back to article It's artificial! It's intelligent! It's in my home! And it's gone bonkers!

I have awoken to the sounds of electronic growling. Making my way downstairs, I discover teethmarks in the bannister, a pool of oil by the back door and the remains of a torn-open jumbo box of AA longlifes in the kitchen. That damn robot dog simply has to go. I locate the chirpy little bastard sitting on the lounge sofa. It …

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Never mind any of that Dabbsy, the real question is do you want any toast?

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Look, I don't want any toast, and he doesn't want any toast. In fact, noone around here wants any toast. Not now, not ever. No toast.

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RE: DavCrav

Sounds like someone needs to talk to The Toast Marketing Board

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Ahhh ... so you're a waffles man!

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How about a muffin?

or perhaps a teacake?

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TRT
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Re: How about a muffin?

Your browsing history suggests that you might fancy some crumpet.

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Sign me up for one

mistook her for a charity collector and has just launched a salvo of pepper-spray into her face.

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Re: Sign me up for one

I was thinking along the lines of gas and electricity salespeople.......

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Re: Sign me up for one

You report them to Trading Standards for illegal selling and help get the Company prosecuted. Once you tell the saledroid that you did that with one of their competitors then they tend to leave you alone for some reason...

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Re: Sign me up for one

I was thinking along the lines of gas and electricity salespeople.......

You aren't allowed to gas electricity salespeople.

Or use gas and electricity on salespeople.

'Electric fence' the doorbell?

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Re: Sign me up for one

Ha, If you think artificial intelligence is bad, wait until you see what Apple, Google, Facebook our Lords and Masters have in store for everyone with Augmented Reality.

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Devil

Re: Sign me up for one

"mistook correctly identified her (based on the entirety of her Facebook photos I helpfully pointed said doorbell at for training) for a charity collector and has just launched a salvo emptied a full can of pepper-spray into her face politely inviting her to stay still while reloading, hopefully eroding her resolve regarding future visits while offering me plausible deniability of any malicious intent. " FTFY...

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Re: Sign me up for one

But what if they've just popped around to deliver that new gas cooker you had ordered?

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Antiloop sampled that dialog from Dark Star, in case it sounded familiar.

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Applause

I wish I could +1 articles.

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Re: Applause

Thanks. You can help by sharing the link with colleagues or on social media. This makes a huge contribution to the visibility of my Friday columns and it would make me really happy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I wish I could +1 articles.

Do I remember correctly that once upon a time, at least for a brief while, you could? I also vaguely recall the facility disappeared after some of Andrew Orlowski's articles suffered from a non-trivial negative scoring issue, but that is very probably something I just made up, and couldn't possibly be true.

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Re: Applause

"This makes a huge contribution to the visibility of my Friday columns and it would make me really happy."

How-de-doodly-doo happy?

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TRT
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Re: Applause

Ad-revenue happy?

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404
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Devil

Re: Applause

I do share via twitter - some, not all of your stuff, is pretty good. Depends on the mood actually.

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Re: Applause

At times Dabbsy (jumpers for goalposts, isn't it) is on par with Frankie Boyle in full flow.

Such beauty is wasted on the visitors here, this really does need sharing to the world,

especially as it seems we share a similar point of view as regards white-goods appliances.

I like the way the dishwasher and washing machine both adjust for loads and stuff but I want to tell them to do it. I don't want the washing machine moaning because I've loaded the 'wrong' fabrics for that particular programme or the dishwasher deciding it doesn't like my cheap cutlery - then going on the John Lewis site it for something 'nice'.

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Re: I wish I could +1 articles.

Non trivial negative scoring issue?

So not just a trivial integer overflow as 64 bit int not big enough for all the negative votes?

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Windows

Re: Applause

@(not me)

But the robo dog already shared it on snapchat with all the robo cats she has following her. For some reason all the squirrels in the neighbourhood are gathered in my front yard making that very strange noise at me while I have my morning smoke.......

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Re: Applause

...the tiny crack in this magnificent plan for fortune, fame and world domination including complimentary volcano lair being of course encouraging retweets on a forum where half of the readership regularly and proudly confesses to not using any (other) form of social media.

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Trollface

Re: Applause

Yes, we should announce to the world that Friday is made special by Dabbsy's magnificent column...

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Re: Applause

"Yes, we should announce to the world that Friday is made special by Dabbsy's magnificent column..."

I think you just caused Mrs Dabbsey a serious injury. I hear it's possible to laugh yourself to death.

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Re: I wish I could +1 articles.

"Do I remember correctly that once upon a time, at least for a brief while, you could?"

You could, but just as they do in the comments people tended to score on whether they agreed with the message not the quality of the article. So an incredibly well researched article would get downvotes and a cut-and-paste press release would get upvotes. It must have been a depressing for the authors.

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Re: Applause

colleagues or on social media

Colleague? Social media? Are you mad? Whatever makes you think that any of us take part in such foolery as social intercourse or dialogue?

Let alone that there social meeja stuff.

Garn.

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Re: Applause

is on par with Frankie Boyle in full flow.

But a good deal less sweary and less likely to offend the hordes of Daily Hail stormtroopers^W readers.

Not that the latter is a Bad ThingTM..

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Anonymous Coward

Remember seeing a demo of the original Aibo's capablities at the Tech Museum in San Jose ~20 years ago .... as the museum person showed how it responded to spoken commands etc I realized that they were onto a winner - if Aibo did what it was asked then that was an example of how amazing its abilitiess were to understand speech and work out how to respond ... but if it didn't do what it was asked, which seemed to be most of the time, then this was explained as a great example of it havong its own intelligence so it coudl decide whether to respond or not!

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Thumb Up

"... so it coudl decide whether to respond or not!"

just like a real dog.

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Anonymous Coward

When I was a kid.....

Back in the 70's (of the last century) when I was a kid, I used to dream of our connected future. All those sci-fi programmes on TV, new inventions and all that. It was an exciting future and I wanted to be part of it.

Now that I have hit my half-century I find the connected future depressing, very scary and I feel like I don;t want to be part of it. None of these gadgets are there to serve you and me. They are all there to serve the corporate borg that made them. It's getting to the point where you are no longer allowed to "own" anything forever ad infinitum. You simply pay an upfront "leasing" cost, and at some point the borg decide your lease has come to an end, terminate the device, and make you go out an lease a new one. It's been covered on these pages in the past few months - whether it's ovens, washing machines or TV remote controls. The mobile phone (manufacturing) industry seems to have the concept well covered - ongoing monthly costs to "lease" a device and after a couple of years it becomes unsupported and fairly useless, so they are guaranteed a "sale" of a new device.

The car industry now seems hell-bent on pushing you in the same direction. Just about every TV advert for cars now seems to want to "sell" you some form of personal contract hire, where you don't own the car, have no rights over it, have minimal use of it (some contracts are for 6000 miles p/a. ffs) and after your lease is up you have to go and lease another one - or pay a small fortune to keep the one you have)

How did we reach this stage?

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Re: When I was a kid.....

"How did we reach this stage?"

By being good little consumers we have brought ourselves to "Life As A Service" ™

Terms and Conditions state that the duration of your life and the service may not terminate at the same time.

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Re: When I was a kid.....

They are all there to serve the corporate borg that made them.

It's (usually) not that when they're designed in most cases, I suspect. But then the corporate beancounters get in on the act and decide that they can make even more money by harvesting their product.

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Re: When I was a kid.....

"The car industry now seems hell-bent on pushing you in the same direction. Just about every TV advert for cars now seems to want to "sell" you some form of personal contract hire, where you don't own the car, have no rights over it, have minimal use of it (some contracts are for 6000 miles p/a. ffs) and after your lease is up you have to go and lease another one - or pay a small fortune to keep the one you have)"

"Now"? That stuff has been going on for more than 20 years with cars. Perhaps they are pushing it more now, but it isn't new.

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Re: When I was a kid.....

> How did we reach this stage?

'We' didn't, it is still a choice for almost everything.

I am obviously a tech person but:

1. My phone was paid for completely at the time of purchase - because it didn't cost the best part of £1000. It is a smart-phone, it (still) has higher 'specs' than most smart-phones. A new replaceable battery, purchased just this week for £9 (yes, original, from a UK supplier), means it still runs for better than a day if I haven't (wirelessly) charged it. I have a SIM-only contract of course and the £9-month is for a whole year but, really, there is no lock-in here at all at those prices - if they try to gouge me, I (and the two other customers I pay for) will go elsewhere.

2. I bought what few Apps I paid for and those and the free ones get upgraded for gratis where they are still supported at least.

3. I bought my car, it was five years old then and two years older now, but worked, and still works, reliably. I expect it to remain working without significant effort for at least five more years. It is a full-size car with a fairly high spec but I reckon on a cost of purchase in the order of £50/month overall, maximum.

4. I am lucky enough to have bought a house (slowly of course). I am old and had the advantage that they were merely outrageously priced with obscene interest rates rather than obscenely priced with outrageous interest rates (given the base rate that is).

5. I have always, always bought white goods whole, BrightHouse and their ilk are exploiters of a high order.

6. I 'do' rent Netflix, there is no other choice of course. However, they will remain affordable or I will exit the system. There is no lock-in; I can terminate with one months notice.

7. I even self-insured house contents for years having noticed that only a total loss by fire would cost anything more than a £1000 or so. The simple maths of paying £100/yr for a maxm loss of maybe £1000 seemed ridiculous to me. I have contents cover now solely because it is bundled with building cover for about £30, far more reasonable.

I have succumbed to renting Office. I didn't like having (really) old versions and running converters or using the free web-based stuff but the main reason for paying was what you aactually get for your £80 (in my case). One gets five users, allowing me, my two offspring and my girlfriend all to have a copy, and all use/need it. Additionally, we all get 1TB of OneDrive storage, which basically means unlimited cloud storage (that phone camera can use obscene amounts of data for video). Furthermore, each user gets an hour of free calls to foreign phones (importantly, including mobiles) worldwide every month - this is important in one of my users case particularly.

O only once succumbed to HP, as a student, desperate for a Hi-Fi system utterly beyond my pocket at the time. I overpaid for three years but got to have quality music/turntable/tape deck etc. for that period. Having had no-one to help me to buy things, I still regard it as money well wasted.

The real problem here is extending too much credit at high interest rates to people that cannot afford it and don't need the new shiny but just want it - thanks to advertising that makes them feel inferior if they don't have it.

I avoid ads like the plague - the cinema is where I see almost all the ads I see (I really don't 'see' ads on web sites much, I use the BBC for news for instance.

Cinema ads seems very heavily biased towards aspirational things like cars and perfume. Neither work on me of course but they must work in general surely?

It is a strange paradox that people who lack money/power want to show what they do have much more than people with money/power.

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Unhappy

Re: When I was a kid.....

I remember a short story where people had to buy gadgets for everything and Hire Purchase outstanding passed on to Children.

The guy worked in a factory making washing machines? His job was to press a button?

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Windows

Re: When I was a kid.....

when wall street realized that locked in services are more valuable than sold assets as relates to *revenue* generation. This is why wall street beats corporate entities (devalues shares) when profit to revenue levels do not increase year on year. Revenue can drop. So long as the relative percentage of profit against revenue continues to climb, your share price will go up.

This is why entities that have 0 real value, no real assets, and no real product continue to have valuations in the billions.

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Life As A Service

The latest Red Dwarf had a good take on that concept recently.

https://uktvplay.uktv.co.uk/shows/red-dwarf/watch-online/?video=5620968498001

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Anonymous Coward

I'm holding out for a Robot Cat for the sheer hilarity.

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It has long been postulated that the main thought in any cat's head is "if I could operate the tin opener myself, I would kill you".

Given that any robotic cat could have the technical wherewithal to get access to its own food, I would fear for the future of mankind.

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I'm holding out for a Robot Cat for the sheer hilarity.

... but it won't really be the Future until we have Robot Robots for company.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'm holding out for a Robot Cat for the sheer hilarity.

... but it won't really be the Future until we have Robot Robots for company.

When do we get Robo Oozlum Birds?

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And birds, what about robot birds?

And when a couple escape and replicate, what then? Robo shitters in the trees waiting to crap wingnuts on the next autonomous car than parks underneath

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Re: And birds, what about robot birds?

I would prefer wingnuts all over my ancient LandRover in preference to seagull shite any day.

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Relieved of command by Captain Bogbot.

I can't help thinking, putting myself into the situation you so eloquently describe, that it would all be worth it if there were a Matrix-style EMP generator. The satisfaction when you turn the big red switch and robo-leg-shagger slumps into a heap, the alarm silences forever, all the doors become manual again and the idiot lantern finally shuts the feck up would be blissful.

All joking aside, we're setting ourselves up for a fall here. I'm not talking about Elon's vision of AI-enhanced killbots stalking the last remnants of humanity through the ruins of cities, rather that we're already only 10kWh away from total vulnerability. Adding more artificial dependence on technology is just asking for extinction because the whole bloody mess is really quite fragile and apt to go TITSUP (total inability to support usual pandering) at a moment's notice. At what point do we admit we are damaging our ability to adapt, survive or even make our own decisions amidst all this convenience?

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Re: Relieved of command by Captain Bogbot.

I think we are past that point already, at least in the Developed Countries of the world.

If we let the IoT develop much more we are looking at a future where robotic cats will be stalking us through the ruins of our cities, just for fun, not Terminators trying to rid the Universe of meatbags.

Ooh! I think there might be a film in this. Pussypocalypse? Or is that something else?

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Pint

René Descartes was a drunken fart

And there's nothing Nietzsche couldn't teach about the raising of the wrist

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Re: René Descartes was a drunken fart

David Hume could out-consume Wilhelm Freidrich Hegel, and Wittgenstein was a beery swine who was just as shloshed as Schlegel.

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A lot of reference to wing-nuts

We all should have gathered by now that when the 'exciting' robot enhanced and assisted future finally arrives...

- It will be flimsy and plastic and scratch easily and yet be almost immediately smeared with fingerprints.

- Glued together mainly to prevent customer maintenance or investigation into just how many microphones and data gathering sensors are onboard tracking the customer.

- Be hailed by advertising and the sponsored reviews and fanboi cadre as the smartest yet, but still manage to be almost immediately frustrating and annoying.

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