* Posts by Jtom

344 publicly visible posts • joined 25 Apr 2012


Apple: EU can't make us use your stinking common charging standard


Thanks to most of you for reinforcing my low opinion of most Europeans.

Has it occurred to any of you that if your fellow citizens didn’t want Apple products, including their cables, that they wouldn’t be buying them? You all seem think you have a right to tell them what they must buy. There is no strong case for government interference. Innovation is not being stifled, the environment isn’t being harmed, no one is suffering. Heaven forbid people have a CHOICE as to how to spend their money. You have a duty to save them from themselves, and tell them what to do, right?

You vent with outrage that Apple is ripping customers off. You do realize, I hope, that no one forces their customers to buy their products. No, forcing people to buy what someone else deems acceptable is YOUR objective.

No one is forcing you to buy Apple chargers and connectors. You can buy what you want. Show a little respect to your fellow citizens, and let them buy what they want as well. Maybe over time you can convince the world that you value freedom over fascism.

I will take all your down arrows with pride.

Lyft pulls its e-bike fleet from San Francisco Bay Area after exploding batteries make them the hottest seat in town


Those who own property tend to take care of it, particularly if they paid for it. Public property, rentals, ‘loaners’, etc. - not so much. That type property is often used and abused. One more reason why governments that allow private ownership of property usually do better than those which do not, and if you really want to see property poorly maintained, make it the responsibility of the government.

Enjoying that 25Mbps internet speed, America? Oh, it's just 6Mbps? And you're unhappy? Can't imagine why


Unlike other commenters here, I am in Georgia. Don’t know where they did their tests, but I am getting 31 Mbps down, 21 Mbps up, right now, and the limiting factor is my WiFi. There are a lot of WiFi networks around me. When I plug directly into my router, I often get 70 Mbps down (I seldom upload much, so that I don’t pay attention to that speed).

There are often four TV sets in my house all streaming shows simultaneously (and we frequently binge watch UK shows - right now it’s Midsomer Murders). Never had a stall to load, just continuous delivery.

I am on Comcast, but I there are two other competitors available to choose from. I am in an upperclass suburb of Atlanta, which makes a big difference. Many places in downtown Atlanta get crappy service, not because of the service provider, but because the outside plant is so frequently vandalized. Be careful jumping to conclusions when reading stats like this.

Amazon: Carbon emissions from our Australian bit barns aren't for public viewing


Re: Any laws being broken?

Um, well known understanding of the behavior of gases dissolved in water. As water warms, it releases dissolved CO2. When the climate warms, oceans begin releasing dissolved carbon dioxide.

That is why a warm soft drink is more likely to spew when opened than a cold one.


Re: Any laws being broken?

Tens of thousand of scientists studying climate change? Seriously? You are off by at least an order of magnitude. The “97% of climate scientists” meme is the result of the responses to a survey by 77 climate scientists.

When absurdities like the earlier comment are posted - and goes unchallenged- it just gives more fodder for people to attack the credibility of climate change.

Do you want a Kool-Aid with that, Huawei? You'll need one after watching boss chat to US mavens


True story.

I was once in a small meeting with Negroponte (the company I worked for helped fund his Media Lab). I made a rather simple observation of how telecommunications were evolving and why. No one commented, and I went back to my reticent ways.

A week or two later he gave a talk to a group which included Guilder, and he repeated that observation. Guilder grabbed it and dubbed it the Negroponte Switch.

I didn’t get the credit (to his credit, in an interview he said he didn’t originate the idea, but could not remember where he had heard it), but I gained confidence. No one listened to me at that company, but he had. I left for another job, and moved straight up the ladder. Funny how life works out.

As Alexa's secret human army is revealed, we ask: Who else has been listening in on you?


Good grief. Many moons ago I worked for the phone company. That was back when there was only one serving most of the US. Phone calls were routinely listened to for a variety of reasons. It was worth your job to repeat anything you heard, even to another employee. For one thing, we often KNEW the people we were listening to.

So I assumed nothing changed. I keep an echo next to my chair. When I am not going to be using it and coversing with others, I ‘hang it up’, i.e., I pull the power cord out. It’s not that difficult, people.

We don't want to be Latch key-less kids: NYC tenants sue landlords for bunging IoT 'smart' lock on their front door


Perhaps an obvious answer that I can’t see: “which requires tenants to use an app on a smartphone to get into the lobby, where tenant mailboxes are also located.”

How does the postal carrier gain entrance to put mail in the tenants’ mailboxes?

Hapless engineers leave UK cable landing station gate open, couple of journos waltz right in


If someone really wanted to cause havoc, they would back a concrete truck up to the first manhole cover outside the data center, and fiil the manhole up with concrete.

In hilariously petulant move, Apple shuts Texas stores and reopens them few miles down the road – for patent reasons


Re: Perhaps an empty gesture

Federal Courts serve specific regions, aka districts. I have to assume that this slight move moves them from one federal district into another.

IBM so very, very sorry after jobs page casually asks hopefuls: Are you white, black... or yellow?


Re: sorry or not

You fight racism using Courts, not quotas. When you use quotas, you are just creating a new group of victims who will respond by becoming racists. Meritocracy should be the only determining factor, with the Courts ensuring everyone has an equal opportunity.

If the results produce segments of the population being under-represented in a field, then you must look elsewhere for the answer. If, for example. Asians are under-represented in a basketball league, is it the result of racism or some other factor? On AVERAGE, Asians are physically shorter than other groups. That is the reason for the sparseness of Asian pro-basketball players (yes, there are exceptions). The real debate then becomes, is it in the public’s best interest to make any exception to meritocracy to adjust for that factor for a particular job? People are less likely to object to helping the disadvantaged (think handicap parking) than simply discriminating on race. In the above example, the solution would be to make exceptions for short people, not quotas for Asians.


Re: sorry or not

My comment when this issue comes up is, if meritocracy is not the basis of selecting doctors, airplane pilots, and jobs, why is it allowed in trivial pursuits like sports teams? Do people really demand the best on the playing field, but less than the best for open heart surgery is perfectly acceptable?


Re: DNA?

Wow, if that had actually been done for the past few decades, there is at least one US Senator who would be an unemployed person lacking a college degree.

US Supremes urged by pretty much everyone in software dev to probe Oracle's 'disastrous' Java API copyright win


Re: Wow. Some just don't get it.

What the majority of you do not understand is that judges rule according to how the laws are written (or are suppose to); not justice, fairness, the American way, or what’s best for an industry (although the can consider the welfare of the public).

Most of the arguments I have read indicate that the fair use definition and patent laws may need to be revised, but that is NOT the purview of Courts. Those disdaining this decision need to be petitioning Congress.

More than a few times I have heard a judge say, “I don’t like making this ruling, but it is the law.” Once I heard a judge say, “I can’t legally rule this way, but I will, because I know it won’t be appealed.” I considered that judge to be unfit for duty (and would never want to have a case in front of him).


Re: Nine Seniles

Charles 9. You are wrong. If your initial appeal did not include an argument, you can not use that argument in an appeal of that Court’s ruling. You can not appeal based on something that was not ruled on. You must argue that the previous Court was wrong on its ruling of your appeal, not that there are additional issues to consider.


Re: Hasn't this been decided in the other direction already?

“Right-wingers” know full well that juries get things wrong sometimes (e.g., O. J. Simpson). Judicial activism is when a judge creates a law that did not exist prior to his rulings. That clearly is not the situation here. The reason right-wingers object to activist judges is clear; legislatures should make laws, not a handful of non-elected judges. Yet another concept those on the left do not understand (but watch them suddenly understand it if judges rule that a ‘person’ exists at some point before birth).

And wtf does this issue have to do with right/left politics? Are you that obsessed with right-wingers?

EU will have agreed a tech tax by March, says French finance minister


It doesn’t matter how you tax corporations or the people who run them. All their money come from their customers and subscribers. Taxes are an expense item for all companies. Competition, therefore, cannot offset tax increases and maintan a price. Prices will go up. If the price exceeds the perceived value, the goods or services will no longer be offered.

If you think the taxes will be paid by companies by reducing their profits, you do not understand margins and opportunity costs. If your return on investment is not substantially more than interest on government bonds, you do not bother with the risk, work, and problems of running a business. You just buy bonds. If you think taxes will be paid by reducing executive salairies, you do not appreciate the magnitude of the numbers involved. Only a fraction of a penny per dollar of revenue goes to those salaries, not nearly enough to pay these taxes.

If you think people will pay still more for things because of highet taxes, you haven’t been paying attention to what is happening in France.

Holy crappuccino. There's a latte trouble brewing... Bio-boffins reckon 60%+ of coffee species may be doomed


Re: Umm... nope.

True story. A group of scientists discovered a body of water where a certain type of frog was dying in large numbers. They speculated that climate change was to blame, so they decided to monitor other sites. Initially, those sites were ok, but soon they, too, saw a die-off of that species. Definitely climate change, there was no other way to explain why multiple spatially separated populations could be experiencing the same thing.

Eventually, a virus was found to be the culprit. How did it spread? The researchers had contaminated their equipment when examining the first die-off. They had caused it. This is easy to research.

Never commit yourself to a conclusion reached by the process of elimination. You can never be sure you know all the potential factors.

CO2 as the cause if temperatures rising was concluded by the process of eliminating other potential causes. However, all of the models based on that have been running hotter than real data for two decades. The climate is more complex than they can model. It may be that we are making the world warmer THAN IT WOULD BE OTHERWISE, but we have little understanding what that temperature would have been. So don’t bet your coffee beans that the future is destined to be warmer than today. The next glaciation period might simply be a few degrees warmer than the previous ones.


Re: Umm... nope.

There is no new energy being added to the system unless you are claiming the sun is getting hotter.

The question is, how is the energy being dispersed. Actual data, as oppose to the primary speculative nature of those debating this topic, over the last decade suggest that polar winters are not as cold (but still well below freezing), and nights are not getting as cool. elsewhere.

There his been niether a rise in average high temperatures, nor more extreme temperatures, either hot or cold.

That’s just what the data show. I’m not interested in debating it.

Top GP: Medical app Your.MD's data security wasn't my remit


Re: Misdiagnose?

Yes, but all very confusing. Two questions: The sidebar says, “which he alleges was so bad that anyone could have tampered with Your.MD's medical advice databases to change the diagnoses issued by the app,” but Baker explicitly stated the app does not make the diagnosis. Which statement is correct?

The second question is yours: was the medical history of the patient left vulnerable? That could most definitely lead to a misdiagnosis. The incorrect reporting or fabrication of test results, or altering whether someone had or had not a history of an illness would result in making a wrong diagnosis. Even common illnesses, like chicken pox or mumps, could be misdiagnosed based on history (did he or did he not contract those illness previously?). Moreover, the history of FAMILY illnesses could mislead a doctor’s diagnosis, since the predisposition for acquiring many conditions and illnesses is genetic.

Happy Thursday! 770 MEEELLLION email addresses and passwords found in yuge data breach


Follow tge link in the article. It will tell you.

Ahem, Amazon, Google, Microsoft... Selling face-snooping tech to the Feds is bad, mmm'kay?


Sounds like a business opportunity to me. Research exactly what features facial recognition programs key on, and what type vision systems they use. Sell make-up that is not noticeable to the average person, but screws hell out of facial recognition. A realistic ear cover that slightly changes the ear’s shape. Light polarizing make-up. Assessories with small laser diodes that transmit brightly in IR. Whatever.

If that’s too techie, corner the market on the old Grouch glasses (you youn’uns can google the man and the glasses).

Life is but a game, just don’t be the loser.

Fake news? More like ache news. Grandma, grampa 'more likely' to share made-up articles during US election


And like Hillary Clinton. No matter who was elected, you could make the same observation, so why bother?


Re: Level of engagement?

No, I think this is more the question of, why are the young so disinterested in the news that they don’t share it, fake or not.

Microsoft wins today's buzzword bingo with empowering set of updates to Teams


Just a matter if time before Management decides that, out of fairness, everyone should get a virtual badge so no feels left out or gets hurt feelings. After all, if meritocracy produces a result that is anything other than equal to all groups, then it must be because of ‘privileged’ groups, racism, sexism, agism, or some other -ism.

Senator Wyden goes ballistic after US telcos caught selling people's location data yet again


Simple solution. Enforce this penalty whenever necessary: the CEO, and all executive level subordinates will be sentenced to carry appropriate electronic devices, and have their real-time locations published on an open and free website for a period of no less than two years. Violation of this order will result in immediate incarceration for the remaining time period of that sentence.

Think we have privacy concerns? Think of all that they may engage in that would destroy them if discovered.

Hands off that Facebook block button, public officials told by judges in First Amendment row


Re: Unexpected consequences

An interesting question: would the government have the right to block Russian trolls from posting? If so, where and how would you draw the lines of who could or could not post? If not, are we just inviting more intrusion and interference in our political process by foreign governments?


Re: Presidential private thoughts

Co-equal, but with different responsibilities. Courts are to rule, yes or no, on the Constitutionality of laws, not “this law does not meet Constitutional requirements, so we’re going to change it to this,” or worse, “we’re going to change what the wording of the Constitution means.”

If a law doesn’t pass muster, then it should be nullified and left to the legislature to make appropriate changes. Moreover, if there is a huge grey area of what is permissible, they need to leave the decisions to the lawmakers as well.


Re: Presidential private thoughts

And this is a recent thing? How quickly people have forgotten Obama’s war on Fox News.


Re: Also facebook

But what constitutes hate speech depends on which side of the issue you are on. I hate fascists, for example, would cause no stir. Post that you hate LBTGQs and you will be banned.

Also, people interpreted support for one thing as being hate for the other. If someone were to say, I love white cars, someone will immediately claim you are posting hate for black cars. But is that true? Does preference for one thing mean hatred for the other? I personally believe you can prefer one thing and be completely apathetic about other similar objects; hate is not simply the lack of love, but incorporates a degree of ill will and a wish for harm.

Then, finally, there are groups who believe you disagree with what you do, then you are espousing hate. The ‘hate the sin, but love the sinner’ concept is completely beyond their comprehension.

And if you think Conservatives are primarily the ‘haters’, then you are just espousing your own hatred (using your opinion of what passes for hate). They have OPINIONS that differ from you. I seriously doubt that you have seen more examples of ill will or wishing harm on others by Conservatives than any other group.

Mainframe brains-slurper sues IBM for 'age discrim', calls Ginny and biz 'morally bankrupt'


Re: @Dr. Syntax ...

Her name and this lawsuit is out of the barn. Other workers discriminated against now know who has the knowledge that would advance their case. Non-disclosures, or any other similar agreements, can not be used to avoid giving testimony in a court, even if the agreement was approved by the court..

IBM has a problem.

My 2019 resolution? Not to buy any of THIS rubbish


Re: Talk to someone on the phone

Worse, when they DO have an email option and it goes something like this:

Me: “Please cancel my service effective upon my renewal date.”

Them: “ Please call our customer service department at 555-000-0000 for information concerning terminating service .”

And the primary reason you emailed is because you can’t reach a live person via their interactive response system, and the voice menu doesn’t give you an option for ending the service.

Oregon can't stop people from calling themselves engineers, judge rules in Traffic-Light-Math-Gate


Re: Incredible

No difference, really. Those who want to rein also want to reign.


Re: What an engineer does in the UK

One high-level idiot (but I repeat myself) decided everyone should be called some form of manager, e.g., manager, senior manager, general manager, division manager, state manager...

It made titles completely worthless, unless you only wanted to know a person’s ranking in the company. Interdepartmental meetings were humorous, though, as we introduced ourselves at the table - Joe Blow, manager; Jane Doe, manager; Bob Brown, manager, ... - then proceeded to go around again to describe what it was we were managing.

Finding the right person for something using the corporate directory was worthless. If you needed an IT tech for a problem, every person in that department would just be listed as manager. So calling for help just got responses like, I don’t fix printers, I install mainframes, until you finally found someone in company support.


Re: What an engineer does in the UK

First job title was ‘outside plant engineer’ for a telephone company. We designed the outside network - what cables and equipment to install, specified where the installations would be, specified pole placements, obtained permits and rights-of- way, etc. We weren’t ‘engineer’ engineers, but what else would you call us, outside plant network designers?

Never touched a cable, pole, or terminal, but could not convince my grandmother that I did not climb telephone poles.

Staff sacked after security sees 'suspect surfer' script of shame


Re: @AC "wouldn't be common freakin' sense to not surf dodgy websites at work?"

I was researching for new voice platforms for advanced services (or so they were back then) for a telco. I put the obvious words in a search engine: telephone platform voice services price. An amazing number of porn sites came up (“platform shoes”, “sultry voice”, “telephone sex”, services and price (no explanation needed)). Scared to death that I would be accused of porn surfing. Learned quickly to include a few highly technical terms.

Boffins don't give a sh!t, slap Trump's face on a turd in science journal


Reading these comments I now more fully understand why so many in the UK fear self-government. Most here are juvenile morons in need of an adult from the continent to tell them how to live. How sad that a once-proud, small island country that once ruled over much of the world has fallen so low.

Super Micro chief bean counter: Bloomberg's 'unwarranted hardware hacking article' has slowed our server sales


Re: I give SuperMicro the benefit of the doubt.

‘Fraud you have that one bass-ackwards. The only thing the offended party need prove are his damages. You can’t say or print whatever you want about someone else unless you can show you could reasonably believe it was true.

Otherwise, I could say that two years ago, you had sex with a five year old - prove that you didn’t. You can’t, of course, so you would be defenseless against the accusation. Might as well throw out all the slander laws if that were the way things worked.

In a criminal case, you are innocent in a court of law until proven guilty by the government. In a slander suit, you are innocent of a claim until it is proven true by the slanderer. That’s the only way justice can work.


Re: I give SuperMicro the benefit of the doubt.

The elements of a libel/defamation claim are: 1) intentional publication of a statement of fact 2) that is false 3) unprivileged 4) has a natural tendency to injure or which causes "special damage," and 5) the defendant's fault in publishing the statement amounted to at least negligence.

Unless you are a public figure, the false statements need not be malicious, nor must you know that the statements are untrue. Failure to adequately vet a story is negligence.

For a media outlet to print a false story like this (assuming it is) is prima facia evidence of negligence, and sticking to it increases the liability. They will have to reveal what their basis were for determining the story’s veracity, and it better be solid. Otherwise, they are clearly negligent in determining the facts. Did they get access to a ‘corrupted’ board? Get it checked by an independent research group? How did they verify any internal documents they obtained? They can likely protect their sources, i.e., not be forced to reveal names, but they cannot use that as a defense. When they protect the source, they give up any firsthand evidence that source could attest to.

If they cannot prove they had credible reasons to believe the story was true, a good attorney would sue them for whatever shortfall in revenues suffered that could reasonably be shown. Considering that the company had a great previous quarter, the assumption would be that the next quarter would have been at least as good without the article.


Re: I give SuperMicro the benefit of the doubt.

Amazon has pulled their ad money. That’s the most painful cut of all for a news org. Do you have any idea how the media are struggling for revenues?

Alexa, cough up those always-on Echo audio recordings, says double-murder trial judge


Re: Sounds about right

Hopefully, Apple are smart enough to realize if they keep any recording not ‘Alexa-related’ it will eventually destroy the company.

Companies and governments should have learned by now that if records are kept, there is a high probability that those records will be hacked or leaked. IMO, we have all said something in the privacy of our homes that would destroy us if made public. If Apple is recording more than it should, the day will come that the last question many Echoes will record is, “Alexa, when’s the next trash pick-up?”

Oi, Elon: You Musk sort out your Autopilot! Tesla loyalists tell of code crashes, near-misses


Re: The obvious and fundamental problem is

The danger with this should be obvious. The biggest threat on the road today is the inattentive driver (some might claim drink drivers, but they are inattentive because they are drunk). As these limited autopilot functions are introduced, will it make drivers more, or less, attentive? We all know the answer to that.

I drive cars with manual transmissions. Sometimes, I am of the opinion that we should prohibit newer technology, and require everyone to use a stick shift. It’s hard to be inattentive in traffic when you are constantly working the gas, brake, clutch, steering, and shifter. Also, if you have one hand on the wheel and the other on the shifter, you can’t hold your cellphone.


Re: No way ready!

I was at an intersection, first in line waiting for a green arrow to turn left (US street. Left means turning in front of traffic going in the opposite direction). The cross streets had had the green light for over two minutes, meaning traffic in my direction, and the opposite direction, had been red for that long.

When I finally got my green arrow, there was a car coming from the opposite direction. All expectation was that he would slow and stop for his red light. But something just didn’t look right. I unreasonably hesitated for perhaps a full second, risking getting honked at by the car behind, before it was obvious; the car was not slowing down. The car blew through the light at fifty-plus miles an hour. I would have likely made the turn unscathed, but if the car behind me just followed me through the light, the most likely scenario, it would have been destroyed.

I have no idea why I suspected the car was going to run the red light. If I have no idea what alerted me to a dangerous situation, how could I, or anyone else, program a car to avoid it?

This brings up other considerations. Once I saw that the cars in front of me were about to hit each other, so I slowed down and changed lanes to avoid becoming part of it. Other times, I’ve anticipated that a nearby vehicle was about to get in a hazardous situation, and I moved over a lane to give him a way out. Are those capabilities going to be programmed into an autopilot? What about the simple courtesy of slowing just a bit so another car can safely merge into your lane ahead of you?


Re: Whisper it…

The trouble is, defiler, you don’t know in advance if you are a ‘fringe case’. Any of us can be the one getting a 2 am (when all but ‘fringe cases’ are charging their EVs) call from a hospital saying a relative is in a bad way. Would you rather have a car that can be refueled in less than five minutes, if necessary, or one that takes far, far longer?

My car purchase is influenced not just on expected needs, but unexpected needs as well.

I live a rather boring, conventional life, but have had to make long, immediate drives to help eveacuate family members from storms, and get to a hospital a thousand miles away quickly (flying was not an option, airports shut down by storms). I have also rescued a neighbor in the middle of the night, stranded by a flat tire. Being low on petrol is not a problem. Being low on a charge would turn a bad situation into a disaster.

Dutch cops hope to cuff 'hundreds' of suspects after snatching server, snooping on 250,000+ encrypted chat texts


Re: New???

Your ‘reasonable grounds’ might be used against someone wanting secure connections with his financial sites. Such connections are the virtual world’s equivalent of a door lock. Totally UNreasonable grounds.

Astroboffins spot one of the oldest, coolest stars in the universe lurking in the Milky Way


Re: up to 1,000 kelvin (726.85 degrees Celsius).

I think the phrase the are desperately seeking is, “likely exceeding...”.


Re: someone will complain t

More accurate to say ,”greater than 700 degrees Celsius”, acknowledging the clear SWAG of 1000 degrees k.

UK banking TITSUP*: This time it's Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks


And this is why I have accounts in three different banks; VISA, MasterCard, and Discover credit cards; and substantial cash in my safe. If everything hits the fan, I’m holding physical gold, silver, and copper.

The last thing I want is to be dependent on government during a time of crisis.

I am the crusty old man down the street, driving a seventeen year old car (in excellent running condition). You aren’t going to find me if that day comes. There are many of us conservative, rich old farts flying under the radar, living a good life, worry-free of what the future may bring.

£220k fines for dodgy dialling duo who didn't do due dil on data


For punishment: attach a cellphone to every manager and director the way ankle monitors are, and publish the number. Extend the length of the punishment if a call goes unanswered.

Vengeance is mine, sayeth the consumer.


Re: Mass Dialers

Many of us have chosen not to be slaves to anyone who may email us or send a text message, immediately looking at our device when a notification alarm is triggered. Alerts like for weather, disaster, or amber (kidnapping) are used very sparingly, and are usually via cellphone networks, not internet. A phone ringing implies there is a live person at the other end of the circuit who needs to talk to you NOW.

Send be a text or email notice, and I may not see it for a day or two.