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Comment Re:Say what? (Score 1) 58

Sure I am aware of that, and clearly they have tested this plane in its ability to handle that. But the precise procedures for handling the condition would appear to vary from plane to plane, and it seems the role of a passenger pilot would reduce the operating range of the plane from "anything it can do" to "anything it would reasonably do". Clearly the imaginations of everyone involved didn't conceive of this scenario, and clearly the procedures required for the A320 are very different that require more than the standard certification training would cover.

It seems every time an Airbus crashes, it is the pilots fault, when it is clear the pilot has been doing certain things he was trained to do when encountering a scenario in all his previous experience. And frequently it's the case that's the wrong thing to do, or a misleading thing to do when flying an Airbus plane. For example pulling the circuit breaker, I'm told by a certified pilot is a reasonable action to take on many common planes. But is not procedure for an Airbus.

I guess where I'm going with this is that Airbus seems to require pilots to do differently things they have learned to do on other craft, possibly leading to their certification, and when confronted with a very rare but possibly survivable situation in Airbus, many do the wrong thing and crash. The deceased pilot is blamed (easy, cheap) but very little that seems like it is necessarily effective is done to fix what seems the actual problem: the plane is difficult to fly.

Comment Re:Good Advice (Score 1) 116

Yeah, I think it's a fair fear.

And a good practice. Male doctors, in modern times, are never with a female patient without a female assistant of some kind. Male police officers and security guards avoid detaining or frisking female suspects if a female officer is available and can do so. Male teachers avoid being in "closed office" situations with female students. On a different subject: most (married) people avoid work lunches or dinners with the opposite sex all by themselves (1:1), even if highly visible it creates the appearance of impropriety that might be difficult to explain.

You can't bypass gender by ignoring it, even if your intentions are honest and your actions clean. There are dishonest people out there, and there are more than enough gossips. In male dominated professions we may be accustomed to working exclusively with other men and not have these concerns so frequently in our lives, but, they exist and we should learn to play it smart. In reality these situations can and probably will arise more frequently in M:M and F:F situations as more homosexual people choose to "come out" (i.e. announce a weakness for predators to leap upon). In the words of Lester Burnham: "Can you prove that you didn't offer to save my job if I let you blow me?"

I think part of the issue is that a lot of conventions and social professional forums have a bit more of a party atmosphere than a professional one, and the guards we remember to use at work sometimes get forgotten.

Comment Re:Sigh. She is NOT an engineer. (Score 1) 116

The famous bridge collapse from up this way was the Tacoma Narrows Bridge - nothing to do with Seattle at all.

Which every "engineer" learns about in freshman year of undergrad (if they didn't know it before). Most of those young student "engineers" will never seek, desire or find any value in the "Professional Engineer" certification required for working with the government, which is the only forum you might get in legal trouble for advertising yourself as an engineer without being certified. Yet, the few people that bother with the PE love to bloviate about how they're the only "actual engineers"...

I'm open to debate about the value of trade certifications such as those used by doctors, but P.E. isn't even in the right ballpark. I also question the value if, and I know it will be the case, employers just want the cheapest, most minimally qualified pigeon to fill a hole and will invent any form of title for that pigeon so that he may legally fill the hole.

Comment Re:Sigh. She is NOT an engineer. (Score 1) 116

Where I live, here in the US, you're an engineer if you say so. Unless you work for or on behalf of the government, in which case you are a Professional Engineer (PE). You can be called Doctor if you haven't the slightest background in medicine (all of my university professors insisted on it), but you can't advertise yourself as a Medical Doctor (MD). You can be an Investigator but cannot represent yourself as a policeman or federal agent, unless you actually are. The list goes on. It turns out these words have been in use longer than the trade legalities, and you can't put the cat back in the bag.

"Engineer" in general as a professional term I think is hopeless. It is a massively broad field with many categories of which the education and background has only grown deeper over time. 100 years ago an electrical engineer might have been at home with motors, speakers, generators and electrical circuits of many types. These days the specialization required for semiconductor electronics versus power electrics have diverged so radically, even the fundamental math is quite different. Never mind how this might relate to mechanical engineering, civil engineering, or chemical engineering. And those are just the modern comprehension of engineers. The PE test doesn't comprehend any of that, it is simultaneously too broad and too useless to even consider for hte majority of us "engineers" to waste time on. But, we're free to call ourselves engineers, just not Professional Engineers, nor can we list P.E. after our name.

Your comment is confusing for an American site, and I think generally speaking worthless for the world at large that we live in today.

Comment Say what? (Score 1) 58

I don't think I've ever been in a passenger jet where any angle ever reached 45 degrees (or more). It seems insensible to train for unlikely scenarios, and even less sensible to expect a pilot to respond properly to very unlikely scenarios quickly and accurately. I'm not sure I can google "proper procedure for A320 rudder malfunction" and get a response before I'd be dead....

Submission + - Intel looks to offshore technology that it hasn't built yet (

Austerity Empowers writes: Intel has chosen to weigh in on drone regulation. In a written response to the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, Joshua Walden, Intel Senior Stuffed Shirt and General Weasel says, "A federal government approach that is overly prescriptive regarding the deployment of new hardware and software will deter the private sector’s ability to invent and compete in the marketplace." Considering how much Intel has already off-shored for absolutely any reason at all, it would appear they are considering not off-shoring this? Perhaps someone should get that in writing, in precise terms, before even considering their testimony.

Comment Re:Fact check or PC checking? (Score 1) 337

My issue is mostly that there's a lot of seeing the forest for the trees and injecting modern politics into history in a confusing way. When teaching about the triangular trade, the specific aspects of life of "the workers" may not be quite as important as the flow of money and goods. It's important to understand how the economy worked and what a balance sheet might have looked like. The focus should have been on economics. It should be pretty dry, but it should be immediately clear how very profitable this all was. Slavery paid for that, absolutely, and that would be clear in studying the balance sheet. The most important things to note I think, is who revolted. The slaves? No. The colonists first. Then the plantation owners. For some reason these guys were most upset. I think studying the balance sheet is the answer, along with some human nature (i.e. those who stand to lose fight first, those who seek to gain may not fight).

We want to focus on slavery because it is morally repugnant today (and many back then thought so too, but didn't take it up...because of that balance sheet). But in terms of hitting the high points of US history for junior high or high school? It wasn't really the most important thing to understand in great detail immediately. The bill for the slaves came due in the mid-20th century. Talking about slavery is historically more important, I think, when talking about more recent US history. Just where did all these black people come from and why are they pissed off? Ah, now we should talk about who paid for the triangular trade and what the cost of that cheap labor really was. If nothing else, our children should be taught that actions have consequences and that nothing is free, even if it doesn't complain immediately. We can then let them participate in politics on indentured servants (H-1B, etc.), and our economic relationship with China and why it is like it is and just who is likely to fight if we don't manage that relationship carefully...

Comment Re:If you don't like the textbooks, (Score 1) 337

This is fought tooth and nail by big teacher union big government types to like to spout memes like hey you selfish jerk with privilege

No, others disagree too. Primarily we take the funding away form the public school, then also add our own private money, and send our kid to a better funded school. Great for those of us who can afford it, very bad for those who cannot afford it. Generally speaking I think public schools have been a tremendous success, so I don't want to see that system dismantled.

What we're failing at is delivering a very high quality education to more capable children, and losing our superstars to mediocrity.

Comment Re:If you don't like the textbooks, (Score 2, Informative) 337

I know at least 3 children (including my next door neighbor's child) who left public schools for affordable private alternatives and returned 3 or 4 years later. These children ended up way behind the students who stayed in public schools.

The reality is that there are a few really good private schools that most middle-class families can't afford (unless your child is exceptional, can demonstrate it on paper, and would be considered an asset to the school to offset the rich-but-dumb kids), and a whole lot of "schools" that will take your money but offer very little. They won't even kick out losers, which is really the best reason private schools exist.

Texas public schools are terrible, but the text books aren't even the worst part. Saddest, Texas public schools aren't even close to the worst they're pretty good by red state standards.

Comment Re:Multiple Issues (Score 1) 387

I think a) he should have avoided NASCAR in general because it has connotations, and just said "people watch too much sports and not enough science" (probably true), and not necessarily insulting a particular demographic, except the exact one he wanted to insult and b) his point is probably that it's an absolutely pointless, valueless diversion and not about advancing human knowledge or's about a bunch of guys trying to beat each other on a race track to no good end. However much science or engineering they apply to it, appears to be for no useful purpose. That's the definition of a sport really, although a harder point to defend is that nothing good can come out of it.

Basically, he thinks we fuck off too much and spend too much money on it. Which I think is probably a fact, although unprovable. I think we would definitely be better off if people's diversions had at least a pretense of being constructive... but I think this message is lost on an audience that is never going to get it or contribute anyway.

Comment Re:VS CODE ! = Visual Studio (Score 1) 158

It would have been exciting is Microsoft Visual C was open sourced, and we can once and for all end the tyranny of that wretched piece of shit and bring it in line with other build tools used everywhere else. I am tired of all the hoops I have to jump through to make code that compiles on linux (clang and gcc), os x (clang) and cygwin (gcc) compile under msvc, and I'm not even talking about the lack of posix support. That would make me hate microsoft a little less.

But no this is some silly editor I never heard of that doesn't have to do with the price of tea in china. This is creating a problem to a solution I did not have a problem for.

Never appeal to a man's "better nature." He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage. -- Lazarus Long