* Posts by Rob Crawford

626 posts • joined 21 Mar 2007


'al-Qaeda' puts on big shoes, red nose, takes custard pie

Rob Crawford

Tired of bigots, apologists and career building experts



Maybe the phone rang two minutes after it was disconnected from the thing it was set to trigger? Doesn't seem too much of a stretch on my imagination to see how both those statements could be true. The papers also said the guy they arrested on the M6 had called the 'trigger' phone 4 times. I can just see the copper's face when the phone he had in his hand rang 2 minutes after he disconnected it.


I considered that at the time, but considering the length of time the car had been sitting, and the other one had been left long enough to be towed away.

Surely if you are going to trigger with a mobile phone you will be close enough to make sure there is atleast something close enough to damage, as triggering 'on command' allows such an option.

After speaking to the reoprter who wrote that part of the article the phrase "due to go off" was apparently quoted from the security services, with the implication that it was a timer. I pointed this out to the reporter and he didn't see the difference between phone triggered and timer triggered (a tree stump has a higher IQ)

Thinking about it, if they where so poor at choosing the explosive, I wonder how reliable their trigger would have been ?



What was that about understanding what you read? When there's so little actual 'fact' being reported, how can you 'understand' anything from it?


I was referring to the reg article not the 3rd press reports we have been fed with.

The Glasgow incident has been upgraded from burning vehicle (accurate) to car bomb (inaccurate). I have no beef against the members of the security services who do something useful. However the ones talking up the fear level to justify overseas conferences and higher budgets are a different matter

Just because they where completely incompetant, dosn't make any difference to their original intent to commit murder.

As for the Iraq violence, I hold a sever grudge against the US & UK goverments actions.

However it is Iraqui killing Iraqui, these tensions have always been there, but they where too afraid of the previous leadership. Yes the invasion (without any plan for the future) the underlying bigotry to run wild. BUT it is the choice of Iraqui extermists to carry on this pointless waste of life

Rob Crawford

Apologist I don't think so, but at least I can actually understand what I claim to read

John A Blackley & friend

Obviously you have your own agenda, which involves allegedly reading an article and then ignoring its contents (you don't work in Downing St do you ?)

Having lived in Belfast (almost constantly) between 1968 & 2004 I can happily say I have a loathing for all those who use violence to make whatever point they imagine they have. You never ignored the risks but you learned to judge what is real and this weeks attempts would have been laughed at and ignored.

Unfortunitely as we now see an unsuccessful (and incompetant) attack has succeded in yet another knee jerk reaction by the nanny state, and is justified by the goverment and the chattering classes.

You would have thought that they would have tested their bombs to see of they worked (even the dumbest little chav knows gas canisters seldom if ever explode these days when they have their Friday night enterainment)

This morning Canary Wharf security staff proved their usefulness by searching the bags of anybody entering via the western 'turnstyles' but ignoring those approaching from the north and south. I'm just glad I didn't bring any fuel for my zippo today

I also noticed that the Sunday, papers said that the 'bombs' in London where to be triggered by mobile phone, yet in the next paragraph they said the bombs where defused 2 minutes before they where due to explode.

Could they please make up their minds ?

I'm tired of hype, and I'm tired of the goverment selling fear, no doubt they will claim that ID cards would have prevented the event from ever occuring.

Propane gives a pretty nice bang (Pink Floyd discovered) when mixed with air (in the correct proportion), and is even better when mixed with acetlyne

UK Gov boots intelligent design back into 'religious' margins

Rob Crawford

Remember evidence isn't good enough only faith counts


This one is for the watermellon boy.

Scientists take step to making synthetic life


Remember this dosn't count for 2 reasons

1: It isn't a watermelon (nevermind a watermelon seed)

2: it dosn't fit into his world view

3; Bacteria don't exist because they are not mentioned in the bible

Rob Crawford

More to be pitied than mocked


By Don Chamberlain

Posted Wednesday 27th June 2007 08:36 GMT

I'll start to be impressed with Science when they can make a Watermelon seed in a laboratory. Until then, I'll take Intelligence...


Tis a bit like saying I won't accept an MP3 player unless it unless it's created by divine intervention (and I don't mean St Jobs)

That is a really silly statement and I'm afraid you really are to be pitied.

Is there not enough wonder in the universe, without having to invent new ones, which serve no purpose except to promote ignorance ?

Rob Crawford

Why does science bother "why not worship the pixies in my pants"

I get so tired of the ID brigade, and their misrepresented and selective evidence.

It's funny how they mention the 'irreducable' systems, but ignore the simpler predecessors that only have have some of the sub components of these 'irreducable' systems

Where I come from people who suffer such selective vision (& memory loss) are often called dishonest

Dear Richard Kay,

As you say life as we observe it, so what can you not cope with a happy set of circumstances ? In another universe perhaps water & carbon arnt required for life

If one of these variables (that all these ID & creationists insist on bringing up) had been different, perhaps another variable change (so far unlisted by the spirit of the universe people) would have counter balanced it? Perhaps other forms of life would have evolved, or the universe would have collapsed and another "big bang" would have to occur again with a better "roll of the die" ? How many rehersals have there been to get here ?

Dear "Amazing how many people are so happy, being ignorant of the facts of eminent truth" and also "WE intelligently design things"

I'm afraid your rambling nonsence dosn't appear to have a beginning, middle or end (or indeed any noticeable point). Therefore I assume you have nothing to contribute

Dear "Help me understand this"

Quoting "We've now found that there exists many complexities within these cells with functions that need to exist in their entirety." You should read more (or be more selective in what you read) as that is simply not the case. Same as the figures quoted by the ID 'experts' of chemistry of life are based on modern DNA sequences spontainously springing into existence. Rather than the much more primitive 'living molecules' that we are 'probably' decended from. Basically the ID people blatently misrepresent the mathematics.

People seem to be afraid of the phrase "We don't know, Yet"

Science tries to find out and is happy for questions to be asked. Religion simply says I have the answers but don't ask questions, or you are toast !

Anything based on faith is broken beyond repair and will remain broken. In the case of science broken theorys are fixed or replaced

Dear BK,

You seem to be confused.

Evolution (you could use the word environment) itself is the designer.

You can certainly raise questions within science, however stupid questions are not appreciated. If you want to believe in Gaia, god, Shiva or whatever then thats your choice. But please don't insist that your personal belief (which has no more going for it than pixies in my pants) is on equial footing to something that has this trivial stugg like evidence.

Rob Crawford

Re: I Believe in One Fewer God than You Do

Funny how religious don't do any thinking for themselves isn't it.

They insist on others producing evidence but state that God dosn't like proof of his (or her) existence

The defective story (intentional misspelling) is a perfect example.

Assuming you mean Dawdins to represent Richard Dawkins ;) I think you would find that he would be the one looking for and at the evidence and the other two would be saying it dosn't matter as "he has went to a better place and god will punish the murderer if there is one"

I suggest you spend less time listening to pastors who would contribute more to the world if they returned to washing cars or whatever they did before gaining their dubious qualifications.

I got tired of those silly little parabels when I was 6 or 7 as they obviously misrepresent reality.

Possibly you should read something which is a little more rooted in reality before posting again (I'd suggest something simple to start off with, in the UK we had ladybird books for age 4 & up)

Unwanted e-card conceals a Storm

Rob Crawford

Ermm havn't you noticed

I hate to get pedantic, but anti virus software is for detecting visuses not malware

I'm not surprised that this turned up


F-Prot 06.28.2007 no virus found

F-Secure 6.70.13030.0 06.28.2007 Tibs.gen118


Really you should be running both (horses for courses)

For example McAfees Virus Scan enterprise with anti Spyware dosn't find spyware which is a bit crap.

However I wouldn't expect Virus scan (on it's own) itsself to find spyware (despite having a very low opinion of McAfees products)

It's a bit like expecting to produce decent web pages using MS Word.

BBC iPlayer finally hits the streets

Rob Crawford

And again

Programmes not being available overseas despite you paying your license fee.

As it was said the BBC do not own many of the programmes they broadcast, or only holds the rights for UK transmission. Have you thought the legal issues they would have to navigate if they allowed overseas users to watch everything.I'm sure the canadian channel that partners the BBC in producing Dr Who wouldn't mind, their overseas revinue vanishing.

Boo Hoo its windows, it's up to the BBC to justify costs, while protecting it's content. Like it or not it MS fits the criteria. More importantly it makes the content available to the vast majority of home users without introducing somebodys home made media player.

As for the Baird / Marconi trials, it's the 21st century. Look at the sniping that was done regarding the cult TV section. First the newspapers (and MPs) bitched that the BBC where spending money that didn't generate any revinue. When the site was put on hold everbody bitched that the BBC had stopped mantaining one of the most popular websites in the UK.

Make your mind up people you want them to spend money on your pet system (but don't actually want to pay do you ?)

Why not complain that they still don't broadcast on the old VHF channels, becasue you don't like semiconductor companys.

Many businesses simply use MS solutions because it's possible to get staff that can support the platform and apps. Take an instution like the BBC install Linux & Open Office on every desktop, and see how happy the users are after a couple of weeks ? I'm just so deluged with people who can really work and diagnose faults with Linux systems (actually I'm not most of them simply follow the prompts just like any other Windoze or OSX drone and then sulk when theres no popups to tell them whats going on)

Before you complain Ive been using Linux since around 95 and it was hell copying all those discs to enable yet another interested person to try the future.

How to counter premature optimisation

Rob Crawford


Three Days to un-optimise 15 lines of assembler Oh dear !

Sounds like thwe original guy was doing what had to be done to make it work in the first place.

Anyway way having been an obsessive optimiser in the 80s & 90s (I was the one who ended up fixing other peoples code for many Amiga & ST games). Often the 'original' author had used an inappropiate algorithm. Additionally the unrolling of loops, and using much more appropiate instructions for carrying out the task (yes it does matter) could make the difference between 50 frames per sec and less than 15 fps.

I pride myself that my code was very readable (almost always more readable than the original), and the source was commented as details given as to why code was replaced.

However for the most part those days are gone as compilers optimise code, and I have been replaced by the profiler.

Anyway heres an example of chosing the correct algorithm for the task, from a long time ago while I was playing with line drawing and clipping algorithms.

Find an machine with qbasic on it.

1: In qbasic write a version of Bresham's line drawing algorithm (in qbasic). Get that program to draw a selection of lines (use the native POINT command to set the individual pixels along the line)

2: In qbasic write a short program to draw the same selection of lines using the native LINE function

The qbasic version of Bresham averaged a 10 fold speed increase than using the native qbasic LINE algorithm.

If you do the same experiment but also implement your own clipping routine (still in qbasic) and make sure that your lines extend past the screen co-ords and the homebrew line draw is even faster.

Surely that makes you wonder about the functions contained with the .dll fules you link to ?

Sorry for being snotty at the start but assembler isn't a dirty word and theres too many modern programmers (especially the ones that can only handle Java) who don't actually understand whats really going on.

Anyway I'm off to modify my 100% asm Win32 super ping util (it's true you know) as I'm not involved in development anymore, so I have to rely on good old Masm32 as my "free" dev kit :(

Social networkers lack loyalty: report

Rob Crawford


Perhaps theres too many self obsessed people who feel that one platform isnt enough.

Hey I do nothing interesting and nobody is speaking to me here, obviously it's everybody elses problem. I had better create another 'interesting' entry about how I couldn't get a seat on the train for the third time this year

My space & stuff is fine for bands artists with exhibitions to promote etc, but really people. Theres just too many emos in the universe these days

Love n hisses

Hello, Apple PR. Dr. Freud will see you now

Rob Crawford

28 days later

Ohhh ElReg is so biased towards M$, obviously you have reading problems.

Everytime anybody says anything against Apple it turns into a George Romero film. Say anything against M$ and nobody gives a damn.

Very telling isn't it

Pay 1500 and go to the apple event, Hmmm pay 1500 to promore what is happening in the apple world (isn't that Apples role ?)

Reminds me of Mr John Lyden, "Ever feel you have been had"

BTW don't complain about UK pronounciation & spelling, when you can't even spell telephone or colour.

Oh thats the apple way isn't it saying everyody else is wrong ;)

Rob Crawford

Oh Dear

Apart from so many apple fanboys being unable to type (or are they emulating Mr Jobs speech issues)

Perhaps Mr/Ms "Stop Moaning. Think you are special?" thought they where logging on to yet another apple fan site.

Hmmm, I bought a mac and want an invite to the Developers Conf, I don't think so.

Like it or not TheReg is a pretty major IT news outlet. Believe it or not the press are invited Dev Conferences. The press also publish reports that are not always complementry.

Quite frankly any company that uses a presenter that has speech issues may notice some comments being passed in the press. Certainly Bill Gates survived Jonathan Ross making comments regarding haircuts at one of the windows launches.

EFF lawyer is smokin' on Google Street View

Rob Crawford



hey why not post your address and everybody can come around and takes photos of you and publish them all over the internet.

Betteer still possibly wel will wait til you are doing something you shouldn't (or embarrasing) and then just post those pics ?


Rob Crawford

Why should anybody have to take acton to opt out

Why shoud people have to opt out, or alter their normal lifestyle simple to avoid some companys enterprise ?

If some person turned up outside of my house and started taking photos of it I wouldn't be too happy about it (I doubt you would be either), so why should I be happy about google doing it ?

Embedded problems: exploiting NULL pointer dereferences

Rob Crawford

How fast people forget

Vector redirection is hardly a new thing as many of us probably remember (senility hasn't taken over yet)

Even on the sinclair spectrum (involved replacing the ROM or paging in ram instead though). On the Amiga and Atari ST this was used (the Rob Northern protection system messed with the execution vectors)

On dos machines you had to patch the vectors to do anything worthwhile. (MS-)DOS viruses even followed the chained vectors to avoid the resident antivirus packages.

Infact I would have been surprised if sich exploits didn't exist in embedded devices.

No doubt somebody will discover revectoring of API functions. Oops did that on the Amstrad CPC (in 1985), and Win XP (and below) many years ago.

Can I have a job please, it's so much more interesting than being an network analyst (and probably pays better too)


Substitute teacher's conviction for porn popups set aside

Rob Crawford

Fit for purpose

I think the term fir for purpose applies.

The machine should have been fit for purpose :

ie anti virus, malware pritection, popup blocking & patched OS

The network should be fit for purpose :

ie proxied with content filtering

The user however should also be fit for purpose :

ie able to use the equipment provided

This can be viewed as a failure on all these levels, anyway anybody with a brain would have turned off the monitor instead of trying to close the popups.

Unfortunitely part of my duties involves me to deal with users, and it is more than safe to say the majority of users are not "Fit for purpose"

Teachers & legal types are amongst the worst, for refusing or ignoring any advice or training. Usually involving being shouted down with statements like "I did a degree in race course management, so don't tell me what I'm supposed to do"


Oh yeah the web monkeys, many so called software devleopers (the point and click ones) & people who have learnt java as part of their Masters are the worst of all

Ryanair check-in site exposes data

Rob Crawford

Is anybody surprised

Atleast it save the US security services the bother of demanding data that has nothing to do with them.

They can just grab it as it floats past, like all the other data they grab and pass back to the UK services

Can we have a proper study of Wi-Fi, please?

Rob Crawford

Dear Mr/Ms Noname

Although preferring not to replay to those who don't always grasp the context of what is written (pubs are much better for this sort of thing :)

I never said that there was, I was referring to user perception. Theyre perfectly happy to sit infront of a CRT untill you mention the electron gun at the back of the tube. Then they start to get upset and having issues (usually regarding monitors as TVs are perceived as entirely different technology)

Obviously you have not noticed the shielded aprons that we had to supply to pregnant women (and anybody who requested them), due to the EM radiation emitted from monitors (some of us have to face the real world perceptions, and not the reality). The same pople who insisted on the aprons apprently didn't require them when "surfing the net" at home for 5 hours at a stretch.

It's funny how they only need screen breaks in the workplace but not at home !

I was trying to keep the posting short and point out how so many of these symptoms are context sensitive

Rob Crawford

and again

It's funny how people can sit infront of a CRT (a wonderful electromagnetic radiation source) and watch Eastenders and suffer no problems but as soon as a wifi access point, or PS3 enters a room theres huge issues. Many CRTs give me a headache, because of the constant background whine (audible and proveable). However I am more likely to suffer injury from the content of the televisual crap that is broadcast (my oh my how Horizon (amongst other programs) has dumbed down).

I remember one staff member claiming she was suffering a headache from the laser that was shining into her eyes, while a piece of equipment was being serviced. When asked what colour the light was (it was an infrared laser), she replied 'white of course' which almost confused my boss and I. When asked how long whe had sat looking at it she said 20 minutes. The 'laser' in question was a penlight that was left on top of the machine while being serviced. All becauue she saw the side panel that lad the usual laser radiation warning and an unhealthy dose of greed. She then tried to claim that the laser radiation escaping from the machine was giving her headaches. Funny enough every where that she went people suffered headaches.

How about checking if these sensitives get positives while a cell phone is switched on but encased within it's own little farady cage ?

Yes testing needs to be done, but remember scientists will never say 100% safe or risk free. Unfortunitely certain sections of the our species do not understand this, and even quoting offs of 1*10^6 to 1 will have people saying well this means that it will definately affect 25 people in the UK alone.


I can also predict thunderstorms, (as can my son and daughter) it's the difference in air pressure, there was a study done on this years ago (in Queens University Belfast (I believe)). A family friend who has MS can do the same thing, but then so can the rest of her family, who don't suffer from that incredibly unpleasant disease

London dirty-bomb tests start this weekend

Rob Crawford

Ho Hum idiot posting

Yeah Dan,

Every IRA bomb was preceided by a very accurate warning of where the so called devices where placed.

Having survived the IRAs mischief (may as well downplay anything that didn't involve the London area). It was common practice to lie about locations or give warnings much too late to be useful. The lies where useful in having people security forces moving into closer to the real bomb. This happend to me on 3 separate occasions.

I point you to this as an oft forgotten piece of nostalga for the good old days

http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/events/bfriday/nio/nio72.htm which was etched on my then 9 year old mind

As for the bullsh1t regarding this test, how long till there an announcement wtating, "oops after further research the afent we release is toxic, sorry about that"

Elijah Wood to play Iggy Pop

Rob Crawford

With casting like this

Can we hope for OJ Simpson playing David Bowie ?

Oyster-Barclaycard hybrid passes first technical trials

Rob Crawford

No Oyster issues

Obviously Barclaycard have better systems than TFL, anybody who used an oystercard regularly knows the following conversation.

Deluded customer : Hello I have been charged too much for a journey

Sound of printer and staff mamber sighing

Staff member : You didn't touch out therefore you where charged the maxumum cash price.

Deluded Customer : But this printout you gave me shows I touched out and was charged £2.50 for the journey, and then charged another £4.50 for the same journey

Staff member : You didn't touch out

Deluded customer : But this says I did touch out, & I have been charged twice for the same journey

Staff member : You didn't touch out

Repead ad nausium

Lets wait to see whatever random charges non bank staff have to suffer.

Tessa Jowell stands up for blogging code of conduct

Rob Crawford

Glad to see she is earning her money

At least she isn't wasting time worrying about small things (like the totally un-noteworthy figure of 340,000 quid or jettisoned spouses)

Arrange the following into an appropiate sentance

gravy, space, serving, train, waste, self, totally, of, riding, is, who

She makes the northern ireland assembly members look like useful members of society

Hmmm, how long will this entry stay up for ?

Hotmail's antispam measures snuff out legit emails, too

Rob Crawford


Funny enough I have set up my work Email account to send all mail from hotmail.com to the Trash folder.

I have worked on the principle for the last 7 years that I wouldn't wish to be contacted by anybody with a hotmail account.


Why I won't buy a Dell next time

Rob Crawford

Of course Dell is at fault


buy a machine without looking at the spec (at all it seems)

Complain that the first release version of an operating system dosn't work (sheesh is this guy one of these Power Users IT & network staff love so much ?)

Blame Dell for a linux distro not working 100% properly

Blame Dell for Ceatives Vista not working

His machine possibly being the sole evidence of a design failure in that range ?

Then to say I should have bought a Mac

Obviously he hasn't read their specs, or possibly apple have added firewire and old ATA especially for him.

Oh Apple don't need doorbells or buzzers, because Steve Jobs teleports them into the required room.

Grow up Sir !

Lager-swilling boffins crack secret of darts

Rob Crawford

More money well spent

As pointed out by the above poster, everybody knows tha, my father also passed that information to me before I hit my teens

The issue 20 or 19 is even more important on 'traditional' boards which omit the treble altogether. double 19 is decided easier to hit than a double 20.

Also theres a greater chance of 'collateral scoring' around the double 19 than the double 20.



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019