* Posts by DougS

12862 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Apple goes global in Qualcomm license war: Patent spat hits China

DougS Silver badge

Re: Huh?

You think all that profit is due to Qualcomm? They only use their cellular chip, and since two major US carriers use CDMA, they have no choice for a lot of phones they make since Qualcomm makes it untenable for others to license CDMA (that's why Samsung phones sold in the US never use Samsung's SoC with built in non-Qualcomm cellular - it can't do CDMA)

Apple (and Samsung et al) are selling pocket computers that have making/receiving phone calls as but one of their many functions. If I had to choose between giving up cellular connectivity (i.e. had to make calls using wifi only) and giving up all the other non-phone functionality of my phone that Qualcomm has nothing to do with, 100% I'd give up the cellular connectivity.

Modular dud drags LG to first loss in six years

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@Dave 126

No, what puts people off it is that it is a stupid fucking idea. Setting a standard for interoperability between vendors doesn't help, and even if you did no one would build to that standard because it would inherently limit the form factor of the phones they produce and make them more like those of their competition.

I've got a brand new combine harvester and I'll give you the API key

DougS Silver badge

Re: Swarm tractors

You could plant in wet conditions if you had drones that could push seeds into the ground at the correct depth. Mud doesn't affect things that don't have to roll along the ground. They could work practically 24x7, and while they couldn't carry much so they'd need to reload seeds often, so long as you position them where they can make one up and back trip before reloading the thing carrying the seeds wouldn't need to move much and it wouldn't slow the whole process down.

In wet years it might take a couple weeks from start to finish to plant a typical (half square mile) sized field around here, because you only get a couple days and have to go from sunup to sundown (or later, they have headlights) so even if the drones weren't that fast at least you'd only need to buy enough to get the job done in two weeks and you'd be fine because you'd be able to schedule your planting time based on soil temperature rather than when you're able to make it through the mud.

Small drones could even fly BETWEEN the rows, be programmed to spot weeds or pests and apply herbicide and pesticide only where needed instead of everywhere. Saves money, less of it getting into the environment, everyone wins (well except Monsanto, but them losing means everyone wins even more!)

You'd still need a pretty decent sized machine for the harvest though. There's no way you're going to have a <$1K machine cut down 10 foot tall corn stalks, remove the ears, shuck them and remove the kernels and pump them into a bin running alongside like a modern harvester does.

Cutting Hewlett-Packard Labs down to size

DougS Silver badge

Re: What a silly crusade against 3D XPoint is going on here...!

Why should anyone want XPoint instead of ReRAM? More to the point, why should anyone want XPoint instead of NAND? The latter has the economies of scale, the price, the density.

So what if XPoint is a little faster? The market size for something "a little faster" than the fastest NAND is pretty small, it isn't anything like the massive market that awaited something "a helluva lot faster" than the fastest hard drive.

Boffins break Samsung Galaxies with one SMS carrying WAP crap

DougS Silver badge

Why would Android even support WAP?

It has always included a proper browser, supporting WAP in a modern smartphone OS would be like including parallel port drivers in case someone wanted to plug in a dot matrix printer.

US govt can't stop Microsoft taking its Irish email seizure fight to the Supreme Court

DougS Silver badge

@Dave 15

Well sure, but you voluntarily came to the US knowing that. Pre-independence, those born in the US were subjects of the King, but had no voice in the government. It isn't like people from the US came to Britain and then complained about paying taxes and not having a vote.

Trump's FBI boss, Attorney General picks reckon your encryption's getting backdoored

DougS Silver badge

Re: Ad when the Chinese/Russian governments ask for backdoors to spy on Americans

Trump only cares about the US. He went on record in his inauguration speech say he's only going to take Americans into account in what he does. If he was told it would cut Apple's overseas sales by 75% forcing the inclusion of an FBI backdoor but legally barring them from putting in a backdoor for any other country, he wouldn't think its a problem. In his mind it would be worth it because he believes it would make us safer.

I hope if such a law is passed that Apple moves its HQ out of the US to escape the reach of Trump's laws. I'll happily pay the 'tariff' that Trump would no doubt place on iPhone imports if they did that, and I'd love to watch all his whiny 3am tweets after it was announced.

After promising Donald Trump jobs will come home, IBM swings axe

DougS Silver badge

@Big John

The republican party is FAR more fascist than capitalist. Fascists place great importance on over the top patriotism, social conservatism, strong military, and strong police. None of those are necessary for capitalism to thrive (police are, but not the "cops are always right" brand of policing)

That fit the republican party to a T, just as socialism fits the defining characteristics of the democratic party. But people like you who are utterly brainwashed by one side never see weeds on your side of the fence, and see nothing but on the other.

DougS Silver badge

Re: You get what you pay for...

When I've worked as an architect with an offshore team providing L2/L3 implementation support for say storage or Unix, my experience is that there are a few stars who are as good as anyone I've worked with here in the US. The problem is they are in such demand they job hop like crazy because they get offered big raises to move on.

Few companies want to give those guys enough money to stick around - they outsourced to save money after all, if they keep giving raises to the guys who are as good as anyone here it cuts into those savings.

Another problem is that the managers in India seem to have no idea who the stars are, or at least the guys I saw getting promoted or heard about getting raises to stay were almost always deadwood. Maybe they value being a 'team player' or dressing well or something else instead, but it sure didn't seem to be based on how good they are!

Top UK judges rule: Government can't pull the Article 50 trigger alone

DougS Silver badge

That's a cheap way out

It is easy to say "I voted <opposite of what happened>" and think that absolves you from the consequences. If 5-10 years from now things are worse in the UK, it will be easy to blame that on Brexit and say "I was right all along". The thing is, there's no way to know what shape the UK would have been in 5-10 down the road if the Brexit vote had failed.

I imagine if Trump is the disaster many expect there will be a lot of "don't blame me, I didn't vote for Trump", but we'll never know what would have happened if Clinton had won.

DougS Silver badge

Worst of both worlds

You take the economic hit from all the uncertainty surrounding exiting the EU, but now Parliament could cancel the whole thing if the vote fails? What then, does the PM keep forcing re-votes until she gets her way? If she still can't get her way, would a re-vote that's binding this time be organized so the people can override Parliament?

And if that fails this time around, what happens to the UK? Presumably some of the economic damage is undone in terms of the exchange rate, but I'll bet most of the price rises remain in effect, and many businesses that begun the process of relocation will probably see it through knowing that Brexit could easily return in a few years.

AI eggheads: Our cancer-spotting code rivals dermatologists

DougS Silver badge

Nude selfies

Now people will have an excuse if they have them on their phone - I was checking for skin cancer!

Jinn workers besiege delivery app co-founder to protest wage changes

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Targeting immigrants as a workforce?

In the UK?? That doesn't seem like a good long term strategy what with Brexit and all.

Yes, just what they need: Curious Dr MISFA injects a healthy dose of curiosity into robots

DougS Silver badge

Not sure how good of an idea this is

Curiosity helps children learn. It also causes them to stick a fork in a wall socket and pick up a real gun thinking it is a toy.

China's Great Firewall to crack down on unofficial VPNs – state-approved net connections only

DougS Silver badge

Re: SSL

...that most locals don't care about the GFW; they're perfectly happy with the Chinese Internet.

And that, in a nutshell, was the true goal of the Great Firewall.

Resistence is futile: HPE must face Oracle over Solaris IP

DougS Silver badge

I don't get it

Are Solaris patches no longer freely downloadable?

Plump Trump dumps TPP trade pump

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@AC - Trump nominating Supreme Court justice

It is VERY unlikely Trump would consider executive power above all else when nominating a justice.

He's said he wants to nominate justices who keep to the original intent of the Constitution - i.e. a typical conservative justice. They are IMHO less likely to support a president trying to extend the power of the executive. Presidents have for decades been going well beyond the powers specified for the executive in the Constitution, I wouldn't be shocked if someone was able to challenge it that the president (of either party) would be slapped back in a near-unanimous vote.

DougS Silver badge

Re: executive order

Basically anything that is within the power of the executive branch alone, without congressional approval. Since the TPP had not been ratified by congress, it was still in negotiation and thus entirely under control of the executive branch, meaning a simple executive order can snuff it out. He can't do that for NAFTA, however.

It will be interesting after all the whining republicans did about Obama abusing executive orders and going beyond the authority of the executive branch when Trump does the same thing. No doubt the republicans will remain silent and now the democrats will suddenly think it is a terrible thing after eight years of silence on the matter.

Unfortunately the trend is that every president pushes the envelope on executive orders a bit further than the last, but I'm not really sure who would even have standing to sue and ask for the Supreme Court to review if a given executive order was within the president's powers.

Stallman's Free Software Foundation says we need a free phone OS

DougS Silver badge

Basically their wish list is "copy what's hot today"

You can tell by looking at what projects they've dropped off their list - stuff that used to be hot but no longer is.

When the personal assistant hype dies down that will drop off their radar and they'll announce a need to implement freeware VR.

Samsung set a fire under battery-makers to make the Galaxy Note 7 flaming brilliant

DougS Silver badge

Amazing that somehow only Samsung was affected

Sure, every phone will have the odd fire here and there, and have since they first started using lithium ion batteries. Manufacturing defect, phone gets dropped and the battery is damaged, faulty charger, or whatever. But the Note 7 was unique in having a FAR higher rate of problems, which started immediately out of the gate, rather than evenly distributed over months and years as is typically the case.

I smell a whitewash here. There's no way the phone was not in some way part of the problem. It strains credulity that TWO suppliers (one of which is Samsung SDI, i.e. basically itself!) had the same problems and somehow didn't notice. And what's their excuse for switching to the Chinese supplier after the initial recall, thinking it was OK, until they started blowing too?

This snow job makes me wonder if they've actually identified the problem and are covering it up to save face, or after all this investigation couldn't figure it out so they decided to pick a likely sounding culprit, blame themselves in a "I guess my flaw is that I try too hard to please others" way, and hope that whatever confluence of troubles caused the Note 7 to go so wrong was a one time thing.

One BEEELLION dollars: Apple sues Qualcomm, one of its chip designers

DougS Silver badge

Re: China, CDMA

Qualcomm makes most of their money off CDMA. As that's replaced by LTE and someday 5G, which they have much weaker patent portfolios in, the problem will solve itself. In the US we just need Sprint and Verizon to retire their 2G/3G networks. Verizon has stated they'd shut down all their 2G by 2019, and their 3G by 2021. Not sure about Sprint, but assuming similar timing the CDMA problem solves itself in 3-4 years.

Qualcomm will probably get more and more aggressive about trying to extract licensing revenue as the clock runs down, so they will fight against these cases with all their might.

DougS Silver badge

Re: "Apple believes deeply in innovation"

No, the only purpose is not revenue. You can argue the main purpose is revenue, but that's rather silly as it isn't like they make a lot of money on charging cables. And they will license it under the made for iPhone program at very cheap rates - considering you can buy licensed cables for only a couple bucks they can't be making much - it probably barely pays the cost of running the program.

A very good reason to do this is to make it possible for them to cut cheap clones off the market, which have led to devices catching on fire during charger in some cases. Admittedly, these cases are rare, but they do unjustified damage to Apple's reputation (see Reg articles from years past about an iPhone 4 catching fire and injuring someone in China or whatever)

That would be one downside of Apple switching to USB-C as there is no similar program to insure USB-C cables are properly made and fit for purpose. Remember the Chromebook Pixel that was completely fried by a dodgy USB-C cable that didn't have the proper resistors in it? The Google engineer who first reported that even had his USB power delivery analyzer fried by that cable! Granted, that problem was caused by Google not putting a fuse in there, but with a fuse you protect the laptop but not the port which would then become useless - a problem on a phone which would have only one USB-C port.

I don't think Apple will ever switch to USB-C on the iPhone, I think they'll just do away with the port entirely before long...

DougS Silver badge

Re: The Forbes article on this suit

Apple is arguing that those features cost money to develop, and money to put in the phone, and are part of the reason why the phone costs what it does, instead of getting cheaper if they weren't improving it. If it were getting cheaper, they'd be paying Qualcomm less and less every year because of how they charge - discriminating based on the price of the phone.

That fact that the wifi standards committees are explicitly requiring participants to acknowledge that they can't charge based on price of the overall device, but only on the chip shows that people are getting wise to this scam.

DougS Silver badge

Re: The Forbes article on this suit

In that case the software can do 2x the work, so there's an argument to be made that it is more valuable in that case.

In any event, when you are licensing an Oracle DB or whatever, you are licensing the use of copyright software, which is not covered by FRAND terms. If they wanted, a company could choose to charge 5x as much to license their software on a Mac because they hate Apple, and it would be perfectly legal.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Fair and reasonable rates...

Fair reasonable and NON DISCRIMINATORY. Meaning they can't charge more for integrating the same patents into a device based on its sales price - how does Apple going from 32 GB to 256 GB in the top end iPhone that sells for more entitle Qualcomm to more money for its patents?

This is something that's been upheld by courts in multiple jurisdictions around the world. Sure, Apple agreed to pay those royalties, as did Samsung and everyone else - that's the nature of monopoly power. You can force others to take bad deals because you have all the power in the relationship. Apple may wield a lot of power due to their size and the amount of components they buy for all the phones they sell, but when it comes to "we want to support Verizon and Sprint in our phones, so we need CDMA technology" they are at the mercy of Qualcomm, just like everyone else.

DougS Silver badge

The Forbes article on this suit

Mentioned Apple saying that Qualcomm required higher royalties for a phone with 256GB of storage versus one with 128GB. So basically the claim (or one of them) is that Qualcomm is charging royalties based on the sales price of the phone, which has been held by courts in multiple jurisdictions to be against FRAND licensing (i.e. they are discriminating against more expensive phones, as though CDMA patents were somehow worth 5x as much in a phone that sells for $500 versus one that sells for $100)

Even if the new administration shitcans the FTC suit against Qualcomm, they have no control over Apple's, since the executive branch exercises no control over the federal courts beyond appointments of new members as existing ones retire.

Elementary, my dear IBM: When will Watson make money?

DougS Silver badge

While I agree

There's entirely too much hype around 'AI' these days, investors shouldn't be worrying about IBM turning a profit on that division. They're investing for the future, and if they're the first to have truly useful AI the billions (probably trillions) will roll in for them.

Imagine where we'd all be today if AT&T investors had insisted on a profit while they were doing R&D that led to the development of the laser, the transistor, and so forth?

Now the investors could argue that its a dead end, or they don't want to wait that long, or whatever, but then don't complain when they don't have any major new markets in a decade. Oh, I forgot, investors only care about the next quarter these days... Maybe they need a new class of stock without voting rights, and can use the proceeds from selling shares of the new class to buy back most of the shares that can vote. Then the people who care only about quarterly earnings can buy the non-voting stock, and the people who want to actually invest rather than speculate can buy the stock with voting rights and take a longer term view.

AWS offers $20 bribe to derps who buy old IoT condom-o-matic dunce dobbers

DougS Silver badge

Re: Useful in specific circumstances

You have to be unbelievably forgetful and disorganized to need a toilet paper ordering button in your house! If you can remember (or put on a list) to buy more milk, or more apples or more spam when you run short, surely you can remember to buy more tp. Otherwise you are going to need one hell of a lot of buttons in your house, and pressing the wrong one will mean you need to either eat four apples a day before they go bad, or press some other buttons to get everything you need to make a few apple pies.

DirecTV Now plagued with faults, but uptake not slowing

DougS Silver badge

Re: CenturyLink?

Even if Centurylink did compete in the same markets for internet, they'd still be interested in selling Directv Now. They've had deals to "bundle" Directv satellite service for years, but unlike bundling where both services are owned by the same company, you save a pittance so it is something you'd really only do if you were doing to get Centurylink and Directv service anyway.

Centurylink's Prism TV is only offered where they have fiber, so its low number of subscribers would mean pretty high pricing from the networks. According to Directv, when comparing similar channel packages between Directv and AT&T Uverse TV, it cost AT&T $14/month per customer more for Uverse TV, because of Directv's better deals - presumably partially because of their size/clout and partially because delivering TV is their only business while Uverse TV was just a sideline for AT&T. That's why AT&T tries to steer all new customers to Directv rather than Uverse TV, which I'll bet is shuttered by 2020.

Since republicans will now control the FCC, net neutrality will go away and Centurylink could make a deal with AT&T to offer Directv Now to its customers, and not count the data against caps. They could do QoS through their network to insure there are no hiccups so the service would be great. The only problems from my perspective - lack of locals in many markets (a contractual problem that affecting all streaming providers that should eventually be resolved) and no DVR.

DougS Silver badge

Directv distributes HD channels on satellite via MPEG4 at an average bit rate of around 7 Mbps (some channels are more if they need it, like ESPN, that's just an average) Let's assume the same is true for Directv Now and round it up to 8 Mbps for easier math, i.e. 1 MB/sec. That comes out to 3.6 GB per hour, or about 60 hours to reach a fifth of a terabyte.

Did you actually watch that much in just a few days, or did you leave your ATV tuned to a channel on Directv Now and simply turned off your TV when you were done watching? Presumably the stream would keep going, you'd need to quit the Directv Now app, put the ATV into standby, or the app and ATV would have to be able to tell when the TV is turned off (it should be able to, at least with TVs that support HDMI-CEC)

Assange reverse-ferrets on promise to fly to US post-Manning clemency

DougS Silver badge

Almost wonder if he has some sort of deal with Trump

Like the backdoor deal that Reagan negotiated with Iran to get the hostages released the day after he took office, unnecessarily prolonging their captivity for political purposes. After all, regardless of who hacked the emails, Wikileaks was a boon to the Trump campaign. Not saying it swung the election, but it certainly helped.

All Assange's talk about "surrendering to the US" when formal charges have never been filed, maybe it is a leadup to president Trump having the DOJ declare that no charges will be filed and no extradition will be sought.

Assuming that was the real reason he's in hiding, rather than to dodge Swedish authorities over the rape allegations that most at the time thought were part of a US plot to get him.

Shocking crime surge – THE TRUTH: England, Wales stats now include hacking and fraud

DougS Silver badge

Perfect opportunity for a Trump type to pounce

Talk about how crime is skyrocketing, it must be all the immigrants, we need to close our borders immediately. When he's corrected as to the reason for the increase, he'll just shout louder and his followers will believe him not the facts.

Worked over here.

On last day as president, Obama's CIO shrouds future .gov websites in secret code

DougS Silver badge

Re: Someone forgetting how https actually works?

Can you expand more on this? As I understand it, the server is the only one sending a public key, along with its certificate. The browser checks the certificate is trusted, then uses the public key the server sent it to encrypt a random symmetric key along with the HTTP URL/request. The server uses its private key to decrypt that, and then uses the symmetric key to encrypt the response, which the client finally decrypts on its end using the symmetric key.

Mozillans call for new moz://a logo to actually work in browsers

DougS Silver badge

Re: ...the new logo is confusing Safari. Chrome and Firefox interpret it as a search term.

Well, it seems that is exactly what Safari does. Chrome interprets it as a search term because, well, as the reply above mine stated, some browsers are shills for the real business. TANSTAAFL.

Windows 10 networking bug derails Microsoft's own IPv6 rollout

DougS Silver badge

Re: IPv6 needs a catalyst

The main limitation of NAT is 16 bit ports. If port addresses were expanded to 32 bits, we'd probably be fine with IPv4 pretty much forever. It would increase security not being able to directly address the billions of IoT devices we're told to expect over the next decade. We all know if they are on IPv6 and directly addressable, the OEMs will have open ports for that addressibility in the name of convenience and/or added features, and security will as usual be an afterthought.

NAT is an ugly hack, but it has probably saved the world from countless hacks that would have happened otherwise if ISPs gave everyone a /48 for their home and all devices were sitting out in the open.

US watchdog sues Qualcomm for 'bribing' Apple to swallow chips

DougS Silver badge

Re: Has everyone forgotten?

And that has what to do with Qualcomm here? A company can be on both sides of monopoly abuse. Just depends on who has the power in a given relationship.

Anyway, the ebook case was about Apple abusing monopoly power trying to take down another company abusing monopoly power, Amazon. Apple lost, Amazon won, now they have almost complete control of ebooks and are exercising their monopoly power over publishers. Is that really what's best for consumers?

DougS Silver badge

Re: Apple the Victim of a Patent Bribe?

Everyone is vulnerable, just depends on who has the power. Apple HAD to have CDMA to sell phones in the US that worked across carriers, so they had no choice but to give in. Now that CDMA is becoming less important, Qualcomm is losing their power - as seen by Apple using an Intel chip in some phones last year. An inferior chip, sure, but in order to justify investment to make it better Apple had to agree to buy some, Intel isn't going to do all that work for free.

DougS Silver badge

Thanks for the link, I didn't realize they had throttled Qualcomm's chips to match Intel's but few care about limiting the top end of LTE speeds that few see and even fewer can take advantage of due to data caps. I doubt anyone is going to switch from Apple to Samsung to get the full X12 speed.

Apple's strategy here is likely to quit using Qualcomm entirely, and use Intel's baseband in all their phones. But I don't think their long term plan is to use an Intel chip, but rather to license Intel's IP and build the baseband into their SoC. That will save power and permit Apple full control over the baseband software, which is a big hole remaining for spying (Qualcomm controls that software, not Apple/Samsung/etc) as there are many who think the NSA has a Qualcomm provided backdoor in that code. Intel may already provide them the code, I don't know, but Apple likes to control both hardware and software, so it makes sense to integrate into the SoC.

Is Qualcomm price gouging phone makers? Not everyone thinks so

DougS Silver badge

Re: Anti-Trust Issues

The EU would have to receive a complaint about this behavior to initiate an investigation, wouldn't they? Since CDMA is primarily used in the US it doesn't really affect the EU, and there are no longer any major phone OEMs in the EU since Nokia, Ericsson, etc. are non-factors in today's smartphone market. Surely they have bigger fish to fry.

DougS Silver badge

I read elsewhere

That Qualcomm is only offering to license their CDMA patents based on a percentage of the cost of the entire phone. If true, they're doing something that's been held by multiple courts to be a violation of FRAND. If that's not true, then what's the explanation for why NO ONE offers a CDMA capable chipset other than Qualcomm?

Those who sometimes wonder why Samsung ships phones in the US that don't have Samsung's own SoC can see why - likely they don't feel it is worth paying licensing fees to Qualcomm to do a CDMA version for the US and other markets that use it. Now maybe that's because they don't feel the volume is there, but they sell a LOT of phones in the US so that's hard to swallow. The problem is, in the US a larger percentage of them are high end (Galaxy S or Note) than probably anywhere else, which means if they would be required to pay royalties based on the price of the entire phone it would be far more expensive - much cheaper to use Qualcomm's chipset in those phones.

Obviously it is convenient for OEMs to build phones that cover the entire world market, but that's only possible if you use Qualcomm's chipset. Apple had a true world phone and took a step back with the 7, where the models (sold for AT&T & T-Mobile in the US) that had the Intel chipset could not be used on Verizon/Sprint's 3G CDMA network - they would only work on those networks in LTE. Supposedly they are a bit slower on LTE but who cares, the real issue is reduced resale value since it isn't of use to half the cellular subscribers in the US!

I think where Apple is going with using Intel's chipset is that they eventually intend to use it for all their phones, once the CDMA networks are almost completely replaced. Instead of installing Intel chips they'll simply license the IP and include the baseband on their SoC. Cheaper to make, lower power, and they'll control the baseband software instead of using Qualcomm's which may well have backdoor access for the NSA (either intentionally or unintentionally)

Solaris 12 disappears from Oracle's roadmap

DougS Silver badge

Re: The Windows 10 model?

OS X did versioning on the minor numbers, i.e. OS X 10.1, 10.2 and so forth. Maybe they'll do it for Solaris and we'll see Solaris 11.1, 11.2 etc. or maybe they'll use the HP-UX 11i model.

Either way, I suspect Solaris won't last long enough to make it to the 10th update if they are done yearly....but it will probably outlive HP-UX.

DougS Silver badge

Re: The Windows 10 model?

This is what I was thinking. HP led the way with this by rebranding HP-UX 11.11 as HP-UX 11i. Making it the 'permanent' version of HP-UX way back in 2000. There were nominally some follow on releases like 11.20, but they were known as 11i version 1.5 and so forth. Then they got to 11.31 (11i v3) and quit doing even that, simply updating it every 6-12 months (last was 11i v3 update 15 in March, so 16 is probably coming soon)

On the other extreme you have Firefox and Chrome, which have a "major" release every couple months...

Zuck off: Facebook's big kahuna sues Hawaiians to kick 'em off their land

DougS Silver badge

Re: What??

It sounds like it is basically impossible to purchase any decent sized tracts of land in Hawaii with clear title, because of how Hawaiian inheritance law works. The way titles are cleared is the process he's using, which because it is expensive is something few landowners actually do. Most of the owners don't even know they own a share - if you got a letter in the mail saying you own 1/195th of a two acre plot in Hawaii via your great great grandmother and some guy wanted to buy that plot for $1 million, you'd probably be happy to receive a $5000 check for something you never even knew you had. It isn't like you could share it with dozens of relatives, some of whom you've never even met.

What is really shitty here is that the linked article says that Zuckerberg is going to try to recover his legal fees. WTF? He doesn't have enough money that he is going to deduct HIS legal fees for his undoubtedly overpriced lawyers from the sale proceeds?

DougS Silver badge

That's actually pretty common in the US. Assessments can diverge pretty widely from purchase price, because assessments are calculated over multiple purchases of like properties over a period of time, not parcel by parcel. Otherwise newer purchasers subsidize older ones, even though they should have roughly the same impact on what the property taxes go to (i.e. roads, sewers, schools, fire/police, etc.)

There are also some areas where the amount of increase in the assessed value in a year is limited by law, so a purchase price way above the assessed value won't be reflected for many years.

'Exploding e-cig cost me 7 teeth, burned my face – and broke my sink!'

DougS Silver badge

3000 mAh battery?

Can anyone tell me WHY this would be necessary? Is it so you can smoke for a month without recharging? Surely it doesn't draw more juice than a cell phone, which can easily last all day on that much power! What could it possibly be doing that it needs a battery like that?

I have to say there's an element of YDI here for being such a tool that he can't just vape like a normal hipster, but has to go three steps further than the crowd to try to differentiate himself.

Smart bombs, smart bullets – now guided smart artillery shells, thanks to DARPA dosh

DougS Silver badge

Re: @DougS - US doesn't have "sheer disgregard for the lives of its soldiers"

I put the quote marks in because I was quoting you.

DougS Silver badge

@imanidiot - US doesn't have "sheer disgregard for the lives of its soldiers"

Making soldiers safer has a cost beyond the dollars it costs to do that - it makes war more acceptable the more you think casualties will only affect the other side. If war was still as terrible as WW I trench warfare, I think we'd be involved in a lot fewer wars.

Euro space agency's Galileo satellites stricken by mystery clock failures

DougS Silver badge

Depends on their definition of 'fail'

A clock that keeps inaccurate time is failed as far as its purpose goes, so it would probably be disabled and considered 'failed' at that point. That's easy to tell via 'majority rules' until you get down to two working clocks.

Even then perhaps there is some sort of signal being sent from the ground to the satellites which provides a time reference sufficiently accurate for it to tell when one of the two working clocks is no longer keeping accurate time and must be 'failed'.

I don't know the circumstances of these particular failures, and what mechanism would exist for an atomic clock to run slow or fast, but I have to think they've built in something to detect that and 'fail' any clocks that cease to maintain accurate time for obvious reasons.

You know how online shops love to keep tabs on you? Now it's coming to the offline world

DougS Silver badge

How long before Intel's version 2.0 robots can stock shelves?

I wonder how many people in the US and EU alone would be put out of work? Great for Intel, great for Trump, May and Le Pen, not so great for the guys who lose their jobs.

Chelsea Manning sentence slashed by Prez Obama: She'll be sprung in the spring

DougS Silver badge

Forget pardons

I'm hoping Obama resigns tomorrow so Biden is president for one day, ruining all Trump's cheap inauguration clothing with '45' emblazoned on it his supporters will be wearing.

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