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Comment Re:Wow (Score 4, Interesting) 449

There is a segment of the avionics industry that isn't regulated. Experimental aircraft. I speak (honestly I'm typing, but if you wanted I could read this whole comment out loud) from a position of some knowledge on this. I am a commercial pilot and a flight instructor and am also building my own experimental aircraft. (Go Velocity! -

A TSO'd two panel glass avionics display consisting of about 8 to 10 inch PFD (Primary Flight Display) and MFD (Multi-Functional Display) will cost you in the neighborhood of $70,000 for a certificated system. (
An experimental setup with similar capabilities can be had for perhaps $15,000. ( )

While I may personally think that the FAA has been overly cautious about allowing unknown devices on commercial flights, I would like to point out two things:

First, their goal is to make things SAFE. Not comfortable. Not convenient. Not mobile-app-enabled. Safe. And they have done a heck of a job of that. Look at the safety record of the commercial aviation industry in the US. It's incredible. More people die on the way to or from the airport than die after they get there.

Second, if device manufacturers wanted to pony up the cash to certify their devices they could. If Apple, Samsung and Motorola really wanted to they could pay to have their devices certified. But it's easier to simply blame the FAA. There is no budget in the FAA for certifying these devices. If they spent the money on this instead of other things the accident rate would go up. What do you think is the right choice for an organization whose goal is to make aviation safe?

Comment Comments on bicycle commuting (Score 4, Interesting) 566

I've been riding my bicycle to and from work about 80%-90% of the time for the last 10 years, typically between 5 to 10 miles each way. There are some advantages and some disadvantages to doing this.

Disadvantages include:
Co-workers look at you funny. It's getting more common now, but a lot of people think that you have to be some sort of eco-freak or wacko to ride a bike to work. This alters their perceptions of you, often in a negative way.

Showing up to work dirty, wet and/or sweaty. It sucks when they don't have a shower facility available. Plus you have to bring all your clothes with you.

Time to get to work is usually longer. Right now it takes me about 50 minutes from the time I close the door on my house until I can sit down at the first meeting of the day. This includes 30 minutes for the actual ride, 15 minutes for showering, and 10 minutes for walking back and forth from the shower, bike locker and my desk. If I just drive it only takes me about 30 minutes total.

Biking is dangerous. I've been hit by cars accidentally at least 6 times and intentionally twice. No major damage yet, but it's been close a couple of times. Plus I've just fallen down on my own a couple of times.

Advantages include:
Cost. It's not free. A good commuter bike with all the accessories you need like helmet, clothes, lights, luggage tire pump and whatnot will cost you over $1,000 And their are ongoing maintenance costs like chains, chain oil, tires, tubes, etc. But it's way cheaper than $20,000 for a car and 13 cents per mile in gas (assuming 30 MPG and $4/gallon gas) and I never have to pay for parking.

Exercise comes as part of the package when you bike to work. While it does take longer to bike to work than to drive, it's faster if you include a workout. 50 minutes of biking to work includes a 1/2 hour workout. To drive and do a 1/2 hour workout would take at least an hour and 20 minutes. And then don't forget to pay for a gym membership. It also helps enforce exercise. This may be just me, but I'm lazy enough that after a long day at work, I'd skip the gym. But my only way home includes 30 minutes of exercise. I'm almost always the most healthy person around because I get 5 hours of bike exercise in every week at a minimum. People ask how I manage to stay so healthy and eat (nearly) whatever I want. It's not genetics or a naturally fast metabolism. It's that I get an hour of cardio every work day.

Traffic is now an amusing problem for other people. I love days when there is a big game in town and traffic is at a standstill.

Comment Re:Hello from Meatspace! (Score 4, Insightful) 352

I know what you mean. Here I am stationed in Iraq, I've got people going out every day who are possibly going to get really killed. We find explosives, get shot at, you name it. It's all VERY real. But there are enough people who are so totally insulated from this sort of thing that the EVE Online game is vastly more important to them.

On the other hand, this should spur someone from Darfur to post about the genocide there. Or one of the congo nations where life is so horrible.

What does it say about us as a species that there is such a range of lifestyles? On one end is the people where EVE Online takeovers might be the most important thing to happen to them all year. At the other end are refugees who get killed by the thousands and would have been starving and diseased anyway.

Is this disparity good or bad? Is there any limit to how much disparity is good? Would we be better off if everybody had similar worries and we were all about the same level on Maslow's hierarchy of needs?

Comment Re:ZOMG THE IRONY! (Score 1) 122

They are a huge company. It's not a problem of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing, it's hand #27FH53 not knowing what hand #9CJ46DH is doing.

For all of the organizing principles behind this cathedral, disagreements between what one sub-organization wants and what another sub-organization wants are bound to arise.

The people actually selling product, they want to retain ALL rights. This will allow them to generate more profit with 0 additional expense.

The people making the media player portion want their software to be more useful. This requires all sorts of media to be available. So they want as much content available as possible. Preferably for free.

It takes time for the diverse needs that are in conflict to get brought up to the level of management that can arbitrate between them. And it costs money to do so; the company as a whole is better off (i.e. more profitable) if they ignore these types of conflicts until it becomes a problem.

BTW: Hi.

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