COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Tizer » 09 Jun 2019, 10:01

Tripps wrote:
01 Jun 2019, 10:07
I keep calling out 'Alexa - dim the lights' but nothing has happened as yet. Perhaps she doesn't like my Lancashire accent. :smile:
Perhaps she's shy and a bit worried about being in the dark with you. You probably need to chat her up a bit first! :laugh5:

I see news today that Microsoft has deleted a database of 10 million images which was being used to train facial recognition systems. I read a bit about these systems recently and what struck me was that they must be so easy to fool - the old false moustache trick, dark glasses, a bit of actor's make-up (I saw M. Portillo made up to look older and with an added facial scar) and even full facial masks, hijabs etc. If the systems start to be used widely I expect people will start having fun fooling them but that could then lead to people hiding their faces often, which would be a deterrent to social interaction and trust. The system developers need to keep in mind the Law of Unintended Consequences.

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by PanBiker » 09 Jun 2019, 10:27

Current regulations for bio passports to work is that you have to have a deadpan stare and if you wear glasses your photo and presentation at the border entry should be without them on. By that reckoning all you would need is a pair of glasses.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Tripps » 09 Jun 2019, 14:03

I think I read about a chap in Oxford Street who was arrested for refusing to be photographed. A bit sinister for me.

Although I'm told it works OK for personal photo albums on a PC. I've disabled it of course. :smile:

From Wiki.
Effectiveness.

Critics of the technology complain that the London Borough of Newham scheme has, as of 2004, never recognized a single criminal, despite several criminals in the system's database living in the Borough and the system has been running for several years. "Not once, as far as the police know, has Newham's automatic face recognition system spotted aEfffectiveness

live target."[50][66] This information seems to conflict with claims that the system was credited with a 34% reduction in crime (hence why it was rolled out to Birmingham also).[67] However it can be explained by the notion that when the public is regularly told that they are under constant video surveillance with advanced face recognition technology, this fear alone can reduce the crime rate, whether the face recognition system technically works or does not. This has been the basis for several other face recognition based security systems, where the technology itself does not work particularly well but the user's perception of the technology does.

An experiment in 2002 by the local police department in Tampa, Florida, had similarly disappointing results.[50]

A system at Boston's Logan Airport was shut down in 2003 after failing to make any matches
during a two-year test period.[68]

Once again looks that he was right. . . :smile:
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Whyperion » 09 Jun 2019, 23:05

On one or more of the phones I have the face type objects keep being circuled, with the suggestion I add name, I dont want this, I mainly take pics of places and people dont really interest me.

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 10 Jun 2019, 02:51

I agree with you Tiz.
We need an acronym for the Law of unintended consequences.
How about LUCY?
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Whyperion » 10 Jun 2019, 09:04

LOUCO (which seems to be Spanish for Crazy)

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Tizer » 10 Jun 2019, 09:53

My 14-year-old relative, Lucy, wouldn't approve of that! (She's the one I sent you a photo of when she was about 8 years old and using an electric drill to to make bird boxes at an RSPB event.) :smile:

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 11 Jun 2019, 03:23

I thought Spanish for crazy was loco.....
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 12 Jun 2019, 04:19

Just a line to say that now I have got used to the latest version of Ubuntu, Tiz was right. The 'window' button on the keyboard is possibly the best improvement they have made. I'm totally satisfied and there aren't many things you can say that about these days!
The lady who is in charge of Firefox was on Today this morning and she was saying that there is a definite shift in opinion about the advantages of Firefox as opposed to other browsers which are increasingly associated with data retrieval. I hope she is right.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by PanBiker » 13 Jun 2019, 11:39

An update on my ongoing fibre broadband woes. A lot of noise on the line over the last few days, auto throttled to less than 10Mbps. :sad: Took me half an hour to load the TalkTalk online chat link. Open Reach engineer number 7 or is it 8 ordered up. Chat operator tried to get me to check my internal setup. I told him where to get off as this has been checked, modified and checked again multiple times. I still maintain that the fault is likely to be the tree line multiway cable at the bottom of the street. Only thing that has ever gone wrong over the 30 years that we have lived here. I also asked for a rebate for out of contract service for the last nine months. Just signed up for another fixed contract, £11 a month cheaper than what we were paying. No point swapping to another ISP they all use the same infrastructure.Thinking of the current BT advert though. They guarantee no speed drop or you don't pay anything.

I need an OR engineer with the clout to order up a Simon Snorkel and get the cavalry out.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by plaques » 13 Jun 2019, 12:04

TalkTalk. You're doing better than I am. For the last week all the subscription channels and Apps would shut down half way through a programme. resetting the TV box, as recommended, did not help. Chat to the technical people explaining it had been off for 18 hours miraculously came on again during the chat and was then offered a weak explanation that they couldn't do anything while it was working correctly. ie: chat again when it goes wrong! Since its in Mrs P's name they think they are dealing with a woman and anything will do. Cynical! who me?

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by PanBiker » 13 Jun 2019, 12:29

They say I will get compensation when the fault is resolved! Not happened yet although they assume that all faults are fixed after an OR visit. They don't seem to have a model for ongoing intermittent problems like mine.

My best bet might be to cancel my newly agreed contract (I have until the 15th). Sign up with BT, the line will test OK at the moment despite being throttled by the TalkTalk routers at the exchange. BT routers will do the same in time when the intermittent kicks in and I will end up paying nothing for fibre broadband until they fix it. Bit of a radical solution but worth a coat of thinking about. Can I get 40Mb fibre including phone and line rental included for less than £25 from BT though, that's the deciding factor.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by PanBiker » 13 Jun 2019, 12:55

BT £31.99 on an 18 month contract with a choice of "free tech", a Samsung Tablet, Amazon Echo or a set of noise cancelling wireless headphones. The money back on contract price (36Mbps) is £20 per month if they can't deliver.

That's £7.00 a month more than my new contract price with TalkTalk. £7.00 x 18 = £126.00. I can buy a tablet for around that. Sally needs a new one, her Nexus 7 is now 7 years old and is proving problematic. If I did swap I would be dealing more directly with the network owner but is it worth the hassle of email address changes and all that, probably not. Better the devil you know?
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by chinatyke » 13 Jun 2019, 15:03

PanBiker wrote:
13 Jun 2019, 12:55
BT £31.99 on an 18 month contract with a choice of "free tech", a Samsung Tablet, Amazon Echo or a set of noise cancelling wireless headphones. The money back on contract price (36Mbps) is £20 per month if they can't deliver.

That's £7.00 a month more than my new contract price with TalkTalk. £7.00 x 18 = £126.00. I can buy a tablet for around that. Sally needs a new one, her Nexus 7 is now 7 years old and is proving problematic. If I did swap I would be dealing more directly with the network owner but is it worth the hassle of email address changes and all that, probably not. Better the devil you know?
Would you have to change your email addy?

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by PanBiker » 13 Jun 2019, 17:38

Not absolutely sure, I use a legacy address which pre-dates TalkTalks take over of Tiscali and Orange. May well still be able to access via webmail.

Looking at the Talk Talk deal again, new customers can get 60mb fibre for what they have reduced my charges to. For the package I am on I should only be paying £22.50. Might take them to task on that and try for an increased speed package. That would be worth staying for as BT would charge nearly £40.00 for that bandwidth.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Pluggy » 13 Jun 2019, 17:51

From experience email addresses from an ISP usually work when you leave them. BUT, they have no incentive to maintain the status quo and if they decide to have a cleaning up session on their infrastructure at some point your email may go the way of the dodo. Sign up to a free email that is independent of your ISP and then it doesn't matter if you change ISP. Microsoft and Google (aka outlook.com and gmail.com) come to mind. I've used gmail for years.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 14 Jun 2019, 03:34

It's a bugger Ian.... My instinct is to stick with the devil you have got....
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by PanBiker » 14 Jun 2019, 08:30

They are all much of a muchness and each has their own virtues an pits. I reckon I might just push for the 67mbps upgrade for the same money. They offer it to new subscribers so why not a customer who has been with them since day one? I will argue my rebate for breach of contract later when OR finally get a resolution. First hurdle with them depending on which engineer I get is to get them to look outside from the start of their visit. Nothing wrong inside but they seem to have to go through the same drill each time. It's standard practice to cover the basics but when it's already been done six times I cant really see any more need even from a "by the book" engineer.

I restarted my router last night in an effort to get onto the TalkTalk site to look at options. It was at 10mbps. It renegotiated to 23mbps but within half an hour was back down to 13mbps where it remains today.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Tizer » 14 Jun 2019, 10:50

Ian, in your comparisons of prices and costs have you factored in the fee for cancellation of your present contract if you move? It can sometimes be very high. Watch out for any of them dragging you into a very long contract too.

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by plaques » 14 Jun 2019, 11:07

Our next door neighbours are in the process of changing from Plus Net to Virgin. The engineers couldn't do the installation on the agreed date because of problems associated with the line. We have noticed that Open Reach are digging holes near the fibre connection box. What I'm eluding to is that changing suppliers may not solve a transmission problem if it depends entirely on Open Reach. Looks like you're stuck until its sorted out.

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 14 Jun 2019, 13:09

At the moment it looks as though Talktalk email is down UK wide.....
My solution, read a good book!
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by chinatyke » 14 Jun 2019, 13:44

click to read what the USA are up to


And you think you should worry about Huawei? I'm sure all the competent governments are up to similar things.

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by PanBiker » 14 Jun 2019, 14:21

Indeed regarding the emails. Some of our addresses are working in Outlook but not my main panbiker address. I cant get into the webmail server either. TallTalk have confirmed the problem. My broadband is at 19mbps at the moment.

Regarding changing ISP's. I would not have a problem with cancellation fees as I am currently out of contract.

Whilst typing this, I have just had a call from TalkTalk. It was fine but it was from someone with "broken English", very difficult to understand. I think he was Easter European maybe. Anyway after 5 minutes on the landline through noise on the line and the 20 minutes on my mobile he has confirmed after a line test that there is a problem!

He has authorised an Open Reach call out but escalated it to a line engineer. He says they have 72 hours to effect a repair, good luck with that as it's weekend approaching. He is going to ring me back on Tuesday to see if there is a resolution. He didn't seem to have a log of the previous five or six visits that I have had since last November. :sad:

If they truly do get a line engineer, we live in hope that they will find something on or between the poles.

I think I will have a wander down to the bottom of the street and see how the cable is fairing in the trees. :extrawink:
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 15 Jun 2019, 02:47

It looks as though they got it back on service just before midnight..... It's working fine this morning and hasn't caused me any problems but I'd hate to be running a business that relied on them!
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by PanBiker » 15 Jun 2019, 08:56

Yes I got a batch of delayed emails last night, not all though. They say on the website that it will take time for the mail servers to catch up with the outage and that no emails will have been lost.

On my telephone line inspection that I did yesterday, (well, looking at the usual suspect). The multi-way cable from the pole at the bottom of the street that runs through the trees along Commercial Street. About 20ft from the pole, the cable is strained around a reasonably large tree trunk. In the last 30 years that tree has grown somewhat and is certainly impeding the run of the cable. It would need a ladder or a snorkel to have a good look but it is certainly a suspect in my book. That length of cable has been replaced twice in my time here on the Croft. Last time the entire outer jacket of the cable was worn away and the internal conductors were exposed. If I can see this potential weak point why can't Open Reach? I shall make a point of availing the line engineer of this when he tips up. I wonder if I can claim a diagnosis fee. :extrawink: :laugh5:
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