* Posts by DougS

12862 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Windows 10 grabs 22 per cent desktop market share in a year

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How many of the 22% actually CHOSE Windows 10?

Most of those Windows 10 installs came with a new PC that was purchased in the past year, and you rarely get a choice in OS when you buy a PC (sometimes you can have an older version if you pay more, but who is going to choose Windows 8 over Windows 10? That would be like choosing Vista over 7 or ME over XP)

A lot of the rest were essentially forced upgrades due to Microsoft's malware-like techniques to upgrade PCs to Windows 10 against the wishes of their owner. If it was left up to the user to actively choose to upgrade a lot fewer would do so.

So I'd argue that 22% is not much of a success at all - even with trying to shove it down people's throats, around 80-90% of the upgrade eligible 7/8/8.1 userbase managed to avoid the upgrade. Either by turning it down repeatedly and not getting hit with the stealth upgrade, or by downloading tools like GWX Control Panel. Sad that someone had to write what is essentially anti-malware software to prevent Microsoft from upgrading your OS against your express wishes!

Contrast that 80-90% who avoided Windows 10 with the 90%+ adoption rate of iOS 9 on eligible iPhones - and that's with merely asking if you want to update! Other than the little red "1" on the settings icon staring at you, you are never bothered again once you refuse a single time by tapping "Later".

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Re: Great Table

People that paranoid are probably using OpenBSD. So multiply their numbers by 20x, and it is still lost in the noise.

Tablet sales remain bitter, but Nougat tipped to sweeten the market

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Re: I'm not surprised ...

One of Android's issues in the tablet market is that most Android apps aren't optimized to handle the larger screen. You get the same thing you get on a phone, only bigger. The tablet market shrinking and fewer Android tablets for sale isn't likely to induce Android devs to address this issue.

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Re: Business oriented Android tablets

Sure, you have Office, but that's hardly the only thing you need. Besides, if you're wanting to work on a spreadsheet on a 7" or even 10" tablet, the last the thing you'll want is to have it crammed into a smaller window.

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Business oriented Android tablets

No. Surface sells because it can run standard Windows apps - people buy them to use as laptops, not tablets. iPad sells because Apple (with IBM's help) has been making inroads into the corporate world for mobile devices, and supporting development of bespoke apps fulfilling specific functions.

Allowing better multitasking is not going to change Android's position in that market, because they still can't run Windows apps, and still won't have the bespoke business apps designed for Android tablets.

FBI electronics nerd confesses: I fed spy tech blueprints to China

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This is the outcome of overclassification

Because just about everything is classified, several million people hold Secret or Top Secret clearances at any one time (and a lot more when you consider contractors who had them at one time, like me) When they need so many, it is difficult to make any decisions to limit the pool of potentials.

If they only classified things that needed to be classified it wouldn't be such a problem, because far fewer people would need clearance. In the project I was on, hostnames and IP addresses were classified "Secret". So you can imagine that pretty much everyone who does any sort of IT related work whatsoever for the US government needs clearance.

VC vampire: Peter Thiel wants to live forever

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Someday we'll conquer aging

And unfortunately it means bastards like Thiel will be around forever. Hopefully we both kick it before that happens.

Firefox to block crapware

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Something they should have done a decade ago

I've seen people with two or three different toolbars (whatever browser they use) so I can't believe it took them this long to decide this is a good idea.

Smartphone sales stall at ~3.5 million per day

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Re: Don't forget the give away offers

Instead of making a crazy claim and telling US to read the policies, why don't you quote the places that prove your claim? Google makes all their money pushing ads in your face, they have to collect personal information to make that work. Apple makes their money selling you hardware, and while they do operate iAd, it is a pretty small operation that doesn't even have majority share in iOS.

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"Familiar Lumia brand"

I highly doubt the majority of smartphone buyers were familiar with that brand. Sure Reg readers and others who read the tech press were familiar with it, but the average person would be way more familiar with Nokia and Microsoft than Lumia.

You're right that changing the APIs multiple times hurt them. Windows 8 phones couldn't run 7 apps, and 10 phones couldn't run 8 apps. Worse yet, the phones themselves for the most part weren't upgradeable to new OS revs either. Android phones are almost always able to take new OS revs, the problem isn't that the OS can't run on it, but that the vendor sees no value in spending money to port it to phones they've already sold.

You might think it "hardly makes sense to exit the market", but all indications are that Microsoft is doing exactly that. They haven't officially announced it, but all the layoffs, and Intel exiting the market for phone SoCs pretty much seals the deal. Sure, Microsoft could use ARM SoCs in their phones like everyone else, however Continuum was Microsoft's best hope for turning things around but is only possible if the phone is x86.

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Its those "similar horror shows MS generates when its dominant"

That is the main reason why Windows Phone didn't catch on. Once they made it free, there was no reason why Android OEMs couldn't have hedged their bets by offering both Android and Windows Phones. Few did, and those who did weren't really serious about it, because Microsoft's reputation for treating their hardware partners like crap preceded them. Thus why Microsoft threw up its hands with Windows 10, and decided to go along with the Google data slurp strategy.

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Re: Don't forget the give away offers

At least that's a real choice. Apple doesn't slurp your data and Android doesn't have walls around its garden, so while you can't get the "no slurp, no walls" choice at least you aren't getting choices that are claimed to be different but are actually the same as is the case all too often in other markets.

F-35 targeting system laser will be 'almost impossible' to use in UK

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Re: None-story

I think a big reason for the restrictions might be the terrible publicity would result if there was an accident (whether in the US or another country does not really matter in this case) that blinded someone. There would be a lot of outrage, talk about how we'll end up blinding kids by mistake who are lucky enough not be blown up by mistake, and there would be pressure to remove the system or restrict its use in war (which is when the military would not want any restrictions at all, too bad for the people on the ground who look up)

Pokémon Go tragedy strikes

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Re: The hype cycle is getting shorter

If it was "yesterday's buzz", people wouldn't be upset about an update that reset their game...

Just because it isn't on major media sources on a daily basis like it was the first week doesn't mean it has gone the way of the pet rock already. It just means that major media has reported on it a few times, has nothing new left to say at this point, and has now moved back to real news like terrorism, floods and politicians doing politician things.

When you someday read about how the number of active players is down 50% from the peak, then you can conclude it is passe, but since it hasn't even been released in the majority of the world yet, that seems a bit premature. Though erasing three weeks of "work" for millions of players would certainly be one way to end things early!

Beer merger dwarfs EMC/Dell

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Little chance of this being allowed in the US

Put Bud, Miller and Coors (and all the "craft" brews they've bought out over the past decade) all under one roof? Not likely. They'll be forced to divest some part of that here.

Apple's Car is Project Titan

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Re: Is it all that different from selling phones?

Apple probably charges little or nothing for Carplay - it exists only to make it easier for people to own iPhones through making it easy to use them in their car.

There really aren't any examples in the Jobs II era where Apple has made software a primary product. I mean, similar to Carplay they have iTunes available on Windows, but it is free and exists only to help Windows users own iPods (and later iPhones/iPads)

And sure, they could buy someone up, and perhaps eventually they will, but autonomous cars will take years to hit the road. Assuming that's their target (and not just an electric) they have plenty of time to build things up. They would need a new factory, it would cost more to retool a factory used for traditional gasoline cars. Probably the only thing they'd really want is the dealership/service network, but based on what they've done with Apple Stores, they'd probably like to build dealerships that look more like an Apple Store than the typical Volvo/Audi/BMW class dealership.

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Is it all that different from selling phones?

Apple has "dealerships" that sell phones, and provide service to phones in the form of the stores. They'd obviously need a separate network of car dealerships to sell and service cars, but Tesla was able to set it up with a fraction of the resources Apple has available to them.

Selling phones means dealing with various federal regulators, and while the regulations around cars are obviously far greater, it isn't something Apple is unwilling to do. There are insurance and other hurdles unique to cars, so I don't mean to claim they're the same, but Tesla showed how easy it is to start a car company from the ground up, and they have a fraction of the resources Apple has at their disposal.

I would agree with those who suggest that contract manufacturing cars like they do iPhones is not really feasible, so they'd have to own and operate the factory themselves. While everyone assumes Apple would never make anything themselves, they ALWAYS have. They have been making iMacs at an Apple owned and operated factory in Ireland since Jobs returned. The iPod was their first real foray into contract manufacturing of an important product, but there are good reasons why they made that choice - they were nearly broke when they started selling it and setting up their own factory with a capacity large enough to meet demand was not really feasible.

Since the relationship with Foxconn worked out well for the iPod, they continued it with the iPhone and iPad. Steve Jobs was heavily involved in the planning and design of state of the art factories for both Apple and NeXT, so there would be no way for someone within Apple to oppose manufacturing cars themselves by saying "that's not what Steve would do".

If anything, licensing software instead of making hardware is totally against Apple's corporate identity. They've become the most profitable company in the world by controlling the whole stack, not carving out a piece for themselves in something someone else sells and supports. There are a lot of companies, both inside and outside the auto industry, working on autonomous driving technology. There will be a few winners who get there first, but eventually a lot of players will, and the capability will become a commodity and Apple has no interest in a commodity market. Maybe they have an easier to use more intuitive interface for dealing with the car, but as with the iPhone even if they managed to get there first, they can't stop others from following their lead.

I think they have to make cars if they want this project to succeed long term. And I find it hard to believe that the massive amounts of money they've added to R&D can be around simply doing autonomous software. Either they have some other big projects in the works that have been kept more secret than Titan, or the rumor about them not making cars and just selling software is untrue.

Dem-owned-crats: Now its congressional committee is hacked

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Re: Real Problem?

Fine, you keep living in your fantasy world and believing that taking measures like that will prevent hackers backed by major world powers from getting in.

Where is this mythical software that's not "flaky/complex enough to even have outstanding exploitable flaws"? There sure is not a single option for email servers that fit there. Maybe you can find some mail server without any exploits listed, but that's because no one uses it and thus no one is trying to break in, not because it is 100% secure.

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Re: Someone get Assange a cookie

Because sometimes the person in charge gets to take the fall, regardless of their own guilt. The emails proved that the leadership wanted Clinton to win, and were looking for ways to help her. I don't think that's illegal, just not ethical as voters would (hopefully) want the party to remain neutral.

I imagine if we had a look at RNC emails we'd see a lot of the same sort of stuff when they were scrambling trying to stop Trump.

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Re: Real Problem?

Pretty much no one can defend against state level attacks. If Russia, China, Israel or the US and its five eyes partners decide to attack your server, they will get in.

Doesn't matter if you religiously patch, the constant flow of security patches for Windows and Linux, and their common web facing applications, demonstrate how impossible that is. Unless you are naive enough to think that they don't have a pile of 0 days at their disposal they can use for any potential scenario.

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Re: Someone get Assange a cookie

The GOP won't get reformed unless Trump loses. If he wins, it'll be business as usual for them, other than his random position of the day not necessarily lining up with the republican party platform as well as the leadership would like.

Windows 10 pain: Reg man has 75 per cent upgrade failure rate

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Why the heck would you wait until the last day?

That doesn't give you any time to sort out problems before the upgrade is no longer free.

Ditch your Macs, Dell tells EMC staff

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Not sure why stickers are being discounted

I did some consulting for HP back in the day, and as a contractor I was bringing my own laptop. But the project I was on required customer visits, and the exec in charge of the project had a problem with me showing up at the customer site with a laptop with a Dell logo. So I put some black electrical tape over the logo, and he was satisfied.

Dell's issue may not be so much one of trying to force everyone to use their hardware, but having a big Apple logo staring back at customers around a conference table isn't what they want those customers seeing. Cover it up, and even if those who look more closely can tell what it is, it isn't in your face during all afternoon customer meeting.

Microsoft axes 2,850 more Windows Phone, sales staff – a week after Justin Timberlake sang on stage for them

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Windows Phone is a failure because of how much it cost Microsoft

They've lost well over $10 billion on it, including the failed Nokia acquisition. No one is investing any real sums at all trying to make Linux on the desktop happen. Almost all the investment in Linux is for it being used as a server, or for embedded use like in your phone, wireless router or DVR. In those markets it is a huge success.

Sure, Linux on the desktop is a "failure" in the sense that it has a tiny market share (I think even 2% is optimistic) but no one has ever lost any serious amount of money trying to make it happen. If back in 2010 you wrote a $10 billion check to fund a new company tasked with making Linux on the desktop a success, even if the entire $10 billion was lost with nothing to show for it you'd still be more successful than Microsoft was with Windows Phone as you'd have lost less money!

Windows 10 Pro Anniversary Update tweaked to stop you disabling app promos

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@boltar - Apple is firing into their feet?

How so? Sure, sales of the iPhone are down from its lofty peak, but two quarters of lower YoY sales hardly means Apple is in terminal decline. The whole mobile market is saturated now, and no phone has new features compelling enough to make people upgrade. They could match the total feature set of the Android market, and it wouldn't affect their sales, unless you think people will actually switch to Android in large numbers to get something like wireless charging.

There were in fact obvious reasons (pent up demand for a larger iPhone and for China Mobile as a carrier) for the sales peak they experienced with the iPhone 6, so it is not surprising when those pent up demands have been satisfied that they are experiencing lower sales this time around. So unless you consider "fulfilling demand in all potential markets leaving no more big untapped sources of growth" to be shooting yourself in the foot...

I doubt Apple pays much attention to Microsoft anymore anyway, they have never been relevant in the mobile market so I doubt anyone at Apple takes any 'delight' in it. Well, maybe a few old timers who have been there since the 90s when Microsoft was unstoppable still like seeing them brought down a peg, but they've been screwing up in so many ways for so many years you'd hope they'd be tired of it by now.

Australian Banks ask permission to form anti-Apple cartel

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Re: Aaaactually...

A POS system that accepts EMV compliant contactless payments MUST accept Apple Pay and Android Pay - it can't tell the difference since the communication with the card is the same as the communication with the phone. The only difference is that Apple is providing less info - the merchant doesn't get your name like it does from the card (and retains less info, it isn't data mining your purchases like Google is with Android Pay)

You can be compliant with EMV without supporting contactless payments (i.e. you have to insert the chip end of the card) which is what most of the readers around here seem to do, though I haven't really looked at them closely to see if some support NFC and would allow me to just get the card close. So you're right that EMV compliance doesn't imply support for Apple Pay. I assume there's some sort of NFC logo on the readers that support contactless versus require inserting the card, I just haven't bothered to look.

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Re: It's either one large special interest group or another.

Apple Pay doesn't require any special support from the retailer, it uses the EMV standard that all contactless payments will in the future. So even if iPhones doubled their market share to 70-80% it wouldn't affect Android users - or the far far larger share of people who have no interest in ever buying stuff with their phone at all.

DougS Silver badge

Apple Pay uses the EMV standard, which is the same standard all the chip cards use in the US (and will use in Europe eventually if they don't already - the 'E' stands for Europay)

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This is a trojan horse

The banks are using Apple as an excuse to create a cartel and force all smartphone users to use their payment system. They don't like Apple (or Android, but have less of an excuse to complain about them) sticking their nose into payments, and want to maintain their iron grip.

If Australia allows this cartel, the banks will set the price and terms for mobile payments, and could set security requirements that only they would be capable of meeting, giving them an effective monopoly. Since it would be government sanctioned, it would be pretty much impossible to ever get rid of.

Unless someone thinks the 35-40% of the smartphone market Apple owns in Australia is a "monopoly", they don't have a monopoly and the banks deserve no special consideration from the government. To the extent anyone considers what Apple is doing today a problem, the cure proposed by the banks is definitely worse than the disease!

DougS Silver badge

Apple has no monopoly

They sell a minority of phones in Australia. Just because they require their own payment solution on their phone doesn't make them a monopoly.

The economic definition of a monopoly is where a single company or cartel owns all or nearly all of the market for a single product or service. You can't define a market to be a single company's product and ignore all the competing products that clearly exist and are purchased by a majority of consumers just to claim that single company has a monopoly.

If the iPhone did not exist, and Android had all the share that iPhone has now, Android would be considered a monopoly and subject to scrutiny under such laws. (The EU apparently has lower thresholds for what is considered a monopoly, and may potentially consider Android a monopoly even with Apple's presence in the market)

This sounds like a trojan horse - I'll address that in a separate post.

Buzz Aldrin's Apollo XI expenses claim revealed

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It would have been more work filling it out for Apollo 15-17

Then he'd have to add entries for driving the Rover "destination: Some crater" and back again "destination: Lunar Lander".

IPv6 now faster than IPv4 when visiting 20% of top websites – and just as fast for the rest

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Why is IPv6 faster?

Is it faster for connection setup/teardown? Is it able to sustain faster throughput? Or are the higher layer protocols doing something different when on an IPv6 base to account for this?

Get yer gnashers round 64-layer 3D NAND, beam WDC and Toshiba

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Re: Layer limit?

Reading is a pretty low power activity for flash, it is the erase/write cycle that uses up a lot of power (therefore heat) So I imagine via some clever remapping (which they already do for wear leveling) they could insure the erases & writes occur in different areas to spread the heat across the whole die. You'd need a hundred thousand layers before the heat from a chip evenly spread out became an issue.

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Re: Layer limit?

There are other methods being worked on that will lead to the ability to have thousands of layers, with less processing per layer. But yes, the current method is expected to peter out at 64 or at most 96 layers, because the more layers the more troublesome connecting the I/O to all of them becomes.

Cats, dogs starve as web-connected chow chute PetNet plays dead

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How about frogs?

I was once driving in north central Missouri through a heavy rainstorm shortly after dark, and on this one winding ~10 mile section of county road there were uncounted thousands tiny frogs hopping around on the road, at least 2 or 3 per square foot. So many that I had to slow down because I was powersliding around the curves on their guts!

Never seen anything like that before or since.

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Re: More dead cats :)

Cats aren't vermin. Now pigeons, on the other hand...

Facebook is unstoppable

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So how is that different than any of the other bazillion ad trackers out there? They can't grab any information about you beyond what those other ad trackers can if you aren't on Facebook. They certainly can't link it to any facial recognition as if you aren't on Facebook they don't have your face to recognize (others might post pictures that include you, but they can't tag you if you don't have an account)

Still say Google is 100x worse than Facebook, as it is nearly impossible to go Google free in the modern world.

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Re: Sad news for FB haters / privacy warriors maybe...

Why is it a problem for privacy warriors? Joining Facebook is voluntary. They're far easier to avoid than Google or Microsoft, and Google is far worse for your privacy than Facebook could ever dream of being.

BEEEELLIONth iPhone sold

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That would be rather stupid, since replacing the screen costs a lot less than buying a new phone. I've dropped my past iPhones onto concrete once each, the only damage was some scuffing to the edge (plastic on the 3gs, metal on the 4S and the 5) So far the 6S has managed to be drop free (well, drop free onto concrete at least) *knocks on wood*

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Obviously a US billion, since it is a US company with a US CEO. And to sell a million million would mean everyone on the planet has over a hundred iPhones in a drawer somewhere.

Exclusive transcript: WikiLeaks reveals ass call from a zoo

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How is a pocket/butt dial possible anymore?

It can't happen with touchscreen phones, unless you are in the habit of putting them in your pocket without locking the screen first. Even then, unless you have thin pockets and a phone that accepts touches through that thin material, you'd have to have your hand in the pocket to make this happen.

Australian maps and GPS will align by 2020

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Why does this matter for a map?

Can't they use a fixed point on the ground as reference to correct the error? I assume the whole continent is moving in the same direction at the same rate?

What do other countries do, maybe the US and UK aren't moving as quickly, but they're still moving.

BlackBerry snips Alcatel label off a midrange biz 'Droid, sells it for $299

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More vulnerabilities posted for iOS than Android

Because Apple reports and requests a CVE number for every vulnerability reported to it or found internally. Google does not.

Lowland Scots plunged into panic by marauding ostrich family

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Will they survive the winter?

I don't think there's much cold weather in the areas they're typically found, is there?

Gullible Essex Police are now using junk science lie detectors

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Re: Use a clever police dog

All drug sniffing dogs are taught to alert not only in the presence of drugs, but on command with a subtle signal, which the police will use if they want a reason to arrest you without justification.

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There's a reason why cops like polygraphs and drug sniffing dogs

They can create false 'alerts' quite easily, so if they want justification to arrest you they can have it without any actual proof.

Brit chip bods ARM quietly piling up cash. Softbank will be happy

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Re: Does that add up?

ARM's revenue & profit have been growing, and Softbank is buying with the belief/intention that they will continue to grow. They presumably think IoT is going to be a big deal, and instead of selling 10 billion chips a year or whatever the ARM market is now, it will be hundreds of billions or even trillions. Even if the per chip royalty is lower in order to support such a market, it is at least potentially feasible. They obviously wouldn't buy if they though the revenue ARM had today was about the peak that was possible.

Another possibility is that they intend to raise royalty rates. Some customers have "perpetual" contracts (I imagine Apple is one) so they wouldn't be affected, but that could get them more money as new licensees come along.

Did the Russians really hack the DNC or is this another Sony Pictures moment? You decide

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Guccifer 2.0 isn't necessarily the hacker, in fact probably isn't

He just got his hands on it and apparently submitted it to Wikileaks.

My hunch is that the Russian government hacked the DNC (and probably the RNC as well) as part of their normal process to see what the other guys are up. Some Russian billionaire(s) who have done business with Trump in the past managed to get their hands on it, figured it would hurt Hillary, and made sure it found its way to Wikileaks. Guccifer 2.0 is just the flunky they had do the handover, and speaks for them trying to deflect the source (because Putin would probably not be happy about Russian "property" getting leaked)

Meanwhile, Assange gets his hands on it, and times the release to inflict damage on democratic party unity. He despises Hillary, because she wants him locked up for the state department cables leak, and stated he's the one who decided on the timing of the release.

This was a Russian government op, but not one designed to take down Hillary. I don't think Putin probably cares all that much. Sure Trump praises Putin, but that's just because he dreams about having as much power as Putin - which he won't have even if he's elected president. He can talk about "rethinking NATO" or whatever, but Putin is smart enough to know that Trump can't renege on NATO treaty guarantees without congress, who would not go along with it.

All things considered Putin might prefer Hillary as president - she's a known quantity who he has known personally for many years, while Trump is a wild card. He might want to be Russia's friend one day, and threaten war the next.

Anti-theft kill switches in smartphones just got a little less creepy

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Re: Effective?

You can't "switch out whatever chip does the lockout" because this is controlled by the secure enclave, which is part of the SoC, which is microsoldered onto the logic board. You'd need to swap out the entire logic board, and even then I'm not sure that would work (if the code checks to see if other hardware has mysteriously changed)

The very latest on the DNC email conspiracy. Which conspiracy? All of them, of course!

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Re: The timing is interesting

Sanders supporters used the same complex malware that has been used by the Russian government, which has instructions and error messages in Cyrillic? Pull the other one. I could believe Israel or China might do something like this and be able to fake things well enough to make it look like the Russian government (though not sure why) but no non-state actor possibly could. From the information we have now, it looks like a question of "which government did this".

As for the timing of the release, that's a bit more clear now. Assange stated he was the one who chose the timing of the release. He does not like Hillary at all, and while a President Trump isn't likely to change his situation WRT to fearing extradition to the US any, I'm sure it gave him some personal satisfaction to screw her.

He's claimed he has more information (presumably from yet another source) that will put her in jail. So I wouldn't be surprised to see another document release in early November, timed to tilt the election Trump's way. Not because he wants Trump to win, but he wants Hillary to lose. It doesn't have to put her in jail, something bad enough to drop democratic turnout a few points is all that would be required to make her lose.

That still leaves the motives of why the Russian government would release these documents to wikileaks. Regardless of whether Putin prefers Trump over Hillary, there are plenty of business interests in Russia who have a history with Trump and would definitely prefer him. One of them probably had sources in the Russian government and managed to get a copy.

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