* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Facebook hurls insults, punctuation at growth slump report

Tom 13


I tried usenet as it was dying, Facebook not nearly as bad. For one thing, they pre-planned the ads and they are all to the side and top where they are as easy to ignore as ads on El Reg.

Apple pulls app after dev publishes users' PINs

Tom 13

That MIGHT be

a completely randomly generated number. But the odds are about 984 to 1 against.

Tom 13

I've generated most of my passcodes

So far none of my friends have guessed any of them. If my friends don't know how my head works, most other folk won't either.

Hell, I've FORGOTTEN passcodes that I haven't used for a while even when I thought I remembered how I generated them.

Dam Busters dog dubbed 'Digger'

Tom 13

Which of course is completely unlike successful American movies like

Pulp Fiction.

Sadly, I do understand his point. But I think I would have renamed the dog Niger. But I don't consider his choice as bad as them changing the movie name for Rowling's first book. I still want to put all the morons who insisted it be "Sorcerer" instead of "Philosopher" up against the wall.

A sysadmin's top ten tales of woe

Tom 13

Always know where your time server is pointed

Windows server farm, don't remember what the original time server was, but it failed. So it started going down its list of alternates. You know, the default list. Until at last it queried the core switch. Which read its date and time from the BIOS ROM. And told the primary AD server it was now more than 2 years ago, in fact I think it was 10 years. At which point the server promptly began tombstoning all of the current accounts, starting with the first ones created. Which of course were the network admin accounts. Ugh!

Patrick Byrne: 'See, I told you America's economy was busted'

Tom 13

You missed 1a in a normal short.

1a: You provide your broker with an account that has some percentage of money equal to a typical price move for the stock in case the value of the stock goes up. This money will be used to cover your short if the price doesn't fall. If your cover account gets a call because the price of the stock has gone up too much, you have to put more money in the account.

Selling short is generally regarded as something only for professional grade investing, because unlike a long buy, you have unlimited exposure if you are wrong about the direction of the stock price.

My understanding is that for a naked short you have to borrow the full amount of money plus the cover.

Tom 13

The naked short sale in and of itself cannot bankrupt a company.

In order to bankrupt the company, you have to have outstanding loans or lines of credit which tie their availability to the share price of your company. Then either the loan gets called or line of credit on which you have been depending is closed and you can no longer operate.

If you want to go down the conspiracy trail to people using it to manipulate the market, that's a very scary place filled with ghosts, lichs and worse. Because in order to use it to manipulate, your talking about the kinds of resources that only become available at nation-state levels. Or maybe Google, but not a consortium of stock purchasers.

Tom 13

Um, having once upon a time actually bought and sold some stock,

#2 is exactly how it does work, except they've made it fast. margins and shorts are legitimate investment tools for those savy enough to use them.

As for the whole casino thing, no actually they haven't. The professional traders, the ones who CAN actually work with the mico-seconds trading, all work from complex programs designed to take the risk out of the investment. It's complex math stuff that's way over my head, but it is real and I've regularly read stuff from one a guy who writes the stuff. He called the collapse of Lehman Brothers about a week before it happened based on fundamental problems in the market, and had made the broader prediction that some company in the LB sphere of activity was going to collapse about a month before. Smart guy, and right now he's worried about Greece and the refinancing deals.

Venice not in major peril after all - new research

Tom 13

Actually, the problem is

it is getting more and more difficult to tell the sarcasm from the AGW posters. While I suspect sarcasm, I'm not certain.

Tom 13

Well, how about an increase

in volcanic activity?

The last time I checked all of the combined co2 output over the entire the industrial age comes to less than 1% of a single major volcanic eruption. That means either their data is screwed up because their theory of detection is wrong, or they scrubbed their data the same way the other crew did to remove data that doesn't agree with dogma.

Tom 13

First, you can NEVER cite the Guardian as a reasonable source

if you always need to check other sources to verify the Guardian.

Second, your failure of imagination for alternate causes doesn't mean your dogma is true.

Tom 13

Did you forget

the sarc tag?

Siemens fixes SCADA holes found by hacker

Tom 13

If the PLC is completely unconnected to potential malcontents

it is completely secure. The malcontents seem to gain their access mostly through compromised Windows PCs. So I'd say this is a 50-50 split on whether or not it has anything to do with Windows.

Site appeals feds' unprecedented domain seizure

Tom 13

No problem, but first

you'll have to shoulder the cost in both treasure and blood to maintain some international peace such as it is. I'd suggest a good place to start would be in not depending on us to knock off that tin pot from Africa who has so annoyed you all recently that we've been drug into a third war.

iCloud Communications sues Apple for 'irreparable injury' to trademark

Tom 13

It's a trademark issue, so it is the same as

Apple vs Apple only this time Beatles fans won't be collateral damage.

Tom 13

He is right that it needs to be a registered trademark,

wrong about everything else. And as an added bonus, you can file for the mark at the same time you sue Apple, it's just a harder legal route to take. If you have the mark clear and free BEFORE you file the suit, your claim is more defensible in court. Now iCloud LLC have to prove things that would be assumed if they had the mark. It's one of the reasons the opposition eventually folded on the event I referenced in my other post.

Tom 13

No, he tagged it correctly.

Putting a joke tag on it would have been false advertising.

Tom 13

Trademarks can also be opposed in the US

on those grounds. It's certainly possible the LLC was privately (foolishly as well) trying to resolve things amicably without involving a fleet of lawyers and have only now reached the conclusion that it isn't possible. And even if they weren't that's the claim their lawyer should make.

As a member of a smallish non-profit I was once part of a similar effort against an infringing group, although in our case we were the big fish and they looked like the scammers who could diminish our mark. We were initially just as foolish. If I ever find myself in a similar situation I'll launch the full broadside of lawyers without a second thought.

Inside the 'funky' history of Groupon's biggest shareholder

Tom 13

You perform due diligence and SOX in Bubble 2.0

the same way you do in Dot Com Bust 1.0.

At least, if you don't want to go to lose your shirt and/or go to jail.

Tom 13

Short them.

Possibly even naked short.

Tom 13

What puzzles me is that they found a licensed outfit

to value them where they wanted to be valued. I would think the licensed outfits should have exposure to the lawsuits as well. I've seen their ads and agree it's not sustainable. Their collapse should be about as spectacular as Enron or AOL.

So, how does your economy grow?

Tom 13

Good to see an article like this posted here.

It's good tonic for the socialist rot which has set in for too many countries.

For those who think it isn't relevant to tech: how do you pay for tech for the masses if you don't have real economic growth so people can afford the tech you are selling them?

Tom 13

That's part of the solution, but not all of it.

The perverse incentives of paying people not to work must also be reversed for legitimate citizens of the country.

The problem here is that being "fair" and "just" in the sense used in this article are problems on the margins of agreement about what constitutes "fair" and "just". Governments aren't good at working those out. Governments are good when you have super-broad agreement about what constitutes "fair" and "just" - things like murder, and aggravated assault. For justice questions at the margin, you need non-governmental charitable organizations - places where citizens seeking that justice donate the money to achieve those ends without imposing their morality on those who disagree with them.

Feds seize $15m from scareware monger's Swiss account

Tom 13

Right, so take a chance on losing the money,

or take a chance on losing a limb or worse....

Let me think about that for a minute...

'cause scumbags like him are real good at calculating how much worse the scumbags around him are.

Tom 13

DHS is a kluge.

Anything remotely tied to Homeland Security was thrown into the mongrel agency, even if most of its responsibilities lie elsewhere, as is the case with the FBI. FBI investigates wire fraud and fleeing felons who cross state lines, which would seem to be the relevant offenses.

Intel teaches machines to build own device drivers

Tom 13

I tend to go mostly to the clerks.

Ironically, they are faster than the machines.

World IPv6 Day fails to kill the internet

Tom 13

I think I found the flaw in your plan...

"If it is done even vaguely competently.."

Given the state of ISPs that ain't gonna happen, no matter how much it should.

Tom 13


"likewise the shortage of IPv4 addresses won't affect them."

So even if NAT is a kluge, it is a well understood kluge that does what is needed and therefore makes IPv6 superfluous, no matter how much its advocates bemoan it.

Microsoft loses Supreme patent fight over Word

Tom 13

That's funny,

when I watch lawyers at work , they always seem to be flip-flopping their arguments depending on who their client is.

Tom 13

Even though it comes from MS,

I think the preponderance of evidence standard is the correct one for patent litigation. Even so, SCOTUS still rendered the correct verdict, because it is for the legislature to decide what standards apply in a given statue, not the courts.

Frankly, the US patent system is a mess, and needs a complete overhaul. Only problem is, given the current set of engineers and mechanics working on the project, I'm afraid the new and improved system will be even worse than the current one.

BP world energy review: Chinese coal drives up CO2

Tom 13

Glenn has already answered that question. It's

Spooky Dude!

Tom 13

No but that statement is completely irrelevant because it ignores the first wrong

which was lying about anthropomorphic global warming in the first place in order to advance a socialist agenda.

Storage DEATHMATCH: Permabit v Isilon

Tom 13

So then Permabit don't actually answer his final and major objection:

Big Data of the type Peglar is discussing: data which cannot be significantly de-duped in any event.

I don't work with Big Data, but his answer makes sense to Peglar's objection makes sense to me. I was once able to achieve 99% compression when I zipped together a bunch of zip files, but it was a rather unique situation. In normal operations I got 70-80% compression on my main files, with some I got a mere 20% on the primary pass. But once I was done with the primary compression, running another compression against the file didn't reduce the file size, unlike my unique one. Peglar is working with data that are analogous to those 20% compression on first pass, which makes it not worth the effort to dedupe.

Farting death camels must die to save the world!

Tom 13

No, they're not like real paper money -

paper money loses its value the longer you keep it, carbon credit thingies go up in value the longer you keep them.

'Leccy price hike: Greens to blame as well as energy biz

Tom 13

He seems about as reasonable

as the green weenies, just taking a different tact.

Tom 13

Not just energy. Read carefully and you find that while it is possible

the above poster talking about planting granny may have had tongue firmly in cheek, the greens don't, and that is their Final Solution to the carbon problem.

Tom 13

Well. they haven't been able to memory hole my brain yet

and I do recall reading articles in the ever-child-friendly Ranger Rick Magazine back in the 1970s that said we'd be out of oil by 2000, or that at the very least it would be so scarce nobody but the millionaires would be able to afford it. Taking into account inflation, you'd need to translate millionaires into billionaires, and I can still afford to put gas in my car. They were preaching wind, solar, tidal and geothermal back then too, with the Great Scientific Breakthrough that would make them all plausible energy sources as being just around the corner.

Given that, I'd say we've got the right to be snippy with young whipper snappers who think they know everything and we're just dumb bastages.

Judge rules against firm that lost $345k to bank trojan

Tom 13

I made it far enough into the PDF to find out nobody knows for sure

where the malware was. Odds are it was on the small business PC, but it sounds like the bank gave bad or unclear advice on handling the infected PCs (which they deny of course, but given their specificity of non-responsibility in the legal documents, the failure to produce written or email evidence of their exact advice is telling). Subsequently the systems were disinfected, but ruining the forensics in the process. Remnants of the Zeus bot were found on the SB systems, but they were unable to tell which specific variant. The one valid supporting claim for the bank is that the only location from which all the data could be compromised was the SB PC. Conversely, if the bad guys got their hands on the goods from the bank, more than just one SB would have been nailed.

I think this one gets appealed. The argle-bargle of the standard contract is onerous, and is subject to being summarily thrown out as binding for that reason. Moreover, the bank was aware of fraud against its accounts. I think the bank took insufficient action to prevent the fraud. The most glaring is not paying attention to serious spikes in the potential fraud scores on the fraudulent transactions. I was once called for transaction confirmation by a credit card company because I made the mistake of paying at the pump for my gas (petrol for you Brits) before going inside to pay my repair bill (2 cars, the working one needed fuel). Apparently making a small charge to confirm the card works is a common technique for that kind of fraud. Given that that was back in the early 90s, and the bank's failure is in the late 00s that failure is simply unacceptable.

Tom 13

Oh, and all the pages about the challenge/response system

are utter bullshit. That's just a second password question, not a separate factor for authentication. Same applies to the "personal" icons that are supposed to help ID things.

Sony hack reveals password security is even worse than feared

Tom 13

Any security expert who thinks users can remember

different passwords for every site they visit which meets their minimum complexity and length requirements needs to be taken out back and summarily shot. It simply isn't possible for the vast majority of the population.

Most gamers are middle-aged adults: FACT

Tom 13

They think non-adults can afford the monthly fees for online games?

Me thinks they need new eggheads.

Facebook: 'We should've been more clear' on face-scanning tech

Tom 13

Doesn't matter what Facebook told the authors.

I'm not overly concerned about it, but the posters have a point: there's a huge difference between "turned off so the fingerprint is never generated" and "turned off so your friends can't use the fingerprint" and that is all well shy of "and you have to delete the data you collected about me for which you did not ask permission."

China goes on attack over Google phishing claims

Tom 13

So then, that will be confirmation that

Google actually zeroed in on that one rather nicely.

I would have thought the Chinese would know better than to mess with Mr. I-know-more-about-you-than-you-do-yourself.

Sinking Sun scuppers Oracle server figures

Tom 13

I don't work in the Sun/SPARC area, but I have a friend who does at a US

government agency. As a result of Oracle's acquisition, they are re-evaluating their buying practices because they can't afford the new prices, and even if they did, Oracle make it impossible to order.

Oracle drops OpenOffice on Apache, shuns forkers

Tom 13

In a paraphrase of Winston Churchill

Capitalism has produced the most poverty and misery for the many, except for all other economic systems.

Tom 13

The massive bailout didn't fix it.

It's just another hair of the dog tonic that's going to smack even harder later. It didn't fix it, because it didn't address the fundamental problem: massive capital dislocation according to marxist principles under the rubic of helping the down and out and racial justice. The system is still just as broken as it was before, and it won't get fixed until we get some real capitalists in to fix it - not just more crony communists who deny what they are.

California set to impose 'Amazon Tax'

Tom 13

That is a misrepresentation of the situation in the US.

Assuming the state/commonwealth has a sales tax, it is generally collected by the seller in the US. If you've got a brick and mortar store, you ALWAYS collect the sales tax for the sale and remit it to the state in which the store is located. That covers the majority of sales taxes collected and indeed the majority of stores: Sears, J.C Penny's, et al all have store fronts and all collect sales taxes, even on catalog items. What IS excluded is forcing a catalog seller from collecting sales taxes if he has no storefront in the state to which the merchandise is delivered. Amazon has leveraged this loophole by being locating their sales center in only one state. I don't recall if it is a state that doesn't collect sales taxes or if they collect sales taxes for items shipped to that state.

Even if it passes this one is fatally flawed from a constitutional standpoint because creates an obligation on an entity over which the state has no jurisdiction. The analog isn't a Bristol shop collecting a tax for a sale made to a buyer in Paris (existing treaty agreement), it is California forcing that same Bristol shop to collect a sales tax on top of the import duties it would normally pay to ship something to the US. And believe me, if Bristol shops start having to collect sales taxes for all the different taxing entities in the US, you'll soon have a catalog sales protection law or judicial ruling like ours.

Mac trojan evades Apple's brand new security fix

Tom 13

Don't forget

"boisterous" which I think is sort of like putting the flint right under the steel hammer in this case.

Seagate, WD should put a gun to Brussels' head

Tom 13

And that one OS supplier is in a monoploy position precisely BECAUSE

of a GOVERNMENT issued monopoly license, not because of any mergers. MS has always been MS- they didn't merge with Dr. DOS who had 35% of the OS market to make a company with a combined 75% of the OS market, they always had 95% of the desktop OS market. Oh, the government monopoly license is called "copyright" which seems to make most people think it is an intrinsically GoodThing (tm).

Tom 13

Nope the deliberately obtuse are the ones who think protectionism

under any guise works. Monopolies fail unless governments enforce them. In your example if all three companies merged and charged the specified prices, a new firm, let's call it Palin's Mobile Phone Service would incorporate and sell mobile phone service. They would do so because they could charge half the specified rates and still be rolling in the money. O-O-V would loose their customers and either reduce their rates to match Palin or go out of business. If they were obstinate enough to go out of business, you could make a tidy profit shorting their stock.

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