back to article BT lab domain grab – 17 years after cheeky chap swiped 'em

BT research campus Adastral Park can finally buy up its domain names – just 17 years after giving a chap the sack for registering them. Way back in 2000, BT rebranded its tech research campus – based in Suffolk, England, and formerly known as BT Labs – as Adastral Park. However, it was slow off the mark when it came to …

  1. Alan J. Wylie

    Martlesham Heath

    In the 80's I used to get confused between Martlesham and the then New Scientist / Bill Tidy comic strip "Grimbledon Down". My friend who then worked there researching surface physics would get quite upset if I referred to it as "Martlesham Down"

    1. Elmer Phud

      Re: Martlesham Heath

      People I knew who worked there referred to it as the Blasted Heath'..

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Martlesham Heath

        "People I knew who worked there referred to it as the Blasted Heath'."

        Thomas Hardy apparently used that term when referring to the fictitious Egdon Heath in "The Return of the Native".

        Culham Laboratories were part of the development of the disk operating system for the English Electric KDF 9 mainframe - and cultured lot that they were - called the system "Egdon".

    2. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Martlesham Heath

      Martlesham Heath Robinson was the more correct appellation.

      As for the blasted Heath there was modern pub there called the 'Douglas Bader'. They were not happy when I said it looked like a great place to get legless in.

      1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

        Re: Martlesham Heath

        As for the blasted Heath there was modern pub there called the 'Douglas Bader'. They were not happy when I said it looked like a great place to get legless in.

        Still there, and they still don't like that joke ;)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Martlesham Heath

          When I stopped visiting, just before it became Adastral, they'd build a very modern looking building right at the entrance. Looked really hi-tech, visitors were always disappointed that it was actually the new cafeteria. Some of the 'locals' took to describing it as the chip fabrication facility...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Martlesham Heath

          There’s a street in Birmingham, not far from the Spitfire factory called Bader Walk....

      2. JimC

        Re: not happy when I said it looked like a great place to get legless in.

        Well, I can't imagine they've heard that crack more than about fifty thousand times...

      3. xebon

        Re: Martlesham Heath

        Brilliant! :)

    3. AndrueC Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Martlesham Heath

      Not to forget the research centre in Danger Mouse called 'Putnam Down'.

    4. Cynical Observer
      Trollface

      Re: Martlesham Heath

      It was claimed that the best view of Suffolk could be had from the top of the Martlesham Tower - because, according to the seasoned veterans, it was the only place in Suffolk where you couldn't see the bloody thing.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Martlesham Heath Re the Tower

        The A10s from the local US airbases used to use if for navigation so we used to suffer regular earthquakes as they passed overhead trying to find their way home. The view up there is no better - all you can see is Suffolk and the Sea and Suffolk is generally the flatter of the two,

        1. Cynical Observer

          Re: Martlesham Heath Re the Tower

          @ Tom 7

          One contact who was based there listed one of his pastimes as "Mountain Biking"

          Seriously! In Suffolk!

          1. David Roberts

            Re: Martlesham Heath Re the Tower - mountain biking

            You might want to check where the mountain biking track was for the Olympics.

            Not Martlesham, but surprisingly close (and not near a mountain).

            1. Reggie Cyde

              Re: Martlesham Heath Re the Tower - mountain biking

              Hadleigh Castle - not THAT close!

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Martlesham Heath

      After the rebrand, there were many of the inhabitants that rebranded it "disastral park"

  2. frank ly
    Coat

    Per Ardua Ad Bitcoin

    On my way out .....

  3. Chronos
    Devil

    Runaround

    I hope, should the BTs decide to pursue this offer, that the vendor will keep them on hold, transfer them to another extension which will also keep them on hold, repeated ad nauseam until they give up. That would be poetic justice.

    1. Mephistro Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Runaround

      And don't forget the ugly canned music!

      1. Joe Harrison

        Re: Runaround

        And don't forget we'll be round on Tuesday between 8 and 1 to transfer the domain, then don't go.

        1. theblackhand

          Re: Runaround

          RE:"And don't forget we'll be round on Tuesday between 8 and 1 to transfer the domain, then don't go."

          Or camp outside, waiting for them to run low on supplies and when they pop out for more leave a note:

          "We called but you were out..."

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "You wouldn't walk by a £20 note on the floor and not pick it up, would you?"

    I'm assuming he'd pick it up so that he could attempt to re-unite it with the person to whom it belongs ... otherwise it is theft ... there was a case a few months ago where someone dropped a note into a supermarket freezer and they were unable to reach it so went to get a staff member to help - in the meantime someone else saw it, though "free money", picked it up and walked off. They probably would have got away with it if it wasn't for those meddling kids the supermarket's CCTV cameras so they ended up having to trade in the note for a criminal record.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm assuming he'd pick it up so that he could attempt to re-unite it with the person to whom it belongs ... otherwise it is theft

      I assume whoever down-voted you has never heard of "theft by finding".

    2. The Nazz Silver badge

      Posted before but ....

      It still amuses me.

      A few years back my kid found 20p in the school grounds. I explained that the proper thing to do is hand it in and when (undoubtedly) the true owner never claims it, it will be handed back to you.*

      Then this story broke :

      http://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/endon-hall-primary-school-manager-margaret-bailey/story-16597044-detail/story.html

      Eagle eyed viewers will notice the difference between 20p, £20 and £65k to £115k.

      We're still 20p down but ne'er mind. Well, i am as i reimbursed her.

      I was so nearly tempted to go visiting on Tuesdays or Thursdays.

  5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Why more than one domain anyway?

    I guess the techies in charge of domains and websites would be more than happy to just create new sun-domains as required but the marketing people want every part of the business to have it's own personalised domain.

    After all, why exactly is adastralpark.com more valuable than adastralpark.bt.com. The former might be useful if they are planning to later spin it off as a separate company while the latter increases the brand awareness of BT and it's many ventures.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why more than one domain anyway?

      "while the latter increases the brand awareness of BT and it's many ventures."

      Does anybody actually want to increase the brand awareness of BT?

  6. M Mouse

    Hate domain squatters...

    1) client of mine wanted to use .audio domain for their business

    something.else.audio

    but name.audio was blocked initially because of some domain technicality... then Cayman Island squatter firm bought it, sale price $45K... now available at £120 or thereabouts following increase in cost of .audio and several other gTLDs

    2) a client forgot to renew a .co.uk domain so a UK squatter (and domain firm with Nominet tag, and London "mailbox" address) registered it and wants £1000 for it... luckily the .uk is not held by greedy squatter!

    3) same client a few years ago had lawyers letter wanting them to hand over domains they had registered... something like

    containertradeintel.com

    so clearly to do with imports + exports but Intel has/had deep pockets and not worth court battle, or paying anything for arbitration.

    Didn't hand over domains, just cancelled them...

    Wish it had been fought to show how Intel and others (no names but EasyArt ring a bell?) can be shown up as bullies when there is no risk to their own business.

  7. ValleyBoy

    Ah, Disastral Park

    I worked there when this infamous incident took place. He initially claimed that he registered it to do them a favour, jacking the price up in the process, naturally.

    When those sons of fun at BT told him to poke it, and relieved him of his duties, I believe he turned it into an S&M dating website. So I'm told.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ah, Disastral Park

      Yep, looks about right >> https://web.archive.org/web/20030623000452/http://adastralpark.com/

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