* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Dead Steve Jobs 'made Tim Cook sue Samsung' from beyond the grave

Tom 13

Re: why are they not now (as far as we can tell) trying to row back?

Actually that one is fairly easy. Once you've deployed the lawyers, it's not over until either a) the lawyers say it is, or b) it's so obviously going to cost more to pursue it than you can possibly get out of it at the end, that no one will question dropping the suit. As things stand now, if Apple drop the suit, an upset shareholder can bring suit against them for failure to fulfill fiduciary responsibility and they're losing money on the case no matter how it comes out.

Superbowl blackout was a stuff-up, not Anonymous

Tom 13

Re: Wait... it _was_ CBS.

Hence the rabid comment from the Fox hater who assumes everyone shares his opinion.

Tom 13

Re: Variable Relays

No, a full rehearsal is pretty much standard fare for that. You need to check the lights are hitting where they are supposed to and that the sound is up where it is supposed to be. Furthermore, the nitwit signing the national anthem said she'd done a full rehearsal so it wouldn't be lip synched like she did at the Presidential Inauguration.

But, it was probably only full load for the stage and related equipment (probably including the billboards), and therefore well below the threshold set for the power draw. It's only after you fire up all the concession stands, and lights and heaters/air conditioners for internal hallways and bathrooms that you move into the danger zone.

George Bush's family emails, pics ransacked - and spewed online

Tom 13

Re: The sad thing is

and most of them will be Reg commenters who still have a Hate On for Bush Sr.

'Disturbed' Dell investors could tank private buyout

Tom 13

Re: tank the stock the requisite 7 dollars.

If the stock were at the price that the raiders/strippers were demanding, there would not have been a plan to take Dell private in the first place. So there's no need to tank the stock. It's already been tanked by unrealistic Wall St. expectations.

Electric cars stall in USA, Australia

Tom 13

Re: How often do most people drive more than 100km in one go anyways?

At least 24 times a year for me. But even if it were only twice, my primary car would need to be able to deal with it.

Tom 13

Re: Linking basic staples like corn to the oil price

Now that's utter bullocks.

I don't object in principle to using food stuffs for fuel instead of fossil things. It's just that corn and its various derivatives are totally inefficient. I hate communist greenies with a passion, but if there were an efficient food based alternative that cost about the same as a tank of gas I'd use it. And no, that doesn't mean you just need to jack up the taxes to make the food alternative "cost effective" to me. It has to do that without government intervention.

Tom 13

Re: the idea is rather good as

You were doing rather well until you slipped on the corn oil and fell flat on your face.

To the first paragraph I would add that if properly structured, such a system might remove one of the other major bugaboos for electric car buyers: the huge cost of battery replacement when they die before you are done paying for the car. You could do the quality checks at the recharging stations and remove the failing batteries there and distribute the replacement cost amongst all the users.

I doubt it would be enough for me to personally give up my fossil fuel burner, but it might make it more palatable for some. In fact, it is the biggest objection my roommate has to buying a hybrid, and a pure electric car simply wouldn't work for her. She makes an 8 hour drive to see her mother on a somewhat regular basis. In fact, I'm not even sure she'd be able to get TO work in one, let alone return without recharging.

British games company says it owns the idea of space marines

Tom 13

Re: is in fact a registered trademark

Yeah, another trademark that should NEVER have been issued.

I'll take very, very, very small consolation that at least this time it wasn't my side of the pond fouling things for world plus dog.

Tom 13

Re: Derivative

I think in some sense most of what's been published since Hugo Gernsback was running his pulps back in the 30s is derivative of what was done back then. Sometimes the derivatives have been better written or more interesting, but they covered most of it back then. Particularly space marines.

Tom 13

Re: Send in the Marines to sort these fools out!

No need for the plural, just one should do.

And I expect he won't be using the full force of his hand. A thumb should suffice.

Tom 13

Re: The problem is the ill-defined...

No, the problem is the LAWYERS who keep trying to sail Supertankers through those holes to rake in untold sums of cash.

Microsoft can't even shift Windows 8 slabs in the middle of a tablet frenzy

Tom 13

Re: MS's UI design teams

I'm not sure exactly who (I suspect the executives, not the drones), but somebody at MS is spending too much time reading the Apple PR and not reading enough of their customer responses.

Tom 13
Thumb Up

Re: I hate the arrogance

I expect few Penguinistas hate MS's arrogance as much as those of us who use MS products when they do a generally good job. They may make more frothing and foaming noises, but if you aren't using the product, it just isn't the same.

Every single Internet Explorer at risk of drive-by hacks until Patch Tuesday

Tom 13

Re: MSHTML has a published API

Rewrite the API to call browser functions instead of specific code, then allow the API to point to whatever browser. If you can't reliably write that, you should never have made such a hash of things in the first place.

Tom 13

Re: Note to Microsoft

I'm guessing most of the coders at MS would agree. Unfortunately, the legal eagles won't agree. See, decades ago MS insisted in an anti-trust case that IE wasn't an App, it was a critical part of the OS. And the court bought that fraudulent argument and left them off the anti-trust hook. But now, if they EVER admit it IS an app... Well, let's just say there aren't many things that would bankrupt both MS and Bill Gates, but that's one of them that could.

NASA deep space probe sends back video of 'Comet of the Century'

Tom 13

Re: bunch wackos decided to remove themselves from the gene pool.

I don't mind when idiots remove themselves from the gene pool. It's only when they forcibly take someone else with them that I get upset.

Shocked Zynga investors get a penny per share

Tom 13

Re: what the hell are they spending it on

I imagine some is from ads, but most of it is from pay to play items. Yes, the basic stuff is free (paid for with in game coins), but the really good stuff you have to pay cash to them to get (paid for in the game with dollar bill type thingies [which can also be bought with FB points]). Either that or you've installed a cheat tool that manages your game while you are away from your PC.

Tom 13

Re: the games just became tiresome after a while.

This is the real key to understanding the downfall of Zynga and social games built around their models.

I played a number of their games at their peak. But instead of keeping it stable and making it interesting they started "encouraging" me to play all their other games. At some point you are trying to run to many Skinner boxes and they cease to be even playable let alone fun. And that's BEFORE the damn things start to engage in sustained crashes because they never load tested their servers or their products. And when the game becomes too much WORK people stop playing. Just like I did.

Naked intruder cracks one off in Florida rampage drama

Tom 13

Re: So much for the argument that carrying a gun would prevent massacres.

Do realize that within the last two weeks we've had two more school shooting situations? And that in both of them, the shooter was stopped by someone who was carrying and stepped in to stop the problem before we had another massacre.

Tom 13

Re: Trayvon was the exception, not the rule.

Actually he fits the rule. Pursuing dude had broken off following the Trayvon at police direction. Trayvon went after him. He pulled the piece after being attacked and shot him. Oh, and the dude only got classified as "white" because they wanted to make it about racism. If it had been a real white guy attacking the dude, he would have been reported in the media as "Hispanic" so they could still play the race card.

HP: Flash is better in than out. Better for us, er, our customers

Tom 13

This drive technology needs a new name,

when I read the headline, I was wondering what angle HP was going to try to work by teaming with Adobe.

Crooks, think your Trojan looks legit? This one has a DIGITAL CERTIFICATE

Tom 13

Re: But the same is true of my government, too.

Not a chance. I'd trust five random people at an unknown company sooner than I'd trust ANY government.

US Department of Energy: Which bright spark just hacked us?

Tom 13

Sadly, for the DoE this is an improvement.

At least this time they KNOW they were hacked.

Google, Mozilla, show off in-browser video chat

Tom 13

Re: i reckon it wont be too long before

I reckon you used the wrong tense there.

BANG and the server's gone: Man gets 8 months for destroying work computers

Tom 13

Re: former BOFH himself

I thought the only former BOFHs were dead ones.

Hard drive sales to see double-digit dive this year

Tom 13

Re: couple of hundred thousand into four million without apparent embarrassment.

Maybe, but what's catching the eye here is the "double digit drop" part of the story. I might buy an 8-9% drop, but not the double digit. SSD certainly is replacing some HDD. But mass storage needs are going up, not down, and that ultimately means HDD for reasonable access speed. Yes, I see hybrid systems where the OS and the computations run on SSD, but the big near line storage will still be HDD.

And the bit for optical drives dying is just completely over the top. Initially I was thinking about the really old opticals that competed directly with HDD in some segments (yes those pretty much are dead) but upon seeing the posts for CDs, DVDs, and BD... No that's not happening soon, probably not even within my lifetime. Sure, the plain CD drive will die, but the DVR/CDR and BDR/DVR/CDRs will fill that niche.

Tom 13

Re: Optical Drives Abandoned

USB is a non-starter in places worried about security. Optical will never die.

Tom 13

Re: rather than the technical ability to do it.

If you think that, you haven't been keeping up on your technical reading here on El Reg. SSDs are starting to run into indexing limits. They run fast at low storage densities because the current solutions work faster at those densities. Start bumping it up much above where they are and they start to slow down to HDD speeds. Bump it to current HDD max levels, and the SDD actually performs worse. Yeah, at some point there will be a breakthrough that fixes it. But at some point there will also be a breakthrough which bumps up HDD density. If HDD vendors maintain quality instead of cutting corners to make up for lost profits, they still have better lifetimes than SDDs, which are another factor for servers and desktops.

Yes SDDs make sense on laptops, db farms, and home gaming systems where speed is the uber-critical factor, but for big active storage, magnetic is still king.

Tom 13


You obviously don't contract for the DoD, and more government agencies will go that way: No USB drives allowed because they're a prime vector for malware.

Linux boot doesn't smash Samsung laptops any more

Tom 13

@Silverburn: following are not OS requirements: - Games

You sir have OBVIOUSLY never worked on a help desk. Having walked down a good many rows of cubicle farms I can assure you that FREECELL is the MOST important application in the OS.

Tom 13

Re: @Boris S.

Minor nit: It is also a Linux issue as can be seen from the fact that a closer inspection of the code resulted in a fix, and from the sounds of it, an improvement in working, but problematic code. I'll go a bit easier on the Linux guys than the vendor on this one because it sounds like the vendor was unhelpful when they were trying to write the driver. For the Linux code writer the punishment is a stern email from Linus, and public embarrassment (which from the sounds of it have already been delivered).

I concur that even if they hadn't been gits about supplying code documentation, Samsung still comes in for higher criticism because they SHOULD be testing for this. Maybe not every version from every distributor, but certainly Red Hat, Ubuntu, Debian, and SUSE with either CentOS or Slackware taking 5th position for minimal testing.

Tom 13

Re: Playing Devils Advocate!!

The problem here isn't that the author of the driver didn't screw up. He did. The problem is Samsung still committed a shooting offense.

Tom 13

Re: Surely [Diatribe Needed]?

No, there are plenty of expletive ridden diatribes available. It's the 'ignorant' requirement that's hard to meet. Possibly impossibly so. Even though he probably hasn't written a full new subroutine for the kernel in years, I find it doubtful anyone out there knows it better than he does. And as one of the folks to whom Linus recently recently sent such a missive noted, 'it's usually because they deserved it.'

Tom 13

Re: if its not broke, dont fix it.

No, that not an acceptable tag line for a QA department. Their line is supposed to be "If it ain't been tested, it can't be shipped." or something along those lines. And it should include major software distributions which work on the hardware.

No, I've never worked in the QA department, but I've had plenty of lunches with those who did, and took their jobs seriously. For a hardware vendor, this is a mistake akin to a software vendor shipping a CD with malware installed in the boot sector.

Tom 13

Re: Playing Devils Advocate!!

I'm a Windows only helpdesk admin. I have occasionally booted from a Linux distro disk to do something (usually resetting the password for the admin account on the Windows system). Even I recognize Ubuntu as a major Linux distro and expect Samsung should have tested this.

Tom 13

Re: every worked out well?

Back in the day it was how you found out how things worked.

Peeking and poking on a C64 provided days of amusement and learning.

Tom 13

Re: remove ourselves our Golden thrones,

That's what we do on our jobs.

This is El Reg.

It's where we come to not have to be above suspicion, let our hair down, and talk smack about any damn thing we want to without worry about real world consequences.

Tom 13

Re: early days of ACPI

It's not just Samsung, and it's not just Linux. Hardware vendors write a lot of stuff that doesn't quite meet published spec, but when released with a current popular OS works.

Back in the early Pentium days, before Linus had even started work on Linux there was a company that released a multiple CD drive that ran on the IDE channel. Beautiful part about was, under Windows 95, you could share each of the drives in the Caddy, and computers linked on a work group could read what was in the CD caddy. We had a client running some library software in a Windows workgroup configuration (connections to remote PCs were pretty much by modem in those days) and they depended upon this functionality. One day they had problem with an internal modem that fried the motherboard. CPU was good, so we tried to replace the MD and memory. Win95 would install just fine, find the device and initially you would see all the drives. Then you installed the Intel chipset for the MB to make all the devices accessible and all of a sudden the device stopped working. We spent hours trying to figure it out before calling the manufacturer. The driver didn't work with the new Intel chipset, and the company had no intention of updating the driver. They had even discontinued making the device, so we couldn't even just buy a replacement. Instead we had to install a SCSI card and a SCSI caddy, about tripling the bill to the customer (we discounted the labor since we should have called the vendor sooner than we did).

Years later I was in a different environment where they'd been using an IDE "tape drive" for ages to backup data from local PCs (don't ask what they were backing up, I thought it was epic fail at the time), but still in a 95 environment. But drive sizes were finally getting large enough to force us to install 98 on some systems, and the tape drives started failing on the 98 systems. Because apparently the manufacturer didn't fully meet the IDE spec for the drive.

Now, I recognize that sometimes specs come out with things that people don't really have a way to test at the time the spec was written, and that there are monetary limits on what a company can reasonably be expected to test. But cases like these always leave me scratching my head.

Twitter breach leaks emails, passwords of 250,000 users

Tom 13

Re: Get real

I got Real once. But now I'm back to using my default media player.

Tom 13

Re: OMG! Twitter breached, I posted my life on it, I'm ruined #gulliblesademptytwat

At 140 characters per tweet, there is no way anybody could post their life of twitter, no matter how hard they try.

Under cap-and-trade, flying is greener than taking the bus

Tom 13

Re: basing decisions to reduce carbon footprints...can increase total emissions

No surprises there for anyone with a quarter of a brain.

First off, if you're going to be able to reduce the accumulation of something in a system, you have to understand the system well enough to accurately predict what it is going to do next. We have no such system despite the wailing and gnashing of teeth in which Warmists typically engage.

Next up, the governmental group which is regulating such behavior has to interested in actually correcting such behavior. They aren't.

While I believe it is possible we will someday meet the first requirement (probably not in my lifetime but it is at least theoretically possible), I doubt we will ever meet the second.

BBC: What YOU spent on our lawyers in Secret Climate 28 debacle

Tom 13

Re: BBC is thankfully not a "government agency"

I'm not a Brit, so I don't have to pay the Beeb govt tax, but my government tries to pull the same BS on this side of the pond. So I have a new functional definition of government agency. If you have to pay something or government types with guns will show up at your door, it's a 'government agency' regardless of what the nitwits in power claim.

Tom 13

Re: BBC Trust

Well that all depends on which meaning of "Trust" one is using. If the meaning is the one for the context or The Railroad Barons, then it makes perfect sense.

'Silent but deadly' Java security update breaks legacy apps - dev

Tom 13

Re: part of me really wishes MS would do this with old versions of IE.


If you run Automatic Updates, that's pretty much EXACTLY what MS does with old versions of IE. To the point that it's a royal biatch to be able to compatibility test for multiple versions.

What messes you up is that MS also released hotfixes that took the updates off the patching list and users never undid the hotfixes. Possibly because they run software that still relies on those versions we all wish were dead.

Tom 13

Re: remove things at your whims and break functionality

I agree with you, but you do need to remember this is LARRY ELLISON we're talking about.

Tom 13

Re: they should start looking for new a vendor.

Yes, but I'm the lowly helpdesk dude at the bottom of the food chain. And somewhere up the food chain is somebody with what is effectively the force of law behind him saying we have to keep using the crap from that vendor. And no, it's not a minor program off in a basement office somewhere. Almost all the folks in the executive suite (or it would be the executive suite if it weren't government) have it (probably hate it too) and use it on a regular basis (at least once a week, with a fair number (more than 50%) living in the app).

Space Shuttle Columbia disaster remembered 10 years on

Tom 13

Re: Sure retasking a sat isn't easy nor is access cheap

My recollection from the time is that the spooks had OFFERED the look see, which is what always pissed me off most about it.

Tom 13

Re: several minutes warning

Given the temps involved, I don't know that it would have been even that long in real time, but I'm quite sure it felt like hours in perceived time.

It was a truly sad day.

Official: Fandroids are smarter/tighter* than iPhone fanbois

Tom 13

Re: If this was the 80s. they would be called Yuppies.....

Actually I think they'd be DINKs: Double Income, No Kids.

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