* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

BIG FAT Lies: Porky Pies about obesity

Tom 13

Re: due more to subsidies for US maize producers

No, it's the sugar import restrictions, which effectively double the price of sugar in the US relative to world markets. And it was the reason site by Coca-Cola Inc. when they did away with Coke original in favor of HFCS.

Tom 13

Re: seem to be having much the same rates of obesity.

What we do have in common is a rising standard of living and much less need to engage in physical activity.

Not data, but anecdote that I expect with a bit of research could become data:

When I was young in my last year of high school I topped out the scales at 133 pounds. When I was in college I added few, but still stayed under 140. For a 5' 6" guy, those are about right. These days I fight to get under 200. What's changed? Well in college I was still walking all day to classes and had a job that sometimes required me to get from one corner of campus to the opposite in less than 20 minutes. When I took the elevator is was usually because I was hauling equipment, the rest of the time the stairs tended to be quicker. Campus was about 1 mile on the long side, half on the short one. Now I drive to the train station which drops me off yards from my office building. I take the elevator to the 9th floor. Then I reverse the process to go home. Where after starting dinner I plop down in my recliner until it is ready, then eat in my recliner. Then I go to bed. Commute plus work runs in the neighborhood of 12 hours, so I don't feel much like doing anything else when I do get home. Weekend are chores on Saturday, which again mostly involve the car for grocery shopping, then laundry including a couple runs up and down two flight of stairs.

In short, I live an essentially sedentary life and I know it. I've tried a couple times to break out of it, but found myself getting sick when I did.

My roommate has a similar type of schedule, except she drives to work. Still mostly sedentary. From time to time she signs up for a weight watcher class or aerobics or some such which lasts maybe 6 months. No more than twice a week for the classes.

Leaked screenshots show next Windows kernel to be a perfect 10

Tom 13

Re: the 64 bit address space is "huge"

You build 128-bit applications not because of the address space but because of the increase in bus speed throughput. With a 128 bit bus you load twice as much data to the CPU in one cycle as well as increasing the speed at which the CPU processes the data..

Now, you can argue we've already passed the point at which loading data to the CPU and/or SPU processing speed has a meaningful effect to the average punter. I hold that opinion myself. But I recognize the theoretical advantage of the higher bus throughput as well as the fact that there exists a market for which that increase is useful.

Tom 13

Re: Is it shady?

Yes. Sadly it use to be one of the few non-shady things MS could be counted on to maintain.

Major number revisions are to reflect major feature changes. These are supposed to be fully tested. These are expected to be sequential.

Minor number revisions are to reflect improvements and security fixes to the current major revision. These are supposed to be fully tested. These are expected to be sequential.

Point number revisions are to reflect other sort of changes to the code base. These may not be fully tested but are expected to have passed rudimentary tests run by the programming team. They are not expected to be sequential as they are used by the build team to track internal iterations of the program.

You're right that the rest of the industry has adopted Google's Chrome process (and I fault Mozilla for giving them covering fire). That doesn't mean it wasn't shady when Google started it. It doesn't mean it will be any less shady if everyone adopts it.

Yet more NSA officials whisper of an internal revolt over US spying. And yet it still goes on

Tom 13

Re: "Agency spokespeople said Snowden filed no such objections"

No it means Snowden was a weasel and never put his objections in writing. Just an elevator chat or the equivalent thereof. It happens all the time in government. If you only talk about it, but don't put it in writing, it never happened. I've worked in places where a co-worker complained constantly about the abusive nature of a boss. But he'd never put anything in writing, so no action was taken.

Hackers seize Detroit's database, demand $800k. Motor City shrugs: OK, take it

Tom 13

Re: How do you seize a database?

From the way this is written, I assume it was a cryptolocker type scheme.

But given how Detroit is run, the third option could still be in play. The hackers might not be able to get any money out of them, but they might just plaster the data to jack up Detroit.

Tom 13

Re:out of the frying pan into the fire.

There wasn't even a frying pan. Detroit can't afford one.

Anonymous ‪hacks the Ku Klux Klan after Ferguson‬ threats

Tom 13

Re: They were (so I've been told) basically a civil rights group.

You were lied to. They were every bit as antagonistic as the KKK, except they were for Blacks instead of Whites.

Tom 13

Re: Obama and Holder have what exactly to do with this?

Everything. They contacted the front groups that showed up in Ferguson to start the riots. The hope was that would let them call in the FBI to restore order and be the heroes of the hour. Just in time to drive up Democrat voter numbers before the election. You know, the one where they just got jacked up but won't admit to it.

You can't have an unbiased Grand Jury inquiry when everyone sitting on it knows there will be a riot if by following the facts they decline to allow charges to be filed.

I've read all the stories too. The officer in question didn't realize the thugs prancing in the middle of the street were whacked out on drugs and had just committed a strong arm robbery. He thought it was just a couple of punks being obnoxious. For that sort of thing you usually pull up, yell at the punks, and they move to the sidewalk where they're supposed to be. It's what they did one night when I was walking back to the house with a very drunk friend who was jumping up and slapping street signs to make loud noises in the alley. But since he had a couple of perps who thought they were being pulled over for strong armed robbery, they charged him and tried to get his gun while he was in the car. He managed to keep the gun and as they started to run away called for them to stop and prepared to shoot. Instead they turned around and shot him. So losing vision because of the injuries he sustained, he wound up firing six shots, with the close range ones finally killing the thug.

I'm tired of people whining that their thug kids were good people who'd never do that sort of thing. I knew those kinds of thug kids and their parents growing up. Fortunately for me, they were all white, so the race card couldn't be played an society didn't make excuses for them.

Tom 13

Re: does it make sense that Brown tried reaching

Doesn't matter if it makes sense to you, it's what the corner's report proves happened.

The cops "reports of what happened were late in coming" because unlike you and the rest of the rioters in Ferguson, they were trying to wait for the facts to come in. So in the face of an intensive campaign of lies by people attempting to incite a race riot, they resorted to leaking the bits they knew.

Tom 13

@ SolidSquid

So I see you only read the black panther sites for your news.

Regarding point 1:




Regarding point 3:




Of particular note from the Post piece:

Judy Melinek, a forensic pathologist in San Francisco who reviewed the autopsy for the Post-Dispatch, told the paper that one of the officer’s shots hit Brown’s forearm and traveled from the back of the arm to the inner arm, which means Brown’s palms could not have been facing Wilson, as some witnesses have said. That trajectory shows Brown probably was not taking a standard surrender position with arms above the shoulders and palms out when he was shot outside the officer’s car, she said.


Melinek also told the newspaper another bullet struck Brown at close range — and may at that point have been reaching for Wilson’s weapon. The autopsy found material “consistent with products that are discharged from the barrel of a firearm” in a wound on Brown’s thumb. Melinek said this “supports the fact that this guy is reaching for the gun, if he has gunpowder particulate material in the wound.”

Regarding point 4, the shoplifting was NOT a day earlier, it was immediately before the shooting:



From the second article:

Ferguson, Mo., Police Chief Thomas Jackson said the robbery took place just before noon on Saturday at a convenience store roughly 10 minutes before a police officer identified as Darren Wilson fired the bullet that killed Michael Brown. Police say that the shot was fired after a struggle touched off by Wilson's confronting Brown. Jackson said Wilson is a six-year veteran with no disciplinary action on his record.

Now whatever motive the police chief might have to protect his officers, telling an outright lie is going to get him a heap load of trouble in lawsuits. So he's not going to do it when he's already sitting on a powder keg.

As to your last absolutely ridiculous question, the answer is Yes. Because the thug in question had already assaulted, attempted to steal his gun, and seriously injured the officer. Furthermore he was not walking away from him or surrendering. He was instead charging him with obvious intent to inflict further bodily injury.

Tom 13

Re: Terrorists?

Last time I checked, riots are violent acts. Make no mistake about it, threatening riots if a white man isn't indicted because he shot a black man who violently attacked him IS using terrorism to achieve a political end. So much as I hate the Klan, the description is appropriate.

No, it isn't uncommon for terrorist groups to hate each other. Just look at Ireland during the troubles. Two terrorist groups bombing and killing, but neither was inaccurate when they claimed the other were terrorists.

Mozilla, EFF, Cisco back free-as-in-FREE-BEER SSL cert authority

Tom 13

Re: It's definitely not proof of identity.

While that is true, it is also true that for the last 10 years security spooks have been training people to look for the padlock. And when your typical punter sees the lock he thinks it is safe.

NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators

Tom 13

Re: Why is it being spun as a bad thing?

Because it was a hard-left Democrat sponsoring this PR stunt.

Tom 13

@dan1980: Filibusters are just plain wrong.

No they aren't.

They are a time honored tradition and they provide the means to slow down legislation in times of overwrought passion.

The US government does NOT rest on the concept that a majority of the people should be able to enact anything they want. Quite the opposite. It rests on the concept that some laws are so wrong that no one should be able to enact them. Most of those are ensconced somewhere in the amendments, but the 10th amendment leaving rather a lot of wiggle room, the filibuster was devised by the Senate as one more means to ensure that the minority is not abused by the majority.

I happen to find it abhorrent that the filibuster is used to prevent the execution of responsibilities in the Executive office, but that is a separate issue from the validity of the filibuster itself. I also recognize that this is an issue over which men of good character will disagree (even on the part I personally find abhorrent).

What I think ought to be abhorrent to all men of good character is the way Democrats bent the filibuster out of its original shape more than 20 years ago. It use to be that if you were going to mount a filibuster, you had to actually filibuster. That is, you had to take the floor and speak against the bill, and you had to pass the floor to other people who wished to continue the filibuster. This was too inconvenient for Senator Byrd, so he introduced the two track floor for the Senate. So in its current incarnation, all a senator has to do is mark the bill for filibuster and it moves to the unused Senate track.

Tom 13


Your continued denial that the panels which restrict access to healthcare, particularly at end of life, are anything other than Nazi style death panels does not change the fact that they are indeed Nazi style death panels.

But then again I don't expect people who've been Gruberized to be able to rationally consider anything.

Tom 13

Re: I thought the article did explain

The article reads like the partisan hit piece it is. The whole thing reeks of Democrat Good, Republican Bad. Just take the descriptions of Leahy and Cruz. From an objective standpoint Leahy is as far to the left as Cruz is to the right. Furthermore, it is now the Republicans fault when the Dems had complete control of Congress for long enough to pass 0bamacare. And I mean COMPLETE control. There was nothing the Republicans could have stopped in either the House or the Senate. In the House they had majority and the majority has ALWAYS written the rules for the House. In the Senate they had 60 votes. That's enough to shut off any attempt at a filibuster even under the old rules before Harry Reid went nuclear on judges.

Yes, killing the bill was entirely appropriate. We've just had an election and a whole bunch of seats changed hands. At most, the Lame Duck Congress should only pass such bills as are necessary to keep the country running. This shouldn't be one last chance to stick it to the voters who rejected the current makeup of the House and Senate.

Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins

Tom 13

Re: Humor me here

My system at home installed the patch before I got here. As it is a personal system I've got the patches set to download and install automatically. I didn't look for it, it just installed on shutdown like it is supposed to.

Tom 13

Re: likelihood of problems increase exponentially.

Yes, the likelihood of errors increases exponentially. But that's why it is critical to have excellent rather than dodgy programming skills when writing such a huge swath of code.

This isn't an MS exclusive issue. Looks to me like Linux is having the same issue between the kernel team and that twit (and his team) who keeps complaining Linus is mean.

Tom 13

Re: "wifi" to dowload phone updates....

And if your only internet access is on your phone? Not me personally but I know people who have gone that route.

In any event the point still stands, the vendor sold you shoddy goods, they should pay for the fix. In this case, every month when MS releases patches for their phones, the carrier should give the phone owner a credit equal to the time required to download the patches. Same should go for iPhones and Droids.

Full disclosure: I own a clam shell case burner-type phone so I don't think I'd specifically benefit from any of these credits. According to my current screen I have 11xx minutes and more than 365 days of service left.

Boffins train robots to pull apart LCD screens – without breaking them

Tom 13

Re: Eh?

No, I think YAL is onto something. Granted I didn't watch the video, but let's look at the quote from the article you are so proud of:

professor Kara also reckons once a robot's learned its way around a screen

which translated into plain English means Kara hasn't managed to get a robot to disassemble an LCD in a couple of minutes. So yes, he's flogging marketing PR to generate more money in hopes that with improvements to his learning system the robots will eventually be able to do the task in a reasonable amount of time.

Maybe the "millions" is hyperbole, maybe not. If you look at the field of AI they've certainly spent billions on it and decades as well. You'd think with that kind of investment we'd have something to show for it instead of just getting more promises that something useful is just around the corner.

USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked

Tom 13

Re: Bring back DVDRam

Time to face sad facts. These days except for the memory, video card (assuming you have one), and the processor are about the only things that aren't USB. Even the damn DVD frequently mounts as a USB device.

Tom 13

Re: To be safe I need to switch off all my computer stuff

Yes. But remember, that's essentially how MS originally got NT4 certified as secure.

Tom 13

Re: It will: I won't be exchanging the DVD drive

I can't believe so many people keep overlooking the obvious flaw in that statement.

This isn't just an initial distribution vector. It's also a re-infection vector.

I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm

Tom 13

Re: I'd call them


Best word ever coined to describe them. They aren't about equality. They're all about forcing everyone to conform to their viewpoint.

Amazon buries the hatchet, not Hachette, in ebook price brouhaha

Tom 13

Re: If Amazon want to make Zero profit on a book, so be it.

Most of the time I'm okay with that, but not always. Depends on whether they have an external cash stream that can support that behavior indefinitely. If they do we run into potential monopoly issues. Which at this point is a real potential problem at Amazon.

On this side of the pond we use to have four major chains plus a plethora of mom and pop book stores. These days were down to Barnes and Nobles and Amazon with far fewer mom and pop stores. I don't see that as good for the book market, even the e-book one which assumes the dead trees market is already past saving.

America, here's what the FCC's Rosenworcel REALLY thinks about your broadband

Tom 13

Re: without a lawsuit?

The only reason for there to be a lawsuit is because the FCC won't work with Congress to pass legislation. Only Congress has the authority to pass this sort of legislation. It is well past time for non-Congressional entities to stop pretending otherwise.

Tom 13

@Ole Juul: this bit of your post is likely to be true

These users likely already have a redundant telephone bill (as described above) or perhaps an addictive attachment to an even higher priced TV access which they are prioritizing over internet access.

But expanding the Lifeline program only enables more of that sort of destructive behavior without fixing the problem. Because if there's that sort of addiction already present, it will override providing the internet connection. Moreover, there is very, very little a school ought to be teaching that requires access to the internet. A word processor on a computing device and a printer perhaps, but not the internet. Even at that schools should still be focused on teaching students to write including penmanship. Yes, I suck at penmanship, but I have enough of it to get on because I was taught it in school.

Tom 13


roughly seven out of ten teacher homework assignments require internet access" then seven out of ten homework assignments are failing to educate our students and that's not a problem the FCC can solve.

Remember that internet sales tax? Wasn't that a great idea? It's dead

Tom 13

Re: Oh noes, sales taxes are too complicated!!1!

Written with all the assurance and aplomb of someone who has less than no clue.

It might be possible to write such a system if the tax rates were actually fixed. But the truth is they come out like patches did before MS instituted Patch Tuesday. Only there are even more entities that can initiate changes than any IT person ever deals with for patching, even if they work in a shop that supports PCs, Macs, Linux, BSD, and Wang.

Tom 13

Re: impenetrable bloody maze that is american sales tax.

There's your problem! It isn't "the American sales tax." It is the State Sales tax + County of State Sales tax + City of County Sales tax. There might also be independent taxes for alcohol, tobacco, firearms, gasoline, as well as possible hospitality taxes.

Tom 13

Re: repeal the 16th amendment.

You really ought to read that amendment before calling for it's abolition. It doesn't say what you think it does. In fact, if you want to eliminate the sales tax, you're going to need it.

Tom 13

Re: Whatever happened to legislation cannot bind future legislation?

Nothing. Any future Congress could rescind the legislation. Unless of course what the House and Senate did was start off the process to amend the Constitution and then 3/4 of the States approved it. In which case everything would be according to Hoyle anyway (or Roberts if you prefer).

SCREW YOU, net neutrality hippies – AT&T halts gigabit fiber

Tom 13

Re: Then somebody did cable

You've forgotten one very, very important piece of history from that time:

The Telecos asked for relief from the excess burden modems were putting on the PSTN. With the ITU having finalized the 56K protocol, Congress capped modem speeds at that specification.

We'll never know what would have happened if modem speeds in the US had not been artificially limited by law. Which is exactly what will happen if Congress attempts to codify Net Neutrality. Yes, the current law is out of whack because:

- the ISP can change the terms of contract at will and don't specify the level of service that will actually be delivered.

- local governments can effectively grant monopolies to one vendor.

- there's a potential built in bias when the ISP is also a content vendor.

So fix those sprcific problems. But don't try to take control of the competitive process.

Tom 13

Re: why it is that every big city in the usa is NOT fibred up

That's easy. City pols cost a hell of a lot less to buy than national ones. So the bought pols grant the big ISP their requested local monopoly. Which is exactly why nationalized plans won't work either.

Tom 13

Re: We manage it in Europe

No, you don't.

That's why people from Europe come to the US to pay our "outrageous prices" for the care they want. Or at least they did before 0bamacare passed. And if we don't get 0bamacare repealed soon, you'll soon be finding out about the other unaccounted for costs of your system: we're producing the medical breakthroughs. You just parasitically feed off of them. Which is one of the unlisted reasons OUR healthcare costs are so high.

Tom 13

Re: make compromises with the Republicans

As we're finally starting to be able to document, you progs never stop lying:


0bamacare passed with zero Republican votes. None in the House, none in the Senate. The only people that compromised were Democrats, whether it was the Cornhusker Kickback to buy Ben Nelson's vote or the New Louisiana Purchase to buy Mary Landrieu's. The Dems lied when they said you could keep your doctor, that costs would go down, and that it wouldn't be a tax. They lied that it originated in the House when it came from the Senate and it was "deemed" passed on a party line vote by the queen of botox Nancy "we have to pass it to find out what's in it" Pelosi.

The impetus for all that corruption? Even the Progs in Taxachussettes were so pissed off about the Stalinist shenanigans from the DC swamp they couldn't vote for Ted "Chappaquiddick" Kennedy's hand picked successor.

Tom 13

Re: national case of wishful thinking.

No, it wasn't a case of wishful thinking. It was, as is now documented, a case of the American people being lie to:


Of course, if you rely on the LSM, you won't be aware of this because just as was the case when Gruber was lying to Congress, they're censoring the story.

Net neutrality, Verizon, open internet ... How can we solve this mess?

Tom 13

Re: The type or source of data is irrelevant, it's the SIZE that matters.

Also incorrect. If you have one group of 100 users and a second group of 100 users and each person in the first group transfers a 10GB file to a person in the second group at 5pm, it is vastly different than 100 users downloading a 10GB file from Netflix at 5pm. This is precisely the crux of the QoS question.

Tom 13

Re: Vested interest

There's a practical solution to that as well. Write a law that allows the typical user to easily take the ISP to court over failure to deliver services. Of course, that too would require actual legislation which would have to pass both houses of Congress and be signed by the President.

Tom 13

So a creative solution is needed.

Yes, and based on your description it sounds like Mozilla have provided just such a solution. I would find their proposal acceptable as a law. I would however require that the proposal be passed by Congress as the Constitution requires. Admittedly I also have some reservations about the vertical integration of content production with content delivery as it produces an inherent bias. But I could live with a real firewall between the two sides of the house.

To it I would add a set of regulations that prohibit local governments from granting monopoly permits to ISPs. And I mean that it in the sense that it should not only be theoretically enforceable, but practically enforceable.

Tom 13

Re: government is unable or unwilling to provide directly.

This is exactly the point where all you Progs go off the rails. Government is not, and never was intended to be the sole source of everything we say and do. Until you get that straight you can't propose rational solutions to existing problems.

Like it or not, the internet as it exists today WAS created by private industry, not the government. If the government had been created solely or even mostly by government those who could use the internet would still be using Gopher to access text files on government or university systems, which would also be the only locus of the systems from which they'd be accessed.

Net neutrality, Obama, FCC, Title II:Your ESSENTIAL guide to WTF is happening

Tom 13

Re: Example of how well the laws work

This is a place where Republicans have repeatedly offered a solution, but Democrats have snapped at the proffered hand. As this clearly falls within the purview of regulating interstate commerce, Congress could pass a national law pre-empting all of those local zoning regulations that prohibit competitors from moving into un- or under- served areas. But it won't happen because it wouldn't put Congress in control of the businesses.

Patch Windows boxes NOW – unless you want to be owned by a web page or network packet

Tom 13

Re: how many people have actually installed this?

Hard to say. Last shop I was in made it part of their baseline. Current one hasn't.

My personal experience is that it borked legitimate programs more often than it stopped bad stuff from happening to your computer. As always YMMV.

Consumer group SLAMS NASA for letting Google rent $1bn 'playground'

Tom 13

Granted the $1.6 billions is chump change to Google

especially over 60 years, but it isn't to NASA. NASA will also save $6.3 million annually in maintenance and operation costs on what is for all practical purposes a defunct facility. Not that I'm happy it is effectively a defunct facility, I'd much rather it were being productive on the space front. But better to give Google a good deal than sell off the land only to have to rebuild it all later at a much higher cost.

Also worth noting: After a fair and open competition, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and NASA so it's not like it was a back-room deal.

Tom 13

Re: Or is there an exception for agricultural land?

Most state laws have an exception for farm equipment. Mostly left over from when:

1) we were primarily an agrarian culture,

2) the primary workers on a farm were the family that owned it.

We're such laws actively reviewed, I'm pretty sure that would change. Although given there's also an exception for 14 year old farm workers in labor law, I might be wrong on that count.

Tom 13

Re: not wanting a historic site to be in private hands

Lots of historic sites here in the States are in private hands. Mt. Vernon for one, The Smithsonian is another. Often times they are better run than the ones the government maintains.

If only 0.006% care about BLOOD-SOAKED METAL ... why are we spending all this cash?

Tom 13

I'd never buy a Fairphone

Mostly because I'm not in the market for a smart phone, although also partly because most of these feel good operations make we wanna puke. When I see organic vegetables next to regular farm food in the store, you can pretty much bet I'm bypassing the organic vegetables.

If you're intent on making life better for the miners great. Go into the region, set up a company that will pay miners appropriate wages for their work and do it. But don't whine about the difficulties in setting up that business and sell me a phone based strictly on how well your phone performs.

Now, to be fair to Fairphones, given this is the first I've heard of them, they haven't had much of a shot at selling me one in the first place. But that's the biggest problem with these sorts of outfits. In failing to recognize that the most important elements of selling a phone are 1) making a good one, 2) making it affordable to the typical buyer, and 3) making the typical buyer aware you are selling a phone they show they have zero conception of why and how real people buy phones.

Tom 13

Re: Equal rights for minorities

Except that's not what actually happened.

What actually happened was that equal rights for minorities became popular before it became law. The whole reason the US Civil War started when it did was that the slave holding states saw that if US expansion continued without a legal requirement to continue slavery in a certain number of states, they'd be vastly outnumbered and the popular Republican position against slavery would prevail, become a part of the Constitution, and they would lose their slaves.

Even if you move to the civil rights movements in the 1960s, it still has more popular support than you give credit. The opposition was strictly local, not national. And even in the local areas there was often some determined opposition.

And the fact of the matter is that slavery was becoming uneconomical. Supporting that many people is expensive, even when they provide some of their own support. One of the great ironies of slavery is that had Eli Whitney not invented the cotton gin to save slaves from the drudgery of pulling the seeds out of cotton, it would have been so costly to produce cotton that slavery would have failed before Lincoln was elected President.

Tom 13

Re: completely trust the big smelters.

Not at all. And the FDA is actually a really good example of a bad player and its effects on the market place.

There's another federal agency that's involved in quality control for food and you rarely hear about them: Dept of Agriculture. That's because unlike the FDA, they DO depend on big companies to self-test. All the Dept. of Agriculture does is certify certain labs comply with their standards for testing. After that, the buyers and sellers use the labs of their own accord. And, because the labs recognize that there are costs associated with both false positives and false negatives, they minimize both and keeps the costs of producing foods low.

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