* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Were the FIRST AMERICANS really FIRST? MYSTERY of vanished 'Population Y'

DougS Silver badge

Lots of reasons to cross the ocean

If you're pushed out from your home via famine or a stronger group, the long journey across the ocean with long odds is better than the even longer odds of staying. It isn't like they knew how far it was, they just knew it was further than they'd ever been in that direction. They may not have even tried to go that, an unexpected storm may have taken them off their intended travel path. Once they were at the mercy of the currents they would have no choice but to cross the ocean.

So long as they were able to fish and catch rainwater, and were lucky enough to avoid the worst storms, they could stay in their boats for months and easily cross the Pacific (for some value of 'easy' that few of us will ever experience in our modern comfy lives)

I'll bet there were hundreds of crossings, though most probably didn't survive when they got to the other side and found themselves confronted with unfamiliar terrain and unknown dangers from North America's megafauna.

How British spies really spy: Information that didn't come from Snowden

DougS Silver badge

It's irrelevant

For truly Brit to Brit communication, GCHQ probably has the NSA do the spying for them. The law may say they can't snoop on Brit to Brit communication without a warrant, but I'll bet it doesn't say they can't give someone else access to the firehose of data.

Chinese IT spending with western firms goes OVER A CLIFF

DougS Silver badge

Apple spending not really "IT spending"

It would more properly be categorized CE spending, since Apple gets the bulk of its revenue from consumer sales. The quarterly drop for Apple is easily explained Chinese New Year falling in the previous quarter rather than this quarter - an important date for consumer sales, but not for enterprise spending (probably would actually hurt enterprise spending in that quarter, as many people take the week off)

Though obviously if the economy in China really takes a tumble and people quit getting 30% raises every year and feeling rich, the spending on iPhones will take a serious hit.

Intelsat to FCC: For the love of satellites, STOP ELON MUSK!

DougS Silver badge

Re: Is Musk going for geostationary?

If he's planning on a thousand of them they're obviously LEO. LEO satellites can easily interfere with geo satellites, if their orbit is such that they temporarily are in between the GEO satellite and an earth station receiver and they use the same frequencies, and would block signals for a split second as they pass even if using a different frequency. For signals broadcast across a whole country/continent, there would be satellites getting in the way all the time (think about a satellite TV company like Directv with 20 million dishes in the US alone)

Obviously the LEO satellites would be licensed for a different frequency, but there's still that momentary loss of signal. That's not real a problem with all the FEC that satellite signals use, but certainly operators like Intelsat have the right to know at minimum what orbits the Musk satellites are using so when they detect that blip they'll know the cause. Until Musk gets approval to launch, however, there seems to be no pressing need for notification now.

Get root on an OS X 10.10 Mac: The exploit is so trivial it fits in a tweet

DougS Silver badge

Disabling DeepFreeze

Being root isn't good enough, you also have to know how to hack it. Maybe there are some hacks out there, but they won't be easy to come by. The only way to disable it otherwise is to know the thaw password.

Windows 10 on Mobile under the scope: Flaws, confusion, and going nowhere fast

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Re: Who said that about Android?

Android 1.x may have sucked, but it still sold better than the antique "smartphones" it was replacing within a few months.

DougS Silver badge

Who said that about Android?

When Android was released, iPhone was its only real competition, everything else like Windows Mobile, Blackberry, Communicator, etc. was an antique by comparison. It didn't matter how unpolished Android was, it was the only game in town for OEMs who wanted to get into the modern smartphone world, so it would have been successful no matter what.

DougS Silver badge

Enterprise market

I agree with AC, Microsoft has waved the white flag with consumers, they know Android and iPhone have that market sewn up.

They do have a chance of leveraging their corporate desktop monopoly into companies that haven't gone BYOD choosing Windows Phones. There are still a lot of multinationals that provide phones for their employees, if you can get wins like that which add up to 100K sales a pop and probably get replaced every couple years, it should be enough to keep Windows Phone afloat.

However, if they fail in Enterprise on this third attempt to reinvent Windows Phone, I think MS will pull the plug. They can't run keep burning money in mobile forever, at some point the shareholders will say enough already and put a stop to it.

Lottery IT security boss guilty of hacking lotto computer to win $14.3m

DougS Silver badge

I live in the state, there's more to this story

This story has been in the news around here for several years. The prize went unclaimed for many months, and the year that you have to cash it was almost done, so there were stories in the news wondering if someone had the jackpot winner lost in the bottom of a purse or if it had been accidentally thrown out.

A few hours before the time expired, an out of state lawyer delivered the winning ticket to the lottery office in the name of a trust in Belize. State law requires that lottery winners be made public, but the lawyer said he couldn't divulge the the person or persons behind the trust and eventually dropped the matter. The state ended up using the prize money to fund some other lottery prizes so it didn't go to "waste".

Obviously dropping a claim to millions of dollars will raise some suspicions, so the state began investigating, but they couldn't learn much. Eventually they released the security tape footage from the convenience store where the mysterious person bought the ticket, asking for the public's help to identify him. Someone figured out who he was, and the rest of the investigation put the pieces together. AFAIK this guy had not been suspected previously, the investigation had focused around the idea that maybe the ticket had been criminally obtained by the bearer and that's why they wanted to hide their identity, or they were trying to avoid paying taxes on the prize.

I know it looks like there's not much evidence from what the story says, but I'm sure considering how long this investigation has been going on, they wouldn't be moving on him unless they were sure they had enough for a conviction.

What this goes to show is that allowing people to claim lottery prizes anonymously is bad policy - he would be living it up in Belize if they did that here. Also that the state lottery's IT oversight was poor - like the NSA they placed too much trust in those with administrative access. But in the end the bad guy never got a cent and will probably go to prison for a long time for his trouble, so the system worked "well enough" even if there is some obvious room for improvement.

Silicon-happy ARM engorges its profits by a third – so its shares dip

DougS Silver badge

I think it is speculation to claim this had anything to do with Apple

Probably more related to the general appearance that smartphone sales are finally starting to level off, and they're probably getting down to the point where the remaining feature phone replacement will happen with used smartphones since there are many 2-3 year old smartphones that still work well someone upgrading from a feature phone at the lowest possible price.

ARM doesn't make nearly as much from Apple as they do from many other OEMs, because Apple designs its own cores instead of using ARM's. They carry only an ARM architectural license, which has a much lower per CPU royalty than licensing the cores does. So even if there were worries about Apple's falling iPad sales or the Watch not selling 20 million in quarter or whatever inflated expectations analysts had, the revenue effect of that on ARM will be minimal.

Keep your stupid drones away from piloted aircraft, rages CAA

DougS Silver badge

Life in prison

It is only a matter of time before a fatal accident results. Hopefully the culprit will be found and charged with capital murder for committing a felony that results in death. That one example will make other hobbyists decide to stay well away from planes, I'll bet.

The real problem isn't the hobbyist though it is the terrorist. Why mess around with trying to smuggle a bomb onto a plane to bring it down? Simply fly a drone into the engine intake on a twin engine jet on approach and I suspect the results would not be good, and the terrorist would have much less risk and live to do it again. Airports are going to need the ability to track and bring down (via jamming or something) drones that enter flight paths, especially during landing approach when a "bird strike" can take down the plane.

The first time a terrorist does this, laws will probably be passed that make flying a drone within an airport's airspace a terrorist offense. Send one hobbyist to Gitmo and you'd have the same effect, only problem it won't make the news so no one will learn from his example.

BREAKING NEWS: Apple makes money

DougS Silver badge

Already got back half the after hours drop

Looking at the price today, it already got back over half of the after hours trading drop, so the OP's worry about this was unfounded. It is now back within the recent trading range.

Anyone who was worried about Apple not reporting numbers for the Apple Watch and felt that was a bad sign is a fool, because Cook said he wouldn't report them before the product was even released! He stated it was for competitive reasons - not letting others know whether it is a good market to be in. If you choose not to believe that, and think he did it because he feared it would do poorly, it doesn't change anything. He said he wouldn't report results so selling the stock because they didn't report results is rather silly.

The "Other" category it is in doubled, with about $1.5 billion in additional revenue, so seems reasonable they sold about 4-5 million Watches. Maybe the market reaction was that was too low, but estimates of their sales have been all over the place. If Samsung sold four million smartwatches in three months analysts would have hailed that as a big success.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Record profits yet Wall St says No

Why should variability in the stock price mean they should go private? This sort of thing happens all the time, to a lot of stocks. If you have an MBA you know this, and shouldn't be concerned.

I have an MBA also, and own several thousand shares of AAPL, and this doesn't concern me. I've had the stock for 6-8 years, and will likely hold it for quite a while yet. These daily/quarterly variations based on feelings and momentum would only concern me if I was thinking about selling, or thinking about buying more (if I was thinking about buying more, this would be a good entry point, after a nearly 10% drop that had no basis in the financials)

Pakistan wants to copy GCHQ and eavesdrop on world+dog's comms

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Re: “Mass, indiscriminate surveillance goes against the most basic fundamental human right to

What's sad for US/UK citizens is that they have people publicly questioning it. In the US those few who knew about it and weren't on board knew they'd go to jail for a long time for revealing this by questioning it publicly.

But my government/media tells me Pakistan is the bad guys and we're the good guys....maybe they got it backwards?

Jeep drivers can be HACKED to DEATH: All you need is the car's IP address

DougS Silver badge

Proves my policy about cars

I always said if I ever bought a car that had OnStar or any sort of equivalent system that connected it to the outside world, I'd permanently disable it, or if that was not possible I'd choose a different car.

Silly me, I was concerned about invasion of privacy and the potential for the government to remotely shut down my car if they felt like it. I never dreamed anyone could possibly be stupid enough to give a car a public IP address! Once again I underestimate and am astounded by the stupidity of engineers who really should know better.

Robot surgeons kill 144 patients, hurt 1,391, malfunction 8,061 times

DougS Silver badge

Wrong metrics

The number of deaths due to robotic surgery have to be weighed against the number of lives saved by robotic surgery, where a human doctor either couldn't have saved the life or one who could was not available in time.

This headline is good for working the Luddites into a frenzy, nothing more. Once self-driving cars are a reality, some of them will be involved in fatal accidents. Some of those accidents will be the car's fault. But if self-driving cars were to have 1 death (caused by the car) per 100 million miles driven and human-driven cars have 1 death (caused by the human driver) per 20 million miles driven, then self-driving cars would still be superior.

Dough! Dominos didn't register dominos.pizza – and now it's pizz'd off

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Re: And what was the point of gTLDs again?

This. Shaking down big corporations was the point.

Disaster-gawping cam drones to be blasted out of the sky in California

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Re: Unintended consequences

How is that any difference from the fact that a firetruck speeding to the scene crashes into a car and injures or kills people once in a while? More lives will be saved by clearing the sky of drones so emergency responders can do their thing unimpeded than the one unlucky person that may die per decade from one falling on their head. If it is falls on your house or car, well, that's what insurance is for.

The roots go deep: Kill Adobe Flash, kill it everywhere, bod says

DougS Silver badge

Why no Java bashing articles

Because no one has had a Java plugin installed in their browser for years. The use of Java is now limited to running Java applications shipped by reputable vendors, so while there are still security holes they aren't really all that big of a deal since you don't have to worry about malware related exploits delivered via web or email.

Scammers going after iOS as fake crash reports hit UK

DougS Silver badge

Re: Hard to kill

With iOS you can hit the "tab" selection button and just kill that page. I haven't ever run into such a hard to kill popup on iOS so I can't say for sure this works, but unless it really flummoxes Safari in an especially bad way it shouldn't be that hard to escape. Though the less clueful (i.e. typical) user probably wouldn't know to do that, or to check the "suppress further messages" dialog and therefore be at the mercy of the scammers.

Rise of the swimming machines: US sub launches and recovers a drone

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Re: Question

If the sub uses an antenna buoy with an electronically steered beam to communicate with a satellite as a go-between for the drone, the drone could briefly surface or raise an antenna above the surface to relay its findings back to the sub and receive new instructions.

More Apple Car mutterings: Cupertino slurps more autobiz brains

DougS Silver badge

Re: Anyone interested on buying an iCloud blocked car?

Well activation lock would be one way to eliminate carjacking at least...

DougS Silver badge


You are confusing it with the Google car that will do all that, as well as force you to watch ads played on the inside of the windshield during the entire drive.

Google's Chrome is the one that tries to force you to login to it so it can track all your browsing, not Apple's Safari.

DougS Silver badge

It only does that when you hit the "shuffle" button, and it will randomly choose one of your past destinations.

Driverless cars banished to fake Michigan 'town' until they learn to read

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Re: Sheep, Cyclists, Pedestrians, Townies, Bridges, buses

No, they'll jump over the wall without warning. If a sheep is balancing on the wall at least you know to slow down as they might jump off. Deer will just jump in front of you without warning. I'm fortunate I've (knock on wood) avoided such collisions so far, but some are unavoidable, even with robo-car reflexes.

Silicon Valley sides with Samsung in anti-Apple patent war

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@Dazed and Confused

You misunderstand the FRAND patent issue. The argument isn't "you shouldn't use a percentage of the phone's price because our phones are expensive" the argument is "you shouldn't use a percentage of the phone's price when others are paying a percentage of the sales price of the chip that implements the patented technology".

It is a pure money grab from FRAND patent owners who used to get 2% of the sales price of a $10 chip suddenly claiming they are entitled to 2% of the sales price of a $600 phone (or even a $100 phone) If an Airbus includes that chip, should they pay 2% of the $100 million sales price of an A380?

Windows 10 Edge: Standards kinda suck yet better than Chrome?

DougS Silver badge

Re: Given that 15+ year old bugs have recently been found in some much used Open Source has

You don't need to have everyone read the code, only a few people. There will always be enough people looking at the open source parts of Android, simply due to its importance. That doesn't guarantee they find all security issues of course, but it guarantees Google can't hide anything nasty within it. It is open source software with much smaller userbases that are more of a problem, because there may not be anyone motivated to examine the code.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Apple Brwosers and the App Store

The iPhone has a ceiling on its market share because Apple chases only the high end market. Many will never be able to afford it, many others who can afford it will choose a cheaper option, others will never choose them because they dislike Apple, prefer Google, prefer Android, don't like the "walled garden", etc., etc. There's zero chance of the iPhone reaching even a third of the market, let alone enough to constitute what is deemed a monopoly share.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Strange advert....

They claim that, but the real reason is quite different. By stripping Android proper of more and more functionality, it is harder for a phone OEM to go Google-free and take just Android. Google doesn't want that because they obviously don't make money giving away Android, but rake it in invading your privacy and delivering ads to you.

They make parts of it open source, but stuff like Maps and everything related to ad delivery is closed source. Pretty sure Chrome is open source, but that's mostly irrelevant - every Android user is running closed source code written by Google that does who knows what. The fact you have source to a lot of other stuff is no more relevant than the fact that significant parts of iOS (the BSD Mach layer, not the GUI obviously) and WebKit from the browser are open source. Open source is all or nothing, once you are running a mixture you may as well be running all closed source.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Always this old canard

Gotta love that haters will actually upvote such drivel, and downvote those who explain why it is drivel. I'm pretty sure someone could suggest nuking Apple HQ as the proper response to this and still receive upvotes from those morons.

DougS Silver badge

@Michael B - easy to disable Flash

You miss the point - by including it and having it enabled by default, web designers can assume that anyone running that browser has Flash available.

The designers typically use different code for different devices, so while the Safari version will assume no flash, the Edge version will assume flash is present. Sites with Flash will probably break if you try to visit them in Edge with Flash disabled, because they will ignore the small percentage of people who change their defaults.

The US taxman thinks Microsoft owes billions. Prove it, says Microsoft

DougS Silver badge

These dodges aren't available to Apple

He wasn't talking about how many years in existence, he was talking about how many years rolling in cash. Which is pretty much only the past decade or so for Apple.

Apple would not be able to take advantage of the same dodges Microsoft is accused of here because Apple is selling hardware, while Microsoft is selling licenses. Supposedly Microsoft is licensing the rights to their US IP to offshore companies, meaning that Microsoft US has to make big payments to the offshore companies for the right to use it. This reduces Microsoft's US taxable income and makes more of their income offshore.

Apple can't do that, because they are selling actual hardware devices that have a known cost of production and known sales price. While theoretically they could ship them from China to Bermuda or wherever, and have Bermuda sell them to the US at a much higher price so Apple US makes almost nothing selling them, that's already been tried a century ago by importers and all the loopholes closed (otherwise Exxon would have been using it, among others)

Apple is reporting pretty much what you'd expect in US income based on reported US sales of iPhone & Mac versus worldwide sales, and paying taxes on that amount (Apple paid over $13 billion in US taxes in 2013) If they want to investigate anyone, they should look at GE, which paid an effective tax rate of barely 4% in 2013, versus Apple's 26%. Apple probably paid more taxes in 2013 than GE has paid in the past 20 years...

Comet-invader Philae goes silent, mothership Rosetta forced to retreat

DougS Silver badge

Was it ever planned to be operating this close to the Sun?

The reason comets have a tail is the reason that solar panels probably wouldn't be very effective to power something sitting on a comet. Once it is close enough to begin acquiring a tail I wouldn't think the solar panels would be generating enough power anymore. It might last a bit longer if it was sitting where intended, but not once there was a full blown tail.

Tablets, smartwatches just not doing it for Apple right now

DougS Silver badge

iPhone was not an "established product category"

Sure, there were smartphones back then, but they were as far behind compared to the iPhone and the Android phones that followed in its footsteps as the original 1903 Model A was compared to a Bugatti Vitesse.

Especially since iPhone was not targeting the "geeks and PHBs" that were the only customers of smartphones previously, but the other 98% of the population who didn't even know what one was or why they would ever want one until they saw what it could do.

Smartwatches are in the same place smartphones were in 2006, currently being purchased only by geeks and the fitness-obsessed. The question is whether Apple can broaden the appeal of a smartwatch the way they did with a smartphone. So far I've seen zero evidence they have done so, so they better have something up their sleeve that will make it desirable outside the current narrow market segment buying Android Gear and Fitbit.

DougS Silver badge

Will they announce Watch sales?

Maybe I'm misremembering, but I thought they said they would not be breaking out those sales. Regardless of whether they announced that before its release, if they don't everyone will assume the sales are terrible, so they might as well. A lot of companies don't report unit sales data at all, but Apple has set the bar by reporting numbers for their products in the past, so if they don't for the Watch people will assume they're hiding bad news.

Russian billionaire: GET me the ALIENS ON THE PHONE. Do it NOW

DougS Silver badge

So many problems

1) What communication method would they use? If we'd listened for them 80 years ago and had a modern highly modulated digital cell phone or TV broadcast from the future intercepted somehow, it would very likely be ignored as "noise". Maybe there's an as yet undiscovered method of communication that's FTL or passes transparently through almost any material that they broadcast in - figuring that until a civilization learns this they're not worth talking to.

2) Why should they care to talk to us? I guess we try to talk to animals, so maybe they'd want to communicate with some backwards hairless apes, but they might not make the effort unless they knew we're here. Since our communication is traveling at c and weakening as it goes, unless they're close or they have some sort of observation post close, it may be hundreds or thousands of years before they know we're here - and that's if we're in the same galactic zip code!

3) Maybe broadcasting to 'everyone' is a bad idea. It only takes one berzerker civilization to mean civilizations that shout out to everyone have a short life expectancy after first broadcast, meaning all such civilizations may be long dead by now.

4) What if we hear them, but TPTB keep it secret? They may want to avoid the type of world unrest, religious and otherwise, that would likely follow the revelation there are other intelligent beings in the universe. I know Sci Fi authors like to pretend it would bring the world together, but I am skeptical. We'd be brought together if they came to exterminate us (not that that's very likely to help, Falling Skies notwithstanding) but I don't think we'd get the same reaction if there was no immediate threat.

Being common is tragic, but the tragedy of the commons is still true

DougS Silver badge

Neighborhoods vs cities

Think of it in terms of small villages along a river. In any given small village people will cooperate and not fall victim to the tragedy of the commons. They don't want to do something that hurts others in the village because they have to live there.

But when they create effects beyond their village, they no longer care. For instance, people who live on the upstream end of the village won't dump sewage in the river, because doing so would negatively affect their friends and neighbors who use the river for drinking water and washing clothes. But the one who is most downstream won't care, because none of his neighbors will be affected. He will affect the village three miles downstream, however.

This is why, if you want to limit CO2, voluntary restrictions cannot work. The CO2 emitted in the US doesn't stay in the US, nor do its effects. Even if everyone in the world universally agreed that AGW is happening and humanity needs to reduce CO2, there is little societal pressure on a factory owner to spend money to do so. He'll know the CO2 he emits is a rounding error on a rounding error, and no one driving by can look at the smokestack and tell how much CO2 is coming out of it. So even if he believes what everyone else does, it is in his own best financial interest to not spend the money to reduce his CO2 emissions.

What makes our planet's clouds? Tiny INVISIBLE CREATURES. True story

DougS Silver badge

Global warming help?

If you wanted to cool the oceans, finding a way to increase the number of these would help. Any idea whether they are present in larger or smaller numbers in warmer waters?

You Musk be joking: Tesla's zero to 60MPH in 2.8 SECONDS is literally 'ludicrous'

DougS Silver badge

Re: Also hope it comes with ludicrous brakes and something better than the human 0.25 sec response.

Top fuel dragsters are over 200 mph in 2.8 seconds, so it isn't exactly comparable...

Apple and Samsung are plotting to KILL OFF the SIM CARD - report

DougS Silver badge

Re: How long before first SIM rooting?

The iPhone would store the SIM certificates in the secure enclave, so no worries about that. On Android it would depend on whether the hardware of your particular phone had similar hardware and if Android or the manufacturer's customization of Android supported it.

DougS Silver badge

Something all you negative ninnies need to consider

No one is forcing you to buy one of these phones. If you think the situation is as dire as all that, don't buy one. Even if a new standard is agreed to, it will take a couple years before all phones on the market support it, and even then it isn't like the GSMA would agree to a standard that required ONLY the software SIM, and phones couldn't be made that ALSO had a hardware SIM slot. You can buy one of those, and only lose the ability to buy iPhones and Samsung's high end phones that would drop the SIM slot.

I remember similar comments about the 'Apple SIM' (which is a sort of in between solution to what Apple/Samsung are proposing now) that Apple provides for the iPad that lets you select carriers from a list. As pointed out by an AC above this isn't without its problems, but while the Reg glosses over it, Apple/Samsung are working with the GSMA as well as the carriers, this is standards effort, not a couple companies trying to work out a private agreement with carriers. Think about who are the big dogs that will get their way when Apple and Samsung are on one side of the table, some major carriers on the other, and GSMA overseeing it. (Hint, it isn't the carriers)

The sky didn't fall with the Apple SIM and all the worry warts were proven unfounded. It won't fall here either. If for no other reason than Apple is the one company that refuses to let carriers have power over its users, by not permitting them to install their own crapware and taking them out of the loop for software updates. The reason they made exclusivity agreements with AT&T etc. at first was because most carriers were unwilling to give up that control, AT&T decided it was worth it in exchange for a term of exclusivity. Once the iPhone was successful other carriers were forced to give up control to be allowed to sell iPhones. The only other phone OEM who has (at least in some cases) wrested such control from carriers: Samsung.

Apple is not about to hand control back to the carriers after going to all the trouble of taking it away from them. The fact they're working with Samsung on this puts the muscle on the side of the phone OEMs, since between the two of them they sell nearly half the smartphones in the world. The carriers are the little guys compared to them, and won't be the ones getting what they want in this standard.

DougS Silver badge


All these posters automatically assuming this will be a bad thing for consumers....

You don't think that they want to simplify/cost reduce their phones? Make it possible to provision a carrier instantly? Have one less component to go wrong, get dust/water inside, etc.?

Do you really think it is in Apple or Samsung's interest to add to a customer's carrier lock-in? On the contrary, they want customers to be as mobile between carriers as possible, and be able to provision multiple software SIMs at once and let the phone choose your carrier based on the lowest price. After all, the less money you spend on monthly carrier bills, the more you have to spend on the phone itself!

Google, Adobe barricade Flash against hacker hordes – we peek inside

DougS Silver badge

Should have done this a decade ago

Back when flash was still a thing. But with first Apple, then Android, now Firefox all dropping flash, and many of us personally dropping it (or mostly dropping it via Flashblock) it is too little too late by a long shot.

This is like fixing the barn door after the horse bolted and died of old age.

Bitcoin fixes a Greek problem – but not the Greek debt problem

DougS Silver badge

Re: QE is not a magic bullet

You misunderstand what Tim is saying. He's not arguing that QE causes economic growth. If it did, we'd do QE all the time instead of stuff like tax cuts, interest rate cuts, etc. to goose a sluggish economy.

QE prevented deflation, which causes an economic contraction (why should I buy a new car today when it will cost less in six months) So it isn't so much that "QE caused growth" but "QE prevented negative growth". It turned out many areas saw positive growth, but even if the economy was flat for a few years that would have been fine - much better than what would have happened instead!

DougS Silver badge

Re: Weeks late and misinformed

Apple Pay is irrelevant to this discussion, because Apple hasn't invented their own currency, and even if they did neither Greece nor any other country would make it their official currency forcing everything to have an iPhone to buy or sell.

It sounds like you see Bitcoin as alternate payment method. It has some advantages in that it is sort of anonymous in a way that bank transfers or credit/debit cards are not. Some claim it is a currency but it really isn't as no one can conduct all their personal transactions using only bitcoins. Once you are forced to transfer bitcoins to dollars or whatever to buy/sell, it ceases to be a real currency but only an intermediate store of value like gold.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Greece has a problem

Their economy can't sustain the country because they're in a deflationary spiral. More austerity, which seems to be the latest plan address the failure of previous identical plans, will only cause their economy to shrink further, leave more people unemployed, and lead to an identical crisis in another couple years.

The only fix will be for debts to be forgiven deliberately by the creditors or forced into that situation by Greece defaulting on all foreign debt, leaving the EU and introducing their own currency. That will be painful, but if they'd done that a few years ago the pain would already be over and they'd probably be better off than they are today, and certainly better off than they'll be two years from now.

Once they do that they won't be able to borrow internationally, but as a tourism based economy Greece is lucky that they would be able to get a constant inflow of euros and dollars from tourists changing them into drachma or whatever. They'd have to impose stiff penalties on anyone accepting dollars or euros directly to insure the country actually runs on their own currency, and enough taxes can be collected for some level of government to function.

I really don't understand why Greece doesn't do that. I guess it is fear of the unknown, but the current course can only make things worse. There is absolutely no chance that further budget cuts and higher taxes will do anything but shrink the economy any more. The EU finance people are either idiots, or hoping to loot Greece if it collapses completely.

DougS Silver badge

@I Ain't Spartacus - why Germany's growth has been similar

Germany has the strongest economy in the EU. Just because the EU as a whole has been lagging doesn't mean some places won't be well above average, and others well below average. Just like in the US the recovery wasn't evenly distributed amongst all 50 states, but some states experienced a strong recovery relatively quickly (oil & farm related economies) and others are still lagging (rust belt states like Michigan still suffering the aftereffects of the downsizing of the US automotive industry)

Your security is just dandy, Apple Pay, but here comes Android

DougS Silver badge


Android Pay doesn't have to directly monetize the user's personal information.

Monetizing personal information is Google's whole business model! Unless they've committed somewhere to not do so you better believe they will do exactly that.

They'd LOVE to get this data from consumers, as they could link ads they've seen, products they've searched, stores they've been in etc. down to what products the customer ended up actually buying. Can you imagine how valuable that would be to retailers - they could figure out which ads / promotions are actually effective, instead of just guessing. No way Google doesn't stick its fists in that jackpot up to its elbows!

Hands off, Apple! Irish dev studio sues over alleged iWatch infringement

DougS Silver badge

It is not called the iWatch

Should I sue Samsung for calling their latest phone the DougS? No, because it is the Galaxy S6....makes as much sense as this suit.

Maybe they're worried Apple plans to change the name to iWatch and this is a preliminary suit to given them proven rights in court - so they can charge Apple $100 million for the name. Not sure about Milan, but in the US the courts would throw this out immediately since Apple isn't using the name iWatch for anything!

Lawyer brands client 'small penis asshole' before challenging him to a DUEL

DougS Silver badge

"Small claims" court

Seems appropriate.

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