"Brains? I don't think so."
I saw what you did there. Excellent. Good start to a Friday.
Car horns symphonise accompanied by a chorus of yelling cyclists as I shimmy on foot through oncoming traffic. Strictly, I come dancing on to the tarmac, cavorting between the lanes, prancing out of the way of motorbikes and generally tripping the traffic light fantastic. Moments earlier, I had been cutting capers along the …
And what happens when delivery robots from competing companies meet?
Will they pass each other graciously with a tip o' the antenna, or will they deploy the size 10 wheel masher and wreak automated destruction on their foes?
Will we get no-go zones, where DHL's version of Sir Killalot jealously guards every entry road into E14, while UPS's sentries carve out a "Manor" in SW1?
"(back when it first started)...(unless it was running Craig Charles)"
I think you'll find that "back when it first started", it was hosted by a Jeremy Clarkeson AI ion beta mode. By the time the Craig Charles AI was inserted into series 2, they managed to work out how to turn down the <sarc> from 11.
Yes, the machines on Robot Wars are all ROVs. Though some of them do have a small amount onboard intelligence, a few teams have tried automated weapons that "fire" when they detect an object in the area-of-effect.
Obviously these are ungodly dangerous so have to be remotely armed and disarmed.
Pizza laced with a strong laxative, for instance. Or, if the deliverybot is carrying the Boss's newest electronic toy, refitting it with a set of batteries from s Samsung Note 7, loading the toy's navigation aid with directions to the stairwell leading down to the carpet roll storage ... the possibilities are endless.
Indeed, it's people that kill people.
Even so called "robot" drones (the V1, V2, original Cruise missile etc) are launched by people.
The "cloud" will fail, then the bots and IoT will stop.
Finally due to outsourcing to the cloud we will reach the Singularity. Not the one envisaged by modern SF of AI (with perhaps very cute names), but this Singularity (November 1909).
I'd give you 100 upticks if I could for your mention of The Machine Stops.
The real threat is not the Evil Robots - it's the brainless, burbling marketing-droids: the Cloud-wallahs, the IoT-mongers, the SaaS-pushers with their fixed grins, zealots' eyes and empty, ringing braincases. And their sinister, pin-eyed financial backers.
Let's round them all up at gunpoint* and force them to read this story (in book** form) over and over until they can prove that they've actually understood it.
And then kill them anyway, just because.
* gun: an analogue device, not connected to the Internet, which you can use to propel a small lump of metal (also not connected to the Internet) at high speed into the body of people you object to. Without even using an app!
** book: a collection of sheets of paper with symbols marked on them. Not connected to the Internet. Some humans are able to - sorry, I meant "have the app to" - "read" "books" and absorb new information from them.
- it's the brainless, burbling marketing-droids: the Cloud-wallahs, the IoT-mongers, the SaaS-pushers with their fixed grins, zealots' eyes and empty, ringing braincases. And their sinister, pin-eyed financial backers.
Yes. Sadly I can only upvote you once, without being a sock-puppet.
"The real threat is not the Evil Robots - it's the brainless, burbling marketing-droids: the Cloud-wallahs, the IoT-mongers, the SaaS-pushers with their fixed grins, zealots' eyes and empty, ringing braincases. And their sinister, pin-eyed financial backers."
When you put it like that, hacking these things using BOFH principles could become a very enjoyable sport.
"Strictly, I come dancing on to the tarmac, cavorting between the lanes, prancing out of the way of motorbikes and generally tripping the traffic light fantastic."
In my mind I pictured Dabbsy doing this wearing his 007-style dinner jacket; throwing in a couple of elegant somersaults and backward handsprings for good measure.
Be wary. Some cyclists are well practiced at falling off without injury, and may be fitter and stronger than you, and in possession of a heavier object than your brolly.
However, when I was a cyclist,I would only ever bunny-hop onto a pavement to make way for a truck or car if there were no pedestrians with thirty yards. No harm, no foul.
I would love to do that to my local pavement cyclists. The number of times I've been abused, ridden at, and once actually assaulted by riders who seem to think that we pedestrians should jump out of their way as they whizz along the pavement. Partly, it must be said because some dickhead marked it on a TfL cycle map*, despite it being totally unsuitable for sharing, has no markings or signage ( so no legal right to cycle there) , never been announced to the local population or consulted about (I've lived here 20+ years).
Which doesn't excuse the cyclists who seem to think that it's theirs and that they have exclusive rights to this length of pavement.. They don't have, which is why the footbridge over the North Circular Rd in the middle of the stretch has stairs. For we pedestrians. And I have no doubt that most of them just use it because they can, probably never having even seen that TfL route.
AC because already too much identifying info included.
*As far as I can work out someone wanted to include it in a "cycle to school" plan ( not a high speed Lycra plan btw) and someone else agreed to put it on the cycle route map, without actually making it official -which they probably wouldn't have been able to. A way of fiddling the targets for miles of cycle routes or something. Few, if any, of the residents even know of this and some have lived here 30+ years. Because no one ever told any of us. I stumbled upon it by accident. I was helping someone with a paper TfL map and there it was!
Pavement cyclists are easily dealt with. An umbrella whose tip accidentally finds its way into the spokes of the front wheel. For good measure you can abuse the bloodied cyclist lying on the pavement for damaging your brolly.
I find that "accidentally" overlooking them and using the bounce to send them straight into the nearest solid, unforgiving and preferably rough surfaced object is quite satisfying. It's entirely "by accident"because you can't be expected to watch out for cyclists on pavements and as their presence is not entirely legal they can't make too much of an issue of it either.
Using a brolly makes it too intentional, but overlooking them .. well, that's hard to refute if you're in the wrong.
Oh, and I will cross at pedestrian crossings when the light is green. It's not my fault I run into people who think red traffic lights are not for them..
"Oh, and I will cross at pedestrian crossings when the light is green. It's not my fault I run into people who think red traffic lights are not for them.."
Cars generally wait for a red light (the moment when the pedestrian lights are green), but I see plenty of cyclists that appear to be of the opinion that red lights are only installed for decorative purposes.
I remember walking along the old railway track at Glastonbury festival many years ago when I saw a wheely-bin quickly accelerating towards my fellow pedestrians before stopping short of them. It would then spin round rapidly, before targeting another meat-bag to menace.
I was impressed.
And no, I wasn't under the influence of hallucinogens, being skint, young and wary of such substances at the time.
Not as skint, not as young, but will be happy to do mushrooms when a suitable situation presents itself - as a rational type, I have take heed of the positive results all scientific studies (including three and five year-on follow-ups) have seen in test subjects. My body fat is low enough that I wouldn't be storing up surprise flashbacks for the future.
A European friend of mine asked a mate in the Westcountry to take her to Wales [border] to pick some, but due to her accent he drove her to Wells [Somerset].
I'm still confused by the downvote - I'd have thought that the idea of a man sitting in a bush with a radio control unit and spinning out hippies with a motorised wheely-bin of his own creation was in the true spirit of The Reg - I can't think of a better use for a load of NiCad batteries. Perhaps I was wrong. Have I changed or have you lot?
Frankly I'm astounded that the pavements are in a good enough condition to permit the plucky little delivery-bot to progress - how well can they really handle the reality of broken slabs, uneven kerbs and half-drunk McDonald's 'milk' shakes? Never mind the constant barrage of buggies etc.
"Frankly I'm astounded that the pavements are in a good enough condition to permit the plucky little delivery-bot to progress"
Most disappointing Christmas present ever: a pair of roller skates rendered useless by the state of our local pavements.
How good are these robot things at climbing kerbs?
Somone somewhere hasn't thought this through.
>Never mind the constant barrage of buggies etc.
Even if you couldn't get into them,
cowbot-tipping would surely become an urban pastime.
You'd have to actually make them heavy mobile safes, not mobile lunch-boxes.
Like autonomous cars, the practicalities are going to kill it.
The best way to streamline logistics is to combine them. Get Amazon to deliver to your local supermarket or sandwich shop along with their normal deliveries. They you pick it up your self.
I just had a mental image of the Monty Python kitten walking on it's hind legs, tearing the rooves off houses, & asking for Dinsdale. It steps into the road, reaches down & grabs a car in each paw, then lifts them up & stares at the drivers to ask for Dinsdale. A frustrated growl, a shake of the head, throwing the cars over a shoulder, & then reaching for two more.
Harmless kitten, yeah right...
Sadly, I do understand it. It translates as "I am an obnoxious git whose only tiny ray of joy in an otherwise miserable life is to denigrate others. I hang around on pickup-ar(se)tist forums thinking of myself as an 'alpha', mostly because I don't know the rest of the Greek alphabet. I also post anonymously for fear of someone connecting my selfish viewpoints to my identity because I don't have the courage to defend my beliefs in person."
> women won't be able to tear themselves away from their mobiles long enough to be able or willing to procreate.
A lot of them are actually using their phones for Tinder, but if they'd 'swiped right' on your profile,you'd know that right? I prefer my social networking to be done in pubs. It's probably a coincidence that my favourite pubs have piss-poor phone signal (and an ethos of cheerful mixed-company piss-taking, compassion and drunken highjinks), but still!
I'm suspicious of ideologies, and whilst that does includes a fair chunk of the women claiming to be feminists (it's a broad church, and will always have a lunatic fringe), it also includes people who use terms like land-whales (it doesn't make you sound attractive). It just seems that anti-men and anti-women views often come from the same miserable pool.
Whilst it's disappointing the number of young women who are overweight today,the answer lies more in encouraging them to ignore advertising, to cook from basic ingredients and to dance joyfully around the kitchen whilst doing so, as opposed to shaming them (lowering people's self-esteem often only makes them eat more). Lead by example. Be a proper chap, there's a good man.
I'm also suspicious of people who use the term 'workshop' in relation to anything other than light industry.
Don't worry too much about it. I'm convinced that sooner or later social media be viewed in much the same light as tobacco use: socially acceptable, but only just barely because we all know how bad it is for your (mental) health. When (not if) society hits the point where social media addiction enjoys the same exposure and stigma as gambling addiction people will leave Facebook in droves.
"Besides, aren't they designed to emit a piercing alarm when interfered with?"
Leaving the alternative meanings aside, I have a vision of the pavement full of trembling, screaming robots because someone went along clunking each of them with a 2lb hammer. Then there's all sorts of innocent fun to be had by picking them up and standing them on their heads.
'symphonise' is fine, it's where the horns start as random beeps then morphs into a disjointed cacophony before evolving into a pseudo orchestral piece, the shouts of passing cyclists and screams of violated dustbins adding to the syncopative rhythm.
Why he was slicing pickles in the second paragraph is anybodies guess though
If I'd written "symphonies", the sentence would lack a main verb and therefore not be a sentence at all.
You old fogey you. Don'tcha know that it's cool, hip and froody to not speak Soverign's English any more? Doing so merely marks one as an elderly pedant.
Or so I'm told.
 One never knows when Queen's English might become King's English.
 Come to the Dark Side. We have declensions..
"you'd only have to break into 1 per cent of the automated courier bots to rake in £325m of stolen goods per year."
You may be able to make a decent profit by stealing just 1/100 of robot deliveries, but as long as 1/30 of them actually contain bobcats instead of the expected contents, it's probably not worth the risk.
but as long as 1/30 of them actually contain bobcats instead of the expected contents, it's probably not worth the risk.
Oh - I dunno. I think I'd *rather* have bobcats than some of the utter drek that Amazon sells..
 Other web-based abusers of delivery staff are available.
For use in his next IoT article - it's a self-describing one for the use of IoT:
I Do Internet Of Things
I really don't want to own or use anything on the internet that is less secure than a modern smartphone or PC - these are bad enough but at least tend to require user intervention to open them up to pwnership.
"Recent events in London, Nice and elsewhere demonstrate that keeping to designated walkways is no protection from a determined motorist" - or indeed from an incompetent one who manages to knock down a school child at lunchtime by simply failing to keep their car off the pavement ( as happened here last week ).
As an old hockey player, it's great to have so many players with their heads down to take into the boards. I just had a load of fun being sarcastically apologetic to my victims at a recent convention. Yes, that's right, digital zombies buried in their phones as they pace the aisles ignoring the booths. freewwouh, why don't they just stay home?
There's no reason that IoT has to use Swiss cheese as a firewall. I think you'd be hard pressed to break into any of the various IoT devices in my house. Mind you these aren't off-the-shelf IoT devices. They're bespoke devices with various SBCs and Arduinos at their cores put together by someone who knows a thing or ten about security and that, unlike most commercial IoT devices, get updated regularly. They're both less expensive - the latest device, controlling 8 light switches, cost about $10 to build and could have been less expensive if I'd used an Arduino instead of a SBC but I was being lazy - and far more secure - I'm fairly sure that they're all a good deal harder to break into than the my router - than the stuff I could buy to do the same jobs. But if a middle aged nerd can build IoT devices in his spare time that aren't chock full of security holes I don't see why a company building delivery bots that are going to be responsible for millions of dollars worth of product couldn't do it.
They don't do it because it costs time and money. The CEO wants the product in the marketplace as soon as the hardware is barely working if the packaging and ad campaign are finished. Good Pen testing might take a few days or a week. That's £XXX,XXX in potential sales and maybe more if the unscrupulous bastards at another company get their very similar widget out first and they might because 3 people quit and went to work for them 2 weeks ago.
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