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* Posts by Dr Patrick J R Harkin

686 posts • joined 22 Jan 2008

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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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MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Re: a study from Canadian health researchers

"a statistically quite small group of people"

"It looks quite large to me." Not for this sort of research UNLESS they set up the project with a specific null-hypothesis relating numbers of sexual partners and prostate cancer. If they just looked for something associated with prostate cancer, it means nothing (and the fact that opposite results were found in heterosexual & homosexual men supports this). I did a study once trying to see if particular immunohistochemical patterns were associated with good or poor prognosis in leukaemia and lymphoma. I was too lazy to retype the list of parameters I wanted analysed and just put in "*" so the software analysed everything it had.

There was an amazingly strong correlation between being called "John" or "Mary" and early death.

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Apple's new 'iPad Air 2' sliced open, revealing (possible) A8X core

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

That logo.

Isn't it a little - well - bendy?

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You can ring my #bellogate. EMAIL STORM hits 29,000 hapless UCL students

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

They put 29,000 students...

...on an UNMODERATED mailing list? I'm amazed their servers didn't melt years ago. Nothing goes on our lists unless it's checked.

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Foxconn exec on iPhone 6: You're BENDING it WRONG

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Re: “Hands are made* to shake hands, not for bending,” he advised.

I sometimes wonder what Christopher Walken's cobbler hums under his breath as he works.

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Particle that behaves like matter AND antimatter found: Majorana fermion

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

"To test this out the Princeton boffins built a ridged base plate of ultra-pure crystals of lead..."

"...and laid down a wire of pure iron one atom wide and three atoms thick on one of the ridges."

Yeah, that's, that's, that's pretty much they way I'd have gone about it. Yeah. I'd have painted it a different colour, though.

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Moon landing was real and WE CAN PROVE IT, says Nvidia

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

NASA never landed on the moon. There is no moon.

It's like a rainbow - you can see it in the sky, but it isn't really there. It's just an optical effect.

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X-Men boffins demo nanomagnets to replace transistors

Dr Patrick J R Harkin
Joke

Re: Core memory

"some of the gold-braid types were nervous because we were proposing the use of brand new SRAM and EEPROM cards instead of core."

They were probably afraid you were trying to remove Corps memory.

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PHABBA-DABBA-DOO! Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Edge, Gear VR – feast your eyes

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Re: Note Edge

Wasn't Samdroid Gamgee in Lord of the Ringtones?

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Software bug caught Galileo sats in landslide, no escape from reality

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

"It looks like...

...you're trying to configure the number 3 attitude adjustment reactor motor subsystem.

Would you like some help with that?"

My phone tried to autocorrect 54 to 45 last week (Seriously. No, I don't understand it either.) so perhaps that's what happened.

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One step closer to ROBOT BUTLERS: Dyson flashes vid of VACUUM SUCKER bot

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

I've seen this film...

"Thank god you're here officer. We found a strange rock in the field after the meteor shower. When we opened it, something rolled under the couch. Timmy tried to get it out..."

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BAT-GOBBLING urban SPIDER QUEENS swell to ENORMOUS SIZE

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Those spiders building webs between treetops...

Do you think we could genetically engineer them so their silk acts as a UV shade?

Always thinking of the public health angle.

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LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

"Spanish launch goes titsup"

Isn't titsup the usual operating mode for a LOHAN?

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Just in case? Unverified 'supersize me' iPhone 6 pics in sneak leak peek

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Re: +1 for Opal Fruits

And Spangles. Remember Spangles? What the hell was "Olde English" flavour? Rickets and repressed sexuality?

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Apple stops caring about Samsung kit everyone else stopped caring about years ago

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Re: Apple,

"Google, HP, Logitech, Samsung, HTC and the list goes on........"

I should have gone to SpecSavers. I read that as "Google, HP Lovecraft, Samsung, HTC and the list goes on........

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Chow rocket blasts off for ISS: Awww, freeze-dried ice cream AGAIN

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Delivering food to the ISS.

Surely I've seen an ad for an app that does that?

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LOHAN seeks stirring motto for spaceplane mission patch

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

LOHANES EUNT DOMUS

People called Lohan, they go to the house.

or

SPATIA INTER AURES - Space is in our minds (literally Space Between the Ears)

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Dead letter office: ancient smallpox sample turns up in old US lab

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

This stuff will have been in sealed vials, so no big deal.

The exciting discovery was the envelope of smallpox scabs found tucked into the back of a book in a New Mexico library ten year s ago...

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/2003-12-26-smallpox-in-envelope_x.htm

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Comet-chasing Rosetta spies SWEATY prey

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Glasses per socond?

But how long to cover Wales to the depth of a double-decker bus?

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DAMN you El Reg, CALL ME A BOFFIN, demands enraged boffin

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

What's a boffin?

I'd always assumed a boffin is someone who has a muffin with his tiffin. English muffin, obviously, not those vast, cakey American things. Boffins should also consider their work as "tinkering", even if it's "tinkering with plutonium and C4"

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SPIDER-TROOP, Spider-troop, does whatever a spider troop can

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Geckoman

Someone should write a song about that. Oh hang on, someone has...

http://www.mitchbenn.com/music-stuff/70/geckoman.html

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Boffins: How to generate crypto-keys using a smartphone – and quantum physics

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

10^18 times the life of the universe to crack?

More fool them. I have TWO computers working on it, so I can cut that time in half.

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Get ready for Europe's ROBO-BUTLERS: Billions of €€€s pledged to electro-slave dream

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

I want a robot that...

...can write witty comments on El Reg for me.

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Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi! 3D HOLO-PHONE hinted in Amazon vid

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Hmmm....

"It's cool"

"It moves with me"

"It's neat"

It's a portable icebox full of beer.

[Cue "My Google Glass is half-empty joke"]

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128-bit crypto scheme allegedly cracked in two hours

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Re: Better password needed

"No, I think he was exhibiting something called irony. "

That's like silvery, isn't it? Only cheaper?

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Skype to become 'Star Trek' style real-time translator, says Redmond

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

What languages are available?

Will they be doing American to English?

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Canuck cops cuff teen suspect in swatter-for-hire case

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Re: $10,000?

It's like the fire service and call-outs to places like this University. We don't get charged for real fires, but we do get charged for false alarms when contractors set of alarms of people smoke in the toilets (we get a couple of free call-outs, then charged). The argument is that service is staffed and funded to provide (X) responses per year. It doesn't matter that (n) are fake; they require staff and resources and hence can be assigned a cost. If there we no false alarms, we'd need fewer fire engines & fire men so the service would be cheaper - the fake calls use real money.

For the SWAT guys I strongly suspect there's a desk load of paperwork after the event and conceivably damages to those SWATted or to people who can't get home through a roadblock. It all takes resource away from the job in hand.

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Supposedly secure Dogecoin service Dogevault goes offline

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Apparently it's hard to run a secure currency.

Who'd have thought it?

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Did cosmic radiation nuke $25 satellite swarm? 100 snoozing Sprites face fiery death

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

I feel sad that an innovative idea has failed...

...but it really did seem like space littering.

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Apple files patent for typo-sensing buttons

Dr Patrick J R Harkin
Joke

Re: Force feedback?

Nah, force feedback is when we tell them not to use racial profiling and that that reports of random stop and search in the press don't look good .

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Script fools n00b hackers into hacking themselves

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Isn't this the same as the (risks racist tag) Irish Virus which went round a few years ago?

"Greetings, You have just received the "IRISH VIRUS". As we don't have any programming experience, this Virus works on the honour system. Please delete all the files on your hard drive manually and forward this Virus to everyone on your mailing list. Thank you for your cooperation."

Ah. No. This one actually works.

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NASA spots 'new' star just 7.2 light years away

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

I have a bad feeling about this...

"Neighbours of the star told our reporters 'We didn't see him much. Quiet type. He always kept himself to himself but as soon as we heard about the rogue asteroids wiping out the dinosaurs I just knew it had to be him."

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Google-funded boffins figure out age-busting facial prediction system

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

"How do they propose to tell from a photo of fresh faced 3 year old me that from age 19ish I would have a full beard?"

That's a very good point, Sue.

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NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

I'm impressed at the standards

They wear hairnets and full gowns just to put the phones into the boxes. IMAGINE what the assembly facility must be like!

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Time is on their side: NIST's new atomic clock accurate for 300 MEEELLION years

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Please tell me...

...that the scientists announcing the world's most accurate clock were late for the press conference.

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'We’re not SNEAKY, we're DADS from the MIDWEST'

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Re: Dropbox magic

Perhaps they calculate the hash during the upload where they have to have process the data, rather than go back and examine it later.

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'Software amplifier' boosts quantum signals

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

I hereby resolve...

....never to read any article with "quantum" in the headline.

It's just embarrassing how little I understand.

Mind you... Could these quantum scientist guys be bluffing? I mean if it gets you funding to play with lasers - you'd stretch the truth a bit wouldn't you? And who peer-reviews it all? OTHER QUANTUM PHYSICISTS! Mighty convenient, if you ask me.

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Dutch doctors replace woman's skull with 3D-printed plastic copy

Dr Patrick J R Harkin
Headmaster

"by carrying out the first skull transplant using plastic parts built in a 3D printer."

May I point out that this is an implant, not a transplant? My membership of the British Pedantic Society (soon to be renamed British Society of Pedants, as it's the members who are pedantic, not the society itself) is up for renewal.

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Brit 'naut Major Tim could carry YOUR name into SPAAAAACCEEE

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

As he's British and leaving the country to spend time with a group of male colleagues and get high, may I suggest "ISStag Night"

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GRAV WAVE TSUNAMI boffinry BONANZA – the aftershock of the universe's Big Bang

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

ANOTHER cosmological wager from Hawking?

I'm beginning to worry that the man has a bit of a gambling problem. Come to think of it, isn't he playing poker in his ST:NG cameo?

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Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Re: Congratulations to the team ...

"Barraco Barner" Hate to own up, but back in 2007, on the first few times I heard his name on the radio (before I saw it written down) I thought the man running for president against John McCain was called Barry Cobalmer. And I can still never be quite sure whether it's McCain or McClane who was in a Die Hard movies.

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iPhone 6 FEELS your heat, wetness... and it'll TELL Apple – report

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

A barometer? That's pretty useful.

Oh. Wait. It DOESN'T tell you how good the beer is before you go into the bar? That's disappointing.

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