* Posts by Vulpes Vulpes

88 publicly visible posts • joined 26 Jul 2007


Secret Service camera bought on eBay

Vulpes Vulpes
Paris Hilton

I was pipped at £16.50 ...

... and now I've been offered a Second Chance.

Paris 'cos she likes to pose for the camera.

Ray Winstone joins Mel Gibson at the Edge of Darkness

Vulpes Vulpes

@ Andy

Seconded. Jo Don Baker was awesome. The scenes with the briefcase full of nasties and Jo Don in full Texan Armageddon mode were utterly ace, even if they required the suspension of so much disbelief that one could be persuaded that the LHC is safe.

Game sharer gets £16K fine

Vulpes Vulpes

@ James Thomas

Wake up and smell the coffee. Pirates are scum except when they are skint and from a developing country? Oh, and only if they're not welfare scroungers either, obviously. Punitive damages are OK, even for a trivial offence involving a crap product from a crap developer, but if she moved to the third world and gave away all her possessions then the fine would be unjust? Think it through next time, jerk.

Irate sysadmin locks San Francisco officials out of network

Vulpes Vulpes

If the water's pouring, and if the password is


then he's really in trouble, 'cos they won't realise when he's coughed it up.

Vatican star watcher says aliens may be out there

Vulpes Vulpes

That flask of anti-matter in the basement

is actually the communion wine for the first mass to be held post-contact.

Shell waves goodbye to 3,000 IT staffers in $4bn outsourcing gig

Vulpes Vulpes

You posted this story a day early.

This is the best April Fool I've heard this year.

Teachers crucified by coughing pupils

Vulpes Vulpes

Having escaped teaching for IT over 20 years ago,

I'm forever counting my blessings for having done so.

Graham Dawson hits the nail on the head for a lot of the problems. Offspring of those who ought not to have bred have always been a challenge (read; worthy of the severest forms of physical deterrence), but in the last two decades, the "Me" generation have bred while retaining their "right" to perpetual childhood, i.e the abrogation of any responsibility to go with the "rights" they insist they have to be members of the conspicuous consumption generation. Being more interested in the latest mobile phone/MP3 player/Chelsea Tractor/White Van/Plasma screen/Holiday abroad, they have unleashed 20 years worth of poorly parented little sods on the teaching profession and society at large.

I'm afraid the only answer, at least for the foreseeable future, and for schools in the majority of areas, will have to be a fairly draconian one. The bright kids will always make it through, but are curently short-changed by a system that obliges them to share airspace with the gormless lumpen majority, let alone the sorry minority who don't deserve the oxygen they breathe.

I certainly wouldn't be tempted back to teaching without anything short of "double-O" status.

BBC's download iPlayer goes titsup

Vulpes Vulpes

Big deal, no DRM on streams, no story.

Why anyone would want to keep a file built from a 500K stream beats me, the quality's OK to watch as part of a catch-up service, but that's all.

If you want to archive something for future replays, save up your pocket money and buy the bloody DVD you cheapskates.

Siemens kicked off UK government contract

Vulpes Vulpes

@Peter Gathercole

@*%k Off!

Nothing wrong with a 370 - better kit than half the rubbish running far too many systems these days.

And anyone born post 1981 hardly qualifies as an old IT fart - can't you do the math?

Sun will swallow Earth: Official

Vulpes Vulpes

Now That's

What I Call Global Warming.

BBC mulls dropping Flash as iPlayer meets iPhone

Vulpes Vulpes

@ Giles Jones and @ Craig

Giles: "If the BBC are so worried about DVD sales then their business model is wrong."

It is not the BBC who are worried, it's the rights owners. Don't conflate the two.

Craig: "For something that was tacked on at the last minute"

Wrong, it was on the plan way back in 2007, don't believe everything you read, here or elsewhere. But don't take it from me.

Old aircraft artefacts become office accessories

Vulpes Vulpes

Well, I found it under a rock in the Mojave Desert

and dragged it home in the pickup.

But I'm afraid I saw you coming, so that'll be 5,000.

No, pounds. Sterling.

Beeb iPlayer gets Firefox-friendly

Vulpes Vulpes

@ Matt

It's not the BBC that imposes the geo IP limitation, they just implement it.

It's the rights owners who have demanded that little inconvenience, as they wish to protect their ability to sell the content on DVD to overseas territories.

Parent power pulls Woolworth's 'Lolita' kiddies' bed

Vulpes Vulpes

I'm with John too

If the Times is to be believed, Tescos dropped a similar bollock in 2006, and had to withdraw a home installation Pole Dancing Pole they were advertising in their "toys and games" section.

If the internet extension of the high street can sell products that normalise the theft of childhood, why can't I order a handgun and ammo from the British Home Stores website or a day's supply of crack from Boots Online?

Germans send teen tearaway to Siberia

Vulpes Vulpes

I'd like to

strongly suggest that the Germans have been sending large numbers of ne'er-do-wells to other people's countries for yonks.

I'll check back in 3008 to see if this posting was published.

Computer system suspected in Heathrow 777 crash

Vulpes Vulpes

Isn't it obvious ...

... we should be searching for an Al-Qaeda cell based somewhere on the flightpath into Heathrow.

They have evidently developed a working EMP weapon, probably using common household goods (hairdryers? disposable cameras? a huge array of wired up Brillo pads?) and recently deployed it.

The MIB should be checking out lofts, or sheds in the back gardens, of houses near Junction 3 of the M4.

Home Sec in anti-terror plan to control entire web

Vulpes Vulpes

I don't meant St Francis

Who was it I remember saying something else like this....

"Where there is discord, let us bring harmony, where there is doubt, let us bring faith, where there is despair, let us bring hope, where there is illegal material on the net, I want it removed."

Jacqui, Jacqui, Jacqui!


Cops admit CCTV no use in deterring drunken violence

Vulpes Vulpes

@Oliver Steiber

That wouldn't make a h'appeth of difference; drunken twats are not thinking rationally at all, so delayed consequences don't even surface for consideration in their pea-like brains.

The only thing being processed at the time of the drunken violent bahaviour is "Am I going to get my head kicked in here?".

Ergo, give the police BIG sticks, and beat the crap out of the little f*ckers, it's the only thing they understand.

EDS offers 2,500 UK staff voluntary redundancy

Vulpes Vulpes

No doubt the Ministry of Defence

will breathe a huge sigh of relief, knowing that only the Military of Defence are affected.


Beeb confirms iPlayer streaming dominance

Vulpes Vulpes

Hi Frank,

No, it isn't demeaning.

If you can't recognise a fond reference to the Kingswood Warren guys with a whimsical tease about their furtive experiments, that's your problem.

Having rubbed shoulders with a few of them on odd occasions, I admire them and their technical skills hugely.

Please elucidate as to why my suspicions about MPEG4 expressed above are "absolute horseshit". I was under the impression that UK set-top boxes can't do H264, which is why the current iPlayer stream is good old MPEG2, as this allows set-top boxes to read it when the same files are made available over cable IPTV. Kindly correct me if I am wrong.

Vulpes Vulpes

Hi Duncan

"Anyway, you claimed the two statements ("recently-minted corporate line" and "the BBC was forced to act swiftly under pressure from its own Trust and Downing Street") were "sarcastic and innaccurate": I pointed out that they in fact appeared to be entirely accurate. "

But I still don't think they are honest statements. They are not accurate, they are loaded in a way that suggests, to me, a sarcastic, sneering attitude, which is why I titled my comments as I did.

Using the description "recently minted" is a deliberate ploy to make it sound as if the BBC statement about streaming being platform agnostic is a last minute weasely spin to pacify the Mac and Linux fans. My reply was to say that streaming had been on the cards since before the PVT and the Trust pronouncements, and that therefore "recently minted corporate line" was "sarcastic and innaccurate".

Saying that the "BBC was forced to act swiftly" is a deliberate journalistic ploy to make it seem as if the BBC originally had no intention of ever doing anything as a result of the Trust's pronouncements following the PVT, and were somehow panicked into action by the valiant efforts of the Trust and intervention from Number 10. This suggestion is, quite frankly, absolute horseshit (copyright F Bough), and therefore I maintain that this statement is also "sarcastic and innaccurate".

Vulpes Vulpes

Tsk Tsk Frank

There you go, shouting and swearing again. Take the blue pills and lie down in the dark somewhere.

Flagrant use of emotive terms for effect - CHECK

Uncorroborated allegations - CHECK

Guesswork passed off as fact - CHECK

Repeating other peoples' lies - CHECK (show me the "demeaning" quote, you IDIOT)

oops, sorry, I think whatever you have must be contagious!!!

My guess is you work in the journalism industry.

I've included a little nod to punctuational inaccuracy for Duncan's benefit.:)

Vulpes Vulpes

Hey Ian

The XBox 360 seems to have sold quite well. Oooops, it's a Microsoft product, sorry about that, I'll do two Hail Steves and promise not to mention it again.

Sorry you can't cope with cables.No need for "weird graphics cards" when cables are so simple. My TV is a JVC, about 5 years old, so nothing outlandish or weird there either. Remember this magic word for future reference: Maplins.

Vulpes Vulpes

Hey Frank

you should have used the Thumbs Up icon, surely?

I believe the MPEG4 option would have introduced problems with kit compatibility, and I think some degree of commonality of approach to the transcoding pipeline was sought (avoiding too many simultaneous transcodes), in the knowledge that the same content would likely be offered via cable IPTV options in the near future.

Of course, if you shout and swear enough, I'm sure the BBC will spend another £4.5M knocking up another option to suit you.

And who said the boffins were "hated"? Yet another invented piece of the story it seems. Sigh.

Vulpes Vulpes

@Duncan Hothersall

I don't recall really attempting to rebutt anything in particular, rather to accuse the writer of seeming to have an axe to grind, an impression that lowers one's propensity to believe that all that is written has not been spun in some way.

For example, "Pressure from Downing Street" sounds very dramatic, but signifies nothing. Using such a phrase is more like inventing a piece of a story than a report of the truth, and is a microcosm of what has sadly been the style of a lot of rather bitter commentary on the iPlayer saga.

I took exception to the tone of the piece, hence the title I gave to my comment.

Oh, and the download version is NOT the same. The wmv files are of a significantly higher quality than the streams, and if you wish to play them back on anything much larger than the average monitor that fact becomes very obvious. Hence the option to download the file and watch it in your living room, rather than via "one of your VM instances".

Vulpes Vulpes

Smug, cynical, ill-informed and spiteful.

I'm not sure where your snide attitude comes from, Mr. Williams, but I think you might benefit from reflecting upon the fact that you are merely a journalist. Your job is to reflect the actuality, not attempt to invent it.

Sarcastic and innaccurate remarks along the lines of "recently-minted corporate line" and "the BBC was forced to act swiftly under pressure from its own Trust and Downing Street" do you no favours.

When I started work on the iPlayer project early last year, the streaming option had already been in development for months. I witnessed dmonstrations of various technical solutions from oddly attired boffins released for the day from the secret underground facility at Kingswood Warren. Various flavours of iPlayer were in discussion up until at least half way through 2007, before the form it would take for a formal launch was finalised.

I'm not working there any more, so I have no vested interest. What I do have is a better knowledge of the project than you do, as is betrayed by your article.

Brighton professor bans Google

Vulpes Vulpes

BRIGHTON University?

Hah ha ha ha ha ha! ROFL, LMFAO etc. What a hoot!

She just wants some publicity before she applies for a post at a proper University.

<sound of Troll closing door behind him>

Village shaken by GPS-driven tank invasion

Vulpes Vulpes

Medal of Honour? Nah.

CoD2 (or even CoD4) mate, that's where it's at.

Sticky bomb on the whirring tracks. Boom. No steering. Charge in with Tommy guns blazing. Mills bombs down the turret hatch.

Ah, the joys of PC games, full of non-PC attitudes and oodles of claret. Ace.

It's even better fun than designing database schemas.

Beeb's iPlayer reaps streaming traffic dividends

Vulpes Vulpes

@James Smith

Two words.

Full and Up, in that order.

YouTube biker clocked at 189mph

Vulpes Vulpes

Left me standing

That's my Ford Focus he overtook on his way up through the gears.

Bugger went past like I was standing still, and I was doing 125mph myself.


Er, no I wasn't. Not really. Honest, officer.

Lid, leathers.

Why do women get plastered at fancy dress parties?

Vulpes Vulpes

Carry out research?

At a sexually themed fancy dress party? Concentrating on the levels of inebriation enjoyed by the female party goers? With MY reputation?

Radiohead top UK album chart

Vulpes Vulpes

Not wanting to be a party pooper, but...

I thought that in this age of downloads and EmmPeeThrees, you only needed to sell 27 copies of the actual CD to get a Platinum disc and enrolment in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame.

Beeb censors Fairytale of New York

Vulpes Vulpes

Baby was a black sheep, baby was a whore,

baby, baby, baby, was a Rock 'n' Roll ni............

ooops, sorry.

Pattie Smith will laugh herself silly if she reads this story, wondering whether her storming song from the triumph that is "Easter" will ever get aired on Radio Doh! again.

HMRC offers £20k reward for ID goldmine CDs

Vulpes Vulpes

Found a couple of CD-RWs...

.... with "TCO" scrawled across them, and figured a quick wipe would give me a couple of useful blanks to fill up with tunes for the changer in the boot.


NASA reveals manned Mars mission plans

Vulpes Vulpes

This is the voice of the Mysterons

Watch out for the rock-snakes, and whatever you do, don't shell the building complex when you stumble across it!

We don't want those pesky Mysterons getting the hump.

If they do, we'll end up with Captain Black running around the planet doing a one-man Al-Qaeda job, and only good old Captain Scarlet to keep a lid on things.


Boffins report lightning on Venus, our non-identical twin

Vulpes Vulpes

@ Spleen

When I was a cub in the earth, we were told to use the form "different from".

Perhaps your bold assertion that the form "different to" is "perfect grammar" is in fact, a bold pile of toss?

You might just be responsible for us slipping into 16th position. I'd suggest emigration, for all our sakes.

Only wondering.

Dixons grinches Christmas

Vulpes Vulpes

I'm not surprised, either, Liam.

If that's the best you can do in terms of spelling, grammar and punctuation, I wouldn't have put you through into the next round either.

You don't have a brother with one eyebrow by any chance, do you?

Commuters shouting into their mobiles? Just jam 'em

Vulpes Vulpes

Point and shoot solution to the Quiet Carriage noise polluters

It actually increases the level of noise for a short time, but the point-and-shoot solution I have used in the past is pretty satisfyingly effective, at least as a means of revenge:

1) Go to the buffet (you know what's coming now).

2) Buy a black tea (no cooling milk).

3) Return to the Quiet Carriage.

4) Accidentally spill it in the bastard's lap.


Vulpes Vulpes

@ Gilbert Wham

"I would quite like to have my phone working when I'm traveling somewhere, so that I can be contacted by my daughter or her school if she has a problem. Or if my sick grandmother takes a turn for the worse. Or for that matter, to ring up and tell the person with whom I am to meet that the train is inevitably malfunctioning in some non-specific way and I will be late. If you are annoyed by people talking to each other, don't go outside. Wanker."

Nope. It's not quite that simple, is it? It's not about just "going outside", it's about sitting on a train or a bus, sharing a space with others and having some consideration for their peace of mind while they travel too.

For my money, it's the arrogant tossers who sit in the "quiet carriage" and then ignore its designation that deserve nothing but a good bricking.

I you get on a train and sit in the "Quiet Carriage", I don't give a flying fox whether your family has been kidnapped by the Shining Path, your house is under seige by the Met with guns, or your daughter's school is in flames.

Don't. Sit. In. The. Bloody. Quiet. Carriage. If. You. Wish. To. Take. Calls.

In fact, switch the damn thing off or sit elsewhere.

And if you're not in the "Quiet Carriage", and your phone does ring, or if you want to make a call yourself, sod off to the vestibule for the conversation, we don't want to hear it.

We've all paid for our tickets, the same as you. We don't reserve the right to interrupt your train of thought, or your reading, or your crossword, or even your chat with your friends, so don't think you have the right to demand the ability to interrupt ours.

Microsoft on the hunt for 'serious' Windows flaw

Vulpes Vulpes

@ Duncan Hothersall

Don'tcha mean pedantic web?


Why is the iPlayer a multi million pound disaster?

Vulpes Vulpes


...and your point is?

Hint: Did I say it worked?

Vulpes Vulpes

@ the last Anon yellow-belly's remarks

"THEY should be proving to their suppliers that DRM does not work, 10 minute demo of fairuse"

So the petrol head lobby could demonstrate that speed limits should be abandoned by taking Mr Plod and a few magistrates on a quick circuit of the M25 at 100mph? Don't be daft.

"It should be distribution channels controling the market not the produers (see supermarkets and farmers!)"

FFS, that's why the dairy farmers are struggling, if not going to the wall, and we all get the same tat and crap sold to us everywhere across the country at controlled prices by Tesc O'Morrisburys. It's why they can sell onions flown in from Papua New Guinea rather than from the farm up the road. Oh, and there are two "L"s in controlling.

"you can only download for 6 days and my holidays are longer than that"

Nope. You can only INITIATE a download for 7 days (while the programme is still in the set presented via the web interface).

And don't tell me that there are only six days worth presented via the main menu page; I know, but there ARE seven days worth in there - use the A-Z, or the catagory view or even the bloody search facility you lazy sod!

Once started, if you decide to pause the download, you can make it take a lot longer than 7 days; it'll resume and run to completion as long as the content is still on the servers (near to 30 days to allow for automatic JIT re-licencing for any iPlayer users who might need to renew a licence).

Do some research before making glib statements!

And by the way, did you know that Anthony Rose is the spit for Geddy Lee, singer & bassist with Rush? Not a lot of people know that.

Vulpes Vulpes

Nice Space Ship, Jon, can I have a go?

You mention the unions, acknowledging their pivotal involvment, the extent of change required, and the almost certain need for Government intervention and a change of law.

But all we need is a "simple" change in the law.

Presumably your space ship uses the Infinite Improbability Drive?

Vulpes Vulpes


"Linux is on the rise :)

Technologically superior in every respect."

So what? Beanus sniffus.

History is littered with technologically superior failures. Betamax anyone?

With you in spirit, but only when there is a lull in the relentlessly disturbing harsh reality field called "life", when I can dare to wear my rose-tinted specs for a while.

Missing, presumed tardy: Orange IPTV

Vulpes Vulpes

you forgot the

==Cheese Eating==

MS Explorer foundering after UFO strike

Vulpes Vulpes

Never mind the ones with scambled egg on their hats...

what about Seaman Stains?

Senior officials now in frame for HMRC data fiasco

Vulpes Vulpes

Steve, er, the other one, no, the first one, er...

Even if it's an antediluvian mainframe system, running off an extract dataset with just the fields you want should take a decent techie oh, all of five minutes.

No procedures to follow, no source code versioning, no compile even, if you're lucky, and certainly no testing required, just bash off a quick little number in SAS, or Easytrieve or whatever you have to hand, and bish bash bosh, loads 'a' data wiv the dodgy bits left aaht.

There are different ways of treating name & address data to avoid DPA issues, by the way.

The obvious way is to encrypt the stuff to death.

The less obvious way is to use a commercial software package that obfuscates specific fields with gobbledegook; point it at the names and it'll "intelligently" change them so it's no longer possible to identify the people involved, but to a human eye they are still obviously names of some sort. Point it at the addresses, and it'll do a similar job.

In this case, it seems the names needed to remain unchanged, but the bank details could have been discombobulated by software. Of course, setting up a run of this sort of software is less than trivial if you want to do a good job: I wonder if this is what was being quoted as "too expensive"?

Vulpes Vulpes

Shock ! Horror ! Still on eBay with NO bidders ! Hurry !

bung the magic phrase into eBay:

The Missing 2 disc special edition

and you can see the cunning CD swiping swine have disguised 25 million kiddie benefit claimant addresses as a Ron Howard / Tommy Lee Jones / Cate Blanchett double DVD injuns 'n' redemption romp.

Special edition, indeed.

Vulpes Vulpes

It beggars belief that they couldn't extract just the stuff the NAO wanted

without it being "too expensive".

I think we need a technical explanation for why someone couldn't just grab the fields the NAO needed.

Heck, I can buy a CD-ROM on the high street with names & addresses from the electoral roll, and that must be a comparable number of records.

Select Name, NIN, anything else of no interest to Russian mafia boys

from BloodyHugeDisk.Claimants

Telling us they couldn't strip out the innocuous stuff without calling in Arfur Andersdone (with a silly accent over the second "d") and paying them big wonga sounds like a gormless bluff.

Will Darling's data giveaway kill off ID cards?

Vulpes Vulpes

Can anyone shed any light

on the fact that someone in HMRC allegedly said that the data had to be burnt as-is (ie including all the Bank related goodies) because it was too expensive/technically difficult to strip out only the stuff the NAO wanted to see?


Select Name, NIN, whatever from bigdisk.peeps

WTF are they on about?