* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Horror AVG update ballsup bricks Windows 7

Tom 13

Actually I'd say AVG did better than McAfee

McAfee's last problem ate a Windows system file. Looks like AVG only ate their own files.

Of course, I'd still hate to have to clean it up.

Microsoft badmouths Google over fed contract win

Tom 13

I contnue to be amazed that governments are willing to accept

cloud based services as fit for purpose on document retention.

Wikileaks' DNS pulls plug, citing collateral DDoS damage

Tom 13

Not obviously a state attempt at all

despite your prejudices, Tea Partiers are pretty smart people. I know I wouldn't trust The Big 0 or Czar Hillary to be able to order a DDOS attack on Wikileaks.

Xbox modder prosecution dropped like white-hot potato

Tom 13

Because you causually put in the throw-away line

"without harming others of course" and the ignore the fact that the whole point of the modding is to harm others by stealing their copyrighted work. Even Mr. Self-Righteous Japanese games man added "if that includes being able to play pirated games SO MUCH THE BETTER."

In other words, bring me a case in which someone has been prosecuted for modding a machine for the sole purpose of playing legally purchased and imported games and then you have a leg to stand on. In this case, the perp was EXPLICITLY showing the undercover agent that you could play pirated games. The prosecution fucked up in not revealing that to the defense before the trial, hence the dismissal. But the guy was guilty as original sin.

Oh and part of the reason I know you won't find that case is because I was involved with a group that did need to follow all the necessary steps to ensure the rights holders had all been paid even though we were in the wrong region. It's one of those self-protective things you do when you are inviting the manufacturers to your show along with 20,000 other people and running pirated crap is a good way to get your ass in jail.

Tom 13

They dropped it with astonishing speed

because they got caught in a mistake they teach you to avoid in Law 001: Prosecution must always disclose the facts of the case to the defense in time for the defense to properly prepare. The key charge (the accused demonstrated the ability to play pirated games to the undercover agent) was not disclosed until AFTER the trial started. That's the sort of blunder that will earn you a stern dressing down from even law and order types like myself. Even more so because what should have been an open and shut case must now be dismissed.

Tom 13

Sony can't compete with a pirate who gets his software for maybe 5 grand per game

and therefore makes obscene profits when he sells it at one-third the cost.

In the example I quoted earlier, the guy was pocketing maybe an extra $75 per machine. If the games were all downloaded from warez sites, that's more profit to him than Sony makes, and nothing to the people who wrote the software for the game.

Tom 13

They may have only charged him with the modding on 2, but guaranteed

he was modding a hell of a lot more than that. They finally nailed one guy in my area whose entire business depended on modding Xboxes. This was several years ago when a 500G drive was large. He was putting those in, pre-loaded with thousands of dollars in preloaded games.

I don't like the DCMA because it obliterates fair use rights, but I rank the freetards who steal copyrighted materials right there with the people who wanted the broad reaching DCMA.

'ALIEN' LIFE FOUND in California

Tom 13

Shouldn't they be looking

for a blue Police Box instead?

Tom 13

I'd say this one goes to the AC.

Like DaVinci, he might not have the orbit entirely correct, but unlike you he at least put the sun in the correct place.

Part of the argument against life on other planets is that life as we know it depends on free oxygen in the atmosphere of the planet, and free oxygen is quite rare in the universe. Similar arguments are advanced for each of the other building blocks including phosphorous and even carbon. Each time a new strain of life is found (the blooms that live on undersea volcanic vents come to mind) on the planet that undercuts one of those assumptions, it increases the chances of life existing elsewhere in the universe precisely because the planet no longer needs to be Earthlike.

Of course if they find a species that provably developed independently from the DNA/RNA forms we know, that will be a serious problem for current evolutionary theory. But nobody wants to go digging there.

Incendiary MacBook blamed in house conflag inferno suit

Tom 13

One man's abuse is another man's

expected usage pattern. Here in The States the courts don't differentiate. Hence things like warnings not to stand on the tops of step ladders and McDonalds having to issue warnings that their coffee is hot and may injure you if you spill it.

Tom 13

If the CPSC really did what they are charged with doing

the list of incidents cataloged in the comments on this page would have forced them to issue the recall notice. But Apple is politically well connected and therefore isn't worried about it.

Interpol issues arrest notice for Wikileaks' Julian Assange

Tom 13

I do really wish we Americans could leave you clueless Brits

to die in your own feces on this Wikileaks issue, but we have to save ourselves therefore we'll wind up saving you in the process.

Without us doing the gritty unpalatable work of actually killing the jihadists who want to enslave everyone else to their corrupt religion you'd already be feeling the sting of their lash. Queen and Parliament would already have been strung up long ago, and el Reg would be a forgotten memory.

Wikileaks' express purpose is to undermine the relationships that let us hunt them down. In my book that constitutes sufficient reason to hunt down anyone associated with them and dispose of them as hard men will to protect the sheep who curse them.

Tom 13

Oh, there's no question he broke US laws.

Simply being managerially associated with WikiLeaks makes him an accessory after the fact on the espionage charge.

The questions are:

* Can the US capture him?

* Can the US convict him in the court system?

* Can the US find an excuse to hold him as an enemy combatant?

* Will some Middle Eastern country dispatch a wet works team to deal with him for embarrassing their leader? And will they get to him before the US does?

Cryptographers crack system for verifying digital images

Tom 13

It may be expensive, but it is certainly doable.

Essentially that's how many of the effects for B5 were done, except they found the trick of putting a mirror between the image to be captured and the camera. Apparently the defects inherent in the mirror introduce sufficient change from the sharp lines of a computer so the images look more realistic. I think I read in a Reg article comment somewhere that that was actually an old spy trick.

US cable giant Comcast accused of internet video 'toll booth'

Tom 13

I think you are correct about it all being positioning

for Net neutrality. Other than that you are all wet.

Tom 13

Cable monopolies may be technically illegal

but outside of major metropolitan areas, most communities find ways to grant the via other rules under their control.

Me, I'm lucky: FIOS, Comcast, and Dish and probably a whole bunch I haven't researched are all available in my area. But they aren't at my parent's house in a small community.

Iran admits cyberattack hit nuke programme

Tom 13

The Israelis probably weren't responsible for the attack.

I don't imagine Mossad would muck up something quite that badly. If you attack, you want to make sure you take out either large numbers or key personnel, neither of which seems to be the case. So that means it was probably another botched CIA op.

Oh and yes, just for the record, I count the scientists as key components in the manufacture of atomic weapons. The centrifuges never hurt anyone, but the people running them could be responsible for killing millions.

Tom 13

Why would the Israeli's be stuck with another Iraq?

They just want to destroy the nuke plants, not control the region. Bomb them and leave, no fuss no muss. Maybe hit the Grand Aye-a-Told-Ja on the way out too just for good measure.

Feds seize 70 'filesharing, dodgy goods' sites

Tom 13

Oh Gawd no, not the commies at the UN.

Don't much trust any of those allegedly neutral International organizations either. Maybe a tenth as far as I trust the f*ck-ups who pulled the current stunt.

Tom 13

If they had seized the actual servers

pursuant to judicially approved warrants which the plaintiff could read and for which plaintiff was able to consult with counsel before submitting to, you might have a point.

But being as what they seized was purely the domain name, and pretty much all the rest of the requirements were absent as well, even this Law and Order conservative who supports limited waterboarding captured jihadists can't condone the seizure of the site names.

What is the point of End Point Protection?

Tom 13

"The ‘sneaker net’ at first kept the rate of spread at a relatively low level." Really?

When I started work way back in the dark ages of Novell 2.x and everybody was still using the new 1.2M high density 5 1/4" floppy disks (720K 3.5" disks were just coming out and still cost too much) we could not get rid of the Stoned virus because it was impossible to have all of the floppy disks in the building at the same time to scan them. So at least one PC on the network was always infected, and from it, more floppy disks would inevitably become infected.

In some sense my career in IT started there. As the DTP Specialist, I couldn't afford to lose clock cycles to Stoned and therefore was one of the few people constantly scanning my local and floppy disks to make sure they were uninfected. Well, that and the fact that my printing activities could crush the network so I had to become best buds with the Network Admin and carefully manage my work so I didn't down the network.

Leslie Nielsen dead at 84

Tom 13

One of my favorites is a visual from Police Squad:

"We have top men working around the clock," with guys working on a grandfather clock in background.

Putting the internet into neutral, or neutering the net?

Tom 13

I guess you missed it.

Google already have more fiber than anyone else, it just that it only talks to other Google servers, not the public. So the while the Net Neutrality people might talk a good game, in effect it only subsidizes Google, who already own their own money printing presses anyway.

Tom 13

It's called wireless broadband

and if the landlubbers don't keep up, it will eat their lunches.

Dell kept buyers in dark over hardware problems, say docs

Tom 13

Next time have your friend draft the first letter, then take it to legal

and have them send it instead on their letterhead instead of just an email.

It's amazing what the letterhead alone can accomplish.

Tom 13

Still Dell's fault.

They are supposed to have QC checks in place to detect and fix those sorts of issues. It might be Quality Engineering 604 instead of Marketing 101, but we expect our tech companies to complete their advanced degrees. And when they detect them afterward, we expect the to report them forthrightly so we can adapt to changing conditions.

Tea Party activists accused of rigging Dancing vote to favour Palin

Tom 13

You're doing well up to the last line.

There are certainly people out there who claim, and probably are trying to rig the vote for her. The point they are trying to make is that vote by mail, vote by internet, and anything else except some system where you must physically present yourself and you have a clear and unbreakable chain for forensic examination later is subject to tampering and fraud.

I do suspect Bristol might actually be winning without the manipulation. Someone on a radio show tonight noted her three daughters keep voting for her because she wears modest costumes unlike other contestants. Her back story (normal kid unexpected thrown into the spotlight, makes a mistake, tries to do the right thing after making the mistake) pulls at the heart strings of all but the most hate-filled libtards. And unlike a presidential election, there isn't really anything of import at stake in the voting for this show, so why not vote your heart?

Tom 13

You mean the Minnesota Senatorial Race of 2008.

While it is true the 2008 presidential election was corrupted, that occurred on a whole different level when the entire press corp abdicated their job of asking tough questions to ALL candidates. It was the 2008 Minnesota Senatorial race that seated Al Franken in which the vote stealing methods of the Democrat party were on display for anyone with eyes to see. To wit: One of the towns for which "new" votes were "found" for Franken had more ballots cast than the town had registered voters.

Tom 13

And if El Reg had done even some cursory research instead of just linking to MSLSD,

they might have stumbled upon this little posting and had a whole different take on Bristol's Pistols:


It seems one of the organizers chose Palin and the show for precisely those reasons. Which would seem to mesh well with El Reg's typical concern about vote fraud in computerized systems with no backup paper trail. But hey, now that it's no longer possible to engage in BDS, I suppose PDS will have to suffice.

Windows hits 25

Tom 13

Not so much parts laying aroung, just not a lot of design budget at the Boca Raton

office, so they built it out of standard parts instead of designing some spiffy component IBM could patent and make money from. It was designed, it was tested, and it ran well for where the industry was at that time. But the off-the-shelf components decision was the key one. One without which Microsoft would not be the company they are today. It was that decision which led to the Compaq clones, which even included specific known bugs from the IBM design. Once Compaq established the legal precedent that companies did not have to have licensing agreements with Microsoft, the foundation was laid for the commodity PC market.

Christians vs metalheads in FB flame war

Tom 13

Simple Solution:

Call it Heavy Metal Festival or Black Heavy Metal Festival. Catholics worldwide practice Mass. Muslims don't practice Mass. Jews don't go to Mass. Protestants don't go to Mass. Mass is a distinctly Catholic practice. And Black Mass is a distinctly anti-Catholic stance.

Don't attack the Catholics and they won't stand up for themselves.

Has CERN made the VATICAN ANTIMATTER BOMB for real?*

Tom 13

Only to reverse

the polarity of neutron flow. That things gonna blow!

Tom 13

Not necessarily.

I'm thinking the hovering nun with a ruler routine from Blues Brothers. <<shudder>>

Zuckerberg admits fallibility over Gmail block

Tom 13

Agreed, and I have a FB account.

I could see a setting which will allow you to share your email account information for export if you choose.

But if I see too much dangerous spam showing up as a result of Zuckerberg's latest moves, FB accounts are toast.

Windows malware dominates Mac malware detection chart

Tom 13

Sophos is not alone in that rather annoying problem.

I've had it with Norton and McAfee at work places that enforce their usage. Fortunately I've usually been able to find the logs which show the full path, but it is still rather a PITA. What I found more annoying was the lack of original filename and timestamp data for the reports I needed to file. The theory seems to be that you put the virus back where it came from, browse to the directory, record the data, and then delete it again. Reminds me rather of aiming a double barreled shotgun at my feet and making sure I fired BOTH chambers.

US may disable all in-car mobile phones

Tom 13

Saw a post on this yesterday.

First two post (within 2 minutes of each other) both noted it would never pass Constitutional muster. SCOTUS has been pretty consistent that infringement on 1st Amendment rights need to be narrowly tailored. Even presuming you can solve the technical problems with not extending the jamming beyond the range of the car, providing GPS navigation, and alerting emergency services in the event of an accident, you are still necessarily interfering with the 1st amendment rights of other passengers in the vehicle, which is NOT permissible.

Microsoft spooks software customers about dangerous pirates

Tom 13


No, you can't PIRATE OSS software. Poison it perhaps. Violate copyright certainly. But to PIRATE implies to make money by illegally selling something and denying the rights of the original creator to profit from his work. These specific concepts simply don't work in OSS.

UK.gov ignores 'net neutrality' campaigners

Tom 13

Wow, the Brit government is doing something right that we can't get done

properly here in the States with respect to free enterprise. Somebody better send some firewood to Hell, I suspect they are having some problems down there.

Alleged bad Appler should pay back $1m

Tom 13

That's not the way it works here.

Government gets the $1 mill from the bride taker, then shakes down the bribers for another, plus time in the pokey. Oh, and the taxpayer foots another half a mill for prosecution and court costs.

OpenSSL updated to kill code-execution bug

Tom 13

I don't buy that FUD from MS, not buying it here either.

What I do accept is that Open Source is more likely to get it fixed faster than MS. Which they seem to have done once again.

Facebook 'next-gen' comms (sorta) answer Google beef

Tom 13

Interesting point. Has Zuckerberg just killed Facebook?

Once upon a time I browsed the Usenets because you could find good and interesting information there. Then came the spambots and the downfall of Usenet. With this new play, will FB follow the same path?

Dunno. But I will miss my FB games if it does.

World's most advanced rootkit penetrates 64-bit Windows

Tom 13

That's not an app that's a tool and one which ought to require elevated access privileges.

Okay, what it really sounds like is a nasty virus that needs to be removed from your system ASAP, but I gave you the benefit of the doubt. Not something I'm frequently of the mind to do.

Tom 13

Agreed that I'd like to know what program wants to make changes.

But given that even Trend et al don't provide that info, I suspect that something about the way the OS works requires truly clever people to provide that bit of info.

As for the Run As bit, are you running Vista or Win 7? I had issues with Vista, but none so far with Win 7. This to some extent mitigates the habituation training issue.

MBR issues are with us always. LILO and GRUB would only obfuscate the issue, not resolve it. If Windows grants access via direct SCSI commands, the malware can overwrite either of those too. What is needed is a reliable control for access to writing the MBR. A DIP switch or jumper on the MB can guarantee that restriction, but are a PITA for maintenance, and as indicated previously there are times when a necessary patch will update the MBR. Next best choice is the BIOS. Apparently the BIOS boys never got this to work correctly previously. Even if they did, with the current crop of updatable BIOSes I'm not sure how effective it will be.

Facebook set to unveil 'Gmail killer'

Tom 13

I guess they never will figure this out.

I want my OS vendor to be my OS vendor, my mail vendor to be my mail vendor, and my social networking vendor to be my social networking vendor. And I want all three of them to be DIFFERENT vendors. I'm willing to let the all compete to sell me software, but for these different services, I WANT different vendors.

Seems simple enough to me. Don't know why they can't figure it out.

Palin email hacker gets 366 days in custody

Tom 13

No, this sentence was the minimum necessary.

He knowingly targeted a prominent US politician BECAUSE he figured he could argue it was a prank and get support from lots of wankers who ought to know better. If it was me he'd be doing the full 20 just because of that.

There are OTHER legal means of going after Palin if she was using the account for official government work.

Dell sells Android dream to corporate types

Tom 13

Right now, Blackberry is the only company

with a solid corporate governance footing and even it leaves corporate managers wanting a better solution. First company to crack it as a cross-platform has a major advantage.

World's largest pilot union shuns full-body scanners

Tom 13

[cue 70s piano music] Di-di-a-di-a-di-a-di...

Then one day after an accidental overdose of X-ray radiation at an airport security checkpoint, and now whenever Ian McGumby becomes angry a startling metamorphosis takes place. Wanted for a crime he did not commit, and relentlessly pursued by TSA Inspector Javert Ian must search for a way to control the raging creature that dwells within...

Facebook engineer bashes Google for Gmail block

Tom 13

Conceptually I like your fix.

Not sure I trust FaceBook to implement it. Less sure I trust Google to abide by it.

And completely irrelevant because neither of them are willing to consider it.

Facebook beats Google's block

Tom 13

Huh. I'll have to look at it and I might want to try it.

Because my non-sock puppet FaceBook account does not use my GMail address.

Oracle enlists private dick to sniff out HP boss

Tom 13

Apotheker is trying to prevent them serving the subpoena,

thus avoid appearing in court at all. Pleading the 5th only protects you from self-incrimination in LEGAL proceedings. If you are the CEO of a company that's not the sort of thing you want to be saying in court unless you are facing a long stay in The Big House. Saying it repeatedly is likely to cost you customers. The other part of the problem is that if Apotheker truthfully answers the question with "I don't know and was unaware of the actions until after the fact" (not asserting it is true, but even if you assume it to be true to explore a particular legal avenue) once he has answered that question, he is compelled to answer any other question put to him by the Oracle attorneys. There might be other dirt on Apotheker that is largely irrelevant to the case or his performance as CEO of HP but which might slip into the public eye once he is on the stand.

The point of the SAP quote is that many people (SAP, HP, El Reg, and me) think Ellison is using the courts to intimidate HP because he doesn't like what they did to his golfing bud and not because of anything he actually did, or anything he knows. Granted right now I don't have a lot of respect for HP as a company, but I would like them to have the chance to once again become the company I once respected. I see no such option for Ellison and Oracle since Ellison IS Oracle, much like Jobs IS Mac.

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