* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Dear Facebook: I heard the news today, oh boy

Tom 13

Re: Google is by default my search provider

If you think Google hasn't figured out how to tie what you think are your anonymous searches to their database about you, you are sadly mistaken. They have their tendrils in the backend of just about everything on the internet.

I only sleep well on nights when I don't think about that too much.

US economy defies Fiscal Cliff, creates plenty of IT services jobs

Tom 13

Those BLS figures look like you need to delete the 'L' from the acronym.

Claiming February, the shortest month of the year, beat January's job numbers by almost as many jobs as were created in January is just laughable on its face. The unemployment numbers are going down because unemployment benefits are finally expiring on people who've been out of work for 27 months, not because the job market is improving. And the sequester was never expected to hit February jobs numbers. In fact, they won't even hit March's jobs numbers. They'll only start showing up in April. And when the feds start facing the same problems the real workers in the US have been facing for the last 6 years, maybe something that will actually fix the problem will start to happen. But I'm not counting on it. My guess is they're still gonna be blaming Bush.

Tech titans: Give it a rest with the SEP injunctions, wouldja? - economists

Tom 13

Not as good an option as they think.

The only way the concept of FRAND is ever going to work is if the standards setting agencies become the patent holders for the technologies within their standards. in theory they have a sustained interest in licensing it to as many people as possible. So long as the patent is elsewhere, the patent holder doesn't necessarily have that interest. In practice you might find that even the licensing agency doesn't actually have a sustained interest, but they are the best shot you've got at it.

Tom 13

Re: Amazed that does not happen already.

Arbitration may be less costly, but it isn't necessarily more fair. There are instances where arbitration leads to power being concentrated to the benefit of entrenched interests which are not being as economically productive as they ought to be.

Carrie Fisher dusts off THAT bikini for Star Wars VII

Tom 13

Re: Why are they dragging old actors out?

It is possible to write a good movie with the old actors within the 9 episode framework Lucas espoused early in the franchise. The first trilogy is about how the Emperor rose to power, the second is about how he was dethroned, and the third is about a new threat when the characters from the second trilogy are older.

Not that I expect Disney WILL write them properly and well, but it is theoretically possible.

Frankly, I expected a heck of a lot more from Lucas when he issued the movies for the first trilogy. I wasn't expecting to like and watch them the way I did New Hope because the first trilogy is obviously a tragedy, mostly in the Shakespearean mode (most or all of the characters you care about are dead at the end of the play). I don't care for those sorts of movies, but that obviously what the first trilogy should have been. Lucas didn't have it in him to write them correctly.

Tom 13

Re: his acting muscles

With that script, I'm not sure it would have greatly improved things if his acting muscles had been in shape. Sort of like the second movie.

Am I the only one who noticed that the two good Jones movies were about recovering Christian artifacts and the bad ones were about other artifacts?

Tom 13

Re: It's science fiction after all

Technically it's space fantasy or better still space opera. Neither sub-genre pays much attention to detailing what accounts for the changes in the world space. Of course, they also tend to be rip roaring fun yarns.

'We the People' seek to double NASA budget – at least

Tom 13

Re: Money to burn

If you're going to go that route, no government program exceeds the US military for advancements in the sciences.

Modern surgical techniques, yep military.

US Highway system, yep military.

Modern aircraft industry, yep military. And frankly, without the aircraft industry, you don't get NASA. So I guess I can claim all of NASA's contributions for the military too.

Tom 13

Re: sensible level of funding to actually achieve its goals.

And yet your post refutes itself if we look at things honestly.

What is NASA's current goal? I can't name one. We haven't had a goal for NASA since Apollo. We've had projects, and we've got fiefdoms, which has resulted in the usual bureaucrat infighting that stifles everything.

Yes NASA did cool things that fired national and international interest. In the 60s. Since then our notable achievements have pretty much been Challenger and Columbia - both disasters resulting from PHBFH making decisions that ignored engineering input to puff up a superiors. Those kinds of things only happen when there are no clear goals.

At this point NASA has to be transformed from the point of the spear to the space going equivalent of the FAA and space exploration needs to be turned over to the private sector. For all that I've come down on Musk the last few days, at least his company hasn't killed anybody, they've admitted their failures, and they are working to correct them. I've got more faith in him and others like him getting us up there and doing it right than I do that NASA can.

Pwn2Own: IE10, Firefox, Chrome, Reader, Java hacks land $500k

Tom 13

Re: Prize funding?

Sadly despite the obvious need for this sort of security proofing, none of them are really interested in it. The one good thing about all the problems MS has had, is that it has roused some sense that they do have to address security. Granted they do still put too much of the effort into PR and not enough into engineering.

Germans Joyn in the operator-backed rival to Skype

Tom 13

Re: Joyn never was a good idea

It is rare to ever find a idea which 100% good or 100% bad. Almost all of them have some sort of trade off. With Joyn it's potential ownership of the id and cost. With Skype or GTalk it's privacy. I don't tend to use these types of utilities, so I don't have a dog in the fight.

Samsung grabs Sharp shard, brings pain to Apple supply chain

Tom 13

That's 3% for now.

Who knows what might happen in the future. In the meantime, it is certainly enough to have friendly conversations to protect their investment.

Tom 13

Re: quietly started using North American components where he could

While I'd love that if it were true, the unfortunate facts on the ground are that any attempts at manufacturing in the US are pretty much doomed before they start because of union issues.

R.I.P Twinkies

BRITAIN MUST DECLARE WAR on Cervinaean menace

Tom 13

I'm all in favor of this proposal from the University of East Anglia.

Not because I'd believe anything ANY of their models predict, but because venison is tasty and therefore a good idea regardless of what useful idiot proposes it.

Judge slashes Apple's pile o' cash Samsung judgment

Tom 13

Re: case off her docket quickly over what would best serve justice.

I don't agree with that. Getting it off her docket quickly, if the parties had accepted, would have been better than where we are headed. Bad cases make bad law, and this one is bad all the way around. And being strict in such cases is the only way to be fair. It is also the best protection against being overturned on appeal or worse disciplined because your discretion biased the trial in favor of one of the parties.

Tom 13

Re: you either missed my point or I expressed it poorly!

No we got it. It's just wrong. Equally biased works out to doubly dangerous to the judicial system.

Tom 13

Re: Agreed

Good advice, but dangerous. The lawyers would probably sue for wrongful termination....

Which wouldn't worry me so much if it wasn't for the fact that it's 50-50 on whether they'd win. [[shudder]]]

Tom 13

Re: the damage award continues to head south...

The damage award was always going to head south. Part of the irony of the American court system is that a huge contributor to the outrageous initial awards is that as the defendant appeals the verdict the award keeps going down until it becomes reasonable.

What's amazing in this case is how RAPIDLY the award is headed south.

Twenty classic arcade games

Tom 13

Re: Maybe a top 100 list next time?

I second that idea! And would third it too if that were cricket.

If I might over an amendment? Do it as a Reg submission/poll sequence.

Tom 13

The one I find odd is Ms. Pacman but not the original

which was a far better game.

I also spent quite a few quarters in Beserk, not that I expect it to make a top 20 list. "Come back and fight like a robot!"

I suppose Donkey Kong get's you the Mario Brothers franchise, but I far preferred the turtle game. Played Kong on a console again recently and had the same issue with icon locating that I found irritating in the first.

And where the heck is Robotron?!?!?! Sure Battlezone gave you pedals and a yoke, but Robotron required the use of both joy sticks, and in a fashion that doesn't exactly come naturally to the human brain.

Still the picks on the early games are good. Can't comment on the new ones. Stopped doing the arcades around 1990, but I do get nostalgic for them.

Architect pitches builder-bothering 'Print your own house' plan

Tom 13

Re: Potential in post-disaster recovery

The next Katrina-esque natural disaster has already happened. It was called Sandy. You don't hear much about it because having hit the NE, there's not such a ripe field of fire to denigrate Republicans. This CNC process would never pass muster in NYC or Boston.

Tom 13

Re: That's 50 versions per building type

If only it were that easy.

It's not even the states that set the regs although they might set certain guidelines, it's the municipalities. So it gets down to at least each country, and possibly even cities within the county. That's thousands of plans per basic design.

Tom 13

Re: Guy's behind the times.

And as other posts have noted, the real problem to building a house for most people isn't buying the parts, it's knowing the local zoning regs, then getting the permits and the inspections. Good reasons for all of them initially, but these days a mess to coordinate, which is what the general contractor does.

Tom 13

Re: "No one builds a wall with studs sixteen inches on-centre anymore."

No, No! It is not 19.2", it's 50cm! None of that farting around with non-decimal conversions anymore!

Tom 13

Re: Trying to evade the correct paperwork and procedures in the UK is simply stupid.

Or the US. Or France. Or Canada. Mexico would probably be a 50-50 thing depending on whether you known the correct people to bribe. In point of fact, just about anywhere in the world except 3rd world countries are likely to run afoul of many building regs. And I expect in the 3rd world, you'll have trouble finding those CNC machines.

SpaceX Dragon eventually snared by ISS

Tom 13

@Vladimir: There's an important difference between Apollo or Soyuz and Space X

Apollo and Soyuz didn't have the experiences of Apollo and Soyuz as cautionary engineering examples from which they could learn.

Yes, it's still rocket science and more importantly rocket engineering. Maintaining thirty 9s of QA is damned hard work. I get that. The problem is, if we want to get off this rock, the people getting us off it have to meet those requirements.

New class of industrial-scale super-phishing emails threatens biz

Tom 13

Re: HTML email only?

Given the parameters, while I'd expect fewer clients who use plain text mail readers to be taken in, that's because I expect the people who use plain text mail readers are more technically aware than readers who use the default from the installer, which is typically HTML.

The key bits here are that the messages are well written, highly variable, and are using initially clean websites for the phishing. So the filter oriented techniques which are the standard technical defenses don't work. If the rest of the message gets past your social defenses and you copy the link to a browser, you are just as likely to get infected. It's not the HTML message itself that provides the compromise, it's the website when you follow the link.

Google open sources very slow compression algorithm

Tom 13

Re: systems that cram data into wonderfully tiny bundles.

But has anybody ever managed to recreate the neutron packing density Novel achieved on their 3.5 inch driver disk for Netware 3.12? You put that thing in and could leave the top floor of the World Trade Center (cause it was still there back then) walk down to the corner sit at the counter, order a cup of coffee and a danish, finish both, and then come back as the disk was just about done unpacking.

Big Blighty telcos ordered to block three BitTorrent search sites

Tom 13

Re: Will they ever learn

Not sure even that phrase applies. More like Pyrrhic encounter.

Frankly, while I loathe the freeloaders, I'm even more disgusted with the ham handed attempts at stopping them. There is a defined manner for recovering damages from people who pirate music: identify them and sue them for damages in the appropriate court. But the IP industry doesn't want to go through all that hard work so they go after third parties instead. Besides which, it's bad PR when they go after individuals. I could probably even put up with them lobbying for changes to the law such that the primary vehicle for infringement needs to be proved in court and once proven the small fry go through some administrative process defined in the legislation. But this crap with trying to blacklist websites has to stop.

Vint Cerf: 'The internet of things needs to be locked down'

Tom 13

Re: because the windows were left open

But NOT if you buy our NEW and IMPROVED:


If you're on the traveling and you it suddenly starts to rain, or even if you just wonder if you didn't close up all the windows when you left, it's no problem, Just use your shiny Windows 9 Smart Phone to call your SMART house and tell our iOS HOUSE Windows to close!

Tom 13

Re: I guess my question is why even hook these devices up to ANY net.

People have been working on it since around the time that toaster got connected to the internet. My second real job was for an outfit called SMART HOUSE, LP (now defunct). This is something they would certainly have included in their home automation package. It would have been marketed as part of the energy savings package. They'd also have included teasers about being able to phone home to make sure the air conditioner was off/higher temp if you suddenly were worried you forgot to change it before leaving the house. They were a bit more concerned about security than it sounds like these manufacturers are. In fact, they killed part of their planned phone automation system because they realized it opened a break-in liability issue.

Granted in the end I'm with you (I never could work out a cost/convenience justification), and given they went bankrupt about a year after I left apparently not many consumers did either, but that doesn't mean people aren't working on it. And at the low prices for internet connectivity these days, I can see manufacturers throwing it on without a lot of strategy thought.

Colombian boffins reconstruct flight path of Russian meteor

Tom 13

Re: why we aren't spending our money feeding

Even if we weren't spending that money (which I would prefer), the budget to build such a system would pretty much bankrupt even the amalgamated nations who have the tech to build it.

Tom 13

Re: evacuate an area, for example, if we had time.

The smaller the object, the more difficult to detect and track. Then you have to get the orbital path. All theoretically workable, IF you are looking at the right place at the right time with the right equipment. You've got a better chance of winning that big Irish Lottery.

For all practical intents with current technology and money resources we can't do much about either of them. The small ones we'll spot to late to be able to evacuate. (And let's face it, we have enough trouble evacuating large cities when we have a week's notice that a hurricane is about to hit land when we've got pretty satellite pictures of it. Can you imagine trying to get people to evacuate a city based on the little white dot a meteor would be?) The large ones we couldn't deflect anyway. (And they'd be little white dots too.)

Tom 13

Re: would it have done any good?

As far as I can tell, no. Both Bruce and Morgan are working on other projects at the moment and would not have been available to save the earth.

Adobe squashes TWO critical Flash vulnerabilities with emergency patches

Tom 13

Re: Crapware

That's this week. They'll move it next week.

Tom 13

Re: Flash?

He'll save every one of us!

Elon Musk: 'Fudged' NYT article cost Tesla $100m

Tom 13

Re: That is a real added energy cost

And a real environmental cost that the greenies ignore but us neanderthals take into account.

Tom 13

Re: "Anxiety" isn't an incident

I think in context, the 200 mile stretch being "the scariest" is because it's right at the limit of the battery capacity. If for some reason the car only goes 180 miles, you are SOL.

Tom 13

Re: practically to deny the idea of Moore's Law

Moore's Law applies specifically to transistors. Battery storage density shows no such inclination to improve. There are plenty of mission critical uses for batteries that would benefit greatly from increased life. The sorts of mission critical uses that cause governments to throw tens of millions at research on the off chance it might work. So far it hasn't yielded the kind of increases you assume will just happen automagically.

Tom 13

Re: Electric generation is far more efficient in extracting power from fuels such as gasoline

Citation of working gasoline powered electric plant required.

Tom 13

Re: Two freakin' days to go just 440 miles?!

Well, that actually makes OUR point rather better than rebutting us as you claim. The whole reason it took 2 WHOLE DAYS to make the 440 mile trip is precisely because the car requires the recharge after going 200 miles. My moderate mileage gas car gets 360-380 on one tank and is completely refueled in under 10 minutes, including bathroom break, and a death dog snack if I'm inclined to buy one from the gas (petrol to Brits) vendor. And assuming he was traveling at speed limits with no delays for traffic, that would be an 8 hour trip without recharge and lunch. So yeah if you were headed out in the afternoon, there would be a layover in the middle, which would conveniently also test holding the battery charge overnight.

Tom 13

Re: Who cares?

I didn't trust the NYT on this. However, given Musk's reaction, I'm inclined to believe the article is spot on.

McAfee dumps signatures and proclaims an (almost) end to botnets

Tom 13

Re: Lean some basic security concepts,

Learn some basic security chowder brains!

I know the difference between a virus, a worm, and a trojan. When it comes to protecting the network if you're only protecting against viruses and everybody in the org gets an email with a trojan, it doesn't make a rat's ass worth of difference, the network is still down. That's why somewhere back in the early 1990s we stopped worrying about what minutely specific type of compromise was occurring and just wrapped it all up in a nice bow and called it 'malware'.

Tom 13
Thumb Up

Re: My Linux server hosting email lists for various community and charitable groups

And a hearty thanks to you for doing so.

If we saw more responsibility like that from ISP and email vendors, the internet would be a safer place.

Tom 13

Re: The end result could crush botnets

but that's nothing compared with what it will do to crush your Windows software!

I know. The last time we had major down because of malware where I work, it was McAfee whacking the login dlls from the system directory.

Samsung laptops can be NUKED by ANY OS – even Windows: new claim

Tom 13

Re: generally a lot less possible configurations than Linux.

Infinity vs Infinity squared arguments bore me.

I'd say this is one where MS's larger money pool and deployed base gave them a slight advantage. I wouldn't be surprised to learn MS found the bug, and worked around it, and never reported it to anybody because that's the way the rock. Because they have such a varied install base and the money to back it, they get to test (and frankly HAVE to) on a lot more hardware than the Linux devs do. On the other hand the Linux devs are more nimble, and patched it quickly.

Tom 13

@/dev/null: let me fix that for you:

...for the old PC BIOS, something which is still WELL overdue.

On the other hand, at the BIOS level you're pretty much coding by hand and error testing is tricky. Worst part is what assumptions do you get to make about your inputs, because you don't have a lot of room to maneuver. I don't even write sloppy .Net code let alone the sort of really well though through machine code that goes into a BIOS. It may be crap, but when I really think about it, those guys have actually done pretty well by us through the last 30 years.

Tom 13

Re: It's Forth based, right?

So what you're saying is that Intel said:

Go Forth and conquer

and they did?

Tom 13

Re: This is Samdungs fault.

I believe the Kipling line is something approximating:

but the sins that you do two by two you shall pay for one by one.

Yes Samsung is primarily at fault for a very faulty BIOS/UEFI implementation. But the Linux distro was also at fault for sloppy coding and failure to test. Posters who weren't shilling for one side or the other appropriately beat up on both of them. We did give points to Linux guys for at least admitting they'd written sloppy code and rapidly posting defenses and fixes. And now it seems the Linux guys have done some solid research which indicates Samsung REALLY needs to fix their crap.

Tom 13

Re: using a pseudonym is just as AC as using AC

But if I used my real name here, how would you know it wasn't a pseudonym?

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