1135 posts • joined Friday 1st June 2012 10:28 GMT
Re: Killer App suggestion
That would make a lot of sense, and open up the opportunity of "mobile" companies eating the lunch of the fixed line providers - potentially they could double their income per subscriber, by providing a full on domestic service including voice and broadband. With a proper domestic transceiver even relatively weak signals might not be a problem.
I'm surprised that the "mobile" companies haven't thought of that, but they seem resolutely stuck in the mindset of providing mobile phones, rather than providing telecommunications. The rip off mobile charges wouldn't be acceptable in competition to fixed lines, and the mobile companies might not want to risk the generous gross margins that mobiles deliver, but I'd have thought they could differentiate the pricing. The other issue is whether they have sufficient transmitter capacity for fixed line equivalent services, after which arises the possibility of backhaul capacity limits.
Like you, I doubt it is insurmountable, but the lack of commercial ambition and reluctance to invest is palpable, and the bungling thieves of government have made that worse by exacting a £2.3bn tax for 4G that ultimately will be paid by subscribers, but which won't be invested in telecoms.
"However if you or anyone you know uses the education system, the heath system, the road system, etc. etc. you'd realise that your tax spend does more work for your benefit then any other pound you spend."
Utter drivel. The roads I drive on are potholed and congested because of the circa £35bn raised in roads taxes, barely one quid in six is actually spent on roads. I've recently opted to take my son out of the state system and pay for his education because he simply isn't being given an adequate education. I don't want to pay a five figure sum for his education, when the bunglers of government are already taking the money off me for an education service, but I'm not prepared to compromise his chances with the shoddy state education, which in my area has been a poor performing LEA for at least the last two decades. And my local hospital has such appalling care that it recently starved an elderly patient to death. So far from being "neoliberal nonsense", it's actually based on my experience of the shitty "public services" that I'm forced to pay for, but which if there were a choice I simply wouldn't pay for. So fuck off and fill your boots with all those lovely, lovely "public services", because you're welcome to them.
And capitalism a product of well regulated big government? What shite. Public spending has never been higher than when that pair of traiterous idiots Blair and Brown failed to regulate themselves (doubling the national debt) or the banks (leading to the financial crisis). How much more "big government" do you want?
In your weak understanding of economics you quote Greece and Germany, failing to understand that the German economy benefits from an undervalued exchange rate precisely because the Greek economy suffers from too high an exchange rate. if you're not clever enough to understand such basic finance, then maybe that's why you believe in big government.
And finally, "and to price cap - which of course will never happen and whih I assume you would never want to see". You presume to put words in my mouth? Why bother with debate when you're so fucking clever that you can mind read?
"This is good news for the consumer, "
Only in some parallel universe, where government adding a tax bill of £2.3bn to the costs of 4G roll out is a good thing.
There are only this handful of companies able to make use of the spectrum. The whole "auction" is a crappy charade, dreamt up by civil servants as a ruse to extract more money that government can then waste on crap.
And when it turns out that 4G will only be built to provide any worthwhile quality of service in areas already served by good 3.5g, and likewise also served by cable and good ADSL, I hope people will remember that having identified that the companies might be relieved of £2.3bn, instead of insisting that be spent as a contribution towards a universal service, the twerps of government decided to just take the money and waste it like the rest of the tax and borrowing income.
Everything that is wrong with ICO...
...in one neat package.
NMC is the professional regulatory body for Nurses & Midwives. It has no shareholders, it isn't run to make a profit. Unlike previous penalties handed to local government that simply move public sector slush around, in this case the penalty is ultimately paid by nurse & midwives through their subscriptions. How does that impact those responsible? Why, in the wider context, would individuals in other organisations feel vulnerable, or motivated to improve if the only penalty is a fine that they don't pay?
Sacking should be a last resort, but there are other approaches to resolving problems. However, the ICO's fondness for monetary penalties is a subsititute for doing something useful. And since the ICO clearly aren't stopping data breaches (most of which seem to be self reported anyway), it makes me wonder if we should do away with ICO as yet another useless regulator.
When a bureaucracy (such as the public sector) or a charity/not for profit body breaches the law, the penalty needs to be something that they find organisationally uncomfortable, not some "fine" that can be hidden away in the accounts. Like forcing the head honcho and the head of IT/data protection to write to every council tax payer or member in a dedicated letter explaining what they did, what went wrong, how sorry they are, and what they are doing to ensure future compliance. In these situations, I suspect embarassment for the big wigs is a far more powerful tool than fines that they don't suffer.
"How about something for the North, or Wales for a change?"
I think you'll find that Wales does very nicely out of government with an extra £1.5bn a year out of the Barnett formula. If the assembly choose to spend that on speed cameras and eisitedfodds then that's their choice.
The English regions have more of a case for griping, but even then there's a range of boondoggles.
Re: Space Monkeys@Richard Gray 1
"I would happily pay half my tax to get rid of a large proportion of the planet..."
Whereas I'd happily pay half my tax to interbreed with nudes, sexy blue aliens. Which means that (in addition to drawing distinctly the wrong message from Avatar) I will get better value for money than you, that my wife is not going to be pleased, and my tastes are wide ranging*.
* I was going to say my tastes were catholic , but of course that means something different altogether now.
And finally, this is one of those posts you wonder whether should have been AC, But as a pseud, what the hell?
Re: If you think living on planet Earth @Dick Pountain
"why does the human race deserve to live for ever?"
Who said we deserved to? But that's no reason not to aspire to stick around as long as possible, ideally evolving into something new. But thank you for giving me an opportunity to paraphrase that fabulous, fabulous Gandalf quote:
“Don't deserve it! I daresay they don't. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out extinction in judgement. For even the Commentards cannot see all ends.”
Re: Space Monkeys@Daniel B
"I'd rather have the monkeys in space."
Look at the Iranian leadership in this area. And I'll bet they could Photoshop us a huge space ark that will take the entire population of Earth to safety on some distant world, ideally one inhabited by huge, nude, sexy blue aliens with whom we can fight and interbreed.
Re: Not a meterorite@Nigel 11
""Should have been vertical". You must be a troll. No-one can be that thick around here, surely?"
They most certainly can. For example the general calibre of comment on anything that has a US political or nationalistic element is always absolutely dire. I want separate forums for Reg comments. Mandatory membership of the US commentard forum for all the Yanks + Eadon and his ilk, and "Rest of World" for everybody else, where we generally have normal ratios of idiots to normal people.
Re: 'Nokia has started to deliver very attractive products again'
The jury is still out on that, and we'll only know in a year or two's time.
But what if MS see retail buyers as secondary to business users? IN MS shoes, yes I'd want to have something shiney to put in the shops to sell retail, but the real long term value is not through shop sales to individuals, but through getting business users on board. Eat the lunch that RIM used to enjoy, take back business users from Android, sell related services, reduce the corporate traction of other platforms.
Most corporate IT buyers don't care about apps. They want a decent mobility solution based on phone, email, text, maybe IM. A few built in fripperies like mobile internet and navigation are welcome, but third party apps count for nothing. They want t it to be secure, play nicely with the existing IT infrastructure.
A mid to low end smartphone with MS software really ought to do that, and if few retail users buy it, does that matter? I wouldn't buy a WP8 phone, but of far more importance to MS is whether my employers would buy 10,000 of them.
Re: ELOP FAIL
"The fail is caused by the lack of interest and complacency by MS. They have shipped a half baked, buggy OS and expect it to take off somehow, without getting their finger out to fix the bugs and finish the baking."
What, like Android and Apple? Everybody ships buggy software and fixes it later, welcome to reality!
"Their job is to filter sites which can harm your computer."
I always thought that Norton Diskf****er was intended to work by slowing the capabilities of any machine to such a crawl that you couldn't access any sites that might harm your computer. Recently had to remove the things from a relative's PC that was taking twenty minutes to boot.
Vile, vile software, sold to the gullible through scaremongering.
Re: Intelligent electricity smart grid?
"The grid also has to be generating at full capacity all the time, even when the end user isn't using any."
No it doesn't, you just need to have sufficient planning and flexibility to bring power on to match demand, which at the aggregate level is fairly predictable. The bit that runs all the time is baseload, and is (or should be) your cheapest generating assets in marginal cost terms (so nuclear if you've got any). There is the need for some over-provision that runs beyond demand all of the time, because we don't yet have any instant response generating plant, but that's very different to full capacity all of the time.
The smartgrid idea is wildly overblown for its supposed potential, but there is a need for more control as grids build in more adventitious generation (read renewables) that runs when it feels like it, or supplementary sources that may have more or less grid control (eg municipal waste incinerators, spare industrial plant). For $5bn I think the Turks have been sold a pup if this is just about grid management, but don't overlook the possibility that this is 5 cents for smart grid and theft tracking, plus $4,999,999,999.95 for a couple of big gas turbine power stations with the contract heading GE's way.
Re: Doing the same!
"The iPhone .... Nothing fresh, nothing that engages the user and is simply ignoring what customers want (or aren't coming up with new ways that customers thought they'd never need)."
That's what happens when a company becomes an established corporate, rather than a disruptor. Back in 2007 the iPhone was novel and disruptive. The iPad was novel and disruptive. You can only guess whether the rumoured iWatch will be novel and disruptive, although personally I won't be in the queue.
Go back a few further years, and Nokia was clever and disruptive in its own more modest way (eg the 5800 "comes with music" which was almost a cloud based music service before the evil "C" word was even thought up, or the mass of good, functional dumb phones that nobody else seemed to be able to touch). Dell were (in the PC space) once innovative and disruptive - but looks like they'll retreat to being a me too outfit offering enterprise services against HP (themselves once an innovative and disruptive company).
At the moment, I think the "innovative & disruptive" crown belongs to Google, who launch loads of ideas, some great, some rubbish, and drop the ones that don't catch on. History shows that no company holds the crown on an eduring basis, and that very few companies consistently regain that title once they lose it, and that has implications for many of the companies in this space - Blackberry, Apple, Google. Interestingly it probably doesn't much apply to Samsung (HTC, LG or other OEMs) because they don't have much distinctive retail-valuable IP. I love my SGS2, but I don't think there's much that is innovative or disruptive that Samsung added. Whilst that means Samsung will never be as valuable as Apple, it also probably means that their share price can't fall as much as Apple's eventually will.
Re: I was about to try and get the first post
"I was about to try and get the first post with a sarky comment aout how many fatuous suggestions would be posted here instead of posted on the appropriate site, but I see that..."
So you won't be supporting my proposals for Dagnut and Winnit?
Mind you, that fool Showalter missed the heaven-sent opportunity of applying those names to the couple of moons around Uranus, and instead went with some Shakespearean nonsense.
Re: Don't do it for the money
It always starts off being about money.
After a few years it is patently obvious that (on larger contracts between competent, mature businesses) most outsourcing costs more than doing it in house. Rather than fess up to this, history is rewritten to justify the decision on the basis of the suppliers skills or infrastructure, or that old time favourite, that the outsourced task "isn't a core competency" for the client.
Re: I want the job
Your analogy and logic are flawed. Every few hundred years the UK has suffered moderately damaging earthquakes, and there's chances of tsunami, or volcanic climate change, but we don't fund people to sit on their backsides pretending to forecast them.
Re: Lucky, lucky customers@ Lee D
"I wouldn't worry myself about it. If the price is right for you, buy. Otherwise, don't. It's a simple rule that holds quite a lot of weight when it comes to your own money."
I'm a free markets man myself, but you have followed the fallacy of the policy makers and regulators, that it's a market and there's choice. My choices for serious modern high speed broadband are VM, or nobody. BT's sluggish upgrade of networks and foot dragging over LLU mean there's nothing they have I'd want to pay for. Likewise, if the only network that gives coverage in your home/work or other personally important locations is EE, then you don't have a choice (and with network sharing the choices will get fewer). Given that both VM, EE, and all other infrastructure businesses have regulatory permissions to do things like occupy spectrum to the exclusion of others, or the rights to go and dig up pavements and sling wires from poles, these are not free markets, there are few suppliers and huge barriers to entry, and VMNO's don't change that fact.
An interesting comparison is energy supply. You find anybody in this country who thinks that is a market and it works, and I'll eat my hat. But the reality is that it is a market, you can switch to anyone of six big suppliers and about thirty smaller ones and have an identical service. The rising costs are common across all suppliers because they have stripped everything out that they can, the underlying wholesale market confronts everybody with similar pricing, and there's no differentiation of price or service because people don't want to pay for those.
I can only vote with my wallet against VM by doing without a service I want. Is it a fair market that VM have a monopoly (or at best duopoly) of residential broadband, underwritten by law, and they can charge what they want to cover stupid M&A games by mega rich twats?
Re: Poor old Barracuda...
"Desktop HDD is the kind of terribly dull name that gives the world of computers a dull image."
Presumably the marketing department was also washed away in the floods. Who says they don't do anything useful?
Re: Yup ..@blapping
Tested != Working
Re: No luck here
"A Register user who cannot load a custom ROM - SHAME ON YOU."
More like a Reg user who has the sense not to load unsupported firmware of unknown provenance, I'd guess. Or a Reg user who is wise enough not to risk bricking a handset that they don't want to have to pay to replace.
I want the job
Space Weather Board, what a great idea, to keep an eye open for a 1 in 200 year event. Obviously this will require me to be employed on a generous "commercial equivalent" salary, and a pension scheme as gold plated as the principla civil service pension scheme. You lot won't be expecting 100% accuracy, given the experimental nature of space weather forecasting, so I could be the man for you.
I will, of course, also be available at extra cost as a "talking head" for TV and radio, to fill slow news days after a modest solar flare event.
Re: Chocolate Teapot
"we miraculously actually have some "
What you meant was "miraculously we still actually have some, but our government are working to fix that"
Seems top me that the consumer PC heritage is a problem. There's a smell of emotional attachement to it by Michael Dell, when in fact it went wrong years ago.
Time was when as an IT pro, you'd happily recommend a Dell to family members, knowing that they were good value, usually worked, and were well supported, even if non-standard (I even own one myself). But Dell made the idiotic decision to move consumer support offshore, resulting in a truly dreadful service (almost as bad as Microsoft's offshore "support" judging by my recent experience). There were reputational own goals like the Intel backhanders that worked for Dell but not for customers, the leaky capacitors saga, and a range of other more modest deny-and-keep-selling problems, and even a multi-million dollar accounting fraud. Dell made themselves synonymous with bloatware (still goes on - I recently spent a couple of hours cleaning out a relative's recently aquired W8 PC of all the Dell bloat).
I just can't see that the end user market will be profitable for Dell ever - there's nothing in the Dell proposition today (or likely tomorrow) to justify paying a few extra quid for. There's few costs left ot strip out - assembly has repeatedly been moved to chase wage arbitrage, support is already done at minimum cost, and the bloatware is installed to bring in extra bucks. The tax furore in the UK and elsewhere probably threatens to raise the tax bill for the likes of Dell in Europe.
It seems a shame - they had it all, they weren't being out-competed, and then they seemed to throw it all away in short term pursuit a few cents extra margin. Dell, for me, is a brand like Nokia - I have fond recollection of how good they once were, but there's no way I'd now give them my money.
Which leaves Dell floundering in competition with HP. Two big corporations that lost their way, gave up their lead in core markets, and ran off to try and sell enterprice hardware and services in an over-crowded marketplace. RIP
Re: Lucky, lucky customers
"However, in this case there is no change in the competition landscape so there shall be no such scrutiny :("
I know, and that's the flaw in the regime. The bureaucrats who regulate these things foolishly assume that the only thing that affects customers is a change in the competition within an industry, and even then the definition of "public interest" isn't the same as "customer interest".
There's also the question of who the banks are putting the debt in? The taxpayers of the the UK, US (and many other countries) have spent the last five years bailing out banks who lost money lending to (amongst other things) over-geared leveraged buyouts. Clearly bankers don't learn until you break their fingers, so maybe that's where we'd better start.
Re: 17.07MB ?
It lives! 17.08 MB for the app on my SGS2, 724kb for data after reading a couple of articles, and mysteriously infecting the SD card with a further 320kb. Not to mention a reported 4.63 MB in the phone's cache.
To echo somebody else's comments, for somthing that is merely slighly more competent than an RSS client, how have they managed to make this so f***ing huge? I can remember when an entire OS was less than 18 MB, and even the time when a typical HDD was of this order.
How many lines of code are there in this abomination?
Lucky, lucky customers
Hmmm...who will pay for the extra debt that EE will be saddled with in order for KKR and their mates to buy it? I'm glad that I'm not (personally) a customer of EE. Not that I can afford to be smug, since my broadband is with Virgin, and I fully expect their service to get worse and prices to go up, as another robber baron looks to line his pocket and cover the costs of a buyout.
Makes you wonder whether any takeover should be subject to a public interest test, where the acquirer has to prove that the change will provide incremental benefits to the customers, instead of just being an opportunity to pillage and make the filthy rich of the private equity sector still richer.
Re: Yup ..
"A lot, yes, an lots of devices too."
We believe you.
Re: Installed ...
Ditto SGS2 on ICS 4.0.4
Is it just me, or is there a degree of simple childish pleasure in kicking down somebody else's sandcastle?
Re: Am I the only one
"So, should I try to get into the Nexus then?"
That'll void your warranty, even if you did it in the name of science.
"So are they lying?"
Most people would accept that they have sold "millions" if they've sold 2 million or more. But in marketingspeak, 1,000,001 still counts for the plural.
But even if they'd sold 2 million, how does that compare to Apple and Samsung in the same period?
Re: In the early 60's Labour cancelled the TSR2 in favour of the "customized" F111 variant.
"Only the USN are buying the C, the major issue with it is even its redesigned tailhook only managed 5/8 successes on land, which is basically a unacceptable failure rate. The USN have several other options for a carrier aircraft, including the Super Hornets."
The B is essentially then for small export orders and the modest USMC requirement. I might also ask where (as with the UK) the Spanish and the Italians plan to get the money to buy these hugely expensive toys? A few export orders vulnerable to cancellation won't protect the B. The C however is the core of the proposed capability of the Ford class CVN's, and possibly replacement of the older USN jets on existing carriers. I really can't see cancellation of the C being politically acceptable, particularly as they've just spent almost $40bn on three new catapult equipped carriers for this. The tail hook issue is not something that cannot be overcome, but the continued complexity issues and weight of the B aren't going away either.
The US hasn't faced up to its defence budgetary problems yet. In its perceived need to project force globally and demonstrate technical superiority it isn't going to adopt the Super Hornet as its first line assets, so the F35 will make it into carrier service in one form.
For me, the existence of a third/fourth* US air force in the USMC is another expensive anomally that looks vulnerable. If the military need to reduce the costs of F35, that means cutting one of the three programmes - who do you think has more clout in Washington, the USN, or the USMC plus Spain, Italy, and the UK? Look at what the UK did to the FAA to "reduce costs". In the same hard place, the USMC may be willing to surrender their air corp in return for the USMC's continued existence, and then there's no American customers for the B at all.
I don't know what the outcome will be, but common sense says that the B is the most troublesome, most expensive, and least significant to the US armed forces.
* USAF, USN, USMC, Air National Guard.
Re: Hmm@A J Stiles
That's what I thought you meant. My point was that even if you cancelled the entire defence budget of £40bn, the government would still be spending £80bn a year more than it gets in income (plus £10bn for welfare and foregone employment taxes currently recycled from the defence budget), and even that isn't sustainable.
I agree that we'd save a lot of money if we adopted a Swiss style approach to defence, of simply being able to defend our domestic territory in the British Isles by a very large armed reserve force. Whether that makes sense I'm not sure - we'd have to renounce territorial claims to the Falklands, Antarctica, and any territory that is remote from the UK. We'd have no part in well-intentioned international missions such as Kosovo, Sierra Leone or Libya. We'd have no transport or military skills to contribute to international disaster relief. We'd have no ability to contribute to international missions such as combating piracy off East Africa.
The "little britain" mob would probably like this a lot. On the other hand, is it right to go all pacifist for a country that is easily in the ten largest economies in the world, is hugely influential politically, and deeply involved in global trade? If France and the UK hadn't stuck their necks out over Libya, it would have been another Syria, there would be continued fighting even now, and probably 100,000 civilians dead (as Russia and China have allowed to happen in Syria). I don't anticipate any gratitude from the Libyan people, but surely as one of the world's largest and most advanced economies, there's a time when you have to do the right thing, and part of that is building the capability in advance of the need?
Re: Chocolate Teapot
"Apparently the 4 ? "not very good" Typhoons based in the Falklands, could take out the whole air force of the Spanish colony trying to claim islands as theirs."
The antipathy towards the Typhoon is not that it isn't a good fighter. It is simply that it is incredibly expensive, arrived donkeys years after the mission it was designed for disappeared, and notwithstanding British attempts to fit it for strike roles, was designed from the very beginninng purely as an air superiority fighter. In this role on the Falklands I'd expect it to work a treat, but equally expect that the Argentines would never chance any of their small and antique air force against them.
Re: In the early 60's Labour cancelled the TSR2 in favour of the "customized" F111 variant.
"Could the F35b be the F111 6 decades on?"
Very probably yes. BAES have no monopoly on over-running defence projects, and there's real concern in the US about the whole F35 cost trajectory. As with the Eurofighter in Europe, the US are having to order less than they want to stay within budget, and if the costs continue to spiral then they'll have to ask why they are working on three variants when they only need two. Only the British and the US Marines really want the notably problematic B, so that's most at risk of being canned, or having its capabilities drastically curtailed to reduce costs - perhaps that's a more likely outcome, and we'll end up with something that is both expensive and crap. A bit like our carriers.
Re: Why the love for all the US aircraft?
"NationaI Geographic made a program about the Eurofighter in the Ultimate Factories. You find it on You Tube. Nothing much negative about its performance and quality as a fighter."
You watch and believe NG? Bloody hell.
And then, because NG do a feature on "Ultimate Factories", you think that makes the Eurofighter good as a fighter? And by extension, you reason that military aircraft are much of a muchness, so it must be a good bomber?
You must work for the MoD. Nobody real could be that clueless.
Re: Would be interesting to have a cost estimate@Joe Gurman
The required flight deck would be quite long if you want to take off with any fuel and weapons. This leads to the idea of "why don't we build something like a large destroyer sized aircraft carrier, that wouldn't cost much?", and before you've finished you find that you've specced an Invincible class pocket carrier (which is broadly speaking exactly how they were developed).
A near like for like replacement of the Invincible class would probably have been far more appropriate to the UK's means and needs..
Re: Why the love for all the US aircraft?
"You find that "The Typhoon is a multi-role fighter with maturing air-to-ground capabilities" "
Don't make me laugh. Sellotaping a few bombs on to a fighter certainly fits the words, but it doesn't make it a good idea.
"In 2004, United States Air Force Chief of Staff General John P. Jumper said after flying the Eurofighter, "I have flown all the air force jets. None was as good as the Eurofighter."
In 2004 Jumper was 56 or 57. I doubt he was in much position to take a Eurofighter to the edge of its envelope. Maybe there was somewhere for him to rest his stick?
Re: Lewis misses the point
"Nicely and accurately put - especially as it's exactly the same scenario we faced in 1938-9"
But that's not where we are now. Current and likely future uses for our carriers are simply as mobile bases for participating in "hobby wars" beyond convenient flying distance from the UK. There's not going to be a conventional war with anybody armed with serious amounts of modern kit. And that's why buying the latest, most expensive fighter on the planet makes no sense - as others have already remarked, Ark Royal circa 1970 would be entirely suitable for most of the things that we might want a carrier for.
Re: Awful!@ Frank Bough
"Let's not forget the horror stories of Harriers returning from sorties and having to dump their entire weapons load in the sea before attempting to land."
All carrier aircraft have a maximum landing weight, above which they need to dump fuel and/or ordinance to meet that weight. Nothing special about the Harrier, unless you're comparing it to something with very big wings that can land with a full weapons load, and even then you've got limits to the load on the arrester wire that would be an issue. During all wars featuring carriers returning pilots have often dumped unused weapons, rather than risk crashing on landing for the sake of a few bombs.
In the grand scheme of war, the cost of dumping a few bombs like ths is nothing. Your point about the military benefit of SVTOL aircraft is much more valid.
Re: Why the love for all the US aircraft?
"So for 50% the total outlay, we can have 5 times as many aircraft, which gives us full complements onboard, and oodles of airframes at home for training, so pilots are not squabbling over airframes for flying hours."
And there's more: The casualty rate of SVTOL aircraft appears to be far higher than normal aircraft, which means that a fleet of 40 F35B will very soon be a fleet of 30, pushing the cost/capability further the wrong way.
The F111 was ordered because the estimates were cheaper than TSR-2, but none were delivered, because of cost over-runs on the F111 programme. So we cancelled our own advanced project, ordered somebody else's advanced project "off plan", and were then surprised when we couldn't afford that. IIRC there was also a slight problem of foreign exchange as well, in that we simply didn't have the foreign currency to pay the bill at the time.
"why not consider the French nuclear drive of the Charles-de-Gaulle as an option"
What, and let the incompetents of MOD + BAES design a ship round that? You don't think that would have exactly the same problems that we now have?
On the basis of defence procurement history, it was evident at the time these were ordered that there would be substantial problems of both capability and cost. Moreover, with at most three being built (even assuming the French do exercise the option to build a third) you'd only ever spread the design and tooling costs over three ships. This was always a disaster in the making.
The logical approach would have been to have bought a US nuclear powered carrier, this guaranteeing interoperability and buying a far better defence asset. Since the proposed aircraft are US built they already have the ability to restrict what we can do with the new carriers (not to mention the keys to Trident), why not the hull as well? The Yanks are currently having ther own cost over-run problems with the new Ford class CVN, currently being cranked out at a cost around £8bn a pop, but that's likewise for a three ship set. Our ships, even at this stage of construction are projected to cost £5.3bn, so 30% to account for mess-ups-in-progress and yet to be mess ups, and you're talking £7bn.
So which would you rather have: A couple of oddball, low capability carriers we've made in the shed at the end of BAES' garden for £7bn a pop, or a couple of fully compatible Ford class CVN's for £8bn a pop? A third option might be "none of the above", but until our politicians stop conducting air-based campaigns in far off bits of the world that doesn't seem a good idea.
"TSR2 - according to a former colleague who worked on the avionics, they were utter crap"
Well, they were only prototypes, so plenty of opportunity to fix them.
And given that we now can't build an aircraft without help from other nations, perhaps cancelling TSR2 might now be seen as a milestone in losing our advanced aviation capabilities. Interesting to note that the same procurement incompetence, repeated design and spec changes, industrial meddling, and lack of foresight that we see today were all part of the TSR-2 story.
Re: "pillow biting"
"And so the "I’m really offended by x" circle continues, sigh."
Hopefully the Reg Icon Review can offer us an appropriate icon, with a description "I've taken mortal offence, and intend to flounce off as soon as I have mouthed off"
Mmm...is the word "flounce" permitted? Or will some thin skinned berk presume that they are being got at?
Re: I didn't realise there was a difference
"Presumably UKIP supporters see an opportunity to get Thales out of the game"
Why? Can Thales be any worse than BAES?
Re: Lewis misses the point
"I thought the problem at Jutland was shells that DID go bang, all of them, at once, along with the battlecruisers containing them...?"
Well two linked problems of defence procurement - inferior armour on Britsh ships of the line, meaning that German shells could set off the magazines with a well placed hit, plus the refusal of the Admiralty to give Beatty proper armour piercing shells, so that when the Royal Navy hit German ships the shells just bounced off (well, in gross approximation at any rate).
Re: Hmm@A J Stiles
"What if all that money had been spent on actually useful civilian stuff like.... "
You want government more spending than they already do? Maybe you haven't spotted that the budget deficit is running at £120bn a year, and that we are already pi55ing away billions on the bottomless pit of our shambolic health service and welfare programme, and (in the near future) on unrequired high speed rail programmes. The gigantic fail that is energy policy is already (likewise) pi55ing billions up the wall on crummy renewables, for which your energy bills are going up and will continue to do so, and the water companies are investing around £5bn a year in asset renewals - if you want more roads dug up then you'll have to see water bills start increasing significantly above inflation When this was done after privatisation (to fund investment) it wasn't at all popular.
Going back to government, take that £120bn that Gormless George is borrowing annually , and it equates to the government borrowing half a billion quid each and every working day to fritter on stuff that mostly doesn't benefit me, or gives me a very low benefit - you mileage may vary, of course. In that context the criminal incompetence on display in all defence procurement is small beer, I'm afraid.