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Comment: Re:Disgusting (Score 4, Insightful) 95

by supernova87a (#48788775) Attached to: AirAsia QZ8501 Black Box Found
We should count this fact as one of the greatest gifts that modern aviation, science, and policy has given us. The idea that those who died can save others in the future by figuring out what went wrong -- and that their loss is not squandered without doing something about it.

It fights the normal state of being helpless and clueless, and helps us advance. Screw those who say, "oh, this accident was God's will." No, it was not just some random/unknowable event -- it's something that we can fix and make sure it doesn't happen in the future.

Comment: oops (Score 1) 183

by supernova87a (#48726713) Attached to: Uber Must Submit CEO Emails
Hopefully they used Snapchat to exchange photos of them fucking over customers.

Just kidding, hah. All in all, I think Uber is the greatest gift to us customers in the history of taxis. I've had enough of taxi drivers lying, cheating, and just plain driving badly. Regulators might do well to acknowledge that Uber provides more accountability of drivers and power to the customer than any taxi regualtion has yet.

Comment: Re:Cheaper (Score 1, Informative) 349

No. The core problem of the airline industry in the US is that there are too many airlines serving each origin destination pair. Such that no airline is able to maintain a reliably profitable margin before others try to horn in and lower the price for fares.

In an industry where airplanes are very capital intensive and inflexible to acquire/get rid of, and there is very low cost to supplying additional seats to a market, any market participant will be tempted to make marginal costs by putting more availability out there. This depresses ticket prices (to the benefit of the public), but drives their industry into the ground.

Air travel is a great business for everyone except the airlines. If we want to have stable airlines, reasonable prices (which may not mean low prices), and quality service, the harsh truth is that the US will have to let a few airlines die, and not let new entrants take their place. You cannot have all of these things without doing that.

On the topic of this fare exploit, airlines have these rules so they can offer different prices to different markets. If their mechanisms for keeping people from exploiting these differences are disallowed or defeated, I think one predictable outcome is that fares rise for everyone instead.

Comment: daytime crash? (Score 1) 132

by supernova87a (#48697221) Attached to: Debris, Bodies Recovered From AirAsia Flight 8501
What I find somewhat puzzling is how this happened in daylight. In AF447 and others where pilots lost control or were confused by conflicting instrument readings, it was during night or poor visibility and they lost reference to the horizon. This was at 7am Singapore time, and although there were storm clouds, I would have thought that at least for some portion of the incident, the horizon would have been visible?

This of course assumes that the problem was a loss of attitude control due to instruments.

Comment: it might be too late (Score 1) 280

by supernova87a (#48612771) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Should a Liberal Arts Major Get Into STEM?
I think to be fair to this person, we should seriously discuss the idea that it may be too late to get into a hard science field after an English major.

The reason might not be so much that he/she is unable to learn (although that is a possibility -- many people find that after years of being out of college and hard science, they no longer have the patience/drive to sit through those classes). It is also a matter of having done this switch, he/she will be behind by years, and possibly sending bad signals to employers.

Just think about it, if you have a candidate for a job who has switched fields late in life, regardless of the explanation, you may question their committment or attention span to be in the field. And on top of that, they will be years behind the person who has been doing it since day 1 of college. Side by side, the comparison to job candidates who stuck with it earlier will never be favorable. And the truth of that will manifest in frustrating job searches, failed attempts at getting top jobs, etc.

You may have to admit the unpleasant truth that going back to start over again is a losing proposition and you should make the best of what you have done so far, and continue down that path.

Perhaps a more productive way of making a partial switch is to get into the field of science writing, or journalism, or some other pursuit where your lack of years in science research and preparation is not such a handicap.

Comment: be less willing to put up with inefficiency (Score 1) 342

by supernova87a (#48199057) Attached to: An Algorithm to End the Lines for Ice at Burning Man
The thing I hate the most in the world is stupid lines making people physically wait and waste their time for something. Especially when there don't need to be lines, and the problem is caused by dumb behavior, not genuine lack of resources (aside from intelligence).

Have a look at this video, which shows how Toyota helped apply pretty simple principles to reduce the wait for food after disaster hit with Hurricane Sandy in NYC. https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

You start understanding that the average person in charge of group processes generally have no idea how much of people's time they're wasting. Which could be avoided with some simple steps, and very little additional cost.

Comment: then fund the study (Score 2) 336

by supernova87a (#48071005) Attached to: Why the FCC Will Probably Ignore the Public On Network Neutrality
Not to say that there isn't lots of money and influence-making behind the scenes, but a key problem with policies that are desired by corporations but disliked by individuals is that the corporation can and will pay for evidence to be created supporting their position.

Evidence has a loose definition, of course, and a responsible regulator will do their homework to tell the difference between shoddy evidence and strong evidence. But when evidence is submitted that explains how a policy decision plausibly leads to [xyz] effects, that wins real points.

What is sure is that on the other side, even millions of people getting together won't produce hard evidence that a court/rule-making body can rely on. In the end, even millions people's opinions will only amount to a few soft statistics.

Filling this gap on the "people's side" is somewhat the role of academia/thinktanks/non-profits to fill, but in a fast moving industry they are unlikely to move faster than a corporation that wants to back something.

Comment: what "rights"? (Score 1) 141

Forgive me for raising a stupid question, but what expectation / right do we have to expect that Facebook is a certain way, or behaves in a certain way? Or shows you content without adulteration? It's not a fundamental government service, or anything we even paid for, after all.

For all we know if could be designed as a parody website, and shows us things that our friends looked at, modulated by some sarcasm filter.

Everything that Facebook shows us is an experiment. And you object because they adjusted the experiment slightly? You don't have to approve every time when your homepage feed loads up, showing you stories that were determined by some algorithm,so why should Facebook seek your approval when something slightly different is shown? Because they adjusted the thresholds for displaying stories by 5%?

Stop trusting other people's websites so much, and expecting anything from them, for that matter. When Facebook is declared to have a public service obligation, maybe then you can demand these things.

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

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