back to article It looks like you want a storage appliance for your data centre. Maybe you'd prefer a smart card reader?

Welcome to another in The Register's series of computers behaving badly. Today's instalment is a little different to the usual run of blue, and may reassure those concerned that the machines will one day rule the world. Sent in by Register reader Dave S, this bit of borkage comes from the department of "you recommend what?" …

  1. Andy Non Silver badge
    FAIL

    Bit like Amazon at the moment

    I wanted a new heavy duty face guard for when I'm using my table saw, big angle-grinder or chainsawing down trees. Narrowed my search to the DIY and tools section but was offered page after page of cheap nasty PPE medical visors. Totally useless, but you can see what Amazon are shifting at the moment. I'll wait until I can get a proper one from B&Q or Wickes.

    1. Mike 125

      Re: Bit like Amazon at the moment

      >but was offered page after page of cheap nasty PPE medical visors. Totally useless,

      Yea, the irony being that your 'table saw, big angle-grinder or chainsawing down trees' really matters.

      On the other hand, who gives a toss what useless crap doctors, nurses, paramedics, cleaners etc. are forced to use. Lucky their crap is really cheap, since they're having to pay for it themselves. Even stranger times.

      And back towards topic: Amazon search has always been useless. It's impossible to search out the 'slightly better quality' from the dross.

    2. chivo243 Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Bit like Amazon at the moment

      Linked IN too... I wanted a great job, found one I liked (didn't get it) LI, now LI sends me jobs that are NOT like the one I originally looked at...

      1. David Lewis 2
        Joke

        Re: Bit like Amazon at the moment

        No, no, no.

        The LI algorithms are working exactly as intended.

        Since you didn't get the job you applied for, it has determined you can't be suitable for any other similar jobs. It therefore filters them out and only shows you completely unrelated jobs.

        Obvious really.

        But yes, I agree, the Amazon search functionality is dire.

    3. the spectacularly refined chap

      Re: Bit like Amazon at the moment

      Amazon search has always been crap but together the marketplace and sponsored results have made it almost useless thanks to click bait descriptions (don't describe what it isn't) and questionable sponsoring of terms.

      A couple of months ago I searched for "ball pein hammer" on Amazon. Got a couple of novels back in the sponsored results... Daddy's Little Angel and Stepbrother with Benefits. I think you can imagine the genre. Although I did wonder who would pay to place those in a search for hammers.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Bit like Amazon at the moment

        eBay is as almost as bad. Maybe three hits and then an almost unnoticeably small caption introducing items with fewer words followed by a list from the wild blue yonder. Or an equally overlookable intro to ads from international vendors when you've specifically clicked UK only because you don't want to wait for whatever it was to arrive on a slow boat from China.

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: Bit like Amazon at the moment

          Are they different hits? If so, they're probably beating Amazon. My searches often go like this:

          Enter search terms: Random things that don't match what I was looking for because the descriptions specify what something has but not what it can do.

          Retry search terms: Some actual results pop up. Well, three things. These must be three very good things because they each appear at least four times in the results list. Sometimes this is because there are four different colors and the sellers don't understand how to use the item color selector on one product page. Sometimes, they seem to be identical including identical prices and I have no clue why they're listed multiple times. The rest of the list consists of sponsored unrelated things and refurbished items, which often are not very desirable for many of the things one might want to buy online. Often, the three possible results are all overpriced, which leads to

          Sort by price: I think that, for every possible set of search terms, someone has made a product to show up first on a sorted price list. The most frequent tend to be cases or straps. If it's electronics, it can at times be components, but never the kind of component you want to have extras of. Even when there's no real need for a case for something, somebody has made one and published it on Amazon. I don't know if anyone ever buys them, but I wouldn't recommend it as I have no proof the case will actually fit the thing it's being advertised for, assuming they actually tried to advertise for a specific product rather than a class of products. So I realize that I'm just going to have to use the price filter until I am at the lower end of possible prices and see what those look like, which leads to

          Price filter: I don't know what Amazon's frontend office looks like, but I know it must have someone there (I imagine it as two laughing interns) whose job it is to monitor my searches and make sure there is never a price filter option on the page when it would be useful. I've seen it on other searches where I didn't need it, but for some reason it will disappear off the page from time to time, and that always happens when I've reached sufficient frustration. I try to find the set of parameters I can append to the query string to put a filter in place, and if I can remember it, it tends to work, but often I give up around now and go elsewhere.

          1. heyrick Silver badge

            Re: Bit like Amazon at the moment

            "Sometimes this is because there are four different colors and the sellers don't understand how to use the item color selector on one product page."

            Oh, they understand exactly how to use it.

            Just like they understand "listed only once" vs "listed a half dozen times".

      2. KarMann Bronze badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Bit like Amazon at the moment

        Just to head off the Americans pointing out the 'error', sorry, "error", as I was about to do myself, 'pein' is the British spelling, "peen" the American. I thought the apparent typo might have influenced the results, but it's not a typo after all, but it's still possible that its closer resemblance to another word from that genre could have influenced the suggested items, typo or not.

      3. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Re: Bit like Amazon at the moment

        Oh, I'm sure there's plenty of "hammering" going on in those, if you catch my meaning... wing wink, nudge nudge.

    4. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: Bit like Amazon at the moment

      I wanted a new heavy duty face guard for when I'm using my table saw, big angle-grinder or chainsawing down trees.

      There's a story about the late President Reagan and protective equipment. Whilst still president he was on his ranch enjoying a few days of holiday. He announced he was going to do some work in the woods and his head of detail, a couple of other secret service agents and the Whitehouse photographer went off with him and his tools. He'd used his chainsaw, an axe etc. with no problem and they headed back to the house. Head of detail says to the photographer he must have got some good images of the President. Photographer says yes but can't use any of them as Reagan wasn't wearing the correct protective equipment.

      1. GlenP Silver badge

        Re: Bit like Amazon at the moment

        Photographer says yes but can't use any of them as Reagan wasn't wearing the correct protective equipment.

        When I was on the editorial team for a festival newsletter we had exactly the same issue. Someone would say, "I've got a great picture of X doing Y!" We'd immediately reject it due to incorrect PPE, bad working practice, etc.

        1. Andy Non Silver badge

          Re: Bit like Amazon at the moment

          It was the opposite of that when we lived in France, the DIY programmes on TV there often had presenters covered head to toe in muck and dust from using power saws, angle grinders, ripping down old ceilings etc and no masks, eye protection etc. A total disregard for personal safety; I've seen some really gung-ho use of chainsaws too with no respect for what damage they can do to flesh within a split second.

          1. ThatOne Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: Bit like Amazon at the moment

            > gung-ho use of chainsaws

            No, that was a horror movie, not a french DIY program!

            1. KarMann Bronze badge
              Coat

              Re: Bit like Amazon at the moment

              Why not both?

              1. heyrick Silver badge

                Re: Bit like Amazon at the moment

                Farmer neighbour (I live very rural in the boggy end of Brittany [*]). He offered to chop our wood down to size as the stuff we'd sawn up (by hand) was still too long.

                He arrived with a large chainsaw, no protective gear whatsoever, and flip flops. He then stood on top of the logs and swung the saw down between his legs.

                He managed to cut them, quite nicely too, so we thanked him, gave him a bottle of red, and accepted that as a practical demonstration of how never to use a chainsaw.

                My god.

                It was nearly twenty years ago and I still shudder thinking about it.

                * - That doesn't narrow it down! ;)

    5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Bit like Amazon at the moment

      "get a proper one from B&Q or Wickes."

      IIRC, B&Q are open again.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Recruitment Searches

    I'm a Contract PM who manages a variety of projects including technical infrastructure projects. I've also managed a number of projects starting or transforming service desks.

    I do include the architecture stack I've worked with in my CV but there is no claim to be a technical consultant. Probably half the enquiries I get about availability are about technical consultancy roles, and 10% are for service desk agent.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Recruitment Searches

      Their search algorithms are universally useless. If you put "technical writer" in your CV, you'll get every job opening that contains both the words "technical" and "writing", in any combination or context.

      1. -tim
        Pint

        Re: Recruitment Searches

        The local labor government in Victoria has a ad up at the train stations with the typical "we are sorry for the delays" while patting themselves on the back for spending our money. There are 4 people in the picture of "rail construction" and 3 of them are doing things that should get them kicked off a worksite. The other one is just standing around looking like a supervisor.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Recruitment Searches

          "The other one is just standing around looking like a supervisor."

          Obviously usta model or actor then. A real supervisor would be sitting down in the site cabin with a tea, coffe or, being Oz, maybe a tinny/

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Recruitment Searches

      Thought you were going to regale us with stories about job offers to design buildings. Almost tempted to downvote you for that...

  3. wjake
    Thumb Down

    Tiger Direct?

    Good Lord, why would anyone buy anything from that gang of shifty box-shifters? Especially a piece of kit like that! I remember being excited that CompUSA had been resurrected online, until I found out it was just a new web-front for TD!

    1. Edwin

      Re: Tiger Direct?

      Indeed. Once and never, ever again.

    2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: Tiger Direct?

      I remember being excited that CompUSELESS had been resurrected online, until I found out it was just a new web-front for TD!

      There, FTFY.

  4. Steve Goodey
    Thumb Up

    Startech.com

    I like Startech.com gear and find it quite good, are you sure it's not equivalent?

  5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "The same principle is used to direct a customer to in-stock items when something is unavailable"

    There's a word missing there.:"Irrelevant". Or possibly several: "mindblowingly and utterly bonkers irrelevant".

  6. Sam Therapy
    Facepalm

    That's nowt

    Long ago, when mail order catalogues were a thing, my mum ran a Grattan's agency. One of her friends at work ordered a keep net for her husband's birthday present; an ideal choice for the guy, seeing as he was a keen angler.

    Anyhow, the package arrived, with a note saying the exact model was out of stock but they'd substituted it with a similar item of comparable quality. Mum's friend took it home, gave it to husband, who, without opening the thing, took it on his next fishing trip with his mates. Got to the bank side, unpacked his tackle, opened the box and took out his brand new... air rifle. Oops.

    Before anyone doubts this, back in the 1960s, mail order catalogues very definitely sold air rifles, pistols, and even - upon seeing the appropriate certificates - shotguns.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: That's nowt

      Maybe for the one that was "this big" that got away?

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: That's nowt

      See icon ---------->

      Me, trying to figure out how the weight and shape of an air rifle could possibly be packaged in such a way as to seem to be a keep net.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IT procurement

    "We've contacted TigerDirect to find out just how in blue blazes this is a replacement for that. As Dave drily observed: "I hadn't realised the two items were so similar."'

    Then, you're out of league for working in BUSD companies' IT procurement dept from previous employers, I'm afraid.

    They've proposed me quite similar "better deals" :)

    Anon, do I need to explain why ?

  8. JDPower

    Probably one of my favourites was on Amazon. Was looking for a new coat and at one point had suggestions of two other coats and a three pack of ladies knickers. Which was ridiculous as the coats were nothing like what I wanted!

    1. Andy Non Silver badge

      Amazon have some weird suggestions; I recently bought a new cordless drill and under their heading "Customers who bought that item also bought" and suggested a salacious novel. The mind boggles.

      1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Amazon have some weird suggestions; I recently bought a new cordless drill and under their heading "Customers who bought that item also bought" and suggested a salacious novel. The mind boggles.

        I expect there was plenty of "drilling" going on in that novel, if you catch my meaning. (wink wink, nudge nudge}

  9. heyrick Silver badge

    Sometimes Amazon's Prime Video gets this unbelievably wrong

    Searching for Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Prime didn't have it (at least, not in France) so rather than you dare to wander over to Netflix, they offered two alternatives that might be of interest:

    1. The Goldbergs (season 2)

    2. Natural Born Killers

    Italicised bold because... what the actual fuck? Did they watch the same Ferris Bueller that I did way back when (with the cheesy as hell Chicago Parade dance routine), or did I somehow miss an 18 rated version where the sister blows away Principal Rooney at the end?

  10. Camilla Smythe

    Fucking Idiots...

    I thought the El Reg readership might have been better than this. Obviously the USB thing is an 'often bought with' item as like wot would be used by us in the kno for taking backups from the main product. You do take backups, don't you?

  11. Morrie Wyatt
    Flame

    Typical.

    More of the wonderful results from the SEO industry.

    Stuff in sufficient keywords and anything you didn't want, with little or no relevance can be pushed to the top of the garbage pile.

  12. holmegm Bronze badge

    Er, well, two perfectly unborked possibilities present themselves:

    1. They *are* both storage related? Granted, the category is broad, but ...

    2. One might be an "also bought" to the other. If an item is rarely bought, there can be some odd bedfellows sometimes.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020