back to article Man's car warns of AIR RAID OVER LONDON

Reg reader Graham Schofield was this morning offered perhaps the most sensational reason for being late to work we've ever seen: an air raid affecting the A4 in west London. Mercifully for Graham, his Audi's satnav flagged up the conflagration before he got caught in the crossfire resulting from what we assume is a serious …


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  1. Monkey Bob

    Pffffffffffffft! </tea>


  2. bill 36

    Thanks for the Friday grin

    " Angela Merkel intends to resolve the eurozone crisis in the time-honoured local tradition."

    Very funny, top marks from me for the quote of the week

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Thanks for the Friday grin

      Now, come on - why would we even want to? Especially after reading this: . Admittedly, UK isn't Greece, but suggesting to put your money into Germany speaks a few words about your trust in your own economy...

      AC for obvious reasons.

      1. a cynic writes...

        Re: Thanks for the Friday grin

        ...suggesting to put your money into Germany speaks a few words about your trust in your own economy...

        ...or at least recognises that we're not part of the Eurozone.

    2. seven of five

      Re: Thanks for the Friday grin

      Since the Luftwaffe is down to 250 strike aircraft (including trainers and four dozen ancient F4 Phantom), I´d be very surprised if they´d ever raid London again.

  3. Filippo


    There's a numeric code for every possible event that could affect the road, including air raids and bullfights? Oh man, that must've been a FUN meeting! I'm picturing a dozen drunk engineers, shouting things like "asteroid impact!", "pit trap!" and "mysterious force field!"

    1. LinkOfHyrule

      Re: Bullfights?

      Some of the less well known ones...

      Zombies (4387)

      Gordon Brown streaking (113)

      Lorry full of kittens shed its load (2120)

      Impromptu illegal jungle/drum n bass rave in carriageway (1085)

      Road closed due to flooding caused by football hooligans urinating en-mass (775)

      Diversions due to a young couple making love atop a keep left bollard (4569)

      They thought of almost everything!

      1. NomNomNom

        Re: Bullfights?

        Time To Choose Mr Freeman (9997)

      2. NomNomNom

        Re: Bullfights?

        Kill Them All (666)

      3. Albert Hall

        Shirley an oversight

        Elvis Sighting... mandatory.

      4. AdamWill

        Re: Bullfights?

        Diversions due to a young couple making love atop a keep right bollard (4570)

    2. laird cummings

      "mysterious force field!"

      Ah! So that's what's been keeping me in my bed of mornings. Now I've got a code for it!

    3. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Bullfights?

      Reading an early draft of EN-ISO 14819-2, I found a few slightly odd ones:

      627 - No Motor Vehicles Without Catalytic Converters (Why would that change?)

      628/629 - No Motor Vehicles With Even/Odd-Numbered Registration Plates

      28 - Road Closed Intermittently (Huh?)

      709 - Blasting Work

      37 - Restaurant reopened. (What, no pub?)

      1479 - Gunfire on Roadway - Danger (You don't say?)

      Possibly the strangest would be: 1477 - Police Checkpoint.

      Why would they advertise that?

      Of course, the actual standard requires monies to be paid, and I'm not bothered enough to find out what exacting changes happened in the end.

      1. Esskay

        Re: Bullfights?

        "628/629 - No Motor Vehicles With Even/Odd-Numbered Registration Plates"

        If memory serves, there's a legitimate reason for this one - in some countries (can't remember where - maybe in asia? or south america?) In an effort to reduce traffic congestion without spending money on infrastructure, governments require that only cars with odd/even numbers on their rego can drive on certain days - effectively halving the number of cars on the road at any one time. (And results in all sorts of weird economic effects, such as black market rego plates, etc).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Bullfights?

          It's the Beijing rule to reduce pollution. Or double car ownership.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

        3. A Known Coward

          Re: Bullfights?

          "If memory serves, there's a legitimate reason for this one - in some countries (can't remember where - maybe in asia? or south america?) "

          Lagos, Nigeria (Africa) was one, maybe still is. Although it had the opposite effect. People went out and bought a second car, usually the cheapest old bangers they could find with the right number plates, car use didn't decrease and air pollution levels shot up.

          1. MrT

            Odd/even numbers...

            ...they tried this one in Paris as well, back in the 70's. Having a zero plate helped because most of the police weren't sure if it was odd or even...

          2. Youngone Silver badge

            Re: Bullfights?

            We had something similar in New Zealand in the late 70's. Everyone had a coloured sticker on their windscreen with a day of the week printed on it, on that day you couldn't drive your car at all, they were called "Carless Days". It was part of a weird economic policy thought up by a raving lunatic who was our Prime Minister. He also instituted a price and wage freeze in an attempt to prevent inflation. That didn't work terribly well either.

            1. Dagg

              Re: Bullfights?

              And it didn't work everyone could get an exception sticker. They hoped that people would choose a weekend day but most chose mid week and said they worked shifts and needed an exception.

              The only time it caused me problems was on a ski holiday, still I just ignored it.

        4. graeme leggett

          Re: Bullfights?

          628/629 - No Motor Vehicles With Even/Odd-Numbered Registration Plates

          reminds me of an older British practice - before there was a lot more cars on the road.

          alternating which side of the road you could park on depending on what day of the week it was.

      2. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

        Re: Bullfights?

        709 - Blasting Work

        They are blasting across the road here, for a new rail station. Can someone lend me a satnav to check if they are advertising correctly?

        Yep, the one without the satnav in the pocket.

      3. Nigel 11

        Re: Bullfights?

        Please, PLEASE someone post a link to the draft standard with all the possibilities in it!

        I wonder if there is a huge list of $ANIMAL on road for all likely and unlikely values of large mammal, bird or reptile? I wonder if there is one for the peculiarly English "Police holding up traffic so mother and baby ducks /swans can cross the road"?

        1. XVar

          Re: Bullfights?

          Ask and you shall receive...the full listing is contained within this source code:

          Not the actual spec document as those all seem to be pay to download, but close enough.

          My favourites are "1026 - less extreme temperatures" (what?) and "1071- swarms of insects", imagine seeing that flash up on your satnav!

          1. Pedigree-Pete

            Re: Favorites

            I kind of like

            {"368","flooding. Traffic flowing freely","936"," "},

    4. Don Jefe

      Re: Bullfights?

      They weren't' engineers. They were developers. Proper engineers take offense to that. They should be proud of their title and stop milking off mine.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Goodnight Sweetheart All Over Again

    I suspect some sort of time-travel based shenanigans where our intrepid reader's car has taken a wrong turn and emerged in 1941. Cue some no doubt hilarious sitcom fun involving a flirty barmaid and rationed luxury items. Stretched out over 36 episodes.

    How ironic the car was an Audi.

    1. NomNomNom

      Re: Goodnight Sweetheart All Over Again

      Audi Do That?

      haha I've got the punchline now I just need to think of the joke.

      1. NomNomNom

        Re: Goodnight Sweetheart All Over Again

        I am about to make a Pun about a German car. Afterwards you will wonder "Audi Do That?".

        Actually you won't it's a pretty poor joke. Heard the one about the german cowboy who is inexplicably at the wheel of a car? "Audi Partner". I don't even know if that's a cowboy phrase, none of this makes "Any Audi Sense" (lol that last one WASNT a pun).

        1. NomNomNom

          Re: Goodnight Sweetheart All Over Again

          What's that? Jack Dee is now a nocturnal bird?? "Audi!" (pronounced Owl-Dee). pffffhfhahaaha

  5. MrT

    My Becker satnav...

    ...was very quick to calculate a route into Vienna for a nice 1100mile trip a couple of years ago, quicker than working out a 300mile trip to the Outer Hebrides. Must be another German 'quirk'...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: My Becker satnav...

      it had to get past the concept of wanting to go to the outer Hebrides first...?

      or perhaps it still thought there might be more resistance from island defenders?

  6. Pete the not so great

    Just people stealing MacBooks

    Move on

  7. Joeman

    Finally a use for my RasPi!

    Web connected RasPi taped to a lamppost sending out spoof RDS alerts... genius idea!!??

  8. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    Oh oh

    Good thing the government is installing rooftop SAM batteries.

    Come to think of it, the Audi emblem looks a good deal like the Olympic one.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    please don't

    mention the war, vee hat zis hoomor


    and we love you anyway!

    Peace heil!

  10. Dr Dan Holdsworth Silver badge

    Someone prod MI5, please.

    If someone has used this once now, then that might well be a dry run for later on. Imagine if you will the following scenario: Take a city with a lot more tourists driving about than normal due, say, to a large sporting event of some sort. Next, using several of these spoofers, send out faked notices of road closures with the message "OLYMPIC CLOSURE" on them.

    Someone from outside London would almost certainly believe such a message, and do as the sat-nav told them to do; if they knew where they were, they'd not be using a sat-nav. If done carefully, then hundreds of lost drivers could be funnelled onto just a few roads, to create instant and long-lasting gridlock.

    The police would likely respond to this as if it were a terrorist attack, especially if something else was coordinated to happen about the same time. Even a flash-mob of people dressed as kittens would likely do the trick; ANY unusual things would be treated as enemy action. Once alerted and sobered up, our politicians would definitely feel the need to contribute, and given what a complete shower most are, this would make matters infinitely worse.

    The best remedy: jam all RDS signals and hope that drivers have enough common sense to avoid road accidents and the like.

    1. NomNomNom

      Re: Someone prod MI5, please.

      Or you could just nuke it all from orbit, that's the one way to be absolutely sure

      1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

        Or, if you want to be completely sure...

        "I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure."

  11. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    best quote yet

    "The fact that the German car manufacturer's satnav systems have an air raid warning option points to the possibility that Angela Merkel intends to resolve the eurozone crisis in the time-honoured local tradition."

    Dear el-reg

    Please find enclosed the bill for a new keyboard

    Yours etc

  12. Witty username
    Thumb Up

    Brilliantly written

    If i drunk coffee, i'd need a new laptop

  13. Grivas Bo Diddly Harm

    Or as John Lennon once noted...

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

    1. Cpt Blue Bear

      Re: Or as John Lennon once noted...

      I'm told there used to be a running gag amongst British airline pilots in the 50s and early 60s along the lines of "sure, I know the way to Berlin / Dresden / Dusseldorf / name-your-major-German-city, I used to do regular run every night."

      There's another famous bit of aviation humour: a BA (should that be BEA?) pilot requests instructions from a very busy Templhof aproach controller repeatedly. Control replies in a rather short manner suggesting the pilot is of less than average intelligence.

      A very British voice replies "I'm terribly sorry, the last time I was here was 15 years ago, it was dark and I wasn't landing. It's changed a bit since then..."

  14. Armando 123

    Who else thought

    Don't tell him your name, Pike! (*)

    (*) - Yes, I know that's not a verbatim quote.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder...

    How many readers were even born before the end of WWII. I wasn't, I missed it by a few years.

    Yet the German stereotype is still firmly fixed in the comic-book images that I remember from the 1950s. It was more than sixty years ago: time for something new?

    Sorry to be serious. I still loved the message.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I wonder...

      Err, No,

      I wasn't born either, its good humour and no malice is intended my fear would be that if we stopped talking about it, "...All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain..."

      but of course, there are always some instances when we should be thinking "DONT MENTION THE WAR!!!)


      1. proto-robbie

        "Don't mention zee vor"

        Fixed that for you.


        Nazi Pedant

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Don't mention zee vor"

          not so sure about being "zee vor" couldn't hear it properly with me rolling around in fits of laughter :)

  16. Peter Johnstone


    "The fact that the German car manufacturer's satnav systems have an air raid warning option points to the possibility that Angela Merkel intends to resolve the eurozone crisis in the time-honoured local tradition."

    Alternatively, Iron Sky is a documentary.

    I read an article recently that claims it was actually filmed on the moon! Apparently a leaked video shows a cameraman tripping over a cable and falling further than they would under normal gravity.

    A conspiracy theory based on a film based on a conspiracy theory. The net nutters must be running short of ideas!

    1. petboy

      Re: Alternatively

      " a cameraman tripping over a cable and falling further than they would under normal gravity"

      Surely they will fall exactly the same distance - to the ground? It would just take longer to get there if the acceleration from gravity was lower?

      1. Peter Johnstone

        Re: Alternatively

        Only if you assume that the motion of the fall only had a vertical component. As you correctly point out, the fall in lower gravity would take longer to complete. This would allow for a further distance to be travelled horizontally.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Alternatively

      So, you get those guys and the moon landing nutballs, and you have one group who thinks there was a conspiracy, and something that was filmed on the earth was actually filmed on the moon - and another who think there's a conspiracy, and something that was filmed on the moon was actually filmed on earth.

      Gotta love it.

      1. Grivas Bo Diddly Harm
        Thumb Up

        Re: Alternatively - @David W.

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

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Re: Alternatively - @David W.

          I endorse your suggestion wholeheartedly. We should arrange it.

          Incidentally, is there any context in which 'fight to the death' refers to both combatants rather than just one?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What is the code for a Grue?

    1. Anonymous Coward
  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a perfect way to advertise IRONSKY

    Just a pity you cannot spoof personalised messages (YET!)

  19. Francis Boyle Silver badge

    Where is

    the SPB secret testing bunker again?

  20. johnwerneken

    what would you expect anyway

    I've had GPS claim I was in a different State regularly and in a different country once, so air raids in addition to slow traffic is no surprise to me.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re. Iron Sky

    Wonder if there's an "Alien Invasion" code?

    Well you just never know...

    AC/DC 6EQUJ5

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Re. Iron Sky

      Not to be confused with the "RIAA Invasion" code


  22. JMB

    Simplest explanation is finger trouble by the person entering the messages.

    Any way we all know that if a nuclear bomb went off in the centre of London then all that we would be told was that "an incident is causing traffic congestion around Central London". All the traffic cameras would of course go offline "for maintenance".

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    What are the odds of that?

  24. iAndy

    German humour

    And we all thought the Germans didn't have any sense of humour.

  25. BlueShiftNZ

    Chiswick! Fresh horses!!

  26. Qdos

    Did the Audi's front LED's go into blackout mode?

    Reckon Audi's Sat Nav Devs must have been having a Doodle, resulting in a Bug...

    I'll get my coat.... :/

  27. Scott van Looy

    Hai guis!

    I'm suspecting the fact there was a chemical fire in London overnight and an air raid siren has indeed been blaring out over the south east wasn't mentioned anywhere, right?

    I have a SNEAKY SUSPICION that this might be the cause of the air raid warning.

  28. theredmini

    Warehouse fire

    A warehouse fire in South East London (near the Blackwall tunnel, apparently) caused the air raid siren to go off to warn residents. Presumably, this also triggered some sort of radio based alert that the Audi's radio picked up & displayed.

  29. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Speaking of Mrs. Merkel and Germany.....

    Maybe Audi's engineering staff know something that the rest of us should know. So much for keeping the nefarious Nazi plans for the 4th Reich under wraps!!

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe the A4 Hammersmith Flyover

    really now has collapsed and you are about to join the "Air Raid" of cars plummeting!

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I read somewhere about this

    Something about "Die Glocke", and the secret UK "Project Greenglow" was actually a cover to investigate recently recovered microfilms containing the plans and laboratory notes.


  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    i like the way the message list includes predefined messages for anyone who uses the train or tube, as well as motorists:

    rail services irregular. Delays

    underground services irregular.

    And also one for people who live in the same country as Bob Crow.

    public transport strike

    so predictable, there's a predefined code for him.

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