* Posts by Stevie

6454 posts • joined 12 Jun 2008

'Nun' drops goat head on pavement outside Cheltenham 'Spoons

Stevie Silver badge

Re: Soup anyone?

See what you did there. Pint for the reference.

Are you sure your disc drive has stopped rotating, or are you just ignoring the messages?

Stevie Silver badge

Re:No Display Detected

Headless bootup message to remote network admin console?

I know for a fact that NT4 would not boot in its default outta the box configuration if you hadn't plugged in the keyboard and mouse.

Stevie Silver badge

Re: Gah. Users.

Bah and double bah. I work in a large office with literally dozens of people, all of whom have a piece of paper to say they are clever and know stuff. Many of them have the nerve to add the words "engineer" or "architect" after the word software to indicate to all comers how clever they are. But these fine fellows seem to have missed out on portions of their expensive educations, to whit:

A printer will not replace its own toner even if you tape a notice on it saying "out of toner".

Ditto "out of paper". This one is doubly annoying as the supply department is on our floor, about 75 feet from the furthest printer.

A printer repairman will not appear as if by magic if one writes "This printer is broken! REPAIR IT!" on a sheet of letter paper left by said printer, because the repair man does not have The Force strong in him and requires a ticket from the help desk to get moving. The help desk phone number has four digits, three of them the same digit to make it easy to remember and dial.

The seat on a toilet is fitted with a hinge. Even though I venture to guess that this most simple of machines pre-dates the wheel by several centuries, my "engineer" colleagues seem ignorant of the workings of it to judge by the quantities of urine splashed about on the seats.

The pipe connecting the commodes to the sewer line is about three inches in diameter and will not accommodate the flushing of an entire roll of toilet paper without clogging. My 'engineer" co-workers seem unable to extrapolate that if the bog jammed solid when they tried this on Friday last week, the week before, the week before that and the week before that, *this* Friday's attempt will likely end up in wet feet and angry people.

My fellow "architects" seem unable to understand that once the bog has been blocked by a rather thick experimenter, taking a crap on the resulting mess is not a good idea, and flushing after one does will not end well.

The microwave oven does not have the power of speech. A notice reading "is this microwave oven dangerous?" will likely receive no answer unless I see it, when the answer will not be considered helpful or polite.

The said microwave is not self repairing, nor do the facilities staff show any signs of possessing ESP powers. Taping a note to the oven reading "This microwave is broken" will not result in a miraculous repair or replacement.

Between the lift doors is not a good place to begin a lengthy a-la-Google meeting at 5:30 pm.

The revolving door is not a good place to reply to a text if you are incapable of walking in a circle and typing, especially at 9:30 am or 5:30 pm.

Please, do talk about the innate stupidity of users, but don't imagine for one second that our own are any less idiotic and selfish.

$24m in fun bux stolen from crypto-mogul. Now he fires off huge fraud charge. Like, RICO, say?

Stevie Silver badge

Re: And Ken White has a pony ...

Linked source asks himself a question about "suing for RICO".

You don't sue or prosecute for RICO, you do that under the RICO statutes.

Yes it is overused. But here the "organized" bit would seem to be justified since the case concerns the activities of a gang acting in concert (or we could say "as an organization") to commit crimes requiring a high degree of coordination and pre-planning.

I've no sympathy for the gang members. Take 'em down under any and all laws that can be made to apply.

There does seem to be a lot of victim-blaming going on here. Lots of people saying "he did it wrong" but not offering up the "right" alternative they imply is lurking behind their posts.

Put yourself in the victim's shoes for a minute. Someone lifted 24 million dollars from your supposedly secure crypocash vault. Are you going to say "Fiddle de dee, tomorrow's another day" or are you going to grab a chainsaw, round up your hockey mask'n'chaps-wearing buddies and fire up the unfeasible dune buggies for a spot of takesie-backsies in a World Gone Mad?

Happy Thursday! 770 MEEELLLION email addresses and passwords found in yuge data breach

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All my emails show as pwned.

None of my passwords do.

However, at every stage I was exhorted to download the recommended password manager.

This Means Something.

RIP 2019-2019: The first plant to grow on the Moon? Yeah, it's dead already, Chinese admit

Stevie Silver badge


First plant to grow on moon.

First plant to have cells burst due to freezing on moon.

First plant death on moon.

A trifecta of science!

Good to see China is infected with the same story-changing time wasters we have at home.

Scientists! Do science!

This must be some kind of mistake. IT managers axed, CEO and others' wallets lightened in patient hack aftermath

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Re: Seems legit 4 Waseem Alkurdi

Why do you have to *pay* for doing work?

It is the way of things.

Stevie Silver badge

Re: Seems legit 4 aks

Ass. 1: correct.

Ass. 2: Nope.

Both feet still shredded in my view.

Stevie Silver badge

Re: Seems legit

" Pretty much every firm in existence is running a small blacklist of sites end users shouldn't be accessing."

Mine has blocked IBM and Oracle's main libraries of downloadable manuals. This pretty much encompasses all the products we use and support.

Which is why I have my own internet hotspot and laptop on my desk.

I reckon that qualifies as shooting oneself in both feet myself, but no doubt I have missed the point.

'It's like they took a rug and covered it up': Flight booking web app used by scores of airlines still vuln to attack – claim

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Sounds like a job for ... Blockchain!

Fire up the roof-mounted Blockchainsignal!

Army had 'naive' approach to Capita's £1.3bn recruiting IT contract, MPs told

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"four key performance indicator targets out of a total of 228"

El Reg must secure the inside story of this epic level of failure to deliver for a future Who Me? special edition.

Cops told: No, you can't have a warrant to force a big bunch of people to unlock their phones by fingerprint, face scans

Stevie Silver badge


Anecdotal evidence is that a basketball with a bloody handprint on it will unlock the majority of "face recognition" locked devices.

I suggests the 5-0 try a selection of Mr Potato Heads, teddy bears and the mug shots of the suspects themselves in front of the phones in question.

Somewhere there's an Ursula K Le Guin wastebasket with The Word for Crap That Doesn't Work is Biometrics typed on a screwed-up wad of paper.

Brit hacker hired by Liberian telco to nobble rival now behind bars

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Re:"Living in Cyprus at the time..."

Then I hope he was in the Greek bit if there's a jurisdiction war, because I just watched Lawrence of Arabia and what the Turks will allegedly do to a suspect of skullduggery doesn't bear thinking about (but coincidentally rhymes with skullduggery).

Dozens of .gov HTTPS certs expire, webpages offline, FBI on ice, IT security slows... Yup, it's day 20 of Trump's govt shutdown

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And then there are those people with land next to the border who are fighting eminent domain claims initiated in the Cause of Wall.

Stevie Silver badge

Re: Another wall?

The Asinine Wall.

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OPOTUS has no love for the FBI. It will be a case of whatever they write, TL:DR.

Amazon Mime: We train (badly) an AI love bot using divorce bombshell Bezos' alleged sexts to his new girlfriend

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I believe you have inadvertantly invented the AI William Burroughs. Add large quantities of Heroin and re-run for confirmation.

If I could turn back time, I'd tell you to keep that old Radarange at home

Stevie Silver badge

Re: Military Ship Radar

I was there. I don’t remember any radar incident.

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<MODE = “Clouseau”> Yes! Yes! The old Metal Clad Datacentre Ploy!

Er ... are you saying that the best place for housing computers is a Portakabin?

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Re: Pesky microwaves

Well spotted. A leopard has been awarded.

Excuse me, sir. You can't store your things there. Those 7 gigabytes are reserved for Windows 10

Stevie Silver badge

Re: What the hell is a jiga byte??

That's not paraphrasing, it's mis-quoting.

Stevie Silver badge

Re: What the hell is a jiga byte??

It's what you get when no-one in the film unit knows the proper pronunciation of "giga" or is willing to interrupt the "artist" to correct them. In this case it got retconned in under 12 parsecs by the director and fanbase, just like the Kessel Run flub was.

For an even more annoying one to the UK ear, listen to DeNiro mangling "Hereford" in Ronin. If I had been Seen Been I would have mugged when asked "What colour are the boathouse doors in here-ford" and replied "Dunno. But in herr-i-ford they are green."

You aren't allowed to correct The Talent when they are fucking it up, apparently.

Thought Macbooks were expensive? Dell UK unveils the 7 meeeellion pound laptop

Stevie Silver badge



Interns, currency and those tricky floating point data types, eh?

Attention all British .eu owners: Buy dotcom domains and prepare to sue, says UK govt

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"yet for some reason politicians and bureaucrats are insisting on continuing to rush headlong off a cliff."

It's almost as if politicians (and their bureaucrat hunchbacks) have only two settings: DO NOTHING and PANIC (NEVER USE).

This is the final straw, evil Microsoft. Making private GitHub repos free? You've gone too far

Stevie Silver badge

Re: As ever (4 JDX)


* - Found "Sheeple": Didn't Read Further.

Border guards probe 'suspicious bulge' in man's trousers to find he's packing fluffies

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Re: Ouch

Not until a passing janitor fired up his vacuum cleaner, at any rate.

Stevie Silver badge


Should have claimed his trousers were infested when nossir-not-my-kittens went for his string underwear.

Nah. No-one would buy that tail of woe.

You were told to clean up our systems, not delete 8,000 crucial files

Stevie Silver badge


My gov't-issued NT4 workstation had a 520 MB hard drive in 1999, but everyone in a position to do so was going larger than that if they could. Can't remember what was "du jour" standard in sane workplaces, but I'd guess at a gig on account of it being twice what I had.

I remember having to admit this to a nice lady at Sams publishing when she asked why I didn't solve a problem with a "book on CD*" by copying it to my hard drive.

*Unix Unleashed, System Administrators Edition. Life and career saving book. Can't praise highly enough.

Fake 'U's! Phishing creeps use homebrew fonts as message ciphers to evade filters

Stevie Silver badge

Re: People stil falling for the fake email.

Hmmm. Idea. Get one of those laminating kits ...

Funnier idea. Ask person to hold up fake ID to door camera* (both sides please) and have automated routine print up a card with your own photo/name on it once picture and name zones are identified. Ask for a minute so you can get dressed (you were in the shower) and laminate up the result. Answer door wearing same ID bearing supervisor job title. Act puzzled, then angry.

*properly isolated from the Internet of Tat of course.

Stevie Silver badge

Re: People stil falling for the fake email.

"I'm still surprised at how many folks have to open, read, and then click on the links in emails."

*<idly ponders how many times El Reg credentials have been looted by spoof "REPLY" button code injection attack>*

SpaceX's Crew Dragon shows up at pad 39A, nearly 8 years after the last Shuttle left

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Questions remain: Will Thunderbird 3 accompany Dragon X into orbit in an observational role or is that more the responsibility of Fireball XL5?

Stevie Silver badge

Re: Naming conventions

Well this *isn't* an SF forum.

But I think you might be surprised to learn how many know of Larry Niven, got the reference but didn't feel the need to point out how to understand it. He was widely published by Sphere, if memory serves, in the UK. Sphere were a major quality paperback SF outlet during Niven's early career.

My 2019 resolution? Not to buy any of THIS rubbish

Stevie Silver badge


Reasons why music on vinyl was more satisfying than what came after.

a) The whole rigmarole of equipment set-up and music deployment was a skill (to judge by the lamentable state of your records, not one to which you gave much attention) that made the payoff loads better.

2) The equipment was dead steampunky. Goldring Lenco had all sorts of fishing rods and weights hung over corkscrews to get the magic working. A piece of sculpture that played music! No amount of servo-assisted tray opening and closing can compete for cool visuals.

$) Zerostat pistols. Great for stunning spiders, tasing friends and resetting smug gits' digital watches to January 1st, 1900.

@) Artwork on a square foot, or if you were lucky two square feet of canvas. 25 or 50 square inches does not compare.

:) Lyric sheets you could read without electron microscope eyeballs

Vinyl was a multimedia experience and the racks in HMV, Boots and Virgin were an art gallery everyone could and did enjoy every Saturday.

But I agree, the fucking scratches and surface noise were annoying. EMI* and their lousy dirt/handling protocols. I remember eagerly hanging by the radio for the very first airing of The Wall only to turn it off in disgust when the recording was badly scratched. EMI strikes again. The job *could* be done right (witness Deutsche Grammophon's expensive offerings) but as usual, EMI couldn't be arsed to try.

* - they owned the busiest pressing factories in the UK.

Stevie Silver badge

Re: "What are you, a fucking 8-year-old?"

Good enough for the President of the United States, good enough for me.

Stevie Silver badge


"What are you, 8 years old?"

Sometimes, yes. An eight year old with a 63 year old professional's income. Pray I limit my foolish purchases to such harmless tat, lest my drone smack onto your car at warp 9.5 while I'm "getting the hang of it".

Um, I'm not that Gary, American man tells Ryanair after being sent other Gary's flight itinerary

Stevie Silver badge


Back in '96 I bought a nice new Windows 95 computer with a voiceview modem and fax software. The first weekend we had it the phone rang at some ungodly hour and began to squeal at me, so I went downstairs, made some tea while the PC booted up and I started the fax software. Sure enough, some pages of lab work from a doctor's office oozed out of the printer, along with the cover containing the source c/w land line phone number.

I phoned them and dropped down the rabbit hole.

"I think you just misdialed your fax machine."


"Please check"

"No need! We don't make mistakes!"

"Okay. Let's think about that. I say that you've misdialed your fax machine. You say that coincidentally, some joker has randomly called you up to accuse you of sending him a fax by mistake at the exact same time that you are sending a fax containing the lab results of Mrs Notatallwell's blood work. Which situation sounds more likely?"

"I'll check the dialing then"

"And I'll destroy the paperwork you sent, shall I?"

"Er...yes please"

Stevie Silver badge

Start cancelling the flights.

Hah! In the bad old days our phone number was almost the same as a local wood yard. The last two digits were reversed on a five digit number.

My dad would answer and say "You have the wrong number."

My dad was a bit "sudden", and people would often respond "What number is that" to which he would say "You must know, you dialed it".

Some people got very angry when he told them they had the wrong number, and insisted they had the right one. He would then say that Mr Woodyard had decided he didn't need their business after all, and if they didn't like it they should come round in person to discuss matters.

Not one for de-escalation, my dad. I miss the old bugger.

Stevie Silver badge


Oh man, I never realized how common my First name, Middle Initial and Last name were until my place of work linked a bajillion small email empires in one humongous ldappery.

Wrongly directed emails from people became endemic, and some contained very sensitive info. I ended up writing a mailbot to deal with persistent offenders, though after a particularly annoying exchange with the other me, in which I attempted to enlist his help avoiding the problem in the first place and he belligerently and persistently refused to understand the problem, I removed the logic that forwarded the mis-directed mail to him and replaced it with a boilerplate "your mail was sent to the wrong person and has been deleted unread" return-to-sender message.

Half the problem was the exchange mafia who didn't put very much info in the exchange "address card" and refused to allow people update permissions on their own info. Their solution, when asked to add one line to my card pointing out my location in a different city to the other me, was to offer to change my email name. They densely refused to understand that this would solve nothing and add a further complication that now no-one who knew me and needed to mail me would know what my address was. It was maddening.

One persistent mis-mailing person was in charge of a small staff, each of whom - for whatever reason - felt inclined to respond to any email from her just to show they were paying attention. She would send out a mailing to "all" (including the wrong me) and include a metric clucktonne of attachments (all eyes-only, sensitive stuff). Said staff would then reply to all, including original attachments.

I went home one Friday evening, and at eight o'clock my teenytiny mailbox crashed with the overload from one of her missives and it's echoes. I came back on Monday to find eleventy thousand mails from the exchange boyos yelling that my mailbox was full (though how they thought spamming me every five minutes with their mails over a weekend was "helpful" I don't know).

So I wrote a special bot for her and her cabal. Each email I got from someone on her "reply to all" list got their email and attachments back at them, with a copy sent to the original offender.

"Alice" would send me a mistaken mail with four or five phone book sized attachments. My bot would send it and its payload right back with a "Wrong Stevie again, Alice" cover letter, and delete my copy. Then a veritable hail of incoming mail c/w 4-5 phone books would begin as each of her staff members would say something like "Me too" or "I agree" or some other totally worthless observation. I would bounce each one back to the sender along with its payload, and send a copy to "Alice" - with payload. There were about ten people on her staff, so each time she initiated hostilities she would end up with eleven distinct sets of phone books, all the same, which would collapse her mailbox and cause eleventy thousand emails from the exchange quango to swamp her mailbox over the weekend.

It still took three salvos of tripe before she started being careful about which Stevie she claimed as a subordinate.

Any time someone says "I know where you live" in a threatening manner, I respond "I bet you don't" and let them harass random not-mes they found using Google searches. This does not work with police officers standing in the rain while holding my driver's license I've discovered.

Then there was the time I got a call at home from a lawyer wanting to sue me over my driving an ambulance I do not own into a vehicle I had never seen in a city I had (at that time) never visited en route to a hospital I had never heard of. It took another lawyer to explain that lazy database searches on name alone were not the basis for a sound lawsuit, even in New York, nor a reasonable basis for slanderous accusations of criminal liability.

But that's a tale for a different thread.

Silicon Valley CEO thrown in the cooler for three years, ordered to pay back $1.5m for bullsh*tting investors

Stevie Silver badge

Re: "ArXiv" is "archive"

Only if you allow them to get away with it.

If I'm sitting in the classroom or presentation, it will get called "arzive" - with a sibbilant "z" to make it sound like "arse-ive".

If challenged I'll just point out that it's a "Zylophone" not a "Chilophone" and OPOTUS is a "Zenophobe", not a "Chenophobe", and tell them to get a proper typographer to design them a better logo that lets people say their name the way they want them to.

Bunch of arxoles.

Stevie Silver badge

Re:[It's pronounced] Lay-tech.

Not according to my source.

"Lah Tek".

I would, of course, just call it LAY-tex to annoy the idiots who let the original designers get away with such tomfoolery. You want to create a "funny" sight gag with your naming conventions, you get to live with the fallout.

Stevie Silver badge


Anyone coining a name for anything techy in which the spelling doesn't help pronounce the name of whatever it is should get 12 months for a start, double that if you go to court and make the judge say it "wrong".

Yes I'm looking at you, inventors of LaTex. Your time will come.

And anyone starting an argument about "gif" should have to pay Unisys a small stipend every time they say it in whichever daft pronunciation they've come up with, since they invented the algorithm stolen by the opinionated pronouncer hisself to make the format work.

Bah humbug!

Oregon can't stop people from calling themselves engineers, judge rules in Traffic-Light-Math-Gate

Stevie Silver badge

Re: Oregon Engineers

Filling Station? Bah! None of these so-called "filling stations" have any sort of auto-pump-gubbins that enforces a full tank on the would be fuel buyer.

At best these are petrol stations, just like they were in me grandad's day.

"Filling Station" indeed. So much for engineers and their fancy educations.

Heard the one where the boss calls in an Oracle consultant who couldn't fix the database?

Stevie Silver badge

Re: The Force is strong with this one


Aside: Are there any funnier words in the English language than "Flames shot out ..."? They always crack me up, even if I was the one beating out the carpet fire or staring at the remains of the PC.

Racing at the speed of light, Sage superhero bursts through the door...

Stevie Silver badge

Re: Worst one I've heard of

If you are forced to "go seal" I guess you have to wear a mask, flippers and snorkel to briefings.

And a big knife strapped to your leg, of course.

Mark Zuckerberg did everything in his power to avoid Facebook becoming the next MySpace – but forgot one crucial detail…

Stevie Silver badge


It is interesting to me that so many here instinctively grasp that Facebook information is never secure because of "shadow profile" concerns, yet so few understand that no matter how good a parent one is, one's children are for a large part of their day, under the influence and "data input policies" of others.

Every time I see a DINK or SINK argument about "I blame the parents" I grit my teeth and recall the stuff I got up to that my parents had no knowledge of, even though they were vigilant and quite conservative in their views on what their kids should be seeing of the world. As Bernard said in one episode of Yes Minister: "CBE - can't be everywhere".

The models of each situation seems congruent to me.

I've never had a Facebook profile, but am under no illusions that my every move is transparent to them on account of all the relatives I have that do. As for lying, I think that it has been well demonstrated by examples from history that no industry can be self-regulating from the viewpoint of the public, who get screwed over and then get presented with the bills when Things Go Wrong. The computer/social networking industry is no different to the auto industry or the legal industry, and its participants will move to protect themselves and increase their rewards at the expense of everyone else until forced to stop (or put in the position of asking for public monies to stave off disaster).

And yes, I believe that having a colossal liar in the White House is an enabling factor, raising the bar of what is acceptable until even a tall man on stilts could walk under it with no problem. No-one attempts to jump the bar any more, so the metaphor has been subverted and inverted almost without anyone noticing.

This is how world wars start. When you can say anything without needing to back up what you are saying, you can invent all sorts of outrages that must be stopped - by "reluctant" military intervention if necessary. All it takes is for the people in control of large economies to start thinking like third world warlords and its kit up for the third innings time.

Could you speak up a bit? I didn't catch your password

Stevie Silver badge

Re: Solution...

"Fired from mortars" would be the correct modern form.

"Fyred fromme ye mortarres" woulde bee ye correcte forme yn antyquitee.

2018 ain't done yet... Amazon sent Alexa recordings of man and girlfriend to stranger

Stevie Silver badge


There is an upside, you know. Consider that if the police should ever subpoena your Alexa records in order to bring you to justice (you swine) your shyster of a lawyer might get you off after they've been played, by claiming to a believing jury of credulous loons that in fact you aren't you - at least when it comes to Alexa.

"So inspector Organs, it is your contention that my client murdered six people in that house, and that the recordings taken from my client's Alexa device clearly indicate advance planning, including ordering axes, tomahawks, knives and so forth, is this not so?"

"It is."

"Then would you please explain to the jury why my client, who has spoken throughout in his native Midlands nasal whine, elects to order his weapons of choice in a deep Scots burl? And that the slow performance of the Amazon website that day has him swearing in what our expert witness has identified as Lowland Scots Gaelic? A language with which my client has demonstrated no affinity whatsoever? Indeed, his secondary school French teacher has given testimony under oath that her experience was that my client had little enough grasp of his native English and in four years of enforced language education demonstrated no capacity whatsoever for learning another! How do you reconcile these disparate facts inspector?"


"In fact Inspector, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I plan to show evidence this day that my client has never in his life so much as travelled North of Sheffield! That he has no Scotsmen in his family tree! That this murderous, growling Celtic voice we have heard is in fact one Angus McGillycuddy, a retired dockworker from Fife who currently resides at 'Nae Mare Rovin' Like', 43 Bonnie Prince Charlie Lane, Glasgow, where he is current mace-bearer and treasurer of the Only Gude Sassenach Is A Deed Sassenach Club."

(Chaos in the public gallery, cries of Order! Order! from Mr Justice Wonce, banging of the gavel, shouts of "Thaas tellin' him Jimmeh!" from the dock etc)

Stevie Silver badge


I wonder how much blame accrues to the recent migration of DB technology?

My Amazon profile is completely trashed since about 4 weeks ago, when I was told I had contravened the community guidelines. My reviews were deleted. No appeal allowed.

I have no idea what I had done (Amazon keeping that to themselves) other than what I had been doing for ten years as far as writing reviews goes. Then they told me that I was back in their good books but most of the profile was gone and the rest had bizarre settings - a review of a Paula Poundstone book was flagged as "hidden" with no way to unhide it for example).

Requests for more info go unanswered, so now I have a mail filter to bin the begging-for-reviews letters from Amazon and their sellers and those "can you answer" spams.

I'd be angry about what is tantamount to cyber bullying (I was quite proud of my "Caged Women" review and the comments people made were hugely entertaining) except that Amazon making me live the Piranha bros sketch for real, me playing Stig O'Tracy to their Dinsdale Piranha, has me laughing hysterically.

"We understand Amazon nailed your head to the floor (figuratively)"

"Nahnahnahnahnah! They wouldn't do that!"

"But we have film of them doing so."

"Oh. Well, they did that, yeah. But they 'ad to. I 'ad broken the unwritten law."

"What had you done?"

"Well, they didn't tell me that, but they gave me their word it was the case and that's good enough for me."

London Gatwick Airport reopens but drone chaos perps still not found

Stevie Silver badge

Re: Cost?

<mode = Jacques Clouseau> Yes, yes the credit default swapping you know!

Er ... are you saying ... these drones are the work of sub-prime mortgage bundlairs?

Stevie Silver badge


In WWII during Hitler's assault on our green and pleasant land, lone Spitfre pilots would bring down buzz-bombs by flying wing to wing with them and flipping them over!

We didn't take any nonsense form the hun in those days, and we shouldn't take any nonsense from drones today!

Slipping standards, wouldn't have happened under Winston, fought two wars, fought on the beaches, Dunkirk, Mafeking etc etc.

Major Brainache (Mrs).

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