back to article Self-stocking internet fridge faces a delivery come down

In the future, I will keep a vibrator in my shoes. This will allow me to walk down the street without having to hold it in my hands or stick it into my ear. My satnav smartphone, that is. With the help of Hi-Tec’s Navigator, vibrating pods in my footwear will guide me left and right along my walking route without recourse to …

  1. Esme

    Superb!

    Another classic from the meister!

    1. energystar
      Big Brother

      Re: Superb!

      You can't damp your cell-phone anymore, Snowden.

      1. energystar
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Superb!

        "...their concept of “a fridge” is derived from their extensive experience of staying in seven-star business hotels in Shanghai."

        This is poetry, Alistair.

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: Superb!

          And the same people probably design dishwashers. Or at the very least live in some very hot dry country where soup is not consumed. Dish washers do not seem to accommodate soup bowls without a struggle.

          1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

            Re: Superb!

            I assume you have the old-fashioned type of soup bowls -- that is, the concave ones. Modern ones are designed to be more dishwasher-friendly. :(

            1. Simon Harris Silver badge

              Re: Superb!

              I thought bowls were pretty much, by definition, concave, or the soup would fall out.

              1. Terry 6 Silver badge

                Re: Superb!

                I think Ken Hagan has come across some of the trendy ones.

                Designed ( perhaps coincidentally) to barely be deep (concave) enough to hold a smear of any edible fluid.

                If not actually designed to fit into a dishwasher they certainly do seem to come from the same school of design that finds form more interesting than function.

              2. Unicornpiss Silver badge

                Re: Superb!

                If you use the convex side of the bowl to hold your soup, they're much easier to clean, though your table and lap aren't..

  2. Simon Harris Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Sheer brilliance.

    "I feel compelled to upgrade to an iPhone 7 simply to prevent myself from plugging my earphones into it in the first place."

    1. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

      Re: Sheer brilliance.

      Agreed. I would have wet myself laughing had I not been reading this on the loo.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: Sheer brilliance.

        How dare you post while enthroned! I hope you've washed your hands.

        And your phone...

        Perhaps that's why the new Samsungs auto-combust. It's an anti-bacterial cleansing system.

        1. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

          Re: Sheer brilliance.

          Hah hah! No, but I don't handle the phone once the paperwork has begun, if it makes you feel any better, until I wash up.

          And how do you know it's not an HTC?

    2. magickmark
      Thumb Up

      Re: Sheer brilliance.

      "I feel compelled to upgrade to an iPhone 7 simply to prevent myself from plugging my earphones into it in the first place."

      Or you could just get one of these:

      http://appleplugs.com/

      And save yourself some cash of course

  3. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Test for success

    > And so it will be for everything devised by analysts who assume everything will always be in a specific place and do as it’s told

    Let's face it, when software is tested all that happens is that some geek, somewhere, inputs a valid field, command or option and checks that the resulting output, action or message appears. Once that has happened: once that has happened the stuff gets shipped,

    Not only is it far too complicated to test all combinations, including checking for reasonable reactions to incorrect conditions, but those throw up a distinct possibility - nay: certainrt - that something won't work. Thus delaying the release date or (more likely) an update to version 2 that half the idiot purchasers won't be able to install and the other half won't hear about.

    Luckily, the Marketing Department have a solution. They ship loads of crappy products as free samples to dishonest and greedy "reviewers" who then write glowing "independent" reports about how wonderful the thing is. And we all believe them and assume that if stuff (as described above) doesn't work, it's our fault or failure.

    As for delivery by drone: I foresee a resurgence in the popularity of chimneys.

    1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

      Re: Test for success

      And Mary Poppins as well...

    2. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Test for success

      Luckily, the Marketing Department have a solution. They ship loads of crappy products as free samples to dishonest and greedy "reviewers" who then write glowing "independent" reports about how wonderful the thing is. And we all believe them and assume that if stuff (as described above) doesn't work, it's our fault or failure.

      "it is very easy to be blinded to the essential uselessness of them by the sense of achievement you get from getting them to work at all. In other words – and this is the rock-solid principle on which the whole of the Corporation's Galaxywide success is founded – their fundamental design flaws are completely hidden by their superficial design flaws."

    3. boltar Silver badge

      Re: Test for success

      "They ship loads of crappy products as free samples to dishonest and greedy "reviewers" who then write glowing "independent" reports about how wonderful the thing is."

      That Gadget Show on C5 (is it still going?) used to be bad at that. The worst review something would generally get would be 3 out of 5. Almost nothing ever scored zero presumably because they were worried they'd never get test kit again. That coupled with the irritatingly psychotic enthusiam of the 40 something presenters acting like teenagers: "And this week Jase tests KETTLES! WOO HOO!" are the reasons I gave up watching.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Test for success

        "That Gadget Show on C5 [...]"

        For a moment there my cognitive predictive processes thought it was talking about the Sinclair trike.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Test for success

      "Not only is it far too complicated to test all combinations, [,,,]"

      Reminds me of being drafted in to a development department for a comms processor. A developer had tested his terminal code and pronounced it satisfactory. Then I tried it with some previous products' known failings.

      Sure enough - you could backspace to before the start of the buffer and it crashed. Input lengths that were chosen to be round the point where a new buffer was chained also caused crashes.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Test for success

        Reminds me of being drafted in to a development department for a comms processor.

        A real software tester* I knew always started his test run by whacking both hands, flat, on the keyboard. In an (un)surprising number of cases, this was enough to bugger up the software being tested.

        * I can personally attest to this species having existed, but they have, alas, seem to have gone extinct.

        1. BXL

          Re: Test for success

          We call that the Monkey test around here, it involves sending completely random data to the app as fast as possible for a couple of hours. I think Google test framework has an automated script to do this too.

    5. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

      Re: Test for success

      1. I think you're talking about one extreme end of the bell curve. Most developers are willing to at least test for a reasonable number of input conditions before shipping.

      2. Not always fair to blame the developers, either. I happen to know of a shop where EVERY release of EVERY product is a fire being put out, regardless of how much the devs encourage the boss to schedule reasonable amounts of time. Then when problems come up, the devs are blamed for insufficient testing.

      1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        Re: Test for success

        Are you suggesting (2) there are also shops where that is _not_ the case ?

        If so, who are they ?

  4. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Another excellent classic!

  5. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

    Me, I use a Garmin GPS in my car. I bought "last year's" model and applied the savings to a lifetime of free map upgrades, and traffic monitoring.

    True, it only updates once a year. Fortunately I'm clever enough to check to see if there's a road before I turn onto it... I installed a nice female English voice onto it, which for some reason I find comforting. (That's "English" as in "from England".) I derive endless amusement from her calling the on- or off-ramp a "slip road", and other English phrasings.

    I often wonder if some quirks of pronunciation are due to the language package. For instance, she correctly pronounces "Watt Avenue" if we're on the freeway (oh, sorry, I should say "motorway" :), but the second I hit the off-ramp -- I mean, slip road -- she starts saying "Wah Avenue". Off the freeway it's wrong, on the freeway (ANY freeway) it's correct. It's... actually a bit surrealistic.

    Anyway, quirks and drawbacks notwithstanding, I'm happy to not be dependent on a data connection, and to be using a product from a specialist. And I can always use Google maps as a backup if the Garmin fails me.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge

      Garmin

      I installed a nice female English voice onto it, which for some reason I find comforting. (That's "English" as in "from England".) I derive endless amusement from her calling the on- or off-ramp a "slip road", and other English phrasings.

      Ours is set to Afrikaans. It's far more different from Dutch than English is from American, in grammar, vocabulary as well as pronunciation, but for us it's perfectly comprehensible in general, and driving instructions are a very limited set of sentences anyway.

      For maps I've changed to Openstreetmap.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Garmin

        "[...] and driving instructions are a very limited set of sentences anyway.[...].

        In England it used to be if you overshot your turning off a major road - you could usually turn left at successive junctions to correct the error. In South Africa you had to turn back - as major roads outside of towns rarely had those sort of matrix interconnections.

        That probably explained why one moonless night cresting a hill on the motorway there was a sense of something vaguely ahead on the downhill side. Turned out to be a massive truck and trailer doing a U-turn across all lanes in both directions. Sideways on there wasn't a glimmer of light from its forward facing warning lights on top of its cab - and the headlights were off too.

        An English ex-pat colleague announced one day that the authorities had kindly marked the route from the Pretoria office all the way to the Jo'burg office. Testing her theory it proved correct - "Follow the 'Hou Links' markings on the road" she said.

        Indeed at every road junction taking the indicated left lane was a perfect way marker.

        **Hou Links = Keep Left

        1. herman Silver badge

          Re: Garmin

          When you get 'slip road, to slip road, to roundabout, to unknown road...' then you know the good Garmin lady totally lost it.

          1. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

            Re: Garmin

            Haven't heard that particular one myself, though I've heard her quietly have conniptions if I go off-track and have to make multiple turns to get back on, such as stopping for petrol. But I believe it. (Also not many roundabouts here in the U.S., and we call them "traffic circles".)

            I bought a Garmin because, working for a flight simulator company, I've seen the quality of their airplane GPSes and hoped some would rub off on their consumer products. *shrug* it's good, not great, though far better than stories I've heard of TomTom. But I do miss certain features such as the ability to favor freeways, or eschew them; I will probably look into going back to Magellan next time.

      2. TeeCee Gold badge

        Re: Garmin

        For maps I've changed to Openstreetmap.

        I've found two showstopper fuckups that make that shit useless for navigation:

        1) There's no consistent road typing, so the only routing cue is the speed limit. This means that given the choice of a 50mph limited dual carriageway or a derestricted (60mph) country lane running parallel, the navigation software goes for the lane, despite the fact that you'll be pushed to achieve an average speed of 30mph along it.

        2) The number of places where someone's drive on road A and someone else's on parallel road B are allegedly a road connecting the two is very scary indeed. Too many "contributors" who think 2+2=5 I guess.

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: Garmin

          We've got a Garmin and TomTom sitting unused in a drawer, the usual bunch of mobile phones. And a Pioneer built into our car.

          The Pioneer is sometimes worse than useless; it costs more to update the maps than buying a whole new device and even when the map is correct ( not as often as it should be within a couple of years of purchase) its directions are awful. Sometimes it will send us in the complete opposite direction to our destination. And its traffic awareness is lousy.

          The TomTom is good, and came with free map updates. But the traffic information subscription can only be renewed by buying a whole package of other stuff, that we don't want. Which is really annoying ( and expensive for stuff we don't want to own).

          The Garmin is OK. Just OK. Better than the Pioneer ( but then a kids' drawing and a toy compass would be better than the Pioneer.). Not as accurate or as reliable as the TomTom.

          Sometimes we sit in the car with the Pioneer droning on and two passengers using phones, trying to get to the place that the Pioneer has failed to take us to. Yesterday it tried to make us turn left into a footpath and wouldn't redirect to any other route. The phones took us 200m or so up the road to a decent left turn.

  6. Rich 11 Silver badge

    Wrong owner

    despite its inexplicable obsession on geolocating me somewhere in the middle of Gloucestershire when I’m in central London.

    This would work well for me. Send me your phone, Dabbsy. I don't need to tell you my address; your phone already knows where I am.

    1. phuzz Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Wrong owner

      It's probably just a side effect of all his data being sent to GCHQ in Cheltenham.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    About the only useful invention mentioned in all that…

    is the idea of a hands-free haptic navigation device. Not sure how you'd configure it, but for someone like these people, such a device that they could place in their shoes to guide them could really open doors for them.

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: About the only useful invention mentioned in all that…

      It's been tried attached to a belt.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: About the only useful invention mentioned in all that…

        Yep, and attached to a stick, and head mounted.

        Still, having something down at foot level is a different approach again, and is another way of freeing their hands for use with other tasks.

  8. tiggity Silver badge

    On the plus side on holiday cat feeding sorted.

    Drone arrives to deliver bag of cat biscuits.

    Cats play with drone and it ends up as battered heap of junk on the floor.

    Cats slash bag of biscuits open (I'm sure ths inspiration for Wolverine and his adamantine claws came from a cat owner as byproduct of cats is scratches & looking like you self harm) and happily eat food, and wait for next combo food and play installment.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: On the plus side on holiday cat feeding sorted.

      > happily eat food, and wait for next combo food and play installment.

      You missed a step: "Hack into Amazon and order a lifetime of premium ham"..

      1. Derek Clarke

        Re: On the plus side on holiday cat feeding sorted.

        Just install a Dash button by the cat's bowl and it rreally can order the next batch of grub.

    2. Adam 1 Silver badge

      Re: On the plus side on holiday cat feeding sorted.

      > Cats slash bag of biscuits open (I'm sure ths inspiration for Wolverine and his adamantine claws came from a cat owner as byproduct of cats is scratches & looking like you self harm) and happily eat food, and wait for next combo food and play installment

      Never happen. Once the bag was opened, it would take one sniff and decide that it doesn't eat that brand anymore even though it's been their favourite for weeks. Seriously, their mates are probably around the corner ROTFLMAO at our feeble attempts to guess what to order next time.

      1. Steven Roper

        Re: On the plus side on holiday cat feeding sorted.

        "Once the bag was opened, it would take one sniff and decide that it doesn't eat that brand anymore"

        My two have finally settled on a brand and flavour they've been happy with now for over a year. With them the feline idiosyncrasy is the arrangement of the food in the bowl. It must be piled as a perfect cone, like a scale model of Mt Fuji, in the exact centre of the bowl, before they will consider eating it. If the food is pushed to the sides of the bowl, with the centre hollow (as it gets after they've eaten from it), that's an empty bowl as far as my cats are concerned, even if there's still plenty of food there. A quick repiling of the food back in the centre is all that's required to get them to continue eating it!

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: On the plus side on holiday cat feeding sorted.

          Maybe it's this they're after;

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDABVdrR4gA

        2. Sherrie Ludwig

          Re: On the plus side on holiday cat feeding sorted.

          To all the posters complaining of picky feline appetites: I use Mrs. Noble's Rules for Cats. She was a lady of my acquaintance who rescued and fostered numerous cats in her time.

          1. Ain't never found no cat skeleton up no tree. (If it got there, it will get down eventually).

          2. Ain't never found no cat skeleton next to no full bowl of food. (Picky eaters are made, not born).

          My cat happily survives on decent-quality dry kibble, with occasional additions of once-live fresh food, as opportunity and initiative (his) coincide.

          1. aeonturnip

            Re: On the plus side on holiday cat feeding sorted.

            Unfortunately, a friend of mine has disproved rule 1. A neighbour's cat had been lost for a while when my friend noticed an increasingly strong and unpleasant smell in their garden. They tracked it down to a tree and discovered said cat stuck in the fork of two branches, very thoroughly dead. They suspect it had fallen and got wedged there.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: On the plus side on holiday cat feeding sorted.

            Unfortuantely, I can prove BOTH of them wrong.

            1. The skeleton may not be UP the tree, but guaranteed it'll be at the FOOT of the tree once the cat loses consciousness, falls, and can't reorient itself to avoid the head-first impact. Plus plenty of cats have been found stuck in more spacious "up there" places like trestles.

            2. You won't see the cat skeleton next to the full bowl of food because you simply won't find the CAT. It doesn't just sit there; it heads off on its own damn self. Remember, unlike dogs, cats have an independent streak and will do their own thing if they don't agree with you.

  9. boltar Silver badge

    Remind me not to have dinner at your place

    "one carton of soya lengthways on top of the broccoli and leftovers from last night’s lentil moussaka."

    Soya, broccoli, lentils, mmmmm , tasty!

    *parp*

    1. Tabor

      Re: Remind me not to have dinner at your place

      Interesting concept. Presumably one could change this to one bottle of brown sauce lengthways on top of the bacon and leftovers from last night's mashed potatoes ?

      Dammit, now I miss Lester again :-(

    2. VinceH Silver badge

      Re: Remind me not to have dinner at your place

      "Soya, broccoli, lentils, mmmmm , tasty"

      None of this is food.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Remind me not to have dinner at your place

        "None of this is food."

        It's considered such in parts of London. I'm not sure about Gloucestershire.

        1. Alister Silver badge

          Re: Remind me not to have dinner at your place

          "None of this is food."

          It's considered such in parts of London. I'm not sure about Gloucestershire.

          In Gloucestershire, if it doesn't contain some part of a pig, it isn't food.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Remind me not to have dinner at your place

            "In Gloucestershire, if it doesn't contain some part of a pig, it isn't food."

            In that case it can be converted into food via a pig. Old Spot?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Burglar Alarm Fix

    I suspect this is a switch problem - mechanical switch bounce causing multiple entries of the same number despite only one key press. Common especially on keypads where the same digits are the ones that are repeatedly pressed which wears them out. My suggestion - change the code to a different PIN number, not reusing any of the digits in the current PIN, so that use are using more reliable switches that have not been battered with over use.

    Apologies for a sensible suggestion in a post response to a very funny article. What can I say - I'm hard-wired as an engineer and problem fixer.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Burglar Alarm Fix

      a different PIN number

      Ah, those personal PIN numbers usually associated with automatic ATM machines.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Burglar Alarm Fix

        AC of course.

        Yes, with a similar problem, didn't want to use different alarm code. Would have needed to change bank pin too.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Burglar Alarm Fix

          It's none of the above - alarm systems are just ornery bastards...

          I say this as a security installer - they just love to pause, not recognise inputs and generally deafen you at the slightest provocation.

          The reason everyone hates them is the glacial speed the processors and bus lines run at resulting in keypads that respond almost as slowly as an app-laden smartphone. They may eventually move to 21st century processor speeds just as we reach the 22nd.

          The only sure-fire way of guaranteeing a response is to use a fob. Luckily, if an alarm goes off for more than 15 minutes, you are allowed to silence the sounder yourself as it's a breach of noise pollution regulations. Just leave the pieces for the owner...

        2. Gazareth

          Re: Burglar Alarm Fix

          Yes, with a similar problem, didn't want to use different alarm code. Would have needed to change bank pin too.

          It's a right pain when you have to change your birthday too.

      2. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

        Re: Burglar Alarm Fix

        "Ah, those personal PIN numbers usually associated with automatic ATM machines."

        I see what you did there.

        Have an upvote.

    2. Gordon861

      Re: Burglar Alarm Fix

      Or the other problem I saw at a business is that they buggered it up once and now cannot work out what they did wrong.

      Example

      1. Four figure code 1234.

      2. In error somone press random number before typing in code 8, then type 1234.

      3. System beeps after the 3 to say error but human continues to finish whole code and presses 4.

      4. Human starts to type in code, but system already has the number 4 in its memory, RETURN TO 3.

      Solution

      Stop typing in code after the error beep, then start from scratch.

      Or Leave system alone for 10 minutes so that it'll reset to zero and then start again.

      1. David Nash Silver badge

        Re: Burglar Alarm Fix

        "Or Leave system alone for 10 minutes so that it'll reset to zero and then start again."

        This was my first thought about why it eventually worked.

        1. I am the liquor

          Re: Burglar Alarm Fix

          This parable explains the real reason why the alarm stop code worked for someone else but not for Dabbsy:

          'A novice was trying to fix a broken Lisp machine by turning the power off and on.

          Knight, seeing what the student was doing, spoke sternly: "You cannot fix a machine by just power-cycling it with no understanding of what is going wrong."

          Knight turned the machine off and on.

          The machine worked.'

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Burglar Alarm Fix

      "[...] mechanical switch bounce causing multiple entries of the same number despite only one key press."

      In the late 1970s Texas Instruments produced a "Programmer" hand calculator. So called because it could handle binary, octal, and hex - plus logical operations. At £49 (2016 £275) it was affordable and very useful. Used a mains adapter and contained a rechargeable 9v battery. That could be replaced by a standard PP3 in an emergency.

      Very soon they had to replace a large number of them - as they quickly developed a key bounce problem. My replacement still works ok.

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

        Re: TI pocket calculator

        Had one of those, same problem. Switched first to Casio programmables, then to HP and never looked back.

        1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

          Re: TI pocket calculator

          Same here, the Casio being picked up in Hong Kong after "falling off a truck." Now if it's a programmable device, HP-48G is a minimum.

          1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

            Re: TI pocket calculator

            Pfft. Overcomplicated. Get an HP16C.

    4. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

      Re: Burglar Alarm Fix

      Yeah, problem-solvers... Not always fun at parties (YMMV) but can make jaws drop when we fix a problem in seconds that has everybody else banging heads against walls. Always fun to see the looks on their faces.

      Me, I use a fairly robust key debounce algorithm. But I make fake airplanes, not alarm systems. Don't know what limitations I'd have to deal with.

  11. Stoneshop Silver badge
    Holmes

    Drone delivery

    "The last thing I want is one hackable device talking to another hackable device on my doorstep while my futuristic local burglar of 2020, who has just hacked into my fridge to make it think I’ve run out of milk, patiently waits at my front porch for the imminent drone delivery to save him the trouble of bringing a crowbar."

    Of course, the well-prepared futuristic burglar of 2020 will have a one-click purchase link on his phone, for a crowbar*, for immediate drone delivery to said front porch.

    To prevent leaving electronic traces, it will be ordered through the targeted house owner's account.

    * I prefer the somewhat more versatile Stanley FuBar, especially the XXL, for stuff that needs to be separated sans regard for the aesthetics afterwards.

    1. MrDamage

      Re: Drone delivery

      Fubar;

      A handy substitute when for when the cattleprod is recharging.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "[...] the EXACT SAME stop code that I’d been using, mind – and the bastard alarm was instantly silenced."

    My microwave oven has gone into that mode. It started as unexpected random bleeps whether cooking or not. Now it has escalated into premature termination of cooking without any bleeps - or repeating the same cooking cycle immediately after cooked food is removed. Like a small child it can no longer be left unattended to get on with the simple task.

    What is really annoying is that the moment I decide to go online to research buying a new one - it behaves itself for the next few uses. My eco-friendly side wants to take it apart and tighten up any potential loose connections. My pragmatic side knows that getting the protective radiation cover back on before any testing will prove to have an inherent "one use only" feature.

    1. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

      My practical side told my eco-friendly side to bugger itself and be satisfied with a proper recycle.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "[...] and be satisfied with a proper recycle"

        My local council recycling centre has a gargantuan skip for electrical devices. You climb some steps to a high platform at the top and then drop the item into the deep chasm.

        This means any recycling will have to be of a totally destructive nature. Given the health warnings about toxic damaged magnetron insulation - one wonders if this is a wise way to treat microwave ovens.

        1. John H Woods Silver badge

          Mine too:

          "Hi, I've got some electronics to dispose of"

          "Just chuck it in the skip marked scrap metal"

          As far as WEEE goes, this seems to be more like taking it than complying with it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "My pragmatic side knows that getting the protective radiation cover back on before any testing will prove to have an inherent "one use only" feature."

      Update:

      To take the back cover off looks like it needs a Torx T25 "security" screwdriver bit. On the other hand it's nice to see they are trying to stop the totally uninformed from injuring themselves.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    head held high

    you call it head, I call it... head.

  14. Swiss Anton

    "...inexplicable obsession on geolocating me somewhere in the middle of Gloucestershire"

    Would that be just north of the A40, about 1.5 miles from M5, Junction 11?

    1. VinceH Silver badge
      Facepalm

      I was going to point out that Gloucestershire starts quite a bit further down than that, thinking you had perhaps misread it as Gloucester - but out of curiosity I looked on a map, and realised that's a very specific place in Gloucestershire, on the outskirts of Cheltenham.

      I then felt like a right doughnut*.

      * Doughnut. See what I did there?

  15. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    drones

    with all this new and exciting technology we can cut out several middle men and "empower them with choice in the job market"

    we will no longer need

    delivery driver

    shopkeeper

    wholesaler,

    truckdriver,

    farmer,

    I will expect my drone to fly to the nearest field and milk the cow itself

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: drones

      "I will expect my drone to fly to the nearest field and milk the cow itself"

      See the earlier comment about cats. That's nothing compared to what a good kick from a cow can do.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        kick from a cow

        Perhaps we should start breeding cows that want to be milked, then proceeding to a breed not only having the desire to be eaten, but being capable of saying so quite clearly and distinctly.

        1. W4YBO

          Re: kick from a cow

          "Perhaps we should start breeding cows that want to be milked..."

          We're already there. Automated milking houses depend on cows that want to be milked.

          1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

            Re: kick from a cow

            All cows want to be milked. It gets very painful for them if they are not milked on time.

            1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

              Re: kick from a cow

              That's sounds more like they don't want to be not milked. At the very least, it raises philosophical questions about whether they want to want to be milked.

        2. Chloe Cresswell

          Re: kick from a cow

          Cool, we'll meet the meat.

  16. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Reality check

    ".....the hinge is a bit stiff and he doesn’t want the onions to roll..."

    Applying the precision of the digital world to the reality of the human world may take a few more decades than this. When the drone is capable of recognising, identifying and processing an almost infinite range of random events, and finding a way to manage them it may just about be able to deliver a bottle of milk to a waiting space in a fridge. Until then it'll be like a Dalek at the foot of a staircase.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Reality check

      You DO know some Daleks can FLY now? You'll need to qualify that statement.

  17. You aint sin me, roit
    Coat

    "everything just gets packed in as best I can on my return from Tesco"

    Why buy an internet-connected, drone-compatible fridge and do the shopping yourself?

  18. W4YBO

    "As for my front door opening up to the drone..."

    That could be entertaining. My Virginia Black & Tan Foxhound has a fetish for anything airborne, whether tennis balls, frisbees, bumble bees and wasps, or even my tiny indoor quadcopter (she stays on-lead while I'm flying in the basement). She's even nailed a few Amazon packages waiting on the front porch. I'd hate to see what she'd do to a drone entering the house.

  19. Lee D Silver badge

    Securing your house is pointless. It's impossible and expensive.

    What you need to do is ensure that entry requires FORCED ENTRY. They need to break a window, or a door or a cat flap or whatever in order to get in.

    Then your insurance is covered, a crime has definitely been committed (even if they couldn't get it), they risk attracting attention, and you know how they got in.

    Any kind of system that allows people to open stuff without forcing entry is really useless, no matter how high-tech it is. Fingerprint and eye-print scanners? Useless if they can be faked, unplugged, unscrewed, the wires tapped into and then replaced without anyone noticing, a wireless signal intercepted, etc.

    All you need to do is make sure that the easiest route is for them to have to break something, and for that something to not be "the house" for replacement-cost purposes.

    I'm speaking as someone with an RFID-controlled alley gate. Because it lets you into the alley. Which gets you no more access to my house (hey, you might be able to nick an Amazon parcel left there earlier that day, that's about it). It doesn't get you into the neighbour's, my back garden, out-of-sight (in fact, doing so puts you in front of two cameras that I monitor from work, which alert me if the gate is opened even legitimately, so I can monitor parcel deliveries.

    To get anywhere else, you need to cause damage, probably on show, certainly including snapping of fences and trellis when you're balancing on top of them trying to jump over them, and then you end up in a slightly quieter spot with even heftier locked doors and even more cameras that send alerts to my smartphone.

    The RFID-controlled gate is for MY convenience. It lets me pick up parcels without having to walk all the way round and unlock every door. It gives me a place I can tell couriers to deliver to, and watch them doing so. It gives me a place I can have neighbours put stuff more-securely than leaving on my doorstep. And it lets my girlfriend ride her bike straight through into the alley on a rainy day and then sort it out later, while it stays behind an RFID-controlled gate that beeps inside the house when it's opened.

    But the actual security? Very low-tech for the most part. Locked windows. Locked doors. Wired alarm that texts me. Wired cameras that I can access from work (including a "lost-signal" message if they are cut).

    Why on earth you'd want anything able to open your HOUSE door, I can't fathom. But they can deliver behind my alley-gate, or I can even supply a keyfob if I know they're coming, or I can open it remotely with a phone call. You won't GET anywhere by doing that, but it provides all the convenience and delivery options required.

    Hell, I was half-considering a large delivery box - basically a steel chassis with a one-way door like a bank drop-box. It was too expensive and insecure to bother with.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "What you need to do is ensure that entry requires FORCED ENTRY. They need to break a window, or a door or a cat flap or whatever in order to get in."

      Or they can just pick the lock. Or get an impression of your key and make a copy. All they would need is a suitable distraction...

      Many criminals have proven to possess the determination to sufficiently pose as a legitimate owner to get past any safeguard you can think of. Somoene even went so far as to keep a supply of someone else's blood in a pocket under their arm to fool blood and DNA testers.

  20. Gazareth

    Burgular Alarm

    Had that exact same problem last week, when coming into the office for a software release. At 3am. Urgh.

  21. AndrueC Silver badge

    Hopefully this will eliminate the wrong turnings due to Google Maps’ erroneous audio guide that frequently yet inaccurately tells me to “turn left” when I should “turn right” (and vice-versa) regardless of what the street map itself indicates on-screen.

    So I'm not the only one? Most of the time I use it in pedestrian mode the arrow points the wrong way.

    Mind you it was weird using it around Hanwell Fields in Banbury because some of the pedestrian snickets have names. Somehow that made it seem more personal.

  22. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    "Maybe it’s just me but I don’t reserve specific locations in my fridge for specific quantities of specific items of specific shape like I was some obsessive fucking psychopath."

    Uh-oh. I think I need to see a shrink.

  23. MrT

    "the overnight burglar alarm"

    Must. Stop. Scan reading.

    At first glance, I thought it very clever that the gym would have an overweight burglar alarm... "Your BMI is in excess of 30. Please do a five minute warm-up on the exercise cycles before attempting to steal the exercise cycles..."

  24. Adam JC

    "Unfortunately, Amazon has outsourced this particular delivery to Yodel – a company named after the sound its customers make when they discover where their deliveries ended up."

    Oh I do enjoy your articles Mr Dabbs.... :-D

  25. Chris King Silver badge

    Google Maps and bad directions...

    I've come to the conclusion that Google don't like pedestrians, given the number of times they've told me to play Frogger with six lanes of traffic or cross directly over a busy roundabout that clearly has "No Pedestrians" signs on every approach.

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

      Re: Google Maps and bad directions...

      Well, I'd sort of expect that from something devised in California.

  26. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Meh

    Is this an iOS thing?

    I've never had Google Maps give me incorrect voice directions.. Incorrect directions in general before, yes, but the voice prompts have matched the map at least.

  27. tokyo-octopus

    Energy efficiency?

    A serious question - has anyone done any calculations into the likely energy efficiency of these drones vs. e.g. White Van Man? I assume for now they're powered by the excitable energy generated by disruptive venture speculatists, but presumably at some point they'll need to be powered by real electricity.

  28. Joe 35

    A simple fix ...

    .. to the problem of Google Maps "Hopefully this will eliminate the wrong turnings due to Google Maps’ erroneous audio guide that frequently yet inaccurately tells me to “turn left” when I should “turn right” (and vice-versa) regardless of what the street map itself indicates on-screen."

    Simply walk backwards everywhere. Problem solved ! Simples.

  29. MattP1821

    Article Wording

    I have been reading the articles on The Register for a few years now and it seems the longer times go on, the more profanity is creeping in, is this absolutely necessary to put the point across? Are there not moderators watching out for this and asking the contributor to tone down their language, I am sorry to be off topic but this puts me off reading articles and actually alongside the somewhat negative view I now hold of the contributor the same is applied to the Register itself. There is no need for it, kindly stop it. We are supposed to be professionals talking about professional topics of interest to us all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Article Wording

      BOTTIE!

  30. What? Me worry?
    Flame

    Wait.. What?!

    "The latest concept, he assured us, involved your internet-connected fridge (groan) automatically ordering more milk which would then be delivered by drone – not to your door but into the fridge itself.

    Apparently, your IoT-enabled front door would recognise the drone as it approached. It would then unlock itself and swing open to allow the drone to fly into your house, navigate its way to the kitchen and pop the pint into the fridge, which has also obligingly opened up to accept its milky load."

    What the hell?!! Has tech gone so far round the bend that they can't remember what their parents (uh.. ok, maybe grandparents ;) had? Milkman, anyone? Milk chute?! http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/16/business/yourmoney/16milk.html? There, sorted. Don't need no steenkin' stoopid fridge. Or drone. Grumble, grumble, goes away to fetishize his Nokia 6310i... :P

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: Wait.. What?!

      I think we should have it piped in , and we all get a milk tap. Its the greenest most environmentally friendly way to go - saves all the trucks, saves all the packaging.

      we can also have taps for coffee, soup , beer , orange juice , brown source . All coming from big hoppers on the top of the skyscrapers we'll be living in

      1. D@v3

        Re: Wait.. What?!

        http://xkcd.com/1649/

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Wait.. What?!

          Hmm, considering that these pipes would have to accommodate some 350 million people, then these look about right.

  31. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge
    Pint

    Kwality

    "Maybe it’s just me but I don’t reserve specific locations in my fridge for specific quantities of specific items of specific shape like I was some obsessive fucking psychopath"

    Sir. Do have an upvote

  32. dougflump

    Self what!!

    Stop feeding your pie holes...this bit is really pushing it... go for a walk... no really.. those things that connect your body to your legs are capable of movement..there it's out there !

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Self what!!

      Oh? What about war casualties or those born with bad legs?

  33. JohnG Silver badge

    In the middle of Gloucestershire

    "I might also make the switch to Apple Maps, despite its inexplicable obsession on geolocating me somewhere in the middle of Gloucestershire when I’m in central London."

    Anywhere near this lot?

    https://www.gchq.gov.uk/

  34. DortchOnIT

    An exciting future, indeed...

    Wow. Milk in actual bottles. I can hardly wait!

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