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Thread: Really trivial stuff that bugs you

  1. #14521
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    "Alexa, change to channel 72" is I'm sure within the abilities of the technology (I don't own one, so I don't know).
    Yes, it was supposed to be sarcastic. I guess that didn't come across.

    We could have voice controls as a common built-in TV feature (and no doubt they already exist) that bypass the need for remotes entirely. Given how often smart devices fumble commands you've used a hundred times before and worked fine, it may be for the best that it's not standard.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  2. #14522
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    "Alexa, change to channel 72" is I'm sure within the abilities of the technology (I don't own one, so I don't know).
    Shoot, we had that when I was still in elementary school. Only my name wasn't Alexa.

    "Son, change the channel."
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  3. #14523
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    I can actually talk to the remote, but you have to press a button....
    Fortunately the situation resolved when my wife came in and got it for me.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  4. #14524
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    Quote Originally Posted by 21st Century Schizoid Man View Post
    Wow, I remember when remotes started to come out, people made fun of them, what, you’re too lazy to take a few steps to change the channel?

    Now we need a remote for the remote
    That problem precedes electronic remote controls. I remember when I was the remote control.
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  5. #14525
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    At one time my parents had a TV with an early remote system that used high frequency sound. You could change the channel by jingling keys.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  6. #14526
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    At one time my parents had a TV with an early remote system that used high frequency sound. You could change the channel by jingling keys.
    I remember doing that with early computer modems as a joke. I would whistle into the phone and sometimes the remote modem would recognize the sound as the "connect" command.
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  7. #14527
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    At one time my parents had a TV with an early remote system that used high frequency sound. You could change the channel by jingling keys.
    Ah, back in the good ol' days when I had exceptional hearing. I could hear those remote controls when most others couldn't. My junior high school administration office had some kind of security system that emitted a high pitched whine and I seemed to be the only one who could hear it. It bugged me because it was actually a bit uncomfortable to walk past that office. Nowadays, it's the not too dissimilar whine of tinnitus.
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  8. #14528
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    Ah, back in the good ol' days when I had exceptional hearing. I could hear those remote controls when most others couldn't. My junior high school administration office had some kind of security system that emitted a high pitched whine and I seemed to be the only one who could hear it. It bugged me because it was actually a bit uncomfortable to walk past that office. Nowadays, it's the not too dissimilar whine of tinnitus.
    Yes, I could hear a very high pitched sound from the old style remotes if one was close to my ear. Harmonics maybe. Also I had similar issues near some fluorescent lighting, some TVs and some other electronics, and yes it could be annoying. I still have decent hearing for my age but not lie that anymore.

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  9. #14529
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    At one time my parents had a TV with an early remote system that used high frequency sound. You could change the channel by jingling keys.
    I inherited a tv with a tuning fork remote from my father in the early ’70s (he had it for the bedroom, my mother never liked using it, and preferred the big family room TV so when he died I ended up with it for my bedroom). I don’t recall keys having that effect, but I do remember using an air pump near it and that causing it to turn on and change channels.

    By the way, a few years later my mother bought a tv with remote, and at that point they still used ultrasonics, but now used electronics to generate it, unlike the old mechanical scheme. It had a (fairly) modern key layout - instead of three buttons, there was a full set of 0-9 digit buttons for channel select and typical volume up/down and channel up/down with power button. I could hear very faint and different high pitched whines for different keys if I put it directly to my ear.

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  10. #14530
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    I use a small propane torch to ignite the charcoal in my grill. Last week the tank ran dry (hadn’t been used in a month or two) so I bought a new one and installed the nozzle.

    And the nozzle is broken. *sigh*

  11. #14531
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    Just got a piece of spam in my work email, a rare one that slipped past the corporate spam filter. If that's not annoying enough, it confirmed that my "N0RT0N" firewall is upgraded to the "PR1M1UM" version.

    Not only is this one of the oldest stupid spammer tricks in the book, it makes it look so obviously fake that if anyone does fall for it, it leaves me with little hope for humanity.

    Apparently some spammer found a "Spamming for Dummies 1998 edition" in a dumpster.

    I'm also surprised it got past the spam filter. That low grade obfuscation should be easy to detect in an algorithm, especially since it's been done for decades.

  12. #14532
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    What value to the spammer is there in swapping the digits for letters?
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  13. #14533
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    There's enough people who fall for simple deceptions to make stage magic a thing. Even here we have a "thread titles that you misread" for things that you see wrong at first glance. Not to mention UFOs and Conspiracy Theories. t's just how our perceptions are wired, we hit on a pattern and our brains jump to conclusions. It was a survival characteristic in the Stone Age to assume lions before considering any less dangerous possibilities.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  14. #14534
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    What value to the spammer is there in swapping the digits for letters?
    On this occasion it's probably phishing rather than simple spamming. The idea is that it's not then machine-detectible that the email concerns a "Norton Premium" product, which would be a flag for anti-spam software to check the originating address to ensure that it actually came from Norton. Substituting numbers for letters, and deliberate misspelling (like "primium" for "premium") were once a way you could hope to scoot under the radar, back in the Dark Ages. It was hoped that the human recipient would then recognized the apparent content without noticing the tell-tale substitutions and misspellings--and so click on a link to install some malware.

    Grant Hutchison
    Last edited by grant hutchison; 2021-Apr-30 at 01:20 PM.

  15. #14535
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    On this occasion it's probably phishing rather than simple spamming. The idea is that it's not then machine-detectible that the email concerns a "Norton Premium" product, which would be a flag for anti-spam software to check the originating address to ensure that it actually came from Norton. Substituting numbers for letters, and deliberate misspelling (like "primium" for "premium") were once a way you could hope to scoot under the radar, back in the Dark Ages. It was hoped that the human recipient would then recognized the apparent content without noticing the tell-tale substitutions and misspellings--and so click on a link to install some malware.

    Grant Hutchison
    You're correct in that it was a phishing attempt. Seeing a "charge" for something I didn't order to prompt me to call the number in the email.

    But the substitution of zeros for O's etc. is an old way to evade spam filters. One which I would expect doesn't work anymore for the majority of modern filters, which should be able to see through this sort of thing (and recognize it as spam as a result). Hence my reference that this spammer probably found a 1998 edition of "Spamming for Dummies" at a garage sale or in a dumpster.

    One of my universal truths is spammers are stupid, because anyone with half a brain knows better.

  16. #14536
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpatz View Post
    But the substitution of zeros for O's etc. is an old way to evade spam filters. One which I would expect doesn't work anymore for the majority of modern filters, which should be able to see through this sort of thing (and recognize it as spam as a result). Hence my reference that this spammer probably found a 1998 edition of "Spamming for Dummies" at a garage sale or in a dumpster.

    One of my universal truths is spammers are stupid, because anyone with half a brain knows better.
    But it did get through, for a minimal effort on the phishermen's?? part.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  17. #14537
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpatz View Post
    But the substitution of zeros for O's etc. is an old way to evade spam filters. One which I would expect doesn't work anymore for the majority of modern filters, which should be able to see through this sort of thing (and recognize it as spam as a result). Hence my reference that this spammer probably found a 1998 edition of "Spamming for Dummies" at a garage sale or in a dumpster.
    Yes, that's what I was trying to explain--that the substitutions and misspellings are intended to prevent the spam filter from recognizing the claimed subject of the email, while nevertheless being close enough for an inattentive human not to notice.

    It reminds me of a story about the early days of computerized database searches. A newspaper publisher had started indexing its print stories according to keywords, so that journalists could quickly find relevant clippings for their own stories. A journalist in the early '80s reported sitting down to look for reports of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, which were tautologically known as the "SALT talks" at the time. But he accidentally typed "SLAT talks" instead of "SALT talks" ... and turned up two records filed as SLAT talks, because the indexer had made the same error. In those days those records would have been lost to anyone searching for the correct spelling, but (as you say) our software now understands typing errors and obfuscations much better than it used to.

    Grant Hutchison

  18. #14538
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    But it did get through, for a minimal effort on the phishermen's?? part.
    I would say that's more the fault of the corporate spam filter (which usually works quite well) than by the minimal effort of the lowlife that created this drivel.

    But, it does remind me of my motto for the day (which is inspired by the project I'm working on right now, but it fits this spam incident as well): "Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity."

  19. #14539
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    I cut my hand at a local hardware store. I was grabbing a roll of chicken wire off a shelf and got cut by a nail. They were packed into the shelf too tightly and my hand got pinned between the roll and the nail or screw in the next shelf. Thankfully, they had sanitizing wipes all over the place so clean up was easy.

    Back at the car, I dropped something and bent over to pick it up. I thought I had my hand on the bumper and not the edge of the trunk so when my son slammed the trunk, the same hand got mashed. I did a faceplant and messed up my ribs. I don't think I broken any of them, but they hurt really bad. I broke them a few years back and that pain doesn't really go away.
    Solfe

  20. #14540
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    I cut my hand at a local hardware store. I was grabbing a roll of chicken wire off a shelf and got cut by a nail. They were packed into the shelf too tightly and my hand got pinned between the roll and the nail or screw in the next shelf. Thankfully, they had sanitizing wipes all over the place so clean up was easy.

    Back at the car, I dropped something and bent over to pick it up. I thought I had my hand on the bumper and not the edge of the trunk so when my son slammed the trunk, the same hand got mashed. I did a faceplant and messed up my ribs. I don't think I broken any of them, but they hurt really bad. I broke them a few years back and that pain doesn't really go away.
    You may want to stay home for a couple of days. Or maybe the rest of the year.

    (Seriously, hope you feel better and your luck changes too.)

  21. #14541
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpatz View Post
    I would say that's more the fault of the corporate spam filter (which usually works quite well) than by the minimal effort of the lowlife that created this drivel.
    True, but no matter whose fault it is, it's a successful enough strategy that it still goes on. In evolutionary terms, it's not selected against.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  22. #14542
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    I don’t drink coffee, but there is a certain two-word phrase that I can feel stunting my growth just as much every time I have to read it in a headline.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    Shoot, we had that when I was still in elementary school. Only my name wasn't Alexa.

    "Son, change the channel."
    I have remarked to my brother that virtual assistants have female names because they are for men without daughters— after all, my Dad already asks me how to spell a word, what day of the week it is, to transcribe his e-mails, etc.
    Last edited by KaiYeves; 2021-Apr-30 at 03:55 PM.
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  23. #14543
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    I don’t drink coffee, but there is a certain two-word phrase that I can feel stunting my growth just as much every time I have to read it in a headline.
    I'm not sure what this means.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  24. #14544
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    Shoot, we had that when I was still in elementary school. Only my name wasn't Alexa.

    "Son, change the channel."
    When my mother wanted me to do something for her, she'd say "Torsten, since you're already standing, could you..." I was generally not standing.

  25. #14545
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    I'm not sure what this means.
    There is a popular contention, probably not-scientifically-supported, that children who drink coffee stunt their growth and shorten their lives. I was drawing a metaphorical connection between that belief and my revulsion upon seeing something I dislike, to say that it is a similar “sapping shock” to that supposed property of caffeine.
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
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    And our destiny begins with you and me
    Through all space and time, the achievement of mankind
    As we sail the sea of discovery, on heroes’ wings we fly!

  26. #14546
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    There is a popular contention, probably not-scientifically-supported, that children who drink coffee stunt their growth and shorten their lives. I was drawing a metaphorical connection between that belief and my revulsion upon seeing something I dislike, to say that it is a similar “sapping shock” to that supposed property of caffeine.
    As a test case of one, I started drinking coffee at age 7 (more cream and sugar than coffee) and I'm 5'6".

  27. #14547
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    There is a popular contention, probably not-scientifically-supported, that children who drink coffee stunt their growth and shorten their lives. I was drawing a metaphorical connection between that belief and my revulsion upon seeing something I dislike, to say that it is a similar “sapping shock” to that supposed property of caffeine.
    I looked up "sapping shock" and got nothing. Where have you seen it?
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  28. #14548
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    I looked up "sapping shock" and got nothing. Where have you seen it?
    Something that shocks you and also saps your vitality. Thus the metaphor of a child drinking caffeine and being energized in the moment but having health consequences in the longer term.
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
    Every mission makes our dreams reality
    And our destiny begins with you and me
    Through all space and time, the achievement of mankind
    As we sail the sea of discovery, on heroes’ wings we fly!

  29. #14549
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    Something that shocks you and also saps your vitality. Thus the metaphor of a child drinking caffeine and being energized in the moment but having health consequences in the longer term.
    OK. I was just curious who has used this turn of phrase, as my search turned up no references to it.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  30. #14550
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    The other part of the phrase, “It’ll stunt your growth” was common among folks my parents’ age and employed when they didn’t want youngins consuming something. I’ve heard it applied to tobacco, alcohol, and... coffee.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

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