* Posts by Tom Maddox

768 posts • joined 4 Jun 2007

Paging Dr Evil: Philips medical device control kit 'easily hacked'

Tom Maddox
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Trollface

There's your problem

Both the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) ICS-CERT, which normally deals with security issues involving industry control kit, and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are reportedly taking an interest in the issue.

Clearly the problem is excessive regulation by the federal authorities. They shouldn't bother the poor manufacturer with their intrusive regulations and requirements; they should just let the free market sort it out!

(This is what some people actually believe.)

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Ten stars of CES 2013: Who made the biggest splash?

Tom Maddox
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Go

Re: How much to play Monopoly?

I would totally buy that if someone made an electronic version of BattleTech or Car Wars to run on it.

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Microsoft control freaks Server 2012 clouds with System Center SP1

Tom Maddox
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Meh

It's all about the workflow

After using SCOM 2012 for a little while, I appreciate its power, but the workflow is still extremely awkward and inflexible. If Microsoft have made it possible to do hypervisor and VM management with the same ease and simplicity of vSphere, then this might be interesting. Any other commentards care to weigh in?

Also, in before Eadon's bitching and moaning about the evil of Microsoft and how there's some OSS version that is faster, cheaper, and more stable, and which will simultaneously ease all your virtualization woes while massaging your prostate.

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HP maintains seat atop wheezing, spavined PC market

Tom Maddox
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Stop

Re: windows 8 came out, sales fell 26%

As other commentards have noted, people buy what they need. The only place anyone cares about who makes the software is your mom's basement.

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'Mauro, SHUT THE F**K UP!'

Tom Maddox
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Trollface

Re: Mauro should get a job

@ dogged:

Yes, but then he'd have to leave the comfort and safety of his bridge.

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Facebook continues to CONQUER THE WORLD

Tom Maddox
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Trollface

STOP LIKING WHAT I DON'T LIKE

I predict many anti-Facebook comments which amount to the above.

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It MUST be the END of the WORLD... El Reg man thanks commentards

Tom Maddox
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Pint

Re: Khaptain

The thing is that Trevor is not just doing technical writing. If he were putting together white papers for prospective client or technical documentation, I would agree with your criticism, but he's writing blog-style articles for a publication renowned for its ironic or sarcastic tone, so an injection of personal perspective is absolutely called for. I don't personally find him to be a know-it-all; I get the impression that he's genuinely enthusiastic about the technology he uses and proud of the solutions he creates for his clients.

YMMV, of course.

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Tom Maddox
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Angel

Thanks, Trevor!

Despite having a similar title, you work in a very different world with very different tools, and I'm always enlightened to hear about what other options are out there. Keep the articles coming!

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Dotcom titan funds 'Mark Cuban Chair To Eliminate Stupid Patents'

Tom Maddox
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Re: Hurray for rich nerds!!

My god, you're right! Cheap access to space will never benefit anyone! What possible use could it be to put things in space? And electric cars? Why even bother to innovate in that area? These rich guys should just take their money and spend it on giant impractical vanity yachts instead of trying to invest in the future!

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Fish grow ‘hands’ in genetic experiment

Tom Maddox
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Mushroom

Re: If you inject the same gene...

Or they might become filthy, antisocial, neckbearded basement-dwellers with a propensity for condescension and self-righteousness. Then you'd have a peer group!

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FCC urges rethink of aircraft personal-electronics blackout

Tom Maddox
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HELLO? HELLO? YES, I'M ON THE PLANE!

The main reason I can think of to continue the ban is to retain some kind of peace and quiet on the plane. Screaming babies are bad enough, but the last think I want to endure on a 10+ hour intercontinental flight is drunks yelling into their cell phones. "HEY BRO, GUESS WHERE I AM!"

If I wanted to endure that sort of behavior, I'd go to the movies more often.

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'Build us a Death Star, President Obama' demand thousands

Tom Maddox
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Re: @ Michael Luke

"Why the down votes?!"

Because you've shown yourself to be utterly devoid of a sense of humor.

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Entire US Congress votes against ITU control of internet

Tom Maddox
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Facepalm

Re: Well, obviously . . .

Ooh, look at that, you've earned the coveted Double Facepalm.

Noooooo . . . my point is that someone attempting to grab power via political machination is unlikely to forecast the fact that they're going to do so by admitting it, so a denial is meaningless. It is not confirmation of intent, per se. How seriously one takes the denial depends on how trustworthy one considers the ITU.

None of this should be construed as a statement of belief on my part that the ITU is in fact attempting any such thing. I was making a lighthearted off the cuff statement and have now driven this point as far into the ground as I can bear.

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Tom Maddox
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Facepalm

Well, obviously . . .

"Never mind that the ITU itself says no threat exists."

. . . they would say that, wouldn't they, especially if they were launching a power grab!

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Schmidt: Microsoft will never be as cool as the Gang of Four

Tom Maddox
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FAIL

OS aside . . .

. . . the Microsoft Surface concept is exactly the sort of thing I would like to see--something with a thin tablet form factor and detachable keyboard (and mouse, ideally) which runs an OS that will run the same apps as my desktop (which the Surface RT won't, I realize, but the Surface Pro will). To my mind, that's less "confused" and more "functional."

Now, whether Microsoft's implementation of this concept is any good is something I have yet to investigate, but the fact that both Eric and Tim are willing to write it off without even trying it is a sign of a blind spot that Microsoft may be able to exploit.

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Revealed: The gift that keeps on giving to Oracle ... is dying

Tom Maddox
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FAIL

Not really . . .

The ELA is a side-effect of the lock-in. The lock-in is the effect of having data and logic tied in with a proprietary system, migration away from which is expensive and difficult. The ELA is a way of ensuring ongoing support and upgrades for the buyer, and it also provides a tidy little revenue stream for the vendor.

I agree that losing this revenue stream would be disastrous for the vendors who rely upon it, but CIOs and other decision-makers need to see that a) migration to a competing platform or product is less expensive over n years and b) that it yields sufficient tangible benefits to be worth the effort in the first place. It's likely that there's no one who doesn't want, on some level, to migrate away from Oracle, but justifying the time and expense may be challenging, regardless of the ELA.

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NY Museum of Modern Art embraces 14 video games

Tom Maddox
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Headmaster

Re: What, no Rogue?

Nethack is being considered for the next induction.

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Tech titans lose our loyalty: Are fanbois a dying breed?

Tom Maddox
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You're using it wrong

Now if we can just get rid of the smug, superior gits who insist that everyone who uses technology differently from them is an idiot, the world will be a much better place. Sadly, the two go hand in hand:

Technology Zealot: "Why don't you just switch to <Technology X>? It's so much more awesome than what you're using!"

Me: "Because I want/need to do this thing over there which is unsupported by or outrageously difficult on <Technology X>."

TZ: "If you just employ <horrendous, semi-functional workaround>, you'll be fine!"

Me: "<Horrendous, semi-functional workaround> is semi-functional and horrendous, and I have neither the time nor the particular inclination to try to implement it just for the achievement of using <Technology X>. Also, the user interface looks like it was shat out by a five-year-old."

TZ: "Your a idiot lol"

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NASA: THE TRUTH about the END OF THE WORLD on 21 Dec

Tom Maddox
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Joke

LIES!

Like I'd trust NASA. Everyone knows they're behind chemtrails, HAARP, the FEMA concentration camps, George W. Bush's hurricane machine, geoengineering, ESD, autism-causing vaccines, and all manner of other perfidy! There's no question in my mind that if they're denying it, it must be true! Time to bend over and kiss your asses bye-bye, suckers!

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Microsoft Surface with Windows 8 Pro gets laptop-level price

Tom Maddox
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Meh

Sort of want

I would like a tablet that can run real applications at decent speed and which comes with a detachable keyboard. The Surface Pro checks all the boxes, and Windows 8 is growing on me, but I fear the build quality.

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Boffins BREAK BREAD's genetic code: Miracle of the loaves

Tom Maddox
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Re: B-but

Aaalmost complete . . . you needed to throw in a Monsanto reference for good measure.

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Annual reviews: It's high time we rid the world of this insanity

Tom Maddox
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Stop

Re: Ironic

Two things:

1) Lighten up, Francis.

2) I just upvoted *Matt Bryant.* I may faint.

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Wireless boffins boost Wi-Fi hotspot performance 700%

Tom Maddox
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Holmes

Right

Someone should come out with a new version of the TCP/IP stack, maybe with an expanded address space to cope with the larger number of IP-connected devices, improved automatic address assignment, built-in security, and a bunch of other cool functionality. Of course, you'd need to increment the version number, maybe twice even, from the existing version four.

I wonder what you'd call something like that and why it hasn't been widely implemented yet?

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Isilon feels need for speed, unleashes swarm of 'Mavericks'

Tom Maddox
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Go

Looks like EMC has finally tried to deliver on one of their promises, which is to make Isilon a contender for VMware storage. I'd be curious to know what the hard numbers on the latency reduction are. Percentages are nice, but what is the actual range shift, one wonders.

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Martian atmosphere pristine, totally free of fart gas, reports Curiosity

Tom Maddox
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Coat

Re: Fine looking cow

Macowvellian, surely?

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Mexico to Apple: You WILL NOT use the name 'iPhone' here

Tom Maddox
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Devil

Re: Geography

Central America is not a continent. Also, the Central Americans I talked to while living in Guatemala all indicated that they didn't consider Mexico part of Central America, possibly because they Mexicans take the same attitude towards Central Americans sneaking in as the US does with regard to Mexicans, except the Mexican border guards beat the shit out of people sneaking across then throw them back.

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Nobody knows what to call Microsoft's ex-Metro UI

Tom Maddox
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Coat

My vote . . .

BOHICA

Mine's the one with the jar of lubricant.

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Hurricane Sandy: Where are all the cynical online scams?

Tom Maddox
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Flame

Quite

The tasteless comments by civilized and compassionate Reg readers show that there's plenty of cynicism alive and well here.

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Hurricane Sandy smacks the Big Apple around

Tom Maddox
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Mushroom

Re: HMS Pot, meet SMS Kettle

@Jemma:

Hows about [sic] you keep your illiterate, sadistic jingoism to yourself?

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Xbox mod spreads KILLER Borderlands 2 GERM

Tom Maddox
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Mushroom

The bugbear hits! The bugbear hits! The bugbear hits! You die . . .

Back in my day, permanent character death was the *only* kind of death. Kids today . . .

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BridgeSTOR: They called us mad, but we've put deduped data on TAPE!

Tom Maddox
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Go

Interesting

I see this working with an in-line deduplication appliance that stages the data to disk, deduplicates it, then writes out the compressed data and, critically, the deduplication index. It seems like you would lose some raw throughput, but that's probably compensated by not having to write as much data to tape in the first place.

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Surface tablet's touch cover is ZX81 REBORN

Tom Maddox
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Devil

Re: Now you've done it

@Trevor: in my *personal* opinion, there's nothing wrong with it. I actually am quite enjoying Windows 8, in fact, but the general response amongst El Reg commentards is that any positive response to Windows 8 must be met with downvotes and vitriol.

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Tom Maddox
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Trollface

Now you've done it

You posted something positive about Windows 8. The anti-Microsoft brigade will be along shortly to correct you.

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Nimble, Cisco gang up to hammer out VDI ref template

Tom Maddox
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Stop

Re: 3U my arse...

The article says that the *architecture* requires 3U. Of course, it also says that the architecture costs just $43,000 for a blade chassis, six blades, and the Nimble storage device, which seems unbelievably cheap. I'm forced to believe that the $43,000 is just for the storage device, and that the cost of the entire reference architecture would be somewhat more than that, making it far from an apples-to-apples comparison with Tintri.

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Apple breaks ground on massive Oregon data center

Tom Maddox
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Joke

obHeadline

In keeping with current El Reg editorial standards, shouldn't the headline say "Apple BREAKS GROUND on MASSIVE Oregon Data Center"?

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Tintri, it's the marmite of Virtual Desktops

Tom Maddox
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WTF?

Cheeky

Max Gill says: "With persistent desktops you are now using an unproven storage provider to store what is now critical data."

Of course, with his solution, you're now putting an unproven storage provider *in the way of* critical data, which is not much better.

Another piece of the environment is non-VDI workloads. With the Tintri or other storage solutions, you can put virtual server workloads on them as well; can the same be done with Atlantic's solution? The "unnamed IT Manager" says that Tintri is a point solution, which is true insofar as it can only be used for VMware, but at least you can put both desktop and server VMs on it.

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Samsung, not Nokia, fans' most favoured WinPho brand

Tom Maddox
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Coat

Re: So we're going to need a new name

I can think of three possibilities:

h4rmony

RICHTO

Spearchucker Jones

Right, I'm going . . .

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GreenBytes brandishes full-fat clone VDI pumper

Tom Maddox
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Meh

Meh

It's true that *non-persistent* linked clones lose state between reboots, but persistent ones do not. There are use cases for linked clones that extend beyond space savings, such as the ability to refresh a bunch of VMs from a source image while retaining user data (maybe there's a way to do that with standard clones that doesn't hose user content, but I'm not familiar with it). The dedupe ratio is impressive if borne out by experience, but I imagine that once users start pumping their own preferences into those cloned VMs, the dedupe ratio will drop significantly.

Honestly, I'm always a little dubious about relying on deduplication and compression for space savings. All it takes is a few corner cases with data that's hard to compress or dedupe, and suddenly you're scrambling for space or performance. Admittedly, VDI is the low-hanging fruit in this regard, with a generally large amount of static data relative to overall capacity, so perhaps GreenBytes can carve out a niche for themselves in that space.

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PGP founder's mobile privacy app goes live

Tom Maddox
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Holmes

Re: Where they go?

They're behind the fnords.

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Paul Allen: Windows 8 'promising' yet 'puzzling'

Tom Maddox
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Stop

Re: Yep

"Well for a start, things default to a set of groups that do have a rationale behind them."

Wrong. Things that *Microsoft already knows about,* such as Office, do so. Most of the programs I have installed, which are *not* Microsoft products do not default to any sort of rational order. Also, it may be an infrequent operation, but it's a crappy implementation, and it ensures that I spend as little time in the Start screen as I can humanly manage.

"The Start Screen on my Desktop easily accomodates fifty programs and with column spacing between groups, it's very easy to know immediately where they are."

That's great if I want to visually sort through 50 totally disorganized icons to find the one that I want. Again, I don't spread fifty different folders across my desk so that I can pull the one out that I want; I have them filed and organized so that I can locate them. Also, why can't I grab a bunch of tiles at once and relocate them? Why do I have to pick through each tile of dozens and relocate it? That's poor UI design, and I defy you to argue otherwise.

"You can still type and search."

That much is true, and it is faster on Windows 8, so kudos for that.

"Not all programs are placed on the main Start Screen. You have to go into extended mode with an extra click to see all installed programs."

That's true. All the useless crap that Microsoft wants me to see, like Shopping and Weather, are on the main screen by default. Things that I might want to use, like the Command Prompt or Control Panel, are hidden away. But, typically, when a program is installed, it puts itself on the main screen in some totally arbitrary location.

"With Win7, many people end up with program shortcuts all over their Desktop. In Win8, it's far more likely to be clean and free because program start icons all go onto the Start Screen."

Again, wrong. I have put *more* stuff on my desktop and taskbar so that I don't have to use the Start screen, and I even wind up using the command line more frequently.

Anyway, I'm glad that Metro works for you. For the majority of desktop users, I suspect it's at best a useless change and at worst a significant impediment to productivity.

Actually, the funny part is that the "tiles" UI bears the greatest resemblance to the Lotus Notes desktop, an interface which is devoutly loved by a few fanatical fanboys and loathed by the majority of users.

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Tom Maddox
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Flame

Re: Having read comments on El Reg for the past couple of months...

Or, in addition to being a pompous, self-satisfied douchebag, you have the mind of a child.

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Tom Maddox
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Thumb Down

Re: Yep

"But how did things work better on the Windows 7 start menu?"

Since you've apparently ignored everything anyone has ever written on the subject, I don't expect that you'll actually read this post either, but here you go:

The W7 Start Menu bubbles to the top commonly-used programs, so if I open my Start Menu on W7, I get the applications I use the most. It is also easy to pin individual program icons so that they permanently live there. In short, it becomes very easy to see at a glance everything I care about most of the time; everything else gets popped behind All Programs. In W7, I have the choice of scrolling through All Programs, *which is alphabetized*, and finding my program *or* typing in the search box.

In Windows 8, every single program installed on my computer is shat all over the Start screen in an unorganized mess, and to organize them, I have to drag and drop *every single fucking icon* into order. Much as I do not spread every single physical document I have in life across my desk, I don't necessarily want every single application displayed at all times. Obviously, it's possible to hide applications, but having some sort of organization would be infinitely preferable to the big pile o' crap that is the Start screen. On top of that, things I might actually like to access by default, like the Control Panel, are hidden.

Also, the W8 start screen is hideously ugly. On the one hand, that a personal judgement based on my dislike of a bunch of bland, giant squares; on the other, many people prefer a less-cluttered desktop, and Microsoft has basically told all of us to go fuck ourselves.

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Tom Maddox
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Stop

Re: Yep

@blackjesus: The point is that you have to individually drag each tile into place, which is a colossal hassle. On a classic desktop, you can select multiple icons and manipulate them, but with Metro, it's a tedious process of dragging and rearranging them, one by one, which is frustrating and inefficient.

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Tom Maddox
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WTF?

Yep

Just started playing with Windows 8 in earnest yesterday, and there are some expected issues with software and environmental compatibility, but mostly I love it . . . except for the Modern (TIFKAM) interface. Overall, the OS is much more responsive, and the Explorer tweaks are minimal enough to easily adjust to. The Start screen, though, is a complete nightmare. By default, it's populated with loads of crap, which, fortunately, is easy enough to remove, but grouping applications (excuse me, tiles) is such a PITA as to be a total ordeal, there's no logic in how the tiles are laid out, and getting to many of the system settings takes at least three more actions than in previous Windows versions. It is utterly worthless as a desktop interface, although it might be slightly less awful on a tablet.

Nevertheless, I'm going to press on without using one of the third-party products which brings back the Start menu, just to see how long it takes me to adjust. I've been using the command line a lot more than I used to, since it's now easier to bang out a command to launch a Control Panel applet or other system command than it is to dig the location out of the GUI.

The other thing which leaps out at me about the Notro interface is how hideous and bland it is. Even a novice user would probably be turned off by it if they'd ever been exposed to iOS, Android, or, really, any other touchscreen interface. There are lots of third-party tools out there already to take care of the aesthetic issues, but the usability ones will be harder to overcome.

In short: nice OS, shame about the GUI.

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Google, Microsoft spar to be tech's also-ran behind King Apple

Tom Maddox
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Joke

Re: market value

Of course it's sustainable! Just look at Sony!

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Yahoo! CEO! births! bouncing! baby! boy!

Tom Maddox
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Facepalm

Re: Back to work in 1-2 weeks? @ Maddox

And people wonder why there aren't more women in IT . . .

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Tom Maddox
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Facepalm

Re: Back to work in 1-2 weeks?

Seriously! And what are you doing working in the first place? Take off those shoes, get back in the kitchen, and make your husband a damn sammich!

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Work for beer, Neil Gaiman's wife tells musicians

Tom Maddox
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FAIL

Re: Enough snark already

. <- the point

| <- you

You are correct insofar as you have identified the very obvious point that musicians are free to stay away in droves. They are also free, as it turns out, to castigate Amanda for raising a ton of money for her tour and then demanding that they work for beer. Their reward, as you would have it, is to bet their time and training on an "increasingly high-profile act" (who no one has heard of and whose main qualification appears to be having a famous husband) doing well enough that they get some sort of reputational boost as a result of playing with her, when what they need is rent money right now.

I'm not a betting man, but if I were, I'd bet on Amanda fading into even greater obscurity, so working for her for free on the hopes of future employment seems a foolish choice.

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Google declares success for Kansas City gigabit broadband

Tom Maddox
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Trollface

Re: Why misery of all places?!

The Kansans were all over it the moment they heard the network was intelligently designed.

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