* Posts by DougS

12862 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

No escape: Microsoft injects 'Get Windows 10' nagware into biz PCs

DougS Silver badge

Embedded control machines connected to the internet

They shouldn't be, but we all know some are. And don't blame this on an "incompetent IT department" - we're talking about SMALL BUSINESSES here. If you're a small business owner of a tool and die shop with a couple of CNC machines and a half dozen employees, you don't have an IT department. Either you, or your most PC literate employee, is going to be your "IT person". Anything they can't solve you call the vendor of your CNC machines.

It might not be good practice to allow the PCs connected to those CNC machines to access the internet, but many probably are for convenience, in case the operator needs to look up specs on something, email suppliers, etc. Your "IT department" is not going to understand the risks of doing this. If those PCs get updated to Windows 10 but the control function for the CNC machine breaks, you are out of business until the problem can be rectified. Which would require calling up the vendor of those CNC machines and paying a tech $250/hr for a site visit which might require a full day or more to reinstall/reconfigure everything as before and falling a day behind on all your work as a result.

If a lot of that CNC vendor's customers have been hit by undesired Windows 10 upgrades, by the time you call you might get told "we're booked solid for the next six weeks". So you either layoff your operators in the meantime or pay them for doing nothing, and hope you can survive six weeks without any revenue. Even if you can make it six weeks, your angry customers who have to go to someone else to get the work done you promised you could do before their deadline may not be back, so even if you survive in the short run you probably don't survive in the long run.

It would only take a few stories like that which end up in the small business owner going bankrupt and the employees losing their jobs with the blame being put on Microsoft before they'd start to really feel the heat. Doesn't matter if they can be successfully sued, they have great lawyers so they'd win anyway. But all the people sharing this on Facebook would cost Microsoft's brand and image a lot more than any successful lawsuit every could.

Server retired after 18 years and ten months – beat that, readers!

DougS Silver badge

@Calleb III - "never heard of a real vulnerability that can seep..."

There have been several over the years. The Venom vulnerability last year allowed breaking out of Xen, KVM and QEMU. Cloudburst allowing breaking out of VMware (not ESX since it was related to the virtual graphics adapter) I can't recall the details but there have been exploits for ESX and HyperV as well. They're rare, but they exist.

Whether you should worry about it for running some ancient firewall code in a VM because you can't be bothered to upgrade to something more modern is another matter. There is probably a hole in the firewall itself when it is running outdated code so an attacker wouldn't need to bother with breaking out of the hypervisor.

And that's before you worry that the NSA has either paid off VMware to leave open a back door (in the form of one or more security holes) for them, or had one inserted by a plant on their payroll... If I was the NSA, given a choice between a backdoor into ESX and a backdoor into Windows, I'd take the backdoor into ESX. You can always find another Windows zero day with their resources, you don't need Microsoft to insert one for you.

Stephen Hawking reckons he's cracked the black hole paradox

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@h4rm0ny

I see why your explanation is being questioned. You talk about determinism following from being able to model if particle X with mass A collides with particle Y with mass B we can figure out what happens. OK, so far that's fine. Let's say particle Y goes into a black hole and information about it was lost. How that does that make the outcome of the collision that preceded particle Y going into the black hole non-deterministic? Particle X is still going to fly off where it did because that happened prior to information about particle Y being lost.

What this would do is eliminate the ability to "rewind time" and figure out why particle X is where it is, which may indeed matter in some more modern theories but in classical determinism it does not.

Classical determinism says the universe is essentially like a billiards table, so if you know the initial state of all particles (balls) in the universe (on the table) and move one with a specific mass in a specific direction and with a specific velocity and specific spin, you will know what happens to every particle (ball) in the universe (on the table) since their interactions with each other happen according to known laws of physics. In this model a particle going into a black hole is no different than a ball going into a corner pocket. It had its effect on the determinism of the universe/table prior to that time, but once it enters the hole it ceases to exist and all information about it visible to the universe / to the pool table is erased.

2015's horror PC market dropped nine per cent

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@Cavehomme2 - those Windows Surface type devices

it doesn't matter whether they count those Surface like devices, only a few million a year are being sold. They aren't going to move the needle enough to matter.

Adding in all iOS devices to make Apple #1 isn't all that interesting to me. What is interesting is how close Apple is to being the #1 PC manufacturer in the world, a little behind Lenovo. At Apple's growth rate and Lenovo's shrink rate, in 2017 Apple will sell more PCs than any other company in the world without even needing to redefine what a "PC" is.

DougS Silver badge

How are we supposed to believe IDC and Gartner

When the 'others' category supposedly gained 19.7% according to Gartner but dropped 19.7% according to IDC?

Or did the Reg screwed that up too, like they reversed Apple and Acer in the table?

DougS Silver badge

Re: maybe I'm tired

Apple gained YoY, so the Reg just screwed up the entries in the table. Or they did it deliberately, because they really want to get back to their 'peak Apple' tagline.

Windows 10 shattered Remote Desktop's security defaults – so get patching

DougS Silver badge

Perfect example of why CVE counting is stupid

Note how some patches list some CVE reported flaws and others have flaws just as serious if not worse that are not CVE reported, meaning their count of security problems is understated if you count CVEs.

Sigh ... c'est la vie: France mulls mandatory encryption backdoors

DougS Silver badge
Devil

Enjoy going back to the pre-smartphone age

Or at least without being able to buy iPhone or Android, you will feel like being forced to use a Windows Phone!

Microsoft’s Get Windows 10 nagware shows signs of sentience

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My parents have been having problems with this

I cautioned them that if they accepted the upgrade there's no way to know if it will be successful or not, and as I have no experience with Windows 10 I might not be able to help them if anything breaks (not that I'm an expert in Windows 7, but at least I run Windows 7 in a VM for work stuff so I'm familiar with it) They're getting more and more annoyed by all this.

With this latest malware like behavior of changing registry settings twice a day I'm the point now that when their two PCs fail (or get forced to Windows 10 and they complain to me to much) I'm going to make them buy Macs. They had one in the 90s they NEVER had problems with but when it came time to replace it my dad balked at the cost when he saw the ads for PCs with much lower prices (not that he should care, they have zero worries about outliving their savings) If I was actually charging them even minimum wage for my support over the years, it would have paid the difference for buying a Mac. So if he won't pay the difference next time, I will because it will be worth it to me not having them call with some sort of problem every other week!

I just spent over 2 1/2 hours trying to fix some problem one of their PCs had a couple weeks ago, turned out that right before Christmas HP pushed out an update for their support tools that caused the PC to lock up exactly five minutes after boot. It was not easy removing that when the PC locks up five minutes after boot, but after multiple tries I finally managed.

That's two Windows users Microsoft will lose over this shit, how many more will there be?

MoJ extends yet another IT contract in transition to 'tower model'

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Re: HMRC

You do realize that if they have enough expenses to actually write off 100% of their earnings they aren't making any money, right?

Boffins switch on pinchfist incandescent bulb

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Re: @DaLo

Since you mostly use light bulbs at night in your home you probably don't want them to have a daylight color temperature, but a warmer "hour before sunset" color which as luck would have it is about what a standard incandescent outputs (these new type may be different)

For lighting in windowless areas occupied during the day or those with reduced daytime illumination (like say the lighting in a big office cube farm where conference rooms and VP offices hog most of the windows) then you'd want your bulbs to have a daytime color temperature.

Future Snowden hunt starts with audit of NSA spooks' privileges

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Re: Oh The Irony

Except you can't prove otherwise, so we will be suspects for life.

Cocky SpaceX will try another sea landing with next rocket launch

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Re: Of course they're testing it again

SpaceX also benefits from not having to worry about people riding on their rockets. Redesigning the shuttle engines to work around the weak points that caused them to need a lot of refit effort to reuse them would have been made a lot harder by the man rating. SpaceX has a lot more leeway to rework and try different things without worrying about killing people.

They want to launch people one day, but they won't worry about that until after they've got the reuse thing figured out (or found out it is nice in theory but impossible with our current technology in real life)

DougS Silver badge

Re: They land back to earh requires an ungodly amount of fuel

Landing the rocket doesn't necessarily imply you couldn't use a drogue chute to help shed velocity on the way down. I'm sure there are plenty of optimizations they'll be able to do to minimize launch cost, but first they have to successfully land enough times to know they've got that licked.

Doing it once is nice, but there are various things that can happen during the landing attempt as far as different conditions with wind, humidity, temperature, etc. so they can't claim to have really licked it yet. Landing on the sea adds a bit of extra difficulty due to the motion of the waves and having nothing to deflect the low level winds, but if you can do that repeatedly then landing on land would be a breeze by comparison.

Anyway, extra fuel is cheaper than building new rockets from scratch every time...

DougS Silver badge

Of course they're testing it again

You can't claim you have a viable system to re-use rockets until you have proven you can land them over and over again, and re-launch them over and over again. It will be a few years before they can claim that, and reap the benefits (more frequent launches with much lower per launch cost)

Motorola cut in half! But still alive, and ready to live again

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@wolfetone

Thank you sir, you win the internets for today!

Star Wars BB-8 toy in firmware update risk, say UK security bods

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This is a waste of time

Why are security researchers even bothering with crap like this. We have far more serious security issues than a hacker who happens to be within wifi range of a guy with an Android phone while he's updating the firmware on a toy. The odds of that are a million to one, and the harm doesn't even register on the threat-o-meter.

What's the worst a hacker's firmware in a BB8 could do, annoy the cat by following it around everywhere making barking noises?

Catalan town hall seriously downsizes monarch

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"well organized militia"

Obviously that lets out the guys in Oregon then, as they weren't even organized enough to bring warm socks.

Confirmed: How to stop Windows 10 forcing itself onto PCs – your essential guide

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@alain williams

How is this fabled world of having "all MS Windows machines being updated within a few weeks" ever supposed to happen? Even with a subscription service, Microsoft couldn't force updates on everyone. Do you think they are going to force Enterprise customers to patch on Microsoft's schedule, rather than on their own schedule? They try that and they would be sued out of existence (such big lawsuits that even Microsoft couldn't pay them) No one forces updates on their customers, and for good reason.

So no need to be mindlessly paranoid about Microsoft's evil plans to dominate the world via changes to the SMB protocol. But thanks for the laugh!

DougS Silver badge

Re: Paying for Windows 10 after July

If anything was ever going to usher in the Year of the Linux Desktop, having Microsoft basically act like the Mafia demanding protection money to maintain access to one's files would be just that. Suddenly all those non-Windows PCs that are offered at bargain basement prices in the dark corners of bestbuy.com and walmart.com would take center stage, and word would get around that they can do pretty much the same stuff (except for games and business related apps) on them and people would start replacing their MafiaPCs and copying files over.

They can't do this until Windows 7 goes out of support, so that gives about four years for someone to figure out a Linux desktop that doesn't suck for the average user (and no, Chrome doesn't qualify)

Apple buys mood sniffer AI firm Emotient. Stop rolling your eyes at me, user

DougS Silver badge

This would go against Apple's sale of 'privacy' to its customers

I don't want my phone (or my TV, since I think that's what this purchase would be really targeted towards) looking at me for my reactions to what I'm doing. At least not if it is being fed back to Facebook, to HBO, etc. depending on what I was doing/watching. Even if it is just Apple collecting the info, I would ask why the heck they need it and what they could possibly do with it that would benefit me.

Way down the road, it could be useful for Siri to be more conversational - pick up the facial cues that encode a lot of meaning in a conversation. But we're years away from Siri or any other AI "assistant" reaches the point where there is no more meaning to be extracted from words and it needs to see your face.

Gartner sees enterprise SSD-HDD revenue crossover in 2017

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Re: Anyone building Fabs?

Not really, every process shrink adds 2.25x more capacity per wafer. They don't need to build fabs to make more flash.

The memory business has always been boom and bust. A few lean years cause a few players to go out of business and older fabs to not get upgraded. Then prices stay flat for a few years (i.e. you make 2.25x more revenue per wafer) and the remaining players add new capacity to capitalize, a glut results, and the cycle begins anew.

We're currently still kinda sorta in a boom cycle, but as the industry has consolidated so much the booms and the busts are reduced in magnitude. Maybe they are getting smarter, but more likely they are secretly colluding. Which is fine, as with OPEC there will be enough cheating to keep the market well supplied and avoiding a bust will allow a longer if more moderate boom to continue longer.

DougS Silver badge

Not really a surprise

Given the gap in per GB cost between hard drives and SSDs, and the fact that the first to die will be 10K/15K SAS drives in favor of bulk capacity SATA drives, >90% of the total bytes sold will still be hard drives when the revenue crossover occurs.

Apple CEO Tim Cook was paid more than $28,000 a day in 2015

DougS Silver badge

Not reasonable comparisons

Cook was not a founder of Apple, and didn't benefit from getting a big chunk of stock at inception like Ballmer, Gates and Zuckerberg did with Microsoft and Facebook. So it is entirely reasonable that they are far more wealthy than Cook. No one becomes worth $50 billion on salary, even if that salary includes a longevity bonus of a million shares of stock.

Still even if he was "only" getting the $28,000 per day and not getting that long term stock incentive, I think few of us are going to shed a tear for him if he finds himself left off the billionaires-only club invite list.

At least he's running a company that is doing quite well, unlike some CEOs who continue to make massive paychecks even when their company is going down the tubes and tens of thousands of workers are being laid off (like one of the presidential candidates in the US when she was CEO at HP)

If you want a USB thumb drive wiped, try asking an arts student for help

DougS Silver badge

Re: Actually

You should be able to bring back some deleted files from flash memory, since most filesystems just mark them as deleted. The catch is that on magnetic media you can recover them unless those specific blocks have to be overwritten, while on flash/SSD you can only recover them if fewer than some critical number of blocks anywhere on the device have been written.

On average if N percent blocks are in use and therefore 1-N perfect blocks are free, once 1-N blocks have been rewritten anywhere on the device the blocks for your file will be gone. But since the controller isn't perfectly LRU and looking to coalesce used filesystem blocks to the larger NAND blocksize in practice you'd probably need a filesystem with fairly low write activity or catch your "oops I deleted a file I didn't mean to" pretty soon after the oops!

The nice thing is that once the blocks with critical data have been erased there is no way to bring it back. You don't need to worry about multiple overwrites to 'really' erase it per DOD standard any more than you need to write multiple times to RAM to erase it. Well, as far as I know. Maybe the NSA has figured out that a NAND cell retains 6% of charge after erase from a 0 but only 2% after erasure of a 1 and has some way to gather that info....if so an extra cycle or two of rewrites can't hurt if you want to erase data that if discovered could put you in jail for the rest of your life :)

DougS Silver badge

Re: Actually

Sorry I thought Linux finally added a 1s device but I guess not. Anyway, you can use tr and /dev/zero to change the 0s to 255s and you're good for writing all 1s to properly erase NAND flash.

DougS Silver badge

You could effectively "TRIM" them yourself if you identify the no longer used blocks and write all 1s to them. Unfortunately since you generally don't know the internal blocksize of the flash you wouldn't know how much to write. Writing 1s to a less than blocksized block would be worse than doing nothing.

DougS Silver badge

Actually

You should dd from /dev/full since NAND flash erases with 1s not 0s. Writing 0s adds an extra erase cycle for every block when compared with writing 1s. After writing 0s the drive is "full" from the FTL's point of view, so not only are you wearing it out faster subsequent writes will also be slower.

How long is your password? HTTPS Bicycle attack reveals that and more

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Re: Ok

My point was that if someone uses something longer than 20, yeah maybe you can find out their password is 28 characters, but is that going to help you brute force it? No.

And one in several thousand people are using a password longer than 50 characters? Who the hell wants to type that every time they login?

DougS Silver badge

Re: Ok

1000 characters? That's pretty wasteful, unless you know some people with 999 character passwords that are worried about brute force attacks if someone finds out they aren't 1000. I'd hate to have that if I was browsing a site on mobile data that encoded my password into every HTTPS transaction.

Padding to 16 or 20 characters should be enough for anyone - those with longer passwords are not going to get brute forced in our lifetime unless they use the 'correct horse battery staple' password.

Fans demand 'Lemmium' periodic table tribute

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Re: And what about

I'll take her over Motorhead any day!

Ten years in, ultra-high-def gets a standard

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@Pete H

I'm not saying informed customers will buy based on stickers, but go ahead and see if reviews will tell you how much of the color gamut is actually displayed!

I've already seen a half dozen articles talking about the new standard that claim TVs that comply with it will be able to display far more colors. That's patently false, since 90% of P3 is the same as the color gamut every HDTV displays today. The writers don't understand the difference between being required to accept BT.2020 as input and displaying 90% of P3 (or likely know how much smaller the P3 gamut is than BT.2020 in the first place) So they spread bad information that will be spread by others ad infinitum.

I expect most reviews will either make that mistake, or will "test" this based on the eyes of the reviewer (which are often green tinted in review sites that depend on advertising revenue to survive) Unless the manufacturer reveals this information (they won't, except on their high end sets that may actually display more colors) the only way to know for sure would be to use some lab equipment to test it. Unless consumers are informed enough to know that they should look for that in a review, why would reviews invest in that equipment?

Maybe I'm wrong and this will become common knowledge in a few years and it will eventually become easy to learn this information, but my cynicism is based on the whole 4K rollout process. TV makers didn't make it all that easy at first to find out whether their TVs could handle HDCP 2.2, a lot of the early 4K TVs did not and those TVs will become pretty useless when not using their 'smart' features since cable/satellite STBs are required to use HDCP 2.2 on broadcast 4K content. The owners of those early (and expensive) 4K TVs will be in for a rude awakening when 4K STBs become available and they find their 4K TV is a boat anchor.

DougS Silver badge

Really shit the bed with this spec

Requiring BT.2020 on input but only P3 on output? And only 90% of P3 for consumer devices?!

All you have to do is look at the color charts, and see that P3 is already only half the gain in color space at best that BT.2020 is. What's worse "90% of P3" is basically allowing them to merely display the same color space we have today, so they're giving manufacturers a pass to claim their 4K TVs are "Ultra HD Premium" when they aren't capable of displaying any more colors than the HDTVs you have in your home now!

Really sad, but what can you expect from an industry group that serves the manufacturers rather than the consumers.

The big attraction of 4K IMHO is not the resolution, it is getting more lifelike colors. Now they've ruined that, and sorting out which TVs actually do display a wide gamut versus the pretenders who meet the spec by accepting BT.2020 input but display today's crap will be difficult for informed consumers and totally impossible for typical consumers.

Americans massively back call for more police body camera tech

DougS Silver badge

Wearing the cameras is only part of the solution

Officers who don't have camera footage when they are accused of wrongdoing should be held accountable if that keeps happening. Once or twice is a coincidence or bad luck, when it keeps happening they should lose the benefit of the doubt.

The public or at least the lawyers representing those who accuse the police of wrongdoing should have the ability to view body cam video and audio. If it is up to the police to choose if/when it can be released, it will only ever be released when it exonerates them.

Rumor mill in overdrive as Dell pumps up Perot price, Atos offers $4.3bn

DougS Silver badge

Atos has been doing a lot of acquisitions the last few years

I guess the US arm wants to be a bigger player since it is so overshadowed by Europe?

Outfit throws fit, hits FitBit's hit kit with writ (Apple also involved)

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Always the same argument

"We show access from company X's IP addresses to information on our website, so obviously they were copying our technology!" Surely anyone deliberately stealing their technology would be smart enough to use some VPN service, TOR, or access it from home...

Remember the Carrier iQ mobile snoopware? It's in AT&T's hands now

DougS Silver badge

Re: AT&T did not disclose the terms

There is no obligation to disclose terms just because they are publicly traded. The SEC requires filings only in certain cases, and presumably they have filed or will file anything required at the time it is required. Beyond that they can play this close to the vest if they want.

Should make anyone very leery about buying an Android phone through AT&T, as they could have added this software to it, unless it is a pure Android model like a Nexus.

Got a Nexus? Google has five critical Android security fixes for you

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Re: But who had the most CVE vulnerabilities last year.

A CVE ranking by vendor wouldn't include "Android". I suppose Google's would include it but Apple's include OS X, TV OS (the iOS for the Apple TV) and so forth so vulnerabilities in common code may be counted multiple times. Microsoft may suffer from that as well for i.e. vulnerabilities that affect Windows 7, 8, and 10 since those are considered separate products.

The Register's entirely serious New Year's resolutions for 2016

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Re: Serious suggestion

We already vote on articles, by reading the ones that interest us and ignoring the ones that don't. Granted a creative headline can get us to read an article we otherwise wouldn't, but unless there's a "that headline was clickbait" vote in addition to thumbs up or thumbs down, it would deliver exactly the same information.

Irked train hackers talk derailment flaws, drop SCADA password list

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Re: Will we never learn?

What's wrong with them talking to the same time server? Do you think they should all have a different idea of the current time? Setting them to sync to pool.ntp.org seems the most likely.

Entropy sources don't matter - fridges aren't deciding when to turn their compressors on and off again based on a schedule, but rather based on internal temperature versus their set temperature. When to turn on the compressor will be different for each one as different homes have different ambient temperatures, different amounts of airflow around them, different amounts/lengths of opening/closing the door, and different contents being added/removed.

Those are all natural sources of entropy so even though the fridges all have the same amount of insulation built in, they would immediate have their schedules diverge even if they were all turned on with the same contents at the same time to start with.

2016 in mobile: Visit a components mall in China... 30 min later, you're a manufacturer

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Watches as fashion

Obviously no one NEEDS a watch to tell the time anymore. No one needs a ring, a necklace, a tie, a tattoo, a piercing or any of the other unnecessary things people wear or do to their bodies that perform no function other than some form of self expression. A modern chrono watch is no different.

DougS Silver badge

Maybe smartwatches are just ahead of their time?

It was about 20 years ago that Apple introduced the PDA with the Newton. There was a lot of hype and people could imagine it could be useful in certain circumstances, but it was a niche market, as were all the follow ons from Palm etc. Those improved upon the Newton but were still not something the average person could ever see themselves using. Apple did finally get the PDA right, with the release of the iPhone 3G and the dev environment and App Store that allowed easily creating and distributing useful apps for it. It isn't called a PDA anymore, but that "PDA" functionality is why we spend so much more time using a smartphone than the amount of time we actually use it as a phone.

Apple didn't introduce the first smartwatch, there have been attempts for years even well before the recent hype cycle that started when Apple was rumored to be working on one. So is it a flop like pen computing, or early by years like the PDA turned out to be?

Maybe when batteries can allow a watch to do useful things while running for weeks between charges - or better yet never need a charge if it could be made low power enough to charge via ambient light and other EM radiation. Maybe when it can listen to your heartbeat closely enough that it can warn you of an impending heart attack minutes before you notice the symptoms yourself. Maybe when it can "sniff" the gases exhaled from your skin and tell diabetics when they need insulin, tell hypoglycemics when they need food, and so forth.

I wouldn't write it off yet, I just don't think technology has advanced to the point where it is useful enough that there's a mass market for it. It is where smartphones where in the early 2000s when only geeks and PHBs had them, until technology caught up and offered capabilities useful to the masses. Today only geeks and the fitness obsessed wear smartwatches / fitness bands. Now everyone has a smartphone, maybe in a decade everyone will have a smartwatch. We just need technology to catch up and make them useful to the masses.

Apple had more CVEs than any single MS product in 2015, but it doesn't really matter

DougS Silver badge

Other problems with CVE counts

How many bugs are being found and fixed internally? Companies can report those or not as they wish. It should make customers more willing to upgrade by giving them a better idea of what security issues those who don't upgrade will face, but it makes you look worse when people count CVEs.

If you look at Apple's CVE's they list who reported them, and a lot are listed as reported by Apple itself. Companies that don't air their dirty laundry will have fewer CVEs reported. One can argue either that Apple is being responsible and giving customers info they need even though it makes them look bad, or that the only reason they reveal this information is to scare their customers into upgrading to the latest OS.

Another issue is how good a company is at finding bugs and how quickly they create new ones. Let's say company X has 1000 undiscovered security bugs in their code and company Y has 2000. If company X spends 10x as much on tools, people and processes to identify/fix security issues and limit the creation of new ones maybe they fix 20% of them in a year and add only 50 new ones, while company Y fixes only 5% of theirs and adds 150 more. Company X will have a higher reported CVE count but has more secure code that is trending down in bug count while company Y's code is less secure and trending up in bug count. Unfortunately there's no possible way we could ever know these metrics for anyone...

iOS 9 kludged our iPhones, now give us money, claims new lawsuit

DougS Silver badge

Re: Wish this had been publicized before

And how many Apple owners jailbreak their phones? Probably 1%, which is my argument. Most people don't want to "do it yourself" whether to get upgrades or install third party apps. Good on you that you do, and that's fine. I'm not denying there's a segment of owners, whether iPhone or Android, who want to go beyond the capabilities/limitations of using them under the OEM 'supported' model, just that that segment is tiny whether you're talking about jailbreaking or custom ROMs.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Wish this had been publicized before

OK, so the 1% of users who would 1) know about the ability to install custom ROMs etc. and 2) wouldn't be worried they'd break it by trying to follow instructions they found on the web can take advantage of that option.

So because of that Apple providing upgrade OPTIONS for years after the device has been purchased is planned obsolescence, but Android OEMs providing almost nothing after sale except they (mostly accidentally) provide a way to force upgrades that few know about and where the end user is totally on their own isn't? Pretty weak logic there.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Honest question here

You can downgrade, but the option is only available for a short time after the release of the new version (maybe a month or so?) If you wait longer to upgrade, it is a one way upgrade.

Of course no one forced them to upgrade, iOS gives you the option but you don't have to agree. It will never force it on you, you could continue running what the 4S shipped with if you want.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Wish this had been publicized before

iOS 9 works fine on my parents' iPad 2, so I don't know why it shouldn't work on an iPad 4. Maybe yours is trying to do some of the eye candy that the 2 doesn't, and you think you've turned it all off but haven't? Or you just run a lot of stuff at once, while they only ever use about four apps so there is less for it to do.

Got a pricey gaming desktop from PC World for Xmas? Check the graphics specs

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Re: Low-wattage efficient power supplies

The 400 (or was it 460) watt fanless full modular PS I bought was platinum rated, and the efficiency curve showed it maintaining nearly 90% efficiency down to 100 watts. So I might have paid more but if I save 20 watts from inefficiency (typical bronze PS that's only 60-70% efficient at my very low draw versus mine which is 85-90%) that's about $15/year so there's a chance it could make up the difference in price.

Five key findings from 15 years of the International Space Station

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Re: @AC

That's not what I said, but certainly some of the things they've done could have been automated.

But your simplification is stupid. Do you really think that how to keep people alive and healthy in space is not something we need to know, or is something we can figure out without ever leaving the ground?

DougS Silver badge

Thank you for the NASA to Trump translation :)

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