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Living Room / Re: Boeing 737 exposé
« on: June 06, 2019, 11:51 PM »
On the subject of the Boeing 737 MAX apparently murderously effective collusion of corporate/government chicanery, there seem to be two quite separate aspects to distinguish:
  • The failure to maintain relevant engineering quality/safety standards in the aircraft construction.
  • The software developed for the MACS, which was apparently not fit-for-purpose by a long shot.

In both cases, the motive seems to be profit - cost-containment/reduction - and with a total (psychopathic) disregard for the entirely predictable risks to life that this would necessarily entail as night follows day. It's deliberate - more than just incompetence or negligence.

I was reminded of this today when I happened to be browsing "great engineering mistakes" on duckduckgo and saw this:
Most people, when buying an airline ticket go for the cheapest available flight. Few consider the safety record of the airline. So it takes government or other regulatory intervention to enforce safety standards. The same applies in other sectors. Seat belts are now mandatory on UK coaches. Prior to this becoming a legal requirement, few coach operators fitted them because customers weren’t interested in paying a bit more to travel in a coach fitted with them. Yet, they are known to save lives.
 - Comment by Chris Chris Nabavi, 5th May 2010 at 1:28 pm at Engineering’s Ten Biggest Mistakes

So I went and re-read the article Mish: Boeing 737 Max Unsafe To Fly, New Scathing Report By Pilot, Software Designer. That was mostly about a software engineering mistake in attempting to compensate/conceal a fundamental design failure in the updated aircraft.

These bits jumped out at me:
Design shortcuts meant to make a new plane seem like an old, familiar one are to blame.
This was all about saving money. Boeing and the FAA pretend the 737-Max is the same aircraft as the original 737 that flew in 1967, over 50 years ago.
Boeing cut corners to save money. Cutting corners works until it fails spectacularly.
It all comes down to money, and in this case, MCAS was the way for both Boeing and its customers to keep the money flowing in the right direction. The necessity to insist that the 737 Max was no different in flying characteristics, no different in systems, from any other 737 was the key to the 737 Max’s fleet fungibility. That’s probably also the reason why the documentation about the MCAS system was kept on the down-low.

Put in a change with too much visibility, particularly a change to the aircraft’s operating handbook or to pilot training, and someone—probably a pilot—would have piped up and said, “Hey. This doesn’t look like a 737 anymore.” And then the money would flow the wrong way.
So Boeing produced a dynamically unstable airframe, the 737 Max. That is big strike No. 1. Boeing then tried to mask the 737’s dynamic instability with a software system. Big strike No. 2. Finally, the software relied on systems known for their propensity to fail (angle-of-attack indicators) and did not appear to include even rudimentary provisions to cross-check the outputs of the angle-of-attack sensor against other sensors, or even the other angle-of-attack sensor. Big strike No. 3.

None of the above should have passed muster. It is likely that MCAS, originally added in the spirit of increasing safety, has now killed more people than it could have ever saved. It doesn’t need to be “fixed” with more complexity, more software. It needs to be removed altogether.

There's presumably a warning note to software developers about professional liability/culpability implicit in that...

Living Room / Re: Boeing 737 exposé
« on: June 06, 2019, 11:14 PM »
@holt: Just watched that videoTWA Flight 800 Remastered Re-creation today. Hadn't seen it before. Was a very interesting documentary/reconstruction - including the physical reconstruction of the aircraft from the assemblage of the recovered scattered airplane debris located and salvaged from the ocean floor covering a wide area after it had progressively blown to bits and fragmented along its flight path. Really smart investigation - though interestingly based on the initial and false premise that it was an on-board bomb that had caused the explosion. Closed all the gaps. Thanks for posting.  :Thmbsup:

Interesting too that the FBI left that case as Suspended and Active status, rather than Closed. That means it doesn't necessarily prohibit the introduction of new information/investigation at some future point.

Did they ever do something similar for 911, to close the gaps? I don't recall. Presumably there would have been all the aircraft debris from two aircraft there, all easily located within a small radius around Ground Zero.

Just thinking a bit more about this: Regardless of how the text is put into the image (e.g., whether using ScreenshotCaptor edits, or ZoomIT, or StickyNotes, etc.), there is one image file format that would ensure that that text data becomes persistent, portable and searchable - .TIFF

For years, whenever I migrated to a new laptop, one of the first things I did was to ensure that iFilters were installed for OCR (Optical Character Reading) of .TIFF image files, so that WDS (Windows Desktop Search) could then be enabled to search for text content in those .TIFF image files.

However, in Windows 10, these iFilters now seem to be included by default - hurrah! Goodness knows why it's taken Microsoft this long to get around to doing that. If you look at the WDS settings (Advanced - File Types) you will see they are already set thus:

So, there's yet another approach - and a standards-based one at that - to saving/accessing images containing text.

 Where you write:
What might be the best way of typing a note on the screen before taking a screenshot with Screenshot Captor?
Sometimes I'd like to 'annotate' what and why I'm taking the screenshot.  Would be super to have a small movable note to that effect.  I'd prefer a white rectangular background.  Minimalist.  Editable.  Adjustable-sized font.  Closely cropped to the text.
I think the answer depends on your requirements. For example, I have a similar requirement - I very often want to annotate captured images. For me, those notes are important and useful as they become data or metadata for that image, so I need to have them searchable and copyable.

I tend to do this in one of three ways, depending on how I intend to use the image and the metadata:
  • (a) USE CHS + SC: (Favourite #1 way.) Using SC (ScreenshotCaptor), capture the screenshot/clip image into my CHS (Clipboard Help & Spell) database, and add a note about the circumstances/context of capture to the text tab for that image. CHS is great for this as it enables managing and real fast searching of any text attached to my library of captured images. Good for when you want to keep those details noted and searchable, but don't necessarily need/want the notes themselves to be displayed in the actual image.

  • (b) USE CHS + SC: (Favourite #2 way.) Using SC (ScreenshotCaptor), capture the screenshot/clip image into my CHS (Clipboard Help & Spell) database, and then EDIT the image using SC and add a caption or add/embed a text note object into the image itself - in the same way as @mouser suggests. When I do this, I also copy the text of that note and paste it to the text tab for that image in CHS. Again CHS is great for this as it enables managing and real fast searching of any text attached to my library of captured images. Good for when you want to keep those details noted and searchable - they wouldn't be searchable if you didn't copy/paste the text into the CHS text tab that you had put into the image.

  • (c) Use MS OneNote: (Favourite #1 way for more complex annotation.) Capture and annotate using OneNote, SC and CHS in combination - for example, as in this post: For research, don't take notes, just use clip-to-OneNote
    The method for using OneNote like this when making a complex image+text posting to DCF is described here:
    ...My organisation and use of Notebooks is pretty minimalistic, so I am not into beautifully designed pages such as that digital DM Notebook seems to be.
    After a period of experimentation, I learned to organise my notes using macros and templates as much as possible, and create notes usually using indented numbered or bulleted (collapsible) sections and subsections. As discussed in an earlier post, I also use table cells quite often as "containers" for text and images, since their boundaries are more "sticky" than the main containers on a Notebook page. Containers and images can be dragged and resized.
    You can create and assemble/arrange several containers in a page, and overlay them and add drawings/shapes. They "float" as objects in layers over the page, but they do not retain any attachment or fixed relationship to each other, so that if you change one container, the page layout starts to get messed up. I think that's a limitation.
    I work around it by taking a screenshot (OneNote clip) which gives you a single image of the assembled containers/objects - which latter can then be deleted and replaced by the single image in the clip. Any embedded text in that image is automatically OCR'd and becomes searchable and copyable, so nothing gets "lost".

    If you select and copy a selection of formatted text and images, and paste the contents of the clipboard into (say) irfanview, the whole thing - formatted text and images - pastes as a single image. I sometimes post those single images to a DCF post as my notes. This can save a lot of time - no more messing about with the kludgy BB formatting codes in the DC Forum post editor - I just post the image (sometimes with the same clipboard contents posted as the actual, but unformatted plain text in a spoiler, so people can grab that text if/when they need it - e.g., for hyperlinks).
    Hope that all makes sense.

I suspect this mousepad (or maybe it's the mouse?) can't be fixed easily.
There's a similar problem I've noticed in some 15 year-old (or so) European cars like BMW or VW - which have always tended to use a lot of synthetic plastics (as opposed to say, ordinary rubber) on the outer coating of some rubber/plastic-coated controls/knobs in the passenger compartment. What seems to happen with them is that the outer coating (goodness knows what it is made of) of the control/knob starts to chemically break down. First it becomes slightly tacky to the touch, and then it becomes progressively more tacky to the point where some of the surface material sticks to your skin when you touch it, and it sort of spreads around. It can be removed from the fingers with white spirit, but if you try white spirit on the actual knob/control, then it seems to make the problem even worse for a while until the white spirit has evaporated and the whole substrate melts a bit and becomes gooey.
I've tried all sorts - e.g., including plastic/vinyl cleaner (is usually silicone-based), soap and water, hydrogen peroxide, salt solution, sodium bicarbonate (the main ingredient of baking soda) solution, white spirit, methylated spirit, isopropyl alcohol, gasoline (petroleum) - and they variously have either no effect or make matters worse. I have not yet found anything that sets the tacky surface hard(er)/less tacky.
The only solution so far is thus to replace the part, or (say) apply talcum powder to the the surface of the part. Yes, the latter is a kludge, but it reduces the tackiness and could be a useful temporary workaround - works on babies' bottoms too!  :Thmbsup:

Actually, thinking of babies' bottoms, I haven't tried paraffin oil on these knobs/controls, but that might make the surface smoother/slicker. On the other hand, paraffin (kerosine) is a petroleum product, so it might make it tackier. Either way, paraffinum liquidum (paraffin oil) is non-toxic/harmless (non-allergenic) - it's a tried-and-tested main ingredient in baby oil and is safe for use on babies bottoms (e.g., where there may be nappy rash) and is apparently a main ingredient in many commercially available skin cremes/oils and vaginal/anal lubricants also (it doesn't harm sensitive mucous membranes).
I hasten to add that my only experience with its use is as a generic baby oil and in the form of a herbal skin oil recommended by a doctor, and which bears the brand name Bio Oil:
Bio Oil: Looks like the base is liquid paraffin, which has been safely used for donkey's years.
Manufacturer is Union Swiss (Pty) Ltd. (South Africa).
Contents of Bio Oil:
* Paraffinum Liquidum,
* Triisononanoin,
* Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate,
* Isopropyl Myristate,
* Retinyl Palmitate,
* Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil,
* Tocopheryl Acetate,
* Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil,
* Lavandula Angustifolia Oil,
* Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Oil,
* Calendula Officinalis Extract,
* Glycine Soja Oil,
* BHT,
* Bisabolol, Parfum,
* Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone,
* Amyl Cinnamal,
* Benzyl Salicylate,
* Citronellol, Coumarin,
* Eugenol,
* Farnesol,
* Geraniol,
* Hydroxycitronellal,
* Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde,
* Limonene,
* Linalool,
* CI 26100
See also:

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