* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Building automation systems are so bad IBM hacked one for free

Tom 13

Re: Another Dept.?

IT's got enough headaches on their hands without adding facilities to the list.

Tom 13

Re: Sadly unsurprising

Purchasing too - often the people who buy the equipment now will save 10% on physical kit, even though it costs them more in labour than that saving - because they're bonused on saving purchases and don't even talk to the site engineers.

That's a problem that's not specific to BMS. A friend of mine works for the Navy. About a year ago he sat on a committee that was reviewing plans for installing something on a sub. The build guys chose an easy to install solution for the device. Well, easy for them because they were working up from the frame. Once it was in place there was something placed over it. So if something went wrong with the part, they'd spend $100K removing the second device before they could get to the first. Oh, and yeah, the navy was expecting that first device was going to need maintenance about once every 3 years. Since my friend worked on the maintenance side of the house they raised serious objections and thankfully got an alternate installation specified. It cost an extra $100K on the build side, but you made that back first maintenance on the boat with a 30 year life expectancy.

Canonical reckons Android phone-makers will switch to Ubuntu

Tom 13

Re: Make it easy to port..

When I read your title, I thought you meant the data which is still a PITA on just about any phone. The problem with that of course is none of the manufacturers give a rat's ass about that, only the users.

And yes, I DON'T update my Google contacts with people's phone numbers because of privacy concerns, which means I DO need to put all those damn numbers back in whenever I change phones.

Tom 13

Re: Because OS updates.

Given the customization that usually accompanies using an ARM processor, I wouldn't count on Ubuntu being able to push those updates any faster than Android. For the most part the bottleneck is the vendor, not Google.

Tom 13

Re: Microsoft poured millions into making popular apps

Microsoft has an image problem. They were branded a monopolist back in the 90s after which they've behaved in such a way as to deserve the branding. It doesn't matter how much they spend on developing apps for something new. People have stuck with Windows on desktops because that's pretty much been all that's out there, (No Apple doesn't count because Apple behave even more as monopolists than MS. They just don't have the market share to run afoul of the US or EU legal eagles.) but there's no way in HELL they're going to extend that monopoly beyond the desktop-server environment.

Incidentally, they're behaving the same way with respect to Google. They accepted them for the search and free mail market, but they flopped when they tried to move into Social Media via Google+. Their only somewhat successful move there has been buying an existing social media venue in the form of YouTube.

Tom 13

Re: On what merit will they be trying to convice the users ?

If the compelling reason for iOS and Android is the well developed applications market, and the Ubuntu phone is a full Ubuntu OS, that problem has already been solved with the application set available to Ubuntu. The only reason iOS and Android need the market shops is because they DIDN'T have that to start with.

Unless of course the Penguinistas out there are telling such absolutely huge whoppers even $Hrillary would be embarrassed to tell them. While some of them are a bit fanatical, lying isn't one of those things I regard as one of their typical faults.

Tom 13

Re: can overwrite exiting Android OS

That's essentially impossible. Too many variations in the ARM chips in the phone. This is a manufacturers only game.

Tom 13

Re: My point was that there are people targetting Linux for their malware

And his point makes yours irrelevant: in the broader market the people running desktops aren't as security aware as the people running critical infrastructure on *nix servers.

At this point there are three things protecting *nix systems:

1) Being somewhat more difficult to install and maintain* than Windows or Apple systems they've been maintained for people who care more about security than similar people running those systems.

2) A smaller market share which makes it less attractive to attack it.

3) A high degree of fragmentation in that smaller market share which again makes it less attractive to attack because even if you can infect Ubuntu it's 50/50 for say Red Hat.

*Remember MS had difficulty convincing users to click a button once a month, so they've switched to a default setting that enables it automatically.

Drone-busting eagles to darken Blighty's skies?

Tom 13

Re: flying sharks with lasers it is.

I heard flying sharks only live in tornadoes. Are you sure that's safe?

Tom 13

Re: Security Theatre

Can we get some eagles with Frickin' laser beams?

Are Indians too stupid to be trusted with free Internet?

Tom 13

Why would any company invest in creating networks

on the chance that no one will pay for it?

Why indeed? Yet across the globe tens of thousands of companies do that every year. Most fail but some succeed. In this case, maybe because the company thinks enough people want out of the walled garden. I do recall this problem back when AOL was big enough to swallow Time-Warner instead of the other way around. Back in those days, 70%+ of internet users couldn't navigate the internet without putting a keyword into AOL and it taking them to a bastardized copy of the actual site. But slowly raw internet service providers popped up. These days AOL is usually the punchline to a bad joke. But once upon a time they looked bigger than Microsoft.

Tom 13

Re: everyone speaks perfect English.

As I recall, when India first gained its independence, one of the first things they tried to do was throw out English as the official language because it smacked too much of colonialism. Then they discovered the only way the various regions could talk to one another was in English. So they kept it. I mean, you might like the Germans manage to construct High Indie out of the various dialects (more numerous than they were in Germany) but you'd then have a language nobody knew and everybody would have to learn. Much easier to just stick with English, (Even if it is a bitch to learn since we've imported from damn near every other language on the planet without regularizing things. And that's BEFORE you get to the differences between British and 'Merkin English.)

Tom 13

Not disagreeing with the main thrust of your argument

But the numbers in those ads look cooked.

According to the US Census Bureau in 2014 the upper limit on the third bracket was $68,212 which would put the first guy well outside top 11%. Can't tell so much for the second guy. End of the second bracket was $41,186.

Tom 13

Re: Hang on....

If FB can buy off the far wealthier US, India was chump change.

Not that I expect logical consistency from the sort of progtards who chant that mantra.

Tom 13

Re: Are Indians too stupid to be trusted with free Internet?

Like their richer western counterparts, probably not.

However, like their richer western counterparts, their regulators may well be.

Security? We haven't heard of it, says hacker magnet VTech

Tom 13

re: allows contractual terms to overrule its national legislation.

In the US it can get a bit murky, but that depends entirely on both parties negotiating the terms of the contract. 'Take it or leave it' style "contracts require that a "reasonable person" would agree to the terms if openly negotiated. I don't think this one passes that test. Then again, we are talking about lawyers, so the "reasonable person" standard seems to be a bit of an oxymoron.

Tom 13

Re: However, this CEO needs his head examined.

And whatever legal eagle gave him a stamp of approval.

I expect if VTech gets challenged in court, the judge will declare them invalid as fast as the ink on the page dries.

Did a hacker really pwn the FBI, US Homeland Security and the DoJ?

Tom 13

Re: Depends un whose account was compromised

And assumes an account was compromised as opposed to just scraping the public web sites and claiming one was.

Verizon!–Yahoo! takeover! inches! ahead!

Tom 13

Re: Verizon had already (somewhat inexplicably) identified Yahoo!

Only if you aren't a Verizon subscriber in the US. Not sure about elsewhere, but in my corner of the world your Verizon email comes form Yahoo!. Verizon doesn't provide it on their own. So at the very least Verizon needs their email service.

Yeah, Yeah. You and I know it would probably be cheaper to just build a new one out from the ground up (not to mention the improvements in service you'd get), but that isn't in the DNA for one of these big corporations.

What's it like to work for a genius and Olympic archer who's mates with Richard Branson?

Tom 13

Re: how they adapt to the enormous risk of being called on their fabrications.

They repeat the lie and claim you can't prove otherwise.

Sadly, in a world that doesn't know you're a dog typing on a keyboard this often works.

Tom 13

Re: how people can mislay 5 tons of cotton.

It's easy. They accidentally shipped it to the warehouse with the Saturn V engines.

Tom 13

Re: they just couldn't untangle the spaghetti

Well, if they couldn't untangle the spaghetti, they weren't bluffing about not being able to find a single mistake.

Tom 13

Re: single product called Excess?

Well, that was the point at which Ballmer's brain cells gave their all at providing him with a coherent thought and he realized the joke was on him. Sadly it was the last time they ever did that.

The fracking oil price drop whacked Panasas – who's next in energy IT?

Tom 13

Re: turns petroleum from precious to common overnight

It's already common. Like diamonds the only thing that kept prices high was the cartel. For diamonds it was de Beers, for oil it was OPEC. Fracking broke the stranglehold OPEC had on oil. Saudi Arabia can try as hard as they want to put the genie back in the bottle but it won't work. There will of course be a lot of collateral damage before it ends. First up Russia which even now is scrambling to fill huge gaps in it's government budget.

Layoffs! Lawsuits! Losses! ... Yahoo! is! in! an! L! of! a! mess!

Tom 13

Only a crass and bigoted bumpkin would have missed the '!' at the end (particularly given El Reg's headlines on all articles related to the company), which clearly marks its inspiration as an exclamative of celebration.

Tom 13


Even if it were a rant, I don't think we could fault you for it.

In fact, after reading this article and making my first post, I'm going to seriously think about picking up an account I own again. I had one back in the days of dial up because it came with the dial up service. Maybe it's time for me to start breaking the Google chains.

Tom 13

Re: what other choices are there?

The one we've all been avoiding: paying a reasonable rate for your email account.

There are some companies out there that sell them. Install Thunderbird and they'll offer you at least two choices.

Tom 13

Re: there's been much more spam.

I didn't notice. But then my Yahoo account is the one I use for "email address is required" whenever I'm completing one of those registration forms and I expect it will generate spam.

So I suppose you could say I'm part of their problem.

Tom 13

entertain "strategic alternative" offers, possibly the sale of the core business

This is one of those nonsense statements that always amazes me. How the hell do you make money for your shareholders by selling off the core business?

Yet we're expected to believe the brightest minds in the company came up with this idea.

Google ninjas go public with security holes in Malwarebytes antivirus

Tom 13

Re: @jason 7 : Scanning it will not execute anything.

If you're sending your customers away thinking they have clean machines, you're lying to them.

There's simply no way to know you've cleaned an infected machine these days.

Tell them the truth, then help them navigate to a solution.

Tom 13

Re: You haven't done any regular AV removal clean ups have you?

Actually I have. Scanning in a set aside PC was deprecated as unworkable about 8 years ago.

These days the exploit kits are too available and too complex. Even using five different products to scan in such a detached system doesn't ensure there isn't anything left in the machine that will reinfect it. In the time you run those 3 or 5 or 7 scans, you can image a new system. Moving data is at your own risk.

Tom 13

The other thing to remember is that while they are now a security company, that's NOT how they started. It started as one guy who was automating some fixes he routinely applied for friends and family.

Yeah, they should have had time to clean it up into professional code. But given how much professional code is crap that needs cleaned up the same way....

'International tax' needs reform. Google's chicken bill makes me chuckle – comms guy

Tom 13

Re: go away if governments stopped leeching

Governments are proxies for the people. So it's really one group of powerful people leeching from another. But it's easier to blame it all on government than admit the fault is in ourselves.

As for me, economically I like the total sales tax model. But for purposes of keeping the progrards in check, I'm willing to forgo that in preference for a flat tax on ALL income with no tax on corporate profits. I might be willing to set a rate of collections exclusion such that if you are collecting taxes you are at least covering the cost of collecting them from that person. (In other words, if from start to finish it costs *25 to collect the taxes, if the government doesn't collect *25 you don't pay.)

*=your local currency sign

Tom 13

Re: All these firms pay tax somewhere however

Here we get to the only point the freetards are actually correct about. Given all of the current special deals, it is possible to keep the money floating in International Space so that it never gets taxed. Apple in particular have been VERY good at that. Which isn't to say other multi-nationals have been slackers.

Now, that means the money isn't directly available to the shareholders either. In order to make it available to them, you'd have to bring it into the country and pay the tax on it. So far this has been okay with the shareholders because the stock value has appreciated based on the money held in international suspension.

This strikes me as a reasonably fair situation. So long as the freetards demand too much money from the actual producers, they don't get it. As soon as they set reasonable rates, the money will come home.

Tom 13

Re: unless you first harmonize service provision and expenditure.

That wasn't nice. Using logic or facts damages their precious egos.

Tom 13

Re: rapidly kill business in troubles

Businesses in trouble ought to be killed rapidly and replaced with ones that aren't. Much of our current economic malaise is attributable to the fact that progtards such as yourself have inhibited this process for far too long.

Tom 13

Re: a small business in say Germany

Simples. If there is an applicable import tax, that gets payed at the point of import. Otherwise, the guy in the UK who sells it collects the tax and pays it.

Yes that does mean you'll have to work through distributors and resellers. That's what they are there for. If you want to cut them out, you have to foot the bill for following the law.

Tom 13

Re: Get rid of corporation tax...

You'll never get that one past the freetards.

Sales taxes put an effective limit of about 10% on how much those who like to spend other people's money can take. That's way too low to satisfy their envy.

Tom 13

Re: it's where you crush your enemies and see them driven before you

You forgot

"and hear the lamentations of their women."

Terminator icon because the one for Arnold is missing.

Tom 13

Re: morally should be paid

Morally, companies OUGHT to seek to minimize the amount the tax leeches take from the people working to make things. Sounds to me like Google's doing a good job of that.

Netflix picks up Molly at university, scores harsh character assessment

Tom 13

Re: You'd think they'd figure it out

Having had very, very tangential experiences dealing with this issue (I was effectively the CEO who authorized the VP to have the lawyer negotiate the license), no.

And I understand our experience was more satisfactory than most.

Most of the world still dependent on cash

Tom 13

Re: Hidden Costs

The card company skims a couple percent of the top regardless of type. YOU might not see it, but it still gets skimmed, and it gets passed to you in the form of a higher price.

Tom 13

Re: Cash less society will never happen

With the appropriate smoke screens from the lawyers, you can do it all electronically in larger amounts and still have the IRS take their cut where applicable. Which reduces the risk you lose an election for being caught taking a little brown bag.

Tom 13

Re: give around 30 days interest free advances

Those 30 day "free" advances are being paid for by the blokes who are making minimum payments and are periodically late with their payments by a day or two.

Now if you're the sort who thing the poor and the stupid should make life easier for you, you won't have a problem with that. But don't go blaming the greedy banks for stealing from the poor for your benefit.

Tom 13

Re: We used to have a law against usury.

It's a problem of quanta. It costs some amount of money to process any request, say $25. No matter how small the transaction you HAVE to recover the $25, even if its $100 for only a week. Yes, that leads to absurd percentage rates. That's why if you need $100 for a week you're best borrowing it from a mate, or better yet, just not buying whatever it was you THOUGHT you needed.

Full disclosure: my roomie routinely makes $1000 payday type loans to a friend at no interest.

Tom 13

Re: was outside the regular banking systems.

As the vendor you should still have the receipts. And the receipts should be sufficient to sue council for payment.

Tom 13

Re: How do you prove

The receipts you kept for each transaction.

Tom 13

Re: They're doing it wrong.

I've never seen a festival system where the credit cards worked as quickly or robustly as cash. The first obstacle is frequently the connection itself. In a brick and mortar store this will be a fast wired connection that has probably been configured for months. Festival vendors usually wind up on wireless. Even if it isn't wireless, having just been set up there are likely to be connection issues. And that's before you get to potential power issues and training the temp staff to handle cards. In the US, you also get time for the signature.

Tom 13

Re: very hard to verify a cashless system.

No it's not. The key element of verifying the transactions is that the cash matches the receipts not that the double count matches. Cashless transactions still have the receipts, and should still retain enough of the account number to uniquely identify the missing transactions.

Where cashless loses businesses money is when the card holder claims the charge is bogus and the vendor no longer has the record to prove otherwise, or it simply isn't worth the cost to challenge it.

Tom 13

Re: There's a good and a bad side to this

My weekly grocery bill is $200. With your plan, I'd need a full wallet just to pay my grocery bill.

Your plan sucks.

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