A dead man’s switch for a live person

Tuesday 21 February 2012, 7.31am HKT


I’M ONE OF THOSE INSANE INDIVIDUALS who have a DMS post on constant standby. I must check back and reschedule it every now and then, or else things get really embarrassing or hilarious if the DMS comes out accidentally.

What the hell is a ‘DMS’?

DMS is a Dead Man’s Switch.

It is a switch that operates or activates something automatically in case the human operator has lost consciousness or died or otherwise incapacitated. It is a form of failsafe and the term comes from the locomotive industry.

Typical examples:

  • an airport baggage trolley has spring-loaded double handlebars that are kept pressed to keep moving and stop moving when released
  • a locomotive uses a spring-operated foot pedal that must be held down constantly or it will activate some system (such as to stop the train).
  • a suicide bomb vest will detonate when its thumb switch is no longer held down, such as when the suicide bomber is killed before completing his extreme fratboy faggotry — in this case the switch is a fail-deadly.
  • Wikileaks’ ‘Insurance File’ uses a software decryption key preset to release sensitive information automatically
  • a gangster uses a person to blow the whistle to the police if the person isn’t contacted by the gangster by a certain time

So a DMS post is one you must reschedule forward continually to act as a public alert in case something abrupt or untoward has happened to you.

Rather important if you you live alone in some god-forsaken outback with only a sad raccoon and a diffident titmouse (a bird) for company.

If I got kidnapped or died from extreme fellatio (or both) and nobody notices my demise or disappearance, that DMS post comes out automatically.

And hopefully somebody out there will ring the police after reading it and finishing the celebratory champagne.

(Extreme what?!?—Editor)

My DMS post:—

It’s not all that crazy, if you think about it.

(You’re fired for dying on the job.—Editor)

© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2012.

Images: Foot pedal on 1970s train via Tran Link’s The Buzzer Blog | Raccoon via c4c.

5 Responses to “A dead man’s switch for a live person”

  1. Ed Hurst said

    I have the luxury of more than one person to keep my switch. My beloved has all my passwords and addressbook, with concrete instructions on how to post final messages. Other folks have a smaller set of these things.

    Like

  2. Guus said

    If I were to see this message, I would try and call you first. Just in case your only ’emergency’ is being stuck without Internet…

    Like

  3. Guus said

    It’s the same here, Rob. Chinese for social, English for business. Many people may speak Mandarin or some other flavour of Chinese at home, but wouldn’t even know how to use it in business situations.

    Like

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