* Posts by DougS

12862 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Apple hits back at devs of axed kiddie screen-time apps

DougS Silver badge

Re: why now?

It is easy for them to tell if an app uses MDM, but there are both legitimate and illegitimate MDM-using apps. How does Apple tell them apart in an automated fashion as you seem to think they can? For example, Microsoft's Outlook client supports MDM, should they delete that? Of course not, it uses MDM as intended (i.e. it works with your employer's MDM if configured)

DougS Silver badge

Re: Who to side with....

Nevermind that on average iOS users spend 10x what Android users do on apps. Break the rules by abusing MDM and you deserve to have your app deleted.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Who to side with....

According to the NYT article:

In the weeks after Screen Time was released, 11 of the 17 most-downloaded screen-time and parental control apps were removed and restricted.

So they didn't axe all the "competing" apps, just the ones violating the MDM rules. I knew when they found the first batch of apps abusing MDM, there would be more. Probably they have been getting rid of a lot more, but the onesie-twosie games or whatever that are abusing MDM won't attract press attention the way getting rid of 11 out of the 17 top apps in a class that Apple just happens to have added new iOS functionality.

What are we more likely to see? A smooth Windows 10 May release... or a xenon-124 decay? Oh dear, bad news, IT folks

DougS Silver badge

Re: Interesting story, but...

Maybe not "completely different", but different enough they can tell. Basically they have a known set of "things we know could/should happen based on standard physics" so they look for exceptions. If they find an exception and can't come up with a reasonable explanation under their current understanding, then it becomes a dark matter candidate and they start work trying to explain it / fit it into candidate dark matter theories.

Gather round, friends. Listen close. It's time to list the five biggest lies about 5G

DougS Silver badge

Re: Auction of spectrum solve issues...

I believe the 24/28 GHz spectrum the FCC has been auctioning for "5G" is a 20 year license.

Microsoft: Yo dawg, we heard you liked Windows password expiry policies. So we expired your expiry policy

DougS Silver badge

Re: PCI DSS

I'm sure they'll get on board eventually. Standard setting bodies are always the last to see reason.

The peelable, foldable phone has become the great white whale of tech

DougS Silver badge

Re: Samsung isn't stupid or desperate?

I didn't say the criticism was unfair, just the comparison to the Note 7 fiasco.

DougS Silver badge

Samsung isn't stupid or desperate?

I think this episode clearly demonstrates that statement isn't true. They were clearly desperate to be first with the folding phone - to the extent that they held a special event a week before the Mobile World Congress where they knew others would be demonstrating folding phones, so they could announce a week earlier.

That's also why it failed so badly so quickly once in the hands of real people. They obviously did pretty much no testing of their own, because they also wanted their launch date before anyone else's which didn't leave time for testing. Their strategy appeared to be "launch and cross your fingers".

Comparing it to the Note 7 recall is extremely unfair, however. They had to recall a million phones already sold to end users, plus many more that were shipped and sitting on shelves or manufactured and waiting to ship. By comparison this was a "recall" of a probably a few dozen phones from reviewers and a delay of a product launch buyers would have known is bleeding edge immature "risky" technology.

Now depending on what the actual issue(s) are they might end up having to write off the production run, but for a $2000 niche product we're probably talking 10,000 of them that had been made so far, not two million plus Note 7s that were ultimately written off. I doubt this writeoff will even warrant mention in their quarterly results, while the Note 7's was so large it made a material impact in their quarterly earnings!

The main thing they did wrong here was letting marketing dictate schedule, so these problems were public all over the world instead of known only to Samsung employees who were testing them. That's the downside of getting all that free publicity for being "first", you also get free publicity when you face plant.

FYI: Yeah, the cops can force your finger onto a suspect's iPhone to see if it unlocks, says judge

DougS Silver badge

Here's a better way

Allow setting a timeout where if your phone hasn't been unlocked for a given number of hours it automatically wipes itself. Most of us could set that to 24 hours and run no risk of losing data. If you are engaged in criminal behavior, a shorter timeout might be appropriate. It all depends on what the longest time you could ever imagine sleeping is, I usually sleep 5-6 hours but approach 9 hours maybe once a year if I didn't sleep the night before...so 10 hours would work for me though I'd have to remember to unlock right before bed just in case!

You'd run some risk of data loss, since obviously you aren't using cloud storage (both Apple and Google will give up that data in response to a lawful subpeona) so backup frequently I guess.

Hard to see how you could be prosecuted for "destruction of evidence" for something automated like that.

DougS Silver badge
Devil

Maybe you just need the right password

"I'mguiltyofthecrimesI'mbeingarrestedfor" would be a forced confession, right?

Samsung to invest $115bn in logic chip biz over next 11 years as volatile memory mart cools

DougS Silver badge

Re: In other words

Intel doesn't use their 10nm or 14nm processes for memory, those troubles don't impact that market. I believe they sold out their joint venture in flash to Micron, the only kind of memory they are making now is Optane.

I doubt Intel had anything to do with Samsung's decision - if anyone's did it was probably Global Foundries because now there are only two commercial foundries following the bleeding edge, TSMC and Samsung. Had GF decided to keep trying, it would have made it more difficult for Samsung to succeed. They are doing great in memory, but are a tiny fraction of TSMC's size on the logic side.

DougS Silver badge

Re: In other words

No one's roadmap extends beyond 3nm today, but a decade ago no one's roadmap extended beyond 7nm. Besides, memory (especially flash) uses less aggressive processes, so if even if Moore's Law did halt at 3nm for logic, there would still be further progress for RAM and NAND.

DougS Silver badge

In other words

Around $10 billion a year which has been their level of investment lately, and the same as TSMC's even though they are logic only and don't also have NAND & DRAM facilities like Samsung does.

This is like saying you will be driving 600 miles in the next 11 hours, thinking it will sound more impressive than "I will continue driving 55 mph for the next 11 hours like I already was the last few hours".

Boffins bring home the bacon as AI-powered robo-medic performs heart surgery on pigs

DougS Silver badge
Facepalm

"No pigs were harmed" but they were all sent on to pig heaven

Call me crazy, but I consider being killed - no matter how nicely - as harm! Not that I have an ethical issue with this, but maybe the proper phrase should be "no pigs were made to suffer"...

Behold, the insides of Samsung's Galaxy Fold: The phone that tears down all on its own

DougS Silver badge

Did they copy Apple's butterfly keyboard design?

It seems to have the same fatal flaw that it works best when used only in a cleanroom.

President Trump sits down with Twitter boss for crunch talks: Why am I losing followers?

DougS Silver badge

Trump doesn't understand how Twitter bots work

In order to look "real" they need to follow some accounts - and the best way to look real is to follow some of the accounts with the most followers, hence Trump, Kim K and others with a lot of followers always have a big bot following. When Twitter deletes the bots, those follower counts drop.

Except you don't see Kim K whining all the time about how Twitter is biased against vacuous talent-free "celebrities" because she lost a few hundred thousand followers. Trump is the only vacuous talent-free "celebrity" who does that.

DougS Silver badge

Why would you need Twitter at all to see what he's posting? I never login to Twitter and I hear about at least half of them anyway.

UK cautiously gives Huawei the nod for 5G network gear sales

DougS Silver badge

Re: No one buys telecoms services based on how secure they are

Yep, the odds that there will be a path to the internal network are guaranteed to be basically 100% for any network as complex as a cellular carrier's. Think of how many third party vendors have access to it for supporting their equipment, and you multiply the attack surface by those vendors, and then THEIR third party vendors.

Is anyone willing to bet that there isn't a p0wned PC in any of those networks? It only takes ONE and there's your path to the configuration interface.

Accenture sued over website redesign so bad it Hertz: Car hire biz demands $32m+ for 'defective' cyber-revamp

DougS Silver badge

HOW IN THE HELL

Can you spend $32 million over two years for a website redesign? Hertz deserve an equal share of the blame for letting it get that far!

'Fake 5G' feud falters as Sprint, AT&T settle suit over 'misleading' label

DougS Silver badge
WTF?

I'm sorry but

While the "5GE" thing is a stupid marketing exercise, a 5G "industry consortium" deciding that the current 5G standards aren't "real" 5G and you need to wait for release 16 part 2 for "real 5G" is a far, far greater level of bullshit. If the 3GPP calls it 5G, it is 5G, and no industry consortium can claim otherwise!

They could have prevented this by not calling it "5G" but instead giving it a proper name like GSM and LTE had. But since 5G is the only name it will ever go by, and you can't trademark that, we will be treated to an endless array of 5G "enhancements" dreamed up by marketing. I'm waiting for 5G XTREME, personally.

Not another pro-Brexit demo... though easy to confuse: Each Union Jack marks a pile of poo

DougS Silver badge

Doesn't the UK have CCTV almost everywhere?

At least that's how it sounds from reading El Reg. If they're going to have it, might as well using that facial fecal recognition technology for something useful! Then you don't need "vigilantes" to flag the poo, the cops can mail a ticket to their house!

Whose cloud is it anyway? Apple sinks $30m a month into rival Amazon's AWS – report

DougS Silver badge

That's really not that much to spend

For a company of Apple's size, and as noted they have their own cloud and use Google's cloud, and are also known to use Microsoft's cloud. IMHO it makes sense to own only your baseline capacity, and rely on others for peaks like when the new iPhone is announced and Apple's servers are slammed, or over Christmas when the App Store is slammed. Why spend billions building out capacity that will be idle most of the time? Probably Apple's needs are growing ahead their construction, so they aren't even at a place where they can service their baseline yet, hence the billions in ongoing investment.

It probably is also a good idea to replicate critical data across more than one cloud - i.e. have it your own cloud but also in someone else's so if your cloud goes down it doesn't take that critical thing with it. I don't know whether or not they do this, but it seems like it would make sense because as the occasional outages that have affected Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Apple's clouds demonstrate, no matter how reliable you think your stuff is, there is always something you overlooked or some type of human error you weren't prepared for.

Tesla touts totally safe, not at all worrying self-driving cars – this time using custom chips

DougS Silver badge
FAIL

Musk is losing his mind

Either he's going to be sued into oblivion for his claims about a "robot taxi that will let you keep 75% of the earnings" since that's financial information people would use to base purchases on, or he'll be sued into oblivion when a driverless car that's years from being ready to do that kills its first pedestrian while on "robot taxi" duty.

Aussies, Yanks may think they're big drinkers – but Brits easily booze them under the table

DougS Silver badge

Re: Have you tasted American and Aussi beer?

Well sure but not everyone who likes IPAs tries every single IPA out there, so it doesn't matter that there is only a half ounce per person if only 1 out of 100 people will ever try it.

Even if you had some giant beer Walmart that offered every one, it would take you a decade to try them all. You try the ones you've heard about from friends, have had really good reviews or (I confess I'm guilty) the ones with the really interesting names.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Have you tasted American and Aussi beer?

That hasn't been my experience. And often they simply expand the existing operations of those smaller breweries. The difficulty in taking a regional brand national is not so much production capacity but more distribution logistics and the inane patchwork of differences in alcohol distribution laws each state has.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Have you tasted American and Aussi beer?

The major breweries like Budweiser have been buying up a lot of the microbreweries so they can take them national. I'm sure Bud/Bud Light are an ever decreasing percentage of their revenue.

Take your pick: 0/1/* ... but beware – your click could tank an entire edition of a century-old newspaper

DougS Silver badge

Guess back in the days when every byte counted

Bothering to have the program announce itself as "Windows Formatter" or whatever it was really called, was too much to ask or something...

Good thing we don't suffer from such limitations in today's world of GB of RAM and TB of storage, so anyone who wrote a program that simply prompted for a location without any way to know it was planning to format a drive would be deservedly shot in the back of the head!

Double trouble for Lyft after share price drop sparks class action lawsuits claiming hype

DougS Silver badge

Re: Has someone external run the numbers

We see the "quality" of these third party estimates every time you look at figures for smartphone and PC market share from IDC and Gartner. Even though most of those sales pass through retail so it should be pretty easy to get since they have relationships with retailers they still differ - except last time when for the first time ever they agreed for the PC market. Coincidence, or did they decide it makes them both look bad so they decided to privately agree upon numbers before publishing them? :)

If they can't even agree closer than a few percent for such simple markets as those, how could they possibly agree in a market where the share for each has no retail component at all and is 100% hidden behind app usage on personal smartphones?

DougS Silver badge

Re: Has someone external run the numbers

You can't accurately calculate market share without knowing the competition's internal data as far as the number of rides it is doing. Uber is going to tell Lyft such trade secret information and vice versa. The best either can do is estimate. Of course the estimates may be overly generous on both sides, which is why their estimated totals add up to 104%.

Wannacry-slayer Marcus Hutchins pleads guilty to two counts of banking malware creation

DougS Silver badge

How would him lying make the press look bad?

they made such a song and dance about his heroic discovery of the kill switch, they would be top of the lost of idiots if it turned out he was responsible.

Where did they "make a song and dance" about it? They reported that he was the one who found the kill switch, and enabled stopping the malware. If it turns out he wrote it, what they printed before is still true, except now you'd have a better explanation of why he was able to "find" the kill switch.

It is no different than if the press reported a fire was called in by a neighbor, whose quick action saved the house from total destruction, but later investigators determine it was arson and he was responsible for. How would it make the press look bad to have reported the facts the first time, and then reported additional facts later when they came to light?

Are they supposed to not print any news until the last and final story is in? I guess the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman should still be waiting to make it onto the news, since no one has ever been convicted of the crime.

So how'd this go again... A sea goddess told you in a dream to run for president of Taiwan? OK, Mr Foxconn boss

DougS Silver badge

So kind of the difference between Trump and Reagan. One wants to play footsie with Putin under the table, the other wanted to drive Putin to drink himself under the table.

DougS Silver badge

Pro-Beijing line?

If he wins they might need a Mueller of their own to investigate his campaign for Chinese collusion.

We've read the Mueller report. Here's what you need to know: ██ ██ ███ ███████ █████ ███ ██ █████ ████████ █████

DougS Silver badge

Re: How was it redacted?

The only PDF that's been vulnerable to the cut-n-paste "oops not redacted" attack was one done by one of the defendant's lawyers (I think maybe Manafort's?) everything coming from the DoJ has been redacted correctly. I imagine they have an exact process that has to be followed, and a process for double checking it was done right, given the number of redacted documents they produce on a daily basis.

Facebook: Yeah, we hoovered up 1.5 million email address books without permission. But it was an accident!

DougS Silver badge

Facebook apology of the week club

Seriously, have they gone a full week yet this year without being caught red handed doing something completely unethical and Zuck saying "sorry, my bad"?

BBM is dead, long live BBMe: Encrypted chat plat opened up to all as consumer version burns

DougS Silver badge
Facepalm

In other news

Apple is opening up the AppleTalk protocol, and Google has opened sourced the 1998 version of PageRank.

Why Qualcomm won – and why Tim Cook had to eat humble Apple pie

DougS Silver badge

Re: 5G - beyond the hype

Uh, 5GE is "LTE Advanced" so if that's the 4G you want then you should be looking for AT&T's so-called "5GE".

DougS Silver badge

Re: Details

The patent owner is the only one required to license on FRAND terms, per the contract they signed when they took part in the standards process. Their licensees aren't covered by that because they weren't a party to that contract, so Apple wouldn't be in a "massive world of litigation" if they got more favorable terms than others.

DougS Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: What about auto-updates?

Beware of industry led standards groups hyping technologies that are needed to satisfy acronyms!

DougS Silver badge

Re: The FTC lawsuit will continue

That didn't stop Trump's administration from trying to block the AT&T purchase of Time Warner because Trump hates CNN. I could easily see Trump wanting to avoid hamstringing Qualcomm even if it means they get to act in an anti-competitive fashion.

DougS Silver badge

Re: 5G - beyond the hype

The press hasn't caught on to that fact yet. They seem to ignore that LTE is capable of over 2 Gbps itself, and the use case for even faster on a phone is non-existent - at least for the lifetime of any phones sold in the next few years.

Not to mention ignoring all the potential roadblocks there are with the mmWave frequencies required for the really really fast speeds being talked about for 5G. You will need to be surrounded by mmWave antennas on several sides to be able to use it with your phone, since your hand, a building's wall, or even a leaf can block those frequencies. In big cities, sure you will be able to do that, but outside of pretty dense urban areas it simply won't happen. The use case for 5G there is fixed wireless for internet access to homes via overbuild, not mobile use.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Details

No doubt each side had to give, the question is what and how much. We'll probably never know, usually CEOs involved in court cases don't want to disclose terms unless they achieve total victory.

Qualcomm's CEO refused to comment when asked how much Apple's payment will be, if it was the full payment Qualcomm says they were owed or close to it one would think he'd have no reason not to share it. He was happy to talk about the $2/share incremental that will result from Apple resuming purchase of modems from Qualcomm which gives a big clue (or will once the 5G modem Apple buys from Qualcomm is known as far as size/process etc.) as to what Apple will be paying going forward so it doesn't appear the deal imposed on a gag order on him.

We might be able to take a stab at it after Qualcomm and Apple's Q2 results are reported a few months from now, assuming the payment takes place immediately or at least before the end of June. Though there are ways to obsfucate it, should they choose to do so. Since Apple has been holding a contingency on their books for the amount owed, it might be easier to tease out from their results.

DougS Silver badge

Re: I think it was Intel wot did it

Apple is the only customer for Qualcomm's standalone modems, they always get "exclusivity" because everyone else buys them as part of a Qualcomm SoC. Apple will NOT use the 855 because that's a whole SoC, not just a cellular chip. Qualcomm will need to create a new product for Apple for next year that splits out the modem on the 855.

Even if Apple had been working with Qualcomm all along they would have never used Qualcomm's crappy X50 solution this year, they would have waited for the integrated version that didn't need a separate 5G chip. Same reason they didn't do LTE right away, they weren't going to compromise on a half baked solution that complicates design (notice how all the Android 5G phones are bigger than the non-5G versions?) and sucks the battery dry.

Surprising absolutely no one at all, Samsung's folding-screen phones knackered within days

DougS Silver badge

@Dave 126 - what I would do

Have Samsung employees carry them around for internal only testing. People would spy them in the wild and post photos to Twitter and hype would build.

That way Samsung gets to identify the problems without charging $2000 for customers to be pre-alpha testers and getting egg on their face when review units sent to members of the press fail within a day or two.

DougS Silver badge

Why would a layer you aren't supposed to remove

Be so easily able to remove like the protective layer that ships on the screen of pretty much every phone you buy? If it is supposed to remain, use a stronger adhesive so it can't be peeled off without herculean effort!

What an embarassment for Samsung. I wonder if they even had any real human testing, or rushed it to market without any testing to "beat" Huawei to the punch by a week or two? Hate to say I told you so, but having a machine folding and unfolding a device with identical mechanical perfection tens of thousands of times is not comparable to a person folding and unfolding a device a few hundred times with varying amounts of force and torque.

Microsoft president: We said no to Cali cops' face-recog tech – and we won't craft killer robots

DougS Silver badge

At least Microsoft had some sense to understand the limits/problems of their technology

Google would happily go along with it and only reluctantly pull out when it became public and their employees revolted.

Facebook would be all-in with Zuckerberg blaming everyone but himself when things went horribly wrong and the software flagged an innocent man as a criminal leading to cops rolling up on him with a hair trigger leading to a fatal result.

Absolute mad lads are teaching physics to AI because how else will it learn to solve real-world problems (like humans)

DougS Silver badge

Re: “Fallen on hard times”?

To be fair the Alto was far from a product ready design, so just because they invented the GUI doesn't mean they "should have" been able to turn it into a product, let alone own the segment.

Hell, it can easily be argued that Apple didn't succeed there either despite turning Xerox's work into a product, given how things went in the Mac vs PC desktop battle in the 80s and 90s. If it wasn't for the iPod, Apple might now be a footnote in history next to Atari and Acorn.

Three planets and two stars adds up to one research team made very happy by Kepler's unique discovery

DougS Silver badge
Devil

Re: It'd take almost the entirety of known human existence

Still going to be a boring trip, with shitty internet latency.

That's the way the Cook, he crumbles: Apple, Qualcomm settle patent nuclear war – as Intel quits 5G phone race

DougS Silver badge

Re: More likely the other way round

That's certainly possible but why would Apple settle on day 2 of the trial? If they let the trial go forward and it looked like Qualcomm was faring badly, they'd have a lot more leverage over them. It isn't as if they couldn't afford to wait until the end of the month to see if their negotiating position would improve. We're talking about the 2020 iPhone here, they could afford to wait a few more weeks.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Seems quite likely.

I think it is in Apple's best interests to develop their own modem, though they might not see it as quite so urgent as they would have yesterday. There will certainly be plenty of Intel engineers sending out resumes soon, and Apple could have their pick of the best of the lot.

If Intel doesn't intend to do anything with cellular going forward, Apple could arrange to buy Intel's cellular IP (much of which they acquired from their purchase of Infineon, who supplied the modems for Apple's first few generations of iPhone) That would give them a better negotiating position with Qualcomm when they started using internally developed modems.

I suspect within the next few months we'll either hear that Apple has been snapping up Intel engineers, or that Apple's job postings for cellular engineers have all disappeared and the assumption is that Apple's internal project has been scrapped. As an Apple investor, I hope not as I think that would be very short sighted but we'll see.

DougS Silver badge

Don't forget that Qualcomm needs a license to Apple's patents as well. When the first deal was made Apple was just starting to design their own SoCs, now they've been doing it for years and have developed a bunch of technologies themselves - Apple owned patents that Qualcomm undoubtedly uses either knowingly or unknowningly in the Snapdragon SoCs they sell. Not to mention all the patents Apple acquired from their acquisition of PA Semi and Intrinsity a decade ago, which provided them the people and know-how to design fully custom CPUs in the first place.

There's a good chance they'd end up doing a cross license for all non-cellular patents at $0 for either side, and the licensing would then only concern cellular which Apple wanted all along. Apple might have been willing to make the full back payment or close to it if they got a much better deal going forward.

If it is a good enough deal they might even abandon their efforts to design their own modem (though I hope that's not the case, even if they don't save any money I think they are better off for a lot of reasons controlling that technology themselves)

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