* Posts by DougS

10743 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Canadian utility makes blockchain upstarts bid for their ravenous rigs' electricity supply

DougS
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Re: Won't somebody think of the planet...?

If the kettle had lower than atmospheric pressure inside it, the water would boil at a lower temperature and thus use less energy (assuming the energy to lower the pressure was less than the energy saved by not heating it to 100C)

I don't drink tea so I don't know what effect this would have on one's tea, but it seems like it might be - I mean obviously no one is drinking tea at 100C...

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Big Cable unplugs Cali's draft net neutrality protections yet AGAIN

DougS
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Sad

Not sure how I feel about zero rating - its a competitive advantage for services the ISP is offering, but at least abuse of that could be dealt with via the FTC on anticompetitive grounds. But what possible excuse, other than "I was bribed", can there be for allowing ISPs to charge websites a fee to avoid being blocked?

California's net neutrality legislation will be useless and toothless, we better hope New York can do it right or Comcast and AT&T will have their way and control what people are able to see and do on the internet. No other single state is large enough to have the kind of clout that would have national repercussions if they required net neutrality of companies they do business with.

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In huge privacy win, US Supreme Court rules warrant needed to slurp folks' location data

DougS
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Re: something missed...

If they were raised with Trump it would only serve to have him cut the person from the list. Trump sees himself as a "law and order" guy, and sees that in very black and white terms. Cops are good, and should be able to do whatever they want to get their man (unless their man is Trump himself, or those he favors)

Remember what he said about Apple in their little tiff with the FBI a couple years ago? Trump obviously would disagree with the Supreme Court ruling and if he's made aware of Gorsuch's action might have a bit of regret that he picked him over one of the others on the list given to him.

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DougS
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Re: something missed...

I doubt any of those advising Trump on his selection even bothered to look into Gorsuch's voting record beyond seeing enough to conclude he would vote their way on abortion and second amendment issues. The rest is irrelevant to them. Looks like we got lucky with him, hopefully there are some other nice surprises to make up for him possibly voting to overturn Roe v Wade someday.

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DougS
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Re: Gorsuch's dissent FTW.

The funny/sad thing is that most of the people who are voting specifically to get conservative (or in fewer cases, liberal) justices are doing so for only two issues. Abortion and gun rights. If they care about privacy at all it is way down their list of priorities, and they'd gladly give it up to get justices who will go their way on those core issues.

Its almost to the point where I wish we could have two courts, one to handle the hot button politically tinged issues, and one that handles everything else - where the justices appointed to it are appointed because they are great legal minds like used to be the case until the "moral majority" started a crusade for appointing justices who will overturn Roe v Made.

Now we get justices appointed because they are young enough they can stay on the court for decades, and their voting record is so hyper-partisan that there seems little chance they might moderate their views as they get older. Whether they are the best possible choice for a judge on the highest court in the land is irrelevant to modern presidents.

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Buttonless and port-free: Expect the next iPhone to be as smooth as a baby's bum

DougS
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@paulf

They're not "locking the lightning port after an hour", they're locking the USB port data functionality only. It will still have Lightning functionality (i.e. audio, video, etc.) and be able to receive power via USB but won't pass USB data after it is has been an hour since it was last unlocked with the password (unlocks via face/finger don't count)

This prevents companies like Cellbrite from using various undisclosed USB / iOS hacks to bypass its security, but doesn't impair usage by the phone's legitimate owner. The only inconvenience the owner would experience is when he has it plugged into a computer for iTunes or transferring photos or whatever he'll have to enter his password on the phone once an hour.

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DougS
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Re: Err ..

According to rumors about Apple's wireless charger that has been delayed again, apparently it contains an A* SoC just like iPhones, Apple TVs and HomePod. There's no reason I can think of why you'd put something that powerful in a simple charging mat, so it is obviously something more.

Whether that "something more" is wireless power at a distance ala Energous, or some sort of very high speed near field communication that would obsolete the need for a physical port even for a connection as high bandwidth as 4K HDMI, who knows. It will be interesting to see what it is, and what it needs that computing power for.

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US Supreme Court blocks internet's escape from state sales taxes

DougS
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Re: Er ....

Most likely we'll see many online sites other than the biggest send you to another site for final checkout, like they do if you checkout using Paypal. That will let someone else do the calculation and take on the liability if they're wrong.

I'm a little annoyed that I will no longer be able to buy stuff from eBay retailers, newegg and so forth without sales tax, that probably saved me a few hundred dollars a year. But I suppose if I owned a brick and mortar retailer that had to compete with that I'd pretty pissed about paying sales tax and property tax only to have locals shop online because I couldn't afford to match their pricing so it should help prevent physical stores from disappearing entirely.

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Mate, have a Flutter on the Darts: Google's mobe app toolkit for Fuchsia, others emerges

DougS
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Are we 100% sure Google officially stated that Fuschia will replace Android? AFAIK they've been developing this and said it would scale from IoT devices all the way to phones and laptops. Are people deciding that's what it must be?

Replacing Android has more to do with what Samsung and LG want, not what Google wants. If big Android OEMs don't like the idea of handing over even more control to Google, they might continue selling Android phones. It isn't like Google is going to pull Android off the market when Fuschia arrives. Given that it would start from scratch app-wise, even if the OS is better in other ways its success wouldn't be assured.

And I wouldn't assume Fuschia would fix Android's fragmentation issues - a lot of that has to do with the wide array of hardware out there and companies that aren't interested in updating drivers for their old hardware. If it is a true microkernel it would help, but everyone always plans to use a microkernel right up until the time they keep getting beat in benchmarks by big kernels running on the same hardware (i.e. a Fuschia vs Android benchmark contest) especially with stuff like graphics. Running graphics drivers in user space will NOT be good for gaming...

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DougS
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Early developer landrush

Since Google is pushing Fuschia as the replacement for Android, I don't think anyone is going to be caught off guard by it getting big the way they were when Apple introduced the App Store for the then few million iPhone owners.

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HPE CEO pledges $4bn Edge R&D splurge

DougS
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They gotta sell new kit

They (not just HP, but the IT industry as a whole) are always going to sell the "next big thing" and it will always be something that's a totally different direction than what they were selling you a few years ago.

"Don't buy standalone servers anyone, you want blade servers"

"Don't set up servers dedicated to a task, you want a private cloud"

"Don't ship all your raw data to the cloud, you need edge computing to do the heavy lifting before it reaches your cloud"

I wonder if next they'll try to tell people that you should have servers dedicated to a task so you can be sure critical tasks get sufficient performance, and we'll be back at standalone servers again...

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Verizon promises to stop selling its subscribers' location data... for now

DougS
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Re: Much ado...

That's IP geolocation data. Everyone knows that's mostly worthless, but that's not what Verizon et al were selling. They were selling your location as triangulated by their cell towers. Your Wordpress site was not using that far more accurate data.

Securus was getting the triangulation data, not the worthless geolocation data web sites get based off IP addresses.

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UK footie fans furious as Sky Broadband goes TITSUP: Total inability to stream unfair penalties

DougS
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Re: Compensation

So no incentive for them to work hard to get service back up unless they are getting close to the 24 hour mark, I guess.

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Google-free Android kit tipped to sell buckets

DougS
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Apple Watch

While it looks like a 'failure' or at best a niche product, that's only because it is measured against the iPhone monster. Tim Cook said the Watch business was about the size of a Fortune 300 company. That's a business the size of eBay or Netflix! I should think many companies would be hungry for even a small piece of that.

That said I still don't see the need for a smart watch. I own an iPhone but have no plans to get a Watch, and while I work out a lot I haven't ever really desired a fitness band. I don't care what my exact heart rate is. If I can feel it pounding and I'm breathing hard I know I'm getting a good workout regardless of what the numbers might be.

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Um, excuse me. Do you have clearance to patch that MRI scanner?

DougS
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We need one way ethernet

The ethernet guys need to create a one way networking standard for stuff like this (SCADA being another good example of something that needs one way networking, though RS232 is usually reasonable for its data rates) This would get them off the drudgery of creating this never-ending soup of 2.5, 5, 25, 40, 50, 100, 200, and 400 Gb ethernet over multiple types of fiber and copper media...can't understand why there are ANY copper media standards aside from twisted pair!

I saw some designs for one way ethernet cables for fast ethernet - you needed to fool it with voltage on the return path so it wasn't as simple as cutting wires but doable and would work perfectly well for a protocol like UDP that doesn't need acknowledgement. Having a serial cable as a side channel for checksums and requests to resend when checksums don't match would turn the "U" into a "R" without needing two way communication on the network link.

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And that is definitively that ... for now. 5G's carrier features frozen

DougS
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It won't be any faster on a bits per Hz basis than LTE, and there are only minor improvements in signal. The main benefit of 5G is greatly reduced latency as compared with LTE.

5G is being treated as a big deal talking about 'fast fast fast' not because it is any real advance on that front, but because a LOT of spectrum is being opened up for it, especially in the 28-39 GHz range.

Just as LTE has not really advanced in speed much once it hit 150 Mbps, with subsequent increases all down to how many MHz a single client can grab, 5G will be able to gray MANY more MHz at once from those wide open Ka band regions and thus go even faster than LTE.

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It's time for TLS 1.0 and 1.1 to die (die, die)

DougS
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Re: Requiring old stuff to meet KEY new requirements is routine in the physical world

Generally old buildings don't need to meet ALL current fire codes. They pick and choose (it is up to JHA)

Retrofitting old buildings with sprinklers is very expensive, and generally isn't enforced, at least not for all types of occupancy (i.e. might be for hotels, but not for offices)

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DougS
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Re: Needing TLS 1.0 is not a surprise

I'm sure someone will say "but almost all devices are able to update themselves these days" and while that may be true (ignoring the concerns over devices you never directly interface with updating themselves silently through a black box process) the problem will be that the vendors won't deliver updates.

If you had purchased a device in 1999 and it guaranteed updates for five years (better than any Android phones you can buy today, so probably pretty unlikely to see a guarantee like that for IoT) it would be stuck with TLS 1.0 when the updates stopped in 2004. While that might not be a worry for a throwaway device like a light bulb, something that you typically would keep using a lot longer like a "smart lock" or thermostat or fire alarm panel is likely to be woefully insecure during most of the time you own it.

Who's going to know - and if they do will they care - that most of their "smart home" tech is wide open to attack, even if they bought a brand name willing to give a 'really great' five year support guarantee?

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Fraudster admits she was OPM dealer: Leaked US govt staff files used to bag cash, car loans

DougS
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Its not just for plea deals

The threat of long sentences is also to get them to roll over on other criminals. Since the person convicted here did so to the tune of five fellow conspirators, according to the article, her sentence is likely to be towards the short end of that range (especially if someone else was the mastermind)

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Apple hauled into US Supreme Court over, no, not ebooks, patents, staff wages, keyboards... but its App Store

DougS
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Counterexample

These guys are saying that because Apple has the only app store to buy iOS apps, that Apple is able to charge 30%, but the commission would be lower if there were alternatives.

Google has the play store, but there are third party app stores for Android apps. Google charges the same 30% commission. If their logic was correct, Google would not be able to charge a 30% commission due to the "competition" from those third party app stores.

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Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to mark the life of Slack for Windows Phone

DougS
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Re: Surface Phone? How many attempts is this?

They still haven't realized that compatibility between a person's phone and their PC is pretty much irrelevant, so they keep hoping they can make a Windows Phone that will leverage their near monopoly in operating systems.

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Google says Pixel 2's narcoleptic display is being fixed in June update

DougS
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Re: So... where are all the class action lawsuits?

Fewer customers and less news coverage means most people who have this problem probably feel like they're the only ones.

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Pwned with '4 lines of code': Researchers warn SCADA systems are still hopelessly insecure

DougS
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Automotive security

The owners of cars make it even worse. Next time you are a bored passenger in a car in heavy traffic, pull out your phone and scan for Bluetooth stuff in the area. Won't take long before you find a car with a Bluetooth ODB II module left plugged in. Hands up anyone who thinks Bluetooth is secure, and wouldn't mind driving a car that gives strangers access to their ECM while driving.

It would be nice if they'd warn you on the package to only connect it for diagnosis, but one of their marketing points is that you can get access to all sorts of data while driving. They just don't tell you the dangers of leaving it plugged in given that Bluetooth security is far from perfect. Or at least there was no such warning on the one I have, which is wifi (for some reason iOS doesn't work well with the Bluetooth ones) And of course while we all like to think wifi is secure, there's a reason we're now waiting for WPA 3 to appear, but even if I had one that was WPA 3 when that standard is finished I wouldn't think it is worth it to leave that plugged in and possibly trust my life to WPA 3 security!

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DougS
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Pirate

Re: SCADA systems running windows

So fairly secure, then?

Pretty sure a DOS 3.0 PC has never been successfully attacked over the internet, so you could make the argument it is better than any of the other OSes (Win98, XP, 7, 10, Linux, OpenVMS) mentioned in this thread in that respect...

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Former FBI boss Comey used private email for official business – DoJ

DougS
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Re: "So Hillary was suppose to know what she was doing was wrong but not James Comey?"

Eh, there's no vindication when you do something wrong and someone else is doing the same wrong thing. Though it might have been an argument against prosecution had she been prosecuted (the "everyone in government is doing it, why am I alone taking the fall" argument)

She was doing it to avoid leaving a paper trail because she knew she was going to run for president and didn't want a bunch of investigations dogging her. Ironic, isn't it, that instead of having a few congressional committees getting hold of her work emails and finding nothing of note, instead ALL her emails both work and personal were released the world, and the main thing of note found was her improper use of private email! If she'd done the right thing, she most likely would be president.

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DougS
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Re: "So Hillary was suppose to know what she was doing was wrong but not James Comey?"

The funny thing is that he offered a weak excuse, which reminded me of the weak excuse Hillary offered. Her excuse wasn't good enough to stop him from berating her before saying the FBI wasn't going to charge her, but apparently his excuse was good enough to keep using GMail.

Its the same "I know better than anyone else" attitude that let him overrule established DOJ guidelines and precedents by making public details of Hillary's email case while it was under investigation, berating her when he announced it was closed, announcing it was reopened a week before the vote, while not making details of Trump's already-ongoing Russian collusion investigation public.

Those DOJ rules exist to take the decision making of an individual out of it, so everyone is treated equally. Had both investigations been made public, or both remained secret, at least the treatment would have been even handed. But his "I know better" policy prevented even that. And yet there are still some republicans who claim Comey favored Hillary!

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DougS
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Angel

Re: timesheets!

"Sorry, I always expect to work a full day Friday but then I wake up and realize I don't feel like going to work like I expected to"

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

DougS
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Yep, it got easier and easier as technology continued to progress. I downloaded a DJ app for my iPhone a while back intending to fool around and see what it can do but never got around to it. Maybe this weekend I'll check it out now that its top of mind again.

The ironic thing is that while I correctly assessed that being a skilled DJ would matter much less when computers could do the job for you, I totally missed that a small number of DJs would be able to make millions of dollars a year in the future. Not that it would have helped me had I chosen that as a career path - it isn't about skill it is about star power. Unless Paris Hilton really is such an amazing DJ that she's worth $300,000 for a night's work!

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DougS
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Re: Instant lockout

That would make it kind of hard to connect to a computer, since the phone is going to go to sleep (and lock) after a minute or two.

The one hour delay isn't a problem because it starts from the time you last unlocked your phone with a password. It has been at least a couple days since I last unlocked my X (supposedly you need to unlock with a password every 48 hours to re-enable Touch ID / Face ID, but I find it sometimes goes longer so I'm not sure exactly how this works)

That means if the FBI broke down my door right now, and grabbed it out of my hands just after I had picked up my phone and unlocked it with my face, even if they had a Cellbrite machine with them and plugged it in immediately it wouldn't work. They'd have to get lucky and raid me within an hour of the time I last typed in the password, and then only have the remaining part of that hour left. i.e. I unlocked it with a password 45 minutes ago, they have 15 minutes to try to brute force my password. And good luck to them, because it is a password not a passcode so the Cellbrite won't work for them anyway!

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DougS
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Ah well I knew the days of being good with the turntables were numbered when a friend who ran a mobile DJ company showed me his latest toy - a Numark board that had two CD players with pitch control and a "mix" button. It was only a matter of time before the million monkeys took over all but the priciest venues because few patrons can tell a live performance from a computerized or pre-staged one - they might notice a blown mix but 1) not realize it means the DJ is performing live and 2) prefer the "perfect" pre-staged one anyway.

I never liked re-using the same mixes very often unless they were really something, so I was always doing something different. I'd make cassette recordings for people for $20 for whatever I happened to play during that 90 minutes. It was always fun to listen to the next day, since I was usually so drunk by the time things got really hopping I couldn't remember what I'd played. I learned some of my favorite mix combinations listening to what I'd drunkenly come up with the night before :)

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DougS
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Yes, but those using the classic SL1200s (ah, I remember them well from my club DJ days...) will have time coded 12" 45 rpm records for when they want to use a digital source, whether that's off an iDevice, computer, or what have you. Very very few DJs are still 100% analog.

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DougS
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Re: Aiding and Abetting

Let me guess, you're one of those "if you have nothing to hide" idiots who has no problem giving away your freedom if it makes you a little less fearful of all the Bad Guys you're scared are out to get you?

Not sure why this change would be "aiding and abetting terrorists" but making iMessage use encryption or allowing people to put a password on their GMail account isn't - those also make the FBI's job more difficult...

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DougS
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Lightning isn't USB

It can act as USB, but it can also act as Lightning. That is, disabling the USB functionality doesn't have to disable the Lightning functionality, so any sort of digital audio Lightning connection wouldn't be impacted by this change.

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DougS
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Re: Just wondering

You don't have to turn on the 'nuclear' option, just use a password instead of a passcode. They wouldn't even try to brute force that, it would take forever.

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Swiss cops will 'tolerate' World Cup rabble-rousers – for 60 minutes

DougS
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Re: No baths at night?

Anyone who does that will find the deposits created by urine "mellowing" overnight require occasional muriatic acid soaking to clean the U-bend - otherwise the porcelain becomes less smooth and the brown things don't always flush down so well.

Been there, done that, not worth it. Besides, if you have a female in the house they'll overrule "letting it mellow" anyway :)

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DougS
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No baths at night?

What about flushing the toilet, that's much noisier than draining a tub.

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DougS
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Devil

Re: 'Rugby is not followed much in Switzerland'

Everyone has barking dogs 24/7 and 5 am parties are common

If the dogs are all barking 24/7, I'm pretty sure they're getting into the "party favors" of those 5am ragers!

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BOFH: Got that syncing feeling, hm? I've looked at your computer and the Outlook isn't great

DougS
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Re: Human deviousness

The downvotes are probably because you admitted you actually aren't destroying anything - BOFH articles attract a certain type, after all!

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DougS
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Re: Cheers, Simon!

I wonder if you lie as much as certain people do, whether you can actually enter the death zone like on Everest. One can only hope!

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Meet the Frenchman masterminding a Google-free Android

DougS
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Facepalm

Ahem

Personally I find Location Tracking really useful, but then I have nothing to hide...

-- Anonymous Coward

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DougS
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Re: Google might drop Android anyway.

The lack of "European tech" may or may not be a problem for you, but the lack of Linux drivers for Fuchsia phones will be.

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DougS
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Re: Banks

You want to detect rooting because like it or not malware is a lot more likely to be found on a rooted Android phone, since it is easier to install dodgy stuff on it. Just because YOU may be smart about what you install on a rooted phone doesn't mean that's generally true. A lot of people do it to avoid paying for stuff, and it is only a matter of time before those people have some nasty stuff on their phone.

A keylogger is a pretty good way of stealing someone's banking password, and even if the bank uses two factor authentication it is most likely phone, text or email based which are all easy to overcome if you p0wned someone's phone. If your bank offers a separate token then I suppose it wouldn't matter what crap is running on your phone but not many banks do.

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DougS
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Re: It's simple: open STANDARDS

That's why you need some big company to decide it wants to leave Google behind, and see the value in selling phones without Google (and resisting their own urge to replace Google's data collection with their own)

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DougS
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Re: Good luck

Why would you need to turn to "comparatively small manufacturers"? The large majority of phones sold in China are Google free, just look at one of the big brands there like Xiaomi or Oppo.

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DougS
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@macjules

Looking forward to one day seeing EELO iPhone as well

Did you really mean to type that? What would be the point of an iPhone running completely different software? OK the hardware is better than Android alternatives in some ways (chiefly CPU performance, and the odd feature that Apple does first like 3D face scanning) but comes up short in others so I don't know why it would be worth doing this - and I say that as an iPhone owner for nine years now.

Not that it matters, there is no open source driver for Apple's proprietary GPU (among other things) nor any documentation from which someone could write it - and it would be a moving target every year! That's just one of a half dozen intractable issues I see blocking this idea.

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Ex-Rolls-Royce engineer nicked on suspicion of giving F-35 info to China

DougS
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Re: 1st Gen Swarm Tech?

Making fully autonomous drones in a decade is easily doable - we will almost certainly have self driving cars by then and driving on windy obstacle covered roads where you can't hit anything is a far more complex problem than flying in a wide open airspace where you're TRYING to hit stuff.

The US just isn't putting any real money into that because the retired flyboys in the Pentagon know the day that arrives it will be the end of the fighter jock and the Air Force will be run by the computer geeks. China's government doesn't care about the egos of the pilots, so they'll get there first.

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DougS
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Re: Who designs these things?

The design is done by engineers and people in combat, but then the generals get their say and have a kitchen sink full of features they want to add that they remember hearing about in some blue sky think tank briefing about future combat technologies, and then the politicians get their say and divide up the work so there's some pork in almost every one of the 435 congressional districts in the US (the pork in my district is the design of the avionics and those fancy helmets)

That's how you stop people from worrying about how big the defense budget is, and how expensive weapons systems are - they can't speak out against the F35 or their opponent will blame them for trying to kill local jobs. In a way it would be better for the US if none of our military gear was built here - then we'd be spending money overseas and politicians will be a lot more careful about how much was spent!

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DougS
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Re: 1st Gen Swarm Tech?

This is why I think that China getting the F35 technology is a non-issue, they probably aren't going to build STOVL aircraft. They're going to do what the US should do and build cheap unmanned combat drones that will obsolete manned fighters within a decade (Iong before F35 is done)

Without a pilot to keep alive they can be very cheap. They don't need weapons if they kill kinetically, though I suppose a 50 cal gun probably wouldn't be a terrible idea to harass ground targets. They don't need supersonic flight, just stick a solid rocket booster up their ass they can light up when they go for the kinetic kill.

China will beat the west to drone swarms because the US Air Force is run by former pilots and they don't want to see unmanned aircraft succeed. They're like the old cavalry guys who stood in the way of tanks as long as they could. Just like they had to see enemy tanks in action to admit they were the future, so will the US need to send manned fighters into combat against a swarm of 1000 drones that cost a fraction of what a fighter group did to see the writing on the wall.

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The eyes have it: 'DeepFakes' bogus AI-meddled videos outed by unblinking gaze

DougS
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Big Brother

Re: Repudiating democratic norms

You could repudiate democratic norms while not blinking, so you have deniability later that you didn't really say it and call "fake news" on the media for reporting on it. Double win!

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Keep your hands on the f*cking wheel! New Tesla update like being taught to drive by your dad

DougS
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30 seconds is still WAY too long

A car will travel a kilometer at highway speeds during those 30 seconds. I see no reason not to warn people after 2-3 seconds if they take both their hands off the wheel - exactly why should people be doing so at all when they're SUPPOSED TO BE DRIVING?!

The only reason Tesla drivers want to be able to take their hands off the wheel for that long or longer is because they're doing something which ALSO distracts them from watching what's going on, like sending a text message, reading the next email on their laptop, or using one hand to load another video on pornhub.

Maybe cops need to pull up alongside Teslas and if they see drivers without hands on the wheel for more than a few seconds, pull them over and write them a big fat ticket. Might be the only way to get through to the morons before their poorly designed autopilot that can't reliably see stationary objects directly in the front of the car kills someone.

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