* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Torvalds suggests poison and sabotage for ARM SoC designers

Tom 13

Re: wiping out any moral high-ground

The kind of ijits that feel that way about Linus would say the same things about our ancestors who horse whipped thieves. Personally, I think those ancestors had better high ground than most of us do.

Cavemen innocent in MAMMOTH MURDER case: DNA evidence

Tom 13

It was still the caveman wat did it.

All that wood he burned to heat to heat is drafty caves.

I know it's true. Al Gore told me on the internets he invented.

Turnbull floats e-vote, compulsory ID

Tom 13

...requires all numbers to be marked ...

Or you could just reform your election process to one that makes sense...

Nah, that would never work.

Microsoft does a U-turn, releases Windows 8.1 to developers early after all

Tom 13

Re: How big !.

Disk space and memory are practically free. Just ask Bill, he'll tell you that again.

Tom 13

Re: Is anyone keeping track of how many U-turns Microsoft has done?

It doesn't matter how many complete rotations and twists you make after your feet leave the board, the difficulty level still won't save you if you belly flop at the water surface.

Tom 13

Re: Scary and unbelievable

I don't hate going to the dentist either and most would regard my childhood experiences as barbaric (teeth drilled without novocaine). What I do have trouble with is having their number on me at a time to make an appointment.

That being said, it was a bad example against Windows 8.x. Of course, so far I haven't seen a palatable comparison because nothing else deserves to be compared to it. Maybe politicians, but even that one is iffy.

'Beat the lie detectors' trainer sentenced to 8 months in jail

Tom 13

Re: snowden would have taken a polygraph

IIRC Snowden was being polygraphed and that was part of what tipped him off that it was time to leave.

Tom 13

Re: Polygraphs are bullshit.

You shouldn't compare polygraphs and male bovine waste. Male bovine waste can be used as fertilizer and is therefore beneficial to society.

Tom 13

Re: ...pled guilty? Hard to appeal that.

Good point, and I missed that on the first read through.

My initial interpretation was that he had previous convictions for fraud and this was a new trial at which he was convicted. On reading it again I see the correct interpretation.

Tom 13

Re: Win on Appeal?

I'm a hard right law and order advocate. I have no problems with police lying to catch bad guys. I even support waterboarding in the context of international terrorism.

I would categorically and without hesitation void any and all convictions and suspensions based on polygraph exams. It's no better than putting radium and a detector in a poison gas device and distributing them at random public intersections claiming they are mind readers and will kill those engaging in seditious thinking.

Tom 13

Re: Teaching people to pass lie detector test is illegal?

I think it's admissible so long as neither party objects, which pretty much negates its already negligible relevance. Given that, I think the whole thing should be excluded from both courts and security screenings.

Tom 13

Re: Technicality

That's a fine belief, but where's the evidence for this? Unless he explicitly tells them to lie under oath and they have evidence of it, I wouldn't convict.

And I'm the sort who thinks public executions should be brought back as a deterrent.

Tom 13


Actually, that statement is almost completely meaningless. They don't define the meaning of "uncovered," they don't define the process, and they don't list the raw data. So you can't even reliably claim a 1% success rate. And as you correctly note, it doesn't even seem to acknowledge the problem of false positives.

Tom 13

Re: it relies on people having responses

You should note the plural in your statement. It does work to some extent, but has limits. The limits are that it works mostly on honest people who are trying to do the right thing and not so much on pathological liars. Which makes it misleading as a tool for securing agencies and businesses. On the other hand, if you are looking for people who will be able to convincing lie without other tells, it could be a useful tool.

In short, the guy this article is about is probably a louse, but I don't think he should have been put in jail for the charges on which he was tried.

Tom 13

Re: The USPTO hasn't "given up"

Yes it has, and to some extent that came before the political master threw in the box of monkey wrenches. So we're double whammied on that front.

ICAHN'T with this guy: Activist investor gives up battle with Big Mike

Tom 13

Re: So predictions?

MS seems to be the only company pushing touchscreens on non-tablets. It's a non-starter for anything except tablets and phones.

Tom 13

Re: So predictions?

I wouldn't see them dropping it completely, but changing the mix of systems and reducing the quantities they build. At the same time they'll shift even more to network gear and try to build full integration teams. I expect a rocky road.

I've never had a serious problem on a Dell computer and the gear I've looked at has seemed reasonably priced. In the past I've always rolled my own so I haven't bought from them, but all the PCs I've supported at work for the last 7 years have been Dell. We have had very few manufacturing defect issues with them. The repair cases I've had trouble with them on were all systems that were at least a year past warranty (most memorable was when we had to replace the video card and mb on a laptop 3 times before it started working right again).

Tom 13

Re: Good...

Cook has a bigger problem. All that cash sitting in the company in offshore accounts DOES mean the shareholders aren't getting the return on their investment that they deserve. Which means much as Crazy Carl is moonbat loopy, the start of his argument at Apple is valid. It wasn't at Dell which made Mike's job easier there.

BAN THIS SICK FILCH: Which? demands end to £1.50-per-min 'help' lines

Tom 13

It's not so much the $1.50/minute charge I object to,

It's the 20 minutes on hold at $1.50 before I start talking to a person. Just disallow charging while on hold. And no, switching me into the call tree before putting me on hold doesn't stop the "can't charge while on hold" bit. So if your call tree can't sort those bits out, you can't charge me for it. I only want to pay for the time I'm talking to a person and they are working on resolving MY problem.

Smartwatch craze is all just ONE OFF THE WRIST

Tom 13

Re: ...the power consumption was horrific ...

Maybe the first ones. My experience was quite different. Batteries tended to last at least a year. Granted at that point it was a PITA because I needed a jeweler to change it, but the battery life itself was quite good.

Of course, now that I almost always have a cell phone on me I've stopped wearing a watch.

Reports: NSA has compromised most internet encryption

Tom 13

@ Chemist

Now, now.

I would think someone as world-wise as you would know better than to get in front of a two minute hate.

Did you also notice the weasel phrase "circumvented or cracked" which is quickly shortened to just plain "cracked" and on which the rest of the article focuses? Given national laws, I expect it would be quite simple to circumvent banking encryption by just issuing a National Security Letter.

Tor traffic torrent: It ain't the Syrians, it's the BOTS

Tom 13

Maybe Tor should just call the NSA

They've probably already got it mapped and if they ask nicely maybe they'll tell them who is doing it.

New online banking Trojan empties users' wallets, videos privates

Tom 13

Re: That's quite common

Regardless of frequency of use, practices which have the ultimate affect of compromising users should be avoided.

Yes, this one still mostly belongs in the MS court for bad, bad, bad choices on default settings. Given that MS have decided to try to ape Apple's forked file structure using three dot extensions on their file format, they do need to implement something to check the file when it has a double dot. If the OS can always determine whether or not the file is executable, the icon for the file should always default to one that shows the user the file is an executable. Better still, get rid of the thrice-damned obfuscation.

FTC slaps TRENDnet with 20 years' probation over webcam spying flaw

Tom 13

Re: Why Make This Optional?

Because best practices evolve faster than legislation.

And because once there's a law saying what you have to do, companies stop spending on ways to evolve best practices and instead focus on the lowest legal requirements.

Jury reckons Motorola wasn't 'fair and reasonable' to Microsoft

Tom 13

Re: disqualified immediately.

You would think that but you would be wrong.

I once sat on a case where one particular person should clearly have been excluded from the jury pool, but it wasn't until his number was actually pulled and they were about to seat the jury that he was eventually excluded when one side used a freebie to remove him. If all their freebies had been exhausted he would have sat on the trial.

Frankly I suspect he would have rendered a fair decision. He was friends with lawyers on both teams, knew the police well, and had friend in the real estate business. The case had to do with terms of a contract for an apartment complex that was sold to a different management company. But given that he was a doctor at the local hospital and the trial was expected to take 3 to 4 weeks or longer before deliberations started, I thought he should have been dismissed at the end of the first round of questions.

Tom 13

Re: The USA is a republic of

The USA is a republic of largely nominally self-governing states with widely divergent potentially diverse cultures and parochial self-interests. In the US, local and state interests will almost always are likely to trump national interests.

Yes, I think this case falls within those boundaries. Frankly the diversity/divergence of the cultures is much more along the lines of Emo Philips Ed/religion skit than any real diversity. (Starts with a guy named Ed who looks like a horse and is about to jump off a bridge). At work so I can't confirm a Google search for a link.

Tom 13

Re: Microsoft were looking for reparations

I'm about as nativist a crazy 'Merkin as you're gonna find over here, and I can't argue with any of the facts in that whole sentence.

So I expect that given the jury was in Washington state, it will get overturned on appeals.

Windows 8.1 to freeze out small business apps

Tom 13

Re: All the punters need is a desktop -- any desktop -- that has a web browser.

So in the end Marc Andreessen will have been correct about the browser. It's just that because he shot off his mouth about it, Bill Gates saw the threat to his business empire and went for the horse head.

Forget Mars: Let's get someone on the Moon – NASA veteran

Tom 13

Re: A leetle question

Some of the ones who do have actually suggested hanging such cables in orbit as a power generating method.

Frankly, if we can't deal with the NIMBYs over the practicality of earth side production, I don't see any way to deal with it in space. Because it's fundamentally the same issue even if you do change the color of the clothing the "bad" guy is wearing.

Tom 13

Re: 'eventually'

The will disappeared long before the cash did. Now the cash flows as works projects to buy votes for Congress critters. Hence why it seems to be in disarray. If understood as a different version of a welfare project, it makes perfect sense. Assuming of course one approves of welfare projects.

Tom 13

Re: It's a Power station.

Just so long as it isn't an iPowerStation. And assuming you beat Apple to the Patent Bazaar with documentation.

Tom 13

Re: where the warmongering morons

No matter how fast or far you run, you can never outrun yourself.

Sorry, I don't recall who first said it, but it applies even if you don't regard yourself as the moron.

Tom 13

Re: advantage is of the moon over any number of hot sunny deserts

The only one I can see is that the environuts can't claim we'll kill any snail darters or the like when we construct the facilities on the moon.

What I don't see is a good solution for getting the energy to the surface of the Earth after it is created on the Moon. I can see using the power on the Moon for other manufacturing, but that begs the question of what are we manufacturing there. Sure I can come up with what I would consider a practical use for it, but most people wouldn't like that option. In fact they'd be rather terrified of it, so that one is off the table.

UK fraud office hauls Olympus into court over accounting scandal

Tom 13

Re: Enron, MCI, Stamford International Bank, Bernie Madoff

Enron and Madoff were definitely Line Your Pocket scams. Lining your pockets always means somebody is taking a serious loss. I'm not as familiar with the MCI and Stamford cases.

The only thing holding Dell back is ... er, Mickey D himself

Tom 13

Re: Probably varies widely from area to area.

And that will be their biggest challenge to becoming an Enterprise corporation, even if they go private.

Torched £30 server switch costs phone firm millions in lost sales

Tom 13

Re: Know the business

You can have an appreciation of the business and underpinning technology and still have these kinds of screwups. In particular I recall my first day as an actual wet behind the ears IT worker. Rode with the big boss who took an important call from the manager of a bank first thing in the morning. Seems the hard drive on their Fed Funds computer died the previous day and he needed a new one. Big boss moved heaven and earth, got a new drive and us to the site. Went to repair it, the drive was MFM and we had an IDE. I'm quite sure the manager knew how critical the system was. But the card for the Fed Funds transfers was so damned expensive and the system just always worked so they never upgraded it.

We did actually manage to save his ass with an FDisk and a whole lot of jury rigging to get data off the drive before we put it back on (thank God it was DOS). But we told him to replace the system because we couldn't guarantee another miracle.

Tom 13

Re: Citation needed

He doesn't give a specific date, but sure that's entirely believable. Of course I'm old enough to remember when motherboards were REAL motherboards and not a damn thing useful was pre-wired to it. Depending on what you were doing, ISA NICs ran about $30. Fire ignites the plastic sheath on the ethernet cable, burns up to the card, fries the card but nothing else in the server. Turns out the server was old and all the spares were PCI. So no NIC to replace it.

What I don't get is nobody being able to run to the local computer shop to buy one.

Tom 13

Re: dumb enough to sign off on a design

The design probably did have those elements. But it probably wasn't tested, so they didn't find the plan wasn't properly implemented so the alternate site couldn't be turned on.

I worked for a company that spent a fair chunk of change to have an onsite backup generator with a 24 hour fuel supply installed. If the power in the building failed it was rigged to take over for the servers. Servers were on 30 minute UPS units so it looked reasonably solid. Came into work one day and there was a leak in the kitchen on an upper floor. As a result water was flowing down a pipe in primary physical services core - right over the breaker box. Eventually the breakers shorted and all the magic smoke got out. We evacuated the building. It took management almost two hours to determine we would not be re-entering the building that day. Nobody on the network team was worried because the backups were all in place. Sr. Network Engineer drove home connected up his work laptop and dialed in to perform a controlled shutdown of the facilities. Only he couldn't reach anything. It turned out the facilities management people who thought nothing of the water running over the circuit box in the morning decided that when the alternate power supply kicked in they needed to manually turn it off. So when the UPS units were drained everything went down hard. Sr. Engineer commented that if he had known they were going to cut the power he would have taken the laptop to the local Starbucks and used their WiFi to shut everything down before the UPS units were drained.

Short description - the plan worked fine right up to the point where a meatsack did something unexpected.

Tom 13

@ Matt 21

Could be. Could just as easily be a big company with too many people protecting their individual silos and not actually worrying about the overall health of the business. Honestly, given that it was a Telco I'd bet on that and not outsourcing.

Vodafone and Verizon update relationship status: $130bn worth of complicated

Tom 13

@James 51

So by your reckoning, because someone works at Vodaphone and pays their taxes, they aren't entitled to police protection?

See this is the bit I don't like about greedy, envious gits like you: People pay taxes, not corporations. So long as they pay their taxes they deserve the protection they pay for. What I have a problem with are people who don't pay taxes. Gits who are probably even more obnoxious than you living completely off the work of others, but whom you'll defend because they don't have a job.

Google chap reverse engineers Sinclair Scientific Calculator

Tom 13

Re: Sadly

Yeah, apparently these days we'd all be satisfied if we could just find a few good passable proofreaders.

'Anonymous' to Reg hack: We know SEA leaders' names

Tom 13

Re: dude, yer dating yourself.

Not really. Those are just the front groups skimming off the top of the Congolese mercenaries who do the actual work.

Microsoft cans three 'pinnacle' certifications, sparking user fury

Tom 13

Re: Fairly predictable.

and when. Don't forget when.

They may be your friend while as they fight bigger sharks. But only until they've fought off the bigger shark.

Tom 13

Re: a decent technical interview.

I only sat on a technical review committee for one position. It was an interesting experience.

We had three candidates for the Help Desk Manager position. The first candidate nearly put me to sleep. The second candidate was energetic and came from a work environment with established processes and procedures. The third candidate talked about the work he'd done establishing processes and procedures at his current workplace.

Given where the company I worked for was at on their processes and procedures, I thought the last candidate was the perfect fit, the second might be able to cope and at least knew what the end product should look like. Turned out the big boss liked the guy who put me to sleep. So I quickly changed my tune rather than fighting him over it.

New guy started. It turned out, he could change his tune on dime about any given issue which is something I've always hated. I got riffed about 6 months later. I heard later that a month or so after that he broke his leg skiing. So he was out for a couple of months, and by the time he came back, he'd taken a position at a new company.

Tom 13

Re: Judge/hire on ability, not paperwork.

That's the rub though isn't it?

How do you determine ability based on a 1 or 2 page resume when confronted with 2000 applicants for a job opening? It was fairly easy back in the day when ditches were dug by hand: you looked for the callus on the applicants hands. Or you talked to your friends in other places who might know the applicant.

These days not so much. So instead you turn to testing agencies and pieces of paper. Then you force the applicant to come from a temp agency so you can have a 90 trial run before you transfer them to your company for their 90 day probationary period. And the further away you are from the people doing the actual work, the more dependent they are on certs and pieces of papers for sorting, because they don't actually have a clue about the work you are doing. They only know how to shift people like stock boys shift inventory at the local grocer.

Tom 13

Re: Underscores the problem with vendor certifications

Granted Merck et. al. aren't quite as crass about it as MS, but yes they do it too. They call it "continuing education" and work it through nominally disinterested third parties.

Where those professions have an advantage is that they usually have advanced coursework and experience requirements before entering the field. Computers in some sense are only now coming out of their Henry Ford era. Until now, any tinkerer could hang out his shingle and sell, repair, or install computers. And some tinkerers were better than others.

Tom 13

Re: no legal framework for the engineer title here

'Engineer' in the US is descriptive unless part of a specific title. The specific title might have a legal framework around it. From your description of the test you take I presume you are a Physical Engineer, which is one of those titles which usually does have a legal framework around it. But you should also keep in mind that we are the United States (plural) not singular, even though we tend to act as if it were singular since the civil war. So each state, which roughly corresponds to a country in the EU for purposes of this discussion, sets its own rules for specific titles.

Tom 13

Re: Can I take a 2-week-course on first aid

Yes, you can and it comes with a cert, although you don't get to call yourself a medical doctor. Put it does provide enhanced legal protection when rendering aid and assistance:


So in some sense, and MCSE is sort of the same thing.

Tom 13

Re: Meph-head

I'm not sure any of the bean counters even know what a developer is, let alone actively ignoring them. Somebody should have known, and pointed out that they'd need a good landing place to avoid the negative PR. Even if it was just an announcement about transitioning perks. Possibly a lifetime subscription to technet or some such.

Tom 13

Re: Netware sure was a crappy product.

And with that statement you lost more credibility than you could ever regain even if you lived to be older than Methuselah. Assuming we knew who you were f course.

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