* Posts by DougS

12862 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

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

DougS Silver badge

The FTC lawsuit will continue

The settlement with Apple won't stop the FTC lawsuit. It has already been heard, and is awaiting a ruling. I suppose the FTC could always settle with Qualcomm and let them off the hook to prevent a 'bad' ruling for a US company. Since Apple is pretty much the only US company selling phones (Google sells a few million a year) if Apple indicates to the FTC they are satisfied with where things stand with Qualcomm this might even be possible.

Perhaps Apple telling the FTC "yah, we good now" was even part of the deal they made with Qualcomm?

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

DougS Silver badge

I don't think the range is anywhere near that large. The figures provided in the lawsuit that started yesterday stated that Qualcomm controlled 20% of the standards essential LTE patents and were charging Apple $7.50 a phone, and another group that controlled over 40% of the standards essential LTE patents were charging $3.36 a phone. That's where Apple got their argument that they should be paying $1.50.

That $1.50 is the lower bound, not 10 cents - and really the lower bound is higher than that because why would Qualcomm surrender completely to Apple's demands unless they were losing the suit and risked treble damages? Giving in now they got a better deal than that. If the trial was going badly for them they might think that was the outcome and give in then, but not after one day! There's also no chance that Apple would agree to pay the full $7.5 billion - why would they give up on the eve of this huge lawsuit only to accept the deal that has been on the table all the time? They'd only do that if they felt Qualcomm was going to be completely victorious and end up owing nothing, which would also only be apparent after much more than one day of the trial.

The reality is somewhere between the $1.50 and $7.50 figures. Maybe we'll see it in upcoming quarterly reports for Apple or when Qualcomm gets paid by Foxconn et al - Apple has been withholding payments to them and will pay them and then they'll pay Qualcomm. Apple has been keeping a contingency on their books for the full fee, so if they pay less than that it'll show up as a one time item on their earnings. I don't know how Qualcomm has been accounting for it, but it may show up as some sort of an extraordinary one time item though I'll bet they disguise it unless it is very close to the full figure.

DougS Silver badge

Uh, it was QUALCOMM that escaped treble damages

Qualcomm was the defendant in the huge $27 billion suit that started yesterday, not Apple. Even if Qualcomm beat that suit and successfully sued Apple in their other actions, they would not be eligible for treble damages.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Hmmm...

Apple wasn't scheduled to use Intel 10nm modems until fall of 2020 (the 8160) so it wasn't going to be a problem for Apple unless Intel still couldn't make 10nm work by summer next year.

DougS Silver badge

Qualcomm must have been worried

This case was the big enchilada, if they lost here even partially all their other licensees could potentially come back and sue them as well. Even if those other licensees couldn't claw back past overpayment they'd be able to pay Qualcomm less going forward - hence the big jump in Qualcomm's stock the minute this settlement was announced. I guess Qualcomm didn't like the look of the jury they ended up with yesterday or something?

Unfortunately we'll never know the terms, Apple had withheld billions in payments from Qualcomm so the fact Apple had to kick in some cash is hardly surprising but if we knew the amount of the payment it would give a big clue as to whether this deal ended up closer to what Apple had been demanding or what Qualcomm wanted.

The one company it is bad news for is Intel, since there's a chip supply agreement mentioned, though no mention of quantity so Intel may keep some iPhone volume after this year. Though given that Apple is working on their own cellular modem it might not make a whole lot of difference in the long run depending on when Apple is ready to start using their own. I wouldn't be surprised if they tried it out first in the lower end "Xr" class device, or even a new "SE", for the first model year just in case there are problems they didn't catch during testing.

As long as there's fibre somewhere along the line, High Court judge reckons it's fine to flog it as 'fibre' broadband

DougS Silver badge

Re: "If you are getting a gigabit"

G.fast can provide a gigabit over phone wiring - the distance is limited but running fiber a couple blocks away from you is a lot cheaper than trenching it to the side of your house.

Coaxial cable can do 10 gigabits symmetric with the latest DOCSIS standard. Surely that's fast enough for anyone!

DougS Silver badge
WTF?

Why in the world do you care if the connection is fiber or copper?

If you are getting a gigabit, or whatever it is you are supposed to be getting, what makes fiber all the way to the home superior to fiber most of the way to the home finishing with copper? Honestly I could see the average person being upset because there's an unfounded perception that "fiber" is better, but I would think El Reg's technically knowledgeable crowd would know there's no basis for that perception!

Article 13 reasons why... we agree with EU, nods Britain at Council of Ministers

DougS Silver badge

Can someone explain why they renumbered the articles?

Doesn't anyone with a clue add new articles AFTER the existing ones, instead of (apparently) adding some before existing ones? Did they do this deliberately to sow confusion amongst those who were against the potential effects those articles could have?

Either Facebook is building yet another massive bit barn in Iowa, and doesn't want you to know about it....

DougS Silver badge

There's another reason to use a shell company

When you are negotiating to buy the land, the price is going to go up if you tell a landowner "hi I'm from [Facebook/Google/Apple/Amazon/Microsoft] I'd like to buy a few hundred acres from you".

DougS Silver badge

They produce jobs, but indirectly

Iowa leads the US in per capita wind energy - something like 40% of Iowa's electrical demand is produced by wind (Texas produces more megawatts, but is way bigger and has way more people so their percentage of total demand is much less)

Wind energy is big business in Iowa, and the more datacenters that move in the more demand for wind there is - because all the Silicon Valley companies want to build datacenters that use renewable energy.

Whether the jobs are worth the tax breaks depends on the tax breaks they're getting. At least Iowa isn't stupid like Wisconsin and gives away billions up front for jobs that will never materialize.

It is but 'LTE with new shoes': Industry bod points a judgy finger at the US and Korea's 5G fakery

DougS Silver badge

Sounds like he's making excuses

Yes, the "5G E" stuff is LTE is sheep's clothing, but there are some launches of "real" 5G taking place. It doesn't require new antennas or new spectrum - if it is using 5G protocols you can use existing cellular spectrum (and therefore existing antennas) and it is 5G.

It isn't going to have the crazy high speeds being hyped, of course. For that you need giant swathes of spectrum, and those simply aren't available in the low bands because math. That's where you need the millimeter wave spectrum that does require new antennas - and also creates a lot of new problems since those frequencies can't pass through hands, heads, walls or even a leaf.

A quick cup of coffee leaves production manager in fits and a cleaner in tears

DougS Silver badge

Yes but you were a janitor for a short time, and then (presumably) moved on to bigger and better things. The type of people who don't move on probably include some heavily OCD types for whom cleaning is sort of "enjoyable" or at least acts to de-trigger their symptoms (and as such they'd be very good at their job, so that's the type you'd want if you're hiring a janitor)

Having a room that is never cleaned would probably bug the hell out of such a person, and if they got a crack at it might be unable to stop themselves even if they know they aren't supposed to clean it.

DougS Silver badge

Probably nothing was unplugged

If you have a small UPS like you'd have with only a couple servers like these guys had, the motor start on a vacuum would overdraw the UPS and cause it to trip. I assume that's what happened.

If it wasn't a code violation it almost wouldn't be a terrible idea to use non-local plugs for servers, i.e. use PDUs made for the UK in the US and vice versa, and order your servers configured that way. Then no one can plug anything (not just vacuums, but other crap that doesn't belong like unauthorized devices, phone chargers etc.) into the PDUs.

Yes, I've seen crap like that - I recall once seeing a consumer wireless router plugged into a rack with Sun gear, with an ethernet cable running from it to the management port on one of the servers. Since I was a consultant there I didn't touch anything, I just asked the facilities manager "why" and apparently it caused quite a scene that resulted in an Oracle DBA consultant being dismissed from the project. The story I heard was that the server was crashing and he needed a way to access the management port to get crash info to determine what tweaks were necessary to prevent that. Why he thought plugging a Linksys into the management port was the best way to achieve that I have no idea.

You're not our FRAND any more, Apple tells Qualcomm: iGiant and pals lob $30bn sueball

DougS Silver badge

Re: Dumb questoin.....

The reason Qualcomm separates the chips from the licenses is because they want to force everyone to license ALL their patents, not just the ones that apply to cellular. They have some patents that are not FRAND, and involve various things like CPUs, batteries etc.

Their condition that you must license everything from them appears to be in violation of FRAND, which doesn't permit tying the licensing of FRAND and non-FRAND patents. Qualcomm argues that they have to do this in order to get paid for their other inventions. If Samsung or Apple or Nokia want to get paid for patents they hold having to do with CPUs, batteries or other non-cellular technologies involved in making a phone they strike up license agreements with the companies making them, or sue those companies if they are using the patents without an agreement. Which is in fact what Qualcomm is doing in one of their lawsuits against Apple, so they don't seem to have much of a leg to stand on with their patent tying claiming they "must" do it.

The fees charged for the patents are a whole other kettle of fish that's a lot more complicated. Supposedly Qualcomm collects more in license fees for its cellular patents than every other cellular patent holder in the world combine, that will be hard to defend. But the fees they charge for non-FRAND patents are easier to defend since there isn't any standard there - it is basically what you can get a jury to go along with, but you are always free to refuse to license to at any price if you so choose - the jury can only assign a value to patents used without your consent, and you ask a judge to block imports for further such use of non-FRAND patents without your consent.

Russian parliament waves through powers for internet iron curtain

DougS Silver badge

Re: The rest of the world should help them out

Go ahead and cut yourself off from Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Amazon etc. etc. Russia doesn't have anything the rest of the world wants internet-wise.

I wasn't making a value judgment of US vs Russia bad actions, just pointing out that cutting yourself off from Russia loses you nothing and protects you from lots. You can protect yourself from lots by cutting yourself off from the US, but you'll lose more than the cost is worth.

DougS Silver badge

The rest of the world should help them out

And cut them off from the internet entirely. The decrease in hacking, scams, spam etc. would make it worth it for the rest of us...if they want to be cut off give them what they want!

Motion detectors: say hello, wave goodbye and… flushhhhhh

DougS Silver badge

Re: It would be a simple fix

All you need for the flush activation to be able to be initiated via an IR signal (to guarantee it can only be activated by something within the cubicle, so you don't want RF) then you can easily retrofit the door with the IR sender.

DougS Silver badge

It would be a simple fix

The flush activation should be two stage - the closing of the door and the absence of a person inside the area. That way it'll flush after you've exited. That way no "surprise flushes" happening before they should.

Yay, you lose weight and get rad hardened in space! Nay, your genes go awry and your brain slows down when you return to Earth!

DougS Silver badge

Re: Very cool, but..

To have proper controls you'd want the Earth bound twin living in isolation somewhere with recycled air, eating the same foods, etc. to try to minimize the differences to microgravity and radiation.

I shouldn't think NASA would have much difficulty recruiting twins for this, just make them both sign a contract agreeing to the Earthbound isolation if they lose the coin toss and don't get to go to space. It isn't like the requirements for going to space are THAT major, you don't need to be a "real" astronaut like in the Apollo days when they were pretty much limited to former test pilots. Just being a scientist in a discipline useful to studies conducted on the space station able to pass the mental and physical tests would allow you to contribute while you're there.

I mean, if Howard Wolowitz can do it anyone can :)

While Google agonizes over military AI, IBM is happy to pick up the slack, even for the Chinese military

DougS Silver badge

The only thing Google is agonizing over

Is how to grab lucrative DoD contracts without the majority of its workforce finding out.

New UK counter-terror laws come into force today – watch those clicks, people. You see, terrorist propag... NOOO! Alexa ignore us!

DougS Silver badge

Viewing once is probably OK if you are white

Its just if you have the wrong skin color that they will assume your one viewing was because you had terrorist intentions, rather than being a mistake or just idle curiousity following a link on a dodgy site.

Israeli Moon probe crashes at the last minute but SpaceX scores with Falcon Heavy launch

DougS Silver badge
Megaphone

It was obviously the Nazis that shot it down

Everyone knows they have a base on the far side of the Moon, they aren't about to let a Jewish built lander touch the soil of the fourth Reich!

Bug-hunters punch huge holes in WPA3 standard for Wi-Fi security

DougS Silver badge

That should be easy to fix

Clients that remember past associations as most do should refuse to downgrade the connection if it had previously connected with WPA3.

DougS Silver badge

Everyone saw this coming

They rolled their own handshaking protocol and kept it secret, so no one with a clue was surprised to see it broken. Its almost as if that was their goal, so they can go to WPA4 and sell everyone new routers - though this happened so quickly hardly anyone has WPA3 routers yet.

Client-attorney privilege? Not when you're accused of leaking Vault 7 CIA code

DougS Silver badge

Judicial appointments are becoming a problem

You think it is bad now, just wait. It used to be that judges were appointed based on experience and qualifications, with an overall tilt based on the party in power. Now they are appointed based on 1) having the "right" opinion on a handful of hot button issues and 2) youth, so their life appointments will stack the court longer.

We need to go back to requiring 60 votes to pass the Senate - or better yet 75! Failing that they need a limited term rather than life appointment. Otherwise we are going to follow this to its logical conclusion and see judges appointed for life at age 25, having written papers in law school exposing the "correct" views to get them the job from one party or the other. Wisdom need not apply.

Uncle Sam wants to tackle bias in algorithms by ordering tech corps to explain how their machines really work

DougS Silver badge

Re: Theoretically this should be bipartisan

The first amendment protection of free speech protects one from interference by the GOVERNMENT. There are no laws requiring private companies to do the same. If you feel this is happening your recourse is to avoid using Google products or services. Just like if you don't agree with Chik-Fil-A's politics you shouldn't patronize them.

DougS Silver badge

Theoretically this should be bipartisan

Conservatives keep complaining that e.g. Google's search algorithms are biased against them. Or do they just want to whine about it and make up conspiracy theories, and not risk looking to see whether that's actually the case or not?

Though senators are probably assuming there's some "source code" that could be looked at to see if there's something like "if user is black then don't show rental to them" or "if article is anti-abortion then bury it on page 6 of search results". With a neural network all you can do is send it sample inputs and see what it does with them on an individual basis, you won't know WHY those actions are taken, so such regulation is not going to produce the intended outcome.

London's Metropolitan Police arrest Julian Assange

DougS Silver badge

Re: Interesting timing ....

"Your political opponents"? I guess you believe Trump's lies about "13 angry democrats"? Mueller is a lifelong republican, appointed as head of the FBI by a republican president.

Your statement could apply equally to Bill Clinton, where congressional republicans appointed a highly partisan special counsel to investigate a money losing investment called Whitewater, and the only thing they could get him on was lying about a blowjob. If that was fair game, then surely Mueller's investigation that has resulted in dozens in indictments and has a half dozen people going to jail with potentially more on the way was as well.

The investigation was determine IF there was collusion since there was plenty of evidence showing that Russian was helping Trump's campaign and there were multiple contacts between the campaign and Russians. If nothing was criminal then it doesn't mean "oh the investigation should never have happened". If a cop drives by a house and hears a gunshot, should he not investigate, even if it turns out a guy was cleaning his gun and it accidentally discharged?

The Russia probe had ample grounds for starting, and if it had partisan motives then Obama would have made sure it became publicly known BEFORE the election, to dampen Trump's story about how she was the criminal and implying he's clean. He may not have colluded, and while he certainly obstructed they don't have enough evidence to get him on that. They will have enough evidence to get him for tax fraud, that's why Trump has always been worried about having investigators digging in to him. NY investigators are already looking at his state taxes, he may have an indictment waiting on him the minute he leaves office (and then he won't be able to illegally block congress from getting their hands on his federal returns)

DougS Silver badge

Re: Interesting timing ....

Hold your horses there Trumpbot!

The many and varied Russian connections of all sorts of people surrounding Trump have been well documented, as have the constant lies they told to conceal them. Mueller didn't indict anyone on conspiracy charges for working with Russians, but he did not say the Russian connections don't exist! He detailed two separate Russian efforts to help Trump's campaign.

Amazing how the bar was lowered from "no contact with Russians" all the way down to "no collusion", and when no charges for collusion have been made you're trying to back the train up all the way to "no connections" which is total unadulterated bullshit. There are tons of connections with Russians, and may be more in the full Mueller report that haven't been reported yet in the "fake news".

The fact that Trump's lackey AG won't release Mueller's report without heavy redaction - including some made up category about "people who haven't been charged" meaning every mention of Trump or his children will probably be erased - shows there's plenty Trump wants to hide, even if it doesn't rise the level of criminality. If it really was "full exoneration" we'd see a nearly complete report put out, with only very minor redactions involving ongoing litigation or intelligence sources/methods.

Remember what you guys all said about Hillary, that the fact the FBI didn't charge her didn't mean he was innocent of the charges, only that they didn't think they had enough to convict her. The same may be true for Trump, but rather than having the head of the FBI scolding him for behavior that doesn't rise to the level of indictment he's planning to cover up all mention of everyone who wasn't charged.

DougS Silver badge

Could be worse

When I saw a headline about this earlier this morning, the last word was "extradited" but I initially scanned it as "executed". That would have have been some Putin-worthy turn around time!

DougS Silver badge

Russia connections

You don't think that if Assange had anything juicy to tell there he wouldn't have spilled his guts long ago? Any leverage he had ended the moment he was taken into custody.

Humanity gazes into the abyss to get its first glimpse of a black hole

DougS Silver badge

Whining about picture quality

Because imaging something that's over a million light years away is easy...

Personally I thought it looked more like a donut than an onion ring, I guess because I like sweets more than grease!

Facebook acknowledges asking you to invite your dead pals to parties is 'painful', plans to fix it

DougS Silver badge

How do they know someone is dead?

If you die and no one has your password, they can't login to click the "I'm dead" option or however you tell it. Maybe there's a way for family to send a death certificate to Facebook, but that would only work if you have accurate details - I don't have my real birthday or year on it, for instance, so how would they match the death certificate to me?

Maybe if you don't login for a year it'll just mark you dead. I'm sure that wouldn't upset friends of those who decided to quit Facebook without deactivating their account :)

SEC says no to Amazon bid to stop shareholders voting on use of facial recognition system

DougS Silver badge

Lose money for tax purposes?

That makes no sense. You are better off not buying things you think will lose money unless your tax rate is 100%.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Voting in the corporate world.

That's true for any stock that doesn't pay a dividend or buy back its shares.

Menu mischief and interface deceit targeted by US lawmakers

DougS Silver badge

Why should they be exempt from liability from ad network partners?

Make them liable for shenanigans by ad network partners would force them to choose ad networks more carefully, and include liability protection/insurance in their contracts. Letting them off the hook just means they'll engage third parties to do the bad things for them, and nothing will change.

Gartner squints into its crystal ball: A pholdable phuture is very far away

DougS Silver badge

Re: Well, the would say that, wouldn't they?

Just because you are ignorant of the large screen phones that existed in China before Samsung did theirs doesn't mean they didn't happen. Perhaps if you had friends who actually lived there you wouldn't assume Samsung invented phablets (if one could really be said to 'invent' what's basically "the same thing, only bigger")

DougS Silver badge

Re: Well, the would say that, wouldn't they?

The Chinese created the market for large screened phones. They were the first to sell them, Samsung followed and eventually Apple followed too. They could do the same for folding phones. If the up to 7" monstrosities you can already get aren't enough for them, I could see folding phones becoming more popular there than the west to give people what they want even if they have to put up with a few compromises most of us wouldn't be willing to make.

Personally I think Gartner is being overly optimistic - 5% is something like 70 million devices.

Town admits 'a poor decision was made' after baseball field set on fire to 'dry' it more quickly

DougS Silver badge
Trollface

"The solution to pollution is dilution"

So they should have got out the fire hose and sprayed a bunch of water on the field to dilute the gasoline residue?

Oh wait...

Dyin'... for some li-ion, from Taiwan? Electronics powerhouse spewing out data centre cells

DougS Silver badge

Batteries mounted in the servers?

So servers will become big hot noisy laptops?

Overzealous n00b takes out point-of-sale terminals across the UK on a Saturday afternoon

DougS Silver badge

Re: You should have been sacked

Also, isn't AS/400 able to provide some pretty fine grained permissions? Fine grained enough that a trainee left alone on the weekend couldn't enter such a "global" command that reset everything rather than just the one connection he intended?

Maybe the AS/400 admin was the problem here.

One step forward and one step back for Apple's privacy campaign with latest Safari build

DougS Silver badge

Re: ping

I use Linux Firefox on my PC and checked and send_pings is at the default false, but there isn't any way to know if its absence causes problems without someone telling us what a legitimate use of it might be? Not all sites work perfectly in every browser, if something works differently between Firefox on Linux vs Windows, or vs Chrome how would I know it is because of ping or something else?

If it doesn't do anything useful then Apple ought to default it to off, and if anyone complains they can add the preference back for the macOS version (AFAIK there isn't any way to set preferences like that on the iOS version, other than maybe with a jailbreak)

I'd prefer Apple to err on the side of caution for EVERYTHING that can used for tracking. There will still be ways to track, I'm not under the illusion that Safari can give me perfect privacy. But I want those bastards trying to sell stuff to sweat bullets and have to waste a lot of effort finding workarounds (and then for Apple to plug those workarounds and repeat the cycle!)

Fake Google robocallers hit with $3.4m fine – but it turns out that the joke's on you

DougS Silver badge

The unanswered question is

How much money are these scammers making from robocalls? Clearly enough to make a living at it, but if most of it goes to costs of doing business and living a middle class life there isn't going to be much left to capture via fines. Allowing the seizure of your house if you've been using the proceeds to make mortgage payments might get their attention. Also make sure they do jail time in addition to simple fines.

There are surely ways to better enforce this, even if the vast majority of fines go uncollected.

Trend Micro antivirus fails to stop measles carrier rubbing against firm's Ottawa offices

DougS Silver badge

Re: Jenny McCarthy

Well the same is true for yellow lights, if you are the only one who runs them or a lot of people do it doesn't matter. What matters is how long the "red in all four directions" cycle is.

Back in the day the lights around here went from yellow to red and the opposite lanes got green at the exact same moment, so if someone ran a yellow light that turned red a second or two before they entered the intersection it could lead to accidents. Now they all have a two count with red every direction, so running a 'yellow oops red' won't cause an accident since the cross traffic will still be stopped.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Jenny McCarthy

Not really a good example, as being the only driver who runs red lights doesn't make you any less susceptible to getting t-boned by someone who has a green light from the left or right. In fact, having lots of people running red lights would make it SAFER, because everyone would be forced to treat a green light as a yield sign and make sure there weren't any red light runners coming their way.

Memory slump and smartphone boredom deliver one-two punch to Samsung's bottom line

DougS Silver badge

Re: Mature Markets

DRAM/NAND chips follow a feast/famine cycle. They've been feasting on profits the past couple years, now profitability will tank, investment in new production facilities will slow, and supplies will shrink until the feast returns in a couple years. It has been this way since forever.

Back to drawing board as Google cans AI ethics council amid complaints over right-wing member

DougS Silver badge

They didn't care about the composition of the board

Its job was to whitewash Google's lack of ethics by allowing Google to claim all the evil stuff they do was passed by their ethics board. They probably needed a diversity of opinion because they would likely require the board vote a supermajority or even be unanimous to stop Google from doing something on ethical grounds.

They needed a warmonger or two on the board so they could work with the DoD on Skynet's AI while claiming they were observing the highest ethical standards because their board approved it.

If there's 5G connectivity but no 5G devices on it, does it make a sound? Wait, no, that's not right

DougS Silver badge

Re: Somebody needs to tell the marketing department

Oh good, so if enough people in the stadium are using data the camera feed will stutter and fail? I guess that's one way to make sure people keeping coming to watch the games in person instead of staying home on the couch!

I fail to see how this would be in any way better than using a private wireless network if you wanted to avoid the "difficulty" of having your cameras connected by cables. At least then you could insure the band you are using wouldn't be tromped on by 100,000 people with cell phones.

Facebook ad platform discriminates all on its own, say boffins

DougS Silver badge

Re: Easily solved...

Hence why companies would be willing to pay more to advertise on Google to people who search for "men's golf shoes" if they are a company that in fact sells men's golf shoes. Or on Facebook to someone who belongs to three support groups for Crohn's disease if the company is selling something related to Crohn's disease.

Not everything works that way though, people don't search Google when they are looking for an apartment, or belong to Facebook groups called something like "looking for IT director job in Cleveland".

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