* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Official: Fandroids are smarter/tighter* than iPhone fanbois

Tom 13


Actually $110/month is about what I was paying for my Sprint phone a while back. Minimal talk minutes, unlimited data, and hot spot so I could use the data connection on my laptop, which was where I really wanted the wireless. And it was one of the cheaper phones/plans available from the retailer at that level of Smart Phone. Verizon and AT&T would both have been at least another $30 on top of that.

Tom 13

Re: why so many people forego the cheaper American unlimited

Because even the more expensive "unlimited" deals turn out to be far more limited and cost more than advertised.

I had a Sprint phone for a while that was purchased with an "unlimited" data plan because I don't actually make many phone calls. About 6 months from the end of my contract the "unlimited" data plan was canceled. Soon thereafter I also canceled my phone contact and paid the fee to get out of rather than continue to part with more than a $100/month for something from which I was not getting enough use.

Some of it is truly higher costs. Some of it is limited competition. Most of it is the corruption of government granted monopolies, either back when AT&T ruled the US, or from the local fiefdoms from which the phone companies have to purchase land use rights to place their masts. Oh according to the laws on the books they are open for competition, but try running the paperwork if you aren't the current incumbent...

Help us out here: What's the POINT of Microsoft Office 2013?

Tom 13

Re: option of reverting to the old style menus.

I concur that the Ribbon is a major PITA, but I expect trying to maintain both layouts would have been problematic for the programers. So that part makes sense to me from the MS point of view.

Tom 13

Re: shoe horn workarounds just to attach multiple emails to one email

I'd give you 20 up-votes for that statement alone if I could. The most bizarre part of that to me is that I have the distinct recollection I was able to do that a few years ago, but it is now nearly impossible. Most of the time we work around it with GASMO and Outlook, but yeah, as a corporate solution, I think GMail sucks.

Tom 13

Re: contract between the parties is sufficient to protect the data

I'm not aware that any private contact can ever contradict national law. So it seems to me that if you need to comply with British/EU regs, you pretty much need to stay in that geographical region.

And I say that as a US citizen who isn't quite as concerned about complying with that law as someone in the EU needs to be.

Naked intruder cracks one off in Florida rampage drama

Tom 13

Re: needs semi automatic rifles.

And with that statement you discredit yourself completely as someone who doesn't even know WTF a 'semi automatic' rifle is.

Tom 13

Re: Uh, JaitcH (was: Americans use such self-explanetory language ... once you learn the vocabulary)

Given that it's Florida (aka Retirement land for the USA) I'm betting "their son's bedroom" means the guest room that they keep for when their 30-40 year old son (and possibly his wife) come to visit and is otherwise unused. Or perhaps like my friend's parents who live in Florida, it is the room in which their 50 year old son who is divorced and a recovering alcoholic lives. It's the sort of media misdirect I've come to expect since they continue to report 18-21 year old criminals as 'kids.'

Tom 13

Re: in the US it's happened on average once a year

You must hang out with the wrong kind of people. Lived here over 40 years, occasionally driven through the wrong part of town (realized it when I saw the Lexan on the gas station attendant's booth) and never had a gun pointed at me in anger. Once or twice on shooting range until we'd properly trained an over-anxious noob, but even then it was an accidental bad movement of the gun, not a raised and pointed at me situation.

Amazon: We have great cash flow - it flows straight out of our hands

Tom 13

Re: Profits = tax bills?

You forgot the important bits for US companies. For Apple in the UK they first have to pay the UK tax, then the company pays the US tax, and then the shareholder pays either an income (dividends) or capital gains (sale of stock, not indexed for inflation) tax. So that $100 in initial profit winds up being $1.25 to the US shareholder. Not really an attractive rate of return.

Tom 13

Re: You can get a 4% return putting your money into the bank

Pre-2007 that was true. We're in a new world now where banks pay between 0 and 1%. I know because I survived the S&L crisis. Before that the number was 5.25% and afterward it was a brave new world.

Tom 13

Re: dividend versus capital growth

So long as dividends and capital growth have equal tax treatment that is true. If the tax environment is such that dividends net a lower profit than capital growth, companies will prefer capital growth over dividends. Also on a practical level dividends tend to be paid by companies in mature markets whereas growing markets tend to attract capital growth companies (for obvious reasons).

Tom 13

Re: If Tim Worstall were here

It is a clear case of taxation distorting the market. In this case it isn't harming growth, it actually promotes it; but at the cost of clear market signals on the health of the company. At least that was the case pre-Obama. In the current environment of government confiscation of wealth I would say it is stifling growth and job creation because instead of opening new lines of business, companies are hoarding cash just like Apple is.

Tom 13

Re: Cashflow != ignore

You are conflating revenue with profit. Profit only occurs AFTER investment expenditures are accounted for. An executive can argue that cash on hand should be invested instead of being held in reserve or distributed as profit, and an investor can agree with that strategy. But it is a risk, and it explicitly forgoes profit.

Yes, there are some businesses that have stable long term potential profits against short term volatile costs. They are all highly regulated: banks, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas production companies. In fact they are so regulated I don't regard them as businesses, but quasi-governmental agencies.

Oracle 'fesses up: Java security flaws more than storm in teacup

Tom 13

Re: On my wishlist then...

Sadly, in my organization the primary reason we install java is because somebody else's web based application requires it to run. And frequently requires a hideously outdated version at that.

Apple, Google tumble off top 20 trusted companies list

Tom 13

Re: Countrywide

Countrywide I can understand making the list. They were defrauding the government and their investors. When you're doing that, you're probably good at keeping secrets.

But Facebook and Google? Yeah, that shows a fundamental problem somewhere, although it might be with the users and not the survey or its methodology.

Three years since his Sun gobble, what hath Ellison wrought?

Tom 13

Re: Sun HW + Solaris - no where but down. . .

I've heard similar stories from a friend who works in a government lab that does require big iron. Their first choice use to be Sun for new workstations. When Oracle took over they doubled the price of the existing service contracts. So all the new *nix equipment they buy comes from an outfit I've never seen mentioned in a Reg article, and whose name I can't recall at the moment. Granted the sales numbers are maybe $20K a year on a new server at the location plus existing service contracts, but I imagine that's happening at more than one location.

Tom 13

Re: back in the day HP produced some good kit

Agreed. I didn't work with their servers, but their printers and science lab equipment were killer. I worked for a company that pretended to compete with them in some of the science lab market, and privately our execs would admit we couldn't go head to head with them. On the couple of occasions when we DID come out with something better, HP were quick to ink a deal with us to either put their Brand on our equipment, or work with us to develop the product and sell a varient to which they had the exclusive license.

Tom 13

Re: HP

I don't see the HP-Sun synergy you do. From my perspective both were essentially hardware vendors who haven't got a good handle on service, which is where the cash is these days. I do see the Oracle-Sun synergy since Oracle was a service and software company. I concur with the poster above that this is bad for customers because Ellison basically rapes his customers (and I think if I had been on the government committee reviewing the deal I would have killed it based on the db segment overlap), but I do see the business synergy from the Oracle and Sun standpoint.

But then I'm in the commodity end of the business, not the big iron.

Star Trek saviour JJ Abrams joins the dark side: Star Wars VII

Tom 13

Re: ore than enough to know just how afwul Star Trek XI is.

I am a fan of the original series even with all of its flaws. And you've absolutely nailed the problem.

Star Trek worked because Roddenberry had a utopian vision of the future, but was tempered by the realities of making the show for execs who were anything but utopians. When Next Gen came out, they gave Roddenberry a blank check to do what he wanted to, and without the tempering of the hovering non-utopian execs who wanted fight scenes and love interests in every episode, it stank. Until they booted Roddenberry high enough into the ranks that he no longer affected actual production and it became a watchable show. Star Trek XI is what happens when the non-utopian execs make the movie without the structure the utopianist envisioned. And it stinks just as much as when the utopianist ran the show.

Tom 13

Re: Can't really do much worse...

Agree about EP1.

Not sure it's even worth a look at the trailers for the new one.

I heard from a friend that Lucas feels that no matter what he would have done, he would have pissed somebody off so he's washed his hands of it. If true, I'd tell him the one thing that was GUARANTEED to piss people off royally was to make an obviously derivative movie based on the first (episode IV) movie for the launch of the prequel. Yes there were bits of the movie that were fun, but too few and not worked well into the plot. I've been of the opinion he should have farmed out 1 to 3 because the defined story arc is something heroic writers are bad at: heart breaking tragedy. We knew it was supposed to be the fall of a Jedi into the dark side. And at the end of the 3 movies, I still didn't believe the character would have moved to the dark side if he were real. He only wound up there because the script said he had to. Sort of a reverse Deus Ex Machina plot failure.

Tom 13

Re: So Star Trek is fact now

One of the big problems with Trek has always been that the capabilities of the underlying technology changes depending on the needs of the writers. That violates the fundamental rules of both sf AND fantasy writing. You get to break the rules of the normal universe ONCE and work out the plot from there. For really good sf books and shows a fair bit of theoretical thinking goes into exactly how you are circumventing physics. And one of the more basic rules is that while you can play with alien psychologies, humans are pretty much humans no matter how long we've been around. So for example, if a typical human, upon finding a technology 100 years in advance of what he's got, would try to copy/understand/use that technology, then even in the future they'd do the same thing.

Tom 13

Re: a much bigger WTF moment

picking apart old Trek was a fun pastime for fans.

Picking apart the reboot isn't. It's more like dynamiting fish in a barrel. It leaves you wet and smelling of dead fish.

Sorry, Apple-haters, but Cupertinian doom not on the horizon

Tom 13

The last time I checked,

29% was a good bit more than 0%, and 48% was a tremendous bit more than 0%. And you'll note these are within the same time frame so a week or two twitch between reporting periods is irrelevant. Which means Apple are shifting more units for less in order to keep even on profits. Which means they are on a downslope that has to end. Whether it ends with an upswing or a crash is the question. Given that St. Jobs is no longer around to create miraculous upswings, best to put on your crash protection gear.

Twitter must unmask racist French twits or face $1,300-a-DAY fine

Tom 13

Re: Yes, gah.

Yeah, it was an obvious typo, but just too good to pass up in the comment section.

So have a beer on me.

Tom 13

So the French courts are ordering Twitter to write code now?!??!

"...or be fined $1,300 a day until it compiled."

Climate shocker: Carry on as we are until 2050, planet will be fine

Tom 13

Re: you're not including yourself, right?

Well, there's certainly no need to include the US or European nations as their birthrate is already below replacement level. China is working their way down too with their 1 child policy, but given their penchant for aborting girls, it's unclear what will happen when their overly male population actually gets restless. Now maybe they'll just expend themselves attacking the also "overly populated" Indian peninsula, but do you really want to bet your LIFE on that?

Tom 13

Re: we are also having issues with food

The 18th Century called, they want their Malthusian FUD returned to them.

We don't have food production problems, we have food distribution problems. Get rid of the green despots posing as saviors of the children and we can get things fixed up fairly quickly.

Tom 13

Re: Good FUD

Nova or supernova it doesn't matter. At 1AU we're all still dead.

Unless of course you get raptured before that.

Tablets aren't killing ereaders, it's clog-popping wrinklies - analyst

Tom 13

Re: Do they honestly think younger people dont read?

Given a fair number of posts I see on blogs...

In a word, No.

Brit mastermind of Anonymous PayPal attack gets 18 months' porridge

Tom 13

Re: Plea bargaining in one way or another is an essential part of the legal system

I generally concur with your post, but specifically disagree with your assertion that only the guilty accept a plea bargain. Also while recognizing that it is factually correct that the courts are over-worked, given that they themselves have contributed significantly to that status, I find it difficult to grant them dispensation for it.

Backdoor root login found in Barracuda gear - and Barracuda is OK with this

Tom 13

Re: Old Linus missed that one eh?

IRQ =/= Linux Kernel. Linus reviews the kernel, not all the software in any distributions which might be made.

Yes, if you compare the Windows kernel to the Linux kernel and ignore the add ons, the two are roughly equally in terms of security vulnerabilities. The difference is, Windows sells what ought to be the add ons as an inherent part of the kernel, and further used that position as part of their legal defense for incorporating IE (which is clearly an app) into the OS way back in the dark ages of computing.

Tech firms face massive tax bill if Dutch vote to end loopholes

Tom 13

Re: your little theory on economics doesn't work

It's not his economic theory that doesn't work, it's your government thuggery which is keeping him down. Down with Government Thuggery! The time for Revolution has Come!

Tom 13

Re: And your kneecaps?

At last the inner thug is revealed! All set to break James's kneecaps and none to subtle about it either.

Tom 13

Re: Google didn't employ a single person in the Netherlands.

At a minimum they employed a lawyer to write their incorporation papers, paid the legal fees for the same, and paid some sort of taxes for monies passing through the country. That tax money employed government employees. If Google move their shell company, that work will disappear.

Tom 13

@Arild the economic illiterate: Re: Who pays the tax?

A company that has a reduced tax bill has a choice. They can pass along the savings to preserve market share or they can temporarily increase profits to shareholders. If they temporarily increase profits to shareholders, other companies will see and seize the opportunity to provide the same service at a lower cost, which either forces the first company to lower prices to match them, or to go out of business (particularly if customers perceive they were being gouged and will therefore no longer do business with them).

Tom 13

@Velv: an easy fix to this situation

Actually, there is an easy fix, but most governments are unwilling to adopt it because it puts them on a rather short leash: All tax revenues should be derived from the taxes on the sales of goods within that country. Problem is, that naturally limits governments to tax rates of at most 12% of GDP, and they are unwilling to live within those bounds.

Tom 13

Re: Tax pays for our public services.

The problem is that thugs like you have perverted the meaning of public services to the point that taxing is now stealing from working people. If taxes are truly allocated to public services instead of Marxist redistribution schemes, then yes we owe taxes. But the duty of charity is a personal one not a public one, and cannot be conducted by governments which are at best inherently amoral, and all too frequently provably immoral.

Tom 13

Re: Where does it say in the bible

I believe the relevant quote would be when Jesus was asked what is effectively the same question:

"Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's" (Ἀπόδοτε οὖν τὰ Καίσαρος Καίσαρι καὶ τὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ τῷ Θεῷ Matthew 22:21).

The problem of course is that Ceasar is nothing more than a thug posing as a moral man while usurping that which is God's.

Apple shares dive after quarterly report disappoints Wall Street

Tom 13

Re: The iThingies are as common as dirt ...

I know lots of people with iThingies. Anyone who bought it for himself is always touting the coolness factor while simultaneously denying he bought it for the coolness factor. (Probably because admitting you're just following the rest of the lemmings is not cool.) Only person I know who doesn't tout the coolness factor has a work issued iPhone.

Tom 13

Re: We looking at the same charts?

Sure, sure follow the illusionist's misdirect.

The relevant numbers aren't total sales, they are profit per sale, which is falling. And given that Apple is a high margin/non-commodity player that means they are either moving into a market segment where they've never competed well, or they have to switch horses to a new high margin product. When Jobs was still alive that was a 7:3 prospect. With him out of the picture it's maybe a 3:7 prospect.

Tom 13

Re: selling more phones and making more profit

Markets don't exactly operate on current data, they operate on expectations which are informed by current data. The expectation was that Apple would make more money than it actually did. Therefore future expectations have to decrease, which means the stock price has to decrease. This is all independent of whether ANY of those expectations were grounded in reality.

This is one of the reasons there is a segment of economists who strongly favor not taxing dividends, which would allow stocks to start paying them as a means of benefiting shareholders instead of driving them to stock value appreciation. Not sure how badly this distorts the British and EU economies, but it is a major factor for the US.

EU-wide mega-Leveson 'needed' to silence Press, bloggers

Tom 13

In a perfect world if one is slandered or libeled

there ought to be a recourse through the courts by which one can reclaim their honor. Too many so called journalists, bloggers, and especially commenters are all to quick to commit precisely these offenses.

The problem of course is that it isn't a perfect world and any tool by which an honest citizen can try to reclaim his honor is also available for abuse from those with none. So on balance the system we have seems preferential to the proposed improvements.

Swartz suicide won't change computer crime policy, says prosecutor

Tom 13

Re: point #3

Any time you take special actions to access a service, YOU KNOW you are breaking the law or at least policy. So do the police. He was guilty and needed to deal with it.

The theory of civil disobedience to correct perceived wrongs in the law does not absolve one from serving the time for the crime. In fact it rather depends upon it.

And yes, he alone is responsible for his suicide.

Holy classic car auction, Batman! They sold THE Batmobile!

Tom 13


You sir are a twit who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

You deserve to spend the next 10 years in the cell between The Joker and The Riddler adjacent to The Penguin and The Bookworm. And absolutely no Catwoman for you.

Swartz prosecutor: We only pushed for 'six months' in the cooler

Tom 13

Re: prosecutor ... can net 30 years,..., "I only expected him to get 6 months

That would be because you are unaware of the leniency of the US court systems. I would.

We routinely see lawyers on tv rack up the possible sum of time a defendant COULD serve if convicted of all charges running into hundreds of years. Then 4 years later when the pre-trial, trial, and appeals are done, the convicted perp gets 3 years less time served plus potential time off for good behavior and possible parole after 1 year of time served (which includes any time spent in detention prior to the trial).

Tom 13

@Fibbles: You need to stop this now.

You're interrupting their 2 minute Hate.

AV-Test boss dismisses Microsoft criticism of malware test results

Tom 13

Re: I had a map, torch and a photo

You had a torch?

Silly boy, you should have lit it.

You have been eaten by a Grue.

Tom 13

Re: Yes, Norton has improved.

No it hasn't. When it started it was the best out there. But then, that was back when people had to do real computing: from the command line. Nothing's ever been the same since those damn Windows took over.

Fans of dead data 'liberator' Swartz press Obama to sack prosecutor

Tom 13

Re: It would seem sentences are political in the US

Sentence in the US are as a-political as sentences in the UK.

Prosecutors don't set sentences, Judges do, based on both statutory dictates and prevailing attitudes. And that happens only IF a civilian jury finds him guilty. Assuming sentence is passed, there are still multiple paths to appeal the conviction and the sentence. After or concurrent with those appeals you may also request either Executive leniency or pardon. Prosecutors ALWAYS ask for the maximum sentence possible (possible being defined only in the mind of the prosecutor) because the Defense will always be arguing for none.

Tom 13

Re: Please note that I have no understanding of US law.

These days I doubt most prosecutors and other assorted lawyers do either.

What they do possess that neither you or I do, is a license to lie about it.

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