* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Snowden leaks latest: NSA, FBI g-men spied on Muslim-American chiefs

Tom 13

Re: I'd like more details...

They were obvious chosen as major nexus points of information flows. Whether or not you suspect them, from a national security only perspective monitoring is the right thing to do.

Tom 13

Re:except with me as Supreme Chancellor of Earth

I wouldn't want that type of government either. Too many decisions I'd need to make for other people. So, much as our current one has its problems, I'll stick with it.

Tom 13

Re: that shy, shrinking violet of a liberal president

Fascists have never worried about killing each other. They only worry about making sure they are the ones who strike first.

Tom 13

Re: is that the birth record of Obama was a forgery,

I think the explanation is simpler than that. I think the public certificate has been altered, but the information on it is correct. I think that because of when it was issued, it would have listed his race as "negro" instead of "black". Because at the time the certificate was issued, calling a negro "black" was worse than calling him a "n***er" is now. But with the change in the cultural status of the words, somebody in his campaign took offense, and photoshopped it to the now politically correct term "black".

Tom 13

Re: "just how black is he?"

It seems to be a frequent question for Clarence Thomas. Yet he has actual roots being described.

Joe Biden of all people got this one right: he's a black man who talks like white people most of the time and black people when he needs to. If he talked only one or the other he'd never be president. The white liberals wouldn't have voted for him because "he wasn't' educated enough" if he only spoke like Jesse Jackson, and the black people wouldn't have racistly voted as a single block for him if he spoke like Joe Biden.

Tom 13

Re: his race wasn't an issue at the election

I have to disagree with that. It's just that the racism doesn't fit the current LSM template. If The Big 0 were white instead of black, he never would have been elected. When Bill Clinton said someone like him would have been bringing in the coffee in most political organizations, it was one of the few truths he ever told. I don't think Bill Clinton is particularly racist. I think he sees and instantaneously evaluates everyone on the basis of what that person can do for him politically. Women... well that's a different story. But even then it would be his SECOND evaluation of them.

Tom 13

Re: a USA or Europe issue

I'm inclined to say it is mostly a USA or Europe issue for pretty much the reasons you've outlined: so far we are the only places that have advanced the issue far enough that you get a fair bit of mixing without wholesale riots breaking out to the point that you have to segregate according to race to keep the peace. It's not that we are more evil than other places, it is that we are less.

In addition to your notes about monitoring, I have to re-emphasize the end note on the article. If you are engaged in counter-spying for your country, you go looking for exactly the sorts of people you'd expect to be infiltrating. I'd expect the infiltrator to try to build as patriotic a resume as possible to get to the best information he can. It's what Philby and Hiss did.

What's that burning tire smell? It's Microsoft screeching away from the No-IP car crash

Tom 13

Re: then proceedings should begin to remove that judge

I don't think you even need to go that far. NoIP was not given a chance to defend itself before its property was seized. That's patently unconstitutional, and the judge should be booted.

Tom 13

Re: 4 million small-claims damage suits.

which is why their lawyers would then apply for the class action status.

Tom 13

@ frank ly

Yes it is. You should file suit against MS. Maybe find some friends to join in a class action suit. And the secret settlement between the two should be irrelevant to your charges against MS as you were injured separately from their injury against NoIP.

Uber kindly agrees not to price gouge during disasters

Tom 13

Re: Price controls ?

The US went socialist with FDR but never admitted it. Besides which, we're talking NYC here. They're in competition with about 20 other big cities in the US for the "who has the worst Socialist cesspool" award again this year.

Russian MP fears US Secret Service cuffed his son for Snowden swap

Tom 13

@Chris Wareham

Don't try to confuse them with facts. At best it interrupts a good 2 minute hate but is more likely to turn the 2 minute hate on you. See Don Jefe's downvote count when he made a factual observation AND posted a disclaimer that he doesn't support the action.

It's alive! Space hackers fire up zombie Sun probe's engines

Tom 13

Re: The first message was :

Nah. MS decommissioned the update server even before NASA decommissioned the satellite.

Virgin Media goes titsup AGAIN. The cause? Yet MORE DNS strife

Tom 13


He listed bits for Google. In these parts we have some people who will downvote anything related to Google. In fact, I sort of surprised it is only 2 as of my post going up.

Boeing to start work on most powerful rocket ... EVER!

Tom 13

Re: instead of licensing indigineous USA tech from Elon Musk,

Not sure Musk's technique works best for deep space launches. While the modular technique works well for short hops and multiple stages, that initial stage still needs a heck of a lot of thrust. Each additional engine exponentially increases the difficulty of ensuring simultaneous ignition. So it might be that larger engines are the better solution for that sort of surface-of-earth to deep space launch. (I think there are significant issues with the SoE to DS concept and would prefer SoE to space station solution with the deep space exploration pieces being assembled at the station.) Then again Musk might be able to make it work. I also wouldn't limit it to only Musk with the other commercial competitors that are out there, especially for non-defense missions.

But yes, the write up does make it look fishy, like the thing was essentially handed to them.

Tom 13

Re: no copy of the Saturn V engine prints.

NASA has again found the prints for the Saturn V. I don't have a reference link, I think it was about 10 years back.

Crypto thwarts TINY MINORITY of Feds' snooping efforts

Tom 13

Re: No great surprise.

Good points. On a skew line it is also possible that active cases is a selection bias in that organizations that are routinely use crypto are not as likely to be investigated if for no other reason than they are actively pursuing hiding their activities.

Tom 13

Re: US acquired 200 million additional citizens this week

Actually I believe he understated the number. It was only last week or the week before that El Reg ran the article about the US adding European citizens to its rolls. (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/06/25/us_privacy_rights_deal_offered_eu/)

Austrian Tor exit relay operator guilty of ferrying child porn

Tom 13

Re: Chat log

If that was the crux of the case and his lawyer didn't successfully cross examine or redirect I doubt you're going to find what you think you will. It's easier to lie to a "journalist" with an axe to grind than it is to lie in court. Not that it's particularly difficult to lie in court mind you.

VC who wants to split California REVEALED as Silk Road Bitcoin slurper

Tom 13

Re: Splitting California

Despite the author's attempt to spin the movement, it's actually the "poor people" who want to jettison the parasites in "the rich" districts. Mostly because they are tired of having no representation in government.

Tom 13

Re: they'd only seize the related accounts

Well, that's what they tell us. That's not the way the law is written. And there have been cases in which assets have been seized and there isn't clear proof that the owner of the asset was part of the criminal activity. In the case of PayPal, because it involves so many people, I tend to believe they would limit the number of accounts seized, but not because that's what the law says or out of any goodness of their heart. I think they wouldn't do it because they don't want that many people to know how truly arbitrary the process can be. If enough people know that, there might actually be an outcry to change the law.

Tom 13

Re: if the CEO of Paypal were charged with similar crimes

Depends on the circumstances. If the crimes are external to the operation of PayPal, then no they wouldn't be seized. BUT if the feds have sufficient evidence that PayPal is just a front organization for laundering drug money, yes they COULD.

IANAL either. It seems to me lawyers are the only ones who don't get the "something just doesn't feel right about this" feeling.

Tom 13

Re: UK law is even worse

Actually that makes them exactly equivalent, because under RICO that's what they do. Most common use is in a drug sting. Regardless of who owned the property (including vehicles driven that may have been stolen) the feds can seize anything that was used to facilitate the deal. They've also started to use it in underage drinking convictions. If the police pick up Eddie Jr for drunk driving and he's in daddy's car, they just might seize daddy's car.

Tom 13

@Paul 87

Progressives have no one to blame but themselves for that outcome. When you make a mockery of protecting citizens by turning loose criminals on the basis that it is better to release 10 mass murders than convict 1 innocent person of jaywalking, the citizens are prone to believing the authorities when they come and say "the only way we can stop The Mob is if we are granted these draconian RICO powers. Otherwise their lawyers will run circles around our underpaid prosecutors in court."

Lindsay Lohan sues Grand Theft Auto V makers for 'using her image'

Tom 13

Re: Having done that side mission in the game

Her only sort of hook is the story line following some of her exploits so closely. But at that, you're allowed to use it. See Kitty Kelly, any of her "unauthorized" biographies.

Tom 13

Re: "Rockstar and Take-Two’s use of her likeness was done solely to make money"

Except that in the US, that isn't a valid basis for a lawsuit. Especially as a public figure she is very, very subject to the parody exception.

Tom 13

Re: "Rockstar and Take-Two’s use of her likeness was done solely to make money"

I was thinking along the same line: character doesn't look skanky enough to be Lindsay.

Even if it did, in the US: Parody!

BAE retracts hedge fund hack allegation

Tom 13

Re: Whom do you hate most?

Shoot them all. God will know his own.


The Devil will too.

Google BLOCKS access to Goldman client-leak email

Tom 13

Re: The latter horse, El Reg fears, may have already bolted.

I'd say both of them actually. At a minimum the data has probably transited at least one relay not controlled by GS or Google. And since they haven't located the account there is no positive evidence the information hasn't leaked further. Failing safe would be to assume the data would leak.

Amazon snubs FTC: We'll see you in court over kids' in-app cash blowouts

Tom 13


It may be completely empty calories and carcinogenic nitrates, but it sure does taste good!

Running Cisco's VoIP manager? Four words you don't want to hear: 'Backdoor SSH root key'

Tom 13

Re: As per the Cisco advisory:

So this wasn't simply a case of shooting oneself in the foot. They loaded up the pump shot gun to maximum capacity, administered a local anesthetic to their legs, and repeated fired at their feet.

Got it.

Amazon reseller lobs sueball at etailer and Apple over listings yank

Tom 13

@ Grease Monkey

Have to agree with this 100%. It's time for somebody to sue and have the Takedown provision of the law overturned on the basis that it is Unconstitutional (at least in the US). It codifies holding the accused guilty before he can face his accuser and that's assuming he can face his accuser at all.

Travel website Hotel Hippo yanked offline after data leaks spotted

Tom 13

Re: What authority did you have...

Backup logs sometimes tell you a hell of a lot about what's happening with a website. No need for poking around. I recall that being something of an issue when we use to transfer data for customers from and old PC to a new one in a screwdriver shop we worked for. When you see ParisNude.jpg or ParisF#ck.mpg scroll by on the screen in the temporary internet files folder, you can make a pretty good guess what it is.

Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE DNS outage

Tom 13

@ DrSpudz

Darn it! You beat me to it.

Researchers defend Facebook emoto-furtling experiment

Tom 13

Re: Informed Consent

These academics DIDN'T put this experiment through a review process or it would not have gotten off the ground WITHOUT informed consent.

And no, no business can ever include this kind of legally binding consent in their terms and agreements for service delivery. This kind of thing get the same multiple places initialed and signed treatment you have on a standard mortgage agreement.

Tom 13

Re: requesting consent

The fact that requesting consent alters the outcome of the observation is well established in psychology. It's part of why they typically write the consent forms in a vague way before you sign them. Then they tell you they are testing for something when in fact they are testing for something else. A prime example is the experiment where they told the actual test subjects that they would be assisting a certified authority in questioning people who had committed a crime that resulted in its victims being in imminent danger. The subject was then asked to run the dials on an electroshock mechanism to encourage the criminal (who was in actuality an actor/actress) to tell the truth. They got the test subjects to turn up the dial to lethal levels with fair ease. If they had told the test subjects it was a test of their own morality, they would likely not have gotten those results. (I'd contend they'd have gotten different results if the alleged perp had been connected to a real machine and the pain and suffering had been real instead of an actor, but that's not relevant to the main point.)

The thing is, even though we KNOW informed consent is an obstacle to gathering accurate data, we as a society have decided it is more important to require informed consent than gather the information. This isn't merely theoretical. You can hunt down quite a few horror stories when informed consent is not required. The most prominent one to recently get a public film is probably the Tuskegee Airmen and of course the ultimate extreme is some of the experiments the Nazi's ran on "undesirables" in WW2.

Mystery bidder plunders the whole haul in Silk Road Bitcoin auction

Tom 13

Re: Not yet faced trial?

RICO prosecution, which was intended to allow the State to bring down mobs that were otherwise impervious to standard legal processes. You know, people involved in drug running and murder for hire.

One of the things it allows the police to do is impound assets before the trial. And if you have proof that the asset was used as part of a drug deal, the asset can be seized regardless of whether there is proof the owner was part of the transaction. It use to be that if Vinny told Guido to take his car and go take care of the smack buy, if Guido got caught and kept his mouth shut, Vinny got the car back. With the new law, Vinny loses the car regardless. While this has beneficial effects when we assume Vinny and Guido are guilty, it has "unfortunate" effects elsewhere. Say you own a nice Bentley and it gets stolen. You report it to the police. The next day the police bust Guido for making a smack buy while he was driving your Bentley. Even though the police have now recovered your car, you're still out your Bentley because it was part of a drug buy. And that's what is happening here.

While recognizing the difficulty of bringing the mob to heal, I am for the repeal of RICO.

Tom 13

Re: PR and leveraged never-never rather than actual money

That sounds like a good description of Bitcoin to me.

PayPal says sorry: Fat fingers froze fundraiser for anti-spy ProtonMail

Tom 13

Re: since the buyer doesn't have a Pay Pal account

If the buyer doesn't have a PayPal account, they're talking to the wrong business. If PayPal are processing a credit card as a merchant processor they have to abide by the merchant processor rules. Which means you should open a complaint with the bank that issued your credit card, who in turn will have Visa/MC/etc open the inquiry into PayPal.

Microsoft's anti-malware crusade knackers '4 MILLION' No-IP users

Tom 13
Thumb Up

Re: I tend to give a 14 day period to resolve it

Under most circumstances I heartily approve of your standard practice. It is only because of the egregious nature of this particular incident that I went directly to the lawyers.

Tom 13

Re: No other law that I'm aware of works this way.

First up, it's "eminent" domain not "imminent" as your link name clearly indicates. The difference is IMPORTANT. Next up, no eminent domain is not like this either. There is a class which is and that is RICO, but even there the comparison is not quite near enough. Even under RICO there have to be prior legal convictions. That doesn't apply in this case.

Tom 13

One other suggestion for NoIP users

In addition to suing the pants off MS, drop a tenner in the mail to NoIP. Maybe they could use some additional staff. It certainly sounds like a lot of you are getting at least a tenner's worth of service from them.

Tom 13

Re: Fucked

If I might suggest?

Don't send it directly. First contact your law firm (if you don't have one I recommend Dewey, Suem, and Howe) and have them send the bill as an attachment to an official letter.

Tom 13

Re: Microsoft can grab the entire domain

Only when they also own the judge. Which it seems in this case they do.

Tom 13

Re: That's bat-shit insane.

Welcome to Harry Reid's Nevada.

Tom 13

Re: collateral damage

Please find yourself a good US lawyer and sue them. I mean that honestly as a crazy 'Merkin. With luck you might even get a few of their legal eagles disbarred for perjury in court. Or better yet get the judge who allowed this removed and disbarred for life.

Tom 13

Re: they couldn't be arsed

No, MS couldn't be arsed to contact Vitalwerks about the domains.

I fully expect this decision to be overturned on appeal. The fact that Vitalwerks was unaware even of the lawsuit until AFTER the judgement was rendered is the only relevant fact in this case. The judgment is a clear violation of the 4th amendment.

Deja-vu alert: Russian hackers target US, Euro energy giants

Tom 13

Re: Any shorter

Yes, but that would have required a fair bit of word smithing which would have cut into pub time.

MIT and CERN's secure webmail plan stumped by PayPal freeze

Tom 13

Re: The USA again

Certain levels of encryption are still regulated as munitions in the US. That only applies to exports, not imports. It was always completely legal to import PGP* into the US. (On the import side the question you get from the security wonks is whether or not you can trust the code, so usually not workable inside government.) And it was completely legal for entities outside the US to export and import PGP depending on their local laws.

*If you're going to tell the PGP story it is important to tell the whole story. It wasn't PGP per se that was outlawed. At the time you couldn't export triple DES either. The sticking point was whether or not the algorithm allowed for more than 52 (56?) bits of encryption. Since PGP wasn't algorithmically limited it was illegal to import. At that point in time MS even had to distribute two versions of IE because the US version allowed more encryption than the law allowed. The insanity was eventually recognized for the insanity it was and the law was harmonized with reality. On the question of whether or not encryption should be treated as a munition, given the outcome of WW2 it seems pretty obvious encryption is worth more than a whole lot of munitions. Not sure it compares to nuclear bombs, but not sure it doesn't exceed them either.

Aereo presses pause on 'tiny antenna' TV-streaming service

Tom 13

Re: Aereo was not rebroadcasting

Because Aereo was streaming it over the internet under US law they were rebroadcasting. Their lawyers should have known that and prepared a different approach.

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