* Posts by DougS

12862 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

ICANN takeover in October

DougS Silver badge

Yes, amazingly ICANN is so badly run and obviously corrupt that countries who are skeptical of or even outright hostile to the US government aren't sure ICANN leaving behind its last vestiges of US control is a good thing. They may end up making FIFA and the IOC look like the most well run organizations in the world by comparison!

Apple beats off banks' bid for access to iPhones' NFC chips

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Re: Confidentiality

You clearly have no concept of what a monopoly is. "I've never seen [Android Pay] actually" work does not mean that Apple Pay is the only method to pay with a phone! If Android Pay isn't as convenient or well marketed as Apple Pay (I have no idea if either is true, just using as an example) that would hardly be Apple's fault. That would be like if everyone wanted to buy a Tesla so badly that other electric cars sat on the lots unsold, claiming that Tesla had a monopoly!

Even if the iPhone was unique in supporting mobile payments they still wouldn't have a monopoly, because paying with your phone is just one way of using your credit card to pay for stuff - and very very very very very far from the most popular one.

Apparently what these banks are worried about is that if they do NOT support mobile payments on an iPhone, that iPhone users might choose to go to a different bank. So they want to degrade the mobile payment experience on an iPhone by requiring a dedicated app they write instead of the much more easily accessible (double tap at the lockscreen, no app launch required) and more secure (due to the use of the secure enclave, which third party apps cannot access) Apple Pay experience.

If they were successful in doing this I'll bet their next step would be trying to make it so Apple isn't allowed to support Apple Pay at all in Australia, otherwise some of their competitors could still offer it and get iPhone users to switch away from the crappy experience these banks would offer with their insecure proprietary apps.

Google had Obama's ear during antitrust probe

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@Eddy Ito - voter fraud

But that type of voter fraud isn't prevented by showing ID at the polls. It is WAY easier and pretty much risk free to commit fraud with absentee ballots - either voting at more that one location if you have multiple addresses (i.e. a winter home, college, nursing home etc.) or using other people's ballots (with or without their knowledge)

Walking up to a polling place and claiming to be someone else would be far more risky - most such places have cameras now so there would be a record of it, plus you wouldn't know for sure if the poll worker knew the person you were claiming to be. Not saying that type of in-person fraud doesn't exist, but given how much easier and less risky it is to use absentee ballots those who are concerned with reducing fraud should be devoting their effort there.

Plus don't forget the easier source of fraud - computerized voting machines that leave no paper trail for auditing. All sorts of issues from localized fraud in individual precincts to nationwide fraud affecting all voters who use a particular company's machines. Who cares if voters are who they say they are if everyone's votes are deliberately being miscounted by those in charge?

DougS Silver badge

Re: transparency unlike unworkable limits is way to go

You can't get all the money out of elections, but you can get the dark money out as a first step, then the corporate and union money out as a second step. If a union member or corporate shareholder wants to contribute to candidates, it should be their choice, not something that is decided for them in the boardroom or union hall. The corporation or union can put out their list of candidates they believe will be best for the shareholders/members, but it should be up to the individual to decide whether and how much to contribute.

Personally I think it would be nice to limit the size of contributions individuals can make, to reduce the outsized influence that billionaires like the Kochs and Soros have. But that's a fight for another day; I feel a lot more strongly about dark money and money contributed by non-persons.

DougS Silver badge


No, he won't be Putin up with it.

DougS Silver badge

Don't act as if the exact same thing isn't true for conservative money and conservative office holders. Both parties are rife with corruption, but based on Citizens United we will need a constitutional amendment to get corporate, union and dark money out of elections.

Microsoft has open-sourced PowerShell for Linux, Macs. Repeat, Microsoft has open-sourced PowerShell

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Re: What is the shell?

Unless the article was edited in the past few minutes, it is pretty clear he's not calling awk a shell: "people can use any shell they want to run awk, grep, sed, and so on."

DougS Silver badge

Re: "On Linux we’re just another shell"

If they're Windows admins forced to use Linux once in a while?

If I had a Powershell script that needed to be ported to Linux, rather than learn Powershell to port it to bash I'd first try installing Powershell on Linux (when it is polished) to see if it provided an easier way.

The calm before the storm: AMD's Zen bears down on Intel CPUs

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Re: "competitive TDP."

"Current AMD chips" have a 40% lower IPC than these new ones, or so they say. So don't base your assumptions about TDP on those old ones.

And there's no way your i7 runs without the fan spinning. You mean it is spinning quietly, not that it isn't spinning at all. Getting any desktop CPU to run without a fan at all requires either a solid copper heatsink the size of a Rubik's Cube, or using one of those expensive ULV chips with a 15 watt TDP (and accepting reduced performance)

Intel's reduced progress on performance has more to do with reaching physical limits than lack of competition. Increasing frequency increases power draw exponentially, so we've kind of settled at a ceiling of around 4 GHz, with little progress being made. You can have more cores, you can have more new instructions to speed up certain types of encryption, but the only improvements beyond single digits between generations of Intel chips you will see in the future is on the GPU - because graphics is easy to parallelize.

DougS Silver badge


Even the biggest Intel fanboys should want AMD competitive, as it will force Intel to either push harder or lower prices.

Snowden says Russia ‘probably responsible’ for NSA hack

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Re: @m0rt

So long as Snowden doesn't directly attack Putin in a personal way I'll bet Putin considers granting Snowden asylum from the big bad US who wants to charge him with treason to more than make up for any criticism of Russia and its actions (though I agree, this 'criticism' can also be taken as a compliment, depending on how you look at it)

Oracle campaigns for third Android Java infringement trial

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Re: They just need a pretext to start again

If they can have the current case retried, they have another chance of winning, and STILL have the option to appeal.

Plus, the longer it goes on the greater the chance they can show harm to the Java market, and try to link Java's decline to Android's rise. So it makes sense to drag it out longer.

Verizon fingered in Android bloatware-for-cash cram scandal

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Re: iOS Crapware

If software-only SIMs became a GSMA standard, which is what Apple has been trying to make happen, then operators would be forced to get on board eventually. Though obviously there would be some period of transition required, where you would see devices that support software SIMs but still have a SIM slot for physical ones.

If they can't get the GSMA to approve it, which doesn't seem likely to happen given carrier resistance considering their control of GSMA, Apple can still add the 'Apple SIM' that is programmable to different carriers to the iPhone. While a minority of carriers support it so it won't be useful for everyone, you can always remove it and install your ordinary carrier SIM so it doesn't hurt anyone. The next step would be to build the Apple SIM into the phone, but still have a SIM slot for carriers that don't support it. That makes provisioning even more simple for those whose carriers support it (but they could still get a physical SIM if they want to switch their SIM to other phones/devices that don't support virtual provisioning)

Another nice thing about virtual SIMs is that you could install as many as you want. You want four SIMs in your phone at once so you always get the best rate for any call? Knock yourself out! Even with a single virtual SIM so long as you still have the physical SIM slot (which they could never do away with so long as GSMA didn't approve a software only SIM standard) then Apple has dual SIM phones, so long as one of your carriers allows for virtual provisioning.

DougS Silver badge

Re: iOS Crapware

Perhaps he was confused and rather than "carrier's software" installed (which Apple does NOT permit, so he was either confused or spreading FUD) it was sold locked to a particular carrier.

When I bought my 6S plus at launch, Apple did not have an option for buying an unlocked phone. Dunno why, but it was only available a month or two after launch. However, since the Sprint version (or maybe it was T-Mobile, can't remember) they sold was sold unlocked, I bought it and was able to install my AT&T SIM no problem. I could have bought the AT&T version, but it was sold locked even if you paid full price, and I didn't want to restrict myself to only AT&T in the future - getting it unlocked should be trivial but I didn't want to take any risk of possible hassle since we are talking AT&T after all.

The quicker Apple can get the programmable 'Apple SIM' the iPad has into the iPhone (or best of all win their battle with the GSMA and get rid of physical SIM cards entirely and provision via software) the better, I say! But while Apple has done better fighting the carriers than anyone else, even they can't always get what they want.

If this headline was a security warning, 90% of you would ignore it

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Skeptical of the supertasker "tests"

I remember these tests coming out a couple years ago. I took one with numbers and squares and found it easy and got 100%. I took another with doors and passwords and did much worse - I took it a few times and never got the hang of it, even the "practice" sessions where you only had one task at a time weren't nearly so easy as the numbers/squares test.

So if the first test is valid I'm a supertasker, if the second test is valid I'm not. It is clear that both tests can't be valid.

Windows 10 needs proper privacy portal, says EFF

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No longer an OS maker

No, Microsoft is still selling operating systems, every Windows 10 PC has an OEM license purchased from Microsoft. What they are doing is ADDING advertising revenue to their OS license revenue. Or hoping to.

They used to be content with their business model and revenue.Then in the 90s they decided they needed to start stealing other people's revenue stream, so we got MSN(AOL) Xbox(Playstation) IE(Netscape) Bing(Google) and on and on. But every single one of those efforts failed, and what's worse cost them tens of billions in losses and failed acquisitions.

So their new plan plan as of about five years ago was to start copying other company's business models. They tried to be Apple for a while by selling hardware, but the only successful product has been Surface Pro. Now they're trying to be Google by selling personal information, but before they can sell it first they have to collect personal information on their customers. Hence Windows 10.

Given how fabulously unsuccessful Microsoft has been in every business venture outside their core business of Windows, Windows Server and Office, maybe it isn't worth getting too worked up about them collecting personal information. Despite the success of Google and Facebook at the 'your customers are your product' business model, there's a good chance Microsoft will somehow find a way to lose money on it and eventually pull the plug!

Robo-buses join the traffic in Helsinki

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10 km/hr

Hardly seems worth taking a bus when it isn't even twice as fast as walking, and even the most feeble person could beat it to the destination on a bicycle.

Cisco confirms two of the Shadow Brokers' 'NSA' vulns are real

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Another possibility I heard

Was that the hackers had compromised some sort of command and control server out on the internet that the Equation Group was using. If it was able to be commanded "hack server X" it would have to have a decent exploit library available locally - though surely not all their crown jewels the best of which they probably keep very very tight control over.

As for its age, either it was compromised a long time ago and it was kept secret until it was no longer useful (i.e. many of the exploits were getting stale) or it was somehow lost/abandoned long ago. If they had infiltrated someone's server to turn it into their unwitting C&C server (it isn't like they'd use their own servers for that) and the server's owner had later taken it off the net or shut it down when they realized how it was being used, they'd preserve a snapshot in time of what the server looked like. Then the hackers wouldn't need to hack the NSA, only whatever party(ies) got hold of the goods off that C&C server back in 2013.

NSA blames it on the rain

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Re: Oops

I doubt their public facing web page is considered that high of a priority compared to the internal systems.

Happy Anniversary: What’s new, what’s missing in Microsoft’s giant mobile update

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Re: Ahh makes sense now

Does Windows Phone just install updates without even asking?

Ancient radioactive tree rings could rip up the history books

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Re: Them is...

They only need one tree to go back X years. Then they need another tree that was used cut down and used for lumber or a round table or something a long time ago to match known spikes in the 'current' tree that goes back further with new spikes, then an even older one, and so on.

Theoretically if there enough Miyake spikes that could be distinguished we could go back to the dawn of civilization. Then if we found a 20,000 year old dugout canoe sunk in the mud of a big lake we might able to tell the exact year the tree it was made from was cut down!

Fake Android update menace

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Depending on how the ad is presented, it might garner a lot of accidental clicks. That's the downside of a smartphone UI - fingers are fat compared to a mouse cursor and you have to touch the screen to scroll. I accidentally 'click' on something I didn't mean to about 20x more often on my phone than on my PC.

Chip giants pelt embedded AI platforms with wads of cash

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There isn't even such a thing as 100% accuracy in the things that demand true AI. If I want a personal assistant in my phone who can prioritize the items in my to do list, is there a "right" answer? I want it to come up with a similar answer to what I would (and I don't think I'd necessarily come up with the same order for the same list if I did it once, erased my memory of doing it and then did it again 15 minutes later)

Even for stuff I personally don't consider AI, like a computer playing chess, there isn't necessarily a right answer. There are answers that are better than others, but the inherent uncertainty of what your opponent will do takes away the possibility of saying a particular move is the most optimal.

What I'd like to see AI do for me is relieve me of time I spend "researching". Recently I needed to buy a replacement oil dipstick for my car. So I had to do some searching, and the ones I kept finding in searches were ones for the smaller engine size that isn't made for my car. It ended up taking about 15 minutes to find the right one, and get the best price. I'd like to be able to tell my phone "buy me the cheapest replacement oil dipstick to fit my car" (it should already know what kind of car I have because I would have told it when I was looking for replacement wiper blades last spring)

It would get to know me over time, and know which things I'd be willing to buy off eBay that ships "e-packet from China" versus stuff I'd like to have shipping from the US. There's no right answer, but that's where the 'learning' comes in. Or asking questions like "are you willing to wait a few weeks to get it to save $10?" Just like if I had a human personal assistant who would get to know me better the longer he/she worked for me.

When can Siri/Google/etc. do that sort of stuff? Some will say a few years, some will say a few decades. I tend more toward the latter than the former....intelligence isn't easy to replicate.

Ford announces plans for mass production of self-driving cars by 2021

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Re: Link to the Beeb not the Financial Times

Granted the Tesla autopilot was poorly named and was being misused by the guy who got killed. But you're ignoring the fact that autonomous cars have to be FAR better than human drivers to gain public acceptance. BTW I do NOT mean the average human driver whose accident numbers are mostly due to those who are texting/drunk/distracted/inexperienced/old/speeding/tired, but human drivers with a lot of experience who are following all traffic laws and paying full attention to driving!

Any accidents at all they get into that a good human driver paying full attention likely wouldn't have that result in death or serious injury (particularly if it was a pedestrian or cyclist) is going to be a huge PR issue. And this WILL happen, because the sorts of things that can fool or confuse software & sensors are different from the sorts of things that can fool and confuse the human eyes and brain. They will need to have data to counter it, showing how autonomous cars are significantly better drivers than the top 1% of human drivers.

DougS Silver badge

Re: It's nowhere near ready yet

C'mon, did you see pictures of that truck? Absolutely NO WAY a human would have crashed into it! The horizon excuse was bullshit, it was 3PM.

You're right that at some point (I don't think Tesla has nearly the data to prove it yet, Musk knows the times when "autopilot" is activated are not times when humans are mostly likely to get into fatal accidents) autonomous cars will have fewer accidents/fatalities than human driven cars, even when driven by a human with years of driving experience who is following the traffic laws and paying full attention. Obviously then for the good of society as a whole it makes sense to encourage use of autonomous vehicles.

The problem will be things like that truck collision - where the autonomous car gets into an accident that a human never would. They will never be perfect, and the type of stuff that can fool machine vision / sensors is different from the type of stuff that can fool/confuse a human driver. When the autonomous car kills people in other cars or pedestrians in a situation where a human likely wouldn't, it will garner a lot of publicity, and the Luddites and those who want to hang onto the ability to drive their own cars will come out in force.

Laws will be required to limit liability for such incidents, currently it is essentially limited by the fact that most people carry $1 million or less of liability insurance, and most don't have even that much in personal assets to go after. If you can sue Ford Motor Company on the other hand, the lawyers get dollar signs in their eyes...

DougS Silver badge

@TRT - "into which market will they be selling these cars"

Ones with fewer regulations and fewer potential multi-billion dollar lawsuits than the US and UK. How about China, or India? Or maybe getting into the rental/taxi market for tourists in third world countries?

OK, I'm skeptical too about this technology being ready to the point where you can get away with a car without a steering wheel by 2021. How will you steer it if you live out in the country and want to drive it into your backyard to unload some stuff? Using a smartphone app? Yeah, I'm sure no one will hack that...

#Shadowbrokers hack could be Russia's DNC counter-threat to NSA

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The press is already misinterpreting this

I've seen headlines suggesting that Russia hacked the NSA as a warning shot against the US retaliating for the DNC hacks. Where's that shaking head emoticon when I need it?

Watt the USB-C logo?

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Re: Suspiciously contains a number

Ambiguously sized windmills for me, please!

FalseCONNECT sends vendors scrambling to patch proxy MITM bug

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Does this require that you have a proxy configured?

It sounds like it does, which would tend to make it much more likely to be exploited to attack those browsing from inside a corporate network. That's where hackers really want to get though, since there's a lot of juicy data inside and internal security is often pretty lax.

This could become a rather troublesome attack, given the variety of stuff vulnerable (and I have a feeling that's not a complete list) and how long it will take to get it all patched up.

FCC airwaves auction opens bidding

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Re: new equipment

It remains to be seen whether ATSC 3.0 is adopted at all, given that it is NOT backwards compatible with current gen ATSC and thus every single TV and other device with an ATSC tuner in it would become obsolete.

Anyway, there are already plenty of stations delivering two HD channels in a single 6 MHz RF channel. While ATSC 3.0 improves the bit rate from 19.2 Mbps to 26 Mbps or so, the main attraction is OFDM modulation to reduce multipath issues and support for far more efficient HEVC encoding and 4K (assuming 4K OTA broadcast ever actually arrives in the US....I'm kind of skeptical)

Intel fabs to churn out 10nm ARM chips for LG smartphones next year

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Re: wow

I'm not so sure about that. While Intel's 10nm process is (at least based on specs) better than TSMC's 10nm, it will probably not measure up to TSMC's 7nm. TSMC will start volume production of 10nm early 2017, of 7nm in H1 2018. Intel won't move to 7nm until 2020.

Physicists believe they may have found fifth force of nature

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Matter/antimatter vs "regular"/"dark" matter

One of the mysteries of physics is why matter dominates over antimatter. There are theories but we can't point to anything and say with absolute certainty we know that's the reason.

We believe dark matter dominates and what we consider regular matter is less abundant. Since dark matter and regular matter don't appear to interact (other than via gravity) there could be a whole other universe superimposed upon ours with its own stars, planets and life that we're currently oblivious to - and vice versa. At least until a certain level of technology is reached where it might become possible to peel back the veil.

Maybe aliens keep visiting us from the dark matter world via regular matter ships they've found out how to build and probe our asses because life forms made of our type of matter are such a rarity! Or maybe Nibbler isn't the only one with turds that can be used to fuel spaceships.

China launches quantum satellite to test spooky action at a distance

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Re: MITM impossible

I should add - I think this is probably not possible, but if so I'm curious to know whether it is "not possible given our current knowledge, but nothing in the laws of physics proves it impossible" or "not possible due to proven laws of physics".

DougS Silver badge

Re: MITM impossible

I don't know if this is possible, but is there a way to use your own photons and put them in a coherent state with the photons passing by, without looking at the state of any of them?

If that is indeed possible to do, then providing you don't look at them until after the Chinese do, thus insuring they collapse the state and not you, you would have a copy of the key they sent.

VeraCrypt security audit: Four PGP-encoded emails VANISH

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Black Helicopters

Another possibility

They are making these claims for publicity, and for the unstated assumption some will make "if the powers that be don't want this project to go forward, VeraCrypt must be really secure!"

Or if you want to go deeper down the conspiracy theory hole, it has been investigated by the powers that be, they've found they can break it, but they are harassing them anyway to make them and their potential users think they're on the right track!

Swedish Pokemon teens terrorised by laser-wielding 'sex pigs'

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One wonders what the green laser pointer was intended for

I doubt they brought it along to harass Pokemon players, that was just a happy coincidence. I shudder to think how it could have been used in their later endeavors...

Euro regulator calls for delay to virtual currency exchange anti-money laundering regime

DougS Silver badge

For money laundering the authorities care about both parties to the transaction. Even if the exchanges are located elsewhere, they can impose regulations on EU residents using them. Sure, you can ignore them and say "how will they ever find out" but if they do, that's a way to get you for a crime even if they can't get you for what they think you were really doing. Sort of like how the US couldn't get Al Capone for his actual crimes, so they ended up sending him to jail for tax evasion.

London cops waste £2.1m on thought crime unit – and they want volunteer informers

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Re: How is this a "thought crime unit"?

You might be surprised how easy it is to find where people live based on social media information if you know where to dig. It is very easy to link someone's Twitter handle to their Facebook, which can be used to find out in what city they live. Even if they don't explicitly list that info you can often find it based on who their friends are, places they've been, pictures they have doing day to day stuff like walking the dog.

Once you have it narrowed down that to level, public records for stuff like home ownership, vehicle registration and so forth can provide the exact address. I'm sure a little social engineering would probably work with the utility companies, they don't treat your address as privileged information and in fact when I've called they've told me my address and asked to confirm it! Assuming a threat on Twitter is meaningless because the one making the threat has no possible way to locate a victim is foolish.

Obviously most people aren't going to call the police for an offhand comment, just like most people won't call the police if you get a crank call with a threat. But if something sounds legitimate and serious you should have the right to call the cops and have a proper investigation done, just like you would if they called your cell at 3am. Maybe it turns out the guy making the threat lives 10,000 miles away, in which case you might sleep easier figuring it will be harder to carry out than if the guy who lives 10 miles away.

DougS Silver badge

How is this a "thought crime unit"?

Is a threat via Twitter somehow less serious that one delivered through the post, or via a phone call?

New Google vid-call app

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Why is this better than Skype?

iOS and Android users already have this.

'Daddy, what's a Blu-ray disc?'

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Re: 4K vs UHD

If they did a zoom/fill of a 4K movie to a UHD screen, you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference since it is so much smaller than the difference between 16:9 and 4:3.

Google AdSense abused to distribute Android spyware

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Here's just one, I'll leave it to you to do your own research to find others:


DougS Silver badge

Re: no additional clicks

There have been silent install bugs, some in the recent past. Even if they are fixed in the latest version of Android, how many phones are out there which don't have it and never will? There doesn't seem to be any information that says whether this malware uses a silent install, but if it doesn't that doesn't mean someone else won't. Combine a few pieces together from different malware and get your "ads" widely distributed and you could root 50 million phones in a weekend! The best thing about this for malware authors is that it is like the Windows XP days all over again, when you could expect that the holes will remain open in a majority of phones for a long time.

Tim Cook's answer to crashing iPhone sales: More iPhones

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Re: Apple stock is up 20% from the recent low

Errr, Apple stockholders ARE getting a nice fat dividend to make a return on their investment. Not "utility dividend" fat, but far better than the zero dividend you get from Google, Amazon, Netflix and other tech darlings.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Fail

Apple is too expensive for 95% of India, but if they can do as well with the top income levels as they do elsewhere they will sell a ton of phones there. Cook also said it is more of a long term play - i.e. India will grow its middle class over time just like China has done.

As for dual SIM, there are dual/tri SIM adapters available for the iPhone now, that are designed to work with a case (there's a connector that goes in the slot with a ribbon cable that connects to the multiple SIMs, you bend it around the phone and keep it hidden in the case) Though Apple does have patents for some type of dual SIM system that uses an internal built in / software SIM along with a traditional SIM. There are even rumors that the iPhone 7 will have a dual SIM tray, though there have been rumors for all kinds of stuff for the iPhone 7 so who knows.

Agreed that to have real success in India Apple will need to do something about that, or find other ways around what is behind the need in India for dual SIMs. They aren't stupid, so they will address it somehow when they are ready to really plunge into the India market. Since they have been busy just getting permission to open the first Apple Stores there they perhaps haven't quite got to the point where they are ready to design features into the iPhone for this.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Their control freakery drives you mad

Yeah, Google's data slurping could be a problem if you wanted to sync your contacts to a Google server. That information about "who you know" is likely added to their already voluminous database they keep on everyone. Does Google say anywhere that won't read your contact info? Heck, they might read it right off your phone come to think of it, in which case it wouldn't matter if you synced to their servers I guess...

There's a reason why I never let Facebook access to my contacts, though some of my friends obviously have done so, as every once in a while Facebook tries to get me to add my mobile number and "suggests" my actual mobile number which they obviously didn't get from me. Freaked me out a bit the first time that happened, until I figured out how it must have happened. But at least they can't expand their internal DB with people I know beyond those from Facebook since they have no access to read my contacts even though their app wishes it could!

DougS Silver badge

Samsung DAC

What's your definition of "decent". Not one that would even begin to satisfy an audiophile, that's for sure. Do you even have any evidence that it is better than the one the iPhone includes, or are you just parroting Samsung's marketing?

Air gap breached by disk drive noise

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Re: Network interface?

Well I didn't want to bother to list them all, as it would also include not only those but North Korea, GCHQ, and probably France, Germany, Australia, South Africa, South Korea, Japan, and I imagine some others who have well developed targeted hacking abilities who stay under the radar.

Google's brand new OS could replace Android

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Re: Mmmmmmm webOS!

Apple has been doing that since they introduced iMessage, though obviously the integration goes no further since they have no real desire to support other messaging like AIM (does anyone still use that?) or GTalk.

I'm really surprised Google never did this for Android, especially since SMS was often on per message pricing back in when Apple introduced iMessage. Even if Google doesn't do it, I find it hard to believe no one developed an Android app that does this...I'll bet there are a dozen of them to choose from.

DougS Silver badge

How does using the Linux kernel prevent Google from distributing Android updates?

That seems like a crazy excuse, especially since the Linux core of Android has essentially forked from Android some time ago. The real reason they can't distribute updates quickly is because they let the OEMs customize it, thus they depend on the OEMs to port their changes onto new versions before they can be released. Sometimes the carriers add their own customizations too, though presumably that happens less often now that more and more phones are bought for full price and unlocked, instead of the old "free/discounted phone if you sign a contract" days.

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