* Posts by anthonyhegedus

445 posts • joined 9 Feb 2016

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Total Inability To Support User Phones: O2 fries, burning data for 32 million Brits

anthonyhegedus
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OK so now their status reads:

"The network issue continues to be a top priority for us and we apologise to all our customers impacted by this.

Earlier today we suspended any planned works or updates across our systems and network. This allowed hundreds of people from both our technical teams and our third-party supplier’s teams to focus on fixing the problem, helping us to restore data services as quickly as we can which will also help reduce the high network demand we’re currently seeing for voice calls."

Hundreds of technical people? Doesn't smack of a software problem, or at least not a simple one. It sounds like a problem that requires a lot of manpower, like manually adjusting settings at thousands of different sites.

Today lots of things are going down for me and people I know, and we've actually had customers phone up and ask if it was due to the O2 problem!

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anthonyhegedus
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I love the way they immediately set the “blame path” to “third party suppliers” and then try to disperse the pain and further divert the blame by saying that other networks are affected throughout the world.

Then they advise you to use WiFi.

Why not show a bit of humility and have the outage posted front and centre on their main web page?

Anyway I’m surprised they haven’t blamed brexit!

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Microsoft polishes up Chromium as EdgeHTML peers into the abyss

anthonyhegedus
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Yes, XP, which was better at running viruses than actual software

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anthonyhegedus
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Re: "Oh shit I just hit back space and actually went back a page"

So you make your browser pander to the tiny proportion of people who don't use a mouse, rather than the majority of people who don't want the backspace button to delete the last character typed?

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He's not cracked RSA-1024 encryption, he's a very naughty Belarusian ransomware middleman

anthonyhegedus
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I think the point is that the company describes itself as being able to decrypt files. It would probably be just as successful if they explained that they're the middleman and will deal with the blackmailer on your behalf, and then come and make a site visit and get your files back. Yes, it saves all that horrible bitcoin nonsense from affecting the victim. It's a good idea from that standpoint. You pay £1000 for doing it yourself our £2000 for someone to do it for you.

As to whether it's a good idea in the big scheme of things, that's a different matter.

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Blockchain study finds 0.00% success rate and vendors don't call back when asked for evidence

anthonyhegedus
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Blockchain has only one true application, and that's enabling cryptocurrencies. And cryptocurrencies have only one application, and that's criminal money-collection and laundering. Unless you count 'being a hobby for millennials' as an application.

The blockchain is a brilliant way to run a database where transactions take up megawatt-hours of energy, and the whole thing isn't centralised. The whole concept is tarnished by the twattishness that surrounds it - from the weird Japanese does-he-doesn't-he exist inventor, to the fact that mainly criminals seem to benefit from it.

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Seeing as Bitcoin is going so, so well, Ohio becomes first US state to take biz taxes in BTC

anthonyhegedus
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What a stupid idea

Bitcoins are really wasteful. How many megawatt-hours does it take to process a bitcoin transaction these days? They're wildly fluctuating in value and fiendishly difficult to use, and very expensive to convert.

The only purpose for bitcoins is scamming, money laundering and basically any criminal activity. They have no real-world applications other than that, because all other 'applications' are just a hobby.

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Office 365 Exchange enjoys a less than manic Monday. Users? Not so much

anthonyhegedus
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We used our remote support system to message a hundred or so users. A message just flashed up on their screen. But if we didn't have that, how are you supposed to communicate to your customers that a service provided through you is hosed?

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Shocker: UK smart meter rollout is crap, late and £500m over budget

anthonyhegedus
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Re: Home security problem

"Wake me up when these things have a householder option to delay the sending of usage by a fortnight."

All it'll take is a cash-strapped sysadmin to check who hasn't sent it a usage report for a while.

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If Shadow Home Sec Diane Abbott can be reeled in by phishers, truly no one is safe

anthonyhegedus
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What am I missing?

She said she was initially taken in. She doesn’t say she let somebody remotely control her computer. A lot of people could be very easily initially taken in when the phone call starts and then within 10 seconds realise that it’s a scam. This is a non-story about Diane Abbott and the usual tropes about her not being able to think clearly. I may not agree with a lot of her policies (or indeed most of them), but this really is bashing her for no reason.

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Heart Internet stops beating, starts Monday with big portion of FAIL

anthonyhegedus
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Re: Interesting...

@Nigey absolutely with you on that one. ICUK rarely have downtime and when they do they remember to put honest, up to date, relevant and timely messages on their status page, and they don't delete them five minutes after the problem's fixed.

Only thing is they don't do hosted exchange, but not a biggy.

They're a very good reseller provider.

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anthonyhegedus
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It is when you've got 100 microsoft exchange users, half of them remote users.

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anthonyhegedus
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I'm the one who wrote '"This shower of a hosting company have had at least one long outage a month every month for the last year,"' - it's now 1115 and we haven't had an update for almost two hours!

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Seagate HAMRs out a roadmap for future hard drive recording tech

anthonyhegedus
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Should be large enough to hold drivers for more than one Hewlett-Packard printer then!

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BT, beware: Cityfibre reveals plan to shovel £2.5bn under Britain's rural streets

anthonyhegedus
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Loads of people have fibre though

There are posters on the street cabinets saying fibre is here, and BT, Sky and talk talk are advertising fibre broadband. I don’t see what the fuss is about

Facetious mode off.

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Memo to Microsoft: Windows 10 is broken, and the fixes can't wait

anthonyhegedus
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The reason it worked with bing is that nobody in their right mind uses bing.

But seriously, the thing that gets me how can the company be so arrogant as to reduce the number of testers and QA staff? It really beggars belief!

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Zip it! 3 more reasons to be glad you didn't jump on Windows 10 1809

anthonyhegedus
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Windows updates - now with extra pain. Windows updating at the start of a presentation not annoying enough? Don't worry, we've got that covered! If your computer ever finishes its update, you can be sure of hundreds of new bugs in things you just assumed worked.

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anthonyhegedus
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It is a bit of a disgrace. How do they manage to introduce new bugs into something that's been in windows as long as zip file handling? For a problem to have appeared there, there must have been a change. What was the change that caused that problem?

Windows has always been known for its propensity to dick people around. Microsoft is now getting a reputation for making over-complicated, hard to use and unreliable software. The biggest gripe of all is the updates.

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Chinese biz baron wants to shove his artificial moon where the sun doesn't shine – literally

anthonyhegedus
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It would be far more profitable if the beam could be accurately focused onto small areas, like 1 square metre or less. Then they could hire it out to governments, superpowers, assassins, terrorist groups etc. I'd say that would make far more money than just saving a large city's leccy bill.

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Leaked memo: No internet until you clean your bathroom, Ecuador told Julian Assange

anthonyhegedus
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It's no good without genuine pictures of his cat.

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Microsoft deletes deleterious file deletion bug from Windows 10 October 2018 Update

anthonyhegedus
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QA

It's a quality assurance problem. When writing code that deletes user files (due to age, being in the wrong place, whatever), the code needs to go through some extra quality assurance. I'm sorry Microsoft but if we aren't told that there is extra quality assurance that occurs when this sort of code is written, we can't trust your code. It's just not an option. They need to get this done and reassure us.

How they do this is really not our concern, they're the company we are all trusting with our computers. Sorry, I mean 'the computers that we are allowed to use by the grace of microsoft'.

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Microsoft yanks the document-destroying Windows 10 October 2018 Update

anthonyhegedus
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Surely a company the size and might of Microsoft would have the manpower to have worked out what the hell caused this almighty clusterfuck by now?

They should publish what it was that went wrong ASAP so that competent technicians (i.e. not Microsoft support) can fix it themselves.

I bet the scammers will have produced a web page saying "call this toll free number to recover your files after bad update lost them" before Microsoft admit to and publish whatever the hell went wrong.

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Day two – and Windows 10 October 2018 Update trips over Intel audio

anthonyhegedus
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My dad's computer tried upgrading to 1809. It failed. It then tried again, but refused to do any of the work on reboot. So it's sat on 1803, but with a message saying reboot pending. It absolutely won't install the new OS version. I've tried deleting the software distribution folder, all sorts of stuff to no avail.

Come on Microsoft! At least it hasn't hosed the machine I suppose, small mercies.

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anthonyhegedus
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One way of getting round the problem with edge not working would be to install chrome or Firefox. Isn’t that the first thing you do with Edge, aka the chrome downloader?

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Brit mobe operator O2 asks cut-off customers: Have you tried turning it on and off again?

anthonyhegedus
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Interesting. Yes, it’s not so bad because there’s WhatsApp and iMessage but it’s still annoying. I just started a new contract as well.

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anthonyhegedus
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O2 really need to get ahead of the curve with new tech. They had a very good app called TU GO which worked as a VoIP phone, letting you send/receive texts and make/receive phone calls through wifi. Great, until they got rid of it and replaced it with WiFi calling, which is built into most modern handsets. At least I thought it was great until I moved house to somewhere where there is absolutely no mobile signal on any network.

I thought "wifi calling will cover me". Well, sort of. Calls work fine, but SMS is not carried over the wifi bearer for some reason! My wife's EE phone can do it, but not O2. Trying to get an answer out of them elicits the telephonic equivalent of a blank stare. They have no clue when or if it'll work. But WHY? Why doesn't it work? Why can't they make it work like other networks do?

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Windows 10 1809: Now arriving on a desktop near you (if you want it)

anthonyhegedus
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Re: Not worried for the next 12 months

"There is nothing in this release I want so I will continue my policy of delaying all feature upgrades for the maximum permitted time while the rest of the world tests and debugs them for me."

You absolute rebel!

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anthonyhegedus
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It'll tie up older PCs that still use spinning disks for a long time. But even a fast computer with an SSD will be tied up for at least 15-30 minutes. People who use their computers for a living, you know, who actually need it to do their job, will be pissed off as usual. Microsoft have to find a way to do their feature updates without a reboot for people to stop thinking the whole process is a joke.

And another thing. This 'fast boot' thing where when you shut down it really only does a log-out-and-hibernate so that it'll start up quicker next time will get turned on if it was turned off. This would be great if it worked. We all know that Windows needs to be rebooted from time to time because it's 'gone wrong'. So people shut it down and start it up again. Except that is NOT the same as a reboot. Problems persist, time is wasted. We see people's computers not having been properly actually rebooted for weeks sometimes. So once again, Microsoft haven't thought something through. Windows needs rebooting regularly to work properly. Shutting it down every night isn't the same thing. People naturally assume that if it's not working they should 'turn it off and on again' and that makes no difference.

What microsoft need to do is to make the system reliable enough that it doesn't need rebooting every few days, and that's a tall order.

And before anyone downvotes me, I can say that it's our number 1 fix for our 600-odd customer end users' problems. They have a problem, we ask them to RESTART, and they protest, saying they've done that. So we explain that they haven't. We talk them through the process and the problem is fixed.

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VirusTotal slips on biz suit, says Google's daddy will help the search for nasties

anthonyhegedus
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Re: so..

But the virus writers can check their code on VT anyway. So it's no more or less risky that having the browser do it automatically.

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Microsoft gets ready to kill Skype Classic once again: 'This time we mean it'

anthonyhegedus
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It's easy to blame GDPR. What next? Blame Brexit?

The truth is, Microsoft like to change user interfaces in order to piss off users. It's the only logical explanation.

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Amazon Alexa outage: Voice-activated devices are down in UK and beyond

anthonyhegedus
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Coat

Seriously, I'm going to be stuffed when I get home. I won't have a clue how to turn on the bedside lights (I believe there's a device called a 'light switch' attached, but heaven knows how you address it). I won't be able to ask Alexa how many cm 18 feet is, and I won't be able to convert celsius to Fahrenheit for my wife. Well, I won't be able to do these things upstairs, but I can go down and ask google to do it for me. But the inconvenience of having to go downstairs to ask to turn on my bedside light is so great I feel a class action lawsuit here.

Now which way up do I sit on the toilet?

I'll get my coat. It's the one with the piss-filled boot with pouring-out instructions written on the heel.

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Deliveroo to bike food to hungry fanbois queuing to buy iPhones

anthonyhegedus
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I don't get why people are queuing up for iphones tomorrow. The whole thing about delivering to people waiting in the queue just normalises the materialistic madness of the whole thing. I for one won't be queuing up for hours just to get the new phone. I'll be paying someone to do it for me, while I drink avocado smoothies at an artisan coffee and avocado bar nearby.

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'Men only' job ad posts land Facebook in boiling hot water with ACLU

anthonyhegedus
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Re: In the current environment, women are too much of a business risk..

@AC the point is, we are meant to spread the risk. Men can get sick, women can get sick, men are more likely to do something risky and get killed, women are more likely to get pregnant and have kids. By spreading the risk and never discriminating by sex/gender/whatever it's called these days, we give fair and equal opportunities to everyone. We can pick and choose to some extent i.e. only hire people qualified to do the job, but we have to stop discriminating based on gender, race, etc.

However, the problems start when you run a small business. You can't afford to spread the risk between men and women. Women *are* more likely to get pregnant and have kids, so do you really want to spend time training and money investing in someone who is likely to be a drain on your resources?

By the way I don't speak to my sister either.

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Linux kernel's Torvalds: 'I am truly sorry' for my 'unprofessional' rants, I need a break to get help

anthonyhegedus
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I'll get flamed for this...

... but should I switch to Windows now that nobody's at the helm of Linux?

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The grand-plus iPhone is the new normal – this is no place for paupers

anthonyhegedus
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"On the average salary, after tax, that is roughly 6% of take home pay for something which will depreciate almost completely over the two years."

No, it doesn't depreciate almost completely after two years. iPhones hold their value remarkably well. Everything else you say is spot on though.

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Python joins movement to dump 'offensive' master, slave terms

anthonyhegedus
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Why not just call everything a 'thingie'?

Actually, on second thoughts, who gives a fuck, seriously?

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PPI pushers now need consent to cold-call you

anthonyhegedus
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Re: @Vometia Munro

"Because berating the front line staff is the key to getting policy changed? Well done."

That's why they're called 'front line staff'. Who else are you going to talk to? Unless you've got time to say 'Before you deal with my appointment, could you please put me through to the member of staff whose responsibilities include setting the outgoing CLI on your outbound phone calls?'. These organisations have no other person to talk to, other than the person who is on the 'front line'. Obviously you don't need to berate them, but you could try and get across how annoying it is.

I've missed several appointments from the doctors because I won't take withheld calls. Tossers.

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anthonyhegedus
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Re: @aks - Personal Privacy

Then they can disable Caller Display on their phone. Either they want it, or they don't.

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anthonyhegedus
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Doctors surgeries should not be allowed to withhold their CLI. It's 2018 for fucks sake!

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anthonyhegedus
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Last time I checked, international calls come up with the full CLI and not the word 'international' - I believe that only a few of the crappier phone service providers in the UK don't pass full CLI for international calls.

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anthonyhegedus
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chain of command

The problem is that the PPI (and other) companies pay other companies for leads. These companies pay other companies to do cold calling. These companies are based in India and not under TPS regulations. So who does the ICO need to fine? Does the buck stop at the PPI company, who (unlikely but possible) might not know how the leads are being brought in?

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Y'know what? VoIP can also be free from pesky regulation – US judges

anthonyhegedus
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Re: Emergency service

"I have a cordless phone, yes. I also have a cheap corded one in a box upstairs. In case of, you know, a power cut."

So in the event of an emergency you have to go and find the corded phone which is in a box, and find a socket and plug it in. Doesn't sound especially useful in an emergency situation. Maybe a mobile phone would be more useful.

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anthonyhegedus
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Emergency service

I would have thought that most calls to emergency services are over mobile now anyway. But this 'power failure' argument doesn't wash. Most people have a cordless phone at home, which, guess what, has a base station that isn't battery-powered, and will not work in the event of a power cut.

At what stage does a communication service become a public utility though? Some people make most of their calls over whatsapp or similar apps. Some emergency services accept communications by means other than the PSTN. At what stage does a PSTN itself stop being a public utility? When it's all VoIP? or when people stop using it, because other technologies are better quality and more reliable?

Let's face it, we already get better quality from mobile-to-mobile calls with the widespread use (in the UK at least) of higher bandwidth codecs. You can't get that sort of quality on regular fixed-line phones.

I would say that if a service is designed to route the majority of its voice comms through what is currently called the PSTN, then it's as much of a public utility as any other voice provider, irrespective of the endpoint technology used.

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I've seen the future of consumer AI, and it doesn't have one

anthonyhegedus
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I really can't understand the point of a remotely controlled smart kettle. I mean you need to be there both pre- and post- the boiling part anyway. There are three actions needed to use a kettle to make a cup of hot drink:

- fill the kettle with water

- boil the water in the kettle

- pour the water out into the previously prepared cup of coffee/tea

The so-called smart kettles can only deal with the second of these, and that's the simplest thing for a human to do, as it involves pressing a switch or button. If it were truly smart, it would do the other two steps too. And of course the preparation of the cup.

And smart fridges? What is this obsession with making fridges smart? OK, so a fridge might just be persuaded to know that you've got a pack of bacon in there. But how does it know there's only one slice left?

All this is really just a solution looking for a problem.

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anthonyhegedus
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Talkie Toaster anybody?

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Windows 10 July update. Surface Pro 4. Working fondleslab. Pick two

anthonyhegedus
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8 Billion hours of testing?!

That's a lot of testing. I think I know how it was done. They must have got 8 million beta-testers to load it on their computer, and spend 40 days and 40 nights trying to understand how it worked. About 10000 of these beta testers must have worked out how the 'charms' worked, and 1000 also worked out how to get Windows to stay in 'desktop mode'. These 1000 people actually wrote a report on their findings. Microsoft then deleted all the reports and telemetry from the other beta-testers and released the product anyway because they decided that's what people would love to use.

The rest is history.

Seriously though, how Microsoft could release something like Windows 8 upon the public makes the mind boggle. They even incorporated it into their server products. They were pursuing the mindless goals of that idiot clown Ballmer who thought that he would install windows 10 on phones, tablets and PCs with exactly the same shitty interface. Totally deluded and it cost the company dearly.

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anthonyhegedus
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We got one of these surface devices (can't remember which - their product naming is confusing - could have been surface book, surface pro, surface, surface book pro? All I remember is that it cost over a grand and that was about 18 months ago) for a customer once.

I took it out of its box, and yes, it's a nice design. I turned it on, and it came up with the usual welcome crap, and I realised I needed the keyboard, so I attached it. Immediately I got a 'something has gone wrong' blue-screen.

Really? On a flagship device!

Anyway it didn't do that again, but the customer hated it. He said the fan was always coming on and it was too noisy to use as a tablet. His colleague had one too and that one had the same problem, except it kept overheating and turning off. He'd returned it three times to Microsoft but it was still too keen to turn its fan on but overheat anyway.

So yes, testing is key.

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Super-mugs: Hackers claim to have snatched 20k customer records from Brit biz Superdrug

anthonyhegedus
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Agreed, most of the time. But in a work environment, writing down passwords is very stupid indeed. And it isn't always safe to do this at home either.

By the way whenever a website asks for my DOB, I use 1/1/1970. I'm beginning to think I should use 1/1/1910. I'll get far less marketing shite then.

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anthonyhegedus
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Re: advised customers to update their ... password ... “on an on-going, frequent basis.”

Totally agree, whilst there may be some advantages to frequently changing your password, there are plenty of disadvantages. Asking thousands or even millions of people to change their passwords regularly just creates more vulnerabilities. If there are keyloggers on PCs, they're just waiting for peopl to change their passwords and the more frequently people change them, the more likely a keylogger is to strike gold. Then there's the issue of people having to remember said passwords. People aren't very good at remembering a few dozen passwords, and even less so if they keep changing. So what do they do? They write them down or put them in a file called 'passwords'.

Not only that but people hate changing passwords, it's a stressor and will actually put them off using a site, especially if they're forced to keep doing it.

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