* Posts by Mike Richards

3603 posts • joined 28 Feb 2007

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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Absolutely Fabulous ups sticks to LA

Mike Richards

Oooh this is like a confessional

All these years and I felt so alone in hating Absolutely Fabulous - and The Vicar of Dibley, and only Fools and Horses, and The Royle Family, and Little Britain...

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Home Office promises better personal data guards

Mike Richards

All Home Office personal data will be encrypted

With the password attached on a yellow PostIt note.

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Obama's rainbow stealth aircraft uncloaks over Virginia

Mike Richards

@ Paul

'That most of the people at DARPA dont care if it is death tech or not, just as long as it is "outside the box".'

All very true, but it does rather beg the question - 'what are DARPA projects delivered in, if they're already outside of the box?'

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Apple boasts record Q1 as revenue tops $10bn

Mike Richards

"We think the products there are inferior."

Doesn't mean they're not getting into the netbook market, it means that nothing out there right now is what they think a netbook should be like. Just like the way Apple considered phones before the iPhone to be "inferior".

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Rapists should be raped, declares Jordan

Mike Richards

Finally an answer...

...to the tricky question. 'Who's dumber - Paris or Jordan?'

Thanks to her comprehensive energy policy, Paris is the brains of the outfit.

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Spy chief to Obama: Let DARPA fix economy

Mike Richards

Ready and waiting

I'm not even American, but I'm more than willing to offer my half-baked, left-field, crazy-ass ideas to DARPA in exchange for a warm patriotic glow, a moderately ludicrous salary, a Corvette and a secret volcano lair.

For instance, perfecting my economy-saving stealth manatee will only cost a few billion...

...and an Aston Martin...

...and Iceland ('cos how many other countries tell you what they're like on the label?)

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Boffin seeks $300,000 to build eight-wheel 230mph EV

Mike Richards

The side of me that's still a six year old...

...so wants one of these.

Will 'Captain Scarlet' style backwards-facing seats be a build-to-order option?

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Empire Direct goes titsup

Mike Richards

@Anonymous Coward

'I recently bough a TV off them with a 5 year warranty. I guess that is now not worth the email it's written on :('

You're okay if it's a manufacturer's warranty - in which case as long as the maker is in business you're okay; or if ED sold another company's policy. If there's another name on the policy give them a ring and see if you're covered. You're only absolutely screwed if it was an ED extended warranty.

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Retired army generals: Spend Trident money on the army

Mike Richards

@ Glyn

The discrepancy is that Trident is a MIRV missile - that is one mind-bendingly expensive missile can do the work of half a dozen older ones, by deploying multiple warheads which each steer their way to a city of *YOUR* choosing.

Honestly, what's not love?

Each Trident missile can carry up to eight warheads which means you could use one to blow up most of London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield and Edinburgh and still have one left over for Milton Keynes (just because).

How cool is that???

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Aussie air zealot savages prêt-à-porter stealth fighter

Mike Richards

Why I hate the F-111

It killed off the awesomely beautiful TSR-2.

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Forget Google rationing: Only lighting farts can save the planet

Mike Richards

Platinum panties

If M&S started selling y-fronts with built in catalytic converters they'd crack the greenhouse emissions problem *AND* cut down on bad smells.

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UK.gov 'to create anti-net piracy agency'

Mike Richards

I must be getting old

Because I can remember the concept of rights as being a positive thing - what you're allowed to do, what you are protected from, that sort of thing.

But now under NewLab rights have become the things you aren't allowed to do on the grounds you'll either upset a squillionaire or become a terrorist.

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Asus confirms Eee phone

Mike Richards

Where is she???

Come on Reg, we want mockup images complete with totty.

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Canon Digital Ixus 980 IS compact camera

Mike Richards

Same chippery as the 5D

Counts for buggery when the only option is to save the images as JPEG. Surely a RAW option is long overdue?

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Another miserable quarter for Dixons

Mike Richards

Pixmania

Used to be excellent - got a TV off them at a cracking price; but last year I wanted an Asus Eee, they were the only place with them in stock, but refused to ship unless I sent them a copy of my passport or driving licence.

So after a quick WTF, I decided to go somewhere else and wait.

Knowing it's part of the Dixons group makes a bizarre policy almost understandable.

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IWF confirms Wayback Machine porn blacklisting

Mike Richards

Strangely

BT aren't being the usual bunch of censorious cnuts - it's working for me.

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Pioneer calls a halt to LaserDisc hardware production

Mike Richards

' LaserDiscs didn't suffer picture degradation over time as VHS does.'

Oh yes they did, it was called laser rot and it was caused by improper sealing of the disk allowing oxygen to react with the aluminium layer.

And it could happen fast. My LD of 'Contact' became unplayable in only a couple of years.

But the image quality of a good LD was something to behold when the only alternative was VHS.

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SpaceX erects Phallus Falcon 9 rocket

Mike Richards

Quick erection...

Being able to erect the rocket quickly means its less prone to damage in rain, lightning or high winds which are more common in Florida than you might think. The existing Shuttle and ELVs can sit on a pad for days whilst they are checked out, plugged in, fuelled and the like. Some of the smaller rockets can be screened entirely from the elements, but the big ones are terribly vulnerable.

Of course the coolest were some of the old Titan missiles which were launched from underground bunkers on pop-up launchpads like something from a Gerry Anderson movie.

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UK.gov to push Obama for tougher rules online

Mike Richards

Me-too fascism from New Labour

Italy's 21st Century Il Duce wants to regulate the Internet and now Andy 'Does his mum know where he is?' Burnham jumps up and says 'me too! me too!'

How long before the creep (the process not Burnham) sets in and, (under pressure from the likes of this odious little gobshite), ISPs refuse to host sites that don't come with a 'KiddyFriendly' sticker and a nice picture of Andy Burnham stroking kittens?

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NASA will give away old Shuttles for free

Mike Richards

@ Mike Flugennock

Sorry, the Buran orbiter was totally destroyed in 2002 when the roof of its hanger collapsed. The second orbiter was practically complete when the programme was cancelled and might still be intact somewhere at Baikonur.

Some of the non-spaceworthy analogues are still around; one is in Germany, another was (is?) in Gorki Park, Moscow and another is parked outside at Baikonur.

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Tesla takes Top Gear test to task

Mike Richards

Hydrogen as a fuel

Iceland is dedicated to becoming a hydrogen economy to replace expensive imported oil (I say 'expensive'; filling up a car in the middle of nowhere in Iceland is still cheaper than doing it in the UK).

They've run a number of trials with buses around Reykjavik refuelling from a dedicated hydrogen station on the outskirts of the city, which produces hydrogen on-site using electrolysis. The next stage was to see if hydrogen could be used as a fuel for smaller vehicles and as a ship fuel and a study to see if it was economically viable to export liquid hydrogen to Europe.

Of course they're lucky - sitting on almost limitless hydro and geothermal reserves, it's cheap and easy to make hydrogen - something that isn't the case in the UK or most of the rest of Europe. So if the Icelanders have any sense they're already planning their revenge on the UK when they'll be able to turn off our LH2 supply as easily as we can shut down their banks.

More info here:

http://www.ectos.is/en/icelandic_new_energy/

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Jacqui calls Vodafone man to run massive snoop database

Mike Richards

eStasi

With the productive part of the economy seriously screwed by the non-productive part (New Labour and investment banking alike); there's soon going to be millions of people out of work and desperately needing new forms of employment.

And what better way than having the jobless pressed into service snooping on all our phone calls, IMs and web surfing? Even better, single mums will be able to spy on people from the comfort of their own homes - so no need to pay child care.

In Jacqui's world, every day will be like waking up in Pyongyang without the Dear Leader's sense of whimsy.

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Sony Rolly dancing MP3 player

Mike Richards

Should make a bright pink one

'Cos I'd pay money to see a pack of AIBOs chasing that around the room.

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Battery builders beg for $1bn

Mike Richards

Sounds familiar

Older readers will remember 1980s America pouring billions into fabs so it would have a guaranteed supply of memory chips in case of war with Japan.

How well did that go again?

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Attack of the quarter-ton, 'fridge-sized' killer jellyfish

Mike Richards

Lewis: you missed out a key piece of advice

For some of us with busy lives*; El Reg is the only place to look for post Cnidarian survival guides (and Paris Hilton updates).

You should have included the useful hint that many jellyfish venoms can by pissing on it - the wound, not the jellyfish - that just makes them angry.

* for certain definitions of the word 'busy'.

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Hutton robs forces, pours MoD cash into UK arms biz

Mike Richards

Our ongoing delusion

When are British politicians finally going to grasp the fact we're not a major power any more and we really don't have huge interests around the World that need defending. We're just the latest big European power to find the world's moved on. The Swedes used to dominate the military balance in Central Europe, now they've decided they can do much better selling flat-pack to the rest of the World whilst defending their own territory. Do the Dutch really miss their global empire and massive Navy? What about the Portuguese and the Spanish?

Let's just accept it, Britain: it's a bit crap.

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