* Posts by Mike Moyle

1543 posts • joined 8 Feb 2007

Computing smart-scope gunsight for US snipers

Mike Moyle Silver badge

Not really.

"In fact you contradicted yourself by first saying that you can see the beam through nv goggles (correct), and then by saying that detection would require a point detector :)."

To the extent that: 1 -- the target's teammates could always be looking at him from all sides with IR goggles to see if he suddenly "lights up", or; 2 -- a detector near enough to the beam path and pointed in the direction of the sniper could spot the laser source (unless masked by another strong IR source on the same line, possibly) you are correct.

However, what I was talking about was the likelihood of a detector (human or automated) which is outside of the actual beam path looking ACROSS the beam and seeing enough atmospheric IR scatter to identify as a threat, which I would put at vanishingly small -- particularly considering how many other objects that might be directly in front of the detector radiate in the infra-red, like vehicles, people, hot tarmac, etc., and might serve to mask the scatter.

To be most certain of spotting the beam in transit and the source one would need something pretty damned close to a point detector. It doesn't have to be ON the target, but it would have to be within a pretty narrow cone of the sniper/target line and looking in a direction pretty close to the direction of the laser source, unless, as I said, you were just looking at the target to see if he "lights up".

Mike Moyle Silver badge

Re: ...nagging problem/Laser?

Presumably they're using an infra-red or similar non-visible-spectrum laser -- which might have the advantage of further lighting the target up when viewed through an IR scope. Since the beam itself would be invisible to the naked eye and visible only to an IR detector that was in line with the bean and pointed in the right direction it's probably not that big a problem unless clothing completely covered with IR sensors becomes popular.

I'm just wondering how heavy the final unit is expected to be. Since it sounds like it's actually doing the job that the spotter is intended to do, I wonder whether it mightn't eliminate the need to infiltrate two soldiers where one would do. Is it just the difference in field of view between a spotter scope and the (presumably) higher-powered rifle scope that the sniper uses?

Apple MacBook Pro 15in

Mike Moyle Silver badge

Don't know if this would help...

...Not sure whether they do PCMark comparisons and don't have time to look, but these folks might be a good place to start:


Judge de-ASBOes yoof's low-slung kecks

Mike Moyle Silver badge

I don't see the problem.

Clearly, he's in some sort of plumber's apprenticeship program (Once he becomes a Master, he's allowed to dispense with the underwear and go the full "plumber's-crack" style.)

Google tutorial lets developers play malicious hacker

Mike Moyle Silver badge

What... Passing up the obvious joke...? Who are you and what have you done with El Reg?!!?

"The codelab is premised on a 'small, cheesy web application' dubbed Jarlsberg that is chock-full of bugs that can be exploited..." ...full of holes, rather than bugs, surely...!

Jesus descends to Google Earth

Mike Moyle Silver badge

I dunno...

Looks more Nicolas Caage, to me...

Reverse-engineering artist busts face detection tech

Mike Moyle Silver badge


...I don't think that the researcher is saying that you need to do big swathes of black warpaint to fool the cameras -- just enough of make-ups slightly lighter than your normal skin tone on normally shadowed areas and slightly darker on normally highlighted ones to make it hard for the FR software to know where those marker points that it looks for begin and end. If it can't find those, or "sees" them in places where they, physically, aren't, then it won't match the points on, say, your mug shot so that match won't be made.

Think about all of those tabloid photos of celebs walking around without their make-up on and how different their faces look when they're not making their cheekbones more proinent and their eyes larger/farther apart/closer together.

Now add in the fact that the patterns shown in the article tend to make the lighter and darker areas that the system looks for less symmetrical than normal and (if the make-up is skillfully-enough applied) you might have a disguise that won't match a previously made FR image AND won't be outré enough to attract the attention of a human watcher. The big black areas in the drawings are simply showing the sorts of asymmetric shapes that can confuse the system and are the equivalent of dyeing specimens on a microscope slide to make them more visible.

Sorry, but I'm afraid that the glam make-up can go back onto the top shelf of the closet.

(Actually, I'm not sorry... [MartinMull] "Remember the '80s? Whoah...! That shit ALMOST came back again...!" {/martinMull}

Leaked details on HP iPad challenger reveal tight fight

Mike Moyle Silver badge


...I haven't heard any of the screams of "HOW-DARE-THEY/PIECE-OF-CRAP/EPIC-FAIL" for the non-upgradeable RAM and non-user-replaceable battery that Engadget reported for the Slate. I mean, if it's flameworthy when Apple makes a bad decision, isn't it equally so when HP does?

@ Jos -- Re: Units

"(...) is a big difference, and so is 64Gb or 64GB..." Yes, and that's irrelevant, since NO ONE has mentioned the SSD sizes, but rather the on-chip RAM. All reviews and teardowns of the iPad report N-GigaByte-sized SSDs. ...Or are you trying to imply that there's a world-wide conspiracy to inflate the sizes of the iPad SSDs?

...and, frankly, if the 'Pad can run as smoothly as it does on a couple-hundred MB of on-board RAM, then I'm rather impressed; it implies that the OS footprint is REALLY small -- a claim that Win 7 would have trouble making with a straight face, except by comparison with Vista, perhaps..

@ Professor Tinklepants Re: Eh? I don't understand!!

"It's crazy - these devices are riddled wtih comprimises and I am genuinely at a loss to identify what need they are fufilling. I've heard all the guff about 'consuming, not creating' etc but I find it inescapable that there is nothing the iPad can do that can't be done on a smartphone\netbook combo. And while it's desirable to have one device that can do the job of two, these tablets can't - they don't make calls, for a start - and even if they could, the price is just.....well, it boggles my mind. Crazy.

To my mind, the ridiculous price-tags just confirm their status as the latest must-have for people who buy what they're told to buy."

Well -- as I've said before when someone brings up this point -- as an illustrator/graphic designer, a device that would allow me to go on-site at a customer's, import photos, sketch over them, whip up a quick comp that could be printed wirelessly on the client's office printer, along with the quote for the job, email both as PDFs to the client on the way back to the office, then settle back and read a book/watch a movie/catch up on the news while on public transit back to the office would be a pretty damned useful tool to have. Much of that could be done on a netbook, I will admit -- but the ability to draw QUICKLY is simply much greater with a pen-like tool than with a mouse or a trackpad. Further, neither trackpad nor mouse supports pressure-sensitivity and carrying an external tablet and its tools and power-supply ALONG with the netbook rather starts to dig into the whole "light and simple" netbook schtick. And holding a netbook up on the bus to where it can be conveniently read (without risking over-stressing the hinge) is not a simple task

Granted that not everyone fits into my demographic; that doesn't make the usefulness TO ME of a tablet computer any less real. It sounds like what you MEANT to say was "I can't imagine any scenario where *I* would find these things useful", rather than "I haven't wit enough to imagine anyone else finding these things useful," or -- worse yet -- "Anyone who has a set of needs other than mine is an utter twat." Because the quote above seems to come much closer to one of the latter two than the former, and I'm *sure* that that wasn't what you meant, right?

North Korea mobilizes Red Star Linux rollout

Mike Moyle Silver badge

...And here I thought...

...that Torturix was the enforcer in a certain small Gaulish village...

Legless Lithuanian attacks copper with todger

Mike Moyle Silver badge

Well, if no one else will...

Insert requisite "It'll never stand up in court," punchline here.

Robot mini space shuttle is go for April, says US air force

Mike Moyle Silver badge

"The Green Hills of Earth"...?

Are you sure that you're not thinking of The Long Watch"?

(Another Old Geek)

Former model sues Universal over 'x-rated prop' outrage

Mike Moyle Silver badge

Bad move...

Does Attorney Mullaney know that he's actually suing the noted Attorney Franklin "Foggy" Nelson...? If he's not careful, he'll have Nelson's partner Matt Murdock coming after him, and NO ONE wants that!

(Frankly, this sounds just like the sort of trap that Wilson Fisk would set up for Murdock -- threaten his partner to draw him out...)

...and it's so sad that that was the first thing that I thought when I read the article...

@Gulfie -- ". Permission should have been sought under the circumstances. I guess they didn't ask because they already guessed what the answer would be..." Actually, I would guess that they didn't ask because the article says that they bought the photo from a stock photo house, who presumably already had negotiated the rights when they bought/licensed them from: A-- the photographer who has a signed model release from the model, or; B -- from the model herself, who hired the photographer.

@AC 14:09 GMT

"Typical merkins claiming to have had their reputation tarnished..." Uh... the article said that she was Russian. I realize that we all look alike to you, but...

Mozambican goat rapists face shotgun wedding

Mike Moyle Silver badge

Now, THERE'S a man who likes to live dangerously...!

"'One of the young men was naked and holding the goat's head, (...) '"

This could have had serious consequences.

Apple uncovers child workers in its plants

Mike Moyle Silver badge

Naughty facts... Naughty, NAUGHTY facts!! No cookie!

Not that I ecpect this to actually have any effect on the Pavlovian Apple-bashers, here, but engadget had a couple of interesting points to add about this story:


"(...) Apple is, predictably, not jazzed about the situation, and has taken action through train-the-trainer schemes, threats of business termination with recidivist plants, and -- most notably -- the recovery of $2.2 million in recruitment fees that international contract workers should not have had to pay.

"It should come as no shock to learn that cheaper overseas factories are cutting illegal corners, but it's disappointing to hear Apple's note that most of the 102 audited manufacturers said Cupertino was the only vendor to perform such rigorous compliance checks."

So, it SOUNDS like the supplier companies are on probation and the recruiters are getting hit in the wallet... a fairly measured approach...

Now, yes -- Apple said that their suppliers claimed that they were the only buyers being that rigorous in their checks, so the claim should be taken with a grain of salt. And I'm sure that HP, Lenovo, Dell and every other PC maker will be publishing their own audits within the next few days to prove that they are, in fact, being at least as strict with their suppliers as Apple is.

Perhaps anyone who DOESN'T publish their most recent annual supplier audit should be asked exactly WHY they're not.

NASA's WISE opens 'candy store of images'

Mike Moyle Silver badge

Re: Nice But Could Be Improved

...And could you galaxies in the back row move in a bit, so we can get a nice group shot...?

Apple to stick padlocks on books for iPad

Mike Moyle Silver badge
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Well, yes...

But if all of those evil, greedy writers, artists, and photographers weren't so foolishly fixated on actually making a living from their work then they wouldn't be imposing all of those evil licensing restrictions and it would all be unicorns and cotton candy -- didn't you know that?

Now stop being logical on the internet, or they'll ban you!

Seriously, though, I agree with your point; electronic versions of reference books and textbooks would be the obvious uses for something like the iPad -- I would have enjoyed not lugging around Janson's "History of Art", in my college days -- but I can see where licensing the photos from museums around the world (who count on income from sales of postcards/prints and licensed use of their collections to help cover expenses) would be... difficult... without some way of controlling re-distribution of the images.

Still, as others have pointed out, once these books DO come out in e-versions and the sky doesn't fall on our collective heads then perhaps DRM will quietly go away on them as it largely has on music.

Vendors applaud fanboi-lite Macworld

Mike Moyle Silver badge


"But here we are nearly 20 years later and it's still going as strong as ever!"

I'll agree with you when they come back to Boston, as well! (Well... MAYBE I'd accept New York...)

Putting an iPad through the Motions

Mike Moyle Silver badge
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...Define "toys", please...

"I can see his point, Apple are basically good at making toys, they won't last forever and you probably wouldn't want them to."

Since my daughter still easily runs Photoshop on a TiBook and I'm comfortably doing the same, as well as doing professional graphic design (and some video-editing and 3-D modeling on the side) on an 8-year-old G4 duallie, I'd be curious as to your definition of "toys".

I will agree that they won't last forever -- nothing will, after all -- but running the (next-to) latest version of the OS (since the latest is Intel-only) and current productivity tools on boxen that are closing in on a decade old, and doing it with sufficient alacrity that we're working profitably seems to take something out of the 'toy" category and into the "f*cking-A tool" category.

Clearly, your definition of "toy" differs from mine.

Brits take iTablet moniker for 12in iPad rival

Mike Moyle Silver badge

If someone DOES Hackintosh* this...

...and it becomes available in the States at a reasonable price, I'll seriously consider getting one.

* Yeah... I just verbed** "Hackintosh"...

** ...and "verb", too... what's your point...?

Carly Fiorina unleashes 'demon sheep'

Mike Moyle Silver badge

So, about the special effects...

When the column with the sheep on it rose from the field, was I the only one that heard "The Liberty Bell March" (the Monty Python theme music) followed shortly by "Sheep do not so much FLY as PLUMMET...!"?

OTOH, she IS running as a candidate for the Extremely Silly (i.e., Republican) Party nomination, so I suppose it all makes sense.

Vote, vote, vote for Barbie the computer engineer

Mike Moyle Silver badge

Or maybe...

...rumpled chinos and a black t-shirt with "I (heart) Big Hard Drives" on it...?

Man sets mice on musophobic ex-missus

Mike Moyle Silver badge

Pro Apologia Tom Lehrer

When my ex- makes a move

Of which I don't approve

Who is it who always intervenes?

The UN and EU...?

They may just have to do...

But FIRST, send the murines!

...I am very, very sorry.

Silicone implants that generate 'leccy invented for US spooks

Mike Moyle Silver badge

Trust the Coppertop...!

...Oh, there are just so many, aren't there?

Mike Moyle Silver badge

Suicide boob- ...er ... BOMBer...

The left one is plastique, the right one's the power supply.

@ LinkOfHyrule --

"Dose this mean instead of bra size, breasts will be measured in the same way as batteries?"

I was thinking more on the lines of "Those things have gotta be 40 watts, at least!"

Greenock pensioners cuffed for Tesco 'sex romp'

Mike Moyle Silver badge

There could be some good from all of this

With any luck, some of the local yoofs were in the store and had the sight of geriatric genitalia gyrating sufficiently seared into their brains as to utterly drive drive out any urge to procreate ever again.

...I can hope, can't I?

Apple iPad vs netbooks: fight not over yet

Mike Moyle Silver badge

It's NOT an either/or proposition, people!

@ DavCrav -- "A tablet cannot work for typing unless you want a back injury from leaning over. This resigns tablets to passive consumption of media, like books, films, music or the Internet. "

@ nichomach -- "No, I think they won't. They really won't, and I'll tell you for why; people who really use netbooks (for) creating and editing documents, emails, whatever, will not want to give up the keyboard for a number of reasons"

The point that a lot of people seem to be missing is that Apple. with the iPad has shown that it is possible to build a (relatively) economical tablet-format computing device. As has been noted, previous tablet-PCs have tended to be high-end, high-price-point products -- generally standard laptop chassis with extra stuff bolted on -- rather than something designed from the ground up to BE a tablet at a lower price-point.

Having now seen that it IS possible and seeing that (potentially) there IS a market for such a device -- and NONE of us will know whether that market is there until these actually become available to buyers; anything else is rankest guesswork and prejudiced thinking on both sides -- I would not be at all surprised to see Asus or someone else trying to build a low-cost tablet-PC. They won't do this to REPLACE their clamshell-format line, but to AUGMENT it. Reaching into a new market while ditching the costs associated with keyboards, hinges, and suchlike mechanical kludges will be attractive in a business with such narrow profit margins.

It seems to me that most of the people who say "But you NEED a physical keyboard," only say it because THEY need a physical keyboard and can't think beyond that.

Who would POSSIBLY find a tablet without a physical keyboard useful as a traveling tool, suitable for on-site preliminary to show a client, or work that is later downloaded to the "REAL" computer for the heavy lifting, or work that requires minimal alphanumeric data entry but frequent (if not continuous) updating with the home office...?

Hmmmm... How about --



Artists/Photographers/Graphic Designers/Web Designers

Interior Decorators

Landscape Designers


Civil/Traffic/Hydro Engineers

LAN or A/V Designers

Delivery Companies

Utility Companies

Insurance Companies



Law Enforcement Agencies

Pollution Remediation Agencies

Planning/Inspections Departments

...and THOSE are just off the top of my head.

Now, many of these already HAVE bespoke tools that serve their functions. But these ARE bespoke tools, not off-the-rack tools with the cost-savings associated with OTR over bespoke.

And, sure, you can rightfully point out that these are all niches, but of many niches with similar needs an industry is made.

MY expectation is that, within a year, at most, you will see netbook manufacturers building and selling low-cost tablet-PCs alongside their traditional clamshell products and marketing them as BOTH media-consumption devices at Best Buy AND mobile productivity tools at OfficeMax (or local equivalents), and many of the software engineers that were writing industry-specific custom software for custom systems will be porting their software to these more generic platforms.

Spanish town to reward good drivers

Mike Moyle Silver badge

Or, maybe...

"Wow, I know parking tickets are a scam because they're all about fining people for a services (i.e. a parking space) that they've already paid for once with taxes, ..."

Well, yes, sir. Unfortunately, our records show that YOUR taxes were used to build a parking space in Slough, so THIS isn't the one that you paid for, now is it?

Teen attacks father in Fifa 2009 fight

Mike Moyle Silver badge

Football hooligans...

...They're everywhere, aren't they?

Airport scanner staff object to vetting

Mike Moyle Silver badge


...I would think that a metallic paint MIGHT work, but I think that you'd be better off getting a metal-foil tape and cutting out the letters to stick onto your chest. (Shave the area first, if necessary...!)

...and DO let us know how that worked out for you...!

iPhone keeps buried earthquake victim alive for three days

Mike Moyle Silver badge


...And have to explain that mountain of used tissues around you if you were still alive when the diggers got down to you...?

FBI faked terror alerts to get phone records

Mike Moyle Silver badge


They seem to be using the classic We-Did-Nothing-Wrong-And-We'll-Never-Do-It-Again "defense".

Knuckle rap for riot shield sledging coppers

Mike Moyle Silver badge

Look at it this way...

The Super's covered his ass AND he's got a lot of people who normally slag off the police voicing support for his boys...

Sounds like he's come up with a win/win strategy to me!

Is it art or is it pr0n? Australia decides it's ALL filth

Mike Moyle Silver badge

And let's ot forget...

Are they planning to use those full-body scanners at Ozzie airports?

Are they planning on scanning children or assuming that terrorists/drug couriers won't use them as unknowing "mules"?

Are they going to arrest anyone looking at those images?

...Hilarity ensues.

"You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered." -- Lyndon B. Johnson

Google gets all Minority Report with Street View

Mike Moyle Silver badge

This could be entertaining...

Back when, I think, the first Spider-Man movie came out, Sony sold ad-space in Times Square -- as in, they composited-in adverts over the actual billboards, etc. in the original footage.

They were sued by the owners of some of the billboards who claimed that they had the sole right to sell advertising space on them.

The case was thrown out because the movie was a work of fiction and, even though Sony might have had financial benefit from the act, AS a work of fiction their First Amendment right to freedom of expression trumped the billboard owners' property rights. (...as nearly as I understand it...)

If, however, Google starts selling ad-space on Street View, I shouldn't think that they would have that defense.

Cue the greeting card salesmen!

(Sorry... I'm just reading the latest Zach Johnson mystery...!)

El Reg sparks international incident with Olympics committee

Mike Moyle Silver badge

You missed a chance...

"...all the video data traffic flooding in would cause the telecom to "squat and receive an HD Olympics video enema" even though AT&T has admitted in the past to challenges handling 3G traffic on its network.

"We're not updating that one, we just thought it was sort of funny because it showed how serious the business of Olympic-level sponsorship is."

Clearly, you should now be PUBLICIZING the fact that AT&T can handle ALL of the video, etc. that people want to push through its pipes -- Their friends at the USOC said that it was alright!

Nexus One teardown: 'nicely put together'

Mike Moyle Silver badge

Or, Maybe...

"It also means if you have two batteries (many early smartphone users will remember this one!) and keep the spare charged then you can swap them and carry on working/playing/posing, whereas with the iBone you have to put the phone down to charge and go back to interacting with real friends....."

And if you're willing to carry a spare battery around for your <FillInTheBlank> model cellphone, then you should have no problem with carrying one of the external battery packs or using one of the case-and-battery combos made for the iPhone*.

Radio Shack carries a nice little charger that takes two standard AAs and has interchangeable tips so I can charge my Samsung cellphone or Apple iPod in less than an hour, and can still use either one while charging.


* ...Unless you just enjoy trolling ANY cellphone-related article so you can trash the iPhone... Oh, wait... that's what you just did, isn't it?

NASA infrared survey returns first snap

Mike Moyle Silver badge
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I hate terms like " "three times the size of the [full] Moon"...!

Is that "three times as wide and three times as tall as the [full] Moon, covering an area nine times the size". or "1.75 times as wide and 1.75 times as tall as the [full] Moon, covering an area three times the size"?

Mobiles protect against Alzheimer's

Mike Moyle Silver badge

Not necessarily...

"It would therefore seem that this may actually confirm in a cod science way that by reducing Alzheimers as you report, your mobile probably does indeed give you cancer!"

That doesn't necessarily follow. If the current evidence shows no statistical link between cellphone use and cancer, while it DOES show a link between use and reduced beta amyloid deposits, then the answer could be something as simple as that the BA deposits are significantly more susceptible to chemical breakdown in cellphone-level EM fields than brain tissue.

At that point, the results described in the article become ammunition for the "cellphones kill your brain" argument only among those who already believe that to be the case and aren't actually interested in hearing anything to the contrary.

More study needed, clearly.

NASA's nuclear Mars tank gets improved cooker mod

Mike Moyle Silver badge
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"nuclear-powered robot laser tank..."

Bolo Mk. 0.1(beta)

2016 bug hits Windows phones

Mike Moyle Silver badge

But the good news is...

...if we're getting messages from 2016, it means that the world didn't end in 2012! Yay!

Welcome to the out-of-control decade

Mike Moyle Silver badge

Well, that's fine...

...but I think that you're starting from the position that the person(s) who have access to your data are, at the very least, NEUTRAL in regards to what is in your interests.

In reality, we all (I would claim) operate on the basis of "what suits my goals is good and what DOESN'T serve my goals is bad." To a company that counts on using information about you to increase their earnings, therefore, anything that constrains their acquisition of your data is a bad thing. In the same way, anything that makes it more difficult for a prosecutor to get a conviction (of SOMEONE -- getting the right person is the ideal, but getting convictions that will hold up is the important thing), or which makes it more difficult for a government to look "tough on crime/terrorism" will be seen by those parties as a bad thing.

"I highly doubt that anyone (them or us) is that interested in anything I am doing. Perhaps the writer has a guilty conscience (or inflated ego)?"

And that may be true -- at this moment. The assumption that it will ALWAYS be true, however, is simply wishful thinking. Should having access to your information become financially/politically/career-enhancingly useful to someone that information and its possession no longer is a neutral value but a positive which should be actively sought. Again -- in the mind of the acquirer it becomes a simple equation of "Does this serve my goals at this time? If so, then it is a good thing." At that point, you are at the mercy of the present-day equivalents of France's Cardinal Richelieu who, on discussing ways to get rid of politically-inconvenient individuals, said: "Giver me ten lines written by the most pious of men and I can find something with which to hang him."

In short, your stated position is only valid as long as it suits someone else's purposes. Once it becomes useful for someone else to know what you're doing -- for whatever reason they may have -- it can become actively detrimental to your interests.

James Cameron poised to make Fantastic Voyage

Mike Moyle Silver badge

Re: I Recommend

Forget Megan Fox; Racquel still looks pretty damned good.

...and could be the first REAL reason to go see a 3-D movie...! <Bloodnock>NgAAARRRrrrrr...!</Bloodnock>

Blue whale males now singing bass, say scientists

Mike Moyle Silver badge

Now if only...

...this held true for other populations then, as humans became yet more numerous, the incidence of boy bands would drop precipitously -- which could only be a good thing.

Tory peers to protect kids from anuses

Mike Moyle Silver badge


"Those exemptions do not apply, however, when the work depicts to any great extent 'mutilation or torture of, or other acts of gross violence towards, humans or animals'. "

So, no Bible games, then...?

Is data overload killing off human initiative?

Mike Moyle Silver badge

Now, I'm no programmer...

...but it seems to me that, while not giving out information that you think might come back to bite one on the ass is a good thing in general, I think that people should be able to expect SOMETHING like the following decision path from someone looking at their online information:


10 IF (someone posted online about doing SomethingStupid) THEN goto 20 ELSE goto END

20 IF ("SomethingStupid" = illegal) THEN goto 30 ELSE goto 60

30 IF(StatuteOfLimitations for "SomethingStupid" = EXPIRED) THEN goto 60 ELSE goto 40

40 DO WhatYouGottaDo

50 Goto END



...Of course, that requires the ability of people to STFU when something doesn't directly affect them, so we're probably doomed on THAT count!

(And to the -- probably inevitable -- AC who wants to criticize my (lack of) programming skills, please feel free to "goto 60"!)

Will Ferrell is Hollywood's most over-rated overpaid star

Mike Moyle Silver badge

Re: Re: Be fair...

@theSensibleGeek; -- Well, "The Spirit" was three-movies-worth of bad -- does that count?

@Mike Flugennock -- I'm not blaming Jackson for the suckishnes of The Spirit -- I generally like his work. I just think that it's unfair for him to get slagged off for not being enough to draw people in to see that abomination. There's only so much that one man can do, after all!

Mike Moyle Silver badge
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Be fair...!

How about a similar study of most overpaid writer/director, etc.

I mean, if Samuel L. Jackson is going to get tarred with the "overpaid" brush because he was in a dead-toad-sucking bomb like "Frank Miller's 'The Spirit'", doesn't Miller deserve to share the award?

V-22 Osprey, stealth jumpjet 'need refrigerated landing pads'

Mike Moyle Silver badge

Combined approach

Re: NASA heat shielding: Yes, NASA has been dealing with heat issues for 50 years. And their two solutions are single-use ablative heat shielding and re-usable tile that is so mechanically fragile that a piece of insulating foam going at (relatively) the same speed is enough to damage it fatally.

I'd suggest that a combined approach would be ideal: Start with the Russian brickyard approach mentioned above, using several layers of something designed to combine the impact resistance of paving brick and the thermal resistance of firebrick and with a textured upper surface for skid-resistance. HOWEVER, the brickwork layers should be designed with channels between the bricks where water could be flushed at need for cooling. Should the water system fail for some reason, the brickyard would probably be enough for intermittent take-offs and landings, with the water-cooling needed for high-traffic conditions.

Michael Jackson planned 'robot duplicate' of himself

Mike Moyle Silver badge

He's baa-a-a-a-a-ack...!

...so TruBones claims to have motion capture footage of Jackson and someone else has a full-body scan made before he fell completely apart...? Does this mean that we'll be seeing him in new music videos and movies?

Tromplography™ has arrived!

(...And a tip of the hat to Howard Chaykin for inventing that word in the '80s to describe the process of replacing an actor with a computer-generated duplicate!)

UK to build robot stealth raygun jet/copter

Mike Moyle Silver badge

On a different note...

Lewis --

Considering the "with the emphasis on ship based operations" phrase; would this tie in, then, with your reports re: the decision to leave off the catapults from the RN's next-gen aircraft carriers and the general downplaying of the naval air arm?

S/VTOL drones and a bunch of enlisted ratings sitting at consoles 500km out at sea on an otherwise (semi-) useless aircraft carrier -- this looks like the missing piece that explains the whole plan.

Or am I crediting the powers that be with too much intelligence by assuming that there WAS any actual plan all along...?

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