* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

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

Tom 13

Re: I guess if Obama likes you you're fine.

If The Big 0 liked him, this never would have seen the light of day. The request from Jill Kelly would have been lost along with Lerner's emails.

Mummy, what's the point of Evgeny Morozov's tedious columns?

Tom 13

Tim, if there's a weakness in the argument you've presented here

it's in the assumption that cities have higher real wealth than rural areas. I've lived in both and the truth is, I had a better life in the rural area than the city where I live now. Wages were lower, but so were almost all costs food, housing, taxes, even medical costs. About the only thing that was consistently priced from city to rural was ironically computer equipment. Where I grew up, $7.50 bought a person a good meal at a sit down diner (including tip). When I moved to the city the same amount of money got me a Big Mac meal at McDonald's.

Hillary Clinton draws flak for using personal email at State Dept

Tom 13

@Ian Tunnacliffe

Bullshit. Federal Records act has been out there since 1950. It was written broadly enough to cover these records when email came into existence.

I lost my private sector job in the Democrat caused recession of 2006. I started working for the government in the DC area a year later. When I was first hired, one of the first things emphasized was that ONLY messages coming from an official government account were actionable and all official messages HAD to be sent on official, department created email. No I don't work at State. I work in a far more low level position in an agency that has proven amazingly resilient at avoiding Executive Orders for as long as possible, but they sit straight when Congress updates the law. And nothing scares them more than the Federal Records Act.

Tom 13

@tom dial

I don't imagine the IT staff were clueless. I expect they are all well aware of their legal exposure on this issue. Which makes me think they were following direct orders. Maybe verbal orders, but none the less, direct orders. Like I said above, I'm just a minor cog in the machine. I'm well aware of all the land mines surrounding me fucking up anything related to creating email accounts. I'm not even a real mail admin, more like a data entry clerk on that count. Every time were disabling/deleting an account, the phrase "litigation hold" occurs several times on the paperwork. If I've done my job, it's great CYA, if I don't, I could be the one in the dock.

Tom 13

Re: The difference is that folk should use TWO emails!

Actually for someone like Clinton you need four plus spam accounts.

1. Publicly disclosed official email account. This is the one maintained almost exclusively by staff. It gets bombarded by world plus dog.

2. Actual official email account that the Secretary uses to exchange email with other government officials. At that level, it should default to encrypted.

3. Private fundraising email account. At the Secretary level, you have to assume they are active in partisan activities including fundraising. It's illegal to use official accounts for partisan purposes. And you probably don't want this account mixing with your actual personal account.

4. Private personal account. The account for people who actually know you on a first name basis. Optional account for hot dates.

Is it a lot accounts? Yep. It's also the price of all the laws they passed governing how government works.

Tom 13

No, this is what happens when the Secretary of State orders IT not to give her an email account. Provisioning an email at that level happens automatically in the IT department. I'm just a minor cog in our IT department. When our new head office guy came in, the account was setup two whole weeks before he set foot in the building. We're at least 5 levels away from the Secretary for our federal branch office.

Tom 13

Re: Not the first..

This is more likely a dodge on FEC law. As a government employee, you are not allowed to use an official government account for partisan purposes. She's too damn lazy to keep a separate account. Depending on who you ask, you aren't even allowed to use the separate account on a government computer.

Tom 13

The only way the Secretary of State was not given an official email address is if she ordered them not to give her one, which is breaking the law.

Tom 13

Your interpretation of the law is wrong. The NSA does not count as the messages being archived. The requirement is for the National Archives to have access to her records. She broke the law. Period. There's no way around it.

Furthermore, I glanced at the Gawker leaks yesterday. She violated security policies. Confidential email was transmitted in plain text.

Nokia boss smashes net neutrality activists

Tom 13

Re: Nokia CEO is taking a simplistic view...

He's not the only one taking a simplistic view. So are all the net neutrality drones.

You'll get full support from me that Comcast ought not be able to prioritize their movie streaming service over Netflix, but not that they can't prioritize email over streaming video, or that they shouldn't be able to require either symetric sharing or cash reimbursement for the imbalance.

Tom 13

Re: Preposterous

Why should connected cars be discriminated against on the information highway? Building out your own network is far too expensive. That's why Netflix et al use the internet to deliver their content instead of building out a custom network to deliver the content. If cars can and ought to be discriminated against, there is no reason other types of traffic shouldn't be discriminated against. In particular traffic know to carry large amounts of illicit data, or types of traffic known to overwhelm other normal uses such as Netflix.

Full disclosure: I am a Netflix DVD & streaming subscriber.

Tom 13

Re: I wasn't under the impression that they were being argued for/against

No, of course you weren't. Except that's effectively what Comcast and Verizon are charging Netflix for: QoS from Netflix to the Comcast servers.

IBM sued for talking up semiconductor business it couldn't give away

Tom 13

@Brewster's Angle Grinder

Of course the odder part is, that market loss is almost 4 times what IBM wrote off their balance sheet. Seems to me the market was reacting to something besides the loss of the FAB.

90% of mobile data eaten by TINY, GREEDY super-user HOTSPOTS

Tom 13


The data tells us that operators are growing macro networks with vast blanket investment to get blanket coverage but the inequality of usage means that the majority are paying for the minority's excess.

So maybe net neutrality isn't such a good idea after all. Whodda thunk?

C'mon! Greece isn't really bust and it can pay its debts

Tom 13


Even default doesn't work.

As you correctly noted, someone still has to pay the bill. At the moment, the guys who made the loans can't afford to pay the bill either. So they default. Since there are more of them then there are Greeks, it becomes an even bigger problem. That's essentially how we got into our current mess. Someone defaulted on a payment. The Germans quite properly demanded payment. It turned out they couldn't be paid, and the "security" that was nominally backing it didn't actually back it. Subsequently Lehman were put in the rack. Them being in the rack resulted in other businesses having problems. And with the line to the rack growing, somebody hit pause before the whole thing collapsed. But it still partially collapsed, and even though were no longer collapsing, we haven't really regained what was lost in the collapse.

Now here's the big catch with Greece: Lehman was small potatoes compared to them.

Nobody knows how to unwind this tiger. So people either pretend we aren't riding a wild tiger, or that they really do know how to unwind it, if only they could get to the key.

Tom 13

@P. Lee - Minor nit

Debt might or might not be a problem. Debt (long term money due) coupled with deficit (current FY outlays) is always a problem, and is the Greek problem. It's probably best to pair "deficit" with "debt" explicitly and not use "debt" to mean both even though it can.

The even bigger problem is that outside of maybe Germany, I'm hard pressed to think of any country in the world that hasn't been running both debt and deficit at the same time. So far the nations which are less close to the brink of disaster have been bailing out the ones who are closer, but all the time the group as a whole keeps moving closer.

Tom 13


It's extremely difficult to have your cake and eat it too. The more you try to harmonize trade, the more you move to federalization. So long as there is essential common ground, this isn't a problem. It's not clear the EU has sufficient essential common ground for it to work. Hence all the problems.

Tom 13


Astute observations.

It seems to me the problem is that the EU is a meta-government with no direct accountability to the people whom it ought to benefit. It might function if it were a representative body of the people, but it isn't. Of course, making it a representative is problematic because that tends to move what is currently the national allegiance to the new EU, something very few people in the current nation state's want.

Tom 13

Re: mutual dependency of the member states has saved us

No, it hasn't. What's stopped all the wars that kill that many people is the nuclear bomb. For the last 70 or so years most governments have been afraid that if they start wailing on each other like that, the nukes will fly.

That too is about to change. This is NOT a good thing.

Tom 13

The only sense in which the Greek Debt problem has been solved

is that it has ALWAYS been a spending problem, not a debt problem, and the SPENDING problem has not been solved.

Even a penny a week is high when your current payments exceeds your payments by $20/week. THAT is the Greek problem. And until it is fixed you can re-arrange the deck chairs on the Titanic all you want, it won't help the water problem.

To beat Oracle, find jurors who care about Leisure Suit Larry not Larry Ellison

Tom 13

Re: Oracle

Not a chance. Those maintenance agreements are a one way street to but lots and lots of Benjamins in Larry's bank account. Actual customer support? They've never heard of it.

EFF fears crims are getting smart to Superfish SSL flaws

Tom 13

Re: Who's laws would they be breaking?

At best you have precedent for the US or EU, not worldwide, and I don't think the precedent has reached that level for either entity.

Enterprise SSL monitoring is not part of this equation. It's consumer grade equipment connected to the internet.

Despite claims to the contrary and lawyers who will argue the point, click through agreements can't have unusual or unexpected clauses that indemnify either party against certain rights. The right to be secure in your financial transactions would be one of those rights. SuperFish breaks that.

Net neutrality secrecy: No one knows what the FCC approved (BUT Google has a good idea)

Tom 13

Re: GOPtards are already at it

You pretend that the FCC is an independent agency now that it's under The Big 0, but before it was Bush's stooge. Newsflash: All three FCC members voting for this travesty ARE BIG 0 appointees. That means it IS his change, and at his direct ORDER.

No they don't deserve to be regulated. They BUILT the internet, the government is stealing it from them.

Tom 13

Re: I think you may have mis-read that part?

While it changes the order of magnitude, the point still stands. You don't lose 15 pages by deleting a couple of words here and there. I've spent more hours of my life than I care to admit to trying to figure out a way to edit a document to bring a single word up one line to save a page before going to print. Sometimes it's simple, but it's just as often a royal PITA. And yes, it was worth it to the publisher because that one word was going to save one page which in turn was going to save a four page folio in a 3000 scientific publication print run.

Tom 13

Re: Last minute revisions are just that...

As my first job was working in precisely that environment, I call you on your BS deflection.

While it is technically true that you don't publish the daily drafts, it is standard practice to:

1. Establish the draft version.

2. Distribute amongst ALL stakeholders with suitable period for comment.

3. Receive all comments, debate them, resolve them.

4. Incorporate the changes into the document, update the revision level.

5. Distribute the update amongst ALL stake holders with suitable period for comment.

6. Go to step 3 and repeat until the number of changes is suitably low to go to Final Draft for approval.

After approval, only editing changes to correct spelling or grammar are permitted, no substantive changes.

None of this was done with the FCC regs. Hell, they didn't even include all the major telcos in the consultations let alone all the stakeholders. Of which the US public is most certainly the most important.

Google to tame Android's Wild Wild West to please suits

Tom 13

Re: Consistency

Where I work the employer is willing to pay for the phones. It's the employees who don't want to be issued the phone because they're already carrying around one they like. Same for most of the people I know. Only the Dilberts carry three cell phones, two fondle slabs, and a laptop.

SIM hack scandal biz Gemalto: Everything's fine ... Security industry: No, it's really not

Tom 13

Re: Stupid Question


That is afterall how RSA and others ship physical keys. And if you're building that sort of structure, you buy your PCs and servers, build them out in an isolated secure room, never connect them to the internet, and only use the system to generate the keys which are then carried out of the room on whatever media they use. So long as the only thing touching the isolated networks is the media receiving the keys, you have a reasonable level of confidence it wasn't breached.

Oh No, Lenovo! Lizard Squad on the attack, flashes swiped emails

Tom 13

probably best not to open the page

I'll second that advice.

Got a call last night from the Lenovo owner whose laptop I cleaned before the MITM malware news broke. I subsequently sent her the direct link to Lenovo's page for checking if your laptop is vulnerable. Apparently she got reinfected as soon as she attempted to use their tool to check on it. So the laptop is headed back to me this weekend.

Lenovo CTO: Hey, look around – we're not the only ones with a crapware infection

Tom 13

Re: Bruce Schneier's comment

But a security audit was the first thing the marketing guy recommended!

Google hooks up with group formerly known as ISIS to battle Apple Pay

Tom 13

I used Google Wallet a couple of times 6+ years back.

Never got any of the stuff I ordered with it, couldn't make a claim against them.

So I personally regard Google Wallet as different sort of SuperFish.

As always, YMMV.

'Lenovo, Superfish put smut on my system' – class-action lawsuit

Tom 13

Re: No Madam we didn't install anything nasty on your box

Remember, the telephone droids only read the scripts put in front of them, and rarely have any actual technical knowledge for problem solving.

Oh, and the real kick in the teeth on that one is, the only reason they use fleshbags instead of automated systems is that the fleshbags cost less than the automated systems.

Tom 13

re: before it went Chinese?

Irrelevant in this case I think. Because it's the consumer division, their margins are thin, even for the Chinese. So they're inclined to put crapware on kit. Such decisions are usually made by marketing droids not techs. So I think it could have happened even if the laptops were coming from IBM. Probably a bit more likely in China since there you can get shot for disagreeing with the boss, but possible elsewhere too.

Tom 13

Re: Is Superfish really showing porn ads?

It wouldn't surprise me. And I think I've come across something in the last week or so that shows an emerging meme for yoga pr0n, so she could have been dead center in the middle of it.

Tom 13

Re: It is the concept of the institution

Meh. Chicken and egg problem on whether the corruption begins on its own or is inherent in the institution.

Of course, once it's started the problem is, it's one massive multiplicative (exponential?) feedback loop. Which is why all to frequently the only way these things end is a return to violence and anarchy.

Tom 13

Re: The problem with these class action suits is the lawyers get all the money.

That and given "the total bill could be more than $5m, it's claimed," the company has an incentive to NOT make it an open and shut case. Even though they'll eventually lose, the total on the settlement isn't likely to rise, until the case is settled, they still get to make interest on the money they are setting aside to pay for the lawsuit.

FCC Republicans slam brakes on net neutrality, but this wagon ain't slowing

Tom 13

Re: When will they understand...

I'm familiar with those places as well as the ones where there is competition. The simple fact of the matter is, the people living there voted for it to be that way. They elected the corrupt LOCAL government which used its power to create a local monopoly.

Furthermore, monopoly issues are not the purview of the FCC, they fall under either the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) or the (Interstate Commerce Commission). You'll find all kinds of conservative support for breaking up government created monopolies. You just won't find any for the Executive branch corruptly seizing legislative powers.

Tom 13

Re: @Kieren McCarthy

Furthermore, while you are certainly entitled to continue pushing the Progressive/Democrat agenda under the guise of unvarnished journalism here at El Reg, you aren't entitled to your own facts.

Ultimately, the FEC decides not to extend rules, and from that Pai draws his connection.

The FEC decided no such thing. They were deadlocked on the vote so the 0bama appointed commissioner was not able to change them at the time.


And it's not like they abandoned the attempt:


While Karen Getman's (Democrat) testimony in front of the FEC should frighten anyone, it's chilling effect ought to scare the crap out of anybody whose livelihood depends on freedom of speech:

It's okay to get it wrong and do it again. It's okay to be brave. It is okay to push the limit.

That's the kind of lie every dictator since time began has used to silence their opponents.

Lenovo to customers: We only just found out about this Superfish vuln – remove it NOW

Tom 13

Re: Will MS go down the Apple road?

No, because MS have to offer OEMs a way to differentiate themselves. When I first entered the IT repair arena I worked for a small screwdriver shop. We never had more than 10 employees, but we were incorporate and had a brand name. We were a licensed MS OEM vendor. One of the things MS allowed us to do was embed our company information on the System Information screen, including a bit-mapped image if we were inclined to create one. So this is embedded in their DNA. Changing it is on the order of mutating a blue whale into a toadstool.

What will happen is that vendors who hawk sufficiently onerous crapware will go out of business while those that don't survive. If any of them actually pre-package decent stuff they could actually thrive.

Tom 13

Re: It's not, I'm just a satisfied customer.

That's actually the absolute BEST ad a company can have.

Many CEOs would be well served to remember that.

I've worked in IT repair for more than 15 years now. I'm not a sales guy, but I sold a fair bit of kit in my day. I could sell it because it was always an honest technical solution to the problem, not what I was pushing that day because of a SPIF.

Tom 13

Re: Sure you can audit the list, but do you really trust all those CA's?

Snarky answer:

No. Truth be told, I don't even really trust the ones I have to.

More truthful answer:

No. But it's such a PITA keeping track of who is trustworthy and who isn't that I mostly accept the defaults. The good news is the desktop I rolled myself, so minimal exposure there. But it's really hard to roll your own laptop, even if you're in the biz. And cleaning out the crap is nearly impossible.

Tom 13

Re: allowing OEMs to devalue OEM-Windows by bundling rubbish

Whether or not the OEM install devalues the install is entirely up to the OEM.

Granted in the current incarnation of Windows, it's a bit hard to get the drivers wrong. But that hasn't always been the case. I recall plenty of builds requiring me to hit F4 at just the right point to add a third party driver or the OS install would fail.

I even recall one particularly odious problem where a new motherboard wouldn't accept a reliable, known working device after we upgraded a MB. Apparently Intel made a change to the ATA channel and it wasn't backward compatible. Spent three days working on that one before our chief tech called the device vendor and found there was a driver problem they weren't planning to fix. For those situations the OEM build is preferable. The device was actually pretty handy. It was a CD jukebox that would let you load 5 CDs and access any one of them. Had to replace it with a SCSI controller and device that cost the client almost as much as they originally paid for the PC. Took a serious loss on that one because we obviously couldn't charge them for 3 days of tech time.

Tom 13

Re: Orange Alert!

I can definitively say the answer to that question is 'Yes!'

Spacewalking NASA 'nauts hook up power and data cables to ISS Harmony module

Tom 13

Re: we 'ad to run 50 ohm coax ourselves

I barely missed those days and I'm glad of it. It was enough of a bitch troubleshooting that shit when one of those damn ring connectors got itself just a little bit loose. When I came aboard I think we only had 3 customers left using it. But that was more than enough to leave a bad impression that will last a lifetime.

Mozilla mulls Superfish torpedo

Tom 13

Re: What's in a name?

But I thought ALL super Cxx's used UltraTrojan brand condoms to protect themselves.

May the fourth be with you: Torvalds names next Linux v 4.0

Tom 13

Seems Linus has done something to warm the cold cold cockles of my heart

“But hey, I asked, so I'll honor the votes.”

Having seen far too many execs put forth surveys expecting results that would back their pre-determined decision only to get flustered when they didn't agree, this is something which I heartily applaud.

Tom 13

Re: Pity ...

Always look on the bright side. This may be the occasion on which Linux will go Forth and conquer.

Facebook security chap finds 10 Superfish sub-species

Tom 13

Re: Not sure why the down votes?

Well, he was okay until he got to:

If you are lucky they might have white listed major financial institutions.

At which point its obvious he's just taking a piss.

Net neutrality crunch poll: Americans want to know WTF it is

Tom 13

The PPI is a well known Democrat front group.

As such, the odds of them running an unbiased poll are similar to the odds of the Tobacco Institute producing an unbiased scientific study.

That the poll came back as lopsided as it did against Net Neutrality is a sign of the complete failure of The Big 0's power grab.

The millionaire former playboy, Hugh Hefner, and a crucial fight over playboy.london

Tom 13

Re: Stick to your guns

Me too. I don't care one way or the other for either party in this dispute, but that process is so corrupt it needs to go.

NO CLASS: Judge chucks out two class-action lawsuits against Google

Tom 13

Re: It isn't a matter of making cell phones cost more

I'm not so sure the judge's ruling that phones and the search market are sufficiently separated to avoid Sherman stands. It seems to me that in the current phone market they sort of are inseparable, no matter how it looks on paper.

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