Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Australian Fast UAV Carrier with Onboard Additive Manufacturing of Aircraft

Fast UAV Carrier.
Artists impression by
Tom Worthington CC-BY 2021
The Australian Government is reported to be considering investing billions of dollars in a complex guided weapons manufacturing  sovereign capability. However, just having a local subsidiary of an offshore company build an imported product under licence is not a real sovereign capability (as was shown by billions wasted on subsidizing foreign car companies to manufacture in Australia).

Any scheme has to have a strong investment in local capability. I suggest Australia should invest in new technological capabilities, for example, being able to rapidly manufacture custom guided weapons and UAVs for a particular mission. This could include the capability to do this aboard ship and on land at forward bases.

As an example, imagine a miniature aircraft carrier build by one of Australia's multi-hull fast ferry shipyards, with a flight deck for launching UAVs and a factory below to 3D print the jet engines, fuselages and avionics for them. Rather than a commander to have to wait weeks, or years for new weapons to be delivered, they would be manufactured on-board in a few hours, custom designed for the next mission.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Virtual Tour of Borobudur

Travelxism, who ran the tour of Borobudur Temple I went on in 2019, at TALE 2019, are now offering virtual group tours, with a local guide using Zoom. They offer tours also to other Yogyakarta sites. This can be for a group of friends, a workplace, club or conference. Of course. it is not quite the same as the real thing, but you do get to ask questions.

I have suggested the tour organizers offer virtual tours of the the Taman Pintar science park, the shopping center and a ride in a local bus as to the visitor these are also fascinating.

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Live Your Life, But Take Precautions

Over Christmas, I left Canberra for a holiday in Queensland, but never got there. The Queensland boarders were closed due to COVID-19, so I stayed in Sydney. Then the Canberra boarder closed and I could not go home. But then, if you have to be stuck somewhere, Sydney is a nice place to be. ;-)

From Sydney, I could still work online, with the help of a mattress (my next webinar for Canada is 11am, Wednesday, all welcome). My doctor faxed scrips for essential medicines to a Sydney pharmacy (there is still a use for fax).

In Sydney, I decided to avoid indoor venues. It became a challenge to find somewhere to shop and be entertained without an enclosed air-conditioned space and within walking distance. When mandatory mask wearing was introduced for Sydney, this was in some ways a relief. I did try going to a concert once, but an hour in a mask, even with an intermission outside, was not a pleasant experience.

Last week the Canberra boarder opened, and I was able to return. This was an anti-climax: I was expecting someone in a hazmat suit to stick something up my nose, but there was no border checkpoint. What I did find confronting was going to a shopping center. As I entered there were people with no masks. I found this shocking and a little frightening. I wanted to shout "What are you doing, don't you know we are in a pandemic!" and run from the building. But I calmed down, and did my shopping.

Canberra Food Truck
Usually I would have lunch in the center, but could not face spending any longer in a enclosed space with hundreds of people. So I dined on the top level of the car-park, at a  food van. It was a bright sunny pleasant day. 

Smoke over Canberra, 18 January 2003I went home in a better frame of mind, thinking my fears irrational and expecting they would have receded after a few days. This would be similar to 18 January 2003, when at the same shopping center car-park, I was confronted by smoke from a firestorm destroying part of Canberra.

However, the next morning, it was reported there were COVID-19 viral fragments detected in Belconnen wastewater. My fears were not entirely irrational after all.

There is a need to get on with life, but also take precautions.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Salvos Store set up like the apartment in Big Bang Theory

Part of the Salvos Store Leichhardt (NSW), has been set up like the apartment in the TV series The Big Bang Theory


There is a bookcase with Star Wars and Star Trek collectibles, rack of computer games, couch and TV with a game playing. But Sheldon would not doubt point that the replica Phaser on display is "Original Series", while the model star-ship is from a later series. ;-)