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* Posts by Mike Richards

3579 posts • joined 28 Feb 2007

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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Mike Richards

Re: Which is all OK until you consider

Good point - and will the names and addresses of people who choose to switch off the filter be stored centrally, or will the record of them doing so be accessible to the police? Because I can see problems with that - perhaps schools will start asking prospective teachers if they use a filtered internet connection, and we can imagine the media feeding frenzy if the suspect in a murder or abuse case is found to have turned off the filters - because - you know - internet is bad...

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Darth Vader's old gaff awaits exogorth desert DUNE DOOM

Mike Richards

It'll make a great episode of Time Team in 2100.

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WAR ON PORN: UK flicks switch on 'I am a pervert' web filters

Mike Richards

Re: I like how they state .....

Oooh I like that.

I'd love to see the sort of requests Westminster browsers have been making.

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Mike Richards

Meanwhile the Tories favourite paper will still be able to run the 'Sidebar of Shame', stalk Suri Cruise and run 'all grown up' stories of teenage girls in swimwear on a daily basis.

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Heavenly SPEARS gives LOHAN a hot satisfying BANG

Mike Richards

Re: Thought you Brits had already solved this design problem

I'm pretty sure all chickens are spherical in a vacuum - if only briefly.

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Mike Richards

Re: Have I missed the explanation?

Is it significant we haven't been treated to an exclusive interview with the intrepid frogonaut?

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1953: How Quatermass switched Britons from TV royalty to TV sci-fi

Mike Richards

Re: How much the Doctor owes to the Professor...

Not forgetting that Tom Baker fought the Krynoid - a nasty space plant that had a taste for human flesh in 'The Seeds of Doom'. One of the more terrifying bits of my childhood.

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PRISM scandal: Brit spooks operated within the law, say politicos

Mike Richards

Re: If whats been done is true...

Do GCHQ and their bosses also get to vet who sits on that committee? I'm sure troublemakers aren't allowed anywhere near anything that might rock the boat.

The government's mantra is still 'trust us, we don't trust you.'

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The facts on Trident 'cuts': What the Lib Dems want is disarmament

Mike Richards

US involvement

Isn't the US's involvement a bit more than allowing us access to GPS... like that they build and service the missiles and do the hard work of designing the warheads? The British haven't had an independent nuclear deterrent since Operation Grapple.

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JPL wants to fire a laser at MARS!

Mike Richards

Re: " JPL wants to fire a laser at MARS! "

Absolutely. Although I'm a little worried about their attitude:

“The lasers themselves do not need to be very powerful,” Birnbaum told Phys.org.

Yes they do, yes they do!

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European Space Agency goes for mostly solid Ariane 6

Mike Richards

ESA deep space

ESA still has ExoMars, JUICE and Solar Orbiter in its plans.

And they're funding the SABRE engine that might end up in Skylon.

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Fitbit Flex wristband: What to wear out when wearing yourself out

Mike Richards

Re: Why?

It's slightly more sophisticated (and therefore MUCH more expensive) as it measures levels of activity rather than simply counting steps.

Oh and it comes with a gee-whizz dashboard that you can share with all your Facebook friends and the Twitterati.

What's not to like? (Apart from all of it)

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BBC abandons 3D TV, cites 'disappointing' results

Mike Richards

Weren't the natural history programmes from Sky?

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Hitch climate tax to the ACTUAL CLIMATE, says top economist

Mike Richards

So if we're going to start listing the qualifications of the people...

'Bryony (now Baroness) Worthington (BA, Eng.Lit.)'

The Global Warming Policy Foundation is chaired by Nigel Lawson (graduated in Philosophy, Politics and Economics) and headed by Benny Peiser (a social anthropologist). Their talk was given by an economist.

At least the people who think climate change is a problem bothered to bring a scientist.

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US Navy coughs $34.5m for hyper-kill railgun that DOESN'T self-destruct

Mike Richards

Excellent - it's BAE

Anyone want to hazard how much it's going to cost before they finally realise it doesn't work?

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Love in an elevator.... testing mast: The National Lift Tower

Mike Richards

Cardington

Any chance you'll be able to pop over to the rusty awesomeness of the airship sheds at Cardington and do a similarly great article?

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Rest your head against a train window, hear VOICES in your SKULL

Mike Richards

absolute dream for Sky

At last they've got round having to broadcast those irritating programmes between the ad breaks.

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Mike Richards

Re: I quite like the train noises

On many routes around London they've just got to the end of those announcements before beginning the litany of instructions about the next (station) stop offering exciting connections to..., please remember to take all your items, thank-you for being a customer and sorry for any inconvenience cause by the late running of this service. Repeated moments later when the train arrives at the station, then a welcome to the train and they're off again..shut up! Shut up! Shut up!

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D-Wave IS QUANTUM, insist USC scientists

Mike Richards

Is it quantum until you open the box?

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Apple Time Capsule 2013: Next-gen wireless networking, anyone?

Mike Richards

Re: Disk or disks

The TC is an excellent product (once Apple fixed the dodgy capacitors in the first batch) and mine has been very reliable. However, in my experience, Apple's Time Machine backup software isn't the best. I've had corrupted backups on a couple of occasions and no choice but to start all over again.

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What's the difference between GEEKS and NERDS?

Mike Richards

Re: @ Gray Ham - Some equally scientific research ...

Oh thank god - it's not just me swimming in the waters of ignorance over 'Marist Lads'.

And it would be really useful to work out where that splendid British English word - 'boffin' sits on the spectrum.

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Jiggy Pennsylvania couple busted by 25 bike cops

Mike Richards

Re: Cor

On the upside.

For the first time in a long time - no tasering.

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Mike Richards

"There they are, on the first base line," Chitwood said.

Nope, they're definitely beyond first base.

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German engineers demo ROBOT APE

Mike Richards

A metal gorilla

For when a 7ft tall 400lb real ape just isn't enough.

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UK sitting on top of at least 50 years of shale gas – report

Mike Richards

Re: SHOULD Yield - That is NOT what BGS said

Well spotted: you only need to go as far as page 3 of the report to read: 'This large volume of gas has been identified in the shales beneath central Britain, but not enough is yet known to estimate a recovery factor, nor to estimate potential reserves (how much gas may be ultimately produced).'

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Boffins create tabletop ANTIMATTER GUN

Mike Richards

Re: "doesn't actually risk the earth-shattering kaboom of a matter-antimatter annihilation."

It's okay, using nothing more than a simple time machine we can fuel the first interstellar starship with the antimatter it brings back in the future.

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