* Posts by Dr Patrick J R Harkin

727 posts • joined 22 Jan 2008

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Voyager's Golden Record now free to download

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

There are some great sounds on there.

My favourite is "Dear Aliens, have you mistakenly been sold Payment Protection Insurance?"

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NASA briefing in HOURS: 'We are upon the CUSP of finding ANOTHER EARTH'

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

I've seen that film.

It seems attractive at first, but it NEVER ends well.

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Robot surgeons kill 144 patients, hurt 1,391, malfunction 8,061 times

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Re: Wot?

"Sparks burning the patient? Mad." Not TOO mad - surgical diathermy is (vast oversimplification) a deliberate burn intended either to cauterise or cut. I was once on the receiving end of some (non-surgical) low-frequency diathermy when the machine caught fire...

I smiled at the machines powering down until I remembered that it's not unknown for human surgeons to power down (permanently) during operations.

These figures are really interesting but I don't know with what to compare them.

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Australia to run first robo-car trials in sleepy Adelaide

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

It's not really a fair trial though, is it?

Avoiding obstacles isn't hard if there's nothing to hit.

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Why the BBC is stuffing free Micro:bit computers into schoolkids' satchels

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Microsoft Word

The early DOS version of Word was... an education. It made me the man I am today - grey-haired, balding and easily startled.

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Dr Patrick J R Harkin
Coat

" I wrote my PhD Thesis on an Archimedes..."

Did you have the external drive enclosures, or did you have very small handwriting?

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LG's six-sided battery to take smart watches into new timezones

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Watches are round, batteries are square...

Watches are round because of the rotating hand display; there's no mechanical or aesthetic need for something worn on the wrist to be circular. A screen based watch has no real need to be round. So - are hexagonal batteries a solution looking for a problem?

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How swearing at your coworker via WhatsApp could cost you $68,000

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Re: Work in a third world backward nation...

I thought 1st world = Mercury, 2nd world = Venus and 3rd world = us.

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Testing Windows 10 on Surface 3: Perfect combo or buggy embuggerance?

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Re: Weather chart

I am adopting the phrase "Amber alert" to mean "Management have just made a decision which will drive us all to drink". I expect it to get a lot of use.

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Les unsporting gits! French spies BUGGED Concorde passengers

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Not an ideal eavesdropping environment....

I wonder if they got any useful recordings.

"We're aiming for the French vote."

"Sorry? You're claiming a trench coat? Why? I though it would be the oil."

"Tea tree oil? I suppose we could deal with that. In exchange for lumber?"

"You want to change to the Humber? OK, I think we could do that."

And repeat until the drinks trolley comes by again...

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But ... but iOS 9 could BLOCK my Ad-Block, dev squeals

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

"either the best possible landscape for Safari extensions, or the worst"

So either it'll make things better or it'll make them worse.

It's for seasoned analysis that this that I read El Reg...

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Camgirls, crypto currency and beer: The Register tours the Dark Net

Dr Patrick J R Harkin
Coat

Good talk

Sadly, my computer only seems to connect to the dork web...

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KA-BOOM! Russian rocket EXPLODES over Siberia minutes after lift-off

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

That launch setup

It really looks like something out of a Gerry Anderson show! (apart from Fireball XL5, obviously.)

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Apple Watch rationing caused by the MOON GOAT, not quality

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Lunar holiday affected production?

Just how long was this holiday?

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NASA's Messenger craft SMASHES into Mercury: See ya later, alien crater

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Dear engineers,

The Mercury Messenger probe lasted years beyond expected life span.

The Mars Opportunity Rover has gone 40 times over it's expected lifespan.

Why does my phone become obsolete every 12 months????

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Geneva boffins make light work of random numbers

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Hmmm.

Not.

A.

Word.

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NASA 'UFO' pops a leak, lands in outback Australia

Dr Patrick J R Harkin
Joke

"for safety, issued flight termination commands"

I believe the assembler opcode is BalloonAcquireNearestGround.

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Short circuit at Large Hadron Collider slows return to matter-mauling

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

So, the fix plan it:

1. Blow down it and see if it comes out the end

2. Give it a bit of a thump and see if that sorts it out.

You can see why Sheldon is dismissive of engineers...

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Fanbois: We paid $2000 for full satisfaction but now we have SPREADING STAINS

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

I was very careful cleaning my laptop.

I used the delicate spin cycle and a non-bio detergent and everything...

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Cisco posts kit to empty houses to dodge NSA chop shops

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

I've read about routers with backdoors installed but...

I was never sure how to pronounce Huawei -so it's "sis-ko", is it?

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RIP Leonard Nimoy: He lived long and prospered

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Can I just decloak my real age here...

...by saying I remember him best for the Mission Impossible TV series?

I can't quite accept that he's dead. They tried to fool us once before but he came back. So I'm still hoping...

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NERDGASM as Apple announces 'special event'

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

I think I know what it'll be.

It'll be official Apple money, the iDollar, which you'll be able to exchange for Apple products just like other dollars, only much, much better in a way which no-one can quite define and which will need a different shape of wallet for charging.

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Europol shuts down darn RAMNIT botnet

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Wow.

Something interesting has happened in Hampshire.

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UN negotiations menaced by THOUSANDS of TOPLESS LADIES with MAYONNAISE

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Topless protestors - OK, I understand.

But mayonnaise? Any suggest why mayonnaise, rather than ketchup, mustard, remoullade, brown sauce, salad cream, Or is it a translation error and one of the topless women was called May O'Naise?

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KUSHINIKIZA! Google Translate SAVES BABY in Irish roadside birth

Dr Patrick J R Harkin
Coat

So....

Trained ambulance crew needed Google translate support to assist a woman to do something she could have done without any help whatsoever.

Or perhaps a few rounds of Charades should form part of all paramedic training?

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ATTENTION SETI scientists! It's TOO LATE: ALIENS will ATTACK in 2049

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

We'll be perfectly safe...

...as long as the transmission includes an entire series of Celebrity Big Brother. "Xzyygj! Place ZZ9/ZAlpha under quarantine immediately. We cannot risk this terrible plague escaping into the rest of the galaxy!"

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Boffins grasp Big Knob, get ready to go ALL THE WAY at the LHC proton-punisher

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

"Turning off the LHC has enabled up to find Higgs Boson" says scientist.

"It had become lodged behind one of the magnets and we had to move a couple of filing cabinets to get to it. We couldn't do that until we had the keys and Dave from maintenance (who has the keys) accidentally got stuck tin the tunnel when we turned it on last time. He's been living on sandwiches and soda from the vending machines and the radiation hasn't affected him at all, except he can now see through time and teleport."

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Think you’re hard? Check out the frozen Panasonic CF-54 Toughbook

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Drop height test is 75cm?

If you are going to drop a laptop, surely it's likely to be from higher than that? Doesn't this rating say "Will survive a hazard to which it's never going to be expose"? Perhaps we can have magic-proofing as a new component of tests in future: "The new Acesung X65 continued to function despite being exposed to a full strength Expeliamus spell and Ebola virus applied directly into to the USB3 port.."

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Watch: China has made an internet censorship THEME SONG

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Re: Yes, fine, but what we all want to know is...

"Does it scan?"

More to the point - will it blend?

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HELP! Windows Phone update 8.1 broke my Lumia

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Re: Just for the record: My iPhone 6+ still working fine

Ditto my InterQuartz IQ10. It's a great phone though few apps run on it and the cord is a bit sort for my liking but it gets me through the day. No battery problems either.

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Forget robo-butlers – ROBO-MAIDS! New hotel staffed by slave-droids

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

"Open the mini-bar door, please, Hal."

"I'm sorry Dave, I can't do that. You're smart-watch says you've had enough and anyway the NFC reader in the wardrobe says you've no credit left on your card."

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Lost SPACECRAFT believed FOUND ON COMET

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Re: BORING: "Yes, we are pointing out that “GIF” is pronounced “jif”. Again."

I pronounce it gif. But then I'm gust a jeek.

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Secret Service on alert after drone CRASHES into White House

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Missile won't work for defence....

...but a nice big fan could blow them away. If the wind from the White House is above the maximum cruise speed of the drone, it won't get in!

(I wrote this as a joke but I'm beginning to wonder... Hello, patent office?)

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Linux chaps want to recycle your mobe as a supercomputer

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

I don't think it'll work

But then I rejected the FedEx hub/spoke business model and refused to sign the Beatles.

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SPACE the FINAL FRONTIER: These are the images of COMET PROBE ROSETTA

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

That last image...

...for some reason it reminds me of an old Dr Who set - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00v1qqv

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FROSTY MISTRESS of the Outer System: Pluto yields to probe snapper

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Hello, mission control?

New Horizons here. Look, I don't quite know what's happened but I'm here, where you said the planet would be and it isn't. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Oh, there's some little dwarf thingy, but my memory banks definitely say there should be a planet around here somewhere...

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World's largest ship swallows 900 MEGATINS of baked beans

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

If, while travelling at top speed....

...(which I estimate to be 0.4 Routemasters/second), this ship crashed into a solid wall the height of Nelson's Column, how many Bulgarian airbags would be needed to stop a brontesaurus in the wheel house from being hurt?

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Ford recalls SUVs … to fix the UI

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

@Jim 59

"This story has to be fake. Completely unbelievable they would place the start/stop button near any other controls. "

I'm not so sure. My Volvo (a marque with a fairly good reputation for safe design) has put the heated steering wheel switch (something you often want to turn off while driving) BETWEEN the ABS and Lane drift warning switches (things you generally don't want to turn off).

They've also put the fuel cap release and the tailgate release side by side which has caught me out a few times!

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GCHQ boffins quantum-busted its OWN crypto primitive

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

"3000-10000 bits"

How many Olympic swimming pools is that?

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So - you thought you knew all about the INSTANT COFFEE DUNES of TITAN?

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

"the stuff is as light as instant coffee."

How many Olympic swimming pools full would weigh as much an a London bus?

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Boffins unearth the ultimate antique art - 500,000 years old

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Re: 'Calling it "art" is stretching things a bit though.'

I'm with you, I Ain't Spartacus. SWMBO dragged me round the Hepworth. After I'd restrained myself suitably, I was rewarded with tea and cake in the cafe which overlooks the river. There was a small whirlpool directly under where we sat and it had attracted a collection of flotsam.

"That's rather ugly", she said, "They could have cleared that up."

"No!", I replied, "That's an installation! It's called 'The Journey My Heart Took". The artist has collected a naturally wind-fallen branch from everywhere she has ever lived and trapped them in a cage hidden under the surface of the water to circle endlessly without ever repeating the exact sequence of events."

"Oh, is it?"

"No, of course it bloody isn't but the fact that you could think it might be, even for an instant, should tell you a lot about the other 'art' we've seen tonight!"

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Save Thanksgiving! Get your turkey to text you when it's done

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

There are easier ways to use your phone to avoid burned or raw turkey...

"Hello? I'd like a table for six, about 12:30 on the 25th."

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Boffins find Jackie Chan's SUPERCOP is good for something

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

"Just so long as Hollywood's lawyers don't fire off a sueball for copying Supercop."

Surely the casting process will have made it a copy of Pocrepus?

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Hey, you, PHONE-FACE! Kickstarter in-car mobe mount will EMBED your phone into your MUG

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

"We don't encourage texting while driving..."

"...but we'd like you fund our plan to market a device which does!"

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Rare Stegosaurus skeleton moves into plush London pad

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

"It remains a mystery how this creature, which lived around 150 million years ago, carked it. "

Well, I'm no expert but...

"The Natural History Museum said that the skeleton was only missing the left arm and base of the tail."

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Microsoft exams? Tough, you say? Pffft. 5-YEAR-OLD KID passes MCP test

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Re: Better play WoW

"spends roughly two hours a day studying Microsoft's operating system"

Don't you sometimes wish Microsoft did?

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Dr Patrick J R Harkin

I'm impressed a 5-year old can read that well, but...

...I'm worried by the phrase ""The hardest challenge was explaining the language of the test to a five-year-old," Does that mean Dad was in the room reading the questions?

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Printing Bad: Meth found in laser printer cartridges

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

I have an addiciton...

...to the ""Border Control"-style TV shows.

I have learnt:

1. The easiest way to tell the Oz show from the Kiwi one is to wait until they go outside: If it is/has been raining, it's New Zealand

2. Australia, Canada and New Zealand all have problems with narcotic, cannabis, meth etc.

3. Brits try to smuggle cheap cigarettes from Tenerife.

We are the most boring smugglers on the planet. Unless all those people who've been caught for smuggling tobacco are double-bluffing and the fags are full of cocaine... "Oh, I didn't know Tenerife wasn't in the EU so I could only bring back 200. Oh well, you live and learn, here's my 100 quid duty..."

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Wind farms make you sick claims blown away again

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

I wonder...

....did people in the 12th century complain about the noise from these new windmills which were ruining the landscape?

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BONFIRE of the MEGA-BUCKS: $200m+ BURNED in SECONDS in Antares launch blast

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

OK, quick survey -

Hands up anyone who DIDN'T immediately wind the video forward to the three minute mark. Anyone?

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