* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Kensington revamps laptop lock

Tom 13

It comes with a key? Then it's an automatic Epic Fail.

Manged a group of less than 150 loaner laptops, cables with keys were the worst. Users were always losing them. Combination in the way to go. But not the ones with the flippy thing on the end for when you want to reset the password. They need to be pre-coded, or use a screwdriver to reset.. Personal preference is for pre-coded in lots of 25 because then you have the master list of combinations to match the codes printed on the locks.

Oh, and one of the techs had it down to about 35 seconds, certainly never more than 60 with the hack saw blade to cut through the cables on the ones that were fubar.

Aggrieved boffins to march on Whitehall

Tom 13

If Science is Vital,

it can't be left in the hands of the government.

Android rebellion: How to tame your stupid smartphone

Tom 13

Re: What Version?

The one written by Bill Ray. Anything from another vendor should run just fine.

Tesla Motors: Our cars don't burst into flame, but our emails do

Tom 13

I read once that only an total idiot argues with people who buy ink

by the barrel on a daily basis. Given that El Reg doesn't have to pay for ink but does the same thing, that they are known for their snark, and that the PR flack allegedly came from the reporting side of the house, one would have thought she'd at least have some passing acquaintance with that pearl of wisdom.

Microsoft plans biggest ever Patch Tuesday

Tom 13

It sure is a good thing we've moved past Windows XP

and onto The Most Secure Windows Ever! (TM)

Mozilla upsets net world order with Bing on Firefox

Tom 13

Good for Mozilla!

As OSS, they should be vendor neutral. If it helps their cash flow, more power to them. Personally these days I use Ask for personal stuff, Google while at work. Didn't much care for my first look at Bing, but may look at it again one of these days.

Facebook unveils changes to enhance privacy

Tom 13

Don't care about most of what I've entered on FaceBook,

I've modded the DoB to only show month and day, and if I had been thinking ahead wouldn't have put the real one in anyway. And I don't care about that so much except it's one of the standard security questions for finance info.

As far as I'm concerned, if the groups work correctly what is more important than the security is that I can stop annoying friends with my game posts. Cause that's mostly what I do on FB.

Boston firefighters get oxygen masks for cats and dogs

Tom 13
Thumb Up

Good for those fire departments!

The firefighters are expected to render assistance to the injured animals regardless of their equipment, better to have the right tool for the job. And for those worried about first responders getting scratched or bitten, even though I've never done it myself, I expect applying the correctly sized breathing apparatus is a damn site safer than trying to give mouth-to-mouth to Rin-Tin-Tin.

HP ramps up containerized data centers

Tom 13

I expect the demand for them will increase.

Not that they will necessarily get a lot of use. Here in the US the workings of various federal laws mean that pretty much any company over 500 employees has to have a disaster recovery plan, and as part of that disaster plan you more or less have to contract with someone to provide you with containerized data centers to rebuild your business for continuity operations. Which means at the very least the companies providing those insurance plans have to buy the containers and outfit them with gear.

Man vindicated for videotaping his own traffic stop

Tom 13

Never get a good look at the street signs, so I can't positively identify the road

he was on, but I'm guessing that would be I70 between Frederick and Baltimore. Depending on the stretch of highway the speed limit might be 65, which makes 69 nowhere near twice the speed limit. Oh, and that would be light to moderate traffic on I70. Same would go for I95 or I270 which are the other major MD highways (and tend to be more urban hence my belief the road is I70).

Pulling the wheelie was stupid. So was not showing a badge or turning on the red and blue lights. Double stupid on raiding the house for wiretapping. But as a long time resident of the People's Republic of Maryland, none of these actions surprise me. And with revenue's down O'Malley is trying to squeeze every cent out of anybody he can shake down for whatever reason.

The only one showing some sense in this whole mess is the judge. Which, this being the People's Republic of Maryland, does surprise me. Kudos to him from a transplanted gun-loving redneck.

Microsoft secretly scoops up 15 companies

Tom 13
Black Helicopters

Come on! You know if Steve ever left the safety of the MS campus for Area 51

Claudia would track him down and Artie would have him brought in to be bronzed.

Apple's Cook not jumping to HP

Tom 13

It could be a really good move for HP to hire him,

I just don't see what he'd get out of it.

Stuxnet worm can reinfect PCs even after disinfection

Tom 13

@Goat Jam

That is so wrong on logic and so right on management process.


This Beer's for you, because after reading that, it's definitely quitting time.

Tom 13

It would funny, but it would also be good.

Unfortunately, I expect that being only funny and scary, it won't.

I think it will only stop being used for industrial processes after it is flagged as the key culprit in a major industrial accident, e.g. Chernobyl or Bopal. At which point it will be sad and tragic instead of funny.

US sues/settles with Apple, Google, Intel...

Tom 13

Dammit! Another No Call list shot to hell.

Now I won't be able to eat dinner without Apple, Google et al calling me about jobs.

Microsoft secretly yanks TechNet product keys

Tom 13

And yet El Reg tag Zuckerman with the "Take that Bitch!" tag?

I think they have the wrong villain.

Google's Microsoft browser outlives Wave nonsense

Tom 13

Damn tech moves fast!

I'm still using Internet 1 and MS is introducing "Internet 9"! Somehow or another I missed versions 2 through 8.

Google whacks Spanish TV station in court

Tom 13

While I like the idea that copyright holders have the responsibility

to police infringement on their own, here's the problem I'm left with:

If the company best known for it's computational indexing and search engines can't police infringement on a site they host, how is anybody else with resources magnitudes of orders less than Google supposed to do it?

Pint because maybe it will help me come up with an answer.

Over half of all apps have security holes

Tom 13

@AC 23-Sep-2010 11:52 GMT

They could put the blame where it belongs, but that wouldn't help Veracode sell their software and services now would it?

Google data center links shot down by 'bored' riflemen

Tom 13


Maybe the Google boffins should have studied the old phone company. I seem to recall them working out the kinks in these problem pre-1950 at least.

Tom 13

Your geography is as wrong as your politics.

Militias are two states over in Montana. Oregon is Jeff Merkley (D) and Ron Wyden (D) in the Senate, so that would be Hippie an tree hugger country, not Redneck. So maybe it is ELF instead or Redneck, but what they hey, it's safer to pick on Rednecks.

Check Point defends ZoneAlarm scareware-style warning

Tom 13

I was once a great believer in Zone Alarm.

Stopped using it years ago when I saw their product in a similar pop-up scare alert.

Adobe patches critical Flash Player vuln under attack

Tom 13

Adobe DLM is the download manager for Adobe.

It's a piece of crap. You have to do something else to enable it, then Adobe downloads the update. After the download completes, you have to close FireFox, accept the update, and install it. DLM is a piece of crap. And it only patches FF, not FF and IE. And it only works for Flash and Reader, not Shockwave. Did I mention this is a piece of crap?

Download and install the Secunia PSI util instead. It takes you to links that will fix everything.

Yahoo! 'owns several patents' on Google Instant

Tom 13

So it sounds like Google and Yahoo are swapping boffins,

much the way Marvel and DC swapped writers and artists around the time I was collecting comics.

Intel confirms HDCP copy-protection crack

Tom 13

Even E.E. Doc Smith had this one right in his pulps

back in the 1950s and 1960s: New technology only gives you a temporary edge, very temporary. Why can't these drones figure that out?

Die-hard bug bytes Linux kernel for second time

Tom 13

@Fraser: Don't need a source, just a brain.

Given the kind of computing power needed to do the indexing Google does to support as many users as Google does, if they were paying MS for even a significant minority of their servers, MS would be a far more profitable company than it is.

Novell breakup and sale imminent, says report

Tom 13

@Gareth: Nah, only us old farts remember Xenix,

them young'uns would think it was something new, especially after it got re-branded as Winix 12 or some such nonsense.

The fly in the ointment there would be they'd either have to put up or shut up on their pawn McBride and wouldn't be able to astro-turf against Linux after it was decided.

Parents back legal ban of violent vidgames sales to kids

Tom 13

And the correct answer is

78% of Americans think the First Amendment shouldn't protect the sale of ultra-violent video games to minors, and that the SCOTUS members who vote otherwise are twits who in more practical times would have been ridden out of town on a rail.

Tom 13

@galidron: No it can be enforced by law, just like you can't serve booze to a minor.

If a movie theater lets someone under the age in without a parent or guardian for a movie which has been rated, they can be prosecuted under the law. The cops just treat the offense as more akin to jaywalking than mugging: more of PITA to file the paperwork than anything else, so unless a parent makes a stink about it, something to be avoided.

What is voluntary, is the ratings assignment in the first place, which is run by a non-governmental agency.

Microsoft closes hole used to attack industrial plants

Tom 13

How equally predictable

A nameless MS shill coming out to try to divert attention from the valid issues in this thread.

If you bothered to look at any of the posts on "the original article" you'll note the same people bashing MS on this thread mercilessly bashed Siemens for their criminal stupidity on that thread. The point of both being in both cases vendors have included default accounts which are easily compromised. Siemens did actually manage to out-bad MS on this one because MS at least allows an admin to alter the default settings.

eBay wins partial victory over Craigslist

Tom 13

It may well be true that two of the primary board members don't wish to be millionaires,

but for a corporation in the US, that doesn't matter. If you are a corporation, your obligation is to make money for your shareholders. If you don't you aren't fulfilling your fiduciary responsibility. If you want to be the sort of business you are describing you need to be a sole proprietor or a partnership, both of which have significant other risks. Not sure if an LLC would work, I've never looked at their specific rules for creation.

The best way for this to end is for the remaining craigslist founders to sell out their shares to Ebay for twice what they are currently worth and extract an explicit requirement that they not be forbidden to re-enter the line of business in which they are currently operating. Then they find a new name and start up the business again. It's the only way they eventually get to keep a list that runs along the lines of the business they want to run.

Firefox 4 preview knocks back Jäger shot

Tom 13

Re: Is this really important?

Casual user, browsing web pages and not FaceBook games? Probably not a great deal.

But if you are one of those people, or someone who frequents intensively Flashed pages, quite possibly a great deal.

Adobe Reader 0day under active attack

Tom 13

Not the Halo effect this time

The problem is Adobe has extended what was once a simple program to the complexity of an OS without doing the associated security work. If all the program did was open a file to display fixed formatted type, none of these vulnerabilities would work. It is the addition of things like active URLs, forms completion, embedded sound, embedded movies, etc. that makes the program vulnerable to exploit. Some of those items are logical extensions to the basic program (URLS, forms) but even though they are obvious and logical, they require deeper thinking about security issues.

Greenland ice loss rates 'one-third' of what was thought

Tom 13

True, but he does seem to be more somewhat more clueful

than the moron who said volcanoes produce less CO2 than mankind has over his history of burning fossil fuels (although I think I am going have to take up calling them "fossilized" fuels just for fun of it) when it is the reverse which is true and routinely mentioned on the Discovery Channel Mega Disaster episode about super volcanoes.

Tom 13

Re: Forget the science

Granted, I have not yet lived quite a half decade, but I recall when I was about 12 reading in one of those environmentally aware nature magazines that parents bought for their kids about how we were guaranteed to run out of oil within 70 years, and how within 25 it would be unreasonably expensive for the average person to buy what little quantities were still available. We are more than a decade past that point and the only thing so far that has made gas unreasonably expensive for the average person to buy has been political interference in the production of oil.

Tom 13

@Nexorx: Or at least a basic course in Ancient Greek Geek History.

Eureka! I found it! I found it!

Tom 13

Re: Most of the people who know...

"Most of the people who scream the loudest believe it is."

There, fixed that for you.

Large companies ignore data centre advice - survey

Tom 13

More likely it's a matter of having

too little budget at the end of the proposal. So something gets axed for the build to go forward.

General Motors bitchslaps Tesla with Range Anxiety™

Tom 13

The thought of yet another trademark on plain use words

makes me want to go postal on yet another set of executives.

Microsoft releases FixIt for critical flaw in 100 apps

Tom 13

There are no easy fixes because they've baked this particular exploit into their OS

since Windows 1.0. You're right they can't do a whole lot more to fix it now, but that doesn't get them off the hook for their previous bad behavior. Some of the first posting about this particular bug noted MS didn't even follow their own guidelines when writing software. I remember the days when you could only figure out how MS intended some new function to work after they released an app they developed that used the function and you saw how they called it.

Gartner chops PC shipment forecasts for 2010

Tom 13

So Gartner is trying to grease third quarter sales for the PC industry eh?

People don't get their Christmas checks until December, so they won't be buying until then. Every businessman on this side of the pond KNOWS Christmas is make or break season for retail sales and they'd damn well better have their wares plentifully stocked at that time. If times are tough you also have to be making real deals that benefit consumers, not "we marked it up 75% so we could knock 30% off and call it a deep discount" sales.

Microsoft divorces Live Mesh from kitchen Sync drama

Tom 13
Jobs Horns

So, same old MS formula

Take an old product, tweak a bit, rename, and release. Take an old product, tweak a bit, rename, and release. Take an old product, tweak a bit, rename, and release. Take an old product, tweak a bit, rename, and release. Take an old product, tweak a bit, rename, and release. Take an old product, tweak a bit, rename, and release. Take an old product, tweak a bit, rename, and release. Take an old product, tweak a bit, rename, and release. Take an old product, tweak a bit, rename, and release. Take an old product, tweak a bit, rename, and release. Take an old product, tweak a bit, rename, and release. Take an old product, tweak a bit, rename, and release. Take an old product, tweak a bit, rename, and release. Take an old product, tweak a bit, rename, and release. Take an old product, tweak a bit, rename, and release. Take an old product, tweak a bit, rename, and release. Take an old product, tweak a bit, rename, and release.

Gets old after a while doesn't it?

HP pays to end fraud probe

Tom 13

Another day, another government shakedown.

It's time the pampered politios stopped shaking down honest businesses with unending investigations that will just go away if only the company greases the right palms in just the right way. Coupons and discounts are a standard business practice here in the states, and some of them depend on your status like "student," "charitable," and "government." An investigation into allegations of kickbacks under this guise is nothing but a thugish shakedown on the part of our new Lords and Masters.

Crooks said swiped church funds were for sex crime victims

Tom 13

I don't get it. How do people fall for these scams?

If I want to make a payment to somebody, I cut the check to them, not some third party. The only reason to do a third party is to launder and/or scam.

Your genes determine whether you will respond to surveys

Tom 13

Only 1,000 pairs? That might be enough tosses of the dice

to know whether or not they are fair, but for a survey? Really? And no hint of what the questions on the survey were or who was giving it?

Pass the Mann hockey stick please.

MS hits refresh on Windows 7 SP1 for select few

Tom 13

If you've never had a problem with Microsoft software,

blame the wetware behind the keyboard.

CTOs warned to prepare for Windows 7 budget squeeze

Tom 13

re: Gartner timeframe statement

If the business execs en masse need a couple more years on XP, they will get. MS bent to their will with Vista, they will again with 7 if push comes to shove.

That being said, I fully expect most businesses will upgrade to 7 before the end of 2014. It is getting more problematic to support XP with newer hardware, and MS made progress on closing security holes with Vista, it was just a dog of a system and lacked vendor support in certain key segments of the market. At this point those segments are better filled.

Police extend detention of e-voting critic

Tom 13

Dear Indian Magistrate:

It is already too late, your election process has been irrevocably determined to be susceptible to fraud. Holding the guy who disclosed this in jail will not make your election process less susceptible to fraud. It will make both your citizens and the citizens of other countries more suspicious of the corruption levels within your country. While you are correct that this is a highly sensitive matter, you seem to be engaging in Bizarro world logic and further irritating that sensitivity. Let the whistleblower out of the clink and resolve the matter in open debate.


Mozilla shrugs off 'forever free' H.264 codec license

Tom 13

Sorry Alastair,

down voted the wrong post so I upvoted to try to balance it.

Tom 13

No what Mozilla are sayin is that they won't BUILD code

that clearly violates both the FOSS and monopoly licenses.

Flash is a plug-in that abides by their plug in protocols, Google search likewise. The plugin is separable from the FOSS license. Building support for H.264 directly into the browser is not. If the H.264 group want to build a plug-in so Firefox supports their codec, they are welcome to do so.

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