* Posts by Winston Smith

42 publicly visible posts • joined 2 Jul 2008

Kamikaze Rosetta probe to ram comet it's chased for billions of miles

Winston Smith

Re: "This is fantastic news ... FOR SCIENCE!!!"

> But if the crash down causes a trajectory change and it heads earthwards!!!!

That's still pretty damn fantastic FOR SCIENCE. But for *us*, not so much.


Winston Smith
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"This is fantastic news ... FOR SCIENCE!!!"

If you were about to smash a spacecraft into a comet, how would *you* say it?

James Bond's metal-toothed nemesis Richard Kiel dies at 74

Winston Smith

"To Serve Man"

Would that be a suitable epitaph, do you think?


RIP, big guy.

Chinese company counters pollution by importing fresh air

Winston Smith

China = SpaceBalls?

So *that's* why they ramped up their space program - they're looking for planet Druidia to steal their air!

Sergey Brin's 'test-tube burger' cooked, eaten, declared meat-like

Winston Smith

A burger that is almost...

but not entirely, unlike meat.

Davros liable to criticism for huge STRAW DALEK he never built

Winston Smith

... to be followed by a Dalek covered in brown fur with a heavy mane, shrieking to all who will hear:


Google tool lets you share data from BEYOND the GRAVE

Winston Smith

Google Bad News

It's just a pity that the name "Dead People Server" is already taken.

Leaping hedgehog probes planned for Martian moon Phobos

Winston Smith



At last, a bionic arm that passes the Beer, Egg and Looks Cool tests

Winston Smith

Re: Steampunk arms?

I was waiting for him to clap his hands together and transmute something.

Einstein's brain FOUND ON APPLE iPAD

Winston Smith

Next in line -

Sections taken from the brain of one Abby Normal of Transylvania.

Flexible Willow glass displays thin and curvy gadget future

Winston Smith
Big Brother

Scoff if you will

but I bellyfeel this thing is doubleplusgood!

Red faces abound as boffins build gamma ray lens

Winston Smith

hulk SMASH puny lens

happen three times this week

hulk go see eye doctor again

hulk still not meet deductible

Mega squid use HUMONGOUS eyes to spot ravenous sperm whales

Winston Smith

They've neglected the classics

Oh Squid, what big eyes you have!

The better to see you with, my dear!

<== Closest I could find to a wolf. Or a red hood.

Printed jaw lets woman swallow again

Winston Smith

Richard Kiel

This is truly a great step forward for Bond villains.

Scientists snap amazing technicolour dreamtoad

Winston Smith

That was the Mexican Staring Frog...

of Southern Sri Lanka.

*Very* dangerous. I heard that someone posted a picture of it on Facebook, and anyone who checks the status of that account passes out for three hours. True story.

EXPLODING MELONS terrify Chinese

Winston Smith

Well, clearly

... it's just a media stunt by long-since-irrelevant prop comic Gallagher, to promote his upcoming tour of China and Other Destinations of the Far East.

And you just had to feed the beast by reporting it. Really, Lester, we expected better of you.

Facebook pulls plugs on Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook profile

Winston Smith

Re: subheader

Haven't you heard they come in six-packs?

Apple reminds Aussies they can buy iPhone 4s on Friday

Winston Smith

It should work just fine Down Under

Because they'll hold the phone upside down, won't they? So they only need to worry about not touching the *upper right* corner, which should be a lot easier.

Nasa returns to the moon... in 3D game

Winston Smith

Expansion Pack

I think I'll wait for the expansion pack to the game, in which you have lost communication with Earth because the main communications dish has gone on the blink, and you must replace the AE-35 unit with the help of your friendly AI guide. Extra points given for locating mysterious magnetic anomalies and for contacting advanced alien civilizations.

Vatican orders Catholics to watch the Blues Brothers

Winston Smith

Hit it.

And I'll bet the Popemobile has a catalytic converter, too. Poser. B^I

Britons: iPhone eighth most important invention — ever

Winston Smith

Rock at #39

Yes, and I was expecting to see "The Sword" at #29.

Airport plods seize man with electric vibro-pleasure shoes

Winston Smith


... does not enter into it, where airports are involved.


US X-37B robot minishuttle: 'Secret space warplane'?

Winston Smith

Blofeld approves!

of the Mission 3B plan.


Boffins peg co-polymers for cheap chip construction

Winston Smith

mutually repelling, but attached to each other

So then, the real breakthrough is that they've invented marriage for molecules?

Nazi-doodlebug-powered father of all paintball guns patented

Winston Smith
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"Fort Wayne, Indiana: Plainly a dangerous place"

Dr. Zaius wholeheartedly agrees!

(In the original "Planet of the Apes", Taylor claimed to be from Fort Wayne, and ape-leader Zaius cited that as evidence of his people's warlike intentions.)

500-strong rat pack menaces Muscovites

Winston Smith

Proof that it *is* possible to invade Moscow, after all.

Just not in winter.

US brain-computer interface gets live human trials

Winston Smith

Re: Yes, please, I want one in my skull, too!

Well now, who said anything about the government doing the dirty work? Surely Big Pharma will have their rubber-gloved hands all over this.

Say hello to your new Merck Overlords. No, seriously - say it RIGHT NOW!

Kanye West doesn't have a f***ing Twitter, OK?

Winston Smith


Do you remember after Hurricane Katrina, that short video clip with Mike Myers staring dumbfounded as a clearly agitated man said "George Bush doesn't care about black people!"? That man was Kanye West.


I'm sympathetic enough to Mr. West's problem of having his identity "stolen", but is this really the first time it ever occurred to him that some people *pretend* to be celebrities on the internet? Seriously? Has he actually *seen* the internet before? No wonder he's behind on delivering content...

To the Reg editors: I hereby request a "facepalm" comment icon. Or are we supposed to use Paris for that?

Battlestar Galactica eyes 'technology run amok'

Winston Smith
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Re: Battlestar Galactica's real message...

No disrespect intended to the inestimable Mr. Hendrix, but I think the divinity here belongs to Bob Dylan, who wrote the song. As usual.

I have heard, though, that Dylan now prefers to perform "Watchtower" in the Hendrix style. And who wouldn't?

As for the ending, I found it oddly satisfying. We didn't get all the answers that the promos on the SciFi (er, "SyFy") Channel promised, but it still just worked so nicely...

Honda whips out fuel-cell sci-fi style sportster

Winston Smith

Front end design

With this color* scheme, I'd say it looks more like a Star Wars clone trooper than a Cylon. That's not such a bad thing - a bit tacky and very sci-fi, but still generally good-looking to anyone who would drive a concept car (if they could).

The back end... not so much. It looks like they wanted to put a rocket engine back there. But, you know... they *couldn't*. <eye-roll>

*Yes, I'm in the U.S., where "U"s are the *only* thing we conserve.

Finland's flawed e-voting scheme - blame the voters?

Winston Smith

I see five ballots

(I couldn't very well let this one pass, now could I?)

Microsoft rushes out emergency Windows update

Winston Smith
Gates Horns

Re: doesn't installing Windows count then?

No, it doesn't, because most users don't install Windows themselves. But maybe "buying HW with Windows pre-installed" should count as a user action.

NASA's nuclear Mars tank is go

Winston Smith

@Mars is Virgin

Apparently not.


The netbook newbie's guide to Linux

Winston Smith

About that editor...

Nice article, and the series promises to be a big help to new users who want to get a little more out of their machine than the manufacturer had in mind. But there was one little shock towards the end:

"I don't need to tell you how to use [vi] here, because the MSI Wind Suse Linux implementation comes complete with all the Unix man - for 'manual' - pages. If your machine is an MSI Wind, just type man vi."

Now, I've been using vi in various forms for 15 years, and I happily (even evangelically) recommend it as a very powerful text editor. But to tell a Linux newbie (whom you assume has not previously used "less") to try using vi with ONLY the man page as a guide... Well, I can't think of anything that will drive the poor n00b away from Linux any faster than that. The mode-switching alone may invoke cold sweats when he tries to escape (literally) from an inscrutable tilde-filled screen.

Of course, vi *can* be learned, and learned very well, but I think that this particularly gentle reader would be better served by a link to a vi usage guide or tutorial. This was the first good option I could find in a hurry:


Reg competition: Cisco goes isup

Winston Smith

South Park

Perhaps their new webadmin was once a plane'arium operator? Or I guess I should say, he *was* their new webadmin.


Motorola gets down with the kids

Winston Smith


"Perhaps Americans have more rooms, or more TVs. However, a similar proportion, 46 per cent, have HDTV."

Looks like a typo - I think you mean "ADHD".

Wait - did I bring a coat?

World goes mad as Bill and Jerry eat churros

Winston Smith

Side-effects may include nausea, sleeplessness, and General Protection Fault

This reminds me of the ads we see in the US for prescription medications that deal with *ahem* personal issues - the ones that say "ask your doctor if Hypochondrixol is right for you" without ever saying what the drug is actually supposed to _do_ for you. That's because it legally allows the manufacturers to not mention the nasty side-effects, either.

It seems like the same advertising model. If M$ instead made an ad (like Mojave, maybe - I haven't seen that) describing what Vista actually does (the purported benefits over other OSs, including their own XP), then they would somehow get forced into defending themselves publicly when someone points out the very obvious defects in the product. They avoid the direct criticism by not saying anything specific enough to criticize.

@Francis- I'm not a Mac fan either, but I don't see this cheapening the Mac ads by comparison. The Mac ads are short, smart, and always _funny_. I generally watch each new one once (but only once) as it comes out instead of TiVoing past it. This indicates to me that Apple has found a good ad model for the DVR age, in that it gets attention from eyes that would otherwise be averted. Jerry's ads might accomplish the same for M$, but will they actually convince anyone that Vista is worth using? (Not me - I mean someone who isn't already a devoted penguin-head.)

Fiorina threatens to get in McCain's antique cabinet

Winston Smith

@What am I missing?

"Bearing in mind all she seems to be capable of are monumental fuck ups, why is she being considered for anything at all?"

Three words: "Heckuva job, Brownie."

This is Republican politics. Failure is the new success.

Nut launches death threats at Debian women

Winston Smith

@we really need a wide eyed axe wielding penguin icon

Like this guy? (scroll down a bit)


Re: "track down and deal with the perpetrators"

This is a short quote from a presumably longer message from McIntyre, and a few commenters here have taken it (possibly out of context) as an indication that he isn't treating this crime seriously enough. I do hope that he is contacting the appropriate law-enforcement authorities.

Asahi premiers pint-pulling robo-barman

Winston Smith

"Ice. Gin. A squeeze of lime."

That'll be "Short Circuit", of course:


I'll be more impressed with this overpriced beer ad (the robot's overpriced, dunno about the beer) if it can gain self-awareness from a lightning bolt and learn to mix a gin and tonic by reading a bar manual.

TSA says 'checkpoint friendly' laptop bags on the way

Winston Smith

"Now if only they can come up with human-sized bags."

Oh, they have those already, mainly for return trips from Iraq & Afghanistan. And for added security, they're never photographed so the public might see how many of them there are.

More on-topic: "Hawley claims, however, there won't be any confusion about what passes or not because security officers will be well informed about them."

I see no chance for confusion, then. The rent-a-cop with the metal wand surely knows just how to tell *your* bag from the old-fashioned checkpoint-unfriendly ones.