* Posts by John Bayly

225 publicly visible posts • joined 3 May 2007


A day in the life of an email manager

John Bayly

Fantastic timing

Just as I was reading this I had a colleague walking up and asking why a customer isn't getting his automatically generated emails.

Me: Where are they being sent?

Him: Hotmail, his Blackberry and his company address. He's checked his junk folders.

Me: Um, we store only one address. Anyhow, are you getting bounced emails

Him: I don't know

Me: Well check first. As far as I can see they are being sent successfully. And we can't do anything about his forwarders (And who the hell uses hotmail for business)

My problems aren't usually with the infrastructure, they're with the lumps of flesh at either end!

Campaign for official Turing apology gathers steam

John Bayly

Not convinced

While I appreciate the sentiment, and am fully aware of how important Turing was during the 2nd world war & for the development of computing, it does seem slightly unfair to single out just him.

How many other people were convicted for being homosexual and chemically castrated? Should they receive no apology.

In fact, I'm always dubious of the idea of a government apologising for another's mistakes. It's like me apologising to people for the actions of the SS just because my mother is German (born 1949): completely meaningless. Any apology smacks of the PR & spin that the current government is so fond of.

Flames? Because it's quite likely I'll be receiving them.

Zombie plague analysed by Canadian maths prof

John Bayly


Reading the paper was quite amusing. Any scientific paper that references Simon Pegg deserves a reward: "This may be particularly difficult to do, if identifying such individuals is not obvious"

John Bayly

I knew this ages ago ...

... after watching George Romero's insightful series of documentaries into the zombie threat to society. I can't be sure, but I think the first episode was called something like "Living Dead". He'll be glad to hear that is theories have been validated by Prof. Robert Smith?

When ISPs hijack your rights to NXDOMAIN

John Bayly
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The issue isn't with the fact that I believe it's an unalienable right, it's that it breaks the way the internet is supposed to work. If I've got an app that parses a http response, I want it to tell me that the host couldn't be resolved, not that the response couldn't be parsed, I don't want to have to boot up Wireshark and view the response stream to find out that some cunt is giving me ads because of a DNS error.

Tiscali have been hijacking DNS requests for ages, initially under some random name which meant nothing. Now it's under "EDEH and UEI", which at least has an explanation of what it means. It's helpfully hidden under "Personal Details".

Why am I with Tiscali? Believe it or not, the service has been pretty good and I get free calls to half Europe.

Botched judge threat probe downs Fathers 4 Justice website

John Bayly

@Luther Blissett

Just to clarify: I have a penchant for the ridiculous and conspiracy theories because it amuses me, not because I'm a card carrying member of the tinfoil hat brigade. I'll blame Monty Python for that.

John Bayly

@Luther Blissett

Sorry, I though I'd used the joke icon, and I've reading slashdot a little too much recently (I'll use that as the excuse for the cynicism). I did leave out the ??? item:


Actually, I feel my experiences have made me a pretty well balanced individual. I just have a habit of coming out with ridiculous comments and insane conspiracy theories that even the most unhinged of individuals would have issues in believing.

As for the "tactic of faking a crime in which you are the victim?", even though I really don't believe a Fathers 4 Justice member did this on purpose, look at the result. It's made them look like a victim of an inept judiciary.

Amazon Kindle doomed to repeat Big Brother moment

John Bayly
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@Francis Vaughan

"No, you will end up on an assult charge, and you will find yourself in a very murky world."

Disagree completely: If I know I bought a NEW book from Waterstones and somebody tells me they own it and try taking it back, it's attempted robbery. Are we now expected to research any court cases surrounding the book we want to buy? The publisher should prevent the retailer from continuing selling the book, and recoup losses from the retailer.

What's insane (and it's been caught by several people) is that the publisher didn't want the royalties due for the unauthorised sale of the books, but just wanted the books deleted. I thought these companies are in it for the money. Here we are in a recession and they're throwing away potential sales.

What a fantastic way to piss off your customers. I for one will be buying my copy of 1984 & Animal Farm from a 2nd hand book shop or Oxfam.

Helium hole hiccup halts Hadron

John Bayly
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Got to love the halliteration

It's headlines like this that make me come here in the first place.

Brothel funds NZ lad's Olympic dream

John Bayly
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"How many people know someone who has ever competed in a rowing/sailing/cycling event?"

Yup, several people in all three, in both the UK and the Republic of Ireland (Also a Dutch & German rower)

As for your list of 5 top sports for funding, they're the most expensive sports so they get the most funding, duh. If the National Lottery provide (for example 50%) of the required funding for each discipline, then the least expensive disciplines will be better off as the competitor needs to raise less money personally compared to those in Sailing, Rowing etc.

Sailing has provided one of the best medal to funding ratio in the last few games, and your top 5 funded sports are those disciplines that have won the most medals for the last 4 games.

Finally, when was the last time you heard of a British sailor or rower failing a drugs test. Now compare that to athletics, football & boxing: the sports I'm sure you feel are representative of "Modern Britain". Makes you proud doesn't it?

Whining serial commentard bemoans Reg bullying

John Bayly

Could be him on LinkedIn


This guy's a DBA, and our "Whining serial commentard" sure does seem to like his databases.

Phorm phading phast

John Bayly

The funniest things is the bid/ask split


Bid - Ask: 210 - 650

Now that's a company in its death throes.

Mandy promises end to illegal staff blacklists

John Bayly

@Mark61 - Re: BNP in police etc

Is there any chance you can direct us to a link specifying that. I've never heard that it was a complete ban on political parties (of course that doesn't mean it exists).

A quick google on the topic only appears to give results on the BNP being banned and not all political parties.

Actually, I found this article in the Independent (albeit in 2003):


"At the moment, there is no automatic ban on political activists joining the force, but applicants must declare any political party membership prior to recruitment. In addition, officers are barred from taking an active role in politics or "any activity which is likely to interfere with the impartial discharge of his or her duties, or which is likely to give rise to the impression among members of the public that it may so interfere". "

I loathe to say this, but if somebody harbours racist tendencies in private but can be completely impartial in their job (I know it's unlikely), then the employer should be none the wiser, and the "active role in politics" clause has no purpose. It's when the line between work and private life is blurred that problems start to happen, and then the employee in question is no longer capable of executing their job.

John Bayly
Big Brother

@Rod MacLean

How come we see articles like this?





Essentially the police force are saying that the only reason they're investigation officers is that they're on a list, not that any formal complaints have been made. I fully admit that it's unlikely that a paid up member of the BNP will be fully impartial when dealing with other race, but that will become evident in the course of their employment, and allow the employer to remove them legally.

You're right, as the BNP appeared to want to employ members only but have been told they can't. So whilst I'm arguing for no employment restrictions across the board (including the BNP), I can imagine they're not.

Hmm, this kind of playing devil's advocate could get me in trouble.

John Bayly
Big Brother

Will this include the BNP too?

Whilst I can't stand the BNP, I can't understand how it legal to refuse employment to people based on a political affiliation. Surely if the BNP are allowed to represent the public in Local, Regional, UK & European governments, they can be employed.

If a person is stupid enough to display any racist tendencies on the job, then they deserve to get fired. If they display none whatsoever, but are a member of the BNP, then said person has proved they're capable if doing their job no matter what their beliefs are.

Ok, the BNP aren't a union, but if you make it illegal to discriminate against homosexuals, unions, women etc, surely political views should be included.

Blears sackee nothing to do with TheyWorkForYou

John Bayly

@Charles Calthrop

What if she were to argue in her case that calling Blears "a disgrace" isn't a political comment, but rather a truism (as people have pointed out). It's as plain a fact as GB is Scottish.

The woman defrauded HMRC, paid back money that she's adamant was gained legally, resigned from her post at the same time as insulting her previous boss (GB). In civilised society, that is disgraceful.

Have to agree that she wouldn't win, but it would be great to hear in the news: "Civil servant defends calling Blears a disgrace as a factual statement rather than political"

HSBC online banking goes off the wall

John Bayly
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@Jon 83

That's a little harsh really. There was a guy in our office trying log on for far longer than 10 minutes. Just because you found that you had 10 minutes of no service, it doesn't mean that everyone else had the same. It's quite possible that you caught the tail end of outage.

For some, it's a business banking service, which you pay for, so I really don't see the issue with complaining when the service that keeps hold of your money can't be accessed. Especially when you're working on something that is on a time constrained basis, and need to verify whether funds have indeed been transferred,

Yes, the service is normally rock solid. So is our BT connection, but when it does go down for 15+ minutes, you can be sure that I will call up to ask what's going on.

ISPs vs BBC iPlayer: Missing the point?

John Bayly


It should be BT thinking the "Free Ride" is over. They advertise "unlimited" access to the internet, not specifically to low bandwidth websites. This is what happens when you don't bother upgrading your infrastructure and insist on a business model that is based on oversubscribing their service.

Suddenly they've realised that people are now capable of using their 8Mb service, and using up all of the 30GB "unlimited" data tariff. Instead of working out how to improve & modify their service to keep customers happy, they're now trying to screw money out of a Government underwritten broadcaster. You don't see them going after YouTube.

Not really surprising that they hopped into bed with the recording industry at the drop of a hat, they're both working on similar out-dated business models.

As an aside, they're a bunch of inept wankers. I've spent the last 8 weeks diagnosing network issues. They finally believed me when I said there was no possible way that our ADSL issues were a result of any fault equipment in our building. An engineer was finally sent out and found that the problem was due to a hardware fault in the exchange. 8 weeks to discover that their own infrastructure is fucked. Now looking at how to invoice them for our time in diagnosing their issues.

ISS crew snaps erupting volcano

John Bayly
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Saw this on the Telegraph yesterday

Absolutely stunning. I especially like the way the cloud has been cleared around the eruption.

Underwear obligatory for Florida city workers

John Bayly

@Neil Greatorex

You could do an image search for Charlie Dimmock. I'll let you do it yourself.

Catholic social club ousts coven of witches

John Bayly
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Reading about that case, it was clearly a case of wrongful dismissal due to an individual using the "Multicultural room" set aside for all faiths in the company to pray. The users of the room were predominantly Muslim and appeared to object to anyone else using it. The management decided to vilify Holden, rather than say that the prayer room isn't called the Muslim room for a reason.

Compare it with this case, where a Catholic Church (who's main belief is that theirs is the one true faith) refused to allow some Witches (who obviously have different beliefs to Catholics) to have a party there. As others have mentioned, Catholicism is an easy target*. No one would think of hiring part of a Mosque or Synagogue for a pagan event. It's just bad taste.

* Not that they don't deserve criticism for a great deal of what they've done, but in this case it's just plain stupid.

Google cloud told to encrypt itself

John Bayly

I'm with Google on this one

Admittedly they're using latency as an excuse for saving the costs of transferring everything over https, but if the vast majority can't be arsed to turn on http, why should Google turn it on by default.

If you're storing or working confidential docs using Google, and using GMail for business (you're an idiot if you do) and you're worried about the security involved, then you already should know to turn on https. If you don't, you need to be clubbed to death with your keyboard. They're providing a free service, and are attempting to keep their costs down.

The Royal Mail doesn't have a bloody big sign on every letter box saying "Remember to seal your envelopes before posting so that evil people can't read your letters.". Same thing goes for postcards, you don't send the design for your cold fusion reactor on one.

Not that I use GMail or any of their services other than email, but if I did I would turn on https.

"Ignorance is not an excuse". Now, write it out a hundred times, and if it's not done by sunrise, I'll cut your balls off.

GPS-guided wreckers flatten wrong house

John Bayly
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To be fair, I don't think my my language & grammar would be perfect if some dickhead demolished my house by mistake.

Just a shame that the idiots doing the work didn't get blown up after destroying the gas pipes.

BT slammed for 'importing' cheap Indian contractors

John Bayly
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@floweracre: Expensive is always better

What a load of shite.Take two cars, a Kia Ceed & a 3-series Touring. The BMW is twice the cost of the Kia, it will have less of a warranty, service costs will be higher, and if anything does go wrong with it you'll pay through the nose for BMW spares. At the moment, the money in the motor-trade is currently in servicing rather than sales.

Sorry, but when it comes to cars (and a great deal of other things in life), the extra costs tends to be the prestige of having a brand, rather than higher quality.

Blears is latest to scurry away from Brown's Cabinet

John Bayly
Dead Vulture

Smug bint has finally gone

But how the hell can she say that "the Labour Party has lost its connection with the British people.", this is a woman who owns 3 houses (or as she put it "I only own one house in LONDON"), scammed HMRC out of £13,000 CGT, and claimed for every available penny in expenses.

She's got about as much connection with the British people as Hitler had with the Jews. However, I for one hope that she becomes leader of the Labour Party, that would really destroy the bunch of fuckwits.

We need a sniper icon, because sometimes a headstone really doesn't say "die" properly.

Sarin took half a mill in 'sod off' expenses

John Bayly

Nice deal

But I'm sure it was written into his contract that Vodafone was to pay his resettlement costs when he left (they probably didn't expect him to fly his 40ft containers back though). At least he had the decency to make them a profit before he left.

ISPs frosty on Jacqui's comms surveillance plan

John Bayly


You've just made my day for telling me that. I did have to check a "legit" news service to verify though.

It'll be interesting to see who takes over, and whether they'll continue the insane policies she's been so proud of.

Dutch cat skinner publishes critics' personal details

John Bayly
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Got to agree with @JCL. Growing up on a farm, we were never allowed to name our animals for obvious reasons. But still, if you work on keeping a sick animal alive for a few days and then it dies, it's does get you down. Just because an animal tends to end up in a basket by your bedroom door rather than on your plate doesn't make them have any more of a personality. Tasty yes, but not special. I wouldn't be able to eat my pet retriever, but I'd try dog in a different country. It's just for some people that line isn't as well defined as it is for me (and most people).

As for killing a pet dog, my great uncle had an spaniel that was on it's last legs, he took the gun out and it thought it was going shooting. When it managed to get ahead of him, he shot it. Of course those were the days before everyone took the pet to the vet, and I doubt I could be so certain that I could do it properly so the creature wouldn't feel anything.

I'm not bothered about how an animal is killed, as long as it's done properly. I can't believe anyone who's owned a pet wouldn't make the death as painless as possible. I'm able to shoot fowl & pests (about 15 grey squirrels so far), but I loath running anything over in my car because I know that it's quite possible it's still half alive in the hedge.

BNP pleads for cash after reported DDoS assault

John Bayly
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Not a DDoS

To all the people saying this kind of thing is deplorable, I have to agree, but then believing any press release by the BNP is equally as deplorable.

Their hosting changed and the DNS updates took the usual amount of time to propagate. Pretty stupid really, I've always had both websites run side by side for at least 72hrs after a hosting change.

Red Hat sticks lawyers on non-neutral Switzerland

John Bayly
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Re: @Linux fanbois

I actually read your 2nd post, I can imagine many did not. You see, if you'd come out with those comments first time round people may not have decided to regard you as someone with the intellect of an amoeba. You appear to have done yourself a great disservice.

Though, to be proud of riling people with an incredibly stupid comment doesn't reflect well on you either. It's somewhat similar to a BNP member being pleased that people are angry with him for saying "black people are all criminals", and then trying to justify it by saying "well, most gang members in Camberwell are black, so I'm right".

Regardless of any religious feelings (I do the majority of development in Windows, but use FreeBSD for file & mail servers etc.), it's highly dubious that any government should enter a contract with a single company without any public consultation.

MP expenses leaker may never be found

John Bayly

@Chris W

Thanks for clearing that up about the CPS. As for him being ousted, I stand by that statement seeing as he clung on until it was even clear to him that he had no support. Saying "I'll go for the unity of parliament" conveniently ignores the fact that he had absolutely no choice.

He may believe that he's saved face this way, but those of us outside the wall erected for MPs to hide behind will remember Michael Martin for being so useless that MPs had to break with 300 years of tradition to get shot of him.

John Bayly
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Whilst I'm extremely pleased...

I'd always assumed that it's the job of the police to collect evidence, and that it's the CPS that should decide whether to prosecute. Can somebody correct me on this, or is it that the CPS instructed the police to drop the investigation and that journalists ignore the distinction.

Still bloody pleased the common sense prevails, and that Michael Martin suffers the ignominy of being the first MP in over 300 years to be ousted from position of Speaker of the British House of Commons.

Time to crack open the case of beer under my desk.

Gut instinct no protection against net scams

John Bayly
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@AC: lol

How can anyone fall for these scams? Or at least, that what I used to ask myself until my neighbours asked if they could use my computer to register with their bank. Turned out they were expecting to received £450,000 (FOUR HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND POUNDS). Not fun explaining that it's a scam, they won't have the money wired into their account immediately, and that it will likely cost them. At least they didn't take it out on the messenger.

For those wondering why they needed my computer, it appears they use their mobile phones to check their email, and the "bank's" website didn't work on a mobile browser.

Hunt for MPs' expenses leaker hots up

John Bayly


Personally, I think the Telegraph has been pretty impartial. They released the details about cabinet ministers first as they're the ones running (you might very well think that's a spelling mistake, but I couldn't possibly comment) the country. Then it was the Tories, and then the Lib Dems.

They've caused some people in the Tory party to lose their positions, and one Tory MP to say that he'll allow his constituents decide whether he should continue to be their MP. Meanwhile, they've made the Labour MPs look (with a few exceptions) like a bunch of grubby handed arrogant hypocrites.

They've singled out Hilary Benn (a Labour MP), and several other MPs as being incredibly trustworthy when it comes to claiming expenses; essentially presenting them as a poster child for who we need to run this country.

For what it's worth, I do believe MPs need to be paid more, and survive like the rest of us without employer subsidised home entertainment systems, mortgages & bath plugs.

Cops collar Russian punting dog dressed as lamb

John Bayly

Is there evidence of cruelty?

Selling dog as lamb isn't something I can really defend, but how is rearing dogs to be slaughtered a "hideous business" when doing the same with lambs is ok?

Don't get me wrong, I like a nice slab of lamb or beef on my plate and whilst I wouldn't be too concerned about eating dog (I'm willing to try most things), I would want to tuck into my pet golden retriever. It's the reason we were never allowed to name animals on our farm (The one time we did, it ended up being Sunday roast).

Maybe this story is a little close to the bone for pet owners?

Plod called in on MPs' expenses leak

John Bayly
Dead Vulture

Of course they have been...

The person responsible for the leak will be done for inciting violence towards politicians.

As for the Gordon Brown's statement, "it's the system that's at fault, we didn't do anything wrong". What a load of bollox. It's the politician's version of "She was all tarted up, so it wasn't rape".

Bring on the vaudevillian vigilante in a Guy Fawkes mask with a penchant for alliteration.

Ron Howard accuses Pope of scuppering Dan Brown movie

John Bayly

@AC, Re: not just the church

"The only thing exceptional about them apart is the sheer amount of real world details given in them", It's unfortunate that all the "detail" he puts into his books is a load of crap. He can't get anything correct.

Apple bans Page 3 from iPhone app

John Bayly
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Admittedly they're a nice piece of kit*

but why the hell would anyone be happy with being told what they're allowed to view and install on a product the bought (for a significant sum too).

I can't wait for the Apple TV, it'll be beautiful, easy to use, and will block out an certified 18 movies and adult channels. News channels will also be blocked so you can't see depressing footage of war zones.

* And it's taken a while for me to admit that.

Obama declares war on Ireland over tech tax avoidance

John Bayly

Low tax my arse

"... three small, low-tax countries". I think you should clarify that. Ireland's only low tax if you've got the audacity to bung you friendly neighbourhood politico a brown paper envelope. The place is a fucking banana republic without the sunny weather and beaches.


Disclaimer: Formerly of the Rep. of Ireland (the official name of the country to all you Sasanachs that insist on calling it "Southern Ireland"). Not that my current country of residence is much better.

</rant mk.2>

Swiss woman rolled over Facebook

John Bayly

@Matt Bryant

There is a difference between saying your job is boring and calling the CIO a cnut. Whilst I can't feel sorry for the woman in this story (who adds a "shadowy figure" as a "friend" in the first place), the previous case is taking the piss.

Calling your job boring isn't besmirching the company. If you spend all day opening the post for a company the sells sharks with freakin laser beams, you'd have a boring job in a pretty damn cool company. It's quite possible your putting up with opening the post until there's a position open for Dr Evil's account manager's PA.

Branson mothership bottom smacked in 'touch & go' incident

John Bayly

Concorde had a tail wheel for this very reason

Yup, a non-story: "The WhiteKnightTwo is a development of the White Knight", development says it all.

Put simply, it happens, especially in testing.


Gov systems found on 1.9m zombie botnet

John Bayly

Pretty brave of them to highlight Government incompetence

As we all know, it an offence under the (Anti-)Terrorism Act to embarrass the Government. Wait for the news of the Terrorist squad to arresting them a 6am and threatening them with life imprisonment.

Brussels to sue UK over Phorm failures

John Bayly
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So sad that we have to rely on Brussels to protect us

Nuff said really.

Animal rights group protests seal clubbing in World of Warcraft

John Bayly

So, a baby seal walks into a club

I pretended to read that one from a Christmas cracker one year, oh the joy of the dirty looks I got

Go-Between actress backs McKinnon extradition fight

John Bayly

What difference does asperbergers make?

"McKinnon's ranks of supporters have swelled since he was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome"

It's ridiculous he's being extradited no matter what he may be diagnosed with.

A Geeks Guide2 ...Hacking

John Bayly
Dead Vulture

@Graham Marsden

You don't need to know how to do any of the above to embarrass US.gov sysadmins. You just need a blank password.

I'm writing to Jacqui Smith to tell her about this subversive book* as it could be used by the evil agents of international tourism. Shame on El Reg for aiding the enemies of this glorious country to attack our computer infrastructure.

* After I buy my copy of course.

MS teams with Facebook to eradicate Koobface worm

John Bayly

Am I the only one who read that as Knobface?

Mine's the one with the ink blot test in the pocket.

How gov scapegoats systems for man-made errors

John Bayly
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@AC Re: @ Kevin Whitefoot

So start signing everything as anonymous coward if it means fuck all. What you don't want to do that because it looks unprofessional?

I do actually try to go to the person who's name is on the letter as it's there for a reason. The best is telling a PR droid in a company that you will forward every bit of spam to them if they don't remove you, works a treat.

People aren't held accountable anymore because idiots like you believe that it's ok to be completely unaccountable.

Bucks village repels Street View spycar

John Bayly
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Google should capitulate

No streetview: can see what houses look like

No aerial photos: can see how big the gardens are, how many cars & whether the're plenty of stuff out back.

No maps: enable burglars to get directions to their houses.

Simple, google can make this place not exist by placing a black rectangle over the area with a caption "Here there be dragons", and I for one would love to see that happen.

As for complaining about it being an affluent area, it's a fucking suburb of Milton Keynes, in fact Broughton is now what I'd call an estate, not a village. Simple way of telling, all the houses are identical.

I hate sounding like a snob, but the first picture I have of these people are them being the epitome of nouveau rich. The photo of some cock on a jet-ski says it all:


BBC Trust moots new licence laws to cope with net

John Bayly
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@Adam Foxton

Obvious isn't it. I had the exact same thought (think I chose an arbitrary 3 users though), but it'll never happen. It would also mean that people who pay for a TV license could use iPlayer abroad.