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Rat Attack Causes Broadband Outage In Scotland

samzenpus posted about 3 years ago | from the dirty-rat dept.

Network 85

judgecorp writes "Virgin Media's broadband services in parts of Scotland have been taken down by rats biting through the fibre optic cables. It's unusual to have an operator attribute an outage to such a cause, but we would bet it has happened before, given the fibres are carried in underground ducts."

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HAHAHAHA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37710198)

YOU DIRTY RAT@!

Re:HAHAHAHA (0)

torqer (538711) | about 3 years ago | (#37712866)

It's time to pay the piper!

Re:HAHAHAHA (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | about 3 years ago | (#37717840)

So now it is offtopic to make a joke involving the story? or is it just offtopic to make a first post, that OMG, doesn't even say first post and relates to the story?

animal scent in the insulation (3, Informative)

ToasterTester (95180) | about 3 years ago | (#37710208)

Fibre cables are pretty new for rats to be attracted to. They are a problem for some old cables because animal fat was used in the insulation. They smell the animal fat and chow down.

Re:animal scent in the insulation (2)

wvmarle (1070040) | about 3 years ago | (#37710382)

Rats and other rodents will chew on anything soft enough to chew on.

Many such cables will come with protective layers because of that. Underseas cables (different scale, same idea) have a protective metal sheet in the insulation, and often bite marks of sharks or other big stuff have been found on cables.

The thing that surprised me at first is that there was apparently no redundancy. Though upon reading TFA it seems about 100 customers were affected, so the outage is not that big, and the area affected can be so small that it's simply not worth laying a second cable as backup. As in: you have only one cable going from your home to the neighbourhood switch. And that neighbourhood switch likely has only one upstream cable again. Only when it's getting big enough the second uplink comes in play.

"Chew on anything" (5, Informative)

DesScorp (410532) | about 3 years ago | (#37710484)

Rats and other rodents will chew on anything soft enough to chew on.

Yes they will. I remember reading back in college about German armor divisions having lots of trouble on the eastern front due to rats and mice. In very cold conditions, the Wehrmacht would park their tanks in barns with lots of hay in an attempt to keep them from freezing up, and rodents would get into them and chew the wiring up. When I was younger, I had a couple of pet rats, and learned that they'll chew on pretty much anything. There's a hard, rock-like substance that you buy in pet stores for them, and they chew on it out of natural instinct to keep their teeth worn down. Rodent teeth never stop growing, so if they don't chew on something, their teeth will get too long and injure them.

Re:"Chew on anything" (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about 3 years ago | (#37710774)

Too long teeth and they can not eat anymore. As they can not open their mouth far enough to create space in between their teeth... I used to keep guinea pigs, they would eat their cage (the wooden part). Failing that, they would gnaw on the metal bars.

Re:"Chew on anything" (1)

Inda (580031) | about 3 years ago | (#37712272)

My guinea pigs trained the whole family that way. Gnaw on the metal bars and they got fed.

They trained us well.

Squeek, squeek, squeek.

Re:"Chew on anything" (1)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | about 3 years ago | (#37711422)

Even rats are not the worst. I used to keep degus. They need to be kept in a steel cage because most other materials they will chew through. Anything put into the cage that was not solid ceramic or steel would be destroyed. This included the wooden level platforms built into the cage.

The stone you are referring to is a mineral stone, which serves two purposes: it is strong enough that they can gnaw on it for some time before wearing it down, and its composition contains lots of essential minerals that are good for their teeth. Like most rodents, their teeth are continually growing. This causes some interesting things to happen. Two little anecdotes:

One of my degus made a leap for freedom (they are very daring animals) out of my arms toward the cage, falling short, and slamming his face on the cage under where the door was. This completely knocked out one of his teeth. I kept an eye on it to see that it would not adversely affect him, but it did not. He used the one tooth he had, until the other grew back out. A friend of mine still keeps degus (well, just one left now) and a similar thing happened to his, though because one tooth was missing, the other was not wearing down properly (I think he was not gnawing enough) so the remaining tooth kept growing. Because of this, my friend had to get in there once a week with toenail clippers to cut the tooth down to size (something neither of them enjoyed). Eventually both teeth were the same size and it went back to normal life.

Re:"Chew on anything" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37711694)

I have an 85 year old house that had lead drain pipes that rats chewed threw.

Something's missing. (1)

CSMoran (1577071) | about 3 years ago | (#37718050)

So what did they throw?

Re:animal scent in the insulation (1)

neokushan (932374) | about 3 years ago | (#37712110)

Just FYI, far more than 100 people were affected by this. I don't know where that number came from, but it's probably more like 100 calls about it came in and were booked against accounts, rather than the actual number of people affected. Internally, it was treated as an MSO (Major System Outage), which means it was affecting at least 2000 people.

Re:animal scent in the insulation (1)

MattBecker82 (1686358) | about 3 years ago | (#37712362)

TFA says it affected "the Kirkcaldy, Glenrothes and Leven areas" which I'd guess covers about half of the urban population of Fife (Dunfermline being the only other town of any notable size). Virgin Media's also got a decent market share (22% nationally according to Wikipedia) This is not the most populous are of the UK by any means but certainly way over 100 people were affected and I could easily believe that multiple thousands of people were cut off.

Re:animal scent in the insulation (1)

Custard Horse (1527495) | about 3 years ago | (#37712880)

Currently being on Virgin Media I am surprised that the users noticed a breakdows in the data transmission - such is the piss-poor speed offered by VM. Latency is a huge problem unless you opt for one of their premium packages - funny eh?

Re:animal scent in the insulation (1)

MattBecker82 (1686358) | about 3 years ago | (#37713922)

I'm no longer a VM customer (not available in my part of Scotland for reasons unrelated to rodents), but you'd think, given that a lot of their recent marketing campaigns have focused on superior realised speeds, that good speed would be one of their USPs.

Re:animal scent in the insulation (1)

vakuona (788200) | about 3 years ago | (#37717298)

And they are the fastest, and most consistent. I live in a flat (apartment for our American friends) that doesn't have a virgin cable connection, and I miss the predictability of the connection. I had the top of the line collection, and besides the few times they had issues in the neighbourhood, their connection, whenever it was working, was far superior to the ADSL that is more generally available.

Now BT is competing a bit more with their fibre optic connection, so it may be that BT may be as quick and more reliable, but Virgin was always good for me.

Re:animal scent in the insulation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37720132)

You can't have two cables comming from every customer's house, and 100 customers is around 1-2 streets.
In similar news, broken telephone stops house of 5 people making calls.

Re:animal scent in the insulation (1)

Mike Hock (249988) | about 3 years ago | (#37712634)

But, if it was the chineses who did this, how would you be able to tell them apart from rats???

Think about it.

Re:animal scent in the insulation (1)

luisdom (560067) | about 3 years ago | (#37714398)

I work in a car plant, and we still discuss if it is better to have poison in electrical cabinets or not. We suspect they are attracted by the f***ing thing but still have the time to eat the wiring anyway.
It is a very common breakdown, normally easy to diagnose (by the barbecue smell)

Ah, makes sense (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37710230)

My guess is that W, Cheney and rumsfeld went to scotland.

Rodents can mess up your internet connection? (1)

DangerOnTheRanger (2373156) | about 3 years ago | (#37710234)

Oh rats.

Happens a lot... (2)

CaptainPuff (323270) | about 3 years ago | (#37710254)

Internet links get chewed up by rodents on an infrequent basis... at my University it happens about once a year and knocks out a building or two. Last year a rodent chewed an underground power main and, according to the power techs, basically vaporized. Too bad it took out power for a quarter of our campus for half a day.

What? (1)

TennCasey (1667347) | about 3 years ago | (#37710268)

Isn't this what armored cable is made for?

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37710358)

The problem with that is they keep building a better rat.

Now introducing the RatGnawer 9000 with Diamond tipped teeth!

And squirrels (2)

PuddleBoy (544111) | about 3 years ago | (#37710286)

I work for a telecom company with thousands of miles of fiber and you'd be surprised how 'tasty' some cable seems to be to other rodents like squirrels. While not common, a year going by without squirrel damage would seem very odd.

Of course, drunk hunters do far more damage during hunting season. You'd think the cable had little bulls-eyes printed on the sheathing...

Re:And squirrels (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37710442)

Ahh, the fond memories of sitting mid span with a cable split open working on a fault only to see one of the culprits coming down the span to see what impact it had had.

Re:And squirrels (1)

mrbester (200927) | about 3 years ago | (#37710816)

There's so many of them that we need to thin out their numbers!

Re:And squirrels (1)

Shatrat (855151) | about 3 years ago | (#37713070)

A year? We rarely have a month go by without a rodent chew. Squirrels on the aerial, rats in the underground conduit. Caterpillar and Kenworth chews are even more common.
I remember a year or two ago we had a rat chew in Chicago that took down wireless service for a customer everyone here would recognize for 24+ hours.

No protection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37710288)

I thought fiber was put in kevlar mesh jackets to protect them from this very same destiny.

Re:No protection? (1)

ChumpusRex2003 (726306) | about 3 years ago | (#37716492)

Kevlar doesn't offer much protection against rodent knawing. It's mainly for longitudinal strength - allowing the cable to be winched through ducts (like electric cable) without putting stress on the delicate glass fibers.

Rodent resistant cables are armored with a hard material which is hard enough to resist gnawing, preventing the rodent from penetrating the underlying cable - e.g. epoxy embedded glass fibers (for cables judged "low-risk" of rodent attack), or steel (for high-risk cables).

This is normal for some folks (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 3 years ago | (#37710336)

Squirrels are a very common nuisance for folks building big holiday displays. They'll gnaw straight through the wires, bite off bulbs, and pull down strings. That it's a problem for other kinds of cables doesn't surprise me.

Time to save the world! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37710338)

Kill 10 rats.

Re:Time to save the world! (1)

Trilkin (2042026) | about 3 years ago | (#37710394)

The only time a MMO quest would make sense.

Re:Time to save the world! (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 3 years ago | (#37713852)

Just remember that the quest-giver doesn't really want you to bring back 10 rat... components?

down side of the cloud (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 3 years ago | (#37710386)

down side of the cloud fiber cuts can cut you off.

best poison... and internet and rats (5, Interesting)

Ankh (19084) | about 3 years ago | (#37710410)

We had an Internet outage in our house when rats got into the walls and chewed through the cables. They just like eating plastic, and also will chew through walls (and cables) to get to the other side.

It's no surprise that the most effective rat poison (I discovered after extensive research!) was developed by a phone company - Bell Labs.

It was also interesting to me that the Wikipedia article on rat poison appears to recommend the most widely used *ineffective* rat poison, which also made by a large company..., and lists some stupid problems with the competition.

The most effective, if you are wondering, is based on Vitamin D, and has the advantages that (1) the rats eat a fatal dose on the first feeding, and hence do not get a chance to learn to avoid it; (2) pregnant rats eating the poison do not give birth to rats that are immune to it, (3) since vitamin D isn't really a poison as such, if another animal eats the rat, there's very little risk of secondary poisoning.

So we solved our own rat problem, but I had to do a lot of learning about rats and rat poison on the way!

Re:best poison... and internet and rats (1)

mirix (1649853) | about 3 years ago | (#37710440)

Hope you like the stink of dead rodents in your walls...

Poison is just a band-aid, fix however they are getting into the house.

I thought warfarin was still #1 for what it's worth... As far as I recall rodenticide has to be slow acting, else the neighbours will notice something is awry when the victim drops dead.

Re:best poison... and internet and rats (1)

xenobyte (446878) | about 3 years ago | (#37711808)

Hope you like the stink of dead rodents in your walls...

Poison is just a band-aid, fix however they are getting into the house.

Correct... and not. If a rat eats something that kills him on the spot, you'll have dead robents everywhere (near where you put the poison), but if you use something like a vitamin overdose, the stricken rat will have time to return to the group (rats are social animals that prefer the company of others when they're not feeling well) and die there. The other rats will then most likely eat the dead one so it won't get a chance to stink.

But yes, it's far smarter to prevent them getting in to begin with. That's actually fairly easy as all you need is solid well-maintained walls, windows and doors, and a rat-proofed drain/sewer. The rats are smart - if your house is inaccessible and the neighbors isn't, guess what happens. No, the rats don't spend all their life trying to get into yours... they choose the easy way.

Re:best poison... and internet and rats (1)

Inda (580031) | about 3 years ago | (#37712260)

"if your house is inaccessible and the neighbors isn't, guess what happens"

This is what happening in my terraced house.

The neighbour were actually hanging meat in his loft, just as his family had done in Poland for years.

And this is the main thing about rats - they'll only live somewhere where there's food. The pest controller went one stage further and told me rats are lazy too. They only live in the loft if there is food, they won't travel up and down for it, if the food is on ground level, that's where they'll live.

And they are scared shitless of humans because we hunt them down and kill them. They wont share living space with us.

Re:best poison... and internet and rats (1)

Ankh (19084) | about 3 years ago | (#37720620)

Hope you like the stink of dead rodents in your walls...

That's a problem with pretty much any of the poisons, yes.

Poison is just a band-aid, fix however they are getting into the house.

We live in an old wooden farmhouse; it's not really feasible to stop rodents from getting in altogether - just as we have a sump pump in the basement for the water that gets in, standard operating procedure here in rural Ontario. We have, however, added .2 inch steel wire mesh under the deck, to a depth of two feet, which helped.

I thought warfarin was still #1 for what it's worth... As far as I recall rodenticide has to be slow acting, else the neighbours will notice something is awry when the victim drops dead.

I didn't say the Vitamin D was fast, I said the rats eat a lethal dose at one sitting. When rats return to the nest the alpha male smells their breath, and when they start to die, the remaining rats will soon stop eating the bait. So any poison that takes more than one feeding to kill will tend not to kill all the rats, unless you only have a very few rats. But if it kills the rats too soon, they'll notice and avoid the bait. It's tricky to get right. Multiple-feed poison is OK in a city if they're coming up from the sewers or other underground tunnels, but if you have a nest in your walls, forget it.

Warfarin is #1 in sales, sure. You have to keep buying it, because it won't kill them all. In addition, a large proportion of rats are immune to warfarin these days. I didn't want to mention brand names in case it sounded like an advert, but Quintox and Terad3 are the leading Vitamin D poisons (both from Bell Labs, one newer than the other). Quintox is also the only rat poison that can be used on an organic farm here. You can also get it in liquid form, which is good if you're confident there are no other animals, children, etc ;-) - e.g. it's used at a local power station here. The rats have to drink a lot of liquid each day so they're particularly attracted to it.

Thanks for replying. And yes, you're right, we had a bad smell in the walls ;D

Re:best poison... and internet and rats (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37710758)

Re:best poison... and internet and rats (1)

dwreid (966865) | about 3 years ago | (#37711184)

and yet, after going on and on about how good this product is, you never mention WHAT it is.

Re:best poison... and internet and rats (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 3 years ago | (#37711254)

And if he had mentioned it, a million slashtards would have screamed "SHILL!" There's no winning this one.

Re:best poison... and internet and rats (1)

julesh (229690) | about 3 years ago | (#37711918)

It was also interesting to me that the Wikipedia article on rat poison appears to recommend the most widely used *ineffective* rat poison, which also made by a large company..., and lists some stupid problems with the competition.

As I read it, the article in question doesn't appear to recommend anything. It just lists available products along with details of the operation of each.

The most effective, if you are wondering, is based on Vitamin D

The most effective rat poisons contain at least three different types of poison to ensure that they always work. Vitamin D3 is usually among them, yes.

and has the advantages that (1) the rats eat a fatal dose on the first feeding, and hence do not get a chance to learn to avoid it

This isn't as much of an advantage as you might think. Rats are known to watch other rats eat, and then avoid the food they have eaten if they later die. Poisons that require multiple doses avoid this problem.

(3) since vitamin D isn't really a poison as such, if another animal eats the rat, there's very little risk of secondary poisoning.

This is often quoted by manufacturers as an advantage of these poisons, but it turns out not to be true. The level of vitamin D contained in a typical application of these poisons is more than enough to be fatal to small mammals, e.g. cats and dogs, or even unpleasant for humans.

Re:best poison... and internet and rats (1)

BeaverCleaver (673164) | about 3 years ago | (#37712052)

This is often quoted by manufacturers as an advantage of these poisons, but it turns out not to be true. The level of vitamin D contained in a typical application of these poisons is more than enough to be fatal to small mammals, e.g. cats and dogs, or even unpleasant for humans.

Damn, and I was just about to eat that dead rat I found.

Re:best poison... and internet and rats (1)

John Hasler (414242) | about 3 years ago | (#37712762)

> ...or even unpleasant for humans.

The only secondary poisoning most people are concerned about is that of children. It isn't hard to place poison so that dogs can't get at it, and cats are rarely interested. It also helps to be a bit stingy with the stuff: it only takes a few grams to kill a rat.

Re:best poison... and internet and rats (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 3 years ago | (#37714960)

It was also interesting to me that the Wikipedia article on rat poison appears to recommend the most widely used *ineffective* rat poison, which also made by a large company..., and lists some stupid problems with the competition.

Hah you can probably use wikiscanner to trace the edit back to their office.

I find that a lot of articles on tools have been similarly commercialized (I remember one was about hose clamps and was totally pimping some proprietary hose clamp, even going so far as to use little (TM)s, it was crazy).

it depends... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37710430)

...on your definition of "rats".

A coordinated attack (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 3 years ago | (#37710464)

Could completely cripple the modern world.

This was just a test. We don't know when they'll strike in earnest.

Re:A coordinated attack (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37710486)

If someone would tell me which country Earnest is in, it would be so much easier to defend!

Re:A coordinated attack (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37711912)

Up next on the news: Rat Warfare, what you need to kno[CARRIER LOST]

Ah rats... (1)

renzhi (2216300) | about 3 years ago | (#37710476)

I know a thing or two about these guys. Here is my story of rats attack.

Around 2005, I got a message on my cell phone at night, from a monitoring server, that one of the app servers is down. I tried to login remotely without success, ping didn't go through. I dragged myself up and went to the server room. A colleague who received the same message got there at the same time. From the terminal, we saw that the server was running just fine. We checked the network cable, it was cut, and looked like it's bitten by something. Other cables were also bitten to lesser degree. Some little animal was grinding its teeth, we guessed. We replaced the cable, and went back to sleep.

The next day, I passed by a co-worker's desk, saw he had a web cam. I borrowed it, and set it up in the server room, near the machine whose cable was bitten, and wrote a cron to snap images during the night.

We received another message the second night, another server went down. We went to the server room again, sure enough, another bitten network cable. Not only the network cable, the head of my Philips cell phone charger was completely bitten off. I was working in the server room the day before, and had my cell phone charged there, and forgot to bring the charger back to my desk. I was pissed. We check the photos snapped by the web cam... ah, here it was, a small rat, the size of the fist of a small boy. I told myself I'd take care of that pest.

The third day, we checked around, and found a small hole in the elevated floor in a corner. We guessed it must come out from there. We surrounded with whatever we could find in the office, put an old IBM machine that had been replaced and was laying around, connected the web cam to that machine and set up to snap photos again. My colleague went to the grocery store to buy a mouse trap, and put it there. We hoped that the mouse trap would catch it right there.

The third night went without any incident. In the morning, we went to check again. Oh, it was awful. The rat was lying there, its hairs all messy, and we still could smell something. The power cord of the machine was half bitten. We put the photos together into a slide show, and saw that as it was biting into the cable, there was sparks coming out, and the rat was obviously electrocuted on the spot. We showed that to the colleagues in the office and had a good laugh, some of them thought it was really gross, and that we were cruel, and that we had really mistreated animals.

Re:Ah rats... (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 3 years ago | (#37710658)

pics or it didn't happen!

Re:Ah rats... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37710870)

Get a life. The story told, true or not, is typical rat interactions of rodents and modern life.

Re:Ah rats... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37711512)

Oh, it was awful. The rat was lying there, its hairs all messy, and we still could smell something. The power cord of the machine was half bitten. We put the photos together into a slide show, and saw that as it was biting into the cable, there was sparks coming out, and the rat was obviously electrocuted on the spot. We showed that to the colleagues in the office and had a good laugh, some of them thought it was really gross, and that we were cruel, and that we had really mistreated animals.

Did you know that you work with a bunch of morons? Obviously the only reason you had electricity in that server room was to electrocute that poor rat for your own sick amusement. You were really caught red handed "mistreating" that rodent by having electricity in the building.

not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37710492)

A few years ago we had a sprint outage, the culprit? A farmer cut a fiber optic line while burying his cow, according to Sprint anyways.

And, the point is? (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | about 3 years ago | (#37710578)

All the news lately that makes a dystopian future far more likely than any nirvana like stasis of hi-tech utopia being achieved.

Aside from rodent type rats eating away at civilization's infrastructure, there is a long history, as recent as last week (just google "bridge stolen") of homo sapiens type rats gnawing away at the same.

Nothing new here...

Don't rule out squirrels (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37710616)

On multiple occasions in the past squirrels have taken out my cable/internet service. They climbed the pole and chewed through the cable coating, until presumably they got a shock, then left. Then it rained and the cable shorted. Once the cable was fixed, they came back and did it again - 2 more times.

This phenomenon is not limited to buried cable.

Solution: run high voltage through the cables to kill the offending vermin, then they cannot return? (need an electrician's input on the feasibility of this)

Re:Don't rule out squirrels (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | about 3 years ago | (#37712900)

I had a family of squirrels move into my air conditioner unit once. I had no idea they were in there until I went to run the air for the first time that year...it wouldn't work so I went outside and pulled the cover off to see what the story was and was literally attacked by a furious mother squirrel. No bites or broken skin, thank GOD (I did not want to have to get rabies shots) but I couldn't get anywhere near the A/C unit without getting charged by this thing. My landlord had to call Animal Control to come and remove her and her babies.

When they got rid of the squirrel family and I was able to look at the air conditioner, I was amazed. They had literally eaten everything inside the unit, turning it into a hollow box. Everything non-metal was just destroyed, the plastic fan blades were eaten down to nubs, and the resultant detritus was mixed with leaves and used for bedding at the bottom of the unit. I have no idea how they managed not to get electrocuted, they ate every damn thing in there.

I never knew how much of a pest squirrels could be. Destructive little shits...

Re:Don't rule out squirrels (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 3 years ago | (#37715162)

You only need a rabies shot if there's a chance you're uncomfortable with that they have rabies.

Given that she was in her nest protecting her young, your chance of infection was quite low...

Re:Don't rule out squirrels (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | about 3 years ago | (#37718036)

They wouldn't get electrocuted unless you were using the unit during the autumn to winter (when they build their nests) as there isn't any power in the device unless in use.

Better tasting than Scottish food? (1)

Maow (620678) | about 3 years ago | (#37710780)

Maybe the telco's could put some of the spicy curry around their cables -- the same recipe that put 10 Scots in the hospital in a recent "hottest curry eating contest".

Re:Better tasting than Scottish food? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 3 years ago | (#37715946)

Maybe the telco's could put some of the spicy curry around their cables -- the same recipe that put 10 Scots in the hospital in a recent "hottest curry eating contest".

One of my dogs kept chewing on some grommets on an outdoor metal grating, so we thought to put some hot chili sauce on the grommets. End result was the grommet was there nice and clean, chili sauce licked off. Then the next time we looked the grommet was gone again.

I think they ended up liking spicy food, or capsaicin doesn't seem to afflict them.

Re:Better tasting than Scottish food? (1)

Maow (620678) | about 3 years ago | (#37716352)

Interesting. My first though was that the dog was desperate to get through gate.

But then I remembered seeing a TV story this week about a stray dog in Athens who attends all the protests / riots, barks at police, and didn't seem to mind tear gas or getting pepper-sprayed in the face ... at all.

One would expect that canines would be extra hyper sensitive to such irritants, but I think you might well be right: no effect.

Interesting biology / physiology experiments there for someone. But how to do it ethically?

Re:Better tasting than Scottish food? (1)

CSMoran (1577071) | about 3 years ago | (#37718220)

One would expect that canines would be extra hyper sensitive to such irritants, but I think you might well be right: no effect.

Interesting biology / physiology experiments there for someone. But how to do it ethically?

Do it with convicted dogs only.

I for one would like to... (1)

BottleCup (691335) | about 3 years ago | (#37710838)

ugh... forget it. I hate rats.

Cause code: Rodents (1)

Jayfar (630313) | about 3 years ago | (#37710914)

At the ISP where I work one of our ticketing systems actually has Rodents as a standard cause code.

Re:Cause code: Rodents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37726486)

At the ISP that I work for we got the same. Just a month ago we had multiple outages in one week because squirrels damaged fibers every few days. We had to move to a different cable after each time it happened until we were able to install a cable that squirrels can't bite through (which is not a project that can be done within a few days)
Another time I had a customer complain that for the last 3 years when the circuit goes down in the summer that we tell her that a bird nest was the cause. I guess a bird family decided every year to build a nest in our equipment until we got a secured enough. (I wish I would have seen a picture of that)

Healthy rats (1)

sa1lnr (669048) | about 3 years ago | (#37710942)

on a high fibre diet.

How did this happen? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 3 years ago | (#37711180)

Optical cables have an outer kevlar layer, how can a rodent chew through that?

Re:How did this happen? (1)

Teun (17872) | about 3 years ago | (#37712568)

With their rodent teeth.

Really...

Re:How did this happen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37713466)

We used to get regular outages due to rabbits chewing through the kevlar and cables

Rats eat out Virgin? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37711360)

Yuck.

Were they drinking single or double malt? (0)

bryan1945 (301828) | about 3 years ago | (#37711530)

Um... sorry, that's all I got.

Kitty Attack. (1)

CB0T (1798252) | about 3 years ago | (#37711758)

A kitty attack fix the problem at morning.

It happens, but it could be worse. (1)

NichardRixon (869899) | about 3 years ago | (#37712126)

I worked on the installation of the telecommunications network for a new airport in Asia several years ago. The airport was built on land that had been a palm oil plantation so there were lots of rats until traps brought the population down. It happened rather frequently that rats would chew through our fibers and it was a major irritant, but the biggest problem they caused was the fact that cobras were attracted by the rats. ----- RN

Re:It happens, but it could be worse. (1)

eriqk (1902450) | about 3 years ago | (#37725120)

They should have brought in gorillas.

RAT Attack (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37712520)

After reading just the headline, my first thought was a Remote Administration Tool attack. Ha.

not really news worthy... (1)

lindoran (1190189) | about 3 years ago | (#37712574)

working in broadband i can personally test first hand that mice / rats cause these types of outages in the system i work in squirrels are particularly problematic because of how close the Arial plant is to trees... its just something that has to be dealt with with distribution systems...

Re:not really news worthy... (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 3 years ago | (#37715224)

One word: ratshot.

Have fun!

Ahem (1)

koan (80826) | about 3 years ago | (#37713022)

The correct term is "Rodent American".

Hmm (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 3 years ago | (#37714278)

Did it eat the carrier pigeons, or just bite through the taut string?

Eeewww... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37714390)

Thankfully we don’t buy their products here in So Cal.

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