* Posts by DougS

6500 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Waze to go, Google: New dial-a-ride Uber, Lyft rival 'won't vet drivers'... What could go wrong?

DougS
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Guess they are trying to claim ignorance

If they make no attempt to vet anyone, they think they can't be held liable when something goes wrong. Can't say I totally disagree with that logic, but that's not how the real world will work the first time someone is raped or murdered by one of these drivers...

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Making us pay tax will DESTROY EUROPE, roars Apple's Tim Cook

DougS
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Some of these morons really believe Apple is alone in taking advantage of Ireland's tax law, and Google and others are paying much more. Talk about denial. Apple is TOTALLY taking advantage of Ireland's laws, but don't act as if they alone are doing it!

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EU verdict: Apple received €13bn in illegal tax benefits from Ireland

DougS
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Re: This doesn't cost Apple anything in the long run

Apple is only "investing" the money is the most conservative investments possible, so they will lose one or two percent, which is less than the interest the US government is going to charge them...

While the US may "chime in", they have little to say about how the EU's tax laws are interpreted. But if the EU prevails, this does NOT go into EU coffers. It goes into Ireland's coffers alone. The reason the EU is fighting this is because they feel that Ireland is getting an unfair advantage over other EU countries.

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DougS
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This doesn't cost Apple anything in the long run

Foreign taxes paid are a direct credit against US taxes. All this means is that Apple will (assuming the ruling holds) pay the €13 billion sooner, rather than being able to delay it for an arbitrary length of time by choosing not to bring the money home.

Apple is already carrying a deferred taxes item on their balance sheet that's several times this amount, to reflect the US taxes owed on money they are holding overseas that will become due when it is brought back. When they pay the €13 billion their deferred taxes will drop an identical amount so the net effect on their market cap / stock price is zero.

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Intel's makeshift Kaby Lake Cores hope to lure punters from tired PCs

DougS
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That indemnification is worth zero if Apple is sued, because they have to fight the battle before Google is liable for anything. Google is completely unrealistic in thinking they can have a codec that isn't encumbered by patents. There were bystanders waiting until h.265 and h.265 was finalized before stepping out of the woodwork, if VP9 and VP10 becomes a thing, there will be patent holders (whether trolls or legit) coming out...

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DougS
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You're assuming Apple will support that hardware in MacOS. Given the lack of certainty on VP9's patent status, they may stick with h.264/h.265 support since they've already licensed all the necessary patents (well at least the ones that MPEG knows about)

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DougS
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Speeding up web browsing by a fifth

If your web browsing is slow on a Skylake, the problem won't be solved by more CPU performance.

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Ireland taxman: Apple got NO favours from us, at all, at all

DougS
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@MonkeyCee

No, you're 100% wrong. The EU's interest has ZERO to do with the US allowing companies to avoid paying interest. The US is pretty much alone in the world in taxing US companies on worldwide income. Most countries only tax companies on money they earn within their borders.

What the EU cares about is Ireland making special deals that disadvantage the rest of the EU. If Apple et al has a great deal that's against EU law, it hurts other countries as Ireland gets the benefit.

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DougS
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Indeed, Apple is just the biggest target

The EU knows if they can make it stick against Apple, they can go after all the other Irish arrangements that nearly every US tech company has. The money they collect from Apple will be chicken feed when they go after all those big fish, then the smaller fish.

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Ankers away! USB-C cables recalled over freakin' fried phone fears

DougS
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Apple control freaks

Aren't looking so bad now, after bad cables and lack of resistors killed the first gen Google Pixel laptops with USB-C, and now dodgy USB-C cables are causing further issues.

Not really defending them as it is obviously a trade of one bad thing for another, but those who pose it as "evil Apple versus freedom" have been overlooking the other side of the equation...

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Europe to order Apple to cough up 'one beeellion Euros in back taxes'

DougS
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Who are the taxes payable TO?

It sounds like they are payable to Ireland, which if true makes me wonder why they are fighting this? Are they worried Apple and other companies will change their tax structure down the road, so this windfall will be outweighed by reduced receipts down the road?

This would be the first time I can ever recall a country's tax organization fighting for being paid LESS taxes lol!

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Uber lost $7m a DAY in the first half of this year

DougS
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Wrong

You may want to re-think that statement. Facebook made $2 billion last quarter. They collect money from advertising, they collect money from businesses to 'promote' their pages and probably other stuff, but those the big ones.

WhatsApp wasn't really worth $16 billion because they already had most of those users they were buying, and had a messaging app, so I'm not quite sure what of the point of that was but that's only two years worth of profit (less since it is growing pretty fast)

If you want to complain about nearly profit free massively overpriced companies due for a crash, look at Amazon and Netflix. But Amazon lived through the first crash unscathed so I wouldn't short their stock, that's for sure. Must be a lot of closely held stock in the float, or they dispense lithium at their investor meetings.

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Google breaks heart, White Knight falls off horse

DougS
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I think the real problem was that they assumed they wouldn't have to face any real competition, but the cable TV industry was able to keep upping their speeds without digging up all the streets.

Running fiber to the home is silly and pointless. First of all, almost no one really needs or can make use of anything like a gigabit, no matter how much streaming or web surfing they do. Second, it's now possible to provide gigabit speeds by running fiber to neighborhoods and using existing coax or phone lines that already enter people's homes. The problem, Google doesn't own those lines, so they can't use them. That's why they are trying to rethink their strategy and skip over the "last mile" using wireless. The problem is, they won't be the only ones doing that either, AT&T is making big investments in fixed wireless broadband, though they seem to be planning on more rural areas that are currently unserved by cable/DSL so they can offer bundling deals with Directv.

The cable company has already run the fiber in any market Google would ever consider, so when they hear Google is coming to town they move it to the front of the line for DOCSIS 3 upgrades and are offering gigabit speeds long before Google has their fiber trunks in the ground, let alone start digging up people's yards to run it to their house.

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Apple is making life terrible in its factories – labor rights warriors

DougS
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Re: Where's the hand wringing over other companies?

And consider how horrible the conditions were in US factories a century ago, or UK factories before that. It is easy for us to get all high and mighty expecting other countries to have the same worker protection laws and enforcement we take for granted, because we've already "made it" economically.

Western companies have been pushing China forward in that regard - granted, a lot of that is a reaction to bad publicity but a lot of companies want to "do good" even when they aren't being watched. The problem is, they also want to get a good deal since that's why everyone is in China in the first place, so there's a conflict. As the regulations increase and worker salaries increase, production will move to cheaper countries with lax laws that will follow the same path of worker exploitation which lessens over time. A lot of real cheap labor (making clothing etc.) has already left China because their workers make too much money now.

We've already done this once for the consumer electronics market...remember when cheap crap was made in Japan, and then eventually it became quality stuff is made in Japan so the cheap crap went to China. China's still fighting the "cheap crap" reputation but they're probably a decade away from casting that aside and having a reputation for quality stuff. And as a result the companies making cheap crap will start using factories in Vietnam or Philippines or something (some already have, Samsung has factories making their low end phones in Vietnam)

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DougS
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Re: Wot! Oh, there must be an iThing about to be announced

They'll complain that evil Apple pushed their suppliers to use more automation and because of that fired thousands of workers with no severance pay and not even any bus fare home.

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DougS
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Re: Who honestly expected a different outcome?

Where's the hand wringing over other companies? They're ALL doing this. Heck, Samsung was sued because unsafe conditions resulted in dozens of workers DYING in one of their chip fabs, and that was owned by Samsung using Samsung employees. Where do you think Dell, IBM, Microsoft, et al are making their products?

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Notting Hill Carnival spycams: Met Police rolls out real-time live face-spotting tech

DougS
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Re: An improvement on their previous face recognition

If (sex == female) {

lower_camera_angle(0.4 meters);

enable_IR_see_thru_clothing_mode();

}

Is that what they meant "may include images other than of faces"?

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Corporates ARE sniffing around Windows 10, says Computacenter

DougS
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Windows 7 support ends in early 2020

Given the timeline, they probably want to plan on having the rollout finished in the early part of 2019 to account for any delays they encounter. That means starting the rollout a year before that in early 2018, meaning that they have to begin testing with small/knowledgeable user communities no later than a year from now.

So this probably is the time for "sniffing around", though many probably hope that Microsoft will somehow be induced to extend its support like they did with XP...

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Mozilla breathes petition-of-fire at EU copyright laws

DougS
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Re: Mickey Mouse Protection Act

No, they won't go backwards in time otherwise Disney would lose copyright as the public domain stories they based their movies on would become copyrighted!

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Windows Update borks PowerShell – Microsoft won't fix it for a week

DougS
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@Doctor Syntax

Neither are average people who've been forcibly updated to W10 reloading their own W7 nor installing NTLite or DAZ Loader (which I'd never heard of).

Which I why I said "find someone to install Windows 7 for them". They won't do it themselves, because they likely won't have a Windows 7 disc. But they will probably know someone who would be able to install Windows 7 for them.

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DougS
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Re: Time for a career change

No, average people still aren't contemplating changing their PC to Linux, no matter how much people here might wish that was true.

The most realistic scenario would be finding someone able to install Windows 7 on their PC. Word to the wise, use NTLite to integrate XHCI drivers into your Windows 7 install and you'll have a much easier time on Skylake or future hardware. You need it to automatically integrate DAZ Loader anyway (I don't care what Microsoft says, no one should have to pay for a license to downgrade their PC because the OS it shipped with isn't fit for purpose, or worse that Microsoft malware fooled you into installing Windows 10)

Now that Microsoft isn't trying to push the free Windows 10 upgrades anymore, Windows 7 can go back to just quietly working without requiring you to mess with it.

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Linux turns 25, with corporate contributors now key to its future

DougS
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Device drivers / ISA / core kernel

I wish stats like the contributors and companies were broken up, so you could see how much of it was device drivers, how much as in supporting ISA (x86, ARM64 etc.) and how much involved the core kernel. For instance Nvidia's contributors are likely most drivers, Intel has a combination of drivers and ISA, and others doing stuff like improving TCP/IP, I/O scheduler, SATA and other core functions.

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Redmond reveals Hyper-V 2016 beats vSphere's RAM and CPU count

DougS
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The limits are mostly theoretical today, because pretty much no one is selling servers that would hit the limits of either Hyper-V or vSphere. By the time they do, both will have been updated.

I wonder how they even tested this...must have been on an Altix, but I can't imagine anyone would buy one of those to host VMs...

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Touchy iPhone 6, 6 Plus chips prone to breaking down and giving up

DougS
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Re: That's what people get

Apple reports their margins in each quarter's earning announcement. Historically they are just below 40%. If the $240 manufacturing price vs $650 selling price told the whole story, their margin would be a hell of a lot higher than 40%!

Granted, that's a much higher margin than anyone else selling phones (other than Samsung, pretty much everyone else has a negative margin selling phones, after all) but compared to Intel they aren't doing all that well. Intel's margins are in the neighborhood of 60%!

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OpenSSL 1.1.0 is out

DougS
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How much code review / cleanup did they do?

Given the recent spate of OpenSSL vulnerabilities, I'm sure that's the question on most of our minds. "Removing old insecure stuff" sounds good, but hopefully they cleaned up the code so it is more easily reviewable by outsiders than previous versions.

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Update your iPhones, iPads right now – govt spy tools exploit vulns

DougS
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Re: A speedy patch release

The last few years they have been VERY quick to release security patches, especially for something like this.

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Unlimited mobile data in America – where's the catch? There's always a catch

DougS
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Re: First world problem

Well, it depends on what sort of role playing you're doing with your girlfriend on a given night.

That's my lab coat on the hook there, I'll just grab it as I have an important video call to make...

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China's $30bn VC fund

DougS
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China's track record on investments isn't all that great

There are entire cities built for a million people that are empty, and many other examples of malinvestment. China is growing at a big enough clip that they can weather some rather large amounts of wasted resources, just like Sand Hill Road can weather the occasional dot com bubble.

Other places in the US have had VC investment but haven't become another Silicon Valley, despite marketers trying to coin terms like "Silicon Alley", "Silicon Beach", "Silicon Prairie" and so forth. If anyone knew and was able to replicate the formula for its success, Silicon Valley wouldn't still be so unique.

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'Second Earth' exoplanet found right under our noses – just four light years away

DougS
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Re: Slight problem with habitability figure

Reference, please? I've never seen ANYTHING suggesting the Earth will become uninhabitable in less than a million years, considering it has been fine for over half a billion.

Well, modulo one or two snowball Earths (but deliberate global warming could fix that)

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Stop lights, sunsets, junctions are tough work for Google's robo-cars

DougS
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Re: Just very impressive.

They don't need to pull over, but they might need to slow down to see the light. But it doesn't matter if you can infer from other evidence that it is red.

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DougS
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Re: Light Spectrum and some lateral thinking

The Sun is only really a problem when it is directly behind the traffic light. It outputs on all frequencies from long radio waves to X rays so just using something outside of the visible range doesn't solve anything. Fortunately the Sun is only behind the traffic light from certain direction/distance combinations, so as long as the hidden signal was strong enough to be visible from a couple hundred feet away you don't have to worry about the Sun because you'll have some views of the signal without the Sun overwhelming it. When it is very low in the horizon it might not be visible to the car until you get close so maybe the car will need to slow when approaching those intersections near both dawn and dusk but that's not a big deal.

Whatever frequency you use it should be 1) able to travel well through fog/rain/snow at least 50 feet or so and 2) directional enough that the car can tell it is coming from the traffic light (to avoid bad guys trying to fake signals and cause trouble - you could encrypt it with a private key, but with millions of traffic lights it would only be a matter of time before it became known)

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Kaspersky launches its own OS on Russian routers

DougS
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Re: And another thing......

Yes they are, but if the router doesn't currently have a backdoor, how you are going to install the backdoor software on it? If they have an exploit for it, they never needed a backdoor in the first place.

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DougS
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Re: And another thing......

Even with the signing key, they have to get the update to their admins to install. Routers don't just go out on the internet and automatically download their own updates.

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Oracle reveals Java Applet API deprecation plan

DougS
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Re: True enough.

How does today's story demonstrate anything about the need for a language that won't get you sued? Oracle never sued anyone for using Java in browsers. Their lawsuit with Google over Android is different, and doesn't concern Java but something almost-but-not-quite-Java that Google created.

Obviously to get widespread support the language must be open, otherwise Firefox can't include it and Chrome probably won't include it.

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DougS
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Re: True enough.

Just pick an existing language that was designed with security in mind and support it in browsers. The last thing we need is yet ANOTHER language being created for this purpose.

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US Treasury to launch pre-emptive strike on EU's Ireland tax probe

DougS
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Re: The Intentional Revenue Scum

The IRS wants other countries to charge US companies $0 in taxes, because it means more money for the IRS to which taxes are still due. You don't understand how corporate taxes work in the US at all, obviously.

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DougS
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@doctor syntax

It isn't that Apple considers those subsidiaries to have NO tax jurisdiction, they are based on Ireland and therefore have an Irish tax jurisdiction as far as US government is concerned. They are managed from the US and therefore have US jurisdiction as far as Ireland is concerned. Totally legal according to the laws of both countries, because they have different rules about how tax jurisdiction is determined.

But like I said, all this structure does is delay taxes, Apple carries a future liability for them on their books because they are owed to the IRS - just not payable until the money is brought into the US.

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DougS
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@katrinab

They're borrowing money, but only a small percentage of the overseas hoard. Theoretically they could take on $200 billion in debt I suppose, but they haven't done so.

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DougS
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Re: Apparently, the US already does

But US companies don't avoid US tax, they only delay it. The US Treasury has every incentive to allow Apple and every other US company to pay as little tax to other countries as possible, because those taxes are a credit against US taxes.

When Apple brings that overseas money in, it is taxed at 39.4% (less whatever credits there are for overseas taxes already paid) which considering Apple has over $200 billion in cash overseas now, is a pretty hefty pile that has mostly been lightly taxed and will (eventually, when it is brought back someday) mean $60 to $70 billion for the US Treasury. The reason everyone leaves their money overseas now is because of Bush's stupidity for having a tax holiday on bringing money into the US, which offered some special limited time low rate (I think 12.5%?) so now everyone leaves all their money overseas figuring/hoping that someday another tax holiday will be declared. Or that rates will be lowered and they'll be permitted to bring that money in under the new lower rate (if rates are lowered I think the old money should get the full tax so as not to reward all the companies who did this)

There is no way for US companies to permanently avoid US taxes on any income no matter where earned and no matter what tax residency their subsidiaries may claim.

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French submarine builder DCNS springs leak: India investigates

DougS
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I imagine it isn't because they aren't capable of operation, but because they are being refitted with new technology like EMALS catapults.

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Privacy advocates rail against US Homeland Security's Twitter, Facebook snooping

DougS
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You can set the privacy to prevent outside access

If your Facebook is accessible only to friends, or only to friends of friends, then DHS staffers won't be able to see anything. They'd have to ask for your passwords for there to be a point to asking at all.

One would presume those entering the US with plans to commit terrorism would either have no social media accounts, lie and claim they have none if they do, or have dummy accounts that look presentable to US authorities. Any terrorists they caught with this are the ones who were not really serious or who would have been caught in other ways. Then there are all the false positives, from people who may show some sympathy towards terrorists or at least hostility towards the US, but have no intent on committing any sort of terrorist attacks. Last time I checked, thinking good thoughts about the US and its foreign policy wasn't required for entry - though undoubtedly there are some who would change that if they could.

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Tesla touts battery that turns a Model S into 'third fastest ever' car

DougS
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Volumetric energy density vs energy stored per unit mass

The former matters for smartphones, especially if/when they're foldable.

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An end to rude emails?

DougS
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Re: I don't think so

when the reply makes less sense than an AI answer would

Why is AManFromMars sending you emails?

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Google broke its own cloud by doing two updates at once

DougS
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Re: Change management 101

Yes, you have your emails which you sent warning about it and the potential consequences that included a list of potential remediation plans, and their response where they rejected your conclusion and/or remediation plans.

But too often admins will point to stuff and say "that's broken" or "that's a disaster waiting to happen" where they include no remediation plan at all, or give only one option (replace it with something new) even when they damn well know there are more choices than that. They just look at it as an opportunity to replace that Windows Server they hate with Linux, or that Linux server with dedicated hardware that the vendor will manage so they can wash their hands of it, or buy a software upgrade they've been pushing for for other reasons, etc. and their boss is smart enough to know that.

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NIST spins atomic gyroscope to allow navigation without GPS

DougS
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Re: dead reckoning without a starting referencence would be useless

The article wasn't well written in that respect, but you will always have a starting reference. Anywhere you have differential GPS available you can correct any accumulated errors in your dead reckoning. If it was accurate enough - lets say a nanometer of accumulated error per second under normal use - you wouldn't need to return to "known" location for months. A sub travel underwater for six months with no access to GPS would have an accumulated error of only 3cm. I have no idea what the accumulated error of this dead reckoning would be, that may be a bit optimistic...

Be nice if they could make it smaller/cheaper, as it would be very useful for self-driving cars.

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Breaker, breaker: LTE is coming to America's CB radio frequencies

DougS
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Re: Unlicensed LTE

There is NO WAY the incumbent telecom interests are going to allow unlicensed bands that can be used at power levels high enough to cover a community. That would provide competition from community groups who would buy a single high speed link and provide cheap broadband to the whole community.

They've mostly managed to prevent communities wiring themselves for broadband, but if there is a frequency range that's available for their use so no utility right of way is being used, they will have to really stretch to come up with a reason to convince lawmakers to make it illegal.

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No, we haven't found liquid water on Mars, says NASA

DougS
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What's the point of a colony on Mars?

It would take massive investment for many generations before it could become truly self sustaining - i.e. able to continue to progress forward technologically completely separate from Earth (if we took a massive impact and civilization here - if not all human life - was ended)

Aside from the "backup of humanity in case Earth is destroyed", why have a permanent colony on Mars? Why is it better to live there than the Moon? The Moon is less hospitable, but Mars is so inhospitable that the difference is academic, and due to shorter distance and lower gravity it would be far quicker and easier to bootstrap a lunar colony than a Martian colony. Sure, there is a possibility that Mars could someday be terraformed, but until we really know how to do it that's no more realistic than planning to build a ringworld.

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Google Fuchsia OS eyes non-Linux things

DougS
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"Reworking Android as radically as necessary..."

What's this talk about how "old OSses will struggle" to keep pace with stuff like hyper-contextual awareness (whatever the fuck that is) AI-driven search and query, voice and image recognition, and virtual/augmented reality?

They're talking about replacing the Linux kernel in Android or "radically reworking" it to enable those things, as if there's no way the kernel in current Android could possibly handle that, and also talk about "leaving iOS in the dust" I guess assuming that the iOS Mach kernel can't handle it either - and that Apple will just on their hands and watch it happen.

The kernel has nothing to do with enabling those things, that's a problem for higher layer software. In fact, pretty much all research into that stuff is running software on either Linux or Windows. They aren't developing special kernels.

Why is it whenever Wireless Watch articles are posted on the Reg they're filled with meaningless tech buzzwords and an utter misunderstanding of basic technical issues, like the relationship between a kernel and tasks like image recognition? They belong on a puff piece site like Infoworld, not the Reg.

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'NSA' hack okshun woz writ by Inglish speeker trieing to hyde

DougS
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Re: The 'insider' theory

Your logging isn't worth much if you can suspend it without anyone becoming the wiser. There are plenty of ways to detect such a thing, which I would hope the NSA would be using.

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