* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Carly Fiorina makes like HP and splits – ex-CEO quits White House race

DougS Silver badge

Resting bitch face

Isn't a good look in a president.

Nor is whatever weird expression Trump always has where he purses his lips and sticks out his chin (my guess is that he must have a weak chin from the side and got in the habit years ago of doing that to cover it up)

TTIP: A locked room, no internet access, two hours, 300 pages and lots of typos

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If legislators have any sense, this sort of thing will kill the deal

I'd be mighty suspicious someone is trying to pull a fast one on me if they make me go through all that. I'm sure when they are provided classified briefings the security isn't cranked up that high so why would you vote for something that its authors believe needs to be classified above Top Secret?

ARM pumps fist as profits soar, warns of weaker hand in 2016

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Re: High end sales = higher profit

Apple has an architectural license, which is rumored to be a flat fee of $25 million a year, plus there is probably some per SoC fee. The details have never been made public except that it has been reported the fee isn't based on the value of the device or an assigned value for the SoC. That would mean what Apple pays would be smaller than what companies who are licensing cores like the A72 would be paying (especially if it is licensed per core instead of per SoC since Apple has only two cores per phone while Mediatek has TEN in some of their SoCs they sell to Android OEMs)

So not only is Apple not responsible for a high percentage of ARM's profit (they are responsible for less than 2% of all ARM SoCs based on ARM's figures from the article) they probably are responsible for less revenue for ARM than say Xiaomi is since despite their lower sales are using SoCs that include ARM designed and licensed cores.

Flash flushed as Google orders almost all ads to adopt HTML5

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Well you sure as heck won't get it in Chrome, Google doesn't want to help you not see ads.

Firefox needs to get on this ASAP, as autoplaying html5 videos become more of a problem this can be the killer feature that helps them take back market share the same way the popup blocking feature helped them do the same back in the day.

Intel's Wind River preps server to deliver VMs into home routers

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Re: ARMed

The reasons they went with MIPS were because they cost slightly less (due to ARM's licensing) and ARM didn't offer any performance advantages.

The rise of the smartphone has left us with plenty of choices of very capable ARM SoCs that have left MIPS performance in the dust, but are quite affordable due to volumes. Newer wireless routers are using ARM more and more, and I expect that trend to continue. The MIPS SoCs used now are mainly due to inertia or because they are low end products that don't make it worth spending an extra couple bucks to even get one of the SoCs used in a $60 smartphone.

Microsoft quits giving us the silent treatment on Windows 10 updates

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'Increasing shareholder value'

The problem is too many people think that equates to short term measures that make the stock price go up. Yes, laying off a bunch of people will help your bottom line and very likely will increase your stock price for a time. But unless you are laying off people who are truly unnecessary, it is going to hurt in some way. Maybe only a little, if you really were overstaffed, or they were involved in a part of the company or product line that is no longer profitable.

But if they were developing your future products, or providing quality support that was the reason you had such loyal customers, then eventually their loss will be felt and the layoff will have turned out to have decreased shareholder value.

The problem is, the CEOs and Wall Street guys know this perfectly well, but don't care. The CEO can "increase shareholder value" and then jump ship to a bigger company with a proven track record of increasing shareholder value, and the company he left doesn't feel the pain until after he's gone. The Wall Street analysts who push for short term strategies like this just want to own the stock for a while, ride the gain, then get out and do it all over again with another company. They don't care about the long term future of the company, and have no incentive to care.

There are unfortunately very few guys like Warren Buffett out there who take a long term view on shareholder value - precisely because he chooses to make investments he can hold for a very long time.

Is tech monitoring software still worth talking about?

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Cloud automatically adding more space

Well I'm sure the fact they can do that has nothing to do with the fact that they make more money the more storage they allocate to you...

If something is broken and consuming space needlessly, do you really want an automated process adding more space to cover it up? I want to see the look on your boss' face when you have a 500% increase in your monthly billing because your cloud provider 'helpfully' allocated more space every time you started running out, instead of monitors letting you know it was full, a human investigating, and noticing you were only running out of space because something was broken.

FTDI boss hits out at 'Chinese criminal gang' pumping knock-off chips

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It is not only because it costs money to get a USB vendor ID. It is also because the FTDI drivers come with Windows which makes installation easier than telling people to hunt down drivers from some obscure website in China that makes you nervous.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Caveat emptor

Ideally the Linux driver would notify you with a printk in dmesg so you know it is not a legit FTDI device, but still perform its driver functions. That way if you experience problems you will know it is probably because it is a copycat, but if it works for you you're no worse off.

The end user has almost no way of telling if he's buying a device that contains a legit FTDI chip or a cloned one (unless you buy the cheapest whatever you can find on eBay that's shipped via "epacket delivery from China" - then you should know odds are good it is cutting corners)

Australian astroboffins reveal hundreds of hidden galaxies

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Re: The Great Attractor

There isn't a 'place' where the Big Bang started, it isn't as though the universe was a big empty space with a hyperdense point particle located somewhere in it that "exploded". Space itself was the size of that point particle, the volume of the universe expanded with it. That's why the cosmic background radiation is observed in all directions.

Even if there was a particular spot, the chances that it would be located so close to us (relatively speaking) are astronomical.

DougS Silver badge

Gotta be dark matter or something in the structure of spacetime itself

The Great Attractor has such an insane amount of mass we can't possibly find enough galaxies to account for it.

SCO's last arguments in 'Who owns Linux?' case vs. IBM knocked out

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IBM has profited as well

They've made plenty of money off Linux as well in various ways, and they gained a bit of respect from the Linux community which probably aided in that.

Remember, back in the 80s and early 90s IBM was the big evil company so they needed something like this to help repair their image amongst the rank and file IT people (some of whom eventually get promoted to the big chair and make multi million dollar purchase decisions) It wasn't until the mid 90s that Microsoft took the 'evil' crown away from them. Now it is held by either Apple, Google or Facebook, depending on who you ask and what day of the week it is, though with their Windows 10 forced upgrades Microsoft is trying hard for a comeback!

Obama govt proposes 33% hike in cyber-security spending

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Re: Knock me over with a feather

Yes, but it is a cooperative effort - the president signs and will veto it if he doesn't accept it. If someone wants to blame Obama for how much we're spending then they have to equally blame Bush for how much he did.

If you want to look at it in terms of when a president's party controlled both the house and the senate, Bush had republican control of congress for (over) four years and Obama had democrat control of congress for only two. Either way the argument that democrats are spendthrifts and republicans are responsible is not proven out by the facts. That's true even if you go back to Clinton, Bush, and Reagan.

The main culprit is the massive increases in defense spending that republicans generally push, compared to which increases in spending on food stamps or Amtrak or whatever people complain about for democrats is a drop in the bucket.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Knock me over with a feather

Federal spending grew much more (by both percentage and actual dollars) under Bush than it has so far under Obama. But don't let facts get in the way of a good rant.

The last fiscal year where spending was determined primarily by Clinton's budget (with Bush having some influence since he took office about halfway through it) was fiscal 2001, where the US spent $1.9 trillion. If you want to count from the last year Clinton was fully in charge the 2000 spending was $1.8 trillion.

Bush's spending per year (note this is actual spending not 'budgeted' spending)

2002 - $2.0 trillion

2003 - $2.2 trillion

2004 - $2.3 trillion

2005 - $2.5 trillion

2006 - $2.7 trillion

2007 - $2.7 trillion

2008 - $3.0 trillion

2009 - $3.5 trillion

Obama's spending (again actual, not budgeted)

2010 - $3.5 trillion

2011 - $3.6 trillion

2012 - $3.5 trillion

2013 - $3.5 trillion

2014 - $3.5 trillion

2015 - $3.7 trillion

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_federal_budget

If you want to claim that 2009 wasn't 'really' Bush's spending but Obama's since he took office halfway through (though the commitment for TARP was already signed into law by Bush) Bush went from $1.8 trillion to $3 trillion ($1.2 trillion increase or 67%) in eight years, and counting from 2008 Obama has gone from $3 trillion to $3.7 trillion ($700 billion increase or 23%) so far in seven years. And saddling Obama with 2009 is the only way Bush even does that well in the comparison!

Blaming Obama as a big spender is laughable when he can't touch Bush in size of spending growth let alone percentage!

Google binning its search appliance hardware business

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Google really likes to cut products off at the knee

Buy yesterday, own a doorstop in less than three years!

LIGO boffins set to reveal grav-wave corker

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Re: Is it a test?

I'll bet the range is at least a couple orders of magnitude greater than that. But yes, a bitch to aim, difficult to load and destroys itself after one shot.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Is it a test?

I read another article that said they'd seen three signals. Surely they didn't inject three tests?

If there are three events that gives hope that when they add the third detector there will be plenty of candidate events. The third detector will allow triangulating the exact position so they can visually confirm the observations (I assume something like two black holes merging or a black hole swallowing a neutron star is going to leave some obvious evidence in the gamma or Xray spectrum)

AdBlock Plus, websites draft peace deal so ads can bypass blockade

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Re: "Have a look at www.gotati.com"

There's a difference between "not following the crowd" and simply having bad taste.

DougS Silver badge

Re: "Have a look at www.gotati.com"

I'm surprised that you are surprised by the reaction to that site. You think browsing with images off is desirable but that monstrosity you linked is an example of good taste.

Wow. Just wow. Horses for courses, indeed...

DougS Silver badge

Re: Is someone under the impression...

Turning off images? WTF...why not just browse with Lynx if you think images are unnecessary to browsing.

I guess some people pride themselves on being Luddites.

Canonical reckons Android phone-makers will switch to Ubuntu

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You would not be any better off with Ubuntu

The reason that OEMs are starting to itch about an alternative to Android is because Google tightens the screws on what they do with Android a little more with each release. This alternative would also add potential sources of revenue they could get if for example they made a deal with Microsoft to put Bing stuff on their phones instead of Google's stuff.

So you'd see more provider customization on Ubuntu phones, not less. Yeah, maybe they leave you root (unless the OEM takes it away) so if you know what you are doing you can remove the bloatware and update it yourself, but that's a solution for the 1%. For the typical user the update situation with an Ubuntu phone would be no better than it is now with an Android phone.

Ballmer schools SatNad on Microsoft's mobile strategy: You need one

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Only reason he considers Xbox important

Is because it was the first new product released after he took over as CEO so he thinks of it as his baby. The console market is declining, Microsoft is losing to Sony this go around and would be better served refocusing on Windows gaming.

Probably the first new product that was developed from inception to release under him was the Zune, but I can see why he wants to forget that turd!

Virgin Media spoof email mystery: Customers take to Facebook

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Re: ISP Email

But the person quoted at the end of the article claims some of those afflicted are 'savvy IT professionals'. Having an email address tied to your ISP makes it hard to agree with the "savvy" part.

Why so much moderation?

DougS Silver badge

Why so much moderation?

It used to be only a handful of articles had moderated comments, now it seems like all of them do. I could understand if there were a lot of problems with spammers or the like, but if there have been I sure didn't see them in the pre-moderation days.

Waiting for comments to be moderated reduces the flow of conversation as you can't see all the latest posts when you comment so there's more duplication and less ability for back and forth. I can see the need in some cases, but maybe allow those who have been around long enough to earn badges be unmoderated? If they prove they need moderation pull their badge and make them earn their way back to your good graces.

Let's play immutable infrastructure! A game where 'crash and burn' works both ways

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Agreed, shutting off all access is silly

Though I'm assuming that if you shut off SSH you will still have console access, so the idea of shutting off SSH is to make it inconvenient for dumb sysadmins to login and change things willy nilly. Obviously you must have some form of access to do diagnostics, because monitoring doesn't always provide enough info to know what bit of hardware is going bad. I wouldn't go so far as shutting off SSH myself, but the idea of cloning servers instead of installing them all 'properly' is something I've long believed in.

Back in the late 90s I built a standard install for my 100+ HP-UX workstations. HP-UX allowed building a single kernel that supported all the different hardware types (this was before the 64 bit CPUs came along) by including the necessary drivers in the kernel's system file, and resource allocations could be done by percentages to account for different amounts of RAM.

I put that common kernel and the rest of the OS into a giant tar file that HP's installation software would let me deploy in lieu of their standard install process, so I could re-image a workstation in about 10 minutes. I had written a few custom scripts that ran on the first boot and 'personalized' the workstation with its own name, IP address, etc. based on its MAC address. If there were any problems with one of the workstations the first step (after checking dmesg and other diag logs) was to re-image the workstation and see if the problem went away. If it didn't, we could rule out software as the cause for something that was only happening on one workstation since we knew the software was identical on all.

The workstations were never patched or upgraded, instead the gold image was altered and redeployed from scratch on every workstation, which I could do in an evening from home doing a dozen or so at a time to keep from overloading the server/network.

Don't Fedex your tapes, people! We're so fast it's SANdulous – WANrockIT

DougS Silver badge

Re: @ClaireB

Why would you use a 747? You could use one of those massive container ships and your data rate would be far higher due to the volume even though it is literally "the slow boat to China".

EU could force countries to allocate 700 MHz band to mobile by mid-2020

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If by "we" you mean the UK doesn't the fact that it is an island help quite a bit? They might need weaker transmitters near the mainland to avoid TV signals in the 700 MHz band crossing the English Channel, but aside from that I don't see why they'd need to abandon use of those frequencies if they opted out.

Many of the phones you can buy today already can use 700 MHz LTE since we're using it in the US today, so you'll be covered when you travel to EU countries that use those frequencies for cell rather than TV. Later this year the US is going to auction off frequencies in the 600 MHz band. The highest TV channel frequency would be as low as 572 MHz depending on how much they ultimately auctioned off. The sensitive area occupied by the unused channel 37 at 608-614 MHz would still be reserved and guard banded to protect those frequencies from interference for radio astronomy.

Fake Flash update malware targets gullible Apple users

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How do you tell the difference

Between a legitimate flash update from Adobe and a fake flash update loaded with malware? They both leave your computer wide open to attack, so I don't think it matters which one you install.

Norks uses ballistic missile to launch silent 'satellite'

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What sort of sanctions are left that haven't already been put on them?

The only sanctions that matter are from the Chinese. Without them North Korea can't survive. The problem for China is that now that they've allowed a nuclear power to grow in their shadow, they can't risk pissing them off too badly. I have to think that if they could get a do-over on the last few decades they would have taken a harder line with the Norks in the past to prevent them from becoming a nuclear power.

China has the ability to shoot down a handful of missiles coming from North Korea, but probably not one that is essentially dropped from space without warning (if that's what this "satellite" is or is the dry run for) Now they are as vulnerable as everyone else to North Korea, so they have even more reason to stay on their good side.

South Korea is who really needs to worry here. While a nuclear attack on South Korea by the Norks would quite possibly result in the US nuking Pyongyang and ending the problem for good, I wonder if the Norks leadership is cognizant of that? They seem to ascribe godlike powers to 'Dear Leader', they might believe he can protect them, and he might believe he's invulnerable.

DougS Silver badge

Not sure we have to worry about a loiter weapon just yet

I'm willing to bet the US has the ability to tell whether there's a nuke onboard from the radiation. You can't effectively shield it in a space vehicle (nor would it be payload efficient to try but I'm not sure how close you'd need to sidle up to it to tell. Regardless, I imagine the US has one of its spy satellites tasked with a close enough fly by in the near future to check it out.

Presumably they'd want to test this before they put a nuke in orbit - it wouldn't do much good as a threat if you didn't know whether it would survive re-entry or not. This might be the dry run, if so it will end up ditching itself in the ocean soon in its re-entry test.

If the US finds it does contain a nuke, I very much doubt they'd make it public. They'd tell NATO, and South Korea and Japan of course (the most likely targets) but not us normal people. That makes this sort of thing perfect for political posturing like Ted Cruz's EMP weapon, because if asked to prove it the claim will be that the details are classified.

Reports of Twitter's death greatly exaggerated, says CEO

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Re: I hope the death of Twitter is not exaggerated

Can't you just add "wants to join your professional network" as an automatic spam filter on your mail reader if you're that bothered by it?

DougS Silver badge

Do you really believe they wouldn't be replaced?

Just because you have no use for them, doesn't mean a lot of others don't. If Twitter and Facebook went under, one or more something elses would take their place. It isn't as though people are all going to say "Keef was right all along, social networking is stupid and pointless" and use the internet for only those things you find worthy.

Reminder: iPhones commit suicide if you repair them on the cheap

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Graceful degradation

It could have disabled the secure element and what it provides - so no Touch ID, Apple Pay and iCloud keyring. Your phone would continue to work, but using an unknown bit of hardware wouldn't be a potential way around device security.

Is that picture in the article real - does the iPhone really display a sad Mac when it fails to boot?

DougS Silver badge

Re: Useless as a security feature.

According to the article, iOS 9 added some checks that iOS 8 lacked. So if you hadn't upgraded your phone to iOS 9 and got it repaired, it would work fine. If you had upgraded it the repair guy would get the error when trying to power it back on (but would probably still charge you for his work even though he made things worse)

DougS Silver badge

Re: Useless as a security feature.

It DOES detect tampering immediately, by refusing to boot. Are you saying it should be able to detect tampering when you have it in pieces and it is powered off? How exactly is it supposed to do that?

Now one can certainly argue that refusing to boot isn't the best way to respond to detection of tampering, but refusing to allow any use of the secure element is a reasonable precaution to take. There is no way to tell if hardware is going to get around that, unless you have a solution for the halting problem you haven't shared with the rest of us.

DougS Silver badge

Increase profits?

Oh yeah, Apple is making bank on replacing screens I'm sure.

Please, you may not agree with their reasons, which aren't just security (but that's a big one) but also being able to guarantee a consistent experience. If you replace the screen with one that can only handle two simultaneous touches (like cheap Android phones have) then gestures like three fingered swipes won't work. You later sell it, and the buyer brings it in to an Apple Store for help in what's wrong.

Android OEMs don't have to worry about that because they wash their hands of you five minutes after they have your money. If you have problems most phones probably can't/won't be repaired by the OEM - third party is your only choice. If the third party replacement isn't quite compatible, well that's on you to take up with the third party.

As I posted elsewhere here I think refusing to boot is taking it too far, I think graceful degradation of some sort would be better. Not only disable touch ID and Apple Pay but the user should be able to easily find out if non-Apple hardware is detected. Maybe something that shows up in the General screen in Settings so buyers of used phones can know to check.

VMware kicks off new vSphere beta test

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Given all the issues I've heard about with the 6.x release

I sure as heck wouldn't be lining up to run their beta code!

Forget Tiger Woods – here's Cyber Woods: Robot golfer hits hole-in-one during tournament

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Dam busters had nothing to do with it

Dimples on golf balls predate WW II by several decades.

That really started back in the latter half of the 1800s, when golf balls were made from gutta percha. Soon after those came into use it was noted that as the ball became beat up and lost its nice smooth surface it flew better, so they deliberately cut them with a crosshatch pattern. When they switched to rubber balls around the turn of the 20th century they first used inverted dimples (i.e. pimples) but within a decade figured out dimples worked better.

DougS Silver badge

Artillery correcting for wind

Artillery is a LOT heavier than a golf ball so the effect of the wind on it would be less. And matters less, since if you are a few inches off aiming a bomb that's awesome. If you are a few inches off aiming a golf ball you don't get a hole in one.

I was thinking about snipers when I wrote my first post, but while bullets are more comparable in weight they travel much faster and thus have less time in flight to be affected by wind. While the margin of error might be a bit larger sniping than with a golf shot (even if you are aiming for a headshot) I suppose it isn't all that much larger.

DougS Silver badge

I guess there must have been no wind?

On a windless day, I could see a robotic swing managing a hole in one in a handful of attempts, but if there was much of a wind, especially if it was variable, getting it in only five tries was pure luck.

Thirty Meter Telescope needs to revisit earthly fine print

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There are already a dozen telescopes on the 'sacred site'

So I would think an agreement could be reached where they remove the oldest telescope and replace it with the newer one - or if not maybe removing the two oldest telescopes and replacing with one will do the trick.

Brit spies want rights to wiretap and snoop on US companies' servers

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Its quaint

How you think the US government gives a shit about what the Constitution says. If you still believe that after Snowden, there's no hope for you.

DougS Silver badge

How can they allow them access only for British citizens?

Either they have access to e.g. Facebook's servers or they don't. If they do, do you trust British spooks to not gather data on American citizens just like we all would assume American spies would do on British citizens?

As I've said before if I had to be spied upon by a government I'd rather be spied upon by the Chinese than by the US or any western government. I haven't ever been to China (unless you count pre '97 Hong Kong) and while I plan to visit someday it is likely to be a one and done. I've visited the UK many times and plan to return many more, along with other EU countries, and have to live in the US. Lot more opportunity for them to make my life hell than China who would probably simply deny me entry if their spying indicated negative things about me.

That's cute, Germany – China shows the world how fusion is done

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So you're saying the Sun is essentially an 865,000 mile wide ball of garbage? Good thing smell doesn't travel through space!

BlackBerry axes 200 jobs – including a third of its HQ staff

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You are correct for Motorola and Nokia, but I think Blackberry was the first company to truly realize that mobile phones were about more than talking. Hence the keyboard, email and BBM, which were basically afterthoughts on competing pre-iPhone smartphones.

Unfortunately for them they were so stuck on the idea that a physical keyboard was the right path that they didn't ever consider a touch keyboard and a bigger screen until long after their fate was sealed. That's what did them in.

I imagine now is the time I hear from a few people who hate touch keyboards and prefer the BB physical keyboards. Fine, I know you are out there. The problem is that 99% of the rest of the world disagrees with you, thus Blackberry was doomed.

Like your iPhone, but not enough to touch it? This patent's for you

DougS Silver badge

Re: WTF is this article talking about?

Ah OK I see what you're getting at there. If I was implementing a big whiteboard I'd consider touches within a foot or so as being part of the same hand for the purpose of gestures like pinch to zoom or three fingered swipe. If you have multiple people on a whiteboard at once hopefully they aren't crowding you closer than that!

Yes or no: D@RE is a bonkers name for EMC's enterprise encryption

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The D@RE name isn't new for EMC

They've used it for a lot of their products, like VMAX, VNX, Data Domain, and I'm sure many more.

Cruz missile slams into DNS overlord ICANN over Chinese censorship

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Re: how

NK is connected, but only a few of the elites (and their hackers) have access. So they may enjoy more freedom than people in China.

Or it may be that people on the outside really don't know how free the access from inside NK is so it was impossible to rate.

FaceTime, WhatsApp UDP streams AWOL on iOS 9 beta with T-Mo US

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How are these apps not "real" VoIP?

Using TCP/IP is fine over a private network where can depend on end to end QoS, but problematic over the internet where packet loss makes UDP more suitable. You can judge this as "trivia" if you want, but if it wasn't for the unwashed masses finding uses for smartphones you deem beneath you, they'd cost YOU more due to lack of production scale.

T-Mobile users may have noticed issues with other apps that use UDP, but these VoIP apps would get the heaviest use and is where the problem would be primarily noticed. Obviously something about the handling of UDP changes in iOS 9.3, and T-Mobile apparently handles UDP differently than other carriers as well - so whether the fix needs to be applied to Apple's side or T-Mobile's side it is good this was found during beta and not with the official release where it would be a problem for millions of T-Mobile iPhone users.

Mall owner lays blame at Apple's door for dragging down sales

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Re: Mall landlords DO know tenant stores' sales

Well haters gonna hate, but why is Apple more likely to do that than some other store in their mall like Tiffany's?

Likely almost all of the Apple Store sales are via debit/credit, so if GG suspected that they could ask to audit the amounts Apple's payment processor is reporting for that store each month. I'm sure a mall conglomerate has a pretty good handle on insuring the reported sales are accurate.

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