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Comment: Re:what a showboat (Score 1) 150

by RockDoctor (#48276581) Attached to: Stan Lee Media and Disney Battle For Ownership of Marvel Characters

And if after your death your family finds old artwork of characters Disney can have the place raided and all artwork drawn during his original employment confiscated.

If those were the terms of the contract of employment, then yes. Are you saying that humans 40 or 50 years ago were so stupid that they couldn't read the contracts written by humans of the same era. Before they signed them.

Comment: Re:This was no AP. (Score 1) 339

by RockDoctor (#48275767) Attached to: LAX To London Flight Delayed Over "Al-Quida" Wi-Fi Name

It isn't even that. The ineptitude of those looking for the AP is astounding. You stop the plane. You open up your wifi analyzer app and walk down the isle. Then you check all the devices in those few rows (4 tops) , and boot the asshole playing the joke. 1/2 hour tops.

Why on earth would you make 200 people sit on the tarmac for even half an hour?

Indeed. You alter the set-up of the several WiFi repeaters on the route from the plane to the customs post (you may need to have the plane go on a short magical mystery tour of the outer reaches of the field while doing this) so that they listen for WiFi hotspot's names. At the same time, you use the existing CCTV coverage to notice which passengers are passing each WiFi repeater when the rogue name appears. You may wish to fiddle with (programmable) signs to stir the passengers around a little. Direct them to different belts, or put up "HOLD - re-assigning baggage belt" type messages ; to generate turbulence in the pipeline of passengers. When you've idenitified the person carrying the offending item, you flag them for excessive duty-free as they're going through the customs post and ... in the back room, the rubber gloves come out, then plunge out of the light of day.

Comment: Re:tempest in a teapot (Score 1) 219

by RockDoctor (#48275657) Attached to: Car Thieves and Insurers Vote On Keyless Car Security

This article sounds like insurance companies just trying to get out of paying claims,

Nope, primarily this is the insurance companies turning business away (or handing it to their "specialist" subdivisions, at much higher rates).

There are always cases of insurance claims being refused. But since the rate of fraudulent claims in general is in the region of 5 to 10% (and higher in vehicle insurance), you'll also expect that some of your genuine claims are going to be rejected as fraudulent. and some fraudulent claims are going to be accepted as genuine.

Personally, out of 6 encounters with the payout side of the insurance industry, I've had the loss adjusters round once (i.e., they suspected this claim), and when I produced receipts for around 60% of the material I claimed taken in a burglary, over several years ... claim paid in full. Which was fair, because I wasn't inflating the claim.

Comment: Re:Liability (Score 1) 219

by RockDoctor (#48275605) Attached to: Car Thieves and Insurers Vote On Keyless Car Security

A car you cannot insure for us on the public road is unlikely to be deemed by the courts to be of 'fit for purpose', so the sale of such a car in the future is likely to be void.


We don't do retrospective legislation very often in the UK. Which is why the insurance companies are making a public fuss about this, so that future purchasers can't claim "we didn't know about this problem", and the manufacturers do have a reasonable time to fix the problem before the insurers really crack down.

Like I said up-thread, I reckon about 6 months. Then the premiums will go up to around the vehicle's value. There will remain "specialist" insurers who'll do the job for 40%, and will love creaming the profit, while the big insurers will have got a substantial risk off their books.

Comment: Re:Modified car? (Score 1) 219

by RockDoctor (#48275503) Attached to: Car Thieves and Insurers Vote On Keyless Car Security

Wonder if you can claim for the insurance that the port is disabled.

Hmmm. Interesting. More interesting than many comments so far.

(Submitter here.)

You could make that claim.

Whether the insurance company chose to believe you is one question that is absolutely and entirely at their discretion (note that in the original description that they were refusing new business, or in some cases annual renewal of the insurance ; they are under no obligation to accept new business, and if you have existing insurance with them which they choose to discontinue, they're only obliged to return premiums paid in advance and to give you a reasonable time - several days to a week or so - to arrange new insurance if they cancel an existing policy).

They might, if they wanted the administrative hassle, send out a vehicle inspector to assess your vehicle's modifications, and then insure the vehicle under "showman's vehicle" terms. Needless to say, you pay for the inspector's report, every year. Or, if you had the system removed/ disabled by a dealer, then they'd want the garage's and manufacturer's certification of the modifications - just as if you'd lowered the suspension and changed the 1.5L engine for a 12L F1 race engine.

Or ... you could tell them you'd made the changes without having actually made the changes. That's when it gets really interesting. Attempting to obtain a service by fraudulent misrepresentation is a criminal offence. It also invalidates your insurance. So, if your vehicle is stolen, and your lies (in writing, above your signature, dated) are found out, then you're liable to unlimited fines, a criminal record (e.g. many countries will now refuse you a visa, for the rest of your life), jail time. AND, because you were driving around with fraudulently-obtained insurance, you were driving with NO insurance. Which almost always means that you'll lose your driving license for several years.

The action that the insurance companies are taking is designed to make people either remove the keyless systems, or to take the vehicles off the road. They clearly don't want to have the business. They're doing this for their convenience, not for the convenience of their customers.

The next step - which I'd expect in about 6 months - will be to raise the cost of insurance above the cost of the vehicle. Which is a very clear way of saying "we don't want this business - it's too troublesome".

Comment: Re:This most important thing in the article (Score 2) 219

by RockDoctor (#48275407) Attached to: Car Thieves and Insurers Vote On Keyless Car Security

taking out any family members that she comes across.

This is Britain, not America. Burglary with violence is an extremely rare occurrence. Probably less than a one-in-a-million event per household.

Hell - our police forces have to work hard to find enough officers to volunteer for firearms training.

Comment: Re:Really don't get this... (Score 1) 219

by RockDoctor (#48275403) Attached to: Car Thieves and Insurers Vote On Keyless Car Security

It's easier enough to get into a standard auto keylock.

If your vehicle is more than about 25 years old, that may well be the case (though it was getting rapidly harder even then). Newer cars are harder to the point that car theft for entire cars has dropped off a cliff (thefts continue for breaking for parts).

The story is about Britain, where we have a thing called RAIN, and it's cousin, RUST. A 25 year old vehicle is pretty uncommon ; a 40 (+something) vehicle is considered a classic, attracting negligible running tax because there are so few of them.

Comment: Re:Underground as rare as hens teeth (Score 1) 219

by RockDoctor (#48275375) Attached to: Car Thieves and Insurers Vote On Keyless Car Security
I don't know about your car, but the remote-opening central (un-)locking of my current car can be over-ridden by pressing a button on the driver's door arm rest. [Ker-lunk] and all doors and boot are locked. Which I have used on occasions when suspicious people have been doing the "wash yer winders" trick at traffic lights.

None of which helps you with someone approaching you when you're getting into the car in the parking lot / multi-storey park / street / whatever. Our kidnap security instructors at work refer to that as situational awareness. If you don't have that, you're fucked no matter how secure your vehicle is.

Comment: Re:Underground as rare as hens teeth (Score 1) 219

by RockDoctor (#48275325) Attached to: Car Thieves and Insurers Vote On Keyless Car Security
Submitter here.

At least in the U.K. which is where the article is about. Basically underground car parks at private residences don't for practical purposes exist in the U.K., which is why the article *NEVER* mentions them at all.

By pure coincidence, my family home did have underground parking. But outside residents of that street, I haven't ever met a private residence that had an underground garage. Those garages were built into the houses in approximately 1860 to provide stabling for the horses and storage for the carriage. That they're underground is purely a quirk of the arrangement of streets and a moderately steep hillside.

Not quite as rare as hen's teeth. There are probably more carpenters carving rocking horse turds than there are developmental biologists playing fast an loose with the anatomy of developing chicks, which is how you can give hens teeth. (Seriously - you can. See my signature - I have a non-passing interest in such things.)

As long as we're going to reinvent the wheel again, we might as well try making it round this time. - Mike Dennison