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* Posts by Mike Richards

3579 posts • joined 28 Feb 2007

British Airways IT worker found guilty of plotting terror attack

Mike Richards
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Probably

It was only cracked when they read the PostIt note stuck on the corner of his monitor.

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Apple to Microsoft: 'App Store name is not generic'

Mike Richards
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'genericness' - horrible word

It should of course be genericosity.

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Ex-PM blocked Steve Jobs knighthood

Mike Richards
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Trying to work out who it is

The nomination was so fawning I assumed it was Tom Watson, surely the greasiest of the greasers; but that's not possible as he's still an MP (there is no justice in the world).

So I assume it can only be Jacqui Smith. Think about it - an ex Home Secretary in love with all sorts of expensive high tech oppressive micromanagement of peoples' lives. She was hoping His Steveness would tell her how to have people queuing round the block for identity cards. Perhaps by calling them iD cards?

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Portsmouth redefines the Olympic-sized swimming pool

Mike Richards
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Conversions

Yes, but what's that in brontosauri*? (the standard unit of comparison for small boys)

* yes, yes, I know it's an apatosaurus.

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Mike Richards
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Standards

The problem with getting the Olympic Swimming Pool recognised as an official unit is that you still don't have a reference pool cast from platinum alloy. As soon as you can get yourself one of those everyone will be able to bring their pools to the Register and have them measured properly.

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iPhone 'Death Grip' effect is real, plastic cases don't help

Mike Richards
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Wrong place

I think you'll find the Daily Telegraph's comment boards are the next one over.

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Traffic-light plague sweeps UK: Safety culture strangles Blighty

Mike Richards
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Kind of worrying

That all these proposals for flashing lights, drivers proceeding on their own judgement or allowing turning on red don't do anything for pedestrian safety.

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GM declares Ampera e-car 'production ready'

Mike Richards
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Whoah!

That car has been comprehensively spanked with the ugly stick. The front 'face' looks like it was inspired by KISS make-up.

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MobileMe packages disappear from Apple's shelves

Mike Richards
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iDisk

I wish iDisk played nice with our corporate firewall. For reasons that no one is entirely sure of, sometimes iDisk just doesn't work.

But Dropbox does. And it's faster.

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Mike Richards
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They've been good in the past

I've had the occasional freebie or webstore credit from Apple for when things have either been made free or there's been a price drop. My subscription only just renewed so I will be a bit irked if they don't either give me something over the free version or some money back.

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Dell Venue Pro WinPho 7 smartphone

Mike Richards
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What's the smiley button for?

Please don't say there is a button for emoticons.

I'd rather have an @ button that doesn't require a shift (and RIM if you're reading, not having a dedicated @ on the Blackberry sucks too)

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Customs officers get X-ray machines for down under searches

Mike Richards
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Excuse me for asking...

...but don't you have to be a trained radiographer to deliver doses of X-rays?

It's been a long time since just anyone was allowed to zap people with radiation - pretty much since they stopped X-raying peoples' feet for correct shoe sizes.

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London Stock Exchange floored, again

Mike Richards
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It's fine, it's fine

Just turn it off and on again.

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Voyeurs invited to watch space truck dock

Mike Richards
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Commentary

I hope David Attenborough is on stand-by

'Now, the space station raises its docking aperture signifying that it is receptive to Kepler's advances...'

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Discovery poised for final mission

Mike Richards
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Two more after this

Currently scheduled as:

April 19th STS-134 with Endeavour

June 28th STS-135 with Atlantis

and then it's all over.

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Russia blames Google for Egyptian revolt

Mike Richards
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Russia has 'one of the world's most stable political systems'

In the sense that Vladimir Putin always seems to be in charge, I guess that's true.

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Cornish pasties awarded protected status

Mike Richards
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Oh well done...

...you managed to cram an IT angle into the story.

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Mike Richards
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British food is better

You can't beat someone to death with antipasto - a pasty on the other hand, wielded correctly is a lethal weapon.

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Scientists tremble before 'thunder-thighs' sauropod

Mike Richards
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Coming next week in the Daily Mail

Does Brontomerus have cellulite?

As for the fossil hunters who smash up these sites - may I suggest a hammer to the testicles?

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Eight years for ID fraudster

Mike Richards
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Damn!

I read that hoping Blunkett had finally been put away.

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Apple 'greed' tax spreads beyond music, movies, magazines

Mike Richards
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I don't think so

'You also cannot undercut the App Store pricing on your own site. Which makes sense given that Apple are taking care of the bandwidth and hosting issues for you with the App Store itself.'

Actually after the initial purchase there is absolutely no need for you to touch Apple's servers when downloading other content. The hosting cost of the app should have been absorbed in the initial purchase cost.

Apple are making the likes of RyanAir and thetrainline.com with their 'booking charges' and 'credit card fees' look reasonable.

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UK inks space research deal with Russia

Mike Richards
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'UK Russia Year of Space 2011'

You're right, that sucks.

Why not Spacesmash or Stargasm?

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Westboro Baptist Church taunts Anonymous over supposed attack plan

Mike Richards
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WBC: '3rd party penetration testing'

[childish snigger]

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Huawei to gift underground coverage to London

Mike Richards
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China

Helping develop the economy of yet another backward nation I see.

Anyone prepared to bet on the length of time (to the nearest minute) between the service being turned on and an iPhone being shoved down its user's throat?

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South African dam sluices 609 elephants per second

Mike Richards
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Delightful image

Of elephants lounging in inner tubes going 'wheeeeeeeee!' as they sail down-river.

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Mike Richards
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Mississippi surely?

Time is measured in Mississippis.

Which means the Orange River was discharging 609 elephants per Mississippi.

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Oz news team pays homage to Carry On

Mike Richards
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ITV are you watching?

This sort of banter is clearly what they need to revive viewing figures for 'Daybreak'.

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20-tonne space truck heads for ISS

Mike Richards
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Don't be silly

Sir Clive never advanced space science so they can't name a ship after him.

On the other hand Wallace and Gromit flew to the Moon.

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NO-SH*T CURE FOR BALDNESS discovered by accident

Mike Richards
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Alternatively

It will give every man worried about their attractiveness to women a full head of hair and a lovely hairy back.

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Mike Richards
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Ironically

The Salk Institute will probably become richer and better known through this discovery than it was for developing the cure for polio.

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RIM boss: 'Our PlayBook shames the You Know What'

Mike Richards
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'What makes the PlayBook great'

'is that it supports real-time multitasking with symmetric multiprocessing.'

The sound you hear is Cupertino laughing. If this is RIM's strategy they are doomed to irrelevance. Selling products is about telling people how great life is when you own it - what you can do - not how it is done. Apple is where it is today by making the technology almost entirely invisible to the user.

And let's not think for one minute that RIM have a tablet - they've demoed a tablet, but that's a long way from getting millions of them out into the marketplace. They're late to a game whose schedule is being dictated by Apple and Google, each of which can bury RIM in money. If they delay launching the tablet it much longer RIM will forgotten in the hype for iPad 2 and the first practical Android. Try to wait out that media cycle and their tablet will be old hat before it even hits the market.

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Airport face-scanning robots switched off

Mike Richards
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But... but... but...

David Blunkett told me that biometrics were infallible. My universe is broken.

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Dinky Florida machine 'could whup world No 1 computer's ass'

Mike Richards
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Reconfigurable computers

I reckon they're like the Infinite Improbability Drive and work best when provided with a *really* hot cup of tea.

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Gov will pay £2.25m compo to ID card suppliers

Mike Richards
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Why yes he does

In 2007, David Blunkett registered he had a financial interest in a Texan company called Entrust which was bidding for work on the British card:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2007/mar/25/uk.idcards

Blinky also seems to be having memory problems:

'Blunkett seeks 'end to ID cards'

'Former Home Secretary David Blunkett says the government should scrap plans to introduce ID cards for all in favour of mandatory biometric passports.'

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8022791.stm

But look on the bright side, Shagger Blunkett was being spied on by News International at the same time he was being paid to write his column for 'The Sun'. Apparently he's outraged by the intrusion on his privacy.

Personally I feel sorry for the dog.

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Virgin tempts Brits with fee-free TiVo

Mike Richards
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Paying for the EPG

TiVo's business has been to either charge a monthly fee, or charge a much larger one-off 'lifetime'* fee for the same information.

* of the device, not you.

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Man matches machine in Jeopardy! showdown

Mike Richards
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Any chance of adding some information to the article?

What I learned from this article:

The questions got harder and the computer failed to answer them.

What I didn't learn:

What any of these questions and answers actually were.

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Wooden spaceship descends into Moscow sandpit

Mike Richards
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'isolated, cold, and starved for affection'

Sounds like boarding school.

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One third of Russians say Sun revolves round Earth

Mike Richards
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I don't think we should laugh

Britain is about to get its first 'free school' backed by the "Everyday Champions' Church in Nottinghamshire which teaches creationism. Because Michael Gove thinks parents always know best, his legislation allows these schools to ignore the national curriculum.

At least the Russians can blame the poor state of education on the complete collapse of the communist economy. We're going to raise a new generation of idiots by deliberate policy.

There are also some frankly terrifying statistics about belief in creationism and refusal to accept evolution as fact amongst UK medical students from Islamic backgrounds.

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Channel Five reborn as Channel Five

Mike Richards
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Five has news????

It's a little known fact but the televisual car crash that is 'Live from Studio Five' is classified as part of Five's news broadcasting. For anyone who's missed it, or has blindingly fast reactions with a remote; it makes 'The One Show' look like 'Newsnight'.

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Mike Richards
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Sorry

All Channel Five's money has gone on a brand new series of 'Hitler's Gardens' which will be followed by an entire season of Steven Seagal movies - forever.

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Albuquerque shopper samples free man oysters

Mike Richards
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'...That eatng pineapple improves the taste whilst spicy food has the exact oppisite effect...'

What? of Greek yogurt?

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It's official: Nokia bets on Microsoft for smartphones

Mike Richards
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Clearly in the minority here

But my thought was that a phone with the build quality of the top end Nokias running Mobile 7 would actually be pretty damn sweet.

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Mysterious crypto-book dated to 15th century

Mike Richards
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Entropy

That's a good question made more complex by the problem that no one can agree on the number of characters in the Voynich alphabet, whether some are distinct characters, whether they are accented or ligands. Using the most commonly agreed number of characters, then the entropy comes in lower than most languages and certainly lower than any European languages. The text is very repetitive. If it is plaintext of prose then the only known language that comes close is Polynesian.

So those naked women gambolling across the vellum might just be beautiful sun-kissed, long-limbed, raven-haired, bronzed...[going for a lie down now]

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Rare metals found in Cornish tin mine

Mike Richards
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Wouldn't be the first time they went back to the tips

During the late part of World War I many Cornish tips were mined for wolframite as Allied gunmakers tried to compete with the super-hard tungsten alloys being used in German guns. Cornish miners had known about wolframite for decades and loathed the stuff because it was hard to separate from cassiterite (tin oxide) and was impossible to smelt. So when they found it, they dumped it.

But some of this is hardly news, silver and gold were regularly recovered from Cornish mines. Indium is news (if only because industrial uses only came along after the heyday of the mines) - but in retrospect not that surprising, it's much quicker to list the elements that can't be found in Cornish ores, AFAIK it is still the most mineralogically diverse region in the World.

[Sighs fondly thinking of all those hazy summer days spent looking for uranium minerals]

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Mike Richards
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It's a byproduct

The indium will be a byproduct of cassiterite mining. Tin will make or break the mine, and prices for that have rocketed of late, so the indium is very much the icing on the cake. It's a long time since I did the geology of South Crofty but they may also extract small amounts of copper, silver and tungsten alongside tin.

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UK.gov shreds last ID scheme hard drives

Mike Richards
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Missed opportunity

I would have invited David Blunkett, Charles Clarke, Jacqui Smith and Meg Hillier along to help me feed disks into the crusher, and enjoy their tears.

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No 'tipping point' for Arctic sea ice - latest science

Mike Richards
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Growth in Antarctic sea ice

Now, now Lewis, you know that's a red herring.

Left as it is in your article a casual reader might think the growth in seasonal sea ice around Antarctica is due to a cooling ocean. In fact, it's quite the opposite; the ocean around Antarctica has warmed by about 0.5C in the last thirty years.

Warmer water evaporates more and produces more precipitation around the margins of the continent which dilutes the cool surface water and produces a highly stratified ocean. Heat can't circulate up from deeper, warmer, more saline water, encouraging the growth of a thin layer of ice. Antarctic sea ice is also much less important to the Earth's energy balance than that in the Arctic. Since we have been exploring the region around Antarctica, there have been almost no years where sea ice has not melted in early summer allowing the Sun to warm the surface of the ocean.

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TERRORISTS IN SUBMARINES menace the Free World!

Mike Richards
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Why would terrorists want to blow up an oil rig?

When BP and Halliburton are quite capable of doing it for themselves.

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Apple under threat from ... Windows tablets

Mike Richards
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Microsoft have to be brutal to survive

They'll have to make a highly restrictive specification for these tablets and make vendors stick to them. How many buttons, where they go, what sort of things are allowed and what aren't. Otherwise they'll end up with hundreds of wildly differing devices offerings different experiences for users. All these devices will have to behave in exactly the same way or customers will get scared away. They've done something similar for Windows Mobile 7 and the handsets and the software are excellent.

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Labour forum leaks email addresses

Mike Richards
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On the upside

Labour's security flaws have moved on somewhat from the time when they invited you to email them your credit card number.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2001/04/18/labour_party_in_web_security/

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