* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Nearly a million retail jobs will be destroyed by the march of tech, warns trade body

Tom 13

Re: Too much CapEx


The topic of robots came up this weekend when I visiting my folks. He'd seen the clip everybody's been raving about on the news. We did some back of the envelope calculations. Assuming a half million (insert your local currency here) and an annual salary of (_currency symbol_)35K, you'll recoup the cost of a robot in about 3 years. Remember, the cost to the business of that employee is about 50K, plus you get a 3x multiplier because it doesn't need to sleep.

Tom 13

Re: It's all the fault of the Tories, er Labour, er, the Tories, er, Labour, er...

It is political. The freetards are opposed to taxing things on the internet. That gives the internet a HUGE builtin advantage on pricing. There's simply no way around that problem. And you can tell how critical an advantage this is because of how loud they all scream when anybody suggests changing it.

I'm all for keeping tax rates as low as possible and imposing them as broadly as possible. It's a fine line distinction, but a critical one.

Tom 13

Re: For starters, the big 'distribution type' companies pay barely any tax


He covered that in line 2 (first full sentence).

Retail shops have advantages virtual ones will never have: You can really see it, pick it up, feel it. Those are huge advantages over the ones you credit to the virtual stores. Indeed the primary reason it is difficult to do the comparisons for the brick and mortar stores is precisely that they have worked licensing deals to obscure the real comparisons.

90% of SSL VPNs are ‘hopelessly insecure’, say researchers

Tom 13

Re: they probably don't mind if results are good or bad


Wrong answer. Bad results sell testing. Good results sell nothing.

Next contestant!

You don't get to come back next week. You don't even get a copy of our home game. You're a complete loser!

/w apologies to Weird Al.

SCO vs. IBM looks like it's over for good

Tom 13

Re: Maybe IBM should continue its claim

No, best to leave it where it's at. If IBM were to own it, some future head of IBM could resurrect it against the rest of the Linux community. (Yeah I know that doesn't make any sense now, but neither did the SCO case.) As is, it's a worthless asset in a worthless company. Since it has zero other assets, you can't ever make a case for buying it which passes the fiduciary requirement of any publicly traded company.

Tom 13

Re: It's the end of an error.

Yep, specifically

Out of bounds in Line 1

Which is what makes it all the more amazing it took so long to resolve this case.

Tom 13

Re: If anything moves, nuke it.

Not so fast.

We've all learned from Dr. Who that nuking truly evil things sometimes revives them instead of destroying them.

In this case I think we want the firetruck filled with holy water, the guys with the repeating crossbows firing wooden stakes, and somebody on the machine gun with the belt fed silver bullets all on standby. And keep the Doc's phone number handy in case this is a truly hard case and requires the serious use of the timey-whimey.

Competition? No way! AT&T says it will sue to keep Google Fiber out of Louisville, Kentucky

Tom 13

Re: Two questions

First up, minor nit. oes the ruling stipulate Since it's the city government, it's the rule or law. The courts are the ones being asked to issue a ruling, which is different.

No it doesn't. If it did it would be transparent that the law was poorly written and ought to be tossed out. In the US AT&T would have to take Google to court and win the case to recover the damages. Which sort of moots recovering the costs in most instances (because winning the case will cost as much or more than just fixing what got broke and paying service credits).

So in all all, two thumbs up for spotting the actual potential issues with the rule and not just jumping on the freetard bandwagon. Even if it does wind up being AT&T that is defended.

Tom 13

Re: De-regulation

Except that the city DID overstep their bounds when they gave AT&T's competitor's the right to change AT&T's stuff. They should get bitch slapped for it. So should Google. They should have foreseen the problems with this wording and insisted on wording that wouldn't.

Tom 13

Re: Pole dancing

AT&T can't prohibit the city from giving Google access to the poles. That isn't the objection. The objection is that the city gave Google the right to move AT&T's already installed equipment. The city was wrong to grant that right, and you should expect the courts to properly bitch slap them for it. You sure as hell wouldn't be all in if AT&T were moving into a Google fiber area and got the right to move Google's fiber whenever they felt like it.

Tom 13

Re: When you can't innovate--litigate!!

Given my experiences when attempting to add a internet only service to my house from one of these triple play vendors, AT&T is quite right to be concerned that Google's installers will maliciously destroy cabling if given the chance.

Tom 13

Re: All signs point to FCC rules protecting

No they don't.

I went home to visit my folks this weekend. Dad finally decided to switch from FIOS to Comcast. They've had FIOS for the last 5 or so years. When they moved in, they said they hadn't rolled out the tv service component yet, but were going to shortly. Since it was supposed to be soon he picked up Dish for satellite. It has the usual problems, signal goes out during thunderstorms about 25% of the time and they get thunderstorms often enough that it's annoying. He'll save $50/month in the process.

There's no FCC reason stopping Verizon from delivering tv service. There's no cost of running lines because the fiber has already been run. It simply boils down to Verizon running the numbers and deciding they wouldn't make money running the tv service after taking into account the start up costs for the service center to do it.

Tom 13

Re: Bad losers

More like corrupt winners. If as the incumbents claim, the following part of the law is true:

Under the new ordinance, where a third party seeks to attach equipment to a utility pole in the rights-of-way and AT&T already has lines or other equipment on the pole, the third party may remove, alter, and relocate AT&T’s facilities as it deems necessary,

It is unworkable, probably properly illegal under FCC rules, and unconstitutional to boot. Given they've claimed this as a fact in the court claims, and that presenting a lie as a material fact DOES constitute perjury, I think it is reasonable to believe this claim is accurate. You simply can't have third party contractors coming in and making changes to competitors cabling whilly-nilly. And given the crap some of the "professional installers" have pulled when I've had services installed, the city invited this lawsuit in not writing the law properly. The properly written law would ONLY give third party installers access to run their lines on the poles. Not the right to change (quite possibly breaking) a competitors lines.

NASA's Orion: 100,000 parts riding 8 million pounds of thrust

Tom 13

Re: 3 Screens?

No, no. The bit green one is labeled "Launch" so it can easily be misread as "Lunch". Everybody knows this. It's the key point to the Gilligan in Space pilot.

Tom 13

I think minisubs were the models used for space capsules because the minisubs let you see where you could save some space on the capsule design.

Tom 13

Re: Walking towards the Saturn 5

I've been to the one at Canaveral instead of Houston, but concur completely. Haven't been in a while but every time I did, it was just as impressive as the previous visit. I've never done a complete tour when visiting because we always spend too much time looking at the Saturn V. (I've skipped different parts on different trips, so I have in some sense done the complete tour. But I never skip the Saturn V.)

Tom 13

Re: Bangalor and a bloke called Asheef

No, no. His name is Mark. He told so the last time he called my house because Microsoft had detected a problem on my roommate's Mac.

Tom 13

Re: Doooomed!

Nah, that's not do out until 2023. Although I hear they do have a Kickstarter posted already.

Tom 13

Re: Manned spaceflight?

Not a chance. Although I hear we may be able to send monkeys.

Tom 13

Re: The march of technology...

Yep. We've known since the 1960s that this is the wrong approach. The right one it to build a working space port, possibly in geosynchronous but also possibly lower orbit. Boost the parts to the port, assemble the rocket there. Similarly boost the fuel and fill it there. Then launch the rocket from the port to it's outer destination. Even better if we can build another port at the other end (although economics of returns dictates whether that is feasible), but at minimum we need one on this end.

QLogic: Ready to get excited about an Ethernet adapter?

Tom 13

Re: Far too many acronyms

LOL! IIRC, YMMV but yes WTF?

Dangerous Android banking bot leak signals new malware wave

Tom 13


No, it's actually because the market size doesn't yet exceed the minimum required to have a statistically significant sample from which to measure.

Is DNSSEC causing more problems than it solves?

Tom 13

Solution seems simple to me

If your DNSSEC domain is broadcasting badly formed packets, you lose your DNSSEC record.

Icon because yes, some people do think I'm a neanderthal, but it gets results for me.

Sick burn, brah: SpaceX test fires rockets for SES bird launch this week

Tom 13

Re: Who pretends it didn't happen?

And let's face it, even if the water landings never exceed 50/50 success, that still exceeds current expectations for all other space craft.

Intel, Verizon et al loom over 5G, tapping their feet, coughing politely

Tom 13

Just because there isn't a standard doesn't mean it isn't real. Back in the modem days there were usually at least two competing standards for higher speeds before an official one was adopted. Market uptake usually played at least some part in determining exactly what the new standard was.

The reason I suspect smoke and mirrors is because the phone companies are at the heart of this.

Tom 13

Re: Full 3G coverage would also be very helpful.

Some places around here, I'd be happy just to have voice service. Getting even 2G service would be icing on the cake. And theoretically, I live in one of those "well covered" areas (metropolitan DC region). There are at least two spots on my train (MARC) ride home where there is NO cell service. If you take the Metro (DC light rail), forget about it. Those tunnels are dead zones.

iOS app that smuggled pirated software into China is booted out of Apple's walled garden

Tom 13

Re: short of requiring submission of source code which isn't really feasible.

Sure it is. Apple writes a standard NDA that promises it won't reveal the code to any competitors and the submitter has to hand over the source code. No source code, no App Store presence. Happens all the time in company to company dealings.

'Kalamazoo killer' gave Uber rides in between shooting six dead

Tom 13

Re: What kind of weirdo randomly accuses

Humor is a well documented technique for dealing with fear. This wasn't a serious accusation, it was exactly the sort of humor people use to deal with fear. If you all laugh together at the joke you've built a very temporary community bond. The "we're all in this together" boost helps deal with the fear.

Of course, when it turns out you made a joke to the actual killer...

Tom 13

Re: @Alister

While your observations about serial killers and terrorists are accurate, technically he is neither of those. He is a spree killer which has yet another psychological profile.

Tom 13

Re: Remind me, where's Bethlehem?, Oh right, Pennsylvania, of course...

Isn't that the one between Blue Balls and Intercourse?

Tom 13


AC is a progtard who has probably never been to a gun show in his life. He's just spreading the propaganda about a Gun Show Loophole. There is no Gun Show Loophole. If you are registered firearms dealer, regardless of where you are you have to run a background check on any gun you sell.

Yes, private sales are excluded and that includes inheriting them. So tell me, how often is a dead uncle going to leave you a gun?

Also contrary to popular British opinion, we're not all walking around with a pistol and two AKs in case someone wants to buy one.

The truth is, background checks don't work for the same reason lie detector tests don't work: you're trying to predict the future based on past performance. There's a disclaimer about that on every form to buy stocks. And the companies traded on the stock market keep better records than the police because with the police the same progtards whining about gun violence are always siding with the thugs.

Tom 13

Re: until some gets caught doing something illegal

Even that's no guarantee. Here in the US, you can get your record expunged just depending. And anything you did as a kid is absolutely off the record unless you die while doing it (even then it's 50/50 whether they'll print the name).

But at least it's a smidge better than Europe. In Europe you have the right to be forgotten no matter what the crime.

Secret UN report finds against controversial WIPO chief

Tom 13

The UN

An organization that seems to have been created solely for the purpose of making any corruption you've found in your national government a piddling affair not worthy of any real concern.

D&D geeks were right – their old rule books ARE worth something now

Tom 13

Re: after amessing a very large library

You should hire a maid to clean that up.

Tom 13

Re: it's not like

True. Somewhere along the line I legally acquired a licensed digital copy of them which I archived to my hard drive. At least I think it was them. Not sure WHY they need the originals to cut apart and digitize. WoC acuired all the original TSR rights, although there was that troublesome middleman (Mattel?) who might have lost stuff.

Tom 13

Re: create searchable documents?

If you're creating searchable documents, borrow some books, hire a typist, and have them input it fresh. Cheaper and easier in the long run. Really it is.

Tom 13

Re: Hmm

Without checking ebay I was pretty sure that if I still had me early printing of the Deities and Demigods Handbook I could get at least $75 for it.

FBI says it helped mess up that iPhone – the one it wants Apple to crack

Tom 13

Re: how can the US Courts serve a search warrant against them?

The search warrant is issued against the phone. In this case Apple has implemented a protections that prevents the search warrant from being executed. Therefore the courts have correctly issued an order to remove that protection from that single phone.

Tom 13

Re: we can agree that this is more complex than a search warrant issue.

No we can't. Because it is that simple.

The government has issued a valid warrant. You and the rest of the progtards on this site don't like the fact that the government can issue a valid warrant and are seeking to invalidate that power. The government HAS provided a limited, feasible, and easily implemented method of allowing them access to the records on the phone that DOES NOT compromise the phone you own.

Tom 13

@tom dial

Never let the facts get in the way of a good 2 minute rant. It could cost you your life one of these days. Fortunately here on El Reg, it only costs you downvotes.

Tom 13

Re: They have only themselves to blame

Nope. You have only yourself to blame. You are the government whether you like that statement or not.

Tom 13

Re: Slippery, slippery slope

No slippery slope here.

They WERE guilty of something, and died while committing the crime. Their phone is thus evidence and Apple DOES have a civic duty to make all reasonable efforts to provide the data. Given the limits on the modification the government has requested, the effort is certainly reasonable.

Tom 13

@Mark 85

If it's a company owned phone and you can't recover the phone for a dead person, you're using the wrong software to secure the phone. We use MaS360. One of it's components is that the user can reset his PIN, but I'm sure there are other ones out there. The process requires access to his email account. You go to the website, request the PIN reset, reset the PIN. The next time the phone synchs the PIN updates.

Yes, the software needs to be installed before hand. Yes, if they use a personal email account instead of a company issued one you're still out of luck.

Tom 13

@Charlie Clark

I'd like to give you 10 upvotes, but El Reg limits me to one.

No tit for tat, or should that be tat for tit ... Women selling stuff on eBay get lower bids

Tom 13

@Chris G: what would make them choose a lower maximum in the case of a female seller?

Well, there is one possibility, but again it flies in the face of the predetermined "men discriminate against women" outcome they wanted for the story.

I've noticed women are some of the most viciously stingy shoppers out there. (A female friend recently helped her sister buy a house here in the US for under $12K including taxes and closing costs. They're planning to renovate it for about the same amount of money, then rent it for $500/month. And they already have a potential renter lined up.) So if you are selling merchandise primarily aimed at women, regardless of your sex you're in a business where you'll get low bids. If you're a woman, and focusing on merchandise for women because that's what you feel most knowledgeable about, you'll be in a market where your primary buyers will be intentionally choosing lower bids. Granted, it isn't the sort of direct discrimination the study is trying to imply, but it is a result of the seller being a woman.

Tom 13

Re: Shocker

I wouldn't say "less competent". I'd go with "more risk averse".

The problem appears more clearly when you study the investing habits of women. By definition, mutual funds can't discriminate against Sandy in preference to Tony. So they'll both get the same rate of return on a given mutual fund. I'll stick to the US, but I imagine most of Europe is the same. Most people get their retirement plans through work. So Sandy and Tony are both given the same options, almost always a selection of mutual funds. The funds will be a mixture of stocks, bonds, and treasuries, with varying asset mixtures for both stocks and bonds. All will rate the riskiness of a given vehicle, but all are relatively safe as they have to pass some government tests to be offered. Despite having a shorter life expectancy and therefore probably less need for money after retirement, men prefer risky investments and therefore typically get a higher rate of return in spite of the occasional capital loss. Despite having a longer life expectancy and therefore a greater need for money after retirement, women typically invest in the less risky investments and wind up with a lower rate of return despite rarely loosing capital. Over a lifetime of investment, the divergence is frequently hundreds of thousands of dollars.

So it looks to me like the authors of the study correctly identified the primary component of the differential (Women were more likely to set a higher starting price on the online tat bazaar, pay to set a reserve price minimum, and opt for a "buy it now" option over a "best offer.") then blew right by it because it didn't meet their predetermined outcome for the study. I'd bet the next most important component is how the types of things the two groups sell breaks down. My mother would be likely to sell flowers and baked goods. My dad* would be more likely to sell car parts and appliances. Assuming both have the same sales skills, who do you thing will make more money?

*Full disclosure: My dad's first sales job was actually working as the delivery guy for a bakes goods company. He made pretty good money at it, almost always finishing as the top salesman in the company. After that he sold cars for a short time, but despised how shady the business model was, and he chose a "reputable" car dealer to work for. Then he sold appliances in preference to jewelry when he had a retail franchise. He finished his career selling HVAC installations.

Tom 13

Re: “Bulova 18K Gold 95G07 Wrist Watch for Women.”

If the women are preferentially selling stuff like this, they are handicapping themselves and men have nothing to do with it. Everybody in the world knows the markup on jewelry is at least 50%, sometimes as high as 80%. So at best you'll be offered 50% of its retail price. On the other hand, if you're selling appliances and car parts, you'll get 80% of retail for current stuff. Older stuff is more of a roulette wheel with a range of 30%-200%

Easter Islanders didn't commit 'ecocide' after all, says archaeologist

Tom 13

Re: does the depopulation of a single island

Depopulation? Probably not.

Deforestation? Well, I guess that depends on whether or not you're one of those commie tree-hugger types.

Tom 13

Re: operates in an entirely different car.

Yes, but I expect that's mostly because the Beeb could afford the cars but not the planes.

Dan Kaminsky is an expert on DNS security – and he's saying: Patch right God damn now

Tom 13

The way I read this is that if ALL the servers are patched, it can't because the flaw was a mismatch between allocated and used memory. The problem is that ALL of the servers have to be patched, and at least some people are normally slow to patch DNS servers since 1) they are critical infrastructure pieces, 2) historically they've been assumed to be innately more secure because they've narrowly focused at the key points. And until the LAST DNS server is patched you are still potentially vulnerable.

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