* Posts by DougS

3192 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Nexus 6 would have had a fingerprint reader, but Apple RUINED IT ALL

DougS
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If they felt AuthenTec was clearly superior

Shouldn't they have recognized the risk that someone would acquire them? If Apple hadn't, maybe Samsung might have, which would have screwed Moto just the same.

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DougS
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Court ruling

This was a Virginia circuit court, in the backyard of the federal government and well known to be receptive to government power.

This issue will eventually make it to the Supreme Court one way or another, who will have the final say. I find to hard to believe they could say that police can't force you to provide a password to unlock your phone but can force you to provide a finger.

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NSA gunning for Google, wants cop-spotting dropped from Waze app

DougS
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Given the way the police want to become 'secret police' and can choke a man to death on camera for selling cigarettes individually and not only not get indicted but keep their job and have paid leave during the investigation, don't you think the citizens deserve to have a way to defend themselves from a government continuing to reach for ever more power?

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Should Google play carriers at their own game? There's never been a better time

DougS
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Wifi calling / Wifi first

That would have been great five or ten years ago, but today it is pretty irrelevant, because calling is treated and priced as a commodity, as is texting. At least in the US, where you would expect Google would try this.

Since they make you buy calling/texting plans to get data, they segment it so it saves you save little if you choose a less than unlimited calling/texting plan - if that's even offered, some packages only offer unlimited.

I for one would never sign up with Google as my carrier, even if I could save $50/month, because they already have access to too much data of mine. Do you really want to let them know who you call/text, and when, and where you are at all times? They already collect too much data, especially on those who use Android phones. Don't need them as a carrier so there's even more they can cram into their data mining and advertising maw!

I can see it now, you call your friend in LA six times in two weeks after not talking to them for six months, and Google starts showing you ads for cheap flights to LA. No thanks!

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Uber isn't limited by the taxi market: It's limited by the Electronic Thumb market

DougS
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Uber is easy to replicate

Write an app, offer a bigger share of the revenue to the drivers (or wait for Uber to inevitably start screwing over their drivers with various bad policies or taking a bigger cut) and take a share of their market. Or operate somewhere they currently don't, or somewhere they got kicked out of for thinking they're above local laws.

This is not like building a competing search engine, where you need specialized algorithms, huge server farms, and have advertisers uninterested in bothering with you until you reach critical mass so you better have money to operate and grow for a few years with little or no revenue. It isn't even like building a competing Android phone, where you need to have supplier relationships with dozens of suppliers to get all the parts you need, engineers to do at least basic physical design, a contract manufacturer to make it, programmers to at least paste your logo onto Android, etc.

If the market is anywhere near big enough to justify Uber being worth $40B, there will be a flood of entrants. They don't need to take on the world, I might start one in my town, you start one in yours, and we all provide the thousand cuts that bleed Uber's market valuation down to commodity levels.

One may argue that Uber has some network effects due to its size, but as competing services come, someone will write a meta app that checks all the services available where you are and lets you choose between the cheapest price or quickest arrival. Even the tiniest service can compete once that's in place, and Uber can do nothing to fight it.

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Oi, Aussie sports fans! Take that selfie stick and stick it

DougS
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Wouldn't this problem take care of itself?

Maybe I have incorrect assumptions of what Aussies are like, having never been there and learned most of what I know from Paul Hogan, but wouldn't they just let you have it verbally (if you're female) or physically (if you're male) the minute you pulled a selfie stick out, before you even got a chance to use it?

Hate to think the descendants of convicts have returned to their roots and are now as polite and passive as the English.

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'One day, YOU won't be able to SENSE the INTERNET,' vows Schmidt

DougS
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Re: "with your permission and all of that"

Because by "with your permission", he means you have given your permission if you haven't opted out. They'll helpfully let you opt out if you show up at Google in person. So long as you find the right office in a wing of the building marked "under construction - keep out" where the lights and stairs are out of service. You'll know you've found it when you see a sign on the door "beware of the leopard".

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Doomsday Clock says 3 MINUTES to MIDNIGHT. Again

DougS
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Re: Comparing wide scale nuclear war to climate change is ridiculous

The idea that climate change will extinguish life on Earth is without any scientific basis whatsoever. That takes propaganda to new untapped levels. Not even any point in trying to reason with someone so stupid as to believe that.

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DougS
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Comparing wide scale nuclear war to climate change is ridiculous

One will kill millions due to the direct effects of the blast, and billions in the next few years from starvation due to the loss of infrastructure (the deaths from increased cancer rates 10 or 20 years on are a drop in a bucket that won't even matter, as would be the deaths from "nuclear winter" if such a thing actually occurred)

The other will, a century so or now, probably kill millions over the following the centuries, based on some hand waving arguments that a warmer Earth will change climactic patterns causing droughts, floods, and wars for resources.

Even if you fully accept the predictions of AGW, it is not possible to predict what parts of the world that are fertile now will become less fertile, or what parts of the world that are less fertile now will become moreso (but we never hear about any positive impacts, when it is clear there would be some) People have in the past, are currently, and always will fight wars, it is in our nature. Assigning deaths from wars to global warming is like assigning women dying from heart attacks to George Clooney being off the market. There probably are some, but how many is a guessing game.

The human race as we know it can easily survive on a much warmer Earth. There would be some adjustment, and some of that adjustment would cause people to die, but it would be a very minor inconvenience on the level of a piece of gum sticking to your shoe compared to wide scale nuclear war. These "concerned scientists" can stuff it!

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Microsoft: We bought Skype. We make mobiles.. Oh, HANG ON!

DougS
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Even if retraining costs are zero

What is the incentive for an enterprise running Windows 7 to upgrade to Windows 10? Such upgrades require a ton of resources, so even if the cost is minor on the user side it certainly isn't on the IT side.

Pretty much no enterprises upgraded to Vista, because XP had years of support left. They upgraded to 7 because they were getting close to the XP drop dead date (and the difficulty of the project meant some missed that deadline anyway)

They'll move off 7 when it is soon to go off support. That may mean upgrading to a 10.x version, or may mean 11.x, depending on when the latter is released. They have zero incentive to make a jump off 7 in the next three years. It is all cost and no benefit.

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Why so tax-shy, big tech firms? – Bank of England governor

DougS
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Shorter work week

In the long run, we're going to have shorten the work week so everyone still has work. I don't think human society would be able to work if 90% of the population is idle, at least not until we have robots and AIs that can basically take care of all our needs.

What is the point of human existence then, given that the highest pursuit most seem capable of these days is Trivia Crack and following the exploits of the Kardashians? How do you divide the resources in a world where no one works? Does Honey Boo Boo's mom get an equal share to Elon Musk?

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DougS
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The (political) world will care

Because it will affect people at the higher end of the ladder, like lawyers, doctors, engineers, bankers, etc. The same people who end up becoming politicians, and get most of their campaign contributions and support from that group.

But there's not much they can do about it. They can delay it by using the ABA, AMA, etc. to make laws preventing use of expert systems or require human lawyers and doctors to oversee/validate their output. Basically the white collar equivalent of union shop rules that required a certain number of people to be involved in the process of painting a car, removing the savings from automation for US automakers because they still still had to pay people to stand around and watch the robots do their job!

As the shop rules in the US did, all it will do is disadvantage countries following that plan against others that won't. The result will be that a lot of people will see not-lawyers and not-doctors like paralegals and NPs for as much as they can, and only see real lawyers and real doctors when they can't avoid it.

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Sony blames NORK The Interview cyber strike for delayed Q3 report

DougS
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12 months free identity protection service?

They should offer their employees a decade, if not a lifetime's worth. Do they think hackers will not try to exploit their personal information after 2015 is over? This is Sony's fault for having poor security, regardless of whether it was North Korea or an inside job, and they should do better for their employees who were the unwilling victims here.

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FORCE Apple to support BlackBerry hardware, demands John Chen

DougS
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@Tom 13 Do you even understand net neutrality?

Why do you think this is a big deal? It is because companies are using public resources (right of way for running fiber, spectrum, etc.) What public resources is Apple is using with iMessage that should require them to support it on Blackberry?

Given that you don't even understand the very basics of the net neutrality argument, but apparently think that successful companies should be forced to get a leg up to the less successful ones, you should reference socialism in your arguments because that's what you're advocating for.

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DougS
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Flash was not competition

It was shitty software, which has been mostly abandoned even on PCs now. If Apple cared that much about trying to prop up Quicktime, they wouldn't have supported h.264 video via HTML5 well before they told everyone they would never support flash.

Flash was a clearly inferior alternative to that, and that's why it failed in the marketplace. Or did you like having a Core 2 Quad brought to its knees by a single web page filled with flash ads?

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DougS
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So back when Blackberry was dominant

Was the app that let you connect your phone to your PC to sync contacts, etc. supported on OS X? I wouldn't be at all surprised if it was not.

If Blackberry was able to demand this, why not even more niche phone OSes like FirefoxOS, Tizen and Sailfish?

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Why Microsoft's 3D HoloLens goggles aren't for Google Glassholes

DougS
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Re: Hololens hype

Why would highway surface inspection work better with someone wearing a hololens versus looking at a laptop showing the same information?

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DougS
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Hololens hype

Reminds me of Glass hype. It looks cool until you figure out it isn't really useful for anything. OK games, sure, but does anyone ever see a chance of an office full of people wearing these? Or wearing this at home while you're reading email, checking out Facebook or watching cat videos?

At least there's no chance someone will be enough of a twat to wear one while driving.

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What was Tim Cook worth to Apple in 2014? $9 MILLION, apparently

DougS
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Re: The real potential money is in the share options

When he took the CEO job he was given a million shares vesting in two chunks over the next 10 years, or a little over $70 million a year at current share prices.

I don't think Apple is giving out options to execs anymore, as others have had similar (but smaller) share awards that vest over time to insure the person stays in their post.

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Beam me up, Scotty, And VAPORIZE me in the process

DougS
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Why would I buy this?

It is a lot of expense to produce a part that would be far cheaper if I just had them ship it to me. Sure, if I need it in one hour instead of tomorrow or I'm somewhere hard to reach in the Antarctic or a space station it is better than shipping, but that's a pretty niche market.

Destroying something in the process of replicating it isn't a big deal though, if it makes it easier/quicker/cheaper/possible to replicate it at all. They can keep their DRM however, and we can keep a copy of the data so we can make as many copies as we want of the once destroyed object.

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Google splashes $80k on Chrome 40 bug splatting

DougS
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Disclosure

I wonder if someone who notified them of a bug a couple months ago that didn't make this release will make it public like they've been doing to Microsoft?

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SPACE the FINAL FRONTIER: These are the images of COMET PROBE ROSETTA

DougS
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Holes

Look like there are some holes one of those Millennium Falcon eating worms could live in.

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Hola HoloLens: Reg man gets face time with Microsoft's holographic headset

DougS
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If anyone knows timeless

A time traveling dead guy does.

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Free Windows 10 could mean the END for Microsoft and the PC biz

DougS
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Re: Doesn't matter if the "update process is expertly controlled"

Why do you want to click on that Windows 10 "upgrade" button if all your stuff still worked? Suggesting it will somehow work faster is spurious - the OS has very little effect on how quickly applications run.

The job of an OS is to get out of the way, and its resource management efficiency only matters at the margins (i.e. when you have maxed out RAM are are swapping, have more I/Os going to your storage than it can handle and they need to be prioritized, etc.)

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DougS
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Doesn't matter if the "update process is expertly controlled"

It will still require testing, it will still require work to deploy, there is still a chance of unforseen problems that didn't occur during the testing. What's the benefit in from this effort? What does have a more recent OS buy me? I can't think of a single thing! Can even Windows fanboys (if there are still any left) come up with a reason why a corporation should want to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10?

Given Windows 7's market share, all applications will be compatible with it and supported on it until it goes out of support. An OS is just a launcher for apps, and Windows 7 does that now with a minimum of fuss or bother. PC technology is barely advancing anymore, so the drive for supporting new stuff as was required back in the day with hardware for 3D, USB, and so forth no longer exists.

Corporate users won't upgrade until 2020 gets closer - they'll want to see Windows 11 and make a decision between it and Windows 10. Unless they both suck, in which case there would be considerable pressure on Microsoft to extend Windows 7's support like they did for XP.

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LEAKED: Samsung's iPHONE 6 KILLER... the Samsung Galaxy S6

DougS
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Re: Why should Apple be worried?

There's nothing even close to revolutionary. Incremental improvements in resolution, performance, etc. Did you find the S5 was too low resolution, or too slow? Did they recently install CAT-6 LTE where you live, and are you one of the few who still has an unlimited data plan?

The answer to all these things will be no for almost everyone, so I don't see why this is going to tempt anyone (Android fans included) any more than the S5. If it has a different design it may help, but changing the design it has had since at least the S3 days will also turn off some people too (especially if it has a glass back and non-removable battery, as one rumor indicated)

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Google spent record cash lobbying Congress in 2014 – report

DougS
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Google's new motto

"Only 20% more evil than last year."

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US military finds F-35 software is a buggy mess

DougS
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Only military logic

Could conclude that the way to fix a program that's behind schedule due to lots of bugs is to skip some testing to save time.

Imagine if the same logic was used when building skyscrapers and bridges.

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Net neutrality bunfight heads to Congress, with predictable results

DougS
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Re: The only thing I can conclude

The industry is hoping to see a law enshrining net neutrality is passed, but takes away the FCC's power to regulate/punish the industry. Self-regulation is something the republican congress would be very friendly towards, but it doesn't work in the real world.

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Snowden SLAMS iPhone, claims 'special software' tracks users

DougS
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Re: Maybe it's because he can't afford a smartphone.

He seems to have been pretty well prepared for what would happen, presumably he had saved some of the money he was making and stashed it outside the reach of US banking authority.

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DougS
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"He's got a simple phone"

So he's not using Android, either.

It said he BELIEVES this software exists, which is probably a reasonable belief given how many revelations he had about the amount of spying, and cooperation from big companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook and others. He probably believes the same about Android. He may well be right - Android is only partially open source, after all, and Apple being closed source would have no difficulty including this.

Though given the black eye all the tech firms took when their cooperation with PRISM was revealed, and their more recent moves that have upset the spies, if they were cooperating in this way in the past it is less likely they're still doing so now.

Anyway, other than using a dumbphone, there's not much we can do about this...

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Will fondleslab's fickle finger of fate help Windows 10?

DougS
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@Flocke Crowes

Getting online with a router is easy. People used to use the default SSID and no security, now routers either come with a random SSID/password on a sticker or an "EZ Setup" button that works in concert with Windows to help you set the SSID/password or set one for you without needing to go into the router GUI.

"Millions of Pi's used as video servers". That's a laugh, considering that the 4 millionth one was sold just a few months ago (there was a ZDNET article about this milestone) and I imagine a lot were bought by geeks/tinkerers to mess with but ended up in a desk drawer alongside other stuff. They are a geek toy, they are not used in the mainstream at all.

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SCREW you, GLASSHOLES! Microsoft unveils HoloLens

DougS
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Glassholos

Duh

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Microsoft just saved Windows Phone... Now stop whining

DougS
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Re: I have one and it's really good!

I imagine you probably think it is fine that Windows users have been allowed to post on articles about OS X and Linux all these years, right? Hurts when the shoe's on the other foot, doesn't it?

The solution to what you apparently see as unfairly negative comments from those who don't use WP isn't to silence such criticism and live in an echo chamber where only positive reinforcement of your views is allowed.

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Elon Musk SNOWED UNDER with Googley DOLLARS for Space Internet

DougS
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What's wrong with crackpot ideas?

Why is this a crackpot idea? Hyperloop, I kind of agree there. Still, what's the harm in him pursuing crackpot ideas that never amount to anything? If I was a billionaire, I'd probably do some crackpot things too, just because I could and I don't have to worry about a bunch of money when I'll still have more than I could ever need. Isn't that better than spending all that money on art and locking it away so only I could enjoy it, or on jewels that sit in a safe all the time?

If he's spending money on pursuing crackpot ideas, he's advancing the frontiers of technology. In the pursuit of Hyperloop he's going to have to overcome a lot of technological issues. Even if he can't solve them all, and it goes nowhere, he'll solve some of them, which may be useful to other dreams.

If he launches all these satellites, and this company goes bankrupt, someone will buy this huge fleet of satellites for pennies on the dollar, and do something useful and profitable with them. A lot of jobs will be created to build/launch them, and people will be employed by the guy who buys up the fleet for cheap.

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DougS
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People who live outside the US just don't understand

In rural areas, there is no cable or telco internet AT ALL. That's true in probably 50% of the continental US landmass, if not more. People in Europe just don't realize what rural is, because "rural" areas in the UK or Europe are far denser than rural areas of the US. The farms are smaller, and less distant from the nearest populated area.

There are a surprising amount of area where people can't even receive OTA TV, not because of hills or mountains getting in the way, but because of the curve of the Earth! I doubt there is anywhere inside Europe where this is true.

The population in question isn't large, but if you assume a few hundred thousand homes where this is true, and they're willing to pay the same $30-$50/month people elsewhere in the US pay, that's $100 million a year. Now add in all the people who have other options but choose this option, people who want internet that comes with them in the RV or car, the fact this would allow cell phones to work everywhere, even in the still surprisingly vast areas (look at US cellular coverage maps in the western half of the US) where there is no coverage at all and probably never will be.

Of course, with the number of satellites they're talking about launching, this is to cover the world, not just the US. Internet/phone coverage on fishing boats, at remote vacation destinations, for aid workers in Africa, and so forth. LEO internet is far faster and has much better latency than the GSO internet currently available.

Will it be profitable? We'll see, but it is good that some are willing to invest without certainty of profit.

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Facebook: Yo 'people'! Zap fake news on our giant ad farm, would'ja?

DougS
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Imagine all the flagging Fox News and Huffpo articles will get

The polarization in US politics is such that many strongly conservative and liberal people don't want to hear/see anything that conflicts with their views. The liberals will flag every Fox News article as slanted, the same for conservatives flagging Huffpo articles (or for the most conservative, every "lamestream media" source from ABC to NYT)

This will flop, unless there is a whitelist of major sources that, for better or worse, can't get flagged status, or there is some sort of curation by people who look at highly flagged articles and make a judgement call. Hopefully the Onion is whitelisted, because it is funny seeing the responses from the occasional moron who thinks it is serious.

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Ad agency Turn turns off Verizon's zombie cookies

DougS
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Now that other ad agencies are aware of it

Usage will go up. Publicizing Turn's use of it is going to backfire. The real solution (and challenge) is to get Verizon to drop it, or at the very least allow opting out of it.

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Telcos try to head off net neutrality rules with legislation

DougS
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Translation

Let's try to delay and run out the clock, hoping that a Republican president is elected in 2016 who can replace Tom Wheeler with another former industry lobbyist who hopefully remains true to his masters.

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MYSTERY RADIO SIGNAL picked up from BEYOND our GALAXY

DougS
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Boffins != trick cyclists

The Reg uses both, and they have a different meaning in Reg-editor-speak.

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Google: What this planet needs is INTERNET FROM SPAAACE

DougS
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Uploading to satellite

LEO satellites are much easier to communicate with than GSO. You don't need a dish, and if you wanted the increased gain one offers there are ways around that now. Google 'Kymeta', for instance.

Your upload channel will be limited compared to downlink, because it is easier for the satellite to send more data (using more complex modulations / better FEC ratios) than to receive the considerably weaker and less focused signals you send up.

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Sorry, Qualcomm, Apple – your patents don't scare us

DougS
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Basing licensing costs on price of the device rather than the chip is ludicrous

I doubt GM holds any 3G/LTE standards essential patents. When they include a cellular chip to implement OnStar, should Ericsson be entitled to a percentage of the dealer invoice price of an Escalade?

There is no history in the cellular market of charging this way, but companies that are failing in the marketplace seem to seize on this as a way of increasing their revenue from those who are succeeding. It is no one's fault but their own that Ericsson couldn't cut it in the smartphone age, or that Motorola couldn't keep their early Droid momentum going once Samsung jumped into the Android market and ate their lunch.

So both seized on the idea of increasing licensing revenue 10x or more by basing it on the sales price of the phone rather than the cellular SoC. Companies at the end of their rope always reach for the patent lifeboat before going under (which Motorola already has, effectively, as Google bought them and parted them out)

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Snowden doc leak 'confirms' China stole F-35 data

DougS
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The F-35 is a good thing for the US, as is China stealing the plans

Because it is taking up so many resources and has so much momentum, it sucks the oxygen that a new manned fighter program would require. That's a good thing, because if we started another one now we'd follow it through to the conclusion 20 years from now, long after manned fighters have become totally obsolete.

That we're (hopefully) getting China to follow us down that stupid path is even better. Otherwise they might realize how simple it is to beat the US's best planes in a dogfight in the very near future (or maybe even now): Build a shitload of cheap unmanned fighters with little or no weapons. They could probably build 50 of them for the price of one F-35. The F-35 pilot will run out of missiles long before they're all gone. How is the F-35 going to dodge or otherwise avoid 30 missiles shot at once? Or avoid 30 planes trying to ram it at once?

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Verizon sprints to crush FiOS account exposure hole

DougS
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Re: 5 million, hmm

I don't know how many FIOS users there are, but not everyone uses their ISP's email. I don't have an email account with my ISP, though I could have one free for the asking.

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Apache retains perch atop global web server market

DougS
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Re: measrued...

So many are junky linkfarms it is hard to tell whether there was an actual decline in websites, or fewer linkfarms since Google/Bing are better at pushing those down in the search results and they're less profitable.

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Siri? Are you seeing another man?

DougS
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What they're really saying

Is that this could be done on anything that uses digitized voice, from telephones to voice commands. They mentioned Siri since "potential security problem in Siri" draws headlines. Though I would have thought "terrorists can use steganography to send hidden messages even on lines tapped by the authorities" might garner them a chunk of research funds. Too bad they aren't smart enough to think of that.

Nevermind that the old fashioned code word method is a lot simpler and has a higher data rate, but I guess they're researching steganography and trying to claim it is some serious issue...

Its getting to the point where I kind of tune out any researchers talking about security issues having to do with Apple, when they later reveal the issue isn't specific to Apple at all. It is like a producer talking about a new movie and suggesting "maybe Tom Cruise will play the lead role" to get publicity even though he's never spoken to him about it.

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MARS NEEDS BROADBAND, insists Elon Musk

DougS
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Data networks on Mars?

Surely the first settlement will be all in one place, and people aren't going to be living all over the planet. If they are, they can deal with GSO latencies to talk to the other country's (presumably) settlement - they'll be rather used to it given the latencies involved communicating with Earth!

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This could be a case for Mulder and Scully: Fox 'in talks' to bring back The X-Files

DougS
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Sounds like it would be a limited run series

Since they compare it to the single season of 24. Or really any season of 24, as they were all self-contained stories that did little to set up the following season.

This sounds ideal, as they could have enough time to have an engaging story arc without leaving a bunch of loose ends for next season and risk an unresolved cliffhanger if the series isn't renewed.

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'It's NOT FAIR!' yell RICH KIDS ... and that's a GOOD THING

DougS
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$100 is a lot to someone living on $2/day

Wouldn't you need to adjust the amounts to fit the economic condition of the subjects? If the total pot is one fifth of my yearly earnings (50 working days, since those of us in rich countries don't work 7 days a week) I might be more willing to accept a 90/10 split than I would if the pot is only $100. I'll happily give up $10 or $20 to say a big F U to the other guy who got too greedy.

I'd still be pissed at the guy grabbing 90%, but getting the equivalent of a week's pay for taking part in a little experiment is nothing to sneeze at. Especially if it is in cash so I won't have to pay taxes on it :) I'd probably offer the other guy less with that large a pot than I would if it was only $100, because I know like me he'd be more willing to take it. Not sure I'd do 90%, but I could see 75/25.

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‘Whatever happened to Vladimir Putin?’ and other crap New Year prophesies

DougS
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Re: Y2k

Of course the banks fixed only the relevant systems and forgot about it later on the assumption they'd have them replaced, and on the bigger assumption that management would turn down spending money to fix a problem now, when they could leave it for 20 years in the future when they would be retired.

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