* Posts by Mike Richards

3722 posts • joined 28 Feb 2007

Creationists are infiltrating US geology circles

Mike Richards
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Why 7?

Was one watching the others go at it?

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Mike Richards
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As a geologist...

...I can't see how you could get a GCSE or A-Level in geology, let alone a degree in the subject from an accredited organisation *and* be a creationist.

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Mike Richards
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As always...

talk.origins is your sceptical friend:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-noahs-ark.html#flood

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IATA: this iPad could BRING DOWN A PLANE

Mike Richards
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Turning off your phone

If you are flying in the US or on an American carrier and do not turn your phone off, you are in violation of an FAA regulation and liable for a $2000 fine.

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Cabinet Office talks to Facebook & co about new ID system

Mike Richards
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Face meet palm

Facebook? Just in case I've missed an important news story, is the government proposing to secure our personal information with the same foreign company that relentlessly infringes users' privacy and distributes their information far and wide? Or is there another Facebook out there.

Take a look at Francis Maud, does he look like the sort of person who has the vaguest clue he knows what he's talking about?

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Apple bars WinXP users from iCloud

Mike Richards
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We like authors even more

if they contradict themselves within the same article.

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BP world energy review: Chinese coal drives up CO2

Mike Richards
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Peak coal

China has to diversify its energy supply incredibly rapidly as it's facing an energy crunch in the next couple of decades. Domestic coal production is expected to peak in the next decade and go into a sharp decline, its oil and gas fields are either approaching, or at, peak production and it's seeing a decline in hydropower reserves because of long-term drought. Couple that to the need to keep 10% growth and the challenges they are facing are immense.

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MP claims NotW sleuths targeted royals, politicians, Blair

Mike Richards
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Delightful isn't it?

The man who wanted to put all of his fellow citizens under near constant surveillance finds himself being spied on by his favourite media mogul.

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Nintendo takes control with next-gen games console

Mike Richards
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How many people are still using their Wiis?

The Wii had so much potential, but Nintendo blew it (again) - rehashing the same franchises, and pouring their efforts into attracting the 'casual gamer' that many people simply got fed up waiting for decent challenging content.

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Pixmania users report scam-spam bombardment

Mike Richards
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Yep here too

I got the same email today and it came via an account used for Pixmania about four years ago.

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Tory terror changes promise moon on stick

Mike Richards
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Hairdressers would be a better choice

'So, bombing anywhere nice this year?'

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Mike Richards
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Good point

How do we know they are a success when we don't know how many sites they miss or falsely categorise as bad for our moral health?

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Mike Richards
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I can see this working

And so how are you feeling? Just relax now - hmmm - yes - well maybe take a little more gentle exercise a couple of times a week and perhaps stay off the fatty food to see if that settles down. Now I'm just looking at your blood count - yes that looks quite normal, your cholesterol is fine, no sign of diabetes so nothing to worry about there. So how do you feel about the restoration of the caliphate and have you had any problems passing water?

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BBC Freesat tech switch zaps HD channels from 'old' boxes

Mike Richards
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'We put this on our blog'

To be fair here, the BBC is blameless it's the set-top box people who might have to start forking out money for disgruntled customers now their boxes are not fit for purpose.

BUT this excuse that a message on a web site amounts to a notification to customers doesn't really stick - but it's catching on with all sorts of companies. I'm not sure about the rest of you, but I don't obsessively follow every company I deal with to find out what they're up to.

It's the modern equivalent of putting the note on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard'.

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Play.com pummelled over purported piracy permissiveness

Mike Richards
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Call the ICO

If you are in the UK the ICO may have the power to fine them:

http://www.ico.gov.uk/complaints/privacy_and_electronic_communications.aspx

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'Great Reversal' as world's forests stage a comeback

Mike Richards
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@Zippy the Pinhead

You do know that the vast majority of eruptions at Mauna Loa occur through the flanks rather than from the Mokuʻāweoweo summit caldera, and that the measurements are adjusted for the rate of outgassing from the volcano.

Thought not.

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1000 day wait for Sarah Palin emails nearly over

Mike Richards
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Research lexicographers are on standby

These emails will introduce more new words to the English language than any time since Shakespeare was in full flow with Romeo and Ethel the Pirate's Daughter. According to boffins we can expect novel grammars, undreamt of phraseologies and perhaps tenses entirely new to English such as the (until now hypothetical) past-future imperfect fifth person.

And that's in one email where she provides the definitive explanation of how Paul Revere's warning to the British allowed General Custer to defeat Lex Luther before the South could bomb Pearl Harbor in order to emancipate the Louisiana Purchase to Adolf Hitler.

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Entire London 2012 Olympics' cultural events database held on Excel

Mike Richards
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Is there more than one spreadsheet?

Because if the second is being used for tickets it might explain the crazy ticket allocations.

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Hot bodies get super-slippery when wet

Mike Richards
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Why?

Coal doesn't go off and the life of wheat stored under proper conditions is months or even years. Why do these freighters need to go faster?

I think he's also forgetting the realities of the shipping market which is to reduce costs as far as possible by only ever using very old, single hulled bulkers manned by third world crews sailing under flags of convenience. Only a few years ago, one of these monsters was sinking every month and no one in power gave a toss until the MV Derbyshire vanished, but since then, nothing's changed.

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New Sony hack exposes more consumer passwords

Mike Richards
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Sony customer advice

If you are a Sony customer and you have not had your confidential information released as yet, could you please give them a call so they can do so immediately. Sorry for any inconvenience.

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Brit rubbish-dump worms in space station science triumph

Mike Richards
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Whilst we're on the subjects of beasties from outer space

Any news on the Shuttle Squid?

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WW2 naval dazzle-camo 'could beat Taliban RPGs'

Mike Richards
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Daily Mail???

'The Perishers' were in the Mirror when it used to be a newspaper.

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Britain mounted secret 2010 cyberwarfare attack on al-Q

Mike Richards
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I rather hope

The spooks are still editing the magazine and dropping in really weird bits of advice - you know - 'have you tried practicing suicide bombing in an uninhabited area just so you know what it feels like'. Then they could add music reviews, a gallery of unusually shaped vegetables, a 'Dear Dierdre' sex advice column and a 'Where's Ayman al-Zawahri?' competition to win £5.

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Tesco pricing cock-up provokes beer stampede

Mike Richards
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Legally...

The price on the shelf only constitutes an 'invitation to treat'. When you take the beer mountain to the till you are making an offer to complete the contract at that price. A contract only comes into being when Tesco accepts your offer and you pay (so called 'consideration'). Up until that point the seller or the buyer can pull out of the negotiations, or change the conditions without prejudice, so Tesco are fully within their rights to say there has been a pricing error and the customer has no legal protection.

Although I hope they issued the check-out staff with cattle prods when they tried to explain this.

Mind you, I wonder if anyone got the lower price on the self-service tills?

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Francis Maude goes back 110 years for cybersecurity strategy

Mike Richards
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No need for the red flag

We've got BT running our walking pace broadband service.

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What is UltraViolet™ and why should you care?

Mike Richards
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I'm going to say this quietly

But Disney are one of the more enlightened DVD distributors. A recent Blu Ray not only came with a DVD, but a download licence through iTunes for only a quid or more than the bare bones DVD. And then, it had the rarest of things - skippable ads and trailers.

Compare that to Momentum who put a completely unstoppable Maltesers ad on their disk.

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El Reg pays by phone – mmmm, free cookies!

Mike Richards
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Important question left unanswered

Was it a nice cookie?

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Biodegradable products are often worse for the planet

Mike Richards
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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
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A Cory Doctorow story

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

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Mike Richards
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Hah! Take that...

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

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Billionaire Zuckerberg kills to eat

Mike Richards
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PETA versus Zuckerberg

This has to happen.

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Fourth Euro star truck christened Albert Einstein

Mike Richards
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Absolutely

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

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