* Posts by Ledswinger

6739 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

Time to ditch the front door key? Nest's new wireless smart lock is surprisingly convenient

Ledswinger
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Re: Why's it mounted on the door?

Why do they keep mounting locks on the door?

You are correct that frame-mounted would be superior in many ways, but the reason they are not offering that is simple - ease of retrofit.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Convenient... until it's discontinued

Not long at all. Google door locks are a finite (and IMHO small) market, buyers won't replace them if they fail quickly, so there's little repeat business, and Google will only remain in the game if buyers subscribe to the Google "home" model of multiple appliances all interconnected, and all passing lots of lovely data back to Mountain View.

Which means that standalone purchases (with the Nest Connect) won't contribute to Google's decision about dumping the product, and the longevity of the product is decided by the tiny, tiny number of people willing to spend several thousand on Google products.

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Ledswinger
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Coffee/keyboard

this is the triumph of hope over experience

It'll sell well to the millennials and urban hipsters. Whereas I won't have one ever.

Trusting Google? Bwahahahahahahaahahaa!

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Samsung-backed gizmo may soon juice up your smartphone over the air

Ledswinger
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Re: "...the strength of the field is inversely proportional to the distance..."

I still regard any kind of practical remote wireless charging as in the realms of science fiction

Indeed it is. But you won't be surprised to know there's a whole load of snake oil companies claiming they can do this, and they're each snorting up a fat line of VC cash, as well as looking to hook potential customers (potential customers who can't do basic physics, at any rate).

In my last job, my employer started sniffing around such technologies, and threw the fat end of £1m at an internal project to consider the viability. When I made my views clear (very similar to your post), I got told to shut up, and the whole project ambled on, with the participants getting expenses paid trips to conventions in Vegas and meeting the "Silicon Valley entrepreneurs" behind the schemes, with marketing commissioning glossy videos and "market research" that showed wealthy middle class housewives declaring how a self-charging iPhone was somewhere on a par with the second coming. Eventually the company gave up, not because they realised that the laws of physics meant it wouldn't be technically achievable before perhaps 2050 (if ever), but simply because having assumed that it would work (!) they couldn't create a viable commercial model that made them any money.

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Two's company, Three's unbowed: You Brits will pay more for MMS snaps

Ledswinger
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The 'no tethering' clause that these telcos put on really grinds my gears.

Don't worry! Ofcom are investigating this.........

.....oh, yes. As you were.

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Ledswinger
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trying to get a PAC was frustrating

I've found the same with Orange, Vodafone and O2. It's the old AOL trick, of trying to make it so hard to escape that some people either give up or put it off.

And with Ofcom continuing its miserable failure to defend customer interests under its latest lacklustre boss, why would the MNO's worry? The only silver lining is that "diversity" enthusiasts will be pleased that Sharon White is demonstrating that she's every bit the useless lickspittle as much as her male predecessors.

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Ledswinger
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Get rid of the shareholders leeching off your customers, and look after your customers, then you'll see profits go up.

I'm hoping that's sarcasm. On the internet is never pays to assume anything.

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ID theft in UK hits record high as crooks shift to more vulnerable targets

Ledswinger
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Having a Google, it appears that QuickQuid have plenty of previous on this one - clearly their identity checks are a bit rubbish.

Report them to the FCA, using the evidence of Mrs H's demand (and referencing internet examples) to show that QuickQuid (actually CashEuroNet LLC) are lending money without carrying out sufficient checks to prevent fraud. That'll hopefully trigger an investigation that'll cost QQ's owners tens of thousands, and if there's sufficient evidence their licence to lend will be suspended.

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Jeff Bezos purple prose reveals Amazon Prime's passed 100m customers

Ledswinger
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Re: 99m, 999 thousand, 999 now

Our employer actually has an "Amazon cupboard" where staff can order all their stuff to the work address (because there's always someone there), and it gets put into the cupboard and at the end of the day someone delivers it to people's offices

Bwahahahahahahaa! Make use of that whilst it lasts! My last employer banned the practice of "Amazon-to-work" after somebody ordered a washing machine, which caused more than a certain amount of difficulty in the post room of a large administrative office.

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Super Cali health inspectors: Tesla blood awoke us

Ledswinger
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Unlike most UK local government, who tend to completely ignore their legal duty to investigate H&S reports, and then whitewash over the hospitalizations they could have prevented.

I think you'll find that any external investigation in the UK for health and safety breaches is the responsibility of the Health & Safety Executive, and they most certainly don't whitewash anything.

From the point of view of an employer, the names of the four horsemen are not death, famine, war and conquest, they are far more sinister beings known as HMRC, HSE, CMA, and the Environment Agency.

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Pyro-brainiacs set new record with waste-heat-into-electricity study

Ledswinger
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Re: Potential Use in Photovoltaic Cells or Other ???

Would it therefore be possible to add this layer to the rear of the solar cell

In theory yes, but the temperature differential is the challenge - if you modify the panel to emphasise the temperature gradient, the panel runs hotter, which generally speaking shortens the life. The lower the temperature gradient, the less efficient the heat-to-electricity conversion is.

Sadly low grade heat remains a very difficult to use resource. There's plenty of it (eg a coal power station like Ratcliffe on Soar can waste about 8 TWh of low grade heat annually, enough to meet the entire heat demands of a large city), but recovering it is expensive, and unless converted to easy-to-use high grade heat, or electricity then it is also expensive to use.

As the article notes, heat-to-electricity has been a known technology for many years - problem is that it doesn't scale well due to the capex needs, and the efficiency is generally low, so you're still not recovering much of the waste heat.

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Machines learned to assemble IKEA’s semi-disposable furniture

Ledswinger
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Re: @Ledswinger

Yes, and that type of tool is made by Abingdon King Dick

Certainly only a real man would know what a "ratchet podger" is. And good to see that somebody still makes tools that say "Made in England".

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Ledswinger
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Re: Why do people have so much problems with Ikea?

Let's not mention the one closet where I assembled the 2 sidewalls the wrong way round

Lucky you're not like me, and glue the joints rather than relying on the dowels and cams......

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Ledswinger
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Re: Pleeeease, robots. Take this job away from us!

A bit of knolling helps.

Blue Peter badge for teaching me a new word!

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Ledswinger
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Re: Not the real world

Real men have drill drivers with the correct hex fittings

I think there's only certain tools that qualify for "real man" status*. For starters the qualifying tool needs to come from a decent make - Makita, DeWalt, Metabo, Festool, Hitachi or similar. Then it needs to be a proper meaty device, such as a meaty 18V drill driver with a monster battery, any variant of circular saw, SDS drill, angle grinder, or anything powered by compressed air. For Ultimate Real Man status, only a gas powered cordless framing nail gun will do.

* In these enlightened times, I note that Real Man status will also be available to other genders & species.

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Now IBM turns redundo gun on its Digital Business Group

Ledswinger
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more than 25,000 positions open worldwide in...

...low wage developing nations. Until local wages rise, in which case we'll move on, and eventually consider hiring lower order primates.

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Elon Musk's latest Tesla Model 3 delivery promise: 6,000... a week

Ledswinger
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I've seen two videos done in late november last year that absolutely mauled Tesla for alignment and gaps on the model 3. I cannot imagine that the issues raised in those videos have continued.

Why not? Most American car buyers regard cars as a commodity, and don't care about the detail. So Tesla have churned out every Model S looking like it has suffered a bad crash repair. Why would they work on precision manufacture when their core market doesn't care about that?

Even Tesla show cars are APPALLINGLY turned out. I've seen display cars with kerbed alloys, dinged panels, orange peel paintwork, and gap alignment that makes my teeth look straight.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Replacing the batteries.

My personal testing on lithium batteries shows that, if I don't discharge them below about 50%, they can last for a very long time.

Great. To ensure longevity of my Tesla, I have to treat it with kid gloves and recharge at half the potential range. Can you think of any downsides?

Taking the model S, that's a circa 100k car with a routine range of 150 miles. Nice.

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We 'could' send troubled Watchkeeper drones to war, insists UK minister

Ledswinger
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The Missing 5

Last seen heading confidently out across the Irish Sea. Since they were never seen again, they can't be recorded as "crashed". Another triumph for the navigation system.

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Pentagon sticks to its guns: Yep, we're going with a single cloud services provider

Ledswinger
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Re: Co-CEO chats with current POTUS?

What is not decided on the Golf Course is not decided at all.

All the more reason to support my proposal for the prohibition of golf.

Make all of it illegal (professional and amateur, including putting and driving ranges, "crazy" golf, even practice swings in private, including the sort of noncey pretend swing that Demot O'Leary does. Plough up the golf courses and plant sprouts. Have the RAF's two remaining Tornados tour the nation, using precision weapons to take out golf club houses (maybe let the RN take out Wentworth with a small nuke on a Trident). Make ownership of golfing equipment, paraphernalia and clothing a criminal offence. Reintroduce the death penalty and corporal punishment to ensure justice has the tools to deal with the scourge.

And most important of all create a Golfing Offenders Register, with members of the public able to search for any registered offenders living near them.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Seriously??

Is an Offeror something like a Dementor?

No. Here's a definition of a Demetor. An Offeror is similar in most respects but MUCH more evil.

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Europe turns nose up at new smartphones: Beancounters predict 7% sales drop

Ledswinger
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But I fully expect them to hold out their hands for subsidies or "less onerous" regulation

Speaking of the UK telcos, how would it be possible to have less onerous regulation than Ofcom? Can you have "negative regulation"?

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Ledswinger
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Re: So, this year Europe will have a 0.2% increase

Seems to me that the crystal ball is particularly cloudy - as usual.

Well, any forecast is just a bunch of made up numbers. In the case of third party market analysis, the publisher only makes money be selling licences for the content, so the most important thing is to produce a few exciting sounding* snippets, that way they get free publicity as in this article, and then anybody with a suitable budget and potential interest thinks "I'd better have a read of that".

* Arguably you can't have anything which is both exciting and within the scope of the research for mobile phone sales volume forecasting, but you get my drift.

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Ledswinger
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French finance magazines estimate that losing roaming income will cost EU telcos between €1.2bn and €4bn a year which they have to get back somehow.

I'm sure they would like to get that "lost" money back, but let's be clear that wasn't an honest return based on consumer choice and recover of capital investment, it was opportunist profiteering, based on lack of choice and lack of consumer protection. They most certainly haven't lost anything they are justifiably entitled to or "have" to commercially cover, so if they want that extra money, they are individually able to try raising prices and we'll see how that goes.

I think most of the big mobile incumbent players have been doing exactly that strategy of trying to increase prices to raise margins. As a result I've been moving the family phones to a range of MVNO SIM only deals, but as in any market (energy, insurance, broadband, telecoms etc) the "sticky" customers who choose not to move are the ones who will be generating nice healthy margins for the large companies.

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Don’t fight automation software for control, just turn it off. FAST

Ledswinger
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Re: Even in the extremely unlikely event that fully autonomous vehicles ever become viable

Some sort of cross between taxi and car share seems viable

Which sounds really, really unattractive, based on my experience of hire cars, hire car companies, taxis, and second hand cars.

Not to mention the fact that I want to treat the interior of my car as personal living space, so other users may have similar misgivings.

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US, UK cyber cops warn Russians are rooting around in your routers

Ledswinger
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Re: Problem is that most home routers are supplied by the ISP and updated by the ISP.

Well I have had two firmware updates from BT* this year, last one on the 7th April, now whether that is a good thing or not I have no idea.

If the router updates are as good as this, then I think I'd be saying "bad thing"

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Google to add extra Gmail security … by building a walled garden

Ledswinger
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Re: Watchout Facebook is trying the same scam

What's hilarious, is that many of the same people get free email anyway from their non-US Big-Tech ISP. So why opt to be slurped like a data slave?

In some instances the ISP mail offering is (or has been) an ISP rebadge of Gmail or Yahoo etc. And the problem of relying on your ISP for your email is that if you swap ISP then you're back to relying on a local archive only, which is really the crux of the problem here.

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Ledswinger
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Re: How?

In Germany (and, I believe the EU in general) it is illegal to delete business relevant emails

Need not be a problem. You don't think Google were going to delete ANYTHING do you? All they do is make access chargeable. You either pay the tax on a rolling basis, or a truly eye watering one off access request later. That's how professional, high-security data room services already operate.

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UK spy agency warns Brit telcos to flee from ZTE gear

Ledswinger
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Re: Oh the madness

So we can't trust Chinese routers, but it's still ok to let them build a nuclear power station in Somerset?

Well I don't know anybody there. Do you?

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Scotland: Get tae f**k on 10Mbps Broadband USO

Ledswinger
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Re: They're completely against the same thing happening

... Unless it's in their favour

Well, that is only reasonable, since Wee Jimmie has a party founded on a policy of nationalism and socialism.

She does of course overlook other policy areas with similar customer-funded obligations where Scotland was a net beneficiary. For example the Energy Company Obligation, which disproportionately benefited Scotland.

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Exposed: Lazy Android mobe makers couldn't care less about security

Ledswinger
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Re: No money in it

My point is: I would definitely pay more for a phone that was guaranteed to receive OS updates a reasonable time

Guaranteed? By whom? And you'd believe anybody making such promises?

Only Apple users have good reason to believe their god will protect them here. Except that the proliferation in SKUs for Apple suggest that they're moving to a world of fragmented user base and smaller user numbers per older SKU. And when you get to that, the economics of supporting older handsets simply don't work out as well.

Cook may well have served Apple's death warrant, simply by launching too many variants.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Mobiles, Automobiles, Killer Robots

"The market needs a credible alternative to iOS and Android"

But the market as a whole doesn't want an alternative. Ignoring Lineages and AOSP forks, there's been multiple flavours of Nokia OS, Tizen, Sailfish, Ubuntu, Firefox, Blackberry, Windows, and others offered, and nobody has yet managed to make sufficient sales to economically drive their chosen business model.

There's plenty of people like you, like me that don't want to pay the Apple tax, but don't like Google's slurping. But too few have put their hand in their pocket and been willing to support an early stage, half baked OS. Looking back, both iOS and early Android were very crude by today's expectations, but people bought them anyway. That no longer seems to apply. And later versions of Windows phone OS were fully featured and mature, but still nobody wanted to step out of line and buy it.

Who will do it and how this duopoly will be broken I can't say. But I can say the market has been offered a whole lot of choice, but turned its nose up at those choices.

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Ledswinger
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Re: No money in it

The ROI isn't zero. There's a reason why the iPhone X can retail for 250 pounds more than the Galaxy S9 and still get away with it.

I don't think that has much bearing on it. Apple have a "relationship" business model. Every other phone vendor is a hardware maker (excepting Google devices), and if they charged £250 more, they wouldn't put that into a shoebox for several years to release for future software support, they'd bank the lot of it as profit and pay out as a cash dividend. Manufacturing is a completely different business to service, and doing either well is hard enough, doing both well is truly exceptional.

Regarding the Google devices, as others have already noted in this thread, Google are not really a software house - that's just a means to an end, and the end is slurping huge amounts of user data. Even when the phone moves out of support, it is still spewing the user's data back to Google's servers. So they approach software not as a service, but as a manufacturer: "Fling it out of the door, move on to the next one".

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Ledswinger
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Re: Locked boot loaders

I've got a phone (Xiaomi) that has an unlocked boot loader. Makers even happily allow promotion of Lineages OS on their user community web site.

But that doesn't really solve the problem because it's still far too much faffing around to load a new phone OS, and until you've tried it you've no idea what works and what doesn't. And because there often are a few capabilities that don't work properly on a Lineages port, it is not a good proposition for mainstream users.

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Latest F-35 flight tests finish – and US stops accepting new jets

Ledswinger
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Did Syria use chemical weapons ? At least Blair got as far as giving us a dodgy dossier. May hasn't even bothered with that.

Whilst as sceptical as you over events, I have to say that I'm rather pleased there wasn't a tawdry parliamentary debate and vote, nor the fabrication of a dossier. The outcome is the same for Syria, but at least we won't have a grinning hypocrite pointing to his own made up evidence. By nature I'm a Tory, so I probably hate Mrs May far more than you do. But at least she's not tried to deceive the public in advance on this.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Trial by fire

these are cruise missiles so unusually hard to hit and shooting down

Not really. Small, certainly. But few stealth capabilities other than an angular case, few if any countermeasures, and not particularly fast compared to any SAM of the past three decades.

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Ledswinger
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with a British-owned Airbus tanker

How do you conclude that? That pair of crooks Brown & Blair financed the Voyager tankers by their trademark con-trick of PFI, so the actual ownership of the aircraft is widely distributed, and probably mostly owned by foreign banks and debt investors..

As is usual in defence procurement, the complicated structure and bungled procurement increased costs. In this case by about £2 billion.

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Boffins try to grok dogs using AI, a cyber-brain charter, a bot running for mayor, and more

Ledswinger
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What happened to Google's proposed contact lens that was a continuous glucose monitor for eye fluids?

The same as all other Google "innovation". As soon as they realise they'd get something like a normal commercial rate of return, it is dropped more quickly than they'd drop a flaming turd mixed with nerve agent.

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Best thing about a smart toilet? You can take your mobile in without polluting it

Ledswinger
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Re: Method in their madness

and the cam will just assist with checking out the development of your Farmer Giles' - all uploaded to the Cloud and widely available on a YouTube channel near you

And top, top, top of the range will have a little windscreen wiper on the lens, to clean away the consequences of a sputtering ring. And even that will have a "smart" revenue stream in 2025:

"AI analysis by Google Deep Mind (tm) completed! BLEEP! Deep Mind (tm) has detected that Bowl-cam HX248-8491-A67GW has bad image smearing! BLEEP! Image analysis consistent with a worn excrement wiper blade; Location 42 Acacia Grove, Stockport. Arse Identification has positively identified the foulage as being from the anus of a Mister Smeagol Gove! Despatch a technician with BCW4-X3 wiper blade, and a wiper arm cleaning and re-lube kit and a set of latex gloves. Alert PharmaOnline to an opportunity to sell Preparation H, alert Tesco of an opportunity to sell baby koala soft toilet paper and industrial strength air freshener. Notify Smeagol Gove's friends on Facebook with reminders to congratulate him on pebbledashing the pan...oh, no friends recorded, abort that. Alert Mark Zuckerberg so he can pimp this data anyway!"

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Ledswinger
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Re: Method in their madness

From what I've read, I believe a toilet bowl cam is standard equipment in Airbnb properties.

Somehow that idea reminds me of this: NSFW unless your boss has a robust sense of humour.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Problems no one has?

The architecture in Japan often leans towards smaller houses and thinner walls.

That's a frightening thought given the tiny, dingy modern day slums that UK builders create, along with their paper thin internal walls.

Of course, maybe that's why the Japanese population is in decline.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Method in their madness

Just like all almost all IoT kit, goes way too far and becomes negatively useful.

Only a matter of time before somebody adds a bowl-cam. And that'd be quite useful for those retards who insist on updating the online world about every moment of their day. Maybe have a built in motion detector, and then live stream to Faecesbook. Government could then demand backdoor access on grounds of national security, and your local council could fine anybody using more than five sheets per shite "to protect the environment".

Obviously audio feed would be staightforward, but technologists have so far been woefully remiss in the olfactory department, other than some early attempts in the US that they let slide.

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Facebook scandal: EU politicians should aim for straight answers, not star witnesses

Ledswinger
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The only organisation that isn't in bed with them is the EU hence GDPR. So I'm going to sit back and enjoy the show and wait for 25th May at which time I will get out the popcorn and await the fireworks,

You think that only Five Spies have intelligence and police services who think that easily hacked or dubiously grabbed data is a godsend?

France, Germany, Spain, Sweden and others have all been subject to extremist attacks, and whilst (in particular) the cabbage-munching masses might think that they should not and are not being spied on, I think that the interpretation and application of GDPR across all of the EU will have a big element of window dressing about it.

The companies who will truly feel the wrath of GDPR will not be big tech, they will be large, high profile companies who DON'T generally scoop vast amounts of user data, but make mistakes anyway, and they will be companies whose data is only marginally useful to cops and spooks. FMCG companies, energy suppliers, water companies, retailers, traditional publishers for example.

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What a time to be alive: LG and Italian furniture-maker build smart sofa

Ledswinger
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Re: But!

So can it auto spray air freshner?

My own farts are a work of artisanal craftsmanship and I wouldn't want them spoiled - so the fart system needs to be controllable, but even in respect of other people's I'd rather sniff their farts than the chemical poisons in canned "air fresheners".

If it is to do this job we need negative pressure ventilation round the edges of the cushions to capture the fumes, and they then need to be passed through an active carbon filter. The smart sofa could then check the "downwash" for sulphides and mercaptans, and if necessary recirculate through the filter a few more times, before venting the cleaned air at floor level. Obviously the sofa would order replacement filters and service attention itself, with a pre-selected and obscenely expensive supplier.

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Boffins find new ways to slurp private info from Facebook addicts using precision-targeted ads

Ledswinger
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Re: Hold on a moment..

People exploiting that low minimum won't be hiring copywriters.

Do you know that? Hand-crafted adverts/threats/cajolements for very specific audiences could be a very lucrative sideline.

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Ledswinger
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Re: missing the point?

Wait for GDPR and not only will it not cost you, but once you receive it, you can send it back to them with "Thanks, now can you please remove all this data?".

In Europe and the UK, yes.

If he's a US resident, then his data doesn't belong to him, and whilst he has the right to bear arms he has no right to privacy. And wandering off topic, I suspect the Founding Fathers actually meant "the right to bare arms", intending to confer the freedom to wear tee shirts, instead of every man-jack wandering around shooting people with assault rifles.

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Uber hid database hack from FTC while FTC probed Uber for an earlier database hack

Ledswinger
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I suspect the "no admission of guilt" is a practical approach for the US, since it enables the regulator to settle without encouraging the guilty party to contest the decision in court, and also it avoids the charge that the regulator is setting itself up as judge, jury and executioner. I agree that it seems inherently unsatisfactory, but at a practical level it is perhaps the only way of getting regulatory settlements done without decades of court "action", that might also result in perverse outcomes on narrow legal points.

To illustrate this, the Enron bankruptcy in 2001 had serious legal action that continued for at least fifteen years through US courts, resulting in all manner of unworthy corporations getting big payouts, as well as some deserving cases (mostly banks) taking multi-billiion dollar hits. Would you want Uber to be handed to the US courts, with final settlement maybe the other side of 2030?

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Ledswinger
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Re: Double standards?

Do a search on largest banking fines in history (or similar). I think you'll find that the most heavily fined banks were mostly US institutions (eg Bank of America, three entries in the the top ten), and the non-US banks who copped fines in the top ten (HSBC, BNP-P, Deutsche Bank) were done for mostly the same sort of CDO related frauds in the US market. Whereas the big French & German banks got away scott-free with their idiotic lending that burned out the Greek, Spanish and Portugese economies. causing damage that by the time it is past will have lasted a generation (and for which much of the losses still haven't been properly realised and written down).

I'd agree it often looks like foreign corporations get a harsher ride from US regulators - the evidence of the fines appears to show otherwise, and that European regulators give corporations far too much the benefit of the doubt. Whether either approach is more or less successful in discouraging future misbehaviour I can't really say, but the serial mis-selling and related scandals of UK banks in the domestic market don't indicate that the UK approach achieves that.

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Worried we'll make ourselves extinct? Let’s be scientific about it

Ledswinger
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Re: Well ...

merely the evolutionary pressure is off for the time being.

Not at all. Just that the determinants are different to the past.

In the US, evolution should make people more resistant to bullets, maybe even bullet proof eventually. In London, evolution will favour those who are able to dodge a knife stab. In Syria and Salisbury, evolution will favour those less susceptible to chemical poisons. And so forth.

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Penis pothole protester: Cambridge's 'Wanksy' art shows feted

Ledswinger
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Re: Hills Road

The council filled in the absolute worst pot hole after several months, but they ignored all the others that were within 10 yards.

Fill them in yourself with a few bags of postcrete one night. Then report to the council that you believe somebody other than the council has done a DIY bodge on potholes. The jobsworths will have a truck on site in hours, fearful that their monopoly is under threat from pothole fillers without the right paperwork.

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