* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

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

Tom 13

Re: It sucks but..

1) I'm no longer buying the "you're blaming the victims" line of industrial grade crap. It's used as a license for people to be stupid or worse, entrap people who would otherwise not engage in questionable behavior. If you leave your door unlocked, you don't get to charge someone with brakting, only trespass and possibly theft. If you leave your car unlocked and it is stolen, the insurance company will refuse to pay you. Yes I'll hold the miscreant accountable for his actions when he's a miscreant. But I'll also hold the victim accountable for being stupid.

2) No, we're stating that if you don't have nude selfies, they can't leak. That's rather axiomatic. Doesn't mean someone won't photoshop up some crap. Truth of the matter is, on this side of the pond, photoshoping nudies was deemed protected speech by SCOTUS.

3) No, that's what the scanner vendors WANT you to think the pictures look like. As I recall, they dumbed down the software to make it acceptable. If you have the raw data and the good software, they can do a whole lot better.

'Space bubbles' may have helped Taliban down 'copter in bloody Afghanistan battle

Tom 13

Re: Popcorn time

How long does it take a Space Bubble to pop a pan of Jiffy Pop?

Tom 13

Re: Or, might be to 2sf,

If the actual figure was 101, that is three significant figures and the translated number is still wrong. If you write 100 km, it is always assumed to have 1 significant figure. For as much as we joked about it cgs being Celestial Goofy Shit in astro, that was the reason to use it instead of kms. You wind up writing the number as x.y * 10^z so the number of digits in x is always the minimum number of significant digits.

IT crisis looming: 'What if AWS goes pop, runs out of cash?'

Tom 13

Re: they've been running 20 years,

So were Freddie and Fannie before the collapse.

If you're cooking the books, the market will eventually catch up to you. The hurt that hits you when it does I don't give a rat's arse about. The catch is, with something this big there's a lot of collateral damage. That I do give a rat's arse about.

Tom 13

Re: I think that was the point of the article

No, that's the starting point of the article and a bit obvious. The point of the article is that because of the hype surrounding the cloud, and because the cloud has so undercut the pricing structure of traditional deployments, a large percentage of businesses have moved to the cloud. If/When these cloud services other than Google and MS fail, those businesses will take a huge hit and some of them could be headed under. If enough of them are headed under, he equates it with the banking problem. In other words, the contraction process will happen faster than the market can react which causes a catastrophic collapse.

Not sure I concur with the level of alarm he has, but it certainly is a risk that should be evaluated.

Apple 'Genius': iPhone 6? We've had NO COMPLAINTS about our BENDY iThing

Tom 13

Re: are surprised it bends / cracks - really.

Yes, many people are. Sometimes even my roomie who posses an Engineering degree and makes things that must withstand far greater stresses.

Also the definition of "a lot of force" is too flexible. The actual analysis is more complicated:

1. Is the method of carrying it an expected mode of transport for the typical user?

2. Is the answer to 1 is yes, did you account for this in the design?

3. If it was accounted for in the design was it tested in QA?

Fail any of those in the US and you have a potential class action lawsuit. Yes, it is as silly as the warnings on step ladders that you shouldn't attempt to stand on the piece that is intended to hold a pain can, but that is the precedent I am referencing.

Emma Watson urges UN to back feminism – trolls threaten to leak her 'nude selfies'

Tom 13

Re: But will it make a difference?

No, the kind of men who aren't going to be nice to girls will sign it, smile about it, and then treat them like crap anyway. You won't find them because in public they say all the right things to keep people like you happy. You in turn will laud them, and even if their sins are exposed say it was only about sex because their political positions were more important even when someone can document that it went beyond sex with mutual consent (e.g. Clinton, Lewinsky, Tripp).

Tom 13

Even if what you say is true

Read what Emma Watson wrote and you will see it's hardly right to even call her a feminist. She accepts the word only insofar as it can be made a subset of being a meritocrat even handed and fair minded and non of us should have a problem with any of that - and she speaks up strongly for men's issues (being denied access to children etc)

it is undone by her use of the term "feminist/feminism". If what she seeks is a meritocracy, let her say so clearly. Confusing a meritocracy with feminism is not helpful because feminism as practiced is quite the opposite of a meritocracy. One does not try conflate the Jewish Defense league with Neo Nazis. Similar tactics should not be used elsewhere simply because the other is not Neo Nazi.

Tom 13

Re: @anon

UK might be different, but here in the States, SCOTUS says that's fair game:


Tom 13

Re: high profile targetting like this sets an example to the whole society.

Yes it does. And for at least the last 50 years your side has used partisan reasons for ignoring certain high profile targets and but not others. You're chickens are coming home to roost.

Swiss cops BAN MASKS at meeting of rebellious United Nations IP staff

Tom 13

If this were any organization except the UN

I might be able to muster some sympathy for the workers. But given they work for the most corrupt organization in the world, how can they expect anything else?

4chan outraged by Emma Watson nudie photo leak SCAM

Tom 13

Re: They made a public threat over the internet.

As far as I can tell, that makes the difference between them and 4chan the fact that you can identify them.

Pot, kettle; goose, gander.

Titan falls! Blizzard cancels World of Warcraft successor

Tom 13

@Michael Duke

I'd like to believe that. Except they went to of all places Polygon with their story. The same Polygon that is hip deep in #Gamergate. You know, bribe the writers and control the story so it works out as propaganda instead of news.

Apple's iPhone 6 first-day sales are MEANINGLESS, mutters analyst

Tom 13

Re: For once an analyst is correct

Mostly correct. The supply may have been right-sized or constrained. It was not however oversupplied like the S was, which says something. Just not as much as Apple would like it to.

Tom 13

@ Kristian Walsh

Meh, yes and no.

Apple, despite its large market share in cell phones is a niche manufacturer. For most of the time Jobs ran the company its profits depended on keeping supply limited to drive up prices, which yielded decent profits. When your average market share is in the 3-5% range, never exceeding 12% you NEED that margin to continue to exist. What has made Apple so successful this last decade is that one of their niche products went mainstream AND they managed to maintain their niche pricing. I've been told and believe that Jobs manipulated the supply of iPhones so that the top of the line models were always just a little hard to get. By this logic, one of the mistakes with the S was that it took the opposite approach to the market. So there is some sense in which this market doesn't depend on Joe Average as a customer. Joe Average is going to be an Android or other phone. Will Apple take money from Joe Average? Sure, but they don't depend on him. They may even throw him a bone by reducing pricing their old hardware while keeping niche pricing on the new "hard to get" models.

Poverty? Pah. That doesn't REALLY exist any more

Tom 13

Re: On the Plus Side

Quite right. Why just the amount of pepper shipped to my local grocery store on a weekly basis would have rocketed the owner of that store into the economic stratosphere were he to deliver it in the time of Henry VIII. Fresh fruits and vegetables in the middle of winter? In his time, even King Henry couldn't get that.

Tom 13

Re: "food deserts" in the poorer areas of quite a few cities

There's one of the food deserts not far from me. The Anacostia area of Washington DC. It was pretty much burned out in the race riots back in the 60s. There is some retail activity in the area, but not a lot. WalMart decided they wanted to open a store there. It would have provided about 300 above minimum wage jobs in a blighted area plus provided the first real grocery store people could walk to. What happened? The politicians who whine about the poverty in the area and blame it on racism wouldn't alllow WalMart to build their store.

There are people who WANT to make lives better for other people, even if it does further their own selfish interests. But the political value of having "poverty" is too damn high for politicians to let them do so.

Tom 13

Re: Maybe

King James Version (KJV)

Matthew 26:11

11 For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.

John 9

And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.

2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?

3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.


It is folly for The State or Man to try to contravene the Word of God. Poverty is set among us to remind us all of our fall from grace and the need of charity for one another lest we become prideful. This need is not undone by assigning it to The State through taxes or even through giving to charities that have incorporated to better alleviate it. Such things detach us from what we are meant to be reminded of, then we do fall into the sin of pride.

Moreover, even for a non-believer, a close study of Rome shows it is folly to try to subdue the masses with bread and circuses for that way lies inevitable ruin.

Troll hunter Rackspace turns Rotatable's bizarro patent to stone

Tom 13

Good job Rackspace

Almost makes me want to buy some of your product even though I have absolutely NO practical use for it at home. (And I don't get to make those choices at work.)

SpaceX breaks ground on first commercial spaceport in Texas

Tom 13

Re: Aw yeah.

My brain flips it to KFC and I get hungry for fried chicken.

Google grand fromage Eric Schmidt: Backing climate denier lobby a 'mistake'

Tom 13

Re: keep failing to cover the complexity.

You should have stopped at just failed. This is what the real deniers in the debate are unwilling to accept: their models have failed. From the theory standpoint, it doesn't matter WHY they failed, only that they have failed and their theory is therefore WRONG. Now, they may have a personal interest in finding why it failed, correcting their model, and testing it again; but until they have a model that actually accurately predicts the future, they are the ones who should STFU.

Bill Gates, drugs and the internet: Top 10 Larry Ellison quotes

Tom 13

Re: All this dewie-eyedness.....

No they wouldn't. They'd argue with each other about who had the better anvil.

And when the police finally arrived to investigate the body that washed up on the beach they'd ask "What body?"

Moon landing was real and WE CAN PROVE IT, says Nvidia

Tom 13
Black Helicopters

Re: They're fake!

Conspiracy theorists are a counter-intel op run by a joint NSA and MI6, .

Tom 13

Re: Sahara is nothing but a giant warehouse of hourglass spare parts

That's simply not true as El Reg has already informed us:


Moreover, I think I can point to conclusive evidence that we did land on the moon: the Red Spot on Jupiter has been shrinking ever since. I suspect that like the Amazon, the Red Spot has been getting vital materials from the Moon via the solar wind. Our landings have disturbed this vital link, and now the Red Spot is dying.

Home Depot ignored staff warnings of security fail laundry list

Tom 13

Re: Butlikely to make businesses even less likely report

Easy enough to fix. If you fail to report a breach and the breach is discovered through other means, you permanently lose the ability to process cards.

Reg readers respond: Yes, it's time for Comment of the Week

Tom 13


Actually I expect a real El Reg message would be shorter and more to the point:

"Thank-you for your call. We're all down at the pub grabbing a pint. If you want to register a complaint come over and buy us a round."


Tom 13

Re: To complain about Andrew Orlowski, please press 1.

Orlowski? Surely you mean Lewis Page!

Granted he's an editor now, so we see fewer of his articles, but I expect it will be another year at least before he AO gathers as many flames as LP.

Full diclosure: I'm actually an LP fan, I merely note the historical record.

THE DEATH OF ECONOMICS: Aircraft design vs flat-lining financial models

Tom 13

Re: why isn't it the standard in all companies?

Because by and large governments have made it illegal.

There was a time when a factory worker got paid by the piece produced. Labor law now prohibits that.

Tom 13

Re: SENSIBLE approach to negative equity is to walk away, quickly

Walking away isn't entirely free. You do get bad marks on your credit record which will make it harder for you to borrow money in the future. During the period of the collapse you could walk away more easily than you can now. But they still haven't fixed the root cause of the problem which are the redlining laws.

Tom 13

Re: Mark assets to Market

This is a key part of the problem. It is made all the more difficult in that neither the old nor the new market valuation techniques are valid. While it is obvious that not all of the houses should be devalued by the amount of the fire sale, it isn't obvious that they should stay at 100,000.

I think the key issue comes down to, in the current world, accountants are only interested in the instantaneous value of a given thing. The argument being that if any of those other 9 houses need to be liquidated in the same way, the expected sale value would be 75,000. While there is some sense in this, it is not the sum of all sense.

Sill it was only the proximate cause of the problem. The deeper issue is that the NINJa loans, which have a limited purpose in a functioning economy, were made standard loans for everybody, and the preferred loans for a whole lot of people who should never have been granted loans. While only anecdotal, my own experience is that I was issued too much credit in circumstances where none should have been extended to me. And that wasn't mortgage debt, it was consumer debt. At one point I had more consumer debt than I had annual salary. That was insane. I've worked it down now to the point that it's about 1/3 of my annual salary, but it has taken a long, long time and will likely take another 5 years before it is all paid off.

Tom 13

Re: I think Keynes said words to the effect that

Keynes was a well-liked, well-lettered idiot. It's politicians who continue to follow his advice that keep screwing things up.

Tom 13

Re: Both energy and time are inherently finite.

Short term, everything is finite. Long term everything is effectively infinite. You just need to select the appropriate term.

Tom 13

Re: subprime lending

Subprime lending in and of itself was not the problem. It existed a long time back and the few companies initially engaged in it did reasonably well for themselves. There is a class of borrower who on paper didn't meet standard loan requirements. Their guaranteed salary was quite below the requirements. They survived because they had high and highly variable bonus pay structures. You could, if you took the time model that based on past performance they were likely to make similar bonuses in the future so you had a reasonable risk. These companies also made sure they had sufficient reserves to cover any short term losses they incurred is some of their evaluated risks turned out to be wrong.

That's where the government should step in with regulation, but doesn't, as it's dependent on growth to finance its deficit spending.

This is where subprime actually went wrong. Instead of government acting as a brake on subprime lending, they effectively mandated everybody else had to get into it, AND mandated that they didn't have to have the necessary reserves in case something went wrong. They didn't do it directly, they did it through "red lining legislation" that ignored the economic reality that when looking strictly at financial capacity some people just shouldn't be issued loans. Once the banks made those loans it was self-evident they were high risk loans the bank had to get rid of. So they did. The only way to get rid of them was to chop them up into pieces and mix it all together (which does lower absolute risk, but didn't make them lowest risk) and re-sell it. Unfortunately the effect of that was to poison the whole system. All because politicians didn't want to obey the laws of economics.

Tom 13

Re: run since WWII is by using debt to kick start investment

That's what they want you to believe but it's not actually true. There have been a couple of instances in which lowering taxes was used to kick start the economy and they've worked pretty well. Kennedy in 64 and Reagan in 80-83 are the two most obvious.

Tom 13

Re: them to provide adequate wages.

The "adequate wage" is a myth must like the average person. And adequate wage for a teenager living at home with his parents is different from an adequate wage for a just graduated college student is different from an adequate wage for a married father with two children supporting a stay at home wife is different that a two parents working family is different from an elderly person with a paid off house.

I get that some small number of people in the past figured out ways to abuse their privately held companies to fund jet-setting life styles without paying taxes. But this solution of taxing corporation so they can't do that is a cure that is worse than the original disease. Make corporation zero tax entities and then either tax only income made by people OR sales taxes on goods sold. Write the income tax laws in such a way that if the corporation is effectively paying a person's salary without paying it, the corporation has to pay the taxes on that person's benefits.

The real problem isn't that governments aren't getting enough income, it's that they spend too much. This is compounded by the fact that they get to play smoke and mirrors with their budgets and shift the blame to places where it doesn't belong. It belongs on the POLITICIANS and nowhere else. Because even the politicians put into office by people who are too short-sighted to see the dangers of overspending are still served best by not overspending.

Tom 13

Re: This comes back to one of the points of the post:

Education can't help when it is the primary source of the cancer.

Tom 13

Re: The nearest to it is the Greens

Yeah, the Greens aren't another log on the fire, they're a tanker truck of gasoline.

This is the real reason we can't fix the economy. Too damn many people are too stupid about what to do to fix it. Especially amongst the educated classes.

Copyright thieves' cyberlockers slurp MILLIONS from honest creators, study finds

Tom 13

Re: Blah! psuedo evidence for more site blocking

Right conclusion, but the logic is off a bit. Neither the company selling the ad nor the third party vendors necessarily HAS to vet the sites to which they sell. Particularly with resale sites I expect "You have the cash? Have some ads." arrangements which at this time are perfectly legal. But as you correctly observed, that means those companies are profiting from the piracy and therefore are liable under common understandings of the law.

From the way the article is written, I think they're basing it around actual accounts that were seized/compromised from the relevant site type. But again, that means you potentially have a serious selection bias. Assumes the population as a whole reflects sites that were seized as a result of having probable cause. Not acceptable in my opinion.

Tom 13

@ Larry F54

Thank-you for saving me much time composing my thoughts on his error.

China hacked US Army transport orgs TWENTY TIMES in ONE YEAR

Tom 13

Re: Peacetime intrusions into defense contractors networks?

It says the vendors' systems were hacked, not the defense networks. Still it is valuable intelligence information.

Tom 13


FBI and Department of Defence knew but did not tell the Pentagon of nine separate intrusions of TRANSCOM contractors.

So thirteen years after 9/11 we're back to the same fundamental problem that caused 9/11. Who'da thunk?

Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills

Tom 13

Re: "....with no physical connection to the internet..."

I'm sure there are better solutions, but the simplest solution is the one everybody used before Al Gore invented the internet: POTS line to every cash register to process the credit card via modem.

Tom 13

Re: There needs to be a fine of something

I have to agree with Elmer, not a fine. The heart of the problem here is that the current form of incorporation protects those who are intentionally making bad decisions from the responsibility of those decisions. If you fine the company, they just jack their prices which only hurts the consumers a second time. Instead, for cases like this were it is obvious that simple precautions could have limited or prevented the breach, each and every person involved in implementing those decisions should be liable for damages to the consumer. And yes, that means from the CEO all the way down to the IT coalface guys like me. Their resources to be exhausted first and only after that do the shareholders start picking up the tab. Even holding the employees accountable first, I think shareholders are still likely to pickup 80% or more of the tab. Also, at some management level responsibility needs to translate to jail time. Definitely for the CEO, CFO, and CIO. Maybe everybody from Program Manager up, maybe it picks up the rung below that.

Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please

Tom 13

For all that Murdoch's letter is self serving

there is a center of truth to it that ought to be the undoing of Google.

If they can scan user data, even users who aren't registered on GMail, so well they can precisely place ads targeting only that user's interests, it should be no burden at all for them to remove dodgy links from their search engine. And excessive burden was precisely the reason search engines and ISPs were given the "not an editor" exception on the copyright infringement.

Now you can argue that the law should be changed to make many of those links completely legal, but until such time as that changes, if they are legal, and there is no excessive burden Google should be required to comply with the law.

Spies would need superpowers to tap undersea cables

Tom 13

Re: NSA couldn't possibly have spliced the undersea cables ...

The point of the article is that NSA are really smart people instead of dumb arses like the Greenwald. Really smart people are also usually really lazy people, at least in the sense of they will do the least work required to get the same reward. There are far easier ways to tap the fiber than getting a sub, digging up the cable, and splicing it.

For starters, since it is highly technical work and the NSA has some of the best people doing that work, it would be far easier to put an NSA guy on the crew laying the cable an tap it as it is laid. No messy splicing required.

Look out, SpaceX! Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin boffins tapped for US rocket launches

Tom 13

Re: ULA will be the new SpaceX...

I'd like to think it would work that way.

But the truth is that I expect they'll re-write the rules so that ULA remains ULA and SpaceX will always have the deck stacked against them.

On the bright side, if SpaceX keeps winning even with the deck stacked against them, it means we're getting a really good rocket from SpaceX.

Tom 13

Re: This is great news

Sorry, I don't see how you get more competition out of "Blue Origin Joins Existing Rocket Cartel". Looks to me like the only competition now is Space X when it could have been Space X and Blue Origin vs the Rocket Cartel.

What's this 'pay as you go' cloud crap? Dunno about you, but my apps don't work that way

Tom 13

Re: Is this even controversial?

The IT systems are nothing without the personnel who manage them.

I've done both internal and external support. There is no way a part time external support team will ever know your business as well as a full time internal support team will. Even with a full time external support team, I seriously doubt it is more profitable for the company to pay someone else to run their support. You may find individual applications where you can't match an outside vendor's cost (GMail for instance), but I'd bet there are things it just doesn't do well (GMail for instance).

If you've got a morale problem in IT, it probably has something to do with the way you treat your IT team and not the other way around.

4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch

Tom 13

Verizon keeps f'ing with my 1.5 Mps Netflix connection

and you think they're not gonna do that for Amazon's 4K video app?

Disclaimer: Only leaving out Comcast because I'm a FIOS customer.

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