* Posts by SuccessCase

1043 posts • joined 5 Jan 2011


Most munificent Apple killed itself with kindness. Oh. Really?


"Erm, no. The point is that assuming the worst-plausible situation, battery replacement doesn't even come close to explaining the actual revenue numbers."

So it's good that Tim Cook didn't actually claim battery replacement explains all the discrepancy. He indicated it was a contributory factor; which it was. Cook said the bulk of the revenue decrease was China and that globally excluding China, revenues were up. Plus Andrew has divided out the quarters accounting for lost revenue evenly, when the reality is the reported on Christmas quarter has a much higher percentage of unit shipments. So there's that also. Someone should rework the figures taking this into account.

While the reasoning in this story may be a bit crap, Andrew has missed what I think is the more significant implication. Tim Cook, by pushing battery replacements as a reason for lost revenue, has effectively confirmed Apple know battery degradation is a big contributor to their bottom line through encouraging upgrades. I don't happen to believe Apple were deliberately trying to force upgrades with their battery management code so much as do what they said, manage sudden shutdowns, (I say this because as an iOS developer I was tricking the arc of this functionality and it was indeed implemented as a reaction to complaints about shutdowns in cold weather - this is a real performance degradation problem for pretty much all battery technology) but this goes a long way to justify that argument. At minimum now increased upgrade rates were a demonstrably known result and at minimum a "happy" side effect. By the measure Cook tried to assuage the analysts he also demonstrated battery degradation has been making a clearly measurable impact on Apple's bottom line - not a good message for the customer.

So actually Reg, as you usually like to criticise Apple, you should actually have been arguing the other way - yes it did indeed have a big effect!

Chinese rover pootles about... on the far side of the friggin' MOON


Re: Test Article

If there are two and the rocket what will that look like?

Super Micro says audit found no trace of Chinese spy chips on its boards


Re: Again, why bother

Not that I believe the story in the first place BTW.


Re: Again, why bother

@Roland6. I think you will find the issue is that the manufacturing is taking place in China. So it wouldn't be so much a break-in as, "oh shit, this guy in mirror shades working for my government who still make people disappear without trial has asked me if we can modify the motherboard, but hasn't smiled once as he asked"


Also the fact that there is a security researcher - Joe Fitzpatrick - who talked to Bloomberg journalists over many meetings/calls about speculative "this is how it is theoretically possible to do this" scenarios, and then was surprised to find the article in question claimed *exactly* the scenarios he described had been executed by the Chinese. Fitzpatrick said, given he is not working at State level with State level resources, and his speculations were his own personal pet hobbyist theories as to how it could be done (when there are many alternative possibilities) he was very surprised to find it claimed it had been done by the Chinese exactly how he had described. In other words it very much appears his speculative theoretical scenarios were lifted by the Bloomberg Journalists and published as fact.

All in all Bloomberg's failure to retract this story leaves a sizeable stain on their integrity.

Apple boss demands Bloomberg Super Micro U-turn, Russian troll charged, NSA hands out cash, and more


Bloomberg isn't standing firm and backing everything they reported. They have been rather sneaky in their non denial denial of what is increasingly looking like rather dodgy reporting. They said:

"Seventeen individual sources, including government officials and insiders at the companies, confirmed the manipulation of hardware and other elements of the attacks. We also published three companies’ full statements, as well as a statement from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We stand by our story and are confident in our reporting and sources."

But note how carefully this is worded. As John Gruber of Daring Fireball has pointed out, notably they are being careful not to say Cook is wrong, or that their story is true. And the Buzzfeed story goes on to note no one in the security community has been able to verify anything in Bloomberg’s story and no other news source has backed it up (tip of the hat also to Gruber)

Additionally in an early Daring Fireball report, Gruber quotes a transcript of the Risky Business podcast when Joe Fitzpatrick, a security researcher contacted by Bloomberg said the following:

FITZPATRICK: But what really struck me is that like all the details that were even remotely technical, seemed like they had been lifted from from the conversations I had about theoretically how hardware implants work and how the devices I was making to show off at Black Hat two years ago worked.

GRAY: So I guess what you are saying here is, the report, I mean all of the technical details of the report, you’d covered that ground with that reporter.

FITZPATRICK: Yeah, I had conversations about all the technical details and various contexts. But there are a lot of filters that happen, you know? When I explain hardware things even to software people, I don’t expect people to get it the first time and I don’t expect people to be able to describe it accurately all the time. So there is definitely a lot of telephone exchange happening

GRAY: OK but why did that make you feel uneasy? Could it be the case that you know that the technical things you told him lined up perfectly with the technical things that some of these 17 of the anonymous sources told him?

FITZPATRICK: You know, I’m just Joe. I do this stuff solo. I am building hardware implants for phones to show off at conferences. I’m not a pro at building hardware implants. I don’t work for any nation or any state building and shipping these as products. I feel like I have a good grasp at what’s possible and what’s available and how to do it just from my practice. But it was surprising to me that in a scenario where I would describe these things and then he would go and confirm these and 100 percent of what I described was confirmed by sources.

GRAY: And that’s what he was telling you through this process?

FITZPATRICK: That’s what I read in the article.

GRAY: OK, right. You find that a bit strange? That every single thing you seem to tell him, or a large proportion of what you told him, was then confirmed by his other sources.

FITZPATRICK: Yeah, basically. Either I have excellent foresight or something else is going on.

All in all it very much seems like a Bloomberg reporting has got somewhat carried away with a possibility and reported it as fact. I even wonder if the reporter was mistaking these stories as a hinted reality. e.g. did the reporter get carried away and think Fitzpatrick was speaking hypothetically to present the truth without breaking confidence or legal non disclosure, when in fact Fitzpatrick was only speaking hypothetically?

It seems a distinct possibility to me that the reporter added 2 + 2 and calculated the result is 5. Certainly the denials are very direct and Cook is prepared to put his integrity on the line. If for SEC rules alone, his statement is highly significant. When execs of a public company have something to hide, they usually avoid talking about it so as to avoid all possibility legal blowback and word is Cook is one of the more trustworthy of the major tech CEOs.

iFixit engineers have an L of a time pulling apart Apple's iPhone XS


Yes the running joke based on no factual evidence whatsoever, because of course the networks have all that data and iPhones (factually) used to be a little worse than Nokia (when Nokia was the standard setter) but aren't worse or better now.

Mozilla changes Firefox policy from ‘do not track’ to ‘will not track’


Of course the Register illustrate again why they are disliked by Apple. Apple already announced hard blocking of third party tracking and also enhanced tech for thwarting digital browser fingerprinting (have Mozilla announced the same) for Safari in WWDC2018. It is currently available in public beta and will be going live in all likelihood in early Sept. Mozilla are following this lead.

Apple leaks rekindle some hope for iPhone 'supercycle' this year


Re: It was actually the 3D scanners

They were 3D scanner constrained, but the price point and multi phone strategy was driven by the OLED display. The 3D scanner production was ramped up quickly. Not so the OLED display and they had known for a long time there was excessive risk a second supplier would not be available. LG, were struggling to make the cut with quality and yield issues and it was known for a long time previously that they were unlikely to make it. Samsung had been producing displays at the required quality for some time though - but Apple was not intending to give all the business to Samsung - plus Samsung knew LG wouldn’t make it so had assigned a disproportionately high price tag for the part. There was no way of ramping up the volume because of the sophistication of the production of each OLED display part and essentially at that point Samsung were the only supplier who could meet spec.

These reports of iPhone X sales dropping off. Apple is likely ambivalent about that. I’m not sure if LG are even ready this year. Their two supplier strategy for components has failed for the display because it has become a premium part, could not be pushed to being a commodity through supplier competition, and only Samsung have been able to make them. Hence Apple now investing in their own OLED production facilities. Like with chip production, they see now see an advantage in owning that part of the supply chain because the issue won’t be going away any time soon.


The iPhone X pricing strategy was due to Apple finding themselves in a corner with regard to the introduction of new technology. Since they sell more handsets of any given single model than any other vendor, it has become harder for them to introduce new technology because they have to do so at greater scale than anyone else. Samsung May sell more handsets over all but they have many separate models and each sells in lower volume.

With the iPhone X, Apple were oled display supply constrained. The logical solution for them was then to use price to regulate demand. Overall it worked out pretty well for them in terms of profit. However, despite what people think, they probably don’t want to be at quite such a high price point as they have been at for the iPhone X. They actually have a preferred philosophy of keeping a relatively small number of models. Steve Jobs liked what Andy Warhol said about coke and wanted people to think of the iPhone the same way:

“What’s great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coca Cola, Liz Taylor drinks Coca Cola, and just think, you can drink Coca Cola, too. A coke is a coke and no amount of money can get you a better coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the cokes are the same and all the cokes are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the President knows it, the bum knows it, and you know it.”

Tax the tech giants and ISPs until the bits squeak – Corbyn


Re: Roj blake

“this is just cheap shite by a press weaned on capitalism.”

We are all weaned on Capitalism and benefit from it hugely.

1. You can only have as much Socialism as your Capitalism can afford.

2. Capitalism isn’t, despite how some on the left speak about it, a political system or philosophy. It is a default state. For all the leftist definitions trying to make it sound like a big bad boondoggle Captialism is nothing more and nothing less than the freedom for buyers and sellers to agree a price at a market, where what is being sold can also involve financial instruments. It is what you get when you are free to do business with others. It is part and parcel of what you get when you are free full stop. Yes some activities need to be regulated, but if you want to overthrow Capitalism you want to overthrow a fundamental human freedom we all enjoy.

I don’t particularly follow Opra Winfrey, but there is something she once said that has always stuck in my mind. She said the biggest lesson she wishes she had learned at a younger age is; when someone tells you who they are, believe them!

What’s this got to do with Corbyn? Well McDonnell his right hand man has frequently called for the overthrow of capitalism. Not regulation. Overthrow. He has even said as much in a BBC interview. Properly understood, that is a call to take away our basic freedoms and replace them with centralised control. The only way to do it is to take one big step into totalitarianism. Seamus Milne is a published apologist for Stalinism and Jeremy Corbyn has cosied up with Sin Fein IMO learning how to run a political wing of a militant movement and he assiduously applies their play book (always diverting to generalities when asked about specific atrocities by those he supports “I condemn all violence” but never condemning the acts of the militias he supports while always condemning the acts of those he doesn’t).

These people are telling us who they are and too many of us are living too cosily to believe them. Many simply aren’t taking on board what they are quite openly telling us. Anyone who votes for these people is a fool. The Labour Party of Nye Bevan is no more.

Clap, damn you, clap! Samsung's Bixby 2.0 AI reveal is met with apathy


Re: The latest industry

“The latest industry is inventing stuff that nobody ever asked for and nobody wants.”

Well after thousands of years of study by Zen monks, they have demonstrated answer to the question “What is the sound of one hand clapping?”

Sorry, Neil Armstrong. Boffins say you may not have been first life-form to set foot on the Moon


Anthropod Neil Armstrong *was* the first to set foot on the moon.

Did you know? The word 'Taiwan' would crash iOS thanks to a buggy filter for the Chinese govt


Re: Denying reality for the sweet, sweet cash

“This sort of political engineering makes me sick.”

Makes me sick too. But I expect every person commenting on here, including the oh so principled hand wringers, and me, if offered a slice of profit of iPhone sales in China would say “Thank you very much” and pocket the money, and would suddenly find responsibility rests with the Chinese government rather than a business trying to get on and fulfill the purchase wishes of customers who are only addressable by doing what the Chinese government demands.

Apple takes $9m kick down under after bricking iPhones


Of course, irrespective of what people think about the repair policy, Apple are completely right about third party hardware being a security risk. Yes even swapping out a screen. To ensure security you need to be able to authenticate every hardware component and disable any that have not from a known to be secure source. This is a clear case of consumer law conflicting with sound security principles.

Meet the Frenchman masterminding a Google-free Android


There are a lot of very uninformed comments on here regarding Apple. There is little to no equivalence between Apple and Google when it comes to privacy. Apple have very clearly set out their stall and ensure privacy as far as it is possible to do so. So iMessage, FaceTime etc end-to-end encrypted on the end devices. Apple have no idea of the content. All photo tagging, face recognition, composition of "my year in review" photo montages etc. done again, on the user's device (using amongst other things the 3D graphics processors comparatively massive parallel compute power - for a phone at least). Apple themselves have no records of messages or calls that is unencrypted or accessible by them. Other machine learning (like is used for tagging emails containing content that might be relevant to other apps like Calendar or Contacts) is all implemented using differential privacy. Safari browser blocking the tracking capability of social media "like" buttons, blocking ad tracking and "genericising" the device hardware signature so hardware fingerprinting technologies as currently used by advertising firms cannot be used. iCloud documents for Pages, Numbers, Keynote, all end to end encrypted and only unlocked on the device. Same, importantly, for iCloud backups. Preferences and listening habits for music and recommendations again are all implemented using differential privacy. If you don't know what that is, look it up and you will see it is inimitable to Google's business model.

Apple Pay: Apple have assiduously avoided deals with retailers and no personal details are available to the retailer. From the retailers perspective it provides no more data about the customer than does cash. Our banks who are supposed to protecting our financial data aren't doing this and are falling over themselves attempting to downgrade Apple pay and promote their own payments solutions which do furnish such data. They are even now disabling USB after 1 minute standby to block hardware passcode bypass technologies used by the government and law enforcement agencies. GDPR: they have jumped all in, and seized the opportunity it presents to underline the difference between their approach and Google's. Their GDPR web pages and the forensic detail they provide their customers about all personal data they do have stored, goes way beyond what their competitors are offering.

Of course it's not all roses. The problem with doing so much on device is that the solutions are likely to continue, comparatively, to lag Google's solutions in terms of the efficacy of the machine learning results. Also, as the comments on here seem to so amply demonstrate, most people don't actually care that much as to actually check and compare what these company's actual policies are, so at the end of the day, unfortunately I don't think it's going to help Apple that they are taking such a strong line on privacy. People will continue to think "Siri is shit," and comparatively it will always be weaker, and too few will be thinking "but whew, at least my personal data is safe"

The great wearables myth busted: Apps never, ever mattered


The need for the number 1 smartwatch brand also is fitness tracking, which it does exceptionally well. You can make and receive phone calls while out on a ride, which with AirPods is useful. The number of times this feature alone has helped me as i’ve approached my ride meeting point is to me plenty of proof of its’ usefulness. Also the Strava app (yes app) has become indispensable for me, with real time segment splits and live segment leader info. The heart rate monitor remains best in class with the most accurate reading of all smart watches and of course. The Zwift app (yes app), is also indispensable for me as I do my indoor smart trainer rides on Zwift and it has it has saved me the cost of a separate heart rate monitor. The watch also has every fitness instrument you require (GPS, altimeter, 4G useful for when there are route adjustments and another routmap wanted). Also, I find my other app (yes app) is useful, Overcast, my preferred podcast app, so it’s useful to be automatically in sync there. And with my iBooks app so I can switch to an Audiobook when I feel like it. Again the AirPods work well with it. So while it’s true apps are less useful on the watch than on the phone, it’s not at all true that they don’t come into the picture in a significant way. This gap which already exists between number one and number two, will only continue. Garmin have done well, but really their success is testament to the failure to initially focus on the right areas both Apple and Android wear made. Apple were quicker to address the real need and from the outset had the better hardware solutions though (which is testament to the value of Apple’s push into chip design - the have the smallest most efficient chips which is an obvious advantage for watches - having a slim wrist female friendly 38mm option has been a big marketing benefit). Well done to Garmin, but they are a distant second and I expect Android wear will overtake again at some point.

Ongoing game of Galileo chicken goes up a notch as the UK talks refunds


“Except that one hexagon of the leather (and the rubber beneath it) does belong to the UK”

Sorry to be pedantic, but the classic white football with black patches has about 30 pentagonal patches. So with the UK contributing 10% of the Galileo project funds, amounts to 3 patches. Actually look at the classic football and you will see that doesn’t quite represent the same stark mental image of insignificant isolation as your assertion suggests.

As Tesla hits speed bump after speed bump, Elon Musk loses his mind in anti-media rant


Re: Technically, the media is plural

@Geoffrey W. You, kind of, answered your own question in your second sentence, seemingly without noticing!

“Is there anything that implies the media is a single thing?”

Ratfox is, it seems, a grammar pedant while you, it seems, are not. I’ll leave it up to you two to decide which it is best to be.

Apple MacBook butterfly keyboards 'defective', 'prone to fail' – lawsuit


I'm definitely firmly in the Apple user camp and I too like the keyboard mechanical action very much. But I have to say there are some glaring design failures. First the keys are too large, and because they are also flat it is difficult to orientate your fingers on them and maintain orientation. This is putting aesthetic design over practical design. Second the tolerance between with the metal case and each key is too high. So if debris goes in (which is bound to occur at some point over the lifetime of a keyboard), but it is very difficult to get it out again. All Apple's previous keyboards have a larger space between key and space. Thirdly the travel being so limited means any debris build up is going to cause a problem, so they have to either find a way to make it so the debris can't get in (with a membrane or something - I would have been sceptical about a membrane until using the iPad pro keyboard, which despite my reservations, feels superb) or they have to implement a system to make it easy for the user to remove and replace the keys if debris needs to be cleared. Lastly Sir Johnny changed the cursor key layout, presumably just so the keyboard has aesthetic balance. As a touch typist and a programmer, this is extremely frustrating. I don't know any touch typist who prefers the new arrangement. It leads to continual miskeying. Arrgh!

This keyboard is a real problem for Apple and they should issue a recall. I have used their kit for years. I love using Apple kit. But I now get a slight feeling of dread regarding using my MacBook Pro keyboard and I want to avoid it. I loved it when it was new, but I have a constant nagging doubt about the stuck keys issue. I had my keyboard replaced (under warranty) because the keys started to stick. Every now and then, instead of cmd+c copying my text, I would find the text I intended to copy replaced with the letter c. Really very annoying, even if it only happens once a day. Now I have no faith the issue won't start to recur once it is out of warranty. Not just the experience, but the thought of going to use my MacBook pro has become tainted with a kind of slight feeling of annoyance and I'm sure that will be true for many others experiencing this issue. Surely that is a very bad thing for Apple who justify their premium brand pricing with premium design.

Plus, though they were helpful in-store and replaced the keyboard, I found their test annoying. They checked for stuck keys by typing gently on the keys and dragging gently across the keys. But the whole point it is an intermittent issue (once debris in in there it tends to move about and they keys miss every now and then). After they saw some keys sticking, they did the drag test again and said key x, y and z were not sticking every time. But that entirely misses the point. Once a key goes past its activation point (e.g. clicks down), it should activate Every. Single. Time. without the need for any additional pressure. That is the minimum requirement of a keyboard. That is the whole point in having an actuation point where the key clicks down. Once it passes that point, you should never, ever, be worried or guessing if they key press has actually registered. Their test is clearly inadequate and seems designed to give them a counter point for the customer request for a replacement keyboard rather than as a real meaningful test.

MacBook Pro petition begs Apple for total recall of krap keyboards


Re: Apple fix it or people will move

Having just had the top cap (e.g. the entire keyboard and battery arrangement) of my MacBook Pro replaced because of this problem I have a few things to say about this issue.

The problem is very real and extremely annoying. A reliably functioning keyboard is of course absolutely essential for getting work done.

For me the problem isn’t - for the most part - how the keyboard works as designed, when new, I personally mostly like it very much. The problem is how the design fails to retain reliability when confronted with common real world usage scenarios.

In fact I love the limited key movement and I think there are very good arguments limited movement with a good mechanical activation action, where the keys can take the weight of a rested finger without activating, but activate consistently when deliberate pressure is applied is best. If all keyboards were this way when we started to learn to type, I think there are very few people who would want to move to a less economical keyboard where more movement is required. In other words, I suspect, what people say they like has a very large component of what they are used to rather than being based on what is actually best.

The problem with the new keyboard is with the phrase “activate consistently.” When the machine is new, the activation is very and - for the limited travel - impressively precise and consistent. The problem is that when debris gets under the keys, the activation stops becoming consistent. It is absolutely essential with a keyboard that when a mechanical key passes the activation point, e.g. clicks down. Even if it is pushed past that point with the slightest of pressure, that the key activates EVERY SINGLE TIME. It is on that point where the new keyboards start to fail within a relatively short period of time (for me it was about 6 months). This problem has been made worse with they new keyboard because, for purely aesthetic reasons, there is an extremely tight tolerance between the plastic key and the surrounding metal laptop case, which means the key “well” becomes a debris trap. Once it has gone in, there is no easy way to get it back out again. This tight tolerance together with the limited travel is a major cause of the problem.

Secondly, though I love the mechanical action of the keys, the design fails in other ways.

1. The keys are too large. This is again, I think, for aesthetic reasons. But actually, contrary to common thinking, overly large keys are a problem. You can’t feel the edge of the keys easily enough, and lose a sense of if your hand is sitting in the right posisition on the keyboard. When keys had a concave surface this wasn’t an issue. Also, I’m typing this on the iPad Pro keyboard. It is much “cheaper” looking than the MacBook Pro keyboard. Yet the typing action is actually superb. I think I miss-key less on this than my MacBook Pro and the reason for this is precisely because the key caps size are smaller. Crucially the distance between the keys remains full size. People often complain about smaller keys, without taking this into account that actually they smaller size means “no looking” touch typing hand position can be more easily determined I can tell you, I can type faster and more consistently on the iPad Pro keyboard than on my new MacBook Pro keyboard even though the mechanical action of the keys on the latter is superior (having said that the non mechanical action of the keys on the rubber iPad keyboard is superb - far better than my brain thinks, based on looks alone, it has a right to be).

2. For aesthetic reasons the arrow keys are make so the left and right are the same size as the up and down key combined. I don’t know a single touch typing user who finds this arrangement easier to “touch type” with than the older arrangement. I find this very annoying and, worse, Apple, I am reminded of my annoyance at the design EVERY SINGLE TIME I MISSKEY.

The customer support at Apple was very good. The keys would only fail to register occasionally, but it would happen enough that it was extremely annoying. They didn’t try testing it and then arguing it wasn’t happening every time as I feared they might. The most common really annoying key combination failing being cmd+x leaving an actual x in my text instead of cutting the selection (so clearly the cmd key was failing to register if not pushed hard enough) would only fail about once a day, but even that is enough to be extremely, *extremely* annoying. They accepted that and replace the whole top case.

But the design problem remains, I have no faith the stuck keys issue will not return in another six months. For sure I will be extremely careful not to use the keyboard in a dirty invironment (for sure eating lunch by the laptop is now a no no). It’s far too much money to have spent on a premium product for it to have a non premium problem in the design like this.

Apple really need to work hard to sort this out. And yes there should be a recall. I don’t accept the design is limiting in a way that these problems can’t be overcome, even with the exact same form factor. Indeed, I think they have made improvements since the first generation version I purchased, so we will see if it lasts better.

Time to ditch the front door key? Nest's new wireless smart lock is surprisingly convenient


It’s not third party access to the locking and unlocking I would be worried about. Always doing what they say on that score is the minimum requirement if they want the company to continue in business. Even one instance of “letting law enforcement in against the will of the owner” would see the business die in an instant. The things I would worry about are: 1. Is truly hack proof? Even if the security is considered very good, security is hard and we have seen too many instances of putatively competent security programmers (hardware and software) making catastrophic errors because there is some left-of-field vector/strategy they have unwittingly introduced or opened their code up to. 2. Camera. In conjunction with 1 are my comings and goings being monitored?

I installed a remotely accessible webcam in my appartment some time ago for when I was doing contract work in Germany. I ended up unplugging it after just a few days precisely because of the nagging unease the two points above raised.

An easy-breezy attitude to sharing personal data is the only thing keeping the app economy alive


Re: And the alternative?

@Detective Emil. But how do we know you haven't secretly been buying stockings and suspenders?

Mind the gap: Men paid 18.6% more than women in Blighty tech sector


I think it's because they wear funny glasses.

Hookup classifieds ad sheet Backpage.com seized in Feds shutdown


Regarding the timing, the Feds probably wanted to catch them with their guard down to gather any available evidence from the Backpage offices *before* they deal with it in preparation for the new legislation that will be coming in (assuming assuming such evidence exists - maybe it doesn’t). The Feds will probably then have the option to launch another investigation / case once the new legislation comes into force, but after they already have the evidence they may find.

One in three Android Wear owners also uses ... an iPhone


Another example of Google moving away from any mention of Android. They have lost full control of what Android means in the market and so can no longer determine what the brand means to users, so now hardly ever mention the brand name. Check out their Pixel phone marketing. Virtually no mention of Android.

Most IT contractors want employment benefits if clobbered with IR35


Re: "not to go through the motions of annual appraisals"

"or that you're a shifty little turd monkey"

and why did you post as AC?


Re: Paying Taxes

@The Specialist. Also we take 1/4 the time off for sick leave. Odd how permies are suddenly ill all the time when its someone else's money.


The thing, IMO this has a strong bearing on the Brexit argument. Democracy is a far more delicate flower than many in the West now appreciate (especially the young, who have been born further from the Cold War era).

I have been working in Germany the last two years. In 2017 have enacted IR35 equivalent legislation there in a very strong way. It is devastating for the independent contractor sector and is making business far less nimble as a result. Before that I worked in the Netherlands. The same is happening there. This has been happening all across Europe. Why? Because it is EU legislation. Legislation that effects thousands if not hundreds of thousands of self employed professionals in the UK and across the EU. Legislation that wasn't in any manifesto. That has been pushed through. Funny thing is all my German colleagues think is is German legislation, all my Dutch colleagues that it is Dutch, and in the UK for years we have been talking of IR35 as being UK legislation. It isn't. It's legislation we have had to pass to remain in line with EU legislation. A massive change to employment status that didn't appear in any party manifesto. This is a profoundly broken system.

The EU is essentially akin to the world's biggest Quango. They apply the words "democracy" and "democratic process" but as soon as you are voting for people who vote for other people who enact the legislation, you don't have democracy, you have an organisation that is no more democratic than FIFA. Where is the manifesto? Where is the person responsible I can vote out if I don't like what they are doing? Don't say "MEP" the EU has a divide and conquer structural solution to keeping the MEP's in check - it is the Council not the parliament that has the whip hand. I'm not saying our democracy is perfect, but it is one hell of a lot better than this.

Forget all the other arguments, this is why I voted for BREXIT. People are welcome to have other opinions. I just wish people would respect there are good intellectual arguments for it instead of taking this line that Brexiteers must be a bit thick. IMO this is a point of principle far more important than short to medium term economic prosperity.


The cock wobbler's are out I see.

MIT gives one-star review to Lyft, Uber over abysmal '$3.37/hr' pay


Re: "deeply flawed."

Agreed. Though it should be noted in this case the researcher himself has acknowedged they are (at least partially) right, there is a flaw in how has interpreted survey data and has said he needs the weekend to rerun the figures.

IMO Uber’s new CEO should be given a bit of a chance as he appears to have far more of a conscience than the previous one. Afterall he has rotten foundations to underpin and replace and that will take some work.

Cryptocurrencies kill people and may kill again, says Bill Gates


There is a connection in a fairly direct way between rapping and wanting to cause the death of rappers.

Chrome adblockalypse will 'accelerate Google-Facebook duopoly'


Re: Can't say I'm sorry for the publishers.

@AC asking for evidence. Just google it. Estimates indicate about 61% of all Ad Spend on the Internet Goes to Google and Facebook. Google alone account for about 44% of spend. Google are pushing this because together with Facebook they are a duopoly and can see publishers are stuck in a kind of game theory scenario where individual rational choice is leading to a worse outcome for readers and the web as a whole. Helping reduce bad ad practices will lead to higher revenues. Their action will help in some way to stop publishers crossing over the line into adpocalypse where placing additional banner ads add decreasingly marginal revenue, but where the weight of ads is making the site quality decline (especially as the publisher has no direct control over ad quality, though they can control the quality of where the ads are placed on a site, but not unfortunately, the quality of the code some kinds of ad bring into the site).

I wouldn’t say Google are “helping” the publishers though. The analogy is with the supermarket chains where they say to farmers/producers ok, you need our business and you can only continue with us if you ensure higher quality for the part you control, but the price remains the same. It can be argued this “helps” the consumer and Google, but actually the whole system represents something of an economic trap for publishers. Online publishing is becoming an increasingly low margin business with the competitive choice between medium to low quality Google owned ad feeds or generally worse quality google competitor ad feeds. There are ad networks specialising in the luxury market that don’t fit this simplified model, but at a basic level I think I have presented the market reasonably fairly.

It is important for publishers to stay strong and avoid the ever present gravitational pull of adpocalypse. A bit like with finance/personal loans, the more you are feeling the squeeze, the worse the options become. The Register having found their niche are one of the better examples of how this can be done. John Gruber’s Daring Fireball is an even better example, but done at a smaller scale where the individual (lone publisher) gets much higher margins. But unfortunately these are outliers in a sea of counter-examples

Six things I learned from using the iPad Pro for Real Work™


Slight context change there, since this is a tech website and neither of those are technology jobs, though of course it does illustrate that office work is pretty physically undemanding. I would submit however, that if a carer in a geriatric ward is going to be using computing technology, in the future it will be increasingly likely to look more like an iPad than a desktop or laptop computer.


Re: blast away

But the entry level you have chosen isn't the entry level. The entry level is the MacBook Air or the new MacBook. MacBook Pros are much faster. Granted, the linked example doesn't quite match the words, but the words do at least match the reality of the real-world line-up.

Apple's HomePod beams you up into new audio dimensions


Re: @SuccessCase:Love the Picture (with the Hacksaw)

"The speaker quality itself is basically irrelevant, though, since it can only ever play stuff from your iTunes library."

@Naselus. Actually that's incorrect, the interface is Airplay (a lossless format), so anything that can be played over Airplay, which includes to give some examples, Spotify on iOS, any music from Android devices with some extra software, anything on a Mac, anything on a PC (again with extra software or with iTunes).

But yes that is less convenient for anyone outside the Apple ecosystem because anyone not using iOS or a Mac will need to install something extra to ensure Airplay output and it is doubtful anyone would want a speaker where they have to do that if they aren't Mac or iOS users.

The restriction you are thinking of is on the use of Siri to make music requests to the HomePod. Siri can only fulfils music requests if you have Apple Music or an iTunes in the cloud library.


Re: Love the Picture (with the Hacksaw)

"it's not expensive enough to be 'audiophile grade'."

Very true. And it's true for me anything of similar price from Bose or Sonos is good enough, even though I can hear the difference with HomePod when directly compared. Not sure I could identify the HomePod if doing a blind hearing test where the different systems are not played one after the other.


Re: @SuccessCase:Love the Picture (with the Hacksaw)

@fruitoftheloon You're having a laugh aren't you? What HiFi, ArsTechnica, scientific measurement of audio fidelity (which can be done with great accuracy), pretty much every godamned review out there and my own experience of the HomePod *all* with very few exceptions call-out the outstanding audio quality. But I guess you know better.


Re: Love the Picture @ Gordon 10

"Yes, they do sound better than a basic speaker setup, or the junk build into TVs. But they can't form a proper sound stage, they can't do proper frequency response."

Thus neatly illustrating my point about pre-formed prejudice. If you had bothered to check the thorough test of the HomePod speakers I linked to, there is this section:

"2.a Frequency Response

I had to re-measure the frequency response at 100% volume, using a -24 db (rather than a -12 db) sine wave, in order to better see the true frequency response of the speaker. This is because Apple uses Fletcher Munson Loudness Compensation on the HomePod (which we'll get into in a bit)

Keeping the volume at 100% let us tricking the Fletcher Munson curve by locking it into place. Then, we could measure the speaker more directly by sending sine waves generated at different SPL’s, to generate a frequency response curve at various volume levels. This was the only way to measure the HomePod without the Fletcher Munson Curve compensating for the sound. The resultant graph shows the near-perfectly flat frequency response of the HomePod. Another testament to this incredible speaker’s ability to be true to any recording.

Here is that graph, note that it's had 1/12 smoothing applied to it, in order to make it easier to read. As far we can tell, this is the true frequency response of the HomePod.

At 100% volume, 5 feet away from the HomePod, at a 0º angle (right in front) with a -24db Sine Wave. For this measurement the HomePod was on a makeshift stand that’s approximately 5 inches high. The reason for doing this is that when it was left on the desk, there is a 1.5Khz spike in the frequency response due to reflections off the wood. Like any other speaker, The HomePod is susceptible to nearby reflections if placed on a surface, as they happen far too close to the initial sound for any room compensation to take place.

Here's a Graph of Frequency Response with ⅓ smoothing decompensated for Fletcher Munson correction, at 100% volume, from -12 db sine waves, to -36 db.

And here's a look at the Deviation from Linearity between -12 and -24db.

What we can immediately see is that the HomePod has an incredibly flat frequency response at multiple volumes. It doesn’t try to over emphasize the lows, mids, or highs. This is both ideal, and impressive because it allows the HomePod to accurately reproduce audio that’s sent to it. All the way from 40Hz to 20,000Hz it's ±3dB, and from 60Hz to 13.5Khz, it's less than ±1dB... Hold on while I pick my jaw up off the floor."


Re: Love the Picture (with the Hacksaw)

“ but the simple reality is that a single point source isn't going to create a convincing sound stage other than for a single listener, and everybody else in the room will get sub-optimal sound. ”

Which isn’t how beamforming works or has been applied by HomePod, but hey don’t let what the words actually mean here detract from making a good negative comment. Oh BTW, the article covers the beamforming as well but of course the familiarity of preformed prejudice is so much more comfortable than learning something new.


Re: Love the Picture (with the Hacksaw)

And actually, verifiably, kick arse sound. Check this out for a science/audio engineering based appraisal of its acoustic capability.


Conclusion, genuinely better than £1000 plus audiophile kit for a fraction of the price.

ASA tells Poundland and its teabagging elf: Enough with the smutty social ninja sh*t


What prudes. It's not as though there isn't a tradition of accepting the exposure of children to double entendres. What, for example, is more British than taking your children to a Christmas Pantomime? The double entendre's are equally if not more obvious and just as "bad." It just goes above the children's heads and that's part of the fun of it.

Samsung heir walks free after appeals court quashes bribery charges


Are you suggesting there was a bribe to make the bribery charges go away? Surely not.

You get a lawsuit! And you get a lawsuit! And you! Now Apple sued over CPU security flaws


Re: But will it get fixed?

Surely it’s impossible Apple are responsible, when - according to The Register - they only sell rebranded Foxconn phones.

US shoppers abandon PC makers in hour of need


Re: Market Saturation

Though there will be a bump later in the year when everyone replaces their PCs again after Intel, ARM licencees and AMD have released *SECURE* (we hope) CPUs.

Apple macOS so secure some apps can't be easily deleted


Re: It is my personal belief that such boo-boos wouldn't have happened under Steve Jobs

Oh god it’s another “death of Apple” prediction.

Damian Green: Not only my workstation – mystery pr0n all over Parliamentary PCs


Re: Poor excuse for a politician

Fluffing... pillows?

Apple iOS 11 security 'downgrade' decried as 'horror show'


Re: I don't get this article at all.

The claim is a great ad for Elmsoft. They are implying all the “layers” are stripped because anyone who takes possession of a phone and has the passcode can make a new encrypted backup and can restore that on another device because they have the passcode. What confuses the message is the Elmsoft guy says “If it's just one single thing, then it's not adequate protection." When what he really means is “Actually it’s two things, a restorable an unlocked phone and our tools which are so good, if you have them you are guaranteed success accessing data on a phone that can be repeatedly restored or where a restore can be made to a specially physically Elmsoft compromised device, so from a user passcode/security perspective that’s no better than one thing.”

He’s probably right, but they do need the passcode (not just fingerprint unlock because you need the passcode to make the backup). The argument is over if this significantly weakens security. Passcodes are entered far less frequently in public spaces these days because of fingerprint id. If you don’t have the passcode getting it wrong a small number of times will throw up a second layer of protection (the full Apple account password). If you are somewhere border guards can insist on you handing over your phone passcode, because laws say they have to be able to access your phone, they can also presumably insist on your Apple password. If it is just that you have to unlock it in front of them and a passcode is easily seen, they can film you as you enter a full passcode also. So the argument against Elmsoft’s timely “adclosure” (that’s a special kind of disclosure these security companies specialise in) is that the single point of failure is the human under pressure at a border scenario, which it is arguable hasn’t practically changed.

Actually I would argue Elmsoft are right to a degree. With their tools (if they are as effective as they are implying which is the neat promotional trick about the way this “disclosure” is written). Then it does become easier to get all your other personal data. A spouse who *does* sometimes see you enter a passcode, or someone with access to security tapes from a building or place where you have entered the code in front of a camera - both have a greater opportunity to act against you with this change. For some that will be a problem. For me it means more careful OpSec (see I just did an Elmsoft and craftily burnished my IT Security credentials - what I meant was I will just be careful not to ever enter my passcode in front of others or in front of cameras).


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