* Posts by Mike Richards

3579 posts • joined 28 Feb 2007

DARPA seeks self-aware AI robot mega-tanks

Mike Richards

Haven't I seen one of these already?

Trundling over the title credits for Terminator...

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US Navy orders new electric hyper-kill railgun

Mike Richards

@ Rodrigo Valenzuela

'But I still don't get why there are flames and other symptoms associated with chemical explosions. Why?'

One of two possible explanations come to mind:

1: The whatever-the-hell-its-made-of is being heated by friction with the air to a point where it is reacting with oxygen - i.e. burning; or;

2: Industrial Light and Magic were called in to make it a lot more impressive to an audience used to Michael Bay features.

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Too busy to make a jam sandwich? M&S can help

Mike Richards

Any chance of a decent PBJ?

You just can't get the real grape jelly on this side of the Atlantic, and the UK peanut butter isn't right either (okay it doesn't kill you either) to make the perfect peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

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AA sniffs out Blighty's best bacon sarnie

Mike Richards

One drawback

I reckon you have to do about 200 miles if you want a decent abcon sandwich, a proper cup of tea and a comfort break.

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NTT DoCoMo shows off futuristic modular phone

Mike Richards

Something's wrong

Billions of Pounds spent by a mobemaker and not one of their designs looks like an iPhone. Couldn't DoCoMo even bring themselves to mention multitouch or an App Store?

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Minister trashes ex-spook chief's liberty warning

Mike Richards

McNulty

Is one of the most repellent politicians out there right now. He has one style - bullying and hectoring. Watch him on Newsnight or Question Time, he rants when he's spoken to and sits there muttering and interrupting other contributors.

And his huge experience of security, let's see - degree in politics, postgrad degree in politics, then went on to be a councillor, then an MP.

He was a nasty piece of shit at the Home Office, he is a nasty piece of shit in his current role and he will continue to be one into the future.

Currently sitting on a 4,000 odd majority, so if there is any justice in the World we'll soon be seeing the back of him.

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Sub-prang panic: Calm down, it happens all the time

Mike Richards

French nukes

The French actually have three missile submarines, Le Triomphant, Téméraire and Vigilant. A fourth, Terrible, is under construction.

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Scots and pilots brace against ID cards

Mike Richards

@ Eponymous Cowherd

Sadly the government's response to Stella Rimmington is all too predictable:

'Dame Stella is entitled to her opinion, but it is worth repeating that Parliament has repeatedly expressed its desire to uphold the government's manifesto commitment to the introduction of biometric identity cards.

'Since Dame Stella's tenure in the security services, the situation has changed dramatically and the government has had to adapt new strategies to deal with - no you must let me finish - we have secret evidence of illegal immigrant Taliban pilots who want to upload our childrens' copyright-free naughty bits on to the Interweb...'

After that Hazel Blears' eyes will start spinning and you'll doze off into a nice sleep.

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Boffins ponder Geordies' lack of winter clothing

Mike Richards

Not just Newcastle

You see teenagers wearing next to nothing on the wintery streets of Scandinavian cities; but the frost / snow / rain / hail (usually at the same time) quickly cull them, so surviving adults walk around dressed properly in dead animals.

Reykjavik has heated pavements - which when you think about it shows a great deal of consideration for the drunks.

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Navy glovepuppets minister in carrier battle against RAF

Mike Richards

Replacing RAF Harriers

Ummmm.... correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't the RAF flying Harriers on combat missions in Afghanistan? If they want them replaced, the only other plane they've got is the ground-support Tornado which is a: crap, and b: has a turning circle slightly larger than a mountain pass.

Is the RAF actually saying they don't want to fly planes and wants to spend their billions on moustache wax and boot polish? If so, let's close the flyboys down and spend the money on buying Bolivia.

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Info chief slaps Met on CCTV in pubs

Mike Richards

Best bit in the Guardian article

'Gibson spoke to his MP, Emily Thornberry, whose offices are on the same street. But she said the right of residents not to become victims of crime overrode his concerns. "My priority is the safety of local residents and if a camera at the pub helps, then I think it should be supported."'

From Wikipedia: 'Thornberry was educated at the University of Kent at Canterbury where she studied law, and practised as a barrister specialising in human rights from 1985 to 2005'

On the evidence so far, I don't think she was very good at being a human rights lawyer.

The good news is that the android MP for Islington South and Finsbury is sitting on a majority of only 484.

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Hydrogen motoring too heavy for pundit

Mike Richards

One advantage of hydrogen

Is the time it takes to refuel. Because it's a liquid, refuelling times aren't much more than with good old-fashioned gasoline. Recharging a Tesla is an all-night affair. Now if super and ultra capicitors become a commercial reality perhaps that will change, but until then, hydrogen cars fit our needs better than electric.

But perhaps methanol is the best fuel for the interim - it's liquid, it doesn't need new engines, it can be made from fossil fuels and it has a fabulous octane rating.

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Pilots boycott gov ID cards

Mike Richards

@ bbuckle

'Haven't you heard? Apparently she is constantly accosted by people in the street demanding she speed up the introduction of ID cards.'

Is that the street in London where she has her 'main home', or the street in Redditch where she keeps the hubbie and kids?

Home Office 'Building an Orwellian Society, One Step at a Time' Press release (issue date July 2010).

Further evidence of the effectiveness of identity cards was released today. Following the successful roll-out of identity cards to British pilots, there have been no recorded instances of airline pilots committing acts of terror.

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Brit, French nuke subs collide - fail to 'see' each other

Mike Richards
Joke

Couldn't they...

...have a lookout?

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UK.gov to tap BT as data harvester

Mike Richards
Flame

@ Ben Bradley

'Connect through Sweden... https://www.relakks.com/?cid=gb'

Sweden's government is currently proposing to monitor all cross-border traffic, so that might not work for much longer. However, unlike the UK, the Swedish public have been outraged by the prospect of being snooped on, the government has been hit hard, a senior intelligence official has stood down in protest, and they've even upset their neighbours in Norway.

Over here, business as usual amongst the public - Jaaaade, Posh, Becks, Corrie...

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Amazon pulls Japanese rape simulator from shelves

Mike Richards

Vazoline

Keith Vaz is one of the most unbearably pompous people in that Thamesside gothic monstrosity full of unbearably pompous people. He's never short of something to say about a subject of which he knows nothing. Only this week he leaked a private conversation with Boris Johnson and denounced a movie which he admitted he hadn't see; so getting some publicity on the back of a game which he won't have played is just par for the course.

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Police drop investigation into 'rent-a-Lords'

Mike Richards

Memo to self...

Only commit complicated crimes.

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Satellites crash over Siberia: Iridium bird destroyed

Mike Richards

@ Mark Wills

'It's in space,'

Yes...

'and is weightless,'

Yes...

'therefore has no inertia.'

[Flicks piece of chalk] See me after school and write 'Inertia is a function of mass not of weight.' one-hundred times.

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Jacqui Smith ecstatically ignores more scientific advice

Mike Richards

Don't forget

Professor Nutt was also forced by Whacky-going-on-actively-dangerous Jacqui to make a public apology for his comparison of risks. Not that he'd got the statistics wrong, but because they didn't agree with her own beliefs.

Forward to the glorious Stalinist future!

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ICO tears school CCTV a new peephole

Mike Richards

@ Anonymous Coward

'won't somebody Think of the children?'

You're confusing teachers with Catholic priests.

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UFO ruled out of wind farm prang

Mike Richards

Where are Mulder and Scully?

Be careful Lester.

You (exclusively) reveal the literally unbelievable evidence by harnessing a mashup between Google Earth and PlayMobil...

Days later, Hans Beck, the beloved creator of everyone's favourite toy is found mysteriously dead aged a mere 79...

Now this palpably false cover story???

Just be careful when walking to the local tonight. In the meantime I'm still working on my theory that the wind turbine was powering an underground Tibetan city occupied by the self-same Nazi zombies that kidnapped the Lindbergh baby.

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Norfolk town's schools first to be heated by burning cattle

Mike Richards

More biofuels

Anyone up for a spot of whaling? Free-range, organic heating fuel and all the corsets you could want.

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Phorm: BT system 'most definitely' online by end of 2009

Mike Richards

Just left BT

And gave them the reason that Phorm was an imposition too far. A couple of days later I got a follow-up to check the MAC code migration was going smoothly and the BT person asked me why I was leaving. So I told them.

'Yes I understand,' she replied, 'you do know a lot of ISPs are going to be doing the same thing?' When I said I did know that and had chosen one without Phorm her reply came as a pleasant surprise. 'Well you've explained it very clearly to me and I can see why you might be upset. I'm osrry we've let you down on this matter.'

My switch should have taken place this afternoon, so hopefully the house hasn't burned down and I have working broadband.

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Scotland to battle grey squirrel invaders

Mike Richards

Credit crunch dining

Rename grey squirrel meat as 'spruce venison' and watch it fly off the shelves at Waitrose.

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US Navy SEALs buy twin-screen laptops, refuse Vista

Mike Richards

Gives a profound insight into future military missions

Either they'll be very short, or come with extremely long extension cords.

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Amazon unveils Kindle 2.0

Mike Richards

Why no ePub?

Just when a standard of sorts is being agreed amongst Book publishers, it's a huge shame that Amazon haven't incorporated ePub support in Kindle 2.0. Right now, Kindle is more of a closed system than SONY!

Let's hope the wireless module can be made compatible with European 3G networks.

Nice looking piece of kit though, very Apple, right down to the product shots.

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Official Amazon Kindle 2 images leak out

Mike Richards

Well it's official

And it's still for the US only and there's no ePub support - possibly the most tied device since the original iPod.

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SGI right at home in red ink

Mike Richards

Oh dear...

I wonder which of the big old names will go first - SGI or Sun? Two companies who were the hottest properties a decade or more ago, now it's hard to see what they're for.

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NASA births cliff-hanging yo-yo bot

Mike Richards

Looks familiar

One of those buggers - except it was about a mile high - menaced Moonbase Alpha in Space 1999 sometime during my childhood.

Lots of stuff blew up.

http://www.space1999.net/catacombs/main/epimg/titim0.html

Mike.

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El Reg pays tribute to father of Playmobil

Mike Richards

Clearly a fake

There's something about those images that doesn't ring true, is it the lighting? nope... is Paris' complexion a little too perfect - surely not.

Aha! It's obvious in retrospect - the supposed President Sarkozy is far too tall next to Gordon Ramsey.

I'm shocked the Register could stoop to faking pictures. I'm withholding my licence fee in protest.

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US Navy spends $12m on electric hypercannon

Mike Richards

Behold the future!

1: Switch-on electro-death cannon;

2: EMP wipes every hard disk on the ship;

3: Reinstall Windows for Warships (Ultimate Edition);

4: Repeat.

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Miliband refuses to release torture documents

Mike Richards

After all what could we do?

So if we'd released intelligence documents showing complicity in torture the Americans would have blocked intelligence collaboration. What could Britain do so the US wouldn't retaliate?

Apart from growing a pair of balls, let's see.

We could close all those 'RAF' bases America has in the UK for gathering electronic data. We could say Fylingdales and Menwith Hill will be closed immediately and scupper National Missile Defense in a stroke, we could end the lease of Diego Garcia and cripple the US in Iraq...

You know, it almost makes me wish Thatcher was still in charge, she tore a strip off Dubya's dad was equivocating over the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and reduced Reagan to jelly when he invaded Grenada.

This lot? Well the word 'quisling' keeps coming to mind.

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Jacqui Smith cracks down on gangs via computers, closets

Mike Richards

Banning colours

Any chance the courts can ban red rosettes on otherwise perfectly-normal looking adults? Because if they don't, the next time I see a Labour candidate I might not be responsible for my actions.

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One-tonne 40ft snake prowled superhot prehistoric jungles

Mike Richards

@Anonymous Coware (re: Carbononiferous air)

It's been suggested that oxygen might have been up to 35% of the atmosphere which would put it well above the level where fire becomes a real threat even in the soggiest conditions. But, in the absence of any trapped atmospheric samples from the Carboniferous, this is an extrapolation from modern insect physiognomy.

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Geekerati brace for Unix timestamp milestone

Mike Richards

What about 64-bit time wraparound?

Unsigned 64 time wraps at some point on December 4, 292,277,026,596. If they start right now and work through the nights, EDS might be able to get the Child Support Agency computers ready.

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MP wants Welsh text on ID cards

Mike Richards

@ Sarah Bee

'...made suitable for the Welsh, the colour-blind and the synaesthetic alike.'

That's a BRILLIANT idea - I want my ID card to sound like banana flavour. And I won't be happy if it's not.

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Mike Richards

Well since they're going to be useless anyway

Let's put some Gaelic on them as well.

And just for the sake of total inclusiveness - can I ask for a line or two of Icelandic (and a handy pronunciation guide)? No particular reason, I just like all the extra letters and exciting accents.

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Microsoft SKUs Windows 7 clarity

Mike Richards

Guess Apple can re-run their adverts then

This is stupid and shows Microsoft have still learning nothing from THEIR OWN 'If Microsoft Made the iPod' video. Apple get it right. Consumers have a single version, no confusion.

If Microsoft want to have different levels of experience then ship a single disk and build a smart installer that works with the user when they first put the disk in the drive, ask them questions about their use of the computer, their network connection and have a look to see what the computer can do. Make a recommendation of what will be installed - WHICH THE USER CAN ACCEPT OR ALTER - then install. If they later want to put more in or take stuff out, they put the disk back in the drive and work through the installer.

Just to let Steve B know, my consultancy rates are very affordable and I won't insist on more than the one Aston.

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Parliament probes privacy law

Mike Richards

What Parliament will do

Is immediately give MPs huge privacy rights (to protect them from terrorists, paedophiles and anyone wondering what the f-ck they do for their money) and promise to extend the same rights to the rest of us...

...just as soon as a select committee of MPs can report on the effectiveness of the law - should take no more than a couple of decades.

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Kurzweil to found 'Singularity Uni' in Silicon Valley

Mike Richards

http://singularityu.org/ gives

* Connection Failed

The system returned:

(111) Connection refused

Hey Ray, have you beamed up into a microchip without me?

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Father of Playmobil dies at 79

Mike Richards

'No horror, no superficial violence'

Does that mean Playmobil offer a 'traumatising violence' range?

I second Mark's request for a sensitive reconstruction of the funeral for those of us, (unlike Optimus Prime), who won't be able to make it.

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Asus unwraps 10in Eee with 9.5-hour battery life

Mike Richards

Look I know the weather's cold, but...

...this *IS* an Eee article - so where is she?

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Iranian rocket puts satellite into orbit

Mike Richards

Any independent corroberation?

Has anyone other than the Iranians tracked the satellite yet?

They wouldn't be the first country to claim to have put something into orbit but failed to do so. In 1998, North Korea, that other workers' paradise, claimed to have orbited Kwangmyongsong-1 playing proletarian toe-tappers such as "Song of General Kim Il Sung" and "Song of General Kim Jong Il". Despite millions of people twiddling their radio knobs to pick up these heady tunes, not a whisper was ever heard and it is believed that the launch was either just a missile test or that the satellite never reached orbital velocity.

Speaking of our fun-loving Stalinist friends, I see they're planning on making things in Asia just a bit more exciting than they were already:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article5647653.ece

Mike.

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Ares I manned rocket section explodes in testing

Mike Richards

'The Ares I test is supposed to take place this year'

No it's not. The first test of Ares 1 is due in 2011.

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Passport RFIDs cloned wholesale by $250 eBay auction spree

Mike Richards

@jake

Well said.

'No politician anywhere on the planet knows what security is. You might ask "Well, why do they keep layering on so-called "security", adding complexity, thus ensuring that it isn't even close to secure?" Good question ...'

My guess. They think that computer security is like door locks. A door with two locks is more secure than one, so in the simple world of a politician, the same must apply to computers. And no IT provider staring billions in the eyes is going to dissuade them of that are they?

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Wrong kind of winter brings England to a halt

Mike Richards

Never a truer word spoken

thetrainline.com

'Failed to connect'

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EU funds Antipodes-in-90-mins rocketliner concept

Mike Richards

Hugely disappointing

Not the ridiculous timescale, but the drawing.

When NASA wanted to get Joe Sixpack interested in space they went to Colliers and commissioned magnificent works of art of Werner von Braun's dreams (the ones that didn't involve screaming starving slaves). When Britain was still in the space race, kids could see the Blue Streak wedged in the middle of their Eagle comics with every part from the 0.075" thruster grommit lovingly labelled and described.

The we got Gerry Anderson hacking Airfix tanks into Eagles, UFO Interceptors and strange purple wigs. Space was exciting, and - in the case of 'UFO', slightly kinky.

Now this?

Not even a whiff of dry ice.

I wouldn't give them a penny until they come up with the X100 Fireblade-Eins - a swoopy thing depicted roaring out of Heathrow in BOAC colours in an artwork so exciting it will moisten even the stoniest of Euro gussets.

Then they can have a squillion quid. Just so long as Richard Branson isn't allowed anywhere near it.

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UK.gov backs ISPs on charging content providers, throttling P2P

Mike Richards

No surprise here

Andy Burnham is so far up the music industry's arse that he could be their dentist.

BTW. Does he remind anyone else of Una Stubb's timeless interpretation of Aunt Sally in Worzel Gummage?

http://www.andyburnham.org/galleryimages/full4.jpg

(Warning twin tw*t action)

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Time to axe Microsoft's Zune

Mike Richards

Good and bad

The on-screen Interface to the Zune is beautiful and much, much better than the original iPod's. BUT the case is big and chunky and you can't get past the first impression it is an inferior iPod clone.

But the real killer was the iPhone / iPod Touch transformed the market; with nothing similar, Zune just looked old fashioned.

I do like the twin-shot moulding process that gives the case two colours. Shame it wasn't utilised by a company with any taste. I mean - brown???

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Tories put toes on Linux bandwagon

Mike Richards

Awesome...

...make every computer in government run Linux and even the simplest tasks will become so complex and time consuming there won't be any time left over for any Orwellian projects.

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