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Comment: Re:Tinfoil hat on (Score 1) 512 512

Just another anecdote:

I just whipped out my iPhone 1, and it is downright snappy compared to my iPhone 4s, and from a usability perspective in terms of "snappiness" comparable to my wife's iPhone 5s. Of course the iPhone 1 does a lot less than the newer models, but certainly appears to me that it did the core things just as fast (calling, messaging, etc).

Comment: Re:Principles (Score 3, Insightful) 145 145

Well, the US has divided its authority into houses to maintain a balance of powers, so that no single authority can dominate the decision making process.

The executive is charged with being the head of state, namely a single person to negotiate treaties. The senate, or the "upper"/"elder" house, must ratify those treaties before they become law.

The congress, the "lower" or "junior" house, was meant to deal with day-to-day issues of the younger folk, those with a future.

In general it was originally decided that any two of the congress, senate, and executive are needed to make a law.

The judicial branch is intended to resolve disputes based on judicial principles. Except where there is a legal vacuum they cannot create law ("stare decisis" / "ratio decidendi").

It would that the balance of the division of powers is mulching of late, and I agree it is a problem â" not just on principle, but in sticking with the design choices of the founders of the United States.

Comment: Re:Mitt Romney Deux? (Score 1) 553 553

What socialism is going on?

You mean what socialized programs are in the states? The list is pretty long, inluding e.g.

- Military
- Medicare
- Police
- FBI
- Public education
- Food assistance
- FEMA
- Road infrastructure
- Air traffic control

Of course there is also the socialization of losses on Wall Street, with the bailouts of the big banks by taxpayers.

Just some examples. Or have I misunderstood the question?

Comment: Re:Pontifical Academy of Sciences (Score 2) 703 703

in fact most of the information that survived through the dark ages survived because of monks

Much survived because of monks, but if my history is right (and it's probably not) the enlightenment came from knowledge that survived via the Arabs. Hence we have names like Algebra (from Al-Jabr), for example.

I am seem to recall that during the dark ages the Romans/Italians had around 2-5% literacy rate. Not much knowledge survived there.

There was progression by monks during the middle ages, notably time-keeping and eyeglasses. But I am not sure how much historical knowledge was retained by them. It might be lots - but I've just not seen any historical books to that effect (though I would enjoy reading knowing more).

Comment: Defer to Ground (Score 0) 385 385

(I am copying a prior post of mine, but I think it bears repeating)

A flight officer should be able to engage a "defer to ground" mode from anywhere on the plane, at any time. Once "defer to ground" mode is engaged the autopilot cannot be disabled without the approval of an air traffic controller, or the consent of more than one (or more than two) flight officer(s). The air traffic controllers can then issue instructions to the autopilot or remotely control the plane or disable the "defer to ground" autopilot.

If the plane is out of range of air traffic control, the autopilot would (in addition to attempting to stabilize any descent) change trajectory to either a.) the closest known safe ground relay or b.) the closest known safe landing site.

In the ordinary course the pilots are in control, with "defer to ground" off by default, and can only be enabled by flight officers on the plane, so the plane cannot be compromised by malicious ATC.

Comment: Re:Security is hard... (Score 1) 737 737

The secure door was not well thought out, IMHO. I have always thought there were better options, such as:

A flight officer should be able to engage a "defer to ground" mode from anywhere on the plane, at any time. Once "defer to ground" mode is engaged the autopilot cannot be disabled without the approval of an air traffic controller, or the consent of more than one (or more than two) flight officer(s). The air traffic controllers can then issue instructions to the autopilot or remotely control the plane or disable the "defer to ground" autopilot.

If the plane is out of range of air traffic control, the autopilot would (in addition to attempting to stabilize any descent) change trajectory to either a.) the closest known safe ground relay or b.) the closest known safe landing site.

In the ordinary course the pilots are in control, with "defer to ground" off by default, and can only be enabled by flight officers on the plane.

Just a thought.

I never cheated an honest man, only rascals. They wanted something for nothing. I gave them nothing for something. -- Joseph "Yellow Kid" Weil

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