* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Oracle waves fist, claims even new Android devices infringe its Java copyrights

Tom 13

Re: the issue is supposedly the APIs

Yes, and this is the problem with courts that act more like roulette wheels than actual legal rulings.

I expect that Google is not whittling away at the case to save money as much as to limit the possible attack paths when they argue the fair use angle. IF they win on fair use they don't need to appeal the idiotic API ruling. If they don't win on fair use, they still have the option of appealing the API ruling. Hopefully a full SCOTUS could be convinced of the idiocy of the appellate court ruling.

John McAfee cuffed by Tennessee cops, faces drug-driving, gun rap

Tom 13

Re: I had to look up Xanax

Sadly I don't. If you have any sort of depression, the docs are happy to hand it out to you. My mother was on that shit for a good 15-20 years. For all that they hand it out like candy it's worse than morphine. Yes, in the initial studies it was not addictive on the short term. But if you take it as a sustained medicine which is all to frequently its use. Ugh. Let's just say they're never giving it to me without a court order, and even then it will be a 50/50 thing.

Tom 13

Re: lucid enough to decline any form of drug testing

Not here in the states if it involves a motor vehicle. If you decline to take the drug test they immediately arrest you and take you to jail to await the judge's court order to take the test. If the test says you were intoxicated, they increase the severity of the original charges. So if you're intoxicated, you're actually better off taking the field test and having your lawyer challenge the field test later.

Windows 10 climbs to 3.55 per cent market share, Win 8.1 dips

Tom 13

@ Pascal Monett Re: typical public survey only needs 2,000 responders

Not at all. The typical public survey is regarded as valid for precisely the reason that it is thought to be completely at random.* Given the proffered objection is continuous and can never be measured by your the survey, it doesn't matter who large the sample, because of the non-random bias, it can never be regarded as representative of the entire computer population.

*Indeed this is actually one of the current points of contention amongst surveyors as the advent of the cell phone may be inducing biases into traditional techniques.

'Sunspots drive climate change' theory is result of ancient error

Tom 13

Re: The Earth is getting warmer.

Except it isn't. There hasn't been any warming for 20 years. Now, 10 years ago when this was pointed out, they said it was a statistical fluke and we'd need 15 years before it could be regarded as anything else. When we hit 15, it jumped to 20. Now that we've hit 20, they've bumped the number again. The Warmists really need to go march on the streets next to the guy holding the sign saying "The End of the World in Near."

Tom 13

Re: can only genuinely prove their models after the event

That's nice. It is after the event. The models were wrong. Not "I need to tweak it here" wrong, just flat out wrong. Yet the warmists continue to ape Marx: "Who are you going to believe: me or your own lying eyes?"

Tom 13

@JustaKOS Re: WTF

Oh, it's worse than that. I followed the links in the story and they shed no more light on the corrections than the article itself. If you're adjusting the number down, for a decent scientific reason, you CAN put it into terms that technically proficient laymen can understand.

The roots go deep: Kill Adobe Flash, kill it everywhere, bod says

Tom 13

Re: Then there would be only one problem.

You know, squaring infinity doesn't reduce the magnitude of the problem.

Tom 13

Re: We're going to struggle to make this go away

No, you're going to struggle with it until somebody comes up with a replacement that actually works as well as Flash does. Granted, the biggest part of that is the ubiquity of Flash, but them's the breaks.

Tom 13

Re: Why no Java bashing articles

That's funny!

Because the only reason I have to support those pieces (yes by policy were required to install both 32 and 64 bit versions) of shit is the multiple browser apps used at my work place. I suppose the internal group releasing their updates in nominally a "reputable firm" but given that until 2 months ago they insisted that unless you were running 7.49 they wouldn't provide troubleshooting support, that's a very, very broad definition of nominal. They did actually announce they were going to 8.51 about a month after .51 was released, so at least the frequency of their updates may be improving. But they still wouldn't help with .51 before the announced it.

Tom 13

Re: why no Java bashing articles?

Because the exploit being covered in the article is Flash not Java.

As for the lie that they haven't been bashing Java, well that's just an outright lie. For the last 6 months every time yet another Java exploit has been announced, there has been an article properly bashing Java.

Linus Torvalds warns he's in no mood to be polite as Linux 4.2 drags

Tom 13

@AC Re: Shirley...

You picked a bad day to stop sniffing glue.

Lottery chief resigns as winning combo numbers appear on screen BEFORE being drawn

Tom 13

Re: Killing the goose that lays the golden egg?

Depends on who is rigging the lottery. Certainly there's no logic to it from the State's perspective. But if you're not the state, I can see someone thinking they might be able to rig it to win more than they would ever be paid for doing their job.

In some places the solution to this is that if you work for the agency running the lottery, you can't play the game(s).

Tom 13

Re: Lie Detectors

Depends on what you mean by "really work".

For the most part they do reliably detect whether or not you are nervous about answering the question. Of course discerning exactly why you were nervous is a whole other question.

Also, the notable exception to their reliability are sociopaths. They'll pretty much pass any lie detector test you give them, or fail if they think that's the optimal path.

Tom 13

Re: how that could be reliably faked

Actually it is fairly easy if you have access to the machine, just not immediately obvious. You use latex paint to weight most of the balls so they won't be drawn. In 1980 scammers managed to "win" the Pennsylvania Daily Lottery drawing with the number 666 by using this technique.


Americans find fantastic new use for drones – interfering with firefighting

Tom 13

Re: Shoot them down

While I like the idea, there's one small but very significant flaw in your plan. Drones of this sort aren't licensed, so there's no good way to track down the owner, other than maybe locating them at the time of the incident. Yes, if they find them, I'm all for throwing them in jail. I'm just not sure 5 years is long enough.

Tom 13

Re: Bah!

Because a little drone doesn't generate enough heat to accurately target a shoulder launched heat-seeking missile.

Tom 13

Re: may be a legit use of drones

Any legit use must obviously be coordinated with firefighter control and he did allow for "any other technology to take down..."

It is incontrovertible that given people have been, are, and will continue to be exceptionally stupid in even the worst of circumstances, the only viable solution is to give the firefighters the legal authority and the means to take down the drones.

Crazy Chrysler security hole: USB stick fix incoming for 1.4 million cars

Tom 13

Re: manually installed via a USB stick plugged into the car.

I think Steven Wright experienced that, except it was back in the 70s. He told the police someone stole his car an replaced it with an exact duplicate.

Tom 13

Re: Why is the onboard computer able to control the brakes and steering?

I suspect on most modern cars the computer always controls the braking even when you're depressing the brake pedal. That's certainly part of how ABS solutions work, and you need it if you're implementing some sort of automatic anti-tailgating or blind spot braking mechanisms that's how you'd implement that as well.

As other posters pointed out, the real problem is that that control subsystem was connected to the public internet.

Tom 13

Re: I don;t know about the US

It's a crazy quilt of regs over here. Feds regulate MPG through taxation and the NTSB does crash testing which I believe is mandatory. But it isn't necessarily illegal to produce an unsafe car. You just have to be able to survive the class action lawsuit which will inevitably follow. OTOH the NTSB can issue recall orders if as a result of complaints they determine the vehicle is unsafe.

Most regulation happens at the local level with Kalifornia having the most weight because of their high population. But the thoroughness of inspections is spotty. For example, I grew up in Pennsylvania. While growing up vehicles had to be inspected by licensed servicing stations every 6 months. They checked a variety of the standard stuff including body integrity (lack of rust), brakes, and tire wear. Somewhere along the way they switched to once a year (nominally cheaper, but all the inspection stations jacked their prices to make up for the lost business). I now reside in The People's Republic of Maryland. Despite state mandated emissions inspections every two years at state run stations, there are no corresponding laws about vehicle inspections. If you buy a used car, or transfer in from another state you have to have an inspection at the time you register the vehicle. After that, nothing.

Tom 13

Re: GM had a problem with the ignition

Was that about the time the US government was getting all over Toyota about an alleged accelerator problem?

I recall it smelled of a smoke and mirrors distraction at the time.

Microsoft has RECORD quarter, in a BAD way - Sad Nad slashes phone biz

Tom 13

Re: Write down

Everyone always assumed that was more or less what was going to happen when monkey boy put his man in at Nokia.

No, it never made sense to us either, but there it is.

Tom 13

Re: Windows Mobile^H^H^H^H^H^HPhone is a dead end

Depends on whether or not they can remove the last Balmerism that keeps on giving: that the desktop and phone have to have the same OS. Problem there is I don't think it's just a Balmerism, it's a Gatesism, too.

But if they finally see that light, don't count them out. I think people would like to see at least one more vendor for phone OSes. Two is too risky on the monopoly side.

Tom 13

Re: Without 1-off costs,

Aye, there's the rub though. Are they really 1-off costs? Or will there be a new reason next year for 1-off costs. And the year after that. And so on.

And that's assuming the major flagship release doesn't turn out to be the Titanic.

Tom 13

hasn't returned to the kind of growth that investors would like to see

And it is doubtful they ever will.

Investors want to see the kind of growth MS saw in the 90s. That isn't going to happen. The computer industry then was young and taking over the world. Now that they've conquered it, we're down to maintenance and the revenues you can generate from that.

This is MS's Michael Dell moment. Do they recognize the change in their market? Do they make changes that allow them to survive it and be profitable (even if it doesn't match the level "investors want"), or do they miss it and become another artifact of history?

Robot surgeons kill 144 patients, hurt 1,391, malfunction 8,061 times

Tom 13

Re: Except in the court rooms.

Sad isn't it?

You've got people who are 95%+ intent on doing something good for somebody who would otherwise likely (again in the 95%+ range):

- die

- constantly suffer great pain

- be crippled

- or some combination of all of the above

and unless everything goes as perfectly as it does for the forensic investigators in a CSI tv show, somebody is out to sue the living day lights out of them.

Tom 13

Re: Edit: Added a bootnote.

So, assuming each of the reported numbers is unique (that is a malfunction that leads to a death was counted only as death and not both) that give the robots an error rate of 0.5% compared to Between two and four per cent of operations in the US suffer from complications or somewhere between 4 and 8 times safer than a fleshie. And that's assuming the 2-4% isn't underestimating issues for unreported recoveries (or what the rest of us would probably call coverups). Yet no change in the headline. Isn't that rather, (oh what was that usual derogatory comparison I see in the comments oh yes) Daily Mail like?

Google swears blind it doesn't give SEO advantage to new internet dot-words

Tom 13

Re: Company websites rarely have the info I want

Depends what information you're looking for. I'm frequently annoyed when I'm looking for the specs on a particular consumable, say a Canon toner, so I want the actual vendor and the first 20 results are all for Amazon et al.

Silicon Valley sides with Samsung in anti-Apple patent war

Tom 13

Re: Seems samsung has some friends in the us

I don't consider myself a friend of either. It strikes me as rather foolish to treat a corporation whose sole reason for being is making money as if it were a friend. They are what they are. That being said, it strikes me as foolish to allow Apple to continue to shake down random competitors for government granted monopolies that should never have been granted (regardless of whether they are called patents, copyrights, trademarks, etc.).

Tom 13

Re: @Dazed and Confused

Gads the Apple fanbois are as rabid as their lawyers.

IF Apple had licensed properly, they would have gotten the FRAND rates. Just because it's FRAND doesn't negate the obligation to pay for the patents involved. Break the law and the FRAND agreement is null and void. Paying on the full price of the device is the price paid for KNOWINGLY infringing on the patent.

Microsoft: Hey, you. Done patching Windows this month? WRONG

Tom 13

Re: There is a "s" after the "math"

As this product originated in the US, no there is not. We do not share your fetish for adding unnecessary letters:


Tom 13

People are urged to install the update as soon as possible, and long before miscreants begin to exploit the vulnerability to spread malware and misery.

You're already too late. The whole reason we know about this vulnerability is precisely that the miscreants found it, were subsequently hacked, and the exploit was posted to the internet.

Tom 13

Re: Kernel mode fonts

People who have never seen, let alone run a 386 really ought not spew in the forums.

Yes, I was running a Windows 3.11 workstation on a 386 with math coprocessor back in the day, never had a problem with displaying bit mapped fonts on either my paper white (DTP work) or color monitor (CAD). And your whole CAD argument is just right out of your arse. Granted I was running Autocad which most folks don't consider real CAD, but the relevant fonts for it were additional drawings.

Driverless cars banished to fake Michigan 'town' until they learn to read

Tom 13

Re: fake Michigan 'town'

Detroit might win for empty, but I'll put the roads in Philly up against the roads in Detroit any day of the week for title of worst. Couple years ago we made the mistake of taking the main road through there when leaving a convention and my friend wound up with two damaged wheels.

Tom 13

Re: Deer will just jump in front of you without warning.

I was thinking about them ambushing your car from their hiding place in the bushes, but same difference.

On the bright side, at least they aren't moose. You'll likely survive your crash with a deer. Not so with the moose.

Tom 13

Re: Scotland?

You have roads? Lucky dog. When I go to visit some of my friends, the instructions include "turn onto the stone path" before I drive the last 10 miles.

Brit school software biz unchains lawyers after crappy security exposed

Tom 13

Re: The default was to use the surname field!

Remember, it could be worse. I mean at least that's unique (sort of) and random. They could have just set all of them to:





or my personal favorite, simply left it blank.

Space Station 'nauts dive for cover from flying Soviet junk

Tom 13

Re: sports of orbits

Wait, I didn't know the ISS had put in a bid to host the Olympics.

I expect a lot of records will be broken if they win!

Bitcoin fixes a Greek problem – but not the Greek debt problem

Tom 13

Re: QE

When you start with a false premise, nothing deduced afterward is reliable.

Despite Tim's claims and derision for the gold bugs, I don't see that the US or the UK really are any better off for printing boatloads of money. The economy isn't improving. People aren't going to work. The number of people being helped by the inflation is vastly smaller than the number it is going to seriously hurt going forward. Despite government fiddling with the numbers the economy is still teetering on the edge of the Second Great Recession without an actual intervening recovery. I expect the sum of the downturns will be worse than the Great Depression.

Netflix profits plunge, but streamer still plans global domination

Tom 13

Re: gave me access to all of the TV/movie/etc out there.

While I concur, I suspect this isn't Netflix's fault. I expect the vendors are the culprits on that one.

Tom 13

Re: Netflix charges too little

I'm not interested in their original programming, so the price boost isn't worth it to me. Making the OP another tier at $8 would work for me.

Hacking Team spyware rootkit: Even a new HARD DRIVE wouldn't get rid of it

Tom 13

Re: zap anything and everything that has been to a list of countries


At that level of paranoia you're also certifying the factory and your transport service and implementing high level security controls for their facilities. Alos, think armored car transport principles without the obviousness of the armored car.

Tom 13
Black Helicopters

Re: Mitigation?

How do you know the latest BIOS/UEFI hasn't been compromised at the factory level?

Yeah, when you start going this route, you're deep in black helicopter territory.

Tom 13

Re: bios jumper in another physical position

I'd settle for a physical switch instead of a jumper. Depending on the motherboard some of those *&%*$!! jumpers were smaller than an eye glasses screw.

Also, all MBs these days should have a double BIOS setup: One flashable which is the primary boot chip, one ROM which by flipping another switch/setting another jumper can be used to restore the BIOS that originally shipped with the MB.

Tom 13

Re: zap anything and everything that has been to a list of countries

We've done away with the list. If you've been on travel, when you get back, it gets wiped and fresh image is installed.

Not that that would have helped with this particular hack.

If you're sufficiently paranoid these days, the correct procedure is actually to chuck it all to a reseller as soon as it comes back and give them a new, fresh out of the box, not re-furbed laptop. The BIOS, the hard drive, even the mouse might have been compromised with malware your OotB AV suite simply isn't equipped to deal with.

Tom 13

Re: Groupthink

How many of them were as big as Microsoft and completely independent of MS's OS?

When the Big Dog makes up his mind, you go along and hope for a piece of the kill.

iPod dead? Nope, says Apple: New Touch has iPhone 6 brains

Tom 13

Once a primary source of Apple's income, the iPod has fallen out of favor these days as users moved from dedicated media players to smartphones.

Not true at all. I'd love to pickup an actual iPod with a decent amount of music storage (say on the order of 100G) and maybe a bluetooth connection for the car. No need for a camera or wifi, just the usb to my Windows PC to synch my music collection. But Apple don't make/market those anymore.

Microsoft customers on the great (hybrid) cloud migration

Tom 13

"The Nimon speaks of many things. He speaks of the Great Journey Migration of Life."

"How many Nimon have you seen today?"


"How many?!!!!"

Mathematician: sunspot could mean mini ice age from 2030

Tom 13

Re: total energy output of the sun does not vary much

Neither does the variance mean solar temperatures. In fact the correlation between these two is much stronger than the the Cult of Warming will acknowledge.

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