* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Windows 10 market share growth just barely has a pulse

DougS Silver badge

Re: @Lee D

Too late. If Linux was going to be a viable alternative it would have to be a viable alternative TODAY. The lead time for going from 7->10 is a minimum of 18-24 months from the time the admins start creating test loads to the time a full rollout is complete for any enterprise.

The time to switch to a completely different OS is quite a bit longer than that, due to the need to evaluate replacement applications for most of what they do, and there simply isn't enough time if they started evaluating Linux today to be assured they could have the rollout complete by Dec. 2019. Windows 7 is EOL on Jan. 14, 2020.

Any enterprise considering this will probably have started about the time Windows 10 was released.

DougS Silver badge

@Lee D

Let me answer your question "What's the impetus?" [to go from Windows 8.1 to 10] with a question. What was the impetus to go to 8.1?

I see absolutely no good reason to do so, and 7 is supported three more years. You are probably quite rare in managing corporate PCs and putting them on 8. No one on 7 today is going to go to 8, it'll be skipped when they finally decide to (i.e. are forced by EOL of 7, just like they were forced off XP by its EOL) upgrade.

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

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Re: Trump appointments

The doom and gloom talk you hear about his appointments puzzle me. What's the point of wailing and gnashing your teeth about them before they do anything? With such low expectations for Trump's administration, theoretically they should have room to exceed them.

I think that the democrats are playing from the same playbook the republicans used against Obama. Declare him the worst president in history before he even takes office and take issue with every appointment and every pronouncement, all the better to unite the opposition party to do their best to try to deny him any accomplishments. Other than the first couple years when Obama had congress, that strategy mostly worked in terms of forcing him to use executive orders to do anything. After having it done to them, the democrats appear to be aiming at the same plan of trying to block anything Trump does, all the better to later claim because he isn't getting anything done that he's an ineffective president.

If Trump turns out to be not quite as true blue a conservative as he tried to pass himself off as, and has some democratic positions that upset his party and confuse the democrats, I wonder if the democrats will be willing to work with him or if - like the republicans did with Obama on several occasions - they will vote against him just to deny him a success even if it means not getting something they wanted.

It’s Brexploitation! Microsoft punishes UK for Brexit with cloud price-gouging

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THIS ^^

It would be easier to raise prices "too much" and later do a price cut than to do two consecutive price increases. Once you guys figure out how (if?) you're going to Brexit, maybe the pound will rise as the current utter uncertainty about what is going to happen fades.

Hackers waste Xbox One, PS4, MacBook, Pixel, with USB zapper

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Re: No point in protecting against this

Why should 50kV be a problem for a person? You can get that much stroking a cat and then touching a metal stair railing. People have died from as little as 42 volts of direct current (I assume he was very wet) and only 200 milliamps reaching the heart is fatal - but AFAIK this device isn't 'live' all the time, it requires a USB negotiation first, which your fingers won't provide. If it is live all the time, the 220v version might already be lethal if you used it in a bathtub.

Plus, it isn't the current/power that is killing devices, it is the voltage. Most ICs don't react well to a lot of voltage. Overcurrent can be a problem, but you'd need a dozen amps sustained for more than a few seconds before you have to worry about hitting fusing temperatures for the traces likely to be used inside.

The power is only a problem if it is actually charging the battery, and more power is directed to the battery than the charging circuits can handle. If a device is so broken as to accept whatever power comes in a USB port and direct it to the charging circuits, there's no hope for it.

DougS Silver badge

No point in protecting against this

If you do, someone will update it to output 2000 volts instead of 220. What's the point of adding a few bucks in cost to everything because this game continues until you need to protect against someone putting 50kV in a USB port?

EU court to determine how Uber's business should be defined

DougS Silver badge

What a ridiculous argument

If Uber was a general purpose app that helped you find drivers, find someone to fix your toilet, find someone to date, etc. then they could make that argument.

But it is specifically designed to match someone who wants a ride with someone willing to provide that ride, and handles details like routing and billing. They're a transport service provider under any definition.

Google turns on free public NTP servers that SMEAR TIME

DougS Silver badge

Unix/Linux has ALWAYS handled a minute with 61 seconds in it

The 'struct tm' that holds time in year, minutes, seconds, etc. has allowed tm_sec to go from 0-60 (instead of 0-59) for this very reason since before I first touched Unix 25 years ago, and presumably from day one for Linux. So Android and iOS should be perfectly fine. As for Windows, who the hell knows?

Now some applications may not be coded properly to expect that extra second and get a tm->tm_sec == 60, but this is hardly the fault of the OS, it is the fault of the application!

Trump's FCC will soak net neutrality in gas and toss in a lit match

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NYT "revealed as non-credible"

Only in a world where people believe Breitbart is credible.

Soon only Ticketmaster will rip you off: Concert scalper bots face US ban

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How can you fool only the right people with a fake concert honeypot? It isn't as though scalpers have bots running loose just grabbing tickets to anything they can find. They're pointing them at particular events they know will be popular. If an unannounced Lady Gaga concert shows up on Ticketmaster after she's told her fans "this is a fake to screw the scalpers, don't buy these tickets" why are scalpers going to buy those tickets?

Maybe instead of a fake deliberately add additional dates that are planned to be canceled later and rely on the way the refund process works to screw them somehow. Not sure exactly how, and it couldn't unduly inconvenience real customers, but maybe someone could think of something that makes it easy to refund a few tickets but makes it really difficult for one person to refund 1000 even if they have a bunch of credit cards under different names or however they are getting around the restrictions.

Renewed calls for Tesla to scrap Autopilot after number of crashes

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Re: Statistically....

You're misusing statistics. Fatalities are not an even distribution over all miles driven. They are much more likely to happen in poor weather and where there is more traffic - the exact opposite of the conditions that Tesla owners are likely to use autopilot. At least I doubt it is used nearly as much during heavy rain/snow, or on highways in dense urban areas where fatalities are the most common.

You can't compare the overall statistics of fatalities per mile and the amount of miles driven on autopilot. That's like comparing the overall percentage of phones dropped in water with iPhone usage by lifeguards, and concluding iPhones are more likely to be dropped in water.

Tesla needs to change the damn name, they deliberately chose it knowing it would imply it could do more than it was really capable. Whether people are stupid for thinking that and getting into a crash is irrelevant in a country that labels those desiccant bags "do not eat" even though you'd have to be about 1000x stupider to think that's a good idea than to think a car feature called 'autopilot' doesn't drive itself.

PC sales outlook improves: Now terrifying instead of catastrophic

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Oh look, IDC is wrong again

When the PC sales decline started, they were in denial - for several years they predicted it was a blip (caused by waiting for Windows 8, hatred of Windows 8, waiting for Windows 10, China slowdown, and a half dozen other excuses I can't recall) and strong growth would resume in the next reporting period. They were always wrong.

Lately they've seen reality in the years of falling sales, keep predicting the decline will flatten imminently. Here they are forecasting that out for five years, claiming the convertibles will balance the decline seen in other market segments because convertibles are the only segment showing any growth. Sorry IDC, the market for laptops that can be used as tablets is limited, and will soon be saturated when there are enough less expensive alternates to Surface Pro. It won't be the savior any more than Windows 8, Windows 10, next generation CPUs from Intel or anything they've claimed the market is waiting for.

Will these clowns ever learn?

Congrats America, you can now safely slag off who you like online

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Re: Celebrating bipartisanship?

Gridlock is good insofar as it stops democrats from passing things only democrats want, or republicans passing things only republicans want. If we needed a 2/3 majority to pass anything we'd probably be better off because it would force compromise. We wouldn't have seen Obamacare, nor would we see whatever the republican majority is about to give us next year. We'd see middle of the road policies, without the wide swings when a party gets the president+congress. We'd see Supreme Court nominees who are more moderate, instead of nominating the most liberal or most conservative justice they can push through.

When it is something that the vast majority wants, bipartisanship is a good thing - but this is becoming more and more rare these days, unfortunately.

Agreed that crap like the Patriot Act were very bipartisan, but that's a separate issue. The idea is that we vote for politicians who will do what the people want - but they should protect the people against themselves when they think they want "eek terrorists" or "think of the children" laws. Really what those are is a fear of "even though I know this isn't a good idea, I'm afraid if I vote against it I'll lose my cushy seat".

That's what term limits would fix. Two terms in congress max for any individual's lifetime. That would insure enough incumbents return each session that there's some continuity, but aren't so concerned about re-election that political calculations drive all their voting.

DougS Silver badge

Bad reviews by non-customers will always be a problem

Its too bad there isn't a way to prove a customer relationship before you can review something. At least that would stop the crap where people share something on Facebook about a business doing something "bad" (which depends on the viewpoint of the reader of course) and encourage everyone to go to their page and give them a 1* review. The downside of fixing this would be that the funny Amazon reviews would become a thing of the past...

Fixing that wouldn't fully solve the problem though. You want reviews to be unbiased, knowledgeable, and avoid self-selection. Let's forget unbiased, because there will always be people who feel bias one way or another about certain companies (think about how a Samsung loyalist might review an Apple product and vice versa) Knowledgeable is a problem also - I don't want to read the review of someone clueless about what they bought, but if I was buying a set of tools I wouldn't want the opinion of a car mechanic who uses tools 40 hours a week either, as his needs are way beyond my own and tools he finds unsuitable could be perfect for me.

Self-selection is the biggest problem though. People are far more likely to bother to enter a review when they are unhappy than when they are happy, and you have to take that into account when reading reviews. Even if you did something like offering a small rebate for people reviewing a product, most will give a cursory "great product, would buy again" like eBay reviews that is pretty worthless.

Well, FC-NVMe. Did this lightning-fast protocol just get faster?

DougS Silver badge

Re: show us the numbers, not the marketing slobber

Infiniband has nothing like the toolset available for FC. Can you even create a simple zoneset for an IB fabric? I'm sure that could all be added, but FC still has the advantage of compatibility with all the current stuff. Enterprises aren't going to toss out all their FC gear to make everything run IB just to get a small latency benefit - especially if FC, despite being slower, is still more than "fast enough".

It took many years for SCSI to be displaced by FC, and it happened from the top down. The same will be true for FC (and it may not be IB that displaces it, IB could turn into a dead end like FCoE) Whatever displaces FC will do it on high end projects that require that minimum possible latency, and slowly work its way down to more ordinary deployments as the feature set fills out to replace all the things FC can do.

DougS Silver badge

Re: I remember...

FC-NVMe is a protocol which can run on FCoE, or a traditional FC SAN. Trying to equate the two is like trying to equate 10GbaseT and cat7.

The case for FC-NVMe is probably better than for FCoE, which had major adoption roadblocks obvious to anyone with a clue due to the tower model of administration that separates the storage and network teams in most organizations. But you'll need to run FC-NVMe alongside traditional FCP (SCSI/AHCI) for years, as there are strong cost reasons to have two storage tiers, with the second using SATA drives for capacity storage, despite the Reg going crazy on NVMe articles lately (kind of reminds me of how they went crazy on all the FCoE articles for a time...)

Netflix and fill – our coffers: Canada mulls taxing vid streaming giant 5% of subs cash

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Re: GST

Most taxation is on income, except for sales/GST type taxes that are on the price to the consumer. This is neither, it is on the company's revenue.

DougS Silver badge

5% of revenue earned in Canada, or 5% of all revenue?

If the former, I don't think that's really a show stopper, though they'd likely raise prices in Canada 5% to make up the difference. If the latter, I can see them laughing themselves into a stupor as they pull out of Canada en masse - unless creating a subsidiary like "Netflix Canada" would be an option make "5% of all revenue" equal to "5% of revenue earned in Canada."

Gartner: It's tough out there for server-sellers

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Whatever Huawei and Inspur are doing?

You mean starting small and being Chinese to capture growth in the only area likely to experience large growth on an absolute basis in the next few years?

Chernobyl cover-up: Giant shield rolled over nuclear reactor remains

DougS Silver badge

Replacing this shield would be simple

It is on tracks, they could simply build a parallel set of tracks with a new dome, roll the old dome off and roll the new dome on.

Though realistically in a hundred years all of the really nasty stuff will be at such low levels it won't really matter. Probably best to simply cover the dome and everything under it with a few hundred feet of sand and soil and plant flowers on it.

DougS Silver badge

Its been 30 years

There's a direct correlation between radioactivity and half life - the worst stuff that's the most radioactive also has the shortest half life. So a lot of that really bad stuff is mostly gone now. There is still plenty of danger from the stuff that will stick around for hundreds of years if you tried to live there full time, but as the wildlife shows you can do that still be OK.

Some wildlife isn't doing as well because the food chain has a way of concentrating radioactivity in certain food sources. i.e. if certain plants are good at taking radioactive substances out of the soil, then anything that eats those plants will get a higher dose than those that eat other plants. And of course carnivores that eat the ones who ate the higher dose plants get a higher dose as well. So some animals are able to continue on and think it is great because there are no people around to bother them, others have a tough time because they're getting particularly concentrated amounts of radiation due to their diet.

What's the first emotion you'd give an AI that might kill you? Yes, fear

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Devil

Re: Empathy

Luckily we won't live long enough to see a misprogrammed robot doctor amputate an arm to cure a broken thumb!

Internet Archive preps Canadian safe haven to swerve Donald Trump

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No checks and balances?

Just because republicans have control of the presidency and congress doesn't mean Trump is king. Obama had the same control his first two years, one of the things he did was Obamacare. That's going to be dismantled now by Trump. If he does something similar the majority of the country does not like it will be dismantled in 2020 when he loses re-election[*]

[*] I'm assuming that his negatives and unlikability that polls show can go only go higher after four years of daily exposure, especially if he turns right in his policies like Pence and Bannon are pushing, so unless the democrats run Hillary again pretty much anyone including the reanimated corpse of George McGovern will beat him...and the cycle will begin anew.

Besides, even conservative Supreme Court justices are no guarantee whatever laws they pass will be approved. Scalia was among the majority deciding that Bush's law against flag burning was unconstitutional back in 1989.

DougS Silver badge

Part of the problem

May be that journalists have kind of discovered the value of the Wayback Machine the last few years, and have been using it again republican politicians who try to erase their past - like Mike Pence trying to whitewash campaign positions from when he ran for congress that we should defund fighting AIDS and put it towards conversion therapy to "cure" homosexuality.

Of course it can and has been used against democrats as well, but with Trump's open hatred of "the media" I'm sure he wouldn't mind taking away some of their tools if he could get away with it. I'm just not sure exactly how he could, unless he pushed some major changes to copyright law to severely curtail fair use exceptions (so they couldn't archive sites without permission)

DougS Silver badge

Re: Over reaction?

So long as laws are followed, sure. But the warrantless wiretapping that Bush started and Obama continued until it was leaked (and likely still continues in some form) show that they aren't always followed.

It may be an overreaction to do it NOW - if they were worried about this they should have done it as soon as Snowden's revelations went public.

Not sure I agree that Canada is necessarily a good location for the backup, given their participation in the Five Eyes spying. Switzerland seems a much better home for it.

Aw, how sweet: Google Brain claims to clock diabetic eye diseases just like a proper doc

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Re: Welll...

If doctors can get insurance against bad diagnoses, why can't machines? The main problem is false negatives - probably they can get an arbitrarily low percentage of false negatives if they are willing to accept a higher number of false positives. No problem, as I'm sure all positives would go to a doctor for review before telling the patient anyway, but having to review only a fraction of cases instead of all of them would save the doctor's time.

Doing it this way would give time for the software to prove itself and be further improved, so that it could eventually do the diagnoses itself (i.e. maybe someday there will be "an app for that")

Huawei Mate 9: The Note you've been waiting for?

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Re: Firmware?

As I figured I would, attracting a lot of downvotes from idiots dumb enough to still believe Google's "do no evil" credo - but I note none have posted any defense of them.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Firmware?

Once your data is shared with Google, does it really matter if it is shared again with China?

If the US gets an authoritarian government (errr...) that forces tech companies to share the data they are collecting with the NSA, that's much more of a direct threat to a US/UK/EU resident than the Chinese government doing the same.

I'd argue that between the two, you're better off "sharing" your data with that random Chinese IP address than Google HQ.

Has Canadian justice gone too far? Cops punish drunk drivers with NICKELBACK

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Aren't the cops willingly subjecting themselves to it also?

Unless they put headphones on their handcuffed perps, they will be.

A cop who hears Nickelback several times a night, every night, is virtually certain to snap and go on a shooting rampage. After a few hundred people are killed by cops gone mad in shopping malls in Montreal and Toronto, I expect they'll rethink this insane policy!

Creaking Royal Navy is 'first-rate' thunders irate admiral

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Re: The Navy on both sides of the pond suck

Zumwalt was not intended to be an experiment, but a new class of stealth destroyer for the 21st century. The original order for 27 ships belies the claim it was an experiment.

The idea of making a stealth ship seems rather pointless. Sure, an enemy ship's on-board radar might miss it because of that. But in the 21st century any naval group is going to have drones around it, which even at night could easily spot the heat signature of something like that - you can't have a 105,000 hp turbine without leaving a giant IR signature no matter how carefully you dump the waste heat in the ocean. Larger countries like Russia and China have a global satellite network which would be fed right to the bridge of their ships. Stealth is a complete waste of time except in the air.

I imagine this started being designed in the early 90s and has gone through many revisions, cancellations, and rebirths on its way and while it might have been relevant when it was first on the drawing board since UAVs weren't a thing yet, the design cycle took way too long and it is already obsolete.

DougS Silver badge

Zumwalt's $700K shells

The US Navy has showed some sense (or had it forced into them by someone) and decided to not procure any more of those super expensive shells as the cost has now climbed to around $1 million each, based on a planned purchase of 2000 shells, because Zumwalt's massive cost overruns caused them to drop from a planned 28 ships, to 7, and finally to only 3!

They'll instead modify the guns - there is talk about installing a rail gun on the Lyndon Johnson since its powerplant produces 78 megawatts, which is enough to handle it. At least the 'shells' for a rail gun are just pieces of metal, so even with the military's insane markup can't cost more than a few tens of thousands of dollars each (I hope) The new Hyper Velocity Projectile is also under consideration.

R3 four flew: What's driving banks to flee blockchain consortium?

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Re: Blockchain a solution looking for a problem

While I agree, I think the idea is that blockchain will be used for essentially a transaction log. There is no point whatsoever for an individual bank to need/want something that's crytographically provable. With two parties that don't trust each other, that would have some obvious uses, but for bank to bank transactions they already have SWIFT.

So it would presumably be most useful for e.g. Goldman customer A making a transaction with Deutsche Bank customer B, without the banks having to be as directly involved. The problem is that blockchains don't scale for shit, and there doesn't look to be a solution to that problem that doesn't compromise the whole idea of having a full transaction history. I don't care how much bandwidth we have in the future, it isn't practical to shoot multi-terabyte files around to debit my account.

No one except the bitcoin idiots are suggesting using blockchain for currency.

Super Cali goes ballistic, considers taxing Netflix

DougS Silver badge

The taxes on cable made some sorta sense

They were franchise fees, and covered the regulatory costs of dealing with a cable company running wire all over the city, producing local content for the city channels most cable companies offer, etc.

Some places tax satellite TV, and that's a lot harder to make a case for since they don't have the local content and the city has NOTHING to do with a homeowner putting a dish on his roof. They only did it because they saw it as "lost revenue" from people who didn't subscribe to cable. Now they're trying to do the same thing with streaming, for the same stupid reason.

If they want to tax something, taxing internet (since it is using wires strung all over public right of ways just like cable/telephone do) would make a whole lot more sense than taxing your Netflix. Though this really should be folded into property taxes, it doesn't make sense trying to charge tax on dozens of streaming providers when they already have a system set up for it - I guess the big commercial property owners who city councils are all buddy buddy with would discourage such an idea though. It was probably their idea to replace any lost cable franchise revenue with satellite and streaming taxes in the first place!

Microsoft's Neon project to redesign Windows for nerd goggles – reports

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The problem will be avoiding it

Until now you could skip shitty Windows versions, like ME, Vista and 8, and go for the good enough ones like XP, 7 and 10* [*eventually, once 7 is no longer supported, 10 will have to be considered "good enough"]

But Microsoft seems to be abandoning doing "versions" and instead going with a rolling upgrade scheme. Will it be possible to avoid whatever August update fucks up the Windows 10 GUI trying to cater to a few thousand pathetic fad followers who will use Windows via VR? Or would you have to set Windows to ignore ALL updates to avoid getting that?

Microsoft pissed off people before, but at least it was possible to stay on a supported/updated older version and wait for them to come to their senses. That may no longer be possible.

Maybe 2021 finally WILL be the year of the Linux desktop - after Windows 7 support ends in 2020 and people find Windows 10 saddled with phone/tablet crap, VR crap and whatever shiny object they chase after that. Assuming some distro could finally get things together enough that it can be easily installed/used by an average user, without hand holding from a Reg level friend/relative.

How-to terror manuals still being sold by Apple, Amazon, Waterstones

DougS Silver badge

"If they think some damage needs controlling"

Or their press people have a list of questions they think might come up and have answers at the ready for. It is only for something which isn't on the list of pre-answered questions that needs to go to their PR people that they consult the List of Excommunicated Media, find El Reg listed, and refuse comment.

Blu Vivo 6: Top value trendsetter marred by Chino-English mangle

DougS Silver badge

There are no smartphone fingerprint readers that can't be fooled. Some are better than others, and all are probably beyond the typical mugger's ability, but your fingerprint is a username, not a password.

So if you want real security use a password - not a PIN, not 'draw a squiggle', not a fingerprint, not an iris, not a face!

Loyalty card? Really? Why data-slurping store cards need a reboot

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Beacons

Beacon schemes like Paypal's, or Apple's renamed version of it iBeacon, are probably next once the loyalty cards become loyalty apps. They'll give you a bonus if you leave the app open on your phone while you shop, and beacons in the store will be able to tell what aisles you visit and for how long. If you linger in front of the poultry but don't buy, maybe you'll find an offer for $1 off a chicken breast when you enter the store next time.

I've never used a loyalty card. Yeah, I could save a little money, but it isn't worth giving up personal data. I typically pay cash in the grocery store, so they can't link my purchases with my credit card either. And they ask me every time if I have their 'fuel saver' (the rewards are discounts on gasoline) card, I guess management must tell them they have to ask everyone since even the cashiers I recognize and presumably recognize me ask.

San Francisco's sinking luxury Millennium Tower: Tilt spotted FROM SPACE

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Monty Python

When I first came here, this was all swamp. Everyone said I was daft to build a castle on a swamp, but I built in all the same, just to show them. It sank into the swamp. So I built a second one. That sank into the swamp, too. So I built a third. That burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp. But the fourth one stayed up. And that's what you're going to get, lad, the strongest castle in all of England!

DougS Silver badge

"Wave action translated by concrete pillars"

Source please? I smell bullshit from the building's developers being swallowed whole by a gullible Reg commentard.

It is well known that loose material such as soil, sand and gravel becomes HIGHLY unstable during an earthquake due to a process known as liquefaction. That could mean the difference between the building getting a big shaking and swaying (as tall buildings are designed to do) during a quake, and a building suddenly dropping dozens of feet as it and its piers act as if all that sand and gravel has been magically transformed into water. Even if it remains standing I think you can guess the result would be far worse than getting "wave action translated by concrete pillars" embedded in bedrock.

No spoilers! Norway won't tell Snowden if US will snatch him on a visit

DougS Silver badge

Even if they said they won't

Who's to say he wouldn't be renditioned anyway? Granted he's a high profile person and AFAIK that's only been used on nobody terrorists out of the public eye, so I think it is unlikely, but if I were him I sure wouldn't bet my freedom on it! Norway could protest, but a protest after the fact wouldn't do him much good.

Grand App Auto: Tesla smartphone hack can track, locate, unlock, and start cars

DougS Silver badge

Depends if the app used built-in iOS security features

It could have the plaintext oAuth token encrypted by the OS - it would be by default unless they specified no encryption for the file in which it was kept (note this encryption is a separate layer below iOS' overall filesystem encryption)

But if they designed the Android app without trying to take even basic security measures, they might have been equally stupid with the iOS app and chose to have the oAuth token saved without encryption.

Makes me wonder if the communication between app and car is even encrypted? If not, who cares what the phone is doing when you can sniff the network to get what you need!

I'm not having a VMware moment – there's just something in my eye

DougS Silver badge

Re: OMG

Yep, physical machines booting from SAN is hardly a new idea. Sure NVMe is faster than when they were connected via FC to LUNs carved from 15K rpm mirrored drives, but the boot disk of a server is rarely critical to performance.

2.1Gbps speeds over LTE? That's not a typo, EE's already done it

DougS Silver badge

Re: DOCSIS & Cable / Coax

Look up g.fast, cat3 copper can do up a gigabit if you have a cabinet on every block like you're talking about. Of course the cable company's coax is better and can do even higher speeds, but since the cat3 copper is dedicated to each home (and there's pretty much no reason a home needs a gigabit, let alone 10 gigabit) it is a wash. Ideally you'd have them both - competition will lower prices for everyone!

Melbourne man arrested for broadcasting fake messages to pilots

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Seems like Autism / Asperger's is becoming the go to defense in the UK these days.

Sorry, iPhone fans – only Fandroids get Barclays' tap-to-withdraw

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@Symon

I read an article about this elsewhere and one of the big advantages they claimed for the system was that you could enter your PIN on your phone instead on the ATM where it could be skimmed.

Visa cries foul over Euro regulator's stronger authentication demands

DougS Silver badge

This is the difference between debit and credit

With debit cards, they've already taken your money. You have to prove to them the charge was not made by you to get it back. With credit, it is just a mark on your account, and if you dispute a charge you don't owe the money unless after investigation they determine the charges were not made by you (and then the bank is reimbursed via chargebacks to the merchant(s) where the charges were made)

This is why I never absolutely NEVER use a debit card. Not once in my life. I use credit cards for everything, because the protection laws in the US are so much stronger. I've had to dispute charges maybe a dozen times in my life over the years, and have never had any trouble with the process. I don't care that it takes them two months to investigate, because I'm not billed for those charges during the interim.

CompSci Prof raises ballot hacking fears over strange pro-Trump voting patterns

DougS Silver badge

Re: Seven stages of grief

I'm not sure the losing side ever moves past denial in politics. A lot of the "not my president" republicans were in denial about Obama the entire past eight years, that's probably why many are so openly gleeful about Trump. Even when he reneges on some of his promises and ends up doing a few things that are more democrat than republican, they'll still be happy it's not Hillary (even though she's about as neocon as any republican and more of a hawk than half the republican primary field)

Not that this stops them from moving to other stages - chiefly anger - but they never seem to leave the denial behind.

DougS Silver badge
Facepalm

Interesting that Stein is doing this

Given that her presence may have made the difference in two of those three states:

Wisconsin: Trump won by 27,257 votes; Stein got 30,980 votes (NYT)

Michigan: Trump won by 10,704 votes; Stein got 51,463 votes (state of Michigan)

Pennsylvania: Trump won by 68,236 votes; Stein got 48,912 votes (NYT)

I guess she didn't mind running as a third party candidate when she thought Hillary was going to beat Trump. Ooops!

DougS Silver badge

FIFTY ballot initiatives?

I hope to god one of them was making it more difficult to put an initiative to a vote!

DougS Silver badge

He isn't talking about voter fraud, he's talking about hacking

The idea isn't that someone who shouldn't be able to vote is voting, but that a hacker is CHANGING the votes in touchscreen voting machines, via software which would have to be loaded in before the election since the machines aren't connected to the internet on election day. Or perhaps more easily by compromising the machines at local and state election HQ which gather and tally the results from the precincts.

IMHO what we should do is this:

1) wait until after the electoral college meets, because the country is divided enough without going back and trying to make Hillary president even if it could be proven she won and hackers stole the election. She conceded, get over it.

2) audit some randomly selected precincts using various types of machines, in both swing states and non swing states. The reason you do it in non-swing states is while hacking there isn't going to change the results (at least for the president) if someone was going to do this they might first try a proof of concept somewhere they'd be less likely to get caught.

3) add laws requiring a few percent of randomly chosen precincts be audited after every election, with a full statewide audit mandated if a certain error threshold is exceeded.

4) ban any voting machines that do not leave a paper trail - if it can't be audited it should be illegal to use!

Since elections are run by the states these laws would need to be passed at a state level, but the FEC could set some standards. IMHO they should be the sole arbiter that approves voting machines in the future, and while they can't force states to adopt the above laws they should take any means at their disposal to nudge them in that direction.

The big obstacle is that most local and state election officials are VERY much against such auditing. In their eyes they have nothing to gain by proving their election was conducted properly, and everything to lose is something wrong is found. That's also a disincentive for state governors, legislators, etc. to do this - what if someone finds that Governor X actually got 5% less votes than he did, even though he still would have won? Even if he had zero knowledge or involvement, the scandal would probably take him down. Why should he want to do this? That's why it almost has to be forced on them. Unfortunately the average person doesn't realize that this is even possible, and those who voted for the winner may assume it is sour grapes, or turn it into a political battle by saying "this isn't a problem, let's focus on the real problem and fix real by requiring voter IDs"

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