* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Be nice to the public, PC Plod. Especially if you're trying to stop terrorists

Tom 13

Re: Terrorists Use iPhones...

Any nitrate fertilizer. You should need the equivalent of a US Class III firearms license to use that stuff. I mean, you can blow up entire buildings with it. Not like some pissant AK-47 which can only do in a few dozen people.

Tom 13

Re: What about Ron Paul supporters

Good points all, but mostly irrelevant to the British situation.

Tom 13

Re: Scared yet?


Last time the Swiss rioted was so far back I think England was a colony.

Tom 13

Re: People already with guns waking up crazy.

According to El Reg's reporter, in both instances sited by the police, the perps didn't "wake up crazy" there were plenty of warning signs and the police failed to act on the warning which were given to them.

So this is also a false argument.

Marriott fined $600k for deliberate JAMMING of guests' Wi-Fi hotspots

Tom 13

Re: In this case Marriott's greed

In this case I have to agree with the above poster: the focus on Marriott in this instance is misplaced. It is more properly placed on Gaylord. I've had good experiences with non-Gaylord Marriott. I've never stayed in Gaylord hotels but this sounds like exactly the sorts of scams I've heard associated with them. They've got a big operation near DC. Once you are across the bridge and in their hotel they own everything within easy travel distance and rape you accordingly.

Tom 13

Re: There be dragons here

You shouldn't confuse Marriott corp with the local franchise. I doubt this directive came down from national, more likely it was the local franchise owner trying to recoup his wasted investment in expensive wifi services. Some of the conventions I go to are hosted at a nearby Marriott and have never had this sort of issue. The fine will hurt the local franchise more than it would have hurt national. Not that it will necessarily be noticeable.

And yes, in the US you should tip housekeeping.

Tom 13

Re: Pardon the question,

Conference facilities in the US are all controlled by contract with the facilities. They all prohibit the installation of non-facilities wifi equipment for the purposes of running equipment installed by the company hosting the conference and vendors for the conference. Similarly they are likely to prohibit the host company from hiring a vendor to supply food even if the conference facility has no clue about making/supplying said food.

Back when I was doing it, essentially your convention paid their T1 bill for the month. If the managed to sell it more than once they made money on it. I think our rates were on the order of $1000 for the hookup for the weekend + $325 per IP address. Cheap compared to the hassles of not having it and frankly we wanted the T1 speeds anyway.

Tom 13

Re: you should have actual MAC filters in your level 2&3 switches

That's not the case the quashing is meant to stop. It's meant to stop setting up the wifi device, removing the network cable and plugging up the wifi. If the data is on the PC is still gets exfiltrated.

Tom 13

Re: shut down all the firms selling these DoS tools?

Not sure where things stand on it legally at the moment, but about 10 years ago there were entirely reputable firms selling equipment that would perform these functions as part of securing a company's infrastructure. One of our network admins reviewed a wireless access solution that would both optimize the bandwidths for the installed access points as well as quash any unauthorized points within the operational area.

Verizon: We're throttling broadband. FCC: WTF? Verizon: Lol, jk!

Tom 13

Re: Sorry, we can't reinstate your unlimited data plan

Contact your local consumer protection agency. They can't cancel your contract until you sign the new one. That's a big no-no.

Tom 13

Re: Yup

Yes and no the first line. While I concur that heavy users should pay for what they use, Verizon hasn't offered that option to them. Moreover, Verizon are the fools who sold the unlimited data plan in the first place. They should have to honor their contracts just as much as their customers do.

Tom 13

Re: I hope your first paragraph is wrong

Trevor's been off his meds for a while now. You'll get accustomed to it.

Microsoft's nightmare DEEPENS: Windows 8 market share falling fast

Tom 13


The next time you run this report please add a line for combined Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 sales. Don't drop their individual lines, just add the additional one.

MS has fuzcksed analyzing their data with the 8/8.1 dichotomy and the only chance at maybe figuring it out is seeing all the trend lines.

Tom 13

Re: I think their user base really resents them.

Bing! Bing! Bing!

We have a winner!

And until MS fix that problem, they're never going to have the sort of success they are seeking. Conceding to their customers by allowing vendors to sell Windows 7 might start that process. Holding out for Window 9 10 won't. Especially if between now and release date they try to pull the old Windows 8.x switcharoo.

OMG! With nothing but machine tools, steel and parts you can make a GUN!!

Tom 13

Re: it is rare for civilian US gun owners to use their weapons legally against criminals

That's not merely an unsupported assertion but an inherently unverifiable one. I don't currently own any firearms but I hangout with people who do and read some boards where they hangout. Most report at least one instance in which they defused a potentially dangerous situation by displaying their legally carrier weapon. Perps ran away, nobody was hurt, no reports were filed.

Your assumption about burglars is equally flawed. If someone has broken into my house I don't know if he broke in to steal or to kill. There should never be an imposition on me to determine which. I am not the one who has already broken at least one law.

Tom 13

Re:your neighbour is tooling down the street in their looted Humve

Which neighbor? Sam or George?

'Cause if it's George it's all good. He'll be meeting the rest of us at the rendezvous in a couple of hours, from there we'll finish modifying our defense plans. But if it's Sam that stash is going to be even more important. That SOB has to sleep sometime.

Tom 13

Re: Oh and about that loophole,

I've seen postings elsewhere that suggest the 40% number could still be accurate although they do note it includes inheritance. The part that gets overlooked on this is that if you are an FFL, you are required to perform the background check even if you are at a gun show. Which means the ONLY sales that are not going through the background checks are the one on one sales of private citizens. It simply isn't feasible to implement a system to require private citizens to implement an instant background check for the very good reason that you don't want just anybody running background checks on other people. Bottom line, at least 60% of sales are going through the smallish number of dealers (order of 60,000*) as opposed to the 40% that are going through a huge number of private owners (150-200 million or more).

*Even this number could overstate the number of places one would think of as a gun store. I have a friend who collects and therefore registered himself as an FFL for a while. He never traded more than a dozen guns (incoming and outgoing) in a year when he had the license. He dropped it recently because of increased costs for FFLs.

Tom 13

Re: Guns don't kill people. People kill people.

Chris Rock stole it from Pat Paulsen. But then I expect the Smothers Brothers were a bit before your time. And I fully expect Pat Paulsen stole it from some other comedian.

I can't find the particular reference I'm thinking of on the internet, it came from a vinyl record my mother owned. Part of the schtick included "This should work particularly well for hunters who claim it is all about sport anyway. Imagine the sport of sneaking up on a bear with an unloaded rifle."

Tom 13

Re: Sigh....

...although the original intention was so that the population could resist foreign aggression against the bigger adversaries of the time.

This is where you keep getting it wrong. Although Lewis has belittled the idea the 2nd amendment was a multi-pronged defense of the people. Yes, one of its purposes was foreign aggressors. A second purpose was for personal defense. The last and most important reason was to ensure that if the government got too big for its britches, the people could overthrow it. Remember it was about 15 years since the people who passed the amendment had taken it upon themselves to do just that. Note the amendment doesn't say guns, flintlocks, or rifles. It says ARMS. Canons are arms, aren't flintlocks, and were around at the time the amendment was adopted. For legal purposes if the amendment is properly interpreted Howitzers are just a new type of canon. Same thing applies to ICMBs.

One Windows? How does that work... and WTF is a Universal App?

Tom 13

We’re not talking about one UI to rule them all

Yes you are. You really should have learned the lesson from Tolkien. Sadly it seems you haven't learned it from Windows 8 or 8.1 either.

Researchers bypass Redmond's EMET, again

Tom 13

Re: Show us the video again

I'm also curious how it fares on 64 instead of 32 bit systems. I don't think I've done a 32-bit install for anything except XP and prior. Even the pre-SP1 install I did of Vista on a home system was 64-bit.

So long Lotus 1-2-3: IBM ceases support after over 30 years of code

Tom 13

You missed a key competitor

Probably easy to do because they're defunct now too. It was QuattroPro that first challenged Lotus for the spreadsheet market. They showed MS it could be done. The office I worked in was standardizing on Quattro about the time I was entering the work force. Had some folks working in Paradox too.

Tom 13

Re: Mistakes?

OS/2 had two big problems.

1. Price - it simply wasn't affordable for the typical home user.

2. Too many disks for the install. IIRC the initial package came on 20 floppy disks. The odds of one of them going bad on you after the first install were just too high. Ironically Gates ridiculed IBM for the number of discs required then released 95 which required even more disks.

FCC flashes cash at broadcasters ahead of wireless auction

Tom 13

Re: Avoid the Brit error?

Oh they're way past that. They think it all belongs to them and they're only deciding how much of it they should loan to us for a while.

Tom 13

Re: the accompanying access to an emergency address system

If you're in a major metropolitan area, it's already out of the reach of the poor. Too much steel and concrete between their antennas and the broadcast tower. That's while metropolitan areas adopted cable in the first place.

Besides which, if you're too poor for cable there's better access to the emergency broadcast system: it's called radio and they're cheaper than tvs.

Apple blacklists tech journo following explicit BENDY iPhone vid

Tom 13

Re: Streisand effect

Well until yesterday there was at least one editor who didn't know about Apple.

Microsoft WINDOWS 10: Seven ATE Nine. Or Eight did really

Tom 13

Re: cynical remark

They could be trying a play on the old IT gag there there are 10 kinds of people in the world.

More likely, 9 was such a disaster even their devs decided to kill it.

Tom 13

Re: Life support systems is actually going to be pretty neat

"The embedded OS on your pacemaker does not appear to be Authentic. Please contact Microsoft Support for further information."

Tom 13

Re: "right down to embedded devices such as life-support systems."

It'll give a whole new meaning to a "Code Blue!"

Cable guy, Games of Thrones chap team up to make Reg 'best sci-fi film never made' reject

Tom 13

Re: It's all good....

I repeat Sturgeon’s Revelation, which was wrung out of me after twenty years of wearying defense of science fiction against attacks of people who used the worst examples of the field for ammunition, and whose conclusion was that ninety percent of SF is crud.[1]

Using the same standards that categorize 90% of science fiction as trash, crud, or crap, it can be argued that 90% of film, literature, consumer goods, etc. is crap. In other words, the claim (or fact) that 90% of science fiction is crap is ultimately uninformative, because science fiction conforms to the same trends of quality as all other artforms.


If even one of SF's staunchest defenders admits 90% of it is crap, we should too. Because it is. And the reason most of us think of it as great is that even for the grey beards amongst us, half of it was written before we were born. So the crap for that half has been excised and only the good stuff was left. I observed the same thing as anime was cresting on US shores.

Third patch brings more admin Shellshock for the battered and Bashed

Tom 13

Re: But so far not 3 times in 3 days for 6 different holes (and counting).

Of course not. MS doesn't even issue a simple patch in less than a month. Which is not exactly a ringing endorsement.

And IIRC the first "patch" they issued for the problem was a tool that you had to manually run to see if you had the vulnerability. After which you had to locate the correct bit to download and apply to the bits it found. Yes, the tool was in MS Updates (or whatever it was called back then) but not the patches. Royal PITA too as I recall since it stopped the other downloads from proceeding.

Oh, and part of the reason MS switched to monthly patching? Yeah, it was because of admin fatigue from constantly patching and rebooting their servers before that.

Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9

Tom 13

Minor nit

Being able to work in the browser bypasses any most issues

Because some versions of IE don't work properly with Google Apps and many of the offices I work with see the warning when they start IE. Yes, I tell them Firefox and Chrome alleviate the issue, but their accepted baselines don't necessarily include either of them. Yes, it's dumb, but I don't get to make the rules. In fact in most instances I don't even get to give feedback saying how dumb they are.

Tom 13

Re: Time for Linux

I'd say the fly in the ointment here is that precisely because of the history of Windows security issues, there is at least the perception and possibly the reality that the security management infrastructure for it is better developed than it is for Linux. Note that I'm not saying Windows is more secure than Linux, I think the opposite is true although when Windows is properly managed it is now much closer to Linux.

I say this because in my work environment we have a knowledgeable admin who has successfully leveraged Linux on the LAN, but whenever it comes to security issues, he is constantly confronted by a security environment that is Windows-Centric. So he has to prove that his system is as secure and that can be problematic.* Similarly I have heard from a manager in a different office that "security scans are a PITA because they've given us a tool for Windows but it doesn't work on Linux/Unix. So even though those systems are secure, because they can't be tested with the Windows Tool, they get marked unknown which is almost worse than failed."

*I'd say that since he is actively proving the system is secure, it is probably more secure than the Windows systems where simply because the tool says "passed" it is assumed to be secure.

Tom 13

Re: This is why there was no Win7 SP2

I think you've put your finger on the key problem MS need to fix right here:

That is a ton of work with no tangible benefit.

If you could perform the upgrade with minimal work and not a lot of extra cost would you do it?

My guess is, if you really believed you could trust that they'd left the key bits your apps used alone, the answer would be "probably". That runs contrary to their current business model in which each "new" OS is radically different from the old one to justify the cost expenditure with productivity improvements.

Tom 13


Minor nit:

Hardware doesn't increase as fast as previous,

I'd actually say hardware is increasing as fast as it use to, what has changed is that those increases use to translate directly to worker productivity. When I started work right after the discovery of fire one of my colleagues was doing automated circuit board layout. He'd do the initial placement work, then fire of the Compaq brand AT compatible. Three days later, he'd see what came out. We're not talking microprocessor layout here, just simple pump controllers. Move that to a 386 with a math co-processor and you could do it in half that time. These days you'd gain maybe half an hour from a 4 hour process.

Personally I'm not a big fan of the cloud, but replace the cloud with the business LAN and the rest of your analysis still holds. The desktop doesn't necessarily need the latest gee-whiz toys from the boys in Q shop.

Tom 13

@John Tserkezis

Your start wasn't cringeworthy, but this is:

Having more than one phone is stupid,

As an employee I do NOT want my work phone to be my personal phone. I want them to be different because if I change jobs I want to take my data and my phone with me. BYOD is a marketing LSD trip. Businesses and government agencies don't want it because that breaks their security models, especially as it relates to data retention. I know HOW to configure my smart phone or home computer to download copies of my work email to my mail client of choice, but company/agency security policies prohibit that. The end result is you wind up with a business and a personal smart phone.

On the iPhone front, yes they are a nightmare for companies to manage. Which speaks volumes about how badly MS fumbled their smart phones. With Management built right in, they should have swept Apple right out the door if the phone was fit for purpose.

Tom 13

Re: nothing much of value is added by W8

In fact I think from both the business and the consumer standpoint you can argue W8 has NEGATIVE value added. None of those default forced cloud connections are wanted by businesses. A fair number of consumers seem to not want them either.

Tom 13

Re: a large increase in the number of processing units

You need to work on your reading comprehension. You skipped right by the line where he declared those types of changes moot for the median, mode, and probably mean user as well. These changes maybe critically important to Big Data users, but when you look at MS sales, Big Data users are an edge case. Their sales numbers center on Word, PowerPoint, and basic Excel users.

And yes, that means MS has to rethink their business from the top down and the bottom up. The OS is now the commodity, and service is the where the money is. They probably need to transform themselves into what Novell was trying to become: The center piece of a semi-independent service stack. They work out the core details and supply the customizable software while the OEMs perform the engineering and customization.

Tom 13

You say 'fear' he says 'excitement'. From a PR perspective, what's the difference?

Netflix bullish after six-country European INVASION

Tom 13

Re: Dr_N is right about the VPN

Sadly it seems watching Netflix is also best done via VPN in the US, although for slightly different reasons.

Tom 13

Re: If Netflix thinks sees that you're in America

TV Series are still usually old. My rule of thumb is that if it is out on DVD/BR you can get it at NetFlix, otherwise, you have to wait. Yes, this is their meat and potatoes for streaming media. If you want semi-current movies you need their DVD/BR subscription. Still, when Verizon isn't throttling them, I find NetFlix convenient for when I want to rewatch old shows. For example, we have all the Eureka and Stargate series, but finding the right case and then the right disk is a hassle. So I'm more likely to flip to it on Netflix.

US stakes out 'net battleground ahead of ITU meeting

Tom 13

Re: US is right, unluckily it can't sustain its position after the NSA debacle.

You need to pull your head far enough out of your arse to see that hoovering up data and censoring content are two completely different problems for a free people. One infringes on them, the other makes them not free at all.

Let's assume something not in evidence, that an ITU could be established that could maintain a free internet in the face of Chinese and Russian censoring of the internet. How would that materially affect the US, China, or the Russians from hoovering up data from the internet? Answer: not one iota. Spy agencies are employed to do things that would otherwise be illegal. The best you can manage on this side of the Great Divide is to have people who mostly don't abuse the illegal things they do.

Which means the only real question here is: is the internet more or less likely to be censored in the hands of the US or the ITU. Given the way things work at the UN, where human rights abusers routinely chair the committee on human rights and where anti-Semitism is mostly blocked by the US veto, the answer is leaving it in the hands of the US. It might be the choice of utopians, but like Churchill's observation of democracy it is the worst choice except for all the others.

Pizza stores popped, sandwich stores sacked in PoS plunder

Tom 13

Re: Here we go again

With good reason. Getting PoS systems to work, especially for credit card processing is a definite a dark art. Back when I had to implement it for our group (back around the time PCI-DSS was just forming), we

- evaluated all the processing companies and chose two to work with.

- set up the appropriate bank accounts to handle our two processing licenses (one for online, one for at con)

- talk to the bank affiliated agent to make sure we had everything we needed

- purchased two components from one company,

- had our programmer write the hooks into our custom software

- tested everything, or thought we had.

Then we went with the live setup and ... Nothing. Spent the better part of the day on the phone with tech support to find out there was yet one more piece that needed to be implemented before it would all work. Normally took 2 weeks but they pulled strings and got it for us immediately so we could get it implemented for day 2 of our 3 day convention. The problem at the time was, nobody handled it from end to end, so nobody really knew everything that was required. I imagine that part isn't greatly changed even with PCI-DSS.

Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'

Tom 13

Re: What's so great about gold?

It's not gold per se although for the better part of history gold has been the most frequently chose rare-ish resource we pull from the ground to back our money. We've used copper, silver, tobacco, and animal skins at various points in time. The key factor however was that whatever was chosen for the medium of exchange was relatively fixed as far as the ability of government to create more of it at whim. These days The Fed gets together at least once a quarter to decide how much more money they are going to create. While I see the point of not having something that grows to allow the economy to grow, I think we've gone too far in the other direction. It's too easy for the government to inflate the currency.

Tom 13

Re: you might spend a million on another jewel-encrusted skull

That right there is your problem. The rich don't spend a million on another jewel-encrusted skull. They spend it on another factory to make fridges for the middle class. Maybe 2000, maybe more, maybe less. But they're the ones who build and manage the factories where the middle class works.

Yes, the children of the rich may spend a million on another jewel-encrusted skull, but not the rich themselves. And those children, absent a tax free trust fund, will rapidly find themselves in the not rich group if they don't revert to the investment modes of their parents.

That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN

Tom 13


I think part of the problem is that in shortening the original definition of the equation from "liquid water" to just "water" also jumped probabilities several orders of magnitude.

Tom 13

Re: Define 'local'

If you accept current Cosmology and stellar theory, there is some sense in which the origin of the water is irrelevant. After the BB you have hydrogen which gets converted into other chemicals in Type II starts. The Type II stars die and seed the surrounding area with the chemicals they generated. Since the fusion reactions depend on physics for their changeover points, the percentages of other elements produced by a given Type II star will be constant for all practical purposes. Which means you'll wind up with roughly the same percentages of hydrogen and oxygen in the regions forming Type I stars regardless.

Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week

Tom 13

Re: So what do you like about Windows?

My gainful employment.

Tom 13

This should go over about as well as

New Coke.

Emma Watson should 'shut up, all this abuse is her OWN FAULT'

Tom 13

Re: Non fruity.


Fleshy bit is on the outside, seed is on the inside...

Looks like a fruit to me.

Personally I don't care for them, but to each his own.

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