* Posts by cordwainer 1

202 publicly visible posts • joined 20 Jun 2009


Google's news algorithm serves up penis pills

cordwainer 1

Re: Curious minds want to know...

These appear for me in the Standard Edition (not personalized), and regardless of whether I'm logged into my account or not. The number of articles is lower when not logged in, or when switching to a different computer/browser.

All irrelevant, though. Personalized or not, tracking or no, the equivalent of spam shouldn't be able to show up in the Health Section any more than comparable emails should show up in my Inbox. Comparable emails are routed to Spam where they belong - why are these articles not dealt with in similar fashion? And why the Health section only? Putting this on squarely on Google - don't blame the victim, LOL.

Web ads are reading my keystrokes and I can’t even spel propperlie

cordwainer 1

Re: Buying car parts is always fun...

Well of course that subject line doesn't really work. Tsk. It should be, "Are you turned on by LUCAS 6A256 TRACTOR IGNITION SWITCH?"

PC World's cloudy backup failed when exposed to ransomware

cordwainer 1
Big Brother

That it was advertised as "military safe"...

should have warned her it would fubar eventually.

Virtually no one is using Apple Music even though it is utterly free

cordwainer 1

Apples and oranges...er, Spotify, Pandora, etc - how about a realistic comparison?

C'mon, El Reg....we expect you to be outrageous, and love you for it, but this pitiful clickbait is unworthy of the Snarkmeister of IT.

No, I'm not defending or complimenting Apple's music service. It's not up to snuff yet, not by a long shot.

But the "virtually no one" headline, and the rather absurd comparison between number of subscribers to long-standing, quite different services vs. a fledging one, is yet another example of rehashed tweets masquerading as journalistic analysis.

Has everyone forgotten Spotify's early days? The multiple security problems? The limits they placed on number of plays? The lack of mobile service at launch? The multiple and confusing subscription plans? Etc.?

Or that Pandora's business and service model is completely different from either, and difficult to compare?

Pandora, for example, has been around since about 2004 in some form or another. That's 11 years, and even now it's not available worldwide. Plus the majority of its revenue comes from advertising, not subscriptions. Most of its users are on the free service - maybe 5% are paying subscribers. And if industry figures are correct, they've lost almost half their users in the past 3 years.

Re Spotify, I don't usually quote Wikipedia, but the figures checked out, and it's succinctly phrased: "Spotify was launched in October 2008 by Swedish startup Spotify AB. On 15 September 2010, the service had approximately 10 million users, including 2.5 million users with paid subscriptions."

So after 2 years Spotify only had 7.5 million FREE subscribers, and until 2012 discriminated against non-US free users by limiting them to 5 plays per song. Even by August of 2012, almost 4 years after inception, they had a mere 4 million paid subscribers.

A sloppy, amateurish comparison of a new service (even one from Apple) to products that vary wildly, have already gone through years of adjustments and tweaks, and which have received their own billions of dollars in capital injections, provides no useful benchmark for how Apple's service compares in any realistic terms.

On a slightly different note: a fun idea for a future article would be to compare the status of ALL competing services at the 1-year mark, including some intelligent commentary on how current technology might have altered their history for better or worse.

This, however, is piffle.

Feds: Bloke 'HACKED PLANE controls' – from his PASSENGER seat

cordwainer 1

Those interested in a more technical discussion by commercial aviation professionals....

Might want to visit the Professional Pilots Rumor Network at pprune.org and read the following threads in the PPRuNe Forums:

PPRuNE Worldwide > North America > "Hacker turns a/c"

Flight Deck Forums > Tech Log > "pax wifi networks again..."

Note: PLEASE LURK ONLY. PPRuNe is not an amateur or enthusiast site. As its name implies, it is a forum primarily for professional pilots, commercial air crew, and others who work in commercial aviation. Except in the Misc. Forums, comments by "outsiders" are discouraged and generally unwelcome. Profanity, personal attacks, name-calling and flames are prohibited. The rules are enforced via deletion of comments and, often, the commenter's account. Also, ignorant questions are poorly tolerated or ignored, so be prepared to look up for yourself any terms or acronyms you don't know.

But if you're willing to make the effort, pprune.org is one of the best sites to hit for reliable information, competent analysis, and intelligent theorizing, whenever there is any kind of air-related incident in the news.

cordwainer 1

Re: "utter bollocks", other sources show FBI and LE not that stupid

If you read some other news sources, you'll find this quote:

"Senior law enforcement officials said Sunday that no evidence gathered thus far suggests that such a capability, as outlined by Roberts, exists. 'While we will not comment on specific allegations, there is no credible information to suggest an airplane's flight control system can be accessed or manipulated from its in flight entertainment system. Nevertheless, attempting to tamper with the flight control systems of aircraft is illegal and any such attempts will be taken seriously by law enforcement.'

That last sentence is a major point, i.e., that even ATTEMPTING to tamper with actual flight controls is a crime. So is CLAIMING you've tampered with a plane, or passenger safety, whether you did or not.

Roberts is the one who is stupid, if he actually told the FBI he managed to issue a Climb command during a commercial flight - potentially endangering everyone on board - yet somehow figured he wouldn't get in trouble for his statements. He's also stupid if he really thinks even jokingly threatening to release cabin oxygen masks is not going to get the Feds' attention.

That he actually DID tamper with locked, sealed onboard equipment is sufficient for him to be charged with a crime for that matter. Hell, it's illegal to tamper with the restroom smoke detector, and people have been charged and fined for that. Why would Roberts think tampering with the entertainment system - especially in the way he described - would be any different? He's not crew or airline personnel. That stuff is off limits to passengers - Period.

So his tweet was not substantively different than someone claiming they managed to sneak a gun onboard. Or phoning in a phony bomb threat. You may not actually have sneaked a gun on. You may not have actually planted a bomb. But sneaking a gun onto a fight is a felony, as is making a bomb threat, or having a bomb onboard, whether true or false.

So it's a GOOD thing the FBI and other agencies check out ALL those comments to make sure there is no real danger. And it's a good thing they prosecute idiots who try similar scare tactics.

In Roberts case...when you claim you have, multiple times, interacted with actual flight control systems, AND you claim you intentionally, however briefly, took over control from the actual pilots....well, you should be smart enough to know of COURSE the Feds are going to have a nice long talk with you, and explain why messing around with any onboard system is a big, BIG no-no, whether you do any harm or not

Frankly, I also think Roberts is full of crap. But it's unbelievable he doesn't "get" that his claims and tweets are the same as joking about a bomb to your seatmate while getting ready for takeoff. You just don't do that shit.

Plane crash blamed on in-flight SELFIES

cordwainer 1

Re: Image date/time or call time compared to crash time?

You do understand there was no "landing"?

cordwainer 1

Re: So wait

That's just the summary report - the Full Narrative is at


and contains a great deal more detail. The NTSB's conclusions seem sound and logical.

cordwainer 1

Re: So wait

No as quoted, the body of the NTSB report says: “it is likely that cell phone use during the accident flight distracted the pilot and contributed to the development of spatial disorientation and subsequent loss of control.”

The report does not present this as a certainty, nor does it state this caused the accident. It is merely noted as a contributing factor.

NTSB reports are really very thorough - if you read the entire report, you can see in detail why they reached the conclusion it was likely and a contributing factor, though not necessarily causative.

Whatever the reason(s), the pilot's spacial disorientation certainly did occur, as did the loss of control and stall.

Breaking records: Google exec in terrifying SKY PLUNGE DRAMA

cordwainer 1

Re: Sorry, but Kittinger still has the biggest balls...

You definitely have a point :-) Plus Stapp is also the reason automobiles are so much safer than they used to be. He wouldn't stop badgering the auto industry and the feds to mandate the better crash protection he helped create for everyone, not just pilots.

An upvote in salute to Stapp.

cordwainer 1

Sorry, but Kittinger still has the biggest balls...

Considering he jumped from 102,800 feet (31,300 m) - almost 20 miles up - from an open gondola, wearing only a pressurized flight suit, and multiple layers of clothing for protection from temperatures as low as 94 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit). Carrying the 155 lbs of gear needed to keep him alive during a 1 1/2 hour ascent...12 minutes hanging in near-space waiting for the OK to jump... a 4 1/2 minute fall trailing a 6-foot stabilizer chute.

With his right hand in severe pain, swollen to twice its normal size owing to a pressurization malfunction in his right glove.

After having survived two previous similar high altitude jumps, during one of which the drogue chute malfunctioned, and he blacked out from the 120 rpm flat spin he went into, coming to only when his emergency chute opened at 10,000 ft.

He landed using a 28-foot round parachute, still weighted down by all the gear, because the heavy metal seat box was dangling from the one strap his useless right hand was unable to release. The box slammed into his leg as he hit the ground in what he said was the hardest landing he ever had.

Unbelievably, he suffered no lasting damage from any of the jumps. His hand returned to normal size by the next day. In addition to his many previous accomplishments, medals, and awards, he went on to set even more ballooning, sky-diving, and flight records, and even survived being shot down in Vietnam and spending 11 months as a POW in the "Hanoi Hilton".

The USAF project Kittinger participated in was also intended to save lives, and did. It proved pilots could bail out safely from high altitude and avoid a "death" spin...even with minimal protection. He was also part of Baumgartner's team - a man who in the end Baumgartner came to respect so greatly, he wanted only Kittinger communicating with him during his own jump.

So it's a crime Kittinger isn't even mentioned in these recent articles. His record stood for 52 years, and was only broken when enough money was finally spent on much safer technology.

Eustace - to be fair - obviously had good intentions. He was willing to invest his own money in something he believed in. And yes, it took real guts to make the jump. There are very few people who are that courageous.

But if you want to see something genuinely amazing, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2JYklqLpEc - and before you watch the whole thing, go first to the 3:25 mark.

Compare what you see to the technology protecting Baumgartner and Eustace.

Neither of them is a coward. Both deserve credit for what they did.

But when it comes to balls, neither is anywhere close to measuring up to Joseph Kittinger.

Trips to Mars may be OFF: The SUN has changed in a way we've NEVER SEEN

cordwainer 1

Re: Why 400 days for men and 300 days for women?

The longer you live, the better your chances of getting cancer, radiation or no radiation.

But then, the longer you live, the more likely you are to die in general...


Yes, the women in the Mars Colony may end up with cancer, but they'll probably still be tending the hydroponic garden after the men have turned to fertilizer.

cordwainer 1

Re: Another reason...it's not the radiation....

it's Eccentrica Gallumbits

cordwainer 1

Re: Winter is coming....

"Lhude sing Goddamm."

CURSE YOU, 'streaming' music services! I want a bloody CD

cordwainer 1

Now Now....

Let's not confuse the medium with the message...or in this case, the plural of medium - media - which is what the rest of us are discussing.

Wall Street's internet darlings require an endless supply of idiots

cordwainer 1

Best quote, which I want to send to thousands of people...

"...weakening property rights means everyone profits from the work except the person who creates it."

Amen. A point apparently lost on those who try to claim copyright and patents are infringements on free speech. A point that should be driven like a spike into their tiny brains until they get it.

Sure, intellectual property law desperately needs overhauling. The ridiculous over-extension of copyright, the bullshit patent extensions for alleged but non-existent "significant" changes, and many more abuses exist and need to be righted. A lot of families and corporations got greedy, and lobbied and bribed a corrupt Congress to help them profit forever from someone else's work. The law needs fixing.

But I'm tired of hearing idiots try to claim piracy is not theft. If they're going to steal, they should at least have the balls to admit that's what they're doing, not resort to chicken-shit whining about "ideals" or "rights". You don't fight lies with lies.

UK WhatsApp duo convicted of possessing extreme porn

cordwainer 1

Re: That's just plain wrong...

Any form of pornography that involves willful abuse of living creatures is extreme. Bestiality is not simply a fetish or a branch of pornography. It is animal abuse. Just as sex with children is child abuse.

No, merely having the misfortune to be sent illegal spam, or not knowing deleted items may still reside on one's computer, should not be a crime.

But bestiality certainly should be, and rightly is, and pornography that includes it is rightly termed "extreme" as that term is defined in the Act.

Rosetta's comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is one FUGLY space rock

cordwainer 1

@Mike Bell: Very nice, you can see the cupholder in that one,,,

interestingly BEHIND the saddle, which raises a few questions about the rider's anatomy.

IT blokes: would you say that lewd comment to a man? Then don't say it to a woman

cordwainer 1

In fairness....

The title was probably not written by the author, particularly the IT blokes part, which is pure Reg. And the article clearly speaks to such behavior being unacceptable in any industry.


1) There is an IT angle here, as required on the Reg...we're presumably smart enough to recognize the author isn't saying the problem is confined to IT.

2) IT is still overwhelmingly male-dominated. I'm not complaining. It's simply a statistic.

3) A "minority" - including a situational minority such as 10 women at a 100-person event - is statistically more likely to have an unpleasant encounter with a majority member than vice versa.

4) Those who engage in inappropriate behavior usually attempt to hide the behavior. The obvious attempt at secrecy is part of the creep factor.

5) Your last paragraph is scarily ignorant. Being "ogled" (which is NOT what the writer described, by the way) is not automatically pleasant simply because the ogler is physically "attractive".

Any more than being robbed at gunpoint by a really, really beautiful woman gets you your money back...

Any more than being shot by an incredibly attractive murderer makes you any less dead.

It's not just women, by the way: I've heard male colleagues make similar complaints over the years: attractive women at business events acting like the herd of males is theirs to hunt; presuming intimacy, making sexual comments; touching them constantly while talking to them; standing too close, or obviously showing off their tits. They talked to me about it, because it made them uncomfortable and creeped out too.

"Handsome is as handsome does." As true today as it ever was.

Forcing something unwanted on another human being is the problem we are describing here. No one gives a damn if the one doing the forcing is a fashion model or Gollum. It's creepy, repulsive, and nauseating. That it's also unprofessional is just one more nail in the coffin.

cordwainer 1

Re: You'll Get The Respect You Deserve

Good grief, did you really write these things? Were you sober?

"If you're not getting the respect you believe you deserve then that needs to be dealt with internally, inside your head"

"this is 100% an issue of self respect, or lack thereof."

"you coming off as the weak person"

"you are presenting yourself as the easiest to dominate"

"start by respecting yourself. Which you clearly don't. "

LOL. No. Stop blaming the victim. It's the oldest trick in the book. It's what criminals and abusers always do. "It's his fault I'm in jail, because he called the cops." "I had to shoot him; he wouldn't give me his money like I told him too."

Your comment does, however, beautifully exemplify the real problem: those in the wrong trying to justify their behavior by any means possible.

Well, it doesn't matter how clever a justification they construct. They're still in the wrong. And you, sir, may be an intelligent man, but you mindlessly parrot the language of abuse.

Those of us with genuine self respect recognize it for what it is: one more assault, one more little sadist enjoying the hell out of making people upset or angry, then trying to claim it's the target who is too thin-skinned. One of those who defends or, possibly, even gets off on hurting others, especially the part where you try to bully them into taking the blame.

Because what you wrote is about the same as saying, "So he got pissed off and broke your nose. So what? If you can't deal with belligerent drunks, find another job."

Too funny. Thankfully, truly intelligent people in that situation take the intelligent route: We file charges for assault, let the experts deal with it, and get on with things.

We know who is at fault. And it isn't us.

cordwainer 1

OK, female here again: If I could I'd downvote this particular portion repeatedly:

"I'm guessing from my own long time experience as a geek in the industry that you're either overdramatising this A WHOLE LOT, or you are VERY attractive. If its the former, shame on you."

What a, sad, misogynistic statement.

HOWEVER: I'm going to support you on one thing, and one thing only: Yes, oh yes, there are WAY too many women out there who still think it's the guy's responsibility to ask them out, pay for dinner, etc. Who are mentally stuck in some childish, fantasy world of handsome princes and poor princesses who need to be rescued and taken care of ever after.

If those same women demand "equality" at the same time they demand Prince Charming, they should be called out for the hypocrites they are.

But that's it. Because, as to the rest of your commment, you can't know too many women if you think MOST of those demanding equality are unwilling to "step up" and take a truly equal role.

I pay my own way. Even 30 years ago, I asked guys out to dinner, or some other event, took the initiative. Often, because I invited them, I told them it was my treat, and picked up the check.

Like everyone else, I've gotten rejected and shot down sometimes. But I frankly don't know too many women who would hesitate to ask a guy out, and I can't even remember the last time I met another woman who thought it was the man's responsibility to "find/establish" a relationship.

Your comment may speak to your own personal experiences and disappointments...but it doesn't recognize the larger reality of modern life as a whole.

The author got it right, sadly. Every woman I know has heard some comment like that in her life, most multiple times, in work and social situations. We just don't tend to share the stories publicly because, I'll admit, we don't want to open ourselves up to more nastiness.

But the author has the courage I lacked. She thought it was important enough, she knowingly made herself a target for the kind of cheap shot you just took.

So, no, not shame on her. Shame on YOU.

cordwainer 1

Re: What about a man in a female dominated environment

Yes, this. And I'm female. It's no more acceptable when women behave like assholes to men than vice versa, and I'm increasingly embarrassed by members of my gender who try to defend this kind of double standard.

In fact, that's exactly what the title of this article points out: you don't treat another human being any differently simply because of their gender. You don't make offensive, unprofessional, inappropriate, or abusive comments to anyone. Perioed.

Sadly, I am seeing not only more male-bashing in the workplace by women....I'm seeing more women treating other women like dirt, as if success in the corporate world requires one to be hard-nosed to the point of rudeness or out-and-out abuse.

I've alway been perplexed and depressed by women and men who treat the opposite sex as if they were non or lesser human beings. Thank heavens, it really is a minority of people who do this, but it's frightening that society manages to go on perpetuating stereotypes so obliviously.

And last: there is unfortunately some truth in what a few commenters have asked. In my experience, this actually is more common with American males. There is nothing to be said in their defense, however, American television constantly portrays workplaces and social situations - in both fictional and "reality" shows - where exactly this sort of outrageous behavior occurs on a regular basis, and is often encouraged. This applies to males and females alike, as characters of both genders are too often really objectionable, nasty people.

When enough viewers allow themselves to be bombarded daily by horrible examples, the poison will inevitably begin to affect at least some of them.

I've actually seen one colleague begin behaving increasingly badly while he was hooked on a particular reality show. When several of us sat him down one day to ask him if he was OK - thinking something might be wrong - he was genuinely shocked at some of the examples of his own behavior we relayed to him.

I agree wholeheartedly with the article and many other commenters: that kind of behavior is totally beyond acceptable. Had I experienced it, I would, yes, have walked right over to the company's booth, and relayed the experience to them, word for word, then asked for the President/CEO's name and address so I could send a follow-up letter.

Great article, thanks!

Listen: WORST EVER customer service call – Comcast is 'very embarrassed'

cordwainer 1

This old article from NPR shows Comcast hasn't changed a bit, and is lying...

see http://www.npr.org/books/titles/332351358/your-call-is-not-that-important-to-us-customer-service-and-what-it-reveals-about?tab=excerpt#excerpt

It's a VERY long article, and worth reading in its entirety....but if you haven't the time or patience, just read the beginning, i.e., the past stories about other Comcast customer service outrages, all of them ALSO, nationally and internationally broadcast and discussed on major networks and in major newspapers, seen and read by millions of people.

They obviously aren't embarrassed at all by negative publicity, no matter how pervasive. They don't care. Their executives are simply liars.

MYSTERIOUS Siberia CRATER: ALIENS or METEOR not involved, officials insist

cordwainer 1

Mynocks, Morlocks and Molemen...

would be a great song title

cordwainer 1

Re: Giant Gofers

Alien Whack-A-Mole? Waiting for the next hole to appear....

That stirring LOHAN motto: Anyone know a native Latin speaker?

cordwainer 1

Hi James 36...

Since I don't think anyone else has explained, to understand the joke behind "the romans they go the house", you have to be familiar with Monty Python's "Life of Brian" - where the centurian is correcting the Latin grammar of some graffiti.

LOHAN seeks stirring motto for spaceplane mission patch

cordwainer 1

Re: Or just the classic....

Duh - I should know better than to use Google's translation. Thanks for the correction (written while slapping self)

cordwainer 1

Or just the classic....

Pilas Ad Parietem

if simplicity is preferred

cordwainer 1

Ballockets Ad Parietem - or if it must be Latin only...

Aerostati Ad Parietem (literally "balloons to the wall")

or (the only usable attempt to create a Latin portmanteau word):

Pilacendii Ad Parietem

combining "pila" (ball - also a possible translation of balloon per several sources) with the plural of "incendium" (an incendiary missile).

Of course, while I intended pilacendii to be equivalent to ballocket, it probably is closer to "flaming flying balls", which might make even a brave Playmonaut pilot uncomfortable.

The most common translations of "balloon" were "aerostatum" (airship, hot-air balloon) and "vesica" (balloon or bladder, but not necessarily something intended to rise). I found no good translation of "rocket" except as salad. "Rucheta" appears related to architecture or surveying, and Google's "fusce" is apparently wrong, even according to Google when re-translated to English.

Someone who actually knows Latin could probably do better, and is likely snickering at my ignorance... 8-}


You 'posted' a 'letter' with Outlook... No, NO, that's the MONITOR

cordwainer 1

Re: Noting error messages....Let's be fair here...

The point is: end users AREN'T computer experts. Maybe you're dealing with "professionals" all the time. I'm not.

Do you really expect the average end user to learn multiple procedures for reporting an error? Copy the text, UNLESS it's "one of the many" dialogs that don't support copying, then do something else...then do something else... Yeah right. Bugger that.

In other words: I realize my job is to make things easier for THEM, not the other way around.

I have no problem with them e-mailing me, as an attachment, the JPG that results from the screenshot programs I have them use. Never had a problem with any of them.

Plumbers don't sneer at customers who can't fix their own sinks. Surgeons don't sneer at patients who can't remove their own appendix.

Only in the tech world, seemingly, is it for some reason considered acceptable to be consistently rude, insulting, and unprofessional toward those asking for professional help. How depressing.

cordwainer 1

Re: Noting error messages....Let's be fair here...

Some error messages DON'T stay on screen indefinitely, so are long gone before the user can read them to tech support.

OK, so you remind users over and over to "tell" you the error message...er, yes, but how do you suggest they do this? It's unbelievable that most tech support people I've worked with either complain the user "didn't remember" it (didn't instantly memorize a multi-character error code and the surrounding technical jargon?), or - worse - complain the user didn't "write it down."

I'm sorry....what century is this again?

First, if you're having to repeat things over and over, maybe the problem is you're not repeating anything useful. Maybe you should consider making a practical suggestion as to how a non-technical person go about reporting what is often a very, very technical error, accurately, and EASILY.

Everyone I support knows how to take a screenshot of an error message and e-mail it to me - including my 82-year-old father, who is by no means a technical genius. I make it as easy as possible by installing one of a couple of simple, free, screenshot programs that make the process a breeze - accessible via a keyboard shortcut or an icon in the System Tray.

Too many people would forget the Windows command..but once an icon was available, they remembered to do the screenshot every single time.

What if the computer is completely frozen? Well, that's less usual, considering most errors I hear about aren't the ones that take down the OS completely.

But on those occasions, if their only option is to write the error message down, NOW they actually DO. Once reporting error messages was made dead simple, they learned it was to their benefit, and so now they WANT to do it.

And one lovely man took a picture of the error on his frozen computer... with his cell phone camera. He then texted the pic to me before he called to ask for help...which I hated, of course because I didn't think of it first. Of course, I stole the idea and now suggest that as an alternative where possible.

Oh, by the way, 75% of my home clients are over the age of 65, and frankly, they are much better students than the younger professionals I deal with at work.

But then, all my clients (and most of my work users) get a little cheat sheet of basic terminology. I go over it with them, to make certain they know which thingamabob is which, what button does what, that they're oriented with regard to standard toolbars, menus, control panels, and crucial keyboard shortcuts. And yes, it includes a few warnings as to what they should NEVER do.

This can be accomplished without making people feel like idiots. I've found even folks who claim they already know everything are happy to take the cheat sheet to "pass along" to someone who "really" needs it. (This rarely happens, interestingly. Most of the sheets end up posted somewhere near the computer...although several clients HAVE claimed it's only there because their spouse needs it...ahem.)

It's sad that the computer industry and tech support professionals alike have largely failed users, especially over the past decade, by acting as if the basics are somehow acquired via osmosis.

They've failed their clients and customers through arrogance and condescension, instead of being the vanguard for education of the new users coming into the market daily.

If WE won't help teach them, who will?

(Oh, and in closing: though normally I'm a big proponent of professionalism and good manners, it's nonetheless my opinion anyone who uses the word "intuitive" with regard to any aspect of computing should be taken out and slapped. Thank you.)

Alabama quadchopper hits THREE THOUSAND FEET next to AIRPORT

cordwainer 1

Then they need to LEARN where air lanes and airports are...

BEFORE they start flying anything around willy-nilly. For heavens sake: airspace maps are public and posted online in numerous locations. Or there are remote aircraft clubs that help educate users, and for the most part encourage responsibility, as well as choosing safe places to fly.

Drone users should do likewise. If they can't be bothered, or are too stupid to realize such things as restricted airspace even exist, then I've no sympathy if they have the book thrown at them by every relevant regulatory agency out there.

cordwainer 1

Bird strikes have more recently taken down large passenger jets...

The best known example being the "Miracle on the Hudson" five years ago, where US Airways Flight 1549 lost both engines to Canadian geese, and ditched in the Hudson River.

One study from 1999 estimated bird strikes cause $1.2 Billon (US) damage annually worldwide, to commercial jets alone (i.e., not including private, military, or other aircraft).

Deaths are rarer, but they happen, by FAA estimates at least 200 since 1988.

Airports can to some extent keep birds away. A number of methods have been successful in reducing large flocks around most major airfields.

But a drone, or a model airplane, will not be frightened away by those measures, and either is harder for a pilot to see than even a single flapping bird.

Anyone who flies ANY aircraft into commercial airspace without notice - remote controlled or otherwise, and regardless of size - is an irresponsible idiot.

Amazon reseller lobs sueball at etailer and Apple over listings yank

cordwainer 1

Re: Never ascribe to malice…

It really doesn't matter whether the cause is malice or stupidity, or disregard of contract or law, etc. Amazon is not so big it is exempt from being held liable when its actions cause harm.

On the contrary: the larger the company, and the greater its resources, the less excuse there is for failure to respond quickly to correct egregious errors. With greater power comes greater responsibility, not lesser.

H2F should be commended for taking action against yet another example of corporate carelessness. This is why we have courts and a justice system: for those occasions when injustice has occurred.

Bravo, H2F. Bravo.

#YO_NO! Messaging app 'Yo' gets hit by hackers

cordwainer 1

Re: VC....

@Anonymous Coward

Not familiar with the icons, eh?

cordwainer 1

Re: VC....


You're one of the investors, aren't you?

cordwainer 1

"We are working on the securities issues..."

Working on their IPO seems an odd response to a security breach...

Google spaffs $50 MILLION on 'get girls coding' campaign

cordwainer 1

Re: Here's what feminists do when men are encouraged to go into female-dominated fields

You're applying a single instance to all women in general. Not all women believe men should be discriminated against. Unfortunately, the sexist women who for some reason DO grab more media attention.

I'm female, by the way, and can tell you I've never met another woman who has a problem with men being nurses, dentists, doctors (since when are men discriminated against in medicine, by the way?), psychologists (historically a male-dominated profession, starting with Freud), or veterinarians

In fact, except for nurses, the professions you list historically have ALL been male-dominated. I'm not sure how anyone decided those fields were traditionally female dominated, considering women had to fight to be accepted as doctors, veterinarians (especially in large-animal medicine), psychologists, and dentists, and still face opposition in many medical schools.

But on the flip side, yes, any woman who objects to men entering them - or who believes they should be "female-dominated" fields- is obviously sexist , and I'm embarrassed by them, as are all the women I know. We believe in genuine equality, and hate male-bashers as much as we hate chauvinists. Neither are acceptable.

To state it even more plainly: ANYONE who objects to another human being pursuing the career of his or her choice, solely because of gender, is a sexist, and therefore a bigot. That includes women, who clearly can also be sexist.

Non-bigots don't care what gender you are. They only care how well you do the job.

cordwainer 1


It's not that they inherently WANT to work in lower paying jobs. They're still facing an uphill climb against the good-old-boy network in a lot of higher-paying industries.

I believe this will change, but to claim sexism is not an obstacle (including what seems to be increasing sexism coming from women themselves, depressingly) is to ignore mountains of evidence, lawsuits, and vicious media attacks on women to the contrary.

DON’T add me to your social network, I have NO IDEA who you are

cordwainer 1

This potential lawsuit against LinkedIn might make some of you smile...

"Judge OKs Suit Against LinkedIn Over Marketing Emails...U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh said the professional networking site went too far by sending repeated emails that seemed to come from users..."

Interestingly, the mainstream US media are thus far almost completely silent on this :-)

Fairly decent article at:


cordwainer 1
Thumb Up

Re: hmph!

Bra VO!

Brit lands on Rockall with survival podule, starts record attempt

cordwainer 1

Maybe YOUR government didn't make them join the army....

But here in the US we have something called the "draft".

And compulsory service in wartime (sometimes in peacetime) is not unique to the US.

(I'm not weighing in on either side of the charity or not argument. Just correcting an ignorant statement.)

Tech talk bloke compares girlfriend to irritating Java tool – did he deserve flames?

cordwainer 1


It's not just men who do this, obviously. I'm female, and I'm frequently embarrassed and appalled by members of my own gender who are so clueless they don't even seem to realize they're engaging in exactly the same sort of stereotyping - "reverse chauvinism", so to speak - they deplore in men.

This is a part of a larger societal problem, i.e., continuing to claim there are "boy" things and "girl" things, starting at an early age. Children are too often discouraged - by bad parents, bad teachers, and an avalanche of bad examples in the media, TV, and movies - from pursuing activities or interests termed "unfeminine" or "unmanly".

In reality, neither term has any meaning. There is nothing inherently "unfeminine"about playing sports, studying science, enjoying first-person shooters....nothing inherently "unmanly" about cooking, studying literature, knitting, etc.

Cultures throughout history have managed to define the same activity as both "manly" and "unmanly", "feminine" and "unfeminine". The terms are arbitrary, inconsistent, and obvious nonsense - purely defined by the current whims of a particular society, group, culture, or country.

It's time we faced the truth squarely:

Gender stereotypes are a form of sexism, just as racial stereotypes are a form of racism.

Both sexism and racism are forms of prejudice or bigotry.

Jokes based on gender or racial stereotypes are prejudiced or bigoted jokes.

Sure, people are free to tell them, free to laugh at them (at least in their private life, with their friends, outside of work).

They have freedom of speech. They have the right to be bigots if they choose. They have the right to be prejudiced.

But attempting to camouflage bigotry as humor doesn't magically change it into non-bigotry.

Camouflaging sexism as humor doesn't magically render it non-sexist.

And vilifying as "humorless" anyone who objects to bigoted, stereotypical jokes is a form of bullying and defensiveness.It tries to claim people who object to sexism, or racism, or other -isms, simply "can't take a joke."

Nope - people who object to bigoted jokes are simply non-bigots. They have every right NOT to be bigots, not to be prejudiced, not to be sexists, not to be racists. They have every right to object to all those things if they wish.

And they have not just the right but the OBLIGATION to object to stereotypical humor in some cases. Because alleged "humor" based specifically on sexist, racist, or other stereotypes - HAS NO PLACE IN A PROFESSIONAL OR BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT.

In any business or professional context, there should be Zero Tolerance for ANY form of bigotry, prejudice, sexism, racism, or other -ism - whether phrased as a joke or not.

In business, freedom of speech does NOT apply, but policy and law DO.

Freedom of speech is not an absolute. It is contextual, and always has been.

Men AND Women have forgotten how to behave at work. Both genders - and the companies that employ them - obviously need to be re-educated in the basics of professional behavior.

The workplace is not a bar or your living room, folks. Stop treating it like one.

Feds crack down harder on 'lasing'. Yep, aircraft laser zapping... Really

cordwainer 1

Re: @ imanidiot not according to actual studies, experiments, etc.

I've given links to a lot of data elsewhere - but, basically, it's not an "apples vs oranges comparison". It's a very accurate, apt, relevant comparison.

Try educating yourself on a subject before firing off comments, and you'll be less likely to make a bunch of ignorant, inaccurate ones.

cordwainer 1

A truly scientific mind is not too lazy to do research before arriving at a conclusion.

And a logical mind does not purport no evidence exists simply because its owner has not happened to stumble across it.


Try, for example:

http://www.laserstrikeprotection.com/pdf/Bulletins-n-Reports/ 4%20Effects%20of%20Laser%20Illum.%20on%20Op%20&%20Vis.%20Perf..pdf

A study which involved the FAA, experts in aviation medicine, and an Air Force research lab


Or the case of Dana Christian Welch, sentenced to 30 months in 2009 for pointing a laser at large, commercial aircraft, resulting partly in the actual delay of a critical landing maneuver by an Alaska Airlines jet.

This was not an instance of anecdotal reporting by some hysterical, "unreliable" (to use your word) single pilot, but involved multiple, official reports by airport officials, air traffic controllers, law enforcement, regulatory agencies, aviation investigators, and MULTIPLE pilots - reporting in detail on an extended incident that could have caused a crash during the most crucial part of two separate commercial, passenger flights.



Or note that crashes have been caused by OTHER sudden bursts of bright light, where the pilots involved were not incompetent, or novices. Flashblindness, loss of spatial orientation, temporary disorientation, etc., are cited as contributing to fatal and non-fatal accidents in case after documented case.

This is not based on "anecdotal" evidence, but competent, professional, detailed review by, e.g., the NTSB, which I presume you would consider a reliable and scientific source, if in fact you bother to read their actual reports, which are excellent.

A number of studies have collated and/or summarized this data - I cite only one for brevity, a review of NTSB and FAA accident reports, which states, in part:

"There were 58 reported mishaps that identified vision problems at night resulting from exposure to sources of bright light as a contribut- ing factor in the accident (n=30) or incident (n=28). The majority of accidents (n=17) occurred during the approach and landing phase of flight. Incidents occurred most frequently while taxiing (n=15) and during approach and landing (n=10)."

These are, in the main, NOT laser-related - nonetheless, the majority occur when aircraft are flying very low, or on the ground, precisely where a laser pointer will be at greatest strength and where an aircraft is at its most vulnerable, i.e., having the least amount of time to recover from even a brief distraction.

Included is extensive discussion of why this is a genuine PHYSIOLOGICAL issue, NOT a reflection of the pilot's competence or lack thereof. See:



If you are interested in truly "scientific" inquiry, you might look into the military's research into dangers of night flying and primary causes of crashes, in both training and combat missions. Distraction is always a danger, regardless of the source. Distractions at crucial moments, when there is insufficient time to recover, can trip up the most expert pilots.


Or you might try a PubMed search, which will turn up several papers discussing macular damage from green laser pointers - which I point out less in response to you, by the way, and more in response to some truly idiotic commenters, who tried to claim you could stare directly into a laser pointer for short periods without harm.

This might have been true with lower powered red lasers, and indeed, several studies determined standard, correctly manufactured red laser pointers were unlikely to cause permanent harm.

But doing this with a green laser has resulted in several cases of permanent, irreversible macular damage.

(too many citations to post here, but happy to oblige in another post if requested).


And last: I have not even begun to cite studies done in countries other than the United States.

I leave that research to your fine, logical, scientific mind, which should therefore include a spirit of genuine enquiry and a desire for knowledge.

cordwainer 1

Re: not convinvced

You MIGHT have a point....Except for the actual data, which contradicts your self-focused and unfortunately uninformed opinion.

Such as FAA documentation of 35 pilots in 2013 alone who sought medical attention after being lasered.

Also courtesy of the FAA, and citing numerous studies and statistics, a full report on laser problems and pilot/aircraft safety.

Please note particularly the green vs. red laser issue.

And more particularly, reports by PILOTS and airports of:

"...disorientation resulting in another pilot assuming control, aborted landings, loss of depth perception, and shutting down of runways due to multiple laser strikes."

www.faa.gov/pilots/safety/pilotsafetybrochures/media/ laser_hazards_web.pdf

The full report is worth reading, but here is a quite useful bit:

"The latest reports indicate that aircraft illuminations by handheld lasers are primarily green (91%) in color, as opposed to red (6.3%), which was more common a few years ago. This is significant because the wavelength of most green lasers (532 nm) is close to the eye’s peak sensitivity when they are dark-adapted. A green laser may appear as much as 35 times brighter than a red laser of equal power output. Due to this heightened visibility and increased likelihood of adverse visual effects, illumination by green lasers may result in more events being reported.

Illumination reports often describe several types of adverse effects. These include visual effects (8.2%), pain and/or possible injury (1.6%), and operational problems (3.2%). Operational problems include momentary distraction, disorientation resulting in another pilot assuming control, aborted landings, loss of depth perception, and shutting down of runways due to multiple laser strikes. While only 16.5% of all cockpit illuminations occurred below 2,000 feet (Laser-Free Zone), these incidents accounted for 31% of all visual effects, 42% of all pain or injuries, and 42% of all operational problems reported. Low-attitude illuminations, therefore, result in a greater risk to aviation safety."

cordwainer 1

Re: 14 years?

Not necessarily excessive for deliberately doing something that could have caused two helicopters to crash - i.e., multiple people to die.

Part of a sentence involves premeditation and intent, as well as potential for grievous harm. A shorter sentence for some cases of manslaughter is based obviously partly on lack of premeditation, and other extenuating circumstances, judged on a case-by-case basis. Whereas, had the laser idiot succeeded in causing a crash, he could possibly have been charged with actual murder, and multiple counts thereof.

That said: it's also obvious a message is being sent (given the potential disastrous consequences). As well, this is the US prison system - meaning the guy is likely to be out in much less time. It's quite unlikely he'll serve the entire 14 years.

Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi! 3D HOLO-PHONE hinted in Amazon vid

cordwainer 1

Another mysterious nameless "It"...

So...Virtual Segway?

Could a 'Zunewatch' be Microsoft's next hardware foray?

cordwainer 1

Re: "Xwatch sounds a bit badass..."

Pronounced "ekswatch"? or "zwatch"?