Cheeseburger Gothic

Not a headphone review

Posted September 2, 2014 into Science and Tech by John Birmingham

More a cri de coeur. Whatever that is.

I have spent a lot of money on headphones these last few years. A little bit on bluetooth speakers too. But mostly on headphones. My sturdy old noise cancellers, the Bose QC Something Or Other that I bought a decade ago had degraded to the point where they weren’t cancelling much any more. I passed them on to Anna, who promptly lost the charger and one of the proprietary battery packs sitting in it.

Huh.

OK. Not my problem. I’d already bought a new pair of QC 15s. Not the best headset on the market. Not the cheapest (or most expensive). Not even the most popular. That’d be some Beats piece of crap, I imagine. I got them because the previous QCs had served me well over ten years and the model was reduced because of an imminent refresh.

So, long story short, I don’t really have those cans anymore. Due to a complicated arrangement that would do a derivatives trader proud, they appear to have passed into Anna’s control about a decade before I had planned.

That’s all right. It left me with an excuse to blow some more money on headphones. I’ll cut to the spoilers. I just bought the Bose in-ear noise cancellers; the QC 20i. Again, not the best, or cheapest or most expensive. And not even my preferred choice. I’ll take a pair of big honking over-ear cans any day. Especially if they’re made with soft, comfy cushions to protect my tired old cauliflower ears. But I got these for travelling, for the noise cancelling, and one thing a decade of flying with the earlier on-ear model taught me – dragging around a pair of big honking over-ear cans is a pain in the arse. I really wanted something that would cut out engine noise, screaming toddlers, and life saving emergency announcements while still fitting into a pocket.

So. The QC 20i’s it was.

Yes they work as advertised. No they’re not as comfy as my old ones. But I can always buy another pair for home or office use.

Which brings me to my moment of clarity. After spending months researching headphones, I have concluded that like Jon Snow, I know nothing. In a way, this is not such a bad thing. There is a jihad out there, being fought between true believers, and many are the dead. I thought, when Marco Arment published his exhaustive review of mid-priced head phones I could follow that. But then The WireCutter published theirs.

And then war came.

I’m not going to get too far into it, but it seems there is no peace in headphone heaven. No agreement on what even constitutes heaven. As best I can tell the contending Sects divide into two main camps. Call them bass and treble, just to piss them off. Because this seems to be the main dividing line. People who like deep thumpy hot bass. And people who like cold, clear austere treble.

Arment described the difference best, I thought:

Many people prefer a warm, “laid-back” tone that lacks some midrange presence, most upper treble response, and the fine detail that good treble response brings. This avoids the harshness that unrefined midrange and treble can bring on inexpensive headphones, so the sound is less fatiguing after long periods. But it’s like adding milk to coffee: the lost vocal strength and treble detail also make good recordings more dull and forgettable.

The other end of the preference spectrum is detail, clarity, and an “airy” feel that great treble can bring, and more energy in vocals that a strong midrange can bring. Great treble is my preferred style, and it’s what makes people say, “Wow! That’s so clear!” The downside is that it’s hard to get that right without sounding harsh or tinny.

I feel that I should prefer the second style of audio. It seems the more truthful, but the fact is, I’m not really an audiophile. I just spend stupid amounts of money on fucking headphones. I’d like something other than the in-ear 20i pair I have for sitting in my library watching movies or TV on my iPad, or even for listening to music. I’d like something that sits comfortably over my ears. A friend of mine works for B&O and tried to steer me towards their H6 model, but although it was very comfy and obviously well engineered, I did find the sound cold and impersonal. I guess that makes me a bit naff.

I already know how this will end.

A second pair of bloody QC 15s. That Thomas will probably claim.

Or maybe I'll try the Cutter's pick. The PSB's.

I'll toss the links in below so I can at least give myself a backhander for buying them through the Burger.

33 Responses to ‘Not a headphone review’

Blarkon asserts...

Posted September 2, 2014
Have the QC20i's. Only set of noise cancellers that I can wear on an airplane for a cross equator flight without being annoyed with them.

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JBtoo would have you know...

Posted September 2, 2014
A cry from the heart, AKA a French whinge.

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DrYobbo mutters...

Posted September 2, 2014
Surely it depends what you're listening to. Noone cranking Motorhead gives two freshly shaven shits about airy midrange clarity. And noone who went to the number of deafening gigs and festivals as most of my generation can tell the bloody difference anyway. Tinnitus anyone?

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pitpat asserts...

Posted September 2, 2014

So I snore, not something I share lightly, and the love of my life has noted that said snoring may interrupt her nightly repose almost as much as the two Shitzus ( a most aptly named breed) who like to bark at the wind at 2am.

And it is soon to be both an anniversary and birthday, and Jen loves to listen to audio books to eliminate the distractions. Would noise cancelling earbuds do anything to cancel both snoring and dogs barking? I ask here because well CBG sounds/reads like a genius bar at one of those mythical Apple Stores I hear so much about but am yet to physically sight

Stuart is gonna tell you...

Posted September 3, 2014
The active mechanism of noise cancelling headphones work best on continuous background noise, the hums and roars of an aircraft in motion being the prime example. Irregular and changing noises like snores and barks won't be suppressed by the noise cancelling, although it may be attenuated by the closed design of these headphones.

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NBlob puts forth...

Posted September 2, 2014
Headphones are consumables. They get drowned, hooked on all manner of protuberances, stood on or smashed in car doors. Also I listen to 90% spoken word, 10% music. So when the $7 sonys are on special @ woollies, I grab several pairs.

I'd love a good pair of B&O or Senheisers, but the there are many other wants ahead of them in the $350 cue.

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insomniac swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 2, 2014
I'm with NBob on this. Is there really so much difference that you can distinguish? Its like having a giant HD teev in Boganville watching mungoball played by fat dwarves.

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John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted September 2, 2014
I think it's like wine. There's a real difference between rotgut and Montrachet, but you can still get some nice rotgut if you know where to look. And you can get badly ripped off at the high end.
I understand that Monoprice does really good utility headphones for less than $100.

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BobGrrl swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 2, 2014
I recently bought a pair of Razer Electras for the office: http://www.digitaltrends.com/gaming-headset-headphone-reviews/razer-electra-review/

I much prefer in-ear units to over-ear because they're comfortable and less obnoxious, but in the office this makes it hard for people to tell whether I'm listening to music or just ignoring them.

I refuse to spend more than $100 on headphones these days because they get bashed around and abused every day until they die.

I find the sound quality on these to be very decent, they're comfy and do a pretty good job of isolating you from outside noise, although they're not noise-cancelling.

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Darth Greybeard mumbles...

Posted September 2, 2014
I had some nice Sennheisers that suited my head width and lug'oles but my beloved nicked them (and that list goes on and on). Now using some even better Shures. They're comfortable for home and office use but not noise cancelling or portable. Had some cheapish Sony in-ears for that.

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Simon T asserts...

Posted September 2, 2014
For a comfortable fit over the ears with excellent sound, can I suggest you consider the AKG K701's. I have a pair of the Quincy Jones version, Q701 running from a headphone amp and they sound fabulous, very spacious and neutral with a soundstage that you just can't get with an in-ear pair of 'phones. Some complain of a lack of bass which I do not agree with. Its just not over-done bass like many modern phones. You can get them for under $300 on ebay and will sound a heap better than any Bose headphones. But they are no good for going out and about- way too big and needing some power to drive them. My biggest criticism of then is that they leak sound like nothing else so if you have them up real loud, then others in the house will hear.

I have a pair of the Bose QC15s that I have used on flights etc but really don't like that pressure in the head feeling that I get with the noise -cancelling function. And they don't really sound that good to me. So when I recently lost my old trusty mid range Shure in-ears, I upgraded to the Shure SE 425 and have been very happy with their performance. They are a noise isolating in-ear headphone with a range of in-ear pieces that you can change to your ear canal shape and size and don't need batteries to give almost as good noise attenuation as active noise cancelling headphones.

Life is too short to listen to drink bad wine or listen to crappy headphones.

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Murphy_of_Missouri swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 3, 2014
Skullcandy earbuds, iTunes on wifi, and a standard issue Jack and Coke. The buds cost $20 'Merican, the iTunes I already have from four years ago, the Jack and Coke is maybe another overpriced $8 per, figure three per flight.

Does the trick. Sound is good, so is the buzz and the clouds are amazing. Screaming kids? Can't hear them.

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

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Dan puts forth...

Posted September 3, 2014
JB, I bought some grado sr60i's - best headphones I've ever owned. best $100 I've ever spent, too.

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Simon Jackman ducks in to say...

Posted September 3, 2014
Nice one John.

Glad I'm not the only one spending a crap-load on headphones. Bose for the plane, despite them screaming "he's mid-level management".

Love the look of my 1st generation Beats but they are just not that good, the ear cups move around and makes a boatload of plastic-against-plastic clicking noise; maybe newer generation is better.

AKG 612s for home when I'm playing/mixing etc.

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Therbs would have you know...

Posted September 3, 2014

In ear whatever cheapies I have at the moment before they get lost/squished or evaporated. Those things need frequent replacement. Headphones for home stuff need replacing because abuse over seven years, might get some Shures.


And yeah, I prefer to hear the big jungle drum beats, thumping bass and F1 grade dual guitar blitzkrieg.

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Dave W mumbles...

Posted September 3, 2014
I got some Sennheiser in-ears for the office because listening to music drowns out the other distractions here. The first set I bought have such a good seal that I couldn't hear my boss talking to me from 2 metres away. This may seem like a good thing. Turns out it's not. So that pair went home and I got a cheaper set that are the right compromise between arrogance/focus/team-player.

Lulu reckons...

Posted September 3, 2014
Ooh, Dave, that first set sounds like just what I need. Which ones are they?

Surtac mumbles...

Posted September 3, 2014

I too use Sennheiser in-ears at work for the same purpose. I can't remember the model number but they're about $70 or so at JB Hifi. For music listening and movie watching in the study at home while the rest of the family are abed, I'm using some cheapish Sony over ear 'phones - $30 at Costco. They're actually quite comfortable.

I had a pair of noise-cancelling Sennheisers that provided sterling service for 5 or 6 years when I was doing regular trans-Pacific travel for work, and I thought they were worth every penny at the time. Sadly they self-destructed, but they will be replaced by something similar when I next travel overseas next year.

Dave W swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 3, 2014
I got them via Amazon but they were a shade under $70, so I think Surtac's probably thinking of roughly the same type. I didn't realise when I was buying that these were also iPwn handsfree mic/headphone, but the sound quality for music etc is unaffected by that.

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon mumbles...

Posted September 3, 2014
it is like i have walked into Wonderland or something - a world i never knew existed. When stuck watching movies in the wee hours of the night to avoid waking up wife and kids with the sounds of explosions or the walking dead feasting on a screaming soon to be member of the undead, i have always used some crappy old mobile phone ear phones (I'm assuming this is what is called in-ear?).

But the cord is pitifully short - with fathers day coming up i thought i'd drop a few hints about a nice new set of headphones. I'm using an old JVC amplifier that is of a vintage of nearly 40 years that has a volume that goes to 9 but is almost too loud at 4. I thought a decent set of headphones is now demanded (also need to get new speakers)

Little did i know that i would have to take along a sword to cut enemies cords and a couple of grenades to break through the noise cancelling effect. I will take this very opportune post to do some more involved research.

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted September 3, 2014
Go check those two links I included in the copy above.

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spankee reckons...

Posted September 3, 2014
I have used a pair of audio technica ANC-7's for the last 750,000 Frequent flyer points. I have absolutely no expertise to evaluate the sound quality, I chose them because they still work, albeit without the noise cancelling, when the battery is flat.

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Rob reckons...

Posted September 3, 2014
I had some very nice senheisers that I got half price from Dick Smith to go with my only apple products, an ipod classic. Then they went missing from my desk at work, which made me sad. So i either use my apple in ear ones which are very logans run to look at, or I use some super cheap bass expanding ones from TEAC. So far they haven't been stolen. But i have my eye on the HR people, all the time now......

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John Birmingham asserts...

Posted September 3, 2014
I totally forgot to mention my other ridiculous audio buy; bluetooth sporting headphones. I have a pair wired Sennheiser sports buds, which are great, but, wired. And when you're hitting the bag you're just asking to rip those bad boys off your head with an ill directed jab. Plus, you have to carry the iPod of phone on you. So I prefer blue tooth.
I did have an old pair of Jaybirds which served me well, and the newer Jaybirds BlueBuds X reviewed well, again at the Wirecutter. So I picked them up when the batteries began to go in the older model.
Three hundred bucks. Lovely sound. Cannot for the fucking life of me actually fit them.

damian asserts...

Posted September 4, 2014
Well I am after a bluetooth sport headset for cycle commuting... basic req is to be able to take a call without stopping and it needs to work with a bicycle helmet. It's an area where reading review comments is vitally important because it seems most lack even reasonably decent range, even where the specs make it look otherwise, and you get drop outs if your phone isn't right there on an armband. Been a few months since I last looked, Jaybirds always seemed to have pretty mixed reviews and the price is out there for what it is... well I guess it's worth looking again as the weather gets warmer.

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted September 4, 2014
Yeah, I'm afraid I couldn't recommend them for that use.

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Blarkon ducks in to say...

Posted September 3, 2014
I get given BT earphones as "speaker presents" at conferences, but have yet to find a set that float my boat (I generally avoid in-ear headphones, the only set I've liked being the 20i's mentioned above).

I only listen to audiobooks with them. I do have some RAZER earmuff type headsets for use with my desktops.

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Dokter mumbles...

Posted September 3, 2014
My go-to headphones for the last 15 years have been sony. Mainly the models that are advertised for DJs and studio use — not the top model as those are a bit too expensive for me.

The reasons for my choice is that they have, lack of a better expression, a flat sound. Meaning, High, mid, and low range is pretty equal. As a hobby musician, you don't want too much of one of these. Although, because the range is pretty equal, the sound is actually pretty nice.

Also, when it comes to sound, these puppies can take a massive pounding. If you're listening to bass-heavy music and crank it up really loud, your eardrums will pop before you blow the Sony headphones. To me, that shows that you will have years of listening pleasure.

I usually wear them out after 5 years. When I mean wear them out, I mean only the housing, not the speakers. I use my old Sonys for gaming, as I don't need anything fancy. They look like they've been through war, but still sound awesome.

I know Sennheiser is claimed to be the Rolls Royce of headphones, but when I've tried them, they don't pass my bass test. If the bass is too deep and clean, they actually start to flutter when you turn up the sound a bit.

But as you mention Birmo, headphones often are like wine. It all depends on what kind of sound you're after. For what it's worth tho, as I mentioned earlier, I've been with Sony for the last 15 years and never been able to find any brand that can replace them.

Best way to test headphones is to fill your iPhone with your favourite music, and head to a store and give the various headphones a try. Given you're looking for headphones to cover your ears.

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Dino not to be confused with is gonna tell you...

Posted September 3, 2014
JB,
Headphones?
A sad modern poor cousin for being there.
A muffled cocoon to hide for a few minutes from reality.
The reality is headphones don't make your body shake.
I believe this song is about the withdrawl of British Troops.
Should sound OK in headphones.
I read that you are going to write about Australia going back to The Pikes-Siquot region referred to as Iraq. Those IS (didja hear that the Saudi's gave General Dynamics 10 billion dollars recently?) are causing the funny cat videos to be pushed aside with some fake(?) beheadings.
Anyhoo RTP doctrine must count for something.
The Kurds will probably do the heavy lifting again but I doubt they will be content with any hollow assurances. I figure it it's a mess.

Dino not to be confused with swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 3, 2014
The Regions were run by Corrupt Theocracies and Dictators.
Now there is only a few left. Family connections.
I have heard criticism of religious fundamentalists like IS.
Thank God we have Athiests like Richard Dawkins who can explain the collapse of WTC 7 and the subsequent deaths and suffering of millions.
I would hate to think that the West was intellectually bankrupt and relied on a purile judgement of the 'other'.
You know those religious bigots who don't believe in the Theory Of Gravity as espoused by Oxford Scholars...

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Nez ducks in to say...

Posted September 3, 2014
Don't got out and get those QC15s just yet. There was a leak the other day about the upcoming QC25. http://www.ausbt.com.au/new-bose-quietcomfort-25-qc25-headphones-break-cover-ahead-of-launch

I'm a noise cancellation fanatic and nothing has ever been as good as the QC15s for that. I also have the QC20i just like your fine self for travelling and I'll happily take the sound quality I get in exchange for the excellent noise cancellation. This new model could possibly improve on the noise cancellation further.

Like you, I also hate the damn wires. Around the house, if I don't need the noise cancellation I wear my Bose AE2w cans. I'd love for Bose to integrate this model and the QC15 into a bluetooth noise cancellation pair of headphones. They'd likely end up grafted to my head I'd wear them so damn much.

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted September 3, 2014
Thanks. Duly noted and filed under 'U' for Useful.

Nez would have you know...

Posted September 4, 2014
Looks like the QC25 has been released. http://www.bose.com/controller?url=/shop_online/headphones/noise_cancelling_headphones/quietcomfort_25/index.jsp

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The bell tolls for thee, wet tee-shirt competition

Posted September 1, 2014 into Science and Tech by John Birmingham

No, not because of femmynist fright bats (©Tim Blair 2014), but because of SCIENTZ!

A Melbourne based nanotech company called Threadsmith's reached out on Twitter to ask if I'd like to try their water and dirt repellent T-shirt. I'm a sucker for a freebie, and I like T-shirts, so I said, "Hells yeah".

Took me a while to get around to wearing my plain white crew neck T. Middle of winter wasn't the best time for it, but last weekend, with some rain about, I thought what the hell, I'll dress inappropriately for the weather and wear this so-called water proof T-shirt down to the coffee house. Should I get wet I will ching-ching-ching cash in at law.

I wasn't really expecting much. An ill-fitting T-shirt for a start. But no, right out of the bag the medium fitted me very well. Then, I have to admit it, I didn't expect it to work. There's no chemical process involved in the manufacture. Threadsmith's have patented some water frightening thingy they totally stole from lotus leaves. And I can report that yes, it did repell the rain. It was sort of spooky to watch, actually. The cold, fat drops hit my jeans and soaked in, shrivelling my man bits. They either bounced off the T-shirt or beaded and rolled off. Onto my jeans. To further shrivel my man bits.

Before recommending investing this technology, I thus had to know whether they have plans to make jeans using lotus leaf nano secrets. They do. Man bits secured!

The other thing this material repells is dirt. Having once worn a pair of jeans unwashed for 57 days I can only say: finally!

Site's here, if you're interested. And yes, counterintuitively, you can wash them normally. To restore the spooky nano powers you apparently toss them in a cloths dryer on low heat every couple of washes.

12 Responses to ‘The bell tolls for thee, wet tee-shirt competition’

Halwes swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 1, 2014

A possible new cover for the re-release of the Tasmania Babes Fiasco?

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insomniac has opinions thus...

Posted September 1, 2014
While I can't track down the precise application, most of them seem to be Chinese in origin, and it's not so much 'dirt repellent' but 'anti fouling', which has other connotations.

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon puts forth...

Posted September 1, 2014
the cops in ferguson need this for their uniforms when beating up suspects. Think of the paperwork that would be saved.

I am also reading the Julian May's Exiles books at the moment and she casually mentions this tech in the story.

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Lulu puts forth...

Posted September 1, 2014
"The other thing this material repells is dirt. Having once worn a pair of jeans unwashed for 57 days I can only say: finally!"

But does it repel sweat? That's the other issue with serial-wearing.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted September 1, 2014
I am suspicious. Anything this powerful must mutate DNA.

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Therbs would have you know...

Posted September 1, 2014

These clothes would be most excellent for pubbage.

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Barnesm mumbles...

Posted September 1, 2014

John science writing lost a powerful advocate when you followed your heart and wrote for Rolling Stone.

"patented some water frightening thingy they totally stole from lotus leaves" and "To restore the spooky nano powers you apparently toss them in a cloths dryer" I doubt Carl Zimmer could have said it better.

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Legless asserts...

Posted September 1, 2014
White. They only do white.

I would cough up $65 for a nano t-shirt but only if they do black. I'm already as pale as a bottle of milk and, if I wear white, the glare would blind people.



Darth Greybeard reckons...

Posted September 2, 2014
Top of the head is worst.

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Lobes mumbles...

Posted September 2, 2014
Make a tie out of it and Im in

Surtac mumbles...

Posted September 2, 2014
Me too - it would then be safe to wear to curry club lunches. I'm notorious for getting stuff on my ties.

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Drew-Mo is gonna tell you...

Posted September 6, 2014

$65 for a T shirt? Thats like.....18x$3.50 shirts from St.Vincent's de la Boutique, or from a Big W throw-out rack.......even with water repelling qualities it's a lot of cash........and I would have to buy a dryer.....


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Huzzah for the Apple Tax!

Posted August 31, 2014 into Science and Tech by John Birmingham

Paid a visit to the Apple store on Friday. I've been looking at Retina MacBook's but it was an iPhone issue took me in, or two of them. I'd been getting complaints that my phone muffled the audio on calls. It doesn't. My Pad & Quill wallet/cover muffles them, as I thought might be the case. Still, it's a good cover and I won't be changing it. I rarely use the phone as a phone anyway. Who does these days?

The other issue was more serious - a battery and a data problem with Anna's iPwn5 (my old pre 5S unit). I wasn't really expecting any joy, since the phone was 2 years old. But joy I was to have.

Dude played around with it for a while, pronounced the battery a bit fucked. Not fucked in a way that was covered by any warranties or replacement programs, but what the hell. Here, have a new iPhone, JB.

Needless to say, I have mad love for this company.

I can't recall the number of times I had issues with pre-iPhone mobiles and could not get anyone to admit liability or take responsibility for them. Some of those old analogue batphones ended up thrown against the wall in rage.

Of course some peeps will say, yeah, but you shouldn't have had an issue with such an expensive phone in the first place.

Arguable after two years of heavy use, but apparently Apple thought the same way. Because they replaced it.

This is what your Apple tax pays for. Not just Jony Ive's car collection. You pay an Apple tax so you can walk into the Apple Store and have a properly trained staff member deal with your problem for free. You pay the big mark up on an iPhone or iMac or MacBook or whatever so that when something goes wrong you're a good chance of getting it fixed, for free.

It doesn't always work out, of course. There's a notorious problem with the screens on 2011 Retina MacBooks that Apple seems loathe to acknowledge at the moment.

But it worked out for me this week.

38 Responses to ‘Huzzah for the Apple Tax!’

WarDog asserts...

Posted August 31, 2014
;-) on the other hand you could have got yourself the latest Nexus device for half the price and twice the capability. Or buy two, why not. Anna deserves the latest instead of a hand me down :-)

(can never resist bait)

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John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted August 31, 2014
Ha! When I posted this entry I thought, "I'll bet WarDog will be the first first one to snap up this juicy juicy troll bait."

Should have got onto CentreBet.

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Bangar mutters...

Posted August 31, 2014
Not a fan but that there is a fine piece of customer service.

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Blake mutters...

Posted August 31, 2014
By 'walk into an Apple store' do you mean... Prebook online or half a day in advance making sure you have the right appleid's for the right products?

For a company that prides itself on customer support actually getting past the gatekeepers is a real pita.

I've heard of them turning people away when they took 1min too long to drag their toddler into the store, even with an empty genius bar.

Once your there so long as there's no hint of water damage you're fine...

MickH would have you know...

Posted August 31, 2014
They have gate keepers?
So you have to be an Apple Drone with ID just to get into the store?!!

I'm always surprised how this company lasts....

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted August 31, 2014
You've convinced me. Damn Apple. They treat us like animals. I'm going to march right back in there and throw this shiny new free iPhone in their smug faces. After I make an appointment. Like an animal...

MickH asserts...

Posted August 31, 2014
Yep. You should never accept free stuff JB.
Give it back!
:P

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Bondiboy66 would have you know...

Posted August 31, 2014
Hmm this is at variance with my wife's recent experience. He iPhone 4S battery had effectively carked it. I booked her a slot via the online reservation thingie, aiming for 5.30pm. She arrives, fights through several levels of shop drones, then sees the alleged Genius. Battery pronounced deceased, happy to put in a new one...which takes over an hour as we have to charge the new battery (why not half charge it she asks?) and we shut at 6pm. So we can't do it now. She of course objects, stating that the battery problem was telegraphed in the notes section of the online booking. ''Oh, we never read the notes'' she is told. Bugger you Jack, do the overtime then says Wifey. Long story short, after some argument, phone is repaired....and cost $95. She goes to pay with her credit card, and also to buy two new power cables for our Apple devices. Shop drone says that this has to be a second transaction...wife rightly objects pointing out that this hsould be one transaction, and two transactions will double the credit card transaction fee (are Apple in bed with the bank?). Wife forgoes the cords and just pays for the phone repair. All in all, a less than stellar performance from this Apple store.

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tqft has opinions thus...

Posted August 31, 2014
As much as I won't use apple gear for more ideological reasons than cost, I am slowly replacing all my wife's gear with apple stuff. But she doesn't want a smart phone.

iPad retina for around the house. iPad mini for in bed reading. The big iPad is too big for bed. She has on old iPod4(?) for music to & from work.

Just works. Never had a problem with the stuff.

She needs a new laptop. Going to get her a
<h1 itemprop="name" class="product_title entry-title" style="margin: 0px 0px 16px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(55, 55, 54); text-rendering: optimizelegibility; clear: none; text-transform: uppercase;">APPLE MACBOOK PRO 15.4″ </h1>
or something similar for xmas. Works. Keeps working. Windows updates? Over them. Reminds I should boot this laptop to the Windows partition and update it one day/month soon.

Bangar reckons...

Posted August 31, 2014
just works? Why does the keyboard not display the change from lower case to upper case? It's not like anything online is case sensitive.

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Darth Greybeard has opinions thus...

Posted August 31, 2014
I'm pleased to hear of your satisfying experiences with this fine and innovative company Mr Birmingham. I wish you and Apple a long and mutually beneficial relationship.

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mrbolano puts forth...

Posted August 31, 2014
I had dust on the inside of the lens of my iphone 5 camera - new phone for me no probs!

And on the subject of Blake’s little missive - "I've heard of them turning people away when they took 1min too long to drag their toddler into the store, even with an empty genius bar.<font color="#333333">”</font>

<font color="#333333">How much does that story reek of hoo-ha! </font>

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mutters...

Posted September 1, 2014
"Reek of hoo-ha"? What an odd expression. Contextually, I'm not sure it is a criticism.

Darth Greybeard has opinions thus...

Posted September 1, 2014
I believe it's an old Northumbrian expression of Viking origin. As in "I baint wark through pigstoi if Oi were you, tis up t' knees in hoo ha."

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted September 1, 2014
I suspect "hoo ha" is another example of slang words or phrases having very different American and Australian meanings. E.g., "gilding the lily."

w from brisbane asserts...

Posted September 1, 2014
Yes, PNB. There are translation difficulties both ways.
Like the wonder that occurs Downunder when we hear Americans enthusiastically confess that they root for their team.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted September 1, 2014
If - as I now strongly suspect - "root" is Stralian for "fuck," then I now realize why "wombat: eats roots and leaves" is funny.

But it goes both ways. When an Australian young lady says "I just fucked my boyfriend" it means something very different than when her American counterpart says the exact same sentence.

Halwes reckons...

Posted September 1, 2014

Even when we get fucked, we're still fucked. So both the American version and the Australian version are still true.

w from brisbane reckons...

Posted September 1, 2014
Yep, PNB. You're right about root.
Eats, roots, shoots and leaves. Is the full line.
That is why the Australian male's idea of foreplay is:
Wanna root?



Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted September 1, 2014
"Eats, roots, shoots and leaves" is even funnier. I will remember.

Blake would have you know...

Posted September 1, 2014
Even after the long discussion im lost on the definition of hoo haa. I presume that Mr bolano is suggesting im making it up or stretching the truth.
In any case any impression to that sort is unfortunate. It is of course a second hand story but not third hand. The toddler and ipod belong to me but the English language hasnt really worked out a non-awkward way of describing my partner without being able to say wife (overuse of that term seems to imply some sort of wild west scenario).

In anycase I have no issue with the appointment system or am suggesting Jb return his free* stuff. Only that perhaps the apple tax could be used on some politeness training :-)

*free things that could be reasonably considered replaceable under Australian consumer protection law ;-)

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Barnesm would have you know...

Posted September 1, 2014

I am always suprised at the number of blue shirted staff mobbing the stores. Since salaries are a big chunk of an any business I always wondered how they can employ so many.

I don't like the Apple teck, but I can not fault their service model in comparison to many other businesses.

Halwes mutters...

Posted September 1, 2014

They can afford that many staff because they pay them slave wages, stitch them up into contracts that it would take a team of lawyers three years to decipher and make sure that they have no union representation

Barnesm reckons...

Posted September 1, 2014

I suspected that might be the case, thanks for the info.

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted September 1, 2014
It is illegal to pay less than the award rate in Australia, and illegal to deny workers union representation if they wish it. Not all workers do, of course. But they should.

Halwes has opinions thus...

Posted September 1, 2014
Do you reckon they are on the award.? I can't believe it. There are too many of them. How many items would you have to move daily to cover those wages and office space? Maybe 457 Visas? Students? juniors?

Halwes mumbles...

Posted September 1, 2014
As for non third party involvement ( unions) contracts, I see them all the time. The are legal.

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted September 1, 2014
The agreements are legal, but its illegal to deny an employee union representation.

As for the Award, it's not an optional extra. It's the base minimum guaranteed by law.

Halwes reckons...

Posted September 1, 2014
So all the profit must be being made at the cheap labour end of the manufacturing process I suppose. It may be illegal to deny an employee union representation but you try and do it in real life. They just find some other reason to sack them. We deal with this shit all the time. What the law says and what really happens are poles apart.

Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 1, 2014
Whilst I would be the first to decry a company exploiting its workforce, it seems unlikely to me that the apple stores in Australia would risk prosecution for failing to pay the award. I was wondering if the apple staff in the stores were on some sort of intership or some other cult arrangement since there were so many.
From the points Birmo raises it seems likely that Apple, unlike many other retailers, genuinely believes in lower customer to staff ratios for their stores. A business strategy that I wish other companies would adopt.

Therbs ducks in to say...

Posted September 2, 2014

There's no way Apple could get away with paying below award wages. It's not as if they're using off chops backpackers to pick fruit.

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Therbs mumbles...

Posted September 1, 2014

Make an appointment? The one on George St in Sydney is aces. Walk in any time. Work colleague had, erm, done something to his 5, walked in, fifteen minutes later had a replacement at no cost.


As its near where I work I also occasionally use their free wi fi for ios and app updates whilst looking at the shiny.

Darth Greybeard would have you know...

Posted September 1, 2014
[See also: Cults, "love bombing"]

Therbs mutters...

Posted September 2, 2014

Mmmm, cults. Leader says you are dangerously insane and must be educated in a special camp..

Respond to this thread

MickH is gonna tell you...

Posted September 4, 2014
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/technology/good-business-technology-advice/dear-apple-we-need-to-chat-20140902-10behr.html

Do you feel the same? Or is your loyalty less fickle?

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Respond to 'Huzzah for the Apple Tax!'

F-35B

Posted May 8, 2014 into Science and Tech by John Birmingham

Yeah, I know I'm supposed to be keeping it quiet, but this was a great catch by Sam Roggeveen over at The Interpreter blog. An offhand comment by Abbott seems to imply Canebrra might take Murph's advice and buy themselves a squardon of VTOL Joint Strike Fighters.

In his April 23 presser Abbott said: "We are certainly retaining the option to purchase an additional squadron — a further 18 Joint Strike Fighters and we haven't decided precisely what type it might be — that will be something that will be looked at in the context of the coming Defence white paper."

Why is the reference to 'type' significant? The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter comes in three versions: A, B and C. The A version is built for air forces, because it's designed to take off and land on normal runways. The C version is built for the US Navy; it has a larger wing, a 'tailhook' and other associated gear so that it can take off and land on US aircraft carriers with short runways.

Then there's the B version, the 'jump jet' which is built for the US Marine Corps, UK Royal Navy, and the Italian Navy. It is also designed to take off and land on carriers, but not the carriers used by the US Navy. America's super carriers use 'catapults' to fling fighters off the bow of the ship at high speed. Landing is also at high speed, with a 'tailhook' at the back of the plane catching on an arresting wire, which slows the plane down as soon as it lands.

But the Marines, Royal Navy and Italian Navy don't operate that type of carrier. They have smaller ships with no catapults or arresting wires, meaning fighters need to be able to take-off without the help of a catapult and land vertically, because there is no arresting gear to slow them down.

So when Mr Abbott talks about the 'type' of F-35 we might buy in future, he can't be talking about the C version; only the US Navy needs them. He can only be suggesting that his government is examining the possibility of buying the F-35B jump jet, which presumably we would operate off the Royal Australian Navy's new 'flat tops', the Canberra and Adelaide.

Full blog's here.

36 Responses to ‘F-35B’

Dino not to be confused with is gonna tell you...

Posted May 8, 2014

Could just be dis-info-

http://www.veteranstoday.com/?s=F-35&x=0&y=0

Lightning?

Stealth?

Etc?

I don't know much about secret shit.

I can't keep a secret.

Except the good ones and even then...

Dino not to be confused with asserts...

Posted May 9, 2014

OMG I just read Jennifer Lawrence is from Kentucky.

NFW!

I have drunk so much Woodford Reserve lately.

Kept their State economy afloat.

This is my last bottle.

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Therbs has opinions thus...

Posted May 8, 2014

That's a big step to take just to have at people smugglers, illegal fishermen and the Kiwis.

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HAVOCK21 mutters...

Posted May 8, 2014

Therbs...it fkn aint, its CHEAP FKN TARGET PRACTICE!

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Steve asserts...

Posted May 8, 2014

Won't happen. Even though the F-35B looks superficially like a F-35A, it is, in fact, a very different aircraft. The engine and mechanical engineering alone require their own dedicated logistics support capabilities. Operating them off a ship involves developing new doctrine, training etc. And where are their weapons going to be stored? Canberra and Adelaide are going to need dedicated magazines, and store a lot more jet fuel. And all this, for what will inevitably be a relatively small number of aircraft . . . .

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Sudragon would have you know...

Posted May 8, 2014

As for the F-22, the Americans aren't selling them to anybody. At all. Full stop.

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Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted May 9, 2014

So, okay, I guess I'm a bit confused.

The Canberra Class is based on the Juan Carlos design, which does indeed operate an air group of AV-8B Harriers and Helicopters in addition to amphibious forces. When the Canberras were purchased, was their design so radically altered internally that they can not support a fixed wing air group? That surely had to cost as much as it would to remove the ski jump, if not more. So why alter the design so much?

Second, temporary placement of a group of F-35Bs is certainly better than nothing at all I have to admit I look at the very impressive LHDs and wonder what folks were thinking when they didn't bother to provide them with air cover capability. That is all supposed to be handled by the Hobart Class?

In any case, VTOL aircraft have value in more than just their ability to land and launch from flight decks. I would think they would have a similar ability to operate forward in a close air support role as the USMC is planning on doing with theirs. Given that Australia is modeling some of her doctrine on USMC amphib doctrine, it would seem that you wouldn't have to look hard or go far to find doctrine that can be tailored to Australia's security needs.

Of course, then again, maybe you folks are planning on purchasing that spare Queen Elizabeth Class carrier that the Brits say they don't need. Or if you are looking at the surplus market I believe Spain's older carrier is available.

Es bueno, si?

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

Guru Bob is gonna tell you...

Posted May 12, 2014

These two boats are parked down the road about 2 km away from my place in Williamstown and they both definitely have ski jump ramps, which always struck me as totally redundant for supposed helicopter carriers. Also we didn't buy them off the shelf, they came over in bits and pieces and are being assembled here.

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HAVOCK21 ducks in to say...

Posted May 9, 2014

OKAY, this from the HMAS Canberra web page, NOTE THE FKN REF TO AIR SUPPORT!!!

The Canberra class Landing Helicopter Dock are new amphibious assault ships being developed for the Royal Australian Navy. The Australian Government has approved a AU$3 billion project to build two LHDs, which will have air support, amphibious assault, transport and command centre roles. They are planned to replace in turn HMAS Tobruk and one of the RAN's two current Kanimbla class vessels.

AND THIS BIT FROM THE DIPLOMAT!!!!!!

While some have questioned the utility of 12-16 F-35Bs on deck in a conflict, it must be considered that despite the bad press, a fully operational F-35 will represent a game-changer in air combat as we know it. Even a dozen of these aircraft, hypothetically operating from a mini-carrier escorted by a battle group in the vast Western Pacific, will pack serious combat capability and complicate the calculus for any adversary in any conflict.

I'm with you Murph. They might not have EVERYTHING they need for BABY CARRIER OPS, but applying a poly coating to the deck aint that hard, internal space is aplenty and we know you can get fkn shipping containers that are fuel cells etc. Ammo storage, well thats not hard either and also we have supply ships.

As for the..ITS GOTTA BE A CVBG, the flat top MUST have a supporting battle group, thats fkn bullshit imho!. Sure it would be nice, but put a pair of AWD Destroyers beside her, 2 or 3 frigates as well and a mini air group and you have some fkn punch. ESPECIALLY if you did a reconfig of ONE LHD to a flat top ( even on a temp basis ) and the other as a full time LHD. Then you have the ability to protect the fleet pretty well, suppress beach / island defences, conduct offensive and defensive air ops over the landing and the fleet.

Anything is doable, jesus, they operated Harriers off fkn container ships, ther were plans in the cold war to fit these out as convoy escorts and we are a lot fkn more advanced now. HOW GOOD IS THE APACHE LONGBOW RADAR!~, does anybody still do a helo AEW Unit?

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HAVOCK21 is gonna tell you...

Posted May 9, 2014

FKN SLOW WORK PUTERR FKN CONNECTYIONS FFSAKES!!!

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Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted May 9, 2014

Or barring the Navy's own site, there is the Falklands War to reference.

In addition to the larger HMS Hermes with 28 Harriers there was HMS Invincible with an air group of 12 to 18 Harriers. Subsonic as opposed to the supersonic aircraft at Argentina's disposal, they managed to provide air cover and support to the task force against a numerically superior air force.

You can also toss in Auxillary vessels which were used as expedient aircraft platforms during that conflict.

The Canberras don't have sufficient ability to provide fuel? The vehicle bays could be loaded with modular, mission capable equipment and if that needed to be augmented then I'd suggest using mid-air refueling aircraft and helicopters for that task.

Finally, each LHD and the new LHAs of the U.S. Navy are capable of operating as mini-aircraft carriers themselves. With the proliferation of such platforms in the Asia-Pacific Region among folks such as South Korea and Japan, it would seem to me that Australia would want their own capability in the even that fixed wing naval air power was needed for coalition warfare which did not have U.S. support.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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HAVOCK21 puts forth...

Posted May 9, 2014

Murph, Falklands was in the back of my mind.

Some overhead cover is better than NO overhead cover.

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Chaz mutters...

Posted May 9, 2014

Yep back in the Falklands conflcit a number of non-confroming launching platforms were used by RAF harriers and army gazelle & lynx choppers.

From memory a couple of container vessels were used in that capability

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Dino not to be confused with ducks in to say...

Posted May 9, 2014

Not really off topic(The Mexico Operation would be off topic but that's a story for another day)

Not on your 6 o'clock news?

I wonder why?

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/01/15/345855/iran-slams-israels-amia-assassinations/

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Xenodyssey puts forth...

Posted May 9, 2014

You know, I've had a look at the youtube video on the full blog article and have to wonder about taking off horizontally from a flight deck with that cover for the vertical turbine in the up position...Wouldn't it act like a large air brake on the F-35B when it's going forward and not just up or down? And how long before it rips off...

Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted May 9, 2014

That is in the assisted take off position. Harriers do something similar with their vectored thrust nozzels when they take off. In any case the speed is slow enough that it wouldn't be an issue.

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Dino not to be confused with mumbles...

Posted May 9, 2014

Had a good look at the Photo above.

Is it just me or is the shape all wrong?

My Topolgy is scratchy at best but those tail flappy things?

One size fits all?(Not to be confused with the Frank Zappa Album)

Vertical/Carrier/Airstrip.

Sounds like a Demtel add about 'No Wait there's more- It Juliennes/slices/ dices etc...

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BigWillieStyle reckons...

Posted May 9, 2014

Yeah, whatever. On an utterly different topic, can you get a local chapter of this group started up, please?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/05/topless-book-club-new-york-photos-nsfw_n_5267320.html

Dino not to be confused with asserts...

Posted May 9, 2014

E Flat-

"O-oh say can you seeeeeeeeee......

Barnesm mumbles...

Posted May 9, 2014

BWS having met some of my fellow Bergers at various get to gethers I think that is the LAST thing we want our CheeseBerger reading group to emulate.

Darth Greybeard is gonna tell you...

Posted May 9, 2014

Here here. Although there's one chap who'd have a D cup, if he wore that sort of thing. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

damian reckons...

Posted May 10, 2014

There's someone other than Dino commenting here these days? Knock me over with a feather...

Dino not to be confused with would have you know...

Posted May 10, 2014

So I go to the bottle shop to talk to my point man about Ukraine and "Mr know it all" brings up 'Hitler' Putin and shirtless photos, gays(which I conceded) and meglomania.

I brought up the Downed Dolphin Sub of Israel's, the subsequent nuking of Syria(great videos available on the net) and the opportunistic extension of the Hungarian shift into Ukraine. I mentioned Nuland etc as well. Another front basically.

MRKIA didn't know any of this

I then asked him to explain WTC 7.

What? he asked..

"As far as I know two buildings fell down on 9/11."

I told him to go on the internet, study hard and we will resume our conversation about Putin and the Ukraine in two or three years when his reading age extends beyond the Daily Tele.

So many fkwits...

Dino not to be confused with would have you know...

Posted May 10, 2014

Wittenstien or whatever his name was was right about a couple of things-

Of that we do not understand we must remain...

And these ignoramases want to discuss GeofknPolitics!

Better of with an infant.

Dino not to be confused with reckons...

Posted May 10, 2014

That's me I have vented.

Nighty Night.

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Murphy would have you know...

Posted May 9, 2014

Gotta keep up with the neighbors.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/ins-vikramaditya-is-operationally-deployed-with-mig-29k-aircraft-navy-chief-114050700750_1.html

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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ChrisB mumbles...

Posted May 10, 2014

Can't we just forgo the F-35 and get this?

http://www.livescience.com/20117-navy-flying-aircraft-carrier.html

With Much Love from the Republic of Texas

Cb

Dino not to be confused with mumbles...

Posted May 10, 2014

Hey Cb,

(thanks for your 10-4 buddy!)

Arizona's gottem.

Look up "Phoenix Lights".

They could have crossed state lines from NM(?).

Dino not to be confused with is gonna tell you...

Posted May 10, 2014

Texas ay?

http://www.voltairenet.org/article183486.html

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Murphy has opinions thus...

Posted May 11, 2014

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQMPPWMlErQ

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Chaz has opinions thus...

Posted May 11, 2014

The thing is do the canberra & the adelaide have toughened flight decks to withstand the exhaust gases of the F-35B's

Just askin.......

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HAVOCK21 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 11, 2014

CHAZ.

ANSWER IS NO!...BUT

We wondered is the coating was designed to absorb the F-35B’s hot exhaust that many had worried would melt the ship’s deck. Well, the Navy has just put out a little more detail on the coating in a press release announcing the end of F-35B sea trials.

It turns out, this is indeed a new, heat-resistant deck coating called Thermion. It’s made of bonded ceramic and aluminum and was applied to landing spot nine on the Wasp’s flight deck — “a small area used for vertical landings,” according to the Navy.

The press release quotes a Navy technician who worked on the deck coating as saying, “the Thermion shows no signs of heat stress, which is good for the F-35, and eventually good for all surface ships.”

Read more: http://defensetech.org/2011/10/25/the-wasps-new-heat-resistant-flight-deck-coating/#ixzz31NzR5Sch
Defense.org

Murphy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 12, 2014

They should have that ability already since they are based on the Juan Carlos, which regularly operates Harriers.

It might not be a bad idea, if mods are needed to make a more effective carrier platform, to simply convert one of the ships for that purpose. That would put Australia back in the same boat they were in with the Sydney and Melbourne during the Vietnam War.

Further, I'm no engineer but I don't see why the conversion work could not be done with modular components that can be swapped in and out per mission requirements.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Dino not to be confused with ducks in to say...

Posted May 11, 2014

Hey Havock,

I would have thought hinges and thermal expansion a problem.

Still they have this nads product to remove unwanted hair.

Remember when 007 had chest hair? Sean?

Now they pout and look like those ugly hairless moles with huge canines.

http://www.google.com.au/imgres?imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fimages.nationalgeographic.com%2Fwpf%2Fmedia-live%2Fphotos%2F000%2F006%2Fcache%2Fmole-rat_629_600x450.jpg&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fanimals.nationalgeographic.com%2Fanimals%2Fmammals%2Fnaked-mole-rat%2F&h=450&w=600&tbnid=TmQfudDPx61HvM%3A&zoom=1&docid=jbkLhKbMiUSotM&ei=aTlvU-m5DIiElQX_poH4BA&tbm=isch&ved=0CFkQMygIMAg&iact=rc&uact=3&dur=2306&page=1&start=0&ndsp=25

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Lobes mutters...

Posted May 12, 2014

I followed this on the interpreter when it came up last week. I cant recall the poster or the exact details but my understanding was that because the new littoral combat ships do not have the internal systems and storage to handle large quantities of jet fuel then at best the VTOL jets will be 'visitors' who can land and take off from them in a pinch but not be based on board.

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Grand Admiral Thrawn asserts...

Posted May 13, 2014

I belive that the F-35 platform is doomed to fail along with most stealth fighters for the forseable future. Stealth technoloy is being out paced by "sensor" tech, with in the next few years there will be radar that can detect most stealth fighters before they are able to engage. thus fourth Gen fighters would be able to engage fifth Gen fighters before they can get a suprise launch off and due to there suprior monuverability and in some cases speed to defeat them. the monuverability that is given up for stealth capabilities is detrimental to dog fighting in general and besides from strike missions and ambushes of enemy fighters stealth will be the down fall of most but not all Fifth Gen fighter. The only execption I can see (maybe see the wiki post on the fighter for a mock battle Vs Euro fighters where the F-22 didn't do so well) is the F-22 due to it's trust vectoring helping mounoverbility.

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Respond to 'F-35B'

Eat the evidence. Apple vs Samsung

Posted May 6, 2014 into Science and Tech by John Birmingham

I stole this from John Gruber who stole it from Vanity Fair. Because it's awesome:

One day in March 2011, cars carrying investigators from Korea’s anti-trust regulator pulled up outside a Samsung facility in Suwon, about 25 miles south of Seoul. They were there ready to raid the building, looking for evidence of possible collusion between the company and wireless operators to fix the prices of mobile phones.

Before the investigators could get inside, security guards approached and refused to let them through the door. A standoff ensued, and the investigators called the police, who finally got them inside after a 30-minute delay. Curious about what had been happening in the plant as they cooled their heels outside, the officials seized video from internal security cameras. What they saw was almost beyond belief.

Upon getting word that investigators were outside, employees at the plant began destroying documents and switching computers, replacing the ones that were being used — and might have damaging material on them — with others.

A year later, Korean newspapers reported that the government had fined Samsung for obstructing the investigation at the facility. At the time, a legal team representing Apple was in Seoul to take depositions in the Samsung case, and they read about the standoff. From what they heard, one of the Samsung employees there had even swallowed documents before the investigators were allowed in. That certainly didn’t bode well for Apple’s case; how, the Apple lawyers said half-jokingly among themselves, could they possibly compete in a legal forum with employees who were so loyal to the company that they were willing to eat incriminating evidence?

11 Responses to ‘Eat the evidence. Apple vs Samsung’

pete mumbles...

Posted May 6, 2014

sometimes you just know things will end in a shitfight ..

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Murphy asserts...

Posted May 6, 2014

Ah, those Koreans . . .

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Dave W ducks in to say...

Posted May 6, 2014

Forget the employees, Apple has customers more loyal than that.

MickH reckons...

Posted May 6, 2014

Yeah, strange hey!

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Therbs would have you know...

Posted May 6, 2014

I think those Samsung guys were re-enacting the end of a Bond flick when things start going pear shaped for the evil genius, but without the submachine guns and karate chops. Either that or they'd just been watching an old Nazi training film on what to do when Russian tanks appear outside the Reichstag.

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MickH mumbles...

Posted May 6, 2014

You've gotta watch out for the ole computer-switch-a-roo trick

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Dino not to be confused with puts forth...

Posted May 6, 2014

Yeah i mentioned "Jagged Little Pill" before- not a fkn penny.

As for Apple they are big or bigger crooks.

Some of them know it.

I guess they ate the design with dimensions, antenae patent(ring with ever diminishing 'holes to increase "area"(no patent just common sense), installed apps(compass etc), utilization of apps and the prospect of Samsung competition.

Not a fkn penny again.

Problem with the OS?

Watch this space...

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Rob puts forth...

Posted May 6, 2014

There is a way out this angst you know. Go analogue. Pen and paper, acoustic guitars, airbrushed portraits, solvent based paint.

Break your shackels.

  • except owning a big black PC to play video games on to wax nostaglically about the size of your graphics card and how much speed you can get out of your CPU.
  • and go back to calling software , software instead of apps. Because thats all they are. small efficient single use parcels of software.

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Blarkon reckons...

Posted May 6, 2014

Samesung.

Corrupt plagurists.

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Darth Greybeard mutters...

Posted May 8, 2014

See this is why the Galaxy has more rounded edges than the iPhone. Easier to swallow. Or, you know, conceal in some other orifice. I was doing a course with one Prof Caelli many years ago when we were told of a certain Brisbane tertiary institution that had a tip that a software audit was on the way. Apparently there were 44 gal drums of disks* burning far into the night, emitting noxious fumes that would definitely not be allowed today.

*it really was a long time ago.

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Phil has opinions thus...

Posted May 8, 2014

Reminds me of one of my favourite scenes from The Young Ones - "Vyv, eat the telly"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqG4ysu2ksU

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Respond to 'Eat the evidence. Apple vs Samsung'

F-35

Posted April 23, 2014 into Science and Tech by John Birmingham

Double snifters all round at the Air Force Club this morning, as the gubbermint announced it would lay out large wads of the folding stuff on buying another 58 Joint Strike Fighters to add to the fourteen it's already parked in the garage. (And the 24 Super Hornets it picked up when the F-35 was looking a bit wobbly).

At $12b and change (probably blowing out to double that when cost overruns have their way) it's an expensive program, but it'll be cheap compared to replacing the Collins Class subs in a couple of years. That's still looking like a thirty to forty billion dollar payday for someone. (Perhaps the Japanese, in a nice historical irony).

The ABC, which kept calling them 'Joint Strike Force' fighters in a little cringe-making boo-boo this morning, had an interesting interview with analyst Michael O'Hanlon from The Brookings Institution who was straight up and down in his take:

"If you think more about your military needs being the Afghanistan-style operations, the troubled waters of the South China Sea, counter-piracy, peace operations, keeping some degree of regional calm with some turbulence in the ASEAN region but not necessarily China, then frankly it's a debatable proposition whether the F-35 is the best bang for your buck," he said.

"If you want to be in the high-end combat aircraft business, the F-35 is frankly about as good of a deal as you're ever going to find. But if you think that that kind of high-end threat is not realistically where you're headed with your military requirements, then it's more of a debateable proposition."

Of course, even 74 of the planes, assuming they turn out to be any good, would simply disappear into the maw any air war over the South China Sea. They'll be very useful for monstering middle powers in the region - the unspoken threat of the RAAF cratering every runway and port in Indonesia back in 1999 severly constrained Jakarta's response to the Timor Crisis - but in a confrontation with China they do nothing but add three squadrons to the US side of the ledger. And as O'Hanlon points out, they are massively expsenive and over-engineered for dealing with regional security threats short of war; the more common and likely secnarios.

Given the budget cuts being faced by every other department this purchase tells us a lot about Canberra's view of the next three decades. (Not just Abbott's. The ALP has pushed this program forward too, and under Rudd was even considering a much larger submarine force).

They are hedging against Beijing.

59 Responses to ‘F-35’

pi mumbles...

Posted April 23, 2014

Isn't that, like $500, for every man woman and child in Oz?

For that sort of dosh I want a ride in one.

Brother PorkChop mumbles...

Posted April 23, 2014

Me too. But you and a bunch of other folk can go first. Kind of a beta test.

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robW reckons...

Posted April 23, 2014

I don't know how accurate the World Bank numbers are, but they show that Australia spends about 1.7% of its GDP on defense. Compare that to Mongolia, which spends 1.1%; the United States, which spends 4.2% + probably another 1% in Homeland Security & NSA + off-the-ledgerbook wars like Iraq and Afghanistan; and Russian Federation at 4.5%. How can Australia keep up with the Jones's at that paltry 1.7% rate? Maybe you can up the ante a tiny bit, help the US economy, and place another order for, say, 3,000 Predator drones? $25 billion down, with 60 easy payments over the next 5 years should do nicely.

Oh, and don't forget to accessorize your drone purchase with a sweet collection of Tomahawk cruise missles. Cut you a real deal on those, too! Free Cokes and balloons for the kids!

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w from brisbane would have you know...

Posted April 23, 2014

Do they only come in silver?

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Murphy reckons...

Posted April 23, 2014

I'd think one would want to pick up some F-35Bs for the new LHDs your government keeps saying will not be used for fixed wing operations.

As it stands, Australia's defense policy in future decades may well be to pool their resources with other regional powers such as Japan and South Korea. Both of which are also investing LHD type platforms capable of operating F-35Bs from their flight decks.

That said, I can't see China roaring out of their corner of the world in the same fashion the Japanese did during the last century. That doesn't fit their overall historical/cultural pattern at all.

As for which jet to get, well, the folks in St. Louis who assemble the F/A-18 Super Hornet would be mighty happy to get more orders for their aircraft.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Blarkon reckons...

Posted April 23, 2014

The future of air combat is drones. They don't have the costs involved in being a life support system for a sack of meat.

Therbs mutters...

Posted April 23, 2014

Speaking of the F35B variant is JB's hovercraft configured for one of these birds? If not, why not?

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Therbs ducks in to say...

Posted April 23, 2014

I reckon we should have bought MiG's.

Murphy has opinions thus...

Posted April 23, 2014

Why, I'm sure the Chinese have some surplus Migs they'd be willing to sell.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

Therbs asserts...

Posted April 23, 2014

Given that our foe is New Zealand and their airforce consists of a few transports I reckon MiG's would be great value for money. And later on we could sell them to 'private collectors' in Africa.

Bangar swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 23, 2014

NZed has an Airforce? I thought Mokes was the advanced gaurd?

BigWillieStyle asserts...

Posted April 24, 2014

I once saw a MiG 28 do a 4G negative dive. I started up on a 6 when he pulled through the clouds, and then I moved in above him.

I was inverted.

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Blarkon would have you know...

Posted April 23, 2014

Especially now that they are buying Sukhois.

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Barnesm reckons...

Posted April 23, 2014

Surely Havsy has an opinion on this?

Bunyip reckons...

Posted April 23, 2014

Ah. Thanks for the reminder. I'll put my chainsaw earmuffs on for his response to Therb's *cough* suggestion *cough*

Therbs has opinions thus...

Posted April 23, 2014

Havsy is too busy building a pergola. By pergola I mean a luanching pad. By launching pad I mean a string of ICBM silos which he'll operate with an app on his Motorola flip phone. (They still make those things?)

Blarkon reckons...

Posted April 23, 2014

Just tie some balloons to his house, like in Up, arm him, and point him at the muppets.

w from brisbane ducks in to say...

Posted April 23, 2014

I thought Supreme Commander Havock had transcended antique sub-orbital defence thinking.

As the great man opined,
"fkn NUKE THE FKLN FKRS FROM FKN FKLN ORBIT!!!!!!!!!"

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Rob mumbles...

Posted April 23, 2014

This just strikes me as a typical public service failure. Failure to give honest frank and fearless unbiased advice, failure to make a decision, and failure to spend other people's money responsibily.

This combined with a government desperate to appear relevant, you end up spending big bucks on a load of useless crap.

The Public Service in Australia is a mess, teams of over paid policy developers, sending endless useless emails to eachother while service units get cut to the bone and an executive/management class too scared to make a decision about anything.

Blarkon asserts...

Posted April 23, 2014

Well given the bollocking they get from the fuckers we elect when they do offer unbiased advice, is it a surprise that we've developed a public service that provides the advice that the politicians want to hear?

For decades we've elected self entitled children to Canberra. We can't blame the public service when we elected the cunts.

Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 23, 2014

Consulting

If you're not a part of the solution, there's good money to be made in prolonging the problem.

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Rob is gonna tell you...

Posted April 23, 2014

I'm not surprised, more sick of working in this PS/BS environment. But these are golden handcuffs i have in my cubicle , gold I tells ya.

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JG would have you know...

Posted April 23, 2014

Here we go: $12 billion--$12 frickin' billion--to be spent on 58 new fighter planes that have *probably* got their technical problems sorted. Maybe. Touch wood, they'll be alright. If not, we're looking at 57 flying white elephants.

Either way, this government has warped priorities. We're all in for a frightening Federal budget come May 13. I am truly disgusted at this government: happy to spend billions on new defence toys while millions in Australia will suffer with from the this impending slash and burn budget.

JBtoo reckons...

Posted April 23, 2014

I'm with you Red, 100 per cent.

Brother PorkChop puts forth...

Posted April 24, 2014

These governments I think given that this has been through all flavours. The only ones that would scrap it would be the greens. Clivesaurus would have us replace it all with mechatronic dinosaurs.

Sudragon asserts...

Posted April 24, 2014

If we had Mechatronic Dinosaurs, we probably wouldn't need F-35's

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Squid puts forth...

Posted April 23, 2014

Not sure what happened with the post above. Perhaps they are tracking defence criticism.

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted April 23, 2014

Were you cupying in from Word? That'll do it. ANyway, for those who missed it, Squid say: "

Matters of defence are really not my thing, but I thought it was the range of the F111s that was the regional deterrent. I question what we can do with the abilities of the F-35, and the insignificant number compared to China.

Perhaps it's more a token gesture that we can at least contribute to regional efforts, rather than sending some clunkers over that will just get in the way."

Bondiboy66 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 23, 2014

I reckon we should not have ditched the F111s as they had the range and payload to do just what you say JB, I.e. Bomb possible threats to the aust mainland. Sure they were old, but the U.S. Has a metric but load of bits lying about in deserts we could have bought cheap. And surely there is a suitable fighter we could have bought cheaper that actually flies NOW. Further, I doubt these things are any good for other roles like close support of ground troops, or blowing up ships (I have no idea about that point, mind). Huge waste of money for a load of vapourware.

Guru Bob ducks in to say...

Posted April 26, 2014

I seem to recall that the f111s were untried technology when they were purchased, years before I was born, and I am an old codger. I wouldn't want to put the future of the country in those old clunkers.

HAVOCK21 mumbles...

Posted April 26, 2014

you are correct, it was a fkn basket case and cost a bomb, nobody ever said it would work. Unlike now....where its costing FKN GAZILLINS and we are fkn beholden to the pricks in the Mil estab;lishment fkn ment!

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Squid mutters...

Posted April 23, 2014

Thanks JB. Duly noted to avoid in future.

I would like to know (and therefore by extrapolation everyone wants to know) what 74 planes can actually do or what they bring to the defence equation. It's dealing in a scale I don't comprehend.

I understand (give or take) what $12b can buy, but can't actually judge whether it's a good deal or not.

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Murphy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 24, 2014

Nearly every U.S. defense program of the past forty years has been fraught with a lot of handwringing over the cost, reliability and value of the system in question. Throughout the 1980s one could hardly turn on a news program without finding yet another report of a weapons system in crisis. Out of them all I believe the only one we shitcanned was the Sergeant York Division Air Defense Weapon.

And we who got to use the gear, or rely on others to use it, spent most of Operation Desert Shield listening to dire predictions of imminent doom, disaster and destructions at the hands of the "battle hardned Iraqi Army," equipped with the latest and greatest of Soviet weapons. Our tanks were crap, our planes too complicated, blah, blah, blah.

My point?

Maybe the F-35 isn't right for Australia. Maybe it isn't worth the money. Are their cost overruns? Yes, there always are and always have been for the most part. The senior military officer in charge is trying to get that under control.

As for reliability of the aircraft? Well, you really won't know until you try to use it in combat. The Chinese have their fair share of reliability problems with their own aircraft and I suspect that if they were to try and make their way Down Under they'd face the same strategic and logistical challenges the Japanese faced during World War II.

I would say this. We have a pretty solid track record of weapons systems doing more or less what they are supposed to do. But if $12 Billion is too much, get a Super Hornet instead.

By the way, do you even have the pilots you need to fly the ones you are going to buy?

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

damian mumbles...

Posted April 24, 2014

Australia has a proud history of outsourcing quite a bit of what should be jurisdictional responsibility or even authority to (mostly US) defence contractors, whom it allows to behave like borderline-psychopath, licenced thieves. I suppose this isn't really limited to defence. But the one whose name starts like a beam of sunshine, has a definite article in the middle and ends with a preposition that usually means being atop a thing; those guys are horrible fuckers you'd never want to deal with outside a high security mental healthcare facility.

Brother PorkChop asserts...

Posted April 24, 2014

Murph, we don't have any homegrown pilots but we can rent some from Malaysia pretty cheap and India too. Strangely this is the same with doctors.

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Therbs swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 24, 2014

RAAF pilots learn to fly U.S. planes in the U.S. and come back qualified as instructors to bring the squadrons up to speed. Some also work as instructors in the U.S. Its what's been happening whenever we've bought planes from US suppliers.

Shame we couldn't have had the F22's. They look really nice and that's what matters when the RAAF does flyovers at car races and football matches. The F111's were great for that sort of thing. Should have kept them.

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Adam_Denny mumbles...

Posted April 24, 2014

I would be interested to if the Australian economy is that bad, or is Abbott slashing and burning his way through the budget for ideological reaons? Even from across the Pacific, it seems to me to be awe inspiringly stupid to in the say week as releasing that the retirement age is going up to 70, to have him waving from the cockpit of an F-35, the program for which he is saying is more important. It's hardly like Indonesia has this state of the art air force we... I mean you, have to be on constant alert against.

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Darth Greybeard is gonna tell you...

Posted April 24, 2014

Look, I'm no armchair Wing Commander but it's obvious you lot - whether pro or anti F-35 - have missed the point. This is not about defence capability, it's about jobs. And I'll go out on a limb here and predict that, over a five to ten year period, we will see real growth in a job sector that's been neglected lately. By which I mean ex-politicians, ex-public servants and ex-defence personnel getting plum positions either with Lockheed Martin or with associated companies that might owe L-M a favour.

Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted April 24, 2014

No, I didn't miss it.

Defense contractors protect themselves by spreading the jobs around.

insomniac would have you know...

Posted April 24, 2014

as we are now doing jobs our grandparents could not imagine existing, i think you're right, it's not far off the mark

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Darth Greybeard would have you know...

Posted April 24, 2014

Aaaargh! My eyes! Greg Sheridan in the Australian has extended his embarrassing man-crush on Tones to the F-35. Read on, if ye be stout of heart and strong of stomach.

"If I believed in reincarnation, I think I'd like to come back as a Joint Strike Fighter. Lean, sleek, intimidating, the best in my class. Ah ..." (At this point Mr Sheridan's eyes bulged, his face went red and he staggered from the room, panting loudly.)

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted April 24, 2014

Seriously?

Dave W mutters...

Posted April 24, 2014

I can independently verify that. Young Greg had a *moment* there.

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Blarkon would have you know...

Posted April 24, 2014

even though we are apparently bestest of buds, we still aren't allowed to buy the F22. which should tell you somethingabout the relationship

Murphy mumbles...

Posted April 25, 2014

Even the U.S. Air Force isn't allowed to buy anymore F-22s.

187 of them seems a bit on the paltry side to me.

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TheWah mumbles...

Posted April 25, 2014

I'm far from an expert on these matters, but these planes do seem like a really odd purchase. I get we have to be able to defend our borders and be able to extend our power to 'touch' other nations near us if they get uppity, but are these planes the best value for money?

Wouldn't it be better value to purchase a metric truck-tonne of missiles and spread them out across the northern borders with the pointy explosive bits pointing North? The right missiles could deny air superiorty to an aggressor and the right other missiles could make the aggressor's airports and bases vanish into many craters.

If you want to use airpower to support ground troops wouldn't it be be better to have gunships floating menacingly around or something like the A10 Thunderbolt (or whatever the sexy modern equivalent happens to be now).

What I'm trying to say is that the F35 appears to be a very expensive and overly technical answer to a problem that A) Doesn't exist at the moment and B) If it did exist it could be dealt with much more cheaply and effectively.

Happy to be told why I'm wrong.

(P.s Cutting funding to your organisation involved in pure science research projects (such as CSIRO) and then spending buckets of cash on tech weapons designed by the science research organisations of other countries seems... stupid in the long term. But that's a gripe for another time)

NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted April 25, 2014

You can't post nothing.

RAGE-SMASH EVERYTHINGS!

w from brisbane reckons...

Posted April 25, 2014

I think the CSIRO really irks Tony Abbott. He knows, like many of his thoughts, he can't really say this out loud. But, when he hears things like earth sciences, and he knows the CSIRO is at least waist deep in that racket, he knows in his heart that the whole ecology thing is just a trojan horse for nature worship, pantheism and various nudie, moon bathing weirdo paganisms (eg. Gaia). And, as a christian warrior, these are the very anti-Jesus beliefs that he joined politics to fight, whatever the earthly cost.

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Rhino ducks in to say...

Posted April 25, 2014

$12 billion, huh?

You can find that in the sofa cushions of most US Congressweasels.

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Guru Bob would have you know...

Posted April 26, 2014

I thought Japan won't sell us their subs and we were talking to Sweden about it?

HAVOCK21 reckons...

Posted April 26, 2014

YEAH, they fkn wont, If we had kept the F111's we could have at least threatened to drop another couple of FKN NUKES ON THE ARSEHATS!

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HAVOCK21 asserts...

Posted April 26, 2014

So this is how it goes down.

We but F22 Raptors off you with all the bit n fkn pieces etc and we also plan to upgrade the F111’s.

We will also buy the Arleigh Burke DDG the Navantia AWD design from the fkn Bull Killers.

We will buy and have converted a tranche of F18 Growlers, in fact, rather than 12 we will take 36 units, all converted to EA config. ( reason is people, we can sell them later, this bird will fkn near appreciate in value )

As aprt B, you get to play here, we get to help ya out, but maybe up the coast a weeee bit further we build a fkn new base....and you might be able to use it too.

The F35 is all about, see them first and sheet first and nOT get into a dog fight and we all really fkn well know thats gunna play out like that all the time. What happened to DONT SHOOT UNTIL FIORED UPON..kinda helps them get closer don’t it. Its fkn stealth...NOT UNDETECTABLE!

Its got a POXY FKN PAYLOAD, like....a suzukieeee fkn mighty boy really and its range is about that of MONSTERS FKN RANGIE!.....BAD and fkn thirsty!

The US still has long range strike capability in the B1 and Russia does as well but we gave up the biggest stick we had when the F111’s were decommissioned. The cock sucker who authorised that needs fkn capping really. Now, we will end up with a force so mixed, with such short legs, that offensive strike passed Indon is not possible without massive tanker support.

OH...and the HELMET LOOK FKN EVERYWHERE AND SEE EVERWHERE FKN SHIT onthe poxy F35 is NOT FUNCTIONAL...ITS JUST LIKE ALL OTHER CURRENT GEN FKN HELMETS. I reckon about 10 years before they get it to SEE all around the fkn plane!.

OH!...AND BTW. ITS ONLY GOT ONE FKN ENGINE! FFSAKES!, like a mono cycle, when that goes flate you are FUCKED!

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Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted April 27, 2014

Well, if it is big stick work you are looking for, why don't you get someone to convert 737s into bombers for you? You can start with the P-8A platform as a point of departure for that.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

tqft reckons...

Posted April 27, 2014

We have people working on this

http://hypersonics.mechmining.uq.edu.au/hifire

HyShot VII - Sustained Mach 8 Scramjet Powered Flight

Not there yet. Yet. Who needs planes in the future?

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Chaz mutters...

Posted April 28, 2014

The problem lies with the fact that noone outside of a few test pilots and the wonks at L-M exactly how good or bad the JSF is.

All newly developed aircraft get crap media. Like the F-15's autopilt that couldn't fly the plane over the equator or the the F-16A/B's that couldn't fire their 20mm cannon for months as it unbalanced the aircraft, or the case of the Rafale that was soo far behind schedule France's main CVN was a glorified 'copter carrier for years ( a similar fate awaits the UK's latest CV as well due to delays in the JSF).

As for cost yes they're expensive but they're also brand new tech, I believe the latest F-16E/F's are well over US$25 mill a pop (ive seen a figure of $43Mill and the Typhoon comes in a tad over US$122mill. So at about US$90Mill I'd say that for a brand new light fighter design its pretty much on the mark.

The timing of the purchase of course is crap when there's a slash & burn budget on the way but then these costs will be amoelated over a number of years.

My main problem is that we're phazing out a medium/heavy fighter in the F18E/F in favor of a light fighter. Yes with aerial refueling the lack of legs of the JSF and the alleged synergy in its systems means that it acts as a force multiplier but its current CAS and strike profile is woeful compared with the F-18E/F's. The choice not to build the twin engine design was a major mistake.

I still belive we should have gone with a mixed fleet made up of Typhoons for air superiority/ cas and super hornets for strike/cas plus of course 12-24 Growlers for ECM/SEAD.

Drones are a nice idea but to be honest it'll be years before there'll be one UCAS airframe that can undertake AtoA combat and maybe longer for one that will be able to survive in the modern battlespace in a strike configureation. the other issue about using drones is how long before you remove the 'man in the loop' because in an ECM rich environment you want your air assets to be as independent as possible.

Bottom line is we'll see F-35's in our squadrons before we see UCAS in proper combat (not Reapers dropping PGM's on AQ/Taliban suspects).

It is a real shame that those F-22 production lines were closed down but maybe recent events in Europe may nudge them back ito production as it looks like we have a new cold war on our hands.

NBlob would have you know...

Posted May 1, 2014

"Drones are a nice idea but to be honest it'll be years before there'll be one UCAS airframe that can undertake AtoA combat and maybe longer for one that will be able to survive in the modern battlespace in a strike configureation. the other issue about using drones is how long before you remove the 'man in the loop' because in an ECM rich environment you want your air assets to be as independent as possible."

I am very interested in this line of reasoning and would like to subscribe to your pamphlet.

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HAVOCK21 asserts...

Posted May 1, 2014

maybe we might yet get a chance to sqush tanks like bugs in the fulda gap!

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matt reckons...

Posted October 15, 2015
Have you thought of writing an alt history novel about a hot war between Aus and Indonesia in 1999.?

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