* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Australia cracks tech giants' tax dodge code

Tom 13

Re: Wait and see

So you think it is proper for Australia to collect 80% of the price of an iPhone even if 80% of the cost is overseas? Sorry, that's an epic fail and probably violates at least a couple of international treaties. This whole concept of "we know what corporations should be paying so we'll just use fiat decrees from unelected committees to fleece bounce it out of them just doesn't fly.

Carders crack Hard Rock casino

Tom 13

Re: Ahhh magstripe - that modern technology

This is Vegas baby. The carders might find out the target wasn't as soft as they thought it was. The Don doesn't like people cutting into his profits. Especially the ones he's gone to the trouble to clean up.

This is Sparta? No - it's Microsoft Edge, Son of Internet Explorer

Tom 13

Re: So Windows 10 will have an edge?

I think ME was the club, Vista was the flail, Win8 was the flail with holy water sprinklers. Having skipped 9 which would normally be expected to be the good version, one wonders if they've attached a motor to the flail with holy water sprinklers.

Tom 13

Re: On the Edge eh?

I have to agree. Why 'Edge'?

While edge of the cliff was the second image to come to my mind, the first was bleeding edge. Neither of these strike me as the sort of positive vibe you'd expect marketing to be looking for. Perhaps they've been out on the edge too long.

The world's first proper Bitcoin exchange will be live in a month

Tom 13

This should work well.

New rules for bit coins, brought to you by the same people who created the mortgage crisis of 2007.

Why the US government reckons it should keep phone network kill-switches a secret

Tom 13

Re: What happens if someone like Snowden leaks the SOP? Does it negate the SOP?

Quite possibly YES, which is why what he did was not whistleblowing but treason. But id ten t's like you won't admit that.

As far as these so called peaceful protests against police, I have yet to see reports of one that didn't kill or injure people. So in point of fact it IS starting to look to me like the BART police did the right thing no matter how much it offends you. The crap they're been pulling in Baltimore backs me up on this. You can stop alleged police brutality by replacing it with mob violence. That's reversing the Greek myth of the creation of trial by jury.

Tom 13

Re: Tell you what...

You failed before you got up this morning. Governments NEVER have to prove they can protect everybody all the time. In fact, it would be a lousy world to live in if they tried. They only need to show they have a reasonable presumption to protect some or even one life by their actions in an emergency situation.

Or to paraphrase you: the courts summarily threw out your argument with extreme prejudice long before it even occurred to you.

US judge lobs antivirus patents back to Hell

Tom 13

Re: That will teach the patent troll...

I wish we had more PATENT clerks like Judge Stark.

Tom 13

Re: Court Costs

Except as an office of the government, the USPTO is immune to being sued unless it allows it, so IV gets stuck with the bill.

Not that I have a problem with IV having to foot the bill mind you. It's just that while I appreciate the desire to inflict some pain on the idiots at the USPTO, it won't work. I mean, even if they allow themselves to be sued, it's not like the idiot who approved the patent will have to pay from it out of his own pocket. No, it would be the taxpayers paying it via higher taxes.

Tom 13

Re: Easy solution. Win your patent case, collect. Lose, pay 10 times + legal fees.

Most of us think the patent trolls already have too much ammo and now you want to hand them even more. Think it through idiot.

SUPERVOLCANIC MAGMA reservoir BUBBLING under Yellowstone Park

Tom 13
Paris Hilton

Re: Me, I'm leaning towards mine-shafts right now...


He said "shaft" and he said it soon after "virgins"!

[where's the Beavis and Butthead icon? Meh, I'll use Paris instead.]

Tom 13

Re: Calif agriculture and other important needs

Well, if the delta smelt and a Coca-Cola water bottling facility with an expired license count as "agriculture and other important needs" yes.

As for trucking in sewage, might I suggest that both Hollywood and San Fran are closer than DC?

Tom 13

Re: Geothermal energy?

What? And risk ruining that pristine wildlife habitat?

Heretic! Burn him! Sacrifice him to the Volcano Gods!

Tom 13

Re: Metric or imperial?

I thought the proper interrogative to that one was:

African or European?

But I suppose that might be a bit hard to swallow.

Disk drive shipment numbers set to spin down

Tom 13

Re: What price the Cloud then eh?

I think there's an Alan Parson's song in there somewhere:

What price the Cloud of a tech at his desk, when he's trapped in the dark all alone?

Licence to chill: Ex-CIA spyboss Petraeus gets probation for leaking US secrets to his mistress

Tom 13

Re: How come he isn't cooling his heels in a cell?

For the very good reason that he unlike your heroes, did not commit treason, which is the INTENTIONAL disclosure of state secrets to an ENEMY.

Tom 13

Re: Ladies and Gentlemen...

For the very good reason that Patreus's offense was spillage whereas theirs was deliberate treason. Patreus told someone who had a lower clearance, they told sworn enemies. Patreus leaked a small amount of information, they leaked TBs of data. They appreciably harmed our defense posture. There is no indication the Patreus spillage went beyond his mistress/biographer.

Tom 13

Re: Nickname?

You need to stop getting your talking points from the DNC website. They're the ones who started that lie and only after he was picked by W to lead the war effort. Which he successfully did, but you don't want to admit that either.

Tom 13

Re: SMH.... His sentence was expected.

Petraeus's leak isn't in the same league as Assange, Manning, or Snowden. They all published the classified information to KNOWN enemies of the state. Petraeus's mistress HAD a clearance, just not one high enough to see the documents he released to her. That's a big difference no matter how much you want to belittle it because you want to fraternize with traitors.

Crap like this actually happens all the time. Somebody working in what's supposed to be classified puts together something and passes it to an unclassified group. Because the unclassified group actually needs the information it isn't seen as a problem until somebody with a clear head looks at it and says "I don't think that should have been released in this format." At which point it becomes a major PITA for a whole bunch of people who didn't do anything wrong.

Petraeus deserves the fine because he was supposed to be one of the people with a clear head. Probably a bit more but justice isn't always fair. But he's not a traitor like your three heroes.

Today, the US govt must explain why its rules on shutting down whole cell networks are a secret

Tom 13

Re: can only be faulted for the bad collar

Not even a bad collar. The collar itself was justified. But it does sound like the cops, who were aware of his long rap sheet which the media don't want to talk about, opted to give him a "rough ride" during one of his transfers.

Otherwise your points are spot on.

Also worth pointing out that Baltimore PD is, like Baltimore itself, about 67% black with a black police chief. So the usual racist claims about whites just not relating to the problems blacks have just won't fly.

Not sure if you're familiar with the area, but it is problematic in and of itself. The Inner Harbor, which is essentially where all the rioting has taken place, was a Democrat re-gentrification plan pushed by William Donald Schafer when he was mayor, again as governor, and continuing when he was comptroller. They did some block clearing in the slums and red light district. So you have about six square blocks of "tourist mecca" inside a bombed out zone of Baltimore. Think Brazil and their slums sitting right next to the rich palaces, only without quite the same income differentials.

It is worth noting Maryland has been a Democrat city since about 1967, and the state has been a Democrat state since 1968. There have been two nominally Republican governors in that whole time, always with state houses that could easily override their vetoes. Voters only put them in when the usual Dems push raising taxes too fast. So there can't be any legitimate complaining that neanderthal Republicans have been blocking their programs.

Gray's arrest record: http://www.snopes.com/politics/crime/freddiegray.asp

While Snopes tries to downplay his convictions, it admits the report is accurate.

Judge denies retrial for 'Dread Pirate' Ulbricht in Silk Road drugs case

Tom 13

Sounds like Joshua Dratel ought to listen more carefully to Inigo Montoya

"I do not think th(ose) word(s) mean what you think they mean."

Or perhaps he should have simply taken Vizzini's advice and avoided one of the greatest mistakes of all time: never get involved in a land war in Asia.

It's 2015 and a RICH TEXT FILE or a HTTP request can own your Windows machine

Tom 13

Not just the size of them, the fact that they DON'T release service packs the way they use to. About once a year you got an SP. If you kept the SP on hand, you could take a .0 and patch it up to the SP without all that mucking about with scanning, downloading, installing, rebooting, and repeating until no new patches are found. AND there were no mysterious failures to install patches the system indicates need to be installed.

Tom 13

Re: one simple application can be so tremendously vulnerable?

Simples: the app opens all/most/many of the OS interfaces without doing any of the bounds checking/sandboxing the OS does. This is the essential problem with Flash/Java/Reader. As mere rendering devices none of them would have half the problems they do. BUT, they aren't mere rendering devices. Each of them incorporates user input and OS processes to manipulate data.

Eco-loons hack Thirty Meter Telescope website to help the 'natives'

Tom 13

Re: Environment or profit?

There's a good reason they prefer Hawaii for the scope, but it's been a while so I can't swear to it. I believe it has to do with the seeing over Hawaii. One of the reasons for putting scopes in orbit instead of on Earth is that there is an effective resolution limit for Earth bound scopes because of cells in the atmosphere. IIRC the effective resolution limit is around the size of a 6M scope. More surface area still gains you the ability to see fainter objects, but it doesn't help with resolution. I'm pretty sure the seeing in Hawaii is better than you get in the Rockies. I think it's altitude, but it might also be that with more stable temperatures there's a slight improvement in the resolution.

ESPN sues Verizon: People picking their own TV channels? NOOoo!

Tom 13

Re: Drop ESPN

Sounds to me like Verizon is looking to break the contract. Good for them.

Amazon lifts lid on AWS money factory, says it's a $5 BEEEELLION biz

Tom 13

Re: The system is working as designed.

Just because the system is working as designed doesn't mean it isn't a tax con. It just means it's a legal tax con.

I'm all for setting the corporate tax rate at zero, but until we do that this sort of tax con is more troubling to me than the ones where the money gets parked offshore. One of the surest ways you know it is a tax con is that businesses are SUPPOSED to make money. I was under the impression there was an IRS rule that you needed to show a profit at least once every three years to prove it isn't an accounting fraud scheme along the lines of The Producers, which makes me all the more suspicious of Amazon.

Also, everybody is always bitching about Walmart killing main street jobs. For my money, Amazon has killed way more main street jobs than Walmart could ever hope to.

So how should we tax these BASTARD COMPANIES, then?

Tom 13

Yet Another Anonymous coward

Which is us - almost all of every major company is owned by your savings, pension and insurance policies.

Well, it might be you and I, but it certainly doesn't include him. You can tell from his posting he's an eater, not a producer.

Tom 13

@Graham Marsden

Communism lost. It simply doesn't work. You need to find a new philosophy. One that doesn't include any of it at all. Because, well, bottom line, even Hitler didn't kill as many people as the commies did.

Tom 13

Re: also pays for better standards of health, hygiene and public safety.

Actually that's doubtful.

The reason the UK and the US have better standards is because of how long we've made them a focus of our endeavors. The serf scrabbling in the dirt doesn't care about them. He cares about feeding his family and hopes he doesn't lose someone to disease or heat/cold in the appropriate season. Like it or not, those poor regions have only recently come out of the age of the serf. England started making the trek around 1250 and it is hard to make up for that time differential with money.

Tom 13

Re: we all want to live in a safe and prosperous environment.

No, I want to live in a secure and prosperous environment, not a safe one.

That will get you your next paragraph. After that we start arguing.

The reason that taxes are so problematic is that there is a sufficiently large block of people who are too busy-body to let their neighbors make legitimate choices with which they disagree. And the reality is that it is more of a problems with greenie tree huggers, and save the whale children types than it is with most bible thumpers.

Tom 13

@ Ivan 4

Go rent and watch Rollerball. And remember, like Highlander there is only ONE Rollerball and it was made before the turn of the century.

There are plenty more sf novels along those lines out there. That's why you don't want a corporatist government. Government, at least in the UK and the US is NOT built to be efficient. It is in fact built to be in-efficient so that each and every person can (in theory if not in practice) influence the outcome of any law. It's inherent in an even deeper sense of fairness than the one Tim is trying to define here.

Tom 13

Re: Evasion opportunities?

Life isn't fair. Get over it.

Admit that the mega corps will ALWAYS be able to find accounting trolls who are smarter than you are. It therefore follows that the tighter you try to grab their gonads to tax them, the more they'll slip away from you. Once you've admitted this the solution is simple, easy, and requires no enforcement mechanism: set the corporate tax rate to zero. With no taxes on profits, there's no need to keep them overseas or NOT pay them as dividends to shareholders.

The one place that may require some lawyerly tweaking is wages. The reason so many millionaire and billionaire executives exist is because under current law compensation they get in the form of shares, warrants, etc are taxed as capital gains instead of income. Treat it as income instead of capital gains. If they get it as stock and retain it as stock, we might offer the option to defer the taxes do on it, but whenever they sell the shares they pay the tax as if the whole thing was income, with similar definitions for warrants, etc.

Tom 13

Re: But gold is traditional.

Never forget lead in that list. You'll need it and a few other bits and pieces to protect all that gold you're holding. And non-hybrid seeds. Critical are those non-hybrid seeds.

Tom 13

Re: Tax assets instead of profits

Right. Let's see how long you're paying taxes after you can't eat anymore because you've just taxed all the farmers out of existence.

Tom 13

Re: hiked right after the change from gallons to litres?

Well, if the tax was 15 pennies a gallon and you only changed gallons to liters, that's a helluva hike right there.

Tom 13

Re: Fair Tax?

The Fair Tax is probably a better tax than a VAT. Tim correctly points out that you can't collect 24% with a Sales Tax, but you can with a VAT, and for strange reason thinks this a Good Thing(tm). But the one argument Fair Taxers make that simply doesn't hold water is that a sales tax eliminates the need for a massive, invasive bureaucracy. It doesn't. Most people are honest, but there are some who aren't Those people will cheat at every chance they get. Seeing that, some otherwise honest people start to cheat. The more cheaters you have, the more honest people start cheating. The end result is you wind up needing a bureaucracy for a sales tax too. And it winds up being every bit as big as the one we've got now, and at least as invasive. And depending on how slick they are, the politicians then go blaming the whole thing on "inherently greedy businesses".

The income tax has only one redeeming value: it has the potential to put everyone at the same risk of government intrusion as everyone else. With everyone equally at risk, everyone has equal interest in making sure that invasion is as small as possible and as well protected with legal hedges as possible. The progressive income tax loses even that small protection.

Welcome, stranger: Inside Microsoft's command line shell

Tom 13

Re: the constraint was "you haven't got a text editor"

I would have opted for Edlin. Nobody who has ever used it has ever confused it with a text editor.

Tom 13

I was an SDIR and Norton Utilities man myself, but yes you could do a heck of a lot back in those days. We were using QEMM and Quarterdeck for our memory manipulations. And of course every time MS released a DOS update, they broke.

Ruskie hackers nab unclassified Obama emails

Tom 13

Re: Why??

The only possible relevancy to this article is: Was her "private server" being compromised part of how this compromise happened?

Comcast flees $45bn monster-merger with Time Warner Cable

Tom 13

I'm just about ready for somebody to sue the right way and end all this.

1. Buy service with a known transmission fiddler.

2. Purchase services from one of the Netflix/Hulu type operations.

3. Work with Netflix/Hulu to document the transmission fiddling, at each point contacting fiddler to troubleshoot problems. Before each call announce it is being recorded and record them.

4. When the fiddler fails to fix the problem, sue under FTC instead of FCC.

5. When the court finds in favor of the plaintiff, argue that no rebates or court oversight can correct the problem: the content division MUST be separated from the ISP or the natural conflict of interest will remain.

6. After judge splits the company along those lines, watch the fun.

I'd do it myself except my name isn't the one that's officially on the bill and my roommate doesn't want that sort of publicity.

Comcast 'flees $45bn monster-merger with Time Warner Cable'

Tom 13

Re: sigh

If Demoncrats stopped being hell on business, they wouldn't have that problem.

Don't shoot the Messenger: NASA's suicide probe to punch hole in Mercury

Tom 13

Re: The problem with software models....

In my younger days I was an amateur astro-boffin aspiring to be a professional astro-boffin despite my predilection for sunlight. It took a while for it to penetrate my thick skull that I was never going to develop the math skills to work in the field. Until then I swam in these waters and the myriad of places where we've waved our hands at things we think are true without knowing why they are true are truly mind boggling. That we've managed to understand as much as we do is truly an amazing feat. In astronomy, the leaps are excusable because we can't actually test the bits and pieces where we wave our hands, and astro boffins WOULD if they could. It makes the same leaps all the more glaring when you see the Warmists do the same things, and all the more damning knowing we CAN test many of those.

Default admin password, weak Wi-Fi, open USB ports ... no wonder these electronic voting boxes are now BANNED

Tom 13

Re: The position of the constitutional court of Germany is worthy of note

An ID card?


You're prejudiced against BLACK people.

You just don't want poor people being represented!

And What do you have against Undocumented Workers anyway!

You hood wearing KKK troll.

Sorry, I have no basis on which to accuse you of any of those things, but if you suggest that here in the States, what I wrote is mild compared to the hate mail you'll get.

Tom 13

Re: The position of the constitutional court of Germany is worthy of note

In theory in the US it is supposed to be 2000 people per polling district. In practice it varies greatly and the granularity causes as many problems as it solves.

There is some sense in which a national holiday would be logical. It would at least remove the obstacle of having to take a day off from work to assist at the polls. Not that I think all that many people would show up mind you. That's why it is a very, very limited sense.

Tom 13

Re: That wouldn't be acceptable with voting.

Actually, the audit trails in elections are every bit as critical as they are in the financial industry. The catch is, you have to anonymize the actual vote count. For each ballot cast there needs to be a signed receipt in the ballot box, and a signature in the official rolls. The ballot IDs in the attached bag need to match the ballot ID for the machine.* And there has to be a signed audit trail for moving the equipment from the voting authority to the polling place and back.

*Or at least there did when we used optical ballots before the new fraud boxes were deployed. Now you get a smart card that gets repurposed after you vote and ALL of the records are just 1s and 0s in the memory of the ballot box. Oh and yes, the last time I was in the ballot box I heard someone at another booth complaining the booth was changing her votes. I wasn't even a registered poll watcher, so I didn't interfere.

Tom 13

Re: The current method involves checking

In theory the current system works that way.

Having served as a poll observer in a couple of elections, I can assure you theory has about as much familiarity with reality as a whorehouse has with chastity. Most polling places can't even get enough polling judges to staff voting places properly. You almost never find a poll observer from both major political parties let alone the other ones. At the location where I served, the polling judge put in a 20 hour day because he had to start at 5:00 in the morning picking up the voting machines and getting them set up for the 7:00 opening. Polling ended at 7:00 pm After he disassembled all the equipment and made his in place checks, he then had to deliver the equipment to the tabulation office, then he had to stay until they finished tabulating the votes. Nominally he gets a break for lunch and dinner, but there was no alternate there so he ate while in the polling location.

If I lived somewhere competitive instead of the People's Republic of MD where it doesn't really matter, I'd be appalled. And that's before you get to the lax voter ID/registration laws.

Tom 13

Re: Why was this system even implemented in the first place?

Al Gore and the hanging chads fiasco.

Following that the US government came as close to forcing every state to use electronic voting machines as it could. For my money, ballots with the two black markers where you have to scribble the thick black line and then run them through an optical scanner are the optimal combination of speed and tracking possible. Completely handwritten ballots would be more secure, but kill processing time.

Tom 13

Re: WEP encryption, I might be generous and give you that one.

Nope, not even that one. Systems were only in use for 10 years. WEP was proven unfixably broken before that. Even if Comcast and Verizon are still using it as the default configuration when they sell a punter a connection.

Tom 13

Re: What an odd country, this USA.

Hey, it got McAuliffe elected didn't it? Time to close the barn door.

Many of us were wondering how that carpetbagger won. Now we know.

Someone PLEASE stop patent trolls' stroking their favorite tool, cries Google and friends

Tom 13

Re: Hello pot, this is kettle...

Why, erm, eh. That's a ... That's a purely DEFENSIVE patent we'll have you know. Google will NEVER raise it in anger against another fine corporation that merely serves the People's needs.

[Did I get that right? Yes, I'll go to confession to night and find out what my penance is.]

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