Let’s Be Clear, Shall We?

Recently the incident on October 21st where the Northwest Flight 188 overflew its destination airport (Minneapolis) while its flight crew were apparently using their laptop computers was in the news again.

Shortly after the incident the FAA was faulted for failing to notify the military in a timely manner about the problem with the flight so military fighter jets never got airborne to intercept the plane.  (My emphasis)

In a statement to The Wall Street Journal Wednesday evening, FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said air-traffic controllers “should have notified [the military] more quickly that the plane was not responding.” Local controllers apparently became so focused on trying to re-establish contact that they failed to alert higher-level FAA managers about the problem

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Botched and Botched Again

Last Wednesday evening a Northwest Airbus 320 jet airliner from San Diego to Minneapolis (Flight NWA188) went for over an hour without talking to air traffic controllers (NORDO) and subsequently overflew its destination by 150 miles before its pilots became aware.

(This is the second big newsworthy incident for Northwest airlines: in 1990 a Northwest crew flew a B727 jet carrying 91 passengers from Fargo to Minneapolis while intoxicated.)

Initial reports said that the flight was out of radio contact for over 75 minutes, but the FAA letters revoking both pilots’ licenses said that they had been out of contact for 91 minutes.

For a few days immediately afterwards it was a mystery as to what the …

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Where are the Business Leaders?

The news are filled these days with banks, automakers and other major companies that are having financial difficulties.  Many of these difficulties are directly due to poor decisions by the managers and executive/financial boards of those organizations.

A recent CNN business headline was that amusement/theme park giant Six Flags was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy “in an effort to shed $1.8 billion in debt.”

Six Flags President and CEO Mark Shapiro further said in the same article that:

…the company actually performed well in 2008, attracting 25 million visitors and making $275 million…

But apparently things aren’t as rosy as the Six Flags leadership would have you believe.  This website states that:

Six Flags has lost money every year of

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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 …

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