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Comment Don't call it an "autopilot". Teslas don't fly. (Score 1) 128

To call it "Autopilot" is a pernicious deception. Teslas don't fly. The proper aviation context is taxiing, and even it's hands-off from rotation to rollout, taxiing still requires eyeballs out the window and a hand on the tiller (or feet on the rudders.) The aerospace community knows better. There has never been a serious proposal to automate the taxiing task.

Comment Number of speakers is not important. (Score 2) 626

Money talks. Counting the US, UK, Canada, and Australia, fully 30% of the world's GDP is produced in English. Mandarin (70% of Chinese, China produces 13% of the world's GDP) is a distant second at about 9%. We live in an interconnected world, and it speaks English.

Comment Re:For regulation to work... (Score 1) 367

The rampage people are clearly crazy and I would hesitate to even predict how they would react to the site of your weapon. That second, much larger group... they will likely just walk away peacefully. You will pobably never even know what you avoided.

But.. But.. You want the criminal to pull a weapon on you so you can shoot him and be famous in the "Armed Citizen" page in the NRA magazines and then everyone will know how brave you are and all the chicks will dig you and the tires on your truck will get bigger and everything!!

Comment Re:No time zones, no DST, centons (Score 3, Informative) 277

Sounds good. Where do I sign up?

Set your Wayback Machine for the French Revolution, Paris, France, 5 October 1793. The French National Convention issued the proclamation: XI. Le jour, de minuit à minuit, est divisé en dix parties, chaque partie en dix autres, ainsi de suite jusqu’à la plus petite portion commensurable de la durée.

There are clocks in French museums with 10 hours in a day, 100 minutes in an hour and 100 seconds in a minute.

Comment Was the NSA watching while it was happening? (Score 2) 219

Clapper: “We could see that the IP addresses that were being used to post and to send e-mails were coming from IPs that were exclusively used by the North Koreans.”
Is he claiming that the NSA was watching the attack and data exfiltration while it was happening? Could they or should they have stopped it?

Comment Re:if not collecting the data (Score 2) 75

"It's not a matter of having to run new lines out to the boonies - if they take credit cards, they can likely accept NFC payments."


Like most small businesses, ours takes credit cards, and the reader is connected to the dialup fax line. Swipe the card, enter a number and... wait until it dials, Beep Boop Beez Buzzzzz it sounds like a 14,400 modem in there. Takes about 30 seconds, assuming that the fax line isn't busy. Not a problem when you only swipe a few dozen a day, but the whole point of the shiny flashy phone is that you tap and go. We're not going to invest in the infrastructure to save our clients 30 seconds once a week.

Comment Re:Truly a 1st world problem (Score 3, Interesting) 242

"Pilots can use them, passengers can't?" Here's why. I spent my career in aerospace, the final two years on experiments involving these Electronic Flight Bags (In my case, ruggedized PCs, not iPads.) There has been hundreds of hours of testing, both in labs and aircraft to show that a particular model of iPad will not cause electronic interference to the controls or other safety critical systems... for that particular iPad model only. The pilot can't just go buy the next gen fondle slab and carry it aboard. Only the model and rev that has been approved. New hardware would require the testing process to begin all over again.

So, maybe if the avionics supplier who bought them from Apple and spent a lot of money going through the approval process would allow you access to their proprietary certification data, you could make a case to the FAA to allow you to use --that exact iPad-- during takeoff and landing. Good luck.

Comment Semiconductors DO degrade. was: Re:The CD format (Score 1) 434

Semiconductors do degrade over time. They're made of pure silicon (an insulator) which has been precisely contaminated in specific places with very small quantities of dopants (e. g. boron, phosphorous) giving one side of the junction an excess of electrons and the other side a scarcity. Over time, the dopants diffuse across the junction, changing the characteristics of the transistor by leveling out the excess/scarcity gradient. A 25 year old transistor will no longer meet it's specs. A diode will have greatly increased reverse leakage. AND gates turn into MAYBE gates.

Some capacitors will degrade quickly, some will last much longer. Ceramic capacitors will last a century, electrolytics at most 20 years. The electrolyte dries out.

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