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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).
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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
Elephant

Who here needs to explain things to ELEPHANTS?

Next time you're trying to convey an idea to an elephant, it may well help to simply point to things, according to a new study. This won't always work with other species - including our close relatives the great apes - but the brainy pachyderm will, erm, get the point straight away. "By showing that African elephants …
Lewis Page, 10 Oct 2013

Basically RUBBISH 'COMET of the Century' ISON snapped by HiRISE in Mars orbit

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter circling high above the red planet has taken a break from its normal assignment of staring down at the ochre world beneath to get some snaps of Comet ISON as it passes by en route to the inner solar system. Not going to set the world on fire. Or even the sky Despite the fact that the orbiter …
Lewis Page, 04 Oct 2013

'Safest car ever made' Tesla Model S EV crashes and burns. Car 'performed as designed'

Pugnacious electric car maker Tesla Motors is embroiled in another media firestorm today, after one of its new Model S EVs - touted by the firm as being the safest car ever tested by US highway authorities - suffered a serious battery fire following an accident. Youtube Video Tesla has stated that the incident began when the …
Lewis Page, 03 Oct 2013
U.S.S. Macon over New York City - 1933

Exciting MIT droplet discovery could turbocharge power plants, airships and more

Top engineers at MIT say they have come across a handy effect which could seriously boost the efficiency of a critical piece of kit used in many important technologies. The piece of kit in question is the humble water condenser, which has been in use for hundreds of years: James Watt introduced it to the earliest steam engines, …
Lewis Page, 03 Oct 2013

Scientists to IPCC: YES, solar quiet spells like the one now looming CAN mean ICE AGES

There's been criticism for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) over its latest AR5 report from many quarters for many reasons. But today there's new research focusing on one particular aspect of that criticism. The particular part of the IPCC's science in question is its accounting for the effects of changes in …
Lewis Page, 01 Oct 2013

ZERO-G DINOSAUR made from bits and bobs by space station flight engineer

An astronaut and expert robotics engineer serving aboard the International Space Station has built a dinosaur from odds and ends salvaged from around the orbiting outpost. What an expert NASA roboticist is capable of 'Naut Karen Nyberg, who currently holds the job of flight engineer on the station, is an expert roboticist by …
Lewis Page, 30 Sep 2013
Shows Henslow tree-planting in Cambridge.

'Modern warming trend can't be found' in new climate study

There's interesting news on the climate beat this week, especially given the background of the just-released IPCC AR5 report - which blames humanity for warming the planet. A new, comprehensive study examining temperatures in the Eastern Mediterranean region over the last 900 years indicates that global warming and associated …
Lewis Page, 30 Sep 2013

Boffins have constructed a new LIGHT SABRE. Their skills are complete

Top boffins in the US say they have managed to make light behave in the same way as solid matter – and they've saved us the trouble by suggesting that this is pretty much the same as building a working Jedi light sabre. "It's not an inapt analogy to compare this to light sabers," boasts Harvard physics prof Mikhail Lukin, one of …
Lewis Page, 26 Sep 2013
Step into my office...

Austerity BITES: Greece ends extra hols for civil servants forced to use hated COMPUTERS

In a sign of just how hard the austere financial climate is hitting, it has been reported that the Greek government has been forced to put an end to one of its civil servants' most treasured privileges. We speak, of course, of the Hellenic Sir Humphreys' entitlement to an extra six days a year paid holiday if they are compelled …
Lewis Page, 24 Sep 2013

DARPA: You didn't think we could make a Mach 6 spaceplane, so let us have this MACH TEN job

In this post-Space Shuttle world, it often seems that the dream of a spacecraft which could reach orbit without expensively throwing most of itself away is receding rather than drawing closer. Last time DARPA went for a spaceplane - the X-30 SSTO concept of 1984 Sure, there's the tiny X-37B "space warplane", carrying out …
Lewis Page, 18 Sep 2013

Bother! Breakdown busts bloke's bold boffin-blasted briny boat balloon bid

An IT bloke hoping to fly across the Atlantic in a small boat suspended Up-style beneath a cluster of multicoloured balloons has had his dream dashed, according to reports. Jonathan Trappe lifted off in heavy fog from the US state of Maine on Thursday, hoping that the forecast winds would carry his small yellow lifeboat …
Lewis Page, 16 Sep 2013
Concept of the 'Skytug' hybrid airship. Credit: Lockheed Martin

First rigid airship since the Hindenburg cleared for outdoor flight trials

Good news for airship fanciers this week, as it appears that the world's first rigid airship since the 1930s will soon take to the skies for flight trials: and better still, this ship has a new piece of technology which could actually change the existing landscape and permit the leviathans of the skies to return. Rigid ships set …
Lewis Page, 11 Sep 2013
The Register breaking news

Snowden journo's boyfriend 'had crypto key for thumb-drive files written down' - cops

Journalists and their associates involved in the Edward Snowden NSA leaks affair followed almost unbelievably poor security practices while handling top-secret government files, according to a statement made in court by a British official today. The hearing was looking into the case of David Miranda, the partner of journalist …
Lewis Page, 30 Aug 2013

NASA's nuclear Mars tank REBELS against human control

NASA's famous nuclear-powered, raygun-armed Mars rover Curiosity has broken free of human control and made up its own mind where to drive across the rusty plains of our neighbour world, according to boffins at the space agency who were formerly in charge of it. Mars rover Curiosity route. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech No, I WILL NOT …
Lewis Page, 29 Aug 2013