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* Posts by Richard Simpson

3 posts • joined 8 May 2007

Japan scores ballistic missile shootdown bullseye

Richard Simpson

ICBMs fly too high?

Hmm, perhaps I am missing something here, but surely ICBMs only fly high for part of their journey. Surely, they have to come down to lower altitudes at the end of their flight, otherwise, they won't do anything useful? Now, I don't doubt that shooting down ICBMs is more difficult, but perhaps it is because they go faster? After all, if they go higher up and they had a bigger rocket to start with then it seems logical that they will be going faster by the time they get near the ground.

This all reminds me of an article by George Orwell in which he mocks pre-WW2 newspaper articles explaining that there is no threat from German bombers because anti-aircraft defences would force them to fly too high. The idea presumably being that if you drop a bomb from high enough then it won't reach the ground :-)

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Patent damages not refunded if EPO cancels patent

Richard Simpson

Just a statement of what we all know anyway.

So far as I can see, all the judge is saying is that it is OK for the legal system to be unjust, so long as that is good for business.

Surely it has been painfully obvious for years that this is their opinion, its just that judges and politicians don't normally come right out and say so.

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Student detained following attacks on Estonian websites

Richard Simpson

Some interesting points

1) There is a great deal of talk from Estonians about how Russians are invaders. That was certainly the case many years ago, but most Russians living their now were born there and in many cases so were their parents. I accept that many believe that people should be punished for the actions of their parents, grandparents etc. I am not one of them.

2) Most of the trouble in Tallinn has been caused by general purpose hooligans. The sort of people who in the UK would be rioting because their football team lost.

3) It is perhaps instructive to compare Estonia with Lithuania. They both have very similar 20th century histories, but everyone who was a permanent resident on the day that Lithuania gained independence became a citizen. The same is not true in Estonia where there are still a great number of stateless Russians.

4) Estonia gained independence in 1991, therefore, any Russian younger than their mid-thirties can't regret that they no longer run the country, since they never did.

5) Is Amnesty International prejudiced against Estonians? I don't know, but they certainly have plenty to say about their language laws (http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGEUR510012007?open&of=ENG-EST). In my non-legal opinion, Estonia is going to end up in front of the EU for breaching EU laws designed to protect linguistic minorities.

6) Very little known fact: Consider my wife's grandmother. She lives in Russia in the same cottage she was born in and speaks only Russian. She sounds like the sort of person that the Estonians would want nothing to do with doesn't she? But, between the two world wars, the bit of Russia where she lives was part of the first Estonian Republic. As a result of this, the Estonian government will give citizenship to her and any of her decedents. My wife's cousin doesn't speak a word of Estonian and apart from 2 short holidays has never set foot in the place, but because of her grandmother she now has an Estonian and thus EU passport. Meanwhile, many Russians who were born in Tallinn and have lived there all their lives, but also don't speak Estonian remain stateless. This seems a little inconsistent to me.

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