* Posts by EvilDrSmith

552 publicly visible posts • joined 30 Jan 2018


Post-Brexit tariffs on EU-UK electric vehicle imports staved off for three years

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

Re: Question about import taxes

If I recall correctly, at the time of the Brexit vote, it was 75% of the tariffs collected by member states that went to the EU, with the individual state keeping 25%.

There was a proposal to change that to 80%-20% (which I think pre-dated the referendum, but was kept quite quiet), but I think that proposal was rejected by the member states, and it might still be 75%-25%.

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

Re: So, Brexit means Brexit, except when it doesn't

Yet another example of the EU and the UK acting like grown ups, and addressing a specific issue of concern to both fairly and logically.

Google goes geothermal to power some bitbarns

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

Earth's crust or Earth's core?

Being picky, is the heat generated by the Earth's crust or the Earth's core.

I was under the impression that geothermal actually obtains heat that is moving through the crust (the solid rock) having come from the core (or perhaps that should be the mantle).

Also, if the data centre uses water for cooling, is that 'pre-heated' water then being used as what is pumped into the ground?

Virgin Atlantic flies 'world's first fossil-fuel free' transatlantic commercial flight

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

Re: "There's simply not enough SAF"

"We have enough trouble feeding people as it is"

But is that a problem of production or of supply?

My understanding is that there is more than enough food in the world for everyone, but shortages (famines) are caused by a combination of localised crop failures and lack of local distribution capability (often due to war or similar).

Also, we could at least initially repurpose agricultural land that isn't being used for food crops - crops for SAF production might be viewed as having more social and economic benefit that tobacco, perhaps?

Ukraine cyber spies claim Putin's planes are in peril as sanctions bite

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

Re: A380?

I assumed it was just a "here's an example of 'planes being used for spares" comment, and is not referring to that specific type being stripped for parts in Russia.

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

Re: "the civil aviation sector of terrorist Russia"

No I oppose ethnic cleansing, and all other war crimes, which is why I support the blue and yellow flag.

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

Re: "the civil aviation sector of terrorist Russia"

It appears to be you that is confused.

Donbas was/is part of Ukraine, and was even recognised as such by Russia up to the day before Putin's 3-day SMO started (630+ days ago).

Crimea was/is also part of Ukraine, but the Russian government had declared it part of Russia. An attack by Ukraine to recover their Crimean territory would mean attacking Russian military, and thus trigger a direct conflict.

Since you are always telling us how much more powerful Russia is than Ukraine, it would be nonsensical for the Ukrainian's to start a war in that manner.

If Russia were concerned, they could simply have increased the defensive forces present.

Except of course, that your claim is a lie, pure invention.

It is correct that some civilian deaths have resulted from Ukrainian military action against separatist areas - in all cases that I am familiar with, the civilian casualties were inadvertent, with viable military targets attacked. Such civilian deaths are low in number (though any number is too high form a humanitarian point of view).

The actions of the Ukrainians can in no way be considered comparable with the actions of Russia's military, which is engaged in a war of genocide against Ukraine, with sustained deliberate targeting of civilians, residential areas, vital civilian infrastructure (power and water) etc.

Russia started the SMO because it is led by a sociopathic, kleptomaniacal dictator that ruthlessly murders (has murdered) any and all political opponents, and who determined to demonstrate his greatness (and prove that he remains a master strategist) by obliterating a neighbouring country that was steadily becoming less corrupt, more democratic, and therefore making its people freer and wealthier, in a way that the Russians could have no hope to achieve under their leadership.

Ukrainian civilians fled Ukraine mostly to avoid being murdered by the Russian military,

President Zelensky was fairly and democratically elected; the coming elections are likely to be suspended, because the country is under martial law. The country is under martial law, because the genocidal Russian regime is trying to obliterate the country and its culture. If you think that the elections should not be delayed there is an easy solution - persuade your friend Putin to withdraw Russian forces from all of (internationally recognised) Ukrainian territory.

Greenpeace calls out tech giants for carbon footprint fumble

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

Re: WTF????

According to Greenpeace, the sea is not a dustbin:


If we are not supposed to leave our rubbish in the sea, then we are not supposed to leave our rubbish in the sea.

Personally, though, I quite agree that a large lump of steel stuck in the sea bed is a low risk item in relation to environmental damage.

It's a slightly bigger risk in relation to development of off-shore wind (or sea bed cables, pipelines, etc, or other as yet unforeseen development), since it's a potential obstruction to future installation of bigger-and-better turbines on the same site (Re-use of old foundations is a thing, and can be done, but it's surprisingly not so common - there are complications with doing it). I suspect it is this factor that is the driver for the requirement to remove fully all parts of the turbine's structure at end of life.

I also doubt there will be many fished-based ecosystems developing below the sea bed (foundations do tend to be below ground level).

But it doesn't change the fact that under terms of licences (at least in some cases), the foundations are supposed to be removed. It is for the wind farm industry to develop the techniques and technology, and to pay the cost of meeting the regulations that affect their industry. And that looks to be a challenge.

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

Re: WTF????


There are some interesting (well, to me) developments now, where 'expired' wind turbine blades are being used as structural elements for things like footbridges. The idea seems to work, though obviously, long-term durability has yet to be proven.

However, that doesn't alter the fact that the concept of having an end-of-life plan for a structure (ie how to dismantle it and recycle as much as possible) has been mainstream for some time, so it's depressing that we are in a position of 'what can we use these blades for now?', rather than having thought it through before we built the things.

A more significant issue, which doesn't seem to have been picked up as much by press and activists, is what do we do with the foundations of life expired off-shore wind turbines?

I believe that the licencing conditions for construction wind farms is that at end of life, all elements are to be removed from the sea bed.

An offshore wind turbine foundation is typically a mono-pile - these can be a couple of meters in diameter and are typically (high) tens of meters in length. The frictional resistance to pulling these things out of the sea bed is huge, so how can they be removed?

These seems to be driving a lot of work to extend turbine life (on the grounds that it is easier to extend life than deal with the licencing condition at end-of-life).

Of course, we could just change the licence conditions, and allow the old piles to be cut off and left in place - but is that environmentally friendly?

Politicians and activists shout and scream, but it's the poor put upon engineers that have to actually make the insanity work....

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

Re: re: Greenpeace are one of the organisations most responsible for climate change

A long way back, there was a Greenpeace representative interviewed on BBC News night - this was with Jeremy Paxman as interviewer, so shows how long ago it was. Also, I think it might have been when we didn't have climate change, but had global warming instead, so it really is going back.

Anyway, Paxo let the activist make his point - global warming was the biggest threat to mankind ever, and we had to pay any price to stop it, without exception.

Paxo being Paxo, he gave the guy the rope -

'absolutely any price?' 'Yes'.

'Without any exception?' 'Yes'

'so you support nuclear power' 'Oh no...'

Apparently, not accepting nuclear power wasn't an exception, but was a price that Greenpeace were not willing to pay.

Greenpeace have been adamant that 'we' have to pay any price, but 'they' don't have to give up any of their ideology or make any concession. Nuclear is low carbon (zero carbon at point of generation), but we can't have it / haven't built much if any for 30 years, because Greenpeace and their ilk have blocked it. So instead, we've burnt coal, oil and gas, and released huge volumes of CO2 which we could have avoided and, were it not for Greenpeace, would have avoided.

Royal Navy flies first mega Mojave drone from aircraft carrier

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

The STOVL / F35B option also provides for better interoperability with other nations - USMC, Italy and Japan all operate F35B from ships (well, Japan may still be thinking about it, with their Helicopter-destroyers, that are absolutely not aircraft carriers-honest), and I think a few other nations are looking at getting the '-B' model.

With a conventional carrier, the option would be USN and French navy only, and carrier inter-operability isn't just having cats-n-traps, but having the right equipment to launch each aircraft type. I'm not sure if F35C can operate from the French carrier, for example.

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

Re: Numbers planned

Thanks - I had forgotten that the 138 figure was through to end of life, so included what were effectively replacements for lost/worn out/too-expensive-to-update airfames.

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

Numbers planned

Isn't 74 the number that have actually been ordered, while the plan is for 138?

Or did I miss another treasury-driven defence cut?

X fails to remove hate speech over Israel-Gaza conflict

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

Re: Mr. Elon Musk doesn't budge

Well, the current discussions are taking us forward 4 years.

We are now 630 days into Putin's 3-day special military operation, so that will take us to day 2090 of the 3-day operation.

Russia is, in terms of GDP, shown to be the 11th largest economy.

Ukraine is being supported by:

USA (1) ; Germany (3), Japan (4), UK (6), France (7); Italy (8), Canada (10) plus many more (within and outside the EU) outside the top 10, plus the EU as separate entity.

Having the US support gives access to global money markets through New York (which would not necessarily end even if US political opinion changes) and from the UK the City of London - the two global money markets that really matter, and which can raise huge sums of money. That money will be available to Ukraine and the nations supporting Ukraine. (A glance at history will show how vital but also reliable and effective the UK's ability to raise money through the City to finance war has been). Russia does not have any access to that level of funding.

There is not the slightest possibility that "the major European economies can't afford it".

However much Russia's supporters try to undermine democratic support for Ukraine against Russian aggression, financially at least, Russia cannot defeat Ukraine and the democracies.

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

Re: Mr. Elon Musk doesn't budge

I didn't forget.

Yes, it is true that a fair number of countries in Europe and outside were slow to offer assistance. for various reasons, while others, such as the UK and some of the Scandinavian/Baltic/East European nations where providing aid from the start (or even in the days before the war started in February 2022).

That does not alter the fact that in Europe now, there is no significant pivot from providing aid to Ukraine to Gaza/Israel, instead, there is a steady ramping up of assistance in terms of value, volume and capacity. Thanks to such assistance, Ukraine will get steadily stronger, and, it is to be hoped, will drive out the Russian aggressor.

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

Re: Mr. Elon Musk doesn't budge

Currently the EU are working on a deal to provide Euro20 billion of additional aid and support to Ukraine over the next 4 years.

This is in addition to measures already in progress, and to the support from individual nations both within and outside the EU that is in progress / has been promised - Germany declared only 2 days ago that German support for Ukraine is to be "massively expanded" in 2024, for instance, while training on F16 for operational debut next year continues apace.

EU membership for Ukraine is progressing.

From the right-side of the pond, it does appear that some with the US are seeking to use the current situation in Gaza to cut back on support to Ukraine in their war of survival against the Putin's genocide.

This appears to be more to do with internal US politics than anything else.

Fortunately, it appears that most Europeans (whether EU or not) understand the necessity of resisting tyranny, both because it's morally right, and because it is ultimately in our own self-interest. There is no 'epic pivot' away from Ukraine in Europe.

The only person to blame for the huge number of bodies that are piling up is Putin.

Russia's Sandworm – not just missile strikes – to blame for Ukrainian power blackouts

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

Re: Like I've said before

Fair points, but I still think you're being too kind when you suggest that the Russians may have only intended to stop at the Dnipro.

The overall evidence (including Putin claiming all of Kherson Oblast as Russian in September 2022) shows their ambition, even if they were (fortunately) too incompetent to achieve it.

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

Re: Like I've said before

"Maybe the plan was to swallow Ukraine East of the Dnipro, not to conquer the whole place, who knows?"

You're being kind in your response.

The Russians drove on Odessa, or tried to - they were stopped at ? (Mykolaiv?). That's comfortably west of the Dnipro.

The plan was clearly the annexation of the entirety of Ukraine.

The Russian statements over the last 600+ days makes that clear.

There is no need to be kind to those that are seeking to defend Putin's war of genocide.

US actors are still on strike – and yup, it's about those looming AI clones

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

Re: AI good enough

"what happens to the entirety of entertainers?"


At least for the ones good enough / keen enough, live performances on the stage.

At least until the 3D holograms come along.

Russia hustles to fill impending void left by the ISS

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

"So an aircraft first flown in 1974 carrying a 1990s era missile with a much shorter range that the R-37 will work.. somehow. Point being Russia seems to have stolen (possibly literally) a lead on missile and rocket tech over the West, and Ukraine's paying the price for seriously underestimating Russia's capabilities."

Unless Ukrainian the talent for making HARM work on a soviet aircraft not designed to use it, or Storm Shadow work from a Soviet aircraft not designed to use it, is put to good use enabling a NATO standard aircraft (F16, or possibly Gripen, which is under active consideration for Ukraine) launch a NATO standard missile (Meteor, which Gripen is already cleared for).

Meteor being a (I think the first) throttleable air-to-air missile, meaning in re-engages its motor in the terminal phase, making it much more lethal than the current R37 (which was designed originally to hit large, non-agile high value targets like tankers and AWACs), which it also (reportedly) out-ranges.

With R37, Russia established a lead over the west; with Meteor, the west takes it back. The question is how long it will take before Ukraine is supplied with Meteor.

EvilDrSmith Silver badge


Reports Neptune being used as a land attack missile vs an airfield.



Yes, it's wiki, but only because I couldn't be bothered to dig out other references to the S400 system being taken out by Neptune.

"Credible" - given the number of missiles and drones of all types claimed to be launched by the Russians in each strike, and the number of claimed by the Ukrainians of shoot downs, I don't expect to see photographs of the wreckage of every missile destroyed. However, reported casualty figures that are often a few individuals suggest that Kinzhal is not routinely getting through Ukrainian air defence and hitting its target. If it is, they are being launched so sparingly that it is insignificant.

"Many of which have allegedly been shot down, or wasted on unimportant targets"

Your turn - citation needed. Who is making these allegations?

Because while I am sceptical about Ukrainian pronouncements, on a 'trust but verify' level, I treat Russian pronouncements as lies unless and until proven otherwise. As I have had cause to mention before, they were claiming to have destroyed more Bayraktar than the entire production run, claiming to have destroyed Bradley months before the first arrived in Ukraine, etc.

I am quite confident that the Russian Black Sea Fleet HQ is now a smoking ruin, since I've since the video posted by Russians on social media, who received so little warning of the strike that they were still on the street to film the results of the first strike when they caught the image of the second missile scoring a direct hit into the hole created by the first, straight down into the building basement.

That's not an unimportant target. (And it doesn't matter whether the BSF admiral survived or not - that's the fleet HQ hit on a working day with no significant warming - so that's the fleet staff that are now dead or wounded - the planners, comms experts, logistics guys, etc; much more important than just the admiral)

The burnt out wreck of the landing ship destroyed in dry dock was not an unimportant target.

The kilo class submarine (that the Russian's originally claimed had suffered only minor damage, but which had a hole blown in its deck, and a large hole blown out through the side of the pressure-hull) was not an unimportant target.

"Meanwhile, an increasing number of Ukraine's aircraft are being shot down by S-400s with improved missiles, or Russian aircraft carrying R-37 missiles, possibly improved variants"

Again - your turn... citation please

The Ukrainian's recently suffered the probably loss of two fixed wing aircraft on the ground, due to the use of extended range loitering munitions.But then, the Russians just lost 14 destroyed helicopters (burnt wrecks counted by satellite imagery) and some additional number damaged (likely >5) thanks to two 27-year old ATACMs.

What Russian air defence doing?

Where were these wonderwaffe new-and-improved S400?

I've seen no claim by the Russians or admission by the Ukrainians of an inflight loss of a Ukrainian fixed wing aircraft for a long time (whereas there have been multiple claimed and several confirmed Russian fixed wing losses in the last few weeks).

All of which points I find of great interest, but all of which are ultimately irrelevant to my original post of course, which was that Ukrainian defence industry is doing ok.

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

"How's it's arms industry"

I can't comment on it's space programme, but it's arms industry seems to be doing ok.

For example, when Putin launched his 3 day SMO over 600 days ago, the Ukrainians had only just introduced their 'Neptune' land based anti-ship missile into service. Not content with using two of them to sink 'Moskva', the Ukrainians have modified the missile to give it a precision land-attack capability, that has been demonstrated to work.

Meanwhile, Russia's wonderwaffe Kinzhal hypersonic missile is proving less than wonderous, with credible claims that the Ukrainians are relatively routinely knocking them out of the air (with patriot - so well done, left-pondians).

Ukraine's Soviet-era aircraft have been integrated to launch western weapons (HARM, StormShadow).

So yeah, doing ok.

King Charles III signs off on UK Online Safety Act, with unenforceable spying clause

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

Re: Poor, deprived Americans

So they have no polymaths?

Engineers pave the way for building lunar roads with Moon dust

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

Re: And how long before


Ultra Luna Emissions Zone...

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

Re: Inevitably

Though generally nowadays, 'Tarmac' should actually be 'Bitmac', since I believe it is made from bitumen, rather than tar.

I think most tar for road surfaces came from gas works (converting coal into coke + town gas + tar), and we don't do that anymore.

it's my understanding that bitumen mostly comes from the same fractional distillation of oil process that creates petrol and diesel, etc

EvilDrSmith Silver badge


But how do you get the sharks (with the lasers) into space suits?

Microsoft takes concrete steps (literally) toward greener datacenter construction

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

Fly Ash

Use of fly ash seems to be becoming increasingly popular as a cement replacement material, driven largely by the desire to cut carbon. Which is potentially a problem, since as the article notes, fly ash comes from coal combustion (it's the ash that goes up the chimney, but doesn't quite escape). Since we're not supposed to be burning coal anymore, we're not making the stuff like we used to. Still, we have a reasonably large amount 'stockpiled'.

UK splashes £4B to dive into next-gen nuclear submarines

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

Continuity of workload

This should actually be good for continuity of workload (and hence, one would hope, efficiency).

I believe the Barrow yard now has a clear work schedule of last few Astutes - The Dreadnoughts (the SLBM carriers) - then the AUKUS boats.

This is the sort of long term work load that enables businesses to make sensible decisions on investment, training, etc, which we tend to call out for in his country, as opposed to the short term - '5 years is a long time' type planning we tend to muddle through with.

Techies at Europe's biggest council have 8 weeks to pull finance reports from Oracle system

EvilDrSmith Silver badge


EvilDrSmith Silver badge

Each London Borough has its own council - while there is a mayor and London assembly stuck on top of that borough structure, there isn't a London Council, as such.

(and Shirley sends her regards)

(and not my downvote, by the way)

Meta spends $181M to get out of lease at vacant London offices

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

Re: Given the layoffs...

The suggestion seems to be that BL will re-purpose for a Life-Sciences tenant (lab space).

I am aware of at least one tower block going up in London that has exactly that usage, and there seems to be a shortage of lab space relative to demand..

Car industry pleads for delay to post-Brexit tariffs on EVs

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

Re: All that is happening

Politico (hardly a 'Pro-Brexit' source) are noting that a fair number of EU counties are also finding this unpalatable; they list Germany, Sweden, Belgium, Czechia and Italy.


UK-US data deal could hinge on fate of legal challenges to EU arrangement

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

Re: Sovereignty

Though from the link, there are about 69 individual countries listed (excluding the EU)

Plus deals with (so far) 6 individual US states:


Plus CPTPP membership.

So in fact, no shortage of post-BREXIT trade deals.

US military F-35 readiness problems highlighted in aptly timed report

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

Re: Too many cooks spoil the broth

"Multinational designs usually fail. The Panavia Tornado being a good example*. "

Um, apart from the fact that Tornado was a success, not a failure.

Designed primarily to carry out interdiction missions at high speed / very low level in the European theatre at night / poor weather, it was fully capable of doing that (more so than any other aircraft at the time). It also provided (depending on exact variant) a very good recce capability, anti-shipping role and ECR variant (electronic warfare). A more significant variant produced the air defence version which while not a brilliant dog-fighter, was very well suited to the role it was designed for: stooging around for hours on end (specifically over the North Sea, being the expected environment), and intercepting fast, low-level aircraft.

The buccaneers were brought in since they had a laser designator capability in 1990; the Tornado's was still in development: from memory, a couple of TIALD were put together from development bits and pieces and deployed on the Tornados, too.

The Germans have just (about) retired the last of their Tornados - so that's 40+ years of service. RAF retired theirs about 5 years back, I think. Hardly a failure.

As for other multinational designs, well Jaguar (Anglo-French) was successful, and would have likely sold more were it not for Dassault taking over the French company involved in it and trying to kill the sales since it competed with Mirage F1.

Alpha Jet (German-French) has has a very long and successful service life as an advanced trainer / light attack aircraft.

Harrier could be viewed as multinational, since the upgrade from Harrier GR3 (AV-8A) to GR5 and onwards (AV-8B, Harrier II) was driven by USMC requirements, such that Harrier went from a UK design to an Anglo-American design.

Typhoon (Eurofighter: Anglo/Italian/German/Spanish) had some programme / cost issues (French walked out of project; in early 1990's the Germans tried to massively down-scope capability), but has delivered an excellent multirole (true swing capability) combat aircraft, with a clear life/development path set down (Contrary to what some people still insist on saying, Typhoon was designed always to have extensive air-to-ground capability; initial entry into service with much of this capability not 'enabled' reflected the needs of the partner nations - 3 of the 4 of which were operating Tornado for the air-to ground role at the time).

A400 (Airbus) transport had some early issues, but is fundamentally an effective air-transport, and most definitely is not a failure.

Obviously, any multi-national attempts that failed would, logically, not end up in service, but I can't think of any multi-national military aircraft design projects that have failed, while there are plenty of national projects that have (e.g. TSR2, Avro Arrow, A-12, B-70 Valkyrie)

If anyone finds an $80M F-35 stealth fighter, please call the Pentagon

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

Re: Extinct Volcano?

Way back, when the RAF were just starting to get F35, there was a write up in one of the aeroplane magazines (so fully public information, and thus not necessarily the entire story) from the view point of the RAF typhoons that had been playing tag against F35.

It was stated that the F35 was very difficult to detect from the front (or some such wording). The implication being that the stealthiness works fine from the front arc (Stealth = very difficult to detect, not impossible), but that the F35 is somewhat les stealthy if viewed from the sides or rear.

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

Re: I could have understood not mentioning it if it was a Starfighter

Can't answer your question, but RAF and RN have the B variant, as per the USMC.

C variant is the cats-n-traps naval variant, only used so far by USN, as far as I know.

Scientists trace tiny moonquakes to Apollo 17 lander – left over from 1972

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

Re: Too bad the system is no longer working

Might have detected the Russian drone strike, umm, I mean moon landing attempt, too...

Bombshell biography: Fearing nuclear war, Musk blocked Starlink to stymie Ukraine attack on Russia

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

"Remember, at the fall of the Berlin wall NATO promised not to step an inch further east."


At the fall of the Berlin wall, a promise was made to President Gorbachev of the Soviet Union that no non-German NATO troops would be stationed in the territory of the former East Germany.

Since that time, no non-German NATO troops have been stationed in the territory of the former East Germany.

So a promise made circa 34 years ago to the now-dead president of a now non-existent country has been and continues to be kept.

UK rejoins the EU's €100B Horizon sci-tech funding program

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

The 'crumbling schools' comment is presumably related to the use of RAAC.

Used from the 1950's to the 1990's.

I've not seen any explicit discussion in the press as to why it fell out of favour, but if you bother to do a bit of reading around, you'll find that it was in the 1990's that concerns were raised over the material's integrity when it reached end-of-life, around 30 years after to manufacture. I infer from that, that the UK construction industry decided at that point to cease it's production and use.

So for 30+ years, government has been aware of this issue - including politicians of all parties, and more importantly, the civil servants responsible for ensuring schools are safe. There was no immediate call to replace this material, since it was agreed (by all, apparently) that the material, if managed properly, was safe.

However, it was the unexpected failure of a school roof earlier this summer that led to the previous advice being reviewed/revoked, and emergency measures implemented.

If you want to blame those in charge for endangering lives through use of RAAC because it was cheap to build, you need to spread your blame to every UK government from the mid-1950's onwards. And to the civil service that are responsible for providing technical advice to the politicians (we do generally agree on this site that politicians lack any degree of engineering or technical competence). Oh, and also quite a few European governments too, since I believe that RAAC has been used quite widely in Europe, as well as the UK (it will be interesting to see if/when there is media coverage of the issue as it affects non-UK sites)

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

Re: @JMiles

"So where's (at least one) brexit bonus?"

I was going to keep well clear of this whole discussion, but if remainers are going to persist in this 'where's one good thing about Brexit' nonsense, it seems sensible to speak up.

There were benefits in remaining, and there are benefits in leaving.

I shall not address the benefits of remaining, since you have not asked for those.

The UK's response to the vaccine roll-out (including sign-off for use and production/acquisition), and then the ability to lift lock-down several months earlier than in the EU, saved the UK huge sums of money (plus, by re-opening access to the routine services of the NHS saved countless lives).

The UK is no longer complicit in the agricultural dumping that the EU has been doing in Africa (the last case I am aware of involved dumping milk powder, mixed with palm oil, onto the west African markets, meaning it not only under cut local farmers but meant that the poorest people there were under-nourishing their children, since the palm oil content reduces the milk's nutritional value).

The use of animals for testing cosmetics which had been made legal again by a EU ruling (in limited circumstances, true), has now been explicitly blocked, so animal testing for cosmetics is no longer permitted in the UK

(Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-65623580)

We have indeed, taken back control - meaning that for most issues, UK politicians can no longer get away with blaming Brussels, like they have for decades (and like politicians in the remaining EU 27 continue to do). Thus, our politicians are now more accountable.

The UK was historically a brake on the EU federalist agenda / plan for ever closer union. With the UK having left, the EU can now more readily progress in that direction. (I'm assuming that you are not so parochial as to only want Brexit bonuses that apply to the UK).

Outside of the EU, the UK is able to make foreign policy decisions much more speedily than the EU can, since the EU typically requires consensus, which inevitably, takes time. If you doubt the value of that, you clearly were not paying attention to events 18+ months ago, when the UK was one of the few countries rushing arms to Ukraine immediately before and after the Russian invasion, while the EU (predictably and rightly, before people get upset) sought to achieve consensus amongst 27 nations.

The UK has left a customs union and pollical organisation that amounts to about 14% of the global economy (16% if including the UK), the countries of the EU 28 (ie EU27 + UK) having previously (1980's) amounted to about 25% of the global economy, and joined the free trade organisation that is CPTPP (which we could not otherwise have done), whose 11 members (prior to UK joining) amount to about 14% of the global economy, but whose importance has been growing. Furthermore, the potential expansion of the EU is limited to relatively small/relatively poor countries, plus Ukraine (which is understandably going to be a huge drain on global funds for many years after their victory against the Russians, to repair the damage the Russians have done). Oh, and Turkey, though we were all told that they were definitely not joining the EU. The current and potential candidate nations for CPTPP meanwhile include a number of significant and significantly growing economies.

The global tilt towards the indo-pacific region is not just a thing that applies to the military.

That is clearly somewhat more than one Brexit bonus, and the only bit of internet searching I had to do was to find the link to the BBC story, so with only a small amount of research, I am sure that you yourself could find many more examples of a 'Brexit bonus'. Sadly, I suspect that you would rather repeat the lie that there aren't any, than actually discover the truth.

Grant Shapps named UK defense supremo in latest 'tech-savvy' Tory tale

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

Re: Question

In this case specifically, he appears to be a loyal supporter of Sunak.

More generally, the very low standard of the available 'talent' (word used loosely) pool.

(Ben Wallace appears to have been exceptionally unusual in actually being good at his job - mostly we tend to be happy just to have someone that isn't an utter disaster)

Despite the assorted politically partisan comments that have already appeared, this has nothing to do with the political party he is in - if you look at any of the political parties in the UK*, their 'top teams' are manifestly unsuited to running a whelk stall, let alone a country.

I wonder if, once they've won their war, Ukraine would lend us President Zelensky for a few months to stand in as our PM. it would be nice to have someone competent in government for a change.

* I strongly suspect exactly the same applies to the US, Canada, France, Germany , Italy, etc, etc etc.

Germany's wild boars still too radioactive to eat largely due to Cold War nuke tests

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

"thousands of nuclear weapons tests"

A tad over 2000 apparently:


with 'only' about 25% of those atmospheric (that's probably quite enough)

US Air Force wants $6B to build 2,000 AI-powered drones

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

Re: They are getting part of a clue

" I'd imagine the radar guided gatling gun is going to be making a return to many armies, as a way to deal with these"

All the development (and money) that's been put into Direct Energy Weapons (i.e. lasers) over the last few years will probably prove to have been a useful investment; I suspect the technology is plenty effective enough to knock down these cheap drones: they seem to be slow, low-flying (so easy to hit) and relatively fragile (so easy to kill).

Japan complains Fukushima water release created terrifying Chinese Spam monster

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

It's homeopathic anti-nuclear fear

Lockheed's ARRW hypersonic missile: Sometimes it flies, sometimes it just tries

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

1991 liberation of Kuwait is generally thought to have been an Allied (& therefore US) victory.

Moscow makes a mess on the Moon as Luna 25 probe misses orbit, lands with a thud

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

Re: "Luna 25, by contrast, tried to make the trip in nine days"

"I've never read 'Mein Kamppf' either, so I do not properly understand National Socialism"

Though if you had read it, you probably still wouldn't; it's not the most...coherent.. of texts.

Hallucinating ChatGPT finds a role playing Dungeons & Dragons

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

Wrong game

Surely they shouldn't have used D&D, they should have been running 'Paranoia'.

Trust the Computer, the Computer is your friend....

Florida Man and associates indicted for conspiracy to steal data, software

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

Re: This is the most problematic indictment for him, by far

Well, I'm in the UK, so I admit I'm viewing it from a UK legal perspective, not a US one, but there was a door (apparently locked and barricaded) between shooter and victim.

The shooter appears to be some form of official security or law enforcement officer - they should be trained to deal with public order issues.

From the videos (which are, of course, an incomplete record), there is no imminent threat to life, or even of harm, to anybody.

Other officers were approaching the scene (only seconds away), and were possibly (possibly, not definitely) visible to the shooter

To my mind, that is sufficient for the shooter to be formally held to account for their actions in a court of law.

It doesn't mean the action was unlawful, just that due process should be followed.

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

Re: This is the most problematic indictment for him, by far

While I have no desire to be associated with Orange Man or his supporters, it does seem fair to point out that the fatal shooting was of a protestor by a security officer, and that based on the video evidence of the event (Victim posing no threat to life, and uniformed, armed and armoured, police about 5 yards behind her and possibly visible to the shooter at the time he took the shot), there is cause to consider that the shooting may have been unjustified.

Ukraine's Victor Zhora: Russia's cyber 'war crimes' will continue after ground invasion ends

EvilDrSmith Silver badge

Re: cyber "war crimes"

While I tend to agree with your broad point about mis-use of language, there are quite specific definitions of war crimes, which I believe include deliberate targeting of civilian infrastructure.

A war crime doesn't need to inflict mass casualties, or even any casualties, to be a war crime. (I you shoot at a clearly marked ambulance but miss, you still committed a war crime).