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Comment Re:What is up with airlines IT structure (Score 1) 117

ACARS has several component systems; some are common to all airlines and others are unique to each particular carrier. At its simplest form it provides very basic information regarding the status of a flight (takeoff, landing, gate departures and arrivals) and in-flight weather information (making each plane in to a temporary weather station).

Some air carriers use ACARS for much more comprehensive functions like monitoring the status of equipment on aircraft in flight (maintenance scheduling), passenger information or cargo requirements. Those carriers are going to be more susceptible to periods of high demand across bandwidth limited VHF frequencies or availability to a satellite uplink.

ACARS has become so useful that it is now hitting some limits because of the high demand for the functionality.

Comment Re:Yeah, not a surprise (Score 2) 564

To Mr. Assange it is all about Mr. Assange. It has come down to his sexual misdeeds in Sweden and that they are not going to back down on his prosecution.

His life will be allot less fun if he was in a Swedish prison doing a few years for rape. Then he will just be another "common criminal" and not worth bytes to write articles about his latest proclamations.

That Ecuador was stuck with this guy is rather interesting[ Now they are stuck with him and I bet he is getting tired of eating cuy (guinea pig).

Comment Dirty Little Secrets (Score 1) 195

Usually people who get their panties in such a knot over personal scandals being revealed to the general public have a few skeletons in the closet.

Who wants to put money on the thought that maybe Lord Neuberger has more than a few "kinks" of his own. I wonder if he likes to dress up like a schoolgirl and get his ass paddled by a dominatrix.

Comment Re:Light pollution != Energy waste (Score 1) 148

I am guilty of engineering a retrofit of lighting at a oil terminal to replace the long, yellow, low-pressure sodium lighting bulbs (400 watts) with 1500 watt HID lights.

The old light system was dim, with poor color rendition. The oil terminal could not do any work in the yard at night and it was difficult to detect a problem. (it was dark).

I went about in replacing all of the low pressure sodium lights with new 1500 watt, HID heads on the poles. Not being the one who was actually doing the wiring and never having gone back to that site at night, I did not know how bright it would be.

A year later I was flying into O'Hare airport (runway 14L) and looked out the passenger window. I saw this enormous white blur of lights about a mile away from the end of the runway. It was dazzling. Looking closer I recognized the layout of the oil terminal.

The installers put the fixtures on the poles but did not tilt them down enough. At least half the lighting was shining right into the eyes of the pilots on approach of 14L. I quickly asked our guys to tilt those damned lights down.

It was probably bright enough in the cockpit of the plane so they could have read a book while on approach.

Comment Re:DUH (Score 1) 791

I work in the electrical engineering field and have worked with a few other engineers who had been working as H1B workers.They did not have a particular talent or specialty that was lacking in any "domestic" engineer we had on staff. While I was friendly with the two engineers I knew of plenty of former classmates who were unemployed and equally (or more) qualified for the H1B position.

I never understood why the company I worked for went through such machinations to keep the two H1B engineers after they had laid off nearly twenty other engineers.

When employers are doing job reductions (layoffs) they should be required to re-justify why they laid off domestic workers vs. terminating H1B employees. This should be more than a single sentence about how this person has specialized skills that none of their American counterparts had.

Comment External exposure vs. internal contamination (Score 1) 392

The greatest fear should be internal contamination. Many of the radioactive isotopes mimic their non-radioactive elements or have a similar biological uptake. (Strontium vs. Calcium), (normal Iodine 127 vs. radioactive Iodine 131).

For dosage calculations it is important to know if it is an alpha particle, beta particle, gamma ray or neutron. Each has different penetrating capabilities and different destructive potential.

If I had a choice between 1 Sievert of gamma radiation given externally or 10 milliSieverts of an internal dose of Iodine 131 (8 day half life) or Polonium 210 (138 day half-life) I would take the external dose.

Polonium is a wicked producer of alpha particles. When ingested or inhaled it is toxic in addition to giving you a constant source of radiation (rate decreasing by 1/2 every 138 days).

I had a thyroid disorder and I opted for the Iodine 131 treatment instead of surgery. It was an internal contaminant and my sweat and urine were radioactive and I emitted enough radiation that I was supposed to stay away from people for several days (there are biological half-lives for elements in the body that are quite different from isotope decay half-lives). The treatment essentially "killed" my thyroid on purpose since it was on it's own version of a nuclear meltdown.

Need to consider external vs. internal, particle types, radiological half-life and biological half-life on any sort of dosage calculation.

Comment Re:Advertising demographics trumps genre (Score 1) 742

Simply, SyFy is about as relevant to Science Fiction as the Home Shopping Network.

It just sucks ass. We used to watch 2-3 hours of Sci-Fi each night (Babylon 5, Farscape, Lexx, etc... ) now if I had a choice I would dump the channel completely.

Even the low rent UHF channels back in the mid 70's had more science fiction (The Spider, The Blob, Creature Features, etc...) What we have now is just embarrassing.

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