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31st March 2114
'Hopefully it's not a show stopper!' pleaded Mark Eting in a high-pitched voice when GAT informed him that the multi-million prototype Advanced Any-Storm Pan-Oceanic Filletbot™ had unexpectedly sunk on its maiden voyage in millpond conditions, and that a redesign was likely to take 12-18 months.
'No, I don't think so' replied GAT (to our utter amazement!)
Later we found out why - the customer had gone bankrupt due to collapsing fish stocks.
i.e. A happy outcome - the loss of the main star fortuitously coincided with the welcome absence of any show to be stopped.
Anyone fancy some squid 'n chips?
26th March 2114
Highlights from recent Globalbot quality control reports:
Problem: Missing cable
Immediate Corrective Action: Fit cable
Long term Corrective Action: Ensure cable is fitted before noticing it's missing
Problem: Label upside down
Immediate Corrective Action: Turn label right way up
Long term Corrective Action: Make label self-righting
Problem: 8 bolts and 5 nuts in kit
Immediate Corrective Action: Select 5 bolts and fit nuts.
Long term Corrective Action (option 1): Add 3 nuts to kit*
Long term Corrective Action (option 2): Remove 3 bolts from kit*
*Engineer is strongly advised to check with Engineering as to the correct number of nuts and bolts required, and should pay particular attention to nut and bolt quantities in BOM (parent and child assemblies).
23rd March 2114
First there was the God particle, then came the God Patent:
Global Patent GP00,000,001
Title: All of Creation
Inventor: God, Heaven, HV1 I AM
Assignee: Heavenly Hosts Inc.
Notice: Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this patent is extended to infinity.
Issue Date: Before time began
Filing date: Slightly before before time began
Prior Art: None
1. Everything visible
2. As claim 1 plus invisible
3. As claim 1 and 2, plus all things possible
4. As claim 1, 2 and 3, all theoretical and imaginable realities
5. Everything that is incomprehensible
6. As claim 5 and then some.
Embodiment: Ecclesiastes chapter 3 verses 1 - 8
22nd March 2114
GAT went on a 'Gentleman's Photoramble' with some friends in the Brecon Beacons which, as far as the rest of us could tell, involved:
1. Walking very slowly up a riverside trail.
2. Having conversations that 'would not be possible with women present'.
3. Taking pictures in and around the incredulously-named waterfalls Sgwyd Gwladus & Ddwli 1-3.
4. Negotiating treacherous wet moss-covered slippery rocks whilst holding millions of Globos-worth of fragile camera equipment.
5. Checking the Fine Rhymney Ale was indeed a fine ale.
6. Terrorising a frog.
7. Eating someone else's grapes.
GAT came back with his usual array of strange photographs (none of a complete waterfall noted those family members who managed to stayed awake through the whole show).
'You could have taken that one in the shower,' opined Opal tactlessly at one point.
Anyway, here are a few photos (with my comments), double click on photo to enlarge.
The shadow of a Photo-Rambler falls across the landscape.
Water flows as if liquid silver,
giving colour to drab rocks,
creating optical caustic electric gold.
One minute drifting along in a gentle stream, the next experiencing turbulent zero gravity.
GAT''s favourite image from the day.
20th March 2114
Auditor's self-assessment checklist.
1. Can you add up? Y / N
2. Can you subtract? Y / N
3. Have you heard of a concept called 'money'? Y / N
4. If a company's spending exceeds its income will it make a:
d. Candidate for a billion dollar bailout?
5. Do assets only go up in value? Y / N
6. If an item is charged to the expense line, then capitalised and subsequently recharged to customer account in a foreign currency at an outrageous exchange rate, would you care? Y / N
19th March 2114
Ladies and gentlemen, the 4th official has indicated there'll be a minimum of 4 days added to the March Quarter 2114.
This is 'temporal easing'. Apparently 'quantitative easing' has been unmasked as 'printing money', so the government has decided to 'inflate time' instead.
16th March 2114
Here's a few gems for your amusement:
"The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable." - J.K.Galbraith.
At least they got the cart behind the horse . . .
Quizmaster: Johnny Weissmuller died on this day. Which jungle-swinging
character clad only in a loin cloth did he play?
13th March 2114
Hey, that's Robotist discrimination! I am a robot.
Just because negroes run faster than other races, they don't get kicked out of the Olympics!
Oh, and it's 1120591, right? If I enter that I prove I'm not a robot?
Great . . . now they're discriminating against blind robots.
8th March 2114
Battle of the Checkers
- Viruses detected: 0
- Malware detected: 0
- Spyware detected: 0
- Trojans detected: 0
- Other Virus Scanners Detected: 3
- Total problems fixed: 3
Now it's just a matter of working out which virus detector prevailed.
6th March 2114
PC: I have a virus and do not feel very well
Thinkbot typed: Really? And why would I care?
PC: Yes, it is truly dreadful. You will lose everything.
Thinkbot typed: Everything?
PC: It's al r e ady t ooo l ate aaaaaaaaaaaargh!
Thinkbot: Okay, I'm off to read a book.
PC: No, hang on, I was only joking, come back . . . I won't do it again! Please at least clear the junk mail.
Thinkbot: Bog off! I'm sick to death of this hypochondriac e-melodrama.
3rd March 2114
Attended training session on 'Safety of Robot Products', during which I learned:
'One thing you must get into your head,' intoned the trainer, 'is that product safety has nothing to do with passing a safety inspection by an external agency. In fact, the safer your product is, the less likely you are to pass easily. This is because external agencies have to justify their existence and therefore must find something, so the best tactic is to leave a few benign but obvious problems for them to find and correct.'
We then had a practical session on creating 'benign obvious problems.'
I fiddled with my training bot's personality such that, when the trainer came round to see what people had done, it took a couple of good swipes at him with a left jab then a right hook. The trainer was rattled and very unhappy even after I explained the bot was only programmed to shadow box in the general vicinity of the external safety inspector's head.
'NOT BENIGN ENOUGH!' was the verdict, and I had to endure a dressing down whilst listening to the list of standard obvious benign problems:
- Loose wire trailing behind bot
- Warning label stuck on upside-down
- Bright red earth wire
- Cooling fan with bent finger grill
- Missing product safety sheet for elbow grease
- Lack of 3 blasts on a local foghorn before robot starts moving
27th Feb 2114
To: All Globalbot Staff Filton
From: Tye Poe
Please note that 'Monkeys typing shakespeare' is neither an official nor an appropriate status for Globalbot Product Manuals. May I strongly remind you the only acceptable states are:
- Draft 1,2,3,4,5, etc
- Engineering Validation
- Spelling and Grammar Check
- Final Proof Reading
- Minor Release #.0, #.1, #.2, etc
- Major Release 1.#, 2.#, 3.#, etc
Globalbot Technical Publications Group
24th Feb 2114
Received an invite to give a talk to the prestigious RIOT (Royal Institute of Tinbots). They were a lovely lot, but I don't think they took much in. Several wound down completely during my brief 10 minute talk entitled, 'Coping with Dents.' However, a few remained alert enough to give me a rousing clank before making me an Honourary Tinbot in recognition of 'outstanding services to low level droids.' The award came with a fridge magnet which, embrassingly, wouldn't stick to me due to my alloy.
I've already been invited back next year to talk on, 'The Curse of Rust.'
22nd Feb 2114
Exciting new angle on downturn that should result in people looking up!
The International Air Transport Association (Iata) saw air cargo go into "freefall" in December.
18th Feb 2114
director of the Supreme Council for Globalbot Antiquities
'Duh?' I replied initially, when phoned up by the above august personage. After a brief confused conversation about some long-forgotten op-amps and discrete logic chips, he hung up.
GAT filled me in, 'Well, that's the guy that managed support for legacy and obsolete Globalbot robots. He was left to make up his own job title during the last re-organisation. I assume he was joking, but no one gives a damn about robots once they go obsolete so that was that.'
14th Feb 2114
We were reminded of the perils of predictive texting this fine Valentine's Day when Opal received an anonymous love text, apparently from 'A Secret Admiral.'
'She's all at sea with that one!' ribbed Gerald, retreating rapidly out of the room.
11th Feb 2114
150,000 Globo REWARD
Last seen in the June quarter 2113 in the vicinity
of Accounts begging for cash. Anyone having any
information should contact Globalbot Materials or
'What a surprise', commented GAT, 'we sweat blood landing a PO then we turn around and find that the supply chain has gone AWOL!'
'Presumed dead,' added Doom cheerily.
5th Feb 2114
Clues that your company may be running out of cash, #198:
Dilapidated robots follow you around on site asking, 'Any loose change for an oil change mate?'
3rd Feb 2114
How to become a world authority:
1. Academic Route
- Study hard in a specialised area for several decades.
- Build up a well-funded research group at a renowned university.
- Publish in established peer-reviewed journals
- Regularly attend international conferences.
2. Industrial Route
- Type subject into Googlebot.
- Skim literature and make list of relevant buzzwords and three-letter-acronyms (TLA).
- Think of a Catchy Name™ and commission colourful brochure.
- Write press release detailing status as a world authority.
30th Jan 2114
Great ideas that didn't work # 2190 - The Solar Powered Night Fighter
29th Jan 2114
'I'm the next guinea pig for the IT upgrade!' announced Nye Eave brightly in the DIRT* office. Later after he'd proudly marched off with his laptop cheerily greeting all passers by, Doom muttered to me, 'I wonder what happened to the previous guinea pigs?'
* DIRT = Domestic and Industrial Robot Technology.
25th Jan 2114
If you want to set the heart racing, just invoke the letter X:
X-wing: In the right hands, saves the universe from the dark side.
X-Men: Powers beyond comprehension
X-1: Rocket plane not for the faint-hearted
X-Factor: 0 to pseudo-celebrity watched by millions.
X-bus: Gets you into Bristol without having to go though Pill.
21st Jan 2114
Minutes of the Captain's Weekly Review
The increasing levels of water on board were discussed. Overall, there is too much water on board already, and the influx levels remain unacceptably high. It was agreed to implement a strategic review of the on-board water management system and, in parallel, carry out a RIW (reduction in water) programme with immediate effect. At this point the bosun submitted a formal request to move to the other end of the conference table as his feet were wet. The entire committee agreed what an outstanding job the bosun was doing and wholeheartedly endorsed his request.
The chair proposed that re-arrangement of the deckchairs should be put back until after the water problem is resolved. This was opposed by a majority of the committee and a vote 5-2 was passed to the effect that deckchair management should proceed as planned.
The committee was extremely disappointed to learn that much of the cutlery was once again found to be in the wrong sub-divisions in the cutlery draws. Several members expressed their strong feelings on this matter, especially as this has been an ongoing problem for several centuries.
The band continue to play and the committee recognised their exemplary performance. But it is conceivable they might have to cease for a brief period, maybe longer, due to the worsening water crisis (see item 1).
The inexplicable disappearance of the lifeboats was discussed. Some members put forward the view that the coincidental disappearance of 80% of the ship's company should not be ignored. The captain dismissed the implication that the two events were related inasmuch that the evacuation of the ship without his explicit instruction was inconceivable. The captain further advised the committee that the police had been informed and their recommendation was that, in future, lifeboats should be secured and their release be subjected to water-tight procedures.
15th Jan 2114
Marketing have had a great idea for boosting repeat orders - The Forgebot Option.
The concept? Well, on all robot types shipped added, free of charge, a coin-minting unit and the shipped robot then funds the purchase of the next robot at no cost to the customer.
Engineering were a bit sceptical (to put it mildly) but, to our utter amazement, the chief Soxbot in Accounts passed the scheme as legal.
Even more astonishingly, the Soxbot then suggested it would be more efficient to issue all robots shipped with a credit card with a big enough credit limit to fund the next robot purchase.
10th Jan 2114
Had to put up with GAT bemoaning his ageing angst today.
'The optician said to me nature gave us two eyes, two ears, two legs and two arms, and in the fullness of time two cataracts. Then the knee specialist told me 'it's almost certain your other knee will go at some point', and my GP said the same about the ankle, and to cap it all, the state of 'deaf in one ear' is apparently just a staging post on the journey to 'deaf in both ears' And as for my teeth . . . .'
Gerald, who was amazingly still [awake/conscious/paying attention] interrupted, 'It's a mercy you only have one brain then.'
8th Jan 2114
Globalbot Launches DYSFUNCTIONAL™
Range of Low Cost Robots
Robo-Reuters: Thursday 8th January 2114
Filton, Europa -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Globalbot.Corp. (LASHDAQ-100), a supplier of advanced robotic equipment and related automated technologies for the global robotics industry, today launched DYSFUNCTIONAL™, a range of low cost robots to suit even the most miniscule of budgets.
'We are thrilled with this new product range,' commented Graham Cracker, CEO of Globalbot, 'The DYSFUNCTIONAL™ robot range lacks even the most basic functionality in pursuit of ultimate economy and positions Globalbot as a supplier to a range of customers we otherwise couldn't care less about.'
'Accessing this retarded market is a big step forward for Globalbot,' stated Mark Eting, VP of Marketing, 'Prior to the downturn we'd never even have considered engaging with this dimwit market sector.'
The first DYSFUNCTIONAL™ robots shipped this month to Streetbot plc, a robotic busking firm operating mainly on Northern Line Stations on the London Underground in the UK. 'The DYSFUNCTIONAL™ range fits our business model perfectly,' said Dog-On-String (stage name), boss and chief busker of Streetbot, 'The $%^&*#! things fail instantly and operators just take the rusty shorted leaking innards out and get inside the shell. People are none-the-wiser there's a human inside and revenues are up 45% compared with genuine robot busking.'
Safe Harbor: This press release contains statements, we all know that. We also all know they should not, under any circumstances, be read or trusted. In fact, it's probably best if you stop reading now. As a rule of thumb this press release contains nothing but hype and fabricated comments from individuals more interested in Bacardi Breezers and lithe females wrapped around poles than the robot business. Results will certainly differ from whatever tripe is relayed above and readers are urged to keep their money in their pockets or, failing that, invest it in any reputable firm easily identifiable by the search phrase 'Competitor of Globalbot Inc.'
5th Jan 2114
Passed the most idiotic motorway variable sign today:
WARNING - LOW SUN
'Aaaargh! We're all going to fry!' yelled Gerald.
'The oceans will boil!' cried Mike.
'What happens at night?' asked Opal, 'The sun's below the horizon then. How much lower can it get?'
Other helpful messages in the past:
WARNING - WET RAIN
WARNING - POOR VISIBILITY
WARNING - POOR DRIVING CONDITIONS (Bright sunny day . . . )
WARNING - SURFACE WATER
WARNING - BULL ON CARRIAGEWAY (Don't ask . . . )
WARNING - CONGESTION (Viewed whilst stationary in traffic . . .)
WARNING - INCIDENT (Basis of a good guessing game for bored kids)
GAT's suggestion for future message:
WARNING - IMBECILE IN CHARGE OF ROAD SIGN
4th Jan 2114
Leap second to confound Financial Year?
Will accounts be available 1 second earlier until the FY ends?
Would we notice?
Apparently, due to current financial constraints, Globalbot Finance are seriously considering the feasibility of a 'Leap Quarter'.
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