back to article In the graveyard of good ideas, how does yours measure up to these?

Here lie the bones of Good Ideas: child of impressionable managers, twin of floundering projects, much-beloved parent to scope creep. We will miss you. Not. I have learnt to keep a poker face whenever I hear the words "I've got a great idea!" Unless they're spoken by Michael Caine, the expression ought to be banned in app team …

  1. Semtex451

    Sending this to Project Management team right now, but like everything else, it'll probably go over their heads.

    1. ShadowSystems Silver badge

      At Semtex451, re: managers.

      It will help if you make it use small words. The smaller the word, the easier for managers to grok.

      Even better if you can get a troop of Howler monkies to screach & fling poo, but then it might devolve into something productive. =-)p

      1. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: At Semtex451, re: managers.

        > if you can get a troupe of Howler monkeys to screech & fling poo

        Ah, I see you too are familiar with the Windows Vista development process!

      2. Martin an gof Silver badge

        Re: At Semtex451, re: managers.

        use small words

        Obligatory xkcd.

        And the book.

        M.

      3. Daedalus

        Re: At Semtex451, re: managers.

        In former times, advice to entrepreneurs pitching to financiers read like this:

        1. Use simple words

        2. Write on one side of the paper only

        3. Assume that you are speaking to a collection of gin-sodden taxi drivers

        1. EVP

          Re: At Semtex451, re: managers.

          Now you've gone and insulted gin-sodden taxi drivers.

      4. EVP

        Re: At Semtex451, re: managers.

        I propose using acronyms. In fact, use acronyms only. Throw in an occasional '2' between the letters and they'll eat out of your hand.

  2. Howard Sway Silver badge

    Annapurna Fallacy

    Of course, the mountain is possible to scale if you have the right level of expertise and experience, just like computer systems. And this wasn't the problem here, it was just broken backwards compatibility.

    But the comics VR headset idea was hilarious. Just wait until they realise that the video display and sound capabilities of the headset mean that it would actually be possible to animate the characters and let them move about and talk to each other! It would make them almost come alive! Nobody will ever have seen anything like it!

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Annapurna Fallacy

      The mountain is possible to scale

      Annapurna, perhaps. I'm less sure about the Zuckerberg.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Annapurna Fallacy

        "I'm less sure about the Zuckerberg."

        Isn't that one of those things that clog up sewers? You don't usually scale them, more sort of power blast them away.

    2. Flightmode

      Re: Annapurna Fallacy

      I first assumed that he referred to Annapurna Pictures, who've put out some real level 3+ films lately.

    3. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: Annapurna Fallacy

      Nobody will ever have seen anything like it!

      The film Who Killed Roger Rabbit? comes to mind.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Annapurna Fallacy

        That came out in 1988, years before these "innovators" were even born. They have no idea :-)

        1. Martin an gof Silver badge

          Re: Annapurna Fallacy

          And all - apart from the sparky bits on Jessica's dress - hand drawn.

          M.

      2. jmch Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Annapurna Fallacy

        Excellent reference, wrong name... It's "Who Framed Roger Rabbit".

        >>icon for Jessica Rabbit, teenage geek fantasy before Lara Croft was ever thought of

        1. Mooseman Silver badge

          Re: Annapurna Fallacy

          "Excellent reference, wrong name"

          Yes, the film used "framed", the book was "killed"

        2. Missing Semicolon Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Annapurna Fallacy

          I can never hear "carrot cake" without suppressing a smirk.

    4. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Annapurna Fallacy

      bacakwards compatibility - with the user

  3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "an off-the-record chat"

    Is it too much to hope that the chat went on the record?

  4. Evil Scot
    Joke

    Ahh Yes the "We have stopped supporting your device mid sub"

    Yes, I have had that pleasure with iOS 5 and a certain Publishing house.

    Told me to go back to Apple to get my money back. Would have liked to switch to a Paper Sub. But Thanks to that event I cut the cord.

    Now Dabsy, I need to talk to you about racial stereotypes.

    Milking haggises. Please take a seat. I shall talk to you about this after I have taken the bull back from stud.

    Yes the furniture is made from renewable sustainable sources.

    1. Alistair Dabbs Silver badge

      Re: Ahh Yes the "We have stopped supporting your device mid sub"

      Racial stereotypes are permitted. Nob gags are now edited out before publication.

      I should also remind you of this column in which I am revealed to be 74% Scottish.

      1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

        Re: Ahh Yes the "We have stopped supporting your device mid sub"

        It's the one percent Finnish part that worries us.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ahh Yes the "We have stopped supporting your device mid sub"

          Yeah, its a quite low persentage for an smart quy like mr. Dabb's.

          -- Another Finn (no kidding)

      2. Martin an gof Silver badge

        Re: Ahh Yes the "We have stopped supporting your device mid sub"

        I think what I have come to understand is that it's ok to laugh at yourself or your own community, but woe betide you if you laugh at anyone else.

        Except the English, of course. Anyone can say anything they like about the English.

        (speaking as someone of Welsh / Cornish heritage)

        M.

        1. the Jim bloke Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Ahh Yes the "We have stopped supporting your device mid sub"

          Anyone can say anything they like about the English.

          .. thats one way to achieve silence..

          .. at least they're not as bad as seth effrekens ..

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ahh Yes the "We have stopped supporting your device mid sub"

          @Martin an gof

          You are so right. Also, all the bad guys in films are English.

          1. Mooseman Silver badge

            Re: Ahh Yes the "We have stopped supporting your device mid sub"

            "all the bad guys in films are English."

            I'm willing to bet there will be a lot more Russian bad guys soon.

      3. Evil Scot

        Re: Ahh Yes the "We have stopped supporting your device mid sub"

        Wicker is a renewable material.

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Ahh Yes the "We have stopped supporting your device mid sub"

      >Milking haggises. Please take a seat

      Ridiculous - the Haggis is of course a marsupial.

      1. TimMaher Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: marsupial

        And you must not forget that there are three types of haggis.

        The short haired haggis also known as the “lowland haggis”.

        The long haired haggis, mostly found to the North and West, also know as “highland haggis”.

        And, finally, the sabre toothed haggis, thought to be extinct although some recent remains were discovered on the Black Isle, up near South Suter.

        They are all edible.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: marsupial

          The highland haggis uniquely has unequal length legs for stability on steep mountain slopes.

          There are two sub-species left/right side short legs. These can face either left or right around the mountain, for obvious reasons these two populations cannot inter-breed.

          Sadly they do not do well in captivity since they immediately fall over on a flat floor

          1. TrickyRicky

            Re: marsupial

            This is how the Highland Haggis is caught.

            Beaters are employed to chase the left or right-facing Haggises (Haggi?) the opposite way around the mountain so that the poor beasts topple over and roll to the valley floor where they are swept up in nets.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: marsupial

          @TimMaher

          Haggis is edible? Haha, oh, you are serious? Allow me to laugh louder...

      2. JassMan Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Ahh Yes the "We have stopped supporting your device mid sub"

        >Milking haggises. Please take a seat

        Ridiculous - the Haggis is of course a marsupial.

        Sorry but that is not ridiculous at all. Marsupials are as capable of giving milk as any other mammal (of which they are a subset). I think you need to learn a bit of biology.

        Next you'll be saying that mammals never lay eggs, because they bear their offspring live. The Ornithorhynchus anatinus (otherwise known as a platypus) lays eggs and being a marsupial, when its young hatch, it feeds them milk inside the pouch.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Ahh Yes the "We have stopped supporting your device mid sub"

          I do know that haggises don't lay eggs

          1. Zimmer
            Coat

            Re: Ahh Yes the "We have stopped supporting your device mid sub"

            Not even Scotch eggs??

        2. the Jim bloke Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: Ahh Yes the "We have stopped supporting your device mid sub"

          The Platypus, and the Echidna, are classified as monotremes - which are mammals, but distinct from marsupials.

          from wikipedia

          one of the three main groups of living mammals, along with placentals (Eutheria) and marsupials (Metatheria).

          1. EVP

            Re: Ahh Yes the "We have stopped supporting your device mid sub"

            Which came first: the monotreme, or the egg? Enquiring minds want to know.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ahh Yes the "We have stopped supporting your device mid sub"

      In lockdown I bought a two year subscription to an e-card company. Even though many of the cards were rather twee - it solved the immediate problem. In fact it looked like The Future for birthdays at least.

      Then last week they announced their super new enhanced web page format - which only works on certain browsers like Edge and Chrome. So at midnight I was stuck trying to send a relative a card -- and they had to make do with a plain email. It's the thought that counts.

      Did my duty to send a reply to the invite to comment on the new format - but probably not what they wanted to hear. Especially that now lockdowns are easing then old fashioned postal cards are viable again.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ahh Yes the "We have stopped supporting your device mid sub"

      "Milking haggises"

      There was a time when modern milking machines entered into the traditions of Scottish stag nights.

  5. oiseau Silver badge
    Pint

    So many ...

    ... a virtual-reality rendition of the comics-reading experience in the metaverse.

    Incredible.

    So many AHs, so little time ...

    One of your best articles Mr. Dabbs.

    I cannot but commend your friend for his patience with the author of the comics app, evidently unaware that, in one simple update, he had gone from being the app's author/maintainer to being a character of one of the badly written funnies the site hosted.

    I stopped suffering fools lightly a very long time ago and as a result, deemed to be curmudgeonly at a very early age.

    My reaction to that AH would have been much different.

    Have a good week-end and one/two on me. --->

    Best,

    O.

  6. b0llchit Silver badge
    Trollface

    Virtual lotto

    So, I have this level 4 BAD idea. Where do I collect my winnings?

  7. ObSolutions, Inc
    Coffee/keyboard

    Armstrong-Osman

    A Great Idea (Level 4) is known as an Armstrong-Osman. It's a clever-sounding idea that can be adequately implemented but no one knows why. It is, arguably, pointless.

    Effing brilliant. Owe me a new keyboard etc.

    1. Semtex451
      Pint

      Re: Armstrong-Osman

      I too shall be using that one

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Armstrong-Osman

        If too many people start using it, does it stop being pointless?

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Armstrong-Osman

          I think you missed the point. The idea of calling a pointless idea an Armstrong-Osman isn't what is pointless. It's the idea being defined as an Armstrong-Osman which is pointless? Do you see my point?

  8. Dr_N Silver badge
    Coat

    Comics in any electronic format...

    ... it's a bit of a 2nd rate version of the real thing.

    > Stuck in a traffic jam? Buy a Maserati!

    Now that is a philosophy I can get behind.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Comics in any electronic format...

      As the car will be stationary - rather than a blur flying past at speed - then more people will actually be able to look and admire in detail. Just rev the engine for the required sound effect - unless it is an electric one.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Comics in any electronic format...

      "> Stuck in a traffic jam? Buy a Maserati!

      Now that is a philosophy I can get behind."

      Personally, in that situation I'd go for a Challanger rather than a Maseratti. Fuel consumption is similar but the 0-60 isn't quite as good. On the other hand, in a traffic jam, the 0-60 might be considerably better than a Maseratti, abeit still a bit slow.

      1. druck Silver badge

        Re: Comics in any electronic format...

        Years ago I was driving in the Salisbury area and pulled out of a side road and found myself with a Challenger 2 in front and behind. My passenger was worried that if we had to brake suddenly the tank behind would just roll over us. I said I was more worried about the one in front, as they can stop almost instantly on tarmac, tipping up on its tracks, and we would just slot in underneath as all 70 tons of it came back down.

  9. Flightmode

    The clearest Level 2 I ever saw was when a company in The Netherlands manufacturing snacks introduced a couple of new types of crisp - this will be almost 20 years ago now, but still. One of the flavours they trialled was "Baltic Curry". Not balti, BaltiC. What would that even be? Lithuanian Lentils?

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge
      Happy

      Vilnius Vindaloo.

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Tallinn Tandoori or Riga Rogan Josh?

        1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
          Coat

          Chicken Gdans(a)k

          1. cd

            Don't go giving Ubuntu any ideas, now.

    2. Irony Deficient Silver badge

      What would [“Baltic Curry”] even be?

      Latvian bukstiņputra is one possibility.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Strangely, Hedgehog flavoured crisps sold quite well here in the UK some year back.

      1. TheProf Silver badge
        Joke

        Strangely, Hedgehog

        Wasn't "Strangely, Hedgehog" one of Peter Seller's more obscure films from the late '60's?

        Co-stared one of those European gamin wide-eyed dark-haired-pageboy-styled-cut actresses. And Roy Kinnear.

      2. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Hedgehog-flavoured crisps, developed by a pub landlord to help raise awareness of the little mammals' being killed on roads. His research consisted of consulting some members of our travelling community - whose traditional means of preparing hedgehog for eating consists of wrapping the dead beastie in thick mud and then placing it on the campfire... when ready, the spines come off with the baked mud. They described to the landlord hedgehog as tasting a "bit like smoky bacon."

        I have seen a translation of a 19th century French cookbook with the directions "After skinning and eviscerating the bager, place it in a fast-fowing stream for 48 hours to degrease it..."

  10. Death Boffin
    Facepalm

    Level 3

    Here in the US they are rolling out Level 3 on a national basis. Can't afford gasoline, buy an electric car. Can't afford food, eat lentils.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Level 3

      That's only for the poors who earn less than $300K though

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Level 3

        For the benefit of the down vote, Bloomberg published an article suggesting that poor people on $289k or less would be more affected by inflation and should take transit and eat lentils to cope.

        1. dajames Silver badge

          Take Transit

          Does that mean "use public transport" in transpondian?

          If so, I suppose eating lentils beforehand is kinder than eating beans ...

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Take Transit

            Does that mean "use public transport" in transpondian?

            It means: "tek t'traky bus to t'tarn" in the language of Mordor

        2. Martin an gof Silver badge

          Re: Level 3

          Because I know next to nothing about the US... how does $289k compare with "average" wages in the US? I imagine a huge chunk of that will disappear in things like medical insurance (though presumably someone on that amount would have insurance through an employer) but even if you take half of it out, $145k still sounds like a huge amount of money to someone in the UK where a £40k salary is considered pretty good.

          Or in other words:

          • please provide a link to the article (or is Bloomberg paywalled?)
          • on what grounds does Bloomberg consider $289k "low"?

          Genuinely interested (and slightly confused).

          M.

          1. ThatOne Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: Level 3

            > on what grounds does Bloomberg consider $289k "low"?

            Don't know for sure, but chances are it's simply because they are terminally disconnected from reality: Chances are the gated community they live in is very selective, their housekeeper is the only one to go out to the exterior world, so they never have direct contact to the kind of colorful lowlife you see on TV (like pizza delivery people and shoeshine boys). Their world is limited to those they meet at the local private golf/yacht club, so to them anyone with only $290k is barely scraping by.

            1. Martin an gof Silver badge

              Re: Level 3

              I've found the original article now and it doesn't really say "if you earn under $289,000 you are poor", what it actually says is that "if you earn over $289,000 you are less likely to be struggling to cope with inflation than someone on $50,000" - which while being utterly banal and uninformative does at least answer my other question; median salary in the US (according to Bloomberg) is $50,000.

              However, it then goes on to give a couple of very trite and condescending suggestions for "how to cope" which simply indicate that the author has never had to choose between filling the car with petrol, washing the clothes or cooking lunch. How many people in that situation would, for example, even be considering pet chemotherapy as one of the things they could do without?

              I thought Bloomberg was supposed to be the US's answer to the Financial Times? On the evidence of this one op-ed piece, more like the US's version of the Daily Mail.

              M.

              1. doublelayer Silver badge

                Re: Level 3

                I think the specific $289k figure in the article is the point at which households spend less than 1% of their income on fuel. That explains where it came from, though not why they decided to put that number in the headline; it appears to have no other meaning, and they also talk about the effects of inflation on people earning $19k which demonstrates they know those people exist.

                I agree that the suggestions are basically worthless. They all boil down to "Buy less of the stuff that got more expensive", which is what people who don't have enough money already know.

          2. Irony Deficient Silver badge

            Because I know next to nothing about the US…

            how does $289k compare with “average” wages in the US?

            The US Bureau of Labor Statistics calculated these nationwide wage estimates in May 2020. For all occupations, the median hourly wage was $20.17, the mean hourly wage was $27.07, and the mean annual wage was $56,310. (For “computer and mathematical occupations” only, the corresponding amounts were $43.92, $46.53, and $96,770 respectively.)

          3. doublelayer Silver badge

            Re: Level 3

            "Because I know next to nothing about the US... how does $289k compare with "average" wages in the US?"

            For an individual, they'd be earning at the 98th percentile and 525% the medium individual income for full-time workers. For a household, it's the 96th percentile. It's a bunch of money. Someone earning more than that is going to be fine with inflation, but so are a lot of people earning less than that. Sure, everyone gets hurt when inflation's high, but someone earning that much is very unlikely to have problems meeting necessary expenses. Also, note that like other countries, there's a wide variation in the cost of living depending on where someone works. The median income for full-time figure I found ($55k) includes the entire country, but could be insufficient for expensive places to live.

        3. Gort99

          Re: Level 3

          I assumed it meant pilling into the back of a transit van on the way to their fruit/vegetable picking "side hussle".

  11. Franco Silver badge

    Not sure what level this would measure at...

    Many years ago when we were on holiday somewhere in Spain as children, my sister saw an ex-pat couple walking their dog and asked (not knowing that they were ex-pats) if they had hired the dog for a fortnight. We mocked her quite mercilessly for this at the time.

    Nowadays renting a pet seems to have become a thing, for reasons I can't quite comprehend, but it seems my sister was a visionary.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Not sure what level this would measure at...

      >Nowadays renting a pet seems to have become a thing,

      It went from :

      That's stupid - who would ever do that

      We could do that to make money

      That's a terrible idea

      California bans it

      Every other sane state follows with it's own bans

      in only a few years

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Not sure what level this would measure at...

      ISTR that's a "thing" in Japan. By the hour, rather than by the week though. Hire a dog so you can take for a walk in a specially allocated "park". Must be quite a few years ago I first heard of that, possibly decades ago.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Not sure what level this would measure at...

        The USA was leasing pedigree dogs so you didn't have to pay $$$$ upfront and when it got old and ugly or the inevitable congenital health problems kicked in, or another breed became fashionable - you could get a new one.

      2. dajames Silver badge

        Re: Not sure what level this would measure at...

        ISTR that's a "thing" in Japan. By the hour, rather than by the week though. Hire a dog so you can take for a walk in a specially allocated "park".

        Amazing ... in this country people pay others to walk their dogs for them -- but in Japan, it seems, it's the other way around!

        1. Mike 16 Silver badge

          Re: Not sure what level this would measure at...

          Hmmm, last I checked, a dog was a common form of "date bait" during walks in the park. They could make a nice little conversation starter. I knew several guys in their early 30s who would borrow a pooch from a friend for this purpose. In some locales, a parrot, ferret, or monkey had a similar effect, for those trolling for a more adventurous sort of potential mate.

          1. Dr_N Silver badge
            Gimp

            Re: Not sure what level this would measure at...

            I think you're getting dog cafes mixed up with "dogging" there.

    3. the Jim bloke Silver badge

      Re: Not sure what level this would measure at...

      A possibly more common variant of this is the "cat cafe", where you can spend time with various pet-type animals that your lifestyle may not let you keep at home.

      Its a nice idea, not as good as the real thing, but some kind of pet-fix for the desperate.

      1. Mike 16 Silver badge

        Re: cat safe?

        Pretty sure that was a typo, but do we really want to trust mere metal and concrete to keep fluffy from pooping in ones slippers?

  12. kmceject

    Metaverse - Neuromancer

    Funny until I read the description of the metaverse comic display I hadn't thought about the ramifications of the metaverse or its comparison with William Gibson's Matrix. Granted its been about three decades since I read that, but the concept is intriguingly similar. Will people who make a post that lowers their social media ranking be sent to a virtual prison for thirty days? As human interface devices mature will there be something like Meta's implementation of Black Ice for social media post correction?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Metaverse - Neuromancer

      The Metaverse was from Stephenson's Snow Crash

      But by today's standards that Metaverse was a communist dystopia = they had public transport

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Metaverse - Neuromancer

      A sci-fi novel had a society where you could work to be very successful - then claim the ultimate reward. You had your skin flayed off so that nerve endings could be attached. You then lived the rest of your life in whatever virtual scenario you chose. Can't remember the book's title or author - but it would probably have been sometime in the late 1970s.

  13. Irony Deficient Silver badge

    The porridge in that photo looks a bit odd, don’t you think?

    Yup — adding raspberries and olives to it is a fusion cuisine which I hadn’t previously considered.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: The porridge in that photo looks a bit odd, don’t you think?

      Don't forget the sprig of green (actual nature of green not important)

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: The porridge in that photo looks a bit odd, don’t you think?

        Preferably not mould.

    2. AnotherName
      Coat

      Re: The porridge in that photo looks a bit odd, don’t you think?

      Contents: Arachnids and fruits of coque - is that why they're called nuts?

      1. JassMan Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: The porridge in that photo looks a bit odd, don’t you think?

        Zut alors! c'est des des arachides, pas des arachnides. I know know they look similar but one is a spider and the other is a peanut. Arachide is a good word to remember if you have an allergy - it could save your life.

      2. JimC

        Re: The porridge in that photo looks a bit odd, don’t you think?

        Clearly I was not the only one with an inadequate grasp of franglais who saw traces of rabbits and spiders...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The porridge in that photo looks a bit odd, don’t you think?

      On my first long haul flight (BOAC) I regarded myself as rather sophisticated when my lunch salad contained black grapes. The stone disillusioned me very quickly - I had never eaten olives before.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: The porridge in that photo looks a bit odd, don’t you think?

        Typical! A British company tries to emulate posh European cuisine and forgets to stone the olives! :-)

        1. Tim99 Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: The porridge in that photo looks a bit odd, don’t you think?

          For kalamata, some of us (posh) people prefer the stone in - Removal seems to use rinsing which reduces flavour…

          1. MNB

            Re: The porridge in that photo looks a bit odd, don’t you think?

            The reason pitted black olives taste different is because a machine pitted black olive is in fact a mutant green olive that looks black. Proper black olives can't be pitted by a machine because the flesh is too strongly attached to the stone.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The porridge in that photo looks a bit odd, don’t you think?

      Our kitchen cabinet had a flour dispenser which hadn't been used for years.The cupboard was used as general provisions storage. One day as we ate our Sugar Puffs breakfast cereal we noticed one or two were moving. The flour remnants in the dispenser had obviously provided a fly with a home..

    5. dajames Silver badge

      The porridge in that photo looks a bit odd, don’t you think?

      The "porridge" in that photo looks like muesli to me.

      "Flocons d'Avoine" means "oat flakes", not porridge (which would be "Le Porridge", or maybe "La Bouille"), so Dabbsy's photo is actually a common misuse of flapjack ingredients.

      Mmm ... flapjack.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The porridge in that photo looks a bit odd, don’t you think?

        Why, rolled oats can be both eaten as muesli (cold), or cooked to porridge.

        Now obviously "porridge" is as foreign as haggis to French people, so on the packaging they try to sell the better known "muesli" option.

        1. captain veg Silver badge

          Re: The porridge in that photo looks a bit odd, don’t you think?

          To your average Frog haggis and porridge are much of a muchness. Both are mostly cereal.

          -A.

      2. illiad

        Re: The porridge in that photo looks a bit odd, don’t you think?

        you know real french??? :D :D

        gtranslate thinks...

        'flocons d'avion' is 'plane flakes' LOL

        flocons d'avione' is 'airflows ' ????

        its just dabbs being an ' fouiller' - his 'job description' ...

    6. Toni the terrible

      Re: The porridge in that photo looks a bit odd, don’t you think?

      I sometimes add sultanas & raisins to my 2 minute microwave porrage, sugar/syrup or salt after cooking of course. It's quite plesant

  14. HildyJ Silver badge
    Joke

    ElReg VR

    How about an ElReg VR where a Dabbs avatar can grump at us and our forum avatars can yell at each other? And maybe NFT icons for those of us who want new ones. And blockchain the comments just for the hell of it.

    (icon in case ElReg thinks this is a good idea because these days you can never tell)

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: ElReg VR

      Working from home?

      Want to recreate the environment of bad fluorescent lighting, 1970s plastic furniture, 30 year old stained cubicle walls, the annoying chatter of Beryl in accounts and Baz in sales?

      You need the new Metaverse-for-Office

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: ElReg VR

        Beware what you wish for, you may end up with a fully realised AR Clippy avatar that's even more difficult to escape than his previous incarnation...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ElReg VR

        That's a Duke Nukem scenario.

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: ElReg VR

        "You need the new Metaverse-for-Office"

        Sounds more like Quake to me. Or maybe Half-Life. Or Duke Nukem 3D :-)

        1. Mike 16 Silver badge

          Re: ElReg VR

          --- Sounds more like Quake to me. ---

          How about

          "Doom as a tool for system administration"

          https://www.cs.unm.edu/~dlchao/flake/doom/

  15. Chris Evans

    Missing Biog icing:-(

    Disappointed with today's Biog at the end of the article, it is often the icing on the articles cake!

    1. Alistair Dabbs Silver badge

      Re: Missing Biog icing:-(

      It fell foul of the sub-editors.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Missing Biog icing:-(

        Ah. You put a nob joke in! :-)

        1. David 132 Silver badge

          Re: Missing Biog icing:-(

          Not in all the way, though. Just as far as the "tips" link.

  16. JClouseau
    WTF?

    But, but, but...

    ...these are supposed to be just (plain and innocent) oat flakes, not porridge. Basically tasteless breakfast cereals (hence the fruits and, er... leaves ? on the picture).

    I had to check online what exactly porridge/oatmeal was and I can confirm this revolting exotic meal will be hard to find in France, or perhaps in selected, organic shops for yuppies.

    Interesting example of cognitive bias due to your (complex) origins no doubt ;-)

    ...or perhaps this was just some typical tongue-in-cheek Scottish-Hungarian humour and I missed the point entirely...

    1. Alistair Dabbs Silver badge

      Re: But, but, but...

      Yes, in France they don't realise that it's "how you roll". For a decent porridge, you need a mix of various sizes, from flakes all the way down to dust. I usually whizz some through a food processor to get it right for porridge.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But, but, but...

      There's probably a Magasin AnglaisEcosse somewhere for ex-pats. The one in Luxembourg used to do a roaring trade in marmalade and Cheddar cheese. Admittedly it was only the Americans who bought the frozen Mother's Pride sliced bread.

      1. captain veg Silver badge

        Re: But, but, but...

        Écossais ?

        -A.

  17. cd

    I had an idea for a comment...

    ...but had second thoughts.

  18. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    Is there a level

    for the production engineer opposite me who says "I have a great idea that will ____ ____ ____ "(fill in blanks with a really stupid suggestion that will cost time+money+effort for no actual reward)

    Or do I just buy some of that french porridge and use it to glue him to the wall out back al la wallace and gromit style?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Is there a level

      "Or do I just buy some of that french porridge and use it to glue him to the wall out back al la Wallace and Gromit style?"

      I don't think what's shown on the packet would stick anything at all.

    2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      Re: Is there a level

      In my bad French I was sure that says it contains: traces eventually of rabbits, mustard, spiders...

      And, horror, does it really suggest adding *cheese*?

      1. Irony Deficient Silver badge

        And, horror, does it really suggest adding *cheese*?

        Adding, no; it suggests fromage blanc (which is a type of fresh cheese, somewhere between cream cheese and cottage cheese) as a possible replacement for the milk.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: And, horror, does it really suggest adding *cheese*?

          Ah, you mean posh yoghurt :-)

          1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

            Re: And, horror, does it really suggest adding *cheese*?

            But what about the eventual traces of rabbit?

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
              Coat

              Re: And, horror, does it really suggest adding *cheese*?

              Posh welsh yogurt? On toast?

  19. CuChulainn Silver badge

    Taking Card Payments

    I'm self-employed, and I take card payments from my clients.

    Some moons ago, when I first started doing it, I used iZettle. It worked great, and since it was quite novel at the time, it was actually a positive marketing tool for my business.

    These consumer card readers depend on Bluetooth (to connect to your phone) and an app.

    iZettle used to provide beta versions of apps, with additional features, and I used them. The problem was you couldn't downgrade, and if an app needed an update then you couldn't use the old version until you had applied it.

    Came the fateful day when an update wouldn't install.

    Now bearing in mind my then HTC One had worked flawlessly with the app for several years, I contacted iZettle tech support. 'Your phone isn't supported', they fired back.

    Technically, that was true. At the time, the listed officially 'supported' phones could be written out on the back of a postage stamp after having been cut and pasted from the Apple and Samsung fanboi top sellers list - even though the sales pitch didn't make any reference to these apparent 'restrictions'. However, my HTC had worked for years, and any reasonable person would imagine the list of supported phones would get longer with time, and not shorter.

    They wouldn't listen to my complaints, and in all honesty they nearly destroyed my business overnight. So I switched to PayPal Here and have been there ever since.

    Months later someone from iZettle came back and apologised, explaining that the beta which refused to install had been incorrectly named with the same filename as the previous version on the app store, and that was the issue. But it was too late by then, and I would NEVER go back just on principle. If PayPal - which now owns iZettle - ever terminates PayPal Here, I will go with someone else. On principle.

    iZettle's attitude was that my phone was unsupported. It should have been to support as many phones as possible. But instead, its attitude was to screw up a deployment and then try to blame it on my phone and state this was the end of the conversation (which is exactly how they worded it).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Taking Card Payments

      iZettle's attitude was that my phone was unsupported

      I really don't know why this is a common thing. I can understand if a developer refuses to support something utterly non-standard (wouldn't expect it to work on an old S60 Nokia perhaps) but a common-or-garden Android phone?

      They've changed now, but at one point one manufacturer of cochlear implants (and hearing aids) devised a whizzy new remote control app which would only run on a recent iPhone. Tough luck for a user with an Android phone who really didn't want to drop many hundreds of quid on an iPhone and suffer the hassle of swapping.

      On top of that the thing would only pair with a single phone at a time which really doesn't help in many situations where the aid-user is a child.

      As I say, I gather that since then the company has seen sense and offers an Android app as well as the ability to pair with more than one phone, but there still remains the question - particularly for implants which could be decades before replacement - will the app still run on the phones of 2030?

  20. Stork Silver badge

    An Oculus

    It sounds wrong, really. In Portuguese, oculus means eyeglasses and is (as in English and hinted by the last s) plural.

    1. Irony Deficient Silver badge

      Re: An Oculus

      The Portuguese word is óculos. Both “oculus” and óculos are descendants of Latin oculus (“eye”), which is singular.

  21. Colonel Mad

    But....

    Why does it have traces of Spider in it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But....

      Radioactive ones, yes.

      It's France's biggest source of superheroes.

      1. Death Boffin
        Childcatcher

        Re: But....

        Would that be the excrable Ladybug and Cat Voyeur? (Subjected to that when my daughter was preteen.)

  22. Grunchy Bronze badge

    Metaverse = PlayStation Home?

    You know how 3D television didn’t catch on because the hardware was too awkward? New fabulous idea: we require a $1,000 dedicated 3D viewing helmet - for each viewer!

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/PlayStation_Home

    PlayStation Home was a virtual 3D social gaming platform developed by Sony Computer Entertainment's London Studio for the PlayStation 3 (PS3) on the PlayStation Network (PSN). It was accessible from the PS3's XrossMediaBar (XMB). Membership was free but required a PSN account. Upon installation, users could choose how much hard disk space they wished to reserve for Home. Development of the service began in early 2005 and it launched as an open beta on 11 December 2008. Home remained as a perpetual beta until its closure on 31 March 2015.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Examples.......and more to come!

    Great Idea (Level 4)

    Plenty of these around, usually with a strong technology component:

    (1) Python3. Python2 was fine. Conversion to Python3 was a nightmare!

    (2) GTK4. GTK3 IS fine. Conversion to GTK4 IS a nightmare!

    (3) Online banking. The local bank premises worked fine. I liked the real people. Conversion to online is a nightmare.

    (4) Cloud backups. Great idea....till you have to RESTORE terabytes. (See also the MegaUpload fiasco)

    (5) 4G (or 5G) All those smart-meters (smart!!) will stop working when 2G is switched off. Did I mention "smart"?

    (6) "The Ribbon" M$ Office...you know Julie Larson-Green. What was wrong with traditional menus?....only Julie knows the answer!

    (7) Windows 8 You know.....Steve Sinofsky.... What was wrong with Windows 7?....only Steve knows the answer!

    It's also (usually) true that when someone DOESN'T like the "Great Idea".......the blame game kicks in, big time:

    (a) You're a dinosaur

    (b) You're opposed to any change

    (c) You're jealous that you didn't think of it first

    (d) You just don't get it, do you?

    Sigh!!!

    1. Stork Silver badge

      Re: Examples.......and more to come!

      Online banking: I disagree, in particular having accounts in several countries, being able to see who’s paid into your business account without taking time from dealing with clients, …

    2. eldel

      Re: Examples.......and more to come!

      I think the python example is a little disingenuous. Putting proper unicode support into P2 broke so many things that they just said "screw it - let's put all the breaking changes in at the same time". Which made the transition larger than anyone wanted (anyone who's had to port some badly implemented nested dictionaries that 2to3 can't handle can probably appreciate this) but hopefully a one time event.

      Yes - this was caused by the poor initial design of P2 - but given where they were it was probably the correct decision.

    3. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Examples.......and more to come!

      I don't think they're all perfect examples. Remember that the definition must include a reason, but it doesn't require you to obsolete everything else. If there is a benefit to the new thing, then it's not that type.

      "(1) Python3.": They made the Unicode handling different. Switching wasn't fun, but there is their reason.

      "(2) GTK4.": Don't know this one.

      "(3) Online banking.": If you want to do something and you're not near a branch, then it's useful. They had a reason. This doesn't mean they should eliminate the branches, but your problem isn't with the new thing but the lack of the old one. They could easily have kept the branches and still had the online option, and some banks have done that.

      "(4) Cloud backups.": It gets data off-site quickly and doesn't require a bunch of manual work. It has many downsides that you've correctly mentioned, but there's a reason for it to exist.

      "(5) 4G (or 5G)": This is another situation where your problem is the old thing being removed, not the new thing. 4G was a lot faster than 3G if you could get it. That made many things work better on a mobile connection. There was a reason for it. 5G is theoretically the same benefit, but it's less obviously required.

      "(6) "The Ribbon" M$ Office...": No, you're completely right on this one.

      "(7) Windows 8": And also this one.

      1. captain veg Silver badge

        Horse, cart

        > Online banking.": If you want to do something and you're not near a branch, then it's useful.

        There was a time when everyone was near a branch. That's how it worked.

        Then they closed them all and made you go online.

        This was a choice... by the banks*, not their customers.

        -A.

        *British banks. In France I not only have a branch but a bank manager to grovel to. Same in Andorra. And for my parents, in Spain too. Online facilities are also available.

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: Horse, cart

          "There was a time when everyone was near a branch. That's how it worked."

          No, that's not the case. If you moved, it's possible you moved to a place where your bank didn't have any branches. The locals might have been using the banks that did, but unless you always switched bank every time you moved, you could end up far from them. This could also happen if you just traveled to such a place. Banks didn't have complete coverage of the country, let alone in others. For that reason, something that worked even if there wasn't a branch is useful. That it causes the banks to close branches isn't convenient, but as I said, they could keep those open while still having online banking, so the problem is what they chose to do rather than the online bit.

          1. captain veg Silver badge

            Re: Horse, cart

            There's a difference between "a (bank) branch" and "a branch of the bank that you happened to use before moving".

            Changing to a service provider that has a stake in your locality is, in my view, a good thing.

            -A.

  24. Robert Grant Silver badge

    > metaverses are inevitable. People will begin spending more and more time in their favorite metaverse, just like they do currently on the web, social media, and in online gaming.

    But not like all the zillions of other things people thought were inevitable, but weren't.

  25. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Alert

    Incoming

    "A cool dude wearing a VR headset"

    Both the cool dude and the bloke in the poster to the right of the aforementioned cool dude have got their mouths open - is that a side-effect of wearing a VR headset? Has the VR headset got sensors up front to detect flies on a trajectory to the open mouth?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's The Peter Principle for software

    ie "The last version that will install on your device is the one that was next after the good one"

  27. Povl H. Pedersen

    You are clueless

    Oat (roasted oat) with a bit of sugar and cold milk is pretty popular in places. I have eaten it on an almost daily basis for 50+ years.

    Using heat to break down the good stuff is no good. Let the stomach have something harder to digest to work with. It is actually pretty healthy

  28. HammerOn1024

    Lithium Batteries...

    In a wet submersible battery well... good times... good times.

  29. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

    Metaverse?

    I'll stick to the Meatverse™ thanks.

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