* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Browsium rescues HMRC from IE6 – and multimillion-pound bill

Tom 13

Re: Is it a saving?

I believe a famous US President once remarked that the problem with government programs is they continue long past the time when the need for them has passed. While he was referring to the wetware, I expect the same is true of the software as well.

Tom 13

Re: Extended support

Yep, and that means if HRMC starts RFN, they should only be about 3 years late getting it implemented.

Tom 13

Re: Really a fix?

Erm, yes and no. So long as Browsium works in the current OS, you don't need XP, so that gets you out of that problem. But because it is still rendering in what is effectively a Native IE6 environment, yes it still is and doesn't really get you out of IE6. It just lets you NOT have to rewrite your hideously old VB6 web apps to support current standards.

As I see it, the real risk is whether or not Browsium provides potential IE6 malware infection vectors even though you think you are safe because you are running if from a Windows 8 PC running IE11. And since it is HMRC, that sounds like a good targeted (although not quite spear) attack environment for me.

Ofcom calls for end to 0800 charges on mobiles

Tom 13

The 800 proxy services weren't directed at mobiles,

they were directed at payphones and arose because long distance calls from them required a too large pocket of change before you could make one. Back then the idea of a pager was the high tech sweet spot for mobile communications, and you had a hell of a lot fewer characters than Twitter gives you. I carried an 800 proxy card for a while. One was with Sprint, the other was with Verizon. I don't think you could call either of them third-party proxies trying to rip off the phone company.

Now, they may have provided a more attractive option for cell phone users too, but that's beside the point.

Tom 13

Re: Ofcom get it half-right

Well, the landline is on an established physical network, probably mostly on fiber by now, which is effectively free for the phone company to maintain (more properly the marginal cost to add a new user is negligible), while the wireless lines costs are not because they are already oversubscribed.

Of course with the marketing drones pushing free mobile-to-mobile minutes, that reality is pretty difficult to defend in a public argument. Also, while it is true that the companies purchasing the 800 lines aren't making money from the overly long calls, it is also true that they have little incentive to shorten the wait on those calls. So I see no effective reason to oppose making 800 calls free to mobiles as well as landlines.

Tom 13
Thumb Up


That comment deserves unlimited up-votes!

Ice age end was accelerated by CO2

Tom 13

Re: why you don't cite sources

See, that's one of the reasons I enjoy re-reading some EE "Doc" Smith every now and again. Most SF writers spend months dreaming up loopholes around SR, then reading abstracts and bouncing hypotheses off other authors until they finally have a 6 page theory to present in their novel that explains how they are getting around SR. Doc, having been an actual chemist, dispenses with the whole mess in a few sentences:

Hmm, were going faster than the speed of light. Einstein go something wrong; I'll have to figure it out later.

Tom 13

Re: Superb

RegDome! RegDome! RegDome!

Two writers enter, one writer emerges.

RegDome! RegDome! RegDome!

Where's the post-apocalyptic survivor icon?

Tom 13

Re: Thumbs Down Crowd

You'll need to grow a thicker skin if you're commenting here on El Reg. If you are on the politically incorrect side of an issue, the scan-bys like to show their hipness by running up the thumb scores. This applies to MS, Apple, and Google too.

Tom 13

@Khaptain: Minor nit

I'd say politically motivated journalists are even more to blame than the scientists. The muckrakers are the ones who are supposed to fact check everything. Why I've even heard it said that if a real journo's mother tells him she loves him, he gets two independent sources to verify it before he puts it in an article.

Tom 13

Re: But warming leads CO2 concentration, so...

And with that very first reference article, poor as it is, we get to my very first objection about current warmmongering: The models predicting runaway temperature increases based on the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere assume solar forcing is constant.

Until you have the proper variation in solar forcing in the model, it is GARBAGE.

Tom 13

Re: the end of the Ice Age

And here I thought it was Scrat digging out his nut again.

Apple plugs Java hole after Flashback Trojan intrusion

Tom 13

Re: where are the mouth foaming fanbois?

Holding their fire waiting for the mouth foaming anti-fanbois obviously.

30-year-old global temperature predictions close to spot-on

Tom 13

Re: Stating the frickin' obvious

If you don't have an understood, measurably, repeatable mechanism that accurately predicts all outcomes, it ISN'T science, it's just another witch doctor in the square throwing the bones.

In fact, I'd say based on their curve, their error bars, and the margins they claim are critical, even though the claim that the model is optimistic is correct, since the actual margins of error exceed their window of criticality, the model is still busted. So we have to locate the ACTUAL driver before deciding to dump trillions into sequestering CO2.

Tom 13

Re: some things that don't falsify AGW

You only have to falsify it ONCE for it to be busted. AGW has too many epicycles to be treated as real science.

Why new iPad renders your pile of slab mags as garbage

Tom 13

@Mr ChriZ: Please buy a clue.

Bit maps are ALWAYS targeted at a specific resolution, and by implication device size display. You don't notice it if you are in the current sweet spot for the resolution spread in the market. Even websites are targeted at certain display resolutions. Better website designers include information for multiple sizes, and I expect some software packages help optimize being able to generate the multiple size layouts, but it's been ages since I looked at those programs.

Tom 13

Re: Lazy publishers, Silly subscribers

Eh, yes and no. PDF will help you on the font displays, but for a magazine I expect there to be pictures. Hell, even El Reg has pictures and they aren't exactly what we're talking about are they? Once you introduce pictures, you are back to some sort of bit mapped graphic. Once you are in bit maps, everything has the potential to get clunky, both in terms of download speed and display. PNG is probably a bit better than JPEG, but it still won't scale like a vector image.

Tom 13

Re: Upscaling 2:1 is never going to look as nice

Re-read what you just wrote, then apply some actual thinking to it. You have actually described the exact reason why it is GUARANTEED to look worse.

Google, Oracle settlement talks fail, trial to begin April 16

Tom 13

Re: technical details of the case.

You must have missed the bit where this is being tried in the US. Over here you are only allowed to sit on a trial if you are completely incompetent in any of the technical areas which will be heard by the court. So jurors just sort of spin the roulette wheel and play Pat Sajak only without Vanna turning the letters.

Terrafugia flies first prototype: Flying cars 'within a year'

Tom 13

I don't think it will quite fold up

the way Mr. Jetson told me it would...

IPv6 networking: Bad news for small biz

Tom 13

@fajensen: Written like somebody who has never been present

when the standards committee meets.

I have been. I wasn't the policy wonk. I was the guy who got to translate it back into regular words when they were done. They all claimed they were engineers not academics. It wasn't too terribly long after I'd actually graduated from uni. And if you'd have put them in a room with academics and told me to sort them out, I couldn't.

Busted in the US? 'Drop your trousers, sir'

Tom 13

Re: He ..."is black"

I didn't know it when I first read about the decision. I pictured him as white. But then most racism is in the eye of the beholder.

Tom 13

@AC: April 2012 08:33 GMT

No, SCOTUS should not be writing law from the bench, that's what Legislatures are for. More importantly, legislatures can better adapt to changing mores than one size fits all decrees from SCOTUS. Which is sort of how we got here in the first place, too many decrees from the bench so instead of going to the legislatures where they should be going, everything goes to court instead.

Tom 13

Re: Sleepy People

You need to study your maths more. I count 5 justices appointed by Republicans, 4 justices appointed by Democrats. And Republican appointees have a tendency to "go native" once they are on the court (like Blackmun, Powell, Stevens, and Souter). That's not stacked anywhere in the free world.

What matters isn't party, it's willingness to substitute personal opinion for the strictures of the Constitution.

ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. - Humans begin artificial CO2 emissions

Tom 13

Re: IT?

Who cares? It's Lewis Page at his finest on El Reg.

Why, I expect he could write a review of Cats! and the comment section would burst into flame wars about AGW.

Tom 13

Re: Burning wood is carbon neutral, you twonk.

Right! That's why all the Green orgs are in favor of clear cutting the jungles: It is completely carbon neutral.

Email cock-up blamed in Check Point domain expiry snafu

Tom 13

@Just Thinking

Maybe it was the guy from CheckPoint who was in charge of renewing the domain registration.

Of course it would be a good explanation for why he forgot to renew it. Still I doubt the bosses will think as highly of it and he'll still lose his job.

Regulator probes Groupon as shares tumble

Tom 13

Re: Profit

No, but it should provide the needed uptick so you can execute a short on the company stock and make money when they finally go bankrupt.

Best Buy shuttering 50 stores, laying off staff in $800m cost slash

Tom 13

Contrary to other posters here, I've never actually had a bad buying experience

at best Buy. But then I usually had some idea of exactly what I was looking for before I went in. At the moment the following equipment in my house is all from BB:

52" LCD TV (store brand)

40" LCD TV (store brand)

Sony Blueray Player

combination VHS DVD player (store brand)

1 DVD player (store brand)

Wii station and accessories.

Numerous DVDs including TV sets (all of Stargate, Stargate Atlantis, Babylon 5, The Incredible Hulk [Bill Bixby] and more) and most the new Doctor Who seasons. I think my roomie ordered two seasons from Amazon.

My only bad purchase there was a Sprint Android phone, but that's more the fault of Sprint than BB. The BB sales clerks were friendly and helpful. Sprint let them down with piss poor cell service along my commuting corridor. That service is getting disconnected this month.

Obviously, YMMV. I do have a friend who reports issues similar to most of the postings here.

Tom 13

@DJ Particle

That's not the fault of Best Buy. That's the fault of the morons who live in your state continuing to elect fascists who are more than willing to seize private property to transfer it to other private property holders who just happen to be better connected to the pols. You get what you vote for.

Tom 13
Thumb Down

Re: window shopping

And the Lorax said: remember that when all the Big Box Stores go out of business and you no longer have anywhere to window shop.

Tom 13

Re: Don't they have the internet at Harvard Business School?

There's still a valid reason for "big box stores": many people want to actually see what they are going to purchase. The key is for the big box to figure out how to convert that into a sale because cheapskates go look at the big box then buy online. Maybe it IS time to start taxing the internet to deliver a level playing field.

Use the holy word of God to stay secure online, says bishop

Tom 13

Re: around 30,000 verses in the bible

Only if you leave it strictly where the Bishop did. First off, I count 30 different English translations, while some of them will generate similar character lineups, I am quite sure the KJV and the GNT won't. Next up, you can combine different verse sets for the character bits, or you can use the actual translated text, or you can use the translated text with Le3t! spellings. Or you can leet the first character sets, or... And at that point you are doing more work trying to build the cracking bible that you would just trying to brute force the password. I would add that modern intelligence techniques have generally failed when dealing with religious oriented codes. Most famously the Israeli codes were never broken by the Arabs during its first war after its formation. IIRC, they were sending short letter and number bursts which referenced specific verses, and the verse communicated the relevant information.

It is generally agreed that easily remembered pass phrases are far more secure than short passwords. In part because you don't know what some is using as his cypher pad, and in part because you can't assume he is using a cypher pad so you have to account for brute force passwords as well.

Tom 13

@disgruntled yank

I doubt may for Anonymous would even recognize the original Vulgate. Not to mention the original Vulgate introduces yet another variable that would need to be identified since you'd need to know the size of the manuscript from which the passwords were taken.

Top Italian OPERA boffin steps down after faster-than-light mistake

Tom 13

@James 51: An upvote for you

and I was one of the armchair boffins saying it was bollux before the proof came in. They did put it out in the open for scrutiny, they did find the mistake, and they did publicize what the mistake was after they found it. I was all in favor of a proper ass-chewing over the mistake, but it only rose to the level of a proper ass-chewing, not a firing/resignation offense.

Are you an ECO POET? Climate science needs YOU

Tom 13

Well, at least they've finally admitted

they aren't doing science.

Extreme weather blown away from unexpected direction

Tom 13

Re: Anyone watch the BBC documentary?

Caveat: the record events aren't bullshit, they just need to be kept in context: 100 years of temperature records, thousands of years of Earth history by us young earth creationists, and billions of years if you believe the Darwinists.

Tom 13

Re: It's not the geography its the infrastructure

It's the population and infrastructure overall.

People tended to be more highly concentrated in "silly places" years ago because they were able to conduct commerce from those "silly places." As we've developed other infrastructure, we've actually moved away from the places prone to disasters. We've also developed means of alerting people and removing them from the disaster paths (tornado alerts, sever weather watches, Tsunami alerts). But because there are more of us, and what gets damaged is more costly to increase, the total damage cost numbers keep going up.

Yes, you do still get place like New Orleans where everyone KNEW the current canal footprint was a recipe for disaster but ignored it anyway, but by and large we are moving away from the disaster prone locations.

Tom 13

Re: My first thought on reading that article

My first thought was, "What?! It's not by Lewis Page?"

Tom 13

Re: L.B.


If I'm wrong, there's still a couple hundred years before the problem actually manifests itself, and no real proof of Doom! when it does.

If you're wrong, we needlessly divert hundreds of trillions of dollars from other projects, some of which are certain to improve the quality, quantity, and even quite possibly length of life for everyone else on the planet.

Tom 13


Thank-you for slogging through yet another overly long governmental report.

ALL Visa cards blab punters' names - not just Barclaycards

Tom 13

Re: Stuff the payment fraud, what about the identity theft

Anybody who stops me with "Good morning (your real name here)." that I don't immediately recognize is more likely to generate a call to the coppers than get more info from me. For my roomie, it'll be even worse. I haven't met a stranger yet who pronounces her name correctly from only a script.

Tom 13

@Neil Lewis

Yes, that line of thinking worked SO well when Paul Allen got ripped off earlier this week.

Tom 13

Re: Sigh...

I don't give a shit what's easy for banks to verify, I want my goods delivered WHERE I CAN PICK THEM UP. Otherwise their cards are useless. I setup a specific mailing address for deliveries because I CAN'T get deliveries at work and am not home during normal delivery hours even for the non-governmental delivery services. Companies involved in selling things need to adjust to the same realities the rest of the world lives in. Given that they can check my Cxx, that's fine.

Oh, and even though I don't have one, I'd still put the bonk fail on the banks. They shouldn't have been processing the requests from Amazon without one of the two, preferably the Cxx.

Tom 13

Any real court will quickly put the onus back on the bank

with this kind of news story out there. The banks issued the dodgy tech by which the consumer was scammed.

Lucy in 3.4 million-year-old cross-species cave tryst

Tom 13

Re: Wait for the creationists...

Except of course that you CAN'T actually see it. There still are NO transitional fossils. There are fossils of two species Darwinists BELIEVE evolved one to the other, but no actual transitions. Given the number of transitional species you need, and the numbers within a transitional species for them to evolve, there SHOULD be fossils of transitional species.

And the microbaloney that's supposed to have started it all off is even worse. The whole primordial soup concept has been debunked. Add in trace quantities of O2, in the amount present on Jupiter or Saturn, and the soup oxidizes again before you get amino acids, let alone proteins. And nobody ever synthesized proteins from the aminos, they just waved their hands and left it as an exercise for the student. That's not science. In fact, it sounds to me quite a lot like a man-made religion. It makes certain tautological statements it likes, says trust authority where it has no explanations, and declares non-believers heretics who must be cast out lest they corrupt the body.

Amazon boss finds Apollo 11 engines on seabed

Tom 13

Re: That's awesome!

If you ever get the chance you have to stand next to the real thing - a picture just doesn't truly communicate the scale. And if you're looking for the best geek out of all, go to Canaveral to see the whole Saturn V. They've got it laying on its side and you get to walk the length of it.

My buddies and I had to go three times before we'd actually finished the tour. Every time we'd geek out at the Saturn V display and have to skip a different part of the tour because of other things we'd put on the schedule like IMAX shows.

Tom 13

Re: If you really have too much money ...

Why is there always at least one unimaginative twit in the posting group who is more interested in assuaging his own guilt with other people's money than in appreciating someone's ingenuity, dedication, and success?

Tom 13

Re: Remains the property of NASA....

That' only for plebes like us. If you're a government all bets are off. The Spanish government has been claiming salvage from 18th century pirate raids for at least the last 50 years.

Americans resort to padlocking their dumb meters

Tom 13

Re: Stick to the topic of the story

The topic of the story IS trolling. They just used synonyms to say it.

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