* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Decoding Microsoft: Cloud, Azure and dodging the PC death spiral

Tom 13

Re: reinstalling all their special programs is daunting at best

It's not so much the reinstall as it is that at 10 years the new platform you get with your new hardware is no longer compatible with your install disks. So you have to buy a new license for each of those specialized programs. The daunting bit is the extra cost that adds to buying the new PC.

This is where a truly user friendly version of Linux would clean up. Install Linux then install all those special programs because it will still accept them.

Oh, and that means the reason the reinstalls are so easy for the pros is that the licenses are covered under some sort of Enterprise agreement.

A lot of new programs are utter crap.

My landlord/roommate will concur 1000% on this. He hasn't upgraded to the current software for his Mac because they changed something in the functionality of the picture manipulation software included with the OS. As he is fond of taking entirely too many pictures* on his intercontinental trips that occur at least once every two years, this is completely unacceptable to him.

*At the moment I think he has about 1T of storage on sim cards and sometimes feels squeezed for storage space even though he purges bad pictures nightly.

No, the EU is not going to make hyperlinks illegal

Tom 13

Re: Don't count your chickens just yet...

Or it could all be sunk by some numpty Judge who DOES understand the implications.

Surprise! No wonder Oracle doesn't 'see' IBM or SAP in the cloud

Tom 13

Re: We are in the middle... of a generational shift

The only people who believe this are the n00bs and the fools who will chase any pot of gold.

Those of us who've been around for a while know we see this sort of major announcement about once every 10 years with and echo about every 5. They change the marketing buzzword of course because the name under which it was originally sold is mostly a swear word in IT circles: outsourcing.

Aircraft laser strikes hit new record with 20 incidents in one night

Tom 13

Re: at more than (say) 60 degrees.

And what would the angle between the horizon and the plane be on landing approach?

Tom 13

Re: green lasers nowadays being sold as toys on the street

which at it's heart is a different way of saying "availability of cheap lasers".

I'm inclined to think it's mostly this and some in anger, but we really shouldn't rule out terrorist probing.

All of which brings us back to the point raised by the very first poster: What are airlines going to do about it? Making it illegal obviously isn't working. Which means the airlines MUST take some sort of countermeasures to deal with it.

Tom 13

Re: Which came first?

Not as simple as that. Sometimes it was the airport, sometimes it was the city. Also, the area affected by the noises can be somewhat large. I once lived in an apartment that was in the flight path BWI used during one type of bad weather. I understand the particular climb and turn combination pilots have to make to execute the takeoff causes rather more noise than the standard one. Most of the time I didn't notice, but I did occasionally. I was a good 20 minute drive from the airport. So you're talking about prohibiting housing in more than 600 square miles just for a small arc covering the apartment complex I lived in.

FTC fells four tech-support operations in scammer crackdown

Tom 13


That's 4 down, 951,753 to go.

Read the Economist last weekend? You may have fetched more than just articles (yup, malware)

Tom 13

re: the Economist or PlayFair?

Why choose? Make them both pay. One to cover the cost of the additional credit monitoring services they also should have recommended and the should pay the monetary compensation to the compromised users. I think 3 years is the standard for these sorts of things at the moment. No, I don't think you should have to prove you were infected. Visiting their site during the time interval should be sufficient.

As we all know, snark always comes before a fall. Mea culpa

Tom 13

Re: Er...

I refute the experiment and your counter example completely. Every couple of years I go with some friends to a wine festival where all the wineries have well more than 6 wines, all are available for tastings and I always come home with at least a case of wine, usually three.

Tom 13


Even more importantly, you want those regulations made locally not by some idiot who has no idea what his "common sense" solution would cost in a place like Florida where the water table is inches to a few feet below the surface of the land.

Tom 13

Re: Thinking in straight lines

Actually they are straight lines. The bit that gets confusing is we assume they are continuous straight lines. Also they are arranged in at least a three dimensional arrangement while most of our analysis is two dimensions. Finally as the lines are the medium through which the "force" is transmitted, it sometimes seems as if the thinking is discontinuous.

Tom 13

Re: such poor attention to the state of their stock does not augur well

An astute observation. My father likes shopping there (opposite side of the pond) and he ALWAYS checks the sell by dates on the stock. He has found things on the shelf a full month out of date. Mind you, as stock boy was my dad's first job and he was taught how to do it properly he spot checks things in all grocery stores and on occasion finds things out of date in all of them. Also, he'd buy the out of date cans and boxes too as long as it was marked down at least half.

Linus Torvalds targeted by honeytraps, claims Eric S. Raymond

Tom 13

Re: Could someone explain this to me in plain simple English, please?


It can only be explained in feminazi speak. If you translate it to plain simple English (UK or 'Merkin doesn't matter) it immediately becomes obvious where they are dividing by zero.

Tom 13

Re: Oh, I see...


How can you not adhere to the sacred memes of #SJW!

You shall be BURNED at the stake.

Tom 13

Re: some sort of manipulation

Sure there was. The two women found out about each other, talked about it, and decided to file charges. The KISS principle still applies. No need for any shady conspiracy theories. Yes I know. It does also perfectly fit in the ESR's blog. So I guess where you stand on the issue depends on whether you are with #SJW or #gamergate. Sad state of affairs when the only thing that ought to matter is standing with #justthefactsma'am.

Tom 13

Re: politicians being arses (no, seriously!)

No, it's down to the PEOPLE who put the politicians being arses. Politicians only write those kinds of laws in response to mass hysteria.

I saw this in the persecution of Joe Paterno over here. It turned out the long time head coach of the Penn State football team was a peodo. It was convenient for the university to throw him under the bus as the NCAA was coming down hard on the uni. The history was long and convoluted. Early on there had been an accusation which was investigated by police, but the accuser withdrew the accusation. A number of years later there was another report to Paterno instead of the campus police. Paterno reported it up the chain for investigation. There doesn't seem to have been a vigorous investigation after he reported it up, and some years later an AG found sufficient evidence and prosecuted the case. My brother was vehement that in solely on the basis of a questionable report, Paterno should have been at the head of the torches and pitchforks squad because "you should do ANYTHING necessary to protect children."

I cite this case because it shows both parts of a very real problem. There are real peodos out there and they are damn hard to find and prosecute. But zealotry to get at them throws innocent people under the bus.

Tom 13

Re: Really?

While El Reg hasn't covered it in any great detail, this is actually the primary focus of #gamergate. The SJW types had setup effective control of the gaming press and were using it to shut out anyone who didn't agree with their agenda.

I follow it mostly on Breitbart where the primary commentator about #gamergate happens to be a gay flamer, so the articles can be quite amusing to read.

Tom 13

Re: This is the world that we created. Aint we proud

What mean 'um "we" paleface?

Tom 13

Re: In the current climate, everyone has to be careful

Not even that limited. I recall being told that long before things degenerated to the point they have today, Billy Graham would NOT council a woman with his office door closed and would not be alone in his office with his secretary. Given I was a teenager at the time and have now joined the ranks of the greybeards ...

Tom 13

Re: half decent amount of money/property/assets

Doesn't even have to be real assets. It can be as simple as perceived power within an organizational structure especially in NPOs that really don't have employees.

Tom 13

Re: "Your conspiracy theory only makes my penis harder!"

Not just the US. While we have it bad, I think it's actually worse in most European countries. In fact I pretty much put Assange's whole consulate episode down to just that issue, no NSA/CIA required.

Tom 13

Re: Worse for women?

Isn't it axiomatic that you aren't a real Linux coder if Linus has ranted at you at least once?

Tom 13

Truth is a 3-edged sword

For another perspective on this story see:


As for three of the items this Reg author (SJW?) seems to think damn ESR I think demilitarizing the police, criticizing the fascist tendencies of modern feminism, and opposing the idiocy that is gun confiscation (not gun control which instead their code phrase) are sane ideas. And on that first one, I'm a Law and Order kind of guy.

BlackBerry Priv: Enterprise Android in a snazzy but functional package

Tom 13

Re: Unbiased????

I'm an android user because of cost. I have no illusions about the security of my phone. Then again, I use it mostly as a PHONE, not an internet consumption device.

Mutant space germs threaten International Space Station

Tom 13

Re: War?

The more we learn about both microbes and traveling in space, the more incorrect Well's hypothesis looks.

Tom 13

Re: Your immune system could become pretty suppressed

But the microbes on the filters are still irrelevant since the sources of the microbes are the astronauts themselves. If the immune system is suppressed to the point the microbes can infect, the infection sources will be the skins of the astronauts.

So there is a sense in which the first poster was right: the healthy ones will survive the unhealthy ones will die. Eliminate the microbes on the space station won't fix that. Only figuring out what needs to happen to boost the immune system back to normal will.

TPP: 'Scary' US-Pacific trade deal published – you're going to freak out when you read it

Tom 13

Re: 60 Days to Read the TPP

You do know the old joke about how you know when a politician is lying right?

A: His/Her lips move.

Tom 13

Re: one of the very right wing US "think tanks"

you need to put down the water pipe filled with stuff that isn't legal in Amsterdam. Kieren would NEVER find employment at a RIGHTWING think tank. The HuffPuffer or Daily Kool-Aid drinkers perhaps.

Tom 13

@graeme leggett

That so many people can read it so many different ways is the worst damnation for the paragraph.

The worst part is, I expect all attempts to clarify this paragraph in an acceptable manner will be akin to nailing jello to the wall.

Tom 13


I sure hope you're one of my uneducated brethren giving inadvertent offense to our British friends. Because if you're Brit you need to be deported post haste for making such a hash of one of the more famous quotes of Lord Palmerston.

Tom 13

Re: TPP and TIPP

We don't want this $hite sandwhich any more than you do.

Tom 13

Re: 7 years of negotiations, 60 days to review

Not just Christmas, Thanksgiving too. Most of us 'Merkins treat Thanksgiving as a 4 day holiday and that's the working class. Govies tend to have the whole week off, and the politicians even more.

Another consideration, govies tend to have "use or lose" time accumulated at the end of the year. So it isn't uncommon for some of them make the last Friday before Thanksgiving their last work day for the year.

Tom 13

Re: comprehensive review of the papers in such a short period.

I wouldn't count on that. I expect they've had copies of the relevant portions for a while. So they probably had time to write the review but kept it embargoed until it the TPP text was released.

Tom 13

Re: Another site disagrees

I often get the feeling that this particular Reg author gets a second paycheck from The Big 0 whenever he writes a column.

Tom 13

Re: Well, the EU (as per ECJ opinion) begs to differ.

I'm not sure how the EU charter is drawn up, but that ECJ opinion might be moot if the Treaty is adopted.

Here in the US, once a treaty is signed by the President and adopted by the Senate, it is the Law of the Land and subordinate ONLY to the Constitution (and even that is questionable, some claim it becomes incorporated into the Constitution). So all those local regs are just some much bulldozer fodder. And if the treaty is incorporated, it could invalidate the protections as that was an interpretation which has now been superseded by the treaty.

Tom 13

@Doctor Syntax

I'd concur that it doesn't prevent trying to distribute use GPL or GPL like OSS code and I think you are correct that it might make it more difficult to find and prosecute GPL violations.

But those aren't the only way to undermine GPL. While I'd rather like for MS to be able to compete on an even basis for say an HHS contract, I must yield the point that it OUGHT to be within HHS's purview to require a GPL style license for the code. And frankly, any government agency buying critical software from a small company OUGHT to be able to demand an escrow account arrangement in case of bankruptcy or software abandonment. That seems to be precluded as well.

Tom 13

@ hplasm

I'd say it does both. It makes it illegal for the UK to request it. And it lets MS do exactly as your hypothetical proposes.

I find both possibilities exceedingly offensive.

Tom 13

Re: Source code

I'm deeply disappointed in your inability to consider positions other than your own.

I'm reasonably sure the people arguing for that paragraph were Silicon Valley and that's what they thought they were getting.

It isn't.

And yes, even though I don't think it was intended to be anti-OSS the paragraph can quite clearly be used to invalidate requirements that the purchasing party can see the source code.

And no, I see nothing there to prevent VW from saying their code is protected under the treaty. In fact, if I were their lawyers, I'd probably be looking pretty hard at that right now. It might just save the company from bankruptcy.

Tom 13

@alain williams

I wasn't aware that a car was critical infrastructure, so it would apply to VW.

Bad provision. But that's the sort of crap that happens in smoke filled rooms.

Tom 13

@Mark 85

The only question you really need to ask in the US is: If this trade agreement is so good for us, why did you have to pass a law that overturns the Constitution in order to pass it?

I expect there are similar questions for other countries. If this was really such a great deal, it wouldn't be secret and it wouldn't be 2,000/5,500 pages long depending on whose number is correct.

Tom 13

Somebody might want to get their basic facts correct before reporting what a good deal this is

the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, is calling for the immediate destruction of the 5,554-page Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trans-global trade deal introduced on Thursday.


Yay, more 'STEM' grads! You're using your maths degree to do ... what?

Tom 13

Re: No need for Euclidean geometry?

I'm arithmetically challenged. A bit of dsylexia and a semi-photographic memory (emphasis on semi) make working with strings of numbers a challenge for me. Mostly because I don't know when the minor dyslexia kicks in or when I'm looking at yesterday's math quiz instead of today's because the teacher/prof just flipped the numbers around.

I absolutely LOVED geometry. For the most part the dyslexia didn't get in the way like it did in algebra. (Hated those < and > signs in algebra. They just didn't translate into a side/quadrant for graphs for me.)

Tom 13

Re:Do please show me someone who knows his total-to-pay

My dad, within $3 on a $7xx purchase including the sales tax.

Me, not so much but that's more down to not caring. I know I have enough money in the bank to cover it unless I know I'm breaking the bank and putting it on plastic.

Tom 13

Re: [Citation needed. Badly.]

I will cite my 12th grade (other side of the pond) physics instructor (who was actually pretty much a tool) who quickly proved that our general ed students (typically regarded as people who would be challenged working as a burger flipper) did actually understand algebra, they just didn't call it that. He asked one of them:

If the new carburetor you want to buy cost $125 dollars*

you can make change a tire in 15 minutes earning $5

your buddy can change a tire in 20 minutes earning the same

How many days will it be before you and your buddy can afford the carburetor?

Without a calculator they had the correct answer in under a minute. You can call it basic math, but its a time and rate problem with two variables and a couple of conversions.

*Yeah I'm old enough that they were that cheap back then and $5/tire was good money for a teenager.

Tom 13

Re: those who follow blindly

The truth is, even with that exposure many people follow blindly anyway because that's what they are prone to do by nature. And most of the ones who don't resist indoctrination anyway because that is their nature. What it leaves is a small middle who might learn to think for themselves.

That being said, if we could get back to what you propose, I'd be all for it. While the numbers who learn to think for themselves might be small compared to the whole, they're worth it. The problem as I said up-thread is that today's education system is about the reverse: government indoctrination.

Tom 13

Re: Huh?

Actually none of them are really worried about this. Trust me on this, I work with far more of them than Hobbes does. I mean yes, they SAY they are when asked directly, but when you watch their actual behaviors it is quite another matter.

They do however all exhibit a rather profound tendency toward group think and adherence to priestly authority. If you offend their Warmist religion by asking an actual scientific fact they WILL try to excommunicate you from among The Chosen. And the bewildering look in their eyes when you tell them that the Greeks proved that the melting of the Arctic ice caps won't change sea level even a tenth of a millimeter is priceless.

Tom 13

Re: Bah!

Ah! The SUM of the internal angles. Got it.

Thank-you very much.

Tom 13

Re: Bah!

Sorry, I'm not understanding your shorthand here. What exactly do you mean by "calculating the inside angles of a coin"? Granted I'm exceedingly rusty on my geometry, but I'm pretty sure I could do it if I understood what was being asked. I'm guessing it's an across the pond cultural misunderstanding.

The apprentice/journeyman model isn't a bad one. Truth be told, it is the one I've used to learn IT (and I'm rather glad I had such a capable master helping me learn the craft). But it does rather eliminate the opportunity for government controlled indoctrination, which is actually the point of public education.

Acer: Our sales promos left us nursing operating losses

Tom 13

Dear Acer

I was looking for a laptop for my mother last week. I started at Dell, but they've done away with customizable laptops. Then I recalled my fond memories of you from my screwdriver shop days so I checked out your site. Your options were even more pitiful than Dell. Eventually I went to New Egg to look around and once again wound up with a Lenovo. Still not exactly what I wanted but it was better than anything anyone else was offering. I was looking for something in the $800 range with a decent (i5 or i7) processor, 16G of RAM, and an SSD hard drive. I wound up with an i7, 8G of RAM, and 1TB spinning rust drive. I really would have swapped the space for the speed on the drive and taken a hit on the processor if I could. RAM was acceptable.

Tom 13

Re: Is innovation/Grove's Law dead?

No, but that was always about the number of components not the price of the box. Back when I was working in a screwdriver shop, the constant price of a PC was US$1k +/- $200. It hasn't moved much for PCs/laptops because the price point is a function of the intersection of profit margin and the quanta for payment.

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