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Comment Re:How many people... (Score 1) 245

I spent a couple of weeks in rural Honduras on a medical mission, and we were in a remote village where there was no clean water, goats roamed the dirt "streets," people lived in mud huts, and to get to the closest physician you had to walk about 20 hours to the nearest town. No electricity and no land lines.

Yet, a bunch of people in this town had cell phones, and service was available and reliable. Honduras's cell coverage was far better than the coverage here in the states, and people in dirty poor areas use them as their only means of communication to the outside world, oftentimes to their relatives in the United States. Doctors without Borders put in a clinic that can be used by visiting physicians, and it has solar panels. People pay a nominal fee to charge their phones off the solar panels.

Smart phones? Yeah, I didn't see any of those. But as they become more ubiquitous and less expensive, I can see them taking hold even in places like this.

Comment Re:bad apple policies (Score 2, Funny) 412

That is ridiculous. You were in your own home, and you were displaying a firearm to show that you had the means to protect your family. Brandishing a firearm is legal when you are concerned about your own safety. How do you think a concealed carry permit holder can draw a firearm to defend himself? By brandishing it, of course.

I'd have had one serious conversation with the lieutenant of that police department. Brandishing their firearms and detaining your whole family like that was excessive.

Comment Re:Automation (Score 1) 403

Oft repeated nonsense. The ultimate control of an Airbus, during fault conditions, is Direct Law, where the pilot control inputs are transmitted unmodified to the control surfaces, providing a direct relationship between sidestick and control surface.

There has been no evidence suggesting that the aircraft was being flown in Direct Law. The automated messages from the aircraft indicated a switch to Alternate Law, and if it had switched to Direct Law while the pilots were still able to fly the aircraft, a report would have been issued to that effect as well. In Alternate Law, there is still a low speed stability function that will cause the aircraft to decrease its angle of attack. This may be overridden, but a pilot accustomed to trusting the safeguards may be reluctant to do so.

And that's really the whole point, isn't it? Be it Alternate Law or Direct Law, the exposure these guys have is going to be limited to simulator time. Figuring out how the aircraft behaves in response to stick inputs under Direct Law while flying through the worst of weather conditions is a recipe for disaster.

Comment Re:correlation versus causation (Score 1) 568

Side effect lists are often very misleading, because of exactly that problem: you can't show causation between the drug and the sign/symptom displayed by the individual, but it must be listed as a side effect if, during the study, the patient shows that sign/symptom. Psychiatric drugs are particularly problematic, because the side effects listed are often the very same conditions that the doc is trying to treat with the drug.

Can these drugs cause some nasty side effects? Sure. Do they cause every single one of the conditions listed in the side effect profile in the PDR more than on an extremely sporadic basis? No.

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