Stinky databases for tech support tales?
Plus prior art on bullet passwords
Speaking of safe, how about password protected bullets? As is often the case, you thought there might be some prior art:
Anybody who has wasted their childhood (and much of their adulthood) reading 2000AD will know this is an old idea. See item 4 here.
Now if his invention can select between Standard Execution, Hi Ex and Heat Seeker rounds, I think he has a seller.
It's even more interesting as this invention was published in a US gun magazine in the early 1980s. I think the magazine was 'Guns and Ammo' or 'American Rifleman' and think that the firm showing the idea was Smith and Wesson.
I also have a recollection of a similar item being shown in another handgun related magazine (US of course) in the late nineties.
Cheers - Virgil StJohn.
Isn't this basically like James Bond's signature gun? That only fired when being held by the authorised person. I'm sure Q could quote his work as prior art.
"Man Invents 'Password protected bullets", I can remember this exact idea on Tomorrows World about 15 years ago, the US police were trying it out as crims kept getting the guns off the police, then shooting them with them.
It won't be Windows-Based will it? The last thing you want as you're charged by a horde of Zulus/Al Quaeda/Cyborg-Lizards is "Windows has encountered a problem accessing "BULLET" and has to restart. Please click "OK" to reboot "GUN"
Your chappie with the password protected bullets is going to have fun trying to protect his patent; the science fiction writer A E Van Vogt wrote about similar weapons in the thirties and forties, in his Weapon Shop series.
Prior publication, surely?
I'm not sure if you are familiar with Tom Clancy's Netforce series of novels, but I am fairly sure that this 'inventor' has as this system features in those books, even down to placing the authentication device in a ring.
Seem to remember a failure in the mechanism lead to one of the protogonists being shot. Any chance we can convince Bush to play with them?
That was possibly the largest spread of prior art examples we've seen...
And to round the week off on a happy note, let's take a stroll through a few more of your favourite anecdotes, which for some no doubt deeply Freudian reason, I keep wanting to type as anecdontes.
At my last company, the helpdesk team had a visit from a South African girl who arrived in their office where the 4 guys were sitting talking, and asked: "Have any of you guys got a stiffy?"
Apparently, in South Africa a floppy disk is known as a stiffy - only the old 5.25" disks are called floppies. Needless to say, she didn't make that mistake again, but the incident still lives on in helpdesk lore ...
A co-worker of mine tells this story. She got a complaint of a user's keyboard spontaneously entering strings of repeating keystrokes. She tried all the appropriate things then went to visit the woman, who was very busty. So much so, in fact, that her boobs would occasionally rest on the keyboard, causing the mysterious keystroke entries. The fix was to move the keyboard back further from the edge of the desk.
Years ago, I was called by a secretary who had trouble with her new fax machine, the first one in the company.
Her complaint was: "It isn't working. The paper keeps coming back!"
I've had so many wonderful conversations with cell phone company's tech support but my all time favorite is this little gem I had with a Verizon rep.
Once I called Verizon about a problem which I'd had many times and so I knew what they needed to do however,.... after a long and useless conversation with tech support I was finally told the problem was the keypad on my phone was not working.
At this point I said, "Now let me make sure I understand what you are telling me. The key pad on the phone that I'm holding in my hand, talking to you with right now, the keypad that I just used to dial you, so that we could be having this conversation right now, that keypad is not working?"
"So that keypad, that I just used to dial your 800 hundred number, and then used to punch in a lot of numbers to navigate your phone system menu is not working at all?"
I actually went through several more iterations of this because I was so amazed anyone could be this dense but finally I gave up and said,
"Let me talk to your supervisor".
The supervisor claimed, in a masterful moment of understatement, that they had been having some turnover and training problems.
Enjoy the weekend. ®