* Posts by DougS

2994 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Nork-ribbing flick The Interview AXED: Sony caves under hack terror 'menace'

DougS
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Re: Terrorists win BIG time--America is now a nation of cowards

Is now? You just noticed it today? That was proven in the response to 9/11, where freedoms were taken from us and and the sheep applauded it in every poll I saw. Even now look at all the people who say Snowden is a traitor and don't see anything wrong with the government spying on everything and everyone so long as it saves one person from a terrorist attack.

If only the Soviets had known they could have beaten us not through nukes, tanks and propaganda, but by simply making us so afraid we'd willingly hand over our freedoms. I'll bet the old guard hardliners that are still alive in the Moscow nursing homes are kicking themselves to sleep every night.

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DougS
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Re: NORKs ought to fund assassination of POTUS, staring Jackie Chan and Lucy Liu

There have been movies about plots to assassinate the president before. The only difference is they didn't use the same/likeness of the current president.

Not sure why you claim it is a "racist" attack. Would it be OK if Romney was president and he suggested Sony funding a film about assassinating him? You couldn't call that racist, so what would your objection be then? You seem to be playing the race card a bit quickly here, maybe you should wait until someone actually says something racist first.

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DougS
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Re: Much capitulation, such disappointment

While I agree with your overall sentiment, and think what the Flight 93 people did was heroic, they didn't risk their lives doing so. They acted because they knew they were going to die anyway, so they felt they had nothing to lose at that point.

Seems the majority of Americans are happy to hide in their houses if they're warned against sticking their noses outside. The Americans of a hundred years ago would have nearly to a one stuck their noses outside to thumb it at those making threats, and not let anyone tell them where they can go or what they can do. Guess our borders have been too safe for too long.

Don't remember who wrote it (probably Heinlein or Asimov) but I remember long ago reading a book about a future world where mankind had basically cured all disease, including old age, so the only way you could die was an accident or murder. The people became completely isolated from one another, since everyone was afraid of taking even the slightest risk of an accident and didn't want to take the risk of being around another person, since they might have harm done to them. Those sci-fi greats could be really on the mark sometimes...

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NY premiere of The Interview cancelled after hackers' terrorist threats

DougS
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Re: Actually...

A large theater chain that has a few around where I live cancelled it on all 247 screens nationwide. I wouldn't be surprised if most of the rest follow. The vast majority of Americans are scared sheep[*]. If this happened in a country where people were brave they'd defy the "terrorists" by going out to see the movie just to show them they weren't scared. Maybe this movie needs to be released in Israel or Iraq or somewhere where people are used to terrorism on a daily basis and don't let it rule their lives.

I don't normally see movies in the theater any more, since the experience gets more annoying every year, but I was thinking I'd go with my girlfriend to see this over the holidays when I heard that ridiculous threat. But now there 1) probably won't be anywhere we can see it and 2) all the publicity about theaters stopping the showings would make her mom crazy with worry (we'll be at her parents) if she finds out.

[*] Just so you know before you flame me, I'm an American, not a foreigner and I don't hate my country. But the response to 9/11 showed quite well what cowards we collectively are. OK, I've said my piece, flame away!

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We are never getting back to... Samsung's baking Apple's 14nm 'A9' chips?

DougS
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Re: @Roo

I'm making that correct assumption on the basis that Apple was reported in 2012 to account for 89% of Samsung's foundry business. Who are Samsung's other major foundry customers? There are none. They are only a major foundry player because of Apple. Without Apple, they'd drop from the #3 spot out of the top 10 if they lost that volume of business.

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DougS
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Re: Ha-Ha!

It was possible though not simple to convert a logic fab to make flash and back again. With 3D NAND the equipment is so different it is like converting a logic fab to make DRAM - i.e. not a chance.

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DougS
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@Roo

It is pretty obvious given the massive amount of capacity Apple was using. With an average die size of 100 mm^2, given the volumes of chips they'd be buying it is essentially the entire output of one modern fab. I saw figures suggesting that Samsung would drop to 30% utilization on their leading edge processes as a result of Apple ditching them for TSMC.

In 2012 the McClean report estimated that Apple was responsible for 89% of Samsung's foundry business. They essentially have no foundry business without Apple. They are not like TSMC, who has hundreds of customers from big ones like Qualcomm and Nvidia to countless small ones who use 10 year old processes to make microcontrollers for microwaves and toasters. They use some for themselves, but don't/can't use their Exynos SoCs in much of the world and their smartphone sales are falling so they can't pick up the slack internally.

http://www.icinsights.com/news/bulletins/Samsung-Jumps-To-3-In-2012-Foundry-Ranking-Has-Sights-Set-On-2-Spot-In-2013-/ (see paragraph above figure 1)

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DougS
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Re: Yes, of course they would

Yeah, keep dreaming. That would be over $60 billion worth of stock!

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DougS
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Samsung has never designed a custom ARM core

All the Exynos line uses ARM designed cores and licensed GPUs. Samsung designs the uncore only (similar to Apple with the A4 and A5 where they designed the SoC but integrated ARM designed cores)

Rumor has it Samsung is working on a custom 64 bit ARM core that will eventually replace the ARM designed A53/A57 in its Exynos line. I also saw rumors that project had run into trouble and was canceled, so who knows? Teams with the experience to design a complex modern CPU from scratch don't grow on trees, Apple was lucky to snap up PA Semi and Intrinsity to add that capability.

The Exynos 5433 shipped in some (non US/UK) versions of the Note 4 is 64 bit, but Samsung is keeping that on the down low, presumably because a lot of countries get the version using a 32 bit Qualcomm CPU and 64 bit Android hadn't been released when the Note 4 was.

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DougS
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Re: How Does Anyone Know?

They don't know for certain, it is all rumor. There were rumors about Apple switching away from Samsung for a couple years before they finally did for the A8 used in the iPhone 6/6+. So this may or may not be true.

However, Apple probably doesn't care overly much if people find out Samsung is fabbing their chips again this year. Samsung wouldn't know what its capabilities are anyway, at least not beyond what is required for them to do testing before the chips are packaged.

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DougS
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Re: Ha-Ha!

They can't, because Apple could go with TSMC like they did for the A8, or go with Global Foundries.

Samsung was left with a LOT of very underutilized fab space when Apple chose TSMC to make the A8 and A8X. Fabs cost billions to build and have a limited lifetime, if you have empty fab space you lose billions of dollars. They've every incentive to offer Apple a good price to get them to come back, and are certainly not in a position to fleece them.

Besides, as is always pointed out, Samsung is composed of several independent operating units, and the part that makes chips is different from the one that makes phones that is involved in lawsuits with Apple.

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Screwball ruble closes Apple's Russia store, whole kit and caboodle

DougS
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Re: Apple has a tiny share in Russia

I suppose only the rich will be interesting in buying iPhones (or any high end smartphone) right now because the poor never were going to and the middle class is busy being worried that the ruble might make it too expensive to eat next month.

The rich have the means with international credit cards or whatever to buy an iPhone in another country and have it shipped to them, so they don't care whether Apple has a Russian site or not.

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DougS
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Apple has a tiny share in Russia

I think I remember seeing something a couple years ago that they had a 1% share there. And I'm not sure whether that was the smartphone or mobile market...

So this is an easier move than it would be if this was Japan...

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Gigabit-over-TV-cable spec DOCSIS 3.1 passes interop test

DougS
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Re: What's the frequency range?

Ugh, so cable companies that go DOCSIS 3.1 will lose the ability for their subscribers to tune channels without a cable box, because they won't be broadcast on the cable unless the box requests them? Great, more revenue for the thieving cable companies since everyone needs a box for every TV now!

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DougS
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What's the frequency range?

They must have upped it a lot to get a 10x boost, because they couldn't have got anything like that from more advanced modulation.

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At last! Something else for smartwatches to do as BMW promises park-by-wristjob demo

DougS
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Why is this "something for smartwatches to do"?

I see nothing about this that makes it more fit for a smartwatch than a smartphone. In order to justify a smartwatch they have to do things that a smartphone can't do or isn't as well suited for.

- things that rely on it being against your skin

- things that rely on it being on you at ALL times

Otherwise a smartphone is better or at least no worse at doing the same tasks. If I had to ask for my car 350 times a day, I might want the time savings that having the capability on my wrist versus in my pocket may afford. If I do it 5 times a day, I think I'll pass on saving those 3 seconds, especially since it'll give you something to do while you're walking to the place where your car will pick you up.

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How does the US government run the internet? This is how

DougS
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Not sure what the point is

If the rest of the world wants to cut out the US, they can do it today. Just make a copy of the current root zone files, start up their own network of root servers, point all their DNS servers at those root servers instead of the IANA root servers...problem solved. Then they can start updating it independent of the US, and idiots can go suing them to try to take the .ir domain.

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Apple WINS iPod antitrust fight, jury nixes BILLION-dollar payout bid

DougS
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Re: So let me get this straight...

Because that's not illegal. They did what Jobs said, yes, but in doing so they secured their DRM that was broken by Real to allow it to load onto the iPod, and made other improvements to iTunes as well.

Apple did not have a monopoly on music players, or online music sales. Apple didn't prevent anyone from loading music purchased from anywhere onto the iPod, they only prevented loading music encumbered with their proprietary DRM that they didn't license to others onto the iPod. Everyone was free to burn music purchased from Real, Microsoft or whoever onto a C (or buying a CD from the music store, back when they had those) load it into iTunes, and then onto the iPod.

Claiming "they made the process slightly more difficult" is a real stretch for a $350 million class action suit!

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DougS
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In other news

The appellate court heard Apple's appeal of the e-book case yesterday, and court watchers say it looks like two of the three judges appeared to be looking very favorably upon Apple's case based on their questions and comments.

While this iPod case was obviously bogus from the start, the ebook one is going to upset a lot more people if it is overturned. One judge even hinted that she thought the government had taken action against the wrong company (i.e. Amazon)

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DougS
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Re: copyright violation = theft

Just a copy was removed. They still owned the track, and if they kept another copy (or logged in to Real's site and downloaded it again) they could burn it to CD. Once on CD they could freely bring it into iTunes. The case was never about Apple preventing competition, only preventing the competition from hacking their DRM to load DRM tracks directly onto the iPod via iTunes. If this case was upheld the people jailbreaking their iPhones could sue Apple if they closed the security holes used to jailbreak, does that make any sense?

Basically it was just a law firm looking for a big payday, instead they've spent a lot of money and got nothing, which is more than they deserve. I hope Apple sues for its legal fees and bankrupts them so they can't roll the dice again with someone else.

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Microsoft whips out real-time translator for Skype calls

DougS
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How you know text translation is working well (IMHO)

Translate the same page of text back and forth between the same two languages - does it keep getting harder and harder to understand, or is pretty stable after the first round trip?

In my experience, anything longer than a sentence fragment becomes laughable after a few round trips, whether using Bing, Google or any other online translation service. It is OK for getting the overall gist of what is being said (modulo a few errors that stand out as obvious, and undoubtedly a few that fly under my radar) if you want to read a news article in French or Chinese, but the result is to a professional translation as a Yugo is to a Maserati.

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DougS
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German

I wonder how they'll be able to do "real time" translation of German, given how the sentences pile up all the verbs at the end like cars on the bottom of an icy hill? But I suppose halting conversation is better than no conversation.

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'Turn to nuclear power to save planetary ecology from renewable BLIGHT'

DougS
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Re: All electric?

How much of your electrical use is for cooling? I'll assume you're from the UK, so as you're in a cooling dominated but rather moderate climate, if you use a geothermal heat pump, heating and cooling power requirements are cut by 50-70%.

Solar panels on the roof can take up whatever remaining slack there is in the grid. In a heating dominated climate where peak electrical loads will occur at night in winter (if everyone is on electric) you'd probably want some batteries to buffer that load. They could be in the home, or in the grid (maybe of the "pump water uphill" variety than actual batteries)

You can also do like the US does for peak electrical loads (which occur in the summer here) and give discounted rates to those who are willing to have their AC shut off for an hour or two during peak load - give a discount for those who are willing to have their thermostat lowered to 60F during peak periods. Most people are sleeping then, so 60 is fine then since you can always add a couple blankets.

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Chrome devs hatch plan to mark all HTTP traffic insecure

DougS
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I'd consider "broken HTTPS" far more insecure than HTTP

Because a naive user doesn't understand any of this stuff. There is still a lot of HTTP out there, and stuff that really has no reason to be upgraded - why should The Register require everyone connect via HTTPS, is someone going to sniff my forum password and post as me...the horror!

Because there's a lot of HTTP, people will become used to seeing the "this site is insecure" indication and ignore it. A broken HTTPS, i.e. something like a MITM or other attack, should set off alarm bells even in the brains of a clueless surfer, but it won't if it shares the same indication as half the sites he browses!

Google's engineers are idiots living in their ivory tower, not understanding that not everyone is an ubergeek who implicitly understands this stuff. They think they're being clever and will encourage site owners to switch to HTTPS, but there's no point for a lot of sites to ever do so.

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Sony to media: stop publishing our stolen stuff or we'll get nasty

DougS
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Re: "arms length" defense?

On what legal basis could Sony sue for reporting on what others are saying?

Anyway, even if they stop the major networks and AP from reporting it, there are approximately eleventy bazillion websites out there, and Sony can't send them all a letter. People who want to know what is going on can find them easily via Google, and some countries with different laws will have media that reports on it and Sony won't be able to do anything.

I wonder if they're fearful over the "Christmas surprise" that GOP has promised? Maybe something that will expose the famous "Hollywood accounting" and show evidence they knowingly screwed over people who have a "percentage". That could end them.

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DougS
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"arms length" defense?

If say NBC ran a story on the evening news that said "websites who have seen the latest Sony material say that it includes the following", so they Sony can't get them for ever possessing the material? NBC would just be reporting the news, so I think it would be hard for Sony to successful sue them.

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Secretive Chinese smartmobe colossus Xiaomi is on WAFER thin margins

DougS
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Why is low profit a problem?

One guy owns three quarters of the company. I think most of us would be pretty satisfied with three quarters of $56 million.

He seems to be managing it pretty well, other than Samsung every Android OEM either never makes a profit, or when they make a profit they make a bigger loss later and it is erased. If he wasn't already the owner he'd make a good hire for one of the other Android OEMs to turn things around.

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BYOD: How to keep your data safe on their mobile devices

DougS
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It is only the "best tool for the job" if you think Blackberry is better than iOS or Android for personal use. Being the best at managing home/work combined into a single phone (if that is even true - it was unquestionable a few years back but now it is open to debate) makes it the best option for your employer, but not for you!

The best solutions for employees who may need to come in to work at 3am to fix a problem server is to live across the street from the office, but while that's a good deal for the employer the employee may see things differently. The convenience of the employer is not relevant to an employee's personal decisions such as where to live or what type of phone to use. It is up to the employer to find a way to make the employee's personal phone work if they don't want to be paying for separate phones/plans for work use (some employees may be willing to compromise on the issue of what type of phone to get if it will allow them to avoid carrying two)

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Uber surge pricing kicks in during Sydney siege

DougS
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Who makes the extra profit during a surge?

If it all goes to the driver, then that's fine - the whole point is to get more drivers willing to offer their services when needed (though typically during say New Year's Eve and not something like this) But if it goes to Uber, it certainly is profiteering if they're making more money from something like this.

The investor fascination with Uber is something I don't understand. There are very low barriers to entry for Uber, and no network effect - what stops me from writing a meta car hire app that checks Uber, Lyft, and so on for the best pricing so riders can decide for themselves? Nothing, that's what, and I'll bet someone is already working on it (or just started after they read this - if so pleas contact me for the address to send the royalty checks :))

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BLAM! Max Sound flings vid codec sueball Number FOUR at Google

DougS
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Notes left by execs

If those notes exist, and they can prove they were written by Google execs, Google is going to end up owing a lot of money regardless of the validity of the patents.

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Finland ditches copyright levy on digital kit, pays artists directly

DougS
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Re: Tax

How does that benefit non-Irish artists the Irish listen to, or Irish artists the non-Irish listen to?

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Euro consumers have TOO MUCH choice – telco operators

DougS
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The US reasonably has two players

T-mobile's coverage and use of weird bands that are incompatible with everyone else makes them a non-starter unless you never venture out of large cities. Sprint's bizarre fascination with the wrong technology at every turn always leaves them investing in working around this missteps and playing catch-up with the big boys.

There's really only AT&T and Verizon, and that's no choice because neither one wants to truly compete with the other. They're happy to keep prices high and rake in profits, and let Sprint, T-mobile and the little guys like US Cellular and regional carriers fight it out for the cheapskates.

The reason why someone in the industry would look to the US as the model they want to emulate is they look at the prices we're paying AT&T and Verizon and they could only dream of raping you Euros in like manner!

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Ford dumps Windows for QNX in new in-car entertainment unit

DougS
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OS in car != devices supported

Apple doesn't want you to run iOS in your car, they want you to have full access to your iOS device and its features in the car. There's nothing stopping a car running QNX from doing so.

I think in the future cars will have software that support at least iOS and Android. What OS the car may be running will be of interest to almost no one, because you won't run apps on your car, you'll run them on your phone which your car's OS will interface.

QNX is a good choice for the car's OS because as a true microkernel will be easier to keep secure.

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El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

DougS
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Thank you

For leaving "this week's stories" alone since that allows me to do what I really want, which is to quickly peruse stories that are new since my last visit to see which ones I'm interested in reading.

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The future looks bright: Prepare to be dazzled by HDR telly tech

DougS
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Re: The fundamental problem for Greens...

Many improvements reduce power consumption, and LCDs are fairly inefficient in converting power to light since they rely on blocking light. Maybe this will drive development of self-illuminating technologies. Or cause people to revolt against EU nanny-state tendencies (like mandating use of micro USB just before a far superior USB connector & standard is introduced!)

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DougS
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Re: Another rant

Do you really think people are throwing away their old TVs? Of course not, if they're still working they'll sell them on Craigslist or something. There are still a lot of old CRT SD TVs out there that people won't replace until they die, or until some tosser sells a three year old 50" HDTV for $60 because they just bought a 65" 4K TV :)

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Brit boffins debunk 'magnetic field and cancer' link

DougS
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Re: @DougS

The conspiracy theorists claim that humans can't survive the radiation outside the Van Allen belts so we couldn't have gone to the Moon.

If we sent people to their death on the Moon not being able to bring them back as you suggest would be possible, that would still amount to NASA foisting a pretty humongous lie on the public! :)

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DougS
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@User McUser

How does the presence of reflectors on the Moon prove humans personally put them there? The argument is not that we haven't landed things on the Moon, but that we haven't landed people on the Moon.

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DougS
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@Grikath

You just disproved your first sentence and proved the second by calling into question the methology of the study. As would a creationist when presented with evidence that the Earth is older than 6000 years, i.e. carbon dating does not work as expected because decay occurred at a faster rate back in the day so it looks like those bones are millions of years old.

Given that we now believe that the post-Big Bang inflation happened at a faster rate and has since slowed (and more recently maybe sped back up again) it will be hard for argue to his satisfaction that "yeah, we were wrong about the cosmic inflation thing, and still can't explain how it works, but trust us we're right about radioactive decay rates remaining the same across millions of years even though humans have only been measuring it for a hundred"

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DougS
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You can't use science to disprove theories not based on science

Go ahead, try to prove to anti-vaxxers that vaccines are safe, prove the Earth is older than 6000 years, prove humans walked on the Moon in 1969, prove that 9/11 wasn't a government conspiracy!

I mean, these theories aren't as ridiculous as the idea that people invented microprocessors instead of the technology being stolen from the Roswell saucer, but they're still pretty out there.

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Uber? Worth $40 BEEELLION? Hey, actually, hold on ...

DougS
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Re: Surprise - the bailouts were profitable!

My point was that all that money that the US government put into Fannie/Freddie has now been paid back and are now accruing profit for the US government. The "large loss" you mention is gone as all that original money has been paid back. ALL of the money (plus 7.5% as of Dec. 1) the US government put for for ALL bailouts has been paid back in total, with some sectors like the automakers still not fully paid back but compensated for others (and bailing them out meant their employees who stayed employed kept paying taxes, instead of being added to the unemployment rolls so really the auto bailout has been paid for too if you take that into account)

There are only some states in the US that are "non recourse" and allow you walk away from your debt as you say. It is a minority of states though - however, it is probably no coincidence that most the states at the epicenter of the mortgage crisis in the US were non recourse.

"Where the money came from" was of course additional debt of the US government, but as it has been paid back the net debt added is now zero. There were other measures like QE that will take years to unwind, but now that the US government is no longer continuing to add to that total it will resolve itself over the next 5 to 10 years as most of the debt held by the Fed matures.

I agree that other countries approached the problem differently, due to different circumstances, and their bailouts may not be as successful as the US bailout can be judged in hindsight. That may be the reason why the US economy is finally starting to show signs of strength while much of the rest of the world is still struggling with the effects of the economic shock.

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DougS
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Surprise - the bailouts were profitable!

Fannie Mae alone earned a profit of $84 billion in 2013. That's more than Apple, Google, Microsoft, Exxon and GE made in 2013 combined.

Certainly the way it was done where those responsible for the mess escaped blame and got to keep their ill-gotten gains really sucked, but in the US the bailout has been paid for and will end up with very large profit.

Not saying it is a good thing for the government to be in competition with private business, but since private business demonstrated it was not capable of managing mortgage sales on its own I'd prefer the taxpayers take the profits rather than a few CEOs and connected shareholders who get warned in time to cash out before it is too late, while the little guy takes the fall.

http://money.cnn.com/2014/02/21/news/economy/fannie-profit-bailout/

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Microsoft BEATS Apple, Google ... to accepting limited Bitcoin payments

DougS
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Typical Microsoft

Follow the trend after interest in it has peaked and it is becoming passe.

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RIP P4ssw0rd? IT giants agree to share patents to rollout two-factor auth

DougS
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Re: Why single out Apple?

What does making a phone with an integrated touch sensor have to do with it? Google, Dell and all the rest named in the article don't make those either.

Sounds like people are dodging my question and just hating on Apple because they don't sign up for any random collection of corporations that gets together and tries to set a global authentication standard. How many times have we seen efforts to try to create such a standard (most of which happened back when Apple was a small fish so whether they joined or not would have been irrelevant) They have all failed.

I see no reason why this one will succeed, especially since people have no reason to trust US corporations involved in an authentication standard given that it is a proven fact that the US government will twist their arms and Google and all the rest will quickly give in. I'd trust a Chinese company before I'd trust Google, because the Chinese government spying on me doesn't hurt me since China has no power over me. The US government spying on me is a very bad thing since I happen to live there.

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DougS
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Why single out Apple?

I don't see Facebook, Amazon, IBM, HP, Oracle, SAP, and on and on!

But I guess because Google is involved you're going to claim Apple is defying this alliance that has yet to produce any finalized standards, let alone test implementations, because you guys love to hate on Apple?

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Hipsters snap up iPod Classics for $$$s after Apple kills rusty gadget

DougS
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Collectors?

I can't see the last generation of these ever being worth all that much. Now if someone has a first generation iPod that's still new in the box, I could see that being worth a lot someday. You know, to the sort of people who collect anything from original Star Wars action figures to restored 60s muscle cars - stuff that lets older people with too much money relive their youth.

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Confused about 5G? So are we, say carriers

DougS
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Re: Cart beats horse

True that. Once everyone has 4G everywhere, some marketing guy is going to decide that their network should be marketed as 5G.

After all, we haven't even hit _3G_ yet - we'll need LTE-A before we can hit 100 Mb/sec that was the original requirement. The 100 Mbps mobile and 1 Gbps fixed listed here for 5G were part of the original requirement for 4G. We're many years from that! By the time we actually hit true 4G, I expect we'll be on 6G with rumblings about 7G around the corner :)

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Mom and daughter SUE Comcast for 'smuggling' public Wi-Fi hotspot into their home

DougS
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What if someone uses it to download copyrighted movies or child porn?

Does anyone want to bet that Comcast is able to determine it came from the public hotspot instead of the homeowner? If they can tell that, there's the out for the homeowner to use the public hotspot instead of their private wifi to download illegal content, send email to ISIS asking for a membership application, etc.

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USB Forum submits itself to electrical probing

DougS
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Re: 100W ?!?!?

5A max, so you get 60 watts at 12v or 100 watts at 20v.

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DougS
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Re: USB 3 is a disaster - WiFi and other wireless interference is awful

Good luck finding a Bluetooth device that doesn't use 2.4 GHz! Not to mention, some of us wish to leave our homes on occasion, and can't control who uses 2.4 GHz wifi.

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