* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Doctor Who? 12th incarnation sought after Matt Smith quits

Tom 13

Re: Do you think he might be fixed next Patch Tuesday?

Some days I wished I was sure he'd already been fixed, although by the local vet.

Tom 13

Re: More than 13 is POSSIBLE just inadvisable according to WHo lore.

They're about to run into a real life time paradox problem. Way back when Colin Baker was The Doctor it was established that the 13th (last according to canon at the time) incarnation was every bit as evil as the Master. And that he'd been offered all the previous regenerations if he could convict Baker in Trial of a Time Lord.

Not that this sort of problem is exactly new. After all, nobody could ever possibly need more than 640KB of memory on a computer, or even more than a couple dozen computers in the whole world. And after their brilliant idea of regeneration to bring in a new actor, who could possibly need another 11 actors for the role?

Ecuador: Let's talk about not having Julian Assange on our sofa

Tom 13

Re: plans and attempts will be "devised and made" five minutes after the US hears about it.

I only wish there was at least one person somewhere in the bowels of our government who was that competent.

Microsoft's Windows 8.1 secrets REVEALED ... sort of

Tom 13

Re: Layering on the lipstick

I think Phyllis Diller could have gone years without buying more if she'd owned as much lipstick as they've put on this pig.

Tom 13

Re: name appearing everywhere.

Just don't let it appear in three consecutive posts. That causes him to appear.

Tom 13

Re: Doesn't repeating the same nonsense about Win8 get boring over time?

I would expect so. Yet MS persists in their behavior so apparently not.

Tom 13

Re: standard of the original Vista.

That's more apt than MS are willing to admit, and I hadn't realized just how much until this morning.

My dad who is not a computer type thinks it is finally time to take the plunge. For Christmas he got himself some non-name Android tablet thing and tried to configure it himself. I couldn't figure out the reset combination to try to fix it. He eventually took it back. I gave him a semi-fixed up laptop in May to replace it. This morning when I check WOOT they had a $300 reasonably powered laptop on one of the screens. When I saw it came with Windows 8 I stopped checking the rest of the specs. Yes, I might be able to install a Linux distro on it, and all he really wants to do is get an email account and check the web. But I don't personally use any Linux distros so I'm not going to put something on his PC that I can't support over the phone. So even at a really affordable price point, the Windows 8 logo stopped the sale before I really started to check it.

Tom 13

Re: Redmond orders turd polish by the tankerful

Yep. Sounds like somebody said "lacquered up" when they should have said "liquored up."

Tom 13

Re: half baked crap

No, no. When it came out it was half baked crap. This will be 51% baked crap. That's a huge difference!

NASA: Trip to Mars would exceed 'fatal cancer' radiation risk

Tom 13

Re: you for having the hope cancer will

By now I'd expect you would have learned that Hope is not a plan, but I guess there's no hope for low information voters.

You can hope for the cure all you want, but until there is at least promising research pointing at an imminent cure, you don't plan on it. And in this case I'm not talking about 'promising' the way they do when Jerry's on TV raising money for his Kids (laudable as both actions are), I mean 'promising' in the way an investor means it when he sinks 10% of his cash into a pharmaceutical company.

Full disclosure: I didn't mark him either way.

Google gives vendors seven-day bug disclosure deadline

Tom 13

@Martijn Otto

This will get interesting. Google have been put in a situation where the best they can do is choose the least evil because a no evil solution doesn't exist.

I've puzzled over the problem for quite some time and still don't have even an inkling of a theoretical solution let alone a practical one. The reality is that the coders have to be the ones to issue the patch, sometimes that takes an awfully long time, and sometimes it isn't practical to uninstall or block whatever is broken until the patch is released. Here is one of the places where I do see an advantage for the publicly posted OSS source libraries. Any coder can post a fix so once disclosed the time to fix seems to fall drastically compared to closed/non-public source.

Google whips the sheet off new Gmail interface

Tom 13

Re: Available now

If they were going to leave it as opt in I probably wouldn't care. But they won't LMTFA. At some point they'll insist that they know better than I do how best to organize my email. THEY DON'T!

Who did Apple LIE TO: Australia or America?

Tom 13

Re: See the case of the IRS and Al Capone.

The reason the IRS got Al Capone, is that with the IRS unlike the courts, you usually have to prove your innocence.

That's not as true for multi-nationals. Because the the subcorps are legal entities existing in other jurisdictions, until such time as they transfer something form one place to another there is no record which is required to be reported to the IRS. So there is some sense in which the IRS has to prove that there should have been a transfer which should have generated the paperwork. So for them the IRS looks a bit more like the court system than it does to your average citizen.

Tom 13


Whatever entity is chosen to set the transfer price probably has a fair bit of leeway. Make no mistake about it what we would call the real cost of the widgets is nothing compared to the final price of the equipment. The whole purpose of the price setting operation is to maximize profit from whatever region they are transferring the widgets to. If the US, you can probably command $400-$500 street. For reasons I don't fully understand, they seem to be able to also make it the same numeral for Euros or Pounds. These days its probably the same for Canadian dollars although at one time it would be 10-15% more. Sell it for Pesos in Mexico and it will have a whole different price, maybe 50% of what it would be in exchange rate US dollars. Africa maybe 20-30%. Because of all those varying rates, the transfer rate for each operation will also be different. So your concept of a transfer price is entirely theoretical.

At least with physical widgets, there is some real world floor for the price even if it is minimal. I've bought software for a US based 501(c)3 organization. Most people wouldn't believe the discount rates. And I'm sure they still had a margin on it.

Windows 8.1 Start button SPOTTED in the wild

Tom 13

Re: fair enough and at least you gave it a try.

Got it. You're with the 'even though the last three guys died after drinking that water, you need to too; just to be sure it is poison' crowd. Me? I'm with the learn from the mistakes others make crowd.

Tom 13

Re: least they could do is use it.

We do. And fixed it up in places where you lot had broken.

Tom 13

Re: You seem to be forgetting this is their tablet OS as well.

No we're not. That was their biggest crap idea and the one that needs fixed even more than the missing menu list.

Maybe, maybe they can have a common core base for both operating systems. But the two have distinctly different user interface needs, so they need different GUIs. Even Jobs wasn't this boneheaded and he was a dictatorial bastage. Sometimes brilliant, but a still a bastage.

Tom 13

Re: Ummm, he was removed from the company,

Nope, he was just the scapegoat. If all the people responsible for it had been removed, they wouldn't have tried this full arsed joke as the fix.

Tom 13

@JDX: You're trying too hard

That menu screen looks like crap. I'm a guy with almost no sense of aesthetics and that screen offends me. If Jobs were still alive we'd see a repeat of his Mac and PC guy commercials, and PC guy would be wearing it on his shirt.

Best menu was probably their 9x system, but they can't ever let anything be a best of. So they try to improve it and break it instead.

Facebook bows to pressure, vows to rid itself of sexist hate speech

Tom 13

Re: In a decade

That was a fast decade.

Oh, and I heard the Neanderthals already have an advocacy group.

Warming: 6°C unlikely, 2°C nearly certain

Tom 13

Re: Jetstream has sweet

While I concur all the "scientists" claiming AGW is settled, the Jetstream is actually pretty much the key to all the Bad Things (TM pending) the warmists claim will happen. Shift it so it doesn't hit the UK and your weather changes radically (colder as I recall). Shift it in the US and the weather changes radically (hotter colder depending which way it moves).

The problem is, no matter how much they try to deny it, they don't have a long enough observational baseline to determine what is normal. And that's assuming you have actual usable definitions for the terms you are measuring as well as the instrumentation to measure all of it.

Tom 13

Re: What is the point of 12 billion humans compared to 10 billion

Well, I count that as 2 billion more of the most precious and productive resource we have: human beings who come up with creative solutions to problems.

Something all the Malthusians wannabes ignore the same way he did.

Tom 13

Re: we either resource limit ourselves

Malthus is long dead. That long disproven piece of tripe should have died with him.

Hammond pleads guilty to Stratfor hack: 'It's a relief'

Tom 13

Re: you'll need to cut some other convict loose

No you don't. Just bring in Sheriff Arpaio for a two week seminar on how to handle unexpected influxes of prisoners. Problem sorted.

May threatens ban on 'hate-inciting' radicals, even if they don't promote violence

Tom 13

Re: where grenades have been referred to as weapons of mass destruction.

While I'm on your side of the aisle politically, he's actually correct about the first, even if he didn't have quite the right language. And the example is actually the recent Boston bombing attack. If you think about it, the IEDs they used in the attack are the functional equivalent of a hand grenade. He's being charged with using a weapon of mass destruction. To me this is part of the problem with treating the war against Islamofascism as a police action instead of a war. There might not be defined battlefields, but it remains a war.

I do concur about the WMDs and Iran. I expect if we had gone in immediately we would have found them. But with Teddy and his buddies delaying action, Saddam had plenty of time to move them elsewhere. Possibly to Syria where we now have various reports of chemical weapons being used, and depending on who is doing the claiming it is either the government or the rebels doing the gassing.

Tom 13


So what you are saying in essence is:

If the hussies hadn't been wearing such provocative clothing they wouldn't have been raped.

That doesn't work for me.

Bill Gates: Corporate tax is not a moral issue

Tom 13

Re: Company A and Company B

Insufficient information to answer the question. If Company B makes $1 billion in profits and Company A makes $1 million in profits, I'm guessing it would be Company B. Which might not help Company A's financials.

Forget tax bills, here's how Google is really taking us all for a ride

Tom 13

Re: In Googling.

Well at least it isn't in Xeroxing. That would get us into real trouble.

Tom 13

Re: Problem is, as with most economic theories it doesn't actually work.

Actually, it did. Reagan cut taxes, revenues went up. Problem is, commentards like you ignore that fact in favor of the deficits going up on the assumption that spending was fixed. What actually happened was Tip O'Neil (D) increased spending $2 for every $1 in increased revenue.

Fix your tax rate at historical norms (18-22% for the US) and things will work. If you make it so it requires less effort to game the system than to pay your expected tax rate, people will. The issue is similar to music prices.

Symantec retires low-end security software

Tom 13

I remember when Norton PC Tools

was a handy pack of disk utilities to have. And none of them had anything to do with Malware. Happier days they were. Well, mostly anyway.

WikiLeaks party flirts with Oz law by taking Bitcoin gifts

Tom 13

Re: What's the big deal?

But bitcoins theoretically give you a money laundering advantage. It's problematic to launder $100,000 through small cash donations. That involves either lots of people (problems with leaks even at 10 people) or lots of repeated fundraisers. Bit coins is just some dude (dudette?) sitting in his/her underwear in front of an iPad firing up his bot net to send donations in the amount of $25 each until the target number is reached.

Internet cafés declared 'illegal businesses' in Ohio

Tom 13

Re: No legitimate internet cafe is being hurt

Conservative Libertarians (USA style especially, but increasingly UK too) = Small Government, i.e. oppose any kind of governmental intervention. Freedom seen as freedom TO live how you want, make money, do what is best for yourself, etc.

Fixed that for you.

Conservatives on the other hand try to balance things along multiple axes to conserve the resources we and our ancestor have built up over the centuries. Overly large governments tend to be able destroy those resources quickly, so Conservatives will frequently make common cause with Libertarians to reduce its size. But on some issues, particularly as relates to crime and necessary social structures, we part ways with Libertarians while still not making common cause with Leftists.

Tom 13

Re: It's totally spurious.

And the author (and possibly El Reg) should count his lucky stars he lives in the US. If he lived in the UK and the politicians he was criticizing were UK citizens, he might just get sued for libel. Not that El Reg has been covering anything like that locally the last few days or anything.

Tom 13

@tom dial

The situation isn't much different in Maryland, although there the corruption is a bit more transparent. A libertarian running on the Republican ticket originally proposed allowing Pimlico racetrack to open a slots parlor as part of a deal to save the racetrack. But since MD is a Democrat only state, it didn't go anywhere until he was out of office and a Democrat could propose it. It similarly then went to public ballot to protect the polls. Only now it was 4 slots style parlors including Pimlico. Move through a couple more election cycles and then there's a proposal to allow all the existing casinos to expand into table games plus add a fifth casino (never mind that the tax revenues promised from the first four weren't materializing).

Which means that while when I was a kid the only place in the US where it was legal to gamble was Las Vegas, we now have pretty much the whole mid-Atlantic region, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida just to name the ones I know.

Tom 13

Re: hand guns legal, but gambling must be banned???

Not banned, regulated. I thought you Brits were all in favor of that.

The reasons are pretty much historical. Gambling has a long association with organized crime, hence the heavy regulation. And since it is an easy way to launder money from other illicit trade, I can see proper regulation might have a place in this instance.

Tom 13

@The Axe: For a change it isn't the politicians at fault.

It's the leftist Reg author who lives in Frisco trying to smear Ohio politicians because they happen to be Republicans (as do a majority of the House and Senate).

Proper title would have been: Ohio makes it Illegal for Internet Cafes to Skirt Gambling Laws.

If the Internet Cafe is an honest to goodness Internet cafe, it will still be in business. But if their business model depends on patrons gambling, they are toast.

Of course an honest portrayal of what is happening wouldn't generate the necessary rage and Commentard remarks.

AT&T adds 61¢ 'Mobility Administrative Fee' for users

Tom 13

I say Good for AT&T

Frelling politicians always claiming they can get you something for free. If every company in the world explicitly called out the costs for these "freebies" in the bill they hand to consumers we might see some reduction in the stupidity.

Tom 13

Re: It ain't exactly Dane-geld

Except it ain't Dane-geld. In this case it's more a case of government-geld, and they're just passing along the cost. I suppose to put it in the Kipling context it would be Brit-geld.

Now it gets serious: Fracking could RUIN BEER

Tom 13

Re: Oilfields in the US

Well, here's a post from an industry insider, specifically about the Marcellus Shale formation which is the one that has everybody's attention at the moment:


Note that he's drawing from a US Geological Survey expert for the illustrations, and references the expert's paper in the article.

Bottom line: Not a problem.

BTW: this guy called the Deepwater Horizon problem weeks before the feds did. Granted, when he called it he thought it couldn't be the explanation because given all the regs on shallow exploration he has to follow, he didn't think there was any way a moderately competent engineer on a deepwater rig would be so stupid as to take the risk of making an illegal decision.

Tom 13

Re: Who are usually subcontractors employed by the oil companies.

Salary-wise it is always cheaper to keep them with the company. If they are internal cost is salary + benefits. If they are subs, cost is salary + benefits + profit mark-up for the sub.

What subcontracting may buy you is liability protection. If the sub fails to uphold Chapter 7, Section 43, Paragraph 5, subsection iii of some regulation, they're on the hook for it not you.

Industry execs: Network admins an endangered species

Tom 13

Re: Oh, please ...

I don't buy Sr. Management firing the Network Admins (admittedly not one myself). I mean, at the very least they need to keep somebody to throw under the bus when the next big breakdown does happen. Preferably two. Need a spare in case two of them come quickly together.

Tom 13

Re: I'm retiring in 24 months

Don't kid yourself. That wasn't loyalty to staff, that was ensuring his retirement was fully funded. If he brought in the new hardware and reduced staff, the next staff reduction probably would have been him.

Investor Icahn needs a loan of $7bn to tick off Mike Dell

Tom 13

Go Carl! Go!

I won't tell you where until you get there.


But here's a hint: It will be warm and toasty. Perhaps a bit too toasty for your taste, but well, it will be fitting.

World's richest hobo (Apple) has worked 'tax-free' in Ireland since '80s

Tom 13

Re: Why don't they just scrap

1) Rule #1 of rules lawyering: No matter how clever you think you've been there's always at least one BOFH who is more clever than you are and they will prove it.

2) Because governments are even greedier and more corrupt than the corporations they work so hard to demonize. If you tried to get all that money in a single swipe from a sales of VAT tax, tax evasion would seem like a pleasant memory. You'd move straight to black market systems to get outside the government sphere completely.

Tom 13

Re: evidently you're unfamiliar with the concept of retained earnings.

And evidently you're unfamiliar with the name "Carl Ichan."

If you're not familiar with him from US news reports and his antics in the 80s and 90s, I would have thought you'd at least be familiar with him from some recent Reg stories.

Tom 13

Re: US Corporation tax

Because just like the UK we've got enough professional activists that corporations have been deemed Evil regardless of what they do. So it's handy for the politicians to set a high tax rate to be seen as punishing the Evil Doers. Then they make exceptions for their pet companies who are Good Companies (TM pending). So many exceptions that neither the IRS nor the professional accountants who are supposed to provide advice know WTF the law actually is. Until you wind up in court and the last appeal at SCOTUS is heard.

Yes, it will vary by State. Hell there may even vary by county and city. And each of those districts may have as many exceptions to their general rules as the federal government does for theirs.

A mom and pop shop might be able to start up in most places. They can probably expand to a couple of locations. Start moving out of state (that'd be province in the UK) and things get trickier. The bigger you get, the more complicated it gets. But you have to be truly international to take advantage of the loopholes. The assumption is that as you get bigger you can afford more accountants and lawyers to work around the rules for you. Whether or not it is true is a whole different story.

Tom 13

@Greg 16 Re: every country has large companies taking advantage of it

I'm quite sure that if any country in the chain truly felt they were being taken advantage of, they would change their tax laws. The fact of the matter remains that Ireland (who seems to be the linchpin in the current arrangements) felt they would gain by changing the tax law to force Apple to pay more than they currently do, they would. By whatever calculus they are using, the Irish deem their law fit for purpose.

Tom 13

Re: But haven't Apple been avoiding paying dividends to shareholders as well?

Apple aren't under an obligation to pay dividends. They are under an obligation to provide a return on the investment. If that return is in the form of increased share price, that is as much a return as a dividend. In fact, in some cases in the US, boards have been sued because they paid dividends instead of pursuing business plans that would have expanded the share value and generated even larger share price returns. The issue being that increases in share price are not subject to the income tax the company has to pay, only the capital gains tax to which the dividends are also subject.

Tom 13

@Robert Long 1

Meaningless to you perhaps, even more so because you misquote it, but quite meaningful to even the least capable lawyer who has passed the bar.

Management and Board (all of it, not just senior but only the top executives are typically held accountable because once you get too far down the chain there's no extra money to recover) have a fiduciary responsibility to the shareholders. "Fiduciary" means financial interests. No other. And if you don't take it seriously, you will be sued. I know this based on sitting on the Board for a 501(c)3 [not profit making to you Brits] where the lawyer brought this up every session because we were all "amateurs" in the field of corporate governance. And lawyers get antsy when the budget amateurs are handling approaches $1 million (I hear through the grapevine that they are now approaching $3 million).

Tom 13

@AC 24-May-2013 19:52 GMT

I suspect you the one loosely using the language in a filing. I expect what actually was told to the US investors is that the UK operations are generating significant net revenue and therefore they plan to continue expanding in the UK. They then told the UK taxman that they didn't have significant profit because they've invested that net revenue into expanding business. Typically this is an allowable business expense. And US investors will be happy with that because their shares will continue to appreciate in value, even if no revenue is taken as profit and returned to them after two taxmen take a bite out of the profits.

Frankly, to me that seems like a decent deal to the UK. They get more jobs as Starbucks expands, and they get more VAT revenue as more cups of coffee are sold.

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