* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

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

Tom 13

No just a high quality scan.

if you have a transcript the transcript makes assumptions that you will also tend to follow even if you are looking at the scan. Of course he he transposed something during the encryption process, you're pretty much screwed anyway.

BP loses personal details on spill victims

Tom 13

Dear BP

Ya know, even though you failed to follow industry best practices on the rig where the spill happened, I won't hold that too strongly against you. I do actually fault The Big 0 and his response to the spill when it happened, and the failure of his administration to properly oversee your drilling plan because they were all set to give you that safety award and seize a photo op.

But in the case of this laptop, if I were on the jury I'd award $1 US million apiece to the people listed in the spreadsheet just on general principles.


Tom 13

New York vows review of AT&T deal

Tom 13

Nope, Feds still rule.

Of course, given the history the New York attorney general office has of ignoring the Constitution except when it suites them, that won't actually stop them from investigating and prosecuting. It just means that when he does proceed, the defendants just go up the appellate chain until the suit gets summarily tossed. Granted, it may need to go all the way to SCOTUS before it gets tossed.

Tom 13

I'm a mobile phone user. It's a luxury, not

a necessity. If you're dumb enough to make it your only phone, that's your problem.

Firefox fans get IE-happy AJAX testing tools

Tom 13

Even when it was initially released, IE6 was a dog

trying to catch Netscape. Only their dominant market position in the OS market, which was illegally leveraged, allowed MS to corner the market. Even if an incompetent judge did let them off the hook.

Why yes, I do hold a grudge when the law is abused, sliced, diced, and shredded.

Google's 'clean' Linux headers: Are they really that dirty?

Tom 13

Even GPL is turning into corollary

lawyers full employment act.

Fire-quenching electric forcefield backpack invented

Tom 13

The theory is still valid for any x0/x02

The first problem is when the fire is in your 02 source, which given the nature of current spacecraft design, is highly likely. The second problem is that even if you put the fire out, if the fire consumes too much of your 02 source, you're still dead before you can land again. You need some minimum amount of braking thrust, and that 02 is critical for that.

Firefox 4 debuts: The last kitchen sink release

Tom 13

It's not so much the juggernaut aspect as it is having an app

that is compiled specifically for the OS. Mozilla I am more forgiving of, but M$ really pissed me off when their default IE client in the 64-bit OS was the 32-bit client and you had to adjust the OS if you wanted to use the 64-bit version by default.

What it takes to get your desktop back up and running

Tom 13

I've never worked in an environment that used roaming profiles.

They've always been shot down as too expensive on the cost of storage + backup side.

So rebuilds have always been a bitch.

I did like Altiris when I worked in a shop that supported it. But at only 450 employees for the company and the small IT staff that goes with it, we were never able to sufficiently optimize the deployments to get build time to less than 4 hours. Images went fast enough and typically included AV and Office suites, but all the custom crap that came afterward still took time and had to be monitored. SAS deployments were the worst: up to 4 different batch files to be run, each dependent on the previous; worst part was that the batch files kicked off pre-installers that in turn kicked of installers, so the batch file exited before the installer finished and you couldn't use the end of the batch file as the signal to start the next install. Then the powers that be wanted the system full patched (including all the applications) when we built it, not waiting to get updated as the patch server applied them over the next several days.

Fukushima explained in crap cartoon

Tom 13

Earthquake plus Tsunami is a well known combination.

Alaska way back when. It was the sheer magnitude of both which was not accounted for.

As for the question of will anybody be around if it gets any bigger than that, in the immediate vicinity, probably not. But there will still be people around outside of that vicinity, and you don't really want the reactors melting down and affecting those people. So yes, going forward designs will need to improve significantly.

That doesn't mean it isn't actually astounding at how well they've handled this incident. The people on the ground in Japan deserve huge kudos for the work and efforts they put into stabilizing the situation.

Google patches Flash bug before Adobe

Tom 13

Actually, his solution would solve the problem.

Mail admins where I worked always tried to train users to save attachments to disk before opening them. This gives the AV software a chance to scan the file before it is opened. As an Outlook shop, it also solves the problem of maroons opening the attached document, editing the crap out of it, saving it, but not as a new file, and then losing all of their changes when they DIDN'T save the email from which they edited the document.

As for your Black Hat alternative, that wouldn't hit me either. I don't open dodgy emails for XXX pics either. So you need a REAL drive-by exploit to nail me. On Windows there are plenty of them out there and I've been nailed by some. Worst one was from an MSN banner ad because I forgot to change the default page to Google before starting IE6 to run MS updates to patch the newly built XP SP3 system. On the upside, since it was brand-spanking new, there was no data loss and the decision to delete partitions and start fresh was easy.

Microsoft: IE9's web privacy hole? A feature, not a bug

Tom 13

MS should let the users decide how it works.

Default should set to most restrictive, with an opt in for least restrictive. Taking either of the other sides is going to leave someone upset about how the lists work.

AT&T ends illicit handset tethering

Tom 13

Bad example.

Someone drills a hole in the side of the boiler. Boiler goes boom. No user, no problem, but also no money for the gas company.

Tom 13

The "plus 5" part is unproven.

If I were the sort of person to download movies from BitTorrent for my PC at home via my phone I could easily exceed "typical user +5 friends" usage. Still only me, just using the tethering for convenience. Landbased ISPs already essentially lost this battle. I expect the cell companies will too. They are essentially becoming ISPs but trying to apply teleco rules to it.

Tom 13

The data plan was unlimited.

Over 300G a month on an iPhone is a problem whether it was tethered or not.

I can see that AT&T has a case in that they sold the plan to one person, not many, and that tethering introduces the possibility that more than one person can use it. But that looks like a far dicier proposition to prove.

This one is going to wind up in US courts because they are the ones who ruled it was legal to jailbreak phones.

Full disclosure: I own an EVO HTC and have a paid tethering plan to go with my "unlimited" data plan, so no freetard here. Just someone fed up with the mess from the courts and the pigopolists.

Pervasive encryption: Just say yes

Tom 13

When Verizon sold my mostly computer illiterate mother

a wireless DSL the default encryption of WEP. At that point, the compromise Trevor referenced had been known for 2 years and WPA2 was available. If I hadn't been there to change it to WPA2 she could easily have been hacked.

Fukushima on Thursday: Prospects starting to look good

Tom 13

You might not be familiar with a little coal place here in the US.

Goes by the name of Centralia. There's been a coal fire in the abandoned coal mine for going on a century now. Odorless carbon dioxide has killed entire families as they slept in their homes. Some homes have suddenly collapsed into pits opened beneath them by the fire. So yes, coal has in fact caused at least one known disaster on par with your examples, but very few people cry about it the way they do potential nuclear threats.

Frankly, I think it is the denial by people like you of actual realities worse than potentialities that causes the vehemence of responses to your posts.

Tom 13


The quake caused the loss of power, the tsunami caused the backup generators to be flooded out. So no, it was not just a simple loss of power. You may be entitled to your own (wrong) opinion, but you are NOT entitled to your own set of facts. The diesels WERE the backup.

Supercomputer charts killer tsunami's course

Tom 13

Somewhat. But even more so

the Japanese constantly plan for earthquakes and tsunamis. And their people calmly but diligently follow the planned responses when the alarms go off.

Judge mulls 'wasted costs' as ACS:Law cases close

Tom 13

Oh please, please, please Judge Colin Birss,

I don't often pray for legal precedents, but this area of law is in desperate need of a GOOD one, even if it won't apply on my side of the pond.

Java daddy: 'Aggressively stupid' won't work for Oracle

Tom 13

Gosling seems to have forgotten Barum's dictum:

Never bet against aggressively stupid.

Make streaming a felony: Obama

Tom 13

Copyright isn't a matter of National Security,

but the national agencies that are responsible for enforcing also have national security functions, so the copyright bits just got folded in with everything else when Congress unthinkingly glommed all the National Security functions into one incomprehensible and unmanageable Department.

Fukushima situation as of Wednesday

Tom 13

@amanfromearth: Could be that most of us who do value life

have figured out that the ones yammering the loudest about the value of life are most frequently the ones who value money, holidays, or possession above life, and are merely using it as a cudgel with which to beat the rest of us.

Tom 13

Yes, the reactors are in a death spiral of sorts.

They are pretty much toast and will never be used again. They may take years to clean up and decontaminate. They have released radiation into the atmosphere. BUT nobody has been killed by the radiation. In what is in point of fact a worst case scenario (the earth has moved beneath the plant followed immediately by the ocean coming crashing in, the complete loss of auxillary services which might otherwise ameliorate the situation) with competently trained technicians on the ground, the great radiation disaster of such epics as "The China Syndrome" HAS NOT HAPPENED. And at this point, it is actually very unlikely to happen. They've cooled most of the reactors and only one remains troublesome. They have a plan to address that. They have taken extreme measures, and they will take whatever additional extreme measures are necessary. And no one was killed as a result of the nuclear part of the incident.

Tom 13

Actually, my FB friend who actually works at the plant has posted, and while

he may be very Japanese, but even he isn't capable of putting on face so brave that he's making upbeat posts and joking about going back for his iPhone when they initially sounded the alarm for the building. And yes, he's a nuclear engineer, not a janitor. So I expect the radiation levels are quite safe despite the wailing and gnashing of teeth by the media and the rest of the professional mourner's lobby.

Tom 13

Not British myself but as a long-time reader I'd say it is short-hand for saying

somebody who has dealt with imminently life threatening scenarios and knows better than the average Joe how to meet and overcome them so you don't wind up dead, maimed, or injured on the other side of the event. Also someone who is familiar with the actual lethal effects of chemical, nuclear, and solid projectiles which are commonly associated with such events as opposed to someone who has only read mainstream media drivel about their possible effects.

And really, you have to admit that just writing "ex-royalnavy" is much quicker than that.

Tom 13

Too dangerous to approach

for people afraid of their own shadows perhaps. I rather suspect the radiation levels are actually within acceptable limits, but the effects of previous scaremongering and "abundance of caution" ninnies are exacerbating rather than helping resolve the situation at the reactors.

Tom 13

No, but perhaps you should review

Lewis's article about "fair and balanced neutral reporting."

Tom 13

I dunno. I think they'd be much more interested in pictures of

them pulling out the dead bodies if only there were more pictures of that to be had. The Japanese people seem to have done a generally good job of evacuating areas that allegedly could not be effectively evacuated in the case of a event of this magnitude. So I'd say the so called mainstream journalists are just fuck-all pissed that the Japanese are screwing up the templates for all of their tear-jerker stories. But the radiation scare works better for the new stations anyway because they get to keep asserting that experts can't KNOW there won't be significant ill effects because most of the ill effects will occur in the far future.

Balanced, neutral journalism is RUBBISH and that's a FACT

Tom 13

Some commentards here seem to suffer from the mistaken notion

that journalism involves the search for truth. When I had my introductory journalism class in college, I was told in no uncertain terms that if I was interested in the search for truth, I needed to go to a different building where they held philosophy classes. Journalists could only report what other people said. And if you did that for long enough, you might eventually be rewarded with an opinion column in which you could pontificate on your beliefs, but it still would not be truth. You might occasionally be able to find a fact, but even then you were better off quoting someone as saying it was a fact than reporting it was a fact.

Personally, I suspect the prof of having a predisposition toward the conclusion he reached, and that predisposition colored the results of his findings. Not because I disagree that clear positions are superior to balanced and neutral, but because I've never known an American college student who suffered the depths of despair he describes.

US Trans-Pacific Partnership proposal leaked

Tom 13

@flibbertigibbet: They're not necessarily aiming at the Australians

My guess is their primary target is actually US citizens. Passing Patent reform in the US would require the House approve of the measure. If The Big 0 puts it in a treaty, he only has to get Senate approval, which moots House approval. It's a weakness in our Constitution which didn't really foresee economic and legal harmonization treaties. Unfortunately a lot of other countries will also get taken out in the process.

Politically motivated exploits target activists on Google

Tom 13

@Will 28: Well according to Gatesand Company

IE is a necessary component of Windows, so according to that dictum, technically it is a Windows bug.

Google adds tool to block shabby, dirty, vulgar sites from search results

Tom 13

Nothing chilling about it.

The purpose of the search engine is to produce results people are interested in. If people frequently blacklist a site, that seems pretty indicative of a lack of interest in the site.

DDoS malware comes with self-destruct payload

Tom 13


That's what backups are for.

Security isn't a wall, it's a series of incremental measures that ultimately protect the business operation.

Microsoft to Apple: 'Oh, yeah? Well, your font is too small'

Tom 13

Yes, and the clerks and judges who foist this injustice upon us

should be thrown into the belly of a Tatooine desert beast.

Tom 13

Yes, the spacing is also required.

Don't work in a law firm, but did support work for one of the local document farms. The court requirements are enough to make you yearn for The Penguin from Blues Brothers.

Republicans believe in 'climate change' but not 'global warming'

Tom 13

Actually the reason for all the water problems out west

is that the libtards congregated in the desert cities, then insisted on converting it to the same sort of greenery from whence they came.

I've always been amazed by the fact that the much despised W lives in a house that actually meet AWG Al's requirements, whereas AWG Al lives in the house the haters think W lives in.

Adobe releases Wallaby to jump Jobsian Flash ban

Tom 13

True, but at least it always gave you

the same page layout regardless of whether you sent it to the cheap(er) office printer, or the press shop's Linotronic.

As for how they managed it, go back and read the history of the language. It was designed around both plotters and laser printers. That makes things a bit more difficult than an already bloated Word doc.

MS smartphone share falls despite WinPho 7

Tom 13

My Droid cost a hellovalot more

than a cell phone would have. Just last week I saw a 4G signal on it. For about 30 seconds, then it was gone.

Attachmate acquisition stalls Novell's Q1

Tom 13

Unless the Unix patents are transferred directly to an OSS caretaker

NEVER rest easy.

Right now everybody is watching closely. When the hoopla dies down and the fanbois will be happy because the evil M$ didn't get the Unix patents, they stayed safely with Attachmate. Who holds onto them quietly for a few years, then quietly disposes of them to some other holding company, which transfers them to another holding company, and then when people have lost track of who has the patents, MS buys them.

Groklaw has written about what SHOULD be the outcome of any cases involving the Unix patents. Unfortunately, the courts sidestepped that issue by deciding Sco didn't have the right to sue. Which means the roulette wheel spins when it finally does make it to court the next time.

Obama to overhaul heinous US patent system

Tom 13

patents are like money,

neither is inherently or generally evil, it is the LOVE of money which is the root of evil. Since patents generate money, the love of money corrupts the patent system.

Tom 13

The problem with the US Patent system (and Copyright)

is that there is more than 1 problem with it.

Tom 13

They don't get paid by the application granted, they get paid by the

application submitted. Then Congress grabs half the money that comes in and diverts to their slushie funds.

US companies added lots of jobs last month

Tom 13

The BLS numbers overstate the good news.

Of those 195,000 jobs about 60,000 are known to be temporary jobs - 6 month stints that they know up front won't become full-time.

Patent attack on Google open codec faces 'antitrust probe'

Tom 13

The long list of contributors and the relative size of their pools

is largely irrelevant to an informed reader. If you are a player in the business the business reason for your contribution to the patent pool is so you can avoid having to pay/being sued by all the other patent holders in the IP snake pit. What makes Google's current offering different is that they aren't trying to be the biggest snake in the pit, they're trying to clean out the whole damn thing. So that sort of make this a Giant Scorpion Death Match.

Tom 13

I'll give it a shot, but the explanation has an obvious fallacy.

Mr. Horn's group doesn't actually own the patents, they are only the managers for the companies that do. So his company doesn't know what is actually in the patents, and therefore doesn't know what might actually be infringed. They make their money from people who purchase a license for the codec because those people believe it is the best option for their purpose. Think of it as a SCO like operation with the exception that in the case of MPEG-LA, they've actually been hired to collect the royalties.

Now being the observant Reg reader that you are, you've obviously noticed the fallacy: patents are public, so MPEG-LA should damn well be able to know what is in the patents they are licensing.

Tom 13

Moreover, in the US anti-trust laws focus

on collusion rather than actual market share. If you capture a market without engaging in collusion, that is perfectly legal. But if you and I were to make a secret agreement to corner the market for nanobot video codes, that would be subject to criminal charges.

If you do achieve monopoly power, you can't use that monopoly to create another one. They treat it as sort of a one-company collusion.

Tom 13

Not a big Opera user myself,

but I get the impression that Opera is to the browser Market as Apple use to be to MS: the place where most of the innovating happens. Then the other app makers say "Coolness! How do we implement that differently so we don't infringe on their copyrights or patents?"

March Patch Tuesday leaves IE unpatched for Pwn2Own hackers

Tom 13

Yes, they will. Last time Apple had a really bad day

as they quickly went down when they opened to app issues. As I recall, none of the "strictly OS" systems fell, including Vista. I seem to recall Linux faring best after the apps were unleashed.

Android malware attacks show perils of Google openness

Tom 13

Most of the early malware on PCs masqueraded as legitimate applications.

We're not talking drive by malware on smartphones yet. The day will come, and the iPhone will be just as hacked as the rest of them are when it does.

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