Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 25th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

Content copyright © 1995 - 2019 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at

Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Good morning 2020

6 January 2020

The first Aardvark of 2020 and the start of the third decade of the 21st century.

No, I'm not back at my desk publishing your daily-dose until next week so this is just a one-off column (normal publication will resume on the 13th).

A couple of things have triggered me into writing an early column however, and neither of them are good.

First-up, it seems that the USA has blown the snot (and other body fluids) out of an "enemy" at Baghdad airport using one of their super-capable Predator drones and a pair of Hellfire missiles. No doubt there were also injuries caused to innocent bystanders -- but hey, that's acceptable isn't it?

Well no, it's not acceptable (IMHO).

In fact, what we're seeing is yet another glaring example of hypocrisy from those in power.

The USA has justified its assassination of Qassem Soleimani by claiming he was a terrorist whose activities had resulted in the deaths of many innocent people and was thus an enemy of the American people.

Strangely enough, I thought that the USA had a justice system based on the presumption of innocence and I really must have missed the trial that was held by the courts in order to prove his guilt then authorise the penalty to be inflicted.

Did I mention the word hypocrisy?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-USA or pro-Iran or even remotely partisan either way in terms of the politics. I really don't care about the politics.

What I do care about is one country assuming that it has the right to engage in this type of activity just because it is bigger and stronger than another.

Bullying is not acceptable, nor is the use of murder as summary justice, regardless of the crimes of the alleged guilty party.

Can you imagine the outrage if Iran had assassinated Mike Pence, the US vice President?

Would the world be as "hey-ho" about such an act as they are in the wake of the USA's act of violence?

The hypocrisy of this event becomes even more obvious when you realise that the attack took place at an airport... and was launched by... a drone.

How many times have we heard the US government (or agencies thereof) telling us that it is too dangerous to allow drones near airports? I guess they made their point on this occasion eh? But once again it's "do as we say, not as we do".

And, on the subject of drones, the FAA in the USA has just released an astoundingly bad NPRM (notice of proposed rule making) document that will effectively destroy the hobby of flying RC models within a decade.

Under the new proposed rule, all drones and RC models flown in US airspace will need to carry an electronic-ID transmitter and be connected to a kind of air-traffic control system via the internet. Yes, that's right... in many cases it will mean "no net, no fly".

How crazy is that? The safest places to fly (miles from anywhere in the back of beyond) are now going to be the places you'll be least-able to fly due to a lack of Net connectivity.

Only craft built to approved standards by certified manufacturers will be allowed to fly in most airspace. Home-built craft and RC model aircraft will be relegated to a tiny number of pre-defined areas with no new areas or transfers allowed after 12 months. This means that as urban expansion turns these sites in to shopping centres, model flyers will have nowhere to fly and the hobby will die.


So, in my usual "I'm not having it" way, I've stepped up to the plate and will be coordinating a widespread response to this proposal with a view to having the NPRM thrown out.

Stay tuned for that!

In the meantime, carry on until next Monday.

Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Have your say in the Aardvark Forums.

PERMALINK to this column

Rank This Aardvark Page


Change Font

Sci-Tech headlines



The EZ Battery Reconditioning scam

Beware The Alternative Energy Scammers

The Great "Run Your Car On Water" Scam


Recent Columns

A pandemic in the making?
Every decade or two the world stands on the edge of a precipice...

A global energy network?
Renewable energy sources have become an important thing in the first half of the 21st century, as we try to wean ourselves off fossil fuels...

Will this fly?
Interesting things are going on down South...

The future of food
Are we about to see some significant changes in the sources and form of the food we eat?...

Hottest year? Not this one
According to the media, the last decade was the hottest on record and it's all down to the evils of climate change...

Predictions for 2020?
At the beginning of each year I try to dust off my crystal ball and see if I can make some prophet-like predictions as to the year ahead in tech...

Time to break out the assembler?
There was an interesting piece on SlashDot this morning in which it was suggested that as computers hit a brick wall performance-wise, we'll need to go back to more efficient programming...

Is Iran more honest than the USA?
Well here we are, the festive season is behind us and it's time to settle back into the daily routine for another year... and what a year it's shaping up to be...

Good morning 2020
The first Aardvark of 2020 and the start of the third decade of the 21st century...

Why online shopping may have peaked
Retail is changing... a lot...

Boxing day sales?
I am so tired...