* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Samsung revival hamstrung by 2014 Google deal – analyst

DougS Silver badge


All the PC makers like Dell, HP, Compaq, IBM etc. did very well selling Windows PCs. So I guess you believe that the FTC suit against Microsoft tying Windows to purchases of new PCs was just fine and dandy because Dell's lawyers knew what they were getting into, right?

The problem with this isn't that Google is taking advantage of poor Samsung. It is that Google is taking choice away from consumers by making it so all Android phones are required to include Google's bits. If they were a minor player that wouldn't be a big deal, but they have the large majority of the smartphone market - enough be able to wield considerable market power and a quasi monopolistic dominance. What if Samsung through their purchase could do a better personal assistant than Google? Guess their customers will never find out...

DougS Silver badge

This is the sort of thing the EU should investigate

If they want to go after Google. Samsung obviously has the upper hand in the patent portfolio given how broad their business is, but Google holds the cards when it comes to patents related to Android. So they've used that to force them (and probably other OEMs) into agreeing not to compete with Google by offering alternatives to their stuff.

How very Microsoft of them. Do no evil my ass - they've learned from the best, they have!

Apple ordered to cough up $2m to store workers after denying rest breaks

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More than $95 an employee

This was over violations in the state of California's labor laws, which are more generous than federal labor laws. If they were denying breaks entirely it would have been a federal case, they just weren't giving them enough breaks at the right times as required by more stringent California law.

Since it was a state suit, only Apple Store employees in California would be eligible to collect. I don't know how many there are, but there aren't 20,000 so they'd end up with more than $95 each on average. At least until their class action attorneys take a 1/3 share...

Samsung SmartCam: Yes, those eyes really are following you around the room

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Mommy is away

Daddy is home, but he's watching sports on TV and letting the kids run wild. That's why mommy is worried :)

Trump's 140 characters on F-35 wipes $2bn off Lockheed Martin

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It didn't drop the company's value

It dropped the market cap. Not the same thing, despite how journalists like to conflate the two.

DougS Silver badge

Re: He doesn't understand

No, US politicians have perfected the art of making shit cost 3x what it should by divvying up the work into such small pieces so there is some of it in every single one of America's 435 congressional districts, thereby insuring that it becomes 'must pass' legislation, lest a congressman's opponent be able to run against him by saying "he voted against this bill and that's why 2000 people at this defense contractor's facility the next town over got laid off last year!"

The avionics for the F35's boondoggle helmet as well as some of the systems in the plane itself were designed less than an hour from where I live...which is nowhere near California or Washington DC, I can assure you!

US-CERT's top tip: Hack your crap Netgear router before miscreants arrive

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Wow, that exploit is a throwback

I thought passing a semicolon to cgi-bin had jumped the shark by 1997! Kudos to Netgear for bringing back a classic!

CIA: Russia hacked election. Trump: I don't believe it! FAKE NEWS!

DougS Silver badge

The result is irrelevant

It doesn't matter whether they succeeded, what matters is the attempt. Unless you would be OK with China hacking Trump's and the RNC's emails in 2020 and putting them out in Wikileaks to make them look bad, hoping for the democrat to win that election because they don't like Trump "getting tough with China". If they did that, there would be no proof that such an act actually made a difference in the end result, but I suspect you would mind that more than what the Russians did to Hillary because this time you approved of the outcome.

Of course, we did worse in influencing the election in Ukraine, so rather than "let's swing the election to Trump because he's so easily manipulated by saying nice things about him" perhaps it is more "let's make sure Hillary doesn't win because it was her state department that got rid of our guy in Ukraine and got them talking about joining NATO"

DougS Silver badge

"Refusing to elect Trump"

Well first of all enough electors in the electoral collect changing their votes to refuse to elect Trump would be totally unprecedented. But for those outside the US who may not be aware, unless enough of them switched to Hillary to elect her (which they probably wouldn't) the lack of anyone getting a majority would send the election to the House of Representatives.

The republican majority would be free to elect ANYONE, but likely would vote in Trump citing "will of the people" and due to fear that Trump voters would vote them out in 2018 if they went against him. But there would be a lot of drama, and possibly room for a compromise between democrats who don't want to see Trump and republicans from districts where they don't have to be afraid of the Trump voters electing a third candidate, like Paul Ryan.

But I doubt they could get enough democrats on board for such a thing - they'd need pretty much all of them, and there are enough of them who would stubbornly vote for Hillary knowing she couldn't win and knowing that it would mean they'd get Trump. Though that might not be a bad idea, since they'd have to like their odds of beating Trump in 2020 a lot more than the odds of beating Ryan.

Microsoft announces 16 years of support for Windows, SQL Servers

DougS Silver badge

Banking on beancounters being cheap


sysadmin: "We need to start planning for replacing these Windows 2008 servers soon, so we're off them before extended support runs out"

boss: "Damn, didn't we just migrate off Windows 2003 last year? I guess we have no choice though if we're going to get security patches"


sysadmin: "We need to start planning for replacing these Windows 2008 servers soon, so we're off them before extended support runs out"

boss: "We can hold off a little longer, if we don't finish them all in time there's always premium support available"

Five years from now:

boss: "Why the hell is our Microsoft support bill so high?"

sysadmin: "Because you kept delaying our Windows 2008 migration, and now we're paying Microsoft so much you keep saying we can't afford the migration in this year's budget"

Germany warns Moscow will splash cash on pre-election propaganda and misinformation spree

DougS Silver badge

"Democrats were a whole lot dirtier this time"

I don't buy it. I think the kind of shenanigans the DNC was pulling to push her to the nomination and dump Bernie happen often. And I think the republicans do it too. Heck, there was a movement to try to deny Trump the nomination that was out in the open...who knows what sort of emails were passed around the RNC? The main reason that effort failed IMHO is that the republican establishment finds Ted Cruz at least as distasteful as Trump if not worse, and there was no one else who could conceivably win the nomination by the time they started fretting over it.

As for her corruption I've got three words for you: Bush Iran Contra. Whole lot dirtier than the email thing and killed more US servicemen than Bengazi. Politics is a dirty business, but the public mostly doesn't want to see the sausage being made - they only tolerate it when it is the other guy's sausage getting exposed.

Sure, Russia tried to tilt the playing field a bit in favor of Trump because they felt they could get what they want from him more than easily than from Clinton. But in 2020 it could be China favoring the democrat nominee, so this type of interference in the US election process (or Germany's or any country's) should be opposed by both sides and not ignored because it worked in your favor this time around.

And yes, I'm aware of the irony given how much the US has meddled in other country's political process (something both parties are equally guilty of) Hopefully more Snowden style leaks will come and expose that sort of dirty business as it happens and make it harder for us to get away with.

Ransomware scum offer free decryption if you infect two mates

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Re: If only someone....

There are good ways around this, but they'd require rather more technical expertise than could be expected of the average user. The way to stop ransomware attacks is for no one to pay ransom. Heck, pass a law making it illegal to do so.

If you make their return on investment negative, it will quickly stop.

Samsung, the Angel of Death: Exploding Note 7 phones will be bricked

DougS Silver badge

Surely either/both Samsung/carrier have been sending automated texts to these people for a couple months now. If they're willing to take the risk (not just to themselves, but those around them) that it may burst into flames for no reason, they are certainly willing to take the risk it will stop working.

Bluetooth 5.0 emerges, ready to chew on the internet of things

DougS Silver badge

Wish they would concentrate on tightening the spec

Who needs higher data rates when it is not always reliable even for low speed devices like a keyboard? Fix the problems in the spec that make those things happen, make it no play well with 2.4 GHz wifi etc. and make THAT BT 5.0. Let 5.0 devices drop back to older standards when necessary, but have the 5.0 spec drop all the baggage from older standards that made it not work as well.

Then if you had all 5.0 gear it would just work. If they want to know how, just ask Apple since this is basically what they did to their devices to make them work reliably with each other since the Bluetooth spec is just a giant steaming pile of one turd laid upon another that's a total crapshoot when it comes to interoperability between two random devices.

Making Bluetooth go faster is like sticking a hemi engine in a Yugo. When it works it'll go real fast, so long as you do anything unexpected, like wanting to stop or turn!

Expedia support tech raided his CFO to rack up insider trades

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He won't serve 25 years

The phrase "he faces up to 25 years" just indicates the class of felony he was charged with (which depends on the amount of money involved) and doesn't mean they'll sentence him anything like that long. He'll probably get a few years, and get probation in a year.

His real problem will be the difficulty of getting a job once he gets out, since he'll have the felony on his record. After a while you can apply to have it expunged, but meanwhile he'll have years where he won't be hired for anything involving computers or money.

Sysadmin told to spend 20+ hours changing user names, for no reason

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Why "20+ hours"

I get that this is the total amount of time for all the users, but what difference does it make if you do them all in one go or do one a day for the next few months?

In fact, if he's forced into a corner about doing this, even after making the 2IC sign off on all the risk statements, etc. he should insist on doing a small number of more technically competent power users first and waiting a month to see what sort of issues they have. Choosing the more technically competent means:

1) he won't waste time reminding them their username changed when they call and say "I can't login to X" like will happen with the clueless ones

2) they will notice problems readily and can describe them properly

3) are more likely do the sort of things (personal scripts etc.) that can't easily be accounted for when assessing risk

4) probably perform more important functions, so if stuff breaks their inability to perform their job will quickly make its way up the chain to the top and the 2IC may be forced to reconsider this idea.

China is building a full scale replica of the Titanic to repeatedly crash into iceberg

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Some guy in NYC who had the trademark for clothing with Titanic and RMS Titanic tried to sue the studio when the movie premiered, claiming he owns the trademark on all uses of the name, but the case was thrown out of court. I don't think the Chinese have anything to worry about here.

Cunard bought White Star Lines, so presumably they would have purchased any trademark on the name for a ship, but I doubt they were able to (or wanted to) show continued use or would have bothered to file and pay the fees to keep it active even if they had continued to use it in some small way.

Reg readers vent their frustrations with AFA vendors

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Dedupe / compression overbuying

The comment about "you have to overbuy to make sure you don't have to go to the well again"....was the commenter seriously expecting vendor salescritters to have incentive to reduce such overbuying??

WDC loads its belt-fed drive cannon, blasts out disks 'n' cards galore

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Re: Helium?

Plus once we get fusion figured out (SOMEDAY we'll figure it out) we'll have all the helium we could ever want.

Silver screen script hacker and dox douche gets 5 years in US cooler

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Re: So that explains it

I don't think hackers are the reason why you always see two movies with the same plot. That was happening even before they were using email.

There's just no one you can keep a script a secret if you are passing it around to potential actors. The basic plot leaks out, and B movie Hollywood makes a quick and dirty version that compete with it that ends up going direct to Syfy network or whatever hoping to capitalize if it turns out to be a hit.

Stealing, scamming, bluffing: El Reg rides along with pen-testing 'red team hackers'

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Re: Top stuff

Depends on who commissioned it. If the CEO is the only one who knows about it, presumably it originated with him or the board of directors. They have less incentive to bury the results than if it originated with someone who would shoulder a lot of the blame, i.e. chief security officer (or equivalent)

If the CSO originated something like this, thinking "we're so secure, we'll pass with flying colors and when I show it to the CEO, I'll get a raise" and then finds they are woefully deficient, he's probably not going to bring it with the CEO - at least not until he fixes a lot of the stuff so the results look better when compared to the average assessment, or he puts his thumb on the scale by alerting his subordinates of a coming 'attack' for round two.

Can ISPs step up and solve the DDoS problem?

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Re: Start at the source.

Part of it is simple - don't allow forged source addresses to escape. You probably can't fix that at a per user level, though it can't hurt. Everyone gets their internet from some sort of provider, it is those providers that directly attach to end customers that can EASILY fix forged addresses. Put economic pressure on them (fines or cutting them off from DNS delegation) to force them to comply.

Fixing a DoS that relies on massive amounts of data from a massive amount of sources is a whole other problem. I don't have a fix for that (start writing better software...yeah right!) but we can at least lick amplification attacks fairly easily and halve the scope of the problem.

DougS Silver badge

There's an easy fix to this - give them economic incentive

The cost is pretty small when you get down to the bottom layers. Let's say my ISP wants to fix this. I have a DSL connection and have an IP address x.y.z.n where n>=2 and I get a gateway address x.y.z.1. If that gateway refuses any packets from me and anyone else connected to the same gateway with a source address that isn't x.y.z/24, it should be dropped. Sure, they probably have a million DSL customers, and thus thousands of gateways. Surely they have an automated system for deploying changes - if they wanted to make some change like blocking port 25 they aren't having someone login to each one to make changes by hand. It should be pretty simple for them to deploy this filter across all their customers.

If my ISP doesn't do that, once my packets leave my ISP it would be WAY harder for the upstream peers to determine if I have sent packets with forged source addresses, because of how disjoint the IP space is. It isn't like they can filter my ISPs packets with a simple single rule, because they aren't going to have everything in a nice neat little netblock. And that doesn't even get into ISPs serving customers who have their own class C (I actually have my own, assigned by ARIN in the 90s, but I only use it internally)

What those higher levels can do is put progressively stiffer penalties on downstream peers that let forged traffic through. When an attack is identified as coming from me, my ISP would be penalized for not filtering it. Start small but make them go up by time/frequency, and soon the excuse "it costs too much to do" will be replaced by "it costs too much NOT to do".

The problem is, you need these penalties everywhere - it doesn't do much good to fix it in 90% of the world, it has to be everywhere. So it isn't a law in the US, law in the UK, etc. It has to be something enforced by the IETF/IANA/etc. type body - threaten to cut off their DNS delegation if they don't comply.

Huawei Nova: A pleasant surprise in a 5-inch phone

DougS Silver badge

Re: Narrow bezels is the new thin?

Narrower bezels have a point - more screen for less bulk. Yes, the OS needs to be smart enough to tell fingers touching the edges while holding / shifting the phone from deliberate touches intended for UI effect. I guess "you're holding it wrong" really might apply in this case! I hope the rumors that the next gen iPhone does away the bezel mostly/entirely are true, because a bigger screen at the same size sounds like a good deal to me, and I'm sure Apple wouldn't do that unless they've got the touching issues handled.

As for wanting a thicker phone - does your battery last less than a day? If so, you either use your phone a LOT, or you bought a shitty phone that doesn't manage its battery well. Most of the time I charge my 6S plus every other day. If it was thicker and had more battery I guess I could charge it only twice a week, which would provide me exactly ZERO benefit, but with the downside that it weighs more. No thanks!

If you have a phone that lacks battery and wish it was thicker there's a simple fix - get one of those cases with a built in battery. It'll make your phone thicker, and last longer, so you get what you want without inconveniencing the vast majority of the market (proven by low sales from thick phones with jumbo batteries, which is why they are so hard to find!) who would prefer a thinner phone. Not because of the thinness per se, but because it is lighter. Who wants to cart around a phone weighing over half a pound just so they need to charge it less often?

DougS Silver badge

Re: So are you saying

Why would anyone be dumb enough to buy a brand new just released iPhone, then dump it for Android a couple months later? If you were that close to switching, surely you would have made do with what you had before while waiting for just the right Android to come along instead of spending all that money?

The One Plus 3 is a nice phone, but is hardly so revolutionary compared to other Android phones that it changes the equation between iPhone and Android.

I take any claims of having "just switched from an iPhone 7" (or the equivalent "just switched from a top of the line Android that just came out") with a grain of salt. Maybe you switched from an iPhone, but I'd bet money it wasn't a 7.

Everything at Apple Watch is awesome, insists Tim Cook

DougS Silver badge

Sorry, no one has blown anything

The market is small and stagnant right now. The opportunity is there to be the market leader, someone just has to step up and take it. Maybe it will be Apple, maybe it will be someone else, maybe no one will figure out how to take them beyond their current niche.

If Samsung's design is so great why are they so far behind Apple in sales? Obviously they haven't cracked it either since it is selling so poorly, so why the heck would Apple want to look at Samsung for inspiration?

I was a robot and this is what I learned

DougS Silver badge

Re: It can never succeed beyond the novelty stage

Where did you get the idea I enjoy traveling? Did you miss the part about not having attended any conferences for years? I find they are almost always a giant waste of time, being somewhere warm and/or with interesting things to do was the only benefit but isn't worth the other hassles post 9/11. If I'm going to deal with airports I'll take a REAL vacation where work is the last thing on my mind.

My point was that conferences will fight it tooth and nail, because the whole conference model goes away. If sales people aren't going to press the flesh, they aren't going to set up a booth to talk to a bunch of robots. And if they are using a robot themselves, they'll just set up a webcast and invite potential customers on their own schedule instead of a specific week someone else has selected. A guy who wants to do a presentation can similarly set up a webcast, what's the benefit of having it matched by a bunch of other guys doing the same with similar topics in a particular week?

If enough people feel like you do and want to attend conferences or trade shows robotically, you'll quickly find there are none left to attend.

DougS Silver badge

It can never succeed beyond the novelty stage

If you get to the point where 5-10% of show attendees are using one, it won't be a novelty any longer, they'll just be annoying for most who are there 'in the flesh'. Heck, based on many attendees not getting out of your way, maybe a lot of them have already encountered 'robots' and are past the novelty stage already so maybe even 1% would already be well past the tipping point.

I would think that trade shows would be less accommodating if they started to be used in any sort of numbers, because what's the point of having a trade show AT ALL if people can attend remotely? It is like having a big virtual hall of video conferences (one per booth or per session, plus ad hoc for people having sidebar discussions) that you can choose to seamlessly switch between.

How are the conference organizers going to make money (if it is for profit) or create a boondoggle for free travel for the organizers / referees if it is non-profit from a bunch of video conferences? They aren't going to want to see this go past the novelty stage.

About the only redeeming value of attending a conference / trade show (something I used to do several times a year, but not for a long time now) is that you can basically get a free vacation somewhere nice (and warm if you live where its cold and choose the right one) and aren't expected to put in normal hours of work - or even put in any hours. If you are sitting at your desk 'attending' a conference (whether via telepresence or the hall of video conferences) your boss will probably expect you to be able to check out at a moment's notice if something comes up. And at the end of the day, you will not be in some vacation spot, or getting vendors buying you a nice dinner and taking you to a party with an open bar.

That 'vacation spot and free food/drinks' are about the only thing that could possibly make up for dealing with travel and hearing vendors drone on with a bunch of promises they can't keep, etc.

DougS Silver badge

Dalek design for telepresence

Plus you have the laser gun.

What can we use to hit Intel between the eyes, thinks Qualcomm – a 10nm ARM server chip

DougS Silver badge

Re: 10nm? Capitalism FTW!

TSMC isn't using EUV for 10nm or even 7nm, so issues with it won't affect their rollout. They are ready to go full speed ahead with mass production of 10nm early next year. They will have risk production of 7nm next April, with full mass production expected in early '18.

Russia's bid for mobile self-sufficiency may be the saviour of Sailfish

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Why would BB10 be any better?

It is made by a company headquartered in a country that's basically the United States' little brother, and a Five Eyes spying partner. The true concerns Russia has over Android and iOS would exist similarly with BB10 or Windows Phone.

DougS Silver badge

Fruits of the US' illegal wiretapping program

If it weren't for that, Russia probably wouldn't be so skeptical of products created by Google and Apple, and might be less willing to make the investment into rolling their own mobile OS. Maybe China would have always gone their own way with their various Google-free Android forks, but it certainly can be argued that US tech companies are losing big in the long run by being seen to cooperate with the US.

It was one thing when it was suspected / rumored, quite another to see it on a powerpoint with dates they gave in attached.

China and Russia aren't ready to go it alone on tech, but their threats are worryingly plausible

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Chinese manufacturing

The reason it succeeded is because it could bring a lot of people in cheaply. The more successful China becomes, the less cheap those people become. So no matter what they do they will eventually lose a lot of the labor intensive manufacturing over time, as other countries become relatively cheaper, or it becomes relatively cheaper to consider another course - either bringing it home (politically important in countries that have seen their manufacturing shed jobs to China over the years, like the US and UK) or building stuff using robots, with much less human capital required.

Android, Qualcomm move on insecure GPS almanac downloads

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Re: This is bogus

I think I would believe Google over you. Why would THEY claim something can hang an Android phone if it actually can't? If it was some random security researcher then maybe your skepticism would be warranted, but it is easy to imagine that if the tables are crafted correctly it could put the assisted GPS function into a loop or something that the OS doesn't recover from since it is assuming the tables are properly formatted.

Use of other standards is nothing new, I think Apple has used Qualcomm chipsets that supported GLONASS since the 4 or 4S, and I'm sure Android from a similar time frame at least in leading edge devices using the same chipsets. That can make it a bit faster to get a proper GPS fix in a place where your view of the sky is obscured (i.e. tall buildings) but doesn't do squat for you if you don't have a view of the sky at all, like when you inside a building with too much between you and the roof. Maybe the assisted GPS needs to take alternate sources into account as well.

There's also whatever the Euro solution will use, so someday we'll have four independent methods of determining a position fix, so the algorithms could be improved to throw out one that looks bogus (i.e. if the US blocked GPS in a certain area, the EU might join them but Russia and China are unlikely to do so as well)

DougS Silver badge

This will be fertile ground for attackers to check

Given the ease of subverting DNS, and the lack of Android updates to enforce SSL on the majority of the extent Android devices, finding a way to use this to hijack a device would be worth a lot of money.

This will be one case where you hope the worst they can do is hang the phone...

Uber is watching your smartphone's battery charge

DougS Silver badge

I vote for "can't resist grabbing everything"

Storage is cheap, and you never know when something might be useful to you. So they will grab everything they can. If they could get the results of a search on Amazon looking for size 10.5 2E shoes, they'd store your shoe size, just because.

Microsoft says LinkedIn will make Trump, Brexit, voters feel great again

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Linkedin already is a monopoly

There is no competition for corporate focused social networking. No one is posting professional jobs on Facebook or Twitter.

Not sure it really matters whether Microsoft owns them or not, but pretending that the EU is preserving competition which already does not exist is silly.

Wannabe Cali governor gives up against beach-blocking billionaire VC

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The valuation the commission assigned is strange

$380K for 90 acres of beachfront property? Or is that just to buy the land under the road? He says they'd have to pay him $10 million for it, but the older Reg article says he paid $38 million....I doubt he's willing to take a loss on it so whatever he might be willing to sell is not everything he paid for.

Bloke sold cash register code to restaurants that deliberately hid sales from taxmen

DougS Silver badge

You're assuming he really is being audited

We only have his word on that, and we all know what that's worth. Besides, the IRS can only audit for a limited range of years, so there are many years of tax returns he could release other than the latest one.

He will NEVER release any of his tax returns while he's president. If he bothers to answer such questions at all, he'll claim "it doesn't matter now since I'm already president" or fall back on the "there are no laws that say I have to release them". He's got plenty to hide, and nothing to gain by releasing them now that he's been elected.

US election pollsters weren't (very) wrong – statistically speaking

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Holding all primaries on the same day is a terrible idea

Then only the well funded candidates have a chance. The reason having a couple small states going first works well is because it allows relative unknowns like a Jimmy Carter to have a shot. They just have to make it past the initial filter.

One could argue that switching around which small states are first is better than it always being Iowa and New Hampshire, but both states being relative swing states helps too. Having a state like Utah or Kansas first would lead to much more conservative republican candidates, and who knows what it do with the democrats. Now maybe you think more conservative republican candidates are a good thing - both conservative republicans and democrats (because extremists on either side are less likely to win a general election) would probably like that outcome. But mainstream republicans and independents, not so much.

Given that a state both has to be small (to lower the cost bar for candidates) and relatively middle of the road politically, the number of choices is actually pretty small.

DougS Silver badge

Where's your evidence of that?

They were within the margin of error in the swing states. What incentive did Trump voters have to lie but Clinton voters to tell the truth? The "shy voter" theory was such bullshit - people who voted for Trump sure weren't shy about crowing victory on Facebook, Twitter and everywhere else. Sure, maybe Trump voters would be shy if they lived in San Francisco, but Hillary voters would be equally shy if they lived in Houston.

The 'art' in polling is trying to determine how many people who call themselves "likely voters" will actually turn up to vote. Hillary had an enthusiasm problem - if the same percentage of "likely voters" who said they were going to vote for Hillary as those who said they were going to vote for Trump turned up on election day, she would have won all those swing states and taken the election.

Trump's likely voters were more enthusiast and more of them showed up. It is as simple as that. And that's hardly a surprise, this is usually what loses the election for a party that has been in power for a while - that's why Bush I lost to Clinton and why Gore lost to Bush II.

The real problem was the media paying way too much attention to the national polling that showed Hillary with a consistent lead, and mostly ignoring the per state races. The average of polls taken the last few days before the election had her leading 3.5%, and it looks like she'll win by 2.5%, so they were right on the market. Unfortunately state polling is harder to do and due to the smaller samples tends to have wider swings so it is harder to know where things really stand.

DougS Silver badge

@Eddy Ito - gerrymanding

I think the best way to fix it would be to have computers draw the boundaries. It would be fairly easy to write a program to create the most compact districts possible, using existing political boundaries wherever possible (county/city borders)

In fact, I know it is easy because the way they draw their crazy districts now is via computer programs that are designed to concentrate the opponents in as few districts as possible, and create 60-40ish "safe districts" for the party in power. States that have the ability for citizens to put propositions on the ballot have no excuse for not having this. It is in the interest of congressmen keeping their seats forever, and no one else, to have gerrymandered districts. It isn't in the interest of the people living there, since there votes are almost meaningless, whether they are voting as part of the majority or party of the minority.

DougS Silver badge

Democrat party "lessons learned"

Consider in 2012 the republicans did a postmortem of Romney's loss and decided they needed to be more welcoming of minorities and hispanics in particular. Instead they ended up doubling down on their anti-minority policy by nominating Trump. Of course that wasn't the party's decision but the voters, and it ended up working out for them despite that, but it just goes to show that what a party decides and what the individuals who vote in its primaries decide may not agree.

If the democrats learn the lessons they should, the number one lesson they would learn is that the DNC shouldn't favor one candidate over another. Sanders probably beats Trump because he did not have all of Hillary's baggage that made her an easy target, he spoke to the same working class anger Trump did, and he inspired young people. But against ANY other republican a democrat who used to be a socialist may lose due to that alone - so the party might have thought they were saving themselves from a Mondale like landslide loss.

Another thing that parties never seem to learn is that the candidate with the most charisma almost always wins. Trump may not have much charisma, but compared to Hillary he's a fucking star. You don't need charisma to beat someone who is as stiff as Hillary - look at Bush I beating Dukakis, the ultimate stiff. And Bush II beating Gore and Kerry, two more stiffs, though Bush II had some good ol boy charm that played well down south.

Unless they nominate another stiff in 2020, the democrats should win the election easily. Trump's massive negatives aren't going to go away, if anything they will only get worse with four years of daily exposure. To the extent he isn't able to keep his promises to the blue collar workers who got him elected their enthusiasm for him will dim, as will that of some conservatives who may find he doesn't govern as conservatively as they would like. Meanwhile democrats will come out in force to dump Trump, and can run on a "change" platform that was obviously not possible after eight years in the White House, and if they choose the right person as an "outsider" that Hillary could not.

I think there's a decent chance the democrats could win in a landslide with 400+ electoral votes if they choose someone who is more like Obama or Bill Clinton in the charisma category, and not some establishment stiff. But the fact they haven't cleaned house in the DNC yet tells me it will have to be the primary voters who force it on them. The party machine may try to interfere again, thinking they know what's better than their own voters.

Neither party gets that general election voters don't care about your policies - they want to hear that the economy will do well so they get raises if they have a job, or they'll get a job if they don't have one, and their bills won't go up too much. Most of them could care less about how you plan to deal with China, or Israel or Afghanistan if they economy is working for them. Sure there are single issue voters who will choose based on abortion or global warming or taxes but the parties are pretty set on those issues so those voters have only one choice anyway so there's no point trying to cater to them.

Team Trump snubs Big Internet oligarchs

DougS Silver badge

To be fair

Had they voted for Hillary, they would have also handed it to the 1%.

Apple again late to another market others pioneered. Or is it?

DougS Silver badge

Misunderstanding what Apple does

Apple takes things that only the more technically inclined can master and turn them into a product for the masses. Sure, music players existed before the iPod, but what percentage of people do you think would be able to get songs to it off their PC (nevermind that you had to illegally download them since there was no legal market for MP3s back then) The majority wouldn't have had a clue without being hand held by the family tech expert, and wouldn't be willing to bother - even if the products themselves weren't so poorly designed.

Same thing with smartphones. Sure, they existed before the iPhone, but they were geek toys or used by PHBs as a calendar to keep track of their meetings. The average person was never going to have a need to do something with their phone other than call or text until it was made super easy to access the internet, get apps, etc. I remember fiddling with my KRZR trying to get apps on it, which invariably turned out to be completely useless. WAP was completely useless, Apple was smart enough to know that you needed a proper browser for people to ever use it on their phone. They also realized a keyboard on a phone was about the dumbest thing ever conceived of, and 99.999% of those Crackberry addicts who scoffed at the iPhone are now using a touchscreen phone.

I still remember the concept drawings people came up with before the iPhone was announced and trying to guess what it would look like showing a phone with an iPod like jog wheel. Still makes me laugh!

DougS Silver badge

How can you be late to a market that doesn't exist?

And won't exist for probably a decade or more?

VCs to Trump: You know what would really make America great? Tax breaks for VCs

DougS Silver badge

There's TOO MUCH funding for startups

Look at the crazy valuations, there is too much money chasing them already. We don't need to encourage even MORE money being put to develop Yet Another Useless App (i.e. copies of what is already out there) or create another Overhyped Buzzword of the Year product (i.e. let's fund more VR or IoT startups)

Exclusive: Team Trump's net neutrality guru talks to El Reg

DougS Silver badge

Re: Trump appointments

They're also afraid of being accused of bias if they are like Chris Matthews acting like a dog with a bone and asking the same question over and over when the person being asked tries to pull the old topic switcheroo.

This was probably inevitable when Fox News came along and gave softball questions to republicans, which led to democrats expecting the same treatment on other networks, which made the then-bogus claims of "bias" a reality.

Apple blames air for iPhone 6S's narcolepsy

DougS Silver badge

Maybe the software enabled some check that wasn't previously being done? If it was a software bug, they wouldn't be offering to replace people's batteries for free, they'd be rushing 10.1.2 out the door.

Renewed calls for Tesla to scrap Autopilot after number of crashes

DougS Silver badge

Re: Statistically....

Not true, unless you think 16% of all vehicle miles driven in the US are in adverse weather - with 6% of all miles driven being in snow/slush/ice - while people do drive slower in such conditions they STILL die at a higher rate despite that.


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