Feeds

* Posts by Mike Richards

3579 posts • joined 28 Feb 2007

NASA rover finds evidence of water flowing on Mars

Mike Richards
Silver badge

I don't think geologists are boffins.

They're a specialised type of waterproof scientist for whom every problem can be solved using a suitably large hammer.

Boffins need sheds.

4
0

Nokia to sell off luxury phone brand

Mike Richards
Silver badge

Unanswered question

What's Naomi Campbell going to be chucking at the help now?

0
0

Steve Jobs' last design: New Apple HQ pics

Mike Richards
Silver badge

Apricots

Steve Jobs said in an interview how much he missed the apricot orchards that filled the part of the Bay Area that because Silicon Valley.

1
0

Mythbusters cannonball ‘myth-fires’

Mike Richards
Silver badge

Timber-framed homes are standard in much of the US and very common in the Nordic countries. Built and maintained properly they are nice to live in - and much cheaper than the brick boxes in the UK.

5
1

New Turing petition calls for criminal pardon

Mike Richards
Silver badge

He had a choice

But not a good one.

Take the hormones or go to prison for his 'crime' - and I think we can all guess what the consequences of that would have been.

0
0

Navy training mine washes ashore on Miami Beach

Mike Richards
Silver badge

'inexplicably came loose'

I think inexplicable might be the wrong word - the chain broke. Mystery solved - next the Loch Ness monster!

0
0

Groupon grotty grotto rage forces Santa's chief elf to quit

Mike Richards
Silver badge

Groupon seem to be better at killing off businesses than any number of economic recessions. From their catastrophic flotation through to cup cake companies baking round the clock, it's been a long time since there's been a Groupon story that can't be filed under 'Uh oh'.

0
0

NASA busts booster booster

Mike Richards
Silver badge

LOHAN

Has anyone checked Lester's expense claims of late? You never know in amongst the receipts for beer, donkey food, more beer and Playmobil, he might have slipped in one for a Saturn V.

0
0

Headmaster freezes schoolkids for Gaia

Mike Richards
Silver badge

Shhhhh!

'Small point - charcoal is produced from trees which capture the CO2 while growing, so the CO2 produced by burning the charcoal is effectively 'carbon neutral'.'

You're confusing the argument by using 'science'.

12
0

Apple Thunderbolt Display 27in monitor

Mike Richards
Silver badge

High def colour would be nice

Apple still claims to be the preferred solution for photographers and video editors yet it still hasn't released a high-colour gamut screen to rival HP's DreamColor displays.

And I'm with the folks above, those high gloss screens are a nightmare to work with in most offices.

0
0

TV writer quells rumours of Doctor Who movie

Mike Richards
Silver badge

They were made by Amicus in the UK

And two of the few movies from that long-lost and fondly-remembered studio not to feature Doug McClure.

0
0

Clandestine US 'space warplane' extends orbital mission

Mike Richards
Silver badge

Eggboxes

I assumed it was actually really small and made from Lego.

1
0

The BBC Micro turns 30

Mike Richards
Silver badge

Imagine the shrieks of protest

From AO and the anti-BBC faction on here if the Corporation announced a similar project today. The BBC Micro might have been priced for middle-class kids, but it really has to be amongst the finest things the BBC have ever brought us.

6
0

Duff Mars probe team sweats under Medvedev menaces

Mike Richards
Silver badge

'it means that we need to carry out a detailed review and punish those guilty'

So someone is guilty are they?

It won't be long before Putin's Puppet starts accusing Roscosmos of 'sabotage'.

They might want to start looking at why their budget for a Mars mission was $163 million when NASA's equivalents cost ten times as much.

1
0

MPs: This plan for proper navy carriers and jets is crazy!

Mike Richards
Silver badge

I'm also available

And I should be just about to retire by the time the aircraft carrier is due to enter service (but probably won't).

I have a suspicion that this will get a LONG way down the road before being canned - see TSR-2. One difference being that the TSR-2 was actually an impressive, ahead of the crowd project. This is a big boat with a flat top.

1
0
Mike Richards
Silver badge

How on earth?

Can it take twenty years from now to get to a working aircraft carrier? Are we waiting for the necessary engineers to leave kindergarten?

I'm sure the Americans would sell us one of their nearly new aircraft carriers + air wing for a lot less than this mighty white elephant.

5
2

Malls suspend plan to track shoppers' cellphones

Mike Richards
Silver badge

Creepy surveillance technology from the UK

I suppose we should be pleased to know to that New Labour's approach to surveillance has created at least one money spinning company.

0
0

Ken Russell dies aged 84

Mike Richards
Silver badge

Tribute needed

I trust a tasteful Playmobil tribute to Women In Love will be forthcoming?

0
0

Phobos-Grunt 'crippled by US aurora station', 'is a bio-weapon'

Mike Richards
Silver badge

Roscosmos better check their facts

"Only 30 per cent of Soviet-Russian launches to Mars were successful, the Americans have had 50 per cent success, while all attempts by Japan and Europe have failed so far"

Whether the Soviet/Russian success rate is even that high must be debatable.

Mars 1M A and B - trapped in Earth orbit.

Mars 1962A and B exploded during launch,

Mars 1 died in interplanetary space (but set a communications distance record).

Zond 1964A failed on launch.

Zond 2 died in interplanetary space.

Mars 1969A, Mars 1969B and Kosmos 419 all failed on launch.

Mars 2 and 3 both orbiters achieved their objective. Mars 2's lander crashed, Mars 3's landed and transmitted data for 15 seconds - the data is probably corrupt.

Mars 4 failed to make Martian orbit and flew by the planet,

Mars 5 a major success achieving orbit but failed in 9 days.

Mars 6 reached Mars but failed during the landing.

Mars 7 ejected the lander prematurely and missed the planet.

Fobos 1 died in interplanetary space.

Fobos 2 entered orbit, returned some imagery and was then commanded to turn away from the Earth - oops! Lander was not deployed.

Mars 96 failed on launch.

Fobos-Grunt failed to leave Earth orbit.

Meanwhile, Europe has put a very successful orbiter around Mars. If they'd like to check their receipts they'll see it was fired there by a Roscosmos Soyuz-Fregat. The Beagle 2 lander failed during descent to the Martian surface.

3
0

Global warming much less serious than thought - new science

Mike Richards
Silver badge

It's a bit more complex than that

Believe it or not Lewis has cherry picked the study's findings.

A global sensitivity of 2.4K was indeed found, but the researchers admit that the application of global sensitivities might obscure regional variations. For instance, their best fit puts Antarctica 4K *warmer* than the ice cores tell us whilst saying the West Antarctic Ice Sheet was 7K *cooler* than the evidence in the ice.

The authors are quite clear that we need more and better measurements of the Last Glacial Measurement.

0
0

Will Mars rover Curiosity be the last of its nuclear kind?

Mike Richards
Silver badge

The default Republican view on science seems to be

'I find your lack of faith disturbing.'

They're probably outraged at millions of dollars being spent on doing 'research', finding 'facts' and looking for 'evidence' when everything anyone needs to know is in their bumper-sized book of Jesus and his crazy friends.

6
1

Boffins find new 2012 glyph on 'secret' Mayan brick

Mike Richards
Silver badge

It might just say

'Continued on next pyramid'

0
0

LOHAN fondles substantial concrete buttocks

Mike Richards
Silver badge

In the spirit of Boy's Own adventuring

Jeepers! Look Out!

0
0

Our roving reporter snaps Tenerife sex dangle

Mike Richards
Silver badge

Excellent!

That means it is now officially beer-o-clock. And at 09:30 I'm heading pubward.

2
0

Ex-NASA space shuttle to touch down on aircraft carrier

Mike Richards
Silver badge

Discovery is going to the Air and Space Museum, Endeavour to the California Science Center in LA and Atlantis will remain at KSC.

0
0

Rogue Russian Mars probe communicates - but in gibberish

Mike Richards
Silver badge

Have they tried

Turning it off and on again?

0
0

Scientists probe Earth's core, make mystifying discovery

Mike Richards
Silver badge

But also

From examining the composition of iron meteorites, where most contain inclusions of pyrrhotite (usually in the form of troilite) and graphite, we should also expect considerable amounts of sulfur and silicon down there.

(Of course the density of the Core would be massively reduced if Doug McClure was right all those years ago.)

Why yes that is a geological hammer in my pocket...

0
0

Exoplanet ranking suggests INTERSTELLAR WAR imminent

Mike Richards
Silver badge

Our last, best hope

Is that I find it impossible to understand what the Beboids say, so we must pray it's even harder for the tentacled beings FROM BEYOND SPACE! (cue theramins)

0
0

What should a sci-fi spaceship REALLY look like?

Mike Richards
Silver badge

Oooops one more

The stunningly beautiful Cygnus from 'The Black Hole' - it's like the Crystal Palace has been fitted with a warp drive.

http://media.photobucket.com/image/cygnus%20black%20hole/redrockerjr5150/cygnus_1.jpg

And if I'm allowed just one more? The Orion Spaceplane from 2001 - so beautiful, so very nearly possible.

http://www.scifiairshow.com/ships-orion.html

1
0
Mike Richards
Silver badge

Nostromo

That's the refining platform it is towing. Nostromo is just the tug.

2
0
Mike Richards
Silver badge

Realistic in one sense

The large model of Discovery was getting on for the size of a real ship - 54 feet to be precise.

There's a huge debt owed to Gerry Anderson for the look of spaceships from the 1970s onwards. It was him and his team creating models for Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet, UFO and Space 1999 that really excelled at hacking bits of Airfix kits into detailing for models.

They were so good that Kubrick pinched most of them to work on '2001' and from there they went on to inspire a good deal of the work done on movies like 'Silent Running', 'Close Encounters' and 'Bladerunner'.

And although it's not a film spaceship, you can't get a better ship than the Eagle from Space 1999.

10
0

Climategate 2.0: Fresh trove of embarrassing emails

This post has been deleted by a moderator

ISS 'nauts need not fear head-on space junk smashup

Mike Richards
Silver badge

Fengyun 1-C

This would be the weather satellite the Chinese so charmingly decided to blow up and fill low orbit with tens of thousands of pieces of debris. It'd be justice if the Tiangong 1 unmanned space station took a broadside.

8
0

Inside the BBC's R&D Labs

Mike Richards
Silver badge

Optional soundtracks

PLEASE! Then we won't have to put up with documentaries filled with tootling and parping incidental music for 50 minutes.

And if they can somehow redub Robert Peston into English that will be worth the licence fee alone. But I suspect even the Beeb's boffins won't be able to stop Peston having a good rummage in his trousers every time he stands up and speaks (sorry it's one of those things that once seen can't be unseen - much the same way that Peter Sissons jiggles when reading the news)

4
0

World population's appetite TO DOUBLE by 2050, boffin warns

Mike Richards
Silver badge

Nitrogen fertilisers

Those would be the ones made from fossil fuels whose prices are rising rapidly beyond the budgets of farmers in the developing world?

4
0

Got a few minutes to help LOHAN suck?

Mike Richards
Silver badge

Submerge the whole thing in liquid hydrogen with the result that the air inside condenses in a moment. Fire the motor - with no moving parts or electronics there is literally nothing that can go wrong.

Post the video.

2
0

Chief Rabbi: I admire Jobs and Apple and use my iPad daily

Mike Richards
Silver badge

Chief rabbi reversing...

If he backs up any more quickly he'll need to be fitted with a reversing signal.

0
0

San Diego Baywatch rules out exploding dead whale

Mike Richards
Silver badge

Like that's a bad thing.

I get all my environmental credentials from the Michael Bay school.

0
0
Mike Richards
Silver badge

Ignoring the '50-foot (15m) fish' error

It seems something of a wasted opportunity not to blow it up. How often do you get a massive target at a convenient beachside location just around the corner from the US Navy Pacific Fleet who own so much highly entertaining death tech?

0
0

Huge US command-&-control airship gets quantum optics

Mike Richards
Silver badge

Actually it probably is hard to shoot down

Blimps don't simply POP! when shot, instead they gradually lose gas over a period of hours or days.

2
0
Mike Richards
Silver badge

"... currently doing God’s work."

Agree with the previous poster.

And somehow I assume it's not the sort of God's work that revolves around cups of tea and jumble sales.

3
0

UK nuclear: Walking into darkness with eyes screwed shut

Mike Richards
Silver badge

Decommissioning

The UK bill for decommissioning our existing reactor fleet is heading towards £70 billion (albeit spread over a long time), excluding the cost of a long-term repository which hasn't even been designed let alone planned. These costs have been driving up our power bills for quite some time now - something which Lewis forgot to mention.

And the cost of nuclear also has to include the liabilities taken on by the State as no private insurer will ever cover a nuclear plant.

Yes it's green power and we should have it, but let's have an honest pricing for nuclear electricity.

7
0

Not so fast: Italian boffins say neutrinos not faster than light

Mike Richards
Silver badge

In the movies

Cerenkov radiation can either be simulated by:

a: a huge CGI budget and much pixel wrangling, or;

b: replacing the water on set with tonic water and shining UV light into the tank.

The quinine in the tonic water fluoresces blue under UV - et voila, you can have a cinematic radioactive catastrophe and cocktails.

3
0

ePlods charge man, 60, with chick-lit MP Twitter threats

Mike Richards
Silver badge

'Rupert Murdoch botherer'?

Hardly. In a committee session dominated by pathetic questioning and lack of rigour, Mensch was by far the worst questioner. She could barely wait to finish her questions to the Murdochs so she could dash outside and breathlessly tell the press all that had happened.

The biggest thing about this story is that Louise Mensch is back in the news which will please Louise Mensch immensely.

5
1

Microsoft tempts Kinect developers with bacon

Mike Richards
Silver badge

Actually

If it was real bacon* it would have converted to another religion on the spot.

* not the horrible deep-fried fat with the consistency of broken glass stuff the Americans insist on calling bacon.

0
0
Mike Richards
Silver badge

Maple syrup on the other hand

Actually works well with real bacon.

God I'm hungry. Where's a Microsoft developers drive when you need one?

0
0

No chance now to save Phobos-Grunt Mars mission

Mike Richards
Silver badge

Eh?

'Failing that, just getting the craft to land on Earth instead of crashing through the atmosphere could allow the agency to recover equipment from the ship and even readings from its instruments.'

Fobos-Grunt isn't equipped with a heat shield - how is that meant to happen?

0
0

Couple rewarded for naming newborn after Elder Scrolls Skyrim hero

Mike Richards
Silver badge

If this child was given this name in Scandinavia

He probably couldn't get away with it in Sweden - or at least his parents couldn't. The Swedish tax authority (El Reg - passim) would probably block it. Norway has similar laws deliberately aimed at protecting the child from possible abuse because of their names.

I'm not sure about Denmark. Iceland (although not part of Scandinavia) has the strictest rules - you can only name your child from an approved list of suitably viking-sounding names.

And you can bet if you name your child after a hulking great viking hero he won't grow up to be a hulking great viking hero; he'll probably much prefer art, have asthma and be in touch with his feminine side. Which is great. But parents projecting their own fantasies on their kids - not great.

I predict either a name change in 16 years time, or a homicide (possibly in tribute to the game with a viking axe).

0
0

Chief rabbi: Steve Jobs' Apple lust spreads misery, despair

Mike Richards
Silver badge

You'd have thought he'd have bigger things to worry about

As great pieces of rabbinical thinking go, this isn't one of them. I'd be happier if the Chief rabbi and his fellow priests of all faiths spent less time blaming one company for all the ills of the world and rather more time wondering what it is about religion that makes large numbers of believers think they are better people by humiliating, oppressing and killing those who don't share their entirely unsubstantiated beliefs.

3
1

Pickles plans curry colleges to halt Indian immigration

Mike Richards
Silver badge

It takes a very special brand of genius to come up with this idea

We *could* spend our money ensuring kids have the skills to compete in a global marketplace dominated by high technology, engineering and manufacturing (like they are in - sayyyyy India). We could see if immigrant groups have equal access to education and training so that they could work in what's left of our economy; or we could just assume that people from the subcontinent and their children are happy to continue making curry.

7
1