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Comment Re:Stop calling it "Autopilot" (Score 1) 297

WTF, those all confirm exactly what I said! I didn't say it was standard procedure to use autopilot on all take-offs & landings, however it's still a regular procedure.

Let's take a look at the top replies for each of your links...

Why don't pilots always use autoland?

To name the two most important [reasons pilots don't always rely on computer landings]:
* Pilots need to practise their flying technique.
* Auto land requires very accurate ILS guidance [which is negatively impacted by the interference from other nearby planes flying in close formation, but easily resolved by adding a bit more spacing between aircraft]

Why do we still use pilots to fly airplanes?

Technology has improved to the point where airplanes can pretty much fly and even land themselves. They are even getting pretty good at handling "normal" emergencies like engine failures and depressurizations. ...
Where pilots really shine though are the type of abnormal and emergency situations that aren't "in the book". ...
However, the biggest reason that we don't have fully automated passenger airplanes is because the general public feels comforted by a person being up front who can take over and carry them to safety if needed.

On modern commercial airliners, how much of the flight could be fully taken care of by the auto pilot?

In the lowest visibility conditions, the plane is capable of the approach and touchdown on the runway all by itself. The pilot will then apply reverse thrust and brakes as needed to slow down.

Now that the plane is back on the ground, it is once again the pilot's job to exit the runway and taxi to the gate. Shutting down the engines and then the electronics will also be up to the pilot.

This guy contradicts himself a couple of times, but his conclusion for not classifying it as fully automated landing is because the computer doesn't taxi itself to its terminal...?!
Given that it's technically driving at that point, and it's possibly the most minor part of the entire journey, I'll forgive them for not focusing on what would probably be an even more complicated task, that'd require a whole new logic and bank of sensors.

Which commercial aircraft are capable of computer-only landings, without human assistance? ...doesn't go into any details, refer to above comment.

If these systems were so incapable of landings, we wouldn't be relying on them to save us in poor vision, Cat I. conditions.
US military policy in the Middle-East is based around the whole concept of automated take-offs and landings. Or did you think all those drones were piloted by lots of tiny patriotic elves?

Now let's be clear, nowhere did I suggest that all flights are fully automatic, I was simply rebutting the patently bullshit claim from the parent post:

I don't think anybody sane today thinks planes can (or would be allowed to) land themselves with an autopilot. A plane that could do such would not have an autopilot, but rather a self-flying feature and be a self-flying plane.

Comment Re:Stop calling it "Autopilot" (Score 1) 297

Um, modern plane auto pilots can, and regularly do, take-off and land without assistance. And they've been able to do so for a long time. In fact, the first fully automatic flight was performed in the 50s!
Today, pilots are mostly there for emergency backup. The manual take-offs and landings they do are a condition of their licence, to keep them in practice.

Comment Re:PARENTING ISSUE, not Government control issue. (Score 0) 167

I'm not sure what this new filter might cover, but the UK Government (under the Conservatives) has mandated an opt-out adult content filter as default on all connections provided by the "Big 6" (of which Sky is one). There's a longer standing law which also mandates this on mobile connections, too. For both of these, the account holder has to call the company to request an opt-out.

I remember responding to a call from the IWF when I was working for an indy ISP there. They were trying to persuade us to implement their blacklists for all outgoing connections on our network, because children! This was during the period when they infamously blocked the whole of Wikipedia on the basis of an article about some obscure album from the 70s, which happened to feature the picture of a young teen on its cover.
I just laughed down the phone & hung-up.

Comment Re:Are you being sarcastic? (Score 1) 485

Autopilot on a plane & (true) autopilot on a car are a whole different ballpark. Planes aren't constantly surrounded by unpredictable obstacles mere metres away. In fact, plane autopilots don't even have any environmental awareness at all. For the most part, they're just programmed to keep a predefined speed & altitude. For take-offs & landings, they're given a massive entry space, guaranteed to be free of obstacles.

The first fully automatic flight was made in 1950. If it's so much harder, then don't you think we'd all be driving around with AI chauffeurs by now?

Comment Re:Here we come to save the day (Score 4, Informative) 317

The primary consequence of flooding a market with a product is temporary, the secondary consequence is the destruction of the market for the local producers, thereby putting them out of business.
This is why China's public subsidising of their exports is pissing off other countries. This is one of the reasons why Uber is causing such controversy.

The difference here is that the foundation isn't importing the product, but buying them locally & redistributing, thereby both supporting the local market & growing it by helping other's setup shop.

Comment Re: Omar Saddiqui Mateen? (Score 1) 1718

Whilst you are technically correct, I hate having to use the term "agnostic" to describe my non-belief in a deity or religion. It makes it sound like I'm still sat on the fence, undecided, where in fact it's a subject I have thought about deeply & come to the conclusion that the god argument simply doesn't add up - just like santa.
Ergo for simplicity's sake, I usually refer to myself as an atheist.

Comment Re:We need Loser pays (Score 2) 571

You clearly have very little experience dealing with court cases.

The English Law (used in most Western democracies outside the US) system is loser pays, and in the UK it's constantly being called to be put under review due to powerful companies abusing defamation & libel laws to stifle criticism, and put pressure on smaller parties/individuals to fold before anything even gets to the courts.

Court cases can be expensive to defend, especially when the other side has a well financed legal army & the only defence you can afford without putting up your life's possessions as collateral or borrowing a substantial amount of cash, is an ambulance chaser who'll accept payment after the case is closed.

I like the theory of loser pays, however it needs to be implemented very carefully to avoid abuses, and not a single country has yet managed to strike that balance.

Comment Re:Disruptive Industry (Score 1) 83

Even things like banning drivers who turn down too many rides? That's not an independent contractor - an independent contractor has the right to determine which rides they will take without repercussion

Umm...I'm the last person who'd defend Uber, however I don't see what the problem is there? If my business relied on contractors, I'd also favour the ones who showed themselves to be more reliable to take the work when it was available.
They also have a vested interest here, as it stops hobby drivers just creaming off the most profitable jobs and allows their dedicated drivers to more easily make a living. This is one of the reasons it's illegal for regulated taxis to turn down a fare (in the UK at least).

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