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Comment: Re:LSA is a problem (Score 2) 473

by Slipped_Disk (#46214653) Attached to: Ugly Trends Threaten Aviation Industry

I don't think LSA is so much a "problem" as simply not delivering on its planned promise.
The idea was new LSA-compliant aircraft would sell for about the price of your typical 40+ year old Pipers and Cessnas (the $25,000-50,000 range - and mainly toward the low end of that spectrum), which would make them an attractive option for new pilots pursuing flight training to buy and fly at a cost similar to a boat or car.

The reality is most LSAs are a far cry from the simple aircraft that you can find as a "Legacy LSA" - fancy glass panels and relatively-well-appointed interiors are the norm rather than the exception, and adding manufacturer liability and low volume on to that prices are easily north of $100,000. That means most of the activity has been in the "Legacy LSA" end of the business - Cessna 150s, Piper Cubs, and the like - and at that end it's often older pilots choosing to "downgrade" to an LSA and exercise Sport Pilot privileges rather than continuing to keep up a third-class medical certificate to be able to fly.

Comment: And what does the FAA have to say about this? (Score 1) 198

by Slipped_Disk (#42814781) Attached to: First City In the US To Pass an Anti-Drone Resolution

Seeing as how the national airspace system is federally regulated, and in Charlottesville VA the FAA owns the airspace from 700 feet up (surface up in some parts of the city, near their lovely airport) this law is nothing but symbolic bombast.

Want to make a dent in the drone problem? Scream at Congress and get them to mandate that the FAA establish sensible rules for UAVs.
Congress has already passed legislation forcing the FAA to integrate drones into the national airspace system (because Congress knows so much about the intricacies of air traffic management and safety), so how about getting them to stop being complete idiots about it?

Comment: Regulated Medical Devices are Expensive (Score 1) 629

by Slipped_Disk (#40313931) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Are Hearing Aids So Expensive?

Working in the medical device industry, I can tell you that making a medical device is HIDEOUSLY expensive.

The cost to produce a hearing aid (microphone, amplifier, audio tube, speaker, battery, silicone tip) is pretty tiny. If you were just producing this assembly you would probably be able to crank it out for less than $1000 with a fairly tidy profit margin - maybe as high as $500 (assuming you build them in quantity).

Now onto that cost add the FDA-Mandated record keeping (design history, a history of each device from manufacture to end-user distribution, including records of any time it came back for service/adjustment), performance testing, IEC/UL safety testing (to make sure it won't shock Mom's eardrum, or over-amplify and blow it out), IEC/UL electromagnetic compatibility testing (to make sure it won't cause Mom's pacemaker to go haywire), biocompatibility testing (what if someone is allergic to silicone?) and staff to oversee all of this, and all of a sudden your $1000 device winds up costing the consumer $3000, and you're still only making $500 in profit.
Hearing aids also aren't a growth market: There are only so many people who are hard of hearing and need the devices, and if they buy a good one and they'll keep it for years, so there's not a huge amount of recurring revenue for replacements, so now we need to make enough money off them to coast along until the next person needs to buy one.

Bottom line: Complying with regulations costs lots of money, and the cost of devices are inflated as a result.
Lest someone take this as an anti-government rant, it's not: The FDA regs do serve a purpose, though perhaps said purpose is not 100% appropriate for all classes of medical devices.

Also the FDA is not the only government agency that introduces a price-inflating regulatory burden. Consider these two identical aviation headsets:
http://www.mypilotstore.com/mypilotstore/sep/4680 (Non-TSO)
http://www.mypilotstore.com/MyPilotStore/sep/5284 (TSO)

The key difference between these headsets is a piece of paper. They are materially identical in all other respects.

Comment: Good idea, but very hard to do well... (Score 4, Insightful) 105

by Slipped_Disk (#32668726) Attached to: Best OSS CFD Package For High School Physics?

I like the idea of exposing your students to CFD packages, particularly the variation between experimental results & results off of a theoretical model. My concern would be that mastering a CFD package (or even become a basic user of one) is pretty time consuming. As others have pointed out you usually don't touch CFD packages until late undergrad or grad school.

Consider building the models yourself and running them as a demonstration rather than asking your students: They get the benefits of seeing what the software can do & being able to reference the theoretical data generated, but won't have to deal with the frustration/learning curve of CFD software.
If there's an interest you can offer an extra credit project where students design (or modify) a mesh & report the results.

Comment: THANKS PETA! (Score 1) 356

by Slipped_Disk (#32296178) Attached to: PETA Creates New Animal-Friendly Software License

... Because what we really need is another damn open source license. I was just thinking to myself the other day, I said "Self, what the world needs is just ONE MORE open source license. That would just make everything SO MUCH BETTER!"

And why only Chordata? It's not OK to kill cows, dogs, land-fish or sea-kittens, but killing arachnids (scorpions, spiders) or crustaceans (crabs, lobsters) is OK? Is it because they're not cute?

Morons.

Comment: Re: automatic binary updates (Score 2, Insightful) 299

by Slipped_Disk (#31875166) Attached to: ClamAV Forced Upgrade Breaks Email Servers

From now on, my recommended course of action is that all mail administrators running clamav should REMOVE or DISABLE any automatic updates of ClamAV rules, make sure to comment out any crontab entries for freshclam.

<SARCASM>
Mmhmm, yes. I agree 1000%. Don't update your virus signatures. Because ya know, new viruses don't get created very often. You can run with signatures over a year old and still have great protection!
</SARCASM>

Or do what they should do... include a method for automatically applying version updates.

Or force auto version update instead of disabling.

<SARCASM>
Yes, because distributing software for several versions of Free/Net/OpenBSD, each Linux distribution, Windows, Solaris, AIX, HP-UX, etc. is totally feasible for a free project.

It's not like they would have to fund the time, equipment and distribution bandwidth for that, or have to deal with irate admins screaming about how ClamAV breaks their change control policies by automatically installing binaries on production servers.

And software with automatic updates never ships an update that bricks production servers (*cough*Exchange*cough*), so this is a perfect solution.
</SARCASM>

Sometimes I really wonder what happened to the Slashdot crowd's common sense.

Comment: Re:*Correction* (Score 1) 299

by Slipped_Disk (#31874830) Attached to: ClamAV Forced Upgrade Breaks Email Servers

Well, you *can* configure your email system in such a way that when ClamAV goes away it still passes mail (though obviously most people, myself included, do not configure our systems that way).

That's an admin's choice to make, and like almost every choice there are tradeoffs: Potentially pass virus-laden mail, or potentially queue/defer/reject mail until the scanner comes back on line.

Comment: Re:It's not like they didn't tell... (Score 1) 299

by Slipped_Disk (#31874740) Attached to: ClamAV Forced Upgrade Breaks Email Servers

Or maybe people should ... you know ... not apply updates directly to their production servers without testing them first ?

No, that would be too radical. Who ever heard of updates causing problems ? It would never happen.

Tell me, do you sandbox a full environment and test every virus signature update prior to rolling it out?
If so, what is the length of your pre-deployment testing cycle? How many people are dedicated to your test team, and how do you justify their salaries?

(Not trying to be a dick, I'm genuinely curious if anyone goes to this level of overkill, and how they manage to get it approved. I had to fight uphill both ways in the snow to get a dev environment built...)

Comment: Yes, they did the right thing... (Score 4, Insightful) 299

by Slipped_Disk (#31874564) Attached to: ClamAV Forced Upgrade Breaks Email Servers

As someone who was bitten by the issue (yeah, I'll man up and admit it - my company's mail server went wonky for about a half hour while I upgraded) I agree -- they pretty much did the right thing.

There was plenty of notice -- The fact that many of us weren't on the clamav-announce list is OUR fault, not theirs.
A kill command may not be the most "polite" way of retiring an old version of software, but for a free service I certainly don't expect them to invest huge amounts of time and money in figuring out how to support the old stuff forever.

Comment: Re:Got This Bounce This Morning (Score 1) 299

by Slipped_Disk (#31874374) Attached to: ClamAV Forced Upgrade Breaks Email Servers

At least their error messages are descriptive and informative.

Seriously -- I got a bunch of qmail deferrals & the bounce/deferral messages were all utter shit ("451 qq error").
This guy wins 100 internets for having a FUCKING USEFUL BOUNCE MESSAGE -- I want to buy him a case of his preferred alcoholic beverage.

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