* Posts by Gomez Adams

96 posts • joined 14 Aug 2006


Crash, bang, wallop: What a power-down. But what hit the kill switch?

Gomez Adams

There was the story of a shift operator showing some newbies some basic op console commands for a Unisys mainframe where I worked. All harmless until he decided to show them the $! command which did *not* need you to then hit Enter to action it to reboot the computer (think CRL+ALT+DEL)!

Dollar, Bang by name and Dollar Bang by nature! :)

Santander hands over $700m to IBM in hopes of becoming incredible banking machine

Gomez Adams

Re: David Chaos

Having a Dave Chaos in charge reminds of when the old Abbey had a guy in charge of bed and breakfasting cash overnight on the stock exchange called Dave Gamble! :)

Fun fact: GPS uses 10 bits to store the week. That means it runs out... oh heck – April 6, 2019

Gomez Adams

Presumably as long as the relative timestamps received from the visible satellites locked onto stays the same the device's will still work out its correct location?

Apple co-founder and former CEO has the most expensive John Hancock on the planet

Gomez Adams

You do know a John Hancock is more commonly slang for something else?! :o

Erm... what did you say again, dear reader?

Gomez Adams

"bastardized" is a bastardised spelling is it not?

Software changed the world, then died on the first of the month

Gomez Adams

No matter what the specs say this is the kind of detail that an experienced developer would have checked back on.

Motorised robo-coolbox biz Starship makes lunchtime pitch to campus-dwellers

Gomez Adams

Never mind the last mile. The tricky bit is the last 20 yards over broken, rough ground, steps, blocked with cars and toys and blocked by overgrown shrubbery.

Uber's disturbing fatal self-driving car crash, a new common sense challenge for AI, and Facebook's evil algorithms

Gomez Adams

Should also be asking why the poor woman did not notice the car bearing down on her with headlights blazing.? She seem to neither hear nor see it and as her face is a mass of fuzzy pixels then can only postulate why.

Microsoft ends notifications for Win-Phone 7.5 and 8.0

Gomez Adams

Still using my Lumia 820 with WM8.1 and dreading the day when I am finally forced to move into the Android leakosphere. :(

Wow, MIND-BLOWING: Florida Man gets an earful from 'exploding Apple AirPod' bud

Gomez Adams

What was he expecting the LA Fitness staffer to do?

Facebook invents new unit of time to measure modern attention spans: 1/705,600,000 of a sec

Gomez Adams

Can I throw pengo-second into the mix which is an indeterminately small unit of time where the smallness is dependent on the context so can arbitrarily be equated to a milli / micro / nano / etc second.

FCA 'gold-plates' EU rule, hits BYOD across entire UK finance sector

Gomez Adams

Text: "Coming for a pint?"

Text: "Ok?"

In pub: "Have you heard about Going Under plc?"


Sorry 'strange physics' fans, IceCube finds the Standard Model stands

Gomez Adams

At the computer centre where I worked the occasional unexpected incident which could not be explained in any other way was put down as a neutrino hit on the CPU. :)

Self-driving bus in crash just 2 hours after entering public service

Gomez Adams

Could be the police ticketed the meatsack as they did not know how to ticket a tin can?

Google touts Babel Fish-esque in-ear real-time translators. And the usual computer stuff

Gomez Adams

USB connectors are intrinsically flimsier than headphone jacks and not really suitable for use with the phone kept in a pocket where it is subject to repeated minor movements. But if you are going to make an adaptor why not make one that is a solid unit (as seen with many old-school FM transmitters) with the jack socket to the side rather than having a cable?

Autonomous driving in a city? We're '95% of the way there'

Gomez Adams

Even if and when Ocado get to 100% they still need to tackle the much more complex problem of getting the shopping the last nine yards from the vehicle to the customer's kitchen over possibly rough broken ground, squeezing past badly parked cars, past overgrown hedges, up and down steps etc.

Apple exits music player biz by killing iPod Nano, iPod Shuffle

Gomez Adams

Another staunch Clip+ user here running the third-party Rockbox firmware which out-performs and out-features anything else out there whether a dedicated PMP or a music-player app for a phone.

One advantage of using a dedicated PMP is that you don't get annoying notifications interrupting your listening pleasure while exercising etc. There are several other advantages.

House of Lords: Drone vehicles are more than just robo-cars, mmkay

Gomez Adams

Delivering parcels in the real world ...

... does not mean trundling along flat level pavements up a flat level driveway / path to a customer's front door. In the real world there are steps, rough ground, overgrown shrubbery, awkward accesses etc etc. I think we are still many years away from a CAV that can handle real life.

Up close with the 'New Psion' Gemini: Specs, pics, and genesis of this QWERTY pocketbook

Gomez Adams

Re calendar appointments with no fixed times

I get round this by setting an appointment as Busy if it has fixed times and Out of Office if it is a moveable feast.

Autonomous cars are about to do to transport what the internet did to information

Gomez Adams

How does the autonomous delivery vehicle make the last hundred yards across rough ground, broken paving, steps, steep slopes though narrow alleys clogged up with bikes and bins and up stairs to flats?

Apple joins one wireless power group, the other one responds with so-happy forced grin

Gomez Adams

Wireless QI portable power packs exist

I know, I have one and use it. I can be recharging my phone while it sits in my pocket.

For once I am happy with an Apple decision as it means that it will grow the market for such devices - I would really like one with the capacity of the leading non-wireless power packs rather than the two-shot full charge I get from my current one.

Mr Angry pays taxman with five wheelbarrows worth of loose change

Gomez Adams

Not clear why Mr Angry could not do his business through the normal channels. Comes across as a self-entitled arrogant prick looking for someone to shout at a safe distance. Would they have given out their own home address so the authorities could send round "the management" to discuss his issues face to face? I doubt it.

Apple's Airpod wireless earbuds finally go on sale after six-week delay

Gomez Adams

Will Apple be selling designer peeper-keepers at designer prices to use with these to stop them being lost down the loo?

Sysadmin told to spend 20+ hours changing user names, for no reason

Gomez Adams

What happens to the audit trail?

If you allow changing of login ids? There is an audit trail I hope?


Gomez Adams

We had a group in our IT department called "End User Computing". Somehow the sign on their office kept being changed to

"End User Computing - Now!"


Brits: Can banks do biometric security? We'd trust them before the government

Gomez Adams

Tell me the banks are not storing the biometric data in plain or even encoded as that is extremely bad practise. They should be storing the result of hashing the data with a secure key stored only locally on the device.

Reports: Autopilot will go on strike if you're not paying attention

Gomez Adams

Re: eh?

My initial response to the music being muted is to check if the noise-limiter nanny has kicked in on my mobile phone not that the there is an issue with the car or surroundings.

What will laws on self-driving cars look like? Think black boxes and 'minimum attention'

Gomez Adams

"A key part of that system, according to the draft German law, will be determining when an automated system requested that the driver take over, putting the onus on companies to develop software that is suitably cautious, and on human drivers to maintain vigilance while driving"

Aka at the dawn of motoring as "The man walking in front with a red flag" law.

ZTE Axon 7: A surprise flagship contender

Gomez Adams

Why do smartphone reviewers spend so much time on the camera and so little on all the other features?

29 years of data shows no mobile phone brain cancer link

Gomez Adams

Massive increase in mobile phone use yes. But how much of that is actually holding the thing against your head making a traditional voice call?

BT Sport takes Elemental step of software encoding

Gomez Adams

Is this why their app no long runs on my Android tablet? :(

Free x86 mainframes for all! Virtual x86 mainframes, that is

Gomez Adams

How much do I yearn to use an instruction like SNZ (store negative zero) again? :D

And have they sorted out the TDATE$ word format issue that will blow up in their faces come 2028?

Legal right to 10Mbps broadband is 'not enough', thunders KCOM chief

Gomez Adams

Re: Faux Yorkshire subtitle

Looks more like summat from west of the Ouse.

What we all really need is an SD card for our cars. Thanks, SanDisk

Gomez Adams

I have used a standard memory card in the sat-nav I use on my motorbike for over ten years with no problems from vibration, damp and heat. A solution looking for a problem? Hell, it even survived an unplanned trip bouncing down the road on its own!

Retailers urged to create 'CCTV-like' symbol to inform customers of mobile tracking

Gomez Adams

Wouldn't it be easier and less cluttered for stores to have a symbol to show where *no* mobile tracking is in operation? And educate the masses to assume they *are* likely being tracked otherwise.

BTW does putting my phone into Airplane mode offer sufficient protection (which I do anyway when visiting my GP or the cinema rather than turning it off altogether)?

BBC News website takes New Year's Eve break

Gomez Adams

Hope they get it fixed soon. I am suffering Dr Karl podcast withdrawal symptoms ... :(

Broadband's frequency hunters denied Freeview patch – for now

Gomez Adams

The obvious solution to avert the total obsolescence of so many devices is to retain one MUX as DVB-T hosting the main channels (and radio) in SD.

GPS, you've gone too far this time

Gomez Adams

Re: How far off?

But how many journeys are absolutely straight lines? Most are winding paths and you might expect perturbations to the true position of the intermediate measurement points to be as likely to be on the inside of a local bend as on the outside which would underestimate the true distance travelled balancing out the overestimates from being on the outside of the local bend. I suspect the explanation given is more complicated than that.


Gomez Adams

Re: Yes but, no, but...

Not really. They are larger glasses with a line marked to the pint level and then room for the head.

Digital doping might make you a Tour de Virtual cycling champion

Gomez Adams

You are missing the main source of discrepancy

Until and unless your eliminate the "Time In Motion" difference (due to different parameters as to what counts as being in motion) it makes no sense to compare the rest of the stats.

Sengled lightbulb speakers: The best worst stereo on Earth

Gomez Adams

How about downlighters flush in the ceiling void?

With a well designed small speaker enclosure built into the ceiling tile?

Samsung emits mobe charging monitor. For your 'active lifestyle'

Gomez Adams

Re: Wireless charging is bad.

I don't have any of those problems using wireless charging on my Lumia 820 in its bumper case and range of wireless chargers including a combined power pack / wireless charger. Suggest it is your Nexus that has a poor implementation.

Reg reader? Work at the Home Office? Are you SURE?

Gomez Adams

Beat me to it!

On yer bike: Hammerhead satnav for cyclists – just don't look down

Gomez Adams

A solution looking for a problem?

The need for such a device suggest cyclists are so unaware of their surroundings that they are unable to take in at a glance the information displayed on your usual sat-nav screen as other road users seem able to do. This I do not accept.

Police robot duo storm Colorado house, end four-day siege

Gomez Adams

Can El Reg avoid calling remote controlled devices robots please?

YOU ARE THE DRONE in Amazon's rumoured new parcel delivery plan

Gomez Adams

So who is responsible when a parcel goes "missing" after being picked up a random stranger?

Manchester car park lock hack leads to horn-blare hoo-ha

Gomez Adams

Had similar some year back when parking my motorbike by the side of a race track and it would not start. Turned out to be the timing loop built into the track. Wheeling the bike back away some distance from trackside and all was OK.

Another good reason to stick with my fifteen year old car for some time longer yet.

Google's first stab at control-free ROBOT car rolls off the line

Gomez Adams

Re: Car Insurance is a scam that can die with this device

Not really. They will be scammer magnets as people driver their POS vehicles into these things to claim on Google's insurance.

The Shock of the New: The Register redesign update 4

Gomez Adams


Visited link colour back to noticeable.

El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

Gomez Adams

Marking read links: Very slightly better

I now see that read links are coloured a very slightly different shade of grey. But only noticeable if I look at my laptop screen full on in good light. Need more contrast guys,


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