* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

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

Tom 13

Re: I could think of a few things to do with a machine gun

I can too. But I wouldn't waste the bullets.

Chelyabinsk-sized SURPRISE asteroid to skim Earth, satnav birds

Tom 13

Re: No Problem

Chuck Norris doesn't have to EVA to bitch slap it out of our galaxy, he only has to glare at it and it will explode in terror.

Tom 13

Re: Practice makes perfect

You just had to go and post that didn't you? Everything would have been fine, but no YOU had to go ruin it. Now Ming knows his hand has been detected and we're doomed.

Or at least Flash only has 14 hours to save the Earth, but he's tied up in a trademark suit with Adobe.

The Schmidt hits the clan: Google chief mauls publishers' 'abuse of dominance' claims

Tom 13

Re: Monopoly

That is some, but not all of their success. Where they really monopolized the market was the Google Search page. Back in the days of dial up, if you were a tech, you set the browser home page to Google (especially IE). Unlike just about any other website there was almost nothing on the page except the search query. So you started the browser, and the page came up quickly. That confirmed you TCP/IP stack was working and provided a quick gateway to the rest of the internet. Once they established that dominance, there were better able to gather and analyze data for searching. Now that the dominance in searching is established, it is nearly impossible to displace them. Which isn't a bad thing is all you want to do is search. The problem is the same problem we have with MS: given a that a monopoly in one area generates a reliable cash flow, it is too easy for them to extend that monopoly into other areas where they couldn't gain dominance absent that reliable cash flow.

Oracle's MySQL buy a 'fiasco' says Dovecot man Mikko Linnanmäki

Tom 13

Re: store customers data "in the cloud"

While I'm mostly inclined to agree there's is a problem. Whereas 2 years back "the cloud" pretty much guaranteed it was outsourced, there are apparently now "private clouds" which might or might not be at the other end of a distant fiber connection. So if it is a private cloud on your premises you might be OK. Or not, depending on your backup solution, disaster recovery plan, and a dozen other things.

All in all, where as once I thought I understood what people were talking about, I'm now a bit cloudy on the whole thing.

Tom 13

Re: The reason nobody will buy Dovecot

Not likely. None of of the experts want to talk about it, but many companies (mis)use their mail systems like that. At the moment I don't think the outfit I'm working for is quite that bad (25G limit on the GMail cloud), but I've worked at them before and provided service to even more.

Scared of brute force password attacks? Just 'GIVE UP' says Microsoft

Tom 13

Re: I feel like I've read these comments before...

I agree.

First order of business is deciding how critically important a given site is. Appropriate levels of complexity depending on need. If it's one of those damn "give us your email name to download our trial software sites" yeah, you're gonna get my spam account and probably "password" or the nearest hash of it for the account. If you're a site that where I have a reasonably established identity I'll probably set a decent password. If you're my bank I've got a complex password and recorded it someplace safe.

Let's face it, unless you have government size resources, you can't make something nobody can get into except others with government size resources. The bad news is, those bot armies controlled by the bad guys now constitute government sized resources and lots of people can rent them.

Tom 13

Re: I just use...

I knew an email admin who used "Iamamoron!" whenever a user forgot his password and needed a reset. When somebody complained about it he changed it to "Iamamaroon!"

Tom 13

Re: it implied that Apple were lying.

They are. They said they have NO responsibility for the breach. Then go on to admit they didn't have rate limits on an obvious brute force attack path.

They may not be SOLELY responsible for the breach, but they share in the blame. Yes it is good that pleebs weren't hacked because they weren't targeted. But that didn't mean the pleebs were any safer than the celebs from the standpoint of a technical analysis.

Tom 13

Re: their approach is a race to the bottom

I don't read it as a race to the bottom. I read it as trust your users to know how important the information they are putting on your website is and fix the things you've frelled up instead.

Claimed Home Depot credit card hack could be biggest retail breach yet

Tom 13

Re: have now been slapped down by the regulator

Yes, but we would still prefer to avoid that 3 to 5 year period before it gets slapped down on this side of the pond. Besides which, since the banks have been slapped down on your side of the pond, are they really that much more secure than swipe and sign? It strikes me that if you can't trust the POS terminal, the rest of the chain really doesn't matter. And essentially, the POS terminal has been the movie star in all these big data harvest stories.

'Sony and Twitch' hacking crew Lizard Squad: 'We quit'

Tom 13

Re: maybe SWATted a gamer.

If they're involved in that sort of thing, I don't care if it's not exactly Pwn-2-Own grade stuff, they are dangerous and need to be removed from society. That kind of crap is going to get somebody killed (if it hasn't already).

Apple, FBI: YES we're, er, looking into the NAKED CELEBRITY PICS. Aren't you?

Tom 13

Re: More involved than article suggests.

Time frames and variety of devices could be irrelevant. Pictures could have been taken on the BB, moved to a computer, then backed up into iCloud because it was convenient. Hack the iCloud account and voila!

Tom 13

Re: looking for work more suited to their talents.

You don't apply for that kind of work. The State assigns it to you after they've found and processed you. They even give you spiffy new clothes to wear.

Well, they use to. I hear you can't even get that kind of work that way any more.

Tom 13

Re: but in the account of the person who took the photos

The way I interpret the reporting elsewhere, at least some of the photos were "professionally taken" so that is a possible leak point. Even at that, I expect the celebs have copies of them in their "private" portfolios. So where the loss of custody happened is not clear.

Also, while weak passwords are usually the culprit, remember that isn't necessarily the weakest link. Hackers might also have trawled the password reset questions, and given the obsessions with celebrities, may have cracked those instead after searching the internet for the answers.

NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails

Tom 13

So, not exactly pure intentions on the part of the hacker:

his unique motivations would mean he could be quickly caught if he slipped up.

This is why in a court of law you have the right to confront your accuser. Without knowing their motivation and why they haven't told the WHOLE truth, you just have another self-motivated probably partisan motive.

Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus

Tom 13

Re: built herself into a serious franchise

No, she built herself into a serious franchise a long time ago. She may be trying to change the perception of that franchise at the moment. How well she'll be doing 12 months from now is another issue.

Tom 13

Re: price of celebrity isn't always paid by the celebrity

I think in the end the celebrity always pays the price, sometimes even with interest. Which doesn't mean they don't cause a hell of a lot of collateral damage along the way.

Tom 13

Re: Took her/them so long to find out.

Bill is that you?

Still fuming over missing that whole internet thing and dismissing it as a fad I see. Oops, looks like you did it again with Social Media.

Redmond resists order to hand over overseas email

Tom 13

No one. Preska both issued and suspended the stay.

Oh, you mean the grammar. Yes, somewhere there should be a self-referential pronoun.

Tom 13


Yes, you can and do run across such material during routine work. Possibly not as much these days as in the past because of the faster speed of machines. Two examples from my own work:

1. Transferring data from an old PC to a new one. At the time I was doing this work the usual way to do it was connect the old drive to the new system, use an admin account, and do xcopy *.* from the source to the appropriate target drive on the new system. In the process you'd often be copying the browser cache. The names of certain files were obviously porn caches. This tended to be even more obvious on retained images. If the names suggested kiddie porn I would have had the duty to report. With faster copying speeds and windows no longer displaying the full path, this isn't quite as likely as once it was.

2. Demonstrating something for a user in his office on a work PC. nondescript file name on a text file. Turned out to be word pron which was against company policy. Needed to report him. Since he was a VIP and I wasn't personally offended, no punishment. As far as I know not even a verbal it died when I reported to my boss. But if I hadn't I would have been in breach of company policy.

Tom 13

Re: why cant the US gov simply obtain an order in ireland separately

The internet makes a mockery of international borders when it comes to the dissemination of information. It is about to make a mockery of international borders with respect to issuing warrants. There are people who think the first is a good thing and the second a bad thing. They do not concern themselves with the fact that the second flows from the first.

Ofcom will not probe lesbian lizard snog in new Dr Who series

Tom 13

Re: It's a shame no-one complained about the story!

I hate to say it, but I concur. The motivations seemed off, especially for the established characters. The only one who seemed mostly untouched was Strax, but then he is just the light comic relief.

Tom 13

Re: she is the one human to have seen all the Doctor's incarnations.

No she isn't. The sum of her splintered selves have seen all of the Doctor's incarnations, but a given splinter would not necessarily have knowledge of them all.

Granted, I too found it jarring and not fitting with the story. But they've hinted this is to be a somewhat darker Who than we've seen in the past so I was willing to cut them some slack on it.

TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit

Tom 13

Re: Google are no angels ..

No they aren't and this isn't the big win El Reg and the anti-troll crusaders are trying to make it out to be.

The story and the comments to date are glossing over the fact that the reason Google won the award has nothing to do with the native justice system and everything to do with the CONTRACT Google signed with the alleged patent troll. Which means whether or not the patents are actually valid, Google decided to pay for them. In the process of paying for them, they also insisted that their clients also be indemnified against suit. Since BI then sued their clients, they were in breach of contract. And the contract specified that Google was entitled to attorneys' fees, but only attorneys' fees, hence the denial of the expert witness costs.

Apple tried to get a ban on Galaxy, judge said: NO, NO, NO

Tom 13

Re: This attempt by Apple to continue to pursue the issue over phones that are......

Actually the usual way juries say FU in a case like this is they award plaintiff the win on merits, assign damages of $1, and tell both sides they have to pay their own legal bills.

Galileo! Galileo. Galileo! Galileo frigged-LEO: Easy come, easy go. Little high, little low

Tom 13

Re: Spending this fuel now would also reduce their life span

That shouldn't be a problem. Just send up Harry in the Salvage 1 to give it a bit of a nudge or maybe refill the tanks.

Oh, wait that was fictional. I meant we should send up the space shuttle to refuel...

Dammit! Not only do I not have a flying car, all the tech we thought we had seems to be disappearing too.

Experimental hypersonic SUPERMISSILE destroyed 4 SECONDS after US launched it

Tom 13

Re: After 25 years, it should be possible to take a step back and take a dispassionate look

It should. But your leftist rantings will never cease.

When Ronald Reagan came into office the world was facing a financial crisis not unlike the one the Democrats caused as W was leaving office. The military was in tatters with US diplomats having been held for 444 days after Carter, following the same feckless plan The Big 0 implemented in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan withdrew US support for the Shah. The USSR was advancing on all fronts.

Reagan left office having implemented the largest peacetime economic recovery in the history of the world. One that lasted so long and withstood so many attempts to undermine that ideologues like you to this day insist of transferring credit from him to Clinton. He did this by lowering the marginal tax rates, and indexing them to inflation. Thus fixing a permanent notion that future tax rates would be lower than they were when he came into office.

He didn't overspend, Tip O'Neill the Democrat in charge of the House did. The Executive branch of the US government cannot originate fiscal legislation. And every budget proposal Reagan and his staff submitted to O'Neill was declared DOA before it even left his desk.

Those are the real facts no matter how much it may stick in your craw.

Tom 13

Re: change their logo to a potato.

Nah, even a sack of potatoes doesn't get beat up that badly.

Tom 13


IIRC detection has more to do with calculating the trajectory of the launch than detecting the launch itself. Not sure how the routing works these days, but at the height of the cold war, ICBMs were pretty much a straight parabolic path. If these things do anything to change that path they get tossed from the detection algorithm until it is rewritten. And rewriting it might cause other issues, especially if it looks more "civilian".

Tom 13

Re:they would have a few more friends and a few less enemies.

We tried that back in the 60s. Contrary to popular opinion, the reverse turns out to be true.

Tom 13

Re: 60 minutes reaction time

Military protocols are written to make that decision in under 10 minutes, in fact under 6 IIRC. Because that's how long it would take a submarine launched ballistic missile to reach the US capital if launched from just outside the national waters boundary line.

My big reveal as macro-economics analyst: It's a load of COBBLERS

Tom 13

Re: Your not like everyone else that the banks have suckered in.

Not anymore, but once I was. So deep in credit card debt I actually consulted with a lawyer about filing for bankruptcy.

That was back in the days when it would have been permanently discharged in about 7 years. Instead I took an early withdrawl from a retirement fund, paid off the overdue portion and worked out an agreement to pay over time at a more reasonable rate. It's been 20 years getting to where I'm at now. But at least I have a clear conscience about not stiffing anybody with my debts.

Tom 13

@The Dude

Never forget:

If you line up 4 economists in a room, they will point in 5 different directions.

Tom 13

Re: Can you imagine the stimulus this would have given

Zip. Nada. Zero. Zilch.

Because you first had to create the debt before handing out the dosh. Besides which, that was George W. Bush's policy, only on a grander scale. Oh, you don't remember the $500 rebates? I do. No effect on the economy what so ever. There have actually been studies done on it. What changes the macro economics of the situation is changing the expectations of future earnings. Drive down the tax rates in such a way that people expect they will have more money year after year and productivity and consumption go up. Problem the politicians have is they've been doing the whole rob Peter to pay Paul thing for so long, it doesn't matter what they say or do, everyone is waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Right now the expectation, particularly here in the US is that real income is going to fall. I'm mere anecdote, but there are lots more like me out there. I've had decent insurance all my life. I've also made mistakes and been paying down debts. I was planning to have my last big one cleared at the end of October. After which I was going to start saving for a new car. $125, twice a month (once each paycheck) into saving until I had a decent down payment, then use that same sum for my monthly payment. Not big money, but enough to buy my first new car since 2001. Last week I got the news about my copay for my new and improved insurance. Its going to cost me an extra $180 ever paycheck. Bye-bye new car.

Tom 13

Re: we've done the great leap forward.

That's the problem with predicting the next great leap forward though; you never recognize it until it is already underway. If you had asked the farmer with to mules what was going to improve his productivity he would have said "two more mules and another farm hand" not a horseless tractor.

Good points about the 1970s though. Sad how quickly we forget. It wasn't just GB, we did the same things on this side of the pond. Not sure if it was a group think that encompassed the world, or whether it was just a combination of enough big countries doing it all at the same time.

Judge nixes HP deal for director amnesty after $8.8bn Autonomy snafu

Tom 13

Re: shopping gene ... women seem to have it more than men

Not actually. Same gene differently enabled. Women get called out for it because they do it more often, but usually for less expensive items. Men do it less often, but more than compensate with the size of their purchases. With a purchase this size, definitely the male shopping gene at work.

On the HP issue, the once great company is dead. Only the zombie body remains, and like a zombie they keep ravaging new towns always looking for "Brains!"

6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)

Tom 13

Re: What about the Arapaho?

Well, I think Zuck calls it "revenue".

Wall Street's internet darlings require an endless supply of idiots

Tom 13

Re: It's a speculative pre-order platform.

Except when it isn't. The concert certainly wasn't. Found out a convention I attended a year or two back got funding from a kickstarter. It wasn't a pre-order either. Convention may have worked out a bit better than the concert since it was done on an NPO basis.

Kickstarter is what it is: a fund raising mechanism. One in which the ancient maxim caveat emptor prevails. Which is sort of the author's point. To many clueless idiots out there waiting to be fleeced. Of course, it only bothers you if you are worried about the clueless idiots. Maybe Darwin should prevail for a spell.

FCC not quite sold on Comcast TWC gobble

Tom 13

Re: They both use the same wire.


I live in one of the few areas of the country where Verizon and Comcast compete head to head with a couple of other players also in the market. Guess what? Comcast and Verizon both have their fibers laid right past my house.

Now, that it unfairly impacts them vis-a-vie Verizon and AT&T, yep there's valid point. But it has multiple solutions.

Bigger issue might be that all the profit is likely to be located on the IP side, not the delivery side. I'm not sure how that one really breaks down or what to do about it.

But those issues have nothing to do with the service running on the same wire.

And there's one other thing I know. For as bad as service and competition are now, removing TWC from the equation cannot make it better.

Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays

Tom 13

Re: Until workmen outside cut through your comms cable ......

Yep. I still remember the day somebody running a backhoe down by the police station took out the power grid to the industrial complex in which I worked. Somehow or another the guy running the backhoe managed to get out unharmed. Funniest part was when one of the secretaries decided that since the computers were down, she'd put her old secretarial skills to use on a typewriter. When she sat down at the the IBM Selectric she suddenly realized it also had a power button.

Tom 13

Re: I'd rather have it where I can reach it

Yet even now there are some bright lights out there who don't understand that.

I use to help with a 25,000 (35,000 these days I am told) person convention on the east coast of the US. When I handled their registration system, everything was onsite. We'd paid someone to write custom software to handle Registration, retail sales, and an Art Auction. They decided they wanted to move to something they'd written. They also opted to consolidate our outsourced pre-registration system into it. Now, while the pre-reg system did live in the cloud while people were sending money, when online registration closed the contract said they would create a backup for us to restore to a server on site, which we did. Then the cloud copy became our backup in case anything bad happened to the server at con. While consolidating wasn't necessarily a bad choice they also opted to move everything to the cloud. Yeah. So registration day arrived this year and the facility was having trouble with their internet connection (convention rented their T1 line when I was running things). So almost none of the 8,000-10,000 people who were standing in line the first day (Thursday) got registered.

I don't see dead people: Twitter to nix some images of deceased folk

Tom 13

Re: Immediate access to the real names of the people sending her those images

Sorry, I was assuming appropriate warrants from the police, not just the company handing them over to anybody. And the posting of the images should be sufficient cause for the warrants.

Yes, real ids would also be an issue. But the biggest issue is still that we wouldn't have enough space for the scum.

Tom 13

The only reason I can for not allowing Zelda Williams

immediate access to the real names of the people sending her those images and permitting her to file harassment suits against them which should result in felony convictions is that we don't have enough room in our jail to keep the scum.

Politically I'm on the polar opposite side of the spectrum from Robin Williams. But I enjoyed some of his comedy and can sympathize with the man's depression. I know nothing about Zelda beyond what was posted in this article. But I see no justifiable cause for her to be tormented in this way. Frankly simply pulling the images does her no justice, it just sweeps the offense under the carpet.

Brit Sci-Fi author Alastair Reynolds says MS Word 'drives me to distraction'

Tom 13

Re: conventional typed and set workflow gives rise to fewer errors

There's actually a lot to be said for the computerized aspects of publishing. Word simply isn't one of them. Early in my life I did DTP work for technical publications. Getting an electronic copy of the document was usually a godsend. Whether it was Word, WordPerfect, WordStar or any of half a dozen other formats it tended to save a lot of transcription errors. We'd pull whatever the document was into our system then I had a raft of macros to reformat the document according to our text codes. Usually printed copies had already been distributed to reviewers who would edit the documents for grammar, spelling, and punctuation. I'd receive the copies and have to incorporate those changes. Then we'd print it out from our program and send out another set of copies. We got them back and did another round of clean up. Next we'd put together the document as we expected it to be published. At this point I'd sometimes be tweaking spacing to pull a line up to save a page. Then we'd get the blue line from the printer and distribute it authors for final edits.

Keeping track of all that paper requires discipline and I suspect publishers have tried to sidestep that by forcing the changes to be made to the electronic documents. It would also save on mailing costs. The problem of course is that creates a different reconciliation process. One which when you think about it, is much more difficult to manage and requires unified software across authors, reviewers, editors, typesetters, and publishers. They probably ought to go back to paper.

Tom 13

Re: the challenge is the downstream publishing process

Alastair Reynolds comment was specific to the comment and change markup feature in Word, so were talking about the part of production where it is transitioning from creative to production. I wouldn't call that the downstream process. I haven't done much work on that end of things in years, so I don't know how well the competing collaborative tools work. Also part of the issue is simply that there be a standard. If you have 12 people reviewing the document and only 3 of them are actual employees of the publishing company (as opposed to independent contractors not on the premises) they all need to be using something that allows them all to talk to each other.

MS's dominance of the writer, spreadsheet, and power point market is probably an even more odious result of their OS monopoly than killing Netscape was. While some people still prefer WordStar, my processor of choice back in the day was WordPerfect either DOS 5.1 or Windows 6.x. Word always insisted on doing weird stuff with my documents via automatic formatting corrections, and no I don't mean the auto-correct feature which can be disabled. I was doing document production at the time, and whereas WordPerfect would leave my codes exactly where I wanted them, Word would always concatenate them in the order it preferred. That wasn't a problem when it was doing something like [i][b][red] to [red][b][i] but for me it was critical that [i][^]t[v][space][i] not get concatenated to [i][^]t[v][i] because that was going to cause all kinds of havoc in page production package. Similarly either Lotus or Quattro Pro were better than Excel and I still recall being able to easily do some things in Harvard Graphics that I can't to the day easily to in PowerPoint or Excel.

Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media

Tom 13

I'm of two conflicting minds on this topic.

1. It's nice that some sites are finally showing some respect for civilized values.

2. The video needs to be more widely distributed so the couch potatoes are finally forced to confront the murderous reality of the enemies of civilization.

The only thing they agree on is that it should not be a recruiting tool for ISIS/ISIL.

Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!

Tom 13

Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

The GMail solution is crap compare to Exchange. Exchange may be hell for mail admins (and even worse for those who don't use it), but for users focused on calendaring, there are few better solutions.

That being said, it strikes me that the real problem here is fanaticism on both sides of the OS wars. If the issue is only calendaring and Exchange is best, bring in the required Windows/Exchange server to handle that segment of the work but leave the rest as is. There's no need to undo the good parts of the deployed Linux environment just because it doesn't handle calendaring well.

This'll end well: US govt says car-to-car jibber-jabber will SAVE lives

Tom 13

Re: Left turn assist?

Oh, it's worse than that. Every seen Starman? AKA "Yellow light means go very very fast."?

Yeah, there are people who use that warning the same way.

Tom 13

Never trust a 'Merkin to build a roundabout.

Take a look at this: https://www.google.com/maps/@38.9094972,-77.0432502,215m/data=!3m1!1e3

Not sure if you can tell from the imagery but they've got traffic lights on that damn thing as well as cattle shoots. Get in the wrong lane and you WON'T be able to just slide into the correct one, you'll just come out the other side with no idea where the hell you are.

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