Another hosing for the taxpayer

If all else fails, rip off the military for their photography needs.

Tax payer ripoff of the week – DALSA Semiconductor Delivers World’s First 100+ Million Pixel CCD Image Sensor Chip.

From the press release: “DALSA announces that it has successfully produced a 111 megapixel CCD. The active area measures approximately 4×4 inches and 10560 x 10560 pixels. The record-breaking chip is developed for the Astrometry Department of the U.S. Naval Observatory to assist them in the determination of the positions and motions of stars, solar system objects and the establishment of celestial reference frames.”

Now let Professor Pindelski, with the benefit of thirty years of hard earned Wall Street experience, translate this to English for you. And forget about all that garbage about astronomy. How dumb do you think we are, DALSA?

“We came up with this great idea for the spies and gooks in the CIA. You know, these fools still use film for photographing enemy encampments from the air. How about we lay it on them and say how everyone, even Uncle Fred, has gone digital, and isn’t it high time you did too? Tell ’em we can see the brand name of the cigarette the terrorist is smoking from 10 miles up. And just think of the margins when we sell this piece of crap to the poor unsuspecting US taxpayer at $250,000 a pop. Man oh! man, that will make the proverbial $1,000 hammer we used to sell to NASA look like a sick joke.”

A moment’s thought and a tap or two on the old HP12C’s keyboard, discloses this technology is underwhelming. The top of the line Canon full frame digital – I forget the model number, it’s 1DSmark32B Version 3a/II or something asinine – has a 1″ x 1.5″ 16.7 megapixel sensor. Upscale that to 4″ x 4″ and you get 178.1 megapixels, or 60% more than the DALSA version. So our wonderful spy agencies could go to Canon and ask them to stick a few of their sensors together and stitch the images with software and stick a lower bill to the taxpayer. Cost – probably $15k a pop and doubtless the nice people at Canon would give us a quantity discount. Give them a tour of the White House and they would probably do it free. But that wouldn’t do now, would it? Imagine the Pentagon buying from the Japanese. Plus all those retiring generals are going to want to go to work for a company that at least speaks their language, as reward for all those contracts. You get the picture.

And so will the Pentagon. Better buy DALSA stock.

Professor Pindelski’s budget balancer and lie detector – $10 used.