A curious thing is that the last contact with the pilots was a handover from one ATC to another. The Malaysian ATC told them to contact Vietnamese ATC, which they acknowledged but never did. Normally, you'd do that right away (I think).
Granted, you may be right about the very start of these fields, but that's a pretty pointless question. If we go with the very start of a field, it would probably be almost entirely academic.
The reason why the very start of a field is important to this debate is that this is where innovation happens, and the main argument for software patents is that it allegedly fosters innovation. That's also why the very first origins of httpd matter when it's being used as an example. Those things that originate in academia are usually not patented, since academia has a culture of publishing without patenting.
The important thing here is not the number of users or developers of a product, but its degree of innovation. As mentioned earlier, innovation also happens on a smaller scale within projects all the time, but if open source is to prove that software innovation doesn't need software patents, as the brief claims, then it should be possible to find widely known examples of innovative open source software. Maybe CMS is one, in which case it should have been mentioned in the brief instead of projects that are knock-offs of various patented and government-funded work.
software patents were practically non-existent before the 90s.
That is evidence that software innovation can happen without software patents. The success of open source (at least as far as it has been exemplified thus far) is not.
Regarding the claim that most fields start off as proprietary, I would disagree
Which fields have started off as open source? You mention CMS and web servers. Web servers started out open source, but since that work was government-funded it's a bit tangent to a debate about software patents. I don't know the history of CMS. Maybe that's a good example.
On the other hand, the argument that patents cause innovation is also false, if based only on the observation that innovations (and many things that aren't) nowadays tend to be patented.
I agree that GNU/Linux are high-quality pieces of software and that innovation takes place in large and small ways within every project, open source or not. My observation, which I think you will agree with, is that historically, most software categories (say, word processors, database servers, operating systems etc) start out as proprietary and often patented programs. Usually, several proprietary versions get produced before the FOSS versions start to come along. This is just an observation, and it doesn't mean that truly new software wouldn't get created without patents. The point is merely that you can't just point to some successful FOSS projects as proof that patents are useless, since the proponents of software patents will shoot down that proof unless the FOSS projects in question are truly new and original.
Better examples to support the argument could possibly be found by looking at software innovation done in parts of the world where software patents are not allowed, like pretty much everywhere except in the USA. Unfortunately, most examples of software innovation that comes to my mind are from the USA.
As to my claims about government funded web servers and browsers, I had httpd from CERN and NCSA's Mosaic in mind.
There are good arguments against software patents, but "the overwhelming success of open source in the software industry" is not a very compelling proof, IMHO.
You must be GREATER than 50% likely to be a foreigner.
The proportion of foreign users of each of these services is GREATER than 50%, so even this infinitessimally more strict criterion is fulfilled. Whether the NSA actually uses such a pedantic and disingenuous interpretation of this rule is, of course, another question. If they are actually looking out for foreign threats, then they shouldn't need to. But you would think that they, with all their access to information and analytical power, could easily set the bar higher than 50% if foreign threats were the only ones they were interested in.
An autonomous airplane is in many ways a much easier task than an autonomous car. All obstacles are for all intents and purposes point-shaped and flying under current "instrument flight rules", a pilot is not even responsible for avoiding them, if I've understood the rules correctly. All you need to do is to follow orders from air traffic controllers. The problem is that these orders are dispatched by voice, so if this were to scale one would have to devise a machine-to-machine protocol for that and automate the task of air traffic control.
Your typical smart phone has enough sensors built in for flying. The radio hardware is capable of interacting with secondary radar and instrument landing systems, the gyro/accelerometers are good enough for controlling attitude and GPS is good enough for navigation. Some phones even have the barometer which you will need to deal with pressure altitude, which is necessary under current rules. The camera is good enough for taxiing, take-off and landing. The processing power is more than ample to process the inputs and provide control inputs. The only thing lacking is the ability to interact with air traffic control and tower. And a few servos for the control inputs.