* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

IP registry goes to Defcon 1 as IPv4 doomsday nears

Tom 13

@Paul: On the virus/zombie count, it's actually the second item and not the first

that causes the problems. I recall Apples being the main PCs on campus student labs way back when I was in college (well, after the dedicated mainframe terminals) and very few PCs. The lab had a persistent virus problem, particularly something they claimed lived in one of the printers and which kept reinfecting the network. I was barely able to afford a C64, so I had no such problems.

Paramount to recount The Martian Chronicles

Tom 13

Not stole, it was the counterpart to Heinlein's novel.

The two met at an SF convention and made a bar bet about who could write the better religiously thematic SF book. Heinlein won the better book, Hubbard won the money.

Tom 13

I'd award him damages for that.

I'm not a fan of Bradbury's books, but that reference is just too obvious.

US Marines splurge on Brit troops' armoured pants

Tom 13


Of course, I think we'll need to develop a domestic source but until that happens you guys deserve the buy.

Writers sue Huffington Post for back pay

Tom 13

No chance of countersuit

Time-Warner isn't stupid enough to waste lawyers on a project that has no chance at a financial return.

Tom 13

Yes, but only if the case is heard by

a conservative jurist.

Android, Steve Jobs, and Apple's '90%' tablet share

Tom 13

Three words:

Betamax vs VHS

Tom 13

I'd have to agree with jonathanb

These days when I hear a network team discuss deploying a new server, the first question asked is whether or not it deploys to Linux. That makes Linux the mass market server OS. Remember the other catch here is that Premium =/= Quality, it means the piece you pay more for. The premium you pay may be for a piece of crap, but its still a premium.

Maybe Linux will displace Windows in the desktop mass market but it hasn't done so yet.

US Navy laser cannon used to set boat aflame

Tom 13

Actually, the bangs tend to be smaller and

more precisely targeted.

Security researcher warns over Dropbox authentication security flaw

Tom 13

DropBox have a valid point on the "if you're comprimised enough to give someone our file"

you're pretty much already so screwed...

That being said, it really is mind boggling that they don't send a notice when a new device is connected to the service. There are advantages to infecting the system, grabbing a small bit of data, and downloading the bulk from the DropBox servers. Although the DropBox servers are probably better configured for most aspects of monitoring, since the wholesale transfer of data to another system is their purpose, they aren't likely to notice the extra load. Not that I'd really expect the servers elsewhere to notice it in time either.

Also, defense isn't just about the perimeter anymore. It's about layers and depth. Securing that token is part of that layering. Two factor is better than one. My current preference is a cert plus a password. Password doesn't need to be complicated as long as there's also a lock-out provision.

US lawyer's email not creative enough for copyright protection

Tom 13

We do use the Berne Convention,

but if you register the copyright with the US Office, it removes certain burdens of proof required under the convention. Therefore most lawyers will tell you to make sure you have the certificate on file before filing the case.

Tom 13

@BristolBachelor: Well, you might be able to get him on the first count,

but the second one is never going to fly. Lawyers in the US are already in so much disrepute it isn't possible to bring any more upon them.

Which means that if you bring suite on both counts, another good lawyer will probably get him off on the first count as well.

Can Bing ride IE and WinPho to Google triumph?

Tom 13

Google took a minimalist approach to the landing page

and won converts by the millions over the bloated MSN page that was once the default page for IE. While Bing is an improvement over MSN, it is still bigger than Google. Most users want a fast loading page because they aren't really spending time on the first page.

Google also spent money and effort working out that about 10 responses is what your typical user wants to see. They made it easy to customize if you want more.

Combine those with a search engine algorithm that pops up what most people want to find, and you've got a number 1 product. If you want to displace the number 1 product, you need to make significant improvements on it. Not 1% or 3%, more like 20%. Essentially enough improvement for it to be worth it for the typical user to bother to change the settings.

And I say that as someone who tries to use other search engines over Google these days.

Tom 13

He works at the Huffers Post

You can't work there and not have a dim view of people. Lousy choice for somebody to quote from the author.

Adobe warns of attacks exploiting critical Flash flaw

Tom 13

No, Word and Flash are the correct places to fix it.

If I'm dealing with a vendor I'm not likely to have their name in my address book, and I'm likely to want whatever document is attached. The problem is hooking the applications directly to the kernel of the OS, which is a MS SOP from their start. It should have been done away with when they released 95. They claimed they were killing it when the released NT. Then they claimed it again when they released Vista. Somehow I doubt they have.

SCO trading suspended in US

Tom 13

If I had that kind of money,

I would have tried to buy out the company long ago and turn whatever IP it might or might not have over to a legal defense fund for Open Source software. As long as it or any of its assets are still kicking around somewhere it's still a zombie waiting to attack again.

Judge flips $625.5m Apple patent payout

Tom 13

Crazy Brit

If you knew the kinds of idiots we have for judges over here you'd want it going to a jury too.

Tom 13

But if you really would have gotten

a billion a piece for each of the patents, it wouldn't be triple dipping. Frankly, I think that's the way it SHOULD be broke out, so that when you get to the judgment phase, if it turns out that the infringement was for only 1 or 2 of the patents you get the either 1 or 2 billion respectively.

McAfee recovers from Sesame Street email filter mix-up

Tom 13

I was going to up vote you, but no you had to go and

rag on Scooby-Doo.

Tom 13

Actually, I think most muppets are smarter

than McAfee network engineers.

US House votes to bar FCC net neut rules

Tom 13

No, net neutrality means whatever whoever is posting

thinks it means. So freetards think it means they get to download their pirated movie at the same priority as a VOIP call.

I'm for the government requiring full disclosure on how the services are provided, but not a damn thing about same are provisioned.

Tom 13

It isn't the usage based billing, traffic shaping, or throttling.

The issue is the ISP not disclosing that they are doing those things and instead falsely selling their services as "UNLIMITED!!!!!!"

MythBusters: Savage and Hyneman detonate truthiness

Tom 13

Actually, I'd say it is one of the MOST scientific shows out there.

The present the myth (hypothesis), outline the testing method, run a small scale test, refine the hypothesis, complete the full scale test, and review the results with one of three possible outcomes, two of which are exactly the same as what scientific work is, the other of which can be considered to roughly correlate to "needs more testing" which is your third scientific outcome.

This show probably does more to entice young people into science than any 10 years of government grants ever has.

Tom 13

Their science on this one is solid.

In point of fact one of the unaired tests run by a contestant was with a parabolic mirror. It works at short distances, but fails at the required distances of 150 or 75 feet. The focal point for the parabolic mirror is too close to shore to have an effect.


The flat mirrors at irregular distances is a better chance at approximating a parabolic shape focusing at the single point. But I think the engineering required to get the precision alignment of the mirrors makes it impossible for it to have been done in ancient times.

Tom 13

OK, I thought I'd seen that episode

but was wondering if it was History channel instead. It was very interesting.

Judge hits police with massive bill over false Operation Ore charges

Tom 13

Don't you mean Hits Taxpayers With Massive Bill?

Not that the victim doesn't deserve the payment and then some, but really, the "police" won't pay anything.

Season of TV shows blown out of cloud... for good

Tom 13

I've worked in an environment where cloud was the only

strategy, and that was before the cloud became The Cloud(TM). In that environment, it is not unreasonable to make the primary storage service provider is producing a backup level which exceeds yours. That does mean checking some details on the contract, but the assuming those were in place, WeR1 is not to blame.

Tom 13

In the real world yes. In the world of contracts

you have transferred total responsibility to the cloud company (assuming you've written the contract correctly of course), and can sue them into the modern equivalent of forced servitude, plus make the lawyers rich in the process!

How can you not love that?

Tom 13

I think I'd prefer the "no backups" theory

since the backups should theoretically have had at least one set offsite and disconnected from the cloud. If the ex-employee also managed to get to the offsite backups, that a greater degree of incompetency and even more difficult to fix.

Supply ships used to push ISS clear of sat-smash debris

Tom 13

Fine by me, but then I'm a US citizen.

The question for you is:

Do you really want to always be dependent on whatever wanker may be sitting in the Big House?

They can cut off your connection to that all important link in a New York second. Me, I'd want a back up under the control of my own government. Frankly I'd prefer one under my specific control, but I don't have that much money, so I settle for the next best option.

Photoshopped image scam used in rogue Facebook app trap

Tom 13

But that's not malware,

that's the planned functionality.

RSA explains how attackers breached its systems

Tom 13

I'm with Kipling on this one.

The sins that you do by two and two, you shall pay for one by one.

RSA deserves a complete roasting for their failure, but that doesn't excuse Adobe who likewise deserve full roasting. I might make RSA's fire coal and Adobe grilling brickets, but neither company would enjoy it.

Tom 13

@AC 04-Apr-2011 11:15GMT: True, but frankly

the inmates have been running the asylum on that count for a good 10 years now.

Tom 13

Phished, period.

When your business is security, even to the lowest person in the company, best security practices should be practiced by everyone.

How do you know the mail wasn't from HR? First hint is that it's in your junk mail. That requires closer inspection of the message. Like looking at the headers to see that the message didn't originate from an RSA server. The from address can be forged, but the initiating server header can't be. Moreover, the company should have a better means of distributing files, for just the reason that MS Office docs are notorious for security holes that have the potential to compromise your network. Network shares ought to be the standard and expected means of sharing documents within the company.

Next up, it's RSA, they own the certs. Every stinking email account in the company, including the janitor's, should come with an authentication signature. There are no acceptable excuses when you ARE the top level security company.

AT&T ends illicit handset tethering

Tom 13

Not exactly. They have what amounts to a preliminary agreement.

It still needs to be reviewed by the FCC and frankly, even as a free market conservative, I am doubtful I could sign off on this one.

Fight global warming with Asimov-style Psychohistory - profs

Tom 13

Hard to say. I glanced at the titles on some of the other "papers"

he's written on the Cardiff website, all only since 2008 in widely disparate but clearly fringe-centric areas. It could have been ginned up a while back as part of an elaborate prank. The best ones pull in legitimate websites as well. But as a dot com address, I'm not sure how legitimate it is.

Of course, it could also be legitimate psych research into April Fool's jokes, which would let them get paid for it an allow much more time and money for prank development.

Regardless of what it is, that the question is even raised speaks volumes about both psychology and climate researchers.

Lewis, well he strikes me as the sort who enjoys a good prank and might even be in on it if it is one. But honestly, his article is the bit that most makes me think it is likely for real.

Tom 13

-8 IS larger than -3.

It is not however greater or more than -3. "Larger" is a magnitude, and therefore one takes the absolute value to determine which is greater.

Stop sexing up IT and give Civil Servants Macs, says gov tech boss

Tom 13

Damn! I keep looking at the titles for the April Fool's jokes,

but when I look at the posting dates on the articles, it isn't the right day.

Acer boss quits after board disses his future strategy

Tom 13

Of course what's clear as mud and what I am the most curious about is

what were the two different plans?

Tom 13

I've always found Acer product to be

solid affordable product. If you can get there stuff and don't want the premium for the HP, Toshiba, Sony, or Dell brands, it will serve you well. Never bleeding edge, but most users don't want that anyway.

Men at Work lose Down Under plagiarism appeal

Tom 13

Hate to say it, but I expect

Oz has a shorter statute of limitations than we do in the US. Every time The Mouse is about to fall into public domain because of how long ago Walt died, Congress passes an extension to the limitation. Last time around it went all the way to SCOTUS who said something to the effect of "this still qualifies as 'limited' but it might not if we hear this case again in 25 years."

TV election debate 'worm' graph found to undermine democracy

Tom 13

No, what you've proved is you need a proper filter on the sample selection,

because it isn't feasible to get a sufficiently large sample. Except that we know from experience that just means you'll get the bias of the filter.

James Cameron to amp up Avatar frame rate

Tom 13

Well then they failed.

All I saw was the trailers and I was offended enough not to pay to see it.

Google to NASA: Open source will not kill you

Tom 13

If Chris wants to see robots blown up,

he needs to watch more of Adam and Jamie.

Microsoft: IE9 not yet 'broadly' available

Tom 13

Fewer than there were people who said

"Ooh, look! A new browser to try."

Tom 13

Re: "as web designers raise the lowest common denominator."

And part of the "fanboi" criticism is that by definition, IE9 can have no affect on the "LCD" because the LCD is [b] still [/b] IE6 which was not available for Vista or Windows, and IE9 won't run on XP.

Tom 13

Were you sick for a week or something?

El Reg has been as ruthlessly covering the IE9 betas as they have been FF. Every time MS had another marketing shindig, someone from El Reg was there for the free food even though they knew they wouldn't be able to kick the tires on IE9. And they dutifully reported the same back on the website. And they announced it when it finally came out as well. FF got the same treatment even without the free food. Every time the flogged another test phase, El Reg flogged them for taking so darn long in development. And then dutifully announced its release, warts and all.

Tom 13

Not necessarily.

I run FF at work and at home. Neither has prompted me to update to 4. In fact, FF prompted for a dot level update instead of 4. I purposely downloaded and installed 4 at home. And even at prompting, it's nothing like the MS "oh shit what happened to my browser" default update configuration - FF ALWAYS asks if you want to download the update first. At work I use IE and FF in equal proportions. At home I mostly use FF, although I also have Opera and Chrome installed.

Don't actually care for the new FF look. Maybe it will grow on me over time.

Tom 13

The huge difference being that despite increasing numbers of MAC and Linux users,

MS still holds a monopoly position in desktop operating systems. And despite their insistent wailing to the contrary, the BROWSER is not part of the OS. At a minimum, it is unsportsmanlike conduct to leverage your monopoly position in the OS market in the Browser market. In most places it is also illegal as well.

FBI asks for help to crack mystery code in 12-year-old murder case

Tom 13

There's an even older and more interesting (from the money point of view)

unsolved code problem out there. Involves some gold from the confederates during the civil war. They even believe the key to the code is the US constitution. Allegedly a group of soldiers were tasked with transporting the gold and were being harried by the north. So they buried the gold then wrote out the manifest and the location in and encrypted form. For the manifest they used numbers to indicate how many letters to count from the last letter used to get to the next. But no one has ever cracked the map algorithm.

Read about that one ages ago in a C-64 computing magazine. The article provided a code substitution program you were supposed to type in and then use to crack the code.

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