* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Make or break: Microsoft sets date for CRUCIAL Win 8.1 launch

Tom 13

Re: @Andreas Koch

While granting that I think we are now at the point were MS has ignored customers for longer than they listened to them, there was a time, way back in the dark ages of computing when they mostly did. By the time they were done eviscerating Netscape they lost the capability and now must be roundly beaten about the skull with a 4x4 to get their attention (the standard 2x4 being of insufficient sturdiness to get their attention).

Tom 13

Re: @ AC 1711h GMT - Question @JDX

An opinion without facts is like a fish without a bicycle.

Tom 13

Re: Make or Break?

I don't see this as make or break for them. They are too big for any single thing to be make or brake. They pulled the same crap with Vista and clawed their way back to relevancy with Win 7. I can see the same thing happening with Win 8.

The lawsuit on the other hand could hurt, regardless of the actual decision or out of court settlement. I'd think the OOC is the more likely outcome.

Facebook's request to the flash industry: 'Make the worst flash possible'

Tom 13

Re: So what he's asking for is...

Good idea. But I think Paramount has a trademark on the name, so you'll need a new one.

Obama appoints intelligence boss to run 'independent' review of NSA

Tom 13

RE: Obama has turned into

Turned into? Turned into? Turned into?

There's no "turned" about it. We told you he voted "present" unless his mafia bosses had already told him how to vote when he was in Chicago. We told you he what a racists bastage he was and showed you the tapes of him quietly listening to the racist Reverend. We told you he was a Marxist whose only interest was in increasing the power of The State. You should have seen it when he pushed through the 0bomination that is 0bamacare on with an able assist from the mafia don of Arizona via the Cornhusker Kickback and the New Louisiana Purchase.

But no! You called us cavemen, knuckle-draggers, and bigots.

I guess your chickens are coming home to roost. Which I wouldn't necessarily object to if they weren't also roosting in my driveway too.

Larry Ellison: Google is ABSOLUTELY EVIL, but NSA is ESSENTIAL

Tom 13

Re: For all their combined spying powers

There is a huge mistake in that statement. It is a mistake our enemies exploit and one that the powers that be paper over because it tends to make us more complacent. For all the data they collect, for all the intrusiveness they exude, for all the rights they violate in collecting all that data, they are not combined. Each still sits in its silo, not talking to the other so the dots can be connected. Not focusing on the enemy, but focused on maintaining its own power base, and only focused on stopping the enemy to such extent as is necessary to maintain its own power base. If they were combined for the good of the people it could be a good thing. The risk we conservatives join our libertarian brothers in raising is that we cannot guarantee it will only be used for good. And there is not merely a measurable but a large chance the statists will seize it for their own uses. When combined with the blinders of a PC outlook, it is always a recipe for disaster.

Tom 13

Re: To rephrase an earlier post:

No, he explicitly included a gardener in the screed. He didn't stop at a level commensurate with your definition. Your definition is a good approximation of a technical civics class definition.

Tom 13

Re:To the untrained, non-US educated observer

You are not forgiven because contrary to your pre-apology it was intended to give offense.

In point of fact, Jefferson did draft the Declaration of Independence with phrases that would imply chattel slavery should be done away with if the government followed the proclamation. It was only because the group had previously decided unanimous consent to the declaration would be required that the leaders of South Carolina were able to leverage their strong objection to the inclusion of the phrase. Jefferson only reluctantly agreed to it, and it has generally been properly referred to as the Devil's Compromise ever since. Your characterization is one of purely socialist/marxist propaganda. Propaganda whose sole purpose is to undermine the legitimate will of the people to oppose the Statist agenda. An agenda that has always, everywhere it has been tried, resulted in the death of tens of thousands or millions of people once its objectives have been achieved.

Tom 13

Re: Alternativey you could take a civics class

I wouldn't restrict it to just the US government. The civics class definition works pretty well for all forms of government so long as you stick to it. Where it starts getting fuzzy is with Marx because he never accepted the civics definition and explicitly defined everything as government.

Tom 13

Re: I don't think I'm wrong

Please just go join Ted in the mountain hideaway. Your screed makes as much sense as any of his did.

Granted if used as Exhibit A for the prosecution, it goes a long way to explaining why so much is so frelled on both sides of the pond. But that really is all the more reason for you to go join Ted.

Does Gmail's tarted-up tab makeover bust anti-spam laws?

Tom 13

Re: this is on a corporate mail server

Of course they do. The sender is a legitimate business that sends legitimate promotional email. So every time the mail team blocks it in response to your request, they get a complaint from one of your compatriots that they have stopped getting their Grainger messages and please put it back. Not the guy who's been whacked with it, just the guy who was a fly on the wall for it. At least in this instance I can see the business case for it. Admittedly not a business case I'd buy, but at least a paper thin one that can be made. I never did understand how to do that for the Golf Magazine messages for one of the guys in the accounting department.

Tom 13

Re: text of law

Since I can't see whatever the hell all this fuss is about, and we're now splitting hairs about SMPT etc.; let me ask this question:

If the advertisement is a frame on a webpage that is formatted to look like an email but is otherwise a normal advert, does the act apply?

As I recall part of the reason for all the uproar originally is we were downloading the spam into our mailboxes, sometimes over dial up. Which is where the transmission part comes into play.

Frankly, the stuff is supported by ads an mining your user profiling data. If you aren't paying for it, someone else is, and you accept those terms when you accept the free stuff. And yes, as indicated above I am a gmail user.

Tom 13

@ Shrimpling

My reaction after wading through the first few paragraphs was: WTF?

I'm a US user of GMail for work and personal use and I have not noticed anything. Yes, I was annoyed with some sort of announcement that they were once again twiddling with my inbox and some new tabs appeared. But I live in the primary tab which still shows me everything and I'm quietly ignoring the rest. After realizing the corporate one isn't showing the tabs I checked my personal and clicked on Promotions. I still have no idea WTF the article is going on about. Granted I may have embedded wetware ad filters, but I think I'd notice it if I were actively trying to see it.

Do you think spinning rust eats flash's dust? Join the hard drive daddies club

Tom 13

Add in the effects of dedupe and compression and we're heading down to $0.50/GB.

I wasn't aware that dedupe and compression were flash only technologies.

If they aren't then a side by side price comparison to platters is a more reasonable comparison since the efficacy of dedupe and compression both depend on the types and quantities of data being stored.

AOL boss: Soz about that 'Abel, you're fired!' Patch showdown

Tom 13

Re: video is just another extension of that.

Let me fix that for you:

video is can be just another extension of that.

IF your company establishes policies that way yes, it can be. It can also be a colossal waste of time and resources if the company doesn't have established policies for handling it. Given the existence of a prior warning, AOL obviously had policies against. It might be naive and/or foolish, but it was company policy and employees, especially upper echelon types are expected to know and follow those policies.

Apple trademark filing may provide peek into iTunes Radio capability

Tom 13

Re: a trademark application not a patent application.

And this by you means it's ok?


Trademarks should NEVER, EVER be regular words from the language we use every day. And I don't give a damn how well greased the political palms were that modified the law.

Feds arrest rogue trucker after GPS jamming borks New Jersey airport test

Tom 13

Re: Pentagon will be on your doorstep waving its checkbook.

Actually they already have them and yes they are expensive. They fly through the air and have an explosive device attached to them. I think they call them "missiles". Not sure how kindly the general population would take to them being routinely used for that purpose at the local airport though.

Tom 13

Re: will be assumed to be skiving, and will have his pay docked.

Screw that!

Give him his final 2 week bonus and be done with it.

PEAK Apple: Cupertino's hopes died with Steve Jobs, says Larry Ellison

Tom 13

Re: history revisionism

Yeah, and then their stock tanked to the point that Nokia and Blackberry look like good investments by comparison.

Like I said above, I might personally despise the man, but I recognize he did save the company.

Tom 13

Re: - he personally did not build not electrically design a single product

in the headlines which are grabbing our attention these days you are correct.

By my memory is longer than the current internet memes (or as some one once put it "10 minutes ago"). He and Woz designed, built, and yes soldered many a circuit board in the early days working out of their garage. So like I said, very overrated, but not a complete sham.

Tom 13

Re: Maybe not

While I think Jobs is very overrated, I don't begrudge him the title inventor. Until he did the iPod, nobody had a digital portable song player that grabbed attention. Same thing with the iPad. And for all that he stole ideas for Xerox, they not only let him do it they shoved more stuff into his mitts as he was leaving. He knew what they had and what to do with it even when they didn't. Not all of them were "design patents" some of them were important engineering choices. And I expect the early Apple work did involve some actual patents. Gates may have created the commodity market, but I'll give Jobs (and Woz) props for their contributions in creating the market in the first place.

Tom 13


I've long thought without Jobs Apple did face a PEAK situation.

Now that I find Ellison in my camp, I need to triple check my initial evaluations.

Oracle Team USA sailors admit breaking America's Cup rules

Tom 13

Re: tension between sports and civil entities.

Yes sports teams and cities have these issues. In fact I think there was a study done and no major city has actually boosted its economy enough to pay for any of the stadium deals they've cut. But sports teams are owned by the same sorts as the boating events - people who can afford to buy and sell politicians and profit from it. I doubt ComicCon can, and think CES would be marginal on that front.

Tom 13

Re: Comic-Con, CES or SXSW

Knowing how much it costs a non-profit to put on one of those shows; knowing that at least two of those three are profit making conventions which get serious reamings from the politicians and the unions, and knowing how much our little con brought into the city in terms of tourism and other money flows, I have not problems with those events. Payback in our case was still on the order of the city getting $10 dollars for every dollar we spent.

Now start talking crap like the occupy movement and you have a point. But you shouldn't confuse the them.

Tom 13

Re: and apparently would reduce performance*

illegal AND adverse?

Okay, off to the stocks with him.

And thanks for the info.

Tom 13

Any word on exactly what the illegal modifications were?

And for the tech angle, why they give the team an unfair advantage?

I mean, I'm all for smirking over Larry getting caught with his hand in the cookie jar, but I'd like a better cover story.

Elon Musk unveils Hyperloop – the subsonic tube of tomorrow

Tom 13

Re: not whether it should exist in the first place.

As usual you misscharacterize your fellow Americans. Our objections aren't against its existential potential, they are about the logical fallacies of the HSR proponents. The proposed train will only get you between specific cities. You'll still need a car. If Musk can make it commercially viable, I don't have a problem with that. If it costs twice as much to build and only develops a quarter of the traffic he foresees and depends on the public dole, I have huge problems with that. The car still gets me there if slower, on already existing infrastructure that will be more readily and frequently used. The problem with conventional HSR is that given the historical track record of passenger rail, it wouldn't even make the failure numbers I've assigned to the Musk project. So they are IMPLEMENTATION objections, not existential.

Full disclosure: You damn fools have funded one of these boondoggles that I take to work everyday. Since I'm paying for it anyway I use it. Doesn't mean I can't see the problems with it or what better solutions might be out there.

Tom 13

Granted it's been a while since I've been to Cali and I never drove there

but given your description I'd have to say they are doing better than Maryland. At least they used 5+ lanes to make it that dangerous. Maryland does it with only two.

Tom 13

Re: shocked beyond belief if it can be made for under US$20 billion..

Even at $20 billion, that's still about half the proposed price of the high speed rail, which is also almost certainly low. So as a replacement it seems desirable.

Also, despite the relatively high price for a commuter trip, the 35 minutes puts it inside what 'Merkins in big cities have come to expect time wise, so it might be used that way.

If you throw in some freight traffic, I think you might be able to get to a commercially viable system. Only actual use would tell.

Apple wins Samsung import ban, loses 'Battle of Rounded Corners II'

Tom 13

Re: difference between a regular and a design patent.

Sure we do. One should be protected and the other is legal bollocks that some companies get as a benny for lining certain political pockets.

Tom 13

Re: more like political issues every day.

When politics rules everything, everything becomes politicized.

I'd guess you can't, because that reads like a statement from a political illiterate. I might make a reasonable stab at it, but I wouldn't bet the cost of pint at the pub on my guess. But here's a hint: Stalin and Trotsky were politically closer than Stalin and Churchill. Make note of whom Stalin sent the assassination team after.

Tom 13

@ graeme leggett

If there was even a germ of truth in point #2, Brits would be speaking 'Merkin English instead of British English, and so would everybody else in Europe. Not to mention a good chunk of Asia and Africa.

Tom 13

Re: "Ancient" kit, or any kit that infringes the same patents...

True but moot. Because the kit wasn't included in Apple's original suite, they'll have to go to court again to prove it.

Big Mike shoots email to Dell staff: My backers and I are your best bet

Tom 13

Michael Dell put it rather nicely:

...to endure the risks of the transformation and the likely near-term adverse effects on earnings,...

For Dell to have any sort of longevity as a corporation it has to undergo a transformation plan and that transformation plan will necessarily have "adverse effects." The sort of thing Wall Street doesn't like to see. So it would be better done as by a company not being publicly traded. It's also likely to be a High Risk venture. One that by the numbers only is likely to go bust and it's only the addition of experienced leaders who move it above a 33.3% chance of success.

Is Mike's offer a good deal? Hard to say. I'm reminded of the lines from Seven Samurai where the farmers offer a pittance for the high priced swordsman to defend their village. In the past he worked for larger sums that were a lot of money. But today that pittance is a lot of money so he will once again sell his sword for high price.

Apple returns to courtroom once again to contest ebook shafting

Tom 13

Re: You can't use price fixing

Except Apple didn't fix the price. Anybody could come in and negotiate a lower price if they thought it was appropriate. Apple only fixed their margin, and said they couldn't be sandbagged.

Tom 13

Re: FOUR 'victims' confessing

When the government comes knocking on the door of a marginal business and says "nice business you got here, shame if anything were to happen to it. Now sign these papers admitting your guilt and we'll let you off easy." it's not a confession. It's extortion under guise of law. So yes, it is thin and it flies in the face of established legal precedent.

Tom 13

Re: Prediction

It's not so much the Apple haters, of which I can reasonably be numbered. It's the freetards who are quite certain they are getting ripped off if the price of an ebook is anything much above zero.

What Apple did in this instance is quite reasonable from a vertically integrated, previously uninvolved competitor standpoint: We want to get into this market. We don't know what the right price is. We want margin X, when everything is said and done. If you'll agree to give us that percentage, we'll charge the price you set. And to protect ourselves, if you offer a competitor a better price, you have to offer it to us as well.

Publishers stand behind Apple in ebook price-fixing fight

Tom 13

Re: Really - can they do that?

In the current environment, the DoJ doesn't give a shit whether it is constitutional or not.

In this instance*, it seems most of the El Reg readers will cheer them on as they ignore it even as they cry in their beer when they ignore it on other issues.

*Judging from the voting pattern observable on all previous ebook threads. The freetards are winning and won't know what they've lost by winning until it is way too late to recover.

Tom 13

@AC: 9th August 2013 13:57 GMT

Except of course that your whole argument is based on two counter-factual assumptions.

The Apple Agency system gave the bulk of the money to the publisher.

The publishers weren't making "excess profit" (by which I assume you mean 'excessive') they were losing money hand over fist and filing for bankruptcy. Apple much as I dislike the company and many of their products, saved the industry. Right up until Bezos greased the right palms to undermine the publishers again.

Tom 13


Not even great for customers.

Great for customers for a short time.

Right up to the point where the publishing industry dies and consumers can't get books or ebooks at any price.

Patching Xerox's number-changing photocopy phlaw will take weeks

Tom 13

Re: Manual?

I've worked in IT for many years. Never ever locked a copier manual away. Usually they are in the plastic pouch attached to the copier. The one that's so old it is now yellow, and cracks when you open it because the plastic was never exercised by users in normal operation.

I will concur about the warning on the copier panel itself, and that the copier should not default to a setting where it could be a problem.

Bill Gates's barbed comments pop Google's broadband balloons

Tom 13

Re: There is no market, there is no money.

Google's work will create the first which will generate the second. Bill's won't.

Bill is handing them fish. Google is teaching them to fish. Both acts have their place.

Bill's work is good. The Google work will take longer, but it will be better. That's why whiny Bill came out to bitch slap Google.

Tom 13

Re: When you're dying ...

You failed in just your first six words.

Tom 13

Charity pay

Pay in organizations vary. Some nominally charitable organizations pay their staff at rates equivalent to the private sector and except for their tax status are indistinguishable from commercial organizations. Having been involved for extended periods of time with several charitable organizations (including 3 years as paid staff on a reasonably well know one), it's not a question of pay=skill.* It's a problem that most skilled people can't afford to volunteer 20, 40, or 60 hours a week to the organization, even if the position requires it. So if you want someone to work those kinds of hours, you have to re-jigger your organization so it can do so. Then you unexpectedly find yourself on the commercial treadmill and wonder how you got there. So far I haven't been able to puzzle a way out of the conundrum.

*In fact just this morning I was talking to a coworker about someone (God rest his soul) who was a very lucky find for one of those organizations. He handled our AV and stage management for a convention that grew from 350 people to 35,000. His day job was as a stage manager in New York including a few stints on Broadway plays. He organized everything for us for a few years. One day he came to us and said (more or less) "Guys I love the group and I wish I could stay on in this position. But I ran some numbers last year and it turns out I'm spending more time on this than I am on my real job. And unfortunately I just can't afford it." Recognizing how vital he was to the group we essentially said (in the correctly legal phrasing) "Okay, we understand. How much to keep you on?" And did. (Yes we followed the correct legal open bidding procedures. His proposal was somewhere between one third and half the cost of the next lowest bidder who also knew our show well.)

Tom 13

Re: He did. Malaria.

And like fanatics everywhere, he's decided if you aren't on board with exactly his plan, you are not of the body and must be purged.

Tom 13

Re: but is 10 times the man.

They're both scum sucking bottom feeders. Brilliant scum sucking bottom feeders, but still scum sucking bottom feeders.

Near as I can tell the difference is Jobs was an atheist so didn't care about the disposition of his eternal soul while Bill isn't. So now Bill is trying to buy his way into heaven because he knows how many people he screwed over and how badly he did it.

Tom 13

Re: prioritising it.

I learned a long time ago that phrase is the progressive bigot's code phrase for preventing them from getting it. Just like unions use the code phrase "living wages" to suppress minority workers.

Tom 13

Re: Intelligence!

0) You could learn about Malaria and how to avoid catching it from the internet. <- and still go out and drink from your only water supply, full of feces and god knows what else.

Presumably one of the things you could find on the internet if information about how to improve your only water source. Although I expect most parts of the world figured out it not a good idea for your privy to run into your well before the English did.

1) You could use the internet to ask for medical assistance. <-Or approach the medical staff who have medicines with them, backed by international health organisations

I expect if International Health staff were just standing around the village with nothing to do, the first thing they would have done is improved that well we just finished discussing. In reality you probably have to hunt them down. So tell me, which is easier, having the family living on $1/month hunt down the medical staff backed by the billionaire, or having them send notice to the medical staff to come to the village or arrange a meeting at another location?

3) You could use the internet to discover how to treat malaria and acquire appropriate treatments. <-what, using paypal accounts full of sand?

Some of the stuff you can do to prevent it is no or very low cost. The internet certainly provides better chance to connect to organizations that assist with the expensive bits. Hell, put the a decent plan together and you might even be able to crowd source it. We 'Merkins take a lot of flack for not properly funding international organizations that governments create to handle these things. But what I've noticed is that if you go to a local church with a specific plan to help a specific location with a well thought out project, they'll cough up the money for it. Sometimes as quick as a week, sometimes longer depending on the size of the project.

Tom 13

Re: the almost unimaginable poverty

You can't fix that overnight and there's no sense in trying to.

Funny thing about building out the internet into those places. First thing you're going to need is a healthy workforce to do the building. That means the first thing you're going to have to do is teach them how to clean up the water, build the house, and get the food. Supplying them with the job building that infrastructure is actually going to go a long way toward them having the kind of money to do it.

Second thing you're going to need is people using it. So you're going to have to do the same things for the people NOT working for you. And some of those people might start seeing opportunities to do things for people outside their villages. Things that might make them the kind of money so they can do their own things. Maybe even buy their own netting. And who knows, once connected to the internet one them might even have the breakthrough idea that creates an actual working renewable source of energy.

Tom 13

Re: a few ways I think the Internet can help

You forgot the most important one:

If you use the internet you might discover that the most effective way of preventing malaria is to use DDT to eliminate the mosquito threat and that all that noise about DDT was hype. If properly used DDT probably could wipe out malaria before Bill Gates is put in the ground. It is after all how we eliminated it here The States. But politics won't let that happen.

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