* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

€1.5bn swiped from EU cards: Fraud mainly takes place in the US

Tom 13

Re: rationale is for security.

Well, the rationale isn't really for security. It's for marketing purposes. But they say it's for security. And since it's a common question for authorization when you call the bank to check your balance (varies between social security, zip code and last four of either of those), people accept it is a valid security authorization. Just like they accept mother's maiden name,.

Hellish XML demon exorcised from Windows, IE bug stays

Tom 13

Re: Why did my XP Pro box crash 5 TIMES.....

Run a rootkit scanner on your system.

Tom 13

Re: controlled to the hilt by an IT department that thinks Win XP Pro and IE8

Downvoted because I'm the low level HelpDesk Monkey who gets called in to fix crap when you "highly technical" users frack it up while ignoring company policy. Also because it some of you other "highly technical" programmers who shaft us with home grown software that causes us to KEEP users on IE8 and Java 1.5.16.

Not anonymous because I know who where the bodies are.

Twitter won't unmask racist Frenchie unless US judge says so

Tom 13

Re: Freedom of Speech vs Freedom to speak freely

I've been in a crowded theater when someone shouted Fire!

No one was injured. No one even moved.

And after he did, Penn noted he had just exercised his Constitutional right to shout "Fire!" in a crowded theater.

Tom 13


You and others are quite missing the point. Twitter is by definition the ULTIMATE opt-in, non-public forum. You MUST sign up for a twitter account. After that your MUST sign up to receive the allegedly offensive material. Opt out at either point and there IS no offense.

Tom 13



The imperial presidency started well before FDR. Some trace the socialist problem to Wilson, others to the other Roosevelt, some even to Lincoln. You are correct that by FDR it was certainly under way, and only committed socialist/communists deny it. If you are sticking strictly with "imperial" that goes back to at least Andrew Jackson who used the office to destroy the National Bank (perhaps a good thing, perhaps not) in defiance of Congress.

The drone issue is a mixed bag. If the American is in foreign territory and known to be helping the enemy, that is engaged in subversion against the US, I have no problem dropping a drone on him. The presumption of innocence only goes so far, and it's right out the window when war starts.

Presidents have ALWAYS had the power to suspend habeas corpus. Washington himself suspended it during the Whiskey Rebellion, which he put down with US troops. Moreover, this is an assertion of suspending habeus corpus for foreign agents, a claim I find specious at best. He isn't routinely suspending it for US citizens who aren't known to be acting as foreign agents.

The Constitution also allows for the creation of "other courts" which is essentially what the national security letter system is. It may be being used to liberally, but that is an issue separate from the authority of Congress to create such an alternate system.

I concur that executive orders have been used too much, and the example you site is particularly egregious. I will note however that progressives/socialists/communists have long been at work undermining that right and the courts have generally supported this. The history goes all the way back to Miller, a case that if a lower court today were to treat the defense the way SCOTUS treated the defense in Miller, the presiding judge would be subject to a STERN rebuke and even possibly disciplinary action from the Bar. Such is the way of dictators and their sycophants who will rule when a free people refuse to hold their government accountable. We failed miserably on that count in the last election.

Drop that can of sweet pop and grab a coffee - for your sanity's sake

Tom 13

Re: My parents wouldn't allow me sugary breakfast cereals

Well that explains the constant dour demeanor at least...

'Doomsday' asteroid Apophis more massive than first thought

Tom 13

Re: position slightly different from where you thought it was...

I thought was Heisenberg's?

Tom 13

Re: shouldn't we pop him in the freezer

No, Stallone gets popped into the freezer.

Bruce either has the portrait of Dorian Grey or knows where the real fountain of youth is, because we know he's alive to save the Earth in the 23rd Century when The Great Evil comes.

Anonymous wants DDoS attacks recognized as speech

Tom 13

Re: Having spent...


you owe them no respect.

Tom 13

Re: should I bring wine?

No, cheese. There will be plenty of whine already.

Tom 13

Re: If DDoS is freedom of speech, then email spam must be too.

Actually you can make a better argument that SPAM is a form of free speech than that DDOS is.

SPAM at least meets the criteria that it is communicating. Where it falls down is that it forces the recipient to pay for the speech, which is not permissible under classical property rights concepts. And if you throw out the private property rights it still falls under the problem of the free commons.

Up your wormhole: Star Trek Deep Space 9 turns 20

Tom 13

Re: Farscape

Meh. Started well, but the writers didn't know what to do with it, sort of like an Alan Moore comic book arc.

By the second season it's all about frelling in space coupled with yet another version of a war to end all wars. Recovered somewhat in 3rd season, but by then it was too late. I like Ben and Claudia, and the muppets were cool. And I really, really wanted it to succeed, but Hollywood can't seem to handle that.

Tom 13

Re: Especially on the suspension of disbelief thing...

Even in original Trek, you had to have not a suspension of disbelief but an eager suppression of it.

- Would no scientists ever return to portal through time that would show you the history of the Universe?

- Would anyone not copy the archives from "The World is Hollow and I have Touched the Sky"? Or the planet for the acknowledged schlock episode "Spock's Brain"

Granted Next Gen was even worse, but original Trek was bad enough on that front to begin with.

And yet I love the show.

Tom 13


I actually like Brooks and some of the episodes in the series. I'd say the truth of the matter is it started going downhill with season 1 of Next Gen, but managed to recover after they booted Roddenberry far enough upstairs that he didn't really affect the show. But they over corrected in DS9, jumped the shark in Voyager, and went Rod Serling with Enterprise. Enterprise was probably the most disappointing because Bakula is a good actor and I loved him in Quantum Leap. But even a great actor can only do so much to save a show where none of the writers or producers actually care about the original on which it is based.

Tom 13

Re: Lexa Doig

Lexa is hot, but there's far more to watch the show for than her.

Frankly, I re-watch it on a fairly regular basis because Kevin Sorbo managed to keep it more in line with Roddenberry's vision of Trek: aiming for the high ground even when it's stuck in gritty, muddy reality.

Tom 13

Re: Off topic, I know, but....

Not off topic at all.

The two are inextricably linked in time and network infighting and their influences on each other. B5 was kicking DS9's ass, and Majel Barrett didn't like it. One particular instance of this is DS9 grabbing an actor JMS had signed on for a couple of parts in two seasons. As a result, JMS decided to kill the character (Sheridan's conspiracy contact) off screen and bring in a replacement. DS9 did adopt the story arcs JMS pioneered in tv. (Weird part is, JMS didn't really think of it as pioneering, because his source material for the show draws most heavily on Greek and Roman mythology. It's even one of the things he commented on in his blogs at the time, noting he sought out a new translation of either the Iliad or the Odyssey in his teen years. He couldn't understand why people weren't using staggered arcs across a series instead of only within an episode.) And JMS said some nice things about DS9 and probably even consulted with them on some things. He certainly turned the tenor of the series to the more upbeat than the foreboding one season 1 had. (Personally I loved season 1 and it took me a while to warm up to the new guy.)

Tom 13

Re: never EVER wanted Star Trek to be about wars.

True, but that was a double-edged sword.

Part of why the original series worked was because Roddenberry pushed that angle, while the studio pushed back. When they started Next Gen the studios bowed down to the exalted high priest -- and the episodes were pretty much crap. Without serious conflict drama loses its impact. Yes DS9 took it farther than Roddenberry would have allowed, and yes the franchise suffered for it. But less so than it did with Voyager and Enterprises lack of a timeline editor. I understand why the latest Star Trek movie was required to reboot the series - they boxed themselves into so many corners they needed a clean break. But I still didn't like it, and you're right: I don't trust the new writers to stay true to what the original Star Trek was, Roddenberry's vision tempered by the network moguls.

Tom 13

Re: written in advance

More yes than no, but still both. The story was plotted well in advance. JMS had been thinking about it for years. But the shows themselves were written at the time, edited and adapted as needed. Sometimes it shows, most of the time they pulled it off incredibly well.

JMS also probably did more than anybody else in the industry to meld the web to the broadcast work. Checking his blog was almost as important a part of watching the show as watching the show was. And there was never any question about who was leading whom on story arc. JMS led, DS9 followed. Don't get me wrong, I like many of the DS9 shows and actually started watching it again on Netflix. But I have no doubt that B5 was the far better show, even season 1. Although I do agree Turner really screwed the pooch when they wouldn't fund season 5, and that in some way Sci-Fi screwed it even more when they did fund it after JMS edited 4 & 5 into the final season for Turner.

Windows RT jailbreak smash: Run ANY app on Surface slabs

Tom 13

Re: laptops for that reason, "notebook" being...

Laptops are bigger than notebooks, or at least were when reporters adopted the sexier marketing lingo. I remember that idiot who use to write opposite Dvorak at PC Magazine going on and on and on about how superior notebooks were to laptops and would therefore replace both laptops and desktops.

Forget the internet: Americans still glued to TV sets in 2012

Tom 13

Re: 'wallpaper effect' here

That certainly part of it. Until recently my typical behavior was to come home, turn on Fox News, and start making supper for me and my roomie. When I actually sit down to watch I might play something we dvr'ed earlier. Or if I'm not even interested in the DVR list, pop in a DVD or browse Netflix. Oddly enough the DVDs are usually tv series we've purchased (Original Trek, SG, SG2, Andomeda, Dr. Who, B5, Lois and Clark, White Collar, Psych, etc.). And there are times when I'm multi-tasking tv and internet (usually because I'm not especially interested in my roomie's current tv choice).

Now at one time we were a Nielson family with the actual monitoring stuff wired into the tv and vcr. When we were we made DAMN sure the tv was on and tuned to the appropriate channels for certain shows (B5, and Crossfire) even if we weren't in the room at the time. If it was stuff we knew was popular we played it straight. But for our interests that were consistently being canceled before we became a Nielsen family, we made sure we were counted.

Security bods rip off Microsoft's 'sticking plaster' IE bug fix

Tom 13

Re: Why don't we have worst software awards?

Because once upon a time we had something better. Until MS subverted it. I don't even remember the name any more, but it was an association of users who evaluated software on their needs. They were even successfully pushing companies into usable multi-user network licenses at reasonable prices (e.g. you could install a 100 user WordPerfect license on a 200 person network and any random 100 users could access it). But this threatened the MS cash flow so the infiltrated, subverted, and destroyed it.

Tom 13

Re: but it's been a rocky road.

It's been a rocky road because instead of focusing on security they've been focused on forcing users into a new unified paradigm THAT DOESN'T WORK ON THEIR CORE MARKET SEGMENT.

We've been down this road four or five times now by my count. First Windows NT was going to be a new secure system. And for while it looked like it might be. But then they merged it with 95 base and blew that to hell. Then they put out SP2 for XP, which again "re-wrote" the MS security paradigm. And that was pointless. Then they released Vista with far too little engineering work on the essentials like drivers. Sure it was secure. Getting it to work was a miracle, changing anything was likely to break it. When they released Windows 7 we were all told that it had the security of the Vista kernel but it had fixed the driver problems. Mostly this was true, but once again IE broke the security.

Lenovo, EA, Intel unite to DESTROY our childhood memories

Tom 13

Re: So you'd be forced to play by the actual rules then?

Actually, the reason most people think Monopoly sucks is that they DON'T play by the official rules. Play by them and the game will end, frequently in under 2 hours.

I picked up the EA game for the PC a while back and can regularly win the game on all levels, usually in under 45 minutes.

Tom 13

Re: you haven't played a real board game...


Try Titan


or if you can find a set of Second Edition rules with counters and book Star Fleet Battles


or better yet War in the Pacific and play the full war campaign


Sadly, I can't remember the name of the Avalon Hill game that was the mother of all nightmares and was completely unplayable until it came out for the Mac II. You were colonizing and conquering worlds (sf game) but you couldn't play it because of all the bookkeeping for production and development of ships.

FBI-wanted US bank hack suspect chills in Bangkok cooler

Tom 13

If what you said were true

it would be a good thing, but reality is the opposite.

Sir James Dyson slams gov's 'obsession' with Silicon Roundabout

Tom 13

Re: don't fabricate stuff here that much any more. Mostly what we do is design stuff,

As it has ever been with England. It might be a bit beyond your reckoning, but 200+ years ago, one of the undercurrents of revolution were fed by similar realities: England didn't grow much stuff, but it imported and processed much of it and made it difficult or illegal for its colonies to do likewise. You keep the high value work and farm out the low value work. It is the way of the world. Possibly because there are locations for which the "low value work" pays a rich man's wages in comparison to his country-mates.

First rigid airship since the Hindenburg enters trials

Tom 13

Re: can't remember the outcome..

The outcome was that it is plausible the skin was key to the way the Hindenberg went up, but it takes both the skin AND the hydrogen to get the disaster. Essentially the skin acts like a fast fuse while the hydrogen still provides the bulk of the explosive charge.

Anonymous turns private eye in Ohio rape case

Tom 13

Re: accomplices are libel

I think the word you are looking for is 'liable', as in this instance if it was 'libel' they would be innocent of all charges. The meaning of particular words is important.

Tom 13

Re: I'd shoot them if they did that to me.

And I'd acquit you if they brought you up on charges after you did so.

How an Amazon engineer's slip-up started a 20-hour Netflix cock-up

Tom 13

Re: Huh ?

Even AT&T has problems building elasticity that can handle losing a large chunk of their normal bandwidth. The expectation is for random single failures that account for maybe 1% of the load. They get good at dealing with those. But kill 25% instantaneously and the cascade failures start taking down the rest of the system. Sure they stress test it in a VM lab, but for some reason the real world never seems to work that way. And you rarely get real world

No it shouldn't be that way, but all too often it is.

Tom 13

Re: Sunday morning 6am>10am

Granted 6pm < 10 pm on Friday would probably be better depending on the business, that's still better than 4am>8am Monday morning.

Of course the guys I really feel sorry for are the point of sale vendors for fast food joints. My friend's migration schedule is always 3am to done with training before and after.

Anti-virus products are rubbish, says Imperva

Tom 13

Re: 2 - a gazillion programs

Prime evidence exhibits:

1. MS Visual Studio (any suite after VB6).

2. Adobe CS Suite - which is actually worse than MS Visual Studio. Not only does it require an account that must be administrative level, then you have to Run As Administrative account on the damn thing.

Yeah, I worked in a shop where we TRIED to lock it down to industry standards and abandoned it as a Sisyphean nightmare after we had to make changes for those applications.

Feeling poor? WHO took all your money? NOT capitalist bastards?

Tom 13

Re: since Maggie got booted out for remedial action.

Actually, that's your problem right there. Instead of recognizing how much good she did for you and the rest of the world, you've spent the last 20+ years remediating her actions instead of building on them to increase your productivity.

Sadly, you've been less efficient at it on your side of the pond than we've been on ours. With the result that while you might have started somewhat closer to the Cliffs of Financial Armageddon, it looks like we're going over before you do. Even more unfortunate for you, once we do, you haven't got a chance either.

Tom 13

Re: None of the above explains why I haven't

Then you mustn't be a very good engineer. I thought engineers were supposed to be good with logic and numbers.

Let's try a simpler example.

Say your company could afford a total compensation package for you of 10,000 units in 2008. Of that 10,000 units, they have to pay 3,000 units directly to the government in taxes. In addition they have to pay for certain things like insurance and workers compensation (non-cash benefits to you) in the amount of 2,000 units. That leaves you with 5,000 units in pay.

Now jump up to 2012 where the company can you 13,000 units. Meanwhile your benefits have gone up to 3000 units. And the taxes the company has to pay directly to the government have gone up to 5,000 units. That means you still only make 5,000 units in pay.

Tom 13

Re: how the distibuion of pay has changed

I'm sure you would, because that's part of the smoke and mirrors to keep you excited, and get you to the barricades where you can be used as canon fodder to advance the goals of the socialist dictators.

But if you're really looking for some enlightenment, perhaps you should study the materials at the following link:


Tom 13

Re: Public sector

Roads, healthcare, and education all started life as private services. And frankly only got bolluxed up after government seized them.

Tom 13

Re: obviously a good thing to bail them out;

You're right in that it wasn't an obviously good thing to bail them out. Problem is, we were expecting a bunch of incompetent boobs to come up with the correct solution.

There was a real problem in that the credit market was frozen and businesses which have become accustomed to using those markets for day to day operations couldn't switch to a cash basis quickly enough to themselves avoid bankruptcy. Remember, Lehman's assets were worth more than they were bought for, their problem was a short term cash crunch. If they could have funded themselves for another 90 days, they probably would still be an ongoing and profitable concern. They certainly would be if they could have secured funding for another year.

I don't know exactly what the right solution looks like, but it has to involve this: that when a company files for bankruptcy, while shareholders might be protected from losses beyond their immediate stock holdings, officers of it aren't. And those officers ought to include anyone in any Cx0 position for the last 10 years (exact term negotiable) even if he wasn't serving when the bankruptcy occurred.

Major new science: Women more nude, more often online

Tom 13

Re: I have never found porn on the internet by accident.

I'm reasonably certain my then 50 year old mother was NOT looking for porn when she did that search that set her active desktop wallpaper to a then popular porn site.

That I as an experienced web surfer would have expected that possibility when searching for "special girl" in an entirely different matter. (She was trying to search the local hard drive for a picture she had saved of my brother's wife. She put that in the description when she used some piece of cataloging software that came either with a camera or an inkjet printer.)

Tom 13

Re: journal of irreproducible results.


I'm pretty sure if somebody were to give me a $100,000 grant I could reproduce those results within an acceptable margin of error.

Tom 13

Re: Who'd have guessed

While I'll grant that probably accounts for a great deal more than the researchers attribute to it, some of them probably are women who would never be caught wearing clothing like that at home let alone in public. The real world has real, lasting consequences. Yes, men should control themselves, but wear clothing like that in public and your chances of being raped go up, so you don't do it. Act like a floozie and there are adverse consequences. In the virtual world none of that happens.

In a non-computer RPG I played once upon a time, the most conservative of the female players played a seductive floozie in game. In fact one of the funniest moments in our play happened when her character tried to seduce my uber-geek, no social skills character. She rolled a straight up success to seduce him. I said "Brooke looks up and says 'you're not a computer' and goes back to hacking away on his computer.' This was followed by me rolling a critical success and much laughter.

Another case study: Felica Day and The Guild. The character in the RPG is much more of a flirt than the character she plays in the script. Which mirrors her actions in real life. She may be happy to toss off an innuendo or three while talking on stage, but when some asks 'does the drapery match the curtains' he gets escorted out of the room (and probably by fans if security isn't fast enough).

Senator pushes data cap and ISP monitoring legislation

Tom 13

Re: Regarding the article

The devil is in the details and the feel good bits are there to take in chumps like you. Turning over to the FCC just guarantees the average citizen will be completely clueless and at the mercy of unaccountable fiends.

Tom 13

Re: the bill's "impingement on First Amendment rights" would be "guaranteed".

I'd like to disagree with you because if the bill did infringe on the First amendment, it is by definition unconstitutional. Unfortunately, given the string of recent rulings (Kelo, Obamacare), that no longer seems to be sufficient grounds for SCOTUS to act, so I can't.

Tom 13

Re: are inherent barriers of entry.

what history has proven is that the only inherent barrier to entry is government granting someone a monopoly. They can do it directly like they once did with AT&T, or they hide their actions in obscure regulations handled out of public site and manipulated by lobbyists and lawyers. Wyden's proposal clearly falls into the second category and duped like Ian fall for it all the time.

Tom 13

Re: as long as it benefits the general public

Nothing that is ever delegated to faceless apparatchiks benefits the public.

A law that requires companies to fully disclose their data caps (even the constantly adjusting ones based on how many standard deviations you are from the mean/median user) sure. But not turning it all over to the FCC who have no place on the internet.

Kickstarted mobe charger 'kicked to death by Apple'

Tom 13

Re: Licensing terms

Must not have because I spent three long years working for a company that protected the design for their plugs.

UK cops: How we sniffed out convicted AnonOps admin 'Nerdo'

Tom 13

Re: info in a court but NOT in a news conference!!

Court records are open records or the courts cease to serve their purpose. Might as well get a few kudos in public instead of just letting word spread on the back streets of the interwebs.

After Sandy Hook, Senator calls for violent video game probe

Tom 13

Re: with a broad similarity of culture

No, you don't. All of those cultures are much more prone to treat the citizen as subject than the citizen as supreme. Couple that change with some of the dreck from Hollywood, the violent video games, and a more generalized if it feels good do it attitude and you wind up with what we have. Also, while those societies may have the diversity across the spectrum, they don't have it within the region. Those territorial boundaries are important. And in Britain, those places where that cultural diversity is going up are precisely the flash points for more violence.

Tom 13

Re: being an accomplice at a time of national tragedy

Direct accomplice in the sense of ordering the CIA to find a nut job and set him loose on the school? No.

Accomplice in the sense that what happened is the inevitable result of their cumulative asinine policies? Absolutely. Politicians are supposed to take the time to sketch out those consequences before they advocate their policies, and we're supposed to hold them accountable when they don't. Unfortunately almost no politicians do the first, and we have too few citizens doing the second.

Tom 13

Re: Can they explain.

No, but they do make a difference, particularly when couple with the prevailing gun phobia from government elites.

There was a study done, don't remember who or where, and it came to one conclusion that in retrospect makes sense: video games train for higher kill ratios than we had before them. You get more points for kill shots in the games, so they train you to take those shots. I don't think that is grounds to ban them, but we do need to recognize the effect when working out how to protect people. The other part of course is that before the mass hoplophobia, you were likely to find guns on campuses. So for instance, on one college campus shooting incident a student was able to retrieve his rifle and kill the shooter before the body count went over 20.

The most important reform we won't get. All of these mass killers (from the Texas Bell tower shooter through Columbine, and now Newton) exhibited pronounced signs of depression, anger, and desire to kill lots of people. What's needed is a better ability/requirement for psychologist/psychiatrists to commit these disturbed people to secure facilities to deal with their issues.

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