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* Posts by Michael H.F. Wilkinson

2553 posts • joined 24 Apr 2007

Shh! Proxima Centauri can hear us!

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Proxima Centauri ...

Wasn't the local planning office there (or was that alpha Centauri).

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Musos blast US copyright bods: 'ARTISTS MAKE LOUSY SLAVES!'

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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And the porblem with kids today

is that if you tell'em they don't believe a word of what you're sayin'

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Second Higgs possibility pops up in CERN data

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Has the LHC developed a squint?

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

Re: Funny you should mention 'pantheon'

In the beginning was the word, and the word was "Hey, ... you!!"

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Chinese spacecraft JUUUUST avoids smashing into Toutatis

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Very very cool.

I would not be surprised if they have.

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Pint

Go Chinese!

Excellent work by the Chinese space programme. Great to see multiple space programmes of the ground (sorry, couldn't resist). Maybe a bit of competition will sting people into more action

I'll raise a glass of Sinkiang black beer to that, by Toutatis!

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NASA to smash its spacecraft INTO THE MOON

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

Re: Newest crater on the moon

Every time I read about this mission I was reminded about Tim the Enchanter.

I now think I am not only one

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Stephen Hawking pushes for posthumous pardon for Alan Turing

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Hear, hear!

I can only applaud people putting pressure on the government for a pardon in this prominent case. Maybe the less prominent cases will get some attention after the first battle is won.

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Falling slinky displays slow-motion causality

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Coat

Re: 9/11 Slinky Truthers will be all over this story!

Fowl play? Chickening out, are we?

Deary me, it must be Friday!

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Seems overcomplicated

Upvote for mentioning Wile E. Coyote!

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Sniff.. Phew! WORLD'S OLDEST CHEESE discovered in Poland

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Proto-mozzarella!

Pity they did not have any proto-tomatoes to make proto insalata caprese

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NASA reveals secrets of Curiosity’s selfies

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Simple

Or it brought its own mirror. Flipping the result in any image processing programs easy

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Schmidt 'very proud' of Google's tiny tax bill: 'It's called capitalism'

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Mushroom

Don't be evil!

My foot

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Internet Explorer tracks cursor even when minimised

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Mushroom

One more reason (as if I needed one) not to use IE

<- Nuke it from space, it's the only way to be sure

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Elon Musk's solar energy biz scraps IPO liftoff at last minute

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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I like this

The delay bolsters my feeling that these people are serious about putting a proper value on the stocks, not just hype them up and rake in the profit.

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Stephen Hawking gets $3m physics prize from Mail.ru tycoon

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Boffin

Or look at Google Scholar

Right here

Not only has he got a huge list of publications, having 4-figure citation counts on so many papers does mean something (at minimum that the authors of that many papers claim to have read those works ;-) )

Yes there are other physicists who deserve such a price. Maybe next time?

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Worldwide Gmail crash was due to Google Sync bug

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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It must have crashed in the brief time span I was not using it.

Lucky me!

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Russian space research org targeted by mystery malware attack

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Headmaster

Which Korea?

A minor detail, but one which might be of interest to the readers

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North Korean rocket works, puts something into orbit

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Well done!

I wholeheartedly agree it is an achievement, and the scientists and engineers involved certainly deserve congratulations. Raise a glass of Munbaeju for them.

However, the politicians might change their priorities. I might suggest "food first, rockets later" as a suitable mnemonic for a policy that will serve the people better.

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: Whatever it is up there, it's a lump...

I suspect it is a cabbage. Just to show everybody that there is food in North Korea.

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Mushroom

Re: "Kwangmyongsong"?

Precisely: Anybody remember the quote about the light of a thousand suns by Robert Oppenheimer?

<- only suitable icon

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Another Apple maps desert death trap down under

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Relying purely on a smartphone for navigation proves these phones are smarter than their users.

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Linux kernel dumps 386 chip support

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: The joys of open software

The joy of open software is that you can fork the code if you do not like where it is heading. Not trivial, but not impossible. You are allowed to. Try that with commercial code.

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Apple's iOS 6 maps STILL muddle Mildura

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: You couldn't get lost

That may be true, but there are people out there, with driving permits and all, who could easily get lost in a cul-de-sac. Sad, but true.

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: Big intake of breath

Sextant? Why trust such newfangled stuff! An astrolabe was good enough for me great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-granddad, so it is good enough for me!!

Deary me, they'll want to replace me old lodestone next!

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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How many RPM

is Steve Jobs doing in his grave?

There is a Dutch saying, which translates to:

Reputation comes on foot, and leaves on horseback.

Apple always prided itself on high quality, easy to use, well designed products, and this was the image it successfully created in public. Whether the reader agrees is another matter, I pass no judgement as I have limited experience with Apple hardware (the Apple II our school bought, and some Mac(book) Pros at an institute I visited). A few more screw-ups like this and that reputation may start to slip seriously.

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The Sons of Kahn and the assembly language of the internet

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Pint

Amen!!

brilliant!

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Last moon landing was 40 years ago today

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Trollface

Re: I'm amazed there's no sceptics out there...

Please refrain from feeding the troll!

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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I watched all the moon landings as a kid

That is what made me choose astronomy. I since switched to computer science, but happily I am working on astronomical image analysis (among other things). The Apollo programme was the most inspirational research programme bar none.

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This is out of hand now: Apple attempts to trademark the LEAF

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: not a patent, a trademark

Using a leaf as trademark for Apple makes perfect sense if you remember the original Golgafrinchan settlers of planet earth used leaves as money.

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Tor node admin raided by cops appeals for help with legal bills

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Headmaster

Just a minor point

Any Landeskriminalamt (a state bureau of criminal investigation) is not an equivalent of the FBI, that would be the Bundeskriminalamt (federal bureau of criminal investigation).

</pedantry>

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Australian Police say don't use Apple's iOS 6 Maps

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: Less likely to kill

I thought the only safe things there were some of the sheep

or was that the place which had very few dangerous snakes because they had all been killed by the spiders?

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Behold ATLAS, the fastest computer of 50 years ago

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

Re: All together now!

Most likely: no, but it might have played pong by tele-type

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2020AD: Space tourists will be FOUND ON MOON

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Fully automated?

Is the on board system called HAL 9000 by any chance?

"I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that"

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'Facebook is completely undreamt of even by the worst spying nation'

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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I had quite a few interesting experiences when working at the university hospital as scientific programmer for the image processing system we had developed. This was a DOS system with monochrome text monitor, equipped with a frame grabber and an extra colour monitor to show the image from the camera and ant processed image. One day a user came to complain that since my last software update, the mouse was behaving in reverse: move left, the cursor goes right, move up, the cursor goes down, etc. I explained that I had not changed anything in the mouse-handling, but agreed to come and have a look. It turned out she was holding the mouse with the "tail end" facing her. After rotating the rodent 180 degrees I invited her to try again. Rather red-faced, she went to work.

Five minutes later she comes into my office complaining that the image was upside-down (again blaming the software upgrade). Completely baffled at this, I went and had a look. I found everything looked normal (all text readable without putting a crick in your neck). I suggested all looked well. She then said that it was the colour image on the monitor which was upside-down. This image just showed some bacteria, which looked much the same in any orientation. The text on that screen also looked fine. I asked her again what the problem was, and finally it dawned on me. I went to the microscope, rotated the camera (which she had mounted) by 180 degrees, and asked her if this was better. Very red-faced, she went back to work.

I think she would not have dared come to complain about anything that month, even if the system had caught fire.

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Mushroom

Re: Really?

The nuclear option is always best

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Motörheadphönes Overkill earphones review

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Megaphone

Re: Volume Control ?

EXACTLY!!!!

<-- ONLY SUITABLE ICON!!!!!

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Hero Playmonaut lost at sea as SPEARS ditches in Channel

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Pint

An epic saga indeed

Just epic!

I shall follow this continuing saga, forgetting not those who fell in the pursuit of glory.

I do not doubt the playmonaut was taken (by Valkyrie) to a place in the great hall of Valhalla, the only fitting place for a hero of his stature. I shall raise a horn filled to the brim with my best mead this evening, or failing that a tot of finest Usge beatha!

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Who's using 'password' as a password? TOO MANY OF YOU

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Real BOFH fans will remember the lusers password "maggot"

luser: "But I like the word maggot"

BOFH: "And I like the words 'Grievous bodily harm,' but do not use them as a password..... Yet"

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‘Hyperspectral’ camera surprises aurora researchers

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Boffin

@MacGyver

Moire patterns (properly aliasing artefacts) occur when a semi-periodic pattern below the limit of resolution of the CCD occurs in the image, not in random noise patterns. Thus the signal needs some semi-periodic component to get these artefacts. I have seen hundreds of astronomical images taken below the resolution limit of the optics, and have never yet seen Moire-like aliasing artefacts.

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Neat images

Auroras are often magnificent, but this adds a whole new dimension (38 actually, from 3D RGB to 41D hyperspectral)!

I wonder if the airglow wave pattern is in some way similar to ionospheric waves seen by the LOFAR antennae. Those seem to occur at higher altitude, but I wonder if similar mechanisms trigger them (or that there is some coupling between ionospheric waves and the low altitude wave pattern seen here).

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Ready for ANOTHER patent war? Apple 'invents' wireless charging

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: Appl$

Should Appl$ not be Appl€

(yeah, wrong currency, but it does look better)

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BOFH: Cannot terminate PFY instance... ACCESS DENIED

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Nice one

Extra points for messing up the legal eagles!

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Crooks inject malicious Java applet into FOREX trading website

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

For a moment

I thought they had hacked the FourEcks trading site (operated from Didjabringabeeralong no doubt (or was that Bugarup))

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Annual reviews: It's high time we rid the world of this insanity

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: Should be mandatory declared

Good idea. Some appraisal systems I have seen could very efficiently be replaced by throwing darts. You simply take the score modulo 5 and there you are!

Some employees might prefer throwing darts at senior management, however.

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: Ironic

This might be taken as meaning that you are taking these badges FAR too seriously

OOH! Shiny!

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Belgian finds missus was born a MAN after 19 YEARS of marriage

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Hear, hear!

The tone of the comments is a good deal more measured than the tone of the article. Go commentards!

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Astrobioboffins seek funds to search for ALIEN HAIRSPRAY

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

But our future scaly lizzard overlords don't need hairspray!

do they now?

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Antarctic discovery: ALIEN LIFE may be FOUND ON MOON of Jupiter

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: Nasties from beyond

"But consider it in reverse: What's the likelihood that we discover something on a moon of Jupiter that turns out to be SIMPLY DELICIOUS?"

I thought they all tasted like chicken.

I bet some of them even taste more like chicken than some "chicken" sold by some elderly colonel here on earth.

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Badges for Commentards

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Joke

Quite simple

Nepotism

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