* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Bit-part actress slings sueball at IMDb over age gripe

Tom 13

Special effects cover a lot of ground these days,

and what they don't cover elective surgery might. That being said, the Potter films were of the sort where the director was more likely to look outside the normal boundaries for cast who could portray the role than your run-of-the-mill flick, which seems to be where Hoang was getting her work. Those sorts of films are exactly the ones where I WOULD expect an agent to apply an age filter from the nets in selection criteria.

Tom 13
Paris Hilton

Shouldn't that be the

[b]second[/b] most agist (sic) profession?

US economy hands IT a mixed bag in December

Tom 13

The proper number for unemployment ought to be

out of work, able to do so, and would like to work. Neither the BLS nor the author's definition would accurately reflect unemployment. But it is damn near impossible to accurately arrive at such a number, so we use the BLS as an approximation instead. So long as they aren't bolluxing the numbers to make King Obama look good, that's okay. Me doesn't think that's the case though.

How not to steer a business

Tom 13

That result should not have been a surprise,

and I sincerely doubt changing BI will change the result even if "done properly" whatever "properly" turns out to be. Governments have made compliance the most important aspect of running a financial institution. Investors USE to be the most important aspect, now they are #2. When you are done managing those two aspects, there's not much left from which to focus on customer service. Or, to make it short and sweet: it isn't a technical problem, it's a management issue, and one where management actually has limited input to boot.

B&N mulls spinning off Nook biz

Tom 13

Agreed. If B&N spins off the Nook you can look

for them to join Borders in Chapter 7 real soon. More's the pity because I'm more of a dead trees book buyer than a Nook buyer. But that doesn't mean I don't recognize the changing market and more importantly, changing profit margins.

Microsoft de-cloaks Windows 8 push-button lifesaver

Tom 13

I said "decent" and "out of the box"

Roaming profiles might work (never worked at a company that actually used them in my 20+ years of adult employment), but certainly aren't out of the box and doesn't apply to all users (no roaming profiles for work groups).

Tom 13

Piskvor got it right, you are the one sporting the 'tude.

Other OS systems have had a logical separation of data and programs for ages. Hell, if you were of a mind to, you COULD implement one in DOS, although you could just as easily ignore it. You could do similar things with everything through Windows 3.1.11. BUT, when MS released Win 95 they so thoroughly integrated data and program file structure that there hasn't been a decent data preservation system you could run out of the box since. You had to grab stuff from documents, favorites, desktop, and maybe some local applications data directories. It sounds like for Win 8 they may be trying to do that. Of course, until we see the actual implementation we won't know.

Darth Vader dies peacefully in hospital

Tom 13

I don't actually have any fencing friends,

but at an sf convention I once went to the masquerade interlude was a sword fighting choreography troop. I don't recall the exact phraseology, but it was rather scathing. It went something like this:

During the one fight sequence, they speak of a number of well known fencing attacks and ripostes. The fight scene would have been much improved if they had used ANY of them.

The Commodore 64 is 30

Tom 13

You're right about the price, I forgot about the monitor.

We never bought that component, just hooked it to the tv. But you couldn't do that with other PCs, so for us, the price was right.

Tom 13

The what?

No, Nev is correct, at least on this side of the pond. The C64 was competing with the TRS80-Model III and the Apple. I asked for the TRS-80 Model I for Christmas one year, my parents couldn't afford it, and the odd jobs a kid can do wouldn't earn me that much either. Instead we got a Magnavox something or other. I kept asking for the TRS until the C64 came out. That year my brother and I were rewarded with a C64. You can complain about the price point, but it was the right one: enough profit margin to sustain the company, cheap enough so most middle class families could afford it.

LightSquared demands FCC ruling

Tom 13

And here I thought the UK had more rigorous regs against slander.

I know I've had posts blocked for less.

Tom 13


that should have been "...Light Squared should NOT be able..."

Tom 13

I'll come down with Light Squared on this one, albeit for a very narrow reason:

The FCC approved the change, then Light Squared went ahead with their plans. I grant the arguments on behalf of GPS, Light Squared should be able to build out their network. But that means the FCC needs to revoke the change, and at that point the FCC has to make Light Squared whole again because of the false or misleading rulings that permitted Light Squared to proceed in the first place.

And yes, I know. That means MY taxes are going up, not that the FCC lost anything. I'd [b] like [/b] to see heads at the FCC roll, but I know that won't happen either.

LCD cartel case claims seven more scalps

Tom 13

I'd put that at 50-50.

Remember, the other option is they keep the prices the same but reduce cost/quality of manufacturing to recoup the money. But yeah, they'll recoup the money somehow.

Tom 13

I think you'll find that from the point of manufacture

to the final delivery there is a 200% markup. Which doesn't mean I disagree with your post. Every time an item passes through an entity, they need to make a 30-50% margin to get a 7-20% profit. But if you pass that through a couple of organizations, you quickly have a 200% margin compared to the cost of base components at the original point of manufacturing. My father frequently makes the point that the cost of the ingredients for a loaf of bread is about $0.05 US, while the store brand breads sell for $1.19 and the brand names sell for $3.79. Yet everyone knows grocery stores and food distribution chains have some of the lowest margins and profits of all US markets.

Tom 13

Well, the report certainly trys to spin it that way, but

it isn't clear to me that will actually happen. When you and I see that statement we think "Joe Blokums who overpaid $40 for his 16" LCD is getting can get a check from X in compensation for overpaying." And if that's the case, yes justice will have been done. But, it could also be a case of X will send Joe a rebate coupon for $60 on his next purchase. It still gets recorded by X as payment of the penalty, but I expect you and I would agree that justice hasn't been done in that case.

Remember, the attorney's general arguing the case don't really give a shit about how the money is paid, just as long as the number is big enough to get them decent PR; what they really care about is the bit where the companies setup internal processes and departments to prevent it from happening in the future. Or, translated into plain English, the lawyers for the government now have a permanent seat at the decision making table of the companies.

Hasbro sues Asus over Transformer Prime moniker

Tom 13

Any idiotic company that strings together two generic words

and then tries to trademark or copyright or whatever to legally protect that usage deserves not only to have non-competitors use the words in their products, but to have no-name outfits in their own industry wallop them upside the wallet with no legal recourse.

Tom 13

The only thing more annoying than the idiots who launch these baseless suits,

are the commentards who try to defend them.

Shareholders rage over Imation's incredible 88% plunge

Tom 13

Yeah, that's what they teach you about monopolies in school.

What they don't teach you is that the only way to gain a monopoly is with government intervention. If there is no government intervention, either exactly what you observed happens, or direct competition arises.

Doctor Who girl Amy Pond axed in 'heartbreaking' exit

Tom 13

Well, they can kill him (again)

as long as it's in the MIDDLE of the episode and he has recovered (again) by the end.

Tom 13

Cause this way

he gets weeks and weeks of build up for what will undoubtably be a lousy episode. One of the things I like about the original show is that MOST of the companions survived.

Jedi light-sabre beats Taser in Oregon parking-lot fracas

Tom 13

Tasers being less than lethal

are also used as an alternative method for subduing "potentially violent" suspects. This guy wasn't just "potentially". It's supposed to prevent having to enter hand to hand combat where both plod and perp can and do sustain injuries. Injure the plod and he's out on medical leave. Injure the perp and you're looking at ambulance chasers suing the state for millions for police brutality. Hit him with a TASER and the judge lets off the plod with very few questions.

Tom 13

TASERs don't fire a bolt of juice,

they mostly fire a set of wires and then you have to hit the button to apply the juice. The perp undid the wire before the juice button was hit.

These devices are notoriously difficult to use. Leather jackets can prevent the deployment of the darts, and even if they don't insulate against the jolt. Get somebody high on the right stuff and they would feel the jolt even if you hit square on the naked chest....

Tom 13

If a police officer breaks official procedure,

HE winds up in the clink instead of the perp. The rules come down from central, the plods on the beat just follow them. Even when the plods think they are the most stupid thing to come down from on high since, well last week.

Stolen, remote-wiped iPhones still get owner's iMessages

Tom 13

Re: ",,,own fault?"

Probably, but not necessarily. If the perp KNOWS he got stolen stuff because he bought it from a fence or a super-great deal, yes. But I can imagine a retailer receiving stolen kit and selling it as new to boost his profit margins. In that case, no. But if that's the case I would also expect him to immediately go to the police with his sales receipt, turn over the kit, and request an investigation of the retailer.

Cops target climate-sceptic bloggers in three countries

Tom 13
Black Helicopters

Given how long DoD short has been out there,

if nobody could do it, they wouldn't still have it. So somebody can, but they won't say they can.

Google promises 0.001 of revenue to free the slaves

Tom 13

Actually, I would prefer they gave nothing.

Money from private persons for their own reasons are fine, but I have a huge problem with megacorps donating money to some charity I might not even support and then expecting a pat on the back from the media. I give my donations where I feel appropriate and as I see fit. That's between me and God, not me and everybody else in the world. Same thing should apply to corporate types.

Tom 13

The Yank overtone you are missing is that

anything less than 0.1% isn't worth mentioning.

And yes, private giving is vastly morally superior to government giving. Government giving is some taking your money with the threat of physical violence if you don't pay, to give it to someone who didn't earn it. Oh, yes, there are layers and layers of obfuscation about it, but when all is said and done, you either comply with the orders of the state or you get shot.

Nokia lightens Dark Knight with Batman blower

Tom 13

Where do I go to downvote an article?

You were doing okay until that last paragraph. But you'd best keep your mitts off the Caped Crusader, even if WB does manage to bollux up the movie. He'd kick Judge Dreadd's ass and all without a gun.

LightSquared screams 'conspiracy' over leaky test results

Tom 13

Re: "...demanding an investigation into how draft test results

on its technology were leaked from a government-assigned testing..."

Because yuns didn't keep up oy yur protection money payments, I mean make your political donations, in a timely manner, and according to the precedents long established, you are being chastised in The Chicago way.

FOI request turns up Carrier IQ surprise

Tom 13

Given the amount of data it can slurp,

if they don't cover the costs you will quickly KNOW you are being monitored. And unlike Quality Control, if they are MONITORING you, they'll be opening the firehose to slurp the data.

Tom 13

It probably isn't as overblown as the sensationalist press makes it out to be,

but neither is is a minor thing either. The interface provides the ability to do keystroke logging, and from the user standpoint, it can't be removed. The phone itself provides the transmission interface. Regardless of whether or not any government agency is or is not using it legally or otherwise, someone could write a malicious app to steal the data. Since some (many?) people now use cell phones for accessing bank accounts, that gives the bad guy the info to empty your accounts. That's the bit I'm concerned about. I'm not important enough to be investigated by the FBI or the NSA. I'm not even important enough to be targeted by the bad guys, but they aren't above hitting me as a target of opportunity.

Tom 13

I think you should note that doing it legally

doesn't necessarily mean they aren't using it to monitor traffic. Get the appropriate authorization, kick up the reporting for the tool, and the traffic stream gets reported to the feds. I think the bit which tends to lean against them investigating the company is that if they were, the easiest way would be to submit the allegations, which provide a reasonable basis given the video, then seize the evidence and sort it all out after its been secured.

Feds propose 50-state ban on mobile use while driving

Tom 13

That might be what the authorities tell you,

and once upon a time it might even have been true, but at least here in The States, that falsehood was exposed when they lowered the national limit to 55 to save gas (petrol to you Brits).

Tom 13

@I P: It may be a thin wedge,

but your claim that it only affects the person not wearing the seatbelt is dead wrong. The worse the crash, the more the insurance company pays, the more everyone else's insurance rates get jacked up. Also, you potentially have the emotional trauma for someone else involved in a fatal accident, particularly if that someone else was not at fault for the accident.

Granted, I'm in favor of not having the law, but that's one of the few issues where I am a Darwinist: the sooner we get the stupid people weeded out of the gene pool the better. Of course, most people object to that point of view.

Tom 13

Why restrict it to only CBs?

The thinly veiled claim in the report is that ANY conversation is a distraction. In my book that includes passengers and AM and FM radio stations. You want to see somebody completely unaware of the road while driving? Watch a goofball jamming to his favorite radio song (or yelling at a talk show host) while alone in the car.

Tom 13

@ DC: Can't have that!

Traffic is snarled enough during rush hour without having police jamming up the lanes with stopped cars.

Tom 13

That would be about 650 in the US for 2010


And no, homicides don't count because those are intentional, not accidental as is the case with the current report.

Tom 13

But you ought to be able to do a Google search

where you will find that the Supreme Court has ruled precisely that it IS an individual right, not a collective one, which has been the meme of the unthinking left for too many years. The phrase "The People" was clearly a legal term of art at the time the US Constitution was written which we today would right as "rights of the individual."

But then you also got the bit on telephony devices wrong too. That would be covered by the much vaunted First Amendment which guarantees your right to free speech. There are limited provision against libel/slander, and some restrictions for public safety. The catch being that any restrictions for public safety must show an overwhelming need to enact such a protection, and even then it must be done in the least restrictive manner possible.

Senators: Globo-domains could mean consumer chaos

Tom 13

Let me fix that for you:

Committee chairman Sen. Jay Rockefeller made an appearance just long enough to read a prepared statement into the record, before dashing away to collect campaign donations from large ISPs, Telcos, and Domain registry constituents..

Google's Schmidt strikes Carrier IQ off Xmas card list

Tom 13

Remember, Google is only the source code provider,

it is the TELCO MFGs who worked with Carrier IQ to include the stuff in your system.

Now, properly secured and disclosed, it CAN be a valuable diagnostic tool, exactly as Carrier IQ asserts. The objection is that it wasn't properly disclosed, and the question on the floor is whether it is properly secured. Given the publicized video, it would seem to be leaning 70-30 against at this point.

Greenland 'lurched upward' in 2010 as 100bn tons of ice melted

Tom 13

I'm a 53er not a 99er.

Personally, I'd prefer to shoot 99ers on sight, but that isn't permitted by current law.

NotW didn't delete Milly Dowler 'false hope' voicemail

Tom 13

A reaonable response in the comments?

Oh, I see... AC,

So not a regular Reg poster then...

Netflix set to make your video history public

Tom 13

Yeah, right up to the point where Netflix

changes your default configuration to make it easier for you to use, and one of the defaults just happens to share all your info to FaceBook.

New account of Flight 447 disaster published

Tom 13

While it is true that you can't blame the software

for essentially the same reason you can't blame the girder that failed and collapsed the building, you can and ought to blame the software in the sense that if the pilot isn't getting regular practice and isn't aware of the circumstance causing the emergency, he isn't going to be able to pull out of it. We've got the same problem over here in the states with passenger trains that are mostly run on autopilot. When they dump control back to the fleshy in a red alert emergency situation, the fleshy has no idea what the correct procedure is and lots of lives can be lost.

Acer CEO: No more 'cheap and unprofitable' products

Tom 13

Granted it has been a while since I worked at a screwdriver shop

but when I did Acer made decent kit at a bit below brandname (including Dell) equivalents.

Mythbusters cannonball ‘myth-fires’

Tom 13

If your average home experimenter filled out the same paperwork,

bought the same insurance, and used the same bomb range, the results would be pretty much the same.

Tom 13

Wish that house were mine.

I'd say, "I don't think you need to put me up in a hotel, but I would like a guest shot on your show."

Tom 13

Since they have to sign an agreement with the government

every time they use the range, and always discuss in detail with same the nature of what they are going to do at the range, don't you think maybe someone there should have thought of that as well?

They have been responsible about manning up after the fact, which is a lot more than I will say for many people.

Headmaster freezes schoolkids for Gaia

Tom 13

Only the tree-huggers

claim it isn't. Same thing goes for oil.

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