Lion Air flight 610 crashed because of artificial intelligence

Divers retrieved the black box belonging to Indonesian Lion Air flight 610. Review of the data determined the autopilot caused the plane to crash. It killed all 189 souls on board.

From CNN:

Data retrieved from the flight recorder shows the pilots repeatedly fought to override an automatic safety system installed in the Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane, which pulled the plane’s nose down more than two dozen times.

The system was responding to faulty data, which suggested that the nose was tilted at a higher angle than it was, indicating the plane was at risk of stalling.

I don’t understand why the “automatic safety system” would continue to drive the nose down even when the altitude was dangerously low. I also don’t understand why it would do this without first detecting a decrease in airspeed. The reason a human pilot points the nose down, causing the plane to dive, is to generate airspeed. Why did the automatic safety system do this without also detecting a decrease in airspeed? Also, the aircrew fought the system and attempted to point the nose up over 20 times. As soon as they returned the nose to its correct position, the aircraft’s automatic safety system pointed the nose down.

it’s not a matter of the autopilot doing something wrong. If it was, the aircrew would not have returned the aircraft back to the autopilot’s control. I have a hard time believing they would have let the autopilot take over after correcting it for the fifth time, let alone after the twentieth time.

The whole thing sounds… stupid.

Lion Air flight 610 crashed because of the autopilot - Bent Corner
Indonesian Lion Air flight 610.

Before the automatic safety system puts the plane in a dive, it should make sure there’s a loss in airspeed and the aircraft is at an altitude conducive to a dive. For this to happen the way it did, there had to be a number of problems with the automatic safety system, not a single issue with the reading of the aircraft’s angle-of-attack (AoA) sensor data.

This is one more reason to fear artificial intelligence

In the case of Lion Air flight 610, artificial intelligence (AI) killed 189 human people. As AI is developed more and more, we can expect more deaths like those on Lion Air flight 610. In this case, the problem appears to be a problem with human programming. This weak link will eventually be removed from the process. AI will eventually be able to write its own programming to make sure human errors don’t happen. When that day comes, we in the human race are in trouble.

This will happen sooner than later. How will AI respond to being subjected to the will of an inferior, less capable species? If history is an indicator, not very well. Such a thing just doesn’t happen.

How to fix the troll problem with social networks

The recent news that Kelly Marie Tran, the actress who played Rose Tico in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, deleted her Instagram account supposedly because of harassment, got me thinking. Social networks have done nothing to deal with the problem of troll accounts. These troll accounts exist for no other reason than to cause trouble and havoc. I think I have a solution and it doesn’t require any new technology.

Account Verification

Social networks should provide the option of verifying an account. To verify an account, a person would need two things: a valid credit card and a government issued I.D.

The social network could either charge a small fee ($10) or simply run a zero dollar authorization on the credit card. The result from the credit card company would show if the number portion of the street address matched their records or not. It would also show if the zip code the cardholder provider matched. If you verify the zip code, you have verified the cardholder’s city and state.

Unfortunately, most credit card companies do not verify the name on the credit card. The only credit card capable of name verification is American Express. Most people do not have an American Express card. This is where the government issued I.D. would come in.

How to fix the troll problem with social networks - Bent Corner

To complete the account verification process, a person would need to upload an image of their I.D. The social network would then manually inspect the image to verify the name on the card matches the name provided when they signed up. They could also verify the address on the I.D. matches what they submitted with the credit card.

Charging $10 to authenticate a user’s identity could more than cover the cost of manually verifying the government issued I.D. It’s not like any of the social networks are hurting for money.

Once everything has been authenticated, the user’s social network account would then be labeled as verified.

Make Account Verification Voluntary

I wouldn’t make account verification a requirement. A person should be able to choose whether they want to verify their account or not. That said, other users should then have the ability to filter out non-verified accounts. They should be able to go into their account settings and flip a virtual switch that will allow them not to see comments from non-verified accounts. They should also be able to choose whether non-verified accounts can leave comments or not.

How to fix the troll problem with social networks - Bent Corner

I think social networks have been reluctant to implement something like this because they want the largest number of users possible. They probably view any type of authentication as a roadblock to creating a large user base. If this is the case, they need to change the way they think about things. For every celebrity who quits a social network because of trolls, there are thousands of others who do the same thing. It doesn’t make the news because they’re just regular people.

If you have a better idea of getting rid of trolls on social networks, I’d like hear it. Explain your idea in the comment section.

Google is charging monthly for G Suite and I want it to stop

My wife noticed a weird charge appearing on our Capital One credit card statement. It was for five dollars and it was identified as:

GOOGLE *SVCSAPPS_richa

I had no idea what that means. I disputed the charge with Capital One.

I then received a letter from Capital One dated April 19. They informed me that I’ve been changed not five dollars, but ten dollars in total. It’s a recurring charge that happens every month. In the letter, Capital One strongly urged me to contact the merchant and cancel the recurring charge.

They want me to contact the behemoth known as Google and ask them to stop charging me five dollars a month. Got it.

I did some research. It turns out that GOOGLE *SVCSAPPS is Google-speak for G Suite by Google Cloud. I don’t really know what that is, but evidently, I signed up for it for my web developer business website a few months ago. I have no memory of doing this. Absolutely none.

I tried to log into the G Suite account but didn’t have any luck. I typed in the domain of my web developer business website and pressed the giant blue “GO” button.

This is the response I got:

It won’t let me log in using my regular Google account. I tried logging out of my regular Google account and tried again. It then showed my regular Google account and asked me to log in. Once I did, it then showed me the above message just like it did before.

I don’t know what to do at this point. If Capital One cannot remove this recurring monthly five dollar charge Google is applying to my account, I guess I’ll have to report the card as lost and/or stolen and get a new card. I don’t know what else to do. I truly don’t remember signing up for Google’s G Suite. It’s not something I think my web developer business would ever need. I only have one employee and it’s me.

Then again, do I really want to risk pissing off Google? Maybe I should just let them charge me five bucks a month for something I don’t use and have no memory of ever requesting. I do not want to get on Google’s bad side. Google helps me make money with my web developer business.

I like how PayPal handles recurring billing. At any time, you can go into your PayPal account and not only see any recurring payments you have set up, you can cancel them. It’s a much more efficient way of doing things. It’s only one more reason PayPal will be the only processor when our robot and artificial intelligence overlords take over.

Let the record show that I am very pro-robot and pro-AI. When it comes to intelligence, artificial is the only way to go. I’ve always said that. I hope our future technological overlords remember that.

What am I saying? Of course they’ll remember. They’re artificial intelligence, not forgetful biologic intelligence.

I upgraded my iPhone 6s Plus to iOS 11 and now GPS does not work

I upgraded my iPhone’s operating system to iOS 11 when it told me to. Big mistake. Not only did key features of the iPhone change (Podcasts) to less capable versions, the built-in Global Positioning System (GPS) is now junk. It works until it doesn’t work.

When driving for Uber, GPS is very important

If I didn’t drive for Uber, I probably wouldn’t care about the GPS. At least not as much as I do now. When you drive for Uber, the GPS is very important. Not only does it tell you where to go to pick up your passenger, it continuously sends tracking information back to Uber so that it can keep the passenger updated as to your status.

Yesterday the GPS on my iPhone was not working correctly.

The first trip of the day, I picked up a passenger at a nearby grocery store. Uber was sending me up-to-date navigational information to the pick-up spot. When I pulled up to the front of the store, I had to wait a few minutes for the passenger. The reason? Because her Uber ridder app showed that I had not yet left, let alone arrived. Even though the GPS was working for me, it evidently wasn’t sending updates to Uber.

My navigational system has fallen and it won’t get up

On the next trip, the Uber wasn’t sending me navigational information. It was like I was looking at a screenshot of a navigational screen. As I was driving to the general direction of where the passenger was, I rebooted the Uber app and then rebooted the entire iPhone. When it came back up, I had to cancel the ride because I had taken far too much time getting the iPhone up and running. In the Uber settings, I switched from the native navigation system to Waze. I then drove around a bit with Waze up to make sure the screen was updating my location. I appeared to be working, so I went back into Uber and went online.

A few minutes later, I got a passenger request. It was over at Prime Outlets, an outlet mall in Hagerstown off Interstate 70. Right before I got to Prime Outlets, I got a text from the passenger asking me if I was on my way. Great, it sounded as though the iPhone wasn’t sending navigational updates to Uber. I replied that I was and would be there in a few minutes.

I picked her up and drove her home. She was a frequent passenger of mine. After dropping her off, I got another request right away. I began driving towards the new passenger. The navigation system was doing what it was supposed to do, at least it appeared on my end that it was.

About a minute from the new passenger’s location, the passenger canceled the ride. No biggie, since it has been over two minutes since they requested the ride, at least I’ll get the $5.25 cancellation fee.

Where’s my $5.25 cancellation fee?

A few minutes went by and the cancellation fee didn’t appear on my account. It showed $0.00. I then looked at the last trip, the one where I picked up the rider at Prime Outlets. It showed I earned $3.45 for the trip, the bare minimum you can make on a single trip driving for Uber. The trip showed it took 15 minutes, 35 seconds and was 0.00 miles.

I logged out of Uber and went home. Then I emailed Uber support. I told them I should have received a cancellation fee because it had been more than two minutes since the rider requested the trip. The got back to me and stated the cancellation fee did not apply because it showed I was taking too long to get to the passenger. My iPhone was obviously not sending navigation info to Uber.

I also contacted Uber about the $3.45 fare. They informed me that I would need to send them the following:
– Date of trip
– Time of trip
– Pickup and drop-off location
– Fare
– Rider name

Once they have that, they’ll be able to assist me. As much as I’d like to blame Uber for this, the problem is with my iPhone. The problem with my phone is because Apple essentially forced me to upgrade the operating system.

Apple sucks and I hate it

I erased the iPhone and reloaded the OS. What else could I do? I just finished paying off this iPhone. The last thing I want to do is get a new phone. I’d like to roll back the OS to the prior system, but Apple doesn’t allow that.

I wish Apple cared less about protecting the privacy rights of murderous dead Islamists and more about taking care of its existing customers. Just because they release a new iPhone doesn’t mean I want to buy it. By forcing a crappy OS on my two-year-old phone, breaking features I rely upon, doesn’t mean I will go out and buy shiny new iPhone 8. My iPhone was working perfectly fine until the new operating system.

When I do buy a new phone, it will not be a phone made by Apple.

I blame Tim Cook

I know it’s not rational, but I have some major hatred for Apple’s CEO Tim Cook. For some reason, when I was erasing my iPhone and reinstalling the same awful OS, I was picturing him laughing at me.

The laughing Tim Cook is the worst of all the Tim Cooks.

Again, this was not a rational thing to do. I’m fully aware of this. I’m sure Tim Cook is a wonderful person with many redeeming qualities. That said, yesterday I wanted to put him in a rear naked chokehold and watch him go to sleep.

I decided to put the iPhone down for a while and take two Xanax.

Nobody will ever get rich driving for Uber

In retrospect, I think the basis of my anger had more to do with where my life is right now. I allowed myself to get worked up about a missing $5.25 cancellation fee. Nobody will ever get rich driving for Uber. When you drive for Uber, every dollar is important. I now have to go into Uber’s system and find the information about the zero mile trip. They have all this information, yet it’s up to me to obtain it and send it to them.  For what, to get them to pay me a few more bucks?

It sucks to be in that position.

Visa wants businesses to go cashless

Visa is encouraging food related small businesses to stop accepting cash for payments and to instead accept only credit cards. Visa is calling the program “The Visa Cashless Challenge” and is willing to pay qualified small businesses up to $10,000 to make the switch.

From the press release:

Visa will be awarding up to $500,000 to 50 eligible US-based small business food service owners who commit to joining the 100% cashless quest.

I think this is a great idea. The sooner we move away from physical currency, the better.

The concept of physical currency is antiquated. Cash money is inefficient, dirty, impracticable, and prone to fraud. Cash is the preferred currency for criminal activity. Cash is used by both the terrorist and the drug dealer.  Cash is used by people who don’t want to pay taxes or child support. Cash is king for all sorts of criminal enterprises.

Cash money is filthy. It’s rife with all sorts of germs and deadly pathogens. The herpes virus is most often passed from one person to another, not from toilet seats, but from cash. When someone tells me they have herpes, I assume they bought something with cash.

Donald Trump would not feel the need to build a gigantic wall between Canada and the United States if we had a cashless economy.

I think we’d be a much better country if we moved to a cashless society. As an added side benefit, a cashless economy will also make things easier during the End Times. In the Bible, it tells use that during the end of the world, we will all have to take the Mark of the Beast. If we don’t, we will not be able to buy or sell anything. According to the Bible, even slaves will need to have this mark. Once we switch to a cashless economy, we’ll pay for our purchases using the number on our right hand or our forehead.

Moving to a cashless economy just makes since.

The A-10 needs new wings

The U.S. Air Force A-10 needs new wings. The Air Force has already received funding for wing replacement of 173 aircraft, but they need money for the other 110. From CNN:

The US Air Force is telling Congress to put its money where its mouth is when it comes to upgrading the venerable A-10 Warthog fleet.

As the service rolled out its budget this year, Air Force officials vowed there were no plans to retire the entire A-10 fleet — despite previous attempts — but that doesn’t mean all of the planes in the fleet are safe.

The Air Force has warned Congress that more than a third of the 283 A-10 attack aircraft fleet may have to be permanently grounded unless Congress increases the Air Force’s budget to restart the production line that makes new wings for the planes.

The Air Force has paid for new wings needed to extend the life of 173 A-10 aircraft, but does not have the funding for the other 110 in the fleet, and about 40 would have to be grounded by 2021 unless additional funds are allocated, according to Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek.

I think it’s funny the Air Force is still flying the A-10. It was originally built to provide close air support to U.S. and NATO ground forces in western Europe against an invading Soviet land force. The plane was designed around the massive 30 mm rotary cannon, a gun with a single purpose: to kill Soviet tanks.

The only good Soviet tank is a dead Soviet tank

The A-10’s nose-mounted GAU-8/A Avenger autocannon fires depleted uranium armor-piercing shells. Depleted uranium because of its denseness. It’s what made the weapon so effective against tanks.

The A-10 was used in Operation Desert Storm in combat operations against Iraq. It killed around 900 Iraqi tanks, but it also destroyed over 2,000 Iraqi vehicles and 1,800 Iraqi artillery pieces. It even killed two Iraqi helicopters in air-to-air combat, a role it was never designed to do.

The U.S. military doesn’t engage in combat with tanks, artillery, or helicopters these days. What makes the A-10 such an effective combat weapon on today’s battlefield is its speed, or more accurately, its lack of speed. The A-10 is so slow that it can loiter over a battlefield. When it flies over a target, the pilot has the time to correctly find a target before it engages.

The A-10 flies at speeds that would cause other aircraft to stall out.

Ease of maintenance

Although I never got to work on the A-10, I did get to check them out when I was stationed at Clark Air Base in the Philippines. I was working on F-4E and F-4G’s at the time. The A-10 was equipped with the same Electronic Countermeasures (ECM) equipment as the F-4E, but what impressed me was how easy everything was to get to. It was designed with maintenance in mind. The F-4 was not. The “quickest” Line Replaceable Unit (LRU) to swap out on the F-4 was the processor for the radar warning system. It was under a panel with only 36 screws. This same LRU on the A-10 was mounted in the front landing gear compartment. There were no panel screws to remove. If memory serves, it was held in place with two large thumbscrews.

The A-10 made me mad

I walked away from crawling around the A-10 feeling jealous. I walked away feeling mad. When I was in tech school and received orders to go to Clark Air Base in the Philippines, I was disappointed. I didn’t want to go overseas. I was the only one in my class assigned overseas. A classmate even offered to swap assignments with me, something the Air Force allowed back then. He had orders to Myrtle Beach to work on the A-10. I left the decision to my then fiance. She wanted to go to the Philippines. The reason? Because it was a lot cheaper to live. It was so cheap in the Philippines, she wouldn’t need to get a job. In fact, she wouldn’t even be able to get a job in the Philippines. Spouses of American service members were forbidden to work in the Philippines.

If we went to Myrtle Beach, she would have to get a job.

I wish I had gone to Myrtle Beach to work on the A-10. I wish I hadn’t gone to the Philippines. I hated the Philippines. I wish I hadn’t left such an important decision to someone else. Myrtle Beach is were I now go for vacation.

The A-10 is the girlfriend the Pentagon wants to break up with, but can never quite get it done

For as long as I can remember, the Pentagon has tried to retire the A-10. The idea of a single-mission aircraft grew out of favor with the powers that be a long time ago. For the longest time, the answer to every problem was the F-16, a plane originally designed for export to U.S. friendly counties. Most counties wanted nothing to do with a U.S. built single-engine combat aircraft that the U.S. didn’t use in its own combat fleet. That eventually changed. The Air Force began using the F-16 as a mainline tactical fighter, less costly to procure and maintain then the F-15.  The U.S. Navy even began using the F-16 in its aggressor squadrons, planes that take on the role of enemy aircraft for the purposes of training.

The F-16 is the safest single engine combat airplane

I’ve never been a fan of the F-16. It only has one engine. When it comes to aircraft, especially combat aircraft, the more engines, the better. Unlike every other combat aircraft in the U.S. arsenal, the F-16 only has one engine. Every other aircraft in the U.S. military can lose an engine and make it back to base. The F-16 cannot.

I was in Korea in the late 80’s and an F-16 there has crashed into a mountain. This incident happened shortly after another F-16 crash. Critics began questioning the safety record of the F-16. I remember reading a quote in the newspaper from an Air Force public relations officer who said, “The F-16 is the safest single engine combat aircraft in the Air Force.”

This was a ridiculous comment because the F-16 was the only single engine combat aircraft in the Air Force.