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Comment Re:Tax dollars at work. (Score 1) 674

Not being a twat is usually helpful in getting out of trouble - but the PSCO was being such a complete and utter moron that I can see why he got upset.

The correct approach, if you wish to resist, is to tell the PCSO that you will cooperate with a real policeman only and challenge her to call the real BTP. Well, he got that far.

The next trick is, despite her being an utter moron, is he should be unfailingly polite to both her and the real BTP whilst disobeying her.

I've known people to do this when they are in the right (but a PSCO has jumped on them) and it usually results in the BTP apologising or at least taking no further action.

Comment Re:Tax dollars at work. (Score 1) 674

There is no way they will let cleaners loose with a carriage key and authorisation to fiddle with random breakers in random cupboards. They'd probably hit the wrong one and isolate the pantograph gear or various critical systems, resulting in the next driver spending 20 minutes wandering up and down the train trying to figure out why he's got a warning light on or something doesn't work.

Comment Re:Your post doesn't conform to their prejudice (Score 2) 674

That's assuming there is a dedicated 240V line that runs through the train from cab to cab with a single breaker.

More likely there will be a breaker in each carriage or at least each unit (set of permanently joined carriages) - and this is likely to be in some cupboard rather that with the critical system breakers in the cab. So doing this will involve a certain amount of faff.

Yes, I guess they could have designed a computer initiated isolator on the socket circuits, but someone probably said "what's the point?"

Comment Re:Your post doesn't conform to their prejudice (Score 1) 674

You are probably thinking of "Walsall Gauge" 13A sockets beloved by the BBC or the T-bar-earth type that are quite common in communal areas in flats.

No - modern trains, at least all the ones I am familiar with tend to have regular 13A sockets. On the Class 375 Electrostars, these are 1 per vestibule and are usually marked "Not for public use" or similar.

Now, London Routemaster buses, in the days before fluorescent lighting, used funny voltage bulbs to deter people from nicking them.

Comment Re:Tax dollars at work. (Score 4, Insightful) 674

Nothing to do with the company. It was a trumped up plastic "policewoman" who got all bent out of shape.

The worst the train guard would likely do (if that train even has a guard, many are Driver Only Operation) is suggest you unplug is as the supply might be dirty and risk damaging your equipment - or perhaps, in the worst case, that your lead is a trip hazard.

Comment Re:abstracting electricity? (Score 5, Informative) 674


"13 Abstracting of electricity.
A person who dishonestly uses without due authority, or dishonestly causes to be wasted or diverted, any electricity shall on conviction on indictment be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years."

So yes, the language is precisely correct.

Technically he has also committed a criminal offence.

However, PCSOs (which are sometimes known unaffectionately at "plastic policemen" are non warranted police officers with very limited powers. Most of their arresting powers are actually the same as those available to any citizen (aka "citizens arrest") and have very limited conditions of applicability. PCSOs do have some additional powers specially granted:


However, they are a modern invention and of considerably lower status, both legally and in the public perception compared to the more traditional volunteer role of "Special Constable" - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

The problem here is that PCSOs generally lack common sense and seem to be power-happy. Unfortunately their warranted colleagues feel some obligation to back them up, rather than telling them to grow up, as might be applicable in cases like this.

Unfortunately for the artist, even through he has been de-arrested, he now probably no longer qualifies for the visa waiver programme for entry to the USA as the US notion of arrest is somewhat different to the English notion and the USA as far as I know does not have a concept of "de-arrest".

So actual harm has been done. No wonder the public perception of the police is falling like a lead balloon.

Comment Re:VMS queue manager and VMS breakin evasion (Score 1) 484

You also get bonus stuff like integration to the help system and automatic shortening of non ambiguous switches.

I did like that - nice consistency - unlike the bastardisation that is every linux command.

I really hate commands that respond to "-h" with "Type --help for help". FFS - you parsed "-h" - how hard would it have been for you to just link that to the "--help" code!!! Or use getopt and it's more or less for free...

Comment Re:VMS queue manager and VMS breakin evasion (Score 1) 484

And if you did not want to load the parse tree into your DCL instance at login time (because it would CoW the affected memory pages with an entire new parse tree for the whole of DCL IIRC - it was incredibly slow) you could link it to your program, call your program using the "unix like" alias method then have your main function call the same command line parser libs that DCL used. Bit more like the getopt() model but 100% consistent with the regular DCL experience.

Comment Re:Anti drone nonsense (Score 1) 71

The police have got wise to the terrorist angle and wisely adopted the "think of the children" approach:


"Man held on suspicion of taking indecent images after member of public intervenes to stop children being photographed at Waterloo"

How did they make the leap from "taking pictures" to "taking indecent images". In the bogs that might be possible, but the report says "outside the station".

OK - we don't know what the motives were, but if they were not improper, how is this different to:




which are famous in their iconography of the period.

Neutrinos are into physicists.