Lester Haines

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Linux bids for UAV world domination by enslaving future skybot army

The Dronecode open-source UAV platform initiative has announced that it has welcomed on board a raft of new members, who'll help drive the project towards becoming a de facto standard for consumer and commercial drones. The non-profit organisation – governed by the Linux Foundation – was formed in late 2014. Founding members 3D …
Lester Haines, 29 Jun 2015

'Backronym' crowdfunds itself into Oxford English Dictionary

Proof, were it needed, that El Reg is down wiv da lingo comes with the inclusion of "backronym" in the Oxford English Dictionary – one of 500 new words just added to the bulging lexicon. As regular readers know, we like a nice backronym, hence "Paper Aircraft Released Into Space" (PARIS), "Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator" ( …
Lester Haines, 25 Jun 2015

Indiana Jones whips Bond in greatest movie character poll

Reg reader movie buffs will doubtless have an opinion on the news that Indiana Jones has been voted "greatest movie character of all time". The whip-cracking archaeologist beat James Bond into second spot in a public poll conducted by Empire. Han Solo rolled in third, meaning two podium appearences for George Lucas and Harrison …
Lester Haines, 24 Jun 2015

Mum fails to nuke killer spider nest from orbit

A shaken British mother has recounted how she and her family narrowly escaped death at the fangs of the feared South American eight-legged death machine which is the Brazilian wandering spider. Mum-of-four Laura Horsfield, 31, bought a bunch of bananas from a Tesco in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire, on the perfectly reasonable …
Lester Haines, 23 Jun 2015

US students prevail in rocket-powered egg challenge

A group of Alabama students claimed the International Rocketry Challenge crown in Paris last week, pipping their British and French rivals into second and third places, respectively. The seven students from the Russellville City Schools – competing as RCS Engineers – were pitted against the UK's "Team Terminator", from James …
Lester Haines, 22 Jun 2015

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Nasi goreng pattaya

We invite our wobbly dining regulars to travel with us today to Malaysia, in search of "nasi goreng pattaya" – a tempting egg omelette envelope stuffed with chicken fried rice, with a distinctly Western splash of tomato ketchup. Nasi goreng pattaya is known as nasi goreng amplop in Indonesia, where nasi goreng ("fried rice") is …
Lester Haines, 20 Jun 2015

Post-pub nosh neckfillers: Reader suggestions invited

We at the post-pub nosh neckfiller team are drawing up a menu for the next batch of wobbly dining delicacies, and invite readers to suggest their faves for inclusion on the list. As our alcohol-fuelled haute cuisine regulars know, since last November we've travelled the world in search of those recipes best suited to mitigating …
Lester Haines, 19 Jun 2015

Vicious vandals violate voluminous Versailles vagina

Artist Anish Kapoor has decried French "intolerance" towards art, after vandals attacked his vast vagina sculpture in the gardens of the Palace of Versailles. The provocative work – officially dubbed "Dirty Corner", but known popularly as the "Queen's Vagina" – was discovered damaged by yellow paint on Wednesday morning. …
Lester Haines, 19 Jun 2015

PRATCHETT chats to Oz from 31,000m above Planet Earth

Pics + vids + graphs EDGE22 - PRATCHETT Mission Summary The Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission is in good shape after the final test flight of our Vulture 2 spaceplane's avionics - dubbed PRATCHETT - soared to 31,050m (101,870ft) above Colorado on Saturday. Our US allies at Edge Research Laboratory piggybacked the PRATCHETT payload …
Lester Haines, 16 Jun 2015

Innocent Spaniards roasted by experimental napalm mead

Pics Regular Reg readers will be aware that our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) rocket wrangler Paul "Lord Shax" Shackleton, when he's not lighting blue touchpapers, may be found brewing 18 per cent ABV mead or blowing his own head off with 1.5 million Scoville masala omelettes, featuring the awe-inspiring Carolina Reaper …
Lester Haines, 14 Jun 2015

Hold on to your hats: LOHAN'S PRATCHETT mission launch imminent

Our US allies at Edge Research Laboratory are as we speak on the ground at Colorado Springs East Airport preparing for the imminent launch of the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) PRATCHETT mission. Lift-off is scheduled for around 13:30 Mountain Daylight Time (19:30 GMT), and all being well, you should be able to …
Lester Haines, 13 Jun 2015

LOHAN'S PRATCHETT mission set to soar Saturday

Barring a last-minute change in the predicted weather, our US allies at Edge Research Laboratory will on Saturday dispatch the last Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) test payload into the stratosphere over Colorado. The mission – codenamed PRATCHETT in honour of the late Discworld author Sir Terry – is a final test of …
Lester Haines, 11 Jun 2015

Spanish TV journo leaves subordinates cowering after verbal shoeings

The news editor of Spanish regional television company Castilla-La Mancha Televisión (CLMTV) is herself in the news this week following accusations she persistently abuses her staff with foul-mouthed outbursts. According to recordings obtained by cowering subordinates, Victoria Vigón regularly offers frank off-camera analysis of …
Lester Haines, 10 Jun 2015

Life in plastic, it's fantastic: Playmobil supremo dies at 81

Horst Brandstätter, the man behind the global Playmobil phenomenon, has died aged 81. Horst Brandstatter. Pic: Brandstätter Group Horst Brandstätter. Pic: Brandstätter Group According to the official obit, Brandstätter passed away on 3 June at his home in Zirndorf, Bavaria, having continued to work to the end on what was "his …
Lester Haines, 09 Jun 2015

Chips can kill: Official

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has grimly concluded that those tucking into fried potato products run an increased risk of damaged DNA and developing cancer. The culprit is the chemical acrylamide (AA), which "naturally forms in starchy food products during every-day high-temperature cooking (frying, baking, roasting …
Lester Haines, 08 Jun 2015
NuStar's view of the Sun

Spaniard sues eBay over right to sell the Sun

A Spanish woman has filed a lawsuit against eBay for the right to sell the Sun, El Mundo reports. Galician star-vendor Ángeles Durán is claiming €10,000 from the world's favourite tat bazaar after it blocked her attempts to offload bits of our solar system's nuclear furnace on eBay's Spanish and Italian tentacles. According to …
Lester Haines, 05 Jun 2015
new_spaceshiptwo_teaser_648

Virgin Galactic will get into space 'within 18 months to two years'

Virgin Galactic will be carrying aloft its first paying customers "within 18 months to two years", according to chief executive George Whitesides. Speaking to the BBC at the Mojave Air and Space Port, Whitesides said the company is on track for lift-off "maybe sooner, but not much longer", despite being some way off finishing …
Lester Haines, 04 Jun 2015

Spaniards get that cinking feeling

They may not be able to pronounce WhatsApp for love nor money, but the Spaniards have no trouble whatsoever getting their tongues around the English -ing suffix, as evidenced by a recent agreeable/alarming (according to your opinion on foreignisms) rise in xxxings here in Spain. It all started innocently enough. Students of the …
Lester Haines, 04 Jun 2015

Chinese bloke escapes execution for Forbidden City nude photo shoot

NSFW A Chinese artist will likely not be strapped to a gurney and injected with a lethal cocktail of chemicals, despite the best efforts of Western news outlets and the local Twat-O-Tron to suggest a nude photo shoot at Beijing's Forbidden City might represent a surefire shortcut to the execution chamber. According to The Mirror, …
Lester Haines, 03 Jun 2015

KFC takes legal axe to eight-legged mutant chicken claims

Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) has filed lawsuit in a Shanghai court claiming that three Chinese companies used social media to spread rumours it had produced a six-winged, eight-legged chicken. Shanxi Weilukuang Technology Company, Taiyuan Zero Point Technology, and Yingchenanzhi Success and Culture Communication stand accused of …
Lester Haines, 02 Jun 2015
SkyProwler drone

Case for drone usage now overwhelming as Enrique Iglesias concert almost stopped

Singer Enrique Iglesias came off worse from a scrap with a UAV during a concert in Tijuana, Mexico, over the weekend. According to a representative of the Spanish crooner, "a drone is used to get crowd shots and some nights Enrique grabs the drone to give the audience a Point of View shot". "Something went wrong and he had an …
Lester Haines, 01 Jun 2015
Detail of Apple 1 Board

Woman dumps ultra-rare $200,000 Apple 1 computer in the trash

A widow who dumped a 1976 Apple 1 computer at a recycling centre in California is unaware she's in line for a six-figure payout – after the facility sold the vintage kit for $200,000 (£131,700). CleanBayArea said the "anonymous lady around 60-70 years of age" left a couple of boxes of electronic waste at its Silicon Valley …
Lester Haines, 01 Jun 2015

Naked cyclists take a hard line on 'aroused' protest participant

The Canterbury World Naked Bike Ride jaunt on Saturday got off to an entertaining start as one "over-excited" male participant was spotted sporting an erection. One shaken onlooker said: "Everyone was taking their clothes off to get ready for the ride. I heard gasps and I turned around – it was a horrible sight. It's fair to say …
Lester Haines, 01 Jun 2015

High-flying LOHAN fan raises ale-filled tankard

We like to take the opportunity this fine May morning to once again thank all of those who backed our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) Kickstarter campaign, and in particular the discerning backers who opted for a tankard as a reward. As many of them will attest, we've had a few issues getting intact glassware into …
Lester Haines, 29 May 2015

NASA's Jupiter moon mission becomes acronymathon

NASA has announced the nine instruments selected for its planned 2020s mission to Jovian moon Europa, and as is the local custom, there are some choice stretching-it-a-bit acronyms on offer for aficionados of the agency's previous efforts. Those previous efforts include the memorable "MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, …
Lester Haines, 28 May 2015

Oz dad-and-son team rattle tin for homemade reusable spaceplane

Australian father and son team Robert and Jason Brand have taken to Kickstarter in search of funds for their ThunderStruck project, which they hope will eventually lead to a reusable spaceplane capable of carrying a 50kg payload into low Earth orbit. Robert and Jason Brand Before conquering space, the high-altitude …
Lester Haines, 27 May 2015
The Typhoon in Battle of Britain colours

RAF Eurofighter gets a Battle of Britain makeover

The RAF is commemorating this year's 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain with a fetching makeover for one of its Eurofighter Typhoons, repainted with the markings of 249 Squadron's Flight Lieutenant James Brindley Nicolson VC DFC. Flight Lieutenant James Brindley Nicolson VC Flight Lieutenant James Brindley Nicolson VC …
Lester Haines, 26 May 2015

LOHAN team preps PRATCHETT mission

The Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team is gearing up for one final test flight, codenamed PRATCHETT in honour of the late and great Discworld author Sir Terry. Reg reader Alex Carlton conjured up the winning name, and won himself a RockBLOCK Mk2 Iridium satellite comms unit from our mates at Rock Seven. Alex …
Lester Haines, 25 May 2015

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Bog-standard boxty

"Really dad?" It was with a slightly exasperated raise of the eyebrow that my daughter Katarina greeted the news last weekend that we were about to tackle classic Irish spud-based nosh boxty, the better to increase her chances of acquiring a suitable husband* when the moment arises. In case you're wondering, as was Katarina, …
Lester Haines, 23 May 2015

Candlelit vigil planned to honour executed Newcastle cow Bessie

Tearful locals have convened a candlelit vigil to mourn the passing of Bessie the cow, gunned down on Sunday night by Northumbria Police marksmen after hoofing it from the Rising Sun Country Park in North Tyneside. The animal was taken out by firearms operatives "in the interests of public safety", following a chase involving " …
Lester Haines, 20 May 2015

Last flying Avro Vulcan, XH558, prepares for her swan song

The Vulcan To The Sky Trust has announced "with considerable sadness" that this summer will be the public's last chance to catch Avro Vulcan XH558 thundering through British skies, as the legendary V-bomber will be permanently grounded at the end of this flying season. The trust explains that the axe will fall because "three …
Lester Haines, 20 May 2015
Sir Terry Pratchett

LOHAN's final test flight set to honour PRATCHETT

Our search for a suitably snappy title for our forthcoming final Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) test flight has ended agreeably with a reader poll coming down firmly in support of PRATCHETT. Alex Carlton's "Planes Reactive Airborne Tests Checking Heuristically for Extreme Technological Tantrums" ran away with the …
Lester Haines, 19 May 2015

LOHAN's final test flight moniker: The people must decide

Poll As the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team prepares for a forthcoming final test flight, we've put together the poll which will decide which talented reader walks away with a RockBLOCK Mk2 Iridium satellite comms unit, courtesy of our chums at Rock Seven. The RockBLOCK Mk2 The RockBLOCK "allows you to send and …
Lester Haines, 15 May 2015

Drone penetrates Virgin's shapely space arse

Vid US UAV outfit 3D Robotics is about to unleash its much-anticipated Solo, and has prompted a bit a of a geekgasm with a vid showing the "the world's smartest drone" penetrating Virgin's shapely space arse. Yes indeed, that's the Virgin Galactic terminal/hangar at Spaceport America, a structure we described as "a huge pair of …
Lester Haines, 14 May 2015

RAF radar station crew begs public for cash to buy gaming LAN kit

Update We invite readers to spare a thought today for the operatives at the Royal Air Force's Remote Radar Head (RRH) Staxton Wold tentacle which, while forming a vital part of the UK's Air Surveillance And Control System (ASACS), is apparently no better suited to civilised living than when the Romans first planted a beacon there in …
Lester Haines, 13 May 2015

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Cuy Chactado – Deep-fried guinea pig

We at the El Reg post-pub nosh team are taking a break from the kitchen this week, and bringing instead a report from deepest Peru on classic cuy chactado (deep-fried guinea pig), courtesy of my old pal Gavin Wright. Gavin has a penchant for tackling challenging routes worldwide atop his bicycle, and was recently in Bolivia and …
Lester Haines, 10 May 2015

Traumatised Reg SPB team barely survives movie unwatchablathon

The vital question as to whether it is humanly possible to watch celluloid trainwrecks Gigli, Pearl Harbor and Battlefield Earth back-to-back was answered last weekend when a crack El Reg Special Projects Bureau squad endured 403 minutes of continuous cinematic outrage and emerged alive, if somewhat shaken. As part of its pre- …
Lester Haines, 08 May 2015

It's beers and bacon all round for our Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse

Dietary normality has returned for the members of the El Reg Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse, who last Friday completed the Live Below the Line challenge to live for five days on just one pound sterling a day for food. Yes indeed, give it up if you will for Neil Barnes and Anita Wegner, Toby Sibley and Rosalind Griffin, Chris Wilkinson, …
Lester Haines, 06 May 2015

Bonny Scottish post-pub nosh neckfiller: Rumbledethumps

It's been far too long since we at the El Reg post-pub nosh team ventured north of the border in search of the very best wobbly dining haute cuisine, and indeed it was way back in 2012 that we served readers the very pinnacle of Scottish fusion cuisine – the quite remarkable haggis pakora. This simply won't do, so at the behest …
Lester Haines, 03 May 2015

Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse chap in 'desperate' cash shortage

As the El Reg Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse nears the finishing line of the Live Below the Line challenge, Stateside member Richard Jacob reports that he and his family are "desperately short of money", reduced to just $1.52 to fuel them to the finishing line. It's been quite an adventure for the Jacobs over the last week, and with a …
Lester Haines, 01 May 2015

El Reg merch tentacle mulls retro LOHAN T-shirt

The chaps and chapettes at El Reg merchandising tentacle Cash'n'Carrion have been strapping a few ideas to the apparel ducking stool to see if they float, and have just sent over a couple of pics of a proposed Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) T-shirt in a retro comic book stylee. It's pretty fetching, we reckon, …
Lester Haines, 01 May 2015

Heroic Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse tighten their belts

It's day four of the El Reg Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse's five-day Live Below the Line challenge, and while everyone is on course to triumphantly cross the finishing line tomorrow night, it's not all plain sailing. We've got 13 people tightening their belts in support of Malaria No More UK. I'm doing the challenge for the third …
Lester Haines, 30 Apr 2015

Brits send Star Wars X-wing fighter to the stratosphere

A couple of Brits have made a cheeky pitch for tickets to the premiere of forthcoming Star Wars flick The Force Awakens by sending a model X-wing fighter into the stratosphere. Essex boys Matt Kingsnorth and Phil St. Pier, of Project Helium Tears (motto "For Essex, for Earth, for all mankind") hit 36,190m with their diminutive …
Lester Haines, 30 Apr 2015

Anonymous benefactor to match today's Quid-A-Day donations

A Register reader who wishes to remain anonymous has said he will match all donations today to the El Reg Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse's 2015 Live Below the Line fundraising total in aid of Malaria No More UK, up to a maximum of £750. This piece of generosity was apparently prompted by the belief that other fans of Vulture Central have …
Lester Haines, 29 Apr 2015

Quid-A-Day kids chow down on foraged weed salad

We at the El Reg Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse headquarters received the first full report from team member Nathan Dennis yesterday afternoon, shortly after he got stuck into the Live Below the Line challenge in aid of Malaria No More UK. Regarding his basic line of attack as to how to survive on £1 a day for food, he said: "Given I do …
Lester Haines, 28 Apr 2015

Quid-A-Day veteran fuelled by vastly improved nosh stash

We're pleased to report that El Reg Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse member and 2014 Live Below the Line veteran Toby Sibley has resurfaced, fuelled by a vastly superior diet to that which saw him subsist on a meagre 780 calories per day last year. Toby did the challenge in the immediate run-up to his getting hitched to Rosalind Griffin, …
Lester Haines, 28 Apr 2015

Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse taunted with sausage sarnie snap

The El Reg Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse's Live Below the Line challenge got off to a provocative start today, as Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team member Paul "Lord Shax" Shackleton sent over a snap of what we certainly weren't getting our laughing gear round this morning. Paul Shackleton's sausage sarnie Careful not to …
Lester Haines, 27 Apr 2015

Quid-A-Day Nosh Challenge kicks off early for starvation veteran

The El Reg Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse has attracted two last minute members for the 2015 Live Below the Line challenge, and we're delighted to welcome back on board 2014 participant Toby Sibley, who's joined by his better half Ros Griffin. Readers who followed last year's budget nosh entertainment will recall that Toby survived on an …
Lester Haines, 26 Apr 2015
That executed Dell PC. Pic: Colorado Springs Police Dept

Fed-up Colorado man takes 9mm PISTOL to vexing Dell PC

A Colorado Springs man who decided he'd had just about enough of his cantankerous Dell PC took it into an alleyway and pumped eight 9mm rounds into its sorry case, according to the local Gazette. Lucas Hinch, 37, simply "got tired of fighting with his computer for the last several months", as the Colorado Springs Police …
Lester Haines, 22 Apr 2015

El Reg assembles mighty Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse

El Reg's participation next week in the 2015 Live Below the Line challenge – to survive for five days on one pound a day for food – is set to be more entertaining than ever as we've assembled a mighty Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse featuring no fewer than 11 brave souls. I first did the challenge back in 2013, in support of Malaria No …
Lester Haines, 22 Apr 2015