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Saturday, August 08, 2015

Saturday Night wrapup

 Question: "Do we own the airspace directly above our homes?"

 In the old system of British common law, courts enforced the notion of “ad coelum et ad inferos,” literally meaning “to the heavens and to hell.”
Image result for drones over our homes
 This meant that a property owner had rights to everything above his land and everything under it.

This concept has mostly disappeared from American courts in the 21st century, now that common electrical wires and pipes run under our homes, and aircraft fly above them.

Legislation has not yet caught up with new drone technology – small hovering crafts that can fly far closer to your home than an aircraft.

 It remains unclear whether the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or some other state or federal agency has regulatory authority over them.

 In the absence of specific legislation, how can you force your neighbor to cut it out?

Image result for drones over our homes Popular Mechanics has a nice article about how to shoot down a non-military drone.

 Interestingly enough, a Super Soaker will do the job while a standard paint gun does nothing. 

 It doesn't take much energy as long as it is concentrated.

 A BB gun can do it as well — if you can hit the the target. "Other good non-gun options include pretty much any other solid-projectile slinger.

 Slingshots will likely work—again, assuming you can hit." 

They add, "Last but not least, you never want to underestimate the power of just throwing crap.

 A rock, a baseball, anything you can fling straight, accurate, and fast. 

All it takes to down a drone is a bent propeller or enough of a jolt to flip it."


The launch of Windows 10 brought a lot of users kicking and screaming to the "connected desktop."

Image result for windows ten Its benefits come with tradeoffs:

 "the online service providers can track which devices are making which requests, which devices are near which Wi-Fi networks, and feasibly might be able to track how devices move around.

 The service providers will all claim that the data is anonymized, and that no persistent tracking is performed... but it almost certainly could be." 

There are non-trivial privacy concerns, particularly for default settings.

According to Peter Bright, for better or worse this is the new normal for mainstream operating systems.

 We're going to have to either get used to it, or get used to fighting with settings to turn it all off.

 "The days of mainstream operating systems that don't integrate cloud services, that don't exploit machine learning and big data, that don't let developers know which features are used and what problems occur, are behind us, and they're not coming back.

 This may cost us some amount of privacy, but we'll tend to get something in return: 

software that can do more things and that works better."

But if you really must...



Today I wonder what would have happened?

After all they "off" em these days.

They really do.

Plenty of regulations are bad (some because big business corrupts them) but the simple truth is modern society cannot function without effective government regulation.

 It keeps our food safe, our rivers clean, and our economy healthy.

 Passing away at age 101 Friday was a woman who personified this lesson.

 In 1960 the F.D.A. tasked Dr. Frances Kelsey with evaluating a drug used in Europe for treating morning sickness. 

She noticed something troubling, and asked the manufacturer William S. Merrell Co. for more data. "Thus began a fateful test of wills.

 Merrell responded. Dr. Kelsey wanted more. Merrell complained to Dr. Kelsey's bosses, calling her a petty bureaucrat. She persisted.

  On it went.

 But by late 1961, the terrible evidence was pouring in.

 The drug — better known by its generic name, thalidomide — was causing thousands of babies in Europe, Britain, Canada and the Middle East to be born with flipperlike arms and legs and other defects."

 Without Dr. Kelsey's scientific and regulatory persistence in the face of mindless greed, thousands of Americans would have suffered a horrible fate.



Stop trackers in their tracks!

Online tracking has become a pervasive invisible reality of the modern web.

 Most sites you load are likely to be full of ads, tracking pixels, social media share buttons, and other invisible trackers all harvesting data about your web browsing.

 These trackers use cookies and other methods to read unique IDs associated with your browser, the result being that they record all the sites you visit as you browse around the internet.

 This sort of tracking is invisible to most web users, meaning they never get the option to agree to or opt-out of it.

 Today the EFF has launched the 1.0 version of Privacy Badger, an extension designed to prevent these trackers from accessing unique info about you and your browsing.


On the 70th anniversary of the first nuclear bomb, Motherboard's Brian Merchant toured its crater with one of the last living Manhattan Project scientists.

 Here's the inside story of the road to the bomb, with the 90-year-old Murray Peshkin—the youngest man to work on the Project that built the bomb, and the first to set foot in its crater. 

From the story: "There are still nine nuclear nations that, between them, have stockpiled 16,300 weapons.

 And this network of decades-old nuclear armaments, some of which are still aimed at various strategic choke points around the globe, leaves civilizational scale death-becoming a technical possibility.

 Before all that, though, the atom bomb was one of the most successful science experiments of all time.

 It was the product of billions of dollars in government spending, hundreds of the world’s top scientists working in concert, in secret, in a city built from scratch in the desert, and a bygone patriotism united by common, Manichean cause:

 Stop Hitler, defeat the Japanese."


Norman Reedus Fotoshooting The Red Bulletin 

 In this day and age of gender confusion and other such nonsense it is nice to know there are still manly men around!


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