* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Five key findings from 15 years of the International Space Station

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Thank you for the NASA to Trump translation :)

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OK I'll grant you that stuff like the flame experiments could have been done in automated microsatellites or the like. But even if you throw all that out, the one thing that couldn't be done in cheaper craft is figuring out what happens to the human body after long periods of time in zero gravity and seeing what things will combat that.

Unless you are one of those who thinks all exploration should be automated and there's no reason for people to leave our little rock at all, this is something we'll need to figure out before we try to send people further than the Moon. It wouldn't do to send astronauts to Mars or Europa and break their legs when they step out and try to emulate the iconic Neil Armstrong footprint!

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

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And here I am

Building a new PC and being forced to buy a power supply that delivers far more than I need in my mini-ITX build. A CPU with 65w TDP, using the built in graphics, no overclocking, two DDR4 DIMMs, 2 SSDs and 2 2.5" 1TB drives. I'm not sure it could possibly exceed 100 watts, but since they don't make high efficiency 150 watt or even 300 watt modular power supplies I had to get one that's more than 4x larger than I really need! At least going that big I was able to get one that's fanless and at my load will probably last forever...

Here – here is that 'hoverboard' you've wanted so much. Look at it. Look. at. it.

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Re: Oh dear

LiON batteries all have a fairly similar power to weight ratio - at least you can't get ones that 3-4x better in that regard or someone (Apple) would have stuck them in their phones to make them even thinner or someone else (Motorola) would to make their phones last multiple days without making the phone noticeably thicker.

It is safe to assume that most of the weight of this "hoverboard" is batteries, so it shouldn't be hard to calculate the energy storage based on its weight.

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Re: Oh dear

Without fast charging a typical phone takes a few hours to fully charge from a standard outlet. Do you think that means it takes 1/3 of the power to charge that a Tesla does?

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Re: Oh dear

Even with advances in battery capability WTF is the point of hovering instead of wheeling along? OK, you can go over water with the hovering variety, but with decent wheels you can traverse 99% of the terrain one is likely to encounter in urban/suburban/semi-rural areas so the only reason for making it hover is idiots who want a movie to become real life.

Law enforcement versus Silicon Valley's idle problem children

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Apple and Google need a secret agreement

That neither one will back down to the governments of the world over providing backdoor access, and they will share information of the secret talks and arm twisting happening to each behind closed doors. The only way the governments can make this happen is by getting one of them to fold. If they both stand strong, it is unlikely that any country would essentially outlaw both iPhone and Android, which together account for about 98% of the world market.

North Korean operating system is a surveillance state's tour de force

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Interesting possibilities for someone wanting to take down the regime

Assuming you can get the ability to inject files into a computer in NK, and are able to fake the signature of a high ranking person's machine, you could create an incriminating file, sign it as if it was viewed by them, which once it became known to the right person would probably cause them to 'disappear'. Do this with enough people and eventually Dear Leader will have executed enough high ranking officials that those remaining decide on a coup before they are added to the list.

Not saying anyone should do this, since whoever takes over could be worse making it a risky strategy. But I have to think that the CIA is at least working on this sort of capability, and if they get it would try it out on a few low ranking officials as proof of concept. The CIA always thinks they know what they are doing when it comes to regime change, despite very ample evidence to the contrary.

Intel completes epic $16.7bn Altera swallow, fills self with vitamin IoT

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They are targeting FPGAs at servers, not IoT

I don't know whether this will fly or not, but I think Intel wouldn't spend $16.7 billion without feeling pretty confident about this.

Yes, FPGAs are more power hungry than ASICs, but there are some tasks they can complete faster than a general purpose CPU. Basically it is similar to a dedicated accelerator but since it is programmable it can accelerate a lot of things. Yes, ASICs are faster but if you have specific code you need to run and either you modify it regularly or it is very company/industry specific, the cost of developing an ASIC to accelerate it could never be justified.

Password-less database 'open-sources' 191m US voter records on the web

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What's the concern?

People's home addresses aren't exactly secrets - until landlines went out of fashion most people had theirs available in the phone book. Sure, it is a concern for those like battered women who have reason to keep their address less easily accessible, but there are so many data breaches every year that anyone who aggregated that info would already have everything contained in this database. And there's no doubt there are people who have aggregated that data - including operators of web sites that promise to give you information such as address, phone number and more on anyone in the US. For a fee, of course.

For our non-US readers, this database won't contain anyone's voting record. That information is not stored on anyone, since ballots are secret. The party affiliation field in there would be populated with what party you registered under. You aren't required to register with a particular party (you can choose 'independent') and you don't have to vote your registered party, with the exception of some states where you can only participate in a particular party's primary/caucus if you are registered with that party.

For my part I chose a party I'm registered under because I found when you register independent BOTH parties call you up and try to get you to vote (and they treat registering under a third party as independent) So it is better to choose one just to cut by half the number of annoying calls you may receive during election season.

Patch now! Flash-exploitin' PC-hijackin' attack spotted in the wild by Huawei bods

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Re: SLOC per security flaws?

The only metric you need to look at to see how terrible their code is is the number of use after free() issues. I'd suggest running Purify against their code, but if they did it would probably flag thousands of errors. They've probably decided they will only fix memory errors that result in known security exploits, so they will be forever chasing their tail.

If ever a list of fixes ever showed why no one should be using Flash, it is this one (maybe they all show many use after free() and I haven't noticed, but I did this time and it certainly caught my attention!)

Bah humbug. It's Andrew's Phones of the Year

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Re: Since Xiaomi have lost their way, Huawei is "it"

Someone who says they are "trying diligently to mean SWMBO off of Apple" is obviously doing this for his own reasons, so trying to talk him into anything that doesn't end up with his wife switching to Android is going to fall onto deaf ears.

I wonder what her feelings are in the matter, he was silent on that subject...

Microsoft in 2015: Mobile disasters, Windows 10 and heads in the clouds

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Re: @kryptylomese

I had my first computer in 1978 so you having desktop PC's since the 90's is not exactly a big wow to me.

Yep, you are a typical Windows gaming guy and are only thinking in terms of Desktop.

You really are a special brand of moron, aren't you, who makes baseless claims and then when someone calls him on it, makes completely incoherent retorts in response. Either that or you lack a basic ability to read, since I quite clearly said I'd been running a Linux desktop since the 90s, so it is pretty obvious I'm not a "typical Windows gaming guy". If you don't even bother to read what people write in response to your claims, please do us all a favor and don't bother to respond either.

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Re: @kryptylomese

That might be true however with their move to charing per core will make scaling it up an awful lot more expensive.

That may be true, but it isn't an argument that Microsoft should switch to an open source core for Windows. They charge those prices because they can, and their customers are (at least most of them, most likely) willing to pay it. If they saved money by using more open source they aren't going to pass the savings on to you.

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I want some of what you've been smoking for Christmas.

I'm no fan of Microsoft, and I've been running a Linux desktop since the late 90s, but I think your plan is stupid. Windows is not way behind in scalability, other than on extremely large servers (and the market share of servers with hundreds of cores is not large enough to change Windows like that) If you think it, show your evidence. Benchmarks on sites that run software that is available on both Windows, Mac and Linux show otherwise - the underlying OS has very little influence on performance except for stuff where the drivers are heavily used (primarily graphics, where open source drivers are generally behind Windows)

Microsoft is not going to gain any customers by doing this, so why invest a billion dollars or whatever it would cost to do it? There's no benefit to Microsoft, no benefit to its customers, and risk that it makes the world easier for Linux or BSD or whatever they chose for their new kernel.

Boffins unwrap bargain-basement processor that talks light and current

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I wonder what the latency of this is?

If there's essentially no latency for the conversion from electrical signals to light and back again, and there's a way to integrate "light pipes" on die, they could use it for on chip signaling. That would be huge for speeding things up, as the RC delay of a given length wire goes up with every process shrink.

No, drone owners – all our base are belong to US, thunders military

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Re: This is not going well

Not a lot of those million can fly at 3800 feet, however.

What it is going to take are a few high profile arrests along with big fines and/or stints in prison for drone operators who are doing clearly stupid things and flying them in the vicinity of major airports or military bases. I suspect some drone owners are trying to think of interesting things to have them watch and thinking "airports are interesting, military bases even more so" and flying them over for a peek. They figure they won't get caught or if they do at worst will get a small fine and lose their toy. When they learn otherwise the count of incidents will drop way down, since even most stupid people prefer to avoid jail time where possible.

I'm sure a lot of the drone owners will complain loudly about the registration and claim they have the "right" to fly their drones wherever they want, and whine about "big government" for trying to make them register and mark their drones. Making the fines/sentences triple for an unregistered drone will sort that out. It is too bad we need the heavy hand of government here, but even libertarians agree that government has a role - people should be allowed to do whatever they want as long as it doesn't negatively affect others. Well, having a drone ingested in the engine of a passenger jet during landing would most assuredly have a negative effect on its passengers and crew. Hopefully it won't take a crash that kills 200 people before people accept that.

Death Stars are a waste of time – here's the best way to take over the galaxy

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Re: The whole Starkiller thing was totally superfluous to the movie

Of course the Senate could have been ignored. Just a one off line from one of the rebel leaders about how the Senate will discuss things forever before making a decision, we have to act now. There, Senate ignored.

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The whole Starkiller thing was totally superfluous to the movie

When they destroyed multiple Republic planets, none of the characters in the movie seemed to care. Certainly not in the way Leia truly cared when they destroyed her home planet in the original. I think Starkiller was added for only two (bad) reasons.

One, they tried to parallel the original. Annoyingly so, and to the point it really detracted from the movie - it was like watching a remake, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised since JJ Abrams specializes in remakes. They should have called it "Star Wars: Into Darkness".

Two, because they needed to do something to show the First Order is "evil", since the substitute Vader is more like a petulant teenager who goes into fits of rage and destroys things because daddy won't let him borrow the car, and the substitute Emperor doesn't look or sound threatening (I still hold out a faint hope Snoke is Jar Jar, either via a Wizard of Oz type scenario or via injuries / surgery that altered his appearance)

The villains are pretty non-threatening, which is a problem they needed to solve. The only really evil thing they did was Kylo Ren ordering the killing of those villagers early on (which is bad but unfortunately that sort of thing happens daily in multiple places in our world, so its nowhere near Hitler standards of evil, let alone evil on a galactic scale) So they had to kill a few planets worth of people without warning, just to show us what evil really is (and of course made the uniforms have a bit of a Nazi look to them, which just looked like they were trying too hard) Problem is, since the characters in the movie didn't seem to care those multiple planets worth of people died, why should the audience?

I know I'll be downvoted to hell by fanboys, but the whole plot was pretty badly conceived and executed. Fans love it only because the movie fixed the major complaints people had about Lucas (no Ewoks or Jar Jar type characters, the dialogue wasn't stilted, and the jokes hit their mark versus the groaners that fell flat in the prequels) But it missed some things that Lucas did well - making you think the bad guys are really bad, and explaining the world in which they live. We don't even know what the nature of the relationship is of the rebels to the Republic. My guess is that the First Order is sort of an insurgency that controls a fast growing part of the galaxy and the rebels are sort of half secretly funded by the Republic to fight their battles for them - kind of like when the CIA funded Bin Laden to fight the Russians. But who knows? I think maybe an extra 30 seconds in the text crawl at the start of the movie to explain things better would have helped there a lot, but yeah yeah I know one of the Lucas complaints especially in the prequels was too much exposition. Unfortunately too little exposition is even worse.

Apple introduces new regime, hands more control to investors

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Re: Greater power to oust directors and influence strategy

Its only 20% of the board so it gives them a voice but that's very different than having control. When other companies have done this pretty much nothing changes, except that activist shareholder motions can't just get rejected without even being voted on. Now they will have to be voted on, but still won't be enacted.

Apple and Samsung team up with UnionPay to target Chinese market

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Re: Old news!

The western luxury retailers will be equipped with terminals that support Apple Pay, and that's what really matters for Apple because the people who shop there are the ones that own iPhones.

IT bloke: Crooks stole my bikes after cycling app blabbed my address

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Similar issue with MapMyRun app

I think women especially should be cautious about these apps - particularly if they have them sharing on Facebook - because even if they 'fuzzed' your home address a few blocks if they show your running route and you have regular routes you run at regular times it is pretty easy for someone to find you. I mentioned this to a few female friends when I saw it pop up on Facebook and they dialed down the sharing...

I guess it seems kind of nifty to be able to share the route you took on a long run or bike ride with your running/biking buddies, but if you share it with everyone you are "friends" with on Facebook (and due to default privacy settings, often wider than that) you might be sharing it with people you wouldn't if you stopped to think about it.

It is only a matter of time before we read about some sort of tragedy related to this sort of thing. Not that the apps are bad per se, but they should pay a lot more attention to what information is shared with who and default to very limited sharing. Unfortunately that's not the way to popularize your app, you want it in everyone's Facebook feeds so they think "hey that's cool I should download that myself"

CIOs, what does your nightmare before Christmas look like?

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Industry pay averages

About ten years ago I helped a client I was consulting for interview for a couple open EMC storage admin positions. They had determined the average salary for that position in Boston where they were located based on some information from a couple headhunter type firms they were working with to help them find people.

Problem was, they assumed they could get them for that salary - because like all companies they believe they're a great place to work and have awesome benefits so they don't need to pay people more. As usual the job ad said "salary commensurate with experience" so applicants don't really have any idea going in whether the job they are applying for is something they'd even consider.

The company got lucky with getting several really strong candidates, but made them offers based on that "average" salary. I told them that these people were well above average in qualification and experience and would command salaries above that industry average but they didn't listen, and insisted on making an initial offer at that level. These people will be managing the storage arrays that run a worldwide business worth billions, so this isn't like saving a few bucks on less helpful deskside guys who aren't going to cost you millions if they screw up.

Of course all three top candidates turned them down flat without even a counteroffer. They went down the list and were forced to make higher offers to the less qualified (but both still pretty good, EMC headquarters are nearby after all) candidates they eventually hired than they did the first three.

Guess I should have thought of explaining it as "hiring people half the market doesn't want" :)

Oracle beefs up container credentials with Five Guys buyout

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Re: Five Guys

I did a double take when I saw that headline too. Oh you clever Reg headline baiters you :)

Who would win a fight between Cortana and Android?

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How exactly is Apple "selling you" in the way Google and Microsoft does? Apple explicitly goes out of their way to NOT do this, i.e. by not sharing info with the retailer about who you are when you buy something via Apple Pay. Microsoft seems to have decided to go down this path since Windows 10, but don't paint Apple with the same brush. Not saying they are perfect but comparing them to the way Google sells you out is ridiculous.

Skilled workers, not cost, lured Apple to China says Tim Cook

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Re: @bailey86

Thanks for the stat, ecofeco. Wow...85%! And that's why they have workforce flexibility, they have so many employees that pulling some of them off iPhone production when the "new iPhone" peak is past and production slows down to a mere 3 million a week in the summer they have a lot of other stuff they can have them doing.

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Re: Lies from the Top

Do you really think that if Apple (and Google, and Intel, and Microsoft and all the other tech companies with billions of cash sitting overseas) brought the money home and paid taxes on it that it would somehow magically go to infrastructure and schooling?

We are already spending more than we make, so tax revenue is not a limiting factor on how much we spend - and certainly not on what we spend it on. If we had more tax revenue the congressmen who vote against higher spending on infrastructure and education aren't going to change their tune.

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Errr...why are you giving Apple credit for being a manufacturer? They don't employ the people in China who make their stuff, they contract the manufacturing out to Foxconn who employs those workers. Apple is no different in this respect than almost every other consumer electronics OEMs who do not directly employ the people but contract it out. Look at all the consumer electronics gear in your house from your wireless router to your laptop, chances are half of it was made in China by Foxconn.

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It isn't wages

Its workforce flexibility that is the main issue when you are manufacturing at the scale Apple requires. If iPhones needed to be produced in roughly equal numbers every week of the year, no problem, but that's not how it happens. They need much higher volumes around the launch of a new iPhone, and once that initial surge of demand is met slowly decreasing to a low point in July before they start ramping up production of the next model.

US labor laws make that really impractical - should Foxconn USA (or Apple, for those who think Apple should directly employ these people) employ workers 12 months out of the year to meet peak demand that occurs only 3-4 months of the year? Or lay many of them off most of the year, requiring them to collect less money via unemployment checks - which due to the high unemployment taxes their employer would pay would almost amount to employing their year round?

These are fairly skilled jobs for manufacturing. They may not to the level of a tool and die maker, but they are a lot closer to that than they are to say a retail sales associate. Places like Walmart can hire part time staff over the holiday when they hit their peak need for employees, but that's not practical for these more skilled electronics assembly and test positions. Even if it was people would whine about how Apple is screwing these poor employees by only signing them up for 3 to 4 month contracts, leaving them jobless once the peak demand for the next year's iPhone has passed.

China has so much manufacturing they are able to absorb this, the US manufacturing labor market cannot.

Chicago cops under fire for astonishingly high dashcam, mic failures

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Re: >30% failures rates are common for video surveillance

You mean the movies are lying to us when they show the FBI/CIA/NSA plus every hacker able to instantly access surveillance cameras (without even having to google what the site name is!) at every location in every major city within seconds and even have the magical ability to zoom in on pixellated images?

Amazing how well that all works but they often lose track of a car driving through a major city because they entered a "dead zone" where there are no cameras (if it fits the plot) That's probably the one thing they have the best chance of getting right, since those traffic cameras seem to be at every intersection that has a stoplight even in the comparatively small city I live in. No idea if they're operational, but no way someone could drive through downtown and find a "dead zone" until the left the areas where there are traffic lights.

Toshiba denies NAND exit report with 'no decision made' comment

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Re: Shame

Where did you get this idea that Toshiba HDDs have a better reputation, let alone much better?

There is nothing upon which to base such a claim, aside from personal experience. There are a couple large studies like Google's, but they omitted the manufacturer's name and even then there is a lot of variability over time as different models and even different lots within the same model can have widely diverging results.

I don't think it matters all that much if we went to only a choice between Seagate and WD, and it is difficult to see who would want to buy a hard drive business in 2016 aside from those two even if Toshiba practically gives it away. The average person will probably buy only one more hard drive in their life, and the biggest market for hard drives for consumer use will soon be DVRs. PC makers probably start including SSDs in all models within two years.

I recently bought two (pair of 1TB 2.5" drives to be mirrored for bulk storage on a new PC I'm building - using existing 80GB SSDs for OS & home dir) and I expect they will be the last hard drives I ever purchase.

Facebook hammers another nail into Flash's coffin

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'You must cry very easily'

I don't think he was referring to using Flash for videos, but using Flash for other tasks that can be easily accomplished using its scripting language, such as games. There may be some loss of capability that comes with Flash's demise, but losing stuff like browser-based games that can't be implemented using HTML5 is worth it for the reduction in threat exposure. Flash is the most insecure piece of software installed on the average computer, and deserved to die.

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Re: Is HTML5 pure and saintly

HTML5 can't do everything Flash does, that alone makes it more safe. There are surely some bugs in the implementations, but at least then you'd have a Chrome bug or Firefox bug or IE bug, not a Flash bug that affects everyone.

Flash was originally developed for animations but its power was extended with a full fledged programming language that was designed with little attention paid to security. It was then able to be used for almost anything - but most people only installed it in their browser because it was required to watch videos from Youtube and other sites.

Unfortunately there was no way to get a "streaming video only" lite version of Flash, because Adobe didn't want to fragment their market. Instead they let it die because now that streaming video from all major sites has moved away from Flash, there is no reason for 99% of people to install it in their browser. It is only needed if you visit some outdated site that still uses it.

Hillary Clinton says for crypto 'maybe the back door is the wrong door'

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Even if there were a way to add Hillary's "side door"

You can't make terrorists use the encryption that western governments can access. The encryption they can't access is already out there.

If they got Apple, Google, and Facebook to use "side door" encryption, smarter terrorists would avoid iPhones, Android and Facebook and communicate using methods that allow them to use today's encryption. That won't be uninvented because something else comes along.

But of course that wouldn't matter, they'd eventually catch some dumb terrorists who were communicating with WhatsApp and declare the program a success. And either point to something else as the reason they missed other attacks carried out by smarter terrorists, or say the tech world needs to figure out how to put the Genie back in the bottle!

Newspaper kills 'what was fake' column as pointless in internet age

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Fake pages on Facebook

Lately I've seen people link to stories from "Fox News" and "CNN" pages that use the actual logo and posting possibly believable to the right audience type stories. The only way to know for sure they are fake is to look at the page and see it has tens or hundreds of thousands of likes instead of the multiple millions I'm sure the real Fox and CNN pages have.

I'm sure Facebook shuts them down when they are made of aware of them, but they can probably live under the radar for a few days. There are many who trust their favored news source, so if they see a story come across their feed from Fox News and that's what they watch daily, they are far more likely to believe it than if it was some random news site. They will probably believe "Obama donated millions in book revenue to ISIS" or "Trump sold property near WTC site despite being aware buyers planned to build world's largest mosque there" if they think it is a Fox story. And good luck getting them to accept the story is a fake even if you can show them snopes, they will remember it came from Fox and believe snopes is working with the MSM to hide the truth!

iOS banking apps security still not good enough, says researcher

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Re: NWhat you need to do

For a "threat" against the bank or for revealing the vulnerability? If the former, the law just encourages you to skip the grace period and make the problems public immediately.

Though to be honest, flaws that store information unencrypted in the filesystem don't really worry me that much. If it is your password being stored, they have to get hold of your unlocked phone to have a chance of accessing that, but if they have possession of your unlocked phone they can just start the app which presumably is using that password for autologin purposes so you're screwed either way! If it is your balance etc. being stored unencrypted, there are plenty of other ways to get that already, like stealing your mail, hacking into your email, fishing a receipt out of the trash after you've visited an ATM, etc.

Apple anoints the new new Steve Jobs

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Re: Apple coverage is almost universally amusing

Buying your kid a brand new top of the line fully decked out iPad for $1000 is like giving a 16 year old who just got his driver's license a brand new car to drive. I wouldn't expect that car to look very new by the time they graduated high school two years later, either. Kids often don't take good of care of things because they don't know their value when they didn't have to earn the money to pay for them...

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Re: Apple coverage is almost universally amusing

You may not have bought new ones in the past four years, but when you do it sounds like you are likely to buy Apple again. Loyalty is what builds a company in the long run, not products that are orphaned after a year or two. People are likely to go elsewhere hoping for better quality next time.

North Wales Police outsourcing deal results in massive overspend

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You post the reason why but don't understand that's what it is

it allows them to move the location of the costs on the balance sheet

Manager with costs on their part of balance sheet reduces cost = cut costs meaning big bonus. Manager with costs added to their part of balance sheet = bigger budget meaning bigger salary. Everyone wins, except the shareholders.

Many companies have badly mismanaged IT that could be run for half the cost. But bringing in an outsourcing company won't fix that overnight, you still have to go through a lot of pain and expense to trim down the 1000 applications you use to the 100 you really need, the 20 different platforms to 3, fix your monitoring/reporting to get to the things that really matter and avoid all the noise that drowns out your ability to see those things, and so forth.

Doing that with employees who have been around for years is hard because of turf wars, so it is seen as easier to outsource as a way to get that done. Problem is, those turf warring employees also have all the institutional knowledge that smooths the way for actually accomplishing those tasks, so getting rid of them merely trades one type of difficulty for another and it doesn't get cheaper to go through the pain, just politically easier.

Windows for Warships? Not on our new aircraft carriers, says MoD

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Shed load of UK software developers?

Why do you need so many, when Linux is already available? I guess this was what you referred to by "hardening" it, but there are hardened versions of Linux as well. Do you plan to have all these programmers take stock Linux and reinvent the wheel by re-hardening it, assuming that us crafty yanks (and of course the head Fin in charge of it all) have deliberately left a few backdoors in it?

All you really need to produce a UK Linux is to decide on a distribution and set to "UK English" mode and there you go. If you find things to harden, hopefully you feed that back upstream, and you can pay your programmers to be part of the "many eyes" that review everything that changes. Good luck on that, despite all the eyes security problems slip through all the time.

The only other alternative is to pick a version and stick with it, patching only security holes and bugs that you can't work around. Probably a good idea for a ship, but not for a government where servers and desktops will be constantly refreshed to newer hardware that will require newer versions to support...

Former security officials and BlackBerry CEO pile in on encryption debate

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Search warrants on a drug dealer is the "greater good"?

He could have at least found an example related to terrorism or pedophilia. 90 years ago he would have given the example of a search warrant on a bootlegger!

CES tech show adds new security checks after fears of violence

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Exempting exhibitors?

Good thing terrorists have no money and couldn't afford to create a fake company and pay for a booth to bring in explosives hidden in a big server or something. Only problem is that having booth babes would go against fundamentalist Islam so they couldn't get the crowd they'd want for maximum effect.

Bigger than Higgs? Boffins see hints of bulbous new Boson

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Re: @arctic_haze Something new in physics. Finally!

Whether a Nobel is deserved, and who deserves it, depends on what is found. If it was a supersymmetric partner, within a mass range predicted by theory, then eventually if the theory is confirmed the originators of that theory may deserve one. If it is something completely unexpected that causes everyone's theories to be reworked, then the maybe whoever comes up with a theory that explains it that is confirmed decades from now by the LHC's successor would deserve one.

Assange inquisition closer after Sweden, Ecuador sign pact

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@Diogenes - Re: One Swedish Charge left

Honestly if the Septics were that serious about getting their hands on him, it would have been much easier to extradite him from the UK rather than Sweden.

You're assuming they intended to extradite him. They could have intended rendition instead...

Samba man 'Tridge' accidentally helps to sink request for Oz voteware source code

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Can someone from Australia fill us in

Is the AEC is a government body? If so, why should it care about the value of its source code? Has the AEC ever licensed software or other IP previously? Is that part of its mission? Is this sort of thing common in Australian government?

It seems to me like this "but it has value that would be lost" is just an excuse to keep the process hidden. At least in the US the argument has some legitimacy, since private for-profit corporations developed the software running our elections. Yes, obviously that's not a good thing, but at least when we're told we can't look at the source code we understand why. Australia has accomplished the hard part of this already - having a government body in charge of the election software.

Letting the AEC keep that software hidden makes things WORSE for Australia than in the US! At least here there are multiple companies that are supplying voting machines, so it is harder for one company to tilt the elections (other than a close presidential election, due to the small number of 'swing' states that matter when it is tight) or for an incumbent government to remain in power by corrupting them (since the other party can always come up with more money to corrupt them the other way) In Australia the government itself runs the elections, so a corrupt incumbent government could seemingly guarantee they remain in power forever...

Microsoft beats Apple's tablet sales, apologises for Surface 4 flaws

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@John Robson

Not only did they choose the launch month for the new Surface Pro, they chose the month BEFORE the iPad Pro started selling which would be a slow month as those who wanted it would be sitting on their hands buying nothing from Apple.

That, along with counting only internet orders from their own list of retailers leaves out all the orders from apple.com, from Apple Stores, and foot traffic in Walmart etc. (though to be fair any stores selling the Surface Pro on premise would not have those sales counted either)

I agree with those who think this reads very much like something Microsoft cooked up to make the Surface Pro look like a massive hit. Try to get that message out when people are making Christmas purchase decisions..."oh, I don't want to buy an iPad for junior, I just saw an article that it is on the way out and everyone is getting Microsoft's tablet!"

Someone who wants "a tablet" for Christmas probably doesn't want Microsoft's product that is really more of a laptop in disguise. They want a traditional tablet which is either an iPad (not the 12.9" monstrosity, either) or Android, that does tablet stuff and runs tablet apps.

Volkswagen blames emissions cheating on 'chain of errors'

DougS Silver badge

My garage needs painting

I should call these guys, they seem to be experts in whitewashing.

Mozilla backs away from mobile OS as Android looks invincible

DougS Silver badge

Why don't they just fork Android?

They don't actually want to replace the OS or the apps, they want to replace Google at the tollbooth making money post-sale by collecting and trading on people's personal information. So stop trying to accomplish this by writing a new OS that requires all the apps to be ported.

Instead get together all the interested parties and decide on replacements for Google functionality. Use Bing for search (or Baidu/Yandex etc. in other countries where appropriate) Here Maps or Openstreetmap, and so forth.

They don't need a separate app store, they can still get third party apps via the Play store. At least I think, maybe Google's heavy hand prevents that if you don't accept all the googly bits of Android - otherwise having one central alternate app store would at least provide a single place for devs to submit their apps to.

Maybe they could even address the problems with updates, by making deals with carriers to give them a cut of that post-sale revenue in exchange for not letting the carrier touch the installed OS so it can be updated quickly and directly from home base like Apple does. Heck that alone would probably cause a lot of Android using Reg readers to switch.

Name that HPE boozer: Last orders please

DougS Silver badge

Re: no winners yet?

I guess they haven't seen enough options they like yet to begin the voting. I'm voting for "The Box and Padding" as suggested by someone in the last article. If there's any justice in the world that will win it going away.

Of course it doesn't matter, HPE will pick something horribly mundane since they'll have various bigwigs from Fortune 100 companies there from time to time and won't want to run the risk of anyone being offended or worse yet cracking a smile at HP's expense.

Rupert Murdoch wants Google and chums to be g-men's backdoor men

DougS Silver badge

Re: Re:

Obviously they'd open outwards so it isn't a problem, since no one could open them even the tiniest crack against the massive force of the water pressure when the ferry is floating.

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