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US Navy robot war-jet refuels in air: But Mav and Iceman are going down fighting

A US Navy X-47B unmanned aircraft demonstrator has successfully carried out air-to-air refuelling from a tanker, the last of the feats the X-47B project was intended to accomplish. The two robot jets will now be retired, either to museums or the Pentagon's famous desert aircraft boneyard in Arizona. The test took place yesterday …

Apple Watch: We ROUNDUP the ROUNDUPS. Yes, Roundup-squared

FOUR THINGS ye must know about the Apple Watch: First, it is from APPLE. Second, it is a bit like a WATCH. For instance, it goes on your wrist. Third, without an iPhone 5 or 6 it is USELESS. Actually maybe that should have been first. Sorry. Fourth, the world's media are now publishing many, many reviews and commentaries on …
Lewis Page, 09 Apr 2015
The reverse cowgirl

Watching porn makes men BETTER in bed, say trick-cyclists

It's widely believed that watching more porn tends to be a bad thing for a man's performance in real-world boudoir athletics: but a new study by trick-cyclists in Montreal suggests that in fact the reverse may be true. The study involved 280 Montreal men, who were asked how much porn they viewed in a week (with some apparently …
Lewis Page, 18 Mar 2015
Google Street View penguins

PENGUINS are just TASTELESS, say boffins

Penguins may be immaculately tailored but it seems they may be a bit tasteless in other areas; specifically that of, erm, taste. This is according to new genetic research which indicates that the smartly turned out flightless birds of the Antarctic have the genes to detect only two of the five tastes (which are sweet, sour, …
Lewis Page, 17 Feb 2015
A still from Eppendorf's epMotion video

Want to find LOVE online? Make sure your name is high up in the alphabet

A scientist, sickened by repeatedly getting turned down when seeking a date online, roped in a colleague and carried out extensive research through scientific literature so as to develop a set of foolproof methods for finding love on the internet. He now has a girlfriend, with whom he spent last week in Rome. The boffin in …
Lewis Page, 16 Feb 2015
Artist's conception showing the inner four planets of the Gliese 581 system. GJ 581g, potentially habitable, is in the foreground. Credit: Lynette Cook/NSF

ATTENTION SETI scientists! It's TOO LATE: ALIENS will ATTACK in 2049

Today, top experts on aliens will debate one of the most pressing issues of modern times: to wit, should the human race send out signals with the aim of letting any possible extraterrestrial beings know we are here? But the brainboxes assembled in San Jose for the annual shindig of the American Association for the Advancement of …
Lewis Page, 13 Feb 2015

UN negotiations menaced by THOUSANDS of TOPLESS LADIES with MAYONNAISE

Sensitive international negotiations on arms control taking place in Geneva could be menaced by mobs of screaming, topless women throwing mayonnaise, according to one of the delegates. Mr Ivan Grinevich, representing the nation of Belarus, made the remarks on Tuesday during a meeting of the United Nations Conference on …
Lewis Page, 13 Feb 2015
Reconstruction of past climate. Credit: Insititute of Geography, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

'Giving geo-engineering to this US govt is like giving a CHILD a LOADED GUN'

An official US government report just has recommended that further research should be carried out into various methods of "geoengineering" the climate so as to combat global warming. But one of its authors disagrees with himself, saying that giving such technology to the current US leadership would be "like giving a loaded gun …
Lewis Page, 11 Feb 2015
A person's chubby legs are seen above a scale. Photo via Shutterstock

SWINGBELLIES! Take heed! Drinking WINE is good for your LIVER

Great news today for those who haven't seen their feet lately and who enjoy a slurp of red wine: chemicals in dark grapes have been found to protect the liver from the harmful effects of being a fatty. Glugging red wine - or munching actual grapes, should that be your bag - doesn't prevent or reduced actual embulgement. What is …
Lewis Page, 09 Feb 2015
Virtual journalist files another scoop

Major US news organisations to develop ROBOT JOURNALISTS

In a development whose potential sinister consequences would be difficult to exaggerate, a number of major US new organisations have banded together in an alliance for the purpose of developing news-gathering robots. Nor is this some sort of HuffPost blogswarm news aggregation scrap-o-matic system: this plan would see actual …
Lewis Page, 06 Feb 2015
Concept art depicting the lights of an ET civilisation on an exoplanet. Credit: David A Aguilar (CfA)

ALIENS are surely AMONG US: Average star has TWO potentially Earth-like worlds

Boffins in Australia have applied a hundreds-of-years-old astronomical rule to data from the Kepler planet-hunting space telescope. They've come to the conclusion that the average star in our galaxy has not one but two Earth-size planets in its "goldilocks" zone where liquid water - and thus, life along Earthly lines - could …
Lewis Page, 05 Feb 2015

LICKED: Behold my TOAD-PROOF ERECTION, boasts Aussie boffin

An Australian scientist says that he has succeeded in mastering one of mankind's deadliest enemies: invading toads which sweat toxic hallucinogenic drugs. "This is the first study to demonstrate long-term control of cane toads," says Professor Mike Letnic of New South Wales uni. 'This is a cane toad with a tracking device …
Lewis Page, 05 Feb 2015
Game of Thrones Season One Blu-ray disc set

Spent the weekend watching Game of Thrones? You're a FAT LONELY SADDO

You thought it was harmless, didn't you? Settling down on the sofa, firing up your trusty smart TV, stream-o-dongle or similar - or for the retro types, unwrapping your new boxset of DVDs - and getting ready to burn up a day or two watching an entire telly series end to end. Well brace up, my sessile friend, because there's news …
Lewis Page, 02 Feb 2015
German shepherd guard dog standing in flood water

'LOOK into my EYES: You are feeling very worried about the climate ... SO worried'

Comment A trick-cyclist who promised several years ago to use a new form of mass hypnosis to get the public motivated to fight climate change claims that he's done it. In fact the claim is bogus: it is itself part of his attempt to carry out his plan of manipulating public opinion. The trick-cyclist is, as regular readers of these pages …
Lewis Page, 29 Jan 2015
Doomsday clock

Doomsday Clock says 3 MINUTES to MIDNIGHT. Again

+Comment The famous Doomsday Clock, which has been showing anywhere between 17 and two minutes to midnight since 1947, has advanced to three-minutes-to for the third time – on this occasion due to a perceived increase in the menace from human-driven climate change. The organisation which runs the Clock, the Bulletin of the Atomic …
Lewis Page, 23 Jan 2015
Press photo Credit: E. Brun

SECRETS of the LOST SCROLLS unlocked by key to HEALTHY BOOBS

Carbonised scrolls from a Roman library destroyed in a volcanic eruption are being read using a cunning X-ray technique more commonly employed in medical screening for breast cancer, boffins have announced. The scrolls in question are the famous Herculaneum library ones. Herculaneum was a Roman resort located on the Bay of …
Lewis Page, 21 Jan 2015

SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS that 2014 was record HOTTEST year? NO

+Comment So the results are in. The main US global-temperature scorekeepers - NASA and the NOAA - say that last year was definitely the hottest year on record. But they've been contradicted by a highly authoritative scientific team, one actually set up to try an establish objective facts in this area. On the face of it, there's no …
Lewis Page, 19 Jan 2015

DVRs at the ready tonight: El Reg's motor Vulture is on the tellybox

Keen Reg readers will doubtless wish to line up one of their TV tuners* tonight to capture Inside Out at 19:30 on BBC1 (sadly only in London). The programme is to feature our own Simon Rockman, mobile and motoring correspondent, expounding on the experience of driving an electric car in the nation's capital. Here's a short clip …
Lewis Page, 19 Jan 2015
Lake Tahoe

FERTILISER DOOM warning! PESKY humans set to WIPE selves out AGAIN

The human race's profligate use of fertilisers may be about to breach "planetary boundaries" and render our planet unable to support civilisation, an American limnologist has claimed. “We’re running up to and beyond the biophysical boundaries that enable human civilisation as we know it to exist,” says Stephen Carpenter, …
Lewis Page, 16 Jan 2015

'We will SNORT UP CRYSTAL DUST and then do a MAJOR software update'

NASA boffins are planning to pulverise a dried-up deposit from the surface of Mars and then snort up and "ingest" the resulting crystalline dust before performing a major software update, they have announced. The crystal snorting will of course be done by robotic means, through the agency of the nuclear powered, raygun-armed, …
Lewis Page, 15 Jan 2015

Professor's BEAGLE lost for 10 years FOUND ON MARS

The long-lost, dustbin-lid sized British Mars lander Beagle 2 - whose fate had been unknown since it departed from its Mars Express mothership in orbit above the red planet on Christmas Day 2003 - seems likely to have been found at last. The UK Space Agency has scheduled a press briefing on the Beagle for Friday and is refusing …
Lewis Page, 13 Jan 2015

Preserve the concinnity of English, caterwauls American university

New words get added to the English language all the time: we're bombarded, inundated, overwhelmed by press releases from dictionary publishers in which such excrescences as listicle, clickbait and neckbeard are added to the collective vocab. But who ever spares a thought for the various excellent old words being pushed onto the …
Lewis Page, 13 Jan 2015

ALIEN EARTH: Red sun's habitable world spotted 470 light years away

The discovery of new planets likely to be able to support life along Earthly lines has been announced, with one of the most promising candidates for alien and/or human habitability located just 470 light-years away. The new exoplanets have been discovered by analysis of data from the Kepler space telescope, and bear the tags …
Lewis Page, 07 Jan 2015

Alien Earths are out there: Our home is not 'unique'

New research suggests planets similar to our Earth are much more common across the galaxy than previously thought. And the boffins behind this revelation have also come up with a simple chemical recipe for creating habitable worlds suitable for use by advanced super-powered intelligences and/or deities etc. "Our solar system is …
Lewis Page, 06 Jan 2015
Openstack log

Symantec becomes Gold OpenStack member - while suing it

Symantec has been announced as the newest Gold member of OpenStack, a status the open source effort says means it “pledge[s] strategic alignment to the OpenStack mission.” But Symantec is also behind patent litigation against other OpenStack members, and is claiming ownership of some of the project's code. Symantec's tossed …
Lewis Page, 22 Dec 2014

'Turn to nuclear power to save planetary ecology from renewable BLIGHT'

+Analysis Sixty-six heavyweight boffins active in the field of biodiversity conservation have pleaded with the world's greens to get over their objections to nuclear power, pointing out that renewable energy means terrible losses of endangered animals and plants. "Biodiversity is not only threatened by climate disruption arising largely …
Lewis Page, 16 Dec 2014
Wheel of a sunken ship,  covered in barnacles

GERONTIC 'Ghost ship' prowled the undersea cables of the 1940s

A "ghost ship" which helped develop the world's network of undersea cables - and worked for the former British Cable & Wireless firm, nowadays renowned as partner to the Five-Eyes spook alliance under the secret codename GERONTIC - has been discovered deep beneath the waves near Hawaii. The ship in question is the Dickenson, …
Lewis Page, 09 Dec 2014

Technology quiz reveals that nobody including quiz drafters knows anything about IT

A terrifying new quiz has indicated that the state of knowledge among Americans regarding IT topics is abysmally low: but the questions are such as to indicate that even the drafters of the quiz didn't know much. The quiz in question is one from Pew Research, intended to find out "What Internet Users Know about Technology and …
Lewis Page, 26 Nov 2014

MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'

A Parliamentary report into the murder of off-duty British soldier Lee Rigby by Muslim extremists last year has pointed the finger of blame squarely at "the major US Communications Service Providers", saying that the only organisation which could have prevented the attack was one such internet-media giant. The new report was …
Lewis Page, 25 Nov 2014

Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers

Comment Two highly qualified Google engineers who have spent years studying and trying to improve renewable energy technology have stated quite bluntly that renewables will never permit the human race to cut CO2 emissions to the levels demanded by climate activists. Whatever the future holds, it is not a renewables-powered civilisation …
Lewis Page, 21 Nov 2014
A person's chubby legs are seen above a scale. Photo via Shutterstock

FORGET the CLIMATE: FATTIES are a MUCH BIGGER problem - study

Data Journalism* The BMI-fuelled "obesity epidemic" bandwagon continues to rumble along, with the latest ridiculous report claiming that swingbellies are now twice as serious a menace to human prosperity as climate change. No, really. The giant brains of the McKinsey Global Institute have assembled this authoritative graph, which ranks the …
Lewis Page, 21 Nov 2014
Lightning

ZZZAP! Climate change means getting HIT BY LIGHTNING is likelier

Lightning strikes are set to become more frequent if global warming resumes, according to a new study by climate scientists. In an extreme scenario where temperatures climb by 4 degrees Celsius, the increase could be as much as 50 per cent. "With warming, thunderstorms become more explosive," explains David Romps, climatology …
Lewis Page, 14 Nov 2014
Pistol cartridges and a pistol

3D PRINTED GUNS: THIS time it's for REAL! Oh, wait – no, still crap

So, hype notwithstanding, it's now pretty well acknowledged that you cannot in fact make a useful gun out of plastic in a consumer-grade 3D printer. But wait! Hold everything! There's a new "Bullet That Could Make 3-D Printed Guns Practical Deadly Weapons"! Holy Cow! Oh dear. The ".314 Atlas" from designer Michael Crumling is …
Lewis Page, 06 Nov 2014

Robot deputy blasts possibly explosive Mexican beans with CANNON in 'controlled explosion'

A robotic deputy from the San Diego Sheriff's Bomb and Arson Unit took no chances with a suspicious parcel full of potentially exploding Mexican beans yesterday, blasting the package with a "cannon" in a "controlled explosion". Local police spokesman Lieutenant Greg Koran told media that a postman making his rounds noticed that …
Lewis Page, 06 Nov 2014
A storm is brewing (Mali, Sahel). Foto: F. Guichard & L. Kergoat, AMMA project, CNRS copyright.

Met Office: 2014 was FIFTEENTH WARMEST UK SUMMER on record

The UK experienced its fifteenth hottest summer since 1910 this year, according to the latest Met Office figures, with the raging heat unsurpassed except in the years 1911, 1947, 1955 and eleven other years over the past century. "People are not adapting their homes, particularly in cities, to make them cooler. For vulnerable …
Lewis Page, 05 Nov 2014
Our shock image of the Tenerife sex dangle

Bona-fide SCIENCE: Which forms of unusual sex are, um, mainstream?

It's not often, here on the Register sexy psychology desk, that we are genuinely bowled over by a press release. But we are today. The press release in question is this one from Montreal uni. It begins: Hoping for sex with two women is common but fantasizing about golden showers is not. That's just one of the findings from a …
Lewis Page, 03 Nov 2014

NASA: Spacecraft crash site FOUND ON MOON RIM

NASA boffins are chuffed as ninepence this week to announce that they have discovered unmistakable signs of a crashed spacecraft far away from the Apollo landing sites on the far side of the Moon. Now you see my ejecta, now you don't The boffins believe that the wrecked craft was the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment …
Lewis Page, 30 Oct 2014
Yepp_YPP2_girls

MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer

A surefire way of holding off that scourge of male health, prostate cancer, is to sleep with lots of women - according to the latest research. However, perhaps unfortunately for those gentlemen inclined that way, sleeping with a lot of other men has quite the opposite effect. These bombshells originate in a study from Canadian …
Lewis Page, 29 Oct 2014

FATTIES: Boffins say their miracle sunshine skin cream 'prevents obesity'

Swingbellies: Take heed! An international team of top boffins say they have found that sunlight can reduce weight gain - and that they can duplicate the effect with a skin cream. "Exposure to moderate amounts of sunshine may slow the development of obesity," a university statement announcing the research says. And it goes on: …
Lewis Page, 27 Oct 2014
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, aged 81, of the United Kingdom. Photo taken during a visit in NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Greenbelt, Maryland, USA

Not a loyal follower of @BritishMonarchy? You missed The QUEEN*'s first Tweet

Here it is: It is a pleasure to open the Information Age exhibition today at the @ScienceMuseum and I hope people will enjoy visiting. Elizabeth R. — BritishMonarchy (@BritishMonarchy) October 24, 2014 There's intense debate in some quarters as to whether Her Majesty pressed the button herself or not, with the Tweet …
Lewis Page, 24 Oct 2014
Magnetic fields of sunspots interacting

Trips to Mars may be OFF: The SUN has changed in a way we've NEVER SEEN

+Comment A drop in the solar wind of a kind never yet seen in the space age has made travel beyond Earth orbit a lot more dangerous, according to boffins – so much so that a manned mission to Mars may not be feasible for many decades. "The behavior of the sun has recently changed and is now in a state not observed for almost 100 years," …
Lewis Page, 22 Oct 2014

Ancient Brits 'set wealthy man's FANCY CHARIOT on FIRE' – boffins

Archaeologists digging in Leicestershire say they have discovered the remains of a prestige-marque chariot dating from the second or third century BC, which had seemingly been torched on purpose by local inhabitants. The most prestigious badge in Iron Age British chariots According to a statement released by Leicester uni: …
Lewis Page, 15 Oct 2014

ROBOT TROUSER SNAKE stiffens to master slippery mounds

Scientists say their new snake robot has cracked the tricky problem of slithering up slippery mounds. The trouser(ed) snake robot This undeniable pushing-back of the frontiers of science comes to us courtesy of Professor Daniel Goldman's Complex Rheology And Biomechanics Lab ("the Crab Lab") at the Georgia Institute of …
Lewis Page, 10 Oct 2014

'MYSTERIOUS PYRAMID STRUCTURE' found on COMET beyond Mars: Landing planned

Exciting news from outer space today, as it has emerged that a "mysterious" pyramid-like "structure" has been discovered on the surface of a comet plunging towards the inner solar system from beyond the orbit of Mars. Necropolis-esque comet structure The comet in question is 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, and the discovery has …
Lewis Page, 10 Oct 2014

Antarctic ice at ALL TIME RECORD HIGH: We have more to learn, says boffin

Climate scientists have confessed they are baffled – yet again – by another all-time record area of sea covered by ice around the Antarctic coasts. "What we're learning is, we have more to learn," said Ted Scambos, lead scientist at the US National Snow and Ice Data Center, announcing the latest annual sea ice maximum for the …
Lewis Page, 09 Oct 2014

DOCTOR HELL and his henchmen score Nobel for the NANO-SCOPE

Hefty German scientist Dr Stefan Hell - and American colleagues Eric Betzig and William Moerner - have been awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their development of super-high-res microscopes: so hi-res, in fact, that they are really nano-scopes. "Due to their achievements the optical microscope can now peer into the …
Lewis Page, 08 Oct 2014
Woman looks immensely happy while staring into blank screen of unplugged monitor

HOT BABES! Worried you won't get that JOB in IT? MENTION how hot you are

Who says the fields of psychology and business studies produce nothing but worthless waffle? A top professor of psychobiz has solved one of the most pressing problems facing humanity today: that of the terrible discrimination faced by attractive women when they try to get jobs which are perceived as being traditionally masculine …
Lewis Page, 08 Oct 2014
Metal Storm on a robot

Man brings knife to a gun fight and WINS

There are two things generally thought to be true. First, you should never bring a knife to a gun fight. Second, the machines are on the rise and puny humanity is set to be exterminated in an orgy of mechanised slaughter not too far in the future. Well it's a topsy turvy world, my friends, and these days it's pretty hard to know …
Lewis Page, 06 Oct 2014

Ice probe peers at hidden BOTTOMS of oceans from SPAAACE

Pics Space is said to be the final frontier, but in fact there is also a penultimate frontier to be finished off before we get out there: the ocean depths, more than 80 per cent of which, until recently, had remained unmapped and unexplored. Not any more though, because a team of international brainboxes has decided to gaze down from …
Lewis Page, 03 Oct 2014

OMG!! With nothing but MACHINE TOOLS, STEEL and PARTS you can make a GUN!!

Analysis Not so amazingly, it turns out that with nothing more than a lot of manufactured parts and some specialised machinery, you can make a working rifle. This "news" comes to us because a man famous for pretending to make working guns from 3D-printed plastic is selling such machinery - which does rather prove that his 3D printed …
Lewis Page, 02 Oct 2014