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* Posts by Mike Richards

3579 posts • joined 28 Feb 2007

Council dives into crematorium-heated pool

Mike Richards
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Congratulations to Unison

For managing to crowbar a political point into any discussion.

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Six... budget Blu-ray Disc players

Mike Richards
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Thanks

I'll start saving.

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Mike Richards
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Region free BD?

Has anyone seen a region free player for Blu-Ray disks or know which ones can be easily de-regioned?

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Super-thin materials could POWER our WORLD

Mike Richards
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Blame the chemists

The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry standardised the spelling as sulfur in 1990; the Royal Society and the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority followed suit in the UK in 1992 and 2000 respectively.

But in case you're feeling bad, it's a draw; element 13 is officially aluminium; despite what the left bankers say.

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Ofcom okays Derren Brown psychic-baiting

Mike Richards
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One question remains

Didn't Mr. Power's spirit guide tell him what Ofcom was going to say?

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Sir Elton outs iPad 2 release date

Mike Richards
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Reg might read el Reg

He might just have seen speculation about fondleslab 2.0 on this esteemed organ.

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Stroppy Belgian students in Ryanair mutiny

Mike Richards
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If RyanAir want to get their own back

They could always divert the flight to a tiny, ill-equipped airport in the middle of nowhere, hundreds of miles from the intended destination - oh hold on.

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Bold as brass metal thieves disrupt rail, comms, electric

Mike Richards
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Happy

It must have been shocking.

Nearly as shocking as your use of the apostrophe.

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NASA snaps Sun in super STEREO

Mike Richards
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Coming soon to Sky 3D

The Sun.

(it's an extra fiver a month to get it in HD)

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Motorola Super Bowl ad rips Apple drones

Mike Richards
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Second ad

Had they ended it when they reached 'it's time for more choices' they'd have a fantastic teaser that would have got people talking.

As soon as they follow up with 'dual core' and '1080p' they've lost most of the market.

Which is why Apple ads are so effective, there's almost no discussion of the technology, it's all about the experience and emotion of using the product. That makes a connection with the customer. And that's why iPhones and iPads are so successful.

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Russia has 'secret space warplane' to match US X-37B

Mike Richards
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Polar orbit Shuttles and Soviet space planes

Were canned for several reasons, none to do with payload. The delays associated with Shuttle launches were unacceptable to the military who wanted a more reliable launcher, so lobbied for, and got, additional Titan IVs. What finally killed the project was Challenger; the Vandenburg launches would have used an even lighter SRB design which would have been even more prone to leakage and disaster. NASA canned the development of the booster.

Whether or not Uragan ever existed (there is plenty of evidence it was no more than a disinformation programme), the Soviet Union certainly flew and recovered a scale-model spaceplane called BOR-4 four times in the 1980s. The BOR project had originally been part of their Spiral spaceplane, when that was cancelled, the half-scale model was used to test materials and re-entry profiles for Buran. So it's nice to see the Americans playing catch-up ;)

http://www.buran-energia.com/bor/bor-desc.php

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NASA hails 'amazing' exoplanetary system

Mike Richards
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Well...

...I didn't want to boast.

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Mike Richards
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'Jack Lissauer, planetary scientist and a Kepler science team member'

Whoa there!

Following the Neal's ('we're not charlatans, honest') Yard ruling from the ASA, 'scientist' might mean he's got an advanced degree in theoretical yogurt weaving from the University of Creditcard sur Internet.

I'm hoping that Lissauer being described as a 'planetary scientist' means he's sort of a geologist. Geologist may not often need to resort to solving problems with calculus (most geological problems are soluble with a hammer), but must be considered boffins because they're responsible for dinosaurs and volcanoes.

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Twenty-tonne space truck poised for ISS trip

Mike Richards
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Surely someone from ESA reads this site

Is there no room in that 7 tonne payload for a Playmobilnaut?

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Sky loses pub footy case

Mike Richards
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Waiting for the News International response

Even now the finest minds of the Murdoch press will be trying to retain Sky viewers with a hearts and minds campaign based around a high-minded concept such as 'foreign telly gives you AIDS'.

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Photo loss blogger to Flickr: You're f*cking kidding

Mike Richards
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Trashcan

It does seem odd that suspended accounts aren't moved to a trashcan pending deletion. Flickr could send the registered user a notification that there is something suspicious about the account. if they don't respond within (chooses random number) seven days then the account is deleted permanently. If they reply, an arbitration process begins.

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Official: PhD in 'Essential Oils' or 'Natural Toiletries' = 'a Scientist'

Mike Richards
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True boffins

I'm also certain that a real boffin has a pipe and performs jaw-dropping breakthroughs in a shed. (This of course rules out Americans from true boffinry)

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Mike Richards
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Neal's Yard - charlatans

These are the people who were perfectly happy to sell homeopathic 'remedies' for malaria - a product that offers absolutely no defence against what can be a crippling, or even fatal, condition. Later, they were invited to discuss their products and ethics with possibly the least hostile audience imaginable - Guardian readers - and it all went horribly pear shaped:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/ethicallivingblog/2009/may/26/you-ask-neals-yard-remedies?INTCMP=SRCH

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Murdoch, The Daily, and life without the web

Mike Richards
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Not just you

If you listen to Murdoch v.2 you quickly realise he didn't get his position by being best at his job. That's the weakness of NI, too few people being brought in from outside to come up with new ideas. They're wedded to pay-TV and paywalls and really don't have a plan B.

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Apple tosses Sony iBooks rival from iTunes

Mike Richards
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Sony eBooks

The idea of an eBook app is nice, but Sony don't have the infrastructure to deliver the same experience as buying through Kindle. With Kindle, if you buy the book on iOS it is also immediately available on your PC, Mac and your Kindle when you get it.

The Sony readers in the UK don't have WiFi and Sony don't even deliver their own content in Britain. So if you bought an eBook on your iPhone, you probably could get it on to your reader when you buy one of their very nice piece of hardware.

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Ten... wireless keyboards

Mike Richards
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Mattias Tactile Pro

A fabulous Mac keyboard with microswitches under the keys. I've never been able to type as fast as with this beast, but had to retire it when we moved to an open plan office as the clickity-clackety sound could be heard on the other side of the building.

It's USB with two USB unpowered sockets and weighs a ton. A really nice touch is that all the alternate symbols are also marked on the keyboard, so it's easy to find all those weird accents less fortunate languages insist on using.

You have to hunt them down in the UK, but if you're a Mac user who likes a proper keyboard they're hard to beat.

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MSI Windows webpad goes on sale

Mike Richards
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WindPad?

Sounds like a cushion filled with activated-charcoal.

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Sci/tech doctorate protects you from unemployment – in the US

Mike Richards
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Another difference between the US and the UK

They still have thriving engineering and science sectors in their economy, we have openings for mortgage brokers, pizza delivery boys and the insanely large number of people required to sell Sky TV packages in shopping centres.

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Gatwick Airport security swoops on 3-inch rifle

Mike Richards
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" There are lots of reasons an item could be prevented from going through security."

I dare you to give one that won't reduce me to tears of laughter in this context.

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Your call is not important to us

Mike Richards
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Amazon

Their 'call me back' facility on the customer service pages is quite simply brilliant. I've never waited more than 30 seconds for the call back and then no more than a few more moments until I'm speaking to someone who can fix the problem.

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Antique Nimrod subhunters scrapped – THANK GOODNESS!

Mike Richards
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Crap plane - but...

Comparing the price of the development of the Nimrod to the price of a new Orbiter is misleading as it ignores the huge amounts of money NASA sunk into designing the Shuttle in the first place.

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UK tech retailers are rubbish

Mike Richards
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Not just Richer Sounds

Comet are especially evil in this regard. They carry Monster cables - and we all know what good value for money they aren't - and bully customers into buying them with a TV. My parents got scammed for £60 for component cables (and were told this was a special offer because they were buying a table) - when both their DVD player and TV had HDMI.

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Mike Richards
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If you really need a SCART cable

Drop round my place and I can give you a dustbin bag full of them.

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Videogame TRAINS TERRORISTS, yells pundit

Mike Richards
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Well I don't need any more evidence than that

It's quite clear that MW2 also inspired time-travelling terrorists to attack Vienna and Rome airports in 1985:

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

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Bookeen CyBook Orizon

Mike Richards
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PRS-650

Any chance of a comparison with Sony's top-end eBook reader which has the same screen? From the photos the Sony is better looking, but it'd be nice to know about the usability.

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China plans city 'twice the size of Wales'

Mike Richards
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Size of Wales

Is a bit arbitrary really. Do you mean the size of Wales as seen from above, or the size of Wales if you ironed it properly (in which case it is considerably larger than Greenland*)

* which isn't as large as you think it is.

I'm really not helping am I?

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The Last Airbender up for nine Razzies

Mike Richards
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You're forgetting the Expendables

Easily the worst movie of last year.

It's like someone had 1980s action movies explained to them through interpretive dance, then commissioned a script from a slumming chimp, got it directed by someone who might have trouble using a flip, lit by a blind man and the sound recorded through treacle.

Never have so many steroids been shot to so little effect.

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Gates, Woz, and the last 2,000 years of computing

Mike Richards
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ENIAC first????

Hasn't it been agreed by everyone outside the US that ENIAC was preceded by the all-electronic Colossus (which was also binary - something ENIAC wasn't)? The Zuse machines and the ABC preceded both, but contained mechanical components.

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Massive US rocket sends top-secret cargo into space

Mike Richards
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'yesterday's delivery is likely to have gone into a high-angle polar track'

DID go into a high-angle polar track. If it had been in any other inclination it would have dumped boosters and spent stages on the US.

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Duke Nukem Forever release date revealed

Mike Richards
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[GRIN]

They're aiming for Fall 2007.

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End of the line for ID cards

Mike Richards
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Somewhere...

ex Identity Card Minister Meg Hillier is crouched in her bunker, ID card in one hand, pearl-handled revolver in the other 'They'll never take my card. Never I tell you!'

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Lush website hack 'exposes credit card details'

Mike Richards
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Unencrypted car details?

I hope someone is recreationally fired for that mistake.

I *think* if the card issuers find the data has not been held securely they can not only force Lush to cover the losses, but they can refuse to offer card services to the company.

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Boffins sex pterodactyls at last

Mike Richards
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Pterodactyl???? Never trust spokespeople, they know not what they write

Darwinopterus is a genus in the pterosaur order. Pterodactyls are another genus in the same order but belong to a completely different family.

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FAA to pilots: Expect 'unreliable or unavailable' GPS signals

Mike Richards
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Can't wait for the headlines

Bearing in mind both disruptions are in areas famed for their wackos we should expect some hilarious news stories.

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NASA nano-satellite belatedly ejects from orbiting mothership

Mike Richards
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If only...

...they'd had the foresight to put a little Playmobilnaut aboard.

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Gov will spend £400k to destroy ID card data

Mike Richards
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Should have crowdsourced it

I'm sure a whole lot of people here would have brought their own sledgehammers and done it for free just for the reward of making David Blunkett cry.

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Brazilian cult condemns USB

Mike Richards
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'because blue is the colour of Jesus' eyes'

Really, are there a lot of good Jewish boys from Nazareth with blue eyes?

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BBC rebuilds Civilisation in HD

Mike Richards
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35mm remastering

If they've done it with 'The Prisoner' maybe they'll do it with 'The Avengers' which was also shot on 35mm.

Sorry the thought of Diana Rigg in HD has left me utterly incapable of working for the rest of the day.

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Mike Richards
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Big fan of 'Earth Story'

Not only was it gorgeous (and at the time cutting edge geology). But they were very clever with Aubrey Manning as a presenter. He openly admitted he didn't know much about geology, but didn't go down the more common route of acting like a cretin. Here was a smart guy using his knowledge of a different area of science to explore another.

BTW. Does Brian Cox's constant smile freak other Regitards as much as it does me?

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Mike Richards
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To be fair to Iain Stewart

At least he's a geologist.

The BBC is usually much happier to embark on 'celebrity led journeys of discovery'*, just think back to the buttock clenchingly awful episode of Horizon with Alan bloody Davies. It's not beyond the realms of possibility that'll follow that up with Barbara Windsor's Quest for the Higgs Boson.

* their words not mine. It was used in cold blood at a pitching meeting I once attended.

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Raygun dreadnought project reports 'remarkable breakthrough'

Mike Richards
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Last paragraph

Is genius.

Although are we limited to shark-deployed weapons? Would one of the members of Tylosaurinae (15m of pure bloody-minded viciousness) make a better platform ?

Or even a brachiosaur with water wings.

Just so long as this wouldn't delay the delivery of my pet dinosaur.

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Lame Stuxnet worm 'full of errors', says security consultant

Mike Richards
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Maybe it isn't as good as it could have been because...

...it had to be ready by a certain day?

Such as the day before the Israelis started bombing.

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Boeing customers spy distant Dreamliner

Mike Richards
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Chevrons on the engines

They're there help reduce engine noise.

As mentioned above the 'Top Gear' jumbo was a prop on Casino Royale where its undercarriage and engines were mated to a CGI upper.

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Police DNA test plan to put off prostitutes' punters

Mike Richards
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Wow!

Someone who makes ACPO look rational.

Speaking of ACPO, I was very surprised recently to learn that they're not a statutory body. For all the press attention they get and access to ministers, they are nothing more than a private company. It's also exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.

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Who are the biggest electric car liars - the BBC, or Tesla Motors?

Mike Richards
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Fast charging

Some of the information about charging is out of date. Nissan have already announced a fast charge for the LEAF which will take it from flat to 80% charge in less than half an hour.

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