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Lester Haines

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El Reg lays claws on RockBLOCK Mk2 Iridium sat comms unit

Heads up Our chums at Rock Seven – supplier of Iridium satellite comms units to our audacious spaceplane ballocket mission – have announced the release of the RockBLOCK Mk2. The RockBLOCK MK2 In common with its predecessor, the new kit can "send messages of 340 bytes and receive messages of 270 bytes using Iridium Short Burst Data (SBD …
Lester Haines, 31 Mar 2015

NASA to take MARTIAN FLYING SAUCER for a spin

Vid NASA is promising a bit of live Martian flying-saucer action on Tuesday with a "spin-table" test of its Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) – the future Mars payload delivery tech which may one day combine airbags and parachutes to safely place kit on the Red Planet's surface. From 1700 to 1800 GMT, you'll be able to watch …
Lester Haines, 30 Mar 2015

El Reg reforms the Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse

We're pleased to announce that we've reformed the El Reg Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse to tackle the 2015 Live Below the Line challenge to exist for five days on just £1 per day for food. Over the last couple of years, we've raised a good wedge of wonga in support of Malaria No More UK, and we hope to do the same from 27 April to 1 May …
Lester Haines, 24 Mar 2015

Layla enjoys a Sanskrit makeover: Clapton set to become one of several Gods

Indian musician Krish Ashok is pleasing ears worldwide with a Sanskrit version of Eric Clapton's classic Layla, dubbed लीला, or "Leela". However, while the track is an agreeable homage to the original, its linguistic reach is limited. According to the ever-reliable Wikipedia, while Sanskrit is a recognised language in India, …
Lester Haines, 23 Mar 2015
The finished hot chana masala

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Chana masala

Regular readers will know that we at the Special Projects Bureau have a bit of previous form when it comes to chickpeas – from boiling enormous cauldrons of the things as part of the Live Below the Line challenge to creating rather more appetising winter-warmer stews – so it was only a matter of time before we turned our wobbly …
Lester Haines, 22 Mar 2015

Woman caught on CCTV performing drunken BJ blew right to privacy

Ofcom has rejected a claim that Channel 4 infringed the privacy of a pregnant Southampton woman by broadcasting CCTV footage of her administering drunken oral pleasure to a chap in a tower block lift. "Ms K" lodged a complaint of "unwarranted infringement of privacy" to the TV watchdog regarding the 9 June 2014 episode of CCTV: …
Lester Haines, 20 Mar 2015

LOHAN chap serves up 'tenner a week' e-cookbook

In response to reader demands following the recent release of his "Food For a Tenner a Week" cookbook, Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team member Neil Barnes is offering the same budget nosh tome in ePub format for a mere £2.99. Matt with Neil's cookbook As with the hard copy (seen above getting the once-over by …
Lester Haines, 20 Mar 2015

Blighty's 12-sided quid to feature schoolboy's posterior

A 15-year-old West Midlands lad has won the public competition to design the tails side of the forthcoming 12-sided British pound coin, the Royal Mint has announced. David Pearce's rose, leek, thistle and shamrock ensemble triumphed over 6,000 rival entries for the honour to grace the decidedly retro polygonal quid, which pays …
Lester Haines, 19 Mar 2015

Watchdog slaps American Apparel's youthful naked arse

The UK's Advertising Standards Authority has ordered US clothing outfit American Apparel to pull a snap from its website which featured a prominent pair of youthful buttocks promoting the "Lips Print Cotton Spandex Sleeveless Thong Bodysuit". A cropped version of the offending image The watchdog received a single complaint …
Lester Haines, 18 Mar 2015

LOHAN chap compiles 'tenner a week' cookbook

It's a tip of the chef's hat today to Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) chap Neil Barnes, who's released a cookbook inspired by his participation in the Live Below the Line challenge, with all profits going to Malaria No More UK. Neil Barnes in his flight suit with LOHAN patch Last year, paragliding aficionado Neil …
Lester Haines, 15 Mar 2015

LOHAN unleashes 'waiting for the FAA' collector mug

It's fair to say that waiting for US Federal Aviation Authority approval for our Vulture 2 spaceplane launch is a bit like sitting blindfolded in a room twiddling your thumbs while trying to imagine what paint drying on the wall of an adjacent room looks like. Suffice to say, we're doing our best to gee up the FAA snail - but in …
Lester Haines, 13 Mar 2015
Our playmonaut tries out a jetpack, watched by a circling vulture

LOHAN leaps aloft & ports into virtual flight logger

Last October, our US allies at Edge Research Laboratory sent up a Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) avionics package to determine just how our Vulture 2 spaceplane's servos and batteries would handle the cold way up in the stratsophere. Shortly afterwards, the chaps from "Drone Flight Logbook" outfit Exmaps got in …
Lester Haines, 10 Mar 2015

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Smažený sýr

It's back to basics this time around for our post-pub nosh neckfiller, following an audacious leap into the challenging waters of English muffins and hollandaise sauce. Say hello, then, to classic Czech wobbly dining delicacy smažený sýr ("fried cheese") – aka "smazak" to its mates – which has for years been dispensed by street …
Lester Haines, 08 Mar 2015

Paul Allen hunts down sunken Japanese WWII super-battleship

Pics A team led by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has located the final resting place of monster Japanese battleship Musashi, some 70 years after she was consigned to the depths off the Philippines during the 1944 Battle of Leyte Gulf. The discovery marks the end of an eight-year search for the sunken behemoth, according to Allen' …
Lester Haines, 04 Mar 2015

£280k Kickstarter camera trigger campaign crashes and burns

Backers of a Kickstarter campaign which raised a whopping £290k for the development of the Triggertrap Ada modular camera trigger have been left furious and seriously out of pocket after the company behind the product announced it couldn't deliver and would refund just 20 per cent of punters' cash. The Triggertrap Ada …
Lester Haines, 04 Mar 2015

Reg exec in deluxe roo-skin pen case beernami trauma

We're shaken to report that El Reg big cheese Linus "Fish Fingers"* Birtles yesterday suffered a traumatic beernami which left the contents of his executive leather case "totally f@@k€d". Linus's leather bag after the beernami Speaking to our Bootnotes department while recuperating with a very large brandy at the bar of a …
Lester Haines, 04 Mar 2015

Atomic keyring's eerie blue glow lights SPB lab

The news last week that El Reg merchandising tentacle Cash'n'Carrion had sourced new tritium-powered glowrings prompted some atomic-powered nostalgia from those readers who'd bought the original Traser. Way back in 2002, we laid our hands on a big batch of these novelty keyrings, and promptly shifted thousands of them. No …
Lester Haines, 03 Mar 2015
SkyProwler drone

SkyProwler VTOL transformo-drone set to darken skies

Joe Public's appetite for new UAV tech must surely have a limit, but that's still some way off if the case of the SkyProwler "Multi-Mission VTOL Transformer Drone" is any indication. Having soared past its $100,000 Kickstarter goal in a matter of days, Arizona-based Krossblade Aerospace Systems is set to unleash the vehicle …
Lester Haines, 26 Feb 2015

Laughing gas and rubber: A recipe for suborbital flight?

This summer, the skies above Nevada will thunder to the sound of a mighty hybrid rocket motor, as the Boston University Rocket Propulsion Group (BURPG) sends its Starscraper vehicle past the symbolic 100km Kármán line. BURPG group shot at motor test site BURPG: Laughing gas and rubber Having recently tin-rattled its way to …
Lester Haines, 26 Feb 2015

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: El Reg eggs Benedict

A few days ago, we offered wobbly dining fans the Post-Pub Noshographic - a procedural flowchart to steer our beloved readers through the after-boozer neckfiller decision-making process. That handy guide serves for immediate deployment as you stagger through the front door, a gibbering and dribbling mess in search of immediate …
Lester Haines, 22 Feb 2015

El Reg chefs whip up Post-Pub Noshographic

Our post-pub nosh neckfiller recipes have proved immensely popular over the last few months, as we've strived to bring our beloved readers the very best antidotes to a rigorous night on the sauce. However, amid the smacking of lips and the rattling of pots and pans, we have noticed a trend for commentards to decry some recipes …
Lester Haines, 20 Feb 2015

El Reg's plucky Playmonaut eyes suborbital rocket shot

Those of you who like your rockets liquid-fuelled and your altitudes suborbital might like to have a shufti at "Earendel", which promises to be "the first vehicle capable of reaching space, ie, greater than 100km, with an entirely open source design". Cutaway view of the Earendel rocket Earendel (left) - named for the Anglo- …
Lester Haines, 13 Feb 2015

Swedish National Font marches to the sound of whalesong

LogoWatch A Strategy Boutique tasked by the Swedish government to come up with a new brand identity for the land of Abba and surströmming has spunked God alone knows how much wonga to create a "global brand identity" comprising the country's flag and the word "Sverige". The new Swedish brand frontage - with flag and shiny new font Key …
Lester Haines, 10 Feb 2015

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The Red Dwarf chilli chutney egg sarnie

Our pushing of the culinary envelope takes us into intergalactic space this week, as we present for your post-pub consideration the magnificent Red Dwarf chilli chutney egg sarnie, likened to "a cross between food and bowel surgery". That's how Arnold Rimmer described Dave Lister's unholy creation in episode Thanks for the …
Lester Haines, 07 Feb 2015

Twin Adam Sandlers shake El Reg's movie unwatchablathon team

We recently and somewhat recklessly announced that we'd be eyeballing Gigli, Pearl Harbor and Battlefield Earth back-to-back, in an epic "unwatchablathon" designed to determine just how much cinematic drivel the human mind can handle in one sitting. Our beloved readers are to blame for prompting this audacious experiment, having …
Lester Haines, 04 Feb 2015

Bluetooth-enabled miracle washing orbs? Are you kidding?

If you're one of those still waiting impatiently for the bloody flying car and robot butler we were promised back in the 1950s, and need a consolation quick fix of 21st-century domestic tech, then have a shufti at the Crystal Wash 2.0 - a bluetooth-enabled miracle washing orb currently the subject of a Kickstarter tin-rattle. …
Lester Haines, 03 Feb 2015

Turbocharged quad-core Raspberry Pi 2 unleashed, global geekgasm likely

Pics The Raspberry Pi Foundation is likely to provoke a global geekgasm today with the surprise release of the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B. It's a turbocharged version of the Pi B+, boasting a new Broadcom BCM2836 900MHz quad-core system-on-chip with 1GB of RAM – all of which will drive performance "at least 6x" that of the B+. Speaking …
Lester Haines, 02 Feb 2015

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Sizzling sag aloo

We're disappointed to report that despite our attempts last week to raise the tone of our post-pub neckfiller nosh recipes by the classy use of a soupçon of français, we have not yet attracted a sponsor willing to back our efforts to push the culinary envelope. No matter, because the latest offering for your wobbly dining …
Lester Haines, 01 Feb 2015

Virtual Vulture 2 swoops into Spaceport America

Vid Last weekend, our Vulture 2 spaceplane finally swooped down to an automated landing at Spaceport America, thanks to some hot hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) action by Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) Pixhawk autopilot wrangler Linus Penzlien. Linus has been working on ArduPilot HIL simulations using Tennessee X-Plane ace …
Lester Haines, 28 Jan 2015
Sag aloo mixed with our chickpea stew

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Chickpea stew à la Bureau des Projets Spéciaux

As winter tightens its frosty grip across the land, and a chill wind bites hard to the quick, the moment has arrived to contemplate a hearty post-pub dish designed to fill bellies on a budget and warm the cockles of the heart. So hereforth, mes amis, we present for your dining pleasure our very own Special Projects Bureau …
Lester Haines, 24 Jan 2015

Is it humanly possible to watch Gigli and Battlefield Earth back-to-back?

Our piece earlier this week on a study which proved The Wizard of Oz is the "most significant" movie ever – by dint of being the flick most referenced in subsequent works – provoked some interesting comments from our ever-lively readers. It goes without saying that a lot of your output centred on the researchers' possibly dodgy …
Lester Haines, 23 Jan 2015

Oz father and son team plan suborbital spaceplane

An Australian father and son team is attempting to develop a radical low Earth orbit spaceplane ultimately intended as a "space courier service" to return payloads from aloft. High-altitude ballooning (HAB) vets Robert Brand and son Jason, 12, (pictured below after one of their balloon flights) are in the initial stages of " …
Lester Haines, 22 Jan 2015

Wizard of Oz OFFICIALLY 'most significant movie' EVER, says PNAS

Researchers have used an interesting yardstick to determine that The Wizard of Oz is the most "significant" US movie ever, pipping Star Wars and Psycho into second and third spots in the significance league table. Forget the critics' opinion, audience figures or box office take: what really sets a film apart is the number of …
Lester Haines, 21 Jan 2015

Penguin high-flyers: Andrew Tridgell on the Linux autopilot

Vid The indefatigable Andrew Tridgell popped up at linux.conf.au in new Zealand last week, where he delivered an entertaining presentation on the state of play of porting ArduPilot to Linux. ArduPilot is the open source software which controls our own Vulture 2 spaceplane on the 3DR Pixhawk autopilot. As Tridge demonstrated, it …
Lester Haines, 20 Jan 2015

Alabama tops US teacher-pupil sex league

Alabama sits proudly at the top of the US teacher-pupil sex league, with one school employee per 193,975 residents being "accused or convicted" of engaging in illicit relations with a student during 2014. That's according to a enlightening study by Terry Abbott - "a former chief of staff of the U.S. Department of Education" - …
Lester Haines, 19 Jan 2015

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: 1.5 MILLION SCOVILLE masala omelette

"Lester Haines is evil. Not once did he ever say, 'No Shax, don't do it'." Those were the last words heard yesterday from Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) rocket wrangler Paul "Shax" Shackleton after he recklessly took our post-pub nosh neckfiller recipe for masala omelette, added two Carolina Reaper chilli peppers to …
Lester Haines, 16 Jan 2015

Bacon-smoking locals provoke noxious Chinese smog

The city of Dazhou in China's southwestern Sichuan Province is taking a hard line on what it believes is a significant contributor to the metropolis's "lingering" smog – the traditional practice of smoking bacon. According to Xinhua, Dazhou has been suffering a nasty bout of persistent airborne PM2.5 particulates since the …
Lester Haines, 15 Jan 2015

Icelandic brewers knock up whale 'nad beer

Icelandic beer botherer Stedji has unsurprisingly rather annoyed conservationists with the imminent release of a winter brew flavoured with smoked whale testicles, Visir reports. The "Hvalur 2" brew comes on the heels of last winter's successful Hvalur ("Whale") concoction, which contained "among other things the viscera and …
Lester Haines, 13 Jan 2015
Plate of lengua ready to serve

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Hot Spanish tongue action

Let's face it, anyone with any sense knows cows are far more agreeable when they're in pieces, and while throwing prime bovine bits on the barbecue is one the discerning gourmet's preferred methods of serving Miss Daisy, there are parts which, for whatever reason, have fallen from favour among Brit carnivores. We can't speak for …
Lester Haines, 10 Jan 2015

World's largest ship swallows 900 MEGATINS of baked beans

The BBC is having an Olympic swimming pool-sized field day at the news that the world's largest ship – the CSCL Globe - has docked at the Port of Felixstowe. According to Auntie, the China Shipping Container Lines-owned behemoth "is more than 400m (1,312ft) long, the equivalent of eight Olympic-size swimming pools", while its …
Lester Haines, 09 Jan 2015

LOHAN sponsor Pulse-Eight: Supplier of hi-def TV to dogs

It's fair to say that providing high-definition video to dogs was not a mission priority for the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team, but when a certain Pulse-Eight answered our Kickstarter tin-rattling last year, we were suddenly presented with the chance to push the envelope of canine entertainment solutions. UK- …
Lester Haines, 07 Jan 2015

Finally, some recognition: 'Selfi' snaps Spanish Word of the Year

The all-encompassing "selfie" has snapped the Fundéu BBVA's Spanish word of the year title for 2014, albeit in the leaner, meaner, and adapted form of selfi. The choice acknowledges the continuing influx of Anglicisms into Spanish, despite previous efforts to suggest that local constructs autofoto or autorretrato might serve to …
Lester Haines, 05 Jan 2015

Festive post-pub noshtastic neckfiller: HEARTY HOG MAW

We're now well into the season of festive excess, and doubtless readers will already be sustaining a severe pummelling to livers and credit cards in equal measure. We can't do much to mitigate the effects of excess Yule spending, but we can offer you something substantial and yet a bit different to soak up the booze: the hearty …
Lester Haines, 26 Dec 2014

Vulture 2 design hero describes epic 'hobby' project

It's a traditional SPB tip of the hat today to Vulture 2 spaceplane designer Chris Dodd, who's been chewing the fat with The Engineer about his involvement with the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) project. Chris Dodd and the virtual Vulture 2 on a computer monitor Long-term LOHAN fans will recall Chris (pictured …
Lester Haines, 19 Dec 2014
Lester firing an AR-16 at the gun range

American bacon cured with AR-15 assault rifle

It's been quite a week for the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team, as myself and Edge Research Laboratory's David Patterson travelled to Spaceport America in New Mexico, and took delivery of the Vulture 2 spaceplane in Denver, picking up a couple of rocket motor reloads along the way. We covered plenty of road …
Lester Haines, 17 Dec 2014
Our LOHAN mission patch design

El Reg's mighty rocket spaceplane Vulture 2 arrives in US of A

The Vulture 2 spaceplane arrived safely in the USA last week, and is currently resting at a secure facility in Denver courtesy of Jeff Anderton of video production outfit Mass Transit. Our rocket ship's relocation came as part of my own trip Stateside, which saw myself and Edge Research Lab's David Patterson on a reccy to …
Lester Haines, 16 Dec 2014
Our Playmonaut on the runway at Spaceport America

LOHAN's Plucky Playmonaut touches down at Spaceport America

Our plucky Playmonaut sensationally landed at Spaceport America in New Mexico last Thursday, although sadly not this time at the controls of the Register's soaraway Vulture 2 rocket ship. The diminutive Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) pilot walked the tarmac of the fabled gateway to the heavens as myself and David …

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The fantastical Francesinha

Legend has it that in the 1960s, one Daniel da Silva returned to his native Portugal following a stint in France and Belgium, with a vision of adapting the classic grilled ham and cheese croque-monsieur for local palates. The result was the Francesinha ("Frenchie"), an example of what happens when you take a simple sarnie, crank …
Lester Haines, 06 Dec 2014

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Masala omelette

The Brit post-pub gourmets among you will doubtless have indulged in the national pastime of staggering from the boozer to the nearest curry house, so it's no surprise that reader Martin Gregorie got in touch last week to suggest we venture into the hot and spicy by cooking up something with a bit of a kick. A splendid idea, and …
Lester Haines, 29 Nov 2014

LOHAN sponsor Lucidica explains the benefits of being French

Back in October, the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team welcomed our magnificent Kickstarter sponsors to Vulture Central, and among those who rolled up to be frisked by security at the door were representatives of London-based IT support firm Lucidica. The Lucidica team at Vulture Central With fighting livers at …
Lester Haines, 26 Nov 2014