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Comment: Trusting the passengers (Score 1) 373

by Latent Heat (#49355625) Attached to: Modern Cockpits: Harder To Invade But Easier To Lock Up
Actually, we are trusting the passengers, in the words of Jerry Pournelle, we are trusting the passengers to riot rather than submit to a hijacker.

The Shoe Bomber Richard Reid got stomped by the other passengers, and the Underwear Bomber Abdul-Mutalub was fought and stopped by a fellow passenger.

On the other hand, if someone really wants to crash the plane, can the other pilot or the pilot with volunteer passenger "muscle" stop this. The passenger on that one plane in 9-11 broke open the cockpit door -- they were able to thwart a fourth attack on a building, but they were unable to prevent a crash. It seems they knew there chances of living were slim and they gave their lives to prevent loss-of-life on the ground.

Comment: Pilot range extender (Score 1) 373

by Latent Heat (#49355539) Attached to: Modern Cockpits: Harder To Invade But Easier To Lock Up
They sell them as a "pilot range extender" at the FBO (fixed-base operator) plane rental counter for private pilots.

But what do women pilots use? What if the call is for Bodily Function #2? Even with an all-male crew, do you really want to expose yourself this way to your colleague? There is this protocol with the urinals in the Men's Room of not looking over at other dudes -- at the controls of the plane, should the other pilot have to limit their gaze of the instruments and controls?

Comment: And your point being . . . (Score 1) 356

by Latent Heat (#49330457) Attached to: New Solar Capacity Beats Coal and Wind, Again
Someone asks why there is "pushback" against mandating/subsidizing renewables, an explanation is offered on the beliefs/reasoning/prejudices of those offering the pushback, and then this explanation is deemed "irrelevant wandering"?

It seems people can get very huffy about something deemed irrelevant?

It seems someone can get quite imperious about an enterprise that garners pushback for being heavyhanded?

It seems the word "conversation" really mean "shut up and hang your head in shame while I explain to you what you should think?"

Comment: Ridiculous non sequitur (Score 1) 356

by Latent Heat (#49275547) Attached to: New Solar Capacity Beats Coal and Wind, Again
This perspective (jamming something down throats until blood is vomited, metaphorically of course) is not being advocated, by I am quoting from your prior post where you just advocated it (metaphorically speaking, of course). Only you didn't write that?

I believe Charles Dodgson (AKA Lewis Carroll) wrote of such a thing . .

Comment: Ms. Rosie Scenario (Score 2) 356

by Latent Heat (#49240749) Attached to: New Solar Capacity Beats Coal and Wind, Again
Both the Right and Left are guilty of this.

But when there is an ideological agenda, there can be a lot of confirmation bias.

Start with the title, "New Solar Capacity Beats Coal and Wind, Again." Is this an objective, nerd-centric assessment of scientific fact? Or is it a victory-lap "Eat stuff all of you doubters and deniers"?

The concern is that Renewable is not quite ready for Prime Time and being jammed down our throats.

Comment: Re:Gee, maybe OO is sensible after all? (Score 1) 439

by Latent Heat (#49062163) Attached to: Will Submarines Soon Become As Obsolete As the Battleship?
To say we need more ships is not snark, it is a legitimate concern from someone campaigning for president. Remember the Missile Gap?

For Mr. Obama to counter with the facts regarding present-day threats and the level of force recommended by DoD to meet those threats would not have been snarky at all. The remark about "horses and bayonets" as a "debate zinger" was not only cheap snark, it exposed the President's ignorance regarding military affairs where horses and bayonets may not be big budget line items, but they have their place.

It is perhaps a good thing that you were not advising the President because the comparison Mr. Romney was making was not to the WW-I or the WW-II navy but to the "600 ship" Cold War navy under President Reagan. And "Tablizer" can lay off the lame political references if we are to believe his case against OO.

As to snark, it was "Tablizer", the self-proclaimed Internet Troll in (his?) Slashdot sig, the man who will save us from the sirens and snares of Object Oriented (OO) programming with his table-driven or database-driven programming paradigm. It was Tablizer who said that candidate Romney wanted "horses and bayonets." This is simply untrue. It was President Obama who said that candidate Romney wanting more ships in the US Navy was the equivalent of favoring expenditure on weapons systems of yesteryear such as "horses and bayonets."

So "Mitt began with nonsense." I watched that debate, I remember Mr. Romney's argument, and I remember the President's response. I really don't know whether the US Navy has enough ships or needs more ships, and I am not confident labeling Mr. Romney's argument as nonsense. We have a civilian command authority, and it is the President who gets to say we have enough ships and not the admirals. That the admirals say we have enough ships may be their respecting the elected president and following his orders. What is so strange about that?

The proper force level is a matter for candidates to debate in our civilian command-authority system. I wanted Mr. Romney to bring this up, and if the number of ships is adequate, I wanted Mr. Obama to lay out the case. The zinger about "horses and bayonets" was not becoming of the office or of the man holding it.

Comment: Gee, maybe OO is sensible after all? (Score 2) 439

by Latent Heat (#49057825) Attached to: Will Submarines Soon Become As Obsolete As the Battleship?
Mr. Romney was talking about the number of ships in the US Navy.

It was Mr. Obama who offered the snark about "horses and bayonets."

At the outset of the Afghan War, our Special Forces learned to ride horses so they could cover terrain to designate targets for PGMs. The bayonet or knife or some form of edged weapon is the last-ditch defense when the enemy appears within arm's length. Which is not an unusual tactic for enemies our forces have faced, given our ability to pound them from the air when they separated from us by rifle distance.

The Commander-and-Chief was showing his usual ignorance of military affairs, and Mr. Romney was showing his awkward inexperience for letting this remark ride.

Comment: Scott Walker 2.0 (Score 1) 255

by Latent Heat (#49026749) Attached to: Jeb Bush Publishes Thousands of Citizens' Email Addresses
He is addressing a 2 billion dollar "budget hole" by wanting to pull 300 million out the University of Wisconsin System, unstaffing the guard towers at the state prisons during third shift (at night, when the prisoners are in bed anyway dontcha know), and by borrowing the rest. There is a plan to borrow 200 mil for a new stadium for a Milwaukee basketball team that no one follows.

During his reelection campaign, his opponent hammered at the pending 2 billion dollar budget hole, to which he replied, "I fixed the state's finances. What budget hole?"

What does appeal does this college dropout hold to any geek around here, Republican or Democrat, Liberal, Conservative, or Libertarian?

Comment: To boldly go where no . . . (Score 0) 25

by Latent Heat (#48951331) Attached to: NASA Launches Satellite To Observe Soil Moisture
. . . partially-PC-but-sexist-by-recent-standards television series producer has gone before!

Bolder project? It may be a necessary project, it may be a long overdue project, but what is bold about orbiting robotic spacecraft with imaging gear? That it is somehow bold to offend climate-change deniers? That NASA is risking everything in that the Repubs in Congress may zero out their budget over this?

Driest month in recorded history? Driest since Pliny-the-Elder? Since Josephus?

Or since white dudes came to LA? What about Mayan-Aztec-Toltec inscriptions? Oral tradition?

Computers can figure out all kinds of problems, except the things in the world that just don't add up.