* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

FTC: State laws blocking Tesla's direct sales are 'protectionist'

Tom 13

Re: There is always two sides

AC has a point, although not quite as absolute as he claims. The current system was designed by Congress and the various states and for better or worse everything was opened under those rules. Changing those rules now will be a sort of taking from the dealerships currently in operation. Also, as an earlier poster noted, the laws are currently written to apply mostly to dealerships not manufacturers. A rule change for Tesla only shifts all this improperly.

Which isn't to say it shouldn't be changed at all. But it needs to be a comprehensive legislative change enacted by Congress to correct all of it at once.

Tom 13

Re: it's to get the existing stuff that's really inefficient off the roads.

No it wasn't. It was to pump auto sales. The program removed almost no clunkers.

I'm still driving a car I bought in 2001. It came loaded with all the gadets you enviro-weenies insist have to be on the car. That's 13 years ago. Most people don't drive cars that old. Which means all the cars you are calling clunkers are most likely better kept than mine is because they are in the hands of hobbyists who own them to show them off. Likewise they probably contribute almost nothing to pollution because other than being take out of the garage on a sunny day to be shown at a car show, they aren't on the road.

Tom 13

Re: Not just protectionist

Will the completely clueless ever stop claiming the US constitution says things it doesn't?

The relevant clause says:

To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;

There's nothing there that makes it illegal for the states to do what they are doing. In fact, in an early age, it was you Progressives who insisted on exactly those laws to protect consumers from the evil robber barons. And you've favored them for imposing regulations on the insurance industry which has done more to cause imbalances than any other action except treating employer paid benefits advantageously for tax purposes.

What that clause says is that Congress may pass legislation about the manner in which trade is conducted. There is no explicit requirement that they do so, nor that the law be written to prohibit the current independent dealer model. Furthermore, that power is specified for Congress not the Executive Branch. So the FTC ought not have power to write rules absent Congress's action.

Would we be better off if they did? Probably. But you've already introduced so many other distortions into the market that we can't be sure.

Reg probe bombshell: How we HACKED mobile voicemail without a PIN

Tom 13

Re: how much time did you give them to put their house in order?

That sounds like about 7 days more than they deserved.

But I applaud your respect for the punters.

Bevy of tech behemoths aim to plug the next Heartbleed with DOLLARS

Tom 13

Re: Without change in attitude to taking fixes

It's already been forked. If OpenSSL don't change their attitude they will die. They may be dead already and just not know it yet.

Apple stuns world with rare SEVEN-way split: What does that mean?

Tom 13

Re: Why divide by seven??

Because at least one of the big wigs want to pull some of his profits out of the company without losing influence. Seven way split lets him sell of up to 1/7 of his shares and still be a whale.

Systems meltdown plunges US immigration courts into pen-and-paper stone age

Tom 13

Re: Really?

Despite popular perception the USPO is actually one of the most reliable and efficient delivery systems in existence. I've never had a package or letter lost and all have been delivered within specified time frames.

Where they are weak is in having only one or two customer service reps on duty at the drop off at peak periods during the week, even if they have 4 or even 6 stations available.

US Supreme Court supremo rakes Aereo lawman in oral arguments

Tom 13

Re: To play Devil's Advocate


Where prostitution is illegal, the law clearly states so. There is no corresponding clear statement of law which applies to Aero, only the application of "intent" to fuzzy things up.

Tom 13

Re: woolyand wide ranging laws


I see the broadcasters points. The whole thing does stink of dodgy legal scam. But the key word there is "legal" at least from the view the courts ought to take. And given it is a law not an amendment to the constitution, the appropriate course of action is to update the law if you think it is a dodgy scam.

Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties

Tom 13

Re: every time the copyright for Steamboat Willy

Yeah, so much so that the last case to reach SCOTUS got Congress a stern warning:

We're not going to hold this extension Unconstitutional, but at some point it has to end. So think about that before you go doing it again.


Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial

Tom 13

@ Don Jefe: With one small but important caveat:

The case has to occur entirely within the US.

Worked for a company a long time ago that had a truly original idea (nowhere else in the industry before hand, greatly sped up processing and increased accuracy of results) and a properly obtained patent. Key component was a small fluid reservoir filled with a compressible fluid. The action of the device depended solely on the compressibility of the fluid in the reservoir. Company in France built a differently shaped reservoir and filed for a patent in France. My company sued. French court found in favor of the French company and ruled my company had to pay royalties to the French company if we sold our device in France. I could see an improvement if they improved on the fluid, or maybe even the membrane, but not for changing the shape of the reservoir.

Tom 13

Rockstar really should have known better

than to go up against a company that knows more about their business, their customers, their support system, their lawyers and most likely even their email traffic than they do.

Where's the icon for the All Seeing Eye of Sauron?

WTF happened to Pac-Man?

Tom 13

Re: If Pac-Man had affected us as kids

BUT it did affect me as a kid.

To this day if I see one, I can't walk by one without dropping money in the slot to play a round.

Tom 13

Re: Wot no Ms. Pac-man?

What are you smoking? That was where it all started to go wrong.

Whoever you vote for, Google gets in

Tom 13

Re:The UK? We're a...

Actually I understood you were a constitutional monarchy. Which is slightly different.

Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers

Tom 13

Re: Or have I got the wrong end of the stick here?

Yes, you do.

What the appeals judge wrote in somewhat plainer English is: Levison didn't raise the issue on which he is appealing at court when he initially challenged the ruling. Since he didn't raise the issue in the first court, the first court axiomatically can't have issued a decision that improperly applied the law. Which is fundamental logic. This is a tenderfoot lawyer mistake. But you can't hold the lower court guilty for not considering an argument it didn't hear, which is effectively what overturning a lower court decision is.

Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google

Tom 13

Re: There should have been a

Problem is, the dicks would have ignored it just like the bits they've been ignoring without it.

Tom 13

@ bigtimehustler

See my earlier post about my real feelings. But here's the catch:

Here in the US, when you talk to the typical person, the only thing that screams 'Guilty!' louder than taking the 5th in court is entering into exactly the sort of deal they cut with the DoJ.

Tom 13

I thought this was a US case

Hence the relevance of the DoJ investigation. Not sure how exactly that would translate to a UK case. In theory I'd think it ought to be transferable, but given the nature of international relations even amongst friendly countries in practice I didn't think it worked so well.

If it is a UK case, I withdraw my earlier remark about the jury determining the character of the witness. Not familiar enough with the particulars of your system to comment on that part.

Tom 13

Re: Ummm, it does actually.

Particularly in the US, where part of the jury function is determining the character of the witnesses and weighting their testimony accordingly.

I also found the bit about the DoJ investigation muddled. To admit evidence of the DoJ investigation for any purpose would be unduly prejudicial ...

No it isn't. So long as the evidence was collected according to established processes the evidence is valid and the defense has the chance to rebut it. Furthermore, whenever a defendant pleads the 5th the jury are explicitly instructed "this does not imply guilt for the crime in question and shall not be treated as such" or something to the same effect. If the agreement were introduced as a fact in court, surely the same disclaimer can be applied.

Arts and crafts store Michaels says 3 million credit cards exposed in breach

Tom 13

Re: *over* a year of breach

Spear phishing is notoriously hard to stop, and this seems to be something similar. The notice specifies that neither independent investigator had ever seen similar malware before so expecting Michael's to catch it is expecting too much. I've also checked the list of specific stores since I do sometimes buy from them as does my roomie. There are various date ranges for the malware so it wasn't continuously infected.

The store I use is on the list and I'm likely to have shopped there during one of the listed periods. I don't recall seeing a notice from them about potential issues so I will be double checking. Good news is, I know which account it is and I haven't seen anything I didn't recognize in the statements.

Tom 13

Re: They should offer money.

I think there'd be a raft of privacy issues there since you're talking about the store instead of the card issuer. I'd think it would be hard to anonymize that and still make it useful to the store. Especially since I'd think the fraud would be via other merchants. If you move it to the card issuer, the privacy issues go away and the same PR dynamics would apply.

At one point in time my finances were a sufficient mess that I felt the need to use one of the services for a while. I think it was about $12.95/month which is sort of pricey for just in case insurance. Yes you should be able to get a bulk discount as the card issuer, not sure how much. I have noticed Discover is now including one of you credit scores on each statement. Not as useful as the full report, but maybe the first piece of what you're looking for.

There's also a certain sense in which I think we need to shift our expectations. We've seen enough of these types of incidents that we should now expect them. Which means the credit issuing agencies need to step up with better process monitoring and fraud detection methods. The problem from our standpoint as the consumer is that there are too many of these systems with which we interact and all of the critical controls are outside our ability to affect let alone control. And we have to maintain perfect vigilance while the bad guys only have to compromise one system. While I'll grant they can't control it, the processing agencies are the only ones who can affect the whole chain.

OK, we get the message, Microsoft: Windows Defender splats 1000s of WinXP, Server 2k3 PCs

Tom 13

Re: Subtle hints

It's alright. It was worth the repeat so I'll upvote both of them.

Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS

Tom 13

Re: It was faster to use the cashier lane.

The cashier is always faster processing a checkout. It's only the queue time to get to the cashier that can make self-checkout faster.

I only use them when I have a handful of items and usually don't have a problem with needing to rescan something. BUT, I do pay close attention to the voice instructions it gives me and wait for the next prompt. If you get ahead of the automated process it all goes to hell.

On the rare occasion my roommate is with me, she does not do that. She tries to scan multiple items or bag them or scan the next item before the weight for the previous item has registered. Always ends in disaster. Because the cashier lane doesn't have the same restrictions, they can do those things (especially scanning 1 carton of diet coke 4 or 5 times instead of each one individually).

Eugene Kaspersky: Ukraine conflict hurts enterprise security

Tom 13

Re: I suspect the people of Ukraine might disagree with you...

As well as anyone who actually cares about liberty as opposed to those who merely pay lip service to it.

Tom Ridge: Private sector lagging in cybersecurity

Tom 13

Re: and ....

Lasers can be focused and with rather interesting results. The office of my college prof for light and sound was filled with examples of the results.

Also, compared to an uncollimated beam, they are focused. So while "collimated" may be preferred, focused is acceptable.

Akamai scoffs humble pie: Heartbleed defence crumbles, new SSL keys for customers

Tom 13

Re: What's wrong with this picture,

The problem with taking ALL those servers offline to fix the issue is that the ensuing financial chaos would have made the recent banking/mortgage crisis look like a day in the park.

This is the fundamental problem in security: Does fixing the known security issue cause more damage than running with it? If so, how much more?

You need to mitigate, but the mitigation can't be worse than the disease. It's why although problematic, the secret notification people have a valid point about vulnerabilities. And if vendors are being responsible are the first route to take.

Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?

Tom 13

Re: Any idea what the mistake was?

Three days sounds like a weekend shift.

I ran into this problem when trying to program my credit card payments in my online payment service. Nominally they are due the same day every month. Except if the day falls on the weekend. For deposits banks tend to shift to the Monday after the deposit hits. For withdrawing they shift to the Friday before the due date. So if you want to be sure your payment gets there on time, you have to shift your send date up 3 days from when you would normally send it. Even then they dick around with the due date because of the 30/31 day issue so I finally gave up and started sending based on when paychecks hit. Even at that I still have to program the three day shift account, but since paychecks are consistent (10 and 25th for me) that works.

Tom 13

Re: code examples

Set Due Date

Send date = due date - 14 days; (to allow for wetware screw ups including postal services)

Next Send date = Current send Date + 365 days

Yes the send date will walk forward some, but if it gets too early the wetware can manually reset it.

T-Mobile US cuts overage charges, dares rivals to follow suit

Tom 13

Re: Good or Bad?

Bad, no question about it. Unlimited use plans are what got those of us on this side of the pond in trouble in the first place.

The correct fix is to adjust the overage pricing to properly reflect additional costs. Something like $10 buys you another 100M of data from your base plan, and when if you cross a critical threshold level the next 100M costs you $15 or $20. Maybe a 1% variance freebie, but certainly not unlimited. Could even let the pricing on overages be part of the package you purchase, but flat rates seems simpler to implement.

Skygazers prepare for 'blood Moon' caused by Earth eclipse

Tom 13

I realize we're a continent away and not your primary focus, but...

North American night owls will be in prime position to catch their best view of a lunar eclipse at around 1am EDT Tuesday as our natural satellite is overshadowed by Earth.

Don't you think you should check the weather forecast before you post tripe like that? Especially when listing Eastern Daylight Time? We were pretty much buried in clouds. Which if posts here are to be believed, sounds pretty much like the typical situation in Old Blighty.

Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS

Tom 13

Re: how come I'm surrounded by so many rich people

He didn't say "rich" he said "status symbol". Easiest way to separate a fool from his cash is to get him thinking it makes him look rich, which is the very definition of "status symbol".

Facebook wants to Zuck up your cash into its mobile payment service

Tom 13

I suspect there's a good reason Google Wallet doesn't have many adopters

It works even less well than Pay-Pal. When it came out I signed up for it and tried to use it to make three different online purchases. Never got any of them and there was no dispute system to resolve issues with it. I'm not going back.

Zuck's won't make it either. He might get it to work, but I trust him with my data less than I do Google or EBay. It was fine for free Zynga games, but that was about it. And with Zynga stepping all over their own plans I don't even play those any more.

Feds indict nine for making millions from Zeus malware

Tom 13
Thumb Up

What Jakes said!

[1] ElReg: Please fix the b0rken time stamp. This is getting silly.

It can be particularly important in trying to differentiate ACs.

Canadian taxman says hundreds pierced by Heartbleed SSL skewer

Tom 13

Re: CRA broke the story in Canada

Good to know somebody somewhere in government is taking appropriate precautions with your data. Sorry to hear it wasn't enough to protect from compromise. Glad it sounds like it will be harder to use the compromised info than it would be most other places. I know if somebody gets your SSN here in the States, it's pretty much game over.

Live coverage: Blood Moon looms large for North, South America

Tom 13

Re: Boston, Massachusetts: true to form

Practically the whole east coast of the US was borked last night. Clouds and rain from Bangor, Maine to Miami Florida, and I believe out to Minnesota on the east-west axis. Roomie's mother called asking about coming down to where we are to see it. I asked if she'd actually looked at a weather map.

FTC gets judicial thumbs-up to sue firms over data breaches

Tom 13

@ Kanhef Re: ?

OK, ok. He left of the Joke Icon.

This is El Reg. You're supposed to be smarter than that.

Tom 13

Re: It's a stumper

There are appropriate ways for the state to extend its power to cover these problems. An executive agency arbitrarily extending its powers is not one of them.

You want a fix that would work? Let people who've been injured file suit via arbitration or small claims court to get their money back, including attorneys fees (but no corresponding payment of lawyers fees to the corporations). And make all those "sign away your rights" contract clauses null and void on their face without need for trial.

Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment

Tom 13

@ Vladimir Plouzhnikov

I get it. You have to defend the homeland.

Utter bollocks. Stalin was Russia right up through Gorbachev. The names changed, the tactics never did. The truth is, the Russians killed more people than Hitler ever did, even when you include the war tallies in Hitler's toll.

As for rights, in West they have a long, long lineage, not just some 70 year timeline. As a proud American, I trace the history of my rights back to the Magna Carta of 1215. Yes, I think our US Constitution of 1783 improved on that document quite a bit, but I recognize and salute the Magna Carta as the post dark ages document that got the ball rolling. In fact, I'm one of those people who doesn't actually call it the American Revolution which is part of the socialist propaganda we're taught these days. I prefer the War of Independence, which is what our founders called it. Because from my perspective we weren't fighting so much for something new as something we thought we already had as Englishmen. And the additional protections placed in the US Constitution were corrections and amplifications to the rights we had via the Magna Carta and it's ensuing improvements.

No the change didn't happen instantly. There was a brief period of celebration. But what was forgotten was that while you Soviets were working to take us down from the inside, the real threat was already here on the inside. Fifth columnists infiltrating our government, our film, our media, and our schools. Churning out the same crap you are here. Preparing the way for The 0ne who would finally strike the final blow for the socialist workers utopia. With a bit of help from Iran and Iraq and some nutcases from Afghanistan, it's what we got. And yes, after 70+ years of war our people are tired. And too many are willing to take your offer of peace at any price rather than continue that fight the way it should be continued: by knocking the snot out of jackalopes like you whenever we need to in order to set the record straight.

Tom 13

Re: old enough to remember the cold war

Too few of us are. And at that at least of 1/3 of us who are old enough thought the Russians were the good guys.

Worst part is, in some ways the world was safer under the Cold War. Back then everybody knew in their bones we had enough fire power on hair trigger to blow the planet into asteroids. These days even though the reality that we still can hasn't changed, everybody thinks it's hunky-dory because the Cold War is over. So it will come as a completely unexpected surprise when we do.

Tom 13

Re: Dropbox drops the ball.

And here we have a prime example of apparatchik thinking. It wasn't Reagan and his policies with assistance from Maggie Thatcher (including more than one "don't go wobbly on us" call). No, it was Govbachev's reforms. As if those reforms materialized at that point in time for no reason whatsoever. No accounting for the dismal defeat the Russians were having in Afghanistan because of US support to rebels. No accounting for US domestic oil production being up, which knocked down the price of oil internationally. No accounting for Maggie's help with increased oil production in the North Sea. No accounting for the verbal support provided to Lech Walesa. Or the Pope John Paul taking on the evil of the Soviets. No accounting for the reversals of Soviet progress in Grenada, Nicaragua, or Hondorus. No accounting for Star Wars which even as a trial balloon caused the Soviets to have to up their missile production and break their budget because they couldn't take the chance we COULD build the shield.

Tom 13

Re: Dropbox drops the ball.

None of the apparatchiks predicted the dissolution of the Soviet Union because they all thought Ronald Reagan was a dunce. The impact that his policies had was not included in the analysis because they didn't think they'd have an impact.

OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts

Tom 13

Re: Good testers are worth their weight in gold because of this.

Actually, I'd say they're worth at least their weight in platinum. Occasionally even gem quality diamonds.

Tom 13

Re: @ rm -rf /

Or perhaps they should

Go Forth

and conquer. Or something like that.

Tom 13

@ rm -rf /

No, Microsoft Basic.

Tom 13

@ h4rm0ny

Perhaps I'm in an atypically generous mood today, but I didn't read Grease Monkey's comment as denigrating volunteers. I read it as "do you twits now think it might be better to donate money/people/resources to this code branch since it is so critical to your business? Remember it's free as in 'speech' not free as in 'beer'."

NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS

Tom 13

Re: Since you can hear them

Nah, those are the news chopper so they can have film at 11.

Tom 13

Re: Protect?

The Big 0 has no interest in reigning them in. It's how he gets data on HIS political enemies.

SpaceX Falcon tests hovercraft tech – despite ISS outage

Tom 13

Re: ohoh

Resources maybe, money is quite often a wash. Remember it frequently costs more to fix things than to make them from scratch these days. And I say that as someone who'd really rather fix than replace in most instances.

Tom 13

Re: I'd be tempted to have a barge or flat-decked cargo ship

I wouldn't. Same problems you have landing a fighter jet on a carrier: the deck is constantly in motion. That complicates the landing way beyond the test parameters. Sea water may be bad, but a busted ship and a busted barge are even worse. And that's your likely outcome. Plus, you may still have to deal with sea water anyway.

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