* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Samsung laptops can be NUKED by ANY OS – even Windows: new claim

Tom 13

Re: Bo11ocks, BIOS was a part of the PC

You're way too deep in the 7 layer model for people who can't tell an app from the OS.

Tom 13


How about we set your IDE hard drive parameters while we iron out the bugs in your BIOS? Or would you prefer we just set the MFM Drive ID number?

Where's the crotchy older than dirt icon?

Tom 13

Re: Not sure if the systems are bricked enough...

I didn't look into the reports, but if they were recoverable I expect there wouldn't have been as many complaints.

A couple years back Gigabyte released a series of MBs that had a flashable BIOS with a hard ROM backup. If you buggered the flash memory, you could still revert to the ROM which would then reprogram the flash. I thought they were rather handy. Haven't seen anything like them in a while though. Seems like rather inexpensive protection to me.

AMD: Star Trek holodecks within reach

Tom 13

Re: the holodeck lets you move about beyond the limits of the room

As I understand it, when they reverse engineered the concept (which is actually what was done with most Treknology) was that you only felt like you were moving beyond the limits of the room. Given artificial gravity and anti-gravity devices this would be accomplished by seemlessly moving the floor beneath you as you walked along. But yes the replicators and transporters would actually be the key pieces to this technology. So while the 3-D computational part might be within reach, the rest of it isn't. And I'm not sure the computational power is there for multiple fully developed psychologies of the NPCs either.

US woman cuffed for 'booking strippers for 16th birthday bash'

Tom 13

'Age of consent' doesn't mean what you think it means.

It means that if you are over 21 that's how old the other participant needs to be before you can't be arrested for engaging in such behavior. If you are between 16 and 21 it gets murky and you might or might not run afoul of the law.

Also, there are multiple kinds of "strippers" in the US. There were a couple of entertainment companies that routinely sent "stripper" onto college campus when I was there. What it meant in that context was a close dance in which the stripper removed clothing until they were only in a swim suit. Presumably it wasn't that kind of stripper given she was arrested.

Tom 13

Give an automatic rifle and

No, as the recipient was not of age that would be prohibited by the Firearms Act of 1934 also. Owning automatic weapons in the US is a highly regulated thing. (http://www.nraila.org/news-issues/fact-sheets/1999/fully-automatic-firearms.aspx)

But I suppose we wouldn't want facts to get in the way of your one minute hate.

How private biz can link YOU to 'anonymised' medical data

Tom 13

Re: insurance claims

Don't bother Ken. The government agent provocateurs who keep most EU sheep in the boxes where the government thinks they belong are currently engaged in reinforcing those constraints via the proven method of a good one minute hate.

E-taxes aren't really stuffing Uncle Sam's pockets enough

Tom 13

Re: Ridiculously complex

You forgot Back to School tax exempt rate. Different week in Maryland than it is in Virgina, and those are the two I hear the ads for. No idea what other States, Counties, Municipalities, and Cities might do, although I assume States will pre-empt subordinates if they pass a tax-exempt week. And there might even be some special taxing areas associated with things, like the one that was proposed for Northern Virginia recently.

Yeah, there was a GOOD reason SCOTUS decided catalog companies didn't need to charge sales taxes unless they had a physical presence in the taxing jurisdiction. And why Conservative Republicans have resisted taxing internet sales for so long.

Ad-titan Google blocks Adblock Plus in Android security tweak

Tom 13

Re: Our app store / OS

Business rule #1: The customer is always right.

Business rule #2: When in doubt refer to rule #1.

Observation #1: You setup a store to sell to Customers, not collect product.

Observation #2: The customer is the one install Ad-Block.

Action: Refer to Rule #1 or Rule #2.

Tom 13

Re: can install a proxy server locally without their knowledge

Fixing that requires one pop-up or an additional privilege setting that is required to install the app. Not routing around to an 8 step process to fix it.

I don't use Ad Block and this whole thing reeks of sulfur dioxide as far as I'm concerned.

We've slashed account hijackings by 99.7% - Google

Tom 13

Re: Two factor good - biometrics bad...

I've never really bought into this two-factor authentication fad. Sure on a physical admittance system where you have to provide a voice key to one system and a passcode to an independent system you've significantly increased security. And maybe for the log in to a physical computer (although direct access to the PC is a whole other level of potential compromise). But on the other end of the ether stream it's still all just 1s and 0s so you can equally call it two sequential passwords. Unless they mean something like: you try to log in and we send a text to your phone from a different system and you don't get in until we get the reply from your phone.

Chip daddy Mead: 'A bunch of big egos' are strangling science

Tom 13

Re: unlike the rest of human kind

But we don't accept that assertion when the rest of mankind, particularly politicians, make the same claim. His point is we shouldn't accept it from scientists either.

And that Mead's observation is neither new nor revolutionary. It traces its roots back at least as far as Pythagoras (and to the extent that it stops there it's more that the historical records become more difficult to find farther back than that).

Apple FINALLY fills gaping Java hole that pwned its own devs

Tom 13

@AC 2013/2/20 14:51 GMT

Wow. Not only no sense of humor, but while you can make out the words you can't interpret the icon. It was a riff on all the Mactards always posting that malware is only a Windows problem.

If you've read ANY of my other posts you'd know I take vulnerabilities ANYWHERE seriously. I particularly take note of Java vulnerabilities because some fucktards way up the chain of command insist critical financial apps in our organization run on java versions known to be vulnerable. At one point we were still depended on 1.5.16 and Sun had discontinued support for any version of v5 3 years earlier. That this app potentially conflicted with any of three OTHER financial apps that depend on still different specific outdated versions of Java only made it more fun when one of them failed because of a corruption somewhere in the Java stack because we still pushed updates to try to protect the network.

Tom 13

Meh, it's an Apple OS problem.

I run Windows, so no concern of mine.

Tom 13

Re: Can someone explain to me ....

For the same reason a problem in IE is an OS issue at MS: they built it that way. As in 'the user has no ability to fix the problem' absent a patch from the relevant OS vendor.

Yes, they have belatedly realized that made a mistake worthy of Balmer and reversed course, but given that it was obvious to everyone who wasn't a fanboi, it's not helping them.

Clarkson: 'I WILL find and KILL the spammers who hacked me'

Tom 13

What Clarkson didn't tweet was his methodology to kill the perps.

He plans to stand outside their door talking to them like he does on Top Gear. If they don't die from that they will at least be severely maimed as a result of eating off their own arm to protect themselves.

Apple and world HACKED by Facebook plunderers

Tom 13

Re: can't really be blamed for security vulnerabilities in third-party software

So long as it remains third party software that is completely under control of the users, yes. Make it part of the OS and not something the user can fix and that changes to a big fat NO.

Tom 13


No, all old java code, possibly new stuff too although hopefully Oracle fixed it. The attack detailed here is specific to the Mac, and the Macs had a particular affinity for it since Apple hadn't updated the code. But the vulnerability itself was in Java. Once you've got the Java exploit worked out, you can engineer other attacks on other systems. Put those attacks at different locations and you get multiple feeders. Then people going 'it's just a Mac attack' or 'it's just a Windows attack' will ignore their own vulnerabilities allowing your malware to spread further. If I were a State sponsor of cyber attacks, it's certainly the route I'd go. Thankfully for the world I'm just a help desk monkey and slightly dyslexic so math and I don't get along as well as I'd like.

Tom 13

Re: Where's my popcorn?

Yeah I poke a sharp stick at the fanbois about this on another page, but in general Macs really are more secure than Windows. Which is what makes this such a complete clusterfuck - it was an obvious hole even Windows fanbois saw it coming.

The bigger problem now is, Apple's a big company and it took them too long to find this. Given that the kernel is built on an OSS *nix core, have the hackers also been able to penetrate other *nix distributions/installs which have so far gone undetected? Given that we know neither what changes Apple made to the core nor enough details of the attack for your typical admin to check for the malware on his systems (beyond: are you running Java, which like it or not most business do) it's a bit unsettling. Gut says most of those systems are still secure (greater variety, admins tend to be more security aware, lower desktop distribution), but the brain wants proof and it can't get it.

Tom 13


Not just Jobs, millions of fanois said so too!

Obama signs Executive Order on critical cybersecurity

Tom 13

Re: @ Chris007 -- Translation

It's not the number, it's the breadth and the discretion that goes with them. Oh, and all those unaccountable "Czars" that go with it. Usually creating regulations to enforce those executive orders.

And you should watch some Fox News to counteract all the Kool Aid you've been drinking.

Top Firefox OS bloke flames Opera for WebKit surrender

Tom 13

Re: Firefox will be using Webkit in the next couple of years

Not sure I'd give it more than one. But that doesn't mean Eich is wrong about the monoculture.

Yes it being open makes it more defensible than being dependent on a closed source binary, but only from the perspective of being able to preserve old versions and fork the code. From the perspective of "the bad guys found a problem in our code base and have an active exploit in the wild" a monoculture in OSS is just as bad as a closed source one.

Crucial question after asteroid near-miss: How big was rock in Olympic pools?

Tom 13

It was the Plutonians

Nope. It was the Martians who were attempting to cleverly disguise their attack by using same vector we expect the Plutonians to use. After we successfully beat them back the last time, they don't dare risk us launching a biological attack on their homeworld.

Tom 13

Re: To further calms the nerves

And remember, "Scientists say this morning's unprecedented solar eclipse is no cause for alarm."

Twitter row goes to court, beak says man must cough £17,500

Tom 13

Re: Max value

That's a start, but I think we need to go further.

I think whoever wins gets the tenner, only let's make it dollars instead of pounds, as there's no point in inflating it's value when we're trying to keep it in check. Then, both sides have to pay the court full attorneys fees for all involved (including the judge and court employees) to be held in a fund until the end of the current fiscal year. At the end of the fiscal year for the appropriate country, a lottery should be held for all people who haven't filed libel suits in said country. Ten winners are selected at random and split the fund. Tax free winnings of course.

Wikipedia's Gibraltar 'moratorium' - how's it going?

Tom 13

Re: ..unhappy to find that wikipedia is a teeny weeny bit corrupt..

Any fool who thinks there is ANY place on this planet without corruption deserves to be parted from his/her money and/or time.

Official: America now a nation of broadband whingers

Tom 13

Re: Caveat

Wrong location for the service providers buying politicians. It happens at the last mile, not the FCC level, which actually doesn't have the authority to regulate internet services despite their claims.

All of which is part of the reason I have no sympathy for the whiners who are only missing their French cheese to to with their song and dance.

Journo says Elon Musk apologized for Tesla battery fiasco

Tom 13

Re: test was for the charging stations _not_ the car.

We're the consumers. When the alleged impartial tester rigs the test in a way we don't like he gave go screw himself. The car AND the chargers have to work in concert to deliver a reliable, reasonably fast means of transit from point A to point B.

If it ain't ready for Alpha testing, keep your pie hole shut and keep the car in the lab. Don't try to sell it and get consumers to do all your research for you. Granted I don't expect MS will ever learn this lesson, but I expect that people who don't work for them and read articles on this site will.

Tom 13

Re: big enough battery you'd never need to stop en-route.

You need to lay of the pharmaceuticals. The car in the article couldn't manage 200 miles let alone 500. As it notes, not so much of a problem in more temperate areas, but in cold regions (more than half the day below the freezing point for water) batteries are crap for holding charge. It's a well established known scientific fact. Sort of like gravity. And trying to ignore it is sort of like trying to ignore gravity when you jump of the top of Big Ben: it will mess you up something fierce.

Tom 13

Re: stuck in jams on the M25

Never been to Old Blighty so I've never been on the M25, but you could substitute just about any road that intersects one of the big city beltways in the northeast US and your description would still be apt. Except I think you mostly get rain in London and not much snow. We get a lot of snow for several months of the year.

Tom 13

Re: unless I keep my garage heated

And that's assuming you have a garage. I mean, where I live, we're glad when we can find a curb we can park our car next to.

Which volcanoes impacted ancient climate? Sulphur tells the story

Tom 13

Why does it have to "spike" the criticisms of skeptics?

Isn't it just as likely to "spike" the absurdities of the Warmist cabal?

I mean, at least if it is real science and not just more warmist propaganda?

Tesla vs Media again as Model S craps out on journo - on the highway

Tom 13

Re: Don't far more people live in California?

Lay out a contiguous area the size of Cali in the NE US and count the people.

Let's just say there's good reason the NE US supports about 8 yearly SF cons and the whole west coast supports 3.

Tom 13

Re: Vaguely reminds me

What do you mean 'in the 80s'?

My understanding is if you own a Jag, you still need a second car for the days when the Jag is in the shop. And if you were planning for the second car to be your other Jag, you'll need at least 2 more.

Tom 13

Re: Estimates of how much oil, coal and gas is left vary wildly

Only if you're still wet behind the ears.

I'm pushing half a decade now and those projections have been steady at '50-70 years left' since I was old enough to read books without pictures. And my parents always told me I was a precocious young thing.

Tom 13

Re: I haven't driven more than a hundred miles in a go for about five years!

And you Brits accuse us 'Merkins of being provincial?

Tom 13

Re: highway milage

For petrol vehicles, yes. For battery powered beasties all the articles I've read say city mileage per charge is higher because you get to stop it more frequently and it can use some of the braking to recharge the battery.

I'll admit I have no experimental data, as it's always sounded entirely too much like a Brooklyn Bridge/Tower of London investment opportunity to me.

Billionaire baron Bill Gates still mourns Vista's stillborn WinFS

Tom 13

Re: Vista was revolutionary...

Oh, I'd put 98ME up against Vista. People are always forgetting about 98ME, which pretty much paved the way for Windows 2000. Had one system for a VIP that needed to be rebuilt every 3 months because he insisted on 98ME. Could not talk him into using 98SE even though for MS, it was about as solid as 3.12 was for Novell. At least Vista had the good graces to fail miserably on install if it was going to blow itself up.

Boy was I glad when 2000 came out.

Tom 13

Re: Glad it never made it

Not sure it's the monolithic registry per se that is the problem, more the lack of adequate tools to work with it after the fact, including but not limited to:

- an efficient editor

- a consistency/integrity checker

- a workable solution to ensuring third parties correctly implement the monolithic solution on both installation and removal*

- trust the MS have f*&^$*! it up again on the odd numbered rev.

*insert I hate Java and it's inability to update OR uninstall if a dll gets clobbered rant here.

Tom 13

Re: we need a Windows upgrade and we need it now

Mostly yes, but MS was also well aware that they managed to grab the network/server crown away from Novell because Novell lagged too long between 3.12 and 4.x for Netware. During that time MS released NT 4.0 and ate Novell's lunch before start work on their dinner. If MS didn't get out a release with incentives to upgrade they feared the same thing would happen. And that might have been the case. Without Vista, we might all be running Linux systems now. Or be still stuck on XP with IE6.

Tom 13

Re: WinFS?

In a very, very generalized sense, current file systems are databases, just without schema and the rest of the things we associate with databases in the way we use them.

As I see it, the key problem for MS (even if they had overcome the internal problems they had developing and implementing the code) is that outside of the types of file systems we currently use, all of the Windows based software which has done something similar lost the whole db whenever a part of it became corrupted. I'm not sure even Linux has completely solved that problem, although they seem to be much further along than MS is.

Still-living, unincarcerated Ted Nugent invited to Barack Obama gig

Tom 13

Re: whisky rebellion.

And the Whiskey Rebellion pretty much provides the other bookend for when a declaration of independence is warranted: if you have enough of your fellow citizens on your side to win the war, it's warranted.

Tom 13

Re: f they could keep Blacks or women or any other minority from having even a bb gun

I guess you missed all of history between the Missouri Compromise and the 1960's. It was the Demoncrats in the south who opposed that. Republicans efforts to allow all citizens to vote and own guns.

Tom 13

Re: at the time of writing the constitution, African-Americans were not citizens

Actually there WERE negro citizens at the time. And I guess you missed that whole Madison case where the slaves who escaped as a result of a shipwreck were granted citizenship as a result of a SCOTUS decision. As I recall the King of France was mighty pissed about his lost property, particularly as the sitting President and the US ambassador to France were assuring him it was pretty much a done deal. The exact phrase from the Constitution was "slaves and Indians not taxed." Either a negro or an Indian who paid taxes to the US government was considered a person for purposes of apportionment. Yes, most were slaves, but not all. This was part of the 'house divided against itself' to which Lincoln referred, although the more obvious reference was to the opinions of whites on the slavery issue.

Tom 13

Re: Duped by the clueless and the media

Every single mass shooting we've experienced in the last 5 years has been the result of someone who was KNOWN to be mentally unbalanced and a DANGER TO SOCIETY not being locked up until treatment was completed.

Every single start of a mass shooting which has been started and stopped short has been stopped by someone in the local vicinity who happened to be carrying a gun being able to bring it to bear on the situation.

Those are the FACTS, but you wouldn't want to let that get in the way you fear guns now would it?

Tom 13

Re: Duped by the clueless and the media

Australia like the UK has seen its gun crime go up on a per person basis, not down since it implemented its so called gun control laws. And it's legislation was in fact QUITE draconian.

Tom 13

Re: AC @ 09:41 @proto-robbie

States with "loose" gun laws that actually implement real criminal control, like say Virgina which is right next to DC and gets blamed for DC having so many criminals with guns, wind up with less crime. When Virginia implemented their 3 strikes policy (3rd strike they partnered with federal enforcement to move convicted gang members to prisons outside the state, thus breaking connection with their base of operations) with respect to gun crimes, homicide fell around 20% immediately and continued to fall thereafter. In DC we have multiple people breaking their laws on national TV who go unpunished and the rates stay steady and near the top for the nation. But that couldn't possibly have anything to do with their criminal coddling mentality now could it?

Tom 13

Re: Statistics say no.

Statistics say Yes regardless of how much you deny it. There's even a whole book about written by a statistician who expected to prove your statement before he started running the numbers.

Tom 13

Re: about 80 times fewer per capita, IIRC.

wrong stat. Britain always had less gun crime than the US. The relevant statistic is how much has gun crime gone up since you implemented gun control. That's up significantly, even when you exclude thing related to The Troubles.

Tom 13

Re: Taken in context

Taken in context, the amendment is pretty damn clear. Let me refresh the context for you:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

So what the 2nd amendment is really all about (valid claims to the right of self-defense which would be covered by the 10th Amendment) is the right of the people to overthrow the government when it becomes insufferable. And that means (SCOTUS opinions which substitute the prejudices of jurists for the words of the Constitution not withstanding) that the people necessarily have access to weapons sufficient to the cause of overthrowing the government.

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