* Posts by SkippyBing

1107 posts • joined 21 May 2008

Page:

IT error at Great Western Railway charging £10k for 63-mile journey ticket

SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: Surely something better than a Dacia Sandero ...

'(1) charter a helicopter or light aircraft (along with pilot)'

Yes, I have flown people much further for less! Something like a Jetranger or Robinson R66 is ~£750 an hour and will get you around 100-120 miles (nautical) in that time. Depressingly the pilot's cut is only around £45.

0
0

Give 'bots a chance: Driverless cars to be trialled between London and Oxford

SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: There's a great deal

'Some may also wonder why the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority are piffling around with self driving cars.'

Thinks to self, now why would people responsible for radioactive material want a driver less car....

4
0

New MH370 analysis again says we looked in the wrong places

SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: Still no changes

Satellite monitored ADS-B is going to make worldwide tracking of airliners a reality within the next 5 years or so. Probably best to Google it, I'm too hungover to give a reasonable explanation on my phone.

2
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

'Australian scientists have released a new analysis of debris from missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 and again asserted that the search for the Boeing 777 was conducted in the wrong place. '

I mean I could have saved them the trouble of the analysis and told them they were searching in the wrong place on the grounds they haven't found it.

Slightly less glibly, I wonder if it would have been possible to seed the ocean in the suspected crash zone with markers. Find one of those markers near a recovered piece of wreckage and you've got a smaller datum for where it came from. I'm guessing sonobouys dropped by the search aircraft might work if they logged where which serial number was dropped.

1
4

Not the droids you're looking for – worst handsets to resell

SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: Give it to your kids when you upgrade

'Alternatively, there's the "Give it to your parents when you upgrade" model!'

I still don't understand why a man with an aversion to phone calls needs two handsets, but it keeps him happy!

0
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

James May

Wrote a rant about this in the car market a while ago. In essence he was questioning why people brought cars with the resale value in mind, so they chose a silver car with black leather interior because that would have better resale than the blue one with cream leather that they actually wanted. So you end up buying a car for someone else, which seems a bit stupid when you're the one shelling out all the hard earned.

Mind you to date my old phones have been re-purposed rather than sold* and I have yet to sell on a car rather than drive it into the ground.

*A £30 monitor off ebay and an MHL lead gave me an instant media centre for my workshop.

15
0

Cuffing Assange a 'priority' for the USA says attorney-general

SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: Is an Australian even allowed to run for Parliament?

'Being an MP wouldn't prevent his arrest or even his extradition as far as I'm aware'

I believe being wanted for arrest does scupper your ability to stand as a candidate though.

4
0

Mastercard launches card that replaces PIN with fingerprint sensor

SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: Just a little question...

'It seems ludicrous that payment codes are still but four digits long.'

I have a perfectly intelligent friend who is completely unable to remember a 4 digit pin, details of a conversation from two weeks ago yes, 4 digits no. Making them longer would just mean she'd end up owing me more money.

1
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: Cheque Mate

'A scribble that has varying degrees of difficulty to forge'

Honestly, I don't remember the minimum wage shop assistants examining the signature on my credit card closely enough that just writing my name wouldn't work. I don't see why a cheque would be any different, there's very little incentive for them to refuse one.

In fact at one stage the signature strip on my card was worn off, it caused me slight difficulty in one petrol station.

8
0

Please don't call them Facebook chatbots, says Facebook's bot boss

SkippyBing
Silver badge

Chatbots

Can I just confirm we're going to be referring to them as Chatbots from now on then?

0
0

Can you make a warzone delivery drone? UK.gov wants to give you cash

SkippyBing
Silver badge

'“Phase 1 contracts are likely to be worth between £40,000 and £80,000 and last up to 6 months,” said the MoD.'

Well that'll just about cover a glossy presentation and a couple of DJI drones from Maplins. It's almost like MoD aren't serious about it...

10
1

Zuckerberg: Escape from the real world into my goofy make-believe science-fiction fantasy

SkippyBing
Silver badge

Well I'm officially old because that all just sounds like a massive waste of time.

25
0

Oh snap! UK Prime Minister Theresa May calls June election

SkippyBing
Silver badge

'More than 5,000,000 children are in poverty.'

Really? At the last census there were 14.9 Million aged from 0-19, are you saying 1/3 of them are in poverty? Because I'd like a citation on that other than a random rant on the internet. Oh and a definition of poverty that isn't a meaningless percentage of the average wage.

32
8

Boeing 737 turns 50

SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: Clever design

'Joe Sutter must have copied this then, such a new and clever design.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messerschmitt_Me_262

(I have a feeling I have seen props on the wings too)'

Quite possibly, it's more noticeable on the 707 where they're hung forward of the wing to increase the moment whereas on the 262 and early 737 they're under the wing.

0
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

To be fair, 607 of those were built as airliners. The other 15,472 were converted into airliners after the original owners sold them on. You know the sort of thing, one careful owner, passenger seating only half used, tow hitch.

0
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Not to mention the P-8 Poseidon

Which is what happens when you make a 50 year old airliner design into a maritime patrol aircraft, rather than trying to make 50 year old airliners into maritime patrol aircraft.

1
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: Clever design

'There are advantages, though -- there's less noise (except in the back) and you can have a cleaner wing design with full-width flaps, since it doesn't have to support the engines.

Although, and mainly to add to your list of benefits, hanging them under the wings forwards of the centre of pressure relieves the aerodynamic twisting moment on the wing which allows you to make it lighter. Well less stiff which amounts to the same thing.

1
0

HMRC beer duty bungle leaves breweries struggling to pay online

SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: Clearly this tax change has taken all the devs by surprise

I'm guessing the devs just programmed what they were asked to, the problem lies with the people who wrote the requirement. But it's okay it's not like they're in charge of anything important, like collecting taxes...

4
0

Blighty's £1.2bn space industry could lend itself to tourism – report

SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: Spaceport in the UK

'They can take of from anywhere that has consistent good weather and is in the sort of fancy resort location that attracts billionaires - Prestwick sounds ideal.'

Possibly the first time 'consistent good weather' and 'Prestwick' have featured in the same sentence.

6
0

Subpostmasters prepare to fight Post Office over wrongful theft and false accounting accusations

SkippyBing
Silver badge

'We continue to have confidence in the Horizon system, which has around 78,000 users across 11,600 branches nationwide to process six million transactions a day."'

Well that would certainly make it unique amongst Public Sector IT Systems.

10
0

RootMetrics finds provinces stagger to 4G

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Aviation regulator flies in face of UK.gov ban, says electronics should be stowed in cabin. Duh

SkippyBing
Silver badge

This is also pretty much the CAA's guidance* in that lithium battery powered items 'should' be carried in the cabin or switched off if out in the hold. Of course I'm sure whoever came up with the ban on them in the cabin area consulted fully with the CAA and didn't completely ignore the advice of the people who're supposed to deal with flight safety...

* https://www.caa.co.uk/Passengers/Before-you-fly/Baggage/Items-that-are-allowed-in-baggage/

Not hugely surprising they can be stricter than EASA but not more lenient.

19
0

Lenovo's 2017 X1 Carbon is a mixed bag

SkippyBing
Silver badge

the Reg content management system

You're trying to tell us it's managed?

10
0

SpaceX wows world with a ho-hum launch of a reused rocket, landing it on a tiny boring barge

SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: Congratulations to SES and SpaceX

'Masten Space Systems, Armadillo Aerospace, NASA, Blue Origin and several other companies have all done it before (other than landing on a barge).'

Remind me how many satellites Masten, Armadillo and Blue Origin have launched on the top of a rocket that's going into space for the second time.

3
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: The first reusable?

'I do agree that the design of the SRBs was suspect - as was shown when one failed. But like much of the early space stuff, it was very much seat of the pants design!'

It really shouldn't have been, they could have bought a single piece SRB from Rocketdyne* made in one of the Gulf of Mexico bordering states and floated around to the Cape. However for political pork barrel reasons they had to go with Morton Thiokol who being based in Utah found it slightly harder to transport the complete rocket as one unit. Consequently they came up with the 'o' ring seal the working of which during launch wasn't even fully understood by its designer.

*I think it was them.

2
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: ULA

'Probably not that much since we have been doing in flight refuelling for fifty ears and snagging a parachute would be at a much, much lower velocity. Catching a parachute with a helicopter is probably the least of their issues.'

I've seen video of in flight parachute recoveries before, just never with a helicopter which strikes me as the worst option for doing it. You've got downwash trying to collapse the chute just as you're trying to catch it, the relative velocities are much closer than with an aircraft which makes interception trickier, and you've got all the rigging to wrap around the blades if you get to the intercept point slightly early.

Plus the points Richard 12 just made above.

6
1
SkippyBing
Silver badge

ULA

'Instead of landing its first stage, the firm proposes to wrap it in a heat shield and have it parachute back to Earth, whereupon a helicopter will snag the parachute and lower it to the ground.'

Well what could possibly go right trying to catch a parachute with a helicopter...

20
0

UK's 'homebrew firmware' Chinooks set to be usable a mere 16 years late

SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: The MoD is right up there with the Home Office

'But the MOD and HMRC enjoy relative stability, so requirements changing shouldn't be a factor.'

The requirements changing is almost always a factor, as is the funding available. Occasionally the two factors are related.

E.g. order new aircraft, then discover great 'new' technology and decide it has to be added to the new aircraft to avoid being woefully out of date on service entry. Discover these changes weren't included in the original contract so there's an unexpected charge to incorporate these new features. Get told there's not enough money so either cut the capability or the numbers. Repeat as required.

Alternatively, find you've budgeted carefully, add a capability to an aircraft and then have its out of service date brought forward over a decade to save money, I mean realign our strategic requirements.

1
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: Of all time?

'Does it still count if they can only support one type of (fixed wing) aircraft that most countries are not allowed to buy, can't operate fixed wing support aircraft and are totally incompatible with our allies' other fixed wing assets?'

Well the last carriers could only operate one type of fixed wing aircraft so it's not as if that's a new thing. I'm not sure that other countries not being able to buy it is a problem either, it's fairly standard that you don't sell the new shiny cutting edge stuff to people you're not 100% sure about. I mean unless you're a Labour government in which case you just give jet engines away to people who'll use them to make MiG fighters your forces can then face over Korea.

3
1
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: Of all time?

'Surely the badge of "most incompetent procurement of all time" belongs to the Nimrod MRA4'

I think the difference is, in the case of Chinook Mk3 all MoD had to do was go to Boeing and say, 'Can we have 8 of those please?'. But no, they managed to f**k up buying a helicopter off the shelf to the extent it didn't fly for a decade.

It would be like me going to BMW and managing to spec things in such I way I had 8 cars that I couldn't drive on the road despite my neighbour having brought 80 of the same model that could.

16
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Correct, no lessons will be learnt.

19
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: Of all time?

'In terms of overall cost, how about a couple of aircraft carriers with no aircraft?'

Great meme, but as they have aircraft, or at least will once they're in service, it's mostly bollocks.

7
3
SkippyBing
Silver badge

They weren't actually downgraded to Mk2, they just had the avionics replaced with those of a Mk2. There are other differences to the airframe, such as longer fuel tanks on either side of the fuselage which make the flight characteristics slightly different, which meant they stayed a separate Mk.

5
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: Usable Life

'How long should they have left as combat ready, after the MK5 upgrade?'

Decades, bearing in mind the UK hasn't retired any of the original Chinooks it acquired in the '70s they've just been continually upgraded. Planned out of service date is still at least 20 odd years away.

6
0

UK.gov confirms it won't be buying V-22 Ospreys for new aircraft carriers

SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: A traditional point of view

'1: She hadn't finished working up when she ran aground;

2: Arriving with less than 24 hours to spare to fuel up, carry out whatever repairs were needed; restock stores, etc.

3: Sea Hurricanes and Fulmars were dead meat to any escorting Zeros - which would have been present had the Japanese detected a carrier at the same time they detected Repulse and the PoW - even Spitfires with Battle of Britain veteran pilots later had great trouble with the Zero.'

1. And Victorious hadn't started working up when she went to engage the Bismarck. Indomitable wasn't particular worked up when she faced the Japanese the following year.

2. I presume as Indomitable's running aground was known about before Prince of Wales had left Freetown on the 7th the subsequent sailing from Cape Town wasn't delayed for a rendezvous that wasn't going to happen. Certainly the details of her war service indicate it was the intention to join Force Z up until her grounding http://www.naval-history.net/xGM-Chrono-04CV-Indomitable.htm

3. In a pure fighter vs fighter engagement it wouldn't be great for the Hurricane and Fulmar, but considering PoW was essentially crippled by one torpedo hit on a prop anything they could do to break up the raids would have helped. Nor does it detract from my original argument that the RN were unaware of the dangers of ships being without air cover, they were they just didn't have any to spare for Force Z.

0
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: Jumbo Harrier

'given that RN carriers were shorter than the USN, you don't think more engine power was needed?'

I was being slightly tongue in cheek about the spaying of the Phantom, although the USN ones did manage to cross-deck to the Ark and even the Victorious on one occasion. A smarter move may have been buying Crusaders as the Aeronavale did rather than trying to cram Phantoms onto the rather small UK carriers.

1
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: A traditional point of view

'Post facto "recollections" aside, she would have had to have left the West Indies at least a week if not two prior to when she ran aground in order to reach Singapore in time.'

Not true, PRINCE OF WALES, ELECTRA and EXPRESS, left Cape Town on 18 Nov 41, 15 days after INDOMITABLE ran aground. At 18 kts INDOMITABLE could have reached Cape Town in time to rendezvous with PRINCE OF WALES (6279NM at 18kts = 14 days 13 hours).

Now what would have happened if she had been there is a matter for conjecture and would probably depend on the reliability of the ship's radar for fighter direction allowing raids to be broken up before they got to Force Z.

1
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: A traditional point of view

'Indomitable was NOT scheduled to be present at Singapore'

According to people who were on her at the time she was. See 'Carrier Observer' by G Wallace or 'Sea Flight' by H Popham. As there were no Zeros present at the sinking of Force Z only bombers operating at the limits of their range Fulmars and Sea Hurricanes may well have materially affected the outcome.

3
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: Makes sense to standardize

'Yes, but the Opfor can fly pretty low and have a few scouts at altitude or a satellite guiding it to target, then it pops up, launches missiles and skedaddles for home.'

Oh for sure, and those scouts are the first thing you target, possibly with an air defence destroyer operating under EMCON silence and getting its targetting data from the AWACS. There are counter moves for everything.

Although if they can manage near real time satellite targetting you've got other issues.

0
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: Jumbo Harrier

'That the US offered us what looked like bargains, but turned out not to be, was -and looks like will continue to be - a problem.'

The Phantom would have been more of a bargain if we hadn't f***ed around putting Speys in it.

0
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: . . . from Rosyth, where she was assembled . . .

'Nelson would be rolling around hearing this.'

You do realise large parts of Nelson's fleet started off being French right?

2
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: A traditional point of view

'Its not like they learned much regardless of circumstances, what more than a year later with Force Z.'

Not true, originally Force Z was to include HMS INDOMITABLE, however she was delayed about two months due to a slight collision with Jamaica during work up in the Carribean*. The threat from aircraft was well known, it was however also known that the ground forces needed naval gunfire support to hold back the Imperial Japanese Army. Much like the evacuation of Crete the RN was willing to risk ships to support the British Troops. The greater tragedy is that at the Fall of Singapore the Japanese were down to their last few hours of ammunition, for a lack of intelligence it would have been their first defeat.

The Captain of PRINCE OF WALES was seen off by his son, a Midshipman at the time, who eventually became Admiral Leach, First Sea Lord at the time of the Falklands Conflict.

*It was a brand new carrier with brand new squadrons so there was a lot of work needed to get them up to speed.

1
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: Makes sense to standardize

'The hawkeye doesn't need to stick with the deck cycle either since it can use aerial refueling to extend its range/endurance'

They'll still be sticking to a multiple of the deck cycle, carriers like to launch and recover aircraft all at once to minimise the time spent on the flying course. Once recovery is complete aircraft are respotted to the back of the of the landing area ready for the next launch cycle, it's tricky getting back on board once they've done that.

On an aside, the USN is using around 1/3 of its Super Hornet flying hours as tankers! Tactical jets don't carry a huge transferrable fuel load compared to a proper refueller.

2
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: Makes sense to standardize

'If they are carrying Merlins for other duties (and they can keep the commonality between those and an AEW verison high)'

Oh the commonality is beyond high, it's absolute. All the Merlin Mk2 airframes are being upgraded to take the AEW kit so you can just swap bits around the embarked fleet if you're having serviceability issues. It also allows the fatigue life to be spread around the fleet rather than concentrated on certain airframes.

5
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: Makes sense to standardize

'Apart from the endurance problems associated with the Merlins '

It's got five hours endurance which is only an hour less than a Hawkeye, and to be honest if you're fitting into the carrier deck cycle with fighters who're lucky to make two hours airborne it's a bit of a moot point. The advantage the Merlin has here is that it doesn't have to stick to the deck cycle the way a Hawkeye does.

Altitude is the main advantage of a fixed wing platform but after almost four decades of helo AWACs operations the Baggers have got pretty good of working around the limitations of the platform and for reasons I don't understand don't spend a lot of time at their max operation altitude. I think their theoretical radar horizon at 10000' would be around 125 nautical miles but they'll spot things at any sort of altitude further out than that and of course that works both ways so to have a chance of finding the fleet the Opfor has to be at altitude too.

7
0
SkippyBing
Silver badge

Re: the real problem

Neithers the Merlin.

1
1

Cheap, flimsy, breakable and replaceable – yup, Ikea, you'll be right at home in the IoT world

SkippyBing
Silver badge

Also Screwfix do those metal locking dowel things they use.

3
0

Boffins name 12 new types of cloud in first Cloud Atlas since 1986

SkippyBing
Silver badge

'Is there any actual point naming different types of cloud?'

Yes.

Oh you want more. On a practical level different cloud types are associated with different weather and weather systems. If you can identify what clouds types are passing over you you can monitor the passage of a weather system and with reasonable accuracy determine what's going to happen over the next few hours/days.

Alternatively it's a way to differentiate the big bastard black one that gives several inches of rain in 45 minutes or so from the fluffy white one that just casts a shadow over your picnic (cumulonimbus and cumulus).

Full disclosure I may have done the odd met forecasting course.

15
0

UK Home Sec: Give us a snoop-around for WhatApp encryption. Don't worry, we won't go into the cloud

SkippyBing
Silver badge

Presumably someone briefs her on these things. Obviously they hate her.

45
0

Astroboffins stunned by biggest brown dwarf ever seen – just a hop and a skip away (750 ly)

SkippyBing
Silver badge

Or we could just warp drive there. I mean if we're using technology we haven't got yet why limit ourselves.

19
0

Page:

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017