* Posts by Terry 6

5527 publicly visible posts • joined 31 Jul 2009

Cops visit school of 'wrong person's child,' mix up victims and suspects in epic data fail

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: Oliver Dowden has the solution - NOT

If, that's if, these LLMs/AIs had been knocking around for while and a minister had then proposed something like this it just might have some credibility. But when it's just the new latest buzz word that no one outside of the tech world had even heard of a few months ago, it can never be more than a load of bollocks.

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: Similar mistakes not limited to public sector

Boots, when I last used them a long tme ago, seemed to build their business using locums and short term staff.

Cybercrims: When we hit IT, they sometimes pay, but when we hit OT... jackpot

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: What does OT stand for here?

And then we have to guess what that means?

Dell promises 'every PC is going to be an AI PC' whether you like it or not

Terry 6 Silver badge

The public

I'm probably just an out of touch old guy.....but I've not heard anyone out in the Real World (tm) showing any interest in this AI bollocks whatsoever, beyond the odd, cynical comment related to how it might be used to send us more bullshit. I don't think the general public are going to be demanding AI in their tech any time soon. Not until it actually offers the buyers, small business or private individuals something that makes life,or at least their everyday activities, better. And even then there is probably a price boundary.iWatches sell because of all the people who want to check their running distances, sleep patterns and such like. People do talk about that. No one cares how the watch works this out though, not even to the point of questioning how reliable it actually is.

It's never the tech that sells devices, it's the functions

It's crazy but it's true: Apple rejected Bing for wrong answers about Annie Lennox

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: All search engines, now appear to be crap.

Somewhere along the lines they and pretty much all the large companies, moved from "make a lot of money" to "squeeze out every possible penny you can".

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: Sums up the whole problem really

Google used to allow that. They got rid of it. It was the first clear signal of the enshitification to come.

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: The thrust of the filing is that Google invested a lot to make its search service excellent,

Google also has a habit of giving you the opposite of a search query. If that is a more common request.

So How do I remove {item}? will give you, as well as the vast swathe of results telling where you can buy the bloody thing, a long set of (you Tube mostly) explanations of how to install one.But not how to get rid of the one you have.

Microsoft catches the Wi-Fi 7 wave with Windows 11

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: does anyone

You may be right. I'd read that it doesn't. But we'll see what happens when my phone is connected to it (when VM sort out why the new hub they just sent me isn't accepting wifi)

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: does anyone

My fairly new iPhone 14 only uses WiFi 5- the newest (iPhone 15) will take 6 and I reckon it might be sometime before the world gets to have saturated that market.People hold on to phones much longer.

Laptops- most seem to get held on to until they cease to function these days. And desktop users (we're a shrinking group) are likely to be using wired Ethernet connections if they want and can get access to very high capacity internet access.

So 7- Meh!

Work for you? Again? After you lied about the job and stole my stuff? No thanks

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: Ah, Joy

You get this in teaching too. Young graduates, with a PGCE, and ambition. You can see a mile off that teaching isn't their aspiration. Instead they have a carefully plotted path to headship, and these days to executive headship or CEO of a big academy trust. (In my own teaching days it would have been to Director of Education).

They are always quick to spot and to jump on to the Next New Thing - but if they are any good at the game, that includes knowing when to jump off. Somehow they manage to get themselves known by the Important People in the authority and so on. Inspectors love them and give glowing comments about them. What they tend not to be great at is getting the kids educated- as opposed to being versed well in the current thinkng. If having the kids standing on their heads was the in thing, you can guarantee that the kids in their classes will have skulls flattened by the amount of time they spend inverted and said teacher will be getting invited to talk to other schools' staff about their success with Child Inversion Technique.. But I can guarantee that when that becomes invalidated or out of fashion they'll already have been having their kids doing the latest newst thing instead and will be sneeringly disparaging about the teachers who are still making kid stand on their heads in exactly the way that they had been shown by her .

Terry 6 Silver badge

One, additional, thing I pull out of that is that company's understanding of "training". It's not training until the point that the trainee has actually been observed ( and coached if required) to actually perform the task and deal with any issues- more than once.

Because 1) Theory is never the same as practice. 2) Even the best trainer will abbreviate, elide or just plain miss some steps, because they have at least some parts of the process ingrained and automated so they don't think about it. And 3) Even the best trainee will miss, misunderstand, forget or confuse some bits because we're only human, we have limited short term memory and concentration, and because that's what we do..

Terry 6 Silver badge

That is a significant point.

There are the managers who's profession ( I use the word very loosely) is managing. They often believe that, as one management consultant said to me "You don't need to know anything about the business to be a manager of it". And they often have MBAs and no or little or no experience of the front line roles.

And there's the ones who've done the job and got promoted- because they were good at it.*

*Also the ones who were promoted out of harm's way though. Sometimes they can be decent managers too.

BOFH: In the event of a conference, the ninja clause always applies

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: I needed this.

banking app!

I see your banking app and raise you new shiny VM hub that won't talk to wifi devices.Eventually gave in. Phoned VM. Techie was meant to come Saturday PM between 1 and 4 - after they decided it was configured wrong. Not happening so we have no wifi till Monday.

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: also: Rockstars

Brian Cox (not the actor chappie though)

Microsoft Publisher books its retirement party for 2026

Terry 6 Silver badge

That's the (incomprehensible) Thing. It was the right tool in the wrong place.

I can remember in those days the problems it caused people I knew who got sent DTP jobs made/drafted in Publisher. It should never ever, not in a million years have been marketed for that kind of use. Most of the internal stuff, templates and the like were aimed towards the SOHO user anyway. It was the perfect SOHO product if you wanted a handful of copies of a single page newsletter, or a party invitation it was really useful

Pro product, never.

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: and users can expect the same experience as today

Microsft's decisions never seem rational. As previous post suggested "office politics" and it certainly has that feel about it when they do something that has no apparent reason.

Terry 6 Silver badge

Understandable, but it's not Publisher's fault. If it was a small primary school you'd maybe be we'd able to understand this behaviour, however, if he was a subject teacher it's secondary and they have the resources. But you can't cure stupid.

To blame Publisher for idiots misusing it is like blaming a fish knife if a restaurant gives you one to eat steak.

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: I feel a great disturbance in the force...

Exactly.

Publisher was and currently still is the ideal tool for that sort of thing. Where would we have been without Publsher for the (grown up now) kids' birthday invitations, thank you notes to aunties and the likes.

And yes, as noted, those "Please wash up your own coffee mugs" illustrated posters, temporary warning notices, menu cards, local event posters and a squillion other one-off small ink-jet publications

It is the perfect SOHO product.

Terry 6 Silver badge

Badly managed for years

In the various versions of Office over the last decade or so Microsoft in its wisdom </sarc> put Publisher in the Pro /Business editions of Office, where many are likely to have a need for something more sophisticated, but for no apparent reason it was not in the Home/student versions, where it would be useful for making invitations and "Thank You" notes, homework projects etc., or posters for small local/ communal events ( Church jumble sales and the like).

Or to put it another way, they restricted a programme perfect for amateur or occasional business use ( a small restaurant's menu, say) to commercial enterprises.

And it's totally incomprehensible why they would do this.

Duo face 20 years in prison over counterfeit iPhone scam

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: This should have ended at the…

I'd hazard a guess that they thought some Apple operative just opened the packet, took the details down for replacement and threw the old phone in a bin.

Rice isn't nice for drying your iPhone, according to Apple

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: And when they stop working as well

When I was a kid we had biscuit barrels with a round cartridge in the lid. Silica Gel or some equivalent. Every so often this went in a warm oven to dry out. I wonder what happened to that idea. It seemed to work then.

Terry 6 Silver badge
Pint

Re: Personally ....

That's a brilliant idea. We have a vacuum bag thingy (usually for food items), I could even use one of those to store them in.

Self-taught-techie slept on the datacenter floor, survived communism, ended a marriage

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: Daily Emails are a luxury

You know, or should know, what that OP meant. The public, everyday, internet didn't exist in the wild the way it has in the last couple of decades.

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: Daily Emails are a luxury

So it depends on whether the subject is our usage or that of the population in general. And our replies here ought to reflect that.

Terry 6 Silver badge

Ironically

Email usually does arrive within moments.

So we all tend to expect it to. And as noted 2FA and various other confirmations tend to send a link or code that expires quite soon - and which we want or need to use straight away, anyway.

So if the email isn't behaving as we'd like they request another code, then when the original one does arrive they use that, but it no longer works because either it's expired or there's a new one- which hasn't arrived yet.So we end up in expired code Hell.

Air Canada must pay damages after chatbot lies to grieving passenger about discount

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: Chatbot vs Human

Sorry, I used a poor example, but it was the only example of a simple generic query I could think of.

. It was me asking them for their postcode, after I'd got through security. Any other trivial question would have done.

As to your own point. Yes I agree. I'm sick of companies phoning me, unsolicited, and asking me to go through their security. O2 currently, trying to sell me a more expensive, poorer contract than my current rolling one that they'd like to get me off.

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: Chatbot vs Human

Bit like the Post Office then...

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: Chatbot vs Human

No, to be fair, they are bound by rules and we'd be the first to complain if things go pear shaped because they don't follow them. And it would literally be more than their job's worth.

(The phrase exists and was incorporated into comedy routines because it is literally true quite often.)

Also, I've had this with private companies too.

"Can I take you through security questions".

"It's a general query and doesn't need any personal information"

"I'm sorry, but I can't speak to you until you've answered the security questions"

Sigh "OK" .

.

.Security passed

" Thank you. Now can you confirm for me the post code for your office at....I have it written down wrong. I have it as...etc."

Terry 6 Silver badge

I just don't understand why a company would deploy these things on a front-end website.

That's the easy part. When customer service (or indeed the product as a whole*) is considered as an unwanted cost, to be eliminated, rather than what the business is supposed to be supplying they'll take any expedient to remove it.

*It does seem as if some companies are doing their best to eliminate supplying a product from the business model.

Terry 6 Silver badge

It makes no difference whether the information comes from a static page or a chatbot.

It sounds as if someone in the airline has swallowed the crap about "Artificial Intelligence" - though not to the extent of going on to accept that the bot has the same responsibility as a human.

This all sounds a bit like the "self-driving Tesla" approach to sales.

IT body proposes that AI pros get leashed and licensed to uphold ethics

Terry 6 Silver badge

Definitions and boundaries

It all sounds good, until you think about specifics. Like ( as noted) use of overseas staff. Or defining what grade would need to be registered. Or indeed which parts of the big, complex industry would fit within the requirements. Would it be by job title? Well they're pretty flexible.

Dumping us into ad tier of Prime Video when we paid for ad-free is 'unfair' – lawsuit

Terry 6 Silver badge

A good point.

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: Query: the timing of ads

Yes, some BBC shows have very obvious feed out- feed in points. And you know that's where the add will go on foreign sales, BBC America etc.

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: Disgusting

These used to be called "bus ticket" terms, when I was a kid. i.e. the ts and cs simply said that you were entitled to travel on a bus. But not which bus, when or how far.

Terry 6 Silver badge

Then there's Ring

We're now ex-Amazon Ring subscribers. Because they suddenly upped the subscription by 50% a few days ago for no particular reason beyond that they could.

We bought a TAPO (TP-Link) door bell.(Ironically through Amazon Prime) I like their stuff - it works. And since most of the stuff we buy is made in China anyway we might as well get it straight from the source </cynic>

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: Query: the timing of ads

God yes. Recent trip to New York exposed us to US TV for a few days.

Almost nothing was worth sitting through the ads for. Programmes were just filleted into tiny shreds by them. But the ads were awful. Shouty, simple minded and frankly insultingly contemptuous of the viewers.

Microsoft might have just pulled support for very old PCs in Windows 11 24H2

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: Linux's moment

Yup. I spent 40 years of my life working in specialised areas of education. Part of and managing teams of incredibly specialised teachers, with long waiting lists for our work.

Not one single member would have wanted to spend an an extra second on working out how to do something on the sodding computer.*

*My IT skills preceded my teaching, from when I thought of making that my career, and went into the background as a relaxing hobby once I became a specialist teacher.

Terry 6 Silver badge

That's probably true. At home we have a nice, fairly powerful family PC with bunch of SSD and HDDs and partitions, for admin tasks ( like my wife's Brown Owl and school governor roles) or stuff like editing and storing photos and videos and anything creative.

Then I've a convertible Lenovo Yoga mostly used to review stuff I've done previously and light editing.

When the main PC is being used or if just I want to work at the table downstairs instead of in the computer room use just want to use Linux I might use an older laptop which I find is better for typing on than the Yoga.

Because we seem to be doing a lot of stuff that demands a proper PC.

But for everyday life stuff we just use smartphones. I don't need a PC for email, listening to BBC iPlayer and so on.

Terry 6 Silver badge

I'd go with that. Started using it on my laptop a few weeks ago.

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: Linux's moment

I read that, and all I see is a curmudgeonly comment that boils down to "change is bad."

Then you aren't seeing anything.

In short, for your benefit, the Ribbon turned a simple task that was a useful time and cognitive effort saver for the 10 or so highly skilled people I managed and who quite rightly begrudged every second spent away from their substantive professional roles to be sat at a computer, into a complex task that ceased to be practical.

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: Linux's moment

No. With the previous system I rearranged the WORD menus for my staff that had stuff in the menu where, in their workflow/world view, they'd want and expect to find it, because to them certain items naturally went together, For example, a few things fitting into Formatting, which Microsoft hadn't originally put there. .

Once the cursed ribbon arrived it all became much more time consuming. Too much so to be practical. I couldn't just move things into a different menu any more. Now you have to create a complete new custom version of that menu putting in all the original items that you wanted to retain and adding copies of the ones you wanted to transfer, and then completely hide the original menu. For example, if some item isn't considered part of the formatting menu options then I no longer can just add it in, I'd have to create a new menu, from scratch- if I could even remember what was in the original.

This is because the ribbon embodies Microsoft's belief that everyone has to work they way they think we should.

'Crash test dummy' smashed VIP demo by offering a helping hand

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: Ouch

I can cope with patronising. I can't cope with totally missing steps.

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: Ouch

A PS. After speaking to TAPO about 4 times it turns out that;

1) Neither of the hub-chimes will work as chimes via the WiFi because the bell can only accept one hub,even though one is "compatible" with the bell. I guess you use it instead of the better one it already comes with.

2) Both hub-chimes can be made to work as stand-alone chimers (which is a bit of an overkill if the WiFi part can't be used)

3)To do this you have to set up a script, called an "automation", in the app, which is totally undocumented.

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: Ouch

Not anywhere like at that level, but, we mistakenly assumed that the Tapo (TP-Link) extra chimes we bought for our new Tapo doorbell ( having exited Ring sharpish) would actually ring. Apparently not. They don't specify in the doorbell documentation that there's a specific model chime you need and so I assumed that any of their chimes would work.

I only worked it out I need a different chimer with some very careful reading of the specifications of both models, after Tapo support had sent me instructions on how to connect my chimer to my doorbell, but which actually referenced the other model, but not the one I'd told them I had.

Tapo are possibly one of the poorest communicating companies I've ever dealt with. It's not that they don't communicate. They do. They're very quick to answer the phone or get back when you email them. Fair play to them on that. It's like they have no clue that the user doesn't already know what they know. They give incomplete or ambiguous instructions (like in this case which chimer the door bell links with) in initial set-up or direct support ( we have a few other Tapo bits so I'm used to puzzling out what you actually need to do to get them working). And they don't seem to notice key details in what you send them if you ask for help. not helped by the first line support struggling to understand the purpose, i.e. that a doorbell might need an extra chime or two, round the house, so it needs to communicate with the extra chimers. When I phoned I specified that I had the H100 chime, Then they sent instructions to install the chime. These were a series of steps, but they weren't a full explanation, there were vague bits and ambiguities, which made following them difficult, so that I didn't realise at first that they might be only for a different (H200) device. Which is when I went back and looked at the tiny print in the descriptions of the chimes. H200 had my doorbell in the middle o some tiny print, and H100 didn't.

Windows 10 users report app gremlins after Microsoft update

Terry 6 Silver badge

An addendum...A few days after the above.

Ring. Just increased subscription for storing door camera recordings by just shy of 50%

Terry 6 Silver badge

"Support" in terms of any of the big tech companies is an elastic term anyway.

Anything you buy from any of them could become scrap tomorrow. And the more your tech relies on the mother ship the less likely you'll be to get full use out of it.

Smart speakers anyone?

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: time to start investigating linux installs :)

And that is a fair point. Comments in this context are restricted to those who still want a computer. Possibly a diminishing number since a smartphone does indeed fulfil all they ever needed a home PC for.

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: time to start investigating linux installs :)

I agree, except for this bit..

"(especially home users)"

Because home users may well, if they can afford it, upgrade for the new shiny Win 11, eventually. When anyone they know has caught it.

But the squillions of small businesses round the world, with a creaking Win 10 (or older) machine won't "upgrade" till they've had every last byte squeezed out of their investment.

5G network slicing finally shown to be more than pipe dream

Terry 6 Silver badge

Charging

Why does my (purely non-technical in these matters) nose start to twitch with the suspicion that this will evolve into Enterprise, Premium and Pleb services with charge bands to match?

Developer's default setting created turbulence in the flight simulator

Terry 6 Silver badge

Err

" Thankfully there was no damage to either the machine or Shirley – but he didn't mention the incident to the boss."

I'm no engineer, but Shirley, when they put this kit together someone would have calculated or at least estimated the maximum possible exerted force and the maximum mechanism tolerable, force-- and made sure that one was a margin less than the other.