* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

NOAA goes to Cray for climate super

Tom 13

Not a globalonist myself, but I rather suspect the point of putting it

at Oak Ridge is precisely the point that it will use the HYDRO power from the nearby dam. No CO2 contributions for the electric. Personally, I wouldn't care if it were near a coal powered plant or a nuke, but those tend to get the enviro-wackos panties all twisted up.

I don't expect its outputs will be any better than its inputs. Given the data isn't all that great...

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Google open sources $124.6m video codec

Tom 13

No opinion on the relative technical merits of the competing codecs,

but it looks like pure FUD for MS and Apple to raise the patent troll issue. H264 is as likely to be sued by patent trolls as WebM, and then everybody using H264 is just as liable as if they were using WebM. Adding their names and patent arsenals to the WebM standard would decrease the WebM liability to the trolls. So it is pure FUD.

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Climate change 'no excuse' for failure to beat malaria

Tom 13

It was actually the California Condor they focused on

with the Bald Eagle being the backup.

Interestingly enough, further research into the primary claim about this from the 1970s, that the accumulation of DDT caused a weakening of the egg shells, has proven that claim to be as valid as the claims the glaciers in India have disappeared.

As for the toxicity of DDT, I remember one of our Cub Scout leaders talking to us about some of his experiences in WWII. He was with one of the units that came in to help clean up the concentration camps. He said they marched the refugees through a processing line, and because of the lice and other vermin from the camp, they all got to open their shirts and drop they trousers to get doused with DDT. So I suspect the toxicity claims are highly overrated.

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Sergey Brin: 'We screwed up' on Street View Wi-Fi grab

Tom 13

You're too late Luther!

Wiping the data now is a worse move than keeping it on file for 3 years so you could mine the data. There's a Federal investigation coming your way, which means if you wipe it now you WILL be guilty of obstructing justice, which IS evil.

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Man accused of DDoSing conservative talking heads

Tom 13

No need to aggregiously punish the idiot.

Just give him 30 days per account he stole.

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Symantec fires off false alarm on WoW update

Tom 13

You are mistaken but only partially.

Yes the file is covered by Blizards terms of Service and the dweebs on the board should have been quicker to recognize what the file was, but Norton WAS also incorrectly auto deleting the file. One demerit each for the tech board and Norton.

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Shock! Facebook cycle-slut smutvid is adware front

Tom 13

If Facebook were "good at banning stuff like that"

not enough people would have seen it for it to become a Reg story.

This is another EPIC FAIL for the new Facebook security regime. Yeah, it was out there before, but with the floodgates open to the rest of the net, it is now even easier to get in.

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Site auto-trawls embarrassing Facebook posts

Tom 13

I CAN program a VCR, even the old kind

where you needed to set date, start time, stop time, and channel. I'm still not sure my FaceBook setting are locked down. More because FB keeps changing them from the defaults I set ages ago than because of an inability to know how I want them set.

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Boffins warn on car computer security risk

Tom 13
Thumb Up

All this Clancy-esque yarn spinning about high value targets

(who can probably actually afford well paid staff to prevent the physical access to said vehicle and the fancy gadgets to block remote access) and the one person who hits on the best bang for the pound/buck option gets largely ignored.

Spot on I say.

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Facebook founder called trusting users dumb f*cks

Tom 13

What's wrong is it wasn't advertised as Public, it was advertised as Controlled Access.

When I setup my FaceBook account initially because of doing a job search, there was some information I made public, some information I marked as okay for friends to see, and some information I marked for only family to see. They changed the terms of publishing that information without requesting my permission.

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Facebook convenes privacy 'crisis' meeting

Tom 13

@jhermans: EPIC FAIL

Sorry, Facebook has seriously fucked shit up. When I signed on you could hide information you held as critical, like oh, your date of birth. I tried to update this for my mother the other day, and guess what? Yeah, that's right, you can't anymore. I'm not sure what the hell kind of crap they are pulling with websites. My mother has barely logged onto the site a few times and it wants to link her up to half a dozen other sites. No option to decline.

I'm with Andre on this one. Even though I know the only ones who will really get anything is the lawyers, if someone wants to launch a class action suite against them for not protecting Personally Identifiable Information, I'm all in.

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Mafia Wars dons deprived of pit bulls

Tom 13

Huh, not a word about the pitbulls being raised in a toxic dump either.

Oh, that's right Zynga stopped with the rackets and went back to properties so I guess that isn't so obvious any more.

A better response to PETA's complaint would have been a new job where you get to torch their hideout.

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Operator gang gunning for iTunes

Tom 13

I have three letters for all of you who think the technical prowess

of I-Tunes won't be defeated by inferior quality: VHS

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Leaked release shows Visa plotting NFC iPhone case

Tom 13

Is it just me or are there other people out there who don't trust these airwave thingies?

I mean, I'm not particularly fond of the card swipe and a pin but waving something in the air where anybody can grab the signal to pay for thing? Eewee!

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Election 2010: The sillier options

Tom 13

Where is amanfrommars when we need him?

He's the only person I trust to write a cogent and intelligible comment on this.

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iPhone code ban facing antitrust inquiry?

Tom 13
Headmaster

I'm ambivalent on this one.

First up, US monopoly laws aren't based on market size, they are based on whether or not you illegally use your monopoly position in one area to extend it to another. Steve obviously has a monopoly on Iphone. He has created a market for apps on the Iphone. Now he is attempting to improperly reclaim that market by exerting the influence of his monopoly on the Iphone.

I think that both Steve and the monopoly law are asses. I wish they could both lose. So maybe I'm not so ambivalent, but I sure can't pick a winner.

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Palin email jury reaches verdicts on 3 of 4 counts

Tom 13

Unlike the idiots who attack her,

Sarah Palin has never been confused about whether or not she is Tina Fey.

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Global warming dirt-carbon peril models are wrong, say boffins

Tom 13

Imagine that. Yet another feedback mechanism

embedded in the web of factors that holds everything together. Who'd a thunk it?

Answer: At least 50% of commenters here at El Reg.

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Investors bullish on report HP will acquire McAfee

Tom 13
FAIL

I guess Friedman Billings Ramsey & Co. need to install that

recall button. They must have written the report BEFORE last week's kerfluffle. Can't see HP buying McAfee anywhere near $45/share this year, no matter how much it helps them compete against Cisco. Which I'm not sure why they'd want to anyway since they don't exactly have similar market segments in the first place.

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YouTube dishes up online movie rentals - at a price

Tom 13

They don't have to beat, only compete.

People want choices, not sole sources. They also want it to look decent. Haven't looked so I can't comment on that part.

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Amazon sues US state on customers' privacy

Tom 13

Having a gargage sale has little to do with paying sales tax.

Generally speaking if a state collects sales tax its residents are presumed to owe sales taxes on anything they purchase. Since the state imposes sales tax collection on businesses that operate in its jurisdiction, those are presumed to be covered (one of the few logical presumptions any politician has ever made). After that the resident is responsible for declaring sales taxes owed for things purchased, including mail order and internet. Most people simply don't declare those purchases. They are therefore subject to prosecution for tax evasion. The catch is, it has generally been more expensive to find, pursue, and prosecute such cases. The advent of computers and in particular online purchasing makes this somewhat easier. If the state can demand the purchase history for a resident it can now pursue the resident for tax evasion. The other exception is that if you purchase an item while you are physically in another state, it is presumed to be an interference of interstate commerce to tax the item when you cross the border back into your home state, and therefore the home state is not permitted to collect sales tax on those items.

Yeah it makes my head hurt too.

Not saying Cali doesn't have some absurd law that makes someone who has a garage sale responsible for collecting sales taxes, but that is completely unrelated to the question of whether or not residents of a state owe sales taxes.

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Should all hard drives be encrypted?

Tom 13

While recognizing the value of encryption,

I have to admit I hate supporting it, particularly as a third party add-on to Windows. The encryption process itself takes forever, and runs the gerbils too hard. If power fails during the encryption you get to rebuild the whole drive. If the system glitches the wrong way during an update, if you are lucky you get to decrypt the drive and execute a software repair. If you aren't so lucky, you are trying to preserve the data from a dead drive before rebuilding it. Either way there's a long encryption time waiting for you on the other side. At the one company where I worked on the Encrypt All The Laptops Project we had about 1 in 10 laptops fail during the encryption process, even after doing updates and defrags BEFORE the encryption was started. Yeah, that was mostly due to hideously old hardware, unfortunately I'm discovering they were decent at updating at good intervals compared to other organizations.

Oh, and the particular software I am supporting at the moment bolluxes up the hard drive if I run defrag on it. Just love that after I've spent 3 tech hours and 48 clock hours getting the damned thing built.

If it were built into the OS from the get go, and you also work to resolve the portable drives issues I might be more supportive of the concept.

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Ash cans flights for another day

Tom 13

Well, lets list off what we do rigourously know:

1. This kind of ash cloud has not be tested in labs for its effect on engines or other critical airplane parts. Doing said tests would cost millions neither the airlines nor the airplane manufacturers can afford the tests (pounds or dollars, doesn't make much difference, that only changes the specific value, not the order of magnitude) and even if the tests could be started, they wouldn't produce data in sufficient time to be useful to the current circumstances.

2. In addition to your note about the neighboring volcano "waking up" so to speak, we also know that we will never know EXACTLY when it will be waking up.

So alerting and adjusting seems to be the order of the day. Given that alerting and adjusting seems to be the order of the day, the only SAFE thing to do is build more boats and/or make more teleconference calls.

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Obama 'deep space' Mars plans in Boeing booster bitchslap

Tom 13

Re: "We’ve been there before,"

and from the tone of his voice you could just tell he wasn't happy about it the first time and certainly doesn't want it happening again on his watch.

No, I'm not being overly harsh. We heard the same sorts of rhetoric from the same sorts of losers the first time around. Difference was we didn't have a complete loser as head of state.

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Apple backs down from Pulitzer putsch

Tom 13

Fiore should respond that he will resubmit his application

when Apple has provided him with sufficient evidence that other political cartoonists will not be subjected to the same arbitrary process that caused his problem. And he should do so by making it the subject of his next cartoon.

Were it not for opening the app to other writers and artists, I'd say Apple should resubmit his submission for him.

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Obama: We're off to Mars

Tom 13

POTUS got bit, spins media types

POTUS hates the space program because it detracts from his personal mission of redistributing wealth. Just like Libs really hated the space program back in the 60's but had to be cautious about criticizing it because Kennedy proposed it. This is just spin to kill the American space program.

Oddly enough, I actually prefer the concept of using more private industry for space over the continuation of government only programs. But he provided no road map. And while you can debate the relative merits of near-earth vs. geosynchronous construction stations vs Moon landings/construction site work, you need some platform near the Earth to build the Mars rocket. Personally I'd probably opt for near earth with some manned missions to the moon launching from there (testing of Mars equipment processes plus science research on the moon), but cases can be made for the others as well. That POTUS made none of these cases is the biggest indicator his speech is smoke and mirrors intended to fool the rubes.

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Apple bans Pulitzer Prize political cartoons from iPhone

Tom 13

Bog ass stupid? Absolutely.

Censorship? No more than ABC, CBS, NBC, or dare I say even the local San Francisco rag. Only difference is they call it "editorial choice."

Unconstitutional? Please get at least a 2.0 in US Constitutional Foundations before making comments like that. The US Constitution only prohibits the Federal, State, and local governments from prohibiting speech based on content. All others are welcome to provide you with as much or as little free speech as they want.

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Google slots nested labels, sneak peek experiments into Gmail

Tom 13

Perhaps if users of one of the more popular free email services,

aren't beating down the doors to use it, labels aren't really a better mousetrap no matter how much the In Crowd thinks it is.

Me, I want folders and the ability to filter incoming email into them. But I'm not holding my breath either.

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Google Checkout checks out

Tom 13

People still use Google Checkout?

For me that was their first EPIC FAIL! Even worse than Buzz. Of about half a dozen orders I tried to place they successfully delivered maybe one. Their were pretty good about spamming my inbox with regular reports that the item hadn't shipped yet. Binned it fairly quickly after I stopped thinking it was me messing up.

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Normal Human Being™ reviews the iPad

Tom 13
Thumb Up

I've never known an NHB.

But I like LW's review and your translation thereof. I may still check out an iPad at the store, but I like the review.

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Google exposes Buzz private parts

Tom 13

Actually,

Republicans are calling for his head. But since they have no say in either house on Congress, and the LSM are either lap-dogs or cheerleaders for the Fascist in Chief, you haven't heard about it.

As for Google Buzz, not worried about it anymore. Once I found the uninstall button it was gone.

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El Reg April Fools 2010

Tom 13

As a wise person has noted in a different forum

the difficulty with April Fool's jokes is that today too many things which ought to be unbelievable either aren't, or attempting to spoof them is impossible because of how spoof-like reality is. He missed the third which is the great danger they might be taken as serious recommendations for future developments.

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Mozilla: 'no plans' to bundle Flash with Firefox

Tom 13

Wow, imagine that. The company that owns Youtube

is bundling Flash with their browser. Who'd a thunk?

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Bush-authored warrantless wiretapping suffers abrupt defeat

Tom 13

The word "traditional" never belongs

in the same sentence as "Ninth Circuit of San Francisco" which is the most overturned Circuit Court in the US, except when in the negative. This invalidates your entire post.

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Booby-trapping PDF files: A new how-to

Tom 13

Get off you high dudgeon.

I've never seen a tent card in a document that wasn't intended to be a tent card from the originator.

PDFs have their place in the wild wild web. What ought not have a place in the wild wild web is ActiveX crap that MS brought out so long ago under a name I have now thankfully forgotten. Yes, PDF came from the Postscript Page markup language, but in it's original 1.0 incarnation all it did was fix the page layout of the document for distribution on the appropriate sized piece of paper. If they had stayed there instead of trying to keep up with the Gateses it would still be a useful and safer format.

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Intel: 'We won't wait for software'

Tom 13
FAIL

64-bit software? You mean like the Vista 64-bit software I installed

but which didn't run Lord of the Rings or Conan? I even bought a top end graphics card for it for the first time in my life. Or which we can's use to support FIPS compliant VPN? No thanks.

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MSI tells 97,000 customers to 'Read The F***ing Manual'

Tom 13

Perhaps the forum operators should have RTFM about April fools jokes?

I've written manuals and work the Help Desk. I'm fortunate in that most of the calls I get are actually things that no matter how simple it is to do them, we don't expect the users to actually do. But yes I'm familiar with the issues and feel for the people who wrote the rant. But they really should have held it until April 1 when people might have caught on.

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Apple director 'disgusted' by Jobsian health secrets

Tom 13

Re: (Risk and Success) EOR (Safety and Mediocrity)

Yeah, if you are a line employee that is true. Likely also true through mid-level management, possibly true for mid-level to the lowest rung of high-level. Once you get above that things start getting a bit dicey. The company depends on your decision making for its business model. To the extent that your health affects your decision making, your health affects the fiscal integrity of the company. Now, when you get all the way up to Jobs who, as other posters have noted elsewhere, is the sole source of innovative ideas at Apple, the connection between the future profitability of Apple and his health is pretty cut and dried: He dies Apple pretty much does too. At the very least it becomes just another mid-tier technology company, probably not even as important or profitable as HP or Dell. Corporate officers and the Board of Directors, at least in the US, have a legal obligation to disclose any reasonably foreseeable events which might affect profitability. Any reasonable person can see a clear correlation there, and I bet even some lawyers would too.

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Commodore 64 reincarnated as quad-core Ubuntu box

Tom 13

Cooling, holding lots of drives,

providing additional horizontal storage space, and looking really, really cool with the glow neon lights thingies shining through the cases.

I still use the homemade computer desk I made for my c64 way back in the day. Drilled holes in it to help cool the sucker. I loved the computer part but hated the power supplies. I was always replacing them because they'd burn out. Haven't owned a desktop style case since then. Towers are great for cooling and over-sized power supplies that don't burn out. And I still have memories of using that first 150 bps modem to connect to Compuserve.

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Virgin Media downed by thick Leeds 'copper' crooks

Tom 13

Failed your basic econ classes eh?

Price is determined by the intersection of the demand and supply curves. Copper many be plentiful in comparison to gold, but it's physical properties for manufacturing purposes are comparable. So the demand for copper has risen considerably in the modern age. From printed circuits to the billions of miles of electrical cables we use a lot of it and like other precious and semi-precious materials, we've already pulled out the stuff that is easy to get at, or at least located in places where the green weenies will allow us to recover it.

Yeah, China plays a big part in that too, but it's not the only part.

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Botnet pierces Microsoft Live through audio captchas

Tom 13

The websites are going to need to rethink this whole captchas mess

I think computers would have an easier time than I do of decoding some of the ones I've seen recently.

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Office IT: One size doesn't fit all?

Tom 13

Well, that's not going to work here in The States.

That whole "profiling" thing is unconstitutional. I have the reaffirmed every time I travel through an airport.

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YouTube accuses Viacom of secretly uploading videos

Tom 13
Pirate

Oh this could get really good.

While not discounting YouTube's potential as an attractive nuisance for other copyright holders, in the specific case of Viacom this could get really amusing. Since Viacom IS the copyright holder, and since the companies were hired as AGENTS of Viacom, it can be argued because of the TOS, whatever video's Viacom's AGENTS uploaded to YouTube are now legal governed by the YouTube TOS. That is, that YouTube now and forever posses the right to post for download whatever was uploaded by those Agents.

Could YouTube/Google eventually end up owning Viacom as a result?

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Feds sue Russian for stock pump and dump hack

Tom 13
FAIL

Guess you missed the bit where it said 3 compromised accounts.

That means he was using OTHER people's money to buy and sell and profiting from his PRIVATE account.

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Tom 13

Not even a little similar

The Goldman Sachs software is about shaving nanoseconds off the speed of the trading execution to get better prices. This goober wasn't working the kind of volume where that gives your company a competitive edge. More importantly, if he was working to drive market momentum, he necessarily needed sufficient time for people to SEE the changes and enter their orders.

Not that I'm any fan of Goldman Sachs, but you need to keep your facts straight.

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Patent attack hits Apple, RIM, AT&T, Moto...

Tom 13

And oddly enough,

Texas would also be the best state in which to possibly win that case.

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Paypal freezes Cryptome

Tom 13

I trust Paypal more than I trust Google checkout

But only because I've never used Paypal and have used Google checkout. Most stuff I ordered through Google checkout never arrived, and it was too much of a bother to go after them about it, with too many finger pointing opportunities.

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'Severe' OpenSSL vuln busts public key crypto

Tom 13

Yes, it's a hardware problem

We've been fixing certain hardware problems in software for ages. The proposed fix hardens the key, so it would be a good idea anyway.

And, yes, after the hardware engineers should re-examine their product and work to implement a solution to that part of the problem as well.

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Gmail Labs' experiments: What's in, what's out?

Tom 13
FAIL

Something is broken at Google

I don't do labs, because they're experimental and all. But all of the stuff I might be interested in got the cut, particularly fixed width font. What I can identify of the stuff that made the cut I want not at all. For instance WTF is that first mouthful of crap?

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Xerox sues Google and Yahoo! over patentspeak

Tom 13

Somebody needs to tell Xerox,

they effectively negated all that nice patentable protection about 30 years ago when they let a couple of nerds walk out of PARC with the keys, blueprints, and bills of materials, and deed for the kingdom.

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