* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

'Look into my eyes: You are feeling very worried about the climate ... so worried'

Tom 13

Re: dolts in the mainstream media have swallowed the baseless claims

Not exactly. I'd say instead that the fascists in the LSM helped manufacture the baseless claims.

Tom 13

Re: "psychohistory" was not about "manipulating populations" at all.

Actually it was. Yes, the first part was predicting what would happen. But the second part was about resetting the foundations of society by manipulating it. As eventually revealed, the First Foundation is about the hard sciences while the Second Foundation is about the soft sciences, that is, exactly the sort of thing Professor Fruitcake is involved in.

Yes it was all very fanciful in Asimov's writings. But you should still get it correct.

Snowden reveals LEVITATION technique of Canada’s spies

Tom 13

Re: Kim Dotcon

He was downvoted because Dotcon has a contingent of Mansonite-like followers on this site. Post anything hinting at the truth about him and it generates down votes. Wear them as a badge of honor. In addition to trawling actual Dotcon stories, they like to trawl Snowden et al. Stories.

How's this for customer service: Comcast calls bloke an A**HOLE – and even puts it in print

Tom 13

Re: Did I misread something here..

I expect that means she knew she'd have to pay a $60 cancellation fee because they signed up for a fixed term contract. I understand that isn't common in GB, but happens all the time in the US.

Tom 13

Re: Breathtaking

Yes, but remember, based on the stories I've heard, the Time Warner customers will still be getting an upgrade in service. Scary as that is.

On the up side, if Comcast really does control 50%+ of the cable market, I would be quite willing to classify them as a public utility.

Tom 13

Re: HOW much?

Can't you READ? That bill says XFINITY. when it comes to internet services, that's the Rolls Royce of speed. Only $67/month is peanuts compared to the investments made to bring you the blinding fast speeds of To XFinity and Beyond!

/end sarc

Does Big Tech hire white boys ahead of more skilled black people and/or women?

Tom 13

Re: better call the NAACP

They sort of already have. They're just NAACP these days, no words to go with the letters.

Trans-Pacific trade treaty close to signoff says USA

Tom 13

Crazy 'Merkin here

Out a lot of really bad crap, this line in particular caught my eye:

America, in turn, agreed to allow Japan to maintain its safety standards on car imports.

As a crazy 'Merkin, I don't understand how that was a concession to Japan. I mean, as long as the same safety standards apply to their domestic manufacturers, that seems like common sense. Especially given that here in the States we mostly get stuck with Kali's motor vehicle standards regardless of where we actually live. Sole exception is the ultra-low emissions vehicles.

Man trousers $15,000 domain name for $10.99 amid registry cockup

Tom 13

Re: So How's Pets.com Doing?

Being British I'd doubt you would have heard of PetSmart, but they're a big chain on this side of the pond. I think Pets.Com at one point was a pet supply reseller. I don't recall if they actually went bankrupt or if they were acquired by PetSmart.

Listen up, AT&T, this could be YOU NEXT: $40m sting for throttling 'unlimited' mobile data

Tom 13


Well, the problem here it isn't practical to build out a system that completely eliminates contention. Let's say you have a network, your usage curve is a normal curve, and you expect a mean usages of X. Now, it turns out that at X you can support 5X in raw users. So you run the numbers and if you build out your network at 2X 95% of the time everyone still gets full bandwidth. The other 5% of the time you'll have contention, and when it happens will be random.

The data caps will always hit you.

Tom 13

Re: and the FCC would rather set a standard

No, that's the FTC. And this exactly what I and others have contented in the past with respect to throttling of internet speeds. We don't need net neutrality, we just need to enforce our existing laws. In this case, Trac contracted to deliver unlimited service and failed to make good on that contract. Whether or not the average punters actually get anything out of this is still TBD.

GoDaddy in doghouse over puppy-flogging Super Bowl ad

Tom 13

Re: I am sick of a vocal minority of bleeding heart liberals

Check my posting history, I'll wait.


Done? OK so we've established I'm no beating heart liberal and I probably carry a bigger club than you do, right?

This posting on El Reg is the first I've heard of the anti-puppy mill angle. But my roommate told me last night about the ad where the cute, loyal puppy who was lost from the car fought its way home only to arrive in time to see the family sell it online. And that as a result of negative feedback GoDaddy had pulled the ad. My reaction "Well, it is GoDaddy so stupidity was to be expected." The fact that no one in their marketing chain thought about just how wrong that ad was is everything you need to know to avoid GoDaddy. If they can't even get their marketing right, there's no chance in hell they're going to get their technical details right. If they wanted to do the cute, loyal, lost puppy story, it should have centered around the family looking for and finding the puppy, not selling it. That's a positive story all the way around.

US looks at plan to hand over world's DNS – and screams blue murder

Tom 13

Re: Get Linus to do it

Get real!

There's no way Linus would touch a **** sandwich like this. Those ******* can just *** off and fix it themselves given their ******-** code is such a steam pile of **** that even the flies won't land on it.

What a ******* moron.

Wall St wolves tear chunk off Microsoft: There goes $30bn!

Tom 13

Re: you have to make your mind about it.

No you don't. You've got to be of two minds about it all the time. You have to value the future and decide whether the risks the company is taking are worth the gains based on the probability of getting them PLUS you have to value the business on its current performance. Primarily because even if the risks are worth the probably gains, if you don't have a currently sustainable business model, you can't get to the future no matter how good/right it might be if you could get there. And that's where MS's business strategy is flailing. Windows 8 is a disaster on the order of Bob, except it's their cash cow not some app that sits on the cash cow. And instead of recognizing that and adapting they doubled down on it.

Jellybean upgrade too hard for Choc Factory, but not for YOU

Tom 13

Re: So is Firefox safe or what?

You state you are using 4.4.4. Google state they are patching anything after 4.4 so yours should be patched.

If WebKit is present on your phone, you're potentially vulnerable regardless of what browser you use because the code is still present on the phone. I translate the PR guy's statements as, "at 4.4 we replaced WebKit".

Tom 13

Re: Google should be forced to issue security fixes

Google is on a 30 day release cycle. If your phone is more than 90 days old it's obsolete. Why should Google support obsolete phones?

I'd put up a joke icon, except I'm not sure it is.

Some Androids can be HOSED by WiFi Direct vuln

Tom 13

Re: I think it's more the carriers then Google.

Nope, the article clearly states this vulnerability is currently in Google's wheelhouse. The carriers only muck things up after Google have fixed it.

But you unlike the MS exploits, you can't grouse that Google are artificially downplaying this vulnerability. The user has to activate a specific functionality which is then both time and space limited and only reboots the device. If someone comes up with a way to chain it to something else, Google might then upgrade the importance of this vulnerability.

NASA greenlights SpaceX and Boeing to carry crew to ISS in 2017

Tom 13

Re: Playing the party line

For as much as there are problems at NASA that are of their own making, mismanaging space transport is not one of them. That falls squarely on Congress which never set appropriate goals and funding for the agency.

As other posters have noted, this isn't just a silly State Department spat. The Russians under Putin have returned to Soviet form and are bad actors on the international stage. When it comes to subsidies and game rigging, Putin's got anything that happens here in the US beat hands down.

Looks to me like the only one playing the party line here is you, and it isn't a pro-liberty party line.

The firm that swallowed the Sun: Is Oracle happy as Larry with hardware and systems?

Tom 13

Re: But Sun ... continuing to charge ridiculous money

And that comment hides the bigger problem with Oracle's acquisition of Sun.

I understand from a friend who use to use their kit at work that Oracle's price boosts made Sun's pricing seem reasonable. Within a year of Oracle acquiring Sun, they replaced all their Solaris systems with Unix because it was cheaper than buying Oracle support contracts. This friend once bought a data array from Sun and got the computer kicked in for free. OK, not really but it was the end result. He priced out an array, priced a Sun system with an array of the same size, and the Sun system with array was cheaper than just the array. So I count is as them kicking in the computer for free.

Welcome to Spartan, Microsoft's persuasive argument for... Chrome

Tom 13

Re: "having to build for not one but two Microsoft browsers"

I see. You liked those problems in physics class where you got to assume the horses were perfectly round, frictionless spheres.

Sorry, my first experience with "standards" was as a tech writer documenting RS-232 connections. I've had a dim view of such things ever since. Of course, it didn't help matters that my second job was with a company that was writing standards for a smart house, and I got to see the sausage being made. One of the unpublished standards I did the DTP work on was even a programming language for the house of cards which eventually collapsed.

Tom 13

Re: No, you aren't.

YES, you are. You need to keep up. This discussion is about Chrome on Windows, and the default page is their never to be sufficiently damned GMail+ homepage gizmo.

Tom 13

Re: Have you actually used Google?

Every day. And it's a damned annoyance that every time I setup a new user or migrate an existing user that I have to hover over them to make sure they click on "Skip" the first time they open Chrome. Even more of a PITA when an update somehow resets it and they inadvertently log into the data slurp.

Uber isn't limited by the taxi market: It's limited by the Electronic Thumb market

Tom 13

@ J.G.Harston

If this were true

Taxi regulation is there to protect the customer, not to limit the market.

this wouldn't happen

every time limits came up ... the votes went for the cap. (despite your honorable service).

I don't think Uber is just the latest method of hiring. I think it is truly expanding the market, mostly through casual drivers, not professional ones. Hence the huge disparity in numbers. A professional driver might not be able to cover expenses at $20 for a 20 mile drive. For the casual driver, it offsets his gas money so it's worth it.

Tom 13

Re: Let's talk common sense.

Not gonna happen.

You can tell that from the language in his first post. Whether it's because he natively lacks it or is just here to be argumentative may be in question, but that's rather a moot point.

SpaceX makes nice with U.S. Air Force, gets shot at black ops launches

Tom 13

Re: Bullshit

While I concur with your disgust and vehemence on this issue, there is one thing of which we must take note, and a damned annoying thing it is:

Government contracts invariably require at least two sources for damn near everything, and it does nearly require an act of Congress to sole source something. So for purposes of maintaining two sources, ULA will continue to gouge for many years.

Tom 13

Re: Can we apply the word 'failure' to this?

Yes. Because failure is how we learn what NOT to do next time, so long as we survive.

Also, I'd note the precise wording. The "failure of" not the "failed launch". The second would indeed imply the mission was a failure, while the first notes that things did not go the way they were planned.

I concur that the success greatly outweighs the failure, but that does not negate the fact that there was some small amount of failure in the mission.

ATTACK of the FLYING MOUNTAIN: 2004 BL86 goes by like a BULLET

Tom 13

Re: rampant insomnia tends to awaken my inner grammar Nazi.

Well, in that case El Reg needs to hire you and keep you awake for 12 hours before letting you at their end of day copy for editing. It's been visibly lacking since they lost their last Mistress of Grammar. And I note that as someone who at best got C+ not A on my grammar grades in school.

Tom 13

Re: Um, am I flagged by the NSA now ?

Nope. You should assume instead that you have always been flagged by the NSA.

Full disclosure: I can neither confirm nor deny that I can confirm or deny that you actually have been flagged, nor that I would have to kill you if I did.

Doomsday Clock says 3 minutes to midnight. Again

Tom 13

Re: If this wasn't a farce before, it is now

Climate change, yeah that's a money grabbing farce.

Atomic clock "scientists" cry wolf? Absolutely. They've were a Soviet front group when founded and never left their roots even if the old union is gone.

Likelihood of nuclear war? This one I'd actually rate higher than it has been in my lifetime and I'm getting to be an old fart. But not for the reasons the idiots running the clock focus on. Right now the Iranians are about a year from having nukes. They really are fanatical religious nutters who aren't afraid to use them after they've got them and they really are hell bent on wiping Israel of the map. The Israelis' of course have nukes. So the region is likely to explode when they do. Expect spill over into India-Pakistan who probably also both have nukes even if one of them denies it. At that point the whole thing spins out of control.

Tom 13

Not if you know anything about the political leanings of the group. In their estimation the Cubans were the good guys. Sort of like The Big 0 is doing right now.

Tom 13

Re: Too tempting

That would give up the jig. At one minute past, since Earth is still here, it would obviously not be one minute past, and be 23:59 until.

Tom 13

Re: Ahh the obligatory

I always cue up Sammy Hagar instead:

It's your one way ticket to midnight

Call it Heavy Metal

Tom 13

Re: while we're on the on the subject

I think you have a typo in that post. It should be Psychics Today.

Tom 13

Re: Supervolcano and/or bolide impact.

Don't forget the close (in galactic terms) Quasar.

Tom 13

Re: I don't understand it

Because it's always been a hoax propagated by the commies.

And yes, it was also one of the first "all the PhD's agree" attempts to shut down criticism of a political agenda not grounded in science.

UK Scouts database 'flaws' raise concerns

Tom 13

Re: So, no badge for the developers then?

Back when I was a Scout, that would be true.

In the new improved, self-esteem building Scouts, I think you get the badge just for participating.

FBI-baiter Barrett Brown gets five years in chokey plus $890,000 fine

Tom 13

Re: Club Fed

He's not just going to be brash, he's going to be an arse. Just look at his sentencing statement. In the US, you can't make money from staying in prison as a convicted felon. If he doesn't become somebody's bitch, I expect he'll mouth off to the wrong person and get a shiv.

FORCE Apple to support BlackBerry hardware, demands John Chen

Tom 13

Re: So back when Blackberry was dominant

Was the app that let you connect your phone to your PC to sync contacts...

Given that Windows Apps don't run on Macs, no. I would however be willing to wager a good steak dinner that BB had an equivalent program written specifically for the Mac.

..why not even more niche phone OSes..

I don't see where you can discount niche phone set makers from the net neutrality argument when niche content providers are at the heart of the case for net neutrality. The whole point of the net neutrality argument is that the big guys can buy access the little guys can't. If the principle is sound for the pipes, it is also sound for the delivery system.

Tom 13

Chen's claim is insane,

but flows logically from the net neutrality premise.

Is it humanly possible to watch Gigli and Battlefield Earth back-to-back?

Tom 13

@ VinceH

Downvoting for claiming "The Postman is an excellent book." The short story that appeared in IASFM was excellent. Even he added the second chapter it was still pretty good. But when he turned it into a book, BLEH! Fonzie jumped the sharknado in the third chapter as I recall.

All-flash case rehash: Modus vs Nimbus lawyers off to DC

Tom 13

I thought big companies like this were supposed to have smart lawyers.

While Modus is probably in the moral right, they are definitely in the legal wrong on this one. The proper way to withhold payment in cases like this is for Modus to have placed the amount for the payment in escrow until such time as Nimbus fixed the problems with equipment. The exact process for doing so may vary from place to place, and I expect it involves a judge giving his approval for placing the money is escrow.

I know someone who had a similar problem and that's what they did. Granted theirs was housing related (mushrooms growing in the basement carpet because of a leak problem the landlord refused to fix) but the same principles applied. The aggrieved party got back rent for the better part of the year plus interest when the lease expired.

Verizon posts WANTED poster for copper rustlers

Tom 13

California, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia

How odd. All states with high illegal immigrant populations. Couldn't be a connection now could there?

FCC Commissioner argues for delaying February net neutrality ruling

Tom 13

Re: A suggestion from an outsider

As an outsider the first thing you OUGHT to learn is that Congress is the only part of government which is authorized to pass new laws. As such, the FCC cannot pass a law under the guise of a rule implementing a law that Congress hasn't passed. Which is EXACTLY what the FCC is proposing to do.

That goes double for all you Brits who think you understand it because we mostly share a language.

US military finds F-35 software is a buggy mess

Tom 13

Re: Bloat?

#American code:



$altitude > 100

$weather = sunny

$ipod_track = VanHalen

$ipod_artist = Molly Hatchet + $ipod_song = Flirtin' with Disaster

$coffee_mug_heater = on

$speed = ludicrous


$weapons_armed = true


#Chinese code:




$weapons_armed = true

rem arm missiles from mechanical cockpit switch

Tom 13

Re: RN "shitting themselves"

And the one or two that were held back were grabbed up by Arnie for True Lies.

Free Windows 10 could mean the END for Microsoft and the PC biz

Tom 13

Re: "the time it takes to bloat over all the drive it was installed on"

Your VM can't grow the drive size to something adequate? Sounds like a software problem to me.

While it is true that when Bill Gates uttered the infamous phrase that disk space was free it wasn't, these days is pretty much is. Even a cheap laptop comes with a 250G hard drive these days, and even at 81G for all of my installed apps and data on my work system, that's not even 1/3 of the available disk space.

True, you'll probably have problems with .dll rot and the like, but with MS shunning service packs, these days you'll get that no matter what.

Wizard of Oz OFFICIALLY 'most significant movie' EVER, says PNAS

Tom 13

Re: Age has not withered it ...


Color was not a significant factor in the movie world before The Wizard of Oz was released. I know The Jazz Singer get nods for first color film, but I think a lot of people mark Oz as the change point for the industry. Part of that comes from the transition from B&W to color in the film itself. Part of that came from people keeping the color part a secret when it was first released.

While time will have some affect on references, the 25 year period is definitely needed to remove noise from signal. Several posters above have referenced Princess Bride with their quotes. Will it stand the test of time the way that Oz has? Maybe, but I don't think they're on the same level of cultural impact.

Tom 13

Re: transmogrification of the story

The story was always intended to be transmogrified into a religion. It was a bar bet between Hubbard and Heinlein. Hubbard wrote Battlefield Earth, Heinlein wrote Stranger in a Strange Land. People still argue over what the definition of "winning the bet" is because one wrote a book that turned into Scientology and the other wrote a readable book.

Tom 13

Re: What if...

You missed the bit where Alan Dean Foster adapted the film to a new book* which was them made into a new film.

*Yes, he was hired to do this at least once or I wouldn't recall it.

Tom 13

Re: previously watched by the person consuming it?

Almost but not quite. They aren't referencing the person consuming it, they're referencing a writer/producer who referenced it in a film they made. There's a distinction worth noting there. As noted in my post above, it doesn't guarantee a connection, but I can certainly see the argument that you have a higher probability that someone actually making a film is likely to have seen a film to which they make reference. You can also make the assertion that even if not directly aware of the reference, it may have made it's way into general cultural acceptance. Sort of like "stealing from the rich to give to the poor" is an accepted cultural reference to Robin Hood, which is generally accepted by the public. Another similar reference would be saying someone got their 30 pieces of silver.

I'm not sure I buy that there is a direct correlation, but I'd certainly agree the probability of correlation goes up.

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