If you live in a country or area that is at all non-monolingual, you will encounter telephone trees where the first prompt requests you specify your language. For example, in the United States, it is usually Spanish.
Unfortunately this does not scale well. If you have to deal with even, say, the UN languages, that’s 6 possibilities. Further, they are rarely standardized, so for one firm, you key in “6” to get Spanish. For another it’s “2”, etc.
I propose this:
A universally understood tone or sequence of tones that means “specify your language” (SYL). These would be tones that a computer could recognize, like SITs. In this way, a person could specify to their phone/phone company what their language was and have them automatically reply.
A universally standardized mapping of languages and dialects to numbers. For example, en-US = 1033 (Microsoft LCID).
This would result in the following pass:
Caller dials some number with a phone tree.
Called party PBX picks up.
Called party PBX plays SYL SIT.
Caller (or caller’s phone/phone company) recognizes the SIT.
Caller (or caller’s phone/phone company) responds with language code
This would include a termination character, like # or *.
Called party PBX connects the caller to the phone tree or operator of that language.
Of course, even the UN isn’t going to maintain an operator for every possible language, so in those cases, a fail-gracefully routing tree would be set up so that the nearest neighbor language would be selected instead. As an example, if en-GB (2057) wasn’t supported, but en-US was (1033), the call would be routed there. Alternately, a message could be prerecorded in that language, telling the called party that their language wasn’t supported.
Many of us remember the famous Windows XP Service Pack 2, which really marked when Microsoft started to get serious about their client systems’ security. Prior to that there was little to guide the end user that I remember. XPSP2 brought the first version of the Security Center, which made it easy to set up the Windows Firewall and actually told them they they needed an antivirus to be safe. This was still prior to Microsoft’s providing one.
Anyway, Windows Firewall is still around and rarely seen after maybe the first week of an installation of Windows, since it is on by default and by then, all the other programs will have been installed and configured to go through the firewall.
Sometimes, however, things glitch:
Three entries for Firefox in Windows Firewall.
I have no idea what the cause of this is. Is it a problem?
I was applying for a position (in the United States) at the firm GSK (alias GlaxoSmithKline) and was presented with this option to select my “prefix”:
I have filled out more of these forms than I can tell you, probably a easy hundred, but I have never otherwise seen options for “Lady” and “Lord”. Why did they feel the need to include these? Do they regularly recruit tituled nobility? If so, do they really have to go through the same HR software/ATS that commoners like me do?
Another software rant this time, since my KENPAVE review got so many views.
I worked at a laboratory that had a Bruker “minispec” NMR analyzer. The thing itself was a neat little self-contained non-destructive testing device with HUGE magnets (kindof required) that you would put a test tube into, run a method, and get a result from.
If you upgraded from a previous setup of Windows to Windows 10 and had been making scheduled backups, you should know that Windows 10 will back things up twice: Once using Backup and once using File History.
Nowhere is there any UI element warning or alerting you to this behavior. In other words, if you set up File History, nothing asks “Do you still want to use Windows Backup?” or vice versa. During Windows Setup there should be something to migrate from Windows Backup to File History.
I am calling this a bug since it degrades performance without any benefit as it will cause your backup space to deplete much quicker for no benefit.
I recommend either ignoring File History and keeping the old Backup running on schedule OR disabling the Backup schedule and just using File History. I’m using File History, but that’s up to you.