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When Things Won't Switch Off

Started by flotemysost, November 19, 2021, 07:07:56 PM

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flotemysost

Been thinking about how among life's trifling and ephemeral vexations, a common one is when something continues running/playing/whatever, even after it's no longer meant to. Obvious example (which there's been a good few anecdotes about on here) is when a mucky video doesn't pause/minimise in time and betrays your grubby urges, but what else?

I had a work video call recently where my laptop suddenly started blaring out some very energetic, raunchy funk music from whatever radio show was playing in another tab (the desktop player kept stalling so I'd forgotten it wasn't actually paused). Could have been far worse, but I could see one person on the call couldn't stop quivering with muted laughter.

I used to get quite scared by the idea of things not stopping when I was a child. I was given an Animals of Farthing Wood picture book one Christmas which had a panel along the side that you could press for various animal noises, but after a few months the internal battery wore down and it would play the noises unprompted, distorted to anguished sludgy groans drifting from my bookshelf in the middle of the night, which shat me up.

When have you been spooked/humiliated/annoyed by uncooperative technology?

Brian Freeze

Had a car that would carry on for a bit after turning the key off. It was so exciting I cant remember which car it was.


JamesTC

A friend told me about when he was much younger, his father and brother popped around to fix his laptop, but he had a porn tab open. They were asking for the laptop while he insisted he was "looking for a song" whilst desperately trying to close it. They were eventually shouting at him to just give him the laptop and the window eventually closed. As he passed it over he noticed the tab with Google had retained the logo from the previous tab which was a perfectly circular boob.

Johnny Foreigner

I wish cash machines would do that.

Sebastian Cobb

i regularly fall asleep listening to podcasts and then shut my laptop when i start properly dozing off then when on boring work calls open my personal laptop only for it to grass me up by blairing while i flail to shut it up

The Guppy

I had a similar thing happen, except I was having a wank with 1% battery left. Laptop went into sleep mode, so I put it on charge and used my imagination to finish off, like it's 1998 or something.

Next day I opened my laptop in a library and the video resumed.

SpiderChrist

Got given a second hand Sonos thing that I can control from my phone and listen to stuff in the kitchen and the living room. The other day I couldn't get it to stop playing. I even switched my phone off and it kept going. Have I got a poltergeist?

Sebastian Cobb

Quote from: SpiderChrist on November 19, 2021, 10:42:27 PMGot given a second hand Sonos thing that I can control from my phone and listen to stuff in the kitchen and the living room. The other day I couldn't get it to stop playing. I even switched my phone off and it kept going. Have I got a poltergeist?

i'm no expert on Sonos specifically but casting generally works such that your device slings a url or collection of urls at the device and then it goes away and plays them itself.

there are other configurations where your device continually streams its audio sink but that's a dirty way of doing it

touchingcloth

Quote from: Sebastian Cobb on November 19, 2021, 10:53:22 PMi'm no expert on Sonos specifically but casting generally works such that your device slings a url or collection of urls at the device and then it goes away and plays them itself.

there are other configurations where your device continually streams its audio sink but that's a dirty way of doing it

Somos works that way, but it has an extremely limited list of compatible streaming options (could give a YouTube link but not a Soundcloud, from memory), and the control software can be quite flaky and wank.

Not sure how Airplay works. Device acting as a file server rather than video sync, perhaps.

Sebastian Cobb

I think airplay is in-time streaming but I'm not posh enough to know apple stuff intimately.

I use Chromecast Audio devices which suited me great as I have hifi gear (and spare hifi gear in my makeshift office) so a £20 device to pipe in was perfect but Google killed them off for more intrusive 'home speakers'.

A pub I used to drink in had a couple of big Sonos speakers, I think they cost about a grand each and they weren't bad (sounded a bit 'bosey') but I thought the software on the phone was dreadful, at the time it didn't integrate with Spotify properly but could play from Spotify playlists, shit if you like albums.

H-O-W-L

Windows 10 is a cunt for offering to kill processes for you, and then instead of actually killing them it just politely sends a command quit function to them... which is dandy, except usually when the process needs to be killed it's because it's fucking hung and needs to be straight up killed, not politely asked to quit.

Sebastian Cobb

I always vowed I'd never become a token windows hater, for all the platforms it has to manage it's supported quite well.

But some years ago when work pushed me onto macs but I was too much of a skinflint to pay over a bag and got used to bash and when used thinkpads costed a couple of hundred quid I got lazy and slapped linux on and everything worked out the box without pissing about with drivers and I only needed a browser for dicking about online anyway.

Now when I have to use windows or windows server it's such a maze of new stuff that disappears to reveal familiar menus that are 20+ years old.

I've somehow become a furry-toothed unix geek by following the path of least-resistance, baffling.

H-O-W-L

I like Windows thus far because it's been, up until now, the perfect balance of nerd command prompt bullshite if I need it but user friendliness when I'm drunk as shit. However this is rapidly changing with 10 and 11 and I'm probably going to hop to some obscure Linux distro coded by a bloke in a shed by 2030.

Johnny Foreigner

Ah, smoke alarms. When the battery in a smoke alarm is running out, the alarm starts to emit intermittent, short, deafening bleeps. You thereupon remove the battery and note to your horror that the alarm continues to make noise, because it stores the energy.

Sebastian Cobb

Quote from: H-O-W-L on November 19, 2021, 11:25:36 PMI like Windows thus far because it's been, up until now, the perfect balance of nerd command prompt bullshite if I need it but user friendliness when I'm drunk as shit. However this is rapidly changing with 10 and 11 and I'm probably going to hop to some obscure Linux distro coded by a bloke in a shed by 2030.

Yeah I know nothing about powershell and stuff. Windows 11 sounds like one of the inevitable duds that follows a good version of Windows. With a lot of forced obsolescence baked in.

I use Debian which I think makes me a bit square. I like it, it's stable and Ubuntu etc just adds layers of bullshit and indirection on top.

Sebastian Cobb

Quote from: Johnny Foreigner on November 19, 2021, 11:31:27 PMAh, smoke alarms. When the battery in a smoke alarm is running out, the alarm starts to emit intermittent, short, deafening bleeps. You thereupon remove the battery and note to your horror that the alarm continues to make noise, because it stores the energy.

The smoke alarms in my flat are wired into the lighting circuit and can trigger each other but still use a pp3 backup and chirp like non-battery-backed alarms regardless. Ridiculous cheap and nasty shit to avoid a charging circuit.

More worryingly I've seen some companies offer 'smart iot' batteries, basically a li-on cell* with some iot board in there that can text you when your house is on fire but also reset the alarm. What could go wrong?

*i use a usb rechargable pp3 in my multimeter because i'm an idiot and put it back in my electronics drawer for that use-case it's great

idunnosomename

anyone have DAB radios that won't turn off. like the Archers comes on, so you press off. then it comes on again. so you press it again. then it comes on again! fuck off!

bring back nice big clicky buttons.

Sebastian Cobb

The relinking of Flotes' post in the guffaw thread jogged my memory and took me back to the time I was a kid falling asleep to audio books on a 'shoebox' tape machine.

Burglar Bill was a steady favourite and I remember that no matter what tape I listened to and whether I'd fell asleep properly the auto-stop mechanism always forced me to blink as it clicked out.

28, etc obvs

idunnosomename

i do remember those books with the panels on the back cover going all sludgy as the watch battery in them ran down, but not splurging out randomly

golden sound story the brand was called? mostly Disney properties. cant find a farthing wood one though.


bgmnts

Pinocchio looking at his own knob there.

Sebastian Cobb

There was a twitter thread recently about the modern version of the Tomy Fisher Price record player



Despite the thing being functionally electronic and needlessly complex it included a cheap and nasty music box anyway just to provide resistance to the clockwork mechanism. maddening.

https://twitter.com/foone/status/1454230585933631488

seepage

Quote from: idunnosomename on November 19, 2021, 11:38:04 PManyone have DAB radios that won't turn off. like the Archers comes on, so you press off. then it comes on again. so you press it again. then it comes on again! fuck off!

bring back nice big clicky buttons.

Yes! I was just going to post that! Got an early Tesco Value one that you have to pretend to accidentally brush past the off button to turn off. If you attempt to turn it off while looking directly at it, it refuses to do so. Or I have to unplug it.

shoulders

That slight feeling when there's a disobedient electrical appliance making a droning obtrusive noise of partly hoping you aren't able to disarm the sounds it is making, giving yourself permission to channel the inner rage of spending every Sunday growing up sat in the House of Fraser into belting every last working part out of the fucking cunt with a hammer until it dies.

Sometimes laughing in the ideation, sometimes not.

Attila

Quote from: Brian Freeze on November 19, 2021, 07:30:03 PMHad a car that would carry on for a bit after turning the key off. It was so exciting I cant remember which car it was.



Maybe the Family Truckster?

SpiderChrist

Quote from: idunnosomename on November 19, 2021, 11:38:04 PManyone have DAB radios that won't turn off. like the Archers comes on, so you press off. then it comes on again. so you press it again. then it comes on again! fuck off!

bring back nice big clicky buttons.

Yep. Got one of them too.

Thanks for the knowledge on Sonos. I would have asked my brother (he installs stuff like this for a living and gave me the Sonos amps in the first place) but I suspect that he would have ripped the piss out of my limited understanding.

buttgammon

Sleep time didn't set properly on the Alan Partridge Nomad audiobook. I woke up to the terrifying sound of someone calling "Brian? Brian? Brian?".

greencalx

I had the opposite problem last week with our 'smart' thermostat. I had already turned most of the smart features off: it's designed to activate the heating when you get home but this doesn't really work for draughty old houses in Scotland where you need it to come on a good hour before you come home. Also it tended to make very bad decisions as to whether you were at home or not. My interest in the device was mostly that you could program different temperatures at different times of the day, activate it remotely, and site the temperature sensor in part of the house where you actually care what the temperature is. (Our old wired thermostat was positioned in a part of the hallway that was always at 17 degrees no matter what was going on elsewhere, so it was basically an on-off switch).

So since being tamed, it's worked perfectly for over a year with minimal manual intervention. And then, the other day, I started feeling cold and went to check the thermostat to see if it was my body or the heating that was playing up. Weirdly it had switched to a low temperature mode because it had sensed inactivity in the house. (The family was out and I was working in the other room). Switched it back into home mode, checked that the smart features were all disabled. They were. Overnight it decided we were out (something that the documentation explicitly states that it shouldn't do), so it dropped the temperature setting and we woke up to a cold house. Not keen. Changed the settings so that even if it decided we were out it wouldn't then lower the set point. This sort of worked for a bit... until the next morning it had decided that, no, it really should respond by letting the house cool if it thinks we are not there. Arrgh!

The day after this started happening, I received a weird email saying that my wife had been contacted because I'd set her up as someone who could access my Google account if Google decided I had shuffled off the mortal coil. It seems that Google had made this decision due to "account inactivity" despite the fact I had signed into the account regularly, partly due to the thermostat being logged into the same account. Except I can still access and use that account, and my wife never received the notification. Anyway, I figured that it was too much of a coincidence that the thermostat should start misbehaving at the same time, and having failed to convince myself that the Google account could be reverted to a fully activate mode, I logged the thermostat into  a second Google account I had lying around that (ironically) barely use. Problem solved, thank goodness, because having your thermostat deciding that you're dead and consequently have no need for central heating is not really where you want to be.

My ex's daughter had one of those musical toys where you pull the string and it plays a song as the string is slowly pulled back up into the body. Late one night, as we were falling asleep, this toy decided out of nowhere that it hadn't retracted all the way and very slowly played five or six notes from whatever nursery rhyme was stored in it. Proper fucking horror movie cliche stuff.

beanheadmcginty

Xbox controllers are shockingly reluctant to turn themselves off unless mummy console tells them it's OK to do so. Usually end up ripping out the battery pack.

greencalx

Quote from: Huxleys Babkins on November 20, 2021, 10:01:24 AMMy ex's daughter had one of those musical toys where you pull the string and it plays a song as the string is slowly pulled back up into the body. Late one night, as we were falling asleep, this toy decided out of nowhere that it hadn't retracted all the way and very slowly played five or six notes from whatever nursery rhyme was stored in it. Proper fucking horror movie cliche stuff.

Oh god yes. We had this Old MacDonald Sing-a-Long Farm Tractor where the button that activated the song had become permanently half-pressed through overuse. This meant that it would sometimes activate itself spontaneously. My memory may be playing tricks on me, but I think it may have also started playing more slowly as it become more decrepit, which really added to that house of horrors feel. (Certainly there was a pram toy, in the shape of a frog, that played some marching tune with "rivvit rivvit" between the phrases, and this did get slower and more warped sounding as time went on, which was really freaky!)