* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

So why the hell didn't quantitative easing produce HUGE inflation?

Tom 13

@Doctor Syntax

when interest rates are lower savings lose their value.

Savings ALWAYS lose value relative to the rest of the economy. When savings rates were at 7 or 8%, inflation was running 10%+. That's why truly wealthy people have their pocket money in savings accounts and their wealth in bonds, stocks, etc.

What's different now is that at 5.25% (the old savings and loan guarantee before the S&L collapse) people didn't FEEL like they were losing money. At 0% interest (or even 0.75%) people both know and feel it.

Tom 13

Re: Hmm

Except the governments are all telling us the bits that were loaned to prop them up have all been repaid so the money isn't going there. And at this point the regs have all been at the high point for more than 4 years, so that should have equilibrated by now and we ought to be seeing some improvement in the economy and hence the interest rates.

No the problem is more fundamental and Tim names it by missing it here:

Our transmission mechanism, V, may be broken or partially malfunctioning, but we can overcome that simply by flooding the place with M, so as to avoid that fall in PQ.

There's a whole lot more to this MV <--> PQ thing than M, V, P, and Q. Whatever that more is, the artificially inflated housing prices broke it so badly that it isn't translating to inflation. But what's broken so badly is the job market which isn't recovering. There was something of an astute observation on these pages a few days/weeks back: the inflation is real and its there if you know where to look for it. They pointed at luxury goods, I'd point at food prices. The inflation is real, but the numbers used to measure it are being manipulated to make it seem like it isn't. IF we ever do gain traction again in the job market, the Central Banks won't be able to stop the hyperinflation building because they're flooding M because the job market broke V. The instantaneous transmission will just take over.

Any rational person looking at the US economy right now can't have a positive outlook. One of the places the inflation is going is right back into a housing bubble. Most people aren't buying because they can't get the loan (a few are worried they might get stuck when the next shoe drops), but if you look at what is selling (because they have money or access to money) THOSE prices are headed back into pre-collapse territory.

St. Milton was right: don't fuck with the money supply. Keep the money supply growing at the rate at which the economy is really growing (which also means don't fuck with your GDP statistics) and make the politicians solve the problems they create.

The weapons pact threatening IT security research

Tom 13

Re: A Comment/Correction

Strictly speaking it is a treaty not an agreement. Agreements have no status as international law and are worth even less than the paper on which treaties are written. Playing with words is the con man's scheme to convince you that male bovine waste smells like roses.

Tom 13

@Charles 9

Better to be coloured by your experience than coloured by your inexperience.

Tom 13

Re: Exposing software flaws for profit

Part of why we are where we are today is that back before things became so bleak, there were honest people who found flaws and told only the software maker. The software makers may have said thanks, but when they did, mostly let the the flaws moulder on the shelf until something bad happened. Even then it needed to be sufficiently bad to affect company image. At which point they started paying for bugs. Still probably not as much as they ought to, but at least you get paid these days.

Tom 13

Re: Typical

No, it MOSTLY impedes ordinary honest folks. It does also impede the inept bad people (for various values of bad), although they tend to be more of a bother than an existential threat.

Elon Musk's $4.9bn taxpayer windfall revealed

Tom 13

Re: The part I don't understand

Because you assume that government chose correctly when it chose to pursue that goal (for whatever your value of "correctly" is). But that's not merely a questionable statement, it is objectively false. The fundamental problem of economic theory is that no model can actually replicate real live market choices. Economists at least are attempting to model it, politicians not at all.

Yes, I will celebrate Musk because he is delivering (at least on SpaceX, Tesla and batteries are still unproven). Maybe he would be delivering without the subsidies, maybe not. That doesn't mean we should criticize that he is getting subsidies. My caveat is that I won't blame Musk, instead I'll blame the politicians.

Tom 13

Re: Hmmm.

You can't tell anything from the timeline. Someone like Musk has far easier access to the corridors of power to get those sorts of deals arranged, and he can keep it quiet. Ya'all remember private investor Ross Perot right? Gonna lift up the hood of the American enterprise and fix what was broken 'cause he was one of them private sector people who knew how to do those things, right? Except all the money he made came, entirely from government contacts, and frequently from contracts were he litigated the awards until all of his competitors dropped out.

I'm not a fan of Musk's politics, but like Hewlett and Packard, he's making actual useful stuff and selling it to real people, not just feeding at the government trough like Boeing, Lockheed, Airbus, etc.

Tom 13


Yep. He was headed toward an up vote until he threw that turd in.

Tom 13

Re: 100 years ago in the USA there were no income taxes

No, but we still had government granting monopolies or subsidies to projects they wanted completed. Roads, canals, and railroads are some of the early examples.

Tom 13

Re: this isn't quite how red-in-tooth-and-claw capitalism

True, but we haven't had that in these parts since at least FDR and probably since Woodrow Wilson.

Taking that into account, the direct subsidies he is receiving (while technically it is true that he benefits from the indirect ones, so potentially would any competitors so I do not count those), he's still a hell of a lot cheaper than the direct payments government has been making for the last 30 years to his competitors and he seems to be making real technical progress whereas they just seem to be interested the next trough feeding. So while it's not perfect, I'll take it.

Couple sues estate agent who sold them her mum's snake-infested house

Tom 13

Re: If there are so many snakes, what are they eating?

We're talking The People's Republic of Maryland here. Up Baltimore way they have annual rat catching contest where they try to catch rodents from alleyways using fishing poles and casting lines with peanut butter on the hooks. What's scary isn't that they do it, it's the size of the rodents they catch that way.

Tom 13

@Mark 85

The house is in the People's Republic of Maryland. If money didn't change hands, the inspector is a close friend of the realtor. People here at work have been talking about the house. It's within easy commuting distance.

Virgin Media wins ELEVENTH patent case against Rovi

Tom 13

Re: Loser Pays Rule

Except it won't work out that way. Vexation troll sues small company that can't afford a the sort of legal defense needed to win these cases and when the troll wins, the small company has to pay their fees. That only emboldens the patent trolls which is the exact opposite of what we want.

The right way to fix it is:

1) Fix US patent law so the sorts of patents that generate the suits is reduced.

2) Fix the US patent office so their case officers actually review the patents and have some knowledge relevant to the area.

Tom 13

Re: isn't worth the paper its printed on

True, but as long as you aren't actually paying for it, it might at least save you future court costs.

Star Trek's Lt Uhura hospitalised in LA after stroke

Tom 13

Re: No offence to the lady

She got off the command deck about as often as Sulu left the Helm and has always been counted as part of the core group. I'll concur her role was limited and in keeping with the thinking of the times at the network level. Despite the limitations imposed on her, she was a leader in breaking down the barriers.

Forget black helicopters, FBI flying surveillance Cessnas over US cities. Warrant? What's that?

Tom 13

@I've forgotten what I wanted to say...

The problem with all the conspiracy nuts who think we're turning into George Orwell's 1984 is that the such a system can't actually be implemented. It takes to much work by the authorities and falls apart when even a small percentage of the people resist it. That doesn't mean it 1984 is a complete failure as a cautionary tale, only that those who use it these days overstate their case. Mostly I find them to be the sort who are happy to use the State to impose their religious and political views on me, they just don't want anyone else doing it to them.

Tom 13

Re: It takes just one additional law

Quite right. By the same token it takes just one additional court interpretation to undo the laws that hold our country together. There never has been a right to be unobserved in public. Which means you're the one advancing the one additional law.

Frankly, the one additional law that makes me a criminal was done long before I was born, and it was done by the people on your side of the argument. You want to outlaw my faith, my right to self-defense, indeed my right to actually own property instead of merely holding while it pleases the current politicians. As for the eavesdropping, as others have noted in the context of the MPAA and the RIAA, making a copy of your communication does not remove your papers from you. You still have them. And in the case of actual riots where you don't know the perps before they kill someone, it might just be handy to have the sms, tweets, and other social media messages that resulted in the flash mob so you can hold the perpetrators responsible. In fact, there is no other way to get that data. Leaving the mob in charge as you advocate destroys civilization. When civilization is destroyed all rights are lost to the biggest nastiest brute in the region.

Tom 13

Re: for someone stealing a few thousand dollars of electronics.

You need to lay off the commie Kool Aid. It wasn't a few thousand, it was millions. And it wasn't just electronics, they injured and mostly likely killed people, but that would have gotten in the way of the peaceful protest narrative being pushed by the incompetent mayor and the POTUS who had his community organizers running the riots. Oh, maybe not in the put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger fashion, but killed them just the same. Delayed medical service or the inability to get drugs because all the pharmacies in the area have been looted is probably gonna kill somebody.

The truth can't be hidden from those of us who have to live in the area. Crime is up and you can't call the police when they're actually needed because they can't police. As soon as they hit the streets their being mobbed by people taping them and they can't do their jobs. Pretty soon it will be a no go zone like most places in Sudan.

Tom 13

Re: Aren't most of them based OUTSIDE the country?

Charles, you should know better than to get in front of a 2 minute hate with facts.

Tom 13

Re: I would have hoped any response would be more reasoned.

Trevor only takes his meds when he has to write an article for El Reg.

Tom 13

Re: So what's new?

It absolutely is written into your constitution that people have the right to assemble to plot to overthrow you government.

No it isn't. What is written into the Constitution is that you have the right to peaceably assemble to change the government or the Constitution. Overthrowing the government is specifically disallowed as treason and insurrection.

Despite police reports, what happened in Baltimore wasn't an assembly, it was a riot organized specifically for that purpose. The media didn't want to report the mayor was letting the gangs wage turf wars and loot 27 pharmacies and 2 methadone clinics, but that's what happened. As soon as the first rock is thrown, everybody should have been required to disburse. Because that's the point at which it stopped being an assembly.

Sysadmins rebel over GUI-free install for Windows Server 2016

Tom 13

Re: Missing the point

In the SMB segment you often MUST use the server not a desktop. You're still in the Enterprise model where a sys admin is sitting at his desk. Typical SMB situation is the sys admin walks in once every two months, all 12 of the desktops are in use because people are working and he's lucky to have a chair by the server.

Tom 13

Re: After killing it off with a GUI all those years ago...

Nope. Not even up to the usability and stability of Netware 2.0 yet.

Tom 13

Re: Exchange 2013 does not have

He said legacy not modern.

Ruskies behind German govt cyber attack — report

Tom 13

Re: Is this sort of thing happening to the Russian government

If you aren't another government power and you hack the Russian government, the Russian government actually does what all you Brits think the NSA does: they send out a wet works team to eliminate the problem. If you are another government power it's a calculated risk whether on not they send the team.

Science teacher jammed his school kids' phones, gets week suspension

Tom 13

Re: Something doesn't ring true....

Apparently you need a refund on your education. They failed to teach you reading comprehension:

the device was blocking reception on a nearby cell tower.

If they provide free remedial classes, hopefully your instructor won't be as much of lazy arse as this guy was.

Tom 13

Re: Hero

The guys a lazy arse, not a hero. The school had a policy to collect phones in a basket at the start of class. He was too self-important to do so.

Tom 13

Re: so can quite easily leave a building

Exactly. From El Reg's article:

the device was blocking reception on a nearby cell tower.

So because this idiot was a lazy arse, he cut off not only his recalcitrant students, but everybody who had service that depended on that tower.

Tom 13

Re: Shame

No, he was a lazy arse:

"It is also unproductive to confiscate a cell phone, put it in the school approved box and keep it until the end of the period."

Verizon and FCC should have thrown the legal book at him.

Tom 13

Re: a concept called Classroom Management?

The school made a policy. He failed to implement it. More precisely, he couldn't be arsed to do so:

"It is also unproductive to confiscate a cell phone, put it in the school approved box and keep it until the end of the period"

Tom 13


Actually his problem is he's a lazy slob. If you read the article all the way to the end you'll see the school DOES have a policy. It seems reasonable to me and sounds like it should solve the problem. He just couldn't be arsed to implement it.

Tom 13

Re: Guard the campus?

A lot of it is regional although they are closing schools to casual visitors these days. I recall former students coming back to visit teachers, that wouldn't happen today. By the same token I'm even older than you and remember a transfer student telling me about the police and metal detectors at the entrances to the school she came from (Philadelphia, the city of Brotherly Knife and Gun Fights).

Tom 13

Re: What?

Read the story again. The idiot took out a CELL TOWER, not just service to the school. That means people, homes, and businesses OTHER than the school.

Tom 13

Re: "illegal because they can prevent people from calling emergency services"

Still illegal, particularly as he took out service to several blocks. The jammer was hitting a cell service tower.

Tom 13

Re: If a tradesman did that whilst talking to me

I'd show him the door if he was talking to me about a quote too.

Tom 13

Re: Experience shows that

Understanding that he actually took out a cell tower, not just the service in his classroom, Verizon and the FCC should have thrown the book at him. This is the sort of leniency that caused the problems that made him want the jammer in the first place.

Tom 13

Re: Why is it not school policy

Guess you read the headline and failed to read the article. That actually is school policy (well maybe not the Faraday box) and the teacher was too lazy to follow it.

I was all for the leniency at the headline point, then I read and comprehended what he actually did. The phone company wasn't there because a couple of kids didn't get text messages while in his class. The idiot took out the cell tower that was serving the larger region, meaning all kinds of people who weren't students in school.

Windows 10 upgrade ADWARE forces its way on to Windows 7 and 8.1

Tom 13

Re: Free*

Also, the free upgrade is NOT available to businesses, even if they've chosen to run a consumer version of the OS. Or so MS claims.

Tom 13

@Kubla Cant Re: The original post said he was born in 6 BCE.

The original question stands whether you write it as BC or BCE, as either way it works out to before the date commonly attributed to his birth.

What the haters aren't willing to admit is that the discrepancy is the result of miscalculations of one of the faithful that were not part of the Holy Word. More sadly, the haters are also unwilling to admit they've killed more people than believers have.

Tom 13

Re: Jesus would use Apple

Definitely not. He told the rich man to sell all his worldly goods and donate them to the poor if he wished to enter Heaven.

Tom 13

Re: It's easy to get rid of the apps

You've quite missed the point. Like spam, it isn't something which should require an action on my part to "fix".

Silk Road boss Ross Ulbricht to spend LIFE in PRISON without parole

Tom 13

Re: Externalities of drug use, or externalities of drug prohibition?

The externalities of drug use preceded the criminalization of drug use, so the question ignores the established facts of history.

Tom 13

Re: Do we have a different definition of remorse and responsibility?

Not necessarily.

I would however suggest you think about the meaning of the word 'credulity'. While it is not one of my weaknesses, it seems to afflict far too many posters to this site.

Tom 13

Re: Life without the possibilry of parole is a cruel punishment

I'd agree, but the problem is arses like yourself have already eliminated the humane solution which is the death penalty. The justice system isn't about reforming thugs, it's about protecting society. Reform is entirely secondary and should be sought only when the primary objective is not endangered.

Tom 13

Re: Jeez

Yes, the UK's legal system has quite gone to shit.

'I thought we were pals!' Belgium, Netherlands demand answers from Germany in spy bust-up

Tom 13

Belgium, Netherlands and Austria ought to be careful about this.

Getting all uppity has worked out well for the Germans. I don't expect it will work out well for them either.

Politicians all lie about the fact that Gentlemen don't spy on each other. Actual Gentleman don't make a big deal out of the fact that they do, so long as incompetence isn't splashing it all over the front page.

Trial halted as Kartoon defence attorney arrested after warrant discovery

Tom 13

Re: Tell me, does he actually remember to breathe while he walks?

He's a meth head. I have a friend who is dealing with the fact that one of his sisters has become a meth head. That shit rots your brain fast. You think you're invincible and twice as smart as everybody else in the room put together.

How stupid can you be and actually graduate from law school?

If he wasn't on meth in law school, he might have been quite bright as is the case with my friend's sister.

Mr. Potatoehead

Funny you should pick him instead of the guy who thinks there are 57 states in the US. Lots of people misspell potato since 'potatoes' is the correct plural. I haven't met anyone else who thinks there are 57 states in the US.

I'd have thought that if you know that you have drugs and counterfeit money in the car and have no insurance and a suspended license, you drive like a grandma

In the US, the surest sign that you're up to something illegal is driving like a grandma when you're not.

Skype hauled into court after refusing to hand call records to cops

Tom 13

Re: Good for them

It is not evident from this article that the police have or have not followed the legal process. In fact, the way I read the article, I suspect the police HAVE followed the same process for Skype that they would for phone records. MS is apparently planning to argue Skype is not a phone replacement, even though that's part of how they pitch it.

If society is to survive, it is going to have to stop assigning criminal motives to police without reasonable/probable cause to do so.

White House forced to wade into Oracle vs Google Java bickerfest

Tom 13

Huh. I would have thought the money spent by Google and associates

on getting The Big 0 into the White House would have bought more loyalty than that.

Google has the better case of course, but that's never a part of these political decisions.

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