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Comment Re:To be expected (Score 1) 237

Free, yes, but its still being released in tranches to those systems eligible for upgrade, so not everyone that can upgrade has been able to do so thus far.

If everyone had had full access to the "upgrade now" button at launch, you might have a point, but right now its not any indication of a failure at all.

Comment Re:really... (Score 1) 599

If its the "duh, obvious!" aspect you are going for, do you want to know how many people my wife see's as a GP who have entire religious texts that they have "received from their deity" and written down? Its not uncommon for people to write significant texts down that they believe have been gifted to them by a "god".

So the possibilities we have here are:

1. The text is older than thought and it was co-opted to form the basis of Islam
2. The timelines are screwed up and everything actually fits together as understood
3. The parchment is old, but was reused to create the Koran that was tested

Possibilities 2 and 3 leads on to...
a. Muhammad received it from heaven
b. Muhammad made it up deliberately
c. Muhammad made it up delusionally

Those scholars you quote think that the truth is actually possibility 1, while Muhammads claim could equally cover options a and c as sources, from his perspective.

Comment Re:Tender (Score 2) 119

The BBC recently have been forced to take on spending that they would otherwise not have to take on - for example, several of the regional channels for Wales, Cornwall and Scotland now fall under normal BBC funding rather than direct government grants (and the BBC don't receive extra funding for these channels, so its a net reduction in their funding), and the BBC TV License is now free for older persons (again without extra funding, so its again a net reduction in their funding).

So its no surprise if they have to cut funding in other areas - why subsidise the Met Office if the service can be provided cheaper by another entity.

Comment Re:Upstart? Scarebus? Comparison to Concorde? (Score 2) 345

Since when have Airbus or the EU "whined or blamed the evil US government" when Boeing "wins"?

Airbus has achieved more orders in the last 7 out of 10 full sales years than Boeing, and also delivered more aircraft than Boeing in 7 out of the last 10 full sales years.

Is it also worth noting that the Boeing 737 was introduced in 1968 with low bypass turbofan engines, which had the same noise issues as the 707? Infact, the 737 didn't receive high bypass turbofan engines until the mid-1980s!

Comment Re:As someone who experienced both..... (Score 3, Informative) 345

It does need to be noted that Concorde flew mostly while turbofans were the norm, so most planes were quieter than it. The 707 flew when most other planes were still prop-driven, and it was only in the first few years of Concorde operation that 707s still flew (they were being phased out); but even by that time, they had made some changes to the engines to make the 707s less screechy.

I think the difference you are trying to highlight there is the turbo-fan vs turbo-jet era's. Both the 707 and Concorde were turbo-jet (Concorde was afterburning, some versions of the 707 had water injection), but the airline industry quickly migrated to more efficient, higher bypass turbo-fans.

Comment Re:I'm gonna miss the 747 (Score 1) 345

Actually, airlines operate low passenger yield flights all the time, for a number of reasons - firstly, the aircraft may be needed on the next leg, so its going to fly full or empty as thats how airlines plan segments, and secondly the flight may be making money on belly cargo on that segment anyway, regardless of however many passengers are on it.

Ive been on a 777 from Kenya to Amsterdam several times where there have been 30 or fewer passengers on board, with myself and my wife being the only passengers in an entire economy cabin. It happens. Infact, in this example, it has happened each time we fly the segment (we fly back from Uganda using that route at least once a year) - the flight is never more than 25% full.

Comment Re:Upstart? Scarebus? Comparison to Concorde? (Score 5, Informative) 345

Concorde was actually banned from all US airports for a short time in the early 1970s, until legal challenges forced various airports to rescind their bans.

The Boeing 707 was also louder and produced more exhaust smoke than Concorde ever did, and yet no one had issues with them operating at US airports ;)

Comment Re:Poor comparison (Score 5, Insightful) 345

The Boeing 747 has its instantly recognised "hump" precisely because Boeing thought at the time of its design that it wouldn't have a long sales life as a passenger aircraft, as the future was "obviously" supersonic for passenger transport. Therefore, the design was optimised for roll-on roll-off cargo transport through the nose section, which made it a very good cargo aircraft and thus increased its forecasted sales life.

Of course, Boeing also had a finger in the supersonic airliner pie - the Boeing 2707, launched internally in 1958, and publicly in 1964. Boeing had 122 orders for their SST by 1969, the year their 747 aircraft first flew.

And then the SST market collapsed due to the oil crisis of the 1970s, and everyones projects went under - Concorde only "survived" to fly on in airline service (British Airways and Air France) because it was further along than the Boeing 2707 and had actually produced production standard aircraft by the time airlines started dropping their orders from all manufacturers.

So Concorde was not an elite project for elite passengers, it was intended to be the norm for passenger transport - and Boeing agreed. Market conditions swung against them both however, and it was never to be.

Boeing went on to continue to market their 747, and Airbus (formed from the same agreements that created the Concorde) went on to produce the first twin engine wide body long haul aircraft in the A300 in the 1970s, which sold (together with its A310 variant) sold over 800 copies.

Comment Re: 'There's no substitute for cubic inches' (Score 3, Informative) 345

The current trend in the airline sector seems to be away from the very large aircraft. The A380 is tanking in sales terms (only Emirates has really plunged into that market) and there's talk that Airbus might look to drop the line sooner rather than later.

The A380 isn't being dropped, there will be a new engine version of it launched later this year at the Dubai Air Show, with its production life extended well into the 2020s.

The problem with those ultra-large aircraft is that they can be thirsty in terms of fuel, crew-intensive and, except on a small number of really "thick" routes, quite hard to fill. With the airline business mostly operating on quite thin margins, efficiency matters and the smaller, single-deck planes are looking better in that regard right now.

Would it surprise you to know that the Boeing 777-9X is actually destined to be a larger aircraft than the Boeing 747-8I? Its longer, taller and has greater wingspan, with the lower MTOW only really coming from advances in materials allowing lower weight structures.

Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.