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Could a Meteor Have Brought Down Air France 447? 884

niktemadur writes "In light of an Air Comet pilot's report to Air France, Airbus, and the Spanish civil aviation authority that, during a Monday flight from Lima to Lisbon, 'Suddenly, we saw in the distance a strong and intense flash of white light, which followed a descending and vertical trajectory and which broke up in six seconds,' the Cosmic Variance blog team on the Discover Magazine website muses on the question 'What is the probability that, for all flights in history, one or more could have been downed by a meteor?' Taking into account total flight hours and the rate of meteoric activity with the requisite mass to impact on Earth (approximately 3,000 a day), some quick math suggests there may be one in twenty odds of a plane being brought down in the period from 1989 to 2009. Intriguingly, in the aftermath of TWA flight 800's crash in 1996, the New York Times published a letter by Columbia professors Charles Hailey (physics) and David Helfand (astronomy), in which they stated the odds of a meteor-airplane collision for aviation history up to that point: one in ten."

Submission + - US Army Moves to Vista. (

twitter writes: "Despite West Point using Windows, "as little as possible," and Vista having been rejected by everyone, the US Army is moving hundreds of thousands of existing Windows desktops to Vista. Even M$ discourages this kind of migration now.

The article's math is contradictory. First they say that 740,000 desktops are involved. Later they say, 44,000 or 13% of the Windows computers have been moved, which gives a total of 340,000. Bad math is unsurprising in news of such bad decision making."

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus