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Richard Speed

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LESTER gets ready to trundle: The Register's beer-bot has a name

Buoyed by the usual high quality feedback from readers, the office automated beer delivery service has taken a step towards reality with a suitable moniker. Reader lglethal suggested Beverage Utility Tasked with Liquoring up El Registerians, while ArrZarr proposed Ballistic Imbibement Trajectory Towards El Reg, which so nearly …
Richard Speed, 20 Apr 2018

Musk: I want to retrieve rockets with big Falcon party balloons

While waiting for TESS to get off the launchpad on Monday, chief exec Elon Musk joked on Twitter about how SpaceX might set about recovering the second stage of the booster. SpaceX will try to bring rocket upper stage back from orbital velocity using a giant party balloon — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 15, 2018 The idea is …
Richard Speed, 19 Apr 2018

SpaceX finally Falcon flings NASA's TESS into orbit

NASA’s TESS spacecraft is in orbit following a successful launch from Cape Canaveral’s Space Launch Complex 40. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 left the launch pad at 22:51 UTC after a delay to deal with unspecified issues with the rocket’s guidance systems. The first stage engines shut down just over two minutes later as planned. The …
Richard Speed, 19 Apr 2018

Pyro-brainiacs set new record with waste-heat-into-electricity study

Californian scientists have come up with a way of converting waste heat from electronics back into electricity with improved efficiency, according to a study in Nature Materials. The system uses a process called pyroelectric energy conversion, which the study shows can take low-quality waste heat (which it might interest you …
Richard Speed, 19 Apr 2018
Skype Logo

Running on-premises Dynamics 365? Think you're immune to cloud outages? Think again

Hidden dependencies in Microsoft's on-premises Dynamics 365 can leave users open to cloudy outages. Office 365 fell over for a few hours on 6 April in Europe and Asia, taking down anyone relying on Microsoft's cloud service. However, behind-the-scenes connections to Azure meant that those running on-premises versions were also …
Richard Speed, 18 Apr 2018
Nerd fail photo via Shutterstock

OMG! OIG to audit SLS: NASA probed over big rocket project's big budgets, big delays

The management of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) is to be audited by the agency's watchdog. The probe was announced in a tweet by NASA's Office of Inspector General (OIG), and is sure not to have ruined the morning coffee of Uncle Sam's army of scientists. The SLS mega-rocket is supposed to take space adventurers to the …
Richard Speed, 18 Apr 2018
measuring tape

Size does matter, chaps: Oversized todgers an evolutionary handicap

A study published by Nature this month suggests less is more when it comes to male genitals and species survival. Sexual dimorphism – the differences between males and females – usually helps males attract mates. Peacocks are a good example of where a male expends a lot of energy producing plumage to catch the eye of a passing …
Richard Speed, 18 Apr 2018
polygonal canary

Windows 10 Spring Creators Update team explains the hold-up: You little BSOD!

Windows 10 Springwatch – as it shall henceforth be known – has entered its second week and Microsoft has dropped the first clue as to what caused the delay: bugs. Though Microsoft has never actually confirmed a release date or name for the elusive Windows 10 Spring Creators Update (aka version 1803), many expected it to arrive …
Richard Speed, 17 Apr 2018
TESS delayed while Mars Express reboots (pic: ESA and SpaceX)

NASA's TESS mission in distress, Mars Express restart is a success

A Guidance and Navigation Control (GNC) issue scuppered last night's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) launch atop a SpaceX Falcon 9. Conversely, the European Space Agency (ESA) celebrated a successful restart of the Mars Express orbiter following a software update. TESS is less Scheduled for launch yesterday, the …
Richard Speed, 17 Apr 2018
Asleep on the sofa image via Shutterstock

Wow, braking news: Overworked, tired ride-sharing drivers declared a public health risk

Dozy ride-share drivers juggling multiple jobs are putting people's lives at risk, according to a statement from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) in the Journal of The Bleeding Obvious Clinical Sleep Medicine. While Uber’s self-driving cars have taken a bit of a bashing, in recent weeks the AASM’s department of …
Richard Speed, 16 Apr 2018
SEGA Mini Megadrive (pic: SEGA)

The law of run Nintendo consequences: Sega brings out mini Mega Drive / Genesis

Veteran game maker Sega announced it was getting back into the hardware game at the Sega FES 2018 event over the weekend, with a shrunken version of its classic Megadrive (or Genesis) console. In an announcement in no way connected to the success of Nintendo’s SNES Mini, Sega might well have been inspired by the tried and …
Richard Speed, 16 Apr 2018
TESS (pic: NASA's Goddard Space Center / CI Lab)

SpaceX's Falcon 9 poised to fling 350kg planet-sniffing satellite into Earth orbit

Planet hunters will be keeping their fingers crossed this evening as SpaceX flings NASA’s 350kg Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) into a highly elliptical orbit around the Earth. SpaceX, which was awarded "Category 2" certification for the "Full Thrust" Falcon 9 by NASA in January (PDF) despite a notable boom on the …
Richard Speed, 16 Apr 2018
Somewhere nice in India

Tried checking under the sofa? Indian BTC exchange Coinsecure finds itself $3.5m lighter

Indian Bitcoin exchange Coinsecure has mislaid 438.318 BTC belonging to its customers. In a statement by parent firm Secure Bitcoin Traders Pvt, posted late on Thursday, the biz said its chief security officer had extracted a bunch of Bitcoin to distribute to punters – and discovered the funds were "lost in the process." The …
Richard Speed, 13 Apr 2018
Boeing's concept illustration for a Space Gateway

Boeing CEO takes aim at Musk’s Starman-in-a-Tesla stunt

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg took a shot at SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy launch during a discussion with Politico’s Robert Allbritton last night. After commending the innovation of the new-space community, while pointing out that Boeing had had its claws into the space industry since the dawn of spaceflight, Muilenburg was keen to …
Richard Speed, 13 Apr 2018

UK rocket-botherers rattle SABRE, snaffle big bucks

UK rocket botherer Reaction Engines Limited (REL) has raised £26.5m from backers in the finance and aerospace fields towards development of its Synergetic Air Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE). SABRE has stubbornly refused to leave the lab bench and, with ground testing of the engine core due to start in 2020, the cash injection …
Richard Speed, 12 Apr 2018

Using Outlook? You should probably do some patching

Microsoft emitted a patch for all supported versions of Outlook on Patch Tuesday this month to prevent attackers harvesting credentials from users who simply preview a carefully crafted Rich Text (RTF) email. The vulnerability (CVE-2018-0950) exploited Outlook’s unfortunate habit of retrieving remotely hosted Object Linking …
Richard Speed, 12 Apr 2018
Techie wields circular saw while standing over the innards of a workstation. Photo by Shutterstock

HTC Vive Pro virtually stripped. OK, we mean actually stripped. (It’s a VR headset, geddit?)

The inexplicably expensive HTC Vive Pro has arrived, and rather than spend a few hours in virtual world of rainbows and unicorns, the team at iFixit have taken the headset into the very real world of their workshop and taken the thing apart. HTC VIVO TEARDOWN Click to enlarge With a resolution bump to 1440 x 1600 per eye …
Richard Speed, 12 Apr 2018

Moneybags VCs look to the stars – and spaff a billion on space tech

It’s been a bumper few months for the commercial space industry with the torrent of cash from starry-eyed investors showing no signs of slowing, according to investment outfit, Space Angels. Nearly $1bn was handed to private space racers in the first quarter of 2018 - $975,799,660 to be precise. In a shock to nobody, a man …
Richard Speed, 12 Apr 2018
Mars Express (pic: ESA)

European Space Agency squirts a code update at Mars Express orbiter

The European Space Agency's (ESA) Mars Express orbiter is getting a software refresh as a reward for 14 years spent circling the red planet. Mars Express arrived in orbit at the end of 2003, and set about collecting high-resolution imagery of the surface, spotting water and detecting methane. Not too shabby for a spacecraft …
Richard Speed, 11 Apr 2018

Snubbed R Us: Microsoft eschews Vulture Consultants in Playmobil tech research

Despite a failure to consult Reg Playmobil academia, Microsoft Research has unleashed new toy findings: a playmat for little ones that combines capacitive sensing, Near Field Communication (NFC), a kid-friendly user interface and Playmobil. Google's SECRET London office Revealed: Google's SECRET London office READ MORE In …
Richard Speed, 11 Apr 2018
Lord Kitchener pointing at reader

El Reg needs you – to help build an automated beer-transporting robot

The Register needs to build a robot capable of transporting multiple pints of beer without spilling a drop. Can you help? Vulture Central has moved to a shiny new shared collaboration space in central London, which, among other exciting advances, features a selection of beers to refresh thirsty hacks, weary from a day of …
Richard Speed, 11 Apr 2018
Gemini Linux Bootscreen (pic: El Reg)

Gemini: Vulture gives PDA some Linux lovin'

Review Planet Computing’s Gemini is a middling Android phone integrated with a Psion Series 5-style keyboard and clamshell case. Since our exclusive hands-on with a real production device, I’ve spent a few weeks in its rattly, plasticky company. And I’ve also managed to get Linux installed. So what’s it like? The Gemini, for those …
Richard Speed, 11 Apr 2018
P20 Pro laid bare (pic: iFixit)

All the king's horses and all the king's men could probably put Huawei's P20 Pro together again

Armed with tools to send most smartphone manufacturers into a cold sweat, the team at iFixit have found the Huawei P20 Pro is going to be a tricky beast to repair. So best not drop it, OK? The Register found much to like about the £799 smartphone, but the camera left us wanting when compared to Android rivals such as the Pixel …
Richard Speed, 10 Apr 2018
Windows File Manager

Modern life is rubbish – so why not take a trip down memory lane with Windows File Manager?

First released as part of Windows 3.0 in 1990 before shuffling into the digital deadzone following the end of support for Windows NT 4.0, the venerable File Manager application has made a surprising comeback on Windows 10 following a release of the source code on GitHub. A tool beloved by those too timid to go near the command …
Richard Speed, 9 Apr 2018
Space Shuttle toilet (pic: Smithsonian)

Ass-troplastic! Printing parts from p.. er... human waste

Researchers reckon some smart bacteria and a 3D printer could solve the twin challenges of transporting materials on a journey to Mars and dealing with all the solid waste generated by space-faring humans. The team from the University of Calgary have devised a process (PDF) called ‘Astroplastic’, which produces …
Richard Speed, 6 Apr 2018

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