* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Ellison grilled on $4bn SAP 'theft' claim

Tom 13

If SAP stole 3000 customers from Oracle as a result of the breach,

it is NOT okay for Oracle to be compensated for the theft of 300,000 customers, which is what Oracle claimed in their filings. It is appropriate for SAP to compensate only for the 3000 customers.

Got it?

Firefox extension detects FireSheep snoop software

Tom 13

No, it's blaming Ford or GM for

not installing locks on car doors because they cost too much and it's the thieves fault for stealing cars anyway.

Windows 7 'I'm a PC' man quits Microsoft

Tom 13

Yep, they all reminded me of badly acted 70s sitcoms.

And its even worse than them being a random PC user with absolutely no idea how their PC works, they're actually even more clueless actors/actresses portraying computer users who have no idea how your PC works.

Hell, I fix them, and these days I'm not sure I know how the damn things work.

Software engineer blogs own Starbucks wiretap

Tom 13

Lots of reasons.

The ones which come to mind immediately:

1. The US jury system is so screwed up it is nearly impossible to get what most of us would regard as a competent jury seated, because so many of the things most of us would regard as marks of competence count as reasons to dismiss you from the jury pool.

2. Before you get to a jury trial, there's the whole plea bargaining mess.

3. Given solid evidence against a perp who committed a violent crime, there is at best a 50/50 chance of conviction. This isn't a violent crime, and the guy has shown his intention was to help people. I don't even think you could find 12 people if you select them at random who will agree to convict someone who hasn't caused ACTUAL harm when he was trying to do something good.

Tom 13

Is it illegal? Absolutely.

Could he be prosecuted? That depends on what you mean by "prosecute"

Could he be convicted by a jury here is The States? Not a chance. Hence the previous Clintonism.

Symantec under pressure to split up?

Tom 13
Jobs Horns

I recall using both those versions of Norton.

Like you I loved the DOS set. I didn't have the issues you had with the NU for 95, but by then the writing was already clearly on the wall. MS were going to kill all of the utility suppliers except the AV vendors. They broke the QuarterDeck QEMM memory extender every time they released a .x upgrade of DOS, and stole Stacker clean away (not that I was a big fan of Stacker, but I object to stealing even from the incompetent). They even worked hard to break Partition Magic and Drive Copy, both wonderful utilities in their prime, but no longer in my utility kit.

Security major strops over MS free scanner auto-downloads

Tom 13

The difference between MS Updates and Windows Updates is trivial.

And ought not constitute sufficient ground to deflect Trend's complaint if the go full bore lawyer on this. What I think will constitute a problem for them is that I believe the Netscape vs MS settlement has expired. The predecessor which allowed the Netscape vs MS case (illegal DOS distribution practices with one of those quasi-court/out of court agreements) certainly has. Which means MS is no longer legally covered by the requirement that they not bundle applications with their OS. And therefore Trend have to argue that all over again.

On a side note, if Trend want to depose me for their case I'm available. I'm a consumer, I buy their product, and when I build out my PC at home I always start by applying service packs, then running Windows update, then switching to MS Updates and patching until there are no critical patches left and nothing in the optional software that interests me. In my particular case they wouldn't lose a customer, but for others in the populace they might.

Google snips Facebook's Gmail line

Tom 13

Re: Facebook security = Google gets data

Yes, but Google want the data unencumbered by legal questions.

Zuckerberg: the iPad 'is not mobile'

Tom 13

So, despite being a twit, Zuckerberg got it right, and the fanbois didn't understand.

It's not a mobile, which everyone pretty much agrees is a device which fits in your pocket. It is mobile in the sense of it is easily carried with you, but that also describes the tablet form factor. Except the fanbois don't want to admit that Apple is selling a pricey tablet. Perhaps a well-designed tablet worth the price (YMMV), but still a tablet.

Google open sources Apache server speed mod

Tom 13

Re: Re: Erm...: Minor nit

the specific phrasing is "distribute" which includes free distribution of said code. But as you noted, they haven't distributed the code outside their organization, so it would be in compliance with the license. The code they are distributing has been released as required under the license.

eBay Meg bitchslapped by Governor Moonbeam

Tom 13

They are in

the land of fruits and nuts. Major tv markets there. No freebie airtime unless you are union goon.

Tom 13

That woman was no tea party candidate

She just tried to spin it that way, and the LSM (John Oates included*) are more than happy to spin it that way to legally slander an honorable group of people. Rand Paul was a tea party candidate, as was Marco Rubio. They both won their races handily.

*Why? Because in an election even the Washington Post is admitting is a historic victory for the Republican party and the Tea Party people who brought them to it, he has chosen to focus on two losers from the land of fruits and nuts. He'll make some lame excuse about these are the only two people with an IT angle, but it really is just what I called it: a lame excuse.

Shut up, Spock! How Battlestar Galactica beat Trek babble

Tom 13

Once upon a time I read a fair amount of hard sf (as well as some interesting Fantasy stuff)

(Gentle Giants trilogy, Foundation Trilogy, dabbled in some Heinlein but gave up on him as someone afraid to take a story where it wants to go). Over the last few years I've pretty much given up on the genre. Where it isn't too PC the sf reads more like fantasy, and regardless of what it is, it has all gotten a bit too preachy.

Even when I was reading it, I quickly grew tired of super-hard sf described in this article. I eventually read an article that pointed out why: When was the last time someone stopped in the middle of Monty Python skit to explain the basics of how the internal combustion engine works? How about in the middle of a Micky Spillane novel? Same thing applies to sf. You may need the occasional visit from the Doctor's companion asking how the internal combustion works so the audience will get a plot point, but when you focus too much on the science behind the story. Quite honestly, I find it less believable that the military will still be using slug throwers 50 years from now than that they will be using lasers. When the power density/killing power ratio is sufficiently high, we will switch to them. They always go straight so there is a better chance of hitting your target. Rail guns, okay, that works for me if it is something getting a significant percent of c for velocity. Anti-matter rail guns is getting on toward space opera (which I also enjoy but distinguish from hard sf). I use to work with the definition that hard sf was about the improbable possible, while fantasy was about the believable impossible. But I eventually decided what really interests me is a story where the technology is an important but minor character in the tale.

Google's 'copied Java code' disowned by Apache

Tom 13

I suspect that in any code sample taken from real human beings,

you will not find anything even closely approximating 10! listings of variables. Humans inherently tend to order things, and even will this effect will be even more pronounced when engaging in logic exercises. So I expect that unless the initial instructions indicate a need to try to randomize the order of declaration, you will find a few ordering techniques that greatly reduce the randomness, perhaps something on the order of 4!*3!*3! possibly even as little as 2!*2!*2!*2!*2!

Microsoft's IE9 'nearly finished'

Tom 13

@Giles: I'd like to agree with that, but I'm not sure

how many websites still have special pages just for IE, so getting to the gold standard at least requires going in and moving the IE redirectors.


Where's the "I wish this were a joke" icon?

Adobe Reader browse-and-get-pwned 0day under attack

Tom 13

Or they could just re-write without using Active X.

Oh wait, that COULD be taken to mean "security in mind" ...

Boffins mount campaign against France's official kilogramme

Tom 13


Or Celestial Goofy Shit as we called in Asto class because we never could figure out why you'd choose it as your base when the closest star is over 4 light years away. But for some reason it was and therefore the exponents were always even larger.

Tom 13

@velv: You should never expect certainty

when Planck is involved.

419ers threaten terrorism charges

Tom 13

Did Guy forward the message to the FBI?

Surely they will want to know one of their agents has gone rogue.

Palin email hacker asks judge for leniency

Tom 13

Re: Mr. Kernell's behavior was an aberration from his normal course of conduct

I find that highly doubtful. He is a politician's son, and using his mum as character witness does not sway me.

They should stick with the guidelines.

Intel forms flash gang of five

Tom 13

Re: one has to wonder why it is bothering to talk to Intel

Because Intel might integrate the support for the standard into their next chipset?

Where's the nun with a ruler icon?

Credit card 'flash attack' steals up to $500,000 a month

Tom 13

All you people who keep seeing post saying "check for x in y minutes" need to learn to read.

The whole point of this is that the small transactions are batch processed so there are no x number of transactions recorded by the processor. The weak link is the store and forward, not the number of transactions. Although your mileage will vary greatly. I once made the mistake of purchasing gas at the pump for one car before I stopped in the shop to pay the repair bill for another. Got sent straight to "talk to the customer service rep" because they flagged that as a sign for fraudulent activity. (A few minutes on the phone straightened it out and I never made that mistake again.) This implies my less than $20 purchase was immediately recorded by the card holder, even though it was a magnetic card swipe at a retail location.

Lender objects to $13m sex.com sale

Tom 13

You'll never outmanuever Google on registering domain names.

They run the searches and know what the punters are mistyping in their searches. They also know that even at $100/yr per domain is cheaper than the lawyers fees if someone else grabs it first.

Amazon customer purchases protected by US Constitution

Tom 13

No, the State of North Carolina is not trying to enforce its laws in another State,

it is trying to enforce them in its own State. Citizens of NC owe sales tax on items they buy. The catalogue decision protects the seller from being forced to collect the tax, not the citizen from having to pay the tax. Hence the Department of Revenue needs to have the list of items purchased as well as the prices paid in order to enforce the law on its own citizens. I expect the ruling will be overturned on appeal, partially because most DoR agencies are prohibited from filing criminal charges in order to ensure they collect the maximum revenue. Odd but true fact: If Al Capone had put down: Income $xx million, protection rackets on his 1040, he would never have gone to jail for tax evasion, and the 1040 couldn't be used to prosecute him in a criminal case.

Microsoft's Office ribbon hits Mac fans

Tom 13

Biggest fail in history? Really? A Bigger Fail than New Coke?

I hate the ribbon as much as the next guy, but get a grip.

EU to lift flight ban on carry-on liquids

Tom 13

Might be a victory for ease of use but I think Common Sense

is still mostly dead.

Schmidt: I 'misspoke' over Street View

Tom 13

If it wasn't clearly a joke, the moron needs to go.

Frankly, even assuming it was a joke, I still think the moron needs to go.

iOS bug unlocks iPhones sans password

Tom 13

If you think that's funny, you should see what they tell Zynga

when you aren't looking.

Firefox engine speeds past Chrome after Jager shot

Tom 13

Have to agree with the posters noting the javascript speed of the browser

is less of an issue than other factors in the environment. Only time mine is slow is when it is waiting for one of the damn Facebook.static pages to finish uploading its data to my pc. And I'm running the current standard install for FF, not the beta.

Two-year wait for Windows 8, MS blurts

Tom 13

MS can survive 3 years without an OS upgrade, but not 5 -

regardless of whether or not the OS needs a touch up or refresh at the end of 5 years.

Seagate sued for 'fraudulently hiring engineer'

Tom 13

@AC 25th October 2010 12:40 GMT

I don't know about contract laws in Blighty, but if your representation is correct, the difference from US laws would be that in Blighty you gain some rights after two years. Most permanent employment in the US is at will, mostly your employers will.

Rules will vary from State to State, hence the specific reference to Minnesota where the laws there likely is a case.

Gosling blows lid off Jobs Java nonsense

Tom 13

I believe Oracle's ownership of Java is the root of the problem here.

Ellsion and Jobs are both ego centric prats with "my way or the highway" attitudes. That's okay as long as there isn't a phalanx of lawyers backing both of them with seriously frelled US patent and trademark laws. Sun ran Java as a benign dictator. Now that Ellison owns it Jobs, recognizing his doppleganger across the table is cutting his losses and running.

The bard put it best near the end of one of his great plays: A pox on both [their] houses!

Adobe Shockwave bitten by code execution bug

Tom 13

re: There are also many examples of MS fixing security flaws in record time.

That was an hour ago, what about now?

Linux bug bestows attackers with 'superuser' powers

Tom 13

re: There are also many examples of MS fixing security flaws in record time.

Links to just one MS security flaw fixed in 6 days please. Needs to have been discovered by an outside security analyst so we know the true discovery/disclosure to vendor date.

Facebook games maker sued in privacy flap

Tom 13

Could get more interesting as they dig into it.

I play several of the games listed in the article. Not much bothered about the info sharing, I think I have a reasonably clean profile, and other than by exact birth date, nothing I want to protect there. But over the last two days I've friended some people who don't play the games, yet their names show up when I pull up the list of people who are supposed to be "neighbors" in the game. I don't think they play because when I look at their walls, there are no game entrails on the wall. Oddly enough, I think they both also have iPhones they use for FB.

Microsoft loses chief software architect Ray Ozzie

Tom 13

What mean 'um "now"?

MS has ALWAYS been just a marketing operation. It's just that they use to market so well many people THOUGHT they were a technology company.

No legal privilege for accountants, says Court of Appeal

Tom 13

Be still my beating heart!

"It was not what the law said, though, said the Court, and changing the law is the job of Parliament not judges."

Can we borrow those judges for a year or so to teach law on this side of the pond? Please? Pretty Please?

I promise we will return them after a year.

Microsoft's fear of an OpenOffice

Tom 13
Thumb Up

@Dazed and Confused: Thank-you

You saved me much typing time and painted a better picture than I would have.

Trial and error: online comments court attention

Tom 13

I personally find the exercise of the US practice of keeping a jury impartial to be a farce.

An impartial jury is one which distinguishes facts from opinions and bases its decisions of facts. This requires intelligent people, and intelligent people on the whole seem to prefer to keep themselves well informed. As the process for keeping a jury impartial tends to remove precisely those people who tend to keep themselves well informed because they "might have formed prior opinions" this seems to prevent the selection of intelligent juries that can make rational decisions about law. I'd call that the bigger subversion of justice.

The situation might be different in the UK, but given the language used by the attorney and the postings I'm seeing on this board today, I doubt it.

Tom 13

Re: Sequestered in a Hotel

Here in the US most hotels have free internet, including screens that pop up on the tv. Not sure that will help much if you don't trust the jury to follow their directions. Haven't been to any UK hotels, but I imagine they are similar.

Robot goes berserk in Balkan lab: 6 boffins given dead arms

Tom 13

Even the zeroth law has huge problems

I don't recall exactly where I saw it, but somewhere someone has used the Zeroth law to have the robots place all of humanity in permanent suspended animation because that is the only way to guarantee the outcome of the law.

Microsoft's Bing to slurp Facebook users' data and likes

Tom 13


Not a chance. That's an uber pencil-neck there. They explode in sunlight, even when reflected from the moon. No chance it'll ever come out of its cave.

Google tracks inflation with interwebs data

Tom 13


Not sure the spam would have a debilitating affect on the inflation rate, even though it will skew the absolute price. Even the spammers would feel the effects of real inflation and adjust their prices.

The real killer for the index is the same as the killer for the CPI: The need to establish a basket of goods that reflects the actual inflation the buyer experiences. They've already admitted they don't account enough for housing. CPI suffers by excluding certain volatile goods that do influence real inflation. Yet at the same time you don't want the volatile numbers swamping the non-volatile ones.

It's a tough job figuring that stuff out, and one I'm glad I don't have to worry about too much. I just need to make sure there's enough paycheck left at the end of the half month.

Power grid scare stories a 'bunch of hooey'

Tom 13

The grid situation is bad in the US also.

And like the other man said, the money being spent on the "shovel ready jobs" ain't going into the grid because they think we use too much energy as is so it will be good for us to have to limit ourselves.

Ruskie gang hijacks Microsoft network to push penis pills

Tom 13


And Western Union or similar cash services have records of where their payments went. So jail the mule as is his due and continue to chase the money.

I like the idea of going after MS too.

I'll add a third, which is that even though they are dummy corps, somebody is set up to process the payments, go after them, follow their money and their associations.

Chase all the money on all the angles until you get as much of it as possible. I mean, I hear governments all over the world are short on cash at the moment. The scammers seem to have plenty of it, so isn't it time to shake them down?

Guardian super-blogger flames Reg boffinry desk

Tom 13

Lewis Page,

Your response article is simply brilliant.

This icon's for you.

Microsoft plans biggest ever Patch Tuesday

Tom 13

Better yet,

since he said he wasn't using any of them, just uninstall them all and leave them off until he does need one, then install only that one which is needed.

Stuxnet 'a game changer for malware defence'

Tom 13

@The Other Steve

That's what the punch card reader is for you idiot!

Doctor Who touches down in US of A

Tom 13

Never been to Utah so I can't speak to that,

but there is a logical* reason for choosing the second lane from the right on multi-lane divided highways: You have less chance of getting creamed in an accident there. People in the second lane are usually camped for the long haul. People in the right lane are merging and exiting. And people in the third through sixth lanes are prone to making sudden and completely unexpected movements across the second lane, through the first lane, and off the exit ramp. Second laners have a chance at seeing this, first laners have none.

Yes, technically it is against state laws to "travel" in the second and other lanes, but Americans being practical people tend to ignore mere legislative law when the laws of physics override them.

*Okay, maybe not "logical" in the Platonic sense of being able to use pure thought to arrive there, but "logical" on the basis of observed experimentation and future extension.

Hefty physicist: Global warming is 'pseudoscientific fraud'

Tom 13

Ah Lewis, I KNEW we could count on you to post about this.

And turn on the comments so all the commetards could post.

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