glass (the regular transparent stuff) is technically a liquid at room temperature. Its viscosity is high enough that visible sag doesn't occur within a window's (for example) typical life span. As glass is heated, its viscosity progressively decreases until it flows and can be formed as one would expect of a liquid.
Same deal with this alloy.

1 year,13 days

Hyundai's Flying Car Flies For an Audience

iksbob Re:More Lift (96 comments)

I would blame it on the control system and the engineering of the vehicle. I don't think the number of rotors is a big issue... each cluster of 4 props could be operated in unison, making the control system see it as a quad-copter.
Smaller electric multi-rotor aircraft run into the same stability limitations to a lesser degree, but it can be compensated for with an appropriate set of PID variables. The issue is the mass of the rotating assembly vs. the torque available to accelerate it. Electric motors have gobs of torque, so it's not as big an issue.
Internal combustion engines have 3 methods of boosting torque. Increase piston stroke (the length of the crankshaft throw, increasing leverage), increase piston bore (the diameter of the piston, which increases surface area on which the expanding air/fuel mixture presses) - both of which increase the displacement and overall size & weight of the engine - and finally, increase the pressure of the expanding air/fuel mixture by increasing the compression ratio of the engine and/or moving to forced induction. All of those options have tradeoffs in terms of weight, reliability, mechanical complexity and cost.
The best solution would probably be to use an engine tuned to operate at a specific RPM and move to variable-pitch props. Rather than change the speed of the props and face the associated acceleration lag, simply increase or decrease the pitch of the prop to achieve the desired level of thrust.

about a year ago


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