* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

ICANN knifes Africa's internet: New top-level domains terminated

DougS Silver badge

@Austix TX - why customers left those walled gardens

It had nothing to do with the restrictions, the average person had no idea about that. It was because they were dialup services, and broadband killed them. Why would you keep paying $15/month for AOL when you were paying for internet access via your cable or phone company? The only thing that AOL/Compuserve account gave you was your email address and those bits of walled garden.

Had Comcast purchased AOL and used AOL for their broadband service, there would still many many millions of AOL accounts on the internet today.

DougS Silver badge
WTF?

ICANN has too much power...solution = Google?

I think you picked the only organization less suited to be entrusted with the namespace of the internet than ICANN, congratulations!

Lyft, Uber throw Texas-sized tantrum over Austin driver law

DougS Silver badge

They aren't unemployed

Austin has a thriving local ride share company that has no problem with this new law, so they will leave Uber/Lyft and go with this company.

That's really how it should work, rather than a giant company like Uber there should be local/regional companies, with a company acting as a middleman that provides an app that links you to all of them. Personally I hope this kind of thing happens in other places and Uber acts like a spoiled child taking its ball home. They think Austin will come crawling back, they won't and they won't look back. Uber will quickly realize they don't have the upper hand because the only thing they have going for them is an app installed on a bunch of phones. If Facebook or Google decided to fill this "middleman" role I was talking about Uber would suddenly be the little guy and disappear in a few years.

Android's security patch quagmire probed by US watchdogs

DougS Silver badge

Re: I am (perhaps naively) hopeful...

A "probe" won't do anything. They would have to regulate it, and since they don't regulate software updates for anything else this would be a pretty difficult thing to institute.

If you want to see changes you better hope that UK/EU consumer laws force it, the US won't.

Ireland's tax arrangements are as clear as a pint of Guinness

DougS Silver badge

Disposing of VAT and personal income tax

If you do that then all but the largest corporations would be taken private thereby avoiding all taxes. The liability issue would be sorted via insurance - it only has to be less than the taxes that were being paid before to be worth it.

I'm sure Berkshire Hathaway would be happy to enter such a lucrative new market, even if that corporation would be one that would be too large to be taken private (well, maybe not, I suppose it could be done as a partnership of Buffett and a few hundred super rich friends kicking in a billion or so apeice)

If you want to starve government to a tiny fraction of its present size, you've got a good recipe for it right there! I'm sure some conservatives reading this are drooling right now but they've got to realize that mean the US ending social security, medicare, and shutting down the armed forces. For a start.

Tax policy would be a lot easier with a single government. When you have different countries doing things different ways, different states in a country doing different things, different cities in those states sometimes doing different things there are plenty of ways to game the system, especially if you have the sufficient income to make it worth the expenditure to take arbitrage the different governments. While it would be possible to design a pretty good system if you were king of the world, in the real world you aren't so it isn't. Everything is a compromise.

DougS Silver badge

The problem with getting rid of corp tax

While it is true that people end up paying all taxes, including corporate tax, it isn't as simple as just "stop taxing corporations". A corporation is a more desirable structure due to the liability shield. Isn't that protection that allows the corporation to go bankrupt without affecting the finances of its owners worth something? Obviously it is, and that's a big reason why corporation tax should continue to be collected. Corporations are also given other benefits in the US, such as "corporate personhood" that arguably should be paid for (or better yet, eliminated)

Even if you say "we'll address that by taxing dividend income at a higher rate than normal income" that works fine if the corporation and its owners are in the same country, but in today's world that's often not the case. Ideally the corporate tax would be low enough that dividends could simply be treated as normal income, one of the main reasons why we've ended up (in the US) with dividends being taxed at a lower rate is because of the high corporate tax rate.

It would also be easier to justify taxing worldwide income if the corporate tax rate was say 10-15% with most loopholes eliminated, such as the one that allows delaying taxes for an arbitrary amount of time so long as the money is left overseas.

Facebook image-tagging to be tested in Californian court

DougS Silver badge

Poisoning the database

You could tag people with the wrong names, but AFAIK you can't just put any old thing in a tag. It has to be someone with a Facebook account, and I think it has to be a friend or at least have some way for Facebook to narrow down which "John Doe" you tagged to link it to a specific FB account.

Anyway, the problem with poisoning the well is that if only a small percentage of people do it, the algorithm probably works as 'majority rules', so if I tag you under some other guy's name but 10 of your friends tag you with the correct name, Facebook still knows what you look like.

As others said, you can opt out, but it doesn't seem reliable as I still get tagged once in a while despite having it set for prior approval. If you aren't on Facebook at all I don't see how someone can tag you, though they could name you, i.e. here I am with (tag)DougS and "John Doe". With a few posts that had x faces and x-1 tags that mentioned the name "John Doe" Facebook might be able to associate your face as belonging to someone named John Doe. Even if you could be tagged to associate your face with your name, unless/until you joined FB and friended several of the other people in such photos they still don't really know who you are. At least not unless you have an exceedingly rare first/last name pair. Otherwise you are just one of the thousands of John Does in the world.

NASA, USGS publish topographical map of Mercury

DougS Silver badge

Countdown 3...2...1

Before some conspiracy theorist spends the rest of the month closely scanning the images and finds a few features that look like pyramids or something else of technological origin and claims it goes along with the pyramids on the Moon, Mars and under the ice in Antarctica as proof of aliens that the government is hiding from us.

Apple needs silver bullet to slay App Store's escaped undead – study

DougS Silver badge

Re: Who did that? I see you at the back, Jones Minor...

Pretty sure that both Apple and Google have acknowledged that they have the ability to remove apps from a user's phone. They would hopefully only use it in extraordinary circumstances, such as really bad malware or something that was really illegal (i.e. if an app was found to contain some child porn images, for instance)

http://gizmodo.com/5034007/apple-can-remotely-disable-apps-installed-on-your-iphone

http://phandroid.com/2010/06/24/google-can-remotely-remove-apps-from-your-phone/

Hey, YouTube: Pay your 'workers' properly and get with the times

DougS Silver badge

Re: I hope those new "artists" get pirated to dead

So if you worked at Ford, and someone said "Ford makes shit cars I hope they go bankrupt and everyone who works there has to get a real job" (substitute where you actually for 'Ford') you're fine with that? I guess some people just like to watch the world burn.

Just because you don't like popular music now doesn't mean that everyone in the music industry deserves bankruptcy. Your opinion isn't the only one that counts, and you must not be looking very hard if you can't find ANY music produced these days that you like. Just because your kind of music doesn't make the Billboard Hot 100 doesn't mean it isn't being made. It does mean you might have to actually look for it, but artists aren't going to make it available for streaming where you can find it if they aren't making any money off it.

Tim Cook signs SAP for iOS – SANA app pact

DougS Silver badge

Re: Apple's dominance in Business continues

I think Apple conceded long ago that the business PC market was Windows based, and stuck to their design/graphics/video niche that wasn't. It is a better use of resources for them to try to become the Microsoft of tablets/smartphones in the business world.

Android One's not dead

DougS Silver badge

Why would companies want to give the data to Google?

They can't be manufacturing these phones for $30, so they must be getting subsidized by selling personal data, operating that alternate app store, etc. I doubt there is anything Google can do to get them on board.

'I thought my daughter clicked on ransomware – it was the damn Windows 10 installer'

DougS Silver badge

Re: 300 million .... big deal

It has been out since last summer, and Microsoft went to great lengths to prevent OEMs from being allowed to preinstall older versions. So you can assume that almost every PC sold since it came out (modulo inventory clearing) came with Windows 10. Even with the declines in PC sales, they have still probably sold 200 million new PCs that would have come with Windows 10. So only 100 million took the bait and upgraded, and judging by Windows 7 & 8 market share almost all of them were Windows 8/8.1 users.

Can hardly blame those saddled with Windows 8 for upgrading, as going from 8 to 10 actually is an upgrade, while 7 to 10 is definitely not.

Windows 10 free upgrade offer ends on July 29th

DougS Silver badge

@jaywin - Fairly good outcome my ass

They've got 15% share, and a good chunk of those will be ones that were bought new. The Windows 7 share has hardly changed at all, the upgrades all came from Windows 8/8.1 mainly because most people disliked it more than they dislike 10.

The hardware requirements for Windows 7 and Windows 10 are pretty much identical, so I'd hazard a guess that over 90% of PCs sold with Windows 7 would be eligible to upgrade to Windows 10. Now enterprise licensed ones wouldn't get offered, so let's call that 60%. If you go by the number of Windows 7 machines which hardly dropped at all, they didn't even manage to get 5% of the eligible ones upgraded.

Tell me again how this was a fairly good outcome, for something that was FREE? The only reason they are announcing the end of the free upgrades is that they hope to get some people rushing to upgrade by creating a perceived value of $119 for the upgrade.

The only rush to upgrade will be from people like me, who will clone my Windows 7 VMs and upgrade them to 10 then put them on ice. Just so I will have some Windows 10 installs available if I ever have need of them someday. Meanwhile I'll keep running Windows 7 as long as it is viable.

FCC urged to pause its fight against America's $20bn cable-box rip-off

DougS Silver badge

Re: Don't wait for the FCC...

Good luck with that. They won't authenticate devices on their cable plant unless 1) it is their own or 2) it is using a cable card. The cable card licensing has restrictions that would prevent what you suggest.

I'm astonished you are so dim that you think the solution is just as simple as reverse engineering protocols. The content is encrypted, even if they gave you the source code you aren't going to be able to legally access it.

DougS Silver badge

Re: US Politicial system

That they all took money from the cable industry. Guaranteed. And that another few hundred of their fellow congressmen also took money from the industry, but I guess couldn't be bothered with adding their names to the letter because they feared they might catch consumer backlash what with this being an election year and all.

Because the problem isn't that these 60 are bought off, but that nearly every congressman has taken money from the industry. It is more a question of how much they've taken, not whether they have.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Cable boxes are not "...only for rent."

Can you post a link to this TWC page? I kind of wonder if you think this article is about cable modems, and not cable TV boxes. I've never heard of a cable company allowing people to put TV STBs they own on the system, other than Tivo and Media Center PCs, but even those have limitations in that they are one way only (no VOD or PPV) due to Cable Card limitations.

If they are allowing this, I'd like to know how long? Bet it only started when the FCC started talking about competition. They wouldn't be the first company that took a more consumer friendly stance for as long they had a fear that competition might happen to them, then immediately go back to their monopolistic ways the moment the spectre of competition was gone.

Woman charged with blowing AU$4.6m overdraft on 'a lot of handbags'

DougS Silver badge

She could have paid it back

What if she had used it to make a shrewd investment or two, and doubled her money? I daresay that if everyone commenting here had access to that much credit (without worries that we'd get in trouble for using it) I'll bet a couple people would make such shrewd investments. Others would make bad investments, or blow it all in Vegas, or be afraid to touch it and leave the credit there (I wonder what having an untapped $4 million credit line does to your credit rating?)

The bank screwed up, and while she should have known and I'm sure did know that it was a mistake on their part, it sure as heck wasn't theft. I don't see how they can charge her any differently than if some rich guy came in, applied for a $4 million credit line to start a new business, and had the business fail. He owes the money, and if he can't pay it back will negotiate the debt down or be forced file bankruptcy. Heck, if the rich guy in question was Donald Trump he'd get that credit line for a corporation, and not personally guarantee it, so if the investment failed the corporation would go bankrupt and the bank would be SOL.

So what should happen is that she should be served with an order to pay it back per the terms of the credit, and so long as the debt can't survive bankruptcy she'll end up filing bankruptcy and the judge will make her hand over all her handbags and whatever cash she might have stashed somewhere. The bank will learn the cost of making mistakes, as they should. And after 7 years (or whatever the time limit is in Australia) the black mark of a $4 million bankruptcy will drop off her credit report and she'll eventually be able to get a mortgage loan. Presumably for a house costing much less :)

Jailed hacker 'Guccifer' claims Hillary server gave him spillery

DougS Silver badge

Re: Fox Fairy Stories

Well there are reasons to be skeptical of the FBI there, but that's different than deciding whether or not to prosecute someone.

Regardless of the outcome, people will think it is rigged. The FBI is going to have about 1/3 of the country thinking the fix was in whether or not charges are filed, just a different third in each case.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Fox Fairy Stories

Seems pretty likely it wasn't the same server, and his claim that he could see all these other IPs implying it was related to other hackers when he was poking around for a short time, but he doesn't think FBI specialists who have months to examine it will be able to see them...

Clearly he's saying things he knows some people will want to hear, in the hopes of getting a lighter sentence. We should be relying on the FBI to tell us what happened, not some random hacker who is making wild claims to hoping to make a deal and write a book once he's out.

He's about as reliable as the Enquirer story about Ted Cruz's dad being involved with the JFK assassination.

Stop resetting your passwords, says UK govt's spy network

DougS Silver badge

I've been saying this for a decade

This advice is from the 90s when password exploits were typically based on an attacker getting hold of the encrypted passwords and running crackers or rainbow tables against them. People weren't required to have good passwords back then so they were possible to crack.

Once you started seeing the uppercase/lowercase/number/punctuation type rules enforcing better passwords the return on investment for grabbing encrypted passwords was greatly diminished (at least for ones that protect real stuff, sites like El Reg that don't require good passwords could still have them trivially cracked, but there's no gain for anyone cracking Reg commentard passwords)

You can enforce some pretty nasty passwords if they know they are able to keep them forever, at least for several years instead of only 90 days. I've seen some places that required admin passwords be reset every THIRTY days. You are pretty much guaranteed that people will either write them down, cycle through a list of 'good' passwords they use at other places, or do something like HardPassword1234 HardPassword2345 etc. (I used the latter)

It will take another decade before this obsolete advice of frequent password resets gets removed from 'common wisdom' and checklists of generic security audits, unfortunately.

Robot surgeon outperforms human doctor with porcine patients

DougS Silver badge

Speed demon

Maybe it is slower now, but it is a lot easier to speed up a machine without harming the outcome than it is to speed up a human. In surgery, minutes and sometimes seconds count.

Cops deploy StingRay anti-terror tech against $50 chicken-wing thief

DougS Silver badge

Enforcement creep

Any time a new law or police tactic comes along that seems to go too far, politicians sell a gullible public on it by assuring us it will only be used for the worst crimes. Like how RICO was needed because it was the only way to convict mafia kingpins, and that's all it would ever be used for. Until they started using it for other things, and these days all kinds of stuff.

Sort of like the FBI's plaintive cry for "just one phone", a promise that didn't even last to the end of the month it was uttered!

Like how the government tried to sell us on how this massive warrantless surveillance apparatus is needed - to catch terrorists. They promise it will never be used for ordinary crimes. Then they'll use it for catching pedos, because "please won't someone think of the children", and then ordinary murders and drug kingpins. Fast forward 20 years, and it'll be used to catch prostitutes, street dealers, people who take a $100 deduction on stuff they gave to Goodwill that was really worth only $40, and people who don't pick up their dog's poop, and we'll live in a far worse police state than the former Soviet Union or East Germany ever were.

Nerds make it rain in Nevada. The Las Vegas strip? No, cloud-seeding drones over the desert

DougS Silver badge

Re: Messing with nature

Which existing green bits are we destroying? Saving greenspace in Missouri wouldn't do much for people who live in Nevada, and it isn't all about greening up the desert. Lake Mead dropped massively during a recent drought, and while it has been building back up it is still way below its desired level. If they could get a little more rain to fall now and then they could keep it full. Las Vegas running out of water would put a slight crimp in Nevada's economy, after all!

DougS Silver badge

Re: Shifting rains?

Like Public Citizen says, they don't need to get much extra rain to fall where they are for it to make a big difference there.

If it got to be a problem I'm sure other states would sue Nevada and the federal government would be forced to regulate it or oversee agreements between the states. Maybe when states to their east were experiencing a drought they'd be restricted or prohibited (depending on the severity of the drought) in their cloud seeding, but when they had a surplus of rain they might be permitted to do as much seeding as they want (build up that Lake Mead reservoir)

Weather forecasts can predict to a fair degree of accuracy whether the moisture that is overhead Nevada that they would like to 'tap' is going to end up going over Colorado and Nebraska or over New Mexico and Texas, for instance, so they'd have a good idea who would be helped or hurt by them doing so.

iOS apps must do IPv6

DougS Silver badge

This is not a problem

I think you misunderstand. The statement "iOS apps must be able to support IPv6 only networking" means they have to work in an environment where you don't get an IPv4 address but only get an IPv6 address - something that will probably start happening soon in some countries. You can continue to use IPv4 if that's what you have, the apps just have to be able to run in an IPv6 only environment.

If you have IoT devices that are IPv4 only, the app that deals with them will be required to support IPv6 per Apple's new guideline. The app will continue to support an IPv4 environment so it won't hurt IoT deployment. Those in an IPv6 only environment won't be able to use those IoT devices, but that has nothing to do with Apple. They'll need a router managing the IPv4 network for the IoT devices, and routing to their IPv6 network to connect to the internet.

How to evade the NSA: OpSec guide for journalists also used by terrorists

DougS Silver badge

This also serves as a guide so the NSA knows what to target

If they see an ISIS training manual saying "use this app available from this third party app store" they're going to hack that third party app store and plant a backdoored version of the app there that p0wns the phone and sends traffic to them. There is probably nothing connected to the internet that could survive a directed attack by the NSA, since they probably have a whole library of 0 days for every conceivable server or device at their disposal, along with other techniques like social engineering or even black bag operations if necessary and the target is high value enough.

Honestly even if Android and iOS were known for absolute certainty to be backdoored they'd be better off communicating with those using standard tools like iMessage, as they'd be much better off hiding in a sea of billions than using some app off a third party app store that maybe has a few tens of thousand users worldwide and acts as a lighthouse alerting the NSA "I'm likely to be a terrorist" through its use. The NSA probably reads that guide and hopes the terrorists follow it to the letter.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Sure, keep on using those custom tools

Looking at encrypted traffic as suspicious may have worked 15 years ago, but it doesn't work now. More and more sites are using HTTPS. Everyone who connects with their work remotely is using some type of encrypted VPN tunnel. Every iMessage or iCloud backup diff is encrypted. More and more stuff is getting encrypted every day. If you look at "random" and see "not normal" you are living in the past.

Ultra-cool dwarf throws planetary party

DougS Silver badge

Re: How old is that system / how long does an ultra cool dwarf last?

If the planets are tidally locked, wouldn't the dark side be frozen solid? Unless the heat differential causes ocean currents and winds strong enough to mix things up and prevent that...not really sure how that would work.

DougS Silver badge

Re: How old is that system / how long does an ultra cool dwarf last?

Not necessarily, if they are so small they don't burn their hydrogen, but only deuterium...

Granted the lifetime is probably very very long anyway, but I was more curious about how old the system was. If the star only formed 100 million years ago, life is unlikely.

DougS Silver badge

How old is that system / how long does an ultra cool dwarf last?

Evolution of life as we know it requires three major things - liquid water, sufficient energy input, and time. The first two are taken care of, has the third been?

Another potential issue is that planets that close would be tidally locked to the star, and have one side in perpetual daylight and the other in perpetual (and likely icy) night. The habitable range of the planet may be the relatively small portion in perpetual twilight, though at a certain distance the large section under full sun would be good to go. I wonder what sort of different creatures might evolve in an environment without a night or in perpetual twilight? Probably would look like Avatar's world with a lot of bioluminescent critters, if our deep ocean is any guide.

FCC gives the nod to $17.7bn US cable mega-merger (no, not that one)

DougS Silver badge

Re: More mergers.....

There are very few areas in the US where you have the choice of more than one cable company at the same address. So these mergers aren't really decreasing competition/choice for consumers, since it doesn't really matter if the one cable company I have available changes owners. These mergers are more about gaining more market power when negotiating with networks like Disney to get better pricing.

Apple loses iPhone™

DougS Silver badge

Re: I need a hanky...

The iPhone wasn't a product there when this China company launched theirs, however the iPhone had been announced and was a product in the US. I'll bet the only reason they used that name was to capitalize on the publicity. It seems unlikely they independently came up with the name in 2007, and decided "this is the perfect name for leather goods!"

DougS Silver badge

Doesn't mean all that much

Since China's protection for US trademarks isn't all that great. There is a history of actual phones claiming to be iPhones (that run Android) sold there. Not sure if they still are, but I wouldn't doubt it. Having someone sell wallets with the name IPHONE on it isn't exactly a terrible blow, but they had to fight it either way.

Paying a PoS*, USA? Your chip-and-PIN means your money's safer...

DougS Silver badge

Re: Chip & PIN is not the answer to online fraud

A small number of individual banks like yours may still offer it, but originally it was something Visa itself offered until they gave up on it because it was too soon for the market. It needs support on that level again to become ubiquitous.

In the meantime I just use my credit card for online shopping, and deal with the fact that every 3-4 years it will get compromised and I'll have to call them, get the charges reversed, and have a new card with a different number sent. Costs me nothing except a few minutes of my time. The only annoyance is that I will have my card number memorized so I can type the details into the sites quickly, when they send a new card I have to buy a couple dozen things before the new number and new CVV sticks in my brain.

But I'd use a virtual number if it was supported like I outlined. In order to get consumers interested in using it (since in the US at least, we don't personally bear the costs of fraud on our accounts) you have to make it easier. So integrating it into Apple Pay / Android Pay is IMHO necessary since that is much easier than starting up a dedicated banking app (which in your case would be different for different banks, so you if you used two cards you'd need two apps that may work differently) Also drop the expiration / CVV thing when using it because that's superfluous when using a one time number.

If they make it easier to pay this way than to pay the regular way, they'll get people on board with using it and cut their fraud costs. So the bank wins, the merchant wins, the consumer wins and Apple/Google win. Pretty rare when you have something where everyone's a winner and no one is a loser except criminals!

DougS Silver badge

Chip & PIN is not the answer to online fraud

Worrying about the US using chip and signature is silly. That's only for credit cards, debit cards are chip and PIN. The reason chip and signature is so prevalent is because use of credit cards is so prevalent in the US. Not because we are mindless consumers (well not only for that reason) but because the fraud laws are VERY consumer favorable for credit card fraud, not so much for debit card fraud! That, combined with the better rewards for credit cards make it STUPID to use debit cards for payment in the US. Honestly, anyone who does is a moron, unless they are one of those people with poor impulse control who has learned the hard way they should not have access to credit.

The answer to online fraud is virtual card numbers. They experimented with them a few years ago but the infrastructure on the consumer side wasn't ready. Now, thanks to smartphones using Apple Pay and Android Pay, it is. I should be able to start up Apple Pay on my phone, hit a "generate payment" button, enter the payment amount, and be given a one time code good only for that amount for the next five minutes. I enter that into an online site where it asks for the credit card number, the now-unnecessary expiration and CVV fields are greyed out when it recognizes it as a one time use code, and I'm done. The banks should be happy to pay Apple 0.15% on each such transaction (and even more happy to pay Google 0%) since it would almost completely eliminate that 0.4% of online fraud.

If you took too long it would put up an error "one time use code expired, please generate a new one" and you could hit the button to re-generate another in the same amount as the last one. If the site has their DB hacked and they get your one time use number, who cares, it is only good for one purchase, of that exact amount, and only for five minutes after being generated! If the site has problems connecting to the bank to authenticate your one time code you could always pay via the old method - and the site would be punished by the credit card company charging a higher fee on that transaction, so it would behoove them to make things easy for online shoppers to pay with a one time code.

Sat TV biz Dish: I'm not an authorized iPhone repairer ... but $20 is $20

DougS Silver badge

The 5 and newer are simple to repair

It was the 4/4S series where things were a bit painful.

Still, it makes sense for someone to do this, as a lot of people don't know which end of a screwdriver to use and would not feel any more comfortable doing this than opening up their PC to upgrade the RAM. Since Dish, being a satellite TV/internet provider, has a lot of customers in rural areas far away from Apple Stores, and already comes to people's homes, I suppose it makes some sort of sense for them to offer this service. Anyone with enough of a brain that you can train to align a satellite dish can be trained to replace a screen or battery in those models of iPhone.

Miniature car maker drops massive malware

DougS Silver badge

Re: Well, thats

Yes, just like all the Windows malware made everyone start using AV software on their PC. Oh wait...

The number of people not using ad blockers who are going to start because of ad network malware is pretty small. Those who are going to use ad blockers mostly already are, modulo people finding better ways to integrate ad blockers into Android which Google of course makes deliberately difficult as they view it as taking money out of their pocket.

Do you know where your trade secrets are?

DougS Silver badge

Going overboard

Here's the perfect of someone so focused on the tiny details within the leaves they can't see the broken branch about to fall on their head.

Why are you worried about compromises that turn phones or smartwatches into bugs? Sure, those things may be POSSIBLE, but compared to the low hanging fruit 99.99% of organizations have not dealt with yet worrying about this stuff is stupid.

DougS Silver badge

American products

I get your aversion, but whose products are you suggesting would be better? Surely nothing from our Five Eyes partners. If you're worried about corporate espionage or ransom, China and Russia are out.

Who is left?

Hold on a sec. When did HDDs get SSD-style workload rate limits?

DougS Silver badge

S.M.A.R.T. provides this data, you had to know they'd use it

While they could theoretically refuse warranty service by looking at the data volumes, I highly doubt they are doing that. At least, not yet...drive makers are hurting though so getting more stringent on warranty replacement is probably a strategy they are considering. Anyway, the recommended DWPD figures might help dissuade use of a consumer drive in a corporate server where previously if you didn't need 15K level of performance you could save a bit of money buying the cheaper variety if you figured RAID would protect you from data loss.

The high performance 'enterprise' drive is already pretty much dead, and the general purpose 'consumer' drive has only a year or two left. Remember, they don't need to equip PCs with 4 TB drives, a once a 1 TB SSD reaches price parity with a 1 TB HDD which I'd guess happens around 2020, all PCs will ship with a SSD and you will add a HDD at extra cost if you need the additional storage.

The next to fall will be the video drive, in a few years when SSDs come close enough to price parity with HDDs. Endurance-wise, my back of the envelope calculations indicate using a 1 TB Samsung drive in a DVR recording six HD tuners 24x7 would last about two years before it hits its rated write limit. So endurance needs to be improved, but not THAT much. Double that endurance and you should be fine - after all Storage Review's tests indicate that many SSDs last several times longer than the rated life, and large block writes as in a DVR are the optimal case. A four year rated life that is going to be 6-12 years in reality should be fine especially since S.M.A.R.T is able to tell you when it is running out of relocatable blocks.

Once video drives fall, only "capacity" drives that use SMR will remain. They will be used for 'cold' storage that has few writes so neither the lifetime nor crappy write latency will matter.

DougS Silver badge

Re: We use

You never want to use drives from the same batch in a RAID set, because of the massive difference in per lot failures. With different lot drives versus identical drives, you are less likely to have second failure after the first. You can't guarantee different lots, but you could increase your chances by buying from different places, instead of ordering them all from one spot.

I consulted for a company once that had a lot of small RAID arrays (JBODs attached to servers running software RAID) that generally ordered drives in batches to build multiple servers. They'd sort through them to match up dissimilar lot numbers (and ideally factory locations) and send them back unopened for replacement from their VAR if they had too many from the same lot for their mix-n-match strategy. I was a bit skeptical of all this at first, but they had a rather anal guy who developed this policy who kept track of drive failures in this way since he started working there, and sent me a big spreadsheet to prove his point :)

Cavium snubs MIPS, picks 64-bit ARM for next-gen network SoCs

DougS Silver badge

Re: 8,192-bit keys

Since a 8192 bit key is only about 25% larger in effective 'actual' key bits (a 2048 bit key is equal to only around 112 effective bits) if you think the NSA has classified mathematics that make breaking a 2048 bit key easy, why do you think an 8192 bit key will make a difference?

If you're that paranoid you need to use multiple encryption schemes, so that a compromise of one of them (even down the road) won't leave you unprotected.

DougS Silver badge

Re: 8,192-bit keys

Total overkill, as even 2048 bit keys are still fine now and for the next decade. While they won't be fine forever they'll be fine for the useful life of the networking device it will be installed in.

At a certain point even if throwing nation state budgets at it would eventually crack a 2048 bit key in 3-6 months, you don't have to worry about that. What you really have to worry about is all the other stuff unrelated to key size - issues with key management, corner cases that allow MITM, flaws that allow accessing the decrypted data, that sort of thing. That's how you'll get hacked if you use a 2048 bit key, the NSA isn't going to devote a room full of supercomputers for months to crack your key. Using a key that large is just wasted resources.

Auto erotic: Self-driving cars will let occupants bonk on the go

DougS Silver badge

Re: If you are required to be available to take over

Once they have perfected the system and won approvals to use it then I imagine they will. It will be a lot easier to get busy in the front seat without that steering wheel and gearshift getting in the way!

DougS Silver badge

If you are required to be available to take over

Then cars will need to have some a lot of Chinese fire drills, that tell you tap the brake and hit the turn signal or something like that to confirm you are paying attention.

When cars no longer require you to be available (and don't have any driver controls) then who's business it is what you are doing while you travel? If you want to work, eat, watch movies, sleep or have sex who cares? Though for the last two having windows with adjustable tint to block the sun (and people seeing inside) would come in handy.

Web site admins: Brace for weekend traffic surges from iOS devices

DougS Silver badge

When did "Samsung" category start?

The percentage of Android and iOS devices in use should remain pretty steady by now, and certainly nothing could cause such a change over a short time. So I wonder if the Android drop in February coincided with the appearance of the "Samsung" category? Maybe there are enough people using Samsung Android phones that they started detecting them in their own category, causing the Android (now non Samsung) to drop?

Wi-Fi network named 'mobile detonation device' grounds plane

DougS Silver badge

Re: NSA Surveillance Unit #whatever...

Of all the smartass SSIDs I've seen, "FBI mobile surveillance van" is the best. Especially if you had some criminal and/or paranoid (and stupid/gullible as well, of course) neighbors. Substitute FBI for Scotland Yard or your country's coppers.

US data suggests Windows 10 adoption in business is slowing

DougS Silver badge

Re: I wonder...

The other category is just a hodgepodge of things that they aren't specifically looking for. So probably Windows 2000, 98, etc. Older versions of MacOS (often they seem to only check for the current and previous) Oddballs like me running a Linux desktop, Chrome, etc. Maybe some Android users running a browser that lets you set it to 'desktop' mode so their tracking thinks it is a desktop.

DougS Silver badge

"Large businesses have a lot more testing to do"

Granted that's the case, but what percentage of users do you think businesses, especially those running Enterprise Edition, represent? There is obviously tremendous consumer and small business resistance to the upgrade Microsoft is trying to force down their throats. That has to terrify them, complete 180 from 20 years ago when people waited in line at midnight to be the first to buy Windows 95.

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