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Comment Re:And yet... (Score 1) 541

Oh, the 7% of U.S. population doesn't get their wages from the government, they get their wages from the rest of the population - and only the part of the rest that pays taxes, with corporate tax payments being some sort of a joke these days. Remember: the government doesn't make any money, nor do they have any. They get it from the rest of us via taxes.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 253

If the thief is that technically literate, then, arguably, you've been had, get over it. Use insurance or just buy a new machine and enjoy the fresh smell :)

Alas, in most cases, a BIOS/firmware password and a password-less guest account on the OS are enough the ensure that you'll hear back from your machine. Thiefs are mostly silly.

Here's a solution that will work on any Unix system (less Orbicule, of course).

Comment Re: I owned MSN TV (Score 1) 92

That was tongue in cheek. Obviously my cheek was so puffed out that I was mumbling and hard to understand :)

I've recently run into webtv's portal page and it's like instant travel back in time by a decade at least. These days a webtv would be basically Raspberry Pi with chromium OS or somesuch.

Comment Re:Open airplanes (Score 1) 506

Yes. Precisely that has happened many times, and I won't be surprised if this was a yet another case of, essentially, missing the runway. Remember that an airplane has a certain envelope of operation when you can still control it. On final if you run out of airspeed or you're sinking too fast, you're hitting the ground and it amounts to missing the runway in your parlance.

Comment Re:Open airplanes (Score 1) 506

There's this thing called vertical speed indicator. An approach with excessive vertical speed past a certain point should be considered unstabilized and calls for a go-around. The inertia of the plane doesn't care whether flaps are out or not, you can't flare out an arbitrarily high vertical speed without lots of training.

Comment Re:Open airplanes (Score 1) 506

Airspeed and altimeter indications are kinda hard to quickly relate to whether the flaps are out. You only get easy to grok indications during the transient of the flaps coming out. I don't know how loud the 777 cockpit is, but I bet there's enough conducted acoustical noise from the usually noisy as hell actuators to know that something is turning when the flaps change command is issued. There's also the wind noise and seat-of-the-pants feeling of an upward push as the lift increases and there's a temporary change in vertical acceleration. Sure the flaps on a 777 are not binary up-down, there's a couple discrete settings, but man you do feel them.

For all I know, he was coming down with excessive vertical speed - that's what the publicly available flight profile indicates. IIRC there was no glideslope guidance on this runway at the time, so perhaps there were issues with execution of a visual approach.

Comment Re:Open airplanes (Score 1) 506

Look, I know that pilots in the U.S. are really paid peanuts and probably just want to unwind and don't care about anything when they are not flying. But it takes some professional integrity to try and understand what's going on. I'd hope, at least, that a commercial pilot on given type is very familiar with all publicly available accident reports. It seems that this alone would help, in spite of airlines trying to mess things up. Yes, there's a lot to be blamed on airlines, but ultimately the pilot is the one responsible for what he/she does while flying the damn plane (or not flying, as the case may be).

Comment Re:Pilot error? (Score 4, Informative) 506

I'm not aware of any passenger aircraft that has such a fly by wire system.

Well, that's your problem, then, since autoland has been around for a while and I have been through a zero visibility autoland landing all the way down to the runway. On exiting the plane, I've asked the first officer if they did it manually or using autoland, she said autoland. It was a by-the-book landing, by the way, as far as I could tell. Very smooth.I could tell it was a bit of a crab landing since the nose swayed right as soon as the main gear touched down. So, it was autoland with side wind, too.

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