* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Google 'DOES DO EVIL', thunders British politician

Tom 13

Re: it sounds like the possibility exists

No it doesn't. It sounds like a politician is pissed off and demagoguing the issue. If MP has the evidence he should produce it. If it is a real whistle blower there are laws that protect them so long as the government wants them protected. Or is innocent until proven guilty even less of a reality in Old Blighty than it is in the US?

Google tells Microsoft to yank its new WinPhone YouTube app

Tom 13

Re: Irony

Might have gotten their start that way, but there is now good all original content on YouTube. And they depend on their ads to make money. Kill the ads and you kill that forum. A forum that if generally supported might actually dislodge the other content hoarders from their perches and generate more creative and original entertainment.

Tom 13

Re: has no access to the Youtube ad API

Now wait a minute. You're telling me that out of all the devices and all the programs that can access and serve ads from YouTube, the Google API sniffs out and only prevents the MS win8 phone from showing the ads, regardless of what IP address it might originate from?

Sounds fishy to me. Sounds more like MS didn't include a protocol which is required by the API in their OS. Although since MS has release essentially the same win8 code on desktops and nobody there is whinging about not getting YouTube that also sounds odd to me.

Of course, I'm not a programmer so maybe I'm wrong.

Oracle updates Java versioning to allow more security fixes

Tom 13

Re: why not

Nah, Nobody could ever use anything like that to build a complex programming system! It would be unwieldy and confuzing.

/end sarc

Feds stamp on cash pipeline to Mt Gox, Bitcoin's Wall Street

Tom 13

Re: Meh.

First you roll up the street dealer and make him squeal on his supplier. Then you move to his supplier. This is money laundering they're talking about here. Excluding maybe the Swiss, there are all kinds of multi-lateral agreements in place for money laundering and drug trafficking charges. Because none of the governments get their protection money from either of those practices.

Tom 13

Re: A non-merkin writes....

In two words: Drug trafficking.

DHS actually had nothing to do with improving homeland security; it was just an excuse to roll a bunch of agencies up into one even more uncontrollable tentacle of Leviathan. DEA was part of the roll-up. Part of the way DEA tracks drug traffic is money laundering. Bitcoin looks to me like a great way to launder money.

Euro PC shipments plummet into bottomless pit of DOOOOM

Tom 13

Re: Why renew anyway?

I suspect the inclusion of PCs in baskets is more to mask inflation in the rest of the economy. As everybody here indicated it use to be you buy a new PC every 3 years. I buy bread once a week. But (at least on this side of the pond) they include the PC (down measurably) in the inflation basket but not the bread (up significantly).

Tom 13

Re: PC shipments ffailing for ONE reason

It's a combination of a lot of things: recession, decline ROI on computer upgrades (your reason restated in bean-count speak), and the release of Win8.

No matter how you slice it, Win8 came out to horrible reviews by the actual tech support community. If they ain't recommending, people ain't buying unless they absolutely have to. For as much as we use them, PCs are still a luxury item. You can limp along on the old one if you don't have a Want to upgrade.

Senators: You - Cook. Apple guy. Get in here and bring your tax books

Tom 13

Re: MPs will want this discussion in parliament.

You know, I smell an opportunity here. You guys set it up and invite our guys to debate by your rules in the forum. On our side of the pond we set it up as a Pay Per View event. You guys do whatever the corresponding thing is for your side. The broadcasters bid to produce it up front, that cost gets deducted from whatever gets collected. Then we split what's leftover 50-50 and each government gets the cash.

Oi, Google! Stop LIBELLING us Germans, fix your autocomplete

Tom 13

Re: Strange..

I'm pretty sure I can construct an algorithm that isn't neutral. But in the case of the methodology Google uses for their searches, I'm inclined to believe they are neutral. I'm also inclined to Google's side in this case, but more because it does involve futzing with the algorithm in a non-neutral way.

Having said that, I have to disagree with you on the last statement. It is possible to not be engaged in associating with crappy things and still have your name associated with it. Take Richard Jewell (RIP) for instance. His name is pretty much forever linked to Olympic Park bombing in a negative way even though he was truly a hero and did truly save lives.

Sony investor wants to break up firm, re-invest in hardware biz

Tom 13

Re: marrying of content producer and device manufacturer is bad for consumers

The problem is, if you don't marry the device manufacturer (patent) to the content producer (copyright) the device manufacturer is constantly in a snake eat snake battle with other commodity producers. Effectively it becomes a slave to the content producer.

The real problem is probably in the IP laws, but until that changes you have to expect linkage of the two just to sustain profits for the company.

Top guns doomed as US Navy demos first carrier-launched drone

Tom 13

Re: Misguided notion of romance

I wouldn't say entirely misguided. We tend to prefer fleshies be the ones making the decision about whether or not to kill someone. That's sort of the point of the movies like War Games and Terminator.

Tom 13

Re: look at the intervention (or lack of) in Syria.

That's because of The Big 0 and What-his-name on your side of the pond, not because of the intrinsic situation. Ronnie and Maggie would have sacked that sorry SOB by now given the current world situation.

Marlinspike: Saudi mobe network tried to recruit me to sniff citizens' privates

Tom 13

Re: spying != legal interception

That might be technically true. But as many posters have so frequently posted in other forums, given the international reach of the internet it is very easy to tell the government to 'sod off' on their legal intercepts. Which then moves you into the 'spying' realm in order to get what the country deems a legal intercept.

None of this is to deny that the Saudis aren't brutal dictators. But sometimes your choices are limited to two bad actors. Frankly, they are better than some of the alternatives they are investigating. I'm just glad my lesser of two evil choices are usually limited to whether to install a known insecure version of java for a web browser or not being able to access certain required websites.

Microsoft: YES! You can have your desktop back again for FREE!

Tom 13

Re: Same old same o

95B was decent and pretty stable too.

Tom 13

Re: I'm willing to be reasonable,

I am too.

now that I've heard the good news that Microsoft is being reasonable for its part.

But I'm not so sure about that second thesis.

Tom 13

Re: Developers, developers, developers, developers....

I think he already left, which is why they are now able to start deploying the fixes. The complicating bit is all the PR FUD they've already spread about the New! and Improved! Better than Sliced Bread! interface.

Tom 13

Re: Call yourself nerds?

No, we call ourselves IT support techs. And we support people who aren't nerds, they're you know 'mundanes.' And they don't give a shit about your nifty nerd tricks, in fact they get rather annoyed about having to use them even if your baseline image does have them already built in. And really, why should we have to hack the interface to make it work for mundanes? The whole point of a mass market OS is that it is supposed to come with a useable, reasonably secure default interface that doesn't require extensive customization to work for the average (mode) user.

Tom 13

Re: Mine's the one with the 3.5" floppies in the pocket.


I carry the HD 5.25s, but only because they don't make the 360s anymore.

Tom 13

@Eadon 20:26 GMT

Post like this more often, and your down vote count will diminish.

Your first post was way over the top. This one is reasonable and reasoning, even in the spots where I am doubtful of your predictions. I'm doubtful about the phone bit. Mostly because they've been telling me that it, like my flying car, is just around the corner since before I started working in the IT business. You might be right. This time it may be true. But based on my experience, I'll wait and see.

Tom 13

Re: complaining about a preschoolish

The XP interface to which you refer is at least middle school. When I think preschool I think AOL v3.x back in the dial up days. And I'm not sure that wasn't a more grown-up UI than Metro is.

Tom 13

Re: How about pinning those programs to the task bar....?

And have even more indecipherable icons on the screen with kaleidoscope eyes?

No thanks.

Tom 13

@Kubla Cant

I think the whole recognition thing came from the marketing department as an attempt to sell a cost cutting feature.

Yes, in English you and I (probably) think faster in words than pictures. Not so much in Spanish or German and God forbid trying to decrypt even non-kanji Japanese. If you are releasing programs in all those languages plus 40 others, you start to run into issues with screen layout because the words are different lengths in different languages. Make it a picture with a word balloon if you hover over it and you solve the programming issue as well as reducing your code base. In short it's a win for everybody but the users.

Tom 13

Re: someone who designed builds for corporate laptops/desktops


When the Help Desk can't assume they can start an instruction with "Click on the Start Button" because a user might not know what the Start button is, lockdown is the only choice.

We offer some choices at the desk I work on now. I don't want to tell you the number of dead silences I get when I ask "Which browser are you using? IE, Firefox, or Chrome?" Or worse, the number of people who confidently answer "Firefox" and then when you visit their desk or remote it, they are running the Big Blue e, version 8* (which you know doesn't support that Google Apps feature and would have made troubleshooting the problem so much simpler).

*yes I know, IE 10 is out, 11 will be soon. We consider it a victory we were able to get them off IE6. And there are troubling but legitimate business reasons to keep them on 8.

Tom 13

Re: I don't believe MS are past the denial stage yet

Even marketing types are subject to the discipline of the market. Given that Reller has access to the real numbers from Win8 and not just the fluffed up press release numbers the rest of us read, I can believe they have been sufficiently chastised to rescind their bad choice.

Of course, that also means those numbers are really, really frighteningly bad if you are an MS exec.

Apple adds Galaxy S 4 to Samsung patent suit

Tom 13


It's "Micro$haft" not "Micro$oft"!

If you're going to criticize these things, at least get the names right!

Tom 13

@Steve Brooks


It's even more interesting that so many lawyers who formerly worked for SCO found work at Apple.

(ok I don't know that they've actually moved there, but it sure seems like they're sporting the same 'tude.)

Tom 13

Re: "How about you spend that fat cash on making a better product "

I disagree. Apple is free to license tech from any of the other companies, they just have to pay the patent tariff like everybody else. If their R&D department does come up with something new, they can keep it to themselves and make that their case for best of breed.

Except all of that is based on the false assumption that Apple started by being the best of breed. Jobs never actually made money that way. He made money by being the coolest. The best example of that was the Mac vs. Windows guy commercials. The Mac dude was cool, the PC guy was a dweeb. The Mac dude always had a zippy zinger, the PC guy always fumbled his come back. Sure he let you believe the Mac was a technically superior product, but he never explicitly made that claim. He made other claims (mostly true) that cause you to think he made the argument that the product was technically superior, but not the actual technically superior claim. The problem at Apple is they have either forgotten that or never knew it, only Jobs did. And with him gone, so is their edge.

Dell committee to Icahn: Show us the money

Tom 13

Re: So basically

No, we users are weary. The Dell BoD needs to be wary.

Actually, they need to be paranoid and even then it might not help.

Tom 13

Re: I give it 3 years before

So you're with the glass is half full crowd, eh?

'WikiLeaks of financial data' prompts worldwide hunt for tax evaders

Tom 13

So given that we now know the IRS were for political reasons

holding up some non-profit applications,

and given that we don't know where the data leaks came from,

How do we know the data was leaked by whistle blowers instead of folks working for the tax divisions that otherwise could not get their hands on the data?

You thought only Google dodges UK taxes? So do all the Brit firms

Tom 13

A wise man once noted

"The problem with Socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money."

I will note that the re-jiggering the definition of "tax havens" will not allow you to avoid the previous note.

Government admits seizing two months of AP phone records

Tom 13


If the AP had gone after The Big 0 for Benghazi the way they did Nixon for a stupid set of debate papers you might have a point. But near as I can tell, nobody died as a result of Nixon's debate papers malfeasance.

Tom 13

@Grumpy Gwen

No, it could also be schadenfreude, which is a close relative.

Although quite honestly, there's sufficient reason to believe there are legitimate processes and approvals in place for this. There was a security breach, the AP is known to have participated in it, and the government is empowered to investigate an prosecute those individuals who leaked the information, at least if they are in the US.

Maybe I'm jaded, but it seems to me the Banghazi hearings are starting to bite. We have bad news about the IRS and now the spying on the AP both trying to knock it out of the LSM headlines. Even Arias and the American Castro couldn't quite dislodge the revelations that are starting to come out.

NYC attorney seeks mobe-makers' help to curb muggings

Tom 13

Re: The point is convenience.

Right! That why NYC has completely eliminated gun crime in the city by making it inconvenient to obtain a gun.

Oh, wait...

Tom 13

Re: Simply track the sim to the sim owner and go from there.


You expect the NYC politicians to enable and expect the police to work and remove criminals from the street?

What kind of a damned fool are you?! It's a hell of a lot easier to just blame the phone companies and especially their profits.

Charity chief: Get with it, gov - kids shouldn't have to write by hand

Tom 13

Re: Boys are not the most natural writers?

Meh, all dead white men. They're irrelevant to modern society anyway.

/end sarcasm dripping with venom

Tom 13

Re: a deeper knowledge of the subject than simply memorising facts.

I have found two things to be true:

1. People who haven't memorized a considerably large number of facts generally can't make a cogent argument in broad terms.

2. When my own broad arguments flounder, it is usually because I have insufficient memorized facts to support them.

Tom 13

I resemble that remark

you are the sort of person that presses so hard you leave tracks on the surface of the table, but that's because... "you're holding it wrongly" (boom!)."

I usually write on stone, fiberboard, or hard plastic surface because I, um, er , ah,... hold a pencil like that.

And well,... he's still full of rubbish.

Tom 13

@Stu J 17:29 GMT

But to an examiner marking an essay, they have no real proof of the thought process;

Complete bollocks. If it's a multiple choice exam yes, it's only the results that count. If you turn in an essay, any essay, after I've read it I've got a pretty good idea what your thought process is. In an essay, even a short one like a post on a blog, your line of reasoning, or lack thereof, becomes immediately apparent. In general arts sections I've always done better when I could write an essay than when I had a multiple choice exam for exactly that reason.

Tom 13

Re: Good grief!

Delete the word 'British' from you statement and it is still true.

Yes when I was in school it was the girls who got most of the attention in writing class, but some of the best stuff was written by the boys. Granted, like a number of other posters I got better after I had a typewriter, but the writing bit was important.

Ironically it was just this weekend that my dad was lamenting that actual writing with a pencil or pen was becoming a lost art because of the computerization of schools.

The great $45m bank cyber-heist: Seven New Yorkers cuffed

Tom 13

Re: Layers

And in this instance, one of the most important layers wasn't even an IT security layer!

It was a standard financial practices layer: No unlimited accounts and certainly no unlimited accounts with a single signature.

Tom 13

@AC 7:32 GMT

My experience in the US is similar, sans chip and pin.

In fact, I generally don't even have a hold on check deposits. The only exception to that is if for some reason I transfer money directly to the savings account. But that's never been a problem since I don't intend to spend what is transferred to savings.

Tom 13

Re: stilling going around on payday and handing people cheques

The last time this 'Merkin received an actual check for payday was about 12 years ago and the circumstances were rather unique. It was a small shop with no more than 9 employees including the boss. At the end of the pay period he sat down in his office, wrote out the check, and handed it to each of his employees. Everywhere else I've worked I've either been required to take direct deposit, or the banks have required it for their "free checking" services.

So I'd say your experience was most unusual.

What kind of pirate are you: Justified, transgressor or just honest?

Tom 13

Re: Concert spending

You're right about The Mouse being at the root of the problem with US copyright laws.

Although you've at least misconstructed the private vs public tradeoff for IP rights. Yes, at some point IP needs to pass into the public domain. But if individuals can't make money from creating IP, there will be less of it created. So to generate those ideas we give an exclusive but limited time license to the person who created the IP. If the goal posts hadn't moved so frequently for The Mouse, I think we'd probably be where we ought to be on copyright. I'm doubtful software ought to fall under copyright and think it more properly belongs in the sorts of time frames we associate with patents. I would make exceptions for software that is book like in its creativity (such as Civ or a digital encylopedia) as opposed to software that is machine like (such as word processors and spreadsheets).

Tom 13

Wrong: it is still copyright infringement to rip your CDs onto your computer

That's covered under personal use, which is allowed in the US if it isn't in the UK. The exception is if there is a DCMA electronic means enabled to prevent copying, which is of itself a dubious exception.

Tom 13

Re: Why pay for something when the alternative is substitutable

Because the person who pays for it isn't an amoral bastage.

I know both types. One guy who downloads a bunch of stuff to find what he likes then looks for the best deal online (he's never be caught dead buying DVD/Blueray in a brick and mortar store). The other guy downloads gobs of torrents because he can. Interestingly, the first is doing so because the fan subbers release stuff more quickly than it is officially released where as the second guy who started for the same reasons, now routinely downloads stuff that originates in the US.

As for me, the things I'm most likely to go looking for in the future are things that I've already paid for at least twice, once on vinyl and once on CD. Frankly, I'm getting tired of getting ripped off for replacement copies.

'Liberator': Proof that you can't make a working gun in a 3D printer

Tom 13

I disagree with Lewis about this,

but he still has a well written article that makes his point.

And he's generated a lot of good discussion. A lot of bad discussion too, but that's entirely unavoidable.

Tom 13

Re: You boost self-loading is all

The DHS has already given a huge boost to self-loading. Sporting goods stores have been rationing ammo for about 6 months now just to make sure more of their customers get some.

Tom 13

Re: Are we all going to be interviewed by the british secret service?

Doubtful. They don't want us freaking out the mundanes who work for them.

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