* Posts by Mike Richards

3615 posts • joined 28 Feb 2007

Happy 50th birthday, Compact Cassette: How it struck a chord for millions

Mike Richards

Re: Fascinating article

Or if you had a Commodore 64, 15 minutes to try and load a game, followed by a crash and much fiddling with the alignment.

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Behind the candelabra: Power cut sends Britain’s boxes back to the '70s

Mike Richards

bleeping, groaning and wheezing

Enough about my love life...

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Punter strikes back at cold callers - by charging THEM to call HIM

Mike Richards

Re: Be a yes man instead.

Oh I like that. I hope you did get to say 'Your call is very important to us. All of our operators are busy right now, but please continue to hold.' Because everyone likes that.

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Mike Richards

You'd think it wouldn't be beyond the wit of BT to notice the vast number of calls coming from a relatively small number of offshore numbers and block them. But oh no, if you get bombarded with these foreign PPI calls or the dreaded silent calls, BT insist there is nothing they can do because it is 'an international call'.

Quick question, do BT make money from connecting an international call?

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'Kim Jong-un executes nork-baring ex and pals for love polygon skin flick'

Mike Richards

Re: It's not agressive atheist - it is an agresive theocracy

All of those countries have or had a personality cult indistinguishable from religion - supreme leader - check; one true way - check; unquestioning obedience - check; us and them - check; persecution complex - checkity check.

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Mike Richards

Just an idea

A similar policy might work on 'The Voice'.

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Do not adjust your eyes: This Kobo ten-incher has a 2560 x 1600 resolution

Mike Richards

If the Aura is the same one shipped in the late spring then it's a damn good reader. The screen is lovely, slightly bigger than most eBook readers and the front light is excellent - it's slightly blue, but it is bright, even and there's no flicker. It handles ePub (open and Adobe DRMed) and PDF documents. You can *just* about squeeze an A4 page onto the screen, but it's not particularly pleasant.

The downside of the Aura (as with all Kobos) is that the operating system does seem to need to go for nice lie downs every now and again. Mine freezes for no apparent reason on some books (even those from the Kobo store) and the review options where you can annotate the book often freezes.

But the battery life is excellent, it's nicely put together (if a bit of an odd shape round the back) and I'm very happy.

I hope this isn't the end of dedicated readers, I like something that is just there for one thing and does it well for ages between charges.

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Eggheads turn Motorola feature phone into CITYWIDE GSM jammer

Mike Richards

Why use a jammer to stop people making mobile phone calls

When you could just get them to subscribe to O2?

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Rasp Pi skydive: Ballsy Baumgartner best beware Brit bionic Babbage Bear

Mike Richards

A bit like Steve Austen then

'First up, the poor chap's had his right eye surgically removed to allow installation of the PiCam'

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Report: Secret British spy base in Middle East taps region's internet

Mike Richards

If GCHQ 'doesn't comment on intelligence matters'?

Why are we paying for a spokesman?

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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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