* Posts by Mike Richards

3615 posts • joined 28 Feb 2007

Era of the Pharaohs: Climate was HOTTER THAN NOW, without CO2

Mike Richards

Re: Elevation changes

Alexandria was a particularly poor choice of Lewis' because sea levels there are very variable caused by (amongst other things), abstraction of fresh water from the aquifers, the compaction of the Nile Delta and especially the area slumping into the Med following the 365CE Cretan earthquake.

4
0

Ten serious sci-fi films for the sentient fan

Mike Richards

Does Brazil (aka. the Home Office's Amazon wishlist) count as Science Fiction?

18
0
Mike Richards

Strange Days

Bit of an underappreciated classic methinks. Directed by Katherine Bigelow who got the rights as part of her divorce settlement with James Cameron who wrote the script. It has dated a bit because they chose to set it in 2000 and the technology seems to involve MiniDiscs; but the idea of people recording their experiences seems somewhat prescient in the era of Google Glass.

The opening POV robbery is a work of genius and it has the amazing Angela Bassett as one of Cameron's strong female roles. There are a couple of incredibly violent scenes, including a rape, which some people might find too much.

24
1

'Million-strong' zombie army devours Raspberry Pi's crunchy base

Mike Richards

Re: Motivation for DDOS attacks.

I'd have guesstimated that 100% of DDoS was down to pure twattery.

8
0

Incoming comet will probably miss Mars, says NASA

Mike Richards

Re: "NASA's current prediction of the comet's path."

There's a better visualisation of the trajectory here:

http://spaceobs.org/en/news/page/2/

As you can see, the comet makes a tight turn around Mars before heading out again.

0
0

Inside Lord Sugar's 'you're fired' YouView bust-up with TV baron

Mike Richards

Was it just me...

...thinking that this is crying out for a Playmobil reconstruction?

0
0

Belgian boffins find colossal meteorite

Mike Richards

Re: Why...

It's a combination of reasons, there is little precipitation in Antarctica so they don't get covered by snow and ice, likewise no vegetation to hide them. Most meteorites are black so they really stand out on the ice. (Similarly, the North African desert is a good meteorite hunting site because the meteorites sit on the surface for thousands of years).

If you're doing a magnetic survey, iron and stony-iron meteorites will be immediately visible to the sensors. Finally, those that do eventually get covered by the ice are transported to ablation zones where the ice sublimes and melts leaving meteorites behind, so you can get enormous concentrations of meteoritic rock at the toe of glaciers.

HTH.

0
0

Official: Sky to buy O2 and BE's home broadband product in £200m deal

Mike Richards

Judging by the reaction on the BE forums you're far from alone, there's a stampede for the exits going on. My 12 month contract expires next week and I won't be renewing.

0
0
Mike Richards

Re: hhhmmmm?

Thanks, it looks like Zen (although their data allowance is miserly), PlusNet or Zilo for me. Anyone use the latter? I hadn't heard of them, but they seem to be quite appealing.

0
0
Mike Richards

'Results in 404 - lol.'

I got a 403 when I followed the link from my email, so maybe it's a countdown?

2
0
Mike Richards

Re: hhhmmmm?

One of the best ISPs has just been taken over by one of the worst (with extra Murdoch badness bonus).

Crap, it's getting really hard to find an ISP that gives a damn these days. Guess I'll have to start hunting all over again as soon as my 12 month BE contract expires, there's no way I'll put up with Sky's miserable service and ownership.

9
0

Texan contends iPod EXPLODED IN HER FACE

Mike Richards

'medical bills of an astronomical "amount in excess of $600.00,"'

$600?

In the US that gets you an X-ray and a pack of aspirin.

6
1

Ancient lost continent discovered lounging on Mauritian beach

Mike Richards

More likely you'll find that someone else on a higher paygrad grabs a bag full of sand and you spend a few years counting zircon grains.

Me? Bitter? Never.

3
0
Mike Richards

Gondwana

The article conflates two supercontinents. Gondwana is the southern fragment of the Pangaea supercontinent, not part of Rodinia.

And Mantle plumes are only thought to be a partial explanation for continental breakup. They also appear to disintegrate when they get too big as the Mantle beneath their interiors becomes increasingly insulated, making them weaker. At the same time, large oceanic plates eventually cool and begin to subduct, pulling the continental plate apart.

6
0

John Sweeney: Why Church of Scientology's gravest threat is the 'net

Mike Richards

Re: Sweeney

'Isn't it ironic that the above was posted anonymously'

Xenu reveals himself in mysterious ways.

1
0
Mike Richards

Re: Psychlos

Their 'bible' is 'Dianetics' which isn't nearly as good read as 'Battlefield Earth' (which is itself a shockingly bad book). You have been warned.

In case you're curious Xenu doesn't pop up in either book. You have to part with the big money to get treated to that story. Or just watch 'South Park'.

10
0

Sony promises PC-based PlayStation 4 for Christmas

Mike Richards

Re: Sony have dropped the ball

I must be in a tiny minority, but I find the asymmetric angular shapes of the PS2 and PS3 to be bloody ugly. It's only that they're so black that prevents them being a complete eyesore. Much prefer the shape of the original 360.

1
1
Mike Richards

Re: Price...

Commodity bits aren't always the bargain they seem.

Microsoft lost lots of money on the original Xbox hardware because they couldn't control the price of key components such as the CPU, graphics chip and hard disk. Specifying and co-designing their hardware pretty much from the ground-up for the 360 actually saved money in the long term.

0
0

Oklahoma cops rake ashes of 'spontaneous combustion' victim

Mike Richards

Re: I thought this kind of thing had been explained as a 'wick effect'?

Wow! That brings back memories of the early 1980s. The Unexplained I should - erm - explain - not having spontananeously combusted myself.

To bring back another raft of memories, didn't QED do this experiment with a pig carcass wrapped in muslin? My memory isn't what it used to be and it's so very long since BBC1 actually did science programming.

1
0
Mike Richards

It's Oklahoma so

It's either God or the Devil - the catch-all explanation for anything in the MidWest.

0
0

Clarkson: 'I WILL find and KILL the spammers who hacked me'

Mike Richards

Re: OK by me

'Janet Jackson, in the Reliant Stadium, with a wardrobe malfunction.'

Colonel Mustard in the Library with the lead pipe.

1
0
Mike Richards

If I was going to be hunted down by a celebrity assassin

'Former Dr Who actress Karen Gillan, who played Amy Pond in the series, was stung by a similar diet-pushing spambot. She did not respond to the intrusion with threats on the lives of the perpetrators.'

I'd rather it was the lovely Ms. Gillan and not Jeremy Clarkson. It'd have more of an Emma Peel vibe to it that way.

1
0

Nature pulls ‘North Korean radioactivity’ story

Mike Richards

Re: Previous NK tests yeilded zero radioactivity

Fission-derived isotopes were detected after the first test from as far away as Canada, so it was definitely nuclear.

The real question this raises is why is North Korea so bad at making bombs? Every other country has been able to get 12-20kt out of their first nuclear test. NK's first test was 500t, their second 2.4kt, their third might be as much as 7kt.

0
0

BBC: Monster cargo ship delivers '863 million tins of baked beans'

Mike Richards

Very disappointed

They should have said how many Olympic-sized swimming pools could be contained in the ship.

Or would they make it sink?

0
0
Mike Richards

Re: American Broadcasting Corporation?

Alternatively, the BBC was just indulging in some lazy churnalism from the Maersk press release. Check the second photo on the page - it's Times Square:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21432226

3
0

Mega-rotund Dotcom's Mega gobbles up Bitcoin payments

Mike Richards

Re: Bitcoin A-go-go

I see the price of a Bitcoin has nearly doubled in the last month. Anyone like to speculate why?

0
0

Russian boffins race to meteorite crash lake as shard prices go sky-high

Mike Richards

Berlin Wall

For a good few years there was a healthy market in East German concrete to gullible westerners.

If this meteor was indeed a stone rather than iron, there's going to be lots of people paying top sums for any old bit of rock.

1
0

Wikipedia's Gibraltar 'moratorium' - how's it going?

Mike Richards

Re: Interesting...

Never been there, but I've got the impression that Gibraltar is like a Disneyland for Daily Express readers.

2
2

HYPERSONIC METEOR smashes into Russia, injuring hundreds

Mike Richards

Re: On the seismograph

The 6.6. is quite interesting as it's in a region where the plate boundary between the Eurasian and North American plate isn't well understood.

0
0
Mike Richards

Nitpicking...

'Up to 500 people are believed to be injured after a meteorite blazed through the sky'

That would be a meteor blazing through the sky from which meteorites might have been recovered.

I now return you to the scheduled iOS versus Apple flamewar.

4
0

Forget wireless power for phones - Korea's doing it for BUSES

Mike Richards

One day we'll wake up

To find someone's nicked the M25 for copper.

0
0

Which volcanoes impacted ancient climate? Sulphur tells the story

Mike Richards

Re: The chances of it discriminating accurately between 535 and 541

The 535 event is intriguing because it is even larger in magnitude and area than the 1816 'Year without a summer' caused by Mount Tambora. Reports of incredibly cold winters, crop failure and dry sulfurous fogs extend from Northern Europe to China, the Middle East and South America.

A volcano is the most likely cause, but one at high latitudes (such as those in Iceland) would be unlikely to affect the Southern Hemisphere, so efforts have previously concentrated on suitably monstrous mountains in the tropics including Rabaul (New Guinea (erupting right now)) and Lake Ilopango (El Salvador). To cause the drop in temperatures it would have to be a VEI 7 eruption - think ten Pinatubos or one-thousand Eyjafjallajökulls. Last year there was also a suggestion it might have been caused by a devastating, eruption of Krakatau previously dated to 416 from Javanese historical records. There is however little geological evidence at Krakatau of an eruption in the mid-6th Century.

Going back to Iceland, if they can find a sulfur spike in a core from the Greenland cap (which can be pretty easily dated to individual years) which has a sulfur isotope imbalance they can ascribe it to a large event in Iceland at a fixed time. Most Icelandic eruptions don't inject much sulfur into the stratosphere, so for the isotopes to be buggered it would have to be a big one along the lines of the VEI 6 Eldgjá and Laki eruptions of 934 and 1783 respectively - neither of which did much good to the environment.

3
0

NASA melts mysterious 'metal Martian flower' myth

Mike Richards

Re: I'm no nutter (well, maybe) but...

'im no geologist but im guessing this happens over periods of hundreds of thousands of years.'

Yep. or as a geologist would say 'almost instantly'.

2
0

Rogue Squadron: Unit of X-wings Kickstarts in response to Death Star

Mike Richards

Many.

0
0

Montana TV warns of ZOMBIE ATTACK in epic prank hack

Mike Richards

Are we sure this is a spoof?

Does anyone know *anyone* in Montana?

It'd be the perfect spot for the dead to rise from their graves and establish their empire without being noticed until they'd taken over the ICBM silos.

2
0

Playmobil punts bank-heist set to wide-eyed kiddies

Mike Richards

Re: Tut tut, elReg, please do your research.

Sweden, Luxembourg, France, Cyprus, the Netherlands, Romania?

I wonder if that donkey was eligible for Airmiles.

0
0
Mike Richards

Pressure groups

They always have such stupid names 'Communities Against Gun and Knife Crime'

Like there's a Communities For Gun and Knife Crime lobby group somewhere.

0
1

Pope resigns months after launching social networking effort

Mike Richards

Re: The Church is definitely not a business.

Rupert Murdoch is not only a Catholic, he is a Papal Knight of the Order of St. Gregory the Great.

As is Jimmy Savile.

Clearly the entrance requirements might need tightening up.

6
0
Mike Richards

Re: The Church is definitely not a business.

'He's lasted 7 years. In industry, what CEO presiding over falling customer numbers, reduced income, and general staff dissatisfaction, would have lasted so long? Especially as his recipe for fixing the problems as "OK, let's do things like we did last century. Or preferably the one before."'

We have all been wondering what it would take for Ballmer to step down from Microsoft.

2
0

Curiosity photographs mysterious metal object on Martian rock

Mike Richards

I remember this

'You are in a 20-foot depression floored with bare dirt. Set into the dirt is a strong steel grate mounted in concrete. A dry streambed leads into the depression.

The grate is locked.'

>

Use the key! Use the key!

15
0

British games company says it owns the idea of space marines

Mike Richards

Other Games Workshop trademarks

Include: Orc, Goblin, Undead, Codex, Inferno, Inquisitor, Marauder, Dwarf, Elves, Terra, Mars, Armageddon, Halfling and Ogre.

In a way you have to admire them for their brass necks.

1
0

Apple serves up 25 BEEELLIONTH iTunes download

Mike Richards

14,000 years of Coldplay

That's the lift music in Hell.

8
0

The truth on the Navy carrier debacle? Industry got away with murder

Mike Richards

Re: BAE 89% on budget --- after being paid for features that are not delivered

Is the MoD/BAE definition of 'on budget' along the same lines as First Great Western's definition of 'on time'?

2
0
Mike Richards

Re: Eh?

@TheBigYin 'Also, why wasn't the feckin' thing nuclear?'

Oh Jesus, can you imagine how much BAE would shaft us for a nuclear carrier?

1
0
Mike Richards

Re: It's this bit that worries me the most:

The folks in the MoD are all planning their move to BAE, so it's in their interests to send work BAE's way and to fatten them up nicely.

Remember the carrier contract when the government next says we have to lay off thousands of soldiers, police, NHS workers and the like - for 'austerity'.

7
0

NASA deep space probe sends back video of 'Comet of the Century'

Mike Richards

Re: Was anybody else...

It really needed a theramin soundtrack.

8
0

Solar undercuts coal in New Mexico

Mike Richards

Re: We've had wind and solar power, like forever.

No it didn't. The Industrial Revolution got going with water power. Coal came later.

1
0
Mike Richards

Re: El Reg need better researchers...

Montana gets about 60% of its power by burning local coal which comes in huge, flat beds and is very low cost. Another third comes from hydropower.

2
0

Google's Glasses: The tech with specs appeal?

Mike Richards

Re: To sum the article...

'Still its friday, so might find time for some fermented vegetable products.'

Is it my turn to buy the sauerkraut already?

0
0
Mike Richards

Re: What's needed is ......

That's not a headband - it's a bandana!

1980s action hero approved.

1
0

Forums