Screwed up that post...
Try being in aviation in the US. At any given time I can be juggling: Distance: statue miles, nautical miles Speed: miles per hour, feet per second, feet per minute, knots, mach, feet per mile (climb rate) Pressure: inches of mercury, millibars, PSI, Pascals (very rarely) Weight: pounds, tons, gallons Everything uses a random unit. It's a mess but it works, and I suppose that's why it's stuck around.
Once heard a story of two guys flying a King Air at about 30,000 feet and a windshield failed. As per training they donned their oxygen masks but quickly realized someone had neglected to refill the bottle. They passed out. Minutes later the co-pilot wakes up to see the plane is in a nearly vertical dive and quickly pulls up as hard as he can. Given that he was barely conscious to begin with, the excessive G-load caused him to black out once again. Soon after, the pilot wakes up and lands the plane at the nearest airport. They pull up to the FBO and, without looking back at the aircraft, request a car and drive to the nearest bar. The NTSB recorded that nearly half the horizontal stabilizer was torn off and the wings had nearly 10 degrees more upwards bend than they should. Anyway, the rapid decompression really didn't have any affect on the guys, and I would guess a King Air at cruise power can fall as quickly (if not faster) than a human, and obviously they were not dead. There was an incident a while ago about a Lear Jet that had a window blow out and for some reason the pilots weren't able to get their masks on in time...the auto-pilot kept the plane at about 35,000 feet like it was told and those guys never stood a chance...it just kept flying out into the Pacific until it ran out of fuel. So if you're falling, you're quickly going to get back in to a zone where you can breathe and be perfectly conscious. Even if it's quite cold you're not going to die from decompression. It's only deadly if you Stay up there.
Encrypting ADS-B would be like encrypting FM radio. Yeah, you can do it, but everyone and their mother will be able to buy a decrypter because it's a public utility. Encryption would only add complication and more opportunity for things to go wrong.
I can rent an ADS-B equipped plane from my local FBO for $130. I've been able to do this since about 2006. This way, I can track the 737's flying into BNA, and also have the option of flying into any other object within 300 miles. No iPhone needed (it's probably cheaper than an iPhone, too). Yes it's much ado about nothing, but how would we survive without something to ado about?
No, we don't need rational debate. The Nazis had debates. We (real) Americans just Know. And in the unlikely event we Don't know, we can just turn on the news and be informed.
This is why we can't have nice things.
I didn't vote for him.