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* Posts by graeme leggett

2140 posts • joined 6 Oct 2007

Are meta, self-referential or recursive science-fiction films doomed?

graeme leggett
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Re: "written at the height of the Cold War by a veteran with a fascism fetish."

But it's got Denise Richards. And Doogie Howser.

And Michael Ironside.

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graeme leggett
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Re: Dune

Many machines on Ix.

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graeme leggett
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Re: Dune

No. You're not the only one

There's some wonderful imagery in it. (Though that said, I find Metropolis has lovely imagery but is rather long and not that exciting.) Given the size of the novel, and the depth of the content (discourses into lifecycle of the sandworms, scheming to produce the Kiswach Haderach etc) it was never going to transfer into a condensed film format but the film gives a sense of the depth of the milleau and gives you the opportunity to remember the general flavour of the book without having to dedicate the hours needed to read it through again.

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Super Cali upstart's new rocket test approaches, even though the size of it won't launch a Tesla motor

graeme leggett
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Headline

One of your best yet.

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Europe dumps 300,000 UK-owned .EU domains into the Brexit bin

graeme leggett
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Re: At least

technically a so-very-dark-blue-as-to-appear-black but nowhere like the blue we are likely to get.

At one level switching to 'blue' passports will be a useful thing. At European entry points the border control will see us coming at a distance and be able to put on a sympathetic so-you-went-through-all-that-for-a-different-colour-piece-of-card face.

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No Falcon Way: NASA to stick with SLS, SpaceX more like space ex

graeme leggett
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Modular versus non-modular

If things can be built in say 10 tonne lumps and assembled in space then a number of "smaller" and cheaper launchers makes sense.

But are there things that might want to be put in orbit that can't be modular (because eg either the underlying structure is too big, or assembly in orbit isn't practical because of the complexity)?

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Cambridge Analytica 'privatised colonising operation', not a 'legitimate business', says whistleblower

graeme leggett
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Re: The BBC

I did

the timestamp "9 hours ago"

'Cheating may have swayed Brexit poll - Christopher Wylie'

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-43558876

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Software gremlin robs Formula 1 world champ of season's first win

graeme leggett
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Re: Follows old adage...

"Rush" is a cracking good film in my opinion.

Makes F1 look as exciting and dangerous as it seemed at the time.

And the old cars gave me a dose of nostalgia - but then I was always a sucker for the paint job of the Lotus John Player Special.

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F-35B Block 4 software upgrades will cost Britain £345m

graeme leggett
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Re: Submarine palaces for marine fauna

Not sure if it was quite what you meant but Sir Galahad was hit inshore by bombs dropped by Skyhawks and caught fire but did not sink. More similarity with Ark Royal in WWII. Where you thinking of Atlantic Conveyor?

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graeme leggett
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"every air to air kill by UK forces since WW2 has been by a subsonic aircraft"

But how many wars have we been in with supersonic aircraft against an enemy airforce since WWII

Korea - transonic

Suez - transonic, barely a war

Malaya - no air force

Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation - no supersonic fighters

Falklands - no supersonic aircraft available

Gulf War - not on fighter aircraft duty

Afghanistan - no air force

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graeme leggett
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Did we not buy the licence with [Microsoft] "Software Assurance" ?

Bit of an oversight.

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Leaning tower of NASA receives last big arm

graeme leggett
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Prime TV opportunity

"swinging away at launch in a manner that will delight those nostalgic for the old Saturn V."

And if there's no one at NASA thinking of recreating a similar shot to those Saturn V launches, then they need a new media team...

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Maplin shutdown sale prices still HIGHER than rivals

graeme leggett
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I once bought a PVR (Daewoo brand. Yep surprised me too) from Jessops online presence.

Quite a good machine at the time and best price around. Served me well for quite a while before being supplanted by Mrs L's Skybox

Reminds me I ought to open it up and see if there's any residual use in the hard drive before sending it to recycle.

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Administrator PwC chops Maplin staff

graeme leggett
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Reasons for visiting a physical store

1) the stuff is not available on the internet

2) the stuff is something you really need to look at before you buy - bed, sofa, car

3) the staff are key to the selection process

4) buying across internet is otherwise impracticable - DIY materials (pots of paint, length of 2 by 4)

5) browsing is fun (allegedly) - garden centres etc

6) I need it now!

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Sysadmin left finger on power button for an hour to avert SAP outage

graeme leggett
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Re: Which Idiot of Designer?

I have exactly that sort of machine (a Dell OptiPlex "designed" for office use) sat beside me and occasionally I nudge the power button with my knee. Fortunately this is set to initiate a hibernation rather than shutdown.

I have experimented with putting some of those flippy lid button covers over the switch - held on with double sided tape due to location at the top corner of the front bezel. Short of dismantling the front and getting busy with glue and screws the fix is far from permanent.

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Spotify wants to go public but can't find Ed Sheeran (to pay him)

graeme leggett
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Re: How do the NOIs appear in the accounts?

Or what if Ed phoned Spotify HQ and said 'what about these performance payments?'

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Paul Allen's six-engined monster plane prepares for space deliveries

graeme leggett
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Re: You'll never get me up in one of those things

Think less of the wings hanging off two fuselages joined together by a central section and instead think more of the fuselages hanging from the wing which runs from tip to tip. And the engines are on the wing not off the fuselage(s)

Twin boom aircraft have been around for years. The Germans stuck two He 111 bombers together in order to tow their largest gliders. Not a great success as still couldn't get enough power but principle not new.

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Vaping on the NHS? Don't hold your breath

graeme leggett
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Re: I found it stupidly easy to 'give up' with vapes.

CCGs have limits on their formularies to minimize prescription expenditure on the less efficacious drugs and get more bang for the buck. And although getting people of cigs is beneficial in cutting health expenditure down the line they are still focussed on the here and now.

I note also that a weeks supply of patches is about £9 while the patient contribution to a prescription is £8.60. And that smoking cessation services seems to be delivered under public health rather than directly by GPs thought GPs may be contracted as part of the service.

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graeme leggett
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Re: Regulatory approval

That does make sense. Why should tobacco company invest all that effort if the consumer device is allowed anyway. There's no advantage in a pharma grade device to retail in Boots if your competition is discounted in a petrol station shop.

Pharma could produce nicotine replacement patches, sprays, and lozenges because they were already skilled in the delivery systems and the paperwork.

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graeme leggett
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Regulatory approval

Suspect tobacco industry gave up trying to get something approved under pharma regulations due to all that red tape around proving safety and efficacy.

Plus dossiers on ingredients, showing GMP and GDP and the requirements for pharmacovigilance

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RIP... almost: Brit high street gadget shack Maplin Electronics

graeme leggett
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Re: Well at least

Norwich has two Maplin's. The city centre one which is fairly small floor size and feels like a place a human would fit in. And an out of town one next to PC world, curry's, a carpet shop etc. which is one of those places which is warehouse height inside and seems utterly unwelcoming.

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US watchdog just gave up trying to get Google to explain YouTube's huge financial figures

graeme leggett
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Jurisdictional question

Although Alphabet may tell SEC that their financials are too complex to explain, do they give the same story to the IRS if they come asking?

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Did somebody say Brexit? Cambridge Analytica grilled: Brit MPs' Fake News probe

graeme leggett
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A quick looksee suggests that Select Committees can exert a fair bit of pressure, mostly though the 'court of public opinion' to get witnesses to attend hearings. A touch of the 'what have you got to hide' about it perhaps.

Their opinions are not subject to judicial challenge and there is no redress if for instance a committee produces a report based on evidence given before it to the extent that Business X is a crook, or Politician Y is a charlatan with the effect that X or Y finds their reputation and livelihood ruined.

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graeme leggett
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Pointing the finger - away.

"drafted by a slightly overzealous PR consultant..."

This the same guy who moonlights as the one rogue software engineer at other organisations?

As to correcting the record on this matter after misreported, no doubt evidence could be furnished of subsequent press releases.... Or not?

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Ayyy-EYE! Google code 'predicts heart disease' by eyeballing retinas

graeme leggett
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The system compared retina images with medical records.

Which makes me think the condition was already noted in the patient before the retina image was taken?

The trick is to identify the condition from the retina before the doctor notices it, not after. Which would require photographing a large number of volunteers, seeing which ones the system assessed as possibly having CV issues and then checking their BP etc and comparing.

Having looked at the paper, I see that predicted vs actual mmHg looks like quite a bad correlation (ie a fuzzy cloud not on the slope) That major adverse cardiac events is AUC of 0.70 which is "fair" not "good" match

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Microsoft ends notifications for Win-Phone 7.5 and 8.0

graeme leggett
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Windows 10 mobile may still be out there and in support, but where do I get an affordable Win 10 mobile from to replace my Lumia 640?

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*Wakes up in Chrome's post-adblockalyptic landscape* Wow, hardly anything's changed!

graeme leggett
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And if you wanted another one, you'd already know where to get it from.

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UK.gov: Psst. Belgium. Buy these Typhoon fighter jets from us, will you?

graeme leggett
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So Old Nosey was there 15 years early, Give the man some credit for forward thinking.

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graeme leggett
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The United Kingdom has been committed to defending Belgium since - well a long while.

Such as Wellington plonking his Euro Army between Napoleon and Brussels delaying the Frenchman long enough for Wellington's major European partner Blucher to turn up.

And of course UK is leaving (possibly) the EU but not NATO.

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If this laptop is so portable, where's the keyboard, huh? HUH?

graeme leggett
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Re: classic!

Did you ever encounter the 3-inch floppy as used in Amstrad computers?

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National Museum of Computing rattles the bucket: Help shift war-winning proto-puter

graeme leggett
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Re: Bletchley Park Trust busy spinning

I think I read that it's also partly the case that TNMOC are the better fit to look after and maintain the Bombe as a functioning item.

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It's been 50 years since those damn dirty apes took the planet by storm

graeme leggett
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Franchise size

Original

4 Sequels

2 TV series

reboot

3 more films

but no mention of the cartoon episode with the musical ?

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graeme leggett
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The Book

" The story is actually told from the perspective of sentient apes but we don't know that until the story ends"

Now I'm sure I read the book when I was in my early teens but damned if I remember that. Perhaps I read Bridge on the River Kwai instead.

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MY GOD, IT'S FULL OF CARS: SpaceX parks a Tesla in orbit (just don't mention the barge)

graeme leggett
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See what you mean. Elon putting plenty of cultural references into the mix it seems.

(first bit of that film I've seen since as a teenager a triple bill I attended at my local cinema mid 80s - lineup was Heavy Metal, Led Zeppelins The Song Remains the Same, and Woodstock.)

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Basket case lawsuit: Fancy fruit florists flail Google over rotten ads, demand $200m damages

graeme leggett
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Interesting but...

That the business trading name is made up of two descriptive words of their activities might be the cause.

If I call my cardboard box making company "Big Cardboard Box Ltd" and a prospective customer googles for me with 'big cardboard box' I shouldn't be surprised if other packing material providers appear in search results.

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A Hughes failure: Flat Earther rocketeer can't get it up yet again

graeme leggett
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Re: Why does he need to be in the rocket?

The standard Flat Earth replies to pictures from amateur balloons and rockets is "fish eye lens"

Because to get a wide angle view on a lightweight camera they generally have a lens that introduces distortion.

And they stick to this line even if experts apply image correction to de-spherical the image, or show that the image is not distorted in the central part of the image.

If there was an answer easy enough to convince Flat Earthers it would have been deployed by now. Unfortunately they are that bone-headed.

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graeme leggett
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Re: AFAIK, the chap was not a flat-Earther --

Aligns with my thoughts on the matter. There are plenty of flerfers out there who probably think that funding this is 1) upping publicity for the Flat Earth cause 2) sticking it to The Man 3) makes a change from clicking on flat earth 'proofs' on YouTube.

He could ride this for a while. A quick look at aforementioned YouTube videos or twitter and he'll have all the tropes of flat earthers which he can repeat to keep them hooked. Any failure can, if required, be put down to intervention by government agents, illuminati, NASA, HAARP, chemtrails, Elders of Zion trying to stop THE TRUTH being shown to us 'sheeple' who've been indoctrinated by teachers combined with mind altering aluminium in vaccinations.

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Long haul flights on a one-aisle plane? Airbus thinks you’re up for it

graeme leggett
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Re: Size matters

In the Vulcan you'd be travelling backwards.

In the dark.

And your seat doesn't recline. (though it might rotate)

Bring your own cushion if you're not sitting on a parachute.

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Astroboffins spot sneaky signs that the Milky Way devoured smaller galaxies

graeme leggett
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Re: Massive dwarf?

It's big for a dwarf galaxy (at about 1/10th number of stars in Milky Way compare to lower limit of 1/1000th the number)

And it doesn't seem fair to call something with 30 billion stars just "dwarf" ?

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Windows Defender will strap pushy scareware to its ass-kicker machine

graeme leggett
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I get 'coercive' message from Google about Chrome when I use the google search page in IE - "Switch to Chrome, a smarter browser"

And no matter how often I click "I don't want it" it's there the next time.

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UK.gov puts Suffolk 7-year-old's submarine design into production

graeme leggett
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Coat

My generation was probably inspired by "Stingray"(repeats not original showing) and "Marine Boy".

Mine's the one with the packet of Oxygum in the pocket.

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Astroboffins say our Solar System is a dark, violent, cosmic weirdo

graeme leggett
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Re: Just shows how special we all are...

I thought the Drake Equation was more about "how to" estimate likelihood of life rather than actually generating 'accurate' estimates of likelihood.

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Military alliance NATO adopts official hymn

graeme leggett
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Re: To be fair...

A too enthusiastic anthem sends the wrong message. Stately and determined is more fitting when defeated than gung-ho which is setting yourself up for hybris. (I think ancient Greeks paean sung on the march forming up the phalanx etc were fairly low key)

To look to similar with national anthems, God save the Queen (King) is a bit of dirge but doesn't set you thinking of immediately invading your neighbour or proclaiming sovereignty over all (a la "German, German overalls") unlike say Rule Britannia or Land of Hope and Glory. Which may be why the latter two are reserved for musical festivals and sports matches where no one should have sharp implements or projectile weapons and the blood is generally confined to the players.

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HMS Queen Elizabeth has sprung a leak and everyone's all a-tizzy

graeme leggett
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Re: Dry Dock

In the Med in 1941 HMS Ark Royal remained afloat for 12 hours with a 130ft long hole in the hull.

HMS Uganda, a light cruiser, took on 1300 tons after being hit by German Fritz X guided bomb off Salerno in 1943. It survived and crossed the Atlantic on one propeller to reach a suitable dock for repairs. Thereafter transferred to Canadian navy it served until mid 50s.

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Fridge killed my baby? Mag-field radiation from household stuff 'boosts miscarriage risk'

graeme leggett
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study highlights major issue

Basically that it all hangs on decent measurement of the exposure. A large part of the discussion is about the limitations of previous measurement. That said they would have had a better measure of true exposure by a week's measurement to rule out possibility of large exposures on atypical days. ( hypothetical example - subject wears meter for one workday commute of two Stops on subway but every weekend rides 50 miles on subways to visit various relatives)

Suspect that it comes down to having insufficient meters available to measure all participants for more than 24 hours.

Another element lacking is a consideration of the statistical power of the experiment. Which would show how likely the study was to detect a real effect.

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Telly boffin Professor Heinz Wolff has died

graeme leggett
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Great Egg Race

BBC archive has a dozen episodes from 1979 (Brian Cant presenting) to 1984 available to view.

One could argue that the programme is at the start of the evolution that gave us Scrapheap Challenge, Robot Wars and the like.

Interesting that in first series BBC Radio stations were competing in the Egg carrying part. I'm guessing they were engineers and the like.

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Blighty flogs Qatar a bunch of missiles and Typhoon fighter jets

graeme leggett
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Re: Summary

The landing itself would also make the undercarriage go a bit skew-whiff.

Have a look at a Buccaneer's undercart to see what strength is required

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graeme leggett
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Re: Shipbuilding?

It's a form of pragmatism. If the UK didn't sell them some planes, then US almost certainly would, or that other bastion of capitalism Russia.

There might be some expectation that having a economic relationship with the country means that in times of trouble, if HM Ambassador pops round to see the head guy that he will be let in the door long enough to deliver his (or her) "we don't think you ought to do that" speech. Possibly with the hint that those spare parts and extra munitions they will be needing to keep planes viable will either appear promptly, or very much slower than desired dependent on HM the Q's FO hearing the right noises on state radio that afternoon.

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SpaceX to try reusing both rocket and spacecraft for historic ISS mission

graeme leggett
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Re: Excuses

Initially recorded as "The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere" to go for that olde worlde look.

Or perhaps he had written it after a couple of drops ("it's strictly medicinal") and a pint or two down the local hostelry.

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Drone collisions with airliners may not be fatal, US study suggests

graeme leggett
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Re: Stating the obvious, much?

My thought exactly. A computer simulation of a windscreen strike only covers the physics of the structure not the psychological effect.

I'm not saying it'll be as disruptive as Solo shooting one of Vader's wingmen in the death star trench but I would be happier if pilots were not distracted when deeply involved in flying aircraft during take off and landing.

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