ledow t1_jeh18jh wrote

Don't unless you want to join them.

If they're a friend, help them.

If they're not, stay away.

Interfering with a disciplinary process like that will just get you fired, especially so if you were wrong with your "fact".

(P.S. I have represented several colleagues-who-were-friends in official HR meetings where we were "against" our employer and I decided to get involved even when I could have just stayed out of it. But you have to be fucking careful and - like me - you have to know that you can screw them to the wall by *following the rules*, and be principled enough to say "Fuck it, I don't care if they sack me for doing this, it's the right thing to do").


ledow t1_jegq23d wrote

Regular password changes are actually recommended against by most major cybersecurity and governmental security organisations. But that usually pertains to *enforced* password changes (e.g. every 60 days, etc.).

If your password was secure last month, it should still be uncrackable this month, and for every month going forward.


ledow t1_jegebcr wrote

They fluctuate, affect people differently (e.g. people who live in social housing, or own their home outright, aren't affected much by housing costs as they're largely insulated from them) and measure different things. Housing, particularly bounces around like a looney disproportionately to everything else and yet if you're retired or don't have a mortgage, it might not affect you whatsoever.

In the UK, the government publish CPI (general consumer prices), CPIH (consumer prices including housing costs) and RPI (retail prices of a bunch of selected items) for this reason.


Anyone with a brain should pick a point at which they knew their salary, and plot their salary against the various indices to see how much they should be pitching for at their next pay review.

(A quick and dirty way:

Say you were earning £10,000 in Feb 2022 when the CPIH was 109.4 and want to know what you should be earning in Feb 2023 when the CPIH is 126.


Divide 10,000 by 109.4, multiply by 126. You should be earning £11,517 now - JUST TO BREAK EVEN. Anything less than that and you've taken a paycut in the last two years, because everything else got more expensive.)


ledow t1_jegcy49 wrote

I'm always amazed that they aren't required to have a standardised code marking on them.

Sure, it won't stop fraud, but this isn't about that... it's about knowing exactly what white pill little Johnny just swallowed out of grandma's bathroom cabinet when nobody was looking.


ledow t1_jegbiho wrote

As an IT guy, this annoys me.

Guessing your password is not "hacking". It literally should not be possible within the age of the universe.

If someone is in your email account, it's compromised. That's it, game over, start again. Same if someone is in your computer. No antivirus can "clean" your computer to the required standard to recover from that. It's like expecting that knife you just dipped in poison to be used in your gallbladder surgery next week just by wiping it on a tea-towel.

Nobody should know your password. You password should be IMPOSSIBLE to guess. Literally impossible. It's really not that difficult to do. You should have two-factor authentication. Any hint that someone has your managed to access your account should be treated by you shutting it down or - at absolute, bare, minimum for a casual email account that you don't care about - changing the password to a truly secure one, booting out all existing logins for it (there's always an option to "log out everywhere"), wiping all the settings, and implementing 2FA, and then immediately moving to a clean account and telling your contacts (who absolutely should ignore that email and check with you personally anyway!). That's the absolute, absolute, absolute, bare minimum.

Unauthorised access is compromise. Wipe the disk and start again from nothing.

But if you want to stop this ever happening - start using proper god-damn passwords, literally something that cannot even be read by someone who sees it quick enough for them to memorise it correctly.

If you can tell someone your password, and they can get even 80% of it right a few seconds later, then it's not secure.


ledow t1_jd5isi4 wrote

"Wire nuts are not used in the UK because the old ceramic ones were banned many years ago for good reason"

I don't think they're any more solid, and there's a lot of talk that they weaken the connections over time / repeated use.

I've lived in houses (and worked in workplaces) with 40's and 50's wiring (and a couple of workplaces with literal 100-year-old wiring still in place, but unused) and things never came loose, just the opposite.


ledow t1_jd5gdok wrote

UK - never seen one.

Never saw one in Italy, either.

I can't even imagine why you'd want to use them, to be honest. They're fiddly as hell.

And as others have echoed: Wago nowadays. Every electrician I know has gone for just having a box of Wagos and the last two I asked (who were working on large installs for workplaces) didn't even carry screw terminal blocks with them any more.


ledow t1_jd3x5va wrote

I get not putting it out (hugely impractical scale), but it's weird that nobody's found a way to monetise it.

Free heat enough to scorch the earth and nobody's come up with a way to make electricity from it?


ledow t1_jcqyuqd wrote


A few times I've been ill and thought "Ah, it must have been..." and then realised that there was basically no time in which that could have taken effect - and re-eating that same meal had no effect.

I don't get ill often so it really sticks out in my mind and I try to find the cause and it's basically never attributable to food.

Part of that is because I cook everything "properly" (by which I mean, fuck your still-bloody steaks, if it hasn't changed colour all the way through it's going back on the heat) but also that I preserve my food well (freezing, refrigeration, keeping it sealed, etc.) and I avoid dodgy food (e.g. seafoods unless frozen and then well-cooked).

I have even once or twice taken to literally listing everything I'd eaten in the last few days, as far as memory will serve, and eliminating them as often I still have that food around... and I re-eat it and don't get a recurrence.

Sometimes it's nothing to do with your food, and sometimes people think it can't be anything to do with their food and it was from food from weeks ago.


ledow t1_jbxvxrf wrote

>Yet most people didn't want a cellphone until the late 1990s

When they became affordable rather than stupendously expensive status symbols.

Humans rarely reject technology so long as it's affordable. Smartphones are the perfect demonstration of this where the DRIVER for them was the ordinary person, not the corporate executive who's had them since the 70's/80's.

Also you mention the PC market and televisions - as far as I'm concerned the same happened there. The home computing market of the 80's was about AFFORDABLE computers in the home, and homes scrambled to have them once they were affordable. Whether that was Atari Pong, a ZX Spectrum or a NES, it wasn't ever a market that people "didn't care about".

Same with TVs, to be honest. I don't know what makes you think the "limited programming" had anything to do with it, it's actually almost impossible to find someone of that generation who DIDN'T have a TV.

And the same will happen with VR... now that there are £300 VR headsets, people are buying them in the millions.

It's about affordability and practicality. VR headsets never went away, they've always been around, but they've always been too expensive or clumsy (I speak as an owner of multiple Vive Pro's). People know exactly what they want and what they'll use them for, it's the "fitting on the head of a pin for the price of a Christmas present" factor that actually brings them to the point people will use them.

And with VR, we were discussing VR back in the 80's, VRML was invented before HTML 2, it was shown on TV programmes, used by architects, incorporated into military headsets, and featured in mainstream movies (e.g. Tron, Lawnmower Man).

MR is a bollocks term attributed as some kind of new extension to VR and AR as if it's something different to AR. It's not. In fact it's so woolly that there's no real definition of how it differs to those two, or what it adds to either.

People are using VR now. Nobody really wants / uses AR and the biggest use of it is in chaperone systems in VR. If you're going to enter another world, why would you want it on top of this one? And MR - as Meta are finding out - is the thing that nobody actually knows what it means, because there is no real fixed definition, it's whatever these companies try to sell it and universally looks like bad AR slapped over bad VR but then mixed with some primitive VRChat bollocks that was literally available in the 90's.

To say that this is going to "be" something is a nonsense. And it can't "be" anything without cheap, commodity VR and AR hardware first. Something which we're only JUST making the first happen. Fact is, people still don't want to dress up like a prat just to "feel" something that's in front of them anyway.

A VR-first console with cheap headsets would have created a new generation of games and games consoles, for instance. But Nintendo missed the boat and went for the Switch, and everyone else is just making PCs and now realising that they should really just sell those games on PC because they are *just* PC games.

MR isn't a thing anyone wants, or can even define, demonstrate or sell. That's why Meta keep failing on it, and nobody else wants to enter that space. VR is not only well-defined, it's available, it's commodity, and people know precisely what it is - from sci-fi. Hell, we're still making TV programmes about the concept - The Peripheral - for instance.


ledow t1_jbxp4sm wrote

Nobody wants it.

We had sci-fi desires of smartphones for decades, we just didn't call them that.

But nobody is sitting there wanting Tron to happen.

Ironically, instead all this pissing about you could make quite normal VR etc. far more mainstream - it's more viable this time round than ever before.

But nobody wants this mixed reality bollocks.


ledow t1_ja83bd1 wrote

Reply to comment by Humanius in Didn't fear and rescued by M178music

The guy's wearing a t-shirt.

I think he'd stand more chance of frostbite / hypothermia doing that than anything else.

There is no one piece of advice that will work in all scenarios.


ledow t1_j9vdlit wrote

I'm a single guy, not very good at cooking, but when I was down on money the last few years I started buying weird random things to see what they were like in case it was something I enjoyed and could save money on.

Just before Christmas 2021 I went to my local supermarket.

To "make room" on the shelves for Christmas stock, they had put a ton of "baking chocolate" bars in the reduced aisle. I mean, dozens upon dozens upon dozens, filling entire shelves, in plain (but factory-sealed) wrapping, for pennies each.

I picked one up and felt it, and it felt like a chocolate bar inside. Cut squares and everything. I read the ingredients and compared it to a chocolate bar I had in my basket. Almost identical. The expiry dates were something like a year from that point (i.e. Christmas 2022).

I bought 10, I think they were 750g each. I thought, what the hell, they're really cheap and I'll try it and the worst that happens is that I have a lot of hot chocolate or chocolate cake to make.

I should have bought them all. They were basically just a milk chocolate bar. Tasted identical to any other.

I was tempted to go back just to fill up a basket with whatever they had left, but I thought that it was just being greedy.

My best finds over the past few years were that chocolate, powdered egg (I love scrambled egg and it makes perfect scrambled egg, and I hate things that go off quickly and powdered eggs lasts for YEARS. and you can get a huge 1kg bag of it for almost nothing), burying eggs in salt (they last for MONTHS without refrigeration, it's the air getting to them that makes them go off), salted preserved fish (lasts for years without refrigeration) and a particular brisket-in-a-bag (fabulous tender cut of meat, in a sealed plastic bag, that can be frozen and also lasts 2 months in the fridge so long as you don't open it).

Also, snapping up the "pancake mix" bottles after Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday) - it's just the ingredients but it's a lovely quick meal that only needs water and the bottle of ingredients - chocolates after Valentine's and Easter eggs after Easter.

I also started doing the "world foods" aisles as they often have things in there that I end up liking or that I hadn't considered eating or preserve better, even if the "world food" part is rather contrived.


ledow t1_j9vaxp6 wrote

I have an amazing catch reflex - far better than my conscious catch action, in fact. I have caught all sorts of things totally unexpectedly and perfectly, but only if I never think about it.

Not once have I ever tried to catch anything sharp, dangerous, hot or heavy when it falls. My reaction is to step back, get my feet out of the way and let it go. I've not trained myself to do this, my brain just does that.

No amount of oven glove is going to make me try to catch a hot falling pan. I could be wearing a fireproof suit and doing it deliberately for a demonstration and I would have to fight the instinct that I have NOT to try to catch it.

Also... oven mitts... hot water... no. Perfect way to give yourself a severe scald or burn. Oven mitts, especially cotton ones, SHOULD NEVER GET WET. All you've done is caught a hot, wet pan of boiling water/oil badly and hastily and now you are holding the dangerous thing in a wet, boiling hot porous glove that's in contact with your hand and under pressure. Even silicone - you've created a perfect waterproof pocket full of your hand into which to pour hot boiling water that can't escape.

Scrap this nonsense. Make conscious efforts to not drop pans and if you do, just get the fuck away from it.


ledow t1_j9v83fd wrote

I wouldn't trust a robot - especially an *AI* robot - inside my house that has the strength to unload plates from dishwashers, lift laundry, etc. in close proximity to humans at any speed. There's a reason that industrial control robots are all behind yellow hazard lines. You're talking a literally crush/injury hazard.

Fold laundry? Not a chance it would be able to do the computer vision to do that with any accuracy.

Same for dusting, unless you found a kind of air-jet or similar.

Unload the dishwasher? It would be cheaper and easier to NOT BOTHER... just make the dishwasher twice-height. Lower is the dishwasher. Upper is storage on a sprung rack like in a restaurant. You now have a "cupboard" full of dishes stacked in their place, and you have integrated into the machine that washes them and which need only "raise" them out of the dishwasher into the storage section.

Puts away the groceries? Not a chance. Again, it's just easier to say "here's a modular grocery cart that gets delivered in a standardised way, here's a special cupboard that is labelled, here's a fixed, dumb robot that can put one into the other". No AI involved, no computer vision, no customised bespoke per-customer setup, no hazards, obstacles, confusions, choices.

I think a FEW people would pay through the nose to get a gimmick AI piece of junk that's not very good at the job.

Literally the closest we've had to any of your suggestions was that robot that was put into a burger joint at great expense, and unless a human lined up the ingredients perfectly for it, it wouldn't work at all, and most of the time it was slower, less able to cope, and easy to confuse, jam, break, etc. Didn't they shut that one down in the end?

I love my robot vacuum, don't get me wrong. The same principle as you state... I turn Bob (I named him, if you don't anthropomorphise your computers, you don't care about them enough) on before I leave for work. He does a good few hours of random-path vacuuming over several surfaces, avoids stairs, bumps off walls, then when his battery is low, he self-homes. That "time-saving" is enormous.

But he get 95% of the floor debris. He's not great on corners. He gets stuck under the radiator. I have to booby-trap the bathroom so he can't approach the penguin floor mat that he likes to shag (he literally gets stuck on it, and then his wheels try to reel it in so it looks like he's devouring the poor animal).

However, vacuuming 95% of my floor debris, every day, for the press of one button, means that vacuuming is no longer a chore and even when I want to go "all out", I only have the other 5% to worry about.

There is no way that in just 10 years we will progress AI to have even a handful more domestic chores be automated, let alone 40% of them. And each time, they can be outclassed by a dumb machine half their cost just doing a decent enough job. I don't want a robot butler who walks around and waters my plants. I want a small, cheap irrigation system with dumb, cheap hardware, so that nobody has to. Bob is dumb. Sensor-controlled. No "floor-maps". No "lasers". Even the self-homing is just two blinky IR LEDs like a Wiimote bar on his charger and he wanders randomly until he spots them and then uses them to home in. It doesn't NEED to be AI to be useful and get the job done.

Same way I don't need a robot arm to unload my dishwasher. I could just have a dumb mechanism in the dishwasher move the "clean plates" baskets up into an empty cupboard above it, for me to select a plate from next time I'm cooking like it's just a shelf full of plates. A fraction of the cost, far easier technology, same effect, literally available now if someone could be bothered to build one (a dishwasher, a cupboard, a sliding motorised rail, and a couple of relays.

Waiting for AI for this stuff is *dumb*. Using *dumb* technology to actually change how we live is *smart*.

Same for "smart cars". I don't want smart cars. I want a dumb car that runs on rails and doesn't need to interpret the road at all. I want individual rail pods that navigate fixed, well-defined, well-controlled, simple rail systems that follow every major road, where the control between you and the "car" in front is a mechanical linkage that means they cannot collide.

Simpler, safer, cheaper, available with current technology.


ledow t1_j9b2f94 wrote



More than just about every other developed country on the planet, including all of those with nationalised healthcare, even when adjusted for GDP, population, etc.

That's PRECISELY my point. You're spending shit on insurers because you want the insurers to profit, and if you just spent LESS but on nationalised healthcare, you'd do better and nobody would be profiting from sick people.

Your healthcare is among the most expensive in the world not because it's the best (far from it), but because you're the only first-world nation not to have nationalised healthcare and the only one to let health insurance dictate how it works, to their profit.


ledow t1_j9754m1 wrote

Also: Name a $42,000 small, portable, fragile object that you'd put on display where anyone can just touch it or knock it over.

Same for all those paintings worth millions that are just hung on a wall. It's an insurance scam. They're hoping they would be damaged.

And you can still enjoy them perfectly well if they were in a display cabinet or behind a sheet of perspex.


ledow t1_j96rp2g wrote

Sure you can.

You run it as a service, not as a for-profit industry.

Like the majority of the developed world.

You should not be PROFITING from sickness. Break-even at best. And that's far too fine a balancing act. You SPEND MONEY on healthcare to get more productivity out of your populous... it's literally a loss-leader. Like education, the other example.

Education is a 100% loss industry. You shouldn't be charging kids to go to school, and you spend all the money you do have on their education, and combat wastefulness.

Welcome to "What life is like outside of shitty 'everything's about money' America".


ledow t1_j963iln wrote

Are you confusing healthcare provision and R&D?

I think you need to look outside the US, where insulin isn't thousands of dollars, generics are widespread, and most medical innovation occurs while also GIVING IT AWAY to the populous.