* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

IPCC report: Renewables can never meet energy demand

Tom 13

Don't know about "recent" but I found this article from the BBC:


Given that the article points out that the peak in population growth was 40 years ago, and that current worldwide birthrate is only slightly above replacement rate, I happily conclude that Malthus continues to be as wrong as he was way back when. Lots of reasons for him being wrong, but nothing the deniers will ever accept, so I won't waste time detailing them.

Tom 13

Good idea. How about

we start with all the warm-mongers.

Tom 13

The press release says all you need to know in one line:

that by 2050 renewables will produce 3 times the amount of energy the US produced in 2005. Anybody stupid enough to put that in a press release let alone an "official" report needs to shot post haste. They are producing to much wasted carbon and need to be removed from the production pool.

Judge approves handover of BitTorrent IP addresses

Tom 13

I see, so you want to cop to a distrbution charge

instead of just the infringement. Good luck with that.

DARPA, NASA look to spawn STARSHIP enterprise

Tom 13

Actually, the early European explorers had some rather definite plans in mind.

They were seeking a trade route to Asia that wasn't controlled by Spain or Portugal. But that actually makes the case even stronger. What they found on their journey was completely unexpected. Same thing could happen as we explore space.

CNET sued for giving kids LimeWire

Tom 13


That would be "gasoline" for US readers. "Gas" is ambiguous and could refer to either the stuff you put in most automobiles or to the stuff that gets pumped into your house for heating, cooking, and possibly drying your clothes.

US spooks to build 60 megawatt data center

Tom 13

"Spooks" is only has racist connotations to overly sensitive people

who are looking to any excuse to pick a fight. And yes, I live within 30 miles of Ft. Meade.

Actually, the location probably adds 20 to 30% to the cost of building the new facility compared to the Salt Lake Facility. In these parts, making $65K/year is around the mean wage-wise.

New top-secret stealth choppers used on bin Laden raid

Tom 13

Reports I saw said they lost lift as they approached the compound to land.

Probably as a result of the spot within the compound where they landed and the way the airflow changed. Upshot was that everyone was close enough to do a successful hard landing and continue with the mission.

Tom 13

Didn't fall out of the sky until the troops were on target.

Redundancy was built into the mission because of previous lessons learned. Being in the middle of a firefight seems to lessen the lifespan of most copters. So I'd say it pretty much worked as planned.

Is there anything to find on bin Laden's hard drive?

Tom 13

Realistic assessment as opposed to my usual DA stance:

The drives are worthless, but since AQ knows that's what the West focuses on, you play that up in the media. This also falsely boosts AQ confidence that their real secrets are safe. The real treasure trove are the pieces of paper the 40 man team gathered in those 40 minutes before they took off again. Being a paper system, it isn't as inherently secure as a robust computer system is. NSA should be able to break those quickly and move on them. As an added bonus, anyone who does change their codes and processes in a panic can also get flushed. Wins all around for the intelligence community.

Tom 13

Yep, and

got it all on video to boot. And it was a SEAL, not a Marine. No need to disrespect both groups in one shot.

Tom 13

That's assuming somebody from co-int

managed to get a word in edgewise amongst all the back slapping that they'd managed to get OBL.

Tom 13

So if the drives were unencrypted and contained no useful information,

the best strategy to try to locate some groups would be to go on worldwide tv and announce you just seized the keys to the kingdom eh?

Star Wars: From dream sci-fi bride to perfect Blu-ray wife

Tom 13

There seems to be a theme here.

But I'll join in anyway: If Mr. Lucas releases the first three as originally seen in theaters, I'll buy the set. Otherwise, no dice.

Wikileaks: Canadian piracy arrests were favor to movie biz man

Tom 13

I frequently agree with you, but not this time.

When the case involves "a personal favor" it isn't justice that is being served. The confinement for failing to appear in court as opposed to the original charges smells bad also. Too much like the fatally flawed process in the Miller decision. Yes in the Miller decision the accused was a piece of work that needed to be rotting in prison, but essentially depriving him of representation on appeal did not serve justice for all.

US Supremes deal death blow to class action lawsuits

Tom 13

Actually, you would be the one who needs to go back to

read the definition. Fascism actually has nothing to do with burning Jews in gas ovens even though that's what people now a days associate it with. As Mussolini established it (and he was the one to originate the term) it was the government controlling the key corporations and industries so as to control the people. Interestingly, Mussolini actually sought the help of prominent Jews and worked to protect them. That changed when Hitler decided Mussolini was no longer a reliable ally and installed his own goons to run the government with Mussolini as the figurehead. Not that not killing Jews makes the system less oppressive, but I do like to keep the facts straight.

Tom 13

As this (unlike say the EPA) is an actual case of inter-state commerce

and the US Constitution explicitly grants the Federal government the power to regulate such commerce, the narrow majority handed down the only constitutionally acceptable decision. The pity is that 4 shills sitting on the court ignored this. Moreover, the way the arbitration regulation is written, class actions suits which impose onerous burdens on consumers can proceed and the court has not invalidated that claim.

Assange: Facebook a ‘spying machine’

Tom 13

How Facebook is different than the situation with your dad

is that on Facebook the drug dealer can have hundreds and hundreds of friends whereas in the case of your father, there were probably only a handful. Therefore the Facebook leads are worth considerably less than the one to your father, wven though that one was erroneous. Of course, if one of those Facebook leads does pan out, they'll also have him on wire fraud or mail fraud or some such.

PSN hack triggers lawsuit

Tom 13

Fail - The reports said the credit card information was encrypted.

Yes I think it is bad that they stored the rest of the data in an unencrypted format. That doesn't excuse you claiming they did more damage than they have done.

Tom 13

Not just the lawyers.

The consumer complaint groups manage to make money off of it too. Which they in turn use to lobby for even more useless consumer protection laws which again only benefit them and the lawyers. But yeah, its only the parasites that make money off these things.

Save the planet: Stop the Greens

Tom 13

I've find it interesting how many greens are willing to invest 20 years out for their tech,

but when it comes to developing an oil or gas field that will produce in 5 or 10, that's too long term to be considered.

2011 Ford Focus

Tom 13

Bought my Ford Focus at the end of 2001,

and I still own it. It's a hatchback, and I expect it to last me another 2 or 3 years.

My next car will likely be Japanese, but that has more to do with me not wanting to support unions than the quality of the car.

Windows 7 takes PC upgrade for a cycle

Tom 13

Take a chill pill mate. If you don't want to get annoyed by the fanbois,

don't read the threads. The rest of us enjoy them and they, rather than the articles themselves are the real reason we visit El Reg.

Tom 13

If you aren't on a regular rotation for your hardware in the first place

the first thing to do is fire whoever makes the presentations to the bean counters. After that, anything reasonably current should run Win 7 kit. Vista was out for the usual three years before they released 7. A 3 year refresh cycle seems best, 4 is tolerable, and 5 is pushing it. Vista covered the 3 year cycle, holding off so 7 wasn't completely bleeding edge covers the 4 year cycle, and everybody else is due anyway.

Boffins pull plug on SETI alien-seeking antenna array

Tom 13

Nope SETI is about finding little green men. The rest of it they

regard as by-product. Once upon a time I ran the SETI at home program on the basis that they were finding the other stuff. Got curious about it and sent them an email. The reply back made it obvious that they really were far more interested in LGM than the rest of it. A few months later I switched to Einstein and never looked back.

So yes, I'm quite happy the goober squad is now defunct and will be happy to see other real scientists using their equipment to do actual science.

Tom 13

As your own post indicates, the physics is against detecting LGM via

radio signals. The power falls off to rapidly from the point of transmission unless special actions are taken to direct it at the delivery point. Any civilization sufficiently advanced to do that is also advanced enough to know that in any collision of two species, the more advanced will overrun the less advanced whether intentionally or not. It's not just the Anglo-Saxons running roughshod over the gold bearing indigenous peoples, it's also the anthropologist contaminating the primitives in deepest Africa, or the Asia carp displacing native species in the rivers approaching Lake Michigan. Therefore it is best to be on the lookout for others, but not be broadcasting it yourself.

Cops raid man whose Wi-Fi was used to download child porn

Tom 13

I blame the ISPs that still distribute WEP enabled routers.

Most people can't be bothered to change the settings, defaulting to weak is defaulting to Fail.

MS now issuing security advisories about third-party Windows bugs

Tom 13

I was momentarily excited about the announcement.

MS ought to be providing a method for third party vendors to integrate their patches into the Windows deployment system (not necessarily require, but at least an opt in solution). But it turns out to be a hash of a PR ploy.

Tom 13

Not "allow" but "require"

I'm not a programmer but I've done tech support for programmers. As we were trying to develop a locked down Windows environment we kept running into one huge obstacle: Visual Studio .Net. Programmers couldn't use it without being elevated to admin, which shot the whole model to hell and back. If MS can't make the programs work on their own dog food, they need go back to the cannery.

Maybe they've improved since that fiasco, but I doubt it. No longer working at that company, so I don't know what the current status is.

'Real' JavaScript benchmark topped by...Microsoft

Tom 13

Everybody tunes to the benchmark, because those

are the numbers the tech rags report. My issue with this isn't whether it is tuned to the benchmarks or even whether or not he's an MS shill. It is that he is comparing an unreleased product to those in production.

Multimillionaire's private space ship 'can land on Mars'

Tom 13

I would go so far as to say that from an Engineering perspective,

we are far closer to putting a man or woman on Mars than we are to having an effective electric-only car.

Tom 13

If you are serious about interplanetary travel,

there will be no coast phase. You'll do some sort of thrust the entire journey - acceleration for the first half, braking for the second. Landing gear, ascent stages, and heat shielding are actually relatively minor problems compared to the big one: radiation protection. Mars lacks the atmosphere and magnetic protections of Earth, so you need shielding. That gets expensive in terms of fuel consumption. But like I said above, you can't get there if you don't do the dreaming part along with the feet on the ground technical work. He seems to be doing both, which makes him part of a very rare breed.

Tom 13

You can't get there if you don't dream about it first.

First comes the dream, then comes the engineering work, and after many revisions and probably a few false starts, you get to the final product. Kudos to SpaceX for dreaming the dream and setting about the engineering work.

Social networks must police kids' profiles, says EC

Tom 13

I HOPE you forgot

the sarcasm tag.

Tom 13

And in the US it is situationally dependent with

the two primary demarcations being 18 and 21 (at least I think Louisiana has harmonized their laws and 12 and 14 are no longer special subsets within their jurisdiction).

Anyone who thinks a corporation can keep up with all the permutations of laws for all of the districts in the world crossed with all of the various techniques available to defeat policing is smoking shit that isn't even legal in The Netherlands.

Google Linux servers hit with $5m patent infringement verdict

Tom 13

No probably about it.

If you knew anything at all about programming, the lawyers could exclude you from the jury because you are liable to have pre-determined opinions about the case law and therefore favor one of the parties over the other.

Tom 13

Not how the patent system works in the Eastern District of Texas,

how the plaintiff laws work in the Eastern District of Texas.

The patent system works the same for all 50 of the States, what differs is the court systems in which the cases are heard.

Lasers set to replace spark plugs in car engines

Tom 13

US diesel use

is driven mostly because of how long dirty diesel engines have been used in vehicles here. The popular perception is that you get billowing clouds of black smoke whenever a diesel accelerates away from a traffic light. Cold temps do have some affect of course, but the public perception is the larger issue.

As to the laser ignition system, I think it is intriguing if for no other reason than it should be a part less prone to wearing out. The potential efficiency increases are just the cherry on top.

Google hits 'fast forward' button on WebM codec love for YouTube

Tom 13

Yeah I have.

I was just checking out Weird Al's latest spoof last night. Seems Lady Gaga wasn't googoo over him releasing it. But after fans hit his link about 500,000 times based on just word of mouth (or email or twitter or facebook or whatever) she came to her senses.

Top-secret US lab infiltrated by spear phishers – again

Tom 13

Honestly? I expect State is filled with fatheads

who won't take advice from their IT Department and are so infatuated with themselves that they think they are the only ones who ever thought of stealing the other guy's diplomatic mail.

On the other hand, I expect one of our premier nuclear research facilities to be staffed by people who have purchased at least one clue in their lives.

The best sci-fi film never made: Also-rans take a bow

Tom 13

Maybe. It was definitely

a throw away shot in Back to the Future II, a mostly forgettable film and important only because it sets up III which was a much better one.

Tom 13

It's been ages since I read "Moon is a Harsh Mistress."

I recall it as being one of his readable books, but also one of the warning signs. IIRC, at the end of the book he didn't know how to handle one of the primary characters from the thick of the plot, so he killed him off. But it really was "Fear No Evil" that put him on my permanent Do Not Read list. Not a thoughtful experiment, just badly written soft porn.

Tom 13

Number of the Beast isn't Heinlein's worst, only his second worst.

His absolute worst is that piece of crap "Fear No Evil" which made me give up trying to read anything else he ever wrote.

Either way, making Heinlein movies into books is a bad move. If they make a good movie out of one of his bug hunt books, his acolytes complain they made it into a bug hunt. If they make anything else he wrote, audiences will ask WTF?

Tom 13

I found "Who Goes Here?" by Shaw, but I think "Who Goes There?" is

by Campbell and has had two movies made of it under the same title: The Thing.

Man arrested in crackdown on pro-WikiLeaks DDoS spree

Tom 13

Nope. To be a DA candidate, you need to do something

spectacularly stupid. This was just run of the mill, boring, stupid. It's the difference between the guy trying to weld together two partially filled propane tanks and the guy who walks in front of the oncoming train.

Tom 13

If you were stupid enough to click on the red X

they now own you too. The only way you have a chance of beating that strain of malware is the Task Mangler, and even that's only 50:50.

Doctor Who's Elisabeth Sladen dies at 63

Tom 13

I wish you a happy Landing on the other side Ms Sladen.

You will be missed on this one.

Apple sues Samsung over Galaxy look-and-feel

Tom 13

Despite the downvotes for Oliver, I think he nailed it.

It's not so much Jobs looking for the brain transplant as Apple. The last time he left, they almost did too. His next exit looks to be a bit more permanent, even if he stays amongst the living. When corporations lose their ability to innovate, they turn to their lawyers instead. Apple haven't shown much ability to innovate without at least one of Jobs or Woz.

Tom 13

That was before someone invented the "look and feel"

copyright out of whole cloth. It is making it impossible to implement obvious simple solutions to programming problems. Well, in the US at least, which is where the lawsuit is being filed. Things might be better in Ol' Blighty, but from comments I've read here, it's probably not by much.

IP registry goes to Defcon 1 as IPv4 doomsday nears

Tom 13

If you'd ever worked with (let alone for) the government,

you'd know they'll be the last one dragged into IPv6. And they'll be kicking and screaming the whole way.

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