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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).

MYSTERY of 19th-century DEAD WALRUS found in London graveyard

The finest specialists in British archaeology have confessed themselves baffled by the mysterious case of the dead 19th-century Pacific walrus found buried in a London graveyard. The remains of the deceased, 12-foot-long pinniped - which may have weighed as much as two tons when alive - were discovered in a coffin interred in a …
Lewis Page, 24 Jul 2013
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Feeling HORNY? RHINOCEROS INCEST project underway at Cincinnati Zoo

Desperate boffins battling to save a rare and endangered species of rhino are attempting to breed the animals in captivity by mating a brother and sister. "Harapan", 6, arrived at the Cincinnati Zoo earlier in the month to meet up with his sister, "Suci", 9, with a view to reproduction. The Cincinnati Zoo is apparently a world …
Lewis Page, 22 Jul 2013

€400k-a-head Iberian Lynx mainly threatened by Spanish politics, NOT climate change

The survival of the endangered Iberian Lynx can easily be ensured, scientists report today, if only Spanish regional politicians will stop insisting on efforts to reintroduce the iconic cats into areas which are unsuitable for them. "The world's most endangered cat", according to this statement from Copenhagen university, is …
Lewis Page, 22 Jul 2013
Graphic showing past and predicted domestic energy price rises. Credit/source: RWE npower

Why you'll be paying £3,250 extra for gas and 'leccy in coming years

Almost all Britons know that their home energy bills have been climbing painfully in recent years, and many are realising that this process is now set to continue indefinitely. What's not clear is just why this is happening: some lay the blame on rising gas prices, others on profiteering energy firms. Meanwhile, apropos of …
Lewis Page, 19 Jul 2013

The facts on Trident 'cuts': What the Lib Dems want is disarmament

So now we have what the Lib Dems insisted upon when they came into government: a detailed, costed review (pdf) of alternative plans for the UK nuclear deterrent apart from simply replacing it like for like. The gold standard. And it turns out it's cheaper than silver or copper, too. Basically, it's terrible news for those who …
Lewis Page, 17 Jul 2013

'There is no scientific consensus' on sea-level rise, say scientists

There isn't enough data to say with any certainty what will happen to sea levels around the world this century, and there is no "scientific consensus" to suggest that the rate of the seas' rise will accelerate dangerously. That's according to a group of eminent specialists based in Germany, the Netherlands and the UK. Writing in …
Lewis Page, 15 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

'Thundering mechanical behemoth' walker mech to attack Leicester today

Our hearts went pitter-pat here on the Register exoskeletons, walkers and mighty roaring machinery desk just now, when we got a press release telling us that all our dreams had come true - or some of them anyway. It says: Hydraulic walking machine to thunder through botanic garden A hydraulic-powered mechanical beast will …
Lewis Page, 15 Jul 2013

US Navy robot stealth fighter in first unmanned carrier landings

The last of the great barriers has fallen: an unmanned aircraft has successfully made autonomous arrested landings on the deck of an aircraft carrier. It's now plain that robots are not just as good as human pilots - they are as good as the best human pilots. As most regular Reg readers will be aware, the X-47B project kicked …
Lewis Page, 11 Jul 2013

Alex Salmond's fantasy of a tidal-powered Scotland washed away

One of Alex Salmond's ambitious dreams for an independent Scotland - that it would soon become rich by exporting clean green electricity pouring from tidal powerplants in the Pentland Firth - has been destroyed this week by new research showing that the Firth's potential output is far less than Salmond had thought. The wild-eyed …
Lewis Page, 11 Jul 2013

Climate SHOCKER: Rising CO2 is turning the world's deserts GREEN

Far from turning the Earth into a baking lifeless hell as had been thought, elevated levels of atmospheric CO2 are causing the deserts of the world to bloom with new green foliage. Fire up the patio heater and watch the world turn green! That's according to new research from government scientists in Australia, who've been …
Lewis Page, 11 Jul 2013

European Space Agency goes for mostly solid Ariane 6

The European Space Agency has announced its selection for the rocket design which will replace the mighty Ariane 5 as Europe's workhorse launch system. OK, forget power and people. You want cheap? Here it is. The planned new Ariane 6, which will fly in the early 2020s, is to employ an unusual arrangement of engines and …
Lewis Page, 10 Jul 2013

Boffins blast briny boat balloon bid as 'gross waste of helium'

A British boffinry organisation has issued a stinging rebuke to an American daredevil who plans to cross the Atlantic in a small boat suspended beneath a huge cluster of helium balloons - somewhat in the style of cartoon flying house eldster-quest aerial battle movie Up. Jonathan Trappe, who has in fact already made a flight …
Lewis Page, 09 Jul 2013

ULTRASONIC BOLLOCK BLASTERS help Hawkmoth battle The Bat

In a development whose scientific importance would be difficult to exaggerate, it has been discovered that hawk moths emit powerful ultrasonic pulse beams from their genitals in order to intefere with the sonar senses of predatory bats hunting them. As any fule kno, bats emit high-frequency sound pulses when hunting in darkness …
Lewis Page, 05 Jul 2013

Innovative solution to modern art found: Shoot it into space

The European Space Agency says it is seriously considering a plan which involves firing a piece of modern art made from a melted-down meteorite back into space. The piece of modern art in question is titled "Campo del Cielo, Field of the Sky". It is to be exhibited this summer at the Turner Contemporary gallery in the Kent …
Lewis Page, 03 Jul 2013
big red wheelie bin and pallet full of rubbish in London street

'The Apprentice' is a load of old codswallop, says biz prof

BBC "reality" TV show The Apprentice is totally rubbish and offers no lessons of any value on how to succeed in business - indeed quite the opposite - according to a professor. “The Apprentice presents the idea that you have to be sociopathic in your relations with others in order to succeed in business," fumes Professor Martin …
Lewis Page, 02 Jul 2013

Throwing arms let humans rise above poo-flinging apes to play CRICKET

The unique human ability to hurl objects such as cricket balls fast and accurately is what lifted us above our early rivals for world dominance, according to new research. "There were essentially two questions we asked – one of them was why are humans so uniquely good at throwing, while all other creatures including our …
Lewis Page, 27 Jun 2013
Credit: Badminton School

Trick-cyclist's claim: I have FOUND how to get GIRLS INTO TECH

Ever since the dawn of time, it seems, the IT sector has noticed that it is staffed almost entirely by blokes and wondered how this could be changed. Now, through the unlikely agency of a psychology professor in America, it seems that change may finally be at hand. "Understanding what prevents women from entering computer …
Lewis Page, 27 Jun 2013

Spaniards deploy self-propelled ROBOT BALLS

Yet another boon has been conferred upon suffering humanity by boffins in Spain, who have announced the successful deployment of motorised self-rolling spherical robots intended for "missions on wild environments". The rumbling ball-bot design has been dubbed ROSPHERE by its inventors at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. …
Lewis Page, 24 Jun 2013
Girl in rain

Washout 2012 summer, melty Greenland 'nothing to do with Arctic ice or warm oceans'

Last summer was a washout for us Brits, and indeed top meteorologists are meeting at the moment to find out just why. Some other odd things happened last year, too: exceptionally large areas of the Greenland ice sheet surface melted, as did record amounts of the Arctic ice cap, and ocean temperatures were high. How were all …
Lewis Page, 19 Jun 2013
lips sealed

Whoever recently showed us the secret documents: Do get in touch

We here at The Register recently got the chance to have a look at what appeared to be some most interesting confidential information, from within a large aerospace and defence contractor. We're most grateful for this. However the way the information came to us, combined with the circumstances of the case, is going to make it …
Lewis Page, 12 Jun 2013
Chewbacca

Chewbacca held up by TSA stormtroopers for having light sabre

The hated stormtroopers of the US Transportation Security Administration earned themselves another little bit of public ire over the weekend, as they briefly held up the actor who played Chewbacca in the Star Wars movies over concerns that he was tooled up with a light-sabre. However it turned out that in fact brobdingnagian 7- …
Lewis Page, 11 Jun 2013

MIND CONTROL HAT makes CHOPPER do what BRAIN says

In a development with potentially huge consequences in the field of care for the disabled (also the related fields of disembodied brains in bubbling jars, cyborgs, human-machine interfaces etc) a group of students have shown that they can accurately control a small drone helicopter using only a specialised …
Lewis Page, 05 Jun 2013
The Register breaking news

Hitchhikers' Guide was WRONG, Earth is not in a galactic backwater

As just about any regular Reg reader knows, the Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy states authoritatively that this planet Earth lies "far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the galaxy". However, it appears that in this case the Guide is probably wrong. We learn this from new …
Lewis Page, 04 Jun 2013
The Register breaking news

Graphene QUILT: A good trampoline for elephants in stiletto heels

Fears that the radical wonder material graphene might not actually be strong enough for elephants to stand supported in mid-air on a thin film of it, on one leg, while wearing stiletto heels, have been disproven. And the material - set to revolutionise just about everything, as soon as people can figure out ways to start using …
Lewis Page, 03 Jun 2013
The X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System at its rollout ceremony

UN to call for 'pre-emptive' ban on soulless robot bomber assassins

Picture this dystopian scenario. A robotic jet aeroplane takes off on a bombing mission. But this is not one of the "Predator" or "Reaper" drones in use today above Afghanistan - there's no human pilot in constant control as there is with those, and once the jet is in the air there's no way for human commanders to communicate …
Lewis Page, 30 May 2013
by high contrast (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:High_Contrast) licensed under creative commons 3.0 attribution germany https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/de/deed.en

Boffins' brilliant plan: CONCRETE COMPUTERS

At times it might seem to some of us as though the world's top boffins are slacking at their task of making our technology better and more advanced: but not today. Today we learn that some of them are on the track of something which everyone involved in IT must have been lusting after for years. Wouldn't it be nice, you must …
Lewis Page, 28 May 2013
Purple ketchup OF DOOM!

Stand by for PURPLE KETCHUP as boffins breed SUPER TOMATOES

You might find yourself banging out a blob of PURPLE ketchup onto your bacon sarnie in days come, as scientists report that they may soon have managed to create a type of heliotrope-hued super tomato, superior to the humble red variety known and loved today. “Working with GM tomatoes that are different to normal fruit only by …
Lewis Page, 28 May 2013
We don't know if Marissa made this herself

FLABBER-JASTED: It's 'jif', NOT '.gif', says man who should know

The internet - and especially the recently-sold content sausage machine Tumblr, epicentre of the animated gif rebirth - is reeling today at the news that when referring to image files formatted as .gifs one should pronounce it "jif". That's according to no less an authority than Steve Wilhite, the man who invented the Graphics …
Lewis Page, 22 May 2013
Horses in a field

EU boffins in plan for 'more nutritious' horsemeat ice cream

Brussels-funded boffins say they have hit upon a brilliant method of creating "enriched" ice-cream, fortified with "disused" animal products which are normally thrown away by the meat industry as being unfit for human consumption. A press release issued by an EU-funded "research media centre" breaks the news of the stunning …
Lewis Page, 22 May 2013

Garden fertilised by Twitter output wins Gold at Chelsea

A garden conceived by an alliance of trick-cyclists, architects and professors of "social computing" - and enabled by the wondrous power of Twitter - has won a gold medal at the Chelsea Flower Show. This is how the garden goes: The garden is divided diagonally by an autonomous-panelled screen which separates the planting of …
Lewis Page, 22 May 2013
star trek alien dinosaur space reptile gorn

Global perils of dirt, glaciers and lizardocalypse overblown, say boffins

A trio of new studies out this week have undermined three of the basic ideas underpinning the belief that the world is facing imminent doom as a result of human carbon emissions and perhaps-associated global warming in past decades. It would seem that the menaces of a runaway feedback loop driven by carbon belching from …
Lewis Page, 21 May 2013

Last time CO2 was this high, the world was underwater? NO, actually

OK, so levels of atmospheric CO2 are rising through 0.0004 (or 400 parts per million) at the moment. Disaster, right? The last time the world saw carbon levels like this, some three million years ago, the mighty ice sheets of Greenland and the Antarctic had melted from the heat and the seas were 35 metres higher than they are …
Lewis Page, 20 May 2013

Massive EXPLOSION visible to naked eye SEEN ON MOON

Sensational news today from the Moon, as skywatchers say a huge explosion - as bright as a star, and visible from Earth with the naked eye - has been seen on the lunar surface. "It exploded in a flash nearly 10 times as bright as anything we've ever seen before," splutters Bill Cooke, a top NASA boffin. According to NASA, the …
Lewis Page, 20 May 2013

Your Flying Car? Delayed again, but you WILL get it, says Terrafugia

Not long ago the famous Massachusetts startup Terrafugia caused something of a stir by releasing details of a new electric hybrid flying-car design, the TF-X - though the company is now very late in delivering even its less-radical Transition design. The Terrafugia Transition in flight tests accompanied by chase plane …
Lewis Page, 13 May 2013
Parts for the Liberator 3D printed pistol1

'Liberator': Proof that you CAN'T make a working gun in a 3D printer

People are missing one important point about the "Liberator" 3D-printed "plastic gun": it isn't any more a gun than any other very short piece of plastic pipe is a "gun". Parts for the Liberator 3D printed pistol1 You can take my Liberator ... and shove it Seriously. That's all a Liberator is: a particularly crappy pipe, …
Lewis Page, 10 May 2013

US Army engineer wins Air Assault wings after repairing hi-tech leg twice

A hard-as-nails engineer has successfully completed the US Army's tough Air Assault school despite twice having to stop and fix breakdowns in his prosthetic leg. Sergeant Robinson (left), making an effort not to tread on any toes at his graduation from Air Assault school "A disability is only a disability if you let it hold …
Lewis Page, 07 May 2013
An X-51A scramjet attached to the wing of a B-52 bomber ready for launch. Credit: USAF

Scramjet X-51 finally goes to HYPER SPEED above Pacific

The US military may have finally achieved its goal of powering a sustained hypersonic flight on relatively ordinary jet fuel, according to a report. The first X-51A and its booster rocket mounted ready for release from B-52 mothership. Credit: USAF Fourth time lucky, maybe? Aviation Week says that the fourth and final X-51A …
Lewis Page, 03 May 2013

Thousands rally behind teen girl cuffed, expelled in harmless 'explosion'

Controversial decisions by officials in Florida to arrest, charge and expel from school a teenage girl (and model student) for causing a totally harmless "explosion" by mixing household products in a plastic bottle are attracting widespread condemnation. Kiera Wilmot, 16, a student at Bartow High School in Florida, is no …
Lewis Page, 02 May 2013
Capitol By Matti Mattila licensed under Creative Commons http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

CLIMATE CHANGE forces women into PROSTITUTION - US politicians

A group of American politicians has introduced a resolution into Congress saying that climate change (among many other bad things it does) forces women into prostitution, and that as a result the USA should use "gender sensitive frameworks" in battling the scourge of global warming. House Concurrent Resolution 36 of the 113th …
Lewis Page, 01 May 2013
Shows Henslow tree-planting in Cambridge.

Another negative climate feedback: Warmer plants cool the planet

Another powerful negative-feedback mechanism which acts to reduce the effects of global warming has been identified, as scientists say that rising temperatures cause plants to emit higher levels of planet-cooling aerosols. "Aerosol effects on climate are one of the main uncertainties in climate models," explains Pauli Paasonen …
Lewis Page, 30 Apr 2013

CURSE you, EINSTEIN! Humanity still chained in relativistic PRISON

Disappointing news on the science wires today, as new research indicates that a possible means of subverting the laws of physics to allow interstellar travel apparently doesn't work. Curses! Can nothing pierce this damned rubber sheet? As we are told in a new paper just published in hefty boffinry mag Science: Neutron stars …
Lewis Page, 26 Apr 2013

Announcement of 'churnalism detector' gets furiously churned

"Churnalism" - it's terrible stuff, isn't it? When so-called journalists pick up a press release or announcement from an organisation and simply reprocess it (perhaps even cutting and pasting chunks or the whole thing verbatim), adding nothing and doing no useful analysis or investigation before placing it in front of their …
Lewis Page, 26 Apr 2013

Climate-cooling effect 'stronger than volcanoes' is looking solid

A newly discovered mechanism for cooling the planet - potentially, according to its discoverers, more significant even than the well-known chilling effects of volcanic eruptions - has now been further investigated. The mechanism in question is the action of difficult-to-study atmospheric molecules known as "Criegee intermediates …
Lewis Page, 25 Apr 2013
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The fast-growing energy source set to replace oil: Yes, it's COAL

The emergence of renewable power has had essentially no effect on the amount of carbon emissions involved in energy generation, according to a new report. The new analysis is from the International Energy Agency. According to the IEA: The Energy Sector Carbon Intensity Index (ESCII) shows how much carbon dioxide is emitted, on …
Lewis Page, 19 Apr 2013
Sunset in the Arctic

Cutting CO2 too difficult? Try these 4 simple tricks instead

Climate researchers - including one working for Wendy Schmidt, the campaigning wife of Google overlord Eric - have published research suggesting that there are other things apart from cutting CO2 emissions which would help to avoid disastrous rises in sea levels this century. According to Dr Claudia Tebaldi: "Without …
Lewis Page, 15 Apr 2013
The drill's hose moves downwards

Antarctic ice sheet melt 'not that unusual', latest ice core shows

The latest ice-core analysis from the Antarctic shows that nothing unusual in terms of melting is occurring. In research published yesterday, a large team of scientists used a deep ice core from the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide to produce records going back some 2,000 years. Their analysis shown that recent melting in that …
Lewis Page, 15 Apr 2013

Want to know if that hottie has HIV? Put their blood in the DVD player

Cunning Swedish boffins have come up with a new use for the cheap technology in optical DVD drives: it can be used to carry out complex biochemical tests, even to the point of detecting HIV in a blood sample. See? It is basically a DVD player This isn't hyperbole - an actual DVD player has been converted into a laser scanning …
Lewis Page, 12 Apr 2013

German boffins aim to burn natural gas - WITHOUT CO2 emissions

Top boffins based in Germany - including a Nobel Prize laureate - believe they may be able to largely eliminate carbon emissions while nonetheless permitting the human race to use cheap and convenient fossil fuels as much as it likes: and this doesn't involve any tricky and probably expensive capturing of CO2 which must then be …
Lewis Page, 10 Apr 2013
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Google offers Adwords deals - but you can't trust their numbers

Google's Adwords platform has always been something of a mystery, to put it mildly - the only certainty about it is that it makes a lot of money for Google - but nobody has caught it out using numbers which are definitely, verifiably untrue. Until now. Simples An eagle-eyed Reg reader has broken this long run of success. This …
Lewis Page, 04 Apr 2013

RAF graduates first class of new groundbased 'pilots'

The Royal Air Force is chuffed this week to announce the graduation of its first class of "remotely piloted air system pilots", who have the job of piloting aircraft they are not actually in. 'Differ only slightly' from the normal ones. Visually, anyway As regular readers of these pages will know, the RAF (with some …
Lewis Page, 04 Apr 2013