* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Microsoft's dumpster-diver partner strategy is rubbish

Tom 13

Re: it has to be a merger

Right! Because mixing fire and water in equal parts is always good for both fire and water!

/end sarc

Tom 13

Re: 3 problems...

Fourth Problem:

JS envy: Their product isn't Apple, and they shouldn't try to be. Their product is what IBM use to be: not cool but business bread and butter. It needs to conform to cross-platform standards, but it doesn't need to look like Apple. From the scuttlebutt so far, Windows 8 looks like it may rival Windows 98ME for the title of Epic Failure.

Jury retires for weekend in deadlock in Oracle-v-Google verdict

Tom 13

@AC 7-May-12 01:07 GMT

You fail lawyering 001. The first and most important consideration in preparing for a case is knowing the court in which it will be tried. As this case is being tried between two American companies in an American court, your quote is irrelevant.

Six of the best ways to mess up IT change management

Tom 13

@tfewster: Given the capitalized IF, I'd have to say

you've been a lucky bastard too.

Many organizations can't even afford a PHB for a PM let alone one who knows how to do his job.

Tom 13

Re: delivery of business tools

At my last job the customers were always complaining about the delivery of business tools. Problem was, they never wanted to PAY for them* and the first budget cut was always IT.

*In one instance someone got a special deal on an application software upgrade but failed to read the server requirements. We didn't have any servers on which it could be installed, and getting their required pretty much upgrading all the server software because that particular mix of MS Server software didn't play well together. So yeah, we got about 4 of the 6 article items in one shot.

MSFT kicks Chinese partner over security leak

Tom 13

Re: Gratuitous Capitalization

It is amanfromMars post. As far as I have been able to tell, he does consistently follow his own rules and rarely even makes a typo. As for the "not well in the head," he seems to get on pretty well with reality, so the real question is whose head?

Greenland glaciers not set to cause disastrous sea level rises - study

Tom 13

@Pascal Monett

Well that well reasoned public post is certainly going to disqualify YOU from getting any grants in the future.

More's the pity, since people like you OUGHT to be the ones making the grants.

Software functionality not subject to copyright: EU court

Tom 13

Re: Speaking as a developer...

Not just the US. I worked for a US company and the French provably abused one of our patents, so that's a two way street. Device was a pulse damper for a single piston pump that had a separated reservoir for the compressible fluid. Ours was round, theirs was V-shaped. But as any student of basic physics knows, the shape is irrelevant to the compressibility of the fluid, and that's where the innovation for the device was. Previous techniques in the industry simply used a longer tube to generate a dead load to damp the pulse.

Now, whether or not either of those innovations were non-obvious is a whole different question.

Tom 13

Re: oh if only...

The problem there is that patents are MEANT to temporarily protect new ideas. The crux of the issue is that "new" in this context should imply "non-obvious" and the functionaries who collect money for showing up at the US patent office are incapable of turning down obvious solutions.

Symantec- where next

Tom 13

The problem with paying dividends is they are a US based company

and the taxes kill you. Once as income for the company, then a second time as income for the person owning the stock.

Frankly, with the IT market maturing I expect a lot of other companies to be facing Symantec's dilemma in the near future.

Star Trek's Wesley Crusher blasts Google+ landgrab

Tom 13

Re: He's been in Eureka a few times, too.

I got to see him and most of the Eureka cast at DragonCon in 2011. He was funny as hell. At one point during the panel Wheaton said he was disappointed nobody had yet asked him to sign their boob. Without missing a beat Colin Ferguson asked somebody to give Wil a pen and started taking off his shirt. It was one of the best panels I've ever seen at an sf convention.

'Oppressive' UK copyright law: More cobblers from IP quangos

Tom 13

@David Hicks re: US Fair use

I concur. Unless AC's piece were used by the same outfit and the contract under which it was originally written specified that they had unlimited use of the work, under the facts as he presented them he would have won the case. And I expect that had my exception been operative, he would have lost in the UK as well.

Tom 13

@AC Re: @David Hicks

Their lawyer can spew all the bullshit he wants to. If it had been taken to court here the same facts would have prevailed and you would have won.

The shame here is that such shenanigans are not routinely referred to The Bar so that the shameless hucksters are removed from the pool of available lawyers.

Tom 13

Re: Fashion business

Yeah, I'd like to see you try to sell something from Gucci that wasn't made by Gucci in NYC.

If you make a clear rip-off of a protected design from a manufacturing facility in the US, you'll wind up in the pokey PDQ. Now, how many points of variation you need before it becomes yours is something a well-paid lawyer can spew about for hours.

Fashion moves so quickly because it has nothing to do with science and everything to do with emotion. One evolves slowly from established facts, the other can change as quickly as you change, well, your clothes.

Tom 13

Re: Historical references

Well, there is one I'd think most Brit and 'Merkins would be well aware of: The Massachusetts Bay Company. I believe they chartered a colony which required adherence to just the principles being advocated by A2K. Funny thing happen though. Half the colony died in the first year. It only turned prosperous once they ripped up the agreement and turned back to private property rights, fruit of your labor, etc. etc.

Are Valley VCs playing hide-the-money?

Tom 13

Re: Lily's counter eexamples

Let's see

Facebook - not publicly available yet, and the press release shenanigans so far reek of price manipulation for Zucherman's benefit, particularly given they have no visible income stream to support their business model.

LinkedIn - okay, they've at least made it to publicly available. While they potentially have a revenue stream to support them, I still haven't seen anything indicating they know how to tap it let alone having it support the company.

Workday - never heard of them.

Palo Alto Networks - sound vaguely familiar, but odds are I'm miss-remembering something from the 1990s.

So, no; he doesn't have a valid counter-example in that list. Doesn't mean he's wrong, but I'd expect him to put up something valid if he's trying to refute.

I expect Bilton is overstating his case, but that doesn't mean it isn't a problem. The heart of the issue is how much of a problem. Neither Bilton nor Lily seem to have a handle on that.

Moore's Law has ten years to run, predicts physicist

Tom 13

Re: ...it ended because something better came along...

Damn young whipper-snappers!

Paper wasn't any improvement over stone for record keeping - it rots, stone is forever. Sure it's requires a bit more space to store than paper, but until you get done with acid free, and humidity controls and temperature controls (and their affects on our atmosphere) you haven't really gained ANYTHING. And don't get me started on the silly crap about using electrons to store data!

Tom 13


No, he's right. The reason Concorde didn't make money is because most of the places where it could have made money were put off limits by the tree huggers here in the US. Old Blighty to Australia might not work, but the US would have. If we'd granted the permits, which we should have. And I expect that had THAT worked, they could have upped the fuel capacity on a newer model to make the Aussie run work too.

Google KNEW Street View cars were slurping Wi-Fi

Tom 13

Re: *this* is the "expectation of privacy" that most people expect

Oh, you mean like the dailies do to the Royals on a regular basis with their BLCs?

Tom 13

Re: Of course the knew...

You forgot the /sarc tag.

Although you do briefly and tangentially indict the real problem makers in your rant: the ISPs who had intolerable default configs on the wireless routers they sent to punters: Verizon, Comcast, etc. in the US, BT et al in the UK. Even a simple but easily crackable WAP configuration would have prevented the Google slurp. And those ISPs OUGHT to be delivering reasonably secure for the time of delivery configurations on the routers - WPA and at least the serial number (if they can't be arsed to generate a truly random and secure password) as the password for the network.

Tom 13

@Al Jones 01-May-12 08:03 GMT

Whether it is a "rogue", "careless", or "lone" engineer, the excuse has always been as believable as a Bond villain from a Sean Connery flick. In organizations as big as Google, nobody works all alone on a project with no oversight and no lawyers involved. Hell, nobody works all alone in a five person code writing sweatshop let alone a place like Google. So it really doesn't matter which adjective you choose.

Tom 13

Re: Registers slogan. [sic]

Of course it's not!

You need to spend more points on your observation skills. El Reg's slogan is clearly imprinted in the header which appears on every page: "Biting the hand that feeds IT."

Wind farms create local warming

Tom 13

Re: Basic physics

I see, you graduated from the same school that graduated my Astrology teacher who thought he was competent to teach Astronomy and deduced that ALL UFO sitings were the results of comets.

Yeah, I never bothered much with him either. Signal to noise ratios matter no matter what you are studying. And you can't establish either without knowing the frequency.

Tom 13

@PatientOne: re 15C

I'm betting brain fart on that one. More likely 15F, which is a lot less than 15C and believable.

Tom 13

Re: Basic physics

Physics 01: When analyzing data for an unknown sample, your data sample needs to be at least the length of the baseline before you can characterize the curve.

What is the baseline for the standard earth Ice Age to Warm Age and back again cycle?

Boffins cross atom-smasher streams, 'excited' beauty pops into being

Tom 13

Re: tin-foil hat

Er, that's not gonna help with THOSE particles.

Space-cadet Schwartz blows chunks out of Oracle's Java suit

Tom 13


In some ways his comment is to be expected. Too many in the media make similarly offhand assertions with nothing to back it up. It seeps into the culture and soon everybody is doing it.

But you are correct. That still doesn't excuse it.

Tom 13

Re: Oracle are almost as evil as Apple

I'd say it was the other way around, but we're sort of in the 'who was worse: Hitler vs Pol Pot|Ghengis Khan': beyond tolerable either way.

Tom 13

Re: @BristolBachelor I must be missing something

Oracle NEVER wanted the hardware business. They just couldn't sell it to anybody because of anti-trust regs and the SEC - too few vendors in the square so they couldn't sell to another big iron vendor. And they couldn't sell to any of the small iron vendors because they all go 'we're in the commodity hardware business. [pause] scribble, scribble, scribble [end pause] And in about 3 years our stuff will outperform what you're selling today anyway.'

Tom 13

Re: I must be missing something

What Oracle did is exactly why Gates and Balmer referred to it as a cancer. They might be the lowest form of scumbags on the planet, but that doesn't mean they weren't right about how other scumbags would approach Linux: getting fat off someone else's work.

Tom 13

Re: not only permitted, it is expected and encouraged.

Permitted, yes, but the way Oracle executed it, it still reeks of rip off. What is expected and encouraged is adding improvements and donating back to the code base.

Tom 13

Re: why does Redhat do so well

Redhat has been stable because they are selling services to support the software. Sun sold hardware to support the software, and tried to make their money from that. Problem is, hardware became mass consumer product and Sun stayed in niche mode.

And what little hardware business Sun had left, Oracle has pretty much killed. Never worked with their kit myself, but I have a friend who works in for a government contractor that use to be the sort of shop that was Sun's bread and butter - lots of complex calculations on massive databases (they get about 1TB a day in new data). Oracle tried to rejigger the contracts and they gave up. Now they buy commodity hardware and run Linux.

Tom 13

Re: would be hearsay.

No, hearsay would be:

He said "She said,..."

Zynga shares wobble as biz bleeds $85.4m in Q1

Tom 13

Re: Scale is evil.

I stopped playing for pretty much the same reason. And it wasn't just once a day - they had tasks that required you to check things every 4 hours. Too much work. I want my play to be play.

'Geek' image scares women away from tech industry

Tom 13

Re: Bloody hell...

While recognizing it is an odd characteristic, it is none the less a typical male geek characteristic that when we are attacked for being something we aren't, we respond by generating an exterior personality characterized by the errant fault. Because really, we don't like bigots for company, and it turns out to be a very effective defense. The only people who bother to push their way through are those who are truly interested in what we have to say, and possibly us as well.

I say this knowing as all fucking misanthropes do, that you knowing this won't help any.

Tom 13

Re: Felicia Day

Felicia Day doesn't play mere Engineers! She plays Boffins!

She's also a very nice person in real life. Got to meet her at DragonCon where there were lots and lots of female geeks and nerds.

Tom 13

Re: Cool?

You forgot one other problem: Science and IT are HARD WORK. And while hard work may* lead to better pay, rewarding experiences, and a successful life, it has never been COOL.

*Your exact mileage may vary. Past performance does not guarantee future results. All of life comes with some risk, so be sure to consult your lawyer, doctor, accountant, insurance agent, and financial adviser.

Tom 13

Re: Let me fix that for you:

...a bizarre cultural export from the Hollywood about a fictional American school system which insists on pushing people into being either smart or cool, and is eagerly consumed by UN and European Statists intent on imposing their world view on others...

BTW: It's The Hulk vs. Superman comic book. Everybody knows Spidey and Bats team up to catch the bad guys.

University of Florida drops plans to axe CompSci for sports

Tom 13

Re: College sports in the US is a racket.

Only if the college/university runs it that way.

First up, I'm a geek, not a jock. Complete with ALL the nerd implications, including lack of girlfriend/wife. And I never went to a football game while in college. But one of the reasons we PSU grads are PISSED at that the uni did to Joe Paterno, is that he DIDN'T run things that way. His football players studied REAL majors. I know, because through a fluke I wound up rooming in one of the dorms where a bunch of them lived. And one of the freshman players was right there with the rest of us puzzling over some of the Intro to Calculus questions. Yeah, one of them did major in physical education, but he worked at that too. And anybody who didn't legitimately maintain their grades sat on the bench until they did. Sure there were tutor programs for the jocks. Joe made them use them.

And Joe put a wing on the Pattee (uni library) that was almost as big as the original building. Plus bought the books for it. My roommate/landlord still remembers that all of the books in the Engineering Library (separate building from Pattee) were stamped as donated by Joe and Sue Paterno.

Since I've graduated from college I've started going to games with friends and learned a respect for the sport itself. But even as geek snob at the university, I respected Joe and the football team precisely BECAUSE they emphasized the academics to the football team.

Tom 13

Re: I have a solution

In the US, rugby would be the vanity program, football (proper football, not that piker game with the round thing) is the cash cow, and it supports all the vanity sports programs at the university.

I smell a rat on the alleged leak. This reads to me like a shakedown of the state to get more money into their programs. Threaten to cut the computer science program unless they get more money, leak it, and voila! The predictable outcry restore state funding so they don't have to cut the truly wasteful expenditures like Wymin's Studies and Queer Power.

Shock sales surge sends Amazon shares soaring

Tom 13

Not sure how they count gift card sales

but I made my first real block of purchases on Amazon as a result of getting one of their cards for Christmas, which puts them in 1st Quarter. I wasn't overly impressed (okay, actually I think it sucked) with the system and I don't expect to be making any similar purchases through them in the near future. I placed what I thought was a single order that would be gathered and shipped as one delivery. Turned out to have been a conglomeration of shippers, and the photos on one set of items were piss-poor for figuring out what it really was, but the cost was too small to be worth paying to ship them back and ask for a refund. I'll probably use them at some point in the future to buy a book or maybe a CD since they seem to be destroying the brick and mortar stores, but I'm not looking forward to it.

Ofcom: The Office of Screwing Over Murdoch?

Tom 13

Re: our outrage wasn't just because voicemails were allegedly deleted

Because too many of us read the comments with our own lying eyes.

Tom 13

Re: the huge public revulsion was caused

Not by my read of the comments at the time. ALL of the criticizing statements emphasized the deleting. I'm not letting you memory hole this one.

Tom 13

Re: true except for one detail

Except this isn't the case of the Jesuit priest producing the dog when accused of murdering a man and his dog. The case as I recall reading it and the comments at the time is that what News Corp did CAUSED hope for the victim's family because they thought she was updating things in the phone.

What I see here on these pages from my perch across the sea is that Old Blighty is infested with an irrational hatred of Rupert Murdoch and anything with which he is associated, and any excuse to continue to slander or libel him is welcome. Perhaps because too often you Brits seem to stifle legitimate criticism in the name of preventing slander and libel.

White Space trial: First Cambridge, then... THE WORLD

Tom 13

Re: why radio amateurs would be bothered

Not so much that they use it and it causes problems for them, just that in my experience ham operators seem to be aware of everything that affects any part of the radio spectrum.

Ted Nugent fined for failing to kill bear

Tom 13

Re: Careful now, that's at least 50%

Wrong half. That would be the ACLU who keeps the swastikas and the neo-Nazis in the street. Given our druthers, me and Ted would just shoot them on sight, no bag limit.

Tom 13

Re: So much for the mighty hunter.

If you had bothered to read the posts, you would have noticed someone above posted that they did try to track and follow it, but it got away. Sometimes wild animals manage that.

Tom 13

CA is actually worse than anywhere else in the country on game laws.

At least in the rest of the country they only change once a year and are consistent across the state.

Tom 13


That would be because you are an ignoramus. It is entirely believable that he was blindsided by it. Reading an unbiased article elsewhere (don't recall where) it turns out that state game commissions change the rules every year. The article quoted natives who run hunting camps for a living describing the need to have State Game commissioners come to the camp every year to explain the rules for the current season.

Yes, since it was for a TV show, Ted probably should have had a paid off duty game commissioner on staff to make sure everything he was doing was legal. But I think the average person seeing a "bag limit of 1" would assume that meant they got to take 1 home. Oh, and the final nail in your self-righteous hypocrisy: the judge who tried the case said he was unaware of the provision before it came to court.

Tom 13

Re: Fina aside, not really a punishment is it

Spoken like someone who isn't even peripherally aware of hunting laws. It's a calendar year and it is any hunting. Most game have different seasons. He doesn't get to hunt any of it for an entire year. And most states have reciprocity agreements that mean he won't be able to hunt in those states either. Unlike most of us, most of the food Ted puts on his table he hunts for himself. That ruling will make it difficult for him to do so. Yeah, he may be able to just buy it at the grocery store like the rest of us, but for Ted that's a pretty big sacrifice.

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