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Do backups on Linux no longer matter?

stoborrobots Re:If you have to ask the question, the answer is (5 comments)

To sum it up, if you don't realize that backups are needed...

He's saying that he realizes that backups are needed, but a core backup program has had the inability to restore from incremental backups for over 2 years, and no-one is screaming about it. So he's asking if everyone else is ignoring their backups.

about a week ago

Future Airline Safety Instructions Will Be Given By Game Apps

stoborrobots Re:Oh great (64 comments)

I fly between 4 and 6 sectors per month, on average. I can practically recite the various safety briefings for two different airlines, across 5 different aircraft types. Yes, I've heard them. Yes, I find it ridiculous that after 30 years of flying, I still have to listen to them telling people how to put on their seatbelt. And I'm certainly not a fan of blind adherance to authoritarian protocols.

However, I have had experience in designing risk minimisation procedures, and safety/security system design. And over the many flights I've been on, I've frequently thought about how I would re-design the process, if I was appointed benevolent dictator over the aviation industry.

Ultimately, the question is: what process will increase the chance that the average person on the average flight will do the right thing under emergency conditions? (With the secondary goal of providing the least annoyance to regular customers.)

* Some sort of opt-out for those who fly frequently on the same service? How would you record/manage it?

* Only taking new customers through the briefing? Now you have to do the spiel 25 times for 25 different passengers in different parts of the plane, rather than once for all 190 passengers.

* Pre-flight training? On that scale?

* Better designed spiels? What would need to be included? What could we take out?

* More detailed instructions? Then they'd be longer and even less interesting than at present...

* Humour? (Like the Independence Air celebrity safety briefings?)

And when I think through the options and all the implications, the best thing I can come up with amounts to little more than minor tweaking to the existing safety demonstration.

about a week ago

Future Airline Safety Instructions Will Be Given By Game Apps

stoborrobots Re:Oh great (64 comments)

Nothing I said is limited to landings on runways (other than my use of the phrase "touches down"). Yeah, my wording was a little sloppy, which made it sound like I was talking about a "taxiway fender-bender", but I meant in any situation where the pilot makes an unexpected landing, whether on land or water.

If the plane lands in a way which leads to the plane disintegrating, nothing will save you.

If the plane lands in a way which is unusual, but leaves large chunks of the plane undestroyed, following simple safety procedures will significantly reduce the amount of physical injury you experience.

The safety instructions contemplate the latter situation, not the former.

about a week ago

Future Airline Safety Instructions Will Be Given By Game Apps

stoborrobots Re:Oh great (64 comments)

It's not like you're missing anything, if the plane comes crashing down having your tray table up won't safe you...

This is an example of where a lack of understanding of the risks involved leads to a lack of appreciation of the safety requirement.

You're right: in a "falling out of the air" crash where the aircraft is destroyed, having the tray table secured won't save you.

However, the vast majority of aircraft don't fall out of the sky.

Let's consider the real likely outcomes:

The plane touches down a little too fast, and decelerates particularly hard. Almost certainly all the passengers will survive. Having your tray table down allows it to fly upwards as a result of the braking force, hitting your chin on the way through and giving you either severe whiplash, a broken jaw, or a concussion. Having your tray table secured will ensure that none of those happen, and the worst possible outcome is moderate whiplash.

Similarly with having the seat back upright vs reclined: a passenger thrown forward as a result of the rapid deceleration is more likely to hit a reclined seat (which is thus closer to them) than an upright one.

Being in the brace position means that your body is as far forward as it physically can go, which reduces the likelihood that your head or arms are thrown forward into the seat in front.

The safety instructions are not there to help you survive a destructive crash, they're there to reduce the number of injuries you receive in a non-fatal crash.

about two weeks ago

Apple: Dumb As a Patent Trolling Fox On iPhone Prior Art?

stoborrobots Re:Yes, yes it is. (408 comments)

Touchscreen in the mid-80's? Even if so, how does that relate to the positioning of a keyboard and trackball/trackpad?

By "touchscreen" he means trackpad...

about two weeks ago

USB Reversable Cable Images Emerge

stoborrobots Re:Voltage != Power (208 comments)

Although I'll never be satisfied until my laptop charges from USB.

HP Chromebook?

about three weeks ago

New Apache Allura Project For Project Development Hosting

stoborrobots Re:(plus one InformatiDve) (43 comments)

... you will get to the backdoor and it will be wide open.

/me sees what you did there...

about three weeks ago

Unreal Engine 4 Launching With Full Source Code

stoborrobots Re: This is very exciting for indie devs (149 comments)

I really don't know the indie game industry very well so I don't know what constitutes "mildly successful", but based on the numbers given, the break-even point is $5m-$10m (so that 5% is $250k-$500k)... So if your expected gross income from the game is less than $5 million, then this is a good deal, and if not, it's a bad deal.

Even if your expected gross is $10 million over the life of the game, if that's made up of $2 million a year for 5 years, this might be an attractive option given the following choices:

  • Spend $250,000 now, hope and pray that you make some money, gross $2 million in the first year (so that costed you 12.5%!!!!), then recoup the expense over the next few years, or
  • Spend $20 now, gross $2 million each year, then from that income spend $100,000 each year.

You end up spending more in the second situation, but you spend it after you've earned it, with the risk transferred to the vendor. Not always the right option, but often worth considering even if it's not the chosen path.

about a month ago

Paris Bans Half of All Cars On the Road

stoborrobots Re:Its silly (405 comments)

..." as long as I'm doing SOMETHING, I'm saving the planet" ...

I recently heard the phrase "politician's syllogism" to refer to this statement...

about a month ago

Is One Laptop Per Child Winding Down?

stoborrobots Re:Winding down? (111 comments)

Low power? Is this really an issue for children...

Given the OLPC's target market, developing countries, yes, this is an issue. There isn't a stable grid, so you can only get electricity a few hours a day, at most, and there is not much of it...

about a month ago

Facebook In Talks To Acquire Drone Maker Titan Aerospace

stoborrobots $60 million? (1 comments)

$60 million for physical hardware manufacturer, vs $19 billion for a (yet another) chat application?

about a month and a half ago

Tor Is Building an Anonymous Instant Messenger

stoborrobots Re:OTR (109 comments)

(By which I mean: you need both... OTR and TOR aim to protect you from different threats.)

about 2 months ago

Experimental Port of Debian To OpenRISC

stoborrobots Re:Here's a question (56 comments)

I think most people are suggesting that you would take an FPGA and synthesize this source onto it, not that this is the source for an FPGA...

about 2 months ago

Tor Is Building an Anonymous Instant Messenger

stoborrobots Re:OTR (109 comments)

That hides the content of your communication, but it still shows that you're communicating, and with whom. So the "metadata" that the NSA and/or FB are interested in is still available...

Ostensibly using TOR hides the fact that you're the one communicating, and who you're communicating with... (Whether that's still true in practice is another question...)

about 2 months ago

EFF Reports GHCQ and NSA Keeping Tabs On Wikileaks Visitors and Reporters

stoborrobots "ON" (82 comments)

... Keeping Tabs ON Wikileaks Visitors...

about 2 months ago

Company plans to beam free Wi-fi to every person on Earth

stoborrobots Re:UDP multitasking? (2 comments)

Actually - reading the reddit thread for more details, it looks much more like a scam, or at least, they haven't thought through the details...

about 2 months ago

Company plans to beam free Wi-fi to every person on Earth

stoborrobots UDP multitasking? (2 comments)

I think the author of that article is a bit confused... They mention "User Datagram Protocol (UDP) multitasking", and flicking through websites like you flick through TV channels.

I think they're planning to offer a multicast broadcast network with a limited selection of web and/or video channels, over unidirectional 802.11(abgn?) links.

I'm not sure how they plan to have the devices talk to the cubesats, though, the low-power transmitters in my phone and laptop certainly aren't reaching low-earth orbit any time soon...

Sounds like a pie-in-the-sky idea - and the majority of information appears to have come from a reddit discussion...

about 2 months ago

A New Car UI

stoborrobots Re:From TFA (237 comments)

... the desired control moves in place to always be at your fingertips

What I don't understand is, if it knows which control I desire, then why do I need to touch it?.

Also, HOW does it know which control I desire?

(For the record - I'm not a fan of voice-operated interfaces, I've seen too many distracting oddities to believe that people will continue to use them long-term.)

about 2 months ago

Gnome 3.12 Delayed To Sync With Wayland Release

stoborrobots Re:I'm sorry I'm an idiot (204 comments)

Except that in that brave new future, the keypresses are navigating a round trip - see "google instant search" or just about any textbox now having "completion suggestions" which respond to each keypress...

So it's true that they don't have to, in principle, but in many usecases they are anyway.

about 2 months ago

How Voter Shortsightedness Skews Elections

stoborrobots Re:dont blame the voters (269 comments)

It is irrational to remain ignorant if you care about principles.

Actually, as was pointed out, it's irrational to care about principles. Rationality dictates that your principles are actually worth far less than they cost.

At least do 5 minutes of fucking research.

And therein lies the rub - where? That 5 minutes of research has to be done somewhere... TV? Internet? Radio? Newspapers? The library?

If you go to Google, (or Bing), thanks to the filter bubble which knows that you lean Right, it sends you to Fox, where your 5 minutes of research tells you that the Right is all right. It knows that I lean Left, so it sends me to CNN which tells me that the Right is full of Tea Party derpers.

So how do I, an average voter, know where I should be doing my "5 minutes of fucking research"?

about 3 months ago



Sea-Tac Airport runway access, no questions asked!

stoborrobots stoborrobots writes  |  more than 5 years ago

stoborrobots (577882) writes "The Seattle Times is reporting an incident where two civilians got unescorted access to the runway at Sea-Tac Airport in a van with names unasked, ID unchecked, and vehicle unsearched.

When [retired Army lieutenant colonel Greg Alderete] realized he had driven a van onto a runway tarmac at Sea-Tac airport — and that no one had asked his name, checked his ID or searched his vehicle — well, he just about lost it."I was appalled," Alderete says. "If you go in the airport's front door, they take away your tube of toothpaste. But the back door? That's the weakest security of any critical facility I've ever seen."

Link to Original Source


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