* Posts by Mike Richards

3595 posts • joined 28 Feb 2007

Biodegradable products are often worse for the planet

Mike Richards

An even better idea

Make the packaging so delicious that the user cannot help but gobble it up rather than casting it into the garbage.

Sounds hard doesn't it? But many would argue McDonalds have already perfected containers with more flavour and nutrition than their contents.

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3D printer produces working house keys

Mike Richards

A Cory Doctorow story

http://craphound.com/?p=573

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Mike Richards

Old chemist trick

Mould a spoon out of gallium and get the victim to stir their coffee with it. It looks like stainless steel but has a melting point of 30C.

Now such hilarity is available to the masses:

http://www.disappearingspoons.com/

Mind you I've been in some labs where the coffee can melt a stainless steel spoon.

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MP headshot sex rating site: Gentlemen prefer Tories

Mike Richards

Slightly disturbing

That anyone would want to have sex with any of them. Aren't there any items of furniture they'd rather have it off with before turning to the political classes?

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Government plans cyberweapons programme

Mike Richards

This is Britain

So our masterplan will involve uploading an unpatched copy of Windows ME to bit torrent.

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Reg hack applauds asinine augmentation

Mike Richards

You've just won the Internet

Stop the competition Lester, this is just too good.

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Naked cyclist streaks through Suffolk village

Mike Richards

Dubious witness

Wayne Bird, who also copped an eyeful, reported: "I saw a male on a bike with absolutely nothing on, not even a pair of socks."

The article clearly mentions our streamlined cyclist was wearing glasses and a pair of trainers. I don't think Mr. Bird's account can be trusted.

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Bloke drives with knees while manipulating two mobes

Mike Richards

Hah! Take that...

...and women say men can't multitask.

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Billionaire Zuckerberg kills to eat

Mike Richards

PETA versus Zuckerberg

This has to happen.

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Fourth Euro star truck christened Albert Einstein

Mike Richards

I agree

I'd rather they'd named them Truck 1, Truck 2 and so on rather than give them the names of great scientists. It's not a very impressive memento to be filled with odds and sods, emptied, loaded up with sewage and then crashed into the ocean.

I expect Einstein would be more impressed with his element (99) than this thing.

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Ballmer: Time up for 'stuck in the past' Microsoft CEO?

Mike Richards

Skype deal

What was so odd about the Skype deal is that Microsoft didn't actually say what they were going do with it.

Had they announced the deal and used the same event to say something definite like 'Skype is coming to Xbox Live' then journalists would have at least known what was planned and be able to tell consumers that Skype would bring videophones to millions of living rooms. That buys good headlines, gives the Xbox a boost and should have raised the share price.

It's incredible that a company like Microsoft has such woeful spin doctors.

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Yanks officially recognise the word 'boffin'

Mike Richards

Not much cop as a dictionary

I just checked, they're still spelling 'colour' wrong.

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Asus teases with MacBook Air-esque Eee PC

Mike Richards

Outraged!

The laptop lovely was the only thing that made Asus at all interesting and now she's gone.

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Vodafone touts low-tech phone for app-phobes

Mike Richards

Nice idea - but HOW MUCH?

You can pick up perfectly good Nokia entry level phones on PAYG for twenty quid, so really - why this crazy price?

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Dear Dell and Microsoft: You're not Apple

Mike Richards

Couldn't be more untrue

Microsoft has nine research labs around the World, they're doing some seriously cutting edge work. If you ever get an invite, go, their work is fantastic and it's beginning to appear in products like Bing, Mindstorms and Kinect.

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Hollywood to 'retell' Carrie

Mike Richards

Running Man

Another reason you may not have connected King with the book is that it was published under the pseudonym Richard Bachmann. Although wildly different, the book's not much better than the movie, so you aren't missing much.

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Cabinet Office shakes up PSN

Mike Richards

Oh *that* PSN

I was just wondering how Sony's problems could get worse and that seemed to be the answer.

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Virgin Media TV Powered by TiVo

Mike Richards

Any chance of an unbundled version?

I'm a big fan of TiVo and loved my UK series 1 before it shuffled off this mortal coil. Sadly I don't live anywhere near a Virgin cable network so this won't work for me.

Does anyone know if Virgin have an exclusive deal with TiVo or is there any chance that other companies will be bringing out TiVo Freeview/sat boxes?

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ESA: British Skylon spaceplane seems perfectly possible

Mike Richards

Only the beginning

It'll be followed by the 'Mysteron' whose voice will have you soiling your pants right across the Atlantic.

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Mike Richards

Not corrosive - but...

Liquid O2 will make almost anything burn. In the 1950s the Americans had a number of nasty fires and explosions when liquid oxygen boiled out of their Thor missiles and dripped on to asphalt.

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Mike Richards

Twelve billion? Cheap at twice the price.

For that investment we could create thousands of high technology jobs, countless spin-offs and grab a lucrative market. It's almost petty change when government spending is concerned.

We're going to spunk three times as much on the next generation of Trident submarines and it's only a little more than next year's running and jumping show.

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Google opens tiny window onto Baltic Sea-cooled data center

Mike Richards

A typo surely?

'According to Data Center Knowledge, the pipe that streams the water from the gulf is about 7.5 miles below the surface of the Baltic Sea and connects to granite tunnels running to the data center.'

I don't think so. 7.5 miles is a smidgeon over 12km. Even at the lousy geothermal gradient found in the Baltic, the bottom of the well would be at over 100C.

The deepest point of the Baltic is only 450m below sea level, the deepest point in the oceans (the Challenger Deep) is 10911m. If the reporters had got it right, Google would be within a gnat's whisker of taking the record from the Kola superdeep borehole which is a stupendous 12.3km deep.

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Researchers find irreparable flaw in popular CAPTCHAs

Mike Richards

Absolutely

Get the buggers to crack the Voynich Manuscript - THEN they can post their amusing cat photos.

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Ofcom pricks Shard's 'biggest erection' boast

Mike Richards

In that case

At 368m, the Fernsehturm in Berlin is still taller than anything in the UK.

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Much better wireless power transmission possible - boffins

Mike Richards

Here it is (was)

Well remembered sir, it was Wardenclyffe Tower on Long Island:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wardenclyffe_Tower

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Judgment Day prophet resets doomsday clock

Mike Richards

Makes perfect sense really

Camping clearly underestimated the length of time it takes to spend his ill-gotten $70 million.

So, is everyone ready for The Great Disappointment 2.0?

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Lock up your lungs, here comes Grimsvotn

Mike Richards

The only people breathing easy

Are the news outlets who only have to deal with Grímsvötn rather than eighteen syllables sounding like a Viking falling down a flight of stairs. Set your videos for when Þeistareykjarbunga next blows its top.

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Huge fat pipe squirts mighty streams

Mike Richards

Smut hose? kilowrist?

Well done Lewis for translating boring boffinry into everyman terminology. And to think it's only Monday, you should be in fine form come Thursday.

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Apple iPhone 5 to sport CRT-style screen

Mike Richards

Fragile?

I haven't used a phone with this sort of display, but wouldn't a curved display be more likely to be damaged when the phone is dropped?

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Rapture postponed as world inexplicably fails to end

Mike Richards

Thank you Sarah

This guy is being treated as a harmless nutter when he is actually culpable for a great deal of distress and misery; and not just to his deluded followers, but to their friends and family (who may not be believers) who will have had to deal with the consequences of his actions.

Obviously I'm sure he'll be returning all those millions just as soon as the banks reopen.

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Remastered 4K, 3D Titanic steams towards cinemas

Mike Richards

Worth seeing in 3D

If only for the scene near the end where Leonardo diCaprio sinks further and further away from the viewer into depths of the North Atlantic.

(Have I given anything away?)

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PARIS team to tackle the ultimate post-pint snack

Mike Richards

Ultimate post-beer take away

[you are now arriving in Reykjavik, please ensure your seat is in the upright position]

Follow Miklabraut westbound past the city airport until it turns to Hringbraut; the BSI bus terminal is on your right. Take the short road to the car park behind the terminal where you will find a small take away (offering a drive through service if you are very lazy) selling burgers, pylsur and the like. But you want to go for the special...

Half a sheep's head with chips and cocktail sauce.

No, that's not an onion in the eye socket...

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Mike Richards

It'll be hard to beat the Canadians

They have poutine - greasy chips covered in cheese curds and then gravy. It's hard to describe, except that similar things, only less fatty, were being washed ashore along the Gulf of Mexico last year.

There's a horrific close-up on everyone's favourite fact-free zone:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poutine

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Council of Europe wants to maintain net neutrality

Mike Richards

And the crystal ball says...

Jeremy Hunt will reject these proposals on the grounds that it will 'undermine Britain's successful media industry' / 'upset uncle Rupert'.

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Planet with British weather found 20 light years away

Mike Richards

And what have NASA just fired into space?

Squid would laugh at 25g - and still sucker your face off into the bargain.

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CATS to be saved by BLASPHEMERS after the RAPTURE

Mike Richards

Can they look after my pet?

He's quite unique what with his 'seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name'

Answers to the name Mr. Sprinkles.

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NASA's asteroid hunter creeps up on Vesta

Mike Richards

Sheep in a vacuum

After Lewis' story yesterday, shouldn't we consider revising the standard and base it on squid, which are at least decimal?

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Home Office appoints Brokenshire as security minister

Mike Richards

Brokenshire?

It sounds like a place BBC News would make up to chart social decline.

Oh well good luck to him in the thankless job of explaining the government's security knee jerks to the world.

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Train firm offers phone-based ticketing across UK

Mike Richards

Well done Chiltern

Now, is there any chance of DB picking up a few other train operators around the country? I'd especially like First Great Western to vanish into history to be replaced by a competent company who might be willing to - oh and let's get radical here - buy new trains???

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Shuttle mission: SPAWNING of the SPACE KRAKEN

Mike Richards

Cosmic calamari Batman!

We're sending Cthulu back home.

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What Carthage tells us about Amazon, Fukushima and the cloud

Mike Richards

'that's why the Romans ploughed the fields of Carthage with salt'

Just to be picky, no they didn't.

Nice article though, thanks.

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Canadian kid uses supercomputing to cure cystic fibrosis

Mike Richards

Vegetarian sorbet

Well here's prior art which I make on a regular basis.

500g caster sugar

250ml fresh lemon juice (that's about 6 large lemons)

Zest if you like more lemony goodness

Dissolve the sugar in 750ml water and simmer for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and add the lemon zest. Allow to cool.

Add the lemon juice. Put in the fridge until really cold.

Place the mixture in an icecream maker and churn until it starts to solidify. If you don't have a machine place in a shallow dish and freeze for an hour. Give it a good forking (fnarrr) to mix the ice with the unfrozen goop. Freeze again for another hour, repeat a couple more times until it is completely slushy. Whisk vigorously then freeze. It'll keep for up to a week in the freezer.

I suspect the cure for cystic fibrosis is somewhat more complex.

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Mike Richards

Not always

You can make a lighter sorbet by adding beaten egg white. But it's not worth it.

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NASA restores Pluto to league of planets

Mike Richards

IAU definition

Is bollocks and I can't imagine it won't be revisited before long. Under their own definition (that a planet must have cleared its own orbit) neither Neptune nor the Earth constitute planets.

A better definition would be something along the lines that a planet is a non-luminous body orbiting a star which has sufficient mass to form a spheroid.

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Cable thieves cost UK rail £15m a year

Mike Richards

Yep!

And fine them the full cost of refunding every passenger who was late.

(Although you'd have to be VERY late indeed to get a refund from our oh-so-wonderful railway companies).

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Space shuttle Endeavour finally off next Monday

Mike Richards

Not happening

There were plans to bring back Hubble but these were canned on the grounds of expense and that the Shuttle could not abort to the ISS if there was a failure during the mission. Another plan was to attach a booster that would have shoved Hubble either into a safer higher orbit, or down into the atmosphere for a controlled re-entry. This also didn't go ahead.

Instead a better attachment point for future missions called the SCRS was placed on the telescope. The next mission to Hubble (which no one has a clue about) will be to deorbit the telescope. Currently, Hubble will be decommissioned sometime between, and you've got to give them credit for narrowing it down, 2013 and 2021 - the latter being when it will definitely re-enter the Earth's atmosphere.

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Mike Richards

Doesn't work that way

The Shuttle's components aren't designed for very long durations in space. Just to get you started, the tiles would get dinged by micrometeorites (and larger stuff) and various plastics and rubbers would degrade from atomic oxygen.

And what use would it be going to Mars? There's no runway for it to land even if it could be brought down to a reasonable speed after entry to the very thin Martian atmosphere.

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IPCC report: Renewables can never meet energy demand

Mike Richards

Which won't help

Since developing nations can't afford to buy reactor technology anyway.

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Ten... fantasy gadgets you wish you owned

Mike Richards

Already invented

and it's called the hydrogen bomb.

Having said which, there are some minor wrinkles regarding the range of its effects, the unavoidable millions of fatalities and unfortunately persistent fallout which still have to be ironed out; but I can say with 100% confidence that you will never have to worry about mobile phones or personal stereos ever again.

It's also great for getting stones out of horses hoofs, warding off dangerous dogs, sterilising river water and attracting attention if you are lost in remote areas.

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Elite coder readies £15 programming gadget for schools

Mike Richards

Good luck David

I'm part of a project to design and release a small piece of educational hardware which is just about to go into mass production. I'll be very impressed if the RP can be built and shipped for just £15 unless they can make them in batches of tens of thousands at a time.

If they can, then there is no reason why every kid can't have one for their GCSE project and have ridiculous amounts of fun. Just so long as us grown us are allowed to have them too.

But one thing they must do before going any further is burn Elite into the ROM.

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