Machine Translation is better than Chinglish.

I don’t think Google is very good at translating Thai. I mean, it’s infinitely better than me at it, but even I can tell this is probably wrong…

It had another go and was somewhat better.

I’m fairly sure this isn’t some sort of game, but it containing berries is likely…

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Hi, I’m a spammer, I notice you are avoiding my emails

To be blunt, Claire I didn’t ask you to email me in the first place so I don’t quite understand the passive aggressive tone here.

Also that amazing article you found was a two sentence Mastodon post about the battery level in my car. If that’s what you consider amazing… yeah maybe hire some decent writers.

And if this is supposedly a personal email to entice me into doing something with you, why’s it got an unsubscribe link? 🤔

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I guess I need a cover for my webcam…

Uh oh, looks like I need to cover up my webcam better… Someone on the Internet infected my PC with some remote access software and recorded me watching non-advertiser friendly video.

Scams today are so tedious and unimaginative…

Hello there!

Unfortunately, there are some bad news for you. Some time ago your device was infected with my private trojan, R.A.T (Remote Administration Tool), if you want to find out more about it simply use Google.

My trojan allows me to access your accounts, your camera and microphone. Check the sender of this email, I have sent it from your email account.

You truly enjoy checking out porn websites and watching dirty videos, while having a lot of kinky fun. I RECORDED YOU (through your camera) SATISFYING YOURSELF!

If you still doubt my serious intentions, it only takes couple mouse clicks to share the video of you with your friends, relatives, all email contacts and on social networks.

All you need is $1200 USD in Bitcoin (BTC) transfer to my account (Bitcoin equivalent based on exchange rate during your transfer). After the transaction is successful, I will proceed to delete everything without delay.

Afterwards, we can pretend that we have never met before. In addition, I assure you that all the harmful software will be deleted from your device.

Be sure, I keep my promises!

If you are unaware how to buy and send Bitcoin (BTC) – Google: Where to buy Bitcoin (BTC), to send and receive Bitcoin (BTC), you can register your wallet for example here:

My Bitcoin (BTC) address is: 1EH41rY38ZwshtqCF3hKzjaFQhVaZ7zrNH Yes, that’s how the address looks like, copy and paste my address, it’s (cAsE-sEnSEtiVE).

You are given not more than 48 hours after you have opened this email (2 days to be precise).

As I got access to this email account, I will know if this email has already been read. Everything will be carried out based on fairness! An advice from me – regularly change all your passwords to your accounts and update your device with newest security patches.

Like where do we even begin? If you’re going to scam money out of me I’ll need a bit more proof than some words in an email. The Russian ladies on Snapchat at least send photos.

I miss the Nigerian scams, they had a story behind them instead of “send money please or I release your dick pix, thanks”. You could also reply and sometimes they’d reply back to you. I can’t even reply to this boring thing.

It’s like the boring “Microsoft Support” phone calls.

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Please read the top line for me…

Went for an eye test last weekend, mostly because we were sent a £10 voucher through the mail and I’ve never had one. Everyone else in the family has glasses and they seem mystified that I don’t. “We all wear them, bet you need a pair, get your eyes tested and find out”.

So I did, they’re fine. Well, the right one is a bit oval, but only a bit. The only thing the optician said was that my eyes are very dry and that I should use eye drops. Squirting those in my eyes is a new form of torture I’ve discovered. They don’t hurt, I don’t dislike it, but the reflex to shut my eye when they see objects moving towards them takes a lot to override. This is a reflex that can detect pieces of Dremel cutoff wheel flying at my face and deal with it before I’ve even noticed the blade has snapped. A droplet of water must be comically slow by comparison.

The eye test itself was kind of interesting, I had a 3D scan of my eyes done too which involved looking into a machine that scanned a red line up and down each eye. Then there was the other machine with the balloon in it that did some focus testing and then blew fucking air at my eyeball from a point blank range. “Oh this might make you jump a bit but it doesn’t hurt” the nice lady said as something started extending towards my eyeball. “We use air to test the pressure of your eye”. Aha, well after having it done multiple times I think my eyes are fine, they’ve not popped.

The actual optician (optometrist? which one is it?) also had a good peer around inside my eyes using the brightest light I’ve ever seen. You think the sun is bright? Go get an eye test. “Put your chin on here, look at my left ear, this is going to be a bit bright”. No shit. At one point he was fiddling round with a microscope having a really good look at the back of my eyeball and everything lined up perfectly so that I could see a perfect image of my own retina. I’m sure nature never intended on the light sensing part of an eye to see itself.

We also had the traditional reading of the letters game, and some fun with different lenses being stuck in front of my eyes. “Tell me which number looks clearest… number one… number two?”. After a while I just got confused as successive lenses looked identical… “Number four… or number two?” … “err? I can’t tell? Same? is that a valid answer?”. “Ok, when I do this does your vision get worse or better?” “Nope, worse, it’s all blurry”… “Hmm, and this way is clearer” “Yep”.

I guess I must have been consistently confused to get a reading of zero for both eyes. I am quite sure the way this is done removes any bias I might have towards glasses or not. Like when immigration asks you the same question six different ways just to check you’re not lying.

For all the science behind distance sight testing, close up testing seems to involve being given a sheet of paper with writing on and being asked to read the tiniest text on it. “Can you read the smallest text on this page OK?” … “Yep, looks fine”.

So yeah, eye drops and “come back in two years, you might need some then” was the verdict.

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Forgot to tax my car…

Vehicle tax is a thing here, every vehicle must be taxed. If it isn’t your insurance is invalid and all the ANPR equipped police cars driving the streets will find you.

Except they’re supposed to send you a letter reminding you it’s about to expire. Not an angry red letter telling you it has expired. Also this letter was dated 15th August and I received it today a mere week later. In the same batch of mail was some tat from China posted on the 16th of August. I’m fairly sure mail from China isn’t supposed to arrive quicker than mail from Wales…

So I logged in and “paid” my £0 for the coming year.

With my old car I used to have a yearly direct debit set up and the money would just leave my account automatically. I guess they can’t do that with this one…

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Modern Society Illustrated

Here’s a photo that perfectly sums up modern society…

Chairs need instructions explicitly telling the user it is for sitting on, and that it isn’t a step ladder.

Of course the warning label is not attached to a chair because of course it isn’t, even though it tells us not to remove it. That person probably used it as a step ladder while riding it down a corridor.

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Using a non-Tesla EV on a Super Charger

No, there’s no drama, no weird thing. It just works, just like any other CCS charger. Elon doesn’t come out and give a free hand-job while you wait or anything. About the only piece of excitement is the mildly confused looks from actual Tesla owners when you roll up.

Also the charging leads are really really short, if your charging port isn’t on a side it’s unlikely to reach. And if your port is on the “other” side to a Tesla it might be hard to park up if they’re nearly full as you might need to go into the wrong bay for the unit that’s free.

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More Artificial Idiocy

Gmail has a cool feature where it can understand important emails and put things in your calendar.

Except it also does it with spam too…

Although I think this is a mistyped email address, or it’s a very elaborate scam… It’s hard to tell, I’ve had this email address for so long now I can no longer tell the scams, spam and other Internet Herpes from the idiots who can’t spell. I keep getting mail from some church in Australia, I’ve been getting that mail for the past 10 years. I could have said “sorry but you have the wrong person” but it’s a bit late now.

This airline one though, seems legitimate somehow.

There was a “manage booking” button on the email too, but it needs a login.

The Internet is a fucking weird place, isn’t it!

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If you use ChatGPT to help you learn things, you’re an idiot.

So I thought I’d do some research… But I was wise, I know ChatGPT has a bit of a habit of making up stuff. So I thought “I’ll get you… tell me where you get your information from”.

I know, “interesting” and “COBOL” is a big ask…

None of the URLs actually work. They’re all 100% fake. The second response is quite good though – “I made up URLs that look like the kind of URLs you should be looking for when researching this stuff”. So it knows what a URL is, and treats it exactly the same as written text – “you want to know about Cobol? Here’s some words that people string together when talking about this”.

It does this with code too – “when people write database apps, this is the pattern they all seem to follow. You should go look for code that looks like this…”

It’s not giving answers, it’s giving us the shape of what an answer looks like, so when we go and search the web ourselves we know what to look for. It’s drawing the perfect looking but false McDonald’s burger you see on the advert, so that when you get the crushed slop in a box they really serve, you can recognise it.

This folks is why we’re trying to stop kids from using ChatGPT and friends in their work. It generates plausible looking nonsense.

Life must suck as an English teacher, since they’re trying to teach kids how to write their own plausible looking nonsense. “Write me a story that contains a badger, a horse and a trip to the moon”. ChatGPT could do that well, it’d be hard to tell that from a human made up story.

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DofE 2023

It’s late April which means once again I enter the national cat-herding competition. The challenge – set 13 students off on three days of camping and walking to complete their silver Duke of Edinburgh.

Since this is no longer the 1980s and simply kicking kids out of a minibus and saying “see you on Sunday” is frowned upon things are more precise and organised.

We kick the kids out the minibus with a GPS tracker in their bag and say “see you at the camp!” instead. We then follow them about the countryside using the GPS trackers to see where they’re going and checkpoints to .

If the trackers can’t get a signal or our phones have no mobile broadband we then start having to do it old school, predicting how far along their routes they are and finding the closest road to that point to go and wait.

The kids think it’s magic that we just appear seemingly from nowhere. I appear to have perfected the art of arriving at a checkpoint exactly as they do. Almost like I’ve been sat in my car just the other side of a wall waiting, looking at the trackers. Although sometimes it is just good timing and coincidence.

Risk assessment – Risk: Students might get lost. Mitigation: Watch students with tracker, drive around country lanes like a local trying to catch them when they go off course.

Risk: Tracker doesn’t work. Mitigation: Estimate where they probably are, go a bit further along, begin a determined Fitbit pleasing route march/jog up the route until you meet them. This never works, but does guarantee that once you’re about 10 minutes from your car the tracker does update and the kids are stood by your car looking puzzled.

This is a spring/summer activity, so obviously it was snowing on the practise expedition wasn’t it.

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