* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

ACLU documents shows free access to emails for IRS tax police

Tom 13

If Thomson and the ACLU were really interested in fixing these problems

instead of just throwing temper tantrums and saying "See look what a moral person I am!" they stop these shenanigans and start supporting Sarah and the rest of the Tea Party.

Tom 13

Re: neither the saved time nor the saved money will be invested wisely.

As Cali has already proved.

Tom 13

Re: Ouch!

I have to give this one to the IRS on the basis of the stupidity of the accepted email setup. Mail servers are NOT secure and are for all intents and purposes the same as sending a post card via carrier pigeon. I'm forever reminding users that email is not protected. And that bit so many lawyers put at the end of their transmissions about "unintended recipients" is also useless. Which only proves being an idiot does not necessarily prevent one from getting a law license.

The rest of it I think they need to revisit recent decisions as I believe the gps tracking was recently decided differently at SCOTUS.

Who wants a smart meter to track'n'tax your car? Hello, Israel

Tom 13

Re: Birmingham and travel to London

and exactly why would your typical Israeli citizen be commuting from Birmingham to London for a job?

Tom 13

Re: We already have a system that you pay more the more you drive...

But, but, but, but

If drivers weren't paying for all that mass transit, there would be even MORE cars on the road, so even though it isn't going to roads, drivers directly benefit from it.

/end sarc

Tom 13


That's fine for now. But how will we pay for the roads when we are all driving our 'lectric cars powered by windmills and solar panels?

NASA-backed fusion engine could cut Mars trip down to 30 days

Tom 13

Re: Such as "impulse drive". ;)

No what we have now is an impulse drive. This is way more advanced. It's

an ION drive.

Microsoft squashes 9 bugs with Patch Tuesday fixes

Tom 13

Re: I had to remove it.


Granted I don't have much experience with it since work is still on IE8 and I prefer Firefox at home, but I quite thought one of the reasons the server admins who run WSUS didn't want to even test IE10 was that there IS NO REMOVAL.

US Air Force reclassifies 6 cyber tools as weapons

Tom 13

Re: Why the hell do defence contractors even have the InterNet

connected to their asset holding computers?

Actually they don't. The stuff that holds the classified stuff stays on secure networks. (And if you inadvertently plug a non-secure device into a secure network there is hell to pay. Heck, even if you have non-classified information on an authorized camera and somebody incorrectly asserts one of the photos shows something that is classified there is hell to pay.) But so much of the day to day work is not classified and it makes sense to put those systems on the internet. At which point you get into potential Stuxnet type penetrations.

Moreover, cyberwarfare is about protecting your manufacturing and communications infrastructure, which means the assets defending it need to be on the open network. Same thing applies if you are talking about the offensive aspect of cyberwar as well. You need to be on the same network as the target.

Maggie Thatcher: The Iron Lady who saved us from drab Post Office mobes

Tom 13

Re: In the 1950s-60s

It's hard to make competing products when your factories have been bombed out by the Allies, and that's what the state of most of the world was in the 1950s except for the US (essentially untouched) and the UK (damaged but not flattened).

And all the snobby engineers backed by Unions and leftists in both countries ignored Deming and his continuous improvement processes. Those processes were eagerly picked up by the countries that had been bombed out in their desperation to make something that could compete. His processes worked while the unions and the snobs continued to whine. Now you are buried in your own bile, yet still you whine. Get over yourself. Get off your lazy ass and do some real work. Earn your living instead of whining that you lost your inheritance.

Climate change set to bumpify transatlantic flights, say researchers

Tom 13

Re: predictions of an ice age caused by a quiet sun.

Predictions of an ice age based on a quiet sun are more trustworthy than predictions of run away climate change because of CO2 that assume constant solar output. The variability of the sun is an established fact. That the second assumes the established fact to be false means nothing after it is proven.

Tom 13

Re: forecasts are 50/50 beyond three days

Actually the forecasts are decent up to 5 days now dropping off to 50/50 at 14 days. And given the wide variety of wrong available for a given forecast, 50/50 is decent at 14 days.

It's not the short term stuff that bothers me. It's the complete lack of a reliable baseline for the long term predictions.

Tom 13
Black Helicopters

Re: on the map in the El Reg article is the most direct path.

No it's not. But the black hats are keeping us from using the alien tech from area 51 to create the tesseracts that would be the shortest path AND cut down on pollution all at the same time.

Tom 13

Re: aka information security...One guides away from high risk.

So you're part and parcel of the problems in information security and risk management. One can never "guide away from high risk" because one can never know all the risks. One manages the known risks. And climate change alarmists like you ignore that in their rabid posts.

There is a hell of a lot more uncertainty in climate predictions than the smug predictors will allow. For one thing we don't have REAL observations over a sufficiently long base line. If you don't have that everything after it is suspect, as any astronomer can tell you. On the other side there are a lot of KNOWN risks with real costs (including lives) for implementing the changes Warmists claim we need to make to avoid their predicted catastrophes. If their predictions don't come to pass a lot of people will be dead because of them. Just because they'll be faceless dead in impoverished countries doesn't make them any less dead.

News Corp prez threatens to pull Fox TV off the air

Tom 13

I'd expect the judge's ruling to be appealed and overturned.

Re-broadcasting is illegal, period. Home viewers are permitted to make copies for personal use. This is all well established US law.

ANCIENT CURSED RING known to TOLKIEN goes on display

Tom 13

Re: Translation

For some of us the gouging would start well before we got to the gift shop. I mean, for you locals it might be a quick day trip at minimal cost, but for me it would start with a $1000 flight. If not for that, I'd make the trip.

'1337 hacker' scrawls all over careless coders' SourceForge sites

Tom 13

Re: defeat,bypass,override or otherwise circumvent security measures.

and yet, for all of the ingenuity that may be involved in some clever hack, it essentially boils down to a way to find that key that was hidden under a rock. So I'd say this is the very distillation of hacking, and all the more humiliating for its simplicity. For it to have been truly "not hacking" the site would need to have been configured with anonymous login enabled. (Don't laugh, I once worked somewhere that a Sr. Level Technical manager saw no issues with that. On an world + dog accessible IP address no less.)

Ahoy! Google asks US gov't to help sink patent 'privateers'

Tom 13

Re: shows a (wilful?) misunderstanding

No, he just said it in fewer words than you did. And in denying that, you deny the ability to get at the root problems that plague our current system. The only direct benefit of having a patent is the ability to sue someone who infringes on it. Like any rule, it can be abused. All the stuff you highlight in your post are at best secondary benefits and not guaranteed in the same way the primary is. It is easy for us to agree that only "truly original ideas" should be patentable. You and I agree that "rounded corners" doesn't meet that. Apple doesn't. Unless I claim inerrancy, I have to admit the possibility that I am wrong and Apple is correct. (I can be doubtful about their claim based on the large number of people who agree with you and I, but I still have to grant the possibility that I am wrong.) And that is where implementation falls apart.

Tom 13

Re: patent fees going back to a "patent invalidation office"

I could get behind that idea. Except it really irks me that the PTO is supposed to be doing that on the front end. And we'll probably wind up with even more legal fees as the trolls file counter suites against the invalidation office.

Gov report: Actually, evil City traders DIDN'T cause the banking crash

Tom 13

Re: problems can be back-tracked to the unregulated boom

Banking is the most highly regulated industry on Earth. Worse even than nukular. The regulators (aka the government) were the ones forcing the banks to make unwise loans.

Tom 13

@Matt Bryant

Actually, it was a lot more complicated than that. Remember that German tire kicking I mentioned above? Until the Germans tried to foreclose on a house to collect money that was due to them, the assumption was that the securities were equivalent to mortgages. Since they were in parallel, the risk of the whole thing breaking is less than the risk of any one of them breaking. So as long as the proper adjustment is made to the receipts expected, it should have been okay. But when the Germans tried to foreclose because they didn't get their payment, a judge rightly said they didn't own the mortgage so couldn't foreclose. At which point they realized NOBODY owned the mortgage anymore. At that point nobody knew what the right price for any of the SBMs. So trading in them stopped completely. Worse, because the trading stopped, the book value for people who held them as assets immediately fell to zero, wiping out what should have been reasonably secure reserves. Now, if you actually had the portfolio of mortgages they were certainly worth more than zero. You might not have gotten 95% of the loan back, but you probably would have gotten 50%, possibly as much as 75%. But the banking system nearly collapsed anyway.

Tom 13

Re: good plan to give the tyres a kick

Unfortunately, that would only have started the Great Recession earlier. Much like Enron, the bad loans were already on the books. Although you'd think a good tire kick (something the Germans are good at and incidentally was the spark for the Enron collapse) would have only hit the bad guys at ABM, with the asset size it still would have seized up the whole system just like AGI did. At which point the rest of the banking system was at risk. In short, everybody had a vested interest in not noticing the problem and hoping it would go away.

Tom 13

Re: the top to slacken the algorithms used to be more generous.

Yes, this was the problem, but foisted on the banks in order to comply with government policy. If you don't make enough "minority loans" you are accused of redlining and lose your banking license. You can't give bonus points to minorities because of SCOTUS reverse discrimination cases. So the only way to get the "minority loans" is to lower the standards far enough that you pick up enough of them. Of course at that point your whole risk/reserve model is shot to hell and collapse during what should have been a correction becomes inevitable.

Tom 13

Re: This has worried me for a while

LBOs had NOTHING to do with the morass of NINJA home loans issued with government backing to people with no prospect of paying them back. Neither did the risk asset models BECAUSE the government claimed it was assuming the risk. This was the root of the problem. And I hear that to juice up the economy again, they are going back to that failed policy.

Tom 13

@Professor: No, the report was a whitewash job to cover for the real culprits

The leftists in government. Bankers don't make risky loans without a damn good reason. The reason in Europe and the US is that leftists have pointed a regulatory gun to their heads if they don't make loans to people who can't afford them. In boom times this typically doesn't cause bankers a problem. Everybody's raking in cash and your profits will cover the costs. The problem is, when things start to get tight, those profits get too thin. And then, because you are over-extended on bad loans, the whole things comes crashing down like the house of cards it is.

Australian Feds charge 17-year-old 'Anon' with four crimes

Tom 13

Re: I know peope who hack computers,

Legally you could be thrown in jail if they found out and were able to prove it. Optional choices for the prosecutor are:

Accomplice after the fact

aiding and abetting

obstructing justice

Tom 13

Re: Scale?

Just because bleeding hearts have undermined sentences for murder doesn't mean we should undermine sentences elsewhere. The correct palliative is to correct the sentence for murder.

Rackspace sues 'the most notorious patent troll in America'

Tom 13

Re: Nope, they are bloody well driving them now!!

Not driving, because if you are driving you might wind up being liable for something. They've got shotgun instead.

Tom 13

Re: A Very Good Thing Indeed.

All very true.

However, if I have a legitimate complaint for any of those reasons, the proper approach is for me to have my lawyers approach you about a non-judicial resolution to the problem. I think where the wheels keep exploding off the bus is that too many of our judges don't seem to engage that root of their title: using good judgement to differentiate legitimate complaints from trolls, then properly castigating the trolls.

Spanish Linux group files antitrust complaint against Microsoft

Tom 13

Re: No court in its right mind could blame MS for this one

Yes they would. It's not the UEFI per se that is the issue. The issue is Microsoft's monopoly position in the desktop computer market, and their leveraging that to further increase barriers to entry into the market.

MasterCard stings PayPal with payment fee hike

Tom 13

Re: Let me see if I have this down

It costs billions to facilitate those transactions you want to make. The money has to come from somewhere.

Personally I'd prefer it in upfront charges. But most users balk at that so the corporations found alternate revenue streams. If people didn't buy stuff from the alternate revenue streams, they would die.

Tom 13

Re: Just what benefits do they add?

Well for one I don't have to have more than the amount of cash for the purchase I want to make in my wallet. Just some change sized bills to pick up small stuff.

Next up, because I'm not carrying that much cash, lost and/or mugged are far less problematic.

And if I see a really good deal on something that won't last until next paycheck, I can choose to buy it now if I think it justifies the savings.

For online purchases I've rarely not been able to make a purchase using one of them. The exception was a photographer who signed a monopoly deal with a venue for their guests and took either cash or paypal. Since I hate paypal even more than Visa and MC he lost out on sales. I wouldn't object to him taking paypal in addition to, but instead of? That's a loser.

On the vendor side there are similar and better benefits.

Tom 13

Re: Coming to a wallet near you...

Neither of them wants to do that because issuing real credit cards moves one into the highly, highly regulated banking market. Mind you, I'm not saying it is effective regulation just that it is a significant burden.

Nokia deflates Google's video codec thought bubble

Tom 13

Re: What Nokia did not say

Wait a minute!

Florian is involved in this story?

Say no more.

Tom 13

Re: "Patents [...]are very specifically intended to prevent competition"

No patents were created so the inventor of something new would be able to profit from it either by being the sole supplier or selling licenses to use his technology. The assumption was that since this gives him the means to make money and making money is something people desire more people would invent more things. But it was always about a private profit.

Tom 13

Re: @Ratfox

And you have forgot your logic and metaphysics:

evil means + evil intent ---> really evil outcome

evil means + good intent ---> evil outcome

good means + evil intent ---> evil outcome


good means + good intent ---> possibly good outcome

Tom 13

Re: @AC 04:42 @Trevor_Pott

No, it's exactly on point. IP is granted a monopoly protection by governments. By definition that means they are preventing certain kinds of competition. The claim made by the governments granting the monopolies is that if they don't grant them, IP development and technological growth will be stymied. I happen to largely share that viewpoint, but it doesn't mean I should deny the mechanism by which that end is achieved.

isoHunt loses appeal against search ban

Tom 13

Re: Hollywood makes no sense to me anyway.

Of course not! They have no interest in your zinc bits. It's your Hamiltons and Jacksons they want!

News scraper Meltwater loses US court case

Tom 13

Re: Also wondering the difference with Google

Google makes a hell of a lot more than any news scraper out there. If you're going after companies on the basis of them taking money from you Google would be THE target to go after.

They are currently escaping because of their "automated" system for delivery. Allegedly human hands never touch the data only machine algorithms. To me that just says they can just process it faster than humans could.

Hoboken CTO admits bugging boss for political leverage

Tom 13

Re: might be thinking this is another case of Republicans and Democrats

No I wouldn't. I would assume it was probably another Dem on Dem incident. Because the truth is, they're the ones who do most of it. Only lamestreamers cover it up when they can for Dems and make it headlines for Republicans, even when it turns out the perp isn't a Republican. And when they can't, they make snide remarks to at least perpetuate the myth that both sides engage in it.

Wind farms make you sick … with worry and envy

Tom 13

Re: Like Fort Hood and Quantico Marine Base

Actually under current ROEs Fort Hood and Quantico pretty much are gun free zones except for MPs and live fire training areas. And just like schools are only minutes away when seconds count.

Tom 13

Re: Now if 1 in 100 fags exploded

I expect that would be highly dependent on the nature of the explosion. If it's the kind of explosion Elmer Fudd usually gets from his shotgun, not so much. If it's the kind of explosion Rutger Hauer got when he pulled the pin in Wanted Dead or Alive I expect it would rapidly impact the number of smokers.

Tom 13

Re: dont see a single person state their reason

because having recognized that you are beyond reason, for the most part, we see no need to waste further efforts. Key bit is here:

"everyone has their own perspective and to think there is only one and they all match"

I'll refer you to C.S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength and the crabby experimental scientist who gets whacked early in the book. His point was dead on, which is of course, why he got whacked.

Tom 13

If there is enough provisional evidence

Needs a bit more than a peer review these days. I'd say it also has to have the cleansed and aggregated data published as well. As far down the scale as you can get without disclosing PII.

If you are sensitive it is genuine. If you aren't sensitive what makes it even more confusing is that it isn't necessarily consistent for those of us who are. I'd say 9 times out of 10 I'm the first person to notice the smell of insulation burning off an electrical wire, but other things I can' smell because of my allergies. Perfume is another thing that can set me off (and oddly enough it is more often men who cause the problem) depending on the scent. I'd imagine the sulfur dioxide would be the issue with the volcano and that's on the list of things I notice. And until LCDs took over the market, I was usually the first guy to hear the monitor hum on the soon to be failing CRT.

Tom 13

Re: Actually, in theory they can (or at least make people feel ill)

I blame it on the dead birds. You see that many dead birds near a place and you know if something isn't already wrong, it soon will be.

Tom 13

I'll concur about turbine illness

but the approach in the debunking paper doesn't sound a whole lot better than the other idiots.

What was that line from Romeo and Juliet?

Oh yeah:

A plague on both your Houses!

Microsoft, Adobe, wilt during Australian price gouge grilling

Tom 13

Re: Look at drug prices

I work in the US and have never paid that much for my insurance, including my employer contribution (which they've all been pretty up front about). If you're paying that much it's because somebody else in the chain is featherbedding. If we had passed Reagan's solution way back in the 80s I know I'd be sitting pretty for health coverage when I retire 25 years from now. Instead we keep getting socialist plans and the costs keep going up.

Tom 13

Re: If they set their prices too high

Okay, test case:

What would Microsoft sales of Windows 7 Professional be if they set the cost of the software at 10,000 Euros per copy?

Yeah, that's right, they can't really set any price they want to for their product. They do have some control, but their objective is to maximize economic profit, not price.

Tom 13

Re: Look at drug prices

Drug prices in the US are as high as they are because you losers aren't paying the freight for the R&D, WE are. Kill that golden goose and you kill a whole lot of real people too.

Tom 13

@The Axe

More right than wrong, but some of the nits matter.

In a free market the price and demand curves meet at the clearing price which maximizes production and consumption. In monopolistic markets that point is manipulated to create what is usually called an "economic profit." Price is normally set to maximize that profit. In a free market, new competition enters to undercut the current producer because of the economic profit. The only practical monopolies are government created ones like Ma Bell was in the US.

Microsoft and Adobe do have somewhat monopolistic markets because the critical point is the interchange format. Most businesses buy Word because Word is the format in which they receive documents from other businesses. Likewise a business is likely to save on training costs if they use the same software everybody else is using. It's worth noting that before about 1990 there were changes in market leaders as we went from Wordstar to WordPerfect to Word. Until then nobody ever really captured more than 60% of the market. At the time it happened MS used their monopoly position in the OS industry to undercut the pricing of WordPerfect. They were never taken to court for it. But because they now control more than 80% of the market, it is nearly impossible to dislodge them. While it is true they could set prices too high, it is also true that they have a fair amount of price setting leeway and leverage. Probably not as much as the politicos and writer of the article assume, but not as little as they claim.

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