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Comment: Re: Combined with the ringing phones ? (Score 1) 382

Mobile GSM phones are well capable of talking to towers on the ground at 35k feet. That's only about 10 kilometres. There will likely also be several towers within roughly equal distance with good line of sight. Indeed, one part of the reason mobile phones have been banned in aircraft for so long is because they would interfere with the *ground*. The fear being that having thousands of stations moving fast overhead, in range of potentially dozens of towers at the same time and roaming across them, would be too taxing for GSM to handle, causing service issues.

I've had phone conversations with people in aircraft, at altitudes of around 20k to 25k feet (6.1 to 7.6 kilometres), with them ringing on their GSM phones and it worked fine.

Comment: Re:READY OR NOT IS NOT THE ISSUE!!! (Score 1) 2219

by Paul Jakma (#46209179) Attached to: Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

Not just 6 digit IDs.

I've just had a look at the beta, and it's a bit bizarre. Pointless huge images. Lot more redundant white-space. No comment links. UIDs are not shown. The comment posting box is missing "Post anonymously". There doesn't seem to be any benefit to the redesign. It very much smacks of change merely for the sake of change, which is not good.

Comment: Re:Secret meetings: (Score 4, Informative) 364

by Paul Jakma (#46116009) Attached to: EU Secretly Plans To Put a Back Door In Every Car By 2020

Note that this is taking place under the auspices of the Council of European Union, i.e. directly at the behest of the member state governments. The document mentions "Remote Stopping" just once:

Remote Stopping Vehicles
Cars on the run have proven to be dangerous for citizens. Criminal offenders (from robbery to a
simple theft) will take risks to escape after a crime. In most cases the police are unable to chase
the criminal due to the lack of efficient means to stop the vehicle safely. This project starts with the
knowledge that insufficient technology tools are available to be used as part of a proportionate
response. This project will work on a technological solution that can be a “build in standard” for all
cars that enter the European market.

So there's nothing agreed, there's nothing that is going to be imposed. The technology doesn't even exist. All they're doing is they're going to look to see what they could develop. Once they've done that, that doesn't mean it will be imposed. This working group doesn't have that power. If the public doesn't like it, the *member state* politicians (not EU politicians!) who make the decisions at the Council of the EU level would not put it forward. Even if these *state* politicians *did* want to impose this, they'd still need the agreement of the European Parliament (with its directly elected MEPs). The EP can delay and even block legislation (though, that requires a super-majority, ultimately).

tl;dr: the Dailymail are, as usual, blowing out their arse and making shit up about what's happening at the EU.

Comment: Re:if you know how a polygraph works... (Score 1) 197

by Paul Jakma (#46115925) Attached to: Anti-Polygraph Instructor Who Was Targeted By Feds Goes Public

Polygraphs are unreliable generally in scientific tests, regardless of whether subjects know anything about how to circumvent them, for the simple reason that polygraphs are a load of bull.

The only way they produce reliable information is where the subject volunteers it, out of fear the polygraph actually works, or desire to please the interrogator.

Comment: Re:Total Obedience is Required ! (Score 1) 197

by Paul Jakma (#46115897) Attached to: Anti-Polygraph Instructor Who Was Targeted By Feds Goes Public

FWIW, Chinese state TV is running news stories at the moment about the mass surveillance programmes that operate in the West. The Chinese state generally seems weaker in influence, than Western states like the US, UK, etc. Also, given that the US gaols a far greater number of its population than China, or pretty much any other country in the world, a random Chinese resident has a much better chance of being free than a US resident. To call the USA the land of the free smacks mildly of Orwellian double-think.

(Note: There are a good number of things I admire about the US, and things I don't).

Comment: Dailymail story on EU: Guaranteed to be wrong (Score 4, Informative) 364

by Paul Jakma (#46114759) Attached to: EU Secretly Plans To Put a Back Door In Every Car By 2020

Dear Slashdot,

You've posted a story from the Dailymail that has the form "EU wants to do outrageous thing!". The Dailymail has a long track record of:

a) Hating the EU.

b) Printing utter falsehoods about supposed plans "the EU" has, at least in their headlines and leading text.

E.g., a previous instance, which I complained to the PCC about (who turn out to be toothless and/or cowards): http://paul.jakma.org/2011/11/... .

Please do not feed the Dailymail troll.

Comment: Re:The article makes this an intriguing issue (Score 2) 197

by Paul Jakma (#46098323) Attached to: Anti-Polygraph Instructor Who Was Targeted By Feds Goes Public

The lie detector test is based on ignorance. Teaching people how to pass it amounts to telling them the scientific truth about the polygraph's efficacy: It has none, so don't worry about it, and don't volunteer information.

If it's a crime to tell the truth about pseudo-scientific quackery, then we're fucked.

Comment: Most popular vehicle? Wow... (Score 3, Insightful) 521

by Paul Jakma (#45795585) Attached to: Ford Rolls the Dice With Breakthrough F-150 Aluminum Pickup Truck

That's just staggering, that this is the most popular vehicle in the USA. It's about the same size/weight as a European 8-seater minibus! And this isn't at all the biggest Ford sell, is it? I've seen things on the motorway there that are almost bus sized.

Comment: Re:In the SIMULATOR? (Score 1) 270

by Paul Jakma (#45488887) Attached to: Airline Pilots Rely Too Much On Automation, Says Safety Panel

It's coffin corner because it's relatively easy to stall there, not because the aircraft could go too fast and break up. There is little risk in immediately descending. Certainly, the risks of stalling are far magnitudes greater.

My source: A retired jet pilot who had precisely the same thing happen to them as what happened to AF447 - iced up pitots and loss of airspeed indicators.

Comment: Re:Why put the automation in if not to use it? (Score 1) 270

by Paul Jakma (#45488865) Attached to: Airline Pilots Rely Too Much On Automation, Says Safety Panel

"ABSes have saved many lives when drivers slammed on the brakes to avoid a collision, or started slipping on ice." [citation needed]

If anything, the evidence is somewhat to the contrary. Studies on taxis with and without ABS (the cabs are otherwise very similar vehicles), showed that ABS equipped cars did not have lower accident rates overall. Indeed, certain types of accidents, e.g. in snow, where significantly higher for ABS equipped cars. Cite:

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=rI4c24VTriEC&pg=PA219&lpg=PA219&dq=Aschenbrenner+and+Biehl+ABS&source=bl&ots=RgRKvw7Qnx&sig=1hNW1rAyzlSw5hpcGjgFnpn4Qpc&hl=en&sa=X&ei=3xmPUrDcOYX40gXHm4DYDw&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage

Comment: Re: self-flying planes (Score 2) 270

by Paul Jakma (#45488829) Attached to: Airline Pilots Rely Too Much On Automation, Says Safety Panel

The computer did not give any instruction. The computers went into alternate law (i.e. "act dumb, do 100% what the pilots command") precisely because the computer had detected sensors were giving conflicting readings. It was down to the pilots to determine what was needed to be done. The correct course of action was fairly obvious. They were flying at altitude, where maximum speed and stall speed are very close to each other. That is, any significant loss of airspeed risks stalling and disaster. The correct course of action, if there's a problem with airspeed indicators, then is to ensure airspeed is preserved - i.e. descend. This is real 101 stuff when it comes to "Flying high".

The senior co-pilot, in command at the time, knew what had to be done, so did the captain (who was not on the flight deck initially). Unfortunately, despite both of them clearly ordering the junior co-pilot to descend and, later, leave the fucking controls alone (though, by that time, they were almost certainly doomed), the junior co-pilot inexplicably kept taking control and ordering the aircraft to climb - precisely the wrong to do. What was going through his mind we will never know.

FORTRAN is a good example of a language which is easier to parse using ad hoc techniques. -- D. Gries [What's good about it? Ed.]

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