* Posts by mad_dr

99 posts • joined 3 Mar 2011


World's first robot hotel massacres half of its robot staff


Am I the only one thinking of

"Hotel Bot" from Bad Robot on E4? Hilarious!

Oh, I wish it could be Black Friday every day-aayyy, when the wallets start jingling but it's still a week till we're paiii-iid


I love Black Friday

It's such a convenient way to unsubscribe from all those mailing lists I should have been more careful to opt-out of (or didn't intend to sign up for in the first place) over the past 12 months.

Aut-doh!-pilot: Driver jams 65mph Tesla Model S under fire truck, walks away from crash


6 Warnings to keep your hands on the wheel

Instead of just 'beefing up' the process that warns Telsa drivers whose cars are on autopilot to remain attentive and keep their hands on the wheel, is there a good reason why Tesla doesn't just program the car to come to a stop safely and lock-out the autopilot function for, say, the next hour or so?

To Puerto Ricans: A Register apology


Re: Every day

Guys, guys, guys. Let's be fair. Since taking office, Trump's fairway game has improved significantly...

Dick move: Navy flyboy flings firmament phallus for flabbergasted folk


Do you think we should tell anyone that the Growler, the electronic attack platform, is not an F/A-18, but rather an EA-18G? F/A-18s are Hornets or Super Hornets.

(Yeah, yeah, same basic airframe, but that's like saying the AWACS aircraft are 707s... -- OK, so they _were_ 707s, but now?)

No, but we SHOULD admonish El Reg for seemingly failing to point out that the pilot drew a cock with his growler...

Rocky Ross 128 b might harbour aliens – and it's headed right for us


I, for one, welcome...


Containers? Ha! Ain't no party like a Tupperware party, boasts Facebook


Didn't Tupperware (TM)...

Send El Reg a snarky missive a little while back, for using their name in an article? I wonder if this one is sanctioned by the plastic pot pushers, or whether The Register's spam bot will soon again be filtering out threats from Tupperware's legal team.


For once, Uber takes it up the tailpipe: Robo-ride gets rear-ended


"Human "exercising caution" != Professional Taxi driver != Amateur Driver who got cocky moonlighting for Uber."

The city of Vancouver agrees with you, particularly regarding taxi drivers. Believe it or not, despite some of the atrocious taxi driving I've witnessed from them (and no, I'm definitely not the best driver on the planet so I'm not trying to have a go at anyone), the city of Vancouver actually has a law stating that taxi drivers are exempt from wearing seatbelts up to 70km/h. Madness...

"Taxi drivers are exempt from wearing seatbelts at speeds less than 70 Kmh under Section 32.03 of the Motor Vehicle Act regulations."

from: Vancouver PD's website:



Re: accidents a 'fact of life' in Cali-fornicate-you

If you're trying to make it through a yellow light

a. within the speed limit and

b. because the light changed from green to yellow after you'd already passed the point of no return (IE a safe stopping distance from the intersection)

then fair enough, the left-turners will expect you to do so and will wait. You shouldn't need to accelerate though.

When I'm waiting to make that left turn, the oncoming pricks I get irritated at are the ones who see the light change to yellow from a distance that would easily allow them to stop in time, but are going too fast for the situation to stop safely or are selfish enough that they think it's acceptable to accelerate into and through the intersection. This leaves us left-turners stuck in the intersection while we wait for them and now the perpendicular traffic receives their green light, so now I'm in their way and they're pissed off at me.

I've already been waiting for the pedestrians to clear the crossing and the oncomers to do their thing and now I have to wait for the selfish twats too.

Some people claim that, without accelerating through the intersection, traffic can't flow properly and no-one gets anywhere in a congested city like SF or Vancouver. They don't realise that the continual 'amber gamblers' actually have the opposite effect: every time a light goes green, everyone has to wait for the left-turners who were waiting for the amber gamblers. Not to mention the head-on collisions when left-turners make their turns just as someone oncoming decides to floor it.

North American cities have a low enough standard of driving even if you only look at the defensive ones. Add in the aggressive contingent too and it's a fucking warzone out there.

Headless body found near topless beach: Missing private sub journalist identified


Re: Obvious and stupid mistake

A fair point. Reg units must be used on all Reg articles. Hence the true length of the sub at 0.8189 brontosaurus.

Uber wasn't to blame for robo-ride crash – or was it? Witness said car tried to 'beat the lights'


Re: Timing

It's not different. Typically there are no pauses, when all traffic lights at an intersection are red. In the UK, this happens in order to provide a period of time for pedestrians to cross while all the traffic is stopped.

In Canada and the US, at a standard N-S-E-W intersection (read crossroads with lights), all of the lights are red for only a split-second. Never much more than that. After that split second, in most cases, the following happens:

E-to-W and W-to-E traffic will be held on red lights. Simultaneously, N-to-S and S-to-N traffic will be held on red lights too. Also simultaneously, S-to-W and N-to-E traffic will be shown green flashing arrows pointing left, allowing them to turn across the intersection. This period allows cars to make left turns across the intersection with relative ease. All pedestrians are held at this stage.

After a while, the green flashing left arrows for the cars turning will turn to solid amber left arrows then disappear. At the same time as the amber left arrows disappear, the main S and N lights will go green, allowing N-to-S and S-to-N traffic to proceed straight. Pedestrians can now also proceed to cross the road, in the same direction as the cars. So cars turning right, must give way to a stream of pedestrians crossing the road who, previously, were waiting for the cars turning on the flashing green arrows.

During this time, in most cases, people who wish to turn left must wait because there is now a stream of traffic that they must cross. So these turners must now wait for a break in the traffic to cross (if there IS a break).

When the main lights turn amber, cars streaming from S-to-N and N-to-S should stop, if safe to do so, allowing the turning cars to clear the intersection. It is at this point that S-to-N and N-to-S amber-gamblers tend to squeeze the accelerator in order to get through the intersection, just as the waiting turners think they should be able to complete their turn.

All throughout this, cars can normally turn right on red in most states and provinces. More dangerous, congestion-causing and frustrating, is that when the flashing green turn arrows go amber and disappear, pedestrians are then shown the 'green man' to cross in the same direction as the cars are now travelling.

In a matter of a few seconds, the above will be repeated for E-to-W and W-to-E traffic.

If this all sounds confusing, try doing it at night, in the rain, in a city that refuses to use reflective paint but insists on using implausibly reflective tarmac, whilst driving on the wrong side of the road. Welcome to Vancouver...

After London attack, UK gov lays into Facebook, Google for not killing extremist terror pages


You just drive at them

Tell that to the bellend who did just that and was (fortunately) so inept that he couldn't even hit anyone: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39380527

Revealed: UK councils shrug at privacy worries, strap on body cams


Re: I can understand bodycams for police, but not the recycling inquisition

"Thankfully, at least in my part of the U.S. I don't see this kind of petty tyrrany taking place."

Give it time...

Vapists rejoice! E-cigs lower cancer risk (if you stop smoking, duh)


Re: "a chemical cocktail with unknown long term health concerns."

You can add my wife's cooking to that list.

My hole is a private thing – see for yourself


Re: temporary license to listen

I'm guessing that's the same Performing Rights Society that threatened a shelf-stacker with prosecution and a hefty fine if she continued to sing to herself while she worked... Idiots


Phoney McPhoneface: The thrilling tale of ZTE's crowdsourced mobe


Is it just me or does the first photo look like she's trying to feed cereal to her phone..?

Getting your tongue around foreign tech-talk is easier than you think


Congrats Dabbsy

A quick congrats on the weight-loss, Dabbsy; 17.5kg is no mean feat. Well done. Have one of these to make up for it ------>

Ransomware scum infect Comic Relief server: Internal systems taken down


Re: On charities...

"I do get to buy pizza for lunch today which is better then gruel that I might get elsewhere."

You didn't eat at Pizza Hut then, evidently.

Gullible Essex Police are now using junk science lie detectors


The good news is that if you pass the lie detector then you automatically qualify as 'pre-clear' and get a free trial membership in Scientology...

Harrison Ford's leg, in the Star Wars film, with the Millennium Falcon door


Re: Snirk

Perhaps El Reg is aping Richard Herring's recurring joke of introducing fairly-well-known guests as being "probably best known for his/her appearance as <insert the most obscure and little-known credit from their past here>"

Quite funny when you hear some of the things now-famous folks starred in.

How one of the poorest districts in the US pipes Wi-Fi to families – using school buses


Agreed. Whoever came up with this idea should go ahead and take the rest of the week off.

Let Europeans sue America for slurping their data – US Senate


Don't worry everyone

"It will also allow them to review and correct information held on them by federal agencies."

So when Uncle Sam tries to capture and store as much of your personal information as possible and makes a mistake, you'll be able to voluntarily take time out of your day to furnish them with the real info....

What a generous guy he is...

Post-pub nosh neckfiller special: The WHO bacon sarnie of death


My favourite photo from my recent trip to California...

Is a sign saying:

"WARNING: The Disneyland Resort contains chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm."

AIDS? Ebola? Nah – ELECTRO SMOG is our 'biggest problem', says Noel Edmonds


Is this a preview of a new series of Brass Eye?

I seem to recall the beardy one talking crap on that show too...


NY premiere of The Interview cancelled after hackers' terrorist threats


Latest news is that it's been cancelled altogether... They won...

Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media


Re: Premier League Football?

An oval is flat. I think you mean a prolate spheroid.

Pentagon hacker McKinnon can't visit sick dad for fear of extradition


Re: The Brits should just stop!

And if you have a clue what you're talking about, you'd realise that if not for the Brits, Aussies, Canadians and a whole load more folks, the Americans would be speaking German along with us...

Europe's highest court: Apple CAN trademark its retail store layout


Re: Just to be clear here

"more than 30 min of fruitless waiting"

I see what you did there. :)

Apple SOLDERS memory into new 'budget' iMac


Macs in Landfill

"The fruity firm has always been interested in making sure the world's landfill sites are packed with out-of-date Macs"

All other aspects of the article aside and whether or not the above is tongue-in-cheek, I think it's worth reading their policy on recycling and reducing toxins, etc. Maybe I'm just a naive fool, but I don't see many other companies making these kind of commitments or making information transparent. And for the real cynics, this information is found behind a tiny 'environment' link at the bottom of the apple website, not shoved in your face for 'aren't we great' plaudits.



Sure, maybe Apple is never going to be a B Corp, but at least they're trying:


I'm not convinced that Apple offers good value for money but I generally don't mind paying a little extra for things that show some kind of awareness of environmental responsibility.

Boffin fights fire with EXPLOSIVES instead of water


Re: @Evil Auditor (Was: Re eucalyptus weeds)

"Is there anything that WonderJake can't do?"

Yes - he can't spell 'misspelled', apparently:

"jake: You misplelled"

Lego is the TOOL OF SATAN, thunders Polish priest


How about a Reg readers' suggestion thread...

...for the most inappropriate idea for a themed Lego kit? If we get enough ideas, perhaps we can petition Lego to put it into production (or perhaps not).

I'd like to see:

Inglourious Basterds Farmhouse set (Complete with removable floorboards, milk jug, pipe, etc.)

DOOMSDAY still just MINUTES AWAY: As it has been since 1947


"There is no point in war unless you believe you are going to win"

Reminds me of that great Peter Sellers film "The Mouse that Roared"! :)

Google says it's sorry for Monday's hours-long Gmail delays


I shall immediately demand a refund of all the money I pay to use Gmail and YouTube...

Oh wait...

Grand Theft Auto V: Violent, sweary and amazingly ambitious


"The presence of Michael, Franklin and Lester,"

Who the hell is Lester? Do you mean Trevor? :)

LOHAN doomsday box dubbed BRASTRAP


Re: Kill switch should require to operators?

"Skybird, this is Dropkick with a red dash alpha message in two parts. Break. Break."

Bradley Manning* sentenced to 35 years in prison


@ Richard Jones 1

Completely agree with you Richard. Having read some of the comments on here which remind us of some of the other details of the situation (dereliction of duty of care towards Manning, his potential over-reaching of his authority, the fact that there were crimes to BE revealed) I'm left feeling sad that this whole situation is a great shame from all angles.

It feels like a perfect storm of unfortunate (I know that word is too weak!) incidents: war crimes, mental health, poor management, messiah-complex, potential bullying/coercion topped off with lack of justice for some perpetrators whilst potentially overly-severe punishment for just ONE of the wrongdoers*.

*assuming that we're subscribing to the "two wrongs don't make a right" philosophy.


@AC 14:48

"Surely you're not suggesting that leaking classified documents should not be punished."

Perhaps you should ask the questions "Why did Bradley Manning feel the need to leak documents? Why couldn't he report the crimes he had evidence of to a superior and expect justice to be done?"

What would YOU have done in Bradley's situation? Kept quiet? Leaked the documents anonymously? Tell your boss?

I sincerely hope you don't think that telling the boss would have led to justice being done so that leaves which options?

Manning may well look back at what he did as a serious error of judgement but can any of us seriously question his motives? There shouldn't even have BEEN anything for him to leak.

Given that he might have expected to be caught and punished for doing what he appears to believe was the right thing, that makes Bradley Manning a far braver soul than I.

Thumb Up

Re: What will the American people do?

The thing is, Mike; what would you expect them to do if they DO strongly disagree with the sentence? Gather in a public place and wave placards in the air? Probably getting their names added to an NSA list of some kind in the meantime? Go a bit further and riot and ruin plenty of innocent lives/businesses? Write a letter? Send a tweet? Vote at the next election?

There's plenty going on in the higher echelons of the UK that many of us are disgusted about but many folks feel helpless, vulnerable and unable to act. Our governments are pushing the boundaries of our civil liberties but if the will of the people could stop it, don't you think it would have by now?

Don't get me wrong; I'm on your side but what will YOU be doing to voice your displeasure apart from posting comments on a UK-based IT news site (like me)?


When does the trial start for the people responsible for criminal activities demonstrated in the material Manning leaked?

WikiLeaker Bradley Manning found not guilty of 'aiding the enemy'


@ Trevor Pott

"He killed noone. He endangered noone. Experts have verified this. He did wrong, but for the right reasons. "Justice" in this case will depend on your cultural moores and political beliefs. That said, I still doubt that what will occur will be considered "justice" by most."

Agree with you 100%.

As we all know, Manning committed the most heinous crime of them all; embarrassing the US Guvmint. Gary McKinnon travelled this same path not long ago...

British boffin muzzled after cracking car codes


Re: @AC 07:43 (was: @David W. (was: Now ask me why ...)

@ David W

Assuming you're referring to Jake's previous posts, why would you have ANY reason to doubt that he's a wealthy, horse-ranching, aircraft-owning, world-travelling, real-bullet-shooting, racecar-driving, lock-smithing, internet-building, arctic-survival-trained, yoof-camp-running, multiple-doctorate-holding, Stanford-MBA-achieving, data-center-building, 60's car-restoring, cider-making, network-security-expert?

Just because he appears to have done more stuff that Kim Jong Il, doesn't mean he's making it up! I'm amazed though, that he finds time to post here with all that going on! :)

Comrade! If you dare f$%^ing swear on the internet, WE'LL SHOOT


Blimey - and I Rosa Klebb was just a stereotypical representation of a 'Soviet Comrade'! Separated at birth more like.


WAR ON PORN: UK flicks switch on 'I am a pervert' web filters


Re: Please hurry up

"I had to explain that the image was of the education minister; he now lives behind the sofa and refuses to go to school in case he's caught out by a snap departmental photo op"

Hiding behind the sofa - check!

Refusing to go to school in case of being spotted - check!

Yep - that sounds like Michael Gove alright!

Radar gremlins GROUND FLIGHTS across southern Blighty


Re: Good

Yeah - bring back the Republic XF-84H too!

The loudest plane in history. Powered by a supersonic propeller mated to a turbine engine with reheat capability! Famed for making ground crew and people in the tower physically ill (nausea, headaches and seizures!), even when taxiing due to the constant sonic boom coming off the tips of the prop that were travelling at over mach 1.1.

The sonic boom shockwave extended from the prop for hundreds of yards and was audible from up to 25 miles away when doing high-speed ground run-ups!


Ecuador: Snowden is Russia's problem



"Not our stone, not our shoe"

Ten serious sci-fi films for the sentient fan


Blade Runner

Have I missed something or did the author spectacularly fumble the Tyrell quote from Blade Runner?

"The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long. And you have burned so very, very brightly, Roy." is how I recall it from the script which I sadly know almost by heart having seen BR more times than my wife cares to remember!

Intel's new TV box to point creepy spy camera at YOUR FACE


Re: Camera watching me, watching them...

Next idea for Intel: dummy camera (with free Blu Tack) in the top of the bezel, in the centre. Real camera surreptitiously hidden elsewhere - perhaps in the centre of the 'e' of Intel.

There you go - you can have that one for free...

Merde! Paris Apple Store in €1m armed raid on New Year's Eve


Further details emerge:

"French media suggest the haul could be worth up to £812,000."

Police have confirmed that an iPad and a 15" Retina Mac Book Pro are missing...

North Korea's satellite a dud, say US astroboffins


Re: It is a technological triumph

Prior art:


Japan Airlines to serve KFC on Christmas flights


Re: Depressing

The only thing worse than the 'food' served by Air Canada is the unbelievably rude and miserable flight attendants who throw it down in front of you.


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