* Posts by Jel Mist

9 posts • joined 1 Jul 2008

Comcast plays New York anti-porn game

Jel Mist

Usenet is sooooo 1990s

I didn't even know Usenet still existed.

As others have pointed out, those who are determined to see something like alt.binaries.pictures.sex.gay.male.prepubescent will still get their rocks off somehow; as for the rest, well, we've got more sense than to go to the stake over Comcast users being able to view kiddy porn.

The Comcast move "bad news for Usenet", according to the strap-line. Whoever dreamt up that strapline, perhaps the police ought to view HIS home computer.

El Reg tells you what the Highway Code can't

Jel Mist

Pragmatic approach to speed

"Crap drivers cause the accidents - not "speeding""

In France, the speed limit in towns and villages is 50 km/h. There are no speed limit signs usually; this is the default limit written into law.

I agree to some extent that bad driving is as much to blame as speed per se.

I would add two qualifications.

1. In built up areas, where pedestrians are expected to share the road with cars, 30 mph is quite fast enough, full stop.

2. On the open road, if it were to me I would say that any speed is okay on condition that you can come to a complete standstill within the distance you can see to be clear.

Come to that, you should never be unable to stop within the stretch of road that you can see to be clear.

I have to say, though, in some of the posts above I see the impatience and fury mirrored in the faces I see in the mirror when I'm being tail-gated for having the impertinence and sheer effrontery to decide that 55 mph is quite fast enough. Yes, the limit is just that: a limit. It is not a target. Sometimes, depending on the type of road and weather conditions, it is prudent to ease off the accelerator a bit.

If someone gets on my tail, this essentially increases my stopping distance. Why? If I have to do an emergency stop and someone's kissing my bumper, the chances are the cretin'll plough straight into the back of me. So I have to ensure that, if the car in front does an emergency stop, I can also stop safely without being rear-ended. Result? I increase the distance between me and the car in front and reduce my speed.

Tail-gating is just soooooo counter-productive.

Guys: Get a little patience.

Jel Mist

Re. SCS Speedcheck

"Any GATSO camera out there is intrinsically selected because it raises funds rather than slows people down and that is why they should all be removed and replaced with average speed cameras."

If fewer people are being fined by average speed checks, that's probably testament to their effectiveness.

Of course, the most effective way of putting the camera merchants out of business is to deny them any revenue.

Now... I wonder how we could all do that...

Jel Mist

Replace GATSOs with average speed checks

Steve said: "I await the usual ill thought through, fallacious (and irrelevant) responses of 'removing cameras will result with a free-for-all' and ''you shouldn't be speeding anyway'."

At the risk of casting pearls before swine, I'm not sure if removing cameras will result in a free-for-all, but it makes me wonder what possible motive there is for objecting to speed cameras unless they cramp your style.

A valid objection to the long-established and familiar GATSOs is that they make motorists slam on the breaks on approach then take off again afterwards. Just after the A11 joins the A14 eastbound, there is a GATSO and I often see this behaviour. Elsewhere, where average speed checks are in place people actually keep to the speed limits.

The fact that so many petrol-heads and Jeremy Clarkson wannabes gripe suggests to me that they work and should be left alone.

And yes, Steve, you shouldn't be speeding anyway.

Homer Simpson's email address hacked

Jel Mist

"555" numbers


I'm British.

El Reg reaches an international audience.

555 numbers are part of the north American (i.e. Canada and the US) numbering plan.

Steve Evans talks about them as if the world and his wife know what they are, and people are surprised when I reply, "they don't exist". Er, hello? Guess what? Over here in Britain they DON'T exist! Don't sound so surprised. If you're going to use culture- or country-specific references, at least tell the wider audience what the heck you're going on about.

As for 0870 numbers, that's another kettle of fish altogether.

(Cue chorus from across the Atlantic: "WTF is 0870?" Precisely.)

Jel Mist


555 phone number? What you talkin' about? There ain't no such thing.

Smut pop-up teacher retrial stuck in delay loop

Jel Mist

Spelling? Pedant? Moi?

Steven: Damn right. I prefer the pluperfect tense myself.

Bill Gates has gone, what's his legacy?

Jel Mist

8086 architecture

Re. post "Ctrl-Alt-Del and Unix" 1st July 2008 02:45 GMT: The segmented mode you refer to was part and parcel of the Intel 8086 architecture.

The AX, BX, CX and DX registers were 16-bit (range 0-FFFF). To access the full 640K memory range you had to augment memory references with the DS (data segment) and ES (extra segment) registers. The DS register specified the default current segment, so that an assembler command such as MOV WORD PTR [BX],4 was essentially short-hand for MOV WORD PTR DS:[BX],4.

This was nothing to do with MS-DOS per se. If Unix managed to implement a flat memory model on the 8086 I guess it would have done so by abstracting the model away from the implementation details. But on an 8086, even Unix had to cope with the underlying segmented model, however good a job it did of hiding it from programmers.

Jel Mist

A gateway to Linux?

How significant was Microsoft's contribution to the popularity of Linux?

IIRC, by the time Linux had spread outside the realms of academia MS-DOS and Windows were a common sight in offices and had perhaps started to spread into the home. I'm wondering how many people have ended up in the Linux/open source community who would never have got involved but for Microsoft's popularization and commoditization of computing.


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