* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

After Sandy Hook, Senator calls for violent video game probe

Tom 13

Re: Can we stop calling him a kid...

If progressives like Neil McAllister admit that he wasn't a kid, they lose one of their emotional hooks to override logic in their jihad against guns. Just like they ignore that according to the Brady Center Connecticut has the 5th best gun controls in the nation. And amongst the states which surround it, 3 rank higher and only Vermont below the median for the country. So "tough" gun controls didn't help any of those kids one damn bit.

In fact, Wayne Pierre was right: there was only one thing that was going to stop that punk from killing more kids: an armed adult who was already inside the building, prepared and equipped to shoot the S.O.B on sight. Yes, posting armed police officers inside every school would bust already over-burdened government budgets, so that's not really an answer either. But it might point at one that would work: allowing teachers and/or faculty at schools to carry weapons. Concealed carry holders seems like a good point from which to start. Based on police statistics they are more law abiding than your average citizen in the first place. Couple that with appropriate training requirements and you can probably accomplish the same goal at an affordable cost to the government. The only obstacle to this rational solution is the inordinate fear of guns from people like Neil. And apparently most Brits too even though your own current experiences should inform you otherwise.

Kickstarted mobe charger 'kicked to death by Apple'

Tom 13

Re: Licensing terms

Patent =/= Frand. If I patent something and refuse to give you a license to use it in your product, that's tough shit. You didn't invent it, you have no right to steal my idea and profit from it. You can argue I would make more money selling it to you than only producing parts myself. You might even be correct in that assertion. But UNTIL my patent EXPIRES, you have NO RIGHT TO MAKE SOMETHING WHICH DEPENDS UPON IT.

Which is part of why the time to expiration on patents and copyrights is critical to the healthy life cycle of intellectual property. It only joins the commons at that point. It needs to balance benefiting the inventor with benefiting society. Once it may have been off balance in favor of society to the detriment of inventions, but right now it is out of whack in favor of inventors (or at least the people who buy off the inventors) to the detriment of both society and additional invention.

Tom 13

Re: lightning connector isn't FRAND

Then I guess Apple need to be glad Google are there to protect them from becoming a monopoly. Otherwise they'd be in MS IE-style anti-trust territory.

Tom 13

Re: professional news sites.

I found El Reg when ZDNet shutdown AnchorDesk (I presume because like El Reg, they weren't necessarily friendly to the professional bs feeders employed by the major vendors). Similar shit seems to have happened with Tom's Hardware which use to be a good reliable site without overdone advertising.

I guess what I am saying is you can keep your "professional news sites," I'll stick with straight shooters. Even when I tend to fundamentally disagree with their politics.

Baby got .BAT: Old-school malware terrifies Iran with del *.*

Tom 13

Re: FAT doesn't mean "Windows 95 or older"

bitch, bitch, bitch.

Somebody goes and assumes something positive about a Windows Admin and all you can do is complain.

Yes, technically you can use FAT on all those other systems. But no competent Admin ever would, so yes, FAT means Windows 9x in the practioner's world.

Tom 13
Black Helicopters

Re: was done to obscure the act

and depending on how cocky you are, you might even have compromised the data 6 months ago and now moved your penetration work elsewhere, so it's useful to redirect attention to a past infiltration location where they might waste even more precious time.

Tom 13

Re: communist conspiracy?


You do realize Marx was a freeloading Brit right?

Tom 13

Re: it's the encryption

Well, that's a part of it. But in the case of Iran, there's more to it than that. Remember there are also sanctions based on human rights violations. Note that I'm not claiming the sanctions have any chance of improving the situation, just that the US government has an additional restriction on them.

Tom 13

Re: Iran

I expect that after a quick call to the CIA the State Dept will be more than happy to issue an export license through specially chosen suppliers.

Penguin gives in to US Feds over ebooks

Tom 13

Re: How?

See icon.

They've seen what yaks like you post about the RIAA, so they're just acting pre-emptively.

Tom 13

Re: What price discount in an electronic marketplace

All of what you wrote is true, which is why I don't have a problem with Apple's 'Most Favored Nation' clause in the contract. They started with no knowledge of how to price e-books and their only concern is that they not be undercut by competitors on the price they have to pay to the publisher to buy the book. As long as they know they are making their $0.99 or $1.29 per download, they're competing on the reader and their infrastructure for supporting the downloads.

Now, if the publishers then get together and collude to set ebook prices, that's a whole different story. Albeit much more difficult to investigate and prove.

Tom 13

Re: This sounds weird

It's not so much a date as a financial limit factored with legal advice, and it applies to all sides. If it is only going to cost $100,000 to fight a $4 million fine with a high chance of winning, you do it. When you get to $1 million to fight with a $2 million fine and a low chance of winning, you may change your tune if you can cut a deal where you don't admit guilt to make it all go away. When the numbers are equal, it's time to cut your losses. The numbers will differ depending on region. The tricky part is, the government is running a similar calculation based on their budgets, and you need to factor that into your plans as well. Remember, for a business, it's not so much about right or wrong, it's about the dollars, pounds, Euros, etc. (depending on localization).

Next IPCC climate assessment due 2014 now everywhere online

Tom 13

Re: just an interested reader, and enjoy the balance

Given that Andrew has posted almost as many skeptical articles as Lewis, but doesn't generate the hate mail, I find that a very curious statement to make.

File-sharing mom begs US Supremes to void bloated RIAA fine

Tom 13

Re: implying there was no direct financial loss to them or their stakeholders

There is no such implication. The best you can manage is that the PR value of donating $25K is worth more to the company than the competing fines.

Tom 13

Re: Riddle me this

Because jury selection is even more perverse. Only the least competent are allowed to hear cases.

Tom 13

Re: Has this selfish woman

The selfish woman hasn't cost the US anything. If she couldn't afford the fine, she couldn't afford the lawyers either. Someone else paid that bill. Probably one of Soros's tendrils.

That being said, she certainly has a reasonable claim for the court to adjudicate.

Tom 13

Re: What really happened?

Actually, if you have even a cursory knowledge of the law and read the Reg article, you'll know how the jury reached the fines they did. Key word: Kazaa. That makes it piracy and distribution under the law. When the original statutes were written piracy and distribution meant you had an illegal factory somewhere that pressing vinyl (you do remember vinyl don't you?). Which meant you were running a serious criminal organization and fines on the order of $8,000 to $50,000 per track were not only reasonable, but probably far less than damage inflicted.

Should the laws be updated? Probably but I'm truthfully conflicted on the point of how. On the one hand, I don't want to see a typical mother thrown under the bus for 24 songs. On the other hand, given the nature of digital media and the internet, that otherwise innocent mom has the potential to inflict even more damage than criminal enterprise did in yesteryears who were at least limited by geographic transportation adn distribution issues.

Dexter malware targets point of sale systems worldwide

Tom 13


"...running Windows Server, which makes it unlikely that the malware was installed using typical social-engineering or drive-by web download methods."

I have a bud who does POS work for a franchise of a well known fast food chain. Each of their stores has a Windows server for the 4 to 8 PCs being used for the POS system in the rest of the store. While some of the maintenance is done remotely, because of their hours and "criticality" from time to time they have to have to call the local shop and have either the owner or on duty manager login to the system and be eyes and hands. You know the type - they'd call to get the cup holder fixed. do you REALLY think just because it's a SERVER it's IMMUNE to social engineering and drive-byes?

UN's 'bid to wrestle control of internet' stalled by asterisk

Tom 13

Re: Check your assumptions

Sorry, all governments quintessentially have that power. The trick is configuring your government so it is normally intrinsically fighting with itself instead of against its people and at the same time allowing it to configure itself so it can act as a unified whole when there is an existential threat to the people.

Tom 13

Re: "stalled by asterisk"

So what you're saying is that once again we will be Saved by Zero...

Tom 13

Re: who are earning so little that they actually need state assistance

they're not ALL earning so little, most are just too fucking lazy with too much self importance to take a job doing honest work for honest wages. Besides, they voted for The Big 0 so he owes them more free stuff. Greed and avarice are always the downfall of any nation. Problem is, when we have asshats like you redefine greed and avarice as a human necessity, the greediest and most avarice don't get the correction needed to right the nation.

Guatemalan judge orders McAfee released from detention

Tom 13

Re: Illegally detained?

Yeah that got me too. If he didn't cross the border at a check point where the Guatemalans checked his papers, he WAS in the country illegally and they have the right (and actually I'd say DUTY) to detain him. He could have cooled his heels in a nice safe jail cell until the authorities had it sorted out and his safe harbor claim was adjudicated.

Tom 13

Re: According to him

You can drink that kool-aid if you want to. But a thinking person asks exactly what Psyx did: If you had $100M US and discovered you were living in a thoroughly corrupt country, wouldn't you move out? I mean I get the peasants with no money are stuck in the hellhole, but this guy can buy his own island somewhere and do whatever he wants. So why live in a corrupt country for longer than it takes to get your passport, visa, and plane tickets in order?

Worldwide Gmail crash was due to Google Sync bug

Tom 13

Re: "There is WRONG in the cloud. "

I am reminded of the old joke that to err is human but to really foul it up you need a computer. I think the computer is to the cloud as the human is to the computer.

Elon Musk's solar energy biz scraps IPO liftoff at last minute

Tom 13

@Yet Another Anonymous coward

Even better, I'd rather have the money to be able to naked short either of them.

John McAfee on a plane to America

Tom 13
Black Helicopters

@mutatedwombat: What?

Julian Assange is an alien zombie sent to infiltrate the CIA?

Okay, I can buy the alien zombie bit, but WHY would they want to infiltrate the CIA?

And does that make McAfee the 'good' alien who has been sent to stop the nefarious plot?

Goldman Sachs: Windows' true market share is just 20%

Tom 13

Re: Exactly the opposite of what happened 15, 20 years ago:

Actually, that wasn't what happened 25 years ago when PCs started moving into offices.

Before the IBM PC with MS DOS there was a largely hetero environment of hardware and software. Granted in the home tinkerer market CPM was the big player, but you could find damn near anything. And what those home tinkerers found was that they could hack together stuff they couldn't get out of the mainframe boys so they tried to bring their home systems into the office. But when they did so, the Office Guardians of the Corporate Culture said no (for reasons that are well outlined in a recent El Reg article and which have been biting us on the ass in the non-mainframe world for quite a while now). And IBM looked out and saw they were not getting a piece of that pie. So they said 'Let us enter this market and reap while the reaping is good, but note that it cannot be sustained, so don't waste a lot of R&D money on it.' And the minions went forth and spent no R&D money on it and built the first IBM PC. And when the home tinkerers saw it, it was too expensive to buy for home use. But it was an IBM, and they knew that the Office Guardians would say 'It is an IBM, it is good.' And thus they wer able to get their home program brought into the office and accomplish certain things more quickly, but without the coordination truly large organizations require. And as the IBM PC was adopted in some offices other offices saw that they were at a certain type of disadvantage so they adopted them too. And thus the IBM PC came to dominate the Business World. But then Compaq had a vision. In this vision they saw that because there was no R&D money spent on the IBM PC and there was no sales support money either, there were no patents protecting the hardware and the specs had openly been publishes. So they set about making compatible hardware based on the specs, but at a cheaper price. And they needed the same OS, so they went to Microsoft who granted unto them the same license that had been sold to IBM. From that line eventually came the affordable, and then the cheap home computer. And it spread like wildfire across the civilized world until MS was the monoculture of personal computing.

The only reason to buy Microsoft is because everyone else has been buying Microsoft. This isn't new and has been true for the last 15 years. It is the same reason MS has had problems moving away from their DOS base. (Hell, we have a critical app here that still depends on an 8-bit DOS app that the programmers can't find a replacement for.) The advent of pure consumer consumption devices doesn't change that. Goldman Sachs hasn't discovered anything, and they are likely wrong about their assertions.

Forget fluorescents, plastic lighting strips coming out next year

Tom 13

Re: I started replacing my incandescents as they failed.

Based on the power savings argument, I was an earlier adopter of CFLs. I found I needed to purchase at least one level above the equivalent light level for an incandescent for them to be useable, the lifetime wasn't as long as promised, and the damn things frequently don't fit in my existing light fixtures. I shouldn't have had to replace any of them yet, but most have been replaced at least once.

So when the ban was announced I started stocking up on incandescent bulbs. I figure I have a 2-3 year supply for our main light fixtures. But not for the candelabra type fixture over the dining room table. And while I can tolerate the noise from most fluorescents the racket from those bulbs is intolerable. Even the damn LEDs hum.

I doubt it has much to do with "the greedy bastards in business" and everything to do with the clueless bastards in government. The manufacturing process for those things isn't cheap. And all of them necessarily include the ballast element that would otherwise be part of the light fixture instead of the bulb.

UK climate expert warns of 3-5 degree warmer world by 2100

Tom 13

@Sean O'Connor 1

It's NomNomNom. After reading his threads on previous posts I 've concluded he doesn't know anything except talking shit, is impervious to actual logic, and is thoroughly unschooled in basic scientific principles. But he is a FIRM believer in AGW. Best be careful or he'll send the inquisitors to wring the truth out of you.

Tom 13

Re: ...by removing CO2 before combustion...

Me thinks if one removes the C before combusting oil, gas, or especially coal, one has pretty much lost the point of the exercise.

Linux kernel dumps 386 chip support

Tom 13

Re: The joys of open software

I'd wager that 3 years from now Linux will still have better support for the 386 than MS does for DOS 6.12.

Tom 13

Re: 486?

Ah, but 386 motherboards had a cool feature modern boards don't: an clock circuit that kept accurate time. I think they only disappeared with the advent of the Pentium. My first employer use to look for them because he could pick them up and sell the clock circuits to a client who repurposed them.

Tom 13

@Charles 9

Shirley you must be mistaken! Everyone knows there were no computer until St. Jobs descended from the iCloud with the iPad.

Microsoft's anti-Android Twitter campaign draws ire, irony

Tom 13

Re: game makers can perform a cranial rectal extraction from MS

Actually, on this one it's the Linux advocates who need to extract their heads from their rectums and recognize what MS has done right for game makers. I have a friend who did programming work on the Mass Effect games (I'm not personally into twitch games so I haven't played it, but the rest of my friends who are do seem to like it). For at least one project he was working on they started with the thought that they ought to develop it for Linux, just for the Coolness Factor(TM). What they found was a mess of unusable tools for game development whereas MS has fully developed suites that let them focus on programming the games instead of developing IDEs to program games. After several months of trying they gave up and went back to MS.

Tom 13

Re: Linux is the thing you install on your desktop

No Linux is installed primarily in two places: internet facing servers and consumer devices where a truly customizable OS is a requirement. And it pretty much dominates those two markets. I'd note that as far as malware is concerned, those internet facing servers are far juicier targets than the average desktop. They'll have hundreds/thousands/millions of users instead of dozens/hundreds you get with the typical Windows desktop.

So the lack of compromised Linux machines is a testament to all three of it's strengths: better underlying architecture vis a vie built in security; better exploit found to patch release times; and last but not least seriously vigilant admins taking care of the stuff.

GPU-stuffed monster cracks Windows passwords in minutes

Tom 13

@Kobus Botes: I've worked at a couple of places now that have lock out policies

and have never had the kind of lockout problems you describe.

For one, it's crap security to leave usernames onscreen if you're changing passwords that frequently.

The only issue we ever had was what to do for the dweebs working on the weekend when helpdesk is 8x5. That's a simple fix too. You get x tries in 60 minutes or it locks. Once it locks, you're out for 15 to 60 minutes, at which point the account automatically unlocks again. It's enough to keep the bad guys out of the system, not so bad people can't work.

My actual nightmare is SSO with McAfee EE. Users update the EE pw thinking its an AD pw. At which point you have to reset both, login as yourself, and synch EE. About a 20 minute process per user. We have about 20 regulars. But that will be going away soon. Turning off SSO for other reasons.

Tom 13

Re: I'm confused why anyone would want to determine a local user

Because you fail to have a sufficiently vivid imagination.

The point is to access the system without the vic knowing he's been pwned. That way you can act as him and continue nefarious activity, possibly compromising other accounts/systems on the network. Changing the password on him might just alert folks to what you're up to. Especially in Windows shops these days, the only local user account will be the local admin. Which is nominally a well guarded secret and changes ever 30/60/90 days. So the help desk KNOWS when that's been changed away from what it is supposed to be.

In point of fact, that's exactly what got a programmer fired at a former employer's. He downloaded a Russian cracker, changed the local password, and used it to access things including his ultimate goal, the SA password on one of the live servers for the software he was developing (he was allowed full reign on test and almost full reign on Dev). One day we needed to setup his PC for a presentation elsewhere, and nobody from the HD could log in. When we did get in, we found the crack program and told the CIO. He was on paid leave until the CIO had banged on enough heads to update HR policy at which point he was summarily fired.

Tom 13

Re: I wonder...

So 20 years should do it then...

US drops ‘net regulation bombshell, threatens WCIT exit

Tom 13

Re: Boggles

Nothing mind boggling about it. The Big 0 in the big white house is a power hungry maniac like most of the third world dictators, so he wants all the power for himself. He's a bit more constrained then they are because he couldn't/didn't seize power in a straight up military coup, but the motives are the same.

Tom 13

Re: Their deaths

Significant nit with the word "given." Our Declaration makes it pretty clear those rights were "given" by our Creator, not by the deaths of patriots. Those patriots secured them, which isn't exactly the same thing. Given the rest of your statement, and a careful re-reading of your first, I think you meant "given" in the context of "secured" but given the way leftists have raped and continue to rape the language, we few defenders of the old ways need to be precise with our language.

Tom 13

Re: What is so wrong with how it is working now"

Complete control in a single entity, at least in the earthly sphere, has never resulted in anything good. The best we've managed is ordered liberty for a short time by dividing control amongst competing branches of government. Even that is now failing.

Tom 13

Re: It's about standards, not censorship

Having watched some standards arguments, I've learned that most standards arguments aren't really about technical merits, they're driven by some other consideration. Most of the time it's really over whose production ox is going to get gored, but it can be about control and/or censorship.

I might be persuaded that you personally would put forward the best technical solution to implement those services. But inherent in the ability to inspect the packet is the ability to censor the packet or monitor it for the RIAA or MIAA or whatever the hell the movie people call themselves. And regardless of where you come down on the question of freetards downloading their entertainment from bit torrents on the Interwebs, that's a question that has to be carefully addressed, not blithely dismissed with the shout of 'it's only about the standards."

Apple share dive scuppers trader's alleged get-rich-quick fraud scam

Tom 13

Re: Shorting is Theft and Fraud in one neat package

No, it depends on how you do it. In some instances it's a hedge. In fact, if you look at the overall markets and where the short sale actually originates, you'll see that properly used, they benefit the littlest guy in the market. They were originally used by farmers and distributors for farmers in the futures market. When you liked the price because it let you make budget, you'd lock in the money you were making by shorting for what you were selling. That way, regardless of what the price did AFTER the short, you'd make the money the short locked in.

That shorts can be abused with naked shorts on borrowed money is a defect of changes we've made to the system, not the short itself. And I've seen arguments that even the naked short helps clear the market. Not sure I believe them, but I do believe some of the people who've made that case are honest people.

Record €1.47 BEELLION EC fine for price-fixing display cartels

Tom 13

Re: How does the fine benefit you?

First, (granted I might have missed it), but the last time I checked for either a tv or a computer monitor, I didn't see any CRTs. So this fine didn't stop a damn thing.

Second, if they still made more money than the fines took away, no they won't. Given that having to pay out more than they cartel netted them over a ten year period would have a severe adverse impact on the company's revenues (even if they don't go bankrupt immediately, likely to have a run on the stock which is bad for the EU) I doubt they were fined more than they netted.

Third, I doubt the EU numbers are better than the US numbers. Over here for every dollar of increased revenue the politicians spend two.

Tom 13

Re: was Trinitron tube based.

I'd wager you're still owed money. The odds that the cartel didn't affect your price even from a non-participant of the cartel are diminishingly small.

Tom 13

Re: Bread machine

While the post might be true, it is completely irrelevant.

Besides which, we now* all know the reason for the high cost of a loaf of bread is the unions, not the government per se.

*Hostess Bakery bankruptcy.

Musk's SpaceX gets foot in door of US secret 'black' space program

Tom 13

Re: Just because spy sats are expensive

I'm pretty sure in this context "where the big bucks are" means a steady cash flow for Musk as opposed to the jerk around funding of NASA. As to the one per year bit, that's one per year we know about. There's a reason they call these things 'secret'.

Frenchmen's sperm plunges by a third in quality and quantity since '89

Tom 13

Re: du de le lo la la la

You have just provided multiple examples of why the rest of us can regard this lowered sperm thing as a Good Thing(TM) as regards the French.

Google's ethics, cosy UK.gov chats under Westminster scrutiny

Tom 13

Re: Only "licensed" when they want it to be...


If what the music industry sold me was a real honest to good license, it wouldn't be a problem. The issue is that they want to sell me manufactured goods under the guise of a license and use what's best for them and worst for me on both parts of the deal.

If the music industry wants to get a sympathetic hearing, they're first going to have to listen to consumers with a sympathetic ear. Does this mean indies get trod under foot by fighting giants? Yes it does. Unfortunately, there's no way to stop that. I know for damned sure the industry proposals won't help them.

Tom 13

Re: too insignificant to pay a sensible amount of corporation tax

and as we keep trying to explain to you, regardless of the amount of the money that might be written on a check/cheque to the government from a corporation, the corporation hasn't paid any tax, the consumer did. Because as far as the shareholders and operators of the company are concerned there are only two things on the balance sheet: income and costs (taxes are just a particularly troublesome cost from both an accounting and legal perspective). And when income - costs < required normal profit it's time to close shop. Now even on a marginal basis, the corporation also incurs costs to collect those taxes, which in turn increases both the amount of normal profit they need to pay to investors as well as the actual cost they incur. Maybe this only results in a slight shift in the amount of work done for the company instead of the government at the company's expense, or maybe you're hiring a wing of FTEs to deal with it, but whichever it is it is an additional cost.

Which means there are really only two rational ways to collect taxes: property taxes and income taxes. Everything else is a sham meant to hide how much the government is taking from you at the point of a gun.

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