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Lewis Page

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Editor of the Register, having previously been Defence/Killer-robot correspondent. Formerly an analyst and journalist on military matters: author of the book Lions, Donkeys and Dinosaurs - Waste and Blundering in the Military. Served 11 years as a Royal Navy officer: highlights included commando training, mine clearance diving, live EOD (bomb disposal) operations and discovering genuine WMDs in 2003 (in Wales).
Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 9M-MRO

MH370 airliner MYSTERY: The El Reg Pub/Dinner-party Guide

So, the mysterious case of the missing flight MH370. We've mainly stayed out of this - apart from noting that no, the jet wasn't hackjacked using a mobile phone. But naturally we've been poking around a bit to see what we could find out, and it's not completely nothing. Here's what we bring to the party. Some of us know a bit …
Lewis Page, 18 Mar 2014

ZEPPELINS to replace Goodyear blimps in American skies

The first of the new, hi-tech German-made zeppelins which will replace the iconic Goodyear blimps in the skies above the USA has been unveiled at the Goodyear airship base in Ohio. The zeppelin in question is a "Neue Technologie" (NT) type produced by the modern-day German company descended from the Graf von Zeppelin's …
Lewis Page, 17 Mar 2014
Credit: University of Colorado

Bill Gates-backed SOLAR POO RAYGUN COMMODE unveiled

Bill Gates' Microsoft gigawealth giveaway charity has already conferred many benefits on a suffering humanity*: today we learn of yet another, as boffins reveal a magnificent waterless solar raygun portaloo which uses focused sunbeams to incinerate human excrement and turn it into a miracle charcoal style substance with many …
Lewis Page, 14 Mar 2014

Show more CANADIAN-MADE PORN, insists Canadian government

Canada's official broadcasting regulator has demanded that adult TV channels show more domestically-produced porn, saying that a flood of foreign smut is dominating their output. It seems that Canadian regulations require that 35 per cent of programming on any TV channel must be produced beneath the maple-leaf banner, and …
Lewis Page, 10 Mar 2014

Zaphod Beeblebrox style third arm cyborg prosthesis unveiled

Yet another development ripped from the pages of that great work, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, has moved a large step closer to reality this week as a professor in the US reveals a special prosthetic arm which - rather than being intended solely to replace missing limbs - could be used instead to create "a three-armed …
Lewis Page, 07 Mar 2014

Massive new AIRSHIP to enter commercial service at British dirigible base

An enormous airship built for the US forces has been bought back by its British designers and is to go into commercial service based in old Blighty. Regular Reg readers will already be familiar with the ship, formerly designated as the first of the US Army's* planned fleet of Long Endurance Multi-intelligence Vehicle (LEMV) …
Lewis Page, 03 Mar 2014

Pine trees' scent 'could prevent climate change really being a problem'

A "major enigma" has been cracked in atmospheric chemistry, revealing the details of a negative feedback mechanism which could "actually limit climate change from reaching such levels that it could become really a problem in the world". Can't smell the forest for the trees around here The negative feedback in question is the …
Lewis Page, 27 Feb 2014
Hurrican Dean, as seem from the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

Another climate change myth DEBUNKED by proper climate scientists

Proper climate scientists with PhDs in the subject and everything say they have "debunked" a climate change "myth" which is commonly repeated on the internet. The myth in question is the idea that global warming is causing an increase in the number of tropical cyclones/hurricanes. Certainly there's plenty of support among …
Lewis Page, 26 Feb 2014

Fukushima radioactivity a complete non-issue on West Coast: Also for Fukushima locals, in fact

A new study carried out in the "radiation zone" areas just outside the Fukushima nuclear powerplant in Japan has confirmed that the lifetime health risk to people living there from the damaged powerplant is so small as to be undetectable. Naturally, Californians almost 5,000 miles away are still terrified for their own safety. …
Lewis Page, 26 Feb 2014
SpaceX's Grasshopper rises 24 stories or 80.1 meters (262.8 feet), hovering for approximately 34 seconds and landing safely using closed loop thrust vector and throttle control. Pic: SpaceX

SpaceX set to try HOVER LANDING for re-usable rockets on March ISS mission

In a potentially game-changing development for space travel, it has emerged that the booster rocket which will launch the next supply capsule to the International Space Station will attempt to make a soft hovering landing after it falls back to Earth. Mounting landing legs (~60 ft span) to Falcon 9 for next month's Space …
Lewis Page, 25 Feb 2014
picofcenturysmall2

'G-WIZ like' object doing 40,000 MPH CRASHES on the MOON

An unidentified object roughly the size of a G-Wiz car smashed into the Moon last September going at 61,000km/h, causing a devastating, record-breaking explosion clearly visible to the naked eye, astronomers say. Youtube Video The Royal Astronomical Society sets the scene: On 11 September 2013, Prof Jose M Madiedo was …
Lewis Page, 25 Feb 2014
chalk outline of  human body at crime scene

Climate change will 'CAUSE huge increase in MURDER, ROBBERY and RAPE'

An "environmental economist" has produced a study in which he claims that climate change this century will "cause" millions of violent crimes in the United States, over and above those that would have happened anyway. Matthew Ranson holds a B.A. in Environmental Science and Public Policy and Economics and a PhD in Public Policy …
Lewis Page, 24 Feb 2014
Timo Boll faces the Agilus robot at ping pong. Credit: KUKA

Rise of the Machines: Robot challenges top German player at ping-pong

Everyone knows that the robots can already beat the best the human race can offer at chess, Jeopardy, probably global thermonuclear war etc. But for games of agility, until now the human athlete has in general retained his or her superiority. But that's set to change, as a powerful German robot reckons it can take on a former …
Lewis Page, 24 Feb 2014

Antarctic glacier 'melted JUST as fast LONG before human carbon emissions'

Top boffins from the British Antarctic Survey say that the Pine Island Glacier - famous as a possible major cause of global-warming-powered sea level rises - was melting just as fast thousands of years ago as it is melting today. “This paper [just published] is part of a wide range of international scientific efforts to …
Lewis Page, 21 Feb 2014
don't click

Another U.S. state set to repeal rubber duck ban

The governor of Wisconsin is set to sign into law a bill which will finally legalise the popular local activity of rubber duck racing, joining Minnesota and Michigan where plastic bathtoy contests are already legal. For years, the organisers of illicit duck races in the state had been forced to live in fear of police raids and …
Lewis Page, 20 Feb 2014
Edward Snowden, NSA whistleblower

Snowden journo boyf grill under anti-terror law was legal, says UK court

The detention and interrogation by British police of David Miranda, boyfriend of a journalist at the heart of the Edward Snowden NSA leaks furore, has been ruled to be legal by a British judge. Miranda was stopped at Heathrow airport and interrogated for almost nine hours last August under anti-terrorism legislation while in …
Lewis Page, 19 Feb 2014

Actor who played Rogue Two in Star Wars dies aged 67

Christopher Malcolm, the actor who played Rebel space pilot Zev Senesca - callsign Rogue Two - in The Empire Strikes Back, and also portrayed Rocky Horror Show character Brad Majors and Saffy's gay dad in various episodes of Brit telly hit Absolutely Fabulous, has died aged 67. Rogue Two in the skies above Hoth. His daughter …
Lewis Page, 19 Feb 2014

fWHoaR! Trick-cyclists crack eternal mystery of WHAT WOMEN WANT in a man

Conferring yet another boon on confused men everywhere, psychologists say they have finally cracked the eternal mystery of just what it is that women really find attractive in a man. Unfortunately for those of our male readers whose skull is taller than it is wide, it turns out that what really stokes the ladies' desires is a …
Lewis Page, 06 Feb 2014
US Army robotised trucks. Credit: Lockheed

Unmanned, autonomous ROBOT TRUCK CONVOY 'drives though town'

The US Army says it has successfully conducted a test in which not just one but an entire convoy of unmanned, autonomous, robotized military lorries successfully drove through "urban areas" on their own without crashing into anything or running over any pedestrians. US Army robotised trucks. Credit: Lockheed Goddammit, Kowalski …
Lewis Page, 03 Feb 2014

Antarctic ice shelf melt 'lowest EVER recorded, global warming is NOT eroding it'

Scientists at the British Antarctic Survey say that the melting of the Pine Island Glacier ice shelf in Antarctica has suddenly slowed right down in the last few years, confirming earlier research which suggested that the shelf's melt does not result from human-driven global warming. The Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica …
Lewis Page, 03 Jan 2014

Chinese Jade RABBIT SIGHTED ON MOON by NASA probe

An American probe in orbit above the Moon has beamed back exciting new images showing the first objects from China to be discovered on the lunar surface. Lander at the top, Rabbit at the bottom The objects in question are the small "Jade Rabbit" crawler robot and the Chang'e 3 lander which delivered it to our neighbouring body …
Lewis Page, 02 Jan 2014
Credit: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen Licence: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en

So, which people you read about in The Register got gongs in the Honours list?

It's New Year's again, which means that another Honours list has been issued by the British government, designating those who will henceforth go through life with some more letters after their name and a new gong dangling from their formal eveningwear. Many of these people are of only marginal if any interest to Reg readers, but …
Lewis Page, 01 Jan 2014
black and white pic of alan turing

Gay hero super-boffin Turing 'may have been murdered by MI5'

Legendary code-breaker and computing boffin Alan Turing - seen by many as the father of modern computing and credited with a huge contribution to the Allied victory in World War Two - may have been murdered by the British security services, it has been claimed. “The government should open a new inquiry into the death of gay war- …
Lewis Page, 30 Dec 2013
Darth Vader's first selfie

BEASTED: Apple fined $666k in Taiwan for iPhone price meddling

Colossal shiny-gadget empire Apple has copped a festive shoeing from Taiwanese regulators, receiving a T$20 million (US$666,700) fine for attempting to the fix prices that could be charged for its iPhones sold on the island. The Taiwanese Fair Trade commission told media that Apple Asia, Cupertino's regional tentacle, was being …
Lewis Page, 27 Dec 2013

James Bond's 'shaken not stirred': Down to trembling boozer's hands, claim boffins

James Bond's famous preference for shaken martinis is probably due to the fact that his heavy drinking means that his hands tremble so much he actually lacks the coordination to stir them, according to a festive-season medical research study. "We conclude that James Bond was unlikely to be able to stir his drinks, even if he …
Lewis Page, 18 Dec 2013

Calling Doctor Caroline Langensiepen of Nottingham Trent uni

Dear Dr Langensiepen: We learned with interest that one of the assignments you set your students studying Computer Systems (Forensics & Security) at Nottingham Trent University is to write an article in the style of The Register. We were also interested to note that only one of your students, Tom Watson by name, considered …
Lewis Page, 03 Dec 2013
An XM-25 being demo'd. Credit: PEO Soldier.

On the matter of shooting down Amazon delivery drones with shotguns

So no, there will not be an electric quadcopter delivery drone delivering your Cyber Monday packages in 2015: nor even in 2025, most likely, as even Jeff Bezos more or less openly admits if you look at what he actually said. Yes, there are homes to be found - more of them perhaps in United States than in other places - where …
Lewis Page, 03 Dec 2013
SpaceX Falcon 9 on its launch pad

Elon Musk scrubs lucrative MONEY RING debut again on Thanksgiving

Upstart rocket firm SpaceX, founded and helmed by techbiz visionary Elon Musk, has aborted its inaugural mission to geostationary orbit for a second time. SpaceX Falcon 9 on its launch pad No joy this time either. The launch, intended to put a large communications satellite into orbit above southern Asia, was supposed to take …
Lewis Page, 29 Nov 2013
Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore

Exciting new BRAZILIAN PUSSY FINGERED by overjoyed boffins

Flabbergasted investigators say that a previously unknown, very exciting Brazilian pussy was right under their noses but they have only just realised it. Full details of the discovery have just been published in graphic detail in a specialist magazine. According to a press release issued to highlight the event: The discovery …
Lewis Page, 28 Nov 2013

Rare BLOWJOB-GIVING APES 'face extinction from interacting with HUMANS'

The rare Bonobo ape - formerly known as the pygmy chimpanzee - faces a serious menace to its continued survival due to the activities of humans, scientists say. The bonobo is perhaps most widely known for being one of the few species apart from some humans (and as it turns out, fruitbats) to routinely perform fellatio as part of …
Lewis Page, 27 Nov 2013

KILO-MACH SONIC BOOM probed in fireball embers of 1572AD SUPERNOVA

Many thousands of years ago, far away in the constellation Cassiopeia, a white dwarf star blew up with cataclysmic violence. Much, much later, in the year 1572 when good Queen Bess was on the throne, the light of the supernova reached Earth. Now, astronomers probing the vast cloud of slowly cooling gases left behind say they …
Lewis Page, 26 Nov 2013
Falcon 9 lift off from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Pic: SpaceX

To the MONEY RING: Musk's SpaceX to attempt boldest mission yet

It's yet another fateful day for upstart startup rocket biz SpaceX and its visionary founder Elon Musk. Today the company will attempt for the first time to put a satellite into a geostationary transfer orbit - and so enter the main space arena in which serious commercial money can be made today. Geostationary orbit is the magic …
Lewis Page, 25 Nov 2013
Warning! Black Helicopters

SILENCE of the OWLS may mean real-life 'Whisper Mode' for Black Helicopters

Topflight boffins say they may be able to plumb the secrets of silently-flying owls and use them to make all sorts of wing and propeller machinery - planes, helicopters, wind turbines, even submarines - much quieter than they are today. "Owls possess no fewer than three distinct physical attributes that are thought to contribute …
Lewis Page, 25 Nov 2013

Hello Warsaw: Greenland ice loss will be OK 'even under extreme scenarios'

The UN Climate Change Conference in Warsaw is set to wind up tomorrow, probably without establishing any real prospect of human carbon emissions being seriously reduced in the foreseeable future. Many are worried that this could mean disastrous rises in sea level this century, with associated human misery on a grand scale. In …
Lewis Page, 21 Nov 2013

Native Americans were actually European - BEFORE the Europeans arrived!

DNA from a prehistoric Siberian boy could reveal exactly where Native Americans - the people who occupied the American continents before Europeans crossed the Atlantic - actually came from. Everybody's pretty clear that the Native Americans arrived across the ancient land bridge from Asia, the location of the present-day Bering …
Lewis Page, 21 Nov 2013
Roadster charging. Credit: Tesla

JESUS battery HEALS itself - might make electric cars more practical

Stanford researchers say they have cracked a key problem holding back lithium-ion batteries: which might make the next generation of phones, e-cars and other battery powered equipment a whole lot better. The issue the researchers were facing is that silicon - though an excellent substance from which to make a modern battery …
Lewis Page, 18 Nov 2013

Fukushima fearmongers: It's YOUR FAULT Japan DUMPED CO2 targets

If the Fukushima crisis has proved one thing, it's that nuclear power is safe. Everything that could possibly go wrong did, the accident was agreed to be at the top of the international scale for seriousness, and yet in decades to come scientists will not be able to attribute any deaths to radiation released from the Daiichi …
Lewis Page, 15 Nov 2013

Google Earth SHOCK: ZERO point ZERO ZERO SIX of world forests disappear each year

The technical team behind Google Earth have partnered with US government boffins to produce dramatic satellite maps showing how the area of the world covered by forests has changed across the years 2000 to 2012. The red speckles are forests lost from 2000-2012 In the year 2000, some 32,688,000 km2 of the planet was covered by …
Lewis Page, 15 Nov 2013

Oh My GOD! Have the TORIES ERASED THE INTERNET?*

A story that the Conservatives “made the internet disappear” has ignited news channels today. In fact, the story demonstrates yet again how ignorant most journalists are of the basic workings of the internet - and it demonstrates how the thirst for conspiratorial thinking dominates political news. Perhaps not surprisingly, this …
Artist's impression of Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn

SPACE, the FINAL FRONTIER: These are the images of the star probe Cassini

OK, we don't have starships yet. But on some days a space enthusiast can smile anyway - on a day like today, when NASA releases new and tremendously cool photos, in this case from the probe craft Cassini - now nine years into its twenty-year mission to survey the strange new worlds of the far-flung Saturnian system. Home The …
Lewis Page, 13 Nov 2013
The orbital trajectory of India's Mangalyaan Mars probe

Our MOM's LATEST EGGS: 'Looking GOOD', chuckle Indian space boffins

India's soaraway cunning-as-a-weasel Mars probe mission - Mangalyaan, aka Mars Orbiter Mission or MOM - is back on track. Astroboffins at the sub-continental space agency ISRO say that previous problems with the probe's fuel feed have been overcome and the spacecraft is now periodically reaching heights of more than 100,000km …
Lewis Page, 12 Nov 2013

SCIENCE and RELIGION AGREE! LIFE and Man ARE from CLAY

Topflight boffins say they have discovered that life - or anyway the necessary complex precursor chemicals without which life cannot appear - probably originated in ancient "clay hydrogels". "We propose that in early geological history clay hydrogel provided a confinement function for biomolecules and biochemical reactions," …
Lewis Page, 06 Nov 2013

'Only NUCLEAR power can SAVE HUMANITY', say Global Warming high priests

Four of the best-known scientists espousing the belief that humanity's carbon emissions are an immediate and deadly threat have issued a statement begging their fellow greens to support nuclear power. Doctors James Hansen, Ken Caldeira, Kerry Emanuel and Tom Wigley co-signed an open letter over the weekend in which they address …
Lewis Page, 04 Nov 2013

BETHLEHEM-grade SUPERNOVA possible 'within 50 years'

Good news this week for relatively youthful watchers of the skies: top astronomers predict that within 50 years it's almost certain that a star in our galaxy will go supernova - that is, explode with stupendous violence - briefly creating a glowing beacon visible from one end of the Milky Way to another. There's a catch, of …
Lewis Page, 01 Nov 2013

Alien planet is just like EARTH - except for ONE tiny detail

Four hundred light-years away in the constellation Cygnus there lies a G-type star very much like our own Sun. Orbiting it is a world scientists believe is very similar to Earth in both size and composition. This faraway planet, discovered by the Kepler space telescope and so dubbed Kepler-78b, is not a potential second home for …
Lewis Page, 31 Oct 2013
Students using MacBooks in a lecture hall

You're more likely to get a job if you study 'social' sciences, say fuzzy-studies profs

There's great news this week for young persons who'd like to get a good job one day but don't want to do much work at university. A report just out says that actually there's no need to get a tough degree in real science, maths, engineering, medicine, IT or similar - in fact, you don't want one of those. What you want, …
Lewis Page, 30 Oct 2013
Photo by Heather Sorenson / sxc.hu

In a meeting with a woman? For pity's sake DON'T READ THIS

Are you reading this on a small gizmo or gadget of some kind? Take a look around, my friend. Are you in a meeting, a luncheon, or some other situation of that kind? Are there ladies present (other than yourself, should you happen to be one?) If so - stop reading now, put away your fondleslab or mobe (don't just lay it down, …
Lewis Page, 28 Oct 2013
Artist's concept of Curiosity

METEORITES, not MEN, are FROM MARS: NASA rover's shock discovery

A foolproof way of telling whether a given meteorite fallen here on planet Earth is actually from Mars has been developed, courtesy of NASA's nuclear-powered rover Curiosity prowling across the ochre landscape of our planetary neighbour. Over the billions of years that the two planets have circled the Sun in adjacent orbits, …
Lewis Page, 17 Oct 2013
Cannabis leaves

Cannabis can CURE CANCER - cheaply and without getting you high

The non-hallucinogenic parts of cannabis seem to be potentially highly effective anti-cancer drugs, according to a new study. “This study is a critical step in unpicking the mysteries of cannabis as a source of medicine," explains Dr Wai Liu. "The cannabinoids examined have minimal, if any, hallucinogenic side effects, and their …
Lewis Page, 15 Oct 2013

Now that's real science: CYBORG MONKEYS with PROSTHETIC ARMS

Exciting news on various important science and tech beats today, as we learn that boffins have achieved breakthroughs in the allied fields of brain-chipped monkeys, robotics and cybernetics. To wit, they have been working out how to equip monkeys wielding robot arms with a sense of touch. Rather than monkey, robot, or monkey- …
Lewis Page, 15 Oct 2013