* Posts by SkippyBing

1286 posts • joined 21 May 2008

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Take that, gender pay gap! Atos to offshore hundreds of BBC roles

SkippyBing
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That actually makes some sense, rather than breakfast show presenters having to get up at some ungodly hour for their shows they could just live and work a few time zones to the east.

By the same principle Graham Norton's show could be broadcast from somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic. Boat optional.

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Brits must now register virtually all new drones and undergo safety tests

SkippyBing
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Re: No other security software?

'The argument that "legislation won't work so don't do it" is garbage, there is legislation prohibiting murder but it still happens.'

That's an interesting point, if there's no legislation forbidding it, then no crime would have been committed so you couldn't punish the sort of f***wit who'd do it, unless they'd got to the stage of actually hitting an aircraft.

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SkippyBing
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'Brilliant. "Our test won't work on a typical drone, so we'll use something completely unrealistic to get the result we've been paid to get."'

That's not what they said or did, all they did was remove the two arms that would have broken off before getting to the target. The structure they fired at the windscreen was still representative of a drone in its weight class in terms of materials, size, shape, form etc.

I mean you could just read the report linked in the article it does explain that, or you can stay in your own little outrage bus, up to you.

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SkippyBing
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@Mad Mike,

Re the windscreens, of the two helicopters tested 1 had a bird strike resistant screen, 1 was too old for it to have been a requirement when designed but is still being built, the airliner didn't really have a problem from memory. The screens wouldn't be albatross resistant any way as they're outside the mass the certification standard tests to, but then you're likely to see an albatross quite a way off compared to a drone of equivalent mass.

Apparently during the eight months of scoping the trials team asked airlines what they were most worried about being hit and they weren't concerned about the engines as to be certified airliners have to demonstrate the ability to lose one at any stage of flight and carry out successful recovery to an airfield. Compressor blade failure isn't normally a problem as they can be contained, turbine blades less so but there's a lot of material to get through before you get to them.

I think you're last sentence nails why there's concern, drones are so simple to fly that they're proliferating wildly and are flown by people with next to no idea about what the legalities are, never mind airmanship.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Chicken gun

'To be fair, any chicken at 40,000 feet would be frozen due to the air temp'

Probably not true, the highest recorded bird strike was at 37000'. I mean it was Griffon vulture not a chicken but still. Referenced at the end of this article about some bird strikes at a lowly 30000'

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/ntsb-faa-investigate-high-altitude-bird-strikes-nea-334523/

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SkippyBing
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'The weight limit of 250 grams is pretty low and will include a vast number of drones that aren't anything like that. Effectively, what they've done is try a worst case scenario, but are then applying it to almost everything.'

They did also model and test the cockpit sections against a smaller quad copter and a larger fixed wing drone, page 11 of the PDF linked in the article. This was used to validate the computer model which ran simulated tests over a wider range of data points (including an even smaller quad copter) to establish the risk. I believe the main limiting factor in live testing was the availability of windscreen sections.

So no, it wasn't just testing the worst case scenario and applying it to everything. It's a shame the videos aren't widely available (I asked) as even the small quad copter led to glass shards being shed by the inner layer of the windscreen which could be uncomfortable for the occupants.

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SkippyBing
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'The model as shown doesn't look anything like any drone I've ever seen '

Having seen a presentation by the study team there's a reason for that, a quad copter as traditionally configured wouldn't survive the acceleration down the cannon, basically the two arms perpendicular to the acceleration broke off. Also the test firing was validating the computer model of how the different materials interact during a collision, to the extent that the simulation of a collision is eerily similar to the film with crack propagation on the windsceen being almost identical. With the model validated it's relatively trivial to try different configurations of drone against different cockpit sections.

As to the airflow deflecting it, it doesn't work on insects or birds so I'm fairly sure it won't work on something dense like a drone.

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ALIS in Blunderland: Lockheed says F-35 Block 3F software to be done by year's end

SkippyBing
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Re: "Block 4 is said to be already in development"

Typically the Apache gets a software update every 18-24 months*, so it's more of a rolling update programme that adds capability. I suspect different sub-systems are improved in different updates, e.g. defensive aid suite one update, targeting system the next, rather than everything each time. Kind of like windows update, but for a known hardware setup.

Incidentally the Apache is a good example of why a bespoke UK solution isn't a great idea, due to the extra programming and testing required due to the Westland versions different engines it cost the MoD ~£1.8M every few years. It costs the Dutch about £1.80 for the blank CDs.

*it's one of the two as they've had a while to get good at it.

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UK ministers' Broadband '2.0' report confuses superfast with 10Mbps

SkippyBing
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Is it just me

Or is the guy unrolling the reel of fibre in the article photo, doing it in the most awkward way?

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SkippyBing
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I think Michael Green is doing that one.

[Citation Needed]

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Breathless F-35 pilots to get oxygen boost via algorithm tweak

SkippyBing
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AIUI there is a bottle of compressed oxygen in the ejector seat, and there was talk of making it available as an emergency back up. There is still the issue that people with hypoxia don't automatically recognise they have hypoxia so initiating the emergency supply is still an issue.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Dreamliners

I believe being made of composites helps them do that, I know it increases passenger comfort both theoretically and from actually having flown on one for 16 hours!

As an exercise for the reader figure out the pressurisation schedule for a 787 flying from Los Angeles to Mexico City (altitude 7382') so that you can open the doors when you get there...

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SkippyBing
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Re: Why oxygen generators?

'Why not just a simple cylinder of compressed air or oxygen '

This has been used in the past, most recently with liquid oxygen (LOX) as it takes up less space. There are however a number of issues with producing and storing LOX*, which increase if you deploy somewhere as you have to ensure everywhere you land, as well as your final destination, can replenish you with LOX. Having a self contained system on the aircraft solves all these problems.

As others have mentioned it also limits your endurance as you can't fly without oxygen for the pilot and air to air refuellers don't transfer that.

*Because it's very cold, and rather inclined to go bang.

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SkippyBing
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Re: I'd have to ask...

'my flying school required that all pupils be taken up in an unpressurised aircraft to a height of 10,000''

Which is generally the maximum height you're recommended to fly without oxygen, so I'm a bit stumped why they thought that would be useful training. I've been higher skiing.

Of course, as has been pointed out, they already had training in recognising hypoxia, it's a NATO requirement, but if the likelihood of an emergency has increased it may be a good idea to increase the training for it, n'est pas?

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Reg reader turns Geek's Guides to Britain into Geek's Map of Britain

SkippyBing
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Well done that man!

That is all.

Although also looking forward to an aviation themed geek's guide too, obvs.

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HMS Frigatey Mcfrigateface given her official name

SkippyBing
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Re: Seems silly to call them frigates, given they're over 6,000 tonnes

There are a number of advantages making them bigger and as the value of the steel has declined as a percentage of the total cost it affects the overall programme cost less than it used to. Thanks to hydrodynamics longer ships are faster, or use less fuel to go the same speed which is a win. They'll be more stable in heavy seas than a smaller hull. It's also a lot easier upgrading weapons systems etc. and there's room for growth.

The old T42 was the smallest hull you could get the Sea Dart weapons system on, as such it was a nightmare to do any upgrades on as the compartments were small and cramped, and there was very little margin of stability. So for example when they fitted Phalanx post Falklands they had to remove the ship's boats and associated hoists.

And to quote Kelly Johnson of Lockheed Martin and Stealth fame, size has no bearing on radar cross section. So it's not going to make them more of a target.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Naming

To be honest I don't think the RN need to look to the USN for historical precedent. There were 3 HMS Glasgows before the USN was even formed.

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SkippyBing
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'A T26 is useless at fleet area air defence, 15 naut mile range simply isn't good enough.:

For the hard of reading I shall repeat that it isn't intended to do fleet area air defence, that's why the RN have called it a frigate. I'll ignore the rest of your top trumps weapons comparisons as the usual ramblings of someone who seems to think western weapons are all rubbish but that Russian ones perform exactly as the advertising brochure claims. Plus you know, actual job...

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SkippyBing
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@Mad Mike.

We were in Norfolk, VA, once and there were a number of OHP that had had the Mk13 removed and replaced with something less impressive looking, i.e. a small platform where it used to be. We could only assume it was the drive you got if you'd really f***ed up!

Then there was the one that lost a rudder going across the Atlantic. Which is an issue when you only have one to start with...

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SkippyBing
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Re: Towns again....

@Mad Mike.

I'm now going through the ships I've served on, and apart from most of them having been sold or scrapped, only INVINCIBLE and ECHO weren't named after somewhere. ECHO is a pretty good name for a survey ship in all fairness.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Towns again....

I'm torn, I'd like another HMS PLYMOUTH because of her role in the Falklands campaign, on the other hand the complete apathy that city showed towards saving her as a museum ship in the last couple of years* makes me think F**k 'em.

*She's since been sold for scrap I believe.

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SkippyBing
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The USN tend to use the Frigate designation to indicate the ship isn't as fast as a destroyer, I think it's something to do with keeping up with a carrier at full speed. In the RN it's to indicate ASW as the primary role, so although it doesn't have an area air defence missile, that's the destroyers job, it has reasonable point defence. It can also carry VLS TLAM which I don't think the OHP could* and has a comprehensive ASW sensor suite, i.e. variable depth towed array sonar, hull sonar, and a Merlin or 2x Wildcat for extra sensors and/or weapons delivery as well as a 3D phased array radar.

Comparing them to an OHP is quite disingenuous.

*I mean the RN would have to buy some but at least the option is there with the Mk 41 VLS.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Type numbers?

It makes a bit more sense when you know they're grouped by type of ship and if a design study gets to the stage of being assigned a Type number it doesn't get reused even if it doesn't get to the build stage.

So Frigates are currently in the 2X series, having started at Type 11 which wasn't built, through the Type 12, also known as the Leander class etc.

We've had the T21 Amazon class, T22 Broadsword class, and T23 Duke class. The T24 and T25 were design studies which weren't built. We now have the T26 City class, well a bit of one so far.

Destroyers, Anti Air Warfare (AAW) platforms in the RN, started at T41 which went out of service decades ago, and were followed by the T42 Sheffield class. The T43 and T44 were design studies into a T42 replacement which ended up being the T45 D class.

The Type 31 seems to be using the 3X series to separate it from the Frigates as it's intended to be more general purpose than they are, Frigates being Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) platforms in the RN. I suspect this means they won't have towed array sonar. This is different to the Type 8X platforms which were general purpose in the sense they could do the full AAW and ASW roles, the most notable of which was the sole T82 HMS BRISTOL.

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Jodie Who-ttaker? The Doctor is in

SkippyBing
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Re: sorry :(

'Sadly the Alex Kingston version (3rd River) gave all of her regeneration energy to the doctor following...

You know what, I'm not even going to bother trying to explain that continuity knot.

Basically, she used up her remaining regenerations at one point, which is a pity due to Rover Song being a decent play on her name.'

So they wanted to write her out of the series and came up with some made up b******s to do it?

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SkippyBing
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River is dead after spending twenty years/one night with the Dr.

If only the Dr had some way of travelling through time...

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Stop all news – it's time for us plebs to be told about BBC paycheques!

SkippyBing
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'Really? Just bringing in publically available pay bands etc. doesn't give them gender pay equality. Firstly, how many women and how many men in each band? Secondly, the men can still earn at the top of the band and women at the bottom.'

Not sure about the numbers in each band but I suspect it's proportional to the numbers employed with the caveat women are more likely to take a career break to have children so may advance less quickly. But you go up an increment in each band every year until you reach the top of the band*. You advance to the bottom of the next band on promotion, there's no way to pay a women doing the same job less than a man.

This is also why the public sector pay cap is less of a deal than some people make out, until you reach the top of a pay band you get an above inflation pay rise every year just for being there**.

*This has recently changed in the armed forces to a bigger jump every other year but it's still automatic, there are normally ~5 increments in every band.

**Admittedly it's a pain when you reach a top of your pay band at the point they introduce the pay cap and then don't get promoted for 5 years but hey, career choices.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Don't blame the stars for low pay

Presumably a guaranteed 10% of a smaller figure is better than 0% of a larger figure? Or at least they're only going to put in an effort equivalent to 10% of the potential increase, which is why estate agents will settle for a lower figure selling someone else's house than their own (I think I read that in Freakanomics).

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SkippyBing
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So is the BBC any different to any other similar sized organisation? What about the top echelons of the NHS for example, or the tax office? Or is it just 'let's have a go at Auntie' kind of slow news week?

If they're civil servants they'll be on pay bands, which are publicly available, the civil service and indeed the armed forces have complete gender pay equality. So the tax office will have, not sure about the NHS though...

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SkippyBing
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We’re now managing a situation we didn’t want

I think you'll find most people are Lord Hall. Because I sure as **** didn't want to be managing this poorly acted farce.

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Air, sea drones put through their paces on Solent testing range

SkippyBing
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Re: Can someone just...

They'd probably reply that it's HMS Warrior, not the HMS Warrior.

The exercise name is just a continuation of the X Warrior theme as the multinational exercise in the area is normally called Neptune Warrior.

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SkippyBing
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UAVs?

I can accept the rational for testing roboats there but it's inside Southampton's controlled air space so I'm not convinced it's great for UAV operations. Or have they got some sort of agreement with the CAA?

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Slower US F-35A purchases piles $27bn onto total fighter jet bill

SkippyBing
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Re: "they wouldn't last long in a war against somebody else than a third world country,"

Hold on, are you saying military vehicles are vulnerable to attacks from the enemy?! Quick call the MoD, I'm sure they hadn't noticed...

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SkippyBing
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Re: Acoustic generators

'To mask the noise of the propellors with "acoustic generators" would require a similar amount of power'

Surely that assumes the propellers are turning all the propulsive power into noise, rather than quite a lot of it being used to move the airfield forwards.

There is a system called Prairie Masker which basically hides the noisy bits of ship behind a curtain of air bubbles, making classification difficult. I have no idea if QNLZ has either part fitted.

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SkippyBing
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Re: How many hospitals is that ?

'Why would it have to be a "one-off bump of money"? Couldn't it be placed in a reserve fund and used judiciously in cases of serious need?'

Because the Treasury, you'd have to get them to completely change their accounting rules to allow for a reserve fund to be held over multiple financial years. Also it's not a one off amount to start with so the amount in any one year isn't that big, in government terms, I mean I'd be set for life.

It's also worth remembering they're still trying not to borrow ~£50 Billion a year so any savings from cancelling any government programme are probably going to go towards making that number smaller.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Sea Gripen

'You're forgetting Britain's masters. They say buy this overpriced crap and the Brits say how many?'

You're aware as the only Tier 1 partner not only did we get a say in the key performance parameters, but we also make 20% of all F-35s produced. BAE make all the rear fuselages, RR make all the lift fans for the B, M-B make all the ejector seats, etc. etc. So if it's crap it's partly our own crap.

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SkippyBing
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Re: How many hospitals is that ?

'If we spent 1/2 of that money on the NHS instead how many more lives would we save ?'

I'd guess f**k all. It bears repeating, the NHS budget is 3 times the defence budget, they get through around £500M a week, not buying 138 aircraft over ~20 years is going to make bugger all difference as you're looking at about a weeks extra spending a year. Which assumes having combat aircraft won't save lives in that time period, which might be true if our politicians weren't going to try and carry out any military operations over the next 50 years.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Has no-one done the math?

They're still building F-16s over 40 years after its first flight, so I'm not sure that's a problem. If you were always going for cutting edge you'd never actually buy anything.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Satellites would do just as good a job against surface ships

'I know for a fact that the various drug enforcement agencies are able to track a yacht from the Carribean to Europe without much difficulty using sat's.'

I know for a fact they never bother passing that on to people trying to find the f***ers. And that you don't need a satellite to track a yacht as the couple we flew over in mid-Atlantic at 50' do too.

Of course, it probably helps the yachts don't know the satellite movements...

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SkippyBing
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Re: Sea Gripen

'No Rolls Royce parts in the Gripen programme.'

No but BAE make the wings. I mean you'd have to pay development costs for a carrier version but I'm sure that wouldn't cost loads and take forever...

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SkippyBing
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Re: Russian subs?

Which is pretty much what the 200NM exclusion zone around the Falklands was all about. Outside that we'd check what we were dropping depth charges on, inside that not so much.

Apparently comparing Argentine submarine movements and RN submarine detection reveals at least one rather interesting anomaly.

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NASA flies plane through Earthly shadow of Kuiper Belt object

SkippyBing
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Me too, my navigation is normally only good enough to get me to the correct field around the right time. For very generous values of the word right.

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Juno beams back first closeups of Jupiter's unsightly red acne

SkippyBing
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'The images come from JunoCam, capable of 15 km/pixel resolution on this type of orbit.'

So we're still not sure it isn't made up of millions of fire trucks driving in a circle?

https://what-if.xkcd.com/139/

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Virgin Trains dodges smack from ICO: CCTV pics of Corbyn were OK

SkippyBing
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'They have CCTV. They are required to publish a DPA notice because of it, controller details, purpose of recording, yada yada yada.'

It was a bit rich of Corbyn's crew to try the DPA angle, it's not as if it was a secret he was on the train, he'd told everyone!!

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Ubuntu 'weaponised' to cure NHS of its addiction to Microsoft Windows

SkippyBing
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'Electronic Patient Records (EPRs), which have a 20-year lifespan'

Errr.... I was kind of hoping mine might last a bit longer than that.

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Fancy fixing your own mobile devices? Just take the display off carefu...CRUNCH !£$%!

SkippyBing
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Re: Green lobby failure

'we're constantly being threatened with shortages of rare elements'

Only be people who don't understand what a provable reserve is, why mining companies have to state their assets in terms of said reserves, and why no one bothers listing rare earth elements in said assets. There's an article somewhere on this very website about it by one Tim Worstall.

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French general accused of nicking fast jet for weekend trips to the Sun

SkippyBing
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Re: I think it's missing some of the additives needed for a car engine

Jet B is possibly better for cars as it's a mix of petrol and kerosene, mainly to get the freezing point right down. It's basically intended for use in Arctic and Sub-Arctic regions, I think it might actually be banned in the UK due to the low flash point.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Silver Spitfire

It's the best for stuff like that, I bought 5 autobiographies of WW2 pilots for a grand total of about £7!

There was also a silver Seafire on-board HMS Hunter at the end of the war, it was stripped down at some point between the end of hostilities and arriving in Singapore to take the surrender.

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SkippyBing
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Re: I think it's missing some of the additives needed for a car engine

Yes, saying 'some of the additives needed for a car engine' may have been over egging how essential they are! I think it's something to do with lubricants for the injectors which will probably last for ages without it.

The list of acceptable fuels for the Westland Wasp/Scout was occasionally summarised as anything runny and flammable.

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SkippyBing
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Having crossed France a couple of times with an IFR flight plan, they seemed very keen to let us route direct as soon as we contacted them on entering their airspace rather than bothering with airways. Mind you that was in a Jetstream, I'm not sure if they do the same with proper airliners.

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SkippyBing
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It's close-ish to diesel but I think it's missing some of the additives needed for a car engine. So it depends how much you value the car.

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