* Posts by Sherrie Ludwig

254 posts • joined 10 Nov 2013


I won't be ignored: Google to banish caller roulette with Verified Calls

Sherrie Ludwig

Re: "if a user sees the business's name then they are more likely to actually take the call"

Not even a hospital you've never visited, but your dear relative ended up in their Emergency Room?

In in US the hospital gets into privacy problems if they undertake to call you about a relative you do not have Power of Attorney in healthcare matters for. And how would said hospital know of that? I have a mobile that has ICE ( in case of emergency) numbers set up. The medical staff ( first responders included) know how to access that so the call would come from my phone not the hospital's or EMT's. Phone destroyed in said emergency and we are all SOL.

Digital pregnancy testing sticks turn out to have very analogue internals when it comes to getting results

Sherrie Ludwig

Re: Wastful - but unfortunaltly not uncommon

How many times are you planning on getting pregnant to need a non-reusable test?

A woman on a drug that holds in remission a long term or chronic illness, but is contraindicated for pregnancy, due to complications to maternal or fetal health. Rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and cancer drugs come to mind. Even the best birth control is not 100%, and some drugs (antibiotics for example) can interfere with contraception.

'We're not claiming to replace humans,' says Google, but we want to be 'close enough' that you can't tell it's a bot talking

Sherrie Ludwig

My mother was frightened by a prehistoric thesaurus....

In the future, my bot will phone in, repeating the words, "I need to speak to an agent, a representative" while on speakerphone, and when a harrassed sounding voice picks up, I will pick up. If I have had to phone the company, I will have a problem sufficiently arcane that I have extirpated all other attempts to ameliorate it, and is often the result of some guddling about that the company has done previously to try to make the issue "better", entangling it further. My vocabulary is extensive, and I have ferreted out chatbots by employing it. They cannot contextualize if enough polysyllabic words are distributed throughout.

Unexpected victory in bagging area: Apple must pay shop workers for time they spend waiting to get frisked

Sherrie Ludwig

Reply Icon

Couldn't someone who doesn't work there file it on their behalf? Y'know just for shits and giggles.

It would be dismissed out of hand, because the plaintiff would not have "standing", i.e., be personally involved in the complaint.

Anyone else noticed that the top countries for broadband speeds are well-known tax havens? No? Just us then?

Sherrie Ludwig

Wow, juat like home

I live in rural Northern Illinois. The BEST internet speed we can buy is just above Sub-Saharan Africa. We pay $44/mo. for 1.5Mbps, but usually get barely 1 from the telephone company. The federally mandated "competition", a cable tv company DOES nominally provide service to our area, IF WE PAY TO LAY THE CABLE, which we were quoted a couple of years ago at several thousand dollars. My fondest wish is that every telco executive finds that the ambulance can come to his or her house, IF they pay to lay a new road and buy the ambulance. F'em.

Amazon spies on staff, fires them by text for not hitting secretive targets, workers 'feel forced to work through pain, injuries' – report

Sherrie Ludwig

Re: Trump & Bezos

I question even the 300% figure since he's been known to play games with the valuation of his properties when it suits him. And of course we don't know the full extent of his debts. It might be that his actual net worth is less than what you might find between the sofa cushions.

I have a standing bet with a friend that my spouse and I have a higher net worth than the Trumps, as of Jan 20, 2016 (he's probably grifted more since). We aren't wealthy, just debt-free.

IBM ordered to pay £22k to whistleblower and told by judges: Teach your managers what discrimination means

Sherrie Ludwig

Re: Hang on a second.

Er. No. It's a widely documented fact. Women do more childcare.

Saying women *ought to* do more childcare is probably sexist, in most contexts. Saying they *currently do* is a statement of fact.

Frankly, given that this is being told to hand over unpaid personal time on a regular basis outside work hours. I don't care if she was painting her nails, doing charity volunteer things or just sleeping in, personal time is just that PERSONAL, and barring extenuating circumstances, off limits.

Sherrie Ludwig

@AC, found the problem.

If "a high flying career" requires 24/7 devotion to a job, and total availability at every whim, it isn't a job, you have been bought into slavery. You may be a harem eunuch with a cushy lot of duties and plenty to eat, but a slave nonetheless.

Ex-Autonomy CFO Sushovan Hussain loses US appeal bid against fraud convictions and 5-year prison sentence

Sherrie Ludwig

Re: This is still HP's fault

Never bought a house so perhaps someone could chime in. I read a thread recently about someone buying a house only to find out it had tons of hidden water damage something like 25% of the value of the house. The inspector didn't flag it. Someone replied if the buyer can provide expert testimony saying there's no way the seller couldn't of known of the extensive damage and did not disclose it then it's not difficult to win a suit against the seller to get them to pay for it.

There is a standard in most, if not all, of the US that if the seller knew of the defect in the house the seller is in jeopardy of being sued. If the seller did not know of the defect, but it would be reasonably expected to be noticed in a standard inspection,and a bonded licensed inspector did not catch it, the inspector's professional insurance would pony up and then the insurer nails the inspector. If the seller can't be proven to have known about it, and it wasn't likely to have been caught by a standard inspection, the buyer is just SOL. Whether the buyer's insurance will pay is in the lap of the gods and lawyers.

You there. Person, corp, state. Doesn't matter. You better not shoot down or hack a drone. That's our job – US govt

Sherrie Ludwig

Re: Hypocritical

In the western US, there is a bit of pithy advice when dealing with a protected species predator going after one's livestock. Shoot, shovel, and shut up. I expect that could be expanded to drones rather easily, just make sure to shoot from a blind in case it has visual transmission.

Anti-5G-vaxx pressure group sues Zuckerberg, Facebook, fact checkers for daring to suggest it might be wrong

Sherrie Ludwig

Not rooting for Zuck, but

In this case, the conspiracy nutters have gone after the wrong guy. He has lawyers, more money than God, and will keep these idiots tied up until broke. I hope they are left beating a drum on the sidewalk for pennies.

Geneticists throw hands in the air, change gene naming rules to finally stop Microsoft Excel eating their data

Sherrie Ludwig

Using the wrong tool

As Matt Parker says in his book "Humble Pi", about when math(s) goes wrong, Excel is not a database, was never meant to be a database, and if you try to use it as one you get what's coming to you - errors, errors and more errors.

Struggling company pleads with landlords to slash rents as COVID-19 batters UK high street. The firm's name? Apple

Sherrie Ludwig

Won't blame them for trying.

I won't pillory them for trying, asking for some slack is a reasonable response. Yes, they are one of the most profitable companies in existence, and did not get there by committing large acts of charity. Landlords are free to balance their desire for a tenant with their assessment of market conditions and likelihood of retaining this one.

Burn baby burn, plastic inferno! Infosec researchers turn 3D printers into self-immolating suicide machines

Sherrie Ludwig

Re: the real life physical dangers inherent in attaching all these home appliances to the internet

And I'm sitting here looking at an oscilloscope and a programmable function generator. Whilst for me a "home appliance" is a device intended to assist with a domestic task like cooking, cleaning and food preservation, for other people it means "any device that someone owns in a private capacity and uses at home".

Have 3d printed knobs for said appliances, a gizmo to push elevator buttons, etc. in these infective times, so yes it is a home appliance here.

US drugstore chain installed anti-shoplifter facial-recognition cameras in 200 locations – for eight years

Sherrie Ludwig

@Pascal Monett

Shopkeeper in the USA here. I can refuse entry to anyone, they are free to sue, but few do. I have refused to "buzz in"" (in a dodgy neighborhood) a large group of young men (this was a women's clothing shop), a religious pamphleteer, etc. they all threaten to sue, have not been served yet. I might be pilloried in social media (some shop in NY refused entry to a woman who turned out to be Oprah Winfrey), but them's the breaks.

Civil-rights probe: Facebook has completely failed to… Zuck: Look over here! We’ve banned four groups! Go me!

Sherrie Ludwig


You keep posting sense, logic, and moderation. You're new to this commenting thing, aren't you?

Trump's bright idea of kicking out foreign students unless unis resume in-person classes stuns tech, science world

Sherrie Ludwig

Re: "The last thing America needs right now is a brain drain"

@Snake seems to have forgotten the Pandemic Response team we had, from the eight year President Obama that handled SARS and Ebola. We had a functioning country, but the anti reality GOP f's it up as usual.

Dutch national broadcaster saw ad revenue rise when it stopped tracking users. It's meant to work like that, right?

Sherrie Ludwig

The grocery loyalty card is no more

In my part of the USA, the grocery store "card" is now a phone app that creepily tracks you, which of their stores you buy from, and wants location tracking turned on constantly (found THAT obscure button and disabled it) I signed up using an email that I use for spam and other annoyances, it gets the bombardment of ads. The card does a super low price loss leader weekly, and often a free product of something horrible and processed. So, I go there largely to pick up the loss leaders that I can use, and I will take the free product to donate to the local food pantry (dinosaur-shaped pasta in a boxed mac-and-cheese anyone?) but do my main shopping at Aldi's, which thankfully does not do this nonsense.

Cool IT support drones never look at explosions: Time to resolution for misbehaving mouse? Three seconds

Sherrie Ludwig

Re: Quickest Fix...

At least it was just a file. I've heard of one user call where the problem was a large & more intimate part of upper anatomy resting on the space bar...

My father-in-law, rest in peace, ran across that sort of problem when he worked for IBM in the "good old days" of keypunch machines. I have mentioned FIL before, the perfect IBM employee for 40+ years, dark suit, starched white shirt and personality to match. He was called out to diagnose a particular keypunch that was jamming up repeatedly. He stood at the back of the room, observing the "keypunch ladies" on a half dozen of these. He realized what the problem was as one very well-endowed lady went to clear a slight jam in the card path, but it turned into a nightmare jam as she leaned over the keyboard, simultaneously pressing many keys at once. I wish I could have observed the conversation he had with the supervisor, since he blushed spectacularly while recounting the tale....

Faxing hell: The cops say they would very much like us to stop calling them all the time

Sherrie Ludwig

Re: Also works the other way round

I hate wrong numbers who ask "well, what's your number?"

Reply, "what number are you trying to reach?" If it is in fact yours, you can say, "you have been given the incorrect number." If not, "you have misdialed". Simple.

Sherrie Ludwig

Why didn't they....

I will never understand why, at the advent of dedicated fax lines, the phone companies didn't just provide an "overlay" area code for faxes. It certainly would have saved that momentary annoyance of, on a crowded 6pt. type business card, you dial what you think is the phone number to the establishment and get the warbling scream of the fax machine instead. Worse because they were often one digit different, so a fat-finger dial would get the wrong one anyway.

Sherrie Ludwig

Re: I called the cops

Only some places, more populated areas require the area code too (so-called 10 digit dialing, or 1+10 digit dialing if they also required a 1).

Yes, in Illinois from my landline I have to dial 1+area code + seven digit local number, In Wisconsin from my WI-based cell phone I just need to call the seven digit for a number within the same area code. I have been trained by muscle memory to just dial the whole eleven digits, provoking merriment from my WI co-workers.

PC printer problems and enraged execs: When the answer to 'Hand over that floppy disk' is 'No'

Sherrie Ludwig

Re: Ah IT 'managers'

My husband keeps the home computer humming, I cook him tasty dinners. We don't butt into each other's domain. Forty four years of relatively smooth sailing.

As Uncle Sam flies spy drones over protest-packed cities, Homeland Security asks the public if that's a good idea

Sherrie Ludwig

Re: I don't even see an option to make a comment.

"People aren't going to be launching Hellfire missles into the middle of a demonstration, or even a riot. I don't know where this idea came from...."

Too late. Already done. https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2015/05/13/406243272/im-from-philly-30-years-later-im-still-trying-to-make-sense-of-the-move-bombing

Sherrie Ludwig

Re: I don't even see an option to make a comment.

A drone operator is looking at a screen, possibly dozens of miles away giving them a detachment from the human situation unfolding below the drone that a helicopter pilot may not feel. I imagine its easier to push the fire button when looking at a screen, after all many of us do it every night while playing CoD / Fortnite / Doom.

Ender's Game.

Smart fridges are cool, but after a few short years you could be stuck with a big frosty brick in the kitchen

Sherrie Ludwig

Re: Never understood this

happiest place on earth...

POST COMMENT well, I see the problem. The happiest place on earth FOR YOU should be your own home, or no place will be happy to you. FTFY. My happiness is not bought by giving huge sums of money to talking cartoon characters.

Made-up murder claims, threats to kill Twitter, rants about NSA spying – anything but mention 100,000 US virus deaths, right, Mr President?

Sherrie Ludwig

President Grump

It's the best I can do right now.

I've been using the one George Takei coined: Twitler.

Frontier: Yes, yes, we've filed for bankruptcy protection, but that's not stopping us giving key staff $38m in bonuses

Sherrie Ludwig

I had Frontier for landline and internet for my business in Wisconsin about fifteen years ago. Small town, very old building. For the first week, I had constant problems with the service, mostly internet but sometimes also phone. The technicians came out within a hour each time, and tried all sorts of fixes, they finally replaced the wiring out to the pole, and some kit on the pole to get me up and running, then no further problems. Would probably still have them, if the building were not demolished to run a new road through. In my experience, maybe they just provide great customer service, which is costly to run, instead of AT&T (regrettably the only choice for my home) where service is a dirty word? My current business location is in a town that has one of the last local, privately owned "telephone" companies left. They put in fiber broadband to the downtown area when it was first available, and are expanding it to the surrounding area as they get state grants and such to help finance it. The time from call to service (needed only twice in five years) has been fifteen minutes. I hope they never sell to the big guys.

Hooray! It's IT Day! Let's hear it for the lukewarm mugs of dirty water that everyone seems to like so much

Sherrie Ludwig

Coffee is too bitter, and cannot be consumed in the quantities required for refreshment. I like a coffee occasionally, a shot of espresso or even a lungo in the morning. But to sip that swill that is filter coffee all day long like the Americans? No thanks. Similarly, I'm fat enough without adding the filth that is a Starbucks venti latte. I've always found it strange that Starbucks, a coffee company, have so many drinks that are designed to hide the flavour of the coffee.

That is why Starbucks so-called coffee is so burnt, so it can be tasted at all through all the crud they put in it. Proper coffee from a medium roast doesn't need any of that, although I like mine with half-and-half no sugar. My better half amazed the Italians he worked with in Rome by taking his espresso black, while they dumped everything but the kitchen sink into theirs.

I don't understand putting anything into tea, though. My Scottish friend puts milk and sugar in hers, while she knows that when we have tea at her place, she pours for everyone, leaves the last of it steeping for quite a while, then pours for me, which I take plain, to her great amusement, but it's the only way tea tastes of anything.

A real loch mess: Navy larks sunk by a truculent torpedo

Sherrie Ludwig

Re: Of course it was going to hit the boat!

Smeg knows; this was a while ago. Might have been rocket science, or it might have just been a sunny day and he wanted to play with a new toy...

Best kind of science teacher. Probably in the same mumble of years, I had Mr. Orloff, who gave extra points for the loudest bangs in lab experiments. We were generating hydrogen, capturing it in a small plastic bottle held in tongs, then testing how well we did by passing the mouth of the bottle over a lit bunsen burner (hence the tongs to hold the bottle). It should have just given a loud POP. My lab partner and I did this, and the bottle flew out of the tongs and through a windowpane. We got the highest extra credit.

US govt can talk about the end of lockdown, but Silicon Valley says 'as long as it takes' – and Twitter says 'WFH forever'

Sherrie Ludwig

What I miss most is the ability to talk directly to people. It's not only about social contacts, it's just easier to ask a quick question or discuss a situation for five minutes when you can walk over, rather than send a text, or ask for a VC.

Yeah, I know it's so last century, but phone calls are still allowed.

We beg, implore and beseech thee. Stop reusing the same damn password everywhere

Sherrie Ludwig

Depends on the site

For logging in to sites that are trivial and do not involve money, like a recipes site, or news site, I reuse a fairly simple one. For anything involving transfer of money like shopping or bill paying, it's a password generator and password keeper lodged on my computer only.

Looming ventilator shortage amid pandemic sparks rise of open-source DIY medical kit. Good thinking – but safe?

Sherrie Ludwig

Hospitals _will_ be overwhelmed.

And there is also likely to be a shortage of staff who know how to use the gear.

Italy has already started quick training of other medical personnel, like dermatologists, to use and monitor respirators. Good use of lateral thinking in a crisis.

IBM puts 1,248 frontline techies at risk of redundo, warns of data centre closures

Sherrie Ludwig

The executions will not stop until morale (and profits, well, especially profits) improve.

Theranos vampire lives on: Owner of failed blood-testing biz's patents sues maker of actual COVID-19-testing kit

Sherrie Ludwig

I don't think you can go as low as $0 that would be counted as theft. $0.01 should be ok though.

Those kinds of deals usually specify $1.00 as the "thing of value" exchanged. Still, a bargain.

Facebook does the right thing for once: Joins Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Reddit, Twitter, YouTube to clean out dodgy COVID-19 info

Sherrie Ludwig

Let's see... Without going looking for it, we have the Chinese press blaming the US military. With have some of the Arab press blaming the Jews.

Latest tweets from Twitler calling it "China Virus". I call it Trump flu.

Sherrie Ludwig

"Nice to see they draw the line at plain wrong health information, shame they didn't draw the line at plain wrong political stuff which put populist idiots in charge in the first place who are now unable to respond and do stupid stuff like wind down the pandemic office or say they want to "wait until it's the right time" as an excuse for doing nothing (hint: anyone with half a brain could see what was happening, if you want to see two weeks into the future, look at Italy and one week into the future, look at Spain)."

At this time, I see 8 up and 8 down, so apparently the populist idiot has convinced enough fools. I thought he would be an excrement tornado, did not realize he would endanger us to the point he has. BTW, ot five FB posts blocked yesterday, Thought it was an attack of the RW trolls, but FB is calling it an "AI malfunction".

BT CEO tests positive for coronavirus, goes into self-isolation after meeting fellow bosses from Vodafone UK, Three, O2 plus govt officials

Sherrie Ludwig

Re: It's getting the 1% as well

We are hearing of celebrity / sports people / politicians being infected because


In the states, if you feel unwell, you are supposed to call(not come in) to your Doctor, who decides if they need to call the local health department (state or county) who then ask a bunch of questions, the gist of which you can get a number for a test ONLY if they determine that you were traveling, or in "close contact" with a traveler. So, no tests, basically. And half the US thinks this is a hoax, anyway.

What's inside a tech freelancer's backpack? That's right, EVERYTHING

Sherrie Ludwig

Re: unpacking order...

If the first three things you take out are cable ties, duck tape and latex gloves, people tend to be more reticent about borrowing stuff

I am happy to lend out such things as mentioned, BUT I demand the borrower leave their driver's license as bail. I tell them if the item is not returned by the close of day, their DL can be retrieved from the shredder. It does tend to keep these items from going walkabout, and it's up to them to find me and return said item, not me chasing them down.

Sophos was gearing up for a private life – then someone remembered the bike scheme

Sherrie Ludwig

How much money are we talking here?

How many loans are still out, at what total cost? If it is the easiest and most convenient way to get this over, can't they just forgive the loans and clear them off the books? Yeah, that means those lucky employees would get a de facto pay bump, and have to report it as income, but that would cut this Gordian knot. Call it "stupid tax" on the acquiring company, and be done with it.

Google product boss cuffed on suspicion of murder after his Microsoft manager wife goes missing, woman's body found, during Hawaii trip

Sherrie Ludwig

Re: Verbal signals?

You sent me down a rabbit hole of three great BBC programmes on verbal communication with that link. Thank you! Raising one to you, sir.

Microsoft to bravely defend US democracy for a slack handful of voters in Fulton, Wisconsin

Sherrie Ludwig

Re: Paper ballots and markers

Being a Yank and a Virginian, those across the pond don't seem to recognize the volume of lines on a typical ballot. And the fact that poll workers are unpaid volunteers.

In Illinois, the poll workers are paid for their day (and a bit, they come in a day before to check the supplies and equipment are all on hand). It isn't much, works out to barely above minimum wage if all goes well, but if there is a snag in opening or closing the polls, they may be required to work until it is resolved, which can add a couple of hours to the day. I have been an Illinois "judge of election", as they are called here, and it is a post usually filled by retirees for the social entertainment and the few extra dollars. It is a very long and tiring day, and you have a great deal of responsibility. To do it as a volunteer is devotion past reason.

NASA's Christina Koch returns to Earth as the longest-serving woman astronaut – after spending 328 days in space

Sherrie Ludwig

Re: Brilliant job that Woman!

"Period of headaches and nausea guaranteed. For longer stretches muscle hypotropia sets in, and can prolong readjustment periods up to (in his experience) 6 months..."

So, a bit like pregnancy, but without the stretch marks. Includes the demineralization of bones and teeth, so very like pregnancy. Why send a man to do a woman's work?

I will be very happy when these "first women", first black", first trans" news stories go away...because they are common and unremarkable.

Hear, hear: The first to invent idiot-cancelling headphones gets my cash

Sherrie Ludwig

Re: Not a lot of people know this ..

In Chicago, that other side of the road slowdown is called a "gaper's block". It happens so often that the nomenclature has standardized.

Is everything OK over there, Britain? Have you tried turning the UK off and on again? ISPs, financial orgs fall over in Freaky Friday of outages

Sherrie Ludwig

Knuckle-buster to the rescue

Just last year I was in queue to purchase at a chain bookstore when their cc processing went down. They fiddled, tried for a bit but no hope. The manager on duty unearthed a knuckle-buster and credit card slips from a store room, but had no idea how to use it, like a young person today with a rotary dial phone. I showed them how to employ it, warned that it was only for cards with raised numbers, to check the expiration date visually, and get a signature and the phone number in case of problems. Then said that to process the charges, they would probably have to manually key in all charges off the slips, but check with head office first. Since my card was properly charged, I can only assume it all worked.

You know the President is able to shut down all US comms, yeah? An FCC commish wants to stop him from doing that

Sherrie Ludwig

Re: It's legal

@Jason Derp

I hate that you're right. But, you are.

Beware the Friday afternoon 'Could you just..?' from the muppet who wants to come between you and your beer

Sherrie Ludwig

Re: My reply is no i do servers

im quite prepared to do labour swaps with other trades

I have heard it called "blood for blood", you do your trade for me doing mine. I am a jeweler, have swapped jewelry repair for WIFI setting up.

Beer necessities: US chap registers bevvy as emotional support animal so he can booze on public transport

Sherrie Ludwig

No no no, he should have registered his support yeast, which happens to be crated in a chilled can.

Then he'd be out of luck still, beer in cans is filtered to remove the yeast.

Sherrie Ludwig

Re: No beer on the train?

"Beer on trains: fine. You can drink a beer on an Amtrak and no one is gonna mind. Beer on the subway/commuter rail: not really. Dunno why it's that way, but it is. Same everywhere I've been, that I can think of..."

In Illinois, in the USA, there used to be a "bar car" on the longer commuter rail lines, and one could tipple on the way home from Chicago. Sad to see it go. https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-2008-08-27-0808270116-story.html

Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia accused of hacking Jeff Bezos' phone with malware-laden WhatsApp message

Sherrie Ludwig


If you carried separate SIM cards, and swapped them into the one phone, would it be enough? SIMs are so small they would not be a burden.



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