* Posts by Badbob

97 posts • joined 12 Sep 2009


When you bork... through a storm: Liverpool do all they can to take advantage of summer transfer, er, Windows


Re: Sounds like a night out in this hack's often less than fair city of Brighton

I take a fence at the Glasgow remark. Been enjoying libations for many a year in that city without incident.

On the other hand, when I lived in Bristol, I witnessed fights, stabbings and had to sit on someone once who had been accused of rape until he was removed by Plod (turned out be a spurned lover and a bit of a tiff). I had the misfortune of working in the city centre briefly in a nightshift role next to the Bear Pit, and heading in there was taking your life in your own hands.

Hear, hear: The first to invent idiot-cancelling headphones gets my cash


Every time you make something...

... “idiot proof”. They make a better idiot.

Train-knackering software design blunder discovered after lightning sparked Thameslink megadelay



The batteries on most multiple unit trains are, like your combustion engine car, designed to keep some of the lights on (for a short period) and to provide the bare amount of power required to restart the thing. There is no “limp home” facility for the overwhelming majority of electric multiple units. The primary exception being the 80x series, most of which are bi-mode and some have at the minimum a tiny diesel generator which will keep the AC on and provide a small amount of traction power for a slow limp (providing there aren’t any steep gradients). The only exception being the units ordered by First for their new London to Edinburgh operation which will be pure electric, with only a very basic battery for AC and lights.

Vote rigging, election fixing, ballot stuffing: Just another day in the life of a Register reader


Luckily for his chum

B*witched are recording a new album, so he’ll be able to catch them again!

IT workers: Speaking truth to douchebags since 1977


Much hilarity would ensue during my higher education days when we would take much childish pleasure in altering the Windows startup and shutdown screens to some puerile nonsense created in Paint.

All fun and games until somebody decides to invite the education department of the Scottish Government to tour the labs. Our labs. The ones with the magenta cock and ball drawing when you hit “shutdown”.

World's largest heap of untreated nuclear waste needs more bots to cart around irradiated crap


What does being a Scot have to do with it? So am I, and I wonder where our baseload is coming from once the high heid yins in Edinburgh get their way and sever our links to the rest of the island and Torness and Hunterston B eventually give up the ghost (which could be any day now).

Peterhead’s gas plant is going to be pretty important.

I’d also far rather see a single Nuclear plant being built than every damn hilltop around having a windmill on it. I live in Lanarkshire and their isn’t a direction I can look in outside my home where I can’t see a whirly mill somewhere.

In the bag: Serco 'delighted' to grab £450m ferry and freight deal between Scotland and Northern Isles


Re: Do they have any ferries though?

Actually no, the Northlink boats are owned by Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL), which was split out from Caledonian MacBrayne a few years ago to comply with EU rules on competition.

CMAL also own all of CalMac’s vessels as well as much of their port infrastructure, as well as being allowed to bid for commercial work (I believe they operate a port somewhere in Hampshire too), in order to support the finances of the clearly loss making business of maintaining docks on remote Scottish islands.

HP printer small print says kit phones home data on whatever you print – and then some


Well, duh!

And in other breaking news, Pope is confirmed as Roman Catholic.

Are you who you say you are, sir? You are? That's all fine then


Re: Scripted

My other (and some would say better) half, worked in Probate for a large investment bank. One fine summer, her bosses decided that the grunt work could far more efficiently be done by a back office in India, with the UK office just carrying out approvals and checks.

The Indian staff would get requests to close down an account and mail any relevant documents to the executors, which would be duly excreted by a printing press somewhere in Blighty. If it was just a letter, off it went, straight in the post, but if it required such materials as share certificates to be added, it would plop on her desk or of one of her underlings. Every day she would tell tale of a letter landing on her desk with “Dear (Insert name of executor)”, or “Dear {Deceased}”, and those were just the ones requiring further approval, who knows how many the automated system would fire out.

She no longer works there, and moved to a competent bank (if there is such a thing).

Hull be damned: KCOM shuts shop as UK High Court waves through £627m Macquarie deal


Re: Is this the end of cream coloured phone boxes?

A phone box/urinal local to me provided an endless supply of mirth, as it advertised a local KFC with a big arrow and 150m on it. However, the arrow was only correct when the door was open, otherwise it was directing an endless stream of hapless souls hungering for the Colonels secret recipe onto a bus lane and towards a nice fine.

Stayed that way for years too, until the entire shooting (up) gallery was removed.

In a side note, I visited a chum down in Somerset a few moons back, and he was an avid geocacher. The sight of him on his hands and knees feeling around all the nooks and crannies of an old fashioned red phone box was enough to put me off my lunch. I hope he washes his hands afterwards.

Take my advice: The only safe ID is a fake ID


Re: Silly first name.

“ NOT pronounced Stoo-art or for that matter spelt Stewart if it's being used as a first name.”

Ehhh, three people I work with are called Stewart (first name). All spelled that way. I’m also Scottish. It’s never as cut and dry as you think.

Brit airport pulls flight info system offline after attack by 'online crims'


I am amazed

Turns out that my old local airport isn’t the incompetent greed fest I always thought it was. In fact they are a perfectly competent greed fest. Chapeau to the IT dept for just pulling the plug and rebuilding the system. One would imagine that any potential hit from resultant delays was calculated to be less than the ransom, and that it was a simple case of purifying the servers, pulling out an old clean backup, plugging the hole (probably the time consuming part) and rebooting.

Given that Brizzle Airport is basically just one big departure lounge, it probably wasn’t too hard to make sure that the information was readily available to customers. In fact, one whiteboard by Starbucks would be visible to most of the passengers in said lounge. It’s not like it’s an old BAA rabbit warren like Gatwick or Glasgow.

'I crashed AOL for 19 hours and messed up global email for a week'


Probably fully formatted on the vehicle as:


I had a friend who operated a mobile disco service, and considered himself to be quite “with it” on the internet. He wasn’t bad, as he was perfectly capable of setting up a hosted domain and coding a rudimentary HTML page complete with every flashing and marquee effect the W3C had made available. An early adopter of internet advertising, he had posted his URL on his brand new vehicle INSTEAD OF his phone number.

His business pretty much evaporated overnight. For two reasons. One of which was that it was 1997 and no-one that seemed to require his services owned a computer, let alone a modem. Secondly, the URL on his van had omitted all the non alphabet formatting... it said along the lines of httpwwwmobilediscocouk.

Maplin shutdown sale prices still HIGHER than rivals


Will I miss them?

There was a time when I would have missed Maplin. Not any more.

I was a regular visitor for components. Thanks to the ham fisted nature of my colleagues and the shambolic storage options in the rear of my shared vehicle, I was a regular visitor for such simple items as Croc Clips and Banana Plugs to repair test leads. Until I discovered RS had a better range, was half the price, and their counter service was only another 5min along the motorway.

I went into Maplin about 2 months ago looking for a resistor, discovered that their component range had been decimated and was now buried in a corner of the store. It’s former location having been replaced with flimsy looking “drones” from companies unknown and other expensively priced, cheap tat. When I asked the PFY for help, I got blank stares. I ended up walking out empty handed, ordered some on the RS website, and had them in my hand the next morning.

Private Equity may have started the burial process, but the management drove the company to the graveyard in some kind of attempt to sell as much crap as eBay but at twice the price.

Fanbois iVaporate: Smallest Apple iPhone queues ever


Trading up?

So, if you can tolerate an upgrade every second year, it's pretty much cost neutral. I usually get the 'S' model as it tends to be more reliable with the bugs ironed out.

Last year, I got a 6S delivered to my home, on launch day, for £100 on a £30 24mo contract, I then traded in my 5S for £150. If you discount the contract price, which I would still have to pay even if the phone was a box of crap, I was £50 up on the deal.

I really like my Apple gadgets, but I can't bring myself to spend £700 every second year for an out of contract upgrade.

Lindsay Lohan ‘happy’ to turn on Kettering


Where's that calendar??

No, turns out it isn't April.

Lohan for PM!

This local council paid HOW MUCH for an SD card?!


Same goes for lots of public services.

At my employer, we have to buy everything through our own "iProcurement" system and some of the prices are eyewatering and the lead time ridiculous.

I bought a cheap canon digital camera for our engineers, £59 at Argos and available immediately, £110 to us and with a 5 day lead!!

We can buy things out with iProc, but that's also laughable. One of my engineers spotted a new portable battery site light at a trade fair, and I agreed to lead procurement on one for each member of the team. I called the supplier and got a quote (about £69+VAT each) and told them I would put our purchasing team in touch. A day later I got a purchase order for them issued and the price had doubled, when I queried I was told, "overhead bias and internal approvals processes needed to be added". If have been better buying them myself and submitting expenses!

Trump's new thought bubble: Make Apple manufacture in the USA


Make America Great Again...

By investing heavily in low skilled, low paid manual labour. Sounds like a winner to me (for rich old men like Trump that is).

EE's chief exec Olaf Swantee to step down


Re: Marriage made in (my) heaven

And the countless thousands that work in Bristol and Hatfield along with all the contractors at Ericsson and Huawei and others. They can't wait for their company to collapse.

If you don't like a company, don't use them. But they are both successful British companies employing thousands here in Blighty, a rare thing these days.

I was made redundant by FT/Orange years ago so I know how crappy that feels.

Shadow state? Scotland's IT independence creeps forth


What they say about Turkeys and Christmas isntvtrue

This part of the U.K. is going to the dugs!

The thing is, despite all the interference in their daily lives and their horrid experiments in centralisation, their little sheep will still vote for them.

I recently noticed my CHI number on a document totally unrelated to healthcare from a public body. At least the UK ID card scheme was public and voluntary, this snooping is covert and suspect.

Royal Mail mulls drones for rural deliveries


Leave in a safe place

The drone only needs to be accurate enough to drop the parcel in my back garden, because that's what my local post-person considers a safe place.

Hacked TalkTalk CEO: Dead as a Dido? Nope, she refuses to quit


Focus on the day job

Spend less time moaning about BT and concentrate on your own company's performance.

UK competition watchdog provisionally clears BT's £12.5bn EE gobble


I'm an oddball.

Been with Orange/EE since 2002 and always been perfectly happy with them. Not the cheapest but never had an issue with signal, especially now I'm getting 4G at upwards of 100Mb/s inside my house.

It was always inevitable given DT's desire to raise cash and Orange's surprising lack of interest in the UK market. My money had been on an AT&T takeover though. But I still think mama Bell will be looking at Voda, maybe as a JV with Sky.

Amazon DROPS next day delivery amid Cyber Monday MADNESS


Prime. Out.

My Prime is due up in January. Unless I get some kind of compo for a service I've paid for but not receiving, then it might be going bye-bye!

PLEASE let us build Fruit Loop Central, Apple begs Cupertino City


Re: Asda v Apple planning applications

Really sir?

May I invite you to visit Motherwell, North Lanarkshire?

Huge, poorly designed and hideous ASDA monstrosity built across the road from the main shopping precinct. It has taken almost 5 years for the shopping precinct to recover after ASDA vacated the main area to move across the road.

I don't object to supermarkets, just piss ugly design.

Verizon sniffing around Vodafone's US stake again


Vodafone, Tax. Pah!

Don't make me laugh. Vodafone pay their tax bill? What a load of tosh.

Our second largest communications company avoids far more tax than the banks ever do, yet no-one seems to care. It's about time the media got over their obsession with bankers and Starbucks and started looking at the real UK-based tax avoiders.

Happy birthday, Compact Disc


Re: Track information

My last Sony car stereo supported CD Text, but I only ever found one Album of mine that actually had the information encoded. (Room Noises by Eisley for those that are interested)

However, that stereo was stolen a few years back and the model that replaced it, which I still use, may or may not, as it has never to my knowledge had a CD inserted in it. The front USB port and a 32GB miniature USB stick has seen to that, comfortably holding a good proportion (about a fifth) of my entire digital music collection.

O2 outage outrage blamed on new Ericsson database



My company has just spent millions kitting out most of our 8,000 frontline staff with new iPhones on the O2 network, only to find they couldn't communicate with any of them. Many of the staff who got these new phones with limited personal use, binned their own personal contracts. Cue dozens of Tech's acting like their left nut had just been cut off.

I shouldn't have gloated to them, but my Orange handset was working fine.

Dixons Retail: A mirror held up to Europe

Thumb Up

Dixons have their place.

While most of us that use the Reg are savvy enough to use different specialist channels to get our hardware fix, Joe Public still needs a shop where they can go in, touch, feel and play with the tech. So the usual snobby comments such as that above are simply not needed.

I'll admit to having bought a few bits and bobs from PCWorld when I have an urgent need for a part. I've even bought a PC from them, when they were the cheapest supplier of the one I wanted.

Dixons are a moderately successful British company, employing British people and paying British taxes. It's in the interests of us all that they see out the downturn.

Best Buy UK spent £200m on failed megastores


Went shopping for a telly...

I went to Currys, Comet, Best Buy, John Lewis and done some diggin on t'internet.....

Best Buy was the most expensive retailer for the TV I wanted, didn't have it in stock anyway and said they would deliver it to my home in 2-3 weeks.

Currys was cheaper than BB by almost £50 (closely followed by John Lewis) and gave me the TV to take away there and then. Put me off BB on my first visit.

(btw, yes I could probably have found it cheaper than Currys if I had really tried, but I was happy at my £50 saving and sick of shopping)

Sony and Ericsson divorce


I've already jumped ship

Like a poster above said, my first phone, way back in 1998 was a Motorola (StarTAC), then I had a Nokia (nk402), then in 2001 I made the jump to Ericsson with a T68 and have been using SE phones ever since.

But recently, I have been dissapointed with SE's equipment. They seem overpriced, under-specified and lacking in updates. I was on the verge of changing manufacturers when this news came about last week. So I went out and bought a Motorola Atrix. Farewell SE.

El Reg in email address blunder


Never needed this icon before....

Seems appropriate now.

Given that various organs have already given away my email address I'm not going to cry about the loss of it again.

I'm sure whoever was responsible will face the usual employer reprimands. Case closed.

Also, check out my eBay listing for recently farmed email addresses.

.Scot campaign seeks UK Gov backing


Economy is going down the swanee...

Scotland has a dying economy, a budget deficit that would make the rest of the UK look fiscally responsible and a heroin/drink/fags/obesity problem....

Yet this is the most important topic on the SNP's mind?

Welcome to Scotland, we're all f***d.

Did Bahraini activists closet anti-gay bus baron?


Couldn't happen to a nicer fella....

Than the obnoxious nationalist bullying homophobic religious zealot Souter.

Scotland can do without him and his ilk in the SNP.

End of UK local dialling in sight as numbers run out


Dialling starts instantly...

As soon as you start to input the numbers on an ordinary telephone, the dialling sequence commences in order to speed up the call connection. It therefore connects you to the first available line with a number corresponding to what's been dialled.

If you lived in Bournemouth and your friends new number was (01xxx) 150282 and you forgot to use the dialling code, then as soon as you dial the first three digits you would be connected to the BT fault reporting line.

I can't see what the fuss is about, as most people use the full STD these days anyway as many calls are made from mobiles.

Also.... as exchanges are no longer mechanical and numbers are merely a computer allocation, why can't every exchange be given an 02xxx number as well and these used for new connections (02xxx could be used for DSL exclusive lines without voice capability which would free up 01xxx ranges).

Painters wrap Forth Bridge job after 121 years


There are two different bridges, with two different names....

Forth Bridge - Railway Crossing

Forth Road Bridge - A90 Road Crossing

Similar to the situation in Gloucestershire / Wales.....

Severn Bridge - original bridge, now carrying M48

Second Severn Crossing - new bridge, carrying M4



Been a while since I seen a trolling post that went quite so far off topic! But hey, at least the rendition flights will have a nice view on the approach to Edinburgh Airport.

Refusal to unveil scuppers French refusal-to-unveil trial


I can't wear my crash helmet in a bank or petrol station.

So why should these women be allowed to wear a full face-covering outfit? I agree that there is no harm in it in normal public life, but if I am to be treated as a criminal for wearing a cumbersome piece of apparel then why shouldn't they in certain circumstances.

> Off to don a burqa and rob the local post office.

Midlands council laughs at zombie-apocalypse threat


I feel an FOI request coming on to my local council....

Dear North Lanarkshire Council,

I would like to know if you have prepared emergency readiness plans for the following situations which may result in a downfall of civilization:

a) Zombie Invasion

b) Rage Infected Monkeys

c) Trained Ape Rebellion

d) Tremors (of the underground worm kind)

e) Triffids

I appreciate that most of these have already afflicted the citizens of Motherwell as can be seen by the horde of half-blind, violently angry, zombie-fied Apes that populate the streets of a Saturday night. But I would like to know if the experience gained in that locale can be used in areas such as Cumbernauld, Wishaw and Coatbridge.

Kind Regards,

Concerned Citizen


Ofnuke: UK is not Japan


Do your research....

The BigYin: "...you can create as many straw men as you like, but my worry was that we suck at major contracts (which is why I said "any major UK contract"). Almost without exception, every major contract any modern UK government has tried has gone massively over-budget and been a total shambles."

I present to you High Speed One (or "Channel Tunnel Rail Link" as it was originally known), Delivered on time, and under budget, despite the collapse of it's customer, Railtrack, during construction. Also, the M74 Completion project in Glasgow is being delivered under budget and 9 months ahead of schedule.

I'm sure there are plenty more, but I have to get back to my own projects. All on time, and under budget.

Comet owner boosted by closure rumours


I would miss Comet


I like being able to turn up and buy a TV. Being able to browse a product in real life and get a feel for its build is better than anything the internet can offer. TV bought, home and set up in an hour. Rather than waiting 5 days for overpriced delivery from a surly driver.

As for the salespeople, just tell them to go away. It's not hard.... the word is "no", feel free to use it. Also, Darty is just as bad as anything we have in this country. I tried to buy a prepay mobile phone in their La Defense, Le Quatre Temps store last year and all I kept getting from the salesbot was "you can't buy one, if you are not a French resident". So I went next door to the Orange shop and bought one there, no hassles.

Scottish news site admits coding mishap caused outage


Typical nationalists

Everything is ALWAYS someone elses problem, when in reality it is their own incompetence.

Level 3 pays $3bn for Global Crossing


I like the railway analogies

Especially as Global Crossing's backbone network in the UK is installed alongside the railway after they bought out BRT in the 1990's.

Their hubs would be a secret if it wasn't for the fact that half the building I work in seems unoccupied and there is a secret door. I did try and talk a Thales engineer into letting me have a look one day (after all, I am a NR Signalling and Telecoms Engineer), but he was having none of it.

Oh, they also don't like it when you accidentally hack through one of their cables when replacing signalling equipment. Mines the orange one with the reflective stripes.

Middle England chokes on Nice Baps


Not quite innuendo...

But there is a butchers near where I work in Lanark called "Damn Delicious" and I actually heard one of my colleagues (a devout christian) complaining that it was blasphemous.

When pressed for an explanation, he said it was because the use of the word "damn" in any connotation refers to using his particular deity's name in vain. I'll remind him of that next time he gives himself an electric shock (which is an alarmingly regular occurence).

I now do all my sausage shopping there! (ooh matron!)

Handy radiation checker comes to iPhone


Haha, so did my old local authority,

I remember all the paperwork from the old Strathclyde Regional Council having the nuclear free logo on them. They had obviously decided that HMNB Clyde (where the strategic nuclear deterrent is stored) and Hunterston A and Hunterston B Power Stations were in some other region.

Spaniards bemoan 'joke' speed limit cut



I drove from Motherwell to Carlisle (85 miles) last week for a job interview at a steady 70, and was amazed at how I only used about 9litres of fuel compared to the usual 12-13 when I have a mad dash.

But, in response to what you said about the inside lane. I learned this lessons on the M6 when I used to drive from Bristol to Glasgow every month. Especially between Wolverhampton and Preston. The inside lane usually does move faster than the outside, because the outside is full of Audi's. BMW's and Merc's all pushing their way north.

Vodafone's network knackered by thieves


I'm an engineer, working in the field.

My company provides me with a Vodafone handset for general use, but also an O2 handset for backups (less features, really just for voice calls). If both those fail, then I use my own Orange handset and bill them for expenses. Failing everything else, I have memorised the number for our Fault Control, and will beg, steal or borrow a phone. That also assumes that all the signal post telephones have also failed and I cannot even communicate through a signaller (yes, i work on the railway). So, I have three methods of comms provided by my employer and at least two of my own.

Maybe you should look at your own resilience before blaming everyone else. I agree Voda should have a bit more security and redundancy in their data centres, but your company can't be much better.

Roundabouts and swings at Everything Everywhere



T-Mobile could be a roving hot drinks distribution platform. (i.e. snackbar)

Orange has been around since at least 1994, way back before T-Mobile had even been thought of. Remember "Mercury One2One"?

Orange as a brand has worldwide recognition, which was used in several countries by Hutchison Telecom (including Australia and Israel) and now it is a part of France Telecom it has become their primary customer facing brand throughout Europe and the French Overseas Territories (everything they do in France is now branded Orange).

Let's not forget, Everithing Everywhere is a holding company, not a customer brand. EE was created (from my perspective) purely as a method for FT to get their hands on DT's UK operations and for DT to start pulling out of the UK market without upsetting the regulators. FT own half the company, and are owed the outstanding value of the rest by DT (who were loaned the money by FT to pay for their half). When it comes time to pay, I reckon the cash strapped DT will simply hand over the keys. Hey presto, Orange PCS Ltd is resurrected. T-Mobile is kaputt.

Scotland bans smut. What smut? Won't say


No sex with animals?

It's going to take an awfully big prison to contain all the web-browsing residents of Aberdeen!

Mine's the sheepskin one!

Halfords.com crashes off the internet


Absolute tripe anyway!

I used their reserve and collect service for a part for my bicycle (needed it straight away, so didnt have time to go trawling around bike shops).

Reserved it online and toddled over to the store (about 6 miles away), only to be told that "We don't have that in stock. Maybe it got stolen from the shelf". Aside from the fact that it is a pretty strange thing to steal (a bottom bracket, the bearing collection that goes inside the frame between the two pedals), when did it go missing and when was the last time you done a stock check?

Last week I went into the store to buy an Air Filter for my car. Checked the little book on the shelf, picked up the one stated, paid my £12 and went home to fit it. To find it was 2 inches short on each side. Called the store to be told that it must be an unusual model. Last time I checked, a Vauxhall Corsa is a pretty damn usual model of car. Funny how, if my car is so unusual that the local Vauxhall garage was able to sell me a GM OEM filter for £7 (cheaper than Halfords!!! at a GM parts dealer!!!!) just by knowing my engine size. Sounds pretty standard to me.

Bunch of useless twats.



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