* Posts by Grivas Bo Diddly Harm

55 publicly visible posts • joined 17 Jul 2009


Could a leaky capacitor be at fault on ESA's Sentinel-1B?

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm

Ail C-SAR.

UK intel chief says MI6 must outsource innovation – and James Bond's in-house 'Q' is nonsense

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm

Derwent Pencil Museum

There's a great little exhibition for a rainy day (i.e. every day) at the museum on the special pencils developed for bomber crew if they had to bale (bail?) out over occupied territory.

Charles Fraser-Smith, that classic English eccentric with lateral brain that we're so good at throwing up on occasion, was a boffin-type attached to MI9, charged with helping escape and evasion. He came up with the idea of a tiny compass hidden in the rubber end of standard navigators' pencils and - after having been carefully drilled out overnight when the factory was closed - silk maps rolled up and inserted in the pencil. The end was screwed back on with a contra-rotating thread, as the logical German mind was thought not to be able to entertain the concept of undoing something the 'wrong' way. The pencils were innocuously stamped with a slightly different model number from standard ones.

Oh yes, and Fraser-Smith's section of MI9 was named 'Q', with a nod to the naval ships - Q ships - disguised as freighters.

NASA dons red and blue cardboard 3D glasses to drive Curiosity rover because its GPUs are stuck in the office

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm

Edin-bro, er, berg, er, ...

Shudder to think how they pronounce it.

British ISPs throw in the towel, give up sending out toothless copyright infringement warnings

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm

Although not directly on topic, I'm always amused when some obscure recording from the 50s, 60s, sometimes even later, turns up and a pathetically grateful BBC (who had trashed the originals) proudly shows a grainy copy of Blue Peter or Doctor Who, taken by a shaky cine camera by a mad hobbyist.

Of course, in line with a lot of the ridiculous legislation over which our MPs have diligently pored over the decades, these pirates should have been prosecuted and vilified, and their reputations and tapes shredded.

EE unveils shoebox-sized router to boost Brit bumpkin broadband

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm

Paying EE to host their infrastructure

Don't be silly - by that token you'd advocate paying a supermarket for the privilege of walking around with their name on a shopping bag.


Got to dash out for some rubber johnnies? Amazon has a button for that

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm
IT Angle

Internet of ASBO Things

Click the 'Jonny' button and it automatically informs the police you're thinking of having sex in 24 hours.

Evenin' all!

Jeep breach: Scared? You should be, it could be you next

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm

theodore - Re: CAN Bus

Dreadful joke, but it didn't deserve a downvote - devalues the currency!

Have an upvote on me just for balance.

Cheers m'dear.

WinPhone? PAH! If you want Microsoft's mobe apps, grab an Android

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm

Microsoft Account

We're trialling O_365 on various devices at work, and allowing people to try BYOD. An issue that's arisen is that OneNote is not formally, and for licensing purposes, part of the MS Office suite. For MS and Apple OSs this wasn't an issue - users could download it and login with their work-supplied username and password, but for Android devices only OneNote insisted on a Microsoft account iD.

For some people this wasn't a problem, but others didn't see why they should have to create an MS account for work's sake; another chance for users' credentials to be hacked and leaked, as one person put it.

Watchdog puts UK gov IT on RED alert. Yes, that's a bad thing

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm

Political Rhetoric

In the Foreword to the report: "...the squandering of enormous sums of money from hard-working taxpayers."

Implying he's not worried about squandering money from indolent, lazy taxpayers?

Ubuntu tapped by China for national operating system

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm

Re: Which Chinese Calendars?

I got given a free Chines calendar by the Happy Garden last Christmas. It hangs up in my kitchen and is quite useful especially as, handily enough, it has their phone number on it in case I need to order a takeaway. They think of everything don't they?

Incompatible IT systems blamed for bank sale collapse

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm

Re: Huzzah

I was off like a long dog as soon as I heard Santander were taking RBS over. If I had to suffer the inconvenience of changed account numbers and sort codes (I was informed that I wouldn't be keeping the RBS ones I'd had since 1980) I'd rather it was on my terms. I'd had dealings with Santander before when they took over Abey [National] and had no wish to repeat that dismal experience.

Moved in a painless transfer to Co-op - a bit boring, with not as much add-on functionality as RBS, at least initially (e.g. a decent phone App) - but, so far, reliable and owned by its customers. The latter is, to me, a big plus.

I was saddened to leave RBS (I joined when it was Williams and Glyn) as I had always found the high street banking side of things reliable, and the telephone banking staff invariably helpful, but the sell off of the branches was the last straw.

Good luck to remaining customers and staff.

Serenading mice can sing along if you hum a few bars

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm

Mice are not, as is commonly assumed on Earth, small white squeaking animals...

... who spend a lot of time being experimented on.

Now, if these two male mice are our friends Benjy and Frankie, we should shortly be hearing some exciting news about a new bypass in our neighbourhood.

Has anyone been down the planning office recently? I must admit, I haven't - too apathetic.

Russian Christians boosted by Pussy Riot law spank 'sinful' Apple logo

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm

Re: The Beatles better watch out

"...if you play them backwards they sound like Yoko Ono."

Now that IS evil.

Inside the real-world Double-O section of Her Majesty's Secret Service

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm

Re: Great article

...and a branch of the Scaramanga family, after whom the triple-nipple eponymous villain is named, still live near Bath. One of them had, until recently, a firm selling Quality Cars of the type that Bond might have fancied.

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm


It's not a very good image, and I don't know the story behind the picture, but that's not a commander's rank on his sleeve. Commander is three rings of the same width (including the executive curl) whereas in the photo it's either a very thick ring (Commodore) or there is a suspision of a line running around making a separate band attached to the curl and another very thick band which would be Rear Admiral.

But, as I said, it's not a very clear image.

Interesting article.

Natwest, RBS: When will bank glitch be fixed? Probably not today

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm


..." 'ordinary' as opposed to 'a bit special' ".

And there you have a neat encapsulation of the outsourcing problem. It's the 'ordinary', less experienced, programmers and developers of today who, with experience and training and identified talent, become the 'special' programmers, maintainers and developers of tomorrow. By cutting that link you might make immediate savings but you've bolloxed yourself for the future.

But what do I know, after all I only work for an organisation that has done exactly that and then finds itself over a barrel when it does need people to jump through hoops in double quick time.

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm


I opened an account with Williams and Glyns in 1981, and they were excellent; after a while it transformed into The Royal Bank of Scotland before truncating itself into RBS, with the emphasis on the last two letters. Even after [Sir Fred's] Mr Goodwin's departure the branch network was still solid and, from a user's point of view, the online services were good.

Then I heard that RBS England was going to be passed over to Santander and alarm bells rang good 'n' proper - they'd done me over years before when they took over/rebranded Abbey [National].

I moved (hence the coat icon) over to Co-op - on the basis that they seemed the least worst and owned, at least notionally, by its customers - and completed the transfer of D/Ds, S/Os, funds and notified anyone paying in last month. Just in time, it seems. Now maintaining the accounts with zero balances just to piss off RBS/Santander, though must keep an eye on sneaky account charges being introduced.

In all my dealings with the phone banking staff over the years I unfailingly received good, polite, friendly service and it saddens me to leave. Good luck guys.

And I work for an organisation that itself is still worshipping the false god of outsourcing, so my sympathies go out to all those former RBS IT staff who have been dumped.

PS, Listening to an RBS Spokeswoman, Susan Allen, on the PM programme. Apparently this failure wasn't expected. That''s OK then...

Windows Metro Maoist cadres reach desktop, pound it flat

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm

@ MonkeyBoyFan - Re: Metro was designed by experts

I've left a drink at the bar for you, sir, along with an upvote.

I believe your favourite tipple might be *sake*?



Man's car warns of AIR RAID OVER LONDON

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm
Thumb Up

Re: Alternatively - @David W.

....Which is better? There's only one way to find out: FIGHT!

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm

Or as John Lennon once noted...

"It's good to fly Lufthansa to London...all the pilots know the way..."

Google's 7in tablet stalled for last-minute tweaks

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm
Thumb Up

Re: I think you confused Acer with Asus

Well done that man! Have an upvote on me.

MP allegedly cuffed after scrap in Commons bar

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm

Cheap Alcohol

It just shows the deleterious affects of cheap alcohol on society blah blah

Minimum unit pricing the only way to cure the ills of society blah blah

Orange Jump Suits for goal posts

Lewd and licentious soldiery and alcohol don't mix harrumph harrumph

And all the other guff that issue-obsessed rent-a-quotes are likely to come up with to support their world view.

James Bond savages the Kardashians

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm

@Rob Dobs - Will You Accept a Reverse Charge Call From Under a Rock?

I'm indebted to you for a comprehensive round-up of what sounds like a pretty ghastly troupe of people - I'm so glad I've genuinely never heard of them before (although the OJ lawyer reference rings a vague bell, I suppose) and hope to never again, although I fear I will be seeing their names all the time now. That's the way it goes.

Must dash - off to browse the latest copy of The Chap magazine now. Fascinating article on how to keep the perfect crease in the trouser leg while travelling on 'public transport'.

TouchPad sales doubled after it was discontinued

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm

@Erroneous Howard

Why discourage reselling? Poor sods will probably be out of a job soon the way the company is being mismanaged; let them make a few bob from HP while they can.

You could even call it market research - something the HP marketeers or bean counters have obviously not troubled themselves with (a bit 20th century, don't you know) - establishing the optimum price beyond which the general public aren't prepared to buy one.

If HP had done that themselves, they might not now be covered in cack.

Woman dies of heart attack at own funeral

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm

Old Joke No 94

Could you check she's actually dead?


Yup. Now what?

Linguists use sounds to bypass Skype crypto

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm

X-Cryptor Factor

Just synthesise your voice through a Cheryl Cole Voice-o-matic generator. Apparently a whole nation canna unnerstan what' she sez, like!

Haddaway & Sh!te!

Comcast 'Tweetgate' apology thrown back in face

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm


"...So is the word "grrl"...."

True, but 'Reel' is quite a clever pun, though, in the context of teaching Grrls film making.

But then, I thought 'Anti-Pesto' was funny, so who am I to judge?

Ah, a pint of Bishop's Finger to go with my Stinking Bishop.

Nude gardener's arse hauled into court

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm
IT Angle

Flasher's Mac???

Ah - THERE'S the IT angle!

Calm down, dear, calm down!

ICO wags finger at York council after data breach

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm
Big Brother

Internal Communication

Reading through the pile of uncollected prints piled by the printer is the only reliable way of finding out what's going on in our organisation. Please don't ruin that by introducing yet more 'policies and procedures'.

Dig deep! Radio asks taxpayers for blank cheque

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm


Just listening to my DAB radio in the kitchen.

What a waste of money that was.

Oy you! Get your hands off my wallet. I'm fed up to here with being fleeced by every bastard who feels they have a right to my money...

Man found guilty of battery after ejaculating in co-worker's drink

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm

Jail TIme, though???

...Or is he to be jailed under the Three Strokes Law?

National Audit Office: Open data the key to 'big society'

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm
Black Helicopters

Yeah, Right...

Look forward to reading that Al Yamamah report in full, guys.

Shocked mum muzzles foul-mouthed toy mutt

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm

Oh I'm soooo shallow

The first time I listened it clearly said "f*ck" in a slight home counties twang, but after I read the comments it was obviously "bark". No question. Although...

... isn't it just rhyming slang - Bark(shire Hunt)?

Santander mixes up 35,000 bank statements

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm

What a surprise...

I used to be with Abbey National in the late 90s. Santander undoubtedly acquired it because they were culturally similar, i.e. as incompetent as each other. I left Abbey National in 1997 and used RBS as my main bank quite happily until this year.

Granted, RBS has had its problems <ahem>, but its branch network - what I would in my old fashioned way call 'proper' banking - has always been well run as far as I have been concerned. So imagine my joy and delight when I received a letter this year to say that the RBS branch network in England was being handed over to Santander.

Well bugger that, I'm off-ski. I've opened an account with the Co-op and am transferring. Not that anyone will notice or care, but at least I'll feel better for not having my money in the hands of this bunch of idiots.

Inside the Ordnance Survey's new HQ for the digital era

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm

On time? To Budget? No news there, move on...

Not newsworthy then. The news sharks are only interested in public sector IT failures (private sector ones just get buried and we pay higher prices). It doesn't suit their agenda to publicise anything that runs counter to their world view.

Disguised impostor clears international flight

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm

Holy costume party, Batman!

I think the Robin-style eye mask was a bit of a giveaway once he'd removed his disguise, too.

Still, good try.

Spanish fascist decries Franco Eurovision slur

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm

Here Hear

I have to agree with TeeCee - it's fails on too many criteria to be considered FOTW. Leaving aside his opinions for a moment, it is well capitalised and punctuated.

He even uses paragraphs and fails to fall into the standard FOTW your/you're trap for goodness' sake! Only two exclamation marks in the whole letter, and those could be construed ironically.

I must say, I strongly deprecate the rising standard of these flames. There's just no fun any more.

Distressed cock whipped out of wheelie bin

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm

Coq au Bin


Good clowns battle evil at the 'Carnival of Screams'

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm

Papa Lazarou

"You're my wife now, Dave!"

I'm going to have nightmares...........

Microsoft to hug fanbois on 26 October with Office 2011 for Mac

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm
Gates Horns


I see MS are still having trouble with their dollar to sterling conversion software.

$279 = £270?? My arse it does, even taking into account taxes, shipping, etc, etc. It's not even as if they've put themselves to the trouble and expense of translating it into proper English.

Still, if people are so foolish as to be ripped off by such actions, why should I care?

I do, though, miserable old sod that I am.

Consultants bag £37m from failed e-Borders contract

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm

Split up into smaller sections...

Have an up vote on me. You'll have read Francis Maude's views on Big IT then? No contract with more than £100m whole life costs, and making sure it's accessible to small and open source competitors.

Mind you, I'll believe it when I see it, and no doubt the usual consultancies will get their snouts in the trough giving advice and guidance on how to make the new methods work.

Reg hack celebrates happy event

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm

Cheer up Susi!

Why the long face?

Sod hedgerows and fields, build more base stations

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm

@why? - Why not indeed?

I agree, although at least round our way the planning system requests comments. It's up to anyone who wishes to to write in and say what a spiffing idea that radio mast/Safebury supermarket/conservatory/conversion of pub into luxury homes (sore point) is, just as much as getting out the green ink and objecting.

Precious few people do either, of course, but - like the doors to the RItz - it's open to rich and poor, pro and anti, alike.

One of the phoneco's - Orange I think - put up a mast in line of sight of Brunel's Box Tunnel entrance so that people could continue their mostly inane conversations for the 3,212 yards of dead straight brilliance that is the tunnel. To be honest I feared the worst as it was going to be over the entrance to Middle Hill tunnel in a field - I'd have objected if I could have got off my arse (see above) - but they fulfilled their promise of making it look as unobtrusive as feasible and disguised it as a couple of telegraph poles with an electricity transformer between them.

Now, I know that doesn't sound too great, but actually it does fit in with the other rural wooden telegraph poles nearby that are an accepted part of our field furniture, linking farmhouses to civilisation, and fair play to them, you don't notice it.

Ah - the phone's ringing - which pocket did I put it in?

Greenland ice loss rates 'one-third' of what was thought

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm


Surely 'Gt' is an El-Reg Standard Unit of Measurement, being the number of Gin and Tonics* a thirsty Moderatrix can neck in a lunch time?

*Regional variations might refer to these as jynnan tonnyx, gee-N’N-T’N-ix, or jinond-o-nicks, but the effect is ultimately the same.

eBay car vendor flashes wedding tackle

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm

MGOC Member?

Looking at the photo I think he's got a Midget.

Can't tell whether the hood's down or not.

Poop poop!

It's the open road for me!

Have a drink, have a drive, as Mungo Jerry would say.

Suicide Girls whip out iPhone 4

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm

I'm as open minded as the next humourless bigot but....

.... walking down a street while SMOKING?

Something Must Be Done.

ThinkGeek trembles before Pork Board's pork sword

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm
Thumb Up

MMMMVelopes (bacon flavoured envelopes)

Bacon Lip Balm has me, well, licking my lips, I suppose.

Perhaps you could finish off such a lovely meal with a Unicornetto Ice Cream.

Well worth a read, a quite marvellous apology. Heartfelt and sincere.

Jacqui Smith and Charles Clarke shown the door

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm
IT Angle

@Just Thinking

I've 'upvoted' (yuk) your posting on the basis that you meant for it to be in Lavender, in accordance with the proposals* from the Vulture Central Humour Comprehensibility Committee, under the iron rule of Lester (for it is he) but which, because they seem to spend most of their time quaffing cider down the Fighting Dog and Pikey, has not yet been implemented. Tsk.

If you weren't being ironic, please remember that I voted after 1000pm on Thursday, and it therefore doesn't count.

To the barricades, mon braves!

*(see http://www.theregister.co.uk/2001/02/01/the_color_of_irony/)

IT icon because it can only be a matter of minutes before some idiot suggests a multi-million pound (about $10 at the current exchange rate) government IT project to address the procedural jobsworthian cock-up at some polling stations last night.

Air Marshal: RAF may not have to be disbanded

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm

It's a NICKNAME for heaven's sake!

Ah - just noticed your moniker. I take it back.

Perhaps, in accordance with El Reg policy (which I notice, 9 years and 4 days after it was posted has never been properly enacted you bunch of pub-botherers), Jock Stirrup's name should always be printed in Lavender. See http://www.theregister.co.uk/2001/02/01/the_color_of_irony/ for more detail.

Other standard nicknames used by the services can be seen here. Haines, Bee and Page get off lightly, I see.

<lav>No icon, because..... </lav>

iPhone keeps buried earthquake victim alive for three days

Grivas Bo Diddly Harm


If it was physiological shock, which given that he was bandaging himself with strips of clothing seems likely, falling asleep could lead to coma or at least not being awake to notice things going wrong. The body temperature drops when you're asleep, too - not a good thing to happen when you're in shock.