* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Who will kill power companies? TESLA, says Morgan Stanley

Tom 13

Re: lasts for at least 10 years, and sits quietly in the corner

And how big a corner are you willing to part with?

US cyber-army's cyber-warriors 'cyber-humiliated by cyber-civvies in cyber-games'

Tom 13

Re: Not much of a surprise there then

Maybe for British recruits. But one of the frequent complaints from the Russians is that studying US SOPs is useless because as soon as the guys get on the front lines they throw the book away.

BAD VIBES: High-speed video camera records your voice from trash

Tom 13

Re: real sounds off old silent cinema

There's a reason so many of the stars of the silent movies failed to make the transition to the talkies: their squeaky voices were unpalatable to audiences. And as someone who has a voice made for newspapers, I understand this.

Israel snooped on John Kerry's phone calls during Middle East peace talks

Tom 13

Re: I don't think "tapped" is the correct word for what the Israeli's did.

No you went straight to a better word when you defined "tapped": intercepted. And because it is intercepted without either delaying transmission (as would be the case if you intercepted a courier) or trespassing on foreign soil, is not as high a level breach as those operations would be.

Thank-you for the correction on SIN BET and the explanation.

Tom 13

I don't think "tapped" is the correct word for what the Israeli's did.

"Tapping" implies the addition of a device to the communications link. I believe satellite communication data is simply captured, no tapping required. The recording of such data is relatively simple and impossible to prevent. Yes, Mossad could have sent a black ops team to a data center and tapped the data stream from an Earth bound relay, but why? That's all risk for very little if any advantage.

Tom 13

That assumes intelligence and some respect for another countries permanent interests. Kerry displayed no signs of any of that during his trip, so I'll put this one down to stupidity and arrogance too.

Tom 13

I'm quite certain Germany spies on their allies. They're just better at keeping they yaps closed about it than the rest of us are.

And if I'm wrong about that, they damn well better start. I expect them to be circumspect about their activities in support of keeping their country together, not stupid.

Samsung sticks with child labour shame fab: Zero-tolerance means 30% less trade

Tom 13

Re: uk living, working, hitec manufacturing...

Regulation is also less in the US, although the pols seem to have the petal to the metal in an effort to catch up.

The thing is, for all the benefits you see in those areas comparing the US to the UK, comparing the US to China you'll see the same benefits, albeit sometimes for different reasons.

Sony reads the future, quits e-reader market says German report

Tom 13

Re: get your minds out of the gutter

Out minds aren't always in the gutter! They sometimes come out to feed for a pint.

Lawyer for alleged Silk Road kingpin wants all evidence thrown out

Tom 13

Re: if you, or someone you give a shit about

Well, that would depend on what they were accused of and whether or not I figured they were guilty. Fact of the matter is, I've rarely heard anyone arguing about these things who wasn't guilty. Someone I know keeps getting his son out of trouble for smoking dope. Stories always show the kid is involved and he's gaming the system so his kid won't have a record. The kid should do his time. It's the only wake up call he's going to get.

Another friend of mine has a sister who was pulled over for erratic driving. At which point they found meth in her car. He and his family knew she was a user, figured it was hers but worked to try to game the system so she wouldn't have a record. Cops were willing to cooperate with her gaming the system because they want her to testify against the guy who was in the car and is a known meth distributor. Sister was late for her hearing. Other members of the family bought her a car, and set her up in a rental home they owned. As events have turned, she's not merely using meth, she's cooking it. She needs to go to jail ASAP. As long as she's out there she's a danger to society. And my friend will tell you that point blank about his sister.

HP says it will sue former Autonomy CFO Sushovan Hussein

Tom 13

So, we should put you down in the

"Why can't they both lose?" column?

Me too. And I recall a time when I respected HP.

Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate history' story made into TV series

Tom 13

Re: show us billionaires who have more money

That's easy:

Bill Gates

Warren Buffet

George Soros

Any ONE of them has more money than the Kochs do and are far more fascist. In fact, if you look carefully at things the Kochs sponsor you'll find they aren't even conservative but Libertarian. And while I have significant philosophical differences with Libertarians, I do recognize that they are about as polar opposite fascism as it is possible to be.

Tom 13

Re: In reality, the Allies *did* win.

Are you sure? Wherever I look I see socialists. About half of them are International Socialists and the other half are National Socialists. But they all grow from the same corrupt root and lie about their roots being on the left instead of the right.

Tom 13

Re: not much like the book though.

Part of it were, parts of it weren't. Most of the adaptions made sense for a movie. Except for the ending.* Unfortunately, that sort of invalidated everything they did right. So you earned an up vote.

*Yes, you can argue you have to put a happy ending on a Hollywood movie so it would fall under my "adaptions made sense" waiver, but given the ending was sort of the point of the whole book, no.

Brits stung for up to £625 when they try to cancel broadband

Tom 13

@ AndrueC

As the consumer, I don't give a damn whose fault it is that the service wasn't delivered, the long and the short of it is the service wasn't delivered. If the problem for a given customer was in the last mile and the ISP doesn't control the last mile some other government protected monopoly does, the ISP can sue the monopoly for THEIR failure to deliver the service and collect the appropriate fees from them. Because one of the few thing in life of which I am certain is that 90% of the time, the ISP is going to be in a better position to sue the jackwad at fault than the consumer is. The only power the consumer really has in the market place is to take his business elsewhere. Take that away and he is back to being a serf.

Tom 13

Re: They have no shame.

You're right about that. But at least if you name them, punters can be aware of the potential problems up front.

Windows Registry-infecting malware has no files, survives reboots

Tom 13

Re: Surely this only gives a short time where it won't be spotted.

I wouldn't count on that.

Remember, the AV guys have to play by the rules MS establishes for third party vendors. They may have a better deal than MOST third party vendors, but MS still won't let them much around with parts of the registry. The malware miscreants are under no such restrictions.

Tom 13

Re: What happened to Microsoft's lauded "Security From the Ground Up" initiative?

Well, if they had told the truth, even the fools wouldn't have believed them:

"New and Improved!! Security from the Ground Down!"

We dug a new hole in which to hide our obscure information, and moved all the critical bits there. This time the miscreants really won't be able to find it.

Tom 13

Re: faster than you can via parsing a flat file -

The only reason you need the speed of a Btrieve database to update the Registry is because it is a monolithic flat file in the first place. Put the program configuration in text files in the individual program directories where they belong and it's not a problem any more. Yes, Windows would keep a ini file of the installed programs so you'd know where to look for them at install. But the only time the configuration files should be accessed is during install anyway.

Tom 13

Re: Devil's advocate...

Word had user preference files before Windows was even thought of. They worked amazingly well.

If you truly have roaming users, not only their data but their apps should be sitting on the server. Since the app is sitting on the server, there should be no need to synchronize to the machine.

At the most basic level, permissions are a text file. Obfuscating that fact only increases the typical false sense of security. And in this case it looks like the cure is worse than the disease.

Tom 13

Re: It doesn't get cleaned up properly...

You almost had that one. In fact, if I could remove the last to periods of the ellipses it would be correct.

Even third party tools don't really clean it up. Like MS, they have no better knowledge of all the crapware out there. They might do a better job than MS does at making informed guesses, but with all the crap that gets laid down in a modern MS installation and the wide dispersal of that crap, you just can't know it all and clean it up. Yes, using one is 9 times more likely to help than hurt, but it still isn't perfect.

We're BFFs AGAIN, say AT&T and Netflix after penning peering pact

Tom 13

Re: Peering

I believe the peering agreement to which you are referring was with Comcast, not Verizon. In fact I was going to comment that perhaps that means Netflix and Verizon will very soon be inking a similar deal since that seems to be the way this dance is run.

Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees

Tom 13

Re: Greenhouse effect is a fact

Is it really? Please point me to the detailed, published, peer reviewed paper that details the exact effect carbon dioxide has on retained heat in a controlled environment.

I can find all kinds of references to greenhouses and cars all of which is anecdotal and not scientifically measured, quantified and explained. Then there's some hand waving because of reflection bands at specific wavelengths in our atmosphere, and out the other side we get AGW. The thing is, I see one huge differential between cars and greenhouses and CO2: both of them have physical barriers which prevent the air from moving from one place to another as it heats from the sunlight. Given the height of a column of air above either object, I expect the net heat gain for both objects is almost entirely due to the inability of the air to move, and not the changes in absorption properties inside the car or greenhouse.

Tom 13

Re: The heat energy gained

Actually, that's the first fundamental problem of all Climate Change. At the most basic level, ALL of the heat from our planet has to derive from one of a few sources:

1) Radiative energy from the output of the Sun

2) Radioactive decay from isotopes in the Earth itself

3) Tidal friction from the Moon.

and maybe

4) Conversion of gravitational energy to heat in the Earth's core.

The thing is, all of those source except the Sun have their maximums in the far past (at least according to accepted Big Bang theory) and are declining. Which means if the heat input is increasing it has to be coming from Sun, and it has to be increasing by more than the decreases in other sources.

Now, there is some variability in the radiative output of the Sun. But interestingly, all of the AWG climate models start with from the assumption of steady radiative output from the Sun. I once hunted down the data on the recorded radiative output and it turned out to be varying about as much as the claimed variation in surface temperature. I didn't try to correlate exact changes, only noted the degree of variability.

Tom 13

Re: We're not all sociopaths.

You have yet to display any hard evidence to the contrary.

Tom 13

Re: there is no such thing as chaos

Actually there is and it has been mathematically proven as a result of some mistaken assumptions about data inputs for weather systems. Such systems may be cyclically stable or unstable, but they are chaotic. We're just fortunate most of the systems we've found in science aren't subject to them.

I concur with everything else in you post.

Tom 13

Re: @Hargrove

Except that we have now moved to 20 years instead of 15. And when the initial assertions were made were were told you might perhaps see 10 years in which random variation suppressed the underlying trend. AND we've been told that unless immediate and drastic action was taken, within 100 years (later revised to 200) we would have such massive shifts in weather patterns due to climate change that the world as we know will essentially cease to exist. So at this point we are either 10 or 20% of the way along the asserted curve but have none of the predicted warming. Which means the prediction is wrong.

Now, it may be that there is a threshold level thing. But that certainly wasn't what was asserted, so the assertion MUST be withdrawn or it is simply no longer science.

Tom 13

Re: highly sensitive to initial conditions", and not "non-deterministic"

This assertion is unproven and that is the crux of the problem with climate science.

As someone with background training in Astronomy, where the baselines being projected relative to the data collected, it is obvious that even though the baselines for climate are shorter than the ones for my area, they are still too short for the level of certainty claimed by the Warmists.

Astronomy can at least trace its databases back to the middle ages, and sometimes further. The real weather data exists for essentially the last 50 years. Essentially the time of weather satellites. While meteorological data have been collected prior to that, the preceding 150 years correlate more like the alchemy times as compared to chemistry. It's not that they were unaware of the scientific methods prior to that, they simply didn't have the means to collect the data.

Tom 13

Re: A Physicist and a Chemist

Perhaps a Biologist would not be more expert in the Higgs Boson per se, but at least when presented with data discussing it, I would expect him to be better able to analyze it than a creative writer. I've known both sorts, and while creative writers may thrill my imagination, their analytical skills on the sciences are usually rather lacking. Moreover, the climate change inherently depends on contributions from the physicist and the chemist. If they tell you you have f*cked up the fundamentals, odds are you have f*cked up the fundamentals. If the base of the structure is poorly built, it will collapse. Granted in the climate change analogy the Biologist probably puts in the first floor, but the other two still pour the foundation. The artsy fartsy guys just hang the gargoyls on the outside after everybody else is done.

Tom 13

Re: rather easy to 'realise' something

In this debate I'd have to give the win Mike Smith on points. Yes, Kepler observed the ellipses, but it was Newton who realized their significance and then proved the Sun was at the center of the solar system. Although I believe he too made the mistake of assuming it was also the center of the universe.

Tom 13

Re: a microscopic contribution ... significant impact on the decisions

Well, if you believe in homeopathy, the answer is obviously YES!

Tom 13

Re: Warming since 1997 not being statistically significant does not mean

Actually it does. That's why all real science uses statistics to prove their models.

Tom 13

Re: Oh no, thermometric data is not good

Oh it's worse than that.

A friend of mine has been working on a new project at work. Somebody waved some money at them to develop some algorithms to predict when an earthquake might be about to occur using water moisture data collected from satellites. According to him, the underlying scientific premise is valid. If you look at the data where an earthquake has occurred you can see the changes over the preceding weeks. The problem is the same one Mike 137 referenced: the signal is fairly low compared to the data. Specifically, if it has recently rained in the area you get similar signals. Now, if you take the appropriate precautions, you can still work around that issue. He thought he had one: compare the output of his algorithm using data from their satellites and compare it against other models that aren't using data from his satellites. So if the other models say it hasn't rained in the area but his says it did, it's probably an earthquake. And then he ran into an insurmountable problem. With all the data integration and sharing happening with all the weather supercomputers he can't find a model that isn't contaminated with his data.

Tom 13

Re: are lower than the 1/6

Except that he specified 4 of the six chambers, so the odds will depend on the exact configuration for the bullets. In the case of 1-2-1-2 the symmetry would tend to cancel the gravity effect, giving essentially the 4/6 odds he quoted.

Tom 13

Re: No Surprise

Please provide links to your alma mater, your actual PhD, your thesis, and the names of all the people on the committee who granted your degree.

Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more

Tom 13

I said it before and I'll say it again:

The so-called pricing fixing case against Apple et al was never about helping the consumer; it was always about positioning Amazon to dictate to the publishers what the publishers and the authors would get paid for selling their wares.

Tom 13

Re: Nancy Drew #153 perhaps

While I would lean toward the Hardy Boys instead, even for these I'd argue for the paper version. I stumbled upon them because my uncle left a copy of "The Tale of Two Towers" at my grandparents house. They let me borrow it. There after every month I'd use whatever money I'd earned doing chores to buy another book in the series. I think I was driving before I stopped buying new ones. I look forward to sending them (one a month) to my nephew when he is old enough to enjoy them.

Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE

Tom 13

Re: The TV manufacturers want a repeat of the 'flat panel' effect.

I'd say that gets you about half way there. What finished it was switching from NTSC/PAL to HDTV (or equivalents thereof for your particular region).

In my case, the first flat panel I bought was an HDTV-ready set at 720 because I was looking for a larger living room screen. HDTV was still in the early draft stages at committee and HDMI hadn't been invented yet. Then the standards were mandated. At which point we still had a CRT style TV in the basement. About a year after that I went shopping for the largest one I could afford and which would still fit in my car. I looked at the stuff available in the stores and bought one that was at 1080 over 720 because the display picture quality was better. At this point, I have no reason to upgrade beyond the 1080. In fact, I OUGHT to replace the 720 because 1) it's a bit of pain to add stuff to since it doesn't have HDMI ports, 2) it has some sort of factory defect for which a recall has been issued. But it hasn't been high on my To Do list. Right now paying off one more credit card and then saving the down payment for a new car are at the top of my list (driving a 13 year old car at this point. Growing up I never remember my dad keeping a car more than 5 years).

Tom 13

Re: average broadband speeds in Europe are > 16 Mb/s

I'm gonna let you in on a little US secret, so don't tell anybody else about this, ok?

Broadband speeds in the US mean fuck all when it comes to TV programming. Whether you're with Comcast, Verizon, Time-Warner or just about any other cable company, they've wired fiber to your house, or at least close enough to your house that the short cable run to your house won't seriously affect the available bandwidth. All they have to do is turn up the spigot. And since the cable stream is treated differently for billing purposes and they control the whole cable experience, they can turn it up or down as they please.

Tom 13

Re: What, all scratched, poorly duplicated,

Don't forget having the reels out of order!

I once watched a real piece of sci-fi schlock on DVD. It was a direct from VHS transfer. And when they'd made the VHS transfer they'd gotten the reels out of order. At first you didn't quite notice the abrupt scene shift. It only became evident when it jumped back to the first bad break. Although, the video scroll lines were intermittently evident throughout the entire film. I wish I could remember the name of it, if only to warn others away from it.

Tom 13

Re: Bootnote

In this instance, perhaps you should have listened to what your subconscious was trying to say.

Tom 13

Re: It doesn't matter how good the display is if there's nothing to display

If you take a step back and look at it, the reason most people bought even 720p TVs has nothing to do with better picture. They changed their TVs because the Feds/Parliament changed the broadcast rules. If you didn't upgrade, your tv was pretty close to useless.

Tom 13

Re: Only in America ...

Yeah, but from what I read on El Reg the other day, we control what you see too. I'm not sure why you put up with it. You ought to be able to fund your own productions. But I guess things have gone downhill since The Bard was in his hay day. But hey, that's your choice not mine.

Tom 13

Re: The litmus test of any video technology

I've heard even they've actually backed off somewhat from the HD stuff. Too high def. But you're right, with the way they ate up VHS then DVD then HD you'd think their lack of uptake would be a signal to set manufacturers.

Tom 13

Re: user fatigue with tech becoming obsolete

Yes! And a fair bit of user fatigue with the price gouging too.

Our primary set does the full 1080 while the 720 has been relegated to the rarely used basement (it has DVI inputs which tells you how old AND short lived the model was). But given how much cable wants to charge for "full" HD, most of the stuff we watch is still in the old size format. If I can't get "full" HD at a reasonable price from the cable company now, why in all the realms of Hades would I buy a 4K unit?

Tom 13

Re: "Ancient Nazi Alien Ghost Sharks" is a very different kettle of fish.

Now that's really jumping the shark, so you know everybody will see right through it.

Indie ISP to Netflix: Give it a rest about 'net neutrality' – and get your checkbook out

Tom 13

Re:The whole net neutrality debate is too simplistic.

I concur with this observation, but nothing else in your post.

To me the consumer, I'm paying you the ISP for my connection to the internet. Period. As the ISP you are assuming all of the risks associated with providing that service WHEN I want it for whatever service I want to use and managing the costs.

Tom 13

Re: nothing to do with net neutrality.

On the contrary, this has everything to do with net neutrality, or at least the case as it is presented in public. These are exactly the issues it is claimed net neutrality will resolve. Something to think about the next time you see an article about the FCC toying with the idea of re-writing the rules to implement it.

Tom 13

Re: very appealing for a small ISP.

Might not be appealing, but does it provide the service you promised to your customer? I'm paying my ISP for the connectivity, not Netflix.

If the ISP wants to modify our contract to include a Netflix peering surcharge, because the cost of that connection is disproportionate to the rest of the service (use whatever method of determining typical non-Netflix user you want) that's fine and I'll evaluate the value of that new contract. After which I'll decide whether paying the charge or canceling Netflix. BUT I expect you'll be adding similar charges for other heavy broadband usages such as video Torrent downloads as well.

Tom 13

Re: geographical and "telco-political"

While that's all true, there's something else at work here. For a US resident, I live in a sweet spot for ISP cable competition: the DC metropolitan area. Comcast and Verizon BOTH have the area wired for high speed service, plus there are a number of other players in the area. Even so, Verizon is not delivering Netflix adequately. Until a few months ago, the same was true with Comcast. Which doesn't mean those problems won't need to be solved to get reliable high speed streaming to rural customers, only that even if they had that service Netflix would still be an issue. In fact, if Brett Glass is correct, the issue will be more pronounced in high density metropolitan areas than low density rural ones, simply because there will be a higher likelihood of parallel streams in the high density area.

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