* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics

Tom 13

Re: I'm more interested in the creative accounting.....

Interesting. A company doing exactly what the commies want, yet the commies call BS on them.

Amazon really does have a profit that low because they have an established corporate policy of investing anything that would otherwise be profit into expanding their business into new territories. Price of the stock goes up because they generate more revenue and have a larger market share. Not what I'd want as a share holder, but it seems to work for some people.

Tom 13

Re: hmm

What short term losses? Here are the numbers for the US under Reagan:

Numbers in US Billions

Year - Fed income/fed total revenue

1980 - 308.7/517.1

1981 - 347.1/599.3

1982 - 347.0/617.8

1983 - 326.0/600.6

1984 - 355.3/666.4

1985 - 359.9/734.0

1986 - 412.1/769.2

1987 - 476.5/854.3

1988 - 495.7/909.2

1989 - 549.0/991.1

source: http://www.usgovernmentrevenue.com/yearrev1985_0.html (change drop down for each year)

1980 is Carter's last year in office, so those are his revenue numbers. Reagan barely had the tax reform enacted by the end of 1981, yet the preferential treatment of taxes was enough that bringing in even a small portion of that tax sheltered money produced a significant increase in both federal income taxes and total revenues. Keep in mind those cuts that were enacted in 1981 were phased in over 3 years. Revenue continued to grow in spite of the recession caused by the fiscal policy required to reign in inflation.

Tom 13

Re: advocate a race to the bottom where

No, a race to sanity and away from Marxist idiots/ideologues.

Tom 13

Re: hmm

The more interesting hypocrisy/idiocy is that this proposal is no different than the US demanding MS turn over data from Irish servers about email accounts. Countries are essentially demanding information about things which are not occurring in their territory. In this case there's actually a physical location issue as well, unlike the internet of data where everything is next to everything else.

Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians

Tom 13

Re: A bit of history

As for anecdotes, I too have a friend who recently returned from Israel. He shared photos from a recent trip. Many were sort of landscape shots of houses on the terrain. Throughout Israel Arabs and Jews live next store to each other. In the pictures, it was always easy to tell the Jews from the Arabs though they flew no flags. Trailing down the slopes from the Arab houses are trails of garbage. There are no such trails from the Jewish houses. The same sanitation services are available to both because they are municipal services. One chooses to use them, the other does not.

I am firmly convinced that the Jews would choose peace if the Arabs would only let them But the Arabs are only willing to allow the Jews to choose suicide.

There is an Egyptian proverb relayed to me from a friend who visited there. There was a man in a village who wished to sit under a tree in the square, but there were many children playing under the tree who would disturb his respite. So he told some of the children that a nearby town was giving away free ice cream. Those children told their friends and they all left so the man settled under the tree. Half an hour later someone walked up to him and told him they were giving away free ice cream at the same nearby town he used when he lied to the children. Hearing this he said to himself "why am I resting hear under a tree when I could go to that town and get free ice cream."

Tom 13

Re: A bit of history

Not a bit of history there. One anecdote and a bunch of unsupported speculation.

I don't speak for the love-god promoting Christians. Theirs is as much a caricature of God as the atheist's sky-god. Anyone foolish enough to think they comprehend God has no idea who He is. At best we comprehend parts of Him and strive to live according to His will. Yes, the New Testament puts more emphasis on the love and forgiveness aspects of God while the Old Testament seems to emphasize the Vengence is Mine aspects of God. However both are manifestations of Him and ignoring either is to deny part of who He is.

The poster to whom I was responding made an absurd assertion based on a caricature. I responded with a fact. Numbers 13, which is clearly both a Christian and Jewish religious text states God ordered the use of spies. Since the question was couched in the assumption God exists, it seems exceedingly relevant to check what that God (at least according to the religious texts associated with that God).

You of course have the right to not believe in this God. But at least have the courtesy to know what believers in Him believe instead of making up lies about what they believe.

Tom 13

Re: I think the story here is

You might try Numbers 13. You know, the bit in the Bible where the Jews first kicked out the Palestinians because God promised them that land. They numbered 12, one from each tribe.

Tom 13

Re: he's a total arse, who poisoned any remaining hope

The total arse who poisoned the Oslo peace process was not a Jew. He was a Palestinian. His name was Yasser Arafat. He was handed the two state solution as he proposed it with one small exception: The PLO was required to change its charter to admit Israel had the right to exist. Yasser Arafat rejected that deal.

Tom 13

Re: The aim should be to end the rockets.

Rockets, like guns, have never killed anyone. It always the PERSON wielding the weapon who does the killing. But I'd never expect a progressive/liberal/commie like yourself to open yourself to new ideas.

Tom 13

Re: Nor did the IRA.

Much as I loathe them, the IRA was never an existential threat to the entire UK. Hamas is just such a threat to Israel.

Massachusetts shoots down car dealers' Tesla-busting sueball

Tom 13

Re: Sounds like a good decision.

Grinding an axe on a fully charged car battery?

That sounds dangerous.

As bankruptcy looms for RadioShack, we ask its chief financial officer... oh. He's quit

Tom 13

Re: So much for the life time warranty

If those vacuum tubes are still working, I doubt you'd ever have cause to collect on that lifetime warranty anyway.

Tom 13

Re: Those companies like Apple

Much as I dislike Apple, the truth of the matter is, all those trillions squirreled away offshore are peanuts compared to the federal debt. Fix the problem with government taxing and controlling too much, and the rest of the problems will subside.

Tom 13

Re: weren't maintained in any semblance of order.

I never grokked that end of electronics so I haven't experienced that. But even from my perspective, when I was a kid and you went to Radio Shack for something, the sales guy knew what you wanted, (even if you thought it was something else), knew where it was, and could give you advice on installing/using it if you needed help. Somewhere along the line the bean counters replaced those guys with minimum wage merch shifters who can't help you with anything. Not only does that annoy customers directly, it probably accounts for the mess in the bins.

It's a pain in the ASCII, so what can be done to make patching easier?

Tom 13

Re: occasion you get to test that startup scripts

Sorry, not buying that one either. We're talking Windows specifically here, not Linux and on a home PC.

And if it IS a work server instead of the home PC, you OUGHT to be double checking those start up scripts and testing them regularly so the company's cash flow isn't at risk if you get one as a result of some other issue. Because, we'll I've been the technician trying to rapidly answer the phones and calm the frantic users when some damn fool on the network side trusted the contractor who came in to configure the array had properly written out the final configuration to the BIOS and he hadn't. Nope, nobody had a hardcopy of the configuration either. Yep, they went to restore from backup. Unfortunately it was also the first day the regular backup guy was back from his two week vacation. And guess what? Yep, that's right, the backup for the regular backup guy missed some critically important error messages in the backup agents. Yeah, the ones that said the job hadn't finished. So 350 people at the company lost two weeks worth of work.

We repeated the exercise a few months later when two drives in the array failed at the same time because of excessive heat in the server room. Thankfully that time they had both updated the BIOS and kept a hard copy of the information, plus the backups were current. It still was not a pleasant experience coming so close to the prior failure.

I am SO glad I don't work for that outfit any more.

Tom 13

Re: Volunteers?

OK, so their employers volunteered them for the job. Whether you're talking about the start of Linux way back in the mesolithic age or right this instant, Linus isn't paying people to develop the OS so they are volunteers one way or another.

But the primary point still stands: the OS inherently provides an easy to use upgrade path. Oracle are CHOOSING not to enable the easy upgrade path on their commercial software. So the fault for Oracle software not being easy to update on Linux as compared to Windows is not the fault of Linux but Oracle.

Tom 13

Re: Windows.


After that, yes you have to use Updates. But it isn't the nightmare it use to be in XP. Shouldn't be more than two passes before you're done with the consumer OS updates.

Tom 13

Re: I shutdown every evening... and don't use hibernate.

Me too. Odd thing is, if you ever saw the inside of my house, you'd swear I couldn't keep a clean desktop. But then my first real job was as a DTP specialist. Files all over the place and so many they didn't fit on the network without compressing the hell out of them. So I had to be organized on the computer just to work. The habits mostly stuck after that. Except for GMail, which encourages you not to file things away.

Tom 13

Re: Windows.

I've run Vista and Windows 7 for the last several years. If it is taking you more than an hour to patch, you have no clue what you are doing. Yes, if you built an XP image after they'd released SP3 and allowed all of the patches to download from update.windows it was going to take a bloody long time. But then, nobody competent ever updated from XP through to current patches from update.windows. You ALWAYS had an SP3 disk and ran that before connecting to the update server. Same thing for the Office SPs if you were dependent on them.

I bitch as much about Windows as the next guy. But I don't make stuff up about its problems, or blame my incompetence on Microsoft.

Tom 13

Re: Built for speed, not comfort

While my gut agrees completely with your sentiment, my head says it doesn't work that way. There will always be bugs in the software. The question is more how much needs to be allocated in resources for the benefit derived from finding the bug.

Back when I were a wee lad and HP was actually a decent engineering company I had the good fortune to be working at a company they had partnered with to develop some software. Being a good engineering firm they had a formula for predicting bug discoveries. If you really were working on patching/fixing your code as opposed to adding new features/bling, discovery asymptotically approaches zero. In the initial stages you find bugs easily and fix them quickly. the further along you get the longer they take to discover. I don't recall if they also got increasingly harder to fix. At some point you don't expect to find another bug even if you throw another 30 man months at testing. What they did was categorize how critical the bugs were, and when they didn't expect to find more bugs above a certain level within the next 30 days, they called the software good and shipped it.

The problem in the current environment is that companies aren't even doing that level of testing any more. They seem to be driven entirely by the marketing schedule, not the engineering reports. I do think your proposal is a good starting point to address that problem. Just don't expect it to eliminate all bugs.

Tom 13

Re: I will put up with the occasional reboot

I have to agree with that. Not rebooting for more than 4 months on your home PC isn't lazy, it's obstinate. Granted my home PC is not fully protected, but that's not for failure to reboot. In fact, my home PC gets shutdown every time I log off.

Last time I looked it was reporting 6 vulnerabilities: 1 for a patch it was busily installing and 5 for EOL programs. At the moment, I doubt any of those EOL programs will be updated in the near future. I simply don't have the available cash flow to do so.

Tom 13

Re: Try, for example, patching Oracle

Not a Linux user, but it seems even to me that you're bitching at the wrong party. If the volunteers working on the kernel (you know, the DIFFICULT part of building the OS) can build a system that seamlessly updates the system, Oracle ought to be able to follow the model. Particularly as the DNA is already in the system.

Cops apologise for leaving EXPLOSIVES in suitcase at airport

Tom 13
Black Helicopters

Re: Why no tracking device?

No, no. You still don't get it. All the screw ups are run by the conspiracy rings. That way they fool people like you into thinking the government is so incompetent they could never run a successful conspiracy.

Tom 13

Re: Do you check all the pockets

If you're a 'Merkin you do. Because that's part of the questions they ask you at security when you pass through:

"Did you pack your bag? Has anyone else handled the bag since you packed it?"

The implication being that you and only you have put things into the bag.

Tom 13

Re: WTF???

Depends on how the explosives were put in and where she was headed. If she had a one day/night layover before another flight, yes it could happen.

Tom 13

Re: Only an apology?

The explosives aren't the only bit that need to be stable. Even old fashioned TNT is more stable than some of the plods who are responsible for stopping the bad guys who use the stuff. Granted, it is Australia, so odds for stable go up some, but not enough for my liking.

US! govt! ordered! Yahoo! to! hand! over! user! data! or! pay! $250k! fine! PER! DAY!

Tom 13

I think I found your problem

If the original order is found to be unconstitutional - which I think we're all largely agreed that it will be...

If you really feel that way, you haven't thought this through at all. If it was that simple, and that obvious SCOTUS wouldn't continuously denied standing to challenge the court. They grant standing and issue the order. That they continue to allow the FISA courts to work as they are without granting cert is the surest sign they'd probably rule the other way. Once the ruling was made, it would not be revocable. By continuing to funnel it through the FISA courts, if the legislatures ever do away with the FISA courts, the problem goes away.

I'm not saying that's the way it OUGHT to be, but if SCOTUS were ruling according to the way things OUGHT to be instead of according to the whims of one or two men on the court who are regularly referred to as the "swing votes" instead of the more accurate "roulette wheel" 0bamacare would have been ruled unconstitutional at all levels without even much of a trial and a nice old lady in New London, CT would still own her home instead of it being a field of grass.

Tom 13


Yes, it it weren't so depressing it would be amusing that people expect corporations to behave better than they would in the same circumstances.

Sun's MASSIVE solar storm belch to light up Earth's skies

Tom 13

Re: Dear Americans,

Thank-you for expressing your concern.

We'll start making sure all news intended for locals is written with a European slant right after El Reg starts using "color" instead of "colour" when a Brit is writing the article.

Tom 13

Re: differences in measurements

If you don't follow it closely, measurements in Astronomy can seem bizarrely disparate. If you know the right place to look it up, you can easily find an AU measured down to hundredths of a centimeter. There might even be some updated papers that have it out to 9 sigmas by now. On the other hand, when you measure the distance to another galaxy, being of by a couple billion light years is frequently no big deal. Inside the solar system I'd expect everything to be measured to better than 1 magnitude of difference.

Reddit wipes clean leaked celeb nudie pics, tells users to zip it

Tom 13

Re: I don't geddit.

DCMAs would probably be treated the same way. Once the DCMA is submitted the site is obligated not to allow it to be reposted. The fact that the site can close sub-sites means they do have editorial control, so they'd be obliged to comply.

If they were getting as many FBI and DCMAs as they claim, plus the traffic issues, I expect most of the confusion is simply on the part of the admins trying to post the messages explaining the policy, probably as a result of sleep deprivation.

Tom 13

Re: Hopefully Ms Maroney has been arrested

Haven't gone looking for the pics, so I can't comment on them specifically. They word there is "sexualized" or more commonly prurient intent. So for example a nude photo in and of itself would not qualify. A nude photo with a foam finger might not qualify. But a nude photo with a foam finger simulating masturbation would. Even at that if it was a nude photo with a foam finger simulating masturbation it might not qualify if it was in the context of a film about child prostitution that wasn't extolling child prostitution.

I think I'll stop now before my head start really spinning.

Former Bitcoin Foundation chair pleads guilty to money-laundering charge

Tom 13

Re: Sending the wrong message?

Difficult to say.

The first problem is that a lot of these people think they're smarter than the system and will never be caught. Unfortunately, too many of them are and therefore aren't.

Second problem, unless RICO is invoked, the accumulation of money makes the conviction less likely. If they are the hyper rational sort, that can negate the guarantee.

Third problem, we have at this time a breed of relativists in the system who seem to think a fair justice system is one in which a perp has at least a 50-50 chance of being found not guilty regardless of the facts surrounding the accusation.

The combination of all these things has been having a more and more adverse affect on what use to be called our justice system.

SHIP OF FAIL: How do we right capsized institutions we thought would NEVER go under?

Tom 13

Re: surprised that we still don't have any reliable model of the economy

If you don't understand why we will never have a reliable model of the economy you should be nowhere near any important influence on it.

Although it does appear that like a blind squirrel you have at least found one nut with your conclusion.

Tom 13

Re: a (semi)modest proposal

Not a chance in hell. Government controlled schools are the cause of the problem not its solution. Private schools are the ones that got us through industrialization and produced our greatest thinkers. At this point, government has so much money polluting the system even so called private universities are under its thrall.

If it weren't so insidious, I'd find you're willingness to impose your morality on others while claiming no one else should impose theirs on you amusing.

Tom 13

Re: The final conclusion

No it isn't. All of the catastrophes noted have a common element of governmental interference. Government by definition is not individuals doing what they think is best, but a committee of some small number of people (let's face it, even 537 people is small compared to the US [includes House, Senate, President, and non-voting congressional delegates.]) dictating how everyone else would behave. I hate to say it, but the reality is that somewhere in the NASA chain of command, somebody was saying "Do you think POTUS wants to hear we have to scrub the mission because it's too cold?" The answer of course should have been 'yes', but that is never the way it works out. Would Challenger have been delayed if Ronald Reagan wasn't planning to talk to Christie while she was in space? Probably. They delayed other missions for less. I know Reagan would have preferred a delay to what happened after the fact. I think he would have preferred it before the fact. But that's part of the problem: the people making the calls don't see all the possible outcomes.

When I sit on committees people don't like it because I'm not just the guy who thinks the glass is half empty, I'm the guy who asks if the glass contains strychnine. But there are times when that level of disaster planning is appropriate.

Tom 13

Re: Actually, no.

I agree with all of them except the last example. I'm not so sure the current situation isn't exactly like the Great Depression. There are two main differences. 1. We changed the way we measure things, so the numbers don't look as bad as they really are. 2. Admitting things are really as bad as they are would put the final kabosh on the continuing rush to the socialist "utopia" our political and chattering classes adore.

Tom 13

Re: It's the money, stupid!

That's merely the last instantiation of the problem. The root cause of the problem is the lack of a common moral framework for society. Until you address that issue you are only prescribing aspirin for brain cancer.

Tom 13

Re: they will try to disconnect from reality

I'm not even sure it is a case of "trying" so much as it is something that happens. People start deferring to you, doing favors, etc. Eventually you come to think of it as natural, perhaps even the natural order of things. From what we see with Congress on this side of the pond, within 10 years it is rare to find someone who has not been transformed by it.

Tom 13

Re: Misplaced incentives

So, do you think it's time to implement a bunch of welders pools*? Or are there just too damn many managers for that to be effective either?

*On early submarines (maybe to this day) all of the welders who worked on the sub had to put their name into a pool. One name was drawn and that welder accompanied the sub on its first at sea trial.

Tom 13

Re: As Robert the Architec says:

Actually, you're the only people who can fix it. But each and every one of you has to fix it. Starting with yourselves. Yes, it will be a bloody hard slog. But it is the only way to fix it.

Tom 13


Not even education. Before you can start on education you need a moral foundation. Half the people in my country don't want to hear that. Most of the people in yours don't. Or worse, they think they already have one when the truth is that is as corrupt as anything born in hell.

Tom 13

Re: Perhaps a better question to ask would be...

Given that nobody is building new boats you might be able to move to? Probably.

Given the adverse effect their current state is having on all of us? Definitely.

Whether they should continue as large as they were? Probably not.

Whether they should continue to be run by the same idiots that ran them before? Definitely not.

Which means the 'How?' is still the critical part, even if you do want to chuck some or most of the parts that capsized. Not that I have any belief the author of the article will be able to shed light on the question. Some of his examples and starting points illuminate the fact that he is as clueless as the people he berates on how to properly fix what is wrong.

Tom 13

Re: since Thatcher.

Again your failure shows. You've been actively making these choice since long before Thatcher. Thatcher stood against them. They started at least as far back as Churchill's successor, and possibly before Churchill. You progs all want to claim you're opposed to fascism and the nazis, the truth is until Hitler invaded France your predecessors marched pretty much in step with his National Socialism. It was only AFTER he had killed millions of Jews that you felt free to hate him and vilify your political opponents, regardless of their actual position on the political spectrum, as being just like him. Until you remove the beam from your own eye, you'll never be able to see clearly.

Tom 13

Re: You've got it exactly backwards.

No, I understood you perfectly. You're one of the ones who is part of the precipitate.

Tom 13

Re: You've got it exactly backwards.

You were doing okay with the first paragraph then went completely off the rails on the second.

A fair number of problems are because we get a choice between Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dummer. Then you want to hand dictatorial powers to Tweedle Dummer.

Limits to Growth is a pile of steaming doggy-doo based on total cobblers

Tom 13

@ Identity

Malthus is dead. So is his theory of population explosions and famine. It died because we're smarter than squirrels. And ALL data point to declining birthrates across the world. The only thing that might disrupt that is if the Jihadi's win their war and take us back to dark ages.

Tom 13

Re: cannot reasonably or intelligently argue that either will not happen.

Yes I can. Malthus is only the most visible example of the old farts who argued as you do, not the oldest. All of them have been tested, all of their predictions have failed. We will continue to defeat your pessimism on production. The only real question is do we blow ourselves up. You lot seem intent on getting us to do that sooner rather than later.

Tom 13

Re: Doing More With Less

Interestingly, when George Washington was experimenting with crop rotation on his farms, one of the rotations was sheep to help replenish the soil. Also, he was constantly looking for new sources of manure to fertilize his fields as he simply couldn't produce enough. I can see however that you could have quickly rectified that problem.

Tom 13

Re: is still quite rapid growth in Secondary and Tertiary economies

Not like it had been. Poverty begets population explosions, prosperity begets nuclear (four person) families. China in fact has a serious negative growth rate with its current policies.

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