01 March 2008

Northrop-Grumman versus Boeing

KC-30 wins! Northrop-Grumman has won the 179 tanker contest. After the fiasco over the original award, the

A Businessweek report details Northrop's plan for the new contest between the aviation giants:

"Northrop's Sugar began plotting his attack after the Pentagon's initial deal to lease 100 new tankers from Boeing erupted in an ethics scandal because a top Boeing executive, Michael Sears, discussed a job for Air Force point person Darleen Druyan while negotiations were still ongoing. Druyan and Sears were convicted of corruption charges and served time in jail; the scandal led to the resignation of then-CEO Philip Condit. When the Pentagon opened a competition for the contract, Sugar found an ally in EADS, invested in new technology and hoped the new plane would be attractive to a military disillusioned by the Boeing fiasco.

As detailed in a BBC report:

"Boeing loses out in $40bn US deal

EADS and Northrop Grumman won the contract with their KC-30 aircraftThe owner of Airbus, EADS, and US firm Northrop Grumman have won a contract to build refuelling aircraft for the US Air Force, worth up to $40bn (£20bn).

The companies put in a joint bid to compete against Boeing for the lucrative deal to build 179 new aircraft over the next 10 to 15 years."

I am expecting vehement protests from special interest groups within the US, maybe not Boeing but other groups. Will Boeing appeal after their role in that corruption scandal? It remains to be seen.

29 February 2008

Current score:
Islamist Terrorist 1 Good Guys 0

If they haven't got him in the condon within a few hours, it is not unlikely that he has escaped the noose. Is he holed up? Is he already in Indonesia? Hard to say really.

28 February 2008

I set foot at Thomson Plaza for the first time since 1992. It was gloomy with tired and forgettable shops. A good eighteen years later, the place was still filled with tired shops though the mall had been refurbished with a new facade in the form of metal-cladding and an ubiquitous Starbucks joint at an outdoor seating area. Like the past, the place was full of activity, mostly people in their fifties and sixties eating and wandering around. Were these the condemned of a consumerist hell, wandering and questing in a lifetime for the holy grail of the cool product?

There was a Shizuoka Yajimaya bookstore there in the early eighties.

On another note, I opened an account with a Dutch bank today. The staff were kinda incompetent. I was puzzled at the number of mistakes made.
The score so far:

Terrorists 1 Good Guys 0

If they can't capture him in the first few hours, it is going to get difficult. Was there collusion with an outside party? Is he still in the country?
It's almost time to go home! Whee!
Hmmm.. Wilson just spotted Nose at Borders. I thought Nose had left the country for good?
DRAT! Another short post down the toilet thanks to blogspot. It saves at the wrong moments and loses posts.

I shall have to save for short posts too.
I am looking at quite a few new games. 'Sins of a Solar Empire', 'Universe at War: Earth Assault', 'Supreme Commander' and 'Supreme Commander: Forged Alliances'.



Wilson is recommending 'World in Conflict' and 'Company of Heroes'.



I need to make a list. A list of priorities. Heh. Speaking of which, I have still not played 'Galactic Empires I' and 'Galactic Empires II' yet.
So, the clown escaped during a toilet visit! One would have thought that this was the stuff of Hollywood make-believe. Oh no.
I don't take Gamespot seriously as I think that it has sold out about a decade ago to large corporate interests as it is always pandering to the large, successful game companies and to their series games which had a lot of investment riding on them. Sequel after sequel appear to be highly praised. Good reviews? These are seemingly tied to access to interviews, previews and free games.

Rather than celebrating good gameplay, reviews are often fixed to a preconceived notion of how a 'genre' or game must be. How tiresome. Oh well, computer gaming has grown up. The cottage industry of the eighties is lost. Forever.

Addendum

Mister Paradox sent me a revealing article about Gamespot.
Dangerous Islamist on the loose

A would-be terrorist has escaped from the Onraet Road facility known as the Whitley Road Detention Centre. That is quite near from where I stay. Hmm..

After watching the news last night, Funnyman Wei Yi called up and asked me to wear my reservist gear, meaning the helmet and webbing and patrol! Grrr.... I'm done with my reservist, that clown has still to complete his 13-year cycle. Heheh.

26 February 2008

I just got back from a run. 9:30. I wasn't in the mood to run though the timing for this run was faster than my usual 10:00 timing. I had done a 8:45 previously.
Tree

A ballpoint pen doodle done when I was manning a cash register. Leaky ballpoint pen. 11cm x 12cm.
Rainfall. Finally.

It had been dry for twenty-one days.

25 February 2008

Insular

It is just as I expected. 'Persepolis' did not beat that Pixar cartoon.
'The Ideal Condition' - Paul Hartnoll

I had pretty much given up on Orbital after the partial fiascos of the last four albums. Due to Kelvin's recommendation, I listened to this new Paul Hartnoll effort which was a present surprise. The first three tracks cast a msmerising spell until broken in track 4 by the lacklustre vocals of Robert Smith (from the Cure) in 'Please'. 'Please' is the first single from 'The Ideal Condition' which I thought was highly inappropriate unless the record company had hope to pull listeners by the 'star power' of Robert Smith. After all, he is still worshipped in one quarter, mainly that of Goths. All in all, I found this new album to be mellow, pastoral even, without the insistent driving beats of some of Orbital's best. There were a few other tracks that were reminiscent of the best of early Orbital but they were far and few in between. A rather middling effort actually.

The Ideal Condition

1. Haven't We Met Before?
2. For Silence
3. Simple Sounds
4. Please
5. Unsteady Waltz
6. Nothing Else Matters
7. Patchwork Quilt
8. Iggro
9. Dust Motes

Recommended with reservations.

24 February 2008

I'm trying to finish 'Joan of Arc' and 'Titan Quest: Immortal Throne'. It's been a while since I played them. I am not far from finishing them.
For a moment, I was considering stopping the play of Mobile Weapon: Battle Stations. However, the developers refunded my ship and gave me a new lease of life. I am continuing. Whee!