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The path of B-64 shown on a world map

Brit amateur payload set to complete full circle around PLANET EARTH

It's a tip of the hat today to Brit High Altitude Ballooning (HAB) bod Leo Bodnar, whose B-64 payload is poised to complete an epic 25,000km circumnavigation of the globe. B-64 - comprising a 12g solar-powered radio tracker rig - lifted off on 12 July from near Silverstone, Northamptonshire. Its most recent position showed it …
Lester Haines, 30 Jul 2014

LOHAN's stirring motto: Ad Astra Tabernamque

It's official: The stirring motto for our audacious Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) ballocket mission is Ad Astra Tabernamque. The public vote came down firmly in favour of us heading both to the stars and the pub, and we're not going to argue with that. Per Cervisiam Ad Astra ("Through Beer To The Stars") and …
Lester Haines, 28 Jul 2014
A proposed LOHAN mission patch

Vote now for LOHAN's stirring mission patch motto

It's been a blast, but after some serious linguistic tomfoolery, the time has come to decide on a stirring motto to adorn our proposed Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission patch. A proposed LOHAN mission patch Thanks to everyone who contributed, and you can see how our beloved readers gave Latin a right shoeing …
Lester Haines, 25 Jul 2014
A proposed LOHAN mission patch

Reg Latin scholars scrap over LOHAN's stirring motto

It's fair to say that the quest for a stirring motto for our proposed Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission patch is proving to be the most fun we've had in a long while. A proposed LOHAN mission patch So great was the response to our call for suggestions that we're buried under a magnus congestus of Latin, a …
Lester Haines, 23 Jul 2014

Ever wanted to be a Playmonaut? El Reg's Vulture 2 spaceplane sim reveals what it's like

Last month, we put out call for an X-Plane Plane-Maker bod to enter into a simulating relationship with our Vulture 2 spaceplane team. Straight out of the blocks was Billy Bargagliotti of Memphis, Tennessee, who enthusiastically emailed he'd be delighted to get involved with the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) …
Lester Haines, 23 Jul 2014

Kickstarter tin-rattlers offer reboot of '80s Integrated Space Plan megagraphic

Those readers with a large blank wall space and a penchant for enormous flow charts outlining mankind's future beyond the surly bonds of Earth should nip down to Kickstarter where for a mere $25 you can secure yourself an updated Integrated Space Plan (ISP). The original ISP was an impressive piece of work made back in the …
Lester Haines, 22 Jul 2014

Plucky Rockall podule man back on (proper) dry land

Brit adventurer Nick Hancock left the North Atlantic islet of Rockall on Saturday, following a marathon 43 days atop the granite outcrop which saw him claim both the solo and group occupation records. A dramatic photo tweeted by Atlantic Marine Services shows the seaborne recovery operation in progress. Atlantic Marine …
Lester Haines, 22 Jul 2014
A proposed LOHAN mission patch

That stirring LOHAN motto: Anyone know a native Latin speaker?

We asked for it, and we got: in spades. In response to our call for a stirring motto for the proposed Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) embroidered mission patch, we were buried under suggestions from all corners of Regosphere diaspora. A proposed LOHAN mission patch Indeed, so great was the response that it's …
Lester Haines, 18 Jul 2014

Brit Rockall adventurer poised to quit islet

Plucky Brit adventurer Nick Hancock will depart the North Atlantic islet of Rockall on Saturday - short of his intended 60-day stay but after breaking both the solo and group occupation records. Nick Hanock on Rockall with his survival podule and a small bottle of champagne 40 days atop Rockall. Cheers A couple of days ago, …
Lester Haines, 17 Jul 2014

German brain surgeon flies in for vital LOHAN operation

We invite fans of our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission to raise a foaming stein or two today to Linus Penzlien - the man who has recklessly volunteered to perform brain surgery on our Vulture 2 spaceplane's Pixhawk autopilot. Linus poses with a quadchopper Linus, 34, will fly from his native Hamburg to the …
Lester Haines, 17 Jul 2014

Japanese artist cuffed for disseminating 3D ladyparts files

A Japanese artist has been arrested for disseminating "3D printable design files" of her own genitalia, 3DPrint.com reports. Megumi Igarashi, 42, was cuffed by Tokyo Metropolitan Police for allegedly supplying virtual ladyparts via email to a "30-year-old man in Kagawa Prefecture" and "many others" back in March. Igarashi, …
Lester Haines, 15 Jul 2014

Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery

A jiggy Delaware pair who allegedly indulged in some hot burrito meets soft taco action atop a Mexican restaurant have been charged with a buffet of offences including "lewdness", "indecent exposure second degree" and "resisting arrest". According to Newark Delaware Police Department's Facebook presence, an officer rushed to the …
Lester Haines, 15 Jul 2014
The inflatable approaches a swell-lashed Rockall in 2003

Rockall pod-dweller Hancock beats solo occupation record

Brit adventurer Nick Hancock has broken the Rockall solo occupation record of 40 days – set back in 1985 by ex-SAS bloke Tom McClean. Hanock tweeted his success today as he eyes the next record, which would involve surpassing the 42 days spent atop the North Atlantic granite outcrop by three Greenpeace activists back in 1997. …
Lester Haines, 14 Jul 2014
A proposed LOHAN mission patch

LOHAN seeks stirring motto for spaceplane mission patch

The Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team has decided that in the best tradition of space endeavour, our audacious Vulture 2 spaceplane mission needs a proper embroidered patch so that we may reach for the heavens in style. In fact, having something to sew on your flight suit/lab coat is pretty well obligatory, and …
Lester Haines, 14 Jul 2014

Canuck reader threatens suicide over exact dimensions of SPAAAACE!

It's been a while since I've received a decent flame email, so it's hats off to one Lorne Babcock for this missive which sizzled into my inbox this morning, bemoaning the headline "Beer in SPAAAACE! London Pride soars to 28,000m"... SPAAAACE! How many A's should there be in the word space? The years go by Lester, and you do …
Lester Haines, 14 Jul 2014
Nick Hancock and his survival podule atop Rockall. Pic: Nick Hancock

Plucky Rockall adventurer prepares to leave islet

Brit adventurer Nick Hancock is preparing to leave the North Atlantic islet of Rockall, short of his planned 60-day stay but probably after he breaks the two existing occupation records. Nick Hancock and his survival podule atop Rockall. Pic: Nick Hancock Not long now: Nick Hancock and his survival podule atop Rockall Hancock …
Lester Haines, 11 Jul 2014

Beer in SPAAAACE! London Pride soars to 28,000m

"Pics or it didn't happen" is a common commentard cry down here at El Reg, so we're disappointed to report that last week's audacious mission to send a pint of London Pride to the upper atmosphere ended without airborne imagery. The BALYOLO - BAL (Balloon) YOLO (You Only Live Once) - flight launched last Saturday from the The …
Lester Haines, 11 Jul 2014

El Reg nips down IKEA's 'I've Got A Screw Loose Street'

We're delighted to report that the Valladolid tentacle of flatpack world superpower IKEA does indeed lie on "I've Got A Screw Loose Street", and we've got the photos to prove it. Back in 2011, as construction of the 34,700m2 particle board megarepository was under way on virgin ground in Arroyo de la Encomienda, on the outskirts …
Lester Haines, 11 Jul 2014

Reg reader fires up Pi-powered anti-cat garden sprinkler system

It's a tip of the hat today to Reg reader Joshua Thumim for putting the humble Raspberry Pi into the service of humanity with a simple but effective feline repellent system. Joshua explained: For the last few years, pretty much every time I (or my two small kids) wanted to use the garden I'd first have to remove 3-5 cat …
Lester Haines, 08 Jul 2014

Manhattan drone pair cuffed for NYPD chopper near miss

A pair of Manhattan residents were cuffed in the early hours of yesterday morning after allegedly endangering a NYPD police helicopter with a quadchopper. According to the New York Daily News, cops claim Remy Castro, 23, and Wilkins Mendoza, 34, were "remotely piloting a DGI [sic] Phantom 2 drone" on a flight over the Spuyten …
Lester Haines, 08 Jul 2014

Alabama quadchopper hits THREE THOUSAND FEET next to AIRPORT

An Alabama UAV enthusiast has been told by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) to steer clear of airports after he sent a quadcopter up to 1,100m (3,609 feet) within five miles of Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM). Michael Mayhew posted an impressive video of the DJI Phantom 2 flight on YouTube, and shared …
Lester Haines, 07 Jul 2014

Going up: Fancy a virtual flight to 30km above the PLANET?

Those of you who've always fancied a trip to 30km above the Earth's surface, but have neither the money nor a pair of cojones the size of a plucky Playmonaut's, are directed to this interesting KickStarter campaign in support of a "Virtual Ride to Space". Dr Aaron Knoll - a "lecturer in the field of plasma propulsion" at …
Lester Haines, 07 Jul 2014
Nick Hancock and his survival podule atop Rockall. Pic: Nick Hancock

Storm-battered Rockall adventurer recalls 'worst experience of my life'

Brit adventurer Nick Hancock has admitted he's "never been so scared", after enduring a storm last week that blew a good part of his food supplies off the North Atlantic islet of Rockall. Hancock landed on the granite outcrop on 5 June, hoping to spend 60 days in a survival podule, in the process breaking the occupancy record of …
Lester Haines, 07 Jul 2014

Royal Navy parks 470 double-decker buses on Queen Elizabeth

Today saw her Maj QE2 smash a bottle of Islay malt whisky over her floating namesake at Fife's Rosyth dockyard, as she hailed "a new phase" in Blighty's glorious naval history. The carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is a 280-metre-long behemoth which promises a maritime capability equal to that of its voracious appetite for taxpayers …
Lester Haines, 04 Jul 2014
The Pi in the Sky board mounted atop the Pi in the Vulture 2

Vulture 2 fills beak with Pi in the Sky

It's all go at the front end of our magnificent Vulture 2 , and following the recent taming of the spaceplane's cantankerous canards, we've now mounted a hot-off-the-press Raspberry Pi in the Sky - the dedicated telemetry board for the Raspberry Pi. Fans of our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) project will know that …
Lester Haines, 04 Jul 2014

Booze in SPAAAACE! Brit rocket boffin preps bold stratobeer mission

A British rocket scientist with a sideline in High Altitude Ballooning (HAB) tomfoolery will tomorrow push the envelope of space endeavour by attempting to send a pint of London Pride bitter into the stratosphere. When he's not boffining it up down at European Astrotech, Chris Smith can be found propping up the bar of his local …
Lester Haines, 04 Jul 2014
Video

Is there too much sex and violence on TV?

British television's 9pm watershed is 50 years old this month, and TV watchdog Ofcom has published figures showing that while it's still relevant in protecting kiddies from the worst televisual excesses, viewers are increasingly tolerant of sex, violence and bad language. The watershed ensures there's a non-abrupt transition to …
Lester Haines, 04 Jul 2014
The inflatable approaches a swell-lashed Rockall in 2003

Rockall batters plucky Brit adventurer

Plucky Brit adventurer Nick Hancock has been forced to plan an early departure from the North Atlantic islet of Rockall after a storm deprived him of a large part of his vital supplies. He tweeted yesterday: Got battered by weather last night. Lost 4 barrels kit inc food. Need to come off early. Looking at options with @ …
Lester Haines, 03 Jul 2014
The canards bolted to the Vulture 2, with Playmonaut in his seat

Experts suspiciously eye LOHAN's cantankerous canards

As ever, we're grateful for our reader experts' feedback on the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission, and today we have a round-up of your comments on the Vulture 2 spaceplane's cantankerous canards. As we reported last month, the aircraft's forewings have finally been tamed, and here they are attached to the …
Lester Haines, 03 Jul 2014
The Tharsis payload at 30km

Brit SPACE HEDGEHOG team flies student Mars payload

We're pleased to report that the team behind the 2013 space hedgehog drama - which saw a knitted mascot dramatically go awol over Blighty - has finally got a cluster of student experiments in the air without mishap. Last March, CASSiE (Cosmic Ambassador for Space Science and Engineering) accompanied 70 miniprojects packed into …
Lester Haines, 02 Jul 2014
Rosetta

Comet-chasing Rosetta spies SWEATY prey

The European Space Agency's (ESA) Rosetta comet-chaser has clocked 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko "releasing the equivalent of two small glasses of water into space every second" - enough to " fill an Olympic-size swimming pool in about 100 days". Graphic showing rate of water vapour outgassing from the comet It's going to take a …
Lester Haines, 01 Jul 2014
The LDSD's rocket motor fires. Pic: NASA

NASA flying saucer vids show fire in the sky

NASA has released some entertaining short video clips from last Saturday's test of the Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD), showing how the future Mars payload delivery tech flight featured a mighty thruster, some hot airbag action and a while lot of a-whoopin' and a-hollerin'. The LDSD launched below an enormous helium- …
Lester Haines, 01 Jul 2014
Nick Hancock and his survival podule atop Rockall. Pic: Nick Hancock

Rockall pod-dweller braces for stormy weather

Rockall pod-dweller Nick Hancock has now spent over three weeks atop the North Atlantic islet and was battening down the hatches on Saturday ahead of predicted stormy weather. Nick Hancock on Rockall last week Thumbs up: Nick Hancock on Rockall He wrote: "Tomorrow is supposed to be a very calm day, but as they say: the calm …
Lester Haines, 30 Jun 2014
Angry woman on mobile

Spanish struggle to control spelling of 'WhatsApp'

Spanish is an accommodating lingo, as the recent influx of tech and net-related Anglicisms attests, but these foreign invaders often prove challenging for Castillian orthography. The general line of attack is to adapt spelling in accordance with local custom where necessary, so while "chat", as in chatear (to chat), requires no …
Lester Haines, 27 Jun 2014

Kickstarter unplugs iFind miracle battery-free locator

Kickstarter has pulled the plug on the campaign to raise funds for the iFind - described as "The World's First Battery Free Item Locating Tag". iFind's creators WeTag had raised a cool $546,852 from 9,771 backers when Kickstarter suspended funding yesterday. Critics of the project raised serious doubts about its viability, …
Lester Haines, 27 Jun 2014
Our intrepid party playmonaut on a sofa, surrounded by blondes

LOHAN laid bare in intimate interview

Fans of our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) project might enjoy an interview I did earlier this week with Christiaan van Vollenstee of DIY Drones. The chat, beamed live from the SPB's mountaintop HQ on Wednesday, features discussion of various aspects of our audacious ballocket mission and a particularly fine pair …
Lester Haines, 26 Jun 2014
Parrot BeBop

Drone's drug airdrop mission ends in failure for Irish prisoners

An audacious quadcopter mission to deliver drugs to inmates at Dublin's Wheatfield Prison ended in failure earlier this week when the drone hit wires designed to prevent helicopter landings. According to the Irish Independent, the drone crashed in the prison's yard at around 11am on Tuesday bearing its narcotic payload. The …
Lester Haines, 26 Jun 2014

Drone-assisted Swiss construct virtual 3D castle

Those readers with a penchant for castles but a disinclination to visit Switzerland can enjoy a virtual shufti Château de Chillon, thanks to UAV image processing software outfit Pix4D. A view of the virtual 3D Chillon Castle In half a day, the company snapped "6,200 aerial and terrestrial images using DJI Phantom 2 Vision, …
Lester Haines, 25 Jun 2014

'World’s dumbest' suspect collared in Facebook sting

A suspect is languishing in jail after allegedly breaking into a house, logging into Facebook on his victim's PC, and then reportedly obligingly leaving his social network profile up and open for the returning homeowner. Police mugshot of Nicholas Wig Wig's profile pic from his police department presence Arresting officers …
Lester Haines, 25 Jun 2014

iFind: Critics slam Kickstarter campaign for miraculous battery-free phone finder

As the old saying goes: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. It remains to be seen if that adage applies to iFind - hailed as "The World's First Battery Free Item Locating Tag". As of Monday morning, iFind - the brainchild of "WeTag" - had attracted over $500,000 of funding on Kickstarter, thanks to the support of …
Lester Haines, 24 Jun 2014
The Turbo Ace Octocopter. Pic: Turbo Ace

Fearful of the drone-filled skies? Get some protection

Those fearful of a future where the skies are darkened by swarms of camera-bearing drones peering over their garden fences and peeking through their bedroom windows should proceed directly to Kickstarter and the "Personal Drone Detection System". Rattling the tin in defence of personal privacy is Domestic Drone Countermeasures …
Lester Haines, 24 Jun 2014

Firefighters deliver trapped student from GIANT GERMAN LADYPARTS

A US foreign exchange student has become a deserved internet celeb after firefighters extracted him from a giant vagina in the southwestern German city of Tübingen. According to Erick Guzman, who kindly posted snaps of the incident on Imgur, his chum decided it was a bright idea to get down and dirty with Peruvian artist …
Lester Haines, 23 Jun 2014

VIDEO SELFIE DRONE: 'AirDog' UAV follows you everywhere you go

A Kickstarter campaign to take the art of sports videography to new heights with the stalking "AirDog" quadchopper has thundered past its funding target. Described as "the world's first auto-follow action sports drone", the AirDog will lift a GoPro and then chase its owner wherever he or she runs with a programmable tracker. …
Lester Haines, 20 Jun 2014
Close-up of the canards connections, with Playmonaut a miniature fireman

LOHAN in FIGHT to DEATH with brace of cantankerous canards

Our plucky Playmonaut is back in his seat in the Vulture 2 spaceplane following the recent servo meltdown which had prompted his rapid exit from the vehicle. The miniature emergency required a servo swap-out, and while we were about it, we decided to upgrade the linkages to the canards, and bolt the cantankerous forewings to the …
Lester Haines, 20 Jun 2014

LOHAN seeks X-Plane bod for simulating relationship

If you're a dab hand with X-Plane's Plane-Maker who just happens to fancy eternal internet glory as part of the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission, then today's your lucky day. The current state of play with our Vulture 2 spaceplane is that we've replaced the smoking servo which recently gave our plucky …
Lester Haines, 17 Jun 2014
Nick Hancock and his survival podule atop Rockall. Pic: Nick Hancock

Podule-lodged Brit nears two weeks atop ocean peak Rockall

Brit adventurer Nick Hancock is approaching two weeks in a survival podule atop the North Atlantic outcrop of Rockall in his attempt to spend 60 days on the world's remotest islet in aid of Help for Heroes. Nick Hancock and his survival podule atop Rockall. Pic: Nick Hancock Twitching: Nick Hancock and his survival podule …
Lester Haines, 16 Jun 2014

Ohio man cuffed AGAIN for shagging inflatable pool raft

The Ohio plastic lover arrested back in 2011 for engaging in "sexual activity" with a pink inflatable swimming pool raft has been cuffed again for the same offence. Edwin Tobergta, 35, was taken into custody on Wednesday after witnesses claimed to have clocked him naked and "performing simulated sex acts with a pink raft" on the …
Lester Haines, 16 Jun 2014
Neil Cardy's massive bacon sarnie from a cafe on the A90

Eating a fat bacon sarnie? Have a defibrillator handy

A study has grimly concluded that men who fill their faces with more than 75g of processed meat a day are significantly more likely to suffer a fatal heart attack. This terrifying announcement for hardcore bacon lovers is based on a 1997 examination via questionnaire of the dietary habits of 37,035 chaps from Central Sweden. …
Lester Haines, 13 Jun 2014

NASA scrubs FLYING SAUCER over Hawaii ballocket mission

NASA has scrubbed the planned test flight of its rocket-powered flying saucer - the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) - due to unfavourable wind conditions. The LDSD was due to lift off between 3 and 13 June at the US Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) on Kauai, Hawaii, to test technologies that may one day …
Lester Haines, 13 Jun 2014
The LOHAN team poses with the finished spaceplane

Spaceplane design nipper Ariadne gets a promotion

We're delighted to announce today that Ariadne - the young nipper responsible for the design of our Vulture 2 spaceplane's fetching vinyl wrap, has been promoted to "Sub-orbital aesthetics consulting engineer" for the Special Projects Bureau. To make it official, she now has her very own badge, courtesy of Chris Pyper down at …
Lester Haines, 13 Jun 2014