We can’t call it “Office Open XML” anymore, because it no longer belongs to Microsoft Office exclusively. As of yesterday, International Organization for Standardization committee SC 34 passed a resolution that effectively assumes stewardship of Open XML, the document format standard originally produced by Microsoft, and which is now officially under new management.
JET engines are now so reliable that a pilot can go an entire career without seeing one fail. Autopilots are so good that some airlines have set up their cockpits to emit a loud beep every few minutes, to make sure the crew is still awake. And navigation is so accurate that landings can be timed to the second.
So what’s left to worry about in aviation?
In a word, fuel.
Jet fuel is now the largest expense for most airlines, and for American carriers each penny increase in price per gallon costs nearly $200 million a year. The industry is also becoming increasingly nervous about what happens when that fuel is burned. Aviation is responsible for about 2 percent of global emissions of greenhouse gases, and that share will rise as air travel continues to grow.
So the industry is scrambling to build greener airplanes — to save weight and improve engine efficiency, with an eye toward reducing operating costs and emissions.
Next Sunday, the Passover again falls upon us. For those of us Jews that celebrate the holiday, it is most associated with a ceremonial meal spent with family, where we recite the story passed down to us over hundreds of generations from Maxwell House haggadahs chronicling the exodus from Egypt as slaves of the Pharaoh. Personally, I find the entire experience somewhat draining, because if you really do it the way its supposed to be done, it takes at least ninety minutes …
I can’t begin to tell you how many people over the years I have consulted with about choosing a Linux distribution. And even with my own personal loyalties to one distribution or another, it always amazes me how certain distributions are better suited to various users and needs. So when I set out to write a 10 Things article, it only made sense that my first one be related to choosing a Linux distribution.