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* Posts by DougS

2297 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Samsung bags second Internet of Home Stuff home firm in a week

DougS
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Re: What?

A roof is optional?

If you live in the UK, I can see where you consider AC optional. It is not in much of the US. You can argue "people got along fine 100 years ago when there was no AC" but almost no one lived in areas that are no well settled solely due to the availability of AC. And us modern people (yes, even you) are spoiled prima donnas compared to the folks 100 years ago.

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Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones

DougS
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They aren't saying 75 million phones in a quarter

They're saying 60 million phones in a quarter, with 10 million sold at launch, and presumably the remaining 5 million sold between launch (assumed to be Sept 19th) and September 30th.

That's quite reasonable and actually fairly conservative given that Apple is finally recognizing that the market is demanding larger smartphones. Regardless of whether the final number falls short of, meets or exceeds 60 million for the quarter, it is most likely to be constrained by production rather than demand.

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DougS
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Re: Shipped vs "in users hands"

Your stats are probably closer to the other way around. Apple has had for several years now right around a 10% share of the overall mobile market (their ever-declining "smartphone market share" is a result of cheap bottom feeder smartphones replacing cheap bottom feeder feature phones in the mobile market, which help Android's smartphone market share but hurt Apple's)

But iPhones have a longer active service life than Androids, and most of Android's biggest growth has been in the last couple years, so the percentage of iPhones in use is a lot higher than 10%. Probably nowhere near 30%, but certain to be closer to 20% than 10%.

I won't even address the 90% piracy rate business. Obviously piracy is an issue on Android, but it is probably a fraction of that. A bigger factor is that an ever-increasing share of Android phones are sold at the low end of the market (those feature phone replacements) and those people aren't likely to spend much on apps. All Apple buyers (at least when they're new, not the people buying the two year old ones the people buying new sell to Gazelle) are buying at the high end of the market, and are more likely to spend more money on apps. And the statistics bear this out - developers make more money from iOS apps than Android apps, despite Android's dominant market share over iOS.

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Stand clear! Will HTC's One act as a defibrillator for Windows Phone?

DougS
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Re: "Premium smartphone buyer"

The ratio of the price of the Macbook 15 years ago and the price of the Macbook today is similar to the ratio of the price of the average laptop 15 years ago and today. As well as the ratio of the price to manufacture either 15 years ago versus today. What matters to Apple as a seller of premium products is that it has the same margins. The lower price means that same margin translates into less profit per Macbook sold, but the lower price means they sell more of them, so they're fine with it.

If the $200 to manufacture today's iPhone was to drop to $100 in a few years (because smartphone technology starts to stagnate as they're "good enough" for almost everyone) then Apple could sell the iPhone for half what it sells for today and maintain their margin, but that lower price would probably mean they'd sell a lot more of them so they'd still be fine. They'd still be a premium priced product at that new lower price.

I think your argument affects Android phones much more strongly, because there are so many to choose from. If Samsung tries to maintain premium pricing (to pay for their ridiculous advertising budget) but consumers decide the random few S-xxx features they throw in with each new model are pretty useless and what they really want is Android, they'll look at HTC, LG and others and save money, and Samsung's sales drop. But those who want an iPhone are much less likely to see HTC and LG phones as an alternative, so while some marginally attached "I like the iPhone a little better than Android" customers may defect, those who consider iPhone to be clearly superior will be willing to pay a little more for it.

The economics of smartphones are interesting. If you add up the hours you spend using a phone over the two years (or whatever) you own it, it probably costs less than a dollar an hour even for a premium priced phone like an iPhone or Galaxy Note. The savings in going with one that costs half as much is less than a penny per minute of use. Where else can you upgrade something that is such a large part of most people's lives so cheaply? Compare with the difference between a premium car and a pedestrian one, which will be tens of thousands of dollars, and despite the longer expected time you'll own it such an upgrade is far more expensive even for those with very long commutes!

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Ballmer quits Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls

DougS
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Re: @AC: (was: 2 billion US dollars?)

If you have "$180,000 to spare" that's not much cushion in case things go south in your life (lose your job, expensive illness/injury, get sued over a car accident or whatever) and that $180,000 is no longer "spare".

Us non mega rich folks can't afford to be as frivolous, though if you analyze someone's life they probably are. How many people would question this, but spend $5 on a Starbucks every morning? If you do it every working day, that's over $1000 a year, if you do it over 20 years that's $20,000. You could have just drank tap water for free. That is really throwing the money away, because you don't get anything back for it. Maybe $2 billion is too much for the Clippers, but they'll never be worth $0 unless the NBA folds.

By contrast, when you have $18 billion, or even $18 million, even if you truly threw away $2 billion or $2 million on something that would be worth $0 in the long run, who cares? It isn't like the money evaporates, the seller gets it perhaps do something smarter with, and you get whatever enjoyment you get out of this "throwaway". You can't spend it when you're dead, might as well enjoy it while you're alive.

You can argue he should do something good with it, but as he's passing along the money to the seller, now it is up to the seller to do something good with that $2 billion or pass it on to someone who will if he similarly "throws it away".

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US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale

DougS
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Re: this will only screw over OTA viewers

I pick up channels with 100% signal quality over 50 miles away - and that one is even VHF so its only broadcasting at 48 kw effective! If you're having problems, you need a better antenna, or if you do have a good one, help with setting it up properly. There are others that are even further that I still pick up even though my antenna isn't even pointed at them.

With a high quality outdoor antenna, you should have no problems unless you live behind a mountain or a tall building.

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DougS
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Here it is in brief

Frequencies used by channels 31-51 (572 MHz to 698 MHz) will be sold off, and stations currently occupying those frequencies will move down the dial to unused channels. Where possible/necessary, stations will be "repacked" to insure there's no interference between stations getting moved around in different viewing areas, so some channels below 31 will have their frequency changed as well where repacking occurs.

As part of this the FCC is allowing stations to share channels more easily, so a single channel could have x.1 as a ABC affiliate and x.2 as a CBS affiliate, even if there is not common ownership. This would be attractive to stations in smaller markets as it would cut their costs,. They'd lose the ability to carry subchannels, since two HD channels in one physical 6 MHz RF channel doesn't leave any room for subchannels unless you want to seriously compromise the quality of those HD channels.

All the costs incurred for moving such as new broadcast equipment and marketing to let people know when the station will change frequencies they'll need to re-scan is supposed to be paid for with the proceeds of the sale.

It sounds like some stations are worried they'll be forced to a different frequency that doesn't quite have the same range as they do currently. If they were forcing UHF channels to move to VHF that might be true, but I don't think that's supposed to happen. But I guess if a channel 50 moved to channel 14 the range may be marginally reduced, or they might not be allowed to broadcast at the maximum 1000 kw effective on the new frequency. There's also the chance that a station in a flat area that carries up to 100 miles might have its range reduced somewhat if it competes with another station using the same channel 150 miles away (I think the FCC defines viewing areas only up to 75 miles)

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DougS
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Re: Channel Switching

Its not. Occasionally channels change frequencies for other reasons. For instance, a lot of channel 51s have moved down the dial, because there is unexpected interference with LTE A band.

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Intel's Haswell-E brain to emerge from the lab at end of August – reports

DougS
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Re: SATA 3.2 ????

Not unless your database is doing a lot of sequential I/Os, because you aren't likely hitting 600 MB/sec in random I/Os from only two SSDs.

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Power of iPhone 6 hype-gasm: Apple a sniff away from record stock high

DougS
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Re: Who Gives A F***

I don't really think the increase this time has to do with iPhone 6 hype, it is more of a rising tide that lifts all boats - the S&P has been going up a lot lately and is in uncharted record territory.

There may be a small post Sept. 9th letdown when Apple fails to announce an iWatch (if/when they intro it, I'll bet it is at a separate event) but not much of one compared to whatever the market as a whole is doing around that time.

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DougS
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Dow Jones

One thing that would help Apple's stock price from the split is if the stock is added to the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Previously Apple would not have been added because the Dow Jones doesn't weight prices so a high priced stock like Apple's would have too much influence over the value of the Dow. Post-split, it may be added at some future point when they decide they want to drop one of the current companies (perhaps due to reverse merger in the case of Pfizer) and need to look for a new one to add.

If a stock is added to the DJIA, its price will "automatically" go up because all funds or indexes that include the Dow 30 components will sell whatever stock is being removed and buy the stock being added. Most indexes use the S&P 500, but many funds still use the Dow as a component or offering. It wouldn't have a large impact, certainly less than a buck a share, but it does make a small difference.

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Docker kicks KVM's butt in IBM tests

DougS
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Re: Easy explanation

Thank you for that great explanation, I hadn't considered the angle of what type of CPU features the VM would report for support for.

This is the kind of stuff that keeps me coming back to the Reg, and reading the comments!

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DougS
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The real question is, how does KVM do so poorly?

Linpack is totally CPU bound, there should be essentially zero virtualization overhead. If it was testing something I/O intensive or otherwise making a lot of system calls, then this would be an expected result.

Is it possible the Linpack test created a lot of FP exceptions like denorms? That's the only reason I can think of why it wouldn't perform the same as native.

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UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones

DougS
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Just force them to have a PIN, with a long timeout

I have a PIN (password, actually) on my phone, but it only is needed to unlock my phone if it has been four hours since I last unlocked it. So pretty much first thing in the morning, otherwise it isn't required. Since I don't leave it laying around that's the security/ease of use trade I've chosen to make.

If someone steals my phone, it will be unlocked at the time of theft (unless they break into my bedroom in the early morning) so they'll be able to get at my stuff. There isn't anything sensitive like banking info or whatever so aside from the inconvenience it wouldn't really hurt me. Even if I didn't have Apple's "activation lock" my phone would still be useless in the future because of that password - you can't clear it or reset the phone to factory defaults without entering the password, so the first time it is left laying around for 4+ hours, it becomes a brick.

Obviously thieves don't know this, so if they stole it and sold to an unsuspecting sucker quickly enough it would still be unlocked and the sucker would be the one to lose out. However, if thieves knew that all phones (well at least all newer phones / phones with updated OS) had a PIN or password required, they'd know all would have this problem. Buyers of shady phones would quickly release they're getting screwed and would not buy them, eliminating the incentive for thieves to steal them.

It isn't perfect, someone can always set a PIN of 1234 or a password of "password", but for the most part it would eliminate phone theft. Of course, activation lock would do that as well, so this solves a problem that has already been solved...

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iPhone 6 flip tip slips in Aussie's clip: Apple's 'reversible USB' leaks

DougS
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Hoping for sanity

At least one would hope the EU is smart enough to standardize on the new USB plug, and not the outdated by 2017 micro USB.

Still think the USB forum screwed the pooch on the new design by not putting the "tongue" of the connector on the cable, but rather on the device, thus guaranteeing that if mechanical stress causes it to break the device becomes useless, instead of only ruining an easily replaced cable!

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Google's so smart it's discovered SHARKS HAVE TEETH

DougS
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Re: "rapidly rising ignorance"

It isn't so much rising ignorance as rising amount of information making it easier to be ignorant of a great portion of it. Even (most of) us "smart" people who read The Reg may be very knowledgeable in technical fields but may be woefully ignorant in others.

It is difficult to imagine a true renaissance man like Leonardo Da Vinci who can make significant contributions in many disparate fields being possible in our modern world.

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Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy

DougS
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Why would two years in a London embassy affect his health?

Was it built on a toxic dump?

If he's got heart problems and eye problems and whatever, it seems likely he had them before or at the very least would have developed them anyway.

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Tricked by satire? Get all your news from Facebook? You're in luck, dummy

DougS
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But its funny seeing people worked up about Onion articles

It is one way to distinguish the morons on your friends list. I'd tag them as such for easy reference if there was support for that, but knowing Facebook they'd probably make your "morons list" public down the road, since like Twitter they believe in sharing everything!

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Take the shame: Microsofties ADMIT to playing Internet Explorer name-change game

DougS
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"stop supporting IE 11 for Windows 7 SP1" in January 2016???

I hope that's a typo, or they come out with IE12 or whatever they call it by then. Considering it will still be by far the #1 installed Microsoft OS at that time...

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Twitter displays our 'Favorites'. That is, like, PRIVATE, huff naive users

DougS
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Following in Facebook's footsteps I see...

Forcing sharing of more stuff, and if enough people complain, a configuration option will be belatedly added to partially undo it - for those who know about it and want to change the "helpful" default behavior.

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Google's ANDROID CRUSHING smartphone rivals underfoot

DougS
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@pakkuman - share of high end market

I don't think anyone knows for sure, and there would undoubtedly be some argument over the meaning of "high end".

That said it can perhaps be inferred, given that Apple reportedly makes 2/3 of the profit in the smartphone industry, Samsung makes 1/3, and the rest (collectively) essentially break even, then based on this it seems likely that Apple has a a majority share of the high end smartphone market.

If iPhones were way more expensive or cost way less to make that could also account for it, but they cost only slightly less to make (primarily due to smaller displays, which will no longer true with the iPhone 6) and are sold at about the same prices as Samsung's high end phones. One potential difference is that Samsung's phones are quickly discounted to lower prices, while iPhones are very rarely discounted - and when they are the seller eats the discount, not Apple.

The other wrinkle is that Samsung's smartphone marketing costs far exceed that of Apple's marketing costs for iPhone, which reduces Samsung's profitability.

So maybe in the end taking all these factors into account, Apple and Android roughly split the high end market.

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DougS
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@AC "lesser of two evils"

It is only the type of people who read the Reg who are going to root their Android and install all that stuff. The typical buyer just takes what they get, and if they even hear about this capability would dismiss it as a lot of geek nonsense.

The reason Google's control is important is because Google controls Android. If they didn't make money from it, they wouldn't continue providing it for free. The problem they see is that most of the new growth is coming in markets where they don't see any benefit. Not that there is much benefit from people who can only afford to buy a $50 smartphone, as they are worth less to advertisers and will buy fewer if any paid apps.

Android proponents talk about "Android" market share as if it is a big monolithic entity. It isn't the same as Windows market share, where Microsoft makes money off every one. It is more comparable to Windows installed base, including all the pirated copies in China. As an Android user you may not care who, if anyone, makes money off its growth, but it matters for the future direction of Android. i.e. Google forcing tighter control to make it harder for Google's services to be stripped out of it in future versions

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DougS
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Yet Apple's sales are still growing - albeit slowly

Android is growing as fast as it is because it is going to lower and lower priced market segments. That's great for market share, but many of those low end devices aren't even using Google's services. They're using services local to China, Indonesia, etc.

I wonder if there's a way to determine the market share of Android devices using Google's services versus those not using Google's services?

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Click on a Facebook ad on your mobe, then buy a thing on your PC ... Facebook remembers

DougS
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Re: A public article correction..

Google could charge people to use their products in exchange for no ads and no tracking just like you suggest Facebook could, so I don't see how the two are any different. Both make all their money trading in personal information and advertising.

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YES YES YES! Apple patents mousy, pressure-sensing iVibrator

DougS
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Re: "If it ends up in a product, the new patent will..."

So patents should require being in a product to be enforceable? Good luck to the little guy who figures out how to build a working fusion reactor that is only energy positive in gigawatt scale power plants, I guess!

At any rate, while there is a lot of room for fair criticism of Apple suing over people using the patented technology/design in their products (and the quality of those patents) one thing Apple never does is sue over patents they hold that they aren't using in products.

They don't want people copying their work, but they don't really seem to give a damn about someone copying their work if they don't think it is worthy of inclusion in their own products.

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SpiderOak says you'll know it's secure because a little bird told you

DougS
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Re: Nice legal argument

Depends on what process the US office uses to tell the others all is well. Surely they'd use a specific way to do this, or a "no news is good news" policy where the feds forcing them to call the other offices and say "all is well" is the thing that tips them off that all is not well.

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DougS
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Re: Publicity stunt

How is it "not hard" for law enforcement in three countries to lean on them. Let's say you have one guy in say Venezuela or Brazil, one guy in Switzerland, and one guy in China or Russia. Explain exactly who is going to be able to get law enforcement's cooperation in those three locations. Certainly not the US, which is who most of those using this service would be concerned about.

Better yet, the guys signing won't necessarily have their identities or locations known, so it would take some digging to even find out what countries you'll need the cooperation of before you can start leaning on them.

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DougS
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Re: Nice legal argument

Which is why three people in separate countries have to digitally sign it. If you can get SWAT teams in three countries to descend on the same day - one of them probably in a place like Switzerland that probably doesn't even have SWAT teams - then you've got more power than even the US government is likely to be able to muster. Maybe they'd do that if OBL had been using this service, but they wouldn't be able to do it for a Kim Dotcom or small time terrorist.

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Time to ditch HTTP – govt malware injection kit thrust into spotlight

DougS
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@Destroy All Monsters

If you can't remember when tons of stuff was suid root for no good reason, you obviously a newbie to Linux/Unix. Because you wouldn't make that statement if you remembered the situation back in the 90s.

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DougS
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Missing information

What systems can it infect? Windows, that's an obvious and easy target. But what about Android, iOS, OS X, Linux?

Since none of those run the browser with root privileges (plus sandboxed on iOS) it isn't clear how much good that does. Can't p0wn the whole system with only user-level privs, unless it is paired with a privilege escalation bug. Those aren't as easy to come by as back in the old days when so much crap was suid root for no good reason.

Maybe they can steal an iOS user's browser history, I'm not sure I care too much about that though!

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Top Gun display for your CAR: Heads-up fighter pilot tech

DougS
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Re: ODBII

GPS doesn't work in the mountains or hilly terrain, in urban areas with large buildings, on roads with trees along them...

Not to mention the battery drain having it enabled all the time - try using a running or biking app that leaves it active while the device is asleep and be amazed at how much more quickly the battery runs down.

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Time to move away from Windows 7 ... whoa, whoa, who said anything about Windows 8?

DougS
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No business is going to go with Windows 8

There will be costs for retraining users, and probably retraining again when Windows 9 undoes Win8's brain damage.

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Murder accused DIDN'T ask Siri 'how to hide my roommate'

DougS
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Low volume to explain why you didn't answer?

How about "I didn't answer because I was in bed"? I'm assuming that body hiding is something best done at an hour when the largest percentage of people will be in bed, like say 3-4am. If someone calls me then, I'm not even looking at my phone to see who it is, I'll reach over and silence the ring, and go back to sleep. If someone died, they'll still be dead in the morning.

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Intel disables hot new TSX tech in early Broadwells and Haswells

DougS
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Hands up, everyone who is surprised by this

TSX was very ambitious, trying to solve something in hardware that is very difficult to do properly in software. So it comes as no shock that there are problems with the version 1.0 of it. It is likely that newer models will have bugs found that may or may not be fixable without simply disabling it. Anyone depending on something like this in its first version in production is foolish to the extreme.

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Spin doctors crack 'impossible' asteroid hurtling towards Earth

DougS
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Why would dealing with this be any more difficult than a solid one?

If it was solid, we'd try doing something to push it out of the way (landing on it and thrusting, painting one side white, exploding a nuke to one side of it) You can still do any of those things (maybe landing might be difficult) and if it stays together, you still push it out of the way. If it falls apart because the van der Waals force fails, it will spin itself to a widely distributed state.

So long as we take care of it in less than 900 years, that should give it plenty of time to disperse to the point where all that happens is we have a nice meteor shower to watch from the comfort of our flying car. Well, assuming flying cars aren't still 30 years away in 2950.

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FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'

DougS
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Re: The iPhone was a copy anyway

Movies and TV shows are not prior art. The thing that stops someone from patenting a Star Trek style medical tricorder isn't because Star Trek had the idea, because you can't patent an idea. The thing that stops you is because no one has a clue how to make one, which makes it rather difficult to patent since that is required.

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Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes

DougS
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Why would a small business help Amazon?

Amazon is competing with them, at least if they're a retailer rather than a sandwich shop. If I owned a retail shop I wouldn't use this as it would help Amazon. You know if this is successful, Amazon will have their own card at some point that allows them to keep the whole 1.75% and cut out Visa/Mastercard. Then they'll offer people deals for using it at amazon.com. More incentive for your customers to buy online instead of at your shop, and quicker path to bankruptcy for you all because you were seduced by a short term savings.

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Chinese regulator fires antitrust advisor over alleged kickbacks from Qualcomm

DougS
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Not good for Qualcomm

As he'll likely be replaced by someone hostile to them.

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Marvell: NO WAY should we have to pay jumbo $1.54bn patent judgment

DougS
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Re: USPTO liability?

No, they have no liability. The reason they approve bad patents is because congress has made the USPTO self-funding. They charge for approved patents, not rejected ones, which provides an incentive to approve questionable patents and leave it up to the courts to sort it out later.

If they charged for applications, that might fix some of the issues. If it "cost" them funding when an approved patent was rejected by the courts, it might help further. Requiring some true presence in East Texas to file suit there might help too, jurisdictional shopping should be stamped out whether for patents or anything else.

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Apple BANS 2 chemicals from iPhone, iPad final assembly line

DougS
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Texas? California?

Since when does Apple make iPhones and iPads there? They make Mac Pros in Texas now, but what are they making in California? Anyone know??

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Chinese Bitcoin farms: From scuzzy to sci-fi

DougS
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Re: Isn't this

I know you were being tongue in cheek, but gold has a few major advantages over bitcoins. Besides the obvious fact that it has been used as money for thousands of years, it has uses beyond that for jewelry (it looks nice) and industry (it doesn't tarnish and is a very good conductor) It is easier for average people to deal with since it is something you can touch and don't have to worry about your wallet being corrupted or mysteriously disappearing like those using MtGox.

Gold will still be around and still have value in a decade, and in a century. Even bitcoin's biggest proponents can't say the same about it with any degree of certainty. There will most likely be something like bitcoins in a century, but I think it is quite likely actual "bitcoin" will be a footnote in history by that point.

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DougS
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Re: Isn't this

What's the benefit to you to using it to pay for stuff? How is it better than credit cards, debit cards or cash? If it is because it is (supposedly) "untraceable", why is that something that appeals to you?

If you're using them to pay for stuff, you're a speculator of some type simply by holding them for weeks/months, unless you're buying the bitcoins shortly before using them.

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It's time for PGP to die, says ... no, not the NSA – a US crypto prof

DougS
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Not saying PGP is perfect

As it certainly lacks in user friendliness and ease of use, both of which will be required if it is ever to be adopted by the masses.

But key length on business cards? What a non-issue, given that business cards are dying out these days... But if you must, sounds like a good use for those 2D bar codes that every smartphone on the planet can read without issue.

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No more turning over a USB thing, then turning it over again to plug it in: Reversible socket ready for lift off

DougS
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Re: I don't need another damn connector type

No other USB connector delivers anything like 100 watts. You don't really want to use one of the existing connectors, so you may as well make it not suck while you're at it.

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Secretive Apple's super-secret university is full of BULL chic – leakers

DougS
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Re: Full of bull bloat then?

This has to do with the article how? Higher crash rate than what? The OS that uses less resources than Android is somehow the more bloated?

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WinPhone's Halo hottie Cortana to hit desktop in next Windows – report

DougS
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Cross licensing

Apple and Microsoft have a fairly extensive patent cross licensing deal which would probably cover this, even if Apple wanted to try to enforce this.

Besides, Microsoft has prior art in the form of Microsoft Bob, though if they were sued they might prefer to pay up rather than admit to it!

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Apple's new iPad WON'T be late: Tablets kicked to suppliers' factories

DougS
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Re: Market Share means nothing!

It will be interesting to see how the 5.5" iPhone affects iPad Mini sales. I wouldn't be surprised to see Mini sales drop as a result of a phablet sized iPhone being available, while full size iPad sales rise next year once that IBM deal gets going.

But overall market share in tablets will continue to fall, as the main competition becomes less Samsung and more the ultra cheap Chinese players who are making plans to sell more into the US and Europe. Easier to buy multiple tablets for everyone and not worry about being too careful with them when you can get them for well under $100. Even if Apple wanted to try to grow its market share, they couldn't compete with those unless they sell at a loss.

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NIST wants better SCADA security

DougS
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Re: My SCADA is already secure, ta you very much.

The SCADA system controlling Iran's centrifuges wasn't on the internet either, you know...

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Google leaves STUPID vuln on Nest devices

DougS
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Re: I guess you could also

Security or flexibility. Choose one (at most)

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Flash could be CHEAPER than SAS DISK? Come off it, NetApp

DougS
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Re: Is NetApp talking price not cost?

You can't buy 5 TB flash drives, at least not at the same price per GB as you can buy sub 1 TB flash drives. So even if they cost less per GB than a 5 TB SAS drive, you'll need more/bigger Netapps.

Looked at that way, it kinda makes sense that Netapp would try to get people to focus on the cost of the drives, not the array they're going into :)

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