Monday, 7 October 2013

Internet Advertising

Advertising is one of the problems with the Internet that is out of control and not being addressed by the Internet Regulators. There are two main issues. Firstly, web page developers clutter their content with adverts until the message they are trying to get across is buried in what I would call artless advertising. The second issue is the insertion of unwanted and unsolicited advertising by Search Engines into your attempts to access other websites which is, I believe, illegal and certainly infringes the advertising standards of most countries. The advertisements are mostly artless and banal in the extreme with little attempt to create anything memorable, which is the whole purpose of advertising.

Advertising can be made into a thing of beauty, at virtually no cost, but with a great deal of skill in matching the video images to the soundtrack. Remember those wonderful Hovis adverts which were considered to be art by some and have been copied/adapted so many times.Here is an example of a tourist promotional video from Russia and another one here from Africa. Both videos are refreshingly good at selling their country's tourist attractions. Note the wonderfully effective (camera) pan and zoom techniques which give a dynamic effect to the shots.

I am sad to say that it is Google who misuses its near monopoly in search engines to insert intrusive advertising, interferes with Youtube and tries to foul up its rivals with mega intrusive advertising. Although I like Google from a technical point of view as you can see from my blogs, their business practises are bordering on the illegal and appear to have political motivations in addition to trying to gain commercial advantage. If Google does not start putting their customers/users before their friends in various governments around the world then their business will go into decline. The once mighty Tesco supermarket chain(UK) thought that they were invincible just a few years  ago. Now they are in reverse and are desperately trying to return the company to growth. So listen up Google!

1100 GMT+1 08/10/2013 Update: I thought you would enjoy The Blues Brothers money making scam. It is a bit over the top, but a great soundtrack.

1200 GMT+1 08/10/2013 Update: The film, My Fellow Americans,  is about a former Democratic President and a former Republican President and is still very  funny. By the way, they are fictional US political stereotypes, just in case you think they are a bit close to reality .

0430 GMT+1 09/10/2013 Update: "There will be growth in the Spring"- Chauncey Gardiner (aka Chance the Gardener in the UK) 1979. This is another hilarious character from the repertoire of Peter Sellers in the political comedy film, Being There 1979. You have to be knowledgeable about politics to really appreciate this film.

It seems very appropriate to view Being There at the moment with the expectation that the economy will improve next year and elections on the horizon in the UK and US(mid-term). The film is from another generation and may not be strictly PC(Politically Correct) in today's terms.

0900 GMT+1 09/10/2013 Update: There are three main reasons why Prestwick Airport has no takers. Firstly, the airport runways have been hemmed in by short-sighted planning of adjacent infrastructure so that it is difficult, but not impossible, to extend the main runway to the new safety standard of 3000 metres. The same problem exists at other UK airports such as Southampton. Secondly, the uncertainty over Scotland's future makes potential developers wait and see. Thirdly, at 32 miles from the centre of Glasgow a cheap FF(Fast and Frequent) rail link from the airport terminal  is required which I believe does not exist at the moment.

Real Engineers have a total solution as you would expect and if Prestwick Airport was the right price, i.e. nominal, then it could be developed, at a substantial cost, into Air, Rail and Road hub for low cost passenger and freight transport for Scotland. The basic infrastructure exists but it all needs joining up. Scottish industry will go into terminal decline without this sort of development because a transport hub is expected in a modern developed  industrial nations. The model for Prestwick Airport would be the DIRFT(Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal) with the addition of an airport and passenger facilities for all modes of transport. Scotland would require a transport hub to receive long distance freight and passengers in the future, irrespective of the outcome of the  independence issue, if it's industry is to flourish. Off the top of my head and having just examined a satellite image of Prestwick Airport, I think the total cost of the development would be £500-800 million over three years. I believe that this project would be eligible for an EU infrastructure grant to facilitate the future security, development and growth of Scottish industry.

C'mon, Scotland!

1030 GMT+1 09/10/2013 Update: While the Finance Minister for Wales has some money to spend, then I have a few enabling infrastructure projects that would provide the basis for returning the Welsh economy back to growth:
  • Implement a LTT(Long Train Technology) low-cost service for passengers and freight  from London to Milford Haven and Fishguard;
  • Develop Milford Haven into a deep water container  port modelled on Felixstowe;
  • Similarly, implement LLT low-cost service for  passenger and freight to Anglesey;
  • Get behind the use of Clean Coal for electricity generation thereby restoring the market of Opencast Mined Welsh Coal;
  • Persuade the Port Talbot steelworks to use cheap Opencast Mined Welsh Coal which could be delivered very economically by LTT.
Lowering the horrendous transport costs to West Wales would be transformational for the South Wales economy as a whole and the same type of  infrastructure projects would also work well for North Wales.


1100 GMT+1 09/10/2013 Update: Government infrastructure projects are the way to kick-start the UK economy. Unfortunately successive  governments in the UK have tended to focus their infrastructure  projects on London, the Home Counties and the South East. Therefore, the regions must do their own infrastructure projects by tapping into EU money and partnering with private enterprise, thus bypassing the Westminster government. It is quite in order for the regions to seek EU funding for their infrastructure projects through their MEPs(Members of the European Parliament). These infrastructure  project costs can be quite economic to implement if you steer clear of big companies, who are burdened down with bureaucratic overheads, and use SMEs with specialist skills that use the right equipment/tools for the job. It is a kind of "cutting-out-the-middle-man" but on a larger scale. All you need is a group of first class consulting engineers, such as Real Engineers, to manage the whole contract.

If the regions wait for the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, to come riding over the hill on a white charger to solve their problems, then they will wait forever. I believe the privates sector can offer a FBC(Faster, Better, Cheaper) solution to these large  infrastructure projects but unfortunately big companies act more like nationalised industries than private sector companies. It is the SMEs who can deliver the FF(Fast and Furious) results at low cost provided that they are overseen by first class consulting engineers.

LTT and 100Mb/s broadband can transform the economics of businesses in the neglected regions of  the UK. The Internet does not care where you are located as long as you have a fast connection which can be achieved in several ways that bypasses the copper wire between your business and the nearest telephone exchange. LTT will minimise shipping costs from remote locations in the UK thus restoring competitiveness. This can all be achieved by the private sector without UK government's participation or approval. EU grants to support these projects are available because the UK government never takes its full allocation of EU money, mainly because they do not understand how to fill in the EU forms.

1145 GMT+1 09/11/2013 Update: Nobody in the private sector, who is sane, would want a contract from Camden Council. My suggestion to Camden Council is to get on with it yourself!

0700 GMT+1 10/10/2013 Update: Its a deal! The owners of Prestwick Airport have provisionally agreed to sell at a nominal sum. The plan by Real Engineers is to have zero landing charges for low cost users, such as Ryan Air, and instead agree some kind of profit sharing deal with the airlines. In this way Prestwick Airport would make money in the good times and would not be a burden to the low-cost airlines during the bad times. This is what is called a Win-Win situation! The same deal would be offered to other regular users of Prestwick Airport. In addition, major users of Prestwick Airport would be encouraged to take a minority shareholding in the Prestwick Transport Hub Company. Therefore they would gain a voice in the running of Prestwick Airport. A good plan or what! Again we are waiting for the politicians to catch-up with events,

Guess what? I have just checked out Cardiff Airport and it is almost an identical scenario to Prestwick Airport with rail and road transport infrastructure close at hand. But again the main runway has been hemmed in. I envisage that  a South Wales Transport Hub could be created for a similar price to the Prestwick Airport plan of about £500-800 million over three years.  Because Cardiff Airport is owned by the Welsh Government then the Cardiff Transport Hub Development Plan would be even easier to implement. Real Engineers would suggest that exactly the same deal offered for Prestwick Airport would also, quite remarkable, work well for Cardiff Airport. The advantage of extending the main runway to 3000 metres is that it allows the low cost airlines to use big aircraft to significantly reduce costs. Also the zero landing charges with profit sharing deal instead,  together with a minority shareholder stake in the Cardiff Transport Hub Company, is a great deal for low-cost airlines and other regular users.

They are other regional airports with similar problems to Prestwick and Cardiff and I believe the development of all of them would qualify for EU Infrastructure grants. Creating Regional Transport Hubs drives the development of the local economies and is a precursor to attracting business and industry to your region. The criteria for a successful Regional Transport Hub is to have air, rail and road transport infrastructure all in one place.

0915 GMT+1 10/10/2013 Update: The film Airport 1970  illustrates what can happen at airports that have short runways and/or are subject to adverse weather conditions. Luckily Prestwick Airport is known for its excellent all year around weather conditions. Cardiff Airport may be similarly blessed in terms of weather but I have not checked yet.

1030 GMT+1 10/10/2013 Update: I have just checked the long term weather conditions at Cardiff Airport and they are very favourable thus guaranteeing 24/7 operation 100% of the time. Prestwick Airport, in particular, and Cardiff Airports are therefore first alternative destination choices when other airports, such as Heathrow, are closed due to adverse weather. To be a UK diversion airport then you must have a 3000 metre runway plus emergency and other airport facilities to international standards.

1500 GMT+1 10/10/2013 Update: Just a  tip for the Scottish and Welsh Governments about sucking  up to the big construction companies. There is nobody at a big construction company in the UK today that has any experience or knowledge of the type of equipment needed for a large infrastructure projects such as the Prestwick Transport Hub or the Cardiff Transport Hub. Giving large infrastructure contracts to these bureaucratic behemoth construction companies and their Trade Unionist friends will ensure a dispute ridden contracts whose costs and completion date will spiral out of control. Only people of my generation have ever worked on these kinds of infrastructure projects.

Real Engineers  and their associated consultants will use teams of highly skilled SMEs with equipment that will astound the politicians of both Scotland and Wales. Real Engineers Consulting Team guarantees to bring these two projects in on-cost and on-time by adopting top-down design and a right-first-time philosophy.I cannot imagine low-cost airlines such as Easy Jet or Ryan Air wishing to work with traditional British Companies during the construction or operational phase. They would simply create another disaster such as Heathrow with its expensive operators. I openly invite Easy Jet and Ryan Air, and indeed any other low cost transport operator, to join the project from the start, because their input would be very welcome. A consortium led by Real Engineers and their hi-tech SME contacts would then be formed to construct and run the Transport Hub Facilities at both Prestwick and Cardiff.

I have already given Scotland and Wales many  thousands of pounds of free consultancy, that nobody else in the UK was capable of offering, therefore demonstrating my know-how and credibility. If you use the methodology recommended by Real Engineers then both the Cardiff and Prestwick Transport Hubs will probably be 100% funded by the EU grant. Real Engineers are ready to start the planning phase immediately because the site evaluation has already been done by satellite image. Construction work would start in April 2014 using extra large equipment in the hands of experts ( an unfortunate choice of words,  but these guys(gals) are so good they make Robert Mitchum seem like a hobo). I think the planning permission process would be very straight forward because the project will be of great benefit economically to Scotland and Wales. If you wait for the large UK construction companies then it will be at least 2023 before the Transport Hubs are fully operational.

Check out this film, Hellfighters 1968, to get a feel for how urgent infrastructure projects are run. The same management principles applies for urgent infrastructure projects as those that are used in the Oil/Gas industry. You need people in control who feel just at home in the boardroom as they do at the "coal face"/construction site. Not easy to find people with that kind  experience these days! They do not teach it at Business School!

1030 GMT+1 11/10/2013 Update: The future for Drift Mining at Neath, South Wales and indeed any OMs(Opencast Mine) for coal depends on a market opening up for the generation of electricity using Clean Coal. The market for coal has been taken away by the UK government's "Dash for Gas" energy policy which is going to be incredibly expensive. Even if we had a change of policy towards Clean Coal it does need two to three years to develop the enabling emissions technology. Luckily, most of the former coal-fired power station generator halls have not yet been demolished, therefore the large generator halls can be re-cycled with the TI(Technology Insertion) of 21st century electrical generators. The cooling towers can then be demolished and the site landscaped with trees and lawns. I think the end visual effect would be quite surprising.

If the market for coal returned then LTT(Long Train Technology) would get the coal to market very cheaply. The Neath Drift Mine would then need to be equipped with the latest large underground mining machines to compete with OM methods of coal extraction. It is all possible, but it is completely dependent on a change of government policy to create the market for Clean Coal. Since the Neath Drift Mine is located in South Wales then the Welsh Assembly could authorise a Clean Coal Power Station without reference to Westminster. All that the EU requires is that a power station meets its emissions criteria and  they do not (cannot) specify the fuel to be used.

1300 GMT+1 11/10/2013 Update: The Costa Concordia salvage team have a  quick solution for transporting the crippled cruise ship but the final destination of the ship is not yet confirmed. The delay is being caused by politicians dragging their feet.

Real Engineer's plan is the same as the one being offered to the Prestwick and Cardiff Transport Hub Projects. Real Engineers will lead a consortium based initially  around what I have provisionally called the NI SRF(Ship Recycling Facility), assuming that they have a dry dock big enough. If not, the Costa Concordia may have to stay on the barge until she can be floated. Major component suppliers and sub-contractors will be invited to join the NR SRF consortium with a minority shareholder interest. The recycled Costa Concordia will be a TD(Technology Demonstrator) for ship recycling and TI(Technology Insertion). If the project is a success, and I have no doubt that it will be, then other dockyards will be invited to join the NI SRF consortium as the marine part of a much bigger MER(Military Equipment Recycling) company.

The deal for the salvage/insurance company is that they deliver the Costa Concordia to the NI SRF for a nominal sum of £1.00. They will then be offered a share of the profits that come from the sale of the recycled Costa Concordia and the film rights, which will go a long way to defraying costs, Also the good publicity for them will be priceless. The film rights will only be sold to someone who can show capability and has a director, scriptwriter and film crew to the deliver the goods to a standard worthy of such a great ship. The storyline already exists in reality therefore creating something worthwhile should be relatively easy.

0515 GMT+1 12/10/2013 Update: In the past, I have only ever agreed with the UK Business Secretary, Vince Cable once in the last 10 years, which was that the out-of-control credit boom would "all end in in tears," as it did in 2007/8. However, I have to say that I agree with him on two subjects in the last two days which is astonishing since we are poles apart on the political spectrum.

 Firstly, I agree with Vince Cable that the Royal Mail share price is  being deliberately inflated, or "puffed," by speculators ahead of profit-taking from next Tuesday onwards. The true price of Royal Mail shares will be determined in the next few weeks and will probably settle to about 50% of their current value, thus reflecting the true worth of the company. Secondly, I agree with him that the political oversight of the intelligence service's activities is woefully inadequate in view of the BS(Blanket Surveillance) revelations in the USA which implicated GCHQ. All this BS occurred while the "White Widow," the former wife of one of the London Bombers of 2005, was clearly not under any surveillance of any kind.

The endless recession and the government's overreach in terms of BS has created strange alliances. But where my views drastically diverge from those of Vince Cable are on the the subjects of higher education and green taxes. If he cares to read my blogs then he will understand my point of view on both those subjects. The other issue I have with the whole UK Coalition Government is the question of why it needs to have constant Control, Surveillance and Regulation of private individuals and private sector companies who are operating legally and paying their taxes in the UK. Surely, the government should be chasing the criminals, terrorists and tax dodgers rather than law-abiding private individuals and private companies. This is the part of the UK Coalition Government's policy that people like me find difficult to grasp. As one witty commentator in the USA put it: "I feel that I am paying for my own surveillance." I can name several top-drawer individuals and high profile companies who are operating in an almost criminal way by benefiting from the "proceeds" of surveillance and are certainly tax dodgers as well. But,t I do not have the benefit of parliamentary privilege!

I suspect that this attack on private individuals and private sector companies by the UK Coalition Government, and their strange fellow travellers, is directly linked to their  inability to keep up with the latest technology, especially the Internet. They seem determined to crush any push forward by private individuals or  the private sector companies who have the skills to embrace the Internet and other state-of-the-art technologies. It distresses me to say that the UK Coalition Government are the Luddites of the Internet Age! What we do not know is where all this erratic and  threatening behaviour by a democratically elected government is actually leading the UK. To quote Vince Cable: "It will all end in tears!"

0645 GMT+1 12/10/2013 Update: If you want a good laugh then check out this proposal for Cardiff Airport. Only a fool, who has never done any long haul, would consider Heathrow to be a good model for Cardiff Airport. Abolishing APD (Airport Passenger Duty) would only have a marginal effect on airport throughput. In any case who wants to travel by the high cost airlines from Heathrow. That would not move the South Wales economy forward one inch. It is only the private sector that can offer an holistic "Game Changing" solution to the whole of South and West Wales that could easily be translated to North Wales.

The Western Gateway Plan is Socialist inspired and indeed may provide an up-tick in the South Wales economy during the election season but it will not provide a long term solution. In fact, I can guarantee that if the Western Gateway Plan is implemented then the South Wales economy will revert back to where it is today after the next General Election. The problem today is that politics gets in the way of business. If business is to succeed then politics must be put to one side. Just ask yourself how many Welsh people will be able to afford tickets on British Airways to "A Place in the Sun" and how many could afford tickets on Easy Jet or Ryan Air. It's a no brainer - start booking your holidays now  - especially to Greece and Spain because their economies could do with a boost as well. C'mon Stelios(Easy Jet) and Michael(Ryan Air), join in the fun, because we are all going nowhere at the moment in economic terms. The EU will gladly fund the runway extension at Cardiff  Airport because it will have an immediate  and beneficial impact on the economies of Spain and Greece once completed.

The bottom line is that the the Western Gateway team do not have the technology that underpins the Cardiff Transport Hub proposal or the low cost transport operators that will transform the South and West Wales economies. How do I know this? Because the Western Gateway proposal is led by politicians and civil servants whereas the Cardiff Transport Hub proposal is led by consulting engineers who "know their stuff." For example, if you gave Real Engineers the Phase 1 contract to extend the runway at Cardiff Airport to 3000 metres by the end of October 2013, then I can guarantee it will be operational by April 2014 in time for next year's holiday season, with minimal disruption to the airport's current operations. The payment terms would be 33% up front, 33% at the halfway stage and 33% on completion plus a 10% incentive bonus for an on-specification and on-time result. The only other conditions in the contract,  from Real Engineers point of view, would be that for every wet day that we cannot work then a day is added onto the end of the contract and some provision for fuel price escalation. These are a standard clauses for earthmoving contracts and other infrastructure projects, especially during the winter months. We simply need an outline plan or TLD(Top-Level-Design) first, then the detailed planing can be done dynamically in parallel using TDD(Top-Down-Design),  JIT(Just-In-Time) and RFT(Right-First-Time) techniques. It is actually easier to do it this way, if you know how. Real Engineers will make extensive use of computer modelling to show the end result up front.

By the way, you will need to build a recycling plant to deal with the paperwork if you go with the Western Gateway Plan for Cardiff Airport. It is just a vote-buying election gimmick  and in any case they stole the idea off my blog. Just changing a few words here and there is almost certainly gross infringement of my copyright. Dusting down an old report from some ancient academic and pretending to update it will not stand up in court. I hope the authors of the Western Gateway Plan have plenty of money. Under copyright law a derivative work must be "substantially different" not "substantially the same." This is why I believe that the UK government is now acting illegally on this and many other issues. In this case, it is using government staff and resources to gain commercial advantage for their friends in the global businesses. Why don't they take legal advice before interfering with private sector. It looks as though David Cameron and is friends, many of whom are already awaiting trial, will be spending a great deal of time in court over next few years.

There are three certainties in life:
  1. That, eventually, we all die;
  2. That David Cameron and Nick Clegg will not be leaders of their respective  political parties after the next general election;
  3. That the Western Gateway Plan will give South Wales airfares of 3-6 times those of the Cardiff Transport Hub Plan  and will do nothing for the economies of West Wales or South Wales Mining.
The question is who do you believe? " A bunch of posh boys who do not know the price of a bottle of milk" or Real Engineers who know Wales very well and are ready to rock 'n' rock with the latest techniques. Revving up our big CATs (new ones on order) and ready to put South Wales back in business. My friends and I have all done infrastructure projects before in South and West Wales in the 1960s/70s. Remember, I said "I'll be back!"  I am an engineer, I engineer things.

OK you gamers, model the Cardiff Transport Hub and the Western Gateway solutions. All the information you need is on my blogs.

1000 GMT+1 12/10/2013 Update: This song by Tennessee Ernie Ford still rings true today, except we are told we cannot use coal even if we can burn it cleanly i.e. meet the EU emissions standard. Where did that lunatic policy come from?

1100 GMT+1 12/10/2013 Update: Real Engineers can offer the same Phase 1 runway extension (to 3000 metres) plan to the Prestwick Transport Hub that is on offer to the Cardiff Transport Hub by bringing in more large earthmovers by sea or air. The runway extension at Prestwick is slightly more difficult and together with the extra transport costs would be a little more expensive. In this way both Cardiff and Prestwick runways could be extended in parallel. In fact the two projects are remarkably similar. Real Engineers hopes that on completion of Phase 1 runway extensions at Cardiff and Prestwick, the large earthmoving equipment could stay in the area for OM(Opencast Mine) work. This outcome depends on politicians reversing their decision on burning Clean Coal in Power Stations.

1200 GMT+1 12/10/2013 Update: If you can get an expert to evaluate this video of Prestwick Airport then he/she will be able to see that there is no margin for a take-off abort even for the fully loaded medium sized passenger aircraft used by Ryan Air.

As you can see from this video an empty Airbus 380 can land/take-off from Cardiff Airport but when fully laden an  A380 would have very little  safety margin in terms of runway length on landing, especially in icy conditions where undercarriage  wheel braking cannot be used. In addition,  a longer runway is able to cope effortlessly with an aircraft that overshoots the touchdown point and takes the pressure off the pilot to touchdown early. A short runway was a contributing factor in the recent accident at San Francisco Airport. For a  fully loaded take-off, a giant aircraft such as the A380  needs about 750 to 1000 metres of runway to stop after an abort at around 90%  of the  take-off point. Otherwise you may be forced to take-off with a failed engine, which is not the best scenario. The need to provide safety margins, in terms of runway length, on take-off and landing, has become even more important as the aircraft get much  bigger. If these safety margins are not observed then you are in the nightmare scenario of de-rating the payload of the aircraft for runway length and altitude. Also, hard undercarriage wheel braking whilst landing on short runways can lead to blow-outs and short tyre life which all adds to operational costs that are simply passed on to the passenger.  It is surprising how many airport operators and airlines flout these simple regulations which the aviation authorities seem reluctant to enforce in recent years.

1330 GMT+1 12/10/2013 Update: I have identified four more potential Regional Transport Hubs, one in the North , one in the Midlands, one in the South  and one in the West of England. At first glance they seem to be prime candidates for RTHs(Regional Transport Hubs) but, of course, they need detailed evaluation before passing to the planning phase. I think virtually all the potential RTHs need their runways extending to 3000 metres. I also believe that  the consortium idea would work well at all these locations thus speeding up development of the RTHs. These sites are candidates for full size RTHs but other areas may have candidates for Mini-Transport Hubs. In fact they may already exist with limited facilities, for example they will not need international  airports.

1715 GMT+1 12/10/2013 Update: This is a story that typifies labour relations in Scotland and is the reason why very few companies venture North of the Border. Apparently the viability of the Ineos, Grangemouth plant depends on the importation of gas from the USA. Real Engineers can source the gas within the UK and ship it to Ineos, Grangemouth at a fraction of the transport costs of the US sourced gas by using LTT(Long Train Technology). Real Engineers also has a de-layering hit-team that will solve their labour relations problem once and for all. Ineos should let me know when they want to sell the Grangemouth Plant or require the services of Real Engineers. I understand that Ineos has another plant on Humberside that could be re-vitalised if the Grangemouth plant was returned to profitable and economic operation.

0345 GMT+1 14/10/2013 Update: The satellite images below show the potential and the problems of both RTHs(Regional Transport Hub) projects.


Cardiff Airport - RTH Candidate

Prestwick Airport - RTH Candidate
Satellite images are incredibly useful at the evaluation stage. Get the picture! 

0600 GMT+1 14/10/2013 Update: Manchester Airport is already a RTH(Regional Transport Hub) and while George Osborne's £800 million Chinese inward investment will be welcomed, it will not change the competitiveness of the region's economy. Manchester Airport has what I call "Heathrow Syndrome" and is not a suitable destination for low-cost passenger and freight airlines. The airport is unattractive in terms of its charges and it does not have the enabling technology for low-cost overland transport. Manchester Airport has chosen the high-cost model for it's business which is the complete antithesis to Real Engineer's proposal for a RTH. I know which scheme will be a burden to the local economy's competitiveness and which scheme will be a boost to the local economy's competitiveness. I leave this as an exercise for the reader to do the calculations.


0630 GMT+1 14/10/2013 Update: Real Engineers have never proposed that the UK should compete with China as a "metal basher" as this journalist's report seems to suggest. Real Engineers believe that the UK can compete best at the creative and innovative level by applying lateral thinking to create new designs, methods and techniques. For example, TI(Technology Insertion) has been freely discussed at military conferences since the late 1990's but nobody has had the courage to try it on the large scale. After studying the subject for 20 years I think I have got my head around all the problems and the time is now right to try some large scale TI solutions driven by new environmental regulations. An illustration of the size of the market for TI is that there are no ships in the world that meet the EU emission standards. The TI solutions are in themselves extremely hi-tech, innovative and require a special set of new skills.

A further point is that Real Engineers does not plan to be merely another consultancy company. It's intention is to seek out opportunities, put together a local consortia, then assume the technical and managerial lead in any contract as a major shareholder. Real Engineers will seek to have control and ownership of any subsequent business. It is normal to use a consortium of companies on large contracts to share the technological challenges and the profits at the end of the contract.

Before you can invigorate the UK industrial economy, you first need a low-cost transport infrastructure which is why Real Engineers are concentrating on RTHs at the moment. RTHs will transform the competitiveness of the UK regions and will be the catalyst for growth of the new industries based on high technology and TI. Most of the industrial base of the UK is located in the regions which is why a low-cost RTHs will be transformational for the regional economies.


1300 GMT+1 14/10/2013 Update: It is obvious from the satellite image of the Ineos Grangemouth Plant that it is fatally flawed from a logistics point of view and cannot be made profitable by any conventional means. 


Ineos Grangemouth Plant
Zooming in on the plant one can see that the infrastructure is good and any faulty components can be replaced as required. However, it is anticipated that the Process Control System is probably obsolete by a generation. Given that the Grangemouth Plant is fundamentally flawed from an energy supply point of view, then Real Engineers agree with Ineos that it is of zero value without TI(Technology Insertion) and a dramatic new approach to its management, labour force, work practices, process control and energy supply. If the plant closes down then Real Engineers would be happy to outline its recovery plan to Ineos. If the Grangemouth Plant continues to limp along, probably with the help of  taxpayers money, then all you are doing is putting off the day of reckoning until some point in the near future. Hi-Tech intervention now could probably secure the Ineos Grangemouth Plant for another generation.

1900 GMT+1 14/10/2013 Update: Real Engineer's big CATs can swing by Hinkley Point C and do the 4.5 million cu yd earthmoving contract for Bam and Kier next April 2014 after they have finished at the Cardiff Transport Hub. The team of 10 x  CAT 657s is capable of moving 1.0 million cu yd per month in dry weather. It is doubtful if Bam and Kier have the know-how or capability to do a FF(Fast and Furious) earthmoving contract like this. Real Engineers and their friends know the bulk  earthmoving business backwards. We work to a RFT(Right First Time) policy but we do not come cheap. If you use excavators and dump trucks then 4.5 million cu yds will take forever. Just get in contact and the job is as good as done.

0445 GMT+1 15/10/2013 Update: The Packard Plant in Detroit, USA has actually attracted a bid of $21000. This bidder has got to be a Democrat because only a Democrat, who has no idea of the scale of the problem, would pay so much for a site like this. I suspect it is a spoiling bid from, possibly, Detroit City Council or one of its proxies, who have been loaned $350 million dollars by the British Bank, Barclays, for "redevelopment" projects. Joining up the dots, one can see the dead hand of the UK and US governments hanging over the Packard Plant Auction. In any case, if Detroit City Council or one of their proxies does turn out to be behind the the mysterious bidder then I think they may be acting illegally. It has got to be illegal, even in the USA, to bid at auction whilst simultaneously filing for bankruptcy. Hence all the secrecy. Check out my theory guys and gals, if you want the Packard Plant saved!

My bid for the Packard Plant in Detroit is $10, including taxes, which is much more than I am offering for a salvaged cruise liner - the Cost Concordia, the bankrupt Prestwick Airport in Scotland and a loss making oil refinery and petro-chemical plant, also in Scotland, All of these projects, for which I have feasible plans to restore the assets/businesses to profitability, are being blocked by political extremists whose ambition for their supporters seems to be abject poverty while they lead a "Chattering Class" lifestyle. They stagger from party to party, gossiping incoherently and then call it a focus group or policy research team or even more euphemistically a "think tank." What I bring to the PPRP(Packard Plant Redevelopment Project) is a concept for its future as a profitable, high technology industrial park with stunning pre-war architecture and a great deal of expertise in lateral thinking applied  to infrastructure and engineering projects of all types. Hell,  I can even raise the money for the $10 bid! Real Engineers offers to technically lead and manage a consortium of US based businesses who could supply the finance, the equipment and the workforce. We would, of course, want a big "piece of the action" at the end of the project. Using consortia to spread the technical challenge, work load and the risk is the best approach to large infrastructure projects.

Everything depends upon the citizens of Detroit and what they want to do with the Packard Plant. Do they want a new high technology industrial park based on a restored Packard Plant or do they want to demolish it? The demolition camp vainly hope that a new developer will erect some modern soulless warehouses whose only purpose would be to handle "boxes from China" as we say in the trade.  I know which project motivates me! The film rights alone would more than pay for the PPRP because I have researched its full history and a script about gangsters and politicians springs immediately to my mind spanning a period from the 1920's to the present day. However, Hollywood's recent rubbish output leads me to believe that we will not be offering the film rights to them. Those Hollywood guys and gals have got to be broke by now! The film script that I have in mind, based around the history of the Packard Plant and Detroit, will have a plot and possibly a counter plot. It will be full of dialogue and intrigue but it will definitely not be  a few unintelligible mumblings and grunts connecting the stunts together. Even a simple documentary of the restoration of the Packard Plant from the wreck it is today to a new high technology industrial park with iconic retro architecture would be worth a few million dollars.

I could even create a low-cost RTH(Regional Transport Hub) at DMWCA(Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport). The basic infrastructure all exists, it just needs joining up to create a low-cost RTH to service and stimulate the redeveloped Packard Plant Industrial Park.


Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport
The potential of DMWCA to be a low-cost RTH is obvious to anyone because it has all the required surface transport systems nearby. In addition, by examination of the satellite image, DMWCA  looks to be an easy construction project to create a low-cost RTH that would transform the viability of the PPRP. However, I expect the crazy political activists will get in the way of what is essentially a private sector project in a vain attempt to find a role in the Internet Age. Perhaps they could fix the drains!

As I have said before, if the citizens of Detroit wait for President Obama to come riding over the hill on his big white charger to fix their city, then they will wait forever. Why? Because he is flat broke just like the rest of us. If it is any consolation to Motown, exactly the same scenario exists here in the UK. Just as in the UK, nobody is going to help Detroit residents, except maybe to screw things up. They have get up off their knees and help themselves.

By the way, my idea of a "Cool CAT" probably differs drastically from those of the residents of Detroit, that is why I am good at infrastructure projects. That does not mean we cannot get along. Business is business and we could all do with a bit of the "folding stuff." A slick lawyer in a fancy suit is not going to help you clear rubble and restore the Packard Plant, but my kind of Cool CATs do that sort of work as just routine. It is a matter for the citizens of Detroit whether they want a "hand-out or a hand-up," because both are on offer but they can only chose one or the other.

To brighten your day, here is Rose Royce and Car Wash 1976. Although the film Car Wash 1976 was set in Los Angeles, I believe it still  resonates in Detroit today.

1045 GMT+1 15/10/2015 Update: Further to the £100 million bulk earthmoving contract being offered to Bam and Wier as preferred and sole bidder, Real Engineers are happy to actually do the bulk earthmoving for £90 million. Bam and Weir can supply the administrative, surveying services and carry out any ancillary work for £10 million. This gives a grand  total of £100 million as originally offered. Looking at a satellite image of the site, it is good conditions for Real Engineer's and their colleagues to operate a fleet of very large motor scrapers and their supporting equipment:

Hinkley Point Power Stations

Real Engineers would purchase a new fleet of very large bulk earthmoving equipment (big CATS) if they were assured of the contracts for the  Cardiff Transport Hub runway extension and Hinkley Point C Power Station. This sort of equipment was commonplace on the very large infrastructure projects carried out in the 1960s/70s. There are still a number of these giants around but it would be an excellent opportunity to invest in new capital equipment that would be very useful on many other infrastructure and OM(Opencast Mining)  projects in the UK replacing these ancient monsters. These big CATs are really the only way to undertake bulk earthmoving efficiently and rapidly during the drier months of the year. It is also an opportunity to train a new generation of operators of large earth-movers while the people with this know-how are still around. Otherwise these specialist skills will be lost forever. The way earthmoving is done today with excavators and dump trucks will just take forever on contracts the size of Hinkley Point C (4.5 million cu yds). Whereas by  using Real Engineer's know-how, the majority of the work can be completed next summer (2014).

The terms of Real Engineers are: £30 million up front to kick-off the project, £30 million at the halfway stage of the contract and £30 million on satisfactory completion of the project. For every wet day that we cannot work then a day is added to the end of the contract. A provision in the contract must be provided for escalating fuel costs. You can be assured that Real Engineers has the expertise in bulk earthmoving and operator skills training.

Since the contract price of the earthmoving contract at Hinkley Point C is in the public domain then Real Engineers feel they can tender for that contract in the same manner. Real Engineers like to operate in as transparent way as possible, hence the blogging.

1000 GMT+1 16/10/2013 Update: The Trade Unions at the Grangemouth Oil Refinery and Petro-Chemical Complex are desperately trying to cut a deal with the owners, namely Ineos. This is completely irrelevant to the issue at hand, which is that the whole complex is economically doomed both logistically and technologically. Every well informed person in the oil business knows this to be true. The Trade Union dispute is just unwanted "noise" in the background. 

It is far better for Ineos to "bite the bullet" now and  and upgrade every aspect of the Grangemouth Complex's operations rather than incur more debilitating losses. They would be forced to do it further down the road having wasted even more valuable capital and probably lost even more market share. Real Engineer's offer to help is genuine and they have the expertise and contacts to do a TI(Technology Insertion) programme in rapid order. Real Engineers know theoretically what needs to be done, they just need to evaluate the Grangemouth Complex on site to find the best solution. Real Engineers always have many options on the technology front and would choose the optimum solution that would preserve the future of the Grangemouth Complex, for at least the next generation. For example, there may be other solutions to Ineos' energy problems rather than expensive gas. It probably needs some lateral thinking and planning after an on-site evaluation of the Grangemouth Complex.

Dragging the Grangemouth Complex "kickin' and screamin'" into the 21st century could be used as a vehicle to demonstrate new industrial technology that would transfer well to similar operations in the UK and around the world. The important safety requirements at these type of facilities means that this kind of work must be overseen by professionals who have the expertise. It cannot be left to "cowboys." TI is by definition high technology and is not in the realm or domain of artisans.

1445 GMT+1 16/10/2013 Update: If the PPRP(Packard Plant Redevelopment Project) proposed by Real Engineers went ahead and was a success, thereby revitalising the flagging Detroit City economy, then a suitable follow-on project would be the redevelopment and refurbishment of Belle Isle Park, Detroit:

Belle Isle Park, Detroit
Real Engineer's redevelopment plan for Bell Isle Park would be to recreate it as a Fauna and Wildlife Conservation Park and to refurbish the visitor attractions to the modern standard. The business case for Real Engineer's redevelopment plan is that if the PPRP is successful then the newly prosperous workforce will need some recreational facilities and Bell Isle Park will be perfect after redevelopment.

Real Engineers understand that supplying utility services to Belle Isle Park is a heavy financial burden to Detroit City Council. Real Engineer's will address this issue for Belle Isle Park by generating it's own electricity, installing an island-based safe drinking water supply, recycling it's own grey water for washing/flushing/showering etc and recycling black water (sewerage) for either microbiology-free  irrigation water or returning to the river as river quality water also microbiology-free. This would all be done in an environmentally-friendly way and could even be a TD(Technology Demonstrator) for Green Technology. Real Engineers own all the enabling IP(Intellectual Property) for this kind of Green redevelopment.

If the Belle Isle Park redevelopment was to take place in parallel with the PPRP then a US based sponsors/consortia would have to be found. It would be much cheaper this way because the same construction team for the PPRP could simply fit  the Belle Isle Park redevelopment into their schedule. The model for the scheme would be Whipsnade Zoo in the UK, which is really a wildlife conservation park. I am extremely familiar with Whipsnade Zoo and the concept translates easily to Belle Isle Park, Detroit. If anyone in Detroit is interested in Real Engineer's concept for Belle Isle Park, then I suggest they visit Whipsnade Zoo in the UK to fully understand the idea. By the way, it is five minutes from my home.

It is worth discussing all these redevelopment projects at once because there are economies of scale to be achieved here. Detroit City Council does not have to follow any of Real Engineer's concepts, the choice is entirely theirs. The difference with Real Engineer's plans is that they do not require any taxpayer's money. We operate entirely in the private sector but we would welcome any grants that may be on offer.

0900 GMT+1 18/10/2013 Update: I have just wasted £50 replacing my original textbook on earthmoving only to find it is a dumbed-down, mathematics-free version of the original seminal textbook with comic book style illustrations to boot. The new author is at best a house-builder or at worst a novelist who knows nothing about bulk earthmoving on infrastructure projects. I can now appreciate why latter day civil engineering companies believe that excavators and dump trucks are the way to do bulk earthmoving.

I gave away my wonderful, but slightly battered, original copy of the text book on earthmoving from the 1960's to a guy in the pub who just liked to look at the pictures. Luckily, I have managed to get hold of a 1973 version of the textbook from a second hand books shop because, even though it is old, the principles and mathematics of earthmoving never change, it is only the equipment that is different. I think that by comparing this new version of the text book on earthmoving with the original version completely illustrates the dumbed down society in which we now live. It also illustrates the way many modern authors of textbooks  try to parasite their new editions on the work of iconic authors from a generation ago.

1000 GMT+1 18/10/2013 Update: The latest news on the street is that the mysterious bidder for the Packard Plant in Detroit believes that the graffiti art of Banksy et al  is worth preserving in some sort of museum setting employing nearly twenty curators. While I have no objection to Banksy and his ilk practising their graffiti art, I think they should use their own walls. In my humble opinion, the wall is worth more than the graffiti art.  A so-called art gallery in Detroit has actually stolen a wall from the Packard Plant with one of Banksy's graffiti murals on it. In an earlier blog, I am on record as advising the owner to let the art gallery keep Banksy's graffiti art but they must return the stolen wall to the Packard Plant because it is an important artefact.

I am not the only one who thinks that Banksy's graffiti art is valueless daubing (by criminal activity?), as many outraged people and artists in New York paint over is latest offerings as soon as he completes them. If the people of Detroit also think that Banksy et al  graffiti art at the Packard Plant is also completely and utterly worthless, as I do, then a similar action would be appropriate. The fear on my part is that these crazy admirers of graffiti want to preserve the graffiti rather than restore the Packard Plant to its original glory but this time as a high technology business/industrial park. By the way, the Packard Pant  was a high technology business/industrial park when it was originally built in 1903-1911 and the first example of modern industrial architecture for mass production  by the pioneering Albert Khan. I think the admirers of graffiti art have an entirely different agenda and the secrecy of the latest bidder for the Packard Plant confirms my suspicions. The admirers of graffiti art believe that the graffiti is worth more than the architecture of the Packard Plant and I believe the exact opposite. They have all got to be drinkin', dopin' or smokin' something, because their brains are dysfunctional, in my opinion!!!

It is my considered opinion that  Banksy's et al graffiti art is exactly what it says, namely graffiti. They are simply worthless daubs that cannot be displayed in any art gallery. It is actually a misnomer to call it art. Graffiti actually hurts my eyes every time I travel into London and see it  defacing walls at the side of the railway line. It is a symbol of the ghetto which devalues the property in your neighbourhood and reminds us all of poverty and violence of the past that should have been ended years ago. If Banksy was a real artist then he would paint his graffiti art on a medium that could be shown in art galleries throughout the world but instead he operates in the dead of night on someone else's property. Even his home city of Bristol, UK,  which he defaces on a regular basis, wishes he would stay in the USA forever. Creating a monument to graffiti at the Packard Plant will only encourage a new generation to deface our cities.

Unfortunately for us in the UK, Banksy has the support, and I understand the patronage, of those pseudo art experts who believe the exhibitions of the unmade bed, the pile coal/tyres/bricks and the flashing light at the Tate Modern in the UK were all examples of installation art. These so-called examples of installation art at the Tate Modern would be best removed to another location (preferably a skip) and the gallery returned to its original use as a power station, which London so desperately needs this winter and further into the future to support electric vehicles. This is just my opinion and others may take a different/opposite view, which I believe to be completely erroneous.

 To be absolutely clear, I believe that  graffiti  has negative value because it costs a fortune to remove it from the walls of public and private property. If I was the new owner of the Packard Plant, I would remove all the graffiti as a first priority because it is defacing a work art, namely the Packard Plant buildings, the best of which could be restored to their original stunning beauty.

Now, where did I put my steam cleaner???

1330 GMT+1 18/10/2013 Update: This is what the admirers of graffiti call  installation art. I call it installation scrap or even crap. I do understand installation art, but you cannot put your art on some else's property without their permission. They now seek to preserve this pile of rubble for posterity which will do nothing to enhance the image of Detroit. Clearing away the rubble, the basic structure of the Packard Plant buildings are revealed to be  in reasonable condition and perfect for restoration to their original iconic status. The rubble could be dumped in the installation artist's backyard for him/her to rearrange at their leisure.

One the admirers of the graffiti and rubble at the Packard Plant claims to have been "inspired" by Dylan Thomas. But we all know that being "inspired" has a different meaning in the USA to the rest of the world. If the citizens of Detroit want to preserve the graffiti and rubble of the Packard Plant, then so be it. However, if they would like to create a high technology business/industrial park, potentially employing thousands of people,  with the best Packard Plant buildings and the railway station restored, then my advice is to get down to the Packard Plant and start clearing away the graffiti and the rubble. Otherwise a new, unknown owner with unknown intentions, may try to preserve the crap/graffiti/rubble/scrap for posterity thus guaranteeing Detroit's continual decline.

I have been completely open about my ideas for the Packard Plant and indeed Belle Isle Park plus the potential of Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport as a low-cost RTH(Regional Transport Hub). I have even set out how all these Detroit infrastructure developments would be achieved. It is time for the mysterious bidder(s) for the Packard Plant to declare their intentions before the biggest mistake, in a long line of mistakes, is made by Detroit City Council. I have a great suspicion of anything that is shrouded in secrecy and especially of those who creep about in the dark or behind the scenes hidden from public scrutiny.

1100 GMT+1 19/10/2013 Update: This incredibly good performance, in terms of profit, by Google given that the rates for advertising are very low can only mean that their "on-click" (hyperlink) advertising must be exceedingly profitable. If this is the case, then the website that provides the "click" is due the lion's share of the advertising revenue and not others who simply insert the  advertisement. Legally, the website that provides the "click" initiates the advertising and without that website they would be no "click" ergo that website owns the revenue originating from its webpage.

Google et al actually parasite their unsolicited advertising on someone else's webpage. Although the likes of Google are showing record profits, they are also incurring record liabilities which every man and his dog will test in court in the very near future. Google et al lawyers cannot help them because they do not understand how the Internet works and their engineers do not understand how the law works. For me, it is like a discovering a gold mine that replenishes itself  because once I explain, in lay terms, to a judge how on-click advertising works then I am guaranteed a vast income stream from my blogs.

0700 GMT+1 20/10/2013 Update: I have just spotted the downside for the graffiti and installation art admirers who want to create a museum of worthless art at the Packard Plant, Detroit. There is a caretaker in the Packard Plant, presumably left behind by some previous owner, who has been in residence more than seven years and therefore has rights of occupancy. It is going to take the WAM(Worthless Art Museum) team millions of dollars and ten years to get the old guy out. Even the demolition team have a problem because there are still residents in the nearby housing and it does not look good on TV if one throws old ladies out in the street.

The other downside for the graffiti fans is that many of the images and slogans at the Packard Plant promote Nazism. Therefore, why would anyone  want to preserve them? Unless one was a supporter of Nazism, of course! See what I mean, got to be smokin' something!

2000 GMT+1 20/10/2013 Update: Check out this story for accuracy. When I did a virtual tour of Belle Isle Park the other day there was not a living thing on the island bigger than a squirrel. In any case the idea of caged animals in a zoo is a complete anathema to anyone who has even the most  basic understanding of wildlife conservation. This song, Born Free, from the film of the same name by Matt Monro expresses very accurately the principles of operation of a Wildlife Conservation Park.

In addition, if that paint-job is a $1 million refurbishment then Detroit City Council has got to be corrupt or naive or both.

0645 GMT+1 21/10/2013 Update: This is what a Wildlife Conservation Park looks like. Note the natural setting for the animals in contrast to a conventional zoo. Belle Isle Park has the potential to be bigger, better and more beautiful than even the outstanding Whipsnade Zoo. We have all the experts here in the UK if Detroit needs any help in turning Belle Isle Park into a Fauna and Wildlife Conservation Park. Real Engineers would be happy to coordinate a consortium of US based companies to create the Belle Isle Fauna and Wildlife Conservation Park and add the Green Technology to make it self-sufficient. Of course, this would be a private sector venture with the consortium members taking a minority shareholding  in a new operating company with a provisional working name of  BIP. It could even be a charitable institution.

1030 GMT+1 21/10/2013 Update: As part of winter contingency planning, for Scotland and elsewhere in the UK, Real Engineers have identified the major components of a specialist road convoy for fuel/food deliveries in adverse weather conditions, especially to remote locations/farms. The specialist convoy vehicles are available in small, medium and large versions and do need some work to make them road legal. They could be available within a 1-2 months from Real Engineers receiving an order. The fuel/food convoy is self-sufficient and consists of a snow clearing component(s), long distance, high volume fuel tanker(s) and local delivery fuel tanker(s)/food trucks. The fuel/food convoy can form the spearhead of much larger conventional vehicle convoy to keep things moving in extreme weather on major roads.

Real Engineer's terms are payments in advance, which is normal for contingency work because suppliers need prompt payment if they are give a fast turnaround. It would be possible for Real Engineers to undertake the whole contingency plan working in collaboration with regional governments/local councils. A spin-off of this project would be an emergency  runway snow clearance team that could be deployed to airports affected by extreme weather to support the airport's own snow clearance team. To be effective the emergency snow clearance team would have to be located within 150 miles of the airport it supports.

It is probably a little late in the year for Real Engineer's to obtain the necessary operators licences and operating centres but collaboration/merger/takeover with/of local transport companies could be made to work, if they were willing to be re-trained on what would be high-technology road vehicles. Real Engineers always prefers to work with SMEs. There is enough slack in the Road Transport industry for this kind of emergency operation to work. Real Engineers have already researched the contingency plan for snow clearance and fuel/food delivery in bad weather during the last two years because we are well aware of changing weather patterns in the UK.

1400 GMT+1 21/10/2013 Update: There is an old saying in Project Management: "An emergency or contingency on my part is caused by a lack of planning or foresight on your part!" Why wait until winter to do the winter contingency preparations? This is why I worry about the UK. "Don't worry old chap, it will be all right on the night."

0730 GMT+1 22/10/2013 Update: I am now convinced the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, does not know his AGR(Advanced Gas-cooled Reactor) from his elbow and he thinks a Fast Breeder is a guy/gal from the ghettos with 15 kids. David Cameron comes from that class of people who actually think that if something costs more then it must be better. Therefore, he orders a top-of-the-range nuclear power station from EDF to be built as Hinckley Point C for about £14 billion and coming on-stream in 20 years time. It is the type of thinking that believe famous brands are better quality than less well know brands and therefore they command a premium. For example, Branston Baked Beans(UK) taste far better and are much cheaper than Heinz Baked Beans(USA) but unluckily for Branston they do not have a lobbyist in the White House at the President's side. This has got to be "Beangate".

I hear you cry: "OK, put your money where mouth is and tell us all how you would design the reactors for Hinkley Point C?" The answer is that I would not. I would use my skills as a System Engineer to specify  and order the components as follows:
  1. I would specify and order a COTS(Commercial Off The Shelf) version of the Small Nuclear Reactor - Steam Turbine combination  as fitted to the UK's Astute class submarines from Roll Royce. My specification would include the ability to skid mount the combination and the design of a primary radiation containment structure to protect users from any radiation leaks in the case of an nuclear incident;
  2. I would specify and order a gearbox- generator combination from Caterpillar (who have a big presence in the UK through there subsidiary Perkins Diesels) that could be close-coupled to the output shaft of the Steam Turbine;
  3. I would specify and order from Caterpillar the skid, for mounting the SNPR(Small Nuclear Powered Reactor) and Control Room Instrumentation for the whole system. The complete system could be installed on site in the secondary radiation containment structure to be built at Hinkley Point C.
  4. EDF and the Nuclear Engineering Inspectors would oversee all safety concerns;
  5. The prototype SNPG could be built and tested at Rolls Royce who already have the test facilities. Rolls Royce could then create an assembly line for SNPGs thereby reducing costs even further. The completed SNPGs could be transported to Hinkley Point C for installation by road and/or rail as an oversize load.
The key factor in this project is being able to source and specify every component in the SNPG system so that the end product works reliably and efficiently.This requires top-class, multi-disciple Systems Engineers which I am afraid a very few and far between these days. But to them this sort of work is just an engineering version of "Lego."

The SNPG project as a whole is development work rather than research because the basic technology already exists. It is a matter of adaptation rather that creating an SNPG from scratch. The SNPG that I propose has the following advantages:
  1. It would be extremely cheap to manufacture an array of SNPGs with the same electrical output as the current proposal for the Hinkley Point C reactors compared to their present price tag;
  2. SNPGs would be inherently safer because the primary radiation containment structure would ensure that they could be easily and safely removed from the secondary radiation containment structure to a decommissioning facility elsewhere;
  3. The reactor proposed for the SNPGs is already approved by the Nuclear Safety Authorities;
  4. The initial capital costs of the SNPGs are comparatively small and the running costs are equally small when compared to the reactors in the current Hinkley Point C proposal;
  5. Hinkley Point C, once completed with an array of SNPGs, would probably produce electricity without the need for subsidy;
  6. The SNPGs could be phased into the existing design for Hinkley Point C because they will not be required for several years and in any case the reactor already has safety approval;
  7. SNPGs maximise the work on Hinkley Point C by UK companies;
  8. Hinkley Point C would be an order of magnitude safer and Greener than the current, outdated proposed designs;
  9. Nuclear Safety Instrumentation would be part of the small reactor package designed by Polls Royce and probably already exists in submarine format.
  10. The small reactor that Rolls Royce has designed actually consumes radioactive material over time. Therefore it can be used to "burn off" much of the reprocessed radioactive material being produced at Sellafield/Thorpe for which there is no use and no long term storage facilitates. In this way the SNPG is Greener, safer, more economic and a much more attractive investment.
  11. The SNPG allows decommissioned Nuclear Power Stations to be recycled and brought back on-line in a manner that almost everyone can support;
  12. In addition, the SNPG will win export orders for UK industry and can be used to kick-start the UK economy in a way that would even be acceptable to the Green Lobby;
  13. SNPGs would also be a quick fix for countries such as Germany who have committed to Green Energy with their escalating costs. SNPGs are Green Energy with declining energy costs. It is simply a "Game Changer" in the energy market place;
  14. Combining the UKs know-how in SNPGs with EDF's (and others) know-how of large Nuclear Power Stations would allow all those decommission Nuclear Power Stations, that at the moment are scheduled for demolition, to be recycled.
This sort of NPSR(Nuclear Power Station Recycling) project is very attractive to Real Engineers because it fits in very nicely with their proposals for SR(Ship Recycling) and MER(Military Equipment Recycling). All these recycling projects depend on top-down design and TI(Technology Insertion) in order to be effective. This is where Real Engineers excel by having their expert consultants at the top of a consortium of companies which actually do the work. Real Engineers  specify, source and direct the projects at every level thus ensuring a successful outcome whilst the bean counters do the work in which they excel  i.e. checking the cash flow in real time. Always assuming that they can actually use Real Engineers' computers.

1015 GMT+1 22/10/2013 Update: I do enjoy Conspiracy Theories, as do many engineers,  for their entertainment value and amusement. It does not mean I believe in them. It only means I know about them. As I have said before, Conspiracy Theories are only a problem if they happen to be true.

The latest Conspiracy Theory plus a joke is so ridiculously funny that in today's crazy world of politics it almost rings true. It goes like this (remember this is faction):
  • The former catchphrase - "Beanz Meanz Heinz" - has now been modified by some witty political commentator to - Heinz Meanz Bungz" (which is the joke);
  • The new catchphrase is intended to show how big multi-nationals, such as Heinz, make party political donations in exchange for influence;
  • The Conspiracy Theory is that Heinz have placed "their man" at the heart of the US government to protect their commercial interests abroad;
  • Why? Because the UK is the world's biggest market for baked beans. It is almost a staple food in the poorer regions of the UK and Heinz' dominant market share is being challenged by lower priced competitors such as Branston;
  • Hence we now have "Beangate!"
I cannot help being highly amused by such a ridiculous Conspiracy Theory. But I leave it as an exercise for the reader to test the truth or otherwise of this latest Conspiracy Theory.

1100 GMT+1 22/10/2013 Update: I am a great believer in the military strategy of turning "Adversity into Advantage" and the Grangemouth Complex technology/labour crisis is a golden opportunity to deploy such a strategy. Half the workforce have agreed the new terms for the Grangemouth plant therefore every effort should be made to reinstate them. The militant part of the workforce, including the trade union officials, should be unloaded forthwith. If the part of the workforce who have signed the new employment terms, and therefore have a grip of reality, have enough skills to restart the Grangemouth Complex then it is up to Ineos to decide whether this option is viable.

The other option is to leave the giant complex in its current state and push ahead with TI(Technology Insertion) and retraining of the realistically minded part of the workforce that have agreed terms. In my opinion, there is no future for the former militant employees and their leaders at a resurgent Grangemouth Complex after TI because they neither have the skills or are able to be retrained in new technology that the plant so desperately needs.

The latest close up pictures/videos I have of the Grangemouth Complex  indicate that parts of the plant are a "bit of a rust bucket" and in need of major surgery as well as TI. Real Engineers offers to lead a consortium of Inios, other Scottish companies/suppliers and researchers in a FF(Fast and Furious) TI and retraining programme with a target date of re-opening the plant in about 1-2 years. This time as an efficient state-of-the-art refinery and petrochemicals complex. As a  reward for the successful TI project at the Grangemouth Complex, Real Engineers would require 60% of the new company. If the Grangemouth Complex was able to be restarted with its compliant/realistic workforce then Real Engineers would start to make a simulation of the current operation of  the existing plant so that it can be used as a good  starting point for the design  new Grangemouth Complex with TI. I think there would be about 6 - 12 PhDs in such a project, possibly more, whichever way it was tackled.

Carrying out the TI work in parallel with a working Grangemouth Complex would be more difficult, take longer and cost more. However, if the Grangemouth Complex TI project and staff retraining programme qualified for an EU Infrastructure grant because of its importance to the future Scottish industrial  economy, as I believe it does, then I think the costs of the whole project would be extremely viable and show an excellent return on the investment. I think a private sector solution would be much better than public(taxpayer) ownership which does not have a great track record in any part of the UK.

1915 GMT+1 22/10/2013 Update: An academic on the the BBC News Report from the Grangemouth Complex estimates the effect of a permanent shut down of the operation to be -2% of Scottish GDP(Gross Domestic Product). Whilst this may be true for the Grangemouth Complex on its own, I estimate that the knock-on effect, to suppliers and in increased energy costs, would be nearer -10% of Scottish GDP in total. But, more importantly, the damage to Scotland's image as a modern industrial nation would be incalculable.

I have identified at least 6 other oil refineries in the UK, that are either running at a loss or closed, which could benefit from a TI(Technology Insertion) programme prototyped at the  Grangemouth Complex. Several of the closed oil refineries that I have identified in the UK also have the same problems with logistics as the Grangemouth plant. Therefore, a solution for TI and logistics at Grangemouth would translate easily to other refineries and petrochemical plants in the UK and beyond. One of the key issues to be addressed at Grangemouth is the high energy consumption which is one the major factors having a negative impact on the plant's viability,

The more I hear of the involvement of politicians and the militancy of the trade union, the more I think that there will be a fudged solution to Grangemouth's horrendous technical/logistical/labour force problems. A golden opportunity to set down a marker for the future direction of Scottish industry may be missed. It is far better to be brutally frank about the future viability of the  Grangemouth Complex and let everyone know where they stand, rather than use mealy mouthed words and make promises that cannot be fulfilled. Difficult decisions are by definition.............difficult!

0700 GMT+1 23/10/2013 Update: I have finally found something to cheer up the workforce at Grangemouth Complex on this important day. The Black Watch shows us all how to do a march past. Note that even the old lady at the end of the video is impressed, and that takes some doing!

0050 GMT+1 24/10/2013 Update: The future of the Grangemouth Complex is not clear at the moment,  with political wrangling on all sides holding up the much need upgrade of the whole plant by TI(Technology Insertion). I will be "running silent" on the subject until the dust settles and the way forward becomes clearer.

1045 GMT+1 25/10/2013 Update: Timely good news for NI and the proposed SRF(Ship Recycling Facility) with a major player, Caterpillar, up-scaling its capability in the region. We are all just waiting for the Costa Concordia to show up and we are ready to rock 'n' roll.

What a wonderful achievement by the NI First Minister, Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness in being able to negotiate and secure this outstanding inward investment from such a global company as Caterpillar!

0340 GMT+1 26/10/2013 Update: Here is a quick tutorial for all those people who are not familiar with the Cold War and who think controlling nuclear power is just another App: The dramatic and devastating true story of K-19.

There was only one good thing about the Cold War - it kept everybody sharp!

0700 GMT+1 26/10/2013 Update: If the hull of the former USS Enterprise (CVN-65) is still seaworthy after the removal of the reactors and other equipment at HII, Newport News, USA, then Real Engineer's offers to recycle the ship is still valid. Just to remind everyone, Real Engineers offered to recycle CVN-65 using COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf) TI(Technology Insertion) as a TD(Technology Demonstrator) for MER(Military Equipment Recycling). If HII is agreeable, then after a satisfactory hull inspection, CVN-65 could be towed back to the UK by the same team that is hopefully delivering the Costa Concordia to NI. All the necessary components for for MER of CVN-65 are either already available in COTS form or are in the development pipeline e.g. the SNPG(Small Nuclear Powered Generator). CVN-65 is such a long vessel that the use of a floating dry dock would probably be needed in the UK.

On the business side, then Real Engineers will lead a consortium of companies with the required technology and financial muscle to execute such a large project, should it go ahead. Real Engineers would want the majority stake (around 60%) in the MER company in order to cut across the bureaucracy of any big companies who wish to participate. Real Engineers prefers to deal with SMEs for their technology, flexibility and efficiency. Therefore Real Engineers will impose the same method of operation on any large company participating in the MER consortium. Real Engineers will operate in an on-cost, on-time disciplined manner and will expect the same from all other collaborators/suppliers.

1100 GMT 28/10/2013 Update: Everybody knows that engineering work on British Railways is done at the weekend. The proposed work on the East Coast Mainline would have to done whether we have HS2 or not. The problem is that we can afford to upgrade the East Coast mainline or we could afford to build HS2, but not both, in the current economic climate. Therefore the choice is between a railway system for the rich, namely HS2, or a railway for everyone, namely the East Coast Mainline.

The East Coast Mainline has a great deal of straight track, where very high speeds could be achieved. The upgrading of the rest of the track would be very straightforward. Using LTT(Long Train Technology) from Real Engineers a 50 car passenger train could average over 100 mph from London to Inverness on the East Cost Mainline carrying 4500 passengers. LTT does not need any new technology or track and its locomotives would be significantly cheaper to run, with lower overall emissions,  than electric locomotives. A freight service of LTT configuration 50-100 wagons could average at least 70 mph over the same route.

0715 GMT 02/11/2013 Update: My vote is that Banksy is a 22 carat Jerk. Why? Because the word-on-the-street is that the NSA HD satellite video sequence angled at 30 degrees elevation from the other side of the lake shows that this is actually a reverse portrait of Banksy being painted by somebody else who has yet to be identified. Does anyone have any further information on this interesting Conspiracy Theory? I cannot believe it can be true!

 If any part of this rumour does prove to be true, then the NSA video would be a priceless historical artefact, while for Banksys "art"(misnomer), as always, it is the medium on which it is painted that is worth more than his daubing. In this case, the paper/parchment medium can usefully be recycled as a fire-lighter and the Tate Modern, London, would probably give him about $1 for the frame.

2015 GMT 07/11/2013 Update: The workers at Portsmouth Dockyard are pawns in a bigger political game being played out in Scotland. It is not easy to envisage the future of such an old dockyard as Portsmouth other than as a Naval Museum. Perhaps their future will become clearer after the Scottish question is finally settled.

The Costa Concordia seems to have disappeared, presumably en-route to somewhere, because I cannot see her in Giglio, Siciliy or Belfast. However, this website shows the Costa Concordia still at Giglio. I doubt if we will see the Costa Concordia in Belfast any time soon, if at all, knowing who is involved in the salvage. Any subsequent film of the project will be a travesty of the truth, in my opinion, if  the latest version of the Titanic made in 1997 is to be a guide. It is amazing how many poor films have received Oscars over the years. But one person's poor film is another person's marvellous piece of art,  probably the same people who think Banksy is an artist.

Real Engineers have already moved on and we advise everyone else to do the same. When politics interfere with private enterprise the result is always disaster.

1400 GMT 17/11/2013 Update: This and this are what I call "flying by the seat of your pants in a Typhoon." Not bad BAe, plus the RAF, of course! Back to base at Mach 2+ just in time for breakfast. Can anybody beat that?

1045 GMT 18/11/2013 Update: Did the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, really come home without the deal for 60 Typhoons from the UAE in the bag? I doubt if he could sell water in the desert never mind Typhoons to Arabs. Show those UAE pilots those two videos of the Typhoon at Mach Loop Wales (above) and they will be begging to buy the aircraft and the honour to train/compete at Mach Loop Wales.

0545 GMT 19/11/2013 Update: If you are wondering what is "going down" at Mach Loop Wales then this and this should explain. It is a different kind of vacation at the Mach Loop Wales..........if you are good enough!

This is what is called "low flying music"  from the film 633(617 in reality) Squadron about their famous World War II mission which ends with the immortal line "you can't kill a squadron". But we have learned the lessons well.

By the way, 617 Squadron WWII was a special operations squadron made up of the best pilots from the Commonwealth and had nothing to do with the USA as the director tried to indicated by the ES(Eagle S**t) patches in the film. The film is just another example of Hollywood's "theft of UK history" and I agree with the critics of the time who said the only good things about the film were the music and the flying.

The way 617 Squadron traditionally flies will certainly stress out the F-35 Lightning II and I will be looking forward to comparing its performance with the Typhoon and the Tornado at next year's (2014) Mach Loop Wales.

Real Engineers can offer you a nice line in recycled Tomcats and Tornados that will simply fly the F-35 Lightening II into the ground (literally). Real Engineers have developed a real (not simulated) "game" for Mach Loop Wales called "Storm Chasers or Activités Non Triviaux" to prove their products. It is anticipated that the Typhoon will be the only one of the current military aircraft around that will be able to keep pace. Last time, Baby? I don't think so!!!!

To the informed military observer, there is a huge amount of information in the videos linked to above. I can explain all....... because I am an engineer!!!

0700 GMT 20/11/2013 Update: This is the original English Electric Lightning which was the UK's frontline interceptor in the 1960s/70s/80s. It was a real brute of an aircraft that had a top speed of Mach 2 ....... getting there in a hurry. Its rate of climb is still an official secret. Except for range, the EE Lightning outperforms it namesake, the F-35 Lightening II, in every aspect of performance even though it was designed in the 1950s.

A typical mission for the EE Lightning in those days would be to scramble at the crack of dawn at RAF Lakenheath, "flooring it" at Mach 2 up "Bang Alley" (North Sea) to intercept an incoming  "Big Bear" (Russian Bomber) over the North of Scotland in less than 15 minutes. Then give Boris(Russian pilot) a wave and send him on his way "Back to the USSR." On the return leg, sometimes one of the boys would fly upside down 10 feet above runway at RAF Bentwaters (USAF) just to give them a 7.00 am wakeup call and then back to RAF Lakenheath for the "Full English"(Breakfast).

The true story above is why people like me thought the simulated flying in Star Wars was a bit "ordinaire" and that the current F-35 Lightning II with its one engine is pathetic. The BAe Typhoon is the only current military aircraft that comes close to the performance of the EE Lightning. However, in the past the Tomcats and Tornados were "not bad," both of which were designed out of the lessons learned from the Vietnam War that, sadly, have been forgotten.

If you do not believe my story about the EE Lightning then check with some former pilots, who must be still around. By the way, "beating up" or "buzzing" the opposition's airfield was how the RAF and USAF kept sharp in the Cold War era.

1200 GMT 20/11/2013 Update: In these days of economic stress one way to save money is to have a policy of only buying MRCV(Multi Role Combat Vehicles) that can be deployed seamlessly to air, ground, sea operations. This simplifies the military equipment inventory substantially with equally substantial cost savings. If you regard a MRCV as a weapons platform then it can easily be re- configured on a mission by mission basis.

A good example of an MRCV is an MRCA(Multi Role Combat Aircraft) which simply uses a different weapons payload depending on the mission. The perfect MRCA is the final version of the Tornado which even now could be recycled into a high performance all-weather day and night MRCA that would outperform most military aircraft around today with formidable, battle proven performance.

The only new aircraft that comes close to the requirement of a true MRCA is the BAe Typhoon whose MRCA credentials will be met shortly when all the required weapons payloads have completed their field trials. The BAe Typhoon is the only aircraft in the world that can match the Tornado's performance at Mach Loop Wales. It has now proved itself as a rugged MRCA with the potential of carrier deployment after some modifications to aid take-off and landing, which could be easily and quickly implemented in a FF(Fast Furious) design and development program. The BAe Typhoon is the only true MRCA on the market with a 21st century performance and its ease of handling puts it into the top class of all time great combat aircraft.

As a bonus for buyers of the Typhoon, Real Engineers will offer to recycle suitable their older MRCAs, such as the Tornado, to match the performance of the BAe Typhoon whilst substantially increasing the commonality of major components. This dramatically reduces the spare parts inventory thus giving substantial operational cost savings. Real Engineers would share with buyers of the BAe Typhoon their training program called Storm Chasers or Activités Non Triviales at various Mach Loops. Real Engineers believe that BAe would be happy to take part in the recycling consortium for the Tornado because it substantially increases the total value of the work for them but does not distract them from the vital MRCA Typhoon development and manufacturing work.

By the way, if you are a pilot who likes aerobatics then this is what you get to play with when you buy a BAe Typhoon. Don't you just love those afterburner turns?

0630 GMT 21/11/2013 Update: Those of you who were dismayed, as I was, by the slow aid response to the the recent EWE(Extreme Weather Event) in the Philippines should study this tutorial on how the incredible Lockheed Galaxy C-5 was developed as part of the total logistics system for the extremely difficult Vietnam war. The Galaxy C-5 project was very prophetic in many ways about future conflicts/disasters and it was an impressive feat of technology back  in the 1960s/1970s. It is the long range and all-weather, any runway capability of the Galaxy C-5 that sets it apart from all other HLA(Heavy Lift Aircraft) in the West. Of course, the Ukrainians have their Antonov 225 and 124s.

A recycled Lockheed Galaxy C-5 would be able to take-off and land on a 1500 metre dry dirt/grass or wet asphalt/concrete runaway, fully loaded. It is a prime target for recycling by COTS(Commercial Off The Shelf) TI(Technology Insertion) with many of the parts and components available already in COTS form from Lockheed. The engines would have to go, I cannot stand all that whining! The fully loaded range of the recycled Lockheed Galaxy C-5 would be 8000+kms(5000+miles).

By the way, a recycled and converted Galaxy C-5 would make an excellent combined  AWACs and over-water search radar aircraft with outstanding endurance and capability. However, for carrier deployment the radomes would have to be translated to smaller STOL aircraft which do actually exist.

1630 GMT 21/11/2013 Update: This story is an unbelievable coincidence. Everyone in the aviation business knows that if you de-rate the payload then you can use a shorter runway. The trick the Galaxy C-5 and the Antonov 225/124 do is to execute a short take-off and landing whilst fully loaded. In this context a short runway is about 2000-2600 metres, depending upon conditions. Remember you also have to de-rate the payload for runway altitude and ambient temperature as well as runway length. It should be noted that these massive transport aircraft do not normally execute a full power take-off. It is only used when required.

The point I was making about the Galaxy C-5, if it was recycled with new engines, then the runway roll would be considerably shorter given a much better thrust to weight ratio. This performance upgrade can be done with the Galaxy C-5 because it is such a rugged aircraft.

The Boeing Dreamlifter should be able to take-off from Jabara Airport because its payload is already substantially de-rated in terms of fuel. This is because the Dreamlifter is near the end of its journey. The engineers will have to do some calculations to make sure. Otherwise they will have to remove some of the cargo.

0715 GMT 22/11/2013 Update: The Boeing Dreamlifter has taken off from Jabara Airport and I strongly suspect leaving behind much of its payload, if indeed it had a full payload  in the first place, judging by the take-off roll. However, the ball game at Sochi-Adler Airport will be significantly different because of possibility of vicious crosswinds. This is what a crosswind can do to your landing and it is not much fun. Very large aircraft are theoretically more stable in a crosswind, depending on their design, but in this case a heavy landing can be mechanically very damaging to the aircraft's undercarriage. At Sochi-Adler Airport the alternate runway to mitigate the effects of the crosswinds is even shorter. Sochi-Adler Airport is constrained by surrounding infrastructure that inhibits its development, just as many other airports around the world did not anticipate the development of these long-roll aircraft. Safety margins at many airports around the world are less than zero for these very large aircraft, which I believe rely too much on the skill of the pilot.

I know many of you out there in Cyberspace say that I am a liar and I do not know what I am talking about on most subjects, but being abused by "crackheads" does not count for anything in this world. The real experts will check my statements and find that they are true in at least 90% of cases. Not a bad strike-rate for an old "coffin dodger!" However, I am merely an Engineer. What do I know?

0900 GMT 22/11/2013 Update: One of the reasons that the Americans are the most hated people on earth is because their elite are the most boastful people on the planet. I am not anti-American because I really enjoyed all my many visits to the US and found everyone very friendly but I must admit I have never been to Washington DC.

My challenge to all those boastful Americans from the ES(Eagle S**t) of 633 squadron fame, in which they claim to have shown us poor old Brits how to do low flying, is for a squadron of American pilots in  F-15 Strike Eagles, or any other currently deployed aircraft, to match a squadron of RAF Typhoons or  squadron of RAF Tornados (if they are not already retired) at Mach Loop Wales. You had better not be on dope or they will be scraping you off one of the hillsides in North Wales. Fast and Low gets the job done! Why? Because the SAMs(Surface to Air Missile) do not have a chance to lock-on and the defenders on the ground can hear you coming but cannot see you until it is far too late. You are low enough when the altimeter reads zero and you find grass and twigs in your intakes when you land.  My tutorial on Hi-Lo-Hi mission tactics and optimisation of all the available MRCA technologies is pretty good, even though I do say it myself. How do I know all this stuff? Because I am an engineer and I have studied it.

By the way, the reason that the US stopped low flying in Vietnam was because of the high attrition rate, which in turn was caused by their idea of low flying to be 1000+ feet. This allowed the Russian made SAMs time to "lock-on." Also ill-judged use of the afterburner on F4 Phantoms in Vietnam just helped things along for the Russian SAMs. It was just a "Turkey Shoot" for the Vietcong. Ask Senator John McCain if you want verification. Today there is much disinformation about the Vietnam War because people who were involved have convenient memories and are "economical with the truth."

The last straw for people like me is to have BS(Blanket Surveillance) imposed on me by my own government at the request of the NSA. It is time these people in London and Washington were told some harsh home truths because they are so disconnected from their respective countries that they do not realise what is happening outside their own capitals. Hence they have a blinkered vision of their own country, not realising that their friends in these global behemoth companies have been complacent for the last 25 years and have not been aware that many other parts of the world have overtaken them in terms of technology. You cannot party for more than a generation and still expect to be on top. That's dopey thinking!

0945 GMT 23/11/2013 Update: To get back to a sensible engineering topic. If you are a good civil engineer and examine my aerial view of Sochi-Adler Airport then you will be able to see that the main and alternate runway can be quickly extended in the form of a temporary asphalt or concrete runway. The temporary runway extensions would provide a safety run off on landing and an extended  run up to the main runway for take-off, but only for large transport aircraft, with low ground pressure undercarriages, such as the Galaxy C-5. the Antonov 225/ 124 and even the old, but wonderful, Hercules transport.

I would recommend for the runway extensions at Sochi-Adler Airport that you simply excavate a 1 meter deep, runway-wide channel at the end of each runway, making sure you are down to firm subsoil or rock, and then backfill it with 0.5 metre of ballast and top it out with 0.5 metre of asphalt or concrete. whichever is easiest. I estimate that with my 10 x CAT 657s and all their support equipment that these temporary extensions could be achieved in 1-2 months, depending on the weather. These temporary extensions to both runways at Sochi-Adler Airport would be perfectly adequate for normal landing and take-off roll but would not be suitable as touchdown areas.

For wide-bodied, civilian passenger aircraft, the only ones that I know with anything approaching STOL capability are the Vickers VC10 and the Lockheed Tristar both of which a either retired or on the verge of retirement.These two aircraft have the necessary excellent handling capabilities which are essential for Sochi-Adler Airport. Otherwise you have to use smaller, feeder aircraft which get blown about dangerously in crosswinds.

Those people responsible for Sochi-Adler Airport need not take my advice, but it is offered in a constructive, well-meaning way. I am only pointing out the worst case scenario at Sochi-Adler, which a good engineer always considers first.

1630 GMT 23/11/2013 Update: End of the road (or the runway) for Scotland's Prestwick Airport as the dead hand of nationalisation takes over? It is another masterstroke of negative progress by the Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond, following on from his destruction of the future of Grangemouth, which is still losing at least £10 million per month. In political terms, these actions are called kicking the problems of Prestwick Airport and the Grangemouth Complex  into the "long grass" for some other poor soul to deal with at in the future. Unfortunately for Scotland, venture capitalists will probably be looking to invest elsewhere by then.

This is all political manoeuvring by the Scottish First Minister as he desperately tries to hold together his lost dream of independence. None of these two latest transactions/interventions make any commercial sense! Alex Salmond thinks he can prevent these Scottish businesses falling into the hands of what he perceives to be unfriendly Sassenachs until after the independence vote.  However, I think the current dire economic pressures will defeat him in these retrograde ventures, just as he will be defeated at the ballot box in an equally backward step for Scotland. The Internet has made national boundaries and indeed national governments irrelevant, especially for small countries such as Scotland.

As I keep saying, in these difficult economic times you only get one chance of inward investment. Prestwick Airport and the Grangemouth Complex are unlikely to get another chance because fundamental problems that led to their unprofitable operation  have simply not been addressed. This is what happens when politicians interfere in private enterprise and I am afraid the end result is always the same, but in these two cases, probably after the Scottish independence vote.

0830 GMT 24/11/2013 Update: As a UK pensioner and taxpayer I now find that I am not only paying for my own BS(Blanket Surveillance) but I am now funding the First Minister, Alex Salmond's, misguided commercial activities in Scotland as he tries to prop up his lost cause of Scottish independence. Alex Salmond responds to any difficult situation, as do all far left extremists, by throwing money at the problem, in true Tony Blair fashion. Vainly hoping that it will have some positive effect.

The difficulty for me is that almost always OPM(Other People's Money) is used by proliferates such as  Alex Salmond and some of it may be mine. However, I do not support his cause and he does not have my permission to use any of my taxes in support his futile, unrealistic dreams. Dreamers, such as Alex Salmond, cannot face reality and that is why the real and difficult problems of the Grangemouth Complex and Prestwick Airport have not been addressed or actioned in any discernible way. I expect the people of Scotland feel proud to have a First Minister who seems to be functioning in another world, disconnected from the economic realities that we all have to face on a daily basis. In my opinion, Alex Salmond is the "Walter Mitty" of Scottish politics!

0600 GMT 25/11/2013 Update: This profile photograph of Alex Salmond reminds me of the famous thriller movie director Alfred Hitchcock. Let us see if Alex Salmond can match Hitchcock for brainpower. Alex Salmond is often described as a "canny" Scot but his recent utterances have led me to believe that the Scottish word "canny" translates into standard English as "daft."

0630 GMT 25/11/2013 Update: Here is another one of those "canny" Scots. I have been known to use the odd expletive, but even I would know not to use them in any church. I, personally, do not believe in these disingenuous eulogies at funerals, especially by people who hardly knew the deceased. It is much simpler, safer and easier to stick to the traditional funeral service.

0700 GMT 26/11/2013 Update: This is what the USA, today, calls a space vehicle development project. I call it an international embarrassment surpassed only by the UK's own Sir Richard Branston's Virgin Galactic. Sir Richard Branson is insisting that members of his own family accompany him on the first commercial flight of Virgin Galactic so that they can, in the words of his own social circle, "get a few rays, Man."

It has become obvious to me that Elon Musk and Sir Richard Branson know a great deal more about space than I do, because I would not venture into space in either of their spacecraft. By the way, I do not call skipping along the top of  the earth's upper atmosphere space flight, because experimental aircraft have been doing that since the 1950's. In fact, an aircraft that can skip along the top of the earth's upper atmosphere still exists and is probably still airworthy. This relatively unknown aircraft was actually designed by a real engineers and has been operational since the 1970's. It is a perfectly safe aircraft with proven extreme high altitude performance that could be effortlessly adapted for real commercial space flight, not skipping along the top of the earth's atmosphere.

I expect Elon Musk and Sir Richard Branson are amongst those many people today who would see nothing wrong in drying their trainers in the microwave with the door open, if it was possible. It would be interesting to ask them!

0815 GMT 26/11/2013 Update: This an appropriate song for today. It is song is from another age which is supposed to be just fun and not taken seriously. But, it will probably be described as as encouraging people to kill birds and offensive by today's "twitchers" (ornithologists).

By the way, just to remind you of the motto of Real Engineers: I am an Engineer. I Engineer things!

1800 GMT 29/11/2013 Update: For all those in the UK impacted by the HS2 (High Speed 2) rail project, this Parliamentary Transport Select Committee video is a useful primer and saves you wading through 50,000 pages of verbiage in the actual KPMG HS2 report. The main conclusion of KPMG HS2 report is that the UK economy benefits from HS2 by adding £15 billion to GDP(Gross Domestic Product)  in 2037. This benefit to GDP is desirable, but my main concern is that the HS2 project is a long term solution when we have an immediate and urgent problem in terms of passenger and freight capacity on the existing rail network.

It is interesting that the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, was "inspired" to add a "Northern Hub" at Manchester Airport to the HS2 project after reading my proposals for Regional Hubs in my blogs. He also deliberately misrepresents the the impact of LTT(Long Train Technology) on passenger and freight capacity using the existing rail network. LTT would increase the passenger and freight capacity on the existing rail network by a factor of 2 in two years and by a factor of 4 in three years. These two issues lead me to believe that the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin,  is totally bereft of any  ideas of his own and his statement about LLT capacity was a  designed to deliberately mislead the  Parliamentary Transport Select Committee. Therefore I have no confidence that the Secretary of State  for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin , can be relied on to be factually accurate about any aspect of the HS2 project. Not good enough to convince me!

Incidentally, I do not think, Patrick McLoughlin, will be around very long given the extremely high attrition rate of Transport Minsters in the past. He certainly will not be in the next government who will have to find the money to  implement the HS2 project. How's that for an accurate prediction?

The last issue is the "soft balling" of  Patrick McLoughlin by several of the members of the Parliamentary Transport Select Committee, which leads me to believe that the meeting was merely a formality. If this is so, then what is the point of Select Committees? Have Select Committees simply become  a "viable alternative to real work," which many of us believe is the case for many other large meetings.

By the way, the word "connectivity" is jargon from the electronics industry and is in common usage. If you have to look up "connectivity" in a dictionary then you should not even be a UK MP(Member of Parliament) and certainly not a member of a Parliamentary Select Committee!!! How do people who are so stupid get so far in life???

0645 GMT 20/11/2013 Update: Read this shocking humiliation for the USA. The USA has to file their flight plans with the Chinese when flying over the disputed rocks between Japan and mainland China. Why? Because the US military do not have the know-how or capability to fly missions through the Chinese AEZ(Air Exclusion Zone) without detection. Something is sadly wrong with the US military these days.

I could enlighten the US military on how to fly a wing of  10 x B-52's, fully loaded, straight through the Chinese AEZ with the aircraft just appearing as clutter on any radar from above or below. Therefore, SAM(Surface to Air Missile) could not lock-on and interceptors would never find the B-52's without being eliminated long before they were within range. The US military have probably discarded the equipment/assets that would make such a mission possible and the mission-capable  aircrews will have retired many years ago.

I estimate that it would take about 2 years of tough training to get a wing of 10 x B-52's up to speed for such a difficult mission. But, eventually, the execution of an undetected mission, straight through the Chinese AEZ, of 10 fully loaded B-52's, with their awesome destructive power, would have a devastating effect on the morale of the Chinese military.

How do I know this stuff? I am an engineer and I know how all the systems work, because I have studied the problem. I make no claims about being a pilot but I would be happy to sit beside him/her and advise on the forgotten techniques of these extreme missions. The Cold War is alive and well but this time it is in the East China Sea. I actually felt safer in the previous Cold War because I had confidence that our allied forces were sharp and on top of their job.

Luckily, Real Engineers anticipated these AEZ missions when they designed their training program called Storm Chasers or Activités Non Triviales.

0830 GMT 30/11/2013 Update: I am reluctant to comment on an ongoing air accident, but from this BBC News report from the scene I have deduced that the UK police forces may have tried to implement a helicopter service without advice from experts. I believe that they may have made mistakes in nearly every aspect of their helicopter operations and may even have misinterpreted partial information obtained through surveillance.

I have experienced dangerously low night  flying by police helicopter pilots above my house(buzzing) about 2-3 years ago. I filed an official complaint at the time to the CAA(Civil Aviation Authority) that MO(Modus Operandi) of the police helicopter was endangering people on the ground in urban areas in the case of a catastrophic failure of the helicopter engines and/or drive train/rotor blades. I could not identify the police helicopter at the time (because its lights were off) but the CAA called me back and said that the local airport control tower radar log confirmed that the police helicopter was the only aircraft operating in my area at the exact time of the incident.  I know that night flying of police helicopters is necessary, but there are ways to make it safer.

If my initial opinion of this terrible accident proves to be true, then I would expect the instant dismissal of all those responsible, for implementing what I believe to be a  flawed police helicopter service, on the grounds of gross incompetence. I have no wish to upset anyone but this accident probably has implications throughout the UK police force and possibly for North Sea Oil/Gas platform helicopter operations. A very thorough air accident investigation is required to ascertain the underlying cause, which may be a complex web of problems coinciding into this one incident.

1400 GMT 30/11/2013 Update: There is a possibility that the helicopter pilot tried to land on or hover above the roof of the pub, but only one eye witness suggests this scenario. Therefore, as all the other eye witnesses suggest, there was some kind of catastrophic failure within the helicopter.

It is unlikely that both engines failed simultaneously and an expert witnesses states that the rotor blades are relatively intact, which tells us that the main focus of the investigation should be the helicopter gearbox. One indicator of a possible history of gearbox problems on this type of  helicopter comes from the fact that there are modifications to the gearbox in the latest upgrade kit. I must not prejudge the air accident inquiry but, excluding pilot error, helicopter gearbox failure is most likely cause of this particular accident.

0500 GMT 02/12/2013 Update: As an Engineer, who has tried very hard to be on top of the latest technology, this story just makes me depressed. It will cost you a fortune to find out why.

I really need a holiday, because my normally good sense of humour has deserted me somewhere in the East China Sea.

1430 GMT 02/12/2013 Update: Operators of the type of helicopter involved in the Glasgow accident want to know is whether this was a gearbox failure or not. The air accident investigators should be able to confirm or deny this by now. A helicopter gearbox is an known single point failure mode and premature failures do occur in helicopters that are being worked very hard. This information is really important and urgent because it will determine whether or not to ground all helicopters of this type pending an upgrade.

If gearbox failure is not the cause of the Glasgow helicopter accident then it should be made known as soon as possible so that other operators can feel confident and the reputation of this type of helicopter is not maligned unnecessarily.

0345 GMT 04/12/2013 Update: Narrow Water Castle, Louth(NI) is a strange place to waste money building a bridge in Northern Ireland. This is the ultimate bridge to nowhere. Perhaps there is some sort of symbolism in building a bridge in this part of Northern Ireland that escapes my memory, for the moment.

Louth (NI) has another claim to fame. The US Vice-President Joe Biden has indicated that his ancestors came from the Louth area of Northern Ireland. This is an extremely interesting connection and it is by knowing his erratic statements from his past that leads me to believe he may be a "player."

1020 GMT 05/12/2013 Update: I saw a presentation on BBC News this morning that indicates the UK's National Debt stands at £1.2 trillion today, which is about 90-100% of GDP(Gross Domestic Product). The Budget deficit (i.e. the difference between government income and government spending) is running at £120 billion per annum at the moment. Therefore, without drastic change to the UK economy, the £1.2 trillion of National Debt will increase at approximately £120 billion per year forever.

The whole world is waiting to hear/see the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne intends to escape from this financial trap. Even a financial Houdini would find the answer to this economic conundrum impossible without some very special help. George Osborne will try to dress his budget up as a success story but the underlining negative economic fundamentals of the UK have not been addressed in any substantial way.

The expression "with one leap Jack(George, in this case) was free" only happens in fictional books when the author has written himself/herself into a corner. Unless I have been given disinformation by the BBC News this morning, I would say that the long term economic outlook for the UK is dire due to excessive and increasing National Debt, whose servicing costs are astronomical.

1100 GMT 05/12/2013 Update: The UK's Coalition Government should note that South Korea is building the world's biggest ship, while the UK is  selling sausages and other meat products to China. I am sure the sausages and meat are wonderful, therefore, a well done to all concerned. But this meat trade amounts to £40 million per annum currently, whereas the South Korean ship building venture is over £7.7+ billion for a single item.

The UK meat trade with China tells me that the agricultural and meat processing industries are trying very hard to compete in a global market, but the UK is sadly lacking in the engineering/technology sector, which generates the really big money. In today's tough global markets you have to live with the choices that you have made.

1430 GMT 05/12/2013 Update: The source of my figure for National Debt was this clock which ties up with those in the BBC News report today, but we may be using the same source. The important thing to note is the discrepancy between the National Debt Clock and the figure presented to Parliament by the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne. I believe my total for National Debt to be more accurate because it is supported by other sources, which I have researched. I suspect George Osborne's National Debt totals may have been massaged.

0715 GMT 11/12/2013 Update: I am finding it difficult to reconcile this and this contradicting reports. Either the UK Science Minister, David 2-Brains Willetts, does not read the newspapers or his brain malfunctioned again, in his expressed ambition to land on Mars. We (the UK) have yet to reach the Moon, unmanned, never mind Mars! David Willetts is another desk pilot who thinks human space travel is easy and cheap.

I think Astrium at Stevenage, UK  has done a fantastic job of keeping the UK´s space effort alive. But, there is an immediate problem of what EADs intends to do in terms of reorganisation of its Space & Defence Division and the implications for the Stevenage facility, if any. I also believe that there may still be an Astrium facility at Portsmouth, UK, which also could also be affected by the forthcoming EADs reorganisation.

We have another problem, Stevenage! David Willetts is a big supporter of Pure Science and has invested about 90% of the UK Governments´ research budget in that area. But, as everyone at Stevenage knows, it is the engineers that design and build the equipment to launch into space. The Pure Scientists, and indeed the Mathematicians, provide the calculations/modelling and supply the engineers with data they need. However, I do not see any sign that David Willetts is about to invest substantially in engineering of any kind. Therefore, his space effort by his Pure Scientists will be limited to a few more  micro-satellites, which is the current situation. Interestingly, there is already a backlog of micro-satellites to be launched because the UK has no launch vehicle, even for micro-satellites.

1340 GMT 12/12/2013 Update: The new BAe Typhoon is a bargain at £80 million when compared with other aircraft of similar specification. The Typhoon is a true MRCA(Multi-Role Combat Aircraft) with STOL(Short Takeoff & Landing) capability which could easily be modified for carrier deployment. If I was in a financial hole, similar to the UK Defence Secretary, Phillip Hammond, I would scrap the UK order for the F-35s and standardise on BAe Typhoons. At a stroke, he would save a vast amount of UK taxpayers money with the increased order for Typhoons and it would be a "Game Changing" vote winner for the UK Conservatives.

I expect the BAe Typhoon to sell well in the export market because it is the only true MRCA around with STOL and carrier deployment capabilities. Most countries need only buy BAe Typhoons to supply all their defensive and offensive requirements, thus saving a great deal of money on initial purchase price, parts inventory and training. Even though the BAe Typhoon is a MRCA, I believe it matches or exceeds the performance of all existing aircraft in any of its combat configurations.

0730 GMT 17/12/2013 Update: Lanzarote suffers from two common problems today which are high energy costs and shortage of water. These two problems combine to make the business environment very difficult, with high operating costs. The energy issue is easily solved using the latest technology. However, Lanzarote is dependent on desalinated water which is barely drinkable.

Desalination is an energy hungry solution to water shortage which is uneconomic today plus a great deal of water is required for irrigation to maintain the flora and fauna in such a hot dry climate. The water shortage problem is more difficult to solve and a alternative solution to desalination needs to be found. It would require quite a bit of research to find and optimal and economic solution to Lanzarote´s water shortage problem. I would suggest that the energy hungry desalination plant be used as a backup system in the longer term if a alternate supply of water can be found.

Addressing the two problems of energy costs and water shortage would transform the viability of the Lanzarote economy as a whole. The solution to these two  problems is neither easy or cheap but if one thinks long term, then the up-front capital investment can be easily justified.

Here is  an appropriate song by Don Williams, who always has a song for the occasion. The problem for Lanzarote is that they did not have any rivers in the first place.

0745 GMT 17/12/2013 Update: In my opinion, Heathrow is not a suitable place for a International Hub Airport. Why? Because the takeoff and landing flight paths are over millions of people(voters) therefore one day, inevitably,  there will be an accident of catastrophic proportions.

In addition, the maximum number of people(voters) are impacted by aircraft noise in an age when we should be minimising noise pollution. Therefore, the expansion of Heathrow is totally  ruled out on safety and noise impact grounds, in my opinion. In fact, I would be thinking about closing Heathrow in the longer term because of its dreadful impact on the massive surrounding population. It is elementary engineering knowledge that leads me to this conclusion.

1530 GMT 22/12/2013 Update: Have you seen Bill Gates lately? He is 58 and he looks 78. It's not the work, it's the parties!!!

The UK can do better than this new spin on the old electric wheel concept. We, in the UK, are going back to the future with cutting edge square wheel technology! Beat that, USA!!!

0630 GMT 30/12/2013 Update: This story, if true, confirms to me that the USA's UAVs(Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) are using obsolete technology (at least 25 years old). Here is the latest view from space of a feature in Whipsnade Zoo, UK. A UAV, flying at a relatively low level, compared to a satellite in LEO(Low Earth Orbit), will be able the count the hairs on your head using the latest Super HD technology and probably in Virtual 3D. Hence we have a campaign against UAVs, which are sometimes referred to as drones by those who prefer to use civilian slang instead of the more accurate military terminology.

In fact, a military spy satellite is just another form of UAV, but nobody even mentions banning them. I suspect the campaign against UAVs is being led by those who are now well behind the technology curve in this relatively new area of surveillance and warfare. They are desperately trying to play catchup, like many of their friends, in today's fast moving world of high technology. In the meantime, the technology has moved on yet again, while these misguided people are still trying to patent yesterday's obsolete know-how. There are Patent Trolls around who think they can patent fresh air. For example, a patent was granted in the USA for a DNA sequence which appears naturally in nature. Therefore, I have to conclude that someone in the US Patent Office has completely "lost the plot." It was any medical treatment derived from the DNA sequence that could be patented, not the naturally occurring DNA sequence.

Interestingly, BAe's latest test results of their privately developed, state-of-the-art UAV have been suppressed by the UK's MoD(Ministry of Defence) while we wait for the "dummies across the pond" to catch up. Unfortunately for them, the technology sharing agreement, which formed the Special Relationship during World War II, was torn up in the 1950's by a US President who was worried about Russian spy activities in the UK at the time. In my opinion, the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, would love to give BAe's hard won UAV IP(Intellectual Property) to the US, but he cannot do it legally and I do not think BAe will oblige.

On reflection, there was a story about 2 years ago of the Chinese hacking BAe's computers to, allegedly, get hold of the designs of the F-35 US aircraft for the new UK carriers. I never understood why anyone would want the technology of the most expensive, single engined, plastic, combat aircraft in the world that is not "fit for purpose" as a carrier based aircraft, in my opinion. The shocking revelations of the spying activities of the NSA and the GCHQ leads me to speculate that it was the USA, with the help of GCHQ, who were hacking BAe's computers in order to get hold of their leading edge UAV technology. As far as I am concerned, the USA can keep the F-35 because we already have a far better, fully operational, rugged, carrier deployment capable MRCA(Multi Role Combat Aircraft) in the BAe Typhoon which would simply fly the F-35 into the ground. Also, we do not need an unaffordable US Trident replacement, we already have faster, better and cheaper nuclear deterrent solution developed here in the UK.

Under the Special Relationship of World War II we (the UK) gave the USA the basic research which led to the nuclear bomb, RADAR, the jet engine, camouflage plus a host of other technologies and even, possibly, top secret computer designs from Bletchley Park. Not surprisingly, I am unable to confirm the Bletchley Park "technology transfer." What we (in the UK) have received in return, after World War II, was a great deal of expensive equipment and weaponry, much of which we could have made faster, better and more cheaply in the UK. In addition and in return for backing out of the space race in the 1960's, we (in the UK) have all benefited from the non-stick frying pan. I, for one, am glad the Special Relationship was torn up by the US President in the 1950's because I believe it was a one-way street then and it is merely a political photo-opportunity today. In the aftermath of BS(Blanket Surveillance), the USA should never benefit from UK technology again, in my view. If the UK cannot build its own equipment to defend itself, then it is no wonder the rest of the world regards the UK as a mere puppet of the USA. The time has come for the UK to stand on its own two feet, as far as technology is concerned, otherwise we might as well make it all legal and simply become another state in the American Union.

Another consequence of BS is that the US Government has forfeited the right to be leader of the democratic world, because I cannot think of anything more undemocratic than BS. It will take a major change in the US Government and indeed in the UK Government before trust returns. In my view, this is not going to happen any time in the near future. Therefore, we (in the UK) have to adapt to the concept of constant surveillance in order to survive as individuals or as an independent nation, either inside or outside the EU.

By the way, my message in this post is aimed at the leadership elite of the UK and the USA. The ordinary citizens of our two countries share a common heritage and culture. This also includes very little control over what the ruling elite do or say on our behalf, while at the same time they are claiming that the UK and the USA are true democracies.

1040 GMT 30/12/2013 Update: My old rule of:  "if the cap fits, wear it" still applies to all my Blog postings. If you think that the general views expressed in my Blogs apply directly to you, then you are probably correct.

1335 GMT 31/12/2013 Update: I have just seen the trailer for "The Wolf of Wall Street" which, whether intended or not, has turned out to be a rather unoriginal comedy. The hapless Caprio in no way resembles a wolf in any meaning of the word and only Hollywood would find such a poor specimen of manhood attractive to women (or even men). Caprio;s portrayal of a Wall Street Wheeler Dealer makes Michael Douglas' (Gordon Gekko in the original Wall Street 1987) prior film, or movie in American parlance, appear to be outstanding by comparison.

In my opinion, the negative charisma plus the adolescent physical screen presence of  Caprio leads me to believe that the The Wolf of Wall Street should be renamed the The Wimp of Wall Street and released immediately.............on DVD!

1015 GMT 05/01/2014 Update: This story on the already discredited HS2(High Speed 2) rail project planned for the UK challenges the methodology behind the financial benefit forecasts in the recent KPMG report. The interesting comment at the end of the report is the colossal COemissions during the construction phase.

The vast amount of construction/earthmoving equipment in the UK does not meet the EU diesel engine emissions standard which applies to road vehicles. The EU diesel engine emission standard cannot be applied selectively to road vehicles and not applied to off-road vehicles. The EU emissions standard applies to all operational diesel engines in the EU. It was for this very reason that my offer to do the earthmoving at Hinkley Point C and runway extensions at Cardiff and Prestwick Airports was based on brand new construction/earthmoving equipment that already meets the EU emissions standard.

The older versions of these giant earthmovers, if they still exist in the UK, are dreadful polluters from the 1960s/70s/80s/90s and should never be used on any future civil engineering infrastructure projects. In fact they are just scrap and cannot be modified economically to the modern standard. The equivalent new earthmoving equipment either already meets the new EU emissions standard or can be easily upgraded to it. I will be very surprised if this new earthmoving equipment exists in the UK today.

This is probably an example of the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, pretending to be a dynamic action man with his cronies, when the fact is that they probably do not understand the EU emission requirements. The other worrying factor is that these large infrastructure contracts do not seem open to competitive tender, but are simply being "placed" with the governments cronies.

I shall wait and I shall see. But,  I sense a defining moment on the horizon for David Cameron.

1015 GMT 06/01/2014 Update: The report from the UK's AAIB(Air Accident Investigative Branch) here, states that the cause of the Super Puma helicopter crash in the North Sea  in April 2009 was catastrophic gearbox failure.

The cause of the accident of Super Puma helicopter which crashed at Shetland Airport in August 2013 has not been found.

We are still waiting for the final report of the Glasgow police helicopter accident on 30th November 2013. The last interim report stated no fault found, which does not help.

It is a worrying chain of events with the only common factor being that all the accidents happened in Scotland where helicopter fights are more frequent. I could not even establish whether all the helicopters were from the same operator. If a common factor in the accidents could be found then the problem could be addressed and solved.

1440 GMT 06/01/2014 Update: Incredibly, the £25 billion that George Osborne wants to cut from Government spending in this report is nearly the same figure which I have calculated the UK Coalition Government has wasted on failed initiatives and failed technology during the last 12 months. These sort of "mistakes" are symptomatic of a government who believes in "passing" contracts to their incompetent friends in the UK and elsewhere. It cannot be allowed to continue. Either the government gets some advisers who actually know what they talking about, or they will have to stand aside and let others take their place in government.

1530 GMT 07/01/2014 Update: Its not that easy........making a presentation freestyle or creating a curved screen without distortion.

I have owned a pair of sunglasses with a concealed HD video camera for over a year. I bought them on ebay for about £40.00. The curved Cinemascope screens were invented in the 1960s. CES 2014 is showcasing new inventions that have already been invented years ago, which actually worked better. In my view, the credibility of the CES 2014 has been trashed by these two "re-inventions."

Additionally, a failed presentation from someone, who I think  needs to consult his doctor, confirms the perception from the UK of "dummies across the pond." I have said in previous Blog posts, the Directors/Scriptwriters of Hollywood have lost their creativity, if they ever had any in the first place. There is a suspicion in my mind that these people only copy and plagiarise today.

By the way, I do not wear my rather cool, spy sunglasses in public after the initial testing phase because, in the UK, spying is only allowed by the state on the citizen and not vice-versa.

0715 GMT 08/01/2014 Update: There is huge media hype about the launch of the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray at the Detroit Motor Show. The new Stingray, which some reports say will not be available until 2015, is so 2013 and, like many things American these days, lacks the sophistication and class that one expects in a thoroughbred sports car.

It will be interesting to see the crash and side impact tests of the new Stingray. I also believe that the new Stingray lacks some vital safety equipment for a modern version of a traditional brute force US sports car concept. I will look forward to reading the specification of the new Stingray because, if the reports are true about 2015 availability, then I think the new Stingray is just "vapourware."

Another bonus for observers from the UK side of the pond of the Detroit Motor Show is the attendance of Vice President Joe Biden, who makes our own gaffe-prone Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, seem like an intellectual. This ought to rival the debacle at CES 2014 yesterday. I do like a good laugh! Not only have the US Democrats destroyed the finances of Detroit but Joe Biden is set to finish the job at the Detroit Motor Show. Only an Irish American politician would think he could spin anything in Detroit as a success story.

0610 GMT 09/01/2014 Update: Judging by the products on show at the CES 2014 in Los Angeles, it should be renamed the GGS(Gadgets and Gizmos Show) 2014. One report even asserts the the "PC is dead." They are probably right that the desktop PC is dead but I have never used a desktop since 2000, preferring a high performance Laptop/Notebook PC instead.

I hear you say: " Why does this old "geezer" still use a Laptop/Notebook PC? He is years our of date!" The reason is very simple. I can buy a high performance Laptop/Notebook PC on ebay for about £50-£100 second hand. If you know a  bit about the hardware you can upgrade it to top-of-the-range desktop PC performance. The Laptop/Notebook PC will run any of the apps available for mobile phones and tablets as gadgets either embedded in the desktop screen or within web pages, where they are referred to as widgets. The high performance Laptop PC has a multi-threading dual processor which can run several programs (or apps) simultaneously in multiple windows. I also have the flexibility of modifying or creating source code in various languages. This is what I refer to as as a real computer with real capability.

There is a market in the US (and elsewhere) for gadgets and gizmos, but there is also a market for real computers to those people in the professions who wish to be more than just a button pusher. My Blogs are a technology demonstrator for what can be achieved with a Laptop PC and a few cheap or even free programs. The fact that you are reading this Blog post tells me that you would like to do more with a computer than the closed environment of the mobile phone and the tablet PC allows. CES 2014 has done nothing to drive computing forward and its gadgets and gizmos, such as wearable computing, are aimed at the "dumb" end of the market. The smart-watch, for example, looks like something from a child's doll house that I would not like to be seen wearing out and about, even within my own deprived social circles.

The trend to mobile computing for the masses is fine, but this leaves a market for high performance Laptop/Notebook PC's where the research and development of the world can be done. Although executing an app in one click may be appropriate for some, I like the ability to be creative and do more. For example, writing a Tweet or Text of 160 characters or less is easy on a mobile device but writing a blog post, a newspaper article or book is a real pain. However, on a Laptop/Notebook PC it is effortless.

By the way, someone is trying to kill off the widget for the PC business. I suspect that the companies who have invested everything in dumbed-down computing do not want a new generation of geeks developing their own software, out of view of the spies. What I say is, let the people who want dumbed down computing carry one. The rest of us have enough knowledge to make our own way in the computer hardware and software world. It is all part of a generational  change that is taking place in the world of technology with the former US giants of Computing and the Internet heading in the dumbed down direction and the rest of us heading in the completely opposite direction. I think CES 2014 will be remembered as the time that the world realised the extent of the knowledge/technology gap between those with real computer skills and those who are merely "button pushers."

This song by Jodi Benson is even more meaningful today.

I have finally  tried out my new state-of-the-art, surround-sound "cans" (UK recording industry slang) which have been in a box on my desk,  for nearly a year . The sound from the laptop is unbelievably good without damaging my hearing. It is as if I was in the recording studio with Jodi Benson because it is a 3-D sound effect. These "cans" are also incredibly cheap to buy on ebay. You can shove your ear-buds where the monkey sticks his nuts!

Dummies across the pond? You betcha!!!

1530 GMT 10/01/2014 Update: In my opinion, the IoT( Internet of Things) concept died with the revelations about BS(Blanket Surveillance). Your average suburban dweller will be "spooked" by their fridge collecting data about them and sending it off to the NSA or the GCHQ. However, SHA(Smart Home Automation), i.e.  not connected to the Internet, probably has a great future in the USA and to a lesser extent Europe.

In general, it will be a long time before my trust in the Internet returns, if indeed it ever does. Drastic action is needed if the Internet is to be used for anything but trivia. But, that probably was the aim of BS in the first place.

If the good people of the USA find my comments about "dummies across the pond" offensive they can be comforted by the fact that we have more than our share of "dummies in the UK," who are unbelievably consistent at taking the wrong decisions/directions in relation to emerging technology. They can be depended on to get out of the growing technology market and into the shrinking technology market. A perfect example is the push into wearable technology which a fashion conscious public just simply will not wear.

The fashion business is notoriously fickle and unpredictable, even for those who have worked in fashion industry all their lives. Product Placement is everything in the fashion business, but with ageing stars and poor, plot-less films(movies) the opportunities are diminishing. Emerging actors and actresses, who need to be image conscious, would not want to associated with anything that is, to use the vernacular, completely "naff."

This is what happened when we got into wearable technology the first time round. A pretty good film(movie) with a really great soundtrack. Déjà vu seems to be appropriate!

For those of you who are into surveillance, here is how it is done with a real stealth helicopter. A UAV(Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) just makes it easier. This is why UAV's cannot be used by unauthorised civilians and even a nation state should act within the framework of national and international law. Déjà vu, yet again!

Try this song by Mary the Voice, Hopkin with surround-sound "cans" (headphones). It will blow your mind. I believe she is also playing the guitar.....perfect.

And not forgetting, Don Williams!

1025 GMT 11/01/2014 Update: The latest fun gadget from Acne Electronics at CES 2014 is the smartphone ear implant which is operated by the user's brain waves, if they exist, or by voice operated remote control if they do not exist. This gadget is aimed at the party set who like to stay on the phone in the toilet(bathroom). It prevents the pi**ing on the shoes syndrome, which is widely regarded as bad form in "Chattering Class Society."

Overheard in a Glasgow public house: There is a new sport at the Commonwealth Games 2014 called "Tweeting when Brahms and Liszt." Apparently, a guy called Alex can "Tweet for Scotland" after consuming a litre of the Famous Grouse.

Do not take these comments too seriously, they are just another demonstration of my "Comédie Noir" capability.

0430 GMT 12/01/2012 Update: For our friends, around the Commonwealth of Nations, Mary the Voice, Hopkin sings in calypso style. By the way, the pictures are a bonus for those who prefer the visual effects.

And, again, Don Williams.

I try to choose songs with meaningful lyrics that will play well in both Harlem and Harbin.

I never did listen to so-called pop gurus who were full of dope and had impaired hearing. I always chose my own songs and music which. I believe, have stood the test of time. Let me see if I can find some more dope-free music. Here and here live (sorry about the poor quality of the recording, but you get the idea, perhaps somebody could clean it up)  is Mary the Voice and here and here is Don Williams. Surround-sound, with its 3D effect, lifts this great music and songs to a new level. We have to get these to two great exponents of romantic songs and music together. It will be electrifying! 

By the way, it is Mary Hopkin's soaring voice that appeals to fans, such as me, and not necessarily her short skirts. On the other hand...........................Check this out and can you do this?

0700 GMT 12/01/2014 Update: The Beatles are long forgotten in the mists(or was it the smoke) of time and who the hell is Bruce Springsteen anyway?!!! But in Osaka, and elsewhere, they still remember Mary Hopkin.

Get off the dope and your brain will start working again!!!

0815 GMT 12/01/2014 Update: I have just seen a demonstration on BBC TV of the "Goal Decision System" being deployed in the UK Football Premiership. I do like a good laugh! "You cannot be serious Man!!" Nobody calculated the margin of error in the "Goal Decision System!!!...........Those guys and gals must be smokin' somethin'.

1310 GMT 12/01/2014 Update: In case you think it is Welsh Week on my Blog, I am only using Mary Hopkin to demonstrate what I think are the attributes of a great singer. Namely, wide vocal range, brilliant phrasing, pitch perfect presentation, clear diction, powerful/sweet/unique voice, stage/screen presence and, optionally, good  acting and/or dancing and/or instrumental skills. If you have all these skills then giving live performances, especially outdoors, is much easier. Emerging, young singers and musicians can learn a great deal from these older artists.

1314 GMT 12/01/2014 Update: Combining surround-sound, which is already on the market, with Real Engineer's Virtual 3-D video gives the audience an experience that can only be described as VR(Virtual Reality) because it is as close to experiencing the original recording as you can get without actually being there. It is "Game Changing" technology.

Everyone is asking me: What happened to FiFi? Actually, she is working in Real Engineer's Skunk Works moving their IP(Intellectual Property) forward and way out of reach of the industrial spies. She will be returning to her customer-facing role later in the year with some new, blockbusting technology. Please try to remember that Fifi is a fictional, conceptional character. She just seems real.

1400 GMT 14/01/2014 Update: I have been unusually slow on the uptake in relation to the purpose of government. The idea seems to be to waste as much as taxpayer's money as possible by giving contracts to their incompetent friends. Here is just the latest UK fiasco in a long line of IT failures on both sides of the Atlantic.

When will they ever learn?

Where have all the flowers programmers gone, long time passing?
Where have all the flowers programmers gone, long time ago?
Where have all the flowers programmers gone?
Young girls have picked passed them everyone.
Oh, When will they ever learn?
Oh, When will they ever learn?

Where have all the young girls gone, long time passing?
Where have all the young girls gone, long time ago?
Where have all the young girls gone?
Gone for husbands artists everyone.
Oh, When will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

Where have all the husbands artists gone, long time passing?
Where have all the husbands artist gone, long time ago?
Where have all the husbands artists gone?
Gone for soldiers dopers everyone
Oh, When will they ever learn?
Oh, When will they ever learn?

Where have all the soldiers dopers gone, long time passing?
Where have all the soldiers dopers gone, long time ago?
Where have all the soldiers dopers gone?
Gone to graveyards rehab everyone.
Oh, When will they ever learn?
Oh, When will they ever learn?

Where have all the graveyards rehabs gone, long time passing?
Where have all the graveyards rehabs gone, long time ago?
Where have all the graveyards rehabs gone?
Gone to parliament(senate), everyone.
Oh, When will they ever learn?
Oh, When will they ever learn?

Where have all the flowers parliamentarians(senators) gone, long time passing?
Where have all the flowers parliamentarians(senators) gone, long time ago?
Where have all the flowers parliamentarians(senators) gone?
Young girls have partnered them everyone.
Oh, When will they ever learn?
Oh, When will they ever learn?

Copyright (original lyrics) Peter Seeger.

Adapted by James Westmorland 2014.

0255 GMT 21/01/2014 Update: What is to be done about the BBC? It is perfectly clear to me that many of the staff are out of control and probably would not pass a toxicology test. The BBC Management seem to be incapable of restoring order or indeed taking any decision which would move the Public Service Broadcaster forward in the process restoring the lost professionalism and respect. Left Wing Political Activism is rampant at the BBC distorting every aspect of the organisation. The BBC has become a "brainwashing" operation to forward the views of the left, no matter what it takes. The new DG(Director General) has been in office for many months and there is no discernible effect of his presence, in my opinion.

I have come to the inescapable conclusion the the DG and his management team are incompetent, serve no purpose and do not justify their vast salaries and expenses. The relocation of the BBC to Manchester has resulted in the middle and senior management ensconcing themselves in an enormous building in Central London. What these BBC people do all day is a mystery to me, but I can guarantee it has nothing to do with the work that they are being paid to do.

The BBC does not need a London headquarters in addition to its Manchester operation. The BBC only requires a Westminster studio operation and its bloated management palace is surplus to requirements. The London staff should be transferred to Manchester, if they are useful, or made redundant.

In the BBC regions there is much duplication of studios and the low work load means they are simply a hidey-hole for left wing political activists to pursue their gutter politics. Many of the staff in these regional TV studios are not photogenic or a suitable public facing image for BBC TV. Whilst I am not ageist, those BBC TV staff who have aged badly, probably through lifestyle choices,  should be transferred to radio. Those members of the BBC staff who are unable to up-skill to the requirements of the Internet Age should retire gracefully and make way for talented youngsters who already have the necessary skill-set. It is the generational change that is well understood but is very painful to those who have partied for the last 25 years and have not studied or made any effort to keep up with the latest technology. The BBC staff have lived in a "Walter Mitty" world of the Chattering Classes and have been blissfully unaware of anything in the outside world.

Listening to the inane chatter of some celebrity who is "floating on air" is not going to move the BBC forward. As a publicly funded organisation the BBC should not be encouraging alcohol and/or drug abuse by giving a platform to celebrities who should clearly be in rehab and not on TV. The BBC needs to clean up its own act in relation to alcohol and drug abuse because it gives a legitimacy to the ingestion of, and experimentation with,  illegal substances. Those in TV who are paid by the public should set a good example because they are the role models for future generations. The revelations of the activities surrounding the BBC's Top of the Pops over more than a generation epitomises an organisation that is sick and is in desperate need of surgery. To illustrate my point, here is Tony Blackburn eulogising over Gary Glitter whilst he ignores the real art of Flick Colby's Pan's People and some idiot even runs the credits over their excellent routine. At least Tony Blackburn was presentable and had a very pleasant manner.

I doubt if there is anyone left at the BBC who would recognise real art in any of its forms because their hearing/vision and perception of their surroundings has been changed by experimentation with mind-altering drugs, which have a multiplying effect when combined with alcohol. Drastic and urgent action is needed at the BBC to "right the ship" but I fear the latest DG is just a feckless, incompetent and ineffective buffoon, in my opinion, who should never have been appointed in the first place.

0505 GMT 22/01/2014 Update: Gatwick Airport has a crosswind problem which I have experienced for myself on several occasions. A simple solution is to extend the main runway, and the second runway which could be used as a taxiway for big aircraft, at least 2 Kilometres to the West. This will allow a much higher landing approach speed thus stabilising the aircraft in a crosswind.. There are very few properties to be demolished to make way for the Gatwick Airport main runway extension and damage to the environment would be minimal.

A bonus for this proposed runway extension is that it solves several local issues, such as icing on the B roads below the take-off and landing approach. Wildlife under the take-off and approach adapt surprisingly quickly to aircraft overhead. Another bonus is that the extended runway can be used for take-off and landing in both directions, depending on the prevailing wind. If a third, wide-spaced, parallel runway is needed then it can easily be built to the South, again with very little impact on the local environment. There will be a substantial amount of earthmoving to be done but, with the right equipment, it is just not a problem. The only hold-up for this project is finance and planning permission, neither of which should be a problem with the vast potential of Gatwick Airport as a Hub. To be an International Hub Airport, Gatwick would have upgrade or replace its terminal buildings and all its services.

1115 GMT 22/01/2014 Update: Anyone want their neighbourhood landscaping/re-arranging/moving?.........this is what Big Cats can do!!! Would your car start like this after a week at -30°C?

To brighten your day, enjoy this song from Shirley Ellis.

1555 GMT 22/01/2014 Update: Meanwhile somewhere in the UK in 1944: The Monty Python team illustrates the problem with coded language, in this case RAF "Banter." Today, the "Banter" is different, but so are the aircraft. This is an updated version of the Get Down On It video by Kool & the Gang, which reminds me that I come from the wrong side of the tracks, but not in Little Rock.

1930 GMT 22/01/2014 Update: Bilderberg.......Schilderberg.......who gives a damn!

I have stated this many times; please read my blog posts literally. I cannot be held responsible for your misinterpretation of my words.

1640 GMT 29/01/2014 Update: I offered to bring the high value UK/US military equipment out of  Afghanistan, Iraq and even remove the toxic chemicals from Syria. However, all my offers were rejected. The current logistics operation looks pathetic! Tough!! Get on with it!!!

1435 GMT 30/01/2014 Update: This is exactly what I am talking about. Flying out vast quantities of heavy military vehicles is both expensive and potentially dangerous. If one of those tie-down chains breaks during flight and the military vehicle moves, it can be potentially catastrophic for the aircraft. The maximum stress on the tie-down chains occurs on take-off, especially if a steep take-off climb by the aircraft is used.

Transporting heavy military vehicles by aircraft should only be used for emergency deployments and not for routine transport. Thousands of heavy military vehicles and equipment are to be removed from Afghanistan. Therefore an overland route should have been identified and used for economy and safety reasons. We are now more than 50% into the logistics mission but I doubt if 50% of the military vehicles and equipment have been removed from Afghanistan.

The transport of heavy equipment is very specialised and areas such as Afghanistan requires vehicles prepared to a desert specification. The trucks need to be able to operate on all terrains with a high power to weight ratio, highly efficient braking systems and very experienced drivers/loaders. Afghanistan is not like driving your truck up the M1 in the UK.

If my assessment that the logistics operation in Afghanistan is drastically behind schedule is correct, then a re-think, re-planning,  re-equipping,  and re-scheduling of the whole transport operation is required. Otherwise we may be in the crazy situation where all the allied troops have left Afghanistan and a huge amount of expensive equipment is left behind for the Taliban to simply help themselves.

0630 GMT 01/02/2014 Update: This legal advice is absolutely correct that UAVs(Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) must operate within the framework of national and international law. This equally applies to all military vehicles and weapons. Afghanistan is a war zone therefore it is perfectly legitimate to target combatants within the war zone. Targeting suspected combatants/terrorists outside the war zone across an international border is difficult to justify except in the case of  "hot pursuit" of combatants/terrorists. Targeting known leaders of terrorist organisations, outside the war zone, is legitimate but to target civilians outside the war zone day after day is completely illegal. In the case of Yemen, the UAV's were used by the USA at the request of the Yemen government against a clearly identified group of combatants/terrorists which is perfectly legal.

UAV's are very useful military hardware and are very similar in their MO(Modus Operandi) to Cruise Missiles which are from the FF(Fire and Forget) family of weapons. The UAV has the advantage of being piloted remotely from the ground. UAV's are ideal for surveillance and targeting combatants/terrorists in remote locations or on the run.

The legal difficulty for GCHQ, after the revelations of its collaboration with the NSA, is if GCHQ passed coordinates/information to the NSA that led to the death of innocent civilians in the UK or elsewhere. This would lead individuals at the GCHQ open to the charge of conspiracy to murder or the lesser charge of accessory to murder.

If GCHQ passed IP(Intellectual Property) to the NSA, obtained from individuals or companies through surveillance, then individuals at GCHQ could be charged with stealing IP. If the IP was of a military nature then individuals at GCHQ could be charged with treason because there  is no technology sharing agreement between the UK and the USA since the 1950s. In the case where the IP belonged to companies or individuals then it was not "owned" by the UK government and therefore GCHQ passed that information to the USA illegally. In this case, everyone one involved at GCHQ can be charged with conspiracy to defraud the company or individual, espionage on behalf of a foreign power, and passing defence secrets to a foreign power, otherwise known as treason.

Even GCHQ  must act within national and international law. I have heard that many employees at GCHQ have been very alarmed that their activities over recent years are completely illegal. Nobody in the UK will have any sympathy with the GCHQ because the bottom line in the the murky world of spying is that if you are caught then you are on your own. If I have been targeted by GCHQ then I will be taking an extremely hard line against them and require punitive damages and exemplary maximum sentences to ensure this never happens again. I am  sure other innocent civilians who have similarly been targeted by the GCHQ and the NSA will take the same hard line.

"Book 'em Danno!!!"

1040 GMT 05/02/2014 Update. Just say the word, Boris, and Real Engineers(DentCorp Ltd) will automate the London Underground System. The electorate will not tolerate being held to ransom by a bunch of militant Trade Unionists. Bye, Bye RMT and TSSA!

The armed forces can run the London Underground System in the meantime. It will be a useful training exercise for them.

1036 GMT 05/02/2014 Update: I have noticed a significant number of road tankers carrying oil/fuel and other liquids/chemicals in un-bunded tankers. This is completely illegal under EU legislation. If VOSA needs something useful to do, then it must withdraw the MOT certificate from all un-bunded tankers, which it should never have issued in the first place. VOSA's  raison d'etre is to keep abreast of and enforce EU legislation.

In fact all road/rail tankers should be bunded as standard from new and those older tankers carrying any hazardous or polluting chemicals/liquids of any kind must be bunded. The police should help VOSA enforce this EU legislation to remove these un-bunded tankers from the road and rail system before there is any more pollution incidents or fires.

If anyone has sustained any loss or injury from an incident involving an un-bunded road or rail tanker of any type, then they can sue the owner of the tanker and VOSA.  They are both culpable; the owner for not complying with the latest EU legislation and, in the case of VOSA, for not enforcing the latest EU regulations regarding road tankers of all kinds. I believe very few tankers are used by Rail operators in the UK.

0245 GMT 05/02/2012 Update: In view of the dismal response of the Fire Service and Environment Agency to the recent flood emergency, I suggest it is time to privatise this part of their work. Neither the Fire Service or the Environment Agency have neither the pumping equipment nor any sense of urgency when dealing with a flood emergency. Even worse, the UK Fire Service and Environment Agency do not seem capable of specifying and locating high volume water pumps to deal with flood emergencies.

The inescapable conclusion I have drawn from the recent fiasco on the Somerset Levels is that the Fire Service and Environment Agency do not have the know-how or capability to deal with EWEs(Extreme Weather Event) which we are now regularly experiencing. They cannot be a repetition of the pathetic public sector response to the Somerset Levels floods. A private sector solution is my recommendation because the public sector flood emergency response is totally ineffective.

0328 GMT 08/02/2014 Update: The UK's RMT(Rail, Maritime and Transport) Union is heading down the same road as the NUM (National Union of Mineworkers) in 1984. If the RMT persists in trying to leverage the government, then it will be smashed in the same way as the NUM was destroyed for trying to overthrow the elected UK government in 1984.

If the RMT Union has the "cojones" to strike next Tuesday, then it will certainly have no "cojones" after the strike. A global financial centre, such as London, cannot be disrupted by people who make Neanderthals seem like intellectuals.

I remember the Dock Workers Union holding the the UK to ransom several times in the 1960s. In the end, someone sat down and designed the Containerisation System and the dock workers vanished from history. The RMT Union can be made to disappear in the same way by the automation of the London Underground System. I recall that the London Underground workers tried to disrupt the London Olympics 2012 and a vacillating London Mayor, Boris Johnson, simply caved i n to their demands. It will not happen again!

I believe in a high wage, high tech economy and there is no place in that economy for reactionary trade unions such as the RMT, who are simply holding the UK back in the 19th century. The world is highly complex and fast moving today and uneducated/unskilled people from all classes should not be allowed to dictate the pace of progress. If we continue at the pace of the slowest, the UK will be a Third World country within 10 years. Everyone should find their own natural pace of progress and I firmly believe that they will get there in the end, albeit a bit later.

The cutting-edge of technology is not for everybody, but that does not mean it should be constrained. Each person is an individual with individual characteristics, but with a diverse economy everyone can be accommodated. The choice is clear for the RMT Union, carry on trying to leverage the government and vanish into oblivion, or support the technology leaders, with their creativity and  innovation, to bring prosperity back to the UK. It is clear from the UK's experience from the Automation Revolution in the 1970s/1980s that the businesses who adapted to the new technology prospered and those who opposed the change vanished from the industrial scene. The same scenario exists today in the Internet Age.

The endless parade of ineffective VIPs to the Somerset Levels flood disaster should illustrate clearly to the public the scale of the problem in the UK. It is obvious, from the recent dreadful response to many flood emergencies, that operating in a 19th century style just does not get the job done!

0803 GMT 09/02/2014 Update: Does anyone actually believe this story from Barclays? Banks have been passing/selling their customer's details on  for many years. Trust in Barclays has gone because of their illegal activities, which have been exposed over the last 5 years. This leads me to think Barclays have released this story to cover up past criminality at the bank. If my theory proves to be true, then I doubt if Barclays can be saved! Other UK banks need to check their own past activities to make sure Barclay's does not drag them down!!

My own experience of the banking industry is that, intentionally or not, their systems and practices had the effect of destroying SMEs(Small and Medium Enterprises) and propping up big business. If you owe a bank £10, they will pursue to the ends of the earth to get their money back. If you owe a bank £10 million, (or £10 billion in the case of Britain's Greatest Businessman), then the banks will kiss your ass.

1012 GMT 09/02/2014 Update: It is all a matter of credibility in the robotics business. Nobody in the world of robots believes that Dyson or Google have any know-how relating to robots or vision systems. You cannot simply buy your way into the robotics business, as the soccer business has proved that  money alone does not buy a good football team. You have to integrate your businesses in a mutually beneficial way. Dyson has no credibility in robotics and Google is a mismatch for a robotics company.

Real Engineers (DentCorp Ltd)  will partner directly with its contacts in the robotic industry, if need be, for the mutual advancement and benefit for each partner. Random takeovers in any business rarely work and bureaucrats always fail in high technology sector, sooner or later.

Real Engineers did have plans for a MER(Military Equipment Recycling) operation in the UK, but these plans have been shelved while vested interests show us what they can do. I think we all know the answer to that one now!!!

1255 GMT 11/02/2014 Update: In preparation for an eagerly anticipated "GO" from the government, we need to do the following:
  1. Each neighbourhood needs to appoint a capable LC(Local Coordinator),
  2. The LC need to make himself/ herself known to Gold Command who should have a command post in your area;
  3. The LCs should inform Gold Command of their local problems and requirements. If these issues are technical then I suggest Gold Command acquire the services of an engineer, either civilian or military, who can interpret the technical aspects of the situation;
  4. The Engineering Consultant/Officer/Adviser should make himself/herself  known to either Sykes Pumps in Milton Keynes or Selwood Pumps in Bristol;
  5. The military should immediately identify all reservoirs close to the River Thames (and along its length) which could be used to store relatively clean flood water and temporary pumping station sites on the banks of the River Thames. HD (at 30 degrees?) overhead images of the pumping station sites and the route to the reservoirs should be sent urgently to the appropriate Gold Commands and pump deployment teams;
  6. Once these sites have been identified then Gold Command should coordinate the deployment of Sykes and/or Selwood Pumps in their areas;
  7. All technical matters should be left to the Engineering Support Team, whether civilian or military;
  8. Sykes and Selwood Pumps will  install and operate their own pumps, supported by the military, where and when required;
  9. A diesel fuel logistics system should be put in place based around the TransCube and coordinated by Western Environmental supported by the military and local suppliers;
  10. Sykes and Selwood Pumps installation teams should familiarise themselves with the high volume pump feed-through serial configuration for pumping to a (not too) distant reservoir;
  11. The command "GO" will be given by the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, should he wish to adopt my plan.
  12. The plan can be adapted in the field, depending on local conditions, but any changes or further requirements should be fed through Gold Command;
  13. All local services should be configured in emergency mode, ready to support the pumping teams and any distressed local residents;
  14. Ex Army UK should adopt an emergency support role to supply any specialist vehicles and equipment when urgently requested;
  15. Gold Commands should standby to escort the pump installation and operations teams to their destinations on the River Thames.
In the absence of any plan from the government, I suggest you position your teams according to my plan and await for authorisation from the UK Prime Minister.

Just to reiterate, this is my plan for emergency flood relief in the UK, but it requires the authority of the UK Prime Minister to implement it. If there is UK government plan already in place for the flood emergency, then ignore my advice.

1440 GMT 11/02/2012 Update:  For emergency repairs to the railway lines through the West Country:
  1. Send the affected local residents on holiday, out of the way (to Lanzarote?), for the duration of the repairs. It  will be much quicker and cheaper;
  2. Dig out all the unsuitable material down to a solid base;
  3. Rebuild the sea wall using special cement for sea water;
  4. Backfill with any locally sourced, good quality (Type 2?) ballast;
  5. Use a heavy (vibrating?) compactor very extensively on the ballast to make sure there are no voids;
  6. Compact the ballast after every 0.25 metres of backfill at the most;
  7. Top out with 0.5 metre of concrete;
  8. British Rail should lay their own ballast on top of the concrete to support their railway lines;
  9. Make sure the concrete falls to the outer edge, for drainage purposes;
  10. British Rail need to incorporate some sort of drainage system into their part of the job;
  11. The concrete may not be necessary normally, but it will help to stabilise the line through the Dawlish area;
  12. Make sure all your measurements are correct otherwise the railway lines may be too high/low and not align correctly.
Remember that if you use my IP then you agree to my terms of business.

0300 GMT 12/02/2014 Update: The main worries about the F-35 for me are:
  1. A flame-out at any time will result in the loss of the aircraft and possibly the pilot;
  2. If it is not to be deployed until 2018/20, then we need an interim replacement;
  3. The F-35 is horribly expensive, the software will never be entirely bug-free and it will probably be obsolete by the time it is deployed. 
  4. Carrier deployed versions of the BAe Taranis will be doing most of the work by 2018.
1645 GMT 14/02/2014 Update: This report states that both engines failed in the Glosgow, UK helicopter accident, which is an extremely unlikely event in any air accident. The report also states that there was plenty of fuel on-board and no problem with the fuel system. Flame outs due to engine problem do occur, but a double flame almost never happens. There are only three possibilities left:
  1. The pilot, for some unknown reason, shut down both helicopter engines either during the descent or after the crash landing;
  2. The fuel was contaminated;
  3. There is some deeply obscure design or intermittent fault with the helicopter engines.
All of these possible explanations for the helicopter crash are bizarre, especially if there is no history of problems with this type of helicopter engine. It is the worst of all outcomes, because it will most unlikely that we will ever know the reason for this extremely rare occurrence of a double engine failure with plenty of fuel on board.

1136 GMT 16/02/2014 Update: WTF is this clunky bit of kit!!! It has got to be a prototype! If I could not design a more soldier-friendly helmet I would ESL(Exit Stage Left)...... permanently. In fact all the components of a lightweight helmet and camera plus head-up display have been sitting on the floor in my study for over a year, waiting for someone to integrate them, while BAe has been trying to play catch-up.

This "Naf" product has destroyed all the credibility that BAe has gained through the development of the superb BAe Taranis. This helmet is what is known in the trade as completely FU. The journalist is too dim to know.

I bet that BAe's latest financial results are poor, just as the results of Rolls Royce were poor. This is a reality check for two of the UK's biggest defence contractors, with at least one and probably both, under investigation by the police. It is amazing how many management big-shots do not understand the international legal framework in which their company operates.

0430 GMT 17/02/2014 Update: London Underground Train Drivers will be on £52,000 a year very soon, for doing very little. Bob Crow has priced the the train drivers out of market.

An automated London Underground System is inevitable, on economic grounds alone, and will be safe by design. The platforms could be extended for longer trains. Escape points can be built into the the underground rail network, just as they have always been in other countries. Air conditioning could be added to the whole system for passenger comfort at every stage of the journey.

But best of all.........we would not have to listen to Bob Crow!

0445 GMT 17/02/2012 Update: Are the rumours true? The ace Russian Civil Engineer, Vladimir Putin, forgot to use a heavy, vibrating Compactor on the sub-base of the new runway extensions at Sochi International Airport. The runway will have to be dug up and re-laid, if Putin cannot show evidence that the sub-base was compacted and signed off by a qualified Civil Engineer. Why? Because the International Air Safety Authorities will be alarmed that voids in the sub-base  may cause the runway to collapse under the weight of very heavily loaded aircraft (about 200 tons).

This is what happens when you steal IP and try to implement it yourself without consulting the owner of the IP. Nice try, Putin..........but unlucky!

0510 GMT 17/02/2014 Update: Here is a good one! Australia dives into the red propping up News Corp(or is Corpse). Clearly, Rupert Murdoch is one of Australia's favourite sons, as they let him syphon A$882 million out of the Australian economy on a dubious claim of historic losses on currency transactions. This sort of desperate financial jiggery-pokery tells me that News Corp may be in financial difficulties on the newspaper side of its business,

Why Australians should choose almost bankrupt their country to bail out the most despicable character in the world of New Media will be a mystery to almost everyone. Perhaps it all makes sense to an Australian.........after  about 5 lagers!

By the way, I have heard on the grapevine, that Wendi Deng, Rupert Murdoch's former wife, would to give Tony Blair a biscuit every time she saw him.........The strange is.......... He didn't get fat!!

 Rupert Murdoch is, of course, a true American Rhino.......But without a horn!!!

0945 GMT 17/02/2014 Update: Would you believe it!....... I actually agree with Bob Crow on the quality of the UK passenger train service being generally poor. Where we differ is on the solution. Bob Crow would like to see re-nationalisation of the train operators, whereas I would like to see private sector train operators who know what they are doing.

1201 GMT 19/02/2014 Update: BAe has pulled off a mega deal for the sale of  72 Eurofighter Typhoons to Saudi Arabia ahead of their, reportedly, good financial results. I have to say that  the Saudi Arabians were very wise to have bought this outstanding MRCA(Mutli Role Combat Aircraft), which gives them the honour and privilege of competing/training at CAD WEST (Wales).

I have always thought the Typhoon was a bargain at the price because it outperforms any current or planned MRCA,  or indeed any other similar aircraft...........and you can buy it today!

The BAe order for 72 Typhoons from Saudi Arabia is also a big boost for Roll Royce, who are supplying the jet engines. The recent financial results from Roll Royce were not great, therefore, I expect this order is more than welcome news in Derby, UK.

1059 GMT 20/02/2014 Update: Today's results from BAe should come as no surprise to anyone, given the current state of the defence market. What surprised me was the report, yesterday, that BAe's results were going to be good. If you look back through this Blog Post you will see that I called it right first time. However, BAe has told us that they have won the order for 72 Eurofighter Typhoons from Saudi Arabia, therefore, the long term outlook is remarkably sound.

More of a worry is the order book for the Airbus A380, with many of the current orders only provisional and not confirmed. The problem with the Airbus A380 is that it has a take-off roll of 2950 meters at MTOW(Maximum Take-off Weight). This means that for all but the biggest runways the A380 has to be de-rated in terms of payload. Even with a a 3000 metre international standard runway there is no safety margin at MTOW. The only option for Airbus is to give the A380 some kind of STOL capability which may mean a design upgrade.

Another problem is the handling and loading/ unloading of the A380 at the airport. Airbus need to interact with the suppliers of air bridges, steps and tugs to ensure this extremely large aircraft can be handled easily on the ground. These problems are easily solved by taking a system view of the aircraft. Simple modifications to the A380 aircraft can ease the problems with ground based support equipment.

1320 GMT 21/02/2014 Update: The final curtain is, of course, for the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, who has found himself in deep water down on the Somerset Levels, UK. The only thing I can guarantee is that two days after the departure of David Cameron, at the next election or sooner, no body will remember his name. He will drift instantly into obscurity to join his role model Tony Blair. Tony Blair has to rely on Public Inquiries to remind us of who he once was, only to be instantly forgotten again. Neither Tony Blair or David Cameron have left anything behind, in terms of legacy or benefit to the UK, in fact it is quite the opposite.

It is interesting that RBS Bank (UK) is shedding its US Investment Arm, unless it has racked up substantial losses. If the directors of RBS delved into their accounts more deeply, they would probably find that 90% of their losses are due to 10% of their customers/organisation, which ought to tell them something.

0710 GMT 23/02/2014 Update: I have discovered that my Google Video Bars on my Blogs no longer work correctly. The workaround is to click on the hyperlink at the bottom of the video frame when it opens. This dirty trick has all the hallmarks of Google management, probably under instruction from their friends in government(s). If this sabotage can be traced back to El Schmitty then I will suppress the assailant.

I have been suspicious of the activities of Google management for some time, who I think have crossed the line into illegality. As I have said before, I love Google's Internet technology but I hate,what I believe to be, their corrupt management damaging the future of a once great company.

Google management are probably pi**ed because their Google Glass is crap. Google Glass looks as though it was designed by someone on LSD.  However, I bought a cool pair of sunglasses on ebay about a year ago for £40, with a concealed, HD video camera. These sunglasses are so cool that I dare not wear them in public for fear of being torn to Shreds by "admirers." This what happens to companies such as Google when the non-technical, Champagne-swilling bureaucrats take control. They are simply not aware of the current state-of-the-art of technology.

An even bigger guffaw is the fact that some of the USA's leading professionals will meet in Chicago, in May 2014, to discuss ethics. The USA is the nation that gave us Bill Gates and BS(Blanket Surveillance). They abandoned the concept of ethics many decades ago. Why can't the USA see the hypocrisy of their position on many of the hot topics of today,

0737 GMT 23/02/2014 Update: I have a message for El Schmitty of Google fame, derived from some advice I received from an Irish intellectual on a Construction Site, when I was just a lad: "If this interference with my Blogs happens again, then there will be a man(woman) to replace you in the morning!"

Character building advice........Don't you think?

0750 GMT 23/02/2014 Update: Time to see how Geno Delafose is getting along down in Louisiana, USA. It looks like they are all having a ball.......Thank you!......Thank you!!.......Thank you!!!.......BP!!!!

Note how Geno Delafose adapts his act and moves up tempo, to help those who "just wanna dance." They seem to be blessed with good bands down in Louisiana. Party people, I think.

A clever idea is to place local professional/exhibition dancers in the audience to lead the dancing by example. It has a very exciting effect......and it gives the dancers a job too........they might even do it for free.......the dancing I mean!

0550 GMT 24/02/2014 Update: Rather depressingly, it seems that the Wood Group has "bet the farm" on Fracking in Colorado, North Dakota, West Virginia and Texas, USA. They seem to have broken the golden rule of investments.........Diversity. More fool them!

Note the video from the CEO of Wood Group. I would like to verify his CV(Résumé). I would like to know if the delightful Robin Watson, CEO Wood Group, has he over-exposed his company to high-risk Fracking(Hydraulic Fracturing). Potentially, destabilising the Wood Group if the Fracking Industry goes "belly up" due to environmental pollution, as they say in the engineering section of my local pub

0627 GMT 24/02/2012 Update: I am having some worrying thoughts about the pump technology behind the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron's clunky and ineffective pumps from Holland.

 Even more worrying is this story and was this sluice gate dysfunctional. I note the water is being diverted to the River Parrett, which I believe has been cleared of flood water by using UK manufactured, high performance, high volume pumps supplied by Sykes and Selwood pumps.

In the past we have had the "wrong kind of snow" in the UK disrupting the railway system, now we have the "wrong kind of pumps" slowing down the the flood clear-up operation on the Somerset Levels.

1225 GMT 24/02/2014 Update: There is a strong suspicion in my mind that the Coalition Government has spent the last two or three years installing their "men/women" in control of every organisation and company in the UK. In the case of the delightful Robin at Wood Group, the potential screw-up will certainly shake-up Scotland.

The ownership of the Royal Mail is now hidden from the public and probably its own staff. Here is another example of the Coalition Government installing their own man. This sort of "old boy" activity just drives away inward investment into the UK.

The UK business environment is polluted by vested interests, who seem to have been vastly reinforced by the Coalition Government. I believe these appointments are struggling in the modern high-technology environment and many £billions have been wasted in the UK on leaders of industry who lack the competence to survive in the 21st century.

According to my information,  UK government borrowing is already in excess of 100% of GDP. Therefore, I conclude that it is just a matter of (short) time before the Coalition Government's status quo business strategy starts to unravel. Probably, just  in time for the forthcoming EU elections and certainly by the time of General Election in 2015. The behaviour of the Coalition Government, by  interfering in the private sector, is certainly unethical and is probably illegal. There is no doubt that the BS(Blanket Surveillance), instigated at the request of the US government and enthusiastically endorsed by the Coalition Government, is completely illegal and I think they already know it.

I believe patience, in these circumstances, is a virtue but it has limits. It is just a matter of time before someone tests the Coalition Government's BS policy in the courts. It is no wonder that the UK cannot escape from the recession because its organisations and businesses are firmly in the grip of yesterday's men and women, who drove the UK economy into recession in the first place. It is a stalemate situation with the reactionary management and firmly in control of private sector business, which I think may be broken by the fallout from the UK Flood Crisis.

1346 GMT 24/02/2014 Update: It is amazing that someone should pay £850 million for a Watchkeeper UAV system (which  includes 54 UAVs), when I believe its control system may have already been compromised. I would have waited for the superb BAe Taranis, but as an interim UAV Watchkeeper will do.

1527 GMT 24/02/2014 Update: A surveillance UAV is a very useful asset to feed back live video from the battlefield to a traditional HQ. The problem of relying on this sort of system for command and control information at a traditional HQ is that if the UAV is lost, for any reason, then you have also lost your command and control. A far better way to use a surveillance UAV is to provide an aerial view of the battlefield, enemy dispositions and targeting information directly to the troops on the ground. What is fed back to HQ is then just information for the senior command to keep pace with the activity on the ground. In this way, if the UAV is lost then it is does not break the command chain because the troops on the ground are virtually autonomous.

UAVs are misunderstood by most protesters because the idea of targeting something on the other side of the world at a touch of a button has been with us ever since ICBM's(Intercontinental Ballistic Missile) were invented in the 1960s. It is just that nobody really talked about them. Also F&F(Fire & Forget) missiles such as Cruise have been around since the 1980s. UAVs are just a modern incarnation of these older systems.

We know that UAVs, whether armed or unarmed, have to operate within  a legal framework of national and international law. It is perfectly clear to me how those laws apply to UAVs, but I am amazed how many so-called lawyers seem to be struggling. I think it is because lawyers do not understand UAV technology, therefore, they cannot possible understand how the law applies to them. This is a common problem which lawyers and courts have when dealing with the latest technology.

I think the general public, in the UK, would be alarmed if even surveillance UAVs were being deployed by any private individuals, without the authorisation of the CAA(Civil Aviation Authority). In the case of very small surveillance UAVs, which could be described as the equivalent of model aircraft, they should only be flown within a designated area. The use of small surveillance UAVs by civilians to spy on their fellow citizens would not  be acceptable in any modern democracy.

0515 GMT 25/02/2014 Update: The UK MoD(Ministry of Defence) has underspent its equipment budget by £1.20 billion this year. If you understand anything about budgets, in large organisations such as the MoD, then you would know that an underspend has drastic consequences. In large organisations the idea is to hit your budget target, or just slightly overspend your budget. In this way the senior management will probably think you need a budget increase in the next financial year.

A budget underspend is disastrous, because the senior management will believe that you did not need that money and hence will cut the following year's budget by the same amount. In my opinion, the MoD has until April 2014 to spend its £1.20 billion surplus in the equipment budget wisely. It would be difficult for the MoD to come up with a £1.20 billion project in such a short time which would stand up to public scrutiny. Any hint of crony-ism would be an election disaster of epic proportions for the government.

So what do you do? Swallow the £1.20 billion budget cut  for the next financial year or, as I would do, spend the money on R&D(Research & Development) into cutting-edge technology in the private sector for the military equipment of the future. The £1.20 billion  MoD underspend could be used to kick-start the UK's SME(Small & Medium Enterprise) start-ups, in the engineering sector, where the new military technology will be born. In the 1950s and early 1960s the UK's MoD budget was used to drive forward technology in the private sector and the UK had world beating products. In the last 50 years, the idea of funding private sector R&D out of the MoD budget has been abandoned and the UK has fallen behind in terms of technology. An investment by the MoD into private sector technology R&D could be easily justified in military terms by the fact that the UK is dangerously lagging behind the rest of the world in terms of indigenous technology, Therefore, it requires a strategic investment by the MoD into the UK high technology sector in order to secure local supplies of high specification military equipment in the future.

The USA routinely uses its defence budget to finance private sector research, knowing that it will feed back to them in terms of advanced military equipment and give the US the technical lead in the commercial sector. It is notable that since the cutbacks in US defence research spending, the technology in its private sector is beginning to lag.

The MoD underspend of £1.20 billion could be used to develop several TDs(Technology Demonstrator) to test the feasibility of MER(Military Equipment Recycling) by TI(Technology Insertion) here,  in the UK. The idea of MER has been discussed, ad finitum, on my Blogs and by almost every man, woman and child in the UK and elsewhere. Therefore, the concept of MER has now been well explored at the superficial level. The time has come to test all the theory. Real Engineers(DentCorp Ltd) would be glad to help the MoD "place" their £1.20 billion underspend without the slightest hint of crony-ism.

I think that the ongoing Flood Crisis has illustrated to the MoD what Real Engineers(DentCorp Ltd) can do. The idea of  leading a consortia of SME's to compete and out-perform the conventional global military equipment suppliers is not new. Designing new products "on the fly" and showing the way ahead in terms of MER, is also not new. These techniques were proved in a secret UK design and manufacturing operation in World War II which was carried out at a FF(Fast & Furious) pace that  cannot be matched by any other organisation, even today. My study of this secret UK wartime operation gave me the idea that a consortia of SME's could out-perform the big multi-nationals, provided they were coordinated in the same manner that proved to be so stunningly successful in World War II.

 I have been waiting some time, developing enabling technology, to demonstrate the effectiveness of the coordination of SMEs in an emergency response. The SMEs are already developing all the new technologies in any case, they just need the investment. I think a strategic case for investing in the SME technology sector, following the World War II secret peer-to-peer design and manufacturing operation almost exactly, can now be fully justified. The methodology has been proved to be successful beyond any doubt, in the current commercial environment.

0515 GMT 26/022014 Update: Hubs seem to have become very  fashionable at the moment with the USA and the Germans both claiming to have invented something called a Manufacturing Hub. I initially thought it was a factory making bicycle wheels! By the way, we already have a material in the UK  which can be as thin a paper and as strong as steel. It is called Kevlar. I also have to add, that we have been designing high technology products in the UK using computers for more than 20 years.

The only hub to be proposed by Real Engineers(DentCorp Ltd) is the RTH(Regional Transport Hub) which will provide a transport infrastructure to allow the regions to prosper by drastically cutting their crippling transport costs. Everything else flows from the RTH. It is high transport costs which prevent remote regions from competing in the global marketplace. An RTH requires air/road/rail transport to be located at one site. An ITH(Inter-modal Transport Hub) is where road/rail transport interfaces with an ocean-going freight terminal. An air freight terminal at an ITH  is not necessary, because the interface with air transport is usually located inland at the RTH.

RTH and/or ITH are the enabling technologies for regional regeneration. Although the concepts may not be new, it is the integration of a low-cost transport systems at the RTH and the ITH which has a transformational  effect on the viability of business in the more remote regions of a country. Real Engineers(DentCorp Ltd) bring their System Engineering knowledge to the table, when proposing a RTH or a ITH, to give a low-cost transport infrastructure to the regions.

1250  GMT 27/02/2014 Update: The Costa Concordia has been submerged for an extended period of more than a year, according to the report, and  it is safe to assume the ship is contaminated from bow to stern. If this proves to be the case, then the Costa Concordia cannot be recycled economically. Although the structural damage can be repaired, the contamination will have penetrated the very fabric of the ship over the long submerged period.

Why the opportunity was not taken to pump out the ship and re-float her, immediately after she was righted, is probably the subject of much speculation. I think the hull was intact or could have been easily repaired. Real Engineers(DentCorp Ltd) have no further interest in the Costa Concordia. The ship is no longer a sensible target for recycling because it will be totally contaminated by now. The clean up and decontamination costs for the Costa Concordia have soared out of control and the task may even be impossible. The Costa Concordia's contamination may be a serious threat to the local environment now that the re-floating process has been delayed.

My above analysis assumes that the BBC News report is accurate and not just further disinformation. In any case, it is not Real Engineer's policy to re-visit failed project proposals because, invariably the business case no longer exists with the passage of time.

0445 GMT 28/02/2014 Update: It is amazing how the reactionary Google Management continue  to shoot themselves in the foot, by attacking those of us in Cyberspace who are generating the "clicks" and thus a huge advertising revenue stream. Google Management ally themselves with big government around the world, most of whose senior officials cannot use a computer, never mind create irresistible on-line content which draws in the advertisers.

Google Management cannot play both sides of the street at the same time. It is commercial suicide to denigrate those who create revenue generating on-line content and grovel to those who wish to turn the next generation away from the Internet on  the PC(Personal Computer) and towards the "pay-for-every-click" environment of Smartphones and Tablets. The PC based Internet users generate huge advertising revenue for the content providers at very little cost to themselves. This is why the PC is still popular amongst the poor, which also includes students of all ages. The Smartphone and Tablet are really only for people on the go and not for any serious work or study.

I have removed two of my recent Blog Posts, which were generating huge income for Google and, incidentally, nothing for me. I have also stopped using the Google Search Engine years ago, because Bing was so much better. The only message that Google Management understands is a downturn in their advertising revenue stream. If relations between Google Management and Bloggers like myself do not improve then I will, reluctantly, move to another platform outside their politically motivated interference. I am already gradually moving away from Google Gadgets to significantly reduce my dependency on them.

The other reason which may motivate me to go-it-alone is the threat by WidgetBox not to support the many brilliant PC Widgets on my Blogs. I cannot see the logic in the decision for WidgetBox to withdraw from the PC market, because that is where the most talented people who generate Widgets operate. It must be a politically motivated retrograde step to prevent Geeks collaborating on-line. I am a great believer in turning Adversity to Advantage and I am investigating alternative ways of generating the same functionality.

A simple solution to Google's dominance and the withdrawal of WidgerBox from the PC market, would be for the providers of on-line content and widgets to simply set up their own servers to deliver their own Internet content. In this way. I could simply hyperlink to content/widgets on their own server. I think this form of distributed computing would speed up the Internet and cut the ground from under the dictatorship of Google Management. It would also prevent Google inserting on-click advertising into your content stream and would probably reduce Google's advertising revenue by at least 50% overnight.

I am already moving a away from Google Gadgets, because of their unreliability, towards hyperlinks which are easier to implement and are at least several orders of magnitude faster. By using hyperlinks, you bypass the logjam/bottleneck of Google servers, which are causing increasing  delays and allow the US Government to arbitrarily control the Internet. The eagerness of Google Management to participate in BS(Blanket Surveillance) has prompted me to find a workaround. In fact, it was Google Management's decision to collect data on their users which attracted the interest of the spies. The way forward for my Blogs is for them to consist of only text and hyperlinks, which will make them completely portable, very much faster and not dependent on Google Gadgets.

You will see that Google has withdrawn my Google Video Bar service, but the hyperlink, at the bottom of the preview frame, works so much  faster.  I would prefer it if Google abandoned the preview frame for their Video Bar and simply used a hyperlink directly to the Youtube content. Those of you who understand these things will see how I now hyperlink directly to new, automatic, Youtube  playlists. This allows me to verify the quality of the Youtube content, instead of the semi-randomness of the Google Video Bar search.

Today's interference with my Blogs, which I believe is by Google Management and is politically inspired, illustrates how little they know about the technicalities of the Internet, the PC and the Windows OS(Operating System). All of the above discussion is just elementary knowledge to any worthwhile engineer. I think Google is doomed, because they have motivated those us who provide outstandingly irresistible,  Internet content to reduce their dependence on Google. As a last resort, they will launch their Blogs from their own servers. Now the process of moving away from dependency on the big US based Internet giants has started, it becomes inevitable and will probably snowball. The difficult thing for me to understand is that Google Management is the author of its own demise.

Incredible!!!

1416 GMT 02/03/2014 Update: I now have a top-end specification for a recycled laptop capable of streaming content and video, accessed from my Blogs, over Ethernet, Wifi or Mobile Broadband, whichever is fastest in your area. An Internet connection can be found in almost any location of 14-18Mb/s in the UK. Ethernet and Wifi are only backup broadband connections. The normal Internet connection is via Mobile Broadband connection to the Internet, which bypasses most ISPs(Internet Service Provider). On my Website most content and videos can be accessed via hyperlink thus bypassing Google servers most of the time.

As with all potential products for recycling, certain laptops are better targets for recycling than others. Even at ebay prices, the end product laptop will outperform any Smartphone or Tablet at a very cost effective price. There is an opportunity, with OEM(Original Equipment Manufacturer) prices, to lower the cost of the laptop recycling even further. Many large organisations remove the laptop hard drive and the battery and then send the rest of the laptop to material recycling. However, Real Engineers always replaces the battery, hard drive and RAM. Therefore these redundant laptops can be picked up very cheaply as part of a security operation which disposes of the hard drive and the battery.

The problem with the current arrangements is that many laptop parts are lost in the security operation to dispose of the hard drive, which adds considerably to the recycling costs. Lost parts cause laptops from minor manufacturer's to be uneconomical to recycle because replacement parts are not readily available. If the security-supervised hard drive disposal operations were to be combined with the laptop recycling process, then it would all be very cost effective. In theory, any laptop can be recycled and upgraded at the same time, with all the vulnerable/unreliable parts replaced. But, initially, I am concentrating on high specifications laptops for a guaranteed good performance and to gain experience. There has been some scaremongering about replacement parts from the laptops in the News Media. If they cared to visit the Far East, where most laptops are manufactured these days, they would see that the laptop replacement parts come from the same production line as the laptops themselves. It is only when criminals get involved in the business that counterfeit parts appear on the market.

The target market for recycled laptops are the poor, students of all ages, and professionals seeking higher levels of computing power at home. These recycled laptops do not affect the Smartphone and Tablet market because the poor end of the market could not afford a Smartphone or a Tablet, whereas the top end professional would probably use all three. It does not affect the PC market because it is already in decline and the new  laptop business will probably go high specification (Games laptop) for their next generation products.

1530 GMT 02/03/2014 Update: Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway  has under-performed  the S&P 500 for the fifth year in a row, this time by 14.2%, and he calls that a success story. Additionally, his profits are just paper as they are based on increased value of assets. It is clear from his investment strategy that he is only successful in plodding, low risk stock. He is clueless in the higher risk, but potentially highly profitable, technology stocks because he invariably calls them wrong. This is the reason that the USA and, indeed, the UK are falling behind in terms of technology because the big investors are risk-averse and have no understanding of technology in any case.

Warren Buffet used to be called the Sage of Omaha because of his risk-averse success. This is fine, but we do need a great deal of venture capital, in addition, if we are to kick-start the high technology sector. You can reduce the risk exposure to the high technology sector by having advisers/investment managers who actually understand technology. The world is trending towards investment in the high technology sector again. Therefore we need financial advisers/investment managers who can pick the winners in this higher risk part of the stock market. I am afraid Warren Buffer will have to stick with his conservative investment strategy. I believe, that in the coming years, he will become known as the Sagebrush of Omaha as he gets left further and further behind and out of touch.

However, Berkshire Hathaway can be a stabilising factor, if others are to enter the more risky venture capital market. It is certainly not for everybody. In the high technology sector, you only need one winner to recoup your investment thousands of times over and to cover your inevitable losses on other ventures.

0910 GMT 03/03/2014 Update: This discussion of the future of Microsoft is very interesting to me. I, and many others, will not use a Cloud System of any kind. Cloud Systems are just an invitation for the spies to help themselves to all your data and IP. I can store my own data perfectly securely with cheap mass storage devices, which are readily available and are perfect for SMEs(Small & Medium enterprise). You just need the correct backup strategy to secure your data and IP in the event of a catastrophic system failure. In my opinion, giving outside companies access to your data and IP is no longer an option after the bitter experience of BS(Blanket Surveillance).

As far as the choice of OS(Operating System) is concerned, Real Engineers(DentCorp Ltd) will hedge their bets by offering a dual boot on any recycled laptop computer system, which they supply. The end-user will get a dual boot of Microsoft OS plus Microsoft Office and Linux OS plus Open Office. I detect a gradual, but determined, trend by personal users and SMEs to end their dependence on the US Internet giants. Post the BS scandal, the US Internet giants are regarded as hostile and untrustworthy. For example, the Conspiracy Theorists are saying that the guy who bought Skype in order to access everyone's laptop Webcam, even when you are not using it, is still creeping about at Microsoft. Why do they say this? Because if it can be done, then the spies will do it. It isn't even difficult if you own all the software.

It is clear to me that the Obama Administration never anticipated the negative commercial impact on the US Internet software sector, if the scope of the activities of US spies became public knowledge. The net result of BS, by the US and UK governments on their own Internet sectors is so profound,  that a hostile power could not have planned it better. This is what happens when people who cannot even use a computer, in any meaningful way, try to take control the Internet.

Unfortunately for the guys and gals at Microsoft, Langley and elsewhere, Voyeurism is probably still illegal in many states in the USA. Listening/Watching someone  covertly over an extended period, without their permission or without a 90 day surveillance warrant from a judge, is completely illegal in any country which claims to be a democracy. However, if you post legally sourced audio/images on the Internet then others can view them legitimately. If the audio/images posted on the Internet were obtained without the permission of the subject, those who posted the images may be subject of criminal charges. An example of illegal images being posted to the Internet is any kind of pornography. An example of images posted on the Internet without the permission of the subject would be any kind of audio/images obtained by surveillance. In the case of Youtube and similar organisations, then it is the responsibility of those who post such audio/images of any kind to make sure they have been obtained legally. This is why I only link to Youtube or other sources and I have moved away from publishing any audio/ images in my Blog posts. I also have a disclaimer at the bottom of each Blog page to prevent me becoming entangled in the illegal activities of others.

I have struggled, as have many others, to understand how existing laws apply to Internet publications and audio/images, but I think I have found a way forward by using hyperlinks, to avoid most of the law infringements which a lay person would probably never consider. I even pulled down all my Blog posts for a long time while I considered the legal position of their content. I eventually came to the conclusion that one is responsible for one's own content and not responsible for any content reached from my Blogs by a hyperlink. Hence the disclaimer. Furthermore, I came to the conclusion that the content was subject to the laws of the country of its origin and not the laws of other countries around the world whose understanding of English and legal system were very different to mine. This is why I make it very clear that my Blog content originates in the UK.

The legal issues are more complicated if my Blog content is located on a server in the USA. I came to the conclusion that it was just the arrangement chosen by the Blog facility provider, in this case Google, and did not change the origin of the content from the UK to the USA. It is just the same principle as a UK author having a book published by a US owned publisher, it does not change the origin of the material. Google has also tried to lay claim to copyrighted material published via their Blogs to which they have no rights whatsoever. Normal copyright law applies and is attributed to the author. Under BS there is a suspicion that Google gave the US and UK governments access to unpublished work, in draft form, stored in user's Blog archives. If this proves to be true, it will be the final nail in the coffin of Google. This will just add fuel to those who believe the US Internet giants are completely untrustworthy in the aftermath of the BS revelations.

1825 GMT 03/03/2014 Update: Meanwhile, down in Louisiana Geno Delafose  et al are still playing  boogy-woogy music. Any time is party time in Cajun/Zydeco Country. By the way, I refuse to do the BP gag again. I might have get fuel at one of their filling stations.

I like the Louisiana Zydeco-style line dancing. Probably great after few beers! However, I cannot explain why, but I still prefer the line dancing of Flick Colby and Pans People.

Most of these Zydeco bands play very well, but many need a good sound man/woman if they are going to promote themselves on the Internet. Here is band who can really play, but they need a top sound man/woman to show off their true talents both at the venue and on the Internet. Others are great too, but I have to pick one as an example.

This is what I call Demo Dancing. I could do that..........In my dreams!

I've just remembered what I liked about Flick Colby and Pans People. Nice idea for a video.

If you overlay or interlace this lead singer's unique vocals for Give him Cornbread  (the lyrics probably already exist) over this band's recording, either joining in the melody or singing a counter-melody........Would it work? Probably worth a try.

By the way, the beat/tempo of the counter-melody song is always an exact  multiple or sub-multiple of the original song, in my opinion. Others define it differently.......some even confuse counter-melody with descant.

This sophisticated lead singer could try out fronting this equally sophisticated Cajun Band singing in English or French, whichever is convenient. Again, it would be probably worth a try.

Mixing Country, Bluegrass, Blues, Gospel, Cajun, and Zydeco brings much needed variety and, more importantly, wider appeal. I remember a documentary about Elvis Presley where he rehearsed about 200 songs before he went on tour. It is this wide repertoire of songs and music which allows you to adapt your act to any audience, anywhere, in real time.

If these match-ups work............Then eat your heart out Glastonbury!!!

1030 GMT 04/03/2014 Update: More from Beau Jocque and the Zydeco Hi Rollers. I wonder if the Zydeco Hi Rollers are still around. If not, Andre Thierry & Zydeco Magic could probably play in the same blues style as the Zydeco Hi Rollers and back-up this lead singer. They need to get a new set of drums and maybe a good blues violinist. It would be worth a try out.

1510 GMT 04/03/2014 Update: I have heard on the Grapevine, that the residents of Hollywood have been seen lurking around Lake Piru, California trying to use the output of the high volume pumps to remake this film  Killer Flood: The Day the Dam Broke 2003.

I predict that a plot-less and unimaginative script will involve some US Marine, or similar, storming into the neighbourhood of Lake Piru to save everyone from destruction. The Hollywood authors, scriptwriters and directors et al have not had a single original idea in the last 25 years. These people may also be creeping around the flood waters of Somerset Levels, UK.

If this story is true, the film crew involved has no connection to me or my companies and does not have any access to my IP. The end result will probably be rubbish in any case.

0440 GMT 05/03/2014 Update: This is so  much  better from Andre Thierry & Zydeco Magic. A more snappy performance and the keyboards sound great. Can the scrub-board guy, Ruben Moreno or someone else, play harmonica? Different songs need different instruments when you have a big repertoire. By the way, the video reminds me of a couples of scenes from the Blues Brothers 1980 film(movie). If you buy state-of-the-art keyboards, I believe they can imitate any instrument. In the old days, bands used to have a stack of keyboards for every purpose. This keyboard player was a wonderful asset to the band

If Andre Thierry & Zydeco Magic are able to play harmonica and blues fiddle, in addition to their current offering, a whole new range songs and music can be easily integrated into their performances. For a live slot, at a big venue, you probably need about two hour's worth of songs and music (maybe even more) tailored specifically to the occasion. Remember, when your performance goes particularly well you may have to do an encore of up to 30 minutes, if you have really connected with the audience.

And another thing!........ Sign up the dancer dressed in black in the background of the video.........I like her.........Routines, Man.

And another thing!!..........Where the hell is that lead singer I tol' you about?........She can't be still up on that mountain!!!

0640 GMT 05/03/2014 Update: Lets check out the Savoy Family Cajun Band. Note the difference between Cajun and Zydeco music. Cajun is more traditional French in origin. Zydeco has a strong blues influence.

Andre Thierry & Zydeco Magic must distinguish themselves from Cajun bands such as the Savoy Family, by following the blues tradition. Sounding the same as everybody else means you are going nowhere.

Even the Savoy Family Band would benefit from a top-flight lead singer who would add variety, widen appeal and maybe Internationalise the band without any fundamental change to their traditional performances. Clever interlacing of the lead singer's numbers with the Savoy Family Band's normal performance would be a win-win scenario for all concerned.

1020 GMT 05/03/2014 Update: This is even better from Andre Thierry & Zydeco Magic as he experiments with his line-up to get that special sound for his band which Glenn Miller was always talking about. Andre Thierry is now calling the band's moves from the side and you can hear the blues influence in its sound. It still needs a bit of fine tuning and then we are all set to tackle Give Him Cornbread. That reminds me.............Where is that lead singer?

Andre Thierry will have to work out the sound of his band for himself, but he could do a lot worse than follow the style Beau Jocque and Zydeco Hi Rollers. The only comment I will make now, is that the band cannot keep this pace up all night. This is where your lead singer comes in with a few slow numbers, like Ol' Shep, so that the band can have a rest. While the lead singer slows things right down, the blues fiddle or the harmonica wailing away in the background will get 'em going. A few slow numbers at the end of the night are also appropriate to make sure nobody goes home empty handed. Local/guest artists are useful  to give the band a rest.

If you know your stuff, and can connect with the audience, you can turn a routine dance session into quite an emotional and memorable occasion.

1345 GMT 05/03/2014 Update: I don't know how to tell this..............Radio Shack is closing 1100 stores.........There's nothing sacred any more!......Those (expletive deleted) Socialists will shut this whole country(USA) down  before they are done!!

Hell, I bought my first Laptop from Radio Shack long before anyone else had the idea. I bought it to finish some report or paper while I was on vacation. Anyway, we arrived at Costa Fortune and my partner, as they say these days, soon disappeared to relax by the pool, so I retrieved the Radio Shack Laptop out of my case and started to work on my paper/report.

About three hours later, my partner returned from the pool and came into the hotel room. A look of shock and horror came over her face as she saw a Laptop for the first time. She burst out with: " What kind of (expletive deleted) idiot brings a computer on holiday." I replied "I do." She immediately flounced out of the room and back to the pool. After about three days when I had finished my paper/report she started talking to me again, which was a bit of a disappointment.

The moral of this sorry tale is, not to  let your partner see the technology you are using, because they are probably technophobic. If so, life is going to be "interesting." I also found out, back in those days, that when you use computers you leave an electronic trail, because every transaction is either time & date stamped or logged or both. Even deleting files does not work because all you have deleted is the file header/pointer, the data still exists on your storage device. It is handy if you know these things.

By the way, the Radio Shack Laptop ran WordStar, as I remember. It was a bit clunky, the battery went flat in no time, but I was able to upload/download files from my desktop PC. I remember the name of the Far Eastern manufacturer, but  I leave it as an exercise for the student to find it all out. The word Laptop had not been invented then, so you will never find it by using that search term. In the end, the Radio Shack Laptop got the job done and I was extremely grateful for that. Later I used it to test the principle of a radio link from my Radio Shack Laptop to my desktop PC, which I demonstrated to the owner of a local SME.......... I never did hear from him again.............It was more than 10 years later before Bluetooth was "invented."

For the radio link demonstration, I interfaced the RS232 output of the Radio Shack Laptop to one of those early analogue, wireless telephone remote handsets (prior to DECT), also from Radio Shack. At the base station end, I interfaced the telephone output to the RS232 of my desktop PC. It all looked a bit crude, but I successfully uploaded/downloaded files over a distance of more than 100 metres (partially obstructed), which I thought was very good at the time.

1940 GMT 05/03/2014 Update: If you still haven't understood........ Zydeco Dance Music is the melody and the Blues is the counter-melody at exactly half the tempo. It really works, Man!

I believe that Sylvester Weaver was one of the first to play the Blues on a guitar in the early 1920s. It still sounds great even today.

It is time for a Blues revival............But this time dope-free. It plays so well as the counter-melody to Zydeco. This is how it works and this is how to dance........Zydeco style.........Not Bad!

0430 GMT 06/03/2014 Update: This is how they keep fit down in Louisiana. It has got to be better than pounding the tarmac or pumping iron.

0915 GMT 06/03/2014 Update: This is how you do the real slow numbers that gives you a break and gets 'em going.  The Three Degrees had the extra attributes that got the attention of the audience.

The question for Andre Thierry today is: Did you sign up the dancer in the black dress with the nice routines? If so, as' her if she, and a couple of her friends out of the line dancing, could sing like the The Three Degrees........ Check it out, Man!

1810 GMT 06/03/2014 Update: The film(movie) The Day the Earth Stood Still 1951 contains the immortal line: "These aren't people.........They're Democrats." After observing, and suffering from, their unprincipled behaviour in office I heartily concur. They make gutter politics seem respectable.

Hollywood's finest have been "inspired" to do a plot-less version of the wonderful old film(movie),  The Day the Earth Stood Still 1951 . The leading actor is some guy called Keanu Reeves. W(ho)TF is that? It is rumoured that he works in a Charity Shop these days!!!

By the way, the product predicted  in the film(movie) The Day the Earth  Stood Still which was stronger than steel was later named Kevlar. Although billions of dollar were spent on Kevlar development the problem of UV exposure was never solved. As always, Real Engineers has a simple solution.

Also the incredible antiseptic predicted in the film(movie) was invented much later in the UK by ICI.

0405 GMT 06/03/2014 Update: This is an interesting trend down in Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA of all places. It just reinforces my theory that Trade Unions, with their reactionary attitudes, are a thing of the past and are simply holding back progress in the 21st Century. To use the vernacular, the UAW is a "busted flush!"

If the Union-free,Volkswagen car factory at Chattanooga proves to be successful, then I expect a domino effect as other car assembly plants follow suit and evict the UAW. It is bad enough having a dictatorial national government without having a dictatorial Trade Union, such as the UAW, at your place of work. Especially if the boss-man/boss-woman is just fine. In my experience, Trade Unions merely create conflict and confrontation where none exists!

0530 GMT 07/03/2014 Update: If you listen to this recording by Roy Orbison over Surround-Sound, you will realise why I thought he was one of the all-time greats. It was the unique sound of his Gibson ES335 Guitar which gave his performances that special, fabulous sound. Seeing and hearing Roy Orbison perform live was the most memorable musical experience of my life. Surround-Sound makes this recording almost as good as the actual live performance.

Young composers/singers/musicians could learn a great deal from Roy Orbison's creativity, musical skill and stage presence. He was so distinctively different from all the other Rock 'n' Roll stars of his era, which was probably the secret of his success. He connected emotionally with his audience, especially the women, in a very subtle way. I can certainly recommend Roy Orbison's music if you want to impress ladies.

0605 GMT 07/03/2014 Update: Those who like films(movies) will note that Roy Orbison's initials are RKO. You have to be a bit zany to notice these things.

In the current era, this is the only guy I know who has a similar vocal range to Roy Orbison.  If you cannot play a Gibson ES335 then  find someone who can, together with few others who can really play, and you are in business. There is an almost unlimited supply of romantic songs to perform which are not familiar to the present generation. C'mon Ivan Parker, knock 'em sideways.

Try fronting these guys, Ivan Parker. They are already up an running with romantic songs and Gibson Guitars..........For at least 40 years.

0730 GMT 07/03/2014 Update: This is DJ Top-Cat signing off with California Blue?

1050 GMT 07/03/2014 Update: The UK pub chain, J D Weatherspoon (JDW), seems to have what I call "big company syndrome" and has lost all the advantages of a SME(Small and Mediums Enterprise). This, I believe, explains the downward trajectory of their share price. The shares have been close to their 3 month high, therefore, there may be a bit of profit taking.

The transition from a SME to a PLC(Public Limited Company) is never easy, because the culture of the company changes and cannot easily be reversed. I have witnessed, first hand, this change of culture in company when it becomes a much larger PLC and it is not a pretty sight. There are several instances around the world where a under-performing PLCs are taken back into private ownership to try and achieve their former dynamic culture, which is typical of start-ups and SMEs.

2055 GMT 07/03/2014 Update: This is what I call state-of-the-art keyboards. It is a quite acceptable rendition of California Blue. The Tyros 4 is useful for the keyboards player to imitate some instruments that you might not have. It has a host of features. The Tyros 4, or similar, adds to the band's flexibility/capability and does not replace anyone.

0245 GMT 08/03/2014 Update: Dave Brubeck and his Quartet knew a thing or two about Jazz. Note that in Take Five the beat is the same as Zydeco. Therefore, Andre Thierry & Zydeco Magic can play Zydeco music while the Saxophone and piano plays Take Five as the counter-melody. Its a bit complicated, with part of the band following one beat and the other part of the band following the half tempo beat.

To simplify things the drummer has to maintain two beats for the rest of the band to follow. It is all demonstrated perfectly by Dave Brubeck's Take Five.

1920 GMT 08/03/2014 Update: Here is Ivan Parker with the Zydeco version of Gospel. It is worth noting that Ivan Parker has a big repertoire.......of over 200 songs, which is what you need when you are on the road. Ivan Parker's voice has fantastic vocal range, perfect pitch and crystal clear diction. He is a latter-day Engelbert or Roy Orbison.

Ivan Parker's repertoire consists almost entirely of Gospel songs, which limits his appeal. He could quite easily broaden his appeal by adding songs from Engelbert or Roy Orbison to his repertoire because they are completely compatible with his Christian beliefs.

This is the level of excellence that we are trying to achieve.

1350 GMT 09/03/2013 Update: Here is an example of the Zydeco dance beat being incorporated into some slushy boogie-woogie music. It is not my favourite music, but it was very popular with dancers. I think it can all be recycled into Zydeco music.

As for me, I was always too busy doing something far more interesting.......Engineering! I am still doing it today......Engineering that is!! In any case, the Engineering version of Sugar Sugar is slightly different!!!

1355 GMT 09/03/2014 Update: By the way, I must reiterate that I cannot be held responsible for any misinterpretation of my Blog posts by different cultures or English speakers. My words should be interpreted literally as defined in any good UK Standard English Dictionary. Any other interpretation is purely incidental.

0830 GMT 10/03/2014 Update: Do not worry about the apparently broken hyperlinks in my Retro Video Film Jukebox. They will come back on stream shortly when the people screwing up the Internet have gone out of business.

Broken hyperlinks only occur either due to server maintenance/upgrades or by the people organising the file system not knowing what they are doing or by others maliciously deleting/renaming files. You also get the destructive/hacking element on the Internet trying gain control but I think a  big hit on their share price ought to serve as a sharp reminder.

1317 GMT 10/03/2014 Update: If you do not know how to play the keyboards here is an example of how it should be done. Note that this Cat plays Zydeco beat.

1458 GMT 10/03/2014 Update: This is what I call US BS from Boeing. Why? Because if it takes this much effort to change a serviceable item, i.e. a battery, on their aircraft then the original design is rubbish. In any case, it is much cheaper to get the design "Right First Time."

The story is just Boeing trying to put a positive spin on what has been a public confidence disaster of epic proportions. They now claim to be experts in logistics. If that is so, why did they not know the source of their batteries or are they saying that their in-house part of the design was flawed.

Boeing would have been well advised to let everyone forget about the potential for endangering the aircraft by battery failures. In my opinion, this BS press release just reminds people like me that Boeing has hit a new low in terms of civil aircraft design and its in-service reliability.

1115  GMT 10/03/2014 Update: Here we have the other side of the coin, or is it the Bitcoin these days. Boeing is being, perhaps wrongly, implicated an alleged aircraft accident, but no wreckage has been found. As time goes by, with no aircraft debris sighted in the the sea off Malaysia, then it is time to consider other scenarios.

I would propose the theory that the MH370 Boeing 777 aircraft is on the ground, probably in Vietnam. It should be a relatively easy matter to verify this theory because there are only about  9 runways, of sufficient length, for a Boeing 777 to land in Vietnam as follows: VVCT, VVDL, VVDN, VVCI, VVNB, VVTS, VVPB, VVCR, VVPQ. The most interesting target destinations  are VVDN and VVCR.

My theory about the disappearance of MH370 Boeing 777  is that the pilots have been compromised, by whatever means. When the aircraft reached the RADAR blind spot between Malaysia and Vietnam, a rapid descent was executed. The aircraft then continued to its destination at low-level. Once on the ground, the aircraft was hidden either inside a giant hangar or under a camouflage sheet. I know that this sounds a bit far-fetched, but as no debris can be found in the ocean, then an aircraft  hijack with diversion to a nearby airport is worth considering.

It should be relatively easy to check out the 9 potential hijack destinations for MH370, preferably by a reconnaissance teams on the ground. I do not want to raise false hopes, but it is not credible that an aircraft the size of a Boeing 777 can crash into the ocean without leaving a trail of debris.

0445 GMT 12/03/2014 Update: There are no overnight  reports in the News Media of debris from MH370 Boeing 777 being found in the sea. I think a mid-air  hijack becomes the more likely scenario as every hour passes with no debris sighted.

As far as I recall, the only underutilised giant hangar in this part of South East Asia, which could hide an aircraft the size of a Boeing 777 with very little notice,  is located at VVDN. My knowledge of hangar facilities in the South East Asia region is not necessarily up to date. There cannot be many giant hangars in this area of South East Asia where a Boeing 777 could be hidden from view without anyone observing any suspicious activity.

The other, but much less likely alternative, is that MH370 is under a camouflage sheet elsewhere. However, this activity would have been observed by people on the ground and regarded as suspicious. Therefore, I have discarded this theory.

0525 GMT 12/03/2014 Update: Good Morning Vietnam! I am a bit late on parade this morning!!

Enjoy these soundtracks from the film(movie) The Deer Hunter and others. Sometimes the music soundtrack is the only good thing about a film(movie) as evidenced by the recent incarnation of The Great Gatsby!!!

0855 GMT 12/03/2014 Update: It is interesting to note the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron has chosen this moment to visit Israel, presumably to encourage the peace process, which is a very laudable aim that I can support.

The other point of interest for me, from an Israeli defence point of view, is their over-dependence on the F-16 and F-35  fair weather, daylight only, Air Inferiority Aircraft. They do have some useful F-15s and F-15Es left, but they are in desperate need of recycling by TI(Technology Insertion). Now that Saudi Arabia has bought the BAe Typhoon MRCA(Multi Role Combat Aircraft), according BAe press releases, then I perceive that Israel has lost its much vaunted regional air superiority.

I always thought the Israelis were rather cleverer than most on average until they bought the F-16, which I eventually concluded must be an aberration. When they finally ordered the F-35 I decided that the Israeli Air Force had lost its way, together with the UK Air Force and UK Navy. The only option open to the Israeli Government is to pursue the peace talks, while they sort out a mess of their own creation in terms of military aircraft.

Anyway, these are just my opinions and thoughts, you do not have to take any notice of them whatsoever. After all, I am merely an Engineer.

0958 GMT 12/03/2014 Update: Real Engineers(DentCorp Ltd) have a solution for high speed Internet access for aircraft passengers which does not interfere with the aircraft avionics in any way. It is relatively easy to install, as a retro-fit during normal routine, but extended, maintenance by the aircraft manufacturer's service crews.

By the way, it is not wise to use WiFi radio, or any other Tx radio, on an aircraft which has FBW(Fly-By-Wire) with no back-up system. Why? Because sooner or later the powerful WiFi radio signal, or any other Tx  radio signal, will cause a digital electronic component to change state unexpectedly. This unexpected digital event may, in turn, precipitate a chain of events which could result in the temporary loss of control of the aircraft. This important issue seems to be forgotten in the digital age of programmer dominated design teams. You need to be a great deal more than a BP(Button-Pusher), or a TSO(Touch Screen Operative), to qualify as a Real Engineer.

1030 GMT 12/03/2014 Update: Fiddler on the Roof was a film about the pogroms in Russia during the late 19th and early 20th Century under various regimes. It was notable that Tevye had ambitions to be rich, but he could not to adapt to the new circumstances of his life. Economic prosperity makes life so much easier for everyone but what I do not understand is the Socialist's ambition to be poor, which I have termed negative ambition. To constrain everyone to the same rate of progress in the 21st century means that the whole country gets further and further behind both economically and technically. For example, those at leading edge of technology in Israel do not live in a Kibbutz.

1145 GMT 12/03/2014 Update: To brighten everyone's day here is Neil Diamond...........Terrific.

1258 GMT 15/03/2014 Update: I have deduced from this story that Bill Gates is a bottoms up CC(Coding Clerk) and  Mark Suckerberg is no businessman and will soon be a former billionaire. If they had both been correctly educated they would be able to see the error of their ways.

Unfortunately, people who are less than efficient in the grey cells department often think they are rather clever. Worse still, others who are even less well endowed........intellectually, actually listen to them. Bill Gates has created the biggest pile of spaghetti code in the world and Mark Suckerberg has created a system for nasty people to be even nastier...........On the international scale!

It would have been far better for the world if Bill Gates and Mark Suckerberg had completed their University courses, even though it was Harvard University. It seems incredible to me that they are two of the richest men in the world. They have done so much damage to the reputation of the USA by permitting BS(Blanket Surveillance) and enabling Cyber-Bullying, respectively. The activities of these two so-called "US entrepreneurs" tell you all you need to know about the moral compass of the USA today, both in business and technology.

1840 GMT 15/03/2014 Update: This is the boastful resident of Necker Island, Richard Branson, making extravagant claims about his wealth: "I have been very fortunate to accumulate so much wealth in my career, more than I need in my lifetime and would not live somewhere I don't want to for tax reasons."

Over the last 25 years I have read many financial analyst's views that Richard Branson's net worth is negative. We have no way of verifying the true wealth of Richard Branson, because as far as I know, nobody has ever seen the top level accounts of the Virgin Group.

I also do not think a resident of Necker Island should have so much influence with successive UK governments, when we do not have any idea of his true financial status. I am reminded of Robert Maxwell(deceased), the publisher, whose "vast wealth" turned out to be non-existent.

In the world today, there are those people with real wealth, i.e. their net worth is substantially positive, and there are those people who seem to have an unlimited line of credit. It would be interesting to know into which category Richard Branson falls. If it proves to be the latter category, then I would want to know which UK banks, if any, are bankrolling the Virgin Group. I believe the UK bank's problems may be caused by a few "high rollers" (about 10% of the bank's customers) who have become financially unglued by a recession that simply won't quit.

I do not know who owns Virgin Media these days, but it is still blocking the Viooz film(movie) web site in the UK. I believe the courts, Virgin Media  and probably the UK government are in unknown legal territory and may get themselves into great difficulties. It is doubtful if any Judge in the UK understands anything about film(movie) streaming companies such as Viooz, whose servers are located  in some other country. Also, I do not think that any UK Judge knows the difference between streaming and downloading!

0410 GMT 17/03/2014 Update: It will be interesting to find out today if Richard Branson actually has the vast wealth which he boasts about on an almost daily basis. My own opinion, is that Branson is doing a "Maxwell". That is, he is  borrowing his vast wealth, probably on a unsecured basis.

We have a saying in Engineering and Branson is "full of it." The time has come for the bragging resident of Necker Island to either put up or shut up. Branson claims to be the UK's greatest businessman, so lets us see the proof of his vast wealth or is it just more "vapour-ware."

Richard Branson claims he, and his family, will soon be in orbit. I have always thought Branson was in orbit for most of the last 25 years. The UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, is a great supporter of Richard Branson. They will probably orbit together!

1130 GMT 17/03/2014 Update: Sold!!!!

1415 GMT 17/08/2014 Update: Let us start talking debt/asset ratios (%). In the private sector a debt/asset ratio of 75% is a common safe level of borrowing. This may creep up to 90% in times of boom. However, for privileged customers and PLCs(Private Limited Companies) the debt/asset  ratio may be well in excess of 100%. In a booming economy the debt/asset ratio for PLCs can be as high as 500% in the case of a highly leveraged takeover. The plan, in this case, is to reduce the excessive borrowing to something more manageable in time for the next recession.

In 2007/8 many companies were caught with a high debt/asset ratio. Some of these companies became bankrupt but others were saved by their banks or by their governments. This interfered with the normal capitalist process of the insolvent companies being declared bankrupt. We are now in the situation where companies who would have gone bankrupt, if capitalism had taken its normal course, are still in business. These companies are drastically under-performing and I believe their debt/asset ratio may be worse than ever. The term Zombie companies has been coined for these companies, who are only being kept alive by the goodwill of the banks.

A problem has now arisen where the Zombie companies are consuming all the available finance from the banks. This means that the UK economy is frozen, because there is no bank finance left to fund the start-ups required to replace the old Zombie companies. The idea of Zombie companies blocking the UK economy is not new, but I believe they are preventing the banks moving forward. Zombie companies are probably responsible for most of the UK banks bad debt.

There is now a financial stalemate in the UK economy, with growth in the traditional companies sluggish at best and the new technology start-ups either non-existent or choosing to look for a more favourable economic environment. None of the above is new, but years later we are still struggling financially with no end in sight for the people at the lower end of the income scale. In spite of the massive hype by the government and the news media about economic growth, the trickle down effect has not happened. Most of the opportunities for inward investment in the UK have now been missed with VCs(Venture Capitalist) turning to the emerging economies to place their money. In these circumstances, the UK will struggle along to the next downturn which is due in the next 2-3 years.

What has been gained? The status quo has been preserved, but at what cost? It is my belief that the UK was, and is, so dysfunctional on many fronts that the status quo was not worth preserving. We are all waiting for the UK Coalition Government to point the way forward, but in spite of a great deal of pointing, nothing substantial has happened. In the meantime, I, and many others are looking at fresh projects and new horizons. As I keep saying, time inexorably moves forward and has left behind all those who failed to adapt to the new economic realities. In addition, the UK government is up to its neck in legal problems involving the Internet, which it never understood in the first place and now, years later, it is still none the wiser. Those who did understand the Internet have long since moved on and the UK is now left with an outdated economy, a disillusioned military and a feeble, ineffective, puppet government. Tough!

By the way, it is Virgin Group's suspected high debt/asset ratio that has prompted this discussion. It is doubtful if the the true status of Richard Branson's finances will ever be revealed. This inevitably leads to the speculation that he is misleading us all.

A similar analysis of the US economy will lead to the same depressing conclusions as those drawn for the UK. I, and probably many others, are now investigating how to turn Adversity into Advantage when these companies with high debt/asset ratios eventually fail. There will be rich pickings for those people who know how to make failed companies profitable again. The target companies are those who have been in business for more than 25 years and are a virtual monopoly in their sector. These companies are likely to be the most inefficient/unresponsive and most likely to fail or become takeover fodder. A company that fits all these criteria is GM in the USA. If GM cannot replace a defective $2.85 ignition switch in over 10 years then it is ripe for delayering, de-unionising and re-tooling. GM will then automatically return to efficiency, product reliability and profit. All in one FF(Fast & Furious) application of industrial surgery.

In the UK, there are many more target enterprises for similar industrial surgery, which can be bought from the receiver for peanuts and then turned around financially. It is in the area of companies with potential which have slipped into administration, where I see the only viable opportunities left in the UK.

Today, there are very few people who can make things happen in the real world. Most can only make videos or simulations of what they desire to happen. They are the fakers of achievement that in no way represent real events. I am far from taken in by some video on the News. If you have watched many movies then you can recognise any suspicious or potentially fake events in the News Media. The credibility of the News Media is now undermined and it is difficult to have any confidence in what they say. I think they have destroyed their own News Media industry as more and more people turn to the Internet for answers on just about everything. Nobody will have the slightest sympathy with the News Media employees!

1549 GMT 18/03/2014 Update: All that I expect from the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, is that he read and understand his own budget before he makes his presentation in the House of Commons tomorrow.

0335 GMT 21/03/2014 Update: Here is the direct, damaging economic impact of BS(Blanket Surveillance) in the UK. I doubt if the UK Home Secretary, Theresa May, can even use a computer or has the slightest knowledge of the Internet. Yet she, and her superiors, have authorised BS without any understanding of the devastating impact of BS on the lives of ordinary people both in terms of privacy and now in terms of jobs.

It has been clear to me for some time that the UK is not a secure location to store valuable IP(Intellectual Property) or personal data. I think that hacking the computer of a private individual, for no apparent reason, must be a crime. The worrying thing for me is that hacking is no longer the domain of Internet criminals. It is your own government that you have to worry about. The UK and US governments have given no indication that BS is to be constrained in any way.  Therefore, the UK and US governments will have to pay the price at the forthcoming elections.

I do not know of any terrorist who has been caught by BS, which has cost the UK and US taxpayer $billions of dollars to implement. It will cost $billions more as high technology companies shy away from the UK and US. Anyone who has placed webcam images of private individuals in the public domain will reap a bitter harvest of revenge as outraged computer experts punish the offenders in way they could not even imagine.

I have had enough of the intervention of UK and US government into my own life over countless years and now the time has come to take a stand against these politicians who claim to be democratically elected representatives of the people. I can see very little difference in their MO(Modus Operandi) from organised crime such as the Mafia. They are both using the same surveillance methods.

It all ends here. The UK vote was only about 30% of the total electorate in recent elections and will probably be even less in the forthcoming elections as disillusioned and economically deprived  UK citizens vote with their feet. Nobody can have any respect for politicians who believe in BS of the very people who voted for them. It is only a matter of time before all those UK politicians who authorised BS have to come out of hiding and face electorate already disenchanted because of the lack of progress on the economic front.

As I always say to politicians: "You can run (for office), but you cannot hide (from the electorate)." Even in normal times any politician entering into a debate with people on the street has found it severely career limiting. The former UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown was crushed, in political terms, by his televised encounter with a little old lady. If I was a politician I would be terrified of those little old ladies because they are so devastating. Another former UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, found this out the hard way when he tried to use the members of WI(Women's Institute) for  his own political ends. Their very public humiliation of Tony Blair was excruciating to watch and he never came back for more.

1432 GMT 21/03/2014 Update: If an ISP cannot cope with the data rate then they should get out of the business. Virgin Media is a typical example of an ISP trying to block streaming to gain income. In fact I have never understood the need for an ISP. The web address should be decoded at the telephone exchange and routed directly to its destination. The ISP is one of the main bottlenecks in the Internet system. They are really obsolete and slowing down the Internet.

It should be very easy to circumvent any ISPs that will not shape up. My advice to Netflix is to work with the Internet engineers to bypass all the ISPs who cannot keep up with your streaming speed. To put it crudely, you need to (expletive deleted) the likes of Branson's Virgin Media out of the Internet business.

I think the  reason why Virgin Media's servers are slow is they run a Microsoft OS, which is clunky and inefficient. If they switched to a Linux OS for their servers, then their problems would disappear overnight without extra hardware in the short term.

If my theories about the parlous state of Virgin Groups finances prove to be correct, then Richard Branson is not a fit person to control a substantial chunk of the UK Internet business. I am not even sure if Richard Branson still owns Virgin Media. It is all shrouded in secrecy. If Richard Branson cannot produce absolute evidence of his solvency by Monday morning, then Virgin Media will have to be removed from his control as an example to all other ISP's who are trying to dominate the Internet.

 The crazy idea has occurred to me that all Virgin Media Internet traffic is being routed through Necker Island or even Langley or elsewhere. I can recognise that there is something drastically wrong by the huge ping delay. If it can be shown that the Internet is being slowed down by BS(Blanket Surveillance) routing your data unnecessarily to distant servers under the control of the spies, then I think it will be the end of the road for the current crop of politicians. Get to work Internet Engineers and check my theories out!!!

Such a vital UK-wide  resource as the Internet cannot be controlled by someone who resides on Necker Island and whose companies are registered in a privately owned offshore tax haven, according to my information. Virgin Media ISP must be owned by a UK based company and not owned by an offshore Internet control freak with dubious habits. If Richard Branson does not play ball then I suggest we cut the cable to Necker Island, that ought to concentrate what's left of his mind. At the bottom of all this manoeuvring  is the UK and US governments trying to spy on their own Internet users.

1647 GMT 21/03/2014 Update: All that these so-called big shots trying to control the Internet understand is to be financially "gutted." Therefore, if these ISPs are in bed with the spies, then I suggest we cut their line of credit. Then we cut  their cables, if they still persist in their attempt to hi-jack the Internet. It is called a  financial vasectomy!  You put their cajones into the vice and turn the screw until their eyes water, financially speaking.

In my opinion,  Richard Branson is a "busted flush." What do you say?

1805 GMT 21/03/2014 Update: To calm your nerves, here is Don Williams.

0545 GMT 22/03/2014 Update: If a company/individual/organisation(UK based) makes an offer to buy Richard Branson/Virgin Group debt at 10% of its book value, or thereabouts, at 1000 GMT on Monday 24 March 2014, I think the banks will accept their offer. TINA for the banks!

1150 GMT 22/03/2014 Update: Richard Branson and the Virgin Group just get even more interesting when you put them under the microscope. Necker Island is of special interest to a guy like me who is interested in intrigue. Let us see how much close scrutiny they can withstand. The way to fight back at those who are assisting the spies is to put them under surveillance. I believe people like Richard Branson cannot withstand the same level of scrutiny which I have had to endure for years.

1207 GMT 22/03/2014 Update: By the way, if you do not like the risqué style of some of my Blog posts, then please do not read them. I am only trying to generate some "women's interest" because all this economics, politics and technology can be a bit boring.

1830 GMT 22/03/2012 Update: Memo to self: Do not buy property down wind of Langley.

0240 GMT 23/03/2014 Update: More bad news! It is rumoured that Willie Nelson might be a  Democrat. He needs the brain-function upload from Real Engineers. Just as well I never went to Amarillo, I would have to re-educate him. You can't move forward until you get your head right!

Here, Wiilie Nelson advocates smoking marijuana. Notice that his voice is completely flat. An incredibly stupid decision for a singer. I must remember to stay upwind of Ol' Willie.

0307 GMT 23/03/2014 Update: I had forgotten the Kevin Bacon can boogie like there's no tomorrow. There seems to be no end to his talents. I hope he has got his head right.

0520 GMT 26/03/2014 Update: Apparently, Richard Branson/Virgin Group does have options. I would have thought that he only had the "Maxwell Option" left. Borrow even more money! Go on UK banks, lend Branson/Virgin Group even more money!! You know it makes sense!!! We will see just who has money and who has credit.

I know you guys and gals out in Cyberspace like to gamble. Always remember, if you bet the farm then you have to be prepared to lose the farm. In my view, Branson's Virgin Group is a one way bet, therefore, TLO(Table Limit Off). If you are relying on the US government/banks bailing out the Virgin Group then you are clutching at straws, because I have calculated the USA may be very close to its debt ceiling.

Even more amazingly, Richard Branson is being held up as a role model for the UK youth of today. I don't think so! Do you? It is one thing to have a respectable public image. It is quite another thing to buy one!

1710 GMT 27/03/2014 Update: The new top-of-the-range Mini is probably faster over 300 miles than the latest F1 racing cars.  If it sound like s**t, performs like s**t and looks like s**t, then it probably is s**t.

Bernie Ecclestone must be in the early stages of dementia. Hybrid engines are not going to push motor car technology forward, because we could use last century's technology and still win. If you want F1 to Go Green then you might as well race electric wheel chairs. It is not a noise issue for me.  It is all about performance, or rather the lack of performance. The noise of F1 racing cars can be minimised by the use of freely available engineering components.

F1 racing should be developing alternative fuel engines which do not compromise performance. Not hybrid engines which are only suitable for urban motoring, or are we all going to live in towns in the future!

2010 GMT 27/03/2014 Update: Let's see how Willie Nelson is getting on today.

1215 GMT 30/03/2014 Update: UK Coal is on the verge of administration for the second time in two years. It will need a drastic solution, with a great deal of lateral thinking, to save UK Coal. The problem is that neither UK Coal nor the NUM(National Union of Mineworkers) will accept the industrial medicine and surgery necessary to return them to profit.

For example, Real Engineer's(DentCorp Ltd) plan to restore UK Coal to profitability, in the face of declining coal prices, would include delayering the management, de-unionising all UK Coal activities and automating the underground and above ground mining processes. Also LTT(Long Train Technology) would be used to cut coal delivery costs to the end user.

Real Engineer's(DentCorp Ltd) turnaround plan is based on tried and trusted methods, but they will probably choke the NUM and its members. TINA NUM. Therefore, I fear the worst for UK Coal, and indeed the NUM, whose activities in 1984 and other years ensure they have no future in UK Coal, unless they can find a stupid philanthropist.

0420 GMT 31/03/2014 Update: A good solution for UK Coal would be to tap Richard Branson's Virgin Group for financial support, because they seem to have unlimited credit. Virgin Coal has a rather nice ring to it and Virgin Rail is perfect for delivering coal, because it is useless at delivering passengers economically. It is only Richard Branson's "connections" in government which keep him in the railway business.

A similar analysis can be applied to the endless line of credit which the UK banks extend to Richard Branson/Virgin Group. I conservatively estimate the net worth of the Branson/Virgin Group to be at least -$10 billion. Bailing out UK Coal will be peanuts for a guy of Richard Branson's stature.

0530 GMT 01/04/2014 Update: Time to Take it Easy with the Eagles.

2057 GMT 02/04/2014 Update: The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is a true MRCA(Multi Role Combat Aircraft) and is only marginally  out performed by the F-15 Eagle in its various forms. This is remarkable considering the F-14 Tomcat is a much older aircraft. The F-14 Tomcat wins in the areas of 2-man crew, much bigger payload than the F-15 Eagle and greater wing loading. It is inferior to the F-15 Eagle mainly because of its poor jet engine performance and reliability. Therefore, the F-14 Tomcat can easily be recycled into a true MRCA capable of ground attack, interdiction and reconnaissance during the same  mission. However, the F-15 Eagle would require a great deal more work to convert into a true MRCA with carrier deployment capability.

The Panavia Tornado is a very similar recycling target for the true MRCA role, and carrier deployment, to the F-14 Tomcat. The F-14 Tomcat is also remarkable for being very agile for such a big aircraft. After recycling into a true MRCA, I think the F14-Tomcat would out-perform the recycled F-15 Eagle MRCA, the recycled Tornado MRCA and possibly the new BAe Typhoon MRCA.

The reason I like MRCA is that they are very good at patrolling airspace to give air superiority, with the instant capability of eliminating any threat in the air or on the ground, while gathering reconnaissance data at the same time. MRCA can be rapidly deployed in an military emergency to nullify a threat, until other forces can be positioned in the combat zone, if they are needed.  In many situations, a fly over by several  MRCA, bristling with weaponry, is enough to deter insurgents on the ground. MRCA lend themselves to novel and creative tactics, which form part of the ancient, but lost art, of PW(Psychological Warfare).

0759 GMT 04/04/2014 Update: Good news at last for the long suffering people of Dawlish and the South West of the UK in general. The Dawlish railway line has been repaired to a very high specification in record time, with no thanks to those from the lunatic-left of politics in the UK today, who have tried to obstruct progress at every opportunity.

One wonders if the damaging activities of those on the left of politics in the UK today are not being orchestrated by some overseas power. The motives of the Socialists in the UK are not in the long term, or even the short term, interests of the UK. Therefore, it begs the question of whose interests these extremely damaging Socialist activities are serving? It certainly is not the UK's interest.

It is interesting to watch the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron and others, bask in the reflected glory of the superhuman repair to the Dawlish railway line in the South West of the UK. It is amazing what spin can do. David Cameron must have attended the same kind of education institution as the US Press Secretary, Jay Carney, because their idea of the truth is completely divorced from reality.

1335 GMT 05/04/2014 Update: This was the sad end of the road for the F14-Tomcat. It was the perfect target for recycling into a true MRCA. Apparently, they were shredded to prevent parts falling into the hands of the Iranians. Guess who sold the F-14 Tomcats to Iran? The US Democrats! Guess who took the decision to shred the F-14 Tomcats? The US Democrats!!

The only conclusion which can be drawn from this sorry saga is, the US Democrats are clueless about combat aircraft. They really do like paying more for less. If it is any comfort to the long suffering US voter, the same situation exists in the UK.

The F15 Eagle is a single-seat, single role aircraft and is a nightmare to recycle into a MRCA with carrier deployment capability. Even the trainer version of the F-15 Eagle is only marginally more attractive for recycling into a MRCA, because its undercarriage is too weak carrier landings and its low flying capability is unlikely to be adequate.

However, I think I know where to find some old F-14 Tomcats to recycle, or even reproduce, with updated components. The latest plastic aircraft from the USA cannot be recycled at the end of their scheduled life. The composite fuselage and wing structures are extremely toxic and safe disposal is difficult.

1055 GMT+1 07/04/2014 Update:  The problem the search teams for the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 are facing is that the ULB(Underwater Locator Beacon) has a maximum range of 6 kilometres on a fully charged battery, decreasing to zero as the battery fades. The ULB is referred to by the misnomer "pinger" by non-professionals. The word "Ping," in engineering terms, indicates some sort of transmitted and acknowledged (or returned) signal, but the ULB is a simple radio beacon emitting a regular signal on 37.5KHz. The ULB is part of the aircraft black box recorder together with the AFR(Aircraft Flight Recorder) and the CVR (Cockpit Voice Recorder). Therefore, if you do not know the last location of the aircraft, immediately prior to the crash within 6 kms, then your chance of finding the Black Box are very slim. A further complication for the MH370 search team is that many sea creatures, such as dolphins, may actually be pinging on or around the ULB frequency of 37.5kHz, as part of their normal navigation process.

Although none of the above discussion helps the search teams for MH370, it does help in finding a solution to the aircraft location problem. One suggestion, currently being considered be the US government, is to have a ULB that is ejected at the time of the aircraft crash. This type of ULB may improve the range of the its radio, but it does not make a significant step forward in the search for a crashed aircraft in the open ocean, unless it can communicate its position to a satellite. These kind of satellite trackers are not real time and there may be significant periods between data points. However, it will get the search teams closer to the aircraft's Black Box ULB. The main problem with the ejecting ULB is that it must be switched off by the pilot during take-off and landing. If the pilot can turn off the ejecting ULB, then so can the terrorist.

As I see the problem, what is needed is the tracking of aircraft in real time, so that we know the location of an aircraft, to within one second, prior to the crash. Once the crash has occurred, it should be a simple matter of getting with in range of the ULB and finding the aircraft. Using today's technology, it should be a straightforward for the aircraft to transmit its coordinates to some tracking station at one second intervals. It may even be possible to send an update of the FDR and CVR data at the same time. I believe that all the technology exists for this kind of solution. I also think that this kind of communication channel could be used as an on-board  aircraft Internet connection in the foreground and the coordinate tracking channel in the background. Almost anything is possible with current technology.

0530 GMT+1  08/04/2014 Update: It is difficult to take Scientists seriously when they produce papers, which can only be regarded as comedy. Every real engineer in the world knows that high and low in terms of sound refer to its frequency. A "high" tone will have a high frequency and a low tone will have a low frequency and everyone should know that frequency is the reciprocal of time:

f = 1/t Hertz or t = 1/f seconds (in SI units)
where f = frequency
t = time

I leave it as an exercise for the reader to research the relationship between frequency and time as applied to sound waves e.g. songs and music. If you have a good understanding of basic high school physics and simple mathematics, then creating/performing first class songs and music is much easier.

0633 GMT+1 10/04/2014 Update: About 25 years ago I owned an rather nice Opel Senator, which was about 5 years old at the time. One day I travelling in the fast lane on the dual carriageway(A414 SE), when the engine cut out. I looked in the rear view mirror and all I could see was the radiator of a massive Volvo truck. The nearside lane was jammed with vehicles, so what do you do? Luckily there was no crash barrier on the central reservation in those days. I was able to swerve out of the path of the tailgating Volvo truck and rolled to halt on the grass of the central reservation. I thought, that was a bit close and wondered why the engine had cut-out. After about five minutes the engine started perfectly and I was on my way, but I still get flashbacks of the giant Volvo truck radiator in my rear view mirror. People say that in moments of peril, your all life flashes before you. That just isn't true because you have about half a second to take evasive action, unless of course, you have led a very dull life.

A few weeks later the engine of my car cut-out at exactly the same place on the dual carriageway(A414  SE), but there was no traffic and I was able to take the same evasive action at my leisure. This time I looked around to see if there was a reason for the the engine to cut-out and I noticed that I had just passed under high voltage power lines. I was studying EMC(ElectroMagnetic Compatibility) at the time and concluded that the electric or magnetic field around the high voltage power lines had somehow interfered with the engine management system and caused the engine to cut-out. I also read that other cars, at that time, suffered mysterious engine cut-outs and hence EMC was a hot topic. My car engine continued to cut-out occasionally for no apparent reason and I concluded that this problem may also be related to the ageing of the electronics in the  engine management system.

Later, I was studying the effects of radiation on digital ICs(Integrated Circuits) in space and found that charged particles can pass through digital ICs and cause a SEUs(Single Event Upset). A SEU occurs when a digital electronic element(a single transistor) inside an IC changes state unexpectedly. I also found out that SEUs can happen on earth, due to radiation, on very rare occasions. The concept of a SEU due to radiation in space can be translated to earth as an SEU caused by interference of some kind. SEUs can occur in control systems and may cause sudden and unexpected loss of control. In my case, I believe that outside interference caused a SEU in the engine management system, thus cutting-out the engine, which in turn led to my near miss.

Recently, there have been a number unexplained accidents such as the helicopter crash in Scotland (with no fault found) earlier this year and the GM cars in the USA, whose engines mysteriously cut-out. Therefore a SEU in the digital electronics, due to some kind of interference, is worth considering as a possible cause. The problem is that a SEU can never be proved conclusively, because of its random/intermittent nature. The only thing you can do is to thoroughly test a similar model for EMC, for an extended period, over the whole frequency spectrum.

I also have come to the conclusion that digital electronics, which have aged, are more susceptible to SEUs from interference of any kind. In my view, all systems which are "mission critical" in aerospace terminology or "safety critical" in lay persons terms, should be fault tolerant i.e. they recover from a fault in a very short time. Safety critical systems, which use digital electronic control, may only have a safe working life of 5-10 years and then the electronics should be replaced. Contrary to some people's belief, electronic components do age and their parameters degrade.

I do not know if the above discussion applies to any of the recent unexplained accidents involving aircraft, helicopters and cars, but it is certainly worth consideration. The vulnerability of electronic components to EMPs(ElectroMagmetic Pulse) and radiation has been well researched by the space and defence industries. Also, I thought we had solved the EMC problems in vehicles of all kinds, when digital electronics became a substantial part of their control systems. However, I am beginning to wonder if the old skills of grounding, screening, and shielding, which are the basis of EMC, have been forgotten in the digital age and subsequently the software dominated age.

0759 GMT+1 12/04/2014 Update: Just to remind everyone of Real Engineers(DentCorp Ltd) terms of business for large contracts and use of our IP. We require:
  1. 33% of the costs paid up-front to kick-start the project;
  2. 34% is payable at the project halfway stage;
  3. 33% is payable on satisfactory completion of the project.
  4. A 15% bonus would be required for urgent projects to be completed on time in a severely limited time-frame;
  5. Consultancy to individuals(e.g. farmers, would be at agreed rates per day);
  6. Real Engineers(DentCorp Ltd) do have access to smaller earthmoving equipment for levelling fields in preparation for rice growing. If farmers banded together, then large areas of land could be levelled, reinstated and the drains/ditches optimised very rapidly and very economically;
  7. If the work of others is to be corrected, then the charges will be higher. The client should recover these costs from the previous failed contractor;
  8. In large earthmoving contracts there is a special rider to add an extra day to the end of the project for each wet day when we cannot work. Working in the rain does more harm than good on earthmoving projects;
  9. Real Engineers(DentCorp Ltd) will take a controlling interest(>51%) in any spin-off business which makes use of their IP(Intellectual Property);
  10. Real Engineers(DentCorp Ltd) will  "pull the plug" and sue into financial oblivion anyone who has stolen their IP. You will be offered just one chance for a financial settlement, otherwise you will be made an offer (of extended litigation) that you cannot refuse.
0501 GMT+1 13/04/2014 Update: Will Hutton's laughable review of Thomas Piketty's book,Capital in the Twenty-First Century, makes the same old mistake. He actually believes the European and North American economies are based on capitalism. Nothing could be further from the truth. The economies of Europe and North America are based on crony-ism, which has nothing to do with true capitalism or the economic theories of Milton Friedman. Crony-ism is the reason we are having the worst recession in living memory, starting in 2007/8. It is the reason why we cannot escape from the downturn today. Crony-ism is also the reason for the huge difference in incomes between classes, which we see today in western economies, as the cronies continue reward themselves, even though their companies have failed.

Crony-ism is a kind of rich persons Socialism, characterised by them banding together to rig markets, exchange insider information and pass lucrative contracts/business opportunities to their friends. If true capitalism had been operating in Europe and North America in 2007/8, most of the cronies would have gone bankrupt and these economies would have purged themselves of Les Incompetents in the normal way. After a short period of market correction, new entrepreneurs/companies would have replaced the old dead wood of crony-ism and a normal capitalist economy would have rebounded in about 12-18 months.

Instead, we had Socialist-style interventions on both sides of the Atlantic to prop up crony-ism. This has created what I have termed zombie companies, who are bankrupt in all but name. The borrowings of these zombie companies are consuming all the liquidity in the banking system today, so that the western economies are stymied. The western economies cannot move forward because these zombie companies do not have the necessary technology for the 21st century and their excessive borrowings are destabilising the banking system, yet again. This is illustrated by the massive loss at the UK's Co-op Bank, which is now impacting on the Co-op Group as a whole. It will be interesting to discover the identity of the bad debtors at the Co-op Bank, who have caused a mighty loss of £1.3 billion.

We (the general public) will find out the true state of the finances of the rest of the banks and other companies later this month. There are no profit warnings from any of the UK's major companies. Profit warnings from the retailer, Debenhams, UK, are just routine these days. Therefore, everyone will expect the UK major's  Q1 2014 financial results to be flat-lining or to show sluggish growth. Personally, I believe that any further bailouts of zombie companies would be unthinkable and the consequences at the ballot boxes for any government attempting such a bailout would be catastrophic. Again, my own personal view  leads me to believe that we cannot expect to recover from the recession with the same group of cronies, who led us all into recession in the first place. It is illogical.

I expect the next few weeks to reveal the true financial position of many companies and possibly individuals. I will have to wait and see, together with all the other  long suffering voters in the western economies. This is the moment in time when reality replaces all the politician's hype.

1905 GMT+1 14/04/2014 Update: Here is more financial advice from Dolly Parton. For the UK just reverse North and South in the lyrics. It is rumoured that Dolly Parton may be a Democrat........is there nothing sacred!........it's too late for Dolly Parton as well!! It may even be too late for us all, if extreme Socialism becomes the new normality!!!

Real Engineers(DentCorp Ltd) has released the following company statement by Johnny Cash.

1333 GMT+1 16/04/2014 Update: I am very sorry to mislead people in my Blogs posts, but I must have missed Tesco's  (UK) "profit warning" guidance to shareholders in March 2014...... (sarcasm........in case you did not understand!).

Did I also miss a profit warning from Diageo, the UK alcohol and beverages company? I don't think so!

Do I really have to draw pictures of how Crony-ism works? In a kiss-a** society you have to live with Crony-ism. It just isn't my style, but my attitude is severely career limiting.

However, I will probably vote with my feet, one of these days.

0429 GMT+1 17/04/2014 Update: You have got to be some kind of mega-dummy to "bet the farm" on Smartphone technology, which actually reduces your advertising revenue. That is exactly what Google has done, despite numerous warnings on this Blog, over a very long period. Also, Google's continued frenzied buying of hardware companies, only to sell them at a massive loss later, is indicative of a company which has lost its way. This is illustrated by Google's Motorola Mobility acquisition and heavily discounted disposal,

Google Glass has been another disaster for Google in terms of image, mainly because Google has been shown to have little or no ability in the electronic hardware sector. Google Glass was too late, too expensive and too anti-social (not discreet enough) all in one project. Not good enough, Google!

The high technology business is extremely cruel. Once you are perceived to have lost your leading edge, then your company's falling revenue is almost impossible to reverse. The decline in income/profitability in a high technology company usually means that they have either been overtaken by new technology or, as in the case of Google, they have simply backed a losing strategy. To put it another way, Google has taken the wrong turn on the technology trail and it is almost certain to be fatal in the longer term.

0938 GMT+1 17/04/2014 Update: The Co-op Group, UK, has confirmed a loss of £2.5 billion( the previous press release by the Co-op Bank reported a loss of £1.3 billion). The Co-op Bank  has stated that the loss was due to discontinued operations.

This statement is completely unacceptable! I, and probably many others, want to know the identities of the debtor companies/business operations/individuals, who have effectively "bust" the once respectable Co-op Bank.

I don't buy all this waffle being put out by the news media about the Co-op Group. The question is very simple: Who is into, firstly the Co-op Bank, and then Co-op Group for a grand total of £2.5 billion. If the Co-op Group cannot answer this simple question in a straightforward manner, they do not deserve to be in business. I smell a cover-up of epic proportions.

My current theory, and it is only a theory, is; The Co-op Group has lost £2.5 billion bankrolling the activities its fellow travellers in the Socialist movement, possibly in some business ventures which have turned sour. It cannot be acceptable in a democracy for the Co-op Group to hide the truth of what may turn out to be activities bordering on the unacceptable.

The disastrous financial Q1 2014 results, which the Co-op Group has presented today, only encourages speculation in every meaning of the word. The Co-op Group needs to come clean, before confidence in the Co-op Group, as a whole, collapses in spectacular fashion.

1016 GMT+1 17/04/2014 Update: I am not normally a speculator as you well know, but I feel like having a go today. If the Co-op Group cannot name the debtors to its bank and the Co-op Group by 1600 GMT+1 today, then I believe there will be a vote of no confidence in the Co-op Group by it's creditors.

The Co-op Group will join a growing list of companies in the UK with unsustainable debt. Their vast borrowings cannot be serviced, even in the short term. I think we(in the UK) are in uncharted  financial waters, yet again. The solvency or insolvency of these zombie companies will emerge very soon. It is just a matter of a short time until they all have to publish accurate Q1 2014 results. The financial results will probably will not be very  pretty this time around, but I think  they will be nearer the truth than in the past.

1325 GMT+1 17/04/2014 Update: How can the Co-op Group call itself "ethical" when we cannot find out who are the massive debtors to the Co-op Bank? I say no bailouts to the Co-op Group until it tells us all exactly how £2.5 billion was wasted. Names please!

Otherwise, the Co-op Group should go into administration and allow the accountants to unravel this financial mess to get at the truth. In my opinion, the Co-op Group should identify its defaulting debtors or go bust! Your choice Co-op Group!!


























































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