* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Money? What money? Lawyer for accused Silk Road boss claims you can't launder Bitcoin

Tom 13

Re: then the charge should be on them

Only so long as he wasn't spear recruiting them to his website. Given what we know publicly about Dread Pirate Roberts communications, it wasn't incidental. Since the claim of the prosecution is that they can tie him to the alias, the charge stands.

Tom 13

Re: hmm

I'm not sure at exactly what point RICO kicks in. They may need both sets to really start the property seizures.

Tom 13

Re: happens when the feds knock on your door.

In that particular case, I think they skip knocking.

Tom 13

Re: Excellent points

Actually not, and that the defense has moved so rapidly from "my client did not break the law" to "the law under which my client is charged does not apply" is pretty indicative of strong evidence against him.

The government may need to prove a larger operation for the money laundering, but since the bitcoin are exchanged for cash, it's still a money laundering operation. Just because he only had the subcontract for exchanging property doesn't invalidate the operational basis.

Password bug let me see shoppers' credit cards in eBay ProStores, claims infosec bod

Tom 13

Re: you'd hope....

They do. But the problem with anything that big is the difficulty in controlling it. You can put out all the memos, directives, and policies you want, but if there's a break in the chain of command, it won't happen. The longer the chain of command, the more likely the break. And nobody wants to report bad news up. It can all be handled at the level where it's discovered without need to worry the bosses who wouldn't know how to fix it anyway, right?

Dropbox nukes bloke's file share in DMCA brouhaha – then admits it made a 'HASH OF IT'

Tom 13

Re: Hope they're using a good hash

Your maths are correct, but the assertion that it is unfeasible is not. I was discussing the issue with a friend the other week and he is aware of several programs which perform exactly that function. We were discussing it in a different context, essentially a theoretical hashing index to independently check high capacity storage volumes for altered files rather than continuous virus scanning which is unfeasible on their volumes.

New Sammy patent trial: Apple seeks $40 PER 'infringing' handset

Tom 13


The date stamp on the article says March 31, not April 1.

Ah well.

New IPCC report: 8 ways climate change will throw world into peril

Tom 13

Re: And the solution is?

I believe you left the word "proposed" out of your title.

If that is the case I concur.

If it is not I dissent.

FTC: Do SSL properly or we'll shove a microscope up you for decades

Tom 13

Ironically, I just saw my first ad from Credit Karma yesterday.

While it was slightly intriguing compared to the usual suspects, it wasn't enough so to get me to visit their site.

After today, that won't ever be happening.

Homeopathic remedies contaminated with REAL medicine get recalled

Tom 13

Re: raise you a full clinical blinded trial.

Fine, but you have to pay for it.

Tom 13

Re: work would rake in billions for the team that did the research

No it wouldn't. It would rake in billions for the industry, not necessarily the research team. This is the essential problem of alternative medicines: because they are not patent-centric there's no incentive to spend the large amounts of cash to prove the work because everyone else will benefit more than you will.

There is a sense in which homeopathy is based on the same thing as what we think of as proper medicine: introducing small amounts of the pathogen induce immune responses that fight the disease. This is the basis of most of Pasteur's work. The difference being that he was able to do the work to quantify and test to isolate known good cures.

This doesn't mean I advocate homeopathy. It is untested and therefore highly risky.

Judge rules Baidu political censorship was an editorial right

Tom 13

Re: Interesting...

No. In fact this ruling removes them from the previously existing safe harbor provisions, which exist only for "unedited" materials. As soon as you edit, you are open to libel/slander.

Tom 13

Re: It's MY press not YOUR press.

So, if the US passes a law suppressing all results referring to anything Snowden released and Google filtered on that basis, would it be a violation of free speech rights? And we'll make it specifically a US citizen to side step the cross border issue.

No, it's still government censorship which is forbidden and a violation of US Constitutional rights.

Tom 13

Re: @sisk

The existence of a government order about the censorship negates the argument that the company was engaging in its own editorial policy.

Proper course of action would have been to dismiss the case on the basis that the court has no jurisdiction over Chinese law.

Tom 13

Re: I agree 100%

Then you haven't thought this through.

Tom 13

Re: the implication then is that it should essentially be illegal

Not at all. So long as the editorial decision is made solely by the corporation it is competent to do so. But when the editorial decision is imparted from outside the company by government it is improper.

Moreover as I noted above, this decision essentially makes safe harbor provisions null and void because it expressly says search engine results are editorial in nature. Safe harbor provisions only apply to unedited results.

Tom 13


Yes, but that would have been the correct ruling instead of an incompetent one.

I concur with the section of a poster above about the differences between positive and negative rights and their implications for legal interpretations. That being said, if it had been the US government which ordered the change in the search results and the ISP complied, even though the users are third parties their rights as citizens have been violated by the government edict not simply company policy and it would be proper for them to sue and win their case.

Furthermore this ruling is at odds with the safe harbor provisions under which most search engines and lSPs operate. The ruling is nonsensical.

Tom 13

government vs private

I wouldn't say that quite applies in this case. Would the censoring party be doing it absent the government of China imposing censorship on the results?

Certainly the private group has the right to edit their results. But I can't see a US company actually doing that. Because once you edit the search results you no longer have the safe harbor provision to protect you from all kinds of liabilities.

Mt Gox staff tried to warn CEO of Bitcoin loss risks – reports

Tom 13

Re: $1500 a day?

Assuming he meant gross instead of net that works out to $547,500/year if they're running with no holidays. Half for normal business costs gets you to $273,750. Whack another 20% for taxes and you're down to $219,000. If all you're doing is paying 2 employees, that's $109,500 gross per year. So well off but not millionaire either.

Revealed: What the US taxman really thinks of crypto-cash Bitcoin

Tom 13

Re: Originally the idea of VAT

That may have been the lie used to sell it, but it was never about luxuries. It was always about the best way to extract the most money to support the socialist welfare state and blame somebody other than the politicians for the problems that ensued. The direct sales tax has a natural limit of about 12%. The Progressive income tax has a natural limit of about 23% of GDP. Welfare states can't exist on that little income. The VAT tax doesn't seem to have a natural limit because it just gets priced into everything and hidden from view.

Tom 13

Re: @Tom 13 - You are mistaking the *absolute*

More philosophical hocum. Income isn't fixed, expenses aren't fixed, and enslaving someone to move bricks is a violation of human rights. But then you social justice types don't actually give a damn about real human rights, only that some mythical distribution fits your political world view. When the government buys more poverty, the market obliges by providing it. It really is just that simple.

You hire whoever the hell you want to if all they're going to do is pointlessly move bricks from one place to another. I'm going to go do what I do best and make some money at it.

Tom 13

Re: therefore allowable against tax?

Only if you file for the whole kit and caboodle. Which is the rub. You can skirt the tax laws with bartering at the periphery, but for something approaching real income you have to declare it.

And the last thing you want to do is become bitcoin billionaire with the commensurate real property in the US without a tax trail. As earlier posters noted, that IS how they nailed Al Capone. Tax evasion: only crime in the US where you are legally guilty until proven innocent and the burden of proof is on you.

Tom 13

Re: @ bigtimehustler Taxing Income is Immoral and counter productive.

It's a strawman argument. Nobody has the same fixed expenses its all variable. You can live on $1000 a month and you can go bankrupt on $10,000 a month. Regardless of how much you make, you are responsible for balancing your income and expenses.

There's a very good reason we have so many "poor people" these days. The market is an amoral bastage. He sells whatever you are buying. The more poverty he buys, the more he sells you. And jackalopes like the poster above are buying poverty with their self righteous hypocracy at unprecedented levels.

Tom 13

Re: You are mistaking the *absolute*

And you are confusing "social justice" with real justice. Real justice is each person working for his just wages. Not stealing from the rich to assuage your own guilt.

Tom 13

Re: Not being a tax lawyer or accountant...

El Reg is never above a bit of hyperbole. Essentially the IRS ruled the way everyone expected them to:

1. It isn't legal tender.

2. It is property.

3. Property received in lieu of wages is taxable and will be treated as such under the law.

All (oddly enough) very reasonable and legally defensible policy positions. Whether or not they can monitor and enforce the regulations is a whole other issue. But their point of influence is where it is for almost all real property: Somewhere along the line someone will want to convert it into numbers in their bank account. If that someone is a US citizen, the banks have to file the appropriate paperwork.

Tom 13

Re: The US tax code....

No it fails pretty regularly too. It's just the one part of the system where the citizen is legally held accountable regardless of who is actually at fault.

In fact, any day now I expect to see yet another Forbes report where they've sent three sets of tax papers to 40+ accountants and outside of the ones for the folks who should really be filing an EZ or online form, none of the accountants agree how much tax is actually owed.

Research bods told: Try to ID anonymised data subjects? No more CASH for you

Tom 13

Re: How about prison sentences for the directors

While I share the sentiment that route is much harder to execute under our current legal system. Better direct financial penalties on the offending organizations. If there's a legal way to do it, attach them to the directors as well. As in: if they work for another medical research team after leaving a sanctioned company, that new company becomes sanctioned as well.

That will focus their minds sufficiently for most purposes.

Tom 13

Re: La La La La

I don't read it that way at all. I read it as "if you've been authorized to have access to this information only for the purposes of doing medical research and you instead try to identify the people to whom we promised anonymity, we're gonna drop so much hurt on you you'll wish it was sharks with frickin' laser beams instead."

And really, that's a weaker point than many people think it is right now.

Should they also invest in the sort of white/grey hat analysis you are advocating? Sure. But that doesn't mean it's the only or route to go. Defense in multiple layers.

Returning a laptop to PC World ruined this bloke's credit score. Today the Supreme Court ended his 15-year nightmare

Tom 13

Re: Black Marks and Credit Ratings

The problem is once you get the bad mark against you it is more likely you get more bad marks against you for a cumulative effect because that one bad mark costs you on more than just the house mortgage. It also affects consumer credit rates and possibly even job eligibility.

Tom 13

Re: all within the store.

If that's what the clerk meant, then he should have walked him through that exact process.

Tom 13

Re: A bit missing from this article that sheds a different light..

That still leaves 9 years from the initial injury, with a black mark against his credit score the entire time. Sounds like a good bit more than £166,000 in damages to me.

Tom 13

Re: Not necessarily @Tom Welsh

And factored into the interest rate of the loan. And they lie when they say "interest free". That just means they've calculated the cost of the loan, including the interest and profit on the loan and moved it to the retail price of the good.

And while it is true almost no banks are paying interest on deposit accounts these days, nobody's offering loans at anywhere near those rates.

Tom 13

Re: loan is interest free

No it isn't. They lie when they tell you that. The cost of the loan is moved to the price of the laptop. That's how all "interest free" deals are priced before the merchandise hits the floor.

Tom 13


I wouldn't even say it was outside his disposable income. My guess is if he had wanted it, paying for it either under the credit terms or possibly all in cash would have been no trouble at all. But whereas the merchandise was not as advertised and therefore not fit for purpose, he returned it.

Virtual beer to toast to a rare man of principle, courage, and fortitude. Fifteen years is a long time to be fighting a nest of vipers.

US-Russia Soyuz 'nauts STUCK IN SPACE after ISS dock fail

Tom 13

@Martin Budden

"Issac, take a look at this. ... I think it looks like it's supposed to hit the fan."


Apple vows to add racially diverse EMOJIS after MILEY CYRUS TWITTER outrage

Tom 13

Re: Hmmm

Not even close. But it might be a good start.

Tom 13

Re: // wonder how much they're paid?

1 cat vid per item updated.

Tom 13

Re: come out green on a black background.

HERETIC!!! Thou are not of the body!

Those who are of the body know they should be amber.

Judge throws out lawsuit lobbed at Facebook for using kids' pics in targeted ads

Tom 13

Re: An odd case to bring against Facebook

Only if you are competent to sign the T&Cs which by legal definition, minors are not.

Tom 13

Re: adhesion contract and thus unenforceable

Nope, that's been decided at the Federal level and therefore is binding on the States.

The judge is just flat wrong on this one. FB is essentially in the same spot all the Pr0n companies who made films/vids of Traci Lords were in when she sued them for exploiting her when she was a minor.

Tom 13

Re: Read the T&Cs of the web site

You and the judge are both twits. The very fact that they are minors means they aren't legally considered competent to sign such a contract. The FB defense should have failed before it started.

Adults you have a better case on. But I think there's still sufficient "it can't be negotiate so it isn't a real contract" basis to take it to court in front of a competent judge.

Banks lob sueball at Trustwave, Target over breach

Tom 13

Re: The underlying problem is,,,

No, the real problem with these sorts of operations is that they are run by the same sort of people who'd put a penny in a fuse box because it wouldn't burn out.

As WinXP death looms, Microsoft releases its operating system SOURCE CODE for free

Tom 13

Re: 640K ought to be enough for anyone

My recollection was IBM as it was a hardware limitation and actually 1G with the upper 360 reserved for system use. Later Quarterdeck and others figured out ways to scan the high memory for unused areas and swap out stuff from the low area to enable more RAM use for the DOS, especially with respect to TSRs.

Tom 13

Re: An idea

The biggest problem is that even the shorter life of a patent is an eternity in software release versions.

I'd use the basics of your concept, except enable the trademark "use it and protect it, or lose it" rule: if you stop selling and supporting the software your copyright/patent expires.

Tom 13

Re: re: Word User Friendly ?

Minor nits:

By the time Word was displacing WordPerfect, Lotus was losing out to Quattro. Also, they just called them "updates" (meaning bug fixes) back then as security was not a concern for anyone. But yes. I was a user of Quarterdeck products back then and each new update meant a new version of QEMM.

Tom 13

Re: I used 6.0 for a while back then

More likely you used 6.x for a while and don't recall the exact version. My recollection is patches came out fairly rapidly for 6.0 for some serious bugs. I vaguely recall 6.01, 6.02,and 6.03 which don't seem to have made the official history list. It wasn't until 6.2x that it was stable.

And yes Stacker and DoubleSpace were all the fan rage when they came out. Disks were expensive, software was cheap. If you could double your storage for half the cost people figured "why not?". I took one look at it and said "No way!" If you had a sector go bad on a regular hard drive you'd lose a file and chances were you could easily grab a copy from a working station or you had a backup. If you had a sector go bad with either of those compressor utilities you pretty much lost the whole disk and had to reinstall all your software. I didn't expect a problem a colleague ran into. He packed so much data onto the drive he couldn't decompress it. Wound up losing a drive's worth of data. After which he might compress for read speed, but he never compressed to get more drive space.

Tom 13

Re: Word User Friendly ?

Oh, and I don't think it was the branding. I think it came down to they could pay $400,000 to upgrade the WordPerfect package for the office, or $99,000 for Word.

Tom 13

Re: Word User Friendly ?

I was an expert in WordPerfect 5.01 key commands, macros, the whole 9 yards. We had it installed as an enterprise copy where I worked. I still hate Word, even without the ribbon.

Most important feature of all for me back in those days was Reveal Codes. MS still can't do it properly. The reason it was critical was another app I used at the time called Ventura Publisher. Publisher let you add codes neither word processor could and it was important for the documentation I produced. Problem was,it also tried to support the processor format codes, but sometimes merged the codes in such a way that they didn't parse correctly. For example, if you added a Ventura superscript code to something that was italics Ventura would merge the end flag for the italics with its end code for the superscript. Which was fine until someone "fixed" it in Word or worse you wound up losing a paragraph of text when it got pulled into Ventura. To fix it I'd turn on reveal codes, find the problematic tags and add spaces to separate the codes in word processor document. Never could do that with Word.

Tom 13

Re: It was known for being followed by 2.1 and 2.11

Which when you get right down to it, was also the case for 6.x. I don't recall running version 6.0 for very long at all. I do remember 6.22 being rock solid.

Three's money man reveals UK mobe firms' dark pricing dealings

Tom 13

Re: consumers no longer want the "all you can eat"

I doubt it has anything to do with what consumers want and everything to do with the insanity that is the all you can eat plan fueling so many carriers and ISPs.

The real trick is whether they set reasonable parameters around the new pricing plans. We should each be paying for what we use, not subsidizing other users.

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