* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Netflix original TV shows gamble pays off... to the tune of 10m new viewers

Tom 13

Re: I've often wondered why more folks aren't doing this.

Part of it is that the networks figure if they broadcast it in primetime for LA, London pretty much won't be there. Which seems to me to be a reasonable assumption as I think those are prime sleeping hours in London.

The bigger problem is that while the tech is there for the broadcasting, the business model for the production work isn't. If you put together a series like Eureka or Firefly the shooting and post production work are multimillion dollar projects, sometimes tens of multimillions. Somebody has to have deep enough pockets to front that money, and that's where most shows lose out. Netflix had the deep pockets to do it themselves and benefited accordingly. The other people who can do it are the no budget direct to streaming people like Geek and Sundry. OK, they have a tens of thousands of dollars budget which is large to the Geek and Sundry producers, but in mass media terms, that's a no budget show.

And yes, it has been interesting listening to Felicia Day or Saul Rubinek talk about the ins and outs of production work at SF cons.

Apple handed Samsung-busting nuke after Steve Jobs patent U-turn

Tom 13

Re: The last time I looked

You didn't look very hard.

If you're TEA party like me you'd know the Judiciary isn't supposed to be engaged in making the laws, only rendering verdicts based on the laws the Legislature passes with the consent of the President and ensuring the laws passed actually conform to the Constitution.

Regardless of what OUGHT to be happening you should still be aware of the fact that for at least the last 50 years the Legislature has been delegating those power to unelected bureaucrats like the ones at the USPTO. They don't want to be held accountable.

Tom 13

Re: God not again.......

I'm not even fond of copyright on software, especially US copyright law. Most software is more akin to a machine than a copy of Faulkner or Asimov. As such the time period for patents (17 years in the US) seems more reasonable to me. The problem is you also have things like Encarta as software and they are more akin to Faulkner or Asimov where 70 years seems more reasonable. Of course at this point Walt has been dead for a few decades, but every time the copyright is about to expire on The Mouse, Congress extends it another 15-20 years.

Truthfully, the whole IP thing (including trademarks) needs to be rewritten by honest people. I'm not so sure the distinction between patent and copyright is especially useful, the issue is the time of exclusivity after the IP monopoly is awarded and what determines whether or not an infringement claim is enforceable. Unfortunately it is in the hands of the politicians.

Tom 13

@ ptmmac

That was 16 years ago under different management teams. That particular settlement would certainly not have covered future patents. They might have continued updating the agreement on a yearly or other intermittent basis, but the existence of the agreement in 1997 does not mean they couldn't start again over something new.

I'd hope you are right and they both see the senselessness of continuing to feed the lawyers. But here of late we seem to be returning to the old ways.

Comet ISON perhaps NOT GARBAGE after all - glows GREEN in latest snaps

Tom 13

Re: It's the Loc-Nar.

It can't be.

She doesn't have beautiful eyes.

11m Chinese engulfed by 'Airpocalypse' at 4000% of safe pollution levels

Tom 13

Re: maybe some sort of NATO for pollution

That would be almost as bad as using the UN.

You want to fix the problem? It's simple and easily contained within your borders. Pass a law that requires all imported goods to come from factories which meet the pollution controls that would be required if the factory were built in your country. Mandate one of your government types has to inspect the factory if necessary. If goods are imported from a factory that isn't inspected/doesn't meet the requirements the import tax is equal to the cost of the regulatory burden placed on factories in your own country.

Problem solved.

Oh wait, you say it's not? Because for all that the UK and the US might be dumping their pollution in third world countries, those third world countries are generating even more of it own their own. Like using coal instead of natural gas or oil to heat their homes. Coal they can now afford because they work in one of those factories supplying goods to Americans and Brits.

Tom 13

Re: Why are we taking it up the ...

Because per capita you have more socialists than we do in the US. Not that we're all that far from taking it too.

Google stays tight-lipped on IE9 Gmail, Apps death sentence

Tom 13

And I'm stuck in IE8 Support Hell at the moment

Because the developers of critical web/apps insist on coding for it. From my PoV the sooner those lazy bastages in development get their collective asses in gear the better. As soon as they've got it fixed, my sys admins are ready to roll out the updates.

Maybe we should meet and discuss strategy against our mutual enemies?

Tom 13

@ WatAWorld

Back in the day it was understood that a major change was something that fundamentally altered the way the program worked. Minor changes were things that extended existing functionality without altering the major components. So for example when MS shifted the format for their Word Docs in such a way that older programs couldn't read any of it, it was a major change (eg 97 to 2003) but if it was an extension it was minor (doc 2.0 to doc 2.0c).

I didn't care for Google's Chrome numbering systems and liked it even less when Mozilla adopted it. MS of course was frequently a hash as some instances of major changes were obviously initiated because the cash coffers were running low and they didn't charge for "minor" updates (95B to 98 comes to mind, especially in light of changes from 95A to 95B).

Tom 13

Re: I predict that businesses will be less resistant to Microsoft browser updates

Assuming you've made the switch to IE9 and IE11 is actually implementing standards (which it doesn't sound like it does) that is true.

The problem is, not all companies or government agencies can make the switch. The one where I currently perform support duties is stuck with IE8 despite its age because at least three different pieces of financial software depend on it. So across the day I pretty much run three browsers: IE8 for specific support tasks, Firefox for my miscellaneous browsing, and Chrome for my government GMail and calendaring functions. From a techs' perspective I'd love to upgrade to IE9 or IE10, but that would break the "business."

US Veep's wireless heart implant disabled to stop TERRORIST HACKERS

Tom 13

Re: removing the function from the spec sheet of ALL their devices

Grasshopper, your risk analysis is incomplete.

The danger to any given recipient is (Risk of Compromise) x (risk of evil intent against him) + (risk of requiring adjustment) x (risk of surgery).

For Cheney the left side of the equation is far higher than the right side. For the average person, the right side is far larger than the left side. Therefore the overall risk is minimized for all people. If you are one of those people for whom the (risk of evil intention against him) is high, you will be aware of that and also need to adjust your parameters. And if you are one of those people, you will also likely have the means to adjust them.

America: Land of the free, still home of the BIGGEST spammers on the planet

Tom 13

Re: which lists

Given that the author had already shifted context when discussing Belarus, I had no problem with this at all.

Tom 13

Re: Digital stamps

Bad idea because you ignore the reality of the spam culture as it exists today. The people who could be hit with an email tax aren't the spammers or wouldn't notice it. The people who would be eliminated by it have already pretty much been done in by ISP filtering. That's right, as the article noted most spam these days isn't generated from legitimate accounts on legitimate email systems. It comes from a vast army of zombie PCs sending out only a few emails each. Just like a DDoS attack, it leverages a lot of machines instead of a fast one.

Internet Explorer 11 BREAKS Google, Outlook Web Access

Tom 13

Re: @ Tom 13

You completely ignored the bit that the compatibility list is itself, NOT standards compliant. It is a kludge of duct tape, bailing twine, and bubble gum holding together the last vestiges of a very, very bad and failed policy from MS. Other systems which ARE standards compliant did not have the problem. If I created a subset of my webpage that was optimized for IE10 (or any other version for that matter), I should set a flag for that and regardless of how new the browser is, it should render with the IE10 engine. Not that I think this is EVER a good thing to do. Web pages should always be optimized for web STANDARDS. It's why we agree to them.

Tom 13

Re: Google have way too much unaccountable power these days.

This is true but does not mean Google broke the code base. The intention of standards is write once/run everywhere. That turning off the bit that tells IE to use the non-standards implementation makes the browser work put the fault squarely in the MS court. Even if somebody at Google went out of their way to code a page to break IE11 in compatibility mode only, which seems doubtful.

Tom 13

Re: "This post best viewed in Netscape Navigator..."

Your comment shows little respect for the past or the current situation. "This site best viewed in Netscape Navigator/Internet Explorer 3.0" are vestiges of the time before standards were agreed to. If the Google searches were breaking in Firefox and Safari you could accuse Google of breaking standards to break MS. But they are working perfectly fine there. MS Compatibility mode was a horrendous non-standards compliant way of dealing with Petabytes of badly coded websites from when MS was pushing non-standard coding for websites.

I'm not fond of Chrome and preferentially use FF myself. But the pathway to recommending it as a download is pretty clear: Google don't have any say over FF or Safari and little input into the design and implementation decision for either piece of software. They do control Chrome so they are better positioned to enforce standards implementations on it. (Yes, the reverse is true as well, but there is no actual proof they are breaking standards.) So legal tells them to recommend Chrome which alleviates liability issues if they recommend something else.

Tom 13

@ SuccessCase

I've noticed it too, but that has nothing to do with the M$ frackup discussed in this article. MS compatibility-mode is most assuredly NOT standards compliant. And the code renders properly in EVERY non-MS browser. Which makes your rant about You-Tube in this context a red herring. If Google breaking MS things prods MS to actually fully and properly implement standards from ISO et al. I'm not blaming Google for breaking it.

Windows 8.1: A bit square, sure, but WAIT! It has a Start button

Tom 13

Re: Right click admin options

He may be picking a nit, but there's still something off about the review. Quite honestly, I got about a third to halfway through it and skipped the rest. I'm not sure exactly why, but it reads like a rewritten MS PR piece so I assumed it was. Since you assure me it was an actual review, I might go back and have another go at it.

Jury smacks Qualcomm for UNLAWFUL TECH in iPhone, Galaxy chips

Tom 13

Given the article is light on technical details

It's hard to comment on the actual case. The one potentially troublesome bit that is obvious is Qualcomm having previously tried to license the tech. If I were a juror that would be a major concern and Qualcomm would need to show me they didn't lift the technology or worse, miscount days on the calendar. That certainly makes intentional infringement plausible even if ParkerVision still needs to prove the case.

Volvo: Need a new car battery? Replace the doors and roof

Tom 13

Re: Maybe even cause a fire

I was thinking along the same lines: Cool idea, but what about accident implications? Could this be the new Ford Pinto?

As to the fire, those are usually visible. What if the accident shorts the capacitor so the whole car is now charged? That's not exactly visible.

Windows 8.1: Read this BEFORE updating - especially you, IT admins

Tom 13

Re: it's cool to diss Windows 8.

I've never been one to run with the cool crowd. When I find I'm with them I always triple check my assumptions to make sure I haven't done anything wrong.

I'd like to like Windows 8. People upgrading OS systems makes me money, first on the OS upgrade, then on the Apps upgrades that come afterward. But when I recommend something, it's MY reputation on the line. Windows 8 is crap. Windows 8.1 is polished crap, perhaps with a bit of new car scent mixed in. Rolling around in it won't be any better for you than if it wasn't polished and perfumed. Saying anything else will just cost me credibility.

Tom 13

Re: who are not in the US, UK or South Korea

truth be told, even in the US once you get outside of the major metropolitan areas you are likely to see consumers with very slow connections. I know I'm fortunate in that respect because I have at least three major competitors who offer high speed broadband in my region. There are places where your best option is wireless 3G, even for your desktop.

Tom 13

Re: given the UK's average broadband speed

and you call us crazy 'Merkins "Provincial"?

Tom 13

@ Timmay

If you are running your business properly your data usage will be well matched to your data plan. So a sudden boost to your data usage will put you outside the plan parameters. It will probably only cost you money not cut off service, but it is still something that MS should have made avoidable. They aren't being good stewards of the internet. But that's nothing new. And while it is true that Gates showed some failures to appreciate small business models ("hard disk space is practically free") it seems to have jumped a magnitude since he left.

Tom 13

@ Ledswinger

Make it a suitable charity of our choosing and you might be onto something. Or maybe the top 5 from a reliable survey.

Do not adjust your set: TV market slows, 'connected TV' grows

Tom 13

Re: Internet Connected TVs are still rapidly rising

Agreed. Yes, there are times it would be convenient if I could just flip on Netflix from the 42" LCD tv instead of the BlueRay, but it isn't worth the upgrade price.

I think there may also be some problems with these so-called forecasters not understanding the effect the denominator has on percentages and they keep looking at only the percentages.

Tom 13

Re: TV Makers are Tech Neanderthalers

The 52"+ tv market is never going to be consumables. It's just too expensive to manufacture a screen that large. The 30"- tv market already is consumables and priced comparatively with the same sized computer monitors. But regardless of which one you put in a given location, does it really need to be replaced every 3 years? Certainly not the big one, which realistically is a capital investment for a family. But even for the one that is, do you replace it just because it's old? Tablets might have faster processors which become the real impetus to buy a new one. TVs don't need them.

Over the last 10 years we've gone from analog CRTs to LCD and Plasmas as well as from NTSC/PAL to HDTV. Those were real motivators to change. But now most people have finished replacing their old equipment and we are in replacement mode. Any damn fool who couldn't forecast that deserves what's coming. And the damn fools who keep flogging the meme that tablets are replacing pcs, tvs, etc will soon be joining them.

'Patent trolling' InterDigital CAN ask ITC to ban Nokia mobes: Supreme Court

Tom 13

Re: Nokia stinks as much as this headline.

I have to agree. While there is some sense in which InterDigital is the exception that proves the rule that all non-manufacturers who sue for patent infringement are trolls, they are precisely the exception I and others like me have noted when expressing skepticism about forcing patent holders to manufacture devices as a way of eliminating patent trolls.

I am concerned that the patents are once again FRAND patents. We need a new model for handling standards essential patents because the current one is making a mess of the manufacturing and trade process. I think the best way forward is that if a company advocates for the adoption of a technique covered by a patent it must sign licensing authority over to the committee that establishes the standard and it then gets paid from the money the committee collects. If necessary the committee spins off an agency whose sole purpose is to handle collecting the fees and paying the original rights holders. The company originating the patent should be able to negotiate the fee with the standards committee before the standard is adopted. If the patent isn't revealed before the standard is adopted, the company forfeits their patent rights. That way the company can't pull a RIMM job.

Torrent site isoHunt to close

Tom 13

Re: So...

That's essentially his argument and why he noted the failure of the courts which heard his case to apply the Grokster precedent.

I'm not a big torrent downloader so I'm not specifically familiar with the isohunt site. If he was operating in the US and he simply provided a bulletin board type posting system with no managing functions he should have been protected by the Safe Harbor provisions that Google et al use to escape prosecution. Now the Grokster decision also points to the proper manner in which to potentially prosecute such a case: establish that the site is a business and the business model depends on inducing copyright infringement. While I don't fully agree with the reasoning behind the Grokster decision (I think it allowed too much music which wasn't actually available to be claimed as protected by the RIAA) it is the current law of the land over here and that is how the case OUGHT to have been prosecuted. If it couldn't be prosecuted on those grounds, it should have been dismissed, possibly with no chance to refile under another theory.

Tom 13

@AC Friday 18th October 2013 12:01 GMT

If you are an aggregator in the US the last thing you want to do is ban illegal content. The safe harbor provision of the relevant laws applies only to unedited data. If you ban something your data is no longer unedited. Yes, it is a stupid provision and should have been a "good faith" clause instead. But it's what the jackasses in DC passed.

Global execs name Apple 'most innovative company' – again

Tom 13

Most innovative company in the world for

Eight Consecutive Years?

With apologies to the Spanish swordsman, I do not think that word means what you think it means.

French data cops to Google: RIGHT, you had your chance. PUNISHMENT time

Tom 13


These European gimmie, gimmie, gimmie types aren't capable of engaging in consistent thinking. On the one hand, they think it should be legal for British online gaming houses to allow Americans to gamble, on the other, they think France should be able to dictate Google's rules. They're a lot like your typical 0bama voter. Maybe because they're cut from the same statist cloth.

Tom 13

@Don Jefe

About ten years ago my mother decided to try to return to the "Buy American" roots of her union parents. She gave up after a few weeks. She couldn't find anything in the stores that wasn't made overseas. She noted it was nearly impossible to buy clothing that wasn't made in China. I don't imagine the situation has improved since then.

Tom 13

Re: Updating the law is not difficult.

Probably true. Which may speak volumes about the intent of the enforcement agencies.

Do I want Google tracking me like a commercial version of the NSA? No. But we need to follow the rules when ensuring they aren't.

It seems to me the proper course of action would be for the committee to go through the legal case in the courts establishing that the rule does apply. If the courts aren't involved and it is strictly an administrative hearing under the auspices of the committee I regard it as an improper legal procedure because there is no system of checks and balances.

US House Republicans: 'End net neutrality or no debt ceiling deal' – report

Tom 13

Re: @Tom 13

You're not looking to engage in disucssion because you're just another leftist bomb thrower.

What I posted is objective, proven, spot on, and true. Yes the TEA Party is diametrically opposed to your communist beliefs. That doesn't make them a crock. Yes they filed like mad in 2010 to use a loophole in the law. The same loophole you and your Soros related groups exploited in 2006-2008. We just used it to level the playing field. Liberal groups were not checked at anywhere NEAR the rate TEA party groups were. The raw numbers are all 87 TEA Party groups, only 12 liberal groups with an unknown number of applications. And those 12 groups got immediate rejection. They weren't left twisting in the wind until this day.

I'd recommend you updated your talking points but it would be pointless. Because I don't work from talking points, I work from facts and personal observations. I don't live in my basement. I live in the belly of the beast and I see how it abuses people on a daily basis.

Tom 13

Re: as long as you also ensure *access* to said

Not my fault, not my problem.

It's you lot that bitch when WalMart wants to open stores in underserved areas.

Tom 13

Re: They did add a pony

If you want a pony, work for it and go buy it yourself.

As to your list, let me fix some things for you:

-Return to chained CPI not quite sure what shorthand you are trying to use here, but right now the CPI is fucked. You can't print money at the rate the Fed has been pumping it out without causing serious inflation (I lived through the Carter years when they didn't fiddle with the CPI). So yes, it needs to be fixed. I'm sure both single and married mothers would love to ignore the inflation rate for fuel and groceries just like the feds do.

- Reduction of SNAP benefits (food assistance for the poor) Reducing corporate welfare. And yes I damn well do want SNAP benefits reduced. Too many people sitting on their asses not doing anything.

-Zero funds for Obamacare (Affordable Care) Which so far has cost at least a couple hundred thousand jobs, billions in increased consumer expenses on their insurance assuming they can keep despite proposals, and is destroying the actual healthcare market in the US. I'm quite sure this isn't an unintended consequence.

-Neutralizing the Consumer Protection Agency Which, unlike the NSA, actually has an explicit license to spy on consumers. They aren't likely to do a damn thing for me except drive up my expenses. The sooner they are gone the better.

-Roll back of almost all financial sector reforms Which so far have added only sand to the gears of industry during the middle of the worst recession/depression since 1932 and haven't done a damn thing to stop any real fraud on Wall Street.

-Unrestrained domestic spying and neutralizing of civil rights Only in your dreams. The IRS wasn't working against commie groups, only the TEA Party and Patriot groups.

-Preservation of offshore tax havens and loopholes for the corporations. Republicans favor either the FAIR of the FLAT tax. Either of which would eliminate all of those loopholes. Most likely including the cherished "home mortgage" deduction. But if you aren't going to adopt those, fair is fair. All corporations should be treated equally by the IRS and not penalized because of the political beliefs of the party in charge.

Tom 13

Re: That would be the British

Um, no. You Brits sided with the south in that civil dispute.

Apple: Now that you've updated to iOS 7... YOU CAN NEVER GO BACK

Tom 13

Re: complaining about its saccharine colour scheme, unfamiliar new processes and redesigned icons.

So Ballmer really WAS stealing the new iPhone interface.

Bill Gates: Yes, Ctrl-Alt-Del salute was a MISTAKE

Tom 13

Re: But, rewrite history all you like?

I wouldn't say rewriting. That's your interpretation.

As far as your point #2 goes, Apps didn't respect the boundary because they didn't HAVE to. If they'd been forced to respect it, we'd probably all be better off now.

And yes, I recall when memory was super-expensive. I also recall being sorely disappointed when having finally plopped down a huge wad so I could buy enough to have a proper RAM disk to speed up my system, it turned out the VESA local bus disk controller I had already installed made its addition barely noticeable.

Tom 13

@ThomH: You were doing ok

until that very last statement. Their dealings with IBM on OS/2 even more than their dealings with Lotus 1-2-3 forever cemented the "Microshaft" nickname.

Google FAILS in attempt to nix Gmail data-mining lawsuit

Tom 13

@AC 27-Sep-2013 11:47

That doesn't work either. I have no more right to sign over the right to read their email than Google has to take it in the first place.

Tom 13

While I think you are correct about Google's counter

that should fall flat. It might make their model of free email untenable, but it doesn't make providing email as a service economically untenable. They might have to switch to a paid service, but those are the breaks.

I don't know who is officially listed on the suits, but I expect the first thing Google will now do is make sure none of them HAVE signed the terms of agreement.

Tom 13

Re: Whatever happened to the concept of

It was a flat out lie at the time. Nothing has changed since then.

Look out, world! HP's found a use for Autonomy - rescuing Win XP bods

Tom 13

Re: Say what?

Yeah there are profile related issues for data storage. But I agree with many of the previous posters, this is the mote in the eye of the migration issue, not the beam sticking out of its side. Data you can always find a way to get at. It's replacing the apps that is usually the bitch. I recall we were all the way up to XP SP3 at one place I worked for all the systems except for one critical database desktop we needed for HR that ran on a Windows 98SE box. Replacing the box was easy. Paying the $10K for the new employee database and badging system was another story. And that would have been before re-engineering the back end hooks that fed into the company intranet. Somebody may have finally virtualized the damn thing, but I'd bet a month's pay its still running 95 to this day.

Tom 13

Re: Who knew!

HP makes printers? I thought they just sold toner and ink.

Sadly, I'm old enough to recall when they sold cool stuff like low powered He-Ne lasers.

Google tentacle slips over YouTube comments: Now YOUR MUM is at the top

Tom 13

Re: I've been able to moderate my comments for ages

Yes, but apparently many of your peers don't posses your stoic self control. I don't think I'm one of them, but YPMV.

Tom 13

@ Khaptain

Give him a break. Given JDX's postings over the last couple of months, I think the doctors are still adjusting his meds. After they get that right he'll be able to start Group, and maybe 6 to 12 months after that he'll be able to fully rejoin society again.

'Bet Lynch' types BANNED from zoo for upsetting not-so-wildlife

Tom 13

@AC 26-Sep-2013 12:03 GMT

You should have gotten video of him dancing around and posted it to YouTube before you shot him.

Tom 13

Re: the Reg would have been a bit more savvy.

At the time of my posting, 26 other posts and 47 up or down votes. I'd say El Reg is very, very savvy.

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