* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

PSST! You wanna iPhone 6S Plus? YOINK! You can't have one - Apple

DougS Silver badge

Re: Lame

They sold 74 million iPhones in Q4 last year - and that was after the launch where they sold over 10 million in September. But yeah, keep telling yourself that they're able to make more and the failure to meet initial demand when a new model is released is faked.

Samsung could only wish for shortages, instead they have to cut prices a few months after launch to keep people interested in buying them!

Vanished global warming may not return – UK Met Office

DougS Silver badge


It is a catastrophic event. It is not just warming and flooding. It is also desert formation, lack of food and drinking water.

Bullshit. This is just alarmist propaganda. We have no idea any of that would happen - some places could become deserts but places that are deserts today could also become arable. Warmer air holds more water, so the idea that we'd see widespread desertification has little merit. The Earth has been ice free in the past, and was far from the dystopian future of starvation and water rationing that you portray. Why should it be different if it happens again? Because there's an inbuilt bias amongst AGW proponents that any change caused by man must necessarily be completely negative.

Yes, changes would happen that would be painful for people who are negatively affected, but would be good for those who were positively affected. Not saying we shouldn't try to limit or slow such change, but if the claim is that it is now inevitable we may well as focus on easing the transition for those we know will be negatively affected (i.e. living in areas that will be flooded in 50 years)

Claiming that I have no idea of the consequences when you're just parroting the fearmongering of others is laughable to the extreme. Perhaps you need to think before speaking?

DougS Silver badge

Re: Well...(@ AC)

Why is a small rise of a degree or two going to decimate the oceans, but the far larger rise 10,000 years ago didn't?

DougS Silver badge

Re: @ h4rm0ny

Your problem is you are automatically assuming that global warming is a "catastrophic event" and even comparing it to a plane crash which has a much more immediate effect than the slow motion "catastrophe" that is global warming's worst case scenario.

It is more like "if there was a 38% chance that feeding your kid Gerber baby food will have consequences when he's 80, though we can't say for sure whether those consequences will mean an increased cancer risk or some freckles on his knees would you stop feeding your kid Gerber baby food?"

Humanity already lived through a much much much larger warming and much much much larger sea level rise than would occur even if every bit of ice on the planet melted. It happened around 10,000 years ago. Coastal (and not so coastal) settlements were lost to the sea and are now a few hundred feet below today's sea level, and there was flooding fast and severe enough to enter our racial memory and be written down thousands of years later in the Epic of Gilgamesh, Old Testament and so forth.

If that stood to happen today as a result of human influence I'm sure people would fret about the dire consequences for marine life from so much warming, and ignore the potential benefits of not having half of north America covered in an ice sheet two miles thick. Why is warming automatically assumed to be a bad thing in every way, and discussion of potential positive benefits is not allowed? Who says we wouldn't be better off with another degree or two? Yeah, we lose some coastal cities, but it will happen over decades so it isn't like we'll need to evacuate a million people in a week.

Disney's light-bulb moment: build TCP into LEDs for IoT comms

DougS Silver badge


I'm sure they'll say "its a light bulb, there's no need to worry about security" but it sure will be annoying when someone hacks into it and every light in your house, including the ones in your bedroom, start flashing at 4:30 AM.

IoT is the most ridiculous hype about nothing. Can't believe anyone thinks that light bulbs need to be individually addressable.

TELLY INNN SPAAACE: Nothing to watch on your 4K TV? NASA to the RESCUE

DougS Silver badge

Re: At least 13Mbps?

If it looked like Blu Ray HD it would be a massive improvement over the current 720p/1080i content. I'd take 1080p at 60 fps over 4K at 30 fps any day.

DougS Silver badge

Re: At least 13Mbps?

Like Netflix they'll be overcompressing their 4K, at least when delivered via the net. The version that e.g. Directv gets will probably be a lot higher quality and a lot higher bit rate, because they added tons of capacity for 4K that is currently unused - NASA TV would not be only be the first non-commercial 4K channel in North America, it will be the first 4K channel of any kind!

Apple fanbois cry (bless) as site motionless during iPhone 6S pre-order wrest

DougS Silver badge

Re: Taken down on purpose

Except the market for new iPhones really is "awfully brisk" (one just needs to look at their sales for the quarter following the release of a new model to see that's just not 'artificial scarcity' like the typical clueless Apple hater claims)

The longer you wait the greater the chance the version you want is on backorder. I'm a night owl so I'm up past 2am most nights anyway so placing the order at 2am Saturday morning didn't require staying up later than usual or setting an alarm.

The smoother they make things work with the website when the window opens the faster they'll run out - if they ever got things working well enough to take 10 million orders an hour they would run out of everything in an hour.

DougS Silver badge

Re: But what are apple saying?

There were no problems with the website ordering (at least I experienced no issues at all ordering a few minutes after the preorder window opened) What the Reg is reporting on is that rather un-Apple-like error message in the hours BEFORE the preorder window began, when they normally take the site down for a few hours. Something was messed up because it would alternate between a nice friendly message that they're making some changes and the site will return and that error message.

My guess is that they were temporarily adding a bunch of servers to help take the load during the preorder crunch. If so the error messages could have been because the normal number of servers couldn't handle all the people visiting the site thinking the preorder window opening at "12:01 AM" meant their local time rather than 12:01 AM PDT, or one of their admins screwed something up in the process of adding that additional capacity.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Taken down on purpose

No, this was BEFORE the sale started. They always do this in the hours prior to a big product launch, though someone must have screwed up somewhere to leave an error message instead of a friendly "we're making some changes, come back at 12:01 AM PDT".

I noticed the website was a few minutes late coming back online, missing the promised 12:01 by a few minutes. When it did come back I had no problems ordering and the web site was very responsive. Maybe the reason they take it down is because they're temporarily adding a few hundred additional servers to help take the load? Whatever the reason it went much more smoothly than I expected from hearing about website issues with a few previous launches (this was the first time I preordered directly through Apple)

As we all know, snark always comes before a fall. Mea culpa

DougS Silver badge

Re: Value relations

Smith explicitly said that commodities are an exception where some may have an exchange value but no use value like gold or diamonds (strictly speaking they do have some uses now they didn't have in his time, so their use value is no longer zero)

Others may have a very high use value but no exchange value - air being the perfect example (again true in his time, not exactly true today in China where clean air is sold in polluted cities)

DougS Silver badge

Re: Value relations

If you were the only person who had the option to read this article then what you say might have some element of truth, but the value is cumulative, not individual. You might see no value in this article, but a lot of value in his next article, or vice versa.

What is individual is the relative value - you chose to read this article versus the millions of other things you could have found in the internet to spend several minutes of your Sunday morning on. Thus you valued it more than something you could have read at the Guardian's web site, or the time you could have spent using google to find something of even greater personal value to you.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Is this an admission that some markets shouldn't be free?

Regulation of houses in terms of building standards (electrical/fire/plumbing/etc.) is not a mortgage regulation though. You want those regulations even if someone writes a check for the full price.

Boffins tell sleep-talking Android apps to SHUT UP

DougS Silver badge

"wait for the Facebook app to catch up with status updates"

The Facebook app doesn't run in the background on iOS, and it takes it less than a second to update itself. I'd much rather have it do that than have it run every time anyone makes any sort of update...

The last post: Building your own mail server, part 1

DougS Silver badge

I doubt it increases security

The spooks will be sniffing the wires between the sender and your email server. STARTTLS is a rather poor solution, which a lot of major email providers don't support, and which a MiTM can trivially short circuit after which the connection will still proceed, unencrypted for easy sniffing.

Plus it only helps for sending/receiving emails from others who the spooks can't get to. That's not the case for the vast majority of them, so if you email someone at aol.com, gmail.com, hotmail.com or so forth they'll just get your email on the other end.

You have to encrypt the body of the email if you want to be assured of security, but at that point it doesn't matter whether you run your own email server or not.

Apple drinks Putin’s Kool-Vodka, shoves Russians' iCloud data into Russia – report

DougS Silver badge

This could get expensive for cloud providers if a lot of countries go this way

Maybe Apple/Google/Microsoft/Amazon don't care if a really small country that's unimportant to their business makes this demand and they either don't do business there or don't support any cloud features, but operating datacenters in the dozens of countries they do care about will certainly raise their costs...

Those big fish can afford it of course, but it will make it a lot harder for startups to compete.

Super Cali grabs its big stick, beats Uber 'cos it's odious

DougS Silver badge

It also means there will be a lot more work required around taxes, as Uber will have to withhold and pay money for FICA/SS taxes, which will reduce driver's incomes.

For someone who drives 5-10 hours a week it may be easier to argue they are a contractor, but once it becomes your only job and you weren't a taxi driver previously...

Apple's big secret: It's an insurance firm (now with added finance)

DougS Silver badge

Re: Long-term value

They provided the last update for iOS 6.x in March 2014, almost five years after the 3gs first sold. How long do you expect a GS4 or GS6 will still be getting updates? Surely nothing like five years...

Still, they can't support them forever, at some point the older ones will struggle so much to run the newer versions that if they were supported they'd get crap for foisting an OS update on a phone that can't handle it.

Batteries on wheels are about to reshape our cities and lives

DougS Silver badge

Re: Inquiring minds

Even just enough fresh snow to cover the road and make the actual location of the road something you can only infer from tire tracks of others (if you're lucky) or (if you're the first out on that road) something you can only infer from the location of curbs/ditches/signs/etc. is likely to flummox self driving cars for a long time. Even humans have trouble with this at times despite giving the problem their full attention.

I suppose its possible the temperature of the road surface underneath the snow will be different than the temperature of vegetation, so maybe between all the different sorts of sensors these cars will use it isn't as difficult as it is for us meatbags who only see in a limited spectrum.

Sign of the telly times: HDR shines, UHD Blu-ray slides at IFA

DougS Silver badge

Do we really need 1000+ nits?

If you have the TV in a brightly light room or especially during daytime with open windows, sure. If you have a home theater room or just do most of your TV watching after dark without a lot of other lights, even 400 nits is probably too much and you'd need to adjust the TV down from its maximum brightness.

HDR is nice in theory, but CDs provided a much higher dynamic range than vinyl. They used it for that at first, then compressed everything to an even loudness because the typical listener doesn't want to struggle to hear the quiet sections, or turn it up during a quiet section and be blasted by a loud one. I wonder if the same thing will happen with HDR, and all that dynamic range will only be used for a few years and something equivalent to music's "loudness wars" will take over and everything will be so bright that if you have a 1500 nit TV you'll have it turned down to the minimum brightness and wish you could turn it down more.

China eyes the dark, sorry, far side of the Moon

DougS Silver badge

Re: Verification

Why? The presence of the corner cube reflector mirror that the Apollo 11 astronauts left on the Moon hasn't stopped the doubters...

DougS Silver badge

Re: Challenging indeed...

Its not the geography that makes landing challenging, but all the secret alien/Nazi/etc. bases that litter the dark side. Land in the wrong place and your lander will be zapped with a Death Ray quicker than you can say Nicola Tesla.

iPhone 6 gives bloke 'painful, lumpy' skin condition in trouser storage

DougS Silver badge

How did he have a reaction through his pocket?

Was there a hole in the pocket, or is he so highly allergic that even through the pocket he had issues? I guess this must be his first iPhone since they've had exposed metal for some time...

Microsoft: Thanks, Google, we'll have your media codec for Edge

DougS Silver badge

Re: Yes

It is only going to be royalty free so long as it is a niche thing hardly anyone actually uses. If its use becomes widespread, it will no longer be royalty free once some patent holders (real companies and trolls) come out of the woodwork. Google can attempt to design it to not infringe on patents they know about, but between the sheer volume of patents and the difficulty of searching them, and the lengthy delays in the filing process (at least in the US) there are many patents they don't know about.

Personally I don't think it is remotely possible to create a patent-free video codec. Its just that no one bothers trying to collect royalties until there is enough usage to make the court battle worthwhile.

ICANN has $60m burning a hole in its pocket – and it needs your help blowing it all

DougS Silver badge

What's the point of commenting?

The fix is in, they're going to give it to their pet project, which oh by the way will pay the leadership 7 figure salaries because it is a hard job, you know.

US cop goes war-driving to find stolen gear by MAC address

DougS Silver badge

The iOS MAC randomization wouldn't help here

What that does is use a random MAC address (in a particular range, so it won't collide with 'real' MAC addresses assigned to Apple devices or anyone else's) when a device is looking for access points to associate with. If it finds one it has associated with in the past, or you tell it to connect, it uses its real MAC address from that point on. This is intended to prevent tracking of individuals via their phone (they might not have your name, but they know when you come back, and with enough visits that leave other evidence like purchases they could tie your name to your phone's MAC)

Unless this cop's device is simply masquerading as a passive access point and hoping things will associate with it, it should find stolen iOS devices same as anything else. It sounds like he's actively sniffing, like the Google Streetview car, but rather than sniffing the data like Google, he's (for now) just sniffing the MAC addresses. Encryption won't help there, since that's sent in the clear.

This all seems rather pointless, and is probably a foot in the door for doing more widespread sniffing of wifi traffic as they drive by like Google was, except on an ongoing basis as cops drive around town 24x7. As if cops really care about finding someone's stolen Dell laptop that was $500 when it was new in 2012 and is worth $40 today. Stolen cell phones are already mostly a non factor in the US these days since most phones are new enough to have Activation Lock on iOS and the equivalent on Android.

Verizon: we're going to start bringing you 5G NEXT YEAR (sort of)

DougS Silver badge

5-12 Mb 4G network

According to the ITU, 4G was supposed to be 100 Mb, so until they get this "5G" they won't really have 4G yet.

Apple hypegasm countdown. What will the new, big iPad ACTUALLY be called?

DougS Silver badge

Re: Now this, right here, is what I hate..

The hype is done by the media, not by Apple (unless you are one of the conspiracy theorists who believes Apple pays off the press for publicity) They just schedule an event to announce new stuff, same as every year, same as many companies do. Its just that theirs gets press flying in from all over the world, while HTC announcing something gets a few local guys and can be held in room sized for the average wedding banquet.

It got to be a big thing because of Steve Jobs...I kind of thought once he was gone that it would not see so much hype, especially since there hasn't been any sort of major announcement or surprise at any of them since Jobs died. I don't think a bigger iPad - if it arrives - or an improved Apple TV that outputs 4K and maybe has some sort of OTT TV packages available really will surprise since everyone already seems to be expecting it. Too bad Cook won't be driven on stage in a new Apple self-driving car - now THAT would be worthy of some hype!

Broadband powered by home gateways? Whose bright idea was THIS?

DougS Silver badge

So the node must accept power from multiple lines, any of which could (through fault, incompetence, or malicious intent) be anything but a "safe" isolated extra-low voltage.

It needs to do this even if the CO was providing nice 48v telco power over copper to the node. If you assume that fault or malicious intent need to be protected against, you have to worry about 240 volts coming up the line from a subscriber's house. Heck, if you want to be extra careful you need to worry about 7200 volts coming up the line (if a tree falls breaks the overhead power and phone lines, and crosses the exposed copper) though it probably would be rare enough you can just eat the cost and replace the whole thing if this happens. Protecting against 240v AC on a line intended to have 48v DC is easier than protecting against both 240v AC and 7200v DC...

DougS Silver badge

Re: The 48V is needed in case of emergency

That's only true for local loop phone service. For internet it doesn't matter - when you lose power to your house, you can't use internet anyway.

If everyone's house supplied power to the node, then if a dozen people had their computer along with their CPE on a UPS they would power the node so they could continue to use their computer even when the power went out. But I doubt they care enough to bother implementing this - I've been on VDSL2 for almost a decade, and while I rarely lose power, when I do my internet usually goes even though I've got my DSL modem, switch, wireless router and computer on a UPS. The node is a little over half a km away from me, so most power outages that affect me would affect it as well.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Are they talking about ONE home powering the node?

Assuming that each supply can be represented by a resistor (the copper wire) in series with the diode, then the current drawn from each supply will automagically adjust such that the source voltage minus the voltage drop across resistance and diode are equal for every supply.

Yep, this is exactly what I do with some satellite and cable gear I have for my business - amplifier, switches, etc. that require about 70 watts of DC power on coax inputs. I had three 24v 2A power supplies that output on coax, so for redundancy I used a 3 way diode steering satellite splitter with the three PSUs feeding into the splitter's "outputs" (the diodes inside a diode steering satellite splitter allow power to flow into the splitter outputs but not the other way) and the splitter's input connected to an 8 way splitter that feeds the power to the various gear.

Some people were skeptical like the previous poster and told me this "couldn't work" because one PSU would try to power everything and the fuse would blow, but I measured the AC power in watts going into each of the three power supplies using a Kill-a-Watt and they were pretty much identical. If I unplug one, nothing loses power, so I'm protected against one of the power supplies dying.

DougS Silver badge

Are they talking about ONE home powering the node?

Why not have them all power it? With a simple diode inline on the copper to prevent power backfeeding each house will provide a roughly equal share of power, and if some of them lose power the remainder will pick up the load without interruption. If you are worried about the cost of delivering 2 or 3 watts, you probably can't afford broadband anyway.

URRGH! Evil app WATCHES YOU WATCHING PORN, snaps your grimace

DougS Silver badge

Porn on a phone?

So it takes a picture of you squinting at a little 5" screen then?

US gov to Apple: COUGH UP iMessages or FEEL our FEDERAL FROWN

DougS Silver badge

Non sequitor alert

The article discusses privacy, your post is about security. The two are not the same. Apple has a leadership role in privacy, but on the security front they still have a lot of catching up to do...

DougS Silver badge

A lot of stuff that was once considered unbreakable is not now, due to both advances in computers but also advances in cryptanalysis. They might find a small weakness in something that makes a 128 bit encryption have effectively only 80 bits, and advances in computing can take it from there.

They also know a lot of things that the public research world do not. For example, how IBM developed DES back in the 70s, the NSA reviewed it and requested several changes without explanation, which IBM made. At the time many assumed these changes were to weaken it so they could crack it, but in the early 90s new techniques were (publicly) discovered that could have cracked DES wide open if the changes the NSA made hadn't been implemented. The NSA was nearly two decades ahead of the research world, at least on that front...how far ahead are they today?

Who knows, maybe the AES encryption that almost everyone uses today can be broken by the NSA, but they are whining about its use to give everyone a false sense of security. Or maybe they can't break it, but they HOPE you assume they are giving you a false sense of security, so you will decide to use something else that may be weaker :)

DougS Silver badge

Re: Microsoft

They've decided that since both Apple and Google are now more profitable than they are, and since they were already using Apple's business model (selling stuff at a high margin - software being the highest margin product there is) they needed to also adopt Google's business model of selling out their customers.

By combining the two strategies Satya believes they will once again be the most profitable company. Too bad it will merely make people look more closely at alternatives such as OS X and Linux to escape the new Windows paradigm of collecting all your data all the time.

DougS Silver badge

I know exactly what would prevent such a scenario

Another Snowden. There's no way the NSA would keep quiet internally about such capability, it would go up on one of those silly Powerpoints that Snowden leaked. There's no way Apple would risk it.

Remember that on that slide that showed a timeline of tech companies that capitulated, Apple was listed LAST, years after Google, Microsoft and Facebook knuckled under. I'm sure Apple would have preferred Snowden happened a year earlier so they would have been conspicuously absent from that list and they could told everyone they alone stood up for their customer's privacy. They will not make the same mistake again, which is why they are taking this fight so public.

Obviously Apple haters may believe the worst about them, but the evidence doesn't really support such a scenario.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Never been a fan of Apple, but...

This is one place where Apple, Android and Windows fanboys all find common ground, and all three companies are standing side by side trying to keep the spooks out of our sexts and grocery lists.

Astroboffins EYEBALL 13 BEELLION-year-old galaxy far, far, farthest away from Earth

DougS Silver badge

The differences in the evolution of the galaxies they observe are the clue. If this 13.2 billion ly galaxy looked like the ones close to us, yes we'd have reason to believe that maybe there is a lot of stuff further on.

This galaxy seems to fit the theories of the evolution of the earliest galaxies - in particular "unusually luminous, may be powered by a population of unusually hot stars" could point to Population III hypergiants.

Google to China: Please Play with us, we promise to respect your strict censorship diet – report

DougS Silver badge

Too late

They see all the Chinese OEMs taking Android, de-googlizing it, and selling them by the millions not only in China but now outside it, and see all that juicy ad revenue floating away.

They really think they can set up a Play store in China and get them to start using Google services, after Xiaomi and others have set up their own infrastructure? Not going to happen.

Reg reader shares AshMad blackmail email about which he gives 'zero f***s'

DougS Silver badge

Re: So this person

Probably works better on those who are "happily" married and have a spouse, children, and in-laws who would not be pleased to learn they were looking for a little something extra outside the marriage. Not that that's uncommon, but why go to a site like this one that promises anonymity unless you were worried about people finding out?

What I wonder about is why 1.05 bitcoins? Why not exactly one bitcoin? I guess he targeted a specific amount in his currency of choice and that's what it worked out to be? He may have left a clue as to his nationality if you check popular currencies like USD, Euro, pound, ruble, etc. and see which one would have had a nice round number like 100 or 500 or whatever for 1.05 bitcoins the day before that was sent.

Daredevil Brit lifts off in 54-prop quinquaquadcopter

DougS Silver badge


I guess the bar is pretty low in Britain. You want to see daredevils, check out any random Youtube video posted by a Russian or a redneck.

The worse he risked here is power cutting out, falling 3-4 feet and maybe getting a minor bruise...

Hacker chancer looking for $500,000 after offering Clinton emails for auction

DougS Silver badge

"Electing the absolute worst person"

Are you talking about Hillary, or Trump? Or someone yet to enter the race like Biden or Palin?

DougS Silver badge

If they are legitimate

It seems more likely he got them from somewhere else than Clinton's server, like from one of the ever growing list of people who have access to them due to being involved in some aspect of the many 'investigations' into this.

If he hacked her actual server it would have had to have been a long time ago since it was shut down a while back. Why would he had held onto these emails for all this time? He certainly couldn't have known it was going to garner this much publicity.

Besides, blackmail would seem to work best when no one but the victim knows about it. A half million for the Clintons is nothing - that's a couple speeches. Making a public demand he's going to have the FBI on his ass, and it is essentially impossible for him to collect - or for Clinton to want to pay him off since he could easily be a conservative plant hoping to make her look bad by being caught trying to pay off a hacker to silence him.

I'd guess there's about a 5% he actually has them, and about a 0.05% chance he actually got them off her server but waited this long to try blackmail...

BOFH: Power corrupts, uninterrupted power corrupts absolutely

DougS Silver badge

What's that then, a pub with piping to connect it directly with the brewery across the road?

Fruity Firefox: Mozilla caves to Apple, unveils iOS-friendly browser

DougS Silver badge

Re: Only the one Apple way

Really? What was your workaround for the string of security issues a couple weeks ago that affected the majority of Android devices 99% of which haven't been patched against it?

Drifting phases and noise in phase-change memory

DougS Silver badge

PCM is the new bubble memory or holographic disc storage

Something that was hyped to death but either never worked or took so long to make work that they never reached the mainstream market, let alone lived up to the outsized hype.

Wangling my way into the 4K gaming club with a water-cooled whopper

DougS Silver badge

HDMI 2.0 not always 18 Gbps

At least on the TV side - and probably for monitors as well since they use the same chipsets - they have confused things further with "level A" (full 18 Gbps) and "level B" (only 10.2 Gbps) Almost all 4K TVs sold in 2014 had no level A HDMI port, only level B, and to make things worse once they starting having one level A port many of them did not have HDCP 2.2 on that port, but on a different port that was level B!

It is a hopeless mess, and HDR will only make things more confusing, so if you really want to run 4Kp60 4:4:4 on your monitor or 12 bit color with rec.2020 HDR (don't bother with 16 bit color, LCDs capable of true 12 bit color are rare as hen's teeth, and there will likely never be one capable of 16 bit output....you'll need OLED for that) you better make extra damn sure of its specs! Doubly so if you envision ever connecting it to a cable/satellite set top which will enforce HDCP 2.2 for ALL 4K content.

Boffins build magnetic field cloak 'wormhole', could help MRI scanners

DougS Silver badge

We do have invisibility cloaks, just not large enough to be useful in the real world or in the range of visible light (yet, but hiding stuff from radar or eventually IR has obvious applications)

Web giants gang up to take on MPEG LA, HEVC Advance with royalty-free streaming codec

DougS Silver badge

Re: There will never be a royalty free codec

That's pretty rare (talking about US law here) since so long as they believe in good faith that their patent is applicable they may lose the case, but rarely get slapped with the defendant's attorney fees. Even if they are, that's not really a problem, because patent trolls are shell companies without assets. When they strike it rich on a valuable patent that's earning big revenue they split that off into a different corporation so the assets are untouchable in cases regarding other patents.

At any rate, I'm thinking about situations where the trolls have patents that really are applicable. It is impossible to design any codec without using tons of stuff that has been done, and patented, previously. When companies that originally developed the technology go under, their patents are often picked up by trolls if they can get them cheap (or have lawyers smart enough to recognize they have real value and are worth spending real money on) so they aren't necessarily using bad patents. Well...they are software/algorithm patents, which IMHO shouldn't be patentable, but so long as they are those are the rules of the game.

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