* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

French Skyper freed after accidentally hacking bank's phone system

Tom 13

Re: Unlucky guy dials...

He wasn't unlucky, he was trying to get something for free, and hence got into trouble. More trouble than he bargained for, and for an overstated charge. Therefore he is now free. But he wasn't some dude just standing at the bus stop that the cops mistakenly picked up for something he didn't do.

Facebook shares drop 10%, trip NASDAQ 'circuit breaker'

Tom 13

Re: National Lottery - It could be you! (but won't be)

Oh, and I like that in this context, the "You're not supporting a football team..." works on either side of the pond.

Tom 13

Re: National Lottery - It could be you! (but won't be)

Concur except for this bit:

Then you get surprising outcomes, such as Google+ not gaining traction despite Google's money and reputation.

If you take into account the real reputation of Google at the time it launched Google+, it follows that they didn't gain traction. Specifically, they were already being seen as a monopoly player is the advertising and selling personal information market. A web service where they can directly glean even more of your information was a non-starter.

Tom 13

Re: iFace

Apple buying FB is the only thing that could cause the stock to drop even faster. I don't buy Apple things because of Jobsian control of them. I'm willing to have an FB account because even though there is data risk, it isn't Apple. If Apple buy FB, I'm gone gone, not just inactive gone.

Tom 13

Re: Do any large companies still NOT block Facebook apart from as a manager perk?

Depends on the company and your position in the company. With Social Media now a key segment in the advertising field, many organizations and most companies feel the need to have a "presence" on FB. You can't do that if someone doesn't have access to it. Some even encourage employees to post as a means of raising the profile. Others focus on the time risk and block it.

Most biofuels fail green test: study

Tom 13

Re: Y'know...

Yes, but that's just being a capitalist pig! It's not being "Green."

NZ spooks acted unlawfully in Megaupload wiretap

Tom 13

Re: follow the law

While I generally concur with that statement, recognition must also be given to the fact that we reached the Robocop 2 point with "the law": it's become impossible to comply with all its contradictory rules. This has to be corrected before ANYBODY can comply with the law.

Microsoft issues IE 10 Flash flaw fix for Windows 8

Tom 13

Re: was not so deeply hooked into the OS

but if they did that, Mozilla could take them back to court for damages related to perjury on the Netscape settlement.

Tom 13

Re: only allowing IE to run on their machines.

It's not the policies that bother me, it's the internally developed APPS that require IE in order to run properly that bother me.

Our agency installs both IE and Firefox by default (no Chrome, but I expect that to change before the next 12 months are up), but certain critical apps are still only certified for IE. If they run in FF, great; but if you have a problem with FF, don't call their support line because it ain't supported.

Senate hears Microsoft and HP avoided billions in US taxes

Tom 13

Re: A counterexample:

bad counterexample. The US healthcare system isn't private and hasn't been since about 1942 when FDR turned it into a fascist collective. In a private healthcare system, consumers would buy their own health insurance according to their own perceived needs and pay for it from their own money. Instead, almost everyone gets it through their employer. Furthermore, the government requires hospitals to treat ANYONE who comes in with an emergency, so their costs get socialized to everyone, just not explicitly. The end result is nobody knows the real cost of anything (including the hospitals and doctors who cost shift from those who aren't paying to those who are) and nobody cares because "somebody else" is paying the bill.

Tom 13

Re: there is no such thing as "true profits"

Spoken a like a true consfiscationist. There most certainly is a true profit, and the CEO & CFO had damn well know where it is. Because if they don't they'll go bankrupt. Same thing OUGHT to apply to the people levying in the taxes, for much the same reasons. If the accountants can't figure it out, they should lose their licenses.

Tom 13

Re: I think the problem is

You don't have to just "think," at this point it's pretty much proven. Every year Forbes gives 10 accountants 3 sets of theoretical books and asks professional accountants to calculate the tax due. Every year they wind up with 10 different results, none of which match the "official" numbers they get by submitting the same data to the IRS.

Tom 13

Re: ...did you not comprehend?

It's not so much the article as much as it is recognizing that "the hack" and yourself are just as much lying sacks of shite as Levin is. You can't just look at the cost of US taxes, you have to look at the total tax the corporation pays. EVERY country EXCEPT the US permit corporations to deduct foreign taxes when they "repatriate" their money.

Microsoft: 'Update your security certs this month – or else'

Tom 13

Re: make an embarrassing post in my name

and in most cases, not actually your Name, but your Handle, like your Posting Name clearly indicates.

Tom 13

Re: Warning

Honestly, I think that would only delay deployment until they issue the hard block. All it would gain them would be the satisfaction of saying "we gave you six months of on-screen warnings that your certs needed to be fixed," but in a certain sense, they've already been warning for a year.

NASA working on faster-than-light drive capable of WARP TEN

Tom 13

Re: Warp is not a linear scale

It's Treknology. Meaning, it's whatever scale the writers need for the plot point this week. So I won't fault the author for making it mean what he needs it to mean in this article.

I love Star Trek as much as the next geek, but I do recognize it's limitations. I mean, do you REALLY think humans would ever encounter what is effectively a dead world with far more advanced technology that is easily readable (For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky, Spock's Brain) and not make a copy before running off? Or fail to record all of Earth's History (City on the Edge of Forever)? Or, given a transporter accident that regresses your physical age to 12-14 (Next Gen, don't recall title), not work with that accident to come up with a way to regress your physical age to 21-25? And let's not even get started on how badly they mangled the timeline with Enterprise.

Governments block YouTube over that video

Tom 13

Re: This is not about the video.

Minor nit: not a media created theory. This one comes straight from the loser in the White House on my side of the pond. The media are just enablers and supporters of the theory.

Tom 13

Re: Fanatics

Or maybe he already knows it and its you who have your head stuck so far up your arse you can't see it.

By your own definitions, there was a point at which Europe was woefully behind the Muslim world in technology. The only advantage Europe had over the rest of the world was Christianity. In fact, existing trade, knowledge, and political alliances were advantages for the Muslim world over the Christian one. Yet now we are light years ahead, plus we seem to have settled down into at least non-violent if not peaceful coexistence.

Tom 13

Re: Last week...

Last time I checked, there wasn't a single Christian Pastor/Minister/Bishop etc. who would publicly proclaim a Christian had a RELIGIOUS right to do those things. In fact, they'd pretty much tell the heathen he was going straight to Hell if he didn't repent.

Tom 13

Re: a few fanatics

IF it was only a FEW fanatics it wouldn't be a problem, just like the IRA wouldn't have been a problem for the police if THEY had only been a FEW fanatics.

IF it were only a FEW fanatics, the list of governments asking for it to be pulled wouldn't be EVERY self-identified Muslim country on the planet.

And continuing appeasement by claiming "it's only a FEW fanatics" won't help because they'll keep thinking they can get away with it.

Users told: Get rid of Internet Explorer (again)

Tom 13

Re: Its "super fast" yet on my PC I open it and it crashes

But I'll bet it crashes 10 times faster than it did on your old system, thus saving you time and money!

The perfect CRIME? New HTTPS web hijack attack explained

Tom 13

Re: "oh, we have secure email"

After that you went through with having your loan with them anyway?!?!?!???

I realize you probably had a significant chunk of time already invested with them, but I think I would have just walked away at that point. If they were that stupid with your application, what makes you think any of their other processes are better? Doubly true if they are just an originator who are going to resell your mortgage anyway, which unfortunately still seems to be the standard model even after the banking collapse.

Tom 13

Re: The more things change...

Yep. A wise man once said 'Security is not a state, it is a process.'

Error found in climate modelling: Too many droughts predicted

Tom 13

Re: Test Your Model

Minor nit:

When you can "predict" backwards with an acceptable degree of accuracy without applying epicycles or dragon migration trails, you then...

Tom 13

Re: positive-feedbackitis

It's actually worse than that. The models use formulas that don't have have corresponding real world phenomena because using those formulas makes the data sort of work, where as using the formula you'd get from the real world phenomena produces an obviously bad result. A mathematician friend of mine who works in the field doesn't see a problem with this approach as long as the model produces reasonably accurate predictive results. I do because it indicates that while we may have maths that are helpful, we understand nothing about the way the system really works. To me it's the ancient Greeks being able to chart where the planets would be even though they put the Earth at the center of the universe and thought heavy objects fell faster than light ones. I wouldn't have as much of a problem with it if the people behind the models would admit as much and work at getting a better understanding of the real physics involved rather than heading off on a political jihad.

Prof casts doubt on Stuxnet's accidental 'great escape' theory

Tom 13

Re: Prof is right?

I think the one weakness in both stories is:

Do we have the original infection virus? And how does it change over time?

At some point, even if you're a patriotic American, you have to assume the Iranians will realize something is happening to their network and go looking for it. At that point they WILL be able to capture a sample of it for analysis, re-engineer part of it, and fire it back at you. When they fire it back, do they:

a) have the resources to make it narrowly targeted like the initial release

b) care whether or not it is narrowly targeted

If the answers to either of those is 'no' then an internet vector is a logical choice for the re-engineered malware.

Profs: Massive use of wind turbines won't destroy the environment

Tom 13

Re: @Tom 13 It DOES necessarily follow that massive amounts need to be extracted.

Nobody but you counts nuclear as renewable. "Renewable" has always meant something you manufacture once, after which it continues non-polluting (on ALL counts) energy. It's actually one of the problems I have with "renewable energy" as a concept - the definition has always been based on unicorn fart philosophy - as in, if I had a unicorn fart, I could harness it to produce clean energy.

Nuclear should be a part of our overall energy strategy, particularly breeder plants. That doesn't mean we get to pretend they are "renewable clean." There are problems with it that need to be addressed, just like there are problems with oil, gas, geothermal, and wind. Page was obviously working within the renewable unicorn fart dream reference.

Tom 13

It DOES necessarily follow that massive amounts need to be extracted.

I learned it as the First Law of Thermodynamics. And even "deniers" don't claim we don't use "massive amounts of energy."

The question is, "what effect if any does the extraction have on the environment."

Viewsonic 22in Android 'tablet' hands-on review

Tom 13

"We believe the future will be..."

I hate it when executives come out with these blanket statements. It's part of what is wrong with the tech industry right now. Everybody is trying to put the whole market in their little monopoly corner. What fired the tech industry in its golden age was that it was whatever the USER wanted it to be, not what some marketing dweeb thought gave them the best shot at monopolizing the market.

It seems to me there is a place for tablets, a place for PCs, a place for desktops, and yes, even a place for pure media consumption devices. And as the great architect once said, "form follows function" so the size, shape, OS, and interface needs of each device can and should change to maximize the function of the device.

Don't get me wrong. It looks like an interesting device. Not one I'm likely to buy, but interesting and I can see where it would be good for some people. And there's nothing wrong with them saying exactly that.

E-publisher 'fesses up: 'Apple UDIDs were ours'

Tom 13

Re: otoh, if it is a real and non fronting company...

Depends on when they knew about it. And frankly, if they only discovered they'd been breached after the Pastebin drop, that worries me even more.

HTC's 4G patent beef could get iPhone 5 BANNED in US

Tom 13

Re: Funny how those who moan about Apple going for bans

You need to look up "schadenfreude." You might also find it helpful to talk to your therapist about projection issues.

Why is the iPhone so successful? 'Cause people love 'em

Tom 13

This survey is comparing apples and orange juice.

Not even apples and oranges mind you, apples and orange JUICE. Apple don't make phones other than iPhones. And no other vendors make iPhones. Google make Android, but don't make the phones. Samsung, HTC etc don't make Android, but sell phones using the Android OS made by Google.

JDPower surveys use to mean something. But apparently they've been bought off by Apple.

FCC to TV broadcasters: Ready, set ... give your spectrum up

Tom 13

Re: just forcing everyone into pay-TV

Urban areas were the first to move to cable because broadcast was shit for reception. Too many possibilities for too much steel between you and the source, or other interference.

Tom 13

Re: Seems to work for governments when they want a highway put through your house.

Or even if they just want to transfer your land to another private industry that will pay more taxes.

Oracle hits reboot on Itanium software development

Tom 13

Re: Oracle permanently damaged HP's HP-UX market.

This is the key statement courts are going to have to deal with eventually. Oracle aren't the first, and they won't be the last. MS did it to Netscape.* And I'm sure it happened before that as well. There are certain instances where what ought to be a symbiotic relationship between companies can be manipulated by one and only one of the partners to its advantage. And once the action is done, the other partner can't recover because in the two to three years it takes the case to move through the court system, the software market has moved through two to six generations of hardware and software.

*Whether or not you think Netscape was a GOOD implementation of wc3 standards or not, it was the dominant player until MS illegally leveraged their market, even if the courts couldn't quite understand the issue.

Climate denier bloggers sniff out new conspiracy

Tom 13

Re: was not a fan of the GOP side of the force.

True. But I'm pretty sure he'd HATE the crap in this alleged "scientific study" even more. And for precisely the reasons outlined above.

Tom 13


Leave the troll alone. He's just found a new term and he doesn't know what it means so it must be evil. Progressives are like that.

I'm not a libertarian myself, but I know what the term means and I respect their logical faculties.

Tom 13

Re: Must resist, must resist!..... Cannot resist

But there is good news: Paranoid schizophrenics outnumber their enemies at least 2 to 1!

Tom 13

Re: reasons for doubting the statistics.

If the questions are garbage, the statistics are irrelevant. I just read the survey, and the questions are garbage. The head shrinkers had an axe to grind, so the survey will produce that result.

Tom 13

Re: This could've been an interesting take on the story...

Wowsers! I love this one:

7. The Iraq War in 2003 was launched for reasons other than to remove WMD from Iraq

1 S Agree 2 Agree 3 Disagree 4 S Disagree

Unlike most El Reg Posters, I support the 2003 Iraqi invasion, and even I'd Strongly agree with that statement. Saying anything else would be to focus on a single sentence out of 100s from the UN speech. Certainly doesn't make me a conspiracy theorist.

Mozilla dumps iOS, pulls Firefox Home from iTunes Store

Tom 13

Re: @AlbertH

I wouldn't say there is ZERO innovation at Apple. They do innovate, just not as much as they market themselves to. They did pretty much create the smart phone market (not the mobile phone, just the smart phone). But that doesn't mean they get to keep it all to themselves.

On the court case: 1) It isn't over. It will be appealed, I 70% expect all the way to SCOTUS. 2) I don't think it was Mom and Apple Pie vs slanty-eyed foreigners. I think it was: non-taxable money vs taxable money. The case was tried in California, where the government is greedy for money, and the local fools don't realize none of the Apple money will ever make it home to be taxed in the first place.

Tom 13

Re: @DougS

1) 70% is sufficient for regulation.

2) I think I can argue that its the Apps market that makes the smart phone/tablet markets valuable, therefore they constitute a relevant market. More importantly are in the early growth part of their curve. The PC curve was probably farther along than tablets, which makes anti-competitive behavior even more problematic.

3) Given 2 Apple is leveraging their legally held OS monopoly into the Apps market.

The essentials of the argument are the same. After that it all depends on whether or not you think the MS case was justly settled. On that count, while I believe MS rode roughshod over the law and the markets in the case, at the end of they day they did say one true thing in their defense: the way the government tried the case was more about putting the government in charge of MS OS development than it was about restoring balance to the market place. So on balance MS winning was less bad than the government winning. But it never leaves a good taste in the mouth when you are settling for the lesser of two evils.

FBI says Apple ID heist claim is TOTALLY FALSE

Tom 13

Re: Should be easy to check..

It is, the FBI did, and they provided the answer.

But that won't stop a Birther from claiming The Big 0 was born in Kenya, and it won't stop this silliness either.

Sci-Fi fans blow stacks at copybot attacks

Tom 13

Re: Is this not merely yet more evidence to the effect


The problem of course is that in the current situation, the rewrite would be done by the same people who gave us the current situation. Only this time, without the hinderence of historical precedents.

Tom 13

Re: Huh?

the only way to present a LIVE event is to stream it to the people who want to watch it and can't be there. The awards at the convention proper probably went off without a hitch.

Fail for a complete failure to understand plain English (and in this instance it really doesn't matter WHICH side of the pond you are on).

Markets to remain glutted with rapidly-depreciating Facebook shares

Tom 13

Re: F***

I doubt it. Frankly, it's the easiest way to get FB on a firm financial footing. Everything else is possible, but long odds. Long odds are even harder to beat as a publicly traded company than a private one.

Tom 13

Re: can partially compete w Google.

NOBODY can compete, even partially, with Google in the ad space.

Yes, they have potentially valuable information, but I have to concur with the previous poster, FB's best shot at making money is to figure out how to leverage that information for purchasing, which would give them something to leverage against the other shopping sites. Mind you, that doesn't mean their best shot has better than 50/50 odds. In fact, I'd peg them at closer to 20/80 and then only IF they get moving on it soon.

Tom 13

Re: "Facebook needs to get a direction "

If you regard the initial valuation as the "insider trading" it could be comparable. One of the reasons we have the current regulatory regime is to inhibit market manipulations from such insider trading. When we get under the rubic of clean and fair assessment from the regulator it is double bad.

Tom 13

Re: it does look like deliberate market manipulation with the blessing of the SEC.

Yep, which is why I would support a lawsuit from the shareholders.

Tom 13

Re: "con men at the top"

Investing in the stock market is a RISK, not a gamble. A risk can be hedged by proper planning, prior experience at launching new companies, and other things. Yes a new business that doesn't produce anything has a much higher risk than anything else that I can think of in the market. BUT, the people pricing and backing the offering still have a FIDUCIARY RESPONSIBILITY to the investors who will buy the IPO and the company offering the IPO. I don't like roulette wheel lawsuits, but in this instance I would fully support IPO purchasers pursuing an obviously bungled offering. It is time to start holding the charlatans accountable. I might even be willing to grant some leeway for purchasers in the first week or two bringing similar suits, although much after that and I think we get beyond the bounds of common sense.

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