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Transportation

Lost Northwest Pilots Were Trying Out New Software 518

Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times reports that two Northwest Airlines pilots who flew about 110 miles past their destination to the skies over Wisconsin as more than a dozen air-traffic controllers in three locations tried to get the plane's attention had taken out their personal laptops in the cockpit, a violation of airline policy, so the first officer could tutor the captain in a new scheduling system put in place by Delta Air Lines, which acquired Northwest last fall. 'Both said they lost track of time,' said an interim report from the National Transportation Safety Board countering theories in aviation circles that the two pilots might have fallen asleep or were arguing in the cockpit. 'Using laptops or engaging in activity unrelated to the pilots' command of the aircraft during flight,' said a statement from Delta Airlines, 'is strictly against the airline's flight deck policies and violations of that policy will result in termination.' Industry executives and analysts said the pilots' behavior was a striking lapse for such veteran airmen who have a total of 31,000 flying hours of experience between them. In the case of Flight 188, 'Neither pilot was aware of the airplane's position until a flight attendant called about five minutes before they were scheduled to land and asked what was their estimated time of arrival,' the interim report said."

Comment Re:I'm already paying a recurring fee (Score 1) 348

You forgot

c) When the cloud provider says you must.

Apple wants me to replace a 4-year old Mac Mini just to run "Snow Leopard" on it?
I don't believe I will do that.  However, I don't always get that choice with cell phones.

Both computing models will remain because consumers want the choice.

We have this wonderful things called "Moore's law", and disk drive technology is on it, too.  I've paid less for storage every year, and now I can get a 1TB drive for $100.

- Ralph

Clouds are unstable because people are making choices about when to upgrade the OS, how many machines to do it.

It's a monopolists's dream
The Internet

Doctorow On What Cloud Computing Is Really For 348

Diabolus Advocatus alerts us to an article Cory Doctorow has up on guardian.co.uk, addressing what cloud computing really means for the average consumer: "The tech press is full of people who want to tell you how completely awesome life is going to be when everything moves to 'the cloud' — that is, when all your important storage, processing and other needs are handled by vast, professionally managed data-centers. Here's something you won't see mentioned, though: the main attraction of the cloud to investors and entrepreneurs is the idea of making money from you, on a recurring, perpetual basis, for something you currently get for a flat rate or for free without having to give up the money or privacy that cloud companies hope to leverage into fortunes."

Comment Re:Then a driver blows it all up.. (Score 1) 517

Which is EXACTLY why you don't let device drivers run in the same ring/priviledge space as the OS kernel.
Microkernels (in the early days) didn't have device drivers build in - they just provided a message passing layer
that ran in the priviledged space, while other systems services (file systems, the BSD operating system services, etc)
ran in user space.

Nice try, though.

Comment Re:Gas (Score 1) 874

You mean "the mass transit I have access to".

My children have two methods of getting to school:

* walk to school (neighborhood schools for elementary kids, they live
* ride the taxpayer-funded school bus. These can also take children to after-school day care.

Programming

IBM Releases Open Source Machine Learning Compiler 146

sheepweevil writes "IBM just released Milepost GCC, 'the world's first open source machine learning compiler.' The compiler analyses the software and determines which code optimizations will be most effective during compilation using machine learning techniques. Experiments carried out with the compiler achieved an average 18% performance improvement. The compiler is expected to significantly reduce time-to-market of new software, because lengthy manual optimization can now be carried out by the compiler. A new code tuning website has been launched to coincide with the compiler release. The website features collaborative performance tuning and sharing of interesting optimization cases."
Software

The Open Source Design Conundrum 322

Matt Asay writes "Walk the halls of any open-source conference and you'll see a large percentage of attendees with ironically non-open-source Apple laptops and iPhones. One reason for this seeming contradiction can be found in reading Matthew Thomas' classic 'Why free software usability tends to suck.' Open-source advocates like good design as much as anyone, but the open-source development process is often not the best way to achieve it. Open-source projects have tended to be great commoditizers, but not necessarily the best innovators. Hence, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst recently stated that Red Hat is "focused on commoditizing important layers in the stack." This is fine, but for those that want open source to push the envelope on innovation, it may be unavoidable to introduce a bit more cathedral into the bazaar. Without an IBM, Red Hat, or Mozilla bringing cash and discipline to an open-source project, including paying people to do the 'dirt work' that no one would otherwise do, can open source hope to thrive?"

Comment Xerox (Score 1) 402

>>You like OS X and Cocoa?
>>That was the kind of platform that Xerox PARC had developed in the 1970's,
>>only what PARC had was even easier to develop for and better integrated.

>Troll please. I'm not even reading the rest of this comment.

That's a shame, because the new generations keep repeating the mistakes of the old. If re-use was really happening, how many versions of Unix would we need?

As Santyana said: "'Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

Comment Re:Open source smart phone (Score 1) 232

In addition to the 'locked firmware' problem, "Telephone" implies that there is a centralized "telephone network" that can be
surveilled and/or attacked, making for a short revolution.

Wireless device have an interesting property. They can communicate with ANY compatible device within range, as long as it is programmed correctly. Why depend on "the man" (who is typically government regulated, or depends on 'retroactive immunity' in the US), if you don't have to.

Just be more decentralized in your thinking. 10 years ago there was a great gadget called a 'Cybiko', which ran on unlicensed
900 Mhz frequencies, but you could program on your own. The device went through several hardware generations, but doesn't exist any more. It even had an interesting 'walking talkie' application, which converted your voice to a digital signal and sent it to other Cybikos within RF range.

No cell network required.

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