* Posts by Tom

147 publicly visible posts • joined 21 May 2007


Corporate social responsibility - ya gotta love it



Well, according to my ITIL book, a Service is "A means of delivering value to Customers by facilitating Outcomes Customers want to achieve without ownership of the specific Costs and Risks."

So according to that definition SaaS is: a company would buy that wants to get the outcomes a particular piece of Software can produce, but doesn't want to assume the direct costs and risks normally associated with purchasing, installing, running, and maintaining that software. So based solely upon the denotative definitions of the words, it is not illogical.

And if you think about, back in the early days of computing, most of it was done on a sort of SaaS basis. You'd buy the service from somebody with the mainframe, and run it on their mainframe according to the agreement.

I suppose in some instances, there still might be some business cases to be made on that model. What I see as the major problem is that these days SaaS seems to be intent on pitching things like replacing your word processing suite with Saas. And to me, that makes no business sense at all.

But yes, they do seem rather intent on mutilating the English language, and both sides of the pond seem to agree about that point.

Windows 7 boss predicts 'modest' initial shipments


Definitely suspicious

“In the short run, these [Windows] product releases impact PC growth rates very, very modestly,”

Not the sort of thing one expects to hear from MS. Especially as they normally kill the OS 2 full versions back. Since that would be XP, and the uptake for Vista has been modest (being generous), one would expect the sales for Windows 7 to be brisk as users replace systems that are no longer supported. Granted the economy is a bit soft at the moment, but still.

Something fishy is definitely going on.

School worker's Facebook post prompts suspension


Granted I'm one of those redneck neanderthals you all love to hate

but it seems to me that if there was any "potentially bringing the school into disrepute" that was accomplished by a school that has ability to discipline it's students and not someone making mention of it outside of the school grounds.

Furthermore, I might have been willing to allow how as I'm not a Brit, perhaps to someone more familiar with the area, the comment was sufficiently revealing to provide specific information, but from some of the responses posted here, I take that being across the pond is not the cause of my inability to specifically identify the school.

Best Buy leaked memo spills Windows 7 upgrade details


And still they don't learn...

It wasn't that the "Vista Capable" marketing campaign was a bad idea. If I were going to buy a new pc in the next couple of months, I'd probably want to know that it was "Windows 7" capable. The problem with the "Vista Capable" campaign was that they knowingly labeled PCs that weren't really "Vista Capable" as "Vista Capable" and then tried to weasel their way out of it afterward with a even more bolluxed version of the product.

Personally, I'm not worried about "Windows 7" capable on my home machine. I built it big and bad enough that I should be able to load just about anything onto that hard drive. And nothing is touching my XP partition on the other hard drive. And yeah, I could probably heat my house in winter with the PC if I left it running 24x7.

US spaceflight review suffers attack of the Twitters



Nonsense! The US government has had dilithium crystals since the Roswell incident. All this rocket nonsense is just a conspiracy to keep us stuck on this rock.

Research: Airliners can be more eco-friendly than trains


Assumptions truly are the key

And let's start right now by straightening out the one obvious mistaken assumption you Brits are making: Unless you happen to be a Senator of more than 12 years from a small state in the northeast corridor, there are no high speed trains in the US, and especially no high speed passenger trains. Rail development here seems to have mostly stopped around the time the robber barons died. Rail in the US means freight: two, three, or more diesels hooked up to a long line of cars carrying coal, iron ore, refined iron/steel, chemicals, automobiles, or perhaps garbage to an out of state landfill. You guys may have the Priusses of trains, here in The States were still driving the Model T.

Oh, and AC Coward of 8th June 2009 09:57 GMT, in the northeast corridor, even the non-high speed trains are competitive with airlines on trip time after you add in the extra arrival time for security these days. The problem is, while you can hop a commuter flight at just about any 30 minute interval, the trains, well not so much. So travelers tend to fly rather than train.

Mitsubishi finalises mass-market e-car production plans


@Tony Smith

So then, you're saying that the 3rd law of thermodynamics has been repealed for electric cars?

Granted, it's been some years now since I had my primary school physics intro, but I hadn't seen any news about that elsewhere. And I'd imagine the U.S. Patent Office would have to revise the one sane rule they have: you know, the one about you can't apply for a patent on a perpetual energy machine.

Or to simplify it a bit for you, petrol cars can generate battery energy because they convert some of the chemical energy of the petrol into the electrical for the ignition and other car electronics. But in the electric car, all of the energy has to come from the battery, including the energy that might be derived by running an alternator from the wheels. You can recover some of the energy that might be lost to breaking by converting it to electrical, but there will be significant losses for friction in your proposed solution.

US raygun jumbo jet now firing live blasts in flight


@Lewis Page, You used the wrong tense in one senctence,

It should read "..., but the US use to be able to afford..." In case you missed it, we've had a banking collapse, a mortgage collapse, and the fascist in chief just bought himself two car companies while filling the coffers of his political allies in the UAW. By the end of the year our debt is going to be 70% of GDP, and that's before they implement some warmed-over version of your national healthcare system. So there's no money left to buy SM-2s. It's like we'll be reduced to having our sailors standing on deck holding wooden version of the new super-tech that is being developed and shouting "Zap! I got you!"

Fear the Norks, not because the Norks are fearsome, but because their opponents are likely to be disarmed by feckless leaders.

RIM warns over PDF peril


While recognizing the need for some form controlled documents

I have to agree with adnim, PDFs are overused as a means of transmitting information that can be relayed just as effectively in plain text. I manage the Help Desk where I work, and we keep getting some variation of the following question from users:

"Why doesn't my signature line look the same when I see it in the replies I get from my recipients?"


Microsoft fortifies Windows 7 kernel with overrun buster


I-tunes may have a craptastic install and app

But Goat Jam is still correct that the OS is responsible for kicking it's sorry butt for misbehaving. Moreover, whatever recommendations the MS "Security" team is making, the MS "Apps" team is not providing the tools to implement. The number applications we install that need Admin rights to run properly is atrocious, and the worst offenders come from Microsoft, and I'm talking their 2005, 2007, and 2008 versions of the programs, not stuff written way back in 1995.

iPhone apps - the 10 smartest and the 10 stupidest


Admit it! You're just pissed somebody else is collecting the $5/shot

for the burning candle download. Probably has a patent on it too.

Oracle reels in Sun Microsystems with $7.4bn buy


MySQL is the one bit that might run afoul

of the anti-trust laws here. So it get sold to somebody else.

Harvard Prof.'s hearing against RIAA can't be streamed online


@AC 20-Apr-09 13:38 GMT

The court is obliged to be fair to both plaintiff and defendant. Favor the plaintiff and you get to many 'false' convictions. Favor the defendant and you get to many 'false' acquittals. So either can appeal a decision they think unfairly burdens their side. That being said, I don't see a logical way to argue that the overwhelming public interest in this trial is not best served by broadcasting the trial. And if it can be broadcast, it can be broadcast via peer-to-peer mechanisms.

US states may seek Microsoft anti-trust extension


States sueing to protect consumers?

Yeah, right. There was only one true thing MS said during their previous trial, and that was that the trial wasn't about penalizing it for past behavior, it was about the government taking control of the company and dictating what it did. With the Big 0 having nationalized the banks and the car industry, MS is another logical step in encroaching fascistic statism. Using California and New York as proxies just slightly obscures the objective. And for as much as I despise Microshaft's abusive ways, the only thing that frightens me more than that, is the state replacing them as the abuser.

What would you pay for 400,000 new green jobs?


Not one red-green cent

But things aren't looking much better on this side of the pond either. Near as I can tell, the Big 0 and his minions are planning to make you guys look like pikers when it comes to wasting money.

Microsoft draws fire for taxpayer handout


I think you missed a key part of the story here.

According to CNN:

"Marchione applied for federal stimulus money after costs jumped on the project from $25 million to $36 million. Marchione says the increase in costs were due to a rise in construction prices and because the bridge will be built on a diagonal in order to connect Microsoft’s original East campus with a newer West campus that are split by a public highway."

So the federal bailout money exactly equals the price increase for rerouting the bridge for MS needs. Yes, The Big 0 is buying MS a bridge with my tax dollars, and no, I'm not the least bit happy about it.

US Patent Office exposes Apple secret plan


I thought I was suppose to get to the END of the article

before realizing it was an April fool.

Apple would NEVER patent something obvious like an answering machine that doesn't record message. That would be Microsoft who does that, because they are the only company that can afford all the lawyers required to protect such an absurdity.

NYC granny shoots mugger with .357 Magnum


Granny id being sued because NYC laws are

almost as f**cked up as UK gun laws. She got mugged, she had the right to shoot him. I'd only advise her to sped a bit more time at the range so she has better shot placement next time.

Oh, and the landlord is being sued for the same reason. Instead of putting thugs in jail, NYC laws are designed to keep citizens afraid. If they can't do it through direct intimidation, then you intimidate businesses into intimidating people for you.

Oddly enough, every time they do an unbiased study they always seem to turn up the same result: the more guns and concealed carry permits available, the safer the streets are.

EU demands 20% energy cut from tech industry


Yep that's what I thought.

Twits don't give a shit about saving the planet, all they really want is to be able to tell everybody else how to run their business/lives.

1) AGW is a religion, not science.

2) Even if AGW was science and not a religion, you couldn't get the kind of cuts they want from something that uses such a small slice of the energy consumption.

Busted! Conficker's tell-tale heart uncovered



He's Dead.

Yes Neil, I thought that was a great clip too. Atherton plays the pompous ass so well!

Firefox exploit sends Mozilla into 'high-priority fire drill' mode


@AC 27th March 2009 08:47 GMT

Oh, we were just waiting for you to get close enough for us to see the whites of your eyes before opening fire.

What's really interesting to my mind is that because of bad parsing by IE, the flaw is actually more dangerous when IE passes the flaw to FF.

As other posters have noted, FF didn't try to sweep this under the rug or obfuscate the danger of the exploit like MS did with the IE critical flaw revealed at the same show. There was no "DEP prevents this on the public release" statement that needed to be retracted 24 hours later. The fix will be autodeployed shortly and for those who are adventurous enough to compile their own code, a fix has already been released. Not possible with MS. No, I think Mozilla handled this pretty well. I also have some level of confidence that unlike MS, Mozilla will have a real 'lessons learned' meeting of the programmers after the fix has been fully deployed to make sure similar errors don't happen in the future. With MS I just expect a recap of events by the marketing team, with an eye toward how to spin it better next time.

Google takedowns flawed, analysis shows


who'd have thunk?

Congress passing a law that doesn't do what it was purported to do.

TomTom countersues Microsoft


Ooh! Ooh! Lawyers at 20 paces!

And the winner will be....









The lawyers.

Oh, well.

Nude Oz politico snaps a 'con'



No, I wouldn't. The story fit the meme to put "the right candidate" in office, and they kept it alive just long enough to swing the election. The timing tells all. The news print media can't figure out why they keep losing circulation even though they keep pulling this kind of crap. If they sold a decent product, they'd make money. Internet newsies like this are great for long distance communications, and even better for the feedback from real live people, but when I get on the train in the morning, I want a good old fashioned newspaper in my hand, not a clunky laptop with a wi-fi card, or a too small PDA. There is no more convenient quick scan communication system than news print, with fair information density for the weight. But the information has to be good, and not constantly slanted by political ideology, especially when it's the "hard" news.

HP streams 'confidential' town hall meeting to world+dog


@AC 20-03-09 5:24 GMT

Once upon a time, long, long, long ago in a faraway land HP was one of the major producers of all sorts of very interesting scientific research equipment, from home boffin gear to expensive university and government gear. Unfortunately, both H and P long ago retired and have since passed on to the great gear factory in the sky. Since then the carcass of HP has been beset by maggots like Fiorinia or whatever the hell her name was. Now they are just another name in the commodity hardware biz.

Crackers latch onto year-old Windows token vuln


@Gavriel Vistica

I thought it was "Ouch! That's gonna leave a mark!"

Of course, with MS, it will be difficult to distinguish it from all the OTHER marks...

A grim day for browser security at hacker contest


Nils also doesn't have to worry about

the cops coming to throw him in the clink or being pwned by the people to whom he thinks he is selling his exploit. I think that's worth a 95% discount.

Sun and IBM - What price Bigger Indigo?


Haw cume sew miny Son AC's kan't spall?

I thought you guys were the academics?

ISS space bio-experiment freezer to return on Discovery


@Chris Collins

Loyd is correct about the temperature in space near earth as such. I can't find a source for a good figure near the earth, but cooling was a significant issue for Apollo 13. Substantial cooling will occur simply from radiation in space, so an area away from the heating support systems for any vehicle in space will cool substantially. What it this doesn't take into account is transport to and from the surface of the earth, and for that part of the journey both substantial insulation and cooling would be required. (Although I've never understood the desire to bring potentially deadly materials back to earth. Far better to study them in space where if something goes hideously wrong you can try to contain it, maybe even launch it into the sun.)

Oh, and the sun doesn't freeze because the gravitational energy of the sun keeps it in a plasma state in which nuclear fusion occurs, which also adds to the temperature of the sun.

Yeah, I was an astro major a long long time ago, although I eventually gave it up because arithmetic and I don't get along.

One last note, conduction via metal is the most efficient heat transfer mechanism. Which means that a box attached to an array of metal fins that radiate the heat away would actually be the fastest means to transfer heat away in space.

Hollywood retrofits MacGyver into feature flick


@All you posers whining about Hollywood doing nothing original

Nothing original has been written by anyone since Aristotle defined the three types of plays. Everything since then has been derivative of what has come before. Some people have just been more successful at creating interesting variations than others. If you are going to criticize Tinseltown for creating crappy products, criticize them for the crappy part, not the rehash.

Lights out, Britons told - we're running out of power


@Paul Rhodes

Under Reagan or either Bush, you'd be right. But last go round we put a wanker in charge who is intent on not merely catching up to you guys on stifling our energy output, but getting there ahead of you guys. Assuming of course he doesn't sufficiently encourage the Iranians to nuke us before he wins the race to energy failure. Damned fools at the top of our government now make your Gordy look positively competent.

Visa yanks creds for payment card processing pair


Wow Rolf must be a Cambridge grad

Never met a pub crawler who was so economically ignorant. Every joe I've ever met at the bar knows the corporations don't pay anything, including taxes - as far as they are concerned, it's simply another expense to be passed along to the consumer.

Drunken BOFH wreaks $1.2m in Oz damage



And don't forget the forensics! You can't proceed with the restore until after you've completed the forensics. Unless you buy new kit, which of course they never do, and it would take days to get there anyway, if for no other reason than that they need the computer your fixing to process the paperwork for a new computer.

Former employee of Obama CIO pick busted for bribery


You forgot the 'yet'

As in: "Appointee not linked to wrongdoing - Yet"

DC city government is the only city government in the US that is significantly more corrupt than Chicago's. You can swing a dead rat without hit a crook in the DC government. From convicted felons running security agencies on there are no apples in the barrel that aren't rotten.

Science-boosting thickie questionnaire backfires


The question on Evolution is particularly telling

Not, "According to accepted scientific theory", simply do you BELIEVE in evolution.

There is no wrong answer to that question, because it doesn't matter whether evolution is real or not, if I don't BELIEVE in evolution, that is the correct answer to the question. In point of fact, I don't believe in evolution, but if asked "According to accepted scientific theory" I will correctly answer the question. I can even describe a fair chunk of the so-called theory, even though as science it is utter crap, despite being "accepted scientific theory."

Have IT vendors been hit harder than IT departments?


No surprises here

The cost of delaying a purchase is only an opportunity cost to the business. Laying off people if you expect to recover has the potential to be a huge cost. First off, you have the increases in taxes (otherwise known as unemployment insurance rates) for laying off the employees. If you employ more than 50 people, you have regulatory costs involved in making certain you jump through all the right hoops, and potential legal costs if somebody decides your paperwork wasn't in order or you discriminated against them for some unfathomable reason or another. Finally, when you do recover, odds are your former IT employee has found another job somewhere else, which means you'll spend 6-8 weeks looking for his replacement, and a year or more training him to be useful within your corporate structure. So in the initial stages of a downturn (and make no mistake about it, despite it's depth, these are still only the initial stages) you cut purchasing, not people. That impacts the manufacturing sector (Dell, HP, Lenovo) not the service sector (Programming, Networking, Help Desk). Furthermore, the pause in purchasing allows the IT shop time to focus on some of those items that further down the To Do list that only require time but normally get pushed back because they don't want equipment idling.

Oh, and the unemployment numbers aren't behaving normally this time around either. Normally after some amount of time people do normally stop looking for work and wait for the economy to get better, and those numbers properly drive down the unemployment rate. This time they aren't. Whether people think this is really different from the last few downturns in that it is going to be a long hard slog like the Great Depression was so they'd better keep pounding the pavement, or if it is that their asset losses have left them hurting so much they HAVE to be out looking for a job, they are looking for a job longer.

Wikileaked donor list shames US lawmaker


@Apocalypse Later

There was no inconsistency about how the votes were awarded: If the vote was for Franken it was awarded to him, if it was for Coleman it wasn't, even if that instance of the ruling contradicted a previous ruling.

But there's no point in telling that to the leftist flamers on this site.

Cebit 09 too dead to trash says Greenpeace


California's Silicon Valley is getting exactly what they voted for

Socialism destroys jobs wherever it emerges and right now California has one of the more socialist state governments in the US, surpassed only by the People's Republic of Taxachussettes, The People's Republic of Maryland, and of course the center of Socialism in the US, The People's Republic of the District of Columbia.

The Governator won office promising to turn things around, and instead turned tail and ran away. There's a reason U-hual is charging 6 or 7 times as much for one-way rentals out of California as they charge for a one-way into California.


@AC 10-03-09 11:22 Hood =/= Hoodie

A hoodie is a specific coat which incorporates a hood, so it is not an oopsie.

Republican e-chief exits, denounces 'blog-flogging simpletons'


Oh, I think the Republican apparahicks got their message out this last season

but "We're just like the Democrats only less so!" wasn't really a good message.

Getting back to basic Republican philosophy will do the party wonders, and leave most of the posters here scratching their heads wonder what the f*** hit them.

Russian politician: 'My assistant started Estonian cyberwar'


Get Real!

This is Russia were talking about, where nothing big happens without the involvement of the KGB (or whatever the hell they call it now, same org, different name) and/or the mafia. So it's the claim that

<I>it seems likely that "patriotic hackers", stirred up by Russia nationalist press, formed a cyber-militia</i> that needs to be taken with the pinch of salt.

IT feels the pain as US loses 651,000 jobs in February


All the economists know the earliest the US economy

will start to recover is June 2010 and right now even that is an optimistic prediction (odds are running about 25-75 against). They're just afraid to say so because they don't want the IRS and local government ankle biters giving them an unexpected audit like Joe the Plumber got.

Obama seeks econ advice from Web2.0rhea king


140 characters or less?

Cut taxes, don't raise them. Cut regulations, don't increase them. Let Fannie and Freddie die -- the Marxist horse is dead.


Well under 140 characters, including spaces and punctuation with no funny spellings.

Feds demand Obama scam ads crackdown


Of course the scammers are after the Obamanauts

Idiots who believed what he was selling in the last election will believe anything.

Although it does look like Team Obama is trying hard to place the spammers in productive jobs. Just look at their press release at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Womens-History-Month-2009/

Web maven gives convicted botmaster keys to new kingdom


I was going to give the company the benefit of the doubt

and assume they were playing nice because they didn't want to run afoul of perverse employment laws.

Then I read the guys public statement....

The gene pool is in desperate need of some chlorination.

Obama taps net neut for FCC post



Buying his way into office isn't fault enough? I suppose he needs to be a tax cheat too like the rest of The Messiah's appointments. But then you probably haven't noticed those "faults" either.

Neither the net neuts nor the QOSers are correct in the current fight. The appropriate response to both sides is that the terms of the agreement from the service provider must be clear, and not changed without the consent of the purchaser. The the people who are net neutral can buy from net neutral providers, and the people who want QOS can buy from the QOS providers. The only requirement on the QOS providers should be that the service can only be degraded on the basis of clearly spelled out terms, not broken.

My issue with Comcast wasn't that they were traffic shaping. It was that they lied and said they weren't traffic shaping. And once they got caught with their shorts down, they lied about what and how they were traffic shaping. If they would have been upfront about, no problem.

Stargazers spy elusive binary black hole system


Sorry Lester, even with the quote marks, the story needs to be fixed

John hit it spot on for the definition of parsec and it's approximate conversion into light years. AUs are used to measure planetary distances, not galactic or intergalactic distances, and is defined as the mean distance of the earth's distance from the sun during a single revolution around the sun.

That always bugged me about my one and only journalism class: they pretended that so long as you quoted somebody, you were off the hook for the validity of the quote. I never bought that, so I never took the subsequent classes. I figured if they screwed up something that fundamental in the beginning, there was no hope for the later work.

UK opposes copyright exemptions for mash-ups


The problem with copyright law, and with existing IP laws in general

is that they have ceased to balance between the needs of individual citizens and the needs of society in general. Neither the blanket condemnation of copyright law, nor the blanket accusation of 'Pirates!' is beneficial to society as a whole. For a limited time, individuals (and by extension corporations) ought to have the exclusive rights to genuinely new IP. But at some point, that IP must pass into the public domain. At it ought to be the responsibility of legislatures to take up the issues related to what those parameters ought to be and formulate laws around the balancing of those competing interests.

Psion countersues Intel in not-netbook spat


Psion? Never heard of them before they filed the lawsuit

So no confusion here. So that would be 0% on a sample of 1 US resident, but your mileage may vary.

Disclaimer: I've never be interested in the subnotebook, subsubnotebook, micronotebook, minimicronotebook, nanonotebooks, or any other variant of the less than full-fledged desktop PC. And frankly, I don't even like the mini-desktop versions of those.

Obama wants to wring fat dollar from mobile operators


Re: Not that one can blame Obama - more money has to come from somewhere

Absolutely not true. I can blame him, and intend to do so loudly at every opportunity for at least the next four years. If he and his socialist buddies hadn't passed a porker that in one month explodes the deficit more than Bush did in 8 years, he wouldn't have to collect the money. There is almost no stimulus in the so called stimulus bill.

If you want to restart the economy, the only proved way to do so is the method used by John F. Kennedy and Ronald W. Reagan: Cut taxes across the board. And no, transfer payments from people paying taxes to people not paying taxes don't count. It worked in the 80's; it will work again if tried.