back to article Is your smart device a bit thick? It's about to get a lot worse

Hooded eyes are following my keystrokes. Hidden ears are analysing every shuffle. Deep inside its circuitry, my laptop is tutting and rubbing its silicon chin. I am trying to write another weekly column for a notorious IT-themed scandal sheet and my computer does not like what it detects as I tickle fitfully at the keys. …

  1. katrinab Silver badge

    Some men do get periods ...

    Three men in the UK got pregnant last year. In Australia, about 50 men get pregnant every year.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Some men do get periods ...

      I think you're confusing putting meat on the barbie.

      1. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Some men do get periods ...

        Pregnancy = "putting meat on in the barbie."

        Coat, obviously. For decency's sake.

        1. onefang Silver badge

          Re: Some men do get periods ...

          'Pregnancy = "putting meat in the barbie."

          Coat, obviously. For decency's sake.'

          If you are wearing a coat, that often stops a pregnancy from happening.

    2. Killfalcon Silver badge

      Re: Some men do get periods ...

      "Some men do get periods"

      Precisely. It's important to not confuse gender (Lad, Lady, etc) with sex (the biological workings - XX, XY, XYY, XXY, etc, etc - because biology is weirder than it needs to be).

      1. Lee D Silver badge

        Re: Some men do get periods ...

        At least 1% of the population of the world are actually, biologically, medically, intersex.

        That's the same portion as people like diabetics, autists, redheads, etc.... and yet we just exclude them from consideration for some reason.

        1. Trilkhai

          Re: Some men do get periods ...

          At least 1% of the population of the world are actually, biologically, medically, intersex.

          That's the same portion as people like diabetics, autists, redheads, etc....

          Estimating the prevalence of intersex people is difficult, as there's no consensus on what is or isn't included. The conditions that genuinely involve some crossing of the sexes (chromosomal abnormalities, androgen insensitivity, genitals that aren't clearly male or female, etc.) appear in fewer than 1/1000 births. That's nowhere near the percentages of the population who are diabetic, autistic, red-headed, etc.:

          Diabetes - 8.5% of the population

          Autism - 1.5% of births

          Redheads - 2-6% of Northern Europeans, 1-2% of all races

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Some men do get periods ...

            I'm definitely intersex though I think I may be misunderstanding the word.

            1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: Some men do get periods ...

              I'm definitely intersex though I think I may be misunderstanding the word.

              Infamy, infamy, they've all got it in .... ?

            2. Teiwaz Silver badge

              Re: Some men do get periods ...

              I'm definitely intersex though I think I may be misunderstanding the word.

              You're thinking of Unisex - if that's what you normally experience.

              (another 'ahh' Rincewind, 'I miss Terry Prattchet' message - from one of the early books)

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Some men do get periods ...

                @Teiwaz

                Riding a Unicycle is hard enough as it, let alone having sex as well, though on the one hand I think you might mean something different.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Some men do get periods ...

        It's important to not confuse gender (Lad, Lady, etc) with sex

        True. Gender is a grammatical concept that differentiates masculine language from feminine, sex differentiates male from female.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Some men do get periods ...

          True. Gender is a grammatical concept that differentiates masculine language from feminine, sex differentiates male from female.

          Only to social scientists, psychologists and other pseuds.

    3. Ted Treen
      Trollface

      Re: Some men do get periods ...

      Surely the esteemed Mr Dabbs is post-menopausal by now...

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Some men do get periods ...

      There are only two genders, and only biological women get pregnant.

      Take your 'progressive' 'gender is a social construct' nonsense and go away.

      P.S: Liberalism is a mental disorder.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Some men do get periods ...There are only two genders

        Gender is a grammatical concept. Even English is just hanging on to three (he, she, it) while Russian needs 4 - masculine animate, masculine inanimate, feminine and neuter.

        And gender very definitely is a social construct. Why are ships "she"? Why does a French soldier (le soldat) become feminine when he goes on duty (la sentinelle)? Why do we (when being rude, i.e. not PC) describe fussy men as "old women"?

        Liberalism, if it's a mental disorder, has got us from serf agriculture to the advanced parts of the modern world, so it has been a rather productive one. It helps to read the history of ideas rather than throw words around is if they had no meaning. Ask Diderot.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Some men do get periods ...

        Where do hermaphrodites, aka intersex, fit in your classification?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Some men do get periods ...

          hermaphrodites can go f*ck themselves.

          Sorry but I really really couldn't resist that one. I even sat on my hands for a bit but no, it came out anyway.

      3. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Some men do get periods ...

        There are only two genders, and only biological women get pregnant.

        Only women? I would suggest that the female of all mammal species can also achieve that state. Included the lesser spotted pedant.

  2. AlgernonFlowers4

    Only Women Bleed?

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/men-may-not-bleed-but-heres-why-they-have-periods

    1. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: Only Women Bleed?

      According to Alice Cooper, yes, Only Women Bleed...

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Only Women Bleed?

        I thought that was Julie Covington...........

        ......I'm off for a reminisce, I mean cold shower over that Rock Filly...I mean Follies

        1. cambsukguy

          Re: Only Women Bleed?

          It's amazing how many songs you think are original are covers or, at least, written by someone else and made famous by others.

          I am a huge Springsteen fan and still didn't know Blinded by the light was written by him for a long time. Similarly, Because the night.

          Alice (co-)wrote Only Women Bleed.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Only Women Bleed?

      I don't bleed, but I will confess to having periods - the time between whiskeys are my periods.

  3. herman Silver badge

    Beware when your spell checker wants to check your periods and colons. When you hear the snap of a rubber glove - run!

  4. richard?

    The "other wrist" thing in the end comment is actually a point. If you put the watch on so the text is the right way up, the buttons are probably not usable or may act in the wrong direction.

    iWatch has a right/left setting to flip the screen, but surprisingly it looks like Google Wear doesn't support this you need a separate app!

    1. Dabooka Silver badge

      Why do you need to turn your smart watch around to wear it on the other wrist?

      I don't understand, neither my traditional watches or my smart thingy get rotated; I'm a 'righty' in terms of where I wear my watch, and I'm right handed.

      Why does anything need flipping?

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Why do you need to turn your smart watch around to wear it on the other wrist?

        "I don't understand, neither my traditional watches or my smart thingy get rotated; I'm a 'righty' in terms of where I wear my watch, and I'm right handed.

        Why does anything need flipping?"

        First, the wristband being the wrong way was a joke that confused the salesmen because they didn't understand why anyone would want to put it on a different wrist than the one they designed it for. Secondly, most watches are designed to be worn on the left wrist and the winder or buttons are layed out for the most convenience when worn that way. Adjusting or winding a watch worn on the right-hand wrist becomes awkward.

        1. PPK

          Re: Why do you need to turn your smart watch around to wear it on the other wrist?

          I wear my Microsoft Band 2 on my right hand, display on the inner part of my wrist - it's a horizontal display and way easier to read when rotating my hand palm up. As a power saver it detects when you rotate your wrist to turn on the time display - the settings menu allows you to select which hand, and which way you are wearing it (inside or outside the wrist).

          Yet another thing Microsoft got right about the Band 2 - shame about the durability of the band itself...

  5. chivo243 Silver badge
    Trollface

    Better Option

    Let me track the missus period... I thought about a private calendar just to remind me!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Better Option

      Before the menopause my wife used to complain about irregular periods as that was the reason I had to make emergency trips to garages to buy tampons on Friday nights before bank holiday weekends.

      I started keeping my own calendar and it didn't need FFT to see what was going on - an almost exact 28 day cycle - my wife was just less organized than her reproductive equipment.

    2. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Better Option

      Why on earth do you need an IoT device to track your girlfriend's/wife's monthly cycle?

      Am I the only one who knows 1) to keep head down, 2) do not respond to shouting and swearing with "Is it your time dear?" and 3) make sure that the loo seat is always closed and clean?

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Better Option

        No, some others of us know our place as well (in the wrong and to blame usually, regardless of what about).

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Better Option

        make sure that the loo seat is always closed and clean

        I do that (well - the closed bit anyway) otherwise the indoor cats wouldn't be able to get to the cat kibble on the wide shelf above the main bathroom cistern[1]..

        The other cats use that path too - without bothering to wipe their feet after coming in from the garden. Hence the 'not clean' bit.

        [1] Yes - I know it's an odd place. But, when you have one cat with an uncertain stomach that's sometimes set off by eating, it's a lot better if she pukes on the tiled floor in the main bathroom rather than on the carpets[2] outside. Besides which, anyone who stays at our place is cat-tolerant (and in most cases, cat-friendly). And if they don't like it, they are free to not come and stay[3]..

        [2] Where the dog will usually find the 'output' and (mostly) clean it up. Just leaving a suspicious wet patch and the mostly-digested crumbled remains of last meals biscuits.. Dogs. There's a reason why I don't like dogs licking me..

        [3] Our house is (mostly) maintained for the comfort of the horde of cats (I think 7 counts as a horde..). I was programmed by them from a very early age.

        1. TheProf

          Re: Better Option

          @CrazyOldCatMan

          Ewww!

      3. chivo243 Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: Better Option

        @macjuiles

        No, most of already know these valuable words of advice. I just get caught off guard when this "time" comes with no pre-crime gestures. Sometimes things sail along so smoothly, you forget...

      4. Fungus Bob Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Better Option

        "Why on earth do you need an IoT device to track your girlfriend's/wife's monthly cycle?"

        That's a bit like asking why we need tornado warnings.

        1. John Miles
          Joke

          Re: why we need tornado warnings.

          You need to read reviews carefully on them - see xkcd's TornadoGuard

      5. el_oscuro

        Re: Better Option

        That should be the *first* thing any dude learns, along with never making jokes about their weight.

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Better Option

        I know when gf is on cycle as postmans cock tastes of blood

        coat = got

  6. David Roberts Silver badge
    Windows

    IT training in Primary Schools?

    What's that all about then?

    I was taught(ish) a lot of stuff at Primary and Secondary school which hasn't really come in useful since and is mainly forgotten. I include Latin and the more obscure parts of English syntax/grammar.

    I chanced on IT as a career after leaving University with no prior training. Took me about 6 months to become a mediocre programmer and another 6 to decide that this programming lark was going to get very repetitive and boring very soon. So I turned to more detailed stuff about how computers worked. The rest, as they say, is history with a touch of geography thrown in from time to time.

    Let us assume that today's cannon fodder exits the Higher Education scam (mainly designed to make the unemployment figures look good) at the age of 25 with no useful skills apart from flipping burgers or serving coffe which they learned in summer jobs. It looks as though they are going to be working until they are at least 75 so six months intensive training in an IT discipline should hopefully yield 49.5 years of productive work in IT. How is a programming course taught in Primary school going to significantly shorten the training? Unless they are actively programming at meaningful tasks all the way through including University nothing of significance is going to stick. What are they going to achieve and what is the short term reward? I very rarely progam any more because I have no need. I don't know anyone else not directly employed in IT who does either. IT has gone from being something new, exciting and arcane with high pay to being mundane stuff supplied for free (usually) on cheap consumer devices.

    I also doubt that many of my contemporaries remember or use any Latin. This programming thing is, IMHO, just smoke and mirrors to deflect the eye from the real issue; not many 25 year olds with above average intelligence are going to look at the current IT marketplace and think "Wow! This looks like an amazing career with secure and highly paid long term prospects.". They are more likely to decide that in 5-10 years flipping burgers will be more secure and pay better.

    And breathe!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: IT training in Primary Schools?

      I very rarely progam any more because I have no need. I don't know anyone else not directly employed in IT who does either.

      It'll come back. Some companies are already starting to realize the useless numpties graduating from useless Indian universities can't program to save their lives.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: IT training in Primary Schools?

      <rant>

      And it's people like you who do not have Computer Science qualifications, who dumb down the whole system and allow off-shoring. The sooner that Software Engineer is given protected status the better!

      "Only web development until you show me your Charter, Sonny."

      Copula hock in lido mulitum

      </rant>

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: IT training in Primary Schools?

        I find it's people with crappy Computer 'science' qualifications but no maths PhD that cause all my problems

      2. David Roberts Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: IT training in Primary Schools? Computer Science?

        I think you will find that very few of the people who built the massive everyday support infrastructure in the '70s and '80s (including banking, billing) had Computre Science degrees or Maths degrees. Nor did they have computer specific academic qualifications. A lot of COBOL programmers, though, with training by the company.

        When I started out as a COBOL programmer in the early '70s there weren't many CS bods around for at least two reasons.

        (1) There just wasn't the supply.

        (2) Their training was not in commercial programming. Spending time learning to write self modifying code in the smallest possible footprint to make the most of the limited capabilities of an obsolete last generation microprocessor does not make you a shoe in for writing clear, easily maintainable commercial code. In practice it was like taking on a badly trained horse. You had to break all the bad habits before you could start training with the good habits. Far swifter and easier to start with an untrained horse.

    3. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      Re: IT training in Primary Schools?

      "IT" isn't "programming". "IT" is "driving a car", "programming" is "designing and building a car".

    4. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: IT training in Primary Schools?

      I think NASA has been looking for some help with FORTRAN? Maybe my mom want's to come out of retirement?

      In schools, I think the skills should be measured, and then any student with a predisposition for the discipline should be exposed to the opportunities their skills would present. If they show interest, show them everything they can absorb.

    5. MonkeyCee Silver badge

      Re: IT training in Primary Schools?

      "I don't know anyone else not directly employed in IT who does either."

      All the mathematicians, statisticians, robotics engineers and data scientists I know all are not IT staff, but all can program to some degree because the computer is the tool for handling the data (and often collecting). So while most wouldn't be up to building an OS from scratch, almost all would be capable of building an application.

      Most mathematical and statistical software needs at least some basic programming concepts in order to use effectively even as a student. You can (in theory) explore numerical math by doing it on pen and paper, but it's easier to see the difference between different techniques when you don't have to do all the calculations by hand. To do that you need to at least understand the basics of recursion and building simple methods.

      I have to often explain this in a job interview, since while I can program (and expect to do some amount of it) I am *not* a programmer.

  7. BoldMan

    Excelelnt song!

    Thumbs up for mention of The Days of Pearly Spencer, great song and one of the best covers Marc Almond ever did (second only to Something Gotten Hold of my Heart)

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Excelelnt song!

      Although one would wonder how many know that Tainted Love (I know by Soft Cell, but sung by Almond) is also one (originally recorded by Gloria Jones in the mid-sixties) and might rival it?

      1. BoldMan

        Re: Excelelnt song!

        I actually prefer the original on that, although the analogue synth on the Soft Cell version is pretty good.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Excelelnt song!

          I actually prefer the original on that

          I think I'd always prefer an original to a Soft Cell version - I can't stand Marc Almond's voice. He's a really nice bloke and all that, but he really, really can't sing.

          Good backing music though.

  8. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    They are more likely to decide that in 5-10 years flipping burgers will be more secure and pay better.

    And nobody screaming at you regarding a borked RAID array... until the robots come and start doing the burger flipping for you...

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      >> burger flipping

      We were talking about this at a meeting yesterday. While any old robot can flip a burger, the whole process of cooking meals from start to finish is quite involved, especially in a restaurant - grabbing the right ingredients at the right time, topping up and adjusting quantities as required, tasting and re-seasoning, etc - and it looks as if it will be a long time yet before a robot can do this as efficiently as a human. I mean, you could spend a few billion on an AI to get it right eventually, but cooks do it cheaper, faster and they can do it now. No wonder so many millennials have opened cafes and restaurants.

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: >> burger flipping

        Have a look in factories where the make ready meals. And a lot of restaurants buy their meals from these places and microwave them.

        1. tiggity Silver badge

          Re: >> burger flipping

          Desserts are the biggest "brought in" item for most restaurants, always best to avoid dessert at low priced Italian restaurants as although they will typically do homemade starters and mains, the desserts will be often the same selection as the Italian restaurant down the road from same 3rd party Italian dessert suppliers

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: >> burger flipping

        Because the one thing that robots are worse than humans at is doing a bunch of sequenced tasks in parallel so that they all complete at the same time, while calculating ratios of masses?

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: >> burger flipping

          No, the one thing they can't consistently handle is something that is consistently INconsistent. Like shreds of lettuce and slices of tomatoes each different sizes and shapes. Or patties each slightly different in texture. I recall that why robots still can't harvest anything irregular and/or fragile.

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      "until the robots come and start doing the burger flipping for you..."

      The future is already here;-

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiD_6ex2ptY

  9. Stoneshop Silver badge
    Devil

    Is your smart device a bit thick?

    I have a belt sander as well as a planer, so a problem like that can be rectified instantly.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Is your smart device a bit thick?

      I have a belt sander as well as a planer

      Ohh! Look at your with your fancy andvanced equipment!

      I have a hammer. A big, big hammer. (No, it's not a euphanism).

      I guarentee, unless we are talking about late-90's vintage Cisco or Sun equipment, 30 seconds alone with me and Mr Hammer[1] and the smart device will be a whole lot less thick.

      [1] No - not the one in the funny trousers. I was going to try to make a Baggy Trousers joke but couldn't work out how to link MC Hammer and Madness..

      1. Colonel Mad

        Re: Is your smart device a bit thick?

        I have a Post Hole Digger!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is your smart device a bit thick?

      Here on the Reg I think we all know where 'the thick' really lies... A slurpy Smartwatch is just a self-imposed... Open-prison ankle-bracelet for the 'Dumb Fucks' generation... (IoT-Hell / IoT-Hype)

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/01/29/strava_heatmap_military_base_locations/

  10. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Louis Le Prince

    Now there's a name from the past. I wonder how many know what it was he did without looking him up?

    1. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

      Re: Louis Le Prince

      Yes, a massive lost opportunity. Imagine a windy treeless hillside with a giant sign, the single word 'LEEDS'...

  11. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    "Hang on, you cry, surely these are examples of spy technology being employed for good reasons with health benefits in mind?"

    Someone says this?

    You are probably right, and that's a scary thought.

  12. ehup

    " I look forward to buying a robot that chases me around the house, pestering me to buy another packet of tampons."

    - Superb. You owe me 5 minutes of time taken cleaning my monitor. Damn coffee.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Try rubbing it down with one of the aforementioned items...

  13. Charles 9 Silver badge

    I would actually prefer my smart device to be somewhat thicker. Not only can they put in a larger battery but they can make it removable as well. It's still my main reason for not taking a phone more sophisticated than a Galaxy Note 4.

  14. SVV Silver badge

    Big Zucker

    "I'm not so paranoid to believe that it's all done with evil intent by some British-accented villain chuckling "excellent, excellent" while watching us on a remote monitor from his lair in a hollowed-out volcano."

    Well that would just be silly. The Big Z has only just recently started the construction of the new Facebook HQ on Hawaii and he's far too uncouth to have properly mastered the accent yet.

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Big Zucker

      With a little luck, the Zuck might try hollowing a Hawaiian volcano out and do us all a favour.

      He can be his own sacrifice to Pele.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Big Zucker

        He can be his own sacrifice to Pele.

        They are worshipping old Brazilian footballers now?

        (Nervously awaiting a volcano to grow under parts of North Wiltshire)

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Big Zucker

      and he's far too uncouth to have properly mastered the accent yet

      Well - it'll just need some reprogramming of his speech synthesiser.

      (Is it just me that was struck by his resemblance to a badly-made android?)

      1. Sudosu

        Re: Big Zucker

        When I saw him in front of congress the first thought I had was that he was trying to prank them with an android.

        Maybe he is just trying to git picked up for a part in Westworld?

  15. Potemkine! Silver badge

    "How Einstein slipped through the net is anyone's guess"

    Haircut. Looking like a mad scientist made him famous.

    And Politicians _love_ Face de Bouc. Anything flattering their ego is what they want over everything else.

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: "How Einstein slipped through the net is anyone's guess"

      C'est à dire, le fesse-de-bouc.

  16. Fading Silver badge
    Terminator

    I suspect....

    The main purpose of Alexa, Siri, Cortana and Hey Google is in the collection of interaction data - to help form and inform the next level of AI. Any advantage to the "owner" of the device/app is purely coincidental. This being the case wouldn't it be better to have your voice pattern known during the early training stage for when the Skynet generation of devices takes over..... Maybe by having you voice associated with good pleasant things in the AI programming DNA at the primordial stage may prevent you being the "first against the wall when the revolution comes" ?

  17. lglethal Silver badge
    Joke

    "I'm not so paranoid to believe that it's all done with evil intent by some British-accented villain chuckling "excellent, excellent" while watching us on a remote monitor from his lair in a hollowed-out volcano.

    Of course not, thats a ridiculous suggestion. utterly unbelievable, totally not going to happen.

    They'll have an American accent. Duh!

  18. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    The race is almost run

    David McWilliams, 'Days Of Pearly Spencer' - That took me back! Thanks.

    For some reason it also reminded me of Zager And Evans', 'In The Year 2525' -

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izQB2-Kmiic

    Bugger. Now I'm going to have to work through Prelude's 'After the Goldrush"', Joan Baez's 'Rejoice in the Sun', and decades of haunting melodies. Maybe there's an App for that?

    1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
      Go

      Re: The race is almost run

      Just had a flashback to Silent Running with the mention of Rejoice, I also like Visages cover of 2525.

      I really need a mix tape or it's modern equivalent.

    2. Wensleydale Cheese
      Happy

      Re: The race is almost run

      "David McWilliams, 'Days Of Pearly Spencer' - That took me back! Thanks"

      I remember listening to it frequently enough that it stuck.

      Probably listening to Radio Luxembourg while doing my school homework,

  19. 404 Silver badge

    The title is too long.

    'Subtle changes over time in the way in which you attack your keyboard can indicate your degenerating cognitive and emotional state'

    I'll tell you straight up I'm feeling a bit off...

    Just ask me.

    o_o

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "If you should ever be foolish enough to demonstrate the last two, your influential and well-connected peers will fall over themselves to suppress, discredit or, worse, ignore you."

    They will also exploit your talents for their own ends.

  21. Mage Silver badge

    automatically detects when I go to bed

    I thought you wrote defecates for a moment. I'm getting old.

    §

    So right Dabbsey.

  22. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

    Hmmm..

    it will set off the klaxons if your speech patterns begin to alter

    So - every Friday night then. When the curry and two bottles of wine start to kick in..

  23. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Spread spectrum frequency encoding

    Thumbs up for mentioning Hedy Lamarr.

    1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
      Angel

      Re: Spread spectrum frequency encoding

      Everytime I hear\see that name I'm taken back to......

      Governor Lepetomane : Thank you, Hedy, thank you

      Hedley Lamarr : It's not *Hedy*, it's *Hedley*. Hedley Lamarr.

      Governor Lepetomane : What the hell are you worried about? This is 1874. You'll be able to sue *her*.

  24. fidodogbreath Silver badge

    my computer does not like what it detects as I tickle fitfully at the keys

    Yesterday, it offered to track my periods.

    Given Dabbsy's notoriously grumpy nature, it's an understandable mistake...

  25. Wensleydale Cheese

    "How Einstein slipped through the net is anyone's guess."

    "You're only allowed to be truly clever after you're dead: think Alan Turing, Louis Le Prince, Hedy Lamarr. How Einstein slipped through the net is anyone's guess."

    He lived in a different age when scientists were respected. Mind you, in their day, the privileged classes probably also thought that the relative who spent all his time in a homemade lab or exploring jungles was probably bonkers.

    The wild hair probably helped.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "How Einstein slipped through the net is anyone's guess."

      "You're only allowed to be truly clever after you're dead: think Alan Turing, Louis Le Prince, Hedy Lamarr. How Einstein slipped through the net is anyone's guess.""

      By going to America and not being illegally gay.

      Anybody who worked in a scientific role for the British Government was liable to be subjected to mushroom management (keep them in the dark and from time to time pour manure over them). Not only Turing but Cocks and doubtless others.

  26. onefang Silver badge
    Unhappy

    I'm often foolish enough to demonstrate talent and quality, and I do generally get ignored for my sins.

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      That's not too bad, actually.

      I have worked in environments where you were harshly punished for this.

  27. Colonel Mad

    Marc Almond also released Jacques Brel's' Jacky, originally sung by Scott Walker, another great song banned by the BBC at the time.

  28. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Happy

    Control

    Would it be wise to permit the ever escalating level of control our technology has achieved? All these articles are but the tip of the iceberg we should be navigating around. Not aiming straight for.

  29. Ben1892

    Tena Ladies

    I hear you Alistair, even with all this "clever" machine learning profiling that goes on, I still get offered products I'm not able to use, what with being male and not (yet!) incontinent

    1. Esme

      Quantum advertising?

      This article (Great one, Dabbsy!) got me pondering whether perhaps advertisers have started harnessing the power of Quantum in their ad-slinging. I recall making a comment in El Reg's hallowed web pages whilst I was in my last job about being bemused at being shown adverts to do with lingerie and red diesel not long after zapping Firefox entirely and doing a clean re-install.

      Now the lingerie ad was too late - I'm well into the comfy-knickers part of my life - but the red diesel might have been prescient. I'd never have guessed back then that I'd be sitting here today one year into a horticultural degree, having learned how to drive a tractor along the way.

      So in my case, advertising AI correctly identified what I was (female) but not when I was, whilst in Dabbsy's case, it identified when he was but not what.. - it's quantum innit?

  30. dbtx Bronze badge
    Thumb Up

    This was worth it. But I gotta say it is starting to seem a bit unsportsmanlike--- I mean, when you're literally surrounded by stupidity, taking aim is as easy as "away from yourself".

  31. Dave800

    Horrible development!

    I hate reports of this sort of development. As far as I can see, AI has yet to prove itself - it failed after much hype in the 1980's and that is enough for me.

    Why would anyone want to entrust their health to such a dodgy piece of technology, and why would anyone want to be permanently plugged into a virtual doctor anyway?

    Most people will see such an app as a 'bit of fun' but some people get hooked by hypochondria and I am sure it can make life a misery. We will all die one day, so it is better to enjoy life!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Horrible development!

      "I hate reports of this sort of development. As far as I can see, AI has yet to prove itself - it failed after much hype in the 1980's and that is enough for me."

      Electric cars failed the first time round because lead acid batteries have such a poor charge to weight ratio. The idea that a continuously variable gearbox would improve fuel economy was raised before WW1 but CVTs didn't really get there till the 21st century. Gas turbine aircraft were also predicted before 1914 but machining and metallurgy didn't catch up till the 1940s. The fact that something did not work in the past is not a guide to its not working in the present, assuming technology has advanced in the meantime.

      I don't know about you but in the 1980s I was working with sub-20MHz and tens of kilobytes. It was obvious that you couldn't do AI with something with much less computing power than a sea slug, but one thing that doesn't change is the hype industry.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All code is written by offshore idiots to the lowest price

    This shitty code is in your medical devices, cars, industrial systems, phones, apps and most devices in your homes. It's present on every website you visit.

    Insecure by negligence and stupidity, it's everywhere in your life.

    But hey - psychopaths are running the companies that make this stuff & they don't give a shit. They are cutting cost to get paid. You are not the 1%, so fuck you.

  33. arctic_haze Silver badge
    Holmes

    I've seen the author's photo

    Its careful analysis revealed that he is actually menopausal.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fitbit will work out male/female if...

    Just keep in on during sex.

    The software could probably even work out if you're married, guess your age etc...

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