* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Ted Nugent fined for failing to kill bear

Tom 13

Re: I'll bet this gets political

Late again I see.

Tom 13

Re: told the assembled NRA faithful

So I guess you don't know Mr. Nugent has been an NRA member even longer than he's been slinging guitar? And is a licensed CCW? And also deputized in his State?

Ted has every right to make public pronouncements about what he thinks.

And for the record, I only started listening to his music after I read his book <I?Ted, White and Blue</I>. Some of it I like, some of it I skip.

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

Tom 13

I expect that the reason this hasn't caused more problems and outcry

in the US is that the vast majority of us just don't use Broadcast TV anymore. If you want high speed internet you need a wire. If you have a wire, you may as well bring your tv in on it as well. I expect the only folks really seeing the effects are the broadcast companies themselves and ham radio operators who are themselves are diminishing percentage of the population.

Turing's rapid Nazi Enigma code-breaking secret revealed

Tom 13

Re: Perhaps

Please tell me you didn't go their. There going to come after you now, so you'd better get your butt over they're!

'Asteroid mining company' makes classic hypegasm debut today

Tom 13

Re: why don't you just say it plainly?

You did note the name at the top right? This IS plainly written, just with a bit more detail than usual. Frankly given that the "burn them down with facts and a caustic 'tude" is his bread and butter article, I think the new guys with all the hype did pretty well -- there are still a few buildings standing after Lewis finished.

Truthfully, Lewis's warnings are all prudent - this is high risk in new territory. I do think he missed one thing though, something someone else commented on the thread in yesterday's El Reg article. There is something new in this endeavor: a shot, albeit a small one, at consistency of planning and execution. Yes the ideas are all old and have been argued to death using Socratic and Platonic techniques. But because of that lack of consistency, I don't think you can accurately say anyone has ever tried to execute them before. And sometimes, no matter how intuitively obvious it is that heavy things fall faster than light things, strange things happen when you conduct the actual experiment.

Oh and, if they figure out a way for me to invest a monthly Benjamin to the project, I will.

Google founders, James Cameron, go asteroid mining

Tom 13

Re: Ben Gunn

Are you sure you didn't mean Ben Grimm?

Tom 13

Re: You can thank Obama's "JOBS" program for this

Ya know, I love a good Big 0 rant as much as any other knuckle-dragging 'Merkin, but I love my space exploration even more. So stick a sock in it!

Tom 13

Re: "...emerging concept..."?

The "emerging" part is they are trying to take the "fiction" out of the last bit.


Tom 13

Re: The resource is water

And they've got the film rights for the first trip already locked up!

Yeah, the profits from that will pale in comparison to the long term water/mining profits, but you make your upfront money wherever you can.

Anonymous crashes Formula One site over Bahrain protests

Tom 13

Anon going after car races?

Ooh this could get ugly. You know them race car types are also known to like guns and be proficient with them don't you?

'I'm no visionary': Torvalds up for $1.3m life-changing gong

Tom 13

Re: Linux vs stme cells, hmmmmm

Actually there is a fair bit of useful research coming out of the stem cell branch of biology. I think so far it has been more along the lines of new drugs to use for successful transplants, but it still derives from the stem cell work. And I do believe they've had some limited success with cloning certain organs to transplant. Still not quite ready for prime time, but Dr. Yamanaka's research has the potential to change that, and without getting caught up in the controversies about embryonic stem cells. And yes, I'm one of those who is opposed to the embryonic stem cell research because I think it risks too much on the devaluing life question.

Tom 13

@LARS: Re: Because he isn't...

Yes, but unlike Gates, Jobs and so forth, Linus has been smart enough to RECOGNIZE that he was in the right place at the right time.

Yeah, he is talented and it helped, but those were more important.

Tom 13

@Kevin McMurtrie

Since I'm not a programmer, I have no opinion on Git and can't evaluate the technical content of your post. But your prose: priceless. I particularly like the end.

Tom 13

Re: wouldn't we all be doing very much the same things using BSD


BSD pre-dates Linux and has a completely different development model. I don't think Linus is being overly humble. He picked the right model for the development work to thrive and it has. Yes, it shows a bit of genius insight, but I do agree the prize should go for the stem cell research in this case.

Ebook price-fix trial showdown? Bring it on, say Apple and pals

Tom 13

Re: Competitive? @Anne-Lise Pasch

But that's the PUBLISHER forcing the model on everyone else. Using my previous example, if bAIn publishers sold Amazon ebooks at 30% of suggested retail, and Amazon cut back on the price, bAIn don't owe Apple because they sold it to them at 70% of SRP which matches Apple's price. Amazon are then free to sell below SRP if they think it makes sense.

I do agree with one of the posters above that while the system made sense with paper that was shipped and needed to be cleared from shelves, it doesn't make sense for ebooks because there isn't inventory as such to clear. If you think about it in that context for the long term, agency pricing makes a lot more sense than any lame attempt to eliminate it.

Tom 13

Re: cannot under-cut the iBookstore price

No, the way I read the contract details, IF a bAIn sells the ebook to Amazon for -35% off retail, Apple gets the 35% off retail too, the underlying reasoning being: if bAIn is not using some of the money they made from Apple to subsidize Amazon, they can afford to cut the same deal to Amazon. Now if Amazon sets up a reward program that gives buyers 5% back on their purchases that's legal and gets the buyer more buying power.

In short, the MFC is a rational legal protection, especially for big buyers who tend to be working on smaller margins (relatively speaking) than small buyers who tend to have larger ones.

Tom 13

Re: settle in Europe for the same thing

Again, that would be because unlike me, you haven't been sitting in the room when a lawyer discussed the issue. EU rules are seriously fucked if you aren't an EU member.

Something that was easy to protect in the US, we have little chance of protecting in the EU even though we've got some evidence of bad faith on the part of the EU offender. Yeah, it's an IP thing, but a trademark issue, not patent or copyright. We clearly pre-date them, they clearly filed for protection after getting notice from someone about us, but because they filed before we did we haven't got a snowballs chance of winning. And the lawyers explained that to us so we wouldn't waste money trying to win.

Tom 13

Re: What I don't get...

Then you've never discussed a lawsuit issue with the lawyer. In your Hershey's bar example it would go something like this:

You've been accused of stealing a candy bar. If it goes to trial and you get convicted, you'll be fined 5X, plus have court costs and lawyers fees of 20X. If you go to trial and aren't convicted, you'll have lawyers fees and court costs of 20X. Or we can settle out of court for X with no admission of guilt and no criminal record.

I'll give you a hint: most sane people recognize they've been bent over a barrel and pay X. Which seems to be what the other 3 have done, and is why their "settlements" shouldn't be held against those going to trial. Apple on the other hand seem to have calculated that A) They have a bazillion dollars on hand anyway so 20X isn't an issue, and B) Settling might cause more than 20X damage to their reputation.

Killers laugh in face of death penalty threat, say US experts

Tom 13

Re: Let him have it....

Because you made it up to support your point of view.

Tom 13

Re: sharp decrease about 1945

bad correlation. For that to be the correlation it should start in 1942 because the change was pretty quick.

Tom 13

Re: don't underestimate the lawyers

Yeah, you keep smoking that. It's the defense lawyers who make all the money. And having talked to one of the more prominent ones in my state (if you are ever found standing over a dead body with the smoking gun in your hand, he's the one you want), they KNOW their clients are guilty but they work to get them off anyway.

Tom 13

Re: exactly the opposite reason.

yeah, but that was a couple hundred years ago before lawyers devolved even further.

Tom 13

Re: The only deterent...

No, most murders who are CAUGHT murdered in passion.

Tom 13

Re: Isn't it curious...

The randomness of which you complain is the result of a system in which on one day anti-deterrent activist posing as moral people win the argument and on the next realists who understand the differences between types of crimes, rehabilitation, deterrence, and punishment do. If only one side were winning we'd either have a system that works or have decayed to anarchy so people would know it was the wrong choice.

Tom 13

Re: OK with the State killing innocents

Maybe not today, but let me tell you about the scariest thing I ever saw. It was on the Phil Donahue show (for those of you not old enough to remember him and not immersed in 'Merkin culture, he was the daddy of all talk show hosts) back around the time Reagan was first elected President.

There was a story about a US diplomat's son being caned 20 times in Singapore (odd how they keep popping up in these discussions) for keying cars and the diplomat was trying to make a stink about the barbarity of it all (I would have fired the SOB on the spot, diplomats above all others should know about when in Rome etc if you don't have diplomatic immunity). Crime at that time had been rising in the US and people thought it would never end. In NYC two or three people were being murdered every day. A male WASP stood up on national tv and said something to the effect of "if caning vandals is what it takes to restore law and order over here, we should adopt it and stop complaining about what they do." And he got a rousing round of approval from the audience.

People will only tolerate random violence for so long before they are willing to sign on with any dictator who promises them security. Ben Franklin may have been right about those people, but the time will come, and when it does, it is not just those people who go down with it.

Tom 13

Re: Mind numbingly simple

The cost isn't part of the equation. And I say that in part because it's the noodniks who started pushing the anti-death penalty meme who are driving up the cost. One appeal and done, then off to the chair/wall/chamber fixes that problem real quick.

Tom 13

Re: Mind numbingly simple

So if there's a guy with a machine gun about to use it on the crowd of people at the bus stop, and you happen to be in a watch tower 100 yards away with a scoped rifle, it is wrong to shoot the guy with the machine gun?

Tom 13

Re: This is the first rational comment

If you're going with that analysis I'll refer you to a comment from a long-time law enforcement officer: if you commit a felony between the ages of 21 and 35, throw them in jail until they are 35. Doesn't matter what the crime, they don't have the right perspective on life and for some reason, if the right perspective is going to kick in, it does so by 35. If they commit a felony after the age of 35 shoot them because they'll never get it and they can't be rehabilitated.

Tom 13

Re: Crimes of dispassion

You gotta put real numbers in there to see how absurd your attempt is.

Rob the premises. Chance of getting caught 10%. Chance of getting convicted, 20%, Time served if committed with a gun, 5 years. Time served if committed with a gun replica, 6 months, making it a possible release for time served when the conviction comes down. Time in jail nets 3 squares a day, medical help, plus a chance to learn new crime skills from and make contacts with other inmates who might be useful to me when I get out.

Yeah, that's a no brainer: carry the replica and the risk is negligible, regardless of my earnings.

Tom 13

Re: Anybody fancy trafficking drugs to Singapore?

If you want to know what deters, you ask the convicts what risks they consider. There's a fellow who has done that and published a book about it. Convicts all have a list of risks they evaluate before they rip someone off, and they are surprisingly similar: How easy it is to break into the place, how well protected is it, how many people routinely walk by it, will they encounter someone wielding a gun. It turns out the legal death penalty rarely figures into their thinking, even when they're carrying the gun and are willing to kill someone. But the possibility they will run into someone carrying a gun? Yeah, that death penalty they take account of, and usually look elsewhere for easier prey.

Oh, the guys is John Lott, and his book is More Guns, Less Crime.

Tom 13

Re: Just an opinion

Repeating the meme doesn't make it true.

Tom 13

Re: The answer

Nope. A couple headlines here in DC the last couple of weeks: MS-13 moving out of gun running and drug smuggling in favor of pimping underage girls.

Tom 13

Re: Most murders are gang, drug, alcohol or sex related.

Sure you do. You even put it in your post. It's just too damn many pols think they know what's best for us: Stop zoning for ultra dense cities to protect the trees and start zoning for suburban areas.

Tom 13

Re: Shame on El Reg

Actually we do, but the anti-death penalty crowd don't want to admit it.

The death penalty does act as a significant and measurable deterrent, but only when it is:

- carried out in close proximity to the time at which the crime was committed (practically guaranteed not to happen in the current environment

- is carried out consistently so it is perceived as a roulette wheel type event

- is public and well publicized

That last one is even more important than the first two even though they are all critical. And given the current environment, guarantees something that could be an effective deterrent isn't.

Tom 13

Re: @King Jack

Right, because nobody would ever make anything up for TV. And no documentary has ever been proven to be completely bogus.

Tom 13

Re: you'd already have to be unable to rationally factor in consequences

actually the converse is true. If you rationally work out the odds of being caught, convicted, and imprisoned for life/executed it's a logical choice, particularly if it is a stab and grab. Of the murders that get solved, they are mostly crimes of passion where victims knew killers or paid hits where somebody bragged.

It's still wrong to kill, but contrary to the popular meme, it's a moral issue, not a logic issue.

Tom 13

Re: moral objections to this, so downvote away

Yeah, because all us neanderthal Bible thumpers are SO into eugenics.

/end sarc.

Shale gas fracking ruled safe, but must stop at drop of a hat

Tom 13

@TeeCee: But the water burns!

He KNOWS because he's seen for himself in Gasland!

/end sarc

Tom 13

Re: "This is just a recommendation, however – a consultation runs until 25 May."

Another boffin who didn't read the Three Mile Island report. Loosely translated: put to many flashie light thingies and/or audible alarms and the technicians become habituated to warnings so that when an actual critical alarm goes off, no one notices because it gets translated as Situation Normal.

SpaceX Dragon gets green-light for launch to Space Station

Tom 13

Re: My bad.

I'll drink to it anyway, and look forward to the day when it IS weeks or days instead of months.

'Perfect storm' drives electronics stores to EXTINCTION

Tom 13

Re: Game over already

It's always a bad sign when the plods who are supposed to take your money don't recognize that you've actually come with the intent of GIVING them money.

Tom 13

@Rob 5

I think I found your problem: "...with the kids in our local store..."

When I was a kid and went into the local radio shack, there were two clerks. One was a 20-ish geek who knew everything about their new TRS-80, complete with data recorder and B&W screen. The other was the grizzled veteran of vacuum tube testing, and soldering capacitors and resistors. You needed both to make the store work. The old guy could process your computer order but couldn't really help with the details. The young guy could process your components order, but was useless for knowing what you needed for your ham radio or other electronics project. But between the two of them you could do everything and one could run the register while the other helped a customer.

Of course, fixing it involves a bit more than just putting them back in the store. First of all you need to fix the idiots who took them out to begin with (probably in the doggie sense of "fix" too).

Tom 13

@Alan Firminger: There's truth in both camps

Once upon a time I got useful information from clerks in stores. But the clerks got dumb and useless. Then the selections declined. And frankly although I never had issues myself, BB earned their moniker Worst Buy through bad customer service.

But you're right too. The online shops benefit from freetards showcasing the brick and mortar stores then spending their cash with the pikers who haven't invested in the real estate to show you their wares.

Somethings I don't need to see before I buy, like the next book from an author I like. Other things I like to see before I purchase like a new flat screen telly. Frankly, when I wanted to browse books, I was far more likely to go to the local Borders than Amazon. The experience had better real-time feedback. Although I will say Border suffered some from cutting back too much. Normally I'd buy 6 to 10 calendars for gifts and friends at Christmas time. This last year the selection of stuff I found acceptable was so low I only bought 2 for gifts and none for myself.

White House issues privacy warning on CISPA-style laws

Tom 13

Re: Wait ... What?

Not at all. What we have in this article is your proto-typical leftist engaging in slight of hand to promote The Big 0's agenda. He is of course aided and abetted by certain foaming at the mouth activists who want you to never actually read the text of this very, very short bill to see what it actually says. I am of the opinion that this is because behind the scenes they are pushing the mother of all SOPA bills (you know, the one that hasn't been withdrawn in the Senate and actually contains the Internet "kill switch" provision: the Lieberman-Collins bill. ref: http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/222447-house-republican-leaders-rebuff-white-house-push-for-cyber-regs ).

From the text of the actual CISPA bill:

(2) USE AND PROTECTION OF INFORMATION- Cyber threat information shared in accordance with paragraph (1)--

(A) shall only be shared in accordance with any restrictions placed on the sharing of such information by the protected entity or self-protected entity authorizing such sharing, including appropriate anonymization or minimization of such information;

(B) may not be used by an entity to gain an unfair competitive advantage to the detriment of the protected entity or the self-protected entity authorizing the sharing of information; and

(C) if shared with the Federal Government--

(i) shall be exempt from disclosure under section 552 of title 5, United States Code;

(ii) shall be considered proprietary information and shall not be disclosed to an entity outside of the Federal Government except as authorized by the entity sharing such information; and

(iii) shall not be used by the Federal Government for regulatory purposes.

Which means any agency cooperating with the government can properly anonymize your data before it gets passed along. What the bill does do is provide a legally protected path to share information that can be used to secure the internet.

Full text from which I quoted is here:


PR mag: Let promoters edit clients' Wikipedia entries

Tom 13

Re: Risk is too big

Since anyone can edit wiki, if the PR flack inserts bad info, others can fix it. Since the PR flack as an obvious potential conflict, if he causes too many problems he can be booted with a public explanation on why. In short, if the "many eyeballs" philosophy is correct, there is no reason to exclude people just because they have a financial interest in what is said. It's not like anything written on wiki is written by someone with no interest in the subject. Frankly, knowing a PR flack edited something is probably better than the usual anonymous edits because at least you KNOW what the PR flack's interest is.

Tom 13

Re: So what are you all upset about?

Well, let's start with assuming distinctly British-centric viewpoint and extending it to the entire world. 'Merkin laws certainly aren't as strict as British laws with regard to libel and slander, I'm sure some places are more strict than British laws and others are even less strict than 'Merkins. Since wiki is everywhere, it simply isn't a suitable solution.

Gawd, I'm defending wiki and I don't even like the site.

Oracle v Google could clear way for copyright on languages, APIs

Tom 13

Re: So am I to understand that a company...

Actually, no and therein lies the crux of the current issue. It wasn't one company, it is two with a transfer of IP from one to the other, with the second taking a very different view of how to use and leverage the IP.

The first company mostly liked the idea of the open commons, but not quite enough to put it fully in the open commons like Linux or BSD. They kept one part of it to themselves, even though they granted free licenses to use it. The second company looked at it and said "ooooH! We can makes lots of money! Particularly from those damn fools who never got a license from our predecessor and now dominate the mobile phone market."

Pirates not to blame for Big Media's sales plunge

Tom 13

Re: stupid enough to click it?

Me, probably not, although as a known author on El Reg you at least have some credibility points.

But I'm sure you'd get some takers.

Twitter poses patent non-aggression treaty to unblock industry

Tom 13


You pass lawyering 01, which I would have expected at least one person at Twitter to have managed before sending out such a ludicrous memo.

Seagate profits from Thai flooding

Tom 13

This is probably hurting warranty/service contractors most.

I have a friend who works in an environment where they routinely place 3-5 raid drives per week*. As the consumer, he doesn't care because it's all covered under either a warranty on new equipment or a service contract for the equipment where the warranty has expired.

*Yeah, they have sufficient numbers of drives so that actually falls within normal MTBF rates for the drives. Actually, according to him it is greatly improved after they bought a new array and got a free server with it.

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