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Comment Re:The article (Score 4, Insightful) 109


Who cares if you have a huge dropout rate? You'll still have a completion rate that is way more then any conventional class and even the dropouts will have learned something.

The education system has built a big blind process that isn't about learning. It is about the process. If you happen to learn at the rate that the info is fed to you and if the process intersects with your learning style then you are great. If you learn faster or slower or in a different fashion then the accepted process you are screwed.

Comment Re:Not a pilot... (Score 1) 585

How can I be sure? FAA regulations.

The controller could be disciplined for that type of slip up. A flight level does not refer to an altitude. It refers to a pressure altitude. What this means is if you set the altimeter correction to 29.92 inches of mercury (standard sea level pressure) and you fly based on the altitude that gives. That means if you are flying at FL300 you could be actually at an altitude hundreds of feet above or below 30,000 feet because of the variations in pressure from high pressure or low pressure systems. This is really the only way to control high altitude traffic because if two planes were flying with different altimeter corrections they could collide because their altimeters were giving different readings.

The reason there is a "transition altitude" is because when you are closer to the ground it is much more important that you are aware of your actual altitude over obstructions. Flying into the ground is a much higher risk than colliding into another plane. I would assume the reason that 18,000 feet was picked as the transition altitude is that there aren't any 18,000 foot mountains in the lower 48 and of the 4 mountains taller then 18,000 feet; two are in Alaska, one is 15 miles outside of Alaska, and the last is way down in the south end of Mexico.

Here is a wikipedia article explaining it all...

Comment Not a pilot... (Score 2) 585

FLxxx numbers are simply pressure altitude in hundreds of feet. In North America flight levels start at 18,000 feet so the lowest FL number is FL180. (In Europe it is much more complicated...) Below that level it is simply "altitude". A normal cruising altitude would be from FL300 to FL410 and may vary from that based on length of hop, specs of the aircraft, congestion, and weather. Not sure where you are going to find any quantity of aircraft cruising at FL180 and FL280 is definitely not "high".

Cabin pressure is not measured in "Flight Levels". That is just silly.
Common commercial aircraft are pressurized to a pressure equivalent of 8,000 feet. The big exception to this is the new Boeing Dreamliner that is pressurized to 6,000 feet which is hailed as a major improvement in passenger comfort and safety.

Comment Re:Next they'll turn off the power (Score 4, Informative) 149

. . .

Honestly, transit (air and subway) is one of the few places you could get some peace and quiet.

. . .

You've never been on BART have you?
BART is the loudest subway I've ever seen and goes over 100 decibels repeatedly.
After riding on quality systems in other places such as Munich I find that BART is just a technical embarrassment.

As far as turning off the cell data coverage... BART consistently has the worst station announcements and the worst station signage. Without the data coverage the only way I can figure out which station I'm at half the time is to get the station map up on the cell and count stops from an identifiable station. I'm really at a loss how a system that big isn't internally audited for simple things like clarity and volume of station announcements. And the lack of clear, obvious, unmistakable station signage is just stupid negligence or apathy on the management's part. 5 minutes on the S-Bahn in Munich will show you how worse then just "Bad" BART is.

Comment Re:Confused (Score 4, Interesting) 124

This kind of points out why the RIAA and the MPAA (who are incestuous siblings) will now have to seriously up the ante in their attacks on the Pirate Bay.
There isn't any way that they can allow competition in a market that their cartel controls. Dammit!!! They paid good money for their monopoly so their senators better get cracking to wipe them out.

Comment Re:Oldster? (Score 2) 387

We used to have to explain to customers that had run out to get 56K modems that the faster speeds would only work if their local phone company had switches that would support it. This was particularly rampant in the south. When 56K modems had started to become pretty common Bell South still didn't own a switch that would support the faster speeds. If I remember correctly there was a class action relating to either Bell South's part in it or maybe it was the retailers that were selling them.

Comment Re:How I first got introduced to the Internet (Score 4, Informative) 387


9600 didn't show up until the mid 1980s. http://tldp.org/HOWTO/Modem-HOWTO-29.html

If you're gonna lie, at least do some research first so that those of us from that era might believe you for a sec.

Bzzzzzt thankyouforplaying...
AT&T supplied 9600 baud data lines for the ARPANET way back in the late 60s. And yes... They used modems!!!
Almost all of the endpoints for the ARPANET were universities. That would make someone that claiming to use a 9600 baud terminal in the late 70s easily accurate and using a technology that was at least a decade old.

So I suspect two things: (1) You weren't there. (2) You are an anonymous idiot who can't Google.

Comment Not exactly... (Score 3, Informative) 387

This Wikipedia article shows the modem types and years released. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modem

The Wikipedia article lists the release years of modems conforming to various V.xx standards.
There were modems available that exceeded that timeline by quite a bit. Telebit made their TrailBlazer series that uses quite a different scheme to encode the data on the line from the ITU-T V series schemes. Telebit used what they called PEP which stood for Packetized Ensemble Protocol. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telebit#Models
They exceeded the speeds of the commonly available "Hays compatible" modems by a huge margin. PEP still works faster on very noisy phone lines then today's commonly available modems. In situations where a 56K modem will only hook up at 1200 baud the Telebits will generally connect at 9600+.

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