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Comment Re:What's the percentage (Score 4, Informative) 179

Your first statement is untrue. You can limit the number of backers in each tier you set up. If you can only accommodate a production run of 250 units, you can set the pledge tier that includes the item as a reward to only allow 250 people to select it. Sure, that will limit your funding if you limit the tiers,but it fixes your hypothetical problem.

Comment Re:Why not both? (Score 2) 354

There are no 12x area codes in the US, and switches are plenty smart enough to distinguish +1 yyy npa-nxx from 112. And furthermore, this is a mobile standard, and no-one dials US country code for long distance calls on mobile, its just yyy npa-nxx. You dont dial the 1 or +1 unless you are outside of NA and need to call back into the US (or just overly pedantic).

Comment Re:Why did they change the requirements? (Score 5, Insightful) 421

250 hours is the minimum for a commercial rating, the theoretical minimum for a job as a first officer at an airline. The practical minimum is dictated by the supply and demand in the job market and I have seen it vary between 1500 and 250 hours over the last decade and across different airlines. The 1500 hour minimum is a good thing. There are still jobs out there for the 250 hour people (part 135 freight) and this gives experience that they need to get on their way to an airline cockpit.

Disclaimer: I flew for a regional airline for 4 years, benefited from the 250 hr baseline (I had 600 hours when hired, 3100 when I left) and I completely support getting more experienced people into those airplanes.


Submission + - The space sim isn't dead after all! (

cwebster writes: Chris Roberts' (creator of the wing commander series) new foray into PC games is officially a "go". The new game, Star Citizen, is slated to be what anyone who has played wing commander or privateer dreams it could be. Best of all, Chris cut out the publishers (EA owns the rights to WC) and is self funding this project. There are 20 days left in the funding campaign to meet the ambitious stretch goals. Contribute at kickstarter or the main site for the game.

Comment Re:For these 'fastest' metrics: (Score 4, Informative) 135


Weather modeling (solving navier-stokes and a few other equations on a discrete cartesian grid or on a spherical grid in spectral space). Add in land surface models, ocean models, data assimilation, chemical processes, and then crank the resolution way up and you need a lot of power.

DNS (direct numerical simulation) -- if you want to simulate a fluid flow with turbulence and you want to resolve the turbulence explicitly you need to have a grid spacing in your model that is smaller than the kolmogorov scale. For some flows this may produce a grid spacing measured in millimeters. If you want any decent sized model domain, this produces a lot of grid points.

Monte-carlo type simulations -- i.e., run a simple simulation but do it 1e50 times to amass a statistical representation of the process.

and lots of other types of modeling. Basically if you have a set of partial differential equations that tell us something and you need to solve them numerically (no analytic solutions, etc) and need to do it on very large domains at high resolution and your neighbor grid dependencies are such that your problem is parallel, then a supercomputer is for you.

Comment Re:Not too suprising (Score 3, Insightful) 372

No reason this should be restricted to apple products as an android tablet would work just as well to view pdf files, but still, very reasonable savings estimate.

You dont know the FAA then. I have two headsets, a Bose X and a Lightspeed Zulu. Both have the same 1/4" plugs and the slightly smaller one for the mic, both transmit the audio to the headset, both have (various degrees of) noisecancelling microphones, both use active noise cancellation.

But.... one has been shown to conform to a technical standards order (TSO) and one has not. So I can wear one of them at work, and one of them I cannot. All the TSO is btw is some standards on how the headset performs in certain situations, but the mfgr has to pay for the testing and certification. Both headsets work great, in fact the non-TSO one works better, but since word came down that we were not authorized to use non-TSO equipment, I cant wear it.

Its entirely plausible that apple has gone through a special certification process, and others have not. Typical of the FAA the certification is restricted to specific models, so you couldnt do something like certify "android", you would have to certify a specific hardware model with a specific version of the android OS.

Comment Re:How about just an iPhone and save even more? (Score 2) 372

Sit inside an airline cockpit once in a while, the majority of planes cannot do what a G1000 can.

Charts absolutely are used. On an approach, both pilots will have the approach plate (paper or otherwise) open and able to reference during the procedure.

The FMS, btw, is not why a B747 can execute a cat III landing. The aspects to that include crew certification (have to do a bunch of stuff in a sim to get certified), crew training (special procedures between the pilot flying and pilot not flying to setup the avionics, monitor the avionics and make the land/go around call), aircraft certification (there are extra sensors and instruments on the airplane with painted critical areas around them that must be free of dents and irregularities on preflight; the flight computers do more sensitive inter-comparisons between all of the instruments, the localizer is tracked with more sensitivity, radar altitude is used rather than pressure altitude), and airport certification (specific lighting systems must be installed and used, and the localizer and glideslope must be usable to the surface).

There is a lot more that goes into being able to fly and actually flying a cat III (my plane could only do cat II, but the concepts are the same) than just programming an approach into the FMS and engaging the autopilot.

Comment Re:How about just an iPhone and save even more? (Score 5, Informative) 372

The checklists shouldn't be going anywhere. Disclaimer: I dont fly for AA, but I did fly for another airline. The pilots carry docs and the plane carries docs. The plane should have at least 2 checklists and a quick reference handbook, in printed form, in the cockpit. The checklists cover all normal procedures for all phases of flight. The QRH has all of the abnormal checklists. The absolutely vital emergency procedures are printed also in the QRH but the primary source is the pilots memory (things that need to be accomplished ASAP before there is time to consult the book).

What the electronic flight bag (EFB) is going to replace is the junk the pilots carry. My flight bag had 2 2" binders full of nothing but approach plates, a 1" binder with our hub airport approach plates in it, a 1" foldout thing with all of the enroute maps, a 1" binder with the company flight ops (essentially 14 CFR 121 plus whatever opspecs the airline has approval for), a 2" binder with procedures and checklists (serves as backup for the checklists and QRH that the airplane carries), a 2" binder with our collective bargaining agreement in it. Not carried was another 2" binder that were all of the details of the aircraft systems, it was not required to be carries and there just wasnt room for it. The EFB replaces all of that into a tablet form factor.

On a typical flight the only things in that bag that get touched are the high enroute chart I need, the airport diagram and company page for the departure airport and the approach plate, airport diagram and company page for the arrival airport. The checklist used is the laminated one that belongs to the airplane. If there is an abnormal, the QRH belonging to the airplane is consulted (in conjunction with other docs on the airplane: the MEL book and the logbook).

Comment Re:I disagree; Bill is an idiot. (Score 1) 1774

Evolution is scientific. Belief in a creator is religious. Belief in evolution is rational. Each of these statements is true in a way.


No one who understand what science is believes in evolution. Science is not a system of beliefs, it is a system of evidence based reasoning. It is not proper to say "I believe in evolution", but rather "the theory of evolution is the hypothesis best supported by the evidence". In science, nothing can be fact, or definitively proven. We rather conduct experiments to reduce uncertainty in a theory, or to disprove a theory. So, evolution is not scientific, nor is it religious. Evolution and creationism are ideas; two competing hypotheses describing a process. Evolution is supported by the scientific process, while creationism is not supported by scientific evidence. Creationism however is supported by a faith based belief system, and people such as yourself (im assuming) who only know belief systems in turn think that scientists believe in evolution. Perhaps it is not your fault that you are unfamiliar with evidence based reasoning, what skepticism really means, and the scientific method, but that is all the more reason for you to support better science education in our nation's schools.

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