18 October 2019

Boeing Boeing - part the ninth [update]

OK, yet another hint that The Worst Case Scenario is right around the corner.
Sources told Reuters the Boeing internal messages raised questions about the performance of the so-called MCAS anti-stall system that has been tied to the two fatal crashes in five months. Boeing declined to immediately comment.

Let's see??? Could it be that some engineers finally admitted, to one another, that LEAP engines mounted so high on that 1960s wing couldn't reliably be compensated by software. And that the real fix is to extend the landing gear so that the engines are under the wing and off the damn tarmac? Ya think?
The FAA said it found the messages "concerning" and "is reviewing this information to determine what action is appropriate."

How much lying has been going on??? I guess we'll find out soon.

[update]
Yet more reporting.
"This is the smoking gun," Representative Peter DeFazio, Democrat of Oregon, said in an interview. "This is no longer just a regulatory failure and a culture failure. It's starting to look like criminal misconduct."

So, was the plane fine and the simulator broken? Or the simulator worked as designed, and showed the plane was unstable?

Yeah think Boeing's gonna get a break?

Boeing Boeing - part the eighth

Well, David Gelles, et al are at it again. More perfidy from Boeing. What a surprise!

But I didn't come here to bury Caesar. I came here to remind folks that MCAS continues to be misrepresented with regard to the two climb-out crashes. It's important to understand this.
Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said "[MCAS] has been reported or described as an anti-stall system, which it is not. It's a system that's designed to provide handling qualities for the pilot that meet pilot preferences."[4] The wiki. This is the ref.

IOW, MCAS was originally designed to provide a 'backstop' to AoA issues in normal flight at 30,000+ feet. It was only later that MCAS was modified to activate at climb out.

Some more
[MCAS] would trim the airplane in modest increments for up to nine seconds at a time until it detected that the airplane had returned to a normal AoA and ended its steep climb. It seems simple enough — on paper, that is.

And, do you like aggression?
On paper, MCAS was only supposed to move the horizontal stabilizer 0.6 degrees at a time. In reality, it could move the stabilizer as much as 2.5 degrees at a time, making it significantly more powerful when forcing the nose of the airplane down.

Not all of the reporting makes clear that MCAS's initial task was to compensate the MAX's handling during cruise flight back to 'classic' 737 behavior. This one does
MCAS is "activated without pilot input" and "commands nose down stabilizer to enhance pitch characteristics during step turns with elevated load factors and during flaps up flight at airspeeds approaching stall."
[my emphasis]

16 October 2019

Falling Off A Log

Gentle reader, I direct your attention the subtitle of this endeavor -- Blockchain: A translog missing its database

Well, I woke up to find this piece linked from the O'Reilly Newsletter. In the Newsletter, it's titled 'What happens when we collect too much data?'

Much of the text doesn't deal with RDBMS, but still manages, if you look really close, to make the argument that 'olde fashioned' transactional databases are smarter than simple minded translog datastores.
There's two threads I want to mention here as a starting point, and explore a lot further in future newsletters: the art of sampling, and the art of deleting and obscuring user data.

IOW,
First, sampling. In an amazing, very underrated article all the way back from 2000, Jakob Nielsen talks about why you only need five users to perform tests. At first glance, this seems insane. How can you possibly extrapolate what all one billion users of Facebook, with their geographic, economic, and ethnic diversity, are going to do on the site?

And, of course, the Gallup's of this world have been doing sampling for many decades, and pretty much know how to predict the herd from observing a properly designate individual. Or
once you grow past a certain number of users, the data that you collect is just additional noise

IOW, yet again, may be state is more useful than all the baby steps taken to get there.

13 October 2019

I Love My Brazilian, Don't You?

The Brazil problem has been mentioned here in the past, as it relates to racial mixing and the loss of many fish-belly white populations. If this race-mixing doesn't stop, everybody will look like a Brazilian. But there is another aspect to Brazil that bears repeating.

Lo those many years ago, when I toiled for CSC, there came the announcement that one of the major data centers (perhaps the main one?) would be decamped to Australia. Now, since at least my undergraduate days, I've known that Australia is (and always has been in human times) the driest piece of real estate with people on it. I was astonished, of course.

For about as long, I've also been aware that Brazil's agriculture has been of the slash and burn variety. Bolsonaro, being a rightwing idiot, has promoted it even more. Exactly how long Brazil has used slash and burn, I haven't found, but
Available literature indicates that deforestation rates in the Amazon Basin of Brazil increased after the early 1960s due in large part to national policies supporting road building, tax and credit incentives to large corporations and ranches, and colonization projects for the rural poor.

So, at least half a century.

Back to Australis. Comes new reporting that climate change deniers are in full throat rampage, even as the effects diminishes their lifestyle.
In few places is the challenge of adapting to climate change more immediate than in Australia, where 80 percent of the population lives within a few dozen miles of a coastline susceptible to rising seas and more punishing storms, and where the arid interior bakes under record temperatures.

I guess conditions haven't gotten much better since I left CSC?

In sum, then, from an ecological point of view, we're already all Brazilians. We treat the environment as a short term impediment to instant needs, not giving a shit what we'll leave to our kids and grandkids. All this from 'conservative' politicians. Obviously, they don't admit what the word they use to self-describe actually means.

12 October 2019

Pill Popping Pin Heads

Some stereotypes are based in actual (if limited) experience. One such is that 'the drug problem' is an urban and brown problem. It's never been such, but once the white ring around the city started getting ever more loopy to an extent that not even the most racist old white guy could deny, 'the drug problem' was no longer a police problem, but a health problem. Go figure.

Thanks to r-bloggers, we have some more data exploring the state of drugs. Here's the punchline:
The more white a county is, the higher the rate of controlled substance prescription there. The more Hispanic a county is, the lower the rate of controlled substance prescription there. Effects with Black and Asian race are not clear in Texas.

I guess there aren't all that many drug addicts coming in wet back. Ya think?

08 October 2019

Dee Feat is in Dee Flation -- part the thirty eighth

September Core PPI -0.3% vs Briefing.com consensus of 0.2%; August was 0.3%
The key takeaway from the report is that the price declines were broad based, and not just energy-related, which is indicative of an environment characterized by weaker demand.
-- briefing.com/8 October 2019

Makes me Laffer all the way to the asylum.

04 October 2019

Sin Ergy

Every now and again, there'll be reporting on Sutter Health, which dominates northern California. Today's NYT report is one of many. Letting my fingers do the walking through the Yellow Googles finds allegations of bad behavior going back to at least 2016.

The long-time justification by American Capitalists for their ever-increasing M&A swallowing of competition is that 'synergies will lower cost and price'. Well, the former by rarely the latter.
Sutter Health, long accused of abusing its market power in California, is squaring off against major U.S. employers in a closely watched legal fight over health care competition and high prices.

From today's NYT report
In 2010, about a quarter of physicians, both specialists and primary care doctors, worked in groups owned by hospitals, according to the researchers, who were funded by the California Health Care Foundation, a nonprofit group. By 2018, 52 percent of specialists and 42 percent of primary care doctors were employed by practices owned by a hospital or hospital group.

The researchers point to that "market concentration" as a critical factor spurring "the fast growth of prices in California." They describe the gap in health care costs between the northern and southern parts of California, which lead to higher insurance prices paid by employers and individuals.

As that olde saying goes, "Give 'em an inch, and they'll take a mile." The banks were decreed to be too big to fail, as well.