I think I've soiled myself

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There are 88 posts tagged: technology

Spitting image
16 July 2024

In the wake of the hullabaloo over AI-generated fake images, The New York Times posted a handy-dandy spot-the-difference test.

Total recall
8 June 2024

Someone in Redmond thought it would be a great idea if Windoze took snapshots of your active computer screen every few seconds. The reason seems to be because users have been clamouring for such a featurehey, AI innit? I guess a developer with an AI tool needs to ride the AI bandwagon, finding a use for it even if it's only to put the wind up users and security researchers. (shrug)

Catch and release
3 June 2024

After his grandmother was scammed out of $27,000 in a phishing attack, Clark Hoefnagels created an AI-based tool, called Catch, that detects scam emails. Ironically, Catch is Currently compatible with Google’s Gmail, in that it's only compatible with Gmail.

Jerusalem (palestine)
17 April 2024

About a week ago, Apple released a fun little update to iOS that automagically suggests the Palestinian flag emoji when iPhone users type Jerusalem. Apparently, not everyone was amused by this little performance enhancement. At least one trivial celebrity, Rachel Riley (who?), took to X to voice her opinion:

Artificial design
26 January 2024

AI is getting everywhere, including fashion design. It's not a long article, but of a 2dull2care subject, and I didn't get much beyond the first paragraph.

Check it out
16 January 2024

Writing for BBC Worklife, Sam Becker examines the apparent spectacular failure of self-checkout technology. Retailers introduced automated checkout facilities to save money on checkout staff, and shoppers took to it for its speed and efficiency. But both groups' views on the technology have since soured in the UK and US. According to Becker, theft; technical failures; and waiting for staff support are among the reasons cited.

Black arts
11 January 2024

AI is causing quite the stir among the creative classes, specifically animators and comic book artists in this case. According to David Crownson, who focuses on stories about black characters: a white person could tell his AI to create an action adventure comic with black characters. As if [spit] whytees aren't allowed to create black characters.

"Freeing up"
21 October 2023

A new euphemism for technology-borne redundancy comes to us courtesy of those lovable practitioners of tax efficiency at Amazon: freeing up. The company's trialling humanoid robots to automate its operations and further reduce costs.

The passive aggression of 'beep-beep'
1 September 2023

As computer technology takes over more of our autonomy behind the steering wheel, car manufacturers find more ways of doing the thinking for us. Even if we're quite capable of doing it ourselves. I've been driving for nigh on forty years, I have two functioning eyes, and two generally functioning ears. I think I've pretty much got the the knack of this driving malarkey.

When is a watermark not a watermark?
29 August 2023

Google's development of software to detect AI-created images gives the BBC's tech gurus the opportunity to edumacate us on the use of watermarks to protect images.

F*c*book is harmless. Honest!
9 August 2023

A study conducted by the Oxford Internet Institute suggests that using Facebook is not linked to widespread psychological harm. Oh yes, indeed. And you know you can trust the findings, because they said so. (no)

Zooming back to the office
7 August 2023

Zoom is showing the way forward, and its faith in video conferencing as a productivity tool for remote working, by ordering its workers back to the office.

Less is more
17 July 2023

Generally, the higher the specification, the higher the price. And iPhones are no exception. When it was first introduced in 2007, the 8GB version was $100 more than the 4GB one. Oh, how times change.

Minority report
4 June 2023

The BBC News droid doesn't just report the news, it also pulls together future-gazing speculative fluff-pieces of the kind normally found within the website's magazine-type sections; an example of AI in action, perhaps. Ironically enough, in this case the droid's created an article on the threats that AI may pose to humanity: AI warning us of AI, no less.

7 May 2023

From the shadows of the Hollywood writers' strike, Chelsea Bailey asks whether AI could be funnier than Stephen Colbert. Which, from the little of Colbert that I've been able to stomach, doesn't seem like much of a challenge.

Blurring the lines
5 May 2023

I guess one problem that the BBC has, in having so many categories for articles and reporting staff, is pigeonholing and assigning specific stories that might plausibly fit within more than one category. For example, should an article on a journalist being tracked by TikTok be categorised under technology—because technology is used to track her—or social media—because TikTok is teh soshull meejah, innit?

New old phone, or old new phone?
22 February 2023

How much would you pay for an iPhone? An obsolete one, that is. And, although it might work, you can't use it. Or even ever touch it.

Breaking Bard
9 February 2023

Google managed to wipe more than 7% off its stock value when its new AI platform, Bard, didn't perform as well as might've been expected in a recent demonstration. Asked what it could tell a nine-year-old about the James Webb Space Telescope's discoveries, it responded with it being the first to take pictures of a planet outside the earth's solar system.

Living on the Edge
8 February 2023

Two of my least favourite things in the computing world—M$'s Bing search engine and Edge browser—are being brought together in some kind of buck-toothed search-cum-digital assistant mash-up.

Zoomers no more
8 February 2023

Zoom is laying off around 15% of its workforce, as post-pandemic growth slows and profits fall. It's unclear, at least from the BBC's report, as to whether the affected staff will be notified in person, or by Zoom call.

Mic drop
7 February 2023

Nothing, Forever is an AI-generated webtoon based on Seinfeld and its principal characters. Streaming continuously on Twitch, it's apparently more of an exercise in the use of the technology than a source of genuine entertainment. At least, the clips that I've seen weren't amusing; a case of art imitating life, perhaps? (shrug)

Slik spelling
7 February 2023

While writing the previous entry to this pit of nonsense, I misspelled silk as slik. Strangely enough, the automatic spellchecker didn't pick this error up, it fell to the old-skool analogue version instead. So I figured that slik must be a real word. I wonder what it means? (thinking)

5 January 2023

India's observed that the EU is squeezing mucho moolah out of Google for being shits about something, and they want a piece of the action. Unlike the EU, however, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) would rather not put too much effort into it, especially if it's been done better before, and decided to [cough] share best practice. (wink)

Making bank
9 November 2022

I don't involve myself in the murky world of cryptocurrency. I don't understand it, and I don't trust it; it just seems spooky and volatile. So I'd never heard of FTX—one of the world's biggest cryptocurrency exchanges—until news of its near collapse and bail-out by close rival Binance.

Time machine doppelgänger
25 September 2022

I backup our Macs to Time Machine running on a Synology DiskStation NAS. The TM folder is named, imaginatively enough, time machine. Some time ago, the backups stopped, but I've only just got around to sorting it out—almost three months later. (embarrassed)

17 September 2022

Hackers have deleted data from the IHG hotel chain for shitz 'n' gigglz. When the vulnerability was traced to the use of a weak password and lax security around the company's password vault, IHG blew smoke.

Subceeding expectations
10 September 2022

OH. MY. GARRRRD. The bestest-iPhone-evarzies!!!!™ has been introduced to an expectant world. This new iteration of the seminal smartphone includes: a new camera; Dynamic Island, a widget thing that changes shape; and emergency calls via satellite.* It's just as well that I was sitting down when I read that lot!

Gone! And never called me mother!
10 August 2022

New privacy features have been announced for WhatsApp, including the ability to leave group chats silently.

Some of it, plus the rest of it…
26 July 2022

…is all of it.*

Conditional email
13 June 2022

Although I received this message in my professional account inbox, it's not a predatory solicitation. Just a bog-standard commercial one. And the message itself isn't worth commenting on, except possibly to note the footer:

Useless error message #1253
7 June 2022

I had Let's Encrypt certificates working long-time on my Synology DiskStation NAS, that is until some extended shenanigans by my ISP left me offline during the renewal period. To add to the fun, my router also died, so I had to install a new one. All of this, of course, meant that the certificate wasn't renewed in the usual manner. Ne'ermind, I'll just delete the old certificate and create a new one. Or so I thought.

Bum upgrade
19 May 2022

I finally gave in and upgraded my MacBook Pro to macOS 12.3, Monterey. Overall, I'm not angry, just disappointed. (SMH)

Apple turnover
25 March 2022

The world's most valuable company needs more money. Apple, with a market capitalisation of only $2.8 trillion, may introduce hardware as a subscription service, starting with the iPhone.

Less smart phones
21 March 2022

As smartphones are taking over more of our lives, some droids are rebelling and breaking free. An increasing number of people are eschewing smartphones for old skool mobile phones, dubbed dumbphones. And bloody good for them, says I.

Unlisted number
17 February 2022

Yesterday, I was met with an authentication error when attempting to access InstantlyForgettableNameCorp's time-management system. The login system is run on Microsoft Azure…you can see where this going, can't you? In order to reset my account, I had to enter a code sent to my mobile number, xx-xxxxx93. Except, I don't have a mobile with a number ending with 93. (confused)

Do you offer discounts too?
15 February 2022

On behalf of Obstetrics and Gynecology Reports, Gretta Collins offers Disocunts for the new issue. Given the journal's subject matter, the typo is cruelly apt.

Navbar update
27 November 2021

I decided to tart up the horizontal navigation bar at the top of the page, not that anyone'll notice. I wanted the About link to be on the right-hand side of the bar.

Change monkey: change for the sake of it
12 October 2021

I hadn't realised that Apple have released a new version of iOS. So, when my 'phone announced a new update was available, I absent-mindedly installed it. Oh, bugger!

Safe cigs
7 October 2021

VELO is a brand of nicotine pouches from Scandinavia. They're designed to be placed in the mouth, for that rush that you so crave. And, like condoms, they come in a range of different flavours, which is nice, I guess.

A Windows on the future
5 October 2021

Tomorrow sees the rollout of Windows 11, as a free upgrade, to the great unwashed. That's those of us who're too apathetic, or wrapped up in having a real life, to have installed the previews.

Hello hardly anyone
4 October 2021

F*c*book and its subsidiaries, WhatsApp and Instagram, have been hit by a severe, global outage. In response, Twitter tweeted, in fun:

Grand research
30 September 2021

Researchers at Birmingham and Surrey Universities have discovered a security flaw in the combination of Apple Pay and Visa, which could allow thieves to remotely access a Visa account through a locked iPhone. Neither Samsung Pay nor Mastercard were susceptible.

23 September 2021

Lithuania's National Cyber Security Centre has reported security flaws and built-in censorship tools, in 5G mobiles from Chinese manufacturers. As a consequence, the country's Defence Ministry has recommended that its citizens not purchase new Chinese smartphones, and replace their current ones as soon as feasible.

Just the fax, ma'am
6 September 2021

And more non-news on outdated business practices from Ashifa Kassam, for BBC Future.

Doesn't ad up
8 August 2021

Many moons ago—over eight years' worth, in fact—I lamented Google's inability to use HTTP headers to detect language preferences. Things haven't changed much, if at all, since then.

Space cock
5 August 2021

Blue Origin plans to take tourists into space aboard rocket-powered dildos.

Can I have a 'please, no more emojis' emoji?
25 July 2021

It appears that the BBC considers the creation of emojis to be of such importance that they assigned not one, but two of their crack business reporters to the task of writing an article on emojis that don't exist. Yet.

Virtual schmoozing
23 July 2021

Mark Zuckerberg has announced his vision for Facebook to transition to a metaverse company.

China doesn't do naughty things on the internet
20 July 2021

Several governments have accused China of hacking Microsoft Exchange. China, in return, has strongly denied these claims, and has always maintained that it opposes all forms of cyber-crime.

Game for a laugh
13 July 2021

A sealed copy of Super Mario 64 has sold at auction for a record $1.5m. This is the price range previously occupied only by significant works of art, which can be hung on a wall and admired for the artist's skill. In this case, however, the high price is commanded for physical memorabilia, in the same way as rare trading cards.

Windows 10+1
26 June 2021

M$ has announced the release of Windows 11, which comes as a surprise to those of us who thought that Windows 10 was not only the last version of Windows, but also the last version of Windows. When it was released in 2015, we were led to believe that the OS won't see a big launch or major upgrade every few years anymore.

Skype no more
26 June 2021

After the demise of Internet Explorer, it appears that it's Skype's turn to fall by the wayside. The announcement of Windows 11 shows that M$ Teams is integrated into the OS, while Skype is missing.

E or H2?
11 June 2021

The BBC's chief environment correspondent, Justin Rowlatt, tells us Why it's the end of the road for petrol stations.

Secure paws-words
9 April 2021

According to a survey by the UK's National Cyber Security Centre, millions of Britons use their pet's name as their online password. (shock)

8 March 2021

Apparently, the future of content creation lies in deepfake, the use of artificial intelligence to generate lifelike talking heads that, for all intents and purposes, cannot be distinguished from the real thing. In the case of at least one software system, the process is as simple as typing in the words for a selected avatar to speak. The whole concept is an ethical and cultural minefield, if not just plain creepy; and, as Donald Trump supposedly said of Jeffrey Epstein, I'm not a fan.

'I' for information, not intelligent
9 February 2021

As more of our lives go online, companies and governments are turning to automated methods to keep things in check—face recognition, profiling, personal data acquisition; all very Orwellian. I don't know what's more worrying, the consequences of it working, or the consequences when it doesn't work as expected or intended.

Tinfoil OS
6 October 2020

censiCLICK discusses two computer operating systems favoured by Edward Snowden, bête noir of the US National Security Agency. I had heard of neither Tails—which doesn't even need to be installed on a computer—nor Qubes OS before, so at least I can consider myself to be more knowledgeable.

Fist bump! Fist bump?
21 September 2020

Apple has released iOS 14 to an expectant world, and MacRumors has the low-down on its new and improved features. These are among the highlights to be expected in the update; are you sitting comfortably?

Adobe updates
30 August 2014

I really do wish Adobe would go fuck themselves. And I don't care how many legal, moral, or religious rules this would break. Really I don't.

Just a sec'!
10 July 2013

Historically, mankind measured time by the passing of the days. But the length of a day varies as the Earth wobbles on its axis. Eventually, in the 1960s, atomic clocks were developed that were stable enough to depend upon, and accurate enough to lose one second only every 100 million years. These clocks are the basis for defining a second and international time co-ordination.

Silent running
26 June 2013

Drayson Racing Technologies has broken the world land speed record for a lightweight electric vehicle, with the Lola B12 69/EV. The car recorded a top speed of 328.6km/h (204.2mph) at RAF Elvington in Yorkshire. I think that it is quite pretty, in a my-wife-would-never-approve kind of way, although the range (as far as the extension cable) and luggage capacity (none) might be problematic.

Let's be different
21 June 2013

Samsung introduces the Ativ Q, a tablet that can run Windows or Android operating systems:

An open letter to Google
20 April 2013

Dear Google,

The Dark Side
13 April 2013

Mondo sadness…I have purchased a Windoze computer! (sad)

Product placement, North Korean style
10 December 2012

Notwithstanding the fact that this effect can easily be achieved with a style sheet or, slightly more complicatedly, with JavaScript—only the latter of which would come even close to constituting programming in my view—what does this say about North Korea?

The rise of Skynet
27 November 2012

Prof. Bonkers and his colleagues at Cambridge's Centre for the Study of Existential Risk are to investigate whether technology could destroy human civilisation. He cautions against dismissing a potential rise of robots which, while not necessarily malevolent, may have interests that don't include those of humans.

And turn in your key to the executive washroom
13 November 2012

Steven Sinofsky, Windows and Windows Live President at M$ and one who was apparently often at loggerheads with CEO Steve Baldy Ballmer, has left the company, effective immediately.

30 October 2012

I don't normally care much for the political machinations at the top of companies, most of it's too arcane and divorced from my life. But my heart leapt with joy to read of the imminent departure of Scott Forstall from the executive leadership at Apple. Admittedly, Forstall did some good things while at Apple, overseeing iOS. But he was apparently a bastard to work with; was at the helm during the disastrous introduction of Apple's own mapping software and Siri; and, above all, was largely responsible for the introduction of the skeuomorphic user interface in a number of iOS, and later OS X, applications.

24 September 2012

For those who've wanted a supercar but were concerned about the environmental impact, fret no more! Ferrari have reduced their cars' CO2 emissions over the 2007-2012 period by 30%. The emissions of the Ferrari California are now only threefold higher than the average family car.

Science fiction becomes science FACT!
14 September 2012

Well, not sci-fi per se, but stretching credulity to breaking point nonetheless.

Saudi Arabia is not feeling .gay
15 August 2012

Saudi Arabia has objected to several new global top level domains (gTLD), including .gay, on the basis that they may offend, or promote practices that are counter to their religion. The poofs, on the other hand, counter that .gay is needed for support.

And take that HTC!
20 December 2011

As if BT's fight against the evil empire wasn't enough, Apple claims a righteous victory in stamping those little upstarts HTC, and wopping their sorry arses back to Shitphoneville! It was only one patent infringement, but it'll make them think twice about stealing someone else's intellectual property—that was likely bought dirt cheap from the real developer.

Auntie Beatie weighs in on Android
19 December 2011

Old Auntie Beatie, bless her, has fluffed up her cardie with righteous indignation. British Telecommunications Group is going to do what Apple, Microsoft, and countless others have failed to do: slay the damned Google dragon. Oh yes, lawyers are involved; but after Auntie's finished, so will Google be.

ALAC now open source
28 October 2011

Apple has released its lossless audio codec to the open source community. Some will decry this move because it's Apple and they hate Apple. But most of us will heave a mighty sigh of meh.

No more Sony Ericsson
27 October 2011

But, fear not, it is solely because Sony has bought out its partner.

It's official, using IE makes you stupid
3 August 2011

Okay, not quite, but from the Bonkers Unit at the Institute of Meaningless Results comes this analysis of IQ vs internet browser use. The researchers conclude that if you have a low IQ then there are high chances that you use Internet Explorer.

Almost enough to justify an iPad?
9 January 2011

I just love it that somebody thought of a really useful bluetooth gadget!

Windows slates
15 December 2010

Microsoft will unveil more W7 slate devices at CES 2011. Yet, according to this report—if the BBC is ever to be believed on technology matters*—W7 sucks as a gesture-based OS, compared to iOS and Android.

Haynes manual for LRV
10 November 2010

Okay, not quite, but should you ever lay your hands on a moon buggy (or Lunar Roving Vehicle as it's more drily known), you'll need an operating manual (32MB).

Science fiction* becomes science FACT!
4 November 2010

Okay, not quite, but Harry Potter's invisibility cloak comes a little closer to the realm of us mere muggles—or whateverthefuck non-witches were called.

Something for the man who has everything, except dignity
11 August 2010

According to BBC News, Spain's plans to have 2,000 electric cars on the road by the end of 2010 have been dealt a blow as figures showed just 16 have been sold.

Say hello, wave goodbye
5 August 2010

Both of you who use Google Wave will probably already know this, but Google is pulling the plug. Apparently Wave has not seen the uptake that was anticipated or needed to keep it viable. The company states that they don't know why it didn't strike a chord:

Quite amusing
23 May 2010

So anyone who has a life won't know what this is about but, short version: Apple tech loses new prototype iPhone in a bar; guy picks it up and sells it to Gizmodo; Gizmodo does a tech review and posts it to t'interwebz; Apple gets pissed and sends in crack squad of attorneys.

Browser wars: why does it matter?
5 May 2010

The BBC reports on Internet Explorer's declining market share, although it's still the dominant web browser at around 60%. But why does it matter? Other than the time-honoured arguments of security and standards, why should anyone care whether people use IE or any other browser?

Next project
27 December 2004

I have on order a new hard disk drive, a Western Digital Raptor. It will replace the steaming dogturd—an IBM Deskstar 75GXP, AKA deathstar—in my old PC. My other deathstars have not been an unmitigated success.

The 'deathstar' strikes again
28 September 2004

Wahey! My third deathstar—IBM Deskstar 75GXP—died a couple of days ago. It was also the system disk to my main computer, so all of my email went down the toilet. Luckily I'd backed up a few weeks earlier, so most is okay.

Keyboard not found, press F1 to continue
10 October 2003

I changed the host for my web domain recently. All's going well, apart from a few minor irritations, and one major bugbear…none of our email is getting through.

Translation translation
1 September 2003

I used Google to automatically translate an Italian Yahoo site and it came up with this: