* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

For pity's sake: DON'T MOVE to the COUNTRY if you want to live

Tom 13

Re: farm vehicles or more pedestrian drivers and overtake.

farm vehicles and more pedestrian drivers?

You should see what happens when there's an Amish horse and buggy on the road!

Tom 13

Re: Emergency services?

It's not a question of cell phone coverage. Even in traveling to remote areas I usually have signal. What you might not have is the helicopter on stand-by for emergency evacuation to trauma unit at top tier university research hospital.

But then again in rural areas you don't usually have enough of those kinds of accidents to justify the expense of having that helicopter and its flight crew.

Tom 13


Good points, but having grown up in a rural area and moved to the city, I'm willing to bet the so-called brain boffin didn't bother to properly analyze his data. In either location I'd rather be driving with people who learned to drive in the rural America than the line crowding, tailgating, non-signaling when changing lanes morons from the city. I'd put up a paycheck that at least half of those rural accidents were caused by city drivers.

Hell, it takes me a week to decompress and get back to good driving practices* when I visit my parents who still live where I grew up.

*in practice for where I live I found the following definitions to be true:

- Safe following distance is your front quarter panel placed at about the mid-point of the rear quarter panel of the car next to you

- Safe speed is 10 mph over the posted limit in patrolled areas, 15-20 in unpatrolled areas, dead in known locations for speed cameras.

- the first 3 seconds of a red light are optional, so be prepared when you get a green

- on divided highways with two lanes on either side, the passing lane is the safe travel lane

- never use a turn signal for a lane change, that's really a signal for the guy next to you to move to Safe Following distance as defined above

Oh, and rush hour accidents are just the randomizers for relocating the usual slowdowns.

Tom 13

Re: D.U.I is simply not considered an issue in the states.

Right, complete non-issue that why we have MADD and insanely low blood alcohol levels for DUI now.

Yeah, I lived with someone for a while who thought nothing of drinking and driving. He was a twit. Just like your friends. The friends I hang out with don't drink and drive. If there's a party with alcohol the people drinking are likely to be crashing at the host's domicile or riding back to a hotel with friends.

You need to choose your friends more carefully. Might I suggest staying away from the idiots in cities and getting to know some folks in the suburbs?

US Marine Corps misses target, finds and bombs Nemo

Tom 13

Re: The real question is

Continents aren't islands. Plus it needs to be uninhabited by humans. Plus a million other details. Once used as a training site, they're also pretty hard to put back into general purpose use. So if it was designated before the Reef was made a world heritage park, it pretty much stays a training range.

It's not a question of easy or hard (although actual training sites tend not to be easy even if twits think they ought to be), it's a matter of duplicating the conditions for the flight and bomb run: temperature, actual water content in the air, wind patterns, etc.

Tom 13

Re: Or Detroit.

Some of us would be happier if they did use Detroit for it.

But for some inexplicable reason the current regime is reluctant to reduce their fundamental voter base.

Tom 13

Re: The real question is

Training sites aren't chosen on the basis of empty real estate. They are chosen to duplicate conditions similar to an expected combat environment. Training on a site in the middle of the great desert doesn't prep you well for a bombing run against an island atoll.

Dell shareholders head in for second vote on Big Mike's plan

Tom 13

Re: to play devil's advocate

Looks to me like the only time it got above that price was when the speculators thought Ichan's bid would goose the price. If you look at the chart before the current year it looks to me like Mike's bid put a floor on shareholder pricing.

Texas school strikes devil's bargain, drops RFID student tracking

Tom 13

Re: Extra *teachers* rather than extra security/monitoring/police/whatever

I don't think they have a problem spotting the missing students. I think the problem is that by the time they know the student is missing it is too late to prevent it. Then the school district loses money. Maybe extra teachers would help, maybe not. Given that the issue is money, I'm guessing it's an inner city school with little involvement from parents, or worse what involvement they do have inhibits a good educational environment. It's a tough nut to crack.

Personally I'm willing to try a radical experiment: provide a set amount of money available to each student for his schooling. Student can go to any public or private institution which admit him. If you are truant, you lose the access to the money. Keep the pot of money relatively fixed based on census data, so that if someone drops out, more money becomes available to the kids who remain. Formula should include more money for special needs students than average Joe to handle that aspect.

Either that or make it illegal to go to school so all the kids will want to try it.

Tom 13

Re: Easy solution

That doesn't get the school district more money, which was the object of the project.

Personally I think it's a good idea, but I don't get to write the rules.

Tom 13

Re: worthy of any super-max prison

I doubt the super-max would have that many cameras, although they will have them in the bathrooms. I'm guessing it's 50-50 on whether or not the school has cameras there.

Troll loses 'we own the Web' patent appeal

Tom 13

Re: There were 2 points of law here...

IF they had been enforcing it from the beginning I'd be more willing to consider the two points of law. The passage of time between between issuance and suit to me screams abuse of law. If it had been enforced at the start, we might have found a different way to implement the desired behavior. Or it might have been challenged and found overly broad at the outset.

I suppose you could say my biggest objection to these kinds of suits is that they seek to change the rules in the middle of the game. Especially in this case where the university was previously promoting the free use of the idea.

Tom 13


Your third option is the most sensible. And unfortunately, therefore the least likely to be enacted.

While I admire the intent of your first option, in practice it would be difficult to implement. How do you determine "awareness" of the patent company with respect to enforcement?

Your second option is a bit of a mixed bag. I think companies that simply roll over instead of fighting should lose something. Whatever they paid to settle instead of fighting seems like a good start. But I think the other suggestion that those who rolled over get to also contribute to the legal fees for the people who eventually won is better. It changes the money calculation on paying off the bastages just to make them go away. To preserve what I believe is the intent of your suggestion, I'd say that any money paid to the troll (plus interest compounded annually from the time it was received) should be forfeit to the public treasury. That way we at least get some use from it as well as changing the money calculations for the trolls.

Confirmed: Bezos' salvaged Saturn rocket belonged to Apollo 11

Tom 13

Re: obviously unfamiliar with the concept of irony

Not necessarily. There is a corollary to the "don't feed the trolls" rule.

Tom 13

Re: still no definitive reason for the US designation.

No idea why this thread is in this topic but...

The US route system emerged before the Interstate system. To that point States built their own road systems with their own numbering schemes. Typically these days people will put the two digit zip code designation for the state in front of the state route to identify location. The US route system was implemented to help people navigate across the country. Basic concept is to keep the road name the same the whole was across. Nominally three digit east-west routes and two digit north south routes. Then along came Ike and the Interstate system, which was billed as a national defense project. The interstates were the first roads with standardized lane sizes (originally to allow the transport of Sherman tanks on carrier vehicles IIRC) and other construction features like divided lanes. These are the "I" routes and are specifically federally funded. Other routes might get money from federal appropriations, might get funded from the state, or maybe some of both (rarely more than 50% from feds). To some extent the other systems have adopted the I- standards and the naming conventions just differentiate the roads.

Tom 13

Re: Who really owns these?

Salvage laws as we popularly know them have basically been shredded in the last 50 years. Either it is government property, owned by an insurance company that paid a claim for it, or if it's old enough to be worth something it's an "antiquity" and the the government to which it "belongs" can demand you turn it back over to them or face theft charges. So you shouldn't launch a major salvage operation without first knowing it is either money down the tubes or who and how they are going to pay you if you find something.

Legal eagles pit Apple v. Samsung in thievery test

Tom 13

Re: Idiots

Depending on timing proximity, that is one of the markers they use for fraudulent behavior: really cheap purchase followed by a larger one. Once made that mistake when picking up my car from the shop. Put the gas on the credit card first for the car I was driving, then paid for the repairs on the one in the shop. Repairs were declined with a message to call the credit card company. I did, they put the purchase through and explained what happened. I've never done it again since.

Of course if there was more than a day between purchases, I have no idea what happened.

Tom 13

Re: What they should do is make

Actually what they should do is the same thing the crooks do with a twist: Follow the money and bag the bad guys.

Somebody is reselling them. That's the weak point. Find them and bag them. Maybe with a few of their suppliers too.

Not that I necessarily object to them looking for better ways of securing the devices. But that should be their SECONDARY objective, not their PRIMARY one.

Who will Dr Who chew in 50th TV do before Matt Smith bids adieu?

Tom 13

Re: 50th Anniversary Ending

Dammit! Now you ruined everything.

I was hoping he'd do something new and original like reversing the polarity of the neutron flow.

ZUCK out all my BUGS: Facebook gobbles Brit glitch-hunter

Tom 13

So, Zuckerman finally owns a business that can make money.

But I still don't think it will be able to plug the losses on his main boondoggle.

Microsoft's earnings down on slow Windows sales, Surface RT bust

Tom 13

Stevie seems to have forgotten some sage advice from a cartoon:

Remember: Captain Scarlet is indestructible. YOU are not.

Tom 13

Re: rename Office 365 to office 420

I think you need to add a character:


Now where is the eyeglasses icon?

UK investigators finger emergency beacon for 787 Heathrow fire

Tom 13

Re: that's what Duct Tape is for.

Just make sure to use the roll that comes with round things. The ones that tear off in rectangular brackets will suffer too much stress.

Paypal makes man 1000x as rich as the ENTIRE HUMAN RACE

Tom 13

Re: Merchants do not raise their prices when their costs go up.

So when your costs exceed your profit margins you all just happily give stuff away out of the generosity of your hearts?

Fat chance. Somebody in your organization is making damn sure prices keep up with costs, and that includes the costs of credit card processing. They may hide it the same way the whole MBS thing was supposed to hide the high-risk loans, but it works just as effectively.

Tom 13

Re: Manchester United

Of course we have!

They're that team Harry Potter and his friends went to see play at the international Quidditch match.

Tom 13

Re: these are generally eaten by the merchant.

These are NEVER eaten by the merchant. The merchant ALWAYS passes them along because he doesn't have any choice about it. Because of the restrictive laws about processing them that means yes they spread them to everybody including customers who pay cash.

This isn't me talking out my ass. This is me telling you I've been the person recommending how we were going to pass the cost along to our customers when our organization implemented our credit card processing system. And the 25 other people in the room (because we were a little d democratic organization at the time) agreeing with me. It isn't rocket science.

Tom 13

Re: Actually

Smart Greedy bankers tell you that because they are raking in the fees from the vendors on all those purchases you make. Fees the vendors have to charge you in the form of higher prices. Plus of course higher taxes because they are "adding more value" to the product when they sell it.

I did support for a smallish local bank many years ago. One gentleman who was in the lending department had a cartoon prominently displayed on the wall. I don't recall the start of it anymore (probably something like "cash is temporary), but the punchline was "but a mortgage is forever." Bankers all know where they collect their fees. Sounding like they are giving good advice is even more important to fleecing the sheep.

Tom 13

Re: aren't realizing the full purchasing power of your money.

I'm not scared of them. Still use them for some things while I'm paying off the rest.

But I'm not shaking down people who can't afford the bill by asking for more than what I'm paying for on my credit cards. You may not visibly see the cost, but the cost is still there. This is what turns me off most about liberals and progressives: they lord their "moral superiority of caring about others" over conservatives while screwing them over and claiming they aren't. Pay your own bills including the costs for all those people moving the bits around that represent your money.

Tom 13


It's not just the protection for items not shipped. It's also the protection for compromised account numbers. If they get to your bank account, your cash is gone. If they get your credit card they can trash it and your score, but you can get those cleaned up. It's a PITA, but you can clean it up. And while you are cleaning it up, you still have accounts from which you can function.

Tom 13

Re: aren't realizing the full purchasing power of your money.

That's a load of crap and you know it. There's no such thing as a free lunch, so you're paying for those points somewhere. Maybe you're benefiting from cost shifting to the poor who get stuck with 47% rates. More likely you're paying for it in the form of higher prices on the goods you purchase.

There's only one good reason to use a credit card for an internet purchase: fraud protection. Everything else is a rationalization about to justify overspending.

Full disclosure: I've done more rationalizing than most about this in my younger days. I'm spent the last three years trying to clean up the mess I made and am likely to spend the next three years before I'm finished. And I spent the ten years before that pretending I was trying to clean up the mess.

Tom 13


With financial thinking so deep, it's obvious you will never be wealthy. Neither will anybody who takes your advice.

Dell warns stockholders that Icahn's plan would 'hamstring' company

Tom 13

Re: the company is sure to go the HP way

Actually, I'd expect it to be more of a Kodak moment.

Oracle releases July patch batch... with 27 fixes for remote exploits

Tom 13

Re: Snoracle

I work in a Windows shop at the Service Desk so I don't have to deal with them about Sun. But I have a friend who works in a Big Data shop that use to run on Sun. Note the past tense. From what he tells me, you should probably be happy they haven't returned your calls. It means you won't burst any blood vessels when they you how much you'll have to pay them for the support contract. All new equipment they buy will be Linux and they are converting from Sun as rapidly as they can given their government environment.

Microsoft 'funds' new Oz CO2 trading scheme

Tom 13

Re: expected revenue from tax levied at has already been accounted for

So we "deniers" have been right all along. This has nothing to do with controlling CO2 output (even if assuming AWG is true) and everything to do with raising taxes.

Worldwide smartwatch shipments predicted to top 5 million next year

Tom 13

Re: Smart watch? What on earth for?

While I concur 100% on the sentiment, Apple have made a ton of cash on crap I wouldn't buy.

Never bet against stupid. There were a bunch of people who made obscene amounts of money selling pet rocks back in the 80s. Not a viable market these days.

Tom 13


You can doubt that all you want to. I haven't warn a watch since my employer started routinely providing me with a cell phone more than 12 years ago. A while back we did a spot check on gaming night - only 1 watch amongst the 4 men in the room and 1 for the woman.

Dear Linus, STOP SHOUTING and play nice - says Linux kernel dev

Tom 13

Re: she is in fact being paid by Intel.

If this is accurate, then I understand even more why Torvalds blew a gasket. We expect to get occasional crap from volunteers, but not paid professionals.

Tom 13

Re: check in crap that clearly has not been tested

More to the point, in the grand scheme of things I expect that someone will occasionally check in the wrong segment of code. (Oops, I sent the code dated 6/30 instead of 7/30.) At which point the manager of the code base should be the one noticing and taking the corrective action with the coder. In this instance not only did the coder check in untested code, the manager (whose job it is to check for that so Torvalds doesn't have to) just forwarded the untested code for inclusion as part of the final build.

Disasters are rarely the result of single mistake and almost always the result of a chain of mistakes.

Tom 13

Re: I'm torn

Thank-you for considering my point above.

Your analysis of Torvalds is similar to what I hear in other forums where I explain organizational problems.

I'd like you to consider the following:

1) Is Torvalds really trying to get rid of the coder who made the bad commit?

2) Or is he more pissed off about the manager who didn't run a cursory check to make sure the commit was good?

3) Or is Torvalds telling the manager who screwed up that he's getting on his last nerve?

If it's #1, yes Torvalds is probably following a bad strategy.

If it's #3, we've got a 50/50 split and would need more information about past interactions.

If it's number 2, he's probably using the only option available to him.

Taking the kind of abuse Torvalds is dishing is tough, but I've been through worse in a volunteer structure. Torvalds is only going for the coarse language and an industrial grade humiliation. In my case both of those were combined with charges of embezzlement (funneling money to friends in a profit sense from a non-profit org) and wound up having the group meet several times with a lawyer because they were sent via email to the entire support organization. After the dust settled I'm still reasonably good friends with the guy who made the charges (he agreed the person was providing non-group purpose professional services at a huge discount to the group and was uniquely qualified to do so). Oh, and on a later occasion I had to take a similar tongue lashing from the vendor described in this exchange because I had to wake him at 7 in the morning on a nite when he'd gotten to bed around 3 with a simple question to which I didn't know the answer. (I do helpdesk, not databases).

Tom 13

Re: He's right but ...

Perhaps there are people out there who can. But obviously neither Linus nor you are one of them.

The IT crowd: Fiercely loyal geeks or 'inflexible, budget-padding' creeps?

Tom 13

Re: Non-traditional management structures

There are a couple of special cases in which they do work. The problem is that even in those special cases there is a management structure, just not the ones we traditionally recognize. Where they can work is on smallish teams where the lead shifts rapidly to whoever is the expert in the specific subject matter being discussed. It does require that the rest of the team recognizes the current lead as the expert in the specific subject matter. They are frequently the only way to realize solutions to previously unsolved problems. They are also very, very rare. And any attempts to duplicate their success in structures which don't meet those requirements are doomed to spectacular failure.

Tom 13

Re: As I see it


IT people, even the service desk grunts like me, got into IT work because we like solving problems but don't necessarily like or are good at interfacing with other people. So if your IT department isn't solving problems for you, it ain't the techs. It's either upper management or the bean counters.

Tom 13

Re: employer has hired a new employee

One question for you:

Did you FUCKING notify the Service Desk you were hiring a new employee before reaming them out on the phone? And no I don't mean the email you sent 5 FUCKING minutes before you called to ream them out for not having the PC ready.

Because if I had a nickel for every time some jackass from management bitched about not having a PC ready for a new employee because nobody FUCKING bothered to tell us, or worse, listen to us when we told them we were all out of hardware and someone was going to have to open their FUCKING wallet to buy some, I'd be happily retired at the beach right now.

Yes, this is a pet peeve guaranteed to set me off. I once had less than 2 hours to setup a new pc from spare parts in the closet for an incoming VP. Like nobody knew they were looking for a new VP. Some guy just walked in off the street and they hired him for it. No FUCKING way.

Tom 13

Re: entire company could VPN in, from the beach

in fact, with the exception of the occasional hardware upgrade, most of the IT department would probably prefer to be on one of those beaches using a vpn to do most of their work. OK, doesn't work out so well for service desk grunts like me, but 60-70% of the systems admin stuff can be done remotely.

Tom 13

Re: complaining about IT managers,

I wouldn't even say IT managers, much as the rest of your statement is true.

He's talking about Security Managers who have somehow gotten lumped into IT. Probably because instead of focusing on where the real security problems are (users doing risky things) they try to buy an IT device to force the users to do what they don't want to pay to train them to do.

Elon Musk to release open source Hyperloop plans in August

Tom 13

Re: if the Republicans would just let us build it.

You're welcome to build it any time you want to. I just object to you doing it with my tax money.

The path seems fairly straight forward to me. Form a 501(c)4 corp and list your objective as building the train as a social service. All donations then become tax deductible. I think you'll find it will be the eco-nazies on the left who actually stand in your way.

Tom 13

Re: is a maglev train running in vacuum tubes

Given the inclusion of an air hockey table in his description, I find that very doubtful. Given that, I expect he's thinking something along the lines of floating the vehicle on air like the puck floats on the air hockey table. Where the rest of it comes in I don't know. How you float a multi-ton object on air is even more of a mystery.

Virtual currency speculators shut down cloud

Tom 13

Re: Logically

Unless there are law explicitly banning the use of virtual coins, I don't see why they wouldn't allow it. Outside of criminal law prosecutions, it shouldn't be their concern what you use their equipment for. Maybe if they got into some sort of optimization for particular work there would be a business case for it, but even then the business case should be focused on the pricing strategy not prohibiting non-criminal use of their systems.

I grant that as a private company they have the right to do either. But if they follow your model they deserve to be laughed at.

Tom 13

Re: more of a stamp collecting & trading club.

Not even that. Stamp collecting is relatively popular so I suspect you could trade them more readily. And they are certainly easier to convert into a more recognized currency. I think you're looking for something on the order of depression glass collecting or maybe pachinko machines.

Femtocell flaw leaves Verizon subscribers' Wi-Fi and mobile wide open

Tom 13

Dear Mr. Ritter

This exploit might not be the way the NSA engages in broad data collection. It might be more prevalent amongst normal people trying to slurp data from other normal people. But I assure you, that IF you were a high value target, the NSA would have no qualms about using this attack vector to gather your data. It might even be preferred to the more exotic techniques available to them for precisely the reason that it doesn't immediately point a finger at them.

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