* Posts by peter

74 publicly visible posts • joined 8 Jan 2008


'Lunatic' Smith doubles ID card costs for Mancunians


Why would I bother?

I don't have any particular objections to an ID card.....mainly because I carry two forms on me at all times (work and Armed Forces) and have easy access to two others (Driving Licence and Passport, Birth Certificate etc). If i wanted to I could apply for others as well. (Age Verification for example).

My main objection is that an ID card will not replace any of them. I asked a question of each of the organisations and the answer was the same. The Government Issued ID card will not replace any of the forms of ID that I own.

Seeing that the government already owns every piece of information that could be associated with an ID card if they want to use it for terrorism or immigration offences, and i already own all the ID I need to apply for a mortgage/bank account etc, can anyone from the govermnment please explain why i would want to spend another £30?

Police law-interpretation: What next?

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New Law?

Don't worry. If it not the Law at the moment, it soon will be!

Look at all the other 'is not a law against that' that inconvenienced the police who thought there was a law..

1. Taking photos of the police is the first to spring to mind. Many people got threatened because police thought it was against the law....and now it is.

2. Stopping motorists for no reason used to be a big no-no, which of course the police tred to get around, but now the police can stop you for any reason, or for that matter for no reason at all.

3. Right to silence was a absolute right and annoyed the police no end, but now it can be 'inferred' that if you do keep silent you are as guilty as hell.

Lets us not forget the vote wining stance of our Home Office minister who will push through any law just as long as it can garner some votes from our more gullable electorate.

PRS v YouTube: No UK vids, but royalty row runs and runs


Wanting cake and eating it too.

"Google pulled the plug on UK access to most YouTube videos on Monday. It said it was "shocked and disappointed" at Google's hardball negotiating stance...........For its part YouTube said its existing licence with the PRS had ended."

So PRS expectes loads-a-dosh for the privilege of playing its Intellectual Property...um... sorry songs for which they give you a licence. Then when the licence runs out they are shocked and disappointed that their songs no longer get played??????? Is that not what the licence says?

Am I right in thinking that PRS rely on UTube as very important tool in getting their songs out to the youf of today............just as long as they pay a stinking load of cash as well. Has PRS asked themselves who is providing whom a service? Obviously not.

Court rules airline secret security list is stupid


Chainsaw Sir?...........Please carry on.

And yet a chansaw is not an item on the banned list, and is therefore allowed.


Three months on, you still can't get off the DNA database


Re: Am i missing something?

It is well know amongst the criminal community that if you are going to a 'do', search around for a pile of used cigarette butts and scatter them around at the scene of the crime. There is a very good chance that one of them is on the DNA database and does not have a better alibi than 'I was sat in front of the telly with my wife'. Even if none of them are on the database, a good lawyer can still raise considerable doubt in court by pointing out to the jury that the police has evidence of 'untraceable' persons at the scene of the crime.

Of course if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear.......................

well other than being dragged out of your house, detained for several days, and possibly even being charged and sent to court because your DNA has been found at the scene of a crime and you have no alibi. Don't know about you, but my workplace frowns very heavily on any hint that I have been involved in a criminal activity - convicted or not. (and if you think that is not possible, think of the teachers who have lost their jobs because of an unsubstantiated accusation - same sort of thing)

So I do have something to fear - loss of my job and loss of my house for a start.

Are we all feeling safe yet???


Re: Am i missing something?

It is well know amongst the criminal community that if you are going to a 'do', search around for a pile of used cigarette butts and scatter them around at the scene of the crime. There is a very good chance that one of them is on the DNA database and does not have a better alibi than 'I was sat in front of the telly with my wife'. Even if none of them are on the database, a good lawyer can still raise considerable doubt in court by pointing out to the jury that the police has evidence of 'untraceable' persons at the scene of the crime.

Of course if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear.......................

well other than being dragged out of your house, detained for several days, and possibly even being charged and sent to court because your DNA has been found at the scene of a crime and you have no alibi. Don't know about you, but my workplace frowns very heavily on any hint that I have been involved in a criminal activity - convicted or not. (and if you think that is not possible, think of the teachers who have lost their jobs because of an unsubstantiated accusation - same sort of thing)

So I do have something to fear - loss of my job and loss of my house for a start.

Are we all feeling safe yet???

Photography rights: Snappers to descend on Scotland Yard


Who trumps which law?

"The new law makes it an offence to elicit or attempt to elicit information about an individual who is or has been a member of Her Majesty’s forces."

So next time I am stopped by the Police and they ask me my name, address, destination, or even " Ooo do ou fink you are den...Lewis Amilton?", I can show him my Armed Forces ID card, refuse to answer and report him for breaking the law and being a terrorist suspect .

Even if they take me to court, my lawyers can string it out for years

Bloody Marvelous.

You're barcoded: The sneaky under-25 route to compulsory ID


Re; Military ID by Steve

Does a Military ID show date of birth?..........Yes

....And has your picture

.....And has your blood group

......And has your signature

....and is only issued against proof of age, proof of address, parents addresses, and after a security check

Is it good enough to be used a ID now?


@ Fraser

I know exactly what a military ID looks like, but then I have not the slightest idea what a 'Age Verification ID' a 'youth Pass ID' or any other age verification ID looks like........unless I look at the sample ID poster at the checkout.

Don't know what a militar ID look like.....simple. Print up a sample ID on the bottom of the poster of all the other sample IDs and send the poste to all the checkouts. All you really need is is Tracy up at head office to recognise that there is such a thing in this country as the Military and the fact that they do carry around IDs.

There. Easy wasn't it?

Miliband refuses to release torture documents

Jobs Horns


"We will not release documentation" (Pound Fist on Table)

"Er.....on how the Americans tortured suspects" (Said in a sightly less beligerant tone)

"Em......to obtain inteligence" (Did I just say the American tortured suspects?)

"Ah........because they might not release inteligence vital to our security" (Safe ground here. Nothing is more important to my Vote than mentioning safety.)

"Ahem.....and we all know how reliable inteligence obtained from torture is" (who wrote this briefing?)

Cough.....gained by torturing suspects (red face, pauses, stamering)

An 'embarrassed silence' following that statement would be about the only truthful thing coming out of his mouth. And they cannot seem to understand why we do not trust a single thing they say.

MP wants Welsh text on ID cards

Black Helicopters

Yes...Yes...But why French on an ID card

@ Neoc

Grand hisory lesson.....but not a word as to why French on a UK ID card.

French may well be the language of diplomats....but it is an UK ID card

French may well be included on a passport....but it is a UK ID card

French may well be an official EU language.....but it is a UK ID card

The UK ID card is not a passport.

The UK ID card is not an EU ID card.

It is a UK ID card, for UK citizens, for use in the UK........so why French?

<Tinfoil Hat on>

Unless of course that it is intended to be a EU ID card, and we will be forced to carry it whenever we travel through Europe. Why cannot we just use our passport as we do now? Well you don't need to use a passport when traveling within your own country do you........also known as the United Stated of Europe.

<Tinfoil Hat off>

Extreme porn law goes live - are you ready?


Another reason to never accept a caution

If you are convicted in a court, you conviction becomes 'spent' after so many years (how many yeard depend on several factors)

Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 enables some criminal convictions to become 'spent', or ignored, after a 'rehabilitation period'. A rehabilitation period is a set length of time from the date of conviction. After this period, with certain exceptions, an ex-offender is not normally obliged to mention their conviction when applying for a job or obtaining insurance, or when involved in criminal or civil proceedings. Custodial sentences of more than 2 1/2 years can never become spent.

For some reason beyond me, a caution is never spent - so you will have to declare it on every job application forever. Ouch

I say take your chances and go to court.

BT price rises go down well


Look up the alternatives

Dont like paying BT line rental? - Talktalk or sky

Want free UK numbers - try Talktalk for a package for free UK numbers

Don't like 08 numbers - try http://saynoto0870.com

Dont like overseas extortionate costs - try VOIP

Dont like extortionate cross provider mobile costs - buy a PAYG sim for £5

Just work out were the majority of you costs are and make the change

For example, I phone overseas friends a bit, don't use my mobile much, but do want broadband and daytime and evening call in the UK. I certainly do not need Sky 'designed for the average 13 year old market' programmes.

Obvious really, £20/month from talktalk with broadband and free uk calls, and VIOP to my friens overseas and PAYG mobile and don't do business with companies who make money when I want to complain about their mistakes. Total cost £20 and odd mobile calls.

Its not difficult

BBC: Top Gear Tesla didn't run out of juice


Journalists make things up?

....and editors 'manipulate' content for maximum impact! Who knew?

Actually I had hoped that the editors and producers of one of my favourite programmes would have more integrety than to sex thing up, but i guess the disease has spread too far.

Public support for ID cards dips to 55 per cent


Don't have to carry cards.....yet.

"......carry their identity cards with them at all times". Some 69 per cent of respondents believed this to be true, but according to the Home Office pollsters "it is in fact false".

And of course the police will not use the 'failed to prove identity' excuse to cart you off to the cells for an 'open mouth please' and 'here is a tissue for your fingers'.

Before a year is out, everyone will be carrying them as a matter of course and the law will be quietly changed..... "for the sake of terrorism/fraud/children*". (*insert excuse here).

IWF pulls Wikipedia from child porn blacklist

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Total over-reaction

"As a community, we are already quite firm: we do not and will not accept images of child pornography. So then the question becomes: does this image fit the definition under (especially) US law, or the law of any particularly relevant countries (UK). That is a question of judgment of fact that I do not think has been looked at sufficiently."


"Oops. Instead of a knee-jerk_ban_everything_just_in_case_on_the_basis_that_one_picture_'might'_be_illegal, we really should have done our jobs properly by determining if it was actually an illegal image and acting appropriately and proportionally. Otherwise we might look like complete twonks instead of a responsible organisation doing good work to protect children."


Plod punishes PC-reliant businesses


Re: Backups

Great idea........except the police will take EVERY piece of computer equipment they find....including any backups, e.g. removable hard drives, servers, tapes, disks, CDs and even your kid's games.

I suppose a remote backup could be a solution....unless they find out about it and they will then freeze that as well.

Beatles stay off iTunes cos of 'heavy negotiations', man


Cutting off your nose..........

All parties are hard at work sweating every detail, and maximising return, squeezing every drop of the $multi-millions visions floating before their eyes..... Meanwhile in the real world anyone who wanted the Beetles on their Ipod (other players and music formats are available) has already ripped them or downloaded them.

Revenue stream if they had pulled their heads out of their own fundimentals....$millions. Success!

Revenue stream now it is all too late.... $zero. Fail!

Still, not all bad news. The Lawyers will have got paid (pity it will be at the expense of actually paying the artists - but hey - they are only the ones who actually earnt the money in the first place with their talent so no great loss there then.)

Darling's budget targets small business


Who wants odds?

"Tobacco, booze and petrol tax will go up to offset the fall in VAT"....anyone want odds that in 13 months time when the VAT goes back on, that the rises in booze and fuel do not come back down to compensate......or is that a sure thing.

And to be more accurate "equivalent of putting £12.5bn into the economy" should really have said "equivalent of not sucking £12.5bn from the economy". Funny that when the Government decide to tax us a bit less, it is always presented that it is the government 'giving' us money.

Telecoms switchers baffled by pricing info, say MPs


Who knew?

You mean that telecoms and utility suppliers present the customer with such a confusing list of 'features' that it is impossible to actually compare like with like. One might even concude that they do it on purpose. It even has a name - confusion marketing. Good thing the MPs were on the ball and spotted it 'cos us gullable public never noticed and havn't been complaining about it for years.

And in other news, bears have been spotted in woodland with strained looks on their faces as they search for soft leafs..

DNA convictions fall as database doubles in size


When they take my DNA......

How do I answer the question of my ethnicity?

I am mostly English ( British?), part African, part Chinese and part Irish (we think - family history is a bit vague on that point). I was born in Africa, mostly raised in Hong Kong, lived in the Med and finished my schooling in the UK. I look middle aged white.

I describe myself as White African whenever I get asked. Does my heart good to see the confused looks on peoples faces when I say that.

I also have a friend who was born and raised in the West End. He describes himself as White British just to see if anyone tells him he is being silly. Not a single person has has had the non-politically correct balls to contradict him with the fact that he is as black as coal. When they ask after his parents, he tells them truthfully they are a both British White (he is adopted)

The silly games people play. Tee Hee

Passport and ID card price hike laundered via private sector


Prediction of costs

There are 'estimated' costs at the moment - which the government will probably keep to so as not to look complete umptys. That will probably require some governments money - so the taxpayer pays.

Then the cost will be increased 'to make it cost neutral'. (i.e. to make sure it it will be profitable for private contractors)

Then the cost will increased again to make it revenue earning. Probably of the back of some Green excuse.

MP calls for Jezza Clarkson's head



Where do I go to register an anti-complaint on the BBC website? I wast to offset one of the complaints from those who don't have a sense of humour.

Police poison speed debate with fuzzy figures


I would be convinced if........

A road near me was unrestricted, but an old man was killed where a public footpath crosses it.. Action was taken, the speed limit was reduced to 40 and cameras were erected.

Of course I would be a bit more convinced if:

a. It was not a dead straight road with proper pavements, surrounded by fields with no houses anywhere in sight.

b. I did not know that the old man was killed 'cos he stepped out in front of a bicycle.

c. the cameras were actually erected somewhere near where the old man was killed i.e. where the footpath crosses.

More odd was the pavement with no houses anywhere near. However the council made full use of it to further improve safety and painted a road down the middle of the pavement converting it into an instant cycle path.

Think about that one. The only death on this road was when a bicycle came into contact with a pedestrian, and the council 'improved safety' by letting byicycles ride on the pavement.

BBC's TV detector vans to remain a state secret

Paris Hilton

Accurate Database?

We have always paid the licence in one hit, but this year decided to pay by direct debit. We now have three letters from the licencing authority. One letter thanking us for paying by direct debit, another containing the licence, and the final threatening us with prosecution if we dont get a licence.

I can only asume a 'database' error.....and am praying that no-one corrects it. I want the pleasure of being door-stepped and and telling them to take a hike, and then being taken to court. I really really want to see their faces as I present my licence as evidence.

Paris..cos one can dream

Bryan Adams pulls a Prince on fan sites



"happily coexist,” .......They do what we tell them

"We're not anti-fan."........We're not anti-walking-wallets-waiting-to-be-emptied.

"nothing we’ve asked for from the fan sites is unreasonable"...from our point of view...and who cares about their point of view. After all they are only fans.

"using unofficial material".......How dare they use material which we do not control and can therefore charce for.

Official: gadgets not responsible for Qantas jet plunge


'random and incorrect' ....Huh?

"...About two minutes after the initial fault, the [ADIRS] generated very high, random and incorrect values for the aircraft's angle of attack...."

I have worked on safety critical and flight control systems before and this sounds completly off the wall.

Firstly, there should be software filtering which can detect 'random and incorrect' values outside of normal flight parameters, discount them and mark a fault condition. Secondly, there should be multiple sources of data, so that the failure of one can be discounted by comparison to the other sources.

So what what went wrong here?

Laptops to blame for Qantas jet plunge?


Excuses excuses.....

I have been (not anymore) an aircraft engineer, and specifically responsible for the specification and testing of aircraft electronic systems, and testing whole aircraft.......and this whole 'clicking a mouse caused the aircraft to fall out of the sky' is complete hogwash.

The avionics are designed to be immune to anything likely to radiate at that low level - and even radiated emissions you would find coming out of a mobile phone. Specific attention (and large sums of money) are spent designing and proving that anything like this could not happen to anything that could affect the safety of the aircraft. This is done lots of ways including; using interference resistant cabling (triax, twisted pair, shielding), interference resistant electronic signals (balanced signals), interference resistant data protocols (e.g. error detection and correction) and multiple redundancy (i.e. three data paths). This ensures the aircraft systems are resistant to RF radiation many more times more powerfull that a piddling little mobile phone. We not only design the systems to be resistant, we test it as well - and that includes putting big transmitters inside the aircraft.

There is one area which is more susceptable and that is the aircraft recievers (including navigation and landing systems) as you cannot shield them. So, guess what?, we paid even more attention to them to ensure your Nintendo DS does not cause the aircraft to turn left. In my years I only heard of a couple of devices that could have caused a problem if the aircraft was trying to use their nav/landing receivers at their extreme ranges. Not close to a safety failure, but enough of an excuse to get all devices banned during takeoff and landing.

Of course never say never and there is no such thing as a perfectly maintained aircraft, but every time I get on my aircraft and get told by a trolly dolly to switch off my ipod I have to grit my teeth and remind myself that these regulations are created by Elf and Safty, backed up by lawyers and implimented by managers...all of which would not know an electron if they tripped over one.

MoD loses most of the armed forces


Predicition come to pass

I am in the armed services and it has long been a topic of conversation when (not if) this was going to happen.

What is really scary is the sheer volume of information that we have to give the MoD/Government. If you go through the full security clearance, it includes all bank accounts, addresses for the last 10 years, mothers maiden name, all relative's names DOB & address, employees over the last 10 years, passport copy, driving licence copy and so on. About the only thing they don't have is my pet's name. This information is sufficient for total and complete identity theft.

We have said that it was only a matter of time before some or all of this information is 'lost', and our lives would be totally screwed. And what could we do about it? Nothing. Leaving the services is not even an option as the information is still there and ready to loose.

Still we can always rely on the Governmnt to recognise the problem and help us out if the worst happens can't we?

US teen cuffed for sending nude phone pics


America prudes...idiots to the mac

Theamericans seem to have the ability to take things to extremes and wonder why we laugh at them. I saw a episode of mythbusters where they were debunmking the myth that you can electrocute yourself by pissing on an electrified rail. The scenes where they we simulating a dummy man taking a piss was pixilated. It was not a penis. It was not a fake penis. It was a plastic pipe......and they blocked it out. Unbelieveable.

Of course that is no worse than an american TV programme where they blocked out a dog taking a piss against a lamppost. Something you can see every day just by taking a walk, and they had to block it.




Censor that!!

Ubuntu lovers slap Canonical over Firefox EULA


Are you planning to overthrow the government?

An EULA to agree to respect the trademark. Eh?

Does that mean that if I do not agree, I am free to abuse their trademark? No!

If I am going to abuse their trademark, will an EULA stop me? No!

Must have the same lawyer and the one who thinks that disclaimers on emails makes legal sense, and the same one who came up with the "are you planning to overthrow the Government" question on the USA mmiigration form.


Segway shock army to invade Department of Transport

Dead Vulture

@ By The Other Steve

Physical segregation. Too right, but from the other perspective....

There are divided pedestrial/cycle tracks near me, but narrow because all teh council did was paint a line down the middle. I have been verbally abused and even been deliberatly hit by bikes as they brush past because you are an inch on 'their' side of the path. I have stopped going to those parts of the park, because I cannot have my kids running around into the path of some 20mph "I stop for nothing 'cos its my right of way" idiot on a bike. I could 'not' take them to the park to 'not' run around, but what is a park for?

(and yes I write this as a cyclist as well as a pedestrian, but I do not think I own the road just because there is a picture of a cycle painted on it)


Keep 'em to cycle lanes......please

And whilst you are at it, can we force invalid vehicles onto cycle lanes as well please.

Only this morning I was waiting for a bus when a daft old bat.....er.....delightful elderly lady ran into me on her invalid buggy. I managed to dance out of her way and very gracefully went flying a** over t** in a heap. Fortunatly no injury beyond bruses that will appear tomorrow and mud on my suit. On remonstrating with her, she said that, because she is disabled, I could not talk to her that way and I should keep out of her way.

And the elderly complain about our manners!

(Skull and crossbones 'cos that is what she will be before long!)

Government data protection standards are protected data


Its not difficult - it really isn't.

From what I read, applying a wiping standard (or a sledgehammer) would not have helped in this case 'cos the implication is that the PC was stolen

Considering the sensitive nature of the information, the more important question was - why was the information not encrypted? Even Vista has it build in, and there are may vendors who will offer third party applications.

Once you have that in place, you have a secure environment and restricted access, then you can start worrying about applying wiping standards. Get the basics right, then start worrying about the complicated stuff.

Cancer doctor cites 'early' data on cell phone danger


@ Martin G. Helmer

"Back in the old days (the 1990's), there was "no conclusive evidence that smoking causes lung cancer"."

The 1990s are the old days? Just how old are you? Obviously not old enough to remember the universal recognition then by all health professionals that smoking killed and the thousands of studies dating back to the 1950s that showed that there was a direct measurable link to cancer (and other illnesses).

The only thing which is 'new' is the recognition of how much risk there was by passive smoking. (It was recognised even back in the 50s that there was a risk, but only recently has it been able to be quantified).

So smoking was a real risk to health, multiple studies proved it and the risk was measurable. The only people denying it was the cigarette manufacturers looking at $Billions in losses if they admitted it.

Somewhat different to the 'death rays from mobiles' stores we are subjected to then and well worth putting in proportion.


And in other news.....

"scientists in Denmark tracked over 420,000 cell phone users over the course of 21 years in an attempt to determine if the urban legend that cell phone use causes cancer is true. Their results: the RF energy produced by the phones did not correlate to an increased incidence of the disease"


"We shouldn't wait for a definitive study to come out.." Dr. Ronald Herbman

I wonder if he can tell us what figure constitutes a a definitive study? A million? 10 million? (Dollars - not people obviously).

I may not be a 'scientist' but if a study nearly 1/2 million users was not able to find a correlation, the actual risk is so miniscule that it is just not worth worrying about.

Ignore the Doomsayers. Nothing to see here. Moving my attention swiftly onto somethig way more productive than this non-story. Paris latest fashion statement. That sort of thing.

Police told: Delete old criminal records

Dead Vulture

Just some logic and consistency please

I still don't understand the logic of taking and keeping all of this DNA.

The main argument seems to be 'think of all those 20 year old rapes we solved because we pulled someone over for not having a numberplate light'. To which my response is 'Why are we waiting for someone to offend again before we can catch them. Logically, we should DNA test everyone. Think of all those unsolved cases we could solve now, and all of those cases that could be solved instantly in the future! '

Of course that runs straight into the eroded freedoms argument. So we cannot do it fro everyone, but only some people. So why take the DNA of someone with a blown numberplate? It is likely to solve a 20 year old spate of unsolved blown bulb crimes? Do all rapists have blown numberplate lights?

There is only two logical and consistent arguments for taking and keeping DNA.

1. Take everyone's DNA, irrespective of their personal freedoms

2. If you want to limit the taking of DNA to keep personal freedoms, take only DNA for the purposed of solving a crime and only keep that DNA on conviction for serious crimes for which there is a risk of reoffending.

We are stuck is this strange illogical position where the police seem to be thinking up any excuse to take as much DNA of the UK population as possible (and I do mean 'excuse', not 'reason').

Home Office classes openness review a secret

IT Angle

Blocking software rule bites back

I worked for a defence company who decided to instigate blocking software for any words like 'confidential' or 'secret'. At the same time they instigated a legal disclaimer that was automatically appended to be bottom of every email, which contained the phrase 'This email may contain information which is confidential to this company'.

We spend days in happy ignorance that every single email from the whole company was being trashed.

Dangerous mobe chargers flood UK


Some manufacturers deliberatly force incompatable chargers

I worked in the mobile industry and Motorola were well known for deliberatly introducing unique connectors. Their policy was to force all developers to 'licence' through them and did it with incompatable interfaces. Their accessories were stupidly expensive, but they still seemed to think they could control the sale of accessories by making them different. They even once made their phones with USB connectors/chargers, and then claimed that anyone using their phone using with any other charger (even those meeting the USB standard) would blow up the battery.

By contrast Nokia made all of their connectors standard so anyone could sell third party chargers and earpieces.

Guess which phone had the most problems with cheap imported chargers? The phone which had everyone making chargers at reasonable price .......or the phone whose only official source was wildly expensive?

"Its the profit margin Stupid".

BSA: Software piracy's 'tragic' impact on US society


...and all those bilions have nowhere else to go?


So all those 'billions' not spend on software would just......disappear?........get lost down the back of a sofa?......hidden under a mattress?

Put another way, if we are all forced to spend billions on software, what won't we be spending it on instead? You can only spend (and be taxed) on the dollar in your pocket once.....unless you are an accountant working for BSA obviously.

Whitehall orders green paint for IT dept


And another in the long list of 'carbon/cost saving' ideas

Anyone else in the British Army last year remember the brilliant scheme for saving carbon emissions / electricity costs. And the brilliant idea was...

wait for it.......

Take out every other fluorescent light bulb.

And this was during winter, so we sat there in the gloom with our single fluorescent bulb. Where I was there was a fault with the heating and we were heating the place up with fan heaters over most of last winter, so any cost savings (miniscule at best) were lost with the extra costs of running fan heaters.

That is the Civil Service for you. "Spend a pound to save a penny" should be their motto.

<icon) Nice warm glow of a fire to tost my toes

Vodafone presents punter with £500k phone bill

Thumb Up

Resolved within 24 hours. Where do I sign up?

1. Someone actually answered the phone

2. No-one said 'Of course it is correct 'cos the computer sez so'

3. The operator was able to pass the problem to managers

4. Managers were available after 5.00pm

5. A promised callback actually happened

6. By the following morning the problem was resolved.

7. There was an immediate offer to cancel that month's bill.

Considering the number of times I have had phone calls that go unanswered for over 1/2 hour (and then get cut off), totally impossible bills which will not be corrected because the numpty on the help desk cannot do simple maths, promised callbacks that never happen and an offer of £10 after failing to resolve mistake afer mistake over a 9 month period, this is a shining beacon of customer service. Vodaphone here I come.

Criminal record checks: More often wrong than right

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Innocent till proven guilty....unless it is inconvenient

"Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer," English jurist William Blackstone.

Or did I get that quote the wrong way round?

Attorney General Thomas Chisholm Anstley "Better hang the wrong men than confess that British sagacity and activity have failed to discover the real criminals."

Prius hybrid to get rooftop solar panel


five watt panel will complrecharge a marine battery five days"

"five watt panel will completely recharge a deep cycle marine battery in about five days"


Say battery is 100Ah @ 12V charged by 5W 12V panel

Solar panel will produce maximum 5/12= 0.4A

Time to recharge at max is 100/0.4 = 250 hours

.......or about 10 days assuming bright sunlight 24 hours per day

Bovine extract anyone?

Wind power key to UK's desperate renewable energy bid


Its most about peak loading

There seems to be a lot of concentration about how much energy everyones needs and how much renewables can contribute to that. However the big big issue is peak load. If your system cannot cope with that you are busted.

It is all very well having micro turbines, photovoltaic panels, etc etc, but if they cannot deliver the peak loading when everyone gets up from Eastenders to make a cup of tea, your problem is not solved.

All the renewables suffer from the same major problem, you just cannot just wind them up instantly to produce more power. You could have massive over production capacity to cope with the peak loads, but it would mean covering a fair proportion of the whole of the UK with wind farms for example. Then there is the tricky problem of when there is no wind - and the same goes for most renewables.

A mix of renewable sources plus huge power 'instant on' power storage to cope with lack of renewable energy avilable when the demand peaks is the only way to make it work.

The only sensible renewable technology I have ever seen proposed that could beat both the huge demand and the 'instant on' power problem, was to build a whole series of tidal power generators around the UK, with a large mix of wind turbines / Solar panels / renewables to feed power into them. Building tidal generators around the UK would alleviate the 'only twice a day' problem with tides, and the additional power feeds would assist by pumping water higher (or lower), when excess power is available. Basically use tidal as both power generation and power store.

Of course you have got to build enough of them spread around the coastline (£Billions?) and build the huge number of renewables needed (£Billions?). You will probably still need nuclear/fossil fuel generators because no renewable mix will supply enough for everyone all the time everywhere.

Then there is getting over the objections of the 'save the lesser spotted warbling ground worm for future generations to enjoy' brigade. I visited one guy who proudly show me his brand new solar heating panel and then listened to how he was applying to the council for a reduction in his council tax because the nearby wind generator has ruined the value of his house. There is a motorway between him and the generator and is built on an industrial estate. I told him that I could not hear it over the sound of the cars and thought it looked quite nice compared to the industrial buildings and could not see how it had affected the value of his house - let alone ruined it.. I must have upset him or something because he has not spoken to me since. Ho hum.

Police detain Tariq Aziz's cigar case


and do what with it?

Are they going to put it in the post or what? Probably keep it as evidence 'just in case'.

Don't be surprised in 10 years time to see some Super sporting the fancy item he recovered when they were reviewing the contents of the evidence locker.

Automated profiling tech is crap, says Home Office


Choice comments from his report

“National security is a civil liberty of every citizen” Oooh Goody. The more restrictions, the more liberty we are giving you. Excellent argument for yet more invasive Security measures. Its for your own good you know.

“The amount of money seized in 2007 under those other powers was substantial. £9,155 was seized…” Ha ha ha ha. No. Wait. You are serious aren’t you?

Para 109 ….interviewed for more than 28 days. This is not at all fanciful: Dr Ahmed, a suspect who died without regaining consciousness more than 28 days after the Glasgow Airport…..

How many ways is this conclusion utter rubbish?

Mind you there are some good bits

"Most important, I repeat my mantra that terrorism related powers should be used only for terrorism related purposes; otherwise their credibility is severely damaged" Hear hear.


...and so is Carlile's report.

"real anxiety...light aircraft as vehicle bombs against places of public aggregation.."

As opposed to say....ohhhh I dunno....buying a car and packing it with explosive and driving it into a crowd/building. Or buying a fuel tanker....or hijacking a dangerous good vehicle..... or derailing a train...or...or...or....

Why to they insist on concentrating on the "bloody difficult and little real effect" when there are so many easier bigger bangs for bucks out there.

This is just about a stupid as the reaction of Basingstoke Council to an application to allow model planes on local parks. Rejected 'cos the 'terrorists might pack a model plane with explosive and fly it into a high value target' i.e. the Council offices. The fact that there is a car park at the centre of the council buildings did not seem to register.

Aliens 'cos they are the only ones likely to see the bigger picture.

The war on photographers - you're all al Qaeda suspects now


Unsafe Baiting

I have a mate at work who is.....shall we say more susceptable to tanning than me. About 3 weeks after the tube shooting he went on a tourist visit to London and found himself outside the Ministry of Defence. As he was wearing his rucksack over the top of his heavy coat (he feels the cold more than me for some reason!), he decided this would be a good time to take a photo of the security cameras stuck to the building.

No reaction from the plods (by which I mean he is still alive and not dressed in orange overalls), but braver than me - thats for sure.

Cambridge woman in £90m 'leccy bill shocker

Paris Hilton

"We have systems to ensure these errors are not made."

If only there was some truth to that obvious lie.

After about 3 years of being with them, I got an quarterly estimated bill that was a bit high. In fact it was more that I had spent in the last three years. I would have ignored it except for the bit that said that they were going to increase my Direct Debit to about £500 per month. Eeeek.

I tried to explain to Tracy ("I got a GCSE in Domestic Science") at the call centre that their computer is a bit crook and that I was not going to allow them to take £500/month, but the only response was that the "Computer must be right" and that "people use more energy during winter you know". No amount of explaining that the estimate was about 10x bigger that I had ever spent in any quarter in the last three years would convince her that the computer was wrong. I gave a real reading which showed I was actually in credit and her response...... "you must have used less this quarter than you normally do." Sigh.

Paris......Money.....Maths. You know how to join the dots.