* Posts by Rob Crawford

626 posts • joined 21 Mar 2007


Mythbusters cannonball ‘myth-fires’

Rob Crawford


if you are worried about the hearing of your children you shouldn't buy a house next door to a bomb range.

It's not as if the bomb range just came down with a shower of raine one day.

As for explosions I was near hit by a railway tie when the local signal cabin was blowen up and that was well over half a mile away.

If you are going to blame anybody blame the safety experts employed by both the show and the police dept who own the bomb range

OWC 6G Mercury Aura Pro Express SSD

Rob Crawford

I don't wish to be pedantic but

calling Torx screws non standard is a bit mistaken.

Back in the 80s Compaq used them on almost, everything the Amiga RF shield used them

Since then the car industry has fallen in love with them.

Ok so they're not common in a domestic setting, but then neither are SSD drives

Microsoft researchers build spam filter for HIV

Rob Crawford

I am aware that it's not permit to give MS credit for anything, but it does warm my cold little heart to hear of of companies doing something useful with their assets & staff

Punters even more dissatisfied by Virgin Media's package

Rob Crawford


I was getting irritated at the charges in general, in the end I went to the disconnections dept and said asked them to give me a reason to stay with VM.

They where helpful and I ended up with a tivo, keeping the original VM box (in a different room), larger tv package, faster internet, and a bill reduction.

Don't bother with any of the other customer service people.

Rob Crawford

Dear burnard,

My tolerance level is low today.

You obviously don't know what you are talking about so, follow the old advice of :

It's better to sit quietly and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.

VM's service is dependant on which region you live in, in a previous job you couldn't use VPN connections within some regions.

The constant sources of crap with VM seems to be their Indian call centre for the following reasons:

1: The VOIP system that is either incorrectly configured, or bandwidth starved

2: The inability of said staff to understand that when you say you want to reduce costs, they try & sell you a more expensive package

3: The call centre's inability to understand any form of regional accent

4: If it's more complicated than turn it off & back on again it's a 3 day wait for their 2nd line staff to contact you (who then say have you turned it off & on again)

Once you get a hold of the UK staff things do improve though.

I dare say that if the Indian staff got some proper training it would probably help matters a lot.

Basement-dwelling BOFH to be sent into Spaaaace

Rob Crawford

Equating a DBA with the BOFH

I'm sorry but we are talking about DBA's who are only one step above the crayon wielding Customer Solution Architects?

Yeah send them on the trip, just make sure that it's one way

Music biz presses BT to block The Pirate Bay

Rob Crawford

How about

Mailing BT to have record company's taken off line for attacking the livelihoods of musicians doe to not paying the royalties due to them?

Pete Townshend condemns Apple as 'digital vampire'

Rob Crawford

Somehow I think

that Mr Peel quite liked the artists being paid for the work that they did.

Not every artist has an abundance of money, there are many so called successful artists who have had their income reduced from very little to 20% of very little.

Check out Roger McGuinn or Andy Partridge amongst others on the matter

I'm happy to see the majority of the record execs lose money, but I do like to see the artists paid.

It may not be why they start of producing music (for example) but recording artists and their families deserve to be rewarded with more than a pat on the back.

Plus if you have ever paid for recording studio time et al then you would know why they need an income (and no a laptop, some line 6 kit & a £200 microphone doesn't really cut it)

RIM: 'Faulty switch took out faulty-switch-proof network'

Rob Crawford

Firstly I was responding to the very simplistic comment by the poster.

That is of course assuming that the information released is the entire story (I doubt it)

The point is no matter what you plan for something totally unexpected will happen at some point and it's the speed that your staff react that matters

For example : Wait until your electricity supplier and your rotoblock system (firmware issue) decide to fuckup at the same time. Causing the generators to constantly cycle through starting up & shutting down, the result was much worse than a simple fail over to a DR site.

By the time our DC staff got the power under control we had a lovely range of kit needing replaced.

A Datacentre being wiped out tends to be a nice clean fault if you have designed things even half way sensibly

Rob Crawford

I think it's just possible they may probably have heard those words.

Odds are that their most junior network staff know more about the subject than you ever will.

Like it or not shit happens, sometimes you are fortunate and it's the shit that you have planned for.

Just wait till you discover an obscure IOS or Junos bug, which would never have been noticed except for the failure of a major piece of your infrastructure.

From there is all down hill.

Of course when your experience is a couple of hubs you can be a little snide shouting from the edges

Valve chief says Apple will own your living room

Rob Crawford


I read that wrong

Rob Crawford


Hate to say this but Steam is on OSX.

Pity there's bugger all games for the mac side of things though, though I'm playing HL2 yet again & I thought it was nice of them to let the PC & Mac versions be interchangable.

Chaos feared after Unix time-zone database is nuked

Rob Crawford


You are correct on the em, 17 years away from the text mark up systems we used both mis-defined the em as a half space (the suppliers appeared to have a somewhat incestious relationship) It wasn't till your post that the term 'Oh Bugger' floated to the front of my mind

En would have been bit more appropriate (the term mutton I have only encountered on Wikipedia) sadly his surname wasn't En though

Referring to "Is the rest of your twaddle" gives me a bad feeling that there is a logical fallacy is in the offing (wrong about em therefore wrong about ....) which will it be?


Is it the bit about correcting ones incorrect statements (I really do admit my mistakes)

Folk shouting THEFT! where no evidence currently exists

My low opinion of psychic surgeons, astrologers and their ilk?

The need to protect the foolish, ignorant & those grasping at straws

Go on have a look at the article and see if there's enough real info to form a valid opinion or reason to shout THEFT!

Rob Crawford

Indeed it's a half space (one of my favourite characters)

When I have some shift of viewpoint, I usually point out that shift myself, partially for clarity, partially to help others who had the same opinion as I previously had and to let folks know that I haven't forgotten to take my medication.

A Dawkinesque triumphalism and a religionists, fraid not, more James Randi I'm afraid (though Steve Jones is more my cup of tea than Dawkins) and more feet of clay than progressive (I need evidence to change my mind)

So what wrong with being a rationalist, look at the evidence and decide accordingly (many if us try to do that)

Why labour the point?

Well you where shouting theft and getting more shouty, pointing to lack of evidence wasn't changing your intended course.

If it wasn't for the Dawkinesque types you seem to have contempt for even more people would opt for thieves like psychic surgeons and liars like mediums rather than valid treatments.

Fine so you think its fine for parents to subject their children to chelation as an autism cure because their parents are 'fools' is OK.

If that's the case then I'm afraid you either have issues or you are showing off, if its the latter then you really are being very silly. Either way you should think before typing.

Rob Crawford

@Mr Aaron Halfspace (sorry my publishing employment got the better of me)

You are the one who has been shouting about theft and how bad the timezone guy was for stealing this data.

Then you finally decide to concede that there is NOT enough information to form a judgement as to what may or may not have happened.

Please make up your mind.

For all we know he may have used that database to cross check the values which he collated separately, we simply DO NOT KNOW

As for stupidity, well a belief in astrology covers that base pretty fucking well (well I could be charitable and use the term delusional)

Should Astrolabe not believe in astrology then my opinion would swing towards my belief that are at best charlatans if not worse and would trust any statement they make

Rob Crawford


Where Astrolubes collated from publicly available sources?

If so then it's going to be hard to copyright a collection of public data as your own.

Rob Crawford


Angry Angry he's so very angry.

although it wasn't a good example, your statements where almost totally unrelated to any known facts (of which there are very little)

So before shouting theft why not wait until there is some real information.

The main gist of the story is the short sighted behemoths of the IT industry who where using a free service and there appears to be no replacement.

You aren't an employee of Astro thingie are you?

Rob Crawford


it's is NOT to permit an originator of a product have the exclusive rights to manufacture and exploit it for a given period?

The process had to be disclosed

1: so the other 'innovators' could confirm that they didn't infringe an existing product

2: to prevent spurious claims of infringement by an existing patent holder (ie your new washing machine uses the same method as my old design, even though I do not detail how my washing machine works)

3: Vague patent claims which contain vague wording and objectives

Oh well looks like they have failed on all three points then.

The effects company Z-Vex resorted to hand painted enclosures because any body bootlegging their product could be prosecuted as art forgeries under international treaties. Apparently it's too hard to copyright a circuit (though almost all amplifier circuits are cribbed from 1930's RCA technical notes anyway)

Rob Crawford


For those claiming some form of IP infringement.

There is insufficient information to judge what is even being claimed never mind whether it is even vaguely valid.

Most likely he closed the system down because he has put a lot of effort and no doubt money into this service and received nothing other than this kick in the balls.

Most likely he can't be bothered to throw further resources into this and said fuck it.

I wonder where Astrolube (sic) obtained their figures from and whether they can in fact claim ownership of these figures.

Smut oglers told to opt in to keep web filth flowing

Rob Crawford


how are they going carry out this censorship?

I have to say I have an almost complete disinterest in porn, not due to any prudishness, it's just it's such a pail reflection of the real thing, that in reality it wouldn't make much difference to me (but I reserve the right to look without having to be on some sort of register)

When they decide to block porn sites they will inevitably get it wrong and block other sites.

When they are blocked, will be be notified as such or will they simply fail to load?

If that happens is there a method of resolving this or do I have to phone my ISP and state that I would like to be on the wankers list?

Belgian telcos ordered to blockade Pirate Bay

Rob Crawford

I'm confused

"BAF believed that many Belgian films, TV shows and albums of Belgian artists"

When did these spring into existence?

Osborne proffers £150m for mobile not spots

Rob Crawford

But what happens

if the money is given to Arqiva , the masts are built but the wonderful phone companies decide not to take Arqiva up on the lease as there's not enough profit.

Will we end up with £150M worth of unused mobile infrastructure?

Samsung preps anti-iPhone 5 lawsuit before it's even out

Rob Crawford

Apple invented something

What rounded corners?

Virgin Media finally offers network options on SuperHub

Rob Crawford


because most customers are stupid and wonder why their old BT homehub ADSL monstrosity with wireless doesn't work with properly with the VM cable service.

In theory it should cut down on support calls, however that would depend on the equipment VM supply actually working.

FFS Netgear of all people

MPs blast dole-office-online plans

Rob Crawford

Oh really

I suppose a computer to go along with it costs 8 cans of Stella.

Having been unemployed more than once in my life I know how hard it is to make ends meet.

Believe me a usable computer & internet connection come considerably further down the list than making sure there is food on the table, heating (noticed inflation recently) and a roof over our heads.

Yes it may be fine for Mr & Ms Chav who get every benefit because they are the underclass, have never worked & have no intention of doing so legally.

However the rest of us who have suffered the humiliation of our welfare system have real difficulties surviving on benefit.

It's not something I would ever care to repeat.

No doubt DWP will blame the private sector on all the mistakes and overruns

Apple's new Lion beta bakes in iCloud

Rob Crawford

I must be a stormtrooper

as I cannot see the jedi

Al Gore wants to borrow your Facebook and Twitter accounts

Rob Crawford

Rearrange into a popular sentance

Al yourself fuck go and dear

Or for the more civilised,

Dear Al get your own house (literally) in order before preaching to others you hypocrite

JP Morgan has a Playmobil moment

Rob Crawford

No doubt

from a US institution it will be Europe caused all the banking problems.

The US institutions of course had no hand in any of the problems of the last few years

New Apple move against Galaxy Tab on Euro front

Rob Crawford


Sorry I got a little confused when you said Aplle released the 1st good laptop & Sony copied it.

I seem to remember NEC & Toshiba amongst others releasing good laptops before Apple.

Oh right a laptop is only good if it's from Apple.

Lets see thin with rounded edges, that sounds like a credit card, perhaps Apple will sue credit card companies too.

Hardware-happy HP has swallowed a Sun death pill

Rob Crawford

Oh I do hope

that their other products are less pissy than OpenView.

While I know nobody has ever been sacked for buying OpenView I would ask if anybody has ever made it work anything like it's claimed to.

Though the Solaris version is less shit than the windows version

Google+ bans real name under ‘Real Names’ policy

Rob Crawford

Not always a good idea

to use the name you are commonly known as.

We have at least 4 people where I work who are 'That Wanker'

Apple injunction startles Samsung

Rob Crawford

Funny though

the iPad looks like a lot of failed tablets from other mfgrs.

Rectangular with chrome trim, that sounds like a very old nokia phone I once had

Google told to delete people from search results

Rob Crawford

Oh balls

Surely it's up to the sites operators to include an appropriate robots.txt on their gazette site ?

Tottenham MP calls for BlackBerry Messenging suspension

Rob Crawford

Oh Dear

You seriously think that BBM should be closed for everybody in the country because of this?

So the services my daughter pays for in another part of the UK should be withdrawn because of a few hundred thugs.

What something exists outside of your backyard?

Various businesses also use BBM to contact groups of staff (including those of us who cover essential services out of hours)

So follow this advice,

It's better to be quiet and thought a fool than to open your mouth and confirm that belief.

Considering with the looters new found wealth they could afford the extra 50 pence per day for internet access to the likes of fring et al, which allows group message and private chat areas (there are literally 100s of such free services)

How about cutting off data services in looting area cell towers and then the thugs can't contact each other and hopefully the rest of us will not have to listen to so many clueless individuals trying to inflict their crap solution on the whole of the UK.

Rob Crawford
Black Helicopters

Yet another cabbage in Westminister

What doesn't he realise that they're smart phones and therefore have access to the vast majority of message services on the internet.

Close BBM and they just move to something else?

All it will do is annoy the normal users (if such a thing exists in the teenage universe)

Then again maybe that's their inroad to blocking sections of the internet whenever they take a dislike to a particular aspect.

Where's my tinfoil hat

BlackBerry Messenger archives open for inspection

Rob Crawford

I don't think so

my understanding is that telecoms providers have to keep archives under EU legislation

Paul McCartney's ex-wife makes phone-hacking claim

Rob Crawford
Black Helicopters

Am I the only one

who wouldn't be surprised if the voice mail was leaked by a friend of Heather, because somebody who was 'only a member of the Beatles' was getting more attention than her?

Boffins deduce chip's crypto just by looking at it

Rob Crawford


I assume that it already is

BT on site-blocking: Every case will need a court order

Rob Crawford

Err to be honest

90% of the time that I use bittorrent or the like of newz2bin etc usually involves me looking for an old version of an application which in the course of being updated lost some particular feature that I had previously found useful (where the feature has been spun into a standalone program which I now have to pay for)

I really would be annoyed if I had my access blocked to something that I really feel that I have a right to.

As for robbed software or media, that will always be around and be a target that moves too fast for effective control.

MPs slam government's 'obscene' IT spend

Rob Crawford


the money flows out of my bloody pocket into the government coffers, to be misspent.

TBH from my experience getting a government contract isn't usually worth the trouble as the whims of both the civil service and the government of the day coupled with late payment adds up to be more trouble than it's worth for the people who actually do the work, after all it's not like writing a sine scroller on the Amiga it's considerably bigger than that.

As for why company's do take on these contracts, my theory is that those who are involved in the bidding and initial specs are long gone (they usually stay just long enough to collect their bonus for winning the contract)

The same usually goes for the top management, by the time it all turns to shit they're either in another company or acting as a government advisor.

Step one should be for the government department to know what they actually want the system to do, the second step should be for the company to not permit any changes in the agreed specification (without the new costings being agreed)

Pardon the cynicism

Rob Crawford

Usual government assumption

Having had the misfortune to work on government contracts in the past, it's no surprise that they go over budget.

Every time a spec is drawn up and agreed the poor buggers (who live in the real world) start to build the system.

Unfortunately just as a slightly usable system starts to emerge the customer (government dept) decides that something almost (but not quite entirely) unrelated to the original spec is required.

A new spec is agreed.

And so development hell is entered, the customer constantly changes what they want, the IT company is afraid to say 'no more changes' and the people who know what they are doing leave or become apathetic.

The NHS system was a prime example where it went from one system to almost every health trust basically being given the ability to change the systems spec and the right to veto almost everything

The set-aside programme is also a prime example of the civil service not having a fucking clue (even Radio 4 did a documentary on that abortion)

Hence the IT outsourcing company's end up adding huge contingency budgets for the inevitable lack of maturity within government departments.

No doubt the £3500 PC also had to be in a particular shade of lavender to cut down on the number of stress days that dept was clocking up

Military chip crypto cracked with power-analysis probe

Rob Crawford

@gordon 10

I don't think you paid enough attention to the original story.

It's nothing to do with encrypted comms between the chips.

If you can dump the contents of the fpga you places you in a position to clone the entire device.

UK Govt refuses to ban shale gas 'fracking'

Rob Crawford

I'm a little confused

How many times did they try to light their tap water before drilling started.

And indeed why did they try and light their tap water, what did they actually think they where doing.

How LulzSec pwned The Sun

Rob Crawford

Palladium reference

May well be referring to the the power source Arc reactor in the Iron Man (film version)

HTC loses prelim patent ruling to Apple, takes stock hit

Rob Crawford


yes that's pretty much the case.

Seemingly prior art and generally fuzzy patents are no barrier to US patient applications, with a seeming inability to recognise that anything created outside the US actually exists, until of course a US company patents the existing product.

Do a bit of reading on the subject

HTC 'dismayed' by Apple's bizarre patent allegations

Rob Crawford

One has to shout prior art

as changing the displayed screen orientation in response to the physical display orientation being changed existed in the late 80s (I should know as I wasted enough of my lie on faulty ones)

It's a bit like patenting power led because it's on a a newly released device, it's been done before despite the context

Pricey Apple Thunderbolt cable inner chippery exposed

Rob Crawford

PC World I accuse thee

Considering PC world have a 3M ethernet cable (HP branded) @ £44.99 (real copper though) I don't think the apple cable is that poor a price.

Lets see people we have the following taxes to apply to this cable

The 'early adaptor tax'

The 'no other supplier tax'

The 'apple tax'

It's a reasonably fast bus and it's in the early stages why wouldn't it be expensive at the minute.

Have any of you tried to purchase a decent quality USB OTG (Mini A in my case) cable at a reasonable price that on the whole will be a thoroughly unreasonable price.

Apple iPhone 5 to sport CRT-style screen

Rob Crawford

Oh Yes

I assume things would also be better if the earth was flat

Hackers turn Cisco phones into remote bugging devices

Rob Crawford

Well !

As you know my comment was pointed at the "Ooooh it's not plug & go" issues raised with voip phones.

Avaya are quite horrible as are the ever present Meridians but it's accepted that they're complex beasties that require some training on.

The bad news is of course that voip isn't any less fraught with complexities and gotchas.

But for some reason people are surprised that it actually requires some knowledge to install and maintain a voip system.

In many cases it may have a web front end but it's not like posting on facebook, it's a bit more difficult than that.

Rob Crawford


I don't know where you are getting 100K pa from.

For setting up a cisco voip system you need either a call manager server installed or a router configured to set up your dialling or interface with your pabx.

You want a voip system then you have to pay somebody to set it up otherwise you end up with a POS The same thing happens with a PABX you configure it wrong & some little shit will provide you with a phone bill to get upset about.

However I dont hear anybody complaining about pabx mfgrs?


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