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Comment: Re:Supremacy Clause (Score 1) 601

by swonkdog (#39139223) Attached to: State Legislatures Attempt To Limit TSA Searches

Correct on all counts, but to make a general statement on the parent post: You will fall under the most restrictive TSA inspection requirements when operating under CFR 14 Part 121 (regularly scheduled air lines). When the TSA tried to impose more stringent rules on Part 91 (general) and Part 135 (commuter, air-taxi, sightseeing) operations they got screamed at and backed off for the time being. They tried to implement tighter security on aircraft with a gross weight of greater than 12,500lbs but that has been tabled for now.

So, as a CFR 14 Part 91 operator (and probably as a Part 135) I could (in theory) park my plane at JFK airport at the SheltAir FBO, do some sightseeing and grab a bunch of friends. When we all come back there is no (or little) security and with little more than a wave to the lineman and the ok from ground control I am taxiing on my way. Even if I'm flying a Boeing 737 like John Travolta.

Comment: Check Again (Score 1) 238

by swonkdog (#39130275) Attached to: Last Day To Tell Google To Forget You

about a year ago when i closed my google account(s). same with facebook, although if their shadow-profiling is any indication of 'how its done' then you can expect google to start silently tracking the same inferential data about you as a person instead..

either may have started as amicable services, but both have rapidly evolved into a flagrant, unapologetic breeches of privacy.

My previous employer required me to have a Google account (manager would publish the schedule on Google Docs). I left the job, closed the account and once closed tried to log back in. Google gave me a message to the effect that the name and password don't match / that there is no account so I go on with my life. Today I see that I need to tell Google to delete my history and decide to try to log in using my old username and password. Surprise! Google lets me log into an account that I definitely closed a year ago. Don't be evil my ass.

Comment: Re:Not so sure about their "airplane notes" reason (Score 1) 238

by swonkdog (#38923875) Attached to: Doctors 'Cheating' On Board Certifications

As an update to what you wrote:

At this point the FCC makes freely available all test questions and answers. They have also done away with the oral portions of the exams as well as the morse requirements for every license except radiotelegraph operators. This makes the cram method especially prevalent. Some of the companies that you refer to still exist but now they simply publish the questions and answers with some minor bit of explanations; some also publish practice exam software. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd class radiotelephone operator licenses have been done away with and are now replaced by the General Radiotelephone Operator License (GROL) which, as I understand it, is the (from a technical knowledge standpoint) equivalent of a 2nd class radiotelephone license. The broadcast endorsement has been done away with and is no longer required for commercial broadcast radio. DJs certainly don't need it though I imagine that getting a job as an engineer with a radio station without a license is probably pretty difficult even if not legally required. Commercial licenses are still required for operation and repair of nautical stations and equipment and for repair (but not operation) of domestic aeronautical stations and equipment.

On the FAA side, they used to publish both question and answer pools like the FCC but came under fire for it a few years back and no longer do this. They do release a few sample questions but the vast majority of the pools are not available so you end up with a situation much like these doctors where people will remember what was on the test and forward the questions and answer options on to prep companies. Some do a really good job of creating a curriculum where the student actually learns the material, others do just like the FCC prep companies and publish books of questions and answers with some bit of explanation. The FAA retains the oral portion so in theory, an applicant who has memorized the written exam could still be caught by an examiner when asked to explain the theory of a given topic. And, obviously, the FAA also retains the practical exam as well. Of course life is not perfect and some students only want to study for (and some instructors are only too happy to teach for) the tests and nothing else.

As background: I took my Extra Class amateur radio license test in 2007 and private pilot tests in 2010. I am currently studying for my GROL and instrument pilot tests.

Comment: Re:I despise Newt... (Score 2) 318

by swonkdog (#38854651) Attached to: Lunar Base Foe Romney Endorsed By Lunar Base Supporters

True, but I think the issue came up in central Florida because the 'space coast' is primarily a final assembly and launch site. As such it saw far more job losses (both at the local contract corps. and KSC itself) than the other NASA locations that have large administrative, research or testing mandates. Not that those tasks aren't performed in Florida, they are simply on a much smaller scale than elsewhere.

Maybe this will come up again in Alabama, but MSFC has a much smaller per capita affected community than Florida and the remaining sites still seem to be fairly busy with basic and applied research, satellite and rover operations, ISS ops, etc.

Comment: Re:Keeping Dangerous Drivers on the Road (Score 4, Interesting) 469

by swonkdog (#38553226) Attached to: Ford System Will Warn, Correct Lane-Drifting Drivers

... Rumble strips violently rock the whole car and make a loud, disturbing noise.

That sound may be disturbing if you are a responsible driver who may for one reason or another have momentarily lapsed in control of your vehicle. Out in Las Vegas the sun destroys painted lines so quickly that they have more or less given up repainting them and now delineate lanes with little round plastic domes. I've seen many times where a drunk driver will use that 'loud, disturbing noise' to navigate. They call it driving by Braille. You and I consider that noise to be disturbing, they consider it to be reassuring. It's one of the reasons that I will absolutely not be out on the roads tonight (New Years Eve).

Comment: Re:Here is a link to some of the actual tests (Score 1) 845

by swonkdog (#38328648) Attached to: Are You Better At Math Than a 4th (or 10th) Grader?

Most school boards in the U.S. are filled by elected officials. Election to the school board is often considered an entry level position into the field of politics. Many people who seek election to the school board are only using it as a stepping stone to higher elected office. Few seem to actually care about the institution that they have been elected to lead; it's all about how they can parlay that into a more influential position by the next election cycle or two.

The citizens of a given district bear the responsibility for this as most choose not to research whom they are voting for because to most people it's a position that they don't care about, even if they have children in public schools. For most of the electorate it's all about the prestigious presidential and national congressional races. They couldn't care less about anything below the national level and certainly not about what happens in their own backyard. When things do go wrong at home, they expect their congresscritter in Washington to fix it rather than taking a few hours to research and elect the right people locally in the first place.

Comment: AT&T's Response: (Score 5, Funny) 201

by swonkdog (#38288626) Attached to: AT&T Repeats As Lowest-Rated Wireless Carrier

We find the conclusions reached by Consumer Reports to be not only ridiculous but completely baseless as well. Our company would like to believe that it's service would be given a fair and unbalanced evaluation in the market but that is apparently too much to ask. Below we have chosen to refute a few of the more egregious claims leveled by so-called Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports asserts that AT&T's customer service is below average. This is completely untrue. Not a single member of our executive board had trouble reaching a service representative. All of our executive board member's questions were answered politely and completely. They were even told to have a nice day as they disconnected.

As to the statements that our system coverage is sub-par; they have obviously failed to take note of our previously stated plans to at some undefined point in the future to potentially undertake some form of consideration on the concept of improving coverage and building out our meaninglessly named 4G network. We are truly serious about thinking about these things and we believe that we should be given extra credit for taking the time out of our very busy day to contemplate things of this ilk.

We support our troops, orphans, nuns and puppies.

To the assertion that our customer satisfaction ranks at the bottom of the list. Completely untrue! Our internally generated satisfaction matrices inform us that customer satisfaction has never been higher. Our P.R. Department confirms that they believe our internal numbers to be accurate and will sign sworn statements to this effect. In short, we believe our customers love us.

In conclusion, we feel that this is yet another attempt by our enemies in the FCC, the Obama administration, Sprint and the Society for Creative Anachronism to slander our company's good name and prevent our monopoly from succeeding as planned.

Sincerely,
Your AT&T Overlords

+ - Diaspora*: Privacy Positive Social Networking->

Submitted by swonkdog
swonkdog (70409) writes "Four students at New York University are attempting to raise money to create a decentralized social networking system that keeps user's data as private as they want it to be. The project looks to be a F/OSS system with the software and source code to be made freely available. The article links to a site where money can be donated to help the project get off the ground."
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