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Comment: Re:So what (Score 1) 1425

by FlightTest (#34412012) Attached to: Sarah Palin 'Target WikiLeaks Like Taliban'

And yet, there's already over a 1,000 comments.

Why do you think /. is somehow different from every other pseudo-news site? /. exists to make money for its owners by selling advertising, it is no different than any other "media" source. The editors know that stories about Palin garner views ("eyeballs") and therefore advertising revenue for themselves. /. long since stopped being some egalitarian effort to provide geek news a long time ago, if in fact it ever was.

It isn't about news, it's about revenue.

Comment: Re:Fox News Changed the Story at the Original URL (Score 1) 165

by FlightTest (#34356304) Attached to: FedEx Misplaces Radioactive Rods

While it's amusing to poke fun at fox, have you ever seen the AIAA daily briefing? The grammar is horrible, double words or missing words are common, and usually about once a week they get "their" and "there" wrong. And this is from a supposedly professional organization. Somehow proper English and grammar has become the exception rather than the rule.

And yes, I'm sure there's something wrong with my post as well, however I don't hold myself out to be a professional news or technical organization.

Comment: Re:Disturbing to see TSA still behind the curve. (Score 1) 633

by FlightTest (#34168238) Attached to: TSA Bans Toner and Ink Cartridges On Planes

Wouldn't depend on whether the co-pilot is feeling co-operative, or not?

Not at all.

Pilots in the U.S. at least are allowed to carry guns with them after undergoing a background check (getting past this would probably be the only mildly difficult part). Contrary to popular movies, a bullet hole or two in the fuselage isn't going to cause rapid decompression, it will just make the outflow valve close down a bit.

Also, there is generally somewhere in the cockpit a crash axe which can be easily reached by the crew. Quite effective in caving in the other crew member's head

Finally, there are opportunities near take-off and landing where the pilot flying could sufficiently upset the aircraft and cause a crash in such a short period of time the pilot not flying would not have a chance to recover it, even if he were physically much stronger.

No protection from having a second pilot, even if they are not co-operative.

Comment: Re:Headline Is So Very Wrong (Score 3, Insightful) 1193

by FlightTest (#33975772) Attached to: How Google Avoided Paying $60 Billion In Taxes

I am not a tax expert, however, I have heard that yes, you and your wife COULD do something similar, except the costs to get it going would greatly outweigh the benefits. Many of these tax "loopholes" have high fixed costs to get going, so they aren't useful for the kind of income most any household would have.

Comment: Nothing to see here, move along (Score 1) 553

by FlightTest (#33491996) Attached to: Ryanair's CEO Suggests Eliminating Co-Pilots

In the U.S., at least, the co-pilot (and also the number of flight attendants) are required by regulation. I'd be shocked if this wasn't the case in the U.K., and every other ICAO member country. He can propose all he wants, but the co-pilot position isn't going away. True, the pilots aren't doing much at cruise, but the workload is very intense at takeoff and landing, particularly in busy terminal areas. Heck, the U.S. is INCREASING the required qualifications for co-pilots as a result of a recent accident.

Not to mention, I doubt either Boeing or EADS are about to allow single-pilot operation of any of their airliners. The aircraft would literally have to be re-certified for single pilot operations. Many of the larger private business jets (Falcon, Gulfstream) are certified only for 2-pilot operations.

Short answer: Never. Gonna. Happen.

Comment: Re:The solution is perfectly obvious and easy... (Score 1) 215

by FlightTest (#32518590) Attached to: FAA Adds a Study On Adding Drones To Commercial Aviation

Except that, when ANY aircraft is in VMC, regardless of whether they are operating on an IFR or VFR flight plan, the pilot is primarily responsible to see and avoid other traffic, not ATC. Being IFR does not relieve you of your responsibility to watch out for other traffic.

Below 10,000 ft and more than 30nm from a "large" (Class B) airport, there is no requirement for aircraft to have an electrical system, much less a transponder. Primary radar, if it's working, and if the controller is displaying it, probably won't see a Piper Cub. I believe ATC may even turn off display of 1200 (VFR) squawk codes in heavily congested airspace, so ATC might not even see VFR traffic on their scopes.

The UAV pilots will have to be responsible and able to see and avoid other traffic, period. The only possible way around this is if they remain in restricted or otherwise positively controlled airspace anytime they are below 10,000 ft where transponders are required. Even this would be dubious at best as they would have the potential to descend through "normal" airspace in the event of engine failure.

I would also add to your first point that the UAV pilots will likely be required to hold a commercial certificate, and for a UAV powered by a turbojet engine, probably a type certificate as well. Actually, I'd like to see a type rating required for all UAV pilots, due to the special nature of the way they are flow.

Comment: Re:Priority Failure. (Score 5, Insightful) 215

by FlightTest (#32515086) Attached to: FAA Adds a Study On Adding Drones To Commercial Aviation

This isn't the FAA building and deploying UAV's on any kind of scale. This is the FAA trying to figure out how to safely integrate UAV's into the national aerospace system (NAS). Personally, as a pilot, while I distrust the FAA to some extent, as the agency charged with ensuring safety of all operators in the NAS, they are the right agency to be performing this study.

When some other agency says they're going to start launching UAV's in the NAS, the FAA needs to have ammunition to enforce safety measures to ensure that the UAV's not pose an undue hazard to other aircraft and that the UAV operators respond accordingly to instructions from air traffic control.

Comment: Re:Indoctrination cuts both ways (Score 2, Insightful) 1238

by FlightTest (#32233896) Attached to: Texas Schools Board Rewriting US History

I'd be very surprised that it was eradicated, because it hasn't been. Slavery still exits in many parts of the world, notably Africa, the Middle East and South Asia.. The fact that people have been taught (as was I) that it ended with the U.S. civil war is very disturbing. Not quite as disturbing is the fact that I was taught only that whites went into Africa and captured blacks for slaves. While this is no doubt true, leaving out the fact that many (most?) were simply purchased from other blacks who had enslaved them gives a very wrong impression of the scope and nature of slavery.

Comment: Re:Take some time and think (Score 4, Insightful) 537

by FlightTest (#32035846) Attached to: Juror Explains Guilty Vote In Terry Childs Case

He was told "you are not looking after our FiberWAN network anymore, someone else is. Hand over the keys so that your successor can do their job". He used to be properly authorised because it was his job to look after the network.

"Mr Jones, you no longer fly this space shuttle. Hand the keys over to Bob the janitor. Bob, take 'er up!".

The correct and legal thing to do in that situation is hand over the keys to the shuttle and make sure you aren't anywhere near it when Bob tries to launch. You don't own the shuttle, NASA does. It's up to THEM, not you, to decide who flies it.

You may want to go to the press and try to get them interested in NASA allowing a janitor to fly it, but refusing to hand the keys to the janitor is insubordination at least, and if those are the ONLY keys, then it's a form of theft.

Quite seriously, I would call a city-wide WAN (particularly on the scale of SF) considerably more complex than
flying the space shuttle. Even a highly competent network engineer might take months to map the whole thing out starting
with nothing but a handful of router passwords.

This statement is laughable. You either have a vastly over-inflated opinion of network management, or absolutely no clue in life what's involved in flying something like the shuttle. Shuttle commanders aren't just pulled off the street you know. They are all highly accomplished military pilots, most if not all with flight test backgrounds, for a reason.

Being told "give Bob access" and "GTFO" very much count as mutually exclusive instructions.

Not at all. People get fired all the time, and that is exactly what happens when anyone in any profession, gets canned. I'd say being told "give Bob the keys" and "strap yourself in" are far more mutually exclusive.

Comment: Someone enlighten me (Score 5, Insightful) 263

by FlightTest (#31324924) Attached to: Newborns' Blood Used To Build Secret DNA Database

Because the TFA certainly doesn't.

How, exactly, are anonymized blood samples going to used to track down missing persons or solve cold cases, or do anything else that hinges on tying a person to that blood sample? That is assuming you believe the samples were actually anonymized, which there's no way to know for sure.

I'm not defending what was done, but the only real use I can see would be statistical evaluation. Possibly a good idea, but the implementation (doing it without consent) is clearly wrong.

Comment: Re:Bush Admin fails IT! (Score 1) 41

by FlightTest (#31239168) Attached to: An Interview With Cybersecurity Czar Howard Schmidt

Yes, because voluntary compliance works so well in the U.S.

We asked people to use a hands-free device when using cell phones while driving, that is truly a noncritical sacrifice, and the request was completely ignored. By the same token, while there are definitely more people using hands-free now with laws in place, even the law is widely ignored.

Asking Americans or even telling us with the force of law is pointless.

As someone else pointed out, you're far better off asking the cell carriers (or twisting their arms a bit) to shut off data services than trying to get millions of Americans to do anything that might inconvenience us in the least.

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten

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