A Whopper of a bork for seekers of pre-flight nosh

BSODs should be scary, not soothing


Bork!Bork!Bork! A reminder today that the beloved Blue Screen of Death is sadly not forever as the irritating emoticon of Windows 10 puts in an appearance.

The Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) has been a good friend over the years, alarming users by its appearance but occasionally dropping a hint with regard to what upset Windows so and what a user might do about it.

No more, however. Today's example of the breed – spotted by Register reader Stephen Kurtianyk at Manchester Airport before boarding a flight to London – is a clear example of the dumbing down of the bewildering white text of old. No more frightening text. Just a sad face emoticon.

Order terminal BSOD

Click to enlarge

Kurtianyk was travelling with British Airways and fancied a Whopper (rather than the distressing pastries flung at passengers sitting in the front of the aircraft). Sadly, Burger King was closed and its screen borked. He later made the journey once again, and discovered the BSOD gone, only to be replaced by a BIOS setup screen. And still no Whoppers.

Thankfully, Microsoft has yet to inflict emojis upon the final wheezing of Windows before the operating system throws in the towel. It has, however, made the blue somehow more soothing, and the text almost apologetic for hosing a few hours' work down the drain because something upset the OS and it responded with the stability of a favourite Uncle at a wedding.

"Your PC ran into a problem," the apologetic text says, "and needs to restart." But not before a substantial dump (of the memory) has been completed. The small print gives more of a clue, but the days of equal billing between error message and technical nuggets are now gone.

It's almost as if Microsoft expects users to see this screen a tad more than the designers of its predecessor did. After all, the frequency of a modern OS soiling itself should be few and far between. Windows – perhaps more so.

But at least there is that sad face now. Just like that of the user staring down the barrel of a lost afternoon's work. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Google sours on legacy G Suite freeloaders, demands fee or flee

    Free incarnation of online app package, which became Workplace, is going away

    Google has served eviction notices to its legacy G Suite squatters: the free service will no longer be available in four months and existing users can either pay for a Google Workspace subscription or export their data and take their not particularly valuable businesses elsewhere.

    "If you have the G Suite legacy free edition, you need to upgrade to a paid Google Workspace subscription to keep your services," the company said in a recently revised support document. "The G Suite legacy free edition will no longer be available starting May 1, 2022."

    Continue reading
  • SpaceX Starlink sat streaks now present in nearly a fifth of all astronomical images snapped by Caltech telescope

    Annoying, maybe – but totally ruining this science, maybe not

    SpaceX’s Starlink satellites appear in about a fifth of all images snapped by the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF), a camera attached to the Samuel Oschin Telescope in California, which is used by astronomers to study supernovae, gamma ray bursts, asteroids, and suchlike.

    A study led by Przemek Mróz, a former postdoctoral scholar at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and now a researcher at the University of Warsaw in Poland, analysed the current and future effects of Starlink satellites on the ZTF. The telescope and camera are housed at the Palomar Observatory, which is operated by Caltech.

    The team of astronomers found 5,301 streaks leftover from the moving satellites in images taken by the instrument between November 2019 and September 2021, according to their paper on the subject, published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters this week.

    Continue reading
  • AI tool finds hundreds of genes related to human motor neuron disease

    Breakthrough could lead to development of drugs to target illness

    A machine-learning algorithm has helped scientists find 690 human genes associated with a higher risk of developing motor neuron disease, according to research published in Cell this week.

    Neuronal cells in the central nervous system and brain break down and die in people with motor neuron disease, like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, named after the baseball player who developed it. They lose control over their bodies, and as the disease progresses patients become completely paralyzed. There is currently no verified cure for ALS.

    Motor neuron disease typically affects people in old age and its causes are unknown. Johnathan Cooper-Knock, a clinical lecturer at the University of Sheffield in England and leader of Project MinE, an ambitious effort to perform whole genome sequencing of ALS, believes that understanding how genes affect cellular function could help scientists develop new drugs to treat the disease.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022