* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Activist investors try forcing Google to pay more taxes

Tom 13

Re: Already been shown to be a poor concept over the last 100+ years...

No, the last 100 years prove quite the opposite. We did better educationally when schools were private than now that they are public.

Tom 13

Re: Government bodies don't "spend every penny to demand more the next year".

Yes they do. In over 20 years of IT work, there's never been a year in which the company I worked for didn't receive "end of the fiscal year rush orders" so all of their allocated budget was spent before the fiscal year ended. My roommie is in government. Every year he has the same problem, in fact for some accounts they have to make sure they spend it well before the end of the fiscal year or the accounts will be frozen to recover "unused" funds, even if they need two more months of funding before they can make their expenditure.

Tom 13

Re: Cue the usual (mis-informed) post...

The only mis-informed post is yours.

How Can A Fiduciary Duty Be Broken?

A fiduciary duty consists of two equal parts: duty of loyalty and duty of care. The duty of loyalty means that the agent must be loyal to the client above all others, [emphasis mine] including the agent’s own. As such, a fiduciary cannot have more than one fiduciary relationship if the fiduciary duties would conflict with one another. This is why, for example, an attorney cannot represent both the plaintiff and the defendant. Keeping a portion of the profits or engaging in insider trading also violates the fiduciary duty of loyalty.

The duty of care means that the agent must provide the best possible service or advice that the agent can provide. Negligence is a common way of breaching the duty of care that the fiduciary owes the principal. Fiduciary failure to disclose information necessary for the principal to make an informed decision also constitutes as an infringement of the duty of care.


In this case the duty of the corporate directors is to make money for the shareholders. That does mean maximizing profits. There can be some variance on business methodology to maximize the profits, but it certainly isn't to pay the most taxes possible. Which as an earlier poster pointed out would be ALL of them for the US.

Dogevault praying backups work after confirming attack

Tom 13

Re: That's the one that undoes all the others again.

No, that's the one that screws all of us for the mistakes made by a few. But as a security measure to the single depositor it works.

Tom 13

Re: Why

Wow! You really have no clue how real banks work.

In point of fact real banks DO effectively put their cash reserves online, and most of their onhand cash is frequently in the teller drawers. Have you ever tried to get even $15,000 in cash out of a bank on what they regard as short notice? I have. Somehow or another they misplaced our change order and therefore hadn't gotten extra cash reserves transferred in from the federal reserve. Ever deposited even more than that because the armored car didn't make the scheduled stop for a pickup? I've done that too. You should see the look on the branch chief's face when he realizes you're handing him a Rubbermaid bin with more cash than his branch has in reserves with the Fed.

Here in the US, reserves are generally held by the Federal Reserve. Every night the banks connect to the fed and settle up their account transfers. Since it's mostly all virtual money even though it is dollar denominated this is all very easy. Back in the day it was all done with modems and special encryption cards (which might cost even more than the PC) in a desktop PC somewhere in the bank. These days I expect they've done away with the modems and connect right over the internet just like Mt. Gox.

What protects your account isn't physical separation of assets, but a web of interconnected security measures. First up, being a real, regulated bank, they have proper backup, access, and encryption regimes. Next up, they have constant and ongoing audits to make sure everything checks and balances. Then they have the ability to reverse transactions. And the final security measure is FDIC insurance backed by the Federal government.

Europe's shock Google privacy ruling: The end of history? Don't be daft

Tom 13

Re: That'll happen...

Camel. Nose. Tent.

Tom 13

Re: If I google my real name

Apparently I'm protected by a doctor, a lawyer, and a funeral home. In the past I've been protected by a musician as well. Interestingly I do pop up quickly under images, but good luck with that.

Tom 13

Re: Why would an employer care?

Some do. It's not sensible, but there it is. Personally, if I see someone who made a hash of his finances early in life but took responsibility for it and straightened himself out, I'd see that person as more desirable rather than less. It shows initiative, sense, and commitment. I know. I made a hash of my personal finances early in life when I was young and irresponsible. I'm still working to clean it up 30 years later, but it's been under control for the last 25.

There's another thing you should consider if applying for a job at a company that would hold something old against you: would you really want to work there?

Tom 13

Re: a few simple searches ... shows I was young and stupid. Sorry no job for you.

It seems to me the correct response to that is to sue the employer, not Google. And when the headlines hit about the company being sued for employment discrimination, not only it, but every other employer out there gets the message that they aren't to abuse the searches.

Tom 13

Re: Who is missing the point?

Mostly agree but there is a problem. We know Google are already fiddling with their search results to hide certain results which they find problematic. Mostly we've tended to agree with Google that the fiddling is both proper and necessary. But the earlier poster did make a decent case with the wife of the German poll. That is a case in which I think Google should consider tweaking their results.

The problems I have with the decision are:

1) For the most part if focuses on the wrong party. If there is defamatory information on the internet, the proper course of action is to seek removal of the defamatory information. Once the information has been removed, it will be removed from Google. If the information is hosted outside the jurisdiction of the courts to which the plaintiff has access, tough shit. Or at least that's been the usual retort from freetards and hacktivists when one country objects to information being made accessible outside their jurisdiction in the past.

2) As noted by an El Reg notable above, truth is no longer an absolute defense.

3) It is not clear how many of these tweaks Google will be required to implement or how it will affect the efficiency and/or effectiveness of their search engine.

Lastly I'll make the following note. Here in the US, once you've been convicted of a felony, if an employer asks about it on a work application you are required to report it. Failure to report it, even if 40 years ago is grounds for firing. Employers are required to not hold the conviction against you unless it directly impacts the position for which you are applying. Companies to hire convicted felons who have served their sentences. I worked with one such fellow who has reformed. I'd hire him for any job for which he is qualified. I'd particularly hire him as a consultant for physical security on buildings. Having done the auto theft and break-in thing previously in life, he spots things most people miss and will proudly point out how stupid they are.

Space Station in CRISIS: Furious Russia threatens to BAN US from ISS

Tom 13

Re: "... could cripple ongoing research efforts..."

Study our AC friend carefully. This is a tech site with people who love tech and are prone to like the idea of manned space flight simple for itself. While we can mostly agree the experiments being done are important, it skirts the specificity of his question: is it worth the money expended?

I'm not entirely certain I can answer that question affirmatively. Sure, looking at the benefits of the Apollo program the answer is yes. But for the money expended since then? I'd like it to be 'yes', but is it? If we roll Apollo's benefits into it, are we still in 'yes' territory? For how much longer? The Space Shuttle was mostly a dead end. It didn't really advance engine technology. It's not clear it advanced recovery or insulation technology. Musk went back to square one to start his program precisely because of how dead end the Space Shuttle was. And that's where most of NASA's money has been spent since Apollo. We have gotten more bang for the buck out of the unmanned stuff which has from time to time fired up people's imagination.

Also remember, amongst the non-technical, and even more so amongst the ideological left, there are a lot more people like AC than there are like us.

Tom 13

Re: the government money is just gravy.

Actually right now the government money is their meat and potatoes. In fact for all the talk about commercial space flight, the truth of the matter is nobody does without the government. We may get there someday (it's certainly where I'd prefer us to be), but we're not there yet.

Tom 13

Re: make NASA look at the manned ... more urgent way...


The only thing NASA ever liked about the Man to the Moon program was the good publicity they got. They didn't want to do manned missions, that was shoved down their throats. They would much have preferred a series of unmanned probes that would have cost far less money. ISS is a cobbled together program that runs only because of inertia. NASA complains about it constantly because it eats so much of their budget. This is just one more issue with manned space flight, and from NASA's point of view, another reason to end the waste.

Please don't read me incorrectly. My gut tells me you have the correct position and I'd like to see better support for manned exploration. But if you were sitting in the room with the NASA bean counters and/or Congress critters, what do you say from this incident that changes their position?

Indian climate boffins: Himalayan glaciers are OK, thanks

Tom 13

Re:Politics is is sometimes like programming:

Nah. In programming you sometimes have something other than Garbage In.

Maybe not often, but at least occasionally.

Tom 13

Re: Here's at cut&paste of the conclusion of the article...

Doesn't need to be an either/or. Yes we trust the results (assuming they've posted both raw data and methodology so they can be independently verified) while looking for more funding for a more extensive study.

Stop bullying SUPER FAT GODZILLA, urge movie stars

Tom 13

Re: the American media blew the story up

Well who the heck do think put the trolls there in the first place?

Supposedly secure Dogecoin service Dogevault goes offline

Tom 13

Re: It's in the transition phase

Not anymore.

Malarial vaccine firm seeks crowdfunding for robo-saliva surgeon

Tom 13

Re: Nice trial but needs way more data

Which in part is why they need the robots. If you're going to run the trials before you get to the clinical you're going to need a lot more vaccine.

Tom 13

Re: But what would PETA say...

PETA and the joke icon should never appear in close proximity to one another.

Mostly because they are likely to edit out your joke icon and add your post to their petition to Save the Mosquito!

FCC chairman to rethink controversial net neutrality proposals

Tom 13

Re: I don't know about over there

Over here we tend to pay for speed not quantity except with cells where you typically pay get reamed for both.

I don't actually have a problem with a multi-tiered internet of different speeds and capacity. I think it would lead to a more efficient internet. My only concern is that the pipes at a given speed are available without monopoly restriction. That is, if Comcast introduces a streaming only pipe with 20 times the speed of the text pipe, if it offers itself that pipe for $100/unit it can't charge Netflix $1000/unit for the same pipe, although I might see $150/unit.

Scientists warn of FOUR-FOOT sea level rise from GLACIER melt

Tom 13

Re: The article is talking about floating ice being undercut

I think Archimedes principle depends on the entire object being immersed.

In any event, they are claiming the ice flow from land continues until it is exhausted. And that's where the problem will be. Something will interrupt the continuous flow but they're too arrogant to admit they don't know.

Tom 13

Re: Care to prognosticate

Same thing as the ice cube in the glass of water because the bucket is still floating in the bath tub.

This is the problem with warmists. They don't get all the facts. Even worse, they think they know science but the don't.

Tom 13

Re: Hard to cope with?

I don't give a rat's ass how many letters are trailing behind the reviewer's names. This paper has a fundamental flaw. The same fundamental flaw all the hyperblow rhetoric from the warmists have: the data line is too frelling short compared to the baseline. They've got 40 years of data they're trying to project 1000+ years back. Then they predict 200-800 years into the future. Those so called predictions are as reliable as shaman throwing bones or an old crone reading tea leaves.

LA air traffic meltdown: System simply 'RAN OUT OF MEMORY'

Tom 13

Re: "Oh, that will never happen." And invariably it does.

ALWAYS test for - divide by 0.

ALWAYS test for - string data contains database delimiter as a character.

Simplest of mistakes, but both have bitten programmers on projects on which I worked.

Tom 13

Re: Blimey, we had this kicked into a coma...

I think I've found the problem:

use and unnecessary run-time errors were deemed a finger-breaking offence for the programmer concerned.

Between the cheap price or disk and RAM and a new interpretation of the Geneva Convention, this penalty is no longer allowed. Now if you were to do away with the new interpretation of the Geneva Convention, we might be able to fix it.

Tom 13

Re: Given government projects

No, no. You have to have the exact right sequences:

1) Order up the blame assessment project. Figure 6 months an 12 heads as the parameters for this one.

2) Order the mitigation for the current system. At 6 weeks and underfunded with still incomplete specs the patch will still fail. Leading to

3) Order the replacement of the current abomination. Kick off the first planning meeting. Meanwhile, kick #2 in the ass because until we get a replacement we need the other one doing the best it can.

4) After two years of planning the replacement, determine the estimated cost is not within budget. Cancel plan, do forensic accounting and find people to blame. Go back to step 3.

Thus arriving at intergalactic travel is common place, the abomination has been ordered replaced but is still operating and not accepting U2 flights, which are now being tracked on glass table with crayons and little model planes.

WTF is Net Neutrality, anyway? And how can we make everything better?

Tom 13

Re: ISP's are natural monopolies.

There is no such thing as a natural monopoly, no matter how many times you claim there is.

ALL these monopolies were created by greedy politicians making deals with their friends. No, not at the national level where everybody keeps focusing their attention, but at the local level where the zoning laws were written to allow one incumbent. At first it was a lot of little monopolies because "the last mile is a natural monopoly." Then one of the little monopolies found it had a bunch of extra cash. So it bought an adjacent monopoly to allow efficiencies of scale because "the last mile is a natural monopoly." And with two regions under its control, it was making even more cash, so it could annex its next monopoly quicker than it did the last. So now we've got an oligopoly of at most four players and everybody else being sound and fury signifying nothing.

No, I don't know how to fix it. You F'ed it up too badly with your "natural monopolies" BS. If you break them apart, they'll all reassemble again because they've tasted monopoly power and it is nearly impossible to police all the possible political graft at the local level across the country. The best shot we've got right now is somebody showing the Verizon/Comcast deal was the sort of illegal arrangement the Sherman Anti-Trust Act was meant of penalize. Not much chance of that happening though is there?

Tom 13

Re: That's the full price of everything

Doubtful. And that's the problem, somebody has to pay for it.

Seriously, how many articles have we had where posters have wailed about data caps for unlimited service because the ISP is oversubscribed? Too many for me to count. That means the ISPs aren't charging the full price of everything, probably because we aren't willing to pay for it. But somebody does, somehow. What we're seeing in the market now is as much a socialism problem as anything else. The ISPs promised too much for too little.

Tom 13

Re: No local de jure cable monopolies

There's more than one way to grant a monopoly.

Tom 13

Re: a choice of broadband companies

In the US, ask about DSL and the likely retort will be "No, we've moved past using phones to connect our computers." Not fair, but there it is.

For the most part, the phone companies quickly realized they weren't going to be able to build out the infrastructure using DSL. Population density is too small for too large an area. So they switched to fiber optics early on. But in rural regions a combination of real costs and political opportunism at the local level has pretty much left only 1 wired competitor in most areas. You may have a wireless option, or a satellite option, which the FCC has counted as competition. Which is why AC above is getting so many downvotes. Even those of us who believe the market CAN provide the competition, know it isn't because of the political angles.

Silicon Valley bod in no-hire pact lawsuit urges court to reject his own lawyers' settlement

Tom 13

Re: Thought so for a long time ...

Typical civil suits focus on restoring the injured party/ies to parity with where they would have been if the offense had not occurred.

So, if you assume

- 5000 affected workers

- an average salary of $50,000/yr

- 10 years of offense

- 5% interest year on year

You wind up with a settlement amount of $261,250,00 or $52,250 per person.

Which makes ballpark numbers look about right for the proposed settlement on the usual settlement basis. Whether or not the usual settlement basis is fair is the real question.

Tom 13

Re: Thought so for a long time ...

Only 25%? No wonder they agreed to so little. Those are cheap ass lawyers you've got working for you. Once it goes to trial, even if they opt to settle out of court, normal fee is 50%.

Beached whale Symantec watches revenues recede 7%

Tom 13

Re: So basically they're treading water.

Discovered yesterday that I've been unwittingly helping keep them above water but no more. Back some years ago I think I renewed a copy of it that came on my mother's laptop and set it to renew automatically since I'm not usually around when it is renewal time. And forgot all about it. I've been in the process of reducing interest payments on my revolving credit and was looking at the monthly when I saw their name. Called them and asked them to cancel it and refund that charge. They processed both requests. So that $80/yr less they'll be making in the future.

Tom 13

Re: come out swinging

I agree, the problem for Symantec is that all they've ever done is borged on more stuff (badly) other people developed initially. So they've got nothing with which to come out swinging. Given that, Don's pretty much nailed it: call the vulture capitalists and sell off what you've got left before you lose even more of it. You owe it to your stockholders.

Spy sat launch wannabe SpaceX fails to stop rival gobbling Russian rockets

Tom 13

Re: Do they think it's patriotic or something?

Of course it's patriotic!

And besides that, it keeps high paying jobs in at least 30 states and 200 congressional districts.

/end sarc

Tom 13

Re: Once through Google translate ...

No need for threats this time. The administration hasn't approved sanctions for their pal in Russia who happens to be invading Ukraine at the moment. All that sanctions hoopla is just so much crap to keep the rubes distracted.

I'll admit I was expecting that given the situation with the ISS they'd been issued a waiver, but it wasn't even that complicated. They just flat out haven't affirmed the company should be on the list.

Cortana, remind me to patch Windows, IE, and Adobe gear next Tues

Tom 13

Re: IE is part of the OS that are burried deep enough into it

That's a lie that wasn't caught out in court and we're all better off not repeating it. I think the EU demonstrated that pretty well when they had MS in the dock.

Britain'll look like rural Albania without fracking – House of Lords report

Tom 13

Re: @ Tom 13

So effectively very difficult.

Sounds like they should put a hold on the LCPD closures and either keep them running or at least mothballed for two or three years while they work out a better transition plan. Not that they will. I get that the money problem is real, not just greed. It just strikes me that you do what you have to to keep the power up and running, and coal is what you still have.


Tom 13

@ Ledswinger

How difficult would it be to bring the mothballed coal plants back online?

Or are they actually tearing down the facilities?

Architect of Apple's total-silence public relations policy leaves

Tom 13

Re: A dense, impenetrable web of bullshit

It is not generally know that John Michell was originally venting to a friend over a pint at the pub before he wrote his famous missive Henry Cavendish:

I tell you, it's all bullshit and it's completely impenetrable. In fact, anything you throw at it sticks to it and simply becomes more bullshit. It's just like a black hole from which nothing escapes.

Tom 13

Re: Kate has given her all

No need to rush. I understand they'll have new covers on a surplussed ship load of blank diaries within a week, after which they'll ship to all the stores.

Amazon granted patent for taking photos against a white background – seriously

Tom 13

Not quite as bad as El Reg makes out.

Valid patents frequently depend on an arrangement of very specific angles that produce a superior product. An example of such a patent would be an angle on a camshaft that allows the optimal flow with minimal pulsing in closed high pressure pump for a single piston pump.

In this instance it isn't simply on a white background. It is for:

...when captured with an image capture device, as a near perfect white without the need for post-processing, retouching, or other image manipulation. In other words, images and video of items captured in the studio arrangement appear against a background that is equivalent to a white background when converted into a web color hexadecimal triplet corresponding to a true white.

Now you can make fun of this all you want, but I've edited enough crappy "white" images in my time to recognize the commercial value of something that eliminates the need for such editing. And yes, this is the sort of thing a company could invest a couple hundred thousand dollars determining.

Nuclear reactor sysadmin accused of hacking 220,000 US Navy sailors' details

Tom 13

Re: Nothing in this article suggests that any of the two guys abused

Sure there is. They were already inside the system. They might not have used their account privileges to carry out the attack, but just because you're inside the system you know the attack surfaces and how to go after them. That is privileged information you are supposed to protect, not exploit.

Ninten-DON'T: Wii U bomb blows Mario Kart giant off track – but new console promised

Tom 13

Re: Two reasons.

You forgot the most important reason: The Apple under Jobs reason that Apple has now lost, aka scarcity of product.

When the Wii first came out you couldn't find one in the stores. I know I looked. In fact I looked for almost a full year. Then I got it home and most of the games were crap. So it sits in the basement collecting dust.

Web cesspit 4chan touts '$20 bug bounty' after hackers ruin Moot's day

Tom 13

Re: I think it's a bit harsh

Just as is the case with MS, no matter how much you polish a turd, it is still a turd.

Maybe if it was confined to just the internet it would be tolerable. But it's not. I personally know people who have been physically injured because of the antics 4chan engages in. So no, it's not all in good fun.

King's stocks are candy-crushed as its top toy suffers splurge slump

Tom 13

Re: Sorry Apple already

I thought that was the single instance in which Apple and M$ formed a joint venture and trademarked the term.

Traffic light vulns leave doors wide open to Italian Job-style hacks

Tom 13

Seattle, New York, and Washington DC?

Not sure anyone would notice if the lights were hacked in the middle of rush hours. Perhaps the middle of the day, but not rush parking lot hours. Not sure about NY and Seattle, but here on the beltway, parking lot hours are 6:00 am to 9:30 am and 3:00 pm to 6:30 pm, except Fridays when late hours are 2:30 to 7:30. Don't ask! It just is.

SEC to investors: When dealing in Bitcoin, don't get suckered

Tom 13

Here's a bit of advice that's more frank:

Treat bitcoin investing like a drug purchase. The risks are similar except since you aren't in close proximity there's a reduced chance of actual gunfire. The bigger the deal, the more the risk, and the more you need to know the players in your deal. Which sort of invalidates the whole anonymity thing. And like a drug deal gone bad, you don't really have decent legal recourse.

‘Scapegoated’ BBC tech boss calls foul, kicks off unfair sacking tribunal

Tom 13

Four things ought to happen before this all gets settled:

Fire every member of:

- the BBC finance committee

- the BBC executive

- the BBC Trust

Release the Accenture report to the public.

I'll note El Reg's and Marge's notations that Linwood may have been called in too late to be responsible for the fiasco and let others sort out the details on that. I expect that he needs to remain unemployed even if not at fault if for no other reason than there aren't projects there for him to manage.

I'll also note auburnman's comments about the Accenture report's worth. Be that as it may, the report should still be made public and open to criticism. If it's as bad as he said it is, BBC heads need to roll for commissioning the worthless report in the first place. If they already rolled in items 1 to 3, so much the better.

Cold War spy aircraft CRASHED Los Angeles' air traffic control

Tom 13

Re: 'forgot that airspace is 3D'

It might have been written that way in the script, but I think GumboKing wrote it the way Shatner delivered it.

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