* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Report: Prez Obama kicks Healthcare.gov contractor to curb for web disaster

Tom 13

Re: I don't get it

Well for one thing, you get points awarded for having previously worked on similar projects. There isn't any mention of you success at pulling them off.

Next up you have to spread around the cash for the project to buy enough votes in the House and Senate. No, no, I don't mean the lobbyist payola, I mean the projects in their district/state that prove to their voters that they are good at bringing home the bacon. Why Kansas should have a critical roll in submarine building is a bit beyond me, but it does. The North Dakota angle I get (big deep cold lake, not so much with the waves, natural test bed), but it is pushing it a bit.

And of course the stuff the guys above me already mentioned.

Tom 13

Let me fix this for you

By getting rid of the contractor, as reported, US officials hope to stop the rot on an IT project that has all the traits...

By getting rid of the contractor as reported, US officials hope to remove the spotlight highlight all the government mandated mistakes on an IP project that has all the traits...

I'm not saying the contractor is blameless, just that even if they were, they still couldn't have succeeded given the mistakes made before they even got their money grubbing fingers on it.

Dell staffers react to news of 1-in-3 axe dangling overhead

Tom 13

Re: Trevor makes a lot of sense.

He does, but so do the first and second posters on this thread. And that's the problem.

Dell needs to be two companies under one brand name. One is doing the commodity business of having a few primary configurations for lots of boxes that will be shipped to businesses for run of the mill desktop work. Maybe with a bit of sales work for a good bulk discount or a customer designed pre-loaded image on the system.

The other is the team of highly knowledgeable and motivated sales engineers and lead salesman to deal with more specialized details of the server and network infrastructure, possibly all the way to the cloud (gawd I hate that word).

Tom 13

Since I've been quoted

I just want to make clear that I am not now and never have been a Dell Employee. I use a fair bit of their kit at work and generally have had good experiences working with them.

I hope everyone affected lands well.

Large Hadron Collider competition: VOTE NOW to choose the WINNER

Tom 13

Can't ... resist ....

It has to be Shadowman, because well,

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?

The Shadowman knows.

Hackers slurp credit card details from US luxury retailer Neiman Marcus

Tom 13

Re: Encryption?

Found it:

Target ran into a problem, Eric Chiu, president and co-founder of cloud control company HyTrust said, where point-of-sale and customer database systems connect to networks. Chiu said hackers can access that point and sneak undetected inside a corporate network. Ominously, he also added because of the density of information available on today’s networks, hackers don’t just get some data, they get a lot of it.


Tom 13

Re: Encryption?

Wish I could remember where I read the details, but the point of attack was the interface between two sets of exchanges. Both individual links were secure end to end, and they thought the transfer between the two was good as well. It sounded like the breach was both novel and clever. Although this is the first article I've seen confirming it was the POS system and not the back end db that was cracked. I was suspicious about that because of the too careful wording they were using to describe the breach and the ranged time period.

Tom 13

Apparently I'm going to have to stop thinking those snide comments to myself.

I saw the headline on the main page and immediately thought "wonder if they used the same people as Target" only to get to the last paragraph.

Not that my cc info is at risk from either store.

Tom 13

Re: "the man with two first names"

That's ok, I knew his balancer when I was in high school: the man with two last names. I still call him by the name I learned then, but it is quite understandable why he routinely goes by "Jim" these days instead of Gerheart.

Tom 13

Re: least he's getting some sort of service.

Oh you get service for that kind of cash.

Top of the line concierge service wherever you are.

If you don't know what an appropriate gift for a business meeting is, they'll let you know even if it is meeting an ambassador.

Need an emergency trip to Japan or Russia? No problem, they'll book the flights and the hotel, just tell them what your specific destination and departure locations and times are.

Dropbox outage was caused by 'buggy' upgrade: DDoS us? You hardly know us...

Tom 13

Re: 1775Sec

If they even manage to temporarily delay the cut and paste faction of the news these days I will hail them as heroes, if just for one day.

Judge orders Yelp.com to unmask anonymous critics who tore into biz

Tom 13

Re: Due process

I don't see that continuing to iterate the process without addressing the underlying issue advances the cause of justice. Both the claim of defamation and the claim of bad service with fear of retaliation must be viewed as possible but suspect. Until the courts have probable cause one way or the other, the posters should remain anonymous. And a third party seems necessary to determining probable cause.

Tom 13

Re: Bit Backwards?

I don't have an issue with Hadeed having the customer list to prove they aren't his customers. That seems to me to be allowable as a probable cause argument to move it to court for a full test. Where I have a problem is with that being sufficient for him to get the names of the anon posters.

I think it isn't fairly resolvable without both parties submitting their initial claims to an impartial third party. And I think it is critical because the third party establishes a baseline before claims start shifting. If Hadeed doesn't produce a complete list, or there are ways that people who are his customers don't get on the list, that should go to his credibility. Likewise if the anon posters weren't his customers I have nothing against stringing them up on the nearest tree. But there's a lot of room for mistakes and misunderstandings in making those determinations, and I think it should proceed with more due diligence than is present in the court decision.

Tom 13

Re: opinions filter

Yelp's general statement on their filter is reasonably straight forward: they base it on the number and frequency of your review. If it's your first post, you aren't marked as reliable but your reliability in the system will increase with increased reviews.

Tom 13

Re: Why is it "petty yelp phobia"

Because it is. Deal with it.

The court does not a priori know either Yelp or the posters. The outline for the procedure should proceed from: I have two people who are making opposing claims. One says he has anonymously been defamed. The other says it really happened and they feel intimidated by by the person who claims defamation. The court must protect the second party until such time as there is reasonable cause for the assertion of defamation. The first party simply asserting it is insufficient. Reasonable cause should be something roughly the equivalent of a search warrant. Given the particulars of the case Hadeed should be producing a complete list of his customers that is turned over to an impartial third party. Yelp should be turning over the names of the posters in question. The third party compares the lists, if a given poster is not on the list of customers the poster should have the option of producing a receipt for said services. Hadeed should have the option to refute receipt. If the poster can't produce a receipt or Hadeed can prove the receipt is questionable, then Hadeed's lawyers get the names and he can proceed with a defamation suit.

Tom 13

Re: If this was you, would you trust a third party ?

Be happy about it? No.

But fairness to all requires that it be an impartial court officer or appointed. And yes, I would accept it. This is a fairly simple two list cross check.

Tom 13

Re: Amazon reviews are worthless

I have a friend who found his way onto the crank literature review list. He doesn't recall ever actually purchasing one via Amazon, but he'll troll through the reviews for a laugh. Now Amazon constantly recommends them to him.

Tom 13

Re: Welp, that's Yelp.

I was following this a bit on another news site yesterday. Yelp's claim is that they have a threshold for the number of reviews you need to submit before your review will always display. Something or other about with a sufficient number of reviews over an appropriate period of time you become a reliable reviewer. I've never used the site and make no assertions as to the veracity of the claim.

Here's my take on the lawsuit and the ruling: It's frelled.

It is possible Hadeed has indeed been defamed. It is also possible Hadeed is using the courts to intimidate real customers who were upset with the quality of the service. Simply revealing the names of the posters to Hadeed and his lawyers doesn't take into account the second risk. What is needed is an impartial 3rd party to asses Hadeed's claim that they were not his customers without revealing their names to him or his lawyers. If the posters are indeed not on his customer list then the names should be revealed to him and his lawyers. The impartial third party should be either the judge or some appointed by him.

Thought sales were in the toilet before? Behold the agony: 2013 was a PC market BLOODBATH

Tom 13

Re: slow to turn on,

Compared to a tablet? Really?

My seven year old PC boots faster than my brand new tablet.

Tom 13

Re: Wow what a shock...

I wouldn't say taking that income. I've never bought/built a PC for as little as I paid for a tablet.

What tablets and smart phones are doing is cannibalizing the casual user market that use to buy laptop/netbooks. All they really want is to browse the web and check email. Tablets do that fine. They never need a full fledged laptop, it was just the only thing available to them. If the economy were good, they'd be buying the tablet and spending the saved cash on other luxury goods. With the economy in tatters they're spending it on necessities.

Tom 13

Re: Same Deal as Cars

You left out the skyrocketing prices on the cars. I'm still running an 11 or 12 year old Ford. I could barely afford it when I bought it, and at that what I paid for it would have paid for the first 10 cars my dad bought combined.

Tom 13

Re: where games consoles fall behind PC's

I'm not much of an MMOer myself, and the last other game I devoted any real time to was Civ 3, but whenever I browse the gaming forums it looks to me like the PC gamers don't think the console players ever caught up.

On the Linux front, I actually know someone who worked on the Mass Effect series. According to him they were initially excited about developing a game (pre-Mass Effect) on Linux. Then they looked at the available tool sets and declared it hopeless. Maybe things have improved significantly since then.

ANYONE on Google+ can now email you, with or without your Gmail addy

Tom 13

Guess I'll need to contact a lawyer about a class action suit

If a friend of mine has my email address and has Google+, I don't mind them being able to import their Gmail info into Google+ to email me. But if they don't have that information in their Gmail account I don't want them locating me by some gawd awful search.

FCC honcho: Shifting our crusty phone network to IP packets starts now

Tom 13

In an all-IP network, a packet is a packet is a packet.

Yeah, yeah. Right up until Uncle Waldo dies because his packets for the remote relay for his open heart surgery got stuck behind Johnny Dooshwad downloading his 2PB of pr0n. QoS will always be needed, it's just a matter of setting the parameters rationally.

Dell will AXE up to ONE IN THREE workers in its US & EMEA sales teams

Tom 13

Re: ~30% staff reduction exercise for the technical services guys

It's always tough when your workforce (possibly through no fault of their own) has exceeded the capacity of the market to support it, but that's exactly when the difficult changes have to be made. I hope things are improving for you whether you are a survivor or one of the guys who needed to land on his feet.

Is your IT department too tough on users?

Tom 13

Re: user should not be in command

Neither IT nor the users should be in command. It should always be a partnership in which the needs of the business are worked out based on the available technology from the IT department given the level of funding the business is willing to provide.

Unfortunately, we all live in a Walgreen's world.

Tom 13

As is the case everywhere

Rank hath its privileges, and some of our users are really, really rank.

So in terms of the question, it depends on which users you are talking about. Some have too much control, some have too little, and some have the right amount.

But in the end there's actually not much the IT staff per se can do about it because all of those decisions are actually made elsewhere in the organization. IT just gets to be the whipping boy because they deal directly with the users.

US Air Force turns up dubious Autonomy accounting in reseller contracts probe

Tom 13

@Don Jefe

You're a no bid operation so you're going to get a LOT more scrutiny than a contract that was bid out. Shouldn't work that way*, but it does.

*Both should get equivalent scrutiny if via different means.

Tom 13

Re: someday

Actually, I heard a rumor Peter Jackson already has an outline for the trilogy.

Haters of lurid supershow CES: The consumer tech market is still SHRINKING

Tom 13

Re: It's irrelevant for the purposes

It can't be irrelevant for the sector. If the sector is dying your forecasts should project that so you can re-engineer your business to a growing sector. As the forecasters who projected undiminished growth in the sales of buggy whips could tell you.

Tom 13

@ khisanth

Probably not, but they are certainly a very large component of the market by dollar/pound/Euro volume. A high end tablet probably costs about the same as a low end tv, and people figure if they've going to drop that kind of money they may as well get something decent, especially since it should last them a good 10-15 years or more.

Tom 13

Re: Misunderestimated Market

Yes, the market is misunderstood, but not for the reasons you state. It's a variation on the computer industry Y2K bubble, and I don't understand why so many so-called professional analysts always miss it. Consumer electronics purchases over the last few years have been artificially inflated because pretty much everybody had to replace their tvs with the switch from NTSC/PAL/etc to HD. So it should be expected that sales volume should return to or dip below (because people replaced non-failing sets early) the trend line without the burst of forced replacement purchasing. And no, I don't think the industry could force another paradigm shift to start a replacement binge so soon after the last one.

Tom 13

Re: Content is King.

I doubt people want to buy these expensive new devices without the supporting content and infrastructure.

That pretty much sums it up. We've got a decent package from FIOS that runs us just shy of $300/month for phone, tv, and internet. But at that there isn't enough space on the DVR to justify timeshifting HD programs on the few we do get. So most of the stuff we watch is still 4:3 instead of 6:9. Yes, Verizon offers the HD channels, but at a serious premium over what we're already paying. That translates as absolutely no incentive to switch to 4K or any of the other new gizmos.

Space Station bags extra 10yrs of life as SOLAR STORM scrubs resupply

Tom 13

Re: that this was a competition

The claim was that it was helping understand the long term effects of staying in space. If that is true multiple people should have been up there for longer than somebody in a Mir capsule, especially given you want the ISS for room.

Tom 13

Re: The solutions were one off and had little stretch

Wow, talk about rewriting history.

The shuttle and the ISS were both the brain kids of people like you back in the 70s. They were sold as the work horses that were going to be used to establish a permanent and somewhat populous presence in space. What we got instead is a constant drain of money that generates just enough positive PR to keep the program on life support. The most important product of the ISS is all the "international goodwill" it generates for politicians.

Tom 13

Re: provided various space agencies with vast amounts of data

"Ye have read, ye have heard, ye have thought," he said, "and the tale is yet to run:

"By the worth of the body that once ye had, give answer—what ha' ye done?"

- Tomlinson, Kipling, 1891

Tom 13

Re: So, it wasn't that one thing keeping you off the moon.

Voci might be a bit off on focusing on the cost, but he is right about the ISS being at the heart of what keeps us from going out and doing real exploration. It's more the mindset behind the ISS than the budget per se. If you want public funding, you have to put men and women out, and show them being excited about what they are doing. That's what wins hearts and minds, not that sterile satellite probe crap. When you have the hearts and minds, the money follows.

Tom 13

@ hammarbtyp

Sure thing General McClellan, you just keep prepping for that decisive victory of General Lee.

Meanwhile why don't you let Vociferous and me see join General Grant and see what we can do.

Tom 13

Re: But I can imagine a time may come

Shoddy thinking my boy.

The ISS has nothing at the moment that would be useful toward such a mission. That means you're going to build the entire apparatus here on Earth, lift it to the station, and bolt it onto something that is already 15 years old in the only environment worse for mechanical structures than the sea. And that's before you start assembling the launch vehicles. Far better to build the new structure free-floating from the ISS.

Anatomy of a 22-year-old X Window bug: Get root with newly uncovered flaw

Tom 13

Re: Doesn't your IDE complete

In context I assumed that was more along the lines of the command alone uses half the allotted line space after the IDE expands it.

Boffins claim battery BREAKTHROUGH – with rhubarb-like molecule

Tom 13

Re: Oh you have now.

No, no I don't. Not even after looking him up on Wiki to find out who he is.

Tom 13

Re: good old gas boiler remains the same.

Tell you what, you keep improving those efficiencies and let me know when they match the 98% of the modern gas furnace. Then we'll talk about the desirability of you the amount of real estate your green system is going to require to power the townhouse I live in.

Data caps be damned, AT&T says providers can pay for mobile broadband

Tom 13

Re: Happy to receive recommended reading material

There's not a lot that is concisely targeted and written. Short answer: Lobbyists, just not the ones you usually think of.

The broadband market here is a mess because you have to get permits from the local governments to build out your services (run cabling, put in cell towers, etc.). In most places the rules are complex, arcane, and expensive* so they had a single incumbent providing service. In the old days it was because the locals put together the cable company and after many hard years of scraping by finally had a usable service. Then came the buyouts which eventually mostly became Comcast. Meanwhile Ma Bell was a government sponsored monopoly since day 1 and was only broken up as a result of the Sprint case (wireless I think, although it may have been about long distance rates which used to subsidize monthly service). The fallout is that we have oligopoly competition with high barriers to entry. And any time a start up makes a run in a given location, the competitive response can't be differentiated from the undercutting response so eventually the new guy either goes under or get bought out.

*Even Dish, which theoretically has fewer issues on this front ran into problems with local governments passing zoning laws about where the receiver dish could be placed and how big it could be. To some extent reasonable, but the limits were excessive.

Bay Area plots Googlebus tax after local residents riot

Tom 13

Re: Taxable benefits?

Here in the US the various governments typically contribute to a pool of money that is made available to private companies to offset the cost of public transportation.

Remember, we're mostly a self-owned car society, our public transportation pretty much bites. If you don't get sick from the diesel fumes cycling back into the bus you may be sitting next to the guy who couldn't find space at the shelter last night. Light rail may be a bit better, frequently not. Metro in DC is clean, but you can't eat or drink while riding, and you have to be really careful about keeping track of you smart phone and tablet. I happen to have lucked into a fairly decent bit of public transit from my house. I use to drive but between the $75/month monthly parking permit, the $65/month government contribution and the saved gas and wear and tear on my car I figured I was nuts not to take it. Plus it reduced the chances I'd be in a car accident that would jack my insurance rates. These days the government contribution is up to $100/month (which matches my ticket price) and I have no idea what parking is up to. Mind you, there's no way in hell that $100 a month pays for the cost of the people working on the train let alone the purchase and maintenance on the passenger cars and engines.

So yes, the occupiers in Frisco are really doing this out of envy, greed, and spite.

Tom 13

Re: need to sort out its property taxes.

Cali needs to sort out a hell of a lot more than their property taxes. They keep pretending they're some economic juggernaut when they're more like Greece. They may be too big to fail but they're also too big to bail out.

Tom 13

Re: with the redneck locals.

I'll guarantee you those are Occupiers and not rednecks.

Rednecks know you go to the local dive and get drunk before behaving badly and vandalizing stuff. And I doubt there's anywhere in Frisco that plays both kinds of music anyway.

Tom 13

Re: Commune of California!

Might want to check Section 9 and the amendments again. This sounds an awful lot like a cleverly disguised bill of attainder with some ex post facto thrown in. Yes, corporations are legally persons.

Tom 13

Re: a private vehicle in the state of California is at a public bus stop.

In this case the intent of the law is more important than it's letter, and it's letter ought to be updated to reflect it's intent rather than penalize companies who are doing the city's job.

The reason you aren't allowed to stop private vehicles at public bus stops is that most private vehicles are cars, and you'd have too many of them stopping and preventing the public buses from doing their job. That clearly isn't the case with the tech company buses.

Tom 13

Re: if companies located themselves

Companies DO locate themselves that way. It's the employees who choose not to live near them.

Tom 13

Re: parking charges

Parking spaces are never zero maintenance. You have to build them and repair them. Some are cheaper than others (along side the road versus 12 level concrete garages). But to the point of your post, since they are paid for from tax dollars, the additional use charge does seem a bit much.

More interestingly, it was originally businesses that wanted parking meters for spaces. Without the parking meters, cars would come, park and stay put the whole day. With the meters, the business could see a steady turnover in the cars that were parked. They believed this created more customers for their stores. Not sure if that bore out in practice, but it is what why they wanted them. In some places you could even get tokens from the stores for free. It certainly has become corrupted since then, with politicians seeing only one more revenue source to shake down.

I concur completely about the rest of your post.

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