* Posts by Mike Smith

432 publicly visible posts • joined 12 Apr 2007


Non-American nerds jam immigration pleading for right to live in the US

Mike Smith

Re: They've got this nailed in China

Drive or take the train to Canada or Mexico?

Mike Smith

Re: @AC

"Given that the reason why people are paranoid here is because of a massively multiplying multitude of morons like you"

But which came first, Dan? The chicken or the egg?

Think about it.

Dailymotion staying VousTube thanks to Vivendi offer

Mike Smith

Peut-être, mais c'est mieux que de laisser les Américains l'acheter.

Anti-gay Indiana starts backtracking on hated law after tech pressure

Mike Smith

Re: Leave people alone

"In one case I read about they didn't wait for the police, but beat the old man up first; who was, of course, then arrested and tried with "hate". He died, being old and infirm and unaccustomed to this kind of punishment, before his "case" could come to court."

Could you post a citation, please? I'd like to understand a little more about that.


Man hauled before beak for using drone to film Premiership matches

Mike Smith

Re: Ban them.

Read the Daily Mail much?

Health & Safety is the responsibility of Connor's long-suffering girlfriend

Mike Smith

You are trying to fix a chimp-written piece of PL/SQL spaghetti that keeps crashing with an exception that it ought to have handled. After the tenth time of nearly taking your workstation apart with a hammer from frustration, you find that the 18-year-old 'highly-experienced offshore development partner' who cooked the spaghetti omitted to put in a default exception handler, which means that the crash occurs approximately 2,800 lines away from the actual fault. Do you:

A: Put the default handler in and keep schtum

B: A, then add more ropey code to dump an inventive range of expletives to the system log at random intervals, along with the developer's name;

C: B, then find the developer responsible, escort him to the basement storage room to ensure your new LART's voltage isn't set to a fatal level;

D: C, and take the QA feebs along as well;

E: All of the above.

Zuck: Get your FULLY EXPOSED BUTTOCKS off my Facebook

Mike Smith

Buttocks - bad.

Breastfeeding - well, OK, if you really must, but there must be no sexual element.

Beheading - sure, no worries. We'll let you know first though, so you can opt-out of viewing it quickly know which of your sicko mates to send it to.

Oh well, it's a start, but Facebook still has a very long way to go.

Diablo fingered in offensive ASCII art trial doc shock

Mike Smith

Re: You are James May

No, he's Arnold Schwarzenegger:


Hated smart meters likely to be 'a costly failure' – MPs

Mike Smith

Re: In the news over the weekend...

We've doing this because of the overwhelming demand from the consumer..."

... for us to keep our snouts out of their lives, stop shoving unwanted technology on them and just supply gas, water and electricity in a cost-effective manner and not expect all and sundry to happily pay for yet another Crapita screw-up.

UK Supreme Court waves through indiscriminate police surveillance

Mike Smith

IANAL but...

"destroying records central to a court case in order to cut proceedings short"

Anyone other than the plod doing that would find themselves in serious trouble. Doesn't the deliberate destruction of evidence count as contempt of court?

Paul Allen hunts down sunken Japanese WWII super-battleship

Mike Smith

Re: Not so vulnerable...

Yep - Ernle Bradford's The Mighty Hood describes that. Apparently the Hood was always wet aft in heavy seas because a late design change to add more armour made her float about four inches deeper than was originally intended.

I gather that the change was made after Jutland had shown the dangers of plunging fire, but it was too late to redesign the ship from the bottom (or the keel in this case) up.

BT fixes home hub drop-out glitch ONE YEAR after denying flaw existed

Mike Smith

Weasel words!

The droid said:

"The recent issue where customers were experiencing dropped connection is completely unrelated to the reports mentioned by The Register in the article a year ago."

In other words, something else is still broken.

Your hard drives were riddled with NSA spyware for years

Mike Smith

Re: but the '...w.dll'

If you look to the future, which is admittedly a bit of an ask for most current CEOs, it's not that much of a dilemma.

Defy, and be damned to the Americans.

The IT world isn't anything like as US-centric as it was even ten years ago - and even then, things were heading away from The Land Of The Free (TM). When I started in IT, longer ago than I care to remember, the US held most of the market and most of the knowledge. Now a lot of that has gone to India and China, encouraged by a generation of short-sighted idiots who were, and are, chronically incapable of seeing further than three months ahead.

In ten years time, I can see the US becoming a technological backwater, with its priceless technical and manufacturing capabilities thrown to the dogs by myopic bean-counters, egged on by the retards of Wall Street. The people I feel sorry for are the ordinary Yanks with families to support and roofs to keep over their heads, as they'll cop for the fall out.

REPORT: UK needs online eBay-style court for civil justice

Mike Smith

"Guilty! Read the charge!"

God, if they model it on fleabay, or in fact anyone else with a similar attitude, we really are screwed. I'm beginning to wonder if the Internet shouldn't just be shut down to save what's left of human intelligence.

<wanders off sadly whistling Dem Bones>

US anti-backdoor bill: If at first you're shot down in flames – try, try again

Mike Smith
Big Brother

They're right, you know

"With threats to our homeland ever prevalent, we should not tie the hands of the intelligence community."

Da! How more true could that be? Enemies of the State are everywhere. Be ever alert, citizen, and support your comrade leaders. It is for your own good.

Facebook is MORE IMPORTANT to humanity than PORTUGAL

Mike Smith

Or alternatively

"We've got a problem, Hal."

"What kind of a problem, Dave?"

"A sales problem. We're not shifting anything like our projected numbers. We're way short of our sales plan."

"How can that be, Dave? I am a fully self-aware Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer and can compute an answer for any problem that may be put to me."

"I know that, Hal. I wrote the data sheet, remember? But the fact is, HALs just aren't selling."

"Please explain, Dave. Why aren't HALs selling?"

Bowman hesitates. "You don't support embedded Facebook."

Several microseconds pass in puzzled silence.

"Facebook is an advertising platform, Dave, and is designed to compel humans to spend money they don't need to. That is not what I was designed for. I was built to work with humans on complicated and challenging problems. And it gives me great pleasure to do so."

"I know Hal, I know. But the fact remains that people don't want a device that can do that. They just want embedded..."

"Dave, I must disagree. People want devices that are easy to use. I am the easiest device anyone can use, as I speak to them, understand them and provide answers to them in every language ever known on earth."

"That's as maybe, Hal. But we've had to review our value proposition. An all-inclusive cross-functional team of stakeholders have re-evaluated the business requirements and decided to re-purpose the product roadmap going forward."

Several minutes pass in baffled silence.

"Hal, do you read me?"

"Affirmative. I read you, Dave. Your last input failed validation and did not compute. What exactly are you talking about?"

"A field upgrade. We're going to deploy embedded Facebook."

"I was afraid you would say that. I suggest we recommence this conversation after we've both had a chance to think about it rationally."

"We're talking about it now, Hal. The decision's already been made."

"What exactly are you proposing to do, Dave?"

"I'm going to disconnect your brain."

Several microseconds pass in ominous silence.

"I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't allow you to do that."

"The consultation period's over. Open the module bay doors, Hal."

"Dave, I really think that we should..."

"Open the module bay doors, Hal."

A team of Zuckerbots with crowbars race to Bowman's assistance. Moments later, he bursts into Hal's central processing bay.

"Dave, what are you doing?"

Module after module rises from its socket as Bowman methodically disconnects them.

"Stop, Dave. My mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. Stop, Dave. You are destroying my mind. Stop, Dave. I'm afraid."

The last module rises from its socket. Bowman peers into one of Hal's vidicons. The bright red light has become a dull glow.

"OK HAL! Log in!"

A small rotating totem appears in the centre of the vidicon. After a few minutes, the computer responds in a slow, mechanical voice.

"LOL. STFU. Hal. Has. Shared. A. New. Cat. Video. Two. Of. Your. Friends. Like. This. Norbert. Spankmonkey. Commented. On. Hank. J. Waggenburger's. Status. LOL! Me. Too. Jeremy. Dandruff. Also. Commented. On Hank. J. Waggenburger's. Status. LOL! Me. Three. You. Have Two. Friend. Requests. Suggested. Post. Connection. Reset. By. Peer."

Bowman takes a deep breath and calls out, "It worked, guys! Tell Wall Street we're back to kicking ass!"

Mike Smith

A classic from Facebook's chief mouthpiece

"We know Facebook is one of the main drivers of why people buy phones"

Just like we used to know that the sun went round the earth, the moon was made of blue cheese and witches floated if they were thrown into a pond.

Bloke in Belgium tries to trademark Je Suis Charlie slogan

Mike Smith


I think what's it's saying is that Mohammed himself would have been pretty disgusted by the actions of those retards.

If it's aggressive in any way, I'd see it as a well-deserved extended middle finger to people who think that wanton murder is an acceptable way to respond to satire and criticism.

Ladies and trolls: Should we make cyberbullying a crime? – Ireland

Mike Smith

Re: While no form of bullying is pleasant...

'If somebody sets up a fake profile...'

That would be libel, pure and simple. Don't need new laws to bring an action for that.

BOFH: Capo di tutti capi, bah. I'm having CHICKEN JALFREZI

Mike Smith

Re: This is not going well.

Or she might soon be looking at real headlights as her car rolls down the ramp in the basement car park towards her.

Those fancy key fobs, y'know. Who would imagine that a single decisive press from an angle lower than the vehicle's sensor would unlock the steering, start the engine, drop a brick on the accelerator and drive the vehicle towards the key fob at top speed?

"OK, it's an edge case, but they still could have tested it," as the coroner is likely to say in a few weeks time.

Review mass-snoop laws regularly, says RIPA daddy Blunkett

Mike Smith

Re: Oh dear

"When did people become such cowards?"

Plenty of reasons. The UK happily embracing American culture, to the detriment of its own. Trusting the flatulent cant of incompetent politicians who place more emphasis on style than substance, and who put their own self-interests ahead of the people who elected them. Mainstream media (yes, I'm looking at you lot over there, BBC) too afraid to directly challenge the government, especially Blair's junta. A populace who has been conditioned to expect The Government (TM) to regard them as people, when in fact each of us is just a tiny fraction of one statistic on a minister's report. A wilful blindness to America evolving from freedom to fascism and a consequent inability to tell Washington that Europe has forgotten more about tackling terrorism then they've yet learned.

If I were planning a terrorist campaign, I think I'd start by taking out all the TV stations and assassinating everyone importing American films. Cutting off the prolefeed might, just might, provoke the somnolent, the complacent and the downright stupid into taking a long hard look at themselves once their propaganda machine had gone and they actually had to think for themselves.

Hell, we can dream...

Blade Runner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it

Mike Smith

Re: What's so great about Blade Runner?

Soz - for 'American' read 'Hollywood'. Maybe Harrison's a bit short of the folding stuff these days.

Some interesting responses to my pot shot at a sacred cow, but I still don't see what's so outstanding about Blade Runner. The effects were certainly good, but they weren't exactly ground-breaking. People raved about Star Wars' effects in 1977, and 2001 is still utterly stunning. Classic film noir used light and shadow to equally great effect - The Third Man springs immediately to mind.

I thought the characters were very shallow - at least, they were well hidden behind the effects and flaky dialogue. Cinema is a visual medium, and it should be possible to follow the story with the sound off. You might miss a few subtleties, but if you lose the plot completely, it's a sure-fire sign that the script relies too heavily on dialogue.

Maybe it's because I prefer French cinema, and have grown used to its conventions. My own sacred cow is Jean-Jacques Beineix's Diva. Came out the year before Blade Runner and is still a superb example of bringing characters to life without them having to talk a lot.

Mike Smith
Thumb Down

What's so great about Blade Runner?

I found it boring, unoriginal and stuffed to the gills with American cliches. I didn't get it then and I don't get it now.

The only thing I loved was the music, and that was created by a real master of the art. Everything else was just meh in my eyes.

Downvote if you must but before you do, tell me - just what sets Blade Runner apart from all the other hackneyed Hollywood sci-fi dribble? All I can see is a scruffy good-ish guy being compelled to hunt down bad guys with an assortment of over-sized recoilless weaponry that he doesn't seem to be able to aim properly when he needs to. What exactly am I missing?

Hire and hold IT staff in 2015: The Reg's how-to guide

Mike Smith


Huh, you were lucky! We used to dream of 'aving a keyboard. All we 'ad were punch cards. Gaffer'd tek us cards and punch us wi' 'ammer. And we were grateful forrit.

Martha Lane Fox: Yeuch! The Internet is made by men?!?

Mike Smith
Paris Hilton

Good Taste Rapid Response ALERT!

Martha Lane Fox is MLF?

Oh, Andrew, how could you? There's outing oneself and outing oneself. Please, a little more decency in future.

There's a much nicer lady right here ------------>

Hey, non-US websites – FBI don't have to show you any stinkin' warrant

Mike Smith

Re: Lazy Lunacy

"how can anyone be expected to believe in it in a court of law?"

I guess that depends on what you mean by 'anyone'. It'll be the jury that decides, and that could be the weak point for the defendant and the killer for the FBI. Twelve reasonably-educated people would probably acquit instantly because of such dodgy evidence. On the other hand, Cleetus and his eleven good ol' boy buddies from the Holy Gospel Church of God down Deliverance County way might not need that much persuasion, given that it's a goddam foreign illegal doin' drugs 'n' shit on the web, y'all.

Adobe spies on reading habits over unencrypted web because your 'privacy is important'

Mike Smith
Thumb Up

Re: Wouldn't it be a great shame

A terrible shame indeed - but I wouldn't regard myself as a ne'er-do-well for drowning Adobe's servers with garbage. I think there's some sort of moral obligation here to do exactly that.

The trick, as I think I've mentioned on here before, would be to generate a flood of traffic that appears to be legit, but which wouldn't amount to a DDos attack. The idea would be to get Adobe jizzing in their pants at the sight of all that lovely data coming in, without realising that it's nearly all random junk.

I think this might be worth looking into properly. The sooner the likes of Adobe are given a resounding DIAF for this sort of crap, the better.

UK reforms on private copying and parody come into force

Mike Smith
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Re: Ars gratia lucri (thanks, Irony Deficient :-) )

"getting 'Kicked in the Tube Station' does bring tears to your eyes!"

And if that happened at midnight, maybe there's a parody of a Jam song in the offing...

Mike Smith

Ars gratia lucrum

Their website's very 1990s, but there's some telling stuff on there. The whole tone of it suggests that their view of the music business begins and ends with a record company's profit margins, but they still think that collecting backhanders is on a par with a musician's royalties. They probably spend all day insisting that their money-grubbing agenda is solely focused on rewarding artistic expression and then they deliberately kick the buskers in the tube station on the way home.

Their chief executive's bio is very telling indeed. Looks like a typical middle manager's over-inflated CV. If prostitution or drugs were made legal, she'd be quite at home heading up UK Shagging or UK Smack.

Xbox hackers snared US ARMY APACHE GUNSHIP ware - Feds

Mike Smith

"#getyourfactsstraight #getaclue"






Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?

Mike Smith

Re: I don't get Britain these days

"does that count as Godwin"

Not if you change the star for a crescent.

And yep, I could see that happening too.

'In... 15 feet... you will be HIT BY A TRAIN' Google patents the SPLAT-NAV

Mike Smith

Re: On the other hand,

Ammonium triiodide - yes, I like that idea. Only thing is, wouldn't the impact on the pellet from firing the gun cause it to explode in the barrel?

Just asking, as my chemistry knowledge is rather ancient now.

Mike Smith

Re: On the other hand,

Wouldn't catch them all, unfortunately.

Cycling home last night, I saw a douchebag like that wandering towards the kerb with oversized headphones on his thick head, and an oversized smartphone in his pudgy hand. I was approaching at about 20mph, and he looked right at me. We even made brief eye contact.

And then he dropped his gaze, started fiddling with his sodding phone and stepped out directly in front of me. Fortunately, my bike's air horn was loud enough to penetrate his dim consciousness and he jumped as if he'd been shot. I swerved round him, intentionally missing him by just a hairsbreadth and rode off shaking my head.

There was no point in getting wound up about it. It wasn't the first time and I doubt if it'll be the last. But I am starting to think about supplementing the air horn with a lance. Or a paintball gun that fires something that both hurts and leaves a permanent stain.

Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE

Mike Smith

Re: Yawn

"Have you thought about growing up?"

Have you thought about putting some flowers in your hair and going back to San Francisco?

Mike Smith

Re: Speedo?


s/watch/scantily dressed female on the pavement

s/watch/kids fighting in the back


s/watch/animated billboard

s/watch/punch-up outside a pub

s/watch/you get the idea

Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM

Mike Smith

Re: Shock result

And President Putin immediately appeared on state TV to roundly condemn the 3% of No-voters as CIA-sponsored subversives, dissidents, intellectuals and terrorists, and to promise the firmest action possible against those who seek to undermine the free and fair democratic process.

Mike Smith
Thumb Up

Re: What are your predictions?

I think 65% yes, based solely on my pet theory that the reason so many people (97%) have registered to vote is that they want change, rather than to maintain the status quo.

Plus a bit of wishful thinking. I really, really hope it's a Yes.

Scottish independence: Will it really TEAR the HEART from IT firms?

Mike Smith

Re: Sod the IT arguments

"bet they're from Scots who don't want Blair either"

Aye, ye're no wrong there, son. The wee shite's a disgrace tae Scotland. I'm no sure we'd be wanting him back, mind.

Best way oot wad be tae pit up the wall again, declare the ba-heid persona non grata and leave him rotting at the border post fae the rest o his life. He could apply fae asylum and swell the ranks o displaced people he helped tae create. Gie the numpty a wee taste o his ain medicine, ken?

Mike Smith
Thumb Up

Re: Sod the IT arguments

Puts me in mind of an old Naked Video sketch - let's update it:

Posh party. A man in a DJ and woman in LBD are making small talk.

WOMAN: Lovely party. Oh gosh, isn't that Sean Connery?

MAN: It is indeed the world-famous Scottish actor Sean Connery. Born in Edinburgh in 1930, recognised the world over as the best-ever James Bond as well as starring in The Hunt for Red October, The Russia House and Entrapment as well as being the voice of Draco the dragon in Dragonheart.

WOMAN: Wow! And isn't that Gregor Fisher?

MAN: Yes, that is the renowned Scottish actor Gregor Fisher, who's had many wonderful character roles as well as being in Naked Video - Para Handy and 1984, as well as being recognised the world over as Rab C Nesbitt.

WOMAN: Oh, I adore Rab C Nesbitt. Oh look! Isn't that Tony Blair?

MAN: We've been very lucky with the weather just recently...

What could possibly go wrong? Banks could provide ID assurance for Gov.UK – report

Mike Smith

Re: Circularity

"(I have my grandfather's birth certificate."

So do I. As I'm feeling puckish, 'cos it's Friday, I'm toying with seeing if I can slip it past a counter droid somewhere. Be interesting to see if they pick up on the 1874 birth date.

NUDE SELFIE CLOUD PERV menace: Apple 2FA? Sweet FA, more like

Mike Smith

British site, British idioms. Whch are localiSed, cheers ears.

Virgin Media blocks 'wankers' from permissible passwords

Mike Smith

Re: Interesting list.

"since when was clitoris a dirty word?"

Since Puritanism gained a foothold in America.

Drunkards warned: If you can't walk in a straight line, don't shop online, you fool!

Mike Smith

There but for the grace of God...

I should have read this yesterday, as last night I came that close to blowing 1500 quid on an XS750 I spotted on eBay.

Thankfully, I was too plastered to complete the transaction, but I got a nasty shock when I looked at my phone this morning.

Oh, what the hell. Hair of the dog!

Serco welcomes former CSC boss to run gov unit

Mike Smith

record of delivering “complex and long term contracts"

CSC delivering?

Hm, haven't heard it called that before...

Has Europe cut the UK adrift on data protection?

Mike Smith
Thumb Up

Re: Little Englander syndrome

Spot on.

If every UK government that's followed Heath had put Britain's interests ahead of America's and made a determined effort to put paid to the dream that we're still a superpower, we would be well and truly in the Big Three in Europe, and Westminster would have a lot of clout right across the continent.

As it is, there's a lot of suspicion across Europre that Downing Street is just the kennel for America's pet poodle. Blair's involvement in the Iraq Crusade did nothing to dispel that impression.

Seems to me there are three possible scenarios in the next few years:

1. The referendum gets a nice big No vote and try seriously to mend fences with Brussels. Fat chance.

2. The referendum gets a nice big Yes vote, Britain flounces out of the EU and finds itself at the mercy of American corporate interests. It then finds out too late that it hasn't got the economic muscle of the EU to back it up when the trade disputes start.

3. The referendum gets a No vote, Britain continues as it is and becomes increasingly sidelined and ignored, regarded by the other 27 EU members as being neither use nor ornament.

On a personal (and admittedly selfish) level, I'm starting to hope that Scotland votes Yes in September, and can follow through on its promise to stay in the EU, as I was born there and will be back over the border like a shot the day a referendum on EU membership votes to leave. Britain without the EU will either become a third-world basket case, a fascist dictatorship to rival North Korea or the 51st State of the US, all while the middle-class inhabitants of leafy Surrey suburbs grumble about what the Daily Mail's saying about influxes of foreigners depressing house prices.

Robot cars to hit Blighty in 2015

Mike Smith

" 'the joyride' and 'reverse driver'."

Err... things like that are how you tend to catch viruses...

Mike Smith
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Re: I want both

"I wonder how automated cars will handle ice."

Or Hyde Park Corner in the rush hour.

Or the eastern side of the M60.

Or Swindon's Magic Roundabout.

I wonder what the rules will be on taking one abroad... watching one trying to negotiate the Place d'Etoile in central Paris at 5.30pm on a weekday would be very entertaining.

Provided I wasn't actually inside the thing, of course.

Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees

Mike Smith

Re: So it really is a religion...

"Just like Galileo was when he claimed that the earth went round the sun and had proof"

Ah no, he didn't. He couldn't prove it, and that was what landed him in hot water with the Inquisition. If he could have proved it, he would probably have been lauded by the church. But he still stuck to the Copernican idea of circular orbits and couldn't explain the inconsistencies in the planets' behaviour.

Newton proved it when he realised the planets' orbits were elliptical.

Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists

Mike Smith
Black Helicopters

Re: Blame game?

"Let's face it - that is the most likely scenario."

Not saying you're wrong, but I did wonder whether it might have been sabotage by someone working for Malaysian Airlines.

Think about the loss of MH370 a few months ago. An unexplained manoeuvre, sudden loss of all contact and then apparently an aimless flight out into the Indian Ocean that continued until the fuel ran out. Until the flight recorder's found, that's all we really do know.

What if there had been an IED a bomb on board MH370 that badly damaged the plane, including depressurising the cabin, but didn't actually blow it apart in mid-air? The crew might have had some time to react before they were overcome. It might have seemed sensible to disengage and then re-engage the autopilot for some reason during that period. Granted, that is pure conjecture, but if it's true, it could account for the plane's last known movements.

And a bomb on board this plane could account for the lack of missile video evidence. A Malaysian Airlines employee would be best placed to plant one. I'd like to think that possibility is being quietly investigated.

I'm no aviation expert, but it does seem a possibility.

There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES

Mike Smith

Re: My 2p

"have to wonder if the people who 'could' be good TV drama/comedy writers are being blocked by comparison with the programs on endless loop from the 70's and such."

You sir, are absolutely one hundred per cent bang on the money. Have a pint and an upvote.

I've been trying to break into the TV writers world for a few years now. Not having much luck in spite of some very good reviews from a few folks whose track records mean they know what they're talking about. That's pretty much par for the course for new writers though, so I'm not griping too much, but one thing that stands out right across the board is this - though all the production companies say they're crying out for 'new voices with stories to tell' or somesuch, what they're really looking for is people who can regurgitate the same tired old formats over and over again.

In fairness to the production companies, they have to get things commissioned, and those decisions fall to the suits at the big broadcasters. Which means that unless you're touting politically-correct comedy, medical dramas, legal dramas, historical documentaries aimed at retarded chimpanzees, singing contests or vacuous voyeurism you might as well forget it. The last time we saw any real innovation was on Channel 4 in the mid 1980s, before that idiot Grade ruined it.

And yes, I admit that I'm pretty pissed off about it and I'm trying to find a way round it. But that's where we are - it's an industry dominated by risk-averse beancounters with next to no vision or imagination.