Whereas we have a washing machine that has various glowing lights, but not one that shows when it's on and the timer is set. So most times I put in the detergent set it to go, immediately press the "on" button, put away the detergent, then press the "on" button again...., because I know that the one time I don't check to make sure it's on it won't be.( And I know that if I don't press the "on" button at the same time as setting it, that will be the time I forget to go back and do it after I put away............)
1337 posts • joined 31 Jul 2009
Re: Probably because "Newer" usually = worse but pretty
Funnily enough in the midst of this I needed to find the "Autosummarise" function in WORD.
I've not had need of it for a few years, being past that stage. When I did work full time we used Office 2003 quite happily and this function was sometimes very useful ( and worked surprisingly well) . At home we use 2010*. Today my student daughter could have used such a tool. So we looked for it. And it isn't there.
Apparently they removed it because the people who let Microsoft upload their data weren't using it enough. So it was "fully deprecated" (sic). It is/was one of those tools that is extremely useful on rare occasions. And in 2010 they took it away. So if I compare WORD 2010+ with 2003's version I can now see a big disadvantage to the later version . But I'll be bu***ed if I can think of anything I've actually gained by having 2010 instead of 2003
Yet I can't help feeling that this function was killed because MS never actually promoted it, then took their data from the people who are unsophisticated enough to allow them to collect it, so in many cases probably wouldn't have even known that the function existed. Not too different to the Start menu debacle.
It's like the old joke. A chap was visiting the seaside, and went for a walk on the top of the cliffs. At the edge there was a terrifying drop. So he asked one of the locals why there wasn't a fence. "Ah well", said the local. " There was, but no one ever fell over the edge, so we took it away"
*Yes we have LIBREOFFICE for most stuff.
Re: Invented by a Used car salesman
Many years ago now, I had a neat self-winding pocket camera.
My dad took it away on holiday and it broke. So he bought me a new one. I couldn't find it anywhere except that I'd seen it as an own brand in Dixons. It was identical to mine and close to the same price. But it didn't work very well, the film kept slipping when it wound on. Luckily dad, for some reason, had the original one still. So I compared them. The little toothed wheel inside the new one was flimsy plastic. In the original it was steel.
I was annoyed enough to dismantle them both. Almost all the moving parts were exact copies in poorer materials.
Re: Misleading percentages
Ages 2-3 and 4-5 aren't - can't be - inclusive for kids' clothes. It's age 2 up to age 3 .Even if the retailers want it to be for 2 and 3 inclusive. And even allowing for variation ( which parents allow for anyway).
Since kids grow a lot in a year a two year age range in the first 4 years of life is nonsense.
I must be about that age. Same arguments about allowing these new fangled calculating machines while I was in secondary school and we all had to use slide rules and log tables for hard sums. But we also had computer classes. With cards to send off the be run at the uni computer centre and funny pencils to mark the numbers on them. And we even had a strange little IBM machine some of us used that had to be programmed by typing numbers into memory locations.
Re: Misleading percentages
Those gaps in ranges are remarkably common. In al sorts of fields. (But statisticians ought to know better)
When my kids were little that used to drive us mad. Clothes would come for, say, ages 2-3 and 4-5 etc. but no age 3-4. So if the child is between 3 and 4 years old they don't get new clothes? Kids grow a lot in a single year.
Re: 'Digital Natives' are totally oblivious to how it works
Re: Time to research alternatives
Arthur the cat
I agree with all of that comment, except the last sentence overestimates how much the public understand of their box. Think more of that box that the phone wires plug in to.And to be fair, at a functional level, for a real non-techie that's exactly what it is.
" bothered to vote."
That's the error - or one of them.
Anyone who was a "don't know" or couldn't make their minds up strongly enough to take the decision is, in effect, being considered as not actively wanting to remain. There was no option in the referendum for "I'm not sure if I want to remain but I don't actually want to commit us to leave" or words to that effect.
It was very much a matter of forced choice or no choice. In effect the voices of an undoubtedly large minority for Leave had greater weight than the majority who didn't vote for changing the status quo.
For this reason, most constitutional changes, even for a sports club let alone a group of nations, there usually has to be a threshold. For a strike ballot to be valid there's a proposed 40% of all members. But we are saying that the electorate have spoken because a minority who actively wanted change outvoted the majority who either didn't or weren't sure
As a Mancunian I saw the iron heel of London everywhere. Londoners keeping all the big head offices and government departments down South, so that the Old Etonian bosses can send their kids to the Old School, and not be too far away when they go to Oxbridge. Then they whine that London produces most of the income, when in reality it drains most of the income from the UK by holding the pork barrel close.
Re: The elephant in the room - stagnant wages because of the free movement of labour
Which does raise a degree of confusion in my uninformed head. Some Leave voters undoubtedly say, and maybe really believe, that we would be better off as a trading nation outside the EU. My confusion is that, in my uninformed way, I have been waiting to hear where these new trade deals are coming from that will let us buy stuff we need more cheaply than we can from within the EU or sell stuff more expensively. Maybe I'm just too ignorant of economics: Simple logic tells me that if countries wanted to sell stuff more cheaply they would already be doing so. And if they wanted to pay more....
We used to have an overseas team in a 'low cost' location.
That means that your organisation has stopped doing it. It doesn't mean you didn't do it.
Maybe your bean counters have been taken out the back and taught about medium and long term goals. But too many companies are still on short-term-cut-costs-raise-margins-keep the share price high-get me my bonus thinking.
Re: I left in the 70's
getting control of itself back from Brussels means what really?
Apart from (I suspect) meaning doing even less to help even-out the burden of rescuing the poor devils escaping Syria and the like, which bits of control do people really want to take back? Health and safety laws - The EU doesn't stop us doing more, or making things better for people, only making them worse. Environmental laws -Ditto. Does anyone remember how the British seaside was pre-EU clean beaches laws?? Yuch! And bear in mind that we are already falling well below the required level for the reduction in roadside vehicle emissions that we are meant to meet, for our own health, while we are still in the EU. What chance that this would improve without them pushing us on it?
Anyone like to guess who would be better off and who worse off post-Brexit? For a clue, think who those cursed EU laws are protecting most.
Re: The UK is not educating people in Tech...
The employers here don't train properly because they're afraid that all that training expense will go to waste when their newly trained employees get head-hunted by the company next door who couldn't be arsed to train and instead let the other 'gimberts' do it.
'Fraid there is certainly truth behind this. A few decades back when I was at school most of the non-uni kids went into local apprenticeships. Things had already stated to change even then. The firms that did train these kids found they were being poached by other firms that just didn't want to pay. And then the better firms gave up too, because it was wasting them money that the competitors were taking advantage of. The trouble was it became a race to the bottom. Various government schemes have tried to take up the slack, But while I'm no advocate of "small government" this is one area where private enterprise needs to take a grip. If a centralised approach is taken it leads to a corrupt, incompetent pork barrel for training companies that are totally divorced from the needs of the actual employers.
As to teaching kids "coding" in school. That just misses the point. You needs kids who have the flexibility, interpersonal and thinking skills to become good coders and all the other skilled employees that industry needs; not mechanical code monkeys. And these skills need to come from the industry that specifies them.
"And Cortana, as you must already be aware, is about as indispensable in the burgeoning personal AI field as the unwanted cork placemat you were given by an aunt some 15 Christmases ago"
Nah. I'd possibly keep the cork mat. But Cor-bloody-tana is slightly less useful than the acres of packaging that Amazon use to deliver very small items.
My Apple phone using family BTW only ever make use of SIRI as a way to access the car's "Hands free". And that's because they have to. So, since they use most tech like it was surgically grafted I'm guessing that SIRI is pretty useless too.
No, please no.
Part of where I take my three times daily exercise and dog walk the pavement has been marked on the London Cycle Route Map as being a cycle route, It's not actually marked on the route itself, there is no warning for pedestrians who may foolishly believe that they are entitled to walk along this footpath. There is no actual access to it for the cycles without at least crossing places that are not even on that route. There are a number of entrances that are at right angles to this stretch of pavement and that are concealed from the whizzing cyclists. No resident was ever consulted about making this footpath a cycle route ( I've lived here almost 25 years).
But the cyclists who use this footpath as a cycle route clearly think that they have a divinely granted right to hurtle along, unhindered by beings made purely of living flesh. Not only do they endanger we poor mortals, but are often incredibly aggressive if we fail to jump out of the way quickly enough. Do I want to take my chances with even more of these nutters?
No I bloody well don't!
Re: Welcome to the future
And with SaaS you can never own your software, so can never say that This version is good enough for me and stop paying for the next version. (As with my Photoshop Elements 9 - which will do everything I will ever need from it).
Re: MS haters
I'm with ma1010 on this one. And if you bundle together all the things they do it's more than every year. It's constant. Every time they make a change it's to remove functionality that users need, or screw up what they've left.
It really started, for me, with the Ribbon. Incredible complexity dressed up as simplification. The removal, return and screwing up of the Start menu follows the same path. In both cases it's a matter of throwing everything in that they think you ought to want, whether the users do actually want it or not, and remove from them the option to say differently and make things usable in their own environment.
Re: I found a victim of this very issue...
Outlook for the individual/small user has one significant advantage. It integrates and synchronises email, calendar and (rather poorly) contacts. The calendar bit is the killer. Having and editing your appointments on a tablet, PC and phone as required.
Re: MS haters
Well, I can't argue with that. Kneejerk MS haters notwithstanding, Microsoft do seem to be doing their best to live down to the expectations of the haters, and bring plenty of new members into that fold.
It's not that they do it once, a la exploding Samsungs, but that seem to do it with tedious regularity.
I could understand the deliberate, cynical, concealed, sneaky, underhand, beancounter and marketing driven dodginess that the likes of Apple etc use far more than how this lot seem to be able to perpetrate these completely obvious customer unfriendly incompetent actions on an almost weekly basis. As if there was some Google/Apple 5th columnist squad infiltrating into their upper management.
There will probably lots of MS hating in these comments.
In reality, it's not anything special about MS, they're all prone to this sort of cock-up and sharp practice. Not defending MS. Just pointing out that attacking them as if they were qualitatively any different from all the others is just rather pointless. Though I do think that MS seem to have a genius when it comes to corporate foot shooting.
Oh Gawd Nooooo!
(Believe me, not only IT depts suffer this plague).
The first time I got asked(?) to be on one of these groups/committees/working parties I was young, keen and flattered. It's probably reasonable to say that that was when my enthusiasm died, slowly and agonisingly.
I don't think I had any problem with the subject, whatever it was. Or even the time spent in a committee room with lots of self-important seat polishers. But the endless talking in circles about politically loaded (and usually - BOFH is right - predetermined) solutions that would not last five minutes back in the workplace, to ill-defined issues that didn't actually impact on the job in hand. And the endless gobbledygook "papers" that were valued inversely to the degree they could be understood. Gaah!!!!!!!!
Re: Just yesterday
Ultimately, whether we're full-time pro support staff, the part time IT support with another job in the organisation, or the only team member who knows anything about computers, we have to accept that the IT equipment is by and large just a box of tricks that lets the staff do their jobs. If it works seamlessly then it'd doing what it should and their only responsibility is know how to do their bit and the peripheral tasks associated with that, like saving work turning it on and off properly etc. If it fails to work like that then someone else carries the can and it's no shame to the users, whether it's due to crap design, purchasing decisions that fail to take crap design into account or poor procedures.If the job specifies a certain level of computer skills, that's a different matter. But it's then a part of job competence.
Re: The computer Tao
I used to share a teaching base with a teacher who said she couldn't get on with our computer ( a 386). We weren't often in the base at the same time. I couldn't understand why she had problems. She said it kept crashing. It never crashed when I was in there to use it.
Then for a few weeks we were both in together. I used the machine and she avoided it. But b****er me. Any time she walked past the damned thing did indeed crash. Suddenly, without warning- even if it was not being actively used. I put it down to static from the fluffy jumpers she liked to wear. She reckoned it just didn't like her. Who knows?
.....played a major part in the development of Microsoft's Bing platform
So pretty much doomed to failure then.
Re: Customer service
Err No. The sales start with carefully expensive marketing, headline pricing, small print and obfuscation. The sting comes after customers are tied in. It's a race to the bottom rather than the gloriously beneficial effects of competition in the free market.
There appears to be, in some companies at least, a disconnect between providing goods and service and charging for them. The beancounters (on behalf of corporate investors, usually) want to do the second of these (take in money) without bothering too much about the left side of the equation, which is all "cost".
The problem is that they don't understand that "trade" is a two way process. Their aim is to rake in cash without providing more in the way of production and service than they can get away with. Customer service is therefore kept to the lowest minimum level. As is product quality, IT security, investment ( as opposed to acquisition ), product development, staffing levels, working conditions, and so on.
Purely naive but...
Reading this article out of general interest, ( so disinterested, but not uninterested), it felt like I'd wandered into a sequel to Alice-in-Wonderland.
I'd suspect that most people would vaguely assume that the whole domain name thing was run by a publicly responsible organisation, on behalf of users. That domain names were registered at operating cost for the benefit of users. That names would be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis, but with reservation for well known names or adjudication against abuse by resale squatters (touts) including requiring something close to a "face-value" price.
But apparently that would be too easy. Instead, it appears that there is a whole industry making loads-of-money for just assigning a recognisable list of letters(i.e. names), with a required domain, to a string of numbers, then recording it. How did this come about? This is a service that ought to be like the Post Office (maybe as it used to be in the Good Old Days), not the Mafia
Re: Presentation methods
My own preference, working in education, has for a long time been the Interactive White Board and some fixed, JPG etc images. So that I can place an image, diagram or chart in front of the assembled and then scrawl arrows, demonstrations or key words on it as I talk.
PowerPoint is lazy, fussy, over-complicated ( to view) and usually tedious. And it tends to make the presenter use too many tricks and gee-whiz effects that lose the message or simply determine content instead of supporting it. Time that would be better used to make sure the presentation is fluent and skilled is taken up finding flashy images and effects. Or loading video clips that seemed much better when they were seen in the planning stage, but are merely tedious in the actual training room.
And yes, back in the Good Olde Days I used OHP. I could scrawl on the acetate while I actually looked at the audience, and just take one sheet off and replace it with the next as needed, or even go back to one, without any button pressing and fiddling. Frankly, that was far better than any modern gee-whizzery. Sometimes simplest is best.
Re: This is why you leave the laptop at the back
Oh God yes!!!
The number of times I've set up one of our trusty laptops and asked a presenter to use that. But she has insisted that she uses her own laptop - often because the presentation exists only on her HDD.
And inevitably something won't work. A connection, or a driver, just something. And they are always the ones who turn up at the last minute.
It is probably rule number one. Never stand in front of the audience with a computer presentation unless you've tried it out there first.
And rule number 2 is; always have another portable version on memory stick/CD or ideally both. And if you can save it in more than one format -DO.
It always amazes me how people will spend a whole day setting up a training package, but not take 5 minutes to make sure the damn thing will work at the venue.
(Hint. Unless you've been there before the conference started that morning, it's when the punters are out slurping the coffee and custard creams that you should be getting set up. Not while they are coming back in brushing off the crumbs and trying to text at the same time.)
Re: Damage is done
I wonder whether governments will stick with MS once the SMEs start to use 'nux more. Especially if schools and local authorities adopt open source.
Ultimately when users become more familiar with the software they'll be more likely to ask why it isn't being used in their offices. Currently the pressure is all the other way. We expect MSOffice in our office and use Windows because that's what we are used to. But once that log-jam around attitude is broken........
I'm no MS hater, even used to be a fan, of sorts.
But not since they started pushing crap like the "Ribbon" Win 8.x etc. and generally forcing stuff on us that they wanted us to want, rather than what we do want.
Re: Microsoft's attitude is arrogant at the very least !
My (Microsoft as it happens) phone does that. If it doesn't like the word/spelling chosen it offers alternatives underneath. But then when I press send it suddenly changes my word to the first one in the suggested list. I don't know if other makes do this. F*ing annoying.
I'd like to add to the above, hiding Windows' System Restore, the trusty old fallback when updates go wrong, and the fact that it seems to be unreliable if you do find it. (Maybe that's why they hid it?!)
Re: Am I been too technical, in saying the 3P&3Bs: prepare, prepare, prepare + backup,backup,backup.
"Could have".and "would have" etc
This is the conditional form of a phrase that contains the structure of have + verb. As in "We have eaten our lunch." Just as you could never say "I of eaten my lunch" you can not say " I would of eaten my lunch."
So, "We have eaten our lunch" becomes "We should have eaten...."
This is not grammatical policing.
This is about using the same verb phrase consistently across standard and conditional forms.
Re: <gets popcorn>
Not just that Win 8.x was terrible, but that it marked the dividing line between Microsoft trying to make most of its money from users paying (if sometimes indirectly) for the products it made to trying to make its money by manipulating the users through the products it made..
We used to have the full package of TV/mobile/Internet/phone from VM.
But a couple of years back we found that the mobile service got poorer, yet the costs got higher. We'd used to get a mobile phone as part of the package, but the cost component for the phone meant that they were far more expensive than the other providers. At the same time, instead of offering a better deal to renew a contract they went to a "computer says.." option which guaranteed a tiny discount, insignificant, but no more. And if you weren't happy with that, you could walk. So we walked. And buy the phones.
The attitude seems to be that they'd rather keep a smaller customer base, at a much higher price. Now our other packages are getting more expensive. But I'm not convinced that they will be offering a better service for that higher cost. Their billing and promotional material is full of self-congratulation, because they are providing yet another handful of extra cable channels that all show the same old crap. That being said, our "Superfast" broadband does live up to its claims . We do get every drop of the offered speed, and the fixed phone service is good value, so for the moment we will be sticking with VM for that.
A UK thing
The line in the article about TalkTalk and the comment about Sky making it difficult to talk to them/complain points to a bigger issue. Maybe the people I've talked to in the USA and parts of Europe have just been lucky. But it does seem as if UK companies are very reluctant to hear about, let alone sort out, problems.
Typically an attempt to complain starts with not being able to find a phone number. Instead there will be a web page with "Contact us" on it. Which will not lead to contact details, or if you are lucky will (only) have a post address. More often than not this page will lead to a list of FAQs - all of which will offer anodyne solutions to blindingly obvious issues. Underneath these there might be a link which says "Did this answer your question?"
If you hit the "no" button it will take you back to the "Contact us" page.
Should you then choose to write a letter of complaint you might get a sane response. But you might also get a standard boiler plate letter that answers an entirely different question. Or no answer at all.
Think it through....
The phrase "Google Play....(anything)" is just pure obfuscation and marketing crap. It means sod all while being frothy, reassuring and fun sounding.
To get traffic reports I'd have to subscribe to a bundle of stuff I do not want, called "Live services" £50 a year for Europe. (Not just UK). Maybe useful if you're travelling around a lot. We're not. I'd happily pay £10, even £15.for just the UK traffic reports. But beyond that, year on year it's just not worth it to us, for the odd journey up the motorway.
LIVE Services Europe
Real-time services in one bundle
Get there faster with TomTom Traffic
Drive with the latest speed camera locations
Know the weather ahead
If you really want to see companies buying each other...
How about if Google were to buy Mattell?
(See earlier article).
And maybe a different type or just a version of 1b
When I was doing our service IT support I used to have a user who came to my desk at least a couple of times a month in a panic to "warn" me about some supposed virus she'd read about on Twitface or somewhere. If we even saw it, it would wipe all our hardrives, set our desks on fire and bring about the end of civilisation as we know it.
And when I didn't run round the room shouting "Don't Panic" while dialling 999 and possibly carrying in a fire extinguisher she'd go off in a strop and sulk for the rest of the day.
Worse ( or not?) if I wasn't there she'd be running around "warning" all the other staff or getting someone to phone Corporate IT and demand instant action to protect us from this scourge.
I kept Snopes and Hoax slayer icons on my desktop.....
If even they (Mattel etc.) will do this to kids...
...then does anybody reading the thread about privacy in regard to Google's tracking still think that it's OK to let them get on with it?
Or to put it another way, no matter how cynical and suspicious some of us may be about Google's behaviour, that's nothing to how cynical we ought to be if even toy companies act like this.
Re: How many non-users of ABP?
Yes, I'd suspect that many of El Reg's commentards propagate ad blockers to the friends and family. It's when they bring round the laptop that's downloading even slower than you'd expect for their limited internet speed and find that the available bandwidth is being used to carry all these whizzy, bouncing, flashing ads.
Probly still should.
Nice try. When the whole postcode delineates one city street and the satnav takes me to the precise house. And when this precision extends to knowing which side of the road we can rule out simple coincidence.
MOST USERS AREN'T COMMENTARDS!
Sorry for shouting this, but it has to be said v e r y s l o w ly and loudly on here sometimes.
You may turn everything off, wrap the phone in foil and carry it in a Faraday cage. But most users think that the Satnav is a force of nature that has been collected from a deep cave and locked into their phones by magic.
Re: @Fibbles "definitely something they learned from Google"
Absolutely. Google ( and Android is Google's puppy) is there to gather your data and sell you to advertisers.
I'm always amazed about the way that commentards will attack Microsoft ( fair game I admit) for privacy violations, but are happy to admit to using Android phones. Windows phones are seen by some here as the Devil's work - but at least they aren't Google.