* Posts by NightFox

444 posts • joined 23 Oct 2009

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Clap, damn you, clap! Samsung's Bixby 2.0 AI reveal is met with apathy

NightFox

Re: Where's MY AI?

"When I think back to AI assistants in the various Sci Fi books I've read, AI agents never seemed creepy because in books the agent is 100% owned by and working for the protagonist."

HAL 9000?

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Wearable hybrids prove the bloated smartwatch is one of Silly Valley's biggest mistakes

NightFox

Re: Still need that "killer app" ?

"Young people today (the lucky bastards!) no longer wear normal watches. Why? Because they've got a phone in their pocket and so don't need one..."

"The majority of people stopped wearing watches once the mobile phone took hold, who needs a watch to tell the time when you already have it?"

Yet the irony is that about 100 years ago the wristwatch came into being as something that was more convenient than having to remove an object from your pocket every time you wanted to check the time (admittedly more critical back then when you were fixing bayonets about to go over the top and charge Fritz, but the convenience outlasted the initial driver).

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NightFox

Re: Er, seemsd to have missed....

It's actually £600 which is quite a way off ~£1000 (even extras like sapphire 'glass' only pushes it up a bit), but I take your point. And don't get me going about the 5+ battery life, although hopefully it's a firmware issue.

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My PC makes ‘negative energy waves’, said user, then demanded fix

NightFox

othing wrong with wireless keyboards.

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Watchdog growls at Tesla for spilling death crash details: 'Autopilot on, hands off wheel'

NightFox

Re: Crash (almost) re-created by another driver

If the autopilot detects and warns for hands-off the wheel after 6 seconds, why doesn't it take further action if the situation isn't then rectified, e.g. by progressively reducing the speed by a safe rate?

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Hate to add to the wanky jargon – but your digital transformation is actually a bolt-on

NightFox

Maybe I'm not really understanding this digital transformation thing, but I can't help wondering what any company that suddenly finds itself in need of digital transformation has otherwise been doing over the last 20+ years?

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Office junior had one job: Tearing perforated bits off tractor-feed dot matrix printer paper

NightFox

Mid-to-late '80s, a complaint from one of our offices that the documents being faxed through from another office every night were coming through corrupted and unreadable. After replacing the fax machines at both ends to no avail, eventually it was discovered that the lady who had to send the faxes through before she went home every night had discovered that she could speed things up by firmly pulling the pages through the fax machine roller which she found tediously slow otherwise.

And as regards manual carbon copying, we had some strange sort of manually-operated machine called a Banda which duplicated hand-written forms, it seemed like something from the previous century, the sort of thing you'd expect to see operated by 7 year-olds with one of them occassionally losing a limb in the process. I just remember a lady known only as 'Banda Anne' who spent the whole day sat at this thing pulling levers and inking drums, a bit like those people you see in Vegas perched on stools in front of the one-armed bandits (except the inking drums part, obvs).

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US Supremes take a look at Microsoft's Irish email slurp battle, and yeah, not a great start

NightFox

Doesn't that depend on the type of data? In this case it's an email, so GDPR would only come into play if that email included protected data.

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Charity accused of leaving sensitive notes behind after office move

NightFox

Read the headline and I imagined a vacated office festooned with Post-its with nice, non-confrontational, self-esteem-boosting messages written on them.

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In America, tech support conmen get a mild slap. In Blighty, scammers get the book thrown at them

NightFox

Nonsense. I can tell they're based locally because they're always called Steve and comment on how nice/nasty the weather is in <insert customer's town here> today.

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FYI: That Hawaii missile alert was no UI blunder. Someone really thought the islands were toast

NightFox

Re: Conflicting information

@Charles 9 - I guess it depends on the situation - people are much more mentally resilient to "There's smoke coming from one of the toasters in the staff restaurant, please leave the building in an orderly manner - actually not really, it was just a test", than: "There's an incoming ICBM. These are the last few minutes of your life. You will never see your wife or your young children again, your last thoughts will be imagining your terrified children at school crying for you and you can do nothing, nothing to ease their fear. Ha! Psych! Not really!"

I recently saw a bit of video from the '70s or '80s showing an RAF early warning centre going through a training simulation of an attack being launched against the UK and it sent shivers down my spine.

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NightFox

Re: Conflicting information

Yeah, I think the trouble is "this is not a drill" has just become a cliche due to Hollywood (I bet there was even an "I say again..." in there, and as such it's automatically included without people even thinking what it actually means.

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Microsoft Surface Book 2: Electric Boogaloo. Bigger, badder, better

NightFox

...or, some people do actually have requirements that a £200 Tesco's Celeron laptop can't quite meet.

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Pro tip: You can log into macOS High Sierra as root with no password

NightFox

Macs are consumer devices. The vast majority of users/owners aren't going to even know what root access is, and nor should they need to.

"IT people" who look down on users who don't have a professional level of IT knowledge and roll their eyes at them whenever this type of things happen just reinforce the Moss stereotype. A total failure to understand and therefore accommodate the user's average expected level (or lack) of knowledge is also a reason so many issues occur in the first place.

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Apple whispers how its face-fingering AI works

NightFox

Re: Blast from the past

Yeah, I've got a Lumia 950 that work give me, and and iPhone X as my personal phone. The face unlock technology and capability on those 2 devices is worlds apart. The Lumia's is so slow and unreliable that I never use it and more, so it certainly wasn't magical and changed nothing for me. Apple's FaceID, on the other hand, has been virtually flawless in my experience and once you adjust to using it is probably the most unobtrusive way I've ever encountered of unlocking a phone or identifying myself.

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Judge used personal email to send out details of sensitive case

NightFox

I've see this type of thing happen a lot when people add their personal email accounts to their work Outlook profiles. They then send a work email straight after looking at their personal inbox and don't realise it'll be sent from that account. Not saying that's what's happened here, but it wouldn't surprise me.

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Alabama man gets electrocuted after sleeping with iPhone

NightFox

Re: I was hoping for more snarky comedy

Don't forget there's a considerable amount of sleep monitoring apps out there that do instruct you to sleep with your phone on your bed or even under your pillow

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Fitbit hit on Pebble kit cost just 20 million quid? Oh s**t!

NightFox
Black Helicopters

Re: If they are losing money...

We need a new version of Godwin's law - one that relates to Big Brother rather than Hitler.

6
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Gulp! Drones dodge spray from California's gaping moist glory hole

NightFox

Re: Portal to another Dimension

The close-up looks like a Winamp visualization plugin from the '90s

10
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'Hey, Homeland Security. Don't you dare demand Twitter, Facebook passwords at the border'

NightFox

Re: This has been a policy since at least 2008

Sure, voluntarily - no one's going to force you to do it, you can just decline and jump back on the next flight home.

Besides Sir, if you've got nothing to hide then why on earth wouldn't you want to support us in our fight against terrorism? Heck, no, there must be some goddam reason you're acting so un-American and unpatriotic (apart from not being American). Sir, are you obstructing me in my duties? etc etc etc

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All of Blighty's attack submarines are out of action – report

NightFox

"six of the seven boats are in maintenance – except for the seventh"

Just sayin', like.

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Who do you want to be Who? VOTE for the BBC's next Time Lord

NightFox

Re: Let's think big

Good point - I'm pretty sure being the last of the Timelords and President of the Earth doesn't exempt anyone from DDA. The present incarnation probably has a legal obligation to modify the TARDIS appropriately to avoid discriminating against future companions, or even future regenerations. At least he'll probably get a blue badge out of it.

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Watch: MIT's terrifying invisible gel robo-eels snatch live fish

NightFox

Re: Those hydrogel 'robots'

Yes, I was just about to ask what made these "robots" - If I move a ping pong ball by inflating a balloon placed next to it, is that balloon a robot? Is the grabber-rake I use to pick up leaves in my garden a robot?

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Men! If you want to win at board games this Christmas, turn off the rock music – scientists

NightFox
Headmaster

Reg headline fail.

Operation is no more a board game than snooker is. There's no board for a start, that's a big clue in itself.

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No super-kinky web smut please, we're British

NightFox

So, it's fine for Theresa May to s**t all over us, but not for anyone to watch?

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Amazon's Netflix-gnasher to hit top gear In December

NightFox

There seems to be an assumption that this means that The Grand Tour will be made available to stream in all these countries before Christmas and therefore Amazon video must be extending its footprint, but is it not possible that Amazon are just selling the show to traditional broadcasters in other countries?

Hey, maybe it'll even sell it back to the BBC (like it did with Ripper Street) to replace Top Gear, coals to Newcastle and all that

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IoT worm can hack Philips Hue lightbulbs, spread across cities

NightFox
Coat

Re: hollowed-out trade mark

They still make those nice screwdrivers that you can open paint tins with though

6
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Royal Horticultural Society's PC is rooted for all to see

NightFox

Went to watch Thomas Dolby play London's Scala a few years back. The show didn't get off to the best of starts when a few minutes in the sequencer software (Cubase IIRC) that the whole gig was running on came up with "Your trial period has expired...." in front of the packed venue

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Adventures in (re) naming your business: Fire up the 4-syllable random name generator

NightFox

Coming up with 21st brand names is so easy:

Take a verb loosely related to your product

Add "a" to the end of it (or even "ia" if you really want to go for it)

Job done. Make sure you charge a fixed fee, not an hourly rate.

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My Nest smoke alarm was great … right up to the point it went nuts

NightFox

Re: I had a first gen go wacko

I also had 2 first gen Nests, which were fine until they got to almost 2 years old, and one started false alarming in the middle of the night, which then set the other off in sympathy like howling dogs. Unfortunately they were the mains operated ones with a non-accessible back-up battery so after two nights of false alarms I ended up putting them in the garage wrapped in several blankets so as to hopefully not wake up the whole neighbourhood when they went off again.

I was all set to kill them in a bucket of water the next day if the batteries hadn't run down, but by chance I noticed that because I'd bought them from John Lewis, they were still covered by a two year guarantee. Their CS said I'd need to take them into my local JL, so I ended up having to drive 25 miles with two smoke detectors on the passenger seat next to me, having to hit the silence button when they went off every few minutes. Eventually got to JL half-deaf and exchanged for two v2 versions (which have worked faultlessly since).

Next morning I got a call from the JL store. Did I know any way of stopping these alarms going off every few minutes? They were driving everyone in the store mad and somebody was having to stay near them to mute them all the time so as not to cause staff/customers to think it was a genuine alarm. The back-up battery life in those things must have been incredible.

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NightFox

Re: What is 'Smart'?

Well, I'll grant you that it's not quite 'smart' in that it doesn't involve any conditional decision making, but there is IoT integration beyond just the smoke detectors - if one of my Nest smoke detectors triggers, it will automatically turn off my central heating boiler (controlled by Tado) and turn on all my Philips Hue lights in red, which apparently provides better lighting in a smoke-filled environment.

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When you've paid the ransom but you don't get your data back

NightFox

Re: Is it legal to pay this?

No different from kidnap for ransom pay-outs, and there's no law against them across most of the world

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Google plots cop detection for auto autos

NightFox

Re: red and blue lights

I perked my own interest and found this: http://www.911signalusa.com/how-emergency-vehicle-lights-are-used-a-112.html

which says "Additionally, some states, including Texas and New Mexico, also allow blue emergency lights to be used on tow trucks and construction or utility vehicles."

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NightFox

Re: Fax noise!

Why design new universal protocols when you're already using the well-established fax protocol? Since the mass adoption of the MP3 player, most cars are fitted with now-redundant CD slots. Simply fit a fax behind that and low and behold, the driver gets a slip of paper spooling out of the CD player slot with PULL OVER printed on it in a blurry '80s stylee.

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NightFox

Re: red and blue lights

Or in Albuquerque NM - I remember pulling over once when I saw a blue flashing light in my rear-view mirror and getting much cursed and beeped at by the drivers behind me, but I smugly remained pulled over as they passed thinking "idiots, they should check their rear view mirrors". Then the bin lorry with the blue flashing light also trundled past me. It would seem that in some parts of the US the only colour of flashing light restricted to the emergency (or should that be 'murguncy'?) services is red, with service vehicles able to use any other colour they want.

As an aside, it's always struck me as odd in Spain that fire engines and police cars have blue lights, whilst ambulances have amber lights, the same colour as bin lorries.

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Publishing military officers' names 'creates Islamic State hitlist'

NightFox

Also the Police

Police officers aren't required to divulge their names when they would otherwise be required to if whatever they're dealing with is related to terrorism (which, as we all know, includes just about everything these days). Because obviously PC Smith identifying himself when carrying out a stop-and-search is going to put him right at the top of ISIS hit-list, who would otherwise never be able to track him down without his name.

I also question why uniformed armed officers and the like frequently feel the need to disguise themselves by wearing balaclavas (no, not flash hoods) - I suspect in most cases it's more to do with achieving the Hollywood look than any qualified threat of reprisal compared to that for any other uniformed police officer, or is the photo of the local beat officer on my village noticeboard soon going to be anonymised and have black tape put over his eyes?

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NightFox

Re: Islamic State Hitlist

I think you might be thinking of the various "Secret Bunker" signs dotted around the country where cold war nuclear control bunkers have been re-opened as tourist attractions

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Russian spy aircraft are flying over Britain – and the MoD's cool with it

NightFox

Re: Drone on

Can't we resurrect XH558 to do our reconnaissance flights, just for shits'n'giggles like?

15
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Gullible Essex Police are now using junk science lie detectors

NightFox

Ahh Mystic Meg, always proving there WAS a happy medium after all.

3
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ZX Printer's American cousin still in use, 34 years after purchase

NightFox

Much more entertaining was my Commodore 1520 Printer Plotter - watching the thing hand-write every character with a miniature biro, in the choice of black, blue, red & green. I've still got it somewhere but I guess then pens will be long dried out by now.

3
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Google tried to be funny, cocked it up, everyone thought it was a bug

NightFox

Re: What a useful feature.

Outlook has a little-known "ignore" function that pretty much does this

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1
NightFox

MIssing the Point?

Even if this hadn't backfired, where's the April Fool prank? Surely the whole point of April Fools is FOOLING people into believing something that isn't true... how does this even meet that criteria since they actually did it?

26
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Argos offers 'buy now pay in 3 months' deal

NightFox

Re: Because data protection

If I get one of these calls and I'm confident that it's legitimate but they're asking me to authenticate, then rather than end up having to call back a call centre in India, I give them a false answer (such as wrong letters from my password). If they're genuine, they'll tell me it's wrong and give me another chance, if they accept the false info then the phone goes down.

Yes, I do realise it's not fool proof, but I takes me chances.

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Ready for a nostalgia kick? Usborne has put its old computer books on the web for free

NightFox

Wow, I'd totally forgotten these - though there must be 3 or 4 of them still on my old bedroom bookshelf back at my Dad's house. I think my most used (by a long shot) was the Adventure Game one. I got it just before our annual 2-week holiday to Wales, and spent most of that fortnight laying out the map and items on paper, desperate to get back home and be able to start coding it on my C64.

I still remember that the very first thing you had to do to get anywhere in my game (The Adventurer) was "CALL GUARD" - luckily my game got its guards from the same place all Hollywood movies get theirs from so the guard was stupid and easy to overcome.

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Council of Europe gets tough on net neutrality

NightFox

How far "down the line" will this go? Does this mean that that it'll be illegal for a hotel or hotspot provider to offer me free Internet "for browsing only" at an artificially restricted speed, but offer me the option of a faster service that will also allow VPN, VOIP and downloading for a fee?

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TalkTalk: Hackers may have nicked personal, banking info on 4 million Brits

NightFox

Re: Apathy

Let me change your post:

Apathy

It is astounding how numb BUSINESS is about this continual tide of massive breaches of private info right around the world. W[here]TF is this going to go.

If I was CEO of any large company, the minute I saw something like this in the news I'd have my CISO in front of me and I'd be demanding assurances that all our data was encrypted etc

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Doctor Who returns to our screens next week – so, WHO is the worst Time Lord of them all?

NightFox

Someone please remind me why we count Paul McGann, but not Peter Cushing?

2
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Turn-by-turn directions coming to Ordnance Survey Maps

NightFox

Re: too little too late

Bing Maps gives you online access to OS maps for free - though I'll admit I can't find it on the new version so either they've done a Google and made it impossible to find, or maybe they've just done away with it. However, click the option to revert to the previous version and it's there - just click the "Road" dropdown and you can choose from Road, London Street Map or OS Map.

Freetarding FTW!

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Commodore PET lurches out of its 1970s grave – as a phablet

NightFox

PET 2001

So despite being called PET, this is actually a C64 and Amiga emulator? Shame - I was really hoping to get some quality Android Nim and AFO time in.

Now correct me if I'm wrong here (and I'm sure someone will), but as I remember it *all* PETs were white-screen with the built-in tape deck - the later models with green screen and a proper keyboard (which meant the tape deck was separate) were actually called CBM 3032 (the last two digits being the memory size) - I think the PET name was only officially used for the PET 2001?

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Oi, idiot fanbois. DON'T buy this gun-shaped iPhone case, mmkay?

NightFox

It's impressive how they've perfectly segued the shape of the iPhone into the shape of a gun

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