A tiny change that took me by surprise

By | January 22, 2024

You know that old saying about buses, about how you can wait around all day for one, and then three turn up all at once?  Well, some public transport companies have been working on preventing that problem, by dipping their toes into the murky waters of AI.

First Bus has been trying out some AI-powered software to help iron out problems with timetabling their buses.  They started by testing it out in Bristol, Glasgow and Yorkshire, and now they’re rolling it out nationally.

The software can account for road congestion and alter the timetables as often as they need to.  In the last year or so, there’s apparently been a 20% increase in punctuality since they started using the software, although frankly I’ll believe it when I see it…

Here’s hoping that they’ll find a way to keep their customers informed about these timetable changes, so you don’t end up waiting an hour for a bus that never comes.  Especially since we don’t have those fancy digital displays at bus stops round my way – you have to rely on your paper timetable and cross your fingers!

Tiny, irittating irritating changes

I also wanted to add an extra tip about Outlook, following on from my email last week.  One of you quite rightly pointed out that the spell check feature (among others) didn’t seem to be working in the same way as it did in the Mail app.

Previously, if you spelled something wrong and got that wiggly red line underneath it telling you that you’ve made a boo-boo, you could right-click on the word to get a list of suggestions.  But if you try to do that in the new Outlook, you get the normal right-click menu, with options for things like Cut, Copy and Paste, but no spelling or grammar help.

So I did a bit of digging and playing around, and I’m actually a little embarrassed to admit how long it took me to work out what to do… instead of a right-click, now they want you to do a normal left click on the word with the spelling error to bring up the suggestions.

Heaven knows why they decided to change it – if it ain’t broke and all that – but it just goes to show that a) even techy people can struggle with simple things that have changed without warning and b) that it’s often worth trying a few different things and seeing what options you get.

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