* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Apple nominated for Internet Hero of the Year, Donald Trump for Villain

DougS Silver badge

@Robert Moore

Sure it is possible they decided to back off, either because they thought they would lose or couldn't risk a loss even if they felt they had a 99% chance of success.

However, given that it was an older phone that predates the secure enclave, it would be a lot easier to get in than one of the newer ones. And even the newer ones aren't necessarily immune, but now that Apple knows they need to defend against potentially being forced to hack their own phones they can design against that possibility. I suspect that iOS 10 will remove the ability to install an OS in DFU mode without providing the password or otherwise authenticating yourself or the connected PC to the phone. That would completely block the angle that the FBI was asking the court to force Apple to attempt.

DougS Silver badge

Apple supported the privacy of its users from government spying

The fact that another way was found to access the data on that particular phone, and that supporting their users was also acting in their own corporate interest doesn't change that. I think almost everyone would acknowledge that Apple took a risk with their position, as the FBI carefully chose that case to push all the right buttons in the average person's mind to make them look bad for refusing to help in the way the FBI was asking.

Had public opinion turned strongly against them, they risked a significant loss in sales and prestige, while if public opinion had been strongly with them they'd win internet 'awards' like this one but it probably wouldn't translate into a whole lot of sales. I doubt they get many people switching from Android over privacy, when that is but one of dozens of factors people use when deciding what phone to buy.

Microsoft's paid $60 per LinkedIn user – and it's a bargain, because we're mugs

DougS Silver badge

Re: I predict they write off $20 billion in value before 2020

Part of a credit rating is taking on debt and showing an ability to pay it back. Apple took on their first debt only a couple years ago, so they don't have much credit history.

See how easy it is to get the best mortgage rates with no credit history, even if you can show $1 million in the bank and you'll understand how this works.

DougS Silver badge

Re: I predict they write off $20 billion in value before 2020

MS is not dying. PC sales may have peaked, but they aren't going anywhere and Windows is going to be the default choice for the PC OS for years to come. Windows Server and Office are as well entrenched as ever in the enterprise world.

What Microsoft can't seem to do is realize that those are the ONLY things they are successful in. Everything else they touch turns to shit, whether they develop it themselves or acquire it for billions. Had they taken the money they spent on MSN, Zune, Windows Mobile / Windows Phone, Bing, Xbox, Skype, Acquantive, Windows RT, Nokia, and so forth and put it in lottery tickets, they would have seen a better return.

The best thing Microsoft did in the past decade was failing to get Yahoo to agree to their $45 billion bid - and they were reportedly willing to go as high as $50 billion. As it turned out, Yahoo's internet assets were worth much less (look what prices they are talking about for them now) but their Alibaba holdings (if Microsoft held onto it and didn't sell it prematurely) would have limited Microsoft's loss on that deal to "only" $15 billion or so :)

Even with all their stupidity and mismanagement, they're a cash printing machine. They will probably outlive both of us even with billions being thrown in the trash every time the board gets another stupid idea.

DougS Silver badge

I predict they write off $20 billion in value before 2020

Microsoft has made several very large acquisitions in the past decade. All have been utter failures and been written off in their entirety. I see no reason why this won't be the same.

This is why I want to see Apple increase their dividends / buybacks. I don't like them having such a huge pile of cash, because the board could always get a stupid idea in their head, though I can't see them being nearly as stupid as Microsoft was today.

Buggy vote-counting software borks Australian election

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Thumb Up

Re: Undocumented Feature

So then it is superior to the US system, as all our candidates with sum < 0 would fail that test and be ineligible for office!

DougS Silver badge

Lack of national voter registration

I've never seen any indication that voting in multiple jurisdictions is a real issue. Unless there is some way to suggest that either democrats or republicans are more likely to do this, to whatever extent it happens it probably cancels out.

Voting of the dead is a separate issue, mostly made possible by easy access to absentee ballots (and a lack of a good system for all levels of government to know when someone dies)

I'd rather have those problems than taking a sample of all votes cast and claiming that's equivalent to actually counting them all.

DougS Silver badge


Am I understand this correctly, that Australia is using some wacky voting method so complex that they can't actually count all the votes, so they are counting a random sample of votes and extrapolating based that?

And I thought the US system was bad.

Apple quietly launches next-gen encrypted file system

DougS Silver badge

Re: Next-gen?

Again, POSIX requires case sensitivity. Whatever problems that causes with Unicode, well, that's something you should take up with POSIX, not Apple.

DougS Silver badge

POSIX requires filesystems to be case sensitive

Thus all Unixes as well as NTFS are case sensitive. However, due to the DOS legacy, the Win32 API is not case sensitive, so while you can create a file "test.txt and "TEST.TXT" in the same directory on an NTFS filesystem, a Win32 app can only open one of them (I have no idea how it decides)

Apple had its own problems when they designed HFS+, since they wanted it to be compatible with HFS which was not case sensitive. It was introduced before Apple went with OS X's Unix core and cared about POSIX, so I guess they didn't think case sensitivity mattered. It preserves case but doesn't allow creation of two files that differ only in case. You can enable full case sensitivity, but since it isn't the default some apps can't handle it.

I guess the one nice thing about doing this with a brand new filesystem is that if you have older apps that can't handle case sensitivity (or other reasons it doesn't like the new filesystem) you can keep an old HFS+ volume around for them to run from.

Net neutrality victory: DC court backs full rules

DougS Silver badge

While that's all true, if Trump wins he gets to make an appointment to the FCC panel, which swings it from 3-2 democrat to 3-2 republican. They will likely reverse course on this and other things that it did under Wheeler. If Clinton wins then net neutrality is likely to become the law of the land.

That's the problem when the two sides in congress are so polarized that they refuse to cooperate on anything. They essentially abdicate their power to the executive branch, or at least as much of that power as the courts will allow them to have. Compromise has become a dirty word in congress, especially on the republican side, and you can bet that if Trump wins the democrats will be just as obstructionist. The last eight years have made that the "new normal".

This is how the EU's supreme court is stripping EU citizens of copyright protections

DougS Silver badge

Re: "A decision to put hyperlinks beyond the reach of copyright"

You might feel unhappy if your private phone number is leaked, but that has nothing to do with this case...

But using your example, web site A hosting copyright violating content and being linked to by web site B is sort of like person A knowing your private phone number and person B saying "ask person A if you want AC's private phone number". Even if you passed a law making it illegal to divulge a private phone number, meaning person A can be fined or jailed for telling, do you really suggest that person B should also be breaking the law by merely telling people who to ask if they want this illegal information?

It is no different than if someone you know wants to buy drugs and you happen to know someone who sells drugs. If you say "talk to Bob" when asked "hey do you know where I can buy some drugs?" you aren't committing a crime (at least in the US, that's not enough to be legally an accomplice)

Users fear yet another hack as TalkTalk services go down

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From all the Reg articles about TalkTalk

I guess they are the Comcast of the UK?

The Microsoft-LinkedIn hookup will be the END of DAYS, I tell you

DougS Silver badge

Worrying about the wrong thing

The end user experience probably won't change all that much. Well, it'll change but as with most changes it will be some good & some bad. They might try to monetize it by selling advertising etc. but that's not where the money is.

Think about what Microsoft sees themselves as. They are focusing more and more on enterprise, as anything they do that's consumer facing blows up in their face. Heck, look at Surface - it was a total flop when they sold it as a tablet running the "consumer friendly" Windows RT. When they said "screw it, let's make it a tablet in name only that's really an ultrabook that business people would like, so it'll have to run full Windows on a real x86 CPU" and then it started selling. What little success Windows Phone had was selling to corporate types.

If Linkedin is as important for job searching as the author claims, Microsoft might be trying to basically cut the whole headhunter industry off at the knees. They can sell hire staff to perform that role and tie it in with Linkedin, so if anyone needs to recruit they use Linkedin (as some are already doing) and if they need that personal touch they pay more and get actual MSFT employees who will facilitate the screening and initial interview, so companies don't have to deal with get 1000 resumes but can instead get a curated list of a dozen people to consider like they might get in the old days when people were applying via snail mail.

At least, that's the only thing I could see them doing that could make Linkedin worth $26 billion. Even if Microsoft tries this, I expect they'll find a way to screw it up though.

Uber helicopter taxis

DougS Silver badge

Commercial pilots?

This is Uber after all, you might be more likely to get someone like the gyrocopter pilot from Mad Max than you would a guy in a button down shirt with wings on the lapel.

Explicit Intel 'Beach' pics 'leaked': All eyeballs on Optane SSD roadmap

DougS Silver badge

The cheapest IS fast enough

The gain going from hard drives to SSDs was massive. The gain going from SSDs to better SSDs (PCIe, NVDIMMs, XPoint, etc.) is much smaller and not worth bothering with for most people.

iOS10 bloatware deletion

DougS Silver badge

I agree some of that is bloatware, but Contacts?

The question I have is, if you delete one of those apps does it actually free up space? Or does it just hide the app? If the latter, then this really isn't any different from the current strategy of sticking the stuff you don't want in a folder or a faraway screen you never visit.

Apple WWDC: OS X is dead, long live macOS

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Re: 1600 bucks for a ticket?!

Google IO is $900.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Great idea!

Depends on how long it must be held down for, and whether this is something that is enabled by default or something you have to choose to enable (because you are at medical risk for something that could you leave you unable to place a 911 call)

Supreme Court okays troll toll increase

DougS Silver badge

The patent troll lobbyists cannot begin to compete with the big pocket tech lobbyists from Google, Microsoft et al who have far more to lose than to gain from allowing unlimited dollar amounts.

No, look to the real winners from unlimited damages - the lawyers who work on a contingency basis and take 1/3 of the loot. Pity that congress is lousy with lawyers, and would be loathe to place any limits on their profession's potential income. No lobbying is needed, congress will sit on their hands and fail to act out of self-interest alone.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Judge not...

No, the Supreme Court judges were asked to confirm limits placed on the powers of other judges by other judges.

Basically they are saying if we want limits, we need to get congress to enact a law that provides them. The judicial branch cannot create them out of thin air for us. As a conservative, you should be cheering this ruling.

Now Google backs everyone's favorite trade pact: The TPP

DougS Silver badge

@Charles 9 - not sure they "provided the impetus"

Decades before gay marriages were legalized gay nightclubs existed, so whether or not those laws were changed the shooter would have still had his "impetus" to murder a bunch of people. He could well have gone off in a non-gay nightclub or a shopping mall, someone willing to kill a bunch of people because they're gay probably doesn't need much of a push before he sees killing people because they're drinking or something else he believes is morally wrong.

At any rate if it could somehow be proven that had the US not legalized gay marriage he would have never killed anyone, I'll bet even the most ardent anti-gay conservatives wouldn't want to see the gay marriage law rolled back as a way to appease people like him.

DougS Silver badge

PNAC is not "liberal"

It was founded by Bill Kristol, a lifelong neocon, and those who signed its original principles in the late 90s included GW Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz. Hardly a rogues gallery of liberals...

The fact that Hillary is involved with them, and Kristol has endorsed Hillary over Trump should tell you all you need to know about how the true power brokers in American politics don't care about republican vs democrat as those parties are two sides to the same coin. They make a big show about places where they differ and make it sound like they are in opposition on everything to distract attention from all the things they agree on that is not in the interest of the American people or the world at large. For all the whining from conservatives about how terrible Obama is, and from liberals about how terrible Bush was you'd be hard pressed to find any difference between US foreign policy under Bush vs under Obama.

In the grand scheme of things, issues like abortion, gay marriage or transgender bathrooms aren't all that important to most of us in the US, and US laws around them don't matter at all to those who live elsewhere, but they receive a lot more attention in the US and non-US media (both "mainstream" and "alternative") than bigger issues like "why should the US maintain so many overseas military bases, and get involved in so many conflicts?" that lead to uncomfortable questions like "is such involvement the real reason why we have to worry about the 'war on terror' in the first place?" After all, Switzerland has never had a terrorist attack on their soil, which puts a lie to stupid arguments like "they hate us for our freedom".

Google doesn’t care who makes Android phones. Or who it pisses off

DougS Silver badge

@Paul Shirley - "Google never had enough power"

Google has plenty of power, since Android is the only real choice for OEMs who want to sell smartphones given that Apple won't license iOS and Microsoft and RIM are on life support.

They just choose not to exercise it.

Crafty plan to give FBI warrantless access to browser histories axed

DougS Silver badge

Re: My only question is what the FBI has on Senator John Cornyn?

They don't need anything on the people in power. He knows these laws will be applied to the little guy like you and me, not to people that matter like him.

DougS Silver badge


What does Trump have to do with it? I haven't heard him come out against the surveillance state - in fact he was on the FBI's side in their recent battle with Apple! Besides, it isn't just republicans supporting this as Obama not only didn't stop the warrantless spying Bush started but expanded it. The government only pulled back when Snowden leaked proof of it and made them look bad.

Thief dresses as Apple Store drone, walks off with $16,000 in iGear

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Re: It's 2016, why are people still not thinking things through....

No need to enforce it via hardware, it would be pretty simple to make it so the IMEI starts as all 0s, and the code that sets the IMEI checks for all 0s and thus can only be run once.

I assume there's some reason why the IMEI is allowed to change more than once, as that seems to be pretty universal in all phones.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Nice phone if you can get it repaired

If Apple wanted to blacklist them they certainly don't need to wait until you come in for a repair. They can make it so the phone can't even be used at all - the moment it has a network connection and tries to check for software updates, activate or whatever they can brick it with a message "this phone was stolen, call this number for more info" and give them the number for Apple, or the authorities or whoever.

Though for $16,000 in phones it is probably not worth the effort. That's like 20-25 phones, hardly worth bothering about. The effort would be better spent in trying to make sure what this guy does can't be repeated.

Cork data centre will offer super-speedy US to Europe data times

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Re: No help for us Brits

Or you could develop your own data privacy legislation, and confuse things further by having yet another regulatory domain to contend with. You might make a copy of the current EU laws if you think those are a good start, but then you'd go your own way from there. Obviously they wouldn't just have the law say "our law is whatever the EU says it is", thus outsourcing changes in your laws to a body of which you'd no longer be a member.

I suspect this will all end up being governed by treaties in the long run, as small companies will be unable to compete in a world where you have more and more regulatory domains, each demanding that local data reside locally, each with different laws governing the handling, etc.

None of this is a problem if you are Google, Apple or Facebook, they have unlimited piles of money and can never have enough data processing / data storage anyway. All these laws are as much about trying to force some investment in your backyard as they are about actually protecting data. Or preventing your citizens from escaping your surveillance and censorship in the case of China.

Tinder bans under-18s: Moral panic averted

DougS Silver badge

Re: @AC who wants to date my 18 year old daughter

You're seriously comparing an 18 year old human to a dog? There's no point in further discussion with such an utter moron.

DougS Silver badge

@AC who wants to date my 18 year old daughter

If I haven't raised a daughter well enough to think that's a bad idea, there's not much I can do to prevent it unless she's still living under my roof. Once a child is out on their own, they are a legal adult and make their own decisions. A parent may not like some of the decisions they make, but making laws to prevent bad decisions is pointless nanny statery.

DougS Silver badge

Wow, a lot of people who want to impose their morals & ideas on others

I'm glad the people who think you have to be within 10% of the age aren't in charge of the world! The majority of marriages would be invalidated. Just because you don't like an 18 year old dating a 45 year old doesn't mean there should be laws against it.

You have to give decision making power to the individuals involved at some point when they become a legal adult. Whether that's 16, 18, 21 or whatever is up for the lawmakers and voters to decide, but once someone reaches that age it is their own damn business who they have date or have sex with! Stay the hell out of people's bedrooms, you pervs!

RIP ROP: Intel's cunning plot to kill stack-hopping exploits at CPU level

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If you can't fix everything, fix nothing?

Sure, this addresses only one type of attack. However, it closes off that attack completely - in hardware - so you don't have to worry about it anymore. It may be less common now but it is one more trick in the toolbag for breaking into systems that gets taken away. I'd call that a win, even if there is still a lot of other stuff in the toolbag that remains.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Separate return and data stacks anyone

I assume the reason they didn't do this is because of compatibility concerns. Too bad AMD didn't do a separate code return stack in AMD64, then 32 bit code could be compatible and less secure, but all 64 x86 code from day one would have been secure without all the additional overhead of this scheme.

PC market sinking even faster than first thought, thanks to Windows 10

DougS Silver badge

My prediction at the beginning of the year was another 10% drop

Today I predict they will revise their estimates downward until they match mine. I'm not getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by companies like Intel, Microsoft, Dell etc. to tell them what they want to hear, so I don't have to keep predicting a PC sales turnaround is right around the corner like the analysts do.

However, if someone wants to pay me hundreds of thousands of dollars per year to read my predictions, I'll predict whatever the heck they want to hear!

Bin Apple's $500m patent judgment, US DoJ tells Supreme Court

DougS Silver badge

Why do people assume it is all about where the company is based?

The US courts / DoJ side with non-US companies against US companies all the time. Some amount of in-built bias towards US companies would only be natural, but it isn't like the rulings in Apple's favor are due to them being a US company. It because of the laws in the US, which differ from those in other places where rulings have gone against US companies.

If Mercedes had a signature look to their doors that were unique to them and they had a design patent on the door design, and Ford copied it, the courts would rule in favor of Mercedes and against Ford. I'm not going to defend the patents in this case as "rounded corners" is pretty indefensible, but the courts did not find for Apple because they are in the US. We just have a screwy patent office.

Such favoritism may happen in other countries, but it is not a part of the US court system.

Get ready for Google's proprietary Android. It's coming – analyst

DougS Silver badge

Re: Why devs choose Android

They said 75% of Google's mobile search revenue, not 75% of Google's mobile searches. Advertisers pay much more to serve ads to iPhones than they do Andorid.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Why devs choose Android

My understanding is that the "app store revenue" figures that App Annie reports include advertising revenue, at least that which comes through Apple or Google. But possibly that's mistaken.

There's another way to figure this though - based on the figures reported in the Oracle trial Google has generated $31 billion in Android revenue and $22 billion in profit over the years. That includes all the data collection from the platform, searches etc. that aren't shared with developers, but even if every penny was related to the app store, the difference between the revenue and profit numbers (i.e., $9 billion) is the theoretical upper bound for what they could have paid developers. Apple reported earlier this year they have paid $40 billion to developers so far, $20 billion of that in the past two years. Those numbers included ad revenue paid to developers for apps running ads served by Apple (and remember, unlike with Android a minority of devs use Apple for ads, most of them use third parties)

Unless Android developers are making one hell of a lot of money via advertising but NOT using Google ads, they are way behind what iOS developers are making. Way, way behind. I wouldn't be surprised if Google STILL makes more money from iOS than they do Android, when you include all the Google searches etc. coming from iPhones and iPads, and iOS apps that are using Google's ad networks. According to Goldman Sachs, as of last year 75% of Google's mobile search ad revenue came from iOS, less than 25% coming from Android! That's why Google pays Apple an estimated $1 to $2 billion a year for Google to be the default search provider for Safari.

DougS Silver badge

Closed source Android would not be a "new" product

It would seamlessly install on the same devices, run all the same apps, even have the same name. If anything, the "open source Android" (if someone even bothered to develop that, which isn't in any way a sure thing) would be the new product with 0% of the market.

Bill Gates cooks up poultry recipe for Africans' paltry existence

DougS Silver badge

Chickens eat bugs

They don't need feed unless you are trying to fatten them up quickly, or flood with hormones so they can lay eggs constantly to feed western demand.

Apple to kill off Mac OS X?

DougS Silver badge

Re: Lame title

What do mean "iTunes makes iOS very profitable"? If you add up all their services revenue (iTunes, App Store, and other smaller stuff) they make about $6 billion a quarter from it the last few quarters - slightly LESS than the revenue from selling Macs.

Of course the revenue from selling iPhones is much larger, that's where the majority of their revenue comes from.

Oooooklahoma! Where the cops can stop and empty your bank cards – on just a hunch

DougS Silver badge

They can't jail you for not giving up your phone's password

In the UK, sure, they can do that, but AFAIK they don't have the stupid asset forfeiture laws there so they can't steal money from your phone or your card.

DougS Silver badge

"Wasted" votes on third party candidates

So I guess you support the continuation of the broken two party system forever? Even when both candidates have negatives ABOVE 50%? If everyone who hated Hillary but isn't enthused about Trump, and everyone scared of Trump but isn't enthused about Hillary voted third party you'd probably see less than 50% of the vote total going to the two of them combined.

I see three possible outcomes:

1) Either Hillary or Trump win by reaching 270 electoral votes

2) A third party candidate wins (most likely Gary Johnson as he's already polling in double digits and if he makes the debates he'll be seen nationwide as a credible alternative to Lizard One and Lizard Two) I admit this is unlikely, but if you want to dismiss it out of hand why do we even preserve the fantasy of allowing third parties? We should only allow democrats and republicans to field candidates and ban third parties and independents from running.

3) A third party candidate wins enough states that neither Hillary or Trump reach 270 electoral votes. This leaves the election decided by the House of Representatives. I think odds are good they would abandon Trump and elect Paul Ryan. You might not like that outcome, and the public would scream about having the election decision taken away from them, but nothing would help reform our system faster than something like that happening.

Microsoft has created its own FreeBSD image. Repeat. Microsoft has created its own FreeBSD image

DougS Silver badge

Mach vs FreeBSD

The article didn't say anything about Microsoft's contributions being limited to the kernel, though if they are limited to only HyperV support and they don't do anything else then obviously there are of no use to Apple and almost no use to the FreeBSD community.

DougS Silver badge


I suppose it is possible some that make it into FreeBSD proper could filter through to OS X & iOS eventually, but since Microsoft is concerned with FreeBSD servers the changes are less likely to be applicable to Macbooks and iPhones.

Bluetooth 5 debuts next week

DougS Silver badge

Re: 200m range

It is nearly impossible to get that range with wifi unless you're outdoors and have a finely tuned setup, so I agree that the 200m is theoretical, like the maximum speed of 802.11ac.

Boffins shake up smartphone with motion-sensor as microphone

DougS Silver badge

If you can use the vibration motor as a sensor

Can't you simply use the microphone? Sure, there are permissions governing the microphone, but how many apps have legitimate access to already? And how many apps will be installed on Android that require the permission even though they don't need it?

The difference between "install an app that uses the vibration motor as a sensor/microphone" and "install an app that uses the microphone" is not worth defending. This is like trying to caulk a hairline crack in your home next to an open window that can't be closed.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Clever

Too late, some microphones already use MEMS devices that are essentially this.

Reg photography special: Get a better snap of a BLACK HOLE

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Re: Wonderful

We don't need the biggest possible dish, multiple not quite so big dishes spaced out using interferometry is cheaper and provides better resolution. If we could launch a radio telescope satellite into orbit nearly opposite the Earth on the other side of the Sun (not exactly on the other side, or we couldn't communicate with it) we would have a massive baseline and could get much better images.

Apple App Store adds ads

DougS Silver badge

These are ads in the App Store, you aren't going to see ads on the home screen of the iPhone or anything like that. They already have 'featured apps' in the app store, now they'll be getting paid for some of those (hopefully they will still curate and feature some themselves to continue giving the little guy a chance to hit it big with an innovative app)

No one ever said that there are no ads on iOS, plenty of apps have ads to generate extra revenue for their developers. What Apple does not do is collect your personal information to sell to advertisers like Google does.

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