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* Posts by Francis Boyle

1056 posts • joined 29 Jul 2007

We'll build Elon Musk's Hyperloop ... if you lob us ONE-MEELLION dollars

Francis Boyle
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Re: Fast horizontal elevator?

Trains have windows - technologically unnecessary - but psychologically important to the people who will be paying the bills. I seem to recall it was the lack of windows that doomed the blended wing airliner.

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WD slips bullet between teeth, gets ready to hand $706 MEELLION to Seagate

Francis Boyle
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Indeed, you can't tell people what to think

but you can tell them not to use specified trade secrets just as you can forbid them to use any other specified IP. In general, it might be more difficult to demonstrate unlawful use of a trade secret, but in this case the facts seem to have been pretty clear cut (and faking evidence obviously didn't help).

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US aviation watchdog approves $75K balloon ride into SPAAAACE!

Francis Boyle
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I thought that looked odd

But the article does suggest that the parafoil is already deployed during the freefall. (If you've got a capsule full of tanked up rich people it's probably advisable to end the freefall as gently as possible.) And since there's probably insufficient air density at the release altitude to reliably inflate the parafoil (correct me if I'm wrong) I suspect the idea is to use some sort of lightweight frame attached to the balloon. (Or maybe, heaven forbid, a truss.) The animation shows a fan of cables attached to the centre of parafoil and the capsule itself supported by parafoil lines which doesn't seem practical but is probably a lot prettier than the reality.

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Hard-as-woodpecker-lips MOUSE GOBBLES live scorpion, LAUGHS off stings to face

Francis Boyle
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The explanation's simple

grasshopper mouse just don't give a shit.

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Oz racehorse shod with 3D-printed titanium hoofwear

Francis Boyle
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With all this talk about 'living' plastic

I'm starting to wonder if el Reg has been taken over by the Autons and Lester is desperately trying to get the word out before he's replaced by something disturbingly shiny and emotionless.

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Anonymous and pals gather in support of girl at centre of rape case

Francis Boyle
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Re: @lunatik95 - The subject was rape NOT grammar

One of the pleasures of this site is the entertaining and informative byways that discussions here often wander down but I can't help thinking that, in this case, there is a certain amount of, no doubt unconscious, derailing is going on. This is an utterly horrible case, and I can understand people wanting to look away, but maybe the best way to do that would be to keep quiet and leave the thread to people who are prepared to treat the subject with the seriousness it deserves.

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SEX CRAZED FISH keeping hapless Southamptonites awake

Francis Boyle
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Re: @ Sir Runcible Spoon - Sir

Just don't try thatin the US. There, by convention, it signifies an 'attorney'. There has been at least one prosecution, albeit malicious, of a person who dared used the title in a state where they were not registered to practise law.

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Long time ago? Galaxy far, far away? You ain't seen nothing yet

Francis Boyle
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You may call it Z8_GND_5296

but to me it's home.

- Grynklefyvth III

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Deploying Turing to see if we have free will

Francis Boyle
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Re: Free from what, exactly?

Exactly. The (hidden) premise seems to be an evolution of the wobbly old idea that quantum indeterminacy can somehow provide a physical basis for free will (as if being driven by a random number generator in the brain looks anything like freedom).

The thing is, I'm most free when I can act in ways that are meaningful to me and those ways tend to be easily predictable by anyone who knows me. Of course, maybe free will isn't the same thing as personal freedom but if it isn't I don't know what it is bar a meaningless theological concept.

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Snap-happy blogger babe posts catcalling blokes' mugshots online

Francis Boyle
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Welcome to the wonderful

post racial utopia that is the USA. </sarcasm>

And of course the only reason a women would complain about harassment is that she want the attention. (Sorry, I lied about stopping the sarcasm. Sometimes, faced with a certain sort of bone-headedness nothing else will do.)

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Hypersonic MEGA METEOR pulled from lake, then Russians drop it

Francis Boyle
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I disagree

I don't believe that Elron even at his most drug addled ever believed the guff he peddled. This guy, on the other hand, I suspect is just a common loony who we'll never hear about again. (or he's a prankster in which case "well played".

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Oz bookshop to deliver by drone

Francis Boyle
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It's been a while

but I seem to remember textbooks tend to be very heavy. Maybe they should go with octacopters. Even then I'm not sure I'd want to be underneath one when something goes wrong.

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Murdoch calls for world+dog to 'expose' Google

Francis Boyle
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Have you forgotten

that in certain places 'liking' bicycles is a big no no and will get you on the register and in The Register

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Google: Now your mom will try to sell you toilet paper

Francis Boyle
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Well, telling me what toilet paper to use

is just the sort of thing my mum would do so nothing's changed there but yes a good* headline.

*By definition not the best since it doesn't contain the words "FOUND ON THE MOON".

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Samsung touching up ROUNDED, CURVY plastic enhanced MODEL

Francis Boyle
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Only if you're

Kate Moss.

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Thai kids find free tablets hard to swallow as govt scheme hits trouble

Francis Boyle
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Re: What is the point...

I'm not sure what elementary grade 1 is but I'm guessing these kids are around five so they're not about to tap out The Great Thai novel any time soon. This is education for the 100%. Get everyone into the habit of reading as early as possible and everyone benefits including the 1%.

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'Stupid old white people' revenge porn ban won't work, insists selfie-peddler

Francis Boyle
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Ah, his scumbag is

a leftist thug. You know, I was confused. I thought this guy was just another jerk looking to get rich off the misery of others. But that's just the American dream and how can that possibly be bad? But now you've explained that he's a leftist and a thug to boot it all makes sense. Obviously it's all part of Obama's plan to destroy the US and annoy old white guys. Thanks for explaining it.

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TUPPERWARE FOUND ON MOON of Saturn

Francis Boyle
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What you don't understand

is the Register. And, you don't appreciate a good "ON THE MOON" headline. So what the hell are you doing here?

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The LSD trick cyclist, the 1980s pop-star and video games to REPROGRAM YOUR BRAIN

Francis Boyle
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A computer game reprogrammed my brain

Unfortunately it reprogrammed it to kill Stroggs which so far hasn't proved to be a terribly useful life skill.

Non flippant version: "reprogramming the brain" is otherwise called learning - if you claim it means something else you're talking nonsense. (Susan Greenfield, I'm looking at you.)

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Reg readers! You've got 100 MILLION QUID - what would you BLOW it on?

Francis Boyle
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Re: Simple:

I have a problem with the ninja outfit. My personal army would be required to wear something more flattering.

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Thorium and inefficient solar power? That's good enough for me

Francis Boyle
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Concrete

There's a thought.

Yes, there's a size limit to concrete vessels before wave motion starts to produce uncontrollable cracking but you're not going to mount your wind turbine on a replica of the Titanic are you? I'm not saying corrosion isn't an issue but I'm not convinced that with sensible choice of materials it is insurmountable.

And, yes let's get cracking with thorium.

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Michael Gove: C'mon kids, quit sexting – send love poems instead

Francis Boyle
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And we know where he is

The scoundrel is hiding in Westminster Abbey. Dispatch the plod immediately!

OK, he might be a little bit dead but dig him up anyway and charge him forthwith. They did it to a pope* why not a poet. Can't have dead people making a mockery of the law.

*Pope Formosus for those who might care.

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LOHAN hero playmonaut STRANDED on Spanish mountain

Francis Boyle
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Reminds me

of the cosmonauts who came down far off course and had to spend the night fighting off wolves with a pistol. Are there wolves in Spain? Did anyone think to equip the playmonaut with a sidearm?

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Assange fails in bid for election to Australian Senate

Francis Boyle
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Dammit

So the revheads get a seat but those of us who prefer to keep our recreational activities indoors are left out in the cold.

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Francis Boyle
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Re: "to build an exact replica of the Titanic"

Not really. Diesel engines and a full complement of lifeboats is pushing the definition of 'exact'. I think 'loose replica' is more correct.

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The future of PCIe: Get small, speed up, think outside the box

Francis Boyle
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"without the pricey active cables"

and without the Intel control.

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Torvalds: 'We're not doing Linux95 … for a few years, at least'

Francis Boyle
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Yes, cute

Which is why it breaks my heart to see them hunted.

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Forget Mars: Let's get someone on the Moon – NASA veteran

Francis Boyle
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well, judged on the basis of the current example

the only thing we have to worry about when it comes to machine intelligence is a minor annoyance.

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The Solar System's second-largest volcano found hiding on Earth

Francis Boyle
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I still have no idea how big this thing is

Can someone translate it into Tasmanias?

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Mother/daughter team jailed for million-dollar internet dating scam

Francis Boyle
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Re: It shows many things

The fact that the real scammers have to hire dupes* like this is evidence that the banks are asking questions. I'm no friend of banks in general but wanting them to ask more questions looks to me like a case of "beware, your wish might just come true".

*unscrupulous, greedy and probably not to bright but dupes nonetheless.

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Skype: 3D video calling is the FUTURE

Francis Boyle
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I hear they're getting

Anthony Weiner to endorse this.

You know it makes sense.

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BILLION-TONNE BELCH emitted from Sun to hit Earth this weekend

Francis Boyle
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Re: EM radiation?

As a (lapsed) physicist I can confirm that it is indeed the twangy-wangy stuff that's the problem.

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Alien antique show: Egyptians wore JEWELRY FROM SPAAAACE

Francis Boyle
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Sorry

I know for a fact that the mer-people hunted megaladon to extinction. They want you to believe that the mer-people were cute and cuddly and friendly (I'm looking at you Disney) but really they were viscous bastards.

DON'T BELIEVE THE LIES1!!!!!!!!!!!!11

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Mind-reading MRI reads letters in the brain

Francis Boyle
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“looking up the answer in the back of the book”

That would be a valid criticism if the researcher were describing the technique as mind-reading which, as far as I can tell, they aren't. I suspect the real usefulness of the technique is likely to be in mind control (by, not of!) since I seem to recall that thinking about something is neurologically similar to looking at it.

Of course, it is a valid criticism of all those "OMG Mind Reading is Coming" headlines. I'll leave it to my fellow readers to decide if El Reg is guilty of that.

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IiNet creates cut-price diffusion brand 'Jiva'

Francis Boyle
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Re: Jiva

No, they just use a rebranded version of the Silly Car Name Generator.

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Tiny fireball exoplanet completes one year in 8.5 hours

Francis Boyle
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Don't count on it

The resident silicon based lifeforms would ban your "instruments of terrible freezing death". Of course if they're anything like humans you could still make your zillions.

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Assange washes hands in election row

Francis Boyle
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I suspect it's neither exactly

but a combination of political correctness and pedantry*. 'Aborigine' is reductive. So we should say 'aboriginal person'. But people are lazy so we end up with 'Aboriginal'.

Now there shouldn't be anything wrong with 'Aborigine' but the fact is the word has a history - all those old well-meaning but cringeworthy references to "the Aborigine". Frankly, it's easier just to go with the tide and say 'indigenous Australian'.

*Assuming you don't just define political correctness as pedantry which I don't.

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Attention, addicts: LEGO meth lab pays homage to Breaking Bad

Francis Boyle
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I'll tell you why I like the show

And it's nothing to do with wanting to be a "Bad Boy".

It's the ultimate deconstruction of American exceptionalism - the idea that people who are white and middle class can do terrible things and still be the good guys - the "I am not a criminal" thing.

OK I get that some people won't get that the show is essentially a morality tale - there's always people who end up identifying with the bad guys if the presented as anything more than cardboard cutouts. But you get that Walter White isn't a good guy. Try giving the fans of the show credit for realising that too.

And yes, the geek appeal of the show comes from the protagonist been one of us. But so are the Master and Lex Luthor - doesn't mean we don't get that they're villains.

Oh and while the underground meth lab is nice and super-villainy I think I'll wait for the Hot Wheels RV version.

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Google Glass is HIGH FASHION in September Vogue magazine

Francis Boyle
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Re: Meph-head Johnnie Thicko Or for added catiness let's not forget

I used to buy the jealousy explanation - then I discovered how utterly misogynist some gay men can be. These days I just think of it as pure irrational bigotry. Some people just need to dump on others and sadly, in some quarters, women are still seen as acceptable targets.

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Is NASA planning to send LAVA LAMPS to Jupiter?

Francis Boyle
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Nice room you have here

Pity if something were to happen to it. Or to the entire neighbourhood. Seriously, it's a nice bit of ad hoc engineering but I think there's a reason NASA keeps its centrifuges in concrete bunkers.

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Plods probe death threat tweets to MP - but WHO will rid us of terrible trolls?

Francis Boyle
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Shorter "The Dude"

I'm entitled to threaten to rape and murder any women because some women said some stuff I don't like.

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Mozilla ponders blinkers for your browser

Francis Boyle
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I was ready to complain

that this is just the web 2.0 filter bubble ramped up to 11 and then I was offered the delicious prospect of never having to read about the doings of the Windsor clan again. Add to the list anyone who's ever appeared on reality tv and I'm sold.

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Curiosity team: Massive collision may have killed Red Planet

Francis Boyle
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Nonsense

They were actually SPACESHIPS! They just had a remarkable similarity to McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantoms.

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DARPA uncloaks unTerminator for $2 million robotics challenge

Francis Boyle
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Possibly

But with those goofy eyes I'm betting on it ending up looking like Bender.

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Sleek Nokia Lumia details EXPOSED ahead of Thursday's disrobing

Francis Boyle
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Re: No expandable storage

Because it's not a bit of flash memory - it's ten thousand million bits. In other words, you get what you pay for.

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