* Posts by Tom 13

7544 publicly visible posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Sysadmin's PC-scrub script gave machines a virus, not a wash

Tom 13

Re: I can't forget some AV package...

On the bright side, it was only one PC AND it was only a warning.

Some years ago while working in a government office the McAfee software on the network got updated with a bad set of signatures. It detected the OS com file for connecting to the network as infected and quarantined it. This resulted in about 1200 computers in the office being unable to connect to the network. Which also meant that even after the vendor fessed up and sent out updated files, they couldn't be fixed from the network. So we would up with some CDs walking around to each system, booting into safe mode and updating both the AV and com file. EXCEPT, per government regulation we were updating the local admin password every 90 days. Except the update didn't always work. So we had a list of the previous 3 years of admin passwords to work through to log into each machine. WORST! THREE! DAYS! OF! MY! LIFE!!!

Tom 13

Re: No virus required

Bhah! That took a whole email system.

At my second real job, I routinely crashed the network all by myself just by sending a 20+ page print job. It was an early Novel network with an inadequately sized print spooler, which apparently was on the system volume for the network. I was the Desktop Publishing Specialist using Ventura Publisher. We managed a number of technical documents which imported HPGL files converted them to GEM format and then sent them to the printer in postscript.

On the bright side, it led to my career in IT. The third time I did it, the network manager made me a printer queue manager and showed me how to print the files to the storage volume in small batches, then add them to the printer queue and watch to make sure there was sufficient space to add the next job. Between that and playing around with DOS and Windows for our DTP and graphics software, when I wound up at a company with no real IT staff, I was the only person not afraid to reboot the crashed novel server. The wife of my future boss thought I was a genius and talked me up to her husband. So when my current boss finally honked me off in a power pissing contest, I had an IT job waiting for me.

US judge won't budge over Facebook's last-minute bid to 'derail' facial biometrics trial

Tom 13

Re: can't believe how childish FB's lawyers are.


So you are completely unfamiliar with the organization?

Because anyone with even a tangential association with them wouldn't be.

Tesla share crash amid Republican bid to kill off electric car tax break

Tom 13

re: usk has been living on government welfare all along?

Depends what part of his empire you're talking about and when you're talking about it.

His original money, no. But pretty much all of his business ventures since then have the strong scent of corporate welfare, even his SpaceX venture which I like (who buys the most space vehicles? Governments and corporations working on government projects or at least what use to be "highly regulated" monopoly-like public services i.e. phone companies).

Tom 13

Re: Tax Law - I doubt MANY who qualify for the credit can use it.

Perhaps you made a typo when you put in your screen name. Look to me like your moniker should be Captain ObLIvious.

Whether or not you are due a refund is a function of how much you've had withheld, not a function of your tax liability. So, if after deductions I have a tax liability of $47,900 single/$56,200 filing jointly (using 2016 tax tables) and I got the $7,500 tax credit I'd still be eligible for the tax credit, assuming the vendor didn't exceed their quota of tax credits. Given a standard deduction of $6,300/$12,600 plus personal exemptions, that puts the gross income at $54,300 single/$68,800 minimum. Given the US Census Bureau puts the median US wage at $56,516 there's a roughly 50/50 chance a random person would qualify for the deduction.

Microsoft's done a terrible job with its Windows 10 nagware

Tom 13

Yes, with security updates like these, I might very well move to a *nix before the end of 2016.

Tom 13

Re: Yada yada yada

I think they could make their revenue goals at $30/quarter or $120/year. Maybe even less. Frankly they probably would have had less trouble if they posted that model up front. But they didn't.

They're trying to compete with Google using the same marketing techniques. It worked for Google only because they weren't obvious about it. Now that Google is getting obnoxious about it, even they're getting pushback.

Tom 13

Re: Outlook is like democracy:

I have to agree with that. Our agency adopted Google Apps (or at least significant parts of it) as the standard for our organization. And while it is true that 90%+ of our users are happy with the web interface, the power users all want Thunderbird or even better Outlook as their mail client. The searches in GMail might be obvious to an SQL guru, but their not to your mean or mode user. Thunderbird and Outlook both do a much better job for the non-guru types. Thunderbird has a problem (which I expect is all on the Google side). When you move messages to the local folders it leaves them on GMail. The Inbox label has been removed so you won't normally see it, but it's still there in the All Mail folder and counts against your quota (yes I've tried changing the various settings for what to do when you delete a message. None of them work). I suspect the only reason Outlook doesn't have this issue is we install GASMO with it so Google handles the entire process.

And don't get me started on the Calendar. Only people who don't have organizing large meetings like anything other than Outlook for their calendaring tool.

Tom 13

Re: have BOTH their cake and eat it.

Because they can't.

The writing is on the wall. Windows as we have known it is dead. (As in dead dead, not mostly dead. Even Miracle Max Steve Bill can't save it.) If you look at any established industry it has a high growth curve from inception to wide adoption. Once it achieves wide adoption the curve levels off. There is no magic way to return to the growth curve. The expectation of the stock market AND Microsoft is that their growth rate adoption will continue indefinitely. So by all their metrics their business is failing. On top of this, the market is mature. There's not really a lot you can add to the OS to improve functionality in the way you could before. Which means Windows 7 is all the consumer really needs. But if that's all the consumer needs and his hardware lasts for 5 or 7 years instead of the 3 or 4 which has been the normal until about the time Windows 7 was released, you're taking another hit on the bottom line. So they're trying to switch to the monthly subscription model to sustain revenues. And for that very same reason, the consumer is unwilling to switch to the monthly subscription model. Windows 10 is their last desperate attempt to force people onto the monthly subscription model. So its uptake has been even slower than it would have been for a paid only version that wasn't working to switch to a new pricing model.

The crap interface is jut toadstools on top of the excrement sandwich.

Malware-flingers check out credit card data from Rosen Hotels

Tom 13

In addition, in the US if the vendor needs to challenge the challenge from a user, you need full details on the purchase. Yes you are legally obligated to destroy the data after 90 days (maybe down to 30 if they've sped up the dispute resolution process, but it was 90 when I worked on it), but until then you need the full card data.

US chap sharpens paradigm-busting scissors

Tom 13

Re: Right-handed or left-handed?

More importantly, European or African?

Tom 13

Re: funding for V2.0 for cutting corners!

Only if the want to be sued by Apple. Apple own the patent on rounding corners.

Stop whining, America: Your LTE makes Europe look slow

Tom 13

Re: But at what cost?

In the US, nobody but T-Mobile quotes a T-Mobile contract. Because only their 3 users care about their prices.

Tom 13

Re: I visit the US a lot

Flying in and out of a major city doesn't count. You have to go somewhere that includes the instructions "turn onto the dirt road". THEN you've visited the US and you can tell your friends about how great our coverage is.

I live in the DC metro area. In theory we're one of the good places for LTE data coverage. I turned in my Sprint phone because the data signal died too often on my commute to work, making it pointless for what I intended to use it for. These days I have a disposable phone that I add months to every so often. No, I don't worry about minutes.

Java evangelist leaves Oracle to save Java

Tom 13

Re: Does Java need saving?

Yes, but it may impossible to do.

Java for all of the Open Source support which surrounds it and makes it successful, has never actually been Open Source. The key element was kept private by Sun. Their last chance to set it free disappeared when Oracle bought them. I never believed Oracle intended to support Java the way Sun did. To me it has always been obvious that Oracle intends to kill the Open Source Support, so it can take it private and demand exorbitant fees to license and support it. They're all about monetizing the product the only way they know how to.

Tom 13

Re: Techies vs. corporate drones ;)

He may be technically correct about not everyone being a drone. However, I suspect the non-drones are even more problematic than the drones. Way back in the 90s I worked for one of the many outfits that was trying to develop a home automation system. On the tech side we had the usual mix of good people and bad people and were fortunate to have a couple of positively brilliant programmers. The most brilliant programmer in the program was married to one of the other lead techs. As the tech writer I dealt with both of them and I always preferred talking to John. He could actually explain things while his wife tended to go for the "I'm brilliant, top dog, and don't have time to get into this with you so just go follow my orders." Now given she was the system architect and John married her, I'm willing to believe she was technically competent. She certainly wasn't a drone. The company went bankrupt mostly because the marketing department never understood its job and as usual was the tail wagging the dog. Around that time John and his wife were getting divorced. I forget where he went, but she moved to California to take a position with an up and coming company. Yes, it was Oracle. As Oracle has emerged as a leading tech company, I've always gotten the impression she'd found a home with people just like herself.

2016: Bad USB sticks, evil webpages, booby-trapped font files still menace Windows PCs

Tom 13

Re: Ohh FFS.

I'd buy that except

When we moved from Windows 3.11 to Windows 95 we were told it was a complete rewrite.

When we moved from 98SE (because nobody is damn fool enough to admit using 98ME) to Windows 2000 we were told they did a complete rewrite.

When we moved from XP SP1 to SP2 were were told they did a serious deep dive, patched a boatload of serious holes and from now one, Security would be job #1.

When MS tried to convince everybody to move from XP SP3 to Vista we were told they did a complete rewrite of the code, all the way down to the HAL. At that point it was obvious they had because nothing worked right anymore. When they came out with the version we all adopted we were told they'd just fleshed out the driver set. Now it looks like they back ported the bad code into the system.

When they moved from Windows 7 to Windows 8 we were told ...

Trivial path for DDoS amplification attacks found by infosec bods

Tom 13

Re: unable to point to specific examples of DDoS attacks based on TFTP.

Well, now that they've published the paper, give it a week.

Boffins bust biometrics with inkjet printer

Tom 13

Re: leave false fingerprints on a knife would be much more tricky

Not really. You do need to go the latex/gummy route, using something impregnated with the right amount of oil. Also, I believe finger print scanners actually do a better comparison than most CSI comparisons which look for five points.

Sexism isn't getting better in Silicon Valley, it's getting worse

Tom 13

Re: Mosf you are missing the point...

No we're not. Worse can happen to you for other reasons in those countries, women aren't singled out. But for some reason we're expected to take in all the immigrants they can disgorge and we're expected to adapt to their culture not them to ours.

So yes, IWD is just another feminazi excuse to bash men. Which is precisely why El Reg is getting so much push back on an obvious clickbait article.

Tom 13

Re: you look like (insert dead bearded terrorist here )`s stunt double'

I resemble that remark! Well at least during the winter when I grow one.

When I firs started I could have been Arafat's double, except without the grey. Thankfully it's been getting thicker over the years.

'Microsoft Office has been the bane of my life, while simultaneously keeping me employed'

Tom 13

Re: the original developer of most of it for Excel 2000

I'm surprised he upgraded to 2000. Everything past 97 was crap, and 97 is all you need.

Tom 13

Re: I can imagine a coworker coming for someone's kneecaps

This would be one of those times when a comment in front of the code would be appropriate.

REM: No idea WTF this fixes the crashing as it is effectively a null function, but it does. Feel free to spend a week hunting the root cause if you have the time.

Google-backed British startup ‘stole our code’, says US marketing firm

Tom 13

Re: It's funny how different people can see different things

Yes it is. It's been decades since I've done any programming, and even when I did, at best you could say I dabbled. As I look at the single snippet of code provided, I see similarity in naming conventions, not programming. As as someone who did professional tech writing once upon a time, that makes sense to me. You name the function to represent what it does, but customize it slightly. The actual block of code is completely different. But it's only a single block so not necessarily representative and there's no link to the actual complaint.

As one of those crazy 'Merkins I have one question that isn't covered here: Did the plaintiff have the defendant sign a non-disclosure agreement AND a non-compete agreement? If not, it sucks to be plaintiff and the case should be summarily dismissed.

Eight in ten IBM Global Tech Services roles will be offshore by 2017

Tom 13

Re: reality is that it's the accountants driving the

No, the reality is that those accountants are reflecting the workings of the tax codes enacted by the politicians we put in office. Fix that and the rest will follow.

Tom 13

Re: El Reg wonders the wider tech services space will come full circle. ®

Nice thought, but odds are they'll be bankrupt before they see those numbers.

Tom 13

Re: hmm.

If you see the red/blue dot, it's already too late to take cover.

Norman Conquest, King Edward, cyber pathogen and illegal gambling all emerge in Apple v FBI

Tom 13

When someone writes

...but it would be nice to hear a legal opinion that stemmed from events where people weren't still using bows and arrows...

It's an admission that they KNOW that based on established LAW, they've already LOST the case, but for POLITICAL reasons, they want the COURTS to VOTE against the LAW.

Greybeard monobrow baldies rejoice! Boffins comb out hairy genes

Tom 13

Re: Monobrow rights!

I thought the problem was they were already united and were looking for a divorce.

Tom 13

Re: Get On With It!

You could always try hair looming for men.

Tom 13

Re: human male hair is genetically linked

That's what I've always heard, but I'm starting to wonder. I recall that grandfather as pretty much solid gray with visible bald spot. I turned 50 last year and the salt is just starting to appear in the pepper, no signs of thinning yet.

Mostly I'm just counting myself as fortunate.

Now where's the icon for knocking on wood?

Tom 13

Just make sure they don't give you the wrong pill. Imagine winding up with Richard Simmons' afro instead.

Hillary Clinton private email server probe winding up – reports

Tom 13

Re: Pardon?


$Hrillary and BJ have the goods on The Big 0. If he doesn't pardon them and it looks like they're headed to jail, they turn state's evidence on him. But that confirms the value of the information and they can use it again in the future. OTOH if he can do it and make those charges look like sour grapes, nothing happens to him.

Smart money has always been on this dies in the investigative stages. Trump has upset that calculation. Also at this point the FBI investigation has achieved a life of its own.

But don't make the mistake of thinking they're best buds. Both sides loathe each other and only make nice in public.

Tom 13

Re: Immunity

It doesn't imply he's going to self-incriminate. He's going up against a woman who like her husband, doesn't know what the meaning of the word 'is' is and who has demonstrated a propensity to lie unless only the truth will do. Immunity means they don't get to dismiss the charges on account of perjury and then sue him for it if he changes a single word in his testimony between when the FBI makes notes and when he's on the witness stand.

You're worried about the wrong duress. Right now he's looking to the FBI to protect him so he doesn't get Vince Fostered.

Tom 13


Those are the issues on which the media have focused.

As I've outlined above there are other laws that were also necessarily broken as a result, name the Hatch Act which prohibits using government accounts for electioneering and the Official Records Act. The ORA is similar too slightly different than FOIA. FOIA requires the government to release records to the public in certain circumstances. ORA requires you to send copies of all official records to the National Archives and defined what constitutes a record. So ORA is broader than FOIA.

Tom 13

Re: I do not think Mrs Clinton has the technical skills

She didn't have the technical skills to evaluate:

1) I cannot use an official email account for partisan/fundraising/electioneering activity

2) I must have an official account people recognize as me acting as Secretary of State

and conclude it wasn't legally possible for her to maintain only ONE email account?

I thought she was supposed to be this crack lawyer who was smarter than Gandalf and Spock put together?

Tom 13

@Chris Miller

Don't forget Official Records requirements (http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/faqs/federal.html).

There's simply no practical way to comply with the law other than having an official account with departmental backups.

I'd say this is the only GOOD reason the department where I work contracted our email out to Google. Anything that comes in or goes out, they record in a master database (SIS of course). If a FOIA request comes in, they can put the parameters into the search engine and spit out the answers. (Not that anybody wants to go that route since you have to go through "official channels" and get "high level" sign off. But at least it IS possible.)

Tom 13

Re: What was going through Clinton's head?

One thing and one thing only: I need complete control of my email to delete incriminating evidence on a moment's notice.

Her lies wouldn't even pass the smell test for a first year law student. Her purported reason for wanting an offsite server was she wanted a single email account for all her activity. Under US law, that's simply impossible. Elected officials are prohibited from using official email accounts for party building, fundraising, and partisan activity such as endorsements. PERIOD. FULL STOP. So she needed:

1) An official account

2) A personal account for party stuff

3) A classified account for handling classified material

4) A personal account for family and friends stuff

Okay, technically #4 isn't precisely mandatory, but anyone who doesn't have one is insane.

Tom 13

Re: HRC is toast, her staff is toast.

I'd like to believe that, but $Hrillary and BJ have slimed their way out of "_____ is toast" spots too often in the past. When it is to their advantage, it's even been extended to their friends and compatriots. Case in point Sandy "my socks are happy to see you" Burglar.

Tom 13

Re: Classification Game

You really need to stop parroting Clinton's blatant lies.

ALL of the information which has been deemed classified WAS BORN classified. That it is, not only the information but the WAY in which it was gathered was classified. That means it required someone to ACTIVELY remove the classification headers on it to move it to her accounts.

Tom 13

Re: Doesn't he realize that he's the reason Trump is getting so much support?

Have to disagree with you on that one. The reason Trump's getting so much support is because after both the 2010 and 2014 mid-terms, the RINOs in Congress bowed down to The Big 0. If they had fought him instead, Trump would have been a footnote in the Presidential election.

Tom 13

Only if you believe the Clintonistas working at the Washington Post. A quick perusal of The Drudge Report reveals quite a different story from other sources. There the investigation has switched modes, expanded, and isn't expected to be concluded until well after the primaries are over, possibly not even before the Presidential election.

Uncle Sam's boffins stumble upon battery storage holy grail

Tom 13

Re: This is less of a thing in the US

Progrards were out in full force for this article. Downvoting facts is a sure sign of jihadist like rage.

Tom 13

Re: Ageing fossil and nuclear plants are going off-line

Like I said you're the sort of econazi who lies. Even to the point of going back to edit his original post because he just happened to be inside the edit window.

That quote is purely YOU because I'd never use such an awkward construction.

Tom 13

Re: There was no network of petrol stations

Actually there was. Maybe not the way you'd recognize them, but it was there. Everybody always forgets WHY Henry Ford settled on gasoline as the power source for his internal combustion engine. We all know diesel is a technically superior fuel. So why gasoline? Answer: because it was waste from processing oil into kerosene. The kerosene had an existing distribution system and gasoline just got tacked onto it.

I can pick apart the rest of your rant if you want me to, but I think that's sufficient.

Tom 13

Re: Musk doesn't play with masses of taxpayers' money

Yes and no.

While his initial development money came from profits he earned, the business model for his e-car business is completely dependent on massive amounts of government subsidies to e-car buyers. There's a similar issue with his Space X venture.

In the case of Space X I'm willing to tolerate it for the simple reason that at the moment almost all space spending is government spending and what he's doing is making the same level of activity possible at HUGELY reduced costs while spurring actual technological advances. There is no similar savings for his e-Car business and I don't get the sense that we are seeing real technological advances.

Hardware – yes, hardware – is driving Hewlett Packard Enterprise's top line

Tom 13

Re: inventory was transferred to the new division

No. That would leave a paper trail and the stock holders of the old division could sue for fraud.

OTH: I will wait but not merely for next quarter. One quarter does not a recovery make.

Facebook can block folks using pseudonyms in Germany – court

Tom 13

Re: It's not mandatory is it?

Hard call. More and more of the commenting sections on the internet are demanding real names. At some point it does become mandatory in the sense that you must comply if you want to have a social presence. Anonymity has its place. There are also times it should be pierced. In the past we've tended to prefer to allow anonymity except where it was explicitly necessary to be public and when it was time to pierce anonymity, you went to court.

Tom 13

Re: irish Data Commissioner

Strike me that this decision gets appealed and overturned. The logic is not much different than the EU wanting it's privacy rules followed by US businesses, except the US is clearly an external entity to the EU while Ireland is clearly internal to the EU.

Net neutrality crusaders take aim at Comcast's Stream TV service

Tom 13

Re: Hard to call this one.

I'll grant Comcast has brilliantly set the cat among the pigeons freetards with this one.

In this case US anti-monopoly law makes it fairly easy to draw the line. Comcast is illegally extending their monopoly in high speed fiber into the content market. Of course, that's NOT an FCC issue. Which is part of why I'm against the whole net neutrality thing. It's attempting to do something already addressed by a different set of laws.