Tweaking the Numbers: FAA Style

One of the rookie air traffic controllers in my area had an operational error last week.

An operational error in air traffic control occurs when a controller fails to follow the separation standards and gets two or more aircraft too close together, or when he gets an aircraft into another controller’s airspace (or other protected airspace) without permission.

The rookie was transferring a flight to another controller which usually involves taking the data block (the computer information tag on the radar scope associated with an airplane) and flashing it at another controller.  This is called an automated “handoff”.  The receiving controller sees the new data block flashing at him on his radar display and makes a computer entry to accept …

Read more

Profit or Functionality?

Microsoft’s profits fell for the first time in 23 years, assumably due at least in part to weak sales of its Vista operation system.

The predecessor to Vista is called Windows 7, and was originally slated for release in early 2010.

Now the talk is that Windows 7 could be released as early as July of 2009.

Is this actually because Windows 7 will be ready, or merely because Microsoft wants to make the stockholders happy?

This hot on the heels of reports that Microsoft set records for the number of bug and security patches in 2008.

Microsoft has set the standard for all software developers that there are acceptable levels of bugs in released software, and that …

Read more