* Posts by DougS

3825 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Leap second bug?

DougS
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Leap second bug?

Is it a coincidence that the Register's web site has been totally messed up ever since the leap second hit? I click on links and it hangs and takes forever to display, or displays a blank page, or displays a 502 error page. I have to retry multiple times to open an article, post a comment, etc.

Did you guys just switch to a new hosting provider or ISP? If so, I hope it was on a trial basis and you can switch back!

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Self/Less: Crap science, eyebrow acting, and immortality for the 1%

DougS
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Re: Imagine being 10^10 years old....

Why is having the option to live 10 billion years a bad thing? I doubt you'd be forced to do it and prevented from ending your own life.

Anyway, assuming it is accomplished by downloading your consciousness into a machine - whether permanently or as a way station before it is downloaded into a new body, you could take a "break" from the rat race for as long as you liked during that period. Sign up for a sublight ship traveling the universe and tell them to wake you when they've found some intelligent aliens or the ruins of a long lost advanced civilization.

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Rampaging fox terrorises rural sports club, victim sustains ‘tweaked groin’

DougS
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Is this "sports club"

The type where sporting "gentlemen" in ridiculous costumes with tall hats ride around on horses along with a bunch of dogs and chase foxes to death? If so, I say good on the fox for getting a little revenge!

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It's all Uber! France ends its love affair with ride-sharing app

DougS
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And showed the way for others to boot them out

Don't want Uber in your city or country? Just follow the Paris roadmap and they'll leave...

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Apple Music: First three months for free? We lasted less than 3 hours

DougS
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Re: Meh is right.

Someone who has "all their music" on an iPod already isn't the target market for this. It is people who like NEW music, but don't want to pay $1 each time something tickles their fancy and they want to hear it a few more times.

So pretty much the under 25 crowd who do the bulk of listening to new stuff, not the typical Reg reader who probably on average is older than 50 and hasn't bought any new music (as in music that came out that year, not buying an album from the 70s when they were young) in two decades.

Those who already have Spotify etc. probably won't switch (especially if they are taking the cheapskate way out and listening to all the ads) but Apple Music will be a pretty seamless thing for those who already have an iPhone or iPod Touch, and given that streaming is still a small portion of the market, Apple doesn't have to convert existing customers, only get a bunch of the ones yet to come.

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Samsung ousts Apple as top US smartmobe biz

DougS
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That's not Samsung's mobile division doing that, but their semiconductor division. They operate as essentially independent businesses, and report their profit separately.

Anyway, the margins on chips are small because what Samsung sells are commodity products (DRAM, flash) and commodity services (chip fabrication) which would hardly compensate for the fat margins they make on Galaxy S and Note phones even if they were in the same division.

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DougS
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Xiaomi doesn't seem in any hurry to expand into the affluent markets where Samsung is making most of their mobile profits. Sounds like they're finally moving out of APAC into Brazil, but it may be years before they appear in the US or EU and start to really threaten Samsung.

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Trump carded: Wannabe prez's hotels 'ground zero' in banking breach

DougS
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Re: Only this?

True that, but he's always touting his business experience as the reason you should vote for him, not his crazy theories about Obama's birth certificates or illegal aliens. If he touted a special ability to secure our networks right before this Trump Hotel compromise, that would be the equivalent of touting your business experience and having Trump International file for bankruptcy a week before the election!

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DougS
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Why should this affect his presidential aspirations?

I didn't hear him make any promises like "I'll bring the top flight people who make Trump Hotels IT so secure to shore up the problems the current administration is having securing their networks". If he said something like that, he'd look stupid, but he can quite reasonably say this is a problem that is affecting businesses and governments the world over, and make some blowhard claims about how he'll negotiate tough with other countries unlike Obama and force them to extradite the criminals etc. etc.

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LG won't fix malware slinging bloatware update hole

DougS
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Re: Apply BDS policy...

So applying that policy to all similar situations, are there any modern smartphones left on the market you can buy?

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Silly Google's Photos app labelled BLACK PEOPLE as GORILLAS

DougS
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Re: "Offensive"?

In the US, blacks have been compared to monkeys and apes as an insult in the past. If you called a black man a gorilla in the US, you might as well have used the n-word as far he's concerned.

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Don't start reading the last rites for monolithic storage just yet

DougS
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Unless you save a LOT of money

Why would you want to move to from one (or a number of similar) monolithic arrays to a half dozen different more specialized arrays? You're going to incur higher management costs having all those, plus increase your exposure to failures.

Now in some cases you will save a lot of money, but in other cases chasing a higher peak IOPS that you don't actually have a need for with an all flash array, additional scale out capacity you won't need for at least five years in a product optimized for nearline data, etc. just makes your environment needlessly more complex. But I'm sure EMC will be happy to sell you different products fit for each type to replace your monolithic array - then add all that capability in future versions of VMax and VNX and try to sell you one of those to "simplify" your storage infrastructure...and so the wheel turns!

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Former L0pht man 'Mudge' leaves Google for Washington

DougS
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Re: Getting old...

They teach penetration skills in the military now, they'll get those guys in the future. I'm sure the "taught in the classroom" uber script kiddies will be nothing like those who learned on their own due to innate curiosity to figure out how stuff works, but... So we'll end up falling behind on computer security and Russian and Chinese hackers who still have free reign to practice their craft so long as they only hack outside their own country will be the future industry leaders.

On the other hand, the spooks are more "flexible" in their thinking than you give them credit for....they seem to have no problem supporting former AQAP members now so long as they're fighting Al Assad's forces in Syria. Nevermind that this will come back to bite us as it did with Bin Laden and so many others, but if they're willing to work with guys who were a few years ago killing American soldiers with IEDs, surely they're willing to overlook some illegal hacking. Make them one of those offers most can't/won't refuse - "do you want to go to prison for 10 years, or do you want to serve your country?"

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Hide the HUD, say boffins, they're bad for driver safety

DougS
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@John Brown - having a "feel" for your speed

Human beings are unable to properly estimate their speed without using clues like how fast the other cars are going. I'm sure you've noticed when you've been traveling at speed for a while when you reduce your speed you seem to be crawling. About 50-60 miles of my trip was on a state highway in Nebraska in an area with a population density of less than one person per square mile (yes, you read that right) I averaged about 110 mph on that stretch, at the end of which I had to slow down as it entered a town with a speed limit of 35. My brain was so fooled by the change in speed I felt I could have gotten out and walked faster than I was driving. While generally not quite so extreme, everyone has that disorienting sense of slowness when they've traveled at highway speeds for a while and then slow down a lot.

I'd defy anyone to be able to guess their speed within 10 mph if they sit in the passenger seat and travel a stretch of road with no other cars to provide frame of reference, or mile markers, etc. The reason you feel you can is because you do most of your highway travel in a fairly narrow range of speeds. You wouldn't be able to guess it so well if the driver slowly sped up to 100 mph, then dramatically slowed down, then quickly sped up to somewhere in between. You wouldn't know whether he was going 55 or 75 - you'd only be able to infer the speed from other clues.

You might know how fast YOU are going because you typically travel at around the same speed in reference to other traffic, because YOU know the area where you're driving. You have a pretty good idea what the average speed of traffic is in that area, and can guess how much faster/slower based on whether you are passing more often or being passed more often. Put you in an area where people typically drive 15-20 mph over the speed limit, if you don't know that, your guess will be off.

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DougS
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@juice - people passing using cruise control

The "0.5 mph faster than the car he's passing" driver is a big annoyance to be sure, but what is worse at least here in the US are trucks passing trucks. More and more trucks have GPS devices that limit their top speed. Obviously they aren't all calibrated identically, so you can get two trucks that both think they're doing 70 mph but one is slightly faster. It can take 3-4 minutes for one to pass the other, especially if hills are involved which may result in the passer temporarily losing ground if his truck is more heavily loaded and can't maintain speed up a hill.

I just recently completed a 1200 mile round trip and due to this anytime I was approaching two semis traveling close together I increased my speed by at least 5 mph in an attempt to reach them before the one in the back had the opportunity to pull out and begin passing - especially if there is more than one truck in a group! Even worse, if I'm passing in the left lane behind other vehicles I have to stay less than a truck length (about 20 meters give or take) behind the vehicle in front or the truck will take the opportunity to jump in front of me. My response (which I'm not alone in) to this problem is probably not increasing the overall safety of the roads, though I'm sure those who implemented the GPS speed control devices in the trucks feel it is increasing safety.

Can't wait for self-driving vehicles so kids born in 2015 can tell us old fogies how they can't believe people used to manually drive cars, just like kids born in 2000 can't believe we used to only be able to contact our friends when they were at home.

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Apple's mystery auto project siphoning staff from other divisions

DougS
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Re: Lol - if I have to firmly press the indicator stalk

There won't BE an "indicator stalk" or any stalks or a steering wheel or a shifter or pedals or anything like that in this car. Or in Google's car. That's the thing about self-driving cars, you won't have to worry about such details because you'll only be a passenger no matter what seat you're in.

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Supreme Court ignores Google's whinging in Java copyright suit

DougS
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Declining to hear a case isn't setting a precedent

When the Supreme Court declines to review a decision, the decision is only a precedent in the circuit of the appeal court that made the ruling. Typically the Supreme Court won't review decisions until there is a disagreement between different appeals courts, or it feels the lower court reached an incorrect decision because it applied the wrong law (in which case it'll tell them which law to apply and remand the case back down for reconsideration)

The way the process was set up, it was intended that correcting lower court decisions that are a matter of legislative or executive branch priority, which patent law is, should move at a very slow pace to allow those branches to make changes themselves if they aren't getting the result they want.

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Apple Music available on Sonos by end of this year

DougS
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ALAC

Apple has a lossless format called ALAC that supports quality levels far higher than CD (up to 384 KHz sample rate) You need to buy the music via iTunes to get it, pretty sure it won't be streamed, but then I doubt Spotify etc. will stream you lossless music either.

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Apple workforce touch up iPhones with Force Touch tech – report

DougS
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iPad too complicated for seniors

Adding this doesn't matter for that crowd because making something they already think is too complicated more complicated is a non-issue. What matters is if people who today don't think the iPad is too hard to use find this feature puts it into that category.

Apple already has a ton of accessibility features so I'm sure there will be a force touch stand-in that can be set, like a 3 second normal press equals a force touch press. That will take care of people with arthritis or carpal tunnel who find it painful to press hard enough to activate the feature.

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That man told me to stuff a ROLE up my USER ENTRY!

DougS
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Nobody's boss and nobody's servant?

I've been a freelancer contractor/consultant for years, and I've found that while I'm not technically anyone's employee, on any given contract I have an average of six people who act as though they think they're my manager. The trick is to balance their needs/requests to keep them happy in their order of importance / ability to affect future gigs.

I've also been defacto placed into roles as team lead / lead architect where I was essentially directing the work of full time employees as if I was their manager, but fortunately got to avoid the really horrible stuff like ratings/evaluations which were one of the things that drove me out of my full time management role and into freelancing in the first place.

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Apple apes Microsoft with iPhone BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH

DougS
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Re: Carrier specific?

T-Mobile is pushing the tech a bit faster than other carriers for VoLTE, my money is on that since it wouldn't be all that well tested as of yet (on either the phone side or the carrier side)

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WikiLeaks spaffs files showing NSA spied on French presidents

DougS
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How could the French possibly be surprised?

It became publicly known for a fact (instead of just suspected by some and known for a fact by few) that the NSA was spying on Germany. Did they think "that's fine, they're just making sure Merkel isn't a secret Nazi, they'd never do that to us!"

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DougS
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Re: USA/FRance Allies?

The UK and their scientists provided vital information, but they hardly developed the bomb on their own and gave it over. Nor would the UK have had the industrial capacity to refine uranium on the scale required since they were exposed to Nazi bombs. Or do you maintain the Manhattan project all just a ruse to keep some scientists out of the draft?

Withholding information on the bomb from the French seems prudent, given how some of them were quite willing to collaborate with the enemy rather than fight. If the bomb had been invented earlier and plans handed over to the French in 1938, the Vichy would have given them to the Nazis. London, Moscow and Berlin might be a bit more radioactive today had that happened.

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Raising a stink in court: Innocent poo banditry warehousers win $2.2m

DougS
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Re: 2.2 meelion dollars

I wonder if the outcome would have been different if the two employees in question had to submit samples to a third party lab, which would only be used to compare to DNA from the offending poo? The company would never be in possession of said sample, and couldn't get other DNA information that would allow discrimination.

Obviously the third party route is legally for normal "compulsory" samples, such as providing urine or hair samples for companies that require mandatory drug testing. The idea that they could be made to provide samples to 'prove their innocence' might be something the law has a problem with also, however.

I wonder what the courts would have done if the company had simply found DNA the employees voluntarily disposed of, by perhaps grabbing an empty soda can out of the bin? Would that be illegal for the same reasons? What if they had a third party grab the can and do the testing; surely that can't be illegal.

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Mum fails to nuke killer spider nest from orbit

DougS
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Re: She could always have taken the offending banana and throne it in the freezer....

My mom told me when she was a kid in rural Kansas, they'd have entire stalks of bananas delivered to the general store. It wasn't uncommon to find a tarantula hiding somewhere in there, when they did they'd put it on display in the front window under a bell jar.

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Uber app will soon maybe track you 24/7, cry privacy warriors

DougS
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@DropBear

That sounds like a much more efficient system from the standpoint of the consumer, since one of the frustrating things about calling for a cab when you're somewhere you can't just hail one off the street whenever you want is having to call multiple cab companies. If I call one and they say "they'll be there in 20 minutes" should I take it, or call six other companies hoping there is someone who can serve me in 10? I want to call them all or use an app and find the closest guy - that's one of the reasons people will use Uber in larger cities where there is a critical mass of Uber drivers.

So long as the cab company owners still get their cut they shouldn't care whether their drivers are doing this or going through dispatch. If enough did this, they could get rid of the dispatcher and save money.

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DougS
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Price

Uber is cheaper because they don't have all the overhead of complying with the rules and regulations taxi services have to abide by especially in places like NYC or London that have regulations that artificially limit the number of taxis in town. But even beyond that the drivers don't have commercial insurance or even commercial driver's licenses, don't get benefits, aren't subject to fare regulation so they can get "surge pricing" when demand is high and more reasonable rates when it is low, unlike taxis that in most places have to charge the same price for the same trip 24x7x365 which mean they cost more than Uber most of the time.

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Amazon enrages authors as it switches to 'pay-per-page' model

DougS
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Do the publisher contracts permit this?

Surely Amazon can't unilaterally decide to pay a page at a time unless the contracts have some sort of language about selling parts of books.

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ITU: we'll have 5G standards ready by 2020

DougS
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Who needs this?

What's the use case for being able to download an UltraHD movie in 10 seconds? It still takes two hours to watch!

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Ecobee3: If you're crazy enough to want a smart thermostat – but not too crazy – this is for you

DougS
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Touchscreen is pointless

It already has an app, and anyone interested in a silly gadget like this will not be a feature phone owner. So save $50 off the price and avoid the need for the C-wire by dropping the LCD touchscreen and make it programmable only through the app.

Instead you get an author raving about how it utilizes the touch screen to (wait for it) tell you what the weather is outside! Wow, what an original concept, and how convenient going to your thermostat to find out this information... This smacks way too much of the "build a LCD screen into your fridge for shopping lists and recipes" that is even more stupid. Almost all smart home gear is a solution looking for a problem, where the problem is CE makers asking "how I can sell more chips and displays by integrating them into devices that don't need them, like thermostats, fridges, ovens, toasters, washing machines, etc."

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Windows Phone is like religion – it gets people when they are down

DougS
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What about when they go to Windows 10?

Isn't one of Microsoft's big selling points how they're unifying the OS from mobile to desktop? I don't know how true that really is as far as allowing malware to take hold though.

So long as they stick with ARM and don't fall for Intel's advances they're probably safe, but something running the same Windows kernel on the same x86 might catch some Windows viruses even if WP10 devices aren't the intended target.

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Yep, it's true: Android is the poor man's phone worldwide

DougS
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Perhaps you'd care to tell me which apps exactly take advantage of four cores. Very few PC apps are capable of that, I doubt any phone apps do. Even with multitasking phone apps run fast for a fraction of a second but spend most of their time sleeping. If you ran all four cores flat out on a S6 not only would it get hot, it would burn down the battery in 45 minutes.

But bravo on completely ignoring the very first benchmark that shows the iPhone 6 as the fastest phone in the single core test, despite being clocked half as high as the S6, not to mention taking top spot in other tests like browser performance and graphics tests.

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DougS
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Perhaps you should check the benchmarks and see how those cores running at "twice the speed" are not faster than the "slow" cores in the iPhone. I guess you're one of the suckers who believes that more MHz = faster and bought a P4 PC instead the lower-clocked but faster Athlon 64 back in the day.

And while Samsung does outsell Apple worldwide (except for Q4 last year) most of their sales are low end. Apple sells more iPhones in a quarter than Samsung sells of all their high end Sx and Note x phones for an entire year - and for part of the year the Sx is usually getting discounted heavily enough it would fall below the $450 retail price. The S6 is only a couple months old and it is already discounted down below $550 online...by the time the next iPhone launches the S6 will be under $450 and its sales will no longer count under my claim.

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DougS
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Re: It really is about price...

I highly doubt Android outsells iPhone in its price category (i.e. the price at or above which all iPhones sell; $450 in the US) It is probably even more true in the flagship category, but that's harder to know since Apple doesn't break out sales between the flagship, last year's flagship and "cheap" two year old model.

Consider that iPhone comes pretty close to Android's sales in the US. I don't have more recent stats handy, but the 3rd quarter of 2014 (i.e. the quarter which benefited from only 10 days or so of iPhone 6 sales; always their slowest quarter) iPhone had 41.5% of the US market versus 53.8% for Android. Do you really think that fewer than 12.3% of that number (i.e. a bit less than a quarter of all Androids sold in the US) cost less than the cheapest iPhone? That hardly seems likely. Therefore, in the US at least, I believe iPhone sells better in its price category than Android.

Judging from the iPhones sales in the UK the same would be true there. To judge worldwide we'd need to find some stats of what percentage of Android sales fall into which price categories. Not sure anyone would really have that number, or if they do it is at best an estimate, but it would be interesting to see data.

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DougS
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Re: It proves

No, but it certainly proves you can't be counted amongst those who are "smart" because you assume that your belief that Android is better is a fact rather than the personal opinion that it actually is.

I personally think I made the smart decision in going with iPhone but I'm smart enough to realize that's just my opinion and others will reach different conclusions. If people stopped treating this like some sort of religious crusade and assuming those who choose a different phone than they do are obviously stupid or worse the collective IQ of internet forums would be raised by a dozen points.

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DougS
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@karlkarl

Give me a break! Sure, there are things you can do on Android you can't do on iOS. About 2% of the smartphone users could name one (and 90% of those also know that an iPhone can be jailbroken and those restrictions removed) That's not why Android is dominant. I guess you must believe that disproportionately more people want to do those things with their phone the lower the GDP?

I know you'd like to believe that the average buyer looks at the pros and cons of each platform, takes into account the GPL, Apple's walled garden, and so on, but that's not how it works outside the type of people who read the Reg. I could argue that people who choose Android are people who don't care about privacy, and people who do choose iPhone because Apple doesn't make their money selling your personal information they make their money selling you the phone. But I know that's no more the case than your explanation, since there's probably pretty much the same 2% of people who understand this.

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Even Apple doesn’t mess with Taylor Swift

DougS
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Re: "Apple values the music makers"

Well they certainly value them more than Google and Spotify, based on their "accept our terms or have your music stolen" handling of similar situations versus Apple's handling.

After all, a streaming music service isn't worth much if artists decline to allow their music on it. If Apple hadn't got the labels on board with iTunes 15 years ago, the iPod would have been a flop, and the iPhone probably wouldn't exist today - and if Apple still existed at all it would be much smaller than it is today.

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Assange™ celebrates third year in Ecuadorian embassy broom closet

DougS
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Bull

British courts may take a dim view of bail jumping, but would they spend millions of pounds to guard the embassy if you or I was dodging rape charges in Sweden? I doubt it - they'd tell Sweden "we have facial recognition all over London and at all border crossings, if he leaves don't worry we'll find him".

Surely a similar thing has happened before with a foreigner hiding out in their own country's embassy to avoid facing charges in a British court? Did they watch that embassy around the clock as well?

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Stealing secret crypto-keys from PCs using leaked radio emissions

DougS
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Re: ...since the 1980's

Shouldn't be that hard to shield against this in a laptop, especially if the whole thing is sealed so you don't need to worry about making the shielding removable for end user maintenance. While anything that adds unnecessary cost (or weight, or cooling issues) wouldn't be added to a mainstream product, you'd think there might be a specialty market for this, like there is for durable laptops like the Toughbook.

Us ordinary folks don't need to worry about such a personally targeted attack, but high ranking government officials or CEOs might, so there's a market for this. Not a big one, granted. Apple's laptops are already sealed in metal cases, they might not need that much extra shielding and they're already popular with CEOs. Would Apple be willing to make the Macbook Pro weigh a quarter ounce more to secure it from such attacks? If such an attack ever made the news against a public figure, possibly...

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Google: Help us! Our search engine is STUFFED FULL of your 'revenge smut' pics

DougS
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That's nice, but

Sounds like a slippery slope. Why is it OK to have nude or sexually explicit links removed, but not other stuff? Let's say you were pranked in the prom and elected queen and had a bucket of blood dropped on you and someone filmed it. That would be pretty humiliating, many would consider it worse than having naked pictures of you on the internet.

So if they remove those, what about something a little less, and a little less, and eventually I'm asking Google to remove this post because I feel bad that it received a few downvotes.

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Heinz cockup sees Ketchup's QR codes spurt saucy sites

DougS
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Re: lax domain name maintenance

Why not suggest using domains like promotionname.yourcompany.com or if not yourcompany.com at least some long-lived domain instead of a new one for each.

Maybe that's a use case for paying $185K for a TLD with your company's name, then it is simply changing "promotionname.com" to "promotionname.yourcompany". Not that I want the idiotic TLD expansion, but if it is fait accompli might as well put it to good use.

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Ubuntu daddy Mark Shuttleworth loses fight to cancel $20m bank fee

DougS
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Re: Consumer Banking is gonna die

I'm sure he believes in the future all banking will be in the Cloud, using bitcoins, and their money will be every bit as safe as the money in Mt Gox. Oh wait...

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Are ALIENS hiding on Jupiter's Europa? Let's find out, cry NASA bods

DougS
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Why in the world would space probes need liquid water???

You think they're going to land, drill down through hundreds or thousands of meters of ice to get to liquid water, and pump it up into the probe? Seriously??

If making a pit stop to grab H2O was desired, why not just scoop up some of the conveniently solidified water on Europa's surface? No drilling, no pumping, a bit of RTG waste heat will melt it into a liquid if/when required. Not that I think the idea of landing on a body as large as Europa makes a lot of sense no matter how easy it is to get the water, since you'd have to give up your hard won momentum to do it, and then escape not only Europa's but Jupiter's gravitational field to continue the journey.

Even if it was a great idea I'd oppose until we'd conclusively proven that Europa's oceans did not house (and never had) any sort of life at all.

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Verizon promised to wire up NYC with fiber... and failed miserably – audit

DougS
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Why don't they put conditions in these deals?

If you fail to meet your commitment to wire up everyone by date X, you have to refund the $1.95 per subscriber you've been charging to support this upgrade.

Instead all the city can do is whine and stamp their feet, while Verizon got higher rates from everyone in the city for the past seven years...

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Farewell then, Mr Elop: It wasn't actually your fault

DougS
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Samsung is not bleeding red ink

This is the second time I've seen a similar assertion in a Reg article. True, they are much less profitable than they were, but they're still making money hand over fist on smartphones. The point is still valid though since they're the only ones (aside from Google, of course) making much of anything off Android.

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JavaScript creator Eich's latest project: KILL JAVASCRIPT

DougS
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Replacing readable code makes you more secure?

Perhaps they need to rethink this.

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Free ethical upgrade offered as Fairphone launches mobe No 2

DougS
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Re: Not ethical...

If they remove all the Google bits, then the intrusiveness is gone. Switch to using duckduckgo for search, openstreetmap for mapping, etc.

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DougS
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Re: "Free ethical upgrade"...?

Your feelings of smugness for having a phone that (hopefully) doesn't have any conflict minerals in it.

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'No evidence' Snowden was working for foreign power says ex-NSA boss

DougS
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Amazingly how the positions change

When someone is a "former" US official - and has no intention/desire to become one again.

The difference between his statements now and the statements he was making while he was in the job are quite amazing. He's still suspicious of Snowden, but unlike most of the rest connected to the government in high places, he's not tossing around the treason word or suggesting that Snowden cost lives.

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