* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

US taxmen told to hush up shadowy drug squad unit laundering NSA intel

Tom 13

Re: As a Brit, I hang my head in shame

Not to fear, it was a joint effort.

The problem is that even with the release of the Venona Files and the KGB archives too few in society are willing to face the truth. Too many of our so called elected representatives were communist agents. Agents who set in motion ideas and processes designed to overthrow our liberty-centric governments over the course of time. They thought the time required would be shorter than it has been, but they never tired of pursuing their objective. Today they are at the top of the political food chain implementing their ideas and remaking the citizenry they desire.

Tom 13

Re: Us versus them

Enjoy your popcorn while you can. After the shit hits the fan over here you'll be next.

And no, we aren't a democracy. We are, or at least were, a Constitutional Republic. Our founders were aware of democracies and tossed them on the ash heap of history precisely because they degenerate into these kinds of messes. The intention was to bind government so that mob justice as seen in the French revolutions wouldn't destroy the protection of God given rights. Or degenerate into the kind of corruption prevalent in Imperial Rome. Or the infighting of ancient Greece.

But no, we know better than they did. We are morally superior to them because we don't own slaves. And we tax the hell out of rich people to support the poor, the downtrodden, those unwilling to fend for themselves. So it looks like we won't get any of those bad results. No, we're going to combine all of them into one big hairy furball firefight. And once it starts you can look forward to the next worldwide Dark Age.

Tom 13

Re: Top 10

Can't tell when that was originally created, but one scandal is conspicuously missing: IRS profiling based on political viewpoint.

Tom 13

Re: Idiot Feds!!

Wrong starting point. I doubt it was actually the bulk surveillance on US citizens that was falsified. I expect it was probably a perfectly legal satellite or other covert op against a cartel working outside the US. As a result of that operation you wind up with the names of contacts, suppliers, etc. operating in the US. You want to get those names to the civies, but you don't want to compromise the exact methods used to infiltrate the organizations operating on foreign soil. Which is exactly what the defense attorney will do because they aren't actually seeking justice, they are seeking to get their client off no matter what and no matter whether or not on the basis of the things they have told you, you think they are guilty. So they falsified the evidence trail. From the point at which the names are given to the DEA everything proceeds according to the book, and the guys swearing to the judges that the information presented in court have no idea they aren't telling the truth because from their limited viewpoint they are telling the unvarnished truth.

But because we didn't discuss and approve this as a legitimate firebreak in the chain of evidence rules, it will, as it should, get the cases tossed.

Tom 13

Re: ..Bill of Rights when its so blatantly disregarded by the US government.

I have this weird schadenfreude as I read these complaints.

The US Government has been disregarding the Constitution, and in particular the Fourth Amendment since at least the time of FDR. Reading the Fourth Amendment makes it pretty clear to me that it isn't okay for the government to steal your money to give to other people, no matter how much you might think they have some vague "human right" to that money because of their misfortune. But it was okay to pack SCOTUS over 4 terms until they finally "expanded" our understanding of rights to approve such theft on a routine basis. You don't get to where we are without a long trail of abuse. All in the name of minorities, the economically suppressed, or if all else fails, the children.

Tom 13

Re: It may be perjury

Back in court? Sadly, back in court may be the best prosecutors can hope for.

Last night during the talking heads segment on Fox News Judge Napolitano noted that any conviction resulting from that data is legally required to be vacated. Any evidence gathered as a result of it is likely to be suppressed in future trials. The prosecutor might not have enough evidence left to hold a trial.

Yes, I'd like to see data gathered as part of national intelligence operations included as background information for the DEA. Possibly even specific tips. But the rules for doing that need to be clearly defined after public discussion. Doing it and lying about it isn't acceptable.

'Hand of Thief' banking Trojan reaches for Linux – for only $2K

Tom 13

@Captain Scarlet

I've never concurred with the opinion that Linux was inherently safer than Windows in the sense of "you don't have to worry about it" which is too frequently the context in which the statement is used. It is in the sense that if you are security aware you CAN lock it down.

I'd also quibble over whether it is moving toward being less secure. Historically it has also been more secure in its default configuration. In the sense that the default configurations are becoming less secure it is true, but the ability to lock it down properly is still there. Also Windows has been asymptotically approaching Linux security in its ability to be locked down, but does look like it will always be asymptotically approaching approaching it.

Ultimately the security of any system rests in the hands of the people who administer them. Which can be a really scary thought in the consumer market.

Webcam stripper strikes back at vicious 4Chan trolls after year of bullying

Tom 13

@ gazthejourno

While DAM does deserve some downvotes for his specific corrective action, he does have a point, "troll" =/= "bully" and in fact a skilled troll actually can't engage in bullying. As I learned the term a skilled troll starts a flame war with a single post and never replies thereafter. Particularly on a tech site we should work to defend the use of our words, not excuse them with bootnote definitions. It's a bit like a legislative body passing a law saying pi is 3.14 exactly.

Tom 13

Re: That's all we need to know about you.

There can be honor in being an anonymous coward. There isn't in his post. In his case I think El Reg's monitors should be allowed to change his tag from "Anonymous Coward" to "4Chan Coward."

There is some truth in what he says, but it is overwhelmed by his negativity and nihilism. Yes the woman probably ought to step back and examine her life. If her job is frequently causing her to breakdown in tears she should probably look for another job. If she is seeking God's love she should probably take some time to think about why she isn't feeling it. God does love her enough that he sent his only begotten Son to die on a tree for her sins. His sacrifice is big enough for all of us, but he would have done it for her alone. If you don't see it/feel it, there's something blocking it. As far as I've been able to determine, that something is always in ourselves, because we're the only ones to whom he allows that choice.

If on the other hand it's all an act because it brings in more money, that's her choice too.

Whatever choices we make, consequences follow from them. For good or for bad, to life or to death.

NSA gets burned by a sysadmin, decides to burn 90% of its sysadmins

Tom 13

If I took the facts being reported at face value,

I might be concerned. But it's all theater and none of know what's really happening.

Tom 13

Re: Logic error detected.

Before Snowden the money spent on fleshies to handle data made the agency look more important. With Snowden breaching his contract's security requirement, it is now blatantly obvious they have a security issue that has to be fixed. Even at the cost of not looking as important at budget time.

Brits give thumbs-up to shale gas slurping in university-run poll

Tom 13

Re: The question itself is flawed

No, you're understanding of economics is flawed. Deeply flawed. Hopefully not fatally so, but depressingly probably so.

Shale gas is not differentiated from non-shale gas. Adding the huge potential production from shale deposits will lower all gas prices. In the US prices have fallen to about $3.25/unit from a high around $10.50 in mid 2008 and a more typical price of around $8.00/unit prior to us unlocking our shale reserves. Furthermore, it because it can substitute for coal and oil those prices tend to fall as well. And the Warmists seem to prefer gas to coal on the environmental front.

So, you gonna foot this '$200bn' hacking bill, insurance giants asked

Tom 13

Re: How 'bout instead ...

Air gap is a good first line of defense, but...

Stuxnet has already shown how to jump the air gap.

E-reader barons file FCC plea to opt out of disabled-friendly regs

Tom 13

Re: Given what our (USA) government wants to to...

You might have meant it as a joke, but there for e-books, it is a serious question.

For printed books there are clear compatibility issues with trying to combine braille and text in the same artifact. For an electronic copy of a book not so much. It's all just electrons moving around to process other electrons. I don't own an ebook myself, but others here have posted that they include rudimentary text vocalization devices. Given that ACS is the law of the land, and given that there are far more titles available in ebooks than there are in braille (which I am told is dying anyway with advances in technology), what is the cost-benefit analysis of making sure ebooks are accessible to the blind? In fact, as I read the first paragraph I was thinking to myself, even if it isn't a communications service, does that invalidate the heart of the complaint or merely place a technical obstacle in its path? If the suit is dismissed under ACS, could it be refiled the next day by simply replacing ACS with ADA?

I'm not really in favor of ACS/ADA-type legislation. But if you're damn fool enough to make it the law of the land, every damn fool should have to live with it. Even the ones who max out their political donations every election cycle.

Infosec analysts back away from 'Feds attacked Tor' theory

Tom 13


If it were me I can see where you might wonder that, but not him.

Of course I have more respect for snakes than to compare them to The Big 0.

US federal judge: Yes, Bitcoin IS MONEY

Tom 13

Re: commodity can't be currency

Lots of things that are commodities have been currencies. Gold, silver, copper and bronze are the most obvious and most easily transported. But other things including beaver skins and tobacco have been used. As recently as post WWII cigarettes were a practical currency in Germany. The only thing that matters to currency is that it is readily accepted by most people as payment to complete trade. So if everyone accepted chickens in payment for services, chickens would be a currency.

Tom 13

Re: Just curious

At its simplest: currency/money can be readily traded to obtain commodities. Commodities aren't necessarily easily traded. Some things like gold can be both.

Can currency tax laws be side-stepped? Probably, but doing so is still illegal and if you get caught you WILL be prosecuted. Remember, regardless of how convoluted and oppressive current currency laws may be, the original intent behind them was to protect people from being defrauded.

If I were the judge I wouldn't have ruled on whether or not Bitcoin was currency. Even though the US dollars were changed by a third party, the intention of the cretin was to use bitcoin as the means by which to engage in an investment Ponzi scheme. That is, it promised you'd get more money out the other side than you put in but had no planned means of making more money in the middle. That should be sufficient to bring charges of investment fraud.

End of an era as Firefox bins 'blink' tag

Tom 13

Re: This story had a well documented beginning

I love this line:

It was a lot like Las Vegas, except it was on my screen, with no way of turning it off.

Tom 13

Re: we had usenet,

I went back and visited an old usenet forum a few years back. It was a tragic mistake. I've seen more useful email in my spam box.

Apple patents laser, incandescent projector for laptops, smartphones

Tom 13

Re: Cook & Co. may need a showstopper product

Meh. I think they know they can't produce it, so they're opting for the next best thing: The Sco Lawsuit strategy. This lays the groundwork so that when someone else finally does produce a marketable solution to the problem, they can sue for infringement then collect 10% of the revenue stream.

Xerox copier flaw changes numbers in scanned docs

Tom 13

@ Sir Barry: Not quite

IIRC the default settings on those systems is 600dpi and they switched to 200. Even IIRIC and the default is 300dpi, that's still better than the 200 dpi at which they were scanning. So there is some user participation in the problem. I'd assign it a 95:5 split with Xerox owning most of the blame.

Where Xerox owns 100% of the problem however is that there is insufficient warning about possible problems. In a world in which step ladder manufacturers have to put "Do Not Stand on Top of Ladder" warnings on 18ft step ladders, burying the warning in the user's manual doesn't cut it. In fact being aware of the problem and not fixing it doesn't cut it.

Tom 13

This comment withdrawn.

Anonymous Coward Posted Wednesday 7th August 2013 12:37 GMT

has much better insight and hopefully a workable solution.

Tom 13

Re: if not a printer combined with a high quality scanner?

Yes that's what they are these days. But that's not what copiers were when they first came out. Back then you were bouncing a light beam off the paper onto a photoptically sensitive rotating drum that eventually transferred toner/ink to the page. It might smudge, but then the characters were illegible and you had to confirm the numbers or use a better original. More to the point, the data corruption was immediately obvious at least to the consumer.

When we switched to the scanner/printer model because it was more useful and cost effective, it was under the assumption it produced the same sort of output. But what is apparently happening is that the system uses some sort of sample or dynamic image storing and compression that results in CHANGING THE DATA. Were I on a jury in a death or injury case and Xerox hauled out that disclaimer I'd triple the damages for vexation.

Flippin' tosser: Sun's magnetic field poised to SWIVEL on it - NASA

Tom 13

Re: Low activity

The Mauder Minimum corresponds to a period of sustained low sunspot activity. As in, it crosses several full sunspot cycles (which are 22 year, not 11). I know doing real science is a strain on Warmists, but do try to keep up.

Tom 13

Re: A wavy current sheet, in turn, affects cosmic rays...

Well then. It must be about time for Reed, Sue, Ben, and Johnny to make that trip into space.

Sony refuses to flog off Spider-Man lab and other entertainment wings

Tom 13

Re: ALL manufacturers have to do this....

The downvoter(s) to this AC need to buy a clue. Like it or not (I don't) he's stating a fact, not an opinion. The DRM is included in the Blueray license, as is the ability for the manufacturer of the disk to control playback. And really, even the commercials don't irritate me as much as having to sit through 25 versions of the FBI Piracy warning that are written in languages I don't read. I understood the first one thank-you, very much. I would hope they don't stick non-Merkins with that crap since FBI doesn't apply to you, but given the number of languages I expect they do.

Super-SVELTE BLUSH-PINK planet goes too far with star

Tom 13

Re: almost as if some people have an emotional investment in the current model

Much of science history is littered with the debris of these kinds of arguments. Many of us have forgotten that when Einstein originally proposed eliminating "the ether" from physics he met with fierce opposition from the scientific establishment. It was a bedrock foundation underlying all other assumptions and doing away with it was a threat to all of science.

Two more counties to get gov-funded bumpkin broadband from... guess?

Tom 13

Re: Re-nationalise BT...

Private companies are companies that face competition. Being a 'Merkin I'm not well informed of the particulars with regard to BT, but it sounds to me like what you have there is an off-book government operation with private colored lipstick smeared all over the pig. So you have the worst of all possible worlds, but not something that is actually private.

The hammer falls: Feds propose drastic controls on Apple's iTunes Store

Tom 13

Re: Eventually, they became the Microsoft they hated

Woz was the brains, Jobs was the front man. It really is that simple.

As far as the trial goes, looking at the proposed penalty I conclude I was right about the trial. This is a hatchet job from folks who are just pissed that Apple has all that money. I never really cared for their computers. I cared even less for Jobs' fascist way of running his company. But it was HIS company and I didn't have to work there or buy his stuff. But for all I dislike his equipment and his methodology, he made his money honestly. Nobody should be able to take money away from a man if he has made it honestly.

Icahn sues Dell's board over Big Mike's buyout bid

Tom 13

Re: here come the downvotes

Even one "shareholder activist" is too many. Granted the rest of your statement is true, there are too many "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" types on boards. But "shareholder activists" are just as bad if not worse because they are in it for political reasons. What we really need are more businessmen on boards. By "businessman" I mean someone who is actively engaged in determining what buyers need/want, making it, and delivering it to them.

Tom 13

@Roo: Let me fix this for you

In the IT business he has precisely zero credibility as far as running a business goes, so presumably he has some credibility in another field (comedy perhaps?) .

Ichan made his money by buying up dying companies, splitting their assets apart, and selling them off. Sometimes this involved piling them up with debt first then running away like the modern day pirate he is. Other times it was just looting the corpses. I'll grant that sometimes this is a necessary function in the market, sort of like the having the garbage collector come around to take away your trash. But you wouldn't want the garbage collector coming into your house taking whatever he feels like. And my apologies to any actual garbage collectors who might read this post for comparing them to Ichan.

Tom 13

Re: Based on that definition

The way the votes are counted is a poison pill provision that is typically written to allow the original owners of the company to control the direction of the company going forward. Specifically it makes it very difficult to launch a hostile (Ichan) takeover of a company. But it can also make it very difficult for a friendly takeover (Michael Dell).

US Republican enviro-vets: 'Climate change is real. Deal with it'

Tom 13

Re: Worse disasters happen when everyone agrees.

No, hundreds of politicians believe they can shake us down for more money if they link their pocket lining schemes to Climate Change. Since they line a few scientific pockets, this has worked out well for them.

No, an egotistical shipping magnate believed his ship was unsinkable. His engineers told him otherwise.

Not even a hundred engineers worked on the O-rings for the shuttle, and their team was telling the manager to recommend against the launch on the day in question. For this error alone you should be flogged 39 times.

Finally we get to a true statement. Still, not one that will help Warmists see the truth for they have no eyes with which to see.

Tom 13

@ Joel 1

I've never bought the "not reported" argument in the Linux uptake threads, I'm not buying it here either.

Solar has it's own problems which will eventually come home to roost. I'd rather have a new coal fired electrical plant next to my house than one manufactures solar panels which produce electricity.

Tom 13

Re: should live in a den, perhaps ...

No, that would be spelled with two n's.

Tom 13

Re: Can you link to one working example of carbon capture technology?

Actually we've done a pretty good job at cleaning up the first 90% of all the pollutants in coal plants compared to say the 1940s. The problem is, after the big push back in the 70s all the easy conversions were done. So we're now working on either the hugely expensive ones, or trying to get the same benefits out of that last 10% that we got cleaning up the first 90%. The Warmists won't admit to this, because it makes their wailing less effective. If you know you've spent $2 billion cleaning up 90% of what you can, and that the next 9% is going to cost $200 billion, the head has a better chance of winning against the heart.

Of course this has been exacerbated by their "you have to do it all or don't do anything" with respect to coal (at least in the US). If part of a coal facility breaks you can either repair the equipment at the level at which it was installed, or you can refit the entire plant with current technology. You can't just refit the part that broke with current technology to reduce your pollution output for that part of the plant.

Tom 13

Re: Then what, Mr smarty sientist?

Be flippant if that's your thing.

As for me, I'd rather not have the deaths of a billion or two human beings on my hands over a religious agenda. But maybe that's a Christian thing that doesn't bother the godless.

Tom 13

Re: Whatever.

Except that even armchair scientists know

(2) While ultimately the radiative transfer is responsible for cooling, at lower levels the density of the atmosphere makes convection the dominating cooling transfer. In some locations you also have conduction as the primary cooling transfer. Also, what exactly are the data on the CO2 densities at which atmospheric levels? If you're assuming it is constant as a percentage through out the whole atmospheric shell, I don't need a reference article to know you've got your ass hanging out the car window on the autobahn.

(3)a The output of CO2 from burning coal can be readily calculated. A decade of us burning across all the continents on the surface of the planet is less than the CO2 output of a single volcanic event like Mt. St Helens. Furthermore, the volcanic eruption will put the CO2 into the atmosphere at much higher altitude than a factory smokestack, so it has less chance of interacting with trees and plants to be converted to sugar. If CO2 were to have the strongly coupled affect on temperature as claimed, we should see measurable shifts that correspond to each similar volcanic eruption in history. We don't.

(3)b 1. Lack of evidence of a natural source to increase CO2 is not proof of a lack of natural sources. 2. I gave you one such source in (3)a above, but you deny it's truth.

(4) Do you see that bit above where I mention my astro background? Yeah, I got news for you baby. This Creationist can guarantee you that even for a 6000 year old Earth, your data baseline isn't nearly long enough to predict anything. If I put it into the context of a 6 million year old Earth as required by Evolutionists, your data baseline ain't even a pimple on a gnat's butt.

Tom 13

Re: Can you put together a thought experiment that would convince you?


A model that accurately predicts the climate for the next 15 years and then matches it.

Which is why I reject the current warmist agenda. Five years ago you said we couldn't claim the current lull in global warming proved anything because until you got to 20 years of data you weren't outside the normal variability of the system. Now that we're closing in on the magic number from your last defense, you've thrown out a new number. Just like those end of the world preachers who finally gave up.

Tom 13

Re: looking for an answer to this question for about 3 years now

Then you are an incompetent searcher or don't know much about basic science.

It took me about 3 hours with Google once to figure out how crappy the assertions of the The Holy Church of Man-Caused Global Warming are. I followed the link to a paper on the model and read some of the basic assumptions. One in particular caught my eye: the one where they assume constant solar output for their model to simplify things. Then I went and looked up measured solar radiative output. First up, the number on the charts I found for measure output was 1-3% above the assumed number for the calculation. That's a really bad start. Then I found measurable variation in the solar output. So they don't even make it out of the starting gate.

Full disclosure: I went looking for it because more than 20 years ago during the semester I was taking Astro 440 (which included calculating radiative outputs for the sun depending on certain assumptions about transfer), or as I called it Applied Mathematics, as my 3rd math course for the semester, I finally realized math and I don't get along well enough for me to have gone into the field. I did manage to understand a fair bit of the radiative transfer theory though. And the bottom line was, beyond some ideas about the nuclear reaction chain, we don't know squat about how the sun really shines. If you can't calculate that, you don't have a baseline from which to work your CO2 theory. If you don't have a baseline, you don't have anything.

You want to know why we keep working to refine the measured distance of an AU, even though we know it to more than 4 decimals in the Celestial Goofy Shit* system (CGS, or centimeter, gram, second for you non-astro types)? It's because when your baseline is long enough, those missing decimal places work out to billions of light years. The same thing applies to repetitive feedback mechanisms.

*Why the name? Because, I mean really?! When you know from the outset that you're going to wind up putting a 'x 10^Y' in your notation, why would you intentionally add more digits to the exponents than you need to?

Tom 13

Re:Jumping out of a building is totally cool,

Great! Let's climb the Eiffel Tower so the fall lasts longer.

Then, you go first.

We can resume our debate over your religion when you get back up here.

Tom 13

because water evaporates and condenses continually (whereas CO2 doesn't).

So let me get this straight....

All H20 is constantly recycled. It never get trapped in ice or underground streams. And it certainly gets injected into the air as part of a Pacific Rim island having a volcanic eruption.

Furthermore, only humans produce CO2 in their manufacturing processes so CO2 must be continually increasing by whatever that industrial process is. There are no trees, bushes, mosses, or algae which convert CO2 to O2. And therefore there can't be any feedback processes which might increase as the temperature goes up.


Get back to me when you have two brain cells to rub together.

Tom 13

Re: @ AC 0647hGMT - Whatever.

2. Tell me what their credentials are.

Real scientists don't give a shit what your credentials are. Only whether or not your data supports your theory.

3. Tell me what their theories are.

Show me you raw data first.

Davros liable to criticism for huge STRAW DALEK he never built

Tom 13

Re: Snugsburys Famous Ice Cream

I think that's a strawman argument.

Mystery object falls from sky, area sealed off by military: 'Weather balloon', say officials

Tom 13

Re: flagged it as a possible bomb.

No accouterments required. If a bag is sitting by itself in any public location for more than 5 minutes it is assumed to be a bomb. No proof required.

Google scientists rebel over company's support for 'climate-hoax' Senator

Tom 13

Re: @ tom dial

At last an honest Warmist. He admits it at its core it has nothing to do with CO2 and everything to do with too damn many people. So the only solution is The Final Solution. Only we can't do it with gas chambers this time cause that got 'em stopped last time.

Tom 13

Re: the Einstein's and Inhofe's

Are you certain about that? I seem to recall one of Al's more famous quotes was:

"God does not roll dice."

Tom 13

Re: Anyone care to enlighten me?

Sure. The definitive work is probably:


Although given your comment, I'm doubtful you'd even pirate a copy for you Kindle.

Tom 13

Re: Now which way is more suitable for the energy business?


Given the regulator environment for energy companies the only option is to be as aggressively political as your opponents. The Greens decided oil was bad long before they took the name "Greens" and have politicized and demonized the oil companies ever since. AWG is just their latest fad in that defamation. The disadvantage for the oil companies is that in addition to buying Congresscritters the way the Greens do, they also have to make a profit and pay their shareholders.

Highway from HELL: Volcano tears through 35km of crust in WEEKS

Tom 13

Re: I have one comment.

Actually it will be okay. Pete and Myka retrieved the stick thingie and it is back at Warehouse 13.

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