Chinese Lurked Around United Airlines System for Over a Year

Additionally, in April the Federal Aviation Administration called out United for what it labeled “systemic” problems in the system the airline uses to qualify and schedule its pilots.

As a result, these new revelations of Chinese hacking only reinforce and magnify the “screwed-up United” storyline. It’s not at all clear what the hackers have done, or can do with the more than a year’s worth of data they quite likely pirated from United. Nor is it known if – or which – other airlines also have been targeted by the Chinese.

But the fact that United only found out from U.S. government investigators in April that the Chinese had been playing around inside their supposedly sophisticated and well-guarded systems for more than a year adds to the perception that United’s management is failing to manage the basics.

It's not looking great at one of the U.S. major airlines. I hope all my friends at United are doing well and have some type of backup. Other than the massive retirees, the advice of attrition and expansion is looking better at Blue. :) In lieu of all these high end hacker attacks, our systems and firewalls should be gearing up for a cyberwar.

Pilot Shortage Caused by Extremely Low Wages & Legacy Airlines' Greed

The nation's big airlines want you to know that there's a dreadful pilot shortage and they apologize profusely if their commuter-carrier partners cancel flights to your hometown airport due to the debilitating shortfall. The nation's big airlines don't want you to know that their commuter carriers, which operate half of all the nation's commercial flights, often pay pilots so little that it's often financially wiser to drive a truck or flip fast-food burgers than fly a plane.

This was the only article that I read that truly understood the bigger picture. Many other articles state that the voting no by and large by the pilot unions for not only better pay but work rules led to this in time but none of them detail the fact that some of those contracts were in fact largely concessionary. Just yesterday, The Dallas Morning News pointed out that the U.S. airlines scored their first $5 BILLION dollar quarter!

By the way, my previous employer, ExpressJet Airlines formerly known as Atlantic Southeast Airlines and owned by SkyWest Inc who also owns and operates SkyWest Airlines, is hiring. JetBlue will also be opening their pilot application in the VERY near future. So stay tuned!

Here's a formal picture in my Captain uniform at ASA / XJT when I volunteered in pilot recruitment that is still used today =) 

 

The MPAA is Evil

In other words, Jim Hood and the MPAA were out and out planning a coordinated media attack on Google using the editorial properties that supposedly claim to have editorial independence from the business side. Notice that with the WSJ piece, they flat out admit that the editorial will be based on the ideas that "we" have developed. If you work for the WSJ, your editorial independence just got shot down. Remember when CBS stepped in and interfered editorially with CNET for giving an award to Dish at the same time that CBS was in a legal fight over that same device? That resulted in reporters quitting.

The evil is within our theaters, entertainment and the media that we have helped create. They use their profits to further their agenda but I admit, that what most people do. Don't be swayed by the false news, advertising and those that have been bought out. Congrats to those that have taken a stand. Shame on everyone else working for these shameful media companies.

Can You Guess Who's the Best Coach Airline in North America?

Best overall coach-class airline in North America: JetBlue

Even after the current downgrading, JetBlue's extra legroom still beats any other airline. The de facto charge for a checked bag, at $15 over the minimum fare, is less than on most other airlines. The satellite-based Wi-Fi is free, at slow speeds, and $9 an hour for enough bandwidth to stream movies. And seats in JetBlue's Airbus planes are an inch wider than on any competitors' 737s.

Hope to see you soon on one of my flights!  

Launching the #OnReserve Team via Slack

Slack syncs seamlessly across devices, features a powerful internal search engine, and is highly compatible with dozens of other programs that keep businesses running. But Slack’s truly innovative offering goes unlisted: It is a cool office culture, available for instant download.

I spent the last few days setting up onreserve.info and onreserve.slack.com. With the help of an awesome guy named henry from another slack team, I was able to find out that you can register domain names for free, have it hosted via a github page, and use an entire library of awesome images via unsplash.com.

I've been blazing away at lightening speeds setting it up and getting it going. Now, with many various channels ready to go up and running, I want to invite all various Pilots and Flight Attendants to come and join up in an online Live Chat / Bulletin Board / Forum. The end goal really is to become a productive and cool culture where everyone can talk, meet up maybe and or even plan things. No negativity just plane talk... and whatever else.

If you have any more ideas to add, email me or like I already mentioned, join in by navigating to onreserve.info and following the sign-up process. I'll also have a write up shortly on how I did the nitty gritty with more details. Thanks again!

PSA: If You Like Music, Don't Fall for Beats Headphones

A detailed teardown (via PopMech) of a pair of Beats’ immensely popular Solo headphones conducted by hardware-focused venture capital firm Bolt has some answers buried beneath. The headphones are incredibly cheaply made. The company cuts corners everywhere it can; gluing pieces together instead of using screws, and reducing the amount of tooling wherever possible. Amazingly, for all the company’s claims about precision sound design, the headphones use freaking off-the-shelf drivers!

As if this wasn't reason enough?! I still can't believe that Apple was tricked into buying such a shitty product! And yes, I Have tested and spent spent $399 on their Stuido Pro but promptly returned them one hour later. Trash!

Do yourself a favor and go with some Grados. The best $100 on headphones you can spend are on the Prestige Series SR80e.

Also of not, their "award winning" Beats Solo are essentially filled with extra metal for added weight to trick you into thinking they are substantial.

Drink Wine for Intellectual Taste Not Alcohol Levels

At its core, though, the debate is about the philosophical purpose of fine wine. Should oenologists try to make beverages that are merely delicious? Or should the ideal be something more profound and intellectually stimulating? Are the best wines the equivalent of Hollywood blockbusters or art-house films? And who gets to decide?

In the early 2000s, he recalls, he drank a syrah from the Rhone Valley in France with another sommelier. Like other Rhone wines, it impressed him less with its fruit flavor than with its hints at things that couldn’t possibly be in the wine: roasted meat, freshly turned soil. He liked how the wine felt in his mouth, crisp rather than weighty, and how the wine evolved as he drank it, one sip after the next. These, he knew, were hallmarks of bottlings from the finest regions of Europe. When he wondered aloud why similar wines weren’t made in California, the other sommelier said it simply wasn’t possible.

One of the best articles that I have read on the NYTimes pertaining to the Parker influenced American palate of wines. What's your flavor? I'm all for the unique flavors of each grape harvest from a specific field but once again, at what cost?

Google Hangouts Prone to Wiretapping

Apple has long maintained that conversations over iMessage and FaceTime use end-to-end encryption, meaning “no one but the sender and receiver can see or read them,” as the company said after the PRISM revelations. That claim has turned out to be partly true: normally, Apple can’t read your iMessages, but they can if they really want to.

Google, on the other hand, has been mostly silent—there have been no boastful public statements—about the security of its popular Hangouts service, which can be used for both text-based as well as audio-video conversations. In its support documentation, Google simply says that “when you message or talk with someone on Hangouts, your information will be encrypted so that it’s secure,” but there’s no mention of end-to-end encryption.

via Motherboard

So...just to summarize, Google confirms that cops can and are wiretapping your hangouts. *delete* But I guess Facebook isn't necessarily safe either.

If you want to expand you knowledge on all the various illicit activities that the US Government has been doing, check out the blocked Snowden interview that the US Media failed to air and it still trying to block. Click here for the Axis of Logic.

“Every time you pick up a phone, dial a number, write an email, make a purchase, travel on the bus carrying a cell phone, swipe a card somewhere, you leave a trace, and the government has decided that it’s a good idea to collect it all, everything, even if you’ve never been suspected of a crime.”

via San Diego City Times

More Sex, Better Sleep

Is more sex before bed the answer to getting a good night's sleep? "Not only do I generally agree with that, but there is some good data to support it," says Nicole Prause, Ph.D., a top sex researcher at UCLA. "But, in all of the literature and research, we don’t know if it helps improve the quality of sleep. It's never been looked at. We just know that sex can get you to sleep and to get your brain off what it's ruminating about and that can lead to better sleep."

"There is one good study done in Germany that says when you have an orgasm, oxytocin and vasopressin both go high and they stay high for at least an hour. They did an experiment where they injected male rats with vasopressin and the rats immediately started yawning like crazy. It was actually really cute. This does show that orgasms—whether it's via sex with a partner or masturbation—can help you fall asleep faster."

Filing it under future reference. ^_^

Lenting for You or Others?

The dominant theme for the past few years that I can remember is when the priest first started speaking about not just giving up something for Lent to better yourself but to better others as well. Reiterated by Pope Francis in this awesome Time article, I'll try my best to do the same.

He often quotes the early Christian mystic John Chrysostom who said: “No act of virtue can be great if it is not followed by advantage for others. So, no matter how much time you spend fasting, no matter how much you sleep on a hard floor and eat ashes and sigh continually, if you do no good to others, you do nothing great.”