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Messages - Fred Michaels

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News / Miami Has A New Training Administrator!
« on: January 16, 2018, 02:08:02 PM »
Please join me in congratulating Fady Botros as he moves to serve as the Training Administrator for ZMA! A member of Miami's Instructional Training Team for some time, Mr. Botros brings a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm into the role. We are extremely pleased to have him moving into this new position and excited about where the future will lead!

Congratulations Fady!

News / Miami Has A New Facility Engineer!
« on: December 18, 2017, 11:32:27 AM »
Please join the ZMA community in welcoming Erik Quinn as our newest Facility Engineer! Erik has been a member of our community's Instructional Training Team for awhile. We are excited about the future with him moving into this new role.

Congratulations Erik!

General Discussion / Re: Discussion: ATC Timetable
« on: December 15, 2017, 01:05:17 PM »
I’ve actually typed several replies to this thread, deleted them and then came back a few hours later or so later to rethink. From a personal perspective, torn. I’m saying this not only from VATUSA/VATSIM experience, but two decades of experience with online gaming organization management that often encountered the same double edged sword.

First, the positives. The concept is a solid one. Create a system allowing pilots to view when ATC will be online. Intent to increase participation, increase traffic and create an all-around positive development for the community. What’s not to like? Which is where it gets into the concerns...

Even today people do not necessarily review events posted on popular websites such as VATTASTIC (where they are spoon fed). I know I’m not alone in having witnessed an event in progress, massive traffic in an area, a flag posted for the advertised event and see someone ask in the chat box “What’s happening in (insert airport here)?” Person can’t even be bothered to click their mouse twice to look up the information. Is that a majority? No, but leads into a point others have raised…

VATUSA is not viewed by many pilots flying inside US airspace as a "popular public website" critical to flying online. This is no different than the fact a solid percentage of folks don't visit a local ARTCC website to review procedures before flying in their region. I question how valuable the resource would be from a practical standpoint.

Third, and this is two decades of online gaming organization management coming in. We can say whatever we want, but if the schedule isn’t going to be binding then it shouldn’t exist. Pilots will be within their right to complain people are on a schedule but not there. They won’t dive into the forums or our community websites to voice their frustration. It will be on UNICOM or chat systems and never present the opportunity for our leadership to reinforce the non-binding nature of the schedule. Not to confuse, I’m not saying it should be binding. I see a benefit, even if someone decides last minute to sign on they could at least advertise how long they plan to be online. But life happens and as most adults know, IRL takes priority compared to an online hobby that isn’t paying the power bills. Yet, sadly many on the network do not always display proper maturity in thinking. Just ask the controllers dealing with pilot complaints about why they are signing off after working a 4 hour event.

Finally, actually pulling from Matt’s comments, without a requirement it is doubtful controller participation levels will be what would be needed to turn the resource into something pilots would actually seek out before signing onto the network. When almost every ARTCC is making cuts monthly due to inactivity of controllers, we are talking about adding an additional layer of expectation voluntarily. If the resource isn’t being actively used, it creates a perception (truthful or not) about a lack of activity within VATUSA from those who spend perhaps 10 seconds a month on the website.

So I remain torn. I see potential for a centralized location advertising when people plan to be on. However, it gets complicated when folks don't always know their schedules, getting controllers to actually use it cannot be mandated, getting pilots to actually view it will be barrier to change and there are limits to how expectations about the system could be managed within the broader community.

The Classroom (Controller Tips) / Re: Responding to Guidance
« on: August 26, 2017, 09:14:35 AM »
It is important to remember a basic tenant of human psychology is an individual would rather be viewed as anything except stupid. Positive praise? Love it. Being setup to look stupid? Common reason a student (of any age) acts up in a classroom school avoid answering the question and looking (in their eyes) like a fool. Better to be known as a problem child than to look ignorant/stupid/a failure.

Often it is not someone's desire to or not to accept guidance, it is how the information was presented which can present a barrier. A criticism of performance, which fundamentally is what guidance often is, shouldn't be done in a public setting. Just because the giver doesn't see it as a problem doesn't mean the receiver won't. For most people, there is some topic/issue in their life they would have a royal fit being criticized about in a public venue. Sometimes we need to remember that translates to the virtual world as well.

General Discussion / Re: Discussion about sector IDs
« on: August 23, 2017, 01:21:16 PM »
In other words you can't be all things to all people all the time.

Quote of the day...

General Discussion / Re: VATSIM Discord Server
« on: April 08, 2017, 09:38:06 AM »
Fred, VATSIM doesn't enforce rules that way generally.  VATSIM enforces the other way and usually only when a complaint occurs.  There are lawyers within the BOG and on staff for the BOG, I'm fairly sure this is one of the areas that has also been checked by them.  It is actually a good thing, in that members cannot get away with threatening other members, treating them like garbage, etc.  As soon as a complaint occurs, an investigation is done and the issue handled but the supervisors don't go around policing teamspeak servers.
The ability of VATSIM to do so is not a secret, it's clearly laid out in the Code of Regulations which is something you said you read and agreed to when joining the network.

Daniel, I appreciate you taking the time to respond. I guess my point on this particular topic is that it is clear legal representatives of the Board of Governors do not have realistic standing with the Code of Conduct outside of the virtual world (such as to a TeamSpeak server). A simple review the material and it doesn't take long to note irregularities that would not meet the mustard within half the countries network users call home (many with conflicting requirements, not even including states or cities with laws on the books to make online entities accountable for things like bullying). Now jumping to assert the Code of Conduct extends to assets not directly under the organization's jurisdiction (VATSIM servers vs hundreds of voice servers used by global regions) is a stretch I honestly don't believe would hold up. Note, I'm not disagreeing with the policy in any way, simply stating concerns regarding enforcability beyond the VATSIM network itself.

When transitioning from a virtual organization to the realities of a brick-and-mortar infrastructure this can become a problem. Case and point: If a legal complaint was filed within the State of Florida of cyber-bullying against a TeamSpeak server associated with a VATUSA ARTCC, the owner of that server would be the one needing to comply with legal requests and who a crafty attorney could claim was partially responsible. Claiming regulations of a third-party (VATSIM/VATUSA/VATNA) constitute a contract for use and they are responsible for management, especially considering the five components of a legal contract existing are iffy at best, wouldn't hold up for very long. This isn't even getting into legal definitions relating to what harassment is which can often vary country to country, state-to-state, city-to-city (which would supersede anything listed by VATUSA).

Before someone says it, this scenario isn't science-fiction. Such questions are nothing new and have been put to the test before, as noted with my earlier AOL example, back when they "were" the Internet in the 1990s. In that particular case, Community Leader volunteers (for those older than 20, think ARTCC Staff) who had assets on personal FTP websites were forced to discontinue use after a claim of harassment was made. Those items had to be relocated to official company servers, where the Terms of Service held legal standing since the CLs were acting as representatives of AOL. The exact argument noted in your post was used...and it did eventually succeed in a way...after an out of court settlement.

As I noted earlier, a slippery slope exists. We all agree VATSIM states the CoC is in place for all activities, but then admit there is no mechanism for ensuring compliance on the vast majority of their voice server related assets (which would be TeamSpeak style servers, not the 15 official network servers)? Having a regulation (Code of Conduct) without any type of enforcement mechanism (clearly the case here) is a black hole. Would a poll of most VATSIM users show they even knew of their right to report bullying on a TeamSpeak server? There is a reporting mechanism for it, okay. Does this comply with the legal requirements of country/state/city the server or server owner is located in? How about the person making the complaint? What about if the server owner has legal mandatory reporting requirements, which vary often (law enforcement official, educator, etc.)? This is a concern with claiming organizational jurisdiction with a private asset.

Honestly, to me, this is a grey area I hope never gets explored. I guess we will have to agree to disagree on how clear cut the practically of the policy is with enforcement outside of the core network infrastructure.

General Discussion / Re: VATSIM Discord Server
« on: April 07, 2017, 10:54:22 PM »
If a VATSIM ARTCC (or FIR, vACC, etc.) sponsors it as their ARTCCs official TeamSpeak server, the ARTCC is agreeing to the fact that said TeamSpeak is an official VATSIM communications outlet. Ownership (who's paying/whose property it is) isn't the focus, the focus is on whether its an ARTCCs official TeamSpeak or not. If an ARTCC is using the server as their official TeamSpeak, it is subject to everything listed above.

I am not taking sides in any way, shape or form on this particular discussion. However, I would love to see someone legally justify the above statement. There is a huge conclusion jumped that would never hold up if the issue was really pushed. For example, VATSIM states a particular individual should be banned from future participation on the network. There is no practical authority to force an ARTCC to enforce such a ban on their TeamSpeak system not funded or owned by representatives of the organization. Demand to see a copy of server logs, for a server they don't own? Threaten to remove someone if they fail to comply? How are other aspects of voice servers utilized monitored to ensure CoC compliance? What system exists for reporting abuse? Due process exist or can a group of people annoyed by a third party simply insinuate a situation on a TeamSpeak server occurred?

Slippery slope that can (and has) transitioned into real-world implications with other "virtual" organizations in the last 27 years. Hell, AOL ran into such a situation in the early 1990s. If there is then a decision to no longer allow that particular TeamSpeak system to be "official," the ownership and monetary costs can become a factor depending on interpretation. Not stating such a scenario would ever occur, but when operating a system based on volunteers, infrastructure donations cross into the real world (where a CoC has no practical authority) and things can suddenly become not as clear cut as implied.

General Discussion / Re: Push and start at pilots discretion in USA
« on: January 07, 2017, 11:33:35 PM »
There are also circumstances where you will find a modified version of a "Ramp Ground" controller position. It is quite common for ARTCCs hosting larger events, such as CTP. In those situations, the Ramp position may actually be staffed but is operated by a certified Ground Controller to help manage traffic flow onto the active taxiways.

Simple Insanity / April Fools! GRP Updates Released
« on: April 01, 2015, 02:48:42 PM »
Quote from: Dhruv Kalra
Now where did I put that webcam...

I can see it now. First, vATIS. Next, vCAM (Watch your controller watch you!)

General Discussion / DRAFT VATUSA logos
« on: January 30, 2015, 01:22:27 PM »
Quote from: Ken Bambach
Sweet deal indeed. I didn't know that your middle name was "vHuerta"  

Don't worry about Fred. He's out of town at a vNatca conference feasting at their grand buffet. You should see the size of those shrimp.......

You read my mind. Now I know where that damn raise I was promised last year went...a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue in his new corner office. I didn't know we were now even simulating the government bureaucracy of the FAA!

Events / Miami Mega Ball 2015
« on: January 26, 2015, 12:44:04 PM »
Quote from: Ken Bambach
A great event for sure.  The Tracon had to close 4x due to the amount of traffic. They kept coming and coming. Throw some free prizes in the mix and the entire world shows up

Thanks to all the pilots who flew, the other participating ARTCC's, our prize sponsors, and ZMA staff and controllers for another magnificent Megaball!

I'm still waiting on that raise...  

General Discussion / DRAFT VATUSA logos
« on: January 23, 2015, 02:12:43 PM »
Quote from: Kris Kendrick
Hey... a new candidate entered the race after some of the voters already cast their ballots. I smell voter fraud!! I see this ending in lengthy litigation.
In Florida, we call that a "pregnant chad" or a "hanging chad."

NOTAMs / Requesting assistance from Supervisors
« on: December 13, 2014, 03:57:03 PM »
Quote from: Manuel Manigault
Thanks for posting, Don.  I did not know you could place an actual message in the .wallop command.  I always thought the syntax
was .wallop <callsign>

Honestly, the way I have always done it and was trained to. More information, easier for all involved.

General Discussion / VATSIM Founders Flights
« on: December 08, 2014, 07:45:47 PM »
Quote from: Don Desfosse
Got some feedback that the Founders have really been enjoying the ATC they've been getting.   I see that there wasn't a ton on tonight, so I'm hoping maybe some folks will be able to turn out Thursday and Sunday nights.  That said, they were glowing about how good their service was in ZME tonight.  Great job, guys!

To my knowledge they had coverage in and out of Tampa both days...

General Discussion / Vatsim forums?
« on: November 30, 2014, 09:37:50 PM »
Damn budget cuts...

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