Mangler

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

Mangler

I don't know what the machine attached to our office does but it's giving me nightmares.

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It was where he left it

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

It was where he left it

Not to bang on about the BBC and their horrible headlines but 'lost' is a bit different from 'I was in a panic for 20 minutes' but actually it was exactly where I left it. How quickly can you go from 'Nation shall speak peace unto nation' to SEO whore...

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Executive Clubbing

Updated on Thursday, August 4, 2016

Executive Clubbing

I used to really love British Airways. I even got over their silly new livery and refusal to stock full fat tonic water. But I can't get over the increasing uselessness of their frequent flyer program which has recently switched over to 'Avios', a scheme that seems to have been designed to stiff people out of their free flights.

Despite having a stupid number of miles and several free companion vouchers there is not one single seat available to book for the next six months of service, and I have enough miles/points for three of the four cabins.

Even if a seat was available the 'free' part only covers the actual fare and not the fees, taxes and surcharges. Flying from San Francisco to London the fare is about a dollar and then you still have to pay the rest. 

It would be better to not even pretend that the Executive Club relates in any way to free travel. Give me sugar in my G&T on one flight in five and I'd be happier than I am now with my vast stock of worthless Avios points. 

The whole mess is nearly enough to make me defect to Virgin Atlantic, but they only fly as far as Reno and then you have to take a bus the rest of the way to Heathrow. 

Photo credit: caribb cc

Updated 2016-08-04 14:07:

Maybe there is hope - on my most recent flight BA had Fever Tree tonic water!

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etc, ba

Sand Ladder at Fort Funston

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

SFO

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

etc, sfo

Robot Ahead

Updated on Friday, April 17, 2020

Goldilocks

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

Goldilocks

Israel just banned models with a BMI under 18.5. That's not severely underweight, it's the boundary with normal. Like banning models packing an extra pound (not that the law touches this end of the spectrum). Lawmakers have too much free time on their hands when they pass body crimes (or thought crimes). Outlawing underweight models isn't going to put a dent in eating disorders. Even if it was a reasonable law it's going after a symptom rather than any sort of root cause.

Photo Credit: clapstar cc

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Catfood: PdfScan 1.40

Updated on Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Catfood: PdfScan 1.40

Catfood PdfScan 1.40 is a small bug fix release. PdfScan converts documents to PDFs with the help of a flatbed or automatic document feeder (ADF) scanner.

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Three reasons the dream of a robot companion isn't over

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

Three reasons the dream of a robot companion isn't over

David Lee reports from the Innorobo 2012 conference and comes up with 'Is the dream of having a robot companion over?'Apparently it is, because:

1) A five year old girl is mildly frightened by a robot and so this is one of the industries biggest hurdles: 'What will it take for Kibo to be Emi's friend, rather than the subject of her nightmares?'

Sure, it's initially frightening, but leave the robot with her for an hour and you won't get the thing back without an epic meltdown. This is a fundamental misunderstanding of children rather than industry threatening hurdle.

2) '...the industry should perhaps look to recreate simpler, smaller tasks.'

Says the guy that makes the Roomba, a vacuum cleaner. No self interest involved there.

3) 'That kind of notion for a service robot we think is completely wrong.'

Says the guy that makes the RoboThespian, a next generation Teddy Ruxpin. No self interest involved there. 

So general purpose robots are not happening, because a girl was initially nervous and two companies focused on special purpose robotics would rather talk about their niches. Thanks for wasting my time on this BBC.

I'm wasting more time writing about it for two reasons.

The Internet is killing headlines (something I agree with Paul Carr on). BBC news is egregiously awful, both for overwrought link bait and for using warn too much. The dream of a robot companion will never be over.

More importantly, think about every news story that either covered an event or an industry you're deeply familiar with and you'll realize that it's wrong, usually seriously so. What are the chances that it's only those stories that flawed in this way?  

Photo Credit: AV8PIX Christopher Ebdon

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Fixing dropped wireless connection for Linksys E4200

Updated on Thursday, April 29, 2021

Fixing dropped wireless connection for Linksys E4200

I've been going quietly mad trying to fix a constant dropped connection issue with our Linksys E4200 router. There's lots of advice around tweaking  the MTUs, upgrading firmware and disabling UPnP (a good idea anyway) but none of this helped at all. The connection just continually dropped, eventually came back, dropped again, ad nauseam.

The fix was to change the 5GHz and 2.4GHz networks to use different network names (SSIDs).  I then connected to the 2.4GHz flavor and the connection is now solid.

I guess the problem was that by sharing the SSID devices would keep switching between the networks whenever they got the chance to connect to the juicy 5GHz flavor. The 5GHz network is flakier (higher frequencies having less range) and so the constant dropouts.

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