* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Americans resort to padlocking their dumb meters

Tom 13

Re: Smart Meters

Sure you can turn them off. You don't think the installer is damn fool enough to put it in while the feed is live do you?

Tom 13

Re: Re JC2: Dumb meters for dumb people

Did you read the list of states where he's owned houses? The state of taxachusetts, the state retirees from taxachusetts move to because they can't afford taxachuesetts anymore, and the land of fruits and nuts, who incidentally are going bankrupt even faster than Greece, but since they aren't a country all their own, aren't making international headlines.

Short version: stop feeding the troll.

UC interoperability still a bad joke: Gartner

Tom 13

Re: Pretty uneducated opinion from Gartner (go fig)

And here I thought most enterprises didn't want to gut their phone infrastructure because they can't lose productivity for the time it takes to install, test, and work out the bugs on the new one.

And I say that sitting in a building in dire need of just such an upgrade.

Hasbro fails to win Asus Transformer Prime ban

Tom 13


The statement that :no company in the world owns the right to a particular well-known word (English or otherwise)" is empirically true.

Now that doesn't stop organizations like the IOC from using heavy-handed lawyer intimidation tactics to make the world think they do. And most small businesses, even a BBQ house that's been open for 20+ years, when confronted with the costs of defending a trademark lawsuit ($20,000+ for one org I was involved in and ours was settled OUT of court, literally minutes before our lawyers were set to file the complaint), will fold pretty quickly unless the name is critical to their business success (in our case our name was our business, and yes the defendants were in the EXACT same market we were).

Tom 13

Yes ASUS is being cheeky,

but Hasbro is being stupid.

There is no confusion. There are a few fanbois (probably 21+ years old) who bought the notebook because they are being cheeky. But the smarter thing to do would have been an actual cross licensing agreement to release the "Optimus Prime(tm)" version of the ASUS transformer with full images on the case and maybe a customized desktop/sound theme thrown in.

My bottom line: Stop trying to steal my language with your trademarks.

Republicans shoot down proposed ban on Facebook login boss-snoop

Tom 13

Re: Good. That's none of Washington's bussiness

I don't necessarily think Congress shouldn't pass a law to protect the privacy*. But contrary to the claims of the author, this amendment didn't even do that. What it did was transfer law-making authority away from Congress and to unelected twits, plus refer the bill back to committee where it could rot for a few more weeks while Dems blamed Reps for failure to take action on a critical issue.

*The devil is in the details, and I would want to see the details before giving my personal approval, but I can conceive that it could be written and receive my approval.

Tom 13

Re:Tone is wrong

What, calling out an obviously biased Democrat flack posing as an objective journalist about an American piece of news has the wrong tone?

That dog don't hunt no more. It took me all of 30 seconds to determine that the heart and soul of his post is WRONG, biased, and I expect, were charges brought against him in Old Blighty, would wind up with him being fined. Frankly, I'm not in favor of fining him, but I will call him on bias shielded by intentional ignorance.

Tom 13

@Lee Dowling: Icon for your Reading Failure.

While I disagree with the poster's political position, poster clearly indicated he did NOT vote for the incumbent.

Tom 13

Did you actually read the House link to which you connected?

Of COURSE the amendment was defeated. It wasn't an amendment to change the bill, it was an amendment to, and I quote:

"QUESTION: On Motion to Recommit with Instructions"

Which means it was an attempt to send the bill back to committee, not change it. had they actually offered a clean amendment it might have passed.

FBI nabs AWOL soldier for stealing Paul Allen's debit card

Tom 13

While that is true,

I'm not with CitiBank on the "we caught him" spin.

They ran a similar report of Fox News last night (yeah, the Murdock channel, get over it). The guy was running around with the card for a couple of weeks before they wised up and arrested him. Which would make either Paul Allen or CitiBank customer service, or both, even dumber than him.

Oz regulator to Apple: Don’t call it 4G if you can’t connect

Tom 13

@Annihilator: If he's a 'Merkin like me

it has nothing to do with the phone or SIM and everything to do with our spotty network. The phone I have is an Android advertised for 4G. On my daily train commute there are multiple places where I lose all phone signal and I've never seen a working 4G on that ride*. And I live in a major metropolitan area, not out in the boonies. In fact you might have heard of it:: the Washington DC beltway area.

*I have seen one once at a hotel where I was attending a conference, so presumably it works. Or at least I thought it indicated I was connected to one.

Tom 13

Re: But, you can ...

Frankly, if there aren't any real 4G networks, you can't test the device to ensure it does communicate at 4G, so they shouldn't be advertising it that way anyhow.

Everything else is arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

Tom 13

Doesn't bother me any.

But then, I live in the USA, where everybody sells 4G and nobody delivers it, so I'm use to not believing it.

Climate change linked to extreme weather surge

Tom 13

Re: meandering in this unusual way

More important question:

Given the short time for which we have known about, and therefore been able to study the jet stream and its affect on the weather, IS this unusual?

Tom 13

Re: We know smoking causes cancer...

Actually, most scientists THINK we know what causes lung cancer, Mesothelioma, etc. And while the experiments are repeatable and have statistically similar outcomes, I'm not so sure we do.

I don't think we've exposed the actual mechanism by which the chemical mutates the cells to cause the cancer. And more importantly, we don't have the means to control for one of the variables in the problem: the cutting of the cell walls from the small sharp pieces. It may be that cancer is simply a low probability biological event given a cut of the cell membrane. Increasing the number of cuts increases the probability of a cancer event. Then there's another healing probability complex to repair things, and increasing cancer events reduces the probability of the repair function stopping it. And therefore we will eventually see the same results for the allegedly benign fiberglass we now use for insulation.

Now there is a certain sense in which that means cigarettes still cause cancer, but not the sense the anti-smoking nazi's mean. (And yes, I'm the obnoxious one wearing the Cancer Cures Smoking button, but that doesn't mean I want the government imposing that restriction on you.)

TSA bars security guru from perv scanner testimony

Tom 13

I don't really expect to see another successful airline hijacking in my lifetime.

September 11 was a spectacular tactical success for Osama, but it was a strategic disaster for the long haul. It worked because the expectation was that if you just sat back and cooperated with the hijackers, you would be inconvenienced, made really uncomfortable, possibly beaten, but the majority would come out the other side alive. But even on that horrific day, when the passengers on the fourth plane found out what happened to the other three planes, all bets were off. The only thing that was certain was that the terrorist were NOT going where they planned to go. And that's the way it is going to be from now on.

So the TSA and HSA and all the other security theater twits should really put the kabuki and the Potemkin away and concentrate on real stuff, which is far more difficult to do, but has a much better payoff in the end.

Tom 13

I don't expect this will stand for very long.

The Executive Branch can ban their own employees from testifying as long as they work for it, but they can't ban anyone else from testifying, particularly when Congress is engaged in its authorized oversight function.

Microsoft censors Pirate Bay links from IM

Tom 13

@moiety: Stop with the lies.

TBP are NOT just linking to things. They are PREFERENTIALLY linking to things which are legally protected by IP rights. You can argue that IP shouldn't be protected to the extent that it is*, but until the law changes, that's the way things are.

That your government is improperly taxing you on something that IP holders aren't necessarily getting paid for doesn't change the fact that TPB's business plan depends on Piracy (which is why they put it in their name).

*I fully concur with that point and would like an overhaul of IP rights. Copyright for things which use to be printed on dead trees and sold as books should be no more than 75 years for corps, lifetime for living people, with 25 years after time of death for heirs. Trademarks times and defenses are probably ok, but they need to throw out trademarks in any form for words which appear in the dictionary (yes this will make slogan marks illegal, tough fecal waste). Patents need to be for provably non-obvious inventions mechanical, electrical, and chemical. I'm willing to consider industrial processes, but not business processes, and no software patents. Software should be protected by copyright, but only for 7 years regardless of whether corp or person (hence the dead tree rule above for book-like things). Copyrights can be issued for upgraded software, but when the copyright on the original software expires it is public.

CD: The indestructible music format that REFUSES TO DIE

Tom 13

Re: this is industry that really should be growing.

It is growing. Just not the parts of it that keep filing lawsuits because nobody wants their DRM encumbered dregs.

I like CDs, decent sound, reasonable price, reasonably portable. A good album is still cheaper per song than the $1.99 downloads.

Game closes 277 stores

Tom 13

Re: Statutory rights are for bleeding heart pinkos

Nope, they're the first one to throw them out the door if they don't agree with them. See BO and the GM Bailout where Vendors and Bond holders, who are statutorily next after Banks got short shrift over stock holders and unions.

Tom 13

Re: Baffled!

Probably because your wants don't necessarily translate into statutory rights. The very definition of bankruptcy is that you don't have enough assets and income to pay your creditors. At that point a new order of preference comes into play. I would expect rewards cards to be at the very end of that line, not the beginning of it. You haven't paid real money for it. Your credits would be just in front of the rewards cards, working back toward banks being first in line to get their money. The only people who would be behind your rewards card would be the stock holders of the company.

Spooked spooks made Symantec end Huawei fling - new claim

Tom 13

Re: as Huawei is at pains to point out, had no military rank.

So he's just a straight up spy instead of spy with special forces training then, sort of like the CIA, only competent?

Microsoft takes down ZeuS botnets

Tom 13

@David D. Hagood

Given the requirement for snailmail, I'd quibble with the specific time interval. Even in Western nations I think I'd want 3, though nor more than 4 weeks. For third world areas it would probably take significantly more in order to allow time to actually contact them and for them to have time to clean the machine.

But the overall algorithm looks good, and even with longer lead times would still get to the desired result.

Tom 13


No, the point is it should ONLY install things you intentionally install, not just any damn thing sitting on a website. Websites should only be able to display content unless explicit action is taken to cause something else to occur, and I'll even go so far as to include automatically starting an embedded media stream.

Senators chime in on employers’ Facebook snooping

Tom 13

If little Shmuckie Schumer is involved,

it ISN'T in your best interests, no matter how good it may sound on the surface.

Chrome extensions malware hijacks Facebook profiles

Tom 13

Re: But... but... but...

Down-voted because you used the troll icon and scare quotes. If you had fat-fingered it and moved right a mere one icon you'd have gotten an up-vote, because it IS their fault, despite the down votes I got the other day when noting that from a Network Admin perspective, Chrome IS malware in the sense that you can't prevent your users from installing it.

Facebook: Your boss asks for your password, we'll sue him! Maybe

Tom 13

Re: Taping without the other party's consent is illegal

Protecting yourself there is simple: At the start of the interview you explain you are taping to protect your legal interests, and if they object you walk out of the interview.

Tom 13

Re: If a prospective employer asked me to give them those details,

I've been thinking about what the appropriate response to such a question would be. I did consider the walk out route. But I think I came up with a better one:

No, I won't give you the password to my Facebook account. If you want to see my Facebook page, send me a friend invite and tell me the name now and I will approve you as a friend. But if I give you the password to my Facebook account, you'll never be able to trust that I won't give someone my password to your company system accounts.

I don't object to them seeing my Facebook page. I don't believe I have anything incriminating there, if I did it would be gone in a New York minute. If don't want to friend them, just use the last part and turn it around on them.

US broadcasters put the squeeze on small-town cable TV

Tom 13

Real Solution: It's time for cable companies to change their pricing models:

drop the tiered pricing in favor of al-a-carte. When viewers are actually paying for what they watch instead of the pie getting sliced up by non-consumers, we'll get the tv we want instead of the tv somebody else thinks we want.

Tom 13

Re: Cable isn't dead...

Quoting transmission rates in Germany only reinforces the previous poster's point which you studiously ignore: rural USA.

Cable is pretty much how they get their TV and internet. More because the local political jurisdictions are in bed with the cable operators, but it is what it is.

'Now we understand what's required to explode a supernova' - NASA

Tom 13

Re: A neat demonstration of reality versus "common sense"

Quite a lot of astronomical stuff is always about to change. Of all the stuff in astrophysics, the only things we think we've really got nailed down pretty solid are Gravity and Light (speed and spectra). After that you start piling inferences on top of assumptions on top of hypothesis. Any time you add one new piece of hard data, all those pieces are subject to change. One of the most amazing things about astronomy is that it holds together so well with how little we actually know, because for the most part we can't actually perform experiments to test theories, we can only observe natural occurrences.

Tom 13

Re: science boffins vs budget fear mongerers

The distinction is simple really: the science boffins observing the supernovae publish their data as well as their hypotheses, calculations, and models. The warmmongers looking for more money in their budgets only publish their conclusions and then do their best Bill Murray imitation* when asked about their data, hypotheses, calculations, and models.

Ghost Busters, "Back off man, I'm a scientist!"

If Nominet has spoken, you can't come here – High Court

Tom 13

Re: @Chad H.

If either of the parties is damn fool enough to not make sure the arbiter is competent, I'd really rather their money was taken from them and given to someone who won't make the same mistake. I know, I know; it's ironically Darwinian of me given that I don't actually believe in Evolution.

Tom 13

@Chad H.

Yes and no. I believe that in any contract where you can show that all parties to the contract actively engaged in negotiating the contract, you should be able to have such a clause. It can benefit all parties by reducing costs, but it DOES require that 1) the arbitrator be truly neutral and 2) agreed to by all the parties prior to the actual dispute occurring.

However, "contracts" that are handed to you and you can sign it or walk are a whole other story. I think those should be summarily tossed and petitioner should have his day in court. And if it turns out that the petitioner is a troll, the court should treat him accordingly.

Medieval warming was global – new science contradicts IPCC

Tom 13

Re: Poor logic

You contradict yourself on the very first line. The AGW warmmongers are precisely the people who for the last 20 years have been claiming the science is settled and we skeptics need to stuff a sock in it.

On the second line you misrepresent our claim. Our claim isn't that they were wrong, it's that if they lied about item #1 in order to advance a specific non-scientific agenda, you can't trust any of the rest of their statements either.

On line 3 you again seek to misdirect. I've checked on a few papers and they ALL start with an assumption I KNOW to be wrong: Solar activity does not constitute the major component of warming on Earth. Run the thought experiment where you turn off the sun and see how warm the CO2 keeps it.

Line 4 is pure BS. You expend scarce resource only in proportion to the combine damage*risk danger factor when compared to cose. When there are serious questions about both damage and risk, and the cost is 10 orders of magnitude higher than either, it goes to the bottom of the pile. I present as an objective example the danger that near-Earth object of sufficient size to cause a Tanguskan event. We know such objects exist and they have a far more immediate and serious affect than the change the warmmongers pound their drums about. Yet no one is seriously expending money on identifying such objects, let alone work out a reasonable plan to mitigate their impact.

Tom 13

@JC_: You're problem here is that science has NEVER, EVER

depended upon "recognized authority" and has instead relied upon PUBLISHED, REVIEWABLE THEORIES and DATA. The AWG warmmongers have never provided latter and incessantly demand that we recognize the former. If we depended upon "recognized authority" for science we'd all still be calculating epicycles for the planets in an Earth-centered universe.

Dr Who scores new companion from Emmerdale

Tom 13

Re: Any of you ACTUALLY gone back and watched any of the old Doctor Who stories?

Yes I have. Two nights ago as a matter of fact: The Three Doctors downloaded from Netflix.

I'd buy DVDs of the old shows if the Beeb would just have the decency to repackage them in season sets and sell them at the same price as they sell the current ones. Right now I only have them on aging VHS tapes from when they use to run on PBS.

Tom 13


I won't go as far as the best of the new series, but yes, by the end of her run I was sad to see her go. She actually made a good foil for him.

Tom 13

Re: Your all wrong

McCoy and Ace were great, but I'll still give the edge to Baker and either Ramana v1 or Leela.

It still pisses me off the Beeb were clearly intent on killing the show when McCoy had the role. I've heard better soundtracks on Hanna Barbara cartoons.

And okay, maybe I am just a crazy 'Merkin, but I really liked the shows better when they had the feel of the monarchy back on Galifrey. It made them different, and therefore that much more enjoyable.

Tom 13

I'd agree that all of Bakers companions

until Cedric were good ones. But let's face it, if you're really looking for the one companion who could always keep up, it wasn't a he or a she, it was K9 in any incarnation.

Tom 13


Nope, while it is true that Baker actually married V2, her portrayal was greatly inferior to V1. V1 actually exceeded the doctor in knowledge and skill, at least in the first episodes before the writers started dumbing her down. By V2 the transformation was complete except for an occasional throw-away. And I think V1 was the prettier of the two too.

Chrome beats IE market share for one day

Tom 13

Re: @Tim Parker : "Chrome catching IE slowly"?

You can whine about stat all you want to, but according to the security folks at my not so small government agency, Chrome is technically malware because it bypasses administrative installation restrictions. Those of us working the help desk aren't authorized to install it, but we can't stop users from installing it either, even when they don't have the proper privileges.

Tom 13

@mcstorm2011: Let me fix that for you.

"I use IE as my main browser as I work with a lot of MS products like remote web work place & SharePoint and MS won't release versions that properly support web standards, so none of the other browsers work."

While realizing the net effect is the same for you and your customer, assigning fault properly is critical to getting it fixed.

Elsevier's backpedalling not stopping scientist strike

Tom 13

Re: Cost Analysis

Speaking as someone who isn't an academic and did some of that work for a publisher once upon a time in my life, your description does not accurately describe the process. There's no way they are requiring you to submit it in "publication ready format" because that would require everyone in academia to own a copy of PageMaker, Ventura, Quark, and maybe one or two other programs. What they are requiring is something formatted to look like what will eventually be published so when they're done reworking it, they have something to match it against.

Next, some journals may only do cursory editing others do extensive, particularly for non-native speakers. In our case in addition to the reviewers we usually had 3 or 4 editor/proofreaders (hourly part time) who were assigned articles, they came back to us were reviewed either by the senior or assistant editor (both full time employees at the publisher), and finally went to either me or my assistant for correction and formatting in the publication program. While my salary didn't make me rich, I wasn't exactly cheap either. I expect most of the rest of the staff made more than me.

Finally, we need to deal with your throw-away greed line: they bundle it with less popular journals to hide the price. No, they've adapted to the socialist model academics prefer: they subsidize the cost of equally critical journals that don't have sufficient circulation to break even, or support other work the organization was doing [in my case we were a 501(c)3 corporation supporting scientific research in testing methodology assurance].

Now maybe Elsevier deserve a boycott because they are making obscene amounts of money, I haven't looked at their last quarterly report. But I given my experience, I doubt it. Probably just keeping their heads above water wondering how they are going to still be a going concern 3 years from now, and that was before the boycott. Chances are you'll only find out how truly critical they were after they go bankrupt and things that use to be easily available to you cease to be.

Apple wants ebook price class action suit thrown out

Tom 13

@John Naismith: Ah, finally the light goes on.

You're just being European bigots instead of American bigots. Our pols have passed a law and it must be moral.

Price fixing is not the same as anti-competitive. You can fix to a low price, but it tends to be consumers who want that, not producers. Apple just approved an agreement that said

1. We need to make a fair margin, we think it's 30%

2. We don't care what the actual price is, so we'll sell at whatever you say MSRP is.

3. To protect ourselves and because you are setting the MSRP, you can't set the MSRP lower for anybody else than you do for us*

With that agreement in hand the publishers went to everyone else and offered them the Apple deal. Everybody else agreed the Apple deal was better than what they were getting.

Now, maybe you can argue the PUBLISHERS collaborated to create an anti-competitive environment, but Apple as first movers certainly aren't the guilty party.

* which is not to say they can't lower the MSRP, just that if they lower it for someone else, Apple gets it too. Seems fair to me.

Tom 13

There are multiple avenues for anti-trust.

The one you are outlining is NOT the one which was filed against Apple. What has been contended is that Apple effectively colluded with publishers and distributors to set prices in an existing market. The mechanisms described are faulty and therefore that case is faulty.

The one you describe might be feasible, but even at that I think it has a steep climb to make. In order to get there, you have to give Apple monopoly control of the e-reader market. Given Kindle's dominance, and Android's growing market share in the phone market (which I expect will soon extend to fondleslabs as well) I think Apple wins that with a "we aren;t the dominant market size player, just the dominant high quality segment" argument.

Tom 13

Re: Except Amazon...

In the US, selling at a loss to drive out the competition is expressly defined actionable anti-trust behavior. It's what the whole "rail ticket across the country at less cost that a trip across Chicago" trust-busting movement back in the dark ages was all about.

Tom 13

@The Man Who Fell To Earth

That guaranteed lowest price clause everybody is complaining about is actually standard contractual language for many commercial operations in the US, including discount distribution centers and manufacturers.

For example, lets say I run a small manufacturing plant that specializes in precision machining. And one day I come up with an idea for a new heating mechanism for experimental equipment. But I need some cash to be able to spin up the new manufacturing line. And the best way for me to get that cash is to get a loan from the bank. But the bank wants some proof that I'll be able to pay it back, so I go sign a contract with a well known big industry player, like HP back when H and P were still running it. Now, HP actually like my new design and want to buy enough units so 75% of my new manufacturing line is running full tilt. But they don't want to get screwed by either a competitor or even me offering it at a substantial discount from what they can sell it at given the price I gave them on the initial contract. So they include a clause that says if I sell it to someone else cheaper, I have to give the same price to them. Apple did the same thing.*

In point of fact, what actually is illegal in the US would have been for Apple to engage in the sort of coordinated discussions that would have enabled them to follow the "accepted norm" for the suit.

*a lot of actual events in there, with a few outright fabrications (although possible) and misdirects so it doesn't match up to reality, and hopefully enough obfuscation to protect the OEM, who was and probably still is a small but important player in the market.

Symbian smacked by Windows Phone

Tom 13

Re: To the haters

You forgot the /sarc tag, so you've confused people.



It this part that gives it away:

...soon Windows Phone 7 (sorry 7.5 actually no I mean Windows Phone 8) will emerge...

Tom 13


I'm not a big mobi user, but the way I read the tea leaves, it's really got nothing to do with how dreadful it is for users. It's how dreadful it has been for the company to support development of the OS. I read it as mostly self-inflicted wounds, but fatal never the less. So their choice is whether to go Android or WinPho, because iOS is out.

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