back to article Wake up, sheeple! If you ask Siri about 9/11 it will rat you out to the police!

The Illuminati have revealed themselves once again, this time through their "intelligent personal assistant" Siri, which immediately reports device owners to the police when they ask about 9/11. CBCnews reports that 114 budding truthers were redirected to the police over a two hour period on Sunday morning. Police believe the …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wouldn't it be sensible to add a second layer to ask "do you mean the events of September 11 2011, or the emergency services?"

    I admit it does add time, but i dont know how asking siri to call 911 can be faster than just dialling it yourself.

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge

      agreed, a very silly idea. Especially since 9/11 is a valid major event to search for.

    2. AndyS

      I also would have thought asking a question like "Tell me about nine eleven" could quite easily be sorted from a statement like "call nine one one," and the second layer applied only to the first, more ambiguous questions.

      Of course, if our dearly beloved cousins over the pond would use a sensible date format (none of this silly middle-endian nonsense) this problem would never arise. Harder to confuse "eleventh September" with "nine nine nine." Or even "nine one one."

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

        "I also would have thought asking a question like "Tell me about nine eleven" could quite easily be sorted from a statement like "call nine one one," and the second layer applied only to the first, more ambiguous questions."

        Pretty much what I was going to say. I've never heard anybody pronounce the two any other way; nine-one-one vs. nine-eleven. I'm pretty sure those are phonetically different; perhaps I don't know what "phonetically" means.

        1. Whit.I.Are

          phonetically vs iPhonetically

      3. skeptical i

        september

        Hi, AndyS: Don't disagree, but I also doubt Siri would confuse "September Eleventh" with "nine one one".

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Agreed. The terrorists picked that September 11 specifically because it's short hand is the same as the emergency services number in the US.

      1. Anonymous Blowhard

        "The terrorists picked that September 11 specifically because it's short hand is the same as the emergency services number in the US"

        All the more reason to change the emergency number to 0118 999 881 999 119 725....3

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. g e

            You don't even need your iThing set to German to be amazed at this!

            SIRI did Hitler say Nein Nein Nein to Goebbels ?

          2. This post has been deleted by its author

            1. Lars Silver badge
              Coat

              @ 1980s_coder

              Those phones (long ago) with the disk you turned with your finger where different in the Anglo-American world and Europe. The shortest distance to turn the disk was 9 in the Anglo-American world and 0 in Europe. Fast and easy to find even in the dark. Or was it the oppiset way, damn if I can remember. The reason for silly differences like these I think is in inflated egos.

              The US date format is dumb as hell, at least for a programmer who has to sort dates. Some dumb programming tasks come to my mind around the year 00 with systems that had only two digits for the year.

              1. Mark 85 Silver badge

                Those phones (long ago) with the disk you turned with your finger where different in the Anglo-American world and Europe. The shortest distance to turn the disk was 9 in the Anglo-American world and 0 in Europe. Fast and easy to find even in the dark. Or was it the oppiset way, damn if I can remember.

                I think you need to look here: http://people.howstuffworks.com/question664.htm

                1. Lars Silver badge
                  Headmaster

                  @ Mark 85. Thanks. I had a look but I must admit "universally" that the sentence "the universal emergency number for everyone in the United States." sounds a bit too universal.

                  1. Mark 85 Silver badge

                    Universal only to the States.... 999 is or was the prefix for Joliet in Illinois at the time. For along time, if you dialed 999 in Chicago, that number would dispatch a tow truck Might still be but I don't know for certain.

                    Apparently they had a heck of time sorting it out so it would be easy to remember and also didn't conflict with all the phone systems that were around at the time.. area codes and prefixes.

              2. Fred Goldstein

                Rotary dial phones here in the Colonies went 1-2...9-0, so 1 was the shortest dial pull, and the number on the dial represented the (mod10) exact number of dial pulses sent to the switch (with 0 being 10 pulses). But 911 came about because the N11 space in the North American Numbering Plan (yes, we have one) is where special services go. 411 for directory assitance. 611 used to be the business office (sometimes still is), and 211 sometimes got long distance operators (0 being more common) long ago. So 911 was picked for emergencies in the late 1960s. And 311 is now used for non-emergency calls to police or local governments.

                999, in contrast, would just be a prefix code (first 3 digits, indicating originally what switch to go to) for some switch or other, possibly given a name, pre-1962 all-number-calling, like "Wyman 9" or "Wyncote 9".

              3. fishman

                @1980s_coder

                The shortest distance to turn the disk is 0 in the US - we still have a rotary phone (since it works even when the power is out).

                1. Irony Deficient

                  US rotary dials

                  fishman, on my Western Electric 500 telephone (the model whose herds once thundered in their millions across North American desks), the shortest distance is given by 1, then 2, …, then 9, with 0 being the longest. When the NANP was introduced, the area codes with the largest populations had the shortest distances on the dial: 212 for New York, 213 for Los Angeles, 312 for Chicago, and so on.

                  1. skeptical i

                    Re: US rotary dials

                    Once upon a time Merkin area codes had either a 1 or 0 as the middle digit, then that schema was chucked out when we ran out of phone number prefixes (or exchanges) and more area codes were required ... maybe about the time fax machines went from expensive Fortune 500 business office furniture to cheaper and more widely available. Miss those old Pac Bell rotary phones, they doubled as hand weapons.

            2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

              Actually, the leading 9 was chosen so that payphones could easily be modified to connect the calls free of charge.

              Not in the UK, it would have been as easy to use 111, since other level 1 calls (operator, directory enquiries, etc.) were already free (DQ isn't free now, of course).

              The problem was that in the early days many phone cables were bare overhead wires, and just blowing around in the wind could cause them to dial a series of 1s. They still wanted a number that would be easy to dial on a rotary dial phone in the dark, so picked a number at the other end of the dial where it could easily be found by touch. Then by keeping a finger in the hole, you just rotated the dial 3 times, for 999.

              1. Graham Marsden
                Thumb Up

                @ Phil O'Sophical

                > They still wanted a number that would be easy to dial on a rotary dial phone in the dark, so picked a number at the other end of the dial where it could easily be found by touch.

                Yep, there were instruction sheets on how to dial 999 in the dark by feeling for the bottom edge of the rotary dial, finding the Zero hole (next to the stop) and putting your right hand middle finger into it.

                Then you'd put your right index finger into the next hole (ie the 9) and just rotate the dial three times.

                Simple and effective.

                1. e^iπ+1=0

                  Re: @ Phil O'Sophical

                  "Yep, there were instruction sheets on how to dial 999 in the dark by feeling for the bottom edge of the rotary dial, finding the Zero hole (next to the stop) and putting your right hand middle finger into it.

                  Then you'd put your right index finger into the next hole (ie the 9) and just rotate the dial three times.

                  Simple and effective."

                  Bugger, I can't find a rotary dial phone at the moment. It's dark here - have they updated those instructions yet for those people who don't have an analogue phone to hand?

              2. This post has been deleted by its author

              3. Nigel Whitfield.

                @Phil O'Sophical

                The operator was on 0 until around 1959, having first been introduced in London in 1928. 100 was introduced, along with other codes in the London Directory area in April of that year.

                The 999 service was introduced in London in 1937, on 30th June.

                So, at the time 999 was chosen, operator was on 0, and as pointed out by others, it was relatively easy to modify the call boxes of the day to allow a 9 to be dialled without payment as well.

                The dates quoted are from this page. The BBC version has the date for 999 as the 1st of July, but also confirms the 0 for operator was in place at the time.

            3. Ivan Headache

              And I was told (way back in the fifties)

              that 999 was chosen because it could be dialled on a rotary dialler (which all phones had at the time) in the dark or in a smoke-filled room just by feel.

              2 fingers placed in the last two holes of the dialler, rotate the dial, let it return do the same again and then again. 999 dialled.

              Why would pay phones have to be modified to connect the calls free of charge when there was an operator you could call free of charge on the same phone?

              1. Eponymous Cowherd

                Re: And I was told (way back in the fifties)

                There were a number of reasons why 999 was chosen:

                Having three identical digits made it simple to create "emergency only" dials/phones.

                So which digit to choose? Dial phones use loop-disconnect dialling at 10 pulses per second (pps). If a low number was chosen (particularly 1) it would have been possible to accidentally "dial" by jiggling the switchhooks. The ideal number would have been 0, but that is the STD prefix, so 9 was ne next best option.

                Incidentally, in most old Strowger systems, you only had to dial "99" to get to the emergency operator.That was why the operator was often on the line as soon as you dialled the last 9 (of 3).

                The "smoke filled room" thing came afterwards (after all, finding 1 or 0 on a rotary dial is easier).

                1. Nigel Whitfield.

                  Re: And I was told (way back in the fifties)

                  @ Eponymous Cowherd

                  The numbers of 9s you needed, of course, depended on whether you were on a main exchange or a satellite. Remember, small towns and villages were often reached from a parent exchange by dialling a short code of two or three digits.

                  Eg, Long Sutton, where I was at school, was reached by dialing the code for Basingstoke, followed by 81; from home in Winchester, that was 94 81, followed by the three digit number. To dial to Basingstoke from Long Sutton you dialled 9. Then you'd dial the local number or code (Long Sutton to Winchester was 9 92, if memory serves).

                  So in most towns with satellite exchanges, short codes were 91-98, and 99 would get you emergency services, so that from the villages, 9 99 would do the same trick.

                  I suppose there would be plenty of accidental calls when people who lived in the satellite areas were in the big city, and accidentally stuck the extra 9 on when using a payphone, forgetting they weren't at home any more.

                  0 for the STD prefix came in long after 999.

              2. Nigel Whitfield.

                Re: And I was told (way back in the fifties)

                @ Ivan Headache

                The modification to payphones ensured calls had appropriate priority. As mentioned in the BBC link that I posted, there had been an incident where people were unable to get to the switchboard because it was busy, and so couldn't report a fire.

                By creating a specific number, it ensured that really urgent calls (as opposed to just a request to make a long distance connection, for example) would get immediate attention.

            4. This post has been deleted by its author

              1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                "Another factor in choosing 999 as the UK emergency number was that, on the old dial phones, it was the number that took the least time to dial having the shortest distance to travel on the dial itself before allowing another number to be chosen."

                I would LOVE to see a picture of such a phone because every rotary dial phone I've seen has it the other way, with 1 being the shortest distance (one pulse) and 0 the longest (10 pulses). 9 would be second-longest at nine pulses.

        2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

          Don't forget that we pronounce phone numbers differently too!

          British Numbers confuse Americans - Numberphile: http://youtu.be/YBbBbY4qvv4

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Which is why

        I alway refer to that infamous date as the 11th of September.

        The way the USA order their dates as MM-DD-YY and insists on using a 12hr clocks (AM/PM) is IMHO retarded. Other opinions are available.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Which is why

          Not really. It's how Americans SPEAK dates. We always go "<Month> <Day, Ordinal>," not "<Day, Ordinal> of <Month>". As for using the 12-hour clock, don't YOUR clocks only have 12 hours on their faces?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Which is why

            As for using the 12-hour clock, don't YOUR clocks only have 12 hours on their faces?

            We're very militaristic over here. Which is strange given we don't have anything like as many weapons or do as much invading. My systray clock says "Wednesday 24 June 16:43:58". Which, too, is strange as I thought it was Thursday!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Which is strange given we don't .... do as much invading.

              Someone wasn't paying attention in history lessons.

            2. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: Which is why

              "We're very militaristic over here. Which is strange given we don't have anything like as many weapons or do as much invading. My systray clock says "Wednesday 24 June 16:43:58". Which, too, is strange as I thought it was Thursday!"

              We SEPARATE our conventions in America. If you go to a military installation, then 24-hour time is drilled into you (And you say it, "Twelve hundred hours," mister!). Outside these establishments, clocks still have 12 hours on their faces, and that's the way we like it, just as we like our feet and inches just the way they are.

              1. Sandtitz Silver badge
                Thumb Down

                Re: Which is why @Charles 9

                clocks still have 12 hours on their faces, and that's the way we like it,

                Does your clock faces also indicate AM & PM? Digital clocks here have 24 hours.

                just as we like our feet and inches just the way they are.

                "America fuck yeah!"

                On this side of the pond elementary schoolers can convert easily between e.g. sq meters and sq kilometers. In their heads.

                How many can convert sq miles to sq feet or do you just memorize the factors? What about cubics?

                Let's not delve into the other imperial silliness such as rods, furlongs & chains.

                1. soldinio

                  Re: Which is why @Charles 9

                  To be fair, it's not just the 'Merkins. A cricket pitch is still one chain, crease to crease. Horse races are still measured in furlongs. And most importantly, beer still comes in pints, gallons, firkins, barrels etc. etc. Our 1 pence piece weighs 1/8 ounce, 2p weighs 1/4 ounce. And indeed, where do you think our former colonial cousins got their 'Imperial silliness'?

                  1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                    Re: Which is why @Charles 9

                    "Our 1 pence piece weighs 1/8 ounce, 2p weighs 1/4 ounce."

                    And thus why the pound is associated with both currency and weight, IIRC. And BTW, aren't heavy things still weighed in stone?

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Meh

                      Re: Which is why @Charles 9

                      I think the pound weight and pound currency have different derivations (does anyone know?) and the only things I know of using Stone are potatos and a persons weight in the UK (its usually ponds in the States I think)

                      1. Irony Deficient

                        Re: pounds

                        Lostyearsago, the monetary pound originally referred to a unit of account rather than a unit of exchange: a Tower pound mass (slightly less than 350 g) of 0.925 fine silver. Coins of that time were mostly silver pennies, 240 to the unit of account, each ideally weighing in at 32 Tower grains (1.45 g or so) of 0.925 Ag. Edward I. in 1300 was the first ruler to break this monetary/mass relationship, coining 243 pennies from this mass rather than 240; successive devaluations reached their nadir in 1551 under Edward VI., who coined 540 pennies from a Troy pound (a bit over 373 g) of 0.250 Ag. The following year, revaluation reforms began; these stabilized under Elizabeth I., who in 1560 had established the 60 shilling (720 pence) footing of a Troy pound of 0.925 Ag; in 1601, this was devalued to 62 shillings (744 pence) per pound mass. This level lasted until after the Napoleonic wars, when the footing became 66 shillings (792 pence), the UK went on the gold standard, and silver coinage lost unlimited legal tender status. The 20th century saw the reduction, and then elimination, of silver from coinage, followed by the elimination of the £ s. d. subdivision in 1971.

                        I believe that wool was traditionally weighed in stone.

                      2. Charles 9 Silver badge

                        Re: Which is why @Charles 9

                        "I think the pound weight and pound currency have different derivations (does anyone know?)"

                        If I read my sources correctly, they were originally one and the same, based on the weight of 1 pound of silver coinage (20 shillings, 8 half-crowns, or 4 crowns) in the old system. There was no silver pound coin (it was based on collective), but the sovereign was the equivalent value in a gold coin. 240 pence was the equivalent value in copper(s).

                        Of course, this all went out the door when the currency system was replaced with the Pound Sterling.

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Meh

                    Re: Which is why @Charles 9

                    Try ordering a Firkin of Liquid Oxygen

                2. RAMChYLD

                  Re: Which is why @Charles 9

                  And then there's paper, ie Letter vs A4, which I could swear was just being used to region-lock the printers (for example, the Epson ActionPrinter 3260 in the states vs the Epson LQ-100 elsewhere. The only difference being the paper tray dimensions and the power transformer inside).

                3. Charles 9 Silver badge

                  Re: Which is why @Charles 9

                  "Does your clock faces also indicate AM & PM? Digital clocks here have 24 hours."

                  Most digital clocks only show 12 hours and use a dot to indicate which set of 12. Some clocks have a 24-hour option, but you have to set it. Military and other specialist fields make sure to obtain clocks with that capability. Meanwhile, I'm talking analog dial clocks, which typically have no AM/PM indicator. Wanna know which half it is, look out the nearest window. Most of us can keep a general reckoning of which half we wake up on; it takes a real bender, insomnia, or the swing shift to confuse us significantly, and again it's usually just a quick glance out a window to know which is which (yes, even sunup and sundown, since the sun rises in the east and sets in the west). It's extremely rare to see a 24-hour analog dial anywhere, and the ones that do typically have a specific reason for being there.

                  "How many can convert sq miles to sq feet or do you just memorize the factors? What about cubics?"

                  It's not to hard to remember a factor of 9 to convert square yards to square feet. And we're taught it's 4840 square yards to an acre. Beyond rough estimates, we break out the measurers and calculate on paper. As for cubics, we tend to stick to feet unless it's fluids, which we then switch to gallons.

              2. ChrisBedford
                Joke

                Re: Which is why

                "we like our feet and inches just the way they are"

                I half expected you so to say "just the way God intended"

              3. Anonymous Coward
                Meh

                Re: Which is why

                Still using Feet & inches is one reason why I avoid american standards when ordering/specifying I hate all those conversions which usually add inaccuracies if you don't watch out. Also, didnt the USA Gov adopt the metric system but left it to the states to implement if they wanted...

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Go

            Re: Which is why

            my analogue clock has 24, my digital clocks are all 24 cause when I wake up late I want to know if it ismorning before I open the very dark curtains - only my watch has 12

            1. Anthony Hegedus Silver badge

              Re: Which is why

              How can a watch have 12? Surely you can select 12 or 24 hour on any watch?

              1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                Re: Which is why

                "Surely you can select 12 or 24 hour on any watch?"

                How can you select between 12 and 24 hours on a dial watch...or clock for that matter?

        2. tfewster Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Which is why

          Even as a non-USAian, I agree MM-DD is better. Most significant bit first. Though it must be preceded by YYYY, so your files are in the correct order ;-)

        3. Anthony Hegedus Silver badge

          Re: Which is why

          Other opinions are invalid

        4. Charles Manning

          Re: Which is why

          "On the 11th day of September in the two thousand and first year of our Lord."

          See if Siri screws that up.

      3. Mark 85 Silver badge

        The terrorists picked that September 11 specifically because it's short hand is the same as the emergency services number in the US.

        You really believe that was THE reason? Go do some research on the significance to the Muslim religion.

      4. John Savard Silver badge

        No, it was because of events relating to Palestinians in Jordan, the same ones that led to a terrorist group naming itself "Black September".

      5. Painted Turtle

        You mean that it wasn't because the Battle of Vienna took place on 11 September 1683?

    4. John Robson Silver badge

      Depends...

      On how Siri is activated. It may well be that the phone's owner is in some way incapacitated, and shouting to siri is their last recourse.

      In which case "phone the ${expletive} ambulance" is more likely to be uttered...

      1. Lee D Silver badge

        Re: Depends...

        "On how Siri is activated. It may well be that the phone's owner is in some way incapacitated, and shouting to siri is their last recourse."

        God, I'm dead.

        No voice recognition that I've ever used even gets close to understanding what I say, no matter how many times I repeat, how much I improve my diction, or how slow I speak.

        Seriously.

        Hilariously, however, my Apple-mad colleague happened to discover that saying "Call <name>" in any conversation automatically unlocks your iPhone and starts dialling their number and then SILENTLY puts the call through to you and the caller can hear you and you don't even know you've rung them.

        So you say "Did you call Fred? That absolute (&(£*"&$ of a man, what a moron, why doesn't he grow a pair?" etc. with your iPhone in your pocket and Fred gets to hear it all.

        He found some option later, but he was as shocked as anything to discover that was the default on his flash iPhone while all us non-Apple people sat there and laughed at him, and that his iPhone was listening 24/7 even when locked for the magic words "Call <whoever>" and immediately acted upon the command.

        Fortunately, Siri is so bad at understanding voice with even the slightest background noise that he never actually managed to activate it himself until he read about it and started testing his phone directly which he was convinced it wouldn't work on.

        1. Alan Edwards

          Re: Depends...

          "So you say "Did you call Fred? That absolute (&(£*"&$ of a man, what a moron, why doesn't he grow a pair?" etc. with your iPhone in your pocket and Fred gets to hear it all."

          No he wouldn't. You would need to preface that with 'Hey Siri' before she would do anything. If you did you would hear the double-bong as Siri activates, and she would say something like 'OK, calling Fred' before connecting.

          I've had zero success with Siri on my iPad. I tried to use it to find out about a foreign city I had no clue how to spell - nothing. It kept mis-interpreting 'Paul' as 'Call' and got huffy about not being able to do voice calls on an iPad. Useless.

      2. Robert Baker
        Joke

        Re: Depends...

        In which case "phone the ${expletive} ambulance" is more likely to be uttered...

        If someone says/shouts "Call the fucking ambulance!", will Siri try to despatch an ambulance all the way from Austria?

    5. Lars Silver badge

      "Wouldn't it be sensible to add a second layer to ask "do you mean the events of September 11 2011, or the emergency services?"

      No. the problem is with Siri not the emergency services. Especially if you remember that there lost of people who speek something else but Emglish in the USA.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      jet fuel can't melt

      STEEL MEMES

      T

      E

      E

      L

      M

      E

      M

      E

      S

      1. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

        Re: jet fuel can't melt

        That meme is such a successful disinformation technique.

      2. cray74 Silver badge

        Re: jet fuel can't melt

        I guess I don't get these "steel melt" memes. Are they saying conspiracy theorists are idiots for thinking the steel melted, or for thinking that the steel did not melt?

        There was no need for steel melting in WTC. The temperature of the jet fuel fire was plenty sufficient to heat up the remaining ASTM A36 structural steel in the impact areas to 300-500C, when such cheap steels lose half their strength. Look up a temperature-strength curve for A36 steel. After the hijacked airlines knocked out the other half of the Towers' structural strength, the Towers were well below the strength they needed standing. They originally had a factor-of-2 safety in their strength but were down to 1/4 their original strength, and the remaining beams were experiencing enormous new stresses due to fully-clamped thermal expansion conditions.

        References:

        1. Journal of Materials (JOM), "Why Did the World Trade Center Collapse? Science, Engineering, and Speculation," Vol. 53, No. 12, p. 8-11.

        2. JOM, "The Role of Metallurgy in the NIST Investigation of the World Trade Center Towers Collapse", Vol. 59, No.11, p. 22-30.

        [edit] Both articles are fully online if you're bored.

      3. illiad

        Re: jet fuel can't melt

        DO your research!! there is a common belief, that IF the towers were constructed to the old steel beam spacing, they would not have fallen down...

        The problems with the old style was a lack of through space in offices - lots of columns in the way..

        some say there were some plane collisions, that people just walked away from!

        The new design centred around a new floor construction.. see picture - I think you can see the weakest points!! O

        http://www.tms.org/pubs/journals/JOM/0112/Eagar/fig5.gif

        full article - see what YOU think... :P

        http://www.tms.org/pubs/journals/jom/0112/eagar/eagar-0112.html

    7. Alfred

      By definition, calling 911 is an emergency situation, and thus not normal. There is a higher likelihood in such situations that you would not be able to use your fingers than in non-emergency situations. Like all such situations, we can but play the percentages.

    8. Soruk
      Mushroom

      As far as I am aware, nothing of any note happened on 11th September 2011.

      As for 11th September 2001, however.....

    9. e^iπ+1=0

      Other countries

      Wouldn't it be sensible to add a second layer to ask "do you mean the events of September 11 2011, or the emergency services?"

      I'd be interested to know how siri behaves in other countries where 911 isn't the emergency number - think 112, 999, 000 and so on.

      Even better would be if the bleedin' thing asked before dialling a premium rate number.

  2. Alistair Silver badge
    Windows

    This was a social study of ambient intelligence

    Guess what.

    People failed.

  3. Zacherynuk
    Facepalm

    Ha! Reminds me of the "Xbox One Sign Out" Troll

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCB1ac4jIrE

    1. Graham Marsden
      Trollface

      Try holding down Alt and f4 on your PC keyboard, you'll be amazed at what happens...

      1. Scott 26

        That one would pop up in IRC: "Press Alt-F4 to get channel Ops"

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          "That one would pop up in IRC: "Press Alt-F4 to get channel Ops""

          What happened when a Mac user complained (since IIRC the close/quit mechanic in most Mac programs was Command-Q)?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    This is not about Siri....

    ...but the stupidity of people that do what random other people tell them to do via social media.

    1. AndyS

      Re: This is not about Siri....

      You're right. What do you think we should do about it?

      1. g e

        Re: This is not about Siri....

        Perhaps analyse the Apple-buying demographic ?

    2. petur
      Joke

      Re: This is not about Siri....

      @Lost all faith...

      There's even a clip of somebody filming his own stupidity:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0

  5. Gordo Rex
    Go

    CLICK HERE to find 17 AMAZING ways to frustrate people!

    1. maffski

      Re: CLICK HERE to find 17 AMAZING ways to frustrate people!

      Dude! I only got 16 ways!! What's the last AMAZING way to frustrate people?!?!?!

    2. Fibbles

      I clicked on the article. You won't believe what happened next!

      1. AbelSoul
        Mushroom

        Re: I clicked on the article. You won't believe what happened next!

        Fibbles clicked on a link. What happened next will blow your mind!

        1. hplasm Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: I clicked on the article. You won't believe what happened next!

          Did he shit bricks?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not the first time ... didn't one release of iOS attempt tio connect all worldwide emergency numbers (911, 999, 112, + lots more obscure ones) to the local emergency service only for users to discover the hard way that one of the major UK phone networks ahd the same number for its voicemail as the emergency services had in some eastern european coutnry?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Android still does this - when an Australasian phone is used to dial the NHS non-urgent help line (111 - same as emergency number in New Zealand) it helpfully redirects to 112/999. And short of jail-breaking there's no way to change this.

  7. Dieter Haussmann

    Hardly surprising SIRI is seriously crap (at least in the UK).

    I always give up and use google.app

  8. Monty Cantsin

    If the yanks use the proper date format (11/9) this wouldn't be an issue.

    Unless something ever happened on the 9th of November, of course. But I don't think it did.

    1. Cardinal

      Actually the Yanks DO use 66% of the proper international date/time format.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_8601

      All they need is to put the year in the front and they would be completely correct.

      I have my Windows Explorer set in that format and it makes the date lists look much more sensible (IMHO).

      (It's also naturally sortable without any computer jiggery-pokery!)

      1. Cardinal

        AND - I reckon it's pretty obvious about which way round it is as soon as you see it?

        eg. 2015-01-02 is pretty clearly Jan 2nd eh?

        1. fnj

          <blockquote>AND - I reckon it's pretty obvious about which way round it is as soon as you see it?

          eg. 2015-01-02 is pretty clearly Jan 2nd eh?</blockquote>

          All right, who's the lunatic who downvoted this post? 8601 is in fact the only unambiguous date format.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            There is NO unambigious number-only date format as long as the date is within the first 12 days of a given month. SOMEONE is going to get it wrong, guaranteed.

            1. Cardinal

              Possibly some of the same people who surprisingly inhabit this forum and think that loosing an arrow is the same as losing it.

              Though the first may lead to the second, the reverse can never be true.

              Sorry - just shoe-horned in a pet peeve there - but you probably worked that out for yourselves..... - like that date!

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              > There is NO unambigious number-only date format as long as the date is within the first 12 days of a given month. SOMEONE is going to get it wrong, guaranteed.

              I dunno about that.

              2015-June-02 is pretty unambiguous, assuming of course we agree on the calendar in use,

              1. stucs201
                Facepalm

                re: 2015-June-02 is pretty unambiguous

                It's also not a "number-only date format".

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: re: 2015-June-02 is pretty unambiguous

                  > It's also not a "number-only date format".

                  Ah yes, too early in the morning I'm afraid.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: re: 2015-June-02 is pretty unambiguous

                    I always start multiple copies of files of with yyyymmdd so they can alphabetically sorted, must be an old DNS zone file thang.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: re: 2015-June-02 is pretty unambiguous

                      ...and add HH:MM to be sure (20150625_1251)

                2. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge
                  Unhappy

                  Re: re: 2015-June-02 is pretty unambiguous

                  Is that 2015 years after:

                  - the beginning of the Mayan calendar

                  - the biblical creation

                  - the founding of Rome

                  - the birth of Jesus Josephson of Nazareth

                  - the Prophet moved from Mecca to Medina

                  - the founding of the first French Republic

                  - the ascension of Emperor Akihito to the Japanese throne?

                  What would happen if you ask Siri about 7-11??

                  1. Afernie

                    Re: re: 2015-June-02 is pretty unambiguous

                    "What would happen if you ask Siri about 7-11??

                    Siri: "Calling Apu Nahasapeemapetilon""

                  2. James O'Shea Silver badge

                    Re: re: 2015-June-02 is pretty unambiguous

                    "- the birth of Jesus Josephson of Nazareth"

                    Errm... as was pointed out to me many, many, MANY years ago during Religious Knowledge class. (I went to a Church school. We took Religious Knowledge to GCE. They made us, we certainly wouldn't have done it otherwise, the unabashed heathens that we were.)

                    1 m'man's name was Yeshua. That would be 'Joshua'. The bleeding Greeks screwed the name up. In their defense, Hebrew lacks vowels and is written backwards. Saying 'Jesus Christ' is NOT 'using the name of God in vain, 'cause that wasn't his name...

                    2 he should properly be either Yesua bar Miriam or Yesua bar Abbas, 'cause the one guy who it's certain (according to the Gospels, anyway) wasn't his father was Yosef. (Yes, Mary = Miriam. Abbas = Father. There would be a reason why a certain other person named Barabbas got so much play...) And, yes, this point came up while the discussion of certain passages in the Synoptics were being discussed. Hint: there are two different genealogies (one in Luke, one in Matthew) of m'man Yeshua, both of which go past Yosef... who can't be his father. We had _lots_ of fun with that. There are several reasons why the Roman Catholic Church says that Biblical literalism is an error...

                    3 Yeshua was actually born three or four or perhaps even five years BC. (Those who would put that as BCE can bite me.) (Yes, the Greeks screwed up the dating, too. They seemed to be bad with numbers even then.) And we can be fairly sure that the date wasn't in December, either, not if the shepherds had their flocks out.

                    Church schools: turning out cynics by the score. One wonders why certain fundiots are so hot on teaching religion in American public schools. I suspect that if they achieved their object they might not like the result...

                    1. Robert Baker

                      Re: re: 2015-June-02 is pretty unambiguous @James O'Shea

                      Actually, it wasn't the Greeks (at least in Biblical times) who screwed up the dating. The AD epoch was established in 520-something AD by Dionysius Exiguus, and it's believed that he deliberately fudged his calculations to make the year he established AD be the start of the second Easter cycle.

          2. Sarah Balfour

            There are 3 down-votes now - what the fuck else COULD it be…?! Morons.

          3. Charles 9 Silver badge

            "All right, who's the lunatic who downvoted this post? 8601 is in fact the only unambiguous date format."

            8601 is just pretty darn convenient since sorting alphabetically automatically sorts 8601 dates chronologically (by year, then by month, then by day; time can be sorted next using a 24-hour clock).

        2. Frank Bough

          Re:

          When we work for Apple we are required to date all files in precisely that format.

    2. Mark Simon

      It did

      “Unless something ever happened on the 9th of November, of course. But I don't think it did.”

      The Berlin Wall began to fall on 9 November 1989.

  9. Amorous Cowherder
    Facepalm

    Reminds me of this classic moronic gag.

    Ask someone, "How you keep an idiot in suspense?". Then simply walk away.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    9/11?

    I thought it was 991?!

    p.s. don't smirk, MS-minions, Cortanas's coming...

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: 9/11?

      The advantage of Windows phone is that if you said "emergency dial 911"

      it would dial 9 then start downloading updates, then restart then ask you a bunch of questions about if you want to make 9/11 the default emergency service

    2. RAMChYLD

      Re: 9/11?

      "I thought it was 991?!"

      Nah, over here 991 puts you through to civil protection. 999 calls the police and ambulances, and 994 calls the fire brigade (although that number is now defunct and 999 can also connect you to your the fire station).

      http://malaysia.angloinfo.com/inside/emergency-numbers/

  11. Doctor_Wibble

    Not proper truthers!

    These can't have been proper 'truthers' because there is no way any of them would tie themselves to that sort of monitoring technology which is of course just another tentacle* of corporate and government control. Also scary is that I understand their concern.

    * and not in a good way

  12. Anonymous Blowhard

    UK Punter: Siri; what is one thousand minus one?

    Answer: Emergency. Which service?

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      I was think along similar lines, but I was going to ask what's three times three hundred and thirty three :)

  13. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. Buzzword

    Date order

    If they'd just call it 11/9 like the rest of the world, then they wouldn't have this problem.

    1. RAMChYLD
      Facepalm

      Re: Date order

      Except that that number happens to be the emergency number in Japan -.-

      http://www.tokyo-icc.jp/guide_eng/kinkyu/01.html

      Why can't we all just agree on 999?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Date order

        Because 999 is already a legal exchange prefix in the US. Not to mention all the existing hardware hardwired to dial 911.

  15. measterbrook

    Ask the Germans about the 9th November. There are 2 (that I am aware of) significant events on this date.

  16. bill 36

    just watch this

    It's all you need to know about voice recognition :>)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAz_UvnUeuU

    hilarious

    1. smudge Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: just watch this

      That's the one! I was going to provide a link to it - thanks for doing it for me.

      Just don't play it on speakers in the office... :)

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: just watch this

        I'm a killjoy so I would have tried 'ten' and walked the rest of the way ;)

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: just watch this

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAz_UvnUeuU

      That reminds me of my Garmin SarNav. On the whole, the voice recognition is reasonable. But trying to get the "favourites list" to go "up" simply doesn't work unless I say Aaaarp in a nasal american accent.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where's the "11" key?

    I'll never forget the one night an accident happened right outside our house. Some drunk hit a parked classic corvette. As I was bolting towards the door, I shout out to my room mate: "Call 9-1-1."

    His reply: "What's the number?"

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nine one one is not at all phonetically identical to nine eleven. It was always promoted nationally regionally and locally as nine one one. The only times I had ever heard it referred to as nine eleven was vary rarely by comedians, often as a joke about someone too stupid to dial a simple number, and those jokes died off after the events of 9/11.

    1. Old Handle

      I have at least once heard 911 referred to as "nine-eleven", by someone who I guess you could call a country girl. So it may be that was common in some regions. I would think that post twin towers attack that usage has pretty much died out though.

  19. Chunky Munky
    Happy

    ...and not forgetting the classic

    Homer Simpson holding phone to ear: Operator? Quick, give me the number for 9-1-1

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Siri drives a 911

    I wonder what happens when you ask Siri about a very popular Porsche...

    1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

      Re: Siri drives a 911

      Then Siri rats you out to the police. Because you must be speeding.

    2. Frank Bough

      Re: Siri drives a 911

      You probably get a reasonable response. Siri's rather good, you see.

  21. spot

    Misplaced responsibility

    ""Please, choose to be a good citizen and DON’T ask Siri about 9/11"? It's nothing about the user. Apple should be up in court for wasting police time.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      Re: spot Re: Misplaced responsibility

      "....Apple should be up in court for wasting police time." Well, strictly speaking, those that propagated the stunt via social media knowing it would result in a waste of emergency resources are the ones breaking the law. At least in most States in the US, where the law on hoax 911 calls seems a bit haphazard. Apple are not being criminal here, just stupid in their implementation of Siri.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: spot Misplaced responsibility

        911 is an emergency service. Apple are not being stupid in their implementation if Siri directs you to emergency services if you say "9 11".... Working as intended. Move along.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Unhappy

        Re: spot Misplaced responsibility

        such stupidity is criminal, certainly one pointed out and nothing is done...

    2. Frank Bough

      Re: Misplaced responsibility

      You should be likewise for wasting mine.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Computers

    should always work for us not think for us!

    There is a real danger in delegating our decisions to a piece of code written by some nutty programmer.

  23. Old Handle
    Thumb Down

    OK, from now on, I'll call you "An Ambulance".

    It does seem like a somewhat questionable design decision. I'd say anything short of an unambiguous "call 9-1-1" or "dial 9-1-1" should be met with a request for confirmation. Maybe even then, given how iffy speech recognition can be.

  24. James Pickett

    Jet fuel can melt steel, but only when first put through a working jet engine. Go figure, as our transatlantic cousins like to say...

    1. iranu

      I don't know why you've been down-voted twice because you are absolutely correct. The melting point (MP) of pure iron is 1538°C. So a plain carbon steel, being an alloy of carbon and iron, will begin to melt at a much lower temperature and melt over a temperature range. See the Iron Carbon phase diagram.

      The hottest part of a jet engine is the high pressure turbine (HPT), where a set of nozzle guide vanes guide the expanding hot gas from the combustion chamber on to the HPT blades. Temperatures in this region are around 1600°C for modern engines, well in excess of the melting point of iron and therefore steel. In fact they are in excess of the MP of the best nickel based super alloys that us metallurgists produce for the purpose, which is why the blades are designed with internal cooling channels and protected with a thermal barrier coating.

      HPT NGVs are now being made from ceramic matrix composites in order to better withstand such high temperatures. Work is currently ongoing to produce CMC turbine blades too in order to increase engine temperatures and efficiency.

      The whole "jet fuel can't melt steel" meme is a strawman set up by the ignorant who do not understand that heat affects the material properties of steels. E.g. Yield Strength is reduced by half at 600°C for low alloy and plain carbon steels. You don't need to melt steel for it to fail under load.

  25. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Not phonetically identical

    Not phonetically identical; this is a Siri screw-up. The date (which should be 11/9, but US'ians do their date in the nonsensical order month/day/year instead of day/month/year) is pronounced "nine eleven." The emergency phone number is "nine one one."

    Despite this, I'm sure there'll be a few of the conspiracy theorists who take this to mean that... umm... lets see... I guess they'll decide Apple and Siri are in league with the CIA (who really took the buildings down, don'tcha know?) to prevent people finding out the truth.

  26. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    My computer ...

    can wreck a nice beach.

  27. Breen Whitman

    9/11 refers to the 9 structural beams(the one's) that were cut to ensure each building came down.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Please. If they REALLY wanted to create a conspiratorial catastrophe, they'd have detonated a small nuke.

  28. Sarah Balfour

    There are some nutters out there…

    came across a guy on Twitter who fervently believes that…

    NASA stole Noah's Ark under the cover of chemtrails because the U.S. Government didn't want the world finding out that it knew the location of Nibiru. Noah's Ark also had summat to do with 11/9, but I forget what.

    Tinfoil straight jacket anyone…?

  29. Sarah Balfour

    There IS one thing I'd like to ask America…

    WTF are you the only country on the planet to still use Fahrenheit…?! Oh and if you could make your imperial units the same as everyone else's imperial units, that'd be great…

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There IS one thing I'd like to ask America…

      (This is what you'll actually get, with some variation, from most people)

      Because we LIKE it that way, you commie pinko! We're America! We'll do what we damn well please, and if you don't like it, you can stick it where the Sun don't shine!

      Or to quote Grandpa Abe Simpson, "The metric system is the tool of the devil! My car gets forty rods to the hogshead and that's the way I likes it."

  30. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

    Am I the only one who saw the headline and thought...

    jesus, they've given Matt Bryant a column!

  31. bomyne

    Okay, is the rude insult in the article's title necessary?

    As for the article, If you want to ask Siri or Google Now about that event, maybe you should say "September 11". Or just look the damn thing up on Wikipedia yourself.

  32. Winkypop Silver badge
    FAIL

    Basically

    People are stupid.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Android's not immune to emergency number problems

    It has hard-coded, by the region the phone was bought in, a redirect for all numbers that look like emergency numbers to the local emergency number.

    So for instance: buy a phone in Australia where the emergency number is 000. And Australia is close to New Zealand where the emergency number is 111 - so let's redirect that too says Android.

    Now bring that phone to the UK and try dialling 111 - the NHS non-urgent medical help line. Que annoyed 999/112 emergency services operator when I try dialling several times thinking I must have miss-keyed the number.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Stop

      Re: Android's not immune to emergency number problems

      Australia is close to New Zealand - say it isnt so!

  34. Jamie Jones Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Sheeple?

    Now we know Matt Bryants real name...

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