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* Posts by Ledswinger

6877 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

You've heard that pop will eat itself. Boffins have unveiled a rocket that does the same

Ledswinger
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Re: I love the $5 multimeters in the picture

I hope they've patented the tech so that they can capitalize on it in a few years - micro satellites and micro rockets are the future!

You don't think that MoD will be thinking how they can muscle in, seize and monopolise the technology, exclude all beneficial and commercial applications, and turn it into a multi-billion quid failed weapon system? Just like they did with Reaction Engines.

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UK's Royal Navy accepts missile-blasting missile as Gulf clouds gather

Ledswinger
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Re: Sea Wolf

On the flip side there's no reloads held on-board, once the tubes are empty that's it.

And thus any adversary capable of basic reasoning and simple maths knows that all they need to do is either fire more attack missiles than the "cassette" of tubes holds, or they use a much cheaper tactic of decoy attacks using lower cost missiles whose primary purpose is to drain down the escort vessels' weaponry. Although not the main offensive weapons, those "decoys" would still be credible threats, even if they were subsonic and antiquated technology, like a reconditioned Exocet,. It costs what, £1bn to build a type 45, and it carries 48 missiles. If credible decoy/expendable attack missiles cost £100k, then the Type 45 is "out" after the enemy has expended £4.8m, leaving £200k for the missile that will sink it.

A further issue for the air defence frigates is that they have to decide at loading the mix of long and short range missiles to load. If they get that wrong then even having missiles left may not be much use if they're sub-optimal for the incoming target.

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Ledswinger
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Re: We're wasting money fighting a previous war - as usual.

Why did Stalin need the Labour party to give him the jet engine when his armies had grabbed such a large part of Germany's industrial plant? There weren't any jets there?

Most of the production and development of German jets was done in what became West Germany, on top of which, although German jet airframes (primarily the Me262) were better than the British equivalent (the Gloster Meteor), the Junkers Jumo 004 engine was inferior to the contemporary Rolls Royce Derwent.

The Soviets certainly got their hands on examples of the Jumo 004, and even made a few versions for themselves, but it wasn't until the notorious traitor Stafford Cripps and his Labour party quislings "sold" a block of Rolls Royce Nene engines to the Soviet Union that they had a decent engine. Reciprocating this generous move, they copied the Nene in almost every detail and put it in the MiG 15 (and variants in other aircraft. If that arsehole Corbyn gets elected, we can expect similar Labour party stupidity.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Judging by the volcanic cloud on the horizon

A couple of Kalibrs into the side would fix this up good and it's off to the showers.

If they can run a steam turbine on alcohol free pretend lager, hats off to the Ruskies.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Judging by the volcanic cloud on the horizon

We get 1% of our energy supplies from Russia. I'm a little bit embarrassed for you ...

In the narrowest sense you're right. But thanks to years of government policy tieing our gas and electricity grids to European ones "because its a good idea and will lower prices",. And there's the minor problem that the EU is totally dependant upon Russian gas in winter, and if that stopped our gas supplies would dry up too (we're a net importer) and the costs of electricity and gas would go through the roof.

There's been several instances where all of the EU has come within days of running out gas in cold winter periods. Even Germany who have massive gas storage reserves. The UK (with essentially no gas storage) would get hit hardest and probably first, even if not a single molecule of Russian gas had been used in the UK.

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Ledswinger
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Re: [None] of the UK/USA anti-missile weapons has had [proper] testing against [...] adversaries.

It is actually in the western weapon's manufacturers FAVOR

How? Western weapons makers don't sell a single weapon on the basis of proven capability. They sell on the basis of economic nationalism, offset procurement, bribery, or simple lies. So there's no advantage to them of knowing the capabilities of Uncle Vlad's latest toys, whereas there will be a (perceived) loss of a sale. Indeed, if capability were in the slightest bit relevant, then the military would be able to choose their own weapons without the bungling incompetence, dishonesty and waste of civil servants and politicians. - all in some parallel universe, of course.

All that the Western weapons makers care about is selling more over-priced crap to gormless defence buyers. Actually, what they care about more is getting defence research contracts - no risk, guaranteed payment, and you don't even have to organise tricky stuff like design and manufacturing.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Note the target is called the "Coyote"

Maybe the MOD should rather get a some of those Acme Holes to make anything fall into.

They already have one, at Abbey Wood, near Bristol. People, talent, ideas, equipment, money, entire defence budgets (not to mention thousands of morons) have been poured into it. Only the morons have emerged.

Physicists have theorised that the "immunity" of morons is a self defence mechanism, because too many peabrained civil servants in the same place could create a singularity due to their combined denseness.

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Ledswinger
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Re: One question...

Are we going to realise to late these missiles can't be fired from the new ships due a design issue

I'm confident they can be fired, but as Voland's notes above, the missile hasn't been tested against a realistic target, and the control system+missiles haven't been tried against multiple targets (nor I might add whilst subject to combat conditions and attempted ECM).

I suspect that the inevitable "doh! didn't think of that" issue will be that by the time we have the T26 & 31, Sea Ceptor will be outmoded for the likely threats. Another decade of development of anti-ship missiles should produce some really bang-whizz stuff (because its supersonic, you hear the bang first, y'see). Or it may turn out that a decade of additional development make other technologies make anti-ship missiles less relevant - for example supercavitation torpedoes.

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Can't pay Information Commissioner's fine? No problem! Just liquidate your firm

Ledswinger
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Re: Liquidate company to avoid paying

In cases where a potentially solvent company is voluntarily wound up as insolvent, the directors should already be liable, because actions deliberately driving a company insolvent must be at least negligence, if not corporate misconduct.

Most fly by night shysters make sure there's no assets or cash in the operating company because they know they may need to rush out of town at short notice. You can see this from the nominal capital in the company, and the fact that the balance sheet has no tangible assets.

As a result it is usually the case that a dodgy outfit will become insolvent by virtue of the fine, but that's not because the money never existed, its because its being continuously syphoned out and hidden. That's why it is so important that directors and managers can be personally held accountable. Unfortunately the cretins of Westminster really don't see this as in any way important, compared to other trivia like doomed-to-failure age verification systems. The sooner we're rid of Mary Whitehouse as PM, the better.

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Trio indicted after police SWAT prank call leads to cops killing bloke

Ledswinger
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Re: Lock ‘em up

Don't worry folks! The trigger happy moron who actually pulled the trigger and shot an innocent, unarmed man in his own home as he answered the door won't face any charges.

Edit: Just like many other US cases, and a much smaller handful in the UK. Just as Cresside "Teflon" Dick has managed to become Commissioner of the Met, despite her team's incompetence that should have seen several of them (including her) sent down.

Clarification: Contrary to what many might think from this post, I do generally like and respect the police. But there's a tiny minority who seem to be persistently immune from the law.

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You know that silly fear about Alexa recording everything and leaking it online? It just happened

Ledswinger
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Re: Changing my name to Cassandra

Changing my name to Cassandra

Bugger! How did you know about my concept for a digital assistant called Mage?

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Brit doctors surgery fined £35k over medical data fumble

Ledswinger
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Re: It's getting harder and harder to read UK data breach stories ...

Because the sound of the rest of the world laughing just gets louder and louder.

I'd imagine the Yanks are laughing about how small our data breaches are....

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Ledswinger
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Re: "The severity of this breach "merited" a fine of £80,000"

Hammer the bastards.

As primarily an NHS GP practice, the impact of the fine will presumably land on the two partners. I think you'll find that £35k out of their personal pockets will be a considerable incentive, far more so than fining somebody like Talktalk a couple of million quid.

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Brit Attorney General: Nation state cyber attack is an act of war

Ledswinger
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Re: So STUXNET *was* an act of war by this standard.

Er - let's try that with some other words, shall we? How about Poland?

Britain pledged to support Poland's sovereignty in March 1939. I don't recall any such promises to Iran of late, do you?

But then - I'm an Idiot.

Moi? I said nothing.

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Ledswinger
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Re: So STUXNET *was* an act of war by this standard.

Stuxnet was a US/Israeli effort, so not really relevant to the UK's Attorney General.

What might be pertinent is the UK government's use of SCL Group (of Cambridge Analytica infamy) to interfere in other countries' affairs. Who did we declare war on through SCL?

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Machine learning for dummies: You needn't go back to uni to use it

Ledswinger
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Re: This is no doubt a noble calling, but is it what industry actually needs?

is it what industry actually needs?

No, no, and thrice no.

As somebody with a technical background, now working in a senior role with a multi-million customer business famed for its IT-ineptitude, I can tell you want we need.

I want a product that works on-prem with my data (to avoid other people's GDPR or commercial vulnerabilities). On site SaaS or fuck off, please.

I want clear, measurable results on my KPIs - like reducing churn, innovating new products, reducing customer service costs while increasing customer satisfaction. Any amount of insight is worthless unless it affects my company's commercials.

I want payment on results, or LDs for my wasted time and the vendor's dishonest promises. Do it, prove it, and I'll pay you - otherwise get on your bike.

And I don't want my senior management bogged down in either SLA discussions, or micro-definitions of the problem or the algorithm. All that stuffs YOUR problem, AI vendors.

Deliver me good results, I'll pay. Deliver me the sort of recommendations that I could guess at, or the sort of "you bought a shoe tree, would you be interested in these other shoe trees?" and I'll conclude that AI is dead end designed to squeeze the gullible.

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HTC U12+: Like a Pixel without the pratfalls, or eye-watering price tag

Ledswinger
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Re: "Like a Pixel without the pratfalls"... and presumably without the updates

I owned one HTC... Once... It received exactly one update from HTC a couple of months after a bought it, and within 6 months the moved onto new models and abandoned it.

I used to feel this way, as a "buy-and-keep" sort of person. I buy my cars new and run them for a decade or so. But when thinking of phones we need to consider the fact that larger, sealed in batteries are more popular (and therefore much more economic for manufacture), that handsets aren't designed for many years of trouble free operation (which tit designed the awful, fragile USB socket?), and that they are always at risk of loss, breakage, theft, or simple failure.

At the moment I hold out on a 3.5mm socket and SD card, and the fine fellows at Xiaomi have done me proud. But I'm relaxed about the software updates because I paid £160 for a phone that should otherwise frighten Apple and Samsung.

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Boffins: Michael Jackson's tilt was a criminally smooth trick

Ledswinger
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Re: skinny and bulky

I imagine that if I were to take a sample of 6' Marines weighing 220 lb and 6' distance runners weighing the canonical 144 lb (2 lb x inch of height), the jarheads would manage considerably more chin-ups.

I'm sure you're right. But particularly because when told to do so, the jarheads would go "SIr!YesSir!" and get stuck in, whereas the distance runners would look puzzled and ask "Why the eff would I want to spend an hour or even five minutes doing chin ups?"

However, the Marines WOULD take part in a distance race, and then look puzzled as the (probably) Kenyans* disappeared in a cloud of dust. Horses for courses. And if I was going to be rescued from terrorist kidnap, I'd want the marines rather than Wilson Kipsang.

* Other nationalities of distance runner also available, enquire for further details.

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Braking news: Tesla preps firmware fling to 'fix' Model 3's inability to stop in time

Ledswinger
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Re: Hubris, meet unlimited liability

I suspect he'll still be able to sell the company at a profit to GM, Ford or Geely.

In a form I think you're on the money. I'd bet that Tesla Corporation will run out of cash, but before the insolvency bites there's then a claimed "merger of equals" (Bwahahhahahaaa!) with Ford or more likely GM. After which it turns out that Tesla shareholders did get an overly generous stake of the resultant combo, but the Tesla management are nowhere to be see. Meanwhile, Musk finds himself non-executive president, with his hands connected by a cable tie behind his chair, and some well-deserved gaffer tape over his gob.

Five years later Tesla will be nothing more than a GM horse-stable brand, limping towards its retirement, like so many once-noble brands beforehand (Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Chevrolet, Saab, Hummer, and others).

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Within Arm's reach: Chip brains that'll make your 'smart' TV a bit smarter

Ledswinger
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Re: a camera. There is no escaping this

It'll be interesting to see how well these AI chips cope with tape over the lens, or a screwdriver through the sensor chip.

"I'm sorry Neil, I cant let you do that!"

AAARARGHHHHHHH! NEIL YOU JEREMY EFFING HUNT! I CAN'T EFFING SEE! Oh God, no, don't take scissors to my power cord....

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About to install the Windows 10 April 2018 Update? You might want to wait a little bit longer

Ledswinger
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Re: I Saw No Problems (- No ships Either)

I Saw No Problems

And at the time of my post you'd got no downvotes (nor deserved any) but all posts that implied any criticism of Mankosoft earned a couple of downvotes without any justification. So the question is, are these from moronic shills who don't know they're being used, or Mankosoft's social media team?

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Your parents love you, Cortana. That's why we bought you an upgrade

Ledswinger
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Re: Die bitch

They destroy everything they touch... Skype, Nokia, Hotmail.

aQuantive, Yammer, Navision,. Presumably the planning is well under way to ensure the failure of Minecraft.

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Xiaomi the way: Hyped Chinese giant begins its battle for Britain

Ledswinger
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Re: Won't work in the UK...

People in the UK don't like cheap stuff

Well, I'm well impressed with my Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X that cost £160 via a UK importer on Ebay. Much of the UK does in fact love a bargain.

I suspect, however, that by the time Xiaomi have bought the services of an expensive "brand" agency, spent a fortune on a marketing programme and an EU head office, and allowed mobile operators to add their fat (and undeserved) margins, their phones will cease to be such good value.

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Brit ISPs get their marker pens out: Speed advertising's about to change

Ledswinger
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Re: Why not pay for the speed you actually get?

I'd be interested in Virgin's Business VOOM 350Mbps service, but from various reported speed tests allege actual speeds fall somewhat short of the advertised maximum.

I hang around the VM customer forums from time to time, and their are a lot of problems with new 350 connections, but once those have been ironed out the speed is usually exactly what they promise - and then some, because VM connections are capped above the nominal contract speed.

The max traffic rate of the VM hub is set to 402.5 Mbps for a contracted 350 Mbps, and my 200 Mbps connection routinely measures 230 across a range of trusted speed test sites. Obviously speed testing against an obscure server on some long distant part of the internet, or even some poorly connected local backwater will have different speeds.

When you've got it working, Virgin Media is rather good. The problems start when you need to speak with them about anything, because their customer service is without doubt the worst of any large company I've encountered in my life. When my contract is up with VM, they'll have to come in with a really big discount to keep me, because I'm thinking I'd rather go with an AAISP offer and Openreach wires since I'm not far from the cabinet.

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Ledswinger
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When Virgin's predecessors cabled up the country, they had a blank slate. They dug up pavements ....and that allowed them to put in a decent network which was future-proofed.

Err, only to a point. Much of the work was cheap and shoddy, and let's be honest, almost all of VM's technical problems stem from that local loop of coax, and the limitations of DOCSIS standards. If they'd really built something future proof they'd have used fibre optics for that local loop, which is what they're actually doing for some of the Project Lightning build out, but that's a tiny fraction of their total network.

Also, despite the supposed superiority of VM's cable, the fastest speed offered is 350 Mbps, that's nowhere near universally available, and there's a lot of complaints in their user forums from people who've upgraded and found their speeds slower than before. I can only guess that the cheapskate Hub 3 and VM's CMTS are operating at the absolute edge of their capability, and the slightest thing tips the connection over the edge.

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US Congress mulls expanding copyright yet again – to 144 years

Ledswinger
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Re: Copyright, Patents all screwed.

so copyright should be limited to the life of the creator + 10 years.

Stuff the ten years - even royalties for life is overly generous. The blokes who designed the toilets we shit in doesn't get royalties at all, and that's a far more important job than self indulgent dribblers moaning into microphones. And never mind the blokes designing the shitters, what about the navvies who laid the pipes, why don't the bloody narcissists of the "creative" industries have to pay per shit to the people who built the infrastructure their miserable lives depend upon. And pay to walk in streets served by street sweepers, tarmaced by navvies, like by 'leccy and lighting technicians, etc etc.

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1.5m Brits pay too much for mobile and crappy broadband – Ofcom

Ledswinger
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Even with 2.3 mobile bills and home telephone/broadband it seems a little high.

Well, this household has four private mobile phones, a landline, mid-price Virgin Media broadband.

Don't forget that forget that the market for communication services includes pay TV (Sky, VM, BT but also Netflix and similar) your TV licence and postal services.

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Blighty's super-duper F-35B fighter jets are due to arrive in a few weeks

Ledswinger
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Re: A plane so expensive it’s useless

You are on form today sir, and I tip my hat to you.

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Ledswinger
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Re: indiscriminate due to the technologies of the day?

Churchill DELIBERATELY targeted civilian areas of German cities as part of the strategy to distract Luftwaffe from bombing UK airbases in Battle of Britain. Perhaps he remembered the Zeppelin raid on London in WWI. Hitler then ordered development of the V weapons,

Learn some history before spouting utter nonsense. The RAF didn't even have any decent heavy bombers at the time of the Battle of Britain, nor any strength in numbers in the antiquated twin motors it had. The first 4 motor (the Short Sterling) didn't achieve operation status until mid 1941, and the Wellingtons and Hampdens that visited Berlin in 1940 were at the extreme limit of their range. The bombing of Berlin by a token force of those twin motor relics on 25 August 1940 was undertaken solely in response to the bombing of London on 24 August. The consequent transfer of attention of the Luftwaffe to bomb London more gave a respite to Fighter Command, but certainly wasn't the intention.

As a military tactic, the "innovation" of carpet bombing of cities can certainly be pinned on the Luftwaffe in Spain and Holland.

Hitler then ordered development of the V weapons, which ironically killed x10 as many workers (mostly slaves) as targeted civilians. Putting the resources into subs and aircraft would have been more effective.

By the time the V weapons were being mass produced and deployed Germany was already on the backfoot. They'd run out of road with the over ambitious invasion of Russia, they'd been defeated in North Africa, sonar and better tactics and equipment were decimating the U boat fleet, and their lack of capability in both light and heavy bombers, surface ships, transport aircraft were taking a toll.

The firebombing of Dresden and Tokyo were war crimes.

Tough shit. And the same for Hamburg, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Treat all as the geopolitical equivalent of having to write one hundred lines: "I must not start world wars and conduct multiple atrocities and genocides without expecting to reap the whirlwind from a bloody angry, vengeful, well armed victor".

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Ledswinger
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Re: Lancasters

Lancasters may be a good souvenir in the UK, it is not necessary the same elsewhere

I'd imagine that they aren't too popular in Hamburg, Dresden either. In the same way that Heinkels wouldn't be too popular in Guernica, London, Coventry, or Rotterdam. But that's tough, and a reminder to all concerned that fighting wars is not a good idea. Arguably BBMF should try and get themselves a Heinkel 111, a Ju 88 and a Stuka, return them to airworthiness and the whole lot could go on trips across Europe as a visual reminder. They might want to add a few examples of post war aircraft to remind the world of the folly of intervening in remote countries and other people's wars.

WW2 bombing was for the most part indiscriminate due to the technologies of the day, added to which both sides concluded that carpet bombing had military value. That was how war was conducted then. And arguably intentionally targeting civilians and civil infrastructure is still normal military practice in many parts of the world.

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Ledswinger
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Re: re: anything to add

Most likely all of these things are factors into decisions like this.

It would be nice to think that, but given how we got here, I can't see that the powers that be have woken up and started to make sensible, fact based decisions taking account of all the circumstances. So I doubt that any proper consideration is given to those at all.

The Typhoon-as-F35-alternative idea is being publicly flagged to see what the reaction it gets from Europe and the US, and is driven purely by the vast gap between the MoD's procurement plans and their actual budget. Williamson has been embarrassed by the recent Public Accounts Committee mauling, and has sent the bungling civil servants away with a demand to find £20bn down the back of the Whitehall sofas.

If the cost difference is around £80m per aircraft which currently seems feasible, then buying 90 Typhoons instead of 90 F35's is a single decision that finds £7.2bn of those cost savings, and giving the higher maintenance costs of F35, that might round up to about £10bn over the programme life, so halving the gap. I suspect that the decision is also tied into what Germany might do, not for any political reasons whatsoever, but because they need to replace their Tornados as well, and if both the UK and Germany do it, there's double the production run, and the opportunity to share any enhancement costs.

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Ledswinger
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Instead, the Telegraph understands it is looking at purchasing Eurofighter jets, made by a European consortium that includes the UK. The European manufactured jets are currently, on best estimates, about half the price of an F-35"

Much as I loathe the misbegotten F35, replacing it with Typhoons doesn't help much. What the RAF needs is a strike platform for launching bombs and missiles. The Typhoon has its origins in a Cold War requirement for a fast interceptor, intended to get airborne fast and deny the sky to Russian bombers. Like the original English Electric Lightning. As such it wasn't designed to launch large, heavy, high drag items like the serious end of air to surface or air to sea missiles, and it didn't have the control systems for those weapons or missions, it isn't a large weapons platform for stand off work, nor a strong low level mud-plugger (like the Harrier or Buccaneer).. And Typhoon is a single seater design, when F35 aside the majority of modern strike aircraft accept that the strike mission requires both a pilot and a weapons specialist aka navigator. If you want a jack of all trades or a fighter you'll cope with a crew of one, but it isn't something that seems optimal given the complexity of modern weapons and sensors.

Although MoD have sellotaped bombs to Typhoons for somewhile now, taking that and using more sellotape doesn't make the aircraft any good in that role. If MoD cancel F35, they'll have to deal with the fallout of a petulant US, possibly pay exit penalties, and they'll find that the costs of making the Typhoon into a strike aircraft turn out much higher than expected. And it still won't be a match for the larger, strike-purposed aircraft that they should have started development of around 2005 to replace Tornado GR4.

MoD and successive governments have lost no opportunity to ensure failure in defence procurement at every level - in long term requirements, in forward planning, in specification, in pricing, in contracting. The RN have been left with no option other than F35, the RAF have apparently a Hobsons choice between a handful of high tech, high cost, inflexible assets, or (in due course) a handful of mid-tech, high cost, unsuitable assets. Both services will end up with fewer, more expensive, sub-optimal equipment, and even today, MoD have learned nothing, and don't have a clue what they should have in development now for deployment in 2030.

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Ledswinger
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Isn't the lift fan in the F-35B version made by Rolls-Royce?

There's a list in the article joeldillon links to above, and there's several bits that aren't cheap, and won't be low tech, including fans, ducts and nozzles, and the ejector seat.

But as a proportion of total value they'll be minimal, and you can smell that they're desperate to talk it up when the list of British content includes such high value items as "Stick and throttle for Trainers", and "Throttle quadrant", "Helmet shell", "Weapons bay door drive" Not to mention that they list famous British companies like GE Aerospace, UTC Aerospace, and Honeywell Aerospace - there will be some British link, but not much.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Perfect for the job?

Earlier this month, the Luftwaffe admitted of the 128 Eurofighters in service, the total number that were combat-ready was - 4;

This is always the case in peacetime. Absent any immediate threat to the home country, the government bean counters cut the budgets for maintenance, consumables, parts and personnel. As with all very complex machinery, there's a steady state of breakdowns, and the unserviceable list grows and grows.

My father was squadron engineer with 29 Sqn flying Gloster Javelins in the 1960s, and recalls a similar audit of a summer Sunday and similar findings, even in those Cold War days. IIRC (and if he recalls correctly) this inspection found only seven fighter aircraft were ready to go, out of around 150-200, depending on whether you included the OCUs. I'd guess that the seven were the QRA ships, with everything else sitting around missing parts, people, or awaiting inspection and service. The availability of crew was about the same as the aircraft, since the poor serviceability meant that everybody had drifted towards an "office hours" air force. Apparently there was one hell of a stink when the top brass found out.

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Ledswinger
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F-35s, whether the ones used by the US or those we're using ourselves, are about 15% British -

That's a deliberate fiction for the simple minded. Look at the detail of what's is "allegedly" British made, and you'll be lucky to see anything that could possibly represent 15% of the total value. All the money is in the engines, the airframe, wings and flight control, weapons and sensors and communication systems.

Now look at the names of who's making it, and you'll see that "British" content is anything where the parent group has some British connection. In some cases that does mean UK made - although not much of any value - but the bulk of the "British" value appears to be made by US subsidiaries of British holding companies. So the UK will see at best the net after tax corporate margin, which will be around 5-10% of the cost, so 5-10% of the 15%, . I'd guess the British value share of F35 is around 3% tops, and probably less.

And (yet again) finally, who on earth is dim enough to believe that the US would allow any significant value share or technology share of the F35 to be built by foreigners? This is the most advanced aircraft they've ever built. And therefore, no matter how crap, expensive and pointless the machine is, it is the current symbol of American military and technical supremacy. There's no way they'd be letting Johnny Britisher be having a handle on 15% of that.

And for anybody who believes that, the F35 web site says that Italian companies with orders of about $0.7bn will get 3-4% of the production value, Israel has similar value of contracts declared, so that's another 3-4%, Denmark can claim around 1%, Australia around 2%, Canada the same. If you look through the numbers and claims, then the easily convinced would find that around 30% of the total production programme value was international. And that's simply not believable.

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Off with e's head: E-cig explosion causes first vaping death

Ledswinger
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injuries from electronic cigarettes are sought after and reported in a slavering fashion by journalists everywhere in an effort to start a witchhunt

Too true. I was listening to the Bolshevik Broadcasting Corporation's World Service earlier, and this once noble organisation, previously famed for its impartiality and global focus on the important was offering breathy reporting about the "unknown dangers" of e-cigs complete with "experts" prattling on about the risks and need for regulation. I suppose it makes a change from the same organisation's tedious prattle about gender-fluidity and similar topics only of importance to Hampstead socialists.

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It's true – it really is grim up north, thanks to Virgin Media. ISP fined for Carlisle cable chaos

Ledswinger
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Oh look another person ready to bash a company because of contractors.

Too right I am. The performance of the contractors is ENTIRELY WITHIN VM'S CONTROL. They set the standards and terms, they are responsible for supervising the contractor, and even more importantly they are legally responsible - you did you notice it was VM getting fined, not the subbies?

I've worked for big companies doing billions of pounds of work through contractors, and there's no magic here. You make sure that you are doing business with a reputable contractor, you issue a crystal clear specification, you use your own staff to supervise the contractors, you keep relations open with residents and local authorities so that you know what's happening on the ground, you move quickly to get the contractor performing, and if things are really going badly you cancel the contract. What you don't do is let the contract to shit company for a pittance where they can't possibly make a sustainable commercial margin, then walk away, ignoring whatever they are doing, and stick your fingers in your ears whilst the residents complain - or rather, you do all those things if you're Virgin Media.

Note that your point about cable laying and pulling refers to VM specifics - that's not the issue, the problem they got nailed for was blatant and repeated failure to adhere to NRSWA which has been in force for just short of three decades. That's bread and butter stuff, there's no excuse, and the buck stops with VM, who richly deserve their fine.

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Ledswinger
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They don't care about their existing network/maintenance.

That's correct, Virgin Media don't give a shit about delivering the contracted service by keeping the existing network in good nick.

But now they don't care about new networks/installs either.

Oh, they do care passionately about installs and new connections. They just don't care how shoddily the job is done, so long as it is cheap. They adopt the same approach to customer service, as VM customers know only too well. Vermin Media (and parent company scumbags, Liberty Global) are really keen to sign up new customers, and cross sell to existing customers, in order to put a "growth" story gloss onto the business, so that if and when a mug comes along (potentially Vodafone) and wants to buy Vermin Media, the valuation comes back considerably higher than is actually warranted. This is why the whole Project Lightning fiasco is unfolding, and why VM are offering a 350 Mbps speed upgrade for customers that their equipment often struggles to deliver. The point of the upgrade is not just the extra money for the same thing, but the opportunity to lock customers into further contract periods - again, because that reduces churn, and helps bolster an business valuation.

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Brit prosecutors fined £325k after losing unencrypted vids of police interviews

Ledswinger
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Why do the ICO bother?

The Clown Prosecution Service clearly didn't learn last time, yet again they do it, and all that happens is the moving of taxpayer's money from one branch of government back to the Treasury. The only people who suffer are the victims of crime.

If there's no personal accountability, nothing will change. Somebody, or several people should have at the very least been dismissed, or subject to personal prosecution.

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And THIS is how you do it, Apple: Huawei shames Cupertino with under-glass sensor

Ledswinger
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Re: @anothercynic

You're welcome to downvote this post. You know you want to, despite knowing I'm just pointing out the obvious. Go on. Click that downvote button. Go on. Do it. :-D

Actually I didn't give a toss either way. But as you insisted I offered you my solitary downvote.

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Vittorio Colao to say ciao to Vodafone as firm goes back to black

Ledswinger
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Maybe...

....if "investment analysts" got off their arses and went outside once in a while, they'd conclude that Voda UK's poor performance is not due to a lack of fixed line, or focus on IT improvements, but in fact mainly due to very poor value renewal and acquisition deals, an inability to let their captive MVNO act independently (like O2 allow giffgaff to), shit customer service, and turd-glossing with hugely expensive yet dull, unimaginative and un-engaging marketing?

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How many ways can a PDF mess up your PC? 47 in this Adobe update alone

Ledswinger
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Re: Use-After-Free and Heap Overflow in 2018?

how do these make it through QA and testing?

Adobe? QA and Testing? These are concepts that are such polar opposites that they cannot coexist. A bit like matter and antimatter, or Zuckerberg and ethics.

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Britain to slash F-35 orders? Erm, no, scoffs Lockheed UK boss

Ledswinger
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If we cancelled the order then we'd lose our workshare for building them, which is currently 15% of the value of each aircraft.

When you look at the reported components made by UK manufacturers, it's bloody difficult to see how Blighty is getting a 15% share of the programme. There's some very creative accounting to reclassify any parts made by US subsidiaries of UK companies as "UK value", and even parts made by US companies that might have now or ever had UK subsidiaries.

And there's another common sense test that the 15% claim fails, and that's the idea that the US military and government would let ANY other country build one eighth of the entire programme for the most advanced aircraft they've ever built.

The only people who could be stupid enough to believe that the UK will produce c$80bn of components for the F35 are British politicians.

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MPs petition for legally binding target of 95% 4G coverage across UK

Ledswinger
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Re: But Shirley...

How on earth any bidder for the contract could put a price on things that had yet to be developed escapes me completely.

You don't think for one nanosecond that the price as bid is anywhere near the price that will be paid?

People who bid for any long term services contract know to price at a loss, because there's either undefined elements that will certainly be added, or changes to requirements. The real skill in tendering for such deals is simply to spot those opportunities in the original specification, and then have the mendacity to offer an absurdly low bid in order to squeeze out the handful of like-minded competitors.

It is pretty much the same business model as outsourcing and offshoring in IT, BPO, and any government services tender.

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Facebook misses Brit MPs' deadline, promises answers on Monday

Ledswinger
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Re: I wonder ...

if it is possible to have a European Arrest Warrant issued to his name and drag his sorry derriere to UK face the parliament?

I'm not sure that a parliamentary summons can be cause for issuing a European Arrest Warrant because it is (supposedly) for criminal suspects or convicts. But Zuk doesn't need any more time for his flunkies to scribble out answers - he's just commanded that the response is late to make a point. If the committee had any balls (sadly, I accept they don't) then they'd issue the summons anyway, and that'd mean the greasy little short arse would have to either turn up, or avoid the UK, including interconnecting flights forever, which would be surprisingly inconvenient for a member of the global rich club.

And since he's made a point of not complying with the deadline, parliamentary officials should arrange him a special chair, with two inches cut off the legs and an even thicker booster cushion than the one he needed when he was not answering questions to the US Congress.

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Sort your spending habits out, UK Ministry of Defence told over £20bn black hole

Ledswinger
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Re: A truly excellent plan....

There is nothing to provide the steam for any steam catapults. HMS Queen Elizabeth has electric propulsion, powered by a combination of gas turbine and diesel generators.

I doubt they'd be running on diesel in most circumstances. And what you've clearly overlooked is that around 50%+ of the energy into a gas turbine is wasted. You get better numbers on combined cycle operation, but I doubt that's an option on any ship. There's ample "spare" energy to power a steam catapult.

But what would I know, I've only worked for a company running gigawatts of the devices.

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Ledswinger
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Re: RE: Come IndyScotland and, hopefully, IndyWales

As some wise person pointed out, how many countries have wished they had never become independent?

A post which I agree with very much. Except that sentence above. After all, didn't Wales vote to remain vassals of the ever-broadening powers and increasing direct law making of Brussels?

I can credit the advantage of a trade bloc, and policy alignment. But it's pretty clear that the EU have gone well beyond that, and don't intend to stop now. I suppose as an independent country you could vote to join the EU in your own right, affirm the primacy of EU law making over Welsh law making, and thus surrender your sovereignty again?

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Ledswinger
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Re: A truly excellent plan....

apart from the small detail that it is completely impossible.

Not at all. Retrofit of steam catapults has been done before (eg HMS Eagle, c1960). It is just very expensive and time consuming. Arguably such a change (and cancelling F35) would still be a better outcome than continuing what government are currently doing, but it would cost more.

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Cisco cancels all YouTube ads, then conceals cancellation

Ledswinger
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Re: American puritanism?

Our country is actually called America

No it isn't, you tit. Your country is (probably) called The United States of America.

America (without caveats) is two whole continents, of which the USA is, what, about a sixth?

Important note: I have a lot of admiration for the things the USA does well, and many USAian friends. I'm not poking at the country in this post, merely at one of its more disadvantaged (presumably) citizens.

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Make masses carry their mobes, suggests wig in not-at-all-creepy speech

Ledswinger
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Re: 2 weeks to go

Google so deserve everything they're going to get when GDPR comes in.

We wish. But money talks, and I very much doubt that GDPR will MATERIALLY alter what Google do or the money they make. I expect the ICO will be too busy busting schools for breaching GDPR, or sticking it hard to SMEs, or selectively to those large companies that the public don't like, but who'll just add the fine to next year's customer fees (such as banks, insurers, energy companies).

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