* Posts by Alan Ferris

127 publicly visible posts • joined 12 Jun 2007


Seeing as GPT-3 is great at faking info, you should lean into that, says Microsoft

Alan Ferris

It's interesting

I asked Chat GPT for the correct Jewish blessing before eating a bacon sandwich.

It gave as a response a blessing over bread.

A tale of two dishwashers: Buy one, buy it again, and again

Alan Ferris

Another dishwasher, Sir

I've always assumed that if someone tries to sell mea second version of what I've already got, then they must think that their product is crap and will fall to bits within 24 hours of installation.

Machine learning the hard way: IBM Watson's fatal misdiagnosis

Alan Ferris

Better than Watson

As a qualified doctor, I always recommend http://hypochondriapp.io/

84-year-old fined €250,000 for keeping Nazi war machines – including tank – in basement

Alan Ferris

Err ... If he's got 1500 rounds of ammunition as well as mortars, machine guns and anti-aircraft guns, I'd suggest that he has the ammo and the wherewithal to start a small war.

Selling the tank to pay the fine seems a mild penalty to me, unless our European residents think it's ok to start a war. again

Just what is the poop capacity of an unladen sparrow? We ask because one got into the office and left quite a mess

Alan Ferris

The solution

Before and after weights will answer the question.

I'm not offering guidance on how to do this, though

Unauthorised RAC staffer harvested customer details then sold them to accident claims management company

Alan Ferris

3 strategies

1) But it was my fault.

2) Can we just go through security, what's your mother's maiden name?

3) Does your mother know that you're involved in this sort of work?

I never get a follow-up call

Alan Ferris

Re: Me too

Three strategies:

1) But it was my fault

2) OK, let's just go through security, can I have your mother's maiden name?

3) Does your mother know that you're involved in scams?

HP: That print-free-for-life deal we promised you? Well, now it's pay-per-month to continue using your printer ink

Alan Ferris

I have no legal training

Maybe someone with legal training can advise me here, but can a printer be deemed to have a life?

If not, surely the life referred to is that pertaining to the owner of the device.

Ring glitch results in global ding dong ditch: Doorbell bling flings out random pings but they're not the real thing

Alan Ferris


It's also a motion detector, with detection areas that can be pre- programmed.

And THAT's why it's better than your knockers

What do you call megabucks Microsoft? No really, it's not a joke. El Reg needs you

Alan Ferris


Clippit Killers

I used to really like Clippit

BOFH: The case of the Boss's hidden USB inkjet printer

Alan Ferris

Re: Oh Christmas tree! Oh Christmas tree!!!!!

It would have to be a big air bubble. Lethal amount of air is recorded as 7.5ml per kg of the victim. Good luck

I've had it with these motherflipping eggs on this motherflipping train

Alan Ferris

Egg sandwich?

We're late and we're unreliable but we won't invalidate your warranty: We're engineers!

Alan Ferris

Re: I need an electrician

Either you're email address ends "@heaven" or you weren't electrocuted, although you might have been shocked.

Electrocute = to kill by passing an electric current through a person

We're going deeper Underground: Vulture clicks claws over London's hidden tracks

Alan Ferris

Re: 20 MPH zones

Cheers. Have a downvote

BOFH: We must... have... beer! Only... cure... for... electromagnetic fields

Alan Ferris

Re: solution

I agree, except you've muddled up your rods and your cones. Rods are for monochrome, low intensity light, cones are for colour vision and are concentrated at the fovea.

Pizza prankster's prisoner plea plot perturbs police, Norks invading and Uber woes

Alan Ferris

Ebay ebabe

How is this a problem?

Are you who you say you are, sir? You are? That's all fine then

Alan Ferris

Not quite a bereavement..

But I had to write a medical report on a woman who was hit by a bus some 5 years ago and who consequently died. The solicitors wanted to know if there was anything in her medical records that suggested that she might have fallen off her perch prematurely (other than human: bus altercation).

In bold letters the solicitors advised me that I need not examine the patient.

Criminal mastermind signed name as 'Thief' on receipts after buying stuff with stolen card

Alan Ferris


When I crossed the pond for a holiday just over 10 years ago, I made a point of retrieving my credit card BEFORE I signed the credit card slip. Not one person asked to check the signature against the signature on the card, either in the USA or in Canada. How do they ever catch criminals?

Bulb smart meters in England wake up from comas miraculously speaking fluent Welsh

Alan Ferris

Re: Gen2 much like Gen1

You're turning it off wrongly.

Biz tells ransomware victims it can decrypt their files... by secretly paying off the crooks and banking a fat margin

Alan Ferris

Just a thought...

Does this constitute commercial use of TeamViewer? I hope that Teamviewer get paid the appropriate licence fee. Who pays that one - Red Mosquito, the client, or the criminals?

Monster magnet in my pocket: Boffins' gizmo packs 45.5-tesla punch and weighs just 390g

Alan Ferris

Re: The numbers are not tautological.

But surely, resistance is futile?

Campaigners cry foul over NHS Digital plans to grant policy wonks and researchers access to patient-level data

Alan Ferris

Snomed CT

There's been talk of moving to Snomed CT for at least a year before I retired, but the main computer system (Emis Web) was certainly running on the old Read codes when I looked at it last Tuesday.

Silent Merc, holy e-car... Mflllwhmmmp! What is that terrible sound?

Alan Ferris

To match the velocity in cities...

I want mine to have the clip-clop sound of horses' hooves

In a galaxy far, far away, aliens may have eight-letter DNA – like the kind NASA-backed boffins just crafted

Alan Ferris


What was the Midichlorian count?

No fax given: Blighty's health service bods told to ban snail mail, too

Alan Ferris

Who are the big users of the NHS?

In 30 years as a GP, I found that the big users of the NHS fell into a number of groups, the elderly being one of the biggest groups. My father (in his 90s) can cope with email, but many of the elderly can't, or don't even have a computer or smartphone. Many of those who do have a mobile phone keep it in the cast in case of vehicle breakdown and don't otherwise turn it on.

Our current health secretary seems obsessed with computers, but hasn't worked out how a GP can use Skype to examine a patient, check a blood pressure, or measure a temperature. In other words, he hasn't a clue about how doctors work. We are all doomed.

NHS England claims it will be all-digital within the decade

Alan Ferris


As someone who has worked for over 30 years as a GP, let me say that telephone consultations only work for (at best) 50% of consultations. We tried it all.... search on-line for "Doctor First" to see how it might happen. Half of the consultations need an examination, so you lose time on the phone / Skype and then do the normal consultation. Being too available caused consultation figures to rocket ( hello doctor, I've got shampoo in my eyes, what can I do? ) and we lost an experienced GP for 6 months with stress.

Increasing litigation means that no doctor wants to take a risk, so the fail-safe is to examine patients to at least put yourself in a position to make a diagnosis which is defensible in court /coroner's court.

Naked women cleaning biz smashes patriarchy by introducing naked bloke gardening service

Alan Ferris

Excuse me

No Playmobil?

Now that's a dodgy Giza: Eggheads claim Great Pyramid can focus electromagnetic waves

Alan Ferris

Re: It was aliens wot did it

Only if you're good.

Please tighten your passwords and assume the brace position, says plane-tracking site

Alan Ferris

And also some ground vehicles at airports seem to carry the right transponders too

One thought equivalent to less than a single proton in mass

Alan Ferris

Re: Confused units

So Low's his brother

Google DeepMind trial failed to comply with data protection – ICO

Alan Ferris

Re: Deep Mind keeps the learning though?

Or you could ask people if they want to take part in medical research.

Just as with the use of other bits of my body, informed consent is the key.

Swedish school pumps up volume to ease toilet trauma

Alan Ferris


Any Urrrr ... Soul music

Utah fights man's attempt to marry laptop

Alan Ferris


There goes his on-line porn viewing ... unless he's a two-timer

Alan Ferris


There goes his on-line porn viewing... unless he's a two-timer...

UK hospital meltdown after ransomware worm uses NSA vuln to raid IT

Alan Ferris

Re: Using Windows?

I can only speak for England, but you the taxpayer provide ALL GPs with computers and software. And it's all Windows based. I get no choice over hardware, clinical software or even antivirus. And the electronic booking system is only compatible with Internet Explorer... and not even the most recent versions.

We are all doomed

Fire fighters get grinding on London man’s trapped genitalia

Alan Ferris


Surely all they needed was a syringe and a fine needle to deflate the offending part?

Icon chosen for its picture rather than its significance

Laser surgery ignites internal methane, burns patient down there

Alan Ferris

Pictures ...

Or it didn't happen.

GIFs would be more acceptable

Cycling paramedics in epic rush to save patient who ate stale sandwich

Alan Ferris


Do you think that no-one has had a heart attack after a dinner that included a glass of wine?

Could be one of the most expensive glasses of wine that Tesco ever sold.

Alan Ferris


Do you think that there's never been a case of someone having a heart attack over dinner, when a glass (or even two) of wine has been imbibed?

Saw-inspired horror slowly deletes your PC's files as you scramble to pay the ransom

Alan Ferris

Incomplete reporting

Which porn sites are affected?

Asking for a friend

BOFH: Sure, I could make your cheapo printer perform miracles

Alan Ferris

Re: BOFH with patience?

Wrong colour, too

Triple-murderer prisoner keeps mobile phone in his butt for a week

Alan Ferris

Is that the phone with a fingerprint log in?

Or can you log in via a different route?

Aussies' distinctive Strine down to drunk forefathers

Alan Ferris

Re: E to I (or is this just NZ?)

Why not?

Brazilian prisoner nabbed with mobile up rear end

Alan Ferris

When I were a lad...

.. They'd turn up in A&E with a variety of things hidden up there, it was amazing that, to a man, they all said

" I accidentally sat on it "

WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

Alan Ferris

I can't think of a witty title

So where do I put the loaves and fishes?

BOFH: Power corrupts, uninterrupted power corrupts absolutely

Alan Ferris

Love it

They would work perfectly well until they're needed.


Wanna call Barnaby Joyce a w**ker / gerbil on radio? FINE, says ACMA

Alan Ferris

Isn't this ruling....

... Gerbilist ?

Giant male member spontaneously ejaculates over Norway

Alan Ferris

Re: Mohel

But remember, one slip and you get the sack.

BOFH: Getting to the brown, nutty heart of the water cooler matter

Alan Ferris

causing at least one of his co-workers to upload their lunch.