back to article The return of (drone) robot wars: Beware of low-flying freezers

There was a time when I used to spend my free hours looking for a man. Oh yes, many a day I’d hang about aimlessly for hours, just waiting for the right man to turn up. Sometimes I’d look for a man in uniform, other times he’d in civvies, but all I wanted was the kind of man who would – well, how can I put this? – “deliver the …

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  1. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Terminator

    Like the photo of the Starship

    Grandad standing up to the robot overlords. It'll be as famous as those sixties photos with hippie chicks standing in front of riot police with flowers.

  2. LDS Silver badge
    Joke

    I always hoped Amazon was true to its name...

    ... and had deliveries made by true amazons... <G>

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

      Re: I always hoped Amazon was true to its name...

      ... using invisible planes?

    2. MrDamage

      Re: I always hoped Amazon was true to its name...

      Followed by Death by Snusnu?

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: I always hoped Amazon was true to its name...

        Snusnu!

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: I always hoped Amazon was true to its name...

      "deliveries made by true amazons"

      Rather you than me. They were a pretty rough crowd.

      1. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

        Re: I always hoped Amazon was true to its name...

        Maybe he just has a fetish for women with one breast removed.

  3. Warm Braw Silver badge

    The return details are sealed in a bag on the underside.

    What's the betting they're unreadable owing to the visceral leakage from the mammalian remains directly beneath which may once have been an urban fox or, possibly, Mrs Next Door in her best fake fur. Still, at least you won't have to dig another hole...

  4. dkjd

    I thought that fat women jokes stopped when Les Dawson retired?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Plenty of places in London where you can get a delivery to the street corner.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
      Joke

      Or get something from one anyway, possibly via a dingy back-alley...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Plenty of places in London where you can get a delivery to the street corner.

      Plenty of pub deliveries available too, but they usually come with a demand for cash payment and without any discernible warranty :)

  6. Marc 25

    "the UK – a country where gun ownership is tightly restricted and its citizens are happy and willing to have every fucking second of their private lives filmed because they already live in a corrupt police state with the Big Brother-like cosh of closed-circuit TV on every street corner."

    Not all of us are "happy and willing", but apparently we live in a democracy and stupid people are entitled to vote too

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Street Cameras on every corner?

      WTF?

      Like hell they are.

      Sodding Media embiggening the falacy.

      The nearest CCTV Camera to me is wll over 4 miles away. Every street corner my ass.

      Even that is avoidable if you think about it.

      1. phuzz Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Street Cameras on every corner?

        So you didn't bat an eyelid at the idea that all US citizens are constitutionally bound to shoot each other, but you do take umbrage at the idea of every street corner having a camera?

        Perhaps you should avoid any media where they might use exaggeration for comic affect, it clearly doesn't agree with you.

      2. Josco

        Re: Street Cameras on every corner?

        There are reckoned to be over 6 million CCTV cameras in use by the authorities in the UK, never mind the number of personal and business systems. By one estimate people in urban areas of the UK are likely to be captured by about 30 surveillance camera systems every day. That's systems, not individual cameras.

        Big brother is in the house.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Street Cameras on every corner?

          There are reckoned to be over 6 million CCTV cameras in use by the authorities in the UK, never mind the number of personal and business systems. By one estimate people in urban areas of the UK are likely to be captured by about 30 surveillance camera systems every day. That's systems, not individual cameras.

          And not ONE camera pointing the other way. Strange, that, no?

        2. JaitcH
          Happy

          Re: Street Cameras on every corner? BEAT THEM!

          Many of these cameras use Infra-Red - especially the number plate readers/loggers.

          The solution to this Big Brother problem lies in the ubiquitous Infra-Red 3 watt LED.

          Surrounding your number plate with several of these 3-watt LEDs, with a couple placed in the centre of the plate as 'dummy' mounting screws, effectively 'blinds' IR cameras. Modulating them at 4-10 Hz increases their effectiveness.

          Wearing a US-style baseball cap with 5mm IR LEDs scattered around the top of the 'peak' blinds cameras effectively, too. And, being IR, emit no visible light for Plod to see (unless they use a smartphone camera to view you).

          1. Stevie Silver badge

            Re: Street Cameras on every corner? BEAT THEM!

            Um, the infra-red LEDs are highly directional, so I disbelieve this clever way to fool cameras.

            If you want to fool the IR cameras you really need not a ring of LEDs but a ceramic grid overlay heated by about a dozen forced air/gas jets.

            Or you could go the other way: drizzle your number plate with liquid helium.

            Or just remove the plates and if stopped do the "Cor blimey, I've been robbed!" routine.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Street Cameras on every corner? BEAT THEM!

              > Um, the infra-red LEDs are highly directional, so I disbelieve this clever way to fool cameras.

              Might be true for some specific LED, but all (IR) LEDs aren't created equal.

              140 degrees isn't what I'd call 'highly directional': http://www.ledfedy.com/products/1w-3w-led/3w-led/3w-ir-led-940nm-double-chip-with-star-pcb-745.html

              120 degrees: https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/High-Quality-1W-3W-5W-High_615133918.html?spm=a2700.7724857.0.0.WRBJCg&s=p

              135 degrees: https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/China-Supplier-good-price-Epileds-Chip_60376879496.html?spm=a2700.7724857.0.0.WRBJCg

              If one wants directionality out of this style of LEDs, there are lenses that fit on top: https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/High-power-and-quality-3w-led_1431620067.html?spm=a2700.7724838.0.0.wQslxx

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Street Cameras on every corner? BEAT THEM!

            Many of these cameras use Infra-Red - especially the number plate readers/loggers.

            The solution to this Big Brother problem lies in the ubiquitous Infra-Red 3 watt LED.

            Ah, the benefit of being a bit older.. I have bad news for you - if the police spots this you'll be facing quite a fine. Someone *way* too smart to work in civil service came up with the bright idea of leaving out any specifics in law, so anything you do that renders a license plate unreadable will get you a fine, including IR blinding. Worse, the chances of you getting caught with such tech are increasing because the number of ANPR equipped cars is going up, and they are unfortunately manned..

    2. Cynic_999 Silver badge

      I don't recall there being any voting on either CCTV or gun control ...

      1. Fritzr
        Big Brother

        No worries, your MP took care of it ... the government does not want you to bother yourself about these minor issues ... you will be given a carefully edited rundown on all that your MP has done for you when the next election is called so you will know how carefully your MP has safeguarded your interests and wishes to continue doing so.

  7. Ian Emery Silver badge

    Even in 2016

    Adults riding bicycles on the pavement is not allowed - unless there is a clearly marked cycle lane.

    Note I said "bicycles", I was seen a few twats riding motorbikes on the pavement.

    As for fat women in mobility scooters - I agree - 75% of the scooters I see are being driven by fat women in their 30s/40s; who are too lazy to walk to the bus stop.

    1. Toltec

      Re: Even in 2016

      Anyone riding bicycles on the pavement is not allowed, however no one appears to have told the cyclists.

      Then again speeding is not allowed either, allegedly.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: Even in 2016

        A stick through the spokes has been known to provide education.

      2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Re: Even in 2016

        [Expletive deleted] pedestrians deliberately blocking my path and telling me not to ride a bicycle on the pavement. A few have the grace to apologise when I ask them not to obstruct the cycle path. Lane markings, a picture of a bicycle painted on the path and the white bicycle in a blue circle sign, yet pedestrians still cannot spot a cycle path.

        [I know there are inconsiderate cyclists, but there are also inconsiderate drivers and inconsiderate pedestrians. No one group has a monopoly on stupid.]

        1. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge

          Re: Even in 2016

          Don't forget the motorcyclists!

          Hint - if the person in front of you can see the underside of your motorcycle in their mirrors as you accelerate towards them - You're a cunt.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Even in 2016

            if the person in front of you can see the underside of your motorcycle in their mirrors as you accelerate towards them

            .. but it saves on front tyre wear, though ..

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Even in 2016

          "No one group has a monopoly on stupid" . hmmm maybe.

          Does seem to me that 99.9999999999% of taxi, van, BMW, Audi and name-a-brand-GTi ( especially red ones ) drivers drive like idiots. I never say they ALL drive like idiots just 99.9999999999% of them.

          As for pedal cyclists, it usually is the ones in lycra that are idiots.

    2. John 110

      Re: Even in 2016

      I want to upvote you for the "twats on motorbikes" but downvote you for the "too lazy to walk to the bus stop". Now I'm confused.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Even in 2016

        I want to upvote you for the "twats on motorbikes" but downvote you for the "too lazy to walk to the bus stop". Now I'm confused.

        I'd say downvote, because he leaves it hanging how they'll get on the bus with those scooters..

    3. Karl H

      Re: Even in 2016

      The issues I have on the pavements up in the City of London aren't cyclists or mobility scooters.

      My issues are :

      1) Families walking 5 abreast at about 0.000005 MPH

      2) Drunken crowds of stationary nicotine addicts entirely blocking the pavement outside pubs, forcing me into the road.

      3) Businesses that are allowed to put sandwich boards blocking significant sections of the pavement

      So a few drones to sort these issues out would be a vote winner with me ;)

  8. Ironclad
    Thumb Up

    Top stuff...

    ... Mr Dabbs sir,

    Brightened my day and had me chortling like a naughty schoolboy (no, not a euphemism).

  9. Dr_N Silver badge

    Waiting around for home deliveries?

    Amateurish.

    Buying online is what the work's address is for.

    Returns are even better (here in France) because the postgirl comes round at 3pm to pick up them up.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Waiting around for home deliveries?

      Having a fridge delivered to your work address may not looks so smart as intended - unless your already plan to return it when you order it.

      1. Dr_N Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Waiting around for home deliveries?

        "Having a fridge delivered to your work address may not looks so smart as intended - unless your already plan to return it when you order it."

        You'd also have to take your old fridge into work for them to take it away.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Waiting around for home deliveries?

      "the postgirl comes round at 3pm"

      She really shouldn't spend the morning drinking.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Waiting around for home deliveries?

        > She really shouldn't spend the morning drinking.

        Well - this *is* France y'know. It's probably Absinthe and she's only just stopped seeing green faries..

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Waiting around for home deliveries?

      Returns are even better (here in France) because the postgirl comes round at 3pm to pick up them up.

      Now I'm wondering if your enthusiasm is for the delivery quality, or the person delivering..

    4. JaitcH
      Happy

      Re: Waiting around for home deliveries?

      VietNam Post insists on delivery to the recipients hand (bunch of thieves in the streets makes this imperative).

      Our local P.O. will send you an SMS if the addressees Cell Number is appended to their name. This is really great for all parties involved.

      My unofficial arrangement with the local P.O. Sorting Office, which serves 7,000,000+ people, is that they will leave me a SMS message and I can collect it at the Sorting Office Sunday through Friday!

      Better than the (new) Royal Mail.

    5. GrapeBunch Bronze badge

      Re: Waiting around for home deliveries?

      About 20 years ago at work, of an evening, I ordered an electronic doodad from a company 2,000 miles away. Since it was already late, I caught some winks and woke up the next morning to find the doodad being delivered to the office door. For a while I thought that maybe somebody had spiked my vegetable juice. Honest, ma, I wouldn't ingest any substance that would defile the holy temple of my brain. The brain isn't dead until God says it's dead. Anyway, later I came to understand that vendors may have one or possibly multiple warehouses not at their nominal place of business and that they have doodads delivered from a warehouse that might actually be quite close to your office, sod the 2,000 miles.

      Windows (er, the windows that we don't hate) can have a coating that is claimed to reflect IR light but obviously allows visible light to pass. If, of an evening, one wishes to malefact about, but have one's licence plate be invisible to IR cameras, could one not apply a spray-on version of said stuff, and wipe it off later, with the minimum chance of detection? If only one could wipe off all one's miscues with the Minimum Chance of Detection (TM) cloth. Though one supposes that if one is prepared to go to that degree of bother, then other solutions might be more effective.

      1. Black Betty

        Re: Security by obscurity

        A low tech handful of thrown mud is a lot more deniable.

        BTW AFAIK those IR reflective coatings are a film, not a spray.

  10. NG87

    brilliant, wont it be hilarious if in a few years/decades we look back at this article and its all true

  11. xeroks

    speakers

    What is it with white vans selling speakers?

    That's happened to me too. Is it just that the normal venues for that kind of transaction - ropey pubs - don't allow people to walk in with a stack of nicked/fake speakers?

    1. Throatwobbler Mangrove

      Re: speakers

      The speakers weren't fake or stolen - they were just rubbish

      The fact the guys were in a van was supposed to give you the impression they were stolen and you could get a good deal if you didn't look too quickly and paid cash now

      1. GrapeBunch Bronze badge

        Re: speakers

        Throatwobbler Mangrove, don't denigrate this method of marketing. I got a great set of Kuss speakers that way. They're the dug's nugs for playing gronge ruck.

  12. Novex

    But shirley...

    ...direct drone delivery is a still born idea. I much prefer the idea of having delivery lockers at strategic places around when stuff can be dropped off by WVM and I can go and collect, and that's already happening. Drones might replace WVM to get stuff to the lockers, though said drones might struggle to get items into the lockers, but isn't that what university graduates are for?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: But shirley...

      "I much prefer the idea of having delivery lockers at strategic places around when stuff can be dropped off"

      Yes, me too. They've been around for years and new networks are popping up in even more locations.

      We experimented with them for field engineers parts maybe 10 years ago. The guys got an email with a code, went to the lockers, entered the code and one would open with their box of parts inside. The downside was that they tended to not be in the places we needed them to be, ie railway stations, city centre petrol stations etc. whereas courier depots tend to be on less congested areas so we went back to sending parcels as "To Be Collected" addressed to the depot. There were also times where the consignment didn't fit in the largest locker or required two or more lockers. It might be time to look again at this.

    2. GrapeBunch Bronze badge

      Re: But shirley...

      > Drones might replace WVM to get stuff to the lockers, though said drones might struggle to get items into the lockers, but isn't that what university graduates are for?

      No, that's what university Mathematics graduates are for.

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