* Posts by Mike Richards

3605 posts • joined 28 Feb 2007

Acorn’s would-be ZX Spectrum killer, the Electron, is 30

Mike Richards

Oh my this takes me back

That advert - it seems like only yesterday that it was everywhere - is it really 30 years?

But weren't early computer adverts wordy? Compare that to a modern ad. I suppose they were still trying to persuade mums and dads that this wasn't just a toy and it was a good investment. Now pretty much everyone thinks they know what a computer is and can do, so manufacturers obsess about thickness or colour.

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Oh noes! New 'CRISIS DISASTER' at Fukushima! Oh wait, it's nothing. Again

Mike Richards

Re: Radiation Superstition

People are killed when working on wind turbines (and rooftop solar installations) simply because they're at height - so the cause is simple things like insecure footings, and inadequate safety equipment.

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MYSTERY of Guardian mobos and graphics cards which 'held Snowden files'

Mike Richards

Re: Huge flaw in article

I kind of imagine the spooks egging the Guardian on.

"Yes, yes I know its pointless - nice reporting by the way - but make sure you don't miss a bit; the Home Office thinks the data can go and hide if you don't smash everything.'

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Mike Richards

Re: Huge flaw in article

The government has confirmed it sent the heavies to the Guardian.

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In case of LOHAN flight emergency, gobble THIS Iridium-Arduino sandwich

Mike Richards

TITS-UP

Terminate

Immediately

Thanks!

Satellite

-

Unplanned

Problem

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Mike Richards

BAPS

Break Away Panic System.

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Snowden journalist's partner gave Brit spooks passwords to seized files

Mike Richards

Re: Journalism is dead, long live the Queen

Also in the Guardian - the government have been putting the screws on the paper to hand material over. Not by getting court injunctions that can be contested and are in the public eye, but by directly threatening the paper:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/19/david-miranda-schedule7-danger-reporters

From the coalition agreement:

'We will introduce safeguards against the misuse of anti-terrorism legislation.'

and

CIVIL LIBERTIES

'We will be strong in defence of freedom. The Government believes that the British state has become too authoritarian, and that over the past decade it has abused and eroded fundamental human freedoms and historic civil liberties. We need to restore the rights of individuals in the face of encroaching state power, in keeping with Britain’s tradition of freedom and fairness.'

So why is the government so worried when Little Billy Hague told us only a few weeks ago that the security services always acted within the law?

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Green German gov battles to keep fossil powerplants running

Mike Richards

The plant at Olkiluoto still isn't finished. It was meant to go online in 2009, it will now be ready no sooner than 2015. It was budgeted at €3 billion, it is currently estimated at €8.5 billion and the two main contractors are suing one another for compensation.

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An afternoon with Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer

Mike Richards

Re: More of this stuff, please!

Can we get Phil to give Lewis a masterclass in science education? Many people would benefit.

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Fear the JOBZILLA! 150ft STATUE of Steve planned 'lest fanbois forget'

Mike Richards

Pose

I hope they go for Jobs in the definitive 'how to hold an iPhone so you can actually talk on it' stance - just so future generations will know how to do it.

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AREA 51 - THE TRUTH by the CIA: Official dossier blows lid off US secrets

Mike Richards

Re: SR71 Blackbird

There's an M-21 Blackbird at the Museum of Flight in Seattle with its ramjet drone perched on top. The museum is well worth a visit if you are in the Pacific NW - loads of historic aircraft including Kennedy's Air Force 1, the first 747 and a Concorde.

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'But we like 1 Direction!' Rock gods The Who fend off teen Twitter hate mob

Mike Richards

Re: Will twitter fess up to the addresses of.......

Dunno, and why aren't the - (oh let's be charitable) - band's PR munchkins on Twitter telling their fans to cut back on the rapey threats?

Today, the 1-D fans are in uproar because Channel 4 showed some of them as borderline terrifying monomaniacs. Rather than reminding their fans that there are other things to do than obsess over the group, the publicists blame the TV station and fan the flames.

Christ only knows what will happen when the band inevitably (and please make it soon) breaks up. I can only guess it will look like something from World War Z - only less musical.

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YouTube Wars: Microsoft cries foul as Windows Phone app pulled again

Mike Richards

Re: Windows Phone users?

It was 3 of us on the previous page. See WP's market share is exploding!

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Microsoft to fund Blake's 7 return as Xbox Live exclusive

Mike Richards

Re: Stop mucking abaat...

Tilda Swinton would be great at it.

Or (because she's brilliant in everything) Jodie Foster, and she's just had a practice run in 'Elysium'.

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Mike Richards

The Liberator's progress-through-space bar will be hilarious.

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NORKS prepping glorious People's Smartmobe

Mike Richards

Arirang advertising

Frank Bruno to front the campaign obviously.

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Norway BANS Apple from Oslo's skies: No aerial Maps app snaps allowed

Mike Richards

If Apple wants to photograph Oslo

Their iPhone will probably direct them to Stockholm.

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Elon Musk unveils Hyperloop – the subsonic tube of tomorrow

Mike Richards

Re: Yeah, good luck.

The Chinese might have bought it, but the Shanghai MagLev is German.

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ULTIMATE cuppa contenders prepare to go mug-to-mug

Mike Richards

Re: active vs passive brewing

Just leave it stand until the spoon dissolves - then it's strong enough.

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Mike Richards

Re: You just don't get...

A Furniss Cornish ginger fairing and a mug of tea (no milk thank-you) is pretty much unbeatable.

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Mike Richards

The seven most terrifying words in the English language

'watching Mrs Feltz in full slurping action'

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Serious Farce Office: 32K secret BAE probe files spaffed to WRONG bod

Mike Richards

Fortunately

BAE is such a wholesome company I'm sure there is absolutely nothing incriminating in any of the documents about possible fraud or bribery.

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Brits give thumbs-up to shale gas slurping in university-run poll

Mike Richards

Re: Change the names

Some dinosaurs produced live young and birds are dinosaurs.

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Mike Richards

Re: Energy Deception

The question itself is flawed - 'do you want cheap shale gas energy?' implies that shale gas will be cheap. Even the companies that aim to produce the gas are downplaying any expectations that it will be appreciably cheaper than conventional gas.

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Yahoo! announces! plan! to! change! logo! 30! times! this! month!

Mike Richards

'The news was announced on Tumblr, the cats'n'porn site which was snapped up by Yahoo! and then rapidly sanitised.'

Got rid of the cats then?

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Horrific moment curvy mum-of-none Mail Online spills everyone's data

Mike Richards

The Mail: 'We take your privacy very seriously'

Unless you're royal, a politician, a child of a politician, a celebrity of any kind, their children, on benefits, foreign, poor, or just plain ugly - in which case you're fair game.

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Limbaugh: If you hate Apple then you're a lefty blog-o-twat hipster

Mike Richards

Draft dodger

Limbaugh avoided service in Vietnam by claiming to have an anal cyst. It's a matter of debate if the surgeons binned the wrong part.

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Jimbo Wales: ISP smut blocking systems simply 'ridiculous'

Mike Richards

Re: Jimmy has been listening to radio 5 live

'On hearing the announcement from "call me dave" i had a mental picture of server administrators throughout the land shaking their heads and laughing at the ridiculous suggestions coming from an ill informed government and its advisors (claire perry.... really).'

I don't think ISP admins will be shaking their heads and laughing. They'll be very worried that they're going to be the fall guys in this fiascoette. As soon as one of these filters (inevitably) fails, it'll be the ISP on the end of the Mail's outrage and the threatening letters from lawyers.

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Upgraded 3D printed rifle shoots 14 times before breaking

Mike Richards

This man must be stopped

Not only because of the 3D-printed rifle - but because of the ukelele. Some things are just unacceptable in a civilised society.

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Police probe IDIOTIC Twitter bomb threats slung at journalists

Mike Richards

One thing Twitter really needs to fix

Is their spokeswoman who popped up on Channel 4 News and Newsnight. I'm sure she's lovely and is great at talking to people one-to-one; but, after several days of Twitter stonewalling, and when they've had plenty of time to come up with a meaningful response, she dropped the ball. Rather than saying it was unacceptable behaviour and that the company was doing everything it could to find these (ab)users and work with the police, she just kept dropping into West Coast management speak. For a media company they really aren't very good with - well - the media.

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Mike Richards

Re: I wonder what these people get from threatening people

Good points.

I see some of the people who have been trolling Caroline Criado-Perez; and Oliver Rawlings, who attacked Mary Beard; have used 'freedom of speech' as a defence for their appalling actions. Thanks to them for undermining that principle so thoroughly.

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Mystery object falls from sky, area sealed off by military: 'Weather balloon', say officials

Mike Richards

Re: One of our Playmonauts is missing?

Good point - are they sure the Playmonaut crashed into the Channel - or was his advanced craft beamed aboard an alien mothership where he spent the last few months bringing about galactic peace in the Kirk manner by canoodling with interstellar vixens; or was he probed into insanity by multitentacled horrors from beyond*?

* for all our sakes let's hope it's the former.

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Highway from HELL: Volcano tears through 35km of crust in WEEKS

Mike Richards

Re: Grímsvötn volcano

I think this is the paper you want:

Mafic intrusions triggering eruptions in Iceland by O. Sigmarsson

http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2012/EGU2012-12722.pdf

Similar triggers have been proposed for the Soufriere Hills eruption on Montserrat which seems to have had a relatively cool, mostly crystalline magma chamber that then received an injection of very hot mafic material. That created local melting, parts of the crystal slush in the chamber largely melted, became mobile and began to move up towards the surface.

Injections of magma are well-known to trigger eruptions - new material can simply overpressurise the magma chamber, the heat can cause a greater degree of melting and more mobile magma, it can cause gases to exsolve from the magma, or it can introduce new gases into the chamber.

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Mike Richards

Slight correction

The paper says it takes months to years for the magma to reach the magma chamber with some indication that faster ascent occurred later in the eruption. Still fast, but not quite as dramatic.

The geochemistry is quite unusual. Had the magma hung around in the crust it should have relatively low olivine (it fractionates out very early) and any residual olivine would have been iron-rich (low forsterite) since magnesium olivine crystallises at a higher temperature. Low olivine usually means low nickel (Ni is incorporated into olivine crystals), but this eruption had very high concentrations magnesium-rich olivine and lots and lots of nickel. So it must have come straight up from the Mantle.

Fast-moving, deep-seated magma is found in places like the African rift where you get weird eruptions of low-silica, nickel-rich magmas such as sodic carbonatites (practically molten washing soda) and nephelinites; but in many cases the very hot magma rising from the Mantle begins to digest the crust around the fissure or vent and you end up with highly contaminated magmas that are chemically quite different from their original primitive magmas.

Good paper all round!

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Ministry of Fun launches news quiz - and the BBC is in its sights

Mike Richards

Probably nothing more than politics

The Ministry of Culture is still smarting from not being able to implement the media barons' agenda - first the BSkyB deal fell through and now it looks like the Levenson recommendations are going to be enforced by a statutory body rather than the newspapers. So what better than to start a 'consultation' (everyone do the air quotes) to see if the BBC is too dominant. Next stage, unattributable briefings about changing the BBC's charter, directing the licence fee elsewhere...

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Snowden's XKeyscore revelations challenged

Mike Richards

Re: Utah DC

Oh very good, slightly obscure movie reference duly noted.

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China's army releases FPS trainer game

Mike Richards

Great Leap Forward - the videogame

It's like Farmville - except you don't grow anything.

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Murdoch machinations mean Microsoft must rename SkyDrive

Mike Richards

Re: Azure Storage Services?

Azure Redundant Storage Extensions For Workgroups (32-bit), Azure Redundant Storage Extensions For Workgroups (64-bit), Azure Redundant Storage Extensions For Students...

We're going to need a larger live tile.

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Indian military pondered attack on Venus and Jupiter

Mike Richards

Bend over and hope they've warmed their hands?

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Mike Richards

Re: Find arse with both hands?

And no one had a smartphone with one of those Pocket Patrick Moore astronomy apps?

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Sony and Panasonic plan 300GB Blu-Ray replacement for 2015

Mike Richards

Re: Numbers please...

What's a phone book?

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'Wandering Dago' tuck truck ejected from NY race track

Mike Richards

Dunno, they seem to be milking the publicity quite nicely.

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SPEARS joins the 19-mile-high club: Intimate snaps

Mike Richards

Re: Vaguely OT: Dara O'Briains science club ..

You should seriously consider upgrading. It'd be terrible if LOHAN was caught in a tree on the same day as the zombie uprising got well underway.

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Sky falling: 119,000 Brits flee O2, Be after Murdoch broadband gobble

Mike Richards

Re: Left months ago

When I called Be to end my subscription I got much the same 'oooh and here's another thing we can do for you' routine. By the end I think they were practically offering to put up another satellite if I stayed. But I let them down gently by saying I didn't want to pay money to some of the worst people on Earth.

Now with Xilo and very happy indeed.

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Comet ISON seen eructating 300,000km-long methane and CO2 BELCH

Mike Richards

Re: Dirty Snowball

To be fair to the author, the dirty snowball was the official name of Fred Whipple's hypothesis that comets were essentially single lumps of ice with a bit of dirt rather a collection of smaller rocky bodies containing a little ice (the flying gravel bank). It was only really confirmed when Giotto took a good hard look at Comet Halley.

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IT Crowd thesp eyes giant hot-air-filled FLYING SCROTUM

Mike Richards

Prototyping

Any chance LOHAN can be lifted to stratospheric glory by a pair of scaled down bollocks?

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MYSTERY of 19th-century DEAD WALRUS found in London graveyard

Mike Richards

Re: Wait, what ?

Me too - perhaps Madam Vastra, Jenny and Strax can help out?

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Village-swallowing MUDCANO was no accident, say boffins

Mike Richards

Re: Only a liar would say fracking is totally safe.

Mud volcanoes can, and do, happen in these sorts of regions - in fact they are the one of the pieces of evidence petroleum geologists use when looking for hydrocarbons. But one on this scale is pretty much unprecedented - I can only think of the smaller Piparo mud volcano in Trinidad that wrecked a town.

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

But here, the drilling company seem to have some serious questions to answer.

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Mike Richards

They're drilling into an accretionary prism which is a poorly consolidated heap of junk eroded from an overriding plate and stuff scraped of a subducting plate. They're absolutely full of water and gas under high pressure trying to get to the surface. The well hit one of these pressurised regions and couldn't cope; the well blew because of external pressure not through fracking.

You can see similar, but smaller mud volcanoes in other prisms such as Trinidad and Tobago and the Makran region of Pakistan.

Mud volcanoes are also found in regions where natural gas is forcing its way up through unconsolidated sediments; if you want to see some corkers, including ones which occasionally catch fire, the region around Baku in the Caspian is a must-see.

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PHWOAR! Huh! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing, Prime Minister

Mike Richards

'But like all filtering it has it's issues (horrorscopes are classed as occult)'

That's an unbelievably crass and stupid thing.

It should be filed under 'Metaphysical bollocks'

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