* Posts by Stu_The_Jock

90 posts • joined 18 Oct 2007


UK shamed in high-speed broadband study


59/6 ?

Nice speeds but my last test was 40.1 down and 45.5up . . and that's on my Norwegian ISPs entry level offering if we take phone and TV with web. I "can" upgrade to 400/400 but don't REALLY see the point (Nor do I suspect that my wife would let me spend that much on it)

Royal Navy halts Highlands GPS jamming


North Sea ?

I think you'll find the North Sea is off the EAST coast of Scotland, and round most of the Western Isles is the ATLANTIC OCEAN . . . So if you're off the Western Isle and request a coastguard rescue to the North Sea, you are well and truly screwed . . .

Be chums offer 1Gbit/s fibre-to-the-premises in London


nice speeds

But if they use normal UK terms you'll use your months 'fair use' quota in 10 seconds . . .

BT trying for fibre 'monopoly', claims TalkTalk chief


fibre ? good idea

The only problem I see with UK providers rolling out fibre is their insistance on overselling their capacity so much that they have to introduce "stupid levels" of fair use policies. I have an old laptop I use for downloads on my nice norwegian FTTP service (entry level on our TV/phone/web package is 40Mb each way and NOT "up to 40Mb" true 40Mb) and last time I rebooted the laptop (after maybe 15 days constant running) it was reading 95GB downloaded and 187GB uploaded, this is NOT uncommon and never hear a peep from the provider.

Sea eagles menace Scottish children


As it Scotland, think of the midges

Actually forget it, some (non-Scottish) scientists in the late 80s (from memory) claimed that the midge was extinct, as they had never captured any . . . walk along a canal bank or in the trees in the summer and you don't need to catch them, they come in swarms to collect you . . raw, not deep fried too !

Paintball round pops Bulgarian airbag


Erm, is that possible ?

I can see how you'd get a shot to the ear, or to the a*se, but a shot to the a*sehole would imply that you had either bent down to tie shoelaces with knees straight, or the opposition were on the ground shooting upwards. . . . if the latter I hope you are not a Scotsman who was paintballing in a kilt . . . .

I can just see the discussion at A&E. . . "Doctor I have a paintball up my a*se"

Doctor "And just what kind of games were you two playing then ?"

Apple sells world's most expensive flash drive


OEM vs Retail

The price comparison is NOT simply about media/boxes. The OEM licence is intended for PC builders to preinstall, and assumes that the OEM supplier is providing support, NOT Micro$oft.

And NO I am NOT suggesting Micro$oft support (Oxymoron?) is worth the difference, but then the retailers, hauliers that deliver, etc etc etc all need to make their cut, and pay tax on that . . .

Scottish gov moans over broadband cash handout


ambitious plans to gift the UK with the fastest broadband network in Europe by 2015

That IS an ambitious plan . . . Now I'm going to sidestep the political debate over Scotlands devolutions, having made the smart decision to leave the UK. Currently I'm sitting on our Norwegian ISPs "ENTRY LEVEL" TV/phone/web package, with a mere 40Mbit/40Mbit, fibre INTO the home, and no "fair use cap".

Now for those who require to do more than simple browsing and email, they offer packages up to 400Mbit each way.

Sure we pay more for the service, but then we GET the service they sell us.

Not sure what the Gov.UK are planning to get rolled out, but that's going to some some wonderful surfing and download speeds if they top us. (Yes I know Norway is not in the EU, but we are part of the EEA which the EU seems to think means they can shove their stupid rules on us)

Instead of the gov funding all the upgrade works, maybe they ought to enforce ISPs to provide what they sell, at a "realistic" price and use the increased prices to help fund the roll out of fibre. Our fibre line is provided by the local electricity company, who laid a backbone system between all their substation buildings then dug up an area at a time to lay tubes to the property boundary of all the residences that unit powers.

Injunction suspended: EU can buy Galaxy Tabs again


erm actually . . .

I work for a multinational company that has ordered a stack of these for all their technicians to use as a mobile data platform. Going to be a damn sight easier to log job details on that that a stupis smart phone with a 4" screen. Worried about the ban ? Nope, merely a bit annoyed about the delay . . we're still due to get the first batch into the country BEFORE they hit the shops. (Hope mine is here before my holiday)

Top level domain explosion could wreak MAYHEM on NET


.eu IS in use

Everytime I need to amend my expenses claims or book holiday at work I have to use out HR systems suppliers site that is <ourcompany>.<theircompany>.EU

Actually I use quite a few services on EU domains.

Solar panel selling scam shown up by sting


Heating the pavement ?

After the UKs wonderful attempt to deal with the last 2 winters where they actually got some "winter weather" maybe using under-pavement heating would be a GOOD use of money. Oslo (That's in Norway) have under-street heating for a lot of central footpaths, although I believe that's run off hot water systems.

Virgin Media blames Activision for Call of Duty lag problems


"contended service"

I'd forgotten about all this shared-capacity stuff since I left the UK. Move to Norway, get Altibox fibre to the home, and get a true broadband feeling. We signed up for 10Mbit (up and down), but because we took TV and phone service got free upgrade to 15, and later to 40Mbit. Last test i ran was disappointing though, 38Mbit down, 43Mbit up speeds. For equiv of about 80 quid a month for the internet (no limits), Cable TV package and 2 phone lines.

CNET sued for giving kids LimeWire


Hmm . . I have an idea

Maybe "I" will sue all the oil companies in theworld for making petrol (Gas for US readers), after all without it NO ONE would be able to speed in a car, commit road rage, death by dangerous driving . . . the list goes on. I could act as US style lawyer for a class action case against them all, and sue for a kersqiullion dollars per person injured / killed / upset my vehichles powered by an infernal explosion machine. Of course I'll be modest and only claim 75% of winnings, plus fees, handling charges etc etc etc



Re : When my wife gets mine out of handbag to let me have it back

Erm, are you referring to your droid handset or your manhood ? If she keeps THAT in her handbag you are in REAL TROUBLE.

USB key to 4,000 vulnerable people's front doors lost


Are you being thick ? . . . dare I answer ?

I think the idea is NOT so someone requiring emergency accomodation can get in, but more, as stated in the article, that it allows care workers to get into the homes of the elderly and infirm. Instead of having to check in and out hundreds of keys to doors, the workers get a list of calls, with a code to open the little box and use a key they know works.

The alternative = keys with addresses on tags (really secure when they lose that)

or someone pressing their emergency call button and the response team spending 20 minutes going though a bundle of 50+ keys to kind the right one.

Also if a carer has visited that day and an "emergency" extra visit is called, but that carer is halfway across town, nearest worker can get the code via SMS and help out.

Dim Brits think TARDIS IS REAL


Moving a vehicle with water ?

Yes it's been done for a LONG TIME, first heat the water, often this was achieved by use of a coal fire. When the water reaches a suitable temperature it undergoes a change of state to become a gas, and can be used, under pressure, to drive pistons back and forward, or turn a turbine.

Of course today the heat might come from a small nuclear reactor.

There are also reports of a medical company having exxposed salt water to some radioactive source causing it to be combustable much as petrol (gasoline) is, althogh as yet they don't quite know why.

BT fibre-to-the-premises trial takes 7 hours per install



Should maybe have added that that fibre cable provides not only the interwebs, but our TV system (which is then sent from fibre transceiver to decoder over a cat 5 cable) and a pair of VOIP lines.


Eller bruke norsk systemet . . . (Or use the norwegian system)

We had to wait till they were going to cable our entire area. Only if there was sufficient interest did they dig up the road and lay the fibre carrying tubes. "Self install" was about 150 quid, and meant we dug our own trench across the garden, and fed the pipe into house, lay the "inside" thinner tube to where it was to go, then they came and connected the tubes, and blew the fibre through to the local cabinet. Engineer in house for about 30 mins, then 20 mins later after a trip to the cabinet to connect the "loose" end of the fibre, we were online.

Speeds not great, we're on the entry lever 15Mbit each way, but that's getting boosted to 40Mbit each way in the next 2 months. Speeds on offer go up to 400Mbit each way, for a price.

Spaniards bemoan 'joke' speed limit cut


Erm, not quite

I think you will find the 70MPH limit was introduced for 2 reasons.

To reduce the number of serious accidents with people travelling at very high speeds.

To stop manufacturers (for example Jaguar) testing new cars to the limit on the public roads.

Big new wind turbines too close together, says top boffin


1Hz ?

I assume that you've never seen one of these BIG wind turbines in action. I've not been near the latest ones, but a number of years ago (quite a lot of them really) stood under the then biggest wind turbine in the UK on Orkney. Blades probably about 40-50m diameter, standing near it you heard the "Whummmmm" sound as a blade tip passed overhead every 4-5 seconds, so about 0.1Hz Generally the bigger they are, the slower the blades rotate.

Ford cars get draconian parental controls


Overtaking tractors

I remember as a "youf" of about 17 living 2 miles outside town in a rural area meant tractors were a problem, and back then they went at a sedade 30mph MAX not the nippy 50 the new generation manage (Certainly over in Norway they can do best part of 80km/h ).

Heading into town one day for work I got stuck behind a nice chuuggy tractor and decided the gap was big enough to overtake and did. I got SUCH a look from the driver as I sailed past on my pushbike.

Those were the days.

Mines the jacket with helmet and cycle gloves.

Dirty PCs: How much filth can you take?



Several years ago while working as a Dell engineer on certain contracts I was talking to the site IT manager who had maintained the "old" dumb terminals systems. They had problems with some of the switches now working properly, and an engineer duly arrived. He diagnosed a fault of "1" of dust over everything in the rack" As the customer was a builders merchant they had an airline, so it was duly borrowed. unfortunately aforementioned engineer failed to open rear doors to cabinet, when applying air, all the dust had to go somewhere.

When he emerged from the clouds of dust, coughing and spluttering the entire staff were almost in need of underwear from laughing so har.

On his return to base a phonecall had got in first and for the next 6 months he was known as "dusty"

Sony hits stop on Walkman tape players


Clas Ohlson ?

Finally heard of someone that's been into a Clas ohlson in the UK. One of the best "handy bits" shops over here in Norway, and I used their catalogue to help me learn Norwegian when I moved . . usefull words like the names of tools ;) It's generally seen as a "refuge for men escaping the shoeshops" when out with the wife.

Lexmark files patent gripe against 24 cartridge makers


Cheap printer - Extortion for ink/toner

It's a simple thing. If you only need to print a small amount occasionally, a cheap printer with expensive inks is fine.

If you print more, then pay more for your printer first, then less everytime you refuel it.

analogies about cars don't follow. Ford don't sell you a car below cost price.

It's not just the home / small office printer market works this way. If you lease a copier, most agreements will look at your expected use. Light use = higher monthly costs and per page pricing. If you plan on printing 1,000s of pages a day / week you can get a MUCH lower monthly price and per page costs, as the makers recover the costs of the machine that way.

Printer makers run a BUSINESS, and to run a business, you need to make a profit on the "total cost" of providing the machine to the customer. Either via higher purchase prices, or though higher ongoing costs for consumables.

London tenders for speed cameras



or those who have a stereo that uses more energy than it takes to move the car



Or those who have a stereo using more energy than it takes to move the car down the road.

Speed cameras slide out of LibCon budget


Cameras vs Other safety methods

As a "younger driver" I have been penalised for the last 18 years, first it was drivers under 25 that were a problem, so insurance was extortionate, then 30 and so on.

In 18 years of driving I've had one speeding fine, issued by a camera, on a dual carriageway outside Glasgow. For as long as I could remember it was a 50 mph zone, always had been. ( My father agreed) but they changed the limit to 30, as an "accident blackspot".

No longer living in Glasgow, I was unfortunate enough to have glanced in my mirrors to check it was safe to change lane, and then over my shoulder as you should, and in that time, I missed the solitary 30 sign on the right hand side, the van I was about to go past blocked the other.

I got a fine for 47 in a 30 zone. Surely if it was an accident blackspot then better signage to warn of the lowered sped limit, the reducing width lines across lanes approaching the junction (what happened to thise, they told you you NEED to be braking pretty darned soon) would be a better safety measure than a yellow box set to trigger at BELOW the "normal" speed limit on a non-residential area dual carriageway.

Tell the councils they can't have the £40k for a camera, but they CAN have it in a dedicated traffic policing unit. Areas with active traffic policing see a big drop in crime, and not just speeding, as "human enforcers" can also react to other things, like an assault, or an accident on a narrow twisty city street, sorry specially designed traffic safety chicane system . . . . .

/Rant mode OFF/ because I escaped the UK to a Norway. Where incidently I've been breathalised on average every 3 months, usually about lunchtime, in the random checks they do, and speed cameras are controlled. For example near the bottom of a 2 1/2 mile 1:12 descent in a tunnel (dead straight) just before it turns 30 degrees. Trust me, arguing with unlined rock tunnel walls at high speeds will NEVER leave the car/driver as a winner.

Ferry giant refuses ID card


Passports on LEAVING a country, yep it's checked !

When leaving the UK via an airport, passports are checked, first by checkin staff if checking in luggage, and then often at security for bag checking. Then again at the gate.

OK, 2 of these points it airline staff checking.

However, when I travel HOME to the UK from Norway, in order to get into the international departure gate (non Schengen) a proper border control policeman from Norway checks ALL passports on EXIT.

Sure, if we take a flight to Greece, that's in Schengen any passport check is simply an ID check and a valid photo ID is accepted, in Norway that's most bank cards, as they have your person number that IDs you and a photo.

Hey, wait, there's an idea, why have a seperate ID card, when you could simply issue an ID "NUMBER" to people (NI number) and insist that to have a bank card in the UK it must show a confirmed number and photo.

Proves who I am, is linked to a central database with address, any registered vehicles in my name, tax records, etc etc.

Effectively my bank card is the only ID I need until I come home to the UK, where I need my passport.

OK I know having ALL your "government account" details like tax linked in 1 big database is a problem, but then, they surely couldn't fit the entire database on a single CD to lose in the post could they ?

Or could they ?

MS store staff in spontaneous electric boogie



Honestly NOT a cheap attempt to get some free publicity by having a "random former Mac man" who just happens to video it and post it online ?

Loud sex a human right, says loud sex woman


It's not that hard.

Simple fact of the matter is that in the UK there is legislation on noise between 11pm and 6 or 7am.

IF she refrained from loud sex during those "quiet hours" it would have been fine, unless it became extremely excessive or continual.

Having had a downstairs neighbour that had screaming arguments with her sister, and told her to "F*** off out my flat" at 3am one morning, then denies there was ANY noise when faced with facts, and argued that she could do whtever she liked in her own flat, I can appreciate that sometimes it's not pure volume level but attitude.

Believe me, when a neighbour plays music that you can hear over your own choice of listening material almost the entire time they are in the property, it's not all about volume. BUT between 11pm and 7am, volume rules are stricter, and enforced more firmly.

<step off soap box and relax>

SO SO SO glad to not live ina flat in London now . . . gotta love nice peaceful Norway !

Scots slam Germans for 'tight-arsed' slur


The truth about scots

Scots are NOT mean, or tight fisted in any way.

It is mearly a story we spred to reduce the occurance of people asking us for money.

< snigger >

Personally I have no problem with the stereotype jokes, as long as it's done with the right spirit.

Whisky (NO NOT Whiskey, that's american and an abomination!)

Gmail users howl over Halloween outage

Thumb Up

2nd luckiest person

I've had a few gmail accounts for a few years too, never had a problem, in fact I use one account purely as a spam filter that I forward a POP box to, then reforward back to a reception box, works great.

Helpdesk Heroes or unappreciated geeks?


Paper jams

Working solely with printers and copiers can lead to some unusualy calls to.

A colleague was called out to a larger machine ( well for 2000 ) that was constantly jamming. He started dismantling it to get to the point where paper stopped and produced a small childs plastic aircraft, of the size that would fit a plastic egg inside a well known chocolate egg.

When presented with this the customer goes "Oh, is that were it was?"

They usually used the side feeder that held 2000 sheets for "Letterhead" paper, but once a month did a financial run on normal paper, and the model was to remind them of the "PLANE" paper in use, and it vibrated into the machine !

Needless to say he ticked the box to send the customer a nice big bill for that visit.

Rights commission slams police DNA database advice


Innocents ?

I assume the "innocents" to be removed will not include photographers deemed by short "Community Service Officers" to be to tall !

UK.gov won't drop 50p high speed broadband tax plans - yet


Speed vs reliability

Over in Norway it's the Telcos that put up the mnoney to invest. Sure our fibre to home network is mainy in "suburban" areas but they are rolling it out into more areas all the time.

They offer an entry level of 10Mbit up AND down speeds, and any time I've tested it I've never got under 83% of that, but I sometimes thing the issue was the link from their server to the speed test server, NOT my link to the internet.

Do they complain if you run the link at close to 10Mbit solid for a week ? NO, because there are no "restrictive" fair use policies on the contract.

Downsides ? Well it's Not CHEAP, but then, nothing really is here. And you CANNOT get the password for the router they supply where te fibre comes in, presumably because it would allow you to do more than just config the router itself, but main router functions like port forwarding and Wifi setup are done via their web portal.

Is it up to the UK Gov't to impose a fee on EVERY phone line to implement the infrastructure ? NO however as BT are legally obliged to provide a certain coverage of payphones, maybe they should also be legally obliged to offer a certain minimum speed of internet nationally. If they lay the backbone they can charge the other operators that pay them via the local loop unbundling schemes.

Over the last few years ADSL bundle prices have been carved down with competition at the expense of investment and service, maybe it's time the people realised that "You get what you pay for!" If you want cheap broadband, don't complain it's restrictive. Same as if you want a cheap car, don't expect the performance and luxury of a Rolls

Home Office to order fingerprinting of air passengers


Security Checks

Surely the idea of the "Security Checks" are to make sure that no one that is a "known risk" should be flying on either a domestic OR an international flight. After all it's still dead people if you blow up a London Edinburgh flight, same as on a London paris flight.

In order to "switch tickets" you'd need 2 people with tickets in matching names, as they are checked at gate, and SHOULD be checked against photo ID for boarding. So assuming you made it through to there what's the problem ?

Also by this point you've been through the "security net" and had all dangerous soft drings, makeup, sharp pencils, etc removed from you and your luggage has been screened for bombs (Oddly given how often I fly with a stack of electricals in my case it's never been opened to look at them, yes I know how I pack the spagetti of leads) So I can't see any benefit of taking prints at security / Checkin and the gate. What MIGHT be an idea is that when you check in you cannot re-mix with the "rabble" and go out another way to security directly.

Jeremy Clarkson tilts at windmills


@ John Curry

Re the 30MPH road vs teh 60MPH roads you linked to

While I agree the national Speed limit is nuts, if you happen to own a JCB Fast-trac you could happily do 50mph up that, and remember it's a MAXIMUM, not a legal requirement to DO that speed.

The 30 MPH road you link is actually a 40, and is the A13 around Barking in East London. having driven this stretch morning and evening for 3 years I can tell you the traffic flows better at the 40 level, as this underpass is immediately after another major intersection (where the A406 joins it), and has 2 small side roads off it before the underpass including one where heavily loaded HGVs need to join the flow. Just after the underpass is yet another busy junction.

If YOU want to go through here at 60 MPH with people flitting in and out of the lanes, feel free, but having seen the condion of vehichles involved in accidents on this road I'll stick with the speed limit here thanks.

Now happily living in Norway where going 12km/h over the posted limit will cost you the equivalent of about £250.

BOFH: Insecurity complex


My "Jeff"

Classic "Jeff moment" KNOWING we were heading towards his home town, a colleage at uni proceded to tell a group of use how he'd given directions to a lost MFI furniture lorry, only to realise after they'd driven off that the road had a low arched bridge. AND of course later saw the truck with the imprint of the bridge in the fron of the cargo box (Doesn't realise most are NOT made of metal)

He gave enough detail to make it sound almost convincing, including clear enough info about the road. So as we drove the road we videod it, end to end.

Back at uni, we sat down and made some comment about the story before showing a photo of the road, he convirms it, then we show the video. OOPS . . . there was NO bridge. But yes I think EVERYONE knows at least ONE Jeff.

They're not placed by governments though, the A L I E N S left them.

Ofcom urged to clamp down on broadband speed deceit


UP to speeds.

Well this is the problem in the UK.

Over here in Norway (1 yr here now after fleeing the UK) we're on a meagre "up to 1.5mb" line, and hell every time I test it I get between 1.4 and 1.5 (depends what the wife's doing on the lappy downstairs at the time)

This line goes shortly when they install the new fibre networjk they're installing in most semi major town, MINIMUM service is 10Mb/10Mb and tallking to people that already have it, they get 8-10 both ways almost all the time, as it's fibre from INSIDE the house to inside the local server building.

Sure the 50/25 line was tempting, but a bit expensive . . . wife said no to that

Plan for 20mph urban speed-cam zones touted


Hmmmm . . other places cont . . .

First I admit to being both a cyclist and a driver, and spent 10 of the last 11 yrs in and around London. I have since seen sense, left the UK and now live in Norway.

Here residential areas often have a 30km/h limit that's 18.75mph. If you get caught for speeding, doing 61 in a 50 zone can cost you the equivalent of about £220, and yes some people DO still risk the fines.

In towns, the NORMAL situation at junctions is that traffic from the right (yeah we drive on the right here remember) has right of way, unless the juntion is otherwise marked, hence you INSTANTLU have to be much more alert to what's around, what's approaching, because a bus can come out the side street in front of you perfectly legally.

Pedestrians have an ABSOLUTE right of way, and barely pause at pedestrian crossings before walking out with barely a glance, and yes it does take time to get used to this. 1st time I visited Norway the wife went to step off a crossing into the path of an approaching, unmarked, white transit . . . . . suicide in London, but he stopped and waited correctly.

in residential streets the road is NARROWED at bus stops, to make sure the traffic DOES STOP when the bus does, sure drivers wait a minute or two, but normally there's only 1 or 2 people at most get on or off.

In london my drive to work (I worked from my car so could not use public transport) was about 15 miles (24km) and took me between 45mins and an hour and a half depending on traffic problems, road works, Ken Livinsgstone deciding to allow major works on 2 major crossings on the Thames at same time. Here my 18km drive (11.25 miles) takes me between 12 and 16 minutes, and that's with LOWER legal speed limits on the route, and (pretty much) sticking to them.

Biggest difference here is not the laws, the road layouts, the driving standards, it's a combination of all of them. People generally accept that they get to where they are going when they get there and allow the right amount of time, not leaving late and tearing up the road.

In the UK EVERY SINGLE class of road space user has faults. Pedestrians not looking and randomly crossing the road, then walking along footpath PAST a legal crossing point. Cyclists that ignore all road rules (some of the cyclists anyway). Drivers that think they OWN the road just because they drive a 4x4, also they always drive quicker in bad weather, they forget that ALL cars have 4 heel braking, and theirs weighs more).

ALL road users need to be aware of each other, understand each others needs and problems, and be able to live with each other.

And going back to the speed limits, introducing unenforcable limits will not help, it's just more signs on the roadside obstructing driver visibility. Better to enforce the existing ones properly.


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