* Posts by Mike Richards

3603 posts • joined 28 Feb 2007

China aims to redraw the petaflop graph with 100 Pflops in 2015

Mike Richards

What's it for?

Have the Chinese said what they're using these supercomputers for? I wonder if they're simulating nuclear explosions like the US is doing to avoid resuming nuclear testing.

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Earthquakes will release captured carbon: Stanford study

Mike Richards

Basalt

Injecting carbon dioxide and water into basalt leaches calcium and magnesium ions from the lava to form solid carbonates which remain deep underground. A trial called CarbFix is already underway at the Hellisheiðivirkjun power plant near Reykjavik.

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America's X-37B top-secret spaceplane returns to Earth

Mike Richards

Re: Used to be a NASA project

Boeing are closing the California plant where the plane was built and Congress are questioning the project's value so its future is pretty uncertain.

What might keep it going is news that China is beginning testing of its Shenlong spaceplane. Nothing like a bit of Cold War style rivalry to keep cool stuff coming.

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Nokia after the purge: It's so unfair

Mike Richards

'Nokia is by some distance the most important and accomplished European technology company – and it still remains so today.'

Wouldn't that accolade belong to ARM?

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Microsoft next-gen Xbox details leak

Mike Richards

Re: Blu-Ray drive?

Not having Blu-Ray slashed the cost of the 360 and allowed Microsoft to beat Sony to market. The beancounters were very happy with that decision.

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Another investor pulls out of Habbo Hotel after grooming claims

Mike Richards

Re: One more time...

The company claims the site is moderated, but Channel 4 found that there were places on it called 'naughty nightclub' and 'sexy stripclub' - but this isn't picked up by their software or bods?

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Mike Richards

Plural of chaos

Is chaoses.

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£CHING: ICANN bags $357m from 1,930 dot-word domains

Mike Richards

So that's $185,000 * how many words in the dictionary? even before lawyer fees.

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Reborn UK internet super-snooper charter to be unveiled today

Mike Richards

Re: I hade to laugh

'They want to monitor gaming sites, facebook and so many other high traffic websites where exactly are they going to store all this data in a format thats searchable?'

Might be time to train in big data handling. I suspect a lot of very well paid, completely useless jobs will be created by this policy.

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Mike Richards

The only explanation

Is that there's something in the water supply at the Home Office. No matter which politician is appointed to the position, sooner or later, they're gibbering about needing massive new surveillance powers. Hell there was even a time when David Blunkett seemed to be sane, a quick trip to the Home Office and he was - well - you know.

So who's going to make a bet against the Conservatives announcing a review into the practicality of ID cards in the near future?

(I assume Labour will enthusiastically back this proposal - creepy mass surveillance seems to be in their DNA)

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Music SEVEN times more valuable to UK plc than first thought

Mike Richards

Well now its so much more valuable

What's the betting the labels will be demanding even more draconian laws and fighting even harder against any possibility of UK users getting fair use of the stuff they buy?

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New UK curriculum ramps up lessons in SPAAAACE

Mike Richards

Re: Shocked I tell you....

Sadly under Gove, academy schools can follow their own curriculums provided they are 'balanced'.

So there are religious schools planned which will be teaching creationist / intelligent design/ lying to children in the UK.

But the pressing question has to be does the proposal tell us if Pluto is a planet or not?

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10m years ago there was less CO2 - but the Earth was WARMER

Mike Richards

Pedant

The Miocene is not a period, it is an epoch ranging from 23.4 Mya to 5.3 Mya, it's divided into six stages (or ages). The Miocene and the Pliocene together form the Neogene period.

The Miocene is a bit of a bugger climatologically, generally the early part of the epoch sees a cooling as the Antarctic ice sheet established in the Eocene grew and the establishment of the circumpolar current in the Antarctic Ocean, but at the same time the proto-Mediterranean dried out entirely as the Alps rose which caused temperatures across Eurasia to rise. The later Miocene is generally warmer than the present climate.

Work done in 2011 in Bremerhaven suggests the warming climate in the late Miocene can be put down to changes in vegetation patterns across the world causing a slight darkening of the planet.

http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2011/2011GL048873.shtml

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Space shuttle Enterprise makes final voyage – to New York

Mike Richards

How long will Enterprise's aluminium airframe survive in a salty, damp environment?

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Legendary sci-fi fantasy author Ray Bradbury exits planet Earth

Mike Richards

Something Wicked This Way Comes

One of the best evocations of childhood and parenthood I've ever read.

His prose was gorgeous and his ideas amazing - it'll be a long time before we see Mr Bradbury's like again - if ever.

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Flying Dutchman creates dead cat quadcopter

Mike Richards

It's lacking something...

...oh I know - a Playmobilnaut!

Any chance El Reg's Iberian Special Projects Dept can team up with Transonic Pussy* and produce a video of the motorised moggy cruising the skies?

* They were huge in the 1980s.

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Mike Richards

Re: his own cat? is that even legal?

'I don't know if it lacks taste as I've never eaten dead cat.'

Have you been to a Harvester before?

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US military gives NASA two better-than-Hubble telescopes

Mike Richards

ESA?

Any chance NASA would like to hold the hat out and make this an international mission along with ESA, Roscosmos and the Chinese space agency?

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Earth bathed in high-energy radiation from colossal mystery blast

Mike Richards

Re: Terrestrial origin

Chain reactions can't happen in natural uranium on Earth as the level of fissile U235 is too low to sustain the reaction. Well it is now - if you go back in time, the proportion of U235 in uranium rises to a point that self-sustaining reactions could occur. So far one site is known where this happened, it was discovered at Oklo, Gabon in 1972 by French geologists mapping a uranium deposit. They discovered the level of U235 at Oklo was even lower than normal. About 1.7 billion years ago, the ore would have been about 3% U235 (compared to about 0.7% today), water circulating through a uranium ore acted as a natural moderator allowing a self-sustaining chain reaction to run at very low power for hundreds of thousands of years.

Personally I go with the idea that this C14 spike was caused by Camelot's nuclear testing programme.

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LOHAN sucks Reg reader's instrument to death

Mike Richards

Big fan of the bricks

I can't help but think this project's inspiration, the world's favourite celebrity morgue attendant, should also carry a few bricks around to stop herself falling over at regular intervals.

Well done Lester, you're very much Britain's own Elon Musk.

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Jeremy Hunt 'sympathetic' to Murdoch's BSkyB bid

Mike Richards

Not going to resign yet

After all, he's got all those free Olympic tickets so long as he's Culture Minister.

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Scandal-hit Olympus plans to axe staff, flog off stake – reports

Mike Richards

Re: Not the last

Sony's imaging division is in good health and is the component supplier for many other big companies - Nikon uses Sony sensors for instance. I think Sony have already gobbled up Olympus' medical imaging business.

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Self-driving Volvos cover 200km of busy Spanish motorway

Mike Richards

Re: Worried

'Sure, a computer doesn't get tired, a computer doesn't get distracted and computers can be made to behave consistently. But human "hardware" is more reliable than computer hardware.'

A computer doesn't get bored or tired, it doesn't get distracted by the pretty young girl driving the red Mini in the other lane (hello!) and it doesn't get into a fight with its spouse for looking at the pretty young girl driving the red Mini in the other lane (of course I don't know her!)

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'Biocoal' fuels steam train comeback

Mike Richards

Re: Efficiency on a par with diesel??

'All this coming from the country that brought us the atomic age'

I think you're on to something - how about a nuclear-powered steam engine?

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Ten... Star Wars videogame classics

Mike Richards

Re: Empire Strikes Back on the Atari 2600

Great game and it also inspired Jeff Minter to produce 'Attack of the Mutant Camels' which was even better.

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China turns on the sprinklers with ambitious rain-making plans

Mike Richards

Re: Cope with drought?

They just need to announce a minister for drought to start the deluge.

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Star Trek's Scotty boldly goes where he always wanted to

Mike Richards

I rather admired the tribute NASA gave to Eugene Shoemaker. As well as discovering the comet that whacked into Jupiter, he was the great planetary geologist who proved Barringer Crater was actually meteoritic in origin and that the Earth did have a record of large impacts. He was also the pioneer of understanding how and when the Moon's craters formed.

So NASA gave him the send off he deserved, they placed a small portion of his ashes on the Lunar Prospector probe which was crashed into the South Pole of the Moon in the hope of discovering ice. In the process it carved out a new crater.

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SpaceX Dragon, first private ship to the ISS, launched successfully

Mike Richards

Re: Phew

Does this now mean we don't have to go cap in hand to the Russkies or Chinese or Indians in order to chuck stuff in to space?

That's true, but you will have to use PayPal to pay for it.

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Mike Richards

Scotty and Gordo are back in space

Falcon also carried the cremains of James Doohan (Star Trek's Scotty) and Gordon Cooper (a real life Mercury astronaut) on its second stage which will spend the next year or so in orbit before reentering the atmosphere.

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Does Britain really need a space port?

Mike Richards

Astra sats

The new Astra constellation is mostly being built by EADS Astrium, so a good bit of the money will be coming to the UK.

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Vulture 2 trigger triggers serious head-scratching

Mike Richards

How about a really long fuse lit when the balloon is launched?

My technical expert, a Mr Wile E Coyote assures me this is guaranteed to work.

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Waterstones stores surrender to Amazonian invaders

Mike Richards

Clearly I'm missing something

If you buy a Kindle from Waterstones why would you ever come back to their shops or website?

I don't even see what's in it for them; no eBook store to make continuing profits and only razor thin profits on the device itself.

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SpaceX Dragon chokes at the last second

Mike Richards

Re: To quote Top Gear... How Hard Can It Be™

'The Russian Soyuz and Proton launchers are the only ones that reliably go first time, but there have been nearly 400 Proton launches and around two thousand Soyuz family launches.'

And as the Russians have found out over the last couple of years, even these rockets still throw up unexplained problems.

Does Elon Musk have the best job in the world - designing rockets by day, electric cars by night?

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Brit knits jumper for NASA space chicken

Mike Richards

Would Sue be up to the challenge of outfitting LOHAN's brave Playmobilnaut with a miniature Pringle sweater?

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Iran threatens to chuck sueball at Google over missing gulf

Mike Richards

If they're that worried

Why don't the Iranians tow some rafts out into the middle of the sea and arrange them to spell out PERSIAN GULF for the Googlesats?

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Pinterest valued at $1.5 BILLION, bags $100m in funding

Mike Richards

Re: Sod it - I'm starting a social network

With the Reg's carefully honed target demographic may I suggest pubterest - a virtual boozer/tech forum/Paris Hilton fansite.

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Mike Richards

Re: But what's it for?

Is it where people with no aesthetics post their Instagram horrors?

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Fastest-ever hydrocarb scramjet hits Mach 8, doesn't explode

Mike Richards

Lester has been suspiciously quiet about the new propulsion hasn't he?

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SpaceX sets new blastoff date for Dragon: 19 May

Mike Richards

Re: You have got to admire these guys!

I was hoping it was more like 'The Golden Shot' - 'Up a bit... down a bit... left, left... FIRE!'

Though Bob Monkhouse not being able to man Mission Control kind of puts the kibosh on that.

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China begins work on world-beating MEGA power cables

Mike Richards

Re: It doesn't bode well...

It's okay - we won the aluminium/aluminum war at the IUPAC.

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North Korean GPS blocking sparks cyber war fears

Mike Richards

Re: satnav rivals

Somehow I suspect the North Koreans won't interfere with the Chinese navigation system.

But I reckon there's a distinct possibility of the Pentagon saying 'oh no, our GPS enabled cruise missile that was going to Afghanistan seems to have been jammed and instead flew into a building in Kaesong.'

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Shy Venus in rare Sun crossing next month

Mike Richards

Re: thanks

Would anyone like to predict the probability that it'll be raining?

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Cameron's F-35 U-turn: BAE Systems still calls the shots at No 10

Mike Richards

Anyone have a clue what an American carrier costs these days? Would it be cheaper to ask for them to add another to the production line than buy this megafiasco?

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Head over Heels

Mike Richards

Re: People keep reminding me of old isometric 3D games lately

Is there any love here for 'Spin Dizzy'? I'd love to see that on a phone or slablet.

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UK Border Agency servers go titsup, thousands grounded

Mike Richards

IBM

Maybe they should have gone back to their area of expertise and used Hollerith machines to keep track of people?

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Greenland glaciers not set to cause disastrous sea level rises - study

Mike Richards

Re: no clear indication... that the glaciers will stop gaining speed

I get the impression a lot of these 'global warming's a myth' articles that Lewis has been posting with monotonous regularity have been pre-digested by fellow denialists and we're getting the dumbed down version of the dumbed down partisan take on nuanced science.

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BSkyB boss: 'I don't work for Rupert Murdoch, remember'

Mike Richards

Re: Fitness to Broadcast - Crap Programmes

Oh crap I might end up defending Sky here.

Most of their output is unmitigated shite, but Sky Arts is actually turning into an impressive channel which is commissioning stuff that the BBC and ITV used to produce.

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HP elbows Apple off global PC throne

Mike Richards

Netbooks

I wonder if netbook sales would bounce back if they went back to the original intention of small, cheap computers?

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Facebook button triggers tidal wave of human organs

Mike Richards

Re: Good to see

You could argue that 'opt out' presumes the state owns your body.

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How politicians could end droughts FOREVER: But they don't want to

Mike Richards

Re: JG Ballard and tilting at windmills.

'Where does all the salt (and other waste) go? Presumably you have to ship it off and dump it a long, long way away. '

The process produces a more concentrated brine as waste product, so normally you just lay a long outfall pipe which discharges the effluent well away from the intake. Potentially tricky in an estuary where the tide pushes water upstream twice a day.

One cost Lewis has left out is that of filtering Thames water to a point where it can be sent to the osmotic membranes without clogging them up.

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