* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Barclays warns freelance techies of DOUBLE DIGIT rate cut

Tom 13

Re: good, available AND cheap IT contractors...

When I worked in a screwdriver shop we had a saying about buying your next PC: price, power, or quality: Pick two of the three as you can't have them all. Same thing applies here.

Tom 13

Re: If it's their third time trying this on in as many years

No they can't. If they could, they wouldn't be trying it a third time.

Repeating the same process that previously produced no or bad results is the very definition of insanity.

Tom 13

Make that 120% of their previous rate. Just to remind them that when re-negotiating rates, it is better to discuss the new rates than simply announce them.

Microsoft to push out penultimate XP patch on March Patch Tuesday

Tom 13

Re: desktops currently running XP were built to run XP only.

Patently not true. When I built the dual boot system I still use at home Vista had just arrived with its beefy requirements. I think that was back in 08 or 09, but the quad 660 was the sweet spot for processors at the time.* Vista was such crap most organizations ordering new equipment ordered XP even if there was an added cost. That persisted until Windows 7, which actually had less requirement for hardware overhead than Vista did.

*I remember it because I'd finally decided "to hell with it, I'm blowing a wad of cash on memory and video card instead of planning to upgrade and never getting around to it." And then a colleague pointed out that my 8G of RAM was pointless without the 64-bit Vista system. So I bought the 64-bit Vista and with the 8G it was barely tolerable because it was still a crap OS with little driver support and badly tested processes in the heart of the OS.

Tom 13

Re: The myth that IE is "part of the OS"

This is not a myth. It is a legally established Fact.

If it were otherwise, MS would likely have lost that big Windows 95 antitrust suit to Netscape. And because of that I expect that no matter how much any current or future computer programmer wants to argue that it should be separated for the good of the system, the lawyers won't let them.

Who loves office space? Dell does: Virtualization to banish workstations from under desks

Tom 13

Re: likely to be something like power which

No, it's likely to be the internet connection with your desktops still up and running. And which is typically a single point of failure.

Global Warming is real, argues sceptic mathematician - it just isn't Thermageddon

Tom 13

Re: Insurance

No they aren't. They're looking at the demographic and investment data that show they'll have to pay out 10 times as much in the future for events that have happened in the past.

Tom 13

I need reliable information now...

You won't get it. You'll have to make your best educated guess and act on it.

The academic dust isn't going to settle because the real time scales needed to gather data and interpret it exceed our lifetimes by orders of magnitude. That's the real truth the politicians and the Warmists are hiding from you.

Frankly, it sounds like you already know the facts and know what to do. You live in a known flood plain. That means you've got two choices: move or mitigate. Sounds like you've already ruled out move for reasons beyond your control. That means you plan to mitigate, including setting aside money in case you need to evacuate during flooding. Either that or re-asses your move options.

I grew up in a minor flood plain. We routinely got water in the basement during storms. At first it was a real problem. My Dad bought a sump pump and attached a garden hose. It sort of worked, but not really because the garden hose didn't really handle enough water. Later he bought a second sump pump. Then he added fixed in place plastic piping to move the water out of the house and through a hill so it came out on a flow path away from the house. Later he did some landscaping that moved the ponding area for the water away from the house. These days he still occasionally gets water in the basement, but the pumps move it with little or no damage to the finished basement. The mitigation plan works for him.

Maybe your issues are bigger, maybe something similar works for you. But ultimately that decision is up to you and you alone. Not the academics. Not the government. Just you. (In conjunction with your spouse if you have one.)

Boston court confirms Peeping Tom's right to upskirt

Tom 13

Re: Common?

Never were.

Of course what use to be more common was the certainty that if you pulled this kind of crap you'd be lucky going to court instead of a more rough sort of justice.

Tom 13

Re: would it be legal for the peeped

No it wouldn't.

But you wouldn't find me voting to convict if I were to somehow manage to be seated on such a jury.

Tom 13

Re: Bob Camp

Bob doesn't get out of his mother's basement much. He thinks the only skirts women wear are the ones he finds on TGP sites.

Tom 13

Re: So Yeah, Really.

Generally speaking you are correct, but not necessarily. Again a lot of it has to do with intent, which is admittedly a tricky area to get into.

For example a lot of states have laws that allow the prosecution of someone who goes to a beach and takes pictures of people in a manner intended to arouse. Think of it as, it's okay to take a picture of a pretty girl at the beach in any of a number of standard posses. But if you take a series of pictures that increasing focus on genitalia such that the final pictures are only of the genitalia you are breaking the law.

Tom 13

Re: Wrong law.

We're talking about Taxachusettes here. You know the state that produced the idiot who thought he'd look good with his head sticking up out of tank. Same state that thought it was a good idea to let repeat violent felons out on unsupervised leave. If they didn't have so much old money in Taxachusettes, California's financial problems would be unknown because of the attention focused on it.

I NEVER DONE BITCOIN, says bloke fingered by new Newsweek

Tom 13

Re: Conflicting reports

If you've been involved in secret government contracts I am no longer involved in that and I cannot discuss it is the blanket reply to any questions asked about any of your work. Even if the bit you worked on isn't actually classified. Because if you start answering questions about stuff that isn't classified, when you revert to the blanket excuse you interrogator now knows there's something classified about that line of questioning.

Tom 13

Re: "Public interest"

Never forget the journalists ultimate get of jail free card (especially in the US): I didn't claim it, I quoted someone.

Tom 13

Re: Great Journalism

Steve Jackson got it right in 1993 when he developed the board game Hacker: Newsleak.

And IIRC they had a difficulty level right on par with Squishysoft.

Tom 13

Re: just the local journalists being incompetent.

Could be the editor.

In college I was an elected leader in our Astro Club. Student reporter came to us for an interview. We gave it to her and explained all the stuff we did and when we'd have an open house for the public to come look through the big scopes (Halley's comet year). We closed the interview by saying the club had been founded in the 60s by some flowerkids and we'd never gotten around to correcting the errors in the charter because we figured we'd just wind up with even more problems from student government, but we were the Astronomy club which was science based and not the Astrology club which was hocus pocus. Sure enough when the article came out it said we made astrological equipment available to the public. I called her and she said her editor changed it. The editor said since it was in a public document they could use it even if we specifically told them not to.

I'd like to say that it isn't possible for my opinion of journalists to sink any lower than it already is, but I've learned not to temp fate like that.

Tom 13

Re: wouldn't go camp out in someone's front yard to scream questions at them.

I had a journalism class here in the US. One journalism class. Because that's exactly what they teach you to do in your very first journalism class.

US judge Koh won't ban old Samsung gear, tells Apple: Your patents aren't that amazing

Tom 13

Re: broke into his house to steal the TV set

As I read that I suddenly realized we're bring up a whole generation of kids who aren't going to picture that correctly when they read it. Man do I feel old.

Newsweek knocks on door of dad-of-six, tells him he invented Bitcoin

Tom 13

@ Grease Monkey

If I could anonymously accumulate that much money, I'd probably try to keep a low profile too. Better protection than being visible with a boatload of gorillas protecting me.

Tom 13

Re: Wouldn't be a good start to their relaunched print edition

There's one small problem with that theory.

Regardless of whether or not this is the guy who invented Bitcoin, so long as the rest of the information about him is correct, he seems like the sort of chap who can do his sums. Now that sort of person is likely to do the sums on launching the case. Given Newsleak's prior record, and the fact that they are currently a start-up, it doesn't seem likely they have the million to begin with. So the only effect of launching the lawsuit would be to deplete this guys savings account. And that's assuming he wins the case. Sadly, on this side of the pond the courts seem to be more like a roulette wheel in a gambling house than a system designed to produce just outcomes.

PayPal mudslingfest TELEVISED: Icahn and Donahoe go on telly

Tom 13

@ bigtimehustler

Ichan may be a total fool, but whether or not eBay loses by letting it go probably depends on how "letting it go" is structured. Certainly if it were spun to a competitor it would hurt them. On the other hand, if it were arranged in one of those "that corporation that contributes handsomely to our profits isn't actually part of our megacorp, honest guv" arrangements it might not.

But to be honest, at this point, I'd be inclined to hang onto it just to spite Carl.

Facebook, Instagram give dodgy online gun sales the BULLET

Tom 13

The following statement from this article is patently false

and were we in the UK instead of the US would likely land you a defamation suit:

By arranging sales in this way, gun dealers can flout various state and federal firearms regulations, such as laws requiring gun buyers to show identification, or those forbidding sales of guns to minors.

Federally licensed firearms dealers are required to adhere to the same sales regime regardless of the location of the transaction. They must submit the sale through the instant background check and keep the appropriate record of the transaction. There is no Gun Show Loophole for licensed dealers. The so-called loophole is that if you are at a gun show you are more likely to run into private sellers than merely walking around the mall. Private sellers have never been and are not now legally required to run background checks on gun sales by the federal government.

Tom 13

Re: Amazing

It is a freedom of speech issue even if that doesn't comport with your narrow view of the world. It might not be a 1st amendment issue in the sense that the government is seeking to censor something. Then again, given the 1st amendment has been incorporated against states, counties, municipalities and cities, and the one of the astroturf groups pressing the issue is Mayors Against Illegal Guns, maybe it is. Certainly FB are allowed to set their own rules. But it is bad Karma to piss off gun owners and their sympathizers. We vote and shop in accordance with our beliefs. Trample on our rights we trample on your sales or your votes as is appropriate.

Tom 13

Re: There are *legal* gun sales online?

Yes and no.

You can find any information you want about just about any firearm, legally online, including prices. After you find the information you have to go to a physical location to complete the transaction. Given that 90%+ firearms sales in the US are through licensed gun dealers, that means all the obstacles the government has placed in the path of legitimate gun purchases have to be met and overcome. Private sales from person to person have always been allowed under US law and are not prohibited even though our misinformed author believes otherwise.

Tom 13

Re: n the knitting trading forum

Actually, Facebook haven't changed anything. They aren't a sales site and they've re-affirmed that policy.

See this link for a different take on what happened:


Windows XP market share GROWS AGAIN, outstrips Win 8.1 surge

Tom 13

Re: Abandonware is a myth.

And right there is the real fix for the consumer OS problem: Change copyright/patent law so that software has its own category with different protections. I'd opt for copyright only, good for 7 years or as long as you support the OS, whichever is shorter. Maybe an option to re-up for an additional 7 years as long as you are supporting it when you re-up. But whenever you EOL the software, the code becomes public domain.

It will never happen of course, but it would fix the problem.

Tom 13

Re: think I still do prefer 98

98SE was the sweet spot for non-secure MS OSes.

XP is/(was?) the sweet spot for secure MS OSes.

And I think NT4 sitting in a room and not connect to another PC or the internet is still the only one that was Red Book certified.

Tom 13


Please read Rule Number 2.

Tom 13

Re: Vista/7/8 are all the same underlying architecture

Actually no. MS really muddied the waters here because Windows 8 has two underlying architectures. One is similar to 7, the other is radically different. We tend to overlook it because one of the architectures, the one not like 7, is selling to the one for 7 like Windows 8 total sales compare to Windows 7.

Tom 13

Re: one API for everything

Yeah, yeah. Everybody is always looking for the One Ring.

Louis Sullivan coined the phrase "Form follows function" to describe architecture, but its even more true in computing. While it is true that both ranch houses and skyscrapers have walls and windows the infrastructure supporting, and even the nature of the walls and windows built into the structures is completely different. In the same way, the needed light weight, low memory requirements of a phone or a tablet are different than the needs of a workstation or server. There's no need for the OS on the phone to support the overhead necessary on the server. Therefore the OSes which optimize for the two systems will always be different, sometimes radically so. This is true even with Linux. The difference with Linux is that since it has a modular approach to its construction, even though the loaded OSes are radically different for the different devices, it has a commonality that makes it feel the same. And despite all their press releases, MS still haven't learned how to do that.

Tom 13

Re: It'll be because most of the world don't really care about OS.

Actually I think they do. Not so much because they want to, but because they have to. I very much doubt all of those systems that are still running XP are 12 year old (or more) systems. I think half of them were people who specifically bought an XP system right before MS pulled the OEM licenses. They bought it because they wanted hardware they knew was going to be good for another 4+ years while they could still get the OS all the rest of their software runs on. Think about it. How much do you spend on the PC, and how much do you spend for the rest of the software that runs on it? In most cases you have more invested in the software than you do in the PC, even if you consider the OS part of the PC when it is properly part of the software. People are tired of spending that much money on all that additional software every time an MS CEO sees his shadow.

Tom 13

Re: end customers haven't pulled their heads out of their arses

I'd try to explain it to you, but it is beyond the ability of mere mortals to explain it to anyone who can write the above line with a straight face. If you can't be arsed to remember rule #1, you are a lost cause:

Rule number 1: The customer is always right.

Rule number 2: If the customer is wrong, refer to rule #1.

Tom 13

Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft

Yes there is a new kernel underneath, or at least a new proprietary lock in, which is an even bigger reason Win 8 has such lousy uptake. It's not just the lousy new skin.

Tom 13

Re: devious master plan behind dropping support for XP

Not so much a devious plan as a grave of their own making. Windows 7 may actually be superior to XP, but the average consumer can't buy it right now. Every time I look at an add for consumer level hardware here in the US the OS is Windows 8*, which is even more pants than Vista was. So the consumer is stuck between using a functional but unsupported OS or a piece of crap they don't want. Of course they're opting for the unsupported OS.

*The sole exception to this seems to be Lenovo, who sell Windows 7 and had solid earnings numbers for hardware last year. Of course, being based in China sort of proves the point about US manufacturers.

Tom 13

Re: Microsoft should have done is reskinned Windows 8

Yes, except for one tiny little detail.

Windows 8 wasn't about re-skinning Windows 7, it was about shifting the market dynamics so Microsoft has a reliable future revenue stream. And you can't really re-skin that.

There's really only one was for MS to displace their entrenched XP users, and in 12+ years they haven't been able to do it: Make an obviously superior OS that people want to buy.

If you look at those numbers I think what you see is enterprise has adopted Windows 7 because they needed the support contracts while consumers mostly stayed on XP. The other people you have moving to Windows 7 were those foolish enough to have tried Vista. And old the committed Kool-Aid drinkers are adopting Windows 8.

Dell charges £16 TO INSTALL FIREFOX on PCs – Mozilla is miffed

Tom 13

Re: Bah!

I see the commentard point about it seeming to have a high price. I certainly wouldn't pay it. But like you, I recognize that I don't know what costs Dell actually incurs for adding this option. So I won't fault them for offering it at that price.

Tom 13

Re: Hold on..

You're forgetting about the MS kick-, er rebates to Dell for their licensing agreements.

BT's IPv6 EXPIRED security certificate left to rot on its website

Tom 13

@Captain Scarlet

Based on the comments I see here about BT, it sounds like they should simply be committed, preferably under a judges order so they can't sign themselves out.

Dark matter killed the dinosaurs, boffins suggest

Tom 13

Re: A fudge to make our current best physics models work?

There are true believers in the Chocolate force of the universe. Don't mock them or you won't get any more cookies.

Tom 13

Re: The fundamental problem...

Data for astro is often this sketchy. And so long as one doesn't become ideologically attached to the hypothesis, it's ok to air them. If the speculation causes some one to run the equations and make a prediction that pans out, you have a plausible theory. You just have to be prepared to walk away if the equations don't work or the predictions come up wrong.

Icahn and I will: Carl's war on eBay goes NUCLEAR over Skype

Tom 13

Re: I'm surprised

Not all boards are for profit making entities, but no it wasn't a church. And yes, IRS regs did prohibit compensation for members of the board or officers of the corporation.

Tom 13

Re: Tricky to parse those first paragraphs.

Yes you missed a key point:

and added that he disqualified himself from the eBay board when they worked to separate Skype and eBay.

which means the CEO didn't order Skype be sold.

Tom 13

Re: so has anyone taken a serious look at his allegation.

Didn't read the article did you?

Andreessen added that he disqualified himself from the eBay board when they worked to separate Skype and eBay.

If you disqualify yourself from any votes or proceedings dealing with a transaction in which you have a potential conflict or even the appearance of a conflict of interest you have met your fiduciary responsibility. Case closed.

Tom 13

Re: I'm surprised

El Reg said:

Icahn repeated his allegation that Andreessen had a "clear and insurmountable" conflict of interest

That's an accusation that Andreessen committed a felony, which absent reasonable cause for such an allegation is slander, not fair criticism. Having been on a board when such an accusation was made by a member*, I know how lawyers respond to that sort of thing. Particularly given Andreessen's statement:

he disqualified himself from the eBay board when they worked to separate Skype and eBay.

which should be easily confirmed by consulting the minutes of the meetings and further constitutes malicious intent on the part of Ichan.

*title of the email sent to the entire membership of the corporation: "YOU F*CKING THIEVES!!!!!"

Which is essentially what Ichan is saying about Andreessen.

HTML is a sexually transmitted disease, say many Americans

Tom 13

Re: USB was thought to be shorthand for a European country

No, no, it's that bank thingie!

Tom 13

El Reg missed a 4th possibility which,

given their slogan, should be a bit obvious:

There are a bunch of Americans who think its fun to pants an online survey being sponsored by the LA Times.

Tom 13

Re: PETAbyte

I thought those were the "people" your MPs are so anxious to keep off the internet.

Wikimedia wants forced disclosures of paid edits

Tom 13

Re: Here we are again

The most faulty assumption is that it is commercial activities which most taint wiki fiddling pages. I'd put up my salary for a month that most of the fiddling comes from unpaid activists.

Chicago cabs embroiled in debit-card breach claim mystery as bank tells folks: Pay by cash

Tom 13

Re: iphone/android terminal?

With so many potential points of failure, the Illinois' First American Bank's advice is correct: pay cash.

Yeah, I know that's going to be difficult for most people my age and younger to do, but it is the safest way.

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