* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

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

Tom 13

Re: Nice guys come second

There are two problems in volunteer organizations.

The first is that you can't go out and hire somebody to do the tough jobs or work on the crap ones that still need to be done. This is the problem everybody is aware of and on which most of us focus. It's the fuel behind the sweet talk argument.

The second is that you can't fire the incompetent people. These are the ones you have to drive away from the organization by whatever means necessary. This problem is generally ignored because of the first problem and exacerbated by certain people who think they can find a job for anybody.

It just might be that Torvalds has been bitten by this second problem in the past. His technique is tuned to this problem.

Tom 13

Torvalds has a point.

Acting professional is something quite different from being professional. What seems to set him off is amateurs NOT being professional and then demanding to be treated professionally.

I once tried to walk this line in a volunteer organization. I thought we needed to treat our supporting members (aka customers in standard business speak) professionally. Others in our organization argued that professionalism would degrade into the sorts of corporatist behavior none of us like in big organizations. Without yielding on the point that we needed to treat our supporting members with respect, I must admit that while we were able to maintain the balance I expected for a short time, in the end those who argued against me were correct about the direction the group eventually went.

Icahn offers to sweeten his Dell deal with warrants

Tom 13

Re: And how will it be different if Michael takes the company private?

If Michael wins and takes the company private it possible about half the people would lose their jobs during renovations. It's possible that new positions on in the range of 50% to 150% would be gained after renovations are finished. Bought out stockholders will have cold hard cash.

If Krazy Karl wins and keeps it public, initially about half the people would lose their jobs during renovations. Meanwhile the company will be taking on debt, pumping up the price and Karl will cash out, making a tidy profit. Then the bills will come due, the company will be unable to pay and declare bankruptcy. At which point the remaining employees will be out of a job. Still invested retirees will see their life savings go up in a puff of smoke.

Yes, Michael will inflict some pain. But there is a chance it pays off. Karl will only inflict pain, and on a far larger number of people.

ARTICLES without comment boxes - Climate, CO2, Anything authored by L. Page...

Tom 13

I'd caution against assuming they've accurately teased out all the possible alternatives

for essentially the same reasons I am highly doubtful about AWG: modeling anything that complicated is prone to more errors than a blind man would make when hanging patterned wall paper.

Samsung takes mobile net traffic crown from Apple

Tom 13

Re: people found a new browser they liked


I've found your typical user doesn't have a strong opinion about what browser they are using. In fact, most of them can't name the browser when asked. They say "I opened Google" or "I opened MSM" or something like that. Sometimes I've even had trouble identifying which browser they are using when I ask if the started by clicking on the Blue 'E' or the orangish circle.

It's mostly us tech types who start flame wars over which browser is best.

Microsoft waves goodbye to Small Business Server

Tom 13

Re: when is Microsoft going to stop

I expect about 6 months after they file Chapter 7 bankruptcy and not before.

And at the moment my 5 year horizon doesn't show them going bankrupt.

Tom 13

Re: if you really care about your clients

If you really care about your clients you'll sit down with them and explain the current situation. Yes the switch to a non-MS product will probably be difficult for them and maybe you. But if MS wants to treat them through you like red-headed step children it is probably better for both of you to deal with that issue up front. Because support for you and your client isn't going to get any better if they opt to follow the MS cloudy route.

And you'll be the one the customer berates because MS isn't supporting you the vendor in the manner required.

Tom 13

Re: No surprise that MS want to force everything possible

Agreed. From the bean counter perspective it makes sense. From the customer standpoint it doesn't and for the same reason the bean counters want to change the model.

The thing is, somewhere in the company there's supposed to be someone with the sense to say "We can make X dollars at this lower price or between zero and .5X with a higher priced offering, because people won't buy the higher priced product."

Faced with the current MS roadmap, if I were actively supporting SMEs, I wouldn't be stocking up on disappearing copies of a product MS can kill the support on, I'd be beavering away on alternative solutions.

Tom 13

@AC 11 Jul 2013 10:45

Blanket statements are usually wrong.

Cloudy services are probably not a good solution form most companies. But there are some for which it is the ONLY thing that makes sense. For several years I helped a company that had a permanent staff of about 50 people who worked from home, a busy month in which temp staff ballooned to about 300, a customer base of 25,000 to 30,000 people and annual that grew from $1 million to $2 million dollars. Their most important business function took place in the cloud, except we didn't call it the cloud then just an outsourced IT function. The company had an official mail drop for legal correspondence and a different one for business correspondence. Once every other month they'd rent meeting rooms in a hotel to conduct business that required face to face meetings, but otherwise it was conducted by email, phone, and bulletin boards.

Yes, it was a volunteer non-profit, but it was still a business and most certainly an "anyone."

Microsoft splurges on single sign ons with Active Directory update

Tom 13

Re: never heard of AD failing for any reason other than user incompetence

Oh, I've been there when AD failed big time and it wasn't user incompetence.

Only management can screw up this big:

They wouldn't let the admins point to a proper public time server so it was left on its defaults. And the defaults defaulted to the ancient Cisco core switch that they wouldn't pay to upgrade. And for whatever reason the core switch reset itself to the default date in its BIOS. At which point the AD servers reset. And then started tombstoning all the active sessions on the network because the date differential was too big.

But your general point stands: it failed because the wetware responsible for designing and maintaining it failed to follow best practices. And yes there were several MSCEs with years of experience somewhere in the mix. Of course the person screaming the loudest about the bad configurations and equipment practices didn't so he was soundly ignored.

Apple surrenders in 'app store' trademark suit against Amazon

Tom 13

Re: contempt-of-court type sanction where the judge can just fine

Just remember, the judges also make money when the litigants bring these cases.

Tom 13

Re: Apple, knobs.

Generally concur, but having once been involved in a Trademark dispute and being aware of several others, I'll give them a pass on this one. The lawyers told them they had to, so they did. Few people in a board room have the gonads/are foolish enough (choose your preferred option) to challenge a lawyer on these pronouncements. Now the courts have rightly said, no.

Barnes & Noble chief walks as Nook ereader stumbles

Tom 13

Re: This raises a few questions for people still fond of dead trees.

No, it emphasizes them. If you didn't start asking them several years ago you are late to the party. Maybe this is the horse and buggy shops going out of business now that the horseless carriages are here. Maybe it's Amazon becoming the Standard Oil of present day. The difference is important.

I'd also note there was a time when Borders was the #1 bookstore company in America if for no other reason than they were the first with the big block, browse, and lounge format. It was the first time I saw a copy of Black's Commentaries on the Law for sale in a retail outlet.

Universities teach us a thing or two about BYOD

Tom 13

Re: Cost perhaps?

Can only speak to the US, but over here schools including universities and 501(c)3s get MS software at what is essentially cost plus what a grocer would regard as a normal markup instead of the typical IP monopoly rate businesses are charged. I imagine it would be similar elsewhere.

Asperger's and IT

Tom 13

@Red Bren

I've had the predictive text correction algorithm uploaded to my organic interface so I read it as COAT anyway until I saw your correction. So it's all good as far as I'm concerned.

OFFICIAL: Humans will only tolerate robots as helpful SLAVES

Tom 13

Please tell me this was at least privately funded.

It's bad enough I now have to bear the stigma that someone from my alma matre thinks this was worthy of being called "research".

Texas teen jailed for four months over sarcastic Facebook comment

Tom 13

Re: putting you in

No, that would only make the problem worse. You need to send him to re-eduction camp for an attitude adjustment.

Tom 13

Re: the judge

The judge is the moron who set the enormously high bail.

Tom 13

Re: penalty for a second offense

Dammit, I can't keep up with the memos!

I thought second offense was the drone attack that kills the rest of your family as inadvertent collateral damage.

Tom 13

Re: Even if that is true

Except it's not true. In Texas there's probably an option to try a teen as an adult depending on the severity of the crime. But even that determination requires a court hearing and more importantly, an actual crime.

Tom 13
Thumb Up

Re: Texas ADULT who posted threats about killing school children can't make bail

In the US you aren't an adult until you are 21.

They didn't say "kid" which is the usual phraseology when trying to pull at the heart strings, e.g. The Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case.

So all in all I'd say the Vultures were using precisionist grade terminology here.

And the Tumbs up is for them, not you.

Tom 13

Re: a blatant fool, armed with a gun an a sheriff's badge

This took more than one blatant fool. So let's go ahead and count them:

1. The Canadian woman who called it in as a real threat.

2. The deputies who showed up to investigate.

3. The sheriff who decided to take it to the DA instead of cutting the kid lose after the scare of running him into the police station in handcuffs.

4. The DA who decided to prosecute instead of cutting the kid lose.

5. The judge who set bail so high only Bill Gates or George Soros could afford a bond company to pay it.

6. All the idiots who elected idiots the idiots in items 2 to 4 who are elected officials or the idiots who appointed the non-elected officials in items 2 to 4.

We'll leave out the idiots on this thread who think the fools in items 1 to 6 are doing a good job.

Tom 13

Re: When are the adults going to intervene

When the hoplophobe stop electing morons to appoint even bigger morons as judges.

Given the postings I've seen on the pages of El Reg, it's gonna be a while.

I'd also note this San Antonio which isn't far from Austin. It's where libs congregate in Texas.

Tom 13

Re: be afraid

Did you note the bit where the idiot who made the initial complaint was a Canadian?

Yeah, so much for that common sense I read about so often on these pages.

Tom 13

Re: if the police had done nothing and he had of done something

Yo, brainless! Of course the police are supposed to do something. They're supposed to log the call, go to the parents house, asses the situation, and apply some common sense. With contextual evidence that the kid wasn't serious they give him a good stern warning about not doing it again and go back to the station to log the report. Throwing him in jail with a $500,000 bond on the basis of nothing more than a single FB post is beyond the pale.

Oh and all those victim suits would get tossed as soon as the were filed. The police departments have no legal responsibility to protect you from harm.

Tom 13

Re: Another for the WTF file

Oh, this article is leaving out the juicy bits. The kid has to be confined to solitary for his own protection. When they pull him out and put him back in the general population he gets beaten to a pulp. And bail has been set at a number even the bail bonds companies can't afford.

Snowden: US and Israel did create Stuxnet attack code

Tom 13


So, if it is all stuff that been running around in the conspiracy mill, how do you know what he's saying is real and not stuff he made up to garner attention?

I mean, do you REALLY think The Queen is sending "selfies" to the pool boy? I'm not questioning that we'd scoop them up in a New York second if she were, I'm asking if you really think she'd do that. She's not my queen and I don't think she would.

Tom 13

Re: "the Queen's selfies to the pool boy"

Yeah I noticed that too. I'd like to think it's the sort of remark that would set off alarms in a normal Brit's thinking. But apparently most of them are too caught up in hating on the US at the moment to see the bright flashing lights or hear the blaring sirens warning them something isn't right.

Tom 13


I've heard a similar tale in a different context. His claim was the reason the allies didn't "find" chemical weapons in Iraq is that the weapons Sadam was using were sent by the US military. So they couldn't publicly recover the crates as they'd have US serial codes.

These are the kinds of conspiracy theories you need to walk away from. Too many ghosts, shadows, and false fronts for somebody unconnected to sort out with logic alone.

Tom 13

Re: he seems to know a lot about a great many issues

Yeah, and that's when you should start doing a serious reality check.

By his own admission he was only at the NSA for 30 days. Do you seriously think anyone could get these kinds of details on such a wide variety of data in only 30 days?

Intelligence data is compartmentalized. My roomie has a clearance and works as a civilian for the military. Not the really secret black ops stuff, just the stuff you wouldn't want the enemy to know about how you make equipment. Pain points for him are bad enough. Very rarely he deals with highly classified systems. If you get high enough into them, you get a phone number you can call. If some one answers "Hello" and gives the correct countersign you ask your question. You don't ask who answered. You don't wait for a response to your question. You just ask. More likely you'll get a recording device and you leave a message. Maybe they'll get back to you before the deadline for whatever you are working on expires. Do you really think the hard core black ops stuff we expect the NSA to perform in defense of our country is LESS compartmentalized than the process for building armarments?

Dell & Friends get the green light on take-private deal

Tom 13

Re: The days of expecting investors to invest beyond the short term are gone

I'm not sure the long term investors are gone gone. I suspect they are still there. They certainly are swamped by the trading algorithms of the short term feeders. I also suspect that to the extent they are in the markets, they are more likely invested in companies like IBM than Dell.

So I arrive at basically the same conclusion as you and others about the prospects for Dell the company: highest probability of its future existence is with Dell the man. Whether this is the most profitable route for current shareholders is a different question, but at best the odds of getting more money with Karl are 50/50 and only on the initial buyout. If you miss the initial buyout the risk of getting a hell of a lot less than Dell the man is offering are 80/20. If you're a current shareholder the question then becomes: Are you better connected than Ichan?

Big Mike's big package oughta be enough for Dell investors - report

Tom 13

Re: What's to say Mike isn't planning the same thing?


But if they take Big Mike's deal, at the end they are holding cold hard cash.

If they take Slippery Carl's deal they'll be holding Dell shares that will be worth whatever the market prices them at when they sell them.

Samsung isn't alone: HTC profits take a huge dive

Tom 13

Re: EVO 4G was a breakout phone at the time

Have to agree about both the quality of the hardware and the piss poor Sprint support.

The EVO 4G was the first cell phone I ever bought for myself. The hardware and interface were great. It had the first logical and responsive touchpad I've ever used. BB and iPhone - on at least one character in the password the phone picks a character to the left, right, or above the character I think I'm pressing. I actually got it to play FB games at the time and was disappointed with the FB app. But since I didn't fully do my research I didn't hold it against the phone. What I was counting on was it having sufficient signal so I could use the phone as a hot spot for my laptop on my daily train commute. That's where it all fell apart. IF I could get a signal it was 3G at best, never 4G. And I live in the metropolitan DC area which is theoretically flooded with 4G towers. I broke the contract before the term ended and the problems were all on the Sprint end, not with HTC.

I've subsequently replaced it with a pay as you go, cheap ass clam shell non-smart phone.

Patriot hacker 'The Jester' attacks nations offering Snowden help

Tom 13

Re: US Constitution has trumped laws in every judicial decision

Guess you weren't paying attention to the DOMA decision. They ruled that the Feds had to adapt to varied standards based on state laws, which was a direct contradiction of the supremacy clause.

Battery-boosting breakthrough grows on trees – literally

Tom 13

Re: Where is it?

Not to worry sir!

It's in the queue right behind your flying car that folds up into a briefcase you can carry into your work office.

Tom 13

Re: Another hard hittting article from...

So it is. So it is.

I rarely check the names on the buyline, just the titles. Although I do usually know when I headed into Lewis Page territory for some reason. Maybe because he's upfront about his bias.

Tom 13


It's only funny if you've got wood for sheep.

H/T: http://www.catan.com/

Tom 13

Re: are more out of frustration

No, it's deeper than that. I suspect most of the posters haven't quite crystalized the nagging suspicion into a thought. In fact, this one only came to me today as I was reading through the posts:

The so called "boffins" who peddle this sort of story to the press are like the IT sales guy we technicians have come to loathe. They oversell their possible breakthroughs and under-deliver on actual product. They subconsciously recognized the pattern even if they haven't expressed it. And at route the cause is the same. The sales guy is looking to pad his take home pay. The boffin is looking to fund his next round of research which also writes the checks for his take home pay. Now, there are probably lots of boffins out there who aren't doing that, but we don't hear about them because they are engaged in actual boffinry.

Tom 13

Re: Being slightly less cynical for a moment.

I didn't read that as cynical, I read it as a criticism of the author being lazy and not including a reference for comparison.

Cynicism comes with age. Mostly because when you get to be an old fart like me, you've heard at least one of these "breakthrough" stories each month over the last 30 years and none of them have come to fruition.

Tom 13

Re: When there is a clear profit to be made

There has always been a clear and substantial profit to be made in improving battery manufacturing.

Way back in the dark ages of computing (circa TRS Model 80-III) my high school chemistry teacher had just arrived from a gig in the industry. Between the weight, toxicity, and relatively poor performance of any battery, any company that could make a major breakthrough was going to make about half as much as Bill Gates (which given they actually manufacture stuff means they'd be shifting twice as much gear as he did). So they've always had really good people working on really intractable problems.

Cosmic blast mystery solved in neutron star's intense death throes

Tom 13

Re: some friendly advice

Crap advice.

Like Highlander, there is only one trilogy and you watch them in released order.

Episode III was as much crap as Episode I. There is no building pathos that causes Skywalker to become Vader. It happens only because the plot requires it. Lucas simply isn't the person to write the kind of script that episode III required. He does okay and sometimes well with heroic stories, but episode III is a Miltonesque fall story. The only movie in the second released arch that was marginally passable was II. Even it would probably have been done better as a made for TV single episode event. If you think about the overall story arch episode II needs to do a LOT of groundwork for episode III, and that will detract from the heroism of it as an episode. If you like, episode II needs to be the Gawain vs Lancelot episode of the movie (drawing on the Excalibur interpretation of the Arthurian legend).

Tom 13

Re: You had to *Google it* ?!

In fairness, I'd search it too before posting the quote. Not because I don't know where it's from, but because memory sometimes plays tricks on us. And I wouldn't want to be doing a "Play it again Sam"* on a well known Star Wars quote.

*Correct quote is probably:

"You played it for her, you can play it for me," and "If she can stand it, I can! Play it!"

although it might be:

"Play it once, Sam, for old times' sake." After he feigns ignorance, she responds, "Play it, Sam. Play 'As Time Goes By'."

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casablanca_%28film%29#Quotations

US: We spied on you Europeans but we can still be chums. Right?

Tom 13

Re: the last thing they want.

Right, that's why their signs are written in Arabic AND English. Because they don't want the Americans to know and will keep out.

Tom 13

Re: In the end NOTHING will change...

We KNOW its out job to police the globe because every stinking time you guys get upset, you come wailing to Daddy about it. Personally I'd like to let the lot of you stew in your own juices since you never want to do the smallest thing to prevent it before it reaches catastrophic levels, but we're stuck in the stew too.

Tom 13

Re: all these countries spy on one and other.

except of course for the ones who can't because they don't have the means to do so.

To the extent the trade negotiations discuss spying, it will be kabuki theater to reassure everyone. They can't actually dig too deep, because they can't publicly disclose that for the first time in his life, what The Big 0 has been saying publicly is true: everybody spies on each other, even if the public proclamation is that gentleman don't read each others mail.

Hitch climate tax to the actual climate, says top economist

Tom 13

Re: Sceptics who do not believe in global warming will not expect the tax to go up

Not at all. Recognizing it as a statist plot to extract even more tax money from a beleaguered taxpayers, I would expect the data to be hockey stick massaged to achieve the religiously required results.

Tom 13

@Charlie Clark

You were doing so well. And then you blew all that hard work in the very last sentence.

Tom 13

Re: I'm confused.

I'm not.

The green case rests on the claim that by mining (including oil and gas well) carbon from out of the mantle we increase the carbon content in the troposphere which drives AWG. While you get secondary effects from cutting down too many trees it's the fossil fuels that drive it. So if you want to re-balance the carbon content you have to bury it back in the ground. Hence some of the proposals we've seen to inject the CO2 into the mantle in a sort of reverse, non-fracking drilling process (mind you, we still don't have the supply of unicorn farts to power this drilling operation, but I'll leave that aside for the moment and assume we do).

On the secondary front, trees may absorb carbon on net over lengthy periods of time, but they also produce CO2 as part of the respiration process. There seems to be a bit of debate about whether young or old trees capture more carbon for AGW braking processes. In any event it may be more of a wash than is generally admitted during the growing cycle. There is however no debate that once said tree is dead, it decays and pumps any temporarily captured carbon back into the troposphere.

Tom 13


If you are ever so foolish as to run for office, let us know. If I can, I will vote for you. If I can't and it's legal for me to do so, I will send you a donation.

Tom 13

Re: You can't tax people higher in the UK

Sure you can.

Whether it would affect AWG is another question.

After that, whether it would be wise is yet another one.

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