back to article Qinetiq Q-branch and Area 51 tech sell-off due a roasting

A long-anticipated report by the National Audit Office (NAO) into the privatisation of defence-tech research company Qinetiq is due out on Friday. Advance hints suggest damning criticism of the sell-off. Qinetiq's basic assets are various laboratories and facilities full of top boffins, formerly operated by the Defence …

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Dead Vulture

title misleading

Damnit! after excitedly reading the headline, I dutifully followed the link to see where I could sign up for one of those Invisible Aston Martins Q makes - perhaps one with smoke damage? I could live with a little smoke damage. Or maybe a suitcase that explodes when you enter the wrong combination would be more in my price range...

but sadly this was not to be :( Just another el reg headline that excites and then disappoints. Tragic.

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Mars

Money doesn't serve a Country, it is a Global Asset for Spending Freely ....

..... just Imagine what you could do with it. IT would energise Society rather than enslaving it, and ITself within IT. A Prisoner to Oneself in a Gilded Cage on an Ivory Tower. .....and in the Red Zone does a Better Life Pass By Your Way, by the Way.

El Reg disappoint? Nay Never, AC.

Surely Qinetiq are Worthless with the MOD Boffins therefore Company Value is theirs to Spend. Creating IT as a Private Business was only an exercise using MOD Assets to Create A.N.Other Business Generating Interest for Lavish Magnanimous Spending and Canny Structured Investment Vehicles. Was any Technology brought to the Table or is IT built loosely around IT and what have you Discovered Binds IT Altogether.

Is that Key/has that Quoin been Missing?

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Black Helicopters

Bull

The amount of useful information coming from the US is miniscule. Anything that might be interesting they are forbidden from telling the UK and half of what they've got is no better than what's already developed in UK labs.

The US like to think they are the dogs b*ll*cks but much of the time they just talking it and they are the ones gaining from the relationship.

Anyway, just stir in some incompetent MBAs put in charge and you can be certain that no smart ideas are going to escape Qinetiq in the near future ....

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Mars

Impetuous Youth .... A Wasteful Control in INXXXXPerienced Hands and Imperious Within

"Anyway, just stir in some incompetent MBAs put in charge and you can be certain that no smart ideas are going to escape Qinetiq in the near future ...." ... Nor accrue to them either is the cost though. A Strange Sort of Smart Idea that one if thought to Lead.

Have any El Reg Pioneers had cause to ponder their Electronic Psychological Profile as Captured for Analysis by Communications.

Very Minority Reportage ..... AI Guided Sky Mission Impossible, Mr Cruise? Oz Sends ITs Love.

That's Hearts and Minds, Big Time, for Cruisers and Tenders.

Please Indulge the GAIme, El Reg, the Road ahead gets Mighty Rocky Mountain High via the Full Monty Root Route. ..... Obscure PerlyGatesPython Script and IT gives you a Seat in the Ring and at the Table. ....... for a RAIR Raw View at a NEUKlearer MetaPhysical Power Coagulation aka Pecking Order

Now I did review all of that thinking not to send it for the Nonsense in it but it all makes Perfect Sense when put into Historically Supported ConText and Shared across All Levels

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The amount of useful information coming from the US is miniscule...?

I wonder whether the AC has measured the useful military technical information coming from the US, and by what measure he/she/it thinks it is miniscule.

For quite a long time, quite a long time ago, I was involved in this information exchange, and the volume and quality of material flowing in both directions were very considerable. It is indeed the case that the USA demanded that the archive of exchanged technical reports did NOT form part of the entity spun off as Qinetiq. It rests now with the DSTL. Disclosures to Qinetiq are made on the same basis as to other Defence Contractors, I suppose and believe.

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Stop

Great sell out

This has been happening in the US too.

The formula seems to be

Invest great sums of taxpayer money on R&D

If something comes out of it spin off the group into a private concern or the technology to a private company or something along those lines.

Have a little scandal then spin it in the media or quash it committee.

Worst case have your president pardon those involved if the judicial arm is bored and decides to punish them.

The important thing is that the right kind of money makes it into the right hands.

Bureaucrats make out with pork/private equity from the sale, private companies make oodles from selling off tech to China as they don't care about the source and have gobs of money these days from a pegged currency and rich people making more money with their slave/child labor.

Repeat as necessary.

China to date has spent on its military more than both sides did during the entire cold war.

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Stop

Joke's over

Can you please just ban that twaddle-generating 'bot amanfrommars? It was amusing once but now it's just plain irritating. Grrrrrrrrr!

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Thumb Up

Wow

Contrary to Mr. Briggs, I found aManFromMars' comments to be fairly lucid; daresay even insightful today. Esp. the bit about money not serving any one country; here in the states, our own Fed hasn't said anything that reasonable in years.

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Fails the Turing Test

@Rob: Seconded. It's been rumbled now, so the joke's over. I imagine the bizarre capitalization in the martian posts is to make it easy for subsequent bot runs to pick up and use the stuff over and over. Ignore it and maybe it'll go away.

@AC: Lucid and insightful? I'll have a lungful of whatever you're smoking, please.

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Dead Vulture

Joke's *definitely* over

@Rob/Jonathan: If Jonathan's seconding, then I'll also lend my support to a total and complete ban of the AManFromMars. Precious little is added by his/hers/its contributions and they just serve to annoy, (not just me). >:(

@Wow: ElemenTal unIversity hoaxing witH Linux-bas3d simple Perl flip Python script. Half-Life expired on p3tri d1sh experiment that now need M1crosof Word XML storage and Web 2.0 software shown to Mega-mega data reduction device with mayo and a pickle perhaps... Or perhaps eXtreme Programming in a partial AJAX cum .Net minus Mono project landscape lacking MSFT Mega-Patch Tuesday critical PATch. EXCELLent technews RSS source, El Reg, held culpability for continued mind virus vectoriZation.

AlternatE Universe shows SSL CERT-ifiably inSANE serial kiLLer with jail BrOaDBand keyboard waiting on RuBBeR wallpaper. Or in alternate alternate cosmic hypERverse slash reality Open Source God Bob suggest that amanfrommars muppet IS either domesticated animal cYberENhanced subcutaneously RFID tag, or perhaps pretentious Steve Jobs-Apple_iPhone clONE with HOpefuLLy TReatAble dyslexia utilizing microGBP's KeYBooooard with autorebOOtinG or faiLING caps lock key. Kevin Mitnick for King Penguin!

To "Wow" again: There's the door, and there's your coat - it's a kind of a hint. ;-)

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Joke

A story from the late 1990's resurfaces...

We no longer hear about all the patent owners who've been stuffed by the MOD because their work was classified and suppressed by the state on 'National Security' grounds.

They've had cause for complaint - and no compensation from HMG - when overseas companies have independently invented and manufactured widgets that use the same idea. Needless to say, the MoD has prevented them from challenging the patents by citing 'Prior Art' buried in files marked 'classified'.

All in all, very shabby treatment and an excellent reason to file your patents in another EU jurisdiction.

For obvious reasons, there are no published statistics.

Why do I mention this today? Many of these ideas weren't suppressed and forgotten: they were used in real weapons systems - Otto Frisch and his classified patent on the chain reaction being the poster child. But an awful lot of it is rumoured to related to telecomms and electronic surveillance.

Of course, the large patent-owners are mainly the existing defence contractors, and there's always been a quiet quid pro quo for classifying their discoveries: they get to build the secret widgets on contracts without competitive tenders and all external scrutiny is suppressed by the Official Secrets Act. It's the small inventors who've been screwed, and the current state of British Patent law is that enforcing a patent in the courts is a game for millionaires: Official Secrecy and the dead hand of HMG is just another flavour of being screwed.

But the small players' discoveries were all investigated and documented by the organisation that is now Qinetiq - who else do you think vetted the original applications? Which places the company in an interesting position - they've built some of these widgets and passed them on to GCHQ, among others, knowing full well that the original inventors are prevented from claiming a licence fee or even knowing about it.

Or rather, they *were* prevented. Qinetiq is now a public company and some of this is going to come to light.

Also, we now know from this recent article that Qinetiq has passed on ideas to the US, where the DoD and the NSA's tame contractors have built the widgets at Pentagon Cost-Plus mark-ups: a public-information request in the USA could yield some interesting legal claims. So taking the technology across the Atlantic gives the struggling British Boffin a chance to relocate his garden shed to Monaco or the Cayman Islands with a little bit of IP blackmail: Her Majesty's Government can't suppress a threat to make a prior art claim in the USA...Can they?

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Silver badge

@Joke's *definitely* over

You hate Mondays, Bob? Just another day in Paradise.

And who let the Bully Boys in. Wannabe Censorers of Words..

Winners they are definitely not, therefore .....

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Mars

@@Joke's *definitely* over

Nice one - not trying to censor anyone - that's what personal blogs are for. Just trying to keep the signal/noise ratio down on El Rego postings.

BTW, don't know what timezone you're on, but where I am it's now a freezing cold Friday, not Monday.

And yes, I just totally agree with your first line! Respect....

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Don't poke the animals ...they all can bite.

"Nice one - not trying to censor anyone - that's what personal blogs are for. Just trying to keep the signal/noise ratio down on El Rego postings. .... If Jonathan's seconding, then I'll also lend my support to a total and complete ban of the AManFromMars."

There seems to be a dichotomy of thought there, Rob.

And don't you think "Precious little is added by his/hers/its contributions and they just serve to annoy, (not just me)" is pretentious to the point of arrogance and beyond.

Don't tell me .....you're one of those sinecures in a quango left holding the deserted fort/dodgy expenses bill/cooked books.

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Crazy idea

Maybe, just maybe there should be a law banning anyone involved in a civil service role (or their families) from purchasing shares in any company that their even remotely associated with the selling off of?

Perhaps that little law would stop a lot of these departments being sold off by senior civil servants who are looking to grease their wheels, so to speak...

Remove people's ability to gain from a corrupt act and you remove their desire to conduct it.

PS. Amanfrommars keep the comments coming!

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Mars

Special Branches .......

"Remove people's ability to gain from a corrupt act and you remove their desire to conduct it."

It would be simpler to train [and therefore be able to retrain] people's ability to gain from a corrupt act and you remove their desire to conduct it with the introduction of its Policing.

The Policing of Desire in an Effective Control Tool with Latent QuITe Overwhelming SeXXXXual MetaPhysics in a State of Beautifully Impervious Grace?

A little something Andy Hayman may be lost in .... http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article2937065.ece

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