Robert Hampton

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April 2008

3rd April 2008

No IDea

If you thought the worst thing that could result from identity theft is having to phone your bank to question unknown credit card transactions, think again. This man faced a nightmare scenario: he lost his job, his reputation and his family after his credit card details were fraudulently used on a child porn web site.

6th April 2008

All glory to the Hypnotoad!
Posted by at 12.13am | Television | No responses

Today I watched a new episode of a ludicrous sci-fi comedy, recently revived after many years off the air, and frankly, I was disappointed. But enough about Doctor Who, because my DVD of Futurama: Bender’s Big Score arrived today!

I won’t spoil it by going into details, but suffice to say: brilliantly clever, endlessly quotable, effortlessly amusing, and with lots of in-jokes and references for the die-hard fans. I can’t wait for the next three instalments (but I’ll have to, because they haven’t been released yet).

God bless you Matt Groening, you unpronounceably-surnamed genius.

8th April 2008

Olympic Poster Boy
Posted by at 12.05am | In the News | No responses

The whole Olympics affair is really quite depressing, mainly because of the willingness of Government ministers. OK, maybe politics and sport shouldn’t mix, but it’s still hard to stomach the sight of a grinning Gordon Brown happily posing outside Downing Street while elsewhere people are being arrested for protesting.

Anyway, I’ll now change the subject entirely and direct you to an article (warning, Daily Mail ahead) featuring politically-incorrect election campaign posters from the early 20th century. Hilarious — at least, it would be if there weren’t several comments at the end from Daily Mail readers saying how appropriate and amusing they are.

Your headline of the day
Posted by at 9.07pm | In the News | No responses

Man ‘used hedgehog as weapon’

10th April 2008

Not a town; not called Malice
Posted by at 1.23pm | In the News | No responses

I think this is amusing. Then again, I’m the sort of person who looks up rude words in dictionaries.

Lunt, which dates back to Medieval times, has been repeatedly targeted by vandals who change the “L” to a “C”.

12th April 2008

Posted by at 8.38pm | Television | No responses

T.K. Maxximus. 🙂

15th April 2008

Digital Versatile Discussion
Posted by at 11.37pm | It's My Life | No responses

My old DVD player is kaput (the strange man in the shop was right after all). It will still just about play a disc, but is extremely temperamental about recognising them, refusing to acknowledge that a disc is inserted unless you eject and re-insert it several times (sounds like… oh, that’s too obvious a joke even for me).

Anyway, seeing that Currys had super-cheap models in stock for less than 20 quid, I reserved one on their web site, intending to go into the shop and pick one up today during my lunch hour.

I went in and gave the reservation code to the guy on the till (“You were served today by ADAM”) who, after much pressing of buttons, discovered that the item I had “reserved” wasn’t actually in stock. Sigh.

The good news is I walked out of the shop with an even cheaper DVD player (£16.99!). The bad news is that its the ugliest electrical appliance I’ve ever seen.

21st April 2008

I’m going for a walk, I may be some time

I’ve finally managed to massage Windows Update into offering me Vista Service Pack 1 — I have the install dialogue box up now, and it’s telling me that I will not be able to use my computer for an hour while it installs. Oh, goody.

Will I come back to a usable machine? Stay tuned to find out!

UPDATE: My computer has NOT — repeat, NOT — melted… yet.

22nd April 2008

I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Presenter
Posted by at 1.30pm | Radio | No responses

One less reason to carry on living:

The spring series of BBC Radio 4’s comedy show I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue has been cancelled after long-serving presenter Humphrey Lyttelton was admitted to hospital.

23rd April 2008

Presidential… Pardon?
Posted by at 1.33pm | In the News | No responses

When I saw this story I had to double check that I was reading the Guardian and not the Onion: President Bush has appeared on Deal or No Deal.

“Howie, I don’t know if you’re free to come to Washington any time soon but I have to reach an agreement with Congress on the federal budget. How’d you like to host a $3 trillion Deal Or No Deal,” Bush joked.

But wait! It gets better:

While Bush was on the game show, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain were appearing on the World Wrestling Entertainment’s popular Monday Night Raw programme.

24th April 2008

P-P-Pick up a Penguin

There’s a new version of Ubuntu out today.

I really want to like Linux, I do. I like the philosophy behind it — partly because I don’t like handing over control of my computer to monolithic corporations (unless they’re based in Cambridge and have a nut for a logo), but mainly because I’m tight and therefore £0.00 is approximately the right price for a computer operating system.

And yet the previous Ubuntu releases have not convinced me to switch. That said, I am a tough sell when it comes to computer operating systems (I stubbornly refused to allow a Windows PC into the family home at all until mid-2000). Will Hardy Heron be a breakthrough for me? Let’s wait (several hours while the ISO image downloads) and see!

25th April 2008

Fares Fair
Posted by at 1.21pm | Trains | No responses

The first phase of the long-awaited National Rail Fares Simplification starts at the end of May. The existing myriad layers of Advance Purchase fares will be swept away, replaced by a common AP ticket with the same terms and conditions across all train companies. Say goodbye to Student Getaway, Firstminute, SuperAdvance, Value Advance, Apex, Central Value and the rest… say hello to “Advance”.

The second phase will be later this year, when the walk-up ticket range is renamed. The unrestricted Open tickets become “Anytime” while Savers and Cheap Day tickets become “Off-Peak”. This should clarify matters and end the (perfectly understandable) confusion of people about which ticket is appropriate for their journey. National Rail claim that no fares will increase as a result of this renaming… they’re waiting until the fare changes in January for that.

I’m just hoping that Virgin Trains retain the existing concession where Railcard holders can use Savers on any train without time restriction. Not that it matters too much to me as I cannot renew my Y-P card after this year (too old!)

Virgin could also try making their peak fares less eye-wateringly expensive (some hope).

Samantha has to nip off now…
Posted by at 11.49pm | In the News, Radio | No responses

Humphrey Lyttelton dies at 86

I remember reading an article about I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue which stated, “Humph could read the dirtiest single-entendres as if they were shopping lists.” His deadpan presence in the chair was surely a massive part of Clue‘s enduring success.

It’s very rare that a single person’s death affects an entire broadcast network, but I think it’s true to say that Radio 4 will be much poorer for his absence.

Not much more I can add really. Here’s the BBC’s obituary.