* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Guardian: 'Oil reserves will soon be worth NOTHING!' (A bit like their stock tips, really)

Tom 13

Re: There's a limit to how cheap oil can become

Long term yes, short term no. While he's overdone the rhetoric, what he's describing is the classic collapse of an oligarchy once the government controlled market is freed from control. And he is correct about the near term storage problems. At the moment we're still producing oil faster than we're using it, and we're running out of places to store it. This will all sort itself out in the next couple of months.

Tom 13

Re: If there's no long-term investment, what's a mortgage?

Just one more scam to fleece taxpayers our of their hard earned money.

Tom 13

Re: Wellcome Trust to invest heavily in big tobacco

If it were a good investment, yes. But the ethical nazi's have turned it into a bad one, so no.

Firefox, Chrome, IE, Safari EXPLOITED to OWN Mac, PCs at Pwn2Own 2015

Tom 13

I'm not sure it's possible any more.

For all the fuzzers and good coding practices help, to build a secure anything one person has to be able to hold the entire design from big picture to little details in their mind. With tens of thousands of lines of code in even the simplest projects, that simply can't happen.

That being said, most of the yammering I see in these comments is because on these big projects it seems like they aren't even TRYING to use good coding practices and standard security auditing techniques.

Tom 13

Re: Dare I say it...

And therein is the folly of reading the headline instead of the article.

Facebook found leaking private photos

Tom 13

Wait, I thought FB didn't allow you to post saucy pics.

Surely you understand that if your pics are on FB, world + dog already have access to them regardless of where you think you set the security.

So what was being nabbed?

FCC to Verizon: Blocking 911 calls? That's a $3.4m paddlin'

Tom 13

Looks to me like El Reg is most fortunate Verizon is in the US instead of the UK

Otherwise you'd be looking at a major defamation suite for this headline, the article and the reporting. From the Executive Summary (you know, the Cliff Notes for Dummies part of the report):

Based on its review of this record, the Bureau concludes that the April 2014 multistate outage was caused by a preventable software coding error in Colorado-based Intrado, Inc.’s (Intrado) Englewood Emergency Call Management Center (ECMC).

So, no Verizon was emphatically NOT blocking 911 calls. Instead an independent contractor had a software failure that torpedo all 911 traffic from all telecoms service providers that was headed to certain call areas.

Verizon's failure was reporting the outage, over which it had no control, to the FCC.

But I suppose we can't let a silly thing like the facts get in the way of a good two-minute hate now can we.

Noobs can pwn world's most popular BIOSes in two minutes

Tom 13

Re: This update may brick your motherboard

Yep, back in the day when I was actually doing screwdriver work on pc internals I did get into the habit of updating the BIOS whenever I touched a PC. Right up until I'd lost the 3rd motherboard using the vendor's foolproof upgrade utility that went out on the internet and retrieved the current version for the motherboards.

Zombie SCO shuffles back into court seeking IBM Linux cash

Tom 13

Re: /BTW

Yes, but remember Novell is also in the middle of this, screwing up your nice clean description. Because it bought the original Santa Cruz rights along the way and sold Caledra the right to collect its fees. And while it is true that the courts have driven a wooden stake through the heart of that particular vampire, it does technically leave these three challenges open.

'All browsing activity should be considered private and sensitive' says US CIO

Tom 13


This is most clearly a sound byte and nothing more. The government can't even keep current on its certificates for websites it already has decided ought to be encrypted. Like our yearly IT Security Awareness training which always starts with a warning that this sites certificate is invalid.

Sorry, in principle I like the idea. But I live in the weeds where they work.

The West's cloud giants toss escape rope over Great Firewall – and China's not happy

Tom 13

Because there are fools making national policy who live by the maxim "the enemy of my enemy is my friend."

Back when nuclear war wasn't mostly perceived as a dead boogie man, Nixon played the China card to counter the USSR. This is one of the outcomes of that play. Subsequently, economics was seen to open South Africa to overturning apartheid. Since then we've continued pumping money into China on the assumption that what worked in SA would work there too.

CSC's ServiceMesh named as source of bank exec bribe

Tom 13

Re: the CBA contract was awarded to servicemesh *before* it was acquired by csc.

So, what you're saying is the bribe worked, and if the fall guys just do their time like they're supposed to, they'll be handsomely rewarded when they get out of the pokey?

Sensitive apps with 6.3 BILLION downloads found open to FREAK

Tom 13

Re: Who's phone?

Even if I trusted the phone OS and apps were truly mine, I still wouldn't want an App on my phone for my banking. I've lost both phones and wallets, but never the behemoth box that sits by my desk at home.

Galileo! Galileo! Galileo good to go after six-week recovery effort

Tom 13

Re: We need Galileo.

TeeCee isn't claiming you don't, just that even though you do, instead it's just another gravy train for the politically connected.

Mattel urged to scrap Wi-Fi mic Barbie after Register investigation

Tom 13

Re: You let your *son* play with dolls?

Girls play with dolls. Boys play with action figures. Sheesh, you people should keep up with your own language.

Judge OKs HP's cash-free settlement plan in Autonomy investor suit

Tom 13

Re: What baffles me

Ah, you have obviously never been the plaintiff in one of these suites. While the initial decision on whether or not to sue may rest with the shareholder, the reality is that that is the ONLY decision he gets to make. After that, the lawyers decide everything while claiming to represent your best interests. Plus as in investing, past performance is no guarantee of future results; while as in any sales agreement, pitches not included in the actual contract verbiage are non-binding.

Oh, and I write that as someone who was a BoD member when our NPO had to initiate such action (successfully) against another corporation.

US bares its net neutrality enforcement regime to world+dog

Tom 13

Two words jump to mind as I read this review

Capricious and arbitrary.

It won't stand up in court.

Clinton defence of personal email server fails to placate critics

Tom 13

Re: The Presidential Records Act was instituted in 1978 and it's now 2015.

The FRA covered it back in 1950 and still applies.

Every time there's a new scandal, instead of punishing the guilty parties under existing law, they get excused and Congress passes a new law (1978 would be fall out from Nixon) which fixes nothing.

Tom 13

Re: Did anyone sending or receiving an official email...

What? And get Vince Fostered? Not a chance.

They knew what they were doing. They were pre-emptively covering up what she did.

Tom 13

FISMA does not supplant FRA, it supplements it. She still had to comply with both. Given

“Her top staffers used those Clinton email addresses” at the agency, said the source, who has worked with Clinton in the past. The source named two staffers in particular, Philippe Reines and Huma Abedin, who are said to have used private email addresses in the course of their agency duties. Reines served as deputy assistant secretary of state, and Abedin as Clinton’s deputy chief of staff. Both rank among Clinton’s most loyal confidantes, in and out of the State Department.


there's a higher likelihood I will win both lotteries (Mega Millions and Lotto tickets) I bought this morning than that she didn't violate FRA.

Tom 13

Re: I don't think this is going to amount to anything illegal...

Clinton added that she deleted all of her personal emails from her private account of the more than 60,000 emails in total that were sent and received. About half of them were personal emails, she said. Some of those emails pertained to her daughter Chelsea’s wedding, her mother’s funeral arrangements, and her yoga routine.


Hillary Clinton is defending her use of a private email address, hosted at ClintonEmail.com, to conduct official State Department business by claiming that her emails were captured by official @state.gov accounts that other agency employees were instructed to use to contact her. But according to a knowledgeable source, at least two other top Clinton aides also used private email accounts to conduct government business—placing their official communications outside the scope of federal record-keeping regulations.


Yes, it was illegal. No, like her husband raping women and creating what would otherwise be deemed a "hostile work environment" by feminazis, I doubt we'll get a conviction.

Tom 13

Re: Let's face reality,

Well the timing of it was quite odd. Maybe not faked, but she certainly could have made arrangements to testify. Oh, and on that whole email FOIA thing, seems most of what we're learning now is because Judicial Watch has continued to press for Benghazi emails. Guess what? Yep, they found she sent a lot of them from exactly this personal email account. And no, they don't quite match up with public pronouncements.


Tom 13

Re: Let's face reality,

Not at all. We'd be happy if she simply did the time required for at least a couple of her blatant felonies.

Tom 13

Re: Record keeping

The start of her political career has forever foreshadowed her path: she was booted from the House

committee investigating Nixon's Watergate break-in for unethical behavior.

Tom 13

Re: In this case it certainly wasn't illegal:

Quoting a story from flacks working for the DNC doesn't work in this case.

It's been illegal since she was too young to vote, specifically the Federal Records Preservation Act of 1950.

I work as a contractor in IT Support for the government. There simple truth is a high level politician CAN'T have a single email account and comply with all the laws governing the use of email and government equipment. You can't use official government accounts for fundraising. You can't use personal accounts to transmit government sensitive information. Anything that is a record MUST be preserved. The only way you can work all of this is with separate email accounts for each function, and the government one has to be on government equipment to meet discovery and preservation requirements.

FTC to DirecTV: No more lies! Tell viewers what you really charge

Tom 13

Re: FCC is dead on

Read the article again. Wrong agency, which is what we keep telling you.

Google's chief finance officer quits to go backpacking

Tom 13

Re: A Google Retirement Plan

Sod the "at 52" part. If I had that kind of portfolio I'd retire at 32 and do whatever the hell I wanted to.

Doh! iTunes store goes down AFTER Apple Watch launch

Tom 13

Re: The timing is coincidence

I suspect they are related, but not in the sense of a huge flux of iWatches knocking over the servers in a DDOS like outage. My guess is they needed to update some things for the iWatch kickoff and somebody fat fingered one of the changes. Carnage ensued.

For me this is just one more notation in the Not Ready for Business no matter how much people like the company. Right now we've got at least three devices in queue that can't be activated because we can't install the policy required free security app which resides in the app store.

FREAK show: Apple and Android SSL WIDE OPEN to snoopers

Tom 13

Obligatory youtube post


The voters hate Google. Heeeeyyyy... how about a 'Google Tax'?

Tom 13

Re: force you to keep a receipt for every penny you spend

Nope. You hit the person up on each transaction (essentially the seller collects the tax on behalf of the government). But you'll find that at 20% tax evasion becomes an insurmountable problem. I think the max rate at which people pay sales taxes is 12%.

Tom 13

Re: Taxing at the wrong end

For four paragraphs you made a logical argument. Then you went smoked something not even legal in Holland.

Land Value Taxes have their place in government taxing systems. But they have the same problem that all taxes except the VAT and to a lesser extent progressive income taxes have: modern governments spend entirely too much money to raise sufficient revenues that was.

You can argue for a sales tax on the basis of economic efficiency and taxing the correct person. You can argue for a flat income tax on the basis of fairly distributing the risk of government abusing its citizens. But ultimately the problem boils down to government spending too damn much money, regardless of which side of the pond you live on.

Tom 13

Re: How about if it brings in less money

His kind do because for them it is all about the hate and not about the actual tax revenue.

CIA re-orgs to build cyber-snooping into all investigations

Tom 13

Re: Erm, CIA operations *are* Top Secret from end to end.

Bwah-ha. Bwah-ha-ha. Ha-ha ho-ho he-he! Bwaaaah-haaahw! He-he ho-ho!


Ho-ho he-he! Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!!

You're killing me!

Tom 13

Re: It may also sound like the CIA is going to be doing a lot more digital snooping

Not at all. Sounds more like they recognize that they have a lot of digital data and aren't leveraging it enough. So it could be a good move.

Linux kernel devs adopt Bill and Ted's excellent code of conduct

Tom 13

Re: You're doing it wrong

The same way nikita khrushchev did at the UN: you have a spare handy. Preferably one of those Hollywood break-away types. It's more dramatic that way.

Sysadmins: Step away from the Big Mac. No more Heartbleed-style 2am patch dashes

Tom 13

Re: It doesn't have to be a big deal, if the approach is correct.

Patching in any diverse environment with more than 20 employees is ALWAYS a big deal. Properly done, it costs a fair bit of coin. The whole point of it is that when properly done, even costing that fair bit of coin, it is less expensive than being caught with your knickers down.

For purposes of patching "diverse environment" doesn't mean you're running one or more flavors of *nix, Macs, and Windows. It means anything except Everybody in the company is running Windows x SP #, Office yyyy, and these four specific accounting applications. I've done tech for groups as small as 100 people, but one group were company accounting, another group were web developers, another group were statistical programmers, another group were accounting managers for grant money, one group were conference planners, and oh yeah the conference planners had 3 people with a large suite of DTP applications. Yeah, they were all running Windows XP SP2 which was reasonably standard for the time, but the diversity of apps made patching a bit of a nightmare.

White-listed phish slip through Google Apps

Tom 13

Re: they don't consider the exploit (circumventing spam filters) to be critical.

Since the exploit also allows phishing links into the message, it's a bit more than just circumventing spam filters.

As for your claim that Google is good because the others are even worse, sorry that dog don't hunt.

US air traffic control 'vulnerable to hackers' says watchdog

Tom 13

Re: If I was an American Citizen....

Part of the problem is that the airline industry like the rocket industry waits until technology is proven before deploying it, except for non-critical items like booking, and even that's pretty antiquated.

I recall being contracted for Y2K audits. We were to walk around with a floppy disk that had the scanning program and another set of blank floppies to which the data would be written. We were using 3.5 floppies. Some machines still had to be bypassed because they only had 5.25 floppies. Frankly, they probably would have been better served simply upgrading all the equipment as opposed to hiring an expensive contractor to analyze their equipment. But at the end of the day, the piece of paper that says you're certified is more important than actually having the equipment.

'If cloud existed decades ago, backups wouldn't have been developed'

Tom 13

I had an interesting conversation this weekend with a friend

who handles what use to be Big Data but these days is more like Moderate Sized Data.

He's got a couple of interesting problems at the moment.

1. Somebody parceled out a $300 million budget, but forgot to set aside the $15,000 they need to upgrade a data array from 1TB drives to 4TB drives.

2. He sometimes has to "archive" data that is old and not being actively used, but which has been distributed to external users (3+ years old in most instances, some of it as old as 10 years). In the past he's attempted to use external USB devices. His experience is that whenever he writes 2TB of data in one go, the external drives die.

3. They once had a tape drive from Sun, but for whatever reason, it never worked with their server setup. They let their support agreements expire when Oracle acquired Sun and migrated to Linux. After thinking about the storage problem, he thinks it might be time to investigate getting a tape backup unit again.

Personally, I never deal with this much data. But based on his experience, I think you need tape in the system somewhere.

A Brit in California moves to the Lone Star State – just swerve the TexMex grub

Tom 13

Re: Friend of mine

Good for him!

Tom 13

Re: As for College Football.

According to Wiki, of the 10 largest stadiums in the world, 7 are in the US, and all are football stadiums. I didn't understand either until after I went to a couple of games in one of them.

I hear the high school games down south give you a taste of what to expect in a big stadium, but only a small one.

What a hang-up: AT&T dumped from Dow index, Apple installed

Tom 13

Re: "In any 30-year period, the DOW always shows a gain."

So, if you do the smart thing and dump any company the DOW has dumped and replace it with shares in the company that takes it's place, over any 30 year period, your investments will also show a gain.

The spy who leaked me: Ex-CIA boss Petraeus 'fesses up to blabbing intel to his mistress

Tom 13


I was always under the impression that we granted leniency for spur of the moment not premeditation. That would imply sloppy get a lesser punishment than careful planning.

And I'm not aware that releasing classified information to the enemy is ever responsible. If as you say my analysis is "fair enough", you must concede that Snowden DID release classified data to the enemies of the US. I do understand that you are of the opinion that the data either should not have been classified, or should never have been gathered in the first place. But as things stand, the data were gathered under the law, and the law protects the data.

Tom 13

Snowden released classified information to world plus dog. The general released it to his mistress and the court reports the intelligence agencies have no cause to believe it went beyond her. That' a huge difference.

Tom 13

Re: he was leaking classified information ... in return for sex

Not clear at all. The issue is muddied by the fact that she is also legitimately his biographer. Thus the Black Books are precisely the sorts of papers biographers seek.

He still should be prosecuted for failure to protect classified information.

I'm not sure the sentence is adequate. Even with that, I can't help having the feeling it was a politically motivated prosecution. He was an obstacle to implementing policies The Big 0 wanted.

The secret of Warren Buffett's success at Berkshire Hathaway

Tom 13

Re: What about other insurance companies?

Whenever you encounter the phrase market in not competitive there is always one root cause of the problem: government regulation. Buffett gets rich because he has access to all the people who make those regulations, the other insurance companies, not so much.

Tom 13

Re: How the hell did we get to people being lent 8 times their salary...

Application of the analysis of a niche market to the broad market, or what became known as NINJa loans. The legitimate niche market was in what was essentially high stakes sales jobs. On paper, the people in these jobs have no reliable income because they work on commission. In reality, they have real high 5 digit or better incomes. So if you know how to do the analysis, you can make lower interest loans to these people than a regular bank will. But that analysis got adopted outside of its niche area because all those niche players were outperforming the regular loan market. Throw in some government backing for said loans, and some government regulations forcing all banks to make those kinds of loans or face racial discrimination penalties and you have a toxic brew that can topple an economic system.

Tom 13

Re: There are barriers to entry in that market

This is the real secret to Buffett's success. He invests in markets where there are significant barriers to entry that he can easily cross. One of them Tim left out is the regulatory market where he gets to talk directly to regulators and Congress critters and they take his advice on how to tailor bills and regulations. One item I frequently see mentioned these days is his opposition to the Keystone Pipeline and the money he makes on the freight line that currently carries the Canadian oil into the US for processing.

Tom 13

Re: Please stop using terms and concepts you do not understand.

You first.

Tom 13

Re: CPI or whatever, is core inflation plus food and energy.

Maybe on paper, but it sure isn't reflecting the price changes I see when I buy things.

More importantly, I just went to check what it actually is, and it seems they have once again changed definitions and some technical details. While it is supposedly "new and improved" it loses the most critical part from a scientific standpoint: continuity of the measurement.

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