Wednesday 25 April 2018

Doing Without Galileo

News that Britain is going to build its equivalent of Galileo, the EU SatNav system, has galvanised the Beaker Folk into activity.

See, it's pretty obvious that existing SatNav technology is overdoing it. All that triangulation and geostationary stuff is just typical Gallic over-complexity.

I mean, what is SatNav basically about? People at position A wanting to go to place B.

Under the Brexit SatNav, which we'll be calling BeakerNet, anybody needing assistance on a journey will call a premium rate number and let us know their destination.

Let us suppose you're in Luton and want to go to Northampton. Some would call this only a minor improvement, but come with us on this. You will let our Beaker Homebase know this fact. And in the Beaker Balloon, tethered three miles above Husborne Crawley, Young Keith will find the giant sign saying 'Northampton' and stick it on the underside of the balloon - hopefully the right way round.

You can already see the benefits. There's no annoying SatNav voice. No satellite dead spots. OK, it'll be tricky when you pass Junction 13 and the blimp is directly overhead. But soon it will be in your rear view mirror and you'll be safely on your way. If you've not driven into one of those new warehouses due to a crick in the neck.

And the really great news is, we'll be using giant sign posts in the traditional "fingerpost" style. Which means the BeakerNet gives you the experience of driving in a SteamPunk version of 1920s Sussex. And if that's not what Brexit was all about I don't know what was.

BeakerNet. The Brits-only SatNav. You won. Get over it.


  1. I may be falling a leetle bit in love with the Arch druid.

  2. If you can remember the days of road maps and route cards, scrabbling to read either as you drive, not paying any attention to the road and other road users, your project must be an improvement.

    However, there is nothing about the charging mechanism, and knowing the Arch Druid's grasp of finance (everybody elses) and need to plunder others coffers, I'm surprised that the charging scheme hasn't been made clear. Or, is it the same as the Charging scheme for the Dartford Crossing, drive first and pay a huge penalty charge later? I wouldn't be surprised. Dartford scheme is a money spinner. You have to register in advance and pay a deposit, and you provide your credit card details and as you journey, you are charged. If you don't use the crossing for three months, you lose your deposit.

    I can see the Arch Druid entering the class of millionaire that owns half of London, either as Duchesss of Westminster or an Obligarch residing in Kensington and Chelsea, digging huge basements for games rooms and swimming pools and accommodation for staff.

    I do hope that she remembers the marriage proposal from Mr Corbyn when she does - because he would love to be her life long companion. He could give up politics for ever.

  3. Don't get me started on the Dartford Crossing system! We have the same type of system for the new "Mersey Gateway". Of course, they couldn't integrate it with toll roads elswhere (such as Dartford) and have a common system with a single registration. Oh no! So, if you register with both, you get two stickers for your windscreen, which both have to be placed in exactly the same place and, surprise, surprise, sometimes the number-plate recognition systems get confused and look at the wrong one!

    There's also the difficulty of the person who is unaware of the charge and only discovers that they are liable when they're on the way to Liverpool airport for a two-week holiday with no means of logging in and paying within the next 24 hours.

    But at least the latest news is that they've decided that they will waive the charges for emergency vehicles.

  4. My father has decided that at his advanced age it is now time to install a satnav in his car for when he can't remember where he is....

  5. BeakerNet on the M40/M42 interchange... eek! Or the A14. Think you need Drayton Parslow with a loud hailer though - opportunity missed otherwise!


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