Longer hang time
I’d like to comment on the article “Lighter planes, less fuel, longer hang time” in the February InTech.
Regarding the “longer hang time,” changing a plane’s weight by the use of composites, etc. will allow for smaller flight surface area, which in turn will reduce drag and provide for less fuel, but this will not increase the aircraft’s duration during a glide since the flight surfaces will be smaller.
Industrial System Arts Inc.
Conveying key issues in headlines
I would like to comment to the titles of InTech articles, which increasingly have become abstract.
For examples, please see them in the February 2009 issue:
A butterfly out of water
It floats boats
They are like titles of literary books.
Since they are technical articles, I like to see the titles directly convey the key issue of the article. The worst in the February issue was “It floats boats.” The title does not indicate the article is of level measurement by floats. Its caption does not tell so yet. Its first paragraphs are generic expression.
Most readers of InTech are engineers. We like to see the titles of the articles directly indicate the contents.
Matt Kazahaya, Ph.D., MBA, an ISA lifetime senior member
The concept of sustainability
In the March 2009 “Talk to me,” Greg Hale mentioned that “Sustainability...is about energy, energy management, and green initiatives …” Hale quoted Alan Hecht, the EPA’s Director of Sustainability as saying, “The public is demanding sustainability, and science and technology can make it happen.”
I think both are missing the point: Sustainability is achieved when the consumption rate of resources and production rate of those resources consumed are in balance. The population of consumers continues to grow exponentially, and many resources we consume are finite and diminishing rapidly. This makes the concept of sustainability as defined by most people almost laughable, if it doesn’t make you want to cry at their lack of understanding.
As of late, it has become a marketing buzzword, and we all know how much engineers love our marketing departments! Engineers should understand better than most the power of exponential growth functions (pun intended). Engineering solutions continue to be a bandage on a wound that keeps getting bigger and bigger, and no one wants to address the root cause of the problem—uncontrolled human population growth.
Frank Rytkonen, Beaverton, Oregon
More on Smart Grid
Thank you for continuing to run articles about solar and wind power. More on Smart Grid would be helpful. Smart Grid technology and topology is just forming, and ISA should have input for the control side of the Power Smart Grid.
Bob Giese, PE, PMP, Senior Member of ISA
Letting ‘the good guys’ play
I read Greg Hale’s “Talk to Me” in the January InTech. I am extremely excited about the approach on security promoted by an emerging company that got its start in digital rights management. It is a different approach that can be valuable in some circumstances. Most security technologies for IT today focus on understanding who ‘the bad guys’ are and keeping abreast of the latest ‘bad things’ they are trying to do and how they are trying to do them.
In contrast, this new approach understands who ‘the good guys’ are and only lets them play—absolutely no outsiders allowed.
First, this approach identifies (with a precision greater than human DNA) the profile of each piece of hardware that belongs in your network, and subsequently, the software profile of each device. Anything that does not match is not allowed at all. Then after that, you can use the normal user authentication and authorization techniques.
This new approach is sometimes called hardware and software whitelisting. This technology can be a new and effective tool in the corporate IT arsenal for corporate network security and particularly for PC-SCADA. Its elegance can make it superior to certificate-based authentication and can greatly lessen (or eradicate) the need for constant Microsoft patches, even remove the DMZ.
Just some thoughts.
Mike Brooks, Chevron
‘Can’t we all just get along’
As a marketing communications person focusing on the industrial/automation market, I read your publication monthly. Sometimes I am scanning for client’s press coverage, sometimes for a competitor’s ad, and today … reading “Talk to Me” (April InTech) over and over.
THANK YOU for the reminder. It is a bit like my favorite childhood hero, Mr. Rogers. Can’t we all just get along? There is a lot of negative stuff out there, and so finger pointing and name calling just takes over. Let’s focus on what is important—team play. AMEN to your letter this month.
Being nice does work.
Maria Stearns, Inside Out Communications