* Posts by peter

74 posts • joined 8 Jan 2008


Top Tory resigns on principle over 42 days bill


Bill has the support of 60% the public acording to latest polls........

I bet if those 60% were asked the question "Would you mind being locked up for up to 42 days whilst the police desperately search around every part of you life, your family and friends for a reason why they arrested you in the first place”, the percentages might lessen somewhat.

I'm reminded of Lincoln's quote about how, when he heard someone extoll the virtues of slavery, he felt the urge to see it practiced on them.

(I don't know where these 60% live 'cos I have not met one yet)

ASA slaps down Vodafone 'unlimited' data claims


pizza with 'free' delivery - Other examples include....

Item X for only 99p (plus £12.50 delivery and no you can't collect)

£60 fine (£30 if you don't dispute it)

Internet for only £9.99 (for the first 3 months, then 19.99 on 18 month contract)

US bars ID refuseniks from planes - but not ID losers


"I wonder how long it takes for airlines to create special "avoid the USA" routes"

My company already has a policy that they will not book a flight that requires a refuel or stopover in the USA. The did it for several reasons, including:

1. Standing in queues for 4 hours whilst the one Immigration official takes everyone's fingerprints, just so you can get straight back on the refueled aircraft. Just plain annoying.

2. The risk that the person traveling to another country will be bounced back to the UK becauce the Immigration official does not like the answers you give. We work in a specialised and very security sensitive area, and answering the Immigration Official query of what your company does with a "Um - can't tell you" is asking for trouble.

BAE's man in the MoD taken aside by feds in Miami


And the Americans are whiter than white??

I worked on this programme some time ago, and we all knew of the payments made (but not the details). It happened at every level of interaction with Saudis - not just at the Prince level - all the way down to giving the Security Guard a nice gold plated pen so that there would be no 'problems' with getting onto a site. I know of a story that a swimming pool was built so that a problem geeting a necessary permission went through without a hitch.

We knew it, the MOD knew it and the Saudis knew it, and it was all built into the cost of any deal. Over there getting kickbacks is not corruption, it is how you do business. The Saudis use it as a method if ensuring loyalty to the boss (stay loyal or loose all this moola I am letting you make on the deal). At the lowest level, they regarded it as a personal gift to show your respect.

Funnyest thing is that everyone did it - including the Americans. They probably just hid it through more layers of "agents" and other companies so that they could put up a completly clean set of books to their corruption investigators.

US Supremes limit royalty double dippage

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Using a licence to gain extra rights

It looks to me as if LG tried to use a licence agreement to try to extend their rights well beyond that allowed by a Patent. They sold Intel the rights to use a patent within a licence, and used that licence to try to limit the subsequent use of their patent . Bit like someone inventing a new type of window glass and then trying to restrict its use to only those buildings using their bricks.

I hope this is a warning to those companies who will try to use a licence to restrict rights given by law. There are too may who seem to think a licence is a catch-all which supercedes all other patent and copyright laws.

They should have the patent removed for practicing patent abuse.

US imposes 72 hour pre-reg for Visa waiver travellers


But it is not just 'visitors' who will get caught

Last time I went there, it was simply for a refuel on the way to New Zealand. We had to stand In a queue for 4 hours waiting for the single imigration official to work his way through fingerprinting every single passenger in a Jumbo Jet. This was just for a refueling stop.

Since it cannot be for any real security reason, I can only assume they do it to make up the number of "visitors" to landofthefreeandbrave just to show the bean counters how much people want to go there.

Not me and not my Company anymore either. They have just instituted a ban on all booking andy flight needing a refuel stop in USA because of the additional admin pain. Not soon enough.

DVLA, Tiscali, Barclays rake in phoneline cash

Paris Hilton


WHICH is trying to shame them into changing their behavior? Good luck with that. You can only shame someone who has morals or can actually feel a sense of shame.

I wanted to leave Tiscalli’s dialup as I was (finally) getting Broadband in my area. They said of course I can cancel – just as long a I can quote the contract number, which was only on the original sign-up documentation sent several years previously. Of course I could not find it, but any amount of other information (name, address, username, direct debit information) was not sufficient for them to find the contract number on their records. I just threatened to just stop paying, so they threatened to take me to court and send in the Bailiffs.

I tried a bit of lateral thinking and rang to ask for the contract number “for my accountant doing my tax return” They gave me it within seconds (– and within seconds I was canceling the dialup). It was obvious that the phone operators had been instructed top make finishing contracts as difficult as possible, and to lie to their customers to achieve it.

Trying to shame that bunch of unscrupulous, amoral ‘tards will be like asking the Fox to apologize to the Chickens for distress caused when he came visiting last night.

Even Paris has some shame....

Tories would have to compensate ID vendors


It is probably 'cos of the method of payment

Can put in a guess as to what is going on here.

I can only think of one reason (other than idiots being in charge of the negotiations) why there is a break clause. This Government want these various vendors to stump up huge amounts of their own cash developing the ID card system on the promise of large payments on implimentation. This keeps the large ongoing costs of ID cards off the Government current budgets (and they are broke as it is without adding this costly project).

If this is the case, then of course the Vendors are going to insist on a break clause, even more so on such a controversial scheme and one whose timescale will be over the change of Government. Do I remember that we were not allowed to see the contract because of 'commercial confidentiality'. Could that have been a good excuse to cover up the expensive clauses they were signing us all up to?

The Government is quick to castigate the 'spend today on the promise of earning it tomorrow' crowd, but are just showing the way.

UK to outlaw cartoons of child sexual abuse


While we are banning stupid things........

Lets think of some other things....

How about nything showing cars speeding, 'cos it might incite vulnerable persons to replicate it and crash into a queue of kids at a bus stop (Sob Think of the children etc).

Oops. There goes F1, Touring cars, and every Worst Cop Chase Ever repeats (actually no great loss).

Any other suggestions for out Great and Glorious Leaders to get in a tizzy about?

Dixons admits 'it's even worse than you thought'

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Run by idiots, managed by idiots

Ordered a laptop from PCW online service even though there was no way to check if they had any stock. I assumed it would work like other retailers who would warn you if you were placing an order agains no stock. Doh! They didn't have any in stock and did not know when they would "but it won't be long". Hah!

Over a month later I contacted them to be told they did not have any stock and still did not know when they would. When I tried to cancel, they said I couldn't. I had to quote distance selling regulations to them before they backed down. (Even then the supervisor did not seem to be interested that they were breaking the law).

A month goes by and I got a message that they they will soon have some in stock. I remind them that I had cancelled and they agreed that their own records showed I had.

Another two months and I get a message telling me it had been shipped!. They had also taken money out of my account and wouldn't refund it until I had taken posession of the laptop, obtained an RMA number and organised a shipment back to them. That was just not going to happen, so we got into a discussion about distance selling regulations, fraud and the small claims court before they agreed to stop shipment and return my money.

Couldn't organise a stag do in a brothel.


They even expect you to pay to to restock their stores

I went to local store to pick up a new display, but it must have been a good deal 'cos they were out of stock. I was not desperate for it so enquired if I could reserve one when they did get stock. They could not do that, but would order one for me..... for a delivery charge! I pointed out that I would be paying for the prevelige of picking it up from their store when I could just order it on line and have it delivered to my door. The sales guy just shrugged and "I know it is stupid, and we have told head office it is stupid, but that is what we are told to do" He also added that he had never actually placed an order for a customer because of this delivery charge.

And now the idiotic managers who got themselves into this situation are the same people who are coming up with the ideas of how to rescue the company !

Phones 4u accused of misleading customers


Contracts are written to take advantage of customers.

"...phone retailers of failing to notice the stupidity of their customers..."

Excuse me! That is exactly what they are counting on when they write these contracts. They are desperatly hoping that no-one actually reads the contract - let alone understand it. How else are they going to get people to be stiffed sideways without actually saying so?

PC World, Currys staff to be dumped in DSGi rescue plan?


Idiotic customer service can be to your advantage

Only ever bought one thing,a laptop, from these dolts but 6 months later the it went dead so sent it for repair. After numerous 'it will be ready next week Sir' they admitted tht they lost it and gave me a voucher for a replacement. Several months later I got phone call telling me my laptop was repaired, so I went and got it. Now the proud owner of two laptops. Isn't corporate incompetence wonderful.

British Gas sues Accenture


B. Gas billing - A nightmare

I am one of those poor unfortunates that suffered at the hands of British Gas billing, and I can say with certainty that, although software may have been the root cause, the problems were multiplied by the bunch of incompetent dolts who work there. I had 9 months of trying to get them to setup a direct debit for my gas and electricity before I gave up and went to another supplier.

Every single month I got a letter(s) telling me there was a problem with my direct debit, and every month I rang up to find out what the problem was. Every single month I was told the problem had been sorted, but either nothing had been done, or what was done compounded the problem. At one point I had four accounts, each trying (and failing) to direct debit me for by gas and electricity. Problems included loosing paperwork (sent in the same envelope with other paperwork they did get) and promising faithfully to do an action that was never done.

Even switching suppliers turned out to be a nightmare, with British Gas refusing to allow be to switch 'cos they said I owed money, but every time I contacted them they said I didn't owe anything (turned out that two of the four accounts had been 'closed' but with money owing, and because they had been closed no bills were sent and no human on the end of the phone could find them as they were 'hidden'. Aggghhhhhh).

Of course all of this was only compounded with their half hour wait on the phone listening to their 'we are experiencing unusually high volumes' message. When have listened to that lie 50 times, you start every conversation with the impression they are going to lie to you again.

MEPs deny sports 'intellectual property' landgrab

Jobs Horns

Don't forget - News reporting is a business too.

"Journalists' groups suspect it will be the executives who sit on the governing boards of sports that have grown rich on their fans' enthusiasm"

Its is not as if they and their medial barons bosses are growing rich on the fans' enthusiasm as well is it? All we have is is one business seeing an oportunity to make more money and another business seeing that oportunity as a threat to their profit. Ho hum.

UK Office of Government Commerce cracks one off

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And no-one else spotted this one?

"...have a firm grip...."

I mean ....really. No-one?

(Logo for obvious clenching fist reasons)


And others I didn't spot

"organisation....firm grip......spend..."

Oooh Err Missus

I take the grubby looking one

Creative threatens developer over home-brewed Vista drivers


There a problem with Creative Soundcards and Vista?

I've just been looking around for a new soundcard for use with my new build, but now I know there is a problem with Creative hardware, they are off my shopping list.

(Just in case anyone from Creative reads this I will translate "The negative publicity you have created has just lost you a sale".)

By the way Creative, which particular bit of "IP" is yours that was stolen. Trade secret? Patent? Copyright? I would love to know because I suspect you are using that term as bluff and you are full of p*** and wind, signifying nothing.

Oil rig dream bomb taxpayer bill 'astronomical'


"Once you start you can't stop" management

Best quote I heard on the radio new over the weekend

"The evacuation was continued even after it became obvious that the bomb threat was non-existant"

Isn't it nice that someone else will pick up the tab for your own crass stupidity, and continue to pay even after your crass stupidity becomes obvious.

/silly icon of cash on fire/

MoD asks UK Forces personnel to submit DNA samples

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Advantages - disadvantages. What to do?

So on balance....

Advantages. It makes someone elses live easier to identify my dead remains. However, I don't care.....I'm dead.

Disadvantages. My DNA gets added to a database, over which I will never have any control and could be used for any purpose (not just to prove I have been a naughty boy).

No matter how many times I get told by the government they will not change the rules, it is amazing how may time the regulations get stretched, altered and interpreted until the use is totally different from that intended. (Use of the Anti-terrorism emergency powers immediately springs to mind).

And the balance falls sharply on the side of 'Kiss my shiny......'

Join the army, get your ID pinched - MoD laptop goes AWOL


My account getting emptied - if not when

I'm in the Armed Forces and have come to the conclusion that it is a matter of when my account gets emptied - not if.

Why? Because I have to tell various members of the Armed Forces:-

a. all of my bank details

b. all of my personal details (Mothers's maiden name, wife's maiden name, addresses for the last 7 years, Parents address, wife's addresses, children's names, and birthdays for all of the above, passport number, National Insurance Number, Place of Birth.

About the only thing they do not know about me is my first Pet's name.

Ripe for a bit of identity theft? I should Coco

And in case we all think that our wonderful armed forces are above a bit of self interest, I one knew a Officer in the Territorial Army who used the names and address of his troops to open Bank accounts. He was a Bank Manager who wanted to meet his targets for new customers.

I have set up a seperate bank account which only has my Armed forces Pay going into it - and it immediatly gets moved to another account that they do not know about. It is my only defence.

Clarkson's 'steal my ID' stunt backfires


@ jason

wouldnt that be 'J Clarkson'?

Nope. Could be anyone. No-one checks that the name on the direct debit is the same as the name on the account. You could fill in a direct debit with Clarksons account number and put Imagit Clarkson in the name. It would probably have got through (probably will not now as - I would hope - Clarkson has closed the account or the bank has put a stop on any further activity on it).


They don't need any 'personal' information - they just need your account details

To all those who think they are safe, because someone who might setup a direct debit on their account does not have their personnel details (address, Mothers maiden name, DOB, or even your name).

THINK AGAIN. You do not need any of these details to open a direct debit. You only need an account number (a sort code helps as well). You can put in any name, any address and make other piece of information you like.

Why? Simple. The company who sets up your direct debit have no way of knowing you own the account you are setting the direct debit against and check it against your name, address etc. The banks will not tell them (Data Protection working for you - again). The Company raise a request to the bank and the bank ONLY checks that the account number is valid before raising a Direct Debit against that account. The Bank does not check that the name, address or anything lines up with the account – let alone any other basic security checks.

The Bank’s excuse is that they security vetted the Company raising the direct debit really really carefully, and so when the get a valid direct debit, the HAVE to honour it. (‘valid’ means only that the account number is correct). They do not seem to understand that the Company raising the direct debit has no way of knowing that the account details they are given is actually owned by the person raising the Direct Debit.

So the Company raising the direct debit has no way of security checking any direct debit request and the Bank performs no security checks on your behalf.

So all you need is someone’s account details and you can set up a direct debit against their account.

The question is not ‘how could the bank have allowed Clarkson’s account be debited’ but rather ‘How could the banks have allowed such a huge security hole to have existed for so many years’. It is a simple answer. They don’t care because they are indemnified by the Company raising the Direct Debit.


A huge security hole, the banks know it and don't care

Hurray. Someone has now realized a flaw in the banking Direct Debit system I found.

Several years ago I found that someone had setup a Direct Debit on my account for a TV licence. After long conversations with TV licensing and my bank I found out that there is nothing to stop anyone setting up a direct debit on my account. All anyone has to do is fill in a direct debit with someone my account details. The company managing your direct debit can only accept at face value that the direct debit they get has the account details filled in correctly and pass it to your bank. The Bank does no checking that the direct debit is correct because they have delegated all responsibility to the Company dealing with the Direct Debit and they just automatically process the direct debit mandate WITHOUT ANY CHECKS.

No signature checks, no account checks, not even checking that the person originating the direct debit owns the account. NOTHING.

So basically the Company raising the Direct Debit cannot check any details are correct, and the Bank does no checking because they have passed on responsibility.

So the only person in the whole chain who checks that the direct debit has been applied to the correct account is you. This is a huge hole that the Banks have buried their head into. The only reason I did not take it further was because of the Direct Debit guarantee that I would get my money back. (and even then in this instance I had to be passed up the chain to a senior manager at the bank and had to quote some of the Banks own direct debit leaflets before they would honor the guarantee and credit my account straight away.) I tried to raise it as a potential fraud, but the Bank was just not interested. As they said, the Company raising the Direct Debit indemnifies them, so what was the problem. They could just not get it into their heads that someone had taken money from my account without my permission AND COULD DO IT AGAIN. They just kept repeating ’but you got your money back’

I can also understand the comment about the Data Protection Act. I tried to find out who had raised the Direct Debit and was quoted the Data Protection Act.


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