* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

US Navy preps railgun for tests

Tom 13

I'll take the option to hit fuel storage

or the modern equivalent of the gunpowder magazine.

And I expect a burst has a better shot of connecting with a critical structural support than you'd imagine, especially if it slices through the whole ship as you seem to be implying it would.

Resellers: Microsoft price hike was 'demanded by Euro country bosses'

Tom 13

@Crisp: So then I guess you've never heard of

Warren Buffet or George Soros.

Here's a hint: governments sometimes (I'd say frequently, but I'm in a generous mood at the moment) do stupid things with their currencies.

Tom 13

Apple? I thought that was


Tom 13

@Dare: Because MS was the first to market with

a reasonably good, reasonably stable, and inexpensive computer way, way, back in the day. Because it was all of those things plus the hardware got even more affordable, they developed the biggest installed base. That installed base is their most valuable asset. If you move away from that base you encounter friction when you deal with other businesses. Whether it's the act of explaining to them that there is nothing wrong with your documents when they open them and get the "converting" message (because MS has tweaked something and even though your FOSS program supports the format MS said was public it doesn't exactly any more), or outright rejection because you aren't using the right software it is still friction. In business, the less friction on things that don't matter, the easier it is to deal with friction where they do.

Not that I'm necessarily happy about this, but it is at the heart of the matter. In fact, this truth even causes MS problems: Do you really think MS extended support for XP for as long as they did because they wanted to? Do you really think they want businesses to still be stuck on IE6? Whatever you thing of the quality of their new OS and browser, MS obviously want people buying new stuff because that maintains or increases the MS money stream.

Mozilla explains user-tracking proposal for Firefox

Tom 13

Clicking on a link in an email you know you don't know who it came from

falls under the category of asshattery, not the tinfoil brigade.

There are legitimate reasons to collect data from users that don't involve spam or marketing. That doesn't mean spam and marketing aren't the majority of them. On the rare occasion when a valid one arises you need to evaluate it. If you think you'll benefit in the long run, you do it. I did many, many moons ago when the house I was living in was selected to be an actual Neilson ratings house.

Google Wallet PIN security cracked in seconds

Tom 13

Uh-huh. And tell me sir,

would you prefer to enter your 512 character password or just provide me with a check and show me your driver's license?

Lengthening the password and/or adding salt can lengthen the time required for the attack to work, but given this one works in seconds, and it requires physical access to the phone in the first place, changing it to hours instead of seconds isn't really all that much help.

Personally, you won't find me using any Google Wallets for anything because my experience with it many moons ago was quite on par with many of the E-Bay horror stories you've heard: money gone, no merchandise, no person at Google for me to call, no refunds ever sent. Obviously YMMV.

New sat data shows Himalayan glaciers hardly melting at all

Tom 13


They need to put this discussion on ice.

Oracle demands retrial in SAP slurp spat

Tom 13

Generally I'd agree, but in this case

it is very odd that the judge decided on an amount even lower than what SAP offered. While I concur that the Billions settlement awarded by the jury is absurd, I would expect the award to be in the $600-$800 million range as a premium for not coming to an out of court settlement. But then I haven't read the trial notes either.

Will Apple set up shop in Walmart warehouses?

Tom 13

You know, my nearest Sam's Club

is in the heart of downtown, not out of town. Granted, I reside in The Beltway, but I would have thought a Reg author would at least use the excuse to expense a lunch to actually visit a Sam's Club for the story.

Has Microsoft finally killed off Windows 8 Start button?

Tom 13

Oh Gawd!

So MS has come up with a solution that will have us begging them to bring the Start Button back.

Beware Freedom of Info law 'privacy folktale' - ICO chief

Tom 13

Righty ho then. So that means you would have fully supported

a German agent positioned in the UK having been able to find out the government had an Enigma machine?

Don't be daft. Some things need to stay secret. The trick is to limit it to only those things that need to be secret while fully discussing those that don't.

Tom 13

You missed an even bigger problem.

I wish I could find the reference, but within the last 3 months I have seen reports that 80%+ of FOIA requests filed in the US seek information relating to work contract disputes between unions and government, or EEO disputes, none of which are the public policy aspect being debated here.

Tom 13

The gutter press doesn't survive without

a gutter public to support it.

Tom 13

No, the public need to see a full debate,

which is not necessarily the same thing as seeing all the pre-debate work and strategies discussed before a full debate occurs in public. And the public debate needs to be a real debate, not some Way Off Broadway stage show. They public also has the right to know who has been involved in the discussions about the pre-debate work, although not necessarily what was said. I for one (if I were in such a position) would be reluctant to give my honest and unvarnished opinion on certain aspects of policies because even though they are factual, in the current environment of PR hangings of non-protected classes I'd be a corpse.

Upgrade eliminates Atlantis from Google Earth

Tom 13
Black Helicopters

But Atlantis IS real.

It's just that you need to McGyver up a Stargate to get there.

Resellers smack down Microsoft's 'single-digit' price rise claim

Tom 13

Don't blame MS, blame the US govt.

Remember, US companies have to pay both US and European taxes on everything we export.

Anonymous releases law firm's emails about Haditha killings

Tom 13

Sure there are.

Usually the same twits backing Anonymous.

RIM's cartoon superheroes inspire caustic Tweet-storm

Tom 13

I presume she got that spatula at

Spatula City. But did she also get to drink from the fire hose? Or did she just win a prize from the Wheel of Fish?

Why I'd pay Apple more to give iPad factory workers a break

Tom 13

@EWI: Clones can't undercut Apple on their product because,

wait for it,


unlike IBM, Apple have IP protection out the wahzoo to prevent them from doing so.

Zuckerberg's 2012 personal income tax bill: $1.5 billion

Tom 13

Nope, he'll pay all of it

because you have to have the tax avoidance measures in place before the deal closes. If he'd had the appropriate vehicles in place beforehand, sure he could have avoided much or all of that. Just remember, even with the stupendous gross amount he is paying, because of an upper level inversion, he'll still be paying less as a percentage of actual income than some other schmucks who are pulling in a measly $150,000K because they are actually closer to the inflection point of the tax collection curve.

And I say that as a schmuck who is downside and nowhere near the $150,000K number.

Tom 13

You are still missing the point:

Zuckerberg =/= Facebook therefore your analogy isn't one.

Opinion poll: Anti-regulatory 'hype' unwarranted

Tom 13

Small Business Majority?

Sounds like your bog standard Leftist astroturf organization to me.

Biz urged to blast DNSChanger Trojans before safety net comes down

Tom 13

And even if the CTO is nominally sitting at the same table as the CEO,

chances are he's still the red-headed step child of the CxO crew.

Tom 13

As long as it still says "click here for more info"

it is a bad idea because it trains users to do the wrong thing.

Besides, it would be FAR more effective to put up a nice big friendly message that says:

"This DNS Resolution server has been brought to you by the FBI who are NOT logging your IP address. Your request will be redirected in [countdown timer starting at 10] seconds."

Study links dimwits to conservative ideology

Tom 13

Now there's a standard Ministry of Truth attitude:

because the new political doctrine says the Trotkysists were Stalin's worst enemies, they must always have been his worst enemies. History says otherwise. History says they worked together so long as they were both out of power, supported each other, and only fell on one another AFTER their combined forces rose to power, with Stalin winning because of the two communist evils, he was the worse.

Tom 13

A typical leftist remark.

The alleged scientific study purports to equate intelligence (or lack thereof) with particular ideologies (a particularly gauling tactic, but one for which the left is well known). The most commonly used measure of intelligence (whether correctly or not) is IQ. It therefore follows that someone with a high IQ and is not racist or a knuckle-dragging throwback as the study purports, is a data point against the study. Perhaps the study filtered its data the same way certain alleged scientists at CRU did?

Tom 13

Yes the meme is that racism is taught not learned,

but if you are a conservative, you ought to know to dig more deeply than that. My observation is that children cover the full spectrum of behaviors and learn social mores as they are taught to them. Yes, they are more apt to follow parents than teachers, and parents usually have more influence. I further observe that all children exhibit some form of prejudice, it's just that in current society some of these prejudices pass for being educated.

Tom 13

We don't claim Dems are fascists because they supported slavery in the 1800s,

we say they are fascists because like Mussolini and Hitler they treat people as groups rather than individuals and promote a political ideology that says the state should dictate how they live their private lives, although they occasionally make specious arguments about supporting individual freedom.

Death of IE6 still greatly exaggerated, says browser hit squad

Tom 13

Actually it's better not to.

Even if you remember what happened the last time, you still get stuck with it. Better a little happiness than all dreariness or fear as you await your impending doom.

Where is the Zephod's sunglasses icon?

Tom 13

The problem for the installed IE6 base isn't knowledge of

or the availability of alternate browsers. It is that they have some app, probably developed internally back in the dark ages when programs could do hex calculations in their heads, which is now business critical and doesn't run on anything newer. I hated those issues when we were trying to migrate from IE6 to IE7 and IE8 was now the preferred MS platform and conforming to most standards. Although there are notable commercial exceptions.

Tom 13

Six years ago I will agree with you whole heartedly.

Seven to 10 years ago I would have leaned that way. But some of these apps were being developed 12-15 years ago and there weren't any obviously superior choices. And those are the ones with the highest and most complicated transitions. The expectation was that MS would migrate the necessary functionality as they moved to newer versions of the software. The reality was that the very functionality that made it possible to build the apps was also at the heart of the security vulnerabilities for Windows. And as we now know, building secure apps is even more expensive than building modular apps that work with standards compliant technology.

Tom 13

Perhaps from a web developers perspective that's the bottom line,

but it certainly isn't from a security perspective, and developers at various levels taking that attitude is precisely why security is the mess that it is.

So long as the IE6 code is present on the machine it represents a security threat. Yes, the primary threat is to the recalcitrant Windows XP user, but as DDOS and other distributed attacks have proven, there are secondary effects even if you are running a more secure system yourself.

Tom 13

Yep. While the battle between Netscape and MS led to

browser innovation, the "standard" was whichever one of them had the largest market share when the question was asked. Although of course they did both join the standards setting bodies in which to continue duking it out.

Verisign admits 2010 hack attack, mum on what was nicked

Tom 13

That would be why they are announcing now.

Because they are announcing now and SEC hasn't gone after them yet, it doesn't count as a violation. Now if SEC had caught them and they still didn't know....

French court lays le smackdown on Google Maps

Tom 13

Having once worked for a delivery service:

no, it doesn't work that way. Tickets can't be expensed back to the company, and they can't be deducted as a cost. It comes straight out of the driver's pocket when they get a fine. Now the company probably does have a broader agreement with the local municipality with regard to being a recognized delivery vehicle than your local pizza boy, but that's a horse of a different color.

Tom 13

Right, that why US bond payment rates

are still in the basement instead of sky rocketing the way they ought to be given all the money the Fed has been printing - because all that US and European money is flocking to the Euro which is backed by those Greek, Italian, Spanish, and Irish examples of financial competence.

Look, I'm not saying our economy isn't in the shitter over here, it's just that somehow you guys seem to keep doing so much worse that we look decent by comparison. I really wish that weren't true, because if you guys looked better, I'd have a bigger stick with which to beat the morons on this side of the pond.

Tom 13

Actually they didn't.

They got fined for violating a consent agreement that was the outcome of an earlier and provable anti-trust case (lockout agreements with PC manufacturers) that also got bolluxed because the prosecutors didn't know what the hell they were doing.

Most observers agree that the fine they did get was both too little and too late. By the time the remnants of Netscape got the money they were, well, remnants. And then the development of browsers went moribund for the next 2 or 3 years or more depending on your point of view. I mean people are still bitching because there are still a measurable number of people out there using IE6.

Court defies Apple demand to ban Samsung tablet

Tom 13


Any win for sanity in any court anywhere on the planet needs to be celebrated these days.

Fraud baron forced henchmen into S&M orgies to prove loyalty – cops

Tom 13

Ah you silly Brits,

every 'Merkin knows that 3+ court years = 3+ dog years, which is closer to 6 months in real years.

EFF helps MegaUpload users claw legit stuff back from Feds

Tom 13

Not an interesting question at all.

The statutes under which the money was frozen have all been passed by Congress, approved by the President, been found constitutional by SCOTUS, and have nothing to do with either copyrights or terrorism. They do have a great deal to do with something that metastasized in the 1920's through1940's period in the US: organized crime. The outcome in all cases has been that the government has no liability even if the accused are not found guilty, unless the accused can prove that the government knowingly and maliciously pursued a false accusation. And as the Scooter Libby persecution shows, that's an awfully high level of proof to meet.

Now there might be an interesting question in whether or not citizens continue to regard this as a proper state of affairs. I started leaning against it myself a few years back because it has mutated from its original purpose and is being used more frequently against innocent people.

Tom 13

Almost but not quite there.

You also need that the police have:

1) voluminous copies of ads the church has run encouraging people to place things they shouldn't on the bulletin board.

2) evidence that because the bulletin board was not covered by the church's tax exempt status, they engaged in money laundering to avoid paying the taxes.

Number 2 turns out to be more important than 1 for practical purposes, because that's the one that let's the assets be seized BEFORE the trial.

Tom 13

Not only NAL, also can't read.

The US Government haven't and won't be deleting any data. They seized the servers, made copies, and returned them to their owners. The owners are the ones threatening to delete the data because in a separate action the US Government also froze MegaCopyrightInringement's assets under RICO statutes (money laundering) so they can't pay their bill.

Obama washes hands of O’Dwyer piracy extradition case

Tom 13

Google don't read and edit their posts,

what-his-name did.

I'd still lean toward saying the application in this case is overreach, but not nearly as much as your statement.

Tom 13

Presidents and PMs have vastly different sets of powers

Those with PMs just flatter themselves by equating the two. PMs have a much greater ability to pass legislation and adjustments to legislation because of the simple fact that they ARE the HEADS of the MAJORITIES of the houses which elect them.

Tom 13

You can get as cross as you want, his point still stands.

In the US, the President is intentionally more restricted than the PM, who is by definition the head of the majority party. The rest of your post is the continued mad rantings on things about which you know nothing, and apparently have even less interest in learning about than you have knowledge of the subject. Your prejudices may make you feel superior, but you aren't, and your particular brand of socialist warfare is one of the things that keeps crippling a once honorable nation.

Tom 13

@Someone Else: 1 thumbs up, 1 thumbs down.

0bama certainly does have the power to influence what the DOJ does which we saw quite clearly in the Philadelphia Black Panther case where the DOJ already HAD the conviction but dropped the case to get a favored constituency out of a bad spot.

But you are completely clueless on Texas.

US judge rejects Oracle's fraud claim against HP

Tom 13

And here I thought the lame golden goose was better

than the physically fit golden goose because it was easier to catch when it tries to escape.

Thank-you, thank-you. I'll be here all week and don't forget to tip your waiter or waitress.

ICANN responds to smut portal antitrust lawsuit

Tom 13

That would be wrong

on pretty much all counts, even if I attempt to correct for bad grammar.

Tom 13

In the US, you start as a not for profit and

unless you are a total fool, you quickly add an appropriate non-profit status appropriate for your activities [501(c)3 is only one of about 14 IIRC, albeit the most advantaged] because that's the one that gets you out of paying federal taxes. NPOs are not necessarily prohibited from making money, it's just that their directors can't profit from it. Usually the monies go back into the community is some form. If you don't get the NPO status, you have to either balance your books damned carefully, or pay 35% direct to Uncle Sam. So I'd bet they have an NPO status of some sort, although not necessarily the educational one.

IANAL but I've helped organize and run many NPOs in my time. Even worked for one once upon a time.

Star Trek tractor beam to save Earth from asteroid Armageddon

Tom 13

Well, that kind of is the whole idea behind


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