* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

So just what is the third Great Invention of all time?

Tom 13

Re: But isn't money just another form of information?

No. Information has no inherent value. If I share information with you I retain the information. If I share money with you, I necessarily lose some. Remember, money was invented to do away with the inefficiencies of barter. Under barter it is clear that what is being exchanged is something of intrinsic value.

Apple ordered to write a $234m check to uni in A7 chip patent spat

Tom 13

Re: rounding error

Apple seem to be stuck on stupid these days. They likely could have settled for far less when WARF sent the original notice and no one beyond the parties involved would ever have realized they infringed on the patent.

Google wins book scan battle. Again. Can post pages online. Again

Tom 13

@The_Idiot Re: In the US. Elsewhere?

I think fair use is a good idea. Certainly criticism and review need exceptions to exist. But anything that STARTS with the wholesale copying of the book is NOT fair use.

Tom 13

Re: Yes Google is making an entire copy of the book.

And that should have been the end of the issue, because that is exactly the point at which Google broke the law. The protective bits they tacked on afterward are irrelevant. Many a college copy shop has lost copyright infringement on just that basis. No resale, the copy shop didn't even make the copies it was done on self-serve and the copy remained in the possession of the student, but they lost thousands anyway.

Tom 13

Re: just for internal reference

No it's not. The business model depends on scanning the whole book.

And no, it's not just for internal reference. If you are persistent you can look up "snippets" of the book until you have read the whole thing. That was NEVER an intention of the fair use exception to copyright protection.

Tom 13

Re: They can't trump fair use,

Fair use has always previously been interpreted to mean ONLY a snippet. Google scanned everything WHOLESALE. That really should have been the beginning and end of the case. The whole "only snippets are available to the public" is a red herring. Google's business model depends on scanning the whole book, which is a clear violation of copyright law.

You can argue publishers are stupid NOT to agree to allowing Google access to their catalog materials to publicize it, but that is wholly separate from the copyright infringement issue.

Tom 13

Re: authors didn't sell books.

Right. That's why no author has ever done a book signing at a book store or gone on a talk show to talk about their book.

Tom 13

Re: That's nothing wrong with making money.

No there's not. There is something wrong with making money from somebody else's work, which is precisely what IP law is supposed to prevent. This case is particularly pernicious in that Google did not even BUY the books, they borrowed them from libraries. They should have been required to negotiate the rights with authors/agents/publishers of the books especially where the author/agent/publisher is known or easily discovered.

Yes, I'm willing to treat orphaned books differently. But there again Google have not structured anything to reserve money that ought to go to the authors of the published books.

This is simply another case of a megacorp running roughshod over the rights of the little guy, even if they are arguing it helps another little guy.

Job alert: Is this the toughest sysadmin role on Earth? And are you badass enough to do it?

Tom 13

Re: carried on looking for the thing they've already found

I did that once just so I could say it wasn't in the last place I looked.

Tom 13


I suspect it would have been even funnier if you managed to find the name of the other station. Since I'm not the one posting the ad, I can't be sure, but when I walk through the offices here at my job I frequently see the two of them listed next to each other.

See icon for a hint.

US taxman slammed: Half of the IRS's servers still run doomed Windows Server 2003

Tom 13

Re: If it ain't broke, don't change it.

While I do generally subscribe to this maxim, in this case not having the same support as the primary OS does make it broken. While you may be paying for patching and support, since it isn't getting the same support as the OSes they are selling, you're still at a significant disadvantage. In my estimation, this only reinforces the need for an industrial grade OS where you can expect support for a 20-30 year period of time.

Tom 13

Re: One should note that it's precisely the same in most companies

No it's not. For one thing most companies aren't immune to federal regulations like the agencies that enforce them are.

Even in government most agencies have done a better job than the IRS. My own agency is mostly running Linux servers and the few Windows boxes are mostly 2013 with a few stragglers at 2008. The desktops have been Windows 7 SP1 since I got here three years ago, I think the upgrade was finished the year, possibly two, before I arrived.

Tom 13

Re: The mind boggles

No, it's worse than that. While not at IRS I've seen some of the things the government does at my agency. I try to block it out because if I left my mind think about it for more than a minute or two it would quickly be reduced to ooze.

Mind you, on the tech side, I'm in a pretty decent shop at the moment. We actually complete our quarterly scans every quarter (95%+) and we get an actual touch on all the mostly disconnected systems. Last place I was at religiously did their quarterly scans once a year.

Tom 13

Re: From the original manufacturer?

No, the difference is the OMs for cars did't get copyright protection for their parts like M$ did. I expect that if MS IP protections lasted only as long as they do for autoparts, we'd have a healthy ecosystem of third party vendors keeping DOS alive and well.

Oh, and when you are paying as much for a new server as you would for a car, it damn well ought to last at least as long as the car would.

Tom 13

Re: Unusual project approach

While there is much truth in what you say, there are problems too. I've been on the receiving end of one of these "push it through now because it should have been done 5 years ago but the committees got in the way" projects. In an office with around a 1000 people we had hundreds who lost access to files as part of the migration. Mind you we weren't doing an upgrade, just a double hop network migration (current network had the same network as the parent network we needed to join so first it had to be renamed). Yes, we sorted it all out by the end of the week and no data was lost. But it would have been better had some appropriate planning been done.

As always the trick to getting these things to work properly is having a committee just large enough to cover all the details and have everybody on the committee committed to achieving the goal. Sadly that's one of the most difficult things on this planet to accomplish.

Twitter reduces BBC hacks to tears with redundancy notice

Tom 13


Actually, if you listen to enough of them for long enough, it sounds like they already are.

Top boffin Freeman Dyson on climate change, interstellar travel, fusion, and more

Tom 13

Re: somebody is a world expert in [thing A]

Yes, but Dyson isn't an expert in [thing A]. He's an expert in mathematics. And so long as [thing A] is a science, that means he's an expert in the most critical part of whatever [thing A] is. So if Dyson says the math [thing A] proponents are using is frelled beyond belief, it's 99.999999% likely it is.

Tom 13

Re: How do you know he hasn't bothered to study it?

There is one sense in which he has studied it. The reason I eventually moved to fixing computers instead of sticking with astronomy: he's studied and grasped a number of fundamental mathematical concepts. If you've mastered that you can apply it to ANY of the real sciences. Physics is the one where it is most visibly connected and which has the closest ties. Chemistry is a close second. Biology is still tolerable, as are mixes of these three. Beyond those boundaries, it's mostly throwing the bones and reading the tea leaves. Sending a mathematician in there is like putting a fox in the hen house.

Tom 13

Re: What are you trying to say?

What he is telling you is that you are no better than the Inquisitors you condemn. You seem to have chosen not to study religion and therefore do not, and are not capable of understanding that you have elevated Science to Godhood and now condemn all the heretics to burn in hell.

Tom 13

Re: hopefully, nailed, by simple, tractable and testable models.

Well, that's where the male bovine waste hits the oscillating air mover.

You'll NEVER have a Simple + Tractable + Testable Model. At best you MIGHT get a testable one. There's a very simple reason for that. Weather, and therefore Climate are not simple or tractable. In fact, much of what we've (re)discovered about Chaos Theory comes from a simple mistake made a long time ago by a weather modeler.

Back in the days when green and white sheets of pin fed paper were the sine qua non of any real computer lab, a couple of guys were running a model when the power failed. No problem, they had the printouts. So all they had to do was take the printouts, feed in the last full line of data and restart the program. But to be sure everything was good they backed it out a couple dozen lines to make sure everything checked. It almost did. So they backed it up a few more lines. This time the results were worse. So they moved it back a few more lines. And got a third result. And that's when the brain cells clicked: they'd been keeping twice the precision in the computer that they'd been printing. So they'd never get back to the starting point again.

Now those guys were only trying to model the simple aspects of something to improve their long range (about 5 days back then) forecast.

Tom 13

Re: this number is being overly generous

When in doubt, stick with Sturgeon's observation: 90% of everything is crap.

Dyson probably concurs with this observation, but is too polite to put it so crudely.

Tom 13

Re: Dutch farmers

No they spend all that money to prevent air movement and conductive transfers. Which is the precise reason that CO2 cannot accurately be described as a greenhouse gas. It paints the wrong picture. Admittedly one favorable to the Warmist redistribution desires, but still wrong.

Tom 13

Re: There is NO Carbon forcing and NO phantom back radiation 'warming'....

(which is evenly distributed in the atmosphere due to mixing and entropy)

Got it. So that whole thing about the ozone layer protecting us from hard solar radiation is a myth. That's good to know. Can I please have my CFCs back now?

The incoming radiation from the sun is actually spread broadly across the spectrum, from radio, through infrared, all the way up to ultraviolet and 'harder' radiation, which is blocked by the upper atmosphere.

I see. So the sun is not itself a black body radiative transfer object. It actually spreads its spectrum evenly across all frequencies, unlike the Earth. That's good to know too.

Tom 13

Re: There is NO Carbon forcing and NO phantom back radiation 'warming'....

And in your attempt to disprove his claim, you reveal the fundamental problem with the Warmist theory: The primary mechanism for heat dispersal where this effect would be most pronounced is precisely NOT radiative transfer, but air movement itself followed by conductive transfer.

Tom 13

Re: @dogged

Actually dogged is correct. The snow storm itself raises the albedo while falling, then the ice sheets spread increasing the albedo.

The extent to which we'd be able to detect it is another matter.

But if you're going to try to tie up water, why not do it more productively? Set it up off the coast of Africa and make it rain in the Sahara. If you can get the rainfall, you'll get lush vegetation. That both locks the water in an environmental cycle while providing a carbon sink as well.

Full disclosure: I'm anti-Warmist. Mostly because if you assume the Warmists have their science right, their prescriptions for correcting it are all wrong. That in turn means they aren't really concerned about the alleged issue, but only about how the money gets spent.

Hillary's sysadmin left VNC, RDP exposed to the internet - report

Tom 13

Re: @ tom dial

(since there wasn't a specific prohibition on what Hilary was doing until after she left the State Department)

Another DNC kool-aid drinker I see. NO, it was not an internal prohibition which came into being in 2014. IT IS IN FACT A LONG ESTABLISHED LAW. It's called the Federal Records Preservation Act and its origins are all the way back in WW2.

Here's a little snippet that pretty much puts your lies in the grave:


To put it simply, in 1993 the DC Circuit Court (so regardless of SCOTUS it has jurisdiction over DC unless reversed) found:

1. Email constitute federal records.

2. The electronic record itself still constitutes a federal record even if paper copies are printed

3. Must be managed and preserved as per the Act's requirements.

Shorter synopsis: There isn't a statement $Hrillary has made about her email which is true.

Tom 13

We haven't used port 25 on any of our mail servers in at least 5 years. It's too much of a target for hackers.

Oh, and yes, we are a MINIMAL security system. Meaning most of what we do is SUPPOSED to be available to the public. Only salaries, internal discussions about contract awards, and NDAs signed with private companies about their trade secrets are excluded.

Tom 13

@ tom dial

Anyone familiar with the Clintons and their modus operandi would NOT reasonably assume the CIO provided such advice. Instead they would assume he wasn't consulted.

Everybody keeps dancing around what we all know: $Hrillary was selling access to State through Bill and Chelsea via the Clinton Foundation. The server was intended to keep all that secret which was why she deleted MORE personal email than she turned over to the government. You don't ask the CIO about something like that because it causes too many plausible deniability problems down the road.

Even the whole one device meme she keeps trying to start is transparently a lie. And I mean beyond the NYT showing her using an iPhone when she was supposedly issued a Blackberry. Because of the Hatch Act, it's illegal to use your government account to engage in fundraising activities of any sort. In fact, an aggressive prosecutor can go after you for posting anything even slightly partisan using a government device (not account). And because of the Presidential Records Act (which means the whole Executive branch, not just the President) you HAVE to use a government account and server. It's not just a guideline, or a regulation. It is in fact the ONLY way you've got a 50/50 shot at complying with the law. So she's now up to two email accounts. Then you get into the whole classified angle and you're up to THREE accounts.

Dell hooking up with EMC and going public again? Come off it

Tom 13


True, but from his perspective that's probably not the question. He needs to make sure he can integrate the pieces from end to end, and has to have a plan to handle the inevitable duplication of product lines and processes. Again from his perspective, that's not as difficult here in the US as it would be in the EU, but still potentially painful.

I expect the 'Dell going public' angle is a red herring. Frankly what makes more sense is Dell taking EMC private if they've got the capital. If Elliott has a gun to EMC's head, that's the cleanest way to give them the boot.

Mozilla to boot all plugins from Firefox … except Flash

Tom 13

Re: So no AdBlock, NoScript, or RequestPolicy then

No Dan, your link just says they're changing how you build them, not dropping them:

We are implementing a new extension API,

Frankly, if your extension supplier isn't keeping up with current architecture, it's malware prone anyway.

What's that? Why yes, software developers who don't keep up with current architecture IS a pet peeve of mine. Primarily because as a desktop support tech I have to support a critical app in my environment that is created in-house by a bunch of twits who keep insisting that we keep users on old malware prone versions of Java for their IE-required web app. Granted, they have improved in the five years I've been here. Now they're only running one or two versions back whereas when I first started Java was well into the mid 1.6 range and they still insisted on having 1.5.16 installed. I mean, they were so far behind even Sun had removed the installer from their archive.

Factory settings FAIL: Data easily recovered from eBayed smartphones, disks

Tom 13

Re: Shops even worse

Well you know, there's reset, there's wipe, there's reset and wipe. It all gets so confusing.

Always remember: If you want something done right, do it yourself.

Ubuntu 15.10: More kitten than beast – but beware the claws

Tom 13

Re: it has to think about something other than your use case.

Perhaps. But it strikes me that when the resulting action is replacing instead of adding there is no actual thinking occurring.

'One Windows' crunch time: Microsoft tempts with glittery new devices

Tom 13

Until MS gives up on the One Windows strategy

they can't win in the device and phone market.

Different devices require different operating systems. It really is just that simple. There MIGHT be some very rudimentary core functionality they can share, but at best 30% of the code.

Tom 13

Re: Microsoft browser was so bad.

Wow talking about Bloody hell, yoof of today.......

Netscape pretty much invented the browser. Sure Mosaic did the initial development work, but that knowledge was spun off to Netscape before anybody knew who Mosaic was. MS had nothing and only graduated to "so bad" after a long time. In the end MS won ONLY because they married a free version of IE to the OS and obfuscated in court long enough to bankrupt Netscape.

Not all of their work was hugely bad. But it was only decent when they were still scrambling to make a name for themselves. Once MS was more important than IBM was in the PC eco system, it all went to hell.

Five things that doomed the big and brilliant BlackBerry 10

Tom 13

@octor Syntax

Make sure your daughter knows she is working for a smart company. For all the truth in your post, the truth in the quote overwhelms it.

I work in an environment where those considerations OUGHT to dictate we are still on BB. Instead, somebody at the top of the food chain loved the iPhone interface so much they chose it over the BB. Back when we were on BlackBerry, we weren't affected by the worldwide outage. Our data was being moved on private servers, not the ones run by BB. Yes, when they chose BB originally security was that important too them, or at least ownership of the data was. About three years later a replacement decided the Apple lock-in was undesirable and approved Android devices. For us, a somewhat lower level manager said we're stuck with iOs and he's a big enough boss we can't get the decision overridden.

Tom 13

Re: except

Technically shmeckically. Google owns Android, Google slurps data. Therefore Android slurps data and there's no stopping it.

Full disclosure: I own an Android burner phone. I made the mistake of making them my primary email account back in the days when Yahoo was still a force to be reckoned with. At this point, there's not really much Google don't already know about me, so it makes little difference to me.

Tom 13

Re: sigh

Truth be told I hated the BlackBerry back when I was doing support work on them. Fussy, quirky, and with my fat fingers, impossible for me to consistently hit the right button. But they were secure and for our work that was important.

Now that I work in a shop that uses iPhones, I miss the good old days of supporting Blackberry. They may be great for home users, but Enterprise ready they are not. Unfortunately, someone high up has fallen in love with Facetime, so iPhones will be our standard for years to come. Even though we have some staff who frequently travel to China.

DCIG rates top-selling EMC flash array as survey bottom-dweller

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Junk patent ditched in EAST TEXAS

Tom 13

Re: Time for a troll fine

Problematic. For all the trouble they cause these troll firms have decent lawyers. So it is likely any rule you can implement to attack the troll will be used instead by the troll to attack their prey.

No, this one needs to be solved at the Congressional and USPTO levels.

Tom 13

Re: in the hell it took 9 years to grant.

Actually that part is easy. The applicant kept appealing the USPTO denial until the USPTO gave up and granted the patent.

Tom 13

Re: USPTO is the real problem.

You were doing fine on the front end of the post then went partisan. It wasn't a Republican who did this.

Tom 13

Re: USPTO is the real problem.


Unfortunately there's also a very large dose of "just following orders" and since those orders came from the US Congress, they are difficult for the USPTO to circumvent.

Boffins: We know what KILLED the DINOS – and it wasn't just an asteroid

Tom 13


The Truth is Out There.


You can't handle The Truth!

So be Excellent to each other.

David Jones follows Kmart into 'we've been attacked' hell

Tom 13

Re: Perhaps...

Perhaps not forever. But I'm certainly willing to start at 10 years and 6 seems a no-brainer to me.

We can modify it down the road as necessary.

Tom 13


Perhaps Parking Garage chain? That is, not necessarily even the same garage since presumably they are on different physical servers in the WebSphere Cloud.

US eco watchdog's shock warning: Fresh engine pollution cheatware tests coming

Tom 13

Re: Who else?

Meh. More relevant is probably that this is year 6 for The Big 0 with Trump leading the polls and $Hrillary caught in an email web. That means the EPA only has 2 more years to freely reign terror on consumers.

Tom 13

Re: a seperate "not to exceed" limit of 1.25x the limit they must meet

Which is pretty much an admission that it is impossible to meet the mandated standards, even allowing that heavy trucks have less stringent standards than cars.

Tom 13


Let me fix that for you:

The EPA wasn't doing on road tests for light vehicles because of limitations in their funding. it was never really about pollution standards in the first place, only inconveniencing people and generating more money for the government.

Tom 13

The EPA knew or should have know that the risks of the approved clean up method were more likely to cause a problem than resolve it. A retired geologist who moved to the area about 6 months before the operation started looked at the plan and predicted the dam would break 6-18 months after the EPA started the project.



Tom 13


In the US, regulations have the same effect as laws. Congress never voted on the specific levels, but they did vote to put that responsibility to the EPA.

Yeah, personally I'd throw that out as a violation of the Constitution. But I'm realistic enough to know that ain't gonna happen any time soon. And that won't help anywhere but the US. The wealth redistributionists are all in this together.

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