back to article How to avoid pesky border controls: Be a robot truck driver… or insanely rich

What was the big story of 2020? With the luxury of two weeks' hindsight, I think we can all agree: it was, of course, the year autonomous vehicles failed to go mainstream again. Five years ago, you might have been excused for thinking they were already rolling off the production line (that'll be their dodgy brakes) but then …

  1. John H Woods Silver badge

    Thermodynamic Pedantry Alert

    If one leaves one's fridge door open, one's kitchen gets warmer.

    Another great SFTWS though ...

    1. Zebo-the-Fat

      Re: Thermodynamic Pedantry Alert

      Well... it made me feel warmer!

      1. illiad

        Re: Thermodynamic Pedantry Alert

        It was the toyah vid that helped???

        1. HildyJ Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Thermodynamic Pedantry Alert

          Her excitation made me excited.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Thermodynamic Pedantry Alert

            It should be marked NSFW!!!

    2. Blackjack Silver badge

      Re: Thermodynamic Pedantry Alert

      Or you lose 400 vaccines.

      Don't worry no one left the door open.

      But yeah it seems a fridge in Argentina may not have been up to standards, or someone forgot to plug it on, because it ruined 400 vaccines.

      1. CuChulainn Silver badge

        Re: Thermodynamic Pedantry Alert

        The UK got there first on that. We've already lost one internal shipment (definitely) of crucial vaccine, and there's rumour of at least one more going the same way.

        'Refrigeration issues' cited as the cause.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Thermodynamic Pedantry Alert

          that saying about attributing to incompetence instead of malice comes to mind, especially when you read of a pharmacist in the US that didn't agree about vaccines and so deliberately left 50+ out of the fridge overnight - which was then used.

        2. DavCrav

          Re: Thermodynamic Pedantry Alert

          "We've already lost one internal shipment (definitely) of crucial vaccine."

          Your point is? There will be at least 80 million doses in the UK. Some refrigeration issues will be inevitible with that number of vaccine movements.

          1. ThatOne Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: Thermodynamic Pedantry Alert

            > Some refrigeration issues will be inevitible with that number of vaccine movements.

            Depending on the prices they can achieve on the black market...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Thermodynamic Pedantry Alert

              Someone's autobiography (Sting?) spoke of his days as a lad helping the local baker's van deliveries. He would be rewarded y the driver with a deliberately broken cake that could be written off against wastage.

              Corner shops used to sell loose biscuits from tins. There was always the chance of a cheap selection of more exotic varieties in a "broken biscuits" box.

              1. Winkypop Silver badge

                Re: Thermodynamic Pedantry Alert

                Indeed.

                The broken biscuit box was very popular with us kids.

                Cheap too.

              2. Andy 68

                Re: Thermodynamic Pedantry Alert

                Oh yes.

                I used to temp in a biscuit warehouse in Acton (for very _germanic_ biscuits)

                At coffee break in the morning often came the cry:

                "Which flavour of cake pallet would you like us to drop this morning, boss?"

    3. Dr_N Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Thermodynamic Pedantry Alert

      Read this as, "Thermodynamic Pantry Alert".

      1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        Re: Thermodynamic Pedantry Alert

        It wasn't her pants that were thermodynamic!

    4. MatthewSt

      Re: Thermodynamic Pedantry Alert, Engineer's response

      Only if you have an old fridge. They stop running nowadays if you leave the door open (whether you meant to or not)

  2. Dr_N Silver badge

    ePassports

    If we had actual "electronic passports" we could dynamically change the passport cover colours based on vaccination status:

    Green: Vaccinated

    Amber: Immunity from previous infection.

    Blue: Anti-Vaxxer

    etc.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ePassports

      What colour would Roy Biv's passport be?

    2. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: ePassports

      We already have golden passports that reveal your net worth.

      Cyprus scandal exposes EU ‘golden passport’ problem

      I'm holding off buying a passport until I can get a tartan one.

      1. Alistair Dabbs Silver badge

        Re: ePassports

        I'll be applying for a tartan passport after Scottish independence.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: ePassports

          "I'll be applying for a tartan passport after Scottish independence."

          They will need a large selection of tartans to allow for old bloody rivalries.

      2. Vometia Munro

        Re: ePassports

        I want a leopardskin one. Pink leopardskin. Because I'm reet classy, me.

    3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: ePassports

      Government/IoT/Usual Suspects.

      Good luck with that

  3. illiad

    totally distracted Toyah Fan... :O

    wow Dabsie, you a Toyah fan??? she looks amazing for 64!!! go ytube to see links for her concert in may 2021 !!!

    and that's her hubby there, being careful not to be 'poked' :P :) :)

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: totally distracted Toyah Fan... :O

      and that's her hubby there

      He looks a bit like Patrick Stewart. My eyes may be deceiving me there. But looking at Toyah, I think my eyesight is OK!

      1. BenDwire Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: totally distracted Toyah Fan... :O

        But he's Robert Fripp. The Robert Fripp. You know, King Crimson? Played on Bowie's Heroes and loads of other stuff you probably know. He invented Frippatronics back in the 70's and produced all sorts of weird stuff - a most excellent soundtrack to my teenage ears!

        1. Alistair Dabbs Silver badge

          Re: totally distracted Toyah Fan... :O

          I saw Robert Fripp play live when I was a student in the 80s. He was with his League of Crafty Guitarists (i.e. his music students) performing at the Irish Centre in Leeds.

          It wasn't your typical gig: he paused towards the end to take questions from the audience. Someone asked the forbidden question that we all wanted to ask him but were too scared: "What's the tuning for your strings?" (Fripp and his students famously employ an unconventional 'alternative' guitar tuning) He kept a poker face and answered: "Good question. Next question."

          1. CuChulainn Silver badge

            performing at the Irish Centre in Leeds

            I saw Bill Nelson there - ex BeBop Deluxe?

            Another brilliant guitarist. Vastly underrated and ignored mainstream. I worry for these venues in these times.

        2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

          Re: totally distracted Toyah Fan... :O

          Yeh. Robert Fripp, one of the kings of Prog Rock guitar married to Toyah, a punk (albeit a very refined punk).

          There's an oxymoron right there!

          Saw Toyah live in the late '70's. Never seen anybody bounce around a stage for so long without stopping (it's a wonder she doesn't need 'support' now. What a rack)!

      2. A. Coatsworth
        Alert

        Re: totally distracted Toyah Fan... :O

        Tried to identify him, but got a sudden and extreme case of lazy eye. Not sure why...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ham and Cheese at Calais

    I have fond memories of a tasty Ham and Cheese roll from a vending machine at the Calais Hoverport, having just arrived from Dover, and with a 3 hour drive ahead, that kept me sustained till dinner time.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Ham and Cheese at Calais

      That would have been un sandwich[0] avec jambon et fromage, which is almost entirely but not quite the similarly named item from the other side of the Channel, despite that one's freshness and edibility being guaranteed by washing it every two weeks and resealing it in clingfilm.

      [0] l'Académie Française has clearly given up.

      1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Ham and Cheese at Calais

        Based on the online Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française, the word was "borrowed" from English, as stated in the 8th version of the dictionary dating back to 1935.

        It was hoped that with the Brexit the UK would ask to get it back, as part of its sovereignty over English language, so it would be removed in the 9th edition, to no avail.

        BJ strikes again!

    2. CuChulainn Silver badge

      Re: Ham and Cheese at Calais

      Too right.

      Far too many people seem to think 'a ham and cheese sandwich' in - say - France or Germany is going to be like two slices of Warburtons, one slice of reformed meat mostly (but not entirely) from porcine sources (and not entirely meat, in most cases), and a perfect square of yellow plasticine with some cheese flavouring in it layered together.

    3. herman Silver badge

      Re: Ham and Cheese at Calais

      I can believe that hungry customs police will confiscate ham sammies. Truck drivers should use Marmite instead. No European will want to take that.

      1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

        Re: Ham and Cheese at Calais

        Let's hope the hungry customs police don't follow these cheeky monkeys...

        https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/jan/14/balis-thieving-monkeys-seek-bigger-ransoms-for-high-value-swag-study

        They found that monkeys do, indeed, have a sophisticated sense of what they are doing—at least, adults and sub-adults do. These animals have a preference for stealing high-value items, and will often hold out either for more rewards, or for better ones, if they are in possession of such items

        https://www-economist-com.libproxy.ncl.ac.uk/science-and-technology/2021/01/14/balinese-temple-monkeys-are-sophisticated-thieves

        Now, what study does not reveal is how these monkeys value iPhones against Android handsets

        1. Old69

          Re: Ham and Cheese at Calais

          "Now, what study does not reveal is how these monkeys value iPhones against Android handsets"

          The study said that juvenile monkeys have no discrimination about what they steal. Their elders educate them. They learn the tourists' responses to something being stolen - and remember the graduated reward in subsequent negotiations with other tourists. That implies they would be able to distinguish the range of objects in some detail - possibly even factoring in things about a tourist's appearance?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ham and Cheese at Calais

      I hear there are still some left in that machine.

      Same batch, same year.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You're not the only one...

    An old friend had the opportunity to be in on the pre-IPO for Redhat, but missed the filing deadline. He could have been a millionaire before graduating from college. Kicked himself for WEEKS...

    1. Jonathan Richards 1 Silver badge
      Go

      Re: You're not the only one...

      Ah, yes. If *everybody* gets in on the ground floor, then typically the lift | elevator does not go up.

    2. CuChulainn Silver badge

      Re: You're not the only one...

      I kick myself over lots of missed chances along these lines.

      One I got right was buying shares in physical Palladium - apart from a big blip last year (obvious reasons), it is way up on my initial punt.

      Others doing OK are Games Workshop, and several vaccine companies which I got in quite low on.

      Yet to see what all the fuss about Amazon is. 'Make a second income on a £25 investment'? Pah!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You're not the only one...

        I very nearly bought a 1Kg gold bar in 2015 at below £23/g,

        recent high was £50/g and I really could do with the cash right now :(

        Only time I've ever had that kind of cash to invest, probably the only time I will other than buying a house...

        1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

          Re: You're not the only one...

          This lady is looking a bit glum inspecting her stash of gold bars

          https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-20721117

          1. illiad

            Re: You're not the only one...

            Nope, that that face says 'heck when are we getting out of this cold, and home to a nice warm cuppa tea and cake????'

            1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

              Re: You're not the only one...

              I saw them both about 8 or 9 years ago - they were both in one of the old limousines going north on Blackfriars Bridge whilst I was cycling south. Given that it was around 5pm, I presumed that they too were on their way home...

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. captain veg Silver badge

    Are we talking end-of-the-road ala Adobe Flash or Internet Explorer in Teams?

    I hope that was a typo, or I am very disappointed in you, Dabbs. It's two words: "a" (ideally with a grave accent) and "la". French, you know.

    -A.

    1. Alistair Dabbs Silver badge

      Re: Are we talking end-of-the-road ala Adobe Flash or Internet Explorer in Teams?

      No, it's deliberate. I was taking back control.

      1. captain veg Silver badge

        Re: Are we talking end-of-the-road ala Adobe Flash or Internet Explorer in Teams?

        That's OK then. As you were.

        -A.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I was taking back control.

        Like when you hope to go on holiday after Scottish independence; i.e. with a tart an' passport? :-)

        1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: I was taking back control.

          It is bound to be better than a French Navy Blue one ;)

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. tiggity Silver badge

    That cheered me up

    Fripp & nips

  9. MrBanana Silver badge

    The Persuaders

    Many thanks for The Persuaders link - greatest theme tune ever. Many of those 70s shows had a really long intros, the start of Kojak was a story all of its own.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Persuaders

      I recently watched a couple of DVDs spanning the travelogue films output of Harold Daim from about 1940 onwards. It was interesting that usually the credits were all static before the film started - then in the 1960s they overlaid them on the opening scenes.

  10. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Amicalement vôtre...

    ... was a great TV series, I may have watched each episode dozens of times. The French version was very good, the French actors who dubbed Brett Sinclair and Danny Wilde transformed a little bit the dialogues, adding something to the show? Nowadays, dubbing is so bad I prefer watching series in original language with subtitles.

    For UK truckers coming to France, instead of buying some industrial sandwiches in another shop on a motorway rest area, I would suggest them to take a break in a village, to buy their bread in a boulangerie, some ham in a charcuterie and their cheese by a fromager. It won't be much more expensive, and it will be hundreds of time better. There are many local producers who make some great food.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022