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Comment Re:Old git speaking here... (Score 1) 942

I'm 10 years older than you, but then my children are 20+ years younger than you and they talk in the same units I do even with friends their age. They have been metric schooled all their lives.

Not sure if there are any rules to go by, but in my experience the British are quite unfazed by rules and do as they damn well please.

Comment Re:Old git speaking here... (Score 1) 942

My children have been taught in metric for their whole lives, they are now both adults but they don't talk in metres, kilometres or litres, they talk in miles, feet, pints and gallons.

I don't see or hear many young British people doing the same although I do once remember overhearing a teenage girl say "And it was huge, at least 15cm..." which did bring a bit of a grin to my grizzled old chops.

Just leave well alone, and remember that the Concorde was built by two countries that used different 1960s units (not metric for the UK) and that everything fit together and worked perfectly well for the 35 year flying life of the aircraft.

Oh yes, miles were to do with 1,000 strides of a Roman legionary IIRC, and the yard is actually the width of "twelve good men's feet leaving church on a Sunday".

Leave well alone, Britain is very attached to this stuff.

Comment Old git speaking here... (Score 1) 942

... who can't understand what the fuss is about.

I don't think DC was saying *not* to teach in metric units as well, he was suggesting that maybe teaching people in the units that a vast number of people still use would be sensible. Road distances are still marked in miles, we use mph for speed indication, we buy non-bottled drinks in pints.

Remember that imperial measures were based on relationships with the human body and other natural features, it makes sense to understand them.

When I'm working I use metric units for everything, but I still say "that's a few hundred yards down the road" unless I am talking to someone from a metric country where I use metres so as not to confuse them. If someone asks me how far somewhere is I have an instant mental understanding if I tell them in miles, but even if I convert that to kilometres it is meaningless to me because I don't think in those units.

Learn both, education is supposed to be about flexibility!

Comment Re:Budget cuts (Score 1) 295

I don't believe that either of the pilots had not separated from their seats at impact, the main parachute is stowed in the headbox and is pulled out by the pilot's body mass as the seat separates after the drogue parachute has stabilised the trajectory.

The reason the seats are close to the aircraft wreckage is that the pilots left it very late to eject, they knew the likelihood of hitting houses was high and were trying to dump the aircraft in the ocean, when they realised they couldn't make it and that there was no point dying while unable to get there they banged out in short order. The seats are very capable, but it is entirely possible that the canopy only fully inflates as the pilot's legs reach the ground if ejection is at a low height.

Comment Re:Grim Factoid? (Score 1) 295

Well indeed some of these losses were in combat, but not that many.

In the early to mid 1950s, the RAF fighter squadrons mostly flew Gloster Meteor and DeHavilland Vampires, the newer aircraft had not yet made it to squadron service.

The Meteor in particular had some very nasty habits, if you opened the airbrakes when the undercarriage was extended then you would immediately lose control and from low altitude in the landing pattern a crash was inevitable as there was not enough engine power to recover even if the airbrakes were retracted before impact.

There were also many collisions during training, and quite a few crashes due to bad weather and fog where fuel exhaustion led to ejection and loss of the aircraft. THe RAF had many more pilots and aircraft, training was less comprehensive and many fatalities were young, average pilots who did not have sufficient skill and time in the air to be competent enough to survive.

Comment Re:Reliablity? (Score 1) 91

As an RF engineer, when I hear people mention the words simple and radio in the same sentence I smile inwardly and anticipate a project that gets to the desperation phase more rapidly than usual without any design input to allow it for tuning the performance of each circuit block.

In short, radio is never as simple as you think it is.

Comment eBooks and paper books (Score 1) 283

I buy my books as paper, but then I often go and find an non-DRM eBook of the same thing, that way I have paid the author for what I read and I can have a copy on my PC and my eReader without spending additional money on the same thing.

I don't see this as in any way problematic, I don't pass on the eBooks to anyone else.

Comment GMT is named for something (Score 1) 554

And that something is the Greenwich meridian, which is in the east of the UK, so most of the country is west of this line.

Now this change wants to bring us into line with countries that are either mainly east of the meridian or sufficiently far south that they see more winter daylight than we do.

It's a bad idea, it was tried in WW2 and also from 1968-1971, and it was unpopular and unwanted then.

Why we're going down this path again I really don't know.


Comment Re:Causes interference to licensed spectrum users (Score 1) 120

Well remember that amateur spectrum is allocated via the ITU and international treaties, so it isn't within Ofcom's power to just take it away without a major consultation exercise and then obtaining resolutions at the next WRC. If they tried to do it unilaterally then there would be a lot of flak to deal with.

Remember that the new UK government is intending to change Ofcom's remit, I doubt they will have enough manpower to deal with all of this while their whole raison d'etre is being changed under them.

Comment Re:Causes interference to licensed spectrum users (Score 1) 120

I see above a link to the Ofcom FAQ. As usual this is a bit disingenous, where it states that they have not found any breach of the essential requirements of the EMC Regulations, what they fail to state is that in all the tests that have been conducted by independent test houses the peak level of emissions is >30dB above the EN55022 Class B limits, which is a strange definition of EMC compliant in my book.

Ofcom is a politically motivated body, and it doesn't want to rock the boat with the EU and brand PLT devices as illegal in the UK because that would affect european trade and the supply of "harmonised" goods.

The PLT regulation process via the CISPR committee has totally failed, it has not been possible to agree limits that simultaneously allow the PLT devices to work as desired and to meet accepted EMC limits that have been enforced for decades. This process is being restarted, but is likely to be gerrymandered by the European Commission to allow existing non-compliant devices to be sold.

EMC engineers are up in arms about this, if the approach being used were to be extended to other standards then you can forget ever having interoperating non-interfering RF-based systems ever again, ultimately sense might prevail but only after all our wide area systems had been crippled by wideband interference.

We can only hope that this sort of wired networking is out-evolved by other technologies and dies a natural death. Otherwise it's going to be a train wreck.

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