black box


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black box

1. The device in an airplane that records flight audio and data. Once the black box is recovered from the wreckage, it will give us more insight into what caused the crash.
2. Any sort of system or device with inner workings that are difficult to understand. Does anyone outside of the IT department really understand how this black box works?
See also: black, box
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

a black box

You can call a process or system a black box when you know that it produces a particular result but you do not understand how it works. What steroids do is currently something of a black box. The firm's investment success lies in its black box of formulas which identify trends. Note: In an electronic or computer system, a black box is a self-contained part. You can understand its function without knowing anything about how it works.
See also: black, box
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

black box

an automatic apparatus, the internal operations of which are mysterious to non-experts.
Black does not refer to the colour of the device but to the arcane nature of its functions. Originally Royal Air Force slang for a navigational instrument in an aircraft, the phrase is now used in aviation specifically to refer to the flight recorder.
See also: black, box
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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Black boxes can provide a lot of information about downed planes, including data on factors like altitude and speed and recordings of cockpit conversations, (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-26/black-box-flight-recorders/5343456) according to the Australia Broadcasting Corporation .
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It is more amazing though that nothing has been done to improve the black box idea as this idea of storing flight information on a black box is outdated and has proved impractical in many previous air crash accidents.
Australian prime minister Tony Abbott said crews had pinpointed the location of the Malaysia Airlines jet's elusive black box after they traced a series of underwater ping signals.
27 ( ANI ): After the revelation that the Malaysia Airline passenger jet crashed into the southern Indian Ocean, investigators are now fearing that the black box from the plane might have overwritten key data, making it all the more difficult to gauge what exactly went wrong with the plane.
He brings a veteran eye to cold cases and cracks them by finding the "black box," a "piece of evidence, a person, a positioning of facts that brought a certain understanding and helped explain what happened and why." In 1992, during the LA riots, Bosch was first on the scene of the murder of Danish journalist Anneka Jespersen.