* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Hacker shows Reg how one leaked home address can lead to ruin

DougS Silver badge

Re: This is data that should not be sensitive

I don't open my door to anyone unless I'm expecting them, so unless that religious nutcase is able to hack through my door or walls with his machete all I have to worry about is 1) calling the cops to deposit him in the nearest psych ward 2) calling my insurance company to make a claim about the machete damage to my door (that might be a new one to them)

DougS Silver badge

Re: People don't listen

Assuming Nixxer owns a home, then he'll be vulnerable to all the same stuff. That's probably why he doesn't reveal his real name. Presumably those who hire him in his "day job" have no idea he's "Nixxer" and he never tells them.

Obviously he knows all the information that can be run down about him, given his real name, and that's why he keeps it secret.

Flaws found in security products from AVG, Symantec and McAfee

DougS Silver badge


I think it is safe to assume that any smart TV has so many exploitable holes that leaving it exposed to the internet, or using it to make any outgoing connections at all beyond well known sites like Netflix is the equivalent of browsing porn sites on a PC running Windows XP without service packs, with IE6 and Flash installed.

An anniversary to remember: The world's only air-to-air nuke was fired on 19 July, 1957

DougS Silver badge

300 meter blast radius

What stops you from spacing the bombers further apart than that to prevent a bomb from taking out more than one bomber?

How's this for irony? US Navy hit with $600m software piracy claim

DougS Silver badge

Was this a mistake, or are all personnel actually using it?

I'm not sure what the law says about the distinction, but if for example by mistake Adobe Acrobat was added to every laptop in a large organization, when the intent was to provide them Adobe Reader and only graphics design department actually used Acrobat I would hope they couldn't be found liable for the full whack due to a mistake from a low level flunky.

Obviously the $600m bill is just the starting point in negotiations, and if they didn't intend to put on everyone's image they'll remove it from those who don't need it and negotiate for the what they really owe plus some damages for installing it more widely for a time. Or if they do all use it hopefully they can get a volume discount, what with a half a million installs and all...

Shock: Apple patents the phone book

DougS Silver badge

Re: Wait, what?

Read the article, it quotes the exact reasons why they're doing this. When you make a laptop with a metal case, it will affect the performance of the antenna. I guess they don't think adding "antenna lines" to the Macbook would be a good look.

On the other hand, it is just a patent. Apple may not end up doing this, they were just thinking of alternatives, and patent lawyers will always make engineers patent solutions they come up with whether they ultimately use them or not. At least Apple will not sue someone using one of their patents if they aren't using the patent themselves; they don't pile up patents that they never used to sue people like trolls do.

DougS Silver badge

How is this obvious?

This isn't a patent for 'putting antenna in a laptop', it is a patent for doing it in a very specific way - placing cavity antennas around the hinges and openings between upper & lower portion of the casing, and having sensors that adjust the antenna depending on the angle the case is open.

While I can't say for sure there's no prior art, I can state with absolutely certainty that it wasn't obvious to YOU to do that.

What keeps former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani awake at night?

DougS Silver badge

Giuliani would make such an awful president that I'd gladly take Trump over him. Trump is just incompetent and unqualified. Guiliani is an evil, petty man.

BlackBerry chief: We don't have to make phones to make phones

DougS Silver badge

Beware of Blackberry

They're basically saying they'll continue to cooperate with governments, via the criticism of Apple. I expect with iOS 10 what the FBI was asking Apple to do (develop a custom version of iOS to help the FBI get past the lock screen) will no longer be possible. Apple themselves won't have the capability to get past your lock screen. What will Chen's position be then, that Apple needs to change their software so it is possible to help the FBI? Should they change iMessage so the messages go through an Apple server instead of directly from sender to recipient, to allow a way for Apple to collect them for the FBI?

Beware Blackberry, no matter how secure they claim they make their special version of Android when their mystery project is done. They're making it clear they are going to have a way in to your stuff, and just because their intention/claim it will only be provided under strict legal guidelines, doesn't mean it will remain that way. Much better if the company itself has NO way to access your private data, then no matter how much pressure the government puts on them we can't have a repeat of PRISM.

FibreChannel dead? Nonsense, says Brocade, here's our Gen 6 kit

DougS Silver badge

Re: Latency

Agreed. Every data center of any size (excepting Google style cloud) has fiber channel. A minority of them will have Infiniband or Omnipath.

Hardball hacker thrown in the cooler for 46 months for guessing rival team's password

DougS Silver badge


So if you use the same password everywhere you deserve what you get? So if I find an unlocked window on the second story of your house and help myself to your wife's jewelry, is the "deserved embarrassment and valuable lesson" on your part enough that you don't think I should go to jail?

DougS Silver badge

Because the article title is misleading. He did more than "guess the rival team's password". He also accessed the guy's email account to steal the new password after it was reset. And he wasn't doing it out of curiosity and didn't choose his target at random. He did this specifically, in a sport where inside information like that could be worth as much as a few million dollars.

Drone bloke cuffed after gizmo stops firemen tackling forest inferno

DougS Silver badge

Re: Good

You can't fully beat stupid, but there's a large swathe of stupid who don't consider harm to others but do consider harm to themselves. These are the people for whom laws against robbery, murder, etc. are intended (they aren't for you and me, who wouldn't do those crimes even if legal, and they aren't for the hardcore criminals who would commit crimes even if the penalty was execution on the spot)

DougS Silver badge


I hope every other yob with a drone hears about this and if they're too stupid to consider how their actions might harm others, at least are forced to consider how it might harm themselves by being forced to live behind bars for a while.

Harvard gives solar batteries performance-enhancing vitamins

DougS Silver badge

@Jimmy2Cows - flow battery energy density

So how many gallons would be required for a 200 Kwh flow battery? From what you're saying, it sounds like way more than the 16 gallons of gasoline to provide the same. But on the other hand, if you get rid of the engine and transmission, you've got a lot of volume and weight to trade. Perhaps it doesn't work for passenger cars, what about trucks, buses and trains, where size and weight is less of a concern?

EDIT: did a little googling and found a link for a flow battery that does 167 wh per litre. Assuming that's a typical figure, it rounds to about 0.6 kwh per gallon. So you'd need about 330 gallons to equal 200 kwh. That's a lot of weight/volume, but if you were willing to trade a bit of range (say 200-240 miles instead of 400-500 miles) you could drop that to 150 gallons. That seems feasible for a passenger car, and since you'd be able to fill up as quickly as you can now, reduced range is less an issue than it would be for a car that has to recharge.

DougS Silver badge

@Pascal - high power grid connections

I didn't mean to imply the stations wouldn't need grid connections, but the size of the grid connection is quite different in terms of what you'd need to be able to simultaneously quick charge a dozen cars at once during peak times (i.e. rush hour when everyone is stopping to fill up) versus what you'd need to be constantly charging your "used fuel" 24x7. If you have 150 people through the station in a day, you only need to charge about six cars per hour. In reality you may get more than 150 cars in a day in many stations, but they aren't all empty, either.

There is around 33 Kwh per gallon of gas. If you assume a gasoline engine is 38% efficient (which would be pretty good) and there are 16 gallons in a tank that's about 200 Kwh in a tankful. So you need to deliver about 1200 Kwh per hour to recharge 150 cars a day from zero. That's a pretty big grid connection, but doable.

It isn't that a station would have solar panels, you'd need acres to generate 1.2 Mw and that's only during the day. But if houses and buildings all over had solar panels, and generated more than they needed, that power needs to go somewhere. Too much solar could be a problem for grids today, unless that power has somewhere to go. If gas stations will take as much as you can produce, they're a sink for all that excess power and avoid problems with the grid. They can even help the grid in the other direction, by reducing/eliminating their load during peak periods, or theoretically even pushing power back into the grid.

DougS Silver badge

Electric cars

Flow batteries would also be terrific for electric cars, as it means you can refuel as quickly as you do today: by replacing the fluid.

The station could have a big reservoir underneath where fuel is kept today where it is recharged between fillups / overnight. This would avoid the need for high power grid connections for every station to support multiple simultaneous quick charges, or complicated equipment for automated battery swaps.

Pokemon Go driver woes

DougS Silver badge

If 1 in 5 admit it

Probably another 1 or 2 in 5 do it but won't admit it.

Trump? Terror? Turkey? Whoa, there's a Tentacool in that Bush...

DougS Silver badge

News hype about negative side of Pokeman Go

With the number of people playing it, the odds that some will be the victims of crime or accident are pretty good. Let's say the number playing it and the number of hours they were doing it were equal to the number of people cycling last weekend and the number of hours they were doing it. No one is going to write an article about how cyclists were getting robbed last weekend, and if one died from being hit by a car that's only newsworthy locally. The first person who dies from being hit by a car while playing Pokemon Go will no doubt make national if not international news.

Sure, criminals targeted Pokemon Go players in a few cases, but that's not surprising - they will target those immersed in their phone and not paying attention, those using ATMs, those walking/jogging alone, etc. Pokemon Go is just another opportunity for a criminal to strike, not a new paradigm that enables new kinds of or new levels of crime.

There was a high school student who died in my neck of the woods the weekend before last when he was hit by a car while walking with two friends on a road near the edge of town. The first reports said he and his friends were on their phones, so there was suspicion that Pokemon Go might be involved. Turns out they were playing a game called 'hostage'. I'm sure if they had been playing Pokemon it would have been on the nightly news in the US...


Softbank promises stronger ARM: Greater overseas reach and double the UK jobs

DougS Silver badge

Re: Seen it all before.

So what do you recommend as a solution? If the UK government blocks foreign companies from buying UK companies, people will be less likely to start companies in the UK in the first place, because it makes them worth less when they can only be purchased by other UK companies.

This might be a reasonable strategy for something like defense companies, or their suppliers. But if you try to apply to any "big" UK company you'd just hurt yourself in the long run.

DougS Silver badge

Re: "ARM, whose chip designs drive the majority of the world’s smartphones"

Pretty sure it is their chip designs that drive the majority of the world's smartphones. The ones using various ARM designed cores like the A57 and A72 outnumber custom non-ARM designed cores like Apple's A9 and Qualcomm's Kyro.

DougS Silver badge

Re: I expect Imagination is feeling rather unwanted

Care to provide some examples where Apple "pick[ed] off the carcass once a firm has gone bust"?

Apple in fact tends to want to buy small pre-IPO companies for their technology or personnel. While they use Imagination GPUs, they also hired some top GPU designers who fled ATI after AMD bought them a few years ago, so there are persistent rumors that Apple will eventually design their own GPU core, just like they design their own ARM CPU cores.

To the extent Apple would be interested in buying Imagination, they'd only want the GPU related IP and engineers, not all the MIPS stuff, the outside licensing business and sales staff, etc. If they bought them they'd probably partner with someone else who was interested in that other stuff Apple isn't, and divide them up. But I think Apple buying them at all is unlikely, I'd say odds are good Apple will introduce their own design GPU core either this fall or next.

Facebook and Google show how the world really will be blanketed in 5G

DougS Silver badge

Re: Low orbit Satelites?

Stratelites don't orbit, they float. In order to float there must be atmosphere, meaning they are WAY closer than satellites.

DougS Silver badge

Hackers in the cellular system

If they use fully open source hardware and software, what stops some guy from buying the required hardware off Amazon or eBay, loading up the software, then spoofing a real AT&T or Verizon tower?

I doubt there is a lot of security in that phone -> tower connection, because the telcos didn't expect that someday some random guy could set up his own. If it was truly secure Stingray devices wouldn't be possible...

Bad enough that you have to worry if the public wifi access point you're connecting to is the real thing or one a hacker set up. At least you can control that by being careful what wifi access points you connect to. Soon you might have to worry about the same thing when your phone connects to an "AT&T" tower. Thanks, Facebook!

Brit chip biz ARM legs it to Softbank for $32bn

DougS Silver badge

Foundry license vs architectural license

You are confusing the two. The foundry license gives the licensee ARM's designs, like say that for the A72, and supporting tools etc. to help them implement it on a given foundry process. The architectural license lets the licensee design their own core from scratch to implement the ARM architecture. Apple and Qualcomm used their architectural licenses to create the A9 and Kyro, respectively. A foundry license would be used to create an SoC that includes "4x A72 cores" or other ARM designed cores.

However, even with an architectural license your design has to be compatible with ARM's specs. You can't change something in the architecture, and I don't believe you can even add your own stuff to it. If you added a new instruction, for example, the opcode you code could be used by ARM for a different new instruction, making your core no longer compatible with and able to run standard ARM code.

From what I understand, Apple had some input into the creation of the ARMv8 spec, so they wouldn't have any need to add their own non-standard stuff to it, since they would have got anything they wanted added to it already. It is more likely those trying to build ARM servers would be the ones interested in adding something, but they'd want to work with ARM so that the new stuff would be a part of a future architectural spec (i.e. ARMv8.1, 8.2, etc.)

DougS Silver badge

Well I just read a story about this buyout calling ARM a "supplier to Apple", so obviously some of the press are under the illusion that they make & sell chips, but I'm pretty sure you don't get to the point where you can throw $32 billion around without having a pretty good idea of what the company you are buying actually does.

It is obviously an IoT play, based on the assumption that in 10 years there will be tens of billions of ARM CPUs made every year to go in toasters and light bulbs, each one licensed from ARM.

DougS Silver badge

Apple will never own ARM (again)

If worse came to worse, Apple might be interested in negotiating to acquire a perpetual architectural license. That would allow them to essentially 'fork' their own version of the ARM architecture to meet their needs, if they felt like there was a risk ARM wouldn't continue on the way it is now. They are not going to buy something that's apparently worth $32 billion just to get that. That's at least $31 billion more than such a perpetual license could possibly be worth.

McCain: Come to my encryption hearing. Tim Cook: No, I'm good. McCain: I hate you, I hate you, I hate you

DougS Silver badge

"What is the alternative to 'a bit more policing"

Two people had really good answers:

1) education, fighting poverty and more mental health care

2) stop producing terrorists

As stated, the leaders and funders of terrorism may be well educated and well to do, but generally not the suicide bombers. Those with a cushy life generally see no reason to end it early, and prefer to find someone else to do it for them (sort of like all the chickenhawks in DC who never served or if they did never fought a real war, but are only too happy to send America's young men to fight pointless wars for them) A place where most of the men are poorly educated, living in poverty and have very high unemployment meaning little prospect of having a family is prime recruiting ground for extremists.

The second point is the one that too many people - at least those in the US - don't want to hear. They don't believe that the constant wars, helping coups, drone attacks, etc. help create terrorists. The US has itself to blame for creating Al Qaeda, by meddling in Afghanistan when the USSR was trying to take it over. Given how little success we had without another superpower getting involved, it is pretty safe to say that the USSR would have failed in that attempt even if the CIA hadn't created Bin Laden and the rest of the mujahideen. The war in Iraq created "Al Qaeda in Iraq", which after the US decided to get involved in the Syrian civil war later turned into ISIS.

We have ourselves to blame, for creating them, and they have good reasons to want to attack us. Notice how they never attack Switzerland? Why is that? Do they have such superior police and security that they are able to detect and stop all attacks before they occur? Or maybe, just maybe, is it possible that terrorists don't attack them because they don't have any reason to hate them, given that Switzerland remains neutral and doesn't think they are the world police?

DougS Silver badge

@JLV "democracies benefit from alternating parties being in power"

While I agree, I think we have a chance to witness something more. If Trump loses in a landslide as many are predicting, despite republicans getting democratic opponent with a lot of dislike and distrust against her, the republican party could truly fracture and in a few years no longer exist as we know it.

Now democrats might think that would be great, because then they'd win every election, but if the republican party broke into several smaller factions the democratic party would quickly follow because the various factions within the democrats would want their agenda moved to the front of the line. This campaign demonstrated there's a pretty big split in the democrats between the progressive "true liberal" wing that followed Sanders banner, and the neocon lite wing led by Obama and Hillary - i.e. the democrat "establishment" that is hard to distinguish from the republican establishment led by Bush, Bush Jr and Bush with the exclamation point.

The two party system is too entrenched in the way US election and campaign laws are set up for so many factions to last, so they would reassemble - but they might reassemble in some interesting ways. We might end up with two parties that are mainly distinguished by how they view foreign policy, rather than the current state where they are mainly distinguished by how they view social issues. One a mixing of the Bush/Clinton interventionists who think using our military to remake the world as "safe for democracy" is a good thing, and the other a combination of Sanders/Trump isolationists who think the US military should defend our borders, but stay out of conflicts that not ours. The religious conservatives would be left out in the cold with only minor third parties able to speak for them, similar to how the isolationists are today left out in the cold with only the libertarians able to speak for them.

This may be a lot bigger than the shift that occurred 50 years ago, when LBJ getting behind the Civil Rights Act caused many southern democrats to abandon the party for the republicans (yes, ironic that the party of Lincoln became the new home for the racists, after a century of the democrats having them) It was right around that same time that Phyllis Schlafy starting pushing the republican party platform towards social conservatism, which finally bore fruit with the nomination of Reagan in 1980. Before that most people felt that religion and politics shouldn't mix, and the nomination of Trump is reportedly causing a lot of social conservatives to give up on the party and politics in general so we may see that attitude return.

DougS Silver badge


I don't know anything about this stuff you're alleging, but it seems to be a pattern that if anyone that is considered a 'hero' or even had any military service at all runs for president, the other side finds some guys to come out of the woodwork to tear down their record. Either because they are partisan, or just getting paid off. This happened rather publicly with John Kerry, and to a lesser extent with the allegations that daddy's connections are what allowed Bush Jr. to get a cushy stateside air national guard posting (probably "to a lesser extent" because no one doubted it was true, and no one was claiming his national guard service made him a war hero)

I don't recall hearing anything about these allegations against McCain during the 2008 election, which is when they would have come out if there was even a shred of truth there, so I'm going to go out on a limb and assume they're so thinly sourced and conspiratorial that the MSM wouldn't touch them. Looking at the other links on that site you referenced, including stuff like "CIA operatives admit Al Qaeda is a complete fabrication" tell me that my suspicions are correct.

Heck these ideas are so fringe that even Trump hasn't heard them - because we know he'll parrot back any conspiracy theory he hears. No doubt when challenged on his "McCain is not a war hero" line if he'd heard of this he'd have mentioned it. Not like his handlers are capable of stopping the verbal diarrhea he's prone to, after all...

DougS Silver badge

Trump and nepotism

Given how big of a presence his kids have in his campaign I'm sure he'd give them big roles in his administration. Maybe official, maybe not.

I'm sure the same republicans who were constantly outraged at how much involvement Hillary had in Bill Clinton's administration would have no problem with it, and the same democrats who had no problem with Hillary's involvement in her husband's administration would be outraged at the involvement Trump's kids have.

Because, unfortunately, neither side cares what is right, or only whether "their side" or "the other side" is doing it. Witness all the republicans who overlooked Bush and the RNC "losing" 5 million+ emails that were being stored on an RNC server instead of a US government server to avoid records retention laws, but are now outraged about Clinton doing the same thing (no doubt hoping to avoid those records retention laws herself, since she knew she was going to run again and knew the republican congress would be going after her) And of course the democrats who were outraged over Bush's use of the RNC email server have been falling all over themselves to defend Clinton for it.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Dear Senator McCain

Pretty sure if Trump had been investigated to the level Clinton has for the last 25 years they would find plenty of reasons to jail him as well. Or do you really believe that all his bankrupt ventures didn't do anything illegal? I guess you are fine with a candidate who won't show his tax returns? Obviously he has something to hide, the only question is how big of a bombshell it would be if revealed.

DougS Silver badge

Re: They have subpoena powers

I would think Apple's lawyers could fight it on the grounds that Apple products are just one of dozens of ways that terrorists could potentially use to communicate via secure encryption. Are they going to also subpoena CEOs from Google, Facebook, Microsoft and other US tech companies? And just ignore the apps written outside the US that allow the same thing?

I guess I don't know the limits of the subpeona power of Congress, but just forcing people to show up and answer questions if they aren't doing what you think they should is unreasonable power IMHO. Apple isn't alleged to be doing anything illegal, if they craft a law I doubt they are going to take Cook's input into account anyway so why should they be able to compel him to show up?

DougS Silver badge

Re: Boo fucking hoo.

Sadly, I must agree with you. I would have loved to cast a vote for the John McCain who ran in 2000. In 2008, he sold his soul to the religious right to win the nomination, then doubled down on that stupidity by picking Palin. I think that move lost the election for him.

I don't know if President McCain could have done all that much better with the mess he would have inherited from Bush than Obama did, but I'm pretty sure that if McCain had taken office in 2001 instead of Bush there would have been less mess to inherit in 2009 at least on the foreign policy front.

DougS Silver badge

Banning encryption won't stop an attack like the one in NIce

Nor will bomb sniffing dogs, metal detectors, airport security, "if you see something, say something" or more military hardware for the police.

Eventually we're going to have to concede that those who are hell bent on mass killing of innocents are going to find a way no matter what we do, and becoming more and more of a police state isn't an answer.

Windows 10 a failure by Microsoft's own metric – it won't hit one billion devices by mid-2018

DougS Silver badge

Bet they assumed Windows Phone contributing a few hundred million

Because they know the mobile market so well - after all they were so quick to recognize how the smartphone world was going to completely change the minute the iPhone was first shown.

Oh wait, that was Google's Android team that realized that; Microsoft continued to putting out the same tired stuff that looked and acted like it was designed in 2001 and thinking Blackberry was their competition.

The only thing that will let them EVER get to a billion devices is quitting selling Windows 7 and stopping updates for it in early 2020. Until that end date for Windows 7 forces enterprises to get serious about upgrading to Windows 10 in 2019, they won't reach a billion.

One in five consumers upgraded to Win10 for free instead of buying a PC

DougS Silver badge

Re: Once again. We have passed peak PC.

No, you are not alone. I've been laying into these stupid analysts for a half decade now, with their constant excuses for why PC sales have declined that were a one off thing. I used to be able to list all the excuses they've made but I've lost track now as they're closing in on a dozen. Should have figured they'd try to claim that free upgrades to Windows 10 are keeping people from buying new PCs.

When the free upgrades stop they'll claim that as a reason for the inevitable YoY decline in H2 2016. Then they'll claim Microsoft no longer introducing new versions of Windows but doing continuous upgrades of Windows 10 as a reason, they'll claim Intel's extra "tock" delaying going to 10nm for a year as a reason.

Oh, and I'm sure Brexit will be claimed as a reason eventually, either when the UK goes through with it, or when they step back from the precipice and don't go through with it. In the analyst's mind whose looking any excuse to point the finger at, either outcome can be claimed to cause a decline in PC sales.

They always predict recovery next year, though they've gone from predicting 5-10% growth to predicting 1-2% growth. Then in Q1 they adjust it down to 0.3%, then in Q2 they're forced to admit it will be negative but only 1-2% and then the excuses really fly when they do the full year and have to explain another nearly 10% YoY drop.

Security gurus get behind wheel of driverless car debate

DougS Silver badge

Insurance in an autonomous driving world

The best way to handle it would seem to be no-fault insurance required for anyone owning/operating an autonomous vehicle, with that insurer dealing with the manufacturer of the car to recover for accidents deemed to be their responsibility through a software error or manufacturing defect. There will be many years with autonomous vehicles sharing the road with human driven vehicles, and human driven vehicles will be responsible for most accidents (because they won't allow the autonomous vehicles on the road until they can demonstrate a clearly superior driving record)

The rates you'd pay would depend on the 'driving record' of the car you own, similar to how today the rates you pay depend on your own driving record. Someone who has tickets and accidents on a regular basis pays a lot more than someone who hasn't had either this decade. The same would be true in the autonomous world, if you bought a car with a "poor" driving record relative to others you'd pay more. That would be one of the things you'd take into account when buying a car, just like gas mileage and repair/reliability.

I could see insurance becoming usage based - someone "drives" an autonomous car 100,000 miles a year is a higher risk than another totaling only 5,000 miles a year.

Dear Tesla, stop calling it autopilot – and drivers are not your guinea pigs

DougS Silver badge

More bullshit numbers

Listing all traffic deaths for the last 120 years to compare against the last two years? How about at least using the last two years, since the death rate was a lot higher in the old days before seat belts and crash testing?

The trends show about 1 death per 100 million miles driven these days. That includes ALL roads not just the nice highways where autopilot is far more likely to be engaged, and all vehicles including poorly maintained 20 year old cars which Teslas aren't. AND it includes the 1/3 of deaths that are alcohol related and can be thrown out unless you are going to claim that the reason autopilot makes you safer is because it saves people who are drunk, texting while driving or doing other stupid stuff. That's hardly the makings of a great ad campaign: "Are you a terrible driver who does stupid things and doesn't pay attention, buy a Tesla and use autopilot and you're less likely to die!"

DougS Silver badge

Doesn't matter if they communicated it if they don't enforce it. They have sensors that can detect if you are holding the wheel or not, but don't disengage autpilot no matter how long you keep your hands off the wheel. There's no excuse for such stupidity, and I imagine a jury will agree when the inevitable lawsuits begin.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Evidence & numbers

Bullshit. The deaths per mile with old school cruise control are also lower. Are you going to argue that cruise control saves lives, or acknowledge that it has more to do with people only using such features when they already feel safer - and also are generally traveling at highway speeds where the per mile death rates are lower anyway.

This is similar to arguing that not showering makes you safer in your home (because you eliminate the 'slipping in the shower' accidents)

DougS Silver badge

What a stupid fucking statistic

Of COURSE cars in autopilot are less likely to be involved in collisions. Because it is basically a super cruise control! The per mile accident rate for cruise control (the old school kind that just sets a speed and doesn't keep following distances or brake) is far lower the regular accident rate for the same reasons - not because using cruise control makes you safer, but because you only use it during situations where you are already safer.

Man, I'm really losing a lot of respect for Musk over this. That guy is willing to twist statistics and say anything instead of admitting to the real problems with autopilot - chief among them the name and the fact that it doesn't enforce any attention from the driver. Hell, it can detect when you take your hands off the steering wheel but DOESN'T DISENGAGE. I hope the NTSB investigation puts some heavy penalties on Tesla, they deserve it.

Musk has probably singlehandedly set back autonomous driving by five years, because the regulations his ineptitude is going to cause will make it tougher for everyone. Even those who are responsible and not trying to push the envelope by using humans as guinea pigs for beta software in the name of publicity.

Ivory tower drops water bombs on dumpster fire

DougS Silver badge

Re: A Vote is an endorsement

The problem is the people who consider themselves democrats or republican - not just those who are registered but those who like to claim themselves as independents but maybe only one time voted for a different party for president.

There are undoubtedly plenty of democrats and those who lean democrat who are not excited about the prospect of voting for Hillary, and there are an equal number of republicans and those who lean republican who are not excited about the prospect of voting from Trump.

Unfortunately all they hear from their friends (especially those who live in echo chambers and mostly surround themselves with other democrats or other republicans) is "OMG you have to support [Hillary|Trump] even if you don't like [her|him] or we'll end up with [Trump|Hillary] as President and America is done!" plus a lot of "this is the most important election of our lifetime" (i.e. the same thing that is said about almost every presidential election)

The true independents and those who support different parties (green, libertarian, etc.) are not large enough in number to make an impact by supporting third parties. The democrats and republicans who are not happy with their choices have to get over their irrational fear of the "wrong" candidate winning and stand up to their friends who will tell them that if they vote third party it is the same as voting for the other guy. Or heck, if they just won't shut up about it, let them believe you will vote the way they think you should, but do your own thing in the privacy of the voting booth.

Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson is on the ballot in all 50 states. He's been a republican governor, and his running mate has been a (rather liberal) republican governor as well, so they aren't some crazy nutbags who subscribe to the ridiculous libertarian fantasies about privatizing roads and all that crap. They're serious guys with actual governing experience who can do the job, and they're worth a look. Certainly for disaffected republicans who don't subscribe to the social conservatism that has taken over the republican party in the past few decades, but also for disaffected democrats who think that they've lost their way in supporting too much government with things like free college tuition. With a little more support he can make the presidential debates this fall, and presented with a reasonable third choice there could be a lot of defections from both parties into his corner from people who don't want to see either Trump or Hillary in the White House. He's a longshot, but given the two main choices this is the best chance a third party candidate has had since '92 and one that might not come again for another 20+ years.

Green party candidate Jill Stein is on the ballot in only 29 states, and doesn't have the actual governing experience of the libertarian candidates, but she's certainly an alternative for disaffected Bernie supporters who would have a really hard time casting a vote for Hillary and definitely wouldn't consider Trump. She won't make the debates, but voting your conscience isn't a wasted vote even if she doesn't have a chance of winning.

Google's Nexii stand tall among Android's insecure swill

DougS Silver badge

Until Blackberry goes under

Then the updates stop.

Boris Johnson 'NIGHTMARE'

DougS Silver badge


I wish we could have LBJ back as our president. If nothing else he one of the most quotable presidents ever!

Missile bods MBDA win Brit military laser cannon contract

DougS Silver badge

Re: Fair weather models

Is the UK anticipating fighting future wars in an arctic blizzard? If a downpour causes problems then that's an issue, but I'm not so sure about a blizzard at least as far as the UK is concerned.

You really do want to use biometrics for payments, beam banks

DougS Silver badge

They say they want to use what they know about

They are saying they want to use what they've been hearing about for the last 2-3 years.

While fingerprints are not perfectly secure and really should be used as a username rather than a password, is the security of fingerprints really a concern? If your phone is lost or stolen, a third party still need to go through a lot of work to fake your fingerprint and hope it is done before you remotely deactivate it via Find My iPhone or similar. It isn't worth it for a thief to steal your phone on the basis of hoping to fake your fingerprint and use Apple Pay or Android Pay to buy stuff. Still a much better deal to steal your wallet, at least there's usually cash in there, and in the US credit cards that are authorized with a signature that is not checked.

Microsoft wins landmark Irish data slurp warrant case against the US

DougS Silver badge

"You can always emigrate"

Care to provide some alternatives for places to live where the government does NOT oppress you? Between Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand there's plenty of oppression to be had. The rest of the EU is no better. China's even worse. Russia is more "free" in the sense of more anarchy, but it is only free from oppression until you piss off one of Putin's favorites and then you simply disappear. The Middle East is even worse. I suppose a lot of Africa is free if you're in the right place and have enough money to afford a personal army to keep you safe.

DougS Silver badge

It is not only over, it was always over

Had they been / if they are ruled against after all the appeals are exhausted, or congress stupidly passes a law to "fix" this situation, all Microsoft needs to do is create an Irish subsidiary to own the datacenters and be responsible for the data. That subsidiary would have a contract with Microsoft USA that allows Microsoft USA access to the data for their business purposes.

Heck, they could even go so far as to IPO that subsidiary in Ireland so Microsoft itself doesn't own any part of it. How could the US enforce its laws on an Irish company? What's next, try to enforce their laws on Irish pubs? The Irish company could just toss the subpoenas in the trash because the US would have no way to enforce them unless they want to stage a military invasion of Ireland.

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