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Comment Re:What is "the network?" (Score 4, Informative) 84

It's 12 bytes every 10 minutes. 96 bits. Not much for a tweet, but you can stuff quite a lot of data in 96 bits.

For example, say you're tracking fragile cargo :

2 bits - battery level (2 bits - 4 values, high / med / low / replace)
2 bits - status of 3 tamper switches (00 - all ok, 01/10/11 - a switch has been triggered).
6 bits - a temperature range of 64 degrees, in celsius, from starting from -14 to 50 degrees, 1 degree resolution.
6 bits - humidity (64 values stretched to 0-100, gives us about 1.5% resolution)
2 bits - whether temp or humidity has gone out of bounds since last transmission (and a spare value here).
6 bits - current speed 0-64 m/s (0 - 230 kmph/ 144mph)
6 bits - max speed since last transmission in m/s
48 bits - lat and longitude, good to about 11 metres globally.
18 bits - max g-force sustained in the last ten minutes (6 bits/64 values for x/y/z, scaled to 10g, so good to 0.15g)

Tada, 96 bits, full of info.

Comment Two good reasons (Score 1) 343

1. Closure for humanitarian reasons. People want to know what happened to loved ones, there might be remains that can be properly interred, things like that.

2. Finding out what happened. What if there was a sequence of events that happened on that flight to cause the crash that could be easily repeatable on every other plane of that model? There are about 10,000 late-model 737's in service, at about $90 million each. If there's a problem, that's a lot of hardware at risk.

Comment Re:Slut/Whore. (Score 1) 291

most women don't think of their bodies as some kind of asset to be marketed to men

Are you kidding? Have you not seen the cosmetic industry? Or the fashion industry? They're called "Industries" for a reason, and they're not gigantic because women just want to look pretty for themselves.

Comment Re:Same thing that facebook tries to do... (Score 1) 46

I change my facebook page from 'Top Stories' to 'Most Recent' on a regular basis. It used to be that it would remember that setting consistently...... then, strangely enough, it would start to revert to 'Top Stories' randomly.

This also happened right about the time a little reminder got inserted at the top of the page saying that I was viewing, 'Most Recent' and did I want to go back to 'Top Stories'? No facebook, I do not, because all I tend to get is a shitty post from three days ago with 50 likes from friends, and I miss when someone is having a non-popular day. Like most people do.

At least Tinfoil for Facebook on android keeps that reminder out of sight.....

Comment Re: Cracked solder joint (Score 1) 226

Planes at cruise altitude and speed often fly pretty close to 'coffin corner' where stall speed and transonic conditions intersect.

That is, the air is so thin that they need to fly fast to maintain lift, but if they fly too fast parts of the wing will start exceed the speed of sound at that altitude, which makes a plane that's not designed for it very tough to control.

And stall recovery of a large commercial jet aircraft can soak up tens of thousands of feet of altitude, so if the crew was distracted, or a particular reset/restart took a while, well, that's a problem.

Comment Re:About that 911 thing.... (Score 1) 284

You're not getting the scale of things. Corporate security in this situation sounds like the right ones to call. I say "security", but I presume that they are more than that and have trained responders + equipment, which it would appear from the article that they do.

If I call 000 while I'm at work here in Australia, they can't do diddly-squat. I work at a mine site, with some 100km of underground tunnels and 'official' emergency services are 15 kilometers away down the highway. I do however have access to a couple of paramedics who are onsite and reasonably familiar with the mine if I dial '2222'. I also have access to about 20 trained emergency management personnel, as well as a team of mine rescue workers who regularly win awards in state and national competitions. We are a world unto ourselves - such is the legislation around mining that police can't enter the site without an escort by personnel, they can knock on the front door and ask nicely to come in, like everyone else.

Amazon, with their large warehouses, are in a similar position. Sure, get security to call 911 after they've sent the internal guys to assess and stabilise you - the outside guys can carry on and transport you to hospital. But a speedy response saves lives, so always get the local guys on site first.

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