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* Posts by Mike Richards

4180 posts • joined 28 Feb 2007

Ex-Rolls-Royce engineer nicked on suspicion of giving F-35 info to China

Mike Richards
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My understanding is that they're way behind in jet engine technology - so much so that they still buy them from the Russians.

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Mike Richards
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Re: Stupid... Just stupid...

I like the apocryphal story that French intelligence were aware the KGB was sniffing around Michelin at the time the tyres for Concorde were being designed. Because a very heavy plane landed at very high speed it needed special synthetic rubber - something Michelin had cracked, but the Soviets had not.

Rather than round up the spies, the story goes that the French instructed Michelin to come up with something the consistency of bubble gum and let the spies get their hands on that formula.

I've never seen an authoritative source, but I rather like the image of a TU-144 stuck to the runway whilst a lot of men in fur hats stand around wondering if their next trip is to Siberia.

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Tech firms, come to Blighty! Everything is brill! Brexit schmexit, Galileo schmalileo

Mike Richards
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Re: Good old Alan T

They're going to keep bringing Alan Turing into anything vaguely tech-related aren't they? Everyone knows the man was a hero and a genius, so they assume their pet projects will get some reflected glory from Turing's work. Expect any number of PPE ministerial statements along the lines of:

Alan Turing would have loved automated car tracking.

Alan Turing understood the importance of technology in war so he would have worked on our new megadeath 7000 hunter-killer drone project.

Alan Turing's work made biometric ID cards possible.

...

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Mike Richards
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Re: Hmm

The MayBot isn't exactly showing the best in British intelligence. You'd get more out of a slightly racist speak-your-weight machine.

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Dixons Carphone 'fesses to mega-breach: Probes 'attempt to compromise' 5.9m payment cards

Mike Richards
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Re: Perhaps I need a forwarding email address for every shop

Did not know about that - thanks!

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Every bloody gadget in the house is ringing. Thanks, EE

Mike Richards
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Re: in time any internet device with audio in and audio out will work

And then it will be a smart lightbulb calling you to pass on a message from the fridge that you're out of milk.

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Britain's new F-35s arrive in UK as US.gov auditor sounds reliability warning klaxon

Mike Richards
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'Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, the RAF's Chief of the Air Staff, chipped in: "If you can’t see us coming, you won’t be able to stop us, so with its stealth and other world-beating technologies the F35 Lightning takes the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy to a whole a new level of capability."'

Lockheed Martin certainly saw you coming.

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British egg producers saddened by Google salad emoji update

Mike Richards
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Confused

What is this sa-lad that you talk about?

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1,300 customers of Brit bank TSB defrauded due to botched IT migration

Mike Richards
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Re: "CEO said city law firm Slaughter and May is conducting an independent review"

The next step is to kill off your competitors and have a monopoly on mediocrity.

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Mike Richards
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Re: Another false claim...

Politics would mean a pay cut, so I suggest he's going to be appointed as a university vice chancellor.

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At last: Magic Leap reveals its revolutionary techno-goggles – but wait, there's a catch

Mike Richards
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Wow!

Based on that performance I can only conclude they share a media team with Elon Musk.

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US govt mulls snatching back full control of the internet's domain name and IP address admin

Mike Richards
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This from the same government that contains the FCC

"Which foreign laws and policies restrict the free flow of information online?"

It's not the foreign laws and policies they need to worry about.

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Finally, San Francisco cleans up the crap from its streets – yes, all those fscking scooters

Mike Richards
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I've heard this somewhere before

'One company – Bird – has already responded through its lawyers claiming it has no responsibility for what its users decide to do when on their scooter.'

Ah, the old 'we're just a tech platform' argument.

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Un-bee-lievable: Two million Swedish bugs stolen in huge sting

Mike Richards
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Poor guy

"I'm angry and sad. The same kind of sadness as when you have to put down your dog."

Is there anything more Swedish than trying to quantify the exact type of sadness? Hope he gets his apian pals back.

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Your F-35s need spare bits? Computer says we'll have you sorted in... a couple of years

Mike Richards
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Re: I'll have some of that business please

£23m includes the cost of the extended warranty and a premium rate phone call to the customer care team at Lockheed Martin.

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Dawn spacecraft to get up-close and personal with dwarf planet Ceres

Mike Richards
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Re: Infect it with terrestrial trash?

Probes to Mars and Titan are sterilised before launch (although the Soviets may not have done so with some of their early Mars probes). The type of sterilisation depends on the mission, but are formally known as COSPAR Category III and Category IV. Mars missions are further categorised depending on whether or not they are searching for life.

Dawn was classified as Category III requiring a ultra-high cleanroom. In part this category was due to the probe making a Mars flyby and there being a non-zero chance of it splashing onto Mars; but also because Ceres had previously been identified as a site where there may be evidence of life or its precursor molecules.

Probes to the Moon and Venus only need a lower Category II certification since neither is thought to be capable of supporting life as we know it. Category II requires the mission planners to inform the world of where the probe is going and the impact of it - well impacting - such as if it contains toxic materials or radioisotopes that could be hazardous in the future.

There is also a Category V which is reserved for sample-return missions; again this is subdivided into whether probes are going to potentially life-bearing destinations.

And finally, Category I is for missions going to places where there is no possibility of finding life or its precursors - such as solar probes.

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Mirror mirror on sea wall, spot those airships, make Kaiser bawl

Mike Richards
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Perhaps another jaunt is in order

There are some more sound mirrors at Abbott's Cliff near Folkstone.

Anyone know of any others?

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Mike Richards
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Re: Helium?

It’s a mistake in the article. Every German airship was inflated with hydrogen, although Hindenburg was originally designed to fly with helium.

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Dixons to shutter 92 UK Carphone Warehouse shops after profit warning

Mike Richards
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Re: Are Dixons...

Airports have Dixons Travel offering all the charm of the old Dixons stores with additional hard selling and eyewatering markups.

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Mike Richards
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I'm rather surprised they haven't pounced on home automation as the next opportunity to offer barely-functional stuff they don't know anything about at a premium.

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Facebook's democracy salvage effort tilts scale in Mississippi primary

Mike Richards
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From their public statements it is quite clear that Facebook considers itself a publisher when it wants to be - and simultaneously isn't a publisher when that would be inconvenient to the bottom line.

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You've heard that pop will eat itself. Boffins have unveiled a rocket that does the same

Mike Richards
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Re: I love the $5 multimeters in the picture

It does look rather like the great British shed has been involved in producing this bit of boffinry. I trust a suitably Bryllantined pipe-smoking gentleman is lurking just out of view.

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UK's Royal Navy accepts missile-blasting missile as Gulf clouds gather

Mike Richards
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Judging by the volcanic cloud on the horizon

The photo shows that clapped-out Russian carrier lurking in the background. I have to wonder if it is visible from its smoke plume before it appears on radar.

And what the hell are they burning to make so much soot?

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'Clive, help us,' say empty-handed ZX Spectrum reboot buyers

Mike Richards
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Next perk

They'll ship boxes.

Empty of course.

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Finally: Historic Eudora email code goes open source

Mike Richards
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Email is fundamental to modern life

(Sadly)

But there don't seem to be any decent email programs out there any more. Eudora was excellent at what it did and Thunderbird is pretty good, but I get the impression that people would rather write almost anything than a decent email program.

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Boffins: Michael Jackson's tilt was a criminally smooth trick

Mike Richards
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Alternatively, reinforced clown shoes.

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It could be you: National Lottery hands £16m to England's Jodrell Bank

Mike Richards
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Not wanting to be picky

But is that telescope in the photo actually at Jodrell Bank?

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Brit water firms, power plants with crap cyber security will pay up to £17m, peers told

Mike Richards
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There's a story today that security software is one of North Korea's successful exports. The country has been selling a range of security products under bland names and fake front companies to countries all around the world, including the US and Europe:

https://www.nonproliferation.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/op36-the-shadow-sector.pdf

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Greenwich uni fined £120k: Hole in computing school site leaked 20k people's data

Mike Richards
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Re: Wow.

Though the ICO could only have ever fined TalkTalk £500k.

TalkTalk got a reduced fine because the regulator found them cooperative with the investigation and because they were themselves the victims of a crime.

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RAF Air Command to take on UK military space ops

Mike Richards
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Re: Why would airstrip one need a different GPS

Not just gas - look at America's new sanctions on Iran imposed because Tehran was sticking to an international treaty. They have the power to cripple European countries who continue to trade with Iran even though their governments have no problems with the nuclear treaty.

Actions like that strengthen the voices of those who would seek to weak ties with America, make new alliances with other, less democratic, countries, and who want their own shiny satellite programmes.

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Mike Richards
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'bears a distinct similarity to a number of UK politicians as well as being the architect of innumerable grandiose schemes (all of which failed).'

innumerable grandiose schemes - the similarity with UK politicians just gets stronger.

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Blighty's super-duper F-35B fighter jets are due to arrive in a few weeks

Mike Richards
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Re: Perfect for the job?

On a kind of related note about cutting corners affecting availability. Earlier this month, the Luftwaffe admitted of the 128 Eurofighters in service, the total number that were combat-ready was - 4; it is meant to be more than 80.

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articles-view/release/3/192965/only-4-of-128-german-eurofighters-are-combat_ready-–-spiegel.html

The German navy's latest surface ships have been returned to the builder as they are currently not fit for service and Germany currently has no working submarines - it looks like the MoD has found a worthy rival.

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/17185/the-german-navy-has-decided-to-return-their-new-frigate-to-the-ship-store-this-christmas

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America's forgotten space station and a mission tinged with urine, we salute you

Mike Richards
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Re: the whole setup was pretty crude

The Mercury astronauts repeatedly watched failures of the Atlas rockets that were going to carry them to orbit. Gus Grissom is on record as saying: "Are we really going to get on top of one of *THOSE* things?

And then they climbed on top of a tin balloon filled with explosives. There's not enough beer in the universe for people like that.

Footage of some early (unmanned) Atlas flights here:

https://youtu.be/_WP0wbeSce8

And maximum Michael Bayness of a Atlas Centaur not quite getting off the pad here:

https://youtu.be/HAPHhK654Ow

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You've been Zucked: Facebook boss refuses to face-off with Brit MPs

Mike Richards
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Re: So when are the politicians actually going to act?

Perhaps the committee can have a loud, public conversation with the people who oversee taxes and just happen to ask whether anyone in government is investigating Facebook's tax status?

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Govts should police... Google's algorithms, says News Corp chief

Mike Richards
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But...

News Corps logic dictates that governments must not legislate press freedom.

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Hacking train Wi-Fi may expose passenger data and control systems

Mike Richards
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Joke

Bloody northerners taking the credit for a Cornish invention.

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Apple MacBook butterfly keyboards 'defective', 'prone to fail' – lawsuit

Mike Richards
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Re: Solution: Morse code

Apple will fix this by the high-profile release of another set of Emoji which can only be accessed through the touchbar.

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You've got pr0n: Yes, smut by email is latest workaround for UK's looming cock block

Mike Richards
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Back to the futures

Type in listings and Uudecode.

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Oz Budget 2018: Cash for 3cm GPS resolution, federated IDs, payments reform and blockchain

Mike Richards
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3cm resolution

Should allow for accurate drone strikes on funnel web spiders.

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Commodore 64 owners rejoice: The 1541 is BACK

Mike Richards
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Floppy disks were for rich guys

How about an emulation of the Commodore Datasette cassette drive?

The feckless youth of today need to spend endless character-forming hours readjusting the device's wonky heads in order to realise the full potential of its geological read rate.

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UK Home Office tiptoes back from slurping immigrants' NHS files

Mike Richards
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Re: Do you have to be evil and incompetent?

No need for training, I believe there's something in the water supply at the Home Office.

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Exclusive to all press: Atari launches world's best ever games console

Mike Richards
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Re: I'll keep my upright arcade version of Space Invaders.

Pong Tank - OMG! I had forgotten about that little gem. Thanks for the flashback.

Though I'd say multiplayer Chu Chu Rocket on the Dreamcast comes close for drunken multiplayer brilliance.

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Cambridge Analytica dismantled for good? Nope: It just changed its name to Emerdata

Mike Richards
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Re: Here comes the new boss.

That would be Blackwater/Xe/Academi run by Erik Prince who is also linked to Emerdata?

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RIP: Sinclair ZX Spectrum designer Rick Dickinson reaches STOP

Mike Richards
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Re: Raise a glass!

Thanks for the links - he designed the enclosure for the Z88? My first portable computer and a delight to use.

And looking back at the design language for the Spectrum - it really hasn't dated as badly as much of the stuff from the 1980s. The introductory manual with its clear graphics is a masterclass in how to do it properly.

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Take-off crash 'n' burn didn't kill the Concorde, it was just too bloody expensive to maintain

Mike Richards
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Re: Not just for the rich and famous..

Snowmobile - for when you have to move a few exabytes to a new home:

https://aws.amazon.com/snowmobile/

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Mike Richards
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Re: Watch the Channel 5 documentary

The stroke of genius was to contact the executives directly, rather than their PAs who did the actual bookings (and therefore knew the price of a plane ticket). £5000 IIRC.

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Mike Richards
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Re: Supersonic flight

In West Cornwall, we'd get the boom from the Air France Concorde out of JFK around 9pm every night. Th-THUMP! and the windows would rattle.

Sound of childhood, gone forever.

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Mike Richards
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Re: Pressure?

The stretching also had to be factored into all the wiring and plumbing in the plane.

It's extraordinary that it was possible to design, build and fly this unearthly aircraft fly in the 1960s.

America, you went to the Moon, but we got Concorde.

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Apple grounds AirPort once and for all. It has departed. Not gonna fly any more. The baggage is dropped off...

Mike Richards
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Re: I miss the old Apple.

Time Machine is a great idea, but when it goes wrong - as it does from time to time - it is nigh on impossible to find out what has failed. The lack of feedback and error messages in what is a critical application is ridiculous; if a backup fails, you are told nothing about what happened and how to fix it.

I understand that Apple likes minimalism and doesn't want to bombard users with unnecessary information, but we're not psychic.

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Who will fix our Internal Banking Mess? TSB hires IBM amid online banking woes

Mike Richards
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Re: Want to be the new TSB Head of Infrastructure?

Well spotted - I love this bit from the ad:

'Hello, we're TSB, and we're different from other banks.’

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