* Posts by Ari

7 posts • joined 10 Dec 2008

Ballmer hails Windows Mobile for Welfare™


regarding reality distortion


The difference is that Jobs reality distorion field skews other peoples view on reality. Ballmers seems to work only inwards.

'Lenny': Debian for the masses?

Paris Hilton

Do you value your time?

This one is to the "it's to simple these days" crowd.

Is your time worth anything?

if no, you are unemployed and have nothing better to do than spend hours wrestling each new install into shape. Wrestling with drivers is not my sort of fun. Especially if parts of the wrestling cannot be automated. Holding off on kernel updates because I can't be bothered to rebuild a tvtuner or graphics drier (and finding out whether it works on the new kernel) is not fun either.

I like DOING STUFF on my computer. Making things, designing things, communicating and playing. I also have hobbies and obligations in the real world. Any time spent maintaining some ass backwards system functioning is time taken away from the things I enjoy.

Which is why I (and most people, even most of those with technical knowledge) use platforms that work with a minimum of fuss.

Thankfully, Ubuntu seems to have the righ idea, giving the options of Linux and letting people control their learning curve themselves. Other distros are working better.

Windows is simple

MacOS is simple.

On both these you start up, and start getting work done (less time spent on maintenance on MacOS, in my experience).

The various Linux distros are getting there, but still lacking in many areas, especially basic usability.

But some of these self described tech geniuses would probably like to have to enter phonenumbers in hex into their phones, before compiling the rx/tx driver for the phone.

Which would probably work out fine, because I get the feeling that people with these priorities don't need to use the phone that much. And you could run a script for calling Dominos.

Paris, 'cause none of those guys will be able to receive the call from her while compiling..

Airline pilots told to switch off mobile phones


yes and no

Cellphones cause interference on aircraft equipment.

Usually just not very much.

On landing I personally (as a pilot) prefer to have them off, and making the rule just go apply to everyone is the simplest way to do that.

Especially during an ILS approach (not to mention CAT3 or something like that) when you need 100% accuracy then you want to avoid having transceivers in the cabin next to the antennas. It's really worse if the cellphone is close to antennas, which are positioned on the aircraft fuselage. The cockpit isn't that sensitive, mostly the intercom system that gets affected.

Apple banishes Macs to old folks home


no added functionality?

Ok, for Herby (writing to us from the stone age, and quite pleased with it, thank you very much!) stating that there is no added functionality mean you are completely missing the point.

Sure, in the 1970s you could actually complete most of the tasks for which we use more modern computers now. Your level of expertise on the system had to be very high, and most of the tasks were very time consuming. Then we got GUIs (well, the mac people did, I still hammered away at a DOS based crapfest) and many tasks got much easier.

Through refinements in the usability part of the GUIs we have had huge changes in what can be done and by whom it can be done. That is because of all the GUIs, but Apple has usually been leading in making systems usable by normal people (or at least anyne affording their systems).

Now I can sit down with no understanding of photo editing and fix my family photos, arrange them and such. Or I can go into photoshop and use my expert skills for more complex tasks (many of which are not possible on older hardware, or so time consuming that you can have a child born and see it go to college before the task is complete). Same goes to text/layout/sound/video work and more. Tasks which were impossible for anyone without their own printing shop can now be done be grandma in her spare room.

As for OS bloat, to do these things in a simple and understandable manner we need more processes and more complex processes running all the time. To keep your tasks visible (so you know what you are running) you need memory and prcessing power.

Ok, Vista didn't work out well (is a bit bloated, in that it can almost do the stuff that other OSs can do but needs twice the hardware) but hopefully Seven will fix that. Then we'll have three (main) OSs that are quite usable, for people with different needs.

As a former Win tech I mostly run MacOS and Ubuntu, with one old XP machine (switched around the time of Vistas unveiling). They have their different strengths and weaknesses, the Macs main weakness is purchase price. Ubuntu can take a bit of work if there are any driver issues, and the WinXP machine needs more careful virus/adware protection. On the other hand EVERYTHING has windows drivers (even though the driver management model is annoying), the Mac's user interface beats the others hands down and Ubuntu is free and pretty.

I dislike Vista. It can be made to work decently and is kind of pretty (too much flash for my taste), but is more quirky than the free offering (Ubuntu), is more expensive than MacOS and has a more annoying and quirky user interface than any of the others. Not even mentioning UAC (which can easily be disabled, but that defeats the purpose), which is rubbish. Based on the WinSeven beta MS seem to have fixed many of Vistas faults. Here's hoping!

@"mac tactics", I would also say check for Vista. It is (even after all I said above) too bloated for what it does. The same machine with WinXP, Linux(Ubuntu is usually easy) or even Win7 might be much more sprightly.

Aussie air zealot savages prêt-à-porter stealth fighter


Russky tech

In the cold war people ascribed mythical status to some soviet machinery. After the cold war it has surfaced that some of their stuff was a bit crappy and other stuff was way more powerful than the western world had imagined.

Their electronics were a bit oldschool, their material science in engine tech was a bit behind. Their manufacturing lines didn't have a solid enough quality.

Aerodynamically their planes are quite superiour. In a test done by the US air force in India (IIRC) american pilots got to fly russian air superiority planes against F15s. The russian tech THRASHED the us tech (it was just pathetic).

The export versions of the planes like SU27 didn't even have the full radar system. US planes like the F15 and F16 have around a 20° slice in front of them which can be targeted by the rhe radar, The SU27 (domestic version) has around 200°field and targeting is helmet mounted, anything the pilot can see is dead.

The americans have been betting on not getting into close combat for a while and have made design choices based on that. If a F22 or F35 get into a close combat situation with a SU27 they are screwed. The swedish gripen might stand a chance as well as being designed for improved airstrips, the US planes need their 2km airstrips almost hoovered clean (just like the F15 and F16).

The Us planes are made for a situation where the owner has a superior position and is not subject to massive airstrikes. Basically for showing off and for agressive tactics.

The SU27 (and JAS Gripen) are made for defence as well, an enemy has penetrated into your country, you go up, dance, and win, possibly at short or medium range (you took of from a road 30km from the airfield which the attacker was heading for)

Add to that the idea that maybe these buying decisions are not made for practical reasons but largely for political reasons and greased by large amounts of brib.. I mean, grants from industry leaders to interested political parties..

iPlayer finally makes friendly with Mac and Linux

Jobs Horns


I do agree with the first poster. Although I am a former windows professional I still prefer mac for most my daily work. It's just less hassle for many things. In other stuff it may be better to use win or linux. Use the correct tool for the job.

I am a music hobbyist and the mac just works nicer in that domain.

If I was a hardcore gamer, or a CAD professional I would be running Windows. Simple.

Not a fanboi (the companies and it's founders ethics are possibly worse than Gates') but the hardware/OS combo is pretty good. If you're willing to a bit extra for just that.

Jobs as the devil 'cause I couldn't get tux, gates and jobs into one icon..

'I don't blame pilot', says San Diego jet crash father

Paris Hilton

Military aircraft

Mr Yoon seems like an unbelievable man.

re: those planes, iirc the F/A18 has artificial stability augmentation and it (like most other combat aircraft) is fly-by-wire, that is the controls are connected to computers which then move hydraulic pistons which move the control surfaces. Loss of the second engine means badness.

Also, coming in higher (at a steeper approach angle) probably wouldn't do much because those things don't glide well (the wings are optimized for agility and ability to get to very high angles of attack instead of being optimized for long range cruise) and need very high speeds to maintain. So, with a very low aspect ratio wing as well as the aircraft weighing around 11000kg when completely empty you have a good recipe for problems.

As for the double engine failure a common reason for that thing is maintenance of some sorts. One incident I remember a light twin aircraft had just had both engines overhauled(reconditioned) by the factory and had an engine failure just a few weeks later. He (my friend was flying, my day off) got in on one engine, the engine was checked, turned out one little rubber gasket was defective. That meant the other engine had to be inspected and lo and behold, the same gasket in that engine had almost disintegrated.

Those kinds of problems, mechanic error or foreign object ingestion are the most likely twin engine failures. Couple that with the fact that those military engines are run at quite high power settings and need service often and the likelyhood multiplies.

So, to boil it down. Twin engined airliners are surprisingly (even amazingly) safe but twin engined fighters have a far worse mechanical failure record, due to many normal and understandable reasons.

The pilot probably did his best, they usually don't give up easy and are pretty well trained. Of course they do goof off, you are talking about people selected for their courage and borderline insanity, but this sounds like he was legitimately coming in on one engine, in which case you don't mess around.

Paris 'cause she doesn't know where to go down either...

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