* Posts by Joe Gurman

357 posts • joined 21 Dec 2007

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That 'Surface will die in 2019' prediction is still a goer, says soothsayer

Joe Gurman

Wasn't Steve Ballmer....

....also responsible for the Zune?

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Sun billionaire Khosla discovers life's a beach after US Supreme Court refuses to hear him out

Joe Gurman

As Woody Guthrie wrote....

As I went walking I saw a sign there

And on the sign it said “No Trespassing.”

But on the other side it didn’t say nothin’

That side was made for you and me.

— This Land Is Your Land

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Unpicking the Pixel puzzle: Why Google is struggling to impress

Joe Gurman

Re: Beta?

I'd wait for the reviews of the latest Pixel and iPhone cameras and decide whether you want to continue to make the assertions in the last paragraph.

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Joe Gurman

Re: Conspiracy theory.

What you write makes eminent sense. And has nothing to do with the business of selling phones.

Even with the recently increased emphasis on security and privacy, odds are that 99.99% of smartphones buyers don't care about such issues unless it affects them directly, no matter how much the makers tout such capabilities — so they don't.

Be happy that you're in the sensible 0.01%, but don't expect anyone to be able to sell phones a t a profit on that score alone. Nice camera, pretty case, Qi charging, stupid Animoji — those, mores the pity, sell fondletoys.

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Android Phones are 10: For once, Google won fair and square

Joe Gurman

Define "win"

If you mean giving all the Android fondletoy-floggers other than Samsung a chance to lose money every quarter, break out the party hats and crackers!

If you mean establishing an experience that's bewildering for users who try to find the best deal every time the buy a new phone, start dancing.

If you mean provide a platform that's proven to offer an opportunity to make some money for hardware makers whose name is not Samsung.... not quite time to celebrate, is it?

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WWII Bombe operator Ruth Bourne: I'd never heard of Enigma until long after the war

Joe Gurman

As a foot (not boot) note....

.... the 4-rotor bombe was built for the US Navy to handle messages encrypted the the four-rotor Enigma put into service by the German navy in 1942, in parallel with the British Mammoth. By the end of the war, 160 had been produced by the National Cash Register company in Dayton, Ohio. Most were located at the IS Navy Yard in Washington, DC.

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Nameless Right To Be Forgotten Google sueball man tries Court of Appeal – yet again

Joe Gurman

Re: A new Dickens novel?

Called himself Nemo, didn't he, in Bleak House?

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That syncing feeling when you realise you may be telling Google more than you thought

Joe Gurman

Re: Shrug

In my case, because we develop Web content and have to test whether it works on all common Browsers. Otherwise, practically not for anything.

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How an over-zealous yank took down the trading floor of a US bank

Joe Gurman

Re: DevOps?

.... or buzzfeed.

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The Reg chats with Voyager Imaging Team member Dr Garry E Hunt

Joe Gurman

Re: Great stuff

Could be apocryphal: the standard joke is that academic politics are so vicious _because_ the stakes are so small.

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FCC boss slams new Californian net neutrality law, brands it illegal

Joe Gurman

Ajit Pai....

....a whole owned subsidiary of US Big Comms.

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The grand-plus iPhone is the new normal – this is no place for paupers

Joe Gurman

Re: Apple ecosystem

Pretty much everything Apple makes plugs and plays together. For those who like them, being able to display that mobile game on your TV via an Apple TV or play music on any speakers that support AirPlay(2) and so on and on, without any user configuration, is a plus and, yes, a selling point.

I know its a hard sell to people who regularly read this site, but most punters really do not want to be bothered with fiddling with configuration.

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Space station springs a leak while astronauts are asleep (but don't panic)

Joe Gurman

You do know....

.... that's not just NASA, but NASA and Roscosmos that operate the ISS jointly, don't you?

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London's Gatwick Airport flies back to the future as screens fail

Joe Gurman

I must be missing something

....not that that would be unusual.

This is still 2018, right? When world + dog carries a vibrating, light-up Internet fondletoy with them at all times? Is there any airline passenger who cannot consult their airline's app for a check on flight status, including gate? Or, if their phone was stolen during security screening, ask another traveler politely if they could use their phone to check?

In the last three months, I've been faced with at least on instance with the larger flat-panel displays now at every gate (in US airports, at least) displaying hilariously incorrect information that conflicts with the information on the display at the gate 10 meters away. The app always had up to date correct info.

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EU wants one phone plug to rule them all. But we've got a better idea.

Joe Gurman

Standards for cables and connectors

....are great for consumers if they fully define owner, data, insulation, &c. Where they’re not so great is in the inning variety n department, as they can’t ever know what the next, best thing is. You know, the innovation brought to market bit (as opposed to owning a patent). Then the consumers get to decide: FireWire? Nah, don’t think so, thanks. Thunderbolt 3? Ooh, shiny.

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IPv6: It's only NAT-ural that network nerds are dragging their feet...

Joe Gurman

Re: "the world is clinging stubbornly to IPv4"

Erm, is there any reason all those shoddily (or not at all) secured IoT devices should be directly on the Net, rather than behind a NAT gateway?

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Joe Gurman

Re: Have the businesses forgotten that the Internet was created by academics

ARPA (now DARPA) doesn't do research. They pay other people to do it. Such as academics and researchers at private industry labs.

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Ecuador's Prez talking to UK about Assange's six-year London Embassy stay – reports

Joe Gurman

The Chief Magistrate

Hit the proverbial nail directly on the proverbial head.

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If you were a firm-swallowing storage giant, how WD you digest them all?

Joe Gurman

Re: SanDisk brands have more market presence than WD flash brands

Funny, that's how I perceive WD's own hard drive offerings. Given the widespread respect for HGsT's product line, perhaps they should just drop the WD hard drives entirely.

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HPE supercomputer is still crunching numbers in space after 340 days

Joe Gurman

Maybe not the most convincing of tests....

....for a Mars mission.

The ISS orbits the earth at a relatively low altitude (just above 400 km) that means its protected most of the time from all but the highest energy solar/cosmic ray energetic charged particles by the earth's magnetosphere. The inclination of the orbit (51.6°) means the ISS spends little if any time near the geomagnetic poles, where those charged particles can spiral down the earth's magnetic field.

For what it's worth, spacecraft like SOHO, which has spent almost 23 years around the L1 Lagrange point (1% of the stance between the earth and the Sun) has a solid state recorder of late 1980s/early 1990s vintage that has corrected every single event upset over an entire solar magnetic cycle (two solar activity cycles) just fine. The technology to provide digital electronics that can survive a ~ 3 year expedition outside the earth's magnetosphere is not exactly, er, rocket science at this point.

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If you're serious about securing IoT gadgets, may as well start here

Joe Gurman

Re: Good idea in principle

Nice to know I’m not the only one who still thinks MAC ID ACLs are a useful tool, despite their deprecation when any computer OS can spoof them. Now, if we could not get IoT manufacturers to put the MAC ID on the devices.

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Declassified files reveal how pre-WW2 Brits smashed Russian crypto

Joe Gurman

Re: Paranoia and hot pockets

I thought the meant Boris Badenov, always foiled by moose and sqvirrel.

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Why Google won't break a sweat about EU ruling

Joe Gurman

Re: "Two choices"

s the article pointed out, you (in theory) had a lot more than two choices, but was there anything compelling enough about Windows Phone or Lineage OS or any of the smaller efforts to make them likely, under any conditions, able to achieve significant sales? This is what Americans find strange about EU competition regulations: basing enforcement actions on mere hypotheticals, rather than actual market conditions. Or in other words, there's really no point in trying to protect the consumers against their own decisions, no matter how dim.

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iPhone 8 now outsells X, and every other phone

Joe Gurman

Re: And?

I tend to agree, or I would, if people all around me in one of the more down-market areas in the 'burbs here weren't walking around (and, sadly, driving around) with their noses stuck next to those beautiful OLED screens, notches and all. When you pay (at essentially zero interest) over two years, a thousand simoleons is just over US$40 a month. Divide that by the 8 hours or so a day most of the locals appear to spend with bowed head, and they're really bot spending very much. And who knows, perhaps all the facial stitching you do for animojis is good for you health somehow. Somehow.

Maybe those clever capitalists in Cupertino have figured out that at that rate of financial pain, punters really do think they can afford a little high-end bling in their lives. Ya think?

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Joe Gurman

Re: @AC It's had its day.

You may well be right. As things get commoditized, why should people pay premium prices? I don't know; maybe someone at Rolex, Mercedes, BMW, and lottos yachtmakers could answer that question. It doesn't change the fact that no one is making money (indeed they're all losing buckets of it) selling downscale smartphones. The only profit is in the high-end kit.

But I would suggest the Mr. Orlowski has perhaps let his stomp-on-Apple zeal carry him away a little this time. Read this article about the Counterpoint release: https://appleinsider.com/articles/18/07/05/apples-cheaper-iphones-are-not-the-volume-sellers-pundits-predicted-iphone-8-x-are , admittedly from a true fanboi site, and decide for yourself what the news is here. The way I read it, ignoring how various models (and their putative margins) are ranked, Apple sells 50% more high-end (read: profitable) smartphones than Samsung, who in turn sell twice as many as Xiaomi, while BKK and Huawei battle it out for the rest of the profitable part of the market.

While there are rumors that Xiaomi has had some profitable quarters, pretty much no one but the fruit company and Samsung are making money selling smartphones, integrated over all price points they offer. Other companies may be using downscale models as loss leaders, hoping to grab market share and then raise the price of entry in classic capitalist style (way to go, People's Republic). But those two firms have already gotten there. Maybe that's the news?

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Who fancies a six-core, 128GB RAM, 8TB NVMe … laptop?

Joe Gurman

I realize this is the Reg

....and therefore, er, apples to apples comparisons are unlikely, but when you start ragging on the differences between this massive monster and Apple's last year products, you could at least point out that Apple estimates the maximum battery charge lifetime, while for these machines.... or that the display even on 17 inch Dell laptops is hardly comparable to a Retina-like display. 1920 x 1080 does not cut it if you're doing graphics work these days, but I doubt that's the target audience for these machines.

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Creep travels half the world to harass online teen gamer… and gets shot by her mom – cops

Joe Gurman

Re: Isn't he supposed to be ...

Sorry, Buckwheat, but the local prosecutors are simply following the law, as defined in Virginia, which is, you know, kind of east you'd like district/state's attorneys to be doing. Breaking and Entering to Commit A Misdemeanor Other than Trespass or Assault and Battery (Va. Code §18.2-92) is a Class 6 felony, punishable with up to 5 years in prison, but if the offender was armed with a deadly weapon, the offense becomes a Class 2 felony, punished with 20 years to life in prison. There is no lesser to which he can plead, but it may be (I'm ignorant) that the jury is asked to decide whether he intended to commit a serious offense, and if so, then separately determine whether he was armed with a deadly &c.

That, at least, was the way it worked in a trial in which I was a juror in a neighbo[u]ring (but culturally very different) state on charges of assault: first, did simple assault, a misdemeano[u]r, take place; if yes, then was it aggravated assault, a felony, which could bring s much stiffer sentence. The state's attorney wanted a conviction on the latter charge, but that required the jury first finding the defendant guilty own the lesser charge. There was no volition or piling on charges; it was a simple if b then a first.

And the defendant was already behind bars on other corsages at the time of trial, so it was not as if she were a present menace to society.

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Joe Gurman

I'm guessing....

....that when the drugs wore off (and I don't mean the ones supplied at the hospital), he might have felt a sliver of remorse.

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Joe Gurman

Normally....

....I disapprove of the use of firearms because, as Danger Man John Drake put it, "They tend to be messy," but I'm pretty much OK with this one.

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Why the 'feudal' tech monopolies run rings around competition watchdogs

Joe Gurman

Um....

"IBM allowed the 1981 PC to be an open system...." For software, yes, but it wasn't really open until, ten months after the PC debuted, that Columbia offered the reviser PC clone with a reverse-engineered BIOS.

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Apple will throw forensics cops off the iPhone Lightning port every hour

Joe Gurman

Re: Tim Cook...

Rather decent hardware, actually, and it's the FBI and local police departments who are throwing the hissy fits. Despite all the bad-mouthing here, Americans actually do have civil liberties, one of which has repeatedly been defined by the courts as privacy.

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WannaCry reverse-engineer Marcus Hutchins hit with fresh charges

Joe Gurman

Maybe it's an unfamiliarity with legal processes....

....in the US, but if the FBI id conducting an honesty investigation, there's always the possibility they'll turn up what they consider evidence of further violations of US law. If so, it's customary to proceed with more charges. Partly, no doubt, from the "Now will you take the plea bargain?" tactic discussed above, but also because they and federal prosecutors (in this case, the US attorney for that part of Wisconsin) think they can make the charge stick in court.

Likewise, lying to a federal investigator is the kind of crime that is so clear cut (if the prosecutors decide to take it to court) that federal prosecutors will always prosecute it. It's what any number of now former federal officials and, currently, individuals associated with the Trump election campaign have gotten nailed for — with more to come. And then there's witness tampering.... the prosecutors love that stuff; it's like the southern sheriff with the reflector shades getting red in the face because you didn't respect his authority.

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OnePlus 6: Perfect porridge? One has to make a smartphone that's juuuust right

Joe Gurman

Why?

Why on earth would anyone offer a mobile phone with a glass back that didn't offer wireless charging? And a notch with no purpose?

Oh, wait... I see. They're simply copying the _appearance_ of the 800-lb. gorilla's flagship phone the author doesn't mention. Got it.

Reminds me of the 1980s Bulgarian VAXes.

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Das blinkenlights are back thanks to RPi revival of the PDP-11

Joe Gurman

About those lights

You young whippersnappers may have a hard time believing this, but the lights behind the front panel were originally incandescents. A sys admin I worked with on a machine at 2800 m above sea level was ecstatic when LEDs began to come in colors (well, three, then) in the mid-70s so he could replace the ones on his 11/20 with Xmas light-like LEDs. The original bulbs appeared to fail more frequently at that altitude than at sea level.

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Lawyers for Marcus Hutchins: His 'I made malware' jail phone call isn't proper evidence

Joe Gurman

Re: ...wrong.

I’m afraid it’s you who’s wrong. Fewer than 8% of the people incarcerated in the US are in prisons operated by private contractors. And whil Trumpista policy may reverse this, the trend has been down the last few years.

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Joe Gurman

Re: Signed a Miranda waiver form after being read his rights

Well, not Harry Potter.

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Joe Gurman

Re: Signed a Miranda waiver form after being read his rights

That’s because in the US law enforcement has no right to record discussions with a person of interest before they sign a waiver.

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Navy names new attack sub HMS Agincourt

Joe Gurman

Re: So sad

Right. Naming an expensive nuclear sub after a glorious British defeat would make so much sense?

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Apple's latest financials are still pretty decent even though iPhone sales are slowing

Joe Gurman

For reference purposes

https://appleinsider.com/articles/18/05/04/iphone-x-was-worlds-best-selling-smartphone-model-in-first-quarter

Um.... what was that you were saying?

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Apple somehow plucks iPad sales out from 13-quarter death spiral

Joe Gurman

Sorry for the niggle, but....

iPad sales were up year-over-year in the previous quarter as well, by a massive 100,000 units (13.2 vs. 13.1 million).

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Apple and The Notched One: It can't hide the X-sized iPhone let-down

Joe Gurman

Sorry

Lost you at Hickey’s “profit up ‘just’ 10%” for the quarter line. Are you seriously suggesting there’s bad news in that?

Let’s even suppose that the totally speculative — Apple would never discuss things like that — numbers for iPhone X sales were wildly overoptimistic. Somehow, no doubt by mistake, by this writer’s thinking, Apple managed to up its net income by 10% in a traditionally slow quarter. Wonder if that has anything to do with its shares opening up when the market as a whole is slumping?

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X marks the Notch, where smartmobe supercycles go to die

Joe Gurman

Please, please....

....don't let facts confuse El Reg: https://appleinsider.com/articles/18/04/25/apples-iphone-x-delivered-a-ko-punch-to-cheap-androids-q1-smartphone-demand-slumped-globally-but-asp-grew-by-21 .

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Joe Gurman

I must be missing something

The simple bar chart indicates that Apple has gotten 16% of its buyers (same number as last year? Who knows from the graph) to buy a device that's 20 - 25% more expensive than anything they had in their line last year, while still offering a wide range of device prices. If the absolute numbers and percentage margins are similar to the previous year, then Apple is presumably making more money. I believe that's what corporations are meant to do, but I, well, might be missing something.

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Apple's magical quality engineering strikes again: You may want to hold off that macOS High Sierra update...

Joe Gurman

Re: It's THUNDERBOLT 3

Not an Apple thing, but an Intel thing.

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Joe Gurman

"Numerous reports," eh?

The nine Macs I manage all updated to 11.13.4 without issue. Not a large statistical sample, but still.

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NASA's TESS mission in distress, Mars Express restart is a success

Joe Gurman

Or....

Being a hardware company, they preferred to continue to stay in business.

I mean, is anyone holding a frying pan next to your head and threatening to clobber you if you don't buy their newest bling?

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Chrome 66: Get into the bin, auto-playing vids and Symantec certs!

Joe Gurman

Um....

“[P]ages from different websites are always put into different processes, each running in a sandbox that limits what the process is allowed to do.”

Isn't that what Safari, on macOS at least, has been doing for years — long before the CPU vulnerabilities were known, for each page/tab?

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Airbus plans beds in passenger plane cargo holds

Joe Gurman

This at least gets us closer

....to my concept of several years gestation: since the airlines have been attempting, with ever greater success, to make single or coach class flying so physically painful and mentally stressful that no one wants to make the flight whilst conscious, the obvious endpoint is modular sleep tubes in which the passenger is kept sedated and hydrated by means of intravenous drips inserted before flight. The passengers are then led to their modular tube, strapped in, and several tubes at a time are forklifted into the specially built hull (lots of extra cargo doors). No need for windows in the aft 85% of the aircraft, no need for food service (maybe a glucose drip for the non-diabetic), none for non-emergency lighting, either.

Of course, some extensions to the idea are intriguing: pay extra to get a flotation device and a parachute inbuilt so print to an emergency landing or impact, all the paying tubistas can be popped free of the aircraft before it augurs in. Any sufficient g force (landing) would trigger the introduction of a mild stimulant in the drip, the appearance of a hot face towel, and Bob's your uncle.... unless you land in a tree. Still have to work on that part.

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Did the FBI engineer its iPhone encryption court showdown with Apple to force a precedent? Yes and no, say DoJ auditors

Joe Gurman

Excellent article, but one (important) niggle

The iPhone in question was owned by the county, not the perpetrator. His (their?) iPhone was crackable by the FBI without external help.

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Huawei wins patent injunction against Samsung in China

Joe Gurman

Knock me over with a feather

Samsung infringing someone else's IP? Never would have suspected it.

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