Add ATI to that list.

Mar 15, 2007 | | 0 comments |

You remember the list of people I wanted rounded up on a golf course yesterday? Add ATI to that list. Their graphics cards are pieces of SHIT. They don't work worth a damn for anything. I must have lost more work this week because of crashing ATI cards than I've actually managed to do productively.
Pieces of crap.

I heard San Francisco. Is that correct ?

Mar 14, 2007 | | 0 comments |

Microsoft have paid $800m for California-based Tellme Networks. That's the voice-recognition company that specialises in technology for call centres and directory enquiries, and amongst others, American Airlines flight information.
Things don't look good then. Tellme's system apparently has no idea how to understand anything other than an American accent. This is a "conversation" I had with it last year.
AA: Hi, my name's Bob. I can help you find out flight information. First, tell me if you want arrivals or departures.
Me: Arrivals.
Bob: I heard arrivals, is that correct?
Me: Yes.
Bob: I'm sorry. First, tell me if you want arrivals or departures.
Me: (again) Arrivals!
Bob: I heard arrivals, is that correct?
Me: Yes.
Bob: Great. Is that for today?
Me: Yes.
Bob: Okay. Is it for tomorrow?
Me: No - it's for today.
Bob: I'm sorry. I only have information for today and tomorrow. Is this for today?
Me: YES!
Bob: Okay. Now tell me the city where the flight is arriving.
Me: Salt Lake City
Bob: I heard San Francisco. Is that correct?
Me: No.
Bob: Great. Now tell me the flight number.
Me: No - operator.
Bob: I heard 380. Is that correct?
Me: NO! Operator!
Bob: Great. (pause). Flight 380 does not arrive in San Francisco. Let's start again. Tell me if you want arrivals or departures.
Me: OPERATOR! (start pressing 9, 0, # - anything to get me through)
Bob: Ok. Is this for today?
Me: OPERATOR! NO! ZERO! RESET! HUMAN!
Bob: Great. Tell me the city of departure.
Me: Fuck you. *click*

If we can expect the usual degradation of software that happens once Microsoft absorb a company (to wit, what happened to iView, Microsoft Money etc etc), it's hard to imagine how that speech recognition system could get any worse.
Mind you, Microsoft's handwriting system can't recognise lefties in their mobile product (I have to use the soft keyboard) and it barely hits 25% success with righties so I guess they're continuing their trend of non-functional data-entry systems.

I have to ask - what's wrong with a mouse and a keyboard ?

AAArrrrgggggghhh!

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Quick. Somebody give me a chaingun and a golfcourse full of stupidly-clothed golfers and a couple of mimes. I need to blow off some steam.

An interesting seat-mate.

Mar 13, 2007 | | 0 comments |

On my flight back today I had an interesting seat-mate. She was a GI returning from Iraq, and thankful to be coming home. She told me how the whole war on the ground has gone to Hell. She was stationed in the south where things are allegedly getting better. She told me the real reason the Brits left that area, and the real reason her battallion were let go was because things are so terrible they don't want troops there any more. The local generals are apparently pleading with the theatre commanders to get everyone the heck out but she said they're all being ignored. She told me how for every soldier killed, she was seeing or hearing of 10 to 20 maimed or injured. She said they're getting no support from back home and told me she had no idea where any of the 22,000 new troops had gone because as far as she knew, they were in the process of pulling out and drawing down the troops. She said that the major pullout would happen around mid June this year and that all the generals were planning for it. She said for the most part, the GI's on the ground are all just counting the days - they can't wait to get out.

Funny how stuff like this doesn't get reported in the press.

Ford dumping Aston Martin

Mar 12, 2007 | | 0 comments |

That's news. Ford are dumping Aston Martin as part of their fire sale to stop hemmoraging cash. ProDrive - of Subaru fame - have bought AM for $870M. Well technically not ProDrive, but the guy who owns ProDrive. I wonder if this means Aston will start having decent switchgear instead of that plastic Ford crap?

Holy snot! Metal cutlery

Mar 11, 2007 | | 0 comments |

You could have knocked me down with a feather. After the usual shifty sideways looks from the criminals at the TSA and the whole being-made-to-feel-like-a-terrorist-because-I-wanted-to-fly at the airport, I got on board and bugger me! Metal cutlery! Is American Airlines finally treating its passengers like adults again? We've had that plastic shit for so long now I'd forgotten what it was like to use real cutlery in the air. It's one of the reasons (that and the putrid food) that I always eat before getting on board now - so I don't have to mess with stupid playskool knives and forks. Or worse - sporknives. But American seem to be bucking the trend. Time to start eating on board again? The food actually wasn't bad either. How things have changed.

Early DST means less energy? Wait - what ?

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Daylight savings time is here - three weeks to early this year, and we'll be going back one week too late. This is because of some congressional idiots who seem to think the solution to America's energy problems are to do with the time of day. Apparently, more daylight at the end of the day means we'll use less energy.

Um.

So we'll not be using the heat or a/c and lights in the morning when it's dark now? This is idiotic. So we don't use the lights until an hour later in the evening - so what - we'll be using them an hour earlier in the morning. This will make no difference to anything.