* Posts by Mike Richards

3579 posts • joined 28 Feb 2007

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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Bollywood to remake The Italian Job

Mike Richards

“lots of singing and dancing”

Not a good plan when your van is teetering on the brink of a cliff.

As for M7S's idea of other Bollywood remakes.

'Die Hard'

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UK e-tailers scurry to scrap dodgy Heavy Metal covers

Mike Richards

Surely time for an in-depth Reg investigation of the IWF?

My eminently sensible suggestion is that anyone who wants to apply for a job with the IWF is the sort of reactionary Daily Mail 'just think of the children' busybody who should be banned from such a responsible position. The one who slimed his way on to Channel 4 last night - well he's the sort of creep that my mum used to warn me about.

The only people getting aroused by this album are the likes of Jacqui Smith who even now is probably writhing in ecstasy at the prospect of lots more stuff getting banned soon.

Yeah I know, I've put the thought of an aroused Jacqui Smith in your mind now...

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Carphone co-founder quits over secret share pledge

Mike Richards

£100 million in borrowing?

What was he doing, paying off an Ocean Finance loan?

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Jacqui Smith denies any knowledge of police search

Mike Richards

Why don't I believe her?

(Apart from the obvious)

Boris Johnson knew beforehand and David Cameron was also informed immediately before.

Are we supposed to believe that servants would have left either the Home Secretary or Prime Minister ignorant of the situation if a senior Tory had got on the phone to tell them this was an outrage?

That Jacqui Smith is ignorant is a given, that she was ignorant of this is a good old fashioned Melton Mowbray of a lie.

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'Faith-based' investment firm fingers holiday's most sinful games

Mike Richards

This could backfire

Clever games companies will simply stick the Timothy score on the box.

'A must have game!' (Joystick wigglers)

'Awesome' (The Times)

'36/39' (Timothy Guide)

'New Diana Revelations' (The Daily Express)

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Human rights court rules UK DNA grab illegal

Mike Richards

One for the lawyers

Now the highest court in Europe has concluded that the UK has breached the ECHR, does this mean that anyone else who has had their records retained on the database can sue the government?

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Mike Richards

ECHR != EU

They are completely different organisations.

Having said which - bloody good decision, Jacqui really is having a shitola week isn't she?

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Merseyside plant to punch out Chevy Volt

Mike Richards

Government money?

Going into GM, a American company that's about to go spectacularly tits-up.com? What could possibly go wrong?

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Supersonic fighters could snuff out hurricanes

Mike Richards

Now if only...

...someone had built a supersonic airliner that could supercruise for hours on end without needing an afterburner...

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Tories release MP office raid footage

Mike Richards

Kettle meet pot, pot meet kettle

'She accused the Tories of condoning "systematic" leaking of confidential Home Office information.'

A bit like those helpful-to-the-Labour-Party leaks from inside the Treasury that kept ending up with Robert Peston at the BBC?

F'rkrissakes Jacqui when you're in a hole stop digging instead of asking for a bigger shovel.

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Gov beta test for grid-friendly, carbon-saving smart fridges

Mike Richards

Think big...

Lay a cable between Britain and Iceland and tap into some of their enormous untapped hydroelectric potential. We get a huge amount of clean electricity, they get lots of hard currency and a diversified economy.

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Teen-bothering sonic device now does grownups too

Mike Richards

Big question

'"It is quieter than a child playing the violin," inventor Howard Stapleton told the Beeb.'

Yes, but is it as annoying as a child playing the violin?

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Nuke-nobbler raygun 747 in first full-power blast

Mike Richards

Just wondering...

...how long it took to get all those nasty chemicals onboard using the regulation 100ml bottles.

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Lord Lamont joins Phorm board

Mike Richards

Bright side...

He might be as shite at this job as he was being Chancellor of the Exchequer.

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Portsmouth gets crime-predicting CCTV

Mike Richards

South West England?

Presumably this a version of the South West which encompasses everything West of Reading and South of Birmingham?

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Wireless comms and the end of civilisation

Mike Richards

Isn't the real problem with Survivors

That it's a terrible remake of a frankly-not-very-good original?

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MoD kit chief: Blighty unsure of supersonic stealth jumpjet

Mike Richards

One simple question

What are these carriers for?

Are they another part of the MoD's macho strategy to try and fool the world + dog into thinking that Britain isn't a clapped out medium-sized country, or a turbine powered job creation scheme for Gordon Brown's constituents?

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BBC relives The Day of The Triffids

Mike Richards

"fast-paced, futuristic and electrifying take"

So nothing like the book which imagined the slowest, dullest apocalypse ever to befall mankind.

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Counter-terror police arrest Tory frontbencher

Mike Richards

Jacqui Smith told me...

...that Britain was crawling with terrorists who were only minutes away from exploding a ricin laced fizzy drinks can containing anthrax.

So I'd have thought that the anti-terror police would have been far too busy protecting us from mad mullahs and animal rights nutters to bother investigating government leaks.

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Satanic net neologisms - nominations invited

Mike Richards

'Squee!'

which is usually found hanging around 'lolz' and should be permanently joined to it - with a rusty nail embedded in the hand of the person who typed it in - but then I'm just a soft-hearted liberal.

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Dixons plunges to loss

Mike Richards

@ Craig Roberts

'Is there (and if there isn't - why the hell not?) a way for the general public to force a General Election? '

In short. No there isn't. The UK constitution (written on the back of a thousand now long-lost fag packets) has a model where the electorate turn all political decisions over to their betters in the House of Commons and then has no involvement in the 'democratic process' for the next few years. The only way an election can be called are:

1: at the end of a Parliamentary term (a maximum of five years);

2: the decision of the then Prime Minister to call an election at a time of his or her choosing;

3: the government losing a vote of 'no confidence' in the House of Commons - although this is more the done thing than any particular piece of statute. This is how the last Labour government fell in 1979;

4: the government losing a finance bill (the Budget) - again, not constitutionally required, but IIRC it has happened at least once in the 19th Century.

The monarch has no ability to independently dissolve Parliament. There is a fig leaf of doing so when the Prime Minister requests it prior to an election.

I do like the Eddie Izzard idea though.

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Ashdown brain trust: Democracy isn't a human right

Mike Richards

Democracy

From the quote they're not saying we have to be friends with China, or even approve of their politics; only that we cannot change them into a Western democracy. I think the report is calling for a new form of detente - we have profound differences with the other powers in the World, but those differences should not prevent us from engaging with them on matters of common concern.

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Yes! It's the USB Toaster!

Mike Richards

In other breaking news...

...just in from Oregon - the story of the exploding whale.

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Jamming convicts' mobiles works

Mike Richards

First amendment?

An interesting defence - use of the part of the Constitution that guarantees your free speech to deprive people of theirs. Gotta love the First Amendment, it's pretty much good for any purpose - if only we had something similar over here on the right-hand bank of the Atlantic.

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