if the resident had been in, you might now have a bullet through your chest...
The Register is at Microsoft's Ignite shindig in Orlando, Florida and while the event itself has been liberally hosed with the cloud and decked with impressive workflows, we reckon the Windows giant might want to offer up some of the assembled engineers to work out just what the heck is going on with Hyatt hotel's booking system …
I took my family on a visit to florida a few years ago, and stayed at some sort of apart-hotel thingy in Clearwater for a couple of days. We got given the correct key but the wrong apartment number (written down on a piece of paper) by the reception staff.
We had caught a very late flight to get out there, and in hindsight, I'm extremely glad we didn't encounter a trigger happy occupant whilst fiddling with the lock and trying to get into the wrong room at 2 am in the morning....
Used to struggle with that one too. After using mainly 24 hour clock for a while realised that there is only one twelve and one zero, so they form the beginning of the next period (i.e. 0-11 = am, 12-23 = pm).
Also something to do with meridians but that wasn't what set it in my brain initially.
Same in a hotel country house type place in Ireland. I arrived back at the hotel late and slightly wobbly from alcohol. There were no staff on the desk so I helped myself to my room key (9).
Key nine wouldn't turn the lock so I thought maybe it was upside down and was 6 so I tried it in 6 and the door was opened by an annoyed looking woman occupant.
Eventually I discovered that the rooms on each floor were numbered from 1 and I had the key to the floor below mine.
Also staying in a farmhouse one time I left the room at 3AM for the bathroom which was up a flight of stairs. Then when I came back I was presented with a set of four doors, and no memory at all of which was mine, the other three occupied by strangers. Russian roulette, I was lucky that night.
Worryingly, most of the strains in circulation aren't included in the BCG jab, which IIRC contains 23 separate needles for the strains it does cover (I stand to be corrected on this, as it's 3 decades since I had one). This indicates something about why TB is such a successful pathogen (and still the world's number 1 killer infectious disease), this and the fact that it is hard to kill because (a) it lives in the lungs, where it is hard for antibiotics to reach, (b) it divides slowly (antibiotics typically kill cells when they divide), (c) it has a thick cell wall, affording the bacterium some degree of protection, and (d) people don't finish their courses of antibiotics and stop when they feel better, leading to low-level disease reservoirs. oh, and (e) a lot of infected people are asymptomatic.
If you develop a cough, I'd suggest a visit to your GP...
If you get to see a nurse instead of a doctor at your surgery, it's not a downgrade - they are usually specialists (COPD, Travel Clinic, etc) and know their stuff.. I think the triage nurse is only in hospital A&E. So only the receptionist to get past.
GP surgery Hahahahahahahahah!
Receptionists are the untrained spawn of the Devil. There to put a barrier between patients and over worked doctors.
Couple of years ago I ground my finger close to the bone with a belt sander (my own fault). Took the nail completely off. Mushy stuff underneath. As my London GP surgery was both open and just around the corner I wrapped the dripping mess in a paper kitchen towel and walked round the corner. The receptionist flatly refused to even call one of the on-site doctors saying that "we don't do injuries here, you need to go to the drop-in minor injuries centre, or hospital A&E". Luckily I have an automatic car and could drive with one hand for about a mile to the DI centre.
The drop in centre triaged me and I got to see a nurse in 20 minutes. She offered to X-ray the finger but as it was clearly not broken, only mangled I suggested that perhaps someone could check it for underlying damage and dress it. There was a two hour wait for sticking plasters etc. I decided to go home and dress it myself.
It was at this point that the only rapid movement I had seen all day occurred. The nurse stopped me from going back out through the other waiting victims with a, by now, very bloody kitchen towel. She gave me a new sheet of sterile cloth and waved me on my way.
Its a good thing the valiant journo was on his way TO the USA rather than coming home to the UK. US medical care may be hideously expensive but if you have travel insurance it is quite effective. In the UK, at least in North London, you are stuffed.
"Hideously expensive" is the same as "nonexistent" if you can't pay. And don't think your wait times are anything less than typical here, either - your injury, whilst assuredly gruesome and most likely painful, was not life-threatening, nor was there any serious risk of permanent harm arising.
Or do you prefer a system wherein someone with a boo-boo can jump the queue in front of someone who is going to lose their digits/limbs/life if they don't see a doctor RIGHT GODDAMN NOW, because boo-boo has Ca$hMoney and the seriously injured person does not?
most of the strains in circulation aren't included in the BCG jab
Most youngsters don't get BCG jabs any more, it's not part of routine vaccination. Apparently they stopped giving them to teenagers in 2005 and now only target those at higher risk.
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"which IIRC contains 23 separate needles for the strains"
It's a long time ago but IIRC the multiple needle thing was the test which was supposed to come up and leave a scab if it was positive. The scab could leave a permanent scar. You used to see people with one or even two scars the size of an old halfpenny on their upper arm. My test? Not the slightest reaction so I got the jab with a singe needle.
ISTR the test was done with a multiple needle device that left a pepper pot mark on the inside of your forearm. If that reacted after a couple of weeks(?) you were sent for further tests and new underwear - a couple of friends at school reacted and their fear was palpable understandably having just been reading shit by poets that had died of that crap.
The actual immunisation came from something on a needle that was put just under the skin on the shoulder rather than an injection. This reacted to create a blister like bubble that in my class at school varied from 1/4" across to one lad who had one about 3" across and make him look like he was smuggling a tennis ball - something there almost certainly was a rule against somewhere in the imaginary school archives.
Where the skin lifted you were left with a scar that resembles that left by a burn.
Am only the one who went to a school where the boys competed so see how hard they could punch the resulting jab site?
"Dead arm" for days.
I also seem recall my BCG blister burst in a shower of blood 3 months later. Made white school shirt look like something from Taratino. And that was without any teenage thuggery involved.
But the other way round.
Must have been about 1AM, fast asleep in the land of nod.......
Suddenly the lights all come on and I'm (almost) wide awake, and there's a big bloke standing at the end of the bed with his suitcase in hand.
Fortuntely he looked as horrified and shocked as I, quickly apologied and rushed out, switching off the light in the process.
Had he opened his suitcase and took out some ruibber gloves I would have been rather more worried.....
I did complain in the morning about it (the intrusion, not the lack of rubber gloves), the receptionist seemed quite concerned and promised to report it and surprisingly I later got a letter from the duty manager apologising and offering me free room upgrades on future visits ( I was staying there quite often at the time).
Many moons ago, with small children on a foreign trip we stayed one night at the Ibis near Heathrow. We were woken up three times by people unlocking the door and barging in. On the third one I just roared FUCK OFF!, and that seemed to do the business. When I complained the following morning, to the French duty manager, he didn't seem very concerned, and only offered us a free breakfast, which we couldn't take as we needed to get to the airport. Needless to say I've never stayed in an Ibis ever again.
How is it possible for a computer to allocate a room that is already occupied ? It should indeed be a computer problem because I very much doubt that there is any booking system where the clerk can override room status on an occupied room - that way lies madness.
So there clearly is a bug in the system, but what on Earth could it be ? The database is corrupt ? The system got hacked and nobody's noticed yet ?
Anyone got any ideas ?
Lots of ways it can happen, two simple options are:
1: two separate systems. System 1 says room 123 is allocated.
Clark scribbles down room 132 into the card/paperwork, types that into the card machine writer and then reads it back and tells the customer that that is what their room is.
2: a race condition, two people checking in at the same time, the room is empty when both requests do the lookup for empty rooms, they both then create allocations for the room and store it back (after waiting to confirm details etc). Due to bad database/system design it doesn't realise the two entries have been written and both are left allocated to the same room for the same time period.
Not just "a number" of systems -- I can't recall a single hotel where I have stayed that has that level of integration. By keeping the systems separate there is less of attack surface to be hacked.
Also, all room keys have to programmed at the same time. The next time the programmer is used a different token is generated, and as soon that that new card is used all existing cards for the room are automatically expired. So if you ever get back to your room and your key doesn't work, there is a good chance that someone had been issued a card in error and has probably been in your room.
@Pascal Monett: "How is it possible...?
I walked into an occupied room in an otherwise pretty decent hotel in an Eastern European country where I was visiting an outsourcing outfit doing some stuff for us. The original occupant was in bed watching TV - I escaped faster than I could notice which channel it was. While the horrified reception staff were recoding the key card for a different room I pondered the same question, "How is it possible?".
My first guess was that the DB was coded by the very same outsourcing company I was visiting. This was so eminently plausible that I stopped wondering there and then.
On a skiing holiday we arrived at our hotel and went into the lobby and registered. We then went to the back of the hotel and down about 8 flights of stairs, through a small tunnel and up another 10 or so flights of stairs to get to our room. The hotel had been built in a valley and ran down one side and the tunnel was in fact a bridge built to withstand floods and avalanches and then up the other.
Meals were of course near reception so by the end of the week I was marathon fit despite not having done much skiing.
The last were "modern" hotels, so little to do with climbin' down t'pit shaft using only hands and feet.
The first hotel was in an apartment block, so reception was on the 5th floor, my room was on the 9th. After the previous lift incident, when I eventually got into the room the "room service menu" was a list of local take-aways with highlights of their "meals" - Charges excluded delivery, which was about the same amount as a "meal", with an additional charge if I wanted the delivery taken up to my room.
you didn't really expect they'd go into ANY details, did you past the usual bullshit of "our guests' comfort is our top priority and we would sincerely wish to apologize again, and here's a 10 buck juice voucher for the canteen below, indicative of how much we care and FO!!!"
That said, if you don't ask, you don't get (and if you ask, you still don't ;)
If I read the reference I just found aright, then the water carrying capacity of air decreases with increased pressure. So as the aircraft descends below whatever the cabin air pressure level is pressure increases and there's a potential for condensation. would have thought the air would need to be pretty hu,mid already for any noticeable effects though, but I haven't done sums.
> the air would need to be pretty humid already for any noticeable effects
Definitely, and given you just spent at least an hour in the very dry air of cruise altitude, I doubt there is much humidity left in the cabin by the end of the trip.
So I'm wondering where did that water those people experienced came from. *scratches head*
So I'm wondering where did that water those people experienced came from. *scratches head*
My guess would be faulty air conditioning systems on the aircraft. The cabin's effectively sealed & pressurised to (I think) the equivalent of 8,000ft during flight & depressurised as it lands. AFAIK outside air is mixed with recirculated cabin air & meant to be at a controlled temp/humidity. So probably something wrong with condensers & more moisture getting into the cabin air. As air seems dry during flight, I guess the systems also have to deal with humidity from sardi.. I mean passengers breathing & sweating.
I've noticed the occasional drop of moisture during flights, but luckily not much.
Well, it's been a while since this happened, but Rio is a pretty humid place, particularly in the wet season. I speculate that sitting with the doors open and the aircon running, and the condensate not being drained where it should have been, caused the issue.
Air France were terribly good/embarrassed about it. And at least it wasn't AF47 that time, which we'd flown *to* Rio on the day before it failed to find its way home. :(
> sitting with the doors open and the aircon running
Except that AFAIK on the ground the aircon is that big box on wheels parked alongside the plane. Any condensation should run off that one, only the cooled air is pumped into the plane. And, air being pumped into the plane, the cabin is actually slightly over-pressurized, which should prevent too much feral external air from entering through the doors. (That is, I guess, AFAIK, YMMV and all that. I'm no plane specialist, I just like to observe.)
I can understand Air France were embarrassed: Soaking your paying customers is never a good marketing move, and that's even before stray rumors start about the origins of that liquid...
> The cabin's effectively sealed
This isn't the information I had. They do pressurize the cabin, but keep pumping in "fresh" air from outside all the time, else a) the passengers would eventually suffocate after a couple hours, and b) the smell might get overwhelming...
Given air humidity decreases with altitude (that's how clouds come to form), the air at cruise altitude is very dry. I can imagine outside air humidity being a problem only for the couple minutes of ascension and descent, which shouldn't be long enough to create any visible effects (and apparently usually isn't).
That been said, I agree that some faulty system on the plane is to blame, for apparently only a select few have ever experienced this issue, and I assume people here are above-average plane users.
> If water is freezing *inside* the plane
I guess he meant inside the double/triple panes of the windows: There is a tiny hole on the bottom, and a slight amount of condensation tends to freeze there into a tiny ice crystal during cruise flight, only to melt and eventually evaporate during descent. Technically it is "inside" the plane, but it is meant to do so. I guess it's the residual humidity of the air trapped between the window panes.
(It's crazy the things you observe when tied into a seat for hours on end...)
Well, if it was a Boeing, then it would have rained every few minutes as the aircraft suddenly descended and everyone would have arrived at the destination totally drenched - but with the blood and snot washed off. Since the Reg Hack said it only rained once, I assume it was an Airbus.
I went away for a work course for a few nights, and we had to share rooms. Because my real name can apply to male or female (think Lesley or Darcy), but is most commonly female (it is amazing how often I get mail addressed to Mrs Diogenes, or people are audibly surprised when a bass voice answers my phone - they were obviously mentally prepared to talk to a female)... anyhoo, the room allocators stuffed up. I walked into my room, and there stood a young comley lass with her back to me, bending over the suitcase on the bed, wearing naught but a towel around her hair. Sadly knowing that as an old, balding and graying, overweight man, who is not rich, which overcomes those disadvantages, this was not going to be a "readers' letters" moment, I beat a hasty retreat apologising. The issue was sorted quickly, and the form of the apology to both of us was nice, and thankfully did not kill my new career stone dead after just week after joining the organisation
Because my real name can apply to male or female (think Lesley or Darcy), but is most commonly female (it is amazing how often I get mail addressed to Mrs Diogenes, or people are audibly surprised when a bass voice answers my phone - they were obviously mentally prepared to talk to a female)
A decade or so back, GF is visiting Aoteraoa for a conference, being joined by a fellow whose name has similar properties, at least for English-speaking countries. As flying halfway around the world just for a conference without having a peek at Aotearoa's landscape appears somewhat silly they had planned to rent allroad motorcycles, and afterwards ride around South Island for a week or two. Motorcycle rental company is informed that the Suzuki DR650 might be a little tall for GF, and would they set it up as low as possible? Sure.
So they show up at the rental shop, and are presented with two DRs, both slowered even to the point that they fitted lower tyres. Shop had assumed from the name the other bike was going to be ridden by a female too.
Companion is a tick over 1m90.
About 20 years ago a group of us from our lab (all male), including the surgeon I was working for* and his registrar went off to a conference in Switzerland. Being on a budget we went for twin rooms.
Unfortunately there had been a mis-translation somewhere along the way and we were all assigned double rooms, with most of us having to share beds. The registrar, however, managed to wangle himself the last remaining single room in the hotel.
The surgeon, who came on the next flight, arrived at the hotel to be greeted by the receptionist in a loud voice "Mr. ----, Your assistant does not wish to sleep with you."
* I still do, but in a different lab, hence a/c.
Motorcycle trip, been riding 8+ hours. Believe me when I say you can't fall asleep behind the wheel (bars) of a motorcycle but there comes a point when you can't ride any longer (hallucinations for one).
Checked into a hotel at 2AM, got a reduced rate because I was only gonna be there a few hours. Went to my room and opened it and as I walked through the threshold I noticed I was entering the wrong number room... but the key card worked on it! I tried the room across the hall and it worked there too! Found my room and it worked there too!
I'm under the impression that once the key card is activated it opens *any* room in the hotel!
Started in Sweden around ten,somewhere between the Vänern and Vättern lakes and halfway up their length, rode across Denmark, passed Hamburg around 23:00, Bremen just past midnight, then a rather tense 200km or so of Bundesstrasse with lots of stretches through forest. Where you don't want to encounter any wildlife larger than maybe a small rabbit. Got home, fed the cat and went another 100km for @reasons.
Felt rather knackered of course, but only physically.
Icon: would have licked it off any keyboard within reach.
Hotel door key systems are surprisingly low-tech and unconnected. With lots of manual steps and opportunities for error. No limits on issuing duplicate keys for example - because guests lose keys all the time. Relatively easy to issue a concierge/valet master key that opens all doors too. I'm surprised it doesn't happen more frequently. I've got a 3 for 8 strike rate over the last 18 months of regularly travelling for work - one woman in a shower in Barking, something out of True Romance in Florida - that was pretty scary because, well, 'Murica, and just a clearly-lived in but unoccupied room for third. And in that time I've had someone walk in on me once because I'd forgotten to latch and deadlock the door.
There's probably a book in this somewhere
Thrice in a hotel in Southampton booked by work.
1. An empty room save for a very expensive cabin / laptop bag left on the bed. Owner had just booked the room and left it there. I insisted the hotel call the police to remove it. They reluctantly did.
2. Arrived quite late and walked in on a single woman with kids who was understandably very upset.
3. Walked in on a youngish couple. Got very red faced.
I refuse to stay there now.
In Belfast once, with a bloke just out of the shower.
I now knock on the door before entering and always use the security locks.
Mind you I wonder what would have happened if someone had walked in on me when I was in the States taking an angle grinder to a laptop's HD to destroy it on the instructions of my employer (posted elsewhere on this site).
So, after a works do, being heavily hibernated, i checked into the Travel Lodge Liverpool Street at 0130.
They were expecting me, and gave me a room card.
I stagger up to my room, open the door, switch on the lights, and a bloke sits upright in the bed.
I apologise, turn lights out and return to reception.
Gives a new room card. And a complementary breakfast
Stagger to the room
Open the door, lights on... and someone sits up in bed.
Back down reception
Receptionist mortified, can't explain why this is happening
Give a new room card. I ask if they want to come with me so i don't have to experience this again. They decline stating they can't leave reception.
Stagger to room 3.
It's locked from the inside.
Back down to reception
This time receptionist escorts me to room 4;
At 0200, i get a room.
A week later, I'm asked for customer feed back.
Retale the above story
Hear f3ck all back
In a Holiday Inn in Charlotte SC
Lying down on the bed naked, tired after work having a damned good scratch.
Door flies open, middle aged attractive woman walks in, takes one look at me and freezes........
"What are you doing in my room?" she said
"Its my room - I was here first, but you can stay if you want. Fancy a beer?"
She politely declined the beer and exited backwards, staring at my exposed parts.
This exact situation happened to me in 2012 at a Hilton Garden Inn in Pennsylvania. It was late and was a walk-in. The receptionist assigned me a room, and I opened the door, flipped on the lights, and terrified a couple sound asleep in bed. I was livid, so I can only imagine how the other customers felt.
Ah the days of unique mechanical access systems with on-time access security enablers stored in a vertical random access system behind the reception desk are gone !
In my youth I spent too much time at past midnight stumbling along spooky long coridoors with my case in the US being very careful to pick the right door.
Low point in key design was the use of unreliable mag swipe cards made even more dodgy by my Blackberry pouch.
"Low point in key design was the use of unreliable mag swipe cards made even more dodgy by my Blackberry pouch."
I wiped out two railway season tickets in as many weeks before I realised the magnetic catch on my new phone case was wiping the magnetic strip on the ticket. After getting annoyed that I had to get my ticket replaced at regular intervals, the phone case underwent a bit of surgery.
Many years ago my double-locked door at a Marriott hotel opened to the limit of the chain at 3AM. Long story short, someone claiming to be me went to the front desk said they couldn't get into their (my) room and they gave him or her (not sure which) a replacement key. Because the door was double-locked, it didn't work, so they sent security up with the God key to open the door.
When I heard the door open, I kicked it shut and called the front desk to ask for security to be sent to my room pronto. That's when I was told security WAS at my room -- and I guess I got in, didn't I?
Next AM I went to the front desk to complain about them not verifying the person's ID before giving them a key to my room, and I was told that they DID provide acceptable ID. I had to call Marriott corporate before anyone took this incident seriously, but I did get a security blog entry out of the experience.