* Posts by gareth

4 posts • joined 1 Jul 2008

ISPs eye role in Jacqui's mass surveillance system

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Doublespeak from doublechin

'We're not going to build a Government database... we'll force ISPs to build one for us instead.'

Erotic artist urges spanking for Jacqui Smith


60/40 chance of getting the law right

From the article: "The ambiguities inherent in the Act were highlighted when pictures from Madonna’s once controversial Sex book were laid before five lawyers, and two declared them potentially illegal."

I'm staggered that three lawyers were prepared to get off the fence.

Prius hybrid to get rooftop solar panel


There is nothing new under the Sun.

Many years ago one of the Japanese car manufacturers (Mazda I think) sold a luxury saloon with a solar panel in the roof. As well as trickle charging the battery it powered a ventilation fan to keep the car cool when parked in sunny conditions.

Audi currently offer something similar on the A8.

Eurofighter at last able to drop bombs, but only 'austerely'


Ground attack aircraft.

We train our pilots in Tucanos and Hawks. Both of these aeroplanes are relatively small, relatively cheap and can do the job of ground attack perfectly well, yet we don't use them for it! Cheaper operating costs and less temperamental then the cutting edge stuff. Both crewed by a pilot and a navigator to share the workload, and both support British jobs (Hawks built by BAE and the Tucanos built under licence by Shorts).*

I believe we use Harriers in Afghanistan for ground attack roles. A good plane really, but like many of the aircraft we operate there is one thing missing - a bloody great big gun. The US Marines have one that can be fixed to the underneath of their Harriers in place of bombs. We ought to at least have that as an option.

Part of me thinks the Eurofighter is great. Late, complicated, expensive to buy and expensive to operate. But great. Yet I suspect we won't employ it as much as we could. Perhaps if they fitted it with drop tanks and either big guns or lots of little bombs it could loiter and do the ground attack stuff more effectively.

* I have sometimes wondered if a Tucano would have made for a decent enough UAV platform. Replacing the pilot gubbins with computer gubbins and have longer wings for a longer range.

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