* Posts by DougS

7197 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

China is building a full scale replica of the Titanic to repeatedly crash into iceberg

DougS
Silver badge

Nope

Some guy in NYC who had the trademark for clothing with Titanic and RMS Titanic tried to sue the studio when the movie premiered, claiming he owns the trademark on all uses of the name, but the case was thrown out of court. I don't think the Chinese have anything to worry about here.

Cunard bought White Star Lines, so presumably they would have purchased any trademark on the name for a ship, but I doubt they were able to (or wanted to) show continued use or would have bothered to file and pay the fees to keep it active even if they had continued to use it in some small way.

0
0

Reg readers vent their frustrations with AFA vendors

DougS
Silver badge

Dedupe / compression overbuying

The comment about "you have to overbuy to make sure you don't have to go to the well again"....was the commenter seriously expecting vendor salescritters to have incentive to reduce such overbuying??

0
0

WDC loads its belt-fed drive cannon, blasts out disks 'n' cards galore

DougS
Silver badge

Re: Helium?

Plus once we get fusion figured out (SOMEDAY we'll figure it out) we'll have all the helium we could ever want.

0
0

Silver screen script hacker and dox douche gets 5 years in US cooler

DougS
Silver badge

Re: So that explains it

I don't think hackers are the reason why you always see two movies with the same plot. That was happening even before they were using email.

There's just no one you can keep a script a secret if you are passing it around to potential actors. The basic plot leaks out, and B movie Hollywood makes a quick and dirty version that compete with it that ends up going direct to Syfy network or whatever hoping to capitalize if it turns out to be a hit.

2
0

Stealing, scamming, bluffing: El Reg rides along with pen-testing 'red team hackers'

DougS
Silver badge

Re: Top stuff

Depends on who commissioned it. If the CEO is the only one who knows about it, presumably it originated with him or the board of directors. They have less incentive to bury the results than if it originated with someone who would shoulder a lot of the blame, i.e. chief security officer (or equivalent)

If the CSO originated something like this, thinking "we're so secure, we'll pass with flying colors and when I show it to the CEO, I'll get a raise" and then finds they are woefully deficient, he's probably not going to bring it with the CEO - at least not until he fixes a lot of the stuff so the results look better when compared to the average assessment, or he puts his thumb on the scale by alerting his subordinates of a coming 'attack' for round two.

2
0

Can ISPs step up and solve the DDoS problem?

DougS
Silver badge

Re: Start at the source.

Part of it is simple - don't allow forged source addresses to escape. You probably can't fix that at a per user level, though it can't hurt. Everyone gets their internet from some sort of provider, it is those providers that directly attach to end customers that can EASILY fix forged addresses. Put economic pressure on them (fines or cutting them off from DNS delegation) to force them to comply.

Fixing a DoS that relies on massive amounts of data from a massive amount of sources is a whole other problem. I don't have a fix for that (start writing better software...yeah right!) but we can at least lick amplification attacks fairly easily and halve the scope of the problem.

0
0
DougS
Silver badge

There's an easy fix to this - give them economic incentive

The cost is pretty small when you get down to the bottom layers. Let's say my ISP wants to fix this. I have a DSL connection and have an IP address x.y.z.n where n>=2 and I get a gateway address x.y.z.1. If that gateway refuses any packets from me and anyone else connected to the same gateway with a source address that isn't x.y.z/24, it should be dropped. Sure, they probably have a million DSL customers, and thus thousands of gateways. Surely they have an automated system for deploying changes - if they wanted to make some change like blocking port 25 they aren't having someone login to each one to make changes by hand. It should be pretty simple for them to deploy this filter across all their customers.

If my ISP doesn't do that, once my packets leave my ISP it would be WAY harder for the upstream peers to determine if I have sent packets with forged source addresses, because of how disjoint the IP space is. It isn't like they can filter my ISPs packets with a simple single rule, because they aren't going to have everything in a nice neat little netblock. And that doesn't even get into ISPs serving customers who have their own class C (I actually have my own, assigned by ARIN in the 90s, but I only use it internally)

What those higher levels can do is put progressively stiffer penalties on downstream peers that let forged traffic through. When an attack is identified as coming from me, my ISP would be penalized for not filtering it. Start small but make them go up by time/frequency, and soon the excuse "it costs too much to do" will be replaced by "it costs too much NOT to do".

The problem is, you need these penalties everywhere - it doesn't do much good to fix it in 90% of the world, it has to be everywhere. So it isn't a law in the US, law in the UK, etc. It has to be something enforced by the IETF/IANA/etc. type body - threaten to cut off their DNS delegation if they don't comply.

0
0

Huawei Nova: A pleasant surprise in a 5in phone

DougS
Silver badge

Re: Narrow bezels is the new thin?

Narrower bezels have a point - more screen for less bulk. Yes, the OS needs to be smart enough to tell fingers touching the edges while holding / shifting the phone from deliberate touches intended for UI effect. I guess "you're holding it wrong" really might apply in this case! I hope the rumors that the next gen iPhone does away the bezel mostly/entirely are true, because a bigger screen at the same size sounds like a good deal to me, and I'm sure Apple wouldn't do that unless they've got the touching issues handled.

As for wanting a thicker phone - does your battery last less than a day? If so, you either use your phone a LOT, or you bought a shitty phone that doesn't manage its battery well. Most of the time I charge my 6S plus every other day. If it was thicker and had more battery I guess I could charge it only twice a week, which would provide me exactly ZERO benefit, but with the downside that it weighs more. No thanks!

If you have a phone that lacks battery and wish it was thicker there's a simple fix - get one of those cases with a built in battery. It'll make your phone thicker, and last longer, so you get what you want without inconveniencing the vast majority of the market (proven by low sales from thick phones with jumbo batteries, which is why they are so hard to find!) who would prefer a thinner phone. Not because of the thinness per se, but because it is lighter. Who wants to cart around a phone weighing over half a pound just so they need to charge it less often?

1
0
DougS
Silver badge

Re: So are you saying

Why would anyone be dumb enough to buy a brand new just released iPhone, then dump it for Android a couple months later? If you were that close to switching, surely you would have made do with what you had before while waiting for just the right Android to come along instead of spending all that money?

The One Plus 3 is a nice phone, but is hardly so revolutionary compared to other Android phones that it changes the equation between iPhone and Android.

I take any claims of having "just switched from an iPhone 7" (or the equivalent "just switched from a top of the line Android that just came out") with a grain of salt. Maybe you switched from an iPhone, but I'd bet money it wasn't a 7.

1
0

Everything at Apple Watch is awesome, insists Tim Cook

DougS
Silver badge

Sorry, no one has blown anything

The market is small and stagnant right now. The opportunity is there to be the market leader, someone just has to step up and take it. Maybe it will be Apple, maybe it will be someone else, maybe no one will figure out how to take them beyond their current niche.

If Samsung's design is so great why are they so far behind Apple in sales? Obviously they haven't cracked it either since it is selling so poorly, so why the heck would Apple want to look at Samsung for inspiration?

1
0

I was a robot and this is what I learned

DougS
Silver badge

Re: It can never succeed beyond the novelty stage

Where did you get the idea I enjoy traveling? Did you miss the part about not having attended any conferences for years? I find they are almost always a giant waste of time, being somewhere warm and/or with interesting things to do was the only benefit but isn't worth the other hassles post 9/11. If I'm going to deal with airports I'll take a REAL vacation where work is the last thing on my mind.

My point was that conferences will fight it tooth and nail, because the whole conference model goes away. If sales people aren't going to press the flesh, they aren't going to set up a booth to talk to a bunch of robots. And if they are using a robot themselves, they'll just set up a webcast and invite potential customers on their own schedule instead of a specific week someone else has selected. A guy who wants to do a presentation can similarly set up a webcast, what's the benefit of having it matched by a bunch of other guys doing the same with similar topics in a particular week?

If enough people feel like you do and want to attend conferences or trade shows robotically, you'll quickly find there are none left to attend.

0
0
DougS
Silver badge

It can never succeed beyond the novelty stage

If you get to the point where 5-10% of show attendees are using one, it won't be a novelty any longer, they'll just be annoying for most who are there 'in the flesh'. Heck, based on many attendees not getting out of your way, maybe a lot of them have already encountered 'robots' and are past the novelty stage already so maybe even 1% would already be well past the tipping point.

I would think that trade shows would be less accommodating if they started to be used in any sort of numbers, because what's the point of having a trade show AT ALL if people can attend remotely? It is like having a big virtual hall of video conferences (one per booth or per session, plus ad hoc for people having sidebar discussions) that you can choose to seamlessly switch between.

How are the conference organizers going to make money (if it is for profit) or create a boondoggle for free travel for the organizers / referees if it is non-profit from a bunch of video conferences? They aren't going to want to see this go past the novelty stage.

About the only redeeming value of attending a conference / trade show (something I used to do several times a year, but not for a long time now) is that you can basically get a free vacation somewhere nice (and warm if you live where its cold and choose the right one) and aren't expected to put in normal hours of work - or even put in any hours. If you are sitting at your desk 'attending' a conference (whether via telepresence or the hall of video conferences) your boss will probably expect you to be able to check out at a moment's notice if something comes up. And at the end of the day, you will not be in some vacation spot, or getting vendors buying you a nice dinner and taking you to a party with an open bar.

That 'vacation spot and free food/drinks' are about the only thing that could possibly make up for dealing with travel and hearing vendors drone on with a bunch of promises they can't keep, etc.

0
0
DougS
Silver badge

Dalek design for telepresence

Plus you have the laser gun.

2
0

What can we use to hit Intel between the eyes, thinks Qualcomm – a 10nm ARM server chip

DougS
Silver badge

Re: 10nm? Capitalism FTW!

TSMC isn't using EUV for 10nm or even 7nm, so issues with it won't affect their rollout. They are ready to go full speed ahead with mass production of 10nm early next year. They will have risk production of 7nm next April, with full mass production expected in early '18.

3
0

Russia's bid for mobile self-sufficiency may be the saviour of Sailfish

DougS
Silver badge

Why would BB10 be any better?

It is made by a company headquartered in a country that's basically the United States' little brother, and a Five Eyes spying partner. The true concerns Russia has over Android and iOS would exist similarly with BB10 or Windows Phone.

3
0
DougS
Silver badge

Fruits of the US' illegal wiretapping program

If it weren't for that, Russia probably wouldn't be so skeptical of products created by Google and Apple, and might be less willing to make the investment into rolling their own mobile OS. Maybe China would have always gone their own way with their various Google-free Android forks, but it certainly can be argued that US tech companies are losing big in the long run by being seen to cooperate with the US.

It was one thing when it was suspected / rumored, quite another to see it on a powerpoint with dates they gave in attached.

8
0

China and Russia aren't ready to go it alone on tech, but their threats are worryingly plausible

DougS
Silver badge

Chinese manufacturing

The reason it succeeded is because it could bring a lot of people in cheaply. The more successful China becomes, the less cheap those people become. So no matter what they do they will eventually lose a lot of the labor intensive manufacturing over time, as other countries become relatively cheaper, or it becomes relatively cheaper to consider another course - either bringing it home (politically important in countries that have seen their manufacturing shed jobs to China over the years, like the US and UK) or building stuff using robots, with much less human capital required.

4
0

Android, Qualcomm move on insecure GPS almanac downloads

DougS
Silver badge

Re: This is bogus

I think I would believe Google over you. Why would THEY claim something can hang an Android phone if it actually can't? If it was some random security researcher then maybe your skepticism would be warranted, but it is easy to imagine that if the tables are crafted correctly it could put the assisted GPS function into a loop or something that the OS doesn't recover from since it is assuming the tables are properly formatted.

Use of other standards is nothing new, I think Apple has used Qualcomm chipsets that supported GLONASS since the 4 or 4S, and I'm sure Android from a similar time frame at least in leading edge devices using the same chipsets. That can make it a bit faster to get a proper GPS fix in a place where your view of the sky is obscured (i.e. tall buildings) but doesn't do squat for you if you don't have a view of the sky at all, like when you inside a building with too much between you and the roof. Maybe the assisted GPS needs to take alternate sources into account as well.

There's also whatever the Euro solution will use, so someday we'll have four independent methods of determining a position fix, so the algorithms could be improved to throw out one that looks bogus (i.e. if the US blocked GPS in a certain area, the EU might join them but Russia and China are unlikely to do so as well)

0
0
DougS
Silver badge

This will be fertile ground for attackers to check

Given the ease of subverting DNS, and the lack of Android updates to enforce SSL on the majority of the extent Android devices, finding a way to use this to hijack a device would be worth a lot of money.

This will be one case where you hope the worst they can do is hang the phone...

1
0

Uber is watching your smartphone's battery charge

DougS
Silver badge

I vote for "can't resist grabbing everything"

Storage is cheap, and you never know when something might be useful to you. So they will grab everything they can. If they could get the results of a search on Amazon looking for size 10.5 2E shoes, they'd store your shoe size, just because.

8
0

Microsoft says LinkedIn will make Trump, Brexit, voters feel great again

DougS
Silver badge

Linkedin already is a monopoly

There is no competition for corporate focused social networking. No one is posting professional jobs on Facebook or Twitter.

Not sure it really matters whether Microsoft owns them or not, but pretending that the EU is preserving competition which already does not exist is silly.

5
2

Wannabe Cali governor gives up against beach-blocking billionaire VC

DougS
Silver badge

The valuation the commission assigned is strange

$380K for 90 acres of beachfront property? Or is that just to buy the land under the road? He says they'd have to pay him $10 million for it, but the older Reg article says he paid $38 million....I doubt he's willing to take a loss on it so whatever he might be willing to sell is not everything he paid for.

0
0

Bloke sold cash register code to restaurants that deliberately hid sales from taxmen

DougS
Silver badge

You're assuming he really is being audited

We only have his word on that, and we all know what that's worth. Besides, the IRS can only audit for a limited range of years, so there are many years of tax returns he could release other than the latest one.

He will NEVER release any of his tax returns while he's president. If he bothers to answer such questions at all, he'll claim "it doesn't matter now since I'm already president" or fall back on the "there are no laws that say I have to release them". He's got plenty to hide, and nothing to gain by releasing them now that he's been elected.

0
0

US election pollsters weren't (very) wrong – statistically speaking

DougS
Silver badge

Holding all primaries on the same day is a terrible idea

Then only the well funded candidates have a chance. The reason having a couple small states going first works well is because it allows relative unknowns like a Jimmy Carter to have a shot. They just have to make it past the initial filter.

One could argue that switching around which small states are first is better than it always being Iowa and New Hampshire, but both states being relative swing states helps too. Having a state like Utah or Kansas first would lead to much more conservative republican candidates, and who knows what it do with the democrats. Now maybe you think more conservative republican candidates are a good thing - both conservative republicans and democrats (because extremists on either side are less likely to win a general election) would probably like that outcome. But mainstream republicans and independents, not so much.

Given that a state both has to be small (to lower the cost bar for candidates) and relatively middle of the road politically, the number of choices is actually pretty small.

1
0
DougS
Silver badge

Where's your evidence of that?

They were within the margin of error in the swing states. What incentive did Trump voters have to lie but Clinton voters to tell the truth? The "shy voter" theory was such bullshit - people who voted for Trump sure weren't shy about crowing victory on Facebook, Twitter and everywhere else. Sure, maybe Trump voters would be shy if they lived in San Francisco, but Hillary voters would be equally shy if they lived in Houston.

The 'art' in polling is trying to determine how many people who call themselves "likely voters" will actually turn up to vote. Hillary had an enthusiasm problem - if the same percentage of "likely voters" who said they were going to vote for Hillary as those who said they were going to vote for Trump turned up on election day, she would have won all those swing states and taken the election.

Trump's likely voters were more enthusiast and more of them showed up. It is as simple as that. And that's hardly a surprise, this is usually what loses the election for a party that has been in power for a while - that's why Bush I lost to Clinton and why Gore lost to Bush II.

The real problem was the media paying way too much attention to the national polling that showed Hillary with a consistent lead, and mostly ignoring the per state races. The average of polls taken the last few days before the election had her leading 3.5%, and it looks like she'll win by 2.5%, so they were right on the market. Unfortunately state polling is harder to do and due to the smaller samples tends to have wider swings so it is harder to know where things really stand.

1
0
DougS
Silver badge

@Eddy Ito - gerrymanding

I think the best way to fix it would be to have computers draw the boundaries. It would be fairly easy to write a program to create the most compact districts possible, using existing political boundaries wherever possible (county/city borders)

In fact, I know it is easy because the way they draw their crazy districts now is via computer programs that are designed to concentrate the opponents in as few districts as possible, and create 60-40ish "safe districts" for the party in power. States that have the ability for citizens to put propositions on the ballot have no excuse for not having this. It is in the interest of congressmen keeping their seats forever, and no one else, to have gerrymandered districts. It isn't in the interest of the people living there, since there votes are almost meaningless, whether they are voting as part of the majority or party of the minority.

2
0
DougS
Silver badge

Democrat party "lessons learned"

Consider in 2012 the republicans did a postmortem of Romney's loss and decided they needed to be more welcoming of minorities and hispanics in particular. Instead they ended up doubling down on their anti-minority policy by nominating Trump. Of course that wasn't the party's decision but the voters, and it ended up working out for them despite that, but it just goes to show that what a party decides and what the individuals who vote in its primaries decide may not agree.

If the democrats learn the lessons they should, the number one lesson they would learn is that the DNC shouldn't favor one candidate over another. Sanders probably beats Trump because he did not have all of Hillary's baggage that made her an easy target, he spoke to the same working class anger Trump did, and he inspired young people. But against ANY other republican a democrat who used to be a socialist may lose due to that alone - so the party might have thought they were saving themselves from a Mondale like landslide loss.

Another thing that parties never seem to learn is that the candidate with the most charisma almost always wins. Trump may not have much charisma, but compared to Hillary he's a fucking star. You don't need charisma to beat someone who is as stiff as Hillary - look at Bush I beating Dukakis, the ultimate stiff. And Bush II beating Gore and Kerry, two more stiffs, though Bush II had some good ol boy charm that played well down south.

Unless they nominate another stiff in 2020, the democrats should win the election easily. Trump's massive negatives aren't going to go away, if anything they will only get worse with four years of daily exposure. To the extent he isn't able to keep his promises to the blue collar workers who got him elected their enthusiasm for him will dim, as will that of some conservatives who may find he doesn't govern as conservatively as they would like. Meanwhile democrats will come out in force to dump Trump, and can run on a "change" platform that was obviously not possible after eight years in the White House, and if they choose the right person as an "outsider" that Hillary could not.

I think there's a decent chance the democrats could win in a landslide with 400+ electoral votes if they choose someone who is more like Obama or Bill Clinton in the charisma category, and not some establishment stiff. But the fact they haven't cleaned house in the DNC yet tells me it will have to be the primary voters who force it on them. The party machine may try to interfere again, thinking they know what's better than their own voters.

Neither party gets that general election voters don't care about your policies - they want to hear that the economy will do well so they get raises if they have a job, or they'll get a job if they don't have one, and their bills won't go up too much. Most of them could care less about how you plan to deal with China, or Israel or Afghanistan if they economy is working for them. Sure there are single issue voters who will choose based on abortion or global warming or taxes but the parties are pretty set on those issues so those voters have only one choice anyway so there's no point trying to cater to them.

4
1

Team Trump snubs Big Internet oligarchs

DougS
Silver badge

To be fair

Had they voted for Hillary, they would have also handed it to the 1%.

6
1

Apple again late to another market others pioneered. Or is it?

DougS
Silver badge

Misunderstanding what Apple does

Apple takes things that only the more technically inclined can master and turn them into a product for the masses. Sure, music players existed before the iPod, but what percentage of people do you think would be able to get songs to it off their PC (nevermind that you had to illegally download them since there was no legal market for MP3s back then) The majority wouldn't have had a clue without being hand held by the family tech expert, and wouldn't be willing to bother - even if the products themselves weren't so poorly designed.

Same thing with smartphones. Sure, they existed before the iPhone, but they were geek toys or used by PHBs as a calendar to keep track of their meetings. The average person was never going to have a need to do something with their phone other than call or text until it was made super easy to access the internet, get apps, etc. I remember fiddling with my KRZR trying to get apps on it, which invariably turned out to be completely useless. WAP was completely useless, Apple was smart enough to know that you needed a proper browser for people to ever use it on their phone. They also realized a keyboard on a phone was about the dumbest thing ever conceived of, and 99.999% of those Crackberry addicts who scoffed at the iPhone are now using a touchscreen phone.

I still remember the concept drawings people came up with before the iPhone was announced and trying to guess what it would look like showing a phone with an iPod like jog wheel. Still makes me laugh!

1
0
DougS
Silver badge

How can you be late to a market that doesn't exist?

And won't exist for probably a decade or more?

1
0

VCs to Trump: You know what would really make America great? Tax breaks for VCs

DougS
Silver badge

There's TOO MUCH funding for startups

Look at the crazy valuations, there is too much money chasing them already. We don't need to encourage even MORE money being put to develop Yet Another Useless App (i.e. copies of what is already out there) or create another Overhyped Buzzword of the Year product (i.e. let's fund more VR or IoT startups)

6
0

Exclusive: Team Trump's net neutrality guru talks to El Reg

DougS
Silver badge

Re: Trump appointments

They're also afraid of being accused of bias if they are like Chris Matthews acting like a dog with a bone and asking the same question over and over when the person being asked tries to pull the old topic switcheroo.

This was probably inevitable when Fox News came along and gave softball questions to republicans, which led to democrats expecting the same treatment on other networks, which made the then-bogus claims of "bias" a reality.

0
0
DougS
Silver badge

Re: Trump appointments

The doom and gloom talk you hear about his appointments puzzle me. What's the point of wailing and gnashing your teeth about them before they do anything? With such low expectations for Trump's administration, theoretically they should have room to exceed them.

I think that the democrats are playing from the same playbook the republicans used against Obama. Declare him the worst president in history before he even takes office and take issue with every appointment and every pronouncement, all the better to unite the opposition party to do their best to try to deny him any accomplishments. Other than the first couple years when Obama had congress, that strategy mostly worked in terms of forcing him to use executive orders to do anything. After having it done to them, the democrats appear to be aiming at the same plan of trying to block anything Trump does, all the better to later claim because he isn't getting anything done that he's an ineffective president.

If Trump turns out to be not quite as true blue a conservative as he tried to pass himself off as, and has some democratic positions that upset his party and confuse the democrats, I wonder if the democrats will be willing to work with him or if - like the republicans did with Obama on several occasions - they will vote against him just to deny him a success even if it means not getting something they wanted.

15
0

Apple blames air for iPhone 6S's narcolepsy

DougS
Silver badge

Maybe the software enabled some check that wasn't previously being done? If it was a software bug, they wouldn't be offering to replace people's batteries for free, they'd be rushing 10.1.2 out the door.

2
0

Renewed calls for Tesla to scrap Autopilot after number of crashes

DougS
Silver badge

Re: Statistically....

Not true, unless you think 16% of all vehicle miles driven in the US are in adverse weather - with 6% of all miles driven being in snow/slush/ice - while people do drive slower in such conditions they STILL die at a higher rate despite that.

http://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/Weather/q1_roadimpact.htm

0
0
DougS
Silver badge

Re: Statistically....

You're misusing statistics. Fatalities are not an even distribution over all miles driven. They are much more likely to happen in poor weather and where there is more traffic - the exact opposite of the conditions that Tesla owners are likely to use autopilot. At least I doubt it is used nearly as much during heavy rain/snow, or on highways in dense urban areas where fatalities are the most common.

You can't compare the overall statistics of fatalities per mile and the amount of miles driven on autopilot. That's like comparing the overall percentage of phones dropped in water with iPhone usage by lifeguards, and concluding iPhones are more likely to be dropped in water.

Tesla needs to change the damn name, they deliberately chose it knowing it would imply it could do more than it was really capable. Whether people are stupid for thinking that and getting into a crash is irrelevant in a country that labels those desiccant bags "do not eat" even though you'd have to be about 1000x stupider to think that's a good idea than to think a car feature called 'autopilot' doesn't drive itself.

12
1

Windows 10 market share growth just barely has a pulse

DougS
Silver badge

Re: @Lee D

Too late. If Linux was going to be a viable alternative it would have to be a viable alternative TODAY. The lead time for going from 7->10 is a minimum of 18-24 months from the time the admins start creating test loads to the time a full rollout is complete for any enterprise.

The time to switch to a completely different OS is quite a bit longer than that, due to the need to evaluate replacement applications for most of what they do, and there simply isn't enough time if they started evaluating Linux today to be assured they could have the rollout complete by Dec. 2019. Windows 7 is EOL on Jan. 14, 2020.

Any enterprise considering this will probably have started about the time Windows 10 was released.

1
3
DougS
Silver badge

@Lee D

Let me answer your question "What's the impetus?" [to go from Windows 8.1 to 10] with a question. What was the impetus to go to 8.1?

I see absolutely no good reason to do so, and 7 is supported three more years. You are probably quite rare in managing corporate PCs and putting them on 8. No one on 7 today is going to go to 8, it'll be skipped when they finally decide to (i.e. are forced by EOL of 7, just like they were forced off XP by its EOL) upgrade.

8
0

It’s Brexploitation! Microsoft punishes UK for Brexit with cloud price-gouging

DougS
Silver badge

THIS ^^

It would be easier to raise prices "too much" and later do a price cut than to do two consecutive price increases. Once you guys figure out how (if?) you're going to Brexit, maybe the pound will rise as the current utter uncertainty about what is going to happen fades.

1
0

Hackers waste Xbox One, PS4, MacBook, Pixel, with USB zapper

DougS
Silver badge

Re: No point in protecting against this

Why should 50kV be a problem for a person? You can get that much stroking a cat and then touching a metal stair railing. People have died from as little as 42 volts of direct current (I assume he was very wet) and only 200 milliamps reaching the heart is fatal - but AFAIK this device isn't 'live' all the time, it requires a USB negotiation first, which your fingers won't provide. If it is live all the time, the 220v version might already be lethal if you used it in a bathtub.

Plus, it isn't the current/power that is killing devices, it is the voltage. Most ICs don't react well to a lot of voltage. Overcurrent can be a problem, but you'd need a dozen amps sustained for more than a few seconds before you have to worry about hitting fusing temperatures for the traces likely to be used inside.

The power is only a problem if it is actually charging the battery, and more power is directed to the battery than the charging circuits can handle. If a device is so broken as to accept whatever power comes in a USB port and direct it to the charging circuits, there's no hope for it.

0
0
DougS
Silver badge

No point in protecting against this

If you do, someone will update it to output 2000 volts instead of 220. What's the point of adding a few bucks in cost to everything because this game continues until you need to protect against someone putting 50kV in a USB port?

1
1

EU court to determine how Uber's business should be defined

DougS
Silver badge

What a ridiculous argument

If Uber was a general purpose app that helped you find drivers, find someone to fix your toilet, find someone to date, etc. then they could make that argument.

But it is specifically designed to match someone who wants a ride with someone willing to provide that ride, and handles details like routing and billing. They're a transport service provider under any definition.

1
0

Google turns on free public NTP servers that SMEAR TIME

DougS
Silver badge

Unix/Linux has ALWAYS handled a minute with 61 seconds in it

The 'struct tm' that holds time in year, minutes, seconds, etc. has allowed tm_sec to go from 0-60 (instead of 0-59) for this very reason since before I first touched Unix 25 years ago, and presumably from day one for Linux. So Android and iOS should be perfectly fine. As for Windows, who the hell knows?

Now some applications may not be coded properly to expect that extra second and get a tm->tm_sec == 60, but this is hardly the fault of the OS, it is the fault of the application!

6
0

Trump's FCC will soak net neutrality in gas and toss in a lit match

DougS
Silver badge

NYT "revealed as non-credible"

Only in a world where people believe Breitbart is credible.

2
3

Soon only Ticketmaster will rip you off: Concert scalper bots face US ban

DougS
Silver badge

How can you fool only the right people with a fake concert honeypot? It isn't as though scalpers have bots running loose just grabbing tickets to anything they can find. They're pointing them at particular events they know will be popular. If an unannounced Lady Gaga concert shows up on Ticketmaster after she's told her fans "this is a fake to screw the scalpers, don't buy these tickets" why are scalpers going to buy those tickets?

Maybe instead of a fake deliberately add additional dates that are planned to be canceled later and rely on the way the refund process works to screw them somehow. Not sure exactly how, and it couldn't unduly inconvenience real customers, but maybe someone could think of something that makes it easy to refund a few tickets but makes it really difficult for one person to refund 1000 even if they have a bunch of credit cards under different names or however they are getting around the restrictions.

0
0

PC sales outlook improves: Now terrifying instead of catastrophic

DougS
Silver badge

Oh look, IDC is wrong again

When the PC sales decline started, they were in denial - for several years they predicted it was a blip (caused by waiting for Windows 8, hatred of Windows 8, waiting for Windows 10, China slowdown, and a half dozen other excuses I can't recall) and strong growth would resume in the next reporting period. They were always wrong.

Lately they've seen reality in the years of falling sales, keep predicting the decline will flatten imminently. Here they are forecasting that out for five years, claiming the convertibles will balance the decline seen in other market segments because convertibles are the only segment showing any growth. Sorry IDC, the market for laptops that can be used as tablets is limited, and will soon be saturated when there are enough less expensive alternates to Surface Pro. It won't be the savior any more than Windows 8, Windows 10, next generation CPUs from Intel or anything they've claimed the market is waiting for.

Will these clowns ever learn?

2
0

Congrats America, you can now safely slag off who you like online

DougS
Silver badge

Re: Celebrating bipartisanship?

Gridlock is good insofar as it stops democrats from passing things only democrats want, or republicans passing things only republicans want. If we needed a 2/3 majority to pass anything we'd probably be better off because it would force compromise. We wouldn't have seen Obamacare, nor would we see whatever the republican majority is about to give us next year. We'd see middle of the road policies, without the wide swings when a party gets the president+congress. We'd see Supreme Court nominees who are more moderate, instead of nominating the most liberal or most conservative justice they can push through.

When it is something that the vast majority wants, bipartisanship is a good thing - but this is becoming more and more rare these days, unfortunately.

Agreed that crap like the Patriot Act were very bipartisan, but that's a separate issue. The idea is that we vote for politicians who will do what the people want - but they should protect the people against themselves when they think they want "eek terrorists" or "think of the children" laws. Really what those are is a fear of "even though I know this isn't a good idea, I'm afraid if I vote against it I'll lose my cushy seat".

That's what term limits would fix. Two terms in congress max for any individual's lifetime. That would insure enough incumbents return each session that there's some continuity, but aren't so concerned about re-election that political calculations drive all their voting.

2
0
DougS
Silver badge

Bad reviews by non-customers will always be a problem

Its too bad there isn't a way to prove a customer relationship before you can review something. At least that would stop the crap where people share something on Facebook about a business doing something "bad" (which depends on the viewpoint of the reader of course) and encourage everyone to go to their page and give them a 1* review. The downside of fixing this would be that the funny Amazon reviews would become a thing of the past...

Fixing that wouldn't fully solve the problem though. You want reviews to be unbiased, knowledgeable, and avoid self-selection. Let's forget unbiased, because there will always be people who feel bias one way or another about certain companies (think about how a Samsung loyalist might review an Apple product and vice versa) Knowledgeable is a problem also - I don't want to read the review of someone clueless about what they bought, but if I was buying a set of tools I wouldn't want the opinion of a car mechanic who uses tools 40 hours a week either, as his needs are way beyond my own and tools he finds unsuitable could be perfect for me.

Self-selection is the biggest problem though. People are far more likely to bother to enter a review when they are unhappy than when they are happy, and you have to take that into account when reading reviews. Even if you did something like offering a small rebate for people reviewing a product, most will give a cursory "great product, would buy again" like eBay reviews that is pretty worthless.

0
0

Well, FC-NVMe. Did this lightning-fast protocol just get faster?

DougS
Silver badge

Re: show us the numbers, not the marketing slobber

Infiniband has nothing like the toolset available for FC. Can you even create a simple zoneset for an IB fabric? I'm sure that could all be added, but FC still has the advantage of compatibility with all the current stuff. Enterprises aren't going to toss out all their FC gear to make everything run IB just to get a small latency benefit - especially if FC, despite being slower, is still more than "fast enough".

It took many years for SCSI to be displaced by FC, and it happened from the top down. The same will be true for FC (and it may not be IB that displaces it, IB could turn into a dead end like FCoE) Whatever displaces FC will do it on high end projects that require that minimum possible latency, and slowly work its way down to more ordinary deployments as the feature set fills out to replace all the things FC can do.

0
0

Netflix and fill – our coffers: Canada mulls taxing vid streaming giant 5% of subs cash

DougS
Silver badge

Re: GST

Most taxation is on income, except for sales/GST type taxes that are on the price to the consumer. This is neither, it is on the company's revenue.

0
0

Forums