Feeds

Alarming tales: What goes on INSIDE Reg hack's hi-tech bedroom

Wakey, wakey, hands off snakey

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Mrs Dabbsy is threatening to decamp to the spare room.

It’s reminiscent of those radioactive weeks just over a year ago when she was a bearer of unstable atoms but the culprit this time is not an overactive thyroid but my choice of alarm clock.

Sleeper

Sleep sound, Dabbsy’s not around
Source: Wiros

Like many professional couples, we each follow a different work schedule and the week often sees us head to bed at different hours and arise from slumber independently.

This demands a system that allows us to be woken separately. Not a problem, you say: buy two alarm clocks.

Well yes and no. The problem is that whoever needs to wake up first has to do so quietly, gently, without waking up the other. He – for it is I – must slip unnoticed out of bed and make his way silently out of the room, across the landing and down the stairs.

Between the bed and the last step of the staircase are burglar-trap floorboards so creaky that I expect to pass a hand-wringing Roderick Usher on the way.

For fear of waking up the rest of the household, I creep bent-kneed and arms extended for balance, stepping cautiously using the pads of my feet only. Thanks to years of practice, I am getting quite good at this and I know that one day, when I reach the end of the corridor without tearing the rice paper, my master will announce that it is time for me leave.

By contrast, waking up second is easy: anything from a military airbase klaxon to a digital radio tuned to Kerrang! will do the trick since there’s no one else in the room to disturb. She – for it is Mrs Dabbsy – can then leap out of bed and prance around the room with all the subtlety of Michael Flatley stamping out a cigarette.

Over the years, the two of us have worked and subsequently broken our way through a staggering variety of alarm clock gadgets.

Among the more memorable was one that woke you up by playing a recording of sounds from nature.

Unfortunately, the combination of a cheap synth chip and the fact that one’s mind is still partly in fairyland when audio playback begins tends to produce a disturbingly surreal effect. By the time my ears pick up the ‘running water’, it sounds like a buzz saw. Equally, ‘morning birdsong’ becomes circling vultures and ‘rustling forest’ has the effect of making me think my bedroom is on fire.

Dreamer

Not the result I expected when I set the alarm tone to ‘ocean breeze’
Source: Silentmind8

Gadgets that light up the room are no good either since they are no less likely to disturb the wife. I tried a glowing cube. The good thing was that it didn’t wake Mrs Dabbsy. The bad thing was that it didn’t wake me either. It may as well have been glowing in another room. In another house.

Nor are those that emit a muted alarm sound that progressively increases in volume if you don’t hear it straight away. In fact, the latter device seems to be designed to wake everyone else in the house except for the person sleeping directly next to it, providing your family with ample opportunity to shake you vigorously by the shoulders, give you a kick up the arse or throw a bucket of water in your face while hissing: “Get up, you deaf bastard!”

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
WTF happened to Pac-Man?
In his thirties and still afraid of ghosts
Reg man builds smart home rig, gains SUPREME CONTROL of DOMAIN – Pics
LightwaveRF and Arduino: Bright ideas for dim DIYers
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Apple patent LOCKS drivers out of their OWN PHONES
I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't let you text that
Microsoft signs Motorola to Android patent pact – no, not THAT Motorola
The part that Google never got will play ball with Redmond
Happy 25th birthday, Game Boy!
Monochrome handset ushered in modern mobile gaming era
Slip your finger in this ring and unlock your backdoor, phone, etc
Take a look at this new NFC jewellery – why, what were you thinking of?
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.