* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Transmission hijacked to broadcast Mac malware

DougS Silver badge

Re: Not true

Sounds like they hacked transmission's official web server, not Mac OS, in this particular case. That doesn't say anything good or bad about Mac OS security, as no hacking of Mac OS was required since the "malware" was unwittingly being deliberately installed by end users.

SpaceX blast kills Zuck's sat

DougS Silver badge

Re: slippage

Hell, I wouldn't use them to launch a satellite, let alone travel in it myself. Communications satellites often take 4-5 years from initial planning to launch, so having one blow up on the pad is a pretty serious setback. Now if it was a rather standard 'off the shelf' design, you can probably get a replacement fairly quickly, but if it is customized at all it is a major setback and not worth whatever discount SpaceX is offering versus the more established choices (which aren't 100% perfect themselves but blow up at a far lower rate than SpaceX)

DougS Silver badge

SpaceX isn't the one who determines safety procedures at Kennedy Space Center, NASA is.

Tim Cook: EU lied about Apple taxes. Watch out Ireland, this is a coup!

DougS Silver badge

I don't think Cook is handling this correctly

If I was his publicist, I would tell him he should say "Apple fully complies with all tax laws in every country in which we do business. As many companies do, we try to minimize the amount of taxes we owe under the law. We do not believe the EU is correct in their assertions, but this is up to Ireland and the EU to determine. If the final determination is that Apple owes back taxes because Ireland did not follow EU rules, we will pay the taxes we owe, though the EU should strongly consider whether retroactive changes to tax rates is the proper way to achieve their goals. While Apple is in a position to pay, other companies in a similar position could feel significant financial stress"

And then refuse all further comment, referring to his previous statement that it is up to Ireland and the EU to determine.

Robot cars probably won't happen, sniffs US transport chief

DougS Silver badge

Re: Code could make "moral decisions" based on flag.

I don't know why we worry about these moral quandaries. No one faces them while driving because of how slow human reaction times are.

The car could conceivably face them, but it should travel at a speed that allows it to always have a safe out. If the safety margin diminishes because it notices pedestrians along the part of the road it calculates as its 'safe out' to swerve to in the event the oncoming human driven truck unexpectedly turns in front of it, it should slow down until it is clear of them. Hopefully this will be compensated for by allowing them to travel as fast as they feel they safely can when no human driven cars are present (a nice 120 mph cruise on the interstates drafting inches behind a long line of other automated cars would make short work of long trips)

DougS Silver badge

I'd buy one

I wouldn't be an early adopter as I'd want to see some data first, but while I enjoy driving sometimes the times when I don't easily outweigh the times that I do so I'd make the trade. Being able to do something else while going from A to B would be nice.

However, I think Tim 11 is being wildly optimistic if he thinks there's even a 0.000000001% chance that driverless cars are ALREADY safer than human drivers. He's really buying into the Google propaganda machine, that's for sure! They probably are safer than humans, in the limited contexts in which Google drives. The roads in California are way better than in much of the US, let alone the rest of the world. Let's see how it does on roads where the lane markings are gone, on gravel or dirt roads, on poorly marked construction areas (I've driven in the wrong place and had to back up before, if it confuses me no way software will get that right every time) How about on roads with several inches of fresh snow, no curbs and only the outlines of the ditches on either side and the occasional sign to give you a clue where it is?

They will come in stages, and first be approved on interstates (freeways) in the US. Those are well controlled with defined entrances and exits, generally well maintained, have reflective markers on the sides of the road, and traffic is all moving in the same direction. It will prove itself there and progressively be approved in different areas. It will be at least a decade from the interstate approval before they get general nationwide approval to drive anywhere a human driver is allowed to drive.

Life imitates satire: Facebook touts zlib killer just like Silicon Valley's Pied Piper

DougS Silver badge

Re: Seems you can countersue

I read it as saying that if you sue Facebook for ANY patent (not just ones related to zstd) that you lose the license. So who is going to risk embedding this technology in their products, which would mean losing the ability to sue Facebook for infringing on one of your patents if you aren't able to recall/update your products to remove zstd?

DougS Silver badge

No one is going to use this

Giving up your right to sue Facebook over a patent basically means if you use this software you'll have to immediately stop if Facebook infringes on one of your patents. So heavy use of this in a way that made it difficult to stop using it would basically give Facebook free reign to infringe on any of your patents!

AT&T trash talks Google over Fiber fiasco: Leave ISP stuff to the experts

DougS Silver badge

Re: AT&T hasn't even tried

AT&T has given up on Uverse and is running fiber now. They started right about the time that Verizon quit. They didn't fulfill the commitments from the 90s, but then no one else did either. The government should have made those tax breaks reversible if certain milestones weren't met - their own damn fault for giving away money without any way to get it back for non-performance. Even a first year law student in the first week of classes would know to put that into a contract!

Exploding phablet phears phorce Samsung Galaxy Note 7 delay

DougS Silver badge

Re: Well at least

Should have known someone would use an article about Samsung phones catching on fire to criticize Apple. Imagine the pointing, laughing and shouting from Fandroids if the new iPhone had a problem like this!

Given 5 known cases already with only 400,000 Note 7s shipped, since Apple ships over 10 million on launch weekend there would have been over 100 fires and stories would have hit every news site in the world, instead of just a few articles on tech sites.

Australian geoboffin discovers 3.7 billion year old fossils after ice melts

DougS Silver badge

Re: Alarmist scam

The ice wasn't 3.7 billion years old, the rocks it was covering are.

Ankers away! USB-C cables recalled over freakin' fried phone fears

DougS Silver badge

Re: Apple control freaks

Well the ideal would be monitors that can be either powered by or provide power to the attached devices. If you have a desktop it would be plugged in and provide power via USB-C to your monitor that would not need to be plugged into the wall. If you have a laptop it would be plugged in and draw power via USB-C from your monitor that would be plugged into the wall.

Since USB-C is pretty new and hardly anyone is using it to connect to monitors, it will probably take a few years for this to become a reality.

DougS Silver badge

Apple control freaks

Aren't looking so bad now, after bad cables and lack of resistors killed the first gen Google Pixel laptops with USB-C, and now dodgy USB-C cables are causing further issues.

Not really defending them as it is obviously a trade of one bad thing for another, but those who pose it as "evil Apple versus freedom" have been overlooking the other side of the equation...

Waze to go, Google: New dial-a-ride Uber, Lyft rival 'won't vet drivers'... What could go wrong?

DougS Silver badge

Unlikely to fund a rival before cashing out

Why not hedge your bets by funding multiple companies doing the same thing, to increase the chances you pick the winner? Google (and Intel, Microsoft etc. who similarly invest in startups) aren't doing it to make money, they're doing it build relationships with them for the future.

DougS Silver badge

Guess they are trying to claim ignorance

If they make no attempt to vet anyone, they think they can't be held liable when something goes wrong. Can't say I totally disagree with that logic, but that's not how the real world will work the first time someone is raped or murdered by one of these drivers...

Making us pay tax will DESTROY EUROPE, roars Apple's Tim Cook

DougS Silver badge

Some of these morons really believe Apple is alone in taking advantage of Ireland's tax law, and Google and others are paying much more. Talk about denial. Apple is TOTALLY taking advantage of Ireland's laws, but don't act as if they alone are doing it!

EU verdict: Apple received €13bn in illegal tax benefits from Ireland

DougS Silver badge

Re: This doesn't cost Apple anything in the long run

Apple is only "investing" the money is the most conservative investments possible, so they will lose one or two percent, which is less than the interest the US government is going to charge them...

While the US may "chime in", they have little to say about how the EU's tax laws are interpreted. But if the EU prevails, this does NOT go into EU coffers. It goes into Ireland's coffers alone. The reason the EU is fighting this is because they feel that Ireland is getting an unfair advantage over other EU countries.

DougS Silver badge

This doesn't cost Apple anything in the long run

Foreign taxes paid are a direct credit against US taxes. All this means is that Apple will (assuming the ruling holds) pay the €13 billion sooner, rather than being able to delay it for an arbitrary length of time by choosing not to bring the money home.

Apple is already carrying a deferred taxes item on their balance sheet that's several times this amount, to reflect the US taxes owed on money they are holding overseas that will become due when it is brought back. When they pay the €13 billion their deferred taxes will drop an identical amount so the net effect on their market cap / stock price is zero.

Intel's makeshift Kaby Lake Cores hope to lure punters from tired PCs

DougS Silver badge

That indemnification is worth zero if Apple is sued, because they have to fight the battle before Google is liable for anything. Google is completely unrealistic in thinking they can have a codec that isn't encumbered by patents. There were bystanders waiting until h.265 and h.265 was finalized before stepping out of the woodwork, if VP9 and VP10 becomes a thing, there will be patent holders (whether trolls or legit) coming out...

DougS Silver badge

You're assuming Apple will support that hardware in MacOS. Given the lack of certainty on VP9's patent status, they may stick with h.264/h.265 support since they've already licensed all the necessary patents (well at least the ones that MPEG knows about)

DougS Silver badge

Speeding up web browsing by a fifth

If your web browsing is slow on a Skylake, the problem won't be solved by more CPU performance.

Ireland taxman: Apple got NO favours from us, at all, at all

DougS Silver badge


No, you're 100% wrong. The EU's interest has ZERO to do with the US allowing companies to avoid paying interest. The US is pretty much alone in the world in taxing US companies on worldwide income. Most countries only tax companies on money they earn within their borders.

What the EU cares about is Ireland making special deals that disadvantage the rest of the EU. If Apple et al has a great deal that's against EU law, it hurts other countries as Ireland gets the benefit.

DougS Silver badge

Indeed, Apple is just the biggest target

The EU knows if they can make it stick against Apple, they can go after all the other Irish arrangements that nearly every US tech company has. The money they collect from Apple will be chicken feed when they go after all those big fish, then the smaller fish.

Europe to order Apple to cough up 'one beeellion Euros in back taxes'

DougS Silver badge

Who are the taxes payable TO?

It sounds like they are payable to Ireland, which if true makes me wonder why they are fighting this? Are they worried Apple and other companies will change their tax structure down the road, so this windfall will be outweighed by reduced receipts down the road?

This would be the first time I can ever recall a country's tax organization fighting for being paid LESS taxes lol!

Uber lost $7m a DAY in the first half of this year

DougS Silver badge


You may want to re-think that statement. Facebook made $2 billion last quarter. They collect money from advertising, they collect money from businesses to 'promote' their pages and probably other stuff, but those the big ones.

WhatsApp wasn't really worth $16 billion because they already had most of those users they were buying, and had a messaging app, so I'm not quite sure what of the point of that was but that's only two years worth of profit (less since it is growing pretty fast)

If you want to complain about nearly profit free massively overpriced companies due for a crash, look at Amazon and Netflix. But Amazon lived through the first crash unscathed so I wouldn't short their stock, that's for sure. Must be a lot of closely held stock in the float, or they dispense lithium at their investor meetings.

Google breaks heart, White Knight falls off horse

DougS Silver badge

I think the real problem was that they assumed they wouldn't have to face any real competition, but the cable TV industry was able to keep upping their speeds without digging up all the streets.

Running fiber to the home is silly and pointless. First of all, almost no one really needs or can make use of anything like a gigabit, no matter how much streaming or web surfing they do. Second, it's now possible to provide gigabit speeds by running fiber to neighborhoods and using existing coax or phone lines that already enter people's homes. The problem, Google doesn't own those lines, so they can't use them. That's why they are trying to rethink their strategy and skip over the "last mile" using wireless. The problem is, they won't be the only ones doing that either, AT&T is making big investments in fixed wireless broadband, though they seem to be planning on more rural areas that are currently unserved by cable/DSL so they can offer bundling deals with Directv.

The cable company has already run the fiber in any market Google would ever consider, so when they hear Google is coming to town they move it to the front of the line for DOCSIS 3 upgrades and are offering gigabit speeds long before Google has their fiber trunks in the ground, let alone start digging up people's yards to run it to their house.

Apple is making life terrible in its factories – labor rights warriors

DougS Silver badge

Re: Where's the hand wringing over other companies?

And consider how horrible the conditions were in US factories a century ago, or UK factories before that. It is easy for us to get all high and mighty expecting other countries to have the same worker protection laws and enforcement we take for granted, because we've already "made it" economically.

Western companies have been pushing China forward in that regard - granted, a lot of that is a reaction to bad publicity but a lot of companies want to "do good" even when they aren't being watched. The problem is, they also want to get a good deal since that's why everyone is in China in the first place, so there's a conflict. As the regulations increase and worker salaries increase, production will move to cheaper countries with lax laws that will follow the same path of worker exploitation which lessens over time. A lot of real cheap labor (making clothing etc.) has already left China because their workers make too much money now.

We've already done this once for the consumer electronics market...remember when cheap crap was made in Japan, and then eventually it became quality stuff is made in Japan so the cheap crap went to China. China's still fighting the "cheap crap" reputation but they're probably a decade away from casting that aside and having a reputation for quality stuff. And as a result the companies making cheap crap will start using factories in Vietnam or Philippines or something (some already have, Samsung has factories making their low end phones in Vietnam)

DougS Silver badge

Re: Wot! Oh, there must be an iThing about to be announced

They'll complain that evil Apple pushed their suppliers to use more automation and because of that fired thousands of workers with no severance pay and not even any bus fare home.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Who honestly expected a different outcome?

Where's the hand wringing over other companies? They're ALL doing this. Heck, Samsung was sued because unsafe conditions resulted in dozens of workers DYING in one of their chip fabs, and that was owned by Samsung using Samsung employees. Where do you think Dell, IBM, Microsoft, et al are making their products?

Notting Hill Carnival spycams: Met Police rolls out real-time live face-spotting tech

DougS Silver badge

Re: An improvement on their previous face recognition

If (sex == female) {

lower_camera_angle(0.4 meters);



Is that what they meant "may include images other than of faces"?

Corporates ARE sniffing around Windows 10, says Computacenter

DougS Silver badge

Windows 7 support ends in early 2020

Given the timeline, they probably want to plan on having the rollout finished in the early part of 2019 to account for any delays they encounter. That means starting the rollout a year before that in early 2018, meaning that they have to begin testing with small/knowledgeable user communities no later than a year from now.

So this probably is the time for "sniffing around", though many probably hope that Microsoft will somehow be induced to extend its support like they did with XP...

Mozilla breathes petition-of-fire at EU copyright laws

DougS Silver badge

Re: Mickey Mouse Protection Act

No, they won't go backwards in time otherwise Disney would lose copyright as the public domain stories they based their movies on would become copyrighted!

Windows Update borks PowerShell – Microsoft won't fix it for a week

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@Doctor Syntax

Neither are average people who've been forcibly updated to W10 reloading their own W7 nor installing NTLite or DAZ Loader (which I'd never heard of).

Which I why I said "find someone to install Windows 7 for them". They won't do it themselves, because they likely won't have a Windows 7 disc. But they will probably know someone who would be able to install Windows 7 for them.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Time for a career change

No, average people still aren't contemplating changing their PC to Linux, no matter how much people here might wish that was true.

The most realistic scenario would be finding someone able to install Windows 7 on their PC. Word to the wise, use NTLite to integrate XHCI drivers into your Windows 7 install and you'll have a much easier time on Skylake or future hardware. You need it to automatically integrate DAZ Loader anyway (I don't care what Microsoft says, no one should have to pay for a license to downgrade their PC because the OS it shipped with isn't fit for purpose, or worse that Microsoft malware fooled you into installing Windows 10)

Now that Microsoft isn't trying to push the free Windows 10 upgrades anymore, Windows 7 can go back to just quietly working without requiring you to mess with it.

Linux turns 25, with corporate contributors now key to its future

DougS Silver badge

Device drivers / ISA / core kernel

I wish stats like the contributors and companies were broken up, so you could see how much of it was device drivers, how much as in supporting ISA (x86, ARM64 etc.) and how much involved the core kernel. For instance Nvidia's contributors are likely most drivers, Intel has a combination of drivers and ISA, and others doing stuff like improving TCP/IP, I/O scheduler, SATA and other core functions.

Redmond reveals Hyper-V 2016 beats vSphere's RAM and CPU count

DougS Silver badge

The limits are mostly theoretical today, because pretty much no one is selling servers that would hit the limits of either Hyper-V or vSphere. By the time they do, both will have been updated.

I wonder how they even tested this...must have been on an Altix, but I can't imagine anyone would buy one of those to host VMs...

Touchy iPhone 6, 6 Plus chips prone to breaking down and giving up

DougS Silver badge

Re: That's what people get

Apple reports their margins in each quarter's earning announcement. Historically they are just below 40%. If the $240 manufacturing price vs $650 selling price told the whole story, their margin would be a hell of a lot higher than 40%!

Granted, that's a much higher margin than anyone else selling phones (other than Samsung, pretty much everyone else has a negative margin selling phones, after all) but compared to Intel they aren't doing all that well. Intel's margins are in the neighborhood of 60%!

OpenSSL 1.1.0 is out

DougS Silver badge

How much code review / cleanup did they do?

Given the recent spate of OpenSSL vulnerabilities, I'm sure that's the question on most of our minds. "Removing old insecure stuff" sounds good, but hopefully they cleaned up the code so it is more easily reviewable by outsiders than previous versions.

Update your iPhones, iPads right now – govt spy tools exploit vulns

DougS Silver badge

Re: A speedy patch release

The last few years they have been VERY quick to release security patches, especially for something like this.

Unlimited mobile data in America – where's the catch? There's always a catch

DougS Silver badge

Re: First world problem

Well, it depends on what sort of role playing you're doing with your girlfriend on a given night.

That's my lab coat on the hook there, I'll just grab it as I have an important video call to make...

China's $30bn VC fund

DougS Silver badge

China's track record on investments isn't all that great

There are entire cities built for a million people that are empty, and many other examples of malinvestment. China is growing at a big enough clip that they can weather some rather large amounts of wasted resources, just like Sand Hill Road can weather the occasional dot com bubble.

Other places in the US have had VC investment but haven't become another Silicon Valley, despite marketers trying to coin terms like "Silicon Alley", "Silicon Beach", "Silicon Prairie" and so forth. If anyone knew and was able to replicate the formula for its success, Silicon Valley wouldn't still be so unique.

'Second Earth' exoplanet found right under our noses – just four light years away

DougS Silver badge

Re: Slight problem with habitability figure

Reference, please? I've never seen ANYTHING suggesting the Earth will become uninhabitable in less than a million years, considering it has been fine for over half a billion.

Well, modulo one or two snowball Earths (but deliberate global warming could fix that)

Stop lights, sunsets, junctions are tough work for Google's robo-cars

DougS Silver badge

Re: Just very impressive.

They don't need to pull over, but they might need to slow down to see the light. But it doesn't matter if you can infer from other evidence that it is red.

Kaspersky launches its own OS on Russian routers

DougS Silver badge

Re: And another thing......

Yes they are, but if the router doesn't currently have a backdoor, how you are going to install the backdoor software on it? If they have an exploit for it, they never needed a backdoor in the first place.

Oracle reveals Java Applet API deprecation plan

DougS Silver badge

Re: True enough.

How does today's story demonstrate anything about the need for a language that won't get you sued? Oracle never sued anyone for using Java in browsers. Their lawsuit with Google over Android is different, and doesn't concern Java but something almost-but-not-quite-Java that Google created.

Obviously to get widespread support the language must be open, otherwise Firefox can't include it and Chrome probably won't include it.

US Treasury to launch pre-emptive strike on EU's Ireland tax probe

DougS Silver badge

Re: The Intentional Revenue Scum

The IRS wants other countries to charge US companies $0 in taxes, because it means more money for the IRS to which taxes are still due. You don't understand how corporate taxes work in the US at all, obviously.

DougS Silver badge

@doctor syntax

It isn't that Apple considers those subsidiaries to have NO tax jurisdiction, they are based on Ireland and therefore have an Irish tax jurisdiction as far as US government is concerned. They are managed from the US and therefore have US jurisdiction as far as Ireland is concerned. Totally legal according to the laws of both countries, because they have different rules about how tax jurisdiction is determined.

But like I said, all this structure does is delay taxes, Apple carries a future liability for them on their books because they are owed to the IRS - just not payable until the money is brought into the US.

DougS Silver badge


They're borrowing money, but only a small percentage of the overseas hoard. Theoretically they could take on $200 billion in debt I suppose, but they haven't done so.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Apparently, the US already does

But US companies don't avoid US tax, they only delay it. The US Treasury has every incentive to allow Apple and every other US company to pay as little tax to other countries as possible, because those taxes are a credit against US taxes.

When Apple brings that overseas money in, it is taxed at 39.4% (less whatever credits there are for overseas taxes already paid) which considering Apple has over $200 billion in cash overseas now, is a pretty hefty pile that has mostly been lightly taxed and will (eventually, when it is brought back someday) mean $60 to $70 billion for the US Treasury. The reason everyone leaves their money overseas now is because of Bush's stupidity for having a tax holiday on bringing money into the US, which offered some special limited time low rate (I think 12.5%?) so now everyone leaves all their money overseas figuring/hoping that someday another tax holiday will be declared. Or that rates will be lowered and they'll be permitted to bring that money in under the new lower rate (if rates are lowered I think the old money should get the full tax so as not to reward all the companies who did this)

There is no way for US companies to permanently avoid US taxes on any income no matter where earned and no matter what tax residency their subsidiaries may claim.

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