* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

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

Tom 13

Re: pretty much universal adoption

It doesn't actually have to be universal adoption. I'd think you might see some changes with as little as 10% adoption and significant change at 50%. Traffic tends to move in slugs. If you are moving in a slug and looking at the car in front of you instead of a car three ahead in the slug, you'll never have time to react to a sudden changes. Depending on the exact range of "short range" that would give you three cars and so long as one of them gives you warning, you can adjust based on the tech. At 50% adoption and even distribution you'd only have a 13% chance that none of the cars would provide data.

Cargo truck crammed with garbage explodes IN SPAAAAACE

Tom 13

Re: low reynolds number...

Mostly. But if you eject something from the space station (you can't really drop it) it now has a very slightly different vector. And that vector will now deteriorate in a different way than the space station does. Which is what generates the real problem with all the space junk. For all the tens of thousands of things they are tracking, and calculating orbits around, there are just as many more they aren't.

Detroit losing millions because it buys cheap batteries – report

Tom 13

Re: 10 AA was a good idea rather than 12

My remotes only take 2 cells each. Works for me.

Tom 13

Re: Did they get rid of the post

Nah, the post is still there, pays well too. It's just never been occupied by someone who was competent.

Tom 13

Re: the core of the problem

No, the core of their problem was assuming they didn't have to do anything to fix their financial problems long before they got to the point of buying discount batteries for their parking meters. Given that kind of stubborn stupidity, the battery issue was to be expected.

Tom 13

Re: because mine has gone off while complaining of a low battery.

And almost always between the hours of 1 am and 3 am local time. Never 5 pm when it might be convenient to change the battery.

Time to ditch HTTP – govt malware injection kit thrust into spotlight

Tom 13

Re: assuming the SSL CA certificates aren't compromised.

When the people doing the hacking are state actors at the Five Eyes level, that looks like an awfully big assumption to me. In which case switching to HTTPS only creates a false sense of security. Switching to HTTPS is probably a good idea for non-state actor malware, but I doubt it's going to help in this case.

Take the shame: Microsofties ADMIT to playing Internet Explorer name-change game

Tom 13

MS can issue all the press releases they want to about killing the old browsers,

but given that they still haven't managed to kill off IE6, I'll take them with a grain of salt.

Google stopped explicit support for IE8 in November of 2012. Our agency outsources to them for mail. Not more than two weeks ago when I was providing an external customer with the credential information for their new account they noticed the unsupported browser notice at the top of their browser window. Yep, his company was still using IE8 because of internally developed applications.

Know what Ferguson city needs right now? It's not Anonymous doxing random people

Tom 13

Re: how does an unarmed kid get shot multiple times

Well it starts with not complying with the police officer's direction. It escalates when you give the cop lip for doing his job. And it's pretty much guaranteed once you assault the police officer.

Yeah, I've been pulled over by the police for speeding. I've always found them polite, direct, and forceful. Pretty much what an officer needs to be these days.

Tom 13

Re: but newspapers, radio and TV

Because they gave George Zimmerman fair treatment and haven't tried to make themselves part of the story this time, right?

Tom 13

Re: We expect law-enforcement officers not to be criminals.

Not based on the rush to judgement which has been displayed on these pages.

It's time for PGP to die, says ... no, not the NSA – a US crypto prof

Tom 13

Re: He's right! PGP sucks to use!

The real problem with PGP isn't the principles behind it, its the same problem that plagues secure web sites: there is no secure but easily used exchange for certificates. We "solved" that problem for websites by designating a couple of suppliers of top level certs, and everybody buys their certs from them. But that approach doesn't readily work for PGP email keys. Maybe Google, Yahoo, and MS could setup some sort of free public storage for certs from which people could download keys, maybe not.

Marvell: NO WAY should we have to pay jumbo $1.54bn patent judgment

Tom 13

Re: bloody US patent Office... has got a lot to answer for...

Yes, but not as much as the Congress which enables it.

Dead Steve Jobs sued by own shareholders in no-poach pact brouhaha

Tom 13

Re: Presumably there will be a counter-suit


First off, in order to be accountable they'd have to have some authority in the company by which they could affect share price.

Next up, you can't be sued for attempting to enforce your civil rights unless in making such attempts you make false allegations.

Tom 13

Re: "widely respected businessmen"

In business circles it is often the case that respected = feared.

Anonymous threatens to name cop who shot dead unarmed Michael Brown

Tom 13

Re: witnesses must be independent not his friends.

Not merely not just his friends but truly independent. The problem at the moment as the mayor of the town has noted is that the black community so distrusts the police force they won't apply to work on it. Which means you can't assume they won't be lying if the corroborate the victim's story. In the same way this story broke running under "white racism" they all know what they're supposed to say to back up a brother. Racism doesn't only come in white sheets.

Tom 13

Re: Now that Al Sharpton

That's Al "Tawana Brawley" Sharpton, good friend of Jesse "Hymietown" Jackson.





Yeah the riot starting race baiters are back.

Tom 13

Re: Has anyone given thought to the fact that...

The only bullshit here is what you are spewing.

Within hours of the event happening the riots started. The police have been on call 24-7 since then. They probably have interviewed the witnesses and their notes are waiting on their desks. Problem is, since they're out on the streets trying to protect the public from looters and worse, their reports aren't getting written so there's no official story yet. And no, the cops' story isn't what is being published. What is being published are the facts that fit the anti-police, racism everywhere meme of the LSM. Even this story doesn't include facts released by the police that show there is more to the story than the neat little template the author and you are using to promote a political agenda that has nothing to do with justice to the cop or the kid who was shot.

Tom 13

Re: When will it ever end.

About ten seconds after the last libturd like you pulls his head out of his arse and admits it is a true, non-racist statement.

Tom 13

Re: endemic racism in society

People using this phrase are racist. The facts say otherwise. In the 1950s, at the height of Jim crow, arrest rates for blacks were lower than they are now. Poverty was provably higher than it is now. So poverty is NOT the cause of increase arrest among the black population.

You want a better explanation? The rising crime rates among blacks are a result of the racist attitude that they just can't help themselves so their behavior should be excused. It gets damnably worse when it is justified because of "endemic racism in society."

Tom 13

Re: The Officer is being extended a luxury

No he isn't. You or I are not expected in the normal course of our jobs to confront situations in which we need to use lethal force to subdue someone. The police have procedures for dealing with such incidents and we do not routinely read their names when they shoot someone.

Tom 13

@ Don Jefe

Since the end of the 1960s we have a history of withholding the names of suspects who are likely to be lynched. It was a wise policy to adopt then and a wise one to continue now. Precisely for the reasons you outlined in your first paragraph.

Tom 13

Re: Putting the name of a suspect in the public domain

The names of suspects are only put in the public domain when there is little anticipation of a lynch mob attacking the suspect before a trial is held. That is not the current atmosphere in Missouri, nor even here on the pages of El Reg where the police officer has already been assumed to be guilty. Even within this article there is no mention of the police chief's remarks that the face of the officer involved in the shooting was severely bruised as a result of his encounter with the so called harmless and surrendering victim.

Tom 13

Re: Read further in the article

I don't give a damn. They should never have made the terrorist threat in the first place. They are thugs and that threat shows them out for what they are.

Govt control? Hah! It's IMPOSSIBLE to have a successful command economy

Tom 13

Re: Build them out of what?

While I find the idea of the post-scarcity economy absurd, the robotic argument assumes robots mine the raw materials. You can equally substitute nano for robots for a different branch of utopianists. The thing is, while we've seen a lot of proto-dystopias, we've never seen a proto-utopia.

Tom 13

Re: Detroit management laid a heavier hand

The extent to which the decline of the internal market you describe is sort of irrelevant to the larger point anyway. Once GM was solidly a command and control company, it ceased to respond to the market. Today it only exists because it is regarded as "too big to fail" and government stepped in to cover their mistakes.* Indeed, even with its "completed recovery", it isn't clear it's going to make it another 5 years without needing another bailout.

*leaving aside the question of what the opportunity costs of the bailout were, which is a valid concern.

Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes

Tom 13

Re: So where do their numbers come from...

Somebody runs through their data, runs the cost structures, runs payment structures, and calculates the best way to make money.

For small businesses it tends to be more back of the envelop calculations: I expect my typical purchase to be X. My processing fees are 0/.25/.50 per transaction plus 1/1.5/2/2.5% of the transaction. I expect x% charge backs, so that works out to ... +y% per item in costs.

Back when I first did this for a large east coast (US) fannish convention, we worked it out to about 2.3% per transaction for the vendors we chose. We decided to add a 5% processing fee and pocket the difference (additional equipment was needed beyond the vendor charges and they don't want you advertising their exact fees as that constitutes privileged competitive information). And yes, we assessed the 5% on taxes collected as well because the credit card was going to charge us for processing those taxes too.

£100m DMI omnifail: BBC managers' emails trawled by employment tribunal

Tom 13

Re: Public money

First time I read that I read "lawyers upon the lawyers of idiots" which I suppose is pretty much the same difference.

Tom 13

Re: junk popular "science" (Wifi Headaches etc)

We remember the past more fondly than it actually was. After Nimoy's stint on Star Trek ended, his next big show was In Search of which pursued exactly the same sorts of junk science only more so: ufos, alien abduction, Bigfoot, and even a couple trips to Ole Blighty looking for Nessie.

Tom 13

Re: In other news...

It's okay. If you need any of those old records, please file your request with the NSA. Once you've signed the appropriate NDA and ISA, they'll be happy to provide you with a completely indexed copy of those messages.

Tom 13

Re: "Linwood can just spin in the wind for now.”

Yeah, I took note of that too. That's a line that to me says the only response when plaintiff's lawyers sue you is "Yes sir. How many zeros do you want on the check?"

At this point, I think the best solution is Linwood gets a big check, his record is expunged and he and the BBC part ways. At this point the well is too poisoned for him to work there effectively, even if they replaced all the rest of senior management. And that's assuming he has zero culpability for the failure, a position I don't think any of his defenders have taken.

Oy vey what a mess. Maybe you should just dissolve the BBC and start over. It might be quicker than trying to clean it up.

Autonomy ex-moneyman: 'Visionary' Léo would have made HP merger work

Tom 13

Re: entirely bereft of any factual content.

Hussain is that you?

Shouldn't you be working on your defense with your lawyers instead of posting at El Reg?

Hollywood star Robin Williams dies of 'suspected suicide' at 63

Tom 13

Re: Mork Calling Orson @P. Lee

While both of your comments have some validity, on the whole I'd side with P. Lee. And yes, I have been there.*

There are far too many people in society who are willing to move your thoughtful comments on edge cases away from the edge and into normal for their own selfish purposes. So I believe we must insist the instinct is to always protect life and only deviate from that for the gravest of reasons which have been fully challenged at each step. It may not have been intended, but in the comment to which P. Lee was responding, I read a bit too much of the unrepentant Ebeneezer Scrooge: if they want to kill themselves they'd best get on with it; too much surplus population anyway.

*Still fight it daily in my own way because the neither the drugs nor the talking help beyond what recovery I have made. Not debilitating the way it once was, I'm functional in society and pay my own way. Sometimes I even enjoy myself. I just never forget where the abyss lies and do my best to avoid even fleeting contact with it.

Tom 13

Re: how much...related to alcoholism, strong cocaine use, etc.

Probably a chicken and egg issue. Mental health issues lend themselves to these destructive behaviors, the behaviors in turn make it more difficult to deal with the mental health issues. Wherever you find addictions you are also likely dealing with obsessive compulsive behavior. Since people are normally only in treatment after something destructive has happened, by the time doctors see it there are usually multiple entangled issues already present. OCB can also manifest itself in other destructive behaviors like gambling, sex, or even excessive online gaming.

Tom 13

Re: When will we take mental health seriously?

Nothing trite about it. Until you deal with the reality I just described you won't be able to help anyone. Quite honestly, I took a fair bit of comfort in those around me with their eyes closed to it. Enough people knew and were trying to help me where they could. If I would have had even more people trying to help me, I like would have gone deeper into depression.

Tom 13

Robin Williams was a comic genius.

May he find the peace he did not find in life.

My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. May you find strength when you need it in the coming days.

Tom 13

Re: How many lives could have been saved

Possibly not as many as you think. Mental illnesses are tricky things. It is possible in the depths of depression for the outpouring of which you speak to make the person feel even more depressed.

I've been there once or twice. Only reason I'm still here is that somewhere deep inside was a will to survive that overrode the impulse to go jump out the window. No, I can't tell you how I finally managed to mostly break its hold. Neither can the doctors. It's not like the physical diseases we've cured where you can measure and test and have established facts when you are done. It's still more art than science no matter how much we'd rather it were science.

Tom 13

Re: When will we take mental health seriously?

It's not necessarily a matter of taking it seriously. Sometimes it is simply beyond doctors abilities to treat. Since he had sought treatment I think he was taking it seriously.

America's hot and cold spots for broadband revealed in new map

Tom 13

Re: wrong cause and effect

Monopolies and the local governments are still a big part of it. True you will get more competition in higher density, higher income areas.

Another factor for Virginia is that as I recall, they're pretty much the biggest transatlantic relay for internet traffic. All the big guys had their headquarters there once upon a time. I think that alone will tend to boost the speeds.

Amazon smacks back at Hachette in e-book pricing battle: We're doing it for the readers

Tom 13

Re: why there isn't a fixed transaction charge for selling an e-book.

This on the other hand is a very good question. They won't answer it of course, because the elephant in the room is that Amazon doesn't actually give a damn about authors, publishers or readers. They're just intent on dominating the market.

Tom 13

Re: 30% of $10 is hardly fractions of a penny.

You can't count that as profit until you've taken into account all other expenses for the company. If you read Amazon's financials they are abysmal. They make a profit just often enough to not be forced into bankruptcy.

Tom 13

Re: Publishers earn their money.

Maybe, maybe not. A great many of them have certainly made a hash of publishing decent books. I never actually entered the writing market although it was once my intended field. I do know from people in the industry that a decent editor is worth his weight in platinum.

But that is actually irrelevant. The relevant question is: Who owns the book? Surely the author is the first person to whom ownership should be assigned. Not the reader, not the publisher, and certainly not Amazon. Now, in order to sell the book the author may have transferred some or all rights for a limited or unlimited time to the Publisher. At which point the publisher has some or complete ownership of the book. Which means Amazon is attempting to extort the publisher and the author who are the actual owners of the book.

US 911 service needs emergency upgrade and some basic security against scumbags

Tom 13

Re: seem to be against younger people

No, they aren't. In fact, most of them are against adults. It's just that those incidents haven't made the headlines, because the people who are being the most actively targeted are actually conservatives and the LSM don't like them so they don't matter.

Tom 13

Re: Now in these Swatting cases,

Most if not all of the swatting cases of which I have direct knowledge involve the hoax caller reporting an active shooter on the scene. That requires quite a different response from a domestic disturbance.

Tom 13

Re: Press 1 for English, 2 if you are in a fatal accident...

Not even necessarily shock but just panic. When I was a teen someone hit a boy riding his bike near our house. My mother went to call the police and couldn't remember the number. They'd just started rolling out the 911 system in our area. She'd gotten a sticker and put it on the phone. That sticker let her make the call.

NetScout sues Gartner over magic quadrant placement

Tom 13

Re: a court may decide it is libellous.

That's actually a higher standard than NetScout will have to meet. Yes, it is opinion and so due a great deal of deference in the US. But, since Gartner claims to be making a technical assessment they need to be able to show unbiased methods for determining their rankings.

That being said, even the lesser standard NetScout is claiming will be difficult to prove, even if everybody in the industry suspects it is true. At least absent a smoking email.

BBC man Linwood 'was unfairly sacked' over £100 MILLION DMI omnifail

Tom 13

Re: > punt the guy by any means

The problem is with the word "responsible". Unfortunately and all too frequently, there's a difference between having your name on the door and actually being responsible for the project.

From my admitted long distance view on this, it sounds like as the guy with his name on the door as far as he was able to, he acted responsibly. He warned the BBC that the project was off the rails and needed to be canceled or brought under control. Warnings which were promptly ignored by his superiors who told him to carry on with the existing program. Then when the investigators caught the BBC wasting money, they attempted to shitcan him and put all the blame on him, aka scapegoated him.

Tom 13

Re: Never mind the "talent", what do their HR people get paid?

Yes, but "as a former small-time employer" you were accustomed to obeying the law, not ignoring it.

Farmville maker Zynga delays new games after losing 57 million users

Tom 13

Re: Zynga has no USP...

Wrong problem. I'm familiar with all the accusations you've made. Back when I was playing their games on FB, they made no difference to me. I doubt they would now if I were still playing. Just before I quit playing I had finally cleanup my own finances enough that I was willing to cough up $25 a month to purchase some in game stuff. (I'd also figured out a way I figured my CC info was safe enough when I made the purchase.) So I ought to be exactly the sort of prime customer they are looking for.

So why did I quit? Two reasons:

1. Their server lag got to the point the game was simply unplayable. I'd log in and it would be five minutes before the playing field would display. As I'd be working along on something the server would suddenly reset. And I'd be back to the five minute wait while it loads bit.

2. Instead of letting the focus be on playing the game, it became farming friends to sell you things. Only, once you farmed yourself more than 35 friends playing the game, you discovered you couldn't send stuff to ALL of them, only 35 of them. Also a fair number of the rewards depended on visiting friends farms. That five minute wait listed above? Yeah, it happened each time you visited a friend's farm.

I've used Farmville here as an example, but the rest of their games had similar issues, except for Mafia and Vampire Wars where you didn't visit other people's playing fields, but the rest of the issues were still there.

My retired mother still plays. But they're never going to make a dime off her.

CIA infosec guru: US govt must buy all zero-days and set them free

Tom 13

Re: Make un-patched software open source is a great idea. Period.

My own thought was that at that point you should lose your copyright protection and the code should become public use. But given the way most people treat open source, Stallman and his acolytes are the only people who would argue against it being mere semantics.

Whether or not a chunk has been abandoned is irrelevant. The monolithic code has been abandoned and it is in the public interest that the monolithic code continue to be supported. Yes, you do need to indemnify the company so that their continued use of a code segment isn't a violation of copyright on the old code, hence my preference for copyright expiration over OSS.

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