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Comment: Re:Ummmm ... duh? (Score 2) 364

by Obfuscant (#49357159) Attached to: Modern Cockpits: Harder To Invade But Easier To Lock Up

Why does the jet allow you to steer it into the earth, or a mountain, or perform any unsafe operation?

Because most of the airports I know about are on the surface of the earth somewhere. Some are even in mountainous areas.

Hell, they should damn near be able to land themselves if need be.

What is the difference between a pilot who flies an aircraft into the ground by hand and one who has programmed the autopilot to do so? The passengers are just as dead, the only difference is that the pilot can catch up on his reading while letting George do the dirty work.

Now, if you're asking why airplanes don't have safety systems that don't allow a pilot to try landing anywhere but at an airport, and in a manner that would assure a survivable landing, then I'd point you at the Gimli Glider, US Airways Flight 1549, and Asiana Flight 214. The first two are examples of off-airport landings that saved the lives of a very large number of people. The latter is an example of the failures that can happen with even just small deviation from the correct approach.

If you allow an override for that safety system so that the first two landings could be made safely, then what stops the pilot from simply activating the override when he flies into the ground deliberately? And given the relatively large number of ways a pilot can turn off the burners (shut off the engines or reduce them to minimal thrust) exactly what would a safety system that prevents off-airport landings do to keep the airplane in the sky? Toss about a handful of pixie dust?

Comment: Re:Ummmm ... duh? (Score 1) 364

by Obfuscant (#49357031) Attached to: Modern Cockpits: Harder To Invade But Easier To Lock Up

Even if you made it ten people, well, it's still theoretically possible that you could have a ten person suicide pact if they'd all secretly joined some sort of cult - but the risks are far, far lower.

9/11 was an 18-person suicide pact that many would say was based on a secret cult.

The "1 in a million" squared probability someone else calculated is based on two people with independent chances of 1 in a million. When both people are members of the same "cult" with the same goal and both have worked to get themselves into the position where they can act, the probabilities are no longer independent and can't just be multiplied.

Having one person be a suicidal narcissist who's managed to escape screening or otherwise arouse suspicion is far more likely than two people doing so,

But the chance that a suicidal narcissist who has been able to avoid detection would be able to charm an unsuspecting accomplice into assisting him is much higher than two independently acting secretly suicidal narcissists being in the same place at the same time. These charming, powerful people work with the same flight crews on a regular basis and spend many hours of layover time with each other.

Comment: Re:Ummmm ... duh? (Score 3, Informative) 364

by Obfuscant (#49356911) Attached to: Modern Cockpits: Harder To Invade But Easier To Lock Up

So what happens when you remove doctor patient confidentiality?

In the US there is no true doctor-patient confidentiality when it comes to pilots. The medical certificate application requires a pilot to list all visits to a doctor in the last three years and the reason (item 19). Item 18 asks if you have ever in your life been diagnosed as having a plethora of conditions, including "(m) mental disorders of any sort; depression, anxiety, etc."

Further, FAR 67.413 says:

(a) Whenever the Administrator finds that additional medical information or history is necessary to determine whether an applicant for or the holder of a medical certificate meets the medical standards for it, the Administrator requests that person to furnish that information or to authorize any clinic, hospital, physician, or other person to release to the Administrator all available information or records concerning that history.

In other words, if you want to be a pilot* in the US, the federal government can ask you to provide access to any and all medical records there might be on you. If you say "no", they can yank your medical certificate. That means you don't get to be a pilot anymore -- not even as a sport pilot that doesn't normally need a medical certificate. It doesn't matter that the guy you share ownership of a sport aircraft with has never tried to get a medical certificate, if YOU had one and it was yanked you don't get to fly that aircraft as PIC legally, even though he can.

And making false statements on the medical application can also result in revocation of the medical. Simply failing to check the box for "depression" when you have been diagnosed and have not previously reported it is considered making a false statement.

* at any level higher than "sport".

Comment: Re:Hmmm .... (Score 1) 873

It's the potential to allow the baker to refuse to sell a plain loaf of bread to two male figures because he doesn't agree in gay marriage.

Can you explain how a loaf of bread has any inherent connection to any religious beliefs towards gay marriage? What possible religious reason would a baker use to refuse to bake a plain loaf of bread? (Yes, leavened etc. does have religious meanings, but nothing related to gay marriage.) If the baker is baking bread, then refusing to sell it to someone who is gay is discrimination I see no support for, but if he's refusing to bake bread for anyone because of some religious idea, then I see no reason for the state to force him to do so upon the demand of a customer of any class.

Since wedding cakes are a special order item, and the baker is not creating ANY cakes with two male (or female) figures on top, then the situation is significantly different than if he were to make such cakes and sell them only to non-gay customers.

Comment: Re: Hmmm .... (Score 1) 873

Yes. Because a Muslim storekeeper wouldn't be selling sell pork chops to anyone (halal and all that),

Ok. And I as a Christian baker would not sell a wedding cake with two male figures atop to anyone, also for religious reasons. If "not sell product X to anyone" is the criterion, I meet it. I, too, do not care what your religion is when I refuse to sell you a product that I find objectionable, just as the Muslim shopkeeper doesn't care.

I think it was safe to assume from the context of the question that the shop was not a "web design company" but a store where one might likely find porkchops were the proprietor not Muslim. Like "butcher shop". I'm sorry I didn't make that clear.

And let me also make it clear that I am exploring the boundaries of the issue and where the differences are that make one form of discrimination legal while another is not. I am not actually in real life a Christian baker who won't sell certain baked goods.

Comment: Re:Same Thing Almost Happened to Me (Score 1) 535

I've seen several posts in this thread where the install was scheduled, and Comcast still reneged.

That's why the verification wasn't just "schedule" but also "see it happen". If it was critically vital for the service to be provided, make sure it could be before you buy the house. The install is what didn't take place, and when that didn't take place you would have verified the lack of service.

An alternative, simpler step than relying on distant federal websites that base their information on what the companies tell them, is to call the local municipality that deals with Comcast for cable service and find the guy (or persons) who are responsible for managing the franchise. Ask THEM what the service is at your intended address, and ask them what the requirements are for Comcast to provide service there. They would have told you about the law that says Comcast must provide service but can charge you for materials and labor past 300 feet. They would also have the private, secret numbers for internal Comcast dispute resolution and can make calls on your behalf. They could have reminded Comcast of their legal responsibilities, to someone higher than first level customer support.

But none of this was done.

Comment: Re:Same Thing Almost Happened to Me (Score 1) 535

The moral is sometimes the price is too high and so we should accept that a company lies to us?

I didn't say that.

The company must pay for it's crimes.

I think that's why I pointed out the service clause of the Kitsap County franchise ordinance and that he should have contacted the county franchise administrator when Comcast didn't comply.

Comment: Re:We should lobby to break the cable companies (Score 1) 535

By that measure, there is 100% gigabit coverage in the united states

No, because the map neither specifies that the coverage is gigabit nor is there a claim that the wireless services, that might cover where wired does not, have 100% coverage. Neither it, nor I, said anything about leased lines to achieve 100% gigabit coverage.

Comment: Re:Hmmm .... (Score 1) 873

by Obfuscant (#49341785) Attached to: Gen Con Threatens To Leave Indianapolis Over Religious Freedom Bill

Refusing to do business with someone is refusing to act. Rights are not being violated, even if the law is, even if morality is.

When we get to the level that "civil rights" include "the right to force someone to sell us a wedding cake with two male figures on top", then we've watered down the concept of "rights" so far that they are meaningless, and we've trivialized any truly serious breaches of individual rights. Rights such as "freedom of religion", a more basic and enumerated right.

I think the founders would be laughing their asses off at the idea that the local baker should be forced to make products his religious beliefs don't support. Or maybe they'd not laugh so much.

Comment: Re:We should lobby to break the cable companies (Score 3, Interesting) 535

I think that we should lobby to break the cable(and other incumbent monopolistic ISPs) companies.

The Kitsap County cable franchise ordinance is online. "Any franchise granted pursuant to this chapter shall be nonexclusive ...". That means that all it takes to "break the monopoly" Comcast has on Kitsap County is ... have a second company get a franchise and enter the market. And the franchise is for cable TV, not ISP service, so all another ISP would need is ... to enter the market.

But they're already there. The maps site says there are a lot of internet services. All but two are "too expensive", but the map site doesn't rate service by cost, just availability.

According to the franchise ordinance, "14.32.350 Extraordinary installation":

In the event a request is made for service and the residence is more than three hundred feet from an existing cable distribution line, such installation shall be completed on a time and material cost basis for that portion of the service line extending beyond three hundred feet.

This applies to cable television service (ISP service is not covered by the franchise). So, if he's ordered cable TV and they don't honor this section of the ordinance, it becomes a legal issue reportable to the franchise authority.

I don't see where he's reported Comcast to the franchise authority for failure to comply. If existing laws aren't being used to try to resolve problems, then why are new laws the right solution? (I used my local franchise authority to beat Comcast about the head and shoulders regarding cableCard service -- Comcast responded and I got what I wanted, in less than a week.)

Comment: Re:Same Thing Almost Happened to Me (Score 0) 535

in my area, at least, comcast is a per month basis; so if a house sale was hinging on this, I guess I could -install- comcast, verify it in the empty house (sigh) and then move forward with the purchase.

Trust but verify. If wired broadband internet is a critical feature of any house you buy, verify before you buy. If a basement is a critical feature, either look at the basement or get the soil tests done to see if one can be added before you buy. Don't trust the seller to know when he doesn't care.

Comment: Re:Same Thing Almost Happened to Me (Score 1) 535

I was already a customer and I told them I wasn't even going to move to that house, if I couldn't get internet.

I don't understand what you thought that threat was going to accomplish, or even why that would be a threat to Comcast. You are already a customer and you won't move to a new house if they won't sell you broadband? Ok. They'll take your money while you live at your current address. It goes into the same pocket eventually and they don't have to spend money doing an install.

Yeah, Comcast lies. I went through that process when I got my cableCard. I complained to the local franchise authority and Comcast called me to work out an acceptable answer. But Qwest (now CenturyLink) lies, too, and they lied to the PUC when I filed a complaint. And even wireless services lie. "Absolutely Free 500Mb/month" that costs $10 if you go past 400, for example.

The moral to the story is that not everywhere in the US has wired broadband simply because there are places where the costs are too high. You may have to settle for wireless.

Comment: Re:Hmmm .... (Score 1) 873

by Obfuscant (#49340715) Attached to: Gen Con Threatens To Leave Indianapolis Over Religious Freedom Bill

In fact, you are quite free to discriminate in your shopping habits based solely on the religious beliefs of the shopkeepers you choose not to visit.

No, you're an idiot.

What, you think you aren't free to decide not to shop at a business when the owner's religious beliefs are not the same as yours? My goodness, someone should tell all those people who thought they should boycott Chik-Fil-A they are wrong.

It's one thing to say "get out of my store you Christian moron". Because that would be illegal.

And rather impolite. You saying that to a shopkeeper is sufficient grounds for them to ask you to leave. You don't have the right to be abusive to the staff no matter what your religion is. Oh, wait, you've switched from trying to prove that my statement about your right not to patronize a business based on the religious beliefs of the owner is wrong and are talking about something else, right?

It is entirely different level of bullshit to say that in retaliation these people are free not to patronize the businesses of someone who reserves the right to say "we don't serve you black/gay/Chinese/fat people".

I'm sorry, but it is a fact that people are free not to patronize any store they feel like staying away from. I guess that means it rates a "zero" level of bullshit, as you so quaintly quantify it.

That's a bit lopsided, don't you think? The Christians can discriminate legally, the rest of us can choose not to patronize your business?

That sounds quite fair. You can discriminate against the business owners based on their religion (it is not a Christian specific right, by the way, so you bringing up just one religion is specious), they should be able to return the favor. I assure you, despite your proclamation to the contrary, YOU are quite free to stay out of any business you want to. The argument that says if they can discriminate so can you is both childish and meaningless, since you have always been free to discriminate in such a way.

And despite your assertion to the contrary, it is quite legal for a Muslim food store to refuse to sell pork to a Jewish customer based solely on the Muslim religious beliefs. And that Jewish customer is free to choose to shop elsewhere.

And there isn't a damned religious person who is going to accept themselves being discriminated against.

And yet it happens, and is legal. You don't discriminate against "religious person(s)"? You use this same kind of abusive language with everyone, even your friends?

If religion wants an exemption to discriminate, there is absolutely no defensible position for not discriminating against religion.

I'm sorry, but your premise that it is "religion" that wants to discriminate is laughable. There are people who feel that certain things are wrong and that the law should not force them to do those things in order to continue making a living. There are also people who think it is quite fair that if you can discriminate against "religion", then religion gets the same rights you do.

But don't act like not going to the business of someone who wants the legal right to refuse to serve you is even remotely the same fucking thing unless you could legally refuse to serve them.

It is discrimination based on religion. Goose, meet gander. Here's your sauce.

Simple question, polite answer sans personal insult please: do you believe it is legal for a Muslim shopkeeper to refuse to sell porkchops?

Comment: Re:Only Republicans are stupid enough... (Score 1) 314

by Obfuscant (#49339813) Attached to: First Lawsuits Challenging FCC's New Net Neutrality Rules Arrive

That's not true, go ahead and google "cable monopolies" or something like that. If you live in an area where you have more than one cable company, you are in an unusual situation.

That is not a dejure monopoly, which is what we are talking about for the telco. It is a monopoly based on market forces, not government intervention. AND it doesn't say anything about the cable company being a monopoly ISP. They simply are not, and there is no law that says otherwise. Nor does the market show them to be a defacto monopoly, either.

If you want just one example: Comcast in Maryland. They are a monopoly.

You're telling me there is a statewide exclusive franchise agreement for "Comcast of Maryland" covering the entire state of Maryland, for both cable service and ISP (or either one)? I don't believe it. Provide a citation where I can see this franchise agreement.

In fact, a simple google of "Baltimore cable franchise" (Baltimore, MD, a large city in Maryland) shows that the franchise is 1) between the City of Baltimore (not the state of Maryland) and "Comcast of Baltimore" (not "Comcast of Maryland"), and is 2) non-exclusive. Non-exclusive means exactly what it says: other people can get the same franchise for the same thing. It isn't exclusive of any other company.

Your map link does not show what you purport it to show.

Why do you think that law needed to be written?

It doesn't matter why it needed to be written, the fact that it exists is sufficient proof that no monopoly for the ISP service was granted to Verizon or any other telco. But actually, why it was written proves the point, too. Verizon tried to use their telephone service monopoly status as a monopoly for ISP service, and the government told them in no uncertain terms they weren't an ISP monopoly. Trying to use a law that is explicit in stopping a company from acting as a monopoly as proof that the monopoly was granted to them is, well, an interesting interpretation of the words "monopoly" and "government".

The law that mandates access to the telco hardware for other ISPs isn't granting them the monopoly: it is trying to prevent the monopoly.

It prevents them from ACTING like they had a monopoly, which it a clear sign that they do NOT have such a monopoly -- either in fact or in law. Explicitly NOT in law, and in fact not in fact.

Especially since the law didn't work.

I'm sorry, what? I can name at least one ISP in this town that will sell me their services using the local telco wires. If the law didn't work they wouldn't be able to do that. The only reason I can name only one off the top of my head is because I deal with them already and their existence proves the point so wasting time to look up more would be a waste of time. Especially since their existence would apparently prove somehow that the telco was an ISP monopoly.

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle