* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Adobe can't penetrate punters' tight wallets: Users holding out for CS6

Tom 13

Guess they missed the memo:

There's a recession on in the US, and it's affecting the whole world. As a result, businesses are trimming expenditures.

Pope Benedict in .XXX pro-Islam cybersquat drama

Tom 13

Re: catholic.xxx

While it is true that the word "catholic" technically means "universal" it is hardly ever used in that context any more. When it is used, it is Catholic, as in Catholic Church over which The Pope presides here on Earth.

The meaning of words changes over time, and it is probably time to update the definition to note that "universal" is an archaic definition.

Note: I'm not Catholic myself, I'm more from the Protestant realm although of no official affiliation.

Tom 13

@Steven Roper

No, that would be Agnosticism, makes the claim it doesn't know whether or not there is a God. Atheism is the belief there is NO God.

And no, worldwide absence of religious belief doesn't bring substantial improvement. Most often it has brought death by the millions. cf Nazi Germany, Communist China, Pol Pot, etc. Oddly enough, it has usually been the Christians who were the first to come to the aid of the persecuted in these countries.

Tom 13

Re: @Scott

In other words, you're just as much of a bigot as any mask wearing member of the KKK who burned a cross in a front yard or murdered a man because of the color of his skin, or his support for people who thought the color of skin shouldn't matter.

Kim Dotcom seizures 'null and void'

Tom 13

Re: Bama is a dummy

There are many such conversations, but none of them involve the sorts of racists and fascists who reflexively scream "RACIST!" when The Big 0's Communist/Marxist/Racist policies are pointed out.

*Accusing a white police officer who teaches the race awareness course of racism for following proper police procedure when a break-in is reported at a black man's house.

*Overturning long standing creditor and bond holder priority in favor of paying off union goons in bankruptcy court.

*Facilitating gun running to Mexican drug cartels and the murder of a US law officer under three separate ATF operations before trying to cover it up in a sham even Nixon wouldn't have tried.

*Dismissing an already successful prosecution for voter intimidation for a black man in a 90% black majority district because he was attacking white people and they deserve it.

*Re-writing, in contradiction of existing law, the loan terms for a politically connected solar energy company so that American taxpayers would be liable for all of the loan.

*Against the will of the American people implementing a Socialist healthcare system, including offering blatant bribes such as The New Louisiana Purchase and the Corn Husker Kickback.

Oh, and let's not forget my personal favorite:

*Voting with Barney "The Congressional Page Scandal" Frank to block Bush's attempts (which probably would have been too late anyway, but at least were an attempt) to head off the 2007 banking collapse, then blaming it on greedy corporations and Republicans.

As near as I can tell in my 36 years of political observation, the biggest difference between Republicans and Democrats is that no matter how bought they are, Republicans can occasionally be embarrassed about the corruption and forced to do the proper thing. No chance of that with a Dem.

Tom 13

If it is okay to seize crack cocaine and/or automatic weapons,

it is also ok to seize assets that can aid the accused in unlawfully escaping prosecution. Which Kim showed every intention of doing, passport or no.

Tom 13

Not a chance. US Congresscritters are too accustomed

to being above the law to notice a little thing like that.

Rutgers student guilty, faces 10 years for webcam spying

Tom 13

Re: I genuinely don't understand.

The university's position is that you are there to learn not to have sex.

The students typically come to an arrangement for alone time in the room. You'll have other friends on campus and you might crash with them when your roomie has a "friend" over.

What you'll probably find even more amazing is that even outside of uni housing, students still group up with other people they might not know to share rooms and still have the same issues.

And as long as you are both reasonably normal, there is a good chance you'll become decent friends in fairly short order. My first two years were spent with a pre-med student. We didn't have any issues, but then neither of us ever brought "friends" back to the room either. We actually were there to study.

Tom 13

@Citizen Kaned

I think if the roommate had been straight but of a strict fundamentalist sect and it had gotten out, and the roommate had committed suicide he'd been in similar trouble, we just wouldn't know about it. Probably not 10 years for murder trouble, more like 5 years for manslaughter, but also without an option for a community service plea deal.

Tom 13

Re: Plea deal...

When someone winds up dead, it's not just a harassment/privacy invasion case.

I can disagree with hate crimes aspect, but this is a carrot and stick case. The carrot was an especially lenient plea bargain. The stick might be bigger than I'd like, but when you tempt the fates with a trial when the prosecution has you cold, you're a fool.

Supersonic silent biplane COMING SOON ...ish

Tom 13

One other thing, I'd wager the sonic boom off a Concord

was probably a good bit less disruptive than the noise I endured living under a common BWI flight path. At the time I lived there it the planes had to effectively execute a hard banking turn as soon as they lifted off the runway because it pointed the wrong way. It seems they didn't want the jets flying over the ocean on take off. So you constantly heard screaming jet engines laboring under that load.

Tom 13

That'll be one up vote from a 'Merkin

Of course, I consider the Concord hysteria the precursor to the current carbon hysteria. I seem to recall some ozone hysteria too, just to mix things up a bit.

Tom 13

Re: The problem is the flux capacitor...

The problem was NEVER the flux capacitor, it was how to get the 1.21 Gigawatts of power to feed the damn thing! Or getting the train up to 88 mph.

Writers' alliance throws the book at Apple 'piracy'

Tom 13

@Norfolk 'n' Goode: You'll find I'm as quick to bash Apple as I am MS,

but only when there is cause. Given that Apple are currently being shaken down by a Chinese company with political connections, I'm rather suspicious this case is also the result of political connections.

Tom 13


I would say that given Apples most recent woes, the problem is quite the reverse: it has shutdown (or at least been significantly diminished) allowing more outsiders to see the Emperor's clothes.

Atmospheric CO2 set to soar - OECD

Tom 13

@Alan Smithie: Actually he's correct.

The most fun on Mythbusters is frequently when they are rapidly converting all the CH4 (or equivalents) into CO2.

Tom 13

@Steve Crook: Warmmongers, not physics.

No physicist worth his salary would make projections with as many unknowns as the Warmmongers do.

Tom 13

@Dale Richards

If you need an explanation for the icon, you shouldn't be reading this site, or at the very least need a Chem 001 class. And I say that as someone who ranks very low on the chemistry expertise list, quite near the bottom in fact.

Tom 13

@Ken Hagan: Agreed, but

it didn't help the politics any that the Fukishima management misled the Japanese public about the actual risks during the accident because they were concerned the Japanese would react like Americans.

Yes, I'm saying that from the 'Merkin side of the pond.

Tourists follow GPS, drive into sea

Tom 13

@Alan Edwards: First time on the wrong side of the road in Boston?!?!?

You sir are either a very brave, or very stupid man and certainly a very lucky man. Even those of us accustomed to driving on the wrong side of the road avoid Boston if we can.

Have virtual pint on me for surviving the trip.

Public service plans paperless future

Tom 13

Re: Second flaw

Yep, NJ was about to go completely paperless the other day and made all the national dailies. I understand they finally recognized the error of their ways and got some more paper in.

Tom 13

I see the digital uptopianists are at it again.

At the end of another of The Roommate's harrow tales of work the other day was this statement:

"Thankfully one of my guys unexpected was able to find the data I needed to support my recommendation to the warrant holder. It was a piece of paper about 20 years old. I suppose I should be thankful it was a piece of paper, because if it had been digital we probably wouldn't have had a computer that could read it."

And yes, The Roommate works in an engineering office where the paperwork trail is more important than the work itself.

PhD pimp's mobe lock screen outwits Feds - Google told to help

Tom 13

Re: @ Hud Dunlap

It's California. They just swing that way. The rest of us on this side of the pond don't understand it either, but there's not much we can do about it.

Addendum: This is part of why we Tea Partiers get labeled neanderthals in your press. We want laws like this changed, while our opponents play it up as increasing sentences for drug use/distribution. Or worse, they play it off as us being unnecessarily inhibited about sex, which is a private matter.

Tom 13

Re: Brain dead feds...

If they break into it themselves instead of going this route, they lose admissibility of all data to future court cases. I for one am happy to see them following proper procedures in this case.

Newly discovered asteroid will not ANNIHILATE THE EARTH

Tom 13

Re: A wll placed SAM?

No, actually you want to use conventional explosives to change the orbit. We know from past experiences that detonating a nuke in orbit is bad for current civilization. What is needed is reconfiguring the ICBMs to carry conventional payloads and launch them in a well calibrated series designed to keep nudging the orbit while keeping it whole. If it break up, you have more pieces to track. Yes they'll all do less damage, but you need to be sure the most damage any of them will do is still on par with taking out a house, not a large city. Tracking one is hard enough, the chaos from a break-up makes the fragments impossible.

Yes, this solution ignores the political problems of nation states peacefully launching a series of ICBMs into space, but it's the only physics solution available.

Tom 13

Re: There's no need

Sure there is: they won't let us build new ones until after we use the ones we have.

Lawyers of Mordor menace Hobbit boozer

Tom 13

Read the complaint carefully.

It says "certain worldwide rights" not "certain worldwide copyrights." Also, remember this is US law, not UK law and put the blame where it belongs: on stupid requirements in our laws. I expect this is a rare exception where the lawyers are doing only what is required, not trolling. I say this because I expect what is being infringed is NOT copyright, but Trademark. And in the US, if you don't defend Trademark, you lose it, which make extending it to worldwide a really big double-edged sword.

Mobile banking security bypassed in fiendish malware blag

Tom 13

Re: In what country...

Any country with an automated internet system for reporting lost/stolen property because having police to actually verify things costs too much and is very inefficient. It's the "other personal information" on which they are primarily depending, and which was probably also compromised by the malware on the system.

NASA orders study for all astronauts over vision concerns

Tom 13

Possible but doubtful.

You get lots of high-g affects far more frequently for fighter pilots, especially of the naval variety. And they specified that it results from the build-up of fluid around the eye itself.

Of course you'll need a full bore longitudinal study and a cross comparison with the fighter jocks, so...

Medic! We need a loan grant application STAT!

Microsoft warns of RDP attack within next 30 days

Tom 13

Re: Public IPs only?

Autoupdate is ONLY suitable for home users. If you were the CIO of my company and I found out you'd simply enabled auto-update to protect systems I'd fire you on the spot.

Companies should have a properly configured patch management system that allows admins to download and test patches before hitting the switch for mass deployment. After the switch has been hit it needs to report back how many systems have actually deployed the patch. And within a few days at most, if the patch hasn't been applied a desktop or help desk tech should be dispatched to review and resolve the issue. Ideally the patch system gets your non-MS patches as well, but if you can't afford those at a minimum you're using a properly configured WSUS server.

Of course in the real world, thing don't work that way. I bitch at least once a month about an app that depends on a framework that the vendor stopped supporting two years before I was hired, and I was hired more than two years ago. Why do I bitch? Because once again the monthly update deployed by the Network Admin to patch documented security holes in the framework has bolluxed the hideously old version of the framework even though they are supposed to live side by side (in other words, it's not an MS framework). And yes, if I were in a position of authority I'd fire the vendor for the critical system product based on that framework. But near as I can tell the vendor has enough cash to buy off enough pols to keep the product in place.

Tom 13

Re: Next 30 DAYS?

MS isn't saying it will take 30 days before there is an exploit. They aren't saying exactly when the exploit will come out. If it came out 30 minutes after they released the patch that would be "within 30 days." What they are saying is that BY 30 days, the probability of a widely distributed exploit approaches unity.

Walmart offers $2 digital copies of your DVDs

Tom 13

Re: @AC 12:19 GMT

Most folks using DRM encumbered satelilite and cable services don't expect that they OWN a copy of the movie. They only expect it to work for a single instance. Big difference.

JavaScript shogun deflects Google's mid-air Dart attack

Tom 13


Except of course that isn't what Google is doing and so far shows no indications of doing. In fact, as the article clearly notes, they are continuing to support JS. Maybe on this point they are willing to let the best technology win, because er, well, it is best for Google to support the best technology regardless of from where it originates?

New Yorker sues Apple: 'Misleading and deceptive' Siri ads

Tom 13

Re: I can't always unedstand "Noo Yawkers"

That only hurts Apple's ads. They advertise it as working for EVERYBODY.

Yeah, I know most voice stuff is a load of crock until trained. One of my early experiences with it was trying to install it for an Israeli who had an accent so thick you needed a chain saw to cut it. Poor sod bought himself a copy of Dragon Naturally Speaking (way back around maybe 4.0) for WordPerfect so he wouldn't have to dictate everything to his secretary. I did my best to tweak the software for him. Of course there was no way I could tell him the problem was his accent, that would have gotten me and my company sued.

Tom 13

Re: I don't own an iPhone..

It sounds like he was talked into the upgrade. If that was the case, I'd want to sue too. And this case has all the necessary ingredients for a high grade Class Action Lawsuit (Big company ignoring customers, little guy getting screwed; cha-ching, cha-ching, cha-ching for the lawyers) so it's no surprise he found someone to take his case.

Tom 13


Stay on target.

Neither the plaintiff nor the referenced article are about using it for everything and then some. It's about it not doing what is advertised or in the case of the article, less than it did in the past.

PayPal slaps down Dr Who ‘charity book’

Tom 13


No, he used PayPal because proper merchant agreements are scary to read and problematic to implement. Proper merchant accounts make you personally liable for anything that goes wrong with processing the account. If you aren't a corp (a whole other mess to setup) that properly scares the crap out of people. Then the people selling you the merchant account have no idea how to implement it for a website, so you need a third party processor. Paypal has a simple form sign and done. Yeah they take a higher percentage, but it looks less intimidating.

At least that was my experience setting it up for the non-profit I mentioned above. No, I didn't trust PayPal and wasn't ever going to sign with them. But their stuff does look better on the surface.

Tom 13

Re: Actually PP may be doing the right thing here

There are many "proper means of operation" and pre-orders and crowd sourcing are some of them. All that is required is full disclosure of what you are doing. I helped start a non-profit that is now a US$2+ million corporation using similar techniques. We sold memberships in a convention and there was no way a dozen college students were going to have the money to have print the programs, buy the supplies, and pay the hotels without income from the pre-sales. Yeah, it could be a scam. As a consumer you do your due diligence before you buy. Whole sectors of markets start out this way. If he's got a known reputable publisher and letters or agreements with the stars lending their names to the project, that is all that is necessary to validate the project. But if it isn't a real live person who can make a value judgement answering the phone, you can't submit those.

Walking through MIME fields: Snubbing Steve Jobs to Star Trek tech

Tom 13

Re: an individual who believed MIME was "very ugly".

I think that individual was right, MIME is very ugly. But it works. And something that works but is ugly, beats pertty stuff that doesn't work any day of the week.

So a great big "Thank-you!" to all those people who worked on the ugly beastie to make it work.

And yes, I DO recall the days of trying to paste together bits of uuencoding to get something out the back end. It worked about 80% of the time. MIME just works.

Judge nixes Apple's bid to patent-bash bankrupt Kodak

Tom 13

Re: Preview pics on an LCD screen has a patent?

The need to do so is obvious. The means by which you do it? Perhaps not. There exists the remote possibility they could have found a novel way of doing it that was quicker, easier, cheaper, or more accurate than anything currently being done elsewhere. Unfortunately, given the quality of other patents we know have been issued, I'm doubtful Apple really did anything new.

Mammoths, sabre-tooths MURDERED by second giant space boulder

Tom 13

Re: So it wasn't over hunting ?

That was last week.

This is this week.

Next week we go back to last week.

Tom 13

Re: Not necessarily -- EVERYBODY PANIC

As long as we've got Bruce Willis, everything will work out OK.

MYSTERY programming language found in Duqu

Tom 13

Re: SCADA system code is entirely proprietary

Good points. Not only unrecognizable, but perhaps also useless as ID tool. If each one is done as a one off, the trackers wind up wasting resources chasing ghosts.

Tom 13
Paris Hilton

Re: Perl 6 Ticks All The Boxes...

But I thought Paris was completely object oriented?

Tom 13

Re: Why would whomever knows something of it fess up?

I'll guess it's for the bunch of people getting killed off for spilling the beans part. Some trawlers here seem to think that sort of thing only happens in movies.

Although I will admit The Eiger Sanction uses the method rather successfully.

Tom 13

Re: a lot of work for a malware author

For a malware author (or group of authors) yes, for a bunch of spooks who want to remain unknown, not so much.

Tom 13

Obviously it was written in Forth.

That way when it came time to implement the plan, all they had to do was type:

Go Forth and Conquer!

'How often can you hack a govt without going to jail?'

Tom 13

To be fair,

even if e-voting machines WERE ready for widespread use, DC still wouldn't be ready for them.

Solar storm has a 'sting in its tail', warn space weathermen

Tom 13
Thumb Down


Posted with all the authority of someone who has never fired a shotgun at a moving target.

Tom 13

Re: No, no, no, no

You're more likely to be knocked out of the sky by hot hail.


Cue Queen music.

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