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Dial 999 for bomb advice

And Reg readers torment Siemens 35 user

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Letters Reg Readers are a public-spirited and pedantic bunch at the best of times. But at the worst? Natural born saboteurs, as demonstrated by these letters, two on the Home Office's misleading advice to call 999 carried on its new anti-terrorist web site, and one from a Siemens 35 victim.

I've just read your fine article on The Register in which you republish the 'protect yourself at home' advice from the Home Office. I've already emailed the Home Office about one part of this advice that I think is misleading (quite apart from the rest which is just plain silly) and I thought youmight be interested to hear my concern too.

The advice says:

# For warnings about possible bombs or other immediate threats, call 999.

To me this suggests that you should ring 999 to *get* warnings about possible bombs. You know, it's like "for information about railway timetables call the National Railways helpline". I think that they should be saying:

# To warn about possible bombs or other immediate threats, call 999.

Maybe I'm being pedantic but when I first read the text I thought "what! that's not what 999 is for". I'm certain other people will read it in a similar way and will start dialling 999 and asking "please sir, are there any bomb threats at the moment?"

Richard Johnson

Richard, it's already happening - over to Reg Reader Jon Green for the full story. Oh, Jon has proved the point, don't you go calling 999 now, OK? (Update 21.3.03 The Home Office changed the offending wording today. It now reads: "If you have information about possible bomb threats or other immediate threats, call 999". Do not underestimate the Power of The Register!)

Simple preventative steps
> [...]
> * For warnings about possible bombs or other immediate threats, call 999.

I tried this, but it didn't work too well. Here's the transcript:

[Op] 999, which service please?
[Me] Bomb warnings, please.
[Op] Do you want to report a bomb?
[Me] No, I'm after the current bomb warnings.
[Op] You've got the wrong number, this is 999. Do you need the emergency services?
[Me] I thought that bomb warnings were an emergency service.
[Op] Is this some kind of joke?
[Me] No, that's what the Government said on their Web site. Look, here's the quote: "For warnings about possible bombs or other immediate threats, call 999." In black and white.
[Op] [Chokes] I don't think I can help you.
[Me] I --
[Op] [*click*]

Sounds like joined-up government's still a pipe dream...

Jon



Re:

Siemens M35 Bug

Yeah, thanks for running that story.

Now all the bastards in my office of techies have sent me a load of messages containing the duff code that, as you say, freezes the phone.

The thing is on my M35i, that you can't delete a message without opening it - thus causing the crash. So now my 20 msg memory is full, and I need to choose between a new phone or live with never texting again.

Like I said - bastards(!)

Matthew Banwell



You have our sympathy, Matthew, but we accept no responsibility for what our readers get up to in their coffee break. ®

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