Re: Never mind tinned fruit, defund the BBC, NOW...
No need for the bread base. Make it a full English toad in the hole, and I'm in.
580 publicly visible posts • joined 31 May 2017
The location data is definitely logged and analysed. I know a young driver who had a black box fitted, and enjoyed cheaper premiums. Then he got a girlfriend, and the insurance company noticed that he was no longer spending any time where he had declared his domicile, car registration and overnight parking. They didn't much like that and hiked the cost.
I sold up in the pandemic, and the house had a very large upstairs space that was previously sold to us as an opportunity to create more bedrooms. We didn't bother, and made an office space that could have easily accommodated 4 people working from home, or a small business. Took less than a week before we had a lot of interest, siting the office space as key.
When I worked at IBM there was a recognition that the 8 layers of management between a lowly worker and a C exec was probably too much. Next up, hire a bunch of consultants to write a report on how to change this. Note, I didn't say "fix this". The result was just a bunch of reshuffling ending up with fewer layers, but the same number of managers. Genius.
Years ago when I did go to an open plan office (fighting with a 9600 BAUD modem was the home worker alternative) I had a number of people ask me how I was able to get all my work done in the 9-5 office hours. I noticed that they would ask me this, and other questions, and then flit to another cubicle to ask another bunch of questions to someone else, and then .... Their own cubicle presence must have been about %30 of the day, and they wondered why they needed extra time to get their work done.
A well reasoned argument, thank you. I'm not a Taylor Swift fan, but her rerecording of her early albums to regain control is a great "stuff you" finger to the record industry. I note that the owners of the first recordings hasn't seen fit to raise any objection. I wonder how many artists who have sold off their back catalogue (Dylan, Justin Bieber’, Dr. Dre, ...) will come to regret it when they have no control over their music, and hear it being used for a haemorrhoids commercial every 15 minutes.
You may want to check out something called Autotune. Streaming services are not always serving up original recordings. Ignoring the fidelity of the digital transfer of old, physical recordings, some streaming services have decided to "enhance" the sounds for those listeners they consider too enfeebled to appreciate an original recording. Add in a good dose of compression, and it is no wonder visitors to my vinyl listening lounge say "oh, it doesn't sound like that on Spotify".
In the first term at Uni we were only allowed to use the teletype terminals. But there were two types, the one everyone wanted had a type head that dropped down after printing so you could see what was being printed. The other type required a manual press of a button to raise the carriage to see anything - very annoying. We quickly found out the magic runes required to get the CRT terminals to route through the Gandalf box to get a usable connection to the PDP-11 - perhaps that was part of the first year test.
I'm dyslexic and cannot write anything legible in cursive script. I can only use capitals for written communication, except my signature (also illegible). Anything approaching a cursive/serif script is panful for me to read. I don't hear of anyone complaining that sans serif is unreadable to them.
I'm dyslexic, and I find Serif fonts very hard to process. Also, a lot of my work with computer documentation means that I am continually working with fixed width Courier, which I am very happy with. Proportional spacing is for the highfalutin nobs of this world.
[ Note to El Reg editors - very disappointed that there was no effort to have every paragraph in a different font. ]
The random demands on personal data seem to get ever more absurd and intrusive. I'm just buying a pair of lawn chairs, why on earth do you need to know my date of birth, are they rated PG13 or... what? My DoB is of course the Unix epoch 1970-01-01, telephone number is 01234 567890 - I've given this number over the phone and, if you use the right cadence, I've not been questioned. Even when I ask them to repeat it back to me.
One coworker of mine was barely a PC user, and unfortunately got sent to a customer site that had a problem with their Univac system. This was purely for putting someone onsite to fulfil our contracted support obligations. Under no circumstances was he to do anything without explicit instructions. He managed to get logged onto the system, and diagnosed the problem as an out of space issue - this bit was actually correct. Unfortunately, as root, he took it upon himself to "tidy up" the system, and generate some free space, "/vmunix - that looks big....". After the inevitable crash, there was precious little of the system file space to enable the poor beast to boot, and we had to reinstall the OS from scratch.
Obvious for decades. Even a super cheap PoundLand mouse has this feature, see BigClive for tear down details.
And for those Linux users without a mouse wheel, and can't afford a quid, then simultaneous LeftButton + RightButton usually does the trick.
Last couple of long haul flights I've been on had an option in the infotainment system that allowed you flag that you were not to be disturbed. There wasn't an option to say if the bloke in the seat next to me didn't want his meal then I would have it. But given the appalling state of todays inflight meals, that's probably a good thing.
Line of site can be a curse. I used to live in a house that was, literally, actually, no joking, 10m from a TV transmission tower. But it was a local repeater for only 18 broadcast stations, swamping everything else. Took a while to get the correct aerial alignment, TV configuration, and shouting from the roof "can you see it Grandad" to get everything worked out for a solid connection to Crystal Palace.
I agree that it is a good safety measure. But making it voluntary is going to skew the results. Maybe it would be possible to add a weighing function to the security scan where you stand still in the round booth, while the scanner spins it should be enough time to get a half decent weight measure. No need to tell anyone, just collect the average over a day.
At first I thought that it was great that there was a big supply of Dyson parts for repairing them. Then, after working on my own, family devices, and at a repair cafe, I suddenly figured it out. There is a large supply of parts because the friggin' things are so shite. Very happy now with a Henry in the workshop, and a Sebo for in the house. Much better performance than a Dyson, and they don't break!
When we had to clear out the belongings of my great uncle we had to tackle the sheds in the garden. We knew there were two, joined as one building split across the boundary with the next door cottage which he also owned. In the dense undergrowth we found another shed, then another, then ... There were 7 in all. His modus operandi was to fill a shed with mostly useless junk, then build another shed for the next load. Each shed was more ramshackle than the previous one. We could tell the time line of how they grew by the random things wrapped in newspapers that dated back to the 1950s. That took a load of time to clear out. Some of it was at least interesting junk, there was a 1940s BSA bicycle that had paraffin lamps with light restrictors from the second world war, a full set of coopering tools, my great granddad's tool chest from when he was an engineer in the merchant navy, and the local police were good enough to call an amnesty on the shotgun.
Sadly, I don't think I'm much better regarding old tech gear. All those routers from changing providers every two years in the last couple of decades will be useful sometime, won't they?
One poor noob got treated to a "keyboard issue". We remapped a couple of common keys on his keyboard to be swapped, but also physically switched the key caps. He never paid much attention to the key swap, until using any other keyboard - some head scratching. Then we started unswapping the key map in certain applications. He then started trying, and rejecting, 3 other "broken" keyboards before we told him.
"I think AIs might be rather better than real humans at solving CAPTCHAs"
This is my dream. I never want to look at nine possible pictures of a fire hydrant, bus, shady politician, bicycle, disheveled actor's hairpiece, another bus, avocado pit, split crotch panties, or traffic light ever again.
And read on... The work on the trench was finished in January, they just couldn't be arsed to properly finish it until "some months in the future". Arnie came back from that future to get the work done now. A bit of publicity prompted them to fix it in a sensible time frame.
The Windows key on my Linux laptop isn't mapped to anything they expect, so that's a few minutes of fun. They do now understand that you may be on a Mac, but I haven't been down that branch of the Q&A flow chart. If I have the time, I'll string them along - hopefully to save someone less savy from their crap. It's amusing when they escalate the call to their manager, who gets more and more enraged the more stupid I act. "which key is control", "I'll just reboot", "that's someone at the door" - my record is 54 minutes. Strangely enough, their threat to shut off my internet didn't actually happen.