* Posts by DougS

12862 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

At LAST: RC4 gets the stake through the heart

DougS Silver badge

Better way to coordinate

If they know they're doing this today, they should push out updates to anything they are currently updating that has a check like "if date > 20160101 disable RC4" as well as coding that in future versions.

It seems stupid that there will be several versions of Firefox released (41, 42, and 43) this year that will NOT implement this and in order to get it you would have to install Firefox 44 which is the first version for 2016. I guess they're assuming everyone updates it religiously, but that's not the case.

Sony's 4King with us now: Xperia Z5 mobe has UltraHD screen, cam

DougS Silver badge

Re: Was hoping for something a bit more innovative then just 'more'

What exactly were you hoping for? "More" is all anyone is giving you. Smartphones are on the whole pretty much the same as when Apple first showed the iPhone 8 1/2 years ago, other than "more" - more inches, more megapixels, more gigabytes, more MHz, more cores, more dpi and so forth. Sure you get little bits glued on that are useful for certain people, like fingerprint readers, NFC, wireless charging, or here today gone in the next model gimmicks like eye scrolling.

No one is adding anything to a smartphone that will become a must-have feature for everyone, so I don't know why you'd expect Sony of all companies to be the one to deliver it.

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

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Re: There will never be a royalty free codec

I wasn't suggesting patent battles might occur with MPEG-LA or their members like Apple and Sony. I'm talking about patent trolls or formerly great companies that are on their last legs and are essentially becoming a patent troll that make no products and thus have no need to license anyone else's stuff leaving no way to retaliate against them.

They have nothing to lose by suing and everything to gain by waiting a few years before filing that suit to see if stuff like VP10, Cisco's codec etc. gain some market traction before striking.

DougS Silver badge

There will never be a royalty free codec

Whatever they develop is going to hit patents owned by someone. The whole "HEVC Advance" thing is regarding patents they didn't identify during the standards process, and there are definitely more HEVC related patents out there (along with other patents with owners who think they are part of HEVC and will require the expenditure of millions in legal fees by other parties to prove they are not)

So Google can develop VP10 or this consortium can develop something from scratch, big deal. Either way, just because they don't hit anything they know is patented doesn't mean anything. If it became widely adopted like VP8/VP9 have not been, patent owners will come out of the woodwork and demand their fair (or more likely unfair) share. They have zero incentive to make themselves known early in the process, they want to wait until it is widely used so it is too late to turn back. Sort of like how HEVC Advance showed up after HEVC had been selected as the standard all cable/satellite companies will be using for 4K, and has been built into just about every one of the tens of millions of 4K TVs that have been sold in the past couple years.

Almost all dot-science malicious, dot-cricket rigged, researchers find

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Re: It's All Creaking Under the Strain...

The Constitution prevents laws that stop you from saying whatever you want, but does not prevent laws that make you face the consequences for what you say. If you yell "fire" in a crowded place and cause a stampede that injures a dozen people, or tell someone you are going to assassinate the president and they report it, you will find there are consequences for what you say. Your speech may be protected, but you are not protected from the consequences of that speech.

Xiaomi aims to knock Apple off its branch with move into computers

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Re: seriously

If it is aimed at the market of "people who want a thin and light laptop that doesn't either 1) cost a fortune or 2) feel like it was made out of recycled milk jugs" they might have me as a customer. Well, theoretically, since they probably won't sell them in the US.

Seriously though, while I am a happy iPhone owner who would never consider switching to Android or Windows Phone I don't really see buying a Mac laptop when most of the time I'd be running a Windows VM for work. It would be like buying an iPhone but jailbreaking it to run a Cyanogenmod version of Android on it! Windows laptops with equivalent specs and build quality cost pretty much the same as the Mac, while the ones that cost half as much are built like shit. If Xiaomi decides to go with a top quality build but make almost no margin like they do with their phones, it might be a winner.

The 100GB PHONE! Well, it has shades of Chrome, so not quite

DougS Silver badge

"we all want"

If that was true, no one would be buying the GS6 or Note 5. While I've heard some whining on techie forums like this about Samsung removing the SD slot, some people will just never understand that their needs/wants aren't shared by everyone else and in many cases are in a minority.

Euro telly bods say 'non' to spectrum sharing with mobiles

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Re: What Mage said.

There are no plans for spectrum sharing in the US, so what you fear with having access to out of market stations blocked will not come to pass.

What they are doing next year is a reverse auction to sell off channels 31-51, and they will then repack everything in the remaining space, while offering incentives for stations to share transmitters. This should be transparent in small/medium sized markets (other than needing to rescan when stations change RF channel assignments, but PSIP insures the number you enter on your remote will stay the same) In really big markets like NYC there are probably more channels than there will be room for when those are sold off, but a combination of channel sharing and some stations simply taking the money and closing down will allow them all to fit.

That seems like an eminently more reasonable way to handle things that what is being proposed in the EU.

Apple muscles in on biz world AGAIN – this time with Cisco pact

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Re: Seamless experience between iPhone and desk phone

Call forwarding isn't revolutionary, but if it knows when you step away from your desk phone so it rings the right one that takes a bit more integration.

Basically they want the "handoff" functionality they have with OS X / iOS for Cisco IP phones.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Seamless experience between iPhone and desk phone

Outside caller rings desk phone while you are away from your desk, so your iPhone rings instead. That's what they mean.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Desk phones?

That assumes you can get decent reception from everywhere in the office. That's often not the case, especially in a modern building constructed using a lot of steel, reinforced concrete and low-e windows.

US mulls unprecedented Chinese sanctions in wake of hacks – report

DougS Silver badge

China has been selling off US treasuries by the boatload (estimated to be at least $100 billion, around 7% of their $1.5 trillion holdings) the last few weeks to prop up their currency. That's why despite the drop in the US stock market treasuries have remained flat (normally they'd go up in value, driving interest rates down)

So this was already happening prior to any new US 'sanctions'. That might speed up the process, but if China's economy tumbles and drags down the US stock market (along with others most likely) then US treasuries become the safe haven and can easily absorb everything China chooses to sell.

I don't buy the conspiracy theory suggestions that the US is behind the China stock meltdown, however. Anyone paying attention could see China had a huge bubble going, and it was due to pop soon. They have a command economy so they can engineer a softer landing than what happened in 2008 for the US but a bubble is a bubble and the longer it goes unpopped the worse the pop is. China has never had one before so a lot of its citizens expected asset values to go up forever. A lot of them are learning the hard way that sometimes they can go down, too.

Now India probes Google, threatens $1bn fine over 'biased' search

DougS Silver badge

A tenth of annual profit?

There's no way Google makes 10% of its profit from India, surely closer to 1%, though I suppose a fine based on profit in India is subject to the various ways that multinationals can easily hide revenue and/or profit in other countries. One option Google would have would be pulling out of India. I highly doubt they will, but a fine that is so outsized compared to the profit they make there has to put that on the table as a potential response.

Slip-streaming Tesla, Oz battery-maker plots home-biz launch

DougS Silver badge

Re: "...$15,000 easily recoverable over ten years..."

If you pay 50 cents/kwh during day/evening and 15 cents/kwh at night, you need to load shift 45,000 kwh to pay for them. That's only 12.5 kwh per day over a decade, which is a lot less than the average person uses in California.

DougS Silver badge

Battery management full/empty

How is this better than relying on voltage to signal the state of the batteries to the charge controller? It seems like this system is totally abandoning the possibility of load shifting, so that in places like California where you have very different peak versus off peak power pricing you can fill up your battery at night when it is cheap to use during the day/evening when it is the most expensive.

If the system doesn't know how empty the batteries are, just that they are "not full" it is a lot harder to make the best decisions about when to allow charging.

So, was it really the Commies that caused the early 20th Century inequality collapse?

DougS Silver badge

Blowing things up

Tim may downplay the "blowing things up" economic growth during the war - after all if we produce billions in bombs and other military infrastructure that is either destroyed during the war or has greatly reduced utility after the war, that part of GDP is simply a mirage.

However, all the civil infrastructure that is damaged or destroyed and needs to be replaced, while having a bit of the 'broken windows fallacy' about it, still needed replacement after the war. So you had much of Europe needing to rebuild that infrastructure, and less damaged countries providing the industrial products to aid it. Thus the growth in Europe fixing/rebuilding things, and the growth in the US supplying a lot of the manufactured goods to help that effort.

While the US didn't have the damage Europe did from the war, consumer spending had slowed greatly, to only the necessities. Factories that had produced cars, radios, and whatever had converted to producing tanks, military radios and so on. The population had been buying war bonds with their surplus income instead of spending it on that stuff. Once the factories went back to consumer products, there was a lot of pent up demand and a lot of savings to spend on it. Though this probably only accounts until the early to mid 50s in the US.

Boffins clock MONSTER BLACK HOLES inside quasar-hosting galaxy near Earth

DougS Silver badge

Re: Intriguing potential explanation for what a quasar really is

It probably doesn't take them all that long to "hoover up the loose material in the middle" in a newly formed galaxy, but a galactic collision gives them all sorts of fresh material to suck up. Especially as the two black holes merging will each drag a lot of their neighbor's stars onto the menu on their way towards each other. They would orbit each other at near relativistic velocities towards the end, which has to really do a number on the material they're bringing in.

DougS Silver badge

Intriguing potential explanation for what a quasar really is

That would neatly explain why most quasars are billions of light years distant from us - the universe was smaller then and collisions between galaxies much more likely than today.

The Milky Way may therefore host a quasar in about 4 billion years when it collides with Andromeda. So not only do we have to vacate our solar system before the Sun becomes a red giant in 5 billion years or so, we have to leave the immediate vicinity of the Milky Way a billion years before that! Sure hope an FTL drive is possible, otherwise that is going to be one hell of a long trip for our great^1000000 grandchildren...

Google robo-car suffers brain freeze after seeing hipster cyclist

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Re: As Mythbusters demonstrated...

Roundabouts are becoming more common in many US cities. Where I live in the midwest there are over a dozen now. They like to place them in areas where they don't foresee the traffic ever reaching a volume where lights become necessary, but don't want to back up traffic the way a four way stop can.

They sometimes act like a stop or yield sign for those unfamiliar with them, but most of the time traffic flows through them pretty well. The more they build the more comfortable with them people around here have become. The delays I see tend to be people with plates indicating they are from more rural counties that likely don't have (or need) them, or out state of plates which probably also indicate people who don't have them where they normally drive.

Scrapheap challenge: How Amazon and Google are dumbing down the gogglebox

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Re: "Smart" TV's are a bad idea

No. Don't waste money implementing that on TVs so everyone has to pay for people who can't get rid of their 80s and 90s gear. You can buy whatever to HDMI converters if you want to use RGB, S-video, composite or component gear; don't make me pay for it.

Mass redundancy marathon nearly over at HP

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Re: "Nearly over"

Their layoffs do end, but usually within a year they have a bad quarter and the only reaction their management knows to Wall Street when asked "what do you plan to do about this dip in profitability?" is more layoffs to reduce their top line expenditures. They seem to believe that employees are only a cost, and never make any contribution to revenue unless they're sales people.

Ins0mnia bug means malicious iOS apps WILL NEVER DIE

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Re: @graeme leggett

Yes, you're correct, and IBM supports mainframe operating systems even longer.

Obviously I was talking about mobile OSes, and the shorter life for a mobile operating system makes sense since it isn't enterprise critical like a server and the typical replacement cycle of a phone is 2.5x faster than a server (2 years versus 5 years)

DougS Silver badge

@graeme leggett

The iPhone 4 is restricted to iOS 7, but it was introduced five years ago. Even then, if Apple feels it is a serious hole they may add the fix to an earlier version, as they did with the "goto fail" bug with an out of band patch for iOS 6 in March 2014, nearly SIX years after the 3gs that was affected was released. I don't think this particular bug rises to that level.

No one supports operating systems forever, the five years of support Apple seems to provide for iPhone is pretty darn good - way better than Google or Microsoft.

Obi: These ARE the 'droids you're looking for

DougS Silver badge

Slaves? Really?

I guess you own a phone forged by elves paid $1000/hr in spacious offices overlooking Central Park?

Windows 10 blamed (partly) for stalled PC sales recovery

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Re: IDC previous predictions fail...

IDC and Gartner are still in denial about the fall in PC sales, which peaked in 2011 and have been in decline since. They have consistently predicted a return to growth is just around the corner ever since, first blaming the "temporary" decline on the trouble in Greece, then people waiting for Windows 8, then the poor reception of Windows 8, then some more excuses, then people waiting for Windows 10 and now it is because MS is giving away Windows 10 for free.

When the decline continues in 2017 they'll have another excuse, like global warming or the Cubs having won the World Series in 2016.

Glaring flaw in Apple car hype-gasm: The iGiant likes to make money

DougS Silver badge

Re: But will they put their money where their mouth is?

Yes, I'm pretty sure that while Apple is open to the possibility it will manufacture a car itself, it is also open to the possibility of contracting it out to some uber-Foxconn of the automotive world like Delphi, open to partnering with someone (probably not those who will target the same market themselves like BMW or Mercedes, maybe someone who isn't quite in that upscale market themselves like Fiat) as well as open to producing the software for someone else's car.

Everyone knows that self-driving cars is a multi trillion dollar opportunity for those who get it right. When you have the resources Apple does, spending a billion dollars over a half decade figuring out if and how you can participate is worth it. Analysts will complain "Apple does not spend enough on R&D" but when they spend a lot of money hiring auto experts they'll assume they have to participate in the market or the money is wasted. A lot of R&D ends up "wasted" - that's how it is supposed to work. If it isn't you aren't truly doing R&D, you're just doing engineering.

DougS Silver badge

Re: This analyst is stupid

Are you talking gross margin on the cars, or overall margin after all the overhead is accounted for?

DougS Silver badge

Re: But will they put their money where their mouth is?

This is a stock analyst. He doesn't put his money where his mouth is, he puts other people's money where his mouth is! If he's right he gets a bonus for making money. If he's wrong the other people are out the money he lost but he probably guessed right on something else and still got a bonus.

DougS Silver badge

This analyst is stupid

One, if you build a higher end car you probably can get 40% margins quite easily. What's the margin on a BMW 5 series, or a Mercedes S class? Those are certainly over 40%.

Two, even if you target a bit closer to the mainstream market (let's say $40K-$50K) and make only 20% margins, that's up to $10K profit on each car sold.

As they did with phones, laptops and so on Apple will need to evaluate where they want to position themselves in the market to maximize their income. If they believe they can sell A cars at one price, making B profit on each, or sell X cars at another higher price, making Y profit on each, then is A*B greater than or less than X*Y.

Deja vMware: 'Virty biz to buy its parent EMC' rumor just won't die

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There's a reason why Wall Street wants to see this deal

They'll make a tidy commission from setting it up.

Google Images: EU Commish opens new front against Chocolate Factory

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This case is dragging on so long

It reminds me of the FTC case against Microsoft. By the time they actually decide anything, it will be too late to help the competition that will be long out of business and Google will already have peaked in its ability to exercise its monopoly power.

Perhaps the AIpocalypse isn't imminent – if Google Translate is anything to go by, that is

DougS Silver badge

Re: Everyone does it

That Bismarck joke explains quite a lot about how willing Germans were to accept the whole "master race" thing!

Prof Hawking cracks riddle of black holes – which may be portals to other universes

DougS Silver badge

Re: Have you ever lost anything you wanted back

That must be why instead of losing socks in the dryer like other people complain about, I seem to get socks that aren't mine. With 9 toes.

Mobile device screens recorded using the Certifi-gate vulnerability

DougS Silver badge

Re: @DougS - Don't they have the ability to remotely disable apps

Well then I guess you should switch back to a dumbphone, because Google has had that power for 5+ years, and of course Apple has it aswell.


I wasn't wondering whether they HAVE the ability, the question was rhetorical. I was wondering why they didn't exercise it in this case.

DougS Silver badge

Google's automated scanning that was supposed to resolve vulnerability issues like this seems to have some pretty major holes. Don't they have the ability to remotely disable apps after they've been downloaded from the Play Store? Why haven't they done that with these?

Boffins unwrap honeybee black box recorder project

DougS Silver badge

Environmental stresses

I wonder how much additional stress carrying that RFID tag puts on the bees?

Body-worn cameras a 'Pandora's Box' says ex Vic Police chief Nixon

DougS Silver badge

Easy to solve

The cameras should be required to log when they are switched on and off, so you can check the timestamps. If the camera was turned off just before the officer left his vehicle to confront a guy illegally selling cigarettes on the street, the grand jury should view his account of the facts with suspicion. There should not be all that many reasons when the officer legitimately needs to turn it off (like they might when talking with a rape victim for instance)

What I don't get is the police around here just got bodycams and the chief talked about the need to not keep them on all the time because they could only record an hour or so of footage. Even cheap cell phones can do better, I wonder what sort of archaic technology my tax dollars purchased?

One thing he did bring up that will need to be addressed is privacy vs public records. If the police come to my house due to a noise complaint, and step inside for a moment, I really don't want the video to be public record - allowing thieves to see the Picasso I have hanging on my living room wall. I imagine it could be handled by keeping the camera records private unless via court order, which could be requested by anyone who is party to an encounter. So someone couldn't request those records unless they had a court case against the police or against me, regarding that specific incident and the judge agreed that the video may help prove or disprove the claim.

The good burghers of Palo Alto are entirely insane

DougS Silver badge

Re: Free Market Consistency

If schools were truly equal, this would be less of a problem. One of the reasons people (both rich and poor) want to live there is that Palo Alto has great schools, due to the huge property tax revenue flowing in. If the schools were the same in Palo Alto as in any other city in California, there would be less demand to live within Palo Alto and property prices wouldn't be quite so high.

DougS Silver badge

Re: I'm shocked!

The only problem is, people don't want low income housing to be located near them. Changing zoning on one of those 20 acre undeveloped plots and getting a trailer park or (eventually, due to lack of funds for maintenance caused by below market rents) run down apartment buildings on them will damage property values of nearby properties.

At best, those residents are able to get the assessment knocked down, and there is less property tax flowing into Palo Alto's coffers. At worst, they sue for the loss in property values. Either way, it isn't clear that Palo Alto comes out ahead versus the "buy that other plot for $39 million" strategy.

Canadians taking to spying on their spies

DougS Silver badge

Re: Meanwhile in the US, voters are getting stupider all the time

If Trump's function was to "corral" voters to the proper choice down the road, he wouldn't be running down his opponents so much. He spends as much time criticizing other republican candidates as he does Hillary and Obama.

He speaks to the same angry white man who listened to Joe the Plumber a few years ago, who listen to guys like Rush, who watched Morton Downey Jr back in the day. The guys who think things are rigged against them being able to move up in the world like they believe they deserve. That a billionaire is voicing it for them is kind of surreal, but that's what he's tapping into with his screeds against immigration, against Mexico, against China. He pays lip service to stuff like complaining about Obamacare because those people have already been trained to hate it, but he doesn't really care and knows he's just singing with the choir there since all the republican candidates are against it.

He's taking extreme positions and finding support, and some of the republican candidates are being forced to echo his positions. Others like Bush are trying to honestly state their position rather than seeing how extreme they need to be to win the primary, but Bush has said he'd risk losing the primary to win the election. That may happen, and the republicans may be in a lot of trouble in a general election if they have a candidate who has taken up very extreme positions that the middle of the road voters who decide elections can't accept. Even if Trump isn't the eventual nominee, and I doubt he will be, he may cause them to lose the election.

Of course if he runs as an independent he certainly would cause them to lose the election; while he'll pull some from the democrat side he's obviously going to pull more from the republican side and would effectively hand the presidency to Hillary or possibly Sanders.

DougS Silver badge

The fact complex things like strategic voting are being discussed in Canada

And people are worried about laws that let the government declare anyone a terrorist just for protesting against an injustice shows that the people there have half a brain, and won't be led willingly down the path their political and corporate masters have planned.

Meanwhile in the US, voters are getting stupider all the time, as evidenced by the success Trump is having. The only saving grace for Trump's success is a bit of schadenfreude for Fox News for trying so successfully to dumb down the republican base with their fact free brand of news that they've finally reaped what they sowed.

Want security? Next-gen startups show how old practices don't cut it

DougS Silver badge

Frequent password changes

It comes down to where you think you have the biggest exposure. The extra 270 days from forcing year password changes instead of 4x a year, or from people having stickies on their monitor/hidden in a desk drawer/in their wallet/in a note on their phone containing their password for more days before they finally have typed it enough that they can remember it and don't need the note.

As stated, if someone gets a employee password and uses it to access the network, they've probably done most of their damage by the time an employee changes the password. Once inside the network they can easily set up a way that allows them to access from the outside (i.e. set up an outgoing SSH session with a tunnel) so they can get back in after the password has changed.

I'd much rather see people with a really high quality password they NEVER change than have a password changed regularly but is written down in plaintext somewhere (well, maybe not, but I would if I could somehow insure that the high quality password was only used in that one place...) Suggest that to a security "pro" and they'd have a cow, because "best practices" - most couldn't even say why that became a best practice in the first place and defend its validity in 2015, they just know to quote their bible.

DougS Silver badge

People "trained in IT security" are a lot of the problem

They focus on best practices that date from the 90s, or have been thoroughly discredited. My pet peeve are overly aggressive password change policies of 90 and sometimes as little as 30 days, which when combined with ever more complex password standards (which are of course necessary as computational power available for cracking increases) leads to a lot of average people writing down their passwords.

There's an over-reliance on firewalls for protection, ignoring the fact that more and more exploits are caused by people on the inside unknowingly bringing in the nasties via their web browser (e.g. by visiting a site that uses Flash, for instance) which isn't subject that stout firewall config that Security spends so much time agonizing over a minor change in.

They spend a lot of time doing things that are visible, but don't really help much, so they can be seen as doing "something". But they're afraid to step on toes to effect changes in policy that will truly make a difference, like banning the use of USB sticks that can not only be a vector for infection they can provide an easy conduit for IP theft on a massive scale as well as too often data loss to the outside through carelessness or negligence.

If the training didn't turn out such homogeneous like-minded people, who all do the same things and all leave the same exposures for miscreants to exploit, IT security would be in a better state.

Microsoft sues InterDigital for 'monopoly power' over mobile patents

DougS Silver badge

Re: Huh?

I think you're making assumptions, unless you've read stories elsewhere that provided more information.

If InterDigital was never part of developing the 3G/4G standards, their parts are not FRAND/SEP and they can charge whatever they want. If so Microsoft might be unhappy about being asked to pay more than others.

Now maybe they have a standard pricing schedule, either due to FRAND or because they just decided to do it that way. If so Microsoft is free to object, and see if they can get a better deal in court. Like I said, it is also possible they're trying to pull a fast one like Motorola and charge based on the price of the device rather than the chip that implements the technology. That's a no-no where FRAND is concerned (or at least that's what courts have said so far) but if these patents aren't FRAND then there's nothing really stopping them from charging that way unless Microsoft can find a legal argument that a court will accept.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Huh?

No, like too many people you totally misunderstand how FRAND works. Having your patents subject to FRAND is totally voluntary, there is no compulsion. There are not "special rules" that "mandate FRAND terms". Those FRAND terms apply only if you take part in the standards process, which for your company to be allowed to do requires a commitment to license all your patents used in the standard under FRAND terms. If you do not take part in the standards process, and implementation of the standard ends up requiring technology you've patented, you can charge whatever you want and you could charge different prices to Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung if you felt like it.

I have no idea whether InterDigital took part in the standards development process for 3G or LTE, or whether they just have enough patents that devices that meet those standards may infringe on them. If they did take part in standards development they must license those patents on FRAND terms. If that's the case, the only thing Microsoft could be complaining about here is if they're trying to pull a fast one like Motorola and trying to claim royalties based on a percentage of the sales price of the device rather than the chip that implements the technology.

I remember back when Apple first started making cell phones back in 2007 they signed an agreement with InterDigital within a month or two of the initial sales. For all the complaining people do about how difficult Apple is with licensing, they paid up with these guys right out of the gate. That shows how big of a player they are, if even Apple does not trifle with them.

Brit hydro fuel cell maker: our tech charges iPhone 6 for a week

DougS Silver badge

No one needs this

If you want a week long battery life from your phone, you can buy one of those bulky 12000 mah battery cases, or one of those little external batteries that they can be plugged into. No one wants to be messing around with adding a bit of liquid to their phone, rather than simply plugging it in. I suppose if the fuel was in a little cartridge that installed like a SIM or SD card it would be less objectionable, but that's something you need to carry with you or purchase at undoubtedly massively marked up prices at the coffee shop.

Anyway, if Apple had this they'd probably make the phone thinner and still go for a one day battery life. Because, as I said, no one needs a week long battery life as standard in a phone and those who do already have the ability to get it.

Sysadmin ignores 25 THOUSAND patches, among other sins

DougS Silver badge

I don't think he handled this job at all correctly

He was taking some huge risks doing what he did considering this office was 40% of the money flowing out of a multinational.

If patches haven't been applied for four years, who knows what could happen when they are applied? He saw with that one server that was unable to restart without a lot of hand-holding due to lack of disk space from all those patches being loaded without properly evaluating the environment first. What if half the PCs in the office had refused to start up, or got into a blue screen loop, or any of the other possible outcomes that would have prevented people doing work?

The first task was not "patching then AV updates" it should have been checking backups, testing backups, verifying backups. Before he touched ANYTHING, he should have made 100% certain he had a way to go back to the previous state if he broke something. Then you verify the integrity of storage (i.e. all RAID disks present, no SMART warnings about impending disk failures in the servers and desktops) and the free space left. Then you verify the network is healthy and so forth.

Touching stuff and applying patches is well down the list - and you should restart every server and then every PC and make sure they come up OK and users can use them successfully for a day or two before you do that again with the patches. If you don't do this, you don't know if a patch broke something or there was something already borked that had nothing to do with all the changes applying 4 years of patches encompasses.

Ashley Madison hack – Tory MP Green denies registering account

DougS Silver badge

Re: Excellent.

Clinton had served the full eight years allowed by the Constitution, so even if he had no scandal and was the most popular president in history we still would have got rid of him.

Security fears arise over body-worn plodcam footage

DougS Silver badge

Re: It's funny...

Bodycams should be legally required to record when they are turned on and off, and if a cop is found to have turned his off before an incident where there's a dispute, the court should weigh that strongly against his account of the facts.

That would clear up a lot of these things and make bodycams useful for citizens to prove misconduct instead of just for cops to cover their ass.

Rock reboot and the Welsh windy wonder: Centre for Alternative Technology

DougS Silver badge

It is hard to argue against data centers powered by coal being dirtier and responsible for more CO2 than data centers powered by almost anything else. Yeah, they don't have a lot of choice because if there is no hydro or gas power in the area coal is your only choice (yeah there's solar, but the eastern US, especially the NE, gets less sun than the rest so the cost per watt is higher as a result)

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