* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

No, pesky lawyers, particle colliders WON'T destroy the Earth

Tom 13

Re: Jeez... we actually let these people out in public on their own...

The only thing different about this set of whackos is that instead of targeting farmers or logging companies they are targeting physicists.

Tom 13

Re: Some really strange things have occurred.

Don't Panic!

I believe we have established that those were all the work of a certain Dent, Arthur Dent.

Tom 13

Re: Aren't these couple of loons...



Oh noes! An ice age is coming! An ice age is coming!

Object to #YearOfCode? You're a misogynist and a snob, says the BBC

Tom 13

Re: Interest

I wouldn't force them to spend an hour a week for each year of school on coding. But I think it would be worth spending an hour a week on a few key conceptual areas once students have the prerequisites for the material.

* How an early processor handled its computations.

* Simple cash register program. Total less than ten items, make change from cash tendered. Do both intereactive and data sets.

* Address Book (for string handling purposes)

* Blackjack game

* Same day birthday bet simulation (How many people do you need before there's more than a 50% chance two of them were born on the same day of the year)

Similar work should been done for other non-standard but technical areas of study.

The offer additional optional classes.

'Wind power causes climate change' shown to be so much hot air

Tom 13

@ Richard Chirgwin

None the less, his point stands. The data on which we have been harangued for the last decade by Warmists have the exact same issue as the wind data.

Patch Tuesday brings Microsoft fixes and Adobe Shockwave update

Tom 13

@ DaveCummings

If you're patching without checking anything, you're just as much of a problem as the people who don't patch them.

Flappy Bird's ANIMATED CORPSE may spread malware PLAGUE

Tom 13

Re: ..

Easy to say, but without knowing what the actual cause(s) of him taking down the game were I don't know how realistic it is. Hell, just think about the fight in deciding what charity to hand the game to.

Nokia and HTC throw down swords, sign patent war peace treaty

Tom 13

Re: I felt a disturbance

Nah. They're now working on the legal agreements under which the future work will take place. Years of ongoing work in that field, plus the inevitable litigation when the parties eventually disagree on what was mean somewhere in the contacts.

Cisco coughs up to patent troll, smacks down IP laws

Tom 13

Re: Honest question - is the loser not ordered to pay costs in US civil cases?

Nope, usually both sides pay their own freight for lawyers.

Now, the judge can order one side or the other to pay some or all of the legal fees in a case, but that rarely happens. I think it requires proof of egregious misuse of the legal system, which for some odd reason seems impossible to get in an arena where $13 million legal bills are common.

Now, I can see some justification in not always making the loser pay. If you're the little guy and the big guy hires expensive lawyers to shake you down, it could encourage you to settle regardless of where you think you stand because you're afraid you'll just lose in court anyway and then have to additionally pay their lawyers fees.

The problem is, you need judges who are trusted to render impartial decisions, and none of us believe we have those kinds of judges anymore.

Minecraft developer kills Kickstarted Minecraft movie

Tom 13

Re: filmaker already demonstrating bad faith by implying

I'm not a minecraft player. Reading this article I get the feeling:

a) Notch probably wouldn't object to a movie if he was first contacted about it, they worked out the framework for development, and the framework wasn't seriously broken during production.

b) Notch was really, really annoyed at the presumption of the filmmaker and the lies about it being endorsed. Hence the very public biatch slap on Twitter instead of deploying a lawyer and keeping it quiet.

Tom 13

Re: WinCE

So sorry you are living in the dustbin of history. Maybe you'll get a chance to move out one of these days.

Tom 13

Re: ask forgiveness than permission.

Not in the IP world. Pull that crap in the IP world and there's a good chance I'll own your company.

Tom 13

@Davie Dee

I'd say the man's tweet had bright neon lights pointing at the latch to open the door.

The man has a trademark and like it or not, under the law he is required to protect it or he loses it. Having been involved in two such disputes I can tell you the typical response, usually drafted by a lawyer is something along the lines of:

Dear [insert name of defendant here]:

[Name of trademark holder] has become aware of ongoing work [defendant] is engaged in which violates their trademark protected materials. Cease and desist all activities in regard to this project immediately and [insert rest of terms here, including but not limited to turning over or destroying all infringing materials, posting public notices of your infringement and apologizing for same]. If not we will be forced to pursue legal remedies.

Now, if another lawyer reads the letter they may think to ask for permission and/or licensing terms. If the transmitting lawyer is really, really nice [not all that common] they MIGHT leave a pointer that the plaintiff is really angling for a licensing deal but are required to respond in the manner indicated. In the first dispute I was involved in, the lawyer was directed to write the hint in the letter because frankly the defendant was bigger than we were and gave us great publicity. We knew the defendant had intended it as a compliment, but our hands were tied. Thankfully their lawyer understood, sent the appropriate reply, and we granted permission to use the trademark with the appropriate notice. In the second instance we sent the other kind of letter because there was no other resolution we would regard as satisfactory.

Netflix speed index shows further decline in Verizon quality

Tom 13


I don't doubt that there are a fair number of people doing exactly what you said. But I'm paying for a FIOS connection, not some 76K connection and I've had some issues recently. Two nights ago in fact the show I was watching magically disappeared two minutes before the end of the episode. "Couldn't be found on Netflix" or something along those lines was the error message. When I went back last night to finish watching it, there was no resume point stored. Whenever I stop a stream there's always a resume point stored. Using the blueray player, not the pc on the wireless from the Verizon router.

I might just have to buy a switch and start wire sharking to see what's up.

Tom 13

Re: this kind of service for that kind of price.

Except the phone companies have been socialistic since their inception in the US. The profits in the big cities subsidize the rollouts in the rural areas even though the rural areas still feel like they're getting raked over the coals.

I'll admit some of it makes absolutely no sense to me. Where my parents live (rural/suburban) Verizon has rolled out FIOS for internet and phone, but not tv. They promised the tv availability was coming in two years back around 2005. They have Dish and would really like to switch to FIOS for tv as they get frequent thunderstorms that block Dish reception. I told them to take the Comcast deal if they want to replace Dish and suggested he switch the internet at the same time. That way when FIOS does finally roll out their cable subscription he can come back as a "new" customer and get a better deal.

Tom 13

Re:newer uber hard breed over there that eat plastic and copper.

I heard it was a DARPA project to develop a crack infiltration team. Unfortunately a few of them escaped the compound and now they are breeding in the wild. They put it down as a 50% successful project.

Tom 13

Re: 1500-2000% pure PROFIT

Um, NO.

Verizon delivered a total return of 18.6 percent to our shareholders in 2013, while attracting more customers than our competitors and improving our financial performance.


There is no math in which 18.6% = 1500-2000%.

Tom 13

Re: lackadaisical approach to their FIOS rollout.

Nope. It's affecting FIOS too. I pay the more than two Franklins a month for our triple play and 2 dvrs. So tonight I'll be talking to the roomie about sending them a letter. Account is in her name, I just send the checks.

Getting documents all too easy for Snowden

Tom 13

Re: I reckon you can get into anywhere if you have all 6.

Extra bonus points if you are visibly wearing an ear wig with no visible radio on your belt.

Tom 13

Re: so no individual can see data from divisions other than the one they work for,

Except we determined that was exactly the problem with predicting 9/11 and so changed that fundamental premise of intelligence work. The data is supposed to be freely shared internal to the agency, just not the means, methods, and assets used to collect it (or certain data that would reveal means, methods and/or assets).

Fridge vendor pegged as likely source of Target breach

Tom 13

Re: virtual networks

On a commercial system like Target runs, I expect the refrigeration company is constantly monitoring and tweaking stuff. So the access would never expire. And since it is constant monitoring, you'll also want it to be remotely accessible. Yes, there probably is a more secure remote access system (real two factor comes to mind), but usually not thought about and not cheap in terms of your typical IT budget for such an operation.

No, most POS systems are fire and forget. The install is done once and only visited when broken or upgraded. Sure there is inventory and configuration data that gets regularly updated, but that's not quite the same thing as getting your monthly Windows patches.

The POS equipment itself is as likely to be non-Windows as Windows. The reporting and managing software is likely to be Windows, but given the news reports, that isn't what was compromised. It was the actual physical card readers or at least the data stream from the card reader to the PC before the encryption was applied. This was a serious hack that should be sending shivers down the spines of every IT security worker in the retail sector. Yes, Target might (and that isn't proven yet) have had some security lapses. But whoever perpetrated this likely used the mechanisms normally used to update the readers to deploy their malware. That is, they turned at least part of the security infrastructure against itself.

Tom 13

@Wzrd1: Two points

Because, as I recall, the criminal or an associate apparently was asking around on how to crack the crypto protecting the data itself.

I think that was a red herring. An article I saw indicated that it was the POS terminals themselves that were compromised. The bad guys were reading the data right from the devices getting both card numbers and in some cases PINs associated with the account numbers (debit cards).

What stinks about this is that companies won't divulge the full details of a breach, as they're trying to protect themselves against litigation.

That's one possible reason. At the moment, I'm not doing support work in the commercial sector. Instead we've got rigorous reporting standards for all incidents. (Sometimes insane interpretations of said standards like the nitwit who wanted all "McAfee stopped this virus" reports forwarded as individual incidents to the central handling agency, but that's a whole other kettle of fish.) Usually these things take weeks to work their way through the process. At the end of which I've gotten such unsatisfactory directives as "use standard procedures to correct the issue" and the occasional clear directive "wipe the drive with DoD 5220.22-M compliant software." The scariest one was when the security guy said "Some of these incidents will never be closed. And you'll never be told why, because the directive is coming from way, way up the food chain and potentially involves national security." But the one thing I've never seen is a clear description of how an incident evolved, because that's now considered sensitive information that can't be disclosed because it might leak to the bad guys.

Google admits 'garbage in, garbage out' translation problem

Tom 13

Re: Data retention, it's all the rage

Better yet, since click through agreements are all the rage for software and websites, put one on the Google Translate service. In it you require anyone using the service for a website translate to put in a translate_robots.txt tag to indicate the translation came from Google translate. Or maybe get really fancy and allow it to specify how the translation was created.

We're NOT DOOMED after all: Global semiconductor sales post record 2013

Tom 13

Re: @tesmith47

Yes, but expected from those suffering from OSS (0bama Savior Syndrome).

Apple cash stash dash results in Icahn v CalPERS bitchfight

Tom 13

Re: Icahn and corporate governance?

I don't care for Ichan either, but what he's doing is legal, and in this instance actually good for the economy.

When Apple sits on $100 billion of money in offshore accounts, that wealth is removed from productive activity. Ichan's raid puts that money back into productive work. If Apple had the money working productively for stockholders, Ichan would never have been able to launch his bid in the first place. And the bottom line is, even with Ichan running his bid, if the majority of the stockholders agree with the corporate types claiming the money needs to be kept out of their hands, he loses. So if you and they have the better argument, there's no problem, just a lot of sound and fury selling ads around a theater stage.

Tom 13

Re: The annoying thing is...

And what exactly has CalPERS done about fixing your very, very correct first point? Frankly they're in a better position to fix that than Ichan is.

You second point is incorrect. They may be using some of it, but not even half of it.

Tom 13

Re: One is a reputable pension fund fronting for thousands of pensioners

Nope. They just another socialist front from California posing as a reputable organization.

I don't like Ichan, but his closing statement is absolutely true. IF state run pension organizations were truly more interested in doing well long term for their investors they'd be pushing for the sorts of legislative reforms that would result in companies distributing their profits to the shareholders in a timely manner and preferably in the form of dividends instead of buy out sprees. But their socialist agendas are more important to them than the future well being of their pensioners.

And frankly, if you make the sorts of reforms that ought to be made, Ichan would actually be less able to run the sorts of corporate raids for which he is famous.

Satya Nadella is 'a sheep, a follower' says ex-Microsoft exec

Tom 13

Re: Think of yourself ten years ago...

In essentials, yes I am. Some of the details may have changed a bit. In fact, in essentials I'm pretty much the same person now I was when I graduated from high school back in the dark ages of personal computing. Except for one major fault cracking, which was not in any way shape or form good. Fortunately for me those costs are unlikely to affect much of anyone besides me. But I was forged in fire and I don't expect that will be true of most people.

And I will give the guy a break.

Tom 13

Re: Value of opinion

Dammit! I'm at work so I can't Google for the School House Rock "Conjunction Junction" clip and post a link here.

How many keys can one keyboard have? Do I hear 200? 300? More?

Tom 13

Re: The "S" is for stupid

No, they need a real tablet. I don't mean "tablet" the way Apple has redefined "tablet" with their iPad crap. I mean tablet like Wacom back when I was running Autocad on a venerable 386 with a 1280 paperwhite monitor on its dedicated and proprietary graphics card and a brand spanking new 640x480 VGA monitor. Define the grid on the tablet, more the mouse to the right icon to select the function, then back to the screen part of the tablet to work on the drawing.

Still, I won't begrudge them trying to do it with a specialized keyboard. Who knows maybe it will work better than my solution. I just wouldn't bet on it. Not even a can of Coca-Cola.

Verizon: Us throttling AWS and Netflix? Not likely

Tom 13

Re: Jumped too quickly?

I think it did jump too quickly or perhaps more accurately too far.

There are legitimate technical reasons why there might be an issue beyond throttling. But throttling also has the potential to cause the same result. So saying they were throttling is just as problematic as saying they aren't throttling. We need more information before we can decide.

There is certainly an issue, and it certainly involves Netflix, Amazon, and Verizon. Since all of them make money from delivering services to us, it seems in their best interest to resolve it amicably amongst themselves. Lest we all go elsewhere for those services.

Tom 13

Re: I thought Netflix had its own fat pipes

The more socialist the country, the more imbalanced the society.

And yes, the socialists here in the US do want to do away with indoor plumbing and replace it with some green scam that leaves a good portion of your house smelling like an old fashioned outhouse.

Tom 13

Re: Questioning Verizon's net neutrality?

Yes, I've been noticing issues the last few days too. Problem is I'm not sure if it is Netflix, Verizon, or the Blueray manufacturer who are at fault. Start the Netflix app, leave it on pause or the selection scren for a few minutes and come back to a non-working stream. Reboot the blueray, same thing. Reboot the ISP router and the blueray and everything works again.

I'll stand by my previous posts that we don't need Congress regulating the issue. I fully expect that as the truth emerges from customers, Verizon will change its ways or lose customers. Because there are other choices, even in remote areas.

ARM posts sterling revenue growth, but moneymen spank it anyway

Tom 13

Re: The Norm

Not at all. Markets are future looking, not past.

Of course if you think ARM is now undervalued and should easily return to previous levels, you have an excellent money making opportunity.

Alleged Silk Road kingpin slapped with indictment in NY

Tom 13

Those charges are severe.

Looks like they're setting him up for a RICO prosecution and that dramatically lowers a number of usual hurdles to conviction.

Microsoft's new CEO: The technology isn't his problem

Tom 13

Re: which at that point hadn't been fully thought through.

I have to disagree with that point. It was fully thought through. And it was pushed as an ideological decision that ignored input from its massive user base.

There may be a good OS hiding under metro, but it won't matter if MS don't do a full admission of guilt, revise the glitter to something palatable to their customers, and really take to heart the lessons learned in going through the full admission process.

Tom 13

I think I can update this one for you so it works on both sides of the pond

It would be like the England national football team hiring a foreigner as manager. whatever issues you might be having we're not aware of them. I'd go with

It would be like the England national football team hiring Vince Lombardi as manager.

Cupertino copied processor pipelining claims Wisconsin U

Tom 13

Re: Apple are working on a new chip that doesn't violate that patent

Doubtful. If Chipzilla couldn't work around it, I doubt anybody else can either.

HP: Autonomy overstated 2010 profits, cuts them by 81 PER CENT

Tom 13

Re: Accountant wars

The difference is, when you shuffle the money to reduce tax exposure, everybody still agrees on the net worth of the company.

It may be that the Irish branch with only a dozen salaried employees has $12 trillion in revenue with $11 trillion in profit with $100,000 in taxes while the US branch has $1 trillion in revenue with $1 million in profits and $200,000 in taxes, but at the end of the day the company had $13 trillion in revenue, $11.1 trillion in profits and $300,000 in taxes. Whether or not this is fair depends on whether you're a tax collector or a shareholder.

HPs claim is that the $13 trillion is more like $6 trillion. This is fair to neither the tax collector or the shareholder.

Autonomy's claim is HP is full of male bovine waste, possibly even liquified.

Bill Gates to pull a Steve Jobs and SAVE MICROSOFT – report

Tom 13


It would be nice to think that. Trouble is, Gates signed off on all the initiatives we bitch about constantly.

Yes, he can recover the company. But in order to do that, he actually has to forget he is a Very Important Person at MS and think like a small fish in a big pond with really big fish all around him, but who none the less intends to be the biggest fish in the pond when things are done. Because that was where he started and where he was good.

Bottom line: While he can recover the company, right now the odds are long for him doing it.

Tom 13

Re: Seriously

Gates may not have been visionary, but he understood business. Jobs was visionary, but I'm still not sure he understood business. I'm not sure how MS lost that thread in Windows 8, but that was their major failure on that front. To a great extent, I think they got too envious of Jobs and tried to become him. Jobs always dictated how his users would work. For them, that seems to work. PCs were always about the user dictating how things will work. Trying to reverse that was, is, and always will be a recipe for disaster. If Gates remembers that, he will do well. Otherwise we'll stumble along, perhaps into oblivion.

Tom 13

Re: @ShelLuser

That was not the passed tents.

Windows 8.1 becomes world's fourth-most-popular desktop OS

Tom 13

Re: Windows ME 0.03%

Was this list ever real?

As I recall people on 98-ME were happy to upgrade to Vista because of the improved usability.

Tom 13

Re: it may at least spare some blushes

It shouldn't. When you latest two operating systems combined still don't exceed the market share of your 2-months-from-we're-going-to-kill-it-and-this-time-we-really-really-mean-it operating system, you have a colossal failure. Failure is NOT supposed to be an option.

Devs: We'll bury Candy Crush King under HEAPS of candy apps

Tom 13

Re: generally not allowed to trademark a dictionary word

That's the bit the politicians have done away with, and where it all went wrong.

Tom 13

Re: it doesn't address that the ™ was granted

Actually it does in a round about way. As an earlier poster noted, you lose your trademark is you don't defend it. The intent is that King can't defend all the infringements, so when he next slaps a suite against someone, they can easily defend against it.

Tom 13

Re: Gotta love this

Trademarks have their place. If someone makes a superior product there should be some way for them to protect the product identifier so it can be easily distinguished in the market place. I've been on the end when someone when someone was obviously infringing on a trademark and service I helped create and which deserved protection.

The problem is that the politicians on both sides of the pond have rewritten the rules and destroyed the system in the process. King should not have been able to trademark or service mark "candy". I could perhaps see "candy crush", although I think it should be something more along the lines of "candy krush" to be eligible. He does have something of a point about the buzzword bingo on the infringing name - I don't think he missed any of the top selling game names in the mash up. The thing is, the search word biz is setup to encourage exactly that sort of gaming. So while I think it's kind of slimy, I don't think it rises to the level of lawsuit worthy. So more demerits for King than the guy he bitch slapped.

Tom 13

Re: I have no idea why some people down-voted

Because when the similarities are more important than the differences, we in the masses are tired of Jesuits like you producing the dog when the prosecution accuses someone of "killing two men and a dog".

ARM lays down law to end Wild West of chip design: New standard for server SoCs touted

Tom 13

Re: range of compute power available from today's ARM SoCs

This is the bit I'm not familiar with and where I hedged my statement.

I suppose more precisely what I am say is that the mean of chip production across all suppliers has to:

1) meet or exceed the standard computing power requirements of a consumer PC

2) substantially exceed on the cost savings front

in order to disrupt the current market.

While meeting the cost savings front might seem more logical, the established distribution channels give a cost savings to the CISC architecture for the consumer pc market. Note that I am saying consumer PC not consumer electronics. I put iPads and Android tablets in the consumer electronics market, not the consumer PC market. The distinction is the PC can produce things for the end user whereas tablets are consumption devices.

Tom 13

Re: Color me unconvinced

By the time of the 386, Microsoft was already ubiquitous in the consumer computer market (you need to stay focused on the company, not the OS which at that time was MS-DOS not Windows). Apple had already relegated itself to a niche market. True at that point they weren't the server market, but back then that was still specialized hardware. But on what we now call the PC market, it was Microsoft all the way.

Not claiming this was a good thing. In fact I think it has stifled innovation. But it was the reality.

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