* Posts by Charles 9

7444 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Feds tell court: Apple 'deliberately raised technological barriers' to thwart iPhone warrant

Charles 9
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Re: We've seen that already

"Oh it's very easy to predict in a land where anyone can go get a lethal weapon that there will be idiots who go out and use them on other people. What's crazy is that, knowing this, people still campaign for that idiots' right to go and do that. They're practically saying "shoot me, shoot me, I defend your right to shoot me!". Getting shot really, really sucks. Perhaps they should introduce that into school curricula?"

Except the worst massacres in American history didn't use guns!. 9/11 was box cutters and hijacked passenger jets. Oklahoma City was homemade ANFO (which can still be obtained today if you're a farmer and then renatured like these guys did), and Bath Township was legal excavation charges (again because the killer was a farmer).

"The GermanWings flight 9525 crash in the Alps 24 Mar 2015 has been attributed, ultimately, to too great a respect for medical privacy in Germany."

The one I was thinking about was Air Egypt Flight 990. It was the copilot who did it. Based on flight data, best theory was that he did it deliberately and TTBOMK he had no prior record prior to the incident. Some even speculate this was the inspiration for 9/11.

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Charles 9
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Re: Next up: FBI suing car manufacturers

"The FBI complaint states that the manufacturers have been wilfully manufacturing vehicles that were faster than their own so they could not easily catch criminals."

The only problem with this complaint is that this situation is of their own devising. Reason being police could easily request a better engine and a higher top speed, but they seem to voluntarily limit themselves for safety reasons (due to all the equipment it has to carry, modern police cars can actually be quite heavy). Remember, criminals on the run have little regard for their life: some would rather die than be caught so can throw caution (and their engine) to the wind, pushing their getaway vehicles past their limits. Attacker's Advantage. Crooks can go beyond the law and common sense; the law cannot.

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Charles 9
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Re: We've seen that already

"What Apple and everyone else seems to be forgotten is that the most useful laws..."

...are completely useless against a lone wolf who conceals everything until the act itself, after which it's too damn late. Some things you just can't predict or prevent, like the passenger jet pilot who chooses this day to lock the cabin door after the copilot goes to the can and suddenly plunge his get into the sea (and I think this actually happened about 10 years ago).

...are also the easiest to abuse by someone(s) trying to subvert civilization. Which is why it's a tradeoff. Do you restrain your government and allow your world to be destroyed from without or give them free reign and let your world be destroyed from within instead?

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Charles 9
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Re: Single case Today --- ?? tomorrow...

"Well tough if up, Suit Man. Go back to tailing actual suspects, like you're supposed to."

Well, Mr. Oh So Smart, how do you do that when they're in a country hostile to any and all westerners? IOW, how do you arrest someone who's protected by sovereignty?

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Charles 9
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Re: Nice.

But since this breach of the public trust is likely to kill Apple's business and thus investor confidence (remember, Apple is publicly traded), that price is bound to be mighty steep.

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Charles 9
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Re: FBI doesn't need the code

"Every iPhone has a unique serial number. It is trivial for Apple to produce a version of the firmware that does what the FBI wants on one specific phone, and have no effect on all others. And because the firmware is signed the FBI cannot successfully edit it."

No one trusts the government to not send spies in to obtain the private key, though. They're just doing this to stay above board.

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Charles 9
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Re: We've seen that already

Then again, just yesterday, a couple held hostage in Mississippi managed to use their home gun to take out an escaped killer (capital murder at that) who was holding them hostage. So we have a certified self-defense case that made the mainstream headlines.

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Stop whining, America: Your LTE makes Europe look slow

Charles 9
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Re: But at what cost?

You should check out the selection at Walmart, then. They do a lot of prepaid phone carriers there these days (including their own, a T-Mobile MVNO), but the point is that last I checked they carry a wide range of phones, many of which aren't from Sony or Samsung and some of which can even do LTE with the right plan. I think I recently say an LG, pretty big, right at the $200 mark, and I think it even had Lollipop.

Having said that, read the bands carefully, as most of the ones you find in that lot that can do LTE likely won't be able to to do it outside the US (ones based on T-Mobile or AT&T will usually carry bands IV and XVII due to a cross-spectrum agreement; consider yourself lucky if they also do bands I and VII. Getting band III in a US phone usually means going with a recent high-ender (I know the S5, an octo-band, can do it).

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Charles 9
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Decent coverage in the rural US. That's to be expected when the middle of the US Great Plains is basically the poster child for "The Middle of Nowhere." Thing is, you're usually going to have a hard time getting a good signal anywhere this sparse.

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Charles 9
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Re: But at what cost?

But that data contract works throughout a much larger area (more towers to support), plus free international data at 2G/3G is included at no cost. Plus if you have a phone that can do WiFi Calling, you can use it abroad to call as if you're back in the states, at no additional charge.

Anyway, deals come up now and then. I'm on one now: 2 lines, completely unmetered (including the LTE data) for $100/mo.

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Mozilla burns Firefox on old Androids

Charles 9
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And in my experience, those users CAN'T really use Firefox because the specifications of their phones (if they're using Gingerbread phones that have resolution and RAM limitations, not to mention comparatively weak processors) make the program a bit out of their weight class.

Not to mention they probably contain never-will-be-patched vulnerabilities. And if the phone's obscure enough (I happen to own one such that I bought on the cheap while abroad), getting a custom ROM for it may not be an option.

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Charles 9
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"Would be great if you could install the software while denying permissions, though."

To do that, Firefox will need to be updated to the Marshmallow permission model. I don't think they've gotten that far yet.

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Google emits Android N developer preview early to smoke out bugs

Charles 9
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Handcent/Next SMS also supports this, albeit by using the "Draw Over Other Applications" permission.

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Net neutrality crusaders take aim at Comcast's Stream TV service

Charles 9
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Re: Much as I hate Comcast

"We're not talking about cable boxes here. We're talking about streaming to your internet connected devices, with no other connection than your internet connection."

What about the device through which "the Internet" comes into your home in the first place: the DOCSIS modem, which doesn't connect externally to Ethernet but to coaxial? The coaxial line DOES NOT connect to the Internet but to the corporate INTRAnet. That's how DOCSIS works.

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Charles 9
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Re: Much as I hate Comcast

Can you demonstrate this? I know the one provided by Cox won't allow this.

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Charles 9
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Re: Much as I hate Comcast

"If they use a separate network (can share the same cabling) and separate devices to interface with their offering, like they do with their current set-top boxes, cable cards, etc., then they may have a case."

That's EXACTLY what's happening!

"That is immaterial. In these cases, Bloomberg is likely not acting as an ISP. In the case that they are, they're not reselling an internet service with a zero-rated value added service to other entities."

Not an INTERNET service, but a SERVICE nonetheless, which includes a live video feed and plenty of Wall Street data. Comast's internal video service is likewise and can be equated to Video On Demand which DOES goes out over the cable and IS NOT counted as part of their Internet service.

Look, it's basically the difference between getting a package through the Post/Mail and getting one through UPS. The former's a public resource subject to regulations. The other's a private service with its own rules.

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Charles 9
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Re: Much as I hate Comcast

NO ON THE NO! They're NOT. The video is being offered over the INTRAnet, NOT the INTERnet, not through the WAN but directly through the cable the way the TV channels and On-Demand Video work. And a LAN is more than just the end user, or CORPORATE LANs wouldn't exist. And guess what? The Comcast internal network qualifies as a Corporate LAN, and the end users count as private clients before Comcast. I can easily equate this to Bloomberg's private network and the Wall Street clients who use them everyday.

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Charles 9
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Re: Much as I hate Comcast

But the ISP is offering MORE than the Internet. Telephone, Cable television, and On-Demand Video are NOT Internet Services. NBC and Universal content is in-house and can be considered On-Demand Video which goes out over the CABLE connection and never touches the Internet. Otherwise, by your logic, private LANs are ALSO on the Internet (because Comcast's intranet is a LAN, not a WAN, and the Internet is by definition a WAN).

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Charles 9
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Re: Much as I hate Comcast

But not if the zero-rated video service never goes out on the Internet. That's the catch. Comcast owns NBC Universal, so anything from NBC or Universal is done in-house, on their intranet. It's like a private railway or roadway. If it never interacts with another of the same, what business does the government have with it? And if the FCC still decides to invervene, they could play "sauce for the gander" and point out Google does the same thing with its private fiber network.

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Humans – 1 Robots – 0: Mercedes deautomates production lines

Charles 9
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Re: @AC

The thing here is that the cost of good has a floor, below which it might as well be zero for all it's worth. That means UNDERpaying your workers is effectively the same as not paying them at all. So ask yourself. How do you get customers to pay for your goods if you don't pay them enough to afford it?

Yes, I know it's a Chicken-and-Egg argument, but it asks which is more important: the employer or the employee? Did God create the Chicken that laid the Egg or was the Egg laid by the evolutionary predecessor to the Chicken?

Frankly, I think people are tiptoeing around the main reason the system can't be balanced sustainably: overpopulation.

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Charles 9
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Re: @AC

"Look at it the other way- charge more for the worker than the work will generate and you have no job and nobody gets paid. And when nobody generates any money nobody gets paid nor can pay."

But you forget the original perspective. If people don't get paid, where will your customers come from?

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Go No! Google cyber-brain bests top-ranked human in ancient game

Charles 9
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Re: Congratulations to the team of DeepMind

"Must learn stand, then learn fly."

You're asking too much of a system that, chronologically speaking, is only about Kindergarten age yet. Not to mention it has no limbs to practice with, so forget about the fishing and firing practice. As for the coders, that's assuming it knew the face of the coder in the first place. That's a matter of experience, and it lacks the time and input to do what you ask. Anyway, facial recognition is proceeding in other projects.

Poker it could probably do passing fair given input on the basic rules. The "reading" skills that help with the Go match will probably also help on the poker table, so it could be adapted. Plus the computer has the advantage of the perpetual poker face.

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ADpocalypse NOW: Three raises the stakes

Charles 9
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"In the long run, moving to more of a "sender pays" model, provided it's done fairly (common carrier rules), can only end up making the internet work better for everyone."

Don't know if you CAN make it fair. Consider private networks that then connect to the Internet at different places. A system like you describe will give an advantage to companies like Google with internal infrastructure because that means they can touch the public Internet only as they need to, avoiding the "sender pays" fees associated with it. They can leverage this advantage to undercut the competition. Sort of like railroads in the past that had their own timber plots.

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CVE bug system has bugs – quick, use this alternative, say hackers

Charles 9
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Not as if anywhere else is safe...

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Uncle Sam's boffins stumble upon battery storage holy grail

Charles 9
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Re: Fossil religion?

That WAS a genuine problem because horses could spook and bolt, threatening the passengers. I recall early on-street vacuum cleaners had the same effect: thus the term "noisy serpents".

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Google to snatch control of Android updates from mobe makers – analyst

Charles 9
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Re: Nexus 7

But it's the people that WANT the security theater: the visual appearance that things are getting done. Otherwise, they'll never feel comfortable.

As for "working life," who gets to make the determination? A human who can be prone to corruption?

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Charles 9
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Not likely, given the odds of another Stagefright that can pwn phones across the board: including old ones.

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Charles 9
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Re: Mixed feelings

"If the security of their service relies on the integrity of the customer's device, they ultimately have no useful security at all."

Then by your logic no device on earth has any useful security because, in the final analysis, you MUST use an endpoint of some sort to do business.

Meanwhile, Android is taking greater pains to verify its work environment. dm-verity, for example, is now enforced (from bootup) in Marshmallow and uses a Merkle Tree based on Google's signing key, meaning all official ROMs have to go through Google for verification going forward. Expect the standard to tighten for Android N, which I suspect will be some time coming if Google plans to incorporate this new update scheme into it.

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Intravenous hangover clinics don't work, could land you in hospital

Charles 9
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Re: Don't do needles, kids!

Hmm...I guess the Dextrose provides carbs which mean energy to get over the tired sensation. I can see its uses. Looking it up, I find it's possible to combine the two and end up with a combination Dextrose Sodium Lactate Saline solution: Dextrose for energy, Sodium Lactate to stabilize the blood (it's isotonic with blood), and Salt to replenish electrolytes.

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MAME goes fully FOSS

Charles 9
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It's also an enabler to the companies that still exist. MAME in and of itself has never really been an issue with them. It's that basic requirement of using the actual copyrighted code. Which is not an issue if they're using their own code. They've already been taking good looks at retro cabinets (my local Dave & Buster's has a Namco one used for fundraising and had a Nintendo one until recently), and the ability to use the now-very-robust MAME codebase (they can craft custom UIs in front of the untouched codebase to stay legal) will only encourage this going forward.

PS. It's not talked about in the article, but some time back, MESS was merged into MAME, meaning this is a potential boon for retro computer emulation, too.

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Charles 9
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Re: What was the license

That was more in nature to protect their interests since many of the companies that made those games still exist in some form (Capcom and Konami, for example, while Square Enix acquired the Taito properties). As the article notes, many individual pieces of the code are available in a 3-clause BSD license which is more liberal than the GPLv2+ license that envelops the entire project.

There HAVE been instances of bootleg cabinet makers using MAME in them, and the license as it was enabled them to either sue the cabinet maker or at the least keep the lawyers away.

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How the FBI will lose its iPhone fight, thanks to 'West Coast Law'

Charles 9
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Re: @Marketing Hack -- "Law can't defy science."

"The opiate substitutes are examined for safety and efficacy by the FDA, but they are controlled by the DEA, which apparently doesn't want lots of substitution drugs being used..."

And the DEA in this case has plenty of hard evidence to support this case. Particularly in "redneck territory" in the south, prescription drug abuse (in particular of opioids) is quite rampant. Yes, it's hard to take people out of vices (the whole "what I do in my house is my business" thing), but the thing is that these vices tend to have knock-on effects for the rest of society. If a once-hard-worker stops because he/she is now wasting their days in drink or drugs, what happens to the job, the spouse and kids, and so on?

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Charles 9
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Re: I think there is an answer

Was he a TERRORIST or a WHISTLEBLOWER? Tech can't tell the difference and history's written by the winners...

Ever thought the phone's actually EMPTY? The 9/11 hijackers went low-tech and used trustworthy human couriers to pass on their instructions and used safe haven countries where the law couldn't reach. Given that, there's very little LEOs can do to stop serious terrorists. They can act outside the law; the law cannot. It's attacker's advantage. At some point, the defender's gonna lose.

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Charles 9
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Re: I think there is an answer

Because any business in a paranoid world interested in repeat business better not screw up...

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Charles 9
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But without government structure of some sort, society as we know it won't function. So which poison do you choose: corrupt government or anarchy?

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Charles 9
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Re: I think there is an answer

But that situation exists NOW, WITHOUT the need for law enforcement. Why can't an industrial spy get some insider to obtain a company's secret keys in some way (or perhaps the way by which it was created so it can be duplicated)? I'm sure a secret signing key would be a (social) hacker's holy grail and would be attacked mercilessly.

Anyway, what you REALLY really need are two, maybe three keys, but they allow different things. The "root" key, so to speak, is generated internally by the black box cryptochip and NEVER leaves it. Meaning NO ONE, not even Apple, can possibly know it. From this, two other keys can be generated that CAN be released. One is the "public" key that is kept by the user. That way, ONLY the user can use their iDevice as they see fit. The other is a "wipe" key. This one can be kept by the user AND given to Apple. This is the failsafe which allows Apple to reset the device back to Factory condition, but ONLY by wiping out everything in it. THIS key can be kept in escrow as a last resort, but it'll be of no use to law enforcement since it's by definition a "destroy evidence" key.

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Fifth time's the charm as SpaceX pops satellite into orbit

Charles 9
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Re: F. Scott Fitzgerald...

"You also appear to be conflating or confusing massive towing cables, as used by ocean-going tugs, with the sort of fiber optic cable (this example is to help you think - not exactly aligned) that is used with underwater ROVs every day of the week. Have you ever seen an ROV on Discovery Channel?"

Anything thinner snaps too easily when sea forces are applied, rendering it useless. Anything strong enough can pull the ship enough to seriously list if not capsize it. And breakaway connectors can fail to break and failsafes can fail. Again, think Murphy, who can strike in ways UNimaginable.

"Keep in mind - Satcom as they've implemented it ain't working. Either give up the Live From The Barge hype, or do something."

If it doesn't have to be fixed yesterday, there's no rush to fix it. If they got more DIRECT COMPLAINTS, maybe they'll do something.

Tell you what. Since you claim to know so much, why not take up your gripe with SpaceX IN PERSON?

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Charles 9
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Re: F. Scott Fitzgerald...

Are you sure you really want to tether yourself to a barge that, in the worst case, could sink if the rocket crashes into it at speed? And before you say the tethers can be cut, Murphy could also strike and prevent the tethers from being cuttable at a key moment.

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Charles 9
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Re: F. Scott Fitzgerald...

Some of us aren't disputing #2. We're instead saying, in the greater scheme of things, #2 isn't the greatest of failures. As they say, they have priorities, and "Get the live feed fixed" tends to fall some distance below "Get the rocket to stick the landing".

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Charles 9
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Re: Eventually...

It's something SpaceX could consider, but as they say, first thing's first. They still gotta be able to demonstrate a successful on-water recovery, and they haven't been able to get it right just yet.

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Charles 9
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Re: humble thoughts, movie....

Yes there is. It's LOW PRIORITY. Better the effort be made to get the rocket to actually stick the landing first.

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Charles 9
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The problems are geography and physics.

Geography because the primary launch point in the US is in Florida for safety reasons. Rockets practically always launch east (with rotation), meaning if a launch goes pear-shaped, it's likely to fall into the Atlantic Ocean where there's practically no one at risk.

Physics because fitting a space-bound rocket is a delicate act of figuring out just how much fuel you can stand to load (since fuel load creates a recursive increase in the fuel requirements--loading fuel requires more fuel to lift which requires more fuel to load, and so on—IINM this gets into Calculus territory). So you end up using JUST enough to get up there and have a tiny bit left to stabilize yourself coming down (and because the load calculation is so delicate, you can't add on any other equipment like parachutes). So you end up with a pretty predictable course for a minimal GSO launch from Florida, and the calculations basically say it's going to come down somewhere in the Atlantic: in international waters. Politics therefore doesn't really come into play.

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Charles 9
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Re: Missing the point...

"They installed the satellite system (expensive), booked satellite time (moderately expensive)"

Expensive compared to what? Last I checked, satellite links tended to go maybe five figures tops. Meanwhile, space flights in the past routinely hit nine figures. Meaning compared to the space flight itself, the sat com unit is probably just a nick off the roll.

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Charles 9
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Re: Missing the point...

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the results to change on their own."

Ah, but the counterpoint...

"Doing the same thing over and over again and actually getting a different result on its own is praised...as persistence."

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Everything bad in the world can be traced to crap Wi-Fi

Charles 9
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Re: reliant on an internet connection to function.

What happens when (not if) it becomes cloud or bust? Do we just shoot ourselves then?

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Charles 9
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Because taxis use roads, too, whereas the only vehicles that use railways are trains.

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Charles 9
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PPP as in PowerPoint Presentation. And yes,the only program that can do a PowerPoint presentation correctly is PowerPoint. And since it's the standard-bearer, substitutes aren't permitted.

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Charles 9
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None of which work quite right because the specs change from implementation to implementation, promises of WYSIWYG be damned.

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Brit firm unleashes drone-busting net cannon

Charles 9
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Just because there's a reasonable expectation of such doesn't mean it won't occur anyway.

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Charles 9
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Re: It's not the drones fault

Unless it's acting on a program, meaning it's NOT actively controlled...

And before you say, "Then it can be predicted," the program COULD be using random numbers or can react to sensors, meaning it's acting pseudo-smart and will therefore act like it's being directed when it's reacting on its own.

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