* Posts by riparian zone

67 publicly visible posts • joined 10 Feb 2010


Will LLMs take your job? Only if you let them

riparian zone

Pretotyping, anyone?

Good article. Reminds me of the IBM post war experiment to determine the need for speech to text services in the 1950's I think it was. After inviting everyone on their address book to come to an demonstration, not everyone turned up. This number then shrunk after the demonstration, which was really an audio typist in another room producing text after executives spoke into a funnel. Of course the execs didn't know this. The number of companies wanting the service would not justify the expense, development and resulting cost of the tech to fulfill the purpose, so got shelved for many years. Seems that the need is sort of there, but now a company has to understand what it does and who does what to get rid of people before taking on the lucid dreaming language monster that magnifies the crap in crap out adage. it ain't likely, but more likely a successful AI take up will happen when companies' management structures understand what people do first?

Amazon has repackaged surveillance capitalism as reality TV

riparian zone

Re: Sorry, but

So tell that to AbilityNet - or rather loads of visually impaired and physically disabled people. I'm sure the response would be somewhat different.

'Please download in Microsoft Excel': Meet the tech set to monitor IT performance across central UK government

riparian zone

Google Drive?

I know somebody working in the civil service and they all use Google services...so this just sounds like project bubble thinking/territorial p*ssing/politics - delete any as appropriate..hold on, all three could be viable.

In the lab: Robotic AI-powered exoskeletons to help disabled people move freely without implants

riparian zone

Re: Why walking ?

Indeed. Rather than do the difficult things like make buildings accessible for wheelchairs (and those with limited movement), consult with those with disabilities in terms of town/city planning or all of those things that are actually worthy - we get exoskeletons. TBH, I think the only people who may take up the idea are those that lost the use of their legs through spinal injury.

Splunk junks 'hanging' processes, suggests you don't 'hit' a key: More peaceful words now preferred in docs

riparian zone

Seems to me that the USAians created a lot of the jargon used online, pretty much like the dot com badge of 'honor' for many websites. Also a lot of US language got into interfaces and systems anyway, with other languages have to conform...Geek is an insulting term derived from alcoholics at 1930's freak shows that would bite the heads off chickens. It got owned and repurposed, so no one will bat an eye there.

Hate speech row: Fine or jail anyone who calls people boffins, geeks or eggheads, psychology nerd demands

riparian zone

origins and context

erm, geek was originally at term of abuse as it was the name of the alcoholic guy that would bite the head off chickens for booze, being part of the freak shows in 30's America. I think it was the 'Revenge of the Nerds' movies in the 80's that reclaimed some ground for nerds and others that were socially awkward /neurodiverse/super clever, etc. (not quite shure where that terms derives, it may be from knurd, or drunk backwards).

Being owned buy the target of abuse is always a sign that its potency is lost.

'What up, nerds?'

A day in the life of London seen through spam and weak Wi-Fi

riparian zone

I find me@me.com can work quite readily with email based logins...ahyus, London wifi has moved along, sideways and slithered back from the days when this was a thing.

Edtech will save our schools from cuts and spare our teachers from burnout, booms UK.gov

riparian zone

Wot, no Research Machines? In my times in schools and colleges, they held the reins on classroom tech, failing everyone.

The nights are drawing in. Pour a cup of cocoa and join us for Windows 10 Autumnwatch

riparian zone

Assistive technology be damned...again?

I'm more than a tad worried that my clients running win 10 and (expensive) screenreading/magnification software such as Dolphin Supernova will have to pay for another upgrade. This happens with depressing regularity. I'm not sure which upgrade it was, but one client having a longer-than-usual wait from a darkened screen switched the box off, from the mains. There were tears after the box was completely busted. Mind you, its the magnification that the dividend is for, there are suitable screen reading apps that read out perfectly well... and there I was reading the post from MS and their disability lead (who used to be my boss in another life) touting their accessibility credentials. Aye, if you can afford it....and why is MS making assistive apps for Apple?

Windows 10 Insiders see double as new builds hit the deck – with promises to end Update Rage

riparian zone

Providing a source of income for Dolphin Screenreaders

It seems that every time WIn 10 gets a big update, the screen reader needs to be upgraded...at £300-£800 per desk, this is not a trivial matter, and can be another form of exclusion as machines become unusable...yes I know about network licences, but the little people get stung the most with this nonsense.

Apple, if you want to win in education, look at what sucks about iPads

riparian zone

Re: @AC

Are those the times that are filled with over stimulated young people locked into blue screens that don't help with sleep? When young'uns weren't to be running around enjoying the only portion of their life filled with the potential for no responsibilities, carefree climbing of trees and making camps? ah, right, just wondering. Where's the snorkel icon?

Smart cities? Tell it like it is, they're surveillance cities

riparian zone
Big Brother

blockchain, anyone?

There is this, which seems pretty neat.


'Grey technology' should be the new black

riparian zone

Best article in some time.

It touches on a lot of things wrong with consumer tech and the cult of youth that its seemingly engineered for. I write about some of my findings,this piece being a constant reminder that accessible tech can be reasonable in cost if a person is not completely blind. Win 8, NVDA can work reasonably well, but OSX has everything of a high standard built in...More older people should use Dolphin Guide, which is like a retro system in itself..shame it is so expensive. Tablets are okay for many, but need a stylus and a good chat about ipad neck.

riparian zone

ah, but had to have Aero theme used, which meant high contrast not available...and some graphics cards *won't work* with it.

riparian zone

Re: Zooming Text

Windows magnifier has been quite reasonable since Windows 8 (the only saving grace) and also the SAPI voices have improved too. I want to like the Linux magnifiers, but found them to be terrible. Vinux is a good starter for a baseline for an older user .

riparian zone

Re: Android vs age

Big buttons app is the thing to use...does what it says on the tin..

riparian zone

Re: For what it's worth

Not necessarily. I work a lot with VIPs (Visually Impaired People), and older people - this is a great keyboard in different versions of high contrast. Some keyboards come with an overlay grid to help with targeting.

Brits don't want their homes to be 'tech-tastic'

riparian zone

Re: The usual arrogance of tech companies

guess its a good case for this: http://www.pretotyping.org/

Internet users don't understand security or privacy, says survey

riparian zone

Re: Surveys R Us

mu ;-)

'I thought my daughter clicked on ransomware – it was the damn Windows 10 installer'

riparian zone

Re: Forgive me for not understanding how this happened

show me an average user that knows how to set up a standard account, and then ask them how/why they know. Your judgement call is unwarranted.

Expert welcomes UK’s digital health recommendations

riparian zone

there is a project, the one stop shop of patient prescription..

can't seem to find it though...https://github.com/CDECatapult/data.gp-practice-england

riparian zone

Re: True to Type

following just behind, is another, older elephantine friend...good old fashioned literacy. ESOL classes so you write up your complaint to your hospital PALS anyone? anyone?

Most developers have never seen a successful project

riparian zone

just throwing it out there...


Microsoft to Windows 10 consumers: You'll get updates LIKE IT or NOT

riparian zone


About smartphones - have you read the reviews in google play? How many times has an update created a worse experience / complete crash /happy story? Delete options as you will no doubt selectively find only happy stories.

We tried using Windows 10 for real work and ... oh, the horror

riparian zone

with Classic menu, it becomes a very usable setup. 8.1 is quite swish generally, and really good on accessibility.

'Look into my eyes: You are feeling very worried about the climate ... so worried'

riparian zone

Re: @skelband

climate change is a vague concept for the public as a whole that don't realise that the science has being going on since the 70's - good, bad or badly done, its there. Most people won't believe it until it directly affects them: modern distractions aside, our little mammalian brains need a jolt to engage thinking beyond the meat puppet level.

El Reg's festive dating app guide, Pt. 2: The FEMALE perspective

riparian zone

quite happy to meet the author at the Montague Arms - one of the best pubs around SE London. Mind you, has she been to the Bird's Nest in deepest darkest Deptford? filled with tattoos and punk on a regular basis.

New Snapchat Snapcash service inspires amateur PORN STARS

riparian zone

Re: valued at up to $10bn but has yet to turn a profit.

woo! dotcom bubble anyone? anyone?

Happy 2nd birthday, Windows 8 and Surface: Anatomy of a disaster

riparian zone

Accessibility, anyone?

Just a thought, amidst the usual Linux vs Windoze debacle I thought I would mention that I utterly dislike W8, but its the most accessible Version yet produced by MS. Flat colours, large fonts, full screen magnification with high contrast colour schemes (a dismal failure in W7 as it couldn't do full screen without Aero which didn't *do* High contrast). Yes, I've looked at Vinux as I work with the Visually Impaired, but the synth voices and magnification are pretty poor - technical support is even more so. VIPs (Visually Impaired People) tend to be older as MD is part of many people's getting older...and yes, I had to install Classic shell because VIPs need a desktop too.

Now I'm wondering if there is a retrograde step and I have to start recommending W8 to clients..the pain.

Writing about an Australian Snowden would land Vulture South in the clink

riparian zone

Re: Well, That's AUS off the list

Echo those thoughts, it all reminds of the 'Age of stupidity' before the eco disasters begin..set in Norway if I remember rightly. The demographics of controlling deluded baby boomers and indifferent post millennials being shat on...

Barclays Bank counter staff to become iPad-toting 'community bankers'

riparian zone

Re: Super queues

I was wondering this myself..will these 'eagles' be versed in accessibility use? will they turn on zooming and/or voice over, and then understand that when that's done it is a different beast altogether to use? then there are those with cerebal palsy having problems using the bleeding things...Its the standard mainstream 'clicky clicky pinch here' attitude. Some elders will refuse to use iPads too, refusing to have no human contact - they have this outdated notion that jobs get lost through too much computering.

The cute things they say

riparian zone

he wanted his blue E back...

many moons ago when I was tech support for an ISP, starting yet another 12 hour shift on a sunny Saturday..punter calls:"I've lost my blue E on the desktop" Me: "Sorry, sir, you mean Internet explorer?"

"Yeah.want the blue E back"

"Sorry, but that is not what I can help with, your machine dials up (yes, a while ago) to the internet?"

"Yeah, but I give you good money, blah moan BLAH"

Hearing this general complaint in the offing, I forge ahead..."Ok, I will try to help, follow my instructions"

We start a search for iexplore. He manages that.

"Do you have a list of files? We are looking for iexplore.exe", I say.

"Yeah. But there's not iexplore.exe, there's an iexplore.cnt...what's a cnt?"

"I can only think of one thing, sir"

We didn't find the big blue E either, and I got a warning later...worth it.

Korean doctors: Smartphones really ARE doing your head in

riparian zone

Re: Another Tech Injury FAD

trackballs are a great option for RSI sufferers, of which I am. Big lover of trackballs with scroller collars.

RSI has been around for years - it used to be an injury for secretaries and typists, but now most people type.

Rise of the Machines: How computers took over the stock market

riparian zone

Re: Fascinating article

You've pretty much made the case for the transition movement..this is why local currency exchanges exist. Put to one side the middle class hippyness of it, there is a good reason to enable communities to become resilient wherever they are.

Is the next-gen console war already One?

riparian zone

Re: "watch Game of Thrones on Sky"

*ahem*, I don't think subtitles for the hard of hearing pointless, no?

Yelling at mobes while driving just as bad as texting

riparian zone
Thumb Up

Re: If only...

Interesting this. My dream application is for people with low vision or no typing ability to send a recorded message instead. Job done. Accessibility technology rules, but only when people with 'abilities' get stupid and hurt each other. Which is most of the time.

Gov.uk named THE BEST THING Britain has made all year

riparian zone

Re: For a safer, faster, better experience online you should upgrade your browser.

No reference to use of plain English either, or illustrations? you know, for people to focus on...where are the skip to navigation and skip to content links for screen readers...poor.

Hold on! Degrees for all doesn't mean great jobs for all, say profs

riparian zone

Re: Statistically this is not a surprise

Asbolutely. No typo.

Expectations need to be managed to engage students in the gritty realities before, during and after their learning. A Roman philosopher (Seneca) said that expectations caused anger and sadness; if a learning institution can't engage with the environment beyond its walls, then why are people paying..?

How the iPad ruined the lives of IT architects

riparian zone

3rd sector and non profit consultancy...Lasa clientele.

He should stick with telling people who have no idea or clue. He should also stay well away from making sweeping, poorly thought out statements to start a piece that WILL get ripped apart by his peers, nay...more than his peers.

Watchdog warns UK.gov not to create 'them and us' digital divide

riparian zone

Identity providers?

I'm more interested in the 8 identity providers...*why in all that is holy* why would the likes of Paypal get to manage the ID for Gov? what happened to the government gateway?National insurance numbers?

I was in the field for UK Online for 7 long years getting the message out that you can 'do stuff' on-line..I even managed a project whereby we tried to set it up as part of monitoring utilities, bus timetables, useful stuff. the ones that wanted to get it, got it, the others just not interested.

The mid west amerikans didn't want internet access because they didn't NEED IT, thanks..we get the same here..why would some old person that has given their best years through a proper world war or more, then be told, that they HAVE TO have access at home...there was a project in Hull promoting tele-healthcare using set top boxes and wireless keyboards...yes to that for the good it does, but then they want to force it on people? After making the UK Online project shrink, with the admin and return for centres pathetic and almost impractical?

grrr. All sounds like cost cutting, and will undoubtedly end in tears...the mixed approach is best.

What happened to comics for kids? Hell, what happened to COMICS?

riparian zone

Re: Four words

I once bumped into Alan Moore in Charing Cross, and not wanting to be the fawning fanboi acolyte that I am, just asked if he was the man. He confirmed, and then I thanked him from a heartfelt place for writing Halo Jones...he seemed pleased.

Microsoft's 'official' Windows 8 Survival Guide leaks

riparian zone

Re: Piss off

..tell you what - go and introduce the keyboard commands to most end users and they'll remember 3 at the most. Satire or whinging? pah.

riparian zone

Re: "News"?

oh dear...it seems that satire has a place here too; how else that can the hand be bitten? Or would you prefer another whingefest of how fecking bad it all seems. Bards in days gone by used to be the newsreaders, and when they did a satire 'on' you, your credibility left the building in tears...

...there are news pieces on the rest of the site, move along, move along...and try to change the batteries in your iphone, or find a forum for lovers of <unheard linux distro>.

Apple eyes $$$ iDevice adapter bonanza

riparian zone

Re: fanboi tax @dougal83 @shagbag

yeehaw! I hear the sound of nails being banged head on...

very very true. Like standards compliance, us commentards like to flitter like flies to the next smelly turd...

or so we think. 'member the fondle slab introduction when all and sundry (admittedly myself included) slapped hands to head in complete bewilderment. Now, we realise that the End User is king, and us IT folks are the unwilling pawns, evangelists and harbringers of change for the sake of change - I have yet to find a good simple email client that works well for the visually impaired, yet a client of mine with a humble (and venerable) Acorn has a stunning client which colour codes a conversation thread AND will change between voices when the screenreader is initiated.

Change is inevitable. Change is not necessarily progress, either.

BTW, I hated my Android phone when I got it when i found it wanted to sync my contacts to google...benign or aggressive, the (robber) barons call the shots and all we can do is suck it up and relate the bad news.

The touchscreens that push back, thanks to Brit hi-fi boffinry

riparian zone

finally, fondleslabs for the visually impaired...?

It would be fantastic, especially as most people lose their sight when they get old, and the ease of use could be a real game changer...will be looking out for this a little bit. viva la haptic feedback!

Microsoft fires Bing execs after biz probe

riparian zone

Re: 64 trillion $ question? * ........ for Maximum Range with Definite Visions

missed you manfromMars, you're a partly understood inspiration...

iPlayer repeat fees threaten BBC earthquake

riparian zone

Re: Because of the unique way the BBC is funded.....

Now here's a revenue opportunity. Seems to me that when out of the UK, if you want to watch iplayer other than the worldwide stuff, people should be able to pay for the privilege...register up as non UK watcher, pay a licence fee to watch abroad - make sure that the system uses the download app to ensure registration details. What could go wrong?

That steady diet of EastEnders is turning her into a shrew

riparian zone

Re: Makes a nice change

I've worked in day centres for people with learning disabilities, and they asbolutely couldn't get enough of Eastenders, especially when they could get to the iplayer/subsite, etc.

I reasoned exactly what you mentioned, and these people stuck in an institutional life, saw these horrible TV people having some vague, inferred 'life' and thought either they were better off than those poor souls they're watching or wanted to have some drama in their very very controlled lives. Sad on either counts.

And having a go at wimmin because they like it - I tend to prefer the Archers rationale (though I never listen to it) that people need to learn new agricultural stuff and story telling is a great way of doing that...I recall a Pakistani radio station using this model and putting in a story line about a farmer caught in a minefield; seemed the Taliban liked the show too...

Windows 8: Sugar coating on Microsoft's hard-to-swallow tablet

riparian zone

missed tricks and unity copycats?

Seems to me that the whole thing echoes of the groans that many have/had with the Umbongo unity interface - I won't use it myself, but its great for many end users.

Why is there no touch screen device connected to the machine to facilitate a metro interface for media and stuff, then we have working desktops for people who make documents and other stuff..touch screens can only be good hung on a wall or small programmable hand-helds that aren't phones too...the transition from office to mainstream consumer is not quite on track here.

Pirate Bay AND its users violate labels' copyright - judge

riparian zone

Re: Not news

Not forgetting the meedja industries that stuck their fingers in their ears and went 'lalalalala' as the interwebs grew. Seems that you have forgotten the fact that publishers take the lion's share of profits and are thus the injured parties - artists and creative types have always have had to fight for a living.