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Submission + - Paypal is tracking visitors via Omniture's Servers (

ePlus writes: Seems as though Paypal have teamed up with Omniture to gather data from its users. Paypal is making connections to non Paypal servers can be worrying as to what data actually gets transmitted.

Submission + - How Airbus Fly-By-Wire Actually Works

An anonymous reader writes: People are often suspicious about computers being in control, and after the recent article about the A330 crash, I thought us computer nerds could use a bit more information. Extremely simplified, the intent is that the pilots make the decision and the computers execute it. When an Airbus pilot pulls on his sidestick, he is actually requesting a rate of change. The computers calculate the most efficient movement of control surfaces to accomplish the task. The controversy centers around the fact that this process will never allow excessive movement, whereas Boeing pilots can simply pull really hard. But that isn't the end of it, so keep reading.

One might naturally assume that Boeing pilots can thus do more, but that isn't necessarily the case. Using Airbus FBW in Normal Law, pilots can fly right on the edge: for example, to avoid a collision, an Airbus pilot could just pull back hard and know that he isn't going to stall. Instead, he's going to instantaneously get the maximum possible performance the aircraft can deliver. Airbus test pilots like to show these features off at air shows by flying at ridiculously slow speeds.

Usually, when one hears about a crash where the computers wouldn't let the pilot "save the plane", it's because the solution would really have made things worse, such as stalling the aircraft. It's still the pilot's responsibility to never get into that situation at all, by for example flying too close to a forest. It is also not true that Airbus pilots can never override the system, but it has to be a separate action rather than simply extreme input, because in those cases the computer is virtually always right. The computers will also cut themselves out of the loop if unexpected malfunctions occur. One thing we know about AF 447 is that flight envelope protection had automatically degraded to Alternate Law. In extreme cases, pilots can switch to the self-explanatory Direct Law.

Finally, notice that the oldest models, A300 and A310, are not fly-by-wire aircraft. Additionally, the Hudson river landing was performed in an A320 with full fly-by-wire — the computers will let the pilot make the important decisions, including landing in "stupid" places. Personally, I would compare the Boeing philosophy to running everything as root.

Submission + - How do IT guys get respect and not become BOFHs? 1

An anonymous reader writes: I work for a small software company (around 60 people) as the sole IT guy. It's my first time in a position like this and after about 1.5 years I'm starting to get a bit of burnout. I try to be friendly, helpful and responsive and I get no respect whatsoever. Users tend to be flat out rude when they have a problem, violate our pretty liberal policies constantly, and expect complex projects to be finished immediately upon requesting them. My knee-jerk reaction is to be a bastard, although I've avoided it up to this point. It's getting harder. For those of you who have been doing this a lot longer, how do you get a reasonable level of respect from your users while not being a jerk?

Comment Re:Out-of-the-box is overrated (Score 0) 511

The extra options which you require that are on Windows but not on Ubuntu are available from the drivers which are released by the manufacturers.

If the manufacturer does not provide similar drivers for Linux that are also in Windows, then it is nothing the Linux developers can do. Reinventing the wheel won't help either.

The more people contact the manufacturers asking for better drivers for their Linux distribution the better.

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"There is no statute of limitations on stupidity." -- Randomly produced by a computer program called Markov3.