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Aereo Embraces Ruling, Tries To Re-Classify Itself As Cable Company

robbak So, how does this go? (147 comments)

Companies: Hey Courts, Aero is a cable company!
Aero: We really aren't.
Courts: I agree with the Companies. Aero is a cable company.
Aero: Sigh, I guess we'll have to become a cable company then.
Companies: I Object! Aero isn't a cable company!

about two weeks ago
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The View From Inside A Fireworks Show

robbak I can see how you could think it dangerous. (200 comments)

But I can also apply physics and see how the danger is very small.

The biggest point is that the sky is big and both the shells and the drone are small. The chance of the two coming into contact is negligible. The risk of anything bad happening if that happens is also very small - the only thing I can see happening is if a rotor happens to cut the shell's fuse. The shell is too heavy for a fragile drone to have much effect on it.

about two weeks ago
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The View From Inside A Fireworks Show

robbak What he wants versus what is the reality. (200 comments)

The drone genie is out of the bottle. This is the world we not live in - where the possibility of a cheap RC craft being in a particular airspace has to be taken into account.

about two weeks ago
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The View From Inside A Fireworks Show

robbak Heavy solid shell, light fragile drone. (200 comments)

The shell smashes the drone into tiny bits of confetti, and continues on it's merry way. Or, more likely the shell snaps off a rotor arm without noticing.

They will not bounce off each other like billiard balls. That's what happens when you have a collision between equal mass objects in which kinetic energy is conserved. This would be a collision between different mass objects where energy is lost to work - destroying the drone. The one with the most momentum wins.

about two weeks ago
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The View From Inside A Fireworks Show

robbak Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (200 comments)

Professional fireworks are mortar-fired shells, not rockets that can go off-course if nudged. So if a shell hit the drone on the way up, it would smash straight through it and keep on going. There is not enough mass in a drone, and a drone is not solid enough, to deflect the solid mass of a firework shell travelling at speed. It might not quite reach the same height by a few meters, or might end up a couple of feet off target, but neither of these things would matter.

And if the drone is up at altitude where the shells explode, then there is even less speed involved. The shell has reached it's height - so what if it taps a drone before detonating.

There is also whole lot of sky, and both shells and drones are small. The chance of the two coming together is practically nil.

Amazing pictures captured with zero risk. Images from a drone up there amongst it all should be a permanent feature of firework presentations.

about two weeks ago
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The View From Inside A Fireworks Show

robbak What with all the other debris? (200 comments)

The area under a fireworks show already gets peppered with the remains of all the exploded shells. A little added debris from a drone struck by part of the fireworks would make no difference. They always make sure that the fallout zone is in a safe area.

Add to that that the shells are mortar-fired, not rockets, and the risk of this is practically nil. Way less than the risks of just using and handling all that explosive.

Every professional fireworks show - at least, all those that are televised - should include shots from a drone up there amongst it all. The spectacular pictures are well worth the tiny risk.

about two weeks ago
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Dump World's Nuclear Waste In Australia, Says Ex-PM Hawke

robbak And if slower than it's orbital velocity... (213 comments)

That just means that it is in an elliptical orbit, out near its apogee. That orbit will pull it closer, speeding it up, until it reaches its perigee, which will throw it back out to its apogee. Around and around we go, unless the perigee is within the atmosphere.

about 2 months ago
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Dump World's Nuclear Waste In Australia, Says Ex-PM Hawke

robbak Yes, it did. (213 comments)

Mind you, it was able to drop most of it by running into the top of the earth's atmosphere. The space shuttle orbits within the outer reaches of earth's atmosphere - the sun's atmosphere is a very long way away.

about 2 months ago
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Dump World's Nuclear Waste In Australia, Says Ex-PM Hawke

robbak De-orbit means 'remove it from orbit' (213 comments)

In order to take something from earth orbit and get it to the sun, you have to take it from earth's speed of 30 km/sec and slow it down to zero. Only when will it fall into the sun. If you leave any of that orbital speed on that object, then it will miss the sun, swing around it like a comet, and head back to where it came from. You could perhaps use a fly-by of Venus and/or Mercury to help you with that, but it's still a near-impossible thing to do. This is what is meant here by de-orbit.

about 2 months ago
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Dump World's Nuclear Waste In Australia, Says Ex-PM Hawke

robbak 'Australia' doesn't want to take it. (213 comments)

... although it undoubtedly would be a good move. Good for Australia, although a better move would not involve transporting the stuff halfway across the planet.

This is one ex-politician speaking - and speaking more sense than he ever did while in office.

It's a myth that we don't know what to do about nuclear waste - we know exactly what to do with it - cast it in ceramics, drill a deep hole into old, stable rock, place it in the hole, and seal it. Oh, after reprocessing and using fast breeder reactors to reuse most of it. All we have to do is just do it - but it is too easy to raise pseudo-environmental and NIMBY anger to prevent it actually happening.

about 2 months ago
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Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

robbak For mobile? That is BETA's worst failure (2219 comments)

I seem to be locked into beta on my phone, and it just simply doesn't work. 3 comments down, and the comments are single-word lines, and a few more nested comments down, even that breaks. Even though I visit classic.slashdot.org, i end up at beta.

Look, someone with black-hat skills, track down their dev environment and rm -r it for us, please?

about 5 months ago
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Australia OKs Dumping Dredge Waste In Barrier Reef

robbak Re:Sign the petition (277 comments)

So you want them to dump the spoil closer to the reef???? The great barrier reef is about 75 km off the coast at Bowen, where this development is happening, and you'd need to travel twice that to be outside the boundaries of the marine park.

about 6 months ago
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Australia OKs Dumping Dredge Waste In Barrier Reef

robbak They are taking it to a 'safe dumping zone'. (277 comments)

They have chosen a safe dumping zone where the movement of silt won't cause problems. But the entire east coast of Queensland, however, is the marine park, so all the safe dumping zones are inside the 'park'. So that means that GBRMPA has to check the details and make sure that what the engineers have worked out is a safe dumping zone is actually one, and that the currents won't take large quantities of fine silt onto reefs. They have done so, worked out that it is, and the world moves on.

Now whether anyone should be digging up coal and shipping it to places where it will be burnt is another matter. But the placement of the dredge spoil is simple engineering.

about 6 months ago
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James Gosling Grades Oracle's Handling of Sun's Tech

robbak Quickstarter still exists (223 comments)

It is still there as an optional item in the installer, not selected by default (because that is the way it should be).

about 6 months ago
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JPMorgan Files Patent Application On 'Bitcoin Killer'

robbak Re:Maybe the Patent Office will notice (292 comments)

Applying for a patent is a negotiation process in which you throw out a bunch of claims looking to get the best deal you can. You start with Claim 1 being a claim on the sidereal universe and all it contains and work your way down to more specific stuff. Depending on the skill of those writing the patent you will get more or less of the invention you actually wanted.

As you can see in the application they have already dropped the first 154 claims in the original application.

And that is the main problem. When an inventor files a patent, it should be totally specific. If that patent is rejected, they should have two options: Argue that the patent as it stands is valid, involving the courts if necessary, or toss it out, and create a new, correct patent with a new effective date.

And if the way a patent is written could be read to cover some prior art, either before or after it is approved, then the patent is wrong and should be tossed, entirely, unless that prior art was explicitly listed in the 'prior art' section.

So this patent application should be the recipient of a junior-clerk's REJECTED stamp, because it doesn't explicitly list the Satoshi paper in it's applicable prior art section.

about 7 months ago
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Google Wants To Write Your Social Media Responses For You

robbak Of course, they way it should be used: (163 comments)

'If you were going to say one of these, STOP! you are being boring! Think of something original to say, or shut up!"

about 8 months ago
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China's State Press Calls For 'Building a De-Americanized World'

robbak Petrodollars (634 comments)

The US has gone to war a number of times (it is claimed) to prevent countries trading oil in currencies other than the Dollar. Some of those claims might border on conspiracy theories, but it remains that the tactics to keep oil trading based on the U.S. Dollar look remarkably like 'force'.

Etymology note: Petroleum is latin for 'Rock Oil' (Petra, rock + Oleum, oil, from the Latin for Olive.). When we created that abbreviation, Petrodollars, dollars for oil, all that was left of the oil was the 'o'. The word looks more like 'Rock 'o Dollars, doesn't it?

about 9 months ago
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First Few Doctor Who Episodes May Fall To Public Domain Next Year

robbak Yes, I agree. If only I could mod my own comment. (216 comments)

I'd give it -3 overrated. And this thread has been interesting - I have learnt a few things about this that I wasn't quite aware of - such as the actor's guild conditions that prevented the recordings continued use, and so contributed to their destruction. I was aware of the official programs to recover missing copies, but am not surprised at BigBadBus' notes below about archivists lack of concern for the official programs.

about 10 months ago
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First Few Doctor Who Episodes May Fall To Public Domain Next Year

robbak BBC's most effective copyright strategy in effect. (216 comments)

Namely, destruction of all extant copies.

BBC destroyed the only copies of most of those episodes decades ago. The only existing copies are some that were sent overseas and temporarily lost, so they were not recovered and destroyed. Others only exist in the form of home-made speaker-to-microphone reel-to-reel audio tapes.

about 10 months ago

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