* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Hitch climate tax to the actual climate, says top economist

Tom 13

Re: Not right, but less wrong

The warmist camp isn't eating its own dog food now. I doubt they'd be greatly concerned about the change because they'd make sure the law had sufficient loopholes so they could continue to live in their houses that consume more fossil fuels than 20 normal families, drive their oversized even for an SUV vehicles that consume more gas than the 73 Plymouth Fury sedan I learned to drive in, and fly their private jets to wherever the latest AWG confab is even when it is right next to a commercial airport. Meanwhile they'll expect us rubes to drive electric cars charged by windmills and solar panels they've required us to install on our domiciles.

Tom 13

Re: I don't even have to make claims

Actually you do.

The fundamental assumption he is making is that the markets act as a truly massive aggregate: millions of people instead of hundreds or possibly even only dozens of scientists. The smaller sample size for scientists means that unless they are pre-disposed and empirically less biased than the three orders of magnitude larger sample size, the larger sample is more likely to eliminate random bias. Either system is equally subject to systemic bias, which is both rather more hard to spot and rather harder to eliminate even though it is the holy grail of scientific experiments.

Where he might have a weak spot in his argument is in assuming the market actually has larger numbers of people independently evaluating the risks. With the advent of mutual funds and various expert lead retirement plans, I've begun to question this assumption. It was true when individuals were directly buying stocks, or at most belonged to an investors club where each member did research and presented his conclusions to the rest of the group before the group decided how to invest their money. Today too much has change to simply accept that belief.

US Navy coughs $34.5m for hyper-kill railgun that DOESN'T self-destruct

Tom 13

Re: so yeah, they'll probably do it...

Well, given the right mess you lot have left for us to clean up, it helps to ignore it when the job has to be done.

And yeah, when you're at the wrong end of the gravity well and we aren't it won't matter all that much.

Tom 13

@Thomas Whipp

Also, I believe most of the paints etc. they use to protect the hull from the corrosive effects of the sea also have the effect of being insulators instead of conductors. Not enough to matter for typical running conditions, but when you are trying to dump massive amounts of heat not the sort of thing you want between you and the big dump.

Tom 13

Re: Cooling

You forget our Navy, except in time of actual combat, is now run by Greenpeace.

They can't even engage in live fire training if there's a chance a dolphin or seal will die. And don't even ask about what the civy test teams are going to have to do with sequestration now in effect. They're only allowed to work four 8 hour shifts per week even if they're the only guy available to run the data station during that 12 hour period.

Tom 13

Re: If you engage from over the horizon,

If you have that kind of over the horizon capability, nobody believes you when terrorist blow up their own people and blame it on you.

Tom 13

Re: how do you defend against 370km/h torpedo

That's what the water-cooled railguns below the waterline are for.

Now where are my sharks with their frickin laser beams?

Win 8 man Sinofsky's 'retirement' deal: $14m shares, oath of silence

Tom 13

Re: Windows 8 first struck me as being reminiscent of Vista...

I tend to think of it as 98ME with an AOL 3.0 interface.

Tom 13

Re: the new orange on this hammer is so yucky, what a horror.

Of course not.

There are few barriers to entry in the hammer market, so the ones with proper wooden or black handles are always plentiful and the fools who make yucky orange handled hammers quickly go out of business without anyone ever much noticing they were in it in the first place.

The same is not true of the desktop market.

Tom 13

@Len Goddard

I know with whom I would agree. </pedant>

Me too.

Tom 13

Re: Changed direction?

Of course they did. Why it's a whole new PR team with a cool new jingle!

Tom 13

Re: there's no one with clue left on the bridge.

In this instance it might be fair to ask if there was ever anyone on the bridge with a clue.

MS has always seemed to me to be more like Forest Gump and the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company.

Olympus trio escape jail but firm fined £4.6 MEEELION

Tom 13

Re: not sure that carries the weight it used to in Japanese society.

To the point that they would be expected to commit seppuku, no. But it still carries weight and I expect they will largely be shunned in society. At least as of 4 years ago when I was actively involved with a volunteer group that brings in Japanese guests each year.

Boston U claims LED patent, files against tech giants

Tom 13

Re: But why the hell would Boston U want to do it?

Well, if the threads here are to be believed, because it's legal for the Chinese to manufacture the product, so they can't sue the original source of the infringement. They can however sue to prevent those manufacturers to be able to import the offending part. And that means suing the listed defendants because they are in fact acting as the importers.

Tom 13

Re: you won't be able to see in the evening,

I realize you missed the sarcasm, but that was sort of his point.

BTW: You might not be able to see at night, but I will. Stocked up on the old reliable stuff before it all got bought out. And you laughed about my underground bunker.

Tom 13

Oh, and that knowledge comes from an odd patent situation with an OEM supplier I once worked for. They had a patent for something in the US. Somebody in France saw the idea, made a trivial change and patent it in France. Our company tried to overturn the French patent but lost. So when we sold our stuff in France, we had to pay the patent fee even though the idea originated with us, but there was no fee for us outside of France. This was all pre-EU, so I am going back quite a bit.

Tom 13

Re: They buy them. From people like Philips, Cree etc.


If they did, that's the sort of thing that would be resolved by sending documentation that their parts are being purchased from a manufacturer who pays the royalty. (Not much point in Cree et al. paying for the patent rights if they can't sell an unencumbered product.)

More likely the Chinese vendor supplying the parts to another Chinese vendor aren't paying the patent fees. Because since it's a US patent, they aren't subject to them and it's all legal inside China. But once it enters the US, it is a whole different story. At that point, the outfit receiving the imports becomes liable.

Tom 13

Re: would there be any infraction?

Yes. If I happen to live near the border of say Canada and I go to Canada and buy stolen goods from a guy who crosses the border into the US to steal them, I'm still liable for receiving stolen goods if the US guy finds them in my domicile.

Now the penalty for the infraction might vary depending on how involved the target company was in the infraction. If they just specified LEDs and there is a non-infiringing LED which was available that might be a lower penalty than specifying the LEDs in such a way that only non-infringing LEDs would meet the requirements. Also, part of the usual process for filing these complaints is for the lawyer of the plaintiff to send an official letter to the defendant before filing charges. If the offense was inadvertent it allows both parties to work out a good faith agreement to pay the license fees without getting the courts involved.

Personally, since LEDs have been around since the Dark Ages when I was in high school, I think this one stinks, but it looks like it comports with current law. Of course I may be missing some detail in the patent which makes it new and relevant.

Microsoft offloads heap of critical fixes in 'ugly' Patch Tuesday

Tom 13

@TS330: I'll concur with this statement:

I'd much rather MS patch things pronto than deny their existence like some other software vendors.

The problem of course is that until fairly recently MS engaged in precisely that sort of behavior. In fact since they have both private and public lists of known vulnerabilities you can't actually claim they aren't deny[ing] their existence like some other software vendors.

And no, the Linux kernel is historically more secure than Microsoft's OS. Yes, it is comparing apples and team buses, but that's not the kernel's problem.

Tom 13

Re: the usual snarky tone that there is something amiss.

There is something amiss and it deserves the usual snarky tone.

MS engineered their software for ease of use at the expense of security. Despite many remakes and PR efforts that remains at the heart of their exploit issues. The *nix kernels are even bigger targets because in the server world they run most of it on the Really Good Stuf (TM). And in theory* because the code is out there you ought to be able to hack it more easily. But the number of critical flaws in the *nix kernel are lower precisely because unlike MS, their kernel is ONLY a kernel, not a mishmash of everything from the kernel through the applications.

*In practice the many eyeballs seems to negate theory, but the meme persists.

Patriot hacker 'The Jester' attacks nations offering Snowden help

Tom 13

Re: All he does is DoS the most vulnerable of targets

In other words, he's just like the vast majority of the rest of the miscreants out there.

Tom 13

Re: those who are "known to the authorities"

Part of what Snowden's release is alleged to tell us is that the NSA keeps the raw internet traffic as well. Which means it ought to searchable for the traffic that generates the attacks. And since the attack was against a legitimate commercial website, the government of Ecuador should be able to request US assistance in locating the perpetrators of those attacks. At which point the US authorities ought to be able to generate a search warrant to find the data. Continue as necessary until the perp is located in meat space as well as cyberspace.

Of course this all assumes Snowden was telling the truth about how the data is collected, stored, and accessed as well as how much data is collected. If any of that is wrong, all bets are off.

Tom 13

Re: will get a much lighter sentence than Snowden

1) Has he stolen and revealed state secrets from the state in which he was a citizen?

2) Has he subsequently fled to competitor nations to seek asylum?

If the answer to both of the questions is 'No' then they are different crimes with different guidelines and should be tried in accordance with those guidelines. So long as the courts adhere to the guidelines the sentences are fair, regardless of the total time served.

That being said, yes this character should be caught and jailed. Just like Snowden and Bradley and Assange.

INVASION of the UNDEAD ANDROIDS: Hackers can pwn 'nearly all' devices

Tom 13

Re: "In Windows 8 you don't have a thing that prevents you installing from "Unknown sources".

Ah yes, the UAC meme. MS has never been able to resolve a problem that has existed since at least DOS 3.1 (the first one I used):

c:> delete *.*

c:> Are you youre? (y/n)

c:> Y


French snooping as deep as PRISM: Le Monde

Tom 13

Re: public in question is busy twittering

Bread and circuses my man, bread and circuses.

Of course, we know we're more civilized than the Romans were be cause we don't kill anyone at the circuses. </sarc>

Tom 13

Re: rounding up supporters of the former government

The way I read it, they were rounding up the leaders of a government that for good and sufficient reason had lost the support of the people.*

But rant on anyway.

*Is this a dangerous path? Certainly. Does this increase the odds of Egypt devolving into some sort of military dicatorship? Again, certainly. But I'm doubtful the other path was any less dangerous.

Decade to 2010 was hottest, wettest: WMO

Tom 13

Re: Macro versus micro.

Yep. You need at least 20 years, quite probably more or could just be a statistical fluke. Even 19 is just a trifle to be ignored.

Tom 13

Re: Perhaps a better question. How does this compare with the *models* of behavior

You do know that well before Copernicus and Kepler they had very complex and reasonably accurate models that predicted where the planets would be don't you? Models are significantly less than worthless if you don't have good science behind them.

Granted if the model doesn't at least predict the science behind it is wrong which is your major point, but just because the model is predictive doesn't mean the philosophy behind it is correct. Moreover, I think Galileo et al prove the extent to which some with a vested interest in certain philosophical ideas are will to go to preserve their belief systems.

Tom 13

Re: Go and look at some science history

Don't need to. I learned the memes about the Muslims saving science for us in the Dark ages back in school. Unfortunately for those memes I can also see the state of the world today, which is the practical experiment in the outcomes of the differing world views of the two religions. And much as you clueless Europeans and your American counterparts have an ism akin to antisemitism, the result is that science flourishes wherever you have Christianity while it diminishes where Islamism holds sway.

Tom 13

Re: worrying about it is a problem for these guys

SEP fields only work in Douglas Adams stories.

Tom 13

And here we have the proof that warmists know nothing about science:

summers are longer

3-2-1... BOOM: Russian rocket launches, explodes into TOXIC FIREBALL

Tom 13

@Yet Another Anonymous coward

I was always under the impression that with civilian rockets the point of the self-destruct is to control where the rocket explodes. How quickly and completely it goes up after that are a secondary considerations. When you are moving at those kinds of speeds safe distances are a different order of magnitude than our normal considerations.

Dubya: I introduced PRISM and I think it's pretty swell

Tom 13

Re: Dubya

History is already catching up to where he expects it will eventually wind up:


But some people are so addicted to their own hatred they can't see straight.

Crimelords: Stolen credit cards... keep 'em. It's all about banking logins now

Tom 13


Generally correct except you've usually got the word order wrong. For example it should be: Many don't get caught some do.

I've had some direct experience with this running a large convention. One time we caught vandals red-handed tearing down and attempting to steal a sign at the convention. Called the police turned over the perps and requested to press charges. We were never called for a court date. Elsewhere we had a bunch of people doing security type work trying to prevent shoplifting in the dealers room. We'd catch dozens of people a day. Best we could usually manage was to ban them from the convention (fat chance of actually keeping them out afterward). The dealers generally didn't want to even try to press charges because they'd already learned it was a colossal waste of time. It was all petty ante stuff. Pretty much like most identity theft. Too much work and too many culprits. So instead we factor in the cost of the expected losses in the prices of our goods and services.

That said, I wouldn't be keen on taking the 1 in 10,000 chance of getting caught. Cue Hee-Haw song:

Oh, if it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all.


Ecuador: Snowden is Russia's problem

Tom 13

Re: Why didn't he fly straight to Ecuador

Really? This bit puzzles you? It doesn't me. (Keep in mind as I stated above, I'm one of the people who'd like to see him shot.)

Tell me, exactly how much national airspace is there between Hong Kong and Ecuador? Now, how much national airspace is there between Hong Kong and where he is?

Simple answers: an awful lot and very little respectively. Forcing a plane down from international airspace is quite a bit more tolerable than forcing one down when you have to violate national airspace. So once he was discovered, moving through national airspace is better. The difficulty is national airspace that is also safe for your intended purposes.

The real question is why Hong Kong instead of a South American country in the first place. He probably could have safely landed in say Peru, then used land transit to Ecuador, then released his info bomb. At which point he's already safely in the country, can ask for asylum, and it is relatively painless to punch the bear in the nose.

If I could put that kind of plan together in two minutes here on El Reg, why didn't he? He's got a hell of a lot more on the line than I do.

Tom 13

Re: why?

Yes actually making the inquiries would have been as foolish as what he did. But there are ways to plan that sort of thing.

Tom 13

Re: even with modern technology.

Technology has never been the problem with organizing government. It has always been the people it is intended to govern. If the people will not mitigate their own evil intentions by obtaining morality through religion, those intentions will flow through and find expression in the government as well.

Tom 13

Re: have a real-life experiment in town square democracy

Your real life experiment looks to me like replay of the French Revolution(s). And while I would like to see the current despot deposed, have no confidence that his replacement will be any better than the one just removed. And even though at this point it certainly looks to me like the military is (thankfully) acting on the will of the people, I do not hold great hope that it will end any better than the French ones did.

Tom 13

Re: Americans still don't get to elect their presidents directly

Speed was part of the reason, but not the only one. The US Constitution has always been directed at protecting as large a portion of the minorities as possible and as recognized by the cultural norms of the time. One of the great compromises in passing the constitution was adopting the exact method of Presidential election. If done strictly by popular vote it would have given too much power to the large states. If done as one vote per state (the EU model) it gave the small states too much power. Instead it was combined into an electoral college where each state had a fixed number of votes plus a number of votes based on the size of its population. Usually this means if you win the popular vote you will win the general election, but if you trample too much on the small states you will get a President who did not win the popular vote.

Tom 13

Re: was to prevent the nation from becoming a democracy?

I know you are responding to a different Tom (who is a twit and got a down vote on his post from me) but given that the founders generally equated democracy as it was then understood with mob rule, there is a sense in which this is correct. Where the twit went off the rails was in implying the real purpose was to institute a regime without restraints on its power, untethered to any conception of morality, and bound only by the ambitions of those who could manipulate it to obtain ever greater power. The form of Republican government the founders attempted to engineer was one in which the evils of mob rule could be constrained while maintaining as tight a connection to the people's moral authority as possible. That we have subsequently ignored their warnings and cautions about the perils of democracy degenerating into mob rule is our own fault and not theirs.

Tom 13

Re: valid case for asylum.

I'll be honest, I'd like to see him brought back, tried, then properly shot.

But setting that aside for the moment, let's look tactically at the question. He doesn't necessarily need asylum per se. What he needs is to stay alive, and a place from which to do so. This should actually be fairly easy to achieve. As I noted in my opening statement, I want him shot. Being shot is the standard outcome for his type of treason. Therefore all he really needs is to be in a country that won't extradite if there's a chance he'd face the death penalty. Regardless of how much I hate the lying SOB in charge of our country, one thing I can count on is him not backing down if he's been personally offended, and on this one he's decided he was personally offended. So he'll never take the death penalty off the table to get the extradition. So once Snowden is in a non-death penalty country it is a stalemate. And those states are generally willing to issue asylum for cases that would otherwise be legitimate criminal cases. If he can't find one, that tells you there are other issues in play. Probably that regardless of how much flack we're catching for spying on world+dog at the moment, the truth is world+dog is doing it too or at least benefiting from what we've done. And if he stays on the loose that inconvenient truth might just leak too.

Is this an amoral bastage analysis? Yes it is. So is the world. Deal with it.

Tom 13

Re: calls from the US state dept it took

I doubt it was from the US government. Those would have been more likely to encourage them to take him, no matter what leverage they thought they were attempting to apply. More likely an EU country that realized it had as much to fear as the US. UK would be at the top of the list except everybody knows they're at the top of the list so it would be stupid of them to do so. Although it could have been Russia. Snowden is mostly used up and now they need to dispose of the body without being seen to be disposing of the body.

Tom 13

Re: The Romans would have understood.

The Romans would have put him to the sword without a second thought.

Tom 13

Re: What exactly did Snowden think was going to happen?

He expected he'd be hailed as hero and welcomed back to a ticker tape parade. There was no thought involved. Typical Progressive behavior pattern.

Tom 13

Re: All the world is a stage

Assange didn't embarrass The Big 0 personally, Snowden did. Snowden should have paid a bit more attention to the IRS TEA Party scandal before honking of the new Leroy Brown.

'The Apprentice' is a load of old codswallop, says biz prof

Tom 13

Re: The business education offered by Leicester

School of Management is about ethics, diversity and responsibility.

So Leicester doesn't teach anything about business either just a different brand of political dithering.

Well, at least The Apprentice is free. Not that I've ever watched it. I can't stand "reality" tv programs with more manufactured drama than a Broadway play. I've even given up on Biggest Loser because of the incessant focus on backstabbing and infighting. And it at least had as it's premise something that was objectively good for its contestants.

Microsoft's murder most foul: TechNet is dead

Tom 13

Re: people who use TechNet licence keys on production servers

They already have the tools to do that if they suspect something, which given activation policies, shouldn't be hard to find.

I started work for my first IT employer right after they finished a nasty MS audit. An employee had left taking with him the client list for the small business. Some nasty lawsuits ensued. Miffed former employee alleged the owner was selling flat out illegal copies of MS software. The audit lasted somewhere on the order of 9 months at the end of which it turned out there was one month for which the owner was unable to produce paperwork to show he owned one license for a rented computer. He bought one additional OS license to cover the shortage and everybody shook hands and departed as business partners. Had he actually actively engaged in any of the alleged activities he would have been subject to $100,000 per incident fines.

So if MS is doing it just to get people to buy "proper" licensing, somebody is fuck all lazy.

Tom 13

Re: but reality doesn't comply with the fantasies of those who set licensing policies.

Here, here!

I don't personally operate at the SME contractor level anymore, but was a low level tech for one for a number of years. Even from the money grubbing perspective this decision doesn't make sense. Yes it might net them a few bucks over the very short term, but somewhere between a year and three out it has to hit them hard. You've pointed out real problems for businesses trying to build test environments. Another issue is that MS, more than any else out there, depends on "amateurs" who can't afford to pay extortionate training rates spending time working with the software to work up to "professional" levels and then delivering that service.

Tom 13

Re: Now is the time? [@ Trevor_Pott

Sound to me like a user issue, not a Thunderbird one.

I easily configured mine for top quoting with my signature under the reply. All my mail comes into a single folder from which I sort it into storage folders. So on the rare occasion of a completely new install, a single click fixes the date order. Given that I frequently opt to sort on other fields this really isn't an issue. And none of my changes has ever been reconfigured on upgrade. I can't say the same thing for all the MS updates I've done, although they are much improved on that point.

I suspect that if I could be arsed to look through the documentation I could write a script to deploy it with a different set of defaults, but it's never been sufficiently troublesome to spend the time.

Tom 13

Re: we no longer need an Exchange server -- all good.

The Microsoft Exchange-Outlook pairing of products was the only one I ever liked, circa 2003. It fully integrated Mail, Calendar, faxing and voicemail for our company. Even today GMail can't touch it. We've recently moved our government organization from an ancient unix system to GMail. Yes, it solved the mail "storage" issue, but the calendaring issues are horrible even compared to the inferior Oracle system we had been using.

If MS solved the problem of people using mail as their primary document storage mechanism, even the problem of "ginourmous sized" mailboxes would go away.

That said, it sounds like MS has already started sabotaging that product pairing.

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