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2019-05-21 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Company Specific , 142 references
[Comments enabled]  

This is the sort of sick crap that is sexist in the extreme, utterly indefensible and outrageous.

NikeOpens a New Window. said it was adding language to future contracts that would protect female athletes’ pay during pregnancy after the brand received backlash last week for freezing compensation for some pregnant women under endorsement deals.

Nike announced Friday the policy, which the company began implementing last year, will be written into future endorsement deals, The Wall Street Journal reported. Although current contracts will not be altered, female athletes will also receive the same protection.

What this stems from is clauses in athletic endorsement contracts that require the athlete to be competing to their level of ability in order to get paid.

Some women think this is "unfair" if they decide to have a child -- that is, they should get paid even though they voluntarily choose to do something other than compete athletically.

No man, of course, is entitled to make the same decision; he's expected to compete even though he might prefer to remain at home with his pregnant wife and, after the birth, his new child.

Nope.

By the way neither sex should be able to demand this.

You're not being paid because you're smart when you have an athletic endorsement contract.

You're being paid because you're competing in athletic competitions and showing off the company's products while doing so, essentially making the marketing argument that if you wear Nike's stuff you'll be {faster|better|etc}.

It's likely a nonsense argument in the first case (are you really faster with Nike's shoes on than someone else's?) but most marketing is in fact what is known as "puffery"; that is, it is an attempt to get you to believe, without evidence, that if you buy product "X" it will make you {faster|sexier|you'll-get-laid|whatever}.

If you sign such a deal and then choose not to perform your part of the bargain because you wish to do something else then you shouldn't get paid until and unless you do perform your part of the bargain.

This sort of rampant sexist horse**** needs to be stomped on hard and I, for one, will never buy another Nike product.

They can claim men are lesser all they want but I claim their entire company ought to be sacrificed to Pele'.

**** Nike.

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2019-05-15 10:25 by Karl Denninger
in Company Specific , 140 references
[Comments enabled]  

It's about damned time.

A report broke Friday that the unions representing American, United and Southwest pilots have all been hit with subpoenas from the criminal division of the US Department of Justice, requiring them to turn over 737 Max-related documents to a federal grand jury, according to Bloomberg. 

The unions confirmed for me Saturday that they'd been served. 

Good.

There are several reasons for a criminal investigation here.  First and foremost is what appears to be a deliberate attempt to mislead the FAA in that during flight testing the limit of authority for MCAS was quadrupled yet the FAA was not notified of this, nor was the fault analysis re-run and re-submitted despite testing disclosing that the original design for the system was off in its required limit of authority by a factor of four.

Then there is the apparent change in the stabilizer trim disconnect switch operation; the previous generations of the 737 all separated the disconnection of flight control computers and the "master" disconnect, which would also disable the manual trim switches on the control yoke.  The capability to deny automatic trim input separately from the master disconnect appears to have been removed from the MAX yet that appears to not be clearly disclosed in pilot training or system documentation differences.  The reason for that may have been to evade a type certificate difference but irrespective of the reason that's #2.

Next up, and perhaps the most damning, is that apparently Boeing had reports on failures of the sensors involved for months before the first crash along with knowledge that the system had failed to alert on same and did not initiate the process leading to an AD to correct it prior to the crashes.

Does any of this lead to criminal liability?  In my opinion if the facts bear out what appears to be the case it damn well should.

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2019-05-10 10:19 by Karl Denninger
in Company Specific , 242 references
[Comments enabled]  

How do you know we're well into the part of a so-called bull market where it's all hot air in a balloon?

Someone manages to go public, and actually get the deal to subscribe, where they openly admit they can't make money without ass-raping every single person who make the development of the firm to that point possible, and those people get exactly zero of the proceeds.

What's even worse is when the firm has exactly zero evidence that the alleged technology required to fire all of those people will exist at any given point in time.  That is, as things stand today the entire development process necessary to make profitability possible has no reasonably-certain "end date" and may never occur.

This is Uber.

The common claim is that they're a "classic" marketplace that matches buyers (those who want a ride) with sellers (those who have a car and are willing to provide one), ala "eBay."  Nonsense.

Uber sets the price for said ride.

Uber sets the parameters for said ride; they set specifications for what sort of car, what age of said car, etc can be used to provide said ride.

Uber sets the amount the driver get paid for said ride.

Uber even sets the routing the driver is supposed to use for said ride.

Uber, in short, is a scam.  It's a classic anti-trust violation writ large in that it operates intentionally at a loss to destroy taxi and competing "black car" services and has no way to make a profit at the price being offered.  This is supposed to draw a felony criminal charge aimed at the executives; instead we "celebrate" it going public with an IPO.

There is no rule of law for anyone like these bastards so why does the rest of the population "play nice" within the boundaries of the law?  How many people does Uber propose to put out of business and bankrupt?  Every taxi driver and every one of their own drivers as well!

Your name is "Boobus Americanus"; wear the label with pride.

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2019-05-06 10:10 by Karl Denninger
in Company Specific , 240 references
[Comments enabled]  

About a week ago a truck driver came down an infamous mountain pass in Colorado.  Speeding.  With, apparently, no brakes (likely having burned them out.)  He went right past the runaway truck ramp, which he could have diverted into -- but likely would have been fired for doing so, since it's quite expensive (maybe as much as $10k) to remove a truck from those things -- they get in there REAL GOOD.  Then again that's the point -- get in there and stop, rather than........

He continued and in town, where he still was blazing down the highway, he came upon stopped traffic for an earlier accident.  He couldn't even slow down and plowed into the stopped cars, killing 4.

He's facing vehicular manslaughter charges, for good reason.

Well?

Boeing didn’t share information about a problem with a cockpit safety alert for about a year before the issue drew attention with the October crash of a 737 MAX jet in Indonesia, and then gave some airlines and pilots partial and inconsistent explanations, according to industry and government officials.

Note that word again -- share.

Really?  Share?  How about "report", or "alert", or, well, damn near anything else.

No, it's "share."

Uh huh.

But for their "didn't", and but for their "inconsistent explanations" over 300 people would be alive today.

These **********s - the executives at Boeing, including their CEO and all their board members, along with everyone else who suppressed this information must be charged and prosecuted with 300 counts of manslaughter.

And the company must be dismantled.

Destroyed.

Not fined, not slapped on the wrist, destroyed.

**** the government if they don't immediately do so, given that these facts are now out in the open.

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2019-03-18 21:35 by Karl Denninger
in Company Specific , 455 references
[Comments enabled]  

Every one of the officers and directors.

Or just destroy the company.  I don't much care which.

I'm talking about Boeing here.

Christchurch saw 50 people killed by a maniac.  The 737MAX has killed six times as many people and destroyed two hulls.

STFU about terrorism and how horrible it is until there are 300+ criminal charges of manslaughter laid for the souls aboard those two aircraft unless this entire article is crap, which it probably isn't.

Specifically, the article states:

  • The failure analysis, including the "what bad thing(s) happen if this goes wrong" were predicated on a design that had the authority to move the trim by 0.6 degrees.  By that maximum movement the system could not crash the plane or kill anyone on board (it might produce minor injuries or discomfort to passengers however.)

  • The limits were later updated to 2.5 degrees but the documents were not updated and thus the analysis was not re-run. That's four times the original limit, and would have prompted a much more serious rating in the event of a malfunction.

  • Worse, it was not documented that the system would reset whenever the pilot entered a trim command, and thus there was no effective limit at all on the amount of trim change the system could input.  That would have likely led to a "will lose the aircraft" (e.g. "CATASTROPHIC", or "must be prevented") rating for a failure.

To have a system that winds up during testing requiring four times the designed and expected range of authority is outrageous on its face.  To be off by 5%, 10% -- that's pretty normal.  You can only model so much, and models are never exact.

But when you're off by four hundred percent your original design was crap.

Further, to have the system reset whenever the pilot gave a contrary command meant that it had unlimited authority.  The total range from neutral to the limit is 5 degrees, so 2.5 degrees is half the total design range from neutral with one action.  That's not a "minor" adjustment!

As I said in my previous article prior to reading this I had serious questions about whether Boeing pushed the envelope too far with this design in the first place, shaving margins.

Now, if this article is correct it's clear that Boeing knew during flight testing that the expected behavior of the aircraft with the new engines did not match the actual, in-flight performance; what they actually got in terms of aerodynamic stability under certain conditions was much worse than they expected.

But rather than change the documents to reflect the true amount of correction required and document that the actual authority of the system was unlimited due to reset behavior or put hard limit switches on the system to prevent that and then re-run the analysis, which might have resulted in at minimum a different type certificate (read: more cost for customers as pilots must be re-trained) or worse, a denied certification (potentially catastrophic costs requiring re-engineering the engine mounts and aerodynamic effects of same, redesign and re-fabrication of the wings and control surfaces, or even determination that the problems were not able to be feasibly corrected!) Boeing didn't update the documents and thus the re-analysis was not done.

The Seattle Times calls this flawed analysis.  That, of course, assumes Boeing did not know that the authority of the system was changed to have four times that originally specified and did not know that if the pilot commanded opposite trim the system treated that as a reset and restarted, giving it the set authority anew, effectively meaning it had authority only limited by the physical limits of the mechanism.

That is an unreasonable assumption since someone changed the limits of authority between the time the system was designed and when testing was completed.  That someone most-certainly did know; the change did not happen on its own.

In addition Boeing knew that pilot commands in the opposite direction reset the system because Boeing engineers coded it that way.  Someone wrote that spec and someone else signed off on it when the programming was complete; in addition during testing it was tested against that spec.

But the FAA wasn't notified of any of this, the documents were, if the article is correct, not updated and the failure analysis was not re-examined in light of these facts.

Look folks I've written code like this.  Yeah, it was a long time ago but so what?  It wasn't for a plane but it was operating heavy machinery where excursions beyond authorized and reasonable limits either had the potential to do severe property damage and in some cases could kill someone -- or a lot of someone's.

You don't change limits from the original design without going back through the failure analysis.

You don't put a system together like this without defining what the maximum limits of its authority are, and what happens if they are entirely consumed -- along with what can happen if they're exceeded.

If the "what can happen if they're exceeded" is very bad (people get badly hurt, die, or serious property damage happens) then you put physical, hard backup on said system that independently prevents that and which is not able to be overridden by the software in question, whether it's a limit switch that cuts the power to the contactor's coil or something similar, and also considers any time that limit switch triggers an alarm event which indicates a critical malfunction took place that must be corrected before the thing in question is returned to service, since that "last ditch" safety device is there for the specific purpose of preventing a disaster and it just triggered. You cannot run that last-ditch safety through the original control system in any way because if it goes off you know, with certainty, the original system is defective -- it has either gone insane according to its operating rules or is broken.

Further, and perhaps most-critically, to not look VERY closely at ALL of the original design assumptions and their safety margins when you design for an 0.6 degree maximum automated trim correction, which is about 12% of the range from neutral and during testing you're forced to allow a 50% range from neutral to meet requirements, four times the designed and expected limit, you ****ed up when you designed that thing in a way that might not be able to be safely operated no matter what you do in the present "as-built" configuration.

You have no damned business letting that thing, whatever it is, anywhere near people it can maim or kill until and unless you can prove that being off by 400% on a critical safety item's range of authority does not reduce the margin of safety for the entire thing below reasonable limits.  In addition if you're off by that much then everything in said device needs to be re-examined down to the last piece of wire, rivet, bolt and torque spec; if you screwed the pooch that badly in one place why would I believe that's the only place your rocket scientists blew it?

To not do all of that is outrageous.

I'm not an aeronautical engineer but I understand process control, computers and shaving margins to meet "corporate needs", whether those needs be time or money.  If what The Seattle Times is reporting is accurate not only did that happen the FAA, the agency that's supposed to stop that crap from happening and spank people if they try it instead stuck its head up Boeing's ass and issued a type certificate, all in the name of "promoting" American aviation.

Don't talk to me about terrorists and shootings when there are two planes full of people who are dead as a consequence of this bull****.

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