Lewis Page

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Former 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).
Artist's impression of how Fomalhalt b might look

THESE ARE THE VOYAGES of the space probe Discovery

NASA's scheme for reasonably priced space probes, the Discovery programme, has issued a new short list of ideas for its next economical science-shot. The idea is to choose a cunning lightweight mission which can be ready to go in no more than a few years, and get it out into space before it can snowball into a budgetary …
Lewis Page, 1 Oct 2015
iPhone explodes

WATERPROOF iPhone 6Ss? Old news. Check out the OTHER 7 SECRET FEATURES

We here at the Reg, as all our readers know, subscribe completely to the idea that people need a continual stream of iPhone related news-style content. We were especially impressed by the idea that the new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus might be "secretly waterproof". Some curmudgeons might suggest that this is merely a standard …
Lewis Page, 29 Sep 2015
The Mondoshawn, genetically perfect beings in <i>The Fifth Element</i>

NASA announcement of MAJOR MARS DISCOVERY imminent: WHAT can it be?

Poll The clock is counting down to NASA's imminent announcement as to just what the "major" discovery it has made on Mars could be. But there's still time left for us here at the Register to run one of our AI neural network bigdata analytics crowdsauce investigations, which should infallibly furnish the answer well beforehand. We …
Lewis Page, 28 Sep 2015

Robot Romeo gets its 'antenna' snapped off in attempt to 'charm' testy American

A robotic Romeo, attempting to "charm" or "distract" its target, suffered damage to its antenna during an altercation with a man in North Carolina, according to media reports. The machine was an "elite member" of a specialist local police unit. The Times-News of Hendersonville, North Carolina, has the story, in which sheriff's …
Lewis Page, 28 Sep 2015
Apple iPhone 4s, 5s, 6 and 6 Plus

FOUR STUNNING NEW FEATURES Cook should put in the iPHONE 7

It's the eve of iPhone Day, the most magical time of the year, when fanbois' and fangurls' little faces light up as they tear open the packages tomorrow. It's the day that we celebrate the coming of a new Jesus Phone down to Earth to be seen amongst mortals yet again. But there are a lot of, pardon us for shooting straight …
Lewis Page, 24 Sep 2015
The rebranded MPCV (aka Orion) participating in a Mars mission. Credit: NASA

SPACED OUT: NASA's manned Orion podule pushed back to 2023

NASA's plan to carry out manned space missions beyond Earth's low orbit has stalled to 2023. The American astro-boffins were aiming to deploy the Orion manned capsule in 2021, but the program has stumbled. A prototype Orion capsule has already made a brief unmanned test flight atop a Delta IV Heavy launch stack, in December …
Lewis Page, 17 Sep 2015
Ashes Cricket 2013

BORN to HURL: Man's shoulders are head and shoulders above apes, gorillas, chimps etc

Top-level bone fondlers delving back into humanity's remote past say that the key adaptation which lifted us from the ruck of other primates was a change to the shoulder permitting us - among other things - to play cricket by hurling balls and wielding bats. "These changes in the shoulder, which were probably initially driven …
Lewis Page, 9 Sep 2015
Shows Henslow tree-planting in Cambridge.

Tree hugger? Your wooden harem is much bigger than thought

Tree-lovers rejoice! It turns out there are really hugely more trees on planet Earth than anyone had thought. In fact, a new study just published says that there are no fewer than three trillion huggable woody trunks alive on the planet today – roughly seven and a half times as many as the previous best guess of just 400 …
Lewis Page, 2 Sep 2015
The solar powered patrol vehicle employed by the Fort Knox directorate of emergency services. Credit: US Army

Self-driving cars? Boring. We want self driving, lizard dodging golf carts

Many jaded readers of the Register, noting on the interwebs the endless stream of stories about self-driving cars - being worked upon by such companies as Google - may have wondered whether in fact anyone at all is actually working on the real, genuine problems confronting the human race. Well wonder no more, my jaundiced …
Lewis Page, 2 Sep 2015

Pale backside of lovely Luna flits past in imagery from 1 million miles out

A million miles out in deep space far beyond the Moon's orbit, closer in to the Sun, lies the L-1 Lagrange point. Here sits the DSCOVR spacecraft with its EPIC instrument pointed back at Earth. NASA has just released some EPIC images, showing the moon zipping past in front of Earth. Here they are: Moon transit of Earth. …
Lewis Page, 6 Aug 2015

How much of one year's Californian energy use would wipe out the drought?

Opinion That California drought - it's terrible, isn't it? But there's nothing to be done. If it doesn't rain for a few years, and doesn't snow up in the mountains, Californians must just yield to Mother Nature and stop watering their lawns, stop washing their cars, maybe even stop growing those delicious but thirsty almonds. Or ... …
Lewis Page, 31 Jul 2015
Credit: Oren Schauble Licence: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

Small number of computer-aided rifles could be hacked in contrived scenario

The internet is reeling today at the "news" that a rare make of computer-aided gunsight can under certain circumstances be hacked into, permitting a hacker to interfere with a suitably-equipped rifle's aim. The gunsight in question is the much-hyped but seldom purchased TrackingPoint kit, a system with a Linux machine at its …
Lewis Page, 30 Jul 2015
Credit: RodWey2004 Licence: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en

Hawking, Musk, Woz (and others): Robots will kill us all

Opinion Notables of the technology world including physicist Stephen Hawking, biz baron Elon Musk and techno-hippy Steve Wozniak have teamed up to warn us all about the menace of killer robots. In an open letter and petition, the distinguished trio and their co-signatories warn: Autonomous weapons select and engage targets without …
Lewis Page, 27 Jul 2015
classroom_shutterstock_648

New study into lack of women in Tech: It's not the men's fault

A new study into causes of the scarcity of women in technical and scientific fields says that it is not discrimination by men in the field keeping the ladies away. Nor is it a repugnance felt by women for possibly dishevelled or unhygienic male nerds. No, the reason that young women don't train in Science, Technology, …
Lewis Page, 27 Jul 2015
Credit: Julius T. Cstonyi

Slippery, slimy find: LEGGY, WRIGGLY fossil shows SNAKES weren't legless. Or ARMLESS

A strange fossilised snake possessing four limbs which it could use for walking or gripping things has upset the applecart in the world of palaeo-snake boffinry. The fossil in question had actually been excavated some time ago in Brazil, which had been part of the ur-continent Gondwana at the time the leggy snake was alive, …
Lewis Page, 24 Jul 2015
Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Caltech/D.Fox et al.; Illustration: NASA/D.Berry

SPLAT! STAR THWACKED, GUTS flung into space at 15 per cent of LIGHTSPEED

In perhaps the most violent punch that has ever been witnessed by humanity, a speeding pulsar has smashed right through a disk of matter bulging from the middle of a hefty star and blown a massive chunk of it guts into interstellar space at a significant fraction of light speed. That's according to top space boffins peering …
Lewis Page, 24 Jul 2015
The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) by night, under the Magellanic Clouds

Galactic BIRTH: ALMA peers THIRTEEN BEELLLION years into Dawn of Time Itself

Far back - quite literally into the earliest mists of time, when cold hydrogen fog cloaked the birth pangs of the early universe - the galaxies were born. Now, top boffins have pierced that fog and snapped a live action pic of one such galactic birth. Astronomers refer to this period, apparently, as the Epoch of Reionisation. …
Lewis Page, 23 Jul 2015
Exoplanet around a star

NASA briefing in HOURS: 'We are upon the CUSP of finding ANOTHER EARTH'

Updated Everyone knows the Kepler space telescope, whose six year mission (so far) has seen it discover many planets orbiting other stars - the task it was specifically built for, indeed. Now, it would seem, it has found something unusually important, as NASA has announced major press briefing on Kepler for later today. All the space …
Lewis Page, 23 Jul 2015

SPACE FARMER 'nauts arrive safely at International Space Station

Three fresh 'nauts have arrived at the International Space Station, bringing it up to its regular complement of six - and clearing the way for the first off-Earth farming. The arriving 'nauts are NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko and Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui. The trio took off from Baikonur …
Lewis Page, 23 Jul 2015
Credit: Speedy Gonsales / Edward S Curtis CC 3.0 Attribution Share-Alike Unported

Were the FIRST AMERICANS really FIRST? MYSTERY of vanished 'Population Y'

A long-vanished race of humans, whose descendants now survive only among certain indigenous peoples in Australasia and in the Amazon jungles, may have been the true, original Native Americans, according to new genetics research. The clue to the existence of this mysterious "Population Y" has been found by boffins probing the …
Lewis Page, 23 Jul 2015

AI finally understands primitive sketches – aka marketing presentations

Artificial intelligence scientists have developed a neural-network that understands incomprehensible scrawled drawings of the sort created by children, marketing departments, architects, design creatives, and so on. The academic developers of the "Sketch-a-Net" software proudly boast that their brainchild is actually better at …
Lewis Page, 22 Jul 2015
SpaceX plans for future launcher development. Credit: SpaceX

SpaceX's blast shock delays world's MOST POWERFUL ROCKET

Rocketry upstart SpaceX has said it's new "Falcon Heavy" launcher – which will be the most powerful on Earth when it comes into service – has been grounded by further delays. The news comes as part of a briefing given by SpaceX chief Elon Musk and other company executives outlining their plans following the explosion of a …
Lewis Page, 21 Jul 2015

An EPIC picture of Earth, sunny side up, from one million miles out

NASA has released a splendid new pic from the DSCOVR satellite, newly arrived at point L-1 a million miles sunward from Earth. An epic e-pic from EPIC. DSCOVR's full name is the Deep Space Climate Observatory, so dubbed for its position at the Lagrange point one million miles away on a line from the Earth to the Sun, where …
Lewis Page, 21 Jul 2015

Female blood-suckers zero in on human prey by smelling our breath

Deadly female blood-suckers have been shown to zero in on their living prey by sniffing out the CO2 emitted in exhaled breath, according to new experiments. The blood-drinking femme fatales in question are mosquitoes: but in all fairness mosquitoes are probably more of an issue for the human race than sexy vampires on any …
Lewis Page, 17 Jul 2015
Credit: ESO/L. Benassi

Ideal solar system for SECOND EARTH found – and it's just 186 light-years away

There are hundreds of known exoplanets - worlds in orbit around other stars than our own Sun. The trouble is, because of the means used to detect them, that they tend to be big and very close to their faraway suns - and thus, sadly, not potential Earthlike habitable worlds. But that may have changed today. Excited astronomers …
Lewis Page, 16 Jul 2015

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