208 posts • joined Thursday 17th April 2008 13:09 GMT
I thought about coming back to this site for news, as I had done for many years, when I was sent a link to a different (very good) story. Then I clicked on a link to this one. Oh dear.
The phrase 'same shit, different day' comes to mind, the shit in question being the usual wide-eyed, tub-thumping near-monomania accompanied by selective twisting of facts to suit one's agenda.
I won't be back.
"From nuclear missiles to fighter planes, software code to spy satellites, the Patriot missile to Star Wars, Lockheed has come to dominate the weapons market in a way that the Standard Oil Company used to hold sway over the nation's petroleum supplies. And it all happened with the help of the federal government, which steered lucrative no bid contracts Lockheed's way, enacted tax breaks that encouraged Lockheed's merger and acquisition frenzy in the 1980s and 1990s and turned a blind eye to the company's criminal rap sheet, ripe with indiscretions ranging from bribery to contract fraud."
Sounds like the US government has a vested interest in Lockheed's success to me. This is a company that has a track record of alleged bribery going all the way back to the 'sale of the century' fighter contest in the late 1950s at least, which ended with the deaths of hundreds of European pilots killed in accidents in the F-104 Starfighter.
As for the Boeing case, prosecution occurred because of a breach of protocol (the rules of the game) that was so flagrant that the authorities were forced to act. Well, that and the waste of hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars and the protests of Northrop Grumman, another part of the military-industrial establishment.
As I said above, what's good for the goose is good for the gander. US laws exist to protect US self interest.
excellent work - in pursuing your own self interests
"congratulations to the DoJ and associated entities. SFO, CPS - this is how to run a bribery of foreign officials investigation."
I'm sorry, I almost fainted when I read that. Are you really so naive as to believe that Lockheed-Martin or Boeing would be investigated by the DoJ for similar offences, or that Dassault in France would be investigated by the French government? Sarkozy is the chief cheerleader for their products - recently in Dubai and Brazil.
Maybe the reason why the US companies don't need to use 'corrupt' practices is because they already own large swathes of the US Senate and Congress.
It's easy to appear whiter than white when you write the rules of the game.
@ Isn't there better things to spend money on
"Measures against and research into Foot and Mouth?"
I think you'll find this falls into the first category. One of the main problems in the last foot and mouth epidemic was finding where all the animals had been, and therefore whether they had been exposed to other carriers of the disease.
Who knows, if we can react faster the next time there's an outbreak maybe the rural economy won't get fscked to the tune of several billion pounds.
No, just too much lemming-like behaviour from game developers. Far too many of the next-gen games are either FP or 'over-the-shoulder' shooters, and don't get me started on all those feckin' music and sports games.
I probably won't buy another FPS for a long time.
There is a bit of hope though. Heavy Rain looks very interesting, God of War, GT5... InFamous also had some good ideas. It remains to be seen whether anything will beat MGS4 on the PS3 though. That is the gold standard.
Of course, this has nothing to do with the fact that these companies have production licences for big, big oil fields in Nigeria that are currently coming to an end, that Sinopec and CNOOC currently have an interest in?
Not to mention that these companies are also direct competitors with the two Chinese NOCs in a number of other areas.
No, I can't imagine why the Chinese government would want to hack their bid offers, not at all.
Just needed to look at clips of MW2 multiplayer online to realise that it's just a sexed up version of the original.
There are more interesting games out there and there will be a lot more by the second half of this year.
As for James Cameron.... meh. Last decent film he did was Aliens.
"But only now - 2009 - is the end in sight for Windows XP"
Let's see if you repeat that one in another ten years time.... long term support until 2014 gets you half-way there.
More program ideas
Heavy Rain - the Musical. Oops, I mean movie.
They should let Hideo Kojima direct something. He's got more of a filmmaker's instinct than most I've seen. Some of the cut scenes in MGS4 are awesome!
So how does this account for Chris 'Mullet' Waddle blazing the ball over the bar in 1990? Maybe the missing weight of his barnet put him off balance?
I remember Michel Platini, Roberto Baggio and Socrates putting their kicks over the bar in previous contests, but that's because they were trying to pose by chipping it into the top corner.
Beer, because Capello should crack open a few tinnies at the end of extra time, just to relieve the pressure...
Or could it be...
Reactionary, politically-correct boneheads being manipulated by entertainment company for free publicity. It ain't exactly Hot Coffee is it?
If you've ever played MW online, you'll realise that such a thing will greatly appeal to the core audience of hormonal teens that play this 'franchise'.
"The PS3 slim is nearly quiet enough but older PS3s are too noisy for this job."
Got to disagree, I have an older 80 Gb PS3 and it's virtually silent. It's replaced my stereo and DVD player and may soon replace the Sky box too via PlayTV. Possibly the best £300 I've ever spent.
Just noticed that it's the B-1 bomb bay this thing is being engineered for. This makes more sense than putting it in the B-2 as they are indeed higher value targets.
Yes Shadowdoc, I accept all your points. The only problem at the moment is that there isn't enough internal room on an F-22 or F-35 to fit it inside, hence you would have to carry it on an external pod, ruining the stealth on both of these planes.
Let's put that argument on its head and say the Russians develop such a pod for the Su-35K - or the Europeans fit it to Eurofighter. In an engagement F-22 launches its missiles and becomes visible to radar when the missile bay door opens and IR (PIRATE sensor or whatever) because of the missile plume. Because of advanced fusion of sensors, the non-stealth has a cue for a shot at the F-22 using the laser that has a pretty good chance of hitting, plus the non-stealth missile (AIM-9/120) could easily be shot down by the laser as well.
Btw, these planes still have an IR signature, as well as a small radar one. Missiles can still be used against them, but you have to get a lot closer to make the shot count...
@ Robert Hill
I'm just going on what I read on other sites. Apparently the entire laser system will be designed to be fitted into one bomb bay of a B-2 - no doubt with conventional ordinance in the other.
I guess this wouldn't be for a threat intensive environment as you say - opening the bomb bay doors also breaks the stealth, plus the Russians have developed ESM / radar systems that are (probably) able to detect it, under certain conditions.
It is quite ironic that the B-2 is being thought of in this kind of tactical role, while the F-22 is often thought of in more strategic terms as a mini-AWACS / ISR thing. Almost like a return to the Vietnam B-52 / F-105 situation.
Mind, if I was a grunt, I wouldn't mind one of those cruising 40,000 ft above me, shooting down missiles, detonating IEDs and whatever else.
I'll get me coat now, it's been a long day...
@ Battery powered laser sharks
Don't forget, this could be complemented by an external ram air turbine. I guess you could even have one pod to generate and another with the actual laser on a fighter-sized plane, but the propellor fscks up stealth.
They've been used to supply supplementary power to underslung pods before (as well as planes that suffer engine failure).
However, I think the intended carrier will be the B-2, which may be less of an issue - big bomb bays to carry more conventional generating kit. You could even fit a small nuclear reactor in there to power the thing.
@ Future Russians airplanes?
Both the Russians and Chinese have announced they will develop a fifth generation fighter plane (eg stealth, high performance, AESA radars, etc, etc). The Russian airframe is due to fly this year.
My money is on the Chinese getting there first. There are good reasons why US gov and biz networks are being continually probed by Chinese hackers.
Having said that, the Su-35K is a serious threat to the F-35. In fact, any of the fourth gen fighters mentioned (Rafale, Eurofighter, Gripen) would eat the F-35 for breakfast if the F-35 missed with its first shot. It's a big assumption to make that stealth is some kind of silver bullet. Like any other new tech, counter measures are already being developed - mostly advanced passive sensors for IR and radar signals.
That's because the future of Nokia's gaming / multimedia / Facebitch / Twatter / mobile internet effort is going to centre around the Maemo platform.
Got a n810 myself, and it's rather useful and nifty, with or without a mobile phone.
Pity the fuckers aren't going to release the next version of Maemo for it, hence the fail, but I'm sure I'll still be using it into the forseeable future,
'She added: "I felt humiliated, sad."'
If she can't speak English, how did she manage to say this? Sounds pretty bloody eloquent to me.
I would imagine saying a word with more than two syllables would be a struggle for the average Texan cop, hence the big bucket'o'fail.
What I want to know is, when the bear went in the woods afterwards did it shit a rainbow, or was the face of St Jobs visible in the excreta?
Just imagine if the turd became a fossilised coprolite - Jobs on a jobbie for all eternity...
"And NASA wonders why the public wants to cut their funding?! They've become a fat, bloated organization doing research in too many areas."
They're looking for signs of life that can exist in highly saline, dry conditions. You know, like what you might get on Mars, or even highly saline liquid oceans, like on Europa (probably). Last time I checked, both of these places were in space and so therefore fall under NASA's remit.
These beasties are useful analogues for the kinds of things we should be looking for on these worlds and an airborne search is the best way of looking for them.
And about cutting funding, the US defence budget is about 30x the NASA one, while the US gov just pumped another few hundreds of billions into propping up failing banks and car manufacturers.
I'd say NASA is severely underfunded given how useless some of these other endeavours are.
@ Richard 102
"Oil won't last forever, of course, but guess what? It replenishes itself! A few years ago geologists at some university in the northeast US were shocked, SHOCKED, to find that old, dead oil fields had oil back in them thirty or forty years later. The oil companies knew about this years ago."
That's because it's common knowledge to engineers who look after these things. Some of the oil is left behind in the rock pores when the reservoir is produced and, over a few decades, gravity will do its work and that oil will migrate up through the water to the crest of the field again, where it can be produced. This is a quite similar mechanism to how oil fields are formed in the first place.
I won't get into the usual slanging match between geos and REs here, but it doesn't surprise me that some rock docs might be surprised by that ... ;)
Mine's the one with the Brent field layer maps in the pocket, looking forward to Shell giving up its licence...
@ Big Al @ Duncan
Al - You've obviously never heard of the legendary smoking shack found in every offshore facility. In fact, in the old days, it was regular to see folk lighting up on the drill floor itself - and that's even before I get into the story I heard about a couple of dudes having a duel with flare pistols in the accomodation block...
@ Duncan - cheers mate, you saved me the bother of doing that. I can also add the enormous find in subsalt formations off Brazil (Tupi - at 8 Bstb bigger than Brent and Forties combined) along with the inevitable further discoveries in this immature play, and big finds recently in the Gulf of Mexico. And that's not even mentioning the Arctic regions.
Any future oil crisis in the next 40-50 years at least will be a crisis of supply, not scarcity, as every previous crisis has been, probably created partially by resource nationalism and imperialism, for want of a better word. The Chinese in particular are likely to be involved.
"(Despite the fact that the explosive forces required to de-orbit the moon would actually blow it apart)"
Dude, you just ruined my suspension of disbelief. I'll never be able to take that program seriously again now.
Turn the other cheek
On the other hand, maybe Shuttleworth deserves some credit for not lowering himself to the level of the retarded whinging coming from the Debian community and for trying to act like an adult. I hope this little flame war does end in better communication between the camps, because both distros are great in their own way and can only grow stronger by working together.
Oh, and on the subject of PHB-speak, if you want Linux to succeed on the desktop, then someone has to go and talk the talk to the Dells and HPs of this world and, to coin a truly fucking horrid term, do some 'product evangelism' . It's the only way the Win monopoly will *ever* be broken, because regular users will never install a new OS on that old machine - they just go and buy a new box.
Didn't IBM have a prototype wearable computer with a very similar headset about 10 years ago? A single eye piece designed to transmit the equivalent of a 15" screen into your eyeball.
What next, VR headsets? Bring back the 90s!
"Lynx is a predator but it’s a very thoughtful, considerate predator," said Shuttleworth, who also noted that it's a brand name for a rather well-known men's deodorant."
Is that the kind of predator that leaves his number in the morning after a wee cuddle (as opposed to the Microsoft version that sneaks out at 4 in the morning after failing to perform??)
@ AC - nuke comment
">What's wrong with a load of Nuclear power plants?
Fuel - we've got at most 100 years left at current consumption rates."
That's PROVED reserves. The reason why proved reserves are so low is because nobody has been prospecting for Uranium for 30-40 years because the hippies shut everything down with their scaremongering.
Once there's an economic driver to find more, more will be found. Just like those massive subsalt oil fields recently discovered off Brazil.
There may be a crisis of supply in the future, but that's a different issue
@ Fucked up planet #2
So, explain to me how the biosphere of these planets is going to be damaged by this strip mining?
Oh wait, there isn't one on either. Ooops!
This one goes in the same bin as the hullaballoo over the last veteran of the trenches to die. It's old, tired history and it does us no good to rake over the ashes of events that we can't go back and change any more. Gordon Brown wasn't PM when this happened (was he even at school?) so why should he have to apologise for this? Also, homosexuality is now a well accepted lifestyle choice, so I don't see what there is to be gained by this.
To use the analogy above, it's rather like the relatives of Earl Haig or some of the other Great War commanders apologising to the gandchildren of the soldiers slaughtered because of their mistakes. It may make a few people feel better, but ultimately it's pointless.
This is exactly why I will never buy a solo Morrisey release. Apart from the fact he's been rehashing the same stuff for the last 25 years, he's also a bitter, twisted money grubber. "Don't buy these records because I won't get any money." Fucking pathetic!
You won't hear Johnny Marr whining like a child about the Smiths re-releases, but maybe that's because he's the one with the serious career spanning 3 decades that doesn't involve swimming around the same goldfish bowl over and over again.
Outsource Glasgow to Ireland. Judging from what they get excited about, most of them want to live there anyway, so now's the time to do it.
I think we should have a referendum on this issue sometime soon.
I think the point is missed
Again, yet again, the threat of coercion is being raised to ensure that the nice plebs get into line and do what they're told. All in the name of inclusion, integration and a more equal, socially just country.
Why does everything have to be a war on something?
PS keep up the good work Andrew. Some of your articles have been excellent in the last while.
"At least Sandys had been through the war and was well aware of rocketry development."
But he was still woefully unaware of the shortcomings of missile guidance systems at that time and he was also alone in the conclusion that he reached. Every other nation in the world with an aviation industry continued to develop manned combat aircraft while Britain pissed the few advantages it had left up against the wall. The Sandys doctrine was used as a stick to beat the industry with in the 60s and indirectly led to the cancellation of projects like TSR.2 (Tornado on steroids) and P.1154 (supersonic Harrier) that would have given the RAF some really superior equipment right through to the present day.
I agree that the aviation industry in the UK was over-bloated at that time, but the way the situation was dealt with was a joke.
As for UAVs, all they really are capable of at the moment is taking off, landing and flying in straight lines (which is quite an achievement btw), so the assumption behind Sandys 2.0 is that stealth tech will make these planes survivable in any future war, but stealth is like any other counter measure - eventually someone will find a way around it and such craft will be easy meat. Maybe this has already happened - the Russian S-400 is designed for such a task.
Until a UAV can beat the meatsacks in a dogfight and make equally good decisions, I don't see this happening. Maybe it will happen in 2030, maybe it won't, but it will take something a lot more sophisticated than what we have right now.
What about a scramjet missile that hits its target at Mach 6+? Wouldn't need a big warhead as kinetic effects do most of the damage - a bit like the MOP on steroids.
I'd like to see a S-400 try to intercept one of those - it would certainly have less chance than against a F-22 or B-2.
I'm more ambivalent about this kind of thing. Most of the technology we use today was developed for or used by the military at some point, especially aviation tech.
@ frank - why?
Why? Because it actually looks like paper and mimics the reading of a book pretty closely. Having seen a few of these things I actually was pleasantly surprised at the quality of display (although they were all bigger than the tiny one mentioned in the article).
Although it's a clever trick, I still think this will be a sideline. The only time I would ever use such a device would be on holiday, in which case I would probably use something more versatile for the same purpose. In fact, I still take books on holiday, because I never read more than 3-4 while I'm away.