* Posts by DougS

12862 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Worker drones don't need PCs says Microsoft, give 'em phones instead

DougS Silver badge

What about a keyboard and mouse?

Then you'd really have a full fledged PC in your pocket.

I've been thinking Apple should do this for years, though they would have to bring back the 'fat binary' capability of OS X to build applications in both x86 and ARM. Just add a OS X GUI layer to the phone, plug it into an Lightning to HDMI adapter, add a Bluetooth keyboard/mouse and people with light PC needs (browsing, email, word processing, probably not games or video editing given that the 6S has only 2GB) could dump their PC.

Looks like Microsoft beat them to the punch. Still think it is a good idea, and might resurrect Windows Phone from the near-dead (though it will cost Microsoft some future Windows PC license sales)

AD-NNIHILATION: Apple-approved iOS tool blocks ALL ads in apps, Safari, Apple News

DougS Silver badge

Might have to check this out

Been waiting a bit for the dust to settle with the addition of ad blocking capability in iOS 9. If this has good reviews after a couple weeks it might be the go to.

I'm sure a few sites will start blocking access if you are using this. Doubt I'll miss them.

Surface Book: Microsoft to turn unsuccessful tab into unsuccessful laptop

DougS Silver badge

Re: Fastest... for a week!

Since Intel CPUs have been getting faster by a mere 5-10% per generation the last few years, I suspect by being "twice as fast" this laptop has twice the cores of the Macbook. There's no CPU available that can be twice as fast as the Macbook for single core straight line code - you'd have to compare with the circa 2008 Macbook for that I suspect.

I guess with the CPU in the screen part rather than the part sitting on your lap, at least when you max out all four cores and it gets red hot it won't burn your legs!

White House 'deeply disappointed' by Europe outlawing Silicon Valley

DougS Silver badge


The business model of Google, Facebook and now Microsoft in selilng people's personal data is broken. Give people a choice whether they opt out of that and pay something instead, and see if they really value what they're taking from you.

Might cause Facebook's market share in Europe to plummet, but I doubt many over there would consider that a bad thing.

US Cyber Command floats $460m contract to outsource most of itself

DougS Silver badge

Re: And the contracts are awarded to....

Hold on, Blackwater (whatever their name is now) wants a taste, too. Gotta spread the money around, otherwise how is the US going to spend 4x as much for 10% more capability than they have now? Yay, privitization!

Microsoft's HoloLens: Here by 2016, mere three THOUSAND dollar price

DougS Silver badge

Price doesn't matter

As technology improves, price will come down. Maybe by then it will be useful for something other than FPS gaming.

Edward Snowden denies making a deal with the Russian secret service

DougS Silver badge

Re: Images, Self Images, And Public Images

Things moved a bit faster than he anticipated and he got stuck in Russia as he couldn't board his next flight. I don't think he ever felt he could 'mosy on over' as he knew he was going to be in trouble with the US. He probably felt that a flight out of Russia would be free from US interference but apparently not.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Snowden better get used to russia...

He didn't even intend to stay in Russia, that was just a transit point to his final destination but things moved a bit too fast and he got stuck there.

DougS Silver badge

"Snowden was FSB"

You do know his family history, right? Pretty much everyone in his family has worked for the military or US government in some capacity. You're a clueless moron if you think he some Russian educated FSB golden boy that moved to the US at 21 and infiltrated the NSA.

Scary Trans-Pacific Partnership trade treaty signed off

DougS Silver badge

Luckily this is hated by both the extreme left and extreme right in the US

So its chances of passage here are reduced over what they would have been a decade ago before our politics became so polarized, should other countries fail in their duty to shitcan this POS.

Google bugle sounds patch release for Android Stagefright 2.0

DougS Silver badge

Re: Untrue scare tactics

Because the bugs weren't discovered by observing attacks in the wild, but by researchers. The exploit writers can look at what Google did to fix the exploit in 6.0, compare with older code and work out the best way to exploit it on the largest percentage of non-6.x devices. ASLR makes exploits a bit more difficult, but there are known techniques to work around it, so it doesn't really help.

The bad guys don't have to hurry, there will still be over a billion vulnerable Android devices out there at this time next year, the fact there may be a few hundred million devices protected from it doesn't matter as there are still many juicy targets for years to come.

It will be exploited, just wait.

Linux kernel dev who asked Linus Torvalds to stop verbal abuse quits over verbal abuse

DougS Silver badge

Probably not going to help increase the tiny percentage of female kernel contributors

I know for many techies this is sort of a "who cares, we want whoever is best and don't care whether they are male or female" but if the best in some cases is female but they can't abide by the boys-club environment then it is Linux that loses.

DougS Silver badge

What "other mobile OSes are coming up?"

The only ones with any traction are Android and iOS. Android is Linux, iOS is Mach BSD. Windows phone or mobile or whatever they're calling now has a fraction of the market and that doesn't look to change, and Blackberry appears to be abandoning their own OS in favor of Android.

Is there some up and coming mobile OS not based on Linux that I'm unaware of that has a chance in hell of having a double digit market share by 2020?

GCHQ's SMURF ARMY can hack smartphones, says Snowden. Again.

DougS Silver badge

I can see hacking the SIM

But how does that extend to pwning the whole phone? Does the SIM run at a sort of ring 0 type privilege, allowing it to modify Android/iOS to its hearts content or something? If so, that's probably something that should be address in the OS, and make the SIM run in some sort of virtual environment where it thinks it has control but the OS really has control over it.

iOS malware YiSpecter: iPhones menaced by software nasty

DougS Silver badge

Re: Fixed in iOS 9

If nothing else, the constant stream of updates to iOS would handicap them, as even if they have an exploitable hole that they can use to install malware on your iPhone, it is likely to be erased when you upgrade iOS. Once they get it on an Android phone, it is more likely to live there forever as they might get an update or two when the phone is still new, but once you have your last update if they get malware on there it is probably there for the life of your phone.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Fixed in iOS 9

This is good know - after the first story about malware using enterprise certificates I was thinking they needed to tighten up the protections on that since a certain group of people will just click "OK" if they're told to.

I suppose even with this fix there are some who will follow instructions to go into settings and mark a particular profile as trusted if told to, but at some point it is no longer possible to protect people from themselves! You can have all the security policies in the world, but if someone is able to phone up the CEO's secretary claiming to be from IT and ask for his email password then they don't mean much.

I wonder if Apple has the ability to revoke enterprise certificates? It isn't clear whether someone is using a legitimate corporation's enterprise certificate or obtaining one from Apple only to distribute malware. If its the latter revoking it would be no problem, if it is the former it could potentially cause a lot of problems for the enterprise - but maybe that would encourage enterprises to be guard them more closely.

Pocket mobe butt dialing clogs up 911 emergency calls, says Google

DougS Silver badge

Re: How is this possible?

You must be more conductive than me, or my 6S plus has a less sensitive screen. I can activate it with the barest of touches - maybe it is slightly before my fingertip actually contacts it is hard to tell. But 1/2 cm is 5mm which is more than half the thickness of the entire phone.

Still, even with the 5mm activation, does it work through the material of your pants or the pockets?

DougS Silver badge

How is this possible?

This can't be happening to people with touch screen smartphones, can it? Unless the pocket you keep it in has a hole in it (and are wearing no underwear in the case of a back pocket true "butt dial") you can't activate the screen without contact from the skin.

Well, maybe other than that Lumia that worked with a gloved hand, it be sensitive enough that bumping into something with it in your pocket will act as a

Startup promises to cancel your hated Comcast subscription for you for just $5

DougS Silver badge

There's always money to be made as a middleman

You just have to find the niche where there's demand. Bravo to these guys for finding it, and given Comcast's business practices that niche appears like it will be there for a long time to come.

What is money? A rabid free marketeer puts his foot in lots of notes

DougS Silver badge

I suspect they added up those hundreds of billions

By looking at the amount of credit and average interest rate, and ignored pesky stuff like expenses, salaries, reserves for bad debt, etc.

Obviously banking is profitable, this is just arguing about how profitable. The idea is "if the government is the bank then the government gets that profit". Well, that's nice but as Tim says you have the little problem of the government deciding who gets loans - do you really want a situation where someone gets a $100 million loan to build a skyscraper based on being the friend of a politician in charge, rather than because he's got credit / business plan / whatever that a bank thinks will be profitable for them?

Maybe a school chum gets to be a high government official, so even though I have no experience with such things, I've got a big loan and am paying myself $1 million a year to be CEO of a corporation building a skyscraper. I don't care if the corporation fails and the building is never finished, or is finished but never gets any tenants because it was built in the wrong place, because I'm still making $1 million/yr for a few years before that failure becomes apparent! This sort of thing has been happening all over China, because that's how a lot of loans get done over there.

You can capture some of that profit via taxes. If you want a bigger share, you can have higher taxes on banks, but you will cause there to be fewer banks and less credit being issued because the bar for profitability goes up when taxes get higher. Most people don't think that's a good idea (or at least they don't think its a good idea if it means their access to credit becomes more difficult)

Mysterious brown spots and a different kind of mouse support

DougS Silver badge

Human hair leash?

How, praytell, do you lasso a mosquito with a strand of human hair? That must have taken a bit of ingenuity to accomplish...

Japan begins mega-rollout of 100 million+ national IDs

DougS Silver badge

Re: Chip 'Em all!

Also include "terrorist: Y/N" so they can dispense with tracking everyone and only track the terrorists!

DougS Silver badge

Re: Are the cards tamper-proof?

A paper ID card? Not likely tamper proof!

Apple CEO Tim Cook: Email keyword sniffing? We'd NEVER do that!

DougS Silver badge

Re: I get the impression that this is very personal for Cook.

Where did I suggest reinventing the wheel? I don't care how they wanted to do it, since currently they don't have user managed keys for iCloud. The use PKI for many things, it isn't like they invented their own scheme that caused the celebgate "scandal". Getting hold of someone's passwords is hardly "hacking iCloud". If I find out your Facebook password and you use the same password on GMail, have I "hacked Gmail"?

Yes, they should have had 2FA available for iCloud before that, but there are many things more important than iCloud that are still not protected by 2FA (none of my credit card companies provide a method for 2FA logins, for instance) This isn't a failing for just Apple, but is industry-wide. Even companies that take security seriously (which you can argue Microsoft has for the past decade, since they had so many problems with CodeRed, iLoveYou and friends in the early 2000s) still don't get it right a lot of the time.

DougS Silver badge

Re: I get the impression that this is very personal for Cook.

You might be right, and if so that bodes well for Apple continuing down this path which as a customer is exactly what I want.

I wish they'd figure out a way I could use iCloud with a key that only I hold, rather than its current state where the in-flight encryption and at-rest encryption is done by keys which Apple controls. I suspect that's to make it easy to have iCloud interoperate between multiple devices, but I'd still like to see them figure out a way to at least offer the option of using your own key, even if it complicates that multi-device interoperability for those that choose this option.

DougS Silver badge

@Mike Bell

Yes, iCloud content is encrypted during transit and storage, but with keys that Apple controls. Whereas an iPhone backup taken using iTunes encrypts the content using a key that only you control.

Even though it means I don't backup as often, I choose the latter as using iCloud in its current form means you give up some of the protection Apple offers through things like the way iMessage works. If the previous poster's blurb about CALEA is correct, they could ask Apple for your iMessage contents that are stored on iCloud (if you use iCloud) and Apple would be required to provide them. I don't know if that's actually the case, but it might be if that's how CALEA works.

DougS Silver badge

@tom dial

The important phrase in your quote is "retains or has access to the keying information". Apple does not have to the keys used to encrypt iMessage message, as it uses end to end encryption directly between devices.

Thus they are not required under CALEA to provide the described assistance to law enforcement personnel, and would be unable to do so even if forced (unless Tim Cook was beaten with a rubber hose Apple was coerced into rewriting iOS to do iMessage encryption differently, using keys they control and could share with the spooks)

Five things that doomed the big and brilliant BlackBerry 10

DougS Silver badge

Re: What Blackberry ideas were "copied by Google and Apple" as the article claims?

How is "better security" copying Blackberry? Or Facetime...when did Blackberry do video calling, and even if so why is that something that Blackberry "invented" when it has been invented many times over the years? As for multitasking, don't make me laugh.

This is pretty much what I expected, there's nothing that Blackberry did that either copied, and even if Blackberry did them first they certainly didn't invent them. Like I though, "ideas" on the level of 'rounded corners' and 'bigger phones'.

DougS Silver badge

What Blackberry ideas were "copied by Google and Apple" as the article claims?

More to the point, were they truly original ideas, or stuff on the level of 'rounded corners' and 'bigger phones'?

DougS Silver badge

No it doesn't

iOS doesn't remove anything if you upgrade, everything remains exactly the same except you have an updated OS. You don't need to spread FUD about alternatives just because Blackberry screwed first the pooch, then its customers.

Apple gobbles Brit AI outfit VocalIQ

DougS Silver badge

Re: Toys R Us

The only time I've used Siri to put something in my calendar is if I think of something laying in bed I have to do tomorrow, and don't want to light up the screen. I just don't trust voice commands (for anything) enough to do it all the time, because I'd feel I have to check that it really did it right anyway. It might work 99% of the time, but that one time it gets it wrong would probably be something important I don't want to miss!

Google's Nest weaves new Weave protocol that isn't Google's Weave

DougS Silver badge

But... but... they said they found a way to secure it through software. No one has tried that approach before!

Are Samsung TVs doing a Volkswagen in energy tests? Koreans hit back

DougS Silver badge


Where are you getting your information?

Everything I've read about 4K says that interlacing is GONE, and GOOD RIDDANCE to that. It also must support 30 fps, as that's used for a lot of US broadcast TV - many dramas here are produced in 30 fps, and either frame doubled when broadcast on a 720p (60 fps) network like ABC, or interlaced when shown on a 1080i network like CBS.

Microsoft and Google ink SECRET TREATY to end all their patent wars

DougS Silver badge

Why? What stops them from saying "the filesystem on your SD card is not supported" if you plug one in formatted in VFAT and offering to reformat it? The arguments I always heard from Android fans about why SD cards were great wasn't because they were using SD cards for moving files around between PCs or cameras, but to supplement what the phone came with. If the SD card always lives in your phone, why does it have to use a VFAT format?

DougS Silver badge

Microsoft claimed over 200 patents infringed by Android. Everyone always talks about VFAT, but there's no way that was the major one. If it was, Android would have simply dropped VFAT support and used ext3 or something, and had an Android phone plugged in a PC act like a USB storage device with a virtual FAT (not VFAT) partition that provided a driver for the ext3 filesystem.

Especially now that Android phones are starting to drop SD card slots, they really have no need at all for VFAT.

DougS Silver badge

Apple has already "joined" Microsoft long ago, in the sense of having patent cross licensing agreements with them for ages.

But yeah, maybe now that Microsoft's brave new Windows 10 direction is to collect and monetize user details like Google they know they'll be tromping on a lot of Google data collection patents. In addition, worries about Android infringing on Microsoft patents have lessened since Microsoft appears to be mostly giving up on phones.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Well, that pretty much declares Apple as their main threat..

Apple and Microsoft have had a patent cross licensing agreement for ages, so they haven't been a threat for them in ages. Apple hasn't ever sued Google over Android, they've only had the well-publicized issues with Samsung and a small scuffle with Motorola. It wasn't stuff in generic Android Apple had a problem with, but stuff that Samsung had added to it or changed in it (see that famous 137 or whatever page document from the trial)

Bezos' BAN-HAMMER batters Chromecast, Apple TV

DougS Silver badge

If Amazon 'competes' in this way in the future, it could hurt them

For just these two devices, who cares. But what if they make their own phone again, and all iPhones and Androids disappear from amazon.com overnight? What if they decided to make their own TVs, or their own wireless routers?

Part of Amazon's values to consumers is one stop shopping - you can buy just about anything there either from Amazon itself or one of its third party sellers. If that's going to change, they might no longer be the first online shopping stop for as many people.

Given how aggressive the EU is with investigation competition issues like Google giving favoritism to its own services, I wonder if they'd look at this or is Amazon too small a percentage of online shopping for them to care? Because while Amazon is small by comparison, this is the equivalent of Google blocking search results for Outlook 365 when someone searches for "email provider" instead of merely putting Gmail at the top of the list.

Tear teardown down, roars Apple: iFixit app yanked from store

DougS Silver badge

Apple has tons of developer accounts, many who requested Apple TV hardware. They don't have a human look at each one and say "aha, iFixit, these are the guys who do teardowns". If iFixIt had waited to buy an Apple TV like they do with an iPhone, they wouldn't have had this problem.

A lot of companies have restrictions on what developers can do. Heck, if you have a license (not a developer license, just a regular user license) to Oracle, you are banned from publishing any benchmarks without their prior approval. You think Apple is bad, you should look into the restrictions they place on you in the enterprise world!

FBI: We unmasked and collared child porn creep on Tor with spy tool

DougS Silver badge

@Steven Roper - "increasing number of websites simply don't display"

I can get websites requiring Javascript, but websites requiring flash have become almost non-existent in the past few years, thanks in no small part to Steve Jobs refusal to let that malware live on iPhones. At the time the Android camp was outraged, but they should thank him for taking that stand (whatever you may think about his motives for taking it)

Hillary spillery finds half-hearted phishery

DougS Silver badge

Probably the same way my personal email eventually made it to spammers

I never used it for anything, preferring an old college email address for that since it was already getting spam. But the PCs of people who had me in their address book got infected with malware, and they got my email from their address book.

Luckily it is only one spam email every week or two, rather than the half dozen a day my college email address gets (which they filter so it is probably 10x that much absent filtering)

MYSTERY PARTICLE BLASTS from Ceres strike NASA probe Dawn

DougS Silver badge

Re: Slump?

This is no cave! -Han Solo

It's BACK – Stagefright 2.0: Zillions of Android gadgets can be hijacked by MP3s, movie files

DougS Silver badge

Re: Can they fix Android?

Have you checked out all the EULAs you agreed to on your Android phone? I know every time I get a new iOS version on my iPhone it is a ridiculously long - I just click Agree without even bothering to read it. I'm sure if they added something draconian El Reg the Apple haters will be on top of it in no time :)

I'll bet Google and Samsung et al have indemnified themselves against any consequences, and you've given up the right to sue. You'd have to agree to binding arbitration....good luck getting more than a $5 credit at the Play Store or a $50 discount on your next Android phone from the OEM!

Twitter signs Edward Snowden to write for them for free

DougS Silver badge

Re: Doug S LOL!

Wait, if I'm not the 99%, or the 0.01%, does that mean I'm the 0.99%?

DougS Silver badge

Re: LOL!

Behold the moron who can't read. Snowden didn't brag about 900,000 followers in 24 hours, it was mentioned in the Reg article is all.

Woman makes app that lets people rate and review you, Yelp-style. Now SHE'S upset people are 'reviewing' her

DougS Silver badge

Sometimes the 4chan people can be useful

At times like this, for example.

Fiorina: I rushed out HP servers to power NSA snooping. Mwahahaha!

DougS Silver badge

@Big John

Why is voting for Obama twice an indication that American politics are broken? Isn't voting for Bush II twice just as bad, or are you one of those "Obama is the worst president ever, just like Clinton was, and Carter before him, until the next democrat takes office and automatically wins that title by default" people?

DougS Silver badge

@AC Obama stopping or expanding the survellience

It was already of "gigantic" proportions long before Obama took office. Maybe it got more gigantic under him, but that's just a matter of degree since at that point it was a creature of its own that didn't need the president to micromanage it.

What matters is that he could have stopped it via executive order, and didn't. Maybe he doesn't really believe what he says (like 99.9% of politicians) or maybe he really wants to stop it, but is afraid of another 9/11 and getting the blame for stopping the surveillance (whether the surveillance could have actually stopped it is irrelevant to whether or not he'd get the blame)

No one will have the political will to stop or even limit it for that reason, other than those rare guys who put principle above politics, like Sanders and Ron & Rand Paul (though I'm not sure about Rand, since he's sold out to the establishment on defense, I wonder if he'd really limit the surveillance if he became president)

iPhone 6s and 6s Plus: Harder, faster and they'll give you a buzz

DougS Silver badge

Re: All S Good

I was torn between the regular and plus for this reason, but got the plus figuring I had the free return period Apple offers if I found it too large. It was fairly unwieldy at first but I'm getting used to it already so I think it is probably a keeper. The only thing I have issues with is when typing one handed, it is a bit of an uncomfortable stretch for my thumb to reach the key that switches from letters to numbers & symbols. Wish they replicated that one on the right side.

I remember when I had the 3gs I liked the rounded edges as it felt like it really fit my hand, and the 4S I replaced it with felt like it was hard to hold because of the flat back. Then I got used to it on that and the 5, but now it is rounded again. I'm sure I'll get used to it, and then the 8 will probably switch back to flat :)

DougS Silver badge

Re: And ...

Well today is now in the upper teens (celsius) but this weekend it was almost 30 outside, and not far from that inside my house (open windows since I wanted to enjoy the last bit of summer before the inevitable onset of fall begins)

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019