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Ted Stevens and Sean O'Keefe In Plane Crash 512

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the end-of-the-tubes dept.
necro81 writes "The NY Times is reporting that former Senator Ted Stevens was aboard a small plane with eight others that crashed in remote southwest Alaska Monday night. Some news outlets are reporting that he died, along with at least four others. Meanwhile, the North American CEO of aerospace firm EADS and former NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe was was also reported in the crash. Rescue crews from the Alaska Air National Guard reached the site about ten hours after the initial crash."
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Ted Stevens and Sean O'Keefe In Plane Crash

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  • by NevarMore (248971) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @02:09PM (#33207556) Homepage Journal

    ...since the internet is a series of tubes. Its not like a truck. It can get clogged.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If we're going to make jokes, let me in on the action. Here's my contribution:

      Ted Stevens isn't dead; he's merely in Stage 1-2.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Pretty much every network textbook in existence uses the analogy of "pipes" when describing latency and bandwidth. "Tubes" and "pipes" are essentially the same thing, so if Stevens was wrong, then so are all the major network experts who write the textbooks. And "clogged tubes" is a pretty good analogy for congestion along a route.

      • by logjon (1411219) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @02:24PM (#33207784)
        Actually, if you listen to what he said, he wasn't really that far off, especially when you consider that a good portion of his audience had (and probably still has) no idea quite what the internet really is. Never understood all the flak he got for it.
        • by Kaboom13 (235759) <kaboom108@@@bellsouth...net> on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @03:03PM (#33208326)

          It wasn't what he said, it was the way he said it, and the irony of this old, clueless man, who held an extremely important committee seat, blathering on about something he clearly didn't understand. It sounded like he was repeating an explanation some slick lobbyist had used to explain it to him, that he only half remembered. I have yet to see a single piece of evidence that Ted Stevens was not a 100%, bought and paid for shill to industry, with no ethics or redeeming value. He treated congress like a smash and grab for money for his supporters. I'm sad he died in a plane crash instead of prison where he would have been if it weren't for the ineptitude of the prosecutors of his corruption investigation.

      • by bunratty (545641) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @02:31PM (#33207890)
        At our local children's museum, there's a model of the Internet as a series of transparent, flexible tubes. Each packet is represented by a ball, and they each take a different path to the destination. I have no idea why he gets so much flak for his tubes explanation of the Internet. He deserves flak for his infamous bridge to nowhere and felony indictment.
        • by DarkIye (875062) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @02:58PM (#33208264) Journal
          Like someone mentioned above, I don't think its his analogy per se so much as "the rambling old-man-time's way of describing his point of view that he used".

          And he stated that "one of his staff sent [him] an internet".
        • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @03:03PM (#33208338)

          I mean for one, the "series of tubes" thing just sounds funny. It was not an eloquent way of putting it. Second, it is a rather large oversimplification. Ok I'm fine with it for children since you are trying to really simplify it, but it is a bad way to describe it overall. The relationship between my plumbing (an actual series of tubes) and my net connection is tenuous at best despite the Internet connection begin called a "pipe" in some contexts.

          However the biggest reason was because from the entire explanation, it is clear he has no idea what the fuck he is talking about. What he said was:

          "Ten movies streaming across that, that Internet, and what happens to your own personal Internet? I just the other day got...an Internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday. I got it yesterday [Tuesday]. Why? Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the Internet commercially.

          [...] They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the Internet. And again, the Internet is not something that you just dump something on. It's not a big truck. It's a series of tubes. And if you don't understand, those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and it's going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material."

          It is clear the man understands nothing about the net. More or less he's bitching that has staffer sent him an e-mail which he calls "an Internet", and it was delayed for some reason. That he blames on people watching movies online. The amount of shit incorrect about that is just legendary.

          Had it been said as part of a competent explanation, it probably wouldn't have been picked up on. However his halting, improper explanation made it seem that he probably really did think of the Internet as being just like a sewer system, which is not at all correct.

        • by sdo1 (213835) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @03:19PM (#33208584) Journal

          He gets flack about it because he stood up there talking about something he knew absolutely nothing about, babbling words that some lobbyist paid him (er, um... donated to his campaign) to say.

          A shining example of the worst our legislative process has to offer...

          -S

        • Well that's just what people remembered most. His whole speech showed a clear misunderstanding of either English or how the internet works. Here are some other gems from that speech:


          Ten of them streaming across that internet and what happens to your own personal internet?

          I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday. Why?

          Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the internet commercially.

          So you want to talk about the consumer? Let's talk about you and me. We use this internet to communicate and we aren't using it for commercial purposes.

          Now, he is either trying to severely dumb things down to ...bring things down to the level of education of the senate... or he is really butchering the English language, or he has no understanding of what he is talking about. Occam's razor points to him just not understanding. There are no "clogs" on the internet, except in the case of broadcast storms on localized networks or otherwise sophisticated and abnormal edge cases. The flow through the pipes is the same, how much stuff you get to throw through that pipe might be reduced if many others are, but its not clogged. The analogy doesn't make sense. If he went with a truck and highway metaphor, where each truck is a packet, that *might* have actually been closer.

          And he might get a pass if he was my uncle trying to explain the internet to my family at a BBQ. But he is a senator addressing the senate, and with it the entire nation. The potential ramifications of spewing incorrect information to 100 of the most powerful men in the entire world are enormous. Can you imagine if your CEO got in front of the company's shareholders and just started spewing nonsense like this about how his company operates? He would be out the door the next day. The stakes are way higher when you address the senate.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Surt (22457)

        Worse than that, I have news for people. The internet is about 90% tubes. Little plastic tubes, with copper wire running through them for the most part. Also, some slightly larger tubes with more glass tubes inside. The other 10% is mostly computers.

      • by vux984 (928602) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @02:58PM (#33208262)

        Pretty much every network textbook in existence uses the analogy of "pipes" when describing latency and bandwidth. "Tubes" and "pipes" are essentially the same thing, so if Stevens was wrong, then so are all the major network experts who write the textbooks. And "clogged tubes" is a pretty good analogy for congestion along a route.

        Right. If this is how an average pay person, even a senator views the internet its not the end of the world.

        Part of his comments included this sentence: "I just the other day got...an Internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday. I got it yesterday." refering to an email message. Its ok for *MY* grand father to say he received an "internet", or to have a view of the internet strictly in terms of tubes.

        However, its not really forgivable that the man responsible for authoring legislation like the "Communications, Consumer's Choice, and Broadband Deployment Act of 2006" to not be clear on the difference between an email and the internet to have such a lay understanding of the subject.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by 91degrees (207121)
      It is a fricken series of tubes, or at least it's a decent enough analogy.

      Honestly, the guy gave a long and completely hopeless explanation of how the internet works and geeks focus on the one part that he actually got right!
  • by deviator (92787) <<gro.aisenma> <ta> <pdb>> on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @02:09PM (#33207558) Homepage

    was there a second crash?

  • RIP (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mark72005 (1233572)
    RIP
  • It's true (Score:5, Informative)

    by ak_hepcat (468765) <leif AT denali DOT net> on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @02:11PM (#33207590) Homepage Journal

    Senator Stevens did perish in the crash. The fates of the other 8 on board have not yet been released to the public or media as of 11:10am AST.

  • Stevens was Killed (Score:3, Informative)

    by longacre (1090157) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @02:13PM (#33207618) Homepage
  • by GPLDAN (732269) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @02:14PM (#33207626)
    Turns out the bridge goes nowhere...
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @02:18PM (#33207684)

      Turns out the bridge goes nowhere...

      Even the devil...
      ...sometoimes enjoys roast pork.
      *doublesunglasses*
      YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA---

    • by GPLDAN (732269) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @02:44PM (#33208072)
      When reached in Hades for comment, Stevens had this to say:

      "Ten airplanes flying across that, that state, and what happens to your own airplane? I just the other day got...an airplane was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday. I got it yesterday. Why? Because it got tangled up with all these things flying commercially."

      "They want to deliver vast amounts of people over the state. And again, the airspace is not something that you just dump something on. It's not a big duck. It's a series of tubesocks. And if you don't understand, those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your flight in, it gets in line and it's going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that airspace enormous amounts of airplanes, enormous amounts of airplanes."
  • by achyuta (1236050) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @02:15PM (#33207640)
    .. to make friends and memories. Its a shame he and the other unlucky ones aboard that plane didn't have a chance to say a few words to their loved ones before their end. May their souls rest in peace. Condolences to their families.
  • by sznupi (719324) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @02:15PM (#33207642) Homepage

    We can only hope you have found the tube meant for you.

  • by ultraexactzz (546422) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @02:19PM (#33207698) Journal
    According to http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewnews.html?id=1419 [spaceref.com], Sean O'Keefe (and his son) both survived the crash, though they are "...banged up". This, per a family source.
  • by Zarquil (187770) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @02:20PM (#33207716)

    Sean and his son Jonathon are reported banged up but okay.

    http://nasawatch.com/archives/2010/08/sean-okeefe-and.html [nasawatch.com]

  • Not his first crash (Score:5, Informative)

    by kaizendojo (956951) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @02:23PM (#33207764)
    Shortly after being elected to his second full term in 1978, he was aboard a private jet that went down at Anchorage International Airport, killing his first wife, Ann.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by blair1q (305137)

      Alaska, due to the massive standard deviation in topograpy, frequently abysmal weather, and the necessity of covering its vast area for which there is almost no infrastructure, is the nation's (and possibly the world's) epicenter for aircraft incidents, per capita (California has more total from 2008 to 2010, Texas just barely fewer, but neither comes close per citizen).

      Throw in the sort of personality that likes living and flying airplanes there, and you get more excursions into any envelope of safety. Eve

  • Big Ted (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sponge Bath (413667) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @02:23PM (#33207770)

    Big Ted
    Big Ted

    Every morning at the senate, you could see him arrive.
    He stood 5 foot 6, weighed 145.
    Kind of broad at the hips and narrow of mind.
    And everybody knew you had to pay to play with Big Ted.

    Big Ted
    Big Ted
    Big Bad Ted

  • by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @02:24PM (#33207776) Homepage Journal

    Sen. Tubes: 1 packets transmitted, 0 received, 100% packet loss

    %

    My heartfelt sympathy goes out to those of us still living who held the perished ones dear.

  • by Kuukai (865890) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @02:28PM (#33207842) Journal
    Unfortunately, since his staff didn't mail his soul until Monday, it's not going to get to where it's going until Thursday. Until then he's still technically alive.
  • OH NOES! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by HeckRuler (1369601) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @02:29PM (#33207852)
    If only he had traveled by tube!
    But really, as much as I dislike the guy, and as poor at his job as he was, if he's really dead then these comments are going to be in poor taste and my heart goes out to his family. Hopefully everyone is ok.
  • Angle for /.ers: (Score:4, Informative)

    by Relic of the Future (118669) <dales@di[ ]alfreaks.org ['git' in gap]> on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @02:32PM (#33207900)
    An angle on the story that might be of interest to /.ers:

    The plane, and the lodge it was flying to, are owned by GCI.

    GCI is a large (the largest?) local cable/wireless/internet provider in Alaska.

    Most likely, Ted "Series of Tubes" Stevens was prepping/being prepped for a new telecom lobbying gig; his two-year senate-lobbying exclusion window would have closed at the end of the year.

    I don't want to disparage the man, not today; but I thought /. would like to know.

    • Re:Angle for /.ers: (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jd (1658) <{moc.oohay} {ta} {kapimi}> on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @02:55PM (#33208228) Homepage Journal

      Much more interesting (to me) is that the aircraft used (a DeHavilland DHC-3T [controller.com]) is a flying boat built in 1953. Looks great for fishing trips, but they were taking it through dangerous mountains - known for doing unmentionable things to aircraft - during a severe storm. Hands up all those who would want to be in the aircraft shown in the posting under those kinds of conditions. I feel certain that former Sen. Stevens has been in enough light aircraft (Alaska is big and the roads aren't) to know what you can and cannot do. What I cannot fathom is why he, with his knowledge and experience, would take that kind of a pointless, stupid risk.

      As for O'Keefe, for all his time at NASA, I doubt he's enough time in aircraft of this vintage and size to know the risks. Being head honcho of an aerospace organization doesn't endow you with the kind of skill and knowledge needed. Nonetheless, he too should have been wary of flying in those conditions in an antique.

      • Re:Angle for /.ers: (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Colonel Korn (1258968) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @03:27PM (#33208694)

        Much more interesting (to me) is that the aircraft used (a DeHavilland DHC-3T [controller.com]) is a flying boat built in 1953. Looks great for fishing trips, but they were taking it through dangerous mountains - known for doing unmentionable things to aircraft - during a severe storm. Hands up all those who would want to be in the aircraft shown in the posting under those kinds of conditions.

        I would prefer not to be flying any aircraft in those conditions, but if one must be chosen, a DHC-3 isn't bad. A DHC-6 would be better, thanks to the spare engine, but they have nearly identical performance and the DHC-6 is known as one of the best aircraft in the world in severe conditions. When things are too dangerous for the type of plane that you're implying would be safer (I assume you mean big fancy jets), they turn to Twin Otters. They operate in Antarctica, for instance.

    • by Bigjeff5 (1143585) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @03:22PM (#33208626)

      GCI is a large (the largest?) local cable/wireless/internet provider in Alaska.

      GCI is the largest cable provider, but they are definitely not the largest wireless/internet/telecom company. That would be ACS.

      Your lobbying idea is ludicrous though, GCI serves about 300,000 people, and being a local company, have very little stake in national politics. They might lobby the state senate (in fact they almost certainly do), but it's a far cry from anything national, and using Stevens for the state senate is a bit of overkill.

      The more likely explanation is that, after 50 years as a major name in politics, Stevens has made a number of big-name (locally speaking) friends himself - enough that a high level GCI manager would send him out to a private lodge from time to time when he wanted.

      I suppose GCI was grooming the CEO of EADS North America (a much larger company, btw) for a lobbying gig too, eh? Maybe GCI is going to be going into space sometime, eh?

      Frankly, you're an idiot.

  • Farewell (Score:3, Funny)

    by bluie- (1172769) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @02:34PM (#33207920)
    Farewell sir, may your journey onward be clogless in a big truck.
  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @02:34PM (#33207922)

    I'm not sad because these particular guys died. I'm sad because my first thought when I heard that some former lawmakers and corporate executives died is, "Good, probably served them right."

    I guess this says a lot about me, but I'm afraid it says even more about the overall state of our country.

    • by Wyatt Earp (1029) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @02:45PM (#33208090)

      Sad day because he was the driving force in the only truly fair compensation program for American Indians/Alaska Natives in the history of the United States. 44 million acres and 15 billion dollars.

      And he pushed the Alaska Pipeline, Denali Commission, Magnuson-Stevens Act, voted against the impeachment of President Clinton.

      So why do you think death served him right?

    • Nope, just you (Score:3, Interesting)

      by SuperKendall (25149)

      I guess this says a lot about me, but I'm afraid it says even more about the overall state of our country.

      Not really. Business owners are the same as they have always been, there are a few bad ones but a lot of decent executives simply trying to make the company work better.

      Basically you have been brainwashed into thinking any executive is evil, even though you never heard the name of a single company. You have started to wake up, think long and hard about why your first thought was that it was good any g

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mooingyak (720677)

      You are not alone in that reaction.

      And just so this isn't a "me too!" post, I found this tidbit from the article somewhat irritating:

      “Last night, Alaska lost a hero and I lost a dear friend,” Senator Murkowski said in a statement. “The thought of losing Ted Stevens, a man who was known to business and community leaders, Native chiefs and everyday Alaskans as ‘Uncle Ted,’ is too difficult to fathom. His entire life was dedicated to public service — from his days as a pilot in World War II to his four decades of service in the United States Senate. He truly was the greatest of the ‘Greatest Generation.’ ”

      Not quite the Ted Stevens I'm familiar with...

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by pspahn (1175617)
        The guy was a WWII pilot? Knowing that, I could care less about his politics and anything else he has done. The man bravely served his country, and for this he deserves some respect. While I'm not surprised, it is pretty appalling to read some of these responses. I would prefer to maintain the life of one single WWII pilot over the entire collection of everyday assholes found in this thread.
  • Civility... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by istartedi (132515) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @02:54PM (#33208216) Journal

    Civility has long since gone down the tubes, as so many comments here demonstrate. A guy makes an analogy that isn't entirely congruent with the more popular analogy. Somebody with a job that encompasses interacting with people from every walk of life is criticised for failing to be an expert in our particular walk of life. His opinions were, I assume, not in line with the majority of Slashdotters regarding some issue pertaining to the Internet. Do we even know what his opinions are, or do we just know that he was a stupid poo-poo head becasue all the other kindergardners called him that?

    I feel ashamed to have anything to do with this site on a day like today.

    RIP Sen. Stevens, and GWS to those who survived.

    • Re:Civility... (Score:4, Informative)

      by dfghjk (711126) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @03:15PM (#33208516)

      He was hated because he was a corrupt SOB. Ridiculing him for his fake expertise was just the low hanging fruit.

    • Re:Civility... (Score:5, Informative)

      by X86Daddy (446356) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @03:47PM (#33208908) Journal

      His "series of tubes" diatribe was funny, highly entertaining stuff in and of itself. If he was a late night comedian, I doubt many if any slashdotters would be venting "good riddance" at this man's death. But the context of his series of tubes diatribe was something else. He was making law, law applicable to an arena most slashdotters hold dear, and he demonstrated a complete lack of understanding of the subject matter, while demonstrating that he was supporting a position he was paid to support, without regard of how that would impact the People. That made him more than a silly old man... that put him in a very dishonorable position.

      Personally, I think that paled in comparison to his behavior during the hearings on record high gas prices, where he nastily shot down colleagues who wanted the record-profit-making oil company executives to be under oath. You can find the written quotes [cnn.com] (near end of article) easily enough, but if you can find video, you will see that his attitude indicated he was firmly siding with those executives over any public interest, before the hearings even began.

      This man occupied a job "for the people" while feeling far more beholden to his corporate sponsors. It was obvious from so many incidents in which he was involved... from his own words and deeds, let alone his funding. I'm not thrilled at his death, but I certainly don't lament it. I'm not thrilled because he was just one obvious example, in a system that entirely favors and rewards the kind of misdeeds he performed. That system is still in place. Those hating the player are only behaving shamefully if they're failing to hate the game in this case. Those in the wrong are those who think Stevens was especially bad in any way other than getting his behavior more airtime in the media (because he was funny about it). I only wish all senators, etc... were as entertaining, so that more of their behavior would be spotlighted in the same way.

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