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* Posts by DougS

2353 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

NASA to reformat Opportunity rover's memory from 125 million miles away

DougS
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Re: I would like to thank NASA...

You'd be lucky to still be able to use a 10 year old laptop that came with only a 90 day warranty! But there's still a difference between non user serviceable and non-serviceable (by anyone)

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Uber, Lyft and cutting corners: The true face of the Sharing Economy

DougS
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Star ratings for drivers?

The article says unreliable drivers can't be fired, and reliable ones can't be rewarded. Don't the customers have a role to play here? If I hail a "cab" with one of these companies and it tells me the driver will be here in 10 minutes, but it takes 45, his car stinks and he looks like a serial killer on the hunt for his next victim, don't I have a way of warning future customers about him? Likewise if I had a perfect experience with a driver who was helpful in suggesting a place to eat and giving me a coupon he happened to have that will save me money going somewhere I had already been planning to go, I should have a way of letting future customers know that as well.

So ideally when I hire my ride rather than finding the closest driver, I say "the closest driver with at least four stars and 20 trips" and pay a bit more to get the good one, where people who just whoever is closest pay a bit less for the serial killer dude.

Maybe they already do this, and the article is just not very accurate? I haven't ever used any of these services, so I don't know, but I may consider it in the future but only if I have some control over who I might get.

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Too slow with that iPhone refresh, Apple: Android is GOBBLING up US mobile market

DougS
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Features obsoleting apps

New built in features rarely obsolete apps. Built in features are often ignored by people who get apps that do better. All smartphones have built in apps for weather, stocks, mail, search and so on, but many people download apps for those anyway because they want to go beyond the functionality provided by the built in app. By your logic these should not exist because they're already functionality supplied by the OS.

Most apps are pretty narrowly targeted and wouldn't ever be built in. Just to pick some at random, I've got apps that do various things like control my Tivo when I'm away from home, recognize songs, SSH, act as a level, find studs, display a ruler, overlay satellite positions in a view of the sky, and calculate golf handicaps. Of those, maybe song recognition, SSH, level, studfinder and ruler might possibly be included in a (bloated) OS. I'd probably use the built in level, studfinder and ruler since they're pretty basic and hard to improve upon, but such simple-minded free apps aren't "locking in" anyone. Whether I replaced Shazam and the SSH client would depend on the built in functionality. The SSH client is pretty basic and could easily be improved upon (and if I cared I could probably find a better one on the App Store now, since I downloaded that years ago) but I doubt anything as good and featured as Shazam would be built in unless Apple or Google bought them out.

I think vendor lock-in is overrated, as most people don't invest more than a few tens of dollars in apps, and those who invest hundreds can probably easily afford to re-invest that amount if they switch platforms. Especially if they're switching from iOS to Android since they can save those hundreds buying a less expensive phone (i.e. if they don't buy a Galaxy S) I think few people are sticking with iPhone or Android due to "lock in", but because they have a preference that one or the other meets. Not "freedom" or any of that usual tripe you hear from fanboys that regular people don't know or care about, but more practical stuff like price, size, responsiveness, appearance, stability, durability, etc. Whatever they have, if they're happy with it, they're going to buy that again unless they don't have the choice they want (i.e. decide they want a bigger screen than what Apple has sold up until now)

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BOFH: The current value of our IT ASSets? Minus eleventy-seven...

DougS
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Ah I remember inventory time

Back in the day when I was director of a division at a university. I'm not sure exactly what sort of inventory they'd done before, but there were all sorts of obsolete items we didn't have on there, that had been marked as being present for years in the previous audits.

I had a conversation with a few people on how to handle this, and found there was a form I could fill out for items that were lost, broken or disposed of. I filled it out with a giant attachment for all the items that were no longer present, or were present but were so old they were essentially valueless, or were difficult/impossible to account for (i.e. stuff like memory and hard drives installed inside something else)

They gave me a bit of guff at first about removing 3/4 of the items on inventory, but I was able to blame it on my predecessors and had some backup from people who had been around back then for some of the larger 6 figure items being disposed of many years ago so they didn't bother about all the ones with 3 or 4 figure prices after that.

I had a functioning inventory from that point on and was actually able to find items when there were a couple random audits by the U's property management office looking for a few items with a specific tag and got some praise from a VP as apparently my division had never passed one of those random audits ever before.

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Larger iPad could target big biz, save Apple from low-end scrum

DougS
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Talking about Apple and Samsung "falling behind" on specs

So if someone offers more resolution than what is already a very high resolution, or a bigger screen than what is already a very big screen, Apple and Samsung are falling behind? If a Chinese company introduced a tablet with a "type cover" that has a numeric keypad, he'd probably say Microsoft is falling behind!

I'm still not convinced Apple is going to make a larger iPad, and that the screen isn't for a new iPad Air. Maybe the business world is looking for larger tablets, but I don't really see the need. Once you're that big, you might as well just get a laptop - the addition of the keyboard half of the clamshell adds only a small percentage to the weight.

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DougS
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Huh?

Apple had a net profit of $7.7 billion and total cash from operations of $10.3 billion in its most recent quarter - which is typically Apple's slowest quarter! They are far from needing to "dip into their cash reserve", they're still adding to it despite increasing their dividends and stock buybacks!

In the previous quarter they reported $158 billion in cash, I didn't see an update figure for their most recent quarter but it is safe to say they're now in excess of $160 billion.

I'm not sure what planet you're from that you think Apple may soon have to dip into their cash reserve...

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Siri: Helpful personal assistant or SERIAL APP KILLER?

DougS
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Everything the author says is true

But we are many many years away from Siri/Google Now/Cortana starting to replace apps that do more than allow setting alarms or looking up individual pieces of information. For complex tasks like booking flights, unless you only care about schedule (i.e. you aren't paying for it yourself) choosing flights is an exercise in trading preferences. Then you get into the questions about what is the best time to book, since prices aren't stable and unless you need to travel ASAP you might get the best price six months in advance, six weeks in advance, or six days in advance!

When I do book, do I want to save money by waking up at 4am, or by having a 5 hour layover between flights? This flight is cheaper and has the best schedule, but the only seats left are middle seats. This flight looks good, but its the last flight through O'Hare in the evening during the summer (for those who don't know, this is a terrible idea as a raindrop within 50 miles of O'Hare seems to slow everything down and the last flights out to a particular destination are often cancelled, especially if they're to smaller airports)

I'm not sure I'll live to see a virtual assistant be able to do a proper job of that, because I'm fighting against the airlines' computers, which are updating prices hourly and trying to optimize against consumers and make sure the more convenience I want the more I have to pay.

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DougS
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Re: But do you trust it?

Siri shows the alarm after its set, so you don't need to worry about that. But I agree when it came to more complex queries like booking a flight, hotel and car, it would be difficult to trust. Hell, I'd have trouble trusting a person to do it for me, let alone a computer!

If I'm paying my own bill, my flight selections are a combination of a price and time. I don't want to get up at 4am for an early flight, but if a more convenient department time costs $300 more, I'll get up earlier. Same for hotels, I might want the perfect location, but if those rooms are $500/night, and there's a hotel a mile away that costs $200/night, I don't mind the walk or can afford to take more cab rides. When renting a car, there are certain models I just don't like, and it would require a lot of rentals for a personal assistant (virtual or human) to understand my preferences and biases, and of course that is also based on other factors like price, convenience (do I have to remember to fill it up before returning it?) and so forth.

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End of buttons? Apple looks to patent animating iPhone sidewalls

DougS
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Re: @masterofobvious

That's an extreme example, sure, but I find my phone burns through battery WAY quicker when I'm using cellular data than when I'm using wifi, and WAY more quickly on a call (with screen dimmed or off) then when I'm simply using the phone at home (i.e. screen on, using wifi)

Maybe whatever phone the guy I was responding to uses has a very inefficient screen, but I certainly don't see that on my iPhone 5. Yes, granted it is a smaller screen, but bumping to 4.9" inches for a 50% screen area increase would still leave calls taking more battery than wifi use with screen on. Probably if I had a monster 6" phone the screen (being 125% larger in area) would become dominant over calls, but I can't see any way it could ever become dominant over cellular data considering how much battery that uses. But of course, if I had a 6" phone the battery would be at least 3x larger at equivalent thickness!

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DougS
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@masterofobvious

Where do you get that idea? Try running LTE speedtests repeatedly and compare with just leaving your screen on doing nothing, see how quickly the battery drains under both scenarios, and tell me again how the screen is the biggest power draw.

This is simple math, because if you increase the screen's area by 50% you also increase the phone's volume by 50%. Before that 50% increase, the electronics take up x and the battery 1-x. The chips and radios don't take up more room just because the screen is bigger, so the electronics still take up x and the battery now has 1.5-x available to it. So if x=0.5 and the battery took up half the volume before, the battery will double in size and now take up 2/3 the volume with the bigger screen.

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DougS
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Re: This could be a good thing

I doubt they're talking about the display on the side of the phone being something you're supposed to be able to read, more like it would show you were the virtual "buttons" for stuff like volume etc. were (with haptics making them feel like buttons so you don't have to look for them either)

Maybe you could set it to flash different colors for different types of alerts so you could keep it face down during a meeting but see from a red flash that the boss is calling or something, to avoid the constant distractions of people checking their phone because their friends are carrying on a long group text conversation about the weekend's upcoming football game (not that this happened to me during a meeting yesterday lol)

So they won't make it thicker for this, it isn't like it will show a stock ticker wrapping around the edge of the phone.

The larger iPhones should have increased battery life, simply because the larger the phone the internal volume increases greatly since the "guts" remain the same size, so there's a lot more room for battery. The screen grows larger but the screen is only a small part of the battery draw. Even if they make the iPhone 6 thinner I expect we'll also see more battery life, unless they make it under 5mm thin. As it is, it is very rare I run out of battery before bedtime with my iPhone 5 so I guess I don't see it as a big deal like some do.

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DougS
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No, nothing like Youm

Youm only showed a display wrapped around the edge. No haptics, no virtual buttons, nothing like that.

Besides, the filing date was three years ago, long before Youm was shown.

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Will It Blend? Maybe. BlackBerry’s secret comeback weapon

DougS
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Re: Really, good looking???

Keep dreaming the dream, but my money is on RIM being sold off in pieces for its IP in a year or two...

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DougS
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Re: Really, good looking???

Exactly what's the incentive for someone to choose a Blackberry with a relatively tiny market share which is consequently much less likely to get many of the apps that are and will be made available for iOS and Android, versus an Android or iPhone that they judged to be "just as good as"?

The reason people choose niche products in such situations (other than that small minority who likes to be different just for different's sake) is because they feel they're getting something better than the alternative, not something equivalent.

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DougS
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Re: Really, good looking???

Doesn't it have to be better than the competition to make people want to choose what is now a niche player in Blackberry? Just being "as good as" might have been good enough five years ago, but they weren't then, and now it is too late.

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NYC, LA mayors hammer Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger

DougS
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Exactly!

The Dodgers sold their rights for $8 billion over 25 years, and are guaranteed that money regardless of whether anyone is able to watch their games (unless TWC goes bankrupt)

The reason no one else is picking it up, is that TWC wants $4-$5 per subscriber for a channel that is Dodgers only, because they have to recover their cost. That's not for an ala carte channel where only those interested buy it, this is for a channel that they insist must be in the "extended basic" package that almost all subscribers get, so the majority of LA residents who don't care about watching Dodger games will be forced to pay for it as the providers would undoubtedly raise their rates to the cover the cost of this channel.

There are only two things the FCC can really do regarding this. They can force TWC to offer the channel on better terms (i.e. at a loss for them given the hefty payouts they're making to the Dodgers) as a condition of approving the merger, or they can force TWC and Comcast to divest all broadcast properties (including NBC and sports networks) as a condition of this merger, as I think should be required as we'll only see more stuff like this Dodgers channel fiasco in the future if they don't.

That would solve the problem as whoever bought the rights from TWC would only be willing to pay what they felt it was worth (i.e. they'd be paid to take it, due to the future $8 billion liability) so it would be a loss to TWC, but they should be OK with that if they really feel this merger is so important. Then the new owner, having been paid to accept that $8 billion liability, would be able to charge less to other providers and presumably get carriage to all/most LA residents.

If the Dodgers really cared about their fans, they'd say "let's revisit this deal at a lower price, on the condition you offer this channel at a lower price to other providers so it will be more likely to get carried". The fact they haven't shows they really care only about their bottom line, as is true for all sports franchises in the US (with the possible exception of the Green Bay Packers, being owned by thousands of individual shareholders who are fans, rather than a greedy billionaire)

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Reg man looks through a Glass, darkly: Google's toy ploy or killer tech specs?

DougS
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"Where do I put this thing when I'm not wearing it?"

The reason Google didn't make it fold up so would be easy to keep with you while not wearing is that they want you to wear it all the time.

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Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch

DougS
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Two days is not enough

You carry your phone with you, so you can charge that nightly. But a smartwatch that is doing health tracking, including maybe sleep cycles, is not something you should be forced to remove every night and put back on in the morning. I think the battery life needs to be a week to really be fit for purpose.

Adding 3G capability to a watch is stupid. It should have its own GPS antenna so you don't need to bring your phone with while on a run or whatever, but 3G - especially to make calls - is just stupid. Watches only need bluetooth, and can communicate with a nearby phone or computer for everything else they need.

If they had made this 30 years ago it would have been a wild success, because the generation that grew up with Dick Tracy would still be young enough to think talking into your wrist was cool!

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DougS
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Re: This seems to be a complete phone, not just a smartwatch

That battery is only 300 MaH, or about 10% of the size in a S5. During a call, the battery drain would be the same, so it will last about 10% as long as a S5 would on a call - what's that, maybe 10 hours or so? So I'd give it about an hour on a call before the battery runs dry. But I doubt they consider that an issue, because people who are on long calls or call often aren't going to be using a wristphone anyway.

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DougS
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Re: Battery life

That's probably two days on standby, I doubt you'd get even two hours out of it on a call.

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HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE

DougS
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Re: Ho, Hum - Just more of the daily Apple Tosh we have to put up with

Really, releasing developer info is "Apple PR"?

So I guess if Google released a new Maps API, or MS releases specs for the next version of DirectX, it is all about the PR?

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DougS
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Full screen ads?

I've already got them on a couple apps I use regularly, I guess they must not be using iAd? I'd be more concerned about this if it hadn't already been happening for a while.

I just hope the app writers realize that if I see more than a simple full page ad that comes up only at startup time and can be quickly dismissed, I'm going to be scouring the App Store looking for alternatives about 1.5 seconds after the ad fills my screen!

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Tim Cook in Applerexia fears: New MacBook THINNER THAN EVER

DougS
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Where is the "worryingly thin" quote?

Not in the Digitimes link provided. Unless it is so thin I'm worried it might bend or snap in half in my laptop bag, I'm not going to be "worrying" about its thinness. Anorexia is a good thing where laptops are considered, the less they weigh the better!

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Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM

DougS
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Testing for a simulation

If they find the universe does appear to be a hologram, maybe they can figure out how to test if it is a simulation. I tend to think there's a good chance it is, not based on the argument in the paper a few years ago (the "if we ever create small simulations of reality, then the odds are good that we live in such a simulation") but simply because quantum mechanics makes a lot more sense when viewed that way.

Think about trying to simulate a universe, or part of one, and the restrictions you'll have both based on the hardware (what we observe as the "speed of light" could be to cover the latency inherent in whatever hyper-parallel computing setup runs the simulation) and software - the uncertainty principle could be lazy evaluation, wave/particle duality the result of using the same code to cover both, planck length and quantum states of energy exposing the resolution of the simulation, etc. If the universe is being simulated just for humanity (or just for you) then a lot of the stuff outside our solar system could be simulated at a far lower resolution for both space and time.

In order to really prove the universe is a simulation, you'd almost need to find an obvious bug or exploit. Maybe the reason there are no intelligent aliens about is that they've found a root exploit and the admin of the simulator caused their star to go supernova to limit the damage.

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Tim Cook: I'm NOT worried about CRAP iPad sales. It's just a 'speedbump'

DougS
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Flash pricing

Back when flash was expensive and Apple got a great deal by prepaying for a year's worth of supply, their pricing wasn't at all out of line. As flash has become cheaper, they haven't altered those $100 bumps, even though they've adjusted the amount of flash in each tier every couple years, because people are still paying it.

If they were losing sales to Android because people were saying "I need 64GB and Apple charges too much" they'd alter it, but they lose a lot more sales because people are saying "I want a bigger phone and Apple doesn't have it" so that's what they're addressing.

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PhabletPhace: All the cool kids are doing it in Asia

DougS
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Phones with a 7"+ screen???

Geez, I guess Apple needs to add voice capability to the next iPad Mini and capture the high (7.9") end of this weird new market!

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Super Cali signs a kill-switch, campaigners say it's atrocious

DougS
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Really?

You think that Apple couldn't already brick your phone? That Google can't? That Samsung can't? That your carrier can't (at least for an Android sold through a carrier) This isn't providing any ability that didn't already exist, whether advertised or not.

Methinks your naivete is showing...

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Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery

DougS
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Re: An accountancy error?

More likely it was a bad lot/bad supplier of the batteries. When you make hundreds of millions of something, you can't buy every part from a single supplier, and always have perfect quality across all parts.

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DougS
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Re: @Lost all faith... (@Gene Cash; @Mike Bell)

BT LE may use little power, but I always turn it off because I don't use it, and leaving something I don't use on is pointless. If iBeacon becomes useful or I bought a BT headset or something, then I'd leave it on.

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So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL

DougS
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Re: Article is a complete waste of time

Apple's innovation was taking the pieces others had been doing poorly and putting together about as well as Ford parts into a Toyota, transforming the smartphone from a geek and PHB toy into something the masses wanted.

That's what an innovation leader does. But you can only do it once, and it can't be done again until a new market is identified that has gone off in a bunch of different/niche market directions.

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DougS
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Article is a complete waste of time

"Apple's stock price has disappointed lately?" right before going on to point out it is currently at an all-time high? I wish all my investments were as "disappointing" and I would have retired long ago! I think the author is trying to imply that recent highs are due to unwarranted expectations for the iPhone 6. Personally I don't think they're unwarranted because going to larger sizes, which the market has amply demonstrated there is a lot of demand for, will if anything help Apple's sales. Certainly more than any feature they can add short of "it's unbreakable" or "it reads your mind".

"Lack of innovation?" As compared to exactly what innovation that has been going on in non-Apple smartphones the last few years? Adding little gimmicks like eye scrolling that hardly anyone wants or uses is not innovation. There have been no fundamental changes to the smartphone since the original iPhone - neither from Apple nor from Android when they started shipping products a year and a half later. There has been no innovation, just incremental improvements in what was already there, or little bits glued on that make little difference in people's day to day use of the product.

Then the usual worries about market share, that Apple isn't addressing the low end. You mean that low end that sees Android phones sold for as little as $30 in India and China now? Yeah, there's a market Apple needs to be in! Apple is in business to make the most money possible, not to achieve the highest market share possible. The iPhone makes more profit than every other phone in the mobile market combined. That's how they define success. Introducing a low end iPhone that could magically capture low end share without significantly cannibalizing the high end range is likely impossible.

As I keep pointing out, Apple has been at around 10% of mobile market share for several years now, so the "declining" smartphone market share is irrelevant - everyone with a clue knew that would happen as low end smartphones replaced low end feature phones.

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6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)

DougS
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Doing something to improve Facebook rather than make it worse?

Surely some sort of mistake!

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GitHub.io killed the distro star: Why are people so bored with the top Linux makers?

DougS
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Hard drive searches?

Exactly how does visiting google.com perform a "deep invasive search of your hard drive?" Maybe if you have a Google toolbar installed, but people who deliberately install a search toolbar deserve whatever happens to them.

I can certainly see avoiding google.com to keep them from collecting even more information on you, but Google certainly has no idea what is on my hard drive, nor will they ever.

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China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft

DougS
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Hard to compete with "free"

That's what they're essentially competing against with Windows 7, given the piracy rate in China. It may succeed if the government forces its adoption, but those with the choice will mostly stick with Windows because its what they know.

Same reason why PC buyers in the US use Windows - it is free with their PC. If they bought a bare PC and had to purchase and install the OS themselves, Linux wouldn't be dominant, but it would have a much larger desktop share than it does today.

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NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess

DougS
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Re: Key expiry

That, and being able to generate a key limited to a specific source or destination host, to further limit the ability bad actors to re-use a compromised private key or lazy re-use by admins of the public key on multiple hosts. Having this security be inherent to the key itself, rather than require changes to the config file, will make unintentional security oversights that much harder.

There are legitimate reasons why you might want more general keys, but that should not be the default, nor should a key that lasts "forever", so that you have to at least understand enough about how it works to flag the ssh-keygen options to produce more general and long-lived keys.

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Bright lights, affordable motor: Ford puts LED headlights onto Mondeo

DougS
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Re: Dazzle.

The problem with small headlights like LEDs making it harder to see the indicator near it is solved by adding indicators to each side mirrors. Initially this was done in the US on pickups and SUVs, but it is becoming more common on all cars. This is also useful for those behind, as they can more easily see if a vehicle ahead is signalling a turn.

Xenon headlights should not be a problem, at least not on Audis because they're auto leveling. Where I see problems with xenon is people who add them aftermarket. Lacking the auto leveling they're aimed where traditional headlights are, and will blind oncoming drivers, especially as they crest a hill. Maybe the Audis/BWMs/etc. in Europe don't have the auto-leveling Xenons? Pretty sure it is required by law in the US.

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This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup

DougS
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Re: What's in a name

Thank you for pointing this out for us Americans who wouldn't recognize a member of the British upper class unless they were competing in Monty Python's Twit of the Year competition.

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FCC not quite sold on Comcast TWC gobble

DougS
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Re: They both use the same wire.

Its not irrelevant. There are economies of scale using the same infrastructure to deliver broadcast TV and broadband. That why you pay less if you bundle them together. If you want to end up paying more, fine, require that ISPs can't provide content in any way, but don't complain when you get the bill.

You'd also see less incentive for fiber upgrades in the places that don't have it, because it would be more difficult for ISP only or TV only companies to make enough money from laying the fiber to make it worth it. Hell, even Google isn't laying fiber for internet only, but also offer TV. Should Google be forced to stop offering TV and offer internet only? What do you think taking away the profit of the TV side would do the speed and breadth of their fiber rollout?

The solution to the issue you're presumably worried about is net neutrality. If Comcast has to treat all traffic the same, you don't have to worry about them trying to hamstring Netflix to increase the number of people getting VoD from them.

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DougS
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Re: ALL broadcast properties, not just NBC

NO!

You can't split the broadband and the cable TV delivery side. They both use the same wire. How exactly could you accomplish such a split, and what would it accomplish other than make both companies uncompetitive?

They just need their broadcast properties stripped. There's absolutely nothing wrong with having a company that delivers TV and delivers internet. Is there a conflict of interest over stuff like Netflix? Probably, but that's true for every cable company, along with Verizon, Google Fiber, and AT&T Uverse. Unless you're going to try to split them all up, and make everyone run more wires, messing with this is a terrible terrible idea.

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DougS
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ALL broadcast properties, not just NBC

They should have to spin off all broadcast properties, including all the regional sports networks owned by Comcast and TWC, and not be allowed to own any broadcast properties in the future. They have been using those as leverage to steal customers from other providers, and would likely go all-in on that strategy after this merger gives them a near national footprint.

They should impose the same conditions on Directv/AT&T, though AFAIK AT&T owns none and Directv owns only a handful of minor sports networks.

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IT blokes: would you say that LEWD comment to a man? Then don't say it to a woman

DougS
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I'm a guy, but

I'd avoid the booths/products of companies that had people "representing" them in such a manner if I was a bystander to the things the author endured. If I worked with someone who did that, I'd rat them out to HR. No place for that kind of behavior amongst professionals. Or adults, for that matter.

I imagine it has less to do with IT being "male dominated" as it does with a certain minority of men thinking women only exist for their pleasure/amusement. I wouldn't be surprised if happens even at teacher's conferences where the females would outnumber the males.

Too bad she's forced to travel around with a posse of men to deflect such behavior. If only it was socially acceptable for women to use mace or a Tazer on guys who did that, the problem would quickly resolve itself!

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iPhone owners EARN MORE THAN YOU, says mobile report

DougS
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Re: Like for like

Or the fault of someone buying an Android phone that doesn't use "pure" Android, but instead lets the OEM and/or carrier push stuff on them.

Apple sure got this part right when they pushed around AT&T and their success forced everyone else into line to agree that they had no control over the OS, or even sending out updates for the OS.

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DougS
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Re: Like for like

How exactly is it Android's fault if Flipboard is sending you alerts at 3 am? If I had an app doing that, I'd disable the alerts (as I have done for most apps) or delete the app.

I installed Flipboard on my iPhone several years ago when it was a hot new iOS app everyone was raving about, played around it with a bit, and never touched it again. It has never bugged me about not being set up, because it isn't allowed to send me any sort of alerts.

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My big reveal as macro-economics analyst: It's a load of COBBLERS

DougS
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QE will undo itself

As bonds mature and aren't replaced the Fed will hold fewer of them. It will take place over a number of years, but most likely the Fed's balance sheet will resemble its pre-2008 state (around $900 bil) sometime between 2020 and 2025.

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I’ve never paid for it in my life... we are talking Wi-Fi, right?

DougS
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It is odd

Europe seems to have the cellular figured out better than we do in the US, but they treat wifi as if it is clean water in the Sahara.

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Microsoft refuses to nip 'Windows 9' unzip lip slip

DougS
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Conflict with Apple's launch

Maybe Microsoft thinks Windows 9 will be able to overshadow the iPhone 6's launch. I don't think they can, but the people making these decisions have been with Microsoft for many years, and still remember the days when people lined up at midnight to get Windows 95 and probably think they can recapture that magic.

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Trundle, trundle, FLEEEP: iPhone 6 production grinds to halt

DougS
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Thin

Some may think of "thin" as an unnecessary feature, others may feel it matters. Some may feel longer battery life or wireless charging is an unnecessary feature, others may feel they matter. Sure, an unbreakable screen or one that is readable in the brightest sunlight would be awesome, especially if it make it cost more, but there are vanishingly few models that the former is true on, and exactly ZERO that the latter is true on. Apple might be delivering on the former with sapphire, we'll have to wait and see. That would be something that would grab people's attention in a way that being more thin, having longer battery life, or minor improvements to the compass would not.

Keep in mind, when a screen is made bigger the battery gets bigger "for free", so it is not surprising that Android phones have longer battery life as they have much larger screens these days. Sure, a larger screen requires more power, but a screen that's (for example) 30% larger allows a battery that is more than 30% larger (because the electronics inside the phone don't get any bigger) and the larger screen most certainly doesn't require 30% more power for the entire phone, just 30% more power for the screen.

You can use that bigger battery for more battery life or to try to make the phone thinner and maintain the same battery life. CPUs improve with each generation in terms of power saving modes and higher performance (get things done more quickly so they can sleep more quickly) and wireless chipsets become more efficient. Remember the first generation LTE chipsets that sucked down battery to a ridiculous extent? No longer a problem. The early LTE-A chipsets reportedly do the same, but since LTE-A is implemented almost nowhere today or in the near future it is probably an unnecessary feature.

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DougS
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Re: Bored already

Agreed, it is pointless to regurgitate rumors about production problems. They happen every year, and it is frankly to be expected given how Apple pushes manufacturability to the limits each time around and the production volumes they're trying to achieve.

Even without any glitches, they are always going running short at first due to people on the newest model, so it isn't even news.

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LG takes on Nokia X, Moto G: These are the cheapie 'droids you've been looking for

DougS
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Re: Landfill!!! Fill my pants!!!

Do you really think people throw their iPhone in the trash when they upgrade? I have an iPhone 5 that will be two years old in a month or two that I'm planning to upgrade. I can get over $200 for it from Amazon or other trade-in sites - if I wasn't planning on buying one outright and going with a MVNO that will save me money in the long run, that would pay for the up front (subsidized) cost of the 6! See how much you get for ANY two year old Android phone.

Amazon, Gazelle, et al aren't throwing away perfectly good iPhones either, they're reselling them to people who want an iPhone, but don't want to pay for a new one. As they're supported by Apple with software/security updates for years after sale (the 3gs just got a security update a few months ago, despite being FIVE years old) they remain useful for a lot longer than the typical Android phone that is orphaned after one or two (if you're lucky) updates.

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DougS
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Re: NFC

Why increase cost of all phones (and their after sales support) for something "even if it rarely gets used?"

It isn't as though there aren't many alternative ways to use NFC, such as a card or a case for a non-NFC phone. Not to mention that it is probably pretty rare to see something which can only be paid for via NFC.

I'm not sure where you live, but I see pretty much zero NFC around here (US college town with one of the most highly educated populations in the country, presumably the target market for such technology) If there is any, apparently it is well hidden or I don't know what to look for due to the fact I fail to see the point versus swiping a card.

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