longacre writes: It was 4 years ago today that US Airways Flight 1549 glided to a safe landing on the Hudson River after losing both of its engines. Were Captain C.B. Sully Sullenberger (and his frequently forgotten first officer Jeff Skiles) heroes or were they just doing their job? From the article, "There’s little harm in celebrating the unlikely survival of 155 people, but terms like “hero” and “miracle” shouldn’t be thrown around lightly. A miracle describes an outcome that cannot be rationally explained. Everything that happened on the river that day can be rationally explained. And a hero, to me, describes a person who accepts a great personal sacrifice, up to and including injury or death, for the benefit of somebody else. I didn’t see heroics; I saw professional execution in the throes of an emergency."
longacre writes: "Tests of a number of electronic voting machines that recorded shockingly high numbers of extra votes in the 2010 election show that overheating may have caused upwards of 30 percent of votes in some South Bronx voting precincts to go uncounted."
longacre writes: ""Suzy Harriston wanted to be friends on Facebook. The profile said she was from Clayton [Missouri] and had more than 300 friends, many of them from Clayton High School. No one seemed to question who Harriston was. That is, until the night of April 5, when a 2011 grad and former Clayton quarterback posted a public accusation. "Whoever is friends with Suzy Harriston on Facebook needs to drop them. It is the Clayton Principal," wrote Chase Haslett." Suzy Harriston quickly disappeared from Facebook, and Louise Losos, the principal, subsequently took a leave of absence, and then resigned."
longacre writes: "When Space Shuttle Discovery goes on display at the Smithsonian next month, it will be a shell of its former self, with most of its critical systems removed. Here's a behind the scenes look at the removal of the engines and their replica replacements, as well as photos of the orbiter in various states of deconstruction."
longacre writes: "One dull morning last week, two teams of NASA technicians simultaneously gathered at two iconic buildings—the 525-foot Vehicle Assembly Building and the shorter, but equally important, Orbital Processing Facility 1 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, tasked with moving a space shuttle orbiter from one building to the other thus effectively swapping their positions. The “shuttle shuffle” would have Space Shuttle Discovery (the oldest and most flown orbiter surviving in the three-ship fleet) in OPF-1 swapping places with her sister ship, Atlantis, the second oldest and second most flown orbiter. Fleet leader Discovery would emerge from OPF-1 as a preserved spacecraft, gutted and mummified for museum display."
The honor is dually fitting, not only because Virgin is a tech-forward company and the only airline based in Silicon Valley, but also because the plane is an Airbus — undoubtedly the "Mac" to Boeing's "PC" in the endless debate over who makes the better airliner."
longacre writes: "Three deadly airliner crashes over the course of 10 years in the 1980s and 1990s forever changed how winter weather flight operations in the United States are conducted, spurring advances in technology including infrared hangars to melt ice and new chemical solutions."
longacre writes: "Just a few months after the New York City Dept. of Education shelled out over $1 million on iPads for teachers, the agency has stopped accepting new users on its Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync server as it is "operating near its resource limits" due to an influx of iOS and Android devices. A memo from the deputy CTO warned, "Our Exchange system is currently operating near its resource limits and in order to prevent Exchange from exceeding these limits, we need to take action to prevent any more of these devices from being configured to receive email. As of Thursday, November 10th no additional users will be allowed to receive email via NYCDOE's Exchange ActiveSync." Existing setups will continue to operate, and students will not be affected."
longacre writes: "Approximately 22,000 miles above the Earth, $300 million worth of retired satellites are simply taking up space in geosynchronous orbit. Like anything a bit elderly, they might have problems, but they'(TM)re far from useless. A network of robotic satellites being developed by DARPA could put them back to work."
longacre writes: In the biggest breakthrough yet toward discovering the cause of the mysterious crash, French investigators this past weekend successfully downloaded the entire record of data from the recently retrieved flight data and voice recorders of Air France Flight 447.
longacre writes: "How does Boeing test the braking limits on the largest aircraft they've ever built? File the brake pads down to the rivets, load up the plane to nearly a million pounds, gun the engines to 200 mph, then mash the brakes as hard as possible and watch them burst into flames."
longacre writes: Rarely is much attention paid to one of the most important design aspects of modern jet engines: the pieces of metal and composites that enclose them. Aviation safety expert David J. Williams explores the history and evolution of the engine cowling.
longacre writes: "At this year’s Super Bowl, AT&T is promising free wi-fi for all its customers. With over 100,000 fans expected to be in attendance, some serious computing power is needed. Here are details on the 8 million feet of ethernet cable, 6 million feet of copper wiring, 260 miles of fiberoptic cable and computing power aimed at giving fans instant digital gratification."
longacre writes: At this year’s Super Bowl, AT&T is promising free wi-fi for all its customers. With over 100,000 fans expected to be in attendance, some serious computing power is needed. Here are details on the 8 million feet of ethernet cable, 6 million feet of copper wiring, 260 miles of fiberoptic cable and computing power aimed at giving fans instant digital gratification.