The runway — the system — must have some “give” to it. It must have some unused capacity in order to ensure safety. In reality it does. That unused capacity is after midnight. That is the reason you see flights arriving at 1 or 2 AM after a day of bad weather. There is no “give” — during normal hours — in the system when there is adverse weather. This leads to the massive flight delays Americans suffered through this summer.
The reason is as old as it is simple — greed. Airlines can make more money selling 70 airplanes worth of tickets per hour than they could if they limited themselves to the 60 airplanes per hour that the runway can handle. In fairness to the airlines, it’s not in their interest to limit themselves. It is easier to sell the tickets and blame the delays on the weather or the “antiquated” air traffic control system. Especially if the flying public doesn’t understand runway capacity limits and therefore fails to notice that the “antiquated” air traffic control system is delivering more airplanes to the runways than the runways can handle.
Here’s how Microsoft says, “SQL Server 2008 will be late:”
“We want to provide clarification on the roadmap for SQL Server 2008. Over the coming months, customers and partners can look forward to significant product milestones for SQL Server. Microsoft is excited to deliver a feature complete CTP during the Heroes Happen Here launch wave and a release candidate (RC) in Q2 calendar year 2008, with final Release to manufacturing (RTM) of SQL Server 2008 expected in Q3. Our goal is to deliver the highest quality product possible and we simply want to use the time to meet the high bar that you, our customers, expect.”
What? Can you understand that? “A feature complete CTP during the Heroes Happen Here launch wave?” What on earth does that mean?
The guy who wrote this, Francois Ajenstat, ought to be ashamed of himself. Have some guts. Just say it’s late. We really don’t care that much. SQL Server 2005 is fine. As Judge Judy says, “Don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining.”
Scene: The History lesson in school. The teacher wearily calls Microsoft Boy to his desk to try to discover where his homework is.
“Well, young William, (looks over his glasses severely) where is your homework? It should have been handed in today, I’m afraid.”
(with a smug ingratiating smile redolent of sincerity) “The past week has been an amazing time for the me as I geared up to announce the delivery of my essay. The response to my announcement from friends and parents has been overwhelmingly positive – in fact, even my aunt Edith wants to read it. What is catching users’ eyes? Legibility, correctness, conciseness….the list goes on and on. Simply put, this history essay is a significant release for me – one that builds on all of the great things that I was able to deliver last year in the Lower fifth. I see it as a critical step forward for my academic life here, and the foundation of the broader vision for my school career. Based on what we are hearing from people who have seen the current version of my essay, it seems that everyone agrees.”
(impatiently) “Well, that may be the case, but you haven’t actually handed your work in. Where is it for heavens sake? The others have managed to hand their work in!”
(earnestly) Not surprisingly, one of the top areas of focus for me is always to deliver high quality homework, and in a very predictable manner. This is vital for my dazzling school career – which is why I’ve frequently discussed my goal of releasing my history essay within three months of the last one. I am on track to reach this goal. (folds his arms with a smile of achievement)
Teacher: (whilst rustling about, searching on his desk)
“I don’t see it, I really can’t find your essay on my desk. It was supposed to have been handed in today.”
Microsoft Boy: (sensing something not quite right in his relationship)
“To continue in this spirit of open communication between us, I want to provide clarification on the roadmap for my essay. Over the coming months, you, and the other teaching staff here can look forward to significant milestones in the delivery of my homework. I am excited to deliver a release candidate of the essay in a month’s time, at Scout Camp, with final Release of the entire homework expected in another couple of months. My goal is to deliver the highest quality History essay possible and I simply want to use the time to reach the high bar that you, my teacher, has set.”
Teacher: (Head in hands, dispairingly)
“I really don’t understand. Have you handed in your homework or not?”
“I have not, in any way, changed my plans for launching the essay today. What I have done today is to announce to you the delivery of my essay, and I’m proud to have met this target. Please keep the great feedback coming and thank you again for your ongoing support of my ‘best-in-class’ academic work!” (Proudly walks out of the classroom)
CNN is hosting a GOP presidential debate tonight in California and Democratic one in the state tomorrow. Both are sponsored by Americans for Balanced Energy Choices (ABEC), a coal industry front group. In its past three ABEC-sponsored debates, there have been no questions asked on global warming. Watch an ad highlighting ABEC’s sponsorship
Not content with the current (and already massive) statutory damages allowed under copyright law, the RIAA is pushing to expand the provision. The issue is compilations, which now are treated as a single work. In the RIAA’s perfect world, each copied track would count as a separate act of infringement, meaning that a copying a ten-song CD even one time could end up costing a defendant $1.5 million if done willfully. Sound fair? Proportional? Necessary? Not really, but that doesn’t mean it won’t become law.
An above-average wrongful death compensation award for a healthy working parent would be in the $1-3 million dollar range. You could go murder somebody. It’d be cheaper than pirating a few CDs. And if the CDs had DRM, the jail sentence would be shorter for the murder too! The US military pays out $600 for wrongful deaths in Iraq. A pirated CD copy is worth more than 2500 Iraqis!
An Iraqi MP preferred to remain anonymous told the newspaper that highly confidential negotiations took place by representatives from American oil companies, offering $5 million to each MP who votes in favor of the Oil and Gas law.