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FAA Shuts Down Search-and-Rescue Drones

topham Protecting Raytheon & Friends (214 comments)

This is an attempt by the FAA to protect Raytheon and friends. With the upsurge in UAV for military purposes aligning reasonably well with the ban on any commercial use it has allowed companies like Raytheon to establish themselves with hardware, as well as patents on the related technologies and purposes one would use remote controlled aircraft for. It's also why they don't actual have proper specifications to classify the aircraft, something which they so completely obviously should have done in the first place when the ban went into effect.

Should fly objects be regulated? Sure. But they've taken few steps to actually regulate them, it has just been a delaying tactic to prevent the upsurge in small companies from applying for, and receiving patents which could potentially be used to sue the likes of raytheon.

4 days ago
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The Struggles of Getting Into the App Store

topham Re:HERE'S A NOVEL IDEA !! DO NOT PUBLISH CRAP APPS (329 comments)

This.

I've personally developed and released multiple apps, and each app has had updates shortly after release. One was a rather embarrassing oversight. I didn't blame Apple, I blamed myself. I also used their expedite service to request a quick review for the update and was granted the expedited review. The updated application was approved within 2 days using that process. Apples process is frustrating, and can be extreemly aggravating, but I have to wonder how come they didn't have an application + iPad to use for their demo/tutorial. Creating an Adhoc version, as well as a corporate signed version are easy enough under restricted circumstances. (You can't distribute to everyone that way, but you can get it up and working on multiple devices so your client can review and test and train).

about a year and a half ago
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3-D Printing Enables UVA Student-Built Unmanned Plane

topham Re:No, they didn't print an engine (87 comments)

As an engineering study of the applicability of printing 3D objects it's somewhat interesting. As to the importance of being able to build an airplane like that for under $2k it's entirely underwhelming. It's pretty easy to make one by hand with a very small collection of components and materials, and it would have taken less time. (So much so that even building a prototype, then dies to pre-cut material to produce the plane more traditionally would have taken less effort).

about a year and a half ago
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Nintendo Ranks Last In Conflict Minerals Report

topham American companies respond, but not Japanese? (134 comments)

Is it really a surprise that the American companies responded and a Japanese company didn't? You think perhaps there are cultural issues involves in choosing to respond or not?

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Shop For a Laptop?

topham Re:mac (732 comments)

I, along with a number of other people, second this.

As a long time PC user with well over 20 years of experience: buy a Mac. If you need Windows applications there are options (bootcamp, or virtual machines) and if she never -needs- a Windows version of anything she'll probably never have to call you for support either, or it'll be simple things like 'How do I sync my music?'.

And really, it takes about 10 minutes to pick what you want. Done.

(I've owned 4 Macs, a G5, an Intel iMac 17", a MacBook Pro 15" (2006 / Core Duo) and my latest purchase: an i7 15" 2.2Ghz machine with 8 Gigs of ram. (which I upgraded myself because Apple does charge way too much for ram).

And the best thing? Unix command line... (ok, your sister won't care.)

about 2 years ago
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The Lytro Camera: Impressive Technology and Some Big Drawbacks

topham Re:Revolutionize crap photos, perhaps (220 comments)

Nokia announce a phone with a camera sensor that's 41 Megapixels. -If- you can combine that sensor with the Lytro lens in a small camera assembly you'll get sufficient resolution to be used for more than just gimmicks.

more than 2 years ago
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Avoiding Red Lights By Booking Ahead

topham Re:Roundabouts (299 comments)

Tell that to the people in my neighbourhood who don't have a clue how to deal with a roundabout.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Open Source vs Proprietary GIS Solution?

topham Re:MySQL and Drupal are fine (316 comments)

Your current best bet is: http://www.geonames.org/

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Open Source vs Proprietary GIS Solution?

topham MySQL and Drupal are fine (316 comments)

I can safely say that MySQL handles GIS data sufficiently for the type of scenario you've described on Slashdot. I've got a database I periodically play with that is all the cities / major towns of the world and can quickly query it with distance data. (as in: Give me everything within 100 miles of Lat,Long)

MySQL doesn't make all of it as easy as it should be, but with some careful design decisions it can work surprisingly well for it.
I previously had created a distance function that worked pretty good, but more recent versions of MySQL have better internal support and I was able to ditch some of my custom routines.
(Note: my routines performed efficiently, but gathered extraneous data that could later be filtered out to be more precise. The extra data was maybe 10% more than necessary, but meant the query was very fast.)

Perhaps you should be looking to upgrade your MySQL instance, or getting some procedures/functions written for MySQL to handle some of the calculations.
(It's pretty easy to calculate a rectangle for the query to run against, and then follow up with a more precise distance calculation to filter out a few stranglers that slip into the dataset. (better to include a few that are dropped in later stages than to exclude valid data up front)).

As for the moral issues: Stuff them. They aren't what you should be focusing on.

more than 2 years ago
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Canadian Government Seeking New Net Snooping Powers

topham Re:Wait, what? (77 comments)

Yes, it is highly likely a new version will be tabled.

But it is stupid to try and stir up shit over a version of the bill that is defunct. Call up your MP and mention this bill and they'll laugh at you. When the new bill is tabled and you can identify the sections you have issues with then your MP might actually listen to what you have to say. Most of them aren't even smart enough to correlate what is in the old bill with what may appear in a new bill. Assume they are all stupid and wait for the new bill to be tabled first.

Anything else is just stirring up shit without a purpose.

more than 2 years ago
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Why PCs Trump iPads For User Innovation

topham Re:I read the article (523 comments)

Pretty much, I've noticed a resurgence of the trend in the last couple of months. But as attempts go this one seemed pretty lame. iPad unstable? really? My mom has one and she doesn't even know how to turn it off or reboot it. She uses it constantly. (Several hours a day on a typical day).

Now, my iPad is pretty unstable, but it's running beta software all the time. Hardly conclusive. And, even with its instability I don't have to reboot it.

Most of the statements in the article have some truth to them, but the implications are wildly out of wack. (Implying a stability equivalent to PCs for instance, while PCs have greatly improved in recent years they still often have issues waking from sleep for example.)

The article is pure FUD in the truest sense. Fear, Uncertainty, Disbelief. While I'd be somewhat hard pressed to accuse the author of directly being in Microsofts pocket, I think it's obvious that Microsoft had a influence in some manner. (Even if it was just a quiet little request made to an editor for a more 'balanced' perspective).

more than 2 years ago
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Do Macs Have an Edge Against APTs?

topham Article is crap (210 comments)

"For example, Mac's Keychain software is vulnerable to what's known as a brute-force attack, he said."

Idiot alert, article is crap.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Dealing With the Business Software Alliance?

topham Re:We had this happen at a previous job (519 comments)

120,000 / 8 = $15,000 per employee for licenses is expensive? really? It's not unheard of at all. A software package I supported was $5k/seat, and that was only 1 piece of software they needed.

more than 2 years ago
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Linux 3.0 Release Delayed

topham Re:Chicken? (187 comments)

And with the new policy they increment the major version number every time they hit 'Build'.

more than 2 years ago
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Outgoing Federal CIO Warns of 'IT Cartel' In DC

topham Re:And this applies exclusively to IT. (198 comments)

Bahahaha.

In Manitoba we have a system in place on how to handle bribes ethically.

not kidding, and it's fucking sad.

more than 2 years ago
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Proposing a Model For Locally Imposed Net Neutrality

topham Re:Learn about state preemption (153 comments)

Laws like this pass because there's no reason to oppose them vary hard. They are illegal to enforce on their face and would result in potentially billions of dollars in liability for even attempting to impose them.

So the laws get passed, the companies ignore it and go forward anyway.

more than 2 years ago
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Expense and Uncertainty Plague 'Fair Use' Defense

topham Confused about what? (190 comments)

I read that earlier today. I don't understand why he's confused.

He failed to license the image, which he should have attempted to do. He felt it was necessary to license everything else, how is it the cover art should be treated as less than the rest of the work?

The nature of the work was not an artistic piece shown to an audience, it was a commercial venture with (likely) zero profit. Do I think it may have had artistic merit? Sure. Had it been presented in an art gallery with the music playing in front of the image in question then perhaps it would have easily fit into fair use.

But as a CD available at a price? It's a commercial venture and requires licensing.

more than 2 years ago
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Apple Sued Over Use of iCloud Name

topham Re:USPTO (394 comments)

Failure to file for a trademark will doom you in court 9 times out of 10, particularly if it can be shown your trademark already overlapped in the market in question. Which in this case it seems to have overlapped with multiple players. oops.

This isn't about a local company using a name for 30 years and having a national, or multination company move in.

more than 2 years ago
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Pranksters Post Giant Windows Logo On Hamburg Apple Store

topham Figures (249 comments)

What? They didn't include the video when, 20 minutes later the whole black facade turned blue with cryptic text all over it?

more than 2 years ago

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