* Posts by Mike Richards

3595 posts • joined 28 Feb 2007

Swedish military bras burst, melt during 'rigorous exercise'

Mike Richards

Where's the Internet video?

And don't fob us off with Playmobil.

This is quite clearly Sweden's ultimate defence. Unlike more immature countries that rely on the threat of thermonuclear megadeath to protect against invasion, the cunning Swedes have worked out that a platoon of special forces striptease babes will bring any invaders to a grinding halt.

It's incredibly brilliant.

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LG GD910 Watch Phone

Mike Richards

It's either the season for surrealist bikes

Or that is one lousy camera lens.

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Harrods web Grotto snowed under

Mike Richards

Mmmm Christmassy

After all, nothing smells more like Christmas than fermenting penguin guano.

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Pull the plug on Pandas, declares BBC man

Mike Richards

What?

'Packham will have to settle for boring humans to death with the latest series of Autumnwatch'

Good god - TV's never boring when Kate Humble's about.

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Baroness Scotland fined for failing to follow own law

Mike Richards

Oh that's okay

She's explained it perfectly:

It's 'an administrative penalty' for a 'technical breach' of the law neither of which are like 'paying a fine for breaking the law' which only apply to people outside of government.

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Mike Richards

Translation service

The Home Office said: “The wider investigation is ongoing.”

The Mighty Reg replied: 'We asked what the last line meant but they were not able to elaborate.'

My translation is that the Home Office said: 'We're trying to find someone outside the Labour Party to blame.'

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Suicide bum-blast bombing startles Saudi prince

Mike Richards

Almost too awesome

'Of course we can only speculate regarding the firing system furnished by the back-alley bomb makers who stood behind the young terrorist.'

That's a masterclass in reportage.

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DARPA seeks orbital wheely-bin plan

Mike Richards

5km of Vapona fly paper in low orbit.

Simple - that'll be $1 billion please.

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'Do You Want To See My C*ck?' asks budding author

Mike Richards

The worrying bit is

We're all going to laugh at the stupidity of the idea, then some publisher will pick up on it, make millions and before we know it Duncan Webster will be on every TV panel show and radio comedy in much the same way Dave Gorman keeps dining out on the back of one good idea rather than any actual comedy ability.

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Volvo reveals electric C30's specs

Mike Richards

Bah! Humbug!

A good share of the Reg readership would have been quite at home a couple of centuries ago pointing out that Mr. Trevithick of Cambourne's frighteningly novel 'steam locomotive' was clearly doomed to failure. After all his latest didn't have the range or speed of a good horse, couldn't fertilise the rhubarb and that no one had bothered to consider where all the coal and iron was going to come from.

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Peugeot looks to 1940s for quirky e-car design

Mike Richards

Inspired by the 1940s?

Ummm...

Errr....

Hmmmm....

Aha! The doors face backwards and it has four wheels - magnificent.

But as for all the folks here claiming that it's ugly. Of course it's ugly - it's a French car.

Whatever elan the French have towards design goes out the window when they're asked to produce a modern car. Have a look at the petrol-powered monstrosities Peugeot are currently turning out with their gaping mouths, silly fiddly detailing and tin-foil construction, then there's the vile Megane with it's stupid stick-out rear end, the anodyne beyond words Picasso and the interchangeably awful pocket Citroens. There haven't been so many ugly cars in production since the dying days of Leyland.

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Sony and BBC clash over PS3 problems

Mike Richards

If in doubt - SoGA

''But since the issue appears to affect consoles after 18-24 months of use, the BBC claimed that Sony said it isn't liable.''

You might have a claim under the Sale of Goods Act for up to six years although the burden of proof will be on you to demonstrate the fault was inherent and not down to misuse. Though Sony could have a get out clause that novel technology is not expected to meet the same reliability standards as more established ones.

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Doctor Who fans name best episode ever

Mike Richards

Unearthly Child

Sure it's a bit slow, but has DW ever topped the sense of wonder and awe when they step out of a 1960s junkyard into the TARDIS for the first time?

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Renault unveils e-car foursome

Mike Richards

Twizy

It's going to take forever to get anywhere in that thing. The electric motors will be fast enough it's just that Renault's famous build quality means that as soon as you hit a speed bump you'll have to stop and nail all that plastic crap back on the body.

Fascinatingly horrible in a Gobbler Motel (go look it up) sort of way.

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US Spec Ops operates psywar websites targeted at UK

Mike Richards

Fabulous idea

They'll be sending squaddies off to watch Mary Poppins to ensure they have a perfect grasp of English (British dialect).

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Brown says the 'C' word

Mike Richards

' in making the low carbon cars that Britain is leading Europe in developing'

Eh?

Do we have a domestic car industry?

A battery business?

Or even a British-owned power generation company?

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Volkswagen unveils Yorkshire-friendly e-car

Mike Richards

Interior layout

This is a work of genius! As the diagram clearly shows, a car has finally been designed solely around the crucial activity of transporting cases of bottled beer.

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Asus' Eee keyboard out next month - official

Mike Richards

Blast from the past

Forget the Amiga, a quick glance and I thought the Sinclair QL had finally been released and Asus were about to give a whole new generation the unmatched thrill of using Sinclair MicroDrives.

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Most expensive RAF aircraft ever takes to the skies

Mike Richards

Not really a Comet

It's true the Nimrod was based on the Comet, but it was designed around the Comet 4 airframe which has precious little in common with the original 1949 Comet prototype. The Comet 4 first flew in 1958 which makes it younger than the American alternative.

Oh and its a much better looking plane.

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Ricoh GR Digital III compact camera

Mike Richards

Bit like the Sigma DP-1

Which has to be the World's most frustrating camera. That has a magnificent fixed-length lens and the (relatively) big Foveon sensor; but it's hooked up to what has to be the slowest hardware in creation - taking an age to read an image off the sensor before you can do anything again. I've really enjoyed some of my time with a DP-1, but more often than not I've hated its slow start up and read/write time.

These cameras are very much for the serious studied and dare I say it - slow - photographer. The Sigma produces wonderful images, but it is not a camera for snapping away with. I dare say this Ricoh is going to feel much the same.

Certainly they're not impulse purchases.

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Ryanair faces ban on luggage charge auto-opt-in

Mike Richards

@ Number6

'I've got six years to return dodgy goods? I must have missed that one, I'd always worked on the principle that it was their problem for the first year and mine from then on, with very few exceptions.'

You've missed that one.

It's always been the case that the Sale of Goods Act has given protection over extended periods of time. The exact definition of durability depends on the item and its expected reasonable lifetime - so a prawn sandwich shouldn't last as long as a hammer.

Generally you are entitled to a replacement or a repair, but if a repair or replacement is too expensive, or not possible then you are entitled to a refund. In which case your rights to redress are dependent on a number of issues such as the amount of time the object worked perfectly before the fault occurred - if you got 5 years 364 days good service out of the hammer before it broke then you might be expected to settle for smaller amounts of compensation.

If the goods were faulty at the time of sale you can ask for your money back within a reasonable amount of time (the law does not specify 'reasonable' - but six months would be unusually long unless you can show you were working with the retailer or the manufacturer to resolve the issue until then).

For the first six months the retailer has to demonstrate that the goods were fit for purpose when sold - the presumption is that there was a defect and the customer is entitled to a refund. After six months, the burden of proof falls on the consumer who must show there is a problem.

And don't confuse your statutory rights (those given in law under SoGA and the Goods and Services Act etc.) with the manufacturer's warranty which is given in ADDITION to those protections.

As with all these things, if you're in any doubt about a contract and your rights under it - call your local trading standards office.

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Tory MP to sue over sex smear email

Mike Richards

If there's going to be any justice

Both of the equally odious parties in this case will lose.

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US Navy boffins invent aircraft-to-sub laser phone

Mike Richards

To be more environmentally friendly

Couldn't they just strap high explosives to dolphins and detonate them in sequence to sound out Morse messages?

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Swedish bloke attempts lactation

Mike Richards

Soon to be on Channel 4 no doubt

Lactating Vikings - sounds like an indie band to me.

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Nokia's £500 netbook: What were they thinking?

Mike Richards

If only...

Nokia owned a lightweight operating system designed for portable devices...

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NASA works on robo-podcab scheme

Mike Richards

Points?

As in what's the...

A huge problem for any monorail is switching traffic from one line to another. Any indication how they plan to do this without having huge chunks of metal swinging too and fro over people's heads?

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Bletchley Park to restore 112-byte* '50s Brit nuke computer

Mike Richards

Any chance...

Bletchley Park can get to work restoring XBox 360s to working condition?

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Xbox 360 'least reliable' console

Mike Richards

@ Ian Bonham

'My Amiga 2000 still works, with the original hard drive and GVP card. It also boots in under 10 seconds from cold start to working desktop.'

Sob! My stupidly expensive A4000 died a couple of years ago after the battery leaked all over the motherboard disgorging something about as corrosive as the blood in 'Alien'. Great computer.

Of the people I know with a 360, two of us are on our third machines (and mine sounds seriously unwell these days) and one is on his second. Only one has their original console and they seem to keep that in a hermetically sealed room.

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Forget solar panels, it's time for rooftop slime-tanks

Mike Richards

@Richard 81

'Perhaps, rather than pumping the carbon into the ground they could let it out near the sea bed in fine bubbles, so it dissolves in the sea. That way you're just increasing the rate at which the sea would naturally soak up carbon dioxide.'

Actually that's a really bad idea, the ocean is acidifying at an accelerating rate because of the CO2 its absorbing from the atmosphere. That makes life much harder for all the organisms who develop calcite skeletons from dissolved calcium - and who eventually take CO2 out of the environment and into deep marine sediments.

One solution might be to compress CO2 and dump it into the deep ocean where it would form a stable liquid - but that has a serious downside in that it would suffocated anything living on the ocean bottom.

Dissolving CO2 or pumping liquid CO2 into brine reservoirs - helpfully located under most major oil fields - is probably the best solution we have at the moment. It wouldn't even need new technology.

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Huge 'vampyrus' bats being hunted to extinction

Mike Richards
Paris Hilton

Vampyrus

Is an excellent name for a horror movie featuring a giant man-eating predator - preferably starring the talented thespasian next to this post.

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New NASA rocket fuel 'could be made on Moon, Mars'

Mike Richards

Water vapour

Rocket exhaust also contains significant quantities of nitrogen oxides formed in the high temperature hydrogen-oxygen flame. These are environmental and health nasties and are also a drawback to burning hydrogen in conventional engines.

And has anyone checked the health implications of nano-scale aluminium particles yet?

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Bubbly-belly-bugging boffins battle bovine belch peril

Mike Richards

'automatic on-cow flare stack'

Now that I want to see...

Awesome sub as always Lewis.

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Sony reveals slim PS3, drops price

Mike Richards

@ asdf

Not to mention that the 360 versions of most games are STILL coming with better texturing and frame rates. To add insult to injury, publishers are regularly stiffing PS3 users an extra £10 for the privilege.

Got both consoles and after three of them I can definitively say the 360 is a heap 'o shite build-wise; but Microsoft have done their homework and delivered the better console (oooh I'm gonna hate myself for this) experience.

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US military cyber force activated

Mike Richards

@ twelvebore

'Never understood how the US military allocates these numbers, I'm sure it's intended to make it sound like the army/air force/whatever is bigger than it really is, and scare the Russians.'

Actually that's a pretty good question - possibly Lewis (the Reg's defence/defense/alien jellyfish) correspondent can explain how the US Army allocates numbers to regiments. Like how come they've got a 101st before a 67th?

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Soviet military-surplus manned spacecraft to fly again

Mike Richards

Interesting...

How much more the RRV looks like the conical Mercury/Gemini/Apollo than the sort of headlamp-shaped Soyuz capsules. I wonder how their heatshield is attached and if it is ablative (like Soyuz) or refractory (like the Shuttle)?

Of course this also means the Soviets clocked up another first - the first reusable manned craft, ahead of the Shuttle.

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BlackBerry Curve 8520

Mike Richards

@ troldman

'That's been the biggest problems with BlackBerries. Trackballs are for playing Missile Command and nothing else.'

Absolute nonsense.

It's also for playing Centipede.

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Campaign for official Turing apology gathers steam

Mike Richards

@ Anonymous Coward

'Good luck with that, Gordon Brown can't even apologise for his own mistakes!'

Actually New Labour are extremely good at apologising for things where there's no possibility of them being blamed - Blair apologised for the slave trade and the Irish potato famine amongst others.

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Communist car given electric overhaul

Mike Richards

Oh my god

That really does spank me with its ugliness.

It could be the most horrible thing ever - at least until the battery-powered Austin Ellegro (see what I did there?) comes along (very slowly).

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Labour party unveils Tweeter-in-chief

Mike Richards

Quick question

Is this going to be another salaried position?

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Mitsubishi iMiEV five-door e-car

Mike Richards

Charging gauge

'We asked Mitsubishi why the charge gauge can't be set to show the remaining battery capacity in terms of miles available to drive rather than just as a simple 'fuel gauge' and was told that getting such a system to show the remaining range with any degree of accuracy was extremely difficult due to the impact that driving style and terrain can have on effective range.'

They have a point that this could be complex and confusing. Unless you continue using more or less the same power for the rest of your journey, the results could be about as useful as the Windows file copy dialog. 'Distance remaining 7 miles... ...245 yards... ...1 astronomical unit...'

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Labour MP exposes password credentials

Mike Richards

Voting record

This level of incompetence probably explains why she's on record as:

'Voted strongly for introducing ID cards.'

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Collar the lot of us! The biometric delusion

Mike Richards

Why do politicians like biometrics?

Easy - they don't understand it in the slightest and are easily reeled in by lobbyists. When you throw in a Home Office that's been gagging to introduce ID cards since the early 1970s, you have an unequalled opportunity for companies to sell snake oil.

Biometrics is one of those technologies politicians can't help but embrace no matter what - along with 'fast breeder reactor', 'supersonic', and worst of all 'computerised'.

Now if you excuse me, I'm coming up to the ramp for the Concept Boulevard.

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Stargazers spy retrograde planetary bloater

Mike Richards

@ Anonymous John

Most of Jupiter's *atmosphere* is hydrogen and helium, there's presumed to be a much denser core comprising anything between 5 and 15% if Jupiter's total mass (that's 15 to 45 Earth masses) made of elements such as silicon and iron.

If this new planet either doesn't have a rocky core, or has a very small core (like Uranus) it would have a lower density. Saturn, for instance, has a bulk density lower than water; again because it has a relatively small core.

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Half-ton space watermelon hints at habitable Martian past

Mike Richards

@ Steve Swann

'Where's the crater?'

Doesn't need to be one; meteorites don't always arrive near vertically; sometimes they skip across the atmosphere like a stone over a pond, gradually descending at a very low angle and coming to rest at relatively low speed.

Actually, when I first saw the images this meteorite reminded me of the Hoba West meteorite in Namibia, which at 60 tonnes + is the largest single meteorite found on Earth and which is also sans crater.

http://giantcrystals.strahlen.org/africa/hoba.htm

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How to hack a Sony Reader

Mike Richards

Mac compatibility

Sony is promising Mac compatible software by the end of this month to coincide with the launch of their new readers. But as the article says, if you can persuade a tame Windows user to let you register your machine on their PC just the once, you can use the Reader quite happily on a Mac.

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Official: Toshiba to get in on Blu-ray Disc

Mike Richards

@Tony Paulazzo

'Most of my friends with HDTVs are still plugging in via scart rather than the C M Yk(?) cables '

Don't forget, if you want 1080p you need to go to DVI or HDMI rather than component cables. And they really want you to use HDMI because it has lots and lots of DRM to make your life inconvenient.

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El Reg space paper plane christened Vulture 1

Mike Richards

@ Andrew Moore

'A simple latex balloon would do the trick'

And it seems somehow appropriate to use latex around PARIS.

This project makes me proud(ish) to be British once more - what with Top Gear firing a Robin Reliant into the stratosphere and the Reg building a high altitude paper plane it's like the heady days of the Blue Streak and Bryllcreem.

Lester now needs to answer one more crucial question.

Do you have a shed?

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Martha Lane-Fox: No broadband, no citizenship

Mike Richards

The telephone is how old now?

The telephone has been with us for over a century and there is still a significant number of people who don't have one. The same for TV and radio. How can MLF expect the Internet to have a greater penetration than these established technologies in a fraction of the time when it is both more expensive and less immediately useful than telephones, radio and TV?

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Tokyo battles monstrous murder of crows

Mike Richards

Tough birds

These are the ones who think they can make a comfy nest out of wire coathangers. They're pretty much the corvine Chuck Norris.

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Hubble snaps fall-out from Jupiter impact

Mike Richards

"the size of several football fields"

Oh VERY useful. That's bound to be an *American* football field (you know the 'game' where they don't play rugby dressed in full body armour between beer commercials), not a proper British Passchendaele pitch with scrunched up jumpers for goalposts.

Why do Americans insist on using such arbitrary units when there is a rigorously logical unit of measurement that the whole world can agree on?

How many Wales???

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