* Posts by Mike Moyle

1543 posts • joined 8 Feb 2007

US Army funds $10m bat-droid

Mike Moyle Silver badge
Boffin

Pedantry alert

"...UM team seems to feel that robo-ornithopter is the natural way to go."

Technically, wouldn't that make it a chiropterthopter...?

...I'm just askin', is all.

Convicted cybercrook stands for election in the Ukraine

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Re: A cracker as a politician?

Not unusual - the Alabama state legislature (among others) used to be full of them.

Richard Gere not obscene, rules Indian court

Mike Moyle Silver badge
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Hmmmm...

"A two-judge bench headed by the Chief Justice of India, KG Balakrishnan, declared: "Richard Gere is free to enter the country. This is the end of the matter.""

...Doesn't say anything about LEAVING the country, does it?

Microsoft officially 425 years behind the times

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But don't worry...

IE8 Standard will be as leap year compliant as they can make it.

El Reg decimates English language

Mike Moyle Silver badge
Happy

But, wait... There's more...!

20-some years ago, I used to hang about with some journalists, one of whom had worked for a newspaper in the American south.

In dealing with politicians there, he noted that there were certain words that some of them simply could NOT pronounce correctly and, if the interview or press conference was boring, he would try to maneuver them into using one or more of them on the record.

He counted it as a total win if he could get them to refer to the "Amurrican nucular bidness."

(And, Lester... are you really from Crete?)

How Phorm plans to tap your internet connection

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Give them SOME credit...

"Phorm's Open Internet Exchange (OIX)"

At least they ADMIT that they're being oiks!

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=oik

Vote now for your fave sci-fi movie quote

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All those, and not:

"I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass... and I'm all out of bubblegum." -- Nada "They Live"

I yam disgustipated!

Wipe the floor with Space Invaders

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Now that's just wrong...

"(...) you’ll be glad to know this one measures 640 x 400mm (...)"

Would it have been so difficult to have made it 640 x 480, just to really nail down the Geek factor?

It's just this sort of shoddy planning that is weakening our ability to compete and unraveling the very fabric of society, etc., etc., blah, blah...

Gilligan's bomb: Is it time to panic yet?

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Re: "so what is being said here? "

@ StopthePropaganda

And, just to complete your failure for today:

Rupert Murdoch became a naturalized American citizen on September 4, 1985, in order to meet the legal requirement that only US citizens could own American television stations, and eventually founded that bastion of Commie-Pinko liberal socialism, Fox News network...

...Just thought you should know.

Mike Moyle Silver badge

Re: detonator

Aloha Airlines #243 has already been mentioned, but here is a good synopsis of the NTSB report with numerous photos:

http://www.ec.erau.edu/cce/centers/edwards/SF335/CaseStudy1Pres.htm

Decompression at 24,000 feet took roughly half of the fuselage height (everything from the cabin floor up) for 18 feet of the aircraft's length and the crew made a controlled (albeit difficult) landing.

Odeon kicks Rambo in the 'nads

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So, I've gotta ask...

Am I the only person that's been referring to this movie as "Ramb-Old"...?

Want to snoop on your neighbors? Come and work in Wisconsin

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Re: Good old US integrity

@y Seán

"Picture this scenario, data collected from all over the EU passed by the ever loyal spooks of England to their US masters.(...)"

Why worry about it...? The disks will get lost by the Royal Mail so they'll never get here.

Problem solved!

Subprime PC retailer coughs up $5m fine

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Why they're called that

...Because "Blue Meany" was already taken?

Taliban demand night-time cell tower shutdown

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Have they considered...

...that if the civilian cell towers are shut down, then the only radio emissions in the hinterlands are likely to be theirs, making them big, glowing targets - perfect for turning into big, glowing craters...?

Gotta love it!

(Icon chosen because it's so fascinating to see someone give himself the Pollice Verso!)

Space shuttle descends: Satellite turkey-shoot to commence

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A few thoughts...

What happens to the interceptor if it doesn't intercept? Where would the pieces of *IT* be expected to come down?

Also, this IS one of the ballistic-kill-type interceptors, yes? Is it one of the shotgun-shell-full-of ball-bearings type, or just one big hunk-o-metal? If the former, how much higher than the satellite's orbit do any pellets that miss the target go? Presumably, higher than any "debris cloud" from the target, since there would have been no loss of energy when the pellet's momentum was (partially) transferred to whatever piece of debris it created. Do we know if this added altitude was included in their debris-cloud calculations, or might we have a bonus screw-up?

And even better, now anyone who wants to nuke us knows that their best bet is to do it when there's a storm wherever the interceptors are based, since apparently they can't launch if the water's choppy.

Somehow, none of this actually makes me feel any more secure...

(Mine's the one with the sandwich-board reading "The end is near!" attached.)

Fire extinguisher resolves German smoking dispute

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Re: Better off

@ AC:

"World's better off not having those two nimrods polluting the gene pool together."

... I fixed that for you.

Microsoft immune system rejects execs

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Re: "MS isn't as evil as news corp"

Don't waste the opportunity by putting them up against the wall...

I'm imagining Steve "ChairBane" Ballmer vs. Rupert "The Fox" Murdoch in a steel-cage death-match on Pay-Per-View...

(...or maybe Tina Turner singing "We Don't Need Another Zero" before a "Blunderdome" match, perhaps...?)

Polaroid to close instant film plants

Mike Moyle Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Time Zero

@ Ashley Pomeroy

"(...). The remaining Polaroid film is neither fish nor fowl, it doesn't have a practical use and arty people don't want it."

Clearly, you don't know the right arty people.

My daughter is a photographer and loves taking shots with her old bellows-type Polaroid, which she's converted to a pinhole camera. The longer exposure times - up to two minutes - gives an incredibly dense and rich image unavailable any other way.

eBay gets negative feedback about ban on negative feedback

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Positive feedback

It's all in how you word it:

"I cannot praise this seller too highly!"

"This is the best counterfeit xxxx I ever bought!"

"Since I really wasn't expecting this xxxx to work, it FULLY MET MY EVERY EXPECTATION!"

"If you can purchase xxxx from this seller, you should consider yourself extremely fortunate."

What...? It's all positive...!

Bunker-nobbling US megabomb test delayed

Mike Moyle Silver badge

Not necessarily Iran

May we also assume that these would work on Afghani/Pakistani caves?

US Navy to test fire electric hypercannon

Mike Moyle Silver badge

A couple of thoughts...

1 - Instead of a "slug" shot, could a canister containing a number of flechettes be fired? Hypersonic shot-shells in a cone formation actually sound feasible against airborne targets, as well as against vessels and battle-area targets.

2 - "Velocitas Eradico"... "Speed Kills"?

Critics split over DDoS attacks on Scientology

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Re: "If you live by the sword "

... you don't live by the plowshare?

DC Comics to kill off Batman?

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Re: Nobody stays dead...

"...in the comics, except Gwen Stacy, Uncle Ben and Jason Todd, it has been famously noted by smarter readers than I."

...and Jason is back...

(sad, really...)

Germans send teen tearaway to Siberia

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Good idea...

...build his physique hauling water and teach him how to wield an axe.

The Dark Knight - 2008's biggest movie?

Mike Moyle Silver badge
Boffin

I can guarantee...

..that "Wolverine" won't make the top *100* of 2008.

...since it's still casting, hasn't started filming, and is currently scheduled for a May 1, 2009 release... (http://www.comics2film.com/index.php?a=project&j=448)

(Icon selected because it's the geekiest one available.*)

(* except for the penguin, of course.)

Fertility watchdogs approve first human-animal hybrids

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# Jason

Looks like it's already happened...

Clearly, she has the brains of a Chihuahua!

Online gamer murders rival clan member

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Re: Huh?

"See the twist? Games for adults are fine they shouldnt be banned and blamed for anything, This is the thing though, So many people buy/make avalible these adult rated games to kids and even infants its a joke (yes my brother in law thinks its ok for my nephew(6) to play CS:S) It makes them think guns are ok, that knifes are ok, that killing someone is ok, thats what needs to be tackled enforcing the ratings on the games and educating people that an 18 rated game means 18, Not blaming us gamers and taking away our games."

Possibly true, but irrelevant: 22 y.o. assailant, 33 y.o. vic.

YouTube biker clocked at 189mph

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A couple of thoughts...

By Andy: "He seemed in control. Nice sunny day. Not as wreckless as some police and granny drivers I've seen. Wreckless is not knowing what to do at a junction, wreckless is not looking where you are going, wreckless is indicision, etc etc."

By Olaf: "Says it on the YouTube site.

'zx10r wheel spinning at 180mph roads had hardly any grip'"

IMO, reckless is noticing that your wheels have no grip on the road and NOT immediately backing off of the throttle. But maybe that's just me.

By Tim Spence: "(...) Lets be real, he almost definitely is speeding - we all know that - but I thought the law was "beyond any reasonable doubt", as in, any evidence submitted has to be checked as being 100% fact. (...)

Prosecuting does one of two things:

A - Confirms that he was as far above the speed limit as he says he was, and he gets a pedestrian's license for being such a fuckwit as to post a video of himself breaking the law, or;

B - Confirms that his speed was nowhere near where he said it was and he gets laughed off of YouTube for life.

Sounds like a win/win to me!

NY corpse attempts to cash welfare cheque

Mike Moyle Silver badge
Happy

Re: Dead Wrong

no more jokes here please, you lot are flogging a dead ermm horse..

Dons hat and leaves..

Why are you wearing leaves? Wouldn't a jacket make more sense? (BoomBOOM!)

Systemax saves CompUSA from knacker's yard

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[snark]

"He also wants to hire experienced CompUSA employees..."

Good luck to him; I never found any there, myself...

[/snark]

Man uses networked 'crazy' toaster to hack PC

Mike Moyle Silver badge

Coming Soon...!

The Brave Little Toaster II: Insurrection

NASA's Deep Impact mislays comet

Mike Moyle Silver badge
Boffin

@ Slaine

Nope; two different comets:

360 Kg anal probe - Tempel-1

Gone walkabout - Boethin

HMRC manual on data protection was protected data

Mike Moyle Silver badge
Happy

@ Mark

You missed one detail:

"HMRC toff, >> his face set in a firm 237-D (Righteous Indignation at a Subordinate's Attempt to Pass the Buck Upwards, tinged with Religious Ecstasy*)<< starts booming: "Ha, I care not. May you be slayed by the purest of P45's, stripped of pension rights by meerly days of remaining service and liberally oiled ready for penetration. Oh public of Britian. I offer you this fresh sacrificial scapegoat as payment for our terrible sins. Mahahahaha!"....

(* Thank you, Keith Laumer, wherever you are.)

Parliament's security staff lose parliament security data

Mike Moyle Silver badge
Happy

Re: "The Mother of Parliaments"

Would this be where one mentions that the Icelandic parliament was established in 930 AD, making it (presumably) the FATHER of parliaments?

Warner Bros to remake Clash of the Titans

Mike Moyle Silver badge

Re: @Finnbar

@y Rick Lesniak

>>"I wish they would remake the bad ones!"

>When they run out of good ones, they will.

So, that'll be the remake of the remake of "Clash of the Titans"*, then.

*Granted, it's not Harryhausen's best. OTOH, if remaking that one keeps them busy and away from "Jason and the Argonauts" (a much more enjoyable film), then I can live with it.

Megan's Law snafu fingered in rapist's murder

Mike Moyle Silver badge

Re: One down...

"The victims of sex offenders are all condemned to life sentences, the offenders should be too."

I used to have a similar opinion, but a point was made to me that made me change my mind:

As long as the penalty for rape is less than the penalty for murder, there is no incentive for the rapist to kill. Once the penalties are the same, it is to the assailant's advantage to eliminate the victim/witness, since doing so can reduce the likelihood of later identification and conviction. And if they DO catch you, they can only hang you once, so you're really no worse off.

Boeing announces 'Laser Gunship' completion

Mike Moyle Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Space pen vs. pencils

I first read about this in an article by Spider Robinson who supposedly got it confirmed by Armstrong while they were both on a discussion panel. Supposedly Senator Proxmire gave NASA one of his "Golden Fleece" awards for using pens instead of cheaper pencils.

Which probably wouldn't have helped the Apollo 11 astronauts when they had to "hot wire" the Lunar Module when one of the bulky EVA packs broke off the switch that started the ascent engine.

Fisher pen's version is here: http://www.allwrite.nl/?incl=article-apollo-11

Multi-million-dollar spacecraft - two-dollar pen... sounds like a bargain to me.

Note: At least one person on the Snopes message boards claims that it was, in fact, a Flair felt-tip and not a "space pen", but that version does not appear on the main Snopes page while the Robinson story does (IIRC) specifically mention the Fisher pen and, since I tend to trust those sources more than J. Random Poster, I'm going with the version as I heard it originally.

Campaign to name US street after Douglas Adams

Mike Moyle Silver badge
Unhappy

I work for a city planning office...

...and share my "office" with a half-dozen tracked shelving units holding various plans and support docs.

One day I stuck a "Beware of the Leopard" sign on my door and it positively depresses me how MANY people I have to explain it to.

'Heavy' handset challenges all comers to prove its mettle

Mike Moyle Silver badge
Alert

Pressure containment

So how much internal pressure can it sustain...?

Will a dodgy third-party battery burn its way through quickly or will the extra-strong case give it time to build up some nice back-pressure before blowing?

...Inquiring minds, and all that...

DARPA seeks network firing ranges for cyber weaponry

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Live fire range

I understand that large networks, containing machines of varied types on heterogeneous network architectures are readily available at reasonable prices.

Simply go online looking to hire/buy a BattleOperationsTesting-net...

Mozilla rubbishes IE Firefox security study

Mike Moyle Silver badge

Statistics

Total numbers of bugs and fixes are one useful metric, I suppose, but the one that I'd bet interested in seeing alongside of that - for any comparison between competing OSes, browsers, etc., is the PERCENTAGE of known bugs that have been fixed.

Without knowing how many bugs there were (and their severity) AND how many have been fixed, any claims one way or the other are disingenuous at best.

DHS building handheld lobster spy-beam scanners

Mike Moyle Silver badge

X-ray projector

I'll admit that I'm no scientist, but I have this sneaking suspicion that the image of the poor tech scanning with his x-raygun is missing one crucial detail. (I'm assuming, here, that he's wearing his lead BVDs under the uniform - unless the dull grey color of the uniform is indicative of its construction.)

Can we really make a usefully penetrative x-ray projector/scanner that runs off of batteries in the handgrip, or should there be a honkin' big electrical cord running out the back?

Microsoft offers $300m for web-washing ad campaign

Mike Moyle Silver badge

Cash... and in small bills, please...

Windows Live - Sucks slightly less than Vista!

Windows Live - You want to go *WHERE* today?!!?

Windows Live - Click here to add the Brooklyn Bridge to your shopping cart.

Windows Live - BWAAA-HAA-HAA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!

Windows Live - We've also got some land in Florida that's above mean sea-level!

Windows Live - "Live"... Ye-e-e-a-a-a-h-h-h... "Live"... That's the ticket... (Note: Get Jon Lovitz to voice this one.)

Windows Live - Because we know that you'll buy anything!

Windows Live - I'm Ming the Merciless, and I approve this message.

US judge debenched for jailing entire courtroom

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@ AC; Re: @Chad H

If this keyboard shorts out from the coffee that I just blorted over it while laughing, it's going to be all your fau...¢‹ÎUH8F^%√§&&*()))˚˚º≠≠=g§ƒ......................................

Tories: Europeans could get access to UK ID database

Mike Moyle Silver badge

You're STORKed!

"STORK actually stands for Secure idenTity acrOss boRders acKnowledged."

Presumably because calling it KING STORK (Keep Imagining Nobody's Grabbing Secure idenTity acrOss boRders acKnowledged) would have been too obvious...?

@ "Joe Stalin"

"If I had a gun I'd shoot myself right now. Have they not learned anything."

Yes; they've learned that if they don't allow people to own guns they make THAT avenue of escape harder, too!

US man sets himself on fire and cuts off his own arm

Mike Moyle Silver badge
Alert

@ AC - Re: Capitol/Capital

AC:

"I presume that you are referring to the building wherein meets the state legislature, because the city of Washington DC is, of course, your nation's capital, but does however contain the nation's capitol. I really get depressed by Americans who can't tell the difference (...)"

" 'Since the city of Washington and the District of Columbia are coterminous, one really couldn't say that one is "within" the other.' "

"Great, you're not actually correcting me, you're correcting yourself. If you look closely, you originally said "...[DC is] where we hide our nation's capitol". You didn't say Federal, you said national.

And since your original post referred to the difference between "capital" (the city) and capitol (a building), then I think it's perfectly accurate to say that yes, the building is located within the city. What is your point? Or do you just enjoy contradicting yourself?"

Ah - I see the problem. When I read your original post, I inferred that you were saying that I didn't know the difference, where you were actually sympathizing with my having to live with so many who don't know the difference. My apologies for misunderstanding your post. We're agreed, then that the capitol building is within the nation's capital, the city of Washington, which is coterminous with, but not identical to, the District of Columbia. (*whew*)

OTOH, my response was also to point out, as you note in YOUR response, that US Capitol Building is the national capitol, and not a state capitol. We usually reserve the term "state legislature" (from your first post) for the legislative bodies of one of the component states or commonwealths comprising the United States. We generally do NOT use the term when referring to one of the federal bodies. Calling the U.S. Senate and/or House of Representatives a "state legislature" might be roughly equivalent to calling the British Parliament (in whole or in part) a "district council" While, - in the broadest sense of a "Nation-State" or "district" as a geographic area or political jurisdiction - the terms might be accurate, they are not generally used in those senses.

Mike Moyle Silver badge
Boffin

@ AC - Re: capital/capitol

"I presume that you are referring to the building wherein meets the state legislature, because the city of Washington DC is, of course, your nation's capital, but does however contain the nation's capitol. I really get depressed by Americans who can't tell the difference, as well as by the ones who do Darwin Award-worthy feats but fail to die as a result (as per this article)."

Actually, it's the building where the FEDERAL legislature sits, each state and commonwealth in the union having its own capitol within its capital. Since the city of Washington and the District of Columbia are coterminous, one really couldn't say that one is "within" the other. (The idea for doing this was so that no state could claim precedence as the "home" of the nation's capital.)

So, yes - some of us Americans *CAN* tell the difference, thank you.

Mike Moyle Silver badge
Boffin

Kershaw County...

... for those on the other side of the pond, is in the state of South Carolina. There is, in fact, no U.S. state called "Columbia", although there IS a District of Columbia. It's where we try to hide our nation's capitol.

Commuters shouting into their mobiles? Just jam 'em

Mike Moyle Silver badge

One-sided conversations...

@ Kevin Sedgley

Personally, I find those damned phones with the "press to talk" walkie-talkie functions even more annoying than standard phone conversations - first off, because of that #%^&* annoyingly loud *BEEP* and, secondly, because it's just so depressing to discover that there's another, equally inane, idiot at the other end of the call.

@ Luke Wells

"If my mobile phone ever rings (on a train or otherwise), its usually because someone NEEDS to speak to me, or I NEED to speak to them. Like someone telling me don't get off at x stop, get off at the stop before as the meeting has been moved. Or there is a problem at the office that NEEDs to be sorted out now and someone NEEDs to speak to me urgently to get authorisation. I don't use a phone to chat to friends about what they did on the weekend."

Good for you. Generally, the "Get off at X stop" calls can be done in 10 seconds -"Hello? It has? Right. It's coming up next. Bye."

Too damned many people, however, go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and... well, you get the point.

And, when you're in, say, a theatre or restaurant, you have your phone on "vibrate" and leave the area when you get that important call, right?

(And - just to clarify - when "...there is a problem at the office that NEEDs to be sorted out now," your end of the conversation doesn't involve terms equivalent to: "They !@@#$%%ing WHAT? You stupid &^$%ing @$$hole! I $%#^ing TOLD YOU TO...", do they? Because, if they do , then -yes - you ARE part of the problem and should maybe move closer to the office, since you're so impo'tant.)

"Also I think I have the right to be able to check my e-mail as and when I see fit, without some complete TW@T with a jammer in their pocket making it impossible."

It's unclear from the article whether the portable jammers are momentary-on or always-on switches. If it's a momentary-on type then, assuming that the user doesn't sit holding the button down for the whole trip, texting or checking e-mail shouldn't be a problem.

Retailer touts sweat-swatting mouse

Mike Moyle Silver badge

Ducted fan

Is there a switch to reverse the fan? I don't have sweaty palms, but I like the idea of a hover-mouse.

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