back to article Ho hum: If you're so artificially intelligent, name this song while my videos go viral

People say I don’t care but I do. I care a lot. I take meticulous care over my writing, for example [snort], and of course over the painstaking research that precedes it. And I take extra-special care over the frantic factual correction and legal backtracking required after it has gone live. Basically, if a job’s worth doing, …

  1. Anonymous Coward

    GA: Hello Professor Falken, shall we play a game?

    1. Blackjack Silver badge

      Can you eat ten chocolate oranges in a minute? If you don't your data will be leaked online! It already has? Nevermind then.

  2. Rol

    "You're not/welcome!"

    Facial mask? Check!

    Human? Check!

    Known idiot? False!

    Sufficient funds to shop here? Alert!

    "Attention Mr John Smith. You have inadvertently wandered into our store with insufficient funds to make a purchase. Please leave by the exit behind you. For your information, the pound shop is next door. Failure to comply will result in this announcement being made louder, and the video of this encounter uploaded to numerous social networks. And by the way, your trouser zip is not done up. Thank you for attempting to shop here today. Goodbye"

  3. AdamT

    Sell the packaging!

    Not just getting the youtube ad-money for your unboxing video, you could sell the packaging too for good money:

    (If i recall that story correctly - wow that was a long time ago! - the seller had been really, really clear that it was just an empty box...)

    1. Jason 24

      Re: Sell the packaging!

      Oddly I had someone offer up an "Empty iPhone 6 Box" for £5 on FB market place. Struck me as odd, but did remind me of the above Playstation story!

      1. KittenHuffer Silver badge

        Re: Sell the packaging!

        Unfortunately you'll find that you can get decent money for the empty box that contained the nice shiny (normally phone) that you've just bought.

        The unfortunate bit is that the scumbag buying it is planning to fill it with the shiny belonging to someone else by illegal means. This makes it much easier for them to sell it on fleaBay. The £10-20 they pay you for the empty box gets them an extra £40-50 on the sale price.

        But, of course, fleaBay isn't going to stop such a clearly dodgy practice because they get their cut of the £10-20 and also of the £40-50 from the sales.

  4. Franco

    Three sentences in to this column and I had the song at the end in my head. Faith No More should have been absolute megastars, but when We Care A Lot came out almost no one got that they were mocking preachy celebrities.

    1. 45RPM Silver badge

      Yup - that’s going around my head as well. I might have to play some Mr Bungle to get rid of that earworm.

      1. The commentard formerly known as Mister_C

        Near to get rid of the FnM earworm?


        1. Haynomonous

          Re: Near to get rid of the FnM earworm?


          1. 45RPM Silver badge

            Re: Near to get rid of the FnM earworm?

            Aah, aah, aah, aah - I know this one. Tip o’ me tongue.

    2. Dabooka

      Logged in to say the same

      And I was convinced that would be Dabbsy's sample track for Google.

      Glad to see it made it in at the end.

  5. chivo243 Silver badge
    Thumb Up


    Long out of business in the brick and mortar realm, but you can still loose your data with them...

    1. Joe W Silver badge

      Re: Toyz-R-Arse

      Wait a sec, that was this year... or maybe last. Surely not longer ago than two years.

      I'm getting old.

    2. keith_w

      Re: Toyz-R-Arse

      Still open in Canada, as far as I can tell.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Haven't tried the "name this song" feature myself

    as my phone is likely too old to handle such things (and I've NEVER used the Google assistant!), but could it be that it misheard the "na na na na" sounds as words and couldn't identify them? What if you tried again by humming instead? Still definitely a failure, but possibly not as bad as it looks.

    And if I know some of the words, I can DuckDuckGo them (see what I did there?) and find the name of the song myself!

    1. Rich 11

      Re: Haven't tried the "name this song" feature myself

      the "na na na na" sounds

      That must be either Kylie Minogue or the Beatles.

      (I haven't listened to the video yet, because that would beat the point of getting Google Assistant to listen to it for me.)

  7. Steve Button Silver badge

    Martin Clunes?

    How did you get Martin Clunes to sing Gary Numan? I bet he wanted more than £60 for that voice gig.

    Or was it Kipper? Actually, it sounded more like Kipper the Dog.

    I could tell what the song was on the first hum. I tried it myself with "The Night" by the Four Seasons earlier in the week (which was an earworm for me, and I genuinely couldn't remember who it was by). Likewise Google: 0. Me: 1.

  8. Dr_N

    Dabbs Unplugged

    Mr Dabbs, your rendition of Nyan Cat was masterful.

    Mr Dabbs> ...simply by YouTubing myself taking pissy little shitgadgets out of their fucking little boxes and reading aloud the spec printed on the back like an inarticulate pin-headed twit.

    It will never take off.

  9. brotherelf

    I can imagine it now…

    "Unexpected honker in the masking area", and a shop assistant in full beekeeper hazmat suit will eventually shuffle over to sullenly swipe a card through the door to let you in.

    (Also, unrelatedly: even though I never spent a second wondering what Dabbsie's voice sounds like, I didn't expect it to sound like that. Is that something that only happens to me?)

    1. Zimmer

      ..also unrelated

      .... I didn't expect it to sound like that. Is that something that only happens to me?....

      No, me too. I was expecting hardened working class, instead got more private school... perhaps he's affected it for the French ...

      icon >>>>> It's looking likely he could be one...

      1. Alistair Dabbs

        Re: ..also unrelated

        It's definitely private school.

        1. Anonymous Custard

          Re: ..also unrelated

          I think I'll resist clicking to find out.

          I'm having enough trouble dealing with reality at the moment as it is, without adding to it...

          1. Mark 85

            Re: ..also unrelated

            "Life is a thin white line, and only drunks walk it." So, screw reality as it's a nighmare these days.

        2. First Light Silver badge

          Re: ..also unrelated

          It's a bit posh, innit.

      2. veti Silver badge

        Re: ..also unrelated

        Really? I would never have taken Dabbsy for working class. His anger isn't directed at social injustice or resentment, it's a much more measured form of wrath directed at people who are stupid, and it's really beside the point whether they're toffs or plebs.

        The way he curdles the sarcasm just screams "disaffected middle class, probably brought up on PG Wodehouse and Evelyn Waugh".

  10. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Whiteleys Garden Centre?

    If that's the one I know I wouldn't have expected them to be at the forefront of modern technology. Maybe there are others. Or maybe it's a long time since I've been there.

    1. Jan 0 Silver badge

      Re: Whiteleys Garden Centre?

      Is that all that's left of a once world famous department store?

  11. ICam

    Welcome back!

    I've missed this column. It's great to see its return on El Reg.


    1. ICam

      Re: Welcome back!

      I've just realised you came back a few weeks ago and this is the third column since you returned. Please make sure you tag your columns appropriately! :-)

      1. Alistair Dabbs

        Re: Welcome back!

        Well, what you do is get The Reg to send you a custom notification whenever SftWS is published on a Friday. Just go to your registered user page, click on Alerts and ask for an email when my byline in on an article.

        1. Geoff May (no relation)

          Re: Welcome back!

          Or in your bookmarks:

    2. ICam

      Re: Welcome back!

      Thank you both for the suggestions. Looking at the options, I might be better off getting the atom feed for the author in this case.

      My current solution relies on tags, making a daily web query for each tag I'm interested in and then parsing the results to create local RSS files for each tag with XML::RSS::SimpleGen, which is then consumed by a Tiny Tiny RSS installation on my VPS.

      I think I'll drop the SftWS tag and go with the author feed in this case.


  12. Lorribot

    "simply by YouTubing myself taking pissy little shitgadgets out of their fucking little boxes and reading aloud the spec printed on the back like an inarticulate pin-headed twit."

    Explains a lot about todays youth, no inquistivenes and fundemental understanding of how things work, or more importantly actually finding out how they work.

    Most people think IT is all about deep knowledge but it isn't. It is about basic troubleshooting skills and understand flows of stuff through systems and looking at things with a mind that asks why and what and seeks an understanding of what is returned with an intention of making it work better or more secure.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      My impression of (working in) the education system is that the last decade or two of curriculum changes have mostly been about Gradgrind fact acquisition and much less about learning to think or question.

  13. swm

    Name That Tune

    I remember, in high school, the music teacher had a book of musical phrases with the name of the piece. Entries like:

    CCDCFE - Happy Birthday

    but mainly classical music.

  14. earl grey

    and here i sit

    Listening to "nothing else matters"

  15. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Quelque chose pour le weekend, Monsieur?

    I wonder if Monsieur Dabbs has considered switching the title

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: Quelque chose pour le weekend, Monsieur?

      Ah, mais ce n'est pas à moi ce titre. Il a été choisi par mon pote chez El Reg il y a 8 ans.

  16. Social Ambulator

    Name that accent

    Rather posher accent than I expected Dabsy. I would have got some passing pleb to do your recording. Lowers the street cred rather.

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: Name that accent


  17. Celeste Reinard

    Very pleased

    Very pleased to see Dabbs back. Or has been replaced by a robot.

    What about those facemask thingies, what if one doesn't have a head to put it on, like some people are missing an arm, or a leg? How to explain to the manager that you have a very valid reason not to wear one? Go naked and wear it over one's bits in order to prevent swaffeling all the goodies?

    About gardencenters: I worked at one, during x-mas, and when one considers Mordor to be a magical place, it's magical. Take it from me. LOTR does make sense by times.

  18. six_tymes

    correction, NOT 2007-8, it was in fact 2008-9 when obama made the "affordable bs act a law. that collapsed the economy in the US and reverberated in to other markets. That law with its bad timing caused thousands of companies to let go millions of full time workers, and only a fraction got hired back in 2011 as part timers. the affect has never been corrected since. so, you "care" keep telling yourself you have empathy, you care for your family of course, you have zero empathy for others you do not know, if you did, you wouldn't be a modern day liberal. they support continued violence and murder, burning businesses and churches. so, keep telling yourself and others you care, you are just using marketing 101, it's like saying best buy really is.

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Tell me more about the lizards and the Clintons injecting virgin blood.

    2. veti Silver badge

      How... what... why...

      Yes, of course the recession of 2007-08 was caused by a law passed in 2010. That makes perfect sense. Just like the strong recovery from 2014 onwards was caused by Trump's "tax cuts" law in 2018.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    a big display unit at the entrance will also flash up a shouty message: "No Mask Detected!"

    For a week or so, then it'll just be a blue screen with "Unexpected interrupt detected in the device driver area"

    1. KittenHuffer Silver badge

      Wouldn't it be a non-maskable interrupt error?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Gone viral

    "and nudges a bottle of anti-bac gel"

    Anti-bacterial is fine but hopefully anti-viral as well.

  21. Olivier2553

    That facemask detection at entrance to Tesco

    At my local Lotus supermarket, they have a table with a facemask detection system. It is installed in such a way that a small children or a tall adult are out of the way of the camera (anyone not in the 5 to 6 foot height I'd say). And of course, they need one staff to man the equipment, so the real benefit is negative (same number of staff, but added cost of technology).

    Local is rural Thailand, I cannot say for other branches, I have only been to that one in the past few weeks.

    On the part about privacy, I don't really consider it a breach of my privacy if a screen displays a message saying that I do not wear a mask while other punters around me could see by themselves that I do go uncovered.

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