857 posts • joined 23 Apr 2008
Re: Why permit the secrecy
"If, for example 85% of smartphones on the market infringe 200 Microsoft patents & require a licence is it not arguable that these licences should be frand?"
They're not taking anyone to court (like Apple), they're licensing. They're not refusing to license to anyone. If $8 per handset is anything like accurate that's quite reasonable. Sounds like it's fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory already.
Re: I assume ...
There's nothing stopping anyone doing a decent ext4 file system driver for Windows, and it could become something that everyone just knows they have to install.
"You are seriously thinking too small. If it had NOT been bought by Facebook, I would say that within five years a majority of PC gamers would not have been using normal screens any more."
Oh I quite agree with you, there's no doubt it would all be very attractive for gamers, and from what I've seen so far it would be very good.
I'd go even further that; I have multiple monitors hooked up to my development machine, but there's never enough screen real estate to have all the dozens of debug, code and app windows open all at once. Imagine having several dozen monitors rigged up into a rough hemisphere-like arrangement with oneself sat at the centre. Tricky and expensive to achieve. However a Rift could do you a virtual one of those with ease, and it would be fabulous. I want one of those quite badly.
"@bazza: You don't know what Oculus Rift is? Check some Youtube videos and contemplate what almost was."
@vociferous, I won't bother following up your recommendation. I've tried one of the pre-production prototypes. Cool, yes. Finished, no. Heading the right way, certainly. Perfectly pitched to reel in the wealthy and compulsive Zuckerberg, yes.
I don't know exactly that that was their game plan, but $2billion now is a handsome return on their efforts. They've probably had a lot if fun doing it, and now they don't even need to go through the depressing process of marketing their product.
For any start up getting bought out is most certainly factored into the business plan as a possibility. With someone like Zuckerberg around its well worth having buy-out as a primary goal.
As for Zuckerberg he's now got to make more than $2billion out of it. That might be quite difficult.
No one is going to use Facebook in 3D from their mobile. Facebook ain't the gaming platform of choice and Sony, Microsoft and Steam aren't going to give him any slack. It would make sense if he bought Steam too, but I suspect that they're not for sale at any price. And Facebook owning Steam sounds like a disaster anyway.
He could just market devices himself, but exactly how does that get more people spending more time in Facebook? It's just an elaborate peripheral. That surely isn't Facebook's primary business; people using Rifts on Steam/XBone/PS4/PC games are not going to be directed towards Facebook by those platforms. The world of CAD, engineering and science might be an additional marketplace but that's not a mass market.
This is a golden time for start ups. Make up some "cool" idea. Start developing it, make it look possible lay on a demo. Do a bit of corporate twerking in Zuckerberg's direction and collect the $Nbillion that he'll send your way after a casual chat over a mediocre coffee.
Google and Apple aren't far behind I suspect, but Facebook really does throw it's cash around like it's going out of fashion. Are they the biggest corporate suckers, or is that still HP?
Upgrade or fresh install, there's going to be a lot of updates to install. WSUS Offline is pretty useful. It allows you to make an ISO full of Microsoft updates that you can then install on a bunch of machines without them all fighting to download the updates several times over. Useful in bandwidth constrained situations.
Given that most of the Internet connected smart devices (SmartTV, fridges, home routers, set top boxes) are running on top of some form of Linux kernel already, what's he on about? These are the things that are getting comprehensively hacked, and mostly it is mistakes in the software stack above that is to blame. Whatever way you look at it, it's poor design, implementation and maintenance of firmware that is the root cause, not the lack of Linux inside.
Even if the firmware was standardised and opened up, how's that going to improve things? The result would be that one single flaw would allow hackers to breach all devices worldwide, not just one family of routers from one company. Sure, one single fix would deal with it, but that's not comforting. Imagine if all home routers got compromised and the attacker disconnected them all from the net. How then would anyone be able to get the fix?
If firmware became a standardised open platform there would be pressure to have things like virus checkers, etc running on them. It's happened with Android, why wouldn't it happen with standardised linux based firmware on other devices? And how would old devices be supported? The consequences are that there would be new firmware versions that won't run on older hardware, so we'd have the "Windows XP" style of obsolescence problem on everything, not just our desktops.
So it comes back to good design, and a commitment from manufacturers to maintain and improve their firmware and hardware. Having a real "Read Only" switch on the device so that a hacker physically cannot alter it or install malware would be a very good start.
Millions of unsold 5c's re-badged, storage size firmware frig
Just guessing. But it would be a way to get rid of them...
Re: We need something more simple than webbrowsers
"The modern web browser is more like an OS than a text rendering application, and so much of the web now depends on that to work. Yes, I know its dumb, but no I don't see it changing."
It is very dumb indeed. Anyone thinking that a browser as an OS is going to be any more secure than a traditional OS is deluded. In fact it's almost certainly worse.
The traditional OSes have been put through the mill and a lot of problems have been fixed. Whereas a brand new execution ecosystem (which we call a web browser) has got all of it's day-one bugs still extant, and they keep adding more features (and more bugs) all the time.
"Probably the best we can hope for is sandboxing becoming robust enough to stop break-outs, and maybe aggressive enough to just kill browsers when something dodgy happens."
Sandboxing is in itself a useful way of guarding the OS underneath the browser, and I'd rather have it than not. I agree - I think it's is indeed the best we can hope for. Alas, if the browser is acting more like an OS within an OS, then the sandbox isn't adequate. What's to stop some nasty code running riot inside the browser stealing / deleting data stored within the browser? The browser would need adequate protections within itself, as well as the sandbox barrier outside.
There's already proof of concept in-browser viruses floating around (El Reg passum), but there's nothing you can do outside the browser to prevent them causing harm inside it. So what's it to be? A special Macafee webpage that's always running inside your browser checking up on other web pages to make sure they're not doing anything nefarious? Sounds less efficient than an ordinary OS + apps + AV to me.
So far as I can tell HTML5 is making a similar mistake to Android. HTML5 is designed to keep different web apps separate, and no web app can influence another. At least, that's the intention. It doesn't work out that way though because the HTML5 implementation is not perfect. It does make it very difficult to add a third party package (an AV product, a 'Macaffee' web page) to protect the whole browser and the apps and data it's storing. So we're totally dependent on the browser writers immediately fixing bugs, etc. Bit like AV in Android can detect nasties, but can't actually do anything about them because the OS won't let it.
Meanwhile, FreeBSD is already there...
Re: What use?
Well, it's not that far off 'Normal'. 400Gbps is going to pan at at less than 50GByte/s, and there's Intel CPUs that have that much memory bandwidth (certainly when inter-leaved across multiple CPU sockets). The second requirement is for a CPU -> peripheral bus that's equally fat, and that's only a matter of bus width ultimately.
So we're not far away from it being "Normal" at all, especially as anything reasonable NIC in this class would offer TCP offload facilities. Give it a few years and it will seem routine.
It does raise an interesting point. If Ethernet is the fastest interconnect we have, people will start using it inside computer architectures instead of PCI or whatever.
Making the Internet Of Things secure / better is going to be very difficult. To address bugs in a worldwide deployed software installation you need a worldwide update capability, and a whole team of devs whose only job is fixing the software. That's a very difficult thing to achieve. Not even Google have achieved it in any meaningful way with Android.
When you look at what platforms are there out there which can realistically and universally receive updates there's not many. Windows is quite good, though I don't know about embedded Windows. iOS and OS X aren't bad either (though you have to depend on Apple giving a damn). Linux distributions (notAndroid) aren't bad either, but again it depends on someone actively taking a long term view (i.e. you don't want old distros being cut off from updates simply because a new one has been published). I guess that QNX could be self updating; BB10 sorta does, though the user has to actively kick-off the installation; it won't happen autonomously.
The manufacturers of Internet Connected Things aren't motivated to take all that on board because it will cost them money. Sling some Linux based firmware together, get it to version 0.0.2, sling it in the fridge (or whatever) and sack the dev team / move onto the next one. They don't want to have to be spending money updating fridges they shipped years beforehand when there's no revenue stream to fund it.
The flip side of that is that if Internet Connected Things start getting hacked, and being actively broken by the hackers, you might start seeing a flood of warranty returns on fridges, Smart TV's. That'll put the manufacturers off the whole idea very rapidly, especially as it's likely that hardly anyone is seriously using the internet connection features on these devices anyway.
"The cute technical term for the uninsurable."
It's also code for telling investors "The insurance people thing that you're definitely going to lose all your money".
Re: Typically ignorant management response
"So you see, another unintended consequence of the Greenpeace energy policy that has been foisted on the happy bill payers of Europe. Who would have thought that some fool mistaking correlation for causation on a chart would eventually lead to a chance of you and I being plunged into darkness by state sponsored hackers from the other side of the world?"
Well you say that, but not that long ago none of this was connected to the internet at all; the internet didn't exist! Yet we were able to generate quite a lot of electricity back then no problems at all.
So how and why did hooking it all up to the internet become a business imperative? There's clearly no particular benefit (because we managed perfectly well without it being netted). Whatever business improvements that have been brought about it could almost certainly have been achieved another way (e.g. point to point dial up? Seriously, just how much datacomms bandwidth does an oversized kettle or a big switch actually need just to say whether it's on or off?).
Using the Internet as a default choice seems to have been a lazy and 'cheap' solution to needs easily satisfied by other cheap alternatives that are inherently far hard to abuse from the other side of the world.
Given that coal is somewhere in the region of one part per million uranium, and that a big coal station will get through 35million tons per year, that's a lot of uranium going up the chimney every year. The guide didn't appreciate me pointing that out when as a school kid aged 9 I went on a tour of Didcot coal fired power station, at the high point in CND's popularity. I must have been a horrible kid. I asked about CFC leakage at Oldbury Nuclear power station under similar circumstances (it was used in the chiller that quickened the cooling of the core following shut down for maintenance).
I imagine that the introduction of electrostatic precipitators has reduced the output somewhat, and concentrated it into thermalite building bricks instead.
There's some controversy over the matter. Scientific American have this article:
Given that you have to get pretty close to your average nuclear accident before the count becomes worse than what you get from, say, granite I don't think anyone on the other side of the Pacific need worry. Anyone living in a granite built house, or anywhere with a faint whiff of natural radon in the air? No one worries about those, so its not rational to worry about something far off whose effect is much diminished by distance.
Re: QNX is Blackberry by name only
"As a consultant, I still have some customers using WinCE but many of those are worried and are looking for exit strategies to Linux. They have little confidence that MS will support WinCE into the future and most of them want out."
Sounds like the typical WinCE experience. MS really had zero imagination when it came to anything other than desktop and server software. That's why they missed out on the mobile revolution.
As for an exit strategy from WinCE, that sounds awkward. If they'd picked a POSIX-ish OS in the first place then their code base would be much more portable than it is. No doubt there was some engineer on the staff at the time WinCE was picked who said "This ain't a good idea" for that very reason!
Re: QNX is Blackberry by name only
"QNX has also benefited a lot from being bought out by BlackBerry. Their new Car platform is essentially BB10 re-purposed."
Ah, I was wondering about that. I use a Z10, and a PlayBook for that matter, and whatever else one might think about it the BB10 UI framework certainly allows a dev to produce a well polished result.
I wonder how important the Android runtime is going to be in the automotive sector. There's currently no app-store type market place for in car infotainment systems, so I'm guessing that most of the applications are bespoke to or customised by each manufacturer. So if they're being written specifically for each manufacturer, why write it in Android when one might just as well write it for BB10? And, any sign of TomTom doing a BB10 version of their Satnavs?
"Each time my car infotainment system crashes; each time I see yet another airport flight display with a DOS prompt on it; each time I see a cashier at a checkout rebooting their Windows system just so I can check out;"
Yet underneath all that crap there lies what is essentially the NT kernel and the bones of MS's desktop operating system (unless it really is DOS, but surely that's not been used on anything recent...). Windows in it's various (supported) guises doesn't have a huge reputation for conking out randomly, at least not these days.
So it's more likely that buggy bespoke device drivers and software written by hired then fired devs are to blame. A lot of manufacturers just don't get it; smarter systems absolutely require continual and substantial development, otherwise someone else will come along and steal your business.
It happened in mobile phones. Smart phones were great, then Apple showed everyone that actually they weren't and perhaps this iPhone thing is a better way, and everyone else has been playing catchup / going extinct ever since.
Cars are going to be increasingly sold because of their tech and the manufacturers have to get deadly serious about Doing Software Properly. Otherwise the likes of Google or Apple will come along and start controlling the market place. Hiring a few programmers for a few months to hack an infotainment system together before sacking them and shipping it isn't going to work against Apple and Google. They'll practically have to turn themselves into software companies with a sideline in car manufacturing.
[Having said that the prospect of a car running Apple Maps for a navigation system really won't sell at all well...]
Re: QNX is Blackberry by name only
"QNX is Blackberry by name only"
Indeed but BlackBerry, despite whatever their faults might be, knew a good thing when they saw it and bought QNX for use by themselves. BB10 has certainly benefited from being based on QNX.
I don't really understand why MS's automotive offering has gone so badly wrong. Did they plug it as a finished solution for the car makers who had only to burn it to ROM, but then spoiled it by not polishing it, fixing the bugs, etc?
I don't think they've solved the fuel issue, but I reckon they've spun the economics a different way.
Yes, their booster has to carry more fuel and weighs more / carries less payload in order to soft land, which costs. But then they won't have to build a whole new rocket, which might just cost less.
It's a bit if a gamble; a disposable rocket designed to the same engineering limitations would always be able to lift more payload to orbit. And if there's one thing satellite builders like it's having a bigger payload budget to work within. Just being able to put a year's extra maneuvering fuel on a big satellite might pay for the costs of a slightly more expensive but beefier launcher. These big TV and comms satellites are not cheap, yet cost no more to launch than their weight in concrete.
Re: Big fat juicy target
"Sounds more like his mistake was to overdo it."
Nah, he under did it. If he'd made a fortune out of it he could have split the proceeds with first the BOFH or, if the BOFH was unaccountably honest, the University. "He's a very Naughty Boy, but he has given us a nice fat cheque so we'll let him off with a First"...
At any rate, he may be sitting on a stash of crypto currency that in future years becomes worth a lot of money. I wonder whether as a notable Alumnus he would be prepared to me a donation?
Big fat juicy target
His mistake was to be sneaky about it. If he'd just applied for runtime for his "experimental novel internet connected computational fluid dynamics program" he might have got a whole week of runtime without anyone batting an eyelid. They might even have commiserated with him when his results turned out to be "garbage" (but in fact comprised a tidy stash of virtual coinage). How often do sysadmins actually look at a student's results?
Presumably these supers are connected to the internet, even if hidden behind some firewalls, etc. I bet there's plenty of hackers out there who must be thinking about trying to steal some runtime off them for bitcoin mining.
And I'm guessing that a supercomputer, in the interests of achieving best performance, isn't running an AV package or many of the normal defences. So once inside the owning institution's outer protection it might be quite easy to take control and mine away, at least for a short while. I'm hoping that their sysadmins are wise to that sort of problem.
Re: Prepare for a huge class action
"Such a shame that what used to be a great engineering company is now a great example of how not to run any company."
Quite right, and I'm afraid it's been like that for a long time now. The only thing they've got left that is interesting is memristor, and the sooner they bring it to market the better.
Re: @bazza I shouldn't laugh, but...
"I buy things and stuff. I've never seen the things I buy advertised on Google. (Having said that, I use AdBlock and don't pay attention to webverts.) Are you saying that the majority of people won't buy anything they need/want unless it's advertised on Google?"
The price of goods you buy incorporates the cost of advertising it on Google. Just because you've not looked at the ad on Google doesn't mean that you're not paying for it. Every time Google invent yet another irritating way of advertising stuff, the manufacturers have to buy those ads too (or fear losing ground on their competitors), and they pass the cost on to you whether or not you've seen the ad. AdBlock does not make your groceries and tech cheaper.
Re: I shouldn't laugh, but...
Laugh if you want, but ask yourself where does the money come from ultimately? That's right, us consumers.
Google's advertising blackmail system means that everything we buy costs a little bit more than it should. These days you pretty much have to advertise on Google or go out of business. Every advertising trick that Google develops means having to buy it or see your competitors get your customers. And that cost is passed on to us.
Re: Another day, another vulnerability
As others have said, yes and no.
There's a lot of formal dev techniques to demonstrate that a software design has been correctly implemented in source and compiled code, and there is some software is done that way (flight control software, things like Greenhill's INTEGRITY operating system, etc).
However, that's just part of the battle. First you have to be confident that the design itself is correct, never mind the source code that implements it. That's really hard to achieve; there's plenty of room for error there. For example, there was once a feature in Adobe Reader which left it wide open, and it affected Foxit too. The problem was that the PDF spec itself was flawed, and both Adobe Reader and Foxit had faithfully implemented it.
"You're right. In 20 years, with 2,000,000,000 billion people wearing something similar, we will all become movie stars!"
In which case we'll all be able to be start charging a fee to appear in the movies!
Re: 8.1's not bad
”My biggest criticism was reserved for the hardware. The left and right buttons are incorporated in the one piece surface trackpad. This required extreme accuracy in clicking or the cursor went shooting off, and after 5 minutes of this, I grabbed a mouse and control returned. Medium sized Sony Vaio - nice machine except for the trackpad.”
The track pad in a lot of PC laptops are DREADFUL, especially the cheaper ones. A lot of them are so bad at doing multitouch that you'd be better off with a decent old fashioned single finger touchpad.
MS has apparently got some sort of industry working group together to try an improve the situation, because it really, truly ruins Win 8 for those without / not wanting a touch screen. Windows 8 with a decent touchpad like the Logitech T650 is much improved, but it's a rare laptop indeed with one as good as that.
MS really dropped the ball with this one. You want to release an OS that depends on a trackpad as good as a Mac's, you'd better specify it down to the very last detail in your hardware compatibility certification scheme. They were living in cloud coockoo land if they ever thought that everyone would want/buy/be provided with a touch screen.
To be fair, C++ with smart pointers is a very much more usable language than C++ of old. One might even go as far to question whether all these garbage collected languages are barking up the wrong tree...
Except isn't it the JVMs that are the problems, not the Java language itself?
Scala I like because it does CSP. I might even have to have a look at it.
When you've got massive data centres, power consumption is a major cost. If you've got the money to invest (like Google has) you'd do almost anything to reduce that cost, like develop your own chips.
Intel ain't going to let Google develop its own x64 chips. ARM will license their design to anyone, and have indeed licensed it to Google. Guess where the future lies there...
If you're in the business of shipping data from storage to networks (which is pretty much all Google does), you don't need a honking great x64 core to do that. All you need is a tiny core, such as an ARM. And, just like in mobile phones, you'd bolt on co-processors for specific computational loads rather than concentrate on making the core fast enough to do them.
Microsoft too have an ARM license. If they don't use that to develop and define an ARM server architecture that runs Windows, MS could lose out. Someone else will do an open one that runs Linux instead that might not suit Windows at all.
Re: Can't wait for Modern UI version of Firefox
Yeah, it works just fine on Window 8 for me too, I just don't use Win8 that often. The fact that it does most of what one wants from a muli-touch user interface on Windows 7 is what I was very pleased by.
I've no rational idea why someone's downvoted you.
Re: Can't wait for Modern UI version of Firefox
I've got a Logitech T650 touch pad, and I've let it's driver software install its browser plugins. It's the best browsing and scrolling experience I've seen yet on a PC, super smooth scrolling in IE, Firefox (and Chrome too I think but I rarely use Chrome). On Win7.
I just wish some laptop manufacturers would build them in.
...and stable door now propped shut with thin, dry stick?
Re: blame linux?
"Sony didn't use Linux for the PS4, so they must have had their reasons."
It would seem that their choice was mostly because of licensing - the FreeBSD guys seems remarkably relaxed about what people do with their code and aren't fussed over whether people openly release their own tweaks, etc. That's ideal for someone looking for a customisable OS that doesn't oblige them to release things like DRM tweaks.
From a purely technical point of view I reckon Linux is the better OS of the two performance-wise [semaphores, context switch times, etc] on modern multi-core CPUs. So that must have made Linux a tempter for Sony, but commercial considerations are always going to override a purely technical choice.
Re: Not another smart phone?
Market forces, alas, are not our friends here. Want to know the reason behind the technical strategies of MS, Google, Samsung and literally everyone else over the past few years? It's because Apple showed that there's a bundle of cash to be made from selling useless toys to consumers who'd never dream of doing a stroke of work on their shiny shiny toys.
It's a stupid idea for a company to chase the Professional market for people who actually do work. There's nothing like as much money to be made. Apple have a 100billion in the bank precisely because they didn't sell to the business user, they sold to the home user. Everyone else has got that message too, hence Windows 8, Android, the demise of BlackBerry, and the imminent death of the PC.
For US based companies it's very difficult. A company board isn't really able to say, "No, we're sticking to what we've always done". The board members will get sued by their shareholders for not pursuing a more profitable market. Apple made 100billion; MS and everyone else has to follow otherwise their shareholders will take them personally to the cleaners. Board members aren't going to risk their own livelihood and well being for the sake of a few million professional users when there's a few billion consumers to milk.
So I'm sorry Ted, but there just isn't enough 'Workers' out there for any of the major companies to care about any more.
Given that all you're really getting from Redhat is support (otherwise you'd be using Centos, right?), I have often wondered whether that is really value for money, especially for their MRG product. Something like £3000 per year per installation. That's a lot of money; 60 of those and you'd want a RH support engineer dedicated to you 24/7, but I doubt you'd get that.
Scientific Linux is a better bet.
No no, it'll be ok because within a few more winks you'll have hired a lawyer, brought a case and settled out of court. Who knows what will happen when your eyes widen when you see the legal bill you run up without hardly knowing it...
Re: Android malware becoming a growing nuisance?
"There's no technical protection from some users going to malicious sites and downloading malicious software."
Yes there is, it's called an Anti-Virus package that is actually empowered to stop nasty things running in the first place. The problem with Android is that it won't let an AV package do that, and Android doesn't prevent it either.
Google's whole security set up for Android is terrible. There's no proper update mechanism, there's no means for third party AV software to properly help, Android's security model is seemingly not very effective anyway (why else the malware?), and Google don't seem to be very intent on fixing any of this.
One might as well don a grass skirt and conduct some sort of shamanistic ritual over one's phone, that would be a security measure as effective as any other...
Re: Crazy Platform
"also known as a factory/hard reset on Android (and other smartphone OSs, Symbian had it, Windows Phone has it, etc.)."
So what? If a factory reset merely results in you having a phone as insecure as it was before, how exactly are you better off, and how exactly do you stop the same nastie getting in?
At least with a PC or Mac you can reinstall back to clean, get a better AV package and install a load of updates and be more secure that you were before.
Re: But also:
"Not even in the darkest days did Windows XP stop viruses from cleaning up AV software."
True enough, but at least that was by mistake. At least I am presuming that it wasn't deliberate on Microsoft's part...
Android is seems designed to make life harder for the AV guys than it is for the malware authors. I just wonder when it will occur to Google that they've a properly bad security problem and that their design is preventing other people from fixing that problem for them. Maybe they don't care, sales are great, but it's not exactly setting themselves up for a glorious long term future, is it?
Look at the things with major security problems at the moment. Java - who is running that in their browser these days? Adobe reader - so bad that the browser writers are developing their own PDF plugins. Flash - eek! Yahoo has a number of security problems, so people go to Google, Outlook, etc. MS are still around of course, but Apple did very nicely out of OS X's reputation for being more 'secure'.
In short, people start to drift away from platforms that have feeble security. Google can't afford that. They will actually have to fix it sooner or later.
Re: Crazy Platform
" Android, unlike any version of Windows, isolates apps giving them separate uid's and thus has them running in a sandboxed env. Each uid routinely joins various groups with different permissions. These permissions are also transparent to a user.
All apps are pretty much equal and cannot have higher privileges over each other. An admin (the user) or root can go over their heads. You cannot simply allow an app on an unrooted system to do just that.
All those features combined is a good measure against malware already."
Boring, and useless. Android is riddled with money stealing malware that no-one is doing anything about. If all that guff you've spouted is worth a damn, why are there so many Android nasties doing the rounds?
It is very obvious that the Android sandbox isn't worth a damn. I don't care if it's design is any good or not, the end result is that there's a shed load of Android malware. And yet the sandbox and OS architecture in general is set up to prevent anything (i.e. anti-virus software) doing anything about it. Seems that to have effective protective software the AV guys would have to use the same tricks as the malware guys are using in the first place. That's a simply crazy position for a software ecosystem to be in.
This sounds like madness. Not even in the darkest days did Windows XP stop AV software from cleaning up viruses. At least XP allows a modestly competent user to reinstall from scratch if necessary. What on earth do Google think they're doing?
Except of course the end user isn't dealing with Google, it's "not their problem" (unless it's Nexus). The end user deals with Samsung, Sony, etc or more likely with their network provider. And there's nothing they can do, because actually it all comes from Google.
Google really seem to be doing their best totally screw up Android. They're just one big hack away from driving all their customers to another mobile phone platform like iOS, Win phone, etc. And I'm pretty doubtful of Android's ability to resist hacks.
The trademark system basically requires a trademark owner to actively defend their trademark or lose it altogether. So if someone came up with "iiPhone" Apple would have to sue or risk losing exclusive rights to "iPhone". Same with "Experier" vs Sony's "Xperia", etc, etc. The trademark authorities themselves will not protect your trademark for you except in obvious cases of direct copying.
So the problem is that you have to be "seen" to be defending your trademark, or else you'll lose it. The common sense thing for Apple to have done would have been to write a letter saying that they don't mind DRIPHONE, that they recognise that they're selling waterproof cases and that there's no real conflict of business interests. However, that's not public enough to be "seen" to be defending "iPhone". And without that someone would be able to argue that Apple didn't care and that they should be allowed "iiPhone" as a trademark.
It would be far better if the system allowed trademark owners to officially lodge letters of consent ("Dear DRIPHONE, we're cool with your company name coz you're selling cases, please don't make an actual phone otherwise I'll get angry, lots, Tim Cook") as official evidence of actively defending a trademark. That would be better for everyone.
Having said that, Apple do seem to have been needlessly paranoid in this case. I guess we all would be too if we stood to lose $billions of business if we lost control of a trademark and risked being personally sued by the shareholders for being so careless.
Re: There is a reason why it's free...
"It's seems to be engineering lead rather than marketing lead."
Well they sort of had to be like that. They never had any 2G spectrum of their own, so they were forced to do 3G as well as they could otherwise they'd have had no business at all.
All the other operators had big chunks of 2G, and that allowed them to be lazy in their 3G rollouts. That worked well, right up until the smartphone revolution meant that punters wanted a lot of data instead of phone calls. Three were the only operator in a position to respond to that revolution in a sensible way.
I've noticed that Three's rural coverage is gradually getting better, and they're filling in the gaps in towns too. I think their service is pretty good at 3G, and I think I'll stick with 3G for the sake of my battery life.
Re: Speculative Conclusions do not Compute.....
"Ahhhh, Friday ... the sun is shining in a cloudless sky, the trees are vibrant with the green of summer"
Oh stop rubbing it in, you southern hemisphere types. Up here we've got a grotty winter in full swing you know, and I for one am not enjoying it much. Especially as we're not thrashing the Aussies in the cricket like we should be.
The only 5c with anything like a remote chance of being popular is the white one. Who wants yellow, pick it, green, etc?
I don't understand why they didn't do a black one. Black sold very well in the old days, and I think a black 5c would have sold quite well today.
- Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
- Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
- FOUR DAYS: That's how long it took to crack Galaxy S5 fingerscanner
- Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
- Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?