* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Microsoft's murder most foul: TechNet is dead

Tom 13

Re: You don't know how valuable a service that is.

Actually, they do - that's why they are replacing it with a more expensive option.

But they've miscalculated on your ability to pay for it.

Samsung and Apple finally divorcing after years of court battles

Tom 13

Re: The risk is not with Apple

Apple has risk too. If the company can't make its components, or its R&D staff aren't up to the challenge for new components Apple don't have a steady supply of chips. That's been part of Apple's problem with Samsung: it's one of the few outfits who can produce chips in the quality and quantity Apple need. If people see too much of an issue with being able to get a new iPhone, that might be cause enough to jump ship, which could start an unending death spiral. Not likely, but still a risk.

I concur that for a small chip outfit, their risk is more likely and more catastrophic.

Icahn lines up prodigious Dell deal dough

Tom 13

Re: ...better believe that Dell will still be about in 10 years...

Agreed. And that's how to call the bluff: Make Carl put up a bond equal to the debt he said Dell the company should take on good for 25 years. If Dell the company subsequently goes bankrupt, it creditors can collect on the bond. I'd quit at 10, but they'd just time the raiding of the corpse if I did that. By setting it at 25 it has to be a workable deal.

Zynga zinger: Xbox chief bagged as new CEO

Tom 13

Well Mattrick will have one thing in his favor at the new gig...

Facebook Zynga gamers already expect to be connected to the internet 24/7, so he won't have to fight that battle.

Tom 13

Re: Farmville

That's not new. In fact ages ago when I was playing for some things you needed to check in every 2 hours.

Tom 13

Re: In real life terms: No

Accountant terms are the only ones that matter. Partly because as we all know, no Hollywood blockbuster has ever made a dime. Same games are played by other corporations. Overstate losses in one division to offset profits in another. Especially if you can do things like rake in the cash on developer tools in a different division.

PRISM leaks: WTF, you don't spy on your friends, splutters EU

Tom 13

Re: "Friends"

Well, most people forget Lord Palmerston's dictum that countries have neither permanent enemies nor permanent allies (aka friends), only permanent interests.

Tom 13

Re: Show them you mean it

You need to keep up on your intel:


You want the truth? You can't handle the truth!

The truth is Nixon was axed because he pulled us out of Vietnam. The Progressives never forgave him for that. By their count, a few more years and we would have been ready for harvesting. The machines Nixon used for the taping were installed by Kennedy. Nixon just figured they'd be an easy way for historians to judge him after he was dead and gone. The break-in and pilfering of the debate papers at the Watergate hotel was standard (if badly managed) political intrigue. Same shit happens today only we call it by different names - Palin's private email, Gingrich's phone call in Florida about legislative strategy, and The Big 0's crack about bitter gun clingers.

Tom 13

Re: America is in a downward spiral (financially and socially IMO).

I don't get why you lot are whinging about this all the time. You finally got what you wanted: a European style leader of the US doing European style things and most importantly, knocking the world's first hyperpower down to a size where you lot aren't afraid of us. Why are you surprised when he adopts the rest of your characteristics? If you want better out of us, let us elect a real American next time instead of a wanna-be-a-European American.

Judge nixes Microsoft SkyDrive name in BSkyB court ruling

Tom 13

Re: occasional support call about SkyDrive,...

Absolutely. It's like having a phone number that's one digit off from the pizza delivery place - annoying, but not the fault of the pizza delivery place, and not an infringement.

Tom 13


When looking to trademark a product, if the primary term is already overcrowded you start to look for synonyms or related terms. Clouds are most certainly in the sky so 'sky' as part of the artificial name you create for your product is a logical step, and it is descriptive. The root problem here is that MS shouldn't be able to own 'Windows' as a trademark and the satellite/broadcasting company shouldn't be able to own 'Sky.' 'Skye' maybe, but certainly not 'Sky.'

Tom 13

Re: And ignorance shouldn't allow companies to own the English language.

I think we'd all be better off if there were no qualifiers about companies being allowed to own any parts of the English language. Alas, that feather pillow seems to have been burst at the top of a hill on a windy day.

Tom 13

Re: the next big game in town.

Trademarks aren't issued for possible future products. They are issued for things you are doing RFN. If you snooze, you lose.

Tom 13

Re: loath to side with

This isn't about siding with the lesser of two evils. If the ruling stands it sets a precedent that if you are a sufficiently well known brand, you can stomp on other people in completely different market segments. That's bad for all of us.

Tom 13

Re: chortle

No chortling from me. In a perfect world MS should have lost their case on Windows and Sky should have lost their case for their trademark.

Given the way trademarks generally work under the current legal framework, the beak should be overturned surveys not withstanding. MS's cloud product isn't in the Broadcasting market so unless Sky is in the cloud storage market, the MS trademark does not infringe on their market.

Feds charge man in $1m 'Dr Evil' scam to blackmail Mitt Romney

Tom 13

Re: Mitt's tax returns.

We have seen Mitt's tax returns. And what they show is that he cares a damn bit more about disadvantaged people than most of the whingers about him on this site.

No, he wasn't my first choice, but he'd been a hell of a lot better than the incompetent currently occupying the office.

Tom 13

Re: Rand's grasp of human nature was uncanny

If you want truly uncanny and timeless try Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn. I'm thinking in particular of the part about the traveling troupe that puts on the play. I think the downvotes you are collecting are indicative of how spot on that bit is. I'm not a fan of her Rationalism, but her books do distill the essence of quite a few archetypes. I didn't read Atlas Shrugs only Fountainhead, but they still come through rather clearly. I'll grant they have more appeal to young people who like clear demarcations of moral values, but old farts could benefit from revisiting those clear demarcations even if they don't revisit the books.

Tom 13

Re: birth certificate.

Demand for the birth certificate was valid. The only requirements to run for president are that you have to be a natural born citizen (with a no longer and rather specific waiver for those alive at the time the country was founded) and a minimum age. A valid birth certificate is pretty much what you use to prove this. Given how the copy that has been produced was cleaned up, I'm still of the opinion he's hiding something even though I accept that he was born here. And yes, he effectively used this as a distraction from his overall incompetence.

Schwarzenegger says 'I'll be back' for Terminator 5 reboot

Tom 13

Re: Make something new for god's sake!

They can't. The Greeks used up all three of them way back before the Dark Ages. Everything since has been some combination of them with variations. Some more successful, others less so.

At least, that's what some literary-teacher type told me back in high school.

Tom 13

Re: Outer Limits

The root theme is nearly as old as SF itself: man vs. machine/AI so I'm sure the Outer Limits episodes drew on other lesser known stories.

Tom 13

Re: the original was an obnoxiously jingoistic piece of ra-ra-America toss.

Too true. Even Commando had more of a plot.

And I normally like jingoistic pieces of ra-ra-America action adventure flicks.

Tom 13

Re: Reboot reboot sequel reboot

Reese was quite explicit in T1. The Terminator jumped first. They seized the place just after he jumped. John sent him back then destroyed the machine because it had to work that way. If they left the machine working, if any other Skynet system found it, the whole thing would start all over again, only this time the humans wouldn't know an assassin was after Sarah.

Tom 13

Re: Like there never was a matrix 2 and 3

T2 may have been a good story with great special effects, but I'm of the same opinion I was with Highlander: There can be only one. The Cameron story as originally presented was a perfect time loops story: The evil enemy created itself when it went back in time and at the same time sealed its future doom. As such, they broke the story if you accept T2 as a sequel. In the same sense, I could enjoy hair boy's tv adventurers, but for me Duncan MacLeod lives in a parallel universe.

Google says it paid TOO MUCH tax, wants $83.5m refund

Tom 13

Re: @AC Governments moral right to the money?

I grant that as a consumption tax sales taxes have huge economic incentives. There are however a couple of problems with them.


1. At the current size of government (I'll limit myself to the US, but similar issues exist for just about any EU country, only more so) you simply can't generate the same level of revenue that withholding income tax creates. While I would regard this as a good thing if we were on the other side of the government size curve you have to get from where we are to there. Right now that path would result in riots.

2. Although proponents of the sales tax system claim it would require fewer regulations and fewer regulators, I am doubtful about this. As you make clear some people are willing to tinker with what gets taxed, and even what the rates ought to be and how they should be determined. These are the same 'reasonable accommodations' that led to the current income tax mess.


While I understand the desire to get out of the line of fire of the IRS, I believe the only reliable defense an individual can have against the unequalled power power of any such agency is that any other individual might also be subject to that same power. We might be able to feel safe by sacrificing businesses on the security altar, but I don't think we actually gain liberty by doing so.

Tom 13

Re: It will be a sad day when a taxpayer's rights are at the mercy of the mob.

Too late. If that didn't come to pass in 2008, it certainly did in 2012, possibly even for either definition of 'the mob.'

Tom 13

Re: @ac

You brought it on yourself by mixing Occupy rhetoric with GOP rhetoric. I've read your first post twice now and am still not sure which side you actually belong to. There is of course the possibility that you are sufficiently schizophrenic that you think the divergent views can be normalized.

Tom 13

Re: to cover operating costs

Small but critical nit here:

not just operating costs, but legally (in the case of the US that would Constitutionally) appropriate operating costs.

FCC orders wireless carriers to protect customers' call info

Tom 13

Re: No armed standoff in history has ever resulted in the govt. coming second.

That's an odd thing for someone from the first country to suffer such a loss to be saying to someone in the country which dealt it that loss. But perhaps like many other Europeans who pride themselves on having more history than we do on this side of the pond, you have failed to avail yourself of studying that history.

Tom 13

carriers will still have to respond to such requests when legally ordered to do so.

And well they should.

The operative question is whether the legal orders are operative under a real theory of justice or just a fig leaf for a tyrant to impose his will.

Ecuador denies granting asylum, safe passage to Snowden

Tom 13

Re: IS THERE really ANY difference

Well, the first one I can think of is that the Russians are competent at it...

Tom 13

Re: seek to throw Obama in jail.

Nah, that would just give him the opportunity to become yet another martyr. To dispose of him properly we need him to die of natural causes in bed between a dead girl and a live boy, which isn't likely to happen.

Tom 13

Re: Assange pretends he has been criminalised

Actually, I would say that he has been criminalized, just that it came from people of the same progressive bent he is. Based on what I've read in the papers, I don't consider what is alleged to have done to be worthy of criminal charges. Someone changing their mind after engaging in consensual sex is just that, not rape.

But I do concur that his running has made him look either very very guilty of something, or (more likely in my estimation) the kind of publicity hound who prefers being in the headlines for doing bad things to not being in the headlines at all.

Snowden on the other hand is pretty much toast. He might have been able to use the whistle blower defense right up until the time he showed up in Russia. Now it is way too late.

It does strike me that Ecuador is getting tired of Wikileaks treating their government like at best a doorman and more likely a doormat. It's one thing to bait the bear and be touted a hero. Quite another to be expected to do it just because you done it before.

Tom 13



Yes, GB is the prime example for successful 20th Century espionage. And for a a just and noble cause at that.

But espionage itself is much, much older. It's part of the problem I have with the whiners who want it all shut down because it makes them uncomfortable. International law is mostly a joke. It's something we invented so we wouldn't feel bad about summarily shooting German Socialists who needed to be shot. It was, not surprisingly, corrupted by Soviet agents and has been pretty much worthless ever since.

That being said, at the level we believe to be ongoing, this kind of surveillance is troubling and frequently the mark of totalitarian regimes. We need reliable assurances that the targets of such investigations truly are the bad guys and not partisans within our own countries.

Retired 4-star general probed over Stuxnet details leak - report

Tom 13

@LDS: You were doing okay until you got to

at least you can still criticize Obama and noone jails you for that.

That's pretty much what this investigation and the IRS scandals are all about. Different forms of government intimidation, but still government intimidation.

Tom 13

Re: What can be done about these politicians

Well it would help tremendously if lower information voters (of the sort who granted The Big 0 a Nobel prize on his election) would stop voting for him. Of course changing that would be easier if the media weren't in the tank for people like him.

Windows 8.1: So it's, er, half-speed ahead for Microsoft's Plan A

Tom 13

Re: They're turning into Apple.

No, it's worse than that. Even Jobs didn't try to force his users to use a touch interface on his not-touch equipment. It's like Ballmer decided to one up Apple by not simply becoming them, but jumping the shark in in the same stupidendous move.

Tom 13

Re: Schlitz

Schlitz? I thought PBR was bog standard bottom of the barrel piss water. Unless of course you were a true sadist and opted for Iron City.

At least that's what I hear from regular beer drinkers. I don't often partake myself. I can drink 5 or 6 gin and tonics, but after 2 beers I'm ready to heave the technicolor yawn.

Tom 13

Re: I dont want EVERYTHING showing in one huge muddle.


If I wanted everything in one huge muddle, I would have bought a Mac. Yes, there's a market for this. Once upon a time MS understood that wasn't their market. And frankly, IF I find I want everything in a muddle and I'll let the OS sort it out for me, I think I'll buy a Mac. They seem to be better at sorting it out as well as differentiating their OSes.

Tom 13

Re: searching both at the same time be a use case I actually needed.

Me neither. Frankly based on past experiences, I think this is a security nightmare.

My mother, being somewhat naive about the internet, once made the mistake of allowing an MS search to be expanded to the internet. It seems she thought she had saved a picture of my brother's then girlfriend under the name "special girl." (In point of fact it was saved under one of those camera generated names and she had used one of those catalog programs to give it that as a descriptor.) You can well imagine the outcome of this mistake. I was unable to clean off the resulting malware and wound up doing a full clean install, starting from fdisk IIRC.

Tom 13

Re: slowest Live Tiles ever imagined since the Commodore 64

Hey! The Commodore 64 was pretty damned snappy in its day. Only problem I ever had with them was always burning out the damned power supplies.

Tom 13

Re: who said the same thing over and over and over again.

But how does that greatly differentiate him from the authors of these articles promoting how great the New! and Improved! version of Windows is?

Microsoft partners seriously underwhelmed by Windows 8.1

Tom 13

Re: who is the natural replacement?

There isn't one. They need a new idea and that requires new blood. Somebody who can think outside the box without destroying the box. And that means somebody from outside the company.

If for no other reason than the fun factor of seeing what he'd do with a company that big and that employs so many incompetent programmers, I nominate Torvalds.

Tom 13

Re: called nearly every shot wrongly

Truth be told, the same is true of Gates (Bob, internet is a fad, etc). The difference is Gates got one right (partnered with IBM to release DOS) that left him off the hook for all the rest of them. And you'll note that I'm not saying DOS per se, but partnering with IBM on the initial sales.

Tom 13

Re: 8.1 is effectivly 6.2.1

Not sure I'd even go that far. Maybe

Tom 13

Re: But MS has never been about empowering the consumer with choice

Not entirely true. There was a time when MS gave users and developers a great deal of choice.* But it was at the dawn of computing time. And their actions since then have pretty much blotted it out for anyone in the market today.

*Yes, they did pick on certain vendors like Lotus, but they couldn't pick on everybody because they needed those other developers to fill out the market.

How Alan Turing wanted to base EDSAC's memory on BOOZE

Tom 13

Re: Credibility

I suspect it probably had more to do with reliability. Sure for the first test it probably would have worked. But do you really think it would have worked on the fifth day? Drinking mercury will kill you pretty quick. Gin in the proper quantities is quite different. And the savings on the bar tab could have been huge. In fact, it might not even have worked on the second day.

Idaho patriots tool up to battle Jihad with pork bullets

Tom 13

Re: because religious nuts making sweeping statements on the net

By my read of the timeline on this thread, the first nutter posting sweeping and unprovable generalizations on this thread was the atheist jake, with you following soon thereafter.

And make no mistake about it, atheism is every bit as much of a belief system without proof as theism is. Or as is frequently and correctly pointed out in certain other threads, absence of proof is not proof of absence. In order to know there is not a god you must have examined everything that has existed from the beginning of time until the end of time. As Descartes correctly pointed out, that would make you the very thing you claim you know does not exist.

Tom 13

Re: Firstly, Jewish, Muslim and Christian worshippers all worship the same God.

No, we don't and I'd never offend a Jew by claiming he worships the same G-d I do. I will respect him and his beliefs, but that itself is a religious conviction of mine. Yes, I believe in the Trinity and that one aspect of it matches the G-d religious Jews worship. But Christ aspect of the Trinity changes who that G-d is. I expect the government to not establish any sect as an state state requirement because I do not want the government abusing my faith. I'll grant I'm less tolerant of Muslim religion, but mostly because of their recent behavior killing civilians. And he still has the right to worship as he sees fit. I just claim that because of actual actions and threats made, that the government has probable cause to keep watch on them. Just like the UK had probable cause to keep watch on the "political" IRA.

The concept that Jews, Christians, and Muslims all worship the same G-d is an agnostic/atheistic meme that does not reflect true differences between the faiths.

Secret US spy court lets Microsoft, Google reveal their petitions

Tom 13

Re: Passport revoked

No, it means the author is a git who has no idea what he's actually talking about.

Extradition does not require that you have an American passport. It requires that the the US files the appropriate paperwork without process errors like the ones Hong Kong alleges they made.

Oz's 2013 heatwave was man made

Tom 13

@Andy The Hat

More importantly than that, we've learned an important lesson from Professor Mann: Never trust a graph that comes from a Warmist. Science is predicated on the sharing of data and methods. Since the article in question is behind a paywall, it isn't science.

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